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anonymouscuban

Taking the Plunge - Few Questions/Confirmation Needed

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No affordable scales measure to the hundredth of a grain. What you have is sufficient. Everything we do can be assumed to be +/-0.1gr and this it doesnt make a ton of sense to try to determine our precise load by throwing a bunch of charges and then averaging them.
 
Most powder drops throw +/-0.1gr with most powders. The fact that yours only threw 3.6 and 3.7 means you're throwing more precisely than that. So your powder measure is doing fine.
 
Your digital scale effectively rounds your charge weight. That means the 3.6gr will display but the charge weight is actually somewhere between 3.55gr and 3.64gr (see why the sticker says +/-0.1gr?). It will read 3.7gr on the display if the charge is between 3.65gr and 3.74gr. 3.64gr and 3.65gr are incredibly close together yet read different numbers. 0.01gr of powder is very likely less than 5 tiny kernels. Oh and the load cell performance likely varies with temperature, battery voltage or wall power fluctuations, tiny air currents (these aren't enclosed lab scales), florescent lighting etc. So a known check weight placed on the scale could display different results at different times!
 
All of this explanation to say that what you have is fine. In the beginning it's a bit hard not to hyper focus on being ultra precise. The instruments we have just aren't capable of being that precise with certainty.
 
If you want to be very consistent when working up loads for the chrono we can talk about trickling powder to try and eek some extra precision out of the scale.
 
Thanks for the sanity check. I guess seeing some of the load data posted around the net was setting some false expectations as far as accuracy of measure for me. What you explain totally makes sense. And its not like I'm trying to hit a fly at 1000 yards.



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I shot some blue bullets 125 grain yesterday I loaded up with 5.1 grains of Accurate No.5. They worked well and seemed very accurate out of my G19. I check my  powder drop every 50 to 100 rounds depending on if I am using a new powder.

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Well, I am back from the range with all fingers and my gun didn't blow up! All rounds ignited, properly cycled the gun and had no issues ejecting the spent cases. Overall, I would call it a success!

 

So again, no chrono yet so just plinked the 60 rounds I developed. 20 of each of the loads below...

0

147gr Blue Bullet FP

3.2gr tightgroup

WSP

1.150 COL

 

135gr Blue Bullet TC

3.5gr Tightgroup

WSP

1.148 COL

 

125gr Blue Bullet TC

3.7gr Tightgroup

WSP

1.162

 

It was hard to tell which load I preferred because I had to shoot my PCR. Just before leaving for the range, I dropped the guide rod of my SP-01 and it must have slid under the refrigerator because I couldn't find it. It's a huge Sub Zero so that things lost to the abyss. Good excuse to order a stainless guide rod. YAY!

 

That said, the 147 seemed softest and most accurate. Nice groups at 20 yards. No fliers. I wasn't shooting from a rest so hard to tell if the others were less accurate due to me. But if I shoot the 147 better, guess that's a moot point.

 

Now, onto a couple of questions about case head stamps and COL variances.

 

1. How anal should I be about variances in COL from round to round? Should I only care that they all chamber or are within the max COL? I'm not seeing huge variances. For example, the 135gr batch... 1.143 to 1.149 COL.

 

2. Do I need to separate my brass by head stamp? I started to do that and it's a royal pain in the butt. Will it reduce variance in COL? Is that why you separate cases? How critical is this step?

 

Thanks again for all the help guys.

 

 

 

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I don’t sort brass as far as variations in COL go unless you measure and sort there will be some variations. Just resize a few measure some even the same brand. You will be surprised.

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Hey guys. Seems like the more I do this, the more questions I have. So there are quite a number of you that shoot CZ in 9mm. I have noticed many posts on reloading for CZ and stated COL values are much shorter than one I'm loading. I see values below 1.10 quoted in posts. So far, seems like 1.15 loads nicely for the bullet profiles I have loaded thus far. Is that it? The bullet profile?

I'm loading truncated flat nose projectiles. Is it that others are loading a different profile like round nose?

I just want to make sure I'm not missing something.

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Posted (edited)

It all depends on the bullets ogive. Even two bullets with the same general construction can/will have different ogives.

 

Assume all the bullets below are 147's, see how the ogive changes slightly.

 

496065544_147comparison01.jpg.12c6582df45f65134f8af635e8e8cf01.jpg

 

That small difference might make the bullet hit the rifling sooner.1641379914_FindingOAL3.jpg.92bc40f100cebaea4b55fdc69ca6c324.jpg

 

Edited by 4n2t0

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It all depends on the bullets ogive. Even two bullets with the same general construction can/will have different ogives.
 
Assume all the bullets below are RNFP 147's, see how the ogive changes slightly.
 
496065544_147comparison01.jpg.12c6582df45f65134f8af635e8e8cf01.jpg
 
That small difference might make the bullet hit the rifling sooner.1641379914_FindingOAL3.jpg.92bc40f100cebaea4b55fdc69ca6c324.jpg
 
Gotcha. And makes perfect sense and it's what I was thinking. But being so new at this, I wanted to make sure I wasn't doing anything wrong. All the bullets i made, with the exception of the squib, chambered and fired well out of my gun. No FTEs and the gun cycled nicely.

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Posted (edited)

I have both 9mm and .40 CZs and have developed loads for each using round nose, hollow point, truncated cone, etc.  Any of these projectiles will work, you just need to  tailor to round to your specific pistol/barrel.

 

Oh and congrats on leaving the range with all 10 fingers still attached and functional. :)

Edited by muncie21

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I have a CZ Shadow 1...using Precision Delta 147 FMJ's, I can load to 1.150. Using MG 124JHP's, I had to load to 1.085. The ogive of the bullet can make a HUGE difference in what OAL you can shoot out your particular gun. 

 

I'd like to point out that Titegroup is a fast, hot burning powder. Many have used it very successfully to load 9mm, and still do...I have never used it. I haven't witnessed it, but I have heard stories that after an extended session of shooting rounds made with Titegroup, that the fiber optic melted and/or turned black. Just something to think about. Don't limit yourself to one powder because of cost or because that is what someone told you to load with. The cost of the powder is minimal in this game, no matter what powder you choose.

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On 3/17/2019 at 6:37 PM, anonymouscuban said:

How anal should I be about variances in COL from round to round? Should I only care that they all chamber or are within the max COL?

If you are happy with functioning you should be GTG. Slight changes in accuracy with COL are usually not important.

 

On 3/17/2019 at 6:37 PM, anonymouscuban said:

Do I need to separate my brass by head stamp? I started to do that and it's a royal pain in the butt. Will it reduce variance in COL?

Some here, including myself, find COL changes with headstamp.  But I only separate because it is easier to troubleshoot a problem if that variable is removed, not because of accuracy or function. And I have a home range so I only have to separate by headstamp once. I stopped separating 45 brass because it just didn't matter.

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13 hours ago, anonymouscuban said:

Hey guys. Seems like the more I do this, the more questions I have. So there are quite a number of you that shoot CZ in 9mm. I have noticed many posts on reloading for CZ and stated COL values are much shorter than one I'm loading. I see values below 1.10 quoted in posts. So far, seems like 1.15 loads nicely for the bullet profiles I have loaded thus far. Is that it? The bullet profile?

I'm loading truncated flat nose projectiles. Is it that others are loading a different profile like round nose?

I just want to make sure I'm not missing something.

Plunk test your loads in your barrel when working up a load and determine your OAL on that, not what OAL somebody else uses.  Different ogives make tons of difference on the allowed OAL.  You'll have very different OAL in the very same gun based on bullet profile & ogive.  CZ, Tanfo, etc. usually have a very short leade because they are based on the European CIP system and will not plunk at the 1.15" OAL that you stated above for a lot of American made projectiles without a throat reaming. 

 

13 hours ago, anonymouscuban said:

Gotcha. And makes perfect sense and it's what I was thinking. But being so new at this, I wanted to make sure I wasn't doing anything wrong. All the bullets i made, with the exception of the squib, chambered and fired well out of my gun. No FTEs and the gun cycled nicely.

Plunk test your current loads and twist them.  The round can still chamber and fire even if it fails the plunk test if the OAL is just slightly too long.  The slide will ram the bullet ogive up into the rifling so it will be fully chambered, and fire, but this is not ideal for you.  This can be seen via the plunk test or when you go to clear a live round from the chamber and you find that it is sticking.  If the OAL is way too long then it won't fully chamber or fire.

 

 

 

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Gotcha. And makes perfect sense and it's what I was thinking. But being so new at this, I wanted to make sure I wasn't doing anything wrong. All the bullets i made, with the exception of the squib, chambered and fired well out of my gun. No FTEs and the gun cycled nicely.

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You've loaded a squib already? Please be very careful and dedicate your full attention when you are reloading. Look inside every single case before placing a bullet and check the powder hopper often. Finally at this point of your reloading adventure, clear the entire shell plate if you have any issues or need to stop for any reason. Later on you can learn to clear just the malfunction and keep loading the rest.

I dont want to hear about anything happening to you or your gun!

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You've loaded a squib already? Please be very careful and dedicate your full attention when you are reloading. Look inside every single case before placing a bullet and check the powder hopper often. Finally at this point of your reloading adventure, clear the entire shell plate if you have any issues or need to stop for any reason. Later on you can learn to clear just the malfunction and keep loading the rest.

I dont want to hear about anything happening to you or your gun!
Yup. Already! And it was a wakeup call for me. I didn't take it lightly. Made me realize how much attention to detail this endeavor requires. I will definitely be much more careful moving forward.

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Another question...

 

I was given some of this powder. It's old but was stored well. The container is unopened. I opened it and it smells fine. No odd chemical smell. Seems to not be fouled based on what I read on the interwebz on how to check if powder is good.

 

Can this stuff be used for 9mm loads. All the load data I can find for "Unique" is for the brand Aliant. This is labeled Hercules. Not sure if it's the same stuff, just a company name change.

 

I was given about 10 pounds of this stuff.

69daa861a0d8961ea570beb83c117ac9.jpg

 

I also got a pound of 3n37. Still sealed.

561966e80d50da3c30520ea1b89a06be.jpg

 

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Another question...
 
I was given some of this powder. It's old but was stored well. The container is unopened. I opened it and it smells fine. No odd chemical smell. Seems to not be fouled based on what I read on the interwebz on how to check if powder is good.
 
Can this stuff be used for 9mm loads. All the load data I can find for "Unique" is for the brand Aliant. This is labeled Hercules. Not sure if it's the same stuff, just a company name change.
 
I was given about 10 pounds of this stuff.
69daa861a0d8961ea570beb83c117ac9.jpg
 
I also got a pound of 3n37. Still sealed.
561966e80d50da3c30520ea1b89a06be.jpg
 
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Unique used to be under the Hercules brand before it got bought out by Alliant.

My father gave me a pound of unopened Hercules Unique from the early 80s. It smelled fine when I opened it and loaded a bunch of 9mm with it. As long as it was stored correctly, its likely fine.

I used current Unique load data and it shot just fine, although I started with the minimum charges just to be sure.

The original Hercules version is as dirty as a coal mine, but it works. Newer Unique is significantly cleaner.

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Just don’t get in a hurry while loading. I have almost a full pound of TG did not care for it seems like it burns hotter than others I have used. I like powder that is easy to see n the case and a double charge will overflow. With jacketed bullets I use a lot of power pistol. Have not tried it with coated bullets yet. Unique fills the case well and after my last work up I am really starting to like Accurate No5.

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Unless your powder measure likes it better than mine did, Unique will likely meter at +/- 0.2 and possibly even +/- 0.3 grains due to the fact that it's a fairly large flake powder.  It doesn't mean it's unusable, and if somebody gave me 10 pounds of it, I'd definitely use it, but other powders are nicer to work with.  I always found that it produced larger standard deviation values, so I had to load a bit hotter with it in order to be confident at the chrono at matches.  The last load I remember using with Unique was 4.7 grains of Unique behind a 124 gr Montana Gold JHP at 1.08" OAL.  That made ~130 PF even out of my 3.5" barrel Walther P99c, so your CZ with its longer barrel will probably get there with less.  (Unique is a slower powder than the ones you've been using so far, so it takes more powder to get the same velocity, but it's also a bit more forgiving at the high end.  It's nearly impossible to double charge due to its "fluffy" nature - it really fills up a case, so a double charge would spill all over your shell plate.)

 

The VV 3N37 is not going to be useful for 9mm minor, but if you ever get into 9mm major for Open, you might have a use for it there.  If you don't see yourself doing that ever, then you can safely look at trading it for something more useful to you.

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On 3/23/2019 at 3:14 PM, jschweg said:

Unique used to be under the Hercules brand before it got bought out by Alliant.

My father gave me a pound of unopened Hercules Unique from the early 80s. It smelled fine when I opened it and loaded a bunch of 9mm with it. As long as it was stored correctly, its likely fine.

I used current Unique load data and it shot just fine, although I started with the minimum charges just to be sure.

The original Hercules version is as dirty as a coal mine, but it works. Newer Unique is significantly cleaner.

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Agree.

 

I've picked up a bunch of different/older powders from people and as long as it was stored properly there were never any issues.

 

And getting 10 pounds for FREE is fantastic. 

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On 3/23/2019 at 8:46 AM, GrumpyOne said:

I have a CZ Shadow 1...using Precision Delta 147 FMJ's, I can load to 1.150. Using MG 124JHP's, I had to load to 1.085. The ogive of the bullet can make a HUGE difference in what OAL you can shoot out your particular gun. 

 

I'd like to point out that Titegroup is a fast, hot burning powder. Many have used it very successfully to load 9mm, and still do...I have never used it. I haven't witnessed it, but I have heard stories that after an extended session of shooting rounds made with Titegroup, that the fiber optic melted and/or turned black. Just something to think about. Don't limit yourself to one powder because of cost or because that is what someone told you to load with. The cost of the powder is minimal in this game, no matter what powder you choose.

 

Actually, I think that's just one story, repeated many times.  Nobody I know has ever seen the "melted/black" front sight rod in a TG gun.  I've loaded and shot tens of thousands of TG rounds in 9mm and .40, in CZs and 2011s, and it hasn't happened to me.  TG also isn't "the dirtiest powder out there"; it's a fast powder and it leaves residue, like all the others.  Gotta clean your gun periodically is all. 

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6 minutes ago, teros135 said:

 

Actually, I think that's just one story, repeated many times.  Nobody I know has ever seen the "melted/black" front sight rod in a TG gun.  I've loaded and shot tens of thousands of TG rounds in 9mm and .40, in CZs and 2011s, and it hasn't happened to me.  TG also isn't "the dirtiest powder out there"; it's a fast powder and it leaves residue, like all the others.  Gotta clean your gun periodically is all. 

That very may well be true...as I said, I haven't witnessed it, but those that told me, I trust....but, almost everyone has been known to exaggerate once in a while.

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Posted (edited)

I have used TG now in 9 and 40 for tens of thousands of rounds and not once has our fiber melted or even gave the appearance of melting. This tale is probably from some TG hater that wanted to be different than the crowd (who use TG).

 

With that being stated here’s what I noticed about TG.

 

For the lead exposed bases of PD FMJRN 147s the nose of my gun is covered with black after hundreds of rounds. Fully covered bases like Everglades 124 FMJHPRN and PD 180 FMJHP (40 SW) leaves a light brown residue that easily wipes off.

 

I ran some testing of Sport Pistol and yes it does run cleaner than TG, but the powder is not quite as dense so it fills the case a bit more. As soon as my TG is gone I’m switching to SP (I purchased a bunch from Powder Valley last month).

 

For the OP, you’re getting a bunch of great advice and a lot of opinions, so filter them out, choose a bullet and a powder you like, load away and don’t look back. It’s about the shooting and not rocket science. Have fun.

 

Here’s what makes 130+ PF for us:

 

Stock 2 and CZ Shadow 2

PD FMJRN 147, 3.5 gr TG 1.14 OAL

ACME 147 FP, 3.2 gr TG 1.14 OAL

ACME 147 FP, 3.3 gr SP 1.14 OAL (slightly higher PF this was most accurate at 25 yards with SP)

Everglades 124 FMJHPRN 4.2 TG 1.13 OAL. (I really like the cycling of this load over the 147s)

Range brass not sorted

Chrono with Federal, WSP and CCI primers, all were comparable and SD for all loads average slightly less than 10.

Accuracy goal is 25 yards, less than 3” groups from freestyle hand held and no bench rest. All these loads achieve that.

Edited by HesedTech

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I have used TG now in 9 and 40 for tens of thousands of rounds and not once has our fiber melted or even gave the appearance of melting. This tale is probably from some TG hater that wanted to be different than the crowd (who use TG).
 
With that being stated here’s what I noticed about TG.
 
For the lead exposed bases of PD FMJRN 147s the nose of my gun is covered with black after hundreds of rounds. Fully covered bases like Everglades 124 FMJHPRN and PD 180 FMJHP (40 SW) leaves a light brown residue that easily wipes off.
 
I ran some testing of Sport Pistol and yes it does run cleaner than TG, but the powder is not quite as dense so it fills the case a bit more. As soon as my TG is gone I’m switching to SP (I purchased a bunch from Powder Valley last month).
 
For the OP, you’re getting a bunch of great advice and a lot of opinions, so filter them out, choose a bullet and a powder you like, load away and don’t look back. It’s about the shooting and not rocket science. Have fun.
 
Here’s what makes 130+ PF for us:
 
Stock 2 and CZ Shadow 2
PD FMJRN 147, 3.5 gr TG 1.14 OAL
ACME 147 FP, 3.2 gr TG 1.14 OAL
ACME 147 FP, 3.3 gr SP 1.14 OAL (slightly higher PF this was most accurate at 25 yards with SP)
Everglades 124 FMJHPRN 4.2 TG 1.13 OAL. (I really like the cycling of this load over the 147s)
Range brass not sorted
Chrono with Federal, WSP and CCI primers, all were comparable and SD for all loads average slightly less than 10.
Accuracy goal is 25 yards, less than 3” groups from freestyle hand held and no bench rest. All these loads achieve that.
Thanks for the load data and the advice. As to all of you, thank you for sharing what you know. All very helpful.

I wanted to load my own bullets so I can shoot more. Although I want to do this correctly, I'm not really interested it trying a lot of different components and recipes. My goal starting out is to find a load that shoots well enough in my gun for the sport. And then just reproduce that load consistently for a while.

I only shoot one caliber, that's 9mm. I don't see that changing for a while. Maybe if I move divisions to say limited in the future but I don't see that happening until I reach A classification in Production. It may be a bit lofty, but I set my goal to hit A class by the end of this year. My first year. I think I can do it but it will take a lot of practice and matches and that's gonna take a lot of rounds.

As mentioned, I worked up some loads of blue bullets with tightgroup, WSP and mixed range brass. 125, 135 and 147. The loads that shot the best and were between 135 and 140 PF were 3.7, 3.5 and 3.2 respectively. I worked up the rest of the samples I got, about 200 rounds in each bullet weight to these respect loads. I will shoot the rest of these in practice on Friday and then determine the weight bullet I will order in bulk. Right now, I'm leaning towards the 147gr, 3.2gr TG, 1.15 OAL.

I worked out some of the kinks that I had in my first runs of loading. I added some LED lights so I can see a lot better. I staying hyper focused when reloading. Got a good routine of visually looking inside each case as place the bullet to check powder. I am consistent with seating the primer correctly and doing a "wobble" test with every round once I load a batch. I'm also not rushing the process. I'm very confident of the recent rounds I've made.

Learned a lot since making this post. Thanks to all of you. I'm excited to be able to shoot more because of my ability to make my own rounds and a reasonable price. I live in California and we have some new laws that take effect in July that will make buying ammo more expensive and will require a background check with every purchase. Wasn't looking forward to that. Reloading just made sense and its almost a necessity for us here in The Peoples Republic of Kalifornia.

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23 hours ago, HesedTech said:

Accuracy goal is 25 yards, less than 3” groups from freestyle hand held and no bench rest. All these loads achieve that.

Pfffffft. Hey OP if you can't do this don't worry, neither can I! At this point I just load for power factor unless something is really bad. Example being the 147gr load in my M&P 9mm shoots like 2.5-3" at 7 yards. Figured it was just my shooting, but when I switched to a 124gr bullet suddenly the groups dropped to 1.5". None of these are even close to 3" at 25 yards, if my gun is even capable of it! The point is I can make some conclusions about a load being "accurate enough" and being the right power factor even If I can't shoot impressive 25 yard groups.

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2 hours ago, jmtyndall said:

Pfffffft. Hey OP if you can't do this don't worry, neither can I! At this point I just load for power factor unless something is really bad. Example being the 147gr load in my M&P 9mm shoots like 2.5-3" at 7 yards. Figured it was just my shooting, but when I switched to a 124gr bullet suddenly the groups dropped to 1.5". None of these are even close to 3" at 25 yards, if my gun is even capable of it! The point is I can make some conclusions about a load being "accurate enough" and being the right power factor even If I can't shoot impressive 25 yard groups.

 

Now can I hit 3” groups in a match at 25 yards? So far the answer is no and I’m happy to be on paper with close Cs, but does that mean we can disregard the requirement to be in the A zone for any group shooting at that distance? No. Therefore, it is my opinion, and I believe others, when developing a load it has to be accurate at 25 so as a shooter I will know where the shot will hit. 

 

I shot a major major match last year where almost every stage had a 20+ yard shot, many were partials, no shoots and mini poppers. Yes it was tough, and I had more than my share of mikes. So since then 25 yard practice and groups are part of every practice session. 

 

But to each his/her own. 

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Now can I hit 3” groups in a match at 25 yards? So far the answer is no and I’m happy to be on paper with close Cs, but does that mean we can disregard the requirement to be in the A zone for any group shooting at that distance? No. Therefore, it is my opinion, and I believe others, when developing a load it has to be accurate at 25 so as a shooter I will know where the shot will hit. 

 

I shot a major major match last year where almost every stage had a 20+ yard shot, many were partials, no shoots and mini poppers. Yes it was tough, and I had more than my share of mikes. So since then 25 yard practice and groups are part of every practice session. 

 

But to each his/her own. 

 

I dont know why you feel personally attacked by the shooting (in)ability of myself (new shooter to the sport) or my comment to the OP (another new to the sport).

 

Is a more accurate load better? Yeah. Do you need to be able to shoot less than 3" groups at 25 yards to develop a good load? No. Do you need to shoot that well to participate in matches? No. Should we strive for the best accuracy we can have? Yeah.

 

Sure it would be great if we could all shoot groups in the zeros with our handguns and any deviation was on the load, but it's not realistic. Someday I may be able to shoot 3" groups at 25 yards(maybe, I've seen a lot of guns not shoot that well from a rest, but I sure hear about it a lot on the internet). In the meantime, for the 20,000 rounds it will take me to get there, I'll work up loads based on power factor and check for acceptable accuracy so that I can get some match experience.

 

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