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It makes you wonder!

Old 08-06-2020, 10:40 AM
  #1  
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Default It makes you wonder!

My friend and I went to the range today. He is a big 30-06 fan and has 3 rifles chambered in it. He's been shooting Barnes 180 TSX bullets and they shoot great out of 2 of his rifles. He brought out his oldest rifle that he had just put a new scope on. He was using some older Sierra Game King handloads to get the scope close. After getting on paper at 25 yards he shot at 100 to get closer to center. He broke out the Barnes bullets and results went something like this. Shot 1 low,right, 2nd after scope adjustment high,left? Readjusted scope and shot 3 shots. About a 3" group! At this point he let the barrel cool down. After 20 mins or so another 3 shots produced another 3" group. He checked the mounts and rings and all was tight.
now he decided to shoot the Sierras and put all 3 into a cliverleaf with all touching. Shot another group with same tesult. He went back to the Barnes and group was 2 1/2"!
This makes you wonder how many guys load up their favorite bullet or shoot their favorite factory ammo and think they got a lemon of a rifle.
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Old 08-06-2020, 11:15 AM
  #2  
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well this doesn't surprise me at all, I have seen this countless times over the yrs
and I can recall very clearly how many decades ago, when I had my first custom rifle built and took it to the range, my Normal go to load and bullet and the gn shot horrible
I was about as unhappy a kid finding out there is no Santa Clause! LOL
was about to go back to my builder and have a rant,
But before doing that, I tried some other rounds and got me a whole bunch of 1/2 inch groups at 200 yards, NOW that gun has a new GO to bullet powder charge!
this always why I tell folks, most rifles are more accurate than they think they are and many times JUST finding the right combination is what it takes to make that rifle into a real accurate rifle
and its NOT always the price tag on the gun that makes them accurate, its finding what THAT rifle likes and there is NO one shoe fits all here in bullets and rifles!

everyone can be different, even same exact model /caliber rifles set up the same!, some just DON"T like something the other will!
AND< while some what on same topic
I have also found when doing LONG range work, that what groups really good up close many times DOESN"T far out there
and some poor groups up close can get BETTER as distance gets farther out there!

funny how that works, but it does! NOT ALWAYS< but I have seen it happen!
I gather some things get more stable as distance/time in the air, over others and some go the other way!
which is why I always tell folks MAKE sure things work at ranges you plan to shoot at, and DON"T just go by what a chart some place says things will be!


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Old 08-06-2020, 11:51 AM
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I did a cursory test as a teaching opportunity 8 or 9 years ago with a new rifle shooting student/mentee using 55 grain Vmax bullets. This bullet is widely available in factory ammunition from multiple manufacturers; factory loads from HSM, Hornady, Underwood, and Remington (labeled as “Accutips”) which all use the 55grn Hornady V-mac were fired against the coarsely developed handload we picked from the book. Despite all 5 loads using the exact same bullet, none of the 5 had the same POI, and the test proved considerable variance for group size. Given any of the factory loadings, he assuredly would have believed his newly built custom AR was a lemon - delivering 1.5-2” groups at 100yrds, while the haphazardly developed (no seating depth test, just 10 thou jump and a 80% max book charge weight) printed 5 rounds inside 0.7” three times in a row.

Such is the reason so many of us cede so many hours of our lives to reload even our low volume hunting ammunition, rather than choosing the convenience of factory ammo.
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Old 08-06-2020, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mrbb View Post
well this doesn't surprise me at all, I have seen this countless times over the yrs
and I can recall very clearly how many decades ago, when I had my first custom rifle built and took it to the range, my Normal go to load and bullet and the gn shot horrible
I was about as unhappy a kid finding out there is no Santa Clause! LOL
was about to go back to my builder and have a rant,
But before doing that, I tried some other rounds and got me a whole bunch of 1/2 inch groups at 200 yards, NOW that gun has a new GO to bullet powder charge!
this always why I tell folks, most rifles are more accurate than they think they are and many times JUST finding the right combination is what it takes to make that rifle into a real accurate rifle
and its NOT always the price tag on the gun that makes them accurate, its finding what THAT rifle likes and there is NO one shoe fits all here in bullets and rifles!

everyone can be different, even same exact model /caliber rifles set up the same!, some just DON"T like something the other will!
AND< while some what on same topic
I have also found when doing LONG range work, that what groups really good up close many times DOESN"T far out there
and some poor groups up close can get BETTER as distance gets farther out there!

funny how that works, but it does! NOT ALWAYS< but I have seen it happen!
I gather some things get more stable as distance/time in the air, over others and some go the other way!
which is why I always tell folks MAKE sure things work at ranges you plan to shoot at, and DON"T just go by what a chart some place says things will be!
Originally Posted by Nomercy448 View Post
I did a cursory test as a teaching opportunity 8 or 9 years ago with a new rifle shooting student/mentee using 55 grain Vmax bullets. This bullet is widely available in factory ammunition from multiple manufacturers; factory loads from HSM, Hornady, Underwood, and Remington (labeled as “Accutips”) which all use the 55grn Hornady V-mac were fired against the coarsely developed handload we picked from the book. Despite all 5 loads using the exact same bullet, none of the 5 had the same POI, and the test proved considerable variance for group size. Given any of the factory loadings, he assuredly would have believed his newly built custom AR was a lemon - delivering 1.5-2” groups at 100yrds, while the haphazardly developed (no seating depth test, just 10 thou jump and a 80% max book charge weight) printed 5 rounds inside 0.7” three times in a row.

Such is the reason so many of us cede so many hours of our lives to reload even our low volume hunting ammunition, rather than choosing the convenience of factory ammo.
Yes...exactly. You gentlemen and others that have been loading for some time know this. This post was more related to those "shooters" that don't have a clue and go out and buy their favorite factory ammo or if its a new gun, a box the dealer recommended only to find out the rifle can't shoot better than 3 or 4" groups at 100 yards. Without reloading capability he is at the mercy of different ammo manufacturers and spending a whole lot of money trying to find something that his new toy shoots well.
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Old 08-06-2020, 01:50 PM
  #5  
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I can for sure agree that those that don't reload MIGHT be at a disadvantage at times, but to be honest, there is a lot of really good factory ammo on the market today and has been for a while too!

when you deal with rifles, there are a LOT of things to consider, and not just ammo to make them shoot well

and then don't forget there are rifles out there that also, shoot many loads and ammo brands VERY well, there almost like freaks of nature\, I know I own a few of these rifles, that I can stick almost anything in them and they shoot sub 1 moa groups

over the yrs shooting tons of rifles(between my own, customers and store rifles)
I have seen this ion some rifles , and I honestly think NO one knows WHY some do this

as if they did, every custom shop would be doing it!

but this also does happen , and IMO when you find a rifle like this, you BUY it and keep it HAHA!
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:18 AM
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The problem here is that each rifle is rather unique, what may be a stellar and accurate load in my rifles MAY or MAY NOT, provide similar results in your rifle.
factors like twist rates, and chamber rifling lead distance, barrel harmonics, even the way a shooter holds a rifle, can make a big difference.
yeah, I can tell you what works great in my rifle but it may or may not work the same in even a similar rifle in every case.
a change in the powder charge or primer or bullet brand can make a significant change in group size.

those gentlemen that are not into reloading their own ammo are very unlikely to have seen the differences that what might be considered minimal changes to the ammo can cause!
example
I have a 30/06 BLR that will consistently place three shots at 100 yards off a good bench rest in less than a 3/4" group with one favorite load I use
53 grains of imr 4350 and a 215 fed primer under a 200 grain speer bullet, seated out to the max length that the magazine and chamber will allow.
that load and bullet has become my standard for that rifle as a result
https://www.speer.com/bullets/rifle_...t/19-2211.html


change the over all seated bullet/ cartridge length, primer or powder charge
even marginally and 1.5"-2" 100 yard 3 shot groups are more likely
one of the guys I hunt with has a remington bolt action 30/06 that shoots the same ammo into about 2.4" groups,
but he consistently gets 1" groups with 150 grain hornadys and WW760 powder
theres no doubt that each rifle seems to prefer specific ammo configurations and as a hand loader it can take some effort/time to find that preferred matching load.
Id also have to point out that about 90% of the deer and elk Ive ever shot with that BLR in caliber 30/06 have been shot at well under 200 yards,
and I doubt there would have been a nickels worth of difference , in the results, (very dead game)
if I used that favorite handload or one that held a 2" group with a similar bullet

Last edited by hardcastonly; 08-07-2020 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 08-07-2020, 05:34 PM
  #7  
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In revisiting this thread this evening, I was reminded of the COUNTLESS other threads I have seen on forums like this, and emails, texts, and phone calls I have received over the last 20+ years asking whether reloading manual data for one bullet can be used for a different bullet of the same weight. I shake my head every time I see or hear such a question being asked, as it simply doesn’t suit to assume all bullets of a given weight are created equally - as I demonstrated in the preliminary test I described in my post above, even when the same exact bullet brand, model, and weight is used, the results between different loads can be remarkable. So how are we really to assume it’s truly safe to advise unwitting and inexperienced reloaders (inevitably the ones asking these questions) to cross-apply data for one bullet onto another? I’m an incurable teacher, and firmly believe knowledge should be shared, but I have to admit, if someone is asking these particular questions regarding transference of load data among various bullets, they truly are not ready for the answer, and need to be mentored to understand as much before the knowledge is passed.
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:39 AM
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I had something similar happen with my 270. I distinctly remembered my cousin shooting a 3-shot group with all the bullets nearly on top of each other at 50 yards to the extent we had trouble determining where all three impacts were. Trouble was, I couldn't remember which bullet I was using - 130 grain Interlock, or 130 grain SST - nor could I remember the seating depth - to the lands, or the loadbook recommended depth - nor did I write the details down anywhere.

Later, when I tried to test some loads with the SST, none of them seemed to shoot better than 2.5", but I knew from past experience it was capable of MOA with factory Remington Core-Lokts and Winchester Power-Points. Tried the Interlock, same dismal results. I finally decided to test both bullets with both seating depths with a charge of 51.5 grains of IMR 4350, which I remembered was the charge I had used with my cousin and was safely below maximum. The results went something like this:

SST, seated long: ~2.5" at 100
SST, seated standard: ~2.75" at 100
Interlock, seated long: ~2.75" at 100
Interlock, seated standard: ~0.9" at 100

I learned that day that seating close to the lands does not always improve accuracy, and I also learned I need to WRITE $#!T DOWN!
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Old 08-13-2020, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by TN Lone Wolf View Post

I learned that day that seating close to the lands does not always improve accuracy, and I also learned I need to WRITE $#!T DOWN!
Amen to that wise piece of advice.
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Old 08-14-2020, 04:58 PM
  #10  
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I watched an interesting video on bullet seating depth. This guy said that it really didn't matter and went on to explain why. He made sense but.......
Now I can't find it. I believe it was entitled Chasing the Lands or something like that.
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