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Bullet selection for reloading

This is a discussion on Bullet selection for reloading within the Reloading forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; Hi guys, I'm looking at reloading a couple of rifles, not done it before so I'll take any advice I'm ...

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    PeteG is online now AH Veteran
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    Default Bullet selection for reloading

    Hi guys,

    I'm looking at reloading a couple of rifles, not done it before so I'll take any advice I'm given!!

    lets start with calibers, between the 2 of us we will reload for .22Hornet, .243, 7x64, 30-06, 300winmag, 375H&H, 416 rem mag.

    bear in mind it is just getting too expensive here in africa to keep shooting often.

    im looking at using the swift scirrocco for caliber up to 300wm and a-frame for the two bigger calibers.
    what are your thoughts?
    bigger calibers will be used on eland and dg, the others for plains game up to eland.

    im not into long range shooting and on average shots will be up to 100m on the bigger cal and up to 250m on the smaller cal.
    pmp stock is readily available in rsa for the scirroco and a-frame.

    any opinions or other suggestions??

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    Nice selection of calibers.
    Congratulations on your decision to begin reloading. I think you will find find using your own worked up ammo very rewarding. I have not used factory ammo for over twenty years and simply enjoy spending time at the reloading bench during cold winter evenings.
    I have used the A-Frames for my big gores over the years and would find it difficult to improve upon.
    I have no experience with the scirrocco but a few years ago switched to the Barnes TSX for my plains game size loads. For the hornet I would consider looking at the Nosler ballistic tip. I use these in my 22-250 for varmints and they shoot and perform well. We have the .416, 30-06 and .243 in common so if you would like any of my specific loads on these let me know.

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    I echo what Tim has told you....Barnes TSX are excellent so are Nosler Ballistic tip for the .22 Hornet. I love the swift scirrocco and A frame too!

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    tim - thanks for the offer, i will definately take you up on that when we are ready. i am yet to get my mitts on a reloading kit, but i have been told the rock chucker supreme is a good place to start, what are your thoughts? I havent had any experience with the barnes tsx, definately worth thinking about.

    enysse - have you used the scirocco's? how do they fare on .30 cal range? i was considering the 200gr a-frame for my .300, and the 150gr scirocco on my mates 30-06, but that is only thoughts so far. granted it depends on what works best.
    i am on my last box of 220gr pmp softs and my rifle likes them (my shoulder - not so much!) and cant seem to be able to get more!

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    I like the 180 gr. scirocco for my 300 Win Mag because it's a 400 yd bullet, but I would go with the 200 gr. Swift A Frame in your case where shots are under 200 yds. Too be honest, I like the heavier grain bullets for each caliber. Cost is unusally the same, you have less wind deflection (heavier object), bullet drop over distance is insignificant, and you get a great mass and hard hit on your target. So I would go with the 180 grain scirocco or 180 gr. Swift A Frame in the 30-06.

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    I also prefer TSX but within your choices I would shoot A-frames in the 300 win mag as well. The Scirocco/Ballistic tip style bullets perform best at modest velocities and can be a bit explosive when pushed too fast (for caliber). If you want to use the same bullets for both 30 cal rifles, the A-frames are the way to go not the Sciroccos.
    The journey is the reward.

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    There has been a bit of bullet discussion here and on some other forums that I participate on. Scirocco's are a great bullet. They can be finicky to get to shoot well. May have to vary the seating depth a bit. Many of us love the Barnes TSX and TTSX bullets. Worked great for me in Africa last yr. Using a 80 gr TTSX in his .243 my son killed 2 Lechwe in one shot. The PH said to shoot just as he did a young bull jumped in the way. Went through his neck and all the way through the bigger bull. Expansion is very consistent. You can search some of the threads on here for more info on the Barnes bullets. You tube has a few video's on reloading to help get you started. Good luck. Bruce

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    One other thing to note is that you say you will not be shooting much because it is too expensive. A great way to help that is to load cheap bullets (I use Ballistic tips) for plinking and only use expensive hunting bullets for sighting in and hunting. The cheapies can be loaded to approximate the trajectory of your huning bullets (although this is less important since you say you will not be shooting past 250yds.
    The journey is the reward.

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    Read everything you can on the subject. It is a real science, takes some time but you will shoot a lot MRE. A good place to start is the Barnes reloading manual.

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    I think it depends on the individual and what your used too. I bought a reloading kit that included a manual. Im a machinist by trade so all the math and measuring were second nature too me. I have not had any problem acheving good accuracy with the starting loads recomended in the manual.
    I have killed quite a few varmits and 2 cape buffalo with my handloads so far.

    Reloading the .375 makes it much more econmical to shoot.
    I have walked in the tracks of the elephant, heard the lion roar and met the buffalo on his terms. I shall never be the same.

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    My .22 Hornet definately likes flat base bullets that are designed specifically for the Hornet (such as the Hornady 45 grain) much better than lighter bullets and boat tail designs that are designed for hotter .22's. A Lee crimping die is a good idea with the Hornet as the case is so thin that it is hard to get consistent pressure without a crimp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondhitch View Post
    One other thing to note is that you say you will not be shooting much because it is too expensive. A great way to help that is to load cheap bullets (I use Ballistic tips) for plinking and only use expensive hunting bullets for sighting in and hunting. The cheapies can be loaded to approximate the trajectory of your huning bullets (although this is less important since you say you will not be shooting past 250yds.
    Diamondhitch - it is pretty expensive to buy factory ammo here, .22hornet is +-$100 for 50, .300 +-$130 for 20, .375 +-$200 for 20, .416 +-$400for 20.
    a couple of afternoons a month can cost quite a bit for us!
    Thats the reason we want to reload!!
    Once we get going, i wont bother reloading cheaper bullets, its not a great deal of money saved by loading cheaper bullets as opposed to premium bullets.

    Thunderhead - I am happier in my workshop than the office!! i'm certainly looking forward to spending some time trying out different loads.

    thanks for the info

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    For the 375H&H I use 65gr S335 on PMP cases with a CCI250 primer and 270gr Barnes-X for 2680fps. Will never change from this load.

    For the 416Rem I use 73gr S335, CCI 250 primer behind 400gr Barnes Mono Solids for 2353fps.

    This is in my rifles.
    Bowtech Beast 92lb
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    180gr German Kinetics

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    I have a Rockchucker press and have used it for years without a problem.
    I favor RCBS or Redding dies. Spend the money for a good powder measure and scales.

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    Fritz - Thanks for the heads up on that, its definately handy knowing what works for someone before starting up. do you get the barnes-x in rsa? if so where abouts?

    I am not generally a subscriber to faster is better, I lean towards heavier rounds, whats your take on that?
    I was doing some searching and found woodleighs @ 450gr for the .416 in both soft and solid. whats the general take on them? any benefit with going heavier on this caliber?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteG View Post
    Fritz - Thanks for the heads up on that, its definately handy knowing what works for someone before starting up. do you get the barnes-x in rsa? if so where abouts?

    I am not generally a subscriber to faster is better, I lean towards heavier rounds, whats your take on that?
    I was doing some searching and found woodleighs @ 450gr for the .416 in both soft and solid. whats the general take on them? any benefit with going heavier on this caliber?

    Yes, we do get most heads in SA although they are hellish expensive. I believe in the premium heads and have to cough up to buy them.

    I also do not follow the speed group in general. I do have rifles that shoot flat and fast but that is for a reason. I cull hundreds of Baboon every year and I need to get bullets out to 500y sometimes.

    I do not understand why people would want to load a 350gr head in a 375H&H or a 450gr in a 416. What would you gain??
    A 300gr in 375 and a 400gr in 416 already shoots through everything. Why load a bullet that the gun was not designed for. The only thing that it does improve is the mathematics of the person doing it. That stays theory. In the practical world of hunting it does not do one single thing better than the original.
    In theory, having an extra 50gr will improve the KE. In practice, there is not a bone in any animal that the original bullet will not penetrate through already so why bother?
    Having more numbers before the comma in theory sounds great. In practice I have shot hundreds of Baboons sitting on thin branches high in a tree. I have shot them with 375H&H and many more different calibers. Why did not a single one of them fly backwards through the air - like in the movies - when hit with all that KE as the theory stated?
    No sir. I do not believe in all of that. Those new weights were developed because people are bored with a design that is over 100 years old and want something new. They are not satisfied with something that works well.
    Bowtech Beast 92lb
    1050gr Easton DG @ 236fps
    180gr German Kinetics

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Rabe View Post
    Yes, we do get most heads in SA although they are hellish expensive. I believe in the premium heads and have to cough up to buy them.

    I also do not follow the speed group in general. I do have rifles that shoot flat and fast but that is for a reason. I cull hundreds of Baboon every year and I need to get bullets out to 500y sometimes.

    I do not understand why people would want to load a 350gr head in a 375H&H or a 450gr in a 416. What would you gain??
    A 300gr in 375 and a 400gr in 416 already shoots through everything. Why load a bullet that the gun was not designed for. The only thing that it does improve is the mathematics of the person doing it. That stays theory. In the practical world of hunting it does not do one single thing better than the original.
    In theory, having an extra 50gr will improve the KE. In practice, there is not a bone in any animal that the original bullet will not penetrate through already so why bother?
    Having more numbers before the comma in theory sounds great. In practice I have shot hundreds of Baboons sitting on thin branches high in a tree. I have shot them with 375H&H and many more different calibers. Why did not a single one of them fly backwards through the air - like in the movies - when hit with all that KE as the theory stated?
    No sir. I do not believe in all of that. Those new weights were developed because people are bored with a design that is over 100 years old and want something new. They are not satisfied with something that works well.
    Fritz, that is hilarious! I agree 100 percent!!! How much penetration and power does one person need? Enough to send a bullet through a tank I guess!

    I think agree 300 grains is plenty in a 375 H&H and 400 grains for a 416.
    I also think calibers loaded with powder to maximum, is not for me. I don't need all the extra recoil and power. For the most part if you aim well the bullet will do the job and all these premium bullets will end up exiting the animal anyway.
    I try different bullet and powder combinations until I find one that is accurate for my rifle. If I want more power, I go to a bigger gun.

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    I agree 100%, i went simple 300 gr TSX in my 375, that way i can shoot everything i want, it shoots flat (for a bigger gun) and hits hard. Loaded Hodgdon 4895 ~ 63.5 grs and the 300 TSX, bullet is +2500, it shoots great grps and other then 1 bad shoot on a Gemsboc, i have never had to do a follow up shoot, other then a 2nd just in case on my buff (PH said its the dead ones that kill you...). As for my 300 win mag i shoot the cheaper Nosler ballistic tip in 165 gr and have never lost a north american animal, deer nor moose, they shoot great as well and again shoot a great grp, this is my more long distant gun, as its topped with a Leupold Mark 4

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    Yes, I like the Nosler Ballistic tip, Nosler Accubond and Hornady Interbonds too. I understand that the Barnes TSX is SUPER. I like expanding bullets that don't leave the animal as often and expand their energy (generally into the lung area). I don't eat much off the ribs anyway. And if animal can't breath it is not going anywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteG View Post
    Diamondhitch - it is pretty expensive to buy factory ammo here, .22hornet is +-$100 for 50, .300 +-$130 for 20, .375 +-$200 for 20, .416 +-$400for 20.
    a couple of afternoons a month can cost quite a bit for us!
    Thats the reason we want to reload!!
    Once we get going, i wont bother reloading cheaper bullets, its not a great deal of money saved by loading cheaper bullets as opposed to premium bullets.

    Thunderhead - I am happier in my workshop than the office!! i'm certainly looking forward to spending some time trying out different loads.

    thanks for the info
    Wow!! No wonder my PH said the best calibers for plains game was the ones he owned

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