Factory ammo as good as hand loads?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by metalhead, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. metalhead

    metalhead Well-Known Member

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    I was sitting in the Dr. office yesterday and read an article in F&S about long range shooting. I don't recall the author the exact quote, but he said something to the affect of; with today's high quality bullets only the most dedicated reloader can make ammo better than factory loads. I find this very hard to believe and considered it kind of an insult to our craft. Thoughts on this???
     
  2. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

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    My thought is this..I hav come to hate most hunting/gun magazines because all they do is try to promote something that they know isn't true. How do you think they get their money? They don't just get money from subscriptions. They also get money by advertising for large manufacturers of firearms and ammunition. You think they are going to say anything bad about the people and their products? If they did, you would see a lot less products being reviewed by that magazine and probably a lot less money going into the magazine company's pocket.

    Take those articles with a grain of salt because all of it is just to get something for you to read and maybe believe. Just think of all the people that don't reload that would buy into that because they don't know any better.
     

  3. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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    I read the article, and thought that in many ways the article was the best one I've seen in a general hunting magazine in a long time with regard to long range shooting and hunting. Many magazines lambaste anyone who shoots over 300 yards - and based on watching many hunters who show up at the local rifle range that may be a good idea. :D

    I think his point was that ammo was a lot better than it used to be, and rifles are in general much more accurate. You might end up with a winning combination with regard to accuracy but many here - including myself - have found that our handloads will beat any factory ammunition tried in our rifles. Your odds, though, are much better than they used to be in getting rifle + ammo = accuracy when buying off the shelf.

    PS. I didn't put that issue in the waiting room yet.
     
  4. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with what Vette said. Most of the people I see at my local ranges I wouldn't trust to shoot 100....Muchless 300+ yards.

    I have had some very good quality factory ammo over the years and had very good luck with it in my rifles. However, the thing about reloading is not just to for accuracy. It's also to save money, and to find out what your gun might prefer over a factory load.

    Personally I have found loads for my guns that they seem to REALLY like over factory loaded ammo, which was already accurate enough for most. I'm kind of a perfectionist, so I do get mad when I pull a shot that doesn't touch the other one. And to me, anything where all 3 (or 5) is not touching is not a good group. But that is also my OCD and perfectionist sidekicking in. LOL
     
  5. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    IMO, it all depends on what you purchase in what caliber. The cheap stuff is out there as always, Privi and Remmy come to mind right away along with Wolf, but, there is some really good ammunition out there but you'll pay for it.

    Lapua factory loads and HSM are excellent choices. Not cheap and not always available (especially now).

    I look at factory ammunition as a source of brass as erll as the range box at the club.
     
  6. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Lapua, Nosler Custom, Federal Premium, Weatherby brand (Norma), and even Hornady are all excellent choices for factory ammo.

    The Hornady TAP LE (red box) .308 168gr HPBT ammo has been very accurate out of my .308's. Apparantly it is handloaded and is true match-grade ammo, which I can tell from the accuracy is produces. Of course, I guess it has to be if that's what agency snipers use, and trust their lives to.

    Federal Premium has always been my go-to ammo for hunting. I still have tons of it stock-piled for my STW and 7mm RemMag. Same goes for the Weatherby brand ammo, which is manufactured by Norma. I have tons of it stocked up for my .257 Wby Mag.

    And I shot Hornady ammo before all of those, and never had 1 single issue out of it. I just preferred the Accubonds to the SST, so I swapped over to Federal Premium.

    But all of these have been excellent from my experiences with them. I have never had any negative experience with any brand of ammo, EXCEPT 2.....Remington & Winchester factory ammo. I had 3 Remingon .22LR bullets get stuck in the barrel of one of our .22 pistols and had to get a gunsmith friend to drill and tap them out. Also, I've never had good luck with Winchester factory ammo grouping very well...

    I do love Winchester nickle-plated rifle brass. That is some good stuff to use for reloading.
     
  7. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    Seems like the writer was lumping all reloading together, which is (to me) like lumping ALL 4wd trucks together and hitting a mud pit and calling them equal when one factory truck makes it and 1 custom built doesn't. I know guys that reload informally just to save a few bucks or have a little more blammo for the same price.

    Then there's guys like us that specifically load ammo to perform at it's top level in 1 individual rifle. In which case saying that factory (even HSM) ammo is equal to hands loads is like saying a Camaro LZ1 is equal to Danica Patric's car she ran in Daytona. While that Camaro is a helluva car and advertised as race ready it is not equal to a top level sprint cup car.

    So the tradition advantages of handloading are still there, be it cost or custom loads, or both.
     
  8. CB11WYO

    CB11WYO Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't agree more! This is my attitude to a "T". After owning a "tack-driver" I have issues with anything less.

    I used to think handloading was tedious and a tad boring but I'm over that now. It sure feels good to sqeeze your group sizes to under .5 MOA by finding EXACLTY what a rifle likes or dislikes.
     
  9. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    Factory ammo is much more consistent than it used to be, and bullet choices have improved dramatically.

    BUT

    No one can make ammo for your rifle better than you. Take a look at the OAL of the factory 22-250 Winchester ballistic tip vs my handloaded version that sits 7 thou off the lands. You probably don't need to get out the calipers...

    The factory ammo shoots good. The handloads shoot awesome.
     

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  10. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Interesting comment. I see I'm not alone in that scenario. I normally shoot Wolf Match Extra (Vitavouri powder, Eley Primed) in 50 foot indoor competition (The only wolf I shoot BTW and not to be confused with thw cheap wolf ammo in larger calibers because this is not cheap ammo by any means) and someone gave me a 20 box of Remington 22 LR's at the range to try and the first 2 went fine. The third cartrdge was a squib and the bullet never cleared the barrel. I didnt have to take the gun to a smith, I just used a brass pistol cleaning rod and a small brass hammer and drove the bullet out the chamber end. No problems with the barrel or rifling. I'll never try any 'gift' ammunition again. My march 22 target pistols are way too expensive for those bargain basement cartridges.

    I also notice that shooters that use Remmy and Winchester 22's at the range commonly have a number of duds in any given box. Stuff is junk IMO.
     
  11. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    I've seen a good amount of factory ammo that is moa capable but little that will do significantly better than that. My savage striker 22-250 pistol uses the 45 grain bulk win white box load to do 5 shot 1" 100 yard groups. I've used the Rem 300 rum swift tipped bullets 180 grain loads to put three in an inch at 100. Both guns will do better with good handloads. Pmc makes some good ammo for larger rifles if you can find it (their 300 win ammo was awesome(1/2moa for 5 shots) years ago when my father used some 150 grain stuff in his old bdl). My experiences with factory ammo are rather limited though, and I almost consider it sacrilegious to use factories unless I'm burning them up for brass as I do in my 405 win or 5.56 nato.
     
  12. tomt

    tomt Well-Known Member

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    I picked up a used Weatherby Accumark in 30-378. It came with a box of factory Weatherby ammo. All I wanted was the brass, so I pulled the bullets and weight each powder charge. The heaviest charge weight 106.1 gns the lowest charge weight 104.1 gns. That is a 2 grain difference in powder charge for ammo costing over a $100 for 20 rounds. My powder charges don't vary by more than .1+/-gn., and I can load the 210 Berger.

    I can make ammo better than factory because I can take my time!!!
     
  13. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    I was running a test charge run up with my father's 7stw years ago with AA 8700 and 140 grain sierra bullets. I ran a 6 grain spread from 89 to 95 grains( I know 95 is stiff- I wanted to be sure of the rifle's actual top load) at 1 shot per each charge over a chrono and into the target at once. I had a 300 fps extreme deviation but less than a 1" group at 100 yards.

    At further than max pbr this would matter, but to most guys three of each charge would have been a box of ammo.
     
  14. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I've always wanted an AccuMark .30-378 Wby Mag......That's another one of my dream guns. There was a Mark-V Deluxe .30-378 Wby w/ a Zeiss Diavari 3-12x56 on it for sale locally for $1,500.......I couldn't raise up the money in time before it sold. I was hurt.... That would have been a smokin deal, if I could have gotten that one.