Reloading your own ammunition is fun, economical and, with a little work, you will be able to produce ammo that delivers maximum accuracy. For those new to reloading, the most important things to remember in developing accurate rounds is to use quality components, be consistent and experiment with various loads until you find what works best.
1) Use Quality Loading Data
Start by obtaining reputable reloading manuals to help you work up proven loads for your specific cartridge and firearm. Know that a rifle round that shoots lights out at 300 yards might not be as accurate in a Winchester or Ruger. Also be sure to cross reference information in the reloading manual with the data provided by the powder manufacturer.
2) Once Fired Brass
Reloaded ammo in brass that has been fired at least once is most often more accurate than new brass. Known as “fire forming,” brass that has been fired once in the gun you plan to used the ammo in will expand the brass to precisely fit the specific chamber you are loading the ammo for. For guns that are used for long range shooting, such as bolt action rifles, just resizing the neck of the casing will maintain as much of the fire-formed shape of the brass as possible.
3) Take and Use Precise Measurements
One of the things that will enhance accuracy the most is to take precise measurements of the firearm chamber and slug dimensions with a COL gauge and bullet comparator to optimize the seating depth of the bullet. The goal is to create a seating depth for the bullet that is more concentric with the barrel to reduce bullet wobble. Use the conventional starting point of .20 inches and adjust as necessary. A bullet seating die with a free floating bullet seating plug will help to properly align the bullet before seating to ensure maximum engagement. This process helps minimize free float by reducing the distance the bullet has to travel before being engaged by the rifling in the barrel.
4) Bullet Pointing
Bullet pointing refers to partially closing the tip of a hollow-point bullet with a bullet pointing die. This process dramatically increases accuracy by significantly reducing aerodynamic drag while increasing bullet coefficiency. This results in both reduce flight time and reducing the effects of crosswinds. Pointing can also create a more constant drag variance that will reduce vertical and horizontal spread to create tighter groups.
Remember that Edison tried over 1,000 times before he succeeded in inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked Edison if he felt like giving up Edison replied he never saw it as failure, he just found over 1,000 ways a light bulb won’t work. The moral here is, like anything, the key in learning to creating accurate ammo is being wiling to be persistent and experiment until you find what works best in your specific gun.
ConclusionWhile this is not a comprehensive list, these five tips will help you produce accurate ammo if followed consistently. Just be sure to keep a log of everything you do and each time you make a change to more readily help you determine what is working and what is not. For a huge selection of once-fired brass, as well as projectiles and reloading accessories, visit Diamond K Brass.