Reloading for rifle accuracy


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caleb
March 1, 2010, 10:11 AM
Hello all, this weekend I took my .223 to test some loads that had increments of .3 grains from minimum to maximum, and was really anticipating great results. It's a 1x12 twist rate and not knowing any better I previously loaded 62 grain bullets and got 1 inch groups. Everyone said that better groups would come from using a bullets weight more in line with the twist rate. This weekend I used a 50 grain V Max with powder, primer, cartridge prep the same and my groups went heck in a hand basket. Where do you start in finding what your gun likes best? Do you settle on a bullet weight then tinker with powders or vise versa? Thanks as always. C

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RippinSVT
March 1, 2010, 10:20 AM
It's not just bullet wieght...it's bullet design, weight, manufacturer, etc...in addition to the velocity, pressure, OAL, crimp, twist, etc.


Try another brand of 50gr bullets and do the same to try to eliminate variables.

ranger335v
March 1, 2010, 10:30 AM
Ditto, there's nothing we can do if the rifle just doesn't like the bullet.

But, try another couple of powders if you have them before buying different bullets.

exbiologist
March 1, 2010, 10:36 AM
I've found that in a generally accurate rifle, with a suitable twist for a specified bullet, powder selection made the biggest difference in accuracy. I'm not a big brass prep guy, and haven't seen much improvements with doing anything other than neck sizing (not for semi autos). When working on the fringe of capability (like 62 grains in a 1:12 twist .223), experiment with powders if you are sold on that bullet or weight.
You didn't specify which powder you used, or if it was the same powder for each bullet, but we have so many type of powders out there, there's certain to be one more suitable for each bullet weight you try.

Nomad
March 1, 2010, 10:49 AM
I agree with what has been said. There have been books written on this topic but specifically to your point of changing bullets and having a change in accuracy. One of the biggest improvements in accuracy is where the bullets ogive is in relation to the lands when the round is chambered. Based on the years I shot competitive benchrest, typically rifles shoot best with the bullet .005 off the lands. There are tools to measure this. Sinclair International sells a good one. When you change from one bullet to another (especially a lighter or heavier or the other way around) bullet that relationship changes and can deteriorate your accuracy.

Offfhand
March 1, 2010, 10:53 AM
From opening post"

"was really anticipating great results."

With what rifle?

caleb
March 1, 2010, 12:01 PM
I was using the same powder for each bullet; H335. The rifle is a RRA Predator LAR 15. My groups were average 1 inch or less at 100 yards with the 62 grain so using a bullet weight more in tune with the twist rate I was anticipating better than the previous results.

gdcpony
March 1, 2010, 03:04 PM
I agree with what has been said. There have been books written on this topic but specifically to your point of changing bullets and having a change in accuracy. One of the biggest improvements in accuracy is where the bullets ogive is in relation to the lands when the round is chambered. Based on the years I shot competitive benchrest, typically rifles shoot best with the bullet .005 off the lands. There are tools to measure this. Sinclair International sells a good one. When you change from one bullet to another (especially a lighter or heavier or the other way around) bullet that relationship changes and can deteriorate your accuracy.
Bingo! I am no reloading guru, but this has by far been the largest contributor to precision in any rifle I have loaded for. I do a depth check and play with seating depth even before I start working a powder charge. Then I note down what the rifle liked. I have yet to have to change that measurement except for barrel wear. Actually even then the OAL may change but the Off The Lands (OTL in my log) measurement stayed the same. It stayed the same for each bullet in a particular rifle.
Maybe I have just been lucky.

NCsmitty
March 1, 2010, 05:40 PM
There's a guy online that sells sample bullets so you don't end up having a box of bullets that suck. You can try 10 pcs each of a few different weights and brands to see what works best in your rifle. I would consider some of the flat base 52-53gr match that may work well in your twist.

www.bulletsamples.com/




NCsmitty

gdcpony
March 1, 2010, 05:53 PM
There's a guy online that sells sample bullets so you don't end up having a box of bullets that suck. You can try 10 pcs each of a few different weights and brands to see what works best in your rifle. I would consider some of the flat base 52-53gr match that may work well in your twist.

www.bulletsamples.com/




NCsmitty
Now that is a smart idea. If only the idea would spread.

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