There are many reasons for reloading also known as hand loading your own ammunition, cost savings, better reliability, and increased accuracy along with a host of other reasons. There are also many resources that describe in detail, what it takes to become a reloader known as reloading manuals. Reloading should never be done without a reputable reloading manual on your reloading bench. I have collected a number of reloading manuals in my 17 years of reloading. The stable of manuals I have come to rely on over the years are from Lyman, Speer and Hornady. There are also a number of online internet sites but one of the biggest safety rules to reloading is to never use someone else’s data without first verifying with a manual it is safe. You should then use the manual data start out at the minimal load and work your way up to see what your firearm prefers. A load that works in your buddies 1911 may not shoot so well in yours. This is the reason I started reloading 17 years ago. The constant hunt of finding the perfect load that performs best in your specific firearm for a specific application is an excitement, which is hard to describe to an inexperienced reloader. The excitement of finding the right load is unexplainable and at times can be a long winding frustrating road to get there.
Being a fanatic of the 45ACP and curious about the cult like following of the CZ platform I purchased a 99% CZ97 B at a price I just could not refuse. Original box, papers, both original magazines for under $400 dollars including tax a few years back.
I always test newly acquired firearms with factory ammo before developing my own specialized handload. I tried a number of factory loads Winchester White Box, Federal and much to my surprise I was very disappointed and started to feel; my CZ purchase was a bad purchase. A friend of mine then recommended Fiocchi and says it shoots great in his CZ75. At this point, I really did not want to spend any more money on factory ammo. Having found a good price on a box of Fiocchi 230gr hardball, I decided I would give the CZ97 one last try. The Fiocchi brand printed nice for defensive style shooting and started to resurrect my confidence in this platform. Having read many forums and articles about the accuracy and reliability of the CZ line of pistols, I decided I would hit the reloading bench and work up a load to try and achieve the best accuracy possible. The ammunition reseller at the gun show I purchased the Fiocchi ammo from recommended I try 185gr Hollow Base round nose. He stated with the hollow base some say upon ignition would cause the base of the projectile to expand and engage the rifling better. Having 100% reliability thus far with 230gr Hard ball as well as Jacketed Hollow Point I figured I would give this Berry’s brand a try.
I started with a variety of previous loaded brass and W231 smokeless powder and Wolf Large Pistol Primers.
5 Rounds with 4.8gr of W231 Very soft load
5 Rounds with 5.2gr of W231 Soft load poor accuracy
10 Rounds with 5.4gr of W231 Medium load better accuracy
20 Rounds with 5.6gr of W231 Feels the same as factory but greater accuracy
I proceeded to load 200 rounds of ammunition with my final recipe for my next range trip. Upon arriving at the range, I setup my target with 3 blank Caldwell High Visibility targets for each range I planned on testing 7yards, 15yards and 25yards.
I shot 10 rounds at each distance with a two-hand hold from a weaver stance. Starting with the top target at 7 yards, the middle target at 15 yards and the bottom target at 25 yards.
I was very pleased with the outcome of each target but was especially satisfied with the outcome at 25 yards. This is probably the best I have ever shot at 25 yards.
Reloading can be a peaceful and very rewarding activity. Remember safety is paramount and must be adhered to. Also remember this is a load tailored to my CZ97B, based on the results I was able to achieve my shooting partner wanted to try a magazine in his Wilson 1911. Out of 8 rounds there were two which failed to feed it was obvious these loads were to light for Wilson 1911.