Cleaning between groups?


PDA






LivewireBlanco
February 2, 2013, 12:49 AM
I have 5 rounds of 5 different loads of 30-06 that I've worked up and I'm trying to find which is the most accurate. My question is when shooting these loads should I clean the barrel between each group or is 25 rounds not enough to make a significant difference? I do have a bore snake and at the least I could run it through a couple of times between groups. Thoughts?

If you enjoyed reading about "Cleaning between groups?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
exdxgxe4life
February 2, 2013, 01:04 AM
I try to clean between my 5 shot groups. 25 rounds of dirty barrel probably doesn't effect accuracy as 5-10-15-20-25 rounds of increasingly warm barrel. I like to think that when I clean I'm also cooling the barrel, even if just a little.

Andrew Leigh
February 2, 2013, 01:13 AM
Don't clean but allow the barrel to cool between shots.

If you want you groups to make real sense then do the following;

Set up 5 targets.
Shoot shot 1 load 1 on target 1
Shoot shot 2 load 1 on target 2
Shoot shot 3 load 1 on target 3 etc. Then start the sequence for load 2.

What this does is to remove the impact of groups on physical position barrel heat etc. e.g. assuning your barrel gradually heats and you are shooting on one target then your POI will also move impacting on the group. But if you shoot on 5 targets as described above then it make no difference as all the shot for each target will be at the same approximate temperature. My sequence is to shoot the 3 foulers then wait 2min. I then wait 2min between shots which I time and 10min between groups which I time.

Between loads allow 10min of barrel cooling time. Please prepare 3 barrel fouling shots if you barrel is clean else it will impact on your first group.

Do not worry about the point of impact at this point, this obviously is easily adjusted later. Generally in doing the above your load will be patently obvious from the groups.

Have fun and hey would love to see the results. When you have some time google Dan Newberry's OCW method.

Hope the above makes sense.

LivewireBlanco
February 2, 2013, 01:35 AM
So 3 fouling shots before doing any grouping makes a big difference?

Andrew Leigh
February 2, 2013, 01:36 AM
You should see this (discount the first two targets they were something else);

The groups start wide, close up and then go out again. From the targets shot the best group came from target 57 which was 22mm at 100m. This is the same as a 0.75" group at 100yds. The load shot at this target became my hunting load and still is.

Andrew Leigh
February 2, 2013, 01:39 AM
Yes it does as it clears the barrel of any cleaning solvent or oil residue. It also return the barrel to the condition that most the other rounds fired will see.

Before I go hunting I will foul the barrel to ensure that my first round at an animal will print exactly where I want it.

kelbro
February 2, 2013, 08:15 AM
I only clean if I am shooting two different brands of bullets. Seems like when I switch between Sierra and Hornady that previous known good loads are off for a few shots.

Grumulkin
February 2, 2013, 08:28 AM
1. You don't need to clean between groups. If your barrel becomes so fouled in shooting 25 shots that it needs cleaning there is something wrong with the barrel. The exception would be the precision bench rest gun being competently shot.

2. You don't need to clean between bullet or powder brands/types.

3. Running a bore snake through a barrel or running a few patches through probably won't make any difference in accuracy. A deep cleaning in which ALL copper and carbon fouling is removed can cause accuracy to be worse for a few shots but in many barrels doesn't make a discernable difference. You have to know how your barrel acts.

4. Don't leave oil in the barrel and then shoot without removing the oil with a solvent. If you do, the first shots will be high and wild and you could damage the barrel. If you must clean, use a solvent followed by dry patches.

5. Some barrels need to cool between shots for optimal accuracy but that isn't always the case.

Walkalong
February 2, 2013, 10:00 AM
I agree whole heartedly with Grumulkin. My bench gun was the only thing I ever cleaned between groups, and that was just an easy, keep it reasonably clean and consistent, cleaning. Not squeaky clean. Close though.

LivewireBlanco
February 2, 2013, 11:22 AM
OK so here is what my plan is:

Run my bore snake before I shoot to get the oil out.

Fire 2-3 fouling shots.

Let the barrel cool.

Shoot a group slowly.

Let cool and on to the next group.

Sound like a plan?

Andrew Leigh
February 2, 2013, 11:48 AM
Yes but for one thing.

I would still not shoot 5 consecutive shots into one target, trust me on this one. It is counter intuitive and simply may not sound right but we are talking load development here and the method works.

If you have not already please read http://optimalchargeweight.embarqspace.com/ . I am a bit of a fanboy as this method has been very kind to me and has allowed me develop loads with minmimal time and fuss. I can select a bullet of choice and in one visit to the range come back with a proven load, this saves a bunch of time and money.

Enjoy

witchhunter
February 2, 2013, 07:25 PM
I caught that you are loading 25 rounds total, with 5 shots of 5 diffferent loads. If that is correct, please make up more loads of each. One 5 shot group will not be enough data to tell if the load is better or if you just shot better. Shoot at least three groups of each different load. Measure and average. Clean your barrel. shoot a couple of foulers and shoot at least three more groups of the next load. Repeat. If you are increasing powder with each load, you will see your groups either increase or decrease as velocity goes up. This is common with velocity increments. If you are changing bullets or types of powders, anything can happen to your groups. Don't adjust your point of impact unless absolutely necessary. Pick any bullet and try any powder you want in increments and you will see this pattern again. This takes a while, take your time and you will reap the benefits of two things that will become readily apparent: 1-you will have a load that shoots the best out of your rifle and 2-you will be a better shot with it as you will know exactly how it performs. Good luck and keep your bore clean and cool.

LivewireBlanco
February 2, 2013, 07:41 PM
Well I shoulda read that OCW thingy before going out to the range but the bug hit me and I went. Here are the results and I'm going to fine tune what I can, but so far I'm not liking my results.

Remington brass, CCI LR primer, IMR 4064, OAL 3.220
Wind was about 10-15 mph straight in my face. The numbers are the grain weight of shots fired. I only had 3, 50gr cartridges made up since I ran out of brass and that's the group I was most interested in. Only 4 shots at 48.5 as well. All were neck sized only except the 49gr group which was full length sized.

rcmodel
February 2, 2013, 09:12 PM
How good a benchrest shooter are you??

Have you been able to shoot a tiny, round, 5-shot group with anything before??

rc

Jenrick
February 2, 2013, 09:26 PM
Reading the link the OCW (very interesting, going to try that tomorrow at the range):

This reads different then what they have listed:

Set up 5 targets.
Shoot shot 1 load 1 on target 1
Shoot shot 2 load 1 on target 2
Shoot shot 3 load 1 on target 3 etc. Then start the sequence for load 2.


Reading the instructions you should
Shoot shot 1 load 1 on target 1
Shoot shot 1 load 2 on target 2
Shoot shot 1 load 3 on target 3
etc. until you have fired on round of each load on it's respective targets.
Then go back and shoot shot 2, then shot 3 of each load.
Ensure you allow the barrel time to cool between each round.

-Jenrick

LivewireBlanco
February 2, 2013, 10:00 PM
Tiny groups with my AR, but I have yet to do that with this rifle. I will do more testing with 49.5 and 50 grains. They seem the most promising. The wind sucked too.

jerkface11
February 2, 2013, 10:12 PM
When I bought a used a .264 win mag I cleaned the barrel to bare metal it shot like crap for 50 rounds then went to just under MOA. Haven't cleaned it since.

Jenrick
February 2, 2013, 11:31 PM
I had a match AR that I shot Service Rifle that was the same. I bought it from a guy who told me "not to clean it." Well I knew better of course and cleaned it out. It would keep it on the black at 200yds after that if I was lucky. After about about 20 rounds it started to improve, and by 40 it worked itself into a 10/x gun when I did my part.

jjjitters
February 3, 2013, 12:51 AM
My load development was to make sure I had a day to do it plus several other guns to play with while waiting for the barrel to cool. I would shoot 2 or 3 for foulers, then let cool for ten minute( even better if I shot the foulers in the ground at home before going).

I just shot each 7 to 10 shots(I don't rely on 5) on one target but always kept the barrel at the same temp for each shot(I've even used a bucket of cold water and a rag to cool faster, don't leave the rag on the barrel when shooting ,harmonics change). That method has always been reliable for me, especially not relying on 5 shots, I couldn't count the times 5 shots looked good, but by 8 shots the scattering was more definite.

I would clean after 2 -8 shot groups (depending on the barrel). Not a real aggressive cleaning but some copper solvent and a few scrubs ect.. then a couple dry patches and some foulers.
The first shot just about always would be off, in every gun that I remember, sometimes only 1/2", but always off.

Andrew Leigh
February 3, 2013, 12:52 AM
Reading the link the OCW (very interesting, going to try that tomorrow at the range):

This reads different then what they have listed:


Reading the instructions you should
Shoot shot 1 load 1 on target 1
Shoot shot 1 load 2 on target 2
Shoot shot 1 load 3 on target 3
etc. until you have fired on round of each load on it's respective targets.
Then go back and shoot shot 2, then shot 3 of each load.
Ensure you allow the barrel time to cool between each round.

-Jenrick
Hi Jenrick,

thanks for correcting that. That was my bad, must have been a senior moment. Have used the method enough to have got that one right.

Andrew Leigh
February 3, 2013, 01:28 AM
Hi LivewireBlanco,

thanks for posting the targets. I don't know how experienced a hand loader you are but would you mind us discussing a couple of basic's.

The most important things in hand loading for me are;
- Never change more than one variable at a time. Get your components and stay with those until your own statistics prove otherwise. It would not be representative to have some neck sized and some full sized as part of the batch.
- Have a scientific approach to the start load and subsequent intervals.
- With load development shoot 3 shot groups, this allows for triangulation. When you have your load move to 5 shot groups for practice etc.
- Your personal ability must be to be able to shoot better than MOA. If you are unable to do so you can never tell is the load is giving you the runaround or your own ability.

Getting back to the targets. Vertical stringing can be due to a few things;
- poor load
- poor breathing control
- faulty firing pin, either broken, faulty or weak spring.

The problem you now have is that as you have not followed a strict load development routine so you proabably have no idea of what to do next so you are guessing at the next load. As stated previously this is when the exercise becomes both expensive and demoralising.

Could you tell me what bullet you are loading please? From that I will make a suggestion as to what your load routine should be, if that is of interest to you.

Trent
February 3, 2013, 05:21 AM
Cleaning between groups, depends a lot on the barrel. Some barrels foul more than others. :)

When I'm working up load data, I'll clean between groups but fire a fouling shot before starting my next group.

When I'm done shooting for the day I'll clean the bore, and fire a fouling shot before taking the rifle home to put away. I won't put a bolt gun away with a freshly cleaned and oiled bore, unless I've been shooting corrosive ammo, or the rifle is going in to long term storage mode (then it gets a full coating of heavier oil, in and out).

This is a personal preference thing. I prefer knowing my rifles are ready to fire the first shot on a cold bore, and have precision.

AFTER I've worked up a good working load, I clean as often as the rifle needs it. On most, that's 60-80 rounds, any more than that and I've got a copper mess on my hands that becomes much harder to deal with.

SOME of my rifles which are long on lifespan, need cleaned much more frequently or they'll start collecting copper fast. My old 300 Win Mag barrel, for instance, would turn a patch soaked in Sweet's solid blue, after just 3 shots. The throat erosion was bad enough by the end of it's life that it would foul up with copper really fast. The new replacement barrel, takes over 50 shots before I get any traces of blue on a Sweets patch.

thump_rrr
February 3, 2013, 07:19 AM
This is how my rifle shoots when I clean the barrel.
I started with the center, then the top row left to right, then the bottom row left to right.

At 25 shots I'm just getting settled in and at 150 shots after cleaning it still can shoot sub 1/2 MOA if I do my part. I clean the rifle maybe 2 times a year now and it's only because I can't stand it any longer.
Once I clean it I hate myself for the first 20 shots or so.

The rifle is a Savage 10BA in .308

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Thump_rrr/27-7-12-A.jpg

Skyshot
February 3, 2013, 10:47 AM
Is this a hunting load or just for targets. It's a matter of repetition for myself. When shooting a hunting load, I always shoot from a clean dry barrel, therefore when tuning an accurate hunting load, I shoot one round clean and dry the barrel and let cool down completely and then shoot another repeating the process. This can take a few hours to complete a test session. For target shooting ,depending on the time constraints of whatever the venue dictates, is what I try to achieve. For slow fire match, I may want to clean between shots or if there is a time constraint in a particular match I may want to shoot a fouling shot and only clean between groups. Several factors need to be thought out including how the particular rifle digests your loads as the barrel heats up. It's all about range time. I hope that you have all of the time you desire. It's funny how you can spend an entire day and still come away scratching your head.:confused:

LivewireBlanco
February 3, 2013, 11:53 AM
This is a hunting load I'm developing. The bullet is a Hornady 165 gr Interlock SPBT. I don't know if the wind played a bigger factor in my shots as I had to wait for it to die down a few times. I want to try that 49.5 gr and 50 gr load again. I did take my AR and shot a new powder for that and got 5 nice shots in a square. I should've taken a pic of that group!

Andrew Leigh
February 3, 2013, 01:13 PM
Hi,

The recommended IMR 4064 load with a 165gr. Hornady is a min 44.4gr. and a max 48.2gr.

You are planning on loading 50gr. which is 3.7% above the max recommended load. Now that may not sound like much but consider that pressure is NOT linear in the case. The 3.7% will result in more than 3.7% pressure added to which is the manufacturing tolerance on the powder itself, if that is at the top limit then the problem compounds.

Load development is a gradual build from the bottom. I suggest that you follow the recommended practice of the powder manufacturer by downloading 10% for you initial load.

3 rnds @ 45.70gr.
3 rnds @ 46.20gr.
3 rnds @ 46.70gr.
3 rnds @ 47.20gr.
3 rnds @ 47.70gr.
3 rnds @ 48.20gr.
3 rnds @ 48.70gr.
3 rnds @ 49.20gr.

The last two exceed the max but as you have already shot heavier loads than these I must assume you have checked for signs of pressure and that all is well. Shoot these 8 sets of loads under the same conditions in the manner already outlined.

I strongly believe that your loads are too hot and that is why you are not grouping. Don't chase velocity chase accuracy.

LivewireBlanco
February 3, 2013, 05:49 PM
Hornady 8th edition lists 50.2 gr as their max with IMR4064 and 165gr Interlock SPBT. If you are looking Hogdon's website, the GMX bullet they use with 48.2 as their max is a different bullet. However that Sierra SPBT would be closer to this bullet and has a 52.5gr max. I think 50gr is plenty hot and I started at 48.5 gr and went up from there.

jjjitters
February 3, 2013, 05:53 PM
The problem I see with that system above is how many rounds does a person want to shoot with the cost of components(if you can get any). I do more of a jump between charges and you will see the two that are more accurate. Then a inbetween charge can be tried. I'm not saying it's a bad system , just an thought on how much is needed for a hunting load.

I worked up a load in a Browning 30-06 and 150gr Harnady Interlocks, IMR4350 beat 4064 easily. It has on several occations now. Not in my .280 though.

Andrew Leigh
February 4, 2013, 01:03 AM
Hornady 8th edition lists 50.2 gr as their max with IMR4064 and 165gr Interlock SPBT. If you are looking Hogdon's website, the GMX bullet they use with 48.2 as their max is a different bullet. However that Sierra SPBT would be closer to this bullet and has a 52.5gr max. I think 50gr is plenty hot and I started at 48.5 gr and went up from there.
OK thanks for clearing that up.

Well good luck with the load development.
Recently my friend gave me three loads for my 6.5mm from Quick Load. He said I was wasting ammo using the OCW method so being open to new ideas I gladly tried his method (I am a fan of QL and we have checked my OCW loads against calculated QL results and they are remarkably close).

The loads were all calculated to be accuracy nodes and were 42.6, 45.7 and 47.gr.

At 42.6gr, the std deviation over 12 shots was 13.7fps while the groups averged 0.65MOA. Interesting later shot the same load with a warm barrel and the groups opened out to 1.2MOA, double the size.

At 45.7gr, the std deviation over 12 shots was 11.5fps while the groups averged 0.76MOA. Groups also double with a warm rifle.

At 47.7gr could not get a group under 1.5MOA.

For hunting I would use the 45.7gr load as the accuracy is fine and it carries more punch. To mess about on the range I would use the 42.6gr.

The point is that he was chasing speed and I chase accuracy. Still think you are at a charge level that is not near the correct accuracy node for your rifle.

Good luck

Andrew Leigh
February 4, 2013, 01:15 AM
The problem I see with that system above is how many rounds does a person want to shoot with the cost of components(if you can get any). I do more of a jump between charges and you will see the two that are more accurate. Then a inbetween charge can be tried. I'm not saying it's a bad system , just an thought on how much is needed for a hunting load.

I worked up a load in a Browning 30-06 and 150gr Harnady Interlocks, IMR4350 beat 4064 easily. It has on several occations now. Not in my .280 though.
I have friends who load as you do, nothing wrong with that approach, just not for me.

The difference is that they are back at the range every other week with new loads, under vastly different conditions (temp, wind, rain etc.) trying to get their load.

I go once, don't always shoot the hotter loads as signs of pressure may cause me to halt. On average it takes 24 shots, three foulers and 7 groups of 3. An that is me done, finished, got my final load. Conditions were the same for all groups so every group is relative and true to the other.

I will bet that over the course of weeks my friends shoot out more than I do.

It is also a personality thing, I like accurate records, method and structure so doing it any other way would drive me nuts :).

PS: I shoot the local equivalent of IMR4350 and would also recommend that the OP tries that powder out.

LivewireBlanco
February 4, 2013, 08:41 AM
Yeah I'm gonna try to hunt down some H4350 and try that. I've read its usually pretty good with a 165 gr pill. I like the temp stability, and also it can go a bit faster than 4064. I may try that OCW method next time out too. Thanks guys!

Offfhand
February 4, 2013, 08:35 PM
Quotedf from above post"

"At 42.6gr, the std deviation over 12 shots was 13.7fps while the groups averged 0.65MOA. Interesting later shot the same load with a warm barrel and the groups opened out to 1.2MOA, double the size."

Sir: Please explain what you mean by "std deviation" Also, it you don't mind, do you think it is curious that same load was less accurate with a warm barrel? For instance, how much "warmer" was it? Thank you.

jjjitters
February 4, 2013, 10:52 PM
The temp difference is why 4064 usually came in behind IMR4350. For hunting loads I'd throw 5-7 rounds in the freezer(it can get cold up here hunting season)and shoot them before they can warm back up. Then compare that group with a group from 50 -60F, often shoot at the same target. 4064 often would change impact point(usually less than an inch) and scatter more than when warm.

MRH
February 4, 2013, 11:03 PM
The way you're doing it, I'd clean after the 25 rds. But I would let the bbl cool (or as cool as your patience would allow) between the 5 shot groups.

Personally, with today's component prices, I would shoot a ladder test of 1 shot at each powder increment. When I found a couple or more that grouped somewhat closely, then I'd make more of those loads, either 3 or 5 rounds each and shoot again. Then clean the bbl.

Once you find "the load" then shoot 10 or more to verify the load.

I only live a short distance from the range, so gas traveling back and forth is not much. Your situation may be different. Do whatever is the most cost effective.

Andrew Leigh
February 5, 2013, 02:14 AM
Quotedf from above post"

"At 42.6gr, the std deviation over 12 shots was 13.7fps while the groups averged 0.65MOA. Interesting later shot the same load with a warm barrel and the groups opened out to 1.2MOA, double the size."

Sir: Please explain what you mean by "std deviation" Also, it you don't mind, do you think it is curious that same load was less accurate with a warm barrel? For instance, how much "warmer" was it? Thank you.

Hi, I think that Wikipedia has doen a great job with their explanation so here is the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_deviation .

The role of statistics in handloading is understated. Their are two important measurements for me.

The first is the average speed. Reloading handbooks give speeds and pressures, the problem is that to measure chamber pressure is costly while measuring speeds are significantly easier and cheaper with a Chronograph. The speed is given in reloading handbooks to approximate the pressure and provides a useful benchmark.

The standard deviation is literally the tolerance of your reloading process and represents the amount of control you have over the process. So like in engineering you may have a tolerance of +- 0.002" so to in reloading.

I aim to have less that than a std deviation of 15fps and have been as low as 6fps.

If you have access to a Chrony and an Excel spreadsheet then the formulae are;

=AVERAGE(mark out the cells)
=STDEV(mark out the same cell as for the average)

On the day I did not measure barrel temp but we were shooting in the blazing sun. Normally I can always tough my barrel as I like it cool. When I say hot one could not touch the barrel. Time was running out and I needed to get all the rounds fired so that I could reload the entire batch.

Andrew Leigh
February 5, 2013, 02:23 AM
The way you're doing it, I'd clean after the 25 rds. But I would let the bbl cool (or as cool as your patience would allow) between the 5 shot groups.

Personally, with today's component prices, I would shoot a ladder test of 1 shot at each powder increment. When I found a couple or more that grouped somewhat closely, then I'd make more of those loads, either 3 or 5 rounds each and shoot again. Then clean the bbl.

Once you find "the load" then shoot 10 or more to verify the load.

I only live a short distance from the range, so gas traveling back and forth is not much. Your situation may be different. Do whatever is the most cost effective.

The ladder test is also a valid load varification method but for validity one needs to be at at least 300yds for the effect to be seen. At 100 yds the bullet drop / lift over 0.5gr. is not significant enough for the ladder effect to come through.

I still think you will endup shooting more rounds and under different climatic conditions than if using the OCW method.

Offfhand
February 5, 2013, 10:48 AM
Hi Andrew, I'm impressed by your effort but must confess to you and others that the reason I asked for a definition of what you refer to as "std deviation" (More conveniently referenced as SDEV amongst the statistical community.) was to entice you to investigate it more thoroughly and perhaps gain a better understand of its application as a statistical analysis of ammunition. Like you, apparently, many handloaders have become only vaguely familiar with SDEV simply because it's a printout on commercial amateur chronographs and thereby have come to consider it of some importance without understanding why. The tipoff is when someone describes the performance of his ammo as having a certain SDEv as XXfps but without the necessary additional data. It so happens that I's a semi-retired engineer working part time for a consulting firm that routinely includes SDEV analysis in our evaluations. From the standpoint of ammo evaluation a couple of factors are essential when making an evaluation based on SDEV: The raw number has no meaning by itself unless the number of shots is included, plus the average velocity. But the factor that seems to be most commonly overlooked by amateur handloaders equipped with chronographs is that a SDEV based on only a few shot is virtually meaningless. At least 100 shots entries are necessary for a SDEV to have any validity, and for most applications a far greater number is required. (A study of small arms primers including 5000 entries would be more typical.) I've long chuckled over the chronic misunderstanding of SDEV, as expressed in this and other shooting sites. The really guilty parties however are makers of chronographs who include SDEV in their readouts (it's cheap and easy) and thereby delude amateur shooters into believing they have a feature of value without explaining the darker and more complex side of such analysis. The cruelest blow of all however is handloaders who become so obsessed with chasing number on their chronos that they fail to reconcile what they see on the printouts and what they see on the target.

Andrew Leigh
February 5, 2013, 01:30 PM
I agree fully that our sample sizes are woefully inadequate for any meaningful analysis but some information is better than none. Even on a sample size of 5.

Typically I have SDEV's of around 10 to 18 with bullets around the 2500 to 2900fps mark. When the load is wrong these can out as far as to 60 to 90fps. So although one would not prepare a scientific paper on these results they do actually mean something to me. Call it a coarse indicator confirming that something is wrong in the process.

I am also a stickler for process control. I work on the theory that unless you can make a change to the process and accurately predict what the result of theat change will be that you have no control over the process.

Cheers

If you enjoyed reading about "Cleaning between groups?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!