Releoading philosophies

JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior MemberPosts: 6,118 Senior Member
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

Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
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Replies

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,432 Senior Member
    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
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,141 Senior Member
    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
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 9,551 Senior Member
    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
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,299 Senior Member
    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.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 6,731 Senior Member
    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.
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,470 Senior Member
    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.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 31,675 Senior Member
    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.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 31,675 Senior Member
    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
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 22,962 Senior Member
    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.
    If a Liberal throws a hand grenade at you, pick it up, pull the pin, and throw it back at them.



  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    I guess I don't have a philosophy.
    I load mostly for fun. I enjoy reading as much abou it is I can, but don't always apply what I learn for lack of applicable opportunity.

    I don't sweat geting everything perfect or getting maximum performance. I do like knowing my ammunition is safe.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,464 Senior Member
    generally, its been premium bullets as light as reasonable, going very fast.

    Now that I'm getting into much larger rifles, I'm going to probably start going lower cost bullets, at moderate pressure/speed. At least for the guns like the 404, 375 and 9.3x62. Of course with the 404 "lower cost" is still very high. Cheapest I've found are just under $1/ea without going to cast lead
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 37,927 Senior Member
    Plinking rounds get the cheapest components possible, loaded to minimum. The rules are
    1. It's cheap
    2. The bullet exits the barrel.

    Hunting I don't go crazy with premium unleaded lubed with unicorn tears bullets. There is no point. Hornady SST are fine. So are a lot of others. I chose precision over speed, if I can get both that's better. May change that up that I'll be loading for longer ranges this year, not my typical 50 yards or less range.

    Target stuff, same as hunting rounds.
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
    Zee
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,281 Senior Member
    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
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,432 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    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.

    It is possible to have both high speed and high accuracy in a safe load. That’s not a bad thing.

    If one wants it.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • FFLshooterFFLshooter Member Posts: 460 Member
    I don’t reload but I know a little. I’ve never understood the guys going for ridiculous velocities when they are just developing hunting loads within short to medium ranges. To hell with velocity. Give me accuracy.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 268 Member
    Go with what the gun likes and is safe to use.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,166 Senior Member
    My philosophy.....

    #1) Match the projectile to the intended target at your anticipated range.

    #2) Load to the accuracy you need at 100 yards farther than your anticipated range.

    #3) Then load that SOB to the highest velocity you can get while staying within the parameters of #2.

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,166 Senior Member
    I guess my philosophy is pretty simple. As long as the accuracy is there, "faster is always better".

    Tip of the hat to Scootertrash.

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,432 Senior Member
    FFLshooter wrote: »
    I don’t reload but I know a little. I’ve never understood the guys going for ridiculous velocities when they are just developing hunting loads within short to medium ranges. To hell with velocity. Give me accuracy.

    Again..........it’s possible to have both. If you want it. And if you want both...........why not have both?

    I get that many of you are happy with medium loads. Cool. Great.

    But, why do you all seem to incessantly look down upon those that want to push harder/faster/and to the wall? If you choose not to.......no worries. Why do you make it sound bad that I do?

    And why do you all think that you have to sacrifice accuracy when pushing for higher velocity? I have many loads that are considerably past book max, fire safely in my guns because I seat long, and shoot relative 1 hole groups?

    Why the seemed animosity towards those that seek both?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,432 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    My philosophy.....

    #1) Match the projectile to the intended target at your anticipated range.

    #2) Load to the accuracy you need at 100 yards farther than your anticipated range.

    #3) Then load that SOB to the highest velocity you can get while staying within the parameters of #2.

    Mike

    I love you.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,432 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    I guess my philosophy is pretty simple. As long as the accuracy is there, "faster is always better".

    Tip of the hat to Scootertrash.

    Mike

    See above.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,464 Senior Member
    I hear ya Zee. Unless you're being unsafe, I see no reason anyone should care about how someone else loads. I still catch guff when I mention my light monometal speedster loads, since many people stopped reading load manuals 25 years ago and miss the fact that bullets got better.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,166 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Again..........it’s possible to have both. If you want it. And if you want both...........why not have both?

    I get that many of you are happy with medium loads. Cool. Great.

    But, why do you all seem to incessantly look down upon those that want to push harder/faster/and to the wall? If you choose not to.......no worries. Why do you make it sound bad that I do?

    And why do you all think that you have to sacrifice accuracy when pushing for higher velocity? I have many loads that are considerably past book max, fire safely in my guns because I seat long, and shoot relative 1 hole groups?

    Why the seemed animosity towards those that seek both?

    My original pdog load in my 6mm Rem was 75 grain VMaxes over Varget at 3050 fps. It would do sub .3 all day long. I killed a bunch of pdogs with that load.

    One evening, after griping here that I'd had a tough time in the wind much past 400 yards, Dan Johnson PM'ed me asking why was I shooting a 6mm Rem at such a pedestrian velocity.

    It took a bit of load development, but I eventually got the same bullet to perform with equal accuracy at 700 fps faster than my original load. Without blowing up my gun. Or sticking a case. Or flattening a primer corner. The first pdog I shot with this load was at 645 yards, 15 mph quartering wind. First shot....varmint mist.

    That, gents, is how speed can up your game.

    It's not accuracy vs. speed.....you can have both.

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • FFLshooterFFLshooter Member Posts: 460 Member
    It’s none of my business how anyone reloads unless I’m on the bench next to you, then I at the minimum just want you to be safe. I’ve just always wondered why so many people want both, seeing that accuracy is all that really matters. Besides it just being a personal goal, I’m intrigued at what is so desirable about pushing the bullet as fast as you can.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,464 Senior Member
    Faster is flatter, and longer.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,166 Senior Member
    FFLshooter wrote: »
    It’s none of my business how anyone reloads unless I’m on the bench next to you, then I at the minimum just want you to be safe. I’ve just always wondered why so many people want both, seeing that accuracy is all that really matters. Besides it just being a personal goal, I’m intrigued at what is so desirable about pushing the bullet as fast as you can.

    For deer hunting out to a couple hundred yards, it doesn't make a difference. At all.

    But, if your goal is to consistently hit something the size of a coke can over a quarter mile away in changing wind conditions, speed matters. A lot. A whole lot.

    And, guess what....you can still shoot stuff up close with the same load. The reverse isn't true.

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,432 Senior Member
    FFLshooter wrote: »
    It’s none of my business how anyone reloads unless I’m on the bench next to you, then I at the minimum just want you to be safe. I’ve just always wondered why so many people want both, seeing that accuracy is all that really matters. Besides it just being a personal goal, I’m intrigued at what is so desirable about pushing the bullet as fast as you can.

    Speed gives me distance. I’m not worried about trajectory. I can compensate for that by dialing or aiming higher. It gives me distance by increasing the impact velocity at a given range and therefore extending the max effective range of a bullet (operating velocity threshold) fired from a given cartridge.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JKPJKP Senior Member Posts: 1,712 Senior Member
    Faster is flatter, and longer.


    That. Loading a bit beyond the book recommendation isn't going to hurt anything. Emphasis on a bit.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 22,962 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Speed gives me distance. I’m not worried about trajectory. I can compensate for that by dialing or aiming higher. It gives me distance by increasing the impact velocity at a given range and therefore extending the max effective range of a bullet (operating velocity threshold) fired from a given cartridge.

    Therein lies the difference in 'East of the Mississippi' and 'West of the Mississippi" shooting. For most of my deer hunting, 70 yards is a long shot in the woods I hunt. Any of my home built single shot rifles in pistol calibers can handle that and not break a sweat with the loads I have for them. Not pistol safe loads; rifle safe loads. If I hunt the powerlines, I have the .30-06 and good drop tables, and a rangefinder, to put the screaming fast 180 BTSP where it needs to go, out to 350 yards. Powerlines are the ONLY place to really stretch out past 150-200 yards here. Different terrain requires a different way of dealing with the length of shot possible, given the terrain.
    If a Liberal throws a hand grenade at you, pick it up, pull the pin, and throw it back at them.



  • ojrojr Senior Member Posts: 692 Senior Member
    I load for accuracy.
    I buy Amax, EDL or EDL X type bullets, sometimes but not often I'll use match kings for steel shooting just for a change. I run Lapua brass with everything including the 9.3x62 and use Federal match primers. I weigh each charge with a teaspoon, do not own a thrower. I clean primer pockets and chamfer each mouth each time.
    I used to neck size only but have recently gone back to full length sizing everything even though this seems to mean more trimming.
    As [9.3 excepted] just about every centerfire shot I take is past 200m I'm not that worried about trajectory because I mostly dial, but I do like to have my bullets going as fast as is accurately possible.
    All this doesn't make me a better shot or a better hunter but it keeps me happy and thats what it's all about. .
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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