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Location: British Columbia
Joined: 05/03/2009
Posts: 10
Questions on fine tuning a reload!

First like to say thanks to all. Although new to this site I have gained a great deal from all who have shared their questions, experiences and knowledge.
I really enjoy all the threads in this site and think the benifits recieved have been priceless.
I picked up a RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme reload kit several years ago and have since been enjoying the bennifits and satisfactions of creating my own custom hand loads. I have had great success with fine tuning my .243 and 30.06 for sub MOA groups at 100yds. I have though been getting a lot of frustration with load devopment from my .300 Win. It is a combination of quality rifle and optics which I know also has the potential for consistant accurate shooting. I have found though that I seem to get about 2 or 3 flyers out of most 6 shot groups. (3-4 well within 1/2" and the rest anywhere within about 1 3/4") There is also usually about 40-60 fps variation within the groups.
I use quality brass all trimmed to the same length, measure my powder to the granual, use a bullet compariter, OAL gauge with fire formed cases for each rifle and seat every 6 shot groups of loaded rounds to within .0005" of each other. Running out of variables in my mind, I picked up a Co-Ax case and cartridge inspector and found something interesting. Inspecting my brass after it was shot showed all the case necks had well within .001" runout. Checking the loaded rounds showed that most had within .002" but several bullets had as much .005-.006" run out (measured just behind the shoulder). I realize that the .300 has a short neck design and am wondering if this plays a role in that or if as I suspect, I may have a die issue. The consistant bullet runout on my .243 and 30.06 are both good which steers me away from the press.
Is there a trick to adjust this run out to verify it as my problem?
Should I just replace the dies?
If so, with the volume and $ of components this caliber eats in mind, which quality die set would be recomended? Currently am using the lower end RCBS 2 die set.
The press is threaded at 1 1/4-12 with a bushing to 7/8-14.
Look forward to any and all sugestions and experiences.
Thanks in advance!

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Location: Nova Scotia
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Questions on fine tuning a reload!

First, a couple of questions. 1) Did you weigh your bullets/ brass and separate the closest groups of weights? You may have a component that is throwing off your groups. It sounds like the majority are going where you want them to but a couple out of each batch are "different". 2) What else are you doing to the brass prior to loading it? Making the primer hole uniform and primer pocket uniform may make a difference.

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
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Questions on fine tuning a reload!

First thing I would look at is the rifle bedding. Many times when a rifle does that it is traced to the bedding. Another thought is how your shooting. I'm guessing your shooting off of bags. Be sure that your sling swivel is off the bag when you shoot.

But my first thought is bedding. 40 to 60 fps is quite a bit but I've seen guns shoot very well even with that much dievation. At the same time I have a 25-06 that I had a load running about 12 fps deviation and the thing wouldn't shoot for beans.

You didn't say what kind of bullets your shooting and varitation in weight can do that. But most bullets today are so close there's no need to weight. I have a bunch of old Herter bullets and they vary +/- 1 grain, don't shoot to well. Have you tried shooting any factory rounds to see what they do? I would try that. If they are opening you up also, then I'd go back to bedding. As the barrel warms up it sounds like the barrel is bouncing off a high spot. Make sure the action screws are tight. If they aren't, the bedding might be changing as things heat up.

Another thing I had cause that was a reciever bolt that stuck just a bit thru the action, just enough to touch a recoil lug. Couple swipes with a file and problem was solved.

The last thing I would suspect is the dies, could be but I wouldn't start there.

Bud
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Location: Montana
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Questions on fine tuning a reload!

Try changing primers. if you are using a magnum primer try a large rifle, they burn at different rates and sometimes a lr primer will get more even powder burn and that will lower your e.d.

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Location: British Columbia
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Posts: 10
Questions on fine tuning a reload!

Thanks to both of you for your replies.
I will try to include all steps I have taken so in the event of possibly missing something you can give me your best sugestions. Hope it isn't too long.
Originally I was using Winchester brass from different lots and it was my first suspision. I upgraded to Nosler brass and I immediated weighed it out of the box. All weighed to within .2 grs. Deburred the flash holes and full length resized. Fire formed the 50 rds with 168 gr Nosler ballistic tips and 75 gr RE-22. (seated .030" off) in 3 shot strings. (all shots went into 3") Set sizing die to just contact holder with ram up. Found this would create a shine at base of neck and outer edge of shoulder but would not detect shoulder movement with head n shoulder comparitor. Trimmed all cases to the legth of the shortest case to make sure all were square and uniform. Could only detect contact on most as being careful not too remove much material. (cases were already well below maximum length @ 2.601" and only leaving a neck length of about .240") Primed (CCI- 250 magnum) and charge with 75.5 gr RE 22 and seated 180gr Noz Part in 6 groups of 6. (.010, .015, .020, .025, .030 & .035) Shot in 3 shot strings with about 20 min cool down. Found best accuracy at .015-.020. Had noticed paralax problem of about 1" with scope at 100yds. Removed stock and confirmed generous free floating and no indications of movement in bedding. Adjusted trigger to just 2 lbs for testing. Picked up and mounted a new VX3 4.5-14 X 40 Boon and Crocket with adj objective. Cleaned barrel. Loaded remaining 14 rounds (2nd fired Nozler brass) at .015, .018 and .020 off. Sighted in scope with some of my original winchester loads. Repeated testing with new loads and found no real gain in accuracy between these groups. This is when I noticed the run out issues with the new loaded rounds after they were neck sized and seated.
I am shooting off sand bags with the sling removed and scope at 10 power with paralax corrected and paying close attention to consistant positioning. Did not think about the sling stud on the sand bag but am sure it is and will pay attention to it next time. I did not weigh the bullets. I have picked up some Berger 210gr VLD's (all I could find) and loaded some various charges from 67 up 71.5gr of RE-22 in .5 gr steps in my old brass to find a happy velocity with crony. Will take out one morning early this week to test before loading in the new brass. (Trying to keep the nozler brass to the same number of firings) Seated them .020 off the land. Also found a couple more pounds of new RE-22 for next loads in the Noxler brass. Will weigh bullets and brass this time. Don't think it would make a difference as I do pay close attention to positioning but I have also been using a Past Mag pad on the sholder to help tame the recoil for bench rest shooting. I do not have or want to develop a flinch and it keeps the recoil comfortable. I would have to limit myself to about ten or 15 shots per sitting without it.

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Location: British Columbia
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Questions on fine tuning a reload!

Spent Mothers day with the family yesterday so just now had a chance to look a little better at my components and rifle. Thanks for all the susgstions. I checked the weights on the 180 partitions and with the 10 weighed ended up with 5 different piles between 79.9 and 80.5 gr's. I guess it never pays to assume anything. I will not hold it against the bullet though because I know first hand what they deliver as a "hunting bullet". Will sort them before using them again. I checked the VLD's and found only a .3 gr variation in the same number. Have a couple hundred of them and will sort them for testing. Looking at the top of my front bag shows about a 3" pollished streak where the sling stud rests so will remove that for further tests as well. That is one I probably never would of thought of but does make sense and is another easy variable to take out of the pictures. I did think to remove the sling though. I am not sure about what you mean by the the reciever bolt sticking thru the action. I have a Seko action with the three lugs and there does not appear to be a higher amount of wear or "shine" on any one. Will check the velocities of the Berger's today. When I pick a velocity and start testing groups would like to try the sugstion of a few groups with the LR primers just to see what happens. I am pretty sure I won't won't be close 100% capacities with the RE22 and the the heavier bullets and am courious about it's influence on the velocity variations. I was told in the past to go with the Mag primers whenever at or above 55gr of powder. Had the impression that was a rule. Have been using them in the 30.06 as well. Thanks again to all that replied. It is really nice to get sugestions from others. Sometimes I guess it is easy to overlook some of the little things and start to over analize in the wrong places. I am really not sorry about the purchase of the new scope though. Although it never had the influence on the groups I was hoping for it did eliminate the paralax issues, is nicer to look thru and looks a lot prettyer than the VX1!

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Questions on fine tuning a reload!

Your bullet weight variation is not as bad as I've seen. I had a batch of .308 180 gr. partitions that spread from 177gr-182gr.

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Questions on fine tuning a reload!

If there are no shiny marks on the bolt lugs the screw is probably not sticking thru. I've seem worse variations in bullet weight than that also. I don't think Partitions ever get that good. I gave up weighing bullets long ago although I did weight a bunch of old Herter bullets some time back. You can hunt with them but there's lots better choices. Funny though, I was working with a friends 22-250 some years ago and shooting up some Herter bullets. Had a couple box's of 53gr match and they out shot everything else, shocked me!

I'm not sure on the time to use mag primers. I used them in mag cases and with spherical power's as they tend to ingite harder. Seems I remember something written about it years ago that they had some hard to ignite coating on spherical powder. I think the most important thing to remember is that the mag primers give a hotter spark and will jump pressure over standard primers with the same load. But sometimes simply going from a mag to standard primer can help. Please keep in mind that hunting accuracy to around one inch is all that look for. Anything better than that is just icing on the cake.

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Location: British Columbia
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Questions on fine tuning a reload!

Had a chance to play around a bit more with the components and get out and burn the powder this morning. I pulled the front sling stud off and opened up the side clearance on the barrel to forstock slightly. Started with a 2nd new box of Nozler brass I had, a fresh lb of RE22, Mag primers and the 210gr VLD's. The shoulders on the new brass were actually about .020" back from my fire formed brass but with the belted case I would have to presume not have as much of an influece. Anyway, I weighed and grouped all the components as recomended and set 4 grps of 6 back at .010, .020, .030 and .040". The group @ .020 was the best this rifle has ever ate. With the exeption of only one about 1 inch and a 1/4 low (operator error I'm hoping), the remaining 5 were inside of a 3/4" hole left on the paper. Still had a 49 fps variation in that load but with the cases not full at 71grs not sure if I should expect better. Will play some more with smaller adjustments out at 200 yds. Did not check the bullet runout either this time because I was not hoping for much until the brass was fire formed. I will keep an eye on it next time and mark and group it as well. Was thinking it would be interesting to hand feed it in different orientations and see what in any effect it has in respect to accuracy at least on the higher numbered ones. Did not do anything with the primers yet either. Will have to see that group a few more times first to be sure.
Thanks again Chester, Bud and Don! All of your help and sugestions are greatly appretiated..

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Questions on fine tuning a reload!

Nice group! Sounds like you're on your way. Thumbs up

groovy mike's picture
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Questions on fine tuning a reload!

sounds like you are doing something right

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