Finding a good load for beginning shooters

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Finding a good load for beginning shooters

Post by DeweyHales on 8/6/2018, 8:37 pm

First topic message reminder :


This is the result we hope for when we start shooting bullseye. 

How do we get there?

I went through the Pet Load thread to find a starting point. Then, I loaded some ammo combinations with components I had on hand and headed to the range. 




The load is a 200 grain LSWC with 4.0 grains of Bullseye seated shoulder just above case mouth with a few thousandths of crimp.  I used Federal cases and Winchester Large Pistol Primers.   


Recently, at the range, I heard a lesser experienced shooter asking a seasoned shooter how much does each part of reloading matter.  The specific question was around using the same brand of cases.  I intend to proved that a beginning to intermediate shooter would be better served by dry firing than by sorting cases.   


I said that the case used doesn't matter very much.  I also said that I load cracked cases sometimes.  Because they won't feed some of the time, I shoot them at the long line.  I will show in this post how that works too. 


All of the groups fired in this post are from a resting position on a bench.  The post is geared toward getting a new shooter an accurate load to use in matches and training with the 45.  Dry fire and the 22 are the way to go to start, but eventually, the temptation to start shooting the 45 takes over. 

My resting position  involves sitting behind a shooting bench such that my arm rests on the bench in a position very similar to how I shoot the pistol when standing.  I use one hand only just like I would in a match. 


The first group was to try to shoot a 100/100.  The rest of the groups will be fired to try to get a 10-ring sized group.  Once you have a 10-ring sized group, a screwdriver will put it in the middle.  I'm just trying to see group size as we start to make changes. 





As I said, this is about finding out if changes still result in 10-ring size groups. 





Mixed cases still results in a 10-ring size group. 


What about cracked, mixed cases?






Cracked, mixed cases fall short of the goal, but the result is still really close to 10-ring size. 


The middle of the groups moves around on the paper.  I feel this has more to do with my bench technique than anything else.  During much of my testing, it was during a torrential downpour.  I was shooting with one hand and holding a golf umbrella with the other to try to keep my gear as dry as possible. 


I also tested seating differences and charge differences.  It took 0.2 difference in powder to really change the results.  I moved seating in increments of 0.005.  Plus or minus one increment of that size was about as far as I could go with these bullets. 


There are several takeaway lessons: 


First, I tested several guns I've collected over the years and numerous loads looking for a 10-ring sized group.  Lots of guns won't shoot small groups at 50 without just the right load combination.  Test your guns. 


Second, if you're a beginner, don't spend your time sorting brass.  Dry fire.  Shoot your 22.  Pick the brains of the best shooters around you.  The HM guys may focus on things that you're not ready for just yet.  That's why you pick the brains of the shooters one classification ahead as well.  They were in your shoes not too long ago most likely or still deal with similar issues from time to time.

Third, get more people interested.  We each need to be growing shooting and competitive shooting if possible.


Last edited by DeweyHales on 8/6/2018, 10:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Finding a good load for beginning shooters

Post by DeweyHales on 8/11/2018, 1:25 pm

I’m not sending the message to make substandard ammo. 

My message is to find a load if possible that shoots cleans. There are changes that are insignificant to that load. I’ve demonstrated several in the original post. 

If a beginning shooter is wondering about whether to dry fire or tweak ammo, the answer is more dry fire. 

I started all of this from a load that shot cleans. That load is close to the gold standard 4.0 of Bullseye with a 200 gr LSWC. 

Pick the brains of shooters you’re chasing. Train with someone. Have a shooter in mind you’re trying to catch. Get more people involved.
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Re: Finding a good load for beginning shooters

Post by Bob Fleming on 8/11/2018, 1:39 pm

My load is too soft for slide mounted scope wad guns. I use frame mounts on most of my 1911s.

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Re: Finding a good load for beginning shooters

Post by DeweyHales on 8/11/2018, 6:52 pm

With most of the match at 25 yards and less recoil being better, light loads are a huge benefit in a full 2700 fires in a day. 

Frame mounts are great in that way.
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Re: Finding a good load for beginning shooters

Post by DeweyHales on 8/12/2018, 9:16 pm

Today, I tried the original load with a friend’s 200gr Home cast bullets in place of the Bayou 200. The group was just a bit bigger than the 10 ring.
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Re: Finding a good load for beginning shooters

Post by rich.tullo on 8/13/2018, 4:29 am

If the optimal load for your gun is a 200gn SWC over 4.0 BE, here is an experiment. 

Shoot a string of rapid fire and score the target and measure the group. 

Then shoot a string loaded with 3.8 or 3.6 BE and score and measure the group. 

The answer for new shooter is the result of the experiment.
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Re: Finding a good load for beginning shooters

Post by Slamfire on 8/14/2018, 9:46 pm

Trigger control is much more important.

Agree.

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Re: Finding a good load for beginning shooters

Post by lablover on 8/19/2018, 6:16 pm

What I’d like is for a master or high master to take my gun and load and show me what it could do!  Then I could stop worrying if the Ammo I created is ok.  lol!

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Re: Finding a good load for beginning shooters

Post by DeweyHales on 8/19/2018, 10:20 pm

lablover wrote:What I’d like is for a master or high master to take my gun and load and show me what it could do!  Then I could stop worrying if the Ammo I created is ok.  lol!
Where are you located?  There could be someone that could do that for you.
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Re: Finding a good load for beginning shooters

Post by lablover on 8/20/2018, 5:11 am

Sterling Heights Michigan.

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Re: Finding a good load for beginning shooters

Post by SMBeyer on 8/20/2018, 7:05 pm

lablover wrote:What I’d like is for a master or high master to take my gun and load and show me what it could do!  Then I could stop worrying if the Ammo I created is ok.  lol!
Your ammo is just fine.  It's not a rifle! Rifle Boy!
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Re: Finding a good load for beginning shooters

Post by Allgoodhits on 8/20/2018, 8:00 pm

rich.tullo wrote:Beginner in my book is someone who is new to shooting and new to bullseye. It is not a mixed message, If your long line scores are 70 and lower, hotter ammo is not going to help. 5 or 10 things will help that shooter get to sharpshooter before the ammo assuming the shooter is reloading good ammo. I would also tell the same shooter do not waste your money on pricey match 22lr ammo if they cannot clean targets. 

Transitioning from a 22lr (where a new shooter may be picking up bad habits) is not easy for some. 

Therefore less than optimum ammo is in fact optimum on the short line where the new shooter will drop way more points than in slow fire provided he or she is shooting ammo that is soft. 

I would rather see a new shooter hold the 8 ring with ammo that will just barely hold the 10 ring as compared to a shooter holding the 6 ring with ammo that will hold the x ring or less. 

As the shooters groups tighten up then he/she can make the effort to dial in the ammo.
What he ^^^^^ said.

Put another way, it doesn't matter how accurate your gun or ammo is, if you continually jerk the trigger. Strive to shoot a "round" group. When you have mastered that, then seek better equipment or training to constrict the group.
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Re: Finding a good load for beginning shooters

Post by lablover on 8/21/2018, 12:41 pm

SMBeyer wrote:
lablover wrote:What I’d like is for a master or high master to take my gun and load and show me what it could do!  Then I could stop worrying if the Ammo I created is ok.  lol!
Your ammo is just fine.  It's not a rifle! Rifle Boy!
Lol

You got me on that one...it’s a sickness I tell ya!

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Re: Finding a good load for beginning shooters

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