30. April 2012 12:35
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If "money is the mother's milk of politics" then certainly ammo is the mother's milk of competition. While Jesse Unruh's famous quote isn't an exact fit for the shooting sports, there's no denying that without ammo there wouldn't be much in the way of actual shooting in the sports.
When it comes to ammunition for competition there are two routes shooters can take. One is buy factory loaded ammunition and the other is to reload. It's difficult to say without a broader-based survey how many IDPA members reload, but the survey results from the 2011 IDPA World Shoot (found on pages 26-33 in Vol. 15, Issue 4 of the Tactical Journal) give you a good idea of the possible trend among the sport's most active shooters where 53% handloaded and 47% opted for factory loads.
Though the survey didn't go into the various brands of factory ammunition shooters used at the World Shoot, it does shed light on the reloading habits of the competitors. When it comes to reloading, it's probably no surprise that Dillon Precision leads the pack with an overwhelming 88% of the shooters using one (or more) of their reloading presses. Hornady and RCBS trail with each accounting for 4% followed by Lee Precision with 3%.
Three brands make up 81% of powder used by those reloading at the World Shoot. Hodgdon brand powders led with nearly half of all reloaders (48%) choosing one of their powders. Vihtavuori powders account for 19% followed by Winchester powders with 14%. Accurate and Alliant powders accounted for another 8% each.
Similar to IDPA shooters' preference in powder brands, three brands of primers make up 95% of the primers used by competitors at the 2011 IDPA World Shoot. The top primer brand among the competitors reloading was Federal Premium with 42%. CCI primers were the primer of choice for 28% of competitors, followed by Winchester brand primers with 25%.
The component categories of brass and bullets saw the widest divergence of preference among competitors. No single brand of brass dominated the survey with 53% of all the competitors reloading reporting that they used a mixed variety of brass. Of those dedicated to a single brand of brass, Starline led with 14% followed closely by Winchester with 12%. Fiocchi was the only other brand with a significant percentage (7%) of the shooters. Ten other manufacturers account for the remaining 14% in the survey.
And finally....bullets. Survey respondents noted 44 different brands of bullets used in reloading, the largest selection of any category - even holsters - in the survey. Only two brands could claim a significant share of the reloading market at the World Shoot. One quarter of the shooters reloading (26%) went with Montana Gold Bullet as their bullet of choice. Berry's Manufacturing was the other major player in bullets with 17%. The remaining brands each pulled less than 10% of the shooters. Precision Bullets (8%), Precision Delta (6%), Zero Bullet Co. (5%), Rainier Ballistics (4%), and Bayou Bullets, Black Bullets Intl. and Hornady each with 3%.