I use only factory ammo....Except. Last year I had my son load Barnes TSX 400 grain bullets for my .404J because I could not find factory ammo for a .404J with that bullet. My successful hunt verified that I made the right choice. Had I been using my .416 Rigby, I could have purchased Barnes 400 grain TSX ammo over the counter.
400 gr. TSX recovered from buffalo
The only time I would shoot factory in recent years is with a new to me rifle and it's for sight in purposes only. But I don't even do that now. A common powder for caliber and a Nosler Ballistic Tip will get that done and for cheap.
I will use a cheap factory brand ammo to sight in a scope or if I'm going to do extensive practice. I use the custom ammo for fine sight in and hunting. At a $1.30 per bullet I limit the amount of Hammer bullets I shoot; damn good bullet, accurate and great penetration but at that price you got to limit the amount of shooting you do with it. The heavier calibers go for 90 plus dollars for fifty when you include shipping.
For me reloading is part of the hunt. Good hunting bullets whatever the cost are cheap when compared to the cost of the rest of the hunt. That being said I reload inexpensive "Blemished" Hornady DGX for practice in my larger caliber rifles i.e. 375 H&H and up. For my smaller rifles I practice with the bullets I hunt with.
I used factory loaded ammo on my first trip to Africa.. Barnes Vor-TX for the 308 and Nosler "trophy grade" in the .375 H&H..
Since then its been re-loads exclusively though.. I've got a very good barnes TTSX load built that all of my .30's like.. and a very good TSX load for my .375 and .416 that group well and have enough velocity to open up nicely..
Other than my 7x57 which seems to love hornady 154gr interlocks better than anything else on the planet (i know.. cheap bullet.. but works fine for domestic NA game.. and hard to beat a .5MOA grouping).. pretty much everything gets loaded with TSX or TTSX at the mdwest house these days..
As suggested, I should have added a couple other options but was just curious to see how many people hunt with reloads in Africa versus buying and using factory ammo. So far it's no contest. For the record, I shoot and hunt with reloads only in my centerfires. Dedicated slug guns, shotguns and rimfires are fed factory ammo.
Hi Bob, how's things going in Wyong?. Down your way a couple of years back but haven't been in NSW since Ebor for the fishing. just getting over some nasty storms up here in Qld, seeing the sun for the first time in a few days. I'm going to NZ in the spring and hope to clean up a few buns while there and perhaps shake the spiders out of my old .303LE (currently owned by my BIL). Cheers Brian