185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

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185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by SmokinNJokin on Sat May 14, 2016 1:02 pm

I'm having an odd problem with my .45, and that is I can't get the Nosler 185 Jhps to group at all.

The gun is a Springfield armory Custom Shop NM Hardball, and I have been using it nonstop for 3 years with great success. I regularly shoot mid-high 90's 50yd slow fire scores with my long line load (185 bayou LSWC, 1.270", 3.9 clays).

Gearing up for nationals this year, I am working on a load with the Noslers (have to use jacketed for CMP service pistol).

I started with the 'standard' load that basically duplicates ASYM. 1.200" oal, starline brass, WLP primers, 4.2 VV N310 powder, straight 0.470" crimp).
The gun will not group for shit with them. Can barely manage a 7 ring spread with a big round group that tells me its the ammo. I go back to my lead load for the next string and shoot a nice, 9 ring group. Come to recall, I could never get ASYM to group well for me either, and I know it is the accuracy gold standard.

So what gives? I can vary seating depth, powder charge and crimp but none of these should have such a massive impact to cause a 12" spread at 50 yards. The gun tested at the factory with 230gr ball @ 2.5" (granted that was 3 years and 10k rds of hardball, 20k of lead ago). But i still get stellar accuracy with lead so what could be  causing this.

My next range session I plan to try the same load - starline brass, WLP primers, 4.2 VV N310 powder, straight 0.470" crimp - and bring the oal out to 1.215.

Any other suggestions?

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by LenV on Sat May 14, 2016 1:36 pm

I would up the load a bit. I have found that a hotter load with jacketed bullets work/group better in my ball gun. The cause might be recoil dynamics. Get it out of the barrel a little faster and see what happens. That's just my .02 worth.

Len

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by james r chapman on Sat May 14, 2016 2:14 pm

Try some of those 900fps nosler185 factory loads and see how they work.

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by C.Perkins on Sat May 14, 2016 4:57 pm

The fun of getting the proper load Smile

185gr Nosler Custom Competiton bullets
1.20" COAL
.467" Crimp
4.8 gr of Bullseye
Shooting an old Clark Sr. long slide with 16 # spring, it works.

YMMV

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by Wobbley on Sat May 14, 2016 5:15 pm

Try a different 185 gr bullet. Like Hornady HAP.

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by kc.crawford.7 on Sat May 14, 2016 5:50 pm

Tighten up your crimp.  What is the headspace on your barrel?

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by john bickar on Sat May 14, 2016 6:02 pm

No mention of how you're testing.

Random Rest?

Sandbags?

Offhand?

You hand your gun blindly to Brian Zins and tell him to shoot the best group he can shoot?

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by trotterlg on Sun May 15, 2016 1:34 am

Honestly I have no experience with a .45, but lots with small cal wildcats.  Some guns just don't like some bullets, unless you are really attached to the 185 Noslers I would just try a different bullet before you go through a lot of pain and suffering trying to get them to shoot.  Even if you do find a sweet spot with them, they may be very fickle about temperature and who knows what else.  My other thought is if you have any other barrel to try, even a factory one, it may give you clue about whether or not that is the issue.  Do the rules allow copper pated lead bullets?  They shoot mostly like cast in my experience.  Larry

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by dronning on Sun May 15, 2016 7:30 am

CMP rules require jacketed ammo - plated will get you DQ'd.

- Dave

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by BE Mike on Sun May 15, 2016 8:01 am

Before I tried anything else, I'd try to really clean the barrel of ALL lead. Some barrels don't shoot well with FMJ following lead.

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by jmdavis on Sun May 15, 2016 11:11 am

john bickar wrote:
...
You hand your gun blindly to Brian Zins and tell him to shoot the best group he can shoot?

I've seen that happen. In the case I saw the group went from 7 ring to X ring, but that was 25 yards.

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by SmokinNJokin on Sun May 15, 2016 4:07 pm

I have been shooting the groups offhand for the purpose of realism - if i can consistently shoot a 7" grp offhand with one load and then 12" with another I feel pretty confident the ammo/gun is the issue. I have shot off bags but the results seem less applicable since that is not how I actually slow fire.

KC - I have not headspaced the barrel, but I did tighten the crimp to .468 and had much better results - the group shifted 3" up, 2" right and tightened considerably. What is the mechanics behind this? I have read/heard a lot of different crimp recommendations for the noslers from no crimp all the way to heavy .462 (Roddy Toyoda IIRC). I was under the impression heavier crimps deformed the jacket.

Switching to your roll trigger set worked wonders for all 3 of my scores, BTW - I have to really be off my game to jerk shots now!

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by SmokinNJokin on Sun May 15, 2016 4:17 pm

BE Mike wrote:Before I tried anything else, I'd try to really clean the barrel of ALL lead. Some barrels don't shoot well with FMJ following lead.

Thankfully, the bayou's are powder coated and leave no leading. Very minor amounts of powder fouling but 1 pass of a snake and the bore is clean.

I would never chase lead with an FMJ for safety reasons - most ammunition manufacturers warn against this and anyone who does it is apparently rolling the dice. You may get away with it a million times or you may destroy a barrel on the first shot (not my words, what I have read). Which is interesting because I hear a lot of shooters say they 'clean' the barrel after shooting lead by shooting a couple jacketed. Possibly fine, but I have used up my lifetime quota of reloading and shooting related accidents with an M134 and M240H and prefer to play it safe for the rest of my life.

Andrew

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by john bickar on Sun May 15, 2016 9:16 pm

jmdavis wrote:
john bickar wrote:
...
You hand your gun blindly to Brian Zins and tell him to shoot the best group he can shoot?

I've seen that happen. In the case I saw the group went from 7 ring to X ring, but that was 25 yards.

I could make the argument that it's a more reliable method than the Random Rest.

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by james r chapman on Sun May 15, 2016 9:46 pm

Since it shoots great with lead for 3 years, and sucks with premium jacketed, I'd suggest pulling the barrel and using your Lewis Lead remover to remove the lead deposit from the chamber throat. just conjecture, but, to me that would be where your deposit that would affect a jacketed bullet would be. get that barrel scrubbed out with the lewis and it just might shoot fine....

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by Brian Mason on Sun May 15, 2016 10:22 pm

OP, I can't add any more to what others have said, but if you're going to come to Perry all the way from lovely Spanaway, WA, then the beer's on me.

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by trotterlg on Sun May 15, 2016 10:34 pm

Even with coated bullets I doubt that one pass with a bore snake will get the lead out of it.  Even with the coating the lead will be boiled off the back of the bullet and plate onto the throat and bore at least a little, and three years of it is probably enough to make a difference.  My small cal rifles boil off copper and plate up the throat, there is more copper there where the bullet is going slow than there is at the muzzle where it is doing 4,300fps.  Larry

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by SmokinNJokin on Mon May 16, 2016 12:32 am

john bickar wrote:
jmdavis wrote:
john bickar wrote:
...
You hand your gun blindly to Brian Zins and tell him to shoot the best group he can shoot?

I've seen that happen. In the case I saw the group went from 7 ring to X ring, but that was 25 yards.

I could make the argument that it's a more reliable method than the Random Rest.
Funny you should say that, last time I talked to David Sams he had nothing good to say about the Ransom, he uses a HEG.
For everyone but the 4 or so people that own a HEG rest, i guess we are SOL.

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by Magnusbullets on Mon May 16, 2016 9:45 pm

4.6 vita. or4.5 bullseye

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by noylj on Wed May 18, 2016 1:31 pm

>CMP rules require jacketed ammo - plated will get you DQ'd.


Can plated even group well enough to be competitive? All I ever tested were a waste of money (unless Gold Dots or such)


You know, even if 100 of the best shooters in the world win with Nosler 185gn JHPs, your gun STILL may not like them.
I haven't fired a jacketed bullet in a .45 in decades, but I remember way back when and I found that an accurate load with jacketed bullets often called for a much higher velocity than an accurate load with lead bullets. Maybe just my guns back in the '70s and '80s, but I couldn't get a really small group with jacketed bullets until I was into mid-range to near max charges.
Checked my old data: 5.0-5.7gn of Bullseye and a 185gn JHP worked well.
Taper crimp of 0.469-0.467" seemed best.
According to one source, N310 does best at 4.4gn and may need a bit more depending on lot number of powder.
I know one guy who shoots 185gn Nosler JHPs and 10.1gn Power Pistol (for a +P loading) and averages < 1.0" at 25 yards. Don't think you want to use that load...

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by noylj on Wed May 18, 2016 1:34 pm

>4.6 vita.


Do we ASSUME you mean N310?
I find N320 to give me more consistent accuracy. Even carefully weighed and individually process rounds, I find that N310 will throw pressure spikes. 
Really, for my .45 Autos and lead bullets, I think 231/HP38, AA2, N320, and Green Dot are a "sweet spot."

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by SmokinNJokin on Thu May 19, 2016 2:54 pm

noylj wrote:>4.6 vita.


Do we ASSUME you mean N310?
I find N320 to give me more consistent accuracy. Even carefully weighed and individually process rounds, I find that N310 will throw pressure spikes. 
Really, for my .45 Autos and lead bullets, I think 231/HP38, AA2, N320, and Green Dot are a "sweet spot."

N310 is supposed to be similar to bullseye, N320 more like WST. Many shooters will argue great results with all 4 powders, i guess it is just what the gun likes. I am going to do a lot more testing before I decide the gun doesn't like N310.

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

Post by SmokinNJokin on Fri May 20, 2016 10:34 pm

PROBLEM SOLVED!

KC steered me in the right direction when he asked about headspace. Turns out my brass (Starline, multiple firings all mixed together) is very inconsistent. I have some once and twice fired mixed in with 10, 20x fired and have been using it for long line ammo. I measured a couple pieces as short as .882 (new starline is .893 or 894).

Apparently the noslers are just a tad bit more sensitive to short brass (inconsistent crimp?) than the lead, once I got that sorted they are shooting excellent.
today I shot this group (offhand, 50yd iron sights) and after inspection the 7 (I called it as a low 10) was indeed an old short pc of brass.

What a relief that my gun loves the noslers after all! They will be a big help making master with iron sights.

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Re: 185 Noslers won't group in my ball gun.

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