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Picture of GroundedCLK
posted
I want to do some long range shooting, thinking about making some trips out west to take some classes. I really would like to complete the milk jug challenge.

So long story longer...

I bought a single stage reloading press under the advice of a couple people I shoot with. Now I am feel a bit overwhelmed with it after reading a bunch of articles versus full length dies, neck bushings. So my question is it worth reloading versus ordering from places where they hand make custom loads. Or am I just overcomplicating this?
 
Posts: 1540 | Location: New Hampshire | Registered: January 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I feel your pain, but I'm not sure what the milk jug challenge is.

I think it would be worthwhile if you told us a little bit about your rifle(s) and the distances and targets you want to conquer.
 
Posts: 2566 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jmorris
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Best advise I can give you is to go buy every "premium" factory ammunition you can for the round you intend to load for and set your baseline off that.

Start your loading with what you learn your rifle likes and only change one variable at a time while recording the results you have.

It's not complicated if you change one thing at a time, things get better or they do not. If they don't change, they are not better and that variable, so far, is inconsequential and you can carry on.

Change bullet, powder or charge and OAL, maybe throw a new annealing trick in there too and for better or worse, you'll have no idea what was the cause for the effect, if you change more than one variable at a time.

This applies to a pistol at 3 feet or a space ship aimed at Mars. The scientific method is called that for a reason, at least for now.
 
Posts: 413 | Location: DFW | Registered: May 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would think that it would depend on your budget, what type of rifle (caliber) and volume of shooting. If you are loaded then no sweat as good commercial/custom rounds can cost $2-$3 or more a round while you can load your own for a $1 or less. Get a copy of Lyman's reloading manual and read their section on how to reload. It is a self help guide and will teach you what you want/need to know.(That's how I learned over 40 years ago). Then if you have questions this Forum is here to help.

quote:
Originally posted by GroundedCLK:
I want to do some long range shooting, thinking about making some trips out west to take some classes. I really would like to complete the milk jug challenge.

So long story longer...

I bought a single stage reloading press under the advice of a couple people I shoot with. Now I am feel a bit overwhelmed with it after reading a bunch of articles versus full length dies, neck bushings. So my question is it worth reloading versus ordering from places where they hand make custom loads. Or am I just overcomplicating this?



Freedom comes from the will of man. In America it is guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment
 
Posts: 546 | Location: Northern Alabama | Registered: June 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of GroundedCLK
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For a rifle I am not running anything fancy Ruger Precision Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor.

Locally I can only get out to 500 yards - hopefully soon they will open the 1000 yard range.

Milk Jug Challenge

Precision Ammo - Average price is about $4.50 a round.
 
Posts: 1540 | Location: New Hampshire | Registered: January 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by GroundedCLK:
...Ruger Precision Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor.

Precision Ammo - Average price is about $4.50 a round.

$4.50 a round for 6.5 Creed match ammo? Cheese and rice, I hope they give you a reach around after paying such obscene prices.

Hornady Amax/ELD-M goes for $1.20 to $1.25
Prime is about $1.30 to $1.35
Winchester maybe $1.25
Nosler is around $1.70
Federal for $1.45
Copper Creek for $1.75 to $2.00

$4.50 per round? Man, bend over and grab your ankles.
 
Posts: 4842 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You beat me to it fritz, I had never heard of PrecisionRifleAmmo.com before. It's a nice racket; pick the case and the bullet you want and on top of the component cost, they add another $3.00 to $3.50 per round and make you think their ammo is MUCH better than your basic run-of-the-mill premium match ammo.

I looked at some ammo prices at powdervalleyinc.com for Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor and they are as fritz listed.

The RPR is a very nice rifle and 6.5CM is a fine caliber, but I seriously doubt you will gain anything from the $4.50/round ammo over the Hornady $1.20/round ammo.

If you've never handloaded before, it's going to take you quite a while to get to a skill & handloading equipment to even get close to the performance of the Hornady and others match ammo.

If I were you, unless you are seriously ready to commit the time, money and aggravation of handloading, I would invest in a quality optics for that rifle, fit it our with a great bipod and then try out the various factory ammo offerings and when you find one that works well for you, buy a lot if it.

You'll still be thousands ahead compared to "precision ammo."

On the other hand, if you really want to go down the handloader money pit, have a look at my handloading stickied thread above.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: NikonUser,
 
Posts: 2566 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of rduckwor
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quote:
Precision Ammo - Average price is about $4.50 a round.



What a racket!!! I will load for you for only $3.00 a round! Kidding!

Ruger RPR huh? Exactly what I load for.

Here's my suggestion:

H4350 - $30 MAX/lb, Hornady ELD-M - 140 Gr, $30/100 MAX, Fed, CCI, whatever primer you can get OTHER THAN WINCHESTER, $3.00/100 MAX.

You will need a F/L die, a neck sizing die, and a seating die. Also a primer seater system of whatever choice. Now I like Lee and everyone poo-poo's me for that, but they are inexpensive and work for me.

Read up on Dan Newberry's Optimum Charge Weight method and set up a run, say 42.5 gr H4350 with the ELD-M bullet up to maybe 43 Grains. See what shoots in your rifle.


Then load a bunch and shoot them.

Alternative: Find Hornady loaded ammo with 140-ELD-M and buy a bunch. Save your brass, because you will be reloading it.

Second alternative: Prime Ammunition - $250.00 for 200 rounds of 6.5CM ON LINE. Norma Golden Target bullets, 130 GR in Norma brass, 2850 fps from your rifle. Not quite as good as the Hornady ELD-M in the wind but it will get it done.

Third alternative: Federal American in 6.5 CM. A friend told me it shoots well and is consistent (for factory ammo). I have not shot it myself.



Have fun killing milk jugs!!

RMD




Some men are morally opposed to violence; they are protected by men who are not.
 
Posts: 18325 | Location: L.A. - Lower Alabama | Registered: April 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of henryrifle
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GroundedCLK - don’t let these guys fool you. Several of the people who have replied to your question range from expert to guru to the .1% of the .1%.

For several years I had an RCBS press, regular old RCBS dies and a beam scale. I was loading .308 Berger classic hunters that consistently shot .5 MOA out of my T/C rifle. If I loaded 50 a year that was a lot and I was happy

I didn’t even know bushing dies, annealers, concentricity gauges or neck turning tools to name a few existed AND I was happy — very happy.

I have switched to semi-autos and have added multiple processes to my case preparation and loaded round inspection program and am completely miserable.

I think you have to be careful what you let in your head. The RPR is decent rifle. I have one just like yours. Mine seems to be pretty average. It consistently shoots Hornady 140 gr ELD-Match at 1 moa. I put a Timney trigger on mine and have enjoyed that upgrade. For 500-600 yards 1 moa is good enough if you are just shooting steel. 1 moa is not good enough if you are shooting out to 1000 or beyond unless the target are giant—like those 36” gongs I’ve seen recently.

If you have time, are OCD. really like documentation and enjoy process then reloading can be a lot of fun.

If it is a means to an end that you don’t enjoy then there is a lot of very good match ammo at for your caliber and others at reasonable prices that will allow you to spend more time behind the trigger than the reloading bench.

Henryrifle
 
Posts: 427 | Location: Atlanta | Registered: November 11, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of fredj338
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The issue with factory match ammo, while it is very good, all rifles are diff & you can normally squeeze a bit more accuracy out of a good handload & for a hell of a lot less $$$$. So yes, IMO, it's worth reloading for precision rifle.
Buy say bulk Hornady 140gr eld @ $1.25 each. Reload probably tuned for better accuracy in your rifle, about 55c each. Shoot 500rds, save $350 or enough to pay for your ss reloading setup.


IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH!
NRA Instruc: Basic Pistol & Met Reloading
 
Posts: 7635 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting. $350 is enough to pay for a "reloading setup" that will allow a newbie to load better ammo than factory match ammunition. And probably within a week or so, I would guess.

I must have been doing this wrong. I have about $4000 invested in handloading tools and measuring devices, probably a bit more. I buy components in commercial quantities to keep up consistency over thousands of rounds and it took me more than a week to develop the skillset to handle all this junk.

My handloads are about $0.70 a pop now, and that's with reusing the cases for 8 firings. Maybe I should look at cheaper bullets to see if I can bring that down to $0.55 a pop and save more money.
 
Posts: 2566 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of fredj338
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Every shooters accuracy requirements are diff, but you can load match quality ammo with a decent ss press, dies & case trimmer. The rest is fluff IMO. Yes you can turn necks, anneal, blah, blah, blah, but many times we are just chasing numbers. I can make sub 1/2moa ammo with a RCBS press & Lee neck dies & I don't turn case necks. Most shooters don't need better accuracy than that.


IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH!
NRA Instruc: Basic Pistol & Met Reloading
 
Posts: 7635 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of fredj338
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BTW, the 55c a round is based on loading the same bullet as what is available in the Hornady 6.5 ammo. Case price not included as one has already paid for them buying a few boxes of factory ammo for an accuracy bench mark. Just sayin.


IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH!
NRA Instruc: Basic Pistol & Met Reloading
 
Posts: 7635 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Alea iacta est
Picture of exx1976
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quote:
Originally posted by NikonUser:
Interesting. $350 is enough to pay for a "reloading setup" that will allow a newbie to load better ammo than factory match ammunition. And probably within a week or so, I would guess.

I must have been doing this wrong. I have about $4000 invested in handloading tools and measuring devices, probably a bit more. I buy components in commercial quantities to keep up consistency over thousands of rounds and it took me more than a week to develop the skillset to handle all this junk.

My handloads are about $0.70 a pop now, and that's with reusing the cases for 8 firings. Maybe I should look at cheaper bullets to see if I can bring that down to $0.55 a pop and save more money.


I think I'm doing this wrong too. My competition handloads are hovering right around $.75 each, and my practice rifle loads are rifle about $.60 each.

With all due respect to Fred, for $350, the only thing you'll get is a CoAx (an excellent, press, BTW). Still need dies, calipers, tumbler, scale, etc etc. A SAFE bet for "getting started" these days with some solid gear for some really accurate handloads will run you about a grand or so.


And OP - forget that milk jug nonsense. There are way better things to spend your time an ammunition on, trust me. It's a gimmick.




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15652 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You know, I was going to say that the Milk Jug Challenge was nothing but a stunt, but I figured if this is what he wants to accomplish, who am I to say that goal is silly and a waste of good milk?

So, I'm fine with that; if hitting a milk carton at 3000 yards is his goal, I say go for it. I'm just not clear on what comes after that. Maybe hitting a pound of unsalted butter at 4000 yards? I hear the unsalted variety is more difficult to hit than the salted on, which is why it's specified.

I was going to suggest that maybe looking at more difficult yet measurable venues would be more interesting, but I know lots of people are afraid of participating in any type of organized competition. I get that, and it's perfectly normal.
 
Posts: 2566 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Alea iacta est
Picture of exx1976
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quote:
Originally posted by NikonUser:
You know, I was going to say that the Milk Jug Challenge was nothing but a stunt, but I figured if this is what he wants to accomplish, who am I to say that goal is silly and a waste of good milk?

So, I'm fine with that; if hitting a milk carton at 3000 yards is his goal, I say go for it. I'm just not clear on what comes after that. Maybe hitting a pound of unsalted butter at 4000 yards? I hear the unsalted variety is more difficult to hit than the salted on, which is why it's specified.

I was going to suggest that maybe looking at more difficult yet measurable venues would be more interesting, but I know lots of people are afraid of participating in any type of organized competition. I get that, and it's perfectly normal.


So far as I know, there's no milk in the jug. The idea is to save an empty 1 gallon container, fill it with water, and shoot it.

Yes, I agree, it's definitely a stunt. And 99% of the people that "can do it" do it on the 10th or 20th shot, on a relatively calm day.

I'm with you on this one, Nikon. Shoot at something more measurable. If it's paper, shoot for groups. If it's steel, practice first round hits in all conditions. Either of those skills will serve you much better than wasting a box of ammo walking shots in to a milk jug.

I do like the stick of butter metaphor. That was quite funny.

One thing we do when we're bored is shoot clay pigeons at 625. Just set them in the berm, and git some. Hanging golf balls from strings is also lots of fun, the wind blows them around. We usually do that at about 300ish or so, depending on the wind.




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15652 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of fredj338
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quote:
Originally posted by exx1976:

I think I'm doing this wrong too. My competition handloads are hovering right around $.75 each, and my practice rifle loads are rifle about $.60 each.

With all due respect to Fred, for $350, the only thing you'll get is a CoAx (an excellent, press, BTW). Still need dies, calipers, tumbler, scale, etc etc. A SAFE bet for "getting started" these days with some solid gear for some really accurate handloads will run you about a grand or so.


And OP - forget that milk jug nonsense. There are way better things to spend your time an ammunition on, trust me. It's a gimmick.

Like i said depends on your accuracy requirements. A rcbs ss press, scale calipers, lee neck dies, you can produce sub 1/2moa ammo or better. That isnt winning you many benchrest matches, but certainly 1000yd milk jug accuracy, certainly 400yd big game accuracy, maybe 600yd varmint accuracy. Like any hobby/sport, you can spend a ton for very small gains. Precision rifle is a wholistic event as you know. Good rifle, good scope good ammo, good shooter, miss any of those, you arent shooting sub 1/2moa.
Your cost per round will vary with caliber & bullet choice. Again, the 55c per rd is based on the 6.5C using same bullet as available in the a factory load. I shoot a 260ai, obviously my bullets are cheaper than 308.


IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH!
NRA Instruc: Basic Pistol & Met Reloading
 
Posts: 7635 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Alea iacta est
Picture of exx1976
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quote:
Originally posted by fredj338:
quote:
Originally posted by exx1976:

I think I'm doing this wrong too. My competition handloads are hovering right around $.75 each, and my practice rifle loads are rifle about $.60 each.

With all due respect to Fred, for $350, the only thing you'll get is a CoAx (an excellent, press, BTW). Still need dies, calipers, tumbler, scale, etc etc. A SAFE bet for "getting started" these days with some solid gear for some really accurate handloads will run you about a grand or so.


And OP - forget that milk jug nonsense. There are way better things to spend your time an ammunition on, trust me. It's a gimmick.

Like i said depends on your accuracy requirements. A rcbs ss press, scale calipers, lee neck dies, you can produce sub 1/2moa ammo or better. That isnt winning you many benchrest matches, but certainly 1000yd milk jug accuracy, certainly 400yd big game accuracy, maybe 600yd varmint accuracy. Like any hobby/sport, you can spend a ton for very small gains. Precision rifle is a wholistic event as you know. Good rifle, good scope good ammo, good shooter, miss any of those, you arent shooting sub 1/2moa.
Your cost per round will vary with caliber & bullet choice. Again, the 55c per rd is based on the 6.5C using same bullet as available in the a factory load. I shoot a 260ai, obviously my bullets are cheaper than 308.


Yeah, I don't know about that.

I don't doubt that you are able to achieve that level of accuracy with the equipment you have, but quality has gone downhill on some of the less expensive offerings in recent years. How old is your press? I think if you went and bought a new one in a similar price range, you might be in for a bit of a surprise. Same goes for scales.

Neck dies are just never a good option for accuracy. No disrespect, I know a lot of you "old timers" swear by them, but just like science and medicine, time marches on, and there are better ways to do things these days. Wink

For the record, I agree with you about a wholistic event - and any missing piece indeed compromises the entire system. That message can easily be applied to reloading, as well - the best press with the crappiest dies won't produce the best ammo. The best dies on the crappiest press, same problem. Great dies and great press, but $4 scale? Also no good.

The entire system is only as good as the weakest link - whether it's the weapons system, or the ammo it's being fed.




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15652 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of rduckwor
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Guys: the guy asked for advice on Reloading. Don't crap on his game. Not everyone wants to do the same thing. Thank you for all I have learned from your posts, but cut the guy some slack.

RMD




Some men are morally opposed to violence; they are protected by men who are not.
 
Posts: 18325 | Location: L.A. - Lower Alabama | Registered: April 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of TRshootem
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Agree with rduckwor here, the tone of the help responses lost sight of the OP's request. With that said, the precision guys are correct on many points.

I have been a hand loader since my teens, managed to make stupidly accurate ammo before I knew it took better gear, more money and a good dose of experience. The differences only really showed in accuracy at very long ranges. Like a finely tuned race machine, your match prepped ammo is only as good as the driver and the course traveled.

A basic RCBS loading setup and a step by step application of the basics will result in a growing knowledge of what you do not know, and perhaps the desire to perfect your skill. We all gotta start with basics and progress to our desired level. Some of you guys are indeed deeply committed to ever improving skill and ability. I humbly read every word you speak, apply what I can and make some of the best ammo for my needs.
 
Posts: 893 | Location: Montana | Registered: October 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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