Welcome to Northwest Action Works! Makers of custom rifles, barreled actions, and components for long range hunting and long range tactical shooting.
Load Development (Part 1 - Components)
September 19, 2015
We get a lot of questions from our customers about the various methods and equipment we use when developing a load for our custom rifles and barreled actions. So we thought it was time to put together a series of quick articles that we hope will help you get started down the road to ragged holes!
The first topic we'll cover is components. In our opinion, your loads will only be as good as the individual parts they are made of. If you cheap out on brass, bullets, powder, and primers...you can expect your loads to perform as well as you would cheap factory ammunition. Here are our picks for the best components to make your hand-loads with:
Bullets - We are a big fan of Berger Bullets. Extremely consistent (essential for accuracy), with high BC's for long range shooting, and devastating terminal results on game. There are a lot of great bullets out there, and everyone has their favorite, but we will start with Berger every time!
Brass - Lapua (of course) is at the top of the list. Then Norma, Nosler, and some of cases from Hornady (6.5 Creedmoor is outstanding!). When the higher end stuff isn't available, the good thing with cheaper brass is that you can put more time into your brass prep and get solid results. We'll cover brass prep in a later article.
Primers - Match grade primers from Federal and CCI have always worked great for us. Consistent ignition from one shot to the next is worth the extra couple cents per round!
Powder - We use Hodgdon "Extreme" powders more than any other. It has proven to be very stable and has less temperature sensitivity than many of the comparable powders. We do work with the some Alliant Reloder and IMR powders as well, if they are the optimal burn rate for a given bullet/cartridge combination.
There are a LOT of ways to go about reloading, and the number of combinations between the various components is nearly endless. But if you're looking for accuracy, the name of the game is consistency. As this series progresses, the common theme will be striving for consistency at every level of the process, as accuracy is nothing more than consistency from one shot to the next. It all starts with the components themselves!
If you have any questions on any of the above or would like an opinion on any specific load, feel free to shoot us an email or give us a call. We'll be back next week with Part 2 - Equipment. Thanks for reading!