Sanity Check - Reloading Process

OP
T
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
1,176
I know I first suggested it when it was brought up in a different thread, so no disservice. I'm just curious if there is some measurable variance there, and if it actually translates into the ES of his load.

I’m working this out now and will report back once I figure it out. I may be transitioning over to a beam style because it seems any sub say $300 electronic scale will drift and have error


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RDMT

FNG
Joined
Mar 12, 2024
Messages
15
Long winded….


About at my wits end and hopefully someone can see my issue. No mater what I’ve changed over the last 3 months and 350 shots I can’t improve my ES of approx 45 fps

Originally I was just using Hornady brass, FL sizing with Lee die, no anneal, H4350 from autotrickler, 147/143/berger140. ES 40-50

Then went to Peterson and Lapua brass (not mixing headstamp) On virgin brass I was seeing 40-50 FPS in two different 6.5cm rifles. On twice fired, I’m using Redding body die to set shoulder back, Lee collet to set approx .001 neck tension and induction DIY annealer. Same 40 ish fps ES.

Then tried same above process but with one size smaller collet that gave me approx .0035” neck tension. Also used imperial dry neck lube on the ID. Bullets seated consistently with what felt like same force and still ES of approx 40 over only 10 shots.


So… I’ve tried these and they didn’t make a difference:

- Different brass
- Different bullets
- changed to fed 210M
- changed neck tension and even used dry lube
- changed die setup

One of the common themes is I’m using H4350. But that is suppose to be the best stuff for 6.5cm and I’ve tried it in two completely different rifles with similar ES/SD so I’m doubtful that’s my issue.

Anyone see any red flags?


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I was getting similar numbers you are using H4350 (41.9) with the 140/147 pills. Shot at least 250-300 rounds until I switched powders. With that said, RL17 was the best powder for mine. I would try either RL16 as mentioned in previous posts, or RL17 if you happen to find some.
 

SDHNTR

WKR
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
6,500
FWIW, I'd rather have H4350 and a 40-45 ES, but with its temp stability, than some other powder less temp stable and half that ES.
 
OP
T
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
1,176
For what’s its worth (not much lol) figured I’d post some of my findings.

Long story short I’ve isolated different things (annealed, non annealed, H4350,stab all 6.5, graphite line on ID of neck, FL sizing, neck siding with shoulder bump) and the ES in this tikka 6.5 is always around 35-45fps.

I did however get my seekins 6.5 to drop for 40ES to about 15-20 which I’m perfectly happy there. Did this by going to a FL die, the collet die wasn’t shaping the OD of the neck the same at the mouth, half way down and at the base of the neck. No luck with fixing the ES on the tikka

I did however confirm that the Hornady precision hunter 143 has a great ES in the rifle as long as you stay in the same lot #. Changing lot number I did see the avg vel jump up approx 40fps.

Same lot number, over 3 different days:

Lot X: ES = 29 FPS over 21 shots (2 different boxes used about half of each) Usually shoot between 4-8 shots of which those individual shot series (Labrador) often had an ES of 15-18 with single digit SD so just a few shots on the outliers of the ES of 29

Lot Y: ES: 34. Only shot 8 shots (3 different series) from this one box but again most shot series had had teens ES and single SD but one did do go about 20 fps above the avg velocity

Best reloads I could put together shooting along side of this factory ammo was ES of 59 fps.

Tikka will use factory and Seekins will shoot reloads for now… let me know if there is anything you think I missed in the tikka


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Joined
Nov 20, 2021
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1,483
Gotta watch that Precision Hunter, too. Just had two boxes with 100+ fps difference in average velocity.

Lot# 3240075
Lot# 3230674

Avg 2688
Avg 2576

Not sure which was which. Wasn't paying attention.
This has been going on for as long as factory ammo has been around. Different lots are loaded at different times. Maybe the powder is "the same" (or different) but from differing lots as well bullets could've been made from a different batch. If you shoot factory ammo, buy multiple boxes from the same lot to have a good stock for whatever your shooting needs will be for a while to come.
 
OP
T
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
1,176
This has been going on for as long as factory ammo has been around. Different lots are loaded at different times. Maybe the powder is "the same" (or different) but from differing lots as well bullets could've been made from a different batch. If you shoot factory ammo, buy multiple boxes from the same lot to have a good stock for whatever your shooting needs will be for a while to come.

That’s my plan, just need to find 200 or 500 rounds for a good price and that will last a year or two of shooting


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JF_Idaho

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Oct 1, 2023
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235
Location
Treasure Valley
This has been going on for as long as factory ammo has been around. Different lots are loaded at different times. Maybe the powder is "the same" (or different) but from differing lots as well bullets could've been made from a different batch. If you shoot factory ammo, buy multiple boxes from the same lot to have a good stock for whatever your shooting needs will be for a while to come.

I definitely agree. Although, I will say that's the biggest discrepancy I personally have come across. Had me scratching my head for a second. Those were the averages. The ES of the 2 lots were 149fps. 2702 and 2553.
 
OP
T
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
1,176
I definitely agree. Although, I will say that's the biggest discrepancy I personally have come across. Had me scratching my head for a second. Those were the averages. The ES of the 2 lots were 149fps. 2702 and 2553.

ES between these two lots (xxxx33 and xxxx31) was approx 80 which is why I did so many test shots within each lot to make sure it was consistent. ES of 29 over 21 shots (one lot #) is pretty solid


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Vern400

WKR
Joined
Aug 22, 2021
Messages
394
My rifles show a slightly higher SD when they've been cleaned. I have to discount more than a few initial shots.

There are a lot of comments here about neck tension or bullet seating force. Those are probably valid thoughts.

I have run into situations like yours where the primer and power combination was a poor match. And some powders May give extremely low SD with their ideal bullet weight, but not necessarily with a heavier or lighter bullet. Velocity SD is basically a result of the combustion process. All things being the same, even charge weight changes can wiggle around SD a little bit... Or a lot depending on the powder.

That being said it's pretty hard to argue with the powder you're using being a good choice. There are just a heck of a lot of variables that make minor differences which are truly difficult to isolate from one another.

Hope you are able to get the improvements you want.
 

TaperPin

WKR
Joined
Jul 12, 2023
Messages
2,118
Long winded….


About at my wits end and hopefully someone can see my issue. No mater what I’ve changed over the last 3 months and 350 shots I can’t improve my ES of approx 45 fps

Originally I was just using Hornady brass, FL sizing with Lee die, no anneal, H4350 from autotrickler, 147/143/berger140. ES 40-50

Then went to Peterson and Lapua brass (not mixing headstamp) On virgin brass I was seeing 40-50 FPS in two different 6.5cm rifles. On twice fired, I’m using Redding body die to set shoulder back, Lee collet to set approx .001 neck tension and induction DIY annealer. Same 40 ish fps ES.

Then tried same above process but with one size smaller collet that gave me approx .0035” neck tension. Also used imperial dry neck lube on the ID. Bullets seated consistently with what felt like same force and still ES of approx 40 over only 10 shots.


So… I’ve tried these and they didn’t make a difference:

- Different brass
- Different bullets
- changed to fed 210M
- changed neck tension and even used dry lube
- changed die setup

One of the common themes is I’m using H4350. But that is suppose to be the best stuff for 6.5cm and I’ve tried it in two completely different rifles with similar ES/SD so I’m doubtful that’s my issue.

Anyone see any red flags?


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Factory ammo is designed to work well in a wide variety of rifles - the powder lot used has been tested for uniformity, is sometimes a type not available to handloaders, and most factory loads have a crimp.

Nothing personal against Lee, but accuracy guys who are looking for low es/sd are often not using Lee, but have bushing dies and neck tension is checked in .001” or .002” increments.

Your lot or two of one type of powder may not be ideal for the gun. If that were the case, reloading manuals wouldn’t try so many different powders.
 
Joined
May 21, 2020
Messages
39
I’m working this out now and will report back once I figure it out. I may be transitioning over to a beam style because it seems any sub say $300 electronic scale will drift and have error
How'd the beam scale do?

A quick look at retail prices for lab quality and legal-for-trade digital scales that can measure 10th or 100th of a grain will tell you a lot about the precision capabilities of reloading-branded digital scales.

My overall thought is that you may be lost in the randomness here. As others have said, your numbers are already great. Any one thing you do from here is likely to make a small change, and the smaller the change, the more data you need to gather each time to tell a statistically significant difference between the before and after.

The only thing I can think of that hasn't already been covered (unless I missed it) is that you could try crimping. I just got my Lee crimp die but haven't played with it yet. I load Hammers and word on the street is that crimping improves velocity consistency. I have no idea if that's true, but it will help keep me distracted while I wait for my special hunt draw results 🤣.
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
69
Location
Alaska
Long winded….


About at my wits end and hopefully someone can see my issue. No mater what I’ve changed over the last 3 months and 350 shots I can’t improve my ES of approx 45 fps

Originally I was just using Hornady brass, FL sizing with Lee die, no anneal, H4350 from autotrickler, 147/143/berger140. ES 40-50

Then went to Peterson and Lapua brass (not mixing headstamp) On virgin brass I was seeing 40-50 FPS in two different 6.5cm rifles. On twice fired, I’m using Redding body die to set shoulder back, Lee collet to set approx .001 neck tension and induction DIY annealer. Same 40 ish fps ES.

Then tried same above process but with one size smaller collet that gave me approx .0035” neck tension. Also used imperial dry neck lube on the ID. Bullets seated consistently with what felt like same force and still ES of approx 40 over only 10 shots.


So… I’ve tried these and they didn’t make a difference:

- Different brass
- Different bullets
- changed to fed 210M
- changed neck tension and even used dry lube
- changed die setup

One of the common themes is I’m using H4350. But that is suppose to be the best stuff for 6.5cm and I’ve tried it in two completely different rifles with similar ES/SD so I’m doubtful that’s my issue.

Anyone see any red flags?


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How are you cleaning your brass ?
 
OP
T
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
1,176
How are you cleaning your brass ?

Just wipe down the 91% alcohol and let them dry . Leave carbon in neck but I am still seeing some bullet weld issues because my ES jumped up to 66 after shooting second half of ammo I loaded about a week ago. First half was normal 30 ish ES, shot it the next day after reloading

Side note, bought 5 new boxes of factory eldx (totally different lot #) and over 3 different boxes I was seeing an ES of about 50 over 12 shots so looks like my reloads are on par with factory other than the two good lot numbers that produced teens ES a little while back

Shot the new factory ammo at 640 yards and got about an 8” groups which is pretty good for me

Still need to figure out that bullet weld thing on my reloads . I tried seating a few left over rounds from about a week ago and they had a decent pop before they start to seat deeper in the case


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Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
69
Location
Alaska
Just wipe down the 91% alcohol and let them dry . Leave carbon in neck but I am still seeing some bullet weld issues because my ES jumped up to 66 after shooting second half of ammo I loaded about a week ago. First half was normal 30 ish ES, shot it the next day after reloading

Side note, bought 5 new boxes of factory eldx (totally different lot #) and over 3 different boxes I was seeing an ES of about 50 over 12 shots so looks like my reloads are on par with factory other than the two good lot numbers that produced teens ES a little while back

Shot the new factory ammo at 640 yards and got about an 8” groups which is pretty good for me

Still need to figure out that bullet weld thing on my reloads . I tried seating a few left over rounds from about a week ago and they had a decent pop before they start to seat deeper in the case


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Ok I was just wondering if you were wet tumbling, as the stainless steel pins can cause problem with necks.
Also I wouldn't look as much at ES and more focus on what the SD is. An SD of 10 is great and getting less gives very little improvement at 1000 yards for a hit factor
 
OP
T
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
1,176
Ok I was just wondering if you were wet tumbling, as the stainless steel pins can cause problem with necks.
Also I wouldn't look as much at ES and more focus on what the SD is. An SD of 10 is great and getting less gives very little improvement at 1000 yards for a hit factor

I’m usually in the 10-15 SD with this tikka when I shoot the reloads soon after reloading (my other 6.5 sees single digits SDs)

Any idea what may be causing the “bullet weld” that’s increases my ES/SD if there is carbon in the necks? I guess I can just load them long and then final seat before I go out and hunt but it could be 4 or 5 days from searing to when I shoot which was enough time this week to push my ES up another additional 20-30fps


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Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
69
Location
Alaska
I’m usually in the 10-15 SD with this tikka when I shoot the reloads soon after reloading (my other 6.5 sees single digits SDs)

Any idea what may be causing the “bullet weld” that’s increases my ES/SD if there is carbon in the necks? I guess I can just load them long and then final seat before I go out and hunt but it could be 4 or 5 days from searing to when I shoot which was enough time this week to push my ES up another additional 20-30fps


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ya not really sure on the welding problem, but I would think the problem would take a lot longer to develop. Have you tried brushing the necks once the brass has been prepped ?
Maybe not use the alcohol.

my process is
anneal
lube with one shot
de-preimer
size with .002 to .003 shoulder bump with FL die
expand neck with mandrel so I get about .002 tension
trim ( this is partly to clean up the chamfer
clean in dry media ( make sure flash hole is clear)
then load using a changermaster link
I generally get a 10sd or less for ten shots and 1moa of less. the load I got for prs is .7 moa mean radius of .22moa and an SD of 8. I am plenty happy with this as I don't want to waste time for any marginal improvement.
brass is peterson
powder h4350
primer S&B currently
bullet 140eldm
and all this loading is done on a dillon 550 press
I generally don't have any problems an 1 moa or 1.5 moa plate at 100yards which is 10 to 15inch plate.

Also your sd can go up and down based on how many shots you shoot

Another thing I would listen to some of the hornady podcast like you "groups are to small" and some of the other related to reloading

I also think your" looking at the hole in the donut to much " for a hunting round like others have said
 

SDHNTR

WKR
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
6,500
I’m usually in the 10-15 SD with this tikka when I shoot the reloads soon after reloading (my other 6.5 sees single digits SDs)

Any idea what may be causing the “bullet weld” that’s increases my ES/SD if there is carbon in the necks? I guess I can just load them long and then final seat before I go out and hunt but it could be 4 or 5 days from searing to when I shoot which was enough time this week to push my ES up another additional 20-30fps


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If this is happening after 1-2 weeks after loading the ammo, it’s not bullet weld. 1-2 years maybe.

Is there a chance your seating die is also crimping the case mouth?
 

Harvey_NW

WKR
Joined
Feb 13, 2019
Messages
1,586
Location
WA
If this is happening after 1-2 weeks after loading the ammo, it’s not bullet weld. 1-2 years maybe.
I've had it happen after a couple months. Confirmed and never again since using graphite.
 
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