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Match bullets - exact weight?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by tac, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. tac

    tac UK, Oregon and Ontario. Well-Known Member

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    Gentlemen, in the interests of science, I decided to do something that has been long overdue, and to actually weight some premium quality bullets to see how much they actually did weigh.

    To do this I used my trusty Lyman electronic digital scales - accurate to within 1/10th of a grain [that is to say, 1/70000th of a pound].

    Using my normal set-up - positioning the scale on a one-inth thick piece of glass and leaving it there for an hour before commencing weighing, I opened up a brand-new box of 155gr Lapua Scenar match bullets, and got started.

    The results were pretty interesting - in THIS box, there were

    10 bullets @154.60gr

    21 bullets @154.70gr

    58 bullets @154.80gr

    11 bullets @154.90

    and 0 bullets at 155gr.

    Not a single one.

    I'll be weighing every bullet in the other nine boxes, and making up a 'to use in order' selection, as I have done with this lot.

    I'm not going to buy any other bullets for the time being, but there are others that claim to be accurate with regard to weight. We'll see.

    tac
     
  2. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man rural Washington County, Oregon Active Member

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    Oh, my! I have been handloading since the late 60's and have been fretting over that very issue the whole time. Glad you took the time to do it. :thumbup: :)
     
  3. tac

    tac UK, Oregon and Ontario. Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, right.

    Well, it was raining too hard to play trains in th backyard, so I thort, well, I'm here in the shed anyhow. I might as well do something...

    tac
    Supporter of the Cape Meares Lighthouse Restoration Fund
     
  4. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man rural Washington County, Oregon Active Member

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    Just having some fun with your method of passing time on a rainy day :)
    It is interesting to see the variance. For rifle, I have pretty much always stuck with Sierra and Nosler, perhaps with a few Speers thown in a long time ago. They all have done well by me.

    I had the opportunity to shoot quite a bit of match ammo in the Army and found that I didn't do much better with it than regular issue ammo in my issue weapon. Switch to a match grade rifle and it did make a significant difference... when I did my part. Unless you are a long range bullseye shooter, I suspect most people couldn't tell the difference between most standard factory projectiles and match grades.

    I don't have a digital scale or the patience to weigh a batch of regular bullets. Fill us in if you ever give that a try. I'm guessing you would find about the same variation.
     
  5. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    Now try weighing them all with a balance beam scale and compare the results.....

    How much do you think the .02% variance in bullet weight will affect the bullets performance?
     
  6. elsie

    elsie Way over there on the left Well-Known Member

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    Did you weigh each bullet 3 times to see if it settled differently for each one? (yes even electronic scales can do this)


    elsie
     
  7. tac

    tac UK, Oregon and Ontario. Well-Known Member

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    Yo elsie [do you live in Elsie BTW?] - and others - of course, you are ALL quite correct. Taking into consideration the shaky blob of protoplasm that holds the bullet launching device, I'm endlessly amazed that I hit the target at all at longer ranges, let alone determine the tiny %-age variation in the path of each shot I fire.

    It's just that when I used to be able to get ahold of the BR bullets made by Swampy Knox here in UK [now retired and sold on to a businessman who has no interest in selling to the UK], I found that ALL his 175gr bullets weighed within a 1/10gr of 175gr....

    To tell the truth [and call me naive] I had thought that Lapua Match bullets would be better made, especially at almost $60 a hundred for 155gr .308.

    Best to all over there - at least the weather is the same here as it is at Cannon Beach right now...

    tac
    Supporter of the Cape Meares Lighthouse Restoration Fund
     
  8. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    Now check the consistency of the bearing surface length of them. This goes to bore friction and therefore will cause a greater variation in pressures and corresponding muzzle velocities.

    You will probably find them to be "spot on," being Lapuas after all.
     
  9. levi333

    levi333 Albany, OR Active Member

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    You should try weight some "bulk" bullets, and see how they compare.

    By the way, if you're paying nearly $600 per 1k of Lapua 155gr Scenars, you're getting ripped off!!!
     
  10. tac

    tac UK, Oregon and Ontario. Well-Known Member

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    Sir - here in UK where I live most of the time -

    a. we do not have the opportunity to buy 'bulk' bullets. If you want a thousand bullets, then you have to buy ten x boxes of a hundred at the ten x box price.

    b. $59.20/C is a VERY good price here in UK - that includes my 10% club discount, too.

    tac
    Supporter of the Cape Meares Lighthouse Restoration Fund
     
  11. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Bullet weight variation is one of those long discussed topics in reloading and match shooting circles. Like a few of the posters here, I've come to the conclusion that it is definately an exercise best left for a rainy day.

    There are a number of factors which affect what the aggregate weight of a bullet will be. I don't know how much you guys know about actually making bullets. But lead core bullets start out as lead billets, which are extruded into wire, cut into slugs, and then they go through a core sizing process, where the slug is squeezed in a die, and an orifice of a certain size will allow excess lead to flow out. Well, the consistency of this process is down to the consistency of the cavity, the give of the die, and the spring constant of the lead, not to mention the average density of that slug.

    Frankly, it always amazes me that bullets are as consistent as they are, given a production run may be hundreds of thousands of bullets. I was musing this today, while I was swaging up a bunch of bullets on a waterbury farrel cold header press which has been converted to swage hollow base bullets for .45 Colt. I have to watch the weight as it operates, and whenever the weight starts to creep up too much, and the flash on the back end of the bullet goes I need to recheck the tail punch and tweak the machine.
     
  12. tac

    tac UK, Oregon and Ontario. Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, guys, for the answers I got here and on another well-known site.

    It seems that I be's farting in the thunder trying to out-guess my own built-in vagaries, let alone the folks who make these things by the gazillion.

    Like many folks here, I shoot reloads for a number of reasons, all, in the end, with the aim of trying to either a smaller bunch of holes [as in my case] or a more sure and certain one-shot merciful kill on a game animal.

    Whatever the target, accuracy is the aim.

    Thanks again.

    tac
    Supporter of the Cape Meares Lighthouse Restoration fund