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Why buy factory ammo? The stuff is awful!

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I have two factory-loaded rounds for .30-06 Springfield. The bullets are black with silver tips; I guess they are commercially known as Silvertip rounds. I wanted the bullets so I pulled them and just to satisfy my curiosity, I weighed the powder charges. The first weighed-out at 51.2 grains; the second weighed-out at 60.6 grains. The second is 18.3% greater than the first. That's terrible! I know that factory ammo is not loaded by weight; it's loaded by volume. My sample is small in just these two rounds, but to miss by so much is a shame. Could it be that factory-built rifles we can walk into a gunshop and buy are at best a 1½- to 2-inch rifle at 100 yards because the ammo is not consistent? We could certainly argue such.

I try my very best to trickle my handload charges to exactly the mass I want. It takes a while to do so with such accuracy, so I've lately gone to a tolerance of ±0.1 grains when trickling my charges up to the 65- and 68-some grains my mildcat cartridges require. A sloppiness of 0.1 grains out of 650 parts is about 0.154 percent. My 0.1-grain tolerance is about 119 times more accurate than the factory fodder referenced above. I get that number by dividing 18.3 by 0.154. I may be tilting at windmills by dividing a decimal of one place to the right of the decimal point by one having three places to the right of the decimal point. In any event no competent handloader would miss the mark by even one percent, which is 0.65 grains of a 65-grain charge. You'd have to be a genuine dingbat to miss by over half a grain...
 
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Sounds like typical Winchester stuff.

Federal has taken the lead in factory production accuracy in many calibers.

From a guy that has little time to go shoot, let alone to reload.

My time is better spent buying good ammo.

S u b R o s a
 
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nvshooter
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From a guy who has little time to go shoot, let alone to reload.
Seems we're all that way, today. Always something that has to be done before we can do what we want. Ain't we all glad we do not have to plow fields, milk cows and split wood for the wood-fired stoves in our kitchens? Why do we have so little free time in an age of machines that do everything for us?
 
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I figured this thread was going to be a mindless rant, but surprisingly it is a detailed analysis with supporting evidence of the OP's opinion.

I dare say a sample size of two units isn't enough to form a compelling conclusion, but when one sees this level of variation in the first two samples, it begs a wider investigation.

Z
 
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Being from a Title II OK state with commensurate toys, is why I don't reload. Don't hunt, either.

A day out means no less than several hundred rounds, usually more.

SR
 

DB Wesner

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Why do we have so little free time in an age of machines that do everything for us?
I guess when we must work through April 16th just to pay taxes then work the other 8 months for ourselves...
 
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nvshooter
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I figured this thread was going to be a mindless rant, but surprisingly it is a detailed analysis with supporting evidence of the OP's opinion. I dare say a sample size of two units isn't enough to form a compelling conclusion, but when one sees this level of variation in the first two samples, it begs a wider investigation.
Agreed. Two samples ain't much of a population for a statistical analysis. A box of twenty would be much better, but I am loathe to spend upwards of forty bucks to pull the bullets, weigh each charge and then have noting to do with the powder. I have a small-base .30-06 reloading set, so I could return each round to functionality if that ever-elusive tsunami of ambition wasn't such a problem. Would need to buy a .30-06 rifle to shoot the stuff. There's always a stumbling block, don't you know...
 
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What is this "buy" you speak of? Reloading is fun and relaxing, and I don't mind the time spent. I also don't shoot 100s of rounds at a time at the range. Last range trip used I think a grand total 75 or so, between 9mm and .223. Home casting and powdercoating bullets is fun and I save a bunch of money shooting.

Go green!.jpg
 
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nvshooter
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I don't shoot factory ammo much at all after having moved to Nevada in Fall 2004. Many, many of the State's 2.8 million residents own multiple guns and some owners do not reload, so there's always a ton of once-fired .223 brass laying around. I have to reload my two mildcat rounds; both are genuinely unlike any factory loads. I am also a low-volume shooter. A big day at the range or in the desert is likely less than fifty rounds. My target rifle will print 'em right around .200 MOA. You don't want to water-down such good shootin' by burning through 300 rounds of very carefully-loaded reloads. I also have to once-fire my mildcat rounds because I believe they shoot better once the ripples formed by their cold-forming from .375 Ruger cases are ironed-out in the combustion of the propellant.

Because I usually get very low Standard Deviation numbers from my mildcat reloads, I was appalled when I saw the discrepancy in the two factory loads that prompted this discussion. A low SD indicates the ammo is performing very much the same from round to round to round. No way in hellsinki a second round with 9.4 grains more charge than the first is going to find the target in the same place as did the first unless the shooter belched at the exact moment the bullet left the muzzle and it somehow careened into the same hole 100, 200 or 600 yards away. Miracles do happen, but I'd place money that such a miracle would never happen to me.

Reloading really is the cheaper way to shoot. The start-up costs can be high, but it pays-off quickly if you are a frequent shooter. A .300WinMag round is close to two bucks; maybe a bit more. I can reload one of my .300-caliber Magnum oddballs for about 75 cents. Ergo, I shoot nearly three times for every single .300Win Mag round. The difference pays for the start-up costs of "getting into" reloading; the more you shoot, the sooner you've repaid yourself.

It is relaxing, to a point. I try to trickle my charges with such accuracy, that it consumes a lot of time. I have asked myself more than once, "How "wide" is 1/10th of a grain?" to mean how many granules of H4831SC will have to trickle into the pan to go from 65.0 grains to 65.1 grains? It's that level of accuracy in the charge that has led me to a tolerance of ± 0.10-grain in my charges. Getting the charge spot-on is tedious when I want to fill a 50-count ammo box with the same load. Fifty rounds can take several hours when I have to take a breather and rest my eyes every so often.
 
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