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For all you reloaders out there; what is your most commonly loaded caliber, commonly used powders, bullets, primers etc. And how

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  • Pray- hunt-work
    replied
    Sorry for all the typo's. It appears that hooked on fonics didn't work for me!!

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  • Pray- hunt-work
    replied
    Dakota- Thank you again for all your input. To further my question about the 6.8 mm, will 6.8 bullet fit in a .277 die, a .270 wsm case, or a .270 wsm action? And how do you assume it would shoot if your answers to the above are 'yesses'? I agree in part with the speed kills. I do not have enough experience with fast bullets to act knowlegable about it, but am hoping to test some rounds on the light and fast end on the diameter, and also heavier grained end also. I would prefer to buy barrels more often and end up with an accurate killing machine than settle for factory. As my questions become either more specific or embarrassing, I may email you directly if that would be ok? Thanks again, and Merry Christmas.

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  • DakotaMan
    replied
    P-H-W, you are correct that the 6.8mm is the .277 caliber just like the 6mm is the .243 caliber. There is no doubt in my mind that speed kills way more than slower bullets. After you cross over about 3500 fps, I think a hit to the foot would kill a deer. I actually used to shoot squirrels and beavers with my 25-06 75g bullets @ 3750 fps. I would shoot their front foot and they would be instantly dead like a wet rag. I was amazed at a 65 pound beaver that I shot in the foot; the leg had multiple compound fractures, the skull was split and its neck was broken. It never even quivered after impact. I shot a whitetail in the front of the throat with an 87g Sierra @3600 fps. It dropped like a wet rag and stuck to a trail rather than fall down the canyon like I expected. It also never quivered. In field dressing it, I noticed a 10" rip in its aorta, the lungs were like foam and the liver looked like hamburger. If you are going to be within 200 yards those little ultra-fast bullets are amazing.

    I just use bigger slower bullets to give me more range. I can take deer out to 500 yards easily with the 100g 25-06 bullet going 3350 fps. Occasionally I get a deer that doesn't drop on the spot but I've never had one go farther than 80 yards with those. Most of these are high/back shoulder shots.

    I don't mind spending time helping you out. Most of us recall what it is like to get started. I'm also sure most of us have enjoyed the story of your move to Wyoming and getting the opportunity to hunt that great country. I'm a little different than most though. I'm an advocate of speed and small bullets. They reduce recoil and they really help when shooting running game. There is nothing in the .277 caliber that is too small for deer and antelope. They also let you get plenty of target and varmint practice so when you get a shot, you will be able to place it with precision. When I got my first 25-06 I shot a few thousand rounds annually at rocks, p-dogs, black birds, gophers, rabbits, squirrels, etc. and it really helped with hunting.

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  • Sarge01
    replied
    I was hunting near Selma and next door in Perry County. I only used the 125 grain Balistic Tips once. Too much collateral damage. I only use 165 grain Nosler Accubonds or Hornady Interlocks now.

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  • Pray- hunt-work
    replied
    Sarge- for a .30 caliber bullet, that seems screeching fast. When i shot ballistic tips i had a similar experience. A mentor actually asked if the deer was run over due to the damage and shocked meat. What part of Alabama were you hunting?

    Dakota- thank you for the input, those are both bullets that I was thinking of trying. How about the 6.8 bullets, am I correct that they are the same diameter? But not the same bullet in whole? Are they reloadable for the .270 WSM, as they come in some smaller grained bullets that seemed good for varminting? (sorry if that question is totally off the wall, but you said let the stupid questions fly! LOL)

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  • Sarge01
    replied
    I checked my reloading records and the 125 Balistic tips out of my 300WSM were traveling at 3650 FPS. I didn't have a chronograph I am just going by what the book said. I was amazed at the sound when they hit a deer.

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  • Sarge01
    replied
    On one of my trips to Alabama to deer hunt I loaded Nosler 125 grain ballistic Tips in my 300WSM. I think according to the book they were traveling around 3500+ approx. I think I don't really remember, but the deer when shot looked like they had been struck by lightening.

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  • DakotaMan
    replied
    Just noticed other questions... You can use standard .277 bullets in the WSM.

    The belt on magnums was initially designed over 100 years ago to aid the .375 H&H in head spacing. That particular case has a big slope and a relatively small shoulder that gave it issues in headspacing. Please note that an even MORE powerful magnum, the .404 Jeffery was designed in 1909 with NO belt and it still works fine. The belt is NOT necessary for added "magnum" strength. Roy Weatherby became notorious for marketing the strength of this case because of the "belt" and America was convinced. He used it for almost all his cartridges.

    In the 1990s Don Larson of Dakota Arms finally put Roy's marketing notions regarding the belt to rest by producing a line of "beltless" cartridges based on the parent .404 Jeffery with a little more "magnum" power than the Roys. He also recognized the inherent accuracy impact of the PPC-like short fat case without the severely sloped case. I watched that development back then and enlisted for the .300 Dakota myself. It didn't disappoint.

    Don's idea actually caught on and gun designers at Winchester and Remington realized they better get on the horse before it left the gate. They quickly produced WSMs and RUMs very similar to Don Larson's Dakota cases... no belt. These cases tend to slide out of the magazine better than cases with the belt to boot.

    I've shot the .300 Dakota for years and survived quite well. Imagine that! It never blew up in spite of the lack of a belt. It headspaces on the shoulder just like all other bottle necked cartridges and does that just fine.

    I also wanted to suggest that you try some 110g bullets for your .270 WSM. My sister-in-law has shot one for years. She hated the terrible recoil in that light rifle when using the 130g and 140g bullets. She switched to the 110 Barnes for deer and started cracking them like a laser bolt. She now loves the rifle and is creaming all kinds of deer with it. Many people across America have been trained to believe that a 130g bullet is necessary... not the case. I think you will find the 100g and 110g Hornadys quite interesting too. Don't be afraid to let that rifle sing! I suggest trying the Berger 150g VLD bullet too to see how well it shoots way out there.

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  • WA Mtnhunter
    replied
    I think the break even point for me is about 2 loadings per case. Good brass is expensive and Weatherby and Nosler (both made by Norma) are over $1.50 each, as are Barnes bullets. As long as you don't load max loads and over work your brass with repetitive full length resizing, you can get plenty of loadings out of good brass. I only hunt with new brass and usually neck size reloads. With hot Weatherby loads, loose primer pockets are usually the cause for a meeting with the ball peen hammer. I have some 7mm Weatherby cases with 5-7 loadings on them. They are not loaded down either...

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  • Pray- hunt-work
    replied
    P.S. - is it wrong that I told my wife I chose the RCBS because it's color reminded me of her eyes.....?

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  • Pray- hunt-work
    replied
    Thank you very much guys, I really look forward to puting all your advice to work. The kit which I decided to order was from Midway; the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Single Stage Press Kit. It's a long winded title, but I hope it does the trick. It seemed like a good deal @ 287.99. If there are any more suggestions after further review of my purchase feel free to tell me and I'll submit them to my accountant (my better half) and see what happens.

    Dakota- I have taken your earlier advice and ordered the Hornady 9th edition separately from the kit which includes a Speer reloading manual.

    Sarge- I will be trying that load in my a-bolt. I've ordered an RCBS necksizer die and shell holder along with some other small items like a bullet puller.


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  • WA Mtnhunter
    replied
    'Flyer,
    Ejector marks on the face of the case base, flow into fp hole, and sticky extraction. Might try a non-magnum primer with that stick powder. Those Accubonds are long on the bearing surface. I recall we were loading 66.5 gr of RL 25 for 2,950 with a 160 gr Speer Mag Tip to match ballistics with a Federal TBBC load. That was not a max load.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sarge01
    replied
    In the cases like .308,.270,.280,.30-06, etc I usually get 7 to 10 reloads and I full length resize every time. I used to anneal cases but I quit that many moons ago. I don't shoot enough anymore to worry about case life. I get 6 to 9 reloads from my 300WSM cases. I use nickel cases for my hunting loads. I use brass cases to work up a load and sight in and then load up nickel cases for hunting. They stay cleaner and work smoother in the action plus when you drop one on the ground they are easier to see(ha). Nickel cases don't last as long as brass because they are brittle. You don't need magnum primers in your 270WSM. I don't use magnum primers in my 300WSM and I have been shooting it for almost 9 years and have had no problems. You don't need special bullets. A good killing reasonable priced bullet for your 270WSM that I used is the Hornady 130 grain Interlock. It shot well in my 270WSM along with the Hornady 130 grain SST. Both bullets are fine deer slayers. Reloader 17 was specifically designed for the short magnum rounds so you may want to start experimenting with that powder. I find that Reloader 22 gives me outstanding results in my 300WSM. I hope I'm not confusing you with the different powders but the load that was a tack driver in my 270WSM was 63.3 grains of IMR 4350 and the Hornady 130 grain SST. I use only Federal primers in my reloads.

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  • Amflyer
    replied
    WAM,

    I am using Fed 215's. Did you notice pressure signs in the primer cups, or elsewhere? I'm getting slightly sticky extraction, brass flow in the ejector hole, and I'm sure it's not doing the primer pockets any good. All at what I consider disappointing velocity.(around 2900 fps from a 160 grain Accubond)

    Leave a comment:


  • DakotaMan
    replied
    P-H-W, the number of reloads you can get out of a case depends on what cases you are shooting and how well you preserve the case. Cases like the .223 up to 30-06 last for about 20 or more reloads. This may be a life time for most people. Bigger cases like the .300 Win or in my case the .300 Dakota only last about 10 reloads. You will get more reloads if you neck size too because that seriously reduces the brass stretching that occurs as you fire each round.

    If money is tight, shooting military style cases is much cheaper. You can often pick up .223, .308 and 30-06 once fired cases at the range or from a friend who doesn't reload. Worst case, you buy them cheap from sites like gunbroker. I pick up brass at the range necking down 30-06s into 25-06 and .270 type cases. I have thousands of rounds of free .223 I got that way over a lifetime.

    If money is tight, a .223 is hard to beat for economy. Brass may be free, and they only cost about $4.00 per box to reload (great 15 cent bullets and only 25.5g of Benchmark = 3450 fps). Its also a much more effective cartridge for p-dogs to deer than most people think since most of your shooting on those critters is within a couple hundred yards.

    You can extend case life immensely by annealing cases every few reloadings. If you don't do this case necks will crack after about 8 or 10 reloads; 3 or 4 with the magnums. To do this easily, stand the cases in 1/2" of water, heat the necks with a propane torch until they start to turn red (never heat the body of the case or the case head; the water protects them). Then tip them over into the water to cool instantly. This softens the brass again (it work hardens quickly with each shot as the neck expands to your throat diameter) so it can expand a little without cracking. Trim them to length every few shots. A cheap Lee trimmer is actually my favorite for this. For best results, I suggest getting a neck turner as soon as you can too because after about five shots too much brass flows to the neck for it to fit well in the throat of your rifle. It destroys accuracy at this point. I use a $45 Forrester turner for this and a $4 collet for each caliber. If you don't trim and turn, you will only get about 10 reloads out of most cartridges before the accuracy or chambering is too bad for use.

    I buy primers by the 1000 count to save money since you are talking about $45 once in a while (equivalent to a box of ammo). I buy powder in one pound canisters because they don't give you much discount on 8 pound canisters and you may have to get a second mortgage to finance one. I don't believe in having too much tied up in inventory that is sitting around either.

    I choose powders primarily because they give me a great combination of speed, accuracy and temperature stability. IMR 4831 and IMR 4350 will be good. Varget and IMR 4064 are great powders to consider as well. I shoot a little RL22. It produces top speed loads in most cartridges but I find I can beat its accuracy in most loads and for me accuracy trumps a few feet per second of speed.

    Nickel plated brass loads just like plain brass. The plating may wear off after numerous reloads but that doesn't affect the performance. Since they look cool, you might want to load them less and keep them for your hunting loads. Since deer/elk hunters tend to shoot one round annually, a box of them can last a LONG time.

    I hope this helps answer some of your questions... I realize that one needs to almost write a book to answer them. A Hornady Reloading Manual might be very helpful too.

    Leave a comment:

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