How Soon Do You Load Your Precision Rifle Loads Before Shooting them?



  • Stumbled across some stuff this weekend regarding how quickly long range shooters use their hand loads. Some people were saying they would not load until 1 day - 1 week before a match/using. Others were saying they would try to use their loads within several months. Some people were saying there could be a bond made between the bullet and case in as short of a time as 1 week and it would cause increased pressure and cause vertical dispersion. Others said they never had that problem.

    Previously, I have always loaded up say 50 rounds, or maybe 100 rounds, and then used them throughout the year. Is this bad for long range hunting accuracy? Should I wait to load until 1 week or less before a hunt? Load before hunting season and use within 2 months? Or is this not something to worry about?



  • My loaded ammo doesn't often get an opportunity to sit around very long, but what I have fired which has been a year old, I have not noticed any issue with.

    I suspect the answer to this question is very much dependent upon the processes used during the creation of the ammo. If someone is using the stainless tumbling media and getting the inside of the necks completely spotless, then it is not unforeseeable that the bullet could become cold welded to the case neck. This is a thing, and I've seen it before. As to the question whether it will create significant problems, I don't have enough data or experience with it to answer.

    I would think all of that could be avoided by proper reloading practices. If a bit of carbon is left on the inside of the necks, I'd venture it very hard for the bullet to take a set against that brass in any meaningful way.



  • Thanks for the reply and advice Orkan.

    As a follow up question -

    When I size my brass, I normally wipe a thin layer of Imperial Sizing Die Wax on the outside of the case body below the shoulder and then dip the necks in Imperial Dry Neck Lube before running them up into the sizing die.

    Previously, as the last step in my brass prep I have been using a couple of turns by hand with #3 grade steel wool, followed by a couple of turns of #00 grade steel wool, followed by a light pass of a Q tip on the ID of the case neck. I don't believe it has adversely affected my loads, but now I am wondering if I should stop doing that or at least use a Q tip with a light coat of Imperial Dry Neck lube on the ID of the case neck before seating bullets so I am not removing the carbon buildup on the ID of the case neck? Maybe there is a little more to gain from this load by doing that vs using the steel wool to clean the ID of the case neck (probably removing carbon?).

    I have not previously noticed any difficult seating or anything odd with the previous regimen, but read in one of your posts somewhere I think that you apply a very thin layer of imperial Sizing Die Wax on the ID of your case necks just prior to bullet seating? Do you think I should very lightly swab the ID of my case necks with a Q tip dipped in the Imperial Dry Neck Lube just prior to seating bullets, or would it be better to use the Imperial Sizing Die Wax, or maybe no difference between the two? I assume that using one or the other would also help prevent any cold weld bond from possibly ever happening if the loads end up being stored for a while before using?



  • @catamount1 said in How Soon Do You Load Your Precision Rifle Loads Before Shooting them?:

    but read in one of your posts somewhere I think that you apply a very thin layer of imperial Sizing Die Wax on the ID of your case necks just prior to bullet seating?

    Perhaps during testing or some specific thing, but not as a matter of course. That's a good way to have your rounds not land where they are suppose to.

    I'll often use a q-tip to put a light pass of imperial inside the necks to smooth out expansion during full length sizing. Sizing, not seating.



  • @orkan said in How Soon Do You Load Your Precision Rifle Loads Before Shooting them?:

    I'll often use a q-tip to put a light pass of imperial inside the necks to smooth out expansion during full length sizing. Sizing, not seating.

    And from what I've observed with my reloading, this not only smooths out expansion, it also improves concentricity consistency.



  • @orkan said in How Soon Do You Load Your Precision Rifle Loads Before Shooting them?:

    @catamount1 said in How Soon Do You Load Your Precision Rifle Loads Before Shooting them?:

    but read in one of your posts somewhere I think that you apply a very thin layer of imperial Sizing Die Wax on the ID of your case necks just prior to bullet seating?

    Perhaps during testing or some specific thing, but not as a matter of course. That's a good way to have your rounds not land where they are suppose to.

    I'll often use a q-tip to put a light pass of imperial inside the necks to smooth out expansion during full length sizing. Sizing, not seating.

    Thanks for clarifying Orkan. I must have misread or misunderstood your post I was thinking of.



  • I shot my 7mm Norma Mag Improved today, and I have had that ammo loaded and laying on the shelf for roughly 9 months.

    Here's 5 shots at 100yds. @kanemiker was there as a witness. :)

    stZwCj4h.jpg



  • That's a nice group! Good feedback.


 

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