Retail reloader questions.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Goofball84, Feb 3, 2022.

  1. Goofball84

    Goofball84 Member

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    First- I'm NOT asking to get into reloading for sale. I found a situation locally and some questions kind of stuck in my head.

    Last year a LGS started offering reload/hand load services and products. He is licensed for it. This is not any kind of legal question. He was unable to get factory ammo for his shelves so he started loading. He loaded up few hundred rounds of most calibers (9mm through 300win mag), boxed them, priced them, and sold them. He also offered to reload customers brass for a fee. Components were limited to what he could find, so customer requested custom loads were not an option.

    Here's my quandary. Hand loading makes me think of load development with ladders, range tests, etc. He is making 1 load for a caliber and selling it to multiple people with various barrels. Does he just pick a middle of the road load and run with it? Seems off to me, until I think about factory loads. Many people don't always have a preferred brand/model round. Many people buy what ever is on the shelf, run a couple rounds through their gun to check their sights and adjust if needed.

    How common is it for someone to just pick a random load from a manual and just run with it? Sight their gun to that load and be satisfied. Perhaps its accurate enough for hunting and range blasting. So no interest in developing it to sub moa, etc.
     
  2. Mark_Mark
    • Contributing Member

    Mark_Mark Contributing Member

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    He probably picked light loads to be on the safe side. That gives room for error and such
     
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  3. WeekendReloader

    WeekendReloader Member

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    I would hope he measured the ogive of a few factory rounds and set his reload bullets accordingly. Customers could have problems chambering a round with all the different shaped "round nose" profiles out in the marketplace.

    My guess is that he picked mid-range powder loads. With all the loading I've done, mid-range loads all operated the gun properly. They may not have been the best or most accurate load for that gun, but they operated 100%.
     
  4. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    He could have picked a mid power load as mentioned. Or he could have found factory velocities then the bullet they used and used Quickload to reverse engineer a similar load at the same OAL. There are some loads in common calibers that are inherently good for a majority of guns and he might have used this data as well. Not what I would want to be responsible for at any rate.
     
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  5. Bill M.

    Bill M. Member

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    I pretty much just run midrange loads and stick with it. My reloads always shoot better than factory. They are probably always slower. Being old school I do not know better than to neck size and I do work on seating depth but it does not make much difference in my 3 rifles.
     
  6. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I ALWAYS find a good accurate load around 2/3 from bottom of the load range for rifles, and mid-range loads always work the pistols. Sounds like a really solid place to start.
     
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  7. barnfrog

    barnfrog Member

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    If you really want an answer to that question maybe you should start a poll thread. Anecdotally, I've seen plenty of posts along the lines of "I just load to mag length with a mid-range charge and it works fine in my guns." My uneducated guess is that there are quite a few people out there who reload that way who just load ammo and don't go online to discuss the finer points. Folks on forums like this may be more likely to make adjustments to improve performance.
     
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  8. Goofball84

    Goofball84 Member

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    This is what I was wondering. How widely accepted is it to pick a load less than max and just learn to shoot it with your gun? That is pretty much the same as grabbing a random box of ammo from the store and heading out to the range. This is how I grew up. Buy what ever was available and see if it still near zero.

    Now here is where I'm torn. The OCD in me wants to run full range ladders over the chrono for each powder I have, to find the consistency and most accurate. Then repeat it again for different components. Then I get thinking, I don't shoot competition, I rarely hunt anymore, I am really nothing more than a backyard plinker.

    Sometimes I feel like just setting up a safe load and cranking out the range ammo. If the POI is different, I'll adjust the sighting and keep on shooting. Then I feel guilty for thinking lazy.
     
  9. EricBu

    EricBu Member

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    If I was him, and I was a small outfit making and selling ammo, either new or reloaded...I would get my hands on the most popular, and most common commercial offerings of said calibers, and reproduce their performance and dimensions as close and as safely as I could with the components I had available in order to provide my customers with ammunition that was as close to what they were used to as possible. For example, if I was to sell .30-06 hunting ammo......I would buy a couple of boxes of Remington Core-Lokt in the most popular bullet types and weights, and use those to model what I was going to offer. Since almost everyone on the planet who has ever hunted with a .30-06, and doesn't reload themselves, has likely put that particular ammo through their rifle, it should shoot where and how they expect their hunting ammo to shoot.
     
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  10. armydog

    armydog Member

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    My stepfather would only buy loads his LGS made in the back. Trust has to be earned with him. It's not uncommon. Its just not for everyone.
     
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  11. barnfrog

    barnfrog Member

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    I won't say you shouldn't feel guilty, because telling someone how they should or shouldn't feel is just pointless. But you're the only one who's going to be affected by how you load your ammo. As the currently popular saying goes, you do you.
     
  12. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Depends on what you want the cartridge for, and you end goal of the reloading process.

    I reload 9mm. Based on my previous experience with 9mm, and powders that I've used, I worked up a load that works for me in my pistols that works, is reliable, and displays reasonable accuracy for practice ammos. I have not chased the low SD numbers with 5 different powders, nor worked on MOA accuracy between 5 different bullets. I don't have those expectations for this ammunition, nor do I need to waste my time and money trying to find it.

    I reload .308 practice ammos for my M1a. While I have chased the accuracy a bit more than I did with, for example, the 9mm, I just picked a common powder known to work well for the bullet weight I am loading, laddered it up to a target velocity requirement... and called it a day. It is as accurate as cheap factory or surplus equivalent, with reasonable velocity.

    I reload .308 target ammos for both my M1a and my Savage bolt gun. I have gone to greater lengths working up load for this than any other cartridge... but I expect a number of things out of this ammunition that I do not out of, for example, my blasting .308 ammos.

    Loading or 'remanufacturing' ammos for sale... that is going into myriad firearms... just pick a generic load, work it up into a reasonable cartridge using reliable published data, and go to work.
     
  13. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    I do both types. A few guns i reload specifically for and others i just choose a load based on what i have and run mid-level charges.

    My Rem700 deer rifle likes a 243 case with 43.5gr of IMR4831 under a 75gr HPBT.

    Most of my pistol reloads are just generic.
     
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  14. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Same decision any of commercial manufacturer has to make.

    There do exist some “magic loads” which tend to shoot well in almost any barrel imaginable - for example, I’ve put 27.3grn Varget under 50 Vmax’s through literally hundreds of barrels and it almost always shoots sub-MOA (and by “almost,” I mean maybe I am forgetting one or two which weren’t sub-MOA). So that’s what I loaded for my generic loads when I was selling as a Type 6. 42.0 Varget under 140 NAB’s in 7-08 has been exceptional in a dozen rifles and pistols for me. 41.8grn H4350 under 105 Hybrids has been exceptional in 8 barrels for 6 creed for me… I’d have high confidence selling any of these with reasonable to exceptional performance expectations.

    Or I could just throw a dart at a board and pick an 80-90% max charge in a small base sized case with book length and tell the customers they get what they get, the same as when they buy any other commercial ammunition.
     
  15. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Extremely common. We're the oddballs.:neener:
     
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  16. bersaguy

    bersaguy Member

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    I'd imagine your LGS would have access to a broad range of test guns for a given load. Find one that works acceptably well in short throated chambers as well as more accommodating ones. Find a middle of the road powder and charge so it can reliability cycle heavily sprung compacts as well as full sized duty pieces. I doubt it would be too much of a chore to develop a load that works pretty well across a wide range of guns. Will you get the best accuracy in every gun?...no, but that's what you get with commercial ammo too.
     
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  17. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    Gads! Perish the thought! Your poll should include the question of how many rungs are on the ladder, per caliber, per bullet, per powder combination. It definitely keeps us off the streets.
    I have purchased factory ammo, there’s nothing wrong with it but it may or may not be optimal. It usually is very consistent and that’s worth something. Good luck.
     
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  18. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Very common.

    Even in discipline’s that require accuracy there are lots of folks that run “the load” that successful people in the sport use and not bother testing all other combinations.
     
  19. Howa 9700

    Howa 9700 Member

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    As to OP's question.......how common is it to pick a load and go? Participants on this website........probably rare to never. In the rest of the world? Probably a lot more common than anyone knows. It goes BANG and what else is there?

    And as for what the guy in question was doing.......he had customers wanting ammo.....he could not find to sell. But he had components available to him he could make into ammo for them to use. This is a potential glimpse into the future. It is why I now have components and equipment to roll my own.

    I've got some powder that I've not been happy with, but decided to hand on to. It will load rounds that go BANG.......and if it hits the fan, that is better than nothing.
     
  20. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I know those guys doing mag dumps at the outdoor range expect MOA accuracy... ;) Because, well, that's how good they are on Call of Doody...
     
  21. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Yup. To the point that I know tree-stand/club-hunters who think you can't kill a deer in Florida unless you're using the latest Federal/Remington/Winchester/etc. name your brand latest-greatest-whiz-bang box ammo that guy on UTube talked about. Yes, there are people THAT gullible! ...and they own guns. :what:
     
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  22. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    :rofl: Oh, yeah. Joystick Commandoes. Like it or not, at least to some extent, they're the future of our sport. :thumbdown::confused:
     
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  23. jag22

    jag22 Member

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    Like many reloaders (particularly rifle) you are over thinking the situation. You aren't marrying the guy for life, just buying his reloads until you can buy factory ammo again. Your choices are buy what he makes or sit at home.
     
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  24. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    I NEVER just picked a "random load" from ANYWHERE and "just ran with it." Even before I started building my own, I was picky about what ammo I used - I only used what Dad told me was the best kind.:neener:
     
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