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Testing in .1 or .2 increments sounds good too.
I've heard this common wisdom about testing loads by increasing the powder charge by .1 or .2 increments ever since I started reloading. And this has always baffled me.

How accurate is a beam scale? When the arm and the center mark line up, what sort of margin of error are we talking about? On the electronic scales, the latest ones I have used are accurate only to with .1 of a grain (one tenth). So if you are increasing your powder loadings by .1, there is a margin of error of + or - .1 with EVERY charge you throw.

So realistically, what is the MINIMUM increment you should use that would really mean something? And in real life situations, how critical will that margin of error be anyway? If you use .3 increments and your range of error means you will really be throwing anywhere from .2 to .4 more grains of powder, how critical will that be?
 

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In a measuring instrument it is standard that the +/- error is half of the delineations of the scale. So a scale that reads in .1 grain increments is accurate to +/- .05 grains.

For consistancy it is very important to get the powder charges the same. Will it make a "real world difference"? If your "real world" is benchrest shooting, where exact measurements of group sizes are critical, yes. If it's hunting or "combat", then no, I would say, getting dead on with each charge won't make a material difference.
 

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Depends on the type of combat or hunting. Sniping and some varmint hunting require consistant loads.
Powder type will also make the difference if you choose to go with a powder charging tool as far as how much the charges will vary.
 

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what is critical for you? Under field conditions, it's essentially pointless to have a rifle or ammo that's better than 1.5 MOA, cause you can't hit any better than that. I didn't say GROUP better than that. Your ENTIRE 5" group at 500 yds, (ie, 1 MOA) is EASILY 6" off the side of the 5" target, ya know. All it takes is a bit of wind or mirage, or a TINY bit of both. That's IF you had a sandbagged rest, good light, weren't freezing or dying of heat, if you"re not dysenteric, exhausted, depressed beyond measure, dehydrated, (ha ha one or more is BOUND to be the case) and IF the target holds nice and STILL, and IF you aint being shot at (but you probably will be, or you should just slip away, rather than stupidly reveal your presence with a noisy shot).
 

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if it aint combat, it doesn't MATTER if you miss or not. In fact, for military snipers, it doesnt matter if they miss HALF of the time. The 50-50 chance of being hit by a sniper's bullet is plenty enough to make the enemy cease his activities at a sniper's shot. The sniper is still an effective scout, sending back good intell to his superiors, even if he never fires a shot.

For the sort of snipers who HAVE to hit, swat guys taking out a hostage holder, they have to hit the brain, so they rarely fire beyond 200m, the average range, in fact, is 75m. So a lot of their shots are at 25-50m. :) So much for any "need" of 1 MOA, eh?
 

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The reason swat guys have an average range of 75m is because of where they operate. They are primarily used in urban environments, where you are not likely to have line of sight to a bad guy any farther than that.

Military snipers engage targets and hit (at a lot higher hit percentage than your mythical 50%) much farther out.

Including hitting movers.

Now, not all shooting is combat, and combat isn't the only shooting that matters, at least not to most people....

:devil:
 
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