One of the main reasons consumers have decided to reload
their ammunition is to provide a more accurate hunting round. This is
especially the case for those who choose to hand load their rounds. Not only is
this economical for those who spend more time in the field than their home, but
it also allows for a more accurate shot, seeing as though the load can be
customized for the hunting excursion. If you’re the person looking to use your
reloaded ammo on wild game, here are some tips to help you be as successful as
Fire form your brass
Fire form is simply the act of shooting the brass through
the EXACT rifle you intend to use on your hunting trip before you reload it.
This allows for increased accuracy because it allows the brass to form to the
exact shape of the rifle’s chamber. Then, with the majority of the brass
already formed, all that is left to do is to use a neck-only sizer die,
allowing you to keep the brass formed for the gun.
The idea behind this is to not allow the bullet any room to
“wobbly” in the unrifled section of the barrel before the rifling does the
magic. Allowing too much time to wobble will cause the bullet to not only lose
momentum but cause the bullet to veer off its course. To ensure the best seating
depth, it is best use tools such as a bullet comparator or a COL (Cartridge
Overall Length) gage. The recommended seating depth is .020”.
Get Maximum Bullet
Concentricity refers to the spin put on a rifle by the
rifling pattern inside the barrel. For maximum accuracy, you want the bullet
spinning through the air as fast as possible. To achieve this, you will need to
use a bullet seating die with a free-floating bullet seating plug. The dies
from Hornandy and Redding both employ this mechanism. It works by aligning the
bullet properly before it is seated into the casing. Another way to optimize
concentricity is to use a bullet concentricity gage.
Use Proven Loads
If you are just beginning to reload your own hunting
ammunition, it is best to start with loads that have already been proven to be
effective. It is best to find data from a trusted source, such as a fellow
reloader, that was used on the same rifle you intend to use. Also, reloading
manuals tend to have a substantial amount of information in them. Once you find
the trusted data for your rifle, try to replicate the information as closely as
possible, including the same powder and bullet manufactures.
Don’t be afraid to
While starting with proven load data is the beginning, that
doesn’t mean you should stop there. Once you begin to get the hang of your
equipment and processes, then you can begin to experiment a little. Remember,
small changes are the best. You could start with changing the bullet weight and
profile. Then move onto different powder charges and primers. The sky is truly
the limit with the amount of possibilities you can create. Also, if you intend
to test your rounds at the range first, its recommended to bring several
variations to test their accuracy before taking to the field. Having at least
five rounds with the same load is ideal, though more rounds of the same load
would give better data.
With hunting, accuracy is key. True accuracy is only gained
by trial and error, and spending hours shooting loads downrange.