Limited budget equipment purchase advice needed, please.

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by Art Dirindin, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. TheOtherZilla

    TheOtherZilla

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  2. CharlieNC

    CharlieNC Gold $$ Contributor

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    What methodology do you use to develop a load? Ladder testing to define a charge weight node will minimize the impact of loading differences on the target, and optimizing seating depth to fine tune groups from there. Perhaps neck tension and primer tweaking. I would rate these and similar methods as more important than ad nausea loading techniques.
     
  3. Art Dirindin

    Art Dirindin

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    Actually I do own a Lead Sled DFT I picked up at a garage sale 8-10 years ago for less than the cost of a pizza dinner, but I use it (and it makes a HUGE difference) only for patterning my 12ga 3.5" magnum turkey loads, and brother let me tell you have to move on up to dedicated dangerous game calibers to begin to equal the recoil of a 3.5" magnum 2oz turkey load at 1200fps/mv when fired from a 6.75lb shotgun off the bench who's stock design suxs. No my rest of choice is a Older Bald Eagle front rest. The only recoil absorbing mechanism I have available for use is me. Save for my dreaded turkey loads recoil is a non-factor fro me. I can easily shoot 30-40 300wsm loads from the bench with no issues. Granted I use a PAST Super Mag Plus recoil shield and all my rifles wear Limb saver AM recoil pads both combined work wonders reducing felt recoil. I have over time combined personal experimentation with reading much about bench shooting form and feel I have my bench form down reasonably well especially my grip on the stock and trigger but must admit I still experience form induced fliers more frequently then I'd like, which is hard to avoid with light heavy recoiling rifles.

    When ever I shoot any rifle I never allow the barrel or receiver to become more than moderately warm and use a laser thermometer to check the temp of both to insure they never get to hot to grasp and hold. I have a battery powered minnow bucket aerator air pump I use to pump air through my barrel to cool it quickly to allow me to shoot more in less time. One end of the tubing for the air pump goes into a cooler full of ice to allow cold air to be sent down my barrel when the temps get above 40*/F outside. Works fantastically and has cut my cooling off time between shot strings by 80% or more. I have also used a 12v mattress air pump to do the same thing but the aerator and ice seem to work better.

    My crowns all look to be in perfect condition, and I'd consider a custom barrel but at $500-$600 I will only after I become reasonably certain I have ruled out any issues with my reloads and would likely try bedding an AM stock like an HS Precision as all my rifles (save for my M77 in 300wm) presently wear factory synthetic stocks. My gun smith will bed any stock for me quite reasonably.

    As anyone reading this can see and begin to understand my predicament of what to do and where to begin. Do I try a custom barrel, or bedding a high quality AM stock, or invest in more reloading equipment that allows me to more precisely control the consistency of my reloads.

    I am an emergency maintenance electrician who's job is when a piece of equipment (90% of the time it's multi-million dollar piece of equipment) is not working correctly or has failed I am tasked with first diagnosing the cause then fixing it. When ever I am confronted with a problem the immediate cause for which is unknown to me I am a HUGE believer in trying the simplest and most cost effective thing first.

    In my case I think I will begin with trying as high of quality brass I can find and that means Norma in the case of my T3 in 300wsm and going to extreme lengths to insure each piece of brass is as close to exactly the same as every other then do the same with my bullets of choice. I will then inspect and measure every loaded round to ensure they are all as close to exactly the same as I can make. Previously I was measuring one in five. I will then record the results of every fired round. I will also anneal after each firing.

    Lastly I have several very accurate reloads that have been giving me on average .75" MOA at 300 yards in my T3 Lite that I have used different die combinations to make my reloads with. I will now stick strictly with FL/RS using Redding body only RS dies and bump my shoulder back 0.002-0.003" then size the case neck using my Lee Collet die. This should reduce (if indeed it is a factor) any run out in either my brass or loaded rounds to having no effect on my accuracy. I am also going to give coating my bullets and barrel with HBN a try on my very next reloads.

    Unless someone convinces me to try an alternate course of action I will begin with brand new Norma brass and take great care to prep and load as close to the same exact for every reload as I can and keep exact notes on all steps and results for over all as well as individual reloads.

    If after all this I have not seen a measurable reduction in the numbers and frequency of fliers i will then have to consider other actions.
    If anyone has anything to add or a addtional step i should consider please by all means let me know. And yes I will build me some good solid performing wind flags. I'm sure YouTube is littered with affordable DIY wind flag designs.

    Again thanks for the replies and for your time in doing so.
    Arthur.
     
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  4. SPJ

    SPJ Silver $$ Contributor

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    Sounds like your on the right path,
    I do believe that measuring Bullets are time well spent and of course action bedding and free floating barrels are highly desirable.

    I have no experience coating Bullets but it wouldn’t surprise me if you needed to adjust your load a bit after coating.
    Would you mind reporting back with your results?
    J
     
  5. Art Dirindin

    Art Dirindin

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    To be honest I have never tried the ladder method and never needed it until I wished to push my range beyond 400 yards once I realized just how severely I was limiting my effective hunting and even shooting range for enjoyment. Now that I have gotten seriously committed to longER range shooting I accepted the need for ladder testing for load development. I only reacquired my first chronograph 4 years ago and only started using it regularly for load development 2 years ago.

    Basically I have had to more or less re-learn reloading as I discovered a sizable portion of what I once thought was the best reloading prectices were in fact not. Neck sizing only VS FL resizing as an example. I have also come to accept that I will have to by trial and hopefully minimal error discover what reloading practices work best for me and simply using what works for others does not a shortcut make.

    Im going to start over fresh with a my most accurate rifle with Norma brass and work slowly and carefully adjusting one variable at a time. Ladder testing is where I will start once I'm producing my brass as uniform as I can. And I have read a great deal on ladder testing but will have to be certain I know how to do it well before I begin.

    My single biggest opstacle is my job. Pays great but my work schedule is horrible for time off and I only get one weekend a month off and that belongs to my family as does most of my time.

    I have been told a very well put together rifle solves most reloading problems, but as my sons all hunt and all want their own rifles, HG's and shotguns the cost of a custom rifle is just not practical for me at this time. Once my boys are out of collage then I will reconsider my options concerning a custom or semi-custom or used one of either.

    Again thanks to all for your help and advice.
    Arthur.
     
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  6. Art Dirindin

    Art Dirindin

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    I am going to try coating bullets because i suspect my reloads suffer from 'cold welding" as due to my time constraints I often have to make my reloads 2 weeks to a month or more in advance then if the weather is unacceptable I then have to wait at least another week or two to shoot. I was for a long time making my reloads 3 or more months in advance so if a very short 24hr unexpected window of opportunity presented itself I could always go and I can see now where at least some of my reloads may have experienced problems due to 'cold welding"

    I have tested pulling my bullets using a Hornady collet bullet puller and I found without doubt reloads I let sit for long periods required noticeably more effort to pull than ones I loaded less than 72 hours previously. Granted I didn't have the benefit of a dial indicator to effectively measure the difference or confirm 100% the difference exists but I undoubtedly felt a noticeable difference in the force need to pull old reloads VS new.

    This also made me realize another loading practice I need to likely change in using 0000 fine steel wool wrapped around an undersized nylon bore brush placed in a section of aluminum cleaning rod and placed in a battery drill and polish the inside of the case neck. I can see where this will increase the bullet to inside neck friction by removing all the carbon deposits from firing resulting in inconsistent release tension and possibly resulting in inconsistent pressures, all of which when combined with other causes of inconsistency can have a negative impact on accuracy.
     
  7. steve123

    steve123

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    Ha, that's a good reason to use a lead sled, but the rear stock could spit from the force on your shotgun - catch22.

    I've got quite a few story's taking factory rifles that shot barely acceptably and went to sub moa right away with a bed job. Though not a single one of them will shoot as excellent as when a Bartlein or Kreiger is/was installed.

    The last one was a CZ527 in 17R. That rifle in stock form would shoot around 1.25"-1.5" at 100Y no matter what I did with the loads. Bedding and a custom barrel made that rifle into a .6"er. Mind you the barrel was only 17.5" long, a very slender contour, and rifle weighs only 7 pounds or so. Honestly I think the limit of accuracy was the bullets themselves. And the BR guys are chuckling because their standard is less than half .6"!

    Another story. When I was young I walked into a gun store in Prescott AZ and there was a custom 6mmPPC, which was rare to see. Back then I only varmint hunted, mostly prairie dogs. The normal guy I was I had factory rifles. Well this 6PPC came with "everything" needed, dies, bullets, brass, loaded rounds, the load recipe, and a bunch of targets the owner had shot in BR, all 100Y groups were bugholes and all 200Y groups were touching. I would have needed to sell most of my guns to buy it. Nope I didn't put a deposit down on it, darnit! Instead I f'd around for most of my adult life with factory rifles, probably the worst mistake I've made as far as guns go!

    Gotta go, so...
     
  8. David101

    David101

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    Really the best spent money would be on a new barrel on maybe the 6.5 or 308 a cut Bartlien or Krieger with custom chamber clearances like would be used for competition ie a Palma reamer. I shoot comp F class and will use rounds that were reloaded a year ago and there are no fliers. Not sure about this cold weld thing. perhaps another Red Herring.
     
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  9. SPJ

    SPJ Silver $$ Contributor

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    Yeah
    I know how work schedules can be .
    I definitely would not remove all the carbon inside the necks, personally I make a pass with a bronze than nylon brush than run them through the die wipe um down and clean the primer pocket and that’s it.
    Putting them back together I watch everything very closely.
    Ladders are no big deal and always a method of finding a powder node Or reconfirming a load.
    Plenty of great people on AS to help out.
    Shoot Small
    J
    Addendum- think 6 BR
     
  10. Art Dirindin

    Art Dirindin

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  11. Art Dirindin

    Art Dirindin

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    Thanks for the suggestions, but I'm not going to can all my rifles in favor of a new caliber and dies and my rifles are primarily used for hunting and fun shooting is secondary or used to develop my loner range hunting skills. I have a new not yest fired Savage 10FCP 5R I paid so little for I had to double check to confirm it came with a barrel:D I plan on using it for perfecting my longer range skills, but regardless I need to develop acceptable loads for my hunting rifles as well if not first. I strongly suspect my present reloads would more than likely give me more than acceptable "minuet of animal accuracy" out to my desired ranges but I'm seeking to make my reloads as consistent as I can.
     
  12. jonbearman

    jonbearman I live in new york state,how unfortunate ! Gold $$ Contributor

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    Someone might have said this but where ever possible try Lapua brass. I am not so sure about Bertram brass. I had some once for 30-40 brass and my Winchester brass lasted longer and accuracy was about the same. You have gotten some awesome advice so far but from your post your tools are some of the best . I use Wilson hand dies to seat my bullets and it did make a bit of difference in my 6ppc and 6br so it could help.
     
  13. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    Ok so I've read through this.
    I also shoot factory rifles and landed here a lil over a year ago. Man the stuff I've learned.
    For starters and a cheap investment
    Bed the action, dont remember reading trigger pull weight on any of your rifles.
    The heavier the pull weight the more torque.
    As far as bullet weld seat your bullets long, then seat to your specifications before going shooting this will break any bond.
    Just a few cheap easy possibilities to look at that quite possibly help.
    I know they helped me.
     
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  14. Rust

    Rust

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    I don't think loads are your problem. A factory rifle that will CONSISTANLY print under 1 moa is a decent rifle, a factory rifle that will CONSITANLY print 1/2 moa is an exceptional rifle. By consistent I don't mean it will once in a while print a good group because the law of averages means it will, occasionally.

    Your loading technique looks good, and there isn't anything wrong with the equipment you have. You need to look at the rifles.

    In the past injection molded stocks have been referred to as tomato stakes and IMO they have no place on a precision rifle. Laid up stocks (McMillan, Manners, HS Precision etc) are better. Laminated wood stocks are better. Even a good walnut stuck can be better. But all traditional design stocks (excepting injection molded) should be bedded and the barrels free floated. The action screws should be correctly torqued.

    The new wave machined aluminum stocks are pretty good if you like the looks. But even the aluminum drop in stocks (tube stocks like the Eliseo are a little different) should be skim bedded due to manufacturing variances of the stock and the action. There have been round actions that were not perfectly cylindrical which is a bad thing. That applies to the HS with the aluminum bedding block too come to think of it.

    Check the bolt, firing pin and spring. Anything out of true, dirty or gunked up can definitely affect accuracy due to inconsistent ignition. Make sure your scope is mounted properly, make sure your rings are aligned properly. Hopefully you have a quality scope.

    Past a certain point you'll be looking at blueprinting, a quality barrel and chamber job. Don't waste the effort unless you're putting it in a good stock though. Laminated stocks are cheaper than synthetics or aluminum and just as accurate done right.

    Past that it's like the racing adage, how fast do you want to go amounts to how much money do you have.
     
  15. bigstick6017555

    bigstick6017555 Silver $$ Contributor

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    You are beating you,and your work horse to death, trying to do what a thoroughbred race horse does.;)
     
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  16. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    Ok re read your OP.
    I'm a firm believer in micro adjustable seating dies, which goes hand n hand with a bullet comparitor.
    Sort bullets in lots to the .001 bbto.
    Seat bullets to cbto.
    If your going by COAL measurement you will have fliers, as bullets well have variations from ogive to meplat.
    I'z a try'n to give ya sound advice on the cheap from a po boy.
    Beding, triger, measure n sort bullets, consistant loaded rounds.
     
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  17. SPJ

    SPJ Silver $$ Contributor

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    BCz has been very successful tuning factory hunting rifles into tight grouping machines.
    ^^
    I was just bragging on ya and bam !
    Good on y’all
     
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  18. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    She's a HAMMER for sure.
    Edit
    To the OP, I was in the same place you are a year ago.
    Your intelligent, I read it in your posts, also read between the lines, take all info into account and select which bests suits your needs.
    Alot of the folks here have a shit ton of knowledge, stemming from years of experience, time and money to get where they are. Its helped me immensely.
    You'll have to do your own testing with your own gear but you'll get there.

    I'll use myself as an example.
    Trying to tighten up my 06 and fighting wifes 260. Both Remington 700's

    My 06 shot good, but I wanted better. After all the reading I decided on a new barrel.
    Bought a Krieger from @Dead Eye for a fair price, he even held it for me until I had funds.
    Same went for McMillan stock.
    Was going to overhaul my rifle as I wanted buttholes too.
    Yesterday in seating test I printed a .129" group confirmed by my gunsmith.
    50% smaller than the .25" groups from last trip to range.
    Here's what I did to that rifle
    Bedding, trigger, better scope, berger bullets,
    Consistent CBTO.

    As for wifes 260 Remington 700VTR.
    It's the reason why I landed here in the first place. There's days it shoots great .2-.3 moa.
    Then it goes to hell shooting .5-.7 moa, drives me freakin nutz!
    It's cute she says!
    In short this is the rifle getting a overhaul after months of prodding my wife for as long as I've been hanging out here.

    In closing try some light gunsmithing 1st followed with very consistent hand loads.
    Then when all else fails "OVERHAUL!"
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
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  19. steve123

    steve123

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    Finishing up here...

    As the years went buy, this time concerning pistols. I bought, sold, and traded, into many, trying them out for fun and in competition, and had a decent collection going, too many for my likes. The day came that I tried a STI 2011!!!!, sheesh it was like every other pistol I had kinda sucked! What'd I do, having learned my lesson from the PPC I mentioned earlier, I sold most of those pistols and commissioned a custom DR Middlebrooks 2011 build. BTW I discovered I wasn't the collector type after all, plus I couldn't afford the 2011 out of pocket (Am I the only one that hates setting up the Dillon for 10 different cartridges??!!). Do I regret that purchase decision, NO,NO,NO. Because I became B stock world champion on steel with that pistol a few years later as well as winning many local USPSA matches with it. Something I never would have been able to do without it, especially with the pistols I owned previously.

    About 12 years ago I was in a financial position to get into decent custom rifle. I got the bright idea of going to a big 2 day BR match to buy an all out used BR rifle. I left with a great bargain, an old one that was just stupid accurate, I finally was satisfied with a rifle for once in my life! In 6PPC, if I shot a half inch group with it while working up a load I'd get miffed, lol, it'd easily shoot .3" groups. Up until I bought this rifle I had very rarely shot a half inch group. Heck on one calm morning I brought some 75vmax loads and I could hit a MGM mini popper/4" wide at 1000Y with it until the wind changed ever so slightly.

    The best advice I can give is "DON'T" get/be emotionally invested with guns that aren't special for one reason or another. Life is too short... Dig deeply and don't settle for... if at all possible. Cut your losses...

    Edit, Oh I need to mention my friends 300 Weatherdy's stock broke/cracked right above the pistol grip this morning. He used a leadsled which caused it.
     
  20. Art Dirindin

    Art Dirindin

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    Seat long then re-seat to specifications, great example of solving and issue with a judicious application of the KISS methodology. Why can I never think of these things?:mad:
     
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