HSM quality

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by ShortMag3, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. ShortMag3

    ShortMag3 Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2009
    I have a friend who shoots factory ammo out of his 300 Rum. He's shooting the 185gr Vld HSM ammo. He lives a few states away so all conversation. He said he shoots about 1" groups at 100yds. I told him by adjusting the seating depths we could probably tighten up the groups.
    I purchased a box, opened up the 1st pack and measured the base to ogive for a reference dimension.
    I had .008 variation in 5 pcs.Definitely not great but ok I guess.
    So I proceeded to tap the bullets out a little with the kinetic hammer and was suprised at the minimal neck tension. One tap and out had .1 + movement and a crimped jacket on 15 out of 20.
    Is this standard for their quality.

    Attached Files:

  2. BHC

    BHC Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2012
    Ouch. This is a case for why I handload. I like the bullets HSM uses, Berger, but that seems a bit loose in the neck tension. I'll let the experts chime in here as I'm a gun painter not necessarily a loading expert. Imagine what your follow up shot would be? I use Redding dies and a neck bushing to undersize my necks for a .003 pressfit and that gets me under 1/2 MOA if I do my part. I don't use factory ammo for this reason. If I reload it, I know what I've done. That makes me nervous with how little neck tension is on that particular box. I don't want to throw HSM under the bus and hopefully it was a fluke as they are a good company.
  3. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    I've shot quite a lot of HSM in multiple calibers and find it to pretty high quality ammo especially for the price.
  4. geo4061

    geo4061 Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    I use to love HSM. However, it has been very inconsistent and my groups have opened up. No longer impressed with their ammo.
    lancetkenyon likes this.
  5. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2011
    My buddy had the same issues with their 7mm/168s. One box would shoot bug holes, another all over the place!
  6. T.Rep

    T.Rep Well-Known Member

    Dec 24, 2014
    I wasnt too impressed with their Berger 210vld load in my 300wm. Inconsistent grouping. And the last box I bought from them, every round I damn near had to beat the bolt open. I went home that same day and ordered everything to start reloading.
  7. lancetkenyon

    lancetkenyon Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2013
    I use to recommend HSM to everyone. No longer. I have seen their quality drop significantly, and some even almost dangerously. My last 2 issues with them were in a .300WM w. 185 HVLD which was WAY too hot, leaving heavy ejector marks, flattened/cratered primers and very stiff bolt lift in the 2 shots that I fired, so I quit. The same issue in a 7RM w. 168 HVLD that did the same thing. Groups were in the 4" range at 100 yards. Hornady and Nosler turned in 1.25" groups out of the same rifles, and handloadi brought both in to under .5MOA.
  8. AZ Wildcat

    AZ Wildcat Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2015
    I love the Berger bullets and have shot good groups (.5 - .75 MOA) with the HSM loads in my 7mmWSM, however I’ve noticed substantial variances in velocities from box to box. Like, 75-100 fps differences. I’m looking at other options.