Reloading equip. on the way! Now, where to start? - Shooting Sports Forum

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Old 10-09-2010, 08:00   #1
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Reloading equip. on the way! Now, where to start?

Like kids on Xmas eve, we're anxiously awaiting our reloading "stuff" which will be arriving early next week.

We go through 500-600 rounds per month, and after some research I decided on a Hornady Lock-N-Load AP press. We're loading for my 188 Mini (1 in 7) and a Rem. 700 VTR (1 in 9).

I've got Sierra Matchkings in 77 (for the tighter twist of the Mini) , 69, and 53 grain, as well as 63 gr. SMP Varminter (no Matchkings in that weight, what's the "SMP" mean??)

So, wide array of bullet weights. I'm hoping the 69 gr. will be a good load for both, but time will tell...Powder is Varget.

My question is, what is the best procedure to use for working up the optimum load/bullet size for each weapon? IOW, for the 69 gr, should we make some at the max of 26, and also at 24 and 25? Or, is max load generally the best, and should we just start out by matching each bullet with the max load of powder?

For four different bullet sizes, and two weapons, there's just a ton of possible bullet/powder combinations. How to proceed?
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:16   #2
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Sierra's manual will recogmend the powders for "hunting" (highest velocity) and "accuracy" (most consistant) for each bullet weight. I prefer to use the "most accurate" powder (it dosn't matter how fast the bullet is traveling when you miss the target).
Start at the bottom of the chart, and load 3 cartridges at each of 10 steps between Min and Max.
Shoot careful groups, and on those that show the most promise, load up some 5 round "test batches" and than take those out for "retest". Use the one that yields the best accuracy in that rifle.
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Old 10-09-2010, 18:53   #3
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10-4. Thanks, just ordered the Sierra manual.
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:12   #4
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Plus +1 tailgunner,
ALWAYS Work UP a load ! NEVER START at max ! Be safe,Go slow,stay focused on your loading. Check and re check your powder weights especially when you start to near max.
Always wear safty glasses. Have fun but be safe.
Good luck,

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Old 10-18-2010, 19:38   #5
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One thing you should realize that what is safe in the Ruger may not be safe in the Remington. Hopefully you will find one load that works well in both but if there is a major difference you will have to use the lowest common denominator.

One thing I would do though is I would load up some 55 grain FMJ's and see if the rifles shoot them well. You may well be surprised and the savings in bullets alone will more than pay for the primers you are using.

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Old 10-25-2010, 21:19   #6
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The other thing is that the max load is seldom the most accurae load.
When hunting, going for max FPS is not as important as matching the bullet to the FPS, sometimes the right bullet moving a little slower works far better as it stays in the animal.

Get the book "The ABC's of Reloading". It's a great starter book. Do not get magnatitas, where all you think about is how fast you can get a load to go.
It's very hard on your gun and barrel and you stand a good chance of blowing up your rifle and getting hurt. A hot max load will wear out your barrel 75% faster than a mid range load.

Too many people load a really fast load in a 7mm or other round. It goes right through the animal and then they spend the next several hours tracking a blood trail.

Pay good money for expensive bullets matched to the game you are hunting. Call the bullet manufacturers and get their suggestions. You do not want a thru and thru shot. The bullet works much better if it expands and stays in the amimal.

Many professional hunters use bullets that cost $60. for a box of 20 bullets. I forget the name, but they are made in Alstraila(sp) and they work. They are going for about 2200 FPS to 2500 FPS at the animal.
Too many people spend a great amout of money on a hunt and go cheap on the bullet.
Is it really worth getting a bullet that works, even if it costs a lot. You are only going to shoot a few.

Bottom line is a slower moving bullet that expands inside the animal and does not exit is the best bullet and load to use. FPS is not everything unless you are shooting at very long ranges.
Better to hone your skills on geting closer, fewer wounded animals that way.

I talk to a lot of big game hunters. The kid of guys who spend thousands on hunts like it's nothing. The guys who really know will tell you what I have passed on to you.

Best Regards, John K

Last edited by dkac2; 10-25-2010 at 21:25.
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:27   #7
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Bertram? That's the only Australian company I know of
I do know that a number of DG guys are using bullets that are made in South Africa (and now I'm drawing a blank on the name)
22-2500 has been found over the years to give the deepest straight line penatration with the larger RN "solids", slower and they don't go deep enough, faster (ala Weatherby) and either the path deviates or the bullet dosn't hold up.

As far as not wanting the bullet to come out the other side, I'll take a 85% energy dump, lung soup, and a massive hole on the far side for the blood to leak out of, thank you.
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