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NoneSD
12-23-2006, 22:16
For accuracy? Hobby? To better understand the ballistics? Or for financial aspects?

I'm in a buying phase of my elementry period of loading. I decided to try loading in the hopes of better understand the trade of shooting and its ballistics.

Lets see where this goes.

Gene Econ
12-24-2006, 08:46
For accuracy? Hobby? To better understand the ballistics? Or for financial aspects? I'm in a buying phase of my elementry period of loading. I decided to try loading in the hopes of better understand the trade of shooting and its ballistics. Lets see where this goes.

Depends on when you started loading more than why.

I have been handloading for 27 years now. It was primarily due to costs. When I started handloading in 1980, you could handload better ammo than factory loads for less than half the cost. If you shot pistol with cast bullets, you handloaded as there were no outfits selling loaded ammo with cast bullets. Handloaded .45 ACP with cast bullets was about 1/3 the cost of a factory loaded jacketed bullet. Today there are hundreds of outfits making very good quality reloaded pistol ammo using hard cast bullets that are better than anything made thirty years ago. And for very cheap prices. In fact, I have found reloaded pistol ammo using jacketed or copper washed bullets for about one cent more than anything I can make and I buy in bulk to save money. It almost isn't worth handloading if you want to buy bulk loaded jacketed pistol bullets. I still handload pistol stuff but only because I have a whole bunch of components.

Up until about twenty years ago, almost any handload would outshoot all but the match quality factory loads. When guys were blasting with the M-14, the only quality match grade factory loads were Winchester and Federal Match. Black Hills hadn't hit the radar screen. If you wanted to be competitive in any shooting discipline, you either handloaded or hired someone to handload for you -- or bought what match grade ammo was being produced.

Things have changed to an extent. Handloading will still give you quality ammo but in some cases, the difference in cost isn't too great. There is nothing secret about why Black Hills makes such good ammo. They are more anal about quality control and that is the only reason. You pay for it too. Well, Wolf ammo started out as ammo no one would put through their rifle out of fear. Now Wolf has some psuedo "match grade" ammo that is pretty damn good and for a relatively cheap price. You no longer save half when handloading.

Also, the quality of firearms and barrels has improved so monumentally over the last twenty five years that the firearm itself is making a huge difference in accuracy. Firearms companies are no longer scared to actually produce something that is different and or works. Look at Savage these days compared to 25 years ago. Computer and laser controlled machine tools combined with better steels are making better firearms. Barrels in particular are far superior than even ten years ago. The barrel makes a huge difference in accuracy. You really must have a poor design of a bullet for it to perform poorly from a barrel made by one of the better barrel companies these days.

As for learning about ballistics. I figure handloading will motivate you to learn about ballistics but of it's own you won't learn much unless you start doing terminal effects testing. You will probably learn that Ballistic Coefficients don't necessarily equate to accuracy; that Sectional Density doesn't necessarily equate to good terminal ballistics effects; and that it is almost impossible to judge terminal effects without extremely expensive gear and hundreds if not thousands of rounds in testing.

I find handloading boring and tedious. If I could program a machine and press a button, I would do so in a second.

Gene

lksteve
12-24-2006, 09:36
in the beginning, much like Gene, it was economy...i could save a few bucks by reloading my own stuff...then i decided to ratchet down what i was shooting out of my .338 to save my shoulders...then, i decided to see how accurate i could get...then i borrowed a chronometer to see how much velocity i could get...i started with some unique loads, had some accurate loads and had some loads i could use when encountering a grizzly bear in the wilds of Alaska...

by the time i developed an adequate level of proficiency, i was spending almost as much per round as it would have cost me to buy bullets OTC...i continued for awhile, mostly because you have alot of time on your hands during an Alaskan winter...and i was in Fairbanks for three Alaskan winters...

i agree with Gene...reloading can be mind-numbing boring, but when it's -55 F outside...

The Reaper
12-24-2006, 09:48
Same here. I started with cast high-velocity loads for the .44 Magnum (anyone else shoot 22 grains of 2400?), then got into IPSC and had to get a progressive press to keep up with practice ammo.

That evolved into accuracy loading when I got a 1000 yard rifle in .300 Win Mag, and no one was loading the 220 and 240 BTHP-MKs. I also found that there is an amazing amount of accuracy potential in case prep.

I now have the kit for everything from .223 to .45-70, and 12 gauge as well, but until recently, commercial reloads and surplus were so cheap that I was doing very little reloading. If prices remain this high, I may have to start up again.

TR

Gene Econ
12-24-2006, 10:42
Same here. I started with cast high-velocity loads for the .44 Magnum (anyone else shoot 22 grains of 2400?), then got into IPSC and had to get a progressive press to keep up with practice ammo.

That evolved into accuracy loading when I got a 1000 yard rifle in .300 Win Mag, and no one was loading the 220 and 240 BTHP-MKs. I also found that there is an amazing amount of accuracy potential in case prep.

I now have the kit for everything from .223 to .45-70, and 12 gauge as well, but until recently, commercial reloads and surplus were so cheap that I was doing very little reloading. If prices remain this high, I may have to start up again.

TR

TR:

I believe I got up to around 22 grains of 2400 for the .44 Mag. I kind of liked WW 296 as well. Haven't shot my .44 for years and real .44 Magnum loads for more years.

Bullets and brass have skyrocketed in price. The cost of 500 pack Sierra's has gone up about thirty dollars in the last year and another price rise is on the horizon. Specialty bullets and VLD designs have gone up even more in price. Brass has doubled in the last year I think. Powder and primers continue to go up in price but no more than inflation I believe.

You guys who are blasting with those .300 WMs firing the 220's and 240's are pushing $1.00 per shot handloading these days. That .300 WM is one cartridge that must be handloaded if one wants consistent accuracy.

I believe a guy better prep 300 WM brass or his accuracy will suffer. Few shoot them anymore at 1000 and the alternative cartridges aren't as sensitive to brass issues. I only weigh out and trim my 1K yard brass. Have never seen any difference in accuracy with brass that has been totally prepped and brass that has only been weighed and trimmed. Aside from Lake City. That stuff needs a full makeover if you expect to be competitive with it.

Gene

Gene Econ
12-24-2006, 10:57
mostly because you have alot of time on your hands during an Alaskan winter...and i was in Fairbanks for three Alaskan winters... i agree with Gene...reloading can be mind-numbing boring, but when it's -55 F outside...

LK:

Guess what I will be doing in about two hours? Either handload or get bored out of my mind on the day before Christmas with a big rain storm moving in.

Gene

lksteve
12-24-2006, 11:00
Guess what I will be doing in about two hours? Either handload or get bored out of my mind on the day before Christmas with a big rain storm moving in.i need to get into the garage and set up the bench...we moved all of our stuff here in July and i haven't seen anything but boxes for six months...

reloading will certainly while away the hours...spend two hours reloading what it takes such a short time to shoot...:rolleyes:

The Reaper
12-24-2006, 11:28
Gene:

Roger all.

I was first loading for the .300 WM with 190s and unprepped once fired brass. Groups were huge. I thought the rifle was screwed.

A benchrest guy told me to prep the brass (and loaned me the expensive tools to weigh, segregate, measure case volume, uniform the primer pockets, turn the case necks, check runout, and measure the seating depth off the lands), and the gunsmith who built it told me that he set it up for the heavy bullets loaded to single shot (not-mag length) OAL, I broke the code and found I had a 1/4 moa rifle, if I did my part.

As I said, that was almost 20 years ago, and I know that the .300 WM has been superceded, but I am an old school guy and no longer compete, so it shoots fine for my needs.

I came into a quantity of loaded 190 gr. Federal rounds, so I bought a Remington PSS in .300 WM, but have put almost as much money into it getting it to shoot as the first rifle cost, so it has been a false economy, except for the fun I get from burning powder and punching holes.

My reloading gear has also been in storage for a few years waiting for space to open up to unpack it. I figure I will soon have spent enough on storage unit fees to have bought a new larger house to have started with.

TR

incommin
12-24-2006, 14:07
I've got two benches. One for rifle and pistol and a second for shotgun. I started out (in the mid 70's) to save money and then moved to finding the best loads for each weapon I own.

I also have a pistol range in my back yard and find that busting caps can be a stress reducer.

Jim

NoneSD
12-24-2006, 19:19
Gents,

The link below is a reloading spreadsheet that can give you cost benefit analysis. Quite nifty program.

It seems that majority of you started reloading due to monetary reasons so the program may come in handy as it computes shit load data.




http://glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=78745

lksteve
12-25-2006, 08:13
Report back your findings.hmmm...

The Reaper
12-25-2006, 09:41
Gents,

The link below is a reloading spreadsheet that can give you cost benefit analysis. Quite nifty program.

It seems that majority of you started reloading due to monetary reasons so the program may come in handy as it computes shit load data.

Report back your findings.


http://glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=78745

I'll get right on that for you, Sir!! :rolleyes:

TR

NoneSD
12-25-2006, 22:07
As appropriate, that should be read as "share your findings", Sir :)

kachingchingpow
12-26-2006, 06:37
Purely cost here too, but I'm primarily a shotgun reloader (my friend has a progressive rifle press that I buy some time on once in a while). I was around 300/week at our clubs skeet, trap & clays course and I was feeling it in my wallet. Another friend was getting out of the sport and gave me everything I needed to get started. It's an old Pacific press, but still works fine. Wish I had a progressive one though, but to be honest I've found that I can shave some of the cost off the sport by saving my AA hulls and selling them on e-bay by the freezer bag full. Definately makes a difference when shooting 28 or 410.

gunnerjohn
12-26-2006, 21:46
I started out in the early eighties with 44 mag and 45 acp loads. 21 grs 2400 with 240 Speer JSP. My reasoning was that I was under 18 in the early 80's and could not buy pistol ammunition then. They would sell me all the components though. Go figure. I started out on a single stage reloader special and learned the basics this way. After thousands upon thousands of pistol loads on the single stage press I finally went progressive. It was a cheap progressive conversion kit put out for the RCBS presses. It worked ok, but when I bought my first Dillon RL 550 I was in heaven. At one point in the mid/late 90's I had 2 RL550's running (both small and large primer setups) 2 Rock Chuckers and a .50 BMG setup. I was shooting a lot then and it was very economical. Now I have groomed down to 1 RL550 and a Rock Chucker Supreme. I have also up graded to digital powder measure and scale.
Initial reloading equipment costs can be expensive, but you can find used equipment around that will save you lots of change.

HOLLiS
12-30-2006, 18:50
I started in the early 70's. Fortunately I had several friends who were experience reloaders. It was a mix of reason. I was trying to shoot about 500 rds of 38 spl. a month it made it more affordable. I had some rifles I wanted better than commercial accuracy. Normally as previous said accuracy on a hand load was about 1/2 the size of the group from commercial. I had tons of 30.06 brass given to me. I converted some to, 270, 308 and 8 mm.

About two years ago, my daughter has started reloading with me. She has help to load 12 gauge black powder shot gun, 38 super, 30 carbine, 8 MM, about 1,000 + 9mm, 45 Colt, 45 ACP and maybe one or two more.

Big cost saving is on specialty loads. Reduced velocity, lesspopular loads, special loads, high accuracy loads specifically made for one rifle only, and no longer commercially available loads, such as 30 Herret, 6.5 Sauer, and 256 Win Mag.

As mention some rounds are very popular and very inexpesive almost the same as in reloading your own. Only criteria I have for plinking loads, is that it does not harm the firearm, works with relative accuaracy and is cheap.

I think reloading adds a greater deminsion to the understanding of shooting.

TF Kilo
01-24-2007, 01:05
We started reloading to compensate for wallet thickness reduction due to the wife and I going to the range... oh, about 5 times a week. .45 primarily.

Looking at getting a single stage and doing some serious tuning whenever I find the time to tinker with my 7 mag... and will do the same when I purchase something in .338 Lapua...

First step in any reloading: 8 years old, decapping/sizing shells for my uncle. Boy was that fun :)

ChrisGarrett
03-01-2007, 03:59
Hello,

I guess that I'm in the minority as I started reloading just for the sheer fascination of making my own ammo. I'm 45 and didn't get my first gun until I was 30, although my father owns a bunch, he never shot them. We have an acre in LA with a creek in the back, so pellet guns were commonplace, but no shooting or hunting.


I bought a G22 in 92, a ChicCom AK, then an SP1 16" and discovered the hobby. For me, it's a relaxing endeavor and not a chore. I enjoy fiddling with things, but I'm not anal about it. I don't turn my necks and I don't weigh out each tip and case, but I do chrono and document my sessions and this is the pleasure for me. I've since moved to AWs and now I'm into a precision bolt gun phase and this is where the hobby comes to fruition for me. Always room for improvement and experimentation.

Take care, Chris

ODA 226
12-14-2007, 11:34
I've been reloading for almost 30 years. I'm a Class III holder and I can burn through a TON of ammo on the weekends!:D

Soft Target
11-18-2008, 10:35
Started in early '80s when I took up metallic silhouette shooting while stationed at Yuma. using a T/C Contender in 30-30. Rifle loads were way too hot for me so I developed my own loading data for the pistol. Worked a lot better than I could shoot.

I am now starting again for other reasons of the day.