Many people take up reloading because of the financial incentive. But with experience and by experimenting with different reloading supplies, you’ll soon come to appreciate the improved accuracy compared to factory rounds.
The basic fact is that no two guns are the same. Manufacturers develop round specifications to “best fit” as many different guns as possible. Hand loading not only allows you to fine-tune rounds to your make and model, but with practice you’ll fine-tune your rounds to match both your individual gun and the specific type of shooting that you’ll be doing with those rounds.
Why Hand loading Is More Accurate
It can’t be denied that it takes time to perfect rounds for your gun. But with a little coaching from guys that came before you, the amount of time will be greatly reduced. In a nutshell, what you want to accomplish is matching the best powder, primer, case, and bullet for your gun along with a careful and consistent process to load each round. It’s all about your choice of reloading supplies and process.
None of that happens with factory ammo. Each gun manufacture has different tolerances for the gun barrel and chamber. Some chambers are tighter than others and the free bore varies. Factory ammo is made to fit the tightest chamber and the shortest free bore. If they didn’t, their rounds will fail to chamber in some rifles. Factory ammo is not designed or made to shoot well from your specific rifle.
Precision Makes Perfect
Once you nail down the reloading supplies and process that you use, there are more advanced steps that you can take to further improve your results with hand loading. Some of these will further improve your performance or some might not fit your individual needs. As you progress from novice, to intermediate, to expert, you’ll find more precision techniques to improve your rounds.
- Determine the free bore of your rifle so that you can seat bullets with a consistent COL (cartridge overall length) within 0.02” of the rifling (some people allow .010” to .040″ jump to the lands). Minimizing bullet jump improves accuracy.
- After firing a round in your rifle, the case forms to match your chamber. That neck sizing improves your accuracy. However, after several firings, you will need to resize the full length to move the shoulder back slightly.
- Another advanced technique is separating rounds based on the case and bullet weights. The advantage over factory ammo is that allowable factory tolerances can be two or three grains above or below the stated weight.
- Other advanced techniques include neck-turning (making the thickness of the neck even all-round), a uniform/consistent primer pocket, and a uniform flash-hole.
For the Best Results, Measure Consistently
You might be surprised how frequently factory loadings change from lot to lot. This is a big advantage with hand loading when the process is to carefully measure everything. Using the same reloading supplies and process, you are able to achieve the same results time and time again even after hundreds or thousands of rounds.
The more you track the performance of your reloading supplies and fine-tune your process, the more impressed you’ll be with the results. If you’re still not positive that hand loading is more accurate do a simple test. Fire a series of five-shot groups with both factory and hand loaded ammo to see which is more accurate. If you have it right, you should find that the hand loaded ammo produces smaller groups. Results will vary but by using the right reloading supplies it’s common for hand loads to have an average group size around 0.6 MOA. Run of the mill factory ammo will likely produce> 2 MOA groups.
Titan Reloading is a Master Distributor of Reloading Supplies & Equipment online. Choose from Lee Precision, Dillon, Hornady, Redding, Mec, & Lyman. For more information and to shop our online store please visit www.TitanReloading.com or contact Titan Reloading at 262.397.8819 with any questions.