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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Haven't posted in a while but I check in here most every day. I retired in January and decided to try my hand at reloading. It's been on my bucket list for a while now. So I loaded up some 30-30 rounds with the following:
150 gr. Sierra RN with 28.7 gr. of IMR 3031,
30.0 gr. IMR3031,
31.5 gr. of IMR 4895,
32.5 gr. of IMR 4895,

I also loaded 5 rounds with 170 gr. Sierra FN with 29.0 gr. of IMR 3031.
The 2 best groups were with the 170 gr. FN with 29 gr. of 3031 and the 150 gr. RN with 30.0 gr of 3031.
Everything I shot grouped consistently about 3-4 inches low and about 2-3 inches left from point of aim. some groups tighter than others. I'm thinking my scope may be off so I fired some factory Winchester 150 gr. and the scope and rifle were dead on. ( 1999 336W, Happy Trigger, 2-7x33 Redfield) So is it possible to ever get reloads and factory ammo to shoot to the same point of aim or do I find what groups the best for my rifle and re-zero my scope to my hand loads. Hope this makes sense....being a 67 year old, Old Phart , my thoughts ramble some time.
Thank You!
charlie
 

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I haven't reloaded since turning 67, because that was a few weeks ago. Something may change :) Other than that, there are so many options available, as far as reloading goes, is that something will near duplicate some particular factory ammo. Trouble is, some other brand of factory is also going to have a different point of impact. I'm one of those guys, that never seems to settle on a few specific reloading recipes. I'm always experimenting will all kinds of different bullets, weights, and powders. It's still fun though. I run my 30-30s & 45/70s on a single press, and others on a Dillon progressive.
 

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The best way to match factory ammo is use the same bullet they load with,
or something very similar...then, you have to try to match the MV.
Since your loads were hitting lower, that would suggest they were slower.
Personally, I have never attempted this.
I always considered my handloaded ammunition to be far superior to off
the shelf box ammo. No doubt more accurate, and that was what I was
doing it for.
People start hand loading for several reasons,
For most it's a hobby, for some they shoot so much it's a nececcity,
for others they are on a quest to produce a taylored bullet their
gun loves.
I guess it all depends on your reason.
The main thing is be safe and enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the quick reply guys. I guess what I was mostly wondering is my situation typical for a beginner? I just thought it strange that all of my reloads regardless of powder and bullets were all consistently low and left. I guess I'll just have to reload more rounds and go back to the range😁!
 

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Before I ever bought the 45/70, I put together 250 rounds of different bullets and loads (using published load specs), and bought five boxes of factory ammo, with different brands, and bullet weights. Figured that was a good starting point.
 

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Haven't posted in a while but I check in here most every day. I retired in January and decided to try my hand at reloading. It's been on my bucket list for a while now. So I loaded up some 30-30 rounds with the following:
150 gr. Sierra RN with 28.7 gr. of IMR 3031,
30.0 gr. IMR3031,
31.5 gr. of IMR 4895,
32.5 gr. of IMR 4895,

I also loaded 5 rounds with 170 gr. Sierra FN with 29.0 gr. of IMR 3031.
The 2 best groups were with the 170 gr. FN with 29 gr. of 3031 and the 150 gr. RN with 30.0 gr of 3031.
Everything I shot grouped consistently about 3-4 inches low and about 2-3 inches left from point of aim. some groups tighter than others. I'm thinking my scope may be off so I fired some factory Winchester 150 gr. and the scope and rifle were dead on. ( 1999 336W, Happy Trigger, 2-7x33 Redfield) So is it possible to ever get reloads and factory ammo to shoot to the same point of aim or do I find what groups the best for my rifle and re-zero my scope to my hand loads. Hope this makes sense....being a 67 year old, Old Phart , my thoughts ramble some time.
Thank You!
charlie

To get results like factory loads, you're going to have to use the same cases, primers, bullets and powders that the big guys use. The key to good uniform loads and results is consistency in the reloading process. Cases, primers, and bullets are easy. Power weight is easy enough to figure out. Unfortunately, some of the big guys use mixes of powders - remember that they're looking for a "one size fits most" solution. If you're hitting low and left, that could be that you're not getting the same velocity that you're getting out of factory loads. A different point of impact is to be expected unless you're exactly matching what the factory is putting out.

Different bullet weights will have an effect, as will different shapes: ballistic co-efficients will have an effect on how a bullet flies. Powder burn rates give different pressure levels and will peak at different times. Case volume affects pressure. Primer types affect ignition timing. We can get into barrel harmonics and adjusting powder, powder weight, and bullet seating depth to compensate for this (which may be why you're hitting low and left).

Handloads are part art, part science. You can get lucky and pull a recipe out of a reloading manual, shoot it and find that your rifle likes it. You may have to start doing load development which is a very deep rabbit hole- you'll find out what bullet weight shoots well for a particular rifle, which powder is most consistent, how much powder produces the best and most consistent groups. Even down to what kind of primers and how deep to seat the bullet to give the best results.

If you're happy with how your test loads are grouping and it's consistent over time, altitude, and temperature and you're not showing signs of overpressure, then re-zero your scope and make sure you've written down your recipe so you don't forget. Don't be like me and go through the whole development process and forget to write down what I did.

TL;DR version: if you're going to shoot reloads, you're going to have to rezero your scope.
 

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Believe it or not, I've always gotten best accuracy at 100-200 yards with reloads using heavy-for-caliber jacketed roundnose bullets at moderate velocity. That means 160 grain roundnose in 260 Remington, 180-220 grain roundnose in 30'06, and the most accurate 35 caliber I've ever loaded (250 grain roundnose) in 35 Whelen at 2300-2350 fps. For 450/400, the 400 grain RN always shoots a bit better than the 300 grain spitzer.

Smarter people than me say the better accuracy is because of the very long 'bearing' surfaces of these bullets. That also generates slightly higher pressures than spitzers.
 

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Believe it or not, I've always gotten best accuracy at 100-200 yards with reloads using heavy-for-caliber jacketed roundnose bullets at moderate velocity. That means 160 grain roundnose in 260 Remington, 180-220 grain roundnose in 30'06, and the most accurate 35 caliber I've ever loaded (250 grain roundnose) in 35 Whelen at 2300-2350 fps. For 450/400, the 400 grain RN always shoots a bit better than the 300 grain spitzer.

Smarter people than me say the better accuracy is because of the very long 'bearing' surfaces of these bullets. That also generates slightly higher pressures than spitzers.
I have a load for my Tikka 300 WSM using a 220gr round nose that outshoots every other load I've seen for it.
 

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In general---factory ammo is loaded on the hot side. Hand loaded ammo should be better than factory if everything is done correctly and in a uniform manner. On my long range loads I hand weigh every charge and all my shells are prepped and trimmed to the same length. I go through the box of bullets and weigh each bullet to select all that are the same weight. The key to accuracy is every round needs to be uniform. If you are only hunting at 100-200 yrds you can dispense with the extra care but when you are shooting at 300-600 yrds it does make a difference. My long range rifles are better than my skills as they are all 1000 yrd guns.
 
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If your rifle is shooting dead on with factory ammo, I would just use that. Reloading for a 30 30 is more for the enjoyment of shooting more rounds, and or loading a specific bullet that is not available to the consumer, ie spitzer bullets. I reload for the 30 30, but I also buy and use factory ammunition.

Because 30 30 ammo is fairly cheap. I still have projectiles for my 30 30 that I purchased over 20 years ago, as well as, reloaded ammo that I made over 20 years ago. Factory ammunition will work just fine on deer if that is what you are using it for. I have used various powders for 30 30 shells. H 4895, AA 2460, AA 2230, H 335, and BLC2. Can't tell you which one worked best out of my rifle, but H 4895 is the powder I have reloaded with the most. The best I was able to achieve was about a 2-inch group at a hundred yards. I used a Winchester mod 94 with a 4 power scope. I will say though that my reloads and factory ammunition both shot to almost the same point of aim, but I loaded to near max.

I would try another powder combo to see if you can get better results. Good luck.
 

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I have 32 Remington loads in a Remington 141 were the POI walks to right and down as the velocity increases. Original factory ammo is on at 50 yards. My handloads are high left compared to the factory ammo, but they routinely touch each other at 50 yards where the factory ammo does not.
 

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POI should be mostly irrelevant when experimenting with handloads until you stumble onto that small group you are seeking. Then rezero and you are set to go. The answer to your first question about poi is yes, but it will probably take some time and probably is unnecessary. Probably one of the reasons for adjustable sights and scopes.
 

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I don't care one bit what the POI is when working up test loads. As long as they hit paper in a measurable way and make the smallest group pattern possible. A couple of weeks ago I was playing with Unique powder in my 30-30 to use up a big bunch of light weight home cast bullets from a local friend. I wasn't about to change the crosshairs in the scope, especially since every test load batch, from mild to wild and light to heavy, is going to hit in a different area of the target. I've learned to find where that individual load is prone to POI, then stick a "dot" on the target itself to use for an aim point - mainly to keep the group well within the measurable area of the paper. Actual point of impact isn't much of a concern to me when working up a load. I'm looking for a whole bunch of holes (POI) in the smallest group I can get when using the same aim point (POA) for every shot. Scope adjustment to make POI = POA shouldn't be done until the individual load has been thoroughly tested and accepted. Even then, every "satisfactory" load for different bullet weights and velocities is most likely going to have different POA/POI attributes.

Speaking only from my experiences.

jd
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks everyone for all the information. I think my main questions have been answered. I'll keep working up loads regardless of poi until I get one I'm satisfied with and then make proper scope adjustments. This has all been a great help! My next reloading quest will be hunting loads for my bolt action .357. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions.
Anybody got recommendations for an inexpensive chronograph?
Thank you everyone.
 

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Thanks everyone for all the information. I think my main questions have been answered. I'll keep working up loads regardless of poi until I get one I'm satisfied with and then make proper scope adjustments. This has all been a great help! My next reloading quest will be hunting loads for my bolt action .357. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions.
Anybody got recommendations for an inexpensive chronograph?
Thank you everyone.


I use a "pro-chrono"
Probably not the best, but it has held up for a couple years.
Be sure to set it up about 10-15yrds from the muzzle, in direct
sunlight.
Also- remember that when you do adjust your scope, move the
scope to the p-o-i, not the other way around, lol.
 

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After using several different chronographs I've settled on the ProChrono. Screens are taller and wider and it is not as sensitive to the suns position as others I've used. Feels and looks cheap as it is made entirely of plastic but it works great and I don't recall ever getting a error on a shot as I did on some other chronys. Do put a strip of scotch tape across the two sensors on top to keep dust out. I also bought some wood dowel rods and replaced the metal rods just in case I goofed and hit one of the screen rods which could damage the chrony.
 
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