IS RELOADING HISTORY?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Ian M, Apr 5, 2002.

  1. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    I was talking to a fellow in the outdoor magazine industry today and he told me that the hobby/practice of reloading "has gone into the dumps". Reader surveys indicate about 5% of hunters are using reloads. This was from info developed by one of the biggest hunting mags in the U.S. He said that most people don't have the time in their lives for reloading. Plus factory ammo is very good and also reasonably priced - considering how much most hunters shoot.

    When I expressed my surprise he mentioned that I no doubt associate with individuals who are not the average American or Canadian hunter. Have to admit that I was really dissapointed at the 5% number - but this fellow is in a position to know.

    Any comments from you members of the choir.
     
  2. Tim Behle

    Tim Behle Well-Known Member

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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR> He said that most people don't have the time in their lives for reloading. Plus factory ammo is very good and also reasonably priced - considering how much most hunters shoot. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You sure said a mouthful in those two lines. Unfortunately, I think he is right about most "Hunters" not willing to make the time in their lives to learn about the gun they shoot or the animal they hunt. They think hitting anything past 100 yards is nothing but luck, unless they are the one who makes the shot.

    I don't think Reloading has yet to go down the tubes. I think it is better now than it ever has been in the past, most shooters just aren't willing to spend the time it takes to learn.

    Ian,
    You sure knew how to open my pet peeves, I just deleted three paragraphs and decided I'd better just shut up and go back to reading before I make enemies out of 75% of those who bought a hunting license last year. ( Not that they would take the time to visit this board in the first place )

    That's why I like this board so much. The people here are those who are willing to take the time needed learn and develop the skills to make themselves better hunters and shooters.

    Tim

    [ 04-06-2002: Message edited by: Tim Behle ]
     
  3. Dan Conzo

    Dan Conzo Well-Known Member

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    If the same survey was taken from subscribers of Precision Shooting, Accurate Rifle and Varmint Hunter--I'll bet that 80% of the shooters and hunters would respond the opposite. With all the new reloading equipment coming out from major and custom manufacturers yearly I doubt that the hunting magazine survey is very accurate. People that hunt just quit buying the regular run of the mill hunting magazines because they don't cover rifle accuracy in detail. Competitive shooters alone probably account for over half of the reloaders in the U.S. Try to find some good popular custom match grade bullets from JLK, Berger, etc in the middle of the shooting season--sometimes you can't. The average once or twice a year shooter or hunter I don't think ever kept the Reloading Tool and Component Manufacturers in business anyway. These are probably the same people surveyed in your friends magazine. Even the tool and component manufacturers advertising usually reflect the competitive shooting (rifle, pistol and shotgun) and varmint hunting people, save for a few bullet manufacturers specializing in big game bullets.
     
  4. Nicholas

    Nicholas Well-Known Member

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    "They think hitting anything past 100 yards is nothing but luck, unless they are the one who makes the shot."

    No truer words have been spoken.

    Yesterday for fun, I was practicing holdovers out to 400 yards with a 100 yard zero with my 308 win. Didn't even use any tables and the wind was blowing 20-25 mph from 3 o'clock. It wasn't hard at all.

    After 400 yards holdovers become very difficult, that's when tables really kick butt.

    Shooting at 1000 yards was a whole other story. The wind was blowing the shots between 12-16 feet off target. Very hard to determine windage adjustments as the wind speeds were consistantly changing, but it was really fun even though I didn't hit my target once (an 8.5" by 11" paper), but I was hitting within 6 inches most of the time.
     
  5. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    Great info guys, I am not trying to drive a nail in any coffin. The fellow that made the statement is looking at "AVERAGE AMERICAN HUNTERS" (if there is such a thing). He feels that the serious hunters and shooters are still out there (he made the point "guys like you - meaning me") but he also believes that overall the number of indivuduals reloading is dropping sharply. He also represents one of the biggest mags, is a top professional and has a very good idea what his readers are up to. I wonder if maybe he sees something that we don't because we live in "our world". I have 3 presses on my bench - I ain't letting up any.

    I remember when reloading not only offered significant savings, it let us make better ammo that was tailored to our rifles and needs. Had a little pride in it. Nowadays the guy who needs some specialized bullet for a hunt can buy it factory loaded, and it will shoot minute of critter and he is happy. Have you guys shot any BHA Match lately - factory ammo is hellatious accurate.

    Just go into any outfitters operation and look at all the factory ammo that is being brought along - in recent years I would have to suggest that I see more factory ammo than handloads in many camps. I have been in camps were the amount of factory brass in the garbage can at the sighting-in range was bloody awful - nobody even bothered to take it home.

    Don't read into this that I agree whole-heartedly. But it just might be a reality when you look at the big picture and that is a damn shame. The numbers of guys represented on these forums is a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the "pumpkin army" out there. I get the impression that most of those guys own one or two guns, shoot 5 or 10 shots before the season (maybe) and as soon as some critter hits the ground they are finished shooting - until the following season. They are also some of the vocal ass-holes who are telling me that I shouldn't shoot long, but that is another topic.
     
  6. MontanaMarine

    MontanaMarine Well-Known Member

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    At the local range where I do most of my shooting (Flatwoods Outfitters) I would estimate on the rifle range probably 40-50% of the rifle shooters are usually shooting handloads. On the pistol range maybe 10-20% shooting handloads.

    Just an unscientific estimate based on casual observations.

    MM
     
  7. Dan Conzo

    Dan Conzo Well-Known Member

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    I guess what I'm trying to point out is that I don't think the so called average shooter ever did keep the reloading industry and hobby going, but that there is enough of us around that it will keep rolling along with new stuff and improvements for a long time to come (provided government doesn't hurt us) and that the magazine guy didn't compare it with anything like 20 yrs ago or versus another magazine survey from Precision Shooting or the like. If this magazine took the same survey 10 or 20 yrs ago I would be interested knowing if there was a change. Not all hunters hunt with a bow or even target shoot with a bow but Archery is doing fine. Not all hunt with a black powder firearm but it is doing fine, etc.
     
  8. Dan Conzo

    Dan Conzo Well-Known Member

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    Ian

    Also on the subject of reloading. I thought that only long range shooters were the only ones still wildcatting until I tuned into the Varmint Hunters board--these people are shooting and wildcatting cartridges from 10 (very limited)caliber on up to 30 (a lot of 17s and 22s) with the same or more regularity and vigor than in the 1940s and 1950s. And I don't think its just the 100 or so on that board. Gunsmiths have these custom reamers, small rifle manufacturers and sub-manufacturers(Cooper, Kimber, Bullberry, Virgin Valley, Thompson, etc) chamber and barrel these wildcats. Custom and major Bullet
    manufacturers make specialized bullets for these calibers. Powders are available (more than ever before), dies and accuracy loading tools, reloading info. I don't think reloading or wildcatting is dying. In the long range world there's new calibers coming out by manufacturers and custom shooters and gunsmiths regularly, the 6.5/284 is so popular that Hornady is even making brass for it, so is Norma and Lapua. Remington a few years ago came out with the 300 Ultra case, then followed with new chamberings. Remington and Winchester are now chambering short fat magnums. The old 404 Jeffrey case is a basis for many wildcats being used today. Norma sells a lot of 404 brass and I'll bet very little of it is used for a 404.

    Your magazine friend should look into expanding his magazine to include some of this and most likely will have a more cross-sectioned subscriber and a more accurate survey.
     
  9. wannabee

    wannabee Active Member

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    I started reloading to get the maximum performance out of a ordinary rifle(Husquavarna 7mag). Now I reload so I can shoot more, better, and more accurately.
     
  10. c0yote7

    c0yote7 New Member

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    wannabe,
    I totally agree. I have several T\C cal. that you can't buy factory loads for and I want the most accuracy for all cals. that I have.
    I don't shoot loooooong range like you all do, but I figure that I can learn more ideas to shoot better at the ranges that I do shoot at.
    Thanks in advance.

    Les