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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was discussing reloading with a person in the gunshop the other day when a couple others piped up and put in their .02. I told that guy that when I reload for competition (bullseye). I do not accept any variance in powder. I mean I figure if I'm shooting for an "x" at 25 yards the size of a 50 cent piece wouldn't a 1/10th variance be enough to possibly miss the x ?? Maybe I'm too anal with my reloading technique? Or am I just listening to someone else's sloppy reloading practices? Then again I have heard the same story from several people. To me it seems counter intuitive when your going for accuracy! Hell I even sort headstamps and measure case length at times. Am I trying to be too precise with my pistol reloading? Fwiw I reload on a single stage rcbs, yes it takes me longer than the guys with progressives but, I yet have to experience ANY reloading failures to date.- something I'm quite proud of tbh. Well you've all heard my case.. what say you?? Too anal?? Or am I fighting a mundane battle??
 

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From another Bullseye shooter I'm not sure I would take advice from the two hand 5 - 15 yard crowd.

I was blessed to have the opportunity to visit the AMU reloading shop thanks to a teammate. They reload on a Dillon 550 or 650, with most on 550; however, they overwhelmingly rely on a contractor for ammunition in support of the pistol team. The AMU also uses RCBS single stage (they have a ton of them), Dillon 550, 1050s and one guy uses a 650. The single stage is for rifle typically. There is no need on the short or long line for a single stage, unless you are loading 9mm and want to avoid the tuning required on a 650. If a progressive works for the best shooting team in America, its good enough for me. But if its part of your process, and gives you confidence/control, then keep doing what your doing and don't deviate.

For the 50 yard line, new brass, starline only, then sorted head stamps, and then mixed, in order of use. Virgin starline brass will outperform, and that shows up in the rest. I only sort brass for national level events, not club/local for the short line. The reason is mental. I want 100% confidence that I've inspected every piece of brass before I travel to compete. If you are sorting for your own positive mental state, then I would continue to do so.

For the short line. Anything goes as far as brass. The deviation between sorted, mixed, virgin is so small its not worth the time unless you are a HM shooter. Most HM shooters I compete with don't sort brass on the short line and its good enough that a couple are 2650 club members. AMU & PWS only use virgin brass, because they don't reload since they have more funding. See the photo below. HM scores with mixed brass on the short line.

For reloading, I never put the powder in the original container, it introduces a variable that you cannot control. Any powder out is contaminated in my view and I keep extra 1 lb bottles of the same powder to keep the smaller quantities. I only use the powder, primers, and bullets that have been through the rest to know that there is a known quality of the round and use the OAL determined to work best in each pistol. Also Starline brass for new brass, only, as its more consistent and longer for 45ACP. 45 ACP brass will shorten with use and as long as the OAL is acceptable you are set on the short line. For the long line, if you want the ultimate you need to measure each case and weigh each bullet. Sort bullets by lot tha are over/under to avoid deviation. I have peers who do so and sort by lot to keep the same bullet weight with the longest brass with success. I'm not there yet.

If you aren't suffering from OCD you aren't going to be successful in Bullseye. When I reload there is no music, alcohol, or distractions. All of my components are kept in climate controlled, dark, non-humid spaces. I don't measure case length.

Magazines affect POI and deviate from POA. Determine your best magazine and ONLY use that magazine on the long line. A new lesson for me. I am now only using magazines tuned and tested on a rest for 50 yards. The other magazines are short line only. This has more impact than mixed head stamp on the short line.

Tony's Bullseye Blog: Brass Life and Accuracy

Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Interview by Ed Masaki one of the best BE gunsmiths alive. Even damaged 45 ACP brass was irrelevant on the short line with the right bullet, OAL, powder, primer combination.

Handgun Corner: Sorting Brass

Great starting point for loads if you haven't read this already

Pet Loads of Top Shooters & Loads from the past.



Mixed brass, not sorted, shot at FT Benning with the AMU during the 2015 Interservice Championship practice. Good enough that out of 30 shots, I think 8x2,9x3 and the rest 10 or X. That makes and average score of about 98 per string or High Master short line scores.

 

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I don't reload but I am a precision grinder/machinist Sounds like you've removed all the variables in your ammo if dude couldn't get that concept he never will
 

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My advice: Assume any [hind end] stranger who injects himself, uninvited, into a conversation inside a Gun Shop, to be another know-it-all Mall Ninja and/or bag of feminine hygeine product...

If you have a safe, competent reloading method, which nets results, why oh why would you even consider some retard from a Gun Shop might know more? o_O

Don't doubt yourself...or your process...and unless @fredj338 makes a suggestion( with or without you asking for it!) ignore "advice" from morons ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Glad to hear that there are some out there more anal than I am. Hell I was just talking about a 1/10grn variation.
 

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a tenth here or there shouldn't have too much effect if any unless you are approaching max and playing with the OAL at that charge level. (although, in loading manuals the difference between regular loads and +P is often only a tenth to 2/10s higher, typically using fast powders)
I could never get a measurable difference over a chrono from a reg load to a + P load for .45 or 38 spcl. The difference seemed negligee if not Non existent in my experiences.

Regardless,
I still feel consistency and repeatability from round to round has an enormous outcome on accuracy, if not ultimately controls it. Perhaps nearly as much as the quality of components being used, as long as they aren't sub par crap. Especially in close range pistol shooting. Get some adequate components, make every round identical, accuracy should ensue.

Rifles can be a different story when shooting 300 yards plus.
 

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There is anal & that is fine, but only if it serves a purpose. I doubt 1/10gr of powder has much affect on accuracy even out to 50yds, powder defendant of course. Regardless, most powder measures will hold that with any ball or spherical powder. Even then, unless you are weighing internal volumes of all your cases, they could easily be off more than 1/2gr in 45acp. For that reason, sorting head stamps is helpful, but unless it all comes from the same lot, probably spinning your wheels there. Then throw in variation inbullet wts, are you weighing each bullet too?
Confidence has a lot to do with your shooting, so being anal makes you feel better, not a bad thing. I used to have a ransom rest, tested a lot of 1911 loads on it. Hand weighed charges of WST, just as accurate on target as charges off my Dillon at 25yds. I see a lot of guys spending a lot of time tweaking guns & ammo for little gain, but it's still the nut pulling the trigger. Same for chasing the chrono numbers or runout numbers, it still come down to how the load shoots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
There is anal & that is fine, but only if it serves a purpose. I doubt 1/10gr of powder has much affect on accuracy even out to 50yds, powder defendant of course. Regardless, most powder measures will hold that with any ball or spherical powder. Even then, unless you are weighing internal volumes of all your cases, they could easily be off more than 1/2gr in 45acp. For that reason, sorting head stamps is helpful, but unless it all comes from the same lot, probably spinning your wheels there. Then throw in variation inbullet wts, are you weighing each bullet too?
Confidence has a lot to do with your shooting, so being anal makes you feel better, not a bad thing. I used to have a ransom rest, tested a lot of 1911 loads on it. Hand weighed charges of WST, just as accurate on target as charges off my Dillon at 25yds. I see a lot of guys spending a lot of time tweaking guns & ammo for little gain, but it's still the nut pulling the trigger. Same for chasing the chrono numbers or runout numbers, it still come down to how the load shoots.
Yes I do go as far as to weigh each projectile but only for bullseye comp loads. Does it make a big difference at 25 yards? Id like to hope so, it atleast gives me some pride in knowing I did all I could to get that bullet to the x ring and if I am off it is my own human error and not the ammo.
 

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I'm very anal with my precision rifle loads. Not so much with stuff for the semi-auto rifles and even less with the pistol stuff. But my pistol rounds aren't for bullseye either.

Been reloading for about twenty years and haven't had an ammo related problem of any sort.
 

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I prefer to be very precise with most of my rifle rounds. Haven't started trimming meplats or weighing bullets yet, but I'm gonna jump in and do that soon enough. For most loads, I do weigh every charge, and most of the time my powder drop charges low and I trickle up to the correct charge. There is a disclaimer there though, I only really shoot single base stick powders, so my powder drop charges can vary by 0.3gr or so.

For pistol, I load what functions, most of the time near factory power reproductions.
 

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There is anal & that is fine, but only if it serves a purpose. I doubt 1/10gr of powder has much affect on accuracy even out to 50yds, powder defendant of course. Regardless, most powder measures will hold that with any ball or spherical powder. Even then, unless you are weighing internal volumes of all your cases, they could easily be off more than 1/2gr in 45acp. For that reason, sorting head stamps is helpful, but unless it all comes from the same lot, probably spinning your wheels there. Then throw in variation inbullet wts, are you weighing each bullet too?
1/10 of a grain can make significant changes at 50 yards. It matters. More so than rifle. On the short line (25 yards) not so much. Then again, everything matters on the long line.
 

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1/10 of a grain can make significant changes at 50 yards. It matters. More so than rifle. On the short line (25 yards) not so much. Then again, everything matters on the long line.
Unless you are using lab grade scales to weigh powder you are not getting 1/10 grain accuracy. All of the name brand reloading scales are only accurate to within +/- 1/10 grain.

Don
 

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mine are accurate to 1/50 th of a grain or .02 grains. verified by certified check weights. I still cannot detect a notable difference over the chrono. That being said, I don't measure internal case volume from case to case. Variability is going to weasel it's way in some how.
 

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Unless you are using lab grade scales to weigh powder you are not getting 1/10 grain accuracy. All of the name brand reloading scales are only accurate to within +/- 1/10 grain.

Don
I'm not sure I understand your statement, maybe you can re-phrase it.

The RCBS Chargemaster 1500 is good to +/- 1/10 of a grain as you mentioned like most others. There are some, which are very few not "lab grade" and better than 1/10 gr, but I have no idea if they live up to the claim. However, if I can accurately determine to the tenth of a grain; such as, 4.5/4.6/4.7, that is good enough, my Dillon will only throw to the 1/10 of a grain in accuracy anyway. I guess you could improve the process with a powder trickler and weigh the throw for each round. While that would be the ultimate in consistency, and actually what my gunsmith does for developing and testing loads before shipping a pistol I'm not sure I would be a significant improvement in my case where law of averages take over. Some performance on the long line, but minimal on the short line. At some point I gain more from dry fire and there are enough High Master and 2650 club shooters using a Dillon 550/650 or another quality progressive that I'm confident that it is an acceptable approach. Unfortunately I'm sure there are some stacking of tolerances, which more experienced reloaders, especially benchrest could speak too.

A chrono is a great tool, but a rest properly mounted and in a controlled environment with a operator with the exercise is the way to determine the true affect IMO. 25 yards is not enough distance, at 50 yards you will begin to see the changes occur or at least become more evident.

High-Precision Electronic Powder Scale
UniqueTek High Precision Powder Scale
Accurate to .02gr
$219

 

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1/10 of a grain can make significant changes at 50 yards. It matters. More so than rifle. On the short line (25 yards) not so much. Then again, everything matters on the long line.
I am sure it is gun/bullet/powde specific, but as noted, I could not find a noticeable diff in POI @ 25yds, I can't see how 50y makes that a big deal. I would greater dispersion with mixed brass or same headstamp brass of mixed firings. Good, repeatable beck tension seems to be more important than 1/10gr of MOST powders.
 
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