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#3280546 - 08/16/21 01:40 PM A Few Reloading Questions
CalCoyote Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 11/10/05
Posts: 520
Loc: NW Oregon
I am a hunter that likes to reload to get the best accuracy I can using factory sporter weight barrels. Obviously my tolerances are not going to be near a tight as a benchrest shooter that shoots in tournaments.

Here are some miscellaneous questions:

I have been watching Youtube videos about neck tension. One tournament champion was even quoted as saying that uniform neck tension is the single largest factor in group size. He even said that it was more important than powder choice or seating depth. Is this true?

Another Neck Tension Question: I don’t currently do neck turning. Would this make a substantial difference in group size with non premium brass such as Winchester, Remington, and Hornady? How much would my groups likely shrink?

I saw several guys on Youtube that have removed the expander ball from the FL re-sizing die and have gone over to the Sinclair Expander Mandrel to expand the neck. It is their claim that mandrel sizes the neck more uniformly which provides more consistent neck tension. Have any of you guys tried this and if so, how much did it help?

I have a couple hundred 222 brass in Winchester and I recently bought a box of 222 brass in Lapua. Just for fun, I started weighing the brand new brass on my scale. Five pieces of the Lapua brass only varied in weight by a few tenths of a grain, but the variance of 5 new pieces of the Winchester brass was almost 2 full grains. How much difference does this make in group size?
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#3280549 - 08/16/21 02:51 PM Re: A Few Reloading Questions [Re: CalCoyote]
emptymag Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/12/14
Posts: 408
Loc: Minnesota
All good questions.

You'll get many varied responses.

I have never played with neck tension or neck turning.

I do sort my brass but only after it is resized, cleaned and trimmed.

It all depends on what accuracy your trying to get.

Shooting a factory rifle off a standard bench with bags for a rest I'd say anything under and inch @ 100 yards is good.

My factory guns with triggers lightened and loads dialed in are shooting around 1/2" @ 100 yards which is plenty for my needs and probably overkill.

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#3280552 - 08/16/21 03:11 PM Re: A Few Reloading Questions [Re: CalCoyote]
AWS Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/01/03
Posts: 5829
Loc: NM
I believe you need some pretty seffisticated rifles to make use of any of the case work your asking about.
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#3280553 - 08/16/21 03:36 PM Re: A Few Reloading Questions [Re: CalCoyote]
K-22hornet. Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 11/06/03
Posts: 1666
Loc: Colorado
I use Lee Collet dies for each caliber/cartridge I reload. It loads very straight/concentric, ammo.

How far do you intend to shoot? A load that is good at 100yds, might be horrible by 300yds.

Regarding the brass weight, I weighed a bag of new, 243W, Winchester brass. Most pieces weighed 158grs, but about 12-13 weighed 170grs. This was after trimming to length.

My assumption is, the heavier brass has less internal capacity, high compression, so to speak, so the same amount of powder in a heavier piece of brass will result in higher pressure and higher velocity, than the lighter brass.

Since the ammo is not consistent in pressure/speeds, I would not expect the accuracy to be stellar.

I do sub-sort my brass by weight. If nothing else, it makes me feel good, lol.
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#3280556 - 08/16/21 04:02 PM Re: A Few Reloading Questions [Re: CalCoyote]
DiRTY DOG Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 08/27/09
Posts: 2851
Loc: West
Everything in context. What kind of accuracy are you currently shooting?

What matters a lot to a benchrest champion shooting groups in the 1's may not even be detectable at all to someone shooting a factory rifle with Vmax bullets over a bipod.

If your Winchester brass varies that much after processing, cull the worst 5% or 10% offenders and toss them in the trash.
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#3280564 - 08/16/21 05:47 PM Re: A Few Reloading Questions [Re: CalCoyote]
pyscodog Online
PM Junkie

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 15004
Loc: okla
I think anything you can do to make the first round you load concentric to the 100th round is in your favor.
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#3280569 - 08/16/21 07:26 PM Re: A Few Reloading Questions [Re: CalCoyote]
Dark moon 63 Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/01/21
Posts: 80
Loc: Iowa
This is something that interests me because I like to do some long range shooting. I haven't dug into it enough to really understand how they do it so I stick with annealing and weighing brass. After annealing, seating the bullet I can feel the consistency with neck tension and can tell the brass that is harder. Seperate those out. Gives me a better standard deviation.

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#3280575 - 08/16/21 08:32 PM Re: A Few Reloading Questions [Re: DiRTY DOG]
CalCoyote Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 11/10/05
Posts: 520
Loc: NW Oregon
Originally Posted By: DiRTY DOG
Everything in context. What kind of accuracy are you currently shooting?

What matters a lot to a benchrest champion shooting groups in the 1's may not even be detectable at all to someone shooting a factory rifle with Vmax bullets over a bipod.

If your Winchester brass varies that much after processing, cull the worst 5% or 10% offenders and toss them in the trash.
[u][/u]

I reload for several different calibers (222,22-250,243,257 Roy, 260 Rem,270, and 308). Anything sub MOA is VERY acceptable for my purposes (.7 or .8). My issue is fliers. Its very frustrating to have a five shot group and 4 of the shots are sub MOA and 1 flier turns a .6 group into a 1.2 group. I realize there are probably problems with my shooting form on the bench that could account for some of that (I am not the best shot) but I have noticed when I am seating bullets that several of them will seat great and then I will get one that requires a little extra push to seat or sometimes I feel a little "pop" and then it seats. I was wondering if irregular neck tension could be causing that.


Edited by CalCoyote (08/16/21 08:35 PM)
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#3280584 - 08/16/21 10:57 PM Re: A Few Reloading Questions [Re: CalCoyote]
BrianID Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/03/18
Posts: 375
Loc: El Paso, TX/Idaho
I've tried multiple different things to improve accuracy of the ammo I load. I'm not going to claim to be an expert in loading ammunition but I'll add what I do know.

It is important to accept that some guns are not capable of 1 MOA regardless of how good the ammo is. An accurate rifle will often shoot all kinds of ammo well. Having an accurate gun is the most important thing when trying to create accurate ammunition. If your gun is only capable of 2 MOA it is probably a waste of time to sort your brass, neck turn, use benchrest primers, etc.

Wind will cause fliers regardless of how good your ammunition and rifle combination is.

When loading ammunition, variation in the pressure required to seat a bullet or even a primer causes me concern. From what I've learned, all the little things add up to create accurate ammunition. All things are important including the correct powder, amount of powder, consistency of powder weight, correct bullet seating depth, consistent neck tension, brass that are similar (volume and length), etc.

Changes in velocity are where I've seen the greatest difference in accuracy. I've seen 3 MOA ammunition turned into 1/2 MOA ammunition just by changing the powder charge.

A ladder test is an efficient way to test different powder/bullet combinations.

Changes in seating depth can have a significant effect on accuracy. Some bullet/gun/powder combinations will still shoot very well even if they are shortened to fit in a magazine.

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#3280588 - 08/17/21 12:20 AM Re: A Few Reloading Questions [Re: CalCoyote]
Hellgate Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 578
Loc: Orygun
You can buy a neck tension guage for about 10-25 bucks (depending on how specific you want to be) https://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/search?SearchTerm=neck+tension+guage
While sorting sized brass you poke it into the case mouth and you can readily tell if a case is loose or tight.
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#3280668 - 08/18/21 09:29 PM Re: A Few Reloading Questions [Re: CalCoyote]
Zastava223rem Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 644
Loc: Pennsylvania
the majority of shooters and rifles for that matter wont be able to tell much benefit from playing with neck tension. A good shooter behind a good rifle will shoot well if you do your part at the bench. I have never turned a neck.

The below group was done with virgin General Dynamics brass bought at midwayUSA on sale for $45.00 per 250. Simply resized in your standard RCBS Full Length die, then used a Redding Competition Bushing seating die to seat it. Below that is the rifle it was fired in. Now Im not saying this is going to happen in any rifle or be as simple as "load and shoot" but this was virgin unformed bulk brass that was FL resized.



Here is a picture of a group shot from a bone stock factory Rem 700 Sendero 7mm RM also at 100 yards. This load was made a week before deer season in a rush to get ammo ready. I grabbed some random W-W Headstamp brass from the cabinet and picked out Noslers most accurate published load with 62 gr IMR4831 and the 168 gr Nosler ABLR. A fluke? Maybe. But it should be more proof that you dont have to split grains of powder or weigh your primers to shoot well.


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#3280819 - 08/22/21 08:49 AM Re: A Few Reloading Questions [Re: CalCoyote]
Dark moon 63 Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/01/21
Posts: 80
Loc: Iowa
Off reloading topic but have you watched the sniper 101 series. Its 101 videos that cover shooting technique to rifle harmonics. As long as the equipment is up to it he can help with a flyer problem.

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#3280947 - 08/25/21 12:31 AM Re: A Few Reloading Questions [Re: CalCoyote]
Plant.One Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 02/12/15
Posts: 4685
Loc: Oakland County, MI
Originally Posted By: CalCoyote


I reload for several different calibers (222,22-250,243,257 Roy, 260 Rem,270, and 308). Anything sub MOA is VERY acceptable for my purposes (.7 or .8). My issue is fliers. Its very frustrating to have a five shot group and 4 of the shots are sub MOA and 1 flier turns a .6 group into a 1.2 group. I realize there are probably problems with my shooting form on the bench that could account for some of that (I am not the best shot) but I have noticed when I am seating bullets that several of them will seat great and then I will get one that requires a little extra push to seat or sometimes I feel a little "pop" and then it seats. I was wondering if irregular neck tension could be causing that.


you note your issue is fliers. maybe we can help narrow things down for you a bit....

is this happening with a specific gun/caliber? several? all of them?

are these called fliers? or are they on rounds you felt like you did your part on?

are they happening at a consistent point during the firing string? if so which?

how consistent are they? ie: out of 10 five-round groups, how many will have a one round flyer?
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All reloading info shared is based on my experiences in my guns. Follow safe reloading practice and work up loads from published minimum data.
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#3281001 - 08/26/21 11:26 AM Re: A Few Reloading Questions [Re: Plant.One]
K22 Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 10/19/03
Posts: 2352
Loc: Western NC
I'm not a neck turner, but if the neck tension seems to light I'll anneal the brass and resize. Something that I believe helps bullet release is to dip the neck of the brass into black powder graphite then seat the bullet.
If you get consistent fliers in your groups I would look at the mechanics such as bedding, screws bottoming out, torque settings on scope bases and rings, and is the barrel free floated, touching somewhere, ect.

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#3281099 - 08/27/21 05:21 PM Re: A Few Reloading Questions [Re: CalCoyote]
arlaunch Online
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/09/17
Posts: 579
Loc: OR
Point of impact testing during load development vs temp differences can make fliers. A good load shoots with very little POI difference over say a range of X grains of powder. Finding exactly where the center of X is takes some testing with an eye on chamber, ammo and outside temperature.

If your POI is all over the place, yet accurate, the next time you go shoot in different conditions, part of the group wants to migrate. Especially if velocity spreads are high.

I also believe a flier can easily be the culprit of a cull piece of brass.

Generally speaking, neck turning is for folks shooting long range/and or trying to go from 1/2 inch groups to 3/8's and such.

I like how you mixed it up and bought some Lapua brass. Try that brass out and see if you have those same fliers.

Don't forget to dry fire a bit before you start shooting.

Do you watch velocity over a chronograph?

Have you ever changed primers while doing load development?
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