Building a Cartridge – Western Hunter


The clay pigeon was arrange on a distant dust financial institution, 1,086 yd to be actual, with the wind blowing 4 mph left-to-right and barely rising up the mountainside. I had 7.8 mils dialed on my turret as I held .3 mils left for wind. The shot was executed and thru recoil I might see the 215-grain Berger arc above the goal and drop in completely, inflicting the orange clay goal to vanish from view. That view by no means will get previous. The street traveled to get this sense of accomplishment generally is a tough one for a lot of on the subject of growing a load in your long-range rifle.

Whereas we have now nice manufacturing unit ammunition accessible in the present day, many shooters are discovering worth in custom-loaded ammo and getting extra accuracy or, in my case, a greater diversity of bullets not supplied in manufacturing unit ammunition. Whereas handloading is a enjoyable and rewarding interest, the fixed hunt for parts can turn into exhausting, and making time to meticulously type and prep brass could be troublesome to steadiness. With time being probably the most valuable commodity, many are searching for a neater means.

Earlier than the above-mentioned situation might happen, I had burned 250 rounds by way of my 30 Nosler barrel, attempting a wide range of bullets and powder that will work finest and getting outcomes that have been lower than passable at distance. The bullet I wished to make use of was not accessible in manufacturing unit ammo, leaving me no alternative however to hand-load. I used to be about to choose a recipe after I got here throughout the Unknown Munitions web page on Instagram. I made a decision I’d make the most of their monumental collection of powder and bullet choices.

The Actual Deal

I did the mathematics and figured even after I paid for his or her load growth service, I’d nonetheless be forward in the price of powder, bullets, and primers. Think about time loading ammo, driving to the vary, to not point out added barrel put on, and I’d be means forward. I made a telephone name to talk with Jake, the proprietor and central operations supervisor, and I used to be blown away by his in depth data of all issues reloading.

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After our dialog revolving round all issues Elk searching and 30 caliber rifles, I made a decision to ship 100 items of latest Nosler brass for my Gunwerks 30 Nosler, the above-mentioned rifle, and have them work their magic. We agreed to start out with a load growth package deal using Berger 215-grain VLDs and Vitavouri N570 powder. Jake has in depth data of what mixtures of bullets and powders work finest primarily based on the meant software. He was very informative and shortly constructed my confidence in his skills.

Anybody that reloads can converse to the huge quantity of gun powder one can undergo to search out the proper load for his or her rifle. I’ve numerous partial one-pound powder canisters that I’ve gathered through the years of attempting this and that–solely to undergo six completely different powders to search out the proper cost. At $35-40 per pound, the stuff ain’t low cost! I bought to interested by how a lot powder I had burned attempting to chase the node or “candy spot” in all my barrels through the years. After including it up, I noticed that it had price me far more cash in powder for every rifle load growth than to buy a load growth package from Unknown Munitions.

The Course of

The primary package deal would come with 25 rounds of my provided brass to be loaded with a powder cost ladder take a look at to search out the proper node within the barrel the place the muzzle velocity is probably the most constant–due to this fact probably the most correct cost for that bullet mixture with my barrel. Unknown Munitions begins all load growth with brand-new, unfired brass to make sure that the brass has constant elasticity within the space of neck pressure and is unaltered by earlier firings or resizing dies.

In case your brass has quite a few firings, it could have a various vary of pressure on the bearing floor of the bullet, this will result in a big deviation in your Muzzle Velocity (MV). It’s fairly easy; one piece of brass holds the bullet too tightly, the opposite not sufficient… you get the image. When beginning with load growth (LD), it helps to take away as many elements as attainable. All the time begin with contemporary, new brass. Unknown Munitions shares a considerable amount of high-end brass for nearly each widespread caliber and can load nearly any cartridge.

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All of their brass is hand-primed utilizing Primal Rights CPS and Dillon Precision RF100 priming instruments. These instruments permit the circumstances to be primed effectively and precisely. Throughout each step of the loading course of, Unknown Munitions workers wears gloves to cut back contamination of the primers or powder with oil from their palms. I do know I’ve by no means executed this, nevertheless it is sensible and is a revered observe! In relation to primers, Unknown Munitions has all of them and can gladly level you in the proper route primarily based in your ammunition wants. For my take a look at, I went with the tried-and-true Federal 215M as I’ve nice success with them and have loads to final some time. No, they aren’t on the market. 

As soon as the brass casings are primed and prepared, they get charged with the chosen powder in your LD Check. Unknown Munitions makes use of solely FX120i Lab Scales and auto-thrower methods to measure every cost. These lab scales have turn into the gold customary for precision reloading. I had just lately bought certainly one of these scales and in contrast it to my Hornady and RCBS Powder throwers and was astonished by how a lot the fees assorted between these two manufacturing unit scales that are broadly used in the present day. Every cost is measured to .01 of a grain with the FX120i, whereas most reloading scales cease at .10 of a grain. It is a big distinction. The FX120i is my scale of alternative for reloading. The price of these scales is over $1,000 to arrange and Unknown Munitions runs eight of those items to maintain up with orders! This reveals their dedication to delivering the highest-quality product to their buyer.

As soon as primed and charged, the circumstances are able to be seated with the chosen bullets to the COAL (Cartridge Total Size) using premium dies from Redding and Foster. Unknown Munitions advisable the usage of a Hornady COAL gauge to precisely measure COAL for the meant bullet’s contact with the lands of your particular person chamber. You should purchase or hire the device from Unknown Munitions, and so they supply a modified case service to get you any brass and bullet mixture it’s possible you’ll want in your Hornady COAL gauge. It’s a easy course of that requires you to string a modified case onto the device, then place a bullet contained in the case mouth.

Discovering Your COAL

First, run the case into your chamber as if chambering a spherical with the device. Loosen the thumb wheel on the again of the device and slide the inner rod ahead till you meet slight resistance. The resistance is the bullet being pushed ahead into the barrel lands. Tighten the thumb wheel and punctiliously take away the device. Place the bullet again into the case mouth if it has fallen out throughout elimination and measure the general size of the spherical. You now have your COAL in your chamber. It’s that straightforward and it takes 5 minutes. As soon as Unknown Munitions receives your COAL they are going to start loading up your testing ammunition and ship it immediately to the doorstep. Additionally they supply a full rifle growth service for individuals who desire their experience. Merely ship your rifle to Unknown Munitions and have them do the entire obligatory testing, and they’re going to ship your rifle again with the developed ammunition.

Predominant Components in LD

A giant a part of the preliminary load growth course of is getting an correct learn of your MV (muzzle velocity), pace of your bullet exiting the muzzle, SD (customary deviation), a measure of the uniformity in velocity, and the ES (excessive unfold), a measure of the very best muzzle velocity minus the bottom velocity. Usually, it takes a minimal of 5 pictures to realize an correct SD and ES. For instance, should you hearth 5 rounds with an MV of 2850, 2860, 2855, 2857, and 2855, your ES will likely be 10 and your SD will likely be 3.3. There are many opinions on what issues extra, ES or SD, however finally should you decrease the ES of your shot string, the SD will usually be smaller. These elements are an gathered common of how nicely your cost is measured and the way constant you may hold the neck pressure in your case. This data gathered in step one of the LD course of will assist decide what cost is finest in your barrel and bullet mixture.

When gathering the MV for the LD it’s essential an correct chronograph is used for the testing. Unknown Munitions recommends the MagnetoSpeed Chronograph for its easy design and ease of use. Additionally they supply a rental service for these with out entry to a chronograph. I personally use the MagnetoSpeed chronograph and may attest to its easy design and correct information assortment. For my vary day take a look at, I began with 5 sighter/fouler rounds by way of a clear bore.

I continued after I zeroed with the bottom cost of rounds and labored my means by way of the primary two costs earlier than permitting the barrel to chill. Between each 5 rounds, I documented every MV, ES, and SD for every cost on the datasheet offered by Unknown Munitions. I continued the method, working by way of all the fees and letting the barrel cool after each 10 rounds. In spite of everything the information was gathered, I pulled my targets, measured all my teams, and documented which group went with which cost. This is a crucial a part of the method, so take your time and make sure that you doc issues precisely.

Load Testing

After the preliminary vary day amassing cost information, I despatched the knowledge again to Unknown Munitions by way of e mail and waited for the subsequent lot of 25 rounds to reach for seating depth testing. At this level, we discover how a lot soar the bullet prefers in our chamber. Usually beginning at .010”, .020”, .030”, .040” .050”, .075”, and .100” of the COAL of the chamber. Throughout this take a look at, I shot one spherical from every seating depth in a “round-robin” order on particular person targets and let the barrel cool for 10 minutes after one spherical had been fired from every seating depth. This course of helps unfold out the heating and fouling of the barrel extra evenly all through the take a look at versus taking pictures every ladder so as. It additionally helps hold my concentrate on urgent every shot individually and never worrying about how nicely all the pieces is grouping after I shoot 5 rounds on the identical spot for a gaggle.

After measuring the ultimate seating take a look at targets, I despatched the information again to Unknown Munitions one remaining time. The typical group measured .65” and one of the best group was .39” at 100 yd. With an ES of three and SD of 1.7, we had discovered one of the best load for my rifle with 50 rounds in two vary days. I had the remaining 50 items of brass loaded with one of the best cost and seating depth from our take a look at. These 50 rounds proved to be probably the most correct hundreds fired from this rifle, guaranteeing we had established a strong recipe by way of the Unknown Munitions LD course of. After establishing strong information between 100-1,000 yd, I used to be capable of ship the final 5 pictures downrange inside a 6” group at 1,100 yd. For a lot of, that looks like an unobtainable aim, however for the crew at Unknown Munitions, it’s simply one other illustration of their dedication to main the ammunition business to the subsequent degree.

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 Whether or not you’re seeking to shoot a bullet that’s unavailable in manufacturing unit ammo, in search of higher efficiency out of your rifle, or monitoring down correct load information for a brand new rifle with out spending per week’s pay on parts, Unknown Munitions has you coated. Even with the ammunition and part scarcity on the time of this text’s writing, the crew at Unknown is receiving powder, brass, primers, and bullets on common foundation and may load a wide range of ammunition wants. They’ve a ready checklist operating for loaded ammunition in addition to their load growth providers, so get signed up. Whilst you’re ready, try their full lineup of ammunition in your subsequent vary day. From right here on out, I do know that is the place I will likely be sourcing my ammunition and cargo growth wants. For extra data on accessible ammunition and cargo growth providers go to unknownmunitions.com

As at all times, assist hold the gun dialog alive by contacting me at [email protected] along with your questions or solutions for future product critiques. Comply with me on Instagram @papwinkle to see my on-line posts and critiques on all issues precision rifle to make you a greater rifleman.





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