Feature: Ian Klemm from Team Vihtavuori


With his recent successes at the Nationals and now the SWN 2020, Ian Klemm is no newcomer to the scene of competitive shooting. In this post, he shares some of his passion for the sport. Enjoy!

Ian Klemm: Reload in a space where you can concentrate and be thoughtful

“I reload once every week. The best thing about reloading my own ammunition is that I never run out of different combinations to try in pursuit of the perfect load. Sometimes the session only includes 1 or 2 steps in the brass prep process applied to a bulk lot of 1000 cases at once, but that is the rate I need to maintain in order to produce the ammo I need for an average shooting season. I reload for hunting, formal competition, and recreational shooting. It’s a lot of cartridges; 6BR Norma, .260 Remington, 6.5x55SE, .284 Win, .30-30 Win, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag, .338 Lapua Magnum, .38 Special, .357 Magnum… just to name a few! If I could shoot only one caliber for the rest of my life, it would be the .308 Winchester. Because my main shooting discipline has me loading and shooting 3,000 rounds of .308 Winchester annually, I’ve gotten to know and love it. Suitable bullets and powders are plentiful and recoil is modest for shooters of all ages.

My number one tip for reloading is to reload in a space where you can concentrate and be thoughtful. Reloading isn’t one of those activities that should be multitasked. It is, however, a great activity if you enjoy the opportunity to remove yourself the various distractions around you, concentrate your focus on singular tasks, and allow yourself to pay as much attention to details of your pursuit as you can. Be intentional in your actions and take time to understand why you’re taking certain steps in the reloading process. Finally, perceive the effect that changing singular variables in your components and process has on your intended resulting ammunition.

My ultimate goal in shooting is to form a few live-long friendships. The personal mastering of a specific skillset is a worthwhile goal, but it’s much more meaningful if you can share that pursuit with one or more like-minded people. You can gain a deeper understanding through shared failures and successes but the real win is the resulting friendship that extends past the shared interest.

My favorite Vihtavuori load for the .308 Winchester is 45.5 grains of N140 powder with the Lapua 155 grain Scenar bullet. Vihtavuori lists this combination as one of their identified “accuracy loads” and it’s no wonder. Out of hundreds of combinations tried to date, it is THE most precise shooting .308 load I have ever tested. For this reason, it’s my go-to load for most of my training. The superior accuracy and modest recoil of this load means the cause and effect information I get while training to read the wind’s effects on the bullet is the highest quality possible. This translates to more effective training, a higher degree of development for wind-reading, and better results during competition.”