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Thread: Substandard home-loads.

  1. #1

    Substandard home-loads.

    Against my better judgement I have ended up with a quantity of .243 WIN home-loads from a well-meaning friend, who insisted they would be so much more accurate than factory amo. Trying them out they do not group any better or worse than my preferred factory Federal Power-Shok 100Gr SP amo. And that doesn't surprise me as you can see, with the naked eye, and without using any measuring tools, that the bullet seating varies by some 2-3 mm, resulting in it being impossible to use some of those bullets, as the bolt cannot be fully closed on them. Hmm. The neck of the cases has been trimmed so irregular that the cases are also clearly of a different lengths, again with variations of some 1-2 mm.
    Another also well-meaning friend, has also 'insisted' I learn home-loading and gave me a crash-course one afternoon. Once again the resulting amo was anything but of regular appearance.
    Both explained to me the importance of measuring the neck-space (whatever that is...) which apparently comes down to hundreds of an Inch, only measurable with a specialist tool.

    I find it quite impossible to reconcile that essential accuracy they deem necessary with the actual results of the amo they both produce. And I fear the worse if I would have the amount of Grains of powder checked.
    So having drawn my own conclusions I will stick to factory amo...
    • Do not be seduced by the marketing-men....

  2. #2
    Erik, with friends like this,you don't need....... My opinion, pass em' back....Reloading can be and is a great hobby in itself, 'do we reload to shoot or do we shoot to reload, but it has to be done correctly...

  3. #3
    If they look substandard to the naked eye, thank your friend, take them and then take a pair of pliers and break them. I wouldn't fire them. Factory ammo is a known quantity. Hand loading can be good or bad, but very much depends on the individual concerned. Things like seating depth and overall length absolutely should be consistent, and certainly should be to the naked eye.

  4. #4
    You can often get good results with some basic knowledge and by following a correct method. Shooting other people's home loads is not a good idea anyway but after that I don't think I would want to be anywhere near them when they fired their rifle!


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  5. #5
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tackleberry270 View Post
    Shooting other people's home loads is not a good idea.
    This.

    some years ago I acquired a full set of gear from a gentleman who was giving up stalking. It included his supply of home-loaded ammo. Fortunately, I already knew enough about reloading to be cautious, so I measured, weighed and dismantled it. "57 varieties" doesn't do it justice. The powder had to go of course, but the bullets were mostly salvageable, as was much of the brass. It was nevertheless rather disconcerting to think how much pressure my "new" rifle may have had to put up with during its time with its previous owner. No actual harm seems to have been done, however, as it is still with me and shooting well.
    "Docendo discimus" - Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)
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  6. #6
    There is an old axiom in handloading circles: Never shoot anyone else's handloads. It still holds true.~Muir

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Highlandsjohn View Post
    Erik, with friends like this,you don't need....... My opinion, pass em' back....Reloading can be and is a great hobby in itself, 'do we reload to shoot or do we shoot to reload, but it has to be done correctly...
    Exactly this.

    It's never a good idea to shoot or chamber anyone else's home loads. They have to be worked up for your rifle for safe pressures, and as you have picked out, to ensure headspace is safe. Anything over 3 thou could = case head separation, especially on brass fired many times. Someone who is safe and who knows what they're doing (as in properly knows their stuff) would be the very last person to offer anyone else their homeloads. My advice is to politely thank the giver but hand them back and stick to factory.

    Home loading does and can provide very accurate ammunition because you can work loads up for your barrel that have the optimum barrel time and pressures for accuracy, but you need to start from the standpoint of knowledge, at the very least read something like the ABC of reloading. Easy to read and understand and only a few tools are really necessary.

    A headspace comparator is useful and cheap and a dial gauge or digital vernier. A lee Loader is simple to use and can result in some very accurate rounds and is cheap. If you wanted to have a go, this might be a good way in, but never be tempted to accept other people's home loads developed for their rifles. That could end in tragedy for you both.

  8. #8
    I seem to recall from my dsc 1 that there's a question regarding what to do when someone gives you some homeloads to try. The alleged correct answer was to test them on paper before deer. I argued with the assessors that the correct answer should be to decline the offer. I didn't get far with persuading them to change it ��

    Novice

  9. #9
    The fact that your friend hasn't even taken enough care to ensure the seating depths are consistent would have me running for the hills! Imagine if he's demonstrated a similar lack of care with the charge weights . . . .

    Some folk need to stay well away from reloading. Both for their own safety and that of others
    A Man should be wise, but never too wise. He who does not know his fate in advance is free of care

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by novice View Post
    I seem to recall from my dsc 1 that there's a question regarding what to do when someone gives you some homeloads to try. The alleged correct answer was to test them on paper before deer. I argued with the assessors that the correct answer should be to decline the offer. I didn't get far with persuading them to change it ��

    Novice
    They'd changed it when I did my DSC1 this year . . . .

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