Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Reloading tools for better accuracy

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by sprink, May 19, 2015.

  1. sprink

    sprink Battle Ground, WA Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    13
    I've found my best load so far for my .308 that shoots .75moa and have tinkered with it to no end and can't improve on it. I know the gun is capable of at least .5moa because that's what it was shooting with FGMM factory loads. My question is if you could pick one or two items to add to your bench to improve accuracy what would they be? Right now I'm looking at a concentricity gauge, neck turning tool, Redding FL bushing dies, Redding comp seating die, better brass like Lapua and so on. Funds are limited at the moment so if you could pick one or two items which ones do you think have the greatest chance to improve a loads accuracy?
     
  2. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,436
    Likes Received:
    2,774
    Outside neck turning tool.
     
  3. Darkker

    Darkker Mesa, Wa Active Member

    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    87
    You are way over thinking this, and if funds are tight don't try and but accuracy when you aren't addressing the issue.
    If you KNOW the rifle is capable of better, then you know the problem is you.... Or at least your technique.
    I shoot Painless, my 308, to a mile. I use Lee collet dies, mixed headstamps of both civilian and military spanning 60 years, never annealed, never measured case capacity, haven't weighed a charge of powder in years.
    Mon Dieu!! How can it be?!! The magazines all say that Lapua is sent from heaven... They also once told us the world was flat..

    Work on being consistent! In all my rifles I find there are 2-3 accuracy nodes within the data. The most accurate has NEVER been the fast load. Work with different degrees of jumping to the lands. Practice and patience goes farther than you think.
     
    Throckmorton and Steve M like this.
  4. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    514
    2nd the consistency / finding your rifle's node.

    I have an RCBS concentricity gauge, and have used it twice. The results (Lee dies, neck sizing only, 168gr SMK) were "half the runout benchrest guys look for". It now sits in a cabinet.

    I'm only reaching out 800 yards, and after a couple of frustrating outings went back to basics - EVERY reloading step done the same.

    Things tightened up a bit :)
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2015
  5. sprink

    sprink Battle Ground, WA Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    13
    I do my best to be extremely consistent in reloading (I've become very OCD) doing every step exactly the same and at the range. I agree there's nothing better than to practice practice and more practice. My load is 44.2grs Varget, 210m primers, federal brass and Barnes 175gr Match Burners seated .015" off the lands with consistent velocities 2660-2675fps. I have played with seating depth. Started back at .03" off the lands all the way up to .005" and .015" shot the best. I was just neck sizing but started to have chambering issues so I went to FL sizing bumping the shoulders back .02".
     
  6. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    514
    Chambering issues, intriguing - perhaps the more learned could chime in.

    LC to Lapua, Hornady to FC, I've never had issues neck-only sizing. Two 10FCPs, a 700, & a Ruger American...
     
  7. sprink

    sprink Battle Ground, WA Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    13
    After the third to fourth firing on neck sized only brass I would get around 5 out of 50 rounds that where either difficult to chamber or wouldn't chamber at all. The rifle is a Savage 10PC.
     
  8. Greenbug

    Greenbug Bend Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,015
    Likes Received:
    594
    This is fairly common. You'll need to FL size your brass every so often.

    There isn't really any magical tool that will improve your groups. Sounds like you have a good foundation, just work on your consistency of motion while completing each step of the reloading process.

    Technique will trump tools most every time....
     
  9. Darkker

    Darkker Mesa, Wa Active Member

    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    87
    Your problem is that is a high pressure load, and you are beating-up the brass.
    Since not many have a Pressure Trace, here is what you need to remember. Book load data is shot from a universal receiver. It has a SAAMI minimum spec chamber, bore, groove, throat. You have a mass produced firearm, and it's a Savage which are notorious for long throats. Your dimensions are larger than test equipment, so you won't ever match book velocities, unless you increase your rifles pressure. Another little nugget I can tell you from pressure testing is that although Hodgdon refuses to give nominal burn rates and VMD's for their powders, there is a VERY good reason they print a big warning on every jug telling you to drop loads by 10% when switching lots.

    So you have less than book max charges, giving book max velocities. That is a clue that your lot of powder is faster than the one tested, and you are over pressure with your loads. This destroys brass life, and takes us back to the fast loads not being the most accurate.

    I know that speed is sexy, and sex sells. But why lean so hard on the 308? Of the loads I use to do my mile target shooting, one leaves at 2520 & the other 2475 fps.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2015
  10. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    514
    My brother's pet load is 39.5gr of N540 - at 800yrds the bullet actually goes through a 're-entry' sequence there's so much drop.
     
  11. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    76
    Different bullets and powders will also give different results. Neck tension and bullet seating can make as much difference as you mention. If your rifle's bolt and chamber are aligned properly and your press either allows the case to float at the head end or in the case of "C" and "O" type presses, the hole for the ram and the hole for the die are aligned fairly well, then there is no need for a concentricity gage. If your factory ammo was well formed to fit the chamber of your rifle fairly snugly, and you've resized them to be a different size, that can make a difference.
    Still, the fact that you shot better groups (5 shots @at least 100 yards over wind flags?) with factory ammo and the groups widened with your reloads could be an indication of any or all of the possible problems associated with the above. If you can borrow a gage or take some fired cases to a friend who has one, you can find out if your cases are being reformed off center by firing. What did your ladder test indicate when you were testing your loads? Sometime folks will make the steps too big and actually pass by a node when doing the test.

    Many variables--that's what makes handloading so much fun and keeps you off the streets at night.
     
  12. sprink

    sprink Battle Ground, WA Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    13
    I use a RCBS RS press. I didn't do a ladder test, I shot five shot groups @100yds working up in .3gr increments. Once I find something that looks promising I work in .1gr increments.
     
  13. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,436
    Likes Received:
    2,774
    I think that
    If the brass neck is not concentric with the bore, the bullet will not launch into the lands centered.
    Consider how rifle brass is manufactured, and wonder at it's outside neck concentricity.
    The last process (before overall trimming) is inside neck diameter sizing.
    My experience is that neck thickness concentricity is not even close to perfect.
    A co-worker swore his Bee .218 brass was perfect.
    I convinced him to let me outside-turn 5 of them. He was astonished, as I only trimmed half as needed.
    The trimmed section of the neck was shiny, vs the dull (er) original sized part.
    He went away astounded, his observations warring with his opinions.

    This is a small part of overall accuracy
    Bolt face concentricity
    Barrel vibrations
    Barrel Bedding
    Tightened bedding screws
    Stress relieving the barrel
    Muzzle crown
    Neck concentricity
    Powder weight, volume
    Neck crimp, or not (I only crimp .45acp and .45LC
    then there's the nebulous "etc"

    When I can measure my sandbagged 100 yd groups at sub-inch, the above would be relevant.
    Currently, my Remington 788 .223 is the only gun I own with that qualification.