Loads shown in bold designate potentially most accurate load

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Millelacs posted this 02 July 2021

I've noticed that Lyman reloading manuals state selected "Loads shown in bold designate potentially most accurate load."

Any ideas how those "potentially most accurate loads" are determined?

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Little Debbie posted this 02 July 2021

Read once it was based on uniform chronograph readings, can’t find the source so take this for what it’s worth.

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Larry Gibson posted this 02 July 2021

Lyman CBH #3: Reloading Data Introduction chapter, page 123;

 

"Accuracy Loads:

  When a load is noted as such in the data tables proper, it means that a given combination of components produced the most uniform internal ballistics of any load tested utilizing that particular bullet design.

  Unless noted in "Comments", the accuracy load was not fired at targets.  The load, however, does have a high potential - assuming all other external factors or optimum - for producing outstanding accuracy since uniform internal ballistics are critical to accuracy on target.  You cannot have one without the other."

 

At one time Lyman also did test fire the rested loads on their 50 yard out door range.  The range was closed many years back.

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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RicinYakima posted this 02 July 2021

Larry, has it nailed. Last time I talked to Tom Griffin, editor of their books, they were still just doing internal ballistic data. Also starting loads are 10% less than maximum loads, generally. They don't actually shoot for minimum loads, just a calculation. 

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Millelacs posted this 04 July 2021

Another mystery solved.

 

Many thanks.

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hanover67 posted this 29 July 2021

My "most accurate load" is the last one I shot, which never matches the manual because I don't have the same powder, bullet, primer, or atmospheric conditions.

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JeffinNZ posted this 29 July 2021

So it is all entirely theoretical.  Similarly I could theorectically catch the eye of Cindy Crawford.  BAHAHAHA.

Cheers from New Zealand

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4and1 posted this 29 July 2021

Theoretical is an understatement. Back when I was young and dumb, there was no internet, and nobody who shot well would pass on his secrets, you looked at this and took it for gospel. What a farce. Fast forward a number of decades, and it still holds true for many I suppose. If one assumes they have a respectable rifle, good barrel and chamber, and the ability to shoot off a rest in a consistent manner, much more can be achieved.

Accuracy boils down to vibrations, and no two guns are the same. If you want to seek an accuracy load, you have to test a number of powders. Using the same bullet sized and prepped. No two powders burn the same in your gun. I start at a seating depth where the bullet is in contact with the rifling, no jump, but a mark on the bullet it has engaged. Use this as a start. Then try different powder charges, a grain at a time, start low, go up, and shoot at least 3 shots per load. You will see a change in groups as you change loads.

Try another powder, same method. Keep your targets. Try another powder. Let the targets speak for themselves. When you have something narrowed down, then work on seating depth. Go in .005", then .010". Go back to the starting point, try .005" off, then .010". Let the targets speak for themselves. Don't believe what you see in published match results. It might not work for you.

It takes time and powder/primers/lead. But to find what you gun likes, it takes the effort. All this assuming you are keeping the barrel clean during all this.

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John Alexander posted this 30 July 2021

I would like to respectfully disagree with some of the advice offered by 4in1 in the post above.

 

Then try different powder charges, a grain at a time, start low, go up, and shoot at least 3 shots per load. You will see a change in groups as you change loads.”

In my opinion, this procedure, along with its following paragraph will not get you to an optimum load although you may be able to find and eliminate truly horrible loads, and it doesn’t do any harm. The fly in the ointment is that judging much of anything on one three shot group is an exercise in misdirection.

You will indeed see a change in the groups as you change the powder charge. The problem is that you will see equally substantial change in group size and shape if you DON’T change the load at all. So, thinking two consecutive three shot groups are indicating a trend is a very iffy assumption.

You don’t have to take my word for it. A simple test will show the wild variations in a string of three shot groups. Shoot a string of five - three shot groups with the same load and look at the ratio of the largest to the smallest.  The ratio will vary of course from one five group string to the next five group string.  But if you persist in shooting such strings with the same load you will find the AVERAGE ratio of largest to smallest group within several five group strings tending toward 2.5.  Five shot groups aren’t a lot more consistent and five – five shot groups will on average produce a ratio of 1.9. This is true whether the groups average 0.15” or 1.5”

The procedure suggested above is the one that Tony Boyer uses to “tune” his loads to a barrel. Tony is the greatest short range JB benchrest who ever lived.  So, I’m sure it will seem presumptious for a lowly cast bullet shooter to doubt the great man.  But even Tony Boyer can’t shoot three shot groups that don’t vary wildly from one group to the next.  I believe he is kidding himself in trying since his elaborate tuning exercise is based on the shaky assumption that a one three-shot group is a reliable indicator of what a series of such groups with that load will average.

John

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4and1 posted this 30 July 2021

John, I don't agree with your theory. I have spent time with Tony shooting side by side, using his method of tune,  and if you think it is flawed, you are very mistaken. Have you done it?? The difference in what Tony shoots and what cast bullets are, is bullets.

If you followed the process out, the 3 shot method is a way to find what your gun likes with regards to vibrations.  The 3 shot method gives you the path to follow. You have to start somewhere, where do you start? One of the BOLD PRINT loads? The only way to weed out the bad, is test. I think many in the cast bullet world simply load what a cast bullet load manual tells them to, using their bullet and OAL, their powder, and all will be good?

Nothing could be farther from reality. When I started cast, I used every powder listed in match results, as well as charges. They didn't work. I worked on other powders, found quite a few that would shoot much better than the listed ones. AT THIS POINT, you have to start your own way of fine tuning. So where/how would you suggest someone begin finding out what their gun likes to shoot? I would be very interested in hearing your method. Approaching a load method that is logical, repeatable, recordable, is the way to go.

I found out early, shooting a cast bullet is much different than a custom hand made jacketed bullet.  With those, you can hang your hat on every shot, good or bad. Cast, not so much. But, work the method, repeat the method. The trend will show itself.

I am sure, the top cast bullet shooters will agree, consistency will win, a one off match will not. The way to find consistency is in testing, today and next week. I have sent more lead down range testing, than I have in matches. And I'm still not satisfied.

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Spindrift posted this 31 July 2021

Interesting discussion. 

Measuring or evaluating the accuracy of a certain load is fundamental to our hobby. Yet, there is no clear consensus how this is done. This is one of those subjects that is much more complex than it might appear, on the surface. We venture into the realm of statistics; variation, significance, statistical power.

Somewhere (don’t remember where, might be this forum) I read a treatise written by a statistician, who was also a shooter. The subject was accuracy evaluation, number of shots and statistical power.

 

The more shots fired, the more information you gain-naturally. But, in practice, we’d like to know few shots with every load we can get away with, yet harvest reliable information. Shooting 100 shots with every load in the ladder is just not practical. This statistician/shooter argued that 7-shot groups was the optimal compromise.

 

Personally, I shoot 5-shot groups- mainly to segregate horrible loads from potentially good loads. The potentially good loads are tested next time with 2-3 5-shot groups. If the load is still good, I shoot 5 groups of 5 shots the next time, and consider the average group size the «load accuracy».

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Squid Boy posted this 31 July 2021

You may be talking about something I wrote some time back. I wrote in another thread about a statistician who claimed through math proofs that only seven samples were required to get the results needed for a test. I admitted being lost with regard to the math he used to prove his point but I never forgot it. However, seven is not the handiest number when testing ammo. Five or ten makes more sense because of how an ammo box is divided if nothing else. Plus, you always end up with an odd bullet or two out of a box. I load and shoot ten because it covers the value he proposed. But also to make it easier on myself. In spite of all that I think several groups are required to get good data. I will reshoot "good" loads over a period of weeks or months, even years, to verify the point. In my opinion, one thing is for sure, you will find what doesn't work fairly easily but fine tuning the best takes time and effort. Thanks, Squid Boy

"Squid Pro Quo"

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 31 July 2021

Statistics indicate that 30 samples are needed to have confidence that the sample correctly represents the population.

Right.  So I shoot 5 shot groups in the wider spaced ladder and 7 or 10 shot groups as the rung spacing narrows.  That is enough to compare several loads - showing the trend of getting wider or narrower.  Repeating the 10 shot groups around the selected load verifies it.  What is practical?  That depends on how OCD one is.

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John Alexander posted this 31 July 2021

 

4 in 1'

I didn't expect you to agree with my post, but this isn’t an issue of just opposing opinions. The fundamental fact my argument is based on is not a theory or an assumption. It a fact based on statistics.  If you shoot strings of five-3shots as I suggested, you will find that ON AVERAGE the biggest group in a string will be about 2.5 times the size of the smallest. This ratio of largest to smallest will of course sometime be smaller and sometimes larger. Tony’s own groups in his book often vary over 100% from one group to the next with only tiny changes in load or seating depth. This large variation from one three shot group to the next makes size and shape of any one three shot group much too erratic to depend on for anything but the crudest preliminary culling of very poor loads. No elaborate procedure involving tiny changes in powder charge and seating depths and making the judgement calls based on only one single three shot group of each combination can change this inconvenient fact.

 

We do agree on some things.  Uncritically swallowing what has been passed down from successful shooters as gospel is a farce as mentioned in your first post.  Such pronouncements and procedures should be looked at critically and the assumptions, both said and unsaid, should be examined.  I also agree that testing is the only way to find the best load. It is also hard to disagree that there are differences between cast and jacketed bullets.

 

I’m not sure exactly what you mean when you claim that in JB benchrest “you can hang your hat on every shot.”  But I hope you don’t mean that the laws of probability and statistics don’t apply. The groups are smaller which may give an uncritical shooter the superficial allusion that their groups don’t vary as much or don’t have the same percentage of “fliers” as cast bullet groups, but measurements say otherwise.  Look again and think about the experimental 25 shot group by Lancaster in one of the articles I sent you.

 

You have demanded that I confess how I think one should find a good load.  I plan to work on an article suggesting a general process for finding a good load after our nationals.  In the meantime, I will say that I depend on single five shot groups to weed out the really poor loads and then depend on the AVERAGE of an increasing number of five shot groups as the differences between competing loads shrink. I also don’t claim to find the perfect load or reach the 95% confidence level because for small difference between loads that would take an impractical number of groups. In other words, my approach is similar to those described by Spindrift and Squid Boy in the posts above.

 

John  

 

 

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4and1 posted this 05 August 2021

I do not want to get into a he said-she said. My whole method ( is what Tony Boyer uses, and many others) of shooting 3 shot groups with varying charges and seating depths is a first step in weeding out what your gun and load likes or dislikes. It will clearly show where you need to go. I shoot using a Culver measure, and my increments are one full number, not a grain, but close to a grain. You shoot the method I describe, I can guarantee you will see a path to follow. If what you see is good enough for you, then shoot 5 shot groups, multiple 5 shot groups if it suits you. You should, you need to prove it. 

I cannot stress enough to test different powders. Some work, some are complete flops. You have to start somewhere. The method I show gives a quick method of shooting different powders, and seeing what works. 

If a powder, at a normal velocity (1800-2000 fps) does not show promise with the bullet touching the lands, move on. Just because match results show it is popular, it has to work in your gun, not theirs. 

To another point, most people who shoot jacketed short range benchrest, have a gun that has been built by very reputable gun builders using the best components. The gun's capabilities are there, you have to find the key to unlock that door. Testing is the only way. When I say, "you can hang your hat" on a shot, I mean the anomalies of shooting a cast bullet aren't there. Weight, voids, balance, etc. are pretty much non-existent with quality jacketed bullets, so each shot can give honest reliable feedback. 

How many times does a cast shooter make a shot, watching flags, seeing a very stable condition, and the shot goes opposite from where it should and cost you a point? That's part of this game.

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John Alexander posted this 07 August 2021

4 in 1,

The truth cannot be determined by majority vote.  Yes, many good shooters buy into Boyer’s tuning method. Shooters do all sort of things that they think helps without putting them to a test.

 

You again repeat a bunch of obvious things that we already agree on. Different rifles require different loads, using a load that was best in another rifle may disappoint. Firing groups is the only way to find a good load, match grade jacketed bullets will shoot better than cast bullets, cast bullet shooters have to contend with additional factors, jacketed benchrest rifles are wonders of precision. All these are true, but none disproves my simple statement that single three shot groups are very unreliable measures of how well that that load will actually preform.

 

The only way to know what a load will do is to shoot way more than three shots. A three shot group simply can’t tell you much, no matter what Mr. Boyers and his followers think. That he is the greatest benchrest shooter ever doesn’t change that. Yet ALL of the decisions that he makes in working through this “tuning” process are based on single three shot groups.

 

Using three shot groups for evaluating loads may be useful for discarding the really horrible loads early in a process. But this method is sold as a way to make the decisions between good loads to find the ultimate combination for that rifle. day, time, and maybe the phase of the moon.

 

I think the problem is that many shooters, not just benchrest shooters, are blinded to reality by the beauty of very small groups and think such wonders don’t obey the laws of probability, and that your really can hang your hat on single shots or single three shot groups.  However, the only difference between .15” and 1.5” groups is one of scale. Both have to obey the laws of nature whether we like it or not, and both will vary from group to group by approximately the same percentage.

 

Please shoot a string of three shot groups, the more the better but at least half a dozen, with your best rifle and load under identical conditions, measure the groups, note that many are far from the average, the spread of some may be mostly horizontal and some not, so reading a single three shot group as indicating that load will deflect more in the wind as Boyer advocates is imaginary.

 

John

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4and1 posted this 07 August 2021

John, I never said the 3 shot group method was the end of testing. I said, "it will show you a path to follow". It will show you whether a particular powder is worth pursuing. You run a string of groups changing charge and seating depth, the groups will be different. It makes no sense to take the worst group and work with it, you use the good ones and work from there. I often reshoot the better groups to see if it repeats. If it doesn't, then you likely have a dud. If it does repeat, then you go farther. 

Any load has to prove itself. Even a couple of nice 5 shot groups isn't the end.  What proves it, is whether it will shoot a full match, both yardages, and do well. And again next month.

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BigMan54 posted this 07 August 2021

Mortally of my load testing has been with 4 5shot groups. That's the way I was taught growing up. Dad was a hard core competitive Benchrest & Bullseye shooter. Me, no. I took that average and if it was under 1 1/2" at 100yds it was OK for Deer hunting. Later on I tried 20rds of the same accurate load at a time on one target. Got the same average or even a bit better. A 3 shot group could go under an inch. But would open up to that average 1 1/2" after 3-4 groups were fired. 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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John Alexander posted this 07 August 2021

4 in 1,

You say: "You run a string of groups changing charge and seating depth, the groups will be different."-- I agree.

 

What you show no recognition of is: If you run a string of three shot groups CHANGING NOTHING the groups will still be wildly different, some being two or three times the spread of others.

  

We also agree that three shot groups may be useful for the very crudest sorting to rule out very bad combinations.

 

However, preliminary sorting, is not the way Boyers touts his "tuning" in his book. It is for the finest of fine tuning. His example starts with a very restricted group of loads that all shoot well, one bullet, one powder, one primer, the range of powder charges from lightest to heaviest is only 2.2 grains (4%), the total range of seating depths is only 0.013". This is definitely an attempt at fine tuning -- all based on the false assumption that one three shot group reasonably represents the accuracy of the load.

 

After pages of describing decisions based on single three shot groups, he does mention, in one sentence, that he duplicates the last three groups of the selected seating depth with five shot groups of the three powder charges. No mention of any additional shooting of the non-selected loads to confirm that they are not as good.

 

John

 

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Wineman posted this 07 August 2021

Remember statistics is a method to save time and get close to an answer without undue repetition. The first statistics was to put a black sheep with your 99 white sheep and at night, look for the black one. If you don't see it, you probably have a bunch of white sheep gone too. Otherwise you had to count the white sheep each night to find out your losses. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) attempts to help us with things group size, differences in treatments, etc. However, it only gives a confidence level and even 99% has some variation. Would I bet my life on 99%, absolutely, 95% sure, hell people try to stay alive at 50% or less. In my younger days, you needed a Mainframe computer to do it. Now I'm sure there is an app for your phone.

The entire use of statistics is to get the most information out of the fewest iterations (shots). Remember every shot is an individual, sure the case may be the same (if it is resized the same). But everything else is a variable, no mater how you classify it (including the shooter). Even the rifle is changed, with each shot doing something to the bore. I'm sure all of us have experienced a load which shoots fine one day, and less so another time.

If you superimpose all the three round groups, you will probably get a normal distribution and no one load will be the keeper.

Always fun and it beats a good day at work!

Dave

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4and1 posted this 07 August 2021

4 in 1,

You say: "You run a string of groups changing charge and seating depth, the groups will be different."-- I agree.

 

What you show no recognition of is: If you run a string of three shot groups CHANGING NOTHING the groups will still be wildly different, some being two or three times the spread of others.

  

We also agree that three shot groups may be useful for the very crudest sorting to rule out very bad combinations.

 

However, preliminary sorting, is not the way Boyers touts his "tuning" in his book. It is for the finest of fine tuning. His example starts with a very restricted group of loads that all shoot well, one bullet, one powder, one primer, the range of powder charges from lightest to heaviest is only 2.2 grains (4%), the total range of seating depths is only 0.013". This is definitely an attempt at fine tuning -- all based on the false assumption that one three shot group reasonably represents the accuracy of the load.

 

After pages of describing decisions based on single three shot groups, he does mention, in one sentence, that he duplicates the last three groups of the selected seating depth with five shot groups of the three powder charges. No mention of any additional shooting of the non-selected loads to confirm that they are not as good.

 

John

 

[quote]

What you show no recognition of is: If you run a string of three shot groups CHANGING NOTHING the groups will still be wildly different, some being two or three times the spread of others.[/quote]
You have no idea if this is true or not. I have done it. What you need to understand, Tony does NOT live in a cast bullet world. He lives in a short range jacketed benchrest world, and these two worlds are far apart.
[quote]However, preliminary sorting, is not the way Boyers touts his "tuning" in his book. It is for the finest of fine tuning. His example starts with a very restricted group of loads that all shoot well, one bullet, one powder, one primer, the range of powder charges from lightest to heaviest is only 2.2 grains (4%), the total range of seating depths is only 0.013"[/quote]
True. He knows what should work and what won't, in his world of benchrest. But why does that enter into this discussion? I stated clearly, given a load with a given powder in a "common" velocity, should show whether it will work or not for you. You have to weed out the chaff somehow. Given the world we are in today, blowing 100's of primers and pounds of powder just to chase something you read, doesn't seem logical.
[quote]After pages of describing decisions based on single three shot groups, he does mention, in one sentence, that he duplicates the last three groups of the selected seating depth with five shot groups of the three powder charges. [/quote]
That's what I said in my last post. I never said to use 3 shot groups to bank on, it gives a "path to follow." Tuning is the key. I did it with short range jacketed benchrest, and used the same method with cast, and there are very similar results, but you have to put in the "cast" variable. I have even used a barrel tuner to further tune what powder charges and seating depth doesn't get. (uh oh, here comes another rule clarification)
My whole intent here was, with the title of the original post, was to suggest there are ways to find what an accuracy load is, for YOUR gun, and not what a book says. This has gotten way out of hand because it didn't fit conventional thinking.

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