Skip to main content

Reloading For Hunting

For those of us who enjoy harvesting our own game, the right load is paramount to the hunt being both successful and gratifying, which is why I like to do my own reloading. I know when I take that shot, whether it’s hunting birds or large game, I can rely on the ammunition to perform.

I’m not against factory loads, but I do know that factory loads can and will malfunction. It’s happened to me more than once on the trap and skeet range. I don’t mind that clay target getting away, because I know I’ll get a do-over with an ammo malfunction, but when I’ve been hunting all day and I’m ready to take the shot and the ammunition doesn’t work, I get slightly annoyed. Okay, in all honesty, I get VERY annoyed. Which is why I recommend wholeheartedly you should reload for hunting. But, there’s more to it than just knowing your ammunition will work. There’s a few other reasons as well.

First, you’ll have a much more accurate round with reloading than with a factory load. It’s a proven load that you’ve developed and tested. If you’re hunting with a rifle, the accuracy of the load is subject to a number of different components; powder type and charge, bullet type, brass and seating depth. You can take the time to develop a load that’s customized to the rifle you’ll be using and that can make all the difference between a good shot or a bad one.

A couple of tips on developing your own loads. Keep a log of every recipe tried. When you find that perfect load, you don’t want to lose it. I know a number of champion Benchrest shooters who do their own reloading and they keep records of every load they’ve ever developed. Even the ones that didn’t work, so they know not to try that again.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different loads. Don’t stop with just one proven load. Once you get the hang of the process and the equipment, try some small changes in the bullet weight or powder charge. Try different primers and brass. Be sure to test those rounds at the range first before taking them out to the field. If it’s shotshells for bird hunting, you can experiment trying different velocities and felt recoil.

Another advantage in reloading for hunting is more trigger time. I see more hunters out at the range right before the season opens sighting in a gun they haven’t used since the previous year and then wonder why they’re not hitting anything. You may not be a competition shooter, but you still need to practice shooting, especially with a gun you don’t use very often and in an environment you’re not used to. Being in the field with changing weather on unknown terrain is a lot more challenging than standing on your home range on a sunny day.

Finally and for some of us, this is the most important: cost. You can test different loads finding the best one for you without having to buy ammunition you discover isn’t going to work for you. There’s a component calculator on the MEC Outdoors website here  that compares the cost of reloading to purchasing factory loads. You’ll be surprised to see how much money you’ll save by reloading.

But, it’s just not the cost. When you reload your own ammunition, you get a better understanding of how the ammunition works and how your gun performs while using that ammunition. And when you do harvest an animal with a load you developed, there’s a sense a pride and accomplishment you’ll feel knowing it was all you. So, start reloading and enjoy the hunt!

by Shari LeGate


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Meet MEC Outdoors New Sponsored Shooter

Hi! I’m Makayla Scott from White Sulphur Springs, WV. I am 16 years old, and I’m an avid sportswoman, clay shooter, and journalist. I am MEC Outdoors newest sponsored shooter! I’m so proud and excited to be a part of this awesome team!  I started shooting shotgun at 12 with my older brother. At the time, I was quiet and introverted, and I had no expectations as to where shooting sports would lead me in the future. Now, not only am I a brave, new person- I have a job writing for Womens Outdoor News, and I am a sponsored shooter for both amazing companies of CZ-USA and MEC Outdoors! I’m really looking forward to the future with MEC! Ever since I was 12, I have been helping my dad set machines for tournaments in exchange for practice rounds, and I worked with many other brands of machines. My first experience with MEC Machines was at my 4-H club when we bought two 300E Sporter machines, and I was amazed at their reliability and dependability. The machines were easy to adju

You Can Only Find What You Are Looking For

This month Blog post is written by sponsored shooter, Dalton Kirchhoefer. Dalton and his dad, Tony practicing at his home club, Quail Run Sports.   You Can Only Find What You Are Looking For My father has always told me, “You can only find what you are looking for in life, as well as competition”. I’m not sure I grasp the entire meaning but the light is beginning to shine a little brighter at the beginning of the shooting season. Regardless of the shooter’s skill, overcoming the feeling you have after missing a target you know you can hit or one you have hit 25 out of 25 in practice, is probably the greatest challenge a competitor faces during competition. The most important target in a tournament is the one following a miss. Will you be able to wipe the image of the miss from your mind, replacing it with a good picture of you smashing the next target? Or will you choose to play backwards rather than forward and carry the miss with you to the next station? Personally,

Q & A: 20 Questions with Morgan Craft

Morgan Craft has been a sponsored shooter with MEC Outdoors for several years now. She is a part of a small group of athletes in the shooting industry from around the country, that has proudly partnered with MEC Outdoors.  Growing up in Muncy Valley, Pennsylvania, Morgan engaged herself in hunting trips with her family for deer, turkey, and squirrels. Through a local 4H program she began shooting shotguns before transitioning as an international competitor in skeet shooting. This young athlete, with 12 yea rs of skeet shooting experience, decided this was the sport for her right from the start, while growing up in a shooting sport enthusiastic family. She appreciates the sport’s community, opportunity to show team spirit while competing around the world, and the benefits it can offer a competitor at a variety of ages. The challenges you face, and the patience and consistency obtained are what Morgan encourages every new shooter on the line to be aware of while striving for success.