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Posted: 1/29/2006 11:17:57 AM EDT
Posted here, for readership. Cross-posted at Reloading forum:
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Guys, I bought some pulled USGI components on eBay to load up. They were apparrently MG ammo - Cases were beautiful, marked RA 61 and with the NATO "+" sign. Bullets are 147 grain, FMJ boat-tail copper jacketed with the hollow base.

I used workups up from 43 grains to 47.5 grains of BLC-(2), (.5 grain increments) and CCI LR primers. I seated the rounds a little over length, as the length if I seated the bullets at their crimp, would have been much shorter than other NATO 7.62 milsurp I had lying around the house, so I seated at the same length as the other cartridges: 2.775".

I shot some of the Aussie or SA milsurp, and got my standard-issue "three rounds in the same hole, two flyers 3" away" baloney, and figuring I'd get much better performance out of my handloads, I shot them. BTW, the thrown cases look just fine - for HK offal, anyhow. God, that rifle beats on the brass!

My workups weren't as accurate as my Milsurp was. In fact, the closer I got to the max load of 47.5 grains of BLC-(2), the more wildly inaccurate my rifle was (like 7 MOA). I started thinking, "Maybe a scope screw's worked loose?" Everything was tight. "Maybe the gun's too dirty?" Then I shot a full mag of the Milsurp, and I produced nice, accurate groups with some flyers again.

So, it ain't the gun, and it ain't the shooter. It's obviously the reloader. I am convinced that if I can duplicate the charge in that SA or Aussie milsurp, I can get close to a minute out of my PTR-91. What am I doing wrong? Too much powder?
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 11:22:57 AM EDT
weigh the bullets and see how much variance you have. how much crimp are you putting on them? are the cases uniformly trimmed? what are you using for powder measuring?
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 11:25:05 AM EDT
*Most* of the time I have found that when handloading ammo, if I work up the charge to maximum levels, accuracy goes out the window. Rounds that are loaded "less hot" will tend to group better. That is the case with my .223 and.270 bolt guns.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 11:28:23 AM EDT
The three most important issues in cartridge accuracy:

1. Bullets

2. Bullets

3. Bullets

You will never have great accuracy with crappy 147 mil spec Ball bullets. Sorry, them's the facts.

Get some quality Sierra BTHPs, change nothing else, and watch the groups shrink.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 11:36:09 AM EDT
Did the seller say if the pulled bullets were resized? They may have been damaged when they were pulled. A lot of times when you buy bulk pulled components they come from many different lots and might varry quite a bit in length and weight. Consistancey is what you need to get accurate ammo.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 11:37:29 AM EDT
The only flag I saw was your overall length seating. Just because the OAL is shorter doesn't mean the bullet isn't striking the rifling at the same point. The shape of the bullet ogive, or profile, determins the OAL before any other considerations come into play.

Put it simply, you might be seating so far out that your bullets are engaging the rifling when fully chambered, or have very very minimal freebore.

In some guns this is fine, and can even give good results, but it can cause dangerous pressure spikes as you increase your powder charge and can cause pressure signs at levels that are normally well below a max charge weight.

It is also not a hard and fast rule that accuracy is related to pressure. I have some guns and load that shoot better with hotter loads and some that shoot far better with mild loads. You have to experiment with it.

If I were you, I would check your freebore with the load you are using before you do another thing. Odds are you will want to seat back to the original crimp line. There is a reason the original factory crimped to that depth, so if you are shooting from a 7.62 NATO chamber you would do well to follow their lead, at least to start with. You can then incrmentally tweak the seating depth as you develop the load. This is a MUCH safer way to start though, and I bet you will get better results.

If you want some advice on how to figure your freebore or anything else feel free to IM me. I love reloading.

Also, just my $.02, but unless you got a really great deal you would have probably been better off with good commercial bullets and cases. I seriously doubt you are going to get match grade results with recycled military fodder components.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 11:38:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 11:41:45 AM EDT by the_great_snag]

Originally Posted By bookertbab:
Did the seller say if the pulled bullets were resized? They may have been damaged when they were pulled. A lot of times when you buy bulk pulled components they come from many different lots and might varry quite a bit in length and weight. Consistancey is what you need to get accurate ammo.



This is important too. Did the seller specify HOW they were pulled? Did you mike any of them for diameter?

Again, there are too many great commercial bullets out there. I would load these up with a good plinking load and just shoot them up. Buy quality if you want accuracy.

ETA: I would bet just about any American made off-the-shelf component bullet will out shoot these all day long.

Loose bullets that are mishandled can also be slightly deformed too. This is almost a given with pulled bullets that are shipped in bulk.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 11:46:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 11:48:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 50cal:Sierra sells them by the pound. The last time I went, I took 4 .50 cal cans and bought 4 can fulls. I believe I paid around $150 for all of it.



HOLEY CRAP!!!

How many bullets did that work out to? I'd be in heaven with that many .223 bullets, and I'd put .30 cals to good use too!
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 11:51:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 1:04:36 PM EDT
My experience with "pulled" bullets hasn't been too good. Too many were deformed and often there will be varying types of bullets in the batch. For my FAL, I use new Winchester 147g FMJ bullets over 42.5g of H-335 using a mix of military cases and get no worse than 3 MOA. Usually, 2 MOA. These loads seem to duplicate Winchester white box loads and work great.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 1:52:25 AM EDT
Sierra Bullets used to be pretty close to where my credit union is. I sure do miss having them around for those "seconds" by the pound too.

7 MOA is pretty bad for the 147 gr FMJBT bullet. I would think you should be getting groups about half that.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:06:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
The three most important issues in cartridge accuracy:

1. Bullets

2. Bullets

3. Bullets

You will never have great accuracy with crappy 147 mil spec Ball bullets. Sorry, them's the facts.

Get some quality Sierra BTHPs, change nothing else, and watch the groups shrink.



+1

That, and you've only used 1 powder....through 1 particular gun. Your loads might be fine in another gun.

Even with bad bullets, you can tweak them into decent performance, but you're not going to find that magic recipe with 1 powder, and a small bracketed load.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 11:06:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
weigh the bullets and see how much variance you have. how much crimp are you putting on them? are the cases uniformly trimmed? what are you using for powder measuring?



Thanks, TRH - your post got me thinking (you can tell by the smoke coming out of my ears ) and so, between shots of Glogg-laced vodka last night, I weighed all those bullets. I put this post in the reloading section:
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Loaded some .308 from pulled USGI components late this summer, and got some fairly poor accuracy out of it. Stuff was 1961 era brass (looked brand new), and bullets were reported to me to be 147 grain boat-tail FMJ. I used H380 and CCI LR primers to reassemble components.

I decided to weigh the remaining bullets that I hadn't built yet.

Out of 49 bullets, two were 143 grains, eight were 143.5 grains, 18 were 144 grains, four were 144.5 grains, 10 were 145 grains, six were 145.5 grains, and one was 146 grains.

This got me curious about other bullets in my collection, and I weighed a significant sample of them. The .30 cal bullets I had were all within .5 grains of the appropriate weight, and the .22 cal bullets I bought were almost exactly the stated weight to the nearest .1 grain.

Can such dispersion, and deviance from the stated weight by those pulled USGI MG bullets be the cause of the horrendous (like 7 MOA) accuracy? It's the only factor that was apparent to me to be a contributing factor, as I weighed and trickled each charge (I'm pathologically paranoid about over-charging).
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Comments?
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 12:01:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/6/2006 9:15:44 PM EDT by samsong]

Originally Posted By the_great_snag:

Originally Posted By bookertbab:
Did the seller say if the pulled bullets were resized? They may have been damaged when they were pulled. A lot of times when you buy bulk pulled components they come from many different lots and might varry quite a bit in length and weight. Consistancey is what you need to get accurate ammo.



This is important too. Did the seller specify HOW they were pulled? Did you mike any of them for diameter?

Again, there are too many great commercial bullets out there. I would load these up with a good plinking load and just shoot them up. Buy quality if you want accuracy.

ETA: I would bet just about any American made off-the-shelf component bullet will out shoot these all day long.

Loose bullets that are mishandled can also be slightly deformed too. This is almost a given with pulled bullets that are shipped in bulk.



I miked these bullets for diameter, a bunch of them, and they were all at .308. There appears to be a crimp ring in the bullets where they were seated, although I am not sure that the crimp ring is actually a CRIMP RING, and not just deformation from the oversized industrial crimping machine that the .gov was using to prepare ammo.
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