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From: (Toby Bradshaw)
Subject: Re: Accuracy limits of "stock" bullets
Organization: University of Washington, Seattle

In article <23sqh1$> (Tom Wright) writes:

#A question for you serious benchrest shooters:
#     How small of a MOA group can you expect to get with
#"stock" bullets such as the match ones from Nosler, Sierra, other
#major manufacturers?  At what point (1/3 MOA, 1/4 MOA?) should
#you choose custom bullets like those from Berger and others?

A good lot of factory match bullets will shoot 0.250 MOA or
better.  Finding a good lot can be a challenge.  The bullets in
a box are the products of several (up to four) different bullet
dies.  What are the chances that all four dies are identical?
Not good.

#And what do bullets like Berger's cost?  Say for a box of 100

The best deal in the shooting sports are handmade benchrest bullets.
How these guys make money on them is beyond me.  You can buy the
world's best bullets for about $11-$12/100 in .224, which is not
much more than varmint bullets and about the same as factory
match bullets.  The handmade bullets are sequential products of
a single die, and are remarkably uniform.  Depending on the jackets,
they are very good to excellent in quality.  Many of the jackets
are too thick to blow up well on small varmints at modest velocities,
and when I'm somewhere where ricochets are a problem I shoot
Speer TNTs or Nosler BTs (although the base on the BTs will often
continue past the point of impact, it's not as bad as a 52gr
Bruno skipping off into the next county).

-Toby Bradshaw

From: (Toby Bradshaw)
Subject: Re: Bullet swaging
Organization: University of Washington, Seattle

In article <>,
Russ Kepler <bbxrbk!> wrote:
#I'm half
#considering making and selling match grade .257 bullets as I've not
#found a ready supply of them in the field, any suggestions here?

Most everybody making benchrest quality bullets is using Rockchuckers
(1-3 depending on finances) for the press(es).  Dies are made by folks
like Simonson, and are absolutely critical for good bullets.  They are
very expensive.  For home use, tool steel dies are fine.  For commercial
sales, carbide is the way to go, but expect to pay >$2,000 for the
three dies, plus some extra for spare core seating punches.  Jacket
quality for .257 bullets has limited their accuracy, but several
bullet makers (Jef Fowler comes to mind) make BR-grade .257s.  There's
no way to make decent money on handmade bullets.  You can buy a
box of handmade bullets for around $15.  In each bullet is a 4-5 cent
jacket and 1-2 cents worth of lead.  For each bullet you have to pull
the press handle three times, not to mention degreasing, lubing,
degreasing again, lubing again, cleaning again (well, you get the
idea).  A good bullet maker can make around 100 bullets an hour, not
counting setup time.  How they can sell them for what they do is
a mystery to me.  Most have no control over jackets, and jacket
quality is currently the limiting factor for accuracy bullets.  That's
why so many top shooters make their own bullets -- they can shitcan
the bad jackets (after measuring each and every one, of course).  If
you get a bad lot, you eat them (unless you're Walt Berger, or some
other big customer of J-4 jackets).

-Toby Bradshaw

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