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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been loading since the 70's and I learned something new last week.

Over the past 50 years I only have been shooting on 100 yd ranges. Didn't need any further shot than that for hunting, and if I did well you got the old standard hold over marks on the reticle.

I started long range shooting this year and my first time at a 200 yd range was very frustrating. My groups at 100 would be exceptable but 200 yds all over the paper. Both my .223 and 308 AR platforms were not making the grade.

After trying several powders, bullet weights to get my groups tight they still were inconstant.

After scratching my head and blaming it on me I tried 1 more thing. I started weighing the empty cases. My 308 cases could range from 160 gr to over 190 grs and the .223 cases 110 grs to 80 grs.

My conclusion was lighter case more volume inside, heaver the case less volume inside.

I weight all my 308 and found a good selection of 181 and 182 grs so I selected the 181 gr cases and carefully loaded them with Hornady A-Max 168 bullets.

I selected 96 grs for my .223 loads and reloaded some with Horhady 55 gr, FMJBT and H4895

Went to the 200 yds range and my .223 shot groups that I dreamed about at 100 yds also the velocity was getting more constant than before.

My 308 loads well, not as good as my .223 but the velocity was getting more constant than before. I'm on my 4th powder selection, so far H4895, 2000-MR, H335 and now I'm going to try Varget.

I didn't realize ho much difference in the brass would make.

Maybe it could help someone else out there.

First picture is my .223, 200 yd shot. Second is my 308 at 200 yds.
 

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Thanks for the advice. I heard of professionals doing all sorts of things to improve group sized. I guess you found a great one for your loads. I may very well try the same thing before my next long range shoot.
 

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You can cut down on a lot of work in the weighing of cases by segregating them by manufacturer.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You can cut down on a lot of work in the weighing of cases by segregating them by manufacturer.
You are correct, but what I have also found is even the same head stamp can be 1 to 4 grs difference. I found most Federal cases vary I have them seperated in 181 or 182 gr (at least that is what I have the most in) anything other than that I toss in another box...:D
 

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I realize this is an old thread but I’ve experienced the same issues as the op. I do everything possible regarding case prep with the exception of weighing cases and annealing.

Its a waste of money to many I know but most of my reloading is for hunting rifles, not range or plinking guns, so I considered it a one time investment to purchase 3 or 4 boxes of ammo of the mfg i wanted the fire formed brass out of then after shooting it up, i began load development. Same head stamp and lot number. Discarded a few with off center flash holes, etc. In 30-06, 270, 22-250, and 300 Wby I’ve been able to get sub moa results at 100 yds with all and even .5 moa consistent will all except the Wby. All are factory bbl 700s free floated with bedding and timney triggers except the Wby. Its a vanguard all stock with bedding and free floated. Just didn’t see the additional step of weighing being beneficial in my application, although i know it helps if into competitive shooting. I individually weigh powder charges and purchase components by lot. Works for me but I also know if i were to set up at 300 or 400 yards, i may be disappointed. I think my method equals the capability of my factory barreled actions.
 

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I shoot regularly at 300 yards. I do not weigh my cases. Don't necessarily consider it a waste of time. Consistency in loading of course is the name of the game. I am able to get very tight groups at 300 yards with 6.5 CM and 308. Using AA2700 for 6.5 CM and IMR4895 for the 308. My friend who shoots for the military sure does weigh each of everything. Bullets, brass, and of course powder.
 

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I shoot regularly at 300 yards. I do not weigh my cases. Don't necessarily consider it a waste of time. Consistency in loading of course is the name of the game. I am able to get very tight groups at 300 yards with 6.5 CM and 308. Using AA2700 for 6.5 CM and IMR4895 for the 308. My friend who shoots for the military sure does weigh each of everything. Bullets, brass, and of course powder.
Sure, I don't think anyone would expect any less from a serviceman. My philosophy is as you said, consistency is key. I use all hodgen extreme powders for that reason, although i still see my groups tighter in the cold months which is typically when i do load development since thats typically when the guns are used for hunting.

I haven't decided if I'll load for the mini yet. If i do, I will still practice consistency but wouldn't push pressure limits or be as anal about precision, which sounds more fun. Being semi ocd, more than once it's become a burden more than enjoyable trying to match bullet holes, especially when the equipment isn't capable. I already suspect Varget would be my first powder experiment. I've had great results in medium to smaller cartridges using varget in the past.
 

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All good points. I go consistent with primer, powder charge, bullet, and same brand brass not necessarily from the same lots.
 

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I reloaded some 25 auto and charge is very small so I put each empty brass on digital scale and tare it to zero then add powder then weigh and weight will be powder only and can adjust easy on each brass.
 
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