Advice on reloading results, please!


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24-7 Dave
October 11, 2011, 11:33 PM
First, I'll admit I'm mainly a pistol reloader and a complete novice reloading .223, so I thought I'd show what happened when I tried my first reloads and get your feedback. I made a batch of 20 test loads using four different powder weights: two near the bottom of the range (21.5 Gr and 22 Gr), and two in the upper-middle range (23.3 Gr and 24 Gr) just to see what happened. Powder weights were arbitrarily chosen to match similar size Lee Autodisk disk sizes (stacked) for simplicity. Weights of the powder charges were checked and were consistent.
Weapon is a Mini-14 with less than 100 rounds through it; Factory scope rings and a Bushnell 3x-9x being sighted in for the first time. Brass is once-fired Remington brass (tumbled, full-length sized and trimmed); Primers are CCI; powder is IMR 3031; Bullets are Golden West 55 Grain FMJ.

Rifle was rested on a sand bag on a concrete shooting table at the gun club's 50 yard range. No wind, temp in 70s, no mosquitos, nobody shooting elephant guns nearby to make me flinch, just perfect shooting weather.

Since I just installed the scope, I ran 30 rounds of 55 Grain FMJ Remington factory ammo through the rifle dialing it in (I know, should have gotten a laser bore sight), then quit even though it's still shooting a bit low so I could save the other 10 rounds to re-check zero after trying my reloads.

I expected this first batch of reloads to be ragged until I can try enough different powder weights to start dialing in, but I am mystified why all seemed to consistently fly right. After the test, I put another five factory rounds into another target (not shown), all in the bull.

Before I sit down at the bench and start working up my next batch of test loads, can anyone explain why all of my reloads flew to the right, while the factory ammo shot true?

Got lot's to learn, any feedback is greatly appreciated!
Dave

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HOWARD J
October 12, 2011, 12:01 AM
Was your barrel hot when you used the test loads?

Did you check scope--may have come loose??

24-7 Dave
October 12, 2011, 12:10 AM
Barrel was a little warm after firing 30 rounds to zero, but I was only shooting five rounds at a time and making adjustments, so it wasn't excessive. Scope was still tight and hit the bullseye with factory ammo after trying the reloads--which is why I'm confused.

OldmanFCSA
October 12, 2011, 12:27 AM
This will seem somewhat wierd, but it is TRUE.
Bullets do NOT fly in a straight line to the target.

I first observed this while watching 50 cal tracers being fired at a 1000 yard target, it was wierd to watch the bullets fly in a spiral down-range.
Your reloads are flying at a different speed than the factory ammo.
This will cause your bullets to fly a different spiral pattern, resulting in change of impact.

This spiral flight is caused by the rifling spin on the bullet to pull on the "air" as it flies downrange.

Just a possibility for you.

I know others here will call me crazy, but I know what I observed, and I know there is a special target that explains wind drift vs rifling direction better than I ever could.

biga972
October 12, 2011, 04:34 PM
not sure about most reloaders but I just look at the group size not how close they are to center. I can readjust the scope when I find the right group.

Jim..
October 12, 2011, 07:46 PM
The group that is high is caused by muzzle jump with a slower fps speed. The barrel is still high (in recoil) when the bullet leaves the chamber. You can prove this yourself by shooting normal loads of jacketed bullets and then shooting a group. Now take the same rifle or pistol and shoot some slow burning powder. A pistol will really show this. I can't even shoot cast lead slugs out of my 45/70 pistol because I can't get enoiugh adjustment in altitude.

The drift to the right is same thing only you caught some wind drift at the same time.

Now go shoot your gun with normal velocity loads as listed in a reloading manuel. Should look something like the factory group.

ljnowell
October 12, 2011, 08:06 PM
This will seem somewhat wierd, but it is TRUE.
Bullets do NOT fly in a straight line to the target.

I first observed this while watching 50 cal tracers being fired at a 1000 yard target, it was wierd to watch the bullets fly in a spiral down-range.
Your reloads are flying at a different speed than the factory ammo.
This will cause your bullets to fly a different spiral pattern, resulting in change of impact.

This spiral flight is caused by the rifling spin on the bullet to pull on the "air" as it flies downrange.

Just a possibility for you.

I know others here will call me crazy, but I know what I observed, and I know there is a special target that explains wind drift vs rifling direction better than I ever could.


??? I would be interested to read about this. If that were the case then if you moved 10 yards closer with any load then the bullet would hit left or right.

RustyFN
October 12, 2011, 09:51 PM
??? I would be interested to read about this. If that were the case then if you moved 10 yards closer with any load then the bullet would hit left or right.

I would also be interested. We shoot a lot of tracers at our MG shoots at the club and I have never seen one spiral but we are only shooting 200 yards.

Jasper1573
October 12, 2011, 10:03 PM
I don't know about the spiral, but I do know that spin drift is a factor affecting point of impact. Bullets traveling at different velocities will have different drift in the direction of the spin imparted by the rifling. On my Rem 700 with a 175 SMK moving at around 2550 fps, the spin drift at 500 yards is about 1 MOA with a 300 yard zero.

So some windage adjustment using a different bullet at a different velocity may be required.

After looking at your groups and the range of 50 yds, spin drift may not be the only issue, but my statement, "Bullets traveling at different velocities will have different drift in the direction of the spin imparted by the rifling," is still true.

sugarmaker
October 12, 2011, 10:25 PM
a couple ot things come to mind:

Barrel on the bags - always put the bags on the wood

poor rear support - rear bag should allow gun to stay reasonably well on targer during recoil. not having a rear bag or using a hard support under the rear of the stock will open groups up. Using your hand works but requires some practice or your groups will open up.

rigid support on buttstock - guns jump all over the place with a hard surface behind - use your shoulder.

Rigid support on forestock or barrel: see above, don't use rigid supports.

No support on buttstock - meaning letting the gun totally float when fired - works on heavy, light recoiling guns with stock bottoms paralell to the bore, bad idea for most sporters.

Trigger - For sporting triggers, pinch it, don't pull it.

Load too heavy for your gun or slow powder in a piston gun.

gamestalker
October 13, 2011, 01:16 AM
I would be more surprised if the factory was shooting the same as the reloads, considering.

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