Is Hand Loading My Answer?

bucdoego

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Over the past 18 months or so, it has become difficult to find certain factory ammunition for my X-Bolt 270WSM (LH). I am also in the process of moving to copper bullets so as to avoid ingesting any lead from harvested meat. This further limits my selection of factory ammunition options.

I have found that some bullets are available as components, but case availability comes and goes more infrequently. I wouldn't know which primers or powders I'd need, etc.

What equipment do I need? I've seen various kits from different companies, but I think I've learned that these might not be the best way to build a proper hand loading tool set that would last. Maybe to much compromise.

Now you have a picture of just how much I don't know and maybe the number of questions I have!

I don't have any fellow shooters that are also hand loading, so I need to learn where to begin. How/Where do I start? (Thank you in advance for not savaging a complete hand loading novice)
 
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Mthuntr

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Read these more recent threads...the search function has a lot of reloading talk that might be worth reading also


 

Dakotakid

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There are several recent threads on equipment.
It is difficult to pencil out reloading versus factory based on hunting ammo. It would take a lifetime to break even. That being said there is more to life than being cheapest.
 

Nhenry

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I was set up with the goods by my father (and I've added to them), so this is what's been working for me.

- Get yourself a good, sturdy single stage press. If you end up liking reloading a lot, you can upgrade from there.
- A good priming tool, like the Frankford Arsenal hand primer or some other priming tool
- A case trimmer. I have one from Hornady I rarely use because my cases rarely need trimmed, but they're good to have anyways.
- Some kind of powder dropper. I use a Frankford Arsenal Intellidropper, but I also have a hand trickler and powder thrower.
- Powder scale.
- A reloading book. Nosler 9 or Hornady 11 are good ones, but I prefer the former.
- Case lube.
- Reloading dies and a shell holder (your shell holder size would be an RCBS #4).
- A case loading block thingy that holds your shells in a row so it'll be nice and tidy.
- Powder, bullets, cases, and magnum primers (Powder is dependent on bullet weight, but for your X-Bolt with a 1:10 twist, I'm sure a lot of guys on this forum will recommend the 124gr Hammer Hunter).
- free time and no honey do list.

At the bare minimum, you should have a press (with dies), scale of some sort, some way to throw powder, and some way to put the primer in the pocket.


The search function is also your friend. If you read through the sheer amount of bullsh*t on this forum, you're bound to learn something.
 

Dakotakid

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I think powder may drive some of your options.
H4350
R17
Magpro
H4831

Depending on what you can find, that may be the first step.
Gone are the days we could walk in and fill a basket of stuff we need for a load we wanted to try.
 

wllm

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If you're simply trying to reliably secure ammo for hunting it's 6 one way half a dozen the other.

Sometimes you can find a bunch of ammo, sometimes powder/brass.
 

Brian in Montana

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If you're not sure you're interested in handloading for its own sake, you might want to just get something like a Lee Challenger kit. If you've been hunting and shooting for a while and handloading has always been interesting to you, spring for something a little higher quality like an RCBS kit. I started some years back with a Lee. I gradually upgraded everything, the last thing to go was the press itself, which I replaced with a Rock chucker IV - and I should've done that sooner.
 

VikingsGuy

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Over the past 18 months or so, it has become difficult to find certain factory ammunition for my X-Bolt 270WSM (LH). I am also in the process of moving to copper bullets so as to avoid ingesting any lead from harvested meat. This further limits my selection of factory ammunition options.

I have found that some bullets are available as components, but case availability comes and goes more infrequently. I wouldn't know which primers or powders I'd need, etc.

What equipment do I need? I've seen various kits from different companies, but I think I've learned that these might not be the best way to build a proper hand loading tool set that would last. Maybe to much compromise.

Now you have a picture of just how much I don't know and maybe the number of questions I have!

I don't have any fellow shooters that are also hand loading, so I need to learn where to begin. How/Where do I start? (Thank you in advance for not savaging a complete hand loading novice)

Handloading is a fairly involved hobby in its own right. If you don’t have interest as a hobby then just keep watching online (AmmoSeek.com) and grab a bunch of factory when you stumble across it. You will likely spend less and have it in hand to shoot well before you pull together everything you need to finish new hand loads. On the other hand if the hobby intrigues you then dig into a few of those threads that were posted at top of this thread.
 

belshawelk

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Finding ammo isnt hard to find. Perhaps at the price you want. I don’t load because I am not a bench shooter. If your then yes but a 270wsm is not a bench gun. I have one and it’s one of my favorites.
 

Dakotakid

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I see federal lists a box of 20 for $71, ouch.
50 Barnesttsx are $ 42
50 primers- $5 roughly
3250 grains of powder for 50 rounds- $18ish
Brass- if you have once fired?

About $65 for 50 rounds
 

Dakotakid

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😆🤣😂

Please tell me where you shop that you can get a pound of powder for 36 bucks.

Oh, don’t forget to add the cost of dies, press, scale, shipping, hazmat, and time into your cost of reloading.
I googled that but I did buy a pound in nov for that price locally.
Finding it locally is my biggest challenge and I don’t hord but am considering 8 lbs of a few choi
😆🤣😂

Please tell me where you shop that you can get a pound of powder for 36 bucks.

Oh, don’t forget to add the cost of dies, press, scale, shipping, hazmat, and time into your cost of reloading.
your right.
I googled and got the $36
I just called local gun store and they said $43 to $46 per pound depending.
 

Dakotakid

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I see federal lists a box of 20 for $71, ouch.
50 Barnesttsx are $ 42
50 primers- $5 roughly
3250 grains of powder for 50 rounds- $21ish
Brass- if you have once fired?

About $67 for 50 rounds
I did say ish
I also calculated 1/2 of a pound but if using 65 grains that’s 3250 grains not a full 1/2 lb. I am not calculating cents per grain.
 

SD_Prairie_Goat

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I'll chime in, there's several good all copper ammo available if you don't want to dive into reloading.

I use federal premium trophy copper myself with great success.

One benefit is you don't have to try and find large rifle primers if you buy factory ammo... I know from causally watching for primers the last two years... Ha!



You can have them email you when back in stock, that's what I did for my 308
 

Redmt

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I wouldn't reload to save money! Reloading gives you the ability to taylor a precision load for you. You can develop a load far more accurate than you can shoot. Reloading also gives you the ability to taylor loads from plinking to heavy nasties for big game and everything in between. If your going to handload you need to be serious about it, not just because you think ammo will be more plentiful. Another thing is that if you have a tight budget then handloading isn't for you.
 

Nhenry

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Kansas
I wouldn't reload to save money! Reloading gives you the ability to taylor a precision load for you. You can develop a load far more accurate than you can shoot. Reloading also gives you the ability to taylor loads from plinking to heavy nasties for big game and everything in between. If your going to handload you need to be serious about it, not just because you think ammo will be more plentiful. Another thing is that if you have a tight budget then handloading isn't for you.
This guy gets it
 

Redmt

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This guy gets it
I spend far more time researching and testing than hunting. One reason is I can sit on my ass longer than hiking! I have an inexpensive chronograph, 40# of ballistic gel and stacks of worthless targets.
I'm lucky in as much as I can load a few and walk outside to test them out. When I get an acceptable load I know what it's going to do unless I screw up the shot.
 
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