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    Checked out a used book store in Corpus Christi, TX this afternoon. Started to think I wasn't going to find any gun related material, I found one small section.

    I didn't really check the manual. figuring most of the data wad outdated - but here they are - in no particular order

    Tried to get clear shots of the prices. Didn't do such a good job. LOL!

    The Nosler manual is priced $39.99.
    The Barnes manual is a bit pricier.It's marked $49.99.
    .....but the old loose leaf Hodgdon manual? That dude is marked $89.99!
    Is it worth that much? 🤔
    Last edited by FirstBubba; 02-09-2022, 05:04 PM.

  • #2
    Many of the manufacturers have online load data but I have used the latest and greatest Hornady manual most of my life. In addition, I use Quick Load software for most of my load development. To me, the manuals and simulation software just give me a safe place to start. I work up loads by incrementally testing charge weights and seating depth for each bullet in each cartridge that I shoot. I make sure my reloads are optimally tuned to each unique rifle. I document my loads and that is what I use. Some of loads haven't changes in 50 years as long as I shoot the same rifle. I do test new components for some of these and that can make a difference. New powders and new bullets are sometimes game changers.


    • #3
      Originally posted by PigHunter

      Can't see your pics...

      Here's my advice, don't buy any of them. You already have your favorite loads and are too stubborn and cheap to change. So, why bother?
      Pretty much! But with the powder shortage, I may just have to change a load whether I want to or not! 😖
      ...BUT...I do like antiques
      I bought a Redding "Powder and Bullet" scale. Not because I needed a scale, but because it was old and only $20! 😉


      • #4
        Dskota, How does Weatherby Click image for larger version

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ID:	791530 achieve the accuracy they do with such a long free bore? Other shooters look for differences of .001 in performance. Here is a pic of free bore on my Makr V Weatherby .300wby mag.


        • #5
          The best way I’ve heard it explained is that free bore is kind of like a forcing cone in a shot gun. My best guess is. That it depends on how straight the boring is done. If it lines up good it shouldn’t be a problem.


          • #6
            Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post
            Dakota, How does Weatherby achieve the accuracy they do with such a long free bore?
            Since I build precision long range rifles as a hobby, I often specify unique free bore in chamber reamers. The length of the free bore affects three things:
            1. The longer a free bore is, the higher the velocity of the load that can be achieved. The bullet gets a bit of pressure free space to accelerate the bullet before it hits the bore.

            2. It can allow you to seat heavy for caliber bullets shallower in the case. This provides an increase in the powder capacity of your case. It also allows reloaders to seat their bullets above the shoulder/neck junction where built up brass flow (often call "donut") can seriously ruin accuracy unless you ream it out consistently.

            3. It can reduce the pressure of combustion. The further a bullet runs without bore friction, the less pressure it takes to achieve a given velocity.

            4. On the negative side, excessive free bore can cause the bullet to wobble in that part of the chamber and hit the bore out of alignment. This can cause the bullet engraving to be off-center making the bullet wobble as it passes 250 yards and transitions to rotating on its center of mass rather than on the center of the bore. This of course causes loss of precision at long range.

            I have my opinions on why Weatherby used a long free bore but you would have to ask Roy to get the truth and that is no longer possible. I personally suspect:

            a. It allowed Weatherby rifles to shoot at higher velocities than rifles with shorter free bores (in the range of 100-200 fps advantage). Not many people shot Weatherby rifles at long range so they didn't experience the negative effect of #4 above. Weatherby's 100 yard 1 1/2" accuracy guarantee is not considered "accurate" by today's standards but it will assuredly plug a deer out to 400 yards if that is your need. Also, most modern Weatherbys (other than their feather weight barrels) shoot much better than that. Please note that only the Weatherby proprietary belted magnum chambers have long free bores. If you buy a Weatherby Vanguard (i.e. Howa manufactured) chambered in 30-06, you will get a SAMMI specified free bore.

            b. It allowed Weatherby's magnum cartridges to chamber heavy for caliber bullets. You need a long free bore if you want to shoot today's heavy for caliber bullets. If you don't have it, you eat up too much of your case's powder capacity. For example, if you are shooting a Hornady 250g A-Tip bullet in a .300 Weatherby, you will need to ream your free bore out even longer than SAAMI specifications for that cartridge or your velocity will be severely impacted by lack of powder in the case. Modern Weatherby rifles can be very accurate as long as you shoot the heavy-for-caliber bullet that best matches their free bore.

            My guess is that it was initially done for highly competitive hunting velocity. Roy didn't have the heavy bullets that exist today. Most .300 Weatherby shooter were shooting the 180g bullet and no one even dreamed of a 250g bullet for that caliber.

            My bottom line advice for long range accuracy is to shoot a bullet that matches your free bore best. Don't seat the bearing surface of your bullet below the shoulder/neck junction unless you ream the "donut" from that area on every reload. I normally seat my bullets within .020 of the lands unless they would be too long to fit in the magazine. For long range varminting, I single feed cartridges so magazine fit is not a concern. You can always make what you have work optimally.
            Last edited by DakotaMan; 02-11-2022, 09:56 AM.


            • #7
              Good article DakotaMan ! I am probably the dumbest person on site when it comes to ballistics, free bores or anything pertaining to specifics on firearms. But, your words even made the light of comprehension come on for me. Interesting stuff, thanks !


              • #8
                D'Man, my mentor in the black powder rifle field told me that one of the reasons muzzle loaders were so accurate is because the bullet was already seated in the rifling when you loaded the gun.
                It has already been discussed that in the nanosecond "jump" between case and rifling, the bullet "vibrates" as does the barrel.
                By seating the bullet out where the bullet lightly contacts the rifling, the bullet and barrel basically vibrate "together", making the bullet more accurate! (🤷‍♂️?)

                Myself, I don't fret or lose sleep over all that technical mumbo jumbo. That others do and report their findings, I find acceptable.
                As long as the rifle I'm shooting will (pretty much!) hit the target I'm aiming at, I'm good! LOL!

                Kinda like an automobile. I don't understand all the ins and outs, but when it doesn't work, I take it to someone who DOES know! LOL!

                My "gunsmithing" abilities pretty much end at the "assembling ARs" bench. (i.e. - pretty limited!)




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