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britrifles View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 30 2023 at 9:12am
Keying off of Goosic’s ultra accurate handloads, I thought I would give it a go to make the most consistent 7.62 long range loads for my DCRA 7.62 Conversion that I could.  The new LE Wilson dies made this possible, along with some new tools to help me measure and ensure consistency.  

The load: Lapua brass, BR-2 Primers, 44.0 gr Varget (ADI AR2208) and Sierra 168 gr Tipped MatchKing. 

The cases got the full prep routine: primer pockets uniformed for depth, flash holes deburred, case necks annealed, partial length sized in Wilson Bushing Type sizer with 0.355 inch diameter bushing (no neck expanding), trimmed to the same length, case mouth chamfered, case necks brushed out, wet tumbled clean, and then selected cases within +/- 0.1 grains.  Took a bit of experimenting on bushing diameter to get the desired neck tension.  Sizing die adjusted to move shoulder back 0.001 inches from a fired case and confirmed with Hornady Case Headspace Gage. 

All powder charges weighed out on RCBS Range Master 750.  Something I don’t normally do because my Redding measure throws Varget to within +/- 0.2 gr max (typically, +/- 0.1 grains).  I threw the charge in the scale pan to just under 44 grains then tricked up to 44.0. Scale accuracy is supposed to be +/- 0.1 grains.  I’ve checked this scale with light calibration weights (1 to 40 grains) and it’s very good.  

Bullets seated with LE Wilson In-Line seater using Arbor Press.  Bullet seating force measured with the press to ensure neck tension consistency.  This has been the most consistent neck tension I’ve measured to date, all 50 rounds had a final seating force between 45 and 50 lbs.  The In-Line bullet seater has a sliding bullet punch, the bullet is pushed into the fully supported case from the top rather than the case pushed up onto the die from below.  

All loaded rounds checked for bullet runout with RCBS Case Master Concentricity Gage.  For the 50 rounds loaded, numerous rounds had bullet runout less than 0.001, maximum was .004 and average right at .002 inches.  Runout measured 0.125 inches forward of the case mouth.  On average, these cartridges have the least amount of runout on anything I’ve loaded before. 




Will be interesting to see if this can improve on the accuracy of my existing loads assembled on standard dies and thrown powder charges.  800 yd target with 1 MOA grid overlay below shot prone in sling with PH 5c rear sight and AJ Parker Matchmaker front sight with standard load.  I’m sure it would do better with a high power scope off the bench, but that’s not how I use this rifle, I want to replicate the late UK/DCRA Service Rifle SR(b) and early Target Rifle (TR) shooting conditions. 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2023 at 10:34am
Funny that you would post this. I just got back from the range doing a test & tune with the 7.62 Enfield. I installed a 24x BSA target scope but, my main concern was the use of the Sierra 168grn TMK projectiles with the Secant Ogive and knowing they can be a little temperamental in regards to bullet jump.
I kept the powder charge the same as I have had with that being 41.7grns of IMR4064 and primed with GM215M primers. The only difference is that I increased the C.O.L. from  2.830" to 2.868". Cartridge cases are off the shelf Starline brass with the primer pockets uniformed and deburred and then ran through my RCBS Neck sizer with the expander ball polished to 0.303".
After the sight in was completed I got down to actual shooting. Two ten-shot groups @100 yards. My oldest daughter shot the second group for a non-biased based perspective. Both ten-shot groups can be covered with a quarter. My group first and then my daughters...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2023 at 11:08am
I’m seating the 168 TMKs .020 off the lands, OAL of 2.950 inches, this is out of a Long Branch 7.62 barrel that has about 2000 rounds thru it (wished I had logged the round count).  The longer OAL has an added benefit of reducing pressures, so I can add a few more grains of powder to increase velocity. Not needed for short range work, but necessary for 1000 yd targets.  It’s the highest pressure I will go to, but will only occasionally shoot it for long range. 

Not sure if I’ve ever shot 10 rounds into a quarter size group with iron sights at 100 yds, but close perhaps.  This was with my .303 Fulton No. 4 but with a 20x scope shot off the bench about 25 years ago during initial load development.  I don’t think the rifle will shoot that good again, that barrel has > 8,000 rounds thru it, maybe 10,000. 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2023 at 11:50am
I very much like the "Short Range" accuracy  of this rifle and round. I have been fighting an uphill battle with this setup and it finally paid off...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2023 at 12:21pm
My prediction is that these ultra consistent loads won’t shoot any better than my regular long range loads assembled with standard dies; however, it does remove one distraction that tends to have a detrimental affect to accurate shooting.  Now I know that it’s all up to me and the load is as good as it gets.   

Of course, I could be wrong, and these might show measurable improvement, but will be tough to reduce 800 and 1000 yd groups to under 1 MOA.  Most of the shooting error is in aiming and ability to hold rifle completely still during striker release, since I’m shooting with iron sights and from the prone position (unsupported).  Not to mention wind effects at Long Range.  Perhaps it would show its benefit if shot from a scoped rifle off the bench at short range. 

It’s interesting that some competitive shooters say that factory loaded “match grade” ammunition is the best there is, and handloads, while good, can’t achieve the consistency possible with expensive factory machinery.  I can’t say one way or the other on this, but options are limited for my specific rifle and range set up.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2023 at 7:14pm
im not going to say its the case but in my very limited experience with those that shoot precision or competitive accuracy , there is a point where you obsess beyond the point of logic , there are so many variables that you can address but only those that are causing you issues are worth addressing - you can spend a lot [more power to you if you can] but there is only so much you can fo to overcome that human element of the game , 

you shoot well my friend , enjoy the fact that there are a lot of us that cant anymore - i could not buy enough expensive upgrades to my equipment or supply's to overcome my human condition at this point in life , 

but ................i did have a friend make me an offer i could not refuse the other day - ive been reloading my 12ga on a single stage MEC for the last coiple years [anther friend gave me both the single stage and a MEC progressive that belonged to his step dad [a famous shotgun author - mochael McCintosh ] that i need to return now , the other friend sold me a vear new ponsess warne progressive that i could load as a trap shooter in the 19s of thousands of sheels a year with , i only shoot maybe 1000 in a really good year , 
but as i said it is the premiere loader for shot she!!s and at the cost i could not pass it up , ill not wear it out in my lifetime nor will the person that gets it after me - built like a tank , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2023 at 8:44pm
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

My prediction is that these ultra consistent loads won’t shoot any better than my regular long range loads assembled with standard dies; however, it does remove one distraction that tends to have a detrimental affect to accurate shooting.  Now I know that it’s all up to me and the load is as good as it gets.   

It’s interesting that some competitive shooters say that factory loaded “match grade” ammunition is the best there is, and handloads, while good, can’t achieve the consistency possible with expensive factory machinery.  
I can’t say one way or the other on this, but options are limited for my specific rifle and range set up.
My issue has been between the Secant and Tangent ogives of the same weight bullet by the same manufacturer where the Tangent bullets work well in the Faux L8A5T and the secant bullets have worked abysmally until today. My next "Test&Tune" is for the Custom No4 using the 170grn (Tangent) M30 FMJBT projectiles. They have a diameter of. 312" and show great promise as being accurate...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2023 at 3:38am
Yes, and I think that’s why I could not get the Sierra 155 Palma MK to shoot well, could not get it anywhere near the lands in my No. 4 DCRA.  It shot the regular tangent ogive 168 SMKs at magazine length just fine, but the secant ogive TMKs needed to be seated closer to the lands, out past mag length. 

I can conclusively say that the use of Wilson full length bushing sizer and in-line seater (which aren’t that expensive) did resolve an accuracy issue I struggled with for numerous years with the AR at 600 yds which involved case neck concentricity and bullet runout. No matter what I did, the standard dies would not seat the 80 grain bullets concentric to the case body. On a good day, my 600 yd score was in the mid 90’s, and now with the concentricity issue resolved, I’m consistently shooting clean scores with a good X ring count. Bullet runout went from 0.015-0.020 max to 0.004 max.

Wish they made these dies in .303.





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2023 at 9:11am
"I'm not going to say its the case but in my very limited experience with those that shoot precision or competitive accuracy , there is a point where you obsess beyond the point of logic , there are so many variables that you can address but only those that are causing you issues are worth addressing - you can spend a lot [more power to you if you can] but there is only so much you can fo to overcome that human element of the game"
I was definitely guilty of this with that super-accurate Remington 700 Build.
Got 1MOA, went to 1/2 MOA, did all the super accuracy tricks & made 1/3 MOA. Then I was struggling for 1/4 MOA for a long time til I realized there wasn't any more in the rifle load or anything else I could do to get there.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2023 at 9:41am
Not sure I could shoot those kind of groups even if I taped the target to the muzzle of my L-E!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2023 at 9:54am
Yup.  Any experienced Service Rifle shooter will tell you to stop messing with your loads and concentrate on shooting X’s.  Spend your limited time on the range and not the loading bench.  If you’re building a F-Class or Benchrest rifle, then I get it, there is a certain amount of payback for making consistently good loads, but even those guys usually don’t bother to do things like weigh out each charge. 

The human element is the dominating factor in Service Rifle shooting, even with 4x scopes allowed in the AR-15 SR matches.  Give a 0 MOA laser gun with 30x scope to an Expert SR shooter and the High Master with his 1.5 MOA iron sighted AR will beat him every time.  

So, why did I bother making these ultra consistent loads?  Just to prove it to myself it has no, or very little benefit, so I can go back to using normal reloading routines.  The exception is that I will continue to use the Wilson dies for my AR Mid-Range Loads as explained previously, that did make a real quantifiable improvement on the target. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2023 at 12:14pm
This is a really good scoped No 4 target @ 100yds.

These are average 200yd custom Rem 700 ones. (ignore the 3 very top holes they're the ring punch for the binder)


Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2023 at 1:34pm
Yup, that tells the story right there.  3 MOA with the No. 4 and 1/4 - 1/3 MOA with the Custom Rem 700. Nice shooting Shamu. 

The No. 4 can be made to shoot 1.5 MOA, but things have to be perfect, a very good barrel, good bedding, etc. That quarter sized group I showed from my Fulton No. 4 was a rare exception, sometimes you just get lucky.  On average, it shot 1.5 inch 10 shot groups at 100 yds, off bench with a scope, but I had a few groups under 1 MOA back when I was doing load development work. That Re15 sure did shoot good, but it burns hot and is rather temp sensitive. 

I’ll post my results with these Uber Ultra Match 7.62 loads when I get back to the 1000 yd range.  Maybe we should take bets on how they shoot Wink

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2023 at 2:25pm
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

I am in no way attempting to underscore your shooting styles and stance on this topic Geoff. I do have my own ideologies however and my thoughts here represent that.
(Any experienced Service Rifle shooter will tell you to stop messing with your loads and concentrate on shooting X’s.)
^^^^^
I am an experienced Shooter both in civilian and military standards and I can tell you with sincere honesty that, you cannot hit the X with any consistency whatsoever unless the rifle AND the load are tuned to each other. Put an accurate round in a sh*tty rifle and that person will blame the load and not the rifle for not getting on the X. Put a sh*tty round in a tuned rifle and that person will definitely blame the round and not the rifle for not gifting him the X result. No matter how hard you try to convince yourself otherwise, you cannot have One without the Other. A perfect example of this is the Marine Corp. Sniper Teams who will load their own rounds,("Spending Quality Time at the Loading Bench") and tune their respective rifles to that load.   

 (Spend your limited time on the range and not the loading bench.)
^^^^
If you wholeheartedly agree to this comment then why bother to reload in the first place? You have stated that you have heard that Store Bought Factory Match Grade ammunition is better than the common man's handloads so why even bother spending countless hours and money on items you obviously do not need because whatever it is you are chasing as far as accuracy goes can be purchased straight off the shelves at your local gun stores.

 ( If you’re building a F-Class or ((Benchrest rifle)), then I get it, there is a certain amount of payback for making consistently good loads, but even those guys usually don’t bother to do things like weigh out each charge. ) 
^^^^
The BR rifle in all its connotations is a Breech Block with a cannon grade barrel screwed into it and then everything is securely held in place with braces and turnbuckles sitting on top of handcranks and levers. There is no need to weigh out each charge for the simple reason of BR rifle itself and its construction. You could load a rock into one of those things and get it on the X if someone really wanted to.

(The human element is the dominating factor in Service Rifle shooting, even with 4x scopes allowed in the AR-15 SR matches.)
^^^^ 
The human element is the dominant and limiting factor in every shooting discipline and with that in mind you would do best to have BOTH your equipment and chosen loads "Debugged" prior to any outings.

(Give a 0 MOA laser gun with 30x scope to an Expert SR shooter and the High Master with his 1.5 MOA iron sighted AR will beat him every time)
^^^^
Highly unlikely but the laws of probability are there to assist in that given scenario so, there's that.

Ultra Consistent Loads as you refer to them Geoff are exactly that, "Ultra Consistent," and spending time at a loading bench to achieve that consistency should not be hindered by the opinions from others who chuff at the mere thought of such a menial chore. There will come a point in time that your Ultra Consistent Load will become the "Unicorn" and cannot be duplicated and your Tuned Rifle will eventually degrade to a "Truck Gun" even if you do spend money to have a barrel replacement done.

If you are going to build a rifle, build it. At the same time build a round fitting to and for that rifle. 
You will eventually get to that wall that Shamu describes as far as accuracy is concerned but keep loading those Ultra Consistent Loads. Why? For no other reason being, because you can, and did...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2023 at 2:51pm
Geoff. I have a "Specialty Load" for my Custom No4Mk1/2 that uses IMR3031 and the Sierra 174grn BTHP.  I have been loading this particular round the same way for over 4 decades now and will continue to do so and that includes spending what some would refer to as "uneccessary/wasted time" at the loading bench. My rifle has a 12x Tasco scope so, nothing fancy yet, it will consistently put a ten-shot group well inside a X ring at 100 yards. Even out to 300 yards it is still capable of that task. I have tried to duplicate those results using "Factory/As Issued" Service ammunition to no avail. 
The following photos were the End Results of what those rounds and rifle can do in the span of 100 yards in the hands of an 18 year old girl. I just "Suggested" that she just point the center of the crosshairs at whatever she wanted to hit.
(The Zombie never stood a chance.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2023 at 9:20am
The funny thing about this is the last time I did a comparison, my regular match loads out performed my "super match" loads by a small margin.  I tried my best to be objective and comprehensive.  I loaded 40 rounds of each, shot four 10 round groups of each load and recorded score and group size.

My regular match loads had a slightly better average group size and also had the smallest size group.   It was probably not a statistically significant difference in the two loads. 

If I remember correctly, the additional steps I took for the "super match" loads were:

1. Trimmed all cases to the same length
2. Uniformed Primer Pockets
3. De-burred Primer flash holes
4. Weight sorted cases to be within +/- 0.1 grains
5. Weighed out all charges (scale accuracy approx +/- 0.1 grains) 

I think the rest was the same, 40.0 gr Varget with 174 grain SMK.  I think I also tried the 174 Hornady Match .312 dia bullet too at one point.  

 But, this new test should be interesting.  I've got the rifle and load shooting quite well, and long range should expose any differences better than at short range. 


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