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Bullets: Does Size Really Matter?

When you first begin researching how to reload and what supplies you need, you no doubt spend much of your time deciding which projectile and powder to use. After all, these two items are the most important factors of how successful your load will be. So, which works best?
The truth is, there are a multitude of bullet types and sizes made by more than 10 different manufacturers. The astonishing part is that every manufacturer is making enough profit to stay in business. Therefore, they must be selling a considerable amount of product. My point? You could ask 25 different reloaders, which bullet size and style they prefer and you would get 25 different answers; we all have our favorite. For this reason, instead of telling you which bullet is the best, we wanted to show you how size and style effect how successful your round it. We wanted to answer this question once and for all, at least where projectiles are concerned; does size really matter?


Why are you reloading?

If your only hope in reloading is to produce more ammo for target practice and plinking around, bullet style isn’t a concern of yours. Size, on the other hand, could affect how successful you are at the range. However, if you load your own self-defense or hunting rounds, the style of bullet, in terms of expansion and penetration, becomes more important.

How does size affect accuracy?

This, again, depends on your shooting needs. When at the range, you will possibly find that your gun does better with a particular weight for no apparent reason. This is often discovered through shooting hundreds of rounds of varying sizes. You may also ask another shooter with the same gun as you who has shot more rounds from it which size he finds best suits the gun.

For accuracy, however, bullet weight plays a major role, other than the obvious consideration of distance. There’s a fine line that has to be discovered between a bullet being too heavy or too light. If a bullet is heavy, it is less likely to be blown off course by the wind. However, heavy bullets also tend to lose velocity faster, in turn not going as far. Lighter bullets, on the other hand, might travel further with a higher velocity but are easily deterred with the slightest wind.

Weight effects on Recoil

Many believe that the weight of the bullet contributes the highest to the amount of recoil a load causes. While there is a small amount of truth to that, the amount and style of the powder used plays a larger role. For example, a fast burning powder tends to have more of a snap on your hand or shoulder due to the powder igniting all at once.

Bullet Style

Style will be the single greatest determining factor on how well your load performs in hunting and self-defense situations. In these shooting styles, bullet expansion and penetration are what determines if a load is successful.

The answer to our original question is that size does matter. The only way you are going to find which bullet size and style works best for you is through trial and error; by sending hundreds of rounds down range and keeping detailed data of each load. Don’t be afraid to safely experiment with different projectiles; you might find it to be extremely exciting.