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Duplicating Factory Loads for Practice

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BBDartCA, Sep 3, 2011.

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  1. BBDartCA

    BBDartCA Member

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    I have a couple big game hunts scheduled for the year. I normally handload, but better trust premium factory ammo for the hunt. Reasoning is that time is so precious and the hunts so expensive, I want as much reliability as possible.

    This is 30.06. I'm going to use 180g Nosler Partition in one of the Federal products.

    Question I have is for range practice, I certainly do not want to burn through a half dozen boxes of $40 ammo! I have a small quantity of these bullets for reloading found at a gun show. But crap the bullets themselves are steep in price. I have a large stash of 180g Sierra SPT. Since both bullets are SPT and their ballistic coefficients similar, is it reasonable to think if I get sighted in and accurate with a handloaded Sierras (with similar MV and ME as the factory loads), I should be OK with the factory ammo? Or would it be better to bite the bullet and just handload with 180g Partition. Plan on shooting about 100 rounds at the range for practice. Prior to heading out on the 1st hunt I'll run a few rounds of factory ammo down the range to make sure the performance is about the same as the handloads.


    Caliber Cartridge Mfg. Power Weight Bullet SD MV ME V(100) E(100) V(200) E(200)
    0.308 .30-06 Spfd Federal 165 Partition 0.248 2830 2934 2607 2490 2395 2101
    0.308 .30-06 Spfd Federal 180 Partition 0.271 2700 2913 2512 2522 2332 2173
    0.308 .30-06 Spfd Federal HE 180 Partition 0.271 2880 3314 2685 2881 2498 2494
    0.308 .30-06 Spfd Norma 180 Partition 0.271 2700 2913 2497 2492 2303 2119
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The chances are slim to none that factory loads and handloads will impact in the same place on target. Even if closely matched in velocity & BC.
    The reasons are many and varied, but it just ain't very likely.

    I would use the handloads for practice, but disregard where the groups are on the target and do not adjust the scope for them if it is already sighted in with the factory loads.

    Your practice sessions will be just as productive, even though your shot groups are not landing exactly in the same hole the factory loads land in.

    It's the groups that count, and whether or not you can hold that tight, not the exact placement of them.

    rc
     
  3. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I agree with RC & have this to add:It depends on what your practicing. If you just want trigger control then exactly what RC said but if your practicing to see how high to hold at a certain distance then I would use the same ammo that I would be hunting with.

    Unless your new to reloading & not that good at it then I'm confused why you think factory would be more reliable. I had a Remington freeze my bolt up on a hunt. I still got the deer but if I would have needed a fallow up shoot it wasn't happening. I had to get my hands warmed up before I could even raise the bolt. I would say lucky the gun survived. I was young & dumb & shoot another to see what it would do. I had to beat it out also. Then I gave them away. I wonder if they ever claimed a gun?
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I agree 100% with the above.

    I have reloaded for about 50 years and have never had a problem with a single handload, ever.

    In the same length of time, I have had GI issue 7.62 and 5.56 rifle rounds with no flash hole in the case, factory loads with primers seated sideways or upside down, a couple with no powder, and a few other things.

    I'd trust any of my handloads to work right every time, way further then I could throw a box of any factory loads!

    rc
     
  5. raddiver

    raddiver Member

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    The first thought that came to mind for reproducing factory loads was....

    what a pain it would be to adjust for different oal and powder charges on every load.
     
  6. oldreloader

    oldreloader Member

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    "I'd trust any of my handloads to work right every time, way further then I could throw a box of any factory loads!

    rc "
    __________________
    My feelings exactly!
     
  7. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    Personally I would load up the Sierra's with an accurate load, sight in, and go for it. I doubt seriously that anything short of a large carnivorous critter will know the difference when you put one through it's vitals. With the '06 velocities the 180 gr bullets will usually pretty much stay together and punch right on through, even on some pretty tough bone. Crank them up to magnum velocities however they get a bit weaker simply due to higher impact velocities.

    Just my opinion, but I personally haven't seen that the game is getting any tougher to bring down, other than on the internet and gun rags.
     
  8. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Same here. Being able to produce the most accurate round for an individual gun is one reason why most of us reload. My reloads have proven more reliable and more consistent to me than the factory ammo I used to use. If I wouldn't trust my reloads and reloading procedures for my hunting loads, I certainly wouldn't trust them for practice.
     
  9. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    I'm not a rifle reloader/shooter.
    I do reload and shoot pistols.
    Using the same case, the same bullet, the same primer and a chrono to duplicate the speed, I can't duplicate a manufacturers load/results, because they use "proprietary powders" not available to the public. Accuracy will be different, and recoil may be noticeably different. That is a good thing.

    My reloads for pistol exceed the consistency and accuracy of any manufactured round I've fired in "my" pistols.
     
  10. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    When I read a thread I usually agree with about half of what is written but on this thread you are getting some really good advice from everyone. Several points are worth confirming. First, factory loads are not better than reloads and if you reload 200 cartridges out of the same batch of quality bullets, same batch of powder, same batch of primers, and the same brand of cases then you have 200 matched cartridges that will give you good results if they are campatible with the rifle. Secondly, never change the zero on your scope when shooting practice rounds. The size of the group is what is important and it doesn't matter if the rounds hit different than you hunting zero. Also, to practice your shooting skills and trigger control off a bench is meaningless. When you practice you need to shoot like you would while hunting using a shooting stick or whatever. Good luck. BW
     
  11. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    Non-canister powders.

    You did not think the large ammunition makers are paying $20+ a pound for powder?

    They buy huge lots of powder and then test to ensure it will perform as they want.

    Then they load millions of rounds.

    The powder sometimes make it to the secondary market as 'bulk' powder with limited loading data.
    It is the rest of a lot that is not large enough to make another factory run with.
     
  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Unless you are a terrible reloader and follow none of the correct loading steps there's no reason not to trust your reloads more than factory ammo. I have never bought ammo that was more accurate than my reloads and I have never had one of my reloads fail to fire although I have had factory ammo fail to fire.
     
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