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Old 08-13-2021, 10:04 AM
neangler

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What happens when a lot runs out???



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I am still becoming familiar with my new Stiller/Shilen bench rifle. It prefers Eley Match and Lapua Center-X. (But the Center-X is out of the running because I can't find it without paying an inflated price to a some guy behaving like a mobster selling heroin.)

Now, if I start testing lots (at least as many lots as I can afford), what happens when the preferred lot is no longer available? How long does a lot usually last? Months? Years? (That's another reason the Center-X is out: I can't find a reliable source carrying a variety of lots.)

The obvious suggestion is that I should always be trying a couple of boxes of different lots as they become available to plan for the future, or am I missing something?

Last edited by neangler; 08-13-2021 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 08-13-2021, 10:14 AM
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My understanding is a “lot” is a particular run, in the factory of a batch of ammo, on one machine or a set of machines, on a given day.

The conditions of the machines, the weather, the folks running things, the raw material for that run, all impact the end result.

They produce a batch under whatever the conditions are, and they give it a lot number like “lot 1234 from machine set 2 in October 2020”

When ammo from that run is gone that’s it, that lot is gone. Next run of the assembly line, will be a different lot number, created under the conditions at the time of the run.

There is no unlimited supply of any lot number. In the current Ammo shortage, if you find a lot you like, buy what you can immediately. For example at Killoughs lots of Eley are sold out in days.

Last edited by Ken_N; 08-13-2021 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 08-13-2021, 10:44 AM
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Yeah, in most cases, a "lot" was a single batch from the same components over a day or few. Changing the powder, for example, because the previous one ran out, might cause a change in the "lot" number.

The bricks or cases are then split up and shipped to wherever, based on current orders from distributors.

Someone who works for a manufacturer might be able to provide a little more clarity, but I doubt that's something they would want "thrown around" on the interwebs..
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Old 08-13-2021, 11:09 AM
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In all probabability by the time you really do an adequate ammo lot trial and determine it is good there will ne no more of that lot available.
Buy 2,3,4? lots in cases of each, trial them at your leisure, keep the best and sell the rest. They may work well in some other rifle.
Imo, your are just spinning your wheels buying only a few boxes at a time to trial and decide.
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Old 08-13-2021, 11:32 AM
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I went to the Lapua Rimfire Test facility in Marengo, OH (twice) and found a lot that my Anschutz liked and then bought three cases through Cathy at Good Shooting. I'm hoping that it will work well in my new 1761 MPR (arrived at my LGS less than an hour ago). If not, back to Ohio.
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Old 08-14-2021, 10:07 AM
neangler

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All your comments confirm what I thought and make sense.

Maybe this "lot thing" is a little overblown and something not worth giving a lot of thought. (I couldn't resist the pun.) I don't know about you, but after shooting a 150 or so rounds, my scores deteriorate anyway. (And I do occasionally swab down the barrel to make sure it isn't fouling.) Over the long haul that's not only expensive, but very time consuming. (To seriously test a large number of brands and lots would require days of shooting.) And, if what you say is correct (it sure makes sense), by the time I discover that magical lot, it might be out of stock anyway.

If you think about the Lapua and Eley test facilities, they can only test what they have on hand. Once it's gone, it's gone. You might have some great ammo for the short term, but after that you'e back square one. (Define "short term" however you wish. Weather permitting, from spring to autumn I shoot three to five matches per month, plus an evening or two of practice/play. The number of rounds adds up!)

Perhaps we overthink some of these things. Perhaps getting a brand of ammo that consistently works well in a rifle is about as close as we can really get, at least from a practicality standpoint.

Last edited by neangler; 08-14-2021 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 08-14-2021, 10:42 AM
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The most practical is 'ya dance with who ya brung'.
Gun, gear and ammo that ya have and do the best ya can.
Ime Lot Testing is great when Im feeling my OCD, and all shooting is good practice,
but there is no 'might' about it, once you find that magical Lot it WILL be gone.
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Old 08-14-2021, 12:22 PM
Lloyd S.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neangler View Post
I am still becoming familiar with my new Stiller/Shilen bench rifle. It prefers Eley Match and Lapua Center-X. (But the Center-X is out of the running because I can't find it without paying an inflated price to a some guy behaving like a mobster selling heroin.)

Now, if I start testing lots (at least as many lots as I can afford), what happens when the preferred lot is no longer available? How long does a lot usually last? Months? Years? (That's another reason the Center-X is out: I can't find a reliable source carrying a variety of lots.)

The obvious suggestion is that I should always be trying a couple of boxes of different lots as they become available to plan for the future, or am I missing something?
In normal times (not during the current drouth, I'm afraid), you can buy test lots consisting of 4-5 boxes of different lots, from Kathy at Good Shooting Inc. try them all, find the one that works best in your gun, then buy as much as you can afford from that lot. Last time I did that, I bought 2 cases of Center-X which I'm still using in the guns that prefer that brand (some of my guns like Eley Match & Tenex best).

Eley used to say that a lot consisted of one run of ammo off of a single machine, all having the same components. Any time anything is changed, including the machine, the powder, the case, the priming compound or the bullet, that's the end of that lot and a new one begins. I assume that policy is still in effect. I don't know for sure, but would guess that's the same policy at Lapua and RWS on their match-grade lines.

So yes, when you fire the last of your particular lot of one brand you have to start all over again. That's one of the reasons, I guess, why center fire benchrest is so popular.
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Old 08-14-2021, 12:41 PM
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The obvious answer to this has already been mentioned. We are not under normal circumstances when it comes to ammo (or pretty much anything else) right now.

Before the shortages you could lot test as much as you wanted. Then pick your top 2 or 3. Start with the best one and order a couple cases. If for some reason you couldn't get them then you move on to your 2nd best and buy a bunch of those.

Yes, eventually there will be no more of that lot number. But 2 or 3+ cases can last a long time if you only save the good stuff for competition. Then when you do eventually run out you start the process over again. Under normal circumstances this is a pretty straightforward process.
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Old 08-14-2021, 08:37 PM
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Never even gave a thought before believe it or not...But I suppose it could make a difference..Kinda like there are people that think Wines have good years and bad..Boones farm always tastes the same to me..

But seriously, have any you that sort by lots, ever seen an appreciable difference in the same brand ammo one lot to the next?
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Old 08-14-2021, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by carbineone View Post
But seriously, have any you that sort by lots, ever seen an appreciable difference in the same brand ammo one lot to the next?
For the average shooter, no they would probably never notice a difference. For serious benchrest shooter's, absolutely they will notice a difference which is why so many do it.
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Old 08-14-2021, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by carbineone View Post
Boones farm always tastes the same to me..
In NO WAY being derogatory to your wine of choice, but that's a pretty direct comparison to ammo that perhaps makes sense?

If you're happy drinking that, then you'd likely never appreciate the difference between a 2007 and 2008 Dom Perignon (and why you'd pay $100 more for the '08.)

If you're shooting 1/2" groups, you'd likely notice the difference between lots as well.

I'm not capable, have the skills, or equipment, to differentiate between ammo lots.

I can, and do, differentiate on alcohol.
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Old 08-14-2021, 09:41 PM
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Old 08-14-2021, 09:45 PM
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(.. and, fwiw, despite appreciating expensive wine, on my own budget, I rarely spend more than a few bucks, as it's mostly for cooking. I might spring for $10 if I'm taking a bottle to friends' for dinner!)
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Old 08-15-2021, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken_N View Post
My understanding is a “lot” is a particular run, in the factory of a batch of ammo, on one machine or a set of machines, on a given day.

The conditions of the machines, the weather, the folks running things, the raw material for that run, all impact the end result.

They produce a batch under whatever the conditions are, and they give it a lot number like “lot 1234 from machine set 2 in October 2020”

When ammo from that run is gone that’s it, that lot is gone. Next run of the assembly line, will be a different lot number, created under the conditions at the time of the run.

There is no unlimited supply of any lot number. In the current Ammo shortage, if you find a lot you like, buy what you can immediately. For example at Killoughs lots of Eley are sold out in days.
This is especially true with Lapua. you will be lucky if a lot has more than 4 cases.
I was told on my first trip to the Mesa test center, that any time the machines are stopped (operator break, shift change, etc.) when it is restarted from then on it become a new lot number.

I guess they feel breaking the pace on how the machine is running makes a difference. on their QC

Lee
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