Reloading for accuracy

Bob Nelson 35Whelen

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Currently I have no "target" rifles- the herd has been thinned to serious hunting rifles only. Not even a rattle battle in the closet- they went down the sale chute long ago. My recreational and hobby shooting/loading now with high-power smokeless is all about 100% reliable hunting ammo with bullets I know will work and are acceptably accurate. My other shooting passion is black powder original muzzleloaders- but that's for a different thread. :)

My accuracy standard for hunting ammo/rifles is about 1" or less @ 100 yds across the board. I shoot once in a while at 300 yards but will not shoot at animals any farther than that even though a couple of my rifles are fully capable of it. Simple- animal sniping for bragging rights has become a trendy thing that I will not participate in. At one time I had a couple of 308s, a 6 and a 6.5 that were scary accurate. Actually it got old and tiring trying to squeeze the last .01-.05”
of accuracy out of them each time out. I don't miss them nor the challenge of that game... the education was not cheap but hopefully I learned a few things along the way.

Using those lessons over the past 50 years of reloading and shooting and putting rifles together, I feel comfortable in the field for any game at my chosen time and distance and condition to shoot. I also have come to realize that if a rifle is basically accurate, you should be able to tell pretty quickly. Fighting a basically inaccurate rifle can be frustrating and wasteful of time. There is no magic load for those rifles. Always best to recognize that and nip that issue in the bud early on!!!

I enjoy working up loads, not for velocity but for the goal of 100% reliably and cleanly killing big game. All my rifles are either bedded in quality synthetic stocks or pillar and full length bedded in wood. Nothing fancy- but 100 % practical and functional with the wood being factory standard grade walnut by Winchester and the synthetics by HS Precision. The barrels are mixture of factory, Krieger and Lilja. Some rifles are factory and some are put together with good barrels and custom chamber reamers. The put together actions have been trued as much as can easily be done with a CRF Winchester or Mauser design.

Here's an example of targets from one of them- Pic of two targets shot with 450 Watts @ 50 yds off bench with a couple of different loads. Hunting type ammo, Lee FCD crimped. FXII Ultralight 2.5x20 Leupold scope. Shot 4 1/2 years apart. One target with TSX the other with GS Custom Flat Nose Solid. The three most accurate, premium big game bullets I've shot in all rifles are all banded monolithic copper... the TSX, the North Fork Flat Point and Cup Point Solids and the GS Flat Nose Solid. Rifle and scope were untouched in the 4 1/2 years between shoots. Obviously more accurate than required, but fun to do once in a while with a big gun :) My 375 HH and 416 Rem Mags in Win 70s will almost do this well. Matter of fact my 375 HH shot a hunting load group last week of about .6" at 100 yds. My 270 Win and 338-06 both in Win 70 usually will.
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@fourfive8
Ain't nought wrong with in that Danel Boone
Bob
 

fourfive8

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Thanks Bob, now that is a complement! Dan'l Boone...!!! :) He was one of those individuals who had an inherent shooting skill. Not unlike Annie Oakley who also possessed that type of God given talent. How I wish..

It is nice, once in a while for a hunting rifle to show that type accuracy. It's certainly a confidence builder that allows the shooter to concentrate on other things. Not always necessary to get one hole accuracy out of a hunting rifle, but if the barrel/chamber is decent and mounted correctly to the action, most will show acceptable accuracy. Careful reloading and good stock bedding will usually help get the best out of them. But, IMO, choosing a good tough bullet, making sure of 100% reliability of the function of the rifle and of course skill and judgment of the shooter are all co-equal with the accuracy potential of any worthy hunting rifle/load combination.

I also get a big kick out of seeing just how well an original 160 year old military rifle musket will shoot. Some are uncanny! I am not sure the shooters from that era even knew of the potential they were capable of.:)
 
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Bob Nelson 35Whelen

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Thanks Bob, now that is a complement! Dan'l Boone...!!! :) He was one of those individuals who had an inherent shooting skill. Not unlike Annie Oakley who also possessed that type of God given talent. How I wish..

It is nice, once in a while for a hunting rifle to show that type accuracy. It's certainly a confidence builder that allows the shooter to concentrate on other things. Not always necessary to get one hole accuracy out of a hunting rifle, but if the barrel/chamber is decent and mounted correctly to the action, most will show acceptable accuracy. Carefucarecare l reloading and good stock bedding will usually help get the best out of them. But, IMO, choosing a good tough bullet, making sure of 100% reliability of the function of the rifle and of course skill and judgment of the shooter are all co-equal with the accuracy potential of any worthy hunting rifle/load combination.

I also get a big kick out of seeing just how well an original 160 year old military rifle musket will shoot. Some are uncanny! I am not sure the shooters from that era even knew of the potential they were capable of.:)
@fourfive8
I was going to say Annie Oaklley but I decided to nice.
The c v only thing with accurate rifles is they can get predictably boring because you know If'n you do your bit the rifle will more than do it's bit.
Mine don't care hot, cold,clean or dirty always the same boringly accurate.
Bob.
 

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IMHO life is just too short to weigh every charge on a beam scale, but YMMV.

FWIW, I paid around $150 for my GemPro 250 and $329 or so for my RCBS Chargemaster. If +/- 0.1 grains is your goal, the Chargemaster will get you there, (based on my sample of one).

A good balance beam could certainly be used to test the accuracy on the Chargemaster, but If getting closer than 0.1 grains on every charge is your goal, a second electronic scale is almost mandatory.

The GemPro series of scales do not appear to be available at present, at least on this side of the pond. Probably because the service was non existent and some could be twitchy out of the box.

For the reason you listed life is to short. I actually run a beam scale. Now it's not a normal run of the beam scale. It's a Prometheus, I can throw 200 charges an hour all being within .02 gr from one another. Back when I shot a lot of matches it was well worth the cost of admission.

Bruce brought up annealing consistency, I have an AMP annealer. I anneal every firing so that everything is in the same state.

Lots of good information in this thread. I know it's a little older.
 

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