Elements of Accuracy Three: Hand Loads

AccuracyA full understanding of hand loading for accuracy takes volumes of documents and books. We are after the reasons that hand loading will improve accuracy. Quite simply, hand loading improves precision in these ways:

  • Bullets
  • Powder
  • Testing for gun “preferences”

These are the basic factors in improving accuracy while loading. There is far more advanced loading theory however it all comes down to controlling the minute factors which are variable in factory ammunition. Exact powder measurements and quality bullets are usually enough to improve accuracy. Testing several powders and bullets allows shooters to “work up a load” that shoots “the best” in their gun. The bullet manufacturing industry has “reloading manuals” designed to walk you through the process from a-z as well as give you tons of reliable charts on performance in everything from muzzle velocity to downrange energy.

Reloading manuals are even a good place to go to get started with caliber selection. Just make sure you factor in which calibers are commercially viable as well as which ones look good or interesting in the charts. It’s easy for a gadget person to fall in love with a caliber and spend thousands of dollars on a gun that is essentially unsellable if you want to move on to something else.

Basic hand loading equipment is going to run several hundred dollars unless you can find used equipment in perfect shape. Precise ammunition will improve the accuracy of any gun. The place where precise ammunition really shines is in custom barrels with precision triggers. The accuracy game comes down to controlling ALL the factors.

For a step by step introduction for starting to hand load see the Live Outdoor article How To Hand Load Rifle Bullets.