Enemies of Liberty are ruthless. To own your Liberty, you'd better come harder than your enemies..

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Advice & meanderings

**UPDATE**  Does anyone like to shoot 210 grain .308 as a combat load - if so what powder load do you like?


About a few topics I know what I am talking about, and I know that I know it.

On some topics I have a working knowledge.

On some I have enough knowledge to get myself in trouble.

On most, I'm clueless.  ;)

So I ask people who know - such as this:

In my past I have reloaded with my father.  Mostly .45 ACP.  I found the little progressive reloading system to be sufficient for what we were doing - which was building ammo so we could raise hell and burn the barrels out of a few pistols and .223 rifles, work on our double-taps and triple-taps at combat ranges.

But now I have a question about ammunition you'd take into combat.  Do you guys generally trust the average progressive set up from Lyman, RCBS, LEE, Dillon to turn out ammo you would trust with your life?  My biggest concern was always with automatic powder measures.  A little more or less in the average 230 grain .45 FMJ that you are planning to shoot into a steel plate is one thing - but do you trust the standard automatic powder measures with ammo when people may be shooting back at you?  Would you bypass that step in a progressive and weigh each charge on a digital scale for your sidearm?

How about your duty .223 or AK ammo?  Are you comfortable running straight from the machine?

Now, you guys who load .308 to hit an eyeball at 250 yards - do you trust the production progressive loaders, or do you build your rounds one at a time?

Do you prefer a simple single-stage press?

You guys who start warming up at 600 yards - that'll never be me.  ;)  You folks impress the hell out of me, but that isn't my skillset.

Weigh in if you feel like it.  It is just another Saturday...before the serious ugliness begins.



  1. i use a dillon for handgun,i weigh every now and then and have never found on off over a tenth. rifle i load on a rockchucker and weigh every one,drop short and trickle to fill.

  2. I have a dillon that I load all my handguns with. I've never found it to be more than 1/10 off either on a spot check. I still use the dillon for my rifle, but I use an open die with a single throw powder measure that's more accurate especially with longer rod shaped powder and bigger loads. I've done 30-03, 22-250, 6.5x55 Swedish, .270 45x70, 45x100 and .243. All those I'd feel comfortable hitting a lethal shot up to 250-300 yards scoped and say 150 with irons. I've been shooting about 25 years and reloading about 15 for what it's worth.

  3. Funny you mention this. I have an RCBS single stage I've had for almost 40 years and pulled out the other day. Got it as a gift in HS. I used to load .45 years ago and I am going to start up again. I do not have an auto measure, it's a trickle type. I had no problem shooting any of the loads out of the .45 auto I had at the time. I have two manuals with it. I'm going to read them again this weekend after I finish the book I got in the mail today.. "Resistance to Tyranny" by Joseph P. Martino


  4. I can assure you, loading with a small progressive requires more attention to detail than what production ammo in military surplus provides.The greatest difference after case preparation will be your powder charges. Weighing manually occasionally will eliminate serious irregularity or at least it will index a stop, start point to correct charge discrepancy.
    As far as loading for short or long range where a shooter wants optimum accuracy, read up on loading for competitive shooting. Shooters don't necessarily have to purchase hundreds of $ in equipment. IMO,if it is eyeball shooting your after, load one at a time, use good brass, Federal Primers, neck size only. Pay attention to the barrel twist and use bullets recommended for it. Every rifle and caliber has different tendencies and some are more fickle than others.
    Military snipers don't reload. They are provided match grade ammo which is better than surplus, but not as good as the ammo reproduced one at a time by the handloader.

  5. add on from #1 above-case trimming to correct length and uniformity will affect accuracy far more than a 1/10 grain variation in powder. it takes me longer to prep brass than to actually load it. been at this for 35 years now,more long ago than now.time seems to get away from me more now. naps ya know-lol

  6. I use a Hornady Auto-Progressive (AP) press. I use it for 9mm, .45ACP, .40SW, .308, .223, .44mag and .45LC. With each caliber, I always double check the powder charge every 8-10 loads (I use a digital scale off to the side to confirm the load remains constant). I've yet to discover any variation that causes me concern. I'd take any of my loads into a life/death situation. Hell, I'd prefer them over alot of "factory loads" out there.

  7. A number of years ago, I started to bake bread (another thing I just thought I needed to know) and at first, had many failures (but the horses loved the stuff - not choosey). As time went on, I became much better and now I can turn out stuff on par with good speciality bakeries.
    Same with reloading - began as a kid (I'm now 66) with a hand held Lee loader: now have a RCBS 2000 progressive unit and with attention to detail, consistency (and not drinking when reloading) and common sense, the 'product' is as good (and maybe better) as factory ammunition. Takes time, practice, a few mistakes and willingness.
    Best of luck - this stuff is like photography, fly fishing, women: once you start,you can throw as much money at it as you want ....................

  8. I am a single stage guy. I would probably do pistol ammo with a progressive press if I had one but I would rather trade time for confidence. I have loaded thousands of rounds rifle and pistol, I have had two miss fires, one 30 carbine (got in a hurry, knew what happened) and one 38 special, it sucked weighing ~950 rounds to make sure that was the only one short charged. With a single stage, I know the ammo will shoot better than I do.


  9. I use Dillon gear, and it has earned my trust. I run it for pistol rounds without concern once I have it all set up for a batch (but I pre-weigh my slugs) and then sanity check total loaded weight of the rounds after loading. For pistol work, that has never diasppointed me.

    Similar to pistol rounds, I trust the Dillon to give me consistently satisfactory loads for 5.56, 7.62x51, etc for use out to 200 yards without getting toatlly obsessed about it.

    For shooting beyond 200yds, I do individual mass measurements on *everything* and also check total-loaded-weight of every round when done (any round that has a TOTAL weight which is off by more than .2gr is a 2nd quality round by my standards). For these 'precission' rifle rounds, the comments above about only using neck sizing and case trim are very good guidance, because the brass will be fire-formed to your chamber after the first use, and therefore will give added precission to the rounds you load (assuming they will be fired in the same rifle, of course).

    But remember that I condiser 7.62x51 to have a 750 yard useful range against a <=10" target, and can employ a 7mmRemMag or 300WinMag out to 1000+ yards on the same size 'piece of paper'. F-Class shooting is good practice for what may come, and besides, its FUN ;P


  10. FOr those who consider themselves capable out to 500 yards or better, take serious consideration of the 6.5mm and 8mm Mauser as alternate calibers to 7.62x51 and 300 WinMag. There's a lot less demand for these calibers so far, yet there are good new and surplus guns available without breaking the bank, ammo is still available at sane prices, and the terminal ballistics of these rounds are equal to or better than their more popular counterparts.
    I have taken big game with both 6.5mm and 8mm Mausers, and believe me, they consistently put a quick end to your 'game' out to at least 600 yards!


  11. Rifle: Rockchucker. Calibrate the scale, first. Throw to withing 1/10th of a grain; trickle the rest in so that each charge is exact. Without. Fail.

    More time, but more consistency. Worth every second when it comes to down range performance.

    Weight preference? 150gr FMJBT.

    If possible, Lake City brass, and CCI 7.62 primers.

  12. Yeah, I load everything on my 30 year old Rockchucker. I use a powder measure for handguns but weigh every rifle charge by hand.
    You can tell I don't do a lot of rifle loading, huh?

  13. went bear huntin in western U.P. in '80. rolled up some .44 mag 4 the hunt. rained all the time. following summer let a new handgun shooter try it out. he fired a round that was squib & fired a good 1 after. ended up w/ a bulged barrel. oh well. don't take unsealed ammo in the rain. in the 90's bought a used ruger 77 varmint .308 chromemoly 24 in. tube. had a hot gunsmith bed it cut trigger 2 2 1/2 lbs & he took ahand ream 2 the muzzle. OMGOMGOMG!!! used DCM sierra 168 pulled bullets. under 1 moa 2 600 w/ a Shepard scope. call the shot.left eye or right eye. shepard the 1 that works. got 2 of em.

  14. .308 = Barnes Banded Solids 165 gr. on top of 44grns. of RL-15 on Top of CCI magnum primers.


  15. i'm the bear hunter w/ the shepard scopes. i forgot 2 add. i rolled 1k rnds of that 308 on a dillon 550. rarely checked powder charges. did an extensive standard deviation study of dillons powder system using ball & stick powders. ball works best. i also used guages from sinclair int'l. seated the bullets 5 thou off the lands. 2520 powder, imi brass & fed match primers. Dillon & Shepard. THEE BEST! get plasters book & vid. toodles

  16. i;m the bear hunter w/ the shepard scopes. i forgot 2 add. the ammo that i roled 4 the ruger was rolled on a dillon 550. 1k rnds. 2520 powder imi brass fed match primers. got some gages from sinclair int'l. seated the bullets 5 thou off the lands. did an extensive standard deviation study of dillons powder system using ball & stick powder. ball works best. when i rolled that 1k up rarely checked charges. Dillon & Shepard. THE BEST!

  17. I would absolutely trust my reloads in a life-and-death situation. It just seems to me that if I have the ability to ensure quality that is just as good or better than factory ammo - plus you get to see each component go in.

    As far as progressive presses I can't vouch to their effectiveness. I'd like to have one but the money they cost just seems like it could be better spent on other things (food, seed, boots, etc.).

    I use a single-stage Lee - as a matter of fact it is the same one you posted in the original post image. I throw with the included measure from that kit. I weigh every 5th throw on a digital scale to be sure. You could do more or less spot checking - I do it that way because Grandpa and Dad both do it that way. I seat the bullets and then check OAL with a digital caliper on every 5th round, again, because that's what I was taught.

    The big issue that I run in to reloading is that there are very few companies that publish load data for actual 5.56. Ramshot is the only powder company that I know of that has 5.56 in its load data. You can use .223 data but might lose a little velocity in the trade.

    I'm fairly new to this as well; only been at it a couple years so take the above with a grain of salt.

  18. Trust Berger bullets and loads. just my $.02
    Papa Mike

    1. Berger seem to be still available if you look for them.



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