Precision Reloading – Basics
( This article is from the original website and will be reworked when time permits )
My goal here is to assist those of you who reload, primarily for rifles,
in achieving an increase in accuracy. This will be through either reloading practices,
rifle modifications ( within reason ) , and load development. Factory rifles should be capable of at least 1 MOA groups. This means a group measuring 1 inch at 100 yards.
My goal is to help you achieve this or better.
I am not a gunsmith. However, I am an avid shooter with many years of experience with hunting rifles and over the last couple of years with precision benchrest rifles. I am very analytical, and very much a perfectionist when it comes to my own learning and experiences.
I do not intent to portray someone that thinks he knows everything there is
to know about reloading and rifles . I will however, gladly share my experiences and learned knowledge in these areas. When it comes to precision reloading and shooting there are many myths and facets to prove / disprove and tax our enquiring minds.
You are always welcome to make comments or ask questions by emailing me at Rswart1@twcny.rr.com and of course there are the usual disclaimers on my advice. You should always follow safe reloading and shooting practices and ALWAYS decrease your loads when making any changes to your reloading practices and then work your way back up if needed.
All that being said, let me start by saying that the highest velocities and maximum
powder charges are NOT , I SAY AGAIN, NOT necessarily the most accurate load.
Its certainly possible that it could turn out that way, but is not a given. This is a fairly common myth amongst reloaders. There is a something called barrel harmonics, which plays an important role in developing accurate loads for a particular rifle / bullet combination. Barrel harmonics will be a topic I can touch on in a future article. It’s a bit tricky to explain, but well worth the effort and ties into load development.
I want to touch on a few simple things that will possibly affect your rifle ammo’s
accuracy in any rifle, regardless of barrel harmonics and load development.
I know some people will take issue on whether or not a particular task has enough of
an impact on accuracy to be worth the effort .. You will need to decide whether you want to add it to your reloading practices or not .
In Benchrest Shooting, it is a well known fact that precision reloading is an accumulation of many “small” things that add up to make a difference. In Benchrest shooting its not uncommon to shoot a 5 shot group that measures as little as 0.1” more than the bullet diameter at 100 yards. ( .1 MOA ) ( Basically a one hole group )
The first thing is to de-burr the flash hole on the inside of the case. The flash holes are PUNCHED thru the brass in most cases, NOT drilled. This leaves burrs on the inside of the flash hole. De-burring allows for a more uniform primer flash and associated ignition of the powder. Uniform ignition is needed to keep variations in muzzle velocity to a minimum. Uniform powder ignition is important to accuracy. You would be quite surprised if you examined the flash holes in your cases.
The next thing is to make sure the cases are all the same length and weight if possible, within a few grains. Also the same brand and lot number if at all possible and your budget allows for it. Again, this helps with variations in velocities.
The last thing is to neck size the case only. DO NOT full length resize. You may have to purchase a neck size die specifically for this purpose. Redding makes a neck size die that utilizes different size bushings and is an excellent choice. Neck sizing only allows you to use brass that has been fired in your chamber and fits the chamber fairly snug . This is important because it keeps the cartridge centerline as close to the bore centerline as possible, helping the bullet enter the rifling as true and straight as possible thereby reducing pitch and yaw on the bullet as in leaves the barrel; thus affecting accuracy.
These things are simple, basic things you can do to improve accuracy of your rifle.
There are several other , sometimes more expensive things you can do to increase accuracy even more. But, for now give these suggestions a try. I think you will find these will have
a substantial impact on your rifles accuracy.
Have fun reloading and be safe.