Crazy enough to reload rifle?


October 27, 2009, 04:51 PM
Not y'all, me. I'm no stranger to doing SOME reloading, as I've reloaded .45 ACP for about a year now. I use a Dillon SDB, and it's been fun and educational.

My quest is for a very accurate, devastating deer hunting round for my .30-06. I'm perfectly willing to just buy the stuff OTC if anyone knows of a round that has proven to be very accurate AND hit like a sledge hammer. I see that custom loads can run over $70.00 per box easily, and so it makes me wonder if I might be nuts thinking that I could get into reloading for the rifle, also. Of course, the SDB doesn't do rifle rounds, so I'd have to go all-in for another reloading setup. I was thinking that if the goal is accuracy, a single stage setup might be optimal anyhow.

So, can I get into reloading .30-06 rounds for a relatively reasonable cost, and get better ammo than I can buy, or should I wait for one of you to recommend a quality commercial product for me to just go buy?

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Arkansas Paul
October 27, 2009, 04:59 PM
You can get into the rifle reloading game fairly easily. I bought a RCBS Rockchucker Supreme kit for $339 at a local sporting goods store and it is fine. As far as an accurate load, your rifle will decide that. It is well worth it. I can load premium stuff for about 1/3 the price I can buy it. I also agree that with what you're wanting, a single stage press would be the ticket. You don't want to get in a hurry when your goal is optimum accuracy.

You didn't mention what you're going to be hunting, but I like Nosler Ballistic Tips for deer. 150 grain
If you're going to be hunting elk or bears, go to a Nosler Partition.

October 27, 2009, 05:47 PM
I would recommend using Prvi-Patizan ammo for your rifle. I have used it in other calibers and can say it is full power and the brass is reloadable. The bullets are similar in design to the Rem core-lokt. The price is very reasonable, otherwise I would say do the reloading thing. The 165gr would be the best choice, IMO.

Here's a link to Graf's who have it in stock right now.


October 27, 2009, 05:52 PM
I reload myself, rifle and pistol, but many times more volume than I'd presume you would use as a hunter.

How many years worth of expensive, premium quality ammo could you buy for the price of a reloading set-up and the supplies expended getting *the* load for your particular gun ... not to mention your time. I've gotta think that you could buy many years worth of premium ammo cheaper.

October 27, 2009, 06:15 PM
If you're talking making ammo for the annual hunting trip and that's it, I 2nd Canuck's opinion. By the time you buy the equipment, to say nothing of components, you'll have outspent your cost-savings benefit of reloading.

It's been my experience - albeit, limited - that the average factory ammo, including the "cheap" Walmart special Remington stuff, shoots better than the average hunter and gives sufficient accuracy for deer hunting.

Don't misunderstand me: I reload for my pistols and enjoy both reloading and shooting. But if I were starting from scratch just to make my annual box of shells for deer & hogs, I wouldn't touch it.


October 27, 2009, 06:34 PM
Buy the cheap Federal soft point stuff (165 grain?) at Walmart. If you hit it like you should (through the lungs) , it will more than do the job on any deer you will ever see.

So will a .243;)

October 27, 2009, 06:43 PM
For the limited amount of deer you are likely to shoot, you could just buy a box of premium ammo. But if you want to get into some real accurate shooting with your rifle then the loading would be the way to go. I'm assuming you already have everything, scales etc that you'll need, except for a press and dies?

October 27, 2009, 07:46 PM
You get prime accuracy and lots more ammo for practice if you reload. If you take your rifle out often for practice and fun, reload. If it just comes out a few weeks for the season, maybe not.


October 27, 2009, 08:01 PM
Assuming you decide to handload for rifle (its not as scary or hard as it seems, I held off for years because it seemed a lot more complicated), I suggest the Lee Classic Cast. Its built like a tank and its very reasonably priced. The only thing that can really make it better is the Hornady lock n' load conversion, which I did to mine.

October 27, 2009, 08:19 PM
How many rounds will you enjoy firing per year?
If a box of twenty will last you a year no you should not reload for it. If you will enjoy range time with your .30-06 all year long absolutely. Anywhere in between-it's a personal call no matter what. I reload for all my rifles, shotguns,and handguns and have not bought factory ammo in several years(except .22LR). Warning:reloading can be addictive.

October 27, 2009, 08:39 PM
nothing crazy about it. I would guess that most premium ammunition would be just fine for hunting. No need to buy custom loads.

However 30-06 gives you tons of options if you handload. I say do it. Your asking because your curious. your curious because your interested.

October 27, 2009, 08:44 PM
what's your budget?

How many rounds a month or year?

I'm going to buy a 30-06/.308/.270 soon and i'm going to load for it on my rockchucker . In the future i may tool up my Dillon 550 for it but I figure i can load 50 rounds of rifle quickly enough on the single stage and all i need are dies and a shellholder

October 27, 2009, 08:53 PM
yes a dillon or RCBS or what ever will load ammo.but the best I have found is the lee cast turret.its not cheap its inexpensive.I load 30/06 with cast bullets and I know they will kill a deer.if you stay under 200 yds.many deer were killed with 44/40 and 32/20.:rolleyes::uhoh:

October 27, 2009, 09:06 PM
After reloading a bit for .270 .308 and .223 I feel it is the way to go. I'm a firm believer that it really opens your possiblities for various loads. The accuracy can be increased well beyond what I expected.

As far as volume of shooting that is up to you. The satisfaction level can be worth it. You may hit a handload that is great your first try. Same for buying off the shelf ammo. It just depend on you and your luck.

Now I go to stores that sell ammo & the limited choices even in popular calibers is enough to justify it for me.

Good luck,

October 27, 2009, 09:25 PM
I agree that as long as you shoot a fair amount reloading will serve you well. You can get into the game with Lee equipment for around $250+ components. I would advise a breech lock challenger press for your quest, the turret is great for mid volume reloading but it sounds like you don't shoot enough for that. Could be wrong.
Reloading will enable you to develop much greater accuracy because you can tune the bullet to your gun. Plus you do get the satisfaction of being able to say, I load my own bullets. That's always great too.

October 27, 2009, 10:52 PM
I did rifles before I did handguns. If you do it in stages, say 100 rounds at a time its not that big of a deal on a single stage press by Lee or RCBS or whoever.

Sierra's 165 Game Kings are proven on deer and elk, and very close to the 168gr match king in ballstics. It's THE bullet I reload.

October 27, 2009, 11:58 PM
It doesn't cost a lot to get into reloading.

Finding the "perfect" load for your rifle can get rather pricey and you'll have a shelf full of powder cans and bullet boxes with just a little taken out of each when you're done.

October 27, 2009, 11:58 PM
I've not bought any factory rifle ammo in years (since the mid 80's or so) but my son-in-law wanted me to see if I could find him a couple of boxes for his .270. He was shooting a 'premium' Federal round (can't remember what it was now :o).

I could not believe it when I saw how much they cost now. Sticker shock I reckon! :what:

I already had primers and powder but I bought a set of dies, 150 Nosler Ballistic Tips and about 100 once fired brass for less than 3 boxes of factory stuff.

I still can't believe what they want for good factory ammo. Who would pay that much???? :scrutiny:

You probably already have everything else since you are loading for pistols. So, yes, pick up a set of dies and most any single stage press and load your own.


October 28, 2009, 02:19 PM
Thanks for the input. I AM curious. I AM interested. I'm NOT sure I have time to add another layer of hobby on to my schedule. I shoot the rifle around 10 times a season usually, and that's it. Two to 5 rounds to be sure my groups are where they should be, and the rest taking game. So it's not a range gun like the 1911's are.

October 28, 2009, 03:01 PM
Then I would wait until you get the time. Loading can eat up time pretty well, and you're already loading for the 1911. But..... if you run across a good buy on a press, then grap it for future use, because sooner or later you'll be loading for the rifles too.

October 28, 2009, 03:08 PM
I have a dillon 550B press & load Rifle and Pistol once you are into it it is a lot cheaper and fun. Plus you can tweak the load for accuracy in your particular gun. and I load for 7mm WSM, 30-06, 303British & 30-30 the 7mm is very high priced.

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