Hornady COL gauge

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Bucky, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    In my never ending search to improve my overall shooting, I have purchased a Hornady COL gauge


    OK so I watch you tube video's on how to do it, and then think to myself, "hey this is easy enough", so I grab the .222 and its out into the shed.

    MMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, ( a bit more !)

    I am just touching the lands, with the slightest of pressure, and with my cleaning rod am tapping the projectile back off the lands, and then reseating the projectile back onto the lands again.

    Reading 2.192", and am very proud of myself.

    I do a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th reading, only to discover that everyone is different, ranging from 2.192"-2.255"

    Now I am confused, and left wondering if I have wasted my money.
    MMmmmmmmmmmm (No.3)
    Is it me that has not got the feeling ?
    Have I got a slight ridge in the chamber, that might be tricking me ?
    Has my Irish herritage really kicked in ?

    Any help would be appreciated

    Cheers Bucky
  2. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

    Using one of these is really an inexact science and mostly "feel" in seating the bullet onto the lands at the same pressure everytime. This is VERY hard to do. Agreed by most all, not possible and will give different readings most all the time. As you become more atune to doing it the deviation will lessen. Your readings you gave had a deviation of .063 over just 5 times. This is not very many times to get used to doing it. Probley getting it down to a deviation of .02X - .03X and then taking the average over a number of readings is the best one can do. Also the accuracy of the gauge must be considered also. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.

    I assume you are doing this to increase or lessen the JUMP of the bullet onto the lands. Playing with OAL to find the right formula for ONE HOLE GROUPS culminates with with the OAL. Weather the jump is .01 or .025 or "0" when you find the magic OAL the jump (whatever it may be) will be what it is.

  3. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    I have 250 rounds for the .222, already made up, but not fully seated to my "pre COL Gauge depth" (they are all just begging me to adjust them)
    I will go out today, weather permitting, with a dozen or so rounds, seated 10 thou off the newly discovered COL, and see what happens.

    More the point, with the .270 as well, as that riflle's lands has always been hard to find, because I believe it has a "long, or deep throat",
    (And keep any answers clean too)

    Could be interesting. !
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013
  4. Gumpy

    Gumpy AKA Richard Prestage

    (and keep any answers clean) lol You know this bunch pretty good, dontcha Bucky??
  5. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting


    You are doing the correct thing in shooting in small batches and seeing what the results are. Picking a number (.01) off the lands does not guarantee good results. Some guns shoot better with a short jump, some with a longer jump. You never know till you try some.

    The important thing is to keep your brass the same length, and keep the same brand, type, bullets. Changing one or both of those variables will change the jump and your formula goes to He**.

    Every brand/type bullet will have a different length Bearing Body ( the part that contacts the lands). For More accurate OAL measurement a COMPERATOR should be used along with your micromenter. Measuring to the tip (Miplant) of the bullet will not give as accurate a measurement. Not every bullet, even of the same brand/type will have the same Bearing Body and length of Ogive. Comperators are made for caliber specific bullets and measure from the start of the bearing body and eliminate the varring length of the ogive from the measurement. Also competition grade micromenters are made for more exact measurements. I know, more gadgets, more money.....never ending.

    As for the .270 yes, the throat of the chamber is deep. In comparison to the .222 a lot. Just look at the length difference of the two bullets. Also the .270 has to accomidate for a wider variety of bullet types. Go to a 30-06 and they are even deeper. Also in some rifles the makers have what is called more pronounced (Guiding Lands) STARTING LANDS in their standard hunting barrels than say Match barrels. The lands start off wider and tapered down as opposed to starting sharp and pronounced. These make it really hard to adjust bullet jump....matter of fact almost impossible without just plain trial and error loading. Make a round to long (no primer of course) to chamber and start backing it off till it does.

    I don't want to come off as a smart allek...but lengthing OAL with bullets that already have a long Ogive and Bearing body, espically ones with poly tips MAY NOT feed out of a magazine any longer or chamber reliably. Match shooters don't worry about this as rounds are inserted One at a time or shot in a single shot rifle.
  6. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    All comments are exactly my thoughts too

    A new projectile will cause full treatment, ie COL, Lands, Jump, powders, ect.
    Sometines I have nailed it all in 6 rounds, other times it takes 40 rounds, and still scratching my head.
    What have found that the more exact you are with everything, the quicker, and cheaper the rifle can be sorted.

    I am finding that aneeling the cases may play a bigger part in accuracy, than I first thought.
    If every case is held with the same "brass grip", then pressures are the same with every load, then there will be no need to crimp, just to gain 100-150ft/sec, as I am sure the animal you are dispatching, will not know the difference.

    With regards to trimming, I treat every case exactly the same, and they are all trimmed to tollerences to within .001" + or - 001", and I cant be more exact than that.

    Cheers Mate
  7. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

    Seems you are on the right path Bucky. I believe loading and shooting for accuracy also greatly improves the Hunting aspect of shooting also.

    NOW...if we can only diagnose and eliminate those blamed "FLYERS" ....:(

    And as for gaining pressure...you will find that by lessening the jump distance the pressure WILL increase without crimping. The bullet will engage the lands before it has time to be fully released by the neck...even without a crimp.

    Be sure to keep up updated on the results.......:D
  8. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    COL gauge update plus annealing

    I tested my new setting on the .222 and things appear to be settling down, real good
    A lot more consistent groups on 200 yard target


    I have annealed 200 of my .270 brass, and not too sure how many I have overdone, or how many I have underdone
    Colour range was from blue, to just pink, and the odd one either side I that

    My De Walt drill and a deep socket (with a central bolt) were my tools of trade
    Cost......$1 for the propane, as I had everything else

    The rest will be up to me to test them

    Check out the foto


    Cheers Bucky

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  9. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member


    Annealed brass, on lube pad
  10. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

    I like your annealing setup Buckey....Use what ya got to get the same results as high priced gadgets and tools.....:)

    Glad to hear groups are improving....Knew they would. Taking all that work to the field hunting makes it a lot more enjoyable. Knowing your firearm, ammo, shooting technique is TIGHT. Can just squeeze the trigger and enjoy the outing.

    I continue to search for that ONE mysterious group tightner that keeps my Head and A$$ wired together.....LOL
  11. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member


    Don't forget the odd "FLYER"
    Grrrrrrrrrrrrr !
    Never been able to sort that one out
  12. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    Latest news
    COL gauge
    Well well well
    New lands settings for the .222 and the .270 seem to be working real dam good.
    Consistence is what I am chasing, and the latest rounds of testing proved conclusively that I am on the right track.

    Annealing has helped too
    Not too sure, but I did redo the 270 shells to a deeper blue and just starting to turn pink, and not quenching into a bucket of water, as the outside temperature is cold, anyway
    I also believe I should be doing this process in the dark, and to eliminate over-cooking things.
    I have ditched the deep socket, to turning the brass in my fingers, thus removing from the flame just before I burn my fingers, and not the brass,
    result on that was more even colour.
    I tried a couple of .222 cases, but they got hot real dam quick (ouch !)
    May well have to re-think that one.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
  13. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    I went out into the shed, before sunrise, and set up to turn .222 brass, with just my fingers rolling and hanging onto the rim.
    In the dark, as I said I would
    Turned out the light

    SENSATIONAL !.....to say the least.
    Fingers survived too, no burns, not even hot that way
    Every case was removed from the flame, at the slightest bit of pink, (which I would never have seen in light)
    Result was Awesome....

    Now ...To Quench or not to Quench....MMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
    I may need some advice there.
    Keep in mind that it's cold here, and the brass cools down in under a minute.
    I suppose the proof will be in the shooting