Some folks might think “Why Bother?” when reading how much work it is.
I can provide two reasons right off the bat…
1) It’s fun and interesting to do the hand loading, and expands the depth to which we can enjoy our interest in shooting. I can’t document this, it has to be experienced, and I know it’s not for everyone. These articles are aimed at those who wish to take a shot at it. Pun intended.
2) Hand loading precision ammunition can result in spectacular accuracy, even in a cheap old Military surplus rifle. That I CAN document, and will do so now.
In this case the range results are from using the ammunition built while putting together the previous articles. I compared it to plain jane military surplus 1950’s Yugoslavian 8x57mm ammunition. Many people shoot this right now as there was a large amount available recently.
I shot at 50 yards, the distance I can see these targets without my eyes blurring too much. I wanted to make it a test of the ammo, not my aging eyes.
The rifle, to be a fair test, is not the Mauser this ammunition was loaded for. It’s another Turkish model 38 acquired because the price was right and the rifle is in excellent condition.
Here she is off the bench at 50 yards with 50's Yugoslavian surplus. The group is just a bit over 1.5", which is not terrible for a 60 year old Mauser battle rifle with miserable sights shooting 50 year old mil-surp ammunition. I should mention.... the first shot was the ten-X, and my heart jumped. What a good omen!
Next up, a group shot immediately after the first, using the ammunition loaded while writing the articles found below:
This group is just over .75". That’s as good as I can see at 50 yards using the rough old Turkish battle sights. Actually, it's better than I can see and I can't account for that.
At another place I posed this question “How far must a rifle move on the bench to deflect the bullet 1" at 100 yards?” The answer seems to be about .005" movement will change impact 1" at 100 yards. Using that figure, it would translate to only .007" movement of the rifle on the bench could have given me this .75" group. There are other factors in play, but that should indicate how much accurately built ammunition counts!
The only other shooter there while I ran this test was firing a very tricked out
$125 antique Mauser battle rifle = .75" at 50 yards.
$1250 custom AR target rifle = .75" at 100 yards.
I guess this whole business of loading ammunition with accuracy in mind really pays off.
(Coming up next: A comparison of sizing methods, Neck Vs. Full length)