Intermediate reloading advice needed


January 4, 2003, 07:43 PM
At the moment, the only thing I load much of is .45 ACP practice ammo (and I've loaded ~1000 rounds of it to date). I'm not trying to get match-quality ammo, so I don't keep track of how many firings my cases have, I use a powder throw, and so on. However, I'm about to start reloading for a .308 bolt rifle, and I want to make those loads as high-quality as possible (the rifle is potentially very accurate). The things I'm planning on doing differently are:

Use only the same brand of brass in each batch
Keep track of each casing's number of firings, and keep each batch identical in this regard
Individually measure each powder charge
Trim the brass
Seat the bullets as far forward as possible without impairing functionality

Is there anything else I can do to improve my ammo? Are some brands or weights of bullet inherently better than others?


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Gary H
January 4, 2003, 07:49 PM
I suppose the devil is in the details.

You can make sure that the primer pocket is uniform and use bench rest primers. Use only high quality bullets.

You can do many things, but before you do..pick-up Sinclair's book on precision reloading.

January 5, 2003, 03:57 AM
bullets; Sierra always comes to mind for accurate commercial bullets. Are these going to be match - shoot at paper target loads? For 30 cal. the 168 gr is a popular match bullet for ranges up to 600 yds.

seating depth of bullets; the Sinclair guide is valuable reading. Your rifle may have limitations on what length to seat the bullet - magazine length? There are a couple methods of finding out how long to seat the bullets to just touch the rifling. Most suggestions are to seat the bullets approx .01 in +- .005 off the rifling for best results.

Do you have a very solid rest to shoot from? the best ammo made cannot make up for poor shooting form.

Good luck and keep your fingers warm

January 5, 2003, 06:06 AM
be aware that seating to the lands is generally a good way to get accuracy, but not always...sometimes a rifle may prefer to have its bullets seated deeper. you'll have to experiment.

personally, i believe that the greatest accuracy increases comes from the case itself. if you make sure that your cases are from the same lot, segregated by weight, neck run-out held to minimum (around .003), and neck wall thickness variances are minimized, you have a good start. next, consistency is key... everything needs to be identical (there is actually a pretty good amount of wiggle room on powder charge weight, so don't be concerned about throwing to .0x grains). then, you want bullet run-out at the ogive to be minimal (.003 or less is ideal).

shoot for accuracy at 200 yards. you might be surprised to learn that many times your groups at 200 are just as good, sometimes better than groups at 100 (reasons for this abound...maybe paralax is to blame, perhaps the load needs more time to stabilize - it is beyond me to speculate why). also, groups at 200 will show errors that may not be noticeable at 100... when you shoot a group at 200 yards that measures an honest .5xx", you will then know why you spend so much effort handloading your rifle.

January 6, 2003, 02:44 PM
I have found good information here:

January 6, 2003, 05:15 PM
read "Varmint Al's" site

sinclair is at "Presision Shooting and Reloading Handbook". Excellent place to start

subscribe to "Handloader" magazine

Ian...just saw you're in W. Laf...spent 4 long years there myself

Sinclair is in Ft. Wayne, on the east side. If you're up that way, give them a call. Exceptionally nice people, and everyone there is a competitive shooter. Not a real big showroom, but nice to see if you're going thru.

Freedom in theSkies
January 9, 2003, 12:46 AM
Parhaps try using all the same lot # for primers powder bullets and brass.

Keep very detailed records so that you can duplicate a particularly good load.

Never give up... There is always something better....

January 9, 2003, 01:04 AM
Cool - thanks for the info, guys.

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