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I have recently acquired a Magneto Speed Sporter and have been using it quite extensively. All for numbers for reloading of course. Over the past month I have shot many different loadings with different powders and bullets and have also repeated many to try and verify numbers..

Here is my dilemma, I am getting random shots that are just way out of the ordinary with absolutely no rhyme or reason that I can pinpoint...

I will normally load 12 each of the loads I want to test and then also load 3 separate weight groups. So like this; 12 ea of say 23.0, 12 each of 23.2 and 12each of 23.4.. I will then shoot them round robin is three shot groups at a single target with separate bulls for each one.

Shoot 3, move to the next,and shoot 3 and then move to the next and shoot 3.. After those I will repeat the process for a total of 4 rounds of 3.. All the while recording the shot speeds in order.

What I am finding is that in almost every three shot group there will be one shot that is extra ordinarily higher or lower than the other two. and there is no pattern that I can find. It can be the first shot, last shot or the second shot. Many times the shots will be within 10/15 fps or they at times match, but there is almost always one that is way out, sometimes by as much as 100fps!

My reloading practices for this have been meticulous. All brass the same headstamp,straight with no dents or deformed mouths. All sized and checked at the same batch, all trimmed at the same time. Every powder charge is check weighed on a beam scale and trickled up.. I have now just loaded some tonight and this time I tried it with annealed brass but of course I have not shoot this yet. I have also tried loading these loads to different length with no improvement.

Anyways I cannot think of what to try next. I have even tried more time between shots to see if this was a heat issue and it doesn't appear to be that either.

Not looking for perfection just to try and lower this Extreme Spread. If I could get consistently below 50 I would be extremely happy.
May I ask, are you looking for velocity or smallest group. Your powder charges seem to be very close as to powder charges. If looking for smaller groups which I would be doing then shoot your loads for the smallest group and then chronograph THAT group. I doubt with your small powder charge variance the velocity will be much different and you will have the smaller group. You seem to be going to a lot of trouble with maybe no end in sight. I wish you well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
May I ask, are you looking for velocity or smallest group. Your powder charges seem to be very close as to powder charges.
Looking for smallest groups, actual speed is not as important though I understand it is best to have a consistent speed. Up until I received this Chrono a few weeks ago everything was being judged by group size. So most of these loads I am shooting I have been shooting for a while and came back to them because they were the most consistent with the smallest shot dispersion. Then loading to each side of the powder charge to check for a node. Stability. A friend asked me why I keep shooting the same loads over and over and I have tried to explain that these are what is shooting best so why keep loading something that doesn't work at all?

For instance with a load I am working on right now which is a 223 in a PMC case with a RMR 69gr HPBT Loaded over 23.2gr of Benchmark @ 2.255" is producing and avg speed of 2848fps with an ES of 31 for 12 rounds and a group size of about 0.75" @ 200yds is the best I can get from this then I guess I either use it and accept it or change something or everything. But right now this is it. 23.5 and 23.6gr and the groups already start to open up. 23.5 is listed as max load by Hodgdon using a 69gr bullet.

So the only things I haven't changed are the primers and the bullets. Maybe another bullet would shoot better but I haven't tried that yet. So is it the load? The Gun? The shooter? All three?

Yes there is no end in sight but I am also getting some much needed trigger time and experience. What the chrono is telling me is with a 12 shot string I am consistently getting one shot extremely high and one shot extremely low while the rest are within 20fps or so.
 

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Looking for smallest groups, actual speed is not as important though I understand it is best to have a consistent speed. Up until I received this Chrono a few weeks ago everything was being judged by group size. So most of these loads I am shooting I have been shooting for a while and came back to them because they were the most consistent with the smallest shot dispersion. Then loading to each side of the powder charge to check for a node. Stability. A friend asked me why I keep shooting the same loads over and over and I have tried to explain that these are what is shooting best so why keep loading something that doesn't work at all?

For instance with a load I am working on right now which is a 223 in a PMC case with a RMR 69gr HPBT Loaded over 23.2gr of Benchmark @ 2.255" is producing and avg speed of 2848fps with an ES of 31 for 12 rounds and a group size of about 0.75" @ 200yds is the best I can get from this then I guess I either use it and accept it or change something or everything. But right now this is it. 23.5 and 23.6gr and the groups already start to open up. 23.5 is listed as max load by Hodgdon using a 69gr bullet.

So the only things I haven't changed are the primers and the bullets. Maybe another bullet would shoot better but I haven't tried that yet. So is it the load? The Gun? The shooter? All three?

Yes there is no end in sight but I am also getting some much needed trigger time and experience. What the chrono is telling me is with a 12 shot string I am consistently getting one shot extremely high and one shot extremely low while the rest are within 20fps or so.
Wow! If you are getting 0.75-inch groups at 200 yards, that is pretty darn good in my experience! That is not only sub MOA accuracy but 0.5 MOA accuracy. If your gun is a production model, as opposed to target rifle or custom job, you are doing better than fantastic. Unless you need more velocity, stick with 23.2gr and be happy.

There are sooooooooo many variables in reloading that contribute to accuracy. You can go down that rabbit hole real fast if you try to address them all at once.

I agree with those who have recommended just concentrating on group size. Once you get the best group, stick with that load and run it over the chrono so you can get a velocity to use in calculating bullet drop at range. Or, once you have a good load combo (bullet, brass, powder and primer), start adjusting one of the many other variables one at a time to see if it improves accuracy. There really is no end to it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Wow! If you are getting 0.75-inch groups at 200 yards, that is pretty darn good in my experience! That is not only sub MOA accuracy but 0.5 MOA accuracy. If your gun is a production model, as opposed to target rifle or custom job, you are doing better than fantastic. Unless you need more velocity, stick with 23.2gr and be happy.
I guess maybe because I am comparing my groups with guys that have been doing this with custom rifle and are shooting cloverleafs with 6mm at 200yds. Or maybe I'm not giving myself enough credit? My normal 6 shot group is about 1.5" which is two 3 shot volleys. Still working on getting those two volleys next to each other.
 

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Looking for smallest groups, actual speed is not as important though I understand it is best to have a consistent speed. Up until I received this Chrono a few weeks ago everything was being judged by group size....
Stop right there. The purpose of the chronograph is to determine that your most accurate loads are 1) not over pressure and 2) meeting your range of velocity expectations. Once those are addressed, turn that damn thing off and throw it in the closet. Zero that rifle from the bench and then stay away from that too. From that point on, shoot it from field positions and find out what you can do with it in the worst case scenarios-weather/wind/temps-not the best. Then and only then will you know what you can do with that gun and load when the chips are on the table.
 

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I didn't see where the OP stated what powder he was using. Some powders are designed to be temperature stable, and others not. Some powders don't have uniform ignition, like ball powders, where others achieve more uniform ignition. The OP did not state whether he went to the benchrest extreme of weighing every single bullet and only loaded the exact same weight bullet in each of his 3-shot loads. There are a whole host of things that can produce velocity variations, but if a particular load will consistently produce small groups, that is all that matters. A chrony only gives you information about what kind of velocity your "good load" produces, and in my book is only for "information only". I handloaded for well over 50 years before I every ran a bullet across a chrony, and I did not (would not) change anything based on chrony results..
 

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i use my chrony rarely. i still have to chrony the 9.3x57 and the 20 vartarg!!!!!!! when i get "the load", i usually chrony it, write the fps on my book with the load and put the chrony away.
 

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The chronograph can be useful in several ways. The one most people use is to get an average velocity for finding trajectory tables from. Another is to see whether a new loading technique has improved the velocity repeatability, which is usually irrelevant at 100 yards, perhaps just starting to show at 200, and becoming something you can clearly identify at 300, though it may still not be enough to affect taking medium-size game.

Several random thoughts and observations:

First, as someone who has done a lot of scientific work and data collection, a general rule of thumb is never to throw out raw data points unless you have a good reason to. For a target, I might throw out a shot if I called it correctly as a pulled shot. For velocity, calling is not something you can do, but if you feel a shot was wrong or recoiled differently or sounded different or had a delay in going off, those would be reasons to omit the results for the particular round. But absent that, with small samples (less than 30 shots per group), it is very hard for the human brain to distinguish true random variation from errors of one kind or another. This is because it takes about 30 for a histogram of the data to start looking much like a bell curve. Short of that, a histogram of the data often shows asymmetry around the average from truly random variation.

You have to remember that with samples from a population, the mean and SD are attempts at estimating what the population mean (μ) and population standard deviation (σ) will turn out to have been when you've fired the last copy ever of that same load in that same rifle. That's the predictive value of those statistics. If you take out the two most extreme shots, you are now getting your mean and SD from a smaller sample, so it will provide a correspondingly lower accuracy estimate.

So why do you commonly hear of people throwing out the highest and lowest number in a sample? That's a strategy for larger samples (larger than 30) where the odds of getting occasional outliers that are unrepresentative are increasing and where eliminating two data points from the total doesn't make the sample enough smaller to have much effect on the accuracy of the mean and SD figured from the remaining samples as predictors.

If you accumulate enough data that you should get a bell curve histogram shape, but don't get one, but rather have, say, three distinctly separate smaller clumps of velocities with a clear separation between their centers, then you have something causing a velocity shift during your strings. With loading density in the range of 80-85%, a good candidate would be the faster velocity lump is resulting when you handled the ammunition and rifle such that the powder tended to be back over the primer. The low-velocity lump would be what happened when you handled the ammunition so the powder was forward over the bullet. The middle lump would result from when the powder was lying flat in the case.

Try manipulating the ammo and gun to be sure the powder is always in the same position in the case.

Mike mentioned seating primers hard:

"There is some debate about how deeply primers should be seated. I don’t pretend to have all the answers about this, but I have experimented with seating primers to different depths and seeing what happens on the chronograph and target paper, and so far I’ve obtained my best results seating them hard, pushing them in past the point where the anvil can be felt hitting the bottom of the pocket. Doing this, I can almost always get velocity standard deviations of less than 10 feet per second, even with magnum cartridges and long-bodied standards on the ’06 case, and I haven’t been able to accomplish that seating primers to lesser depths."
Dan Hackett, Precision Shooting Reloading Guide, Precision Shooting Inc., Pub. (R.I.P.), Manchester, CT, 1995, p. 271.

Shooting positions can affect chronograph readings. Former U.S. International Palma Team member Bart Bobbit has said he's seen velocities change a good bit with shooting position using the same shooter, gun, and ammo. This may be a combination of changing the powder position and the motion of the gun in recoil or other factors, but whatever the cause, be sure your position behind your gun is exactly the same for each test shot.

Velocity variation sometimes matters less than a ballistic table suggests. Exterior ballistic calculators assume a perfectly rigid gun. The actual shot placement you get depends on flexing of the barrel and recoil moving the gun around. This is different for different loads in a given gun, as well as for different holds and positions. So you have to test your actual shooting positions if you want to see where the sights need to be zeroed and to see whether charge weight variation is affecting the point of impact much for you or not.

This entertaining podcast gives examples of how the human brain fails to recognize randomness, tends to try to find patterns where there aren't any, and includes a real-life event with a message in a balloon where the resulting coincidence seems utterly impossible–until you take a closer look.
 

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I guess maybe because I am comparing my groups with guys that have been doing this with custom rifle and are shooting cloverleafs with 6mm at 200yds. Or maybe I'm not giving myself enough credit? My normal 6 shot group is about 1.5" which is two 3 shot volleys. Still working on getting those two volleys next to each other.
I hate to say this, might show I don't shoot around good shooter's much. Started handloading and shooting a lot about 1967 or 68. In all those years I have never seen anyone that could shoot cloverleafs at 200yds with a 6mm! Not consistently anyway. Knew a match shooter years ago brought his 40X in 6mm Rem out to where we shot. At 100yds he has us fire a shot into a target and claimed he could hit the same hole with at least half his bullet. He couldn't do it and went home very flustered!

That said I do have a couple rifle's of so that will shoot cloverleafs at 200yds but, the holes won't be touching! Does that count?
 

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So some people constantly preach about how consistency is the key to good shooting, wondering to myself why this train of thought doesn't apply to ballistics to them? These are the same folks who fidget over every little aspect of case preparation, trickling loads and bullet seating depths. It shouldn't matter much to the average deer hunter but if they're reloading one would assume it's an effort to make loads better suited to their specific rifle rather than ammunition bought off the shelf.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
After todays little exercise I'm putting the chrono away and going back to loading for groups I can see on paper. I was having much more fun then.
 

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Rifle accuracy is not as good as the wallet group that gets shown around. There's been money won and lost over 'Bet you can't do that again.'
 

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These are the reasons I chrony my loads.
The purpose of the chronograph is to determine that your most accurate loads are 1) not over pressure and 2) meeting your range of velocity expectations. Once those are addressed, turn that damn thing off and throw it in the closet.
I find that at times necessary, chronographing loads is an extremely tedious and mind-knumbing exercise that can suck the enjoyment out of a range session if I do too much of it.



I agree, it's time for some good group therapy!
After todays little exercise I'm putting the chrono away and going back to loading for groups I can see on paper. I was having much more fun then.
 

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I find that at times necessary, chronographing loads is an extremely tedious and mind-knumbing exercise that can suck the enjoyment out of a range session if I do too much of it.

😐😐😐

Being outside, shooting, and having opportunities to sharpen skills on the trigger, breathing, heartbeat, and learn about your loads; shouldn't be a motivation killer...
If it is, one should contemplate another hobby.
 
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I was telling my wife last night while we were sitting on the patio that I enjoy the technical aspects of working up a new load in a new to me cartridge and gun about as much as any hobby I've ever had. Bringing it all together correctly {accuracy, speed, bullet performance, gun reliability} and being able to say this is what the goal was, here's what I did and why, here's what went right and what went wrong and lastly even if the expectations had to be adjusted they were still met.
Is it easy, no, but there's certainly satisfaction in doing it especially if your learning new things along the way. Is it for everyone no, I have a good friend who for years would wait until I wrung out a new cartridge or gun then would buy the same exact gun and load the exact same loads I came up with, he had no interest in working out the details.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Today I was able to spend the morning with another of our winter league shooters and sort of pick his brain also.
Not exactly sure what all I am learing or what all of this is showing me yet. Still trying to make sense of it all.

But after looking at yesterdays results and those of previous sessions I have learned that some of what I am doing is making a difference while others I'm not so sure.
Again trying to determine if I have hit a major limitation with what I am doing and the tools and components I am using. Once again I don't know because I have never ventured down this road before.

But yes, I need a break and so enjoyable shooting.
 

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First time I used my crony was when I was having trouble with the consistency of projectile performance in loads I was using shooting foxes with a 222 rem, some times they were deadly and some times they were hopeless.
I found a huge variation in fps and they were all
A lot slower than what the book showed.
I changed powders and didn’t use cases were the powder level sat a lot higher in the case.
That fixed things up.
I found it “funny” that every time I loaded , usually 20 at a time as I was loading as I needed them there would be a case were the powder sat a lot higher than the rest , maybe two .
I would dump the charge back in the thrower and try again a couple of times to make shore Then take the case out of circulation
Eventually I got down to about 15 cases , I didn’t buy these cases new and didn’t no how many shots they had fired before I used them and didn’t count how many I fired through them after I was satisfied with there performance.
Some of them were reloaded more than others as I was just putting them back in the plastic reloading box with out paying attention to order.
as the number of cases was dwindling I ran some over the crony and they were still consistent.
In the end the last few cases were so deformed around the case mouth I stopped using them .
I started a thread about case mouth deformity that was interesting.
My conclusion in regards to the FPS variations was the powder and case volume .
In search of similar FPS I bought rws cases so the volume didn’t very as much .(doesn’t seem to vary at all)
Weather it worked or not I have no idea because I baught a 218 bee , then got on the 22 k hornet train and got of on the good old Rossi 357 station and haven’t loaded any 222 cause of the flue and change of address.
FPS does not always matter that much but it is fun to try and get it the same and can’t hurt if it is.
Personally under 30 FPS difference equals the same.
i didn’t shoot groups when tried to get my FPS variations under control I was going for projectile performance and fired all the shots at the same target just making short I didn’t hit my cronie.
Lucky for me the group size was good enough when the variations were acceptable.

cheers.
 

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All the rest is good...chronographing not so much, so I keep it to a minimum.
😐😐😐

Being outside, shooting, and having opportunities to sharpen skills on the trigger, breathing, heartbeat, and learn about your loads; shouldn't be a motivation killer...
If it is, one should contemplate another hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Alright I am a glutton for my own punishment

Today I did my best to anneal some cases. This time all PMC brass that was once fired in my own gun. So I will load them to a level I already have numbers with and see how this turns out. If this improved then it will become an added practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Dang it the results are in;
Shot 36 rounds today that were loaded yesterday using the PMC once fired in my gun brass. So I annealed this brass and then sized as usual, though right after I plunked each case into a Lyman 223 Headspace gauge and then checked each one with the flat edge of my caliper, then separated the short ones out. Then measured each case neck and found a variance of .002" so I sorted those out also. Then loaded as usual and trickling up each case.

Once again I loaded 3 different powder charges @ .2gr intervals for a total of 12 rounds each. Then shot round robin 3 shot strings each at separate targets X2 so the chrono targets each had 6 shots. Numbers didn't come back great but they are very much improved. Load, Benchmark, RMR 69gr HPBT, PMC brass and Remington 7 1/2 primers.

Quick spread;
23.0gr 1st group SD 14, ES 26. 2nd group SD10, ES 21
23.2gr 1st group SD 25, ES 51. 2nd group SD05, ES 11
23.4gr 1st group SD 13, ED 24. 2nd group SD17, ES 32

Again not great but well within the 50FPS I was hoping for and a far cry from the +90 ES I was getting. Over-all it was worth the effort!
 
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