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Rifle Reloading and accuracy, where should I start?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by deadshot2, May 17, 2012.

  1. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    OK, now one has reloading equipment and wants to start working up loads for their rifle. They want the most accurate round possible. Maybe even up to "competition level" or just for really long range shooting where a small error at 100 yards is 10 times as much at 1,000.

    Here are some articles and websites that offer some great information for those who want to get into the load development "game" in a serious manner.

    First let's start with an oldtimer's method for determining the "sweet spots" in a rifle barrel with a minimal amount of ammo expended. Creighton Audette has been a pioneer in long range accuracy. Here's how he suggests it be done:

    http://www.desertsharpshooters.com/manuals/incredload.pdf

    For those that prefer shooting "groups", here is another view of how to develop a load, which in actuality is just the next logical step after following the Audette "Ladder" method.

    Dan Newberry's Optimal Charge Weight method works off the theory that each cartridge has an optimal charge weight for a given powder.

    OCW Overview - Dan Newberry's OCW Load Development System

    Back to the Audette "Ladder", the reasons for a barrel having a "sweet spot" or "accuracy node" is explained further on this site:

    RSI - Barrel Harmonics

    And to amplify the uber technical aspects of barrel timing and harmonics, the following "paper" goes into greater detail.

    Optimal Barrel Time Paper


    We all hear "you need to work up your loads". Some will take a wild guess and try a few combinations, stopping when it's good enough. Others, like myself, are never satisfied with "good enough". Most hunters that reload could care less about the information and anything that will drop an animal in less than 200 yards is good enough for them. Others like to go out and shoot nice little "bug holes" at 100 yards and hit half dollar or less sized targets or groups at 300 yards. For those who really want to test their equipment and skills they then go out to the desert or a huge logging clear cut and try their hand at 10" plates at 1,000 yards.

    Reading and understanding these "sources" can help one get to whatever level of accuracy they desire if "good enough" really isn't good enough for them.

    Just thought I'd share these resources for those that are interested in seeing just what their rifles ARE capable of. The next step of course is to make sure that if you have a 1/2 MOA rifle, you are at least a 1/2 MOA shooter:cool:

    That's what makes this such a great hobby.
     
  2. M67

    M67 NW Oregon Active Member

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    Thank's for the great links.
     
  3. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    Sticky please!
     
  4. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    YES! :partyman:

    I don't have the time to check all of these links out now, but I sure want to be able to find them again!

    I use my rifle for hunting, but am enough of a geek about this that I'm always looking for "better".

    Thanks Deadshot2.