300 PRC update

TripleBull

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  • Feb 13, 2017
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    I’ll try to add to this thread before starting a new one. I ordered up a 300prc conversion kit for my Desert Tech SRS A1 this summer for an elk hunt. I ended up developing a load for the 220gr ELDXs using Hornady brass (all I could find at the time) 77.6gr of H1000, and CCI250s. That load had single digit SD with an average velocity of 2,850 from a 26” barrel. I kinda wanted 2900 but they were more inconsistent.

    Anyways, I shot 76 rounds during load development and dope verification out to 850 yards before my hunt. Every round I loaded was from brand new Hornady brass that I did a quick pass through a full length sizing die to straighten out the necks. When I got back from my hunt, I decided to size and load all of my once fired brass so everything can be put away for awhile. Upon inspection, I’ve got 15 cases that either have a crack or look close to starting a crack at the classic sign of case head separation. A couple of them have a faint ejector mark from when I was pushing for velocity a little, but most do not. I’ve pushed brass harder than this in several other guns and calibers and have never had a concern about case head separation after the fist firing.
    Obviously I have either a headspace issue or a bad batch of brass, or a combination of both. I need to track down a headspace gauge and I’ll shoot a round this weekend to compare my fired brass to a new resized one. View attachment 7730184View attachment 7730185View attachment 7730186View attachment 7730187

    Well, the big picture is a bummer, but at least you didn't have a horrible failure that led to injury. It is significant to this issue that DT's have strong actions and can take pretty high pressure. I'm not a fan of Hornady brass for reloading, but I have reloaded it for a few calibers without problems. I'd be tempted to push a few primers into your failed brass and some of the once-fired brass. If you have any virgin brass, that would be good for comparison. You might get a hint about whether your reloads were a big part of the picture or if headspace was the major factor. When I'm working up a load, I measure base-to-datum unfired and fired, after sizing, then after second firing, just to find out what's happening in the chamber. I want to get to where I size the case body and neck as little as possible and still function properly.

    Do what you have to do to get some Lapua or ADG brass. Good luck trouble shooting it.
     

    dang472

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  • Feb 3, 2012
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    Right now I have to lean headspace because my loads fall in line powder charge and velocity wise with the many posts of real world data in this thread. I’ve never experienced case head separation in almost 25 years of reloading. Granted, I haven’t pushed a cartridge to the edge for several firings like some do, but to have new brass do this is something new for me. My bullets were .020 off the lands and most of the bad brass doesn’t even have an ejector mark or any other obvious sign of pressure. Also, all rounds were clocked with my labradar and all charge weights made sense.
     

    b2lee

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  • Dec 30, 2018
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    wow...that is some serious head space issues. I've pushed Hornady, ADG, and Lapua brass harder than anyone that I know of...and the only time I had case head separation starting was on some brass that I over sized 9 thou or more. If you follow the direction on most reloading dies....you'll be over sizing...sometimes....a lot....but it will fit.

    I've been annealing then mandreling the necks on virgin Lapua brass and just running them in comps.....works really well.
     

    dang472

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  • Feb 3, 2012
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    Yes, I normally have my sizing die just kiss the shell holder on the cam-over. Does anyone have a good measurement on new unsized Hornady brass using the Hornady headspace comparator tool? Everything I have has been sized except a modified case for my OAL tool but I’m not sure how accurate that would be.
     

    b2lee

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  • Dec 30, 2018
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    Yes, I normally have my sizing die just kiss the shell holder on the cam-over. Does anyone have a good measurement on new unsized Hornady brass using the Hornady headspace comparator tool? Everything I have has been sized except a modified case for my OAL tool but I’m not sure how accurate that would be.

    That's not going to be a good idea....it's a 'comparator'...to itself.....each one manufactured is probably going to give a slightly different to hugely different measurement. I for one will only use a SAC comparator......with the neck/shoulder angle specific insert...and even still...it is a comparator to itself.

    Take one of your fired cases...measure it....and try to set your die to bump it back 2 thou from there.
     

    dang472

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  • Feb 3, 2012
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    Yeah, I get that. I wished I had one unmolested new piece so I could immediately figure out if I originally oversized the new brass or there is an issue with my barrel/and or brass. I can’t imagine how I could wrongly size brand new brass to this point of case failure from a single firing. I load probably 20 different calibers and have always setup my sizing die the same way.
     

    Steel head

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  • Aug 3, 2014
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    Yeah, I get that. I wished I had one unmolested new piece so I could immediately figure out if I originally oversized the new brass or there is an issue with my barrel/and or brass. I can’t imagine how I could wrongly size brand new brass to this point of case failure from a single firing. I load probably 20 different calibers and have always setup my sizing die the same way.
    I always note new brass, go gauge(and how much packing tape to get to stop point) and fired brass base to ogive length for each barrel.
     
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    dang472

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  • Feb 3, 2012
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    Well I’ve always used my once fired cases for documentation and just assumed new brass would be slightly undersized so I never paid a whole lot of attention to it other than straightening out the necks and chamfering the mouths. I’ll change that for sure. The only new data I have without shooting it again is comparing the Hornady modified case to one of my sized new cases of loaded rounds. I’m showing a shoulder bump of 7-8 thousandths. I have no idea if those modified cases are standard issue new brass with a threaded hole and no neck tension. I’ll have more fired data this weekend.
     

    b2lee

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  • Dec 30, 2018
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    Fun fact....virgin Lapua brass is EXACTLY 2 thou bump back from my fired brass....crazy. So...I anneal and mandrel, chamfer...and load...as long as I get a 20in/lb-ish seating force that is consistent from brass to brass....it's going to be a good day.
     

    Rocketmandb

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  • Nov 2, 2018
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    Stealthy ... regarding the 20in/lb seating force ... how would that compare to typcial neck tension goals? 2K?

    I can get 20 lbs (it's not inch-pounds, just straight up pounds) on my 6 BRA very consistently. I get 40ish on my 300 PRC, and not nearly as consistent. And you can't compare seating force to typical "neck tension" goals because there are a significant amount of variables involved. Neck tension measured in thousandths of inches is a ridiculously absurd definition and measurement. Neck tension is more appropriately defined as the force holding the bullet in, which is definitively the force of friction holding it in. Friction is defined as the force acting against the bearing surface multiplied by the area multiplied by the coefficient of friction (how "sticky" something is).

    Why is this not an exact science? Remember - force, area, coefficient of friction:

    - Out of those three things, the only one that is likely to remain consistent is the area (inner circumference x neck height) of the neck that's touching the bullet - unfortunately, even there you may have inconsistent necks that cause variation in force along the length (more below).

    - The force acting against the bullet by the neck is caused by the brass springing back after it's been opened up while inserting the bullet. This can be influenced by softness of the brass (which is why consistent annealing plays a part), neck thickness (which is why consistent neck thickness plays a part), and how much the brass moves (which is why using a mandrel and picking the right bushing play a part).

    - The coefficient of friction is influenced by using lube, carbon left in the neck, etc. Also, as mentioned above, if you have a neck that's inconsistent along its length, you don't get uniform force along its length acting with the coefficient of friction.

    In short, be consistent with all of the above mentioned items (sizing, annealing, lube, etc.) and you will get consistent neck tension. Why can you not match it up to the typical ".002 inch" neck tension? Because the actual force holding the bullet in from that .002" varies DRAMATICALLY based on the material make up of the brass, how it was prepped, how it was sized, etc.

    Notes:

    - I have some interesting data on this thread - it's for my 6 BRA, but an interesting read none the less.
    - On my 300 PRC, I get 40 lbs when using graphite lube and one bushing - when I go up .001" in bushing size, it opens it up too much
    - Without lube and mandrel, I'd get up over 70 on some rounds
    - I have a fair amount of inconsistency (all relative!) on neck thickness with my 300 PRC ADG brass vs. what I see on my 6 BRA Lapua brass. Sort of apples and oranges, but I don't yet have 300 PRC Lapua brass to compare it to.

    TLDR:

    Measuring neck tension by size of neck is an absurd measurement. Using seating force is much better, but is not perfect either - but it's the best thing we've got. Measure seating force, go for consistency, then once there, play with it by using different bushing and mandrel sizes - if you really need to. Chances are you won't - consistency matters most.

    As an aside, the most accurate way to measure "neck tension" is to pull bullets and measure the pulling force. Of course that sort of defeats the point :)
     

    Dthomas3523

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  • Jan 31, 2018
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    At the Precision Rifle Expo we ran 230
    A-Tips @ 2850 in a 300 prc. 80 grains of N570

    Most everyone shooting was able to do about .7moa or better at 1k on the shot marker.
     
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    porridgebird

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    Jan 7, 2018
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    I do. Please keep us posted, I’d love a Win Mag without having to fuck around with the belt. Is there a pic or a print somewhere of this cartridge?
    I’m not aware of or lack experience with “fucking around with the belt. I’ve reloaded for 300 win mag and 30-338 mag(same case) quite a bit but I’m not aware of any unusual difficulties. Is it because it headspaces from the belt? Thanks
     

    Schw15

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  • Jul 21, 2019
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    Today...about an hour ago actually....

    300PRC
    29.5" barrel
    245gr EOL's
    76.0gr of RL-26
    2887 fps no pressure signs ******* caveat ******
    Lapua Brass
    Elevation 954ft

    So....the reason my speeds are slower than the were...and no pressure signs are the following:

    I didn't clean my brass...I brushed out the necks with a 30cal nylon brush just to get the big carbon out.
    I annealed with Aztec Code 168 on an Amp Annealer *** on neck turned brass at 13.5Thou ***
    I full length resized with a LE WIlson bushing die...and I forget exactly which bushing...but very little neck sizing.
    I Mandrel each one back out to 2 thou below bullet size.
    I Coat my bullets with HBN

    This coupled with my seating depth...I've reduced pressure for the sake of consistency. If I skip one of these steps and go same powder load...it will show pressure signs....The HBN really slicks up the bullets and drops your MV...but it makes verticals at ELR ranges really nice.

    So....when you read loads on the Internet...even if they are true and real...there are a lot more things going on that you need to be aware of.

    Signed,

    B2
    Do you run a 1-8 twist for the 230 atip and 245 berger or 1-9? I'm moving into a 1-8 twist and didn't know if there was issues with the 230 atip
     

    newageroman

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    I do believe that Berger is conservative with their numbers....and hence why they tried to educate people with the No BS BC series. The .413 is at a certain condition at a certain range.....with a certain barrel...and a certain velocity. Me using a 29.5" barrel and getting a little more giddy up behind the bullets....increases the BC. Now....I also tip my bullets and HBN coat them...I'm currently at around a .455 G7.

    I've shot a lot of 230 A-Tips...and many hundred 250's. While I really like the A-Tips...they have a tendency to explodicate at the absolute worst time. If I'm shooting an ELR match and one explodes and I miss....probably not that big a deal since my odds of hitting that 2000+ yard steel aren't certain....but when you shoot 1 mile paper...and 1 miss is a DQ....then it just pisses you off.

    I originally started shooting the 245 EOLs because they were $50/100 or so...while the A-Tips where like $80/100.....the price difference was large enough for me to give them a try. Then I found I shot consistent with the Bergers and while I was going to tip them...thus more work....I really liked them. It seems a 1-9tw likes the 245 Berger more than the 250 A-Tip...

    I still have hundreds of A-Tips...but I have a lot of 245 EOL's I will shoot first.....until the new 245-ish Berger comes out soon...then I'll test them out. I was hoping the Bergers were 'close enough' for me not to fret over when shooting ELR....and they've exceeded my expectations.....I've had matches where I shoot a sub 2" vertical at a mile...but blow my wind calls....and last week I shot 3 groups with 2" horizontals....but had something going wonky with the rear bag and my vertical dispersion was too much to keep all 5 on paper. One day I'll get both at the same time and it will be magical.

    So...the A-Tip is one sexy looking bullet. They are great....it's just that the low probability of one flying apart...seems to catch me and others at exactly the wrong time. Not much Hornady can do about that....it is what it is. The bergers have been consistently great for me....I'll measure the snot out of stuff...and they are great from lot to lot.

    Both are great bullets....but like I said...I originally shot the A-Tips...and wanted to convert to something not so price heavy...and ended up finding something I like more.
    I just got an AMP and have been annealing and turning some brass.
    As a note, I was advised(as posted on the amp site) to update the software for proper annealing code for 300PRC. did all that.
    ADG 1x Fired: Aztec code result was 147with #31 pilot but not neck turned. Bought the brass fired, but I do have a few news to try after I see how things turn out with this set.

    Do you find there is a reddish oxide on the inside of the cases with the annealer? Also I think they mention not using dry lube with AMP. so I've switched back to wax lube and remove excess with Qitp. I will be neck turning them next and loading them. All the 6ARC I've champhered, annealed Turned and honed look machine turned and seated super smooth

    I still have to iron out final details on which mandrel and bushing to use to move the brass as little as possible and I also need a WFT trimmer, but I have plenty to shoot for now and have some 230 Bergers and A tips to try next. I haven't had any pressure signs the the H225s yet, just faint ejector marks and slightly cratered/flattened primers. I've blown primers in the past, backed off from there etc.
    Thanks again for the info/post.
     

    drummachinejoe

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    May 19, 2019
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    Another range report - this time with RL 33.

    I did groups at 82.5, 83. 83.5, 84, and 84.5 grains of RL 33. None were particularly impressive .

    The best from a spread perspective was 83 gr, which had a 19 ES and 7.9 SD with an average of 2862 fps. I might play around a little more around this load, but I'm not going to do too much more with this powder.

    For anyone interested, here are the average fps of each load:

    82.5: 2837
    83.0: 2862
    83.5: 2875
    84.0: 2897
    84.5: 2917

    EDIT: I started getting mild compression loading at 84.0, and a little more at 84.5, which is why I stopped there.
    @Rocketmandb
    What projectile was this with?
     

    Rocketmandb

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  • Nov 2, 2018
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    How do you like the 230 Bergers as opposed to the 230 A-Tips?

    I generally like Berger hybrids because they are

    1) Easier to tune for seating depth
    2) Cheaper

    A-Tips get you better BC and right now seem to be more available. But there's a reason why I'm always on the hunt for Bergers and I have 500+ A Tips sitting on the shelf.
     

    Steel head

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  • Aug 3, 2014
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    I generally like Berger hybrids because they are

    1) Easier to tune for seating depth
    2) Cheaper

    A-Tips get you better BC and right now seem to be more available. But there's a reason why I'm always on the hunt for Bergers and I have 500+ A Tips sitting on the shelf.
    Berger’s have never let me down
    Hornady and A-tips have.
     

    bunny too

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    I generally like Berger hybrids because they are

    1) Easier to tune for seating depth
    2) Cheaper

    A-Tips get you better BC and right now seem to be more available. But there's a reason why I'm always on the hunt for Bergers and I have 500+ A Tips sitting on the shelf.
    Do you use the OTM hybrids or the non OTM?
     

    Steel head

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  • Aug 3, 2014
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    I swore I would never shoot Hornaday again but been very happy and impressed with the 230 a-tips. 2700 to 2800 no issues with any blow ups or anything. Going to try the 250 in a 1-8 twist
    When they work it’s great, it’s when they suddenly start not working that I’m tired of.
     

    drummachinejoe

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    This goes way back, and I think it was before I started using Berger 230s. If so, then it can only be Hornady 225s.
    I swore I would never shoot Hornaday again but been very happy and impressed with the 230 a-tips. 2700 to 2800 no issues with any blow ups or anything. Going to try the 250 in a 1-8 twist
    @Rocketmandb & @Schw15

    Unfortunately, RL 33 & 250 A-Tips are the slowest powder/heaviest bullet combo I’ve been able to gather. I really wanted the 245 EOL’s. I have a 1:8 27” barrel.

    I know these aren’t the best components according to this group, but I’m hopeful that I can pull a consistent, accurate load out and stretch it out to 2,000 yds.

    This is what other members on FB groups have reported with RL33 & 245 Berger’s/250 Hornady’s. Shouldnt be getting any fully compressed loads under 88 gr; shooting for ~2850 FPS and planning to work up to it.
     

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    Rocketmandb

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  • Nov 2, 2018
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    Do you use the OTM hybrids or the non OTM?

    I'm using the non OTM. I haven't used the OTM, but they are really similar - just shorter with a very slight BC drop as a result. By all accounts I've read, the OTM are essentially just as good.
     

    nealm66

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    I’m due for some new brass. Using ADG currently with no complaints but maybe Lapua might be easier to find. Wondering if anyone has ran both and would share they’re thoughts between the two?
     

    davethedog

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    I’m due for some new brass. Using ADG currently with no complaints but maybe Lapua might be easier to find. Wondering if anyone has ran both and would share they’re thoughts between the two?
    I had less capacity in the Lapua than the ADG and I found the ADG to be softer and quicker to stretch which required trimming quicker than the Lapua. Same excellent consistency in weight for both but I had terrible results with the first shot on the Lapua brass - don’t even try to get any results with your fireforming rounds.

    My AMP also thought the ADG was significantly softer FWIW.
     

    newageroman

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    I had less capacity in the Lapua than the ADG and I found the ADG to be softer and quicker to stretch which required trimming quicker than the Lapua. Same excellent consistency in weight for both but I had terrible results with the first shot on the Lapua brass - don’t even try to get any results with your fireforming rounds.

    My AMP also thought the ADG was significantly softer FWIW.
    Did you run the new AMP update for the 300PRC aztec code. I just got my machine but was advised to update which I did.
    I ran the 300PRC today with H225 over 7828 @2900, wind was hell, but I got some good hits out to 750.
    I am going to run Berger 230s next. I was able to spot hits and splashes at 750/1k. I got elevation confirmed from 100 to 1k(22MOA) today which was my main goal.
    The thing that surprises me the most is how soft shooting this thing really is. I'm sure a lot of it is the tuner brake. there is a weird sound when shooting under a pavillion the to me sounds like punting a football with a flagpole leg. I've never shot any other larger bore rifle with brake so it is just new to me. It doesn't beat you up it just sounds weird. I am also digging the Sightron scope. I was able to spot bullet trace at other shooters 500 targets which helps a lot against green grass backgrounds (not much splash).
     

    Rocketmandb

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  • Nov 2, 2018
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    Same excellent consistency in weight for both

    Have you done anything to compare the necks? I don't have any Lapua yet as none of my back orders have come in, but I've been doing a lot of playing with the ADG and found some neck inconsistencies (minor) that I believe were causing my higher than desired seating force inconsistencies. These weren't huge (90% typically within a ~15lb range), but when I compare to the results I get with smaller caliber Lapua brass, it's way off (all within a ~5lb range). Some of that is undoubtedly due to the smaller caliber, but not all.

    Last night I neck turned 100 pieces of ADG, so I'll see what that does to lower the seating force inconsistencies.
     
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    Rocketmandb

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  • Nov 2, 2018
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    Last night I neck turned 100 pieces of ADG, so I'll see what that does to lower the seating force inconsistencies.

    I posted the results of comparing 25 turned cases to 25 non-turned cases. There is a measurable difference. Results are in my mandrel thread:

     

    bunny too

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    I posted the results of comparing 25 turned cases to 25 non-turned cases. There is a measurable difference. Results are in my mandrel thread:

    I just picked up an Autodod, interested to see how that affects my grouping.
     
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    TripleBull

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  • Feb 13, 2017
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    I just picked up an Autodod, interested to see how that affects my grouping.

    LOL, I saw bunny too's post and thought: WTF is an Autodod?, but didn't take the time to google it until seeing Defender's "Wow". $2500 is probably no big deal for some, sort of like getting in line for a Promethius. I'd do it if I could or if I had enough of a boner for it, but my reloading room to-buy is pretty long already and much of it is low-dollar stuff compared to the above, and just maintenance of supplies.

    Bunny: please give us a review once you have it dialed in. I'm in the camp of at least testing and comparing a range of neck prep strategies, so this should be interesting.























    Match Primers.jpg
     

    Rocketmandb

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    I just picked up an Autodod, interested to see how that affects my grouping.

    For short range stuff, it likely won't help much. However, based on what I saw in my seating force comparisons, you should see a drop in SDs, which could pay dividends on the ELR side. The amount of drop depends on a ton of variables.

    What are your SDs now?
     

    Hoplite Arms Ammunition

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    We have an autodod as well as 21st century in the shop.

    For PRS and/or short range steel stuff, you likely won’t benefit much from it.

    Getting into enough diminishing returns if you’re shot shooting off a F class or better type front rest and a eared rear bag, you likely can’t shoot the difference. Bipod and rear squeeze bag will be hard to discern.
     

    rustyinbend

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    Well, the big picture is a bummer, but at least you didn't have a horrible failure that led to injury. It is significant to this issue that DT's have strong actions and can take pretty high pressure. I'm not a fan of Hornady brass for reloading, but I have reloaded it for a few calibers without problems. I'd be tempted to push a few primers into your failed brass and some of the once-fired brass. If you have any virgin brass, that would be good for comparison. You might get a hint about whether your reloads were a big part of the picture or if headspace was the major factor. When I'm working up a load, I measure base-to-datum unfired and fired, after sizing, then after second firing, just to find out what's happening in the chamber. I want to get to where I size the case body and neck as little as possible and still function properly.

    Do what you have to do to get some Lapua or ADG brass. Good luck trouble shooting it.
    My own reloading experiences have shown Lapua and Peterson to be the brands of brass that I totally trust. Hornady ... not so much. No experience with ADG.
     
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    TripleBull

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    We have an autodod as well as 21st century in the shop.

    For PRS and/or short range steel stuff, you likely won’t benefit much from it.

    Getting into enough diminishing returns if you’re shot shooting off a F class or better type front rest and a eared rear bag, you likely can’t shoot the difference. Bipod and rear squeeze bag will be hard to discern.

    (Vision of shooting a 300 PRC in PRS, with closer-in steel flopping around like a stuck pig...)