handloads vs. cheap factory stuff for accuracy?


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FlyinBryan
April 29, 2008, 01:41 AM
im pretty new here, have bookoo stuff ordered to get started handloading and im just wondering what i should expect as far as accuracy from handloads with premium components vs cheap factory ammo.

i will be mostly shooting a bushmaster ar with a 16" bull barrel. and several different 1911 pistols.

i realize that it could take a while to find the best loads for my rifles and pistols, but should i expect to see tighter groups?

im getting pretty excited about the possibilities.

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freakshow10mm
April 29, 2008, 02:10 AM
Yes, you will probably get better accuracy out of handloads because you are loading for what YOUR gun shoots best, not trying to make something acceptable for the masses.

Teuthis
April 29, 2008, 02:27 AM
Handloading is a wonderful hobby. It can be great fun to obtain the custom precision you desire, and develop the loads that fit your firearms and your shooting needs. You can achieve excellent accuracy by weighing your powder charges, and taking special care in each step of the loading process. And you can certainly save money over time.

I would caution you to obtain the bullet makers loading manuals, and find your best loads within their limits. Do not start experimenting with things you see in gun magazines. Some of those people are insane. Stick to loads that are accurate in your firearms, and within safe limits too. What little velocity you might gain from some "hot" load is not worth the risk of destroying your firearm and perhaps your sight or your life. I have seen it happen.

The "cheap" factory ammo you mention is not necessarily bad or inaccurate. It is produced on machines that can make a lot of it in a short time, and hence it is less expensive. I no longer handload, because I cannot shoot enough to do so. I buy excellent ammo from sources that let me shoot within a budget. I think you would find that the much of the "cheap stuff" will group well, even if it is not tailored for your shooting style.

Take care to be safe and precise and you will really enjoy handloading. Good luck and have great fun.

qajaq59
April 29, 2008, 08:48 AM
I realize that it could take a while to find the best loads for my rifles and pistols, but should I expect to see tighter groups?
Yes it does take time to develop a good load. But that is half the fun, and it's really worth the effort.

And unless you get sloppy with your reloading I'd have to say yes, it will definitely be more accurate. And bear in mind that commercial ammo is pretty darn good stuff these days. But your hand loaded ammo is being custom built for a particular rifle, unlike the commercial ammo which is loaded to the lowest common denominator.

Halo
April 29, 2008, 10:10 AM
In addition to being able to tailor a load for your firearm, reloads inherently have greater accuracy potential because of the consistency from round to round. When every round has an almost identical powder charge, seating depth, etc, you'll find that their trajectories are also nearly identical.

When I first started reloading, I noticed an improvement in shot groups immediately.

2sigs
April 29, 2008, 10:44 AM
I think what the OP is trying to get answered is, will his early or first handloads be more accurate than the less expense store bought type. Well maybe?? First off like has been said cheap production ammo is not bad ammo, less consistant maybe but still very HQ ammo in comparison to years ago if you will.

The thing for you to do is research what is a very common loading of the caliber you wish to load for. Then you find that starting loads consist of such and max is such, you start at the BOTTOM of the data and enjoy the new homerolled ammo it will shoot fine. You will do this a few times then move up the scale in small incrents til you reach max load data and somewhere along the way the groups should have been tighter. That is the load you work with until you learn more about the "nature of the beast" if you will.

I would suggest you start your reloading ammunition hobby with the .45ACP as your first attempt. The 45 is very easy to load, it is very foregiving of sizing and belling and standing bullets in to seat and you can see in them to check powder, oh yeah look in there again to check the powder! WEAR your glasses all the time use info you attain from books or from websites of the manufactures to get started don't take advice that does not compare with data that is written by manufactures.

Your newly loaded ammo will perform very well as you start to reload probably no better than the commercial stuff at first but probably no worse either. you will learn over time that there are so many variables to loading metallic cartridges that you will forever seek the perfect load.

Always wear your safety glasses shooting and reloading
Always double check your powder scale setting
Always compare your load data against a manufactures
Always start low and work up
NEVER drink alcohol while reloading - has tendancy to cause problems-

Your loads will work fine if you do your part

enjoy and welcome to reloading !! I actually get more enjoyment out of loading quality ammo than I do shooting it I think

-2sigs

Halo
April 29, 2008, 08:38 PM
If you shoot somewhere this would be feasible, I highly recommend getting a chronograph. You need some sort of feedback to gauge different loads that you try. The obvious feedback is how well it groups, how well it cycles the action in autos, how the recoil feels, etc. Those are all useful indicators, but they may not reveal the subtle differences between loads varying by 0.1 grain of powder. A chronograph is an invaluable tool there.

DEDON45
April 30, 2008, 02:21 AM
I'm finding that my handloads are as accurate (and most often more accurate) than factory... and I haven't really done anything special other than just load them a bit under Max (worked up to that level, of course)... I'm pretty excited that it's working out this well, and for less money, and, of course, it's a fun hobby too.

BeJaRa
April 30, 2008, 09:40 AM
groups from my m1 and SKS were cut in halve shooting my handloads vs surplus ammo. handguns, I would say that they are a little bit more accurate, but alot cheaper.

Sunray
April 30, 2008, 11:11 AM
"...should I expect to see tighter groups?..." Yep. You're tailoring the ammo for your rifle using better bullets. You do have to work up the load. Not just pick one out of your manual though.
Don't expect it to be cheap though. Match grade bullets aren't cheap.

crow_sniper
May 3, 2008, 09:14 AM
Hand loading is the way to go.better accuracy,easy to do.Just pay careful attention to what you are doing when reloading..

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