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Anyone have an opinion on custom load development services?

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Anyone have an opinion on custom load development services?

Old 10-11-2010, 04:21 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Anyone have an opinion on custom load development services?

Iím posting this letter to a number of similar forums in hopes of getting some quick feedback on a question about custom load development...

First some background: Iíve got a custom rifle (my first such) built by a local gunsmith with an excellent reputation. Itís a 7MM Magnum with a Hart stainless barrel, built on a Remington 700 ADL action thatís been trued, lapped, triggered, and bedded in a laminated factory stock.

The problem is that itís not terribly fond of any factory ammo that Iíve fed it. Iím not shooting junk, either ó Iíve tried numerous kinds of Hornady, Federal Premium, and high-end Remington in various bullet weights and configurations...

Iím a good shot, with solid experience behind rifles of all kinds, from .17HMR up to .458 Lott. Iíve never felt the need to reload, because I can generally put together fine groups with any gun Iíve ever owned, after a little tinkering with factory rounds.

But with this gun, Iím struggling to get inside of 1.5 - 2 inches. Iíve gone over it with a fine-toothed comb: The actionís properly torqued into the stock, and fully floated. And I clean the barrel to bare metal using Butchís Bore Shine and Shooterís Choice every 10 - 12 shots, so Iím certain itís not a fouling issue...

Anyway, I need something accurate to hunt with this season. And a shop Iíve had good dealings with for 20 years (Hendershotís Sporting Goods in Han****, MD) is now offering their own line of ďExtreme Custom AmmunitionĒ thatís comparable in price to factory premium rounds...

They sell it pre-loaded by the box, but Iíve decided to have them develop a load specifically for my gun ó a service they offer for $395. Turnaround timeís pretty quick, too. A couple of weeks, so they tell me.

I figure thatís at least as cheap as me buying all the reloading stuff and attempting to nail down a load that works on my own (which I donít really want to do anyway).

Can anyone tell me what to expect from this type of service? I know there are numerous outfits that advertise custom load development for individual rifles...

Anybody care to share some stories about their results with such a process?

Thanks,

J
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:39 PM
  #2  
bigcountry
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Honestly, I would take it back to the smith. That rifle should shoot rocks MOA.

The advanages I get by reloading is mainly fitting my brass to my chamber every time. Second, adjusing my bullet depth. Sure, powder and charge and primers make a difference, but the two above makes the most.

Which smith did you take too? I am fimiluar with that shop
 
Old 10-12-2010, 07:59 AM
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Someone here is smoking dope.

For $395 - you can buy a top of the line reloading press, the dies, the bullets and powder and a box of primers and reload your own shells.

If everything is according to Hoyle with your gun, it should already be shooting the heck out of the bulls-eye - as long as there is nothing wrong with the trigger or the scope or the scope mounts.

You told us the whole life's story about the gun, but said absolutely nothing about the optics or mounts. Open sights for me is no longer an option. That went out with the Hula Hoop and long hair - a long time ago.

The goal of the reloader is not always to produce a cheap round, but to produce a round that works best in your rifle.

Again - you told us the guns whole life's story, yet did not produce one factual amount of information as to which rounds you were shooting, manufacturer, bullet weight, nothing.

As much as anything, I suspect that someone here is just trying to round about advertise for the merchant that you just named, and not really trying to find a solution for your problem.

Now we are right back to where we have started, because you said you have a 7MM Magnum - and that doesn't tell us anything either.
It could be a 7MM RUM, 7MM Remington Magnum, etc....

Usually what has to be done is to buy a reloading manual and look at the recommended load and bullet for that caliber of gun.
Look at the maximum and minimum load. Start out somewhere in the middle between the maximum load and the minimum load and work your way up to where the gun shoots best - about 1/10th of a grain at a time. Shooting 5 shot groups, until you find the load that shoots best for your situation.

At the same time, if your 7MM calls for a 140 gr bullet and you are trying to shoot a 170 gr bullet, you cannot expect your rifle to be a tack driver.

I have seen this same scenario play out at our rifle range 100 times with people who owned a .270 and tried to shoot 150 gr bullets, people with 30-06's that were trying to shoot 180 gr bullets and people with .35 Remington's that were trying to shoot 200 gr bullets.

The gun was a good gun, the scope was a good scope, the round was a good round and yet the bullet wouldn't hit the target two times in the same place.
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Old 10-12-2010, 08:05 AM
  #4  
bigcountry
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Mr. Deer hunter, do you even load ammo?
 
Old 10-12-2010, 09:18 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by bigcountry View Post
Mr. Deer hunter, do you even load ammo?
...... I don't know if he does or not, but according to a previous post of his, his Daddy does.

........Seems to me that this guy writes nothing but smart-assed answers and has little or no technical input whatsoever.

......."Somebody here smoking dope..." Nice reply, Sunshine...
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:46 AM
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bigcountry
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Originally Posted by Pawildman View Post
...... I don't know if he does or not, but according to a previous post of his, his Daddy does.

........Seems to me that this guy writes nothing but smart-assed answers and has little or no technical input whatsoever.

......."Somebody here smoking dope..." Nice reply, Sunshine...
Only advise I can give anyone is beware of the advise of anyone that thinks the tips of bullistic tips are sheared off in flight and thinks head space is the just a bullet takes to the rifling. I am just sayin.
 
Old 10-12-2010, 10:07 AM
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A warning has been issued to Mr Deer Hunter for insults. The rest of you, please keep your posts on topic.

Thank you!
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:57 AM
  #8  
Spike
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To Mr. Deer Hunter,

A man posts for the very first time to multiple forums, looking for honest feedback and advice, and you belittle him, suggest that he's high on dope, and accuse him of shilling...

Yep, a real ambassador for our sport, you are.

I shouldn't even dignify your post with a reply, but some of your assumptions and assertions are so stupefying that I just have to set you straight.

There's a "dope" involved in this discussion, all right. But it isn't in any pipe of mine. To briefly clarify for you:

1) What optic I have mounted (Nikon Monarch 3-12SF in Leupold 2-piece bases) on the gun is completely irrelevant to the problem, since it was the very first thing I ruled out. I swapped out the scope with a Leupold VX-III I had on another gun, a fine shooter. No difference in groups. And the Nikon sighted in and shot "the square" perfectly on my other gun...

2) The specifics of the variety of high-end factory loads I shot from the gun are similarly irrelevant to my problem, since my post clearly said that I'd already decided to try custom load development -- I was simply looking for feedback from others who have tried these kinds of services for their rifles (not that I've gotten any of this from ANYONE yet)...

3) In the parlance (that means "lingo," Mr. Deer Hunter) of our sport, "7MM Magnum," lacking other qualifiers like "ultra" or "Weatherby," means the venerable 7MM Remington Magnum.

4) As for "smoking dope" for not spending my $395 on a complete reloading setup instead of custom load development, I'd suggest you review your own smoking habits -- because clearly they're affecting your ability to read and retain information. I clearly wrote in my post that I'd rather NOT reload. And that even if I did want to reload, going from 0-60 -- getting set up with equipment, doing the reading, putting together dozens of experimental loads, and testing them all -- between now and opening day was a low-percentage proposition. I have this thing called a "job," you see. For me, reloading time right now would come at the expense of bowhunting time...

5) Your statement that "The goal of the reloader is not always to produce a cheap round, but to produce a round that works best in your rifle," is a complete non-sequitur (that means a statement with no relevance or context to the discussion at hand). Who said anything about shooting cheap? My post clearly states that I've been shooting premium factory loads, and that I wouldn't hesitate to plunk down $395 for customized ammunition development. What part of that expresses or implies a desire to find accuracy on the cheap?

Beyond this, if you have anything meaningful to contribute to my original request for opinions and feedback about customized load development, I welcome it...

But your insulting, uninformed reply to an employed, sincere hunter who has put his hard-earned money into pursuing wild game on both sides of the equator wastes the time of this entire community.

J
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:42 AM
  #9  
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Seems pretty expensive to me and before I did anything like that I would double check everything else. Maybe try a different scope/mounts/rings/rest. For $395 it would be my last resort as ammo is only part of the equation.
Did they tell you exactly what you get for $395 ?
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:35 AM
  #10  
Spike
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SKB...

Again, I tried the scope swap (see previous post), and had the gun checked and rechecked at the gunsmith -- even got a second opinion from another 'smith...

That's why I went with the custom load route.

I shopped around a bit (several firms advertise custom load development -- you can look them up online), and found that Hendershot's had the best price at $395...

So far, they have:

-- Taken note of my particular issue and feedback on the gun, asked me questions about the history of the rifle, along with standard questions about the scope, etc.

-- Extensively noted what types of game I hunt with the gun, at what ranges, and what my preferences are with regard to bullet performance.

-- Thoroughly scoped the bore and inspected the rifle to check for things like scope mount problems, stock contact, loose action screws, trigger issues, etc., and reported their findings back to me (no obvious impediments to accuracy found, bore in excellent shape).

Right now, my rifle is in range-test mode. According to Lance Hendershot, who runs the store, loads are being worked up and tested, with cleaning as needed between groups. I'm expecting to hear back from them next week...

I'm not sure whether they pay the return shipping on guns they work up loads for -- I drove the 2 hours to their store to drop mine off, and I'll go to pick it up when it's done...

But I'm sure you can find out on their site -- it's pretty nice-looking. Very high-end.

I'm actually pretty excited to see how it shoots when I get it back with some ammo.

J
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