In your opinion: Most important cartridge component.

What’s the most important component?

  • Powder

    Votes: 16 18.2%
  • Bullet

    Votes: 50 56.8%
  • Primer

    Votes: 6 6.8%
  • Brass

    Votes: 16 18.2%

  • Total voters
    88

Calvin45

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Apr 13, 2019
Messages
931
Location
Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Canada
Thread title says it all, enjoy a good poll conversation and always find I learn a lot from you all along the way.

I know full well that if one thing is wrong the whole thing is wrong BUT if you only got your first preferred choice of a)powder choice, b) bullet choice, c) primer choice, or d) brass choice, what would you insist on getting your particular way about? What’s the most important element of a loaded cartridge to you, component wise? Gotta pick just one! 😝
 

nmbarta

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Mar 8, 2014
Messages
906
Location
billings mt
Depends on what I intend to do with the loaded cartridge........ but the bullet is unaware of the other components once it leaves the barrel. The bullet does the killing.
I agree with the order stated above exactly. If the bullet won't do what you want it to do when it hits the target, the others don't matter at all.
 

Calvin45

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Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Messages
931
Location
Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Canada
Well that got responses fast! All good arguments so far, can’t find fault with any of them, all approaching from a different angle which is good. No one has argued for powder yet though it has been voted for. Here’s my thought for now

in my experience powder has made more of difference than about anything else

yes the bullet is the critical element...but it’s amazing to me how well I’ve managed to get visibly inconsistent bullets (Speer btsp especially, noticeably out of round, inconsistent weights...my 243 loves them!) to shoot out to at least 400 yards.

we’ve seen in the last 2 decades that match bullets can often be used effectively as hunting bullets

hunting bullets can be capable of match or near match precision at long range

even fmjs can kill quickly

the bullet can be worked around pretty easily to do what you need it to do, even if that isn’t what it’s ideal for.



——


moving on to brass...feenix I agree we obsess about it and most of us who have done this a while end up spending money our former selves might have hit us with a stick over on “premium brass” because if we’re serious about this hobby, it is worth it.

BUT...anathema as it may be, I’ve had great results in the past shooting loads with MIXED HEADSTAMPS!!!! It seems brass in this regard isn’t nearly as particular as I’d like to think. Try shooting mixed powder, mixed projectiles, even mixed primer brands and I’m confident it makes more of a difference for the worst than not worrying about brass will. Absolutely I prefer some brass to other brands but there is no brass I can’t make work pretty good if I need to use what’s available.

——-

Primers as well....some yield better es and sd numbers, they all work, enough said. And I know you shouldn’t but I’ve switched primers and kept loads otherwise the same and, well, nothing of note happened.

——-

My vote: Powder. There as some that just work sooooo much better than others for a given application. An improper burn rate shows little mercy, you will have to accept lousy performance if you cant find anything within a certain window, especially with magnum cartridges.
 

FEENIX

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
16,397
Location
Great Falls, MT
Well that got responses fast! All good arguments so far, can’t find fault with any of them, all approaching from a different angle which is good. No one has argued for powder yet though it has been voted for. Here’s my thought for now

in my experience powder has made more of difference than about anything else

yes the bullet is the critical element...but it’s amazing to me how well I’ve managed to get visibly inconsistent bullets (Speer btsp especially, noticeably out of round, inconsistent weights...my 243 loves them!) to shoot out to at least 400 yards.

we’ve seen in the last 2 decades that match bullets can often be used effectively as hunting bullets

hunting bullets can be capable of match or near match precision at long range

even fmjs can kill quickly

the bullet can be worked around pretty easily to do what you need it to do, even if that isn’t what it’s ideal for.



——


moving on to brass...feenix I agree we obsess about it and most of us who have done this a while end up spending money our former selves might have hit us with a stick over on “premium brass” because if we’re serious about this hobby, it is worth it.

BUT...anathema as it may be, I’ve had great results in the past shooting loads with MIXED HEADSTAMPS!!!! It seems brass in this regard isn’t nearly as particular as I’d like to think. Try shooting mixed powder, mixed projectiles, even mixed primer brands and I’m confident it makes more of a difference for the worst than not worrying about brass will. Absolutely I prefer some brass to other brands but there is no brass I can’t make work pretty good if I need to use what’s available.

——-

Primers as well....some yield better es and sd numbers, they all work, enough said. And I know you shouldn’t but I’ve switched primers and kept loads otherwise the same and, well, nothing of note happened.

——-

My vote: Powder. There as some that just work sooooo much better than others for a given application. An improper burn rate shows little mercy, you will have to accept lousy performance if you cant find anything within a certain window, especially with magnum cartridges.
As noted, I picked brass because it is what I have the most control over. You can also improve the design of the cartridge as most wildcatters do. You can also make other cartridges to suit another chambering. For instance, I can use.35 Whelen, .270 Win, and .280 Rem for my .30 Gibbs. I cannot say the same with powders or primers. Bullets like Bergers, I can make sure the tip is in good order. It is all a matter of perspective, but that's just me.

Despite having all the choices of components on hand, most of us will still spend a good amount of time in brass prep. In fact, most of us consider brass as stable when fire-formed off the chamber at least once. We do this in detail every reloads. While each component is necessary to have loaded ammunition, the brass serves as the conduit for the other components.
 
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Calvin45

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Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Messages
931
Location
Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Canada
The Bullet, MUST BE, "matched" to the Rifling Twist or, you ain't going to,.. hit much !
True...up to a point. I’ve yet to have a big issue with anything I’ve sent through a 10 twist 300 win. I know it won’t stabilize 250 a-tips were I to try. And with full power loads with lightweights the accuracy is less ideal than the heavier bullets but still nothing I’d wanna play tag with 😀. Point is, almost any bullet I’ve tried or found has been possible to make into something useful and realizing the energy potential of the cartridge. Can’t say the same for powder. Tons of powders that are all but useless to me, and certainly won’t realize the potential of the cartridge.
 

milo-2

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Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
1,240
Location
Gillette, Wy
Brass! It is the only component that is reusable, and we have the most control of its outcome. This is why most of us spent so much time in brass prep.
I am with FEENIX here, you do not need 3 buck per pc brass, but if your brass and properties are not consistent, neither is your load.
We all know some bullets fly better by design, but you can change up bullets and still maintain a high level of performance, either pure accuracy or desired hunting characteristics.
Powder is 3rd, yes, there is a #1, but workable still.
Primers are the weakest link in general, but still key, yes we know primer can bring in a load. You can work around powder or primers.

If your brass is not consistent, neither is your load.
 
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HuntnPack

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Joined
Feb 21, 2012
Messages
673
Location
The Wilderness
My personal order of components importance is:
1) Bullet choice

2) Brass
3) Powder
4) Primer

The Bullet / Bullets I choose to use for my intended use & performance goals
drives my other cartridge component selections, as well as affecting my Rifle build choices, in everything from platform, action, barrel, chamber specs, mag length, etc.
Just my personal approach.
 
Last edited:

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