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Handloaded Ammunition Declaration: MoD Ranges


Popsbengo

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40 minutes ago, Artiglio said:

IIRC questionnaire the NRA put out was the initial response to concerns raised by the MOD after there had been incidents involving reloaded ammunition. 
Once the concern has been raised the NRA has to do something, gathering information will no doubt guide what happens next.

Much like the HME rules we now have, concerns were raised and a procedure devised that satisfied those concerns and allowed things to continue. ( you need HME on your SSC and do an HME card each time you visit the range). 
 

Surely much better that its the NRA that puts something in place than have the MOD make a decision.

 

Agreed, let's see what's proposed before getting too excited

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2 hours ago, Artiglio said:

IIRC questionnaire the NRA put out was the initial response to concerns raised by the MOD after there had been incidents involving reloaded ammunition. 
Once the concern has been raised the NRA has to do something, gathering information will no doubt guide what happens next.

Much like the HME rules we now have, concerns were raised and a procedure devised that satisfied those concerns and allowed things to continue. ( you need HME on your SSC and do an HME card each time you visit the range). 
 

Surely much better that its the NRA that puts something in place than have the MOD make a decision.

 

I agree too.

In this instance I think the NRA is acting correctly in getting ahead of MOD concerns about reloaded ammunition.

However as  a Club Chairman, it looks like I'm going to be asked to sign-off on the competence of my members who reload, which gives me some concerns. But if the NRA is going to issue a code of practise, that would help. Otherwise I'll have to stipulate that members (including myself) attend a course, but I do that anyway for things that are beyond my competence to assess (eg Target Shotgun and HME).

Triffid

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12 hours ago, terryh said:

Actually never found this , exact opposite in fact people, both this and other side of pond,, have always been very open with loads and tips/tricks. Found this very helpful when taking up BPCR.

Would suggest if this is prevalent in you current club then join a different club!

Brds Terry

ps personally anyone who can only win by having a tech advantage as opposed to being a better shot is deceiving themselves 

 

 

Club keeps changing the rules regarding barrel length too . It now states not more than 30” barrels . One club member has chopped his barrel a couple of times to keep certain people happy as he keeps doing too well at bisley . Other local club is so very much easier going and more friendly. We just shoot and get on with enjoying ourselves and try to stay away from the politics and prima donnas. It’s how it is sorry to say 

.

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19 hours ago, Triffid said:

I agree too.

In this instance I think the NRA is acting correctly in getting ahead of MOD concerns about reloaded ammunition.

However as  a Club Chairman, it looks like I'm going to be asked to sign-off on the competence of my members who reload, which gives me some concerns. But if the NRA is going to issue a code of practise, that would help. Otherwise I'll have to stipulate that members (including myself) attend a course, but I do that anyway for things that are beyond my competence to assess (eg Target Shotgun and HME).

Triffid

You're in an awkward position there and I can see why you have to do something to demonstrate some sort of risk mitigation.  However, many reloaders who are experienced could probably well give the course, so sitting in on a basic reloading safety course won't prevent stupid.  It's those with little reloading experience jumping straight in at the deep end with the club perhaps unaware which surely is where the emphasis needs to be?  It'll all be based on trust whichever way it goes unless we get to the stage no one wants to be at such as sitting exams to wave a nationally recognised piece of paper about.   Simple measures have existed in the past such as a declaration of load which can be cross checked, but who will do the checking and as raised before, book values are not something universal as many target shooters with custom rifles develop their own safe limits which may be very different in their rifles to a load manual.  It's a difficult one in order to become sensible without becoming unworkable or meaningless.  I agree that the NRA have to do something as the MOD might otherwise decide keep their ranges shut to clubs.

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On 7/6/2022 at 7:51 PM, Richiew said:

Club keeps changing the rules regarding barrel length too . It now states not more than 30” barrels . One club member has chopped his barrel a couple of times to keep certain people happy as he keeps doing too well at bisley . Other local club is so very much easier going and more friendly. We just shoot and get on with enjoying ourselves and try to stay away from the politics and prima donnas. It’s how it is sorry to say 

.

Telling folks what barrel length they can have 🤭 never heard anything  like it in all my years of shooting 😂😂😂😂

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10 hours ago, VarmLR said:

 It's those with little reloading experience jumping straight in at the deep end with the club perhaps unaware which surely is where the emphasis needs to be?  

I think I'm more concerned about the people who've been reloading for ages and who perhaps can get into bad habits. The only reloading incident I've seen involved one of my older club members who has been reloading for decades and who managed to over-charge (or probably double-charge a .38 spl) and the subsequent loud bang heralded a one-way trip to the gunsmith for his Marlin 1894.

My Club is a small one and it's straightforward to encourage new reloaders down the right path . . . I'll even give them the components and instructions, then check progress.

Thinking about it, what I'd find really, really useful is the post-mortem reports into all the accidents that have occurred, particularly identifying the cause and root-cause of the incident.

Triffid

 

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This can be true in many walks of life for H&S related issues, but those who have been reloading for ages I would have thought would be well known to the club and any concerns one might hope would have been raised if what they were doing was suspect. This is the whole focus though...unless someone checks individual loads the exercise is of limited value except as a form filling "check".

A lot of clubs now organise their own reloading courses and I wouldn't be against something whereby club members who wish to use their home reloads should either be assessed for the cals they're using or otherwise attend one of these classes.  It's no real hardship as a one off exercise.  Finding someone willing to give their time up and organising such an event will have its usual difficulties.  Then we have the conundrum "who assesses the assessor?".  How far its taken might be one of the issues looked into for any set procedures that the NRA wishes to look at producing.

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13 hours ago, Triffid said:

...

Thinking about it, what I'd find really, really useful is the post-mortem reports into all the accidents that have occurred, particularly identifying the cause and root-cause of the incident.

 

Couldn't agree more.  The NRA should publish (anonymised if necessary) reports, I find real-world examples the most powerful way to remind people of the potential consequences of inattention or bad choices.

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On 7/6/2022 at 10:30 AM, No i deer said:

I know most of the competitive f class shooters in the UK and their probaly some of the best reloaders around.

My f open guns are competitive and i don't run on the edge as they don't need too..

An extra 50fps plus will see just a few millimetres gain so there's no point.

FTR shooters seem to push their 308's using 155's above 'book', don't may of them start the load development near 'book' maximum? Well those I have spoken to anyway. 

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36 minutes ago, geek said:

FTR shooters seem to push their 308's using 155's above 'book', don't may of them start the load development near 'book' maximum? Well those I have spoken to anyway. 

I don't know what load they use with the 155s but I do know that some shoot them very well and rate them highly..

I must know you geek if you shoot the gbfca league..

I know most of the f class  who go on ukv and occasionally come across some I didn't.. 

Have we met..?

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43 grain s of n135 with 155 Amax . Works very well in the 2800 + fps speeds . N150 for the heavier bullets ( 178 hornady , 175 lrbt Berger and the good old 185 juggernaut) around 44.5 grains for 2600 ish fps . Happy days . Cheers 

enjoy a beer it’s hot out there , 

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Well, what is 'book'? Look at enough 'books' (including manufacturers' websites) these days and you'll see some surprisingly large variations in maximum loads. I touch on that in exploring Reach-compliant alternatives to H. VarGet and H4895 here in the many variables that particularly affect maximum safe loads in 223 Rem with the 77gn Sierra MK which I'm using as the range-test vehicle. See here:

http://www.targetshooter.co.uk/?p=3741

Five published sources are quoted that show a near 3gn difference for H. VarGet and the 77gn SMK, a staggering difference in this cartridge and we can't blame this on major component changes as US sources use similar capacity R-P brass. All of these are allegedly tested in a SAAMI-spec 223 test barrel with the standard SAAMI-compliant 223 Rem chamber and its mere 25 thou' freebore.

I'm not going to comment on what F/TR competitors do or don't do with their loads (aside from note the fact that precious few load 155gn bullets these days ............. and also to note that the one serious over-pressure 308 match ammunition issue that has turned up at Bisley in recent years was with the NRA specified, contracted, and issued 308 Win ammo loaded by RUAG Ammotec under its RWS label), but those in other disciplines need to pause before they become too critical. Do CSR competitors whose ARs normally use non SAAMI-compliant 223 Wylde or other form chambers stick to 'book max' with 69gn and heavier bullets for instance? Do they load 80s to a maximum COAL of 2.323" and up to 2.551" or stick to SAAMI Max of 2.26"?  ........... or some four intermediate points quoted in Viht's loads data alone for the cartridge, all of which affect its usability, its maximum load, and in at least one case requires a radically non-SAAMI chamber form (2.551" for the 80gn SMK which even the longer freebore Wylde can't safely accept, and SAAMI not in 1,000 years!)

I wish I had £1 for every person who has told me that Viht maxima are way under safe limits and can be ignored. That stems from 308 Win loads for a couple of 155s dating back to the dawn of the company's involvement in handloading products, and have never been updated. They are exceptionally mild and I've often wondered how Viht got there - heavier 7.62 brass and a tight NATO 7.62 spec barrel I usually reckon. Today's Viht  maximum loads are anything but mild. If you follow my wanderings in trying VarGet / H4895 alternatives in the 223, you'll see that with at least one Viht maximum (of the five grades tried from this marque), I have concerns about its safety and I've come across other Viht loads for other cartridges right on safe limits.

So loading manuals' data-sets are guides, not non-negotiable instructions and directives on tablets delivered by some modern day Moses direct from God. Some may be underloaded for your components and rifle; some may be very hot indeed, even over-pressure. They all require good loading practices involving working loads up, use of a reliable chronograph if seeking warm to 'hot' performance, and being able to recognise over-pressure signs in their various forms. They also require a willingness to take suspect rounds home and the ownership / use of a bullet-puller, not an attitude that says 'I'll just get rid of them by shooting them off; they can't be too dangerous".

How that fits into any form of certification / written statements and declarations ................ ???

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6 minutes ago, No i deer said:

There 155.5s are going much faster that that..

Over 3100fps I believe 

 

But not with N135 which is the canister version of Viht's off the shelf bulk powder optimised for the 7.62 NATO cartridge for military orders that require compliance with the appropriate military performance / pressure specs. That varies rather from F/TR practice especially as the specified NATO bullet weight is 144-147gn IIRC, and the case is much heavier / lower capacity. It isn't an optimal choice for the long-distance 308 Win competitor with the 155.5gn Berger LRBT or similar designs.

That's not a criticism of N135 or anyone who chooses it, just a reflection that one might try to achieve over 3,100 fps with the 308 with N135, but if successful - even in a 32-inch barrel - it will likely be a highly hazardous achievement.

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10 hours ago, Laurie said:

Do they load 80s to a maximum COAL of 2.323" and up to 2.551" or stick to SAAMI Max of 2.26"?  ........... or some four intermediate points quoted in Viht's loads data alone for the cartridge, all of which affect its usability, its maximum load, and in at least one case requires a radically non-SAAMI chamber form (2.551" for the 80gn SMK which even the longer freebore Wylde can't safely accept, and SAAMI not in 1,000 years!)

CSR Shooters are very unlikely to be using 80 grain SMKs as they are far too long to be easily magazine fed.

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12 hours ago, Laurie said:

 

But not with N135 which is the canister version of Viht's off the shelf bulk powder optimised for the 7.62 NATO cartridge for military orders that require compliance with the appropriate military performance / pressure specs. That varies rather from F/TR practice especially as the specified NATO bullet weight is 144-147gn IIRC, and the case is much heavier / lower capacity. It isn't an optimal choice for the long-distance 308 Win competitor with the 155.5gn Berger LRBT or similar designs.

That's not a criticism of N135 or anyone who chooses it, just a reflection that one might try to achieve over 3,100 fps with the 308 with N135, but if successful - even in a 32-inch barrel - it will likely be a highly hazardous achievement.

Hi Laurie.

Maybe I heard wrong then if 3100fps sounds too fast.

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3 hours ago, John MH said:

RS Powder shortage imminent.

Thanks for the tipoff, just secured 2kg of RS62, that'll keep my 6.5CM fed for a bit.  Now off to recover from severe wallet abuse..

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3 hours ago, No i deer said:

Hi Laurie.

Maybe I heard wrong then if 3100fps sounds too fast.

 

Oh no, some people have hit or even exceeded 3,100 fps with the 155.5gn Berger - never with N135 though.

With a long enough barrel, a suitably throated chamber, the very strong Lapua small primer 'Palma' brass and suitable doses of a small number of powders, this is not only feasible but perfectly safe. This is not confined to the UK alone as top F/TR competitors worldwide load to over 3,050 fps with this bullet weight, many of them shooting in much higher temperatures too than we'd ever see here.

This not a phenomenon restricted to this discipline either, or even originating in it, as the much longer standing 'Match Rifle' has seen some astonishing 308 Win MVs for decades with heavy bullets as a result of enormous amounts of experimentation and innovation ever since the discipline switched from 'any calibre' to 308 Win-only sometime towards the end of the last century. In the early days of F/TR, some competitors were either MR shooters who moved across into it or who had access to MR gurus and sought out tips on achieving stellar velocities. 

As to whether another 50 or 100 fps makes a difference to scores, that's a difficult one to answer. It probably doesn't to me as my wind reading is nowhere up to the standards of Russell Simmonds and some of the other top people. On the way back from the F-Class 'Worlds' at Raton in 2013, I listened in to an interesting conversation in a Denver Airport bar between Russell and Robin (?) Kent one of our two team wind coaches and a World-class GB 'Target Rifle' team shooter and coach for many years. The latter said that he altered his windage values for Russell with his exceptional MVs even compared to the rest of the team.

(A team decision had been made for everyone to shoot the 155.5 Berger - a mistake in hindsight as the conditions were such that the 185gn Berger Juggernaut was clearly superior over any 155, and since those days, the Berger 200gn 200.20X model has become the universal F/TR bullet choice for this level of shooting.) When you get to that level of skill in rifle gunsmithing, handloading, shooting, and wind-reading, here was a man who knows more about how much to change the windage knob than I ever would who says it does make a difference, and does offer a benefit. I'm certainly not going to dispute the issue with anyone with his skills and experience. After 10 days of shooting, first in the US F-Class Nationals, then the FCWC, aggregate scores amounted to several hundreds in both events shot at 800, 900, and 1,000 yards. An extra 50 fps might increase an individual aggregate by a single point, more likely a low single figure number, for a few super-shooters, but one point averaged 9 places in the results listings at that level of super-hot competition. It didn't do Russell any harm as he finished runner-up individual F/TR World Champion despite the bullet handicap, and GB F/TR took Bronze in the team matches.

On MVs being used over that fortnight, Raton's August temperatures hitting the high 90s had their effect. My UK 3,050 fps MV with the now banned IMR-8208XBR rose to exactly 3,100 fps according to a borrowed MagnetoSpeed. Interestingly, that powder charge remained the 'sweet spot' despite the MV increase, and fortunately there were no pressure indications at all. In fact a set of new 'Palma' cases were fired twice under these conditions and went on to reach double-figure loadings and firings in subsequent UK use at c.3,050 fps (reducing to 3,027 fps over the last few hundred rounds due to barrel wear), and remain perfectly usable today. Standard large primer cases of any make are unsuitable for  such loads / pressures - if nothing else, they have to be junked after a small number of firings as case heads and hence primer pockets expand.

Nothing in ballistics comes free though. The price is barrel wear with F/TR barrels having very much shorter lives than those on 'TR' rifles firing the standard 155gn SMK NRA ammo at a bit over 2,900 fps. My 3,050 fps load gave a life of around 3,000 rounds on a Bartlein 'Heavy Palma' profile tube; the people shooting the really warm loads see considerably less.

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30 minutes ago, Laurie said:

 

Oh no, some people have hit or even exceeded 3,100 fps with the 155.5gn Berger - never with N135 though.

With a long enough barrel, a suitably throated chamber, the very strong Lapua small primer 'Palma' brass and suitable doses of a small number of powders, this is not only feasible but perfectly safe. This is not confined to the UK alone as top F/TR competitors worldwide load to over 3,050 fps with this bullet weight, many of them shooting in much higher temperatures too than we'd ever see here.

This not a phenomenon restricted to this discipline either, or even originating in it, as the much longer standing 'Match Rifle' has seen some astonishing 308 Win MVs for decades with heavy bullets as a result of enormous amounts of experimentation and innovation ever since the discipline switched from 'any calibre' to 308 Win-only sometime towards the end of the last century. In the early days of F/TR, some competitors were either MR shooters who moved across into it or who had access to MR gurus and sought out tips on achieving stellar velocities. 

As to whether another 50 or 100 fps makes a difference to scores, that's a difficult one to answer. It probably doesn't to me as my wind reading is nowhere up to the standards of Russell Simmonds and some of the other top people. On the way back from the F-Class 'Worlds' at Raton in 2013, I listened in to an interesting conversation in a Denver Airport bar between Russell and Robin (?) Kent one of our two team wind coaches and a World-class GB 'Target Rifle' team shooter and coach for many years. The latter said that he altered his windage values for Russell with his exceptional MVs even compared to the rest of the team.

(A team decision had been made for everyone to shoot the 155.5 Berger - a mistake in hindsight as the conditions were such that the 185gn Berger Juggernaut was clearly superior over any 155, and since those days, the Berger 200gn 200.20X model has become the universal F/TR bullet choice for this level of shooting.) When you get to that level of skill in rifle gunsmithing, handloading, shooting, and wind-reading, here was a man who knows more about how much to change the windage knob than I ever would who says it does make a difference, and does offer a benefit. I'm certainly not going to dispute the issue with anyone with his skills and experience. After 10 days of shooting, first in the US F-Class Nationals, then the FCWC, aggregate scores amounted to several hundreds in both events shot at 800, 900, and 1,000 yards. An extra 50 fps might increase an individual aggregate by a single point, more likely a low single figure number, for a few super-shooters, but one point averaged 9 places in the results listings at that level of super-hot competition. It didn't do Russell any harm as he finished runner-up individual F/TR World Champion despite the bullet handicap, and GB F/TR took Bronze in the team matches.

On MVs being used over that fortnight, Raton's August temperatures hitting the high 90s had their effect. My UK 3,050 fps MV with the now banned IMR-8208XBR rose to exactly 3,100 fps according to a borrowed MagnetoSpeed. Interestingly, that powder charge remained the 'sweet spot' despite the MV increase, and fortunately there were no pressure indications at all. In fact a set of new 'Palma' cases were fired twice under these conditions and went on to reach double-figure loadings and firings in subsequent UK use at c.3,050 fps (reducing to 3,027 fps over the last few hundred rounds due to barrel wear), and remain perfectly usable today. Standard large primer cases of any make are unsuitable for  such loads / pressures - if nothing else, they have to be junked after a small number of firings as case heads and hence primer pockets expand.

Nothing in ballistics comes free though. The price is barrel wear with F/TR barrels having very much shorter lives than those on 'TR' rifles firing the standard 155gn SMK NRA ammo at a bit over 2,900 fps. My 3,050 fps load gave a life of around 3,000 rounds on a Bartlein 'Heavy Palma' profile tube; the people shooting the really warm loads see considerably less.

For Bisley or MoD ranges a 155.5gr at 3,100fps is just HME at 4509 J.   Do F Class or T/R shooters do HME procedures ?

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2 hours ago, Popsbengo said:

Do F Class or T/R shooters do HME procedures ?

Yes, where needed for F/TR and as a matter of course for most F-Open competitors. Arrangements are laid on in advance as part of planning these fixtures.

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