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  1. #1
    Senior Member JerryBobCo's Avatar
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    Releoading philosophies

    My dad started reloading about 40 years ago, and got me into it. His philosophy, for lack of a better way to say it, was to go with the lightest load that would get the job done. For example, if he found two loads that delivered comparable and acceptable accuracy, he would pick the lighter load. I think some of it was to reduce recoil, but it probably had more to do with the times in which he grew up.

    Dad grew up on a depression era dirt farm. His family wasn't poor by the standards of that time and place, but they weren't rich. His dad would buy shotgun shells by the shell, not the box. His idea of dove hunting was to shoot them on the ground as the were feeding close to each other. Sportsmanship wasn't nearly as important as getting as much food for the ammo used. It was just the way things were done then.

    I think my dad kept a lot of that with him, and may have thought that going with heavier loads was wasting powder. I don't really know. He mostly hunted Texas whitetails with a 30-06, so he really didn't need a hot load. He also used standard bullets such as Hornady interlocks or Speer hot-core. The idea of using a premium bullet was a totally foreign concept to him.

    My own philosophy is different, as times are different, and I live a more affluent life style. I like to pick the best bullet for the intended game, and strive for the hottest load that will deliver the accuracy I want. I suspect most in here do the same.

    I'm not really sure what led me to post this, but it just sort of came to me. Please add your two cents to this topic.
    Jerry

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Re: Releoading philosophies

    I buy the cheapest brass (Winchester/Starline) and use the low end of “premium” bullets (Sierra/Hornady/Matt’s Bullets) to get the most velocity and accuracy out of a given load with Hodgdon powder.

    That’s pretty my SOP in regards to handloading.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

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    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: Releoading philosophies

    My great grandfather fed his family all through the depression with a single shot 16 gauge. He wouldn't waste a shell on anything that wasn't intended to go on the table for a meal. Few, if any of us have seen really hard times, so it's hard to understand that kind of survival instinct. When I opened up a truck shop after leaving the Air Force in the mid-1970's there were days I didn't eat unless I finished a job and got paid for it, but going hungry was more a matter of being too stubborn to beg, not because help was not available for the asking.
    Jerry
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    Re: Releoading philosophies

    I'm not looking for maximum performance since I don't hunt, I'm satisfied with a moderate level of velocity and acceptable recoil. I'm a recoil wimp. Of course, I could load up with just enough powder to get downrange, but I won't do that. So, it seems like I don't really have a philosophy for any meaningful way.

    Moderate. Tending slightly above moderate, but nothing like pushing the envelope.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06

  5. #5

    Re: Releoading philosophies

    I have pretty much taught myself to handload. I go for the lightest load that gets the job done as well, but for different reasons.

    One of the reasons I did not get into hand loading LONG before was that I knew a few people that did handload and had catastrophic failures that destroyed guns. I like guns. I've worked very hard to get the guns I have. I do not want to scatter them across the range. I also like my fingers and eyes, and want to keep them in OEM configuration. Therefore, I have no need to push limits. Get an accurate midrange load? That is just about perfect.
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    Senior Member Big Al1's Avatar
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    Re: Releoading philosophies

    I never liked to push the envelope so I loads for accuracy first, then velocity. 100fps difference don't mean much. Now that I shoot mostly old timers, I just want it to go bang and be minute of gong at 100 yards. A lot of the stuff I shoot were originally black powder rounds at about 1300 fps. That way I can hear the gong, 'cause the muzzle blast dissipates before the gong sound gets back to me. Can't do that with the .22-250.

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    Senior Member Pegasus's Avatar
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    Re: Releoading philosophies

    When it comes to handloading, I suffer from dissociative identity disorder.

    How I load my match ammo is very different from how I load my non-match (hunting, plinking, shooting, etc.) ammo.

    My match ammo uses ultra premium components, loaded meticulously in charges exceeding book max.

    My non-match ammo is loaded with pocketbook-friendly components at pressures well under maximum .

    I'm like a handloading Sybil.

  8. #8
    Senior Member tennmike's Avatar
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    Re: Releoading philosophies

    I 'load for the nodes'. There are generally at least a couple of sweet spots with a given powder, primer, case and bullet. Finding the accuracy points is more important to me than bullet velocity. Being able to put the bullet where it belongs to make a clean kill trumps speed every time. My handgun loads are on the light end, and for semiautos, just enough to reliable cycle the action. That said, I have three rifles that won't perform to my satisfaction unless they are loaded at near the top end of the load data. One is a .30-06 bolt action, one a Ruger #1 in .45-70, and a single shot .357 mag. rifle.
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    Senior Member Big Chief's Avatar
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    Re: Releoading philosophies

    My MILSURPS are almost always about dead center on the loading charts between min and max, with some exceptions like for a semi that needs to be within a certain range to operate correctly.

    Handguns it depends on the caliber and bullets I'm firing. I know the data for the .44 Spl is for pretty anemic loads in the manuals. But I pay attention to they type gun they used as a test. For example my N frame .44 Spls will do a lot better with hotter loads than say a Charter Bulldog. My L and N framed .357s can take max loads all day long, but in my K framed model 13, I keep them moderate.

    I like my .45 ACP loads to be about Mil Spec. I don't exceed the max in my .44 Magnums, but have found backing off a tad from say Elmer Keith like loads is easier on me and the guns.

    I like my 9mm near max, my newer model Vaquero up there, but not exceeding tier 2 loads, but a lot more than the wimpy Cowboy loads. My .38 Spl loads usually are right there with factory loads for 158 SCWs/LRN, never watered them down much, always within the envelope, but usually stop just before a +P range unless I want that little bit more.

    I find an accuracy load, I'll stick with it without going very much above or below and keeping an eye out for pressure signs when I change any component.

    But generally I don't push the envelope. Any case of "Magnumitis" I may of had passed years ago.

    So in summary, it depends on the gun, the bullets and what I want them to accomplish.
    Last edited by Big Chief; 01-13-2018 at 02:00 AM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Big Chief's Avatar
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    Re: Releoading philosophies

    I do believe in getting the full bang fer my buck from most guns. I shoot a magnum, I want it to feel like I did. I mean I fired something more than a .38 SPl from a .357 and more than .44 Spl from a .44 Magnum, but it doesn't take balls to the wall loads to get that sensation.

    My 45-70 Marlin is one exception, I use mostly H4895 reduced loads in that, more trapdoor like because there is absolutely no reason to punish myself at the range with bear loads other than to say I did.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
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    Senior Member bellcat's Avatar
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    Re: Releoading philosophies

    I've never been into pushing the envelope for 'hot' loads. I've always found MOA loads under maximum.

    As for bullets, I've loaded many types of standard to premium. I've always gone with what shoots best. I think traditional 'cup n core' bullets are fantastic for deer size game. When I hunted South Africa, all the PH's used standard soft point bullets for plains game.

    Remington CoreLocks and PRVI soft points are both outstanding bullets for lower prices.

    JMHO
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighShooter View Post
    Faster is flatter, and longer.

    That. Loading a bit beyond the book recommendation isn't going to hurt anything. Emphasis on a bit.

  13. #13
    Senior Member sarg1c's Avatar
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    Re: Releoading philosophies

    Jerry, I think as your father did... IMR4064 uses 2 gr. more powder than IMR3031, so I use IMR 3031 when possible

  14. #14
    Senior Member snake284's Avatar
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    Re: Releoading philosophies

    In my years of reloading I have found there's a good bit difference in IMR and H 4831 powders. They're both pretty slow but the IMR is faster than the H. However, I haven't found this to be true with a few other powders that share the number. In my experience IMR and Hodgdon 4350 and 4895 seem identical to me. They are no more different than the difference between average lots within the same powder. But if you try loading with IMR 4831 using the Hodgdon 4831 recipe you're screwing with the devil's wife. That could make a pipe bomb.

    And something that may be being over looked here is that speaking about 4350 powders, some of you might want to try RL-17 as a replacement. It starts off on the low end almost identical to 4350 but on the long side I have experienced a definite gain in velocity for the same bullet over the IMR or H brand. When I first saw this I called Alliant Customer Service and told the tech rep what I had experienced. He didn't deny it and said I wasn't the only one to call about this. Then I heard that RL-17 s slightly different than most powders in the formulation in that some of the inhibitors they dust on the outside of the powder are instead included in the mix and this gives it similar performance to powders such as Hornady Superformance. Don't hold me to that statement because I have no proof of it, but I did hear it from a source I normally believe.

    Also Mike, I wish I would have bought me one of those A-Bolts when they first came out. I've heard so much good about them I feel like I dropped the ball not getting one. Nowadays I've got a bunch of Mauser actions I need to use up before I buy anything else, but I did have that project in mind to build a LR .270, just because I've had great luck with a .270 and just to prove it can do as well as anything else with the proper bullet and barrel twist. I am now going to be on the lookout for an A-Bolt action as I think from your experience it will make a great long range action. Then I can screw a 1:8 twist 28 inch .277 barrel in it and have it chambered for .270 Short Mag.
    Last edited by snake284; 01-17-2018 at 08:04 PM.
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