Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,123
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NW USA
#51
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Pre



Yes, meplat trimming reduced Bc but makes bc bullet to bullet consistent. Untrimmed meplats have varying Bc and there goes our consistency & with it accuracy.

Pointing does not give 5% better bc across the board. Smaller bullets are better effected than large bullets by pointing. It's a bullet meplat size to bullet diameter ratio.

Think about- it size for size, scale for scale the meplat on a 22cal match king is huge compared to a very similar sized meplat on a .338 match king.
 
Jan 14, 2010
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Mason Co., WA
#52
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

First of all, thank you for the post.

Second, does it matter if the bullets in the yellow box I purchased are very spotted (I presume copper corrosion)? If it does matter, can I just put them in a tumbler, or will that screw up the meplat or other VLD variables?
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,123
1
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NW USA
#53
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep


Define "spotted:" if it is hue only don't sweat it. If it's green corrosion it needs to be tumbled off.
 
#56
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

Do you recommend weighing bullets with an electronic scale or balance beam? I just bought a Frankford Armory digital from Midway USA for 30$ I hope its accurate enough without getting into the 100$+ market
 
Oct 2, 2010
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Iowa
#57
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

Tell you what Tresmon...If you want to fence I got a job for you, also a place to stay...the pay sucks and so does the food but its here for the taking...one thing though...Bring Your Equipment...hehe
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,123
1
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NW USA
#58
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep


Thanks Reb!

Crew My additions to my 'Hide articles as well as brand new articles will be on my brand new website WildernessMeans.com Stay tuned!
 

1J04

Morale Officer
Aug 7, 2011
8,094
1,570
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PACIFIC NW
#65
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

This is absolute "MUST KNOW" info and should never, IMHO, be removed from where it's at as a "Sticky". Thanks a million for the great insight.
 

RedGoat

3.14=PI.E
Jun 4, 2011
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Houston, TX
#66
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

Nice work mate.

Guess I'm going to have to get that Whidden meplat trimmer for my Wilson. And that's only if I can talk myself out of the Whidden pointing dies.

Sniper's Hide = Empty Pockets


Keep your powder dry,
Goat
 
Jul 18, 2011
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Corsicana, Texas
#70
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Pre

Hmmmm Makes me want to attach a comparator insert to the tip of the dial indicator stem on the Bullet Sorting Stand just to speed things up when sorting large lots. The stems on some indicators are removable and interchangeable, so if you could get a supply of stems you could make a 'comparator-stem' for each caliber you need. The method of attachment wouldn't matter so long as it was absolutely in-line, would it?
 
Oct 3, 2011
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Mississippi
#71
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Pre

TresMon,
I have read all of your excellent tutorials on ammunition crafting on this forum. I want to thank you for the excellent information that you present. I have a bit of that OCD tendency too...

In reference to melplat uniforming operations, do you trim before or after using the Whidden bullet pointing system?

Sincerly
Tim
 
Mar 10, 2011
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Illinois
#72
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep

Tres,

Neck micrometer and a concentricity gauge both "must haves" to do the job properly? I currently have a RCBS Case Master and Larry Willis's digital headspace gauge.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,123
1
0
NW USA
#73
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Prep


Tim,

I used to go all out on Pointing bullets. I'd meplat to 90% clean up point and re-meplat trim to 95%.

Anymore I just point and then Meplat trim. (These days I'm shooting more Tactical (hit, or miss targets) so an impact off by a fuzz will not break you.) However in the process I first mentioned- I do that for F-class matches were your scored by a ringed target and an impact 3/8" in a certain direction can cause you to either win, or lose a match.

I can find no fans of F-class matches here, but the precision required of those is FAR greater than it tactical matches.
 

Eric B.

Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
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Las Vegas, NV
#76
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Runout..

One can turn bullets on a runout gauge IF you really want to sort bullets into "practice" bullets and "match" bullets in the most anal possible way.

But after having done this for a while in the '70s I feel that reputable match bullet manufacturers today now have such a high level of precision that it is unnecessary. (IMHO)

More important I feel is checking bullet weights but even there today's good match bullet makers have very few "automatic fliers" due to weight differences.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,123
1
0
NW USA
#77
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Runout..


Great points but since the 70's bullets have gone to VLD designs with longer secant ogives which really lengthens the jacket- magnifying all the minor inconsistencies you used to could get by with.

Generally the longer the bullet the more consistent they need to be.

Thanks,
 
Jul 24, 2007
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Mesa, AZ
www.predatortactical.com
#80
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Pre

Great write up and made a lot of things clear. All of which I'll be using to update my reloading practices.

One side note is that the bullet pointer was done by JOHN Whidden, not Robert.

Rich
 
Sep 10, 2009
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Central Ohio
www.youtube.com
#81
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Pre

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Patriot Prepper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">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? </div></div>


...like Tres says....reloading for me puts me in my "happy place"....

....plus when I MISS.....I will know for certain it was my MISSED WIND CALL!!!




hmmmnnnn...time?...let's see....this is PER Individual Round

note: necks have been turned and primer pockets reamed

1. Clean brass = ultrasonic wash, rinse, & dry cycles = 1 minute

2. Seat primer = 20 secs.

3. Charge & dribble powder = 40 secs.

4. Seat bullets which encompasses using a Forster Micrometer Seater; seat 0.008" long, measure with comparator, sort by depth differences, adjust seater to desired depths = 2 minutes

4 minutes per/round x 50 rounds = 200 minutes = 3 hours & 20 minutes



....to neck turn, trim, and anneal on every other reload = add another 5 minutes per round...


..yeah.....precision reloading is like painting....either you LOVE IT or HATE IT!!!
 

kevad68

Sergeant
Oct 22, 2012
492
3
18
Northern KY
#83
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Pre

Thanks for the write-up! I also checked out your website for the additional articles which were also very informative.

I've been reloading for 10+ years now and always wondered why I was having such a hard time getting those last few millimeters of accuracy, which was frustrating as heck.

Lots new techniques to try and equipment to buy!

Dave
 
Nov 9, 2009
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New Mexico
#85
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 2: Bullet Sort/Pre

A well written article.
I started reloading back in the early 60's and learned the hard way ( no internet) what worked and did not. Your post on the base of the bullet is normally so overlooked,most never even think about it.
As Dr.Mann wrote over 100 years ago, you can do darn near anything to the point of the bullet, but you better not ever damage the base!
This is so true. I could bore you to tears on a long winded reason as to why this is. But, as I was learning how to place bullets into the same hole at 200 yards, you pick up a few tips from the "Old guys".
I deliberately damaged the base of a bunch of Sierra Match Kings in .308 just to see what would happen.
These bullets were inspected for weight,shape,nose opening and core seating depth. All were loaded with the utmost care. Same rifle,same barrel temp,same lighting conditions,etc.
I used a Dremel tool and made scratches, Cuts,low spots and damage to the base of the core. I used a center punch and made dents in the base of the bullets jacket, dropped bullets from known height's onto a concrete floor. I undersized the mouth of the casings and allowed the base of the bullets to scrape off material from the bullet as it was seated.
The results of these test were impressive. The accuracy was so poor as to make one think they had a wall-hanger of a rifle.All because of damage to the base of the bullet.
I tried this test on flat and boat-tailed bullets of American designs. No test were done on D-166 Type bullets.
Both flat and boat-tailed bullets reacted with very poor results. The boat-tailed bullets showed the worst results. I recorded as much as 6 MOA at 100 yards deviation in flight.
The flat based bullets showed just under 5 MOA.
The speed of the bullets caused the deviation to expediently very up/down as per the velocity propelled.
Some of the bullets became very unstable when they went sub-sonic. I remember two very distinct trajectories.
One bullet had the base cut off at a 3 degree angle to the base.
At 600 yards the bullet started to spiral in ever increasing circles until I lost sight of it at about 750 yards. It left a brief vapor train behind it.
The other bullet has a nice deep center punch dent on the side of the boat tail. This bullet flew well for 600 yards and then veered off to the right as if centrifugal force took over.
My notes from the 1976 test showed I did see a change on the crown of the muzzle's "Powder-ring" pattern.
I take my time loading my ammo to make each round as concise to one another as I can. I'm sure you guys do as well.
 

jwp6114

Gunny Sergeant
Mar 8, 2008
1,038
0
0
Newnan, GA
#88
On page 1 of this post he states -0.002", -0.004", -0.006" & +0.002",.....+0.006".


Tres - this is truly a great writeup. People would pay money for this. You should write a book(s).
So in lots of .002 increments.

I just started sorting by bearing length to further reduce my extreme spreads, already anealing, about the only thing I'm not doing yet is trim & point me plats. I am shooting Berger 6mm 105's

I am sorting pills in lots of .003, my question is has anyone ever done any testing to see velocity variation average differences with .002 .003 .005 or .010 ect bearing surface length differences?

Also like to note that I am using same measuring technique as OP. just seems more reliable to get true bearing surface length rather than base to ogive length for pressure and low ES purposes.

Jake
 

jwp6114

Gunny Sergeant
Mar 8, 2008
1,038
0
0
Newnan, GA
#89
Tresmon

I read ahead into your later write ups and might have missed it but did u speak of bullet seating?

My next question in my quest for low (single digit) ES'S has to deal with bullet seating, ok less jump = more pressure and vice Versa,

To my knowledge there is not a seating die on the market that pushes on or near the bottom of the ogive or nearest the bearing surface, but they all seat from a random point on the ogive (not consistent seating depth)

What are your thoughts?
 

RonA

Sergeant
Jul 10, 2011
268
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18
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Browns Valley CA
#90
So if I first make a bushing with a counter bored I.D. that is a couple of tenths(ten thousandths) larger than my largest measured bullet that tapers at the bottom to about .050 smaller than the bullet at about 1.5deg per side, then thread the I.D. so that I can slide a bullet in and use a plastic tipped set screw to hold it in place. Next, using a dead length collet I could load it into the CNC lathe and cut the lengths(and taper at the same time) so that the distance from the start of the ogive to the tip of the bullets would all be the same. If I cut a new seater with the same diameter (but shallower c/bore) detail and seat all my rounds to the same OAL, that would accomplish the same thing?
 
Aug 2, 2011
293
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Houston, TX
#91
... Ironically, if there is a poster boy for showing that gear doesn't matter, it is David Tubb.
Au Contraire, Glen Zediker said that David Tubb has TWO Prometheus scales! Not one, but two. You don't get much more concerned about gear than that. In fact, in one of his books, he has a picture of David Tubb's setup with a Prometheus propped up to drop directly into his Dillon 550B press. THAT might lead one to believe that David Tubb doesn't care about gear since he uses a progressive press, or, it might lead you to believe that Dillon makes a really good press.
 
Aug 2, 2011
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Houston, TX
#92
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
Interesting thought, but trust me, the weight difference is beyond insignificant. I trimmed 1000 .224 77gr. SMK bullet meplats and collected the trimmings. They weighed 6.035gr (with a Sartorious GD503). That's 0.000078376 or 78 millionths!
 
Aug 2, 2011
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Houston, TX
#93
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?...
That is one reason to use large groups. I have 1000 prepped cases that I cycle through, and prepped 1000 .224 77gn SMKs also. When I make 70 rounds for a competition (60 plus sighters), I usually end up with my brass being in a +/- 0.1 gn group and my bullets being in a +/- .001" base to ogive group. That's good enough for single digit MV SD. I sort and store them in two Stack-On 39 drawer storage cabinets (DSB-30) ($20 each at Lowes) The small drawers work great for sorting and storing (since they come out easily,) and I use the 9 large drawers for holding fired brass until I start over.
 
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Aug 2, 2011
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Houston, TX
#94
..I picked up a Sinclair Bullet Sorting Stand ...
I picked up the same stand, and love it; however, this article made me question my measurements. This setup does not allow doubling up on the comparitors, so in reality, I am not measuring the bearing surface, but only the base to ogive length. This article made me realize that in the same way that the base to ogive length can vary, so can the boattail length vary. Oh well, I like this setup. I guess I will have to put up with a compromise until Sinclair comes up with an attachment for an upper comparitor to the dial indicator.

Update: I emailed Sinclair with a suggestion that they produce an adapter that will hold a bullet comparitor and attach to a dial indicator.
 
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Aug 2, 2011
293
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Houston, TX
#95
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??
The Meplat does not affect the ogive to base length. You are not measuring the OAL of the bullet.
 
Aug 2, 2011
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Houston, TX
#96
All of this meplat stuff makes me think this science should be taught in school
Bwahahahahahahaha, you made a funny! Everyone knows that schools are run by leftists who HATE guns. Why do you think schools are always "gun-free" zones? I am a VA Tech Engineering grad. I consider the person second most responsible for the high death toll in the VA Tech massacre was the head of the VA Tech Police Department. He actually went to Richmond the year before to "successfully" lobby the legislature to convince them not to pass a campus-carry bill. The hero of the whole event was an Israeli ex-pat professor named Liviu Librescu. He was a Holocaust survivor and Ex-IDF. He held his classroom door shut while his students all escaped out a second floor window, and he died of gunshots in the process. If not for the misguided lobbying of the VA Tech head cop, I have little doubt that Prof. Librescu would have been carrying, and would have ended the madman's spree far short of the 32 victims he racked up.
 
Aug 2, 2011
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Houston, TX
#97
Apr 27, 2010
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East Tenn
Hey Tres,
When sorting bullets with the Sinclair sorter, what you are trying to control is your seating depth, which becomes very critical, particularly when your dealing with VLDs. In benchrest, 3 thousandths is a standard incremental adjustment when your approaching the sweet spot as measured from the throat. In other words, three thousandths longer bearing surface will have little if any impact on your group, however, that same three thousandths extra jump to the throat, can and will.
Excellent article my friend, and a good read!
Wayne