Quantcast

The first animal you killed with a reload

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by gspn, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. gspn

    gspn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,322
    You took the time to learn how to reload. You purchased the appropriate tools, bought the components, researched loads for your intended purpose, tested various combinations, then chose the optimal load. You crafted that ammo with your mind and your hands, you took it to the field...what did you do with it?

    Tell us about the first animal that fell to one of your reloads. How did it make you feel? Was it any different than when you killed with factory ammo? It doesn't have to be the very first kill, any story about a reload will be entertaining and/or enlightening.

    I know mine was. Heck, the first time I shot a reload at a target it was a cool feeling. Since that first round was loaded years ago, I've spent countless hours in the books reading everything I could get my hands on. I've killed dove, pheasant, chukar, whitetail, mule deer, elk and more with reloads. All carefully researched, assembled, tested, and put to work in the field. It definitely gives me a greater sense of satisfaction, and my knowledge base has grown tremendously through the process.

    What say you? Tell us a story.
     
  2. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Messages:
    5,665
    Location:
    Ohio
    Woodchuck with 55gr v max and 24gr benchmark at 275yards if I remember correctly. Next was a 160lbs dressed for at 50yards with 300gr hp from 45-70 marlin.
     
  3. 25-20 WCF

    25-20 WCF Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    253
    Location:
    Arizona
    That would be a Nevada jackrabbit in 1970, with an M788 chambered in 6 mm Remington, a 75-grain Hornady HP on top of 46 grains of IMR 4350. About 100 yards, almost blew the bunny in half. I was satisfied with the offhand shot.


    .
     
  4. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    10,348
    Cow elk I think....Might have been a mule deer.
     
  5. Enfielder

    Enfielder Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    229
    Location:
    Finger Lakes, Ny
    My first deer. I re-started hunting later in life and also started reloading .300 Savage after I bought a 99. The bullet that took it down was a converted .308 case that my good friend showed me how to make into the Savage round. I only had one of those converted cases and it was his helpful input that filled my freezer.
    Funny story, I was perched on a steep creek bed overlooking bottom land. A young 9 point showed up 5 minutes after first light. My first shot pierced his ear, literally. I cut the ear off and kept it as a reminder to slow down and take and place the shot rather than rush it like prom night. The second shot blew through his neck and he bled out right there where he fell.
    The severed, pierced ear hangs in the shop next to his jaw bones.
     
  6. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    Messages:
    4,937
    Location:
    Up State New York
    can't remember, dad had me at the reloading bench before i was 5, most likely a deer.
     
    hps1, JeffG, Patocazador and 6 others like this.
  7. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Messages:
    4,275
    Whitetail buck little 5 pointer nothing much but he had horns :D shot was maybe 60 yards I shot he disappeared I got a little worried waited as long as I could stand 10 minutes seemed like 10 hours decided I’d look for blood and back off once I found some sign of a hit just to be safe so I stand up to get out of my tree stand
    The buck had fallen down the little step he was on and was dead right there one of my proudest moments

    Load
    Use at your own risk
    .270 Winchester
    140 grain btsp
    58.5 grains of H4831
    Federal .270 brass
    CCI Magnum Rifle primer

    I’ll never forget that day!
     
  8. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,169
    Location:
    Flagstaff AZ
    I've mostly killed animals with reloads. My dad always reloaded and I always helped but my dad loads strictly for economy. He buys the cheapest bullets (whatever cup and core is on sale) and literally looks at his Col Townsend Whelen loading book from pre 1950, finds a powder that he has that is listed in the data for that bullet weight and picks a charge at random (generally low end strictly for recoil reduction) and loads up 50-100 at a time. Between the two of us we've killed a lot of stuff like this. We've had some rodeos but we've had plenty of DRT as well.**

    Then I found hunting forums, THR in particular. I bought my own press and spent a lot of time in the reloading forum. It came to light that some people actually pick a bullet they want to shoot, they actually find the most accurate load, wherever that may be in the powder charge spectrum, and they demand greater accuracy than minute of paper plate! Well this sounded fun if nothing else.

    I worked up a load with my 243, still shooting 100gr Interlocks but seated just off the lands and I could hit a 2" dinger at 200 yards from the bench with regularity. I was pleased with this new-found accuracy.

    Deer season found my dad and I in southern AZ hunting Coues whitetail. We were bumbling along late afternoon and found a buck at the bottom of a ravine bedded. It looked like a long shot due to deceptive terrain but the rangefinder said 228 (this was our first hunt with a rangefinder, we were guessing at the yardage when I said well hell, I have this rangefinder, let's see exactly how far it is)! My dad tried to talk me out of it, it looked about 350 yards but because of the time I'd spent with that load I knew that deer was about to die at 225. I set up on a big rock for a rest, I was shooting thru a patch of ocotillo and there was enough breeze that I had to time the opening in the occotillo with the wind. As my dad kept whispering "it's too far and you're shooting through an ocotillo bush, this is a bad shot" I got the timing pattern down and sent a bullet through that buck's shoulder. He never got up. My dad was amazed. I never had an ounce of doubt.

    Point being, that buck was a turning point in my hunting career. The information I learned in the reloading section of this forum and later in the hunting forum allowed me to completely up my hunting game. I would regard that shot now as easy. I basically regarded it as easy when it happened, it only looked hard to my dad, but even the year previous I wouldn't even have taken the shot. So that's the animal I thought of, even though I'm not sure I've killed more than one deer or elk with a factory cartridge in my life. I can only think of one.

    P.S.
    The buck was a dink, but a memorable hunt. And for those that don't know what an ocotillo bush is, it is the weird thorny bush to the left of the deer in the picture (pic taken in my yard when I lived in Tucson)


    [​IMG]

    **Some common elk fodder this method produced: 300 Sav and 30-06, 150gr Hornady Interlock, minute of paper plate at 100 yards, low end velocities for respective cartridges. 200 yards would have been a long shot for us. 100 yards was more our speed. To be fair we've killed a pile of elk with these loads. But they are lousy loads compared to what either of those cartridges can do with better bullets and better load development.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
    BigBore44, horsey300, Stevel and 9 others like this.
  9. gspn

    gspn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,322
    That is a AWESOME!
     
    ohihunter2014 likes this.
  10. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Messages:
    495
    Whitetail doe DRT with a 303 British. PVI 150gr SPBT, over load of IMR4895. Not the biggest deer I've taken, but certainly one I'm proud of. Felt very rewarding to bag one with a round I rolled myself.
     
  11. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    7,316
    Would have been a Grouse shot by a reloaded 16 ga. shell loaded with a "whack a mole" Lee loader back in the 60s. Gave it away in the 70s when I bought me one of them fancy MECs.
     
  12. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,494
    Location:
    Colorado
    An injured deer that'd been hit by a car. Sent him on his way with a 124gr XTP (9x19)
     
  13. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    6,491
    Location:
    South Eastern Illinois
    My father had a mec reloader set up on a table in the basement as far back as I can remember. My first kill with a reload was undoubtedly a dove, quail, or rabbit with a 12ga....but I dont remember it. I started shooting clay pigeons with a 12 ga when I was 11 or 12.
    My first kill with a reloaded centerfire cartridge would have been a doe with a .357mag loaded with my own cast 158gr lnfp over 6.2 gr Unique. It really wasn't my intention, but the "antlerless only" handgun season sneaked up on me, and I didn't have any factory ammo....but I had reloads.
    Thus began the end of my love affair with the. 357.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
    40-82, hps1, JeffG and 7 others like this.
  14. Fyrstyk

    Fyrstyk Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2019
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Central CT
    Does casting your own lead balls and working up a load to shoot them in a muzzle loader count? If it does, then my first game shot was a wood chuck raiding our garden when I was about 8 years old.
     
  15. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Messages:
    2,845
    Location:
    People's Republic of Maryland
    Since I shoot a flintlock on deer, and rabbits, and a caplock on squirrels, pheasants, and grouse...ALL of my hunting is done with hand-crafted loads. ;) My first was a button-buck in the drizzling rain.

    LD
     
    hps1, JeffG, Armored farmer and 2 others like this.
  16. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Messages:
    2,478
    Does a muzzleloader count?
    I muzzleloader hunted squirrel From 9 years old.
    Shotgun was my first reload kills.
     
  17. eastbank

    eastbank Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    4,121
    a Remington 722 in 244 rem, using a 85 gr bullet loaded with old H 4831 in 1958. I loaded 10 rounds and shot a large doe that year at about 100 yards in the neck and had to shoot her again in the head to end her misery.
     
  18. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    2,871
    Location:
    Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
    Can't really say what the first was. Out of over 100 whitetails that were rifle kills 80 were with reloads. You add another dozen for pistol. I would guess the first deer to fall was a 110 class 8 point at the awesome range of 30 yards with a 130gr Nosler Solid Base out of a Ruger 77 270.
     
    2ndtimer, horsemen61 and gspn like this.
  19. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    1,051
    Whitetail with a model 700 in 257 Roberts soft point loaded on an rcbs partner press. No idea buck or doe nor even where. But I hunted with that for years as it's all I had and the first i reloaded for.

    Still have both the gun and the press but they are rarely used nowdays
     
    gspn likes this.
  20. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    4,127
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Same here only much later in life. My go-to deer, elk, moose, antelope and bear gun was a Husqvarna in 7x57 A.I. I imagine it had to be a deer about 1977 or so.
     
    horsemen61, gspn and troy fairweather like this.
  21. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    Messages:
    4,937
    Location:
    Up State New York
    do your remember what the neck off your 7x57ai measured, I have to set the barrel back on mine to clean up the ring in the shoulder. My necks need to be about .310 which seems tight.
     
  22. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Messages:
    799
    Location:
    Central MN
    My first was a big, late season rooster pheasant with my old 16 guage at 14 years old. This was before the internet, so I was limited on ammo to what the local stores carried. I favored #4 shot for wild flushing gnarly November pheasants on the Northern swamps, and this simply wasn't carried locally. Even Fleet Farm didn't have it, which seemed to have everything one could ever need for hunting or fishing before the world wide web (remember that lingo?) showed me how much else that I needed existed in the world. After glomming onto some of the coveted Winchester hulls at a gunshow (these were also rare locally) and some hodgepodge components listed in the Winchester pamphlet that they used to offer free of charge, I sat down on the Lee Load all I'd received for Christmas the previous year to turn my 16GA into the perfect pheasant stick. I remember the wad was the Rem SP16, and powder Win 571 in the metal bottle with 1 1/4 oz of copper plated 4 (I found I could go for the premium shot without significantly raising the cost per shell). Took some fiddling to get the crimps right, and I ended up cutting down a few of my precious winchester hulls to salvage the components. The SP16 was a tight fit and didn't compress well, but I finally got it right and cranked out decent...if not perfect...looking shells...MAGNUMS! Having exhausted my store-bought ammo in the early season at the insistence of Dad and my uncles (they thought reloading was a bit crazy and had seen some of my early efforts at target loads as I was figuring out that whole crimping thing), I eagerly stuffed some in my pockets and took to the swamps with my retriever Sadie to see what my homemade shells would do while Mom and Dad settled in for Friday evening dinner chuckling at my fool's errand. Was an early onset of winter, so there was walking ice on the lake by Grandpa's house, so I set out working the ring of cattails along the shore where I hoped birds would be sheltering from the biting NW wind blowing that evening quartering into my face as I walked the lake edge of the cover. After only about 100 yards of cover, a rooster rocketed out from under Sadies nose and crumpled with a pleasing puff of feathers into some willow brush. Sadie and I rushed to the spot, having badly experienced roosters downed in heavy cover with the 1oz #6 game load the Coast to Coast in town sold, and were pleasantly surprised by a stone dead bird with a broken wing. Another hundred yards produced several hen flushes and then Sadie doubled back behind me and got "birdy" in a dense clump of cattails. Another rooster, a huge one, busted cover and rocketed across the ice with the wind at his tail. A longish shot knocked him down, and he came up running to be finished by a second shot. I picked up the two Winchester empties and lovingly placed them in my pocket. I was sold on reloading, and rather proud to burst into the dinner room and interrupt roast beef and mashed potatoes to show off my 2 cacklers!
     
  23. gspn

    gspn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,322
    I love that story!
    I love everything about your story. A classic hunting tale.
     
    wankerjake likes this.
  24. Jeff Flannery

    Jeff Flannery Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    116
    I don't remember if it was a woodchuck or whitetail . But it was with my trusty rem 700bdl 243 using 100gr sierra bullet for deer or sierra 85gr bullet for chucks both using 33 r of win 748. VERY accurate with both!
    outstanding story!! It brought me back to when pheasants were around here(pa). I'm glad I go to experience them before they disappeared. Thanks for a great tale!!
     
    gspn likes this.
  25. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    4,127
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Sorry, but I don't have the rifle any more and don't know if the brass I still have has been resized.
    When you're old you'll understand why I don't remember. :(
     
    troy fairweather likes this.
  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