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Discussion Starter #1
I just came in from chonographing a 348  load of 65 gr RL19 behind a Hornady 200gr FN jacketed bullet and the best I got was 2401 fps.

Most of the velocities came in right at 2325 or so, with three in the  2360-2370 range and one way down at 2268 and another up to 2401.

These loads were fired in a Browning M71 lever gun with a 24 inch barrel.

The accuracy of the scale was checked with precision wieghts, powder trickled
until the charge weight was reached and everything  balanced, and the scale  rechecked every 10 rounds or so. NO foam items on any kind were on the bench, as I understand that static electricity from the foam plays havoc with scales.

All cases were trimmed to 2.245,and the bullets were seated to just under Max OAL and crimped in place. Primers were WLR primers about a year old.

Shots were fired in five shot strings with enough time between strings to allow the barrel to cool. There was a little time between  shots while I recorded the velocity before firing the next shot.

The chronograph is a Prochrono Plus that was set in bright sun with the skyscreens shading the sensors.

Haven't fired these loads for accurcy. but velocities aren't what everyone else reports.

Any ideas as to whay I'm not getting the velocities reported by others?

I'm confused...so what's new. ;-)
J.D.
 

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JD,

First cut with the reamer?  I do not know.  That is why we are careful in working up the loads.  Your chamber, however, may take large charges, if it is, indeed larger.

Try 2 more grains of powder.

dclark
 

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I'm wondering if this is an isolated situation with R19, or do other powders perform similarly.  You also seem to get a variance that others haven't noticed.  I agree with DC, but I would work up slowly.  If cases come out hard, back off.  I haven't chronoed my load yet, but the accuracy I got, along with velocities reported by others make me want to hold tight onto the R19.  I'm expecting less than 2500 fps due to the carbine barrel, but you should get that, and without a large variance.  How about case and crimp uniformity?  My rifle actually shoots better with the bullets seated at book OAL (2.830").  I use a Lee factory crimp die.
 

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J.D.

Have you corrected your velocities to the muzzle?
Your probably getting a reading ten feet or so from the muzzle. This may give you another 25 or more feet per second.

To be honest your getting about what I would have predicted. Right in there with the .356.

Thats the problem with the ready availability of chronographs, myths fall!
 

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J.D.

Just got an e-mail from an ex-friend. He says I came looking a little rude in my posting.

I did not mean to be . I like the .348 and the Winchester 71. I know that my good-'ol .356 will not quite match it for power and never come close in class.
I just meant to say that your results were about what I would have looked for velocity wise. I too would prefer to have has a closer extreme spread. I have found that I dont always get the uniformity that I am looking for. I have had some pretty accurate .444 combinations that that had 150 fps velocity spreads. Not my most accurate loads but good ones all the same.

As careful as you were I would try three things, change the primer-try another brand. Vary the seating depth and crimp a little. Try the exact same load again, they rarely shoot exactly the same.
Remember also that some guns have faster barrels than others. My fathers .356 gets a little higher velocity for the same loads than mine does. Dad mentions this to me now and again!
 

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The more I think about it the more I keep comin' back to that crimp.  Roll crimps are notorious for creating variation.  My 71 needs a very heavy crimp to keep bullets from backin' down into the case.  I don't think a roll crimp can do a passable job with these manly rounds.  The Lee is only $8, and it is almost impossible to do a bad job at crimping with it.  If you're already using this die, forgive my ranting.  Also, is the chrono calibrated good?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to everyone  for all of the input.

I considered the crimp as being part of the problem and plan to pick up a factory crimp die soon.

I also plan to try 10 rounds without the crimp to see what difference that makes.
I WILL single load each of these rounds through the top of the action.

I thought of changing primers too, Might try CCI's, never liked Federals, and I don't think Remington sells components any more.

I can't do much about the seating depth. There is only so much crimping cannelure to deal with, and seating the bullets out any farhter may prevent them from feeding. Bullets are seated to the top of the crimping cannelure, cause that's where they will probably end up due to the action of recoil in the tube magazine. However, I can try different seating depths without crimping, and
just single load as mentioned above.

Extraction is not problem.  All rounds extracted very easily, so I can  probably go up  in charge weight, a tenth of a grain or so at a time.

The Chrono is about a year old, and hasn't been calibrated since I bought it.

Is it  the possible to calibrate a chronograph, without sending it back to the manufacturer?

And yes, all shots were fired at about 10-12 feet as suggested by the manufacturer of the chonograph. I wouldn't think that  there would be a difference of 25 fps at 10-12 feet, as opposed to placing the chorno at the muzzle...but of course I could be wrong. I WAS wrong ONE time before...yeah, right. <!--emo&;)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'><!--endemo-->

Even with picking up another 25fps, I still didn't get velocities anywhere near what everyone else reports.

So many variables, so many loads, and so little time. <LOL>
Thanks again
J.D.
 

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JD,
    I have a Handloader issue from Dec 2001 that lists loads from the same rifle that you have. They show 2442fps with 65gr of R19, not all that far off from your velocities. Temperature or just tolerances in rifles could make the difference. I've gotten velocities as much as 400 fps below what I was "supposed" to get. I wouldn't worry about that part.
     You do have a pretty big extreme spread, though. Crimp may be an issue. And if it were me I would try a magnum primer, 65gr is getting marginal for a standard primer in my opinion.
      As far as weighed powder charges go, I have run chronograph tests which have proven to me that in most cases weighing charges does not improve consistency, exceptions being stick powders in small cases. And I mean LONG stick powders, for example IMR4198 in the .223. There are so many other variables, such as neck tension, primer brisance, crimp, etc. that a couple of tenths in powder charge makes no difference. I have tested this a couple of times with several powders and the only two that showed improvement with weighed charges was IMR4198 in .223 and IMR4350 in the .243.
     Try primers, try crimp changes. See what happens!                IDShooter
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I chronoed ten more rounds today. Five loaded with 65gr RL19, NO crimp, bullets seated to 2.790. Average velocity was 2311, 10 feet from the muzzle. Extreme deviation was 13 fps for five rounds.

Two rounds were loaded with 65.1gr RL19, NO crimp I recorded velocities of 2355 and 2327 fps.

I had three rounds of empty brass left, so I loaded three rounds with 65.2 gr RL 19, and recorded velocities of 2351, 2336, and 2322 fps.

I suspected that velocities from the rounds with no crimp would be lower than those crimped rounds, as less pressure should be required to get the uncrimped bullet moving.

I might also add that uncrimped bullet would actually move in the case when I
"thumped" them against my wrist, kinda like compressing the tobacco in a ciggarette.

Maybe I need to polish the expander plug to reduce the diameter a bit. Shoulda bought Lyman or RCBS dies. I have never been impressed with the Lee products I have used, and while the Lee dies seem to be OK, I still prefer Lyman, RCBS, and Redding Hunter dies.

Hmmm, I wonder if I can find a good set of dies on E-bay. Yeah, I'm cheap too.

The inside of the brass also looked pretty dirty, compared to crimped rounds fired in previous strings.

I also checked the case length with a Starret caliper and found that the cheap plastic reloading caliper ain't what it's supposed to be. There was quite a bit of variation in length of brass that had been previously checked with the cheapy plastic "reloaders caliper".

I knew that the plastic caliper isn't as accurate as a real one, but I didn't expect the extreme veriation in case length that I got with the plastic thingamajig  I had been using for so many years.

Maybe this gun doesn't like RL 19.  We'll see what kind of accuracy I get.

I started thinking about the post that ask if I had the same type of results with every load I tested, so I tried 53.6 gr 4064 wich is suppsoed to give a velocity of 2450 fps.

Three rounds gave velcoities of 2401, 2462 and 2430 fps. Not far from  the 2450 fps  listed for that load.  Felt recoil didn't seem as heavy as the 65.1 and 65.2 grs of RL 19. Still getting pretty wide deviation with wieghed loads.

Gotta start doing my testing at the range, the backstop in the backyard  is getting chewed up pretty bad.
J.D.
 

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Another thing about a crimp with this round.  The crimp helps with the powder burn.  It gets the powder well ignited prior to the bullet movin' up the spout.  Without a crimp, you are probably blowin' more of the powder out the muzzle.  I'd get a crimp die and try again.  Have you chronoed other loads with this rifle?
 

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J.D.

Interesting. I was looking at a load Submission by Bill Lester. He reported that increasing a charge of Hodgdon 322 fron 52.5 to 53.0 gr increased velocity 2 fps but doubled the extreme spread.
You might try raising or lowering your charge weight half a grain just to see if there is a "sweet" spot with RL19 and your barrel.

I am using Lee .444 Marlin Dies with no trouble. Is your sizing die sizing the neck enough for good neck tension?
Have you pulled your expander plug and measured it yet? Is your brass new or used?
Are all of your cases of the same make?
Try measuring the neck thickness of several cases. Set them out on a sheet of paper and record the measurement next to them. This will give you a visual trend. I have encountered rather large differences in Remington .25-20 brass, in neck thickness, overall weight and in anneal. Some of new the Remington cases in .25-20 would split their necks in three shots.

Reduced neck tension can be a subject of debate as far as uniformity and accuracy are concerned. My Dads loads his single shots byseating the lead bullets with his thumb, he expects extreme velocity spreads in the single digits. Still you must have good neck tension to cycle your loads through a tube magazine.

I have never trusted the idea of a plastic caliper. They may work but I dont feel very warm about them. I wonder if anyone else has a story about plastic calipers?

I have had very uniform results with IMR 4064 in several calibers. It is my favorite powder for the .307 Win.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Muleskinner,
Yeah, the crimp has to increase pressure, which should increase velocity.

The main reason I chronoed those loads without crimping was to  check consistency of the loads without the variable of crimping. The loads were
much more uniform without the crimp, soooo, a crimp die appears to be in order.

William,
I plan to do just that. Not only with RL 19, but with 4064 and 3031.

Accuracy was very good with 49 gr 3031 at an average velocity of 2292 fps, with an extreme spread of 40 fps. The Lyman manual gives a velocity of 2423 fps for this load.

All brass is new Winchester bulk brass bought in 50 round bags, with the last batch of  loads from those,  once fired.  

I haven't measured the expander plug yet, but there doesn't seem to be much neck tension.

I plan to try a differnt brand of primers, when I get somewhere that carries something other than  Winchesters.  Don't know when that will be though.

And the plastic caliper is going into the trashcan.

I might check neck thickness, but I don't know if that would be much of a factor in lever guns. Match guns, yes. Leverguns, who knows.
J.D.
 

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JD - a little more fuel for the fire; yesterday (5/24/02) I tested some handloads in my 24" barreled Winchester M71 (1957 mfg).  My loads where made up with new Win cases, Hornady 200 grain FP bullets - crimped in place with the RCBS bullet seater/crimper die, CCI 200 primers (purchased around 1980) and Hercules Re19 powder (10/1994 mfg).

I set up my brand new F-1 Master chrony at 18 ft from the muzzle (had to ensure it was totally out from under a tree branch shadow).

With the 65.0 grain load (max per the load data in the Handloader #214 article) I achieved an average velocity of 2363 fps.  High was 2373 fps, low was 2357 (temp was 83 degrees F).  The extreme spread was 16 fps, which is certainly acceptable to me.  My best group at 100 yards with this load was 2 3/4" using the Lyman #56 receiver peep sight and standard Winchester front sight.

Interestingly enough, my best groups and velocity in this rifle came from an earlier load shot on 10/8/01 at a temp of 60 degrees F.  That load was shot using 60.5 grains of IMR4350 and all other components being identical to those listed above.  My average velocity with the IMR load is 2402 fps (Beta Chrony at 10 ft.) and a 3 shot group at 100 yards of 2 1/8".

I also Chrony'ed some factory ammo - current issue Winchester Super-X 200 grain Silver Tips:
On 5/24/02 at 83 degrees I obtained an average of 2443 fps (F-1 Master Chrony at 18 ft.) with an amazing group of 6" at 100 yards.
On 1/15/01 at 63 degrees I obtained 2484 fps (Beta Chrony at 10 ft.) with an equally amazing group of 3" at 50 yards.
I would say the Factory ammo (same box in both tests) was very consistant at 6 moa on both days and very close on the velocity (factoring in different temps, distances and Chrony units).  At any rate both handloads fail to reach the factory velocity by a small amount, but out perform it at about 2.5 avg moa.

I am working on my "peep sight" bench technique to improve my accuracy, but it appears the gun is capable with good handloads.

Odessa
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm sure the gun is more than capable, but are my loads? ;-)

I fired one 3/4 inch high by 2 3/8 inches wide, five shot group at 100 yards . It was kinda windy that day. That group shot with 49.0 gr 3031 at an average velocity of 2290 fps, with a 40 fps extreme spread. The Lyman manual lists a velocity of about 2400 fps for this load

Accuracy is there, but velocity is not. Maybe I have a slow barrel, as someone commented.

I don' t know if I will ever hunt anything where I might need a 2500 fps load, but it would be nice to know that I can get that velocity, should I need it.

My main complaint, if I can call it that, is that I don't seem to be getting the velocities that others report.

On my last trip to the range, I fired two,  three shot groups at 50 yards of about 4 inches each, fired off hand as fast as I could work the lever, just to see how fast I could fire with some degree of accuracy. This gun is fun. <!--emo&:)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':)'><!--endemo-->
J.D.
 

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J.D.
I think you have a black sheep rifle.  Seriously, my tests with 3031 netted horrible accuracy.  Also, I know of another feller that experienced the same 4-5" spreads with this powder, along with great deviations in velocity.  If your rifle likes such a fast powder, when others seem to get the most from slow burners, maybe there's a logical explanation.  I ain't knowledgeable enough to unnerstand it, but I found that the faster the powder, the more erratic my shooting turned out.
 

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Just to mention that my M71 is taking its first trip in a scabbard tommorrow.  Takin' the family on a short horse camping trip.  Too much snow to go far, but it beats stayin' home.  If any hungry bears show up, ol' Mule will be ready.
 

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JD, an additional thought; your rifle is a Browning, mine is a Winchester - I wonder about the others who have posted data.  Marshall has made reference to the fact that the rifling starts much sooner in the Browning M71 than in the Winchester M71 - in fact he designed his 245 grain lead gas check bullet for the Winchester, not the Browning.  I wonder if the difference in the rifling is why you are experiencing different results with the Hornady bullet?  Perhaps the bullet in your rifle should be seated deeper?  Odessa
 

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You know 'ole Deadeye Dick didn't do no obsessin' 'bout no veelocity when he drawed down onah grisly bar!  Why he just throwed 'ole grisly tamer up ta his shulder and popped one to 'em!  You gots the best rafle they is an she shoots true, so quit your bellyachin' and go to huntin' or get off the compooter thang!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Muleskinner,
If this rifle is a black sheep, then it's in good company. I've never been known as a conformist, and have often felt like an ouctast, so this must be the gun for me. ;-)

Buster,
If'n I gets a shot at ol' Ephraim, I wants a load that will put'er down and out. Don't want  to end up as bear feces.

This gun is a littel big for squirrels, so I can't do much in the way of huntin' right this minute, but I can prepare for next fall...or can I?

Hmmm, 348 squib loads  for squirrels?  I wonder if I can find a .350 RB?
Hmmmm, .350 RB at 800fps? Maybe I _can_ get off this 'puter and do a little
huntin'. <LOL>
J.D.
 

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Weighing in a little late here, but you don't have NEAR enough neck tension, if you can move bullets that easily in the case - I guarantee it.

Better check your expander button.  I'd drop it down about 0.002" (maybe 0.003") and see what that does.

If you still don't have good neck tension after that then your brass is too thin for the sizer die that you have.

My guess is that to make up for lack of neck tension, you were using too much roll crimp and then the tension on the bullet was getting erratic.  Hence, when you had no crimp (and very little tension), velocities were consistent, as neck tension was consistent.  Or, just inconsistent case lengths, then the roll crimp adds an inconsistent amount of tension.

You really do need to get a different expander, or modify the one you have.  Crimp cannot make up for lack of case neck tension and this could be dangerous in a lever gun if recoil can pound a bullet deeper in the case.

Once you get good neck tension, and consistent case lengths, then a nice roll crimp should work wonders.  Get the Lee factory crimp die if you want to, but solve the case neck tension problem first.
 
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