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Old 08-02-2017, 11:11 PM
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Default What kind of accuracy improvement....

What kind of an accuracy improvement can be gotten with precision pistol ammo with sorted cases, etc. vs. 'slap together' ammo made with no particular care from range brass?

Some of you have worked plenty hard on getting accurate loads in your guns so I know there's some data out there.

What's the difference in group size at 'X' number of feet/yards?
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:06 AM
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I've never been able to tell any difference. Too many other variables get in the way for me to be able to tell if segregating cases makes a difference.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:13 AM
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If you shoot from a ransom rest. You will see a slight improvement inaccuracy by using same headstamp brass, fired the same number of times. Shooting offhand, well unless you already shoot 3" 50y offhand, you wont see a diff imo.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:30 AM
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It's conceivable you could find a statistically significant improvement in group size, in a very well controlled bit of research. .

However, you wouldn't be able to detect a JND (just noticeable difference) in group size attributable to all that fussing with cases. A

Your shooting skill probably accounts for 90% of group size. Your handgun probably accounts for 9.9% of variance in group size.

The remaining .1% of variance in group size is attributable to all other variables including fussy case selection in reloading.

Select your brass with great care if you want to.

I don't have that much unused time on my hands.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:45 AM
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Not what you asked, but you'll have more significant effects from bullet choice and then powder choice/charge. I "feel" better keeping my cases in specific lots, but I sure can't claim it makes a difference in my hands.
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:11 AM
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With one shot fired brass with different headstamps, I get just as good accuracy as the same batch and make of brass - as long as I do my part as the shooter. With mixed brass of different number of loadings, I at least attempt to trim to length for consistency in crimp after checking each casing for any abnormalities (splits, dents).
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:05 AM
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From all the years of shooting rifle, revolvers and auto pistols
the 90% of the brass is the last of your problems to get accuracy.

I have found primers play a bigger part in developing loads than
the cases used in my loadings.

Bullets play a larger part than the primers and I don't even know
where all the powders that I have used fall in line.
I do have favorite powders for light or full loads that get better
fps or accuracy than others but they might not be your best powder
in your weapons.

However it does not hurt to have all your brass, new from the same lot and OAL with clean, centered flash holes, to help the cause.......
or at least from the same box.
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:22 AM
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And here all along I thought it was all about having all the same brass, trimmed exactly the same, using the perfect powder and charge weight, the best primer with the most perfect bullet (profile, hardness) in the best gun available, with a perfect trigger.
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:37 AM
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Rw
You have a 6 inch, 686
Try this
Start out with 50 new Starline brass
Resize and Trim to 1.280
CCI 500 primers
5.0 grains Unique
Seat Hornady 158 grain SWC'S shoulder to a fingernail's height above the case aND remove the flare with a taper crip
Or
Seat bullet shoulder a hair below the top of the case and apply a slight roll crimp over the top

Chose one method.......that's your COL
lock the die down

Slap a red dot or pistol scope on your gun
Shoot targets at 25 yards on a bench with exactly the same hold...barrel not touching anything
Don't pull the trigger until you can hold the sights on the target indefinitely

I never got tight groups with factory ammo.....I got to admit I didn't have much patience for it...so I started reloading within a month of buying my gun

I was getting 1 inch groups with this load almost right of way

I also read a lot about testing bench rest techniques and uniformity
Sight picture is a big deal....so I like a 2 to 4 power scope for load development

Once you're getting good groups, try slapping together some ammo with mixed brass, different powders, different charge weight, bullets, primers, etc
change one variable at a time and see if YOU notice a difference

You're using a revolver, so brass isn't getting flung all over the place, so keep all of these cases together
So you don't have to sort
Mark number of firings on box.....I've noticed groups opening up as I get more firings on a batch of cases
But I can expect that
You might have to trim again

Now the brass issue is taken care of


Let me know how it turns out!
Target pictures are required
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Rule3 View Post
And here all along I thought it was all about having all the same brass, trimmed exactly the same, using the perfect powder and charge weight, the best primer with the most perfect bullet (profile, hardness) in the best gun available, with a perfect trigger.

See post #9
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by forestswin View Post
See post #9
You are using the WRONG bullet. It must be a perfect Elmer Keith FLAT base bullet made by Elmer himself.

Also you have not listed every powder known to man and appropriate charge weight to the .001 of a grain! Loaded on a Dillon press of course.

Geese!
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:20 AM
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If you know you have a good gun and bullets maybe it is time for a different hobby. I knew a drag racer that never won a race but he never gave up. A guy I shoot with has the best guns but there is no hope. He will hit your target aiming at his. He furnishes the gas and transportation to the gun shows so we have to be nice. My slap together ammo gets the same attention with good results. Head stamps do not matter. If you think they do go for it. You need good eyes and not shake and good lungs to be at the top of this.

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Old 08-03-2017, 11:22 AM
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Never bothered sorting pistol cases. Biggest factors for me have been primers and powder charge. Keep both consistent along with the crimp and I have never seen a difference at shooting 50 yard targets.

Rifle is another story.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:39 PM
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In 357mag at 25 yards benchrest:

LAX factory ammo 2.25" groups @850fps $.27ea
Remington White 2.0 " @950fps $.40ea
My best reload < 1 " @1000fps $.09ea

I do not measure and/or trim brass. At less than an inch, it's going to be tough to see or measure any difference from standard brass.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:44 PM
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At the risk of upsetting some of those that have posted responses, I have to disagree the it doesn't make a noticeable difference. It most assuredly does! Yes, bullet choice is important. Yes, consistent charge weight is important. Yes, powder choice is important. But let's assume for a moment that the OP is seriously looking for the best accuracy recipe he/she can find.

That being the case, I'm pretty sure he is looking for or has already found a load combination known to perform, and is now trying to determine if mixed brass found at the range is going to provide him/her with the performance their looking for. It won't if maximum accuracy is the goal. Practice loads? Hey, any old brass will work. But for maximum performance using the same brass is critically important. Further, some brass is better than others. Depending on the load, Remington brass is sometimes better than Starline. Experimenting is the only way to be sure.

In case some of you want to poo poo my claim, I refer you to an article in a recent gun rag (American Rifleman or Guns & Ammo) about once fired vs new brass. The difference from a machine rest was not minor. It was in the range of 15-25% improvement using new vs once fired. And this is just one variable we need to keep in mind.

Rifle shooters have known of these issues for years. Time for pistol shooters to start learning some of the finer points of loading ammo.
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:49 PM
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In case some of you want to poo poo my claim, I refer you to an article in a recent gun rag (American Rifleman or Guns & Ammo) about once fired vs new brass. The difference from a machine rest was not minor. It was in the range of 15-25% improvement using new vs once fired. And this is just one variable we need to keep in mind.

Rifle shooters have known of these issues for years. Time for pistol shooters to start learning some of the finer points of loading ammo.
Please let us know what issue(s) (Gun Rag expert) this information can be found in.??

Most shooters do not have Ransom Rests for hands, and do not use brand new un fired brass for every reload. There are so many other variables involved that probably the least important is the actual brand of brass. Handgun shooting is not long range bench rest shooting.
Sure keeping things constant certainly can help but to what degree?
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:56 PM
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See post #9
I did but you "cheat" and use an optic. Be like the just of us old failing eyesight guys and shoot at 5 yards!
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:00 PM
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Default I think the plain truth is....

...that even lousy ammo works for me. All of my stuff can shoot better than I can. The way it sounds, I wouldn't get any significant improvement as much as practicing like the dickens.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:56 PM
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Please let us know what issue(s) (Gun Rag expert) this information can be found in.??

Most shooters do not have Ransom Rests for hands, and do not use brand new un fired brass for every reload. There are so many other variables involved that probably the least important is the actual brand of brass. Handgun shooting is not long range bench rest shooting.
Sure keeping things constant certainly can help but to what degree?
The OP, rwsmith, is a Bronze Contributor with over 21,000 posts to his credit. Someone with chops like that does not ask questions like this just to entertain the rest of us. He obviously wants to know in order to make a valid decision. And even though he also does not have a Ransom Rest for hands, he obviously is experienced enough to know that accuracy is a cumulative process, and that if you take care to address all the variables to the best possible degree, the aggregate is a high level of precision.

Whether or not the unsupported assumption that mixed range brass is the least important in a wide variety of variables is not the point. Addressing each variable you do have control over very much is. How many of us spin pistol bullets and cull those that are out of balance? I don't. How many of you trim semi-auto pistol brass? I don't. How many of you deburr the flash hole or ream the primer pocket on pistol brass? I don't. It's not that they are not important steps; it's because I don't want to spend my time doing those steps.

But, how many of you religiously clean and sort pistol brass? I do, every single time I load. How many of you track the number of times you use a piece of brass? On my heavy revolver loads, such as high pressure 45 Colt, 480 Ruger, and 500 Linebaugh, I do...every piece of brass. On my 45 ACP and 9mm bullseye match loads I do it differently. I shoot only new Starline at the 50 yard line where it counts. I shoot mixed brass at 25 yards where my own ability (or lack thereof) to control shot dispersion far outweighs the benefit of sorting brass.

I'm not saying that these steps are required for every round I shoot in every gun I own. I am saying that if someone asks for advice on how to attain the BEST accuracy, telling him that some variable or other "just doesn't matter" is not helping him get the best answer. It should be our goal to give the very best answer to each question asked of us.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:58 PM
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And here all along I thought it was all about having all the same brass, trimmed exactly the same, using the perfect powder and charge weight, the best primer with the most perfect bullet (profile, hardness) in the best gun available, with a perfect trigger.
For precision rifle, probably.
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by keithherrington View Post
In case some of you want to poo poo my claim, I refer you to an article in a recent gun rag (American Rifleman or Guns & Ammo) about once fired vs new brass. The difference from a machine rest was not minor. It was in the range of 15-25% improvement using new vs once fired. And this is just one variable we need to keep in mind.

Rifle shooters have known of these issues for years. Time for pistol shooters to start learning some of the finer points of loading ammo.
It is relative. If my mixed brass shoots 1" & matched brass shoots 3/4" from a rest, that is not much. Considering the vast majority of us shoot handguns offhand, no, it doesn't matter much.
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:06 PM
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...that even lousy ammo works for me. All of my stuff can shoot better than I can. The way it sounds, I wouldn't get any significant improvement as much as practicing like the dickens.
Exactly. If you are already shooting 1" offhand groups at 25yds, then it might be worth your time to sort brass & keep track of number of times fired, maybe. On the flip side, if you are shooting 4" groups @ 25yds, no amount of load tinkering is fixing that. On really good days I can still hold 2" groups offhand @ 25y. No I don't sort brass for such shooting. Only my magnum hunting loads get sorted brass. Then I am expecting 3" groups @ 100y from a rest.
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
rwsmith wrote:
accuracy improvement ... with sorted cases, etc. vs. 'slap together' ammo made with no particular care from range brass?
All of my target shooting with pistols is done offhand at ranges of 7, 10 or 15 yards. I have not noticed any difference between:
  • "Good" factory ammunition,
  • Commodity factory ammunition,
  • Reloads made from brass known to be once-fired from the same headstamp, and
  • Reloads made with brass using "previously fired" random brass.

I have not used factory "target" ammunition.
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:20 PM
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As said by others above, I find it depends on what distance I am shooting. Another shooter I see often at IPSC competitions is adamant that at 15 meters all ammo wil shoot to the same point of impact.

At a comp earlier this year my gun packed it in. Another competitor loaned me his spare (a very nice Colt Series 70). I asked him what ammo it was sighted in for and he told me 230 gn. His loads scored a 172 of across the chrono. I was shooting 200 gn loads which, due to a mistake in my reloading, only reached a 158 pf (anyone who claims .45 minor loads are fun in a comp has never shot them).

One stage featured a triple clamshell at 15 meters. Hit a pepper popper and the three shoot targets rise up fairly quickly. A second later three no shoots start to rise slowly in front of those targets. At rest there is about 200 m. (8") of the top of theshoot target's A zone still in view. I misjudged the speed of the no shoot targets rise and didn't get a shot away on the third target. Rather than take two misses and a procedural for not engaging I aimed at the middle of what I could see of the A zone and hit it right where I was aiming.

Another stage had 2 x 200 mm steel disks at 40 meters with a 3rd centre disk at 45 m. I had been practicing at that range with my Springfield and on the walk through allocated 2 rounds per disk. The first one dropped at round 2. The middle (furtherest) disk dropped at round 3 and the last in 1 shot.

But at the 50 meter/yard line in our version of the PPC/1500 match I will be shooting my 6" 686 with matched cases, both brand and firings, primers and powder loads.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:03 PM
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For me in 45acp, 200gr & 230gr running 170pf shoot to the same POI out to about 50m. Same for 9mm 124-147gr. Past 50m is where I start seeing separation. Then again, offhand, hard to tell how much that is.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:21 PM
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I've never been able to tell any difference. Too many other variables get in the way for me to be able to tell if segregating cases makes a difference.
That's why I suggest testing loads with new brass!
All those variables go away.

There is no rule against using new brass to test accuracy.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:49 PM
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For handgun rounds operating from12Kpsi to 35Kpsi and at 20 to 50 yds,I don't bother to sort cases(exept for my .38Spl target loads),trim,deburr flash holes,etc.
For rifles now that's another matter.Longer distances and higher operating pressure will show up pretty quickly any difference from round to round.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by keithherrington View Post

I'm not saying that these steps are required for every round I shoot in every gun I own. I am saying that if someone asks for advice on how to attain the BEST accuracy, telling him that some variable or other "just doesn't matter" is not helping him get the best answer. It should be our goal to give the very best answer to each question asked of us.
You said a lot, but did not answer the question as to where this "information" can be found (what issues/articles) so all can determine for themselves if it is a statistically valid result and will improve accuracy for "normal" handgun shooters??
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:08 PM
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...that even lousy ammo works for me. All of my stuff can shoot better than I can. The way it sounds, I wouldn't get any significant improvement as much as practicing like the dickens.
RW
Cal Ripen Sr. Always said that practice does not make perfect
Its perfect practice that makes perfect

I apply that to reloading and shooting as you have to start out practicing with a load that gives you small groups before you will see improvements in your offhand shooting.

How would you know if a 6 inch group at 25 yards is your ammo or you?

I've shot many of loads with a scope and benchrested that did not group at all, so what chance would I have getting those combinations to group offhanded.

And Rule.....2 to 4 power optics gives me a great sight picture for load development.....it makes no sense for me to try to hit an 1-1/2" target at 25 yards that I can't see

For offhand shooting I use a 1 power reddot
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:09 PM
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I base my own opinion on observation of my most meticulous OCD precision rifle buddy: he fiddles with every possible variable including the direction the head stamp is turned both in loading and in the chamber; case weight empty, check; case water volume, check; matches boolit weights and specs determined by individual examination, check; angle of the moon in relation to his loading bench.....probably....

He does produce some extremely tight groups in small bore out to several hundred yards.

He tried to apply the same meticulous fiddling to his pistol rounds, notably the 45 ACP and the 38 special. Was unable to produce repeatable verifiable predictable results in accuracy variation on this last handgun group.
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:21 PM
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You said a lot, but did not answer the question as to where this "information" can be found (what issues/articles) so all can determine for themselves if it is a statistically valid result and will improve accuracy for "normal" handgun shooters??
And that is because I'm out of town for a week traveling and not able to access my magazines at home. Be patient and I'll fill in the blank upon my return.
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:23 PM
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You said a lot, but did not answer the question as to where this "information" can be found (what issues/articles) so all can determine for themselves if it is a statistically valid result and will improve accuracy for "normal" handgun shooters??
Oh, and I'm not interested in answering the question for a "normal" shooter, whoever that may be. I'm interested in answering the OP's question.
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:51 PM
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Default Let'snot get contentious...

Everybody has different experiences, so I'd like to hear anything on the subject. I'm an experimenter and SOMETIMES I do put up mind puzzles to get what people are thinking overall. This, question, though, is perfectly practical in this case.
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Old 08-04-2017, 08:10 AM
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Whether or not the unsupported assumption that mixed range brass is the least important in a wide variety of variables is not the point. Addressing each variable you do have control over very much is. How many of us spin pistol bullets and cull those that are out of balance? I don't. How many of you trim semi-auto pistol brass? I don't. How many of you deburr the flash hole or ream the primer pocket on pistol brass? I don't. It's not that they are not important steps; it's because I don't want to spend my time doing those steps.

But, how many of you religiously clean and sort pistol brass? I do, every single time I load. How many of you track the number of times you use a piece of brass? On my heavy revolver loads, such as high pressure 45 Colt, 480 Ruger, and 500 Linebaugh, I do...every piece of brass. On my 45 ACP and 9mm bullseye match loads I do it differently. I shoot only new Starline at the 50 yard line where it counts. I shoot mixed brass at 25 yards where my own ability (or lack thereof) to control shot dispersion far outweighs the benefit of sorting brass.
OK then, in summary for the most accurate loads use NEW brass every time you shoot at 50 yards, no need to trim, debur or measure/weigh bullets.

Use Starline brass unless there is a better brass for other calibers,at 25 yards then it doesn't matter.??

This will improve accuracy.
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Old 08-04-2017, 12:00 PM
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I have reloaded since the 70's.........
and there are loads from "Blooper" to "Sonic" for all weapons but..........

after all the smoke settled, I found out that 90% of my weapons
prefer the old standard factory loadings with the factory bullets.

In my 38 J frame, a 148gr HBwc and in my 686 6" a 38 cased
158gr Lswc bullet at 755fps are both tack drivers.

Do the ammo makers know something I don't know ??
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:03 PM
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Your greatest accuracy increases will come from good bullets. No amount of tinkering or sorting/weighing/trimming brass will make a poor bullet shoot well. If accuracy were my goal without respect to cost, I would shoot nothing but Hornady XTP or Sierra JHP. By far the most accurate bullets I have ever sent downrange.
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:53 PM
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How does someone like Hickcock 45 shoot any gun so accurately using basic Federal American Eagle Factory ammo.

And the Internet says Federal brass sucks,

Is it because he shoots a million rounds a year?

Must be the new brass.
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:11 PM
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Default I was hoping to hear something like....

....I shot 4" groups at 20 yards, but after finding the right load, my groups reduced to 3" or thereabouts. But it doesn't look like it makes a whole lotta difference. Maybe something could be shown with a Ransom rest setup, but I don't shoot that way. I don't even shoot off a beanbag. In fact, one week I can be deadeye at the range and next week look like a beginner.

I've heard many people say that they fiddled around with a load until they found the most accurate. If they've done this what improvement do they see when they find the 'sweet spot'. The most accurate to me is usually a heavy, slow slug, mainly because they don't have much recoil that causes me to completely re-set up my follow up shots. Staying sub-sonic from start to finish of the flight, I believe may be a plus, due to avoiding turbulence in the transonic region, but that's just a theory.

I've also heard people say that they shoot silver dollar sized groups at 20 yards. Is this with a standard DA/SA revolver with factory sights or a target gun with optics?

I should ask this on the Self Defense forum, but some people insist on using the 'most accurate' ammo in their SD guns. It makes me wonder how valid this is as the ability of an offhand shooter vs. more/less accurate ammo. Especially at SD distances.
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:20 PM
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if you are a 4" @ 25y shooter, then most accurate load is just a confidence thing. IF you know the gun will shoot 1" @ 25yds off a rest, if I miss something at a given distance, I know it is me & not the gun/load. A 1" load is NOT going to make anyone a 1" shooter, but at least you know the gun/load is capable.
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Old 08-04-2017, 04:59 PM
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I have a 4 inch 19-3 a $400 gun with iron sights I shot this past weekend on the bench at 25 yards. 4 standard 25 yard targets 10 shots each. 40 shots all 10s with one in the 9 ring on the first target in a row. 3.2 American Select with a .357 hbwc seated flush with a very small roll crimp with Tula primers and junk brass. I have the targets with three witnesses. My shooting buddy had Clark Custom build a 9 inch slab barrel 586 with a one in 10 twist. We pick it up next week. Curious to see what it likes. We take our bench shooting serious. I have a 10 inch 19-3 with a rib and a Bill Davis 6 inch heavy barrel. rw I like your posts. Never a dull moment. A I.2 inch 10 shot at 25y with iron sights is my best so for. I am trying to do the 1 inch with iron sights before I croak. By the way I do have new 357 & 38 & 44 brass if the notion strikes me to try.

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Old 08-04-2017, 07:03 PM
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....I shot 4" groups at 20 yards, but after finding the right load, my groups reduced to 3" or thereabouts. But it doesn't look like it makes a whole lotta difference. Maybe something could be shown with a Ransom rest setup, but I don't shoot that way. I don't even shoot off a beanbag. In fact, one week I can be deadeye at the range and next week look like a beginner.

I've heard many people say that they fiddled around with a load until they found the most accurate. If they've done this what improvement do they see when they find the 'sweet spot'. The most accurate to me is usually a heavy, slow slug, mainly because they don't have much recoil that causes me to completely re-set up my follow up shots. Staying sub-sonic from start to finish of the flight, I believe may be a plus, due to avoiding turbulence in the transonic region, but that's just a theory.

I've also heard people say that they shoot silver dollar sized groups at 20 yards. Is this with a standard DA/SA revolver with factory sights or a target gun with optics?

I should ask this on the Self Defense forum, but some people insist on using the 'most accurate' ammo in their SD guns. It makes me wonder how valid this is as the ability of an offhand shooter vs. more/less accurate ammo. Especially at SD distances.
There is no easy answer or Holy Grail to accurate groups when shooting offhand.

There are just too many variables.

The biggest of course is the actual shooter, experience, grip yada yada.

There is also the GUN is it a revolver or a semi?. What kind of trigger does it have, A really nice crisp clean or a 12 lb pull.?? In a revolver shooting DA or SA??

As to ammo, yes, keeping things as constant as possible helps but even the best ammo in the World is not going to matter if the shooter and gun are not up to the task.

As to the ammo itself, there is the BULLET, the powder, the charge of the powder, primer and the brass, Of those I still maintain the brass is the least of the variables (yes it can have some affect/effect) but not as much as the other factors,and what minutia of a percentage?

So if one wants to apply rifle benchrest methods to handguns, then one needs to weight all the brass, or test capacity with H2O, uniform primer pockets debur flash holes, trim and chamfer cases. Buy premium bullest (weigh them,) test for concetricity, use match grad primers and find the Ultimate powder and charge weight.

Many good, really good, shooters shoot standard FACTORY ammo. A Lady at my range was asked to be on the SW Women's team (Julie Golob) She shoots only PMC 45 FMJ ammo with a stock SW 45 MP pistol.
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Old 08-04-2017, 07:54 PM
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Default My simple story

About 4 years ago at a local 2700 Bullseye match, on the first 50 yard target with a 1911 45 ACP my score was 93 (every shot was in the black), my second target was 36 -- I never hit the black bullseye and 2 shots were outside the scoring rings. The same bullets, same box of ammo, same powder, same primers, sorted cases, big difference in scores.

My conclusion is that my shooting ability makes a huge difference in my score compared to the "intricacies" of reloading ammunition. For my match ammo, I use nickeled cases only and don't bother to sort by headstamp.

Please carry on with your meticulous preparations in creating ammo. This makes you feel good, gives you confidence, and eliminates variables from your process. I continue to reload on my Dillon 550 with dirty primer pockets, unsorted brass, and loaded ammo bulk packed in 50 cal ammo cans.

EDIT: How I shoot TODAY has absolutely nothing to do with how I could shoot 30 years ago. I can't shoot like I did 30 years ago, no matter what I do. I still have the old Colt Series 70 GC with a new accurized barrel, bushing, and UltraDot sight. Plus there are two new custom built 1911's that dreams are made of, but all I have are nightmares. Youthful muscles and eyes are God's blessing to a shooter. Electronic sights and cataract surgery can't overcome the body's failings. But I'm having more fun now than ever before.
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Old 08-04-2017, 08:49 PM
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I'm in agreement with the above post.

Back in the day I competed in high power rifle matches and worried about precision I discovered that I could take a half MOA load developed in match brass with and weighed powder charges and by indexing the case through the process, uniforming the primer pockets and flash hole, cleaning primer pockets, inside and outside turning, the neck, etc. etc. etc I could take that 1/4 MOA load and turn it into a 1/4 MOA load. I could also take an SD that was around 12-15 fps and drop into the high single digits.

Not really worth it, when a 1 MOA load was all you needed to be competitive.

Similarly, I played around with handgun loads for Bullseye competition and again found that any increase in accuracy was a total waste of time. After that I just stayed with a load that performed well in my pistol and just used my mixed .45 ACP brass until the necks cracked.

My only concession to case prep is uniforming the flash hole as it's a one time thing that only takes a few seconds and can be done to hundreds of cases while watching a movie on TV.

----

More recently, I started developing accurate loads for an AR-9, to see what was possible without resorting to any heroic measures. I gave mixed versus sorted cases a try just to see what difference I got at 100 yards.

I didn't notice much change in accuracy with sorted versus mixed brass.

With hand weighed charges in new (and obviously sorted) brass, the 90 gr and 115 gr, and 125 gr XTP bullets all printed groups right around 2 MOA at 100 yards.

With hand weighed charges in mixed brass the accuracy decreased slightly to a bit over 2.0 MOA on average.

With mixed brass and metered charges just cranked off my Dillon 550B accuracy was right round 2.5 MOA.

The SD results were however interesting:

With sorted brass and hand weighed charges the standard deviation was around 6 to 11 fps in my 16" carbine with it's Ballistic Advantage barrel (5.32 was the lowest SD on a 10 shot string).

The same loads in mixed brass gave me SDs in the 20 fps range.

The same load metered into mixed brass increased the SDs to the 25-40 fps range. The flake powders were in the 40 range, while the better metering powders like HS-6, Power pistol and IMR 800X had the lower numbers.

Given that I like to load my 9mm on my Dillon and usually load up 1000 or 2000 rounds at a time, I opted for loads using mixed brass with zero prep and easy to meter powders (HS 6 and Power Pistol. 2.5 MOA accuracy is fine for my purposes and it'll put the rounds on steel plates at 200 yards with ease. I could reduce that to 2.0 MOA accuracy, but the effort isn't worth the return.

The bulk of the gain is in weighed versus metered charges and then more so with flake than finer grained powders, and there is almost no benefit to sorting cases.
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Old 08-04-2017, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
....I shot 4" groups at 20 yards, but after finding the right load, my groups reduced to 3" or thereabouts. But it doesn't look like it makes a whole lotta difference. Maybe something could be shown with a Ransom rest setup, but I don't shoot that way. I don't even shoot off a beanbag. In fact, one week I can be deadeye at the range and next week look like a beginner.

I've heard many people say that they fiddled around with a load until they found the most accurate. If they've done this what improvement do they see when they find the 'sweet spot'. The most accurate to me is usually a heavy, slow slug, mainly because they don't have much recoil that causes me to completely re-set up my follow up shots. Staying sub-sonic from start to finish of the flight, I believe may be a plus, due to avoiding turbulence in the transonic region, but that's just a theory.

I've also heard people say that they shoot silver dollar sized groups at 20 yards. Is this with a standard DA/SA revolver with factory sights or a target gun with optics?

I should ask this on the Self Defense forum, but some people insist on using the 'most accurate' ammo in their SD guns. It makes me wonder how valid this is as the ability of an offhand shooter vs. more/less accurate ammo. Especially at SD distances.
Looks we're shooting in the same league.I'm happy when I keep them all in the black(25yds ISU target which is aprox a little over 4''.)I shoot mostly old fashioned(single hand).So to me a 2 to 3'' load is better than I can shoot(on my good days).
I also hear a lot about groups under 2'' at same distance.But I must be bad cursed for the guys swearing that they've done it could never repeat the feat while witnesses were standing by!Must be that they too were having a bad day!
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:50 PM
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Looks we're shooting in the same league.I'm happy when I keep them all in the black(25yds ISU target which is aprox a little over 4''.)I shoot mostly old fashioned(single hand).So to me a 2 to 3'' load is better than I can shoot(on my good days).
I also hear a lot about groups under 2'' at same distance.But I must be bad cursed for the guys swearing that they've done it could never repeat the feat while witnesses were standing by!Must be that they too were having a bad day!
Qc
With two hands, good gun, decent ammo, 2" groups are pretty easily done by a good shooter. Really good bullets, good gun, good shooter, sub 2" is not difficult. One handed, i would be thrilled with 4" groups. This was my 1st group from a then new 1911/9. Just some basic 9mm practice ammo, mixed cases, 125gr lead tc, loaded on a progressive. Its just a bit over 2". Happy with that, especially with my beat up old eyes & irons. It shoots even better with better bullets.
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Old 08-05-2017, 08:43 AM
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All one needs to do is by a Ed Brown or Les Bauer Custom 1911 and they can be shooting 1.5 to 3" at 50 yards.

Spend the $3K or more and go shooting!!

Les Baer Custom Inc.

Ed Brown Handguns | Ed Brown Products, Inc.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:31 AM
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Default I'm sure it would be a challenge.....

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All one needs to do is by a Ed Brown or Les Bauer Custom 1911 and they can be shooting 1.5 to 3" at 50 yards.

Spend the $3K or more and go shooting!!

Les Baer Custom Inc.

Ed Brown Handguns | Ed Brown Products, Inc.
I'm sure it would be a challenge for me with the best equipment money can buy.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:51 AM
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20 years ago you sent your 1911 to the best builder of the time (Mike Curtis) and for $750 he returned a 1.5" 50 yard target gun. Todays numbers are astounding. The X ring on the 50 yard slow fire target is 1.695 inches so you really wanted a 1.5" gun. Just knowing the gun will do it if you do your part was confidence. Mike's gun and test target with ball ammo at 50 yards. 1.375" x 1.817" with one flyer, 10 rounds.

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Old 08-06-2017, 09:54 AM
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Hey fred, Stu
How are you embedding pictures? Third party?
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Old 08-06-2017, 10:34 AM
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You will have to have the photo on a hosting site. I have my own at a domain I own. I then use the html tags [IMG]xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx[/IMG]
where the xxx's are the address for the image.

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