Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,152
26
48
NW USA
#1
<span style="font-weight: bold">Chapter 2: How to prepare a bullet for a long journey.
</span>
So we got our cases prepped and primed in Ch. 1. Now let's look at our bullets.

In our chase for consistency obviously our bullets have to all be IDENTICAL if they are going to launch and fly the same, shot to shot. I have and will continue to say this a lot: Where chasing consistency, in EVERYTHING.

<span style="font-style: italic">Before I get going...let me say this! If you ever, might, possibly, once-in-a-life- time shoot past 600 yards- you guys shooting .308" diameter bullets do not waste your time, money & barrel life on working up loads with 168 grain bullets! Start with 175's or heavier. If you like, experiment with 155’s, but SKIP 168’s. Thanks, I feel better. The 168 grain bullet to beginner .308 shooters is what the 9x19mm Parabellum pistol round is to Hollywood- you'd think it would kill a polar bear instantly if he were to be shot in the paw with it. It's a cliche, it's not the best long range bullet! It in fact may be THE lowest on the list.</span>

So according to our cartridge and advice given we have picked a bullet or two to try in our long range weapon. So let's learn a few basic generalized bullet terms:

Meplat = the point(ed end of the bullet)

Ogive ["oh jive"]= the curved radius leading from the bearing surface to the meplat.

Bearing Surface= the actual main diameter of the bullet that actually engages/touches the barrel on it's journey to the muzzle and beyond.

Base = the butt or base of the bullet, opposite the meplat.

So let’s get out our box of 100 bullet’s, or even better our 500+ bulk box.
Our bullets need to be as microscopically identical to each other as possible. So we are going to discuss the various measurements and inspections to ensure this, as well as how we can tune up our bullets a little bit.

The first two steps are generally spot on in high quality match grade bullets. So believe it or not we’re gonna give a little room for assumption in these first two measurements. We’ll do a quick check and give our bullets the nod if a few look on the up & up.

First!
Let’s measure the diameter of about a dozen randomly picked bullets. If you do not have a micrometer, just skip right over this first step. Some people will surely chuckle at my suggesting to measure the diameter. I’m not suggesting that the bullets will be so far out of spec as to be dangerous etc. But in the theme that “1000 yards is BRUTAL” we want to rule out any and everything that may cause Inconsistency. Also, I’m a machinist and accustomed to measuring things in extremely fine graduations. I have had to work contracts in the past that required measurements in the fifty-millionth’s of one inch. 99% of guys will grab something and measure it’s dia in one place. But a true diameter measurement in done several places along the length, along it’s axis (“Axially”) as wells several places around it. (“Radially”) (measure it, rotate it a little measure again) No I have never had a problem with Green or Yellow box bullets varying in diameter, but I have had a certain popular color box of bullets be egg shaped! Measuring radially will let you know if the part is really round or not. For the record I doubt if a bullet being egg shaped by .0001 or .0002” (two ten-thousandth’s of 1 inch) will affect accuracy as the bullet will engrave to the barrel and is in a plastic state while it’s in the tube so the barrel will reform the bullet to a more round state. But I personally am anal about all this stuff and error on the side of overkill. Egg shaped bullets do not instill confidence! But again if you do not have a good micrometer- don’t sweat this first test- I have NEVER found diameter problems with ANY bullet that came out of a Green or Yellow box.




Second:
Now for another abbreviated test. This is probably only worthwhile if you have a very fine set of mechanical balance type scales or digital scales. Let’s weight 25 or so and make sure the weight is running pretty much spot on. I have never had much of an issue with weight variation in bullets coming out of a Yellow or Green box though I will say on semi-frequent occasion you will get some out of tolerance when working through a box. So as long as a small test batch looks good, we’ll assume the lot is fine unless you deem your time, and rifles potential worth splitting hairs. If so, weigh EVERY bullet and sort them in .2 grain (or finer) lots

Third:
Now we move to a critical test. Evidently this spec is far harder for the manufacturers to hold than weight or diameter. We’re going to measure the length of the bearing surface of the bullet. The bearing surface is the only part of the bullet that touches the bore/rifling. Let say we have a standard bearing surface length of (.500”) a half inch for the sake of round numbers. Great. But if a bullet shows up with .490” bearing surface, - .010” (10 thousandth’s) short of standard We know it will not have as much surface rubbing the bore, which will not cause as much pressure build up so that bullet will achieve a lower muzzle velocity and it will impact low. Ah ha! Now we are learning.
And the same can be said if a bullet shows up with a .510 bearing surface or +.010” longer than standard.. We know it has a little more surface area contacting our bore, which equates to more resistance, which equates higher pressure and more velocity. Yep, you guessed it- this bullet will achieve higher MV and it will impact high. So let’s make a pact we are going to sort our bullets into groups of bearing surface lengths so that when we shoot long range we are all smiles, deal?
How do we measure bearing surface lengths? Glad you asked! There are several ways, but since we most likely already have a set of dial/digital calipers, let’s just got that route. It’s a little cheaper too. Hopefully by now you have received in the mail your bump gauge attachment for your calipers that we spoke of in Chapter One: Brass Prep. But let’s revisit the tool because we’re gonna need an additional one as well as two inserts.

Tool list:
You’ll need two of these to measure the bearing surface of your bullet. (or one if you already have one for measuring you case headspace/bump length as spoke of in Chapter One: Case Prep.
http://www.sinclairintl.com/product/5574/Bullet-Comparators

And you’ll need two of these. They are bullet caliber/diameter specific!
http://www.sinclairintl.com/product/11173/Bullet-Comparators

So to measure the length of the bearing surface, we insert the bullet comparator inserts into the bodies and just slightly snug the set screw. Now place a body onto each jaw of the calipers and snug the thumbscrew. Make sure the comparator inserts are lined up with each other as closely as you possibly can. Do this by feel dragging a finger across from the end of one to the start of the other.

Now with the comparators gently slid together Zero your calipers. Take a couple of dozen or so bullets and measure the bearing length. Write down the most consistent reading of the bunch and call this the measurement “they are supposed to be.” I get several containers and place a yellow sticky note on them. This one we’ll call “nominal” or “supposed to be.” But then we need a
-.002” (minus two thousandths) container, a -.004” and God forbid there be a need for a -.006” container. Do this with + (positive) +2 +,4, & + ? thousandths as well. It’s okay that not all the bullets are exactly the same as far as the whole batch goes. We just want to have a, specific bearing length per trip in the field/range/match so they all have as near identical MV as possible.

In this next picture are my two bodies (holders) two 30 cal bullet comparator inserts and in the center is my headspace/bump gauge which is used to measure from the head of the case to the datum of the shoulder- See Chapter One: Brass Prep




Next we have the comparators installed and aligned on the caliper jaws in the picture below:




and finally the bearing surface actually being measured (below)




Fourth:
About those Meplats. What is “Meplat”? It is the present tense act of a person platting or braiding a three-fold cord. Just kidding. We already learned the meplat is essentially the point of the bullet. So why are we concerned with them? Consistency of course. Dumb question. WE ARE FOREVER CHASING CONSISTENCY. Not all Meplats are created equal. And considering the bullets come out of my 300 Win mag with a 10 twist barrel @ just over 2900 fps- they are doing in the neighborhood of 211,000 rpms if my math is correct. (No guarantees there!)

So if you go through your box of match bullets, you’ll quickly see many many bullets have OBVIOUSLY inconsistent meplats. Well we cannot have inconsistency & happy shooting on the same short bus. They just can’t be found in the same places. Enter the meplat trimmer.

A Meplat trimmer is a simple tool that too can be had from Sinclair int. & similar companies. It uses a endmill to trim back the meplat to the point that it’s cleaned up/consistent. And when we run all our bullets through the trimmer, their all have exactly the same Meplat diameter and are square to the bullet.

True, a meplat trimmer blunts the bullet a teeny bit, and that does make it a bit dirtier. (“dirty” being a slang aeronautical term that means NOT aerodynamic) yes it reduces BC, but the
BC were not consistent with all those gimped up bullet points anyway.. So take your pick. Have an inconsistent/untrue but published high BC , or have a bit lower BC but it’s dead on consistent bullet to bullet, shot to shot at range. For you anal types like me that have to have a number-, I keep hearing a 2% quote- that is trimming the meplat reduces BC by 2%.

Here’s a picture of a gimped up point, and the same after trimmed.



Here’s Sinclairs link to their trimmer
http://www.sinclairintl.com/product/11233/s







Fifth:
Bullet “Pointing”
NRA competitor Robert Whidden developed a die system that presses a keener point on a given hollow point match bullet. This increases BC which allows the bullet to retain velocity, energy and wind bucking ability better. Most of us on this website are shooting 6.5mm and bigger bullets. My understanding is bullet “pointing” has great gains in .224 bullets as well as good gains in 6mm, but the larger diameter the bullet the more negligible the return. I’ll let you read about it here, http://www.whiddengunworks.net/pointingdie.html because man I am I tired of typing!

So this concludes how to sort and prep your bullets to be as consistent as possible in your long range endeavors. Feel free to contact me as I’m happy to help.

Coming soon is Chapter Three: Finding the Riflings & OAL

Regards,
Tres

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
This instructional took considerable time & effort. It is presented here for free. Enjoy! However if any one feels motivated to express appreciation a donation can be sent to the paypal account nativemant@yahoo.com. No big deal. Thanks! TresMon










 
Jan 1, 2010
84
0
0
39
winslow az
#5
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

very impressive information i hope that mods sticky all of your write ups on this stuff, thanks again for all the info.
 

MitchAlsup

Gunny Sergeant
Feb 19, 2007
1,657
0
0
Austin Texas
#8
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

I still prefer meplat pointing over trimming. Both mkae the variation in BC go down, trimming makes the BC go down, pointing makes the BC go up.
 
Jan 30, 2010
133
0
0
58
Texas
#10
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

Is anyone else having trouble reading this? The format is messed up around the two side-by-side micrometer photos for me. It looks like some of the text is hidden behind the photos. I'm using IE8.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,152
26
48
NW USA
#11
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep


No FOX it's just the way it came out with the whole floating or non floating image format. your seeing all the text. I'll straighten it out when I get time. Sorry.
 
Jan 30, 2010
133
0
0
58
Texas
#13
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: TresMon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
No FOX it's just the way it came out with the whole floating or non floating image format. your seeing all the text. I'll straighten it out when I get time. Sorry.</div></div>

Thanks! I will appreciate it.
 

rsee03

Sergeant
Mar 11, 2010
144
2
18
53
Iowa
#15
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

Well, IMO I think this was an excellent topic. I have been reloading for a little while but never had this knowledge. Thanks for pointers on some new tools.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,152
26
48
NW USA
#17
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

Hey folks thanks of the kind words. It's really a boost. I'm working on the next chapter:

Chapter: 3,"Where are my Riflings and where should I put them?"

One of you guys asked some more good questions and I'll be happy to answer them as best I can;

<span style="font-weight: bold"><span style="font-style: italic">""First, when examining bullets, roughly how many fail your QC checks in the condition they are unpacked. Of these, how many fail to respond to repair?"</span></span>

I like to get my bullets in bulk boxes of 500 etc. And like I stated in the instructional I just do the first two test generally in an abbreviated manner but the individual bullet weights can vary more than I am comfortable with. I do not recall getting a bullet that was more than .4grain off the mark high or low, but .1 - .3 can be a somewhat frequent occurrence. As far as a bullet not responding to repair- i.e. not cleaning up when meplat trimmed to the same spec as all the others is a very rare occurrence. Maybe 1:30 or 1:40 ratio? And it's these guys I set aside for my first shot at the range or match to remove a "cold bore" situation prior to a shot string.

There seems to be two schools of thought in long range X ring/ Score type shooting. (opposed to steel shooting where it is either a hit or miss.) That is 1. ""It's a thousand yards for crying out loud, my rifle shoots better than I can at that range, why bother?""
2. ""It's a thousand yards for crying out loud, let's suck it up and do every nuance of the whole bit to the n'th degree.""

I obviously fall into the latter category. Sure My weapon I'm shooting at our weekly 1000 yard meets right now may only be able to hold a 1 moa level of accuracy at 1K. (Undetermined at this time- it's new for this season and the load work up is not finalized yet- but let's go with this figure for our purposes here.) Let's say I just fired another round well into a string. The target comes up with a spotter marking my hit at 6 o'clock in the 9 ring. Had I loaded my ammo with the mentality #1, I'd have no idea if it was a flawed meplat that caused the low hit, or a buggered flash hole in my brass causing poor ignition, or odd neck tension from not annealing the case, or, or, or? you see where this goes. I have no deductive reasoning with which to accuratly narrow the why of the low hit.

But having "split every hair" as in the mentality of thought process # 2, in component sort and assembly, rifle maintenance, me maintenance (shooting position, breaking the shot clean) etc. I either know it had to be a down draft, a low average MV, I missed a change in (environmental) conditions. Or some times -I don't know what the heck caused it because everything in the prep, planning & execution was made perfect, the range flags showed the same exact conditions as the last shot, but this one went low and a 1000 yards, is a 1000 yards. But I'll still loose sleep over it (often literally) because I do not know WHY IT WENT LOW!???

<span style="font-weight: bold"><span style="font-style: italic">"Secondly, while doing this may seem anal to you, it's not anal if it results in improved accuracy. Have you any data to support a conclusion that this work actually affects scores beneficially, etc.?"</span></span>

Well the answer is absolutely NO. I made all this stuff up to merely increase my post count on this forum so people would think I was cool. I'm just kidding. But how can you have absolutes when shooting entry level (read low budget) weapons (such as mine) at a totally unforgiving range? I guess when I think of "data" "support" & "conclusions" My machinist mind goes into high gear and thinks that to have those things- I'd have to be able to tell you that each time I go to range X
(1000 yard line) with rifle x, shooting load x, I shoot a resultant 7.362" 10 shot group, -every time- with 100% repeatability. I know that is ludicrous but I confessed long before I'm anal at this stuff. I can not tell you that so therefore it's my personality I would not tell you I have absolute data & conclusion.

However in my long range shooting journey I have noticed "trends." As time and squirreling away money allowed, I went from a RCBS 10-10 scales to a Denver Instruments MXX-123 digital powder scale that reads to .02 grain. And I noticed loosely (when thinking in terms ABSOLUTE, REPRODUCIBLE data) that my scores were better and my hits more consistent on the 1000 yard target. The same goes for annealing necks as well as meplating & all these things I have added into my reloading technique, each one showed convincing enough group shrinkage on the long line to deem the extra labor and time worthy. (though I was uniforming pockets and deburring flash holes since I was a teen and automatically assumed it an imperative when I got to shooting 1000 consistently. I have no before or after experience with these two preps when it comes to long range)

<span style="font-style: italic"><span style="font-weight: bold">As you probably know, I don't do most of these things, and don't as a deliberate choice. That choice is based on my having done some, not all (Meplating was unknown at the time), of these steps, and then testing under blind conditions. After several shooters (our Marine Corps League shooting team) performed the blind testing, there was an insignificant bias in favor of the ammo that was prepared without the extra work. Definitely not enough to be statisticlaly significant in support or either approach.</span></span>

I wonder if that is just laziness and a lack of heart to be the very best 1000 yard shooter they can be on behalf of those individual Marines? I state that seriously & in honesty. When I walk by on the way to the line I have noticed on (rare) occasions some eye rolling and overheard a few little comments all in regards to my "spitting split hairs" as I call it approach to shooting well @ 1000 yards. And I plod on to my firing position wondering if it's just that their to lazy to do the extra work or if I'm an OCD nut in outer orbit. ?

But as I stated above I have noticed that with each of these further steps and and refinements there has been enough down range refinement to convince me I need to keep doing it.

and, if I'm an OCD nut, I'm a happy nut. I have a 1.84" 600 yard group hanging over my bench fired with a .223 AR- my 1000 yd. rifle of last year. And most recently I have an older (pre-accutrigger) factory Savage Tactical 300WM shooting .25 moa @ 400 yards these days which is my 1000 yard rifle for this year.

 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
5,260
576
113
Arizona, good place for me...
#18
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

Good answer to that last question.

In my case, the answer is a definitive, "I just don't know".

I see handloading as a necessary evil; that which cannot really be avoided in order to shoot at the range.

So in truth, I'm kinda quick to surrender my personal demands that I be the best around.

Simply said, I don't shoot to be the best anymore. I did it a lot, and sometimes I was, but with due respect, I don't do it anymore.

My shooting these days is geared more toward personal improvement and enjoying the cameraderie of fellow shooters, many of whom I still have much to learn from. This includes yourelf, and your response has provoked much thought on my part; probably enough to shake my dependence on mediocrity as a lifestyle. I certainly <span style="font-style: italic">can</span>do better, and maybe the time has come to bite that bullet and go out there and actually do it.

If such occurs, and improvement results, I will have you in particular to thank.

Greg
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,152
26
48
NW USA
#19
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

I'm pleased to know I was a help at any level.
Thanks

I have been hand loading since I was a young teen and learned a good bit. When I started shooting My local ranges weekly 1000 yard league Hide member CRIVER certainly showed me technique & freely gave information that brought my handloading up an entire level which here I give due credit to and express sincere appreciation. Thanks Criver!

 
Jan 30, 2010
133
0
0
58
Texas
#20
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: TresMon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
Pictures and text reorganized. Sorry.</div></div>

Thank you very much! Excellent article!
 
Mar 23, 2009
207
0
0
kentucky
#22
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

Thanks alot TresMon! Now I have to go out and buy some new toys for my reloading bench. I have thought about some of this but never saw it in print. I love the TresMon reloading manual! Keep them comeing. Just when I thought I knew it all...
 

clmayfield

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 14, 2008
2,066
1
36
43
San Antonio, Texas
#23
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: TresMon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
<span style="font-style: italic"><span style="font-weight: bold">As you probably know, I don't do most of these things, and don't as a deliberate choice. That choice is based on my having done some, not all (Meplating was unknown at the time), of these steps, and then testing under blind conditions. After several shooters (our Marine Corps League shooting team) performed the blind testing, there was an insignificant bias in favor of the ammo that was prepared without the extra work. Definitely not enough to be statisticlaly significant in support or either approach.</span></span>

I wonder if that is just laziness and a lack of heart to be the very best 1000 yard shooter they can be on behalf of those individual Marines? I state that seriously & in honesty. When I walk by on the way to the line I have noticed on (rare) occasions some eye rolling and overheard a few little comments all in regards to my "spitting split hairs" as I call it approach to shooting well @ 1000 yards. And I plod on to my firing position wondering if it's just that their to lazy to do the extra work or if I'm an OCD nut in outer orbit. ?

But as I stated above I have noticed that with each of these further steps and and refinements there has been enough down range refinement to convince me I need to keep doing it.

and, if I'm an OCD nut, I'm a happy nut. I have a 1.84" 600 yard group hanging over my bench fired with a .223 AR- my 1000 yd. rifle of last year. And most recently I have an older (pre-accutrigger) factory Savage Tactical 300WM shooting .25 moa @ 400 yards these days which is my 1000 yard rifle for this year.

</div></div>

There is a legitimate point here (and that is coming from an OCD nut). David Tubb has won Camp Perry with the .308 Win, 7mm-08, 6.5mm-08 / 260 Rem, 243 Win, and 6mmX. He has won with the Model 70, with an SR-25, and with the Tubb 2000 (I don't think he ever won with a 700, but I might be wrong on that). This guy is absolutely obsessed with gear... Ironically, if there is a poster boy for showing that gear doesn't matter, it is David Tubb. I think he could win Camp Perry with a Daisy BB gun if he figured out how to juice it up enough.

All that said, I just like the idea of shooting perfectly uniform ammo... but I understand those who roll their eyes.

There is a great interview with Brad Suave on 6mmBR where he talks about his scores going up when he stopped cleaning. He didn't think that the cleaning hurt, but the cleaning time was cutting into his trigger time. Some people make that argument about reloading. For me, those times are mutually exclusive. I have two young kids, so my loading time is at night after they are in bed and the range is closed. If someone were choosing loading rather than going to the range, then yeah, there is a tradeoff that needs to be addressed.
 

Victory

Pagan Raider
Nov 14, 2005
1,143
11
38
Making bad guys nervous
#24
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

Are you remeasuring the bullet weight after the fixing the meplate for inconstancies? In my mind it would seem that there could be a possible difference in weight after this process.

Just wondered if this had been looked at and what the answer is.

I have been researching reloading for a while, and I am getting close to starting soon. Your write ups have been the easiest to follow and understand so far.

Thanks for taking the time to do these.

Cheers,
Andrew
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,152
26
48
NW USA
#25
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep



Thanks for your kind words..

No I trim the meplats last with no further measurement or sort...
 

BigDKC

Sergeant
Mar 19, 2010
251
0
0
38
KCMO
#29
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

Dumb question time!

Ok, so lets say I have all my bullets in the box sorted out in groups as mentioned above, got my cases prepped and ready to go. At this point all I have to do is put it all together.

Here is my question, what is the method to keeping things sorted and seperate? I am assuming after putting them together you would still keep them seperated by the bullets as they were sorted before? And then what do I do with those three rounds, and then those 8 etc etc? I am guessing you want them to stay in groups based on that measurement but doesn't that get hard to deal with? Specially at the range? Do you carry 14 different ammo boxes along with all the rouds seperated? Not to mention hard to always end up with the right number of rounds for group shooting each time? (I'm guessing you will always end up with one or two extra that fall out of a 5 shot grouping rotation)

I'm just thinking out loud here, sorry if it's a dumb question. I am just getting things setup to follow this method but some of the small details I should probably already know are escaping me..
 

m1k3

Sergeant
Sep 12, 2008
581
1
18
San Angelo, TX
#30
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

I normally just use a Fine Point Sharpie and write on the brass case. Its pretty durable, easy to read after shooting too if you need to go back and look at primers and then look at what load was in that brass. Or if they are all the same load with just diff. bullet weights, just mark them with say a 1 for all the ones of a specific group and 2 for the next, etc.

Doesn't hurt the brass or the rifle.

Mike
 
Sep 10, 2009
253
1
18
55
Central Ohio
www.youtube.com
#31
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

..I picked up a Sinclair Bullet Sorting Stand [I already had the dial indicator] when they first came out several months ago....so far my "failure rate" is about 7 out of 100 bullets that have a greater than +/- 0.001" base to ogive dimension.

..I, too may be anal about my reloading...but at least I know when I miss it was either me or the WIND!!


Here is the TYPICAL "pass" bullet:





Here is the TYPICAL "reject" bullet:












 

mdesign

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 2, 2004
2,089
2
38
Nebraska
#33
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

I have not tested this yet to see if it makes any difference on the target but it is very interesting to see the variation in bullet lengths.

When grouping bullets in lots by .002 differential, I found that Bergers and Serria's are actually pretty good with lots of 500 bullets forming a nice tight bell curve with minimal outliers. The Hornaday's I have measured have a much flatter curve and a wider ES.

I know the normal group size for these bullets so I'll be interested in seeing if this sorting effects group size.
 
Apr 11, 2010
45
0
0
37
Phoenix AZ
#36
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

I have a question. When you measure the bearing surface of the bullet and sort them, do you have to remeasure them from base to ogive to then trim the meplat? Do you have to measure each bullet essentially twice if you're going to trim??
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,152
26
48
NW USA
#39
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep


Wayne,

No. To measure a bullet form base to tip is measuring the over all length, and yes trimming the meplat will shorten the OAL.

However measuring the bearing surface is totally different. your only measuring the length of the part of the bullet that actually touches the bore which is far shorter than the oal. clear?

Lemme know.
 
Apr 11, 2010
45
0
0
37
Phoenix AZ
#40
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

yes I understand base to tip, what I meant to ask if it wasn't clear above, you measure base to ogive and sort them to put them in the meplat uniformer. The sinclair meplat uniformer housing holds bullets by the meplat so measuring and sorting them for uniforming makes sense (to me). Once that's done, do you then sort bullets by bearing surface?
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,152
26
48
NW USA
#41
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Pre

Wayne,

No the bullet meplat trimmer from sinclair indexes off the ogive. The length of the bearing surface nor the length of base to ogive would ever make a difference to the meplating process.

6.5 SUPER,
I think your measuring a not so critical dimension there. (nice pics and write up!) The base of a boat tail bullet could be convex or concave a thousandth alone and you'd deem it a "bad" bullet. Really the only thing your measuring is how close the over all bullet profile(shape) is from one bullet to the next, which would be a (CRUDE!) measurement of aerodynamic similarity of sorts from one bullet to the next. The two most critical bullet checks are consistent weight and bearing surface length for long range shooters. (for the anal, add in uniforming meplats, and for the rich and anal, add in a ICC testing machine that test for balance http://www.theaccuracyden.com/) You need an additional gauge to sit on the rear of the bullet at the rear end of the bearing surface. Then your really getting the good out of that fine surface plate & indicator you have there.

 
Apr 11, 2010
45
0
0
37
Phoenix AZ
#42
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Pre

the reason I keep getting stuck on this topic is because a sinclair tech and their catalog says to sort bullets by base to ogive before trimming meplats using the meplat uniformer. Curious.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,152
26
48
NW USA
#44
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Pre


Talked to the Sinclair techs. They are claiming that in bullet manufacture the ogive point of the bullet moves slightly bullet to bullet. Hence their suggestion to sort bullets base to Ogive. Group bullets of like base to ogive dimensions. Then meplat these groups one group at a time, resetting the cutter for each group to maintain ultimate overall consistency. Again perhaps out of the scope of this forums given shooter, but good to know regardless for any who may want to spilt every possible hair.
 
Apr 11, 2010
45
0
0
37
Phoenix AZ
#45
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Pre

yeah I don't see myself doing that, however, it was just a question I was curious about. And to be honest, for me anyway, sorting bullets into piles while watching tv or whatever is quite easy. I'm glad you called to verify because for a minute I thought I was going crazy haha.
 
Nov 12, 2010
179
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66
Florida, United States
#47
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Pre

Would you like to sell any of your bad bullets? LOL - just kidding. It takes me a long time to reload 40 rounds. I image it takes you even longer to get the consistency you are achieving. About how long does it take you to completely reload a certain number of rounds?
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,152
26
48
NW USA
#48
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Pre


That's a good question.

I don't know. Being a machinist and brain washed to inspect everything to the smallest dimension- it just kinda turns my crank to produce the best ammo I can.
Coupled with that I LOVE long range shooting so long as I get good results... and the labor of love I put into my ammo makes incredible (for me) results.

So the whole "times flies when your having a good time" applies to me wether I'm at the load bench, behind the rilfe, etc.

But really the prep work is kinda meditational to me (read- i don't have time/need for cable tv, saves money, stimulates the brain) I sort bullets and contemplate, plan & figure on the typical things planned and figured as I do it, etc.

It's not really right in the end, but I really would not consider bullet sort or brass prep as part of "time it takes to reload." Especially since it (mostly) has to be done once.

I guess it's kinda like when you schedule your time, you don't factor in walking to the mail box once a day or taking out your trash. It's just a given part of your routine and taken for granted....

When I get to the bench to produce ammo I have prepped brass ready to go, sorted bullets ready to go.. etc. So It probably takes me no longer than you, except I may do a few more QC checks along the way.
 

DUB DEE

Sergeant
Aug 21, 2008
116
0
0
#50
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Pre

Tresmon, i read the section about Meplat trimming and bullet pointing. They are actually saying that Trimming is as much as 5% BC reduction and their pointing die is 5% BC increase.
 
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