If there’s one thing any veteran reloader will tell you,
it’s that the more consistent you are, the better your results will be. There
are some methods of consistency that take little time to complete but make a
great deal of difference in the end result, while there are other factors of the
process that seem to take a great deal of time but offer only a tiny
improvement. It is up to you to determine the amount of time and effort that
you are willing to put in to being consistent when compared to your ultimate
Whether you are a basic reloader simply looking to save
money or are an expert looking to create the most accurate round possible, note
taking should be at the top of you process. You can have all of the load data
and reloading manuals you want, but if you don’t take accurate notes, you will
never have consistency in your loads.
During the reloading process, your notes should include
information such as: case manufactures, how many times the case has been
reloaded, type and amount of powder used, bullet info (weight, diameter, and
manufacturer), primer info, overall length of the case (OAL), and any changes
in your process for a particular batch. However, note taking doesn’t end in the
work shop. It’s important to also record the data from the range, such as
velocity, accuracy, and any mishaps that occur for a load.
Admit it - reloading can tend to become a mundane task,
especially when reloading a large amount of the same round. However,
standardizing your process, and doing it the same way every time, can do
wonders for your load consistency. For example, pay close attention to how you
operate the handle for the powder charge. Any slight pause or bump when
operating the handle could cause a tiny variation in the amount of powder that
goes into your round which would remain unknown to you until you shot that
Also, as small as it might seem, not letting the amount of
powder in the powder tube of your press get below the halfway point will ensure
the powder is being pressed with the same weight for every load. As silly as it
might seem, any change in how you perform a task can throw the entire load off
and adversely effect consistency.
Regardless of how good you think your reloads are, there
will come a point where your accuracy and consistency will plateau, meaning you
will eventually get as good as you can possibly get. When that becomes the
case, it becomes time to go through extreme measures to get even more accuracy.
One method: weigh your bullets.
Yes, the batch of bullets you purchase will all be within a
set range of weight, but that range is considered the manufacturers tolerance
range. However, if you are really wanting to improve accuracy to the highest
degree, weighing each bullet and grouping the bullets before loading will allow
you to know the bullets exact weight.
Also, if you are handloading a particular batch where
accuracy is a must, you can manually weigh each powder charge before putting it
in the case. This requires having a precise powder scale as part of your
In the end, how consistent your loads are solely depends on
how much you are willing to sacrifice and work to achieve that consistency.