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Myth Busting - 50 round shot groups at 25 yards - Extreme 9mm accuracy testing

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by LiveLife, May 24, 2019.

  1. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    Yesterday at the range I was working with my new 9mm 1911. The sights needed to be adjusted. Shooting at 12 yards I would shoot 25 rounds. Find the center of that group and adjust the sights. This method has worked quite well for me. I did the same with my buddies red dot on his Canik.
     
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  2. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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  3. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    That we can absolutely agree on. :thumbup:
     
  4. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Congrats on the Retirement!
     
  5. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    9mm in a full size 1911 is just sweet.
    I really like my Springfield Loaded 9mm 1911.
    Bought a spare one just in case. (since they were coming of CA's stupid approved list)
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
  6. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Thank you and hope to see you get to your retirement destination soon also. (Are we still going to be nearby neighbors?) :D

    While there are plenty of retirement tasks and projects I am pursuing for the sake of my wife (Unexpected early retirement due to medical issues caught both of us off guard), it's nice to be able to pick up various shooting and reloading projects, threads, myth busting during down time without the urgency to work the next day. And if I needed/wanted to and felt like it, I could spend time into late night hours and just wake up a little later the next day.

    I am taking the current time to go over different myth busting that were done along with past load developments to see if improvements could be made to better test for consistency with more standardized testing methods.

    This thread will be part of the process as I pursue the new machine rest testing thread.
     
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  7. Ruger 15151

    Ruger 15151 Member

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    Nothing is free!... You know that being relieved of the "Honey-do" list now is going to cost you big at some point down the road..right??? :D
     
  8. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Believe me, my "break" from wife's honey do list of things is only temporary while I attend physical therapy as my therapist is pushing me to the breaking point each session, which is good. :oops:

    But as I wake each day now and make coffee for my wife and give quick thankful devotional to my maker, I find myself reassessing life's purpose and meaning on a daily basis. I have on many occasions ran this mental exercise where I imagined how I would spend my last day of life, if I knew such and this exercise very quickly prioritized truly important things in life from those that are not.

    After 24 years with my wife and our children grown, I have finally seen the light and I find myself happy when my wife is happy. Everything else seems to be secondary overshadowed by this primary focus.

    In the similar fashion, I am finally seeing the light on reloading variables and the mantra I have said for decades of "Holes on target speak volumes" is becoming the primary focus where larger round count groups speak louder than 5 or even 10 round groups.

    My biggest "Ah Ha" or more likely "Oh No" moment came when I realized I may have prematurely concluded accuracy trend findings possibly limited by smaller, incomplete data set of shot groups. This has been pointed out by Walkalong on occasion and other THR sages with shooting/reloading experience I won't likely achieve during my lifetime.

    I have shared this with my wife and decided to "reset" my approach to reloading variables, some of which have been successfully myth busted; and pleasantly, wife also agrees it may not be a bad idea to take a fresh approach.

    So I believe a more objective approach to range testing (hence the building of machine rest) with larger round count group testing will provide more realistic and practical outcome. Yes Walkalong, research data can be tweaked to satisfy the research objectives. ;) Yes Bart B., every hole counts, even the ones I don't like. :D And yes, jmorris, if I keep shooting larger and larger groups, the "flyers" will start to form a larger size group. :eek:

    While I anticipate certain findings, I am hoping for harder data set from larger round count groups to surprise me.
     
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  9. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

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    Congrats on the retirement!
    Good luck with these physical therapy.
    I’m looking forward to the upcoming results.


    After starting reloading, I soon realized what seemed like an accurate load when doing 5 to 10 shot groups might not provided the same results on the next trip to the range.
     
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  10. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    ME: < I used to do load development and accuracy verification using 5 round groups at 10-15 yards. >

    THR peanut gallery: Oh no, 10-15 yards are too close to determine true accuracy, need to test loads at 25 yards.

    ME: OK, I will test 5 round groups at 25 yards.

    THR peanut gallery: Oh no, one powder work up is not enough to determine true accuracy trend.

    ME: OK, I will repeat my range test several times to verify accuracy trend.

    THR peanut gallery: Oh no, 5 round groups don't provide enough information, need 10 round groups.

    ME: OK, I will test 10 round groups at 25 yards.

    THR peanut gallery: Oh no, you need to remove the shooter input at 25 yards.

    ME: OK, I will test at 25 yards using scope and bipod (I even tried going prone).

    THR peanut gallery: Oh no, your reloading variables are not consistent enough.

    ME: OK, I will isolate reloading variables and work to increase consistency.

    ME: I have isolated various reloading variables (Projectile ogive/diameter consistency, Powder metering variance, Finished OAL, Neck tension/case wall thickness/bullet setback, Chambered OAL, Residual lube affect on neck tension/bullet setback, etc.) and myth busted/confirmed them using ASTM Class 6 check weight verified scales and Class ZZ plus/minus pin gage verified calipers - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...-and-discussions.778197/page-10#post-10966692

    THR peanut gallery: < Silence >

    THR peanut gallery: Oh no, 25 yards is too close to test carbine loads, need to test at 50-100 yards.

    ME: OK, I will test carbine loads at 50-100 yards.

    THR peanut gallery: Oh no, 10 round groups are not the final judge of accuracy trend, need 20 or more round groups. And you really need to isolate out shooter input.

    ME: OK, I will test 20-50 round groups. And I will build a machine rest so I won't even be touching the pistol/carbine when they go bang.

    THR peanut gallery: < I can almost feel it coming ... "You need to hold your mouth open just right when activating the remote trigger" :eek: >

    Thank goodness I am retiring ... :D:D:D
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
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  11. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    The Army used to place these targets on Commercial row, at Camp Perry, so the competitors could see what the National Match ammunition would do.

    auPh02q.jpg

    The Army has a lot more resources than I do, I am not going to be firing that many centerfire rounds. But, when it comes to rimfire rounds, when I have shot a brick (500 rounds) up in Smallbore Prone competition, I have a good feel whether that lot is good or not.
     
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  12. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Dang you Slamfire, I thought 50 round group was sufficient ... guess not. :rofl:

    I am really hoping to see a definite accuracy trend with the machine rest before I get to 50 rounds ... but if I have to, I only got time now that I am retired ... Right? :D

    I guess I was sufficiently forewarned. ;)
     
  13. vaalpens

    vaalpens Member

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    Congratulations with the retirement. Looks like the rest of us will just have to keep on going until we forced into retirement. Hopefully I can join the THR Retirement Club withing the next few years.

    When are you planning to build the machine rest, and are you going to share the plans? You have to share the plans to allow the THR Peanut Gallery to critique your work.

    I'm not sure what I will learn from a 50 round grouping versus a 5 round grouping. If you can put 5 rounds in the same hole at 25 yards, then you know the potential is there. At some point there will be some drop-off in precision since you are adding additional variables. You have the gun getting dirtier, cycling and lock up is probably not the same anymore, and at the end you are testing the precision of the load in conjunction with the condition of the gun. But maybe that is you plan all along. Measuring the precision deterioration of a load over 50 or more rounds.

    So maybe the best test will be to test the progression of the group over 50 rounds, then clean, lube and start over again. If the grouping progresses the same way the second time, then you have a very good idea what you can expect from your gun and load. The permutations you can test are endless. Luckily you have a lot of time.

    Good luck and I am looking forward to see the results.
     
  14. double bogey

    double bogey Member

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    Regarding .22's. every mfg uses different lube on there .22 bullets, when you shoot 25 or more, you season the barrel to that bullet. It can take 25 or more bullets to season for the next mfg. Target ammo will have a slick oily lube, while bulk ammo may just use some wax. For true comparisons, clean the barrel and re season with the next ammo up. I have shot target ammo, great groups, and switch to bulk, and the bulk will shoot better than it did before til I get all the target lube out. good luck, shoot more.
     
  15. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    I will try that. Thanks.
     
  16. Odd Job

    Odd Job Moderator Staff Member

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    I found this with my .22, when doing POI testing with suppressors (25 round groups seem to invite flyers).
    Mine isn't done on a solid rest, just a bipod and rear bags but the principle is the same. I like Ontarget TDS for measuring groups. Here's one example (with a filthy flyer too):

    04.JPG
     
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  17. Mowgli Terry

    Mowgli Terry Member

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    Retirement here is like a long underfunded summer vacation. Lots of fun but sometime wolf at door can be a problem. Currently working on the lead bullets. My plan is to borrow the club Ransom rest. This allows me to get results independent of my shooting skills at this point of life. Thanks for the experience testing your loads. Paying attention to these posts saves me a world of time.

    Addendum: Testjng two handguns at a time on a Ransom rest can be traumatic. I had an incident when my lowly Model 19 out performed considerably an expensive custom K frame revolver. The load was a 150 gr. wadcutter and 3grs. of BE. This was at twenty five yards. Back to the drawing board on this one. Ten shots at twenty-five yards.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
  18. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    The smaller the variance you’re trying to detect, the larger the sample size needs to be. If you’re trying to tell the difference between a .280 hitter and a .290 hitter, you’re gonna have to watch and score a LOT of baseball games with both players.
     
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  19. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    If you can flip 5 heads in a row with a coin, you know the potential is there. Doesn’t mean that’s an accurate measure of what to expect.
     
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  20. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    Happy wife, happy life. That's second to Si vis pacem para bellum. Those sayings stick around for a reason.
    Ignoring quantum effects for the moment, what size groups are you going to settle on, or, will it vary depending on the outcome? Or maybe the question is how many is "good enough"?

    Very neat! Seems like this would simplify the measuring process a lot. Makes my quad ruled paper look like stone and chisel.
     
  21. Typetwelve

    Typetwelve Member

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    First off, congrats on the retirement.

    Second, thank you for posting those results.

    I'll be frank, never having been a target shooter, I shot 9mm pistol mostly for rapid fire, "minute of man" and multiple target allocation, never group accuracy. Keep it in the A zone of an IPCS target and I was pleased as punch. Lately, I've been trying reloading for accuracy in my 9mm and have been getting less than stellar results. Reading that article, it mostly proves that what I'm experiencing is rather normal. If a far tighter pistol than what I own, strapped in a ransom rest can only generate 1.91" grouping at BEST, I'm not shooting as poorly as I thought.
     
  22. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    THR peanut gallery - Please keep spending your own money and time so we can argue/dispute your results with no (zero) effort/expediture on our part. (Not there is anything wrong with that.......)

    On another forum I'm on (human powered vehicles and aerodynamics) the peanut gallery is usually wanting peer reviewed research and published papers.

    My secret to an unencumbered retirement was having the honey-do list done pre retirement. ;)
     
  23. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Yes.

    My initial prototyping was a simple optical pistol rest built with triangle shaped tube with three feet for stability with single adjustable rear foot for fine tuning elevation (I will post details and pics on a new machine rest build thread). Since I want to do both pistol and carbine testing, I need to build a larger rest that can accommodate larger sized firearm while being able to change out magazines (which were two of many reasons why I shied away from Ransom Rest to build my own DIY machine rest) and a recoil rail system as outlined in this post by Bart B. (with precision of consecutive 10-shot groups at 600 yards around 1 inch from the .308 Win. using full length sized cases. 20 to 40 shot groups have been under 2 inches :eek::eek::eek::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:) - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/rifle-rest.458493/#post-5724026

    [​IMG]

    I studied this machine rest and other machine rests and decided to take an easier cheaper approach using laminated plywood and metal hardware as my 25/50/100 yard testing with pistol and pistol caliber carbines won't require that level of precision (I am simply looking to verify accuracy trends ... right? ;):D). I can adequately weld and looking to buy a combo Tig welder (to work on my two Starcraft fishing boats which are my current priority over shooting/reloading as urged by my taskmaster wife, bless her heart :p) to later build a better machine rest.

    Another reason for using cheaper plywood and metal hardware was so once a successful working prototype was built, it would allow other THR members to afford to build the same machine rest for their own testing. I fully expect to provide my complete plans and perhaps do "Pay It Forward" partially assembled kits to other THR members (which I consider one of many life's purpose and meaningful retirement activity as my "Giving Back" to wonderful THR forum).

    [​IMG]

    Take a look at the powder work up I did with IMR Target. I did not anticipate a distinct accuracy node to be defined like these groups. As far as I know, only variable that changed enough to show as holes on target were powder charge difference (Yes THR peanut gallery, likely there were other reloading variables at play, but IMO definitely overshadowed by one variable of powder charge).

    Had another reloader missed this accuracy node, a conclusion could have been made that IMR Target did not produce accurate loads. And other accuracy nodes could have been achieved with difference powder charges if different OALs/bullet seating depths were used. ;)

    This realization among other realizations is what I am processing through now as I want future load development and range testing to be more objective, factual and more comprehensive so as to not miss some crucial details.

    Had I done 20-50 round groups instead of 10, perhaps my findings could have been different or confirmed the continuation of the same accuracy node. But until I do 20-50 round testing, I won't know that. And that's the key to this thread.

    Not really. I anticipate I have maybe 20-30 years left at best before I die. :eek:

    Seriously, I have given what you posted some thoughts as I don't consider super small shot groups attained with first 3 rounds out of cold carbine/rifle barrels as part of the "group" rather fouling shots. And since warm/hot AR barrels become flexible noodle, I only test AR groups with sufficiently warm barrel (which obviously increases group size). So perhaps as we approach 30-50 round count, "dirty" barrel shots may be true indication of accuracy that we are likely to see when plinking. ;):D
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
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  24. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    Do you think 4.0-4.1 is the node, or 4.2-4.3? The former looks tighter except for the fliers, where the latter is definitely more consistent, but could be argued a larger group. Which group was shot first and was it a clean/cold barrel? I’m trying to wrap my head around all this and trying to decide what reloading variables really are the ones to focus on. But then, there might be gun related variables as well. Most of the groups you post are way to accurate for me .

    To bad the US separates us, I’d donate the Labradar and time to record the shots.
     
  25. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    At this point, I don't want to chase the rabbit down the "what if" holes.

    I simply want to take known reloading variables (Consistency in projectiles, Thick enough case wall brass for no bullet setback, Short enough OAL for sufficient and consistent neck tension/chamber pressure build, etc.) and let the machine rest make holes on target at 25/50/100 yards.

    Once we have more objective data set of group size, chrono data and accuracy trend to work with for each powder, THEN we could comment where the powder charge accuracy nodes exist for particular bullet OAL and barrel.

    Actually, they are pretty bad if you talk to the right THR members factoring all the junky reloading variables I had used for my previous accuracy testing. That's why many challenged my findings as having "picked" the right 5 rounds from the mixed bag of reloading variables. Just imagine the affect on chamber pressure from using (Oh my God, Good grief :fire:) MIXED range brass with horrible bullet setback variance have on group size - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...neck-tension-and-bullet-setback.830072/page-4

    Then I SAW THE LIGHT of my reloading sins and now I AGREE with them. :(:oops:

    Yes, my previous load development and range testing for accuracy of groups have been TAINTED by poor quality control, lack of standardized testing/measuring methods and questionable shooting platform. So all of my previous findings could be suspect.

    Sad but true.

    And why I have set a new goal to conduct more objective, consistent and higher precision testing for retirement.

    To be frank, a few holes on target at 7-10 yards just don't provide enough information for us to make definitive statements on true accuracy of loads, especially with poor quality control of using mixed range brass and components of varying finished dimensions. What I have realized is we are simply seeing the results of reloading/shooting variance inherent at close distance, even out to 15 yards. And few of us have the training, experience, physical ability, eye sight and equipment to conduct 25 yard pistol testing to remove the human factor.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
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