Tuning Basics 101

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BRETT B
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Tuning Basics 101

#1 Postby BRETT B » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:59 pm

I have been contacted recently by quite a few people in regards to how to tune a rifle from scratch and "should I buy a Tuner" so I decided to start a new thread dedicated to helping people with their tuning issues and options. I want to try and keep it fairly simple with real world advise and experiences with the aim of helping newer shooters get the most out of their rifles without dozens of trips to the range. It may also help existing shooters gain better accuracy with reduced testing time saving barrel life.

I will start off with this and see how it goes. Im hoping some other experience shooters will chime in and add their advise..
There are two Basic options here. Consistent accuracy is about getting the bullet to exit the Barrel in the correct node ,eg, Exit timing!! getting the Bullet to leave at the correct time will result in good accuracy.

1.You can jam a bullet but this only leaves you with powder charge to tune the exit timing.This method proves very successful and can be quick and easy but doesnt work for all barrels. The addition of a Tuner makes this method very appealing to some and can get you tuned very quickly with minimal rounds. Down side is any change in average speed will result in loss of tune or group slightly opening up.

2. You can jump the bullet which allows you to tune exit timing with seating depth. This method will also yield good results but can be prone to having to do a lot of testing to find a sweet spot with seating depth, plus changing seating depth can change ignition in some cases so more testing is required to fine tune. Experience makes this method easier especially if you are using the same components from Barrel to Barrel.Adding a Tuner to this method can yield Great results but you need a solid tuneup first before using the Tuner for the last final tune.

Either method will work for most rifle combinations you just need to pick one and then go and try it. Have a tuning plan before you go to the range and be very thorough with keeping your test results..

I see a lot of different style tuners on the range and in my experience not all of them work, If you are wishing to try a tuner then I suggest you do some research first or speak to someone who has experience with tuners before you buy. With so many different barrel, calibre profiles out there there is No 1 tuner that fits all and Ive seen many that literally make a rifle shoot BAD , so before you take the plunge make sure you are confident it has a good chance of working !!

Tuners are still a Dark art!! When I returned from the Worlds in Canada I spent the next year designing and fine tuning a Tuner for the 7SAUM. With input from MATT P and Rod D , I put over 3000 rounds down range trying to get the correct size/weight and finally worked out a good Tuner combination that appeared to be consistent. I then made a few dozen and sent them out to shooters Mainly in W.A. to test and relay back to me the results. I also was using them for my own personal shooting and Over time it was apparent that this design worked with the 7 SAUM so more were made and sent out to shooters. I then expanded the testing and sent the Design to Peter Larsen in S.A. and Marty Lobert in QLD so they could make the tuners for any local shooters wishing to try one on the 7SAUM. This design has proven to be very successful BUT only after many months and thousands of rounds , with people using almost identical components and only so Far on a 1.25 Parallel barrel in 7mm. Hence my point , Not all tuners work with all calibres and barrel profiles.

With the price of components forever going up it makes sens to ask before you buy as it can save a lot of heartache and dollars!!

In My opinion we have some of the Best F Class shooters in the World right here so I hope some of these guys chime in and add some of their input. I dont expect people to reveal all their "Secrets" but some experienced Basic knowledge will go a long way to helping people with their tuning , and from what I see when people are shooting well they shoot more often so maybe we get a few more shooters back on the range!!!
BRETT BUNYAN F CLASS OPEN SHOOTER W.A.

AlanF
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Re: Tuning Basics 101

#2 Postby AlanF » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:35 pm

Great information Brett - very interesting subject to a lot of shooters. Thanks for getting the ball rolling. Anyone else who can add to this will be appreciated.

Gyro
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Re: Tuning Basics 101

#3 Postby Gyro » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:56 pm

Great idea Brett, but if the top guys ( yourself included ) don't wanna talk about the stuff that really matters then are we stuck with lots of waffle from guys who aint TOP shooters ? Rob Kerridge.

BTW u Ozzies r waaay ahead of us over ere.

Yes I'm already sounding flippant. I just get bored easily so I'm sorry.

I'm not anti tuners. I'm anti BS.

There's plenty of shooters out there with more experience than me so I hope they chip in here .....

I notice MattP mentioned the "compromised platform" in his answer to the question posted recently when someone asked the top shooters from your recent Nats for some feedback. Very wise words I thought. I shall step back now.

GSells
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Re: Tuning Basics 101

#4 Postby GSells » Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:20 pm

Trouble at is a lot of top shots probably won’t consider themselves that and may refrain from commenting. So I’m hardly a top shot , but there are many ways to skin a cat . Either shooting a naked barrel and relying on obt and ocw for tune . Trouble is with current ADI powder is ambient temps can play havoc with these tunes and they are very much fixed tune . Also throw in throat erosion and you may have a rifle in tune at the start of a comp and then possibly go negative compensation at worst and the group really open up !

Harmonic modifiers and I Believe Au leads the world at the moment is ultimately an insurance policy and an aid in helping a super tune . ( Super tune in my opinion is %50 of shots x ring in easy / regular conditions) .

Cam McEwan I believe started harmonic modifiers, for the 2013 Worlds . And he started with just a weight of around 500 grams . Both of Julie’s and Cam’s rifles were very much at the pointy end in the score .
So even just a barrel weight will help especially if there is some kind of harmonic dampening material to help control the reflected vibrations. Controlling reflected vibrations is what orings only do . For what it is, oring tuning , can on some setups make miracles and others not much of a change .
The main fact is 1 . It’s the nut behind the Butt first and foremost, and that has been my problem of late Lol!
2. Harmonic modifiers will not cook a cuppa tee, help you with your tax return or make you a world class shot!
Even more so , it won’t make a terrible load shoot ! It’s still a terrible load !

So would I ever take of my orings or mass weight dampeners or now my Larson Tuner ??
It will be a cold day in hell before that happens :lol:

wsftr
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Re: Tuning Basics 101

#5 Postby wsftr » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:25 pm

Tuners aren't part of tuning basics 101 (IMO)

Tuning basics 101

Decide what methodology you are going to use ladder, OCW, Cortina method etc.
Decide what distance you are going to tune at and why. This distance needs to work with the methodology...ladders at 100yrds are unlikely to work
Know what you need to look for on paper. You can look for smallest group or most consistent. I would recommend starting with the most consistent.
Change one thing at a time
Settle on a load and go use it.
keep good records
be consistent in your prep and assembly - do the same thing each time (refer to - change one thing at a time)

willow
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Re: Tuning Basics 101

#6 Postby willow » Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:46 pm

Good post Brett. I'm certainly well and truly on the early learning path with F-open shooting, entered my first Queens at Belmont this year with NSW and hopefully ACT to follow. I don't run a tuner but would like to for my next barrel and have spoken to Matt P about it. I know that anything Matt invests in is going to work. I'll also give a shout out to Matt for the advice he passes on, along with others such as yourself, Rod D and Cam McGowan. The main thing I have taken out of the whole "tuner craze" is that it won't make a bad barrel come good - but can certainly make a good load just that little bit better - but you need a good load as a starting point before moving the tuner to see what effect it has on your group pattern. I certainly saw plenty of tuners on rifles at the nationals and indeed plenty of people such as yourself running SAUMs, some performing better than others, but then there's the difference a good shooter makes - if you can't read the conditions then a tuner isn't going to save you.

UL1700
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Re: Tuning Basics 101

#7 Postby UL1700 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:13 pm

We have been playing the F class game for a couple of years so far from experienced but I come from an engineering background and we have a few medals and OPM wins between us so we must be doing something right even if its not reading the wind lol. I shoot Ftr and my wife Fopen using 155.5 and 6BR then Dasher respectively. We have now jumped into a 7mm SAUM for Sophie and I have a barrel chambered for 200gn hybrids, with a lowey tuner for the Ftr rig and I have to say that I also don't think that a tuner comes into rifle tuning basics 101! I spent a long time looking at tuners and found lovers and haters of most models but every application is different so I plumbed for the one that used up all my spare weight without going over (changed from general purpose taper to heavy palma) and time will show how I get on.

However I digress, my method of tuning, I run the barrel in (another topic, widely covered elsewhere) for 50 or so rounds depending on copper fouling and use this to work up / check for a max pressure load. I then ladder test over a chrono looking for velocity nodes. I have the luxury of doing this at home over a LabRadar. I repeat this a couple of times normally using .2gn intervals. I start off with all rounds jammed tight and when I have a node to play with i take it to the range and shoot 5 shot groups a 600, knocking the rounds back 5 thou at a time using a Arbour press and wilson dies. Once I have the tightest groupe I then check +.1gn and -.1gn at the given OAL and the best groupe has it (hopefully no discernible difference).

Using this method I have shot 60.09 on several occasions at 600 with the 6BR and sophie has had 60.10 and 90.14 at 600 with the Dasher. Ftr I haven't beaten a 60.08 but thats why I like it LOL

Oh and my top tip for new loaders, get your powder charge consistent! .1gn will throw you out of the super and possibly the 6 a longer ranges and this simply isn't competitive!

BATattack
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Re: Tuning Basics 101

#8 Postby BATattack » Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:24 pm

Its really the tip of the iceberg isnt it Brett!?

The first I really saw of them was Cam and Julie McEwen. Amazing people and very generous with their time ans knowlege. They were mainly using them as a fixed weight to widen the node.. . . . . There may have been other northerners and far northerners :-) using them at the same time but I don't remember seeing anything down south except for little thimble TR tuners.

It may have been around the same time some of the other usual suspects were dabbling including Matt Paroz, Dave Mc, Marty Lobert, Pete Smith and Sir Rodrick.

After that it seemed to blow up with every man and his dog having their own design and theory as to the best and correct way to go about making a tuner with a long list of scientific reasons as to why theirs is the best. Ive had a few made and they work. I didn't use any science . . . . just a bit of guess work.

What I'm saying is its people like Brett, Rod, Matt and others who put the hard yards doing hours and hours of ACTUAL testing to evolve a design and method are getting the results because they arent hung up on a theory of what "should" work. They are going out and compiling actual data.

Thanks to all those that have been putting in the hard yards and evolving tuners and the F class in Australia

KHGS
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Re: Tuning Basics 101

#9 Postby KHGS » Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:28 pm

wsftr wrote:Tuners aren't part of tuning basics 101 (IMO)

Tuning basics 101

Decide what methodology you are going to use ladder, OCW, Cortina method etc.
Decide what distance you are going to tune at and why. This distance needs to work with the methodology...ladders at 100yrds are unlikely to work
Know what you need to look for on paper. You can look for smallest group or most consistent. I would recommend starting with the most consistent.
Change one thing at a time
Settle on a load and go use it.
keep good records
be consistent in your prep and assembly - do the same thing each time (refer to - change one thing at a time)


Excellent advice. =D> =D> =D> =D>
Keith H.

KHGS
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Re: Tuning Basics 101

#10 Postby KHGS » Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:44 pm

UL1700 wrote:We have been playing the F class game for a couple of years so far from experienced but I come from an engineering background and we have a few medals and OPM wins between us so we must be doing something right even if its not reading the wind lol. I shoot Ftr and my wife Fopen using 155.5 and 6BR then Dasher respectively. We have now jumped into a 7mm SAUM for Sophie and I have a barrel chambered for 200gn hybrids, with a lowey tuner for the Ftr rig and I have to say that I also don't think that a tuner comes into rifle tuning basics 101! I spent a long time looking at tuners and found lovers and haters of most models but every application is different so I plumbed for the one that used up all my spare weight without going over (changed from general purpose taper to heavy palma) and time will show how I get on.

However I digress, my method of tuning, I run the barrel in (another topic, widely covered elsewhere) for 50 or so rounds depending on copper fouling and use this to work up / check for a max pressure load. I then ladder test over a chrono looking for velocity nodes. I have the luxury of doing this at home over a LabRadar. I repeat this a couple of times normally using .2gn intervals. I start off with all rounds jammed tight and when I have a node to play with i take it to the range and shoot 5 shot groups a 600, knocking the rounds back 5 thou at a time using a Arbour press and wilson dies. Once I have the tightest groupe I then check +.1gn and -.1gn at the given OAL and the best groupe has it (hopefully no discernible difference).

Using this method I have shot 60.09 on several occasions at 600 with the 6BR and sophie has had 60.10 and 90.14 at 600 with the Dasher. Ftr I haven't beaten a 60.08 but thats why I like it LOL

Oh and my top tip for new loaders, get your powder charge consistent! .1gn will throw you out of the super and possibly the 6 a longer ranges and this simply isn't competitive!


First let me assure you that I do not consider myself a "top shot". Your tuning method pretty much mirrors mine. I believe that you must be able to tune your rifle without a tuner before you use a tuner. What happens on the target is what counts. I like to load within .1 of a grain as well, but if you are in the middle of a node (as you should be) .1 of a grain in a 50+ grain load will not make a measurable difference, as it can in smaller capacity cases. I also like 500 to 600 yards for group testing. I also use a LabRadar.
Keith H.

wsftr
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Re: Tuning Basics 101

#11 Postby wsftr » Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:32 am

vhttp://forum.accurateshooter.com/threa ... s.3814361/

Reading this reduced the 1001 ways to skin a cat to one method that worked within what I have available. I reckon landing at a single method is one of the most important building blocks.

Using this approach in terms of scores (scores don' necessarily equate to good vertical but they do indicate good wind reading) I have shot 60s at 300, 600 and 1000. with no more than .6 moa vertical for 10 shot strings. For my criteria - thats job done.

Tuners 101

Tuners can do your head in.....I use tuners...they give me options
keeping it simple
do initial load dev with a tuner on. If the load does what you need don't adjust the tuner!
If you do want to adjust the tuner make small adjustments. Go past the setting that looks best until you see the groups open up again
With the tuners I use, the patterns look very much like patterns produced by seating depth changes.
Because the patterns look like seating depth changes I use the same round count and approach for finding the best tuner setting as I do seating depth (if I feel I need to adjust).

There are much more technical ways of using tuners for sure.

IMO before you select and use a tuner figure out why you want a tuner and how you will use it.
In the most basic sense there are two concepts for selecting a tuner - widening the node and/or adjusting the group size shape.

PS - I've been beaten by others whose groups on average (vertical) were larger than mine. For a 101 approach once you are somewhere down around the .5 moa vertical group you are into competitive territory and group size is starting to become a diminishing return. You can check this for yourself on ETS. Take any days shoot and look at how many line cutters there were. (IMO anyways)

Gyro
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Re: Tuning Basics 101

#12 Postby Gyro » Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:04 am

BATattack wrote:Its really the tip of the iceberg isnt it Brett!?

The first I really saw of them was Cam and Julie McEwen. Amazing people and very generous with their time ans knowlege. They were mainly using them as a fixed weight to widen the node.. . . . . There may have been other northerners and far northerners :-) using them at the same time but I don't remember seeing anything down south except for little thimble TR tuners.

It may have been around the same time some of the other usual suspects were dabbling including Matt Paroz, Dave Mc, Marty Lobert, Pete Smith and Sir Rodrick.

After that it seemed to blow up with every man and his dog having their own design and theory as to the best and correct way to go about making a tuner with a long list of scientific reasons as to why theirs is the best. Ive had a few made and they work. I didn't use any science . . . . just a bit of guess work.

What I'm saying is its people like Brett, Rod, Matt and others who put the hard yards doing hours and hours of ACTUAL testing to evolve a design and method are getting the results because they arent hung up on a theory of what "should" work. They are going out and compiling actual data.

Thanks to all those that have been putting in the hard yards and evolving tuners and the F class in Australia


I agree re the top guys having done a LOT of hard yards to become good. I totally respect that and actually understand if those guys are not so willing to share their hard won knowledge. Unfortunately there are some in this game who just throw a lot of money at it, then wait for somebody else to advise them how to drive their flash gear ! Over here especially ! Did I just say that ?

If only it was so simple !

I totally agree that probably some are leaving because they are not getting good results. FWIW our numbers here are getting hopelessly low.

bruce moulds
Posts: 2623
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2005 4:07 pm

Re: Tuning Basics 101

#13 Postby bruce moulds » Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:55 am

gyro,
not only tuning a rifle becomes too hard for some, but the realization that wind reading takes a lifetime to learn part of finishes them off.
they lack the character to face a challenge.
even though many of them only own 1/4 moa rifles.
much of this can be put down to the advertising machine saying you can buy long range shooting skills, and simpletons believing it.
how some of them get around it is shooting bigger gongs than the fclass xring and convincing themselves that they are long range shots..
the edge of a gong can be a 3 or 4 in fclass, and puts you out of the match.
we now live in an era of accepting second best as good enough.
bruce.
"SUCH IS LIFE" Edward Kelly 11 nov 1880
http://youtu.be/YRaRCCZjdTM

Accuracy
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:27 pm

Re: Tuning Basics 101

#14 Postby Accuracy » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:04 am

This is my first post as a new member to this forum.
I have been reading up on different tuning methods and positive compensation.
I found Peter's research on this forum very informative.
viewtopic.php?t=8394#p69649

Also Geoffrey Kolbe's explanation helps.
http://www.geoffrey-kolbe.com/articles/ ... barrel.htm
http://www.geoffrey-kolbe.com/articles/ ... ations.htm

In practice the Hopewell Method seems popular however it consumes a great deal of ammo.
http://newbrunswick-benchrest.blogspot. ... uning.html

The Purdy Prescription is most intriguing as it looks to be economical, however the formula goes way over my head and I don't understand it.
The Excel spreadsheet calculator is at the end of the article. Is there anyone who has worked it out and used it effectively?
https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/s ... p?t=544427

Cheers
Ant

BRETT B
Posts: 227
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 2:37 pm
Location: PERTH

Re: Tuning Basics 101

#15 Postby BRETT B » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:50 am

wsftr wrote:Tuners aren't part of tuning basics 101 (IMO)

Tuning basics 101

Decide what methodology you are going to use ladder, OCW, Cortina method etc.
Decide what distance you are going to tune at and why. This distance needs to work with the methodology...ladders at 100yrds are unlikely to work
Know what you need to look for on paper. You can look for smallest group or most consistent. I would recommend starting with the most consistent.
Change one thing at a time
Settle on a load and go use it.
keep good records
be consistent in your prep and assembly - do the same thing each time (refer to - change one thing at a time)



This is some great advise and is what I was hoping to see in this thread.
I agree Tuners are not part of tuning basics 101 and I want to keep tuner topics to a minimum in this thread if possible .
If there are some who already have Mine or Matts tuners and need advice shoot me a PM and we can go from there.
BRETT BUNYAN F CLASS OPEN SHOOTER W.A.


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