‘HANDLOADING’…Building confidence in your newly acquired skill set…

I was going through some old targets…

When I found this old target where I was comparing my handloads to some factory ammunition I had on hand in 2014. This target was the result of a month’s worth of work having gone around in circles trying to figure the dynamics of barrel vibrations/harmonics and trying to manipulate them to my advantage.

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A gun store owner had advised me that I needed to give him my 700 VS so he could bed the action; that, or get an aftermarket stock that is made properly…said that I’d never get a factory rifle to shoot well.  I told him that I’ve seen YouTube videos that have . . . and that was as far as I got before he interrupted me saying, “Oh…YouTube! That’s a bunch of…you’ll never get anywhere on that thing!” (My-my, how YTubes content creators have strived for excellence!) He started again on how he needed to bed the stock and I ought just buy some factory match ammo if I wanted to shoot small groups. Well, I didn’t bite on that line…I became even more determined to succeed.

I had been a serious reloader since ’74 or so but had never really understood the ‘dynamics’ of our art form, never ‘dug’ into all the information out there. That started me looking to educate myself…buying book after book, continuing to watch videos etc., joining CastBoolits and learning even more there. Here’s three of my earliest videos that helped me, the David Tubb video really got me inspired…it broadened my understanding and helped me to ‘know’ what I should be looking for to dig in deeper.

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At some point along the way I discovered…


This was the one discovery that opened the clouds and revealed the blue sky above! I can’t say enough nice things about this personable personality…God fearing man, knowledgeable…is a YouTube Content Creator…I could go on and on. His Sniper 101 video series…

…is the best ‘single source’ of complete information I have ever seen, bar none! In this series, and I watched every one at least once, and some several times, I learned all about ‘barrel harmonics’, and that got me running in the right direction.

About that target pictured earlier…After leaving that gun shop feeling ‘un-encouraged’ to succeed, and then my exhaustive searching on the journey to succeed, I wanted something I could show that guy that I ‘could’ load better than I could buy. I wanted to rub his nose in it real good…I never did though; kinda glad I didn’t. The journey taught me to look into everything a little deeper. That doesn’t mean that I had to buy competition rifle dies, get a new press and all that. It taught me to do little things, like adjusting the size die properly, to lube the inside of the case necks, polish the expander ball, turn the case 180* and give it a second sizing to help with case neck concentricity. I have learned a hundred ‘little things’ from handloaders just like you fellas here on ‘The Reloaders Network’…don’t ever think that you have to find a handloader with a half-century of experience to get reliable information. No, a fella can spin his wheels for a long time until he learns to broaden his education about a particular subject…that’s key in my way of reasoning.

This journey taught me a lot of things, yet I continue to learn, but being educated and being skilled, and understanding the tasks you perform while handloading are two different critters. It’s all about trying new concepts…all about changing what you do ‘one thing at a time’, it’s about exhaustive testing and making notes, about determining what does and doesn’t make a difference. Don’t fall for the old line that you need to upgrade this or that to the newest newfangled device; that’s not always the answer. Sometimes yes, but not always the case. It’s about using your load work-up time efficiently, making your ammo as best as you are able and…sending each round down range like it was the last round you’ll ever get to shoot. That is what you do, and the result is…”Building confidence in your newly acquired skill set’.

“Take it easy out there Boys, be careful…don’t hurt yourselves!”

c h a r l i e

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