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Author Topic: Where did my nodes go  (Read 520 times)

Offline Crunchy

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Where did my nodes go
« on: June 19, 2019, 07:38:04 PM »
Having a heck of a time getting consistent groups.  One trip I have a load shoot .5 moa, load up 10 of the same load only to find it shoots 1 MOA. 
Load 71.3 grains H1000, Seated at 2.681 used both CCI250s and Fed215s

Shot 5 each the CCI250 gave me an SD of 4.8 and ES of 17, but the CCI group was about .75 MOA and more vertical.  The Fed215 an ES of 49.

So I ran a new ladder but the CCI ladder doesnt seem to have much in the looks of a good node other than 69 to 69.3.  Anyone see something there I should look at.  No other components have changed.  All was on the second firing of the brass.  Also in switching primers do I need to do another seating depth test?

Fed 215 ladder           CCI250 ladder
69.5   3080                69.0   3112
69.8   3077                69.3   3107
70.1   3089                69.6   3147
70.4   3095                69.9   3177
70.7   3113                70.2   3155
71.0   3147                70.5   3138
71.3   3155                70.8   3183
71.7   3183                71.1   3171
72.0   3181                71.4   3204
72.3   3186                71.7   3230
72.7   3224                72.0   3198
73.0   3229                72.3   3224


Offline BULLBLASTER

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Re: Where did my nodes go
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2019, 07:51:16 PM »
In my experience seating depth should remain consistent. Find one thatís good and for that particular bullet it should be good with primer or powder changes.

I would personally load up the one that shot 1/2 and 1 moa and just start shooting it at distance. Youíll figure out if itís good or not.  :twocents:

Offline Crunchy

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Re: Where did my nodes go
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2019, 07:59:54 PM »
yea I am just trying to figure out how one day it shoot 1/2 MOA and the next 1 MOA at 200.  So I switched primers, but I dont see the same nodes or even as many nodes as shown with the Fed 215s.  The CCI250 gave really good ES and SD numbers I just dont see the flat spots.

Offline BULLBLASTER

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Re: Where did my nodes go
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2019, 08:01:33 PM »
Day to day difference are likely the shooter.

Find an accurate load and get to shooting. Donít worry about nodes or flat spots just shoot.

Offline jasnt

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Re: Where did my nodes go
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2019, 08:09:17 PM »
I would look at 71.4-72 with cciís  looks like a wide node.   What changed? Shooter just have a bad day? Clean the rifle? Different rest? First group a fluke?
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Offline Crunchy

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Re: Where did my nodes go
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2019, 08:25:23 PM »
I try to keep things consistent.  Shooting off bipod, and rear bag.  Clean barrel every 50 rounds or so, and always fire 2-3 fouling shots  and let the barrel cool before I start shooting groups.  usually have the range to myself so never in a rush.

Offline Bushcraft

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Re: Where did my nodes go
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2019, 01:36:02 PM »
I personally believe people put too much stock in nodes.  I'm increasingly of the opinion that most of the time they aren't anything more than just variables in the reloading process that tend to average out when the law of large numbers come into play.

For example, people tend to do a ladder test looking for one or more nodes. They load up ten to 20 cartridges with incrementally stepped up powder charges with almost no regard or understanding of how variables in neck tension, internal neck surface friction coefficients, concentricity, brass hardness, etc., come into play.

Also, most electronic scales like the RCBS Chargemaster are not at all precise. They can easily be off +/- 2 tenths of a grain.  So much for precise incremental step-ups in charge weights!

The brass itself can have substantially different volumes that in turn can create significant different pressures.

Then, you can add different amounts of barrel fouling. It does little good to do a ladder test with a perfectly clean barrel if the barrel settles down and performs best with 15-20 rounds down the pipe. There's a tendency for people performing ladder tests to start with a clean gun, shoot their test rounds from low to high pressure, and marvel that their rifle shoots better towards the top end of the pressure range. The reality is probably that they've just got to the point where the barrel is optimally fouled.  It would have likely shot all those ladder rounds into the same statistically valid group size if they were shot with a similarly fouled barrel.   You'll only find out the fouling sweet spot if you shoot it a lot....assuming your not shooting a barrel burner with a limited lifespan to begin with.

Not saying this is your situation and how you approach the reloading process at all, I'm just saying that the vast majority of reloaders do not consider these variables when they begin to interpret the tea leaf nodes.  ;)

I'd recommend you just shoot for group and use the best/fastest/safest velocity you can get.  The rifle will either like the primer/brass/powder/bullet combo or it won't and it will tell you. If this is a stock rifle and you're getting sub-MOA out of it...load up some ammo and go shoot that sucker!  The accuracy, or lack thereof, of your wind calls are going to be far, far more important when it comes to consistently putting rounds on target. And that takes loads of practice.

Are you annealing your brass before resizing/reloading it?  If so, how? Flame? Induction?

Also, are you certain your parallax was adjusted perfectly?
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Offline Crunchy

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Re: Where did my nodes go
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2019, 02:23:28 PM »
I have messed around with the paralax recently but have not mastered it.  As far as I know adjust paralax aim at the target and move your head side to side.  Seems to me that the aim point always moves some no matter what I do.  That said, I have shot some tight groups and not entirely convinced it is a paralax issue.  Brass annealed every other firing by flame before resizing.  I typically start the brass work when I have 150 or so pieces ready, and do them all the same. 

The reason for looking for the nodes is to have a good starting point for a low ES and SD.  Hopefully another few trips to the range and I will have it all figured out :chuckle:  I love shooting but some serious salmon fishing is about to take priority.

Offline wooltie

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Re: Where did my nodes go
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2019, 02:47:33 PM »
I have messed around with the paralax recently but have not mastered it.  As far as I know adjust paralax aim at the target and move your head side to side.  Seems to me that the aim point always moves some no matter what I do.  That said, I have shot some tight groups and not entirely convinced it is a paralax issue.  Brass annealed every other firing by flame before resizing.  I typically start the brass work when I have 150 or so pieces ready, and do them all the same. 

The reason for looking for the nodes is to have a good starting point for a low ES and SD.  Hopefully another few trips to the range and I will have it all figured out :chuckle:  I love shooting but some serious salmon fishing is about to take priority.

If 10 rounds shot .5 moa one session, then opened up to 1 moa the next session, I wouldn't give up on the load just yet or start switching up a bunch of components.

I would load up another 20-30 rounds of this load in a single reloading session, then go to the range under ideal conditions and see what happens.

I'm not even close to a notice, but I do know that all these variables come into play and some can be measured and controlled -- but some can't. 

It is hard to decide what to do next after a range session where the load performs less than ideal.  Do you try again, or change something, knowing that the change can have an unintended effect?

It's a #'s game -- meaning some shots will not group .5 because of you, the conditions, or something with the load -- but I think one has to shoot enough rounds of a given load to measure its actual consistency.

So for example, if you shot this .5 moa load 50 times, and 30 were .5 moa (20 were 1 moa) would that be good enough?  If so, then looking back you wouldn't want to change something just because you saw the 10/50 rounds that were 1 moa on the second range trip.

Also I saw you're shooting from a bipod -- can you find a different front rest so the gun can free recoil somewhat?  I don't personally shoot off a bipod from the bench, but I've heard they can be finicky.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 02:53:05 PM by wooltie »

Offline Bushcraft

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Re: Where did my nodes go
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2019, 04:31:26 PM »
I have messed around with the paralax recently but have not mastered it.  As far as I know adjust paralax aim at the target and move your head side to side.  Seems to me that the aim point always moves some no matter what I do.  That said, I have shot some tight groups and not entirely convinced it is a paralax issue.  Brass annealed every other firing by flame before resizing.  I typically start the brass work when I have 150 or so pieces ready, and do them all the same. 

The reason for looking for the nodes is to have a good starting point for a low ES and SD.  Hopefully another few trips to the range and I will have it all figured out :chuckle:  I love shooting but some serious salmon fishing is about to take priority.

Bingo. I think we've found the culprit!  I'll bet your load is just fine, but you'll have to get a precise parallax adjustment if you hope to shoot it with a very high degree of consistent precision. 
A fully custom state of the art "one-hole" gun can easily be a 2.5 to 4 MOA "piece of junk" in the hands of someone that doesn't know how to adjust the parallax properly.  I see it all the time whenever I go to a public range.

Parallax must be adjusted as precisely as possible. Every shot.  If there is any sweep of the reticle at all across the target when slightly moving your eye left or right or up or down when looking through the scope (with a perfectly stationary rifle!) a shooter will have to utilize exactly the same cheek weld every single time he gets on the gun...which is theoretically possible, but realistically impossible.

Try getting your rifle on a set of good bags such that you can see the target through the scope without touching the rifle or imparting any movement whatsoever on the rifle or bench. Then, with your eye ever so slightly moving behind the scope, try and slowly make small changes to the parallax knob until the reticle stops moving around over the target. Keep in mind that even on high dollar scopes the distance figures on the parallax knob are hardly ever, if ever, perfect.  Also, keep in mind that it's not a focus knob. Many people turn it until the image is sharply focused, but that doesn't necessarily mean the parallax is adjusted correctly.  Sometimes you'll see perfect parallax adjustment and have poor optical focus and vice versa. If you've got one of those scopes...get rid of it asap because it will be a never ending source of grief and frustration.

Good luck!

« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 04:40:52 PM by Bushcraft »
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