This just won't go away ???

This just won't go away ???

This is a discussion on This just won't go away ??? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Ever since I've been reloading, about 18 months now, I've had problems with velocity variations. In that 18 months, I've loaded, shot, and chronographed near ...

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Thread: This just won't go away ???

  1. #1
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    This just won't go away ???

    Ever since I've been reloading, about 18 months now, I've had problems with velocity variations. In that 18 months, I've loaded, shot, and chronographed near 5,000 reloads - I have been busy. I've tried everything I've ever heard of and the problem persists at essentially the same magnitude. I commonly, i.e. most persistently, get velocity variations of 60 - 100+ fps. This is in bolt guns and gas guns alike.

    The first question would be is this reasonable? The answer is, NO, it isn't. I just watched a guy shoot his bolt gun with 77 gr bullets, Remington cases, NOT sorted, and his SD's were 6 fps to 20 fps. He didn't record ES. In comparison, here's my latest data from this week:

    It's worth noting that the SDs from a bolt gun with cases sorted by weight are not quite as good as the gas gun with unsorted cases???

    MVP LR bolt, 20" 1:7. I also included with this group two factory loads, Federal Premium and Outback 69 with SMKs.



    And of all things, look at which case brand had the lowest ES - the IMI! This is reloaded IMI cases, not factory loads.

    AR build with a Faxon heavy flute match 5R, 1:8, 16"


    And, accuracy is essentially equal and average at best. Probably overall about 1.25 MOA, of course, some better, some worse - but consistently inconsistent.

    So, if you have any ideas about why I keep getting these high numbers when it seems like everybody around me is getting half of what I get, I love to hear your thoughts.

    Let me offer this heads up - This is not going to be a simple, "try this powder..." - I've tried that powder. It's not going to be "try this bullet...", I've tried that bullet". I have run this by a lot of people, they didn't have an answer, but how is it I'm getting such high numbers and my buddy shooting beside me is getting SDs of 6 and ESs of 15 and I'm getting 3 times that???

    My velocities compare fairly close to other guys velocities with this bullet. My PRS shooting buddy says his numbers nearly halved when he switched to Lapua brass; I switched to Lapua brass and absolutely nothing changed?

    Got any idea what's going on here?
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    Tangle, have you run this issue past the experts at any of the powder or bullet manufacturers?

    I haven't chrono'd any of my reloads, so I have no basis for comparison.

    I know you've been chasing this problem for a long time. You'd think that by now there would be a common denominator somewhere.
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    I'm going to try out my MagnetoSpeed Sport chronograph on my next range trip, and if I can figure out how to use it, I let you know what number I come up with. I don't sort anything, so we'll see what happens. I'll be shooting an assortment of loads, everything from 55-grain fireforming loads with IMR-4198 (last loads were too low to cycle) to 70-grain HPBTs (seconds) with H335 and BL-C(2) powders. A couple of the loads should be relatively "hot."

    The instructions with the Sport are marginal, IMO, as are most these days. I think the tech writers assume everyone already knows how to use it.

    For the record, I would expect less consistency with a gas operation because of the additional mechanics involved, the gas bleeding, etc.
    Last edited by OldVet; July 11th, 2019 at 05:42 PM.
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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by airslot View Post
    Tangle, have you run this issue past the experts at any of the powder or bullet manufacturers?

    I haven't chrono'd any of my reloads, so I have no basis for comparison.
    Thanks airslot, I haven't talked to the powder or bullet guys, but I will, there's certainly no reason not to at this point.


    Quote Originally Posted by airslot View Post
    ...I know you've been chasing this problem for a long time. You'd think that by now there would be a common denominator somewhere.
    You said it! I am absolutely dumbfounded as to why I can't resolve this, especially after all this time. If I were a superstitious person, and I'm not, but if I were, I would be convinced there is some kind of reloading curse on me. What seems to come so simple to most people that reload, seems to be most elusive to me.

    I don't mean this to sound "braggy" but it will, but, this is the first thing I've ever seen that I couldn't accomplish. For example, my classes that I taught took 4 robotic construction projects to national competitions and won 4 first places. They were impressive projects!

    I developed a electromechanical filter winding machine for a local company, that an engineering team in Texas failed at. I designed a microcontroller card to analyze a multiplexed 15 digit seven display on an electronically controlled knitting machine and convert the timed sequence seven segment codes into ASCII numbers, and transmit the data over a RS 285 serial interface to a computer that automatically polled and recorded the data from 80 machines.

    Not really saying this to brag, although I realize it is, but I should be able to resolve a simple reloading problem. You can only imagine how frustrating and discouraging reloading has been for me.

    I'll give the powder and bullet guys a call.
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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    I'm going to try out my MagnetoSpeed Sport chronograph on my next range trip, and if I can figure out how to use it, I let you know what number I come up with. I don't sort anything, so we'll see what happens. I'll be shooting an assortment of loads, everything from 55-grain fireforming loads with IMR-4198 (last loads were too low to cycle) to 70-grain HPBTs (seconds) with H335 and BL-C(2) powders. A couple of the loads should be relatively "hot."

    The instructions with the Sport are marginal, IMO, as are most these days. I think the tech writers assume everyone already knows how to use it.

    For the record, I would expect less consistency with a gas operation because of the additional mechanics involved, the gad bleeding, etc.
    Thanks OldVet that'd be great! The guy that I referred to was using that very Mag Speed unit for his measurements.

    Eager to see your results! Really appreciate the help and info!
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    Maybe measure the OAL of a sample. A sticky or dirty die could give some variation there that would give the distribution.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BentLink View Post
    Maybe measure the OAL of a sample. A sticky or dirty die could give some variation there that would give the distribution.
    Thanks for that excellent thought!

    Unfortunately, I'm afraid I've got that covered. I measure every seated bullet from base to ogive. If they fall outside +/-0.001", they are gently adjusted until they are within that range.

    I certainly want to hear ideas, but this is an extremely persistent and resistant problem. I have tried anything and everything that's been suggested and nothing changes, but surely someone is going to think of something that provides an answer to this.

    I keep thinking it's a caliber problem and I'm getting about all one can get out of the .223/5.56 caliber, then I run into somebody, like the other day, that's getting SDs around 6 fps. Oh, another buddy at the range handed me 5 of his reloads to try. He uses powder measured exclusively on a ChargeMaster, he does NOT measure seating depth once he has is set where he wants it. What did I get when I chrono'd the rounds? SD = 8.6 fps.

    My best SD is about 1.5 fps, but that's about as rare as rare can get. I have about as many SDs of 10 or less as I do 70 and higher - just total inconsistency.
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    And you have fired other ammo through your chronograph, so you know itís nt out of whack, right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havok View Post
    And you have fired other ammo through your chronograph, so you know itís nt out of whack, right?
    I kinda wish you hadn't said that

    It had occurred to me that it could be, almost has to be, my chronograph, but I dismissed that and I forget why. I have checked it against my LabRadar and they pretty much agree, but I've only done that once or twice so it could very well be the chrono is intermittent.

    You can be sure I'll be running the MagnetoSpeed and LabRadar simultaneously until I see they agree long term. Lot of trouble, but what if that's it!

    You know, now that you bring that up, that makes a lot of sense! Boy won't I be embarrassed and delighted if that's it!

    Thanks for the idea!
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    VIP Member Array Havok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    I kinda wish you hadn't said that

    It had occurred to me that it could be, almost has to be, my chronograph, but I dismissed that and I forget why. I have checked it against my LabRadar and they pretty much agree, but I've only done that once or twice so it could very well be the chrono is intermittent.

    You can be sure I'll be running the MagnetoSpeed and LabRadar simultaneously until I see they agree long term. Lot of trouble, but what if that's it!

    You know, now that you bring that up, that makes a lot of sense! Boy won't I be embarrassed and delighted if that's it!

    Thanks for the idea!
    No problem. Hopefully it gets worked out. I donít know what else it could be. It would really be something if after all this you found out youíve been loading good ammo all this time. Lol.
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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havok View Post
    ...I donít know what else it could be...
    Me too. I keep looking for that one thing that's common to all the guns and reloads. I guess I just dismissed the chrono as so unlikely it had to be something else. But, the chrono is common to all the guns, ammo, and reloads.

    I double measure each charge, seat and measure each bullet depth, use match primers, check primer pockets on cases for over-expansion - there's just no way the bullets can come out of the gun with as much as 100+ fps variation. But if the chrono were flakey...

    Quote Originally Posted by Havok View Post
    ...It would really be something if after all this you found out youíve been loading good ammo all this time. Lol.
    Oh man - wouldn't it! But I'll sure be a happy camper if this proves to be the problem.

    And again, now that you brought it up - it makes perfect sense. Like you said, "I donít know what else it could be".
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  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array CavemanBob's Avatar
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    It could be the chronograph but I seem to recall you had some good measurements (low SD, ES) of some commercial ammo way back. If you find the chrono to not be the culprit, I'd recommend trying different primers, all the various primers of the right size. It is one of the black magic facets of reloading, choosing a primer which will work well with a particular bullet and powder combo.
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    From what Iíve seen in your posts, youíre following a scientific process as much as it can be followed. So I second checking your chrono.

    Even if you had irregularities in your shot, that would impact accuracy and consistency in groups but not velocity.

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    By now I should know not to read your posts on reloading @Tangle

    But I do because they are always interesting and mind-bending (I do not reload -- don't have the patience for it).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    Thanks for that excellent thought!

    Unfortunately, I'm afraid I've got that covered. I measure every seated bullet from base to ogive. If they fall outside +/-0.001", they are gently adjusted until they are within that range.

    I certainly want to hear ideas, but this is an extremely persistent and resistant problem. I have tried anything and everything that's been suggested and nothing changes, but surely someone is going to think of something that provides an answer to this.

    I keep thinking it's a caliber problem and I'm getting about all one can get out of the .223/5.56 caliber, then I run into somebody, like the other day, that's getting SDs around 6 fps. Oh, another buddy at the range handed me 5 of his reloads to try. He uses powder measured exclusively on a ChargeMaster, he does NOT measure seating depth once he has is set where he wants it. What did I get when I chrono'd the rounds? SD = 8.6 fps.

    My best SD is about 1.5 fps, but that's about as rare as rare can get. I have about as many SDs of 10 or less as I do 70 and higher - just total inconsistency.
    Have you tried loading them like your buddy does, that is in a somewhat carefree fashion? It may not make sense but you cover every aspect possible and get wide ranging results. He just loads them and gets good results.
    Of course if that works, that will drive you crazy too.
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