Frequently Asked Questions

Warning

You must be 18 years of age or older to purchase rifle ammunition. All ammunition must be shipped via UPS Ground. Each state may have individual restrictions for shipment of small arms ammunition. Check your state and local laws for any other applicable firearms and ammunition regulations. Always make sure you use the correct ammunition for your firearms and practice firearm safety at all times.

Your credit card will be charged when you checkout from the website store. If you requested a custom load or load development, your credit card will be charged when you accept and pay the invoice you receive by email.

No, ammunition must be shipped ground. There are no exceptions.

No, we do not ship outside the 48 contiguous United States. Ammunition cannot be shipped to Alaska and Hawaii. However, we are willing to work with an exporter if needed. Try www.weexportguns.com

Ammunition must be shipped as Hazardous materials shipping class ORM-D and packaged separately from other products. The packaging must be stronger than your standard box, with little movement allowed from inside the package. We do our best to package your ammunition securely so that it arrives in the best condition possible. 

Start here: https://lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/state-law/50-state-summaries/ammunition-regulation-state-by-state/  There are several great resources for this kind of information that can be found with a simple Google search. It is the purchasers and/or receiver’s responsibility to ensure they can receive the products that are ordered. If you live in CA, DE, IL, NY, or OH you will have additional restrictions, please be cautious.

There are no refunds, returns, or exchanges allowed for loaded ammunition once it leaves our facility for legal and liability reasons. We do offer returns for 30 days on products not related to firearms or ammunition. Please email customerservice@alphaunknown.com before attempting to return any products for authorization.

The best way is to fill out the “Hand Loading Request Form” and we will get back to you with a quote and time frame as quickly as possible.

Yes, we will reload brass if you purchased the original ammunition from us after we have inspected it carefully and taken measurements to ensure it will be safe to fire again. We can make exceptions to reload your own brass with prior approval, call us. If your brass is deemed unworthy or unsafe for reloading, we will ship it back to you at your expense or recycle it as needed. Please use good judgment before considering your brass for reloading.

Load development starts with assessing your goals with the rifle. Then we measure your rifle’s freebore which allows us to begin customizing and testing different bullets, powder, brass, and seating depths to determine exactly what your rifle likes the best. We will present all of the data collected in easy to read format with graphs nicely printed in a folder and returned to you with your rifle and new customized ammunition. Contact us if you have any further questions or to find out what we can do for you.

Please make sure you have received an estimate, approved, and paid the invoice prior to shipping us your rifle. Please include a copy of your paid invoice in the box, and write weapon make/model/serial number on it to avoid any confusion.

Please see the shipper’s website for details: UPS ground is our preferred method: https://www.ups.com/us/en/help-center/packaging-and-supplies/special-care-shipments/firearms.page FedEx ground can be used as well as USPS. We prefer to return your rifle in the same package it was received in so please choose a quality box and pack it well. If the rifle is received in poor packaging you will incur an additional charge for a new box.

COAL stands for Cartridge Overall Length and is the measurement from the base of the cartridge to the tip of the bullet. CBTO stands for Cartridge Base to Ogive and is the measurement from the base of the cartridge to the bullet’s Ogive. The Ogive is the point at which the bearing surface of the bullet departs and begins to taper towards the point. Please read the article here for an awesome explanation.

Alpha Unknown loads our ammunition by measuring from the cartridge base to the bullets Ogive and not the bullet’s tip. This is because any box of bullets, even the best, will have some variance in overall length due to tip deformity and the way bullets are made. The bullet’s ogive however is always in the same spot and is also the part of the bullet that engages the lands first when the ammunition is fired. Therefore, it is the more important measurement to remain consistent. If you have a bullet comparator, housing, and digital caliper you can measure your box of ammunition to the bullet’s ogive and you will find that all rounds are within +/- .002″ of each other.

We recommend reducing any existing charge weights by 10% and re-developing your specific load when replacing any component in a load recipe with a new component (brass, projectile, primer, or powder type).  Failure to reduce charge weights established using other manufacturers brass may result in higher pressures and velocities while using ADG brass and may result in unsafe pressure levels. Proceed with caution and always practice safe hand loading techniques.

Berger has an awesome twist rate stability calculator found here. Use the advertised muzzle velocity we publish on each ammunition page description and look for an SG of 1.5 or higher from the calculator.

Barrel length, twist, type, rifling, metallurgy, and how many rounds have been down a barrel can all affect velocity causing it to be slower or faster from one rifle to the next. We do our best to advertise barrel length and twist from our test rifles and we advertise accurate data collected through our extensive testing process. If your velocity is more than 10% different from advertised, please contact us to discuss. Thank you!

Freebore is the portion of the rifle’s throat that provides clearance for the loaded bullet before touching the start of the rifling. The freebore length is so important because it determines the distance the bullet will jump before engaging the rifling. This distance will be used to seat the bullet into the cartridge a specific depth to control how far it jumps. Each rifle and each bullet normally prefers a certain jump to achieve its greatest accuracy.

You need to acquire some specialty tooling to measure your rifle’s freebore properly. You will need an OAL gauge made by Hornady, a comparator housing and specific bullet comparator for your caliber, and a digital caliper. You will also need a case that has been modified to screw onto the OAL gauge to work properly. If you don’t want to fuss with all that, send us your rifle and we can do it for you!

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