Double checking your work

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by 1 Eyed Jack, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. 1 Eyed Jack

    1 Eyed Jack New Member

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    Another lesson learned on double checking your work when reloading, I'm still a beginner at reloading, so far the end results I have gotten from my first batch of Win .284 have been great, I had 20 rounds to finish for my first batch of 100 rounds, while in the early stages of this first batch I had used 3 of the 120 gr Sierra Spitzers I had bought to make dummy rounds for length sizing etc, no primer, no powder, just a prepped/trimmed case and the projectile, so I was 3 short to complete the 100 primed/prepped cases,

    I had some left over's that were with the reloading stuff from my Dad, 120 gr Sierra's, but they were Spire points, so I weighed them and measured them, looked OK,

    Max OAL for the .284 is 2.800, but I found early on that at that length they would not chamber from the magazine without buggering up the soft lead point a little (short action Mod 88 lever gun), so after trying different seating depths I came to 2.775 as the max OAL with the Spitzers, of course the reason I did this was so the rounds would chamber from the mag without damaging the soft point, works great, grouping was better than I could have hoped for, and at a low/starting point charge of 51 grs of IMR 4350,

    So to get to the point, and the experienced reloaders probably already know where I am going, I completed the last 20, using the 3 Spire points, to the naked eye the Spitzers and the Spire's looked the same, shape wise, this was a week ago, and my neighbor had helped me as he was interested and I had started him and his son shooting about a year ago, we were BS-ing and I did not check OAL at that time,

    Tonight I was organizing my reloading stuff and I thought about it and decided I had better measure the 3 with the Spire points, sure enough they were 2.815, so the contour (ogive?) of the Spire's has enough of a different shape that it made a .040 OAL length difference with the seating die set for the Spitzer's, this maybe would have put the bullet up against the rifling and may have been a possible over pressure situation, maybe not, but it was a mistake I should not have made,

    Maybe I would have caught it when I went shooting, maybe not, if I was placing the rounds by hand into the chamber as I do when shooting at the range, I may not have, if I was working the action and chambering from the magazine I most likely would have felt it, who knows, the point is I did catch it and learned a painless lesson,

    I'm sure the experienced reloaders are saying to themselves "what a dumba$$", thats OK, if another beginner reads this and it helps them avert a mistake, then I can take someone thinking I am a dumba$$, I'm glad to expose my careless oversight if it helps another noob reloader be a little safer,

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  2. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Yup, It's always good to double check your work.

    A couple questions and comments if you don't mind.

    The SAAMI max OAL for the 284 is 2.80 inches as you know. That 2.80 inches is for Firearms and Ammunition manufacturers so that all ammo manufactured and sold will fit and function in all rifles manufactured and sold. That 2.80 is only a guideline to the handloader and has little or nothing to do with your particular rifle as far as when the bullet will contact the rifling. It's possible, but I doubt that your 2.815 was even close to the rifling.

    I find it best if I know exactly what is the Max OAL in my rifles with all of the bullets I use. This is done a couple ways. One is to do this. http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?t=97328
    Another way is with the use of the Stoney Point/Hornady Overall Length Gauge. http://www.midwayusa.com/product/570611/hornady-lock-n-load-overall-length-gage-bolt-action


    You didn't mention the charge or load your were using. If your load was Max or near Max then it's best to be safe and "Anytime you change a component you should drop the charge down and work it back up". Swapping bullets of same weight and similar construction and design is OK as long as you drop down and work back up.

    Sorry, I didn't mean for this to be a lecture, but after reading my own post it sure comes across that way. Just trying to help.
  3. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    When I was reading your post and you said you changed components and didn't say anything about changing charge weight, I cringed. I'm glad Steve jumped on and refered about it so I won't go into it.
    Any mistakes we make and catch and then post about, is a learning tool.
    Glad you're double checking and trying to be safe.
  4. 1 Eyed Jack

    1 Eyed Jack New Member

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    steve4102 and howlnmad,

    You can be sure that I appreciate your feedback, I expected to be "corrected" by folks with more experience for doing something I shouldn't have, knowing it is with MY safety in mind, in no way do I feel like I am being lectured,

    I did want to post about it so other beginners can learn from it, I have received so much help from folks here but not been able to give much back, and again, I know that you have my safety (and others) in mind,

    I actually did try and use the method above in the link you posted, I'll have to check my notes to see what the measurement was to the rifling, but I do remember it was beyond the 2.800 though,

    The length gauge is my next item to buy, I know I need it, just can't buy it right now, but I know I need to get it if I want to change from the proven set of components I'm using right now (the 120gr Spitzers),

    I did actually specify the charge above,

    "grouping was better than I could have hoped for, and at a low/starting point charge of 51 grs of IMR 4350,"

    It's the starting load from my Lyman book, it also happens to be the accuracy load with 120gr Spitzers, I chose this because it seemed like the safest possible way to go, and have accuray along with it, the test rifle for this load was my exact rifle, same barrel length and twist, I matched everything exact to the book, rifle, Win brass, Win primers, IMR 4350, Sierra 120gr Spitzers, so its the starting load and the accuracy load, and it does shoot very well, I would almost say that I'm surprised I got the results I did on the first try, without working up a load, but I did follow the recipe exactly, that was already proven, and I can't argue with the results, a starting load that's easy on the rifle, and accurate,

    The sentimental value of this rifle is huge for me (was Dad's and I killed my first few deer with it), so I'm happy to be able to use light loads in it, I don't need more than that for these runt Ca Blacktails anyway, cornfed Nebraska Whitetails they are not,

    There doesn't seem to be a lot of info out there about loading the .284, it does seem to be used a lot by some target shooters, in .284 or necked down to 6.5 I believe, but always in a custom bolt action, many seem to be unaware of the .284, even though it is a really flat shooting round, it never became popular at all, I think because it was never offered in a popular action from the manufacturer(s),

    As far as I know it was only offered in,
    Win Mod 88 (Lever) and a shorter carbine version of the mod 88
    Win Mod 100 (Semi Auto that had/has a reputation for being finicky about ammo, does not like reloads at all), also a carbine version of the 100
    Ruger made it in thier lever gun for a while, don't remember the Mod # (EDIT, it was Savage, not Ruger)
    There was a short run of BLR's also I believe,

    If they made it in the Mod 70 (or any BA) I have never seen one, other than a custom job,

    I don't know why the caliber never got popular, I guess it couldnt do anything the .270 or .308 couldnt do, and/or folks didnt care for the lever or the semi auto,

    I like it though, the lever is a real quick action to work and get back on target quickly,

    Guess I kinda rambled there, I'm going to solve this simply, and use the new bullet puller I have not used yet and pull the Spire's, that box will be 3 rounds short, thats all,

    Again, I do appreciate your feedback and welcome it anytime, I know I have a lot more to learn, my next caliber to reload will be in Rem 7mag for my BAR, have to buy dies, and study more before starting that, it will be awhile before I move on to that,
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  5. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    No reason to pull those bullets unless you just want to. If you are concerned about the extra .040 in length, just adjust the seating die and seat the bullets deeper to 2.775. Seating deeper will not raise pressures, in fact it most likely will reduce pressures. You are already at the Min charge so dropping the charge down is not necessary.
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