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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am reading your "Where Do We Learn" in handloader 272.
I may be suffering from my own ignorance/hubris, but I think that you could spend the rest of your life discussing all the "facts" on various reloading forums.
1) The most important thing to accuracy is consistency.
In the name of consistency, folks are trimming their straight-wall pistol brass to some "trim-to-length" without ever comparing case length and accuracy. They end up with all their cases being too short for accuracy, but since they are "consistent", they consider a 3-4" group at 7 yards to be very good.
In the name of consistency, they are paying extra for reloading balances that can weigh to +/- 0.02gn or better. After all, their ammunition requires tight charge weights for best accuracy--consistency, you know. Even if they run a ladder test, they still can't "see" that quite a variation in charge weight still put the bullets in the same spot. Even if they get 2" groups at 100 yards, they know that at least their ammunition is consistent, and, thus, as accurate as possible.
2) Any "tricks" that long-range and benchrest shooters think "might" improve accuracy should be applied to their rifle and pistol loads.
Having never seen any articles to "prove" that these OCD activities actually have any effect, I tend toward disbelief that any of my guns could tell whether the primer pocket was "perfectly" uniform or if the flash hole had any burrs.
3) Currently, the most rapidly growing reloading activity appears to be focused on that most critical aspect of accuracy--how "clean" the brass is.
Either $50-100 for stainless steel pins and wet cleaning and oven drying or ultrasonic cleaning (with the US cleaner starting at $85 and going up from there) with multiple rinse cycles and oven drying followed by tumbling in corn cob and Nu-Finish car polish appear to be among the more critical reloading steps.
4) The choice of powder is not based on accuracy or even achieving the highest velocity with the minimum pressure. Nope, powder is judged solely by (1) how "dirty" the gun gets and (2) which powder produces minimum smoke.
Now, I have competed in a few IPSC, PPC, steel and bowling pin matches during the '80s and '90s and NEVER noticed any smoke from my lead bullet loads (though my fellow shootists might make an elitist comment about my loads) and always assumed that as long as my gun was accurate (sub-2" at 25 yards, minimum) and 100% functional, it was more than clean enough. My own opinion is if you notice your smoke, you aren't concentrating on the job at hand. Of course, in over 45 years of shooting indoors and out, rapid fire and slow fire, 25 and 50 yards, I have never noticed the targets being obscured by smoke (unless we go to a black powder "cowboy" match).
5) That all barrels and chambers are held to perfect tolerances and the use of a bullet 0.001" larger or smaller than the "correct" diameter will cause nothing but problems.
For example, if you are shooting a 9x19, a .356" jacketed bullet will probably blow up the gun--and heaven help you if you even think about trying to stuff a .357" jacketed bullet into your 9mm.
The fact that when I bought my first Browning High Power in the late '70s, about all I, or anyone else, could find were 0.357" jacketed bullets (0.355" bullets were quite rare) and managed somehow to shoot thousands without any sign of over-pressure or recoil more than factory loads (and found that accuracy was better than I got with the new 0.355" bullets when I started trying them)
Then I read the experts in the magazine talking about the critical need to only use 0.224" bullets in the .223 Rem--without even mentioning if they even KNEW what their barrel's groove diameter was. Somehow, my .223 has successfully used 0.223-0.225" bullets without any issue. By the way, how many loaders actually take the time to verify the diameter of their bullets and just "assume" that all bullets are exactly as marked on the box?
6) Don't switch primers or you'll blow up your gun
7) There is no reason to start with the starting load. If your buddy or the expert-of-the-day uses a specific load, then that load will be perfect in your gun
8) Don't play with COL. Simply load EXACTLY as the loading manual says. Any deviation, and you'll blow up your gun.
9) Guppy-bellied brass is no problem--just get a Bulge-Buster or Redding GRX or, best of all, roll size your brass and it's as good as new.
There are of course many more, but those are the ones that come to mind.
 

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It is nice to know you've been reading my stuff.

So many of the things reloders do fall exactly into the OCD category and are done because somebody said so. Evidence to the contrary simply cannot overcome conventional wisdom.
 

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noylj,

"oversize" bullets (up to a point) MAY work OK. beware however of an "undersize"bore.
(YES there ARE "below spec" new barrels out there. - the combination of an oversized bullet & an undersized bore "MAY be hazardous to your health". - it pays to accurately measure your bores.)

on the other hand, there are a LOT of oversize/worn barrels out there, that may do much better with a larger diameter bullet.- my first cousin's old Model 1907 Winchester rifle works FINE with standard .357 bullets & he's taken MANY whitetails with it out to 100 or more Meters.- most hunting areas in NETX are too "brushy" to see game over 100M!
(despite what many think, based on "data" from books like CARTRIDGES OF THE WORLD, a .351WSL is perfectly adequate as a whitetail killer out to 150M in the hands of "a cool shot". - imVho, it is clearly superior to any .357MAG rifle/carbine & Randy has probably killed at least 150 WTs over the last 4 decades. he is a FAR better shot/hunter than i'll ever be.)

yours, sw
 

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Discussion Starter #4
>"oversize" bullets (up to a point) MAY work OK. beware however of an "undersize"bore.

I thought I covered that by slugging the barrel to find out what groove diameter really is.
However, I have NOT found any signs of over-pressure from using 0.310" bullet in a 0.308" bore. The whole idea of sweating 0.001" is, to me, much ado about nothing.
 

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I wet-tumble with stainless steel pins because it's just as fast as dry media, and creates significantly less mess. All the crud goes down the drain.

My shiny brass irritates the bejesus out of some folks, who somehow perceive that good cosmetics represent an indictment of time-honored practice.

I consider this a bonus. :thumbsup:
 

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Possessing a degree in psychology, I would know them to be incorrect, but would, nevertheless, strive to be tolerant.

Dull brass is rarely considered reliable evidence of sanity.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I remember some one looking at his powder and seeing a range in kernel sizes, so he sifted his powder into three sizes. Surprise, surprise--when he went and fired loads with the smallest kernels, he almost blew up his gun. At least he wrote up a report about it.
 

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Actually it does Ed because the size of the grain is a big factor in burning rate. The smallest grains called "fines" expend all their energy almost instantly so the pressure peak is immediate.

In the case I mentioned the powder was sifted specifically to remove the fines to eliminate or reduce pressure variations.

If you look at ball type powders under a microscope you will see a considerable variation in grain size and burning rate is an average. You won't see much variation in extruded or "stick" powders.
 

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Actually it does Ed because the size of the grain is a big factor in burning rate. The smallest grains called "fines" expend all their energy almost instantly so the pressure peak is immediate.

In the case I mentioned the powder was sifted specifically to remove the fines to eliminate or reduce pressure variations.

If you look at ball type powders under a microscope you will see a considerable variation in grain size and burning rate is an average. You won't see much variation in extruded or "stick" powders.
Yes. In the black powder world grain size is regulated pretty well because the finer grain burns faster and this produces more "oooomph." BP is produced in F, FF, FFF, and FFFF sizes. FF for example is for most rifles and is larger grain than FFF which is used in revolvers.
It's all oxidation. This is like the old school lab experiment where iron filings are dropped into a bunsen burner flame, resulting in a sparkling display as they burn. They are rusting at warp speed; a piece of iron left out in weather will slowly turn to rust, but it's the same chemical reaction.
 
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