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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

As a new reloader I need all the info I can get.

Have all the books (Hornady, Spear, Leymans, ABCs of reloading, etc).

Been reading here about Quickload software and thought it would be a great supplement to my library.

So as any red blooded American would do, I googled it.

Came up with several "Quickloads".

So which one is the one I want?

Thank you for your time,

Varooom
 

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Varooom, No offense but QuickLOAD is intended for well experienced advanced reloaders. It is a very complex program and IS NOT TO BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR RELOADING MANUALS. Click on this link: Software The current version is V3.9 and sells for $152.95. It works with Windows 10.

Do you have a good chronograph? If not I would highly recommend getting one before investing in advanced software. I have QuickLOAD and started with an early version. I use it mostly for as sanity test of loads listed in reloading sources. Keep in mind …. it is a computer generated prediction of chamber pressure, velocity and other parameters that are not the same as testing with a real chronograph and pressure testing lab equipment.

In my opinion, a better investment for reloaders and shooters is a software package called "Ballistic Explorer". It is put out by Dexidine and is fantastic for determining external ballistics and downrange bullet performance. It also contains a large data base of factory ammo so you can compare your reloads. Here's a link: Dexadine Ballistics Software - ballistic data for shooting and reloading You can download a free 30 day trial.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thankyou lowegan,

I will take your recommendation and start looking for a chronograph. Already been thinking about it.

Any recommendations on a chronograph or what features to look for?

I am not a rich man but would rather pay a little more for quality instead of buying junk.

Thanks again for your time and experience,

Varooom
 

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Any recommendations on a chronograph or what features to look for?

Varooom

Take a look at the Magneto Speed v3...........It attaches to your rifle like bayonet. It's great for a public range because there is no equipment out in front of you. The amount of light, be it dim or bright has no effect on it, which is not the case with a "shoot through" chrono.

It will provide you with real time info, MV per shot, average MV, SD and ES. Remove the SD card and everything can be down loaded to you lap top for future reference or comparisons. It packs away in a hard case about the size of a 1911 case.

I've had mine for about 4 years, well worth the money.....about $400 from Midway, $339 when you can find it on sale.


Here Kitty Kitty
 

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The Magneto Speed is great for rifles and most revolvers but not so good with pistols because it needs a barrel to attach to.

My CED M2 is rated quite high and works with any gun …. even a BB gun, shotgun, or archery. It uses ambient light or you can buy an Infrared screen and use it even at night. The main unit sits on your shooting bench and couples to the skyscreens via a set of 25 foot cables. The main unit measures or calculates all sorts of nifty stuff …. it even has a voice chip that talks to you. Additionally, it stores shot strings that can be uploaded to a PC via an included USB cable. I've had very good luck with mine, however there was a learning curve related to lighting conditions. Once I learned (read the manual) I found it works exactly like it is supposed to. It even comes with a CD that has a data base for storing data on your Windows computer. It sells for about 200 bucks. It does not come with a tripod for the sky screens so you will need one or some other type of mount. I use my wooden telescope tripod …. very sturdy even if the wind is blowing.

Mark204 brought up an important issue … some ranges don't let you use a downrange chronograph so his solution solves that problem. Further, setup time is almost nonexistent with a Magneto Speed. I shoot at my son's farm so it is not a problem for me but it does take a few minutes to set up.

I'm kind of a statistics junkie …. I like to know what velocities I'm actually getting out of my loads. I also like to know what kind of job I'm doing at the reloading bench. A chronograph will about slap you when you shoot a 10 round shot string. When your velocities are nice and uniform, accuracy will be much better but as you get wider velocity spreads (slowest versus fastest) it tells you something is amuck with your loading procedures …. could be a brass problem, inconsistent crimps, poor powder drops, or different weight bullets. This is what I mostly use my chronograph for. Also, when I load to "book specs", I expect my loads to develop about the same velocity as noted in the reloading manual when corrected for barrel length. If it doesn't, something is wrong.

I mentioned Ballistic Explorer software before, which goes hand-in-hand with a chronograph. In fact you can find your bullet's actual ballistic coefficient by using a chronograph instead of the factory published data for a virgin bullet with no rifling engraving. I soon learned …. all bullets have a lower BC than what the manufacturers publish. Once you get a true BC, you can print very accurate charts that show the bullet's path at any distance out to 1000 yards. I use these charts when I go prairie doggin' and it's usually "one shot, one kill" out to 250 yards …. providing the wind cooperates. Ballistic Explorer will actually chart wind drift too, plus many other parameters.
 

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In fact you can find your bullet's actual ballistic coefficient by using a chronograph instead of the factory published data for a virgin bullet with no rifling engraving.
Iowegan.................Can you elaborate on this? I have never heard of this, but very interested in the "how".


Here Kitty Kitty
 

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Mark204, Ballistic Explorer has a defined procedure especially for finding BC. You start by placing the chronograph at a known close distance in yards or meters. I use 4 yards. You then chronograph a string of 5~10 rounds then determine the average velocity. The chronograph is then set up at 100 yards and another string is fired and averaged. These two average numbers are then entered into the data field along with both distances. The software will compute your actual BC. Some bullets have multiple BCs, depending on their velocity. You can also use an additional chronograph measurement at 200 yards/meters that will compute a second BC.

My example: I use Nosler 55gr Ballistic Tips (Varmint) that have a factory BC of .255. When fired from my Remington 700 BDL (24" barrel) at a MV of 3260 fps, these bullets have an actual BC of .248 …. not too far off but I have found other bullets that were off by a considerable amount. When I plug the actual BC into the data screen, I can plot a bullet path chart that is accurate within one bullet diameter out to 250 yards. I suspect it would be accurate at longer distances but the range where I shoot is limited to 250 yards. If I use the factory BC, there is a tracking error that gets progressively worse with distance. In other words, using the factory BC in the Ballistic Coefficient data field will result in more bullet drop …. about 1 1/2" difference at 250 yards versus computed BC, which is dead nuts.

I'm not blaming bullet manufacturers for overstating their bullet's BCs because it's impossible for them to know how the rifling in your gun will affect the bullet's aerodynamics. All bullet manufacturers do the same thing …. they rate their bullet's BC with no rifling engraving so basically, it's a level playing field …. it's just not an accurate playing field.
 

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Iowegan.....Ok , so you have found that the Nosler 55gr BT's had BC difference of 7 on that particular load. I'm going to assume you have used this same process on other firearms you own of different calibers, correct?

So, my next question is, have you personally found an "average norm" for how much bullet makers inflate their BC? I've believed them to being inflated for years, but always questioned by how much.

Here Kitty Kitty
 

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Mark204, A couple extremes ….. I used to have a Marlin 1895 45-70 with micro-groove rifling. There was very little discernable difference between factory BC and actual BC. I have a 7x57 Mauser that started out as an FN large ring mod 98. It has very profound rifling that engraves deeply into bullets. One of the bullets I tested was a Hornady 162gr BTHP (match) that has a factory BC of .610. When I ran it through Ballistic Explorer, it came out to .420 …. a very significant difference. Using the Ballistic Explorer bullet path chart with the factory BC of .610, at 500 yards my loads printed about 14" low. Using the "actual" BC of .420 with the same loads and distance, they printed only 2" low. Again, a very notable difference (1 foot) between factory and actual BCs.

The same bullet fired in different rifles can have a significantly different BC so my conclusion is …. rifling engraving increases air friction thus a lower BC. The deeper the engraving, the more air friction will be created. So, it's not really an inflated factory rating, it's more related to the actual bore and rifling dimensions of individual guns. I think it's safe to assume that all bullets will have a lower BC than what the factory claims. It is also safe to assume that actual BCs will never be higher than factory specs.

So the answer to your question is "no", I've never connected the dots when it comes to an "average norm" …. factory versus actual BCs.
 

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Iowegan......Interesting takes on the subject, it does make sense though. Thanks for the input.

Here Kitty Kitty
 

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Mark204, Years ago there was an article floating around that described how rifling affected the bullet's BC. I can't find it but I do remember some of the basics.

When a bullet first exits the muzzle, the bullet's spin rate will be the same as the barrel's twist rate times velocity. As an example, a 223 Rem with Nosler 55gr Ballistic Tips at 3260 fps with a 1:9 twist rate, the bullet will exit the muzzle spinning at (12/9=1.333 x 3260) = 4335 RPS or 4335 X 60 = 260,148 RPM. As the bullet starts moving downrange, air friction will slow the bullet's velocity and because rifling engraving on bullets act much like turbine, it will cause the bullet's spin rate to decay at about the same rate as velocity deceleration. At 100 yards, velocity has dropped to 2862 fps, which is about 88% of the starting velocity. This means the bullet's spin rate also drops at about the same % or about 228,930 RPM. At 100 yards, no big deal but at 500 yards, bullet velocity has dropped to 1636 fps and spin rate has dropped to about 130,552. Typical .224" bullets require a minimum spin rate of 150,000 RPM to maintain stability so by the time they have traveled 500 yards, they will keyhole.

I don't know if you remember Remington "Accelerator" ammo but one of their loads was a 30-'06 cartridge loaded with a 55gr .224" bullet that was seated in a Teflon sabot. In other words, the sabot sheds in the first few feet of bullet travel leaving a virgin bullet going downrange with no engraving. A lot of experimenting was done with those sabots and the results were very interesting. Bullets with no rifling engraving maintained a considerably higher velocity than the same bullets fired at the same velocity in a conventional rifle that engraved bullets. Further, bullet spin rate did not decay as fast with sabots so bullets maintained stability for a considerably farther distance. I wish I had the article because it had real number that were impressive to say the least. The point being, rifling definitely affects the bullet's Ballistic Coefficient, which in turn lowers downrange velocity and bullet spin rate.

Here's a link to Remington Accelerator 30-'06 ammo: https://www.midwayusa.com/product/2...lerator-55-grain-pointed-soft-point-box-of-20
 

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Iowegan, Yes I do remember the accelerator round, we used to joke about it being untraceable if one used it in an illegal way. What was that, '83 or so? So with the new thing being 5R for barrels vs 4R, would an 5R induce more drag, slowing the bullet RPM's down at a faster rate or do you thing the difference would be negligible?

I would think it has some effect, probably magnified more at extreme ranges, more so than the individual shooting at say 300yds or less.

Here Kitty Kitty
 

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Hello All, As a new reloader I need all the info I can get. Have all the books (Hornady, Spear, Leymans, ABCs of reloading, etc).
The books are great, I like to have one sitting by my lounge chair and pick it up often. Always something to learn (or review).

But youtube is an amazing resource. When I started reloading 30 years ago I had no guidance and it was hard to pick it up from only books and magazines.

It really helps to see someone else doing it and explaining what they're doing. I especially like Johnny's Reloading Bench but sometimes check out IV8888 and others.
 

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Mark204, I think it would depend on the depth of the rifling more than the number of lands. As I noted above, a Marlin Micro-groove barrel made almost no difference. I think it had 10 lands but they were very shallow. Yes, late 70s ~ early 80s were the peak years for Accelerators. They were expensive back then …. about a buck a shot when full power 30-'06 ammo sold for $7.99 for a 20 round box (.40 cents each). In the Midway reference, Accelerators were 45 bucks for 20 rounds … ouch.

At one time you could buy sabots for reloading. I never tried them but one of my prairie dog hunting buddies swore by them for long range shots. As you said, at closer distances, the difference in advertised BC and actual BC wasn't very noteworthy but it started making a considerable difference at 250 yards and beyond.
 
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