The only time I've ever bought factory loads was for the purpose of having the brass for loading. I've had a lot of firearms that have never seen a factory round. As soon as the gun is purchased, dies and brass are next, if I don't already reload for that caliber. I did try to get a box of factory .243 to have something to shoot right away, but was unsuccessful. I tried 6 big stores in a 400 mile stretch when I went back home to central Montana last week. Cabela's, Sportsman's Warehouse, Scheel's and several independent stores that have almost as much ammo and reloading supplies as the big guys. They had a dozen different types of .223, 6.8 SPC, .30 Rem. AR and everything else you can think of, but not a single box of .243 at any of them. I'm glad I reload at times like this.
Factories make some great ammo these days, but it has to work well in many, many types and brands of firearms. No way could it ever match how I can tune loads for my individual gun, unless W-W, Black Hills Ammunition, etc. sent a guy to my house to work up a custom load just for me.
I had a guy who is a member here and on perfectunion.com who I've had some words with in the past send me a p.m. with a thinly veiled threat because I told him he should lighten up. He routinely brags in his posts about how much of a badass he is, and he has a " it's my way or the highway" attitude, always telling members that their gear selection sucks and why his is better. My experience is that fellow veterans that were even halfway "badass" don't ever brag about it. I merely told him that a lot of us have "been there done that", not just him, and that perhaps he should give an occasional compliment along with the criticism, and not talk to everyone like they're a total noob. His reaction was to tell me that he KILLED PEOPLE for a living, WITH A FREAKING M240 DUDE, and I'd better hope we never met in person. The more he goes off the handle with comments like that, the more I think he's probably a 15 year old living in his parents basement playing Call of Duty 14 hours a day. He sounds more like that than a disciplined warrior and I question that someone with that temperament should have guns laying around.
Not saying you are like that at all John_Deer, but I have found your replies to be a bit "unorthodox". Maybe your friend with the Howa .300 has something in his reloading or shooting technique that needs some attention. Maybe the Howa has a bad barrel or he just isn't that great of a shot. He'd have to be really lucky to find a type of factory loads that shot better than hand loads. I was asking about other's reloading experience for a gas operated .243 and you tell me I should be shooting factory ammo ??
Some people have fun reloading and burning up powder, besides the cost savings and better performance, there is the satisfaction of making your own ammo.