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What Cartridge to Choose Based on Reloading

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by DMW1116, Sep 20, 2021.

  1. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    "Entertainment and enjoyment in reloading". Hmm.

    Assuming we're talking handgun cartridges, I divide them very generally into revolver and semi-auto cartridges. I personally prefer to load revolver cartridges, because they tend to be a little less sensitive to OAL, nose shape, crimp profile, etc. than semi-auto cartridges with their peculiar need to go sliding up and down and around in the gun.

    Beyond that, though, I find that reloading one straight-walled revolver cartridge is a lot like loading any other straight-walled revolver cartridge. There are exceptions for very large and very small cases (.500 Magnum, .32 Long, etc.) and there also is the occasional oddity like the small rims on .45 Colt cases, but in general I just don't see much difference.

    Playing along, though... In my world, the easiest top-quality results come with the .38 Special. I also really enjoy loading up the old "Skeeter" rounds in the .44 Special, with home cast H&G 503-style bullets - the process isn't anything special, but I enjoy trodding so closely in those footsteps. And for simple pleasure of loading the way it was done nearly from the start, blackpowder .45 Colt is truly enjoyable.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2021
    entropy and GeoDudeFlorida like this.
  2. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    I'm not changing my vote: .357 magnum. That said, I will confess that I load and shoot a lot of .44 Spl and .44 Mag, too, as well as the occasional .45 Colt. All of the straight-walled rimmed revolver cartridges are fun.
     
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  3. Bcwitt

    Bcwitt Member

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    I got started w a 7x57. This was a great starter, as it is almost not possible to over load w most powders. Also, it responds very well to good practice.
     
  4. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    For fun and enjoyment 45/70 in a rifle, in my gun my .357 which I can also use in my rifle.
     
  5. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    My choice would be 30-40 Krag.
    It has a generous neck for shooting cast bullets and has decent case capacity if you want to shoot jacketed bullets.
    I would have it in a High wall or Ruger number 1.
    An alternative would be 357. Cast bullets are fun and it is a solid deer cartridge in a light carbine.
     
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  6. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

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    with primers being as expensive as plated bullets, my vote will be 10mm SPP, 357 mag

    and rifle, 338 Lapua! or 7mm STW (will take down anything on Earth and Mars.
     
  7. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    The ultimate range toy is a 6mmbr or one of its derivatives. If you reload it's not bad, if you dont you better be rich. I dont know why it's not one of the first cartridges people ever shoot. If you can shoot it's ready to make small groups.
     
  8. n2omike

    n2omike Member

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    The MOST FUN guns to shoot and plink with are subsonic with suppressors! Shooting at steel targets with no hearing protection is AWESOME! The gun makes very little noise when subsonic, and you can REALLY hear the rounds smack the crap out of the steel! It's really fun with 22's and even more fun with a 300 blackout or other center fire cartridge!

    I'd look into reloading and getting into that. It's my advice for anyone. Anyone who takes a 300 blackout and shoots it subsonic with a suppressor just HAS to have one of their own. Lol. :)
     
  9. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

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    you should get into Precise Shooting Game!
     
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  10. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    I was looking into that for a Henry 45 Colt. The 300 BO has much more versatility though. In a supersonic package it’s probably capable to 300 yards.
     
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  11. bluejay75

    bluejay75 Member

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    44 Magnum can do everything that a 45 Colt can do. Components and firearms more readily available. Main reason I sold all of my 45 Colts. I wanted more than the cartridge could do. 44 fit the bill perfectly.

    44 Magnum is my Armageddon caliber. It can kill anything walking and easy to scrounge components. Find lead. Repurpose any primers and powder you find. Lifetime of shooting.
     
  12. merlynski

    merlynski Member

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    .38Spl,/.357Mag/.357Maximum is my Armageddon caliber, cast bullets, jacketed bullets, lots of SPP stashed, molds to cast bullets, lots of WW to melt down. Lots of different powders are usable. Select the correct version you can take small game up to (if necessary) large predators. With wads and gas checks you can even make shotshells.
     
    2ndtimer, bullseye308, AJC1 and 2 others like this.
  13. irishlad

    irishlad Member

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    204 Ruger and 6.5 CM would be the ones I pick. These are the ones I try to get super accurate.
     
  14. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    Yea I didn’t really think it through that well. To answer my question you have to have a goal and define fun. What is fun when loading 6.5 Creedmore isn’t fun when loading 45-70 or 30-30.

    My current fun round is 30-30. I’m currently experimenting with reduced loads to stretch my meager powder supplies further. Every cartridge takes 1 projectile, one case, and one primer, though cases are reusable. Powder can vary and I’m looking for a gallery load now that just might be quiet enough to use without hearing protection. I don’t think I can do it with the stuff currently available locally. I have replicated a zippy 357 load that is quite pleasant to shoot compared to full power hunting loads.

    9mm was my previous fun caliber. Heavy to under weight bullets, pushed to max or downloaded trying to find another gallery load. Cast bullets, jacketed, plated, solid copper, hollow points, etc. Tons of fun and I still have at least half of the can of CFE Pistol I bought when I started about a year ago.
     
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  15. Mr_Flintstone

    Mr_Flintstone Member

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    If you really want to stretch your 30-30 fun, research 30-30 short range (uses a 100 gr cast bullet) or 30-30 miniature (uses a jacketed 100 or 110 gr bullet). You can make a pound of Unique last forever with these fun loads. If memory serves, the short range uses about 6-8 gr Unique, and the miniature uses about 7-10 gr Unique. Both go about 1100-1200 fps. I'm sure other powders can be substituted as well, but I never searched for other loads after I found data for Unique.
     
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  16. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    I want to try more like that. I have a hot charge of H335 I use behind a 110 grain FMJ. Downloading is the current trend I’m on, trying to stretch powder further. Anyone know if you can ballistically replicate the heavy 300 BO subsonic loads in a 30-30?
     
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  17. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I'd pick .38/Spl./.357 first, .45 Colt would be second. For rifles, .30-30 or .30-06.
     
  18. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Never tried. My light-heavy .30-30 load for the Contender is a cast, gas checked, powder coated 175gr. FP from Quality Cast over a "fast" rifle powder. I don't have my notes at work and can 't recall if I used IMR 4227 or 2400 or maybe Unique but, one of those. Not Red Dot or AA#9, for sure. I got the load data out of a 1955 Ideal manual so it's been "tested" old school-style: knowledge, hard work, time and patience. ;)
     
  19. mdi

    mdi Member

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    For my "primarily fun reloading" cartridges I like 45 ACP and 44 Magnum. Big components (don't drop any 22 or 32 caliber bullets), easy to reload, fun to shoot. Although I've reloaded two boat loads of 9mm in the last year...
     
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  20. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    38/357 hands down. 38 brass is easily found and cheap. 357 is a little more difficult to source right now, and costs a little more, but still easily doable during better times. Powder will last a good long while as well. You can load from mild to wild, wax bullets, crushed walnut shell carpenter bee rounds, snake shot, hot glue bullets, bunny fart in 38 all the way to deer knocker overers in 357. You can shoot them in snubbies, 4, 6, 8, 10+” barreled revolvers, single shots, single shot rifles,lever action rifles, bolt action rifles, and semi-auto pistols(if you are lucky). Super simple to load, more choices of components than most of us could ever stock, a joy to shoot, and affordable to boot compared to many other choices.
     
  21. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer Member

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    Got to go with .38 Spec/.357 Magnum. (Didn’t everyone start with .38 Special?). It is probably the most economical to start with and also the easiest to load. Vast variety of bullets available (when in stock), much less expensive than .44 or.45 bullets, cheaper to ship being lighter weight (125 to 158 or thereabouts vs. 180 to 300 gr for the big bores). Also uses less powder per round, can be loaded super mild with full wadcutters, yet very capable with full house .357 Magnums, especially in longer barrels. Also available in lever action long guns.
     
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  22. Lee Q. Loader

    Lee Q. Loader Member

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    I pick 44 Mag. The reason I chose 44 over 38 special for enjoyment in reloading is because I'm just a little on edge when loading 38 special because of the chance of a double charge. I load 38 with 3.3 grains of Bullseye which is barely visible in the case.
    I load 44 Mag with approx 20 grains of 2400 or AA #9. No chance of a double charge there.
    I've loaded 1000's of both. I love my revolvers!
     
  23. EricBu

    EricBu Member

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    I think you nailed it. You can do a LOT with that cartridge. From puff loads that you can beat to the target, to full bore hard hitting loads with more energy than a 44 Mag in the right gun. Easy to load, lots of bullet and powder variety, and lots of guns made in it. In a threaded lever gun, it's stoooopid quiet.
    Probably one of my favorite all time rounds.
     
  24. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    I too pick 44RM.

    For a less spendy option, I pick 40S&W/10mm to shoot out of my M610. Can also load mild to wild!
     
    BigBoreBubba likes this.
  25. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    #1 favorite (and first) - .30-06.

    Tons of brass available

    Lots of different bullet types and weights.

    Load it down for small game, load it fast and flat for varmints, load it up for anything N.A.

    Dies available new and used. Data from forever for different powders.

    Case and bullets not fumbly small. Cases easy to find and recover on the ground.

    All action types available, single shot, bolt, semi auto, full auto.

    Hunting, target shooting, competition, military, civilian, defence, plinking, blasting...
     
    Blackbeard 44 likes this.
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