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Lloyd90

Reloaded ammo testing

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Question for you Rifle reloaders: 

If I load a batch of rifle ammo, each with slightly different powder weights, and go to the range to test them out... 

Will the first shot get the same “fair treatment” as say the middle shot? Or the last shot? 

The barrel will be more fouled by the half way and final shots, will this effect the grouping? Give inconsistent readings? 

Or is it not worth thinking about? 

Just develop a load that’ll shoot MOA and get out there 🤷‍♂️

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I personally always throw away the first couple of shots and then start testing.

However, it depends on what you are shooting. If in the field then assuming you are a good boy and clean your gun regular then the first shot has to be spot on - you can't tell the quarry to hold still for a while whilst you fire off a couple of bedding in shots 😀

If target shooting then typically the first few will be sighters anyway.

So IMHO just get shooting and work out which combination of components works best for your gun - ignore the cleaning bit

Final note. Never get your barrel get too fouled anyway

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Posted (edited)

Make first couple of rounds fouling shots, just need a couple extra of your first powder weight, if that makes sense? What method are you using?, OCW, ladder test, grouping with 3/5shots? Barrel heating may have an effect so maybe round robin method.

What is your goal, 100m deer, 1000m target? 1"groups at 100yds is more than enough for deer, save your money, time and wear on your gun. 

Reloading can become a self serving master if you're not careful😁

Edited by moor man

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Shoot the loads in rotation. 1 shot from first powder weight then one from second and so on. There are a whole load of theories around optimal barrel time to determine the best load from a group of loads, rather than simply selecting the one with the smallest group from the batch you have loaded. The principle being that you are looking for a group of groups from which to select the best load working with the harmonics of the barrel. Fine tuning this load will provide the greatest accuracy and minimise the variation from small changes in charge performance. 

There is shed loads of information on ways to do this on the reloading sites. I just take a group that looks about right and stick with that as my starting load to play with, but I do shoot the groups in a rotation. 

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Shoot groups of three and choose smallest. keep things simple. I know people who worry about load development but I suspect the the thing touching trigger is more of a issue than powder or bullet seating 

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Yes, foul the barrel first with  couple of shots.  Then what I do is load a series five,  five shot loadings a little adjustment on powder apart. I then mark  a large sheet of card/paper with

five crosses and then fire one from each group at each target.  Then rest the barrel for a few minutes hecking for heat.  Then fire the second set each at it's individual target. Repeat till all shot.  I normally shoot to zero at max power, but I do this at minimum because I do not want to be influenced as to where the shots are falling.  At the end of the test you will have five individual groups of five and they will be slightly different and you choose the load which gives the most consistent smallest group.  No need to say that this should be done from a good rest position.  Once you have that loading then you are good to go until you run out of that powder where you would only really need to check a five shot group to see that it is still good.

By doing each shot from each group in turn then there is less chnce of the groups being influenced by the barrel condiition.

A final check would be to clean your barrel then fire a couple of fouling shots, then fire  three shot group to see if your assesment has been correct.

Hope this helps.

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This fouling shots concept must be a boon when you get out and find a crow pecking something’s eyes out. I presume that yours must be far less wary than the ones round here.

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3 hours ago, Sako7mm said:

This fouling shots concept must be a boon when you get out and find a crow pecking something’s eyes out. I presume that yours must be far less wary than the ones round here.

Exactly I call hundreds of foxes in each year. not all are shot for one reason or another but I suspect the number would drop a lot if I had to let a fouling round of first

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, bumpy22 said:

Exactly I call hundreds of foxes in each year. not all are shot for one reason or another but I suspect the number would drop a lot if I had to let a fouling round of first

14 hours ago, Sako7mm said:

This fouling shots concept must be a boon when you get out and find a crow pecking something’s eyes out. I presume that yours must be far less wary than the ones round here.

My rifles live in my safe having had fouling shots fired through them. In fact may only see a jag once a year but I don't sit at a bench wanging rounds down range at paper, it has to be soft and furry or feather.   For 14yrs I was a member of the police sniper team and after a days practise...maybe 60 to a 100 rounds we cleaned out rifles. They where then taken to the range and a couple of fouling shots fired, then they went in the safe back at base ready for use. Non of my regular use rifles live in my safe 'clean' the ones I use less frequently and spare barrels are cleaned and left with a light smear of oil but would be taken out dried and fouled before any hunting trip.  My issue rifle, a Parker Hale target model, would shoot sub one moa when I handed it in after 14yrs so we must have been doing something right.

Bumpy, so you clean your rifle barrel after every fox do you on a nights shooting? 

Edited by Walker570

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Posted (edited)

I have been recently on last rifle. Shot the barrel out on the one before and let's just say the cleaning regime was pretty much non existent. Have not noticed any difference on new one. I have only one concept on this whole logic. You can reproduce a clean barrel consistent but you cannot reproduce a dirty barrel consistent. Just my take on it and I don't do to bad with it😉 

Edited by bumpy22

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5 hours ago, Walker570 said:

My rifles live in my safe having had fouling shots fired through them. In fact may only see a jag once a year but I don't sit at a bench wanging rounds down range at paper, it has to be soft and furry or feather.   For 14yrs I was a member of the police sniper team and after a days practise...maybe 60 to a 100 rounds we cleaned out rifles. They where then taken to the range and a couple of fouling shots fired, then they went in the safe back at base ready for use. Non of my regular use rifles live in my safe 'clean' the ones I use less frequently and spare barrels are cleaned and left with a light smear of oil but would be taken out dried and fouled before any hunting trip.  My issue rifle, a Parker Hale target model, would shoot sub one moa when I handed it in after 14yrs so we must have been doing something right.

Bumpy, so you clean your rifle barrel after every fox do you on a nights shooting? 

Well, that's what I thought you said in your previous post. Re the "fouling shots", For anyone paying attention, I'd have thought that a "final check" was a clue and related to the end of the day, not the start of a new one.

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So, I ask again, do you clean your barrel after every shot on a busy foxing night..... as you say 'you can reproduce a clean barrel onsistent but you can't reproduce a dirty barrel consistent'.

What therefore do you define as a 'dirty' barrel ?

I personally have experienced of a clean barrel throw the first shot off slightly but in normal circumstances have never know any of my rifles change point of aim under normal use. 

Things keep falling overas well.   BUT everyone to there own beliefs.

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Not after every shot but every outing when used now. I used to clean previous rifles very little and after having to bin the last one of my cleaning regime has changed. For the barrel life as well. I can't see myself how having a fouled rifling would be a advantage over a clean. But this is obviously only my logic and experience.

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Posted (edited)

OP

if load developing using OCW/other method, take the lowest charge and fire three of those into one target.

Have individual target marks for the rest of the ladder and starting low to high, shoot one of each load to each target.  Leave barrel to cool for 3 to 5 minutes.  Start at the highest load and work back in reverse.  Let barrel cool again.  Work up the ladder to the highest.

This evens out inconsistencies due to barrel heating on the strings.  You can also leave a minute between shots to further help consistency of shots in each load. 

Look for two (sometimes more depending on your steps) groups with similar MVs and POI and load 5 at that load.  Shoot those to compare.  If they remain consistent with the first two, load another 5 and re-test to get a better idea of group/ES average and to test the final load.  (5 is more statistically relevant then 3 which can give misleading results as a 3 shot group statistically has quite a lot lower statistical confidence).

I never bother leaving the rifle barrels fouled and haven't yet missed a shot on quarry because of difference in POI.  Whether the barrel's clean or not, every so often a zero test should be done anyway in case the scope's been knocked or something's come loose.  I rarely shoot live quarry beyond 200m though. The occasional crow at 300 and you've as much chance missing due to miscalculating wind allowance or from poor load data (is non-verified drops or MVs)  as any difference between a fouled/clean barrel imho.

Edited by Savhmr

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Some rifles shoot better if they have a bit of fouling in them and some shoot better with no fowling in them that has been a well know fact for many years.

I clean my rifle and de copper after aproxx 100 rounds and then shoot a couple of foulers   to remove any oil left in the barrel etc. Then i  just put a bore snake through it after each outing as per  Sauers recommended cleaning for there rifles and they state the barrel should be good for at least 10,000 rounds for accuracy and they Make the barrels for Blaser and Mauser . I do clean and oil my rifle more often if it gets wet etc.

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On 14/04/2019 at 15:02, bumpy22 said:

Not after every shot but every outing when used now. I used to clean previous rifles very little and after having to bin the last one of my cleaning regime has changed. For the barrel life as well. I can't see myself how having a fouled rifling would be a advantage over a clean. But this is obviously only my logic and experience.

Alright Bumpy. 

 

So after a night out shooting you’d get in and clean the rifle, will you then have to shoot off some rounds before taking it foxing  again or just take it straight out and use it? 

I hd read a patch covered in meths spirit should clean any oil out after cleaning and the rifle SHOULD shoot straight from the first shot 👍🏻

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There shouldn't be any oil in the barrel after cleaning unless the rifle is being stored.  Oil in a barrel can be dangerous.  I used to oil my barrels but learned the hard way that it's a bad idea.  Oil on a rag coats the chamber walls and even if you dry patch before shooting, oil residue is left behind.  I had a few moments once when I fired off a few rounds on a barrel that had been oiled (and patched afterwards) and the cartridge failed to obiturate in the chamber meaning it didn't seal properly.  It led to not just blackened sooty cases, but the cases were blown back onto the bolt and ejector marks left o the case heads which led to false over pressure signs. They were pressure signs, just not over-pressure signs.You can patch out with meths but this also strips any barrel conditioner left by cleaning products and can expose a barrel to increased risk of corrosion. 

All that's needed is to use something like Wipeout Patchout or M-Pro7 or similar, there's no need to oil the barrel as these chemicals leave a barrel conditioner meant to prevent corrosion.  Clean, dry patch and then just shoot.  I never worry about fouling shots these days and at reasonable distances, it makes little or no difference to my rifles POI, but that doesn't mean all rifles are the same.  A worn barrel tends to show more signs of POI shift unless fouled as to some extent it relies on some fouling to being MVs up a bit.  In older rifles, fouling shots may then be needed to retain POI.

The age old arguments about cleaning aren't always cut and dried.  What works for one may not for another but based on starting with a fresh barrel, there's no good reason not to clean it and keep it cleaned and conditioned.  Those who shoot, then chuck the rifle in the safe with maybe only an annual clean will, if they care to bore-scope their rifles, see evidence of fouling, corrosion (which increases with fouling) and likely more extensive barrel wear.  Cleaning will likely (as mentioned above) alter POI, hence those who rarely clean have little incentive to clean except when fouling builds to an extent that groups start to scatter.

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10 hours ago, Lloyd90 said:

Alright Bumpy. 

 

So after a night out shooting you’d get in and clean the rifle, will you then have to shoot off some rounds before taking it foxing  again or just take it straight out and use it? 

I hd read a patch covered in meths spirit should clean any oil out after cleaning and the rifle SHOULD shoot straight from the first shot 👍🏻

Clean after use dry patch oil residue at end. Crack on 

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