So what's really the problem - holdup ??? I got invited to a dove shoot a couple weeks ago went to 3 different places & not a single box of 12ga bird shot to be had. I reload for my rifles & have that covered but components are in extremely low supply. So what's exactly going on by those that know.....don't need to hear a bunch of speculation about the dems - libs. They've been around a long time & ammo was plentiful. My local gun & reloading store said in the beginning holders were the major problem but now its a supply issue but he honestly just doesn't know. Just tells me the stuff is on backorder with no estimated ship date. So what do you know ????
Production is at all time high this is a hording issue not an availability issue is what i am hearing from multiple retailers. just watch buying patterns and see what people are buying when they find what they want............all they are allowed to. Leaving none for others.
Here's what I know as I've been buying shotgun stuff for my bud in Florida and rifle stuff for me.
For shotgun......in my travels I've been able to buy some #7.5 and #8 lead shot, Cheddite 209 primers and 8lb jugs of shotgun powder. Most of that I got in Montana last month. I did pick up some more shot last week in northern MI. I have picked up some factory 12g boxes here and there. Down south where the weather is better (like Florida) and folks shoot/reload year round.....supplies and shells can be very hard to come by or cost prohibitive. Up north, a lot of shotgun shooting/reloading is slowing down and shells and supplies are showing up now. I think I paid $31 out the door for a case (100 shells) of 7.5 12 guage last week.
For rifle....similar to shotgun, I've been able to find reloading stuff here and there. It is very slowly getting better but the prices on some stuff is still high...especially the primers. I suspect as more supply enters the pipeline and out to the market, some sellers who paid high will get stuck with the stuff they paid high prices for. While I was waiting for a pizza to get made, I went into a local sporting goods store a couple of hours ago and they had a lot of ammo and even some small rifle primers.
I've been bugging the folks at Nosler the last couple of months to put out some bullets I'm looking for. My POC at Nosler has said he'll pass it on to the folks do the bullet production runs. He also said if the factory can't get the components they need to make their bullets (or ammo, brass, etc), they can't put any out. That would be one reason why we're not seeing some stuff come out of the factory.....no components to make product.
Figure if the components are hard to get for Nosler....they're hard to get for all of the producers. I was curious if employee shortages is playing a factor but I have not heard any rumor to that effect. Maybe someone else has???
Think about the amount of ammo that needs to be supplied. 12 million NEW gun owners last year with all the riots. Now each person buys one gun and one box of rounds, that's 12 million boxes of ammo. No throw on top of the new owners with the millions of old gun owners, that is a ton or rounds. Also, brass is tough to come by and the hoarding frenzy is making it difficult to catch up with. There are signs ammo is getting back to normal, bass pro in my area is no linger limiting boxes of ammo for handguns. I think manufacturers concentrated on supplying handgun ammo and less attention to hunting rounds. The one thin I know for,sure is a price of a box of 9 mm ball was 11/12 dollars a box before the panic and now is 21-24 a box and don't see it going down any rime soon. My advice to you is check the local wal arts in your area they seem to have ammo and at old pricing due to their orders placed for the year. I was buying 45-70 for 32 /box instead of the 100/ box on the Internet. The manufacturers are running 24/7 3 shifts and still they are behind. Stickup when you can becuase we are one riot away from this all happening again.
IMO....the thing about the manufacture's is what is their production output? They might be running 24/7 shifts but if production output is not back to the pre-virus levels....that impacts what we see (or don't see) on the shelves. Aside from all the new gun owners needing ammo, there are alot of new reloaders like myself looking for product to reload.
I had a bit of stock in Smith & Wesson (SWBI) for a while and know Fed background checks were setting records each month. I currently own stock in AMMO inc (POWW) They make specialty ammo and are building a new production facility in Wisconsin. That should be up and running soon. The last few quarters they have been beating the earnings estimates. We'll see where that goes and how long it lasts. I watch what the other ammo makers are doing. If one does good, most all do good as that is an indication ammo sales (or at least earnings) are may be positive across the board.
It all adds up to causing the problem, new owners due to the rioting, factories not running at full capacity due to worker shortages or material shortages, hoarders reminding the rest of us we should have been too, speculators buying fricken everything in sight, truck driver shortages. It appears to be getting better but the early expectations that it would all subside by fall 2021 were off. I would guess another year before things stabilize depending upon a lot of things that might affect it.
I have local shop that has always had any kind of ammo I want and I am stocked up for the rest of my life. The one exception was 350 Legend ammo when the price went sky high. I have enough to last for years if I only use it for deer hunting. My wife had a contact in Tennessee that supplied her with .380, 9 mm, .38 and 357 mag so she has some If I should get low.
Then there are the dealers scalping ammo on Gun Broker etc. People see the high prices and buy *more* because "well it's scarce and just gonna get worse, so..."
There are still weak points in the supply chain, someone mentioned brass above. Looking for new cases in a different caliber, everything is back-ordered out of sight. Mixed range brass is selling at premium prices.
@2wildbill If that was .223, 9mm, .308, etc you would have had a bidding war Any of the current military, popular self-defense, or hunting rounds here are in very high demand There isnt much available in our area for sale right now in the way of components My wife and i went to the range on friday. There wasnt a single piece of brass laying anywhere. Normally when you walk out to change your targets it goes crunch with the cases laying everywhere. The range officer said they havent had to pick up any brass since yhis time last yesr, and the steel/aluminum cases they pick up are going to the scrapyard.
“Production at a all time high,”??? How do you know that ? With all of the supply chain and worker shortages issues with every other industry, how can ammo manufacturers be producing at a all time high ? Powder , brass, primer , workers, shortages, but ammo is being produced at a all time high ? Not buying it , we all know the politicians are lying to us, (and the anti-gun people are loving this ammo shortage,)and I’d be willing to bet the ammo Co. are stretching the truth too.
I inherited my Father's guns and reloading cabinet 27 years ago. I had never thoroughly looked thru the cabinet until last weekend. To my surprise, there's enough brass, bullets, powder, and primers to reload thousands of rounds of 30 cal and 7mm rifle loads. All the necessary equipment was also in there. It was a pleasant surprise.
Question. Is there a shelf life on powder? I know some of this stuff has to be pushing 40-50 years old.
Lots of 308 and 223 fmj's for sale at the local Cabelas recently, hunting ammo still sparse. Since MA is a shotgun state for deer the shortage of slugs has people talking about using their muzzle-loaders, BUT finding 209 primers is a treasure hunt too.
For GG, powder keeps almost indefinitely if kept dry in a sealed container. If the containers are metal and likely are from that era, check them. The powder should not be turning reddish (rusty looking) nor have a lot of aroma. Should look gray, not be clumped up etc.
I have used shotgun powders recently of the DuPont era that dates back 50 years. Specifically the 700X I picked up chronographs exactly the same fps at the same weight charge as Hodgdon 700X purchased new in 2021.
Have a gent been doing construction here for the last year and has close friends that work at the Federal Ammo plant and they have been running full out production, the wearhouse is full. With 7 million gun new gun buyers from this year the supply and demand has been under great pressure plus with a primmer backup.
Thanks. The powder is in metal containers, and has been kept dry, so it sounds like it should still be good.
Among other gems, I also found a live 20 mm round that has what appears to be a tin or zinc plated case. The thing is HUGE! I have no idea where my Father acquired that from. There was also an ancient unopened box of 30-40 Krag shells. To my knowledge, my father never owned a 30-40. I wish I would have sat down with my Father and gotten all the back-stories on some of this stuff before he died.
So JJ , “warehouse is full” ? Are you saying it’s a trucking issue ? That I might give some credence to. But the other comments, I don’t care about 9MM , 5.56, and most of the 308 ammo I’ve seen on the shelves is not hunting ammo. I understand LE and the city gangbangers need that ammo. But how about some hunting calibers like the 30-06 ? LOL
GG, I will caution you to use loading data for the correct powder that you have. As an example, Dupont or IMR 4350 are not the same as H4350 (Hodgdon). Same with Dupont or IMR4831 vs H4831.
I assume you have loading manuals from that era with the powders and reloading equipment. Ensure the recipe you use is for the exact nomenclature of the powder you have.
Good luck with it, and start at the bottom end of the data, well away from maximum loads and work up. Read all the info in the manuals on getting started reloading. Hodgdon has good info, as do many other sources.
Thanks for the info. I do have my father's loading manuals. He also conveniently labeled all of his boxes of loaded rounds with the type and weight of the bullet and powder . For example, his favorite 30-06 load appears to be 49 gr. of 4895 powder and 150 gr. Sierra bullets. I spent many hours helping my father reload ammo, but it's been over 40 years ago, so I will definitely do my research before I attempt to use any of his old stuff.
Due to some erratic shooting this fall, I was starting to get concerned about our supply of steel waterfowl loads. I stopped at a usually well stocked Farm and Fleet store and the shelves were bare save for 2 boxes of 3.5" hevi shot for $50 something a box of 25. I don't have a 3.5" gun. Thankfully the shooting improved and the targets decreased in abundance and we survived the season. BTW, it was mostly my son's erratic shooting. LOL.
FWIW......I scored alot of great reload info and recipes from Long Range Hunter and talking to the guy in charge of the reloading dept at Nosler. I've even sent him some of my recipes that work well for my cal's. Anyone should be able to call the reload guru at the bullet manufacture and pick his/her brain for details. Some of the Nosler details I got weren't in the reload manual....mainly what bullet type liked what jump.
For reloaders, there are supplies of bullets (shot), powder and primers out there, mainly at the on line stores. I have a list of sites that I check daily and when I find what I want in stock I buy it then...don't wait!
Currently, there seems to be a lot of bullets available (hence the "black Friday" sales) with some powder and almost no primers. I would also check you local "Arms List" for components that individuals are selling.
Scammer Alert. This also came in from the bro. I ran across these guys 2-3 weeks ago. The Mexican sounding guy I spoke to said they have everything listed on the website. It was too good to be true and I suspected a scam when he said I couldn't order over the phone.
""Riveraamunition.com has a regular website selling ammo and etc.
They are a COMPLETE SCAM, PAID them with ZELLE (through Bank Of America)and there is no getting your money back. Might as well have wired Money. A $501.00 up by me. They also texted me trying to get more money saying they needed another $200. to ship it.
Have alerted BOA
Sent money to [email protected] Phone # is 205-336-2171 BE VERY CAREFULL WITH ZELLE PAYMENTS.
Do not screw up like me. Please help spread the word about these guys!!
You can go to places like Graf's, Brownells, Midway, etc and put some stuff on back order and you'll go to the front of the line when stuff does come in. I've got some parts/pieces/powder/primers like that. I've got some low-profile sources that get stuff in. I check their sites everyday.
My biggest customer is SIG Sauer in NH. The management has told me that it's about the Primer production.
It's the hardest part of ammunition to manufacturer. It's basically a paste and very difficult/dangerous to manufacturer. It goes Boom very easily and requires special machinery and process's. Not very easy for any Joe Blow company to just start making.
SIG is in the process of starting a primer manufacturer facility in the South. They already own an ammo mfg facility in Arkansas.
Just think about it, every other piece of a bullet is easy to make.
I have a relative that is a Swat Team member. When he sometimes comes to do some practicing I could load up on .223 and .40 brass. He has to take the grenade launcher cases back. He let me shoot it and I hit the target. No recoil at all. Has a red dot sight and since they are dummy rounds that may account for lack of recoil.
I could write a book about this stuff.... I've worked in firearms/ammo retail for about 10 years. This is at least the 3rd ammo shortage in that time frame. By far the worst. It starts as a shortage. The shortage is prolonged by hoarding. People will keep buying, as long as they perceive there is a shortage.
A couple tips.... ammo isn't milk. Don't buy it like milk. When it is plentiful, and relatively cheap... buy some. Here and there, when you find it at a good price, buy some. Don't shoot it all up. It doesn't hurt to have some for a rainy day. It's truly amazing, the number of people who keep 6 rounds of ammo in reserve for their pet rifle, then walk in, totally incredulous when you tell them, "sorry, don't have it." The responses are gold sometimes.... "WHY DON'T YOU ORDER SOME?" "Well, what am I supposed to do????" My personal favorite is, "You should order a whole pallet."
Having been through this, knowing nearly every one of these people have also been through it.... several times, leaves me with precious little sympathy for 98% of the people out there that have not learned one thing from their past experiences.
Milhouse, good advise. I've accumulated enough so that 'shortages' don't send me into panic mode. I don't shoot as much as some here but I can go warm up any of my guns without a problem. Have a couple years' supply of reloading components for my rifles, and I 'check the shelves' when I'm at the store but haven't had to pay scalper prices for anything (yet.)
Seeing 'a bit' more at the stores, just letting the hoarders bankrupt themselves ;-)
Millhouse. Def by far the worst. We get used to “the sky is falling” mentality from the past and I have never bought into that. But no one could have foreseen what something like Covid could do to supply and demand.
So I have enough to hunt with for at least another 3-4 years, but I haven’t been a hoarder, so I don’t have enough ammo to just go plink/ practice. And as many have stated, I refuse to pay scalpers prices. So hopefully we find our way out of the abyss sometime in the next year or two
I don't know but I have never seen a shortage of shotgun ammo, even during the obama era. I went dove hunting this fall for the first time. Learned I'm not such a great shot..... Any how I just want to replace the boxes of shells I shot up. Crazy expensive when I find it.
I don't know but I have never seen a shortage of shotgun ammo, even during the obama era. I went dove hunting this fall for the first time. Learned I'm not such a great shot..... Any how I just want to replace the boxes of shells I shot up. Crazy expensive when I find it.
Here is a quick read on where powder is produced I copied off another forum. There is one production plant in the US located in St. Marks Florida.
"It's the onetime Olin Corp plant, now part of General Dynamics. It makes double-based ball powders only or those (Such as Hodgdon Hybrid 100V and some Alliant types) using the same slurry / distillation based process.
All Winchester and Hodgdon ball / 'spherical' grades are supplied by St. Marks as are nearly all propellants used in US military smallarms ammo, the US government having decided way back in the 1950s with 7.62 adoption that this type would be the norm, sniper and special purpose ammo aside.
Ramshot / Accurate ball powder comes from PB Clermont in Belgium. Hodgdon extruded grades and IMR-8208 XBR from Thales / ADI in Mulwala, NSW, Australia. Other than 8208 XBR, IMR extruded rifle powders are also made by a General Dynamics Corp owned plant in Valleyfield, Ontario, Canada. (Hodgdon owns the IMR brand name and marketing rights IIRC.) This plant also makes some Accurate brand extruded numbers. All Vihtavuori powders come from the town of that name in Finland.
Alliant 'Reloder' extruded grades were all made by Bofors in Sweden until a few years ago, but some recent additions such as Re17 and Re33 are sourced from Nitrochemie Wimmins AG in Switzerland. Alliant has also started using spherical grades from St. Marks.
Health & Safety and the EPA is the primary reason that all extruded powders are made outside of the USA. Ball types manufacture uses non-inflammable / explosive slurries with material piped between processes until the little balls are distilled out at a late stage for chemical treatments and grading. This method also allows old out of date propellants to be recycled alongside fresh ingredients reducing costs.
Extruded powders start by dissolving cellulose in powerful acids, a dangerous exothermic process and whose products are immediately highly explosive and inflammable, then further inherently dangerous processes and solvents are used to convert 'guncotton' into usable propellants. Many of the materials used are corrosive and toxic, likewise creating waste and pollution issues that have to be dealt with nowadays, not just dumped into waste ground or rivers as would once have been done.
All this makes the manufacture of this type inherently riskier which in this day and age is also much more expensive. A guy in the handloading powder business told me years ago that the EPA hadn't banned extruded powder manufacture, but its regulations were so onerous that any such produced in the country would be so expensive, nobody would buy them."
Russia (and Korea) are making rounds with lead-free priming compounds. Not as accurate (yet) as standard primers,* but that could improve. 'Lead' is a four letter word in many places and there could be a sizeable market for it, especially for indoor shooting.
My local Big R store had plenty of ammo, yesterday. They even had 2 reloading die sets that I needed. However, when I asked the clerk about powder and primers, he just looked at me and laughed. He said he hasn't had either of those for months.
This thread inspired me to make my own compact reloading bench using all my Father's old equipment, including his RCBS Model A press, lathe style case trimmer, buffing wheel, and his vintage Torsion Balance Company pharmaceutical scale (my favorite piece). Everything still works perfectly. So far, I've completed 20 rounds of 30-06 loads, and I'm currently working on 40 rounds of 7mm Remington Mag, using my father's favorite recipes.
I'm really enjoying re-learning this skill, and can't wait to shoot some of my own reloads.
Reloading components are low because the companies are using this product to make ammo. Ammo is low because of all the new gun owners and hoarders. I work at a sporting goods company-we get ammo daily in all of our stores. Most days there are people waiting to get in the door at 9 AM to see what ammo is there.
There was actually a good supply of Federal 22's - in the 325 round packs - at the local Walmart yesterday. I was shocked but managed to recover and buy a few... Paid less for 325 than I did for 100 rounds a month ago at a local scalp shop ;-)
Gg. Just some advice. I'd definitely not just sit & load up a bunch of rounds without testing. Perhaps if for your father's guns & he already did the work. But the beauty of reloads is matching a load to a specific gun for optimum accuracy. Bullet seating depth is probably the most important followed by different powder burn rates for different barrel lengths. Long barrel slow powder short barrel faster powder. Good luck.
Thanks for the advise. Fortunately, I have several boxes of my Father's reloads, with his recipes well labeled. I used those rounds to determine trimmed case length and overall cartridge length. I also started with brass that my father had already de-capped/resized, and trimmed. I will be shooting my reloads out the same rifles he used to work up his recipes, so I'm confident they should shoot well. I'm especially anxious to shoot his 7mm mag that he custom built, including starting from scratch with a block of walnut for the stock. I recall shooting dime sized groups at 100 yards with that rifle when I was a teenager.
Well, here are the first 16 shots of my 7mm mag reloads. My shooting is rusty, and conditions were a bit windy, but I'm pleased with the results. I think I can tighten up my groups when I do a bit more shooting. I'd also like to get a higher powered scope. My Father's old straight 6-power Leupold just isn't enough for my aging eyes anymore.
Thanks....I have similar patterns with my Ruger .270and Ruger .300WM. It took a lot of trial and error loads to get there....but it can be done.
FWIW.....the following is Capt Obvious stuff but I think it's worth mentioning. Four things I would suggest to anybody who is chasing cloverleafs. First....get a quality scope with a deep magnification...especially as your eyes age (like mine!). I put Vortex's on 4 of my rifles. That 6.5 PRC has a Vortex Razor AMG. It has a 6-24x50. It is a short, lightweight scope with a lot of power. With that power.....I can watch small flies or gnats walk around on the target at 100yards. The reticle is thin enough not to block the center of the bullseye. On my Ruger .270, I dumped the Leupold (4.5-16x50) that was on there and went to the Vortex Razor LHT in 4.5-22x50. That is another short, lightweight scope with a lot of power. It makes a huge difference when trying to check loads with my eyes. I also bought a nice scope mounting kit to get the crosshairs true to the barrel and vertical. I have no doubt those scopes helped me tighten up my POI's.
Second....get your triggers done if they are not already adjustable. I did both Ruger triggers. One was a Timney and the other was a Rifle Basix. The Christensen Arms one already has a light factory trigger that can be adjusted if need be. A stiff, factory trigger hurts your POI's. Also....if bringing two different rifles to the range to shoot, do some dry runs first on your trigger pull. This gets your eyes, trigger finger, muscles and brain in synch for that trigger. When you start on the second rifle....same thing...do some dry fires to re-synch your stuff to the trigger.
Third.....since starting to reload, I had to re-learn how to shoot for load testing. I got some nice range bags for the front and back. I also put both hands around each other while on the trigger and rest the elbows on the bench. I no longer grab or hold the front stock. I let the front bag hold it. That gives 4-points of support to hold the crosshair steady. IMO that is very important for stability and consistency.
Fourth.....wait 2 - 4 minutes between shots to let the barrel temp cool off. Shooting with a hot barrel can mess up your POI's. I'm always putting my hand on the barrel to feel the temp. Some folks think you have to break in your barrel. Some folks say high end rifle barrels do not need to be broken in whereas production barrels do. Same for fouling the barrel. I'll foul a barrel first with a couple of fouling rounds. When sighting in for real, I'll leave it fouled for the hunt. Again....alot of different opinions on those things....just depends one where you're reading.
Take all of this for what it's worth......these little things are what helped me as I learned from trial and alot of error. Other folks might have some helpful tips too.
I have a question hopefully you can answer. According to my manuals, the recommended trimmed case length for the 7mm Rem mag is 2.490". On the reloads I did, I verified each case length before reloading and they were all +/- .002" of that length. These were cases my father had already de-capped, resized, and presumably trimmed. After firing 16 rounds of my reloads, I was curious how much the cases had lengthened. To my surprise, they are all still exactly the same overall length as before firing. I was under the impression the brass always lengthens slightly when fired. Is that not always true?
In my limited experience, the first firing or two might affect case length. After you trim it under SAMMI that first or second time, it shouldn't lengthen unless you run a real hot powder load. Of course the neck sizing will need to be redone after each firing. I would also check for neck cracks/splits and dimples before and after resizing. Even some of the new Nolser brass (blem and overruns) I got had some neck splits....so check new brass too. Some readily visible, some you can detect by running your fingernail around the perimeter of the neck lip. In the pic, the case on the bottom has a split neck. The case on the top has shoulder dimples which maybe forming a split. If you see dimples, look real close for any sign of the dimple leading to a crack/split. I haven't had any issues with small dimples. However if any splits anywhere...toss the brass in the trash. Also....if you use too much case lube when resizing, that can cause shoulder dimples. I guess it is from the excess hydraulic action on the shoulder creates the dimples. The lube gets trapped and dimples the brass.
Thank you. I culled a few cases from my father’s stash that had dimples around the shoulder, probably from too much lube when resizing. I also thoroughly cleaned his old dies. They were pretty grimy. I have no idea how old some of his brass is, or how many times it’s been fired. I’m starting to realize my old man was a hoarder before it became popular. ;-).
I think if your dad's brass is getting too thin from too many firings and resizings or if unsure, it might be safer to get some new brass to be on the safe side. I get most of my stuff from Shooters Pro Shop in Bend, OR. They are the Nosler outlet store, give a military/LE discount and $13 flat rate shipping. The link is to the 7mm Mag brass. They had some the other day. They also had some 7mm Accubonds in a couple of weights not too long ago.
""Fourth.....wait 2 - 4 minutes between shots to let the barrel temp cool off. Shooting with a hot barrel can mess up your POI's.""
Good advice. I shoot a light carbine (Remington Model Seven) that will 'walk' as the barrel heats up. Used to rush and groups would open up. Last time I took my time and waited between shots I got an honest 1 inch 5-shot group. And this is not a new synthetic space gun but one I purchased in 1986. Walnut and steel.
A LOT of detail can go into rifle reloading that I never knew about! I've been reloading shotgun ammo for many years and starting reloading 9mm about 5 years ago (thinking pistol reloading was much more complex than shotgun).
I don't think that I have the patience for rifle reloading...good thing that my trigger pull isn't good for rifle shooting!
Rifle reloading is actually fun, once you get the system down. I reloaded 20 rounds yesterday in about 45 minutes start to finish. But then, I also enjoy tying my own flies for fly fishing, so I guess I have the mentality for it.
Thanks, again, for your help finding the powder I needed.
Hank.....once ya get going, it is fairly easy as you're doing the same thing over and over. I got into reloading earlier this year as my brother said it was the way to go and I wasn't going to be a slave to the whims of ammo availability and the rising cost. I haven't itemized materials for a cost, but I can probably make a box (20) of premium rifle ammo for less than $20. Whereas if ya have to buy that same box of factory premium ammo you're looking at around at least $55 - $60 depending on caliber and brand....and if you can even find it. Plus not all factory ammo will be a good match for your rifle barrel. Reloading allows you to develop a load that you know will match your barrel. My initial cost to get into rifle reloading was a bit of money but I have reloaded so many rounds/boxes now that I believe I'm getting close to breaking even if I haven't already. So.....in these times, reloading your rifle ammo is the way to go.
Do you de-burr the flash holes of your rifle brass? That's a step I learned from a YouTube video. My Father never did it, but the theory made sense to me, so I bought the necessary tool to do it.
I also learned about annealing brass that has become work hardened from repeated firings. Apparently it will extend the life of the brass considerably, and provide more consistent neck tension on the bullets for more accuracy. I'm not sure I'll get that anal with my reloads, but I did find it interesting.
JL bingo! I used to shoot with the lead sled and holding the guns with both hands now I have switched to bags and only one hand makes a ton of difference! I did not like the way the lead sled works either as it is unnatural making the length seem longer on your shoulder.
GG I reload for my .308 and use the old school Lee whack it loader lol. I don’t do anything out of the ordinary nor do I clean my brass and they come out just fine. Not bad shooting but I firmly believe with a lower recoil gun like a 6.5 or .308 you will be a hell of a lot better then with a 7mm. With today’s lower recoiling gems I doubt I will ever want or need a magnum. I have been shooting one arm off the bags and I think my .308 is about as max recoil as I would want one handed.
Matt....yes, I de-burr the flash hole once. I have the de-burring tool to do that. I guess during the manufacturing process, the stamping of the flash hole leaves a burr or two inside the brass case. That supposedly can impede the primer flash distribution to the powder. I also clean out the primer pockets each cleaning to get any crud out of them. Ya want the new primers to fully seat. Frankford Arsenal makes an electric station that does the case trimming, de-burring, cleaning, etc all in one shot. I was considering getting one of those. Frankford Arsenal is a member on the Expert Voice site and you can great huge (real huge!) discounts on their products via Expert Voice. Any vet or LE bubba can join Expert Voice. I bought my rotary brass cleaner, powder trickler and digital micrometer thru them. Plus a bunch of ammo holders/cases.
Spike.....I tried a lead sled once and didn't care for it either. I have long arms and the bags work a lot better for me. And yes...the hands in the back thing works so much better for holding the crosshairs steady...at least for me and apparently you too. I also like to feel the stock in my shoulder so I can get use to the recoil...especially on the .300 WM. I've shot that so much now, I no longer think about any recoil(s). All of my rifles, except the new 6.5 PRC, have SVS pads on the butt. A huge improvement for felt recoil.
As I mentioned earlier, my Father custom made the 7mm mag that I have. He used a match grade barrel that is HEAVY. Due to the overall weight of the rifle, it has a very mild recoil. It kicks less than the 30-06 sporters that he made.
I have a buddy who is into the new AR style rifles, too. I've shot his 308 and 223, and they do shoot nice, but I still prefer my Father's old bolt action bang sticks, each with a beautiful wallnut stock that he made. I guess it's a sentimental thing.
I’ve been seriously pondering getting a bolt gun in 6.5 Grendel for predators to black bear here in the Northeast. Very little recoil and good enough for all my needs under 200 yards. Decisions decisions.
I didn't shoulder one of my ML's tight on a deer shot once and got scoped on the eyebrow. Didn't realize it until I felt something running down my face I thought was sweat. Along with the pad, my .300 is ported so that takes off some bite. It's still not bad at all.
Hank, if you're shooting 4-5 boxes (20/per) of rifle ammo a year reloading starts making economic sense. Otherwise not so much. You might ask around if any of your buds reloads in your pet caliber, bet they'd appreciate the empty brass.
9 mm makes sense to reload, if you shoot lots of it a 'progressive' press will save you money and time. I played with 12 gauge reloading, not worth it to me.
Spike... check out northland shooters supply. I'm currently building another 6.5 × 284. Bought a pawn shop savage 110. Ordered a barrel, barrel nut, Recoil lug, headspace Guage, action wrench & barrel nut wrench and a rifle basics trigger from nss. Got an aluminum block bedded bell & carolson stock coming gonna be a medium weight gun. Went with 26" heavy sporter contour criterion barrel. Perhaps not the cheapest option or way to go but I really enjoy the doing it myself aspect of it. Another benefit is once ya have the tools doing a barrel swap with any cartridge in the same bolt head size & action length will only cost ya the price of a new barrel & head space Guage. I ll post some finished pics. Should be testing loads by next weekend. A 6.5 sweed would also be a great mid range cartridge.
My reloads, across all rifle cartridges I shoot, chronograph within 1-2% of one another in the 20 round batches I’ve tested. I debur the neck and the flash hole, trim or check length every reload, and separate my brass by weight and head stamp. I also crimp every round. I weigh powder loads too. Which probably isn’t required for good accuracy versus volume loading but, I spent the money on truckers always back. So, I use it.
It’s all about consistency. If you do everything the same, you’ll have tack driving accuracy with stock guns of old. Newer synthetic offerings that are blocked and pillared are remarkably accurate with anything you put in them. However, Older guns of wood stock or synthetic material that aren’t pillared tend to get a little funky when that barrel starts getting warm.
Anyways, the idea is consistency. The only way to do that is to be mindful to use brass lots that allow that.
It already isn't safe on the other side of the field this gun has a 29" #17 mtu contour barrel it's a straight taper from 1.25 at action to 1" at the muzzle the fluting saves a little weight but it's really heavy. 8×32 × 56 scope. Strictly a field gun. I'm usually off work by 4:00 pm have several fields I watch till dark. Honestly I don't consider it hunting but rather grocery shopping with a gun. I do however spend my weekends in the woods actually hunting.
The topic of barrels and specifically barrel floating is a good one. The CA 6.5 PRC I have has a factory floated barrel. What is of interest is the Ruger M77 MKII's I have are not designed to have the barrels floated. I watched some YT vids of guys trying to float their Ruger M77 barrels in hopes of getting better accuracy. I did some research on that plus called the rifle techs at Ruger. That is how I found out the forward barrel screw by design draws the barrel into the stock tight. It is not supposed to be bedded. It has to do with the recoil affecting the barrel and barrel stability. The tech said you can mess up the gun by floating the barrel. This screw is by the floor plate on the front side. If your Ruger's POI's are stating to drift, check to make sure that screw is not loose. When I checked my M77's, one had a loose barrel screw.
Jl that's somewhat confusing to me. Yes absolutely at the front action screw & Recoil lug area & the rear action screw area there should be solid contact with the stock,or bedding epoxy or pillers if piller bedded or the aluminum if aluminum bedded. I fully understand that but from the Recoil lug forward I don't understand why there should be barrel contact with the stock.
In front of the lug should free float but on a rare occasion I have seen purposely adding a contact point tighten groups up. I assume altering the barrel vibration is the reason but that is a couple out of many dozens of accurized rifles and just lucky experiments when all the other normal steps didn't work.
In the vid, he mentions the "angled bedding system". That is what the tech rep mentioned too as what helps or maintain the accuracy in these Rugers. I've had one of my stocks off before and I know it's a funny fit to put it back on.
For some reason the BS website isn't posting up more text in the above post and the pics are posting sideways again. The other target is .270 150gr Accubond Long Range. It was the new Vortex LHT scope on that and I was trying to get the groups 1" high at 100yds. After making a few scope adjustments, It ended up about 1-1/4" high at 100 so I stopped there.
My personal best shot was a 376 yard prairie dog, freehand from a kneeling position. It was total luck, really. I couldn't even see the prairie dog because the crosshairs of my 6 power scope were completely obscuring it.
So here it is. From an old spray can painted pawn shop savage 110 in 243 to a custom 6.5×284 in a few weeks. 26" criterion barrel, rifle basics 4oz to 3lb trigger, bell & carolson aluminum bedded stock & 4×20×50 scope. All work done by myself. Can't wait to see how it shoots. I've read a lot of good things about the nss do it yourself rifle builds. I hope this is another success story.
No machine work done to the action or bolt. I did buy a new precision cut Recoil lug & barrel nut from nss along with the barrel. My other 6.5×284 I sent a 700 action to krieger barrels they trued the action & installed the barrel. I did the stock & trigger work & it shoots phenomenal. I'm a 700 fan but nss assured me the savage action is capable of the same accuracy. I sure hope so iv got a little $$$ tied up in this thing.
I cannot explain it. Basically I cannot find anything. 300 win mag. shotgun slugs. Birdshot. Nothing. Even when I look at random basically everything is out everywhere. I think I have looked for about 30 different types of ammo in the past 18 months I have literally not found a single thing. Zip. Online, manufacture, stores nada.
I think it's time to crack that beer and celebrate your gunsmith abilities. Nice work!!
I have a military surplus 30-06 Enfield in nearly mint condition. I also have 2 walnut stock blanks that my father never got around to doing anything with. I've contemplated sporterizing the 30-06 because I think it would be a fun project that would take me back to the days of watching my Father do the same to several military rifles when I was a youngster. On the other hand, I know most gun collectors would bristle at the thought of chopping up a classic military rifle. Instead, I may go the route you did to build my own long range field gun.
I was just in our local Big R store yesterday. Their ammo shelves were very well stock with about every caliber of ammo you can imagine. I even found 3" 12 gauge shells in #6 shot, which are usually rare as hen's teeth. They still don't have any reloading powder or primers, though. Maybe you need to make an ammo run out west. ;-)
Barrel break in today. 1 shot then clean for 5 shots then 2 shots & clean for 8 shots then 3 shot groups. Used the first several shots to get on paper & zeroed. Barrel doesn't seam to shoot well clean. Both the groups in the pic the low shot was the first shot after cleaning . Another note these loads are for my other 6.5×284 I was hoping to have one load for both guns but the new build has a deeper throat than the other gun. These loads touch the rifling in the other gun but not the new build so seating bullets farther out should tighten things up. I'm happy for first time shooting during barrel break in. Groups in pic were shot at 100 yds
FWIW......I may have mentioned it before(?)...but you can score some great deals at this place on ammo, bullets, brass, powder, etc. It looks like they "de-mil" excess ammo and resell the components. A couple of nights ago I was on there when they posted up some 6.5 130gr Accubonds. I was able to score 250 of them for $59.99 (total including shipping). They have a residual cyber Monday special going that is 25% and 20% plus free shipping.
A little better pic of new gun build. Haven't had time to load & shoot it more. I am anxious to kill something with it. Freezers almost full so mostly horn hunting now do need to kill a few more for the church & haven't canned any venison yet. It's 420yds to that left corner can't wait to stretch her out on a deer
Well this might be a tad late but Walmart was my go to for ammo. Rifle ammo and shotgun they always had a flow every week or so. Biggest bonus was regular pricing, 45/70 ammo for 32 dollars shotgun ammo for 20 somethings a box depending on loads. Also, be sure to,check and ask the clerk in the gun department to look on the comput r if any guns are on clearance, some once in a lifetime deals. Henry 45/70 and 44 mag I picked up for 162 each, rem 308 for 79 dollars. Hard to beat those prices.
My local Walmart recently received a good supply of 22 rimfire, I stocked up. Right now distribution is spotty. With the shortage of drivers, why ship ammo 1000 miles from the factory when they can sell it closer to 'home'?
Just googled it, there are 4743 Walmart stores in the US. If they're getting a full truckload of ammo every week, it still gets spread pretty thin!
Stopped by the lgs where once $20 box of ammo is $70. The guy behind the counter, acquaintance, said ya know we really aren’t making any more on ammo that we did when price was lower. He went on to say they aren’t getting cases of ammo, they’ll get a box with assortments of different ammo and calibers. Supply shortages plus hoarders make things difficult.
All the guys hoarding today at scalper prices are gonna feel foolish when the prices drop back. I paid way too much for box of 22's and a few weeks later got them at a 'reasonable' price. Gonna shoot 'em, not shelve 'em.
Ohio, if I owned a 270 and I wanted to shoot heavier bullets than 150 grains I'd just have it re-barrelled with a faster twist .
I've never understood why the 270 has a tremendous following amongst hunters. It's by far the most popular deer cartridge in my area. But amongst the target & benchrest crowd the 270 has very little if any interest. This has always puzzled me.
I had a Winchester Ranger 270 many years ago and replaced the barrel with a Hart heavy barrel in the same cal. Remington green box 130 grain would clover leaf five shot at 100 yds. Loved just shooting that rifle, but it was far too heavy to carry afield. Still have it...just no ammo it likes and I do not reload. Maybe things will change in time...meanwhile; Merry Christmas to all you folks out there and stay safe.
RK...Hopefully Big Green is back...Will ck them next doctor's trip to Tulsa...have set up to call coyotes this winter and would use it in my setup. No0t much of a setup as health issues preclude walking, but my ladder stand is just behind my house and we have plenty of yotes. Thanks, again.
270 is good mid range medicine for deer, long range if the shooter is capable, but there are better long range options. Competition the 270 falls way short of other rounds because the lack of bullet options and it’s rather unexplored, I haven’t seen anyone dive into the unknown. With the 6.5 and 7mm bullets putting up handsome ballistic coefficients the 6.8 should be equally impressive but it’s not.
The ol 25-06 used to be a popular deer cartridge and still is great esp for meat hunters.. less damage. I think the Jordan buck was shot with a 25-06. There are some interesting high BC 1/4 bore bullets out there.
For you reloading experts, how much effect does C.O.A.L. have on POI? I ask because my Father's old reloading manuals don't provide a recommended C.O.A.L. for every type of bullet, just a maximum length. The newer reloading data gives a specific C.O.A.L. that varies for every type/weight of bullet. My Father's 7mm reloads are longer than the recommended spec and his 30-06 reloads are shorter. I reloaded my rounds to the exact recommended length. It didn't seem to make a difference in POI on the 7mm rounds, but my 30-06 rounds are shooting about 3" higher than my Father's at 100 yards. Exact same recipe otherwise. Could the bullet seat depth account for that much difference?
Matt.....Ref the COAL. As mentioned, it is very important. It is just one part of the puzzle to getting cloverleafs. I know most of the Nosler bullets need a certain amount of jump. You will see some of the guys on Long Range Hunter talk about getting their jumps real close to the lands (.010" and under) and then complain a particular bullet sucks at groups. That is because they never bothered to talk to the manufacture to see what jump that round does best with. I shoot mostly Nosler stuff and I called up the guy in charge of the reloading dept and he told what some of their bullets like for jumps....and it's not very close. Some were .050".......some were .100" plus off the lands. The bullet was designed that way. Also.....if you have too long of a COAL, your round might not fit into the rifle's mag box (BTDT). Your mag box will be the first COAL high limit when you reload. Some guys run close to the lands and live with the mag box only able to hold one round at the top and then one in the chamber. To me, that seems like a waste of space in the mag box and you're limited to two shots. The best thing to do is talk to the manufacture of the bullet and ask what jump that bullet likes.
I have the newest Nosler reloading manual. Some of the COAL's might be off a tad for what your barrel likes. Not a big deal as you're customizing the round to your barrel, not to the reloading manual.
So, when the reloading data gives a recommended COAL for a specific bullet, does that length only correspond to the rifle they tested with, or should that length be suitable for any rifle in the same caliber?
I don't really have the time, or enough components, to do a bunch of testing, so I'm just trying to find data that I can achieve decent accuracy without burning thru a bunch of ammo. I think I'm there with my 7mm reloads. They seem to be shooting more accurately than I can aim, especially with just a 6 power scope. But I'm not too satisfied with my 30-06 reloads, yet, and I'm not sure what to try next.
Published COAL is a standardized measurement for saami spec. So all of your factory ammo should be in spect. But as a reloader if you follow saami you’re doing yourself no favors and defeating the purpose of customized loads. I shoot fclass, high master, and I assure you no one is measuring COAL. Coal only matters relative to your magazine limitations. COAL will not tell you how much you’re jumping bullets, and is the least consistent measurement for repeatability which is why I mentioned the ogive.
You can find the lands without the tool, just not as easy. You could also load magazine length and see how it shoots (keeping your charge within limits). But components are far and few for the poke and hope method.
What bullets are you shooting? It may be best to find less jump sensitive bullets… Berger hybrids are probably the least sensitive available.
Another thing to consider is neck tension, unlike us, the older your brass the harder it gets. If you have several loads on your brass without annealing you can get inconsistent neck tensions which cause fluctuations in pressure and velocity. Reloading for 1/4moa vs 1mod(deer) can be vastly different or one in the same, But when accuracy falls off 1/4moa mentality is best to diagnose the issue.
Hornady makes a basic comparator set for around $40. As stated above, measuring to the ogive is more accurate than COAL. There are quite a few things that can keep a particular load from working well. Sometimes you have to change a lot of variables and other times it comes together on the first or second try.
Thanks for the education. The recipes I've used so far were from my Father's notes, and I'm shooting the same rifles he used to work the recipes up. For the 7mm, I'm using 63 gr of IMR 4831behind a Sierra 160 gr Spitzer boat tail (#1920) and Federal 215 magnum primers. For the 30-06 I'm using 51 gr of IMR 4895 behind a Sierra 150 gr Spitzer boat tail (#2125) and Federal 210 primers. Both loads are on the hotter end of the reloading data, but not above maximums for the powders I'm using.
The only deviations I made from my Father's reloads is I used Sierra's recommended COAL instead of matching his OAL. His 7mm reloads are .080" longer than factory COAL and his 30-06 reloads are .030" shorter. I honestly don't know if that was intentional, or not. I have not found any kind of bullet seating depth tool in his reloading equipment. The differences in lengths doesn't make a noticeable difference in POI with the 7mm rounds, but it does with the 30-06 rounds.
I guess I will order a seating depth tool and try to figure out what the ideal cartridge lengths are for my rifles. This whole ogive and bullet jump stuff is all new to me, and I'm finding it fascinating.
Chamber throats differ from gun to gun I have two 6.5 × 284. I have different bullet seating depths for each gun. I have no fancy chamber throat measuring tools I just start with the bullet seated out & go a 1/4 turn at a time until the bolt closes without resistance. Then if the accuracy isn't there I'll experiment with 1/8 turns of the bullet seating adjustment. I shoot berger hunting vld bullets & they have to be seated out really far to touch the rifling.
Matt.....And just to clarify if I was confusing you....COAL and ogive are two different things you need to know. Each type of bullet will have a different ogive....however, max mag box COAL is the same regardless of bullet type. If your mag box is say 2.5" inside measurement....no load longer than 2.5" will fit in there.
Anyone can make their own ogive measuring tool. Youtube has a vid or two on that. Anywho...to be honest....I only played with mine (the Hornaday one) at the beginning when I first started. Once I got to understand the science and characteristics of each bullet type and spoke to the guy at Nosler, I stopped using it. Yes....the manual will get you in the ball park for COAL and ogive for that bullet type. I use the measuring nut (can't remember who makes it) to get ogive. As long as your COAL isn't getting messed up by the mag box, you can play with the ogive to see what works. You can also measure the inside of your mag box with calipers and get a great idea what the max COAL of any bullet for that mag box will be. I'd also write that down somewhere for future reference. Reloading is fun to do. I'm still learning something everytime I work a new load.
What do you plan on using the 3006 for? If you have an abundance of components by all means work with what you have otherwise consider finding a more forgiving bullet to keep from wasting powder and primers. You could certainly reload without knowing where your lands are, a lot of people have no idea where their lands are relative to the ogive. Lets say your charge is set and you're now looking for seating depth, research seating depth test.
Thanks. I do understand the difference between COAL and ogive, now. I found a great article that explains 4 different methods for measuring ogive. 2 of them use speciality tools like the Hornady OAL gauge, but that one requires a modified case for each caliber, which are proving to be hard to find. One less accurate method uses a barrel cleaning rod or long dowel. I may try that method, or just use Timex's method.
Again, without better optics on my rifles, I don't think I'll ever achieve much better than MOA accuracy, but that's fine for my purposes. I still like the idea of trying to customize a load that works best for my old bang sticks.
30-06 components are what I have the most of. As I stated, I inherited all of my reloading equipment, components, and rifles from my Father. We were a poor hunting family, so my father learned how to sporterize military surplus rifles. I recall him buying 30-06 Springfields and Enfields for $15 each at the Army Surplus store. Then he'd chop the barrels, re-work the triggers, make a new stock for them, and put a scope on them. I've been told by gun guys that he did some fine work relative to most sporterized rifles.
I really don't have any specific purposes for my rifles, other than plinking the occasion coyote, or just general range shooting. I may hunt deer and elk with them at some point, like I did as a youngster before I started bow hunting. But, I think I have a few good years left of flinging arrows at animals before I resort to bang sticks again.
Modified cases can be had on ebay for about $10. They're nothing special, you can make your own by drilling out and threading a spent case. Though less accurate the dowel method will probably suffice, or even the sharpie method. This will measure the distance to the lands, measuring to the ogive will require the caliber specific ogive tool. For reference BTO means base to ogive vs COAL.
JL, kind of hard to follow your process. One company making the nut is Sinclair. Regularly measuring your loads is good practice for several reasons; nuts bolts etc.. do come loose, depth sensitive bullets will create flyers if not within margin of error, and inconsistent seating depths can be the result of inconsistent neck tensions or something else.
Anything Brian Litz may be worth reading.. pending your level of interest.
Its a rabbit hole, just depends how deep you want to dive.
Gg don't get caught up in the saami. Here is a good example I really like the 6.5×284 & techniquelly it's a short action cartridge based on the 284 Winchester which works in short action rifles & magazines. However with the long 6.5 bullets neither of my guns my loads fit in the magazines by probably a 1/4" I can have one bullet in the chamber & a second directly under the bolt. I'm happy with 2 shots & there are some 6.5 bullets designed for this but I haven't experiment with them. Just giving an example of why industry standard doesn't always apply.
My father's 7mm mag reloads fit in the magazine and chamber just fine in his custom made bolt-action rifle, even though they are .080" longer than factory COAL. The same loads jam in my buddies semi-auto 7mm mag. That fact makes me think he reloaded them specific to his rifle, but I can't confirm that without more experimentation.
Glunt perhaps on newer rem 700 sa but this is a old 700 sa originally factory clambered in 6mm. This is the best pic I can get. The bolt is all the way back & the bullet is a 1/4" into the ramp in the action. A longer magazine box has nothing to do with it
The wyatts box needs to be fitted by a gunsmith, there's some cutting involved. Most of the R700 clones are already cut for wyatts boxes. There is also a Baney box for rem SA's that will take it out to 3.2"ish, which is borderline for the 6.5prc otherwise its best to go for an XM length action. There's not a lot of info on the baney box as it will only fit remingtons, the bolt release on custom/clones interferes with bolt stop work that is necessary.
James....it is the Sinclair nut. I have a couple for the various cals I have. Of course there are a few ways to get from point A to point B. What I do is get a string of prepped brass laid out. Measure my powder load on a digital scale and drop it in each piece of brass. I set my seating die to where I think I want to seat the ogive next. I do the first one slow so I don't overshoot on the seating depth. If the ogive measurement comes in where I want, it's off to the next one. If I over shoot, I'll pop the bullet with the removal hammer to bring it back out a tad and then repeat the seating process. I check the seating measurement a few times to make sure it's where I want it. For me, I'll use a tolerance approx + or - .0005 on the measurement with the digital caliper. Most of the time, I can get them pretty consistent.
I'll recal my digital scale every 2 - 3 rounds. I'll check the cal on the digital caliper every round.
I have RCBS and Lee die sets. I prefer the Lee because the lock nut has a teflon friction thread that doesn't allow the nut to freely spin like the RCBS.
So you don’t set your seating die and leave it? Pulling and reseating a bullet will definitely screw with your concentricity. Set the bottom of your die to touch the shell holder of your press, make it overcam with a little resistance. This makes sure you stop your press at the same spot every time. Back your seating stem out pretty far, when you find your spot leave it and just tweak it from there. Also pay attention to the seating force, if you get one that is noticeably harder to seat, cull it and shoot it for practice.
They have seating dies with micrometer adjusting head, get your set for a particular bullet and write it down. Switch to another load, dial to the correct setting. (No, I haven't spring for these yet, cheap...)
No mention of presses used here, I use a RCBS Rock Chucker that has been converted to use quick-change die bushings. (Lee system.)
James....the seating die body itself doesn't move. Once I lock it down to the press (by wrench...RCBS or by friction nut....Lee), it doesn't move. As you set up the die initially, the bottom of the seating die is supposed to contact the top of the shell holder when you move the handle for the seating stroke. While they are in contact, you then back off the die from 1/4 turn up to one full turn (depends where you read that) and then lock it down. I've never locked down the die while it was in contact with the shell holder. I could try that method but I'd be leery of damage or wear the shell holder or the bottom of the seating die from the constant metal to metal contact during the seating stroke. Have you noticed any issues as you used that method?
For the Lee seating die, I have match marks on them and the top of the press so I can get the die back at the same depth each time I swap calibers. I will make minor tweaks to the stem if need be to get to the desired seating depth. Also.....I believe the stem will have a certain amount of flex to it as it seats the bullet. I suspect this as it shows up in the seating process. Both the RCBS and Lee seating die stems will flex enough to make up to a .002" variance between each load on the first pull of the handle. I can pull the handle slowly a second and third time and it will most often times further seat the bullet till I get to the desired seating depth. Now....I do not lube the bullet before seating, my brother does. Maybe if I did that, I wouldn't need to pull the handle a second or third time?? I watched the brother cycle the handle more than once...so I don't know.
OK, I tried 2 methods that didn't require a special tool to find the lands on my 7mm mag. The first was the long dowel method.
The second method was how Nosler recommends. You put a slight indent into the neck of a fired case, then seat a bullet just far enough for the case to grip it. Then use a magic marker to coat the portion of the bullet that is sticking out of the case. You chamber this dummy cartridge and close the action. Basically, you are using the chamber to seat the bullet up against the lands. Once you determine this rifle seating length, they recommend backing off the lands by .015" - .030". Easy enough.
Here's the problem. Both methods produced a OAL that is nearly 1/4" longer than the SAAMI maximum length. SAAMI max length is 3.290" and the COAL for the bullets I'm using is 3.240". The OAL of cartridges that would be .020" off of the lands would be 3.54", and the bullets would be barely seated in the case, like right where the boat tail ends. I'm quite sure that's not correct, and would likely be dangerous.
So, it appears there's no way to customize a load that would be anywhere close to the lands using the components and the rifle I have. Unless you guys have any other suggestions, I'll probably just load to SAMMI maximum length, and call it a day.
I've not had any damage due to the shell holder contacting the die, and at this point I've reloaded several thousand rounds. You don't want a hard overcam, just slight. When you make full contact with the die the depth of the die in the press will be negligible bc you're compressing the 2 metals, not hanging them in space. So if your die is screwed in 30 thou different [from one session to the next] but you're making good contact the case is fully supported in the die consistently. Either way all seating adjustments will come from the stem screw, not the die body. There shouldn't be any stem flex, you'll mar the bullet or smash the case before you flex steel. All things bullet are softer than your dies. Bullet lube is a very good practice, I do and a lot of benchrest shooters do too.. its especially beneficial for storing rounds, it will reduce cold welding (if you believe it exists).
If you're happy with your results by all means keep at it, but I think the more firings you get on your cases the more likely problems will arise.
GG, I would dial back your predicted length to the lands. The method used will jam your bullet into the lands, but you have a rough idea. Another thing is, these are old rifles and there surely is some throat erosion, not a big deal until it is a problem sort of thing. Forget about saami spec for COAL... thats like shooting a 28" arrow for every archer bc thats what the spine chart says. Since you're so far from the lands, I'd seat bullets no deeper than the neck shoulder junction. Make a few rounds of different depths, right at the junction, then +10thou, +20thou, etc... compare groups to find the depth the rifle likes. Then you can tinker with powder charge.
Lands measurement changes with different bullets. So your sierra 150's will be different from where your barnes 150's are.
I couldn't even get the bullet to reach the lands using the Nosler method, so there was definitely no jamming into the lands. I hand seated the bullet in the dummy case so that it was barely hanging in the neck. After chambering the dummy, closing the action, then un-chambering, the bullet hadn't moved any deeper into the case. It was still just barely hanging in the neck exactly where it was before chambering,
I guess what's confusing me is I keep reading about minimizing bullet jump to increase accuracy. But I can't even get my loads anywhere close to the lands. We're talking somewhere around a 1/4" jump. The rifle still shoots fine, and my loads group better than I can aim, but that amount of jump seems excessive based on everything I've been reading.
It is what it is, plus you're shooting 150gr bullets which are on the shorter side BUT no big deal. Published data is not set in stone, we have to work with what we have. There could be several reasons your throat is so long, but again nothing we can do about it. Play with what you have and optimize it, the fundamentals of load development are what is essential here. When and if you venture further into this hobby you'll at least have an idea of how and what.
The single biggest thing to be aware of when developing loads is being able to recognize pressure. Everything is fun and games until they become dangerous. Always work loads up and pay attention to signs of pressure such as stiff bolts and flat primers, probably not a concern ATM but something every loader should be conscious about.
Matt, you're risking 'over-think' ;-) - Some guns are just gonna shoot so good and no better. Chamber-land geometry, fundamental barrel quality from the factory, wear, etc. etc. are why not every gun is gonna shoot dime groups. Once you've gotten the best accuracy you can from a particular gun you can either leave well enough alone, or make your self crazy chasing a quarter MOA. And yeah, you might get it, but you could probably put a new target barrel on the gun for what it would cost ya ;-)
Some years back I developed a 'cheap practice' load and a 'premium bullet' load for my deer rifle. Both gave 'good' accuracy and I should have just bought a heap of each bullet. But I still tinker with other, new bullets and over the years I've managed to *slightly* improve my accuracy. But I could still load either of those two and kill deer any day.
Chasing max accuracy from a rifle needs to be something you want to do because, as stated above, you can spend more time and money than a turn-key solution.
I used to build rifles for a living. Last year I set up a 6.5 Creedmoor for my son. Inexpensive Ruger American, medium quality scope, trigger job and factory ammo. It shoots as good as very expensive rifles I spent a lot of time and money building and loading for.
Scope is marked for his load in yardage out to 650 yards and even though he isn't hunting with it that far, there isn't a kill zone size rock at our shooting spot that's safe at that range.
It's always been in my nature to over-think things. You should have seen me on the Jeep forum I frequent when I was restoring my old CJ7. Prior to that, changing the oil was about the extent of my auto mechanic skills. I drove those poor boys crazy picking their brains. ;-)
As I read more, I'm starting to realize that 7mm mags were manufactured with a wide variety of throat lengths. I've found several threads in which guys were talking about shooting 1/2 MOA with more free-bore than mine has, so that eased my concerns some. It seems to be one caliber that isn't too sensitive to seating depths and bullet jump.
Anyway, I sincerely appreciate all the help, and I apologize for hijacking the thread.
There is a 22creedmoor. The Sherman line is very appealing, the SS's can all be ran out of a short action with heavy bullets moving at magnum speeds. Why hornady didn't do this with their PRC's is beyond me!
Timex, the bottom metal will never change with a wyatt box or baney for that matter. The internal box will though, the smith would have to cut out some of your action, and I think for the baney box they move the bolt stop (don't quote me on that). What is the COAL on your loads? I believe the baney box will open it up to 3.2" where factory is right around 2.9". Depending on your powder you're probably pushing those 130's close to or more than 3100fps.
Don't have a chronograph but based on bc & mv data I'm pushing the 130 bergers @ around 3300. Out of a 29" barrel. Loading 51.7 grains reloader 17. This gun is strictly a field gun. +3 @ 100 is 0 @ 300 & -4 @ 400. I don't touch the turrets inside 400 yds +7 is 0 @ 500 & + 9 is 0 at 600.
Hit a reloading store this afternoon. He had a decent supply of powders. I was pleasantly surprised to see RL-23, which I use, and curious about the RL-25 which I got one jug to experiment with on the .300WM.
Ya...the RL-23 has done me well on the 6.5 PRC and the .270 using Accubonds, LR Accubonds and Partitions. I have an 8lb jug of H4831sc. The .300WM is liking that so far but figured I'd try RL-25. That store also has RL-7 but I wasn't too familiar with that one. He recently had RL-26 but that went quick. This was the same store I got an 8lb jug of H1000 from earlier this year. He said he will be getting in some Federal primers but didn't know the price. He guesstimated they will be in the $130 a brick range.....way too much IMO. When I was in Montana back in October I got a brick of Fed Gold Medal 215m's for something like $65 or $70....which I still thought was a touch high.
One round I'm struggling with is the 6.5 PRC getting clover leafs with the 142gr Accubond LR's. As you can see, I tried numerous loads and not much luck yet. I keep all of my targets for future reference and to update my load spreadsheet. The .270 likes them alot...just not the PRC. I haven't given up though. When I get back north from snowbirding, I'll start back up again. I just got a new chrony I want to use too.
I shoot mostly Berger’s. I have a defiance action, 6.5prc proof barrel waiting to be assembled in a mcmillan edge stock, kind of excited. For my load development I like to do a ladder test, it can double as a pressure test. Usually in increments of 0.3gr or so. I also like to shoot the test at 300 or further. A calm day and 1000yd ladder test would be great, when you get your chrono running you’ll see the flat spot in velocity which should correlate with a flat spot in your ladder test. You’re the first I’ve read about having load issues with the prc, how far off the lands are you? And have you found pressure yet?
RL 26 is magic. I wish I could find 8lb of h1000, yeah those primer prices are high… we will be lucky to see them under $60.
On LRH, there are numerous folks having 6.5 PRC ABLR troubles. Some folks quit trying to find a load. I have my land numbers in a binder back at the other house. I'm mag box limited on this rifle. On the 5/11/21 thru 5/20/21 tests....I'm pretty sure I was at the max end due to the mag box as the ogive is the largest number in the column. I want to say at mag box limit, I was .025" off the lands. The bullet does not have that much seating depth in the neck of the case either. I haven't ran into pressure problems because I'm running lower powder loads. I'd have to be a little careful when I do run larger powder loads on the 142ABLR's as I don't want to enter into a back pressure issue with the heavier bullet.
The 140gr AB's dropped right in with minimal load testing. When we checked the chrony for the 140gr AB's at the brother's place, it was averaging around the 2750fps range. When I get back, I'll try to bump the powder up a bit while using the same ogive and see what happens. I won't get hung up on speed though. Many of the LRH crowd seem to be into speed alot. In the end for me, I'll sacrifice speed for accuracy. A fast bullet that can't hold POI is useless.
The 130gr AB has done good too. I have some 129gr ABLR's I'll play with when I get a chance.
The brother's Sauer 100 6.5 PRC is pretty nice. He found a real good load using the Barnes LRX 127gr bullet and I think it was H1000. His speed was avg over 3000fps. I got some of those and will give them a run too.
Ksrancher. My numbers aren't exact. I do sight in +3 @ 100 which is actually around +1 @ 300 & - 4 @ 400 . I kill a lot of deer out to to 400 yard & perhaps hold slightly low @ 200 & slightly high @ 400 but except for the wind it's a no brainer to 400. I do target shoot fairly regular @ 600 & +9" on the turret is dead on @ 600. The 562 bc berger vld's carry very well at distance.
Jl. I haven't tried em yet but berger makes a 6.5 AR hybrid bullet designed to fit Sammi magazines that is supposed to preform well seated off the lands.
I believe if I build another rifle I'm gonna go with a 6mm AI. When I first contacted krieger about rebarreling my 700 I was gonna do a 6mm AI but they didn't offer it said to many pressure problems. So I went with 6.5×284 & glad I did. But have always wanted a 6mm AI. 70 gainers pushing close to 4000 has just got to be fun to shoot.
Don't know. I don't shoot like I used to pretty much just enough to test loads & then occasionally to check zero & then hunt. I've had my heavy 6.5 for 6 years now & have put somewhere around 150 rounds through it they say the barrel life on the 6.5×284 is 1000 rounds
The primer is not badly flattened but you can clearly see the extractor button mark on the case from bolt lift.
The primer is not badly flattened but you can clearly see the extractor button mark on the case from bolt lift.
Ohiohunter. I agree was shooting 52 grs reloder 17 & blew a primer dropped back to 51.7 & is still a sticky bolt the last I loaded for the new gun on a savage 110 action I loaded 51.5 & will probably stay there for both guns.
As for burning barrels out, our group ran some 22-243s a few seasons coyote hunting with 80gr VLDs. We did finally lose a throat in one but mainly because it was fun to shoot and went through some long summer days shooting stuff way out there learning wind drift. General consensus was that even with a shorter barrel life, there were no regrets. In a rifle that sees a few dozen rounds a year, even "barrel burner" wildcats will likely last a lifetime.
Jl. That brass has been loaded & trimmed a lot & yes full length sized each time. I honestly don't understand why the pressure is not flattening primers but creating stiff bolt lift perhaps the brass has been loaded too many times. Not sure I just recently bought new brass.
My problem with the NIB 6.5 PRC brass was the neck shoulder was too high. Trying to close the bolt was a trick without FL resizing. I have some PRC brass that has been shot at least 4 times and I haven't seen any evidence of pressure bulging. If anything, a few of the primer pockets maybe getting loose from the prep work.
Any idea how many times that brass has been reloaded? Maybe you're right about the too many reloads??
Some new 6.5 PRC brass and 6.5 140gr Partitions showed up in the mailbox this afternoon.
Spike several reasons. The 6.5×284 was a wildcat cartridge used for many years by benchrest shooters & held the best 5 shot 1000 yard group for some time.
I've always been attracted to unique things so the choice was easy for a short action field gun for deer.
I honestly don't know the 6.5 Creedmoor ballistics but I believe the 6.5×284 is a few 100 fps faster. I'm not really into target shooting but rather hunting & more velocity = flatter trajectory which is a good thing especially in quick reaction hunting situations.