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Author Topic: The Accurate Rifle  (Read 144 times)

Offline BoBallistic

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The Accurate Rifle
« on: July 17, 2020, 08:18:14 AM »
Most of us have a go to rifle that they like to use and has confidence in because it is so darn accurate...I know I do! Am thinking about the subject when in this month's Shooting Times it has an article about "The Accurate Rifle" it is a 3 part series and will follow up with the details as they come in the future issues....

Part 1 of it is very historical and is very interesting....Layne Simpson does a good job (or his staff does) in the article discussing different ways to make your rifle an accurate shooter....I would say first of all have you tried all the ammo in it that you can afford?? and have you found one?? That shoots decent and true?? It is the middle of July and have been to the range 5 times and will go every week by myself if I have to just to try out new loads.....

Once you have exhausted all the ammo you can afford, next I would say is to lighten the trigger to under 3 lbs....I like to have mine somewhere between 2.75 and 3.00 lbs pull....and try the best ammo you have found that shoot decent in your rifle....so far the only expense you have it the ammo involved. Next I would say to try and make sure your stock does not touch the barrel. Period, cannot not say enough about this....I will share a story about this...is that when a guy I knew found out that he had only 6 months to go on this planet he sold me his 7mm-08 with the Leupold VX2 scope on it.....after I had gotten it, it was a Remington model 700 ADL with it 5 to 7 lb trigger on it so I took it to the range and try to put it on paper, notice I said try...only one of three shot landed on the A size piece of paper (8.5 x 11.0) so I knew I had my work cut out for me....first of all, I clean the rifle very thoroughly....next I lighten the trigger down to about 3.00 pounds and started working on the stock, file and file on it until it would not touch the sides of the barrel...then I looked at the loads that he was using....it did not like the 150 or 160 gn that he used in the past....I loaded up some 140 gn Ballistic Tips and used some H380 powder....was thinking that the barrel whip due to the heavier bullet was causing the barrel to whip....so I started out using the 140 but ended up using the 120 gn Ballistic Tip on it....it is a tack driver now!!

Next on your conquest, if you can replace the barrel on it with a Krieger, Shilen, Bartlien or any other good quality barrels. I have read so many stories on Talk Hunting about the barrel take off and replacement to make their rifles a tack driver....congrats to them on making the big investment. Next slow your bullet down to make it within reasonable velocity...no need to make it super duper velocity....but reasonable velocity.....the deer won't care if you hit it with 2200 fps or 4200 fps bullet....whatever the most accurate load you can have, make it happen!!! No matter the bullet weight....

Make sure you clean the barrel good. It would be a good idea to have one of those bore scopes where you can looked down the bore of your rifle....but make sure that your rifle is clean, you have adjust the trigger down to 3 lbs, You will need to make sure that you barrel is free floating and doesn't touch the side of the stock, you can do this buy using the dollar bill test, I like to use 2 dollar bills to make sure....here is the biggest tip I can tell you....you!! yes you are the one that will make this happen...if your attitude or you are feeling sick or just not 100%, you will not shoot your best....you will have days like that....I know I do....

It is the middle of July now, too late for a barrel replacement - I would lighten the trigger and start headed to the range with different ammo...check to make sure that the your stock is tighted down or check the manufacturer for the torque for your particular rifle....I torqued my down to 55 inch pounds in the rear screw and 58 inch pounds in the front screw.....

Bo

   
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Offline BoBallistic

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Re: The Accurate Rifle
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2020, 08:16:05 AM »
Now the fun begins...I did this once, well, many years ago I use to do this as a reloading rule these days will do it once a year...but once you have your accurate rifle and scope, base and rings on it....and you are satisfied with it....this is where it gets interesting....start with your brass, and weigh it...then weigh your primers and bullets and the last thing you want to weigh is your powder....

I have heard years before I bought my first Cooper that they were very accurate rifles....so I did not weigh any brass or bullets on my very first Cooper. It was a single shot 7x57mm the old M22 model....but my second Cooper was a Varmint Model 22 and it was in 308...image that...LOL...but I decided to do what the bench rest guys do....I had shot it with several handloads and figure it like the 168 gn. So that was my goal was to load up the 10 rounds trying to get them to weigh the same....I almost seceded but I came very close....now with them all weigh the same of close to it...clean the Cooper Varmint HB 308 really good, until the patch came out clean and clear....

The first three of 10 were fouling shots...stupid me, should have use some other 308 ammo, but shot the three shots into the bank at 400 yards, suprisely it did not drop much probably about 8" at 400 yards....so the next three shots were almost through the same hole...see attached target....that makes 6 or the 10 shots....

Took the Cooper Model M22 Varmint HB 308 to the range the following week...did not clean it, did make a scope adjustments down 4 clicks (1 inch down) to the scope just put ii back in the gun safe....The next three...See target was almost through the same hole as the previous week....that make 9 of the 10 rounds that I shot....the last round went though the buck neck at 25 yards....

But let me warn you that this takes a lot of time. You almost got to dedicate two or three days for this effort....but the results is worth the effort? every one must make a choice in this matter....I guess the year was 2011....so many years ago....Today I still load with care and search for that magic load that everyone else over looks....I do spend a lot of time on Quick Load to check out the loads and what to expect down range......I think if one reloads using the best components that they can afford it the down range results will prove them right.....



 
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Offline BoBallistic

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Re: The Accurate Rifle
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2020, 03:50:32 PM »
Run Out - - After you get through weighing everything that needs to be weighed it is important to measure the run out......If and this is a big if, you can set your bullets say .010" off the lans (or which every distance works best for your rifle)...then you are about to put your ammo together, this is what I do...thinking that the seater is not a true seater and that it will be off a bit....to eliminate this possible error, it is good that you turn your bullet as you seat it....I will turn the case 120 degrees with I seat it about a 1/3 (third) of the way in and then about a 1/3 more make it 240 degrees on it second third and then another 1/3 more making it a complete rotation as I seat the bullet...did this for about 25 or 30 years now....

I started doing it when I saw something (A chart) in a old reloading manual about run out...it said that if you have a run out of .000 to .002 that is great, but good luck with that...next the book listed a .003 to .005 as being a good seat...probably smaller than half MOA, more like a 1/4 MOA...and .006 to .008 you can expect groups of 3/4" at 100 yards...and from .009 to .015...you can expect about an 1" group...this is when I started implementing my 1/3 turn at a 1/3 of the way down...method...it sure has helped a bunch in my shooting....if I shoot more than an 1" then I need to look at the load, something is amiss here.....

But I can express the importance of run out....if you don't own one and you are a serious reloaded butter get one....but run out is another critical in the overall quest for the precision load....
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Offline Madgomer

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Re: The Accurate Rifle
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2020, 07:32:45 AM »
I've been using your suggestion of rotating the cartridge during seating Bo since you mentioned it a year or so ago.  I do not have a runout gauge but the concept makes sense to me and the results on paper seem very solid so I'll keep on doing it for anything in which I'm looking for good long range accuracy.  I have a variety of components I could use to build a runout gauge with - one of these rainy days I might just make one.  Would like to do runout checks on the bare cases themselves, and see what they're looking like straight out of the sizing die, and if rotating the case and sizing multiple times has an impact on runout too.  Curious to know if runout in a finished cartridge is primarily impacted by bullet seating, or if the other variables are significant as well.
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Offline BoBallistic

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Re: The Accurate Rifle
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2020, 07:40:38 AM »
Mad - Thanks for the comments. Like the chronograph the run out gauge I use about once a year maybe twice...just to check them out....so as long as you rotate your bullets while seating them think that you will be OK....
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Offline BoBallistic

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Re: The Accurate Rifle
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2020, 10:29:42 AM »
Mad and others, just got through loading some more 308's and 6.5 Creedmoor about 20 each....I use my seating method of moving them a 1/3 each time down...and then I did a run out on some of them....all of them were .005 or less.....now if I got the load right on the 6.5 Creedmoor I will be happy....Nosler BT 140 gn bullets, loaded up 38.28 gns of H380 with CCI-BR2 primers into Lapua case and seated it out fairly long of 2.838 COAL.......for the 308's...a Sierra ProHunter 150 gn solid base bullets (#2130). Loaded them with 43.23 gns of  Vhit 140 into Lapua cases and CCI-BR2 primer and seated them to a length of 2.828" that....I check to make sure that they all feed OK...and they do....and when I seated them use the 1/3 twist method.....next time at the range should be a good time....Loaded up for the Bergara HMR 6.5 and the Christensen Arms BA Tactical in 308....Also last time use three shots from the Christensen Arms 308 in the Bergara HMR SP in 308....and they shot fantastic, under 1/2 MOA....so I think I will use the 2130 Sierra ProHunter in both the Bergara HMR SP (18" barrel) and the 16" Christensen Arms BA Tactical....
   
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Offline BoBallistic

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Re: The Accurate Rifle - Part 2
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2020, 06:47:31 AM »
This month Shooting Times magazine (Oct 2020) article is part 2 of the Precision Reloading - Wow, should have written this article myself....but the whole article deals with Case Prep...the first words underneath the header states that this process can be very time consuming but the results are worth it....The areas that the article covers are sorting, sizing, neck turning, primer pocket and flash hole.....

Really - I have done the whole gambit three or four times in my reloading career....and yes it is worth it...if your retired....but don't know about you guys but I got into reloading my own back in 1972 to save myself money and money on the reloads...little did I know back then that today would be a totally different landscape in reloading....

Back in the 72's started reloading for my 270 Win....little did I know that today I would own XXX rifles and would have their own reloads !!! Where did I go wrong at !! LOL...but I read the whole article twice and will go back and read it again...but once you sort and weigh the brass, that is after you case prep it. This could be a daunting task in itself....it is very time consuming....

All in all it is an good article. It goes into depth about every phase of getting the case prep way beyond what the normal reloaded will do....I do spend more time in case prep than I do the rest of the process....I look at all the parameters when it comes down to it...I may not be as consistence as I once was but hopefully I won't miss that deer when it comes strolling by....
« Last Edit: August 11, 2020, 06:59:22 AM by BoBallistic »
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Offline BoBallistic

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Re: The Accurate Rifle
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2020, 03:34:35 PM »
After reading and re-reading the article, I was in the Gun Room and was looking around, there is one thing that the author does not mention is neck - shoulder annealing. I also have the Hornady OAL Camparitor and shoulder gauge...I do have a run out gauge as well....I would say that after every third firing, I anneal the neck area of the empty brass...attached is several pictures of mine that I picked off the internet images of it as....I have one my ammo boxes (on every one of them) and after 7 or 8 reloads of each round, I re-cycle the brass...in other words I discard it...I start off with 50 pieces of brass and reload those and throw away the bad ones...so when I am down to around 40 pieces of brass left and the have been reloaded 5 or 6 or even 7 times, it will be time to get some new brass in its place...but I will not live that long...LOL...

So I have my toys (like the 20" slide rule, where you can read 5 places between the 1 and 2 on it...LOL....so younger guys are saying what is a slide rule....I just say to them...asked you Dad....LOL....

I probably have more toys for reloading them just finding them is the next thing....enjoy the pics....mine has only one burner on it and it takes the 1 lb pound of propane to operate....
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Offline Madgomer

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Re: The Accurate Rifle
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2020, 03:39:16 PM »
I need to sit down next and put together a bunch of rounds for my varmint AR.  I loaded a bunch of 9mm and .38 Special rounds yesterday, but those don't get nearly the degree of attention that the .223 will.  I do not have the equipment to turn necks yet or verify runout, but it's still time consuming to do all the case prep and sort the brass.  My best recipe counts on Remington brass, Varget, and Sierra Varminter hollow points, and it will generally deliver about .75" at 200 yds.  I have a bunch of Hornady brass stockpiled, I really need to try out the recipe in that and see how it performs as my R/P brass will eventually be used up.

Had a brief moment of brain infarction yesterday, almost started seating/crimping bullets in the .38 Special before adding powder.  Duh!
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Offline BoBallistic

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Re: The Accurate Rifle
« Reply #9 on: Today at 02:20:47 AM »
Mad - I used to reload my AR style 223 and I do have one for home protection and one for the range (long range) and for Varmints...and I would load the IMR3031 plus Lake City Brass plus Sierra 52 gn bullets, use to load them by the hundreds. Then I discovered Black Hills by accident...now that is all I shoot is the reloaded or refurbished ammo mostly the 75 and 77 gn bullets...I use to have a standing ordered that when I would ordered from the Old Cabela's and Midway USA use to order a couple of hundred at a time...now I have thousands of them (use to ordered a lot of stuff from those guys). I am getting about .75 to 1" groups with them at 200 yards and shoot about 1 MOA with them all the way out to 600 yards...that is the longest distance that I have tried with them...

These days I am busy trying to focus of reloading larger caliber ammo and leave the 223 to the Black Hills Ammo...and did load up my 30-30 Win and 35 Rem but now leave that up to Hornady with their LeveRevolution Ammo, amazing ammo, my groups went from 2.5" to 3.0" down to one inch groups consistently....   

But find a rainy Sunday when the wife if out and you can start your process of reloading. That is what I would do in the big house (In Atlanta), would set aside a work area and would worked on them for days and days until I loaded up 500 rounds or so, but quickly burned through them at the range....one at a time, no Dillion or Hornady progressive dies, just one at a time....believe me that worked best for me....good luck
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Offline BoBallistic

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Re: The Accurate Rifle
« Reply #10 on: Today at 01:30:29 PM »
I was watching something on the Outdoor Channel about the Dakota Arms and the Remington Custom Shops in Sturgis, SD, their are in the same facility....one of the person's they were interview said point blank that most production rifles can out shoot their owners!! boy isn't that a fact....

I know that I now prefer a rest when I shoot a deer or critter....but sometimes you just don't have the time or place or ability to use a rest so you have to take the shoot regardless....I know that this has happen to me at least the a dozen or so on the deer and I have got 10 of the dozen deer that I have shot at....

When I go to the range, I use a gun rest/vice...these are just to see whether or not that load is still on....but most of the time I am working on a load and it is for that purpose only.... 
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