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What is powder accuracy

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by AJC1, Nov 30, 2022.

  1. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Is it the powder? Yes.
    Is it the bullet? Yes.
    Is it the barrel? Yes.
    Is it the primer? Yes.
    Is it the ambient temperature? Yes.


    In my 30-odd years of load development, rifle or pistol, I have found all of those things (and more...) have contributed to good or bad results. I do agree with Varmint, however...

    There are a few powders that just work really well in a wider range of applications than another similar powder, but, again, it goes back to all of the other factors. For example, my most recent revelation was with TAC in the .308. Magnum primers vs standard primers made the powder act like two different powders... with results to match.
     
  2. Howa 9700

    Howa 9700 Member

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    From the perspective of a reloading newb (relatively speaking), am finding the load development process to be interesting, puzzling and frustrating. Success and failures takes it's toll.

    But getting to success has to be easier than the trial and error approach the reloading process tends to follow. If a software program like Quickload has any validity, it has to be easier than trial and error. To take into account all the variables Quickload does, using trial and error, one would burn thru two barrels and be right back where you started when finished. And that is only the ammo side. What about the gun?

    When I see various new guns being advertised as to MOA guarantees........for some guns GA Precision has a 3/8" MOA guarantee.....using factory match ammo. There is no load workup specific to that gun to get there. So in theory, all one would have to do to make accurate ammo is to duplicate factory match ammo. Use same process as they do......problem solved. Or is it?

    Most rifles built by GA Precision feature Bartlein barrels. When you go to Bartlein's website and see the features of their barrels, all the variables they take into account......plus the skill of the guys that chamber and install those barrels and assemble all the other components..........those rifles may well shoot lights out with any factory ammo you shove in them. Or any reasonable hand load too for that matter. Easier to get to an accurate load with one of those than off the rack factory rifles like mine.

    But back to Quickload.........if there is an online website that does those calculations, I'm not aware of it. If a wannabe user is forced to buy the software, they are only scratching the surface of users willing to do that. An online site that offers the ability to make those calculations would generate a whole lot of traffic.
     
  3. Howa 9700

    Howa 9700 Member

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    All that, plus I'm now in the camp that says any temp stable powder that gives a bullet factory level velocity at 98% or more case fill, without excessive pressure, is a good starting place.
     
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  4. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Your missing that the two big volume knobs are already turned up for success. 1. Barrels, 2. Match ammo=premium bullets. Everything else is small knobs.
     
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  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Does the owner have the other half of the Singer .45? If so, that is a $50,000 plinker.
     
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  6. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Maybe not as 'small knob' as you might think. Comparing 168grn BTHP's... Nosler CC, Sierra MK, Hornady Match... they all shoot differently. Yes, they all produce good accuracy... they are all good bullets, for sure... but if you twist enough small knobs, they can add up to big differences.
     
  7. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    To discount cumulative effects of good choices that work well together would be foolish. Making bad decisions on big items tends to make the climb longer and more arduous. I believe powder selection to task is important, but 4064 vs varget in a 308 is not world changing in accuracy.
     
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I tried hard to like AA2520 because it meters so nicely; but in two .308s and a .223 it was just not quite as accurate as same bullet, same velocity range loads with any of several extruded powders. I settled on Varget.
     
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  9. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    The owner brought out the slide that went with the pistol

    tLhuMls.jpg


    left side of lower

    12a7Hy1.jpg

    the current owner purchased the 22lr conversion kit and the 1911 from a woman whose husband had died. It was in the last couple of years. Since it is not my pistol I airbrushed the serial number on the right side of the 1911. The top of the slide has a P, since I did not know that the orientation of it was peculiar to Singer, I did not take a picture of it.

    some more pictures

    dSakUg3.jpg

    4Gp0KDu.jpg


    The owner was there to shoot his 22 lr conversion unit, so the slide was not assembled to the pistol.
     
  10. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    How do you assign accuracy to bullets and barrels? Not like all barrels shoot any bullet to the same degree of accuracy, nor does a great bullet shoot accurately out of all barrels.
     
  11. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    That's true. It is my recollection that in the 1960's American Rifleman magazine, the Army put out percentages for bullets, powder, primers, cases, in terms of 100% accuracy. It was my recollection that bullets and powders were the "90 percent" and everything else was in the noise level. Barrels had to be assumed good. Every competitive shooter I know has worn out barrels and looks for evidence of barrel wear. Pretty much a barrel is shooting better, and then it is shooting worse. Worse is usually defined as a failure to cluster at distance. Worn out is when the tube tosses eights.

    The shooting community more or less ignores the things it cannot measure. The shooting community just assumes the things it cannot measure must be good. Magical thinking if there ever was.

    One very important thing the shooting community does not measure is bullet concentric and center of gravity. The distribution of lead, the thickness of the jacket, how uniform both are contribute massively to where the bullet's center of gravity is located. If the center of gravity is off the center of rotation the bullet will wobble. There were Juenke bullet comparators, and this guy has made something similar. The cost of the things has always been prohibitive, and the machines have never been that popular. So the whole topic is mostly ignored. Everyone assumes bullets are all good, and that flyers are due to something else, because they can't measure bullet goodness.

    Shooters also cannot measure primer characteristics. So that is more or less ignored.

    But they can measure headspace, they can measure primer depth, they can measure neck run out, they can measure powder. And it is not certain how much any of these contribute to inaccuracy, though certainly there is a contribution.
     
  12. BWS

    BWS Member

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    On spinning bullets,looking for potential fliers;

    "One" suggestion I can make is study up on centerless grinding. Not sayin to start grinding bullets.... what I am saying is, look at the geometry used. The blade height,vs wheel centerline. Carry on...
     
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  13. Howa 9700

    Howa 9700 Member

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    For my latest load ladders, on a whim, decided to try out my new bullet comparator to see how much bullets varied in length. One lot.........Hornady Interlock spbt......90% were running within 0.002" measured on the ogive. But then would jump to 0.003 or 4.........or 0.010? Measured that 3X and that was it. Was that my flier? Only way I can think of to find out would be to load it, mark it to keep it separate from otherwise identical loads, fire it to see where it goes.

    So switched to Nosler partitions, and those were all running identical.....until 3 or 4 in a row that were not. Too much fun.
     
  14. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Can you imagine how much they will sell the bullet balancing machine for that runs a bullet up 300krpm
     
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  15. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    It would be enlightening to read over the data that allowed them to quantify each vs just the results. Off to do some searching.
     
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  16. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Please post any findings. I'm also very intrested
     
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  17. .45Coltguy

    .45Coltguy Member

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    I would say, in a nutshell, this pretty well sums it up for a lot of shooters. A little trial and error goes a long way.
     
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  18. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Shotgunner Don Zutz took an occasional foray into one-bullet guns.
    He said that PB gave enough better accuracy in his Browning that he was no longer considering an aftermarket barrel.
    But he also said that a pre-War Winchester .257 was markedly more accurate with new (1980s) bullets. He credited the cut-rifled barrel as being able to take advantage of better bullets.
     
  19. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Just one of the few ad copy that mentions accuracy!
    Most are careful to not mention accuracy just how great they are in other aspects

    Repeatable long-range accuracy demands propellant that behaves consistently across temperature extremes. Alliant Powder® Reloder 16, like Reloder 23 and AR Comp™, accomplishes this world-class stability using TZ® technology. It manipulates the response of the material and resists the natural tendency to generate more pressure at higher temperatures and less pressure at lower temperatures. The Reloder 16 burn rate is slightly faster than that of Reloder 17, well within the 4350 burn speed band. This makes it ideal for traditional hunting cartridges such as 30-06 Spring. and 270 Win., as well as 6.5mm target loads and tactical applications where temperature stability is required.

    • World-class stability across temperature extremes
    • Contains proprietary de-coppering additive
    • Excellent lot-to-lot consistency
    • Formulation contains no DNT or DBP
    • Made in Sweden for Alliant Powder
    https://www.alliantpowder.com/products/powder/reloder16.aspx
     
  20. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Well the powder technology has come a long way in the last 5 decades but it's information your not exactly going to Google up.
     
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  21. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I remember in the National Match issues, of the early 1960's, gave the number of rounds that were fired in tests. And it was somewhere in the order of a million rounds tested, of different powder lots, primer lots, bullet lots, etc, before two combinations were selected for 30 Cal Match and 7.62 Match. The Army brought these actual targets to Commercial Row so competitors would know, it was not the ammunition's fault!

    auPh02q.jpg

    I watermarked these after posting them in a thread where an ex Navy Shooter from the Vietnam era claimed the 30-06 would not shoot straight. Strangely right after, the targets disappeared from my Photobucket account. I had not locked down my Photobucket account but did after that. And what do you know, ten years later that ex Navy shooter was using cropped versions of these images in this forum. Some people will do anything to win an argument. I learned long ago, not to trust anything that guys writes, as he is a win at any cost personality. Even though I could not find my electronic versions, I still had the original paper images buried on the book shelf. And I water marked them this time.
     
  22. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Arguing is worth less and less as I get older. My motivation to continue at any point is to share a thought or idea. Fighting to be right I'm done with...
     
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  23. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    I had pondered on this question, long ago.

    It is well known, a firearm HAS a preference for bullet weight and style. Loading a ladder in a given gun, with a given powder and bullet; shows no particular load with acceptable accuracy. Has repeating the ladder with the same bullet and DIFFERENT powder, yielded an accurate load? Or do you change bullets?

    When I was taught to reload, my first work up was .30-06, 4064 and 150gr Sierra. Why?
    The person teaching me had known accurate loads with those components IN HIS RIFLE.
    Loading a ladder, we found 5 acceptable and 1 outstanding load. I load the same recipe today, 50 years later. I have tested H4350 and H4831, with good results, close but never as good as 4064. Are THEY inaccurate? Switching to 180gr Nosler bullets, 4350 equals 4064, with less powder. 4831 is very close.
    Going to 7mmRemMag, 4831 is by far the better choice.
    4350 works best in .260, with several bullet weights.

    Choosing a powder has always been:
    Check books for highest velocity with given bullet. Never a consideration of "is this an accurate powder?"
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2022
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  24. bigpower491

    bigpower491 Contributing Member

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    I'm actually am going to be going in the other direction with my 450 BM bolt gun, and it going to have everything to do with propellant choice.
    I guess this would fall under the user application parameter of choosing a powder.
    For where I hunt with this rifle, shots are 100yds or less, and although we're farm country, we have enough people in close proximity that an accurate, less than full power load would be ideal for the sake of safety.
    I'vee got plenty of Hornady 250 FTX for it, and all but 1 of the propllants they list in their data. I have on hand W296, Lil Gun, AA9, and Enforcer. The other powder they list is IMR4227, which honestly would be ideal for what I'm trying to accomplish, but the number the LGS had on a pound made me pass on that
    So given what I have on hand, I'd like to bring down the velocity but still retain the 1"@100 groups the gun shoots with the factory ammo. The rifle has a 22" barrel, and not a very heavy one at that, so one cannot really expect ultra tight groups with this particular.

    I did chrono the factory "Black" ammo right at around 2350 fps, and I attribute this to the fact I have the longer barrel, as I believe(could be totally wrong) they got their number from a 16" barrel. I also developed a load for it recently with some Lil Gun and the same 250 FTX, and just under 36 gr I was getting right at 2200fps, and groups on par with the factory ammo. That was with a load over 2gr under the listed max charge, about a 6% reduction.

    I'm hoping to get this rifle down around 1900fps, but still retain that "point and click" accuracy, or the best I can do in actual hunting scenario. Of my on hand powders, I'm certainly going to have to rule out 296. We all know it does not like to be reduced too much, and I've always found myself in handguns anyway, it's at its very best within 2.5-3% all the way to the max. Although Hornady lists the starting loads they do, and I'm sure they're quite safe, given mine and another of others experience with it, I think using it for anything other than full throttle would be a waste of components.

    Research on Lil Gun I've done recently, I could probably start at about 80%, which the manuals start is about 60% of max. That's a wide variation but there's a good chance I can achieve with it.

    Enforcer and #9 both max out in the book at 2000 and 1900 fps respectively, and both powders have been right good to me in revolvers. One of those could possibly be a fair performer, as they're going to be in that 90+% of max charge, which usually is the window of best accuracy for the most part. Or so we are lead to believe.

    The books list all the stuff that works for their given bullet in a given caliber. Take a look in another manufacturers book same caliber similar bullet , the recipes show pretty much the same propellants, and so on.

    We'll see how all this works out, essentially going backwards.

    But I guess the point I'm trying to make is the users application is yet another thing to be considered in powders accuracy
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2022
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  25. BushMaster-15

    BushMaster-15 Member

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    Powder accuracy is Lot to Lot consistency with minimal variation on the intended formula . Same with all components .
    Unfortunately as with barrel makers not all are equal ,we live in a world of deviation and a large % is beyond our control .
    Factor those variables and you have your velocity and accuracy deviation ,even within a test barrel or Lead Sled shooting situation .
    Factor in the Human error and it multiplies even more .
     
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