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Discussion Starter #1
aI consider myself an intermediate level reloader. Can someone please confirm the importance of sorting brass and loading accordingly for maximum accuracy? I was shooting my .308 out to 300 yards with same bullet, seating depth, and charge and primer. The only thing that was not consistent was the brass. My grouping at 300 yards was shameful to say the least.

Should I scrap my 500+ PPU cases? I was thinking about using them for the short-range (200 yds and less).

Any information regarding this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, brothers-in-arms.
 

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You are going to get varied opinions from the veterans on this forum. Obviously you can't make things worse by sorting brass. But the question is, will you make things significantly better? I shoot lots of .308 and the only reason I sort brass is to keep track visually of what loads were done in what batches. I shoot lots of cast bullets at a hundred yards or so, and don't see any difference at all between headstamps or brass weights. I do see a significant difference in the weight of the cast bullets I use. I have experienced a difference in the longevity of different brands of brass. Federal seems to wear out first, so I use it exclusively with my low pressure cast loads. Winchester and Remington, on the other hand, seem to hold up longer (no neck splits and such) so I use them exclusively with my jacketed bullet loads.

I wouldn't chunk the 500 pieces of brass you have unless they are messed up in some way, like bent, damaged, etc.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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What were your groups at 100 yards with identical loads?

What sort of velocity variations do you get?

Have you sorted your ammo for bullet concentricity (are the bullets seated straight)?

What load methodology did you use? Best groups at 100 yards, OCW, "ladder" tests, etc.?

What exact load are you using?

Lotsa things to check here, not just brass prep.....
 

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The more consistent things are the better. But as already been pointed out the real issue is just how much of an effect does the 'inconsistency' have on the desired result.

My opinion from my reloading is that the internal volume and alloy of brass has a noticeable effect on loads. I notice it most in my loading for the 7x57mm. There is a large variation in internal volume and brass alloy used for cases. Up to 15% by volume and 20% of mass difference between different manufactures. I do not see that level of variation in 5.56 / 223 and 7.62 / 308 cases.

Try a small batch and see if you can notice any effect for your situation. Good luck
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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As a ******* reloader, I'll have to say that there is seldom an effort to keep brands of brass segregated, other than trying to keep all the military stuff separate from the commercial. My main effort is to keep the trim lengths correct, the brand/type/weight of the projectile and the brand/weight of the propellant the same, along with the seating depth. Most of the reloads are for hunting, so they must be kept to magazine acceptable COAL.

All the above to obtain sub-MOA or MOA. Got to admit though - the older I get the harder to keep the groups within these parameters.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
loads

I was using 175 gr SMK with 44 gr of BL-C(2) and Remington primers. RCBS competition dies. COAL is 2.800. My rifle is a LWRC REPR (semi-auto short-stroke piston, 18" BBL, 1:10 twist). Optic is Steiner 4-16x50 FFP.

Groups at 100 yds were .5 MOA, 1,5 MOA at 200 yds. Only 3 out of 10 rounds were hitting paper at 300 yds.

Brass was a mix of Lake City '12, PPU, FC '11 (7.62), Fed AE 7.62 M1A, and FC .308. Unfortunately I didn't take note of which cases were the ones hitting the paper.

The rangemaster said PPU is trash (for match).

I've sorted all my brass and will try again. I've also got a handful of Hornady brass which I'll try. If I'm not sub MOA at 100 yards after this adjustment I'll be fairly disappointed.

I've taken meticulous care of the bore after every session using BoreTech to thoroughly clean and Montana Extreme to condition.

I do not have a concentricity gauge yet but it will be my next investment.

Thanks for all the insight.
 

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I'll second the motion for some small batches. However, I must ask; what is the source of your powder/bullet combination? Has this load worked before? What sort of brass preperation are you using; full length die, all trimmed, crimp?

Have you talked with anyone from LWRC?

Sorry for so many questions, but cyber-trouble shooting is tough at best. I sort my .308 brass for the same reason mentioned above; to keep track of how many times its been fired. But I only have two headstamps, FC match and Lapua, and the only gun they've been fired in is mine.

Don't toss the brass you have. At worst, you might be able to trade it for something else down the road.

Good luck.
 

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How big was the paper you were missing at 300 yards?

You were getting 1/2 MOA at 100 yards and 1.5 MOA at 200 yards? I take that to mean 1/2" groups at 100 and roughly 3" groups at 200. The range doubled, but group sizes increased six-fold?

My son and I carefully sort and prep the brass for his 308 bolt-action. With H4895 and 155gr A-Max bullets, it is still holding 1/2 MOA out to 275 yards. Is a 1:10 twist on an 18" barrel sufficient for 175gr SMK bullets?
 

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Was it breezy? What kind of rest were you using? Optic visibility, twist rate being enough for a 175 gr. projectile. A lot of other things come in effect other than same OAL once you get to 300 and beyond variances start to multiply. Just my experience
 

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Ironsights...
Seems u have some fairly serious problem..but then again tht means some serious problem-solving/searching at hand ?

IMV, respectfully, I do not think u will be able to easily solve this problem(s) over the Net..there are just to many variables it seems..IMHO..

Generally, the 1st & probably MOST important reloading-factor = CONSISTENCY...
Tht means consistency amongst/regarding ALL your reloaded rounds..teqnique, etc..
iow, re the weight/lenght/concentricity/volume/OAL, etc etc of yo cases..& also of yo 175gr bullets, a difference in bullit-weights here is going to have an effect, for sure..& especially @ 300yds as comparred to 100yds..ALL the cases should also be trimmed to PRECISE overall lentgh to get their inner volumes as precise as possible..is yo micrometer correctly calibrated ?

It also means PRECISE consistency re yo volumes of powder u put into the volume of yo cases (consistency of scale ?), consistency regards yo primers/primerpockets, consistency re the COL of ALL yo rounds..very precise / controlled / consistent seating procedures of ALL the bullits..

So, the principle of consistency is immediately(hugely) dammaged by the mixed bag of cases..IMHO..& with respect, as probably there are all different case-volumes then, iow different case-lenghts, which probably will give u different presures from different cases even if the powder = of consistent weight, which may not be the case either..?

Over & above the mentioned factors, & as confirmed by others, then also comes the 'external factors', such as wind/barometric-presure on the day, the twist of yo rifle-barrel,(able to stabilize the 175's over 300 yds, or not ?)..whether u yoself are consistent in yo shooting-teqnique(respectfully), whether yo rifle is properly set-up, ie, stock properly/correctly fastened/bedded to the barrel, if yo barrel's crown is intact or not, does the stock fit u properly, yo rifle's triggerpull = consistent or not, etc etc..
It may even have something to do with the rifling / throat of yo barrel...but hopefully not..
& also remember, in reality u are still seaching for tht one consistent load for tht specific rifle & considering all the mentioned factors.. perhaps those bullits are not for digestion of tht specific rifle, or perhaps yo reloading-procedures are not all tht precise ?..but it won't help to speculate as to what the problem(s) may be...you'll just have to be precise & exact in yo whole investigation...??
A proper reloading manual may also assist in this regard..

So,yes, it really becomes fairly difficult over the Net to advise u, or to pin-point yo problem with preciseness..& without summerily accepting the correctness of many factors..which may also be lacking..
HOWEVER, if I may speculate, all things being equal, I'd say yo mixed bag of cases may be the problem, coupled with the different presures in yo cases, coupled with possible unequal bullit-weights, & possibly coupled with yo barrel's rifling not being able to properly stabilize bullits,..iow, a 1/9 twist will possibly better stabilize a 175gn bullit as a 1/10 twist ?..another make of bullit may also improve things ?..also check yo barrel-crown as well, as any fault at 100yds will be triplled at 300yds ?:confused:

Regards
app
 

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Obviously you can't make things worse by sorting brass. But the question is, will you make things significantly better? I shoot lots of .308 and the only reason I sort brass is to keep track visually of what loads were done in what batches.
Rather than re-type the same response.

I have few opinions on unsorted brass, as I have sorted the vast majority of brass I've reloaded in the last 45 years because I do that sort of thing. The sorting process, to me, is the best way to keep track of how many times it's been cycled, how long it will last, etc.

I do have mixed boxes though. I use that for shooting offhand at chunks of 4X4 at 100-200yds or bowling pins. The variation in brass has little effect on my offhand skill. I never use mixed brass to work up a load, or for a hunt.
 
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Another vote for matching brass for weight or at least the very minimum matching head stamps. I figure it's just one more variable eliminated. I go through a seven step process for brass prep. Again, probably not neccessary but more variables eliminated.
Neck tension consistancy and run-out are bigger factors than the case prep in most instances. This is assuming you have a load that is accurate in the first place.
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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I'll be the one on the other side of the fence, about brass.
I shoot to 1K+ regularly, and have made the big 1760. My MOA load at 1K is not sorted brass. I have civilian and military headstamps, from the 60's to essentially current(about 5 years ago). Every time I chrono things, my ES/SD is in the single digits, or just out.

So does it matter? Well, honestly the only reasonable answer is: It Depends.
As someone said there are just WAY too many variables to quickly answer on the net.
 

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Iron Sights if you really want a match type reload and accuracy, start with new brass and get your self a "match set" of dies from REDDING.

I sort all my brass and weigh them too, if I am loading the most accurate loads I can for tiny groups down range. I also anneal all of my brass too.;)

I only do this for my target rifles and target pistols. I do not use these reloads in my semi-auto rifles etc. Only bolt action and single shot rifles!;)
 

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app is right on the money. I'd add that I sort first by headstamp, then by weight, AFTER my first firing of the brass and trimming. I sort to +/- 1/2 grain. Does it make a difference? Yes, a grain difference in the same headstamp (which could be nearly 2 graphs) has made 1/2 to 3/4" difference at 100 yards. I used a fair amount of Rem brass, until I found as much as 7 grains difference in one box of new cartridges, once-fired. I am careful to site consistently, and place the reloads in separate boxes by brass weight.
Son consistently hits at 500 yards from a 1965 M70.
 

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Brass variance vs accuracy

aI consider myself an intermediate level reloader. Can someone please confirm the importance of sorting brass and loading accordingly for maximum accuracy? I was shooting my .308 out to 300 yards with same bullet, seating depth, and charge and primer. The only thing that was not consistent was the brass. My grouping at 300 yards was shameful to say the least.

Should I scrap my 500+ PPU cases? I was thinking about using them for the short-range (200 yds and less).

Any information regarding this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, brothers-in-arms.
Too many other variables to answer. Sorting brass will not hurt, especially length wise. Variance in length causes variance in seating depth and therefore velocity. That said, you must first find the rifle sweet spot before anything else. Remove as many variables as possible, including brass length. Once length is solved, weight indicates case fill and therefore velocity. These are the two variance factors I find most significant.

Even with new single source match grade brass, if you are not at the rifle sweet spot, you will get bad accuracy. I would get some new brass, re-size it and find the rifle sweet load. This takes lots of failed attempts before you get it right, unless you are very lucky. Then and only then would I try to economize using once fired brass properly prepared, or most beneficially neck sized only - fired brass from your rifle after possibly trimming. Load some disposable rounds with new brass and shoot them at the back stop. Then I neck size my fired cases these days on the rifles I have solved. Proper identification becomes critical in this mode. You do not want to use rounds of this type in a different rifle - period.

If you can't get new high quality brass then you must sort the brass you have and start from there.
 

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I wouldn't chunk the 500 pieces of brass you have unless they are messed up in some way, like bent, damaged, etc.[/QUOTE]

Even brass that is damaged can often be recovered with a good set of dies and tools. Brass can be very hard to get these days, so I try to fix the damaged stuff at least. I get better than 50% success.
 

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If you are seeing 1/2 MOA at 100 and 1.5 MOA at 200 and off the paper at 300, I would think your problem is bigger than unsorted brass.

It is possible that you are shooting less consistent at longer distances. At 100 yds you can see a small point and hold your crosshair over it. At 300 yds, the thickness of your crosshair covers three times as much area, which reduces your changes of hitting exactly where you want. So part of your problem could be in your shooting/sighting ability.

Another thing that comes to my mind is bullet stability. If the spin rate of the bullet is off, it can wobble or even tumble. Needless to say a tumbling bullet doesn't cut through the air as effortlessly as a stabilized bullet, and will tend to drop more. A wobble can cause all kinds of unpredictability. So you might want to think about twist rate and projectile length a little bit.

The last thing that comes to mind would be that if you have a load that "fizzles out" as it travels down range, it might do just fine at 100 yards, but at longer ranges, velocity drops and things start to fall apart. Make sure you are working with a load that will generate sufficient velocities for what you are trying to do.

These are just a few things I thought of as I read through that I didn't see mentioned already. Good luck with it.
 

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consistency is key

Your better off buying a new bag of brass. If you spend your time keeping consistently as close as possible, , you'll see a Big improvement in your groups. Measuring O.A.L using a bullet comparator makes a big difference vrs checking O.A.L using digital calipers. I even take the time to sort my bullets by ogive length before I start my seating process. Primer pocket uniforming along with reaming flash holes also all plays a role in one hole groups @100 yards. I even check runout with a RCBS casemaster . Bottom line " get anal" you'll see its worth the extra bench time . Your shooting buddies will even take notice once you step up your reloading skills . Once you master keeping all your rounds consistently the same then its time for a Chronograph. Thats when you find out what works best is your new recipes as far as powder and primers & that's when you will see why one bullet when high or low ; the proof is in the FPS data and the extreme spread data sheet. If you want and crave a accurate shooting session, the rifle is only as good as the ammo you send out of it. Reloading is a very rewarding hobby. But it can get expensive if your anal like me. Good luck with your quest to increase your accuracy.
 
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