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I read somewhere once that shifting the powder inside a casing can result in wider groups, since it is not consistent.

I have a pal who shakes my ammo. He likes to hear the powder rattle inside the casing and compare it to others. What exactly this tells him is beyond me. I don't mind but when he does it with GMM I wince. I figure logically as I move the rifle the powder shifts anyway, but something nags.

Paranoia or could it bother the ammo?
 

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I was told the key to reloading is finding a powder that takes sufficient space without overpressuring the entire assembly, so that you don't have any space to put in, say wadding or allow the powder to shift once the round is seated.

At the same time, I - by my own admission - know absolutely jack-sh*t about reloading cartridges.

Although logically, having powder shifting around inside the cartridge would produce inconsistant results due to another variable being added: how the powder burns due to the way it positions itself inside the casing.

I do know though, the last few times I've rattled rounds in my hand, I haven't heard any powder shifting around.
 

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Powder charges

It is a proven fact that if you point your weapon down (putting powder charge father away from primer) you will get a noticeable difference in the discharge, before firing for accuracy if I have the option of a bench rest, I allways set my rounds upright and try to load each one just the same as the one before and I allways try to find the powder that will give me the best accuracy while taking up the most space in the cases, as for wadding or spacers you can not allways use these as sometimes they will create greater pressures than is safe.
Rusty
 

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Thanks guys, makes a lot of sense. I really gotta ask him why he perfers some over others, just to humour us. Maybe he thinks the ones with the most audible powder are stronger or something.

AK, I know just as little about reloading as you do, but I've heard some rounds are easier to fill to case capacity than others, like the WSM and WSSM, or maybe 308 Win with heavy rounds. That and reloading for rifles with small magazines where you gotta seat the bullet farther to the rear. What kinda rounds are ya shakin?

Old Touch, thats just about how I read it, now that I think about it they would burn differently, yeah. With the hunting ammo I don't care at all, not like the rifles are super accurate or I need wicked peformance in the deer woods. With the match ammo tho...eh, not so much. I do contort the rifle a lot just making my way around obstacles so what the hey. Of course, I don't hold it next to my ear and shake it violently.

I guess thats what nagged me, but so far, from what you guys said, I wasn't worried for nothing.
 

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I wouldn't think powder shifting would make a difference. They get shook around when they're in the truck(s) between factory and end user, so how much difference could it really make, you know? I also thought that primers made a faily large spark, or flash, or whatever... enough that some could take a finger off if it pops while you're reloading and it gets in the wrong place. So in my mind it wouldn't matter cause it gets lit up pretty good no matter how it sets in the case. A primer alone will get a bullet stuck inside a bore. What kind of differences are you talking about when you point it down before firing? Don't want to sound like I'm arguing with you, just tryin' to figure this all out. That phrase "proven fact" caught my eye. :?
 

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Muzzleblast: I was rattling 7.62x39mm cartridges in my hand prior to slipping them into a SKS-D magazine. Heard the rounds clinking together mostly, but when I shook one near my ear, no noise. These came fresh from the box, NORINCO ammo I think. Can't quite remember, was a while ago.

My understanding of it is that the key to 'good' reloading is to find a powder that has the burn rate that gives you the pressure and feet per second you want from the bullet, while still filling up the casing, so that once the bullet is seated on the powder load, the primer can fire into the charge and detonate it evenly and consistantly, thus propelling the bullet down the barrel with consistant results.

And this is apparently the same reason you can choose too "high-grade" a powder, overcharge a casing, and blow the bolt right back into your eye. Does the Vietnam-era Eldest Son project ring any bells?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Actually man I thought you were shaking AK rounds. Maybe I stereotype you lol. Nah, the reason is, it came to light courtesy of my pal that when you shake a WOLF round of 7.26x39, you don't hear anything. You can hear it in a Remington round though. Whatever powder WOLF uses, half of it burns outside the barrel in sparks when you fire. Looks cool at least.

Yeah, that sounds like the key to efficient reloading, in some rounds it seems you don't get that though, its a major selling point that the WSM rounds burn more efficiently, but it sacrifices case capacity.
 

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Therefore the powder used in Wolf cartridges is slow-burning, if I understand this concept correctly.

Hmm. I'd like to load up a magazine of Wolf and then slap that into an AKS-74U. Get a muzzle flash broader across than my shoulders and reaches down past the solar-plexus, probably. Turn night into day...
 

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Yep, it is. Not the best idea for semi-automatic weapons but for the price of 20 Remington rounds I could get 100 Wolf rounds.

Dude, that would look like 12 flaming porcupines flying our of your weapon per second.
 

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Yeah. It would also remove my need to shave for the next year or so, as I'd be a textbook case of "Flash burn." F*cking AKS-74U and the muzzle flash of a thousand suns.
 

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Shaking Shells

even Mag. primers will not take off fingers, I am sure that every one of us has had an old BLACK CAT firecracker go off in our hand at one time or another and basically that is what you are looking at.
Shells shaken in transit from factory to user end is not going to hurt the functionality of the round but you go out and take your favorite weapon and round, shoot five rounds at your most accurate distance with all of the shells held in the upright position before laying them in your receiver, (use a bench rest) and then try tipping the next five rounds down beffore laying them in the receiver, prove it to yourself.
Give your barrel at least three minutes to cool between each shot and you will see a very noticable difference between groups, especially with over the counter standard ammo.
AK: you have to have some pretty good ears to hear a powder charge inside ANY case, as far as your understanding of good handloading you made no mention of the accuracy that you want from that load and that has as much to do with how much powder and what type of powder you use as does the leangth of your FREEBORE which decides how far you seat your bullet and what type of bullet you use for your most accurate load, you can not allways use enough powder to make a compressed charge, (seating the bullet on the powder) and still get the accuracy you want or NEED.
Rusty
 

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Discussion Starter #12
45-70, 30-06, and 300 WM are all pretty easy to hear
 

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as far as your understanding of good handloading you made no mention of the accuracy that you want from that load and that has as much to do with how much powder and what type of powder you use as does the leangth of your FREEBORE which decides how far you seat your bullet and what type of bullet you use for your most accurate load, you can not allways use enough powder to make a compressed charge, (seating the bullet on the powder) and still get the accuracy you want or NEED.
This is because I, as I already mentioned, know jack-**** about handloading.

you have to have some pretty good ears to hear a powder charge inside ANY case
Depends on the round, and it's not that hard to hear. I probably have fairly good ears, not abusing them with say, rap, or firing a .338 without the earmuffs.
 

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I think that AK is right.

The best accuracy seems to come from cartridges that are stuffed with powder. You want to find a powder that fills the case and safely produces top velocity. It seems that uniform velocity results when the case is so filled. (Please notice that I did NOT say just fill the case. I said that you need a powder that will fill the case while safely producing top velocity)

When you shift powder around in the case, it effects the uniformity of the load. I seem to remember an article in Handloader Magazine about the subject.

I loaded the following +P load for the 6.5x55 mm, that results in a full case. This load is so uniform that it is scary. Muzzle velocity is 3009 fps with a standard deviation of 9fps.

The load is 49 grains of H-4350, with the Sierra 120 grain Match King, Winchester large rifle primers, and Remington brass. The overall length of the loaded round is 3.080"

Please note that this is a +P load for modern rifles only. DO NOT USE THIS LOAD IN THE SWEDISH MAUSER OR NORWEGIAN KRAG. By the way, please be cautious with this load. Work up to it carefully.

This load routinely produces .5 MOA and I credit the great uniformity and accuracy to full case.


Mad.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That load makes me think of a nice Ruger No 1 with a 6 power Swarovski on it.
 

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6.5x55

This sounds like you have done a wonderful job of working this round up and I wish that I was better equiped to test it out for myself, you know the old saying ( I have more guns than I need but not as many as I want).
Thanks for shareing that with us Madgunsmith
Rusty
 

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Something that i have done for a few years that has helped with consistency... when you load a live round into the chamber... tip the rifle straight up in the air so all the powder falls back towards the primer... i know (obviously) that when you put the rifle back down the powder will move forward some... but it helps with consistency. I thought this was a more widely used trick? I dont know... but i do know that there is a good percentage of people who do it.
 

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I'm still chuckling thinking of a sniper all ghillied up and in his FFP, raising his M40/24 straight up and then back down to take the shot... :D

In case it wasnt completely obvious, BC was talking about range shooting, benchrest, High Power, etc. You generally want to avoid this type of movement when in the field trying to remain hidden. :wink:

MEL
 
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