Handloaders and/or shooters/ hunters

Discussion in 'Oklahoma Region' started by jeff swisher, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. jeff swisher

    jeff swisher Veteran Member

    Apr 26, 2018
    I have been into eating meat for longer than I have been into cars.
    Having a family that eats meat you tend to want to supply them with good table fare.

    So I have been fishing and hunting to do such a thing.
    But before the family I was doing that.
    Prices of ammo got high and I got a winchester model 94 30-30 from dad on his death bed and leftover ammo from the 1980's.

    The gun had a Redfield 4x scope on it and would shoot under 1" at 100 yards and would hit 4x4 blocks at 200 yards.
    I had the scope set up for 250 yard zero and that would put it 8" high at 100 yards.

    I killed many deer with it.
    A buddy wanted to go hunting and I just got a 308 savage 10FP with accu trigger and heavy 24" barrel.
    It was less accurate than my 30-30.. I could only get 2.5" from federal ammo.
    The year was 2009
    Well I got some federal and remington ammo for the 30-30 at the same time for my buddy to use.
    I had copy paper set up at 200 yards with a X in the middle of it and he took a few shots with the new ammo.
    Miss miss miss.
    OK so Now I go back to 200 and set up 4 pieces of paper all taped together.

    miss miss miss.
    Moved to 100 yards and tried again.. got 8" to 12" groups.
    I asked him if he dropped the gun..Nope..I checked scope screws. all tight.. that gun has not shot over MOA since 1974.

    I had a few rounds of the old 1980's ammo left and it looked pretty bad as it had been handled and in and out of the gun many times.

    Stuck a round into the 30-30 and fired a shot at 100 yards. 8" high fired another and it printed 1/2" from the other shot. left and right was perfect.
    Moved to the 250 yard spot and new paper was hung.. fired 2 shots and under 3" right in the middle of the target.

    HHHMMM this new ammo sucks.
    I think we had 3 rounds of the old ammo left and he got a nice buck with one shot at over 300 yards.
    Double lung.
    That is the year I began handloading.
    I started with the Lee field loader known as the wack-a-mole.
    I got my accuracy back with those handloads and got one for my .308..later got a 30-06 and loaded for it the same way.
    Then the bug hit and i got a real press and it snowballed.
    And I strive for 1/2 moa in all my rifles.

    Like trying to get the most power from your car.. little tweaks here and there and lighter rims and tires and so on and so on.

    Fun stuff.
    Heading to the Lexington range today. Been a long time since I have shot anything.
    Zstar likes this.
  2. Happy_Dan

    Happy_Dan Veteran Member

    Sep 13, 2013
    New Boston, NH
    I haven't had a chance or opportunity to do any shooting in quite some time, but I had a similar experience. Part of the fun of the hobby was keeping accurate records of every load I did and comparing the accuracy. That is really just a start, there is so much to learn and play with when doing your own loads. Always fun to see someone think a .44 mag is going to have a huge kick, then have them fire it with a light load and get very little kick. Then let them try a heavy load. BOOM
  3. djorgensen3

    djorgensen3 Veteran Member

    Oct 15, 2009
    Peoria, Az
    Yeah I had a ton of money into testing rounds for my Ruger 338 win mag. I did end up with about 3/4 MOA with the bedded action, free floated barrel, Timney trigger and Witt Machine muzzle brake. It killed a deer last year on the Arizona Strip at 300yds offhand. Truthfully I wasn't planning to shoot but apparently I had my finger just touching the trigger while I was scoping the deer...and blammo..the dang gun fired and down went the deer....lol. Right after I fired my buddy fired and killed his with his rediculously expensive 300RUM. But it is fun making those long shots and seeing what you can get out of your guns and ammo. Big box generic ammo is horrible for accuracy. I couldn't shoot a 6" group at 100yds with the free all copper bullets Game and Fish gave me to try. I shoot 180grn Hornady GMX handloads at 3100fps and very satisfied with how they turned out. Definitely is a lot to learn and try to remember.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  4. gutted72

    gutted72 Veteran Member

    Mar 4, 2002
    Jennings, OK
    I don't do any hunting but I do a bunch of re-loading for my hand guns. With all the different size rounds I have it only made sense to re-load. I have to agree with making your own rounds. Not only is the cost greatly reduced but I can adjust the powder load to suit the way I want to practice. Since I am constantly practicing, I go thru a bunch of ammo. I had to build me a shooting range in the back yard, helps that I live on 50 acres in the middle of nowhere.
    The guy across the street comes over during deer season and thins out the herd for me :roadkill:
  5. jeff swisher

    jeff swisher Veteran Member

    Apr 26, 2018
    Glad to see like minded people around.
    I cast my own bullets for many guns and I can say those pip squeak loads are a blast to shoot.
    11.5gr red dot under 175gr cast from 30-06 will go 1400fps and sound like a small fire cracker No kick.

    I have small kids and timid women shoot it and they can't get enough. accuracy is 1.5-2" at 100 yards.. good enough to bust clays all day long.
    I actually shot it at a 18x18 steel plate at 500 yards. I had to dial the scope to 4 power to get enough elevation on the thing to even see the plate.. and I was still shooting low.
    Went sub sonic around 115 yards. and 28 foot drop or more at 500 yards.
    Took 10+ rounds to get on steel then I finally rang it.
    Then fired another shot and rang it again. fired one more and missed.. shot another and rang it.
    Good enough.
    I just wanted to see if i could.
    My most accurate gun is a savage Axis 22" barrel in .223.
    I have shot 3 shot groups under 1" at 300 yards with it. normally it will go 1.25" at 300 for 3 shots.. pencil barrel.

    Just my hunting guns but I like accuracy.. No need for me to shoot 5 or 10 rounds. 3 is all you may ever get off.

    That is a load of H4895 and 55gr V max in federal cases with cci 400 primers NO crimp and .003" neck tension.

    I hate case prep I am meticulous and everything must be the same and I debur flash holes and VLD chamfer the necks brush necks and measure neck OD and ID after sizing and all must be on the money if one is .0005" off it is plinker brass. Yes 1/2 of a thousandths.

    Handloading is a disease you can't cure.. but you can relieve symptoms by lobbing lead and copper and picking up shiny brass off the ground.
  6. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

    May 6, 2012
    Federal Way, Washington
    I used to reload for both my Mini-14 and mt 30-06. I made some interesting load for my Mini-14 ,Like a 63 grain soft point with a hot charge. It worked great a blowing up water filled water milk jugs, And was cheaper than buying factory .especially blowing through 20 and 30 round Magazines.(I`m Marine Corps Veteran So I know what I am doing.) As wheel as loading more accurate 30-06 rounds for hunting.
  7. Lowend

    Lowend Administrator. .a car, a man, a maraca. Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Mar 25, 1999
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Per my old Firearms mentor. Almost all of the ammo manufacturers are now owned by 1 conglomerate (ATK/Vista Outdoor) which has sacrificed QC for profit and speed of production. Every line of every one of their subsideries (Federal, Winchester, CCI, etc) is compromised. OK for plinking, but not for distance or self-defense.
    According to Louis, the only major ammo companies that remain independent and good quality are Black Hills, and Hornady.

    I wish I had the time to do hand loading still, but ya-know... kids
  8. jeff swisher

    jeff swisher Veteran Member

    Apr 26, 2018
    My grand kids come over weekly and before they leave they always want to make a "bullet".
    I tell them if they are good they will get to make a "bullet".

    I have not let them make a live round yet. Just culled cases they get to choose from and they get to pick the bullet they want.
    They usually want the Hornady A max.
    I added silver to my lead pot and made some bullets for wear wolfs and they have picked those before. and some red powder coated ones.
    Good kids!
    I have taught them about the acid and salts on their hands that tarnish the cases and the fact that dirty cases have things they do not want to ingest or let absorb into your skin . So they wash before and after loading.
  9. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

    Apr 14, 1999
    Bismarck, North Dakota
    I bought my reloader back in 1971 because ammo was so expensive and I wanted to shoot cheaper. (Factory ammo cost about $5 for a box of 20 for my 7mm Mag and around $4 for a box of 20 for my 6mm Rem.) The factory ammo gave me good accuracy so I could never complain about that. I could reload for $1.25 for a box of 20. Looking at today's prices, it was really cheap back then.
    Once I started reloading my own ammo, I never found a reason to buy factory ammo again.
  10. jeff swisher

    jeff swisher Veteran Member

    Apr 26, 2018
    No kidding that is really cheap.
    I try to find components at bargain prices to save money. But I am a little picky on what I like.

    I have done many tests to debunk hearsay on certain aspects of reloading.
    Only because I want to know for myself for sure.
    One test I did was take 4 different headstamp/brands of .308 winchester cases and load them with 42gr Varget and 165 gr game king bullets and fire each one until the case failed and record how many times each case was full length sized.
    That took a lot of time and a lot of shooting..Remington case made 52 times.
    Many thought the cases would die of a split neck as I was not annealing the necks for this test.

    Lee dies were used.
    Accuracy never fell off for any cases. Shot from a large chamber savage 10FP 24" heavy barrel.

    All cases suffered a case head crack as the fail point. Actually I seen the line forming and felt the inside of the case with a bent paper clip and there was a crack but each case made it 2 more firings after the crack was seen and they held together.

    Not saying you should take it to that extreme ..but saying in a SHTF situation you could save those rounds if that was all you had to live another day.

    I finally got out last Monday to go shooting with grand kids.
    I got 8lb of AA 2495 for $125 and had to try it in my 5.56 with 60gr V-Max bullets and it did very well.
    I have been using H4895 with 55gr and it is excellent also.

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