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Thread: Why is factory-loaded so easily improved upon?

  1. #1

    Why is factory-loaded so easily improved upon?

    Been enjoying the various threads and videos on reloading but I'm curious as to the issues with the factory loading process that makes it so easily improved upon by home loading? I understand that the appeal of reloading for some is that it gives endless opportunities to tinker and tailor a load that is perfect for your particular rifle and gives best possible accuracy. However, the accepted truth seems to be that starting with almost any of the published loads prepared using the most straightforward home loading kit (i.e. not some exotic cocktail of powders prep'd using every gadget going) will still be expected to quickly deliver measurably better accuracy than factory equivalents.

    That suggests that even before you get to fine tuning and multiple testing cycles there is something fundamental in the physical process of loading rounds that is not being executed as well in the factory as it can be at home with basic kit an a steady hand. Having watched the demos on this site and youtube I was actually surprised at how mechanically simple a process it is - even more so in a factory environment where preparation of fired cases is not required - and something I'd have thought could be easily, accurately and repeatably automated using modern production line technology. Obviously not though!

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by andyf View Post
    Been enjoying the various threads and videos on reloading but I'm curious as to the issues with the factory loading process that makes it so easily improved upon by home loading? I understand that the appeal of reloading for some is that it gives endless opportunities to tinker and tailor a load that is perfect for your particular rifle and gives best possible accuracy. However, the accepted truth seems to be that starting with almost any of the published loads prepared using the most straightforward home loading kit (i.e. not some exotic cocktail of powders prep'd using every gadget going) will still be expected to quickly deliver measurably better accuracy than factory equivalents.

    That suggests that even before you get to fine tuning and multiple testing cycles there is something fundamental in the physical process of loading rounds that is not being executed as well in the factory as it can be at home with basic kit an a steady hand. Having watched the demos on this site and youtube I was actually surprised at how mechanically simple a process it is - even more so in a factory environment where preparation of fired cases is not required - and something I'd have thought could be easily, accurately and repeatably automated using modern production line technology. Obviously not though!

    Thoughts?
    The simple explanation is that the factory round is intended to fit all rifles of that particular calibre, whilst when you are reloading a common starting point is to use a once fired factory case that has been fire formed in the chamber of the rifle that you are reloading for.

    atb Tim

  3. #3
    I'm watching this with interest - not being a home loader but have often wondered why the mfrs are apparently so ham fisted. I am going to try and find someone to show me how to load and help me do 20 cartridges out of curiosity. My 243 does perfectly well on RWS 100gr but if a bit of home loading with a pal every now and again gets my 200 quid husky clover leafing I need to have a go! Do home loading clubs/eqpt shares happen or is it the sort of kit that doesn't share well?

  4. #4
    An interesting experiment with non heavily crimped factory ammo is to take ten rounds from a box of twenty, place each in a kinetic bullet hammer and give sufficient wellie to get the bullet part way out of neck. Then, having determined the ideal seating depth for your rifle, re-seat each round to that measurement and shoot two 5-shot groups with the tweaked ammo and two 5-shots groups with the standard stuff.

    Clearly you would need to either buy or have access to a the bullet puller and correct seating die.

    Let me know the outcome.

    K

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Klenchblaize View Post
    An interesting experiment with non heavily crimped factory ammo is to take ten rounds from a box of twenty, place each in a kinetic bullet hammer and give sufficient wellie to get the bullet part way out of neck. Then, having determined the ideal seating depth for your rifle, re-seat each round to that measurement and shoot two 5-shot groups with the tweaked ammo and two 5-shots groups with the standard stuff.

    Clearly you would need to either buy or have access to a the bullet puller and correct seating die.

    Let me know the outcome.

    K
    There's the bottom line in my view.

    The most important difference from factory to hand-loads is the ability to customise the seating depth of the bullet to suit your chamber. If you are not systematically testing seating depth, you are only playing with powder.
    Brian.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Claret_Dabbler View Post
    There's the bottom line in my view.

    The most important difference from factory to hand-loads is the ability to customise the seating depth of the bullet to suit your chamber. If you are not systematically testing seating depth, you are only playing with powder.
    I noticed, when placing my much-maligned HPS-loaded clones of the Federal Vital Shok rounds next to the original factory ones, that the HPS ones had deeper bullet seating, by maybe a shade under a millimetre. Irrespective of their accuracy in my rifle, when I'd mentioned this on the phone to HPS before they loaded the ammunition, they told me that it didn't really matter in a magazine-fed rifle. I'm just trying to learn about this stuff, so please don't tell me I was an idiot to accept this, just tell me what the truth of the matter is. I can handle it.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Essexsussex View Post
    I'm watching this with interest - not being a home loader but have often wondered why the mfrs are apparently so ham fisted. I am going to try and find someone to show me how to load and help me do 20 cartridges out of curiosity. My 243 does perfectly well on RWS 100gr but if a bit of home loading with a pal every now and again gets my 200 quid husky clover leafing I need to have a go! Do home loading clubs/eqpt shares happen or is it the sort of kit that doesn't share well?
    Yes they happen that's how I started reloading initially, I got together will a couple of friends and bought the basic kit. A couple of others then joined our little group and we bought more kit. This isn't so necessary these days as reloading equipment has become more affordable so long as you don't go mad and become obsessed with the latest or best equipment.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by timbrayford View Post
    The simple explanation is that the factory round is intended to fit all rifles of that particular calibre, whilst when you are reloading a common starting point is to use a once fired factory case that has been fire formed in the chamber of the rifle that you are reloading for.

    atb Tim
    Ahhh, that's an interesting point. So rather than fresh 'out the box' cases being a more consistent start point for a loaded round as I suggested there are in fact immediate benefits in using a case that's been fired by your rifle and essentially shaped to your rifle's chamber under the pressure of firing. A bit like 'shrink to fit' jeans in reverse!

    Makes sense. Thanks!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Essexsussex View Post
    I'm watching this with interest - not being a home loader but have often wondered why the mfrs are apparently so ham fisted. I am going to try and find someone to show me how to load and help me do 20 cartridges out of curiosity. My 243 does perfectly well on RWS 100gr but if a bit of home loading with a pal every now and again gets my 200 quid husky clover leafing I need to have a go! Do home loading clubs/eqpt shares happen or is it the sort of kit that doesn't share well?
    Ham fisted?? I contend that most factory ammunition is of very high quality. Factory ammunition needs to function safely, and deliver reasonable accuracy in every gun of that particular chambering; whether is be a bolt action, single shot, or semi automatic. This is not exactly an easy task and takes quite a bit of forethought and engineering. (There are few handloaders that would want to take on that task.) Do they perform like tailored handloads? Sometimes, but that's a fortunate happenstance. The fact that they don't in YOUR particular rifle is hardly an indicator of 'ham-fisted' production. ~~Muir

  10. #10
    fair enough Muir _ it was only apparent to me as a non scientific shooter, and I stand corrected! and in fairness like I say rws do me very well. We were told of horrors on our dsc1 course like overloaded cases, wrong size bullets in wrongly named boxes and cases but I guess if it wasn't unusual we'd hear more of that.

    Will

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