whats the single most contributing factor to accuracy ?


November 19, 2008, 05:14 PM
im a newbie to reloading so im not sure if this question will make sense or not, im also aware that accurate loads will be rifle specific but was wondering nonetheless. with you experienced reloaders what factor would contribute the greatest to an accurate load

1) powder selection (brand)
2) dialing in the right powder weight for that specific rifle
3) finding the right O.A.L. for that specific rifle
4) case brand
5) primers
6) bullet weight for that specific rifle
7) bullet style

maybee a better question would be how do i find "my pet load"

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November 19, 2008, 05:23 PM
whats the single most contributing factor to accuracy?

The nut behind the scope! :D

Getting back to your question.

I have to go with #7 = The Bullet.
Almost any load will shoot a good bullet good.
Almost no load will shoot a bad bullet good!

If it was me, I would start out with a known accurate bullet like the Hornady V-Max, Nosler Ballistic-Tip, Sierra Blitz-King, or one of the Match grade HP's.

If your rifle won't shoot them reasonably well with any powder & load you pick out of a loading manual, there is something wrong with the rifle.

Since you didn't say what caliber you are loading, that's as far as I can go.


November 19, 2008, 05:30 PM
im set up for .308 and have bought 3 different powders accurate rl15. hodgdon h335 and hodgdon varget. i have 2 different bullets as well hornady 150 gr fmj bt and remington 165 gr soft points. i havnt shot any of my loads yet but plan to this weekend.

how would you experienced guys start off with these 3 powders and 2 bullets, run different charges and different seating depths?

should i get some kind of match grade bullet to try and find my pet load?

November 19, 2008, 05:38 PM
Military style FMJ bullets are the least accurate bullets you can buy.

The reason being that the jacket opening is in the base of the bullet. And it is next to impossible to make the bases perfectly square.
I would not expect much out of them.

Remington 165 gr soft points are big game hunting bullets, and also are probably not made to the exacting accuracy standards of varmint or match bullets.
However, they will probably give better accuracy then the FMJ bullets.

Still don't know what your "pet load" is for though?

Hunting deer, or moose hunting?
Or hunting coyotes?
Long range match shooting?
Plinking beer cans at 100 yards?

The intended use will determine the best bullet for your "pet load".


November 19, 2008, 05:45 PM
I would use 1 box of Black Hills 175gr match ammo for a control group to compare to. Shoot five rounds of the BH ammo - then test your loaded ammo in comparison. BTW - many championship shooters choose Varget for the stability in various temperatures. I personally like Berger 175gr VLD's for my .308 using Varget. Of course my barrel has a 1:10 twist so it handles it very well.

Try some 155 Berger VLD's or some Scenars as well.

November 19, 2008, 05:51 PM
95% of my shooting will be punching paper at 100 yards with a very occasional 200-300 yard shot again at paper.

November 19, 2008, 06:18 PM
Bullet choice is 1st 2nd and 3rd. Powder/charge combination is the 4th and all the rest combined is last.

November 19, 2008, 06:29 PM
The bullet, the barrel, the action, the load, and like rcmodel said, the nut behind the scope.

November 19, 2008, 07:39 PM
Assuming a quality rifle, consistent reloads using a good match bullet.


November 19, 2008, 07:51 PM
Handloader Magazine (who I consider one of the ultimate authorities) has discussed this.

As noted above,




4...everything else

They went back to a 1960's rifle with 1960's ammo. When they tested a 60's rifle with today's ammo, it shot sub moa. When they tested a modern rifle with 60's ammo, it shot poorly. Bullet quality appears to be the single biggest improvement in the past forty years.

Many of the IMR powders in use today date back to the 30's and 40's. I doubt that primers have changed much. I suspect barrel technology has improved considerably.

I'd get a REALLY good bullet, a good barrel, and let 'er fly.

As for your pet load, get a copy of Ken Water's Pet Loads. No guarantees, but it's probably as close as you'll get to a good start. Some reloading manuals give "most accurate" recommendations. Every rifle is a critter unto itself.

November 19, 2008, 08:01 PM
ok thanks guys - i guess ill load up these 2 bullets i have first(100 of each) and then get some match grade stuff and see what happens. who knows maybee my rifle will like these cheepie 150 grain hornadys, that would be sweet.

November 19, 2008, 09:49 PM
The Barrel, then everything else http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_4_48/ai_83483904

November 19, 2008, 09:56 PM
The man squeezing the trigger!

November 19, 2008, 10:05 PM
Serious range practice can bring out the best in any load configuration: although, combining the best load with a steady, ready proficient shooter creates the best-of-the-best downrange. An rifle can produce 1" 100 yard groups, if the right finger feathers the trigger. The right load merely assists the scenario. cliffy

November 19, 2008, 10:21 PM
i agree with 243. the barrel the gun basicly a rifle or gun with a very good chamber and barrel are the first. now you have to match that ammo to the gun. the next important thing is having brass that properly fits the chamber after being properly sized trimmed ready to go for the gun. Then proper bullet selection, then powder and primer. then after that its the nut behind the gun. it still saddens me that my 15 year old can shoot steel at 300 yards iron sights and i cant anymore. Maybe laser surgery would do. oh well thats what scopes are made for i guess

November 19, 2008, 11:10 PM
after the nut behind the scope and the rifle itself.
1. Bullet (needs to be right weight as well as design)
2. powder (burn rate and charge)
3.clean and consistant reloading practices.

November 19, 2008, 11:49 PM
The single most important factor IMHO in getting the maximum in terms of accuracy from your relods is fallowing this simple rule.

Perform each and every last step of your reladong prosess as close as is humanly possable the same exact way every single time you do it without exception no matter how insignificant it may seem to the prosess as a whole.

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