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Thread: Improving precision in a Gas Gun

  1. #11
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    HK Guns,

    I borrowed your format I hope you don't mind.

    I use a mix and match approach: Redding Body Die, and a Lee Collet Neck Die & Forster Bullet Seater Die, Lee Factory Crimp Die
    I load on a single stage CH "H" Press
    I use a RCBS Competition Powder Measure with Pistol Drum. TAC meters like water, so I try to load .2 grains low and trickle in.
    I use what powder is available for 5.56 loading in today's market. Currently using Ramshot TAC.
    I use CCI 450 primers exclusively. I had a 2 years supply of CCI 450's back in 2020, and today they are about the only primer readily available at a decent price, so why change.
    I typically use either Nosler or Hornady 68 w/cannelure or Nosler 69 CC or 77 grain CC w/cannelure
    I use either LC or Starline 5.56 brass. Starline has made major changes to their 5.56 Brass. Before it was very heavy, reducing capacity. New Starline brass now runs 1 grain heavier (brass weight not capacity) on average than LC and it's very good brass.
    I use a Forster Original manual trimmer to trim each case to a consistent length.
    I chamfer and deburr with my variable speed drill.
    In fact every device I use either has a replaceable battery or is manually operated. Power outages won't stop me from reloading
    I don't anneal, never found it worth it for AR use.

    Lots of different ways to skin this cat and make accurate loads. Find the best way for you.....
    Last edited by BobinNC; 09-26-22 at 20:59.

  2. #12
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    No badge, no helmet, no sponsors here, but fwiw:

    -there are practices to be observed, but you will find your own truth
    -the AR is what showed me that seating depth can matter even if loaded bullet is a mile off the rifling
    -my desire for accuracy often leaves me wishing for velocity to make long range
    -you will find accurate powders that may not have pressure curve for dependable lockback (how important is lockback to your goals?)
    -I have loads that shoot pretty well in a couple of guns, but my most accurate loads are gun specific
    -I have observed folks working the ram on their press like they are stamping license plates. Go easy and watch for things to line up if on a single stage
    -you will sometimes need to retest loads or shoot more rounds in a group to keep "noise" from confusing which load might be better. Don't overanalyze the dispersion of a 5 shot group....
    -use a target/bullseye suitable to whatever scope being used
    -one last comment and I'll shut up and go away: a good rest, address the rifle consistently. Take a break if you find yourself anxious to align the crosshairs and get the trigger pulled (most of my guns shoot better than I do...)

    Enjoy the journey

  3. #13
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    Lots of great information being shared.

    Hopefully it can keep going and someone besides me will learn something of value.

  4. #14
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    To add my own two cents:

    I haven't been reloading for a very long time; but I hang out with dudes who have been doing it longer than I have been alive and am very fortunate to absorb some of that knowledge. All my friends have VERY accurate AR's. This is a quick break down of the order of Ops that is generally used to develop a load from scratch.

    1. Components: having high quality and consistent materials is always a good start. Just like any real chef will tell you it all starts with the quality of ingredients. With that said, I treat accuracy as a three legged stool. Even with sub 'optimal' ingredients you can still get a very precise load.

    2. Node: Finding the nodes in your powder is very important. I used to find some very attractive nodes well above book max, but I have since worn tired of dealing with primers in places they dont belong.

    3. Seat Depth: If you want to mess with ANYTHING I would experiment with seat depth. I used to think "Just load to mag length" like most of you seem to. My buddy with the most experience taught me the error in that. Really long story short, with seat depth you are either jumping, kissing, or jamming. A lot of F class shooters try and kiss. This is dumb with high volume gas guns as the chamber is in a constant state of erosion. This only leaves jamming and jumping for gas guns. My guess is at mag length you are jamming massively into the lands. The magic of jumping is that the amount of jump stays fairly consistent over the life of the barrel. Also it produces stupid accurate loads once you figure out the jump for each bullet.


    I dont buy very much into the "I reload for each barrel". I do know I have a certain barrel that prefers light versus heavy bullets, but in the grand scheme a great load for one gun shouldn't shoot terribly in any others. Think of the really premium commercial ammo like gold medal match. It works good in most guns because federal basically did all of the steps I outlined above.


    Loading at mag length:



    When you figure out Jumping (everything besides OAL is EXACTLY the same):

    Tactical Nylon Micro Brewery

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnburglar View Post
    3. Seat Depth: If you want to mess with ANYTHING I would experiment with seat depth. I used to think "Just load to mag length" like most of you seem to. My buddy with the most experience taught me the error in that. Really long story short, with seat depth you are either jumping, kissing, or jamming. A lot of F class shooters try and kiss. This is dumb with high volume gas guns as the chamber is in a constant state of erosion. This only leaves jamming and jumping for gas guns. My guess is at mag length you are jamming massively into the lands. The magic of jumping is that the amount of jump stays fairly consistent over the life of the barrel. Also it produces stupid accurate loads once you figure out the jump for each bullet.
    First off, Iím not an expert on precision loading, so I hope Iím not saying anything too stupid. Iím following this thread to learn.

    With that said, I donít think any of my chamber/bullet combos will touch the lands and still come close to fitting in a USGI mag. In other words, I suspect most everyone here is ďjumpingĒ rather than ďjammingĒ. I measured some of my 5.56 and Noveske Match Mod 0 chambers recently with that Hornady length doodad, and found that Iím jumping 60 thou or more at mag length.

    Hoping to learn more.
    RLTW

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  6. #16
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    Used to take steps for bolt gun to get headspace for sized brass a couple or 3 thou from fired headspace. Don't bother. The AR resizes upon chambering. In fact, 2 rifles with chambers 4 thou different pretty much resize factory brass to the same length with maybe 2 thou extreme spread. I'll get 4 thou plus variance if I don't consistently lube when sizing.... For accuracy loads, I'll still test seating depth increments after powder workup at mag length. The deal here is you will also experience bullet pull upon chambering, but I still think I've had tangible results from seating depth changes. I wish someone with runout measuring equipment would do pre/post chambering runout measurement....
    Last edited by triggerjerk; 09-27-22 at 08:27. Reason: Dang Yankee autocorrect

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1168 View Post
    First off, I’m not an expert on precision loading, so I hope I’m not saying anything too stupid. I’m following this thread to learn.

    With that said, I don’t think any of my chamber/bullet combos will touch the lands and still come close to fitting in a USGI mag. In other words, I suspect most everyone here is “jumping” rather than “jamming”. I measured some of my 5.56 and Noveske Match Mod 0 chambers recently with that Hornady length doodad, and found that I’m jumping 60 thou or more at mag length.

    Hoping to learn more.
    You wrote the exact comment I was going to make, only you were faster. I haven't measured all of my AR's but I've done several and each one of them, both 556 Nato and 223 Wylde, want bullets seated much longer than magazine length to reduce bullet jump.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by HKGuns View Post
    You wrote the exact comment I was going to make, only you were faster. I haven't measured all of my AR's but I've done several and each one of them, both 556 Nato and 223 Wylde, want bullets seated much longer than magazine length to reduce bullet jump.
    Ditto. My loads have to work in all my AR's, and from all my magazines. The Number 1 rule in reloading for a magazine fed rifle is that all rounds must function from the magazine to the chamber. Accuracy takes a seat behind function.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by HKGuns View Post
    As I stated in my AMP post, I'm trying to up my gas rifle reloading game. I get pretty decent results but want to see how much better I can be......

    - What is the best I can expect from a gas rifle?

    That depends upon your barrel, your knowledge and skill at handloading and most importantly, your knowledge and skill at shooting a semi-automatic AR-15.














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    All that is necessary for trolls to flourish, is for good men to do nothing.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnburglar View Post
    I dont buy very much into the "I reload for each barrel". I do know I have a certain barrel that prefers light versus heavy bullets, but in the grand scheme a great load for one gun shouldn't shoot terribly in any others. Think of the really premium commercial ammo like gold medal match. It works good in most guns because federal basically did all of the steps I outlined above.
    We have that with 2 6.5cm Bolt guns.... Both Bergara. One will shoot everything good 140-150 gr. And the other lasers with 140s, but goes like 3 MOA with 147s and 150s. To your point though, I too load ammo to be shot in several guns. Dialing ammo in for one gun is too impractical for what we do right now.
    "What would a $2,000 Geissele Super Duty do that a $500 PSA door buster on Black Friday couldn't do?" - Stopsign32v

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