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AMMUNITION ACCURACY

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AMMUNITION ACCURACY

#1 Post by OLDGUNNER » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:42 pm



Hi - I am completely new to this forum but I have some 'HIT OR MISS' things that I can say. Just my theories, no facts, other than my 'facts'. And of course you can have entirely different opinions - no problems there.
1. The repeatable inherent nature of any particular firearm has more to do with the specific 'type' of ammunition.
2. With this, the first would be use ammunition that is repeatably made, but this doesn't mean using ammunition that does not match the firearm. I would say that this is probable the fist thing to consider. For example all of this so-called 'Match' ammunition that is for sale...people buy it, okay, but I wouldn't. I think that it is just a manufacturing gimmick. If one uses these and they work good for you, it is just by luck, I say. And then the part about, 'works great for you' is all relative. We have all seen where some will say, "This is a good load, it works great for me, I can shoot five inch groups any time".
3. Now one can build a firearm 'for' a particular match ammunition - yes, agreed and this is done...apparently Les Baur does a good job at this.
4. Even with military type 'Match' firearms..typically they are not made as a 'Match type'. They are just chosen from the regular run that happens to fit the regular ammunition and then further testing shows them to fit the Match ammunition. This can be done in various ways.
5. Years ago, for me, in the late 50's and early 60's I didn't know about any of the now normal 'load-work-up' that is accepted these days. It was just look in a reloading manual and hope for the best.
6. But this is when I started to notice that it was more easier to reload for some cartridges than others.
7. A specific example...With a coworker of mine it seemed that he could just throw his .'22 Hornet' reloads together and shoot in his .22 Sedgley very consistently . And at the same time I noticed that It was more easier for me to reload for my Model 94, 30-30 Winchester than others of mine. That was a sweet looking looking .22 Hornet. I just looked the other day and saw where they were selling for 3,000 to 3,500.
8. At the time I couldn't find a .22 Hornet so I settled for a .218 Bee....with no comparison.
9. So, I have noticed where some calibers were/are more innately accurate than others. Now of course I have noticed that my theory can very much 'contradicts' present day findings.
10. But anyway it is this....with bottle necked cases, the more sharper the angle of the neck, the less forgiving are the loadings. I think it has to do with the 'extra' turmoil' of the powder burning in the sharper angled brass necks. But...but, this problem can be overcome with precise loadings it seems.
11. Some of the cases with less neck angles are: .22 Hornet, .30-30, 300 H&H Magnum, .32-20, 32 Win Special, 9.3 x 74R, .375 Winchester, .38-55, .375 H&H Magnum, & .300 Magnum. I have in my hand a 300 Magnum case that I think would make a very accurate load. I just don't have one to try it with.
12. And opposite examples are all of the Weatherby magnums.
Anywho....just my thoughts - not meant to be of any authority and I never see it mentioned by others.

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Re: AMMUNITION ACCURACY

#2 Post by VMASCIOP2000 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:37 am

I enjoy sharing the theoretical thoughts on ballistics. Most rifles and almost all milsurp rifles seem to shoot the best with a particular loading ( factory or hand-load ). Two seemingly identical rifles might get their best accuracy with two completely different loads. Interesting points about "Match" Ammo. While I agree that there is no guarantee it will perform better then what your using now, I'd like to think, that it would be loaded with an eye toward more consistent construction and components. Potentially better performance in the right rifle. Innately accurate calibers ? I think yes. The list is probably as long and as varied as the number of shooters. My strongest examples would be ,30.06 ,.308 , and .38 special. Followed closely by 8mm Mauser and 7.62x54r. If you have ever shot a target and thought to yourself" I never thought I could shoot that well", THAT caliber is on your list.
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Re: AMMUNITION ACCURACY

#3 Post by Rapidrob » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:33 pm

One point I have noticed over the decades is that depending on the country, the bullet diameter plays a very large factor in accuracy. Many of the COM BLOC countries swage their bullets to be "Land Riders" The Britts have done this with some .303 ammo as well.
Why this is done is beyond me. While you might get better barrel life in theory, accuracy suffers and there must be more blow-by of the hot gasses when fired.
I would add that case body shape does play a large factor when combined with bore diameter as to developing a very accurate cartridge.
A short, large, round cartridge for some ballistic reason will always shoot very well. Such as the so called "new" super short magnums.
In my collection I have a few "odd-ball" calibers that were developed to be one thing,scary accurate. I have a rifle in .22PPC ( based on the .220 Russian) that is so accurate I have hit Prairie Dogs at 760 yards. While not a wow factor today it was 20 years ago.
In the last century, one of the most accurate calibers every to be fired is the .222 Remington. It holds the record for the first five shot 200 yard group fired that was only a few thousands larger than the bullet itself. Fired by Paul Diant (SP) in the 50's.
As for military cartridges anyone who has ever fired a 7.5 Swiss anything knows how inherently accurate the cartridge is. This goes for the 7.65 Argy ( Belgium) as well.
Our forefathers were very savvy when it came to cartridge designs. When I was shooting for the Navy using a mid-range 1911 match pistol in .38 Special I was always amazed by the fellows shooting pistols in .32 S&W Long. The groups those guys shot always ran everybody for the money.
The Britts for decades trained and competed with Martini's, Vickers and other rifles in .310 Cadet. With the proper shaped bullet this little cartridge is hard to beat.
One could drive themselves to drink over all of the many factors that produce a cartridge that is more accurate over another.
A cartridge that is fairly new that I've been playing with that out performs it's size is the .22TCM. Out of a 1911 pistol it is amazing. It will go through a 1/4" steel plate at 50 yards and it's case shape should not work for accuracy but it does.It has so little recoil you think the cartridge was a squib load. The muzzle blast and flash tells you otherwise.
Exterior ballistic has always been a part of my life and finding the right load for accuracy in any caliber has always fascinated me. It truly is a science within itself.
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Re: AMMUNITION ACCURACY

#4 Post by slowbob2 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:04 pm

The reason every military used land riding bullets was to get the most velocity with the least pressure . All the original small bore rifle used heavy , long bearing surface round nose bullets . They valued range and extra clearance to keep a rifle running in combat, over accuracy . The .303 is an example for another reason . The Enfield was a bridge locker from the black power design era . When they went to the lighter spitzer bullet they had to do everything possible to keep the pressures down and get velocity up - .309 bullet in an up to .315 groove , slick jacket with low bearing surface , lubed bullets , cordite . The 7.5 Swiss cartridge is no more accurate than most others , the Swiss just made and issued target grade ammo instead of battle ammo . With good handloads , the 7.5 Swiss is no more accurate than most other military rifles of the period . Also about every Swiss rifle had the barrel replaced if it had any wear , where as most other surplus rifles we have to shoot here were rode hard and put up wet , everyone of my 120 K-98ks has the original barrel on that it was made with and fought a war with . An as new Gew-98 with good ammo is amazingly accurate , and that is with NO good 8mm match bullets to use .

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Re: AMMUNITION ACCURACY

#5 Post by shoot4fun » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:41 pm

A cartridge that is fairly new that I've been playing with that out performs it's size is the .22TCM. Out of a 1911 pistol it is amazing. It will go through a 1/4" steel plate at 50 yards and it's case shape should not work for accuracy but it does
I have a 1911 and the bolt action long gun from Armscor in 22TCM. I've sent the bolt gun back for replacement and the second one shoots only slightly better. I was told by an engineer at Armscor to expect MOA accuracy from it, but I'm getting much, much worse than that. There has been some quality control issues with the barrels, and that's why my first rifle went back. My pistol had to go back to Armscor as well as it would not extract properly. It looked like the chamber was not finished/polished, and that's what the ticket said when I got the gun back. Now, it shoots great, and I sure to like shooting it. I shoot the pistol about as good at 50 yds (from a rest) as the rifle shoots from 50 yds (from a rest). A fine testament for the pistol, but not for the rifle.

Now back to the topic on hand, certain cartridges seem to perform better with certain powders as well. I imagine cartridge size and shape has a lot to do with it. How full the case is for a given charge, how quickly the pressure builds, lots of science involved.

The current trend for accuracy and precision for cartridges does seem to be based off of the short fat cases like the PPC lineup. Calibers seem to trend toward the 6.0-6.8mm range for popular new developments (I know these have been around for a long time, but manufacturers are in a new era of development/releasing new stuff to pique our interests and open our wallets). Yes, like everything there are exceptions.

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Re: AMMUNITION ACCURACY

#6 Post by Rapidrob » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:10 am

I got the first two .22 TCM pistols sold in NM. I had special ordered it way before they wold be released. My pistols does not have the the 9MM extractor as later ones do.
I've had no problems with mine in any manner. I was able to order a large amount of original brass and bullets from the P.I as well as extra magazines.
A shooting Buddy in my club did buy the little rifle as well and he really likes it. He also has the 2ND .22TCM I got.
Today's new powders have reawakened the lure of the 6.5 calibers and the age old .40 caliber rifles (.410 bore) and the longest recorded shot in history was made in September by a .40 rifle.
Now that I'm retired I have the time to dedicate to long range shooting and reloading the new powders which really are amazing. Some of my Safe-Queen rifles are now blazing away launching bullets at velocities that were just not safely reachable in the 70's.
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Re: AMMUNITION ACCURACY

#7 Post by jardows » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:47 pm

This is where reloading becomes fun. Trying out different bullets, powders, load, velocities, etc., all to get the best accuracy. Develop an 7.92x57 load that is spot on with H4895, then I ask myself, would CFE223 work better? Time to grab a pound of powder and load up!

Unfortunately, I don't have the money to try out too many calibers, but I would love to experiment with the varied x57 cartridges.

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Re: AMMUNITION ACCURACY

#8 Post by OLDGUNNER » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:55 pm

Rapidrob wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:33 pm

In the last century, one of the most accurate calibers every to be fired is the .222 Remington. It holds the record for the first five shot 200 yard group fired that was only a few thousands larger than the bullet itself. Fired by Paul Diant (SP) in the 50's.
And...And, this is exactly why I bought a Sako Vixen in .222 with a Bull Barrel and put a Weaver V8 scope on it in 1964 and bought a thousand Sierra bullets of various types with the idea of just seeing how accurate I could get this to shoot. I don't recall the name of the guy, just the .222. And I still have it and half of the bullets...and then...one thing lead to another and I probable have only shot it 75 or 100 times at the time. Just one of those things that I haven't gotten around to. Life is too darn short.
A quick accuracy story - Three coworkers and myself went Javelina hunting one time and I had a .30 M1 Carbine and one had a .357 Colt 1873, pre WW2. And there were Gamble Quail running around and I mentioned that if I had something else I could have some roast quail for dinner...he said, 'You want some quail", and walked off. We heard two load reports, not three. He came back with two quail minus their heads. Yes, some people can do that but I never could.

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.222 ACCURACY

#9 Post by OLDGUNNER » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:50 pm

rifle accuracy by paul diant with .222 rem. A YOUTUBE video
As Rapidrob mentioned about the .222, it is a good story about the .222 Remington and accuracy. One just has to use such as BING OR GOOGLE to bring it up.
Unfortunately I can get more Prairie Dogs here with just a .22 long rifle, but not per shot but per time. I soon found out that with the .222 after the first shot with the louder report, they all would stay in their hole for up to 15 minutes or so. And with the .22 Long Rifle....missing them by 6 inches or a foot, wouldn't bother them at all. It just may take me a dozen or more shots to get one at maybe 150 or 200 yards. But I could shoot up a couple of boxes of .22's in a half an hour or so.
And with the .22-250 it is worse yet. There are a zillion Prairie Dogs around here but after the first shot with a .22-250, one won't see another for a half an hour.

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Re: AMMUNITION ACCURACY

#10 Post by OLDGUNNER » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:47 am

Most of us try to make our reloads as repeatable and consistent as we can but some may forget the burr on the inside of the case as the flash hole is usually punched into the case and usually leaves an irregular burr, which may cause that group to be larger than necessary. That irregular burr may cause an irregular flame front of the firing of the powder. This tool is to burnish that burr away. I use to make these from regular nails or ground flat drill bits, but I found these 6 mm End-mills at 99 cents each on eBay. I used a piece of acid brush as a filler inside the case. There are an assortment of End-mill sizes that can be used for smaller cases. I found that with these bargain End-mills that I got the blades are not flat but actually are shorter in the center so I had to ground them flat in a drill press on a stone. But anyway, this is how I did it and they seem to work just fine.
But in my past 68 years or so of reloading I have never seen anyone else bother with this. But I also assume that the serious Bench Rest shooters do bother with this. I don't know why the .45 case looks so big...my tool just fits the inside of the .45 case.
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Re: AMMUNITION ACCURACY

#11 Post by DaleH » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:44 am

TOOLS - FWIW I use the Lyman flash hole deburrer and my precision loads are 1/2-MOA or less (scoped toys) without running through the OCW method yet either, that tailors the load to the harmonic node.

OTHER - I also had a 9mm RIA (Armscor) 2011 (updated 1911) that had an unmarked 38 Super barrel in it ... woukdn’t shoot 1-minute of pie plate and took months of fighting w/ them to finally get a real 9mm bore-sized barrel (now shoots tight!).

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Re: AMMUNITION ACCURACY

#12 Post by Rapidrob » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:09 am

I use the Foster Flash Hole De-burring Tool. Not for all loads,just anything that needs to be more than issue accurate.
I'm sure you too have been caught up in:
Weighing the casings.
All the same maker
Flash holes unified
Same water volume
Bullets all same weight
Bullets have near perfect run-out
Powder charge same lot number
Weight of charge as close as possible
Case necks trued up/thinned
Seating depth almost perfect for the rifle
Primes all the same lot number
Crimp or none depending
Marking the base of the case with a witness mark so it is loaded the same way every time (bolt gun)
All for the elusive perfect small group.
I used to go nuts over making sure there were no stones upturned and leave the accuracy factor to my shooting skills. Ended up spending hours at the range hoping for just the right conditions before pulling the trigger.
Nowadays I just play with military rifles and see how much accuracy can be wringed out of them. The groups are no longer dime sized, but I have much more fun.
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Re: AMMUNITION ACCURACY

#13 Post by OLDGUNNER » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:02 pm

Yes Rapidrob - some of your things I have not done - as I say there is no end.

I wrote this a while back off-hand with just my thoughts to a person that may be brand new in reloading. In no way it is meant to be contradictory to anyone else’s ideas.
********************************************************************************
Shooting accuracy

These are just a few things that I would like to say about shooting accuracy:

In general I believe that accuracy is usually better obtained by simple uniformly and repeatability of the components of the shooting, i.e. the firearm and the ammunition. To what extent one may wish to go too is entirely up the them. There would be no limit to what one may go to. For example I have broken grains of powder in two for weight in reloading and used my non-contact thermometer to read the temperature of the barrel and something that I haven’t gotten around to is storing my bench shooting ammunition in a battery powered temperature controlled container as I shoot and using a stop watch to time my shot spacing. And, and, as I haven’t even come close to achieving the good groupings of others. Another thing that I haven’t gotten around to is working on is the repeatability of the ‘Cold Shot’. I think it may be something nice to learn but there has just not been enough time for this.

Okay, these are just a few things of what I think can be done to have better accuracy – it is up to one to decide how far to go, from the more basic to the more refined. And hey, these are just some of the things that I can start with. I well realize that there are many, many more areas of concern and things to do different...you can make your own list. I’ll just start with the center fires.

1. In rifles, bed the barrel with the metal pillar and do the so called ‘glass bedding’.
2. Free float the barrel.
3. Polish the bore, from 500 to 800 grit. In some cases you may find that one can get away with more finer grits. I realize that with hunting and military firearms and the typical off-the-self rifles they stick with the courser grits like 320. This is just to save firearm weight but I am not worrying about this now.
4. Make sure the barrel muzzle is smooth and uniform.
5. Pay good attention to your scope mounting. Align the scope as well as possible with the mounts.
6. Put the mounts as far apart as possible.
7. Use scope mounting fixtures with two screws instead of one.
8. Use ‘LockTite’ on you scope mounting screws.
9. Have the stock butt with a level top aligned with the bore, and have the height so that your sighting eye comes naturally to the sighting plane.
10. Finish the stock with a well water proof finish. I just like nice looking wood stocks but I realize that the synthetic stocks could give one a better chance with the better groups.

I think one can just take the ‘Off-the-shelf’ firearm and easily make it shoot a lot better. I know, a lot of people are just plain afraid to do anything to a firearm just because they are not familiar enough with ‘these things’. I say if you have one, just get more familiar with it.

Okay, lets go to some reloading. Again, again I wish to emphasis this is not even close to some of the better ideas of reloading for better accuracy . It is to be just my understanding of some of the things that I have come to keep in mind and use in my reloading and it may help some or bring to mind some things.

Start out with steps 1 through 19 and add on new things as you progress. You may be satisfied with just reloading for hunting and general plinking, that is okay. The things that I may mention can be time consuming and costly and all of these things of course will be decided by one’s budget. Everyone has a budget with unlimited desires. I will try to keep them in some kind of order. You may decide which ones you can or wish to do and after reading do none of the above...that is okay.

1. Start out by buying or acquiring say 500 new brass from the same lot – more if one wishes. You will just find it harder to continue if you use assorted brass. You may choose to buy new ammunition and use the brass for reloading. I did this at one time and soon learned that I would find this to be excessively expensive with not learning too much as I shot up the new ammo.
2. Then thin the neck of the cases to say 0.010 inches or, look around and find some other dimension that may be more appropriate for your cases. This is because it will be more easily to acquire a more uniform tension on the bullet. But if you get the neck too thin you run the risk of damaging the case when inserting the bullet. You may like to flare the the neck of the case a bit if you have this trouble.
3. Annealing the case necks before resizing the brass, but resize the brass.
4. Weigh all of the cases and set aside the ones at the ends of the range of weights – your choice on this.
5. Use ‘Bench-Rest’ primers.
6. Choose a powder with a good history for your caliber and bullet weight.
7. I think in general start out with a heavier bullet for your caliber.
8. You may select your bullets by weighing all of your bullets and setting aside those at the ends of the range of the weights of your chosen bullets.
9. Seat the bullets with a ‘Bench-Rest’ seating die...very important.
10. With a Black Felt Tip Pen coat a bullet and set your bullet seating say at 0.005 inch from engaging the riflings. You may use any other method for doing this.
11. Load say ten batches of 5 each with the ten batches of powder loadings with ten evenly spaced amounts of powder.
12. Shoot ten groups at 50 yards maximum for now. If you use 100 yards you are just putting in an unnecessary parameter. You can work on longer range shooting later.
13. You will see where one or more of these groups will be the smaller or smallest.
14. Reload another 50 rounds with powder amounts again with ten amounts ranging across these smaller ranges.
15. After this, one should see just what may be the most accurate powder loading area for further testing.
16. One of the areas of further testing could be after arriving at this best powder loading change the bullet seating depth with 0.005 inches greater per increment. With some luck you will find that at one of these bullet seating depths may give a better grouping.
17. If this happens, one can change the seating depth around this depth slightly plus and minus a thousandth or two.
18. Further testing could be changing the powder charge very slightly plus and minus and see what happens.
19. And one could find that another bullet weight selection could cause a better group. And do the same things all over again.

I think that a good way to look at these things is if one wishes and takes the time to try to get the better shooting accuracy out of their rifle they will just enjoy their shooting more – I do. Such as not annealing the cases after every use.
One time a coworker remarked that he could with his Sedgely in .22 Hornet hit a nickel at 50 yards with a first cold shot. After missing he remarked, “Heck, I forgot to clean the barrel first”. Believe it or not, one is not using a more uniform barrel unless they clean the bore after every shot, but yes I know, that can take some of the fun out of shooting and I don’t do that either. And for most this is just another compromise that they will make.

Now of course these things are just some of the things of 101 more that may be done or done differently. Like David Tubb says is to check each bullet for bullet run-out, of course.

Now by this time you should see where your repeatability or accuracy has really gotten better. Flyers are a reality...one can see where flyers can be just the lacking of uniformity some where along the way would probable be the cause, or just the shooter’s fault of pulling the trigger at the wrong time.

And breaking in a barrel...this has to be one big area of contention – to leave the copper glazed bore as a way of smoothing the bore or try to get as much out as possible every so often. To be or not to be, to do or not to do. That could be something that some 0.1 MOA shooter could maybe prove in a test and let us all know.

One thing that I sure learned is that after I bought 3 of those CMP Mossberg Model 44’s is that they looked so new and unused. I cleaned the bores with my Hoppe’s # 9 and shot a 5 inch group at 50 yards with one or two – I thought what in the world was going on. I scrubbed the bores with a bronze brush and then was shooting 1 and a half inch groups. I then realized why they looked so unused. These were just set aside as pieces of junk. I have later read that some Army procurement officer had ordered some of these with leaded bore so as to buy them as broken-in - I don’t think a good idea.

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Re: AMMUNITION ACCURACY

#14 Post by VMASCIOP2000 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:18 pm

Great information and easy to follow. I am confused however regarding #3. polish the bore. Are we talking about a paste product to hasten land and groove break-in? That last sentence has me totally lost.
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Re: AMMUNITION ACCURACY

#15 Post by DaleH » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:38 pm

Try the Optimal Charge Weight method devised by Dan Newberry ... and you’ll get a more accurate load in less shots! His method identifies the ideal node for that rifle, powder and load. Most, if not all, F Class shooters use it or some similar variation thereof, like the older Audette ‘ladder’ method (which is not as good IMHO).

Even better, I’ve seen ideal OCW loads for a specific powdah start out fantastic, from the FIRST test loading!

Example - Both of Dan’s recommended loadings for 69-grn 5.56 and 168-grn 308, over Varget powdah, shoot 1/2-MOA out of my precision rifles in those calibers ... BEFORE any further increment testing! If you’re a serious shooter, the OCW Method is well worth the read!

http://optimalchargeweight.embarqspace.com

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