The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 5, 2012, 08:00 AM   #1
Gumbercules
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 5, 2012
Posts: 10
Factory ammo ?'s

Hey all,
I have been lurking here for a while and read most (admittedly not all) of the posts. One of the comments that I keep reading is that their reloads are much (to a greater or lesser extent) more accurate than factory ammo. So ..
1. How do you determine that your rounds are more accurate? Are you comparing published velocity with yours? At what distance do you fire your weapon at? Do you have someone else load your magazines and you just fire at the target, or do you have a rest?
2. I have read that you should check every 10th or so round. Have you ever bought a box of factory (as close to what you reload) ammo and disassembled 10 or so, to compare powder weight, lead weight, brass weight?

This is not meant to start (and I would greatly appreciate that it doesn't) deteriorate into a negative post. I am just curious. I am also so new to reloading that I have read about 3 reloading books, about 5 different forums and am waiting on my reload kit to arrive. Again this is not meant to cause trouble. I am just trying to get as much information prior to making my first round.
__________________
If you have to explain how great the idea was - it wasn't.
Gumbercules is offline  
Old February 5, 2012, 08:32 AM   #2
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,307
Ok lets see if I can awnser a few of those questions.

For pistol loads I will not say that they are more acurate than factory loads. While standing unsupported shooting both in the same gun I shoot my own better. Everyone that shoots my guns say my reloads do better than factory. Most of those are in the mid range of loading manual specs, and close to the cheap factory loads.

For rifle there are some factory loads I can get close to the same results handloading. One of those is Norma loaded 7.62x61 Sharpe&Hart. I can get close to thier loads and the reloads will do the job and then some if I were using it as a hunting or target load.

Note that production of loaded ammo, and brass on this round stopped somewhere in the 90's I think. I know they have not made any since. If I want to shoot it I either have to pay collector prices on already expnsive super premium ammo, or load my own.

For my .221 Rem Fireball Remington's factory 55 grain load is extreemly acurate. It will deliver single hole groups if the shooter does their part. Now that ammo cost $20 or more for a box of 20. I can reload my own with premium bullets, and get the same, or better groups, shooting with a lead sled rest, or off of sandbags. Cost for those is about $0.30 per round. The brass can be reloaded more times than I can count.

For .223 Rem I can reload way more acurate ammo than the standard cheap plinking fodder like the UMC,Federal American Eagle, and other such ammo. In fact I can load up match quality ammo for less than I can buy the cheap stuff for. The match quality ammo will rival a good handload at a cost of $1 a shot or more.

Truthfuly you just have to make the decision for yourself. Yes there are a lot of accurate factory loads that are made in this present day that can do what a great handload does. Some like Weatherby can load some better than the handloader can due to the fact that they have powder blends not available to the reloader. The good stuff is expensive though.
__________________
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old February 5, 2012, 08:52 AM   #3
hooligan1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 18, 2010
Location: Independence Missouri
Posts: 3,257
Yeah I'd like to tell you that my handloads are more accurate than the factory stuff,( for the most part, and several Rifles I load for are more accurate) but sometimes the journey to find that load is what the fun's all about man. I don't care about my cost, that I encur, it's the work I get all fuzzy about.

when it all comes down to your handload shooting tight little groups with the bullet of your choice, contrived of your hand, well it to me is like when that big buck comes down the creek right to you..........Its beautiful.....
__________________
Thanks for coming!
hooligan1 is offline  
Old February 6, 2012, 08:54 AM   #4
bossman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 16, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 996
I think a lot has to do with the ability to match components. When you reload you soon find powders you like matched to your favorite bullet. I shoot a lot of LSWC and LSWCHP. Most big box stores don't even stock LSWC, if so it's not my bullet weight. It's the ability to shoot what you want and not forced to shoot what they have in stock that day.
__________________
NRA life member

When the going gets tough, I just open another beer.
bossman is offline  
Old February 6, 2012, 09:19 AM   #5
Adamantium
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 6, 1999
Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 992
Don't worry not every thread goes negative here. You didn't even mention Glocks in your post so there is nothing to fear .

1. How do you determine that your rounds are more accurate? Are you comparing published velocity with yours? At what distance do you fire your weapon at? Do you have someone else load your magazines and you just fire at the target, or do you have a rest?

I doubt any of my ammo is more accurate than what I could find going through a few brands of factory ammo. But that being said I am almost 100% a handgun reloader. I reload strictly for cost savings and I can get 100 rounds of 45acp out of $4 so I am meeting my goals. I shoot at far away stuff for fun, like out to 200 yards or so but for judging accuracy I'll shoot off a sandbag at a 25 yard target.

2. I have read that you should check every 10th or so round. Have you ever bought a box of factory (as close to what you reload) ammo and disassembled 10 or so, to compare powder weight, lead weight, brass weight?

Never read that nor do I do it one the rare occasion when I buy factory. I give each cartridge a quick look over as I load it in a mag but nothing more beyond that. I do this more because one time I was loading mags while watching someone shoot and a loaded a round backwards in one. I caught it before it caused a jam but it was a lesson learned all the same.
__________________
New gun, same ol' shot.
Adamantium is offline  
Old February 6, 2012, 11:11 AM   #6
Gumbercules
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 5, 2012
Posts: 10
Thanks for the quick responses. I should have mentioned that as of now I am only going to be reloading for the 9mm (Ruger P95) and 45 ACP (S&W M&P). I do think I was unclear on part of my original post.
I did not mean that you disassemble 1 out of 10 Store Bought rounds. I meant every 10th round or so that you hand-load you check the overall weight, COL, depth of primer etc. Sorry if there was any confusion on that.
Overall it sounds like for the most part most reloaders do it for pride in knowing that they are doing everything they can do to make their gun happy and well fed.
Thanks again
__________________
If you have to explain how great the idea was - it wasn't.
Gumbercules is offline  
Old February 6, 2012, 11:38 AM   #7
Adamantium
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 6, 1999
Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 992
I don't pull random reloads either. To be honest while you are new to reloading constantly double check yourself but the goal should be to not have any questions about the function of the ammo by the time it makes it to a complete round.

What type of reloading press you are using will play a huge roll in your checks and balances as well. What are you getting?
__________________
New gun, same ol' shot.
Adamantium is offline  
Old February 6, 2012, 12:14 PM   #8
bossman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 16, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 996
Overall weight won't tell you anything. Bullets may very in weight +/- a few grains. Same with powder and different brass can have different weights.

When I started I checked every powder charge till I got comfortable that my powder measure was consistant. Now every 5 or 10. As for as COL in the beginning about everyother round till I decided if I got it right it's right.

Since you're reloading 45 acp and 9 mm, I'd start with the 45acp as it is bigger and is a low pressure round. Just easier to work with and is a very forgiving round if you're just a little off with col or powder. Enjoy.
__________________
NRA life member

When the going gets tough, I just open another beer.
bossman is offline  
Old February 6, 2012, 12:30 PM   #9
Old Grump
Member in memoriam
 
Join Date: April 9, 2009
Location: Blue River Wisconsin, in
Posts: 3,144
Pretty much the same for me. My 45 loads are mo5e accurate mostly because they are lower recoiling loads but for serious work my full loads and factory loads are equivalent. Advantage is cost.

Same for my rifle, mix and match till you find the load your rifle lies best. In all likelihood it won't be any better or appreciably better except in some cases than factory ammo but it will be cheaper and you can shoot more. That contributes to becoming a better shot and that is what we want to do.
__________________
Good intentions will always be pleaded for any assumption of power. The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern will, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.
--Daniel Webster--
Old Grump is offline  
Old February 6, 2012, 04:57 PM   #10
BigJimP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 11,284
Its not a scientific comparison ...but I do see fewer flyers ...with my own reloads vs factory loads, especially cheaper factory ammo like S&B / but I've even seen it on Win white box vs my reloads ...or MagTech factory loads vs my loads. It isn't that I buy a lot of factory ammo anymore ...but in exchange for shooting some of my guns / guys will buy a few boxes of ammo to say thanks.....so I end up with some around.

In general, I think I can shoot tighter groups with my reloads / maybe 30% tighter --- than I can - same gun, same distance ( 30 ft ) ....

I think most of the accuracy difference is because I know on my press ...my powder measurements are dead on ....+ - 0.1 grain ...and my seating depth is very consistent...and I don't think a big factory can hold those tolerances like I can with a good press / because they can't afford the time to setup / check their settings as often as most of us do on our own reloads.

But to me - most of the satisfaction of reloading comes from shooting my own ammo / teaching the grandkids now to reload - like my grandpa did with me, some 50 yrs ago now...../ plus the accuracy and reliability ...and there is a significant amount of savings...so the money I budget for shooting, means I get to shoot a lot more...for the same dollars ( went to the range sunday morning ....with 6 boxes of .357 mag, 2 boxes of .44 mag, 6 boxes of 9mm...and had a great time for about 4 hours...( and 3 guns )...for about $ 90...and if I'd paid retail for that ammo it would have been at least $ 200...
BigJimP is offline  
Old February 6, 2012, 07:07 PM   #11
serf 'rett
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 25, 2009
Location: Stuttgart
Posts: 1,304
Quote:
1. How do you determine that your rounds are more accurate? Are you comparing published velocity with yours? At what distance do you fire your weapon at? Do you have someone else load your magazines and you just fire at the target, or do you have a rest?
It’s all about the group and here's the skinny on answering your original question – how I go about it:

1. After picking the components and min-max load range, I’ll divide the min-max range into five or six steps and load seven rounds at each step. Each step is color coded – marked on the bottom of the brass case or primer with different colors or patterns. Since I’m shooting a pistol (brass chunker), this allows me to cross reference the load when I inspect the primers during testing and at home.

2. I print peel and stick file labels for each step with important information – brass, bullet, primer, powder charge, COAL, with blank places for date, time and temp, etc.

3. At range, sand bags are set in such a fashion to support either my hands or the pistol grip and trigger guard, while avoiding contact with the barrel (especially for revolver).

4. When I have used regular 8-1/2”x11” copy paper, I’ve had some problems with the really close groups tearing out chunks; therefore, I switched to card stock – 150 pages at $5.77 from Wal-Mart. A 1” diameter target dot in stuck in the center of the 8-1/2x11 card stock target and the target is numbered or labeled. Targets, normally 4 at a time, are set at 50 feet which works well for me as I’m going to make multiple trips to the target stand changing out targets and have no desire to hike the 50 to 100 yards I read about others doing. Sheech, I’m just shooting stock pistols.

5. I generally shoot a little before actually starting testing, more to warm up the shooter than anything else. Note pad is on table and notes are made at each step; stuff like did pistol cycle, amount of recoil, number of rounds I felt I pulled, was the first round a flyer, what did the brass look like, did the brass all drop in a neat little circle or was it thrown into the next county, etc. Write it down.

6. At home the range note are transferred to the targets and the targets are scanned. I use On Target software to analyze each target. The cartridge, testing and On Target information is then put into my spreadsheet, where I can sort by different parameters.

7. The results from this first round of testing generally shows me which direction to go for narrowing down the second round of testing. Generally, I’ll have determined a good load combination within a total of 50 to 80 rounds.

8. I also test factory ammo which I compare to the groups obtained with my reloads. Thus far, my developed and tuned reloads have smoked the factory loads in my 9mm and 40S&W.

My method, but there are folks that just want things to go boom.
__________________
A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.
serf 'rett is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09181 seconds with 9 queries