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i,m a newbe here but am loving the forum! its been very helpful. i was wondering what y'all( yes i'm from texas) think is the most important component is when it comes to accuracy?type and weight of the bullet,type and weight of the powder, c.o.l ect.? example would there be a big diffrence between 39. grns of varget and 39. grns of h380. would bullets of the same weight , bc and sd group reasonably the same? might be a dumb question but i am just getting started :confused:
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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There is NO one component to single out as the most important to accuracy. It takes a cullimation of all factors for the individual rifle and chamber to determine best accuracy for that particular firearm. This includes bullet type/weight/brand, powder weight/type/brand, primer type/brand, case length/internal capacity, seating depth of bullet, neck tension, case/bullet runout and just how well you and the rifle setup are shooting that day.
 

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kdub is right. Anyone who tells you that there is an answer to your question doesn't understand what it takes to achieve accuracy. Every variable has its effect, and every one must be "optimized" for the specific load and rifle to make it as accurate as possible.

That's why reloaders tend to be so anal about it. It's the only way to get it all right. ;)
 

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DSP56
Ah the age old question that never gets answered! The cartridge is just one aspect of accuracy! You and the firearm affect it more then the cartridge! Then you got to factor in those silly environmental one as well(wind ,rain,cold etc.)! Welcome to the reloading world it's great fun- shoot straight , shoot often!
 

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these guys are all right, and there is ONLY one component I can think of that is universally important to accuracy and that component is "consistancy". Regardless of components or which ones shoot the best in the particular rifle or pistol, the ammo has to be as exactly the same, round to round as possible. Dont mix headstamps, powder, powder charges, or bullets for example and expect it to group. Each handloader has different rituals they have developed in thier own experiences loading, some de-burr flasholes (like me) and separate cases by wieght (also like me) and some see those two things as not important to accuracy. Some even dont trickle out each charge, but most do.... We could argue forever about what works and doesnt, but whatever you do, do it THE SAME from load to load and you will have good results =) Welcome to the forum.
 

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While I will agree with the consensus of this thread, that all of the components matter, I firmly believe it is the bullet that has the single greatest impact on the accuracy of a given cartridge. If each component is carefully prepared and loaded, but you make a poor choice of bullets, your load will suffer for it. That's not to say you'll always get great accuracy with the right bullet, but I tend to think it's the most important of many important variables you have to look at.
 

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I won't argue anything the other guys have said. However, the two most important factors in my experience are the rifle barrel (you can never get a bad barrel to shoot well, and I have owned some that were awful) and the bullet.

I have often seen accuracy go from sour to sweet by simply changing to another weight or style of bullet. Personally I don't do much experimenting with powder types and charges, and just pick a suitable powder for the caliber and a safe load that produces a reasonable velocity. Then, if I don't get good results, I try a different bullet and see if things get better.

Now, I am happy if a big game rifle shoots into an inch and a half or less, and most of the rifles I own these days will do much better than that. I want my varmint rifles to do less than MOA, and the 2 I now own will both do much less. But, as long as the rifle and load meet my minimum personal standard, I'm happy.

Also, I would never use a load that didn't function properly from the magazine. I have seen guys so obsessed with the hunt for accuracy that their ammo was unreliable in a hunt for game, because the bullets were seated out so far that rounds would jam in the magazine.

I imagine that I could tweak things like powder charge and seating depth, and experiment with all kinds of different primers and powders...but I never do.
 

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I'm really with Bob on this...in my experience, a good barrel and bullet will usually result in fine accuracy, as long as you aren't too sloppy with regard to case prep., primer and choice of powder. I've even got some loads where the powder charge weight only needs to be within +/- .5 grains to give very consistent velocity and accuracy, so I can throw those straight from the measure into the case, whereas I usually hand-weigh every charge.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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While every piece and step can make a difference, this is my experience.

I'll suggest in order, from greatest influence, to least:

1. Bullet
2. Seating the bullet straight in the case, at a seating depth the gun "likes."
3. Powder
4. Primer

This has held true for me the majority of the time, so much so that I very rarely change powder or primers. I've standardized on primer brands, and have few powders. Pick one that's suitable and seat the bullets straight in the case.

That leaves the bullet as the major variable. Speeds up the process a lot vs. changing 2 or 3 things at once!
 

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Yup...what Mike said! (I really need to learn to be more concise!)
 

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Also, not mention in this interesting thread, is the matter of rate-of-twist in a given rifle or bullet. If your rifle's twist is slow then you'll only receive any degree of accuracy using the lighter weights of bullets with safe powder charges. Example: if you have a .22 Hornet with a twist rate of 1-in-16" twist your accuracy will be more positive using weights from 35 to 45 grains. You would need a faster rate of twist of 1-in-14" to stabolize bullets of 50 to 55 grains in the Hornet. All other information in this thread, by other member is correct also.
 

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Also, not mention in this interesting thread, is the matter of rate-of-twist in a given rifle or bullet. If your rifle's twist is slow then you'll only receive any degree of accuracy using the lighter weights of bullets with safe powder charges. Example: if you have a .22 Hornet with a twist rate of 1-in-16" twist your accuracy will be more positive using weights from 35 to 45 grains. You would need a faster rate of twist of 1-in-14" to stabolize bullets of 50 to 55 grains in the Hornet. All other information in this thread, by other member is correct also.
Very good point, Dave...one I am seeing quite clearly with my latest project. The standard rate of twist for a .357Mag rifles is not ideal for stabilizing 200gr bullets, but it does much better with 180s.
 

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Very good point, Dave...one I am seeing quite clearly with my latest project. The standard rate of twist for a .357Mag rifles is not ideal for stabilizing 200gr bullets, but it does much better with 180s.
Thanks. The rate-of-twist plus also barrel lenght are two things one doesn't consider. If I were building another rifle say for a .308; I would want a twist rate of 1-in-10" especially is the barrel is going to be 20" or less. Many years ago Remington brought out the .244 Remington but the rate-of-twist was too slow to stabilize bullets over 90 grains. This killed off the .244 & Remington changed to a faster twist and renamed the cartridge the 6 m/m. This faster twist allowed the use of 100 grain + weights, with better accuracy than the .244 Rem.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Again, all this goes to show there's not just one variable that contributes to accuracy. A whole bunch have to be considered.
 

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I won't argue anything the other guys have said. However, the two most important factors in my experience are the rifle barrel (you can never get a bad barrel to shoot well, and I have owned some that were awful) and the bullet.
I'll have to agree with bobby too. If you have a bad barrel you can run through a gamut of good cartridge combination's and never make it shoot.

I have a rifle I'm trying to get to shoot better right now. It's currently shooting 3" groups at 100 and based on the barrel I have on it, (an old Shilen I had sitting around) it should be shooting at least an inch group. I'm in the process of fully bedding the action, changing scope rings, and floating the barrel. If those don't work, I'll try another scope, if that doesn't work, I'll try a pressure point on the barrel. (It's a light contour barrel). If all those fail, and all my different bullet combination's don't work, I'll have to live with the fact that the barrel is just not a shooter because I have exhausted all other problems which could be causing poor accuracy.
 
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