How do you make the price of shooting 300 WIN MAG manageable?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ATTHECROSS, Aug 24, 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ants

    ants Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Messages:
    3,710
    At The Cross, did you get enough information in these posts?

    We don't load and shoot 200 rounds of Magnum in a single range session.
    Maybe a dozen rounds. Maybe barely more, or less. It's not 'bulk range ammo'.
    We work up extremely accurate loads and shoot small quantities.
    Since the quantities are often small, 'economy' is often a falsehood.

    So your original question, "Do you handload to cut costs?"
    Well we handload for super accurate ammunition.
    The fact that it saves a nickel per round is frosting on the cake.
    But if you only shoot a dozen rounds per year, so many good
    ammo manufacturers like Black Hills and Nozler make excellent ammo!
    Doesn't matter if each round costs a few cents more, saving two cents
    and missing your target is no economy.

    Like he said in the film Unforgiven, "Dying ain't much of a living boy."
    In our case, "Inaccurate ammo ain't much of Marksmanship, boy".
    Same thing. Cheap but inaccurate doesn't mean valuable. Accuracy is value.
     
  2. ATTHECROSS

    ATTHECROSS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Messages:
    43
    Ants... I greatly appreciate your follow up post. You bring up a very good point that really gets "tothe heart" of what I was really asking...and I didn"t even know it :). With that said... I am looking to greatly increase my marksmanship at long ranges, with long ranges being 600 yards for now with a minute of squirrel:). I have been shooting off and on throughout my life and am blessed now where I am able to do it on a much more consistent basis,and as far as hobbies go this is it for me so I want to get as good as possible. Just like anything I realize that betterment and perfection takes lots of practice... there are no hacks or shortcuts... especially in marksmanship. So I was interested in the 300 WM because after some research I have found , correct me if I am wrong, that it is a very good (flat trajectory) LONG distance cartridge and was somewhat cheaper than 338, 6.5 etc (which seem like REALLY fun to shoot). So all the while trying to be cost effective and get a good long distance cartridge and be able to use it enough be proficient at the long game. That is really what I need answers for. Any and all thoughts again would be very much appreciated!
     
  3. Tuxedo007

    Tuxedo007 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Unfortunately, since I do still load for a .300 Win Mag & shoot it as often as possible, I CAN get my 74 year old head around the $40.00 and more for a box (of 20) .300 Winchester Magnum ammo. I haven't bought any in a very long time since I reload for all the firearms I use, except for the rimfires. Those prices have taken off like a rocket also!
     
    horsey300 and .308 Norma like this.
  4. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    9,192
    When loading for the .300win mag, you have to focus on "saving money" against alternative magnum cartridges and factory ammo sources, as there's no way to compare the .300wm to the ilk of 243win, 6.5 creedmor, 308win, etc, let alone the little 223rem.

    Comparing against smaller cartridges is like looking for the best price for a semi-tractor, and comparing it against an F-350... completely different classes, so the price comparison is moot.

    A guy can save a little money by shooting Hornady bullets for practice instead of Sierra, Nosler, or Berger. A guy can save money by shooting Lapua brass which will last longer than other brass by a large enough margin to offset its higher price (not for .300wm, of course - misled brass holds up well for belted mags). Sure - a guy can compromise on powder, but usually there's just not THAT much cost in the scheme of things - but it also doesn't hurt a guy to let their foot off of the gas a little for their practice ammo too, save a little on powder cost, but also on brass life. A guy can save about 4cents per shot by using a 65grn load instead of a 75grn powder charge, but if you get 10 loadings instead of 7, you're saving as much per shot on brass life - so backing off just a little can pay itself back in more than just powder.

    What is wise to do, however, is to have a training rifle in a more affordable cartridge (or multiple trainers). All of your technical practice can be done with a lowly 22LR or 223rem, then only spend enough time with the magnum to be familiar with the trajectory and recoil management. Throw a 6-7mm short action cartridge in the middle there to give you longer capabilities, but without full horsepower recoil or full magnum price ammunition. Your training rifles don't HAVE to have the same manual of arms or design, but it sure doesn't help to match up the stock.

    If you are shooting ELR, then the .300WM might be a trainer for your .338... but if you're really exceeding at ELR, ammo price probably shouldn't be a major consideration.

    The difference in price for ammunition or components will pay off practice rifles in smaller cartridges faster than you'd think.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  5. ants

    ants Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Messages:
    3,710
    Well, if you do get into 300 Win Mag there is lots of information on super accuracy loads for bullets 168 to 180 grain.
    One weekend of searching manuals and online advice, you'll find more data than you can load and shoot in a year.

    However, if you want to go really long range there are heavier bullets that cheat the wind and air resistance a little better.
    Sierra makes Match King (SMK) in 190 through 220 grain. Common wisdom is to use either R19 or R22 powder with the 190.
    Best target is 2975 feet per second, but never ever exceed max load in the published manuals. Even if you don't quite
    achieve that velocity, never exceed max load. Your gun may go slightly faster or slower, but max load is max load.
    Best manual for that combo are Sierra's book and Alliant's book. They are specific to that bullet and to that powder respectively.

    Very heavy load but even better against the wind and air, 210 and 220 grain bullets. Use Hodgdon H1000 powder.
    Target velocity seems somewhat slow, 2675 feet per second, but once again don't exceed published max load.
    Either Sierra or Hodgdon's data for that combination. Never exceed their published max load even if your velocity is a bit slower.

    Or stick with lighter bullets, 168 or 175 or 180. They certainly do work.
    And look at the super low drag VLD and ELD bullets on the market. They work too.
    Hybrid target bullets from Berger. And Hornady A-Max. And Nosler Custom Comp.

    Look up information like that. You can find it. You will equal or exceed expensive match-grade ammo.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  6. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Messages:
    4,305
    Location:
    Somewhere in WA.
    I'm not suggesting that anyone not load and shoot a 300 mag, but looking at the benefits vs the cost I'm not seeing why I wouldn't just shoot a 308. That seems to be about the least expensive HP cartridge around to buy or reload and it's 30 cal just like the mag. Brass and bullets are relatively cheap. If you belong to a range you can find people that will give you the OF brass. I have several hundred pieces of 308 brass and I don't even own a 308. I know, OF brass isn't going to get you top notch loads but good enough for the range. I never used hand loads to hunt with anyway. One box goes a long way.

    I guess it comes down to what you will be doing with the rifle. If you like to shoot a lot, like I do, most people are going to have to look at the economy of certain cartridges. If all you want to do is sight it in once a year for a hunt then it won't be much of a consideration.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Messages:
    26,111
    Location:
    Northeast PA, USA
    That may work for you but I would not consider hunting with factory ammo. My ammo is tailor made for my rifle and is best for hunting. I get to choose the bullet that will be best suited for the game I'm hunting at the velocity I choose.
     
    CoalTrain49 and .308 Norma like this.
  8. zb338

    zb338 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    644
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Thomas I'm sure you already know but just a reminder. 30/06 military brass can be corrosive. Find
    out if they are and clean them properly before you load them. Many fine rifles have come away with
    rusty bores because guys didn't realize.

    Zeke
     
  9. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    10,895
    Location:
    Alabama
    I will shoot 200 rounds or more of rifle ammunition, either when I am testing for velocity, or at CMP Talladega for zeros. I can say I shot up around 60 rounds of 300 H&H at CMP the day I took the greased rounds pictures, and, I shot at two or three more rifles before leaving. If I shoot a 223 I will burn up hundreds of rounds. Thank goodness the 223 has all the recoil impulse of a mouse fart. After 80 rounds of 30-06 out of a metal buttplate M70 sporter, I hurt, I hurt bad.

    HB9skFG.jpg

    It takes me a week to get all the ammunition tumbled, sized, trimmed, primed. Trimming takes a lot of time as I only have automatic trimmers for 223, 308, 30-06. The rest I have to monkey around with a slow RCBS Pro Trim II. Primer pocket cleaning is a pain as I usually ream pockets to depth on the first firing.

    Cases can be a sunk cost if you treat them right. If you stretch the heck out of them first firing, because you will only fire dry cases in dry chambers, and you load them hot, because you have to have all the horsepower that you can have, then cases won't last long. I have taken lubricated 308 LC cases 22 + reloads in a M1a and they would have gone longer but the primer pockets were getting loose and I did not want alibis due to primers rolling around in the mechanism.

    TqQrriR.jpg

    So if I can take a Magnum case 20 to 30 reloads, I have saved a lot of money, over the guys who have to toss them around four reloads. For me, the next cost driver is powder.
     
  10. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Messages:
    4,305
    Location:
    Somewhere in WA.
    That is an advantage if you reload.

    I don't think the OP reloads. He's looking for economy, not performance.

    If he doesn't reload he's better off with factory ammo and avoiding the expense and time to get set up to reload.

    The cost savings is only about 50% once you pay for the equipment.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice