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Thread: Just Getting Started - Need basic advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Palmer, AK

    Default Just Getting Started - Need basic advice

    Hi there. I just purchased a Tikka 300 WSM, and I want to get right into reloading. My Father-I-L has a Dillon reloading press, the kind with three or four stations. I think I know what I need to get started, but would appreciate input.

    Dies - Redding makes a Full-length die set (2 dies/$55) and a deluxe set (3 dies/$88). How would one perform differently than the other?

    Brass - Since I haven't purchased any factory loads of any quantity yet, I figure I'd purchase a bulk load. I've seen brass for this round made by Remington, Winchester, and Norma. I imagine other brands exist. In this area does price=quality? How cheap should I go?

    Bullets - Wow, there are a LOT of choices. I think I know the size I want (150 gr for a sheep hunt in Aug, 200 gr for moose) but which kind is best? Or, which bullets are acceptable, and which really should be avoided.

    Powder - I have no clue, except what I've read. Again, I assume there are several decent to excellent products, and some to be avoided.

    Ballistics/technical info - The FIL mentioned above has a small library of loading books with different load formulas. However, the 300 WSM seems to be a relatively new chambering, and it's not found in a lot of the literature. I assume its different enough from the 300 winmag that those formulas aren't usable.

    Practice vs performance loads - I believe I already know the answer to this question, but is it okay to have a "practice" round (perhaps less expensive) and a hunting round? (The answer is ... No, but I'm just asking for the heckovit.)

    Jim Creek - Home of the burning car hook cast!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005



    Well, I like to think you came to the right place. Lots of 'sperience on this forum. I have loaded the 300 WSM quite a bit and hunted with it a little.

    First, I think the only Dillon loader that can be used for rifle is the 550, but there may be other models now. I suppose the FinL will know already if he loads rifle.

    Dies yes, Redding. Yes, three die set because the neck die will get the most use. And I can beat the price on those by quite a bit. The neck die sizes only the neck and will set the shoulder back as adjusted to obtain the exact headspace dimension of your rifle without over sizing the base of the case.

    Brass. The Norma is top notch and a 100 case is suggested for best price. The Winchester WSM cases are very good and I've used them for wildcats and necked them up all the way to .423", they are tough and durable. Also a little cheaper than Norma. The design of the case minimizes case stretching also.

    Bullets. Geez there is only about a million for the 30 calibers. I would suggest one of the 150-165 grainers in the Scirocco or Accubond for sheep and a 180 or 200 grain A-frame for moose. Sheep aren't so big and tough but must be hit well or they will get over the edge. You really can't stop a moose with a small caliber, you can kill 'em but he'll tip over when he's ready. I bigger bullet helps.

    Powder. RL-19, H4350, IMR-4831, N-160, basically anything used in the 30-06, just a little more.

    Load recipes. I have about 85 different loads with various bullet weights, when you decide on bullets then we select a powder to give it the best performance.

    Primers. CCI-200 or Fed-210. It really doesn't need magnum primers but you could use them if you start out your loads with them. Yes it is quite different from the 300 Win/WBY mags. Less case capacity means less powder and a little faster burn rate.

    Practice. Very definately and you can load up with the cheap plain jane bullets of the same weight that you use for a hunting load. Such as 180 A-frames for the hunt and 180 grain Interlock or Sierra pro hunter spitzers for practice. Premium bullets are very expensive so it's hard to just send them in the dirt bank. You will of course need to zero and rezero for the hunt with the hunting bullet.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Anchorage,AK/ Omaha,NE

    Default I second what Murphy said.............

    Cant get any better than he said.The 300WSM I think has become the "new" 30-06 meaning it has started to take over as the "one gun" that everyone needs (or thinks they need).It has become immensely popular and there are tons of info all over the internet,as well as some websites dedicated to it.

    I think you made a good choice,I too have loaded and hunted with them.In fact the moose I took 2 years ago was with a Tikka T3 300WSM,shooting handloaded 180gr Nosler Partitions and it took the moose down with AUTHORITY!!!!!

    Good luck and keep us informed-Tim

  4. #4


    Looks like you have a mentor. Congratulations, you just hit the jackpot.


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