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Weighing completed cartridges.

This is a discussion on Weighing completed cartridges. within the Ammunition forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Just wondering if anyone else weighs completed cartridges? I had a visitor to my workshop recently that told me he hadn't seen anyone else do ...


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Old March 12th, 2017, 04:20 AM   #1
Dodgin' The Reaper
 
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Weighing completed cartridges.

Just wondering if anyone else weighs completed cartridges?
I had a visitor to my workshop recently that told me he hadn't seen anyone else do it for over 40 years, but was common back in the day.
For my accuracy ammo, I weigh the loaded ammo as I put it in my range box, heaviest to the front and lighter as it gets to the rear. Been doing this for over 50 years.
Seems to keep case weights segregated and has worked for me.



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Old March 12th, 2017, 05:51 AM   #2
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I don't. Jim O'Connell, one of the hard guns out when I lived in California, does.

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Old March 12th, 2017, 06:26 AM   #3
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It makes sense only if the individual components, "bullet,case " are weighed and segregated seperately into lots. Weigh powder charges as well.

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Old March 12th, 2017, 06:41 AM   #4
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When competing in Long Range matches would weigh each of my cartridges for I had weighed the cases, powder charge, bullet and yes even the primer so knew a total of the
components. If in doing so found a variance of X amount and would separate those from the 75 or so rounds for a 60 round match w/ some sight in shots. Found the Lapua cases to be most reliable in their weight from case to case so stuck with them as well as Sierra MK bullets, used electronic scale for powder charges and pretty much on each time, and not sure but believe the Fed 210M's weighed half a grain or so. After all of that laborious case preparation the extra step of checking overall weight was a small step to take and yes did find some that were out of spec. Used those for practice between matches and to recover the brass. In my area the first long range matches are coming up in late April/May and got to get my rear in the garage and do some reloading. Did all this effort make a difference in my scores, I believe it did for if nothing else gave me a high sense of confidence that the rifle was a good one, ammunition as good as I could make it, good sights(Warner rear Anshutz globe front,) had developed solid prone position, so only thing left was me, never gave the equipment or loads a second thought. Kind of gives you that warm comfy feeling if you know what I mean. Watched a lot of shooters over the years having spent many dollars on their rifles, gear, etc. and feeding the rifle common ammunition and wondering why they shot poor scores.

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Old March 12th, 2017, 07:00 AM   #5
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well,i think i would weigh projectiles,powder charges and match case volume.the other things,i believe, have nothing to do with bullet flight.but,that's the way i see it.

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Old March 12th, 2017, 07:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
It makes sense only if the individual components, "bullet,case " are weighed and segregated seperately into lots. Weigh powder charges as well.
Yes, all cases have been sorted by maker,year,weight and number of reloads. Flash holes deburred, primer pockets uniformed,sized,trimmed and annealed, a final wet tumbling with ss media and 30 minutes in the oven at 220 on a pizza pan. Powder charges are set by digital scale. Bullets are seated with a competition seater.

I think Instructor made a great point. It just feels good and is a confidence builder. Why not eliminate as many points as possible. Besides, working in the playroom is an enjoyable experience for me.
Maybe I just hung out with too many benchresters as a kid.

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Old March 12th, 2017, 07:05 AM   #7
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If you think about it;

Heavier case-probably less internal capacity--higher pressure
Heavier bullet--higher pressure
Heavier powder charge--higher pressure

And as the day heats up, chamber pressures will get higher.

So by shooting the ctgs from heaviest to lightest (shooting your ctgs in decreasing rank of pressure), you are compensating to some amount for what the sun will be delivering (increasing pressure).

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Old March 12th, 2017, 07:58 AM   #8
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Just as an experiment, take new commercial ammo and weigh each completed round. The variations will amaze you. You will see how hand loading can be a great asset to accuracy.
I attempt to keep my hand loaded ammo withing a couple of tenths gr.

As an example, we all know gmm is the best right?
I just pulled a couple of boxes from the stash.
175 gmm weight from 400.9 to 406.2 gr. Variation 5.3 gr in 20 rnds.
165 gmm weight from 378.2 to 384.5 gr. Variation 6.3 gr in 20 rnds.

For most shooters this is of very little interest. For those that have tried either the old 10 dot challenge or the 20 dot, handloading and weighing your ammo should give you a slight advantage over those using commercial.
Even for those using commercial, weighing each box and sorting cartridges by weight can help your groups. Not tremendously with a gas gun, but it is a help.
For the gents with tuned bolt rifles, try this out and see what you think.

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Old March 12th, 2017, 08:08 AM   #9
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I've sorted M118 Match ammo into 3 groups for LR use - light, medium, and heavy.
Starting with several hundred rounds, that gave enough in each group for at least a complete string of 20+, or a full day's worth.
I started by arranging them in precise weight order on the bench, and it soon became apparent how 3 groups would be easier, and without much variation in each group.

I don't think that precise sorting into 'exact weight order' is worth the effort to me.

And I wouldn't bother with higher quality ammo, only with ammo last I suspsected had significant cartridge weight variation.

As 30Caliber said earlier, my logic is that a heavier weight cartridge is a good indicator of higher pressure and MV, and similar for lighter and medium weight.

I think sorting was a typical method at LR matches when only 'issued ammo' was allowed.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA

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Old March 12th, 2017, 08:15 AM   #10
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Makes sense to me. With all other components the same, you've established case weight as well with ought actually weighing them. I'm sure shooting the similar case weights together makes for more precise grouping. I might do this and just box them together.

Russ

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Old March 12th, 2017, 08:43 AM   #11
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As for the M1A/M14 loads do not go to such measures for the reloads, not that it would not make a difference, but the very rifle itself is not on the same level as a well built bolt gun for 1000yd. matches or Palma matches nor does it have the quality of metallic sights as a Palma rifle for example. Did not go into all the steps taken to prep the Lapua brass but one thing I did check closely is the "run out" with dial indicator on bullet to neck. Wanted that to be as close to zero as could get and found that when seating bullet if I rotated the case some 1/3rd while seating I got closer to zero than just simply seating the bullet in one stroke. Have no scientific explanation for this but it worked for me using Dillon dies and 550B press. Some scoff at the Dillon press/dies but friends of mine competed in the Palma Matches in Australia/New Zealand and not being fans of Dillon told me upon their return they were shocked to see the Palma Team reloading facility had a row of Dillon presses and dies being used. These same friends swore that the Bonanza press which is a good one gave better loads than a Dillon set up, but highest scores I ever saw any of them shoot at 1000yd matches were in the low to mid 180's so I just kept using my Dillon system. They are the same ones that told me I could not get good results using SMK 190's in 308 at 1000yds. We used to ride together to the matches and always lots of discussions/swearing, etc. on the long ride home about the scores and it got very quiet when I showed them my score card. Some comments about never going back to that range again, poor light, tricky wind, hot, cold, etc., etc. They kept showing up with a new, different rifle, sights, loads, etc. and I used the same equipment for a number of years until the barrel was loosing it's edge and that rifle, load was so familiar to me that I could recognize the smell of the bit of smoke and knew all was right as it should me. I miss those days.

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Old March 12th, 2017, 09:09 AM   #12
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It only makes sense to me.
I am sure many forum members would benefit if more sharing of stuff that was once common practice became part of our open discussions.
We all started somewhere and many of the tricks of the trade that we learned from our mentors over the years are going to be lost to time.
I would not even have though about this thread if my visitor had not suggested that others might be interested.
Keep it going guys. I need to learn all I can before my thinker quits.



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Old March 12th, 2017, 12:26 PM   #13
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looks like they are waiting for revenuers looking for their still.

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Old March 12th, 2017, 12:31 PM   #14
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The only time I do this is if I drop a box of test loads and they are all over the floor and I have no idea which is which! Unfortunately this has happened more times than I care to admit! Other than that, its too far into the weeds for me.

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