Experiences of a a Novice Reloader

Extend your shooting experience while reducing the cost of your ammunition!

Re: Experiences of a a Novice Reloader

Postby mikld » 13 Jul 2019 10

GasGuzzler wrote:The reloading bullies will hate me for this but in my experience, magnum primers are required for nearly nothing. There may be a very small bench rest gain in one or two applications but I haven't found it.

The ADI AP2205 should work very well with the 158 if it is similar to H110 or W296...my second favorite .357 powders to A2400.

I only have a use for Magnum primers with two (3?) powders; W231/H110 and WC 820. My other powders don't seem to notice much if any difference when a load work-up is done with Magnum primers...
mikld
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 69
Joined: 10 Apr 2012
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 24 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: Orygun

Re: Experiences of a a Novice Reloader

Postby Coote » 13 Jul 2019 15

Thanks for the further thoughts. One of the reasons I ordered another .357 was to be able to compare results. Hopefully I will get to do just that this week if the rifle arrives and we get a break from the wind and rain.
Coote
 
Posts: 29
Joined: 29 May 2019
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 11 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: Nelson New Zealand

Re: Experiences of a a Novice Reloader

Postby Ohio3Wheels » 14 Jul 2019 09

My use of magnum primers over the years has varied. In the 40-65 and 45-70 with black powder I've always use magnum large rifle. It a fairly tall compressed powder column and I want it lit and going regardless of the climate conditions. For the past few years I've been using the Winchester large pistol primers that are listed for standard and magnum loads with no complaints in the 45 Colt and the 44 Magnum. Those have been ant where from plinking loads with light bullets and Trail Boss to hunting loads with heavy bullets and H110, WW296 and Lil'Gun. As an aside I'm moving my heavy hunting loads away from H110 to Lil'Gun. I've used both standard and magnum in small pistol and have maybe seen 100 fps difference over the average. In the gas guns AR15 and M1 I use CCI MilSpec primers which have been talked about as magnum level primers with harder cups. Not sure if that's fact or the street talking but they work.

It's been a while but I suspect I bought my first magnum primers when I was following a manual recipe.

Make smoke,
Curt... makin' smoke and raising my carbon foot print one cartridge at a time Image
Ohio3Wheels
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 1333
Joined: 31 Jul 2014
Has thanked: 190 times
Been thanked: 256 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: Dayton Oh

Re: Experiences of a a Novice Reloader

Postby Coote » 14 Jul 2019 16

All good information thanks. Magnum primers are obtainable where I live, but they aren't currently stocked at our local hunting store. Standard small and large rifle primers seem to be readily available.

I don't know for sure what the current situation is, but a while back there were some big restrictions imposed on the shipping of powder, ammunition and firearms in NZ. I think the powder we get in the South Island where I live has to come from our North Island on a private fishing boat because the transport company rules evidently don't allow transport companies to carry it.

Consequently when I'm picking components I like to minimise the variety and buy the most readily available powder and primers that suit most of my needs. That's why I like to use rifle primers, and another reason why I'm sticking with the .357 cartridge instead of getting a .44 magnum with its less-than-common primer. But I think that 45-70 take large rifle, and I'm very tempted to get a rifle in that caliber one day.

As far as i"m concerned, 'too much ammo' is a very big number.
Coote
 
Posts: 29
Joined: 29 May 2019
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 11 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: Nelson New Zealand

Re: Experiences of a a Novice Reloader

Postby Ohio3Wheels » 14 Jul 2019 21

Yes, the 45-70 uses the large rifle primer. Fun, big case.

Make smoke,
Curt... makin' smoke and raising my carbon foot print one cartridge at a time Image
Ohio3Wheels
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 1333
Joined: 31 Jul 2014
Has thanked: 190 times
Been thanked: 256 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: Dayton Oh

Re: Experiences of a a Novice Reloader

Postby Coote » 14 Jul 2019 21

Yep. The big case is great, but the thing that flicks my switch is the big bullet diameter ;)
Coote
 
Posts: 29
Joined: 29 May 2019
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 11 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: Nelson New Zealand

Re: Experiences of a a Novice Reloader

Postby Ohio3Wheels » 15 Jul 2019 06

It will chuck a significant hunk of lead. The heaviest I shot are 405s but a few of my correspondents shoot as heavy as 500s.

Make smoke,
Curt... makin' smoke and raising my carbon foot print one cartridge at a time Image
Ohio3Wheels
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 1333
Joined: 31 Jul 2014
Has thanked: 190 times
Been thanked: 256 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: Dayton Oh

Re: Experiences of a a Novice Reloader

Postby Coote » 15 Jul 2019 16

I think I might have to add '45-70' to my bucket list.
Coote
 
Posts: 29
Joined: 29 May 2019
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 11 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: Nelson New Zealand

Re: Experiences of a a Novice Reloader

Postby Coote » 20 Jul 2019 18

I've been thinking about accuracy. When I first started hunting and target shooting, I didn't really think about hand loading or fine tuning. And scopes didn't really interest me much as they seemed like an expensive 'extra' you had to take special care of and you could never be sure that they hadn't moved (probably because the only centerfires I had much experience with were military Lee-Enfields which weren't simple to mount scopes on).

As a teenager I went to the range with my Dad... and to compete in secondary school shooting competitions. I imagine the range shooting was based on military standards. We mostly used Lee Enfield No4 Mk1 .303 British rifles with aperture sights.... shooting at 200 an 300 yards. I was pleased to shoot a 'possible' where all bullets landed inside the 'five' ring. I can't remember for sure how big that five ring was at 200 yards... was it six inches in diameter maybe.... or eight? Perhaps someone here knows for sure what the dimensions might have been back in the early 1970s

But a six or eight inch group at 200 yards would not please a bench rest shooter. In fact it probably wouldn't please the owner of a new hunting rifle which advertised a guaranteed accuracy of 1.5 minutes of angle. But such a group was the standard for accuracy for me, and it was fine for sensible shots on deer and pigs.

"Ignorance is bliss" can apply to someone like myself. Knowing the level of accuracy that is attainable nowadays can be a bit unsettling when your hunting rifle doesn't always group under 3/4 inch at 25 yards.

Anyway... I've had some serious mental discussions, and I figure that my guns and ammo only have to perform well enough for the job assigned to them. And rather than chase the last few fractions of an inch through cartridge and hardware research and experimentation, I'm probably better off practising thoughtfully with my working firearms and knowing my practical and ethical limits.

So... for 'rabbit accuracy', my shots need to ideally land inside a 1.5 inch circle at 75 yards. For bush stalking larger animals, I'd like my bullets to stay inside a four inch circle at 100 yards. And for long shots - say 200 yards - consistent grouping of six inches or less is what I'm hoping for.

I finally got to shoot my Howa .223 at a 200 yard range the other day. When I walked up to the target I was delighted to find a three-shot group of just under an inch. (It was Hornady factory ammo, and I had a nice new scope). So this is accuracy which would have seemed miraculous to me back in the early days.... and I'm still fairly surprised today. I guess it is a bit unfair to compare these results with what I've been doing with my .357 magnum handloads in my open-sighted lever gun ... and my old No4 Lee-Enfield using aperture sights and 65 year old ammo.

While what I've found out about accuracy on the internet has made me feel a bit inadequate at times, I'm pleased that there are dedicated shooters out there who are striving for perfection. Guys like me can learn from you.

Very few of us are totally self-sufficient when it comes to our hunting or shooting equipment. Sure, I cast my own bullets... but I don't have access to a lead mine and I can't make primers. I have hunted successfully with home made bows and arrows, but I mostly used synthetic cord for my string and steel for my points. So I have to decide on what degree of self-sufficiency is right for me.... and how much time and money I want to spend. Near one end of the scale I could mine my own ore and make my own muzzle loader.... or I could (like I have) buy an almost perfect rifle and ammunition from the local gun shop.

Back to the .357 magnum topic. About nine weeks ago I ordered a Henry single shot .357. They look beautiful and seem to have great open sights. But the danged thing didn't arrive as expected, so I finally cancelled that order and bought a new Bergara break-action single shot .357. It comes with a scope rail, threaded for a suppressor... and open sights. It has a nice heavy (but short) barrel. I figured, fitted with a scope, it was ideal for testing my hand loads. Yesterday I shot a bunch of different loads and I think I've finally found a winner... I'm using my home cast Lee 358-158-RF bullets (158 grain, flat-nosed) with a maximum load of Trail Boss powder (from the ADI data sheet). I can only get about 945 fps from them, but they shoot well. I did try some using a bigger load of AP70N powder.... and while they travelled at the speed that I wanted (around 1060 fps), the ones I shot didn't seem to be as consistent as the full load of Trail Boss.

It is great to have found a 158 grain hunting load for the Bergara. Now I'm saving up for a barrel-forward suppressor. And once I've loaded up a moderate stock of hunting cartridges (in reality, about 30 should last me a couple of years), I can relax into further reloading research. I'd like to try gas-checked bullets and go for some maximum velocity just to be able to extend my effective point-blank range.

Image

Image
Coote
 
Posts: 29
Joined: 29 May 2019
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 11 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: Nelson New Zealand

Re: Experiences of a a Novice Reloader

Postby mr surveyor » 20 Jul 2019 20

not to just gloss over the rest of your post, but the mention of the cast Lee bullet got my attention. I've got a good friend that started reloading about the same time I did in 2011, but he went full bore and started casting. I bought him that same Lee mold in exchange for some finished products. Needless to say, I've been using that profile .357 mag bullet for 7 years, and of all the other commercial cast and jacketed bullets I've loaded, that particular Lee bullet has pretty much outshined them all. I do like the Nosler 158 gr JHP and the Hornady 158 gr XTP (if it just has to be jacketed), but that danged Lee 158 gr RNFP has been my favorite,


jd
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Guns - They aren't really yours until you void the warranty!
User avatar
mr surveyor
1000 Shots
1000 Shots
 
Posts: 1421
Joined: 16 Mar 2013
Has thanked: 334 times
Been thanked: 251 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: NE Texas

PreviousNext

Return to Handloading

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

  • Advertisement