Pointing on 155 Scenars

turbo54

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I had a batch of ~350 155 scenars I bought from powder valley in 2011.

I just loaded and shot them in the last couple months. I noticed when I loaded them that most of them were very obviously pointed, but some had little-to-no evidence of having been pointed.

I just got a new batch of them and can't find any in the box with any vestige of being pointed.

Anyone know anything about this?
 

afate45

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I just checked the Scenars I got from PV a few months back, and I see the same thing. None are pointed.

Speaking of bullets changing unannounced, if you use Hornady 55gr FMJ-BT W/C, did you noticed they changed the bullet profile about a year or so back? I had purchased thousands of these and one day I purchased a couple hundred and noticed they have a slightly different profile. More pointed, slightly longer. I reconfirmed this when I went back and purchased more a few months later...same "new" profile and they haven't changed back since. I never called Hornady, but I never read anything online about this. Did anyone else ever notice this change? I can take pics if need be...I swear I'm not crazy. Also worth noting, the jacket appears a bit more polished.
 

turbo54

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To the top.

Can anyone confirm that 155 Scenars USED TO BE pointed from Lapua, but are NOT ANYMORE?

I don't think I'm crazy, but seems strange Lapua would take a step backwards on these...?
 

ksthomas

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I'll have to check with the Finns to verify this, but no, I don't believe they've ever been specifically "pointed" as a routine step in our production process. The knock-out process may leave some with the appearance of being pointed, but I suspect that's where the confusion comes from. I know they have messed with some of the aftermarket set-ups like John Whidden's, but that was more of a personal curiosity question, not a production question.

It'll take me a day or three to hear back (holiday tomorrow), but I'll see what the production crew has to say on this. Have to admit, this part sure was easier when I could just walk upstairs out of the range, and BE in the middle of the production area!

Afate45, as far as changes to the shapes of bullets, yes, that's not at all uncommon. It most likely isn't a "change" per se, but is strictly the result of the forming dies being worn over time. The dies used (by all the manufacturers I'm familiar with, anyway) are solid carbide. Naturally, they're pretty expensive, and you want to get full life out of them. As they're used, the will inevitable develop minute scratches or other imperfections, which will be impressed on the bullet itself during forming. To remove this, the dies get polished as needed, usually using an extremely fine diamond paste rouge. While you're removing incredibly small amounts of material, after repeated polishings, this begins to become apparent in the finished bullets, usually noticable as a very slight change in the ogive or what is called (by Sierra, anyway) a "belly." At that point, the die has likely already produced sseveral million bullets and is ready to be retired. This is one way you lose carbide forming dies. The other is a gut-wrenching CRUNCH! when things go badly, and you wind up shattering a die. Not pretty, and rather expensive. Like I said, you get the most life you possibly can out of these, and hope you never have to hear that crunch. However, when an old die is retired, and a new one put into circulation, there is often a very small, but discernable difference between bullets made from each. This applies even when both dies were made by the same machine shop, to the same print, and by the same machinist.
 

DamnYuppie

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Hopefully this isn't a complete thread jacking but does anyone know if it is worth the time and money for me to point my 155's? Is anyone currently doing this?
 

ksthomas

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It can help . . . and it can hurt. Depends on how it's done. Done properly, it can slightly increase the BC a bit, especially if the meplat was trimmed before uniforming. This will both uniform the BCs (the meplat trimming) and then bring them back up to close to what they were before the trimming. Like anything, it can also be overdone, in which case you'll damage the bullets a bit and degrade their accuracy potential. Moderation in everything.
 

turbo54

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Thank you for the response Kevin.

Tonight, I will post pictures of the last batch of bullets compared to the new batch.

I don't know the first thing about bullet manufacturing, and I hardly know the first thing about bullet pointing, but the old batch of mine sure looks like pointing...

I definitely bought them from Powder Valley in 2011, and I was the one who broke the seal on the boxes - so they were definitely not messed with by anyone but me.

Pictures to follow. Again, thanks for the response.
 

ksthomas

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No need for me, as I've seen the differences and know exactly what you're talking about. And you're right, some of them did look like they'd been pointed. I had a lengthy conversation with Pekka Lintula, our lead R&D engineer and he'd done some work with pointing. Pretty sure that they never did it on a production scale, though. I've got an email off to them already, but it'll be at least Monday morning before I hear back from Finland.

Might want to post the pics anyway, just so everyone can see what we're talking about here. I'll let you know as soon as I hear back from Pekka or Tommi.
 

glock63

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No need for me, as I've seen the differences and know exactly what you're talking about. And you're right, some of them did look like they'd been pointed. I had a lengthy conversation with Pekka Lintula, our lead R&D engineer and he'd done some work with pointing. Pretty sure that they never did it on a production scale, though. I've got an email off to them already, but it'll be at least Monday morning before I hear back from Finland.

Might want to post the pics anyway, just so everyone can see what we're talking about here. I'll let you know as soon as I hear back from Pekka or Tommi.

Apologies for hijacking the thread, but are the 155's available anywhere? I have a class in June and need to load up a few hundred more rounds.
 

223ai

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Apologies for hijacking the thread, but are the 155's available anywhere? I have a class in June and need to load up a few hundred more rounds.

I just bought 2000 of them from Third Generation. BJ was/is awesome to deal with.
 

turbo54

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Here is a picture. The old one that appears pointed is in the foreground, new "unpointed" is in the background.

What do you think?

1364515499_zps29c86fc5.jpg
 

ksthomas

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Sorry, away at a match in OK last week and just now back in the office. The answer here is no, these bullets have never been factory pointed. The differences you see are the result of their being made in different dies at different points in time. As I've explained elsewhere, carbide dies are generally used in bullet production, due to their longevity. That is, litereally millions of cycles over the life of the die. Unless they're destroyed by a misadjustment (it happens) or something like foreign scrap making its way into the jacket before forming (unfortunately, this also happens), they do tend to wear a bit over time. They sometimes get "refreshed" by a slight polishing with diamond paste to remove very small scratches, etc.. Over time, and a few repeats of this process, the ogives will change just a bit. Not usually noticable to the naked eye, but it sometimes can be. I suspect that the ones you've spotted here are two examples of bullets made from a brand new die, and one that has had a some time in service. Obviously, the production lots are never mixed, but this explains why you can sometimes see differences from one run to another.

Hope that helps!