To reload or not reload

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by bub4570, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. bub4570

    bub4570 New Member

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    I have a plane Remington model 700 ADL in 7mm Remington Magnum, nothing fancy but it will group federal fusion 150g ammo in 1/2” all day and plane old Remington 150g core locks ammo in 3/4” at 100 yards. I want to reload it but is it worth it ?? I reload many pistol rounds and find it fun, but I have to buy the dies, bullets, powder etc for the 7mag to reload it. Price is not the issue, but can I really expect better accuracy with hand loads and if so I doubt I’ll cut the groups in half. Plus all the load development and time at the range. My question is should I just use factory ammo and be happy or reload and experiment and have fun ?
     
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  2. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    here's a question, can you know for a fact that the next boxes of ammo you buy will repeat that same accuracy?

    once i work up a load, and as long as i repeat the recipe exactly, i am just about guaranteed of the accuracy to expect, time after time.

    only you can decide after looking at everything, and what you expect to accomplish as to whether it's worth it or not. no one can make that decision for you.
     
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  3. SGWGunsmith

    SGWGunsmith Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'll bet not! Ammunition manufacturers load to a "specific" performance level, not to a specific accuracy level.
    I bought my first RCBS RockChucker press in 1969 from Gander Mountain in Wilmont, WI. During that period I was buying Mauser 98 rifles from a guy down in Georgia for $65.00 each only to get the VZ 24, BRNO and actual Mauser actions from those rifles. I built one rifle for myself using a VZ 24 action and a Krieger cut-rifled barrel in 7mm Mauser. All of the factory provided ammunition for 7 mm Mauser was downloaded to the point it was ridiculous. By getting into reloading I could choose a consistently accurate bullet, powder and primer combination that none of the factories offered at the time. My reloads still meet a consistent goal, much more consistent than what the factories offer.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. hairbear1

    hairbear1 Well-Known Member

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    Reloading will let you fine the rifle to shoot a lot better than factory ammo.
    Factory ammo is basically loaded "soft" because the manufacturers don't know what condition your rifle is in therefore factory ammo while reasonably consistent in most cases will not match reloads for better fine tuned accuracy.
    You will notice this in a number of ways especially for a start the groups should close up considerably providing of course that things like the bedding etc is also good and you don't try and go for velocity over accuracy.
    You'll never duplicate factory loads because they have a special powder mix.
     
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  5. Hairtrigger

    Hairtrigger Active Member

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    You already have invested in the largest cost. Bullets primers and powder are next with the dies. You probably will not save money but you will shoot more for the same amount invested. In the end it will make you a better shooter
     
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  6. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    Mr. Hairtrigger brings up a very good point, your biggest part of the investment to reload for you rifle is already paid for.

    i have a few rifles that perform well with just about any ammo, and really turn loose with premium factory ammo. i seek that same level of performance from my handloads, and once i find it, i can repeat it at a very reduced price.

    as mentioned, the more you can shoot and practice will make you a better and more accurate shooter. reloading allows you to shoot more at a reduced cost in comparison to shooting factory ammo.
     
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  7. SGWGunsmith

    SGWGunsmith Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Every other year we try and get out to Wyoming antelope hunting, on October first as that's opening day, whenever it lands. The spread that we hunt on has a huge infestation of prairie dogs. Once the antelope are harvested we spend 3 or 4 days "massacring" prairie dogs while the antelope are in New Castle getting processed.
    The only way I could shoot as many .22-250 rounds doing that as I do, is to load the rounds myself. The cost that I save is the brass, once the initial batch has been purchased. Neck sizing only, gives me a much better and longer case life for loading.
    Between the two of us, we both shoot around 250 rounds per day and pretty much disintegrate that many prairie dogs, each. The rancher said that if we were to do that every day, all year long, the population might break even. :eek:
     
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  8. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    Welcome Aboard Bud !.......Reloading is ONLY (worth it) if you shoot a bunch, or you have a bunch of firearms to feed !......NOT trying to talk you out of getting into more reloading, BUT the start up will cost ya and it takes a lot of playing with loads !...........
     
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  9. SGWGunsmith

    SGWGunsmith Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, sounds to me like you already have the initial equipment investment behind you, if you are loading handgun ammunition. The purchase of dies is not all that bad, but I would recommend Redding dies, mainly because of HOW those dies are made. The neck and body are machined at the same time with a "step-reamer". With that process the neck is perfectly concentric to the case body, which is how the chamber is machined. Some dies have the neck machined separately and that could result in "run-out" of the neck to the body.
     
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  10. headspace

    headspace Well-Known Member

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    Welcome bub4570!:)
    Price has never been the issue for me when it comes to handloading. And seeing as how my wife and I both have rifles as well as handguns that have never seen a factory round (except for possibly the one that was fired in them at the factory) I wouldn't know whether or not I can build more accurate ammo than factory ammo for those guns.
    As you've probably gathered, I'm an avid handloader. To me, of course it's worth it. Especially when it comes to loading for big game hunting rifles, which is what I suspect your 7mm Rem Mag is. To me, there's just something about using a round that I worked up and built myself to cleanly take a head of big game.
    Not that I'm oblivious to accuracy either. My wife's and my big game rifles will all put 3 holes in under an inch at 100 yards with the ammunition I build for them. But I just don't believe better precision than that is necessary for big game hunting. And my wife and I have been killing big game for a long time.;)
     
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  11. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    bub
    Dallas brought up a good point about ammunition consistency.
    You do achieve that when you finally get your best load worked out and loaded. As he said as long as you do not change anything. Oh by the way make sure you keep track of the SAME Case Length on your Reloads because they stretch! Check them when new and after firing!
    I guess, honestly it depends on how many of the 7mm Rem Mags you shoot each outing or each year. I can load for the 7 mm Rem Mag myself and have the equipment that I bought during the ammo scare when the idiots were talking about taxing ammunition and making components harder to get.
    But my 7mm Rem Mag Remington CDL is only used for hunting in Texas. So when I bought it I bought several brands of factory 150 Gr. Rounds for testing. I test fired the different brands. Winchester, Federal Fusion, Hornady The Remington 150 Gr. Acuu-Tip Rounds shot groups constantly around .413 well under 1/2 moa so I went with it. The Hornady round was very close! Since I was not ready to load at that time I went right back to the Gun Shop and they had an additional 5 Boxes of that Remington Acuu-Tip ammunition with the Same LOT #. I still have two boxes left since all I ever shoot each year is a 3 round group at 100 yards each year to confirm the "Zero" before taking off for Deer Camp. And or course the number of rounds needed to shoot the game with when hunting each year. But as you know, once you get the 7mm Rm Mag Reloading equipment from there on it is less expensive to load and as Dallas mentioned ammunition consistency is much better than factory when using different brands or LOT #s. This because if you went to buy more rounds other than what you have. No doubt they would have a different LOT # on them and might not maintain the same Zero as the rounds you have now. But if I personally ever get finished with the other two boxes I have remaining. I will no doubt be working up a load for my Remington 7mm Rem. Mag. Good Luck on your future Reloading!:D
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  12. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    Mr. Sniper brought up some good points to consider.

    ammo consistency being one really good one. which brought up a point i want to pass on. how do you maintain or get consistent ammo? easy. you repeat everything as close as possible each and every time. now how do you do that? easy. you keep very careful and detailed records of every load you work up and shoot. now there's a couple of ways to approach that. they sell specific load data record books that you can record all the information in and keep on hand. or you can go to the store and buy several school notebooks, or binders and make your own. (i make my own, since i'm a cheapskate!) information i put down? date, general weather conditions, load data manual the recipe came from, distance, firearm used, all the particulars of the load recipe itself, and any deviations i may have med from the recipe, accuracy measurements, ect., ect., .....

    Mr. Sniper also mentioned factory ammo Lot # as far as accuracy, and he's absolutely correct. now here's the bad part. if you bought a box of ammo, and it has Lot #1234 on the box and it shot a 1/4" group all day long at 100 yards. well, that's good and if you went back to the store and went through their ammo supply, and found other boxes with the same Lot #, it very likely that ammo would perform just the same. but what if you go back a month later? or a several months later? what are the chances of being able to find that exact ammo with the same Lot #? who knows? depends on how much of that particular ammo the sell and how often they get shipments of ammo into their store.

    but by reloading, you are in control of the consistency of the ammo you make. you have greater control over the quality control of your ammo. repeatable accuracy depends upon consistency. not just the ammo, but the entire package. the ammo, the rifle, the optics and finally the shooter. the first three are the easiest to control, the last, can be a wild card!

    enjoy your new hobby Bub! and good luck and God Bless. :)
     
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  13. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How many rounds do you shoot a year in that rifle? If you are consistent you will get more consistent ammo but do you shoot enough to make it worth the effort? I stopped reloading 9mm because it is cheaper than I can reload it for. I still load 38spl, 357 magnum, 223 and soon 7.62 x39.
     
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  14. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    9mm and 223/5.56mm are two i don't reload for currently, for about the same reasons. but, i do save my brass from shooting them JIC! i do plan on getting dies for both in the future, just because i would be able to reload for them if i wanted to, or needed to for whatever reason.
     
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  15. sheriffjohn

    sheriffjohn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I like to reload because it's fun ! Started my kids reloading .410's in grade school so they could enjoy shooting. Plus, their smaller fingers worked better than mine with the tiny wads. When they got ten boxes loaded, we'd go shoot clay pigeons.

    My son continued on, same deal with 30/30's. Now, he makes a good living thanks to his lifelong love of reloading. Take your kid hunting instead of hunting your kid.
     
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  16. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    you really need to reload if you shoot 410 shells! those things are expensive at the store!
     
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  17. Viking

    Viking Well-Known Member

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    I reload for 260 Rem, 30-06, and 5.56 rifles and .40, .44 Special and Mag pistol and revolvers and the only factory ammo that could outshoot my rifle handloads was Federal Premium that used Nosler and Sierra bullets
     
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  18. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    here is cost comparison for what it cost me to shoot 44 Spl. in my pistols. premium factory ammo, vs. reloading. i bought some Buffalo Bore 44 Spl. at a local gun shop. and paid $29.00 for a box of 20 rounds. MidwayUSA sell the same ammo for $35.49 for 20 rounds.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/2...on-44-special-180-grain-jacketed-hollow-point

    now my first reloads, i also bought 100 cases to add to my reloading of 44 Spl. so i factored that in.

    http://www.handloads.com/calc/loadingCosts.asp

    even factoring in the price of the cases, it cost me $12.62 to load 20 rounds! now that i have the brass, and using the same components, the price for 20 rounds goes down to $7.82, for factory premium ammo equivalent ammo i handloaded myself. so i can shoot almost 4 boxes of my ammo, vs. i box of factory ammo!
     
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  19. bub4570

    bub4570 New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the input. I think I’ll reload it. I hunt south Texas cotulla, big wells area. We hunt deer, hogs and predators. I take a few of each every year but I target shoot a lot during the year for practice and fun, yes 7mm is fun to shoot as are my other rifles but most are just for target shooting 9mm, 7.62x39, 7.63x54r and my favorite 45/70. I understand about the lot # thing but I’m on my 5th box of ammo and I see no difference in groups and they all have different lot #s. Tho I’m only using them at 100 yards as further distances might show a different outcome. I reload the 54r and 45/70 but not the 9mm of 39, as I find them cheap enough. I have plenty fired brass for the 7mm so I’m going to start with Berger 150g hunting bullet over H4831SC and see what’s up. Plus it will give me something to do working up loads which can be a pain but it’s ok. Again thanks for the info and input.
     
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  20. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    Bub, i also shoot the 7mm Mag and enjoy reloading for it. and with reloading, you can use powders that will help with the perceived felt recoil of the rifle and make it even more enjoyable to shoot. i noticed that using different powders, and the same weight bullets, i could make it feel much gentler in felt recoil when shooting it.
     
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