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Petzal: How Many Groups is Enough?

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May 22, 2009

Petzal: How Many Groups is Enough?

By David E. Petzal

I dearly love premium bullets, but shooting them these days is like firing Krugerrands down your barrel. So when I work up a load I make up three cartridges, shoot them, and if I get a worthwhile group I make up more and see how those perform. It would be nice to stop with three groups, but I’ve always been suspicious about shooting that few, and this past week I got an object lesson on why you need more to be certain.

I shot three groups from a very good .338 that averaged 1.118, and were all within a couple of thousandths of an inch of each other in size. They were even the same shape. When you get this kind of consistency as a rule, you can assume your work is done. But as a formality, I loaded up two more groups’ worth—six rounds—and watched appalled as they sprayed all over the target. I loaded another six rounds and again, it was like patterning a shotgun. For some perverse reason those first three groups could not be duplicated, and it was back to the loading room for something that did work.

You can, if you wish, rely on three groups to establishing accuracy. I know a number of very accomplished shooters who do. But I think the minimum number is five groups. The sweaty hand of coincidence can have its way with three, but not five. Play it safe; shoot up the extra ammo.

Comments (59)

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from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I am a penny pincher, I shoot a 5rnd group of a new load, if it groups the way I like, then I go with it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I am an inexperience shooter, so I usually go with 5, but I have become more stable and I think I'll adjust to three pretty soon.

Nate

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

You can shoot as many groups as you want but after the barrel is warm its pointless, Its the first shot out of the barrel when its cold that matters.

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Dave,

Luckily the 3 groups of 3 shots procedure has worked very well for me over the years. Never had a load get weird that worked in the 3 X 3 test. What the heck, a little more trigger time never hurt...

How about telling us a little about this "Ballistic Buffalo" you use to wring out those Krugerrands.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I have had similar things happens. Go to the range, shoot some acceptable groups, and call it good. Then, a couple of months later, take the same rifle to the range, fire a couple of fouling shots, and whammo!, the damn thing is shooting to a different POA! Must be the loose nut behind the scope mount.....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I'll make up a batch of 20 and test them. In my early days, I reloaded a crate of .30-06, fired some, and it was total trash.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

To Beekeeper: The Ballistic Buffalo is an idea I adapted read "stole")from the late Bob Hagel. It's designed to see how much punishment bullets can take. I shoot at it from 50 yards. It consists of, from front to back: a hunk of truck-tire inntertube folded over a couple of times; 1 inch of baled-up wet newspaper; a slab of 3/8-inch plywood that's soaked overnight; then about 24 inches of wet baled-up newspaper. This mess will tear any fragile bullet apart; the strong ones will make it almost to the back, and will keep over 80 percent of their weight.

The BB is not to be an accurate indicator of how bullets will perform on game; it is much tougher on them than real flesh and bone. But it sure as hell separates the strong from the weak.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Thanks for the description Dave. Care to share any of the results of bullet confrontations with the BB that aren't classified?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

To Beekeeper: The BB results are relative. I tried out one bullet last fall that was rendered unto dust about halfway through, but I killed four deer with it, including one big one, and never recovered a single slug. Sierra Pro Hunters and Nosler Ballistic Tips do not do well in the BB, but they are terrific for deer and antelope.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I wonder if telephone books would do and how many. I've taped two together and it wasn't enough.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

The problem that irks me is when I find a load I like and shoot enough to get it on target I go home load up more and then the new batch does't hit to the same point of aim.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

My plan is to always have a highly reliable back up load that I can count on. It's called "Factory Ammo."

To All: Have a great Memorial Day.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from libertyfirst wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I am only interested where my rifle shoots with a cold clean barrel. The first shot has to go exactly where you aim it, you're not going to be making a 5 shot group on any game animal!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sskbkrdg wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Heres how my Dad used to do it, Dave. He loaded up a box of 30-30s, fired one to see where it hit, then fired another one to get his deer during season. The next year he'd shoot two more -one for "proof", another for his deer. Took him ten years to use up that box of shells. He never used a rest for his "proof shot" either. He'd just pace off about a hundred yards and shoot a three lb coffee can. I know growing up during the great depression made one "conservative" but jeeze....

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I have used the 3 shot rule for years now checking for pressure signs and accuracy at this point, while keeping an eye on accuracy. I agree it does depend on a cold barrel shot while hunting, but when checking a reload you want to try and control all variables knowing that the load will shoot on target when hunting conditions may change the shooter's ability to hold on target.
If I can get a good 9 round grouping in the 1.5 to 3 inch group, I handload a 20 round batch for hunting.
For years I shot the Nosler part, and Sierra gameking, with very good results. Other then a warm barrel issue, I have not experienced a huge accuracy issue as DP describes, but to say it can't happen; it just hasn't happened to me.

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from cliff68 wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Maybe a rough bore could turn an otherwise accurate rifle into a shotgun after a few groups?

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from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Along with five groups, it is also important to let the barrell cool. But your right, a lot of people think that three groups will do but five groups is a lot more of a safe bet.

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from semp wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Just a Q to the forum? What's up with the primers? I've been trying to get some small pistol primers for 4 months and even with the price gouging there are none. Is there a shortage of lead styphnate or cup metal? I know the cause of the current prob is ObamaMammaHoarding but ... when will the majors like CCI, Federal , Winchester, Remington ... catch up. They really can't invest in increased capacity as this consumption rate is not sustainable. Like Pelosi this hording is NUTS! Anyone think it smart to drill out .357 brass to accept 209's . :-D

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I remember 3 dear seasons ago I’ve been out of town for several weeks and haven’t had the time to sight in my 25-06 for the first day of deer season with my pet deer load for my 25-06. Opening day on my way out of town, I jumped out at this one place to sight in where I knew I wouldn’t wake up the neighborhood. At 100 yards I sprayed a 4+ inch group and just couldn’t dial it in. As I looked thru the scope for anything that would deflect the bullet such as a twig, I noticed as I shifted my head side to side up and down the crosshairs on the target moved 4 inches too! What the Sam Hill is going on here and I knew shooting off the hood of a truck wouldn’t normally give you MOA but 4 inches give me a break! Then it struck me, it was the brand new scope I installed the night before and a 200 dollar scope at that! Luckily I had my rust trusty old faithful 22-250 behind the back seat and as soon as I got back home I reinstalled that old 75 dollar Bushnell 4-12 I bought some 15 years or so and yes I was back to pounding dime size groups again!

Sometimes it’s not worth not fixing what “IS NOT BROKE” and staying with old faithful! And as for the old Bushnell scope, I sold the rifle with that scope to a fella when the barrel started washing out not grouping 120’s, but the rifle still had a lot of life with 100’s and this fella needed a deer rifle badly and didn’t have a lot of cash so I sold it to him for $175 and yes I could have rebarreled this rifle but I felt this hunter could use a little help, “know what a mean dar Vern!”

At the State and Regional’s I remember someone would run out of ammo for the 600 or 1000 yard line because they had to reshoot 20 rounds for a range alibi at the 200 yard rapid fire sitting or the 300 yard rapid fire prone and sometimes both putting them short 44 rounds. I would hand them a box or two my ammo with a smile and tell them to drop 2 clicks. They would ask why, it’s the same load just a better 168 grain bullet and I promise you, you will love it and they did! Not only they had to drop 2 clicks, just 2 clicks. They noticed less wind drift, flatter shooting and better accuracy but it was the same exact load they were using, just a better performing bullet. What was this mystical bullet outperforming everybody’s favorite Sierra Match King??? HORNADY!!! Premium bullets don’t have to come with a premium price, just premium performance!!!!

Here’s a little tip for’ya!

As you seat the bullet just barley start it, turn/rotate the case ¼ to ½ don’t have to be precise just turn the case without turning the shell holder then carefully and skillfully ram it home and remember to check your seating die periodically making sure nothing hasn’t worked lose.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

semp

Everyone is buying it up faster than they can make them!

Does O'Bama mean anything to ya?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from blueridge wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Dave,

I don't pose as a consommate reloading expert, because I am not...but---I learned that I cannot trust a three shot group, nor quote it as a sub-minute proof of the rifle/load's ability. Five shots are a heart-breaker, and seem to tell me the story I don't really wanna hear. If I can get five shots in a consistent grouping, to my liking, I figure that the combination is reliable. Three shots are like the flirty skirt in high school...attractive, but not necessarily enough substance to go the distance. You raise a point for another blog consideration, too, I think...about the bullets actual performance inside a deer or groundhog, versus other medium. The proof is in the pudding. I won't call the names, but one brand has never let me down on larger game. I once tested deer bullets on groundhogs, as ridiculous as that seems. Ond famous brand name would zip right through the whistle-pigs without opening...did the same with deer, too. The old reliable bullets performed beautiful with both.

I have to agree about the costliness of shooting premium bullets. Krugerrands...laugh out loud.

Blue

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from nc30-06 wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I wonder how much difference there would be loading same weight cheaper bullets vs the premium stuff. I am not talking about the really cheap low quality stuff, just not the expensive premiums. Could that be an alternative? Has anyone tried it?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

nc30-06

I never had a problem with Hornady and Nosler bullets.

ken.mcloud said it best!

“So, I think that the superior killing power of larger rounds is largely in our heads.(likely testosterone induced) A flat-shooting round that you can accurately place will produce as many if not more "bang-flop" kills as a heavy caliber round.”

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

How many groups is enough? If you don't like shooting, I'd say 3 consistent groups. If you like shooting, the question is irrelevent; shoot until your bullets are gone!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jimmied wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I had the 3 shot group "2" is enough to see if everything is going as planned habit. Later I would go back to the range with a few 3 shot rounds to see if everything was good to go. Sh*t happened almost every time. Then I started thinking about my 6 sigma training. I loaded up 6 -6 round loads (36 rounds)with different seating lengths. At the range I fixed my targets so I could shoot 2-3 shot groups for each OAL length and let the barrel cool for one minute between each shot. I also used a 12 volt air mattress pump to help cool the barrel after each round. Back at home I would look at each group and document group size. I found out that one group will stand out dramatically from the rest. I then load up 2-3 round loads of the best group and shoot them to see if all is well. So far I have a 95% success rate and I shoot far less rounds that I used to.

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from nc30-06 wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Clay: I am asking if it is the same round, such as a 30-06 at the same weight. I agree with you. A well placed round at most any weight will do the job. Weight though, will usually have more actual knock-down power.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Coop,
I have never agreed with you more than when you said 'just start the bullet into case, then rotate'. Good advice for single stage.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from diverdude41 wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

there are so many factors to think about when shooting a rifle and trying to zero.the loads,rate of twist, scope, and mounts temp of the air , and the barrel after shooting..my recommendation is what some of the responses have already said. make 20 rounds of your test load,fire 5 rds, and let the barrel cool commpletly. swab from the breech end to remove any fouling, and try another 5 rds repeat this process 2 more times and see where you are at. remember , the first round out of you barrel will be cold..

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I am not aa reloader.I buy the best factory loads I can find that my gun likes, being l80 gr. Sciroccos's. A month prior to going west I take the cleaned bbl from past season,swab the bbl with dry patch and shoot one foulig shot,let the bbl cool down while shoting other guns. Then I shoot 3 shots. My set up has not changed in 4 Seasons. I then go back 3 more times and shot 3 rounds to be sue of the 0. then I stop,don't clean the bbl period.Once I get to the Rockies, I shoot one time to make sure the gun never lost 0 in flight.Suprised it's allin one piece. I've only took a second shot once and that was not necessary, but I was not sure the animal was done fo soshot again as i cannot track game. During the month prior to going and shooting the 30-06 in Sciroccos I do pratice a lot with a 22 Mag bolt action just to stay in pratice. I also keep elec. tape over the bbl to keep junk from getting down the bbl as i carry and sit with my gun at port arms and rain can/will run down the bbl.Gun bbls of today are so thin, that 3 shots will heat up a bbl so that more than 3 shots will be off 0. But we all got to do what fits our style and what the gun likes. My 06 hates Wincheser's but my 25-06 loves the Winc.Ballastic tips in ll7 s???. AS long as my Rem custom shot guns 70o's perform with these bullets i see no reason to change. Never pratice your hunting gun with different ammo you plan to hunt with, as it will surely not pattern the way your hunting ammo does. Once I return from the rockies, I clean the gun well and, shoot one folin shot, then ready. Last year in MT shot a huge Deer at 345 yds with the Scroccos n l80 grs, and a Lpe in Wy with the 25-06 at325 yds with Win Bal,tips. Killed a w-tal here at 270 yds. So can bet no chnages needed. Shoot-um-straight and often. PS got to 0 my new Marlin XL7 in 270 (my first 270) soon and see what it likes. Love teh feel of this gun, so far plesed with the appearence and handlng , now to put the final test to it.

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from SD Bob wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

To Clay Cooper:

I've been loading many years and have tried many others tips with great success and twisting the case is the next I'll be trying. I'm sure the result will be a more accurate load but could you explain to me why this works? Does it just center the bullet better?
Thanks!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

SD Bob

Does it just center the bullet better?

Yes it does, its that one flyer you get that it takes care of!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

"MOP"!

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from Del in KS wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Dave,

Firing Kruggerands is a good one. Think I'll stick with triple X's regardless. Clay is right that Hornady makes good bullets-I use then for practice. When I first started reloading in 1973 5 shot groups was the norm. Somewhere along to line I went to 3. Haven't had any problems.

Wilson makes a bullet seating die that does not require turning the case (for what it's worth). An old bench rest shooter turned me on to wilson. Wilson dies do not fit a conventional reloading press but they are very good stuff.
I never go hunting with a clean oiled bore. Finish your shooting, clean, then fire a couple fouling shots. With non-corrosive primers the bore will be fine and the first shot right on target.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

All this about being the best bullet reminds me of the fella that shot a 10 point Mule Deer and hit it 3 times with a 7mm Rem Mag with 175 grain bullets. All three rounds went clean thru but didn’t drop it and some 600 yards later still full of steam plus 20 rounds later he ran out of ammo and yelled at me to shoot it. My 22-250 with a 55 grain bullet dropped it like as one said, “LIKE THOR’S HAMMER”! So the question is, do you use a bullet that passes clean thru or a bullet that expends more of its energy and hydrostatic shock within totally destroying the lungs?

Clip #4: .308″ 180 grain Barnes Triple-Shock X Bullet fired into a 6″x6″x16″ gelatin block at 2907 fps. Notice the swirl the unevenness of the cavitations as the bullet passes thru…..

http://www.barnesbullets.com/information/high-speed-video/

The Berger VLD - Best Long Range Hunting Bullet

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voyw1H-0CBI&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eberge...

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from sarg wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Clay, did the scope have an adjustable Objective lense? If it did, Read the book,(THE ACCURATE RIFLE) by Warren Page. on page 121 it will explain what,s happening.. I took my .308 Rem 700 down to the local Shop to bore sight it.. The man told me I had a bad scope, the cross hairs moved when he moved his head. On the way home I remembered reading this about the scope and realizing he had sighted it at 26 yards with the lense set at 200. . proble cured with out a new scope.. almost cost me a couple hundreds and didn.t need it. I never let any one bore sight my rifles again..

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sarg wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Clay, I never want my hunting loads to exit the animal., Expand, retain it's mass, but not exit. This used to be what all the older hunters wanted. As some wrote earlier, the bullet discenterate in the animal. this is not good. that bullet should retain it's weight. What about this DAVE. You agree or disagree?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

sarg

I wish it did have a adjustable Objective lens, optics clear and bright in low light. Some scopes are just that way, just bad parallax!

There may be a modest amount of confusion out there on the subject of scope Parallax. Parallax problems result from the image from the objective not being coincident with the crosshairs. (On high magnifications scopes, the objective is the big end of the scope; vice-versa for low power scopes; in either case it's the guzin end.) If the image is not coplanar with the crosshairs (that is the image is either in front of or behind the crosshairs), then putting your eye at different points behind the ocular causes the crosshairs to appear to be at different points on the target. (The ocular is the guzout end of the scope.) In fact, this is the basis of a test for parallax problems: Set your scoped rifle on sand bags. Align the scope with the center of the target. Without touching the rifle, move your eye around behind the scope. Do the crosshairs appear to move on the target? If they do, the parallax is not set for the range of the target you are using.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

One more thing, I don’t like bullets that ricochet like the Barnes. Besides, the Barnes upon mushroom doesn’t have the frontal area as a lead bullet

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

If the bullet does it's job , iy shuld go completely thru the animal. I prefer two bleeding holes after the bulle destroyed the insides. Much easier to track if need be with 2 holes pumping blood. But again,we all have our opinions about what a bullet is suppose to do. Trial and error is the best way to find out.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Gunslinger
When you create massive tissue damage of the lungs, the blood trail is heavy thru the mouth and the tracking is short. No lungs = no oxygen!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Clay,

Thanks for the 'rotate seating' tip. I never thought of that. I sort of do the same thing with a Lee Factory Crimp Die. Crimp lightly, rotate 90 deg., crimp again. That seems to give a nice tight crimp without overcrimping.

I like the exit wound after massive internal damage. The bullets I use almost always exit, but if something works for you, then it ain't broke and doesn't need fixing!

Best regards

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from SD Bob wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

To Clay Cooper:

Thanks!

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from Del in KS wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

David E. Petzal,

So Dave how did Barnes triple X bullets hold up in the bullistic buffalo. I'm betting they did quite well thank you.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter and Gang

Only cartridges I crimp are hand gun not rifle.

As for accuracy and performance, I go for what works best especially at the Regional’s. They are won not just by the total score but the number of X’s, won there and lost that. While everyone is shooting Krugerrands such as Sierra and Berger bullets and pitching a fit, there is a group of us pounding away at the 10 and X-ring with Hornady’s and Nosler’s.

Have you ever witnessed shooters and hunters blame their equipment? That’s right it’s the equipment fault!! I remember one fella one day at the range couldn’t hit paper at 20 feet with his brand new out of the box 45 Gold Cup. He asked for help, so I shot 3 rounds dead center X ring and handed it back to him. All of a sudden he started pounding a solid 3 inch group.

Bottom line

If you don’t have the confidence in your equipment especially in yourself, all the Krugerrands in the world cannot help you!!

I truly believe Alan Ashley-Pitt said it best

“The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.”

Once again, it’s not the Arrow it’s the Indian!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Since Barnes is mentioned so much, I can see the use for a Barnes is to shoot the deer in the butt while running away! Maybe it will hit a vital passing out thru the nose LOL!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter

Why do you crimp your rifle loads?

I really don't see the need for it

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Davids next blog story

Krugerrands vs Experience!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Hi Clay,

I always thought it was a good idea to crimp like tha factory loads ????

I am not an expert handloader, but I read Handloader, Rifle, Lee and every other manual I get my hands on for my info.

If there is something I am missing re: crimping, please let me know. From my answer, you can rightly assume that I don't have a good answer to the question you posed. Help me out here!

Best regards,
WMH

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter

What rifle or rifles you loading for?

The only problem that definably causes a situation of bullet movement is carbon build up on the expander ball during decaping and resizing thus inlarging the internal neck size. If this is the problem, remove the rod and clean then reinstall it.

The only cartridge that needs crimping is a hand gun as for rifle I wouldn’t. Besides, if you have to pull bullets would make the job much harder.

However the 45-70 or other cartridges shooting cast bullets I can see crimping but for jacketed I say not needed. I’ve shot tons of 30-06 and 308 in gas guns in competition and the slightest change in anything I would immediately notice and suffer in target scores or a malfunction etc. Never had a problem and never heard of anyone having a problem.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Clay,

I load for .257 Roberts, .30-06, and .308 Win and once in a while .358 Win and .35 Whelen. You are right, you can hardly pull bullets that are crimped. I did notice some loose bullets in some Sellier & Bellot .30-06 brass that I was reloading for my son's friend. Those are some thin cases and I just neck sized them. My first clue was the volume difference. 59 grains of H4350 comes up in the neck in a Remington case, but way lower in the S&B. I measured the wall thickness with my caliper and the S&B was a little thinner, I forget exactly how much though. Those are the only ones I recall as being "loose".

Will a light crimp affect accuracy or velocity? I'm about to load up a batch of .308 with Hornady 150 gr SP tonight.

WMH

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter

As long as the cases are trimmed to length and the crimping pressure is uniform and equal, I don't see a problem. Allot of the Winchester factory 120’s in 25-06 are crimped and shoot 1/2 MOA in my rifle.

As for the Sellier & Bellot, don't plan to get very much life out of those cases. Personally I would prefer to use them for gas gun loads where finding them would be hard,in other words shoot and forget! I use Lake City 30-06 Match for all my 30-06 and 25-06 loadings. The necks are already annealed and I get several reloads out of each one.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

By the way, double crimping I would not do!!! Start the bullet, turn and take home with one crimp

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

i sure wih F&S would go back to the old sign in,appears I must re-sign in evr night,anyone else hae any problem??
I think we all nuts about this MOA shoting. When I first befun hunting was with a shotgun and a 22 with open sights. After i became hooked on wtails bought a 30-3 with open sights, used it for years. My huting buddies all bought new Remington Autos in 06, so did I. Yet no scope,just open sights. Then when I decided to go west I scoped my guns. When zeoring the 30-30 I used a gallon milk jug filled with water, step off 100 yards and if hit the jug I thught I was zeroed. But decided I needed to know who the 06 patterende and began using trgest for that. Soon ws into this MOA stuff and got the bullets about 2" of bull at l00 yds. Praticed a lot back 20 odd yrs ago and ws told by guide that shots could be 200 yds or better, and I best zero for that. So i wnt with l"high at 200 yds and been doing that since.Do think we all kinda gone overboard on patterns of 3 or 5 shots that a quarter will cover. I usually can put 3 rounds about 2" from bull at 200 yds till bbl getshot after 3 shots. So tak other guns along to pratice with. I carry a 22 MAg in my Blazer, this Am was shaving,wife said that the big old ground hog was back in lower end of pasture about l75 yds away. I ran to car got the 22 out and got closer to a limb on a good tree. So put the crosshairs on his head and blew him away one shot.I use that MArlin 22 mag bolt for pratice between shooting the 06 3times. We all do things different, and thas great. i do not reload, as don;t trust myself to do a good job and just rather buy the Sciroccos's for the 06 and Winc.Ballastic tips for the 25-06. For many years was only the plain jane Core-lokts,but do like the polymer tips better.Shoot-um-straight and often. PS: the 22 mag is also xered in at 200 yds.First time I;ve shot it since last fall, so it's still zerod ok.Belive some smart writere stated if you could hit a pie plate at200 yds, you were oK.??????? Prefer a tad more accuracy than that as could be l0-11" off the Bull. I hunted 25 yrs in e-Va wher they run teh deer wih dogs and we had to use shotguns with Buck shot. That will kill you rifle shooting,as all you do with SG is point. Did kill some nice Bucs with BS.May go there agian this fall for a week.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Clay,

Thanks for the advice. BTW, I always trim for length and chamfer for every load. The S&B loads were for the boy to practice with. I told him not to get excited if some cases split. Maybe he can get a few shots each if only neck sizing.

In the future, I'll check the bullet seating and crimp only if necessary.

b/r
WMH

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 46 weeks ago

Tubular magazine rifles are the only ones I crimp such as my 336. Not my bolts or pump.
WMH, I too neck size only. When I set up my die I set it a tad tighter than instructions, not much, and I've never had a loose bullet. With a tighter neck this is another reason I rotate the bullet after barely starting.

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from sarg wrote 4 years 46 weeks ago

Gunslinger, I disagree with you on the bullet exiting, If it does it's job, no need for exit....

Clay I crimp my .308's with the Lee Factory crimp. Don't crimp any thing else..(don't have but one crimp die) I don't overcrimp however I never crimp the .204 or 7x57.. I like the crimp that comes with Federal Rounds and the Lee crimp die is as near this as possible. Don't like to crimp with the regular dies. I,m old fashioned I guess, but I like to did out the bullet and look at the mushroom on the bullet..It will tell you a lot about your powder charge and bullet performance.

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from Del in KS wrote 4 years 46 weeks ago

No that is not a model. She is my 8 month old granddaughter and future hunting and fishing partner.

I don't use a crimp on loads for my bolt guns or single shots-not necessary. It would be prudent to crimp ammo for hard recoiling handguns and anything tube fed.
Peter H. Capstick did write about a 458 Win. that the bullet moved back in the case from repeated recoil while cropping elephants. Don't think any of us will be shooting elephant herds.

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from sarg wrote 4 years 46 weeks ago

I'm really surprised that while talking about crimping, no one mentioned that crimping will raise the pressure in the case, which can be a good thing while hunting. That's why I use the Lee crimp die so all will be crimped exacly the same. The easiest way to increase pressure with out more powder is "Crimp".. Do you agree Clay?...

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Sarg: The l80 gr Sciroccos's in my 06 does a good job on the inside before it exit's. I just like the Polymer tips better than the PSP that I did use. Do think the Polymer tips fly flatter and break the wind better on long shots. For past # of years all the shots I get out west have excedded 300 yds and the bullets went all the way thru even on a huge Mulie that was quartering away from me at about a 30 deg angle, plus teh bullet did a real # on the vitals. But I understand where you coming from, ground up vitals is death sooner or later. I just get better results with the Sciroccos. Now will see what this Marlin XL7 will do with a cheaper brand ammo to use here at home on shorter shots. Will buy 3-4 brands and try them out, but bet the old Core-lokts do ok.I can't recall the last animal I killed at less than 200 yds, other than the 9 pointer last year with B/P @170 yds looking straight at me and we never recoverd the 235gr Powerbelt Sabort. Just love to hunt, regardless of what I'm using and where I'm hunting,.Just wish had bought some property out West 30 ys ago, then no problem where I'd be hunting.But here we go with that 20-20 again.

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from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

You can shoot as many groups as you want but after the barrel is warm its pointless, Its the first shot out of the barrel when its cold that matters.

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from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

To Beekeeper: The BB results are relative. I tried out one bullet last fall that was rendered unto dust about halfway through, but I killed four deer with it, including one big one, and never recovered a single slug. Sierra Pro Hunters and Nosler Ballistic Tips do not do well in the BB, but they are terrific for deer and antelope.

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from sskbkrdg wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Heres how my Dad used to do it, Dave. He loaded up a box of 30-30s, fired one to see where it hit, then fired another one to get his deer during season. The next year he'd shoot two more -one for "proof", another for his deer. Took him ten years to use up that box of shells. He never used a rest for his "proof shot" either. He'd just pace off about a hundred yards and shoot a three lb coffee can. I know growing up during the great depression made one "conservative" but jeeze....

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I remember 3 dear seasons ago I’ve been out of town for several weeks and haven’t had the time to sight in my 25-06 for the first day of deer season with my pet deer load for my 25-06. Opening day on my way out of town, I jumped out at this one place to sight in where I knew I wouldn’t wake up the neighborhood. At 100 yards I sprayed a 4+ inch group and just couldn’t dial it in. As I looked thru the scope for anything that would deflect the bullet such as a twig, I noticed as I shifted my head side to side up and down the crosshairs on the target moved 4 inches too! What the Sam Hill is going on here and I knew shooting off the hood of a truck wouldn’t normally give you MOA but 4 inches give me a break! Then it struck me, it was the brand new scope I installed the night before and a 200 dollar scope at that! Luckily I had my rust trusty old faithful 22-250 behind the back seat and as soon as I got back home I reinstalled that old 75 dollar Bushnell 4-12 I bought some 15 years or so and yes I was back to pounding dime size groups again!

Sometimes it’s not worth not fixing what “IS NOT BROKE” and staying with old faithful! And as for the old Bushnell scope, I sold the rifle with that scope to a fella when the barrel started washing out not grouping 120’s, but the rifle still had a lot of life with 100’s and this fella needed a deer rifle badly and didn’t have a lot of cash so I sold it to him for $175 and yes I could have rebarreled this rifle but I felt this hunter could use a little help, “know what a mean dar Vern!”

At the State and Regional’s I remember someone would run out of ammo for the 600 or 1000 yard line because they had to reshoot 20 rounds for a range alibi at the 200 yard rapid fire sitting or the 300 yard rapid fire prone and sometimes both putting them short 44 rounds. I would hand them a box or two my ammo with a smile and tell them to drop 2 clicks. They would ask why, it’s the same load just a better 168 grain bullet and I promise you, you will love it and they did! Not only they had to drop 2 clicks, just 2 clicks. They noticed less wind drift, flatter shooting and better accuracy but it was the same exact load they were using, just a better performing bullet. What was this mystical bullet outperforming everybody’s favorite Sierra Match King??? HORNADY!!! Premium bullets don’t have to come with a premium price, just premium performance!!!!

Here’s a little tip for’ya!

As you seat the bullet just barley start it, turn/rotate the case ¼ to ½ don’t have to be precise just turn the case without turning the shell holder then carefully and skillfully ram it home and remember to check your seating die periodically making sure nothing hasn’t worked lose.

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from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Dave,

Luckily the 3 groups of 3 shots procedure has worked very well for me over the years. Never had a load get weird that worked in the 3 X 3 test. What the heck, a little more trigger time never hurt...

How about telling us a little about this "Ballistic Buffalo" you use to wring out those Krugerrands.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

nc30-06

I never had a problem with Hornady and Nosler bullets.

ken.mcloud said it best!

“So, I think that the superior killing power of larger rounds is largely in our heads.(likely testosterone induced) A flat-shooting round that you can accurately place will produce as many if not more "bang-flop" kills as a heavy caliber round.”

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from Carney wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

How many groups is enough? If you don't like shooting, I'd say 3 consistent groups. If you like shooting, the question is irrelevent; shoot until your bullets are gone!

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from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I am a penny pincher, I shoot a 5rnd group of a new load, if it groups the way I like, then I go with it.

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from 60256 wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I am an inexperience shooter, so I usually go with 5, but I have become more stable and I think I'll adjust to three pretty soon.

Nate

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I'll make up a batch of 20 and test them. In my early days, I reloaded a crate of .30-06, fired some, and it was total trash.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I have used the 3 shot rule for years now checking for pressure signs and accuracy at this point, while keeping an eye on accuracy. I agree it does depend on a cold barrel shot while hunting, but when checking a reload you want to try and control all variables knowing that the load will shoot on target when hunting conditions may change the shooter's ability to hold on target.
If I can get a good 9 round grouping in the 1.5 to 3 inch group, I handload a 20 round batch for hunting.
For years I shot the Nosler part, and Sierra gameking, with very good results. Other then a warm barrel issue, I have not experienced a huge accuracy issue as DP describes, but to say it can't happen; it just hasn't happened to me.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Coop,
I have never agreed with you more than when you said 'just start the bullet into case, then rotate'. Good advice for single stage.

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from Del in KS wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Dave,

Firing Kruggerands is a good one. Think I'll stick with triple X's regardless. Clay is right that Hornady makes good bullets-I use then for practice. When I first started reloading in 1973 5 shot groups was the norm. Somewhere along to line I went to 3. Haven't had any problems.

Wilson makes a bullet seating die that does not require turning the case (for what it's worth). An old bench rest shooter turned me on to wilson. Wilson dies do not fit a conventional reloading press but they are very good stuff.
I never go hunting with a clean oiled bore. Finish your shooting, clean, then fire a couple fouling shots. With non-corrosive primers the bore will be fine and the first shot right on target.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Gunslinger
When you create massive tissue damage of the lungs, the blood trail is heavy thru the mouth and the tracking is short. No lungs = no oxygen!

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

i sure wih F&S would go back to the old sign in,appears I must re-sign in evr night,anyone else hae any problem??
I think we all nuts about this MOA shoting. When I first befun hunting was with a shotgun and a 22 with open sights. After i became hooked on wtails bought a 30-3 with open sights, used it for years. My huting buddies all bought new Remington Autos in 06, so did I. Yet no scope,just open sights. Then when I decided to go west I scoped my guns. When zeoring the 30-30 I used a gallon milk jug filled with water, step off 100 yards and if hit the jug I thught I was zeroed. But decided I needed to know who the 06 patterende and began using trgest for that. Soon ws into this MOA stuff and got the bullets about 2" of bull at l00 yds. Praticed a lot back 20 odd yrs ago and ws told by guide that shots could be 200 yds or better, and I best zero for that. So i wnt with l"high at 200 yds and been doing that since.Do think we all kinda gone overboard on patterns of 3 or 5 shots that a quarter will cover. I usually can put 3 rounds about 2" from bull at 200 yds till bbl getshot after 3 shots. So tak other guns along to pratice with. I carry a 22 MAg in my Blazer, this Am was shaving,wife said that the big old ground hog was back in lower end of pasture about l75 yds away. I ran to car got the 22 out and got closer to a limb on a good tree. So put the crosshairs on his head and blew him away one shot.I use that MArlin 22 mag bolt for pratice between shooting the 06 3times. We all do things different, and thas great. i do not reload, as don;t trust myself to do a good job and just rather buy the Sciroccos's for the 06 and Winc.Ballastic tips for the 25-06. For many years was only the plain jane Core-lokts,but do like the polymer tips better.Shoot-um-straight and often. PS: the 22 mag is also xered in at 200 yds.First time I;ve shot it since last fall, so it's still zerod ok.Belive some smart writere stated if you could hit a pie plate at200 yds, you were oK.??????? Prefer a tad more accuracy than that as could be l0-11" off the Bull. I hunted 25 yrs in e-Va wher they run teh deer wih dogs and we had to use shotguns with Buck shot. That will kill you rifle shooting,as all you do with SG is point. Did kill some nice Bucs with BS.May go there agian this fall for a week.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Clay,

Thanks for the advice. BTW, I always trim for length and chamfer for every load. The S&B loads were for the boy to practice with. I told him not to get excited if some cases split. Maybe he can get a few shots each if only neck sizing.

In the future, I'll check the bullet seating and crimp only if necessary.

b/r
WMH

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Sarg: The l80 gr Sciroccos's in my 06 does a good job on the inside before it exit's. I just like the Polymer tips better than the PSP that I did use. Do think the Polymer tips fly flatter and break the wind better on long shots. For past # of years all the shots I get out west have excedded 300 yds and the bullets went all the way thru even on a huge Mulie that was quartering away from me at about a 30 deg angle, plus teh bullet did a real # on the vitals. But I understand where you coming from, ground up vitals is death sooner or later. I just get better results with the Sciroccos. Now will see what this Marlin XL7 will do with a cheaper brand ammo to use here at home on shorter shots. Will buy 3-4 brands and try them out, but bet the old Core-lokts do ok.I can't recall the last animal I killed at less than 200 yds, other than the 9 pointer last year with B/P @170 yds looking straight at me and we never recoverd the 235gr Powerbelt Sabort. Just love to hunt, regardless of what I'm using and where I'm hunting,.Just wish had bought some property out West 30 ys ago, then no problem where I'd be hunting.But here we go with that 20-20 again.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I have had similar things happens. Go to the range, shoot some acceptable groups, and call it good. Then, a couple of months later, take the same rifle to the range, fire a couple of fouling shots, and whammo!, the damn thing is shooting to a different POA! Must be the loose nut behind the scope mount.....

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from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

To Beekeeper: The Ballistic Buffalo is an idea I adapted read "stole")from the late Bob Hagel. It's designed to see how much punishment bullets can take. I shoot at it from 50 yards. It consists of, from front to back: a hunk of truck-tire inntertube folded over a couple of times; 1 inch of baled-up wet newspaper; a slab of 3/8-inch plywood that's soaked overnight; then about 24 inches of wet baled-up newspaper. This mess will tear any fragile bullet apart; the strong ones will make it almost to the back, and will keep over 80 percent of their weight.

The BB is not to be an accurate indicator of how bullets will perform on game; it is much tougher on them than real flesh and bone. But it sure as hell separates the strong from the weak.

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from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Thanks for the description Dave. Care to share any of the results of bullet confrontations with the BB that aren't classified?

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I wonder if telephone books would do and how many. I've taped two together and it wasn't enough.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

The problem that irks me is when I find a load I like and shoot enough to get it on target I go home load up more and then the new batch does't hit to the same point of aim.

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from PbHead wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

My plan is to always have a highly reliable back up load that I can count on. It's called "Factory Ammo."

To All: Have a great Memorial Day.

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from libertyfirst wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I am only interested where my rifle shoots with a cold clean barrel. The first shot has to go exactly where you aim it, you're not going to be making a 5 shot group on any game animal!

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from cliff68 wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Maybe a rough bore could turn an otherwise accurate rifle into a shotgun after a few groups?

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from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Along with five groups, it is also important to let the barrell cool. But your right, a lot of people think that three groups will do but five groups is a lot more of a safe bet.

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from semp wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Just a Q to the forum? What's up with the primers? I've been trying to get some small pistol primers for 4 months and even with the price gouging there are none. Is there a shortage of lead styphnate or cup metal? I know the cause of the current prob is ObamaMammaHoarding but ... when will the majors like CCI, Federal , Winchester, Remington ... catch up. They really can't invest in increased capacity as this consumption rate is not sustainable. Like Pelosi this hording is NUTS! Anyone think it smart to drill out .357 brass to accept 209's . :-D

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

semp

Everyone is buying it up faster than they can make them!

Does O'Bama mean anything to ya?

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from blueridge wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Dave,

I don't pose as a consommate reloading expert, because I am not...but---I learned that I cannot trust a three shot group, nor quote it as a sub-minute proof of the rifle/load's ability. Five shots are a heart-breaker, and seem to tell me the story I don't really wanna hear. If I can get five shots in a consistent grouping, to my liking, I figure that the combination is reliable. Three shots are like the flirty skirt in high school...attractive, but not necessarily enough substance to go the distance. You raise a point for another blog consideration, too, I think...about the bullets actual performance inside a deer or groundhog, versus other medium. The proof is in the pudding. I won't call the names, but one brand has never let me down on larger game. I once tested deer bullets on groundhogs, as ridiculous as that seems. Ond famous brand name would zip right through the whistle-pigs without opening...did the same with deer, too. The old reliable bullets performed beautiful with both.

I have to agree about the costliness of shooting premium bullets. Krugerrands...laugh out loud.

Blue

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from nc30-06 wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I wonder how much difference there would be loading same weight cheaper bullets vs the premium stuff. I am not talking about the really cheap low quality stuff, just not the expensive premiums. Could that be an alternative? Has anyone tried it?

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from jimmied wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I had the 3 shot group "2" is enough to see if everything is going as planned habit. Later I would go back to the range with a few 3 shot rounds to see if everything was good to go. Sh*t happened almost every time. Then I started thinking about my 6 sigma training. I loaded up 6 -6 round loads (36 rounds)with different seating lengths. At the range I fixed my targets so I could shoot 2-3 shot groups for each OAL length and let the barrel cool for one minute between each shot. I also used a 12 volt air mattress pump to help cool the barrel after each round. Back at home I would look at each group and document group size. I found out that one group will stand out dramatically from the rest. I then load up 2-3 round loads of the best group and shoot them to see if all is well. So far I have a 95% success rate and I shoot far less rounds that I used to.

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from nc30-06 wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Clay: I am asking if it is the same round, such as a 30-06 at the same weight. I agree with you. A well placed round at most any weight will do the job. Weight though, will usually have more actual knock-down power.

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from diverdude41 wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

there are so many factors to think about when shooting a rifle and trying to zero.the loads,rate of twist, scope, and mounts temp of the air , and the barrel after shooting..my recommendation is what some of the responses have already said. make 20 rounds of your test load,fire 5 rds, and let the barrel cool commpletly. swab from the breech end to remove any fouling, and try another 5 rds repeat this process 2 more times and see where you are at. remember , the first round out of you barrel will be cold..

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I am not aa reloader.I buy the best factory loads I can find that my gun likes, being l80 gr. Sciroccos's. A month prior to going west I take the cleaned bbl from past season,swab the bbl with dry patch and shoot one foulig shot,let the bbl cool down while shoting other guns. Then I shoot 3 shots. My set up has not changed in 4 Seasons. I then go back 3 more times and shot 3 rounds to be sue of the 0. then I stop,don't clean the bbl period.Once I get to the Rockies, I shoot one time to make sure the gun never lost 0 in flight.Suprised it's allin one piece. I've only took a second shot once and that was not necessary, but I was not sure the animal was done fo soshot again as i cannot track game. During the month prior to going and shooting the 30-06 in Sciroccos I do pratice a lot with a 22 Mag bolt action just to stay in pratice. I also keep elec. tape over the bbl to keep junk from getting down the bbl as i carry and sit with my gun at port arms and rain can/will run down the bbl.Gun bbls of today are so thin, that 3 shots will heat up a bbl so that more than 3 shots will be off 0. But we all got to do what fits our style and what the gun likes. My 06 hates Wincheser's but my 25-06 loves the Winc.Ballastic tips in ll7 s???. AS long as my Rem custom shot guns 70o's perform with these bullets i see no reason to change. Never pratice your hunting gun with different ammo you plan to hunt with, as it will surely not pattern the way your hunting ammo does. Once I return from the rockies, I clean the gun well and, shoot one folin shot, then ready. Last year in MT shot a huge Deer at 345 yds with the Scroccos n l80 grs, and a Lpe in Wy with the 25-06 at325 yds with Win Bal,tips. Killed a w-tal here at 270 yds. So can bet no chnages needed. Shoot-um-straight and often. PS got to 0 my new Marlin XL7 in 270 (my first 270) soon and see what it likes. Love teh feel of this gun, so far plesed with the appearence and handlng , now to put the final test to it.

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from SD Bob wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

To Clay Cooper:

I've been loading many years and have tried many others tips with great success and twisting the case is the next I'll be trying. I'm sure the result will be a more accurate load but could you explain to me why this works? Does it just center the bullet better?
Thanks!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

SD Bob

Does it just center the bullet better?

Yes it does, its that one flyer you get that it takes care of!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

"MOP"!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

All this about being the best bullet reminds me of the fella that shot a 10 point Mule Deer and hit it 3 times with a 7mm Rem Mag with 175 grain bullets. All three rounds went clean thru but didn’t drop it and some 600 yards later still full of steam plus 20 rounds later he ran out of ammo and yelled at me to shoot it. My 22-250 with a 55 grain bullet dropped it like as one said, “LIKE THOR’S HAMMER”! So the question is, do you use a bullet that passes clean thru or a bullet that expends more of its energy and hydrostatic shock within totally destroying the lungs?

Clip #4: .308″ 180 grain Barnes Triple-Shock X Bullet fired into a 6″x6″x16″ gelatin block at 2907 fps. Notice the swirl the unevenness of the cavitations as the bullet passes thru…..

http://www.barnesbullets.com/information/high-speed-video/

The Berger VLD - Best Long Range Hunting Bullet

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voyw1H-0CBI&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eberge...

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from sarg wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Clay, did the scope have an adjustable Objective lense? If it did, Read the book,(THE ACCURATE RIFLE) by Warren Page. on page 121 it will explain what,s happening.. I took my .308 Rem 700 down to the local Shop to bore sight it.. The man told me I had a bad scope, the cross hairs moved when he moved his head. On the way home I remembered reading this about the scope and realizing he had sighted it at 26 yards with the lense set at 200. . proble cured with out a new scope.. almost cost me a couple hundreds and didn.t need it. I never let any one bore sight my rifles again..

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from sarg wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Clay, I never want my hunting loads to exit the animal., Expand, retain it's mass, but not exit. This used to be what all the older hunters wanted. As some wrote earlier, the bullet discenterate in the animal. this is not good. that bullet should retain it's weight. What about this DAVE. You agree or disagree?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

sarg

I wish it did have a adjustable Objective lens, optics clear and bright in low light. Some scopes are just that way, just bad parallax!

There may be a modest amount of confusion out there on the subject of scope Parallax. Parallax problems result from the image from the objective not being coincident with the crosshairs. (On high magnifications scopes, the objective is the big end of the scope; vice-versa for low power scopes; in either case it's the guzin end.) If the image is not coplanar with the crosshairs (that is the image is either in front of or behind the crosshairs), then putting your eye at different points behind the ocular causes the crosshairs to appear to be at different points on the target. (The ocular is the guzout end of the scope.) In fact, this is the basis of a test for parallax problems: Set your scoped rifle on sand bags. Align the scope with the center of the target. Without touching the rifle, move your eye around behind the scope. Do the crosshairs appear to move on the target? If they do, the parallax is not set for the range of the target you are using.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

One more thing, I don’t like bullets that ricochet like the Barnes. Besides, the Barnes upon mushroom doesn’t have the frontal area as a lead bullet

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

If the bullet does it's job , iy shuld go completely thru the animal. I prefer two bleeding holes after the bulle destroyed the insides. Much easier to track if need be with 2 holes pumping blood. But again,we all have our opinions about what a bullet is suppose to do. Trial and error is the best way to find out.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Clay,

Thanks for the 'rotate seating' tip. I never thought of that. I sort of do the same thing with a Lee Factory Crimp Die. Crimp lightly, rotate 90 deg., crimp again. That seems to give a nice tight crimp without overcrimping.

I like the exit wound after massive internal damage. The bullets I use almost always exit, but if something works for you, then it ain't broke and doesn't need fixing!

Best regards

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from SD Bob wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

To Clay Cooper:

Thanks!

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from Del in KS wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

David E. Petzal,

So Dave how did Barnes triple X bullets hold up in the bullistic buffalo. I'm betting they did quite well thank you.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter and Gang

Only cartridges I crimp are hand gun not rifle.

As for accuracy and performance, I go for what works best especially at the Regional’s. They are won not just by the total score but the number of X’s, won there and lost that. While everyone is shooting Krugerrands such as Sierra and Berger bullets and pitching a fit, there is a group of us pounding away at the 10 and X-ring with Hornady’s and Nosler’s.

Have you ever witnessed shooters and hunters blame their equipment? That’s right it’s the equipment fault!! I remember one fella one day at the range couldn’t hit paper at 20 feet with his brand new out of the box 45 Gold Cup. He asked for help, so I shot 3 rounds dead center X ring and handed it back to him. All of a sudden he started pounding a solid 3 inch group.

Bottom line

If you don’t have the confidence in your equipment especially in yourself, all the Krugerrands in the world cannot help you!!

I truly believe Alan Ashley-Pitt said it best

“The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.”

Once again, it’s not the Arrow it’s the Indian!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Since Barnes is mentioned so much, I can see the use for a Barnes is to shoot the deer in the butt while running away! Maybe it will hit a vital passing out thru the nose LOL!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter

Why do you crimp your rifle loads?

I really don't see the need for it

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Davids next blog story

Krugerrands vs Experience!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Hi Clay,

I always thought it was a good idea to crimp like tha factory loads ????

I am not an expert handloader, but I read Handloader, Rifle, Lee and every other manual I get my hands on for my info.

If there is something I am missing re: crimping, please let me know. From my answer, you can rightly assume that I don't have a good answer to the question you posed. Help me out here!

Best regards,
WMH

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter

What rifle or rifles you loading for?

The only problem that definably causes a situation of bullet movement is carbon build up on the expander ball during decaping and resizing thus inlarging the internal neck size. If this is the problem, remove the rod and clean then reinstall it.

The only cartridge that needs crimping is a hand gun as for rifle I wouldn’t. Besides, if you have to pull bullets would make the job much harder.

However the 45-70 or other cartridges shooting cast bullets I can see crimping but for jacketed I say not needed. I’ve shot tons of 30-06 and 308 in gas guns in competition and the slightest change in anything I would immediately notice and suffer in target scores or a malfunction etc. Never had a problem and never heard of anyone having a problem.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Clay,

I load for .257 Roberts, .30-06, and .308 Win and once in a while .358 Win and .35 Whelen. You are right, you can hardly pull bullets that are crimped. I did notice some loose bullets in some Sellier & Bellot .30-06 brass that I was reloading for my son's friend. Those are some thin cases and I just neck sized them. My first clue was the volume difference. 59 grains of H4350 comes up in the neck in a Remington case, but way lower in the S&B. I measured the wall thickness with my caliper and the S&B was a little thinner, I forget exactly how much though. Those are the only ones I recall as being "loose".

Will a light crimp affect accuracy or velocity? I'm about to load up a batch of .308 with Hornady 150 gr SP tonight.

WMH

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter

As long as the cases are trimmed to length and the crimping pressure is uniform and equal, I don't see a problem. Allot of the Winchester factory 120’s in 25-06 are crimped and shoot 1/2 MOA in my rifle.

As for the Sellier & Bellot, don't plan to get very much life out of those cases. Personally I would prefer to use them for gas gun loads where finding them would be hard,in other words shoot and forget! I use Lake City 30-06 Match for all my 30-06 and 25-06 loadings. The necks are already annealed and I get several reloads out of each one.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

By the way, double crimping I would not do!!! Start the bullet, turn and take home with one crimp

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 46 weeks ago

Tubular magazine rifles are the only ones I crimp such as my 336. Not my bolts or pump.
WMH, I too neck size only. When I set up my die I set it a tad tighter than instructions, not much, and I've never had a loose bullet. With a tighter neck this is another reason I rotate the bullet after barely starting.

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from sarg wrote 4 years 46 weeks ago

Gunslinger, I disagree with you on the bullet exiting, If it does it's job, no need for exit....

Clay I crimp my .308's with the Lee Factory crimp. Don't crimp any thing else..(don't have but one crimp die) I don't overcrimp however I never crimp the .204 or 7x57.. I like the crimp that comes with Federal Rounds and the Lee crimp die is as near this as possible. Don't like to crimp with the regular dies. I,m old fashioned I guess, but I like to did out the bullet and look at the mushroom on the bullet..It will tell you a lot about your powder charge and bullet performance.

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from Del in KS wrote 4 years 46 weeks ago

No that is not a model. She is my 8 month old granddaughter and future hunting and fishing partner.

I don't use a crimp on loads for my bolt guns or single shots-not necessary. It would be prudent to crimp ammo for hard recoiling handguns and anything tube fed.
Peter H. Capstick did write about a 458 Win. that the bullet moved back in the case from repeated recoil while cropping elephants. Don't think any of us will be shooting elephant herds.

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from sarg wrote 4 years 46 weeks ago

I'm really surprised that while talking about crimping, no one mentioned that crimping will raise the pressure in the case, which can be a good thing while hunting. That's why I use the Lee crimp die so all will be crimped exacly the same. The easiest way to increase pressure with out more powder is "Crimp".. Do you agree Clay?...

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