Handloading ammunition with other people’s hands

People handload ammo for two reasons, cost and performance. After loading a bunch of 38Spl and 45ACP, I gave up on that as the cost of my time was more than the savings. I don’t actually enjoy the process itself. That leaves the other reason and I can definitely see the point to it. Once you know that your rifle shoots best with a specific combination of case, primer, powder, bullet and overall length, it makes sense to stick with what works. If you are lucky, that load is offered commercially. If you are not lucky, then logistics of ensuring a supply of handloads becomes a hassle. For example, the 11-pound airline limit isn’t all that much rifle ammunition for a 3-gun shoot. Few people can bring their reloading rooms along on extended trips.

That brings me to an interesting business model: Setpoint. They basically handload ammo to your specifications. For now, they do only 308WIN but plan on offering other calibers also. In a way, ordering custom ammo is like ordering steak done just the way you like it — and at much the same cost ($30 to $35 per order). Considering how long it would take to build twenty match rounds, it seems worth the time savings. Setpoint offered me a sample for the cost of shipping it and I jumped at the opportunity.

The load data is helpfully printed right on the ammo box. Being new to handloading rifle ammunition, I selected Barnes TTSX bullet and left all other settings at the recommended defaults. My most likely use for these cartridges is eventual deer hunting and controlled expansion of .270 bullets I’ve got from Barnes looked really good.

Since my only .308 right now is the Keltec RFB, I will probably fire it in that. Might have a chance to try it in the upcoming Anderson .308 if that gets here soon enough.

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13 Responses to Handloading ammunition with other people’s hands

  1. camtec says:

    When loading 9mm, you won’t save much, but I can load .270 ammunition for a whole lot less than 30-35dollars/ 20 shots and it is definately custom ammunition.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      I agree, but you enjoy the process and you have the time. For many, the cost of their time is substantial and it makes sense to buy the ammo once the load has been developed.

    • Ben says:

      Your not doing the math on that particular load though. TTSX bullets in a Lapua case are going to cost you nearly 30$ if you load it yourself. Thats actually an amazingly good price for a load like that. Look up Lapua brass (72$/100 onsale), and 150gr TTSX (65$/100). Thats a seriously expensive load, we are not talking range pickup brass and 147gr military pulls here. sure it will get cheaper when you start reusing that lapua brass (which will last nearly forever in a bolt gun) but at 30$ that load is darn near cost. I’m surprised they did it that cheaply.

  2. I find handloading relaxing. Loading .45 acp saves about 50%. Loading rifle ammo is usually cheaper then factory, but can actually be more expensive than mil-surp.

    Setpoint has an interesting model. For premium hunting ammo their price seems to be pretty good. For hi-power I think most folks will continue to roll their own.

  3. Jeff says:

    I load 9mm for $11/100 and load about 400 rounds / hour. I don’t particularly enjoy loading, but I enjoy cutting my ammo cost in half with a few hours a month effort.

  4. Nathaniel says:

    How have you liked your RFB? Kel-Tec’s QC has been spotty before, in my experience, and I was wondering what sort of extra attention you get, if any, for $1800.

  5. seeker_two says:

    Reloading commercially-available ammo can be a pain, but reloading proves its worth when you’ve got a rifle that has limited commercial options. Try finding reduced-recoil loads for the .303British or 7.62x54R at your local Wally-World….

  6. Vlad says:

    @seeker – if you want reduced recoil 7.62x54R switch to semi-auto. The PSL has less that 1/2 felt recoil of shooting the same ammo in a mosin 91/30. As for price, getting old corrosive stuff from ammoman.com it ends up being very very cheap.

    Also consider recoil absorber or shooting in your motorcycle jacket.

  7. Pingback: Keltec RFB at the range | VolkStudio Blog

  8. RegT says:

    I wonder if Setpoint gave Oleg a better than usual deal, as professional courtesy, perhaps? That is an excellent price considering the components used, let alone for custom handloading.

    That being said, there may come a time when it is no longer possible to purchase ammo. It is a goodness thing to be able to roll your own – and have the components on hand to do so. Although I suppose some folks will simply buy enough to cover pretty much any eventuality. Or possibly acquire what they need from the fallen.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      The ammo came through a friendly ad agency — I paid $10 for the shipping. I don’t hunt or shoot for blood, so the high-performance ammo is too much for me…so Jim Gilliland (the famous sniper) shot it up today in the course of testing the RFB and this ammunition. It ran flawlessly in an autoloader.

      • RegT says:

        Thank you, Oleg. That is good to know. Did Sgt. Gilliland make any comments as to its inherent accuracy in that platform?

        • Oleg Volk says:

          We got 1.5MOA with 4x scope, he thinks 1MOA would be more likely with a 20x. Mike Meador got 0.8MOA with Federal Gold Match.

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