Posted 27 March 2011 - 02:30 PM
Reloading is fun and a whole lot less expensive than buying factory rounds, especially when you're talking the lead free stuff. Factory loaded ammo with Barnes TSX bullets is ridiculously overpriced. I worked up the numbers and found I can load Barnes bullets for about $17 a box of 20 for my .308 instead of paying $47. And this includes shipping and haz mat fees for powder and primers (but not brass and labor). A thirty dollar difference? We're getting gouged. Thanks a lot, California. Whatever happened to the ammo vouchers that California was supposed to pass out when the lead ban in Condor territory got passed? In terms of manuals, the Barnes manual is the most disappointing. There's hardly any powders listed in it because they haven't done the work. But if you have to load lead free, you almost have no choice but to buy it. Not only do they overcharge for their bullets, they don't even publish adequate load data. My favorite manual is the Sierra manual. It's comprehensive and interesting reading. And you can trust them. Don't be surprised if you find the Hodgdon data is hotter than the data in most manuals. I've seen that on a couple occasions and it's confusing. Always start on the lower end of the published powder range for your bullet and work up, watching for pressure signs like flattened primers or a sticky bolt when trying to eject spent brass. And if you load hot, make sure you inspect your case mouths after firing to see if you're getting any splitting.