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Location: Colorado Springs
Joined: 02/23/2009
Posts: 188
Bullet Weight

I don't know if this topic has been addressed before, but I'm curious if you believe the weight of a bullet effects accuracy.  For example, I'm using 115 gr. bullets in my 25-06.  If I load 5 and the weights are 114.6, 115.2, 115.0, 114.8 and 115.3 will the group size be effected?  I have a friend who reloaded with me some years ago, and he weighed each bullet prior to loading them.  If the SD was more than +/- .1 gr., he would'nt load it.  His groupings were very impressive, but I'm curious if you think it really makes a difference, especially for hunting loads.

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4433
You would be surprised at

You would be surprised at just how much a tenth or a couple of tenths of a grain can and does affect accuracy as far as target shooting is concerned.  But for a hunting round I would never worry about it. 

Now after saying that I have a .22-250 that I am that particular with.  I have used that rifle for both bench rest competition and shooting parrie dogs, ground squirrels, and other varmints out to ranges of 400 yards.  At 100 yards shooting a 52 grain hollow point at around 3600 fps I can shoot a group that you can cover with a dime.  But if I am not particular with the bullets that I load and switch from one manufactures 52 grain bullet to another then my groups open up considerably. 

GooseHunter Jr's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/28/2005
Posts: 3748
Yeah I too agree with Critter

Yeah I too agree with Critter if you are target shooting I would want all my bullets to weight the same and have the excat same powder charge in all of them.  As for hunting being a little off on bullet weight and grain opf powder will not make to much a difference to even notice.  When I get new bullets home I run the on sclae just to make sure they are correct in weight or atleast very close to each other.

Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3206
weighing bullets

I went thru a period where I thought that would help. What I found was that after weighing a box of bullet's I'd have five different piles of bullet's of different weights! I switched to match bullet's in a favorite .222Rem and all the bullets were perfect. And that rifle shot tiny little holes with them. But, that rifle also shot tiny little holes with 50gr Hornedy SX's! I think there's a lot more to accuracy than the bullets. Shoot I have read that a lot of competative shooter's use a dipper to weight powder, how accurate can that be? Go to all the trouble of making each case and bullet exactly the same then throw in a dipper load of powder!

I think we have to much time on our hands, either that or we have been delt a lethal bite from the accuracy bug! I do not see the reason so many people go thru the loading extreames they do just to shoot a deer, 2" is plenty of accuracy to normal game ranges, which by the way, is not 500yds!

A story from years ago. I got the bug to weight bullets and got out a box of Herter 175gr bullets for my 7mm Mag. When done I had about ten different piles of bullets all weighing different. Figured they were scrap so I got some Speer bullets, either 145gr or 160gr, don't recall anymore. What I found was about five different piles of different weight bullets. well that lead to weighing bullets for my .222Rem. 50gr Hondady SX's gave a few different piles of different weight bullet's that shot tiny little holes. So on to some 52gr Sierra match bullets, they weren't called match kings them. Weighed a box and had one pile of bullets all the same. Huh? Tried another box with the same results. I came to the conclusion that weighing them was a waste of time. The Sierra match bullet's shot tiny little groups when I did my job. And the 50gr Hornady SX's? Well they also shot tiny little groups if I did my part. That was back in the days when I measured my groups with a ruler. I still measure most of them that way!

It seems to me that far to many hunter's that handload spend far to much time trying to make their rifle shoot one hole groups when they'd be better off leatning to shoot their 1 1/2" rifle better!

Sorry this is so windy but, I was out grouse hunting in the Cascades the last two days and I hurt every where. I just wanted to share a bit of it with you. The roots of my hair hurt!

JJD's picture
Location: Right Side WA state
Joined: 11/07/2008
Posts: 208

Bullet weight is one of many variables.

Your friends concern may be warranted IF he's taking other variables into consideration. Everything from primer flash hole diameter to Cartridge overall lenght at the ogive.  You could literally spend the rest of your lifes free time fine tuning, to perfection for a single firearm, an accurate round.  Consider all the different bullet weights and powder combinations alone.

What I have learned to do is to decide on an end goal for a certain firearm and it's use, before I even begin the process of building a round for it.  Otherwise, I end up spending a bunch of $$ trying to shrink my group by another 1/8 of an inch.  For some, this is where the fun is.  I find, at least in a hunting round, that the more time I spend shooting away from the bench, the better shot I become.  Another 1/8 of an inch shooting off hand or kneeling is not gonna make much difference. 

Location: Colorado Springs
Joined: 02/23/2009
Posts: 188
Thanks guy's, very

Thanks guy's, very interesting stuff.  Actually gives me some piece of mind.  I started to weigh my bullets and have been thinking lately "does it really matter that much?"  Time to me is a valuable resource we never get back.  So, I try to make the most of what I got and don't want to waste it weighing bullets.  I read another post from someone who stated he had bought some bullets and most boxes were short a few.  That's what got me started on this subject.  Anyways, thanks to everyone and good luck this season.


WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374

Unless you are buying specific match grade bullets, you are going to find most bullets that come from a manufacturer will vary in weight as much as you have refered to in your post.  That weight variation seems to be the norm for most commercially available bullets from most makers.  The key for you to do as a reloader is just make sure everything else you can control is as consistent as you can possibly make it, i.e. powder charge weight, case trim length, bullet seating depth, primer selection, etc.

As far as accuracy goes for hunting purposes, at a bench rest I try an keep at least 1 MOA at 100 yards.  But since we don't have bench rests to use out in the field when hunting I like to do this, simply determine how far you can accurately shoot in the field off-hand.  Next take a common paper plate and set it up at that distance, shoot a handful of rounds at it, all your shots should be able to hit inside that paper plate out to at least 300 yrds.  That's as accurate as you need for hunting.  If you can get tighter than that out to 300 yards or beyond off-hand, even better.