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??? for Neil Winston - Reloading???

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Too Bad, Oct 30, 2007.

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  1. Too Bad

    Too Bad TS Member

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    Neil I always find your reports interesting.

    I have been testing my reloads and am not able to consistently have the Standard Deviation fall within 15 or less as you note.

    I use a Spolar with an Automate. The powder and shot drop for 25 shells are very accurate. Powder STDV is 0.1754. The shot STDV is 0.1446. I have actually tested more than 75 loads and find them to be generally in the same range of STDV.

    I recently have chronographed my loads at the range on a Beta Chrony, and was somewhat amazed at the variations in velocity and STDV.

    Jim Forsbach suspected part of my problem could be the primer I have been using all other components being the same. I have used Cheddite 209 for a number of years with very good luck, except in measurement of velocity (FPS) and resulting STDV. I question their repeatability for brisance.

    Here is the load one: Once fired STS hulls, Herco, Cheddite 209, 1 1/8 ounce Remington STS, 6% antimony 7 1/2 shot, and Windjammer wads; Tucson, AZ - 2450' elevation and about 75 degrees, no wind.

    Results 25 - shot into the Chrony, the STDV was 21.89, other tests have been higher.

    Here is the load two: Once fired STS hulls, Herco, CCI 209M, 1 1/8 ounce Remington STS, 6% antimony 7 1/2 shot, and Windjammer wads; Tucson, AZ - 2450' elevation and about 75 degrees, no wind.

    Why did I change to CCI 209M primer?

    1.) Alliant Reloader Guide has a recipe for this powder, primer and wad combination that I use. Incidentally if I used 25 grains of Herco per the recipe the velocity will be beyond ATA maximum.

    2.) I have read that slow burning powders such as Herco and a hotter primer will improve combustion. Do you know if this is true? Visually I think I had less unspent residues in my barrel, and the recoil seems sharper. Did I have better combustion, empirically I don't know.

    Results 25 - shot into the Chrony, the STDV was 14.52. A diffinate improvement. Neil, in relative terms does this mean much as compared to number one?

    My assumption: The CCI primer improved the STDV and overall results. Can I make this assumption?

    My questions:

    During off-hand firing: will the FPS and STDV results differ if the gun is held tight against or loosely held against the shoulder?

    Do you have test results regarding the brisance of primers, from high to low or relative consistency?

    I'm thinking I might have to change to another brand of primers, such as Federal or Remington.

    Your thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Richard Luckett
     
  2. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Rich- First make certain your chronograph is set up correctly and you are using it correctly. Sunlight can alter the readings of consistent loads.

    Pat Ireland
     
  3. dvice

    dvice TS Member

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    Rich-I do not see any loads that qualify for a target loads with Herco in Alliants book. Herco is a great small gauge powder but a very poor fit for trap loads. You would be way better off looking at powders like Red Dot, Super Target, or Clays. Besides the better loads the cost will be much lower. (18 or so grains compared to 24)Dave Vice
     
  4. Jim101

    Jim101 Active Member

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    Rich in addition to trying different primers try a different powder. Modern powders need pressure to work efficiently. try a load that will give the speed you want and produce pressures in the 9-10,000 psi range.

    Most of the loads I've had that gave single digit SDs were at the upper range of the pressure limits.






    Jim
     
  5. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Hi Richard, I agree, the results you are getting are no good. And I'm thinking you know they are no good because you have read the reference above, which I thank you for.

    I've got some time, so I plan a complete answer, and will use your question as an excuse to "tell my side of the stoty."

    Based on the data you have provided it's clear that you know what you are doing around a reloader. So let's get rid of that right away. It's nothing you are doing wrong at the bench, so the problem lies elsewhere.

    Tracking backwards we look at those results and ask:

    1) Are the shells this bad? or

    2) (or) Is the information I'm getting from my chronograph making me think they are this bad but they are OK?

    3) Or both?

    Let's start at "2" to begin with. You can be pretty careless with a chronograph if all you want is speed - It'll pretty-much tell you what's going on no matter what you do. But if you want variability data, then you have to be way, way more careful.

    You have to use a cylinder choke. You have to use a diffuser of the type pictured in the link above. If you don't then you might as well forget it. And one more thing, if you want anything useful, you have to use two chronographs, at least some of the time. That's easy. You just get another one and mount it in line with the first. Remote reading is nice, but anythng will work.

    But I used the word "useful" above, in the fragment "if you want anything useful" and that's something to seriously consider. What's the use? On page 6 of section 6 of the above link, I discuss velocity SD's and tried to indicate I don't worry about them unless the tell me I have a loader problem.

    I don't think they make much difference on the trapfield. A early version of a popular shell had terrible SD's. They are better now, but they've stayed popular through both the good and bad times, and seemed to work just fine in both situations. So you can shoot what you are making and probably never know the difference.

    It's possible, of course, that what you really want is low SD's. Then you shoot Red Dot, use factory components, and WW or Federal Primers. If you want more speed use Green Dot. (Or Clays and I. Clays, 700x and PB, xxx-fast and xxx-not so fast it makes no difference, they will all give you the results you are after.)

    I've no idea why you want to use Herco, but my guess is it will never give you what you are after, which is small SD's. It'll break targets with any of the others, most likely, but do so at a variety of speeds.

    When I started I read DZ, TR, and I don't know how many others. You can't imagine the time and money I wasted. Last summer I looked at a 5 x 3 shelf just jammed with Royal Scott, Clays, N100, PB, all the "dots," 7625, 800x, and that was just on the front row.

    I segregated the dense ones: Royal Scott D, Bullseye, Tite-whatever is was, a lot of other stuff with names I couldn't ever recall buying. Then I started loading, 28 bushing. When one would run low, I'd just pour the next on top of what was left there so I've have two, sometimes 3 layers in one powder bottle. When the new one appeared in shells I'd shoot a couple for excess pressure and never found any.

    I shot 'em all summer at marathons and the like and never could tell the difference. I reckon the ultra-smokey stuff was Royal Scot but beyond that it was just powder. And that's true everywhere. It's all just powder. No magic beads, no added birds unless you are counting thousands; it's just powder.

    Neil
     
  6. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Neil has raised an interesting point. I use care in selecting my reloading components in an effort to get what I believe is an excellent reload. I use premium components and pay more fro them. When I test my reloads they preform very well. I have also tested, with the help of the Alliant plant, some of the popular discount shells. These shells fell way below my standards.

    But when shooting on the line, the discount shells seem to preform as well as my reloads and Winchester factory AA loads. The question that this brings to mind is do we really need a good shell to break trap targets from the 16 yard line? It certainly is obvious that shooting a very poor shell well is superior to shooting a very good shell poorly. I plan to keep reloading premium components. I might be spending extra money making something better than it needs to be to get the job done.

    Pat Ireland
     
  7. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    Pat Ireland - "I have also tested, with the help of the Alliant plant, some of the popular discount shells. These shells fell way below my standards."

    How so?
     
  8. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Rich, I am not one who subscribes to the notion that powder is powder is powder. That's sloppy thinking, IMO, and leads to sloppy results. The same applies to those who suggest component choice doesn't matter.

    Like others above, I got suckered into trying a whole slew of components when I started shooting again a few years ago. I even went so far as to order imported hulls and primers and wads to see if they made a difference. I even patterned all that crap. So after trying a bewildering number of combinations and counting and marking more than 400,000 holes in pattern sheets (by hand), I formed an opinion. That opinion is that most of what you read is made up crap designed to make you think the writer is an expert, or to separate you from your money. I'd be particularly wary of firms that publish manuals using the "exotic" components they sell. If someone tells you that this combination of imported, expensive, exotic stuff works miracles, you can safely rest assured it's bull.

    Like Pat Ireland, I care about my reloads and use only premium components. It appears you do as well. So here is what I use for consistently low SDs.

    Like you I reload STS hulls and use good, hard shot. Unlike you, I use only STS209 and W209 primers. F209A are hotter than needed for the powders I use, so they just gather dust on my shelf. Wads should fit the hull well, and pattern well. For the STS hull that narrows it down to Fed 12S0 for 7/8oz loads, Rem TGT-12 for 1oz loads and Rem Fig-8, or Windjammer, DRM Windjammer clones and Spolar gold wads. The 12S0 actually wedges into the base and stops at just the right depth for a perfect crimp. It is the only was I've found that will deliver low velocity (1200fps) 7/8oz loads with single digit SDs.

    For powders, use one that has the correct density so everything still "fits" well, and one that will keep pressures above 8000psi. A little higher if you shoot in Winter. You don't list the amount of Hero you use, so I don't know what velocity you want. Assuming ATA legal loads, I get consistent single digit SDs with Clay Dot, e3, American Select and Green Dot using the components I listed above. I have been shooting a lot of e3 and Am Sel lately, and I am particularly impressed with the performance of e3. For the loads I use it for, 1oz and 1 1/8oz between 1135fps and 1200fps, I have yet to record an SD for a 10 shot string higher than SD 9. Yesterday I got an SD of just over 9 for the 7/8oz loads @ 1220fps. That's pretty good results. I get similar results with Am Sel for 1 1/8oz loads @1150fps.

    I'm out of most of the Hodgdon powders and don't intend to buy more because of the expense. However, I can recommend Clays and most assuredly International Clays.

    Regarding chronograph technique. IMO there are only a couple of things that are overridingly important. The best tip I ever got was from Bob Dodd who told me to put the chrono in deep shade with an open view to the sky. If yu cannot do that, make sure you shade the screen ports so that no sunlight and no reflection hits them. The second is to consistently shoot at the same height over the chrono, parallel to the axis through the chrono. Both are important. The higher you go (still inside the screens) the less velocity you will record with tight chokes. I have a theory why, but I'll keep that to myself for now. The point is, as Pat points out above, good chrono technique is important to consistent results.

    Good luck with your quest.
     
  9. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Rich, it's nice to chat with someone who is willing to listen.

    I like about 5 or 6 feet to the chrono. You are on your way to halving your SD's, minumum, but try this. Don't shoot all 25, just shoot ten, note the data, reset the chrono and shoot the next ten as a separate test. It'll give you a better idea aobut what happens with SD's. (They don't repeat.)

    Good luck and come back and tell us what happened, you hear?

    Neil
     
  10. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    mrskeet410- Some of the things I have observed in discount shells have made a poor impression on me. However, these things most likely will not have an affect on scores as long as they are not known by the shooter.

    In one popular brand, I have found exactly the same velocity, and not the velocity stamped on the box, for shells labeled 2 3/4 dram equivalent and 3 dram equivalent. One European company manufacturers a lot of discount shells under many different labels. In some of these shells, the size of the shot printed on the box seems unrelated to the size of the shot in the shells. I have become convinced, at least in some instances, this company loads a lot of shells and then packages the shells in boxes that suggest different shot sizes and different velocities for the same shells. Many shooters have commented about the seemingly light recoil of shells with a label indicating 1 1/8 oz shot and a high velocity. This is because the shells contained a bit less than 1 1/8 oz shot the the velocity indicated as 1225 ft/sec was actually closer to 1150 ft/sec. at 70 degrees F.

    Labor costs are not excessive in shotgun shell production. Component costs and machinery are the greatest expenses in shell production. To produce a shell in Europe and ship it to the US cheaper than the shell can be made in the US can only be done by cutting component costs. Something must be cut to make a cheap shell.

    There is another side to my observations. I do believe that many shooters use shells that have shot size and velocity mislabeled. These shells do work well on the line. So why do I spend so much time making sure my reloads have consistent velocities and why do I pay so much attention to the weight of the shot in my reloads? It could make no difference in scores.

    Pat Ireland
     
  11. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    Pat Ireland - Thank you. I shoot very few to none of the imports, sticking to GCs, Top Gun, and Estates.
     
  12. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Rich, a couple more things about chronographing. I like a rest to shoot off (of?). It keeps me lined up at the same angle and as zzt says, that counts to a very moderate (and calcuable) degree. Shooting a consistent distance above the instrument is worth working at too, again if only a little.

    If you don't start to get average SD's right off the bat, I'd try Federal 209A primers. If that doesn't quite get you there, then drift over to AA wads. But I do think that you'll do fine already.

    Neil
     
  13. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Neil- Can you explain why I can frequently get 9 shells of one load to be very consistent but one is always off? I can't remember ever shooting 10 shells over a chronograph without ever getting one, or two, that is very different from the others. Is it possible that I can't even shoot a shotgun consistently using a solid rest?

    Pat Ireland
     
  14. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Pat, factory fodder has the same tendencies and sometimes an even greater spread than your re-loads? Weighing powder charges exactly on a good scale does the same. What's left if everything else is put together as equal as possible? I'm guessing the energy of several loads of 18.5 grains of the same powder lot isn't equal in energy produced? As Neils graphs show, if you get no more than three tenths grain variation, it equals out in the long run. It's the powder energy more so than things we do that has an effect on shotshells. JMHO Hap
     
  15. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Hap- I was thinking more along the lines of variation in the gas seal that is made by the wads. Just looking at the short flange of the wad base and the rough inner case wall and thinking about 10,000 PSI, I can see a potential for less than a total seal every time.

    Pat Ireland
     
  16. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Pat, that's why you need two measures of speed. Two chronographs do that, or in my shop case, shot speed and gun movement (or pressure; they are to some extent interchangable.)

    Mostly consistency is much better than using a single chronograph tells you it is, even when you use a cylinder choke, which you _have to_ do if you are interested in the question "Is this load more consistent that that one?"

    A one-in-ten failure rate is way, way too high; one in a hundred would be more like it, but high as well. I've run a number of hundred-shot tests with nothing odd at all. At one-in-ten, using the components you do, it has to be the measuring system, not the shells. If Aliant is getting that with your shells and you are interested in getting it right, then you will just have to read my booklet and start doing it yourself.

    Of course, you have to have a standard for "deviant." If you are getting eight or nine pretty close together but one not-so-close but not very far off either, then you are just seeing a problem with your sample size and your own personal standards, not the shells.

    Page four of the above link shows what you can expect from a sample size of twenty. What may look like an "off" speed is just a result of some shells being _more_ consistent than others. For example, in all four twenty-shot tests pictured the extreme spread is about 50 fps. But it would be hard to point to a "bad" shell among the Lites because they don't "cluster" the way the mid-speed ones do. When they wander one of those extreme values - the ones accounting for the maximum spread - looks typical. When they are closer together, in general, then the wide-ranging ones look like a problem. So, oddly, it's the good shells that make outliers look suspicious.

    Neil
     
  17. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Neil- I do now see some source of error. I use one chronograph and I only take out my full choke tube once every 2-3 years. I lube it a little and screw it back in. Your suggestions reminded me that my velocity measuring system is less than ideal.

    I have simply been disregarding velocities that are clearly deviant. But, I still am not sure why these deviations show up. They seem to only appear with my light chronograph. The few times I test over the induction chronograph, they do not show up.

    I still have some question about the ability of the small flange on the base was to consistently seal very high pressures. I recognize that rubbing my finger on the over powder cup is not a way to test the cup and that is all I have done.

    Pat Ireland
     
  18. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Precision rifle shooters strive for low SD numbers also. Bullets powders and cases measured to the most exact of tolerances, for obtaining consistent velocities, still vary some. Experimenting with a multitude of combinations, both rifle and shotshell loads, a lower SD number is the best you can hope to achieve for both. Hap
     
  19. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Rich, SDs of 13 and 14 aren't too bad. I wouldn't worry above 1gr differences in powder drops. If I weigh charges to .05gr accuracy, I still get differences.

    There may be an issue with the structure of the canopy, it's support, shape and translucency.

    Since you are shooting a full choke, try the following. Add two shot bags to each end. That will raise the gun 4" to 6". You should get better SDs automatically. with the same load. I'll tell you my theory, even though I know I'll get pounced on.

    A light operated chronograph is triggered by the first object to cast a shadow on the first sensor. With a full choke, that can be the first, fastest pellet. If you shoot low over the chrono with a full choke, that pellet is going to cast a much more distinct shadow than it will if you shoot higher up, especially with diffusion. Full chokes squirt pellets ahead, increasing their velocity. That squirting is not consistent and does not affect the average velocity of the entire load. However, it does account for the reason a full choke give higher velocity readings with a light operated chronograph than an IM or Cyl choke does. The lower you shoot with a full choke, the more apt you are to record that first pellet.

    I now use my .018 Under barrel to chrono. A few pellet skid marks on the top of the chrono convinced me to shoot higher over the screens. Now that I do, I also get better SDs and velocity readings more in line with what is printed on the box.

    You may want to experiment with different components as suggested above. Some combinations are just never going to be as consistent as you would hope. Example, my 7/8oz load performs very well and is consistent. After reading many posts on TS.com about how wonderful the new DRM XXL 7/8oz wad was, I bought 2,000 to try. Substituting the DRM for the 12S0 moved SDs from the 9~12 range to the 28~32 range. That's just god awful. I suspect I can improve consistency by increasing velocity, but I really don't want to do that. It just goes to show, you never know.
     
  20. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    The standard deviation is simply a measurement of the variation in shot speed among a batch of tested shells. It gives an indication of the amount of variation that could be expected among all of the similar shells. If we want our shells to be as consistent as possible, we would strive for a low SD. Also, I suspect that the Standard Error might be a better measurement of the variation than standard deviation.

    Pat Ireland
     
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