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What characteristics are you looking for?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by TX Archer, Nov 13, 2011.


  1. TX Archer

    TX Archer
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    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2011
    397
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    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I know this is an individual question and there is no right/wrong answer but I'm interested in what this crowd thinks. Until now, I have always shot the cheapest ammunition available so I could get more trigger time. Of course, the cheapest usually meant I was shooting relatively soft loads. Then from time to time, I would shoot some of my self-defense ammo to make sure I was familiar and proficient with it. Now that I'm loading my own, I have the wonderful opportunity to tailor it to my own needs/wants. I'm still trying to figure out what that is.

    I know some of you are competitive shooters so you're likely looking for the lightest load that will make a certain power factor. Others may just enjoy a light, accurate load that enhances makes plinking enjoyable. I wouldn't be surprised if some want a stout load either because it's fun or because it's closer to SD/PD loads. I'm sure it goes without saying that accuracy is always a goal regardless of power.

    Having worked up loads for 9mm and .40 S&W with your advice and assistance and having gone through about 1,000 rounds (without even approaching max), I'm getting an idea of the possibilities that are available to me and thinking about where I'd like to settle. I don't want or expect you to tell me what I want but I'd love to hear what you like.

    I'm looking forward to hearing your opinions and, as always, thanks for being such good guides to someone learning the ropes.
     

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  2. XDRoX

    XDRoX
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    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    6,124
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    Location:
    San Diego
    These are what I look for:
    Accuracy
    Cleanliness (especially at light loads)
    Bulky powder (for obvious safety reasons)
    Good metering powder

    I just load to plink, usually lighter recoil loads than factory. And I enjoy shooting heavy bullets.
     

  3. glock_19guy1983

    glock_19guy1983
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    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
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    Location:
    dixie
    ive always found that European ammo seems to be loaded a little hotter than most american plinking ammo. Ive had great luck with sellier and belot when i can find it cheap. As far as reloading goes i try to tailor the load to the point of aim of the pistol if it has fixed sights. My kimber for instance shoots low with WWB but i can load my own in the upper limits with a coulple different powders i have and get it to point of aim.
     
  4. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123
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    Grumpy Old Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    6,995
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    Location:
    CLARKSVILLE TN
    I want my ammo, reloaded and factory, to be reliable, accurate, clean and powerful. I like all the ammo I shoot to be about the same in power/recoil so I do not have to relearn the felt recoil. :supergrin:
     
  5. Hogpauls

    Hogpauls
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    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
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    Location:
    Idaho
    I like to plink with a midrange load with a heavy for caliber bullet. I shoot the last magazine of a range session with loads I worked up to replicate my SD ammo. I look for availability, accuracy, how well it meters and cost. And of course how well the look in photos. :supergrin:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. fredj338

    fredj338
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    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
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    As always, it depends on the purpose of the ammo. If I am loading for a gun game, I look to make the req'd PF w/ the following always in mind:
    Safety, reliability & accuracy.
    It's why I do not choose uberfast powders for most tasks, they don't meet my criteria. Always choose powders based on a safe operating pressure that gets you the vel/PF you desire, everything else pretty much works itself out.
     
  7. GioaJack

    GioaJack
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    Conifer Jack

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
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    [​IMG]


    I'VE FALLEN AND I CAN'T GET UP!


    Jack
     
  8. fredj338

    fredj338
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    Joined:
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    That ammo needs a butler.:wavey:
     
  9. 10mmbob

    10mmbob
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    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
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    I always strive for the accurate load, sometimes it is at top-end, sometimes not. My .300WSM loves everything at top end, while my Glock 17L likes mid-range the best. As far as being dirty or a clean load, I have to clean the gun when I'm done anyway, so that is far down on my list of importance.
     
  10. Maine1

    Maine1
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    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
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    Location:
    Maine
    I like to load a versitale load with good power for a practice/ general purpose load. i see no real purpose for a powder puff load.
    In training with 45, i often shoot an FMJ load that has more recoil than my carry load.
    In order to be safe in many diferent guns, i like loads that give maybe 90% or available power/velocity/safe powder charge.
    Such as a 230gr 45 FMJ at 900fps, a 175gr 40 at 1000-1050 or so.
    My range/practice/training ammo is loaded in bulk, and i load it like it might be used for SHTF ammo.
     
  11. TX Archer

    TX Archer
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    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2011
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    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Wow! That's gonna attract women of questionable moral character if any ammo will.
     
  12. PCJim

    PCJim
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    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
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    FL
    Accuracy and economy in all my pistol loads as they are used for range practice and IDPA. Bolt rifle is strictly accuracy. ARs is a cross between accuracy and economy, as they are used primarily for plinking.
     
  13. TN.Frank

    TN.Frank
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    Glock4Life

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    5,663
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    Location:
    Avondale, AZ.
    I generally like to go "middle of the road" with my handloads. That way they're easy on the gun and brass and I've found over the years that a middle power load is normally fairly accurate too. When I first started handloading all those years ago I would also go with max. load but I'd end up getting leading(I like to shoot cast bullets to keep costs down) and they'd not be as accurate as they could be. The minimum loads, while the least expensive since powder charge is the smallest just don't function in all guns properly but 99 times out of 100 if you'll split the difference between the least powder charge and the max. charge and hit the middle ground you'll get something that's fun to shoot but still isn't hard on guns or brass.
     
  14. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve
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    Decap Pin Killa

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
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    Location:
    Old Colorado City
    I like loads what shoot good and are cheap.
     
  15. MinervaDoe

    MinervaDoe
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    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
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    Location:
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    1. Affordability (so I reload my own)
    2. It must cycle reliably
    3. Accuracy
     
  16. HAMMERHEAD

    HAMMERHEAD
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    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
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    Location:
    Minnesota
    I load 9mm, .357 and .44 spl for accuracy, accuracy, accuracy, light recoil, cleanliness.
     
  17. jmorris

    jmorris
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    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
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    Like everything else, it depends. What am I using the given load for? Benchrest, hunting, playing a game, plinking or hosing with a machinegun? I have different needs and my ammo reflects them.