When a newcomer begins their reloading journey, their
initial zeal and excitement is on the fact that they are actually creating
their own ammo. Soon, though, as experience is gained and knowledge of the
craft is increased, there should be a paradigm shift in a reloaders mind. After
that initial zeal and excitement wears off, there becomes the need to focus on
the consistency and accuracy of your loads. To do so, subtle changes in your
loading process often generates the changes in consistency needed.
Golden rule of
Just as in life, there’s a golden rule on how to achieve the
upmost accuracy of your round; consistency produces accuracy. If you retain
your beginner’s zeal throughout your reloading journey, and continue to load
the same as you did in the beginning, your loads will never reach their full
potential. However, once you decide to place an emphasis on your load
consistency, you will see a major quality improvement.
Producing consistent rounds isn’t going to happen overnight.
It takes countless hours spent researching better practices. It takes hundreds,
maybe even thousands, of rounds shot at the range, all while keeping detailed
notes and records. It takes being able to make the slightest changes in your
process, only to be thrown back to square one because your consistency went in
the wrong direction. Here are some tips to gain a consistent load:
As with any item that is manufactured in a factory, brass
from different production runs tend to operate differently. That’s why,
whenever possible, use brass that was manufactured in the same run. This
includes using brass from the same manufacturer instead of mixing and matching.
Use High-Quality Powder
Yes, it’s true that lower quality powder costs less.
However, if having consistent loads is your top priority, you need to use the
highest-quality powder you can get. You powder needs to be clean-burning and
stable to provide a consistent performance. Lower quality powder tends to burn
dirty and leave your gun, and the load, compromised.
Powder Load Consistency
This is the part where taking those detailed notes and being
meticulous about how you measure the powder pays off. The amount of powder you
put in your round is the single greatest determining factor on how consistent,
and accurate, your round is. Yes, it is possible to put too much powder in.
While not having enough powder will lower the round’s velocity, thus in turn
decreasing the maximum distance, having too much powder effect’s the accuracy in
a different way.
With too much powder, your bullet will be leaving the gun
while the powder is still burning. This causes a ripple to be formed behind the
bullet that throws the bullet off its straight path, thereby making it less
accurate. How much powder you use should be extremely researched and changed
for each round type.
Besides following these few guidelines, the other factor
that will increase your consistency is the equipment you use. As you progress
and gain more experience, it may be helpful to purchase higher-quality
equipment, though this isn’t always a must. In the end, your reloads are only
as good as the person reloading them. Don’t hesitate to ask questions from
experts in the field; you can never know too much.