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What's Your Take on Reloading?

54 posts in this topic

Hey group! Looking for a little info from you regarding reloading ammunition.

Where would you place yourself:


1. "What's reloading?"


2. "Considered it, but not sure where to start"


3. "Yup, reload all the time"


Thanks for your input!



Pslam 34:4

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Considered it, but not sure where to start. Not sure if I really want too. My grandfather use to all the time but since he no longer hunts he does not anymore. I suppose I could ask him if I had any serious questions.

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I'm between 2 and 3. I've done some of it, want to do more. Mostly my black powder rifles but I have the stuff for my pistols, just haven't made the time to do so.

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I'm a solid #2. First I need to figure out what I would need, how much it would cost, how much space and how the space needs to be set up, storage, safety etc. to figure out if it would be a good move... then I could start to figure out the details of how to actually do it (if I decided to start at all based on finding out the previously mentioned information). Seems a bit formidable to me right now and I'm assuming it would require a high cost, start-up commitment. I could be way off though since I have not ever seriously considered it up to this point. I would enjoy being able to do it though. It seems like a great capability to have.

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I'm at a heavy 2. the question to me is, can i make money from it? I've got the right legal creditials for it. for selling i'm concerned is will it sell vs. selling manufacturer's loaded bullets?

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Probably no surprise here, but I'm a solid number 3. I reload for multiple calibers and a gauge, and I don't buy ammo unless I calculate the cost and it's cheaper than the cost of reloading plus the cost of my time. I never buy ammo for competitions, unless the rules state that I must shoot a certain load. I do buy factory ammo for self defense loads, mostly out of habit now. I have multiple presses and a mess of a room filled with reloading tools and bags and bins of brass. One year for Christmas, my wife gave me a box of 1,000 once fired 20 gauge Winchester AA hulls. It's sort of reached a problem stage.

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I'm a #2.


Though I have thought about it many times, for as much as my wife and I actually get a chance to go to the range anymore, I am not certain it would really be economical at this point. If I were a competition shooter or going through 200 rounds a month then maybe I would, but as it stands we are lucky enough to have the time to put 200 rounds down range every three months.

Edited by CCSir

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I'm a solid #2 sqirming towards #3. My father used to reload wen I was a child, so I have many hours behind a press. But 95% of it was shotgun shells. I would really like to get into reloading 9mm and 5.56. A few years ago, I bought a press from a friend that was upgrading. I tried asking questions, but I got answers that I didn't want... The expert at the local gun/reloading store is obviously a match shooter. The first thing he wants to sell me are dies (of course) and a bunch of stuff that I will not need. Batch boxes, books of reloading data, range cards for documenting data, another $80 book of reloading data, etc.


I understand the need for all of this for some, but I own no match rifles, and have little interest in owning one. I want to reproduce ONE 9mm reload and ONE 5.56 reload. All I need is the recipe and the materials. He wont help me with that. And keeps trying to convince me that I WILL experament and WILL need all of this stuff. All I want to know is that I need X grains of Y propellant with Z bullet to reproduce brand W bullet. Then I will reproduce them by the thousands. I fully understand the want/need for some to expirament, but it does nothing for my needs. I just want bulk "range fodder"


I figure that I need:

Press (already have)


Case Trimmer

Case Tumbler


Powder measure

materials (cases, powder, primers, bullets)

and the ever elusive secret recipe


Am I wrong here?


Sorry for the semi-rant, but it has been very frustrating for me...

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You're on the right track, and much of the reloading data you need can be found on the internet for free from the powder manufacturers website. Post a new thread on what you want to do (caliber, bullet, etc) and we can help you going in the right direction.

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Like many I was weary to start reloading, thinking I didn't have time to learn nor money to do so. After finally taking plung, am disappointed that I waited so long. I am not tryin to pass off myself as an expert reloader, but I can tell you 2 things I learned right off the bat...1 its not as hard as some think (not super easy) 2 it doesn't have to be $$$$ (lee loader..bug out bag must)....P.S. put some reloading stuff in med. sized fishing tackle box, makes great at range reloading kit/bug out reloading kit.

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Yes, you are right. Not difficult and something that should be considered. Readers of this site, being interested in survival and prepping, would benefit from the basic, small reloading kit like the Lee Loader as you mentioned. Here's a link to their site;

Yep sorry also should mention Lee loaders are mainly intended for bolt action or single shot rifles. Utube has alot of good vids. But no subsstitute for good manual (ABC's of reloading great start as well as great read for history and science buffs).

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I guess I'd be a mix of 2 and 3. I don't personally reload right now because I don't own the needed equipment the moment. I don't have to buy it either my family just has to divide up the reloading stuff as well as the guns that belonged to my dad and then we will all have the stuff. I am looking into getting a Lee Loader but until then I don't.

Instead I have the ammunition fairy, my older brother, I shoot as much as I want and return the cases to my brother and he hands me back and equal or greater number or reloaded ammo. Its a pretty sweet deal for me and he really doesn't mind, he regularly tells me I need to shoot more.

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reloaded for many years custom stuff antique and other CRAP








my advice for any novice to buy LEE also look for package deals on lee's site

i have reloaded for 35 years and have used commercial and personal equipment

I have never had a lee die fail or break if used properly all of their products are well

engineered least expensive and last forever and are easy to use and case lube is water

soluble bullet molds and sizing dies are crazy easy to use bullet tumble lube is fantastic

the auto disk powder measure is so simple a monkey could use it mounts right on top of

the powder drop die the also make a military crimp die I cannot say enough I do not like

their progressive presses though but that is true of most progressive presses I have tried

many and they all have their glitches quirks when they work they are great when they get

out of sink or primers get stuck or load upside down or cases get hung and nothing

together primers run out before cases bullets upside down shell plates sticking jerking

slinging powder everywhere I have spent more time adjusting and cleaning at times than

loading and you still need these other tools to double check and prep cases so where is the value 400 bucks and you still need all the hand tools

I would rather load at a pace where I can make quality not mass mediocre product if you want to you can get a LEE turret press and turn it by hand and make 1 shell every turn and still have complete control and the ability

to check each case and powder level etc....


lee brand I frame press 30 bucks or a stronger O frame press about 60 bucks turret $90

a priming tool for it 12 dollars

if you want to use this to reload with this single stage press buy lee carbide dies lee is the

least expensive and as good as any no matter the cost and use for only pistol and short

action rounds large action cases really need a big press or at least an O frame press

a balance beam powder measure. electronics are for computers not reloading.

a case prep / chamfer tool a primer pocket tool a couple of dollars each

a primer flipper tray

1 or 2 loading trays / s 8 dollars

kinetic bullet puller looks like a hammer 20 bucks

a dial caliper gauge check midway frankford arsenal has a good one about 30 bucks

try not to get a battery operated one. thousands of an inch 6 inch long

IMHO the best reloading manual is LYMAN 22 dollars

now primers CCI is the best and most consistent get proper size and type stick with

standard primers ---magnum primers are not needed unless stated in the reloading manual

powder well there are a few lines of thought

1. powder that most fills the case so you are

less likely to double charge

2. buy the powder that will give you the most rounds to figure


7,000 grains to the pound if each round uses 7 grains = 1,000 rounds from 1 pound of


I just use UNIQUE reloads everything pistol, reduced power lead bullet rifle and shotgun.

or I use bullseye for pistol

BLC-2 for 30 cal rifle H335 for 22 cal center fire rifle



if using a volume style powder drop as lee auto disk powder measure but still check against balance beam scale then every 50 shells or so or plastic cups spherical powder meters consistently

stick powder is better measured each time on a scale but does not have to be

flake powder measures good in a volume powder drop also or cup

start with the lowest charge listed especially if you have less than name brand weapon

max loads are only for name brand weapons in good or better condition.

you must work up a load this means start at the bottom and work up in power

do not freestyle reload or mix powders Danger deadly use the reloading manual as it states



priming a case from a press is safer and better leverage and your doing one at a step at a


1. prepare cases

2. size cases

3. prime cases

4. put powder in cases place in tray after you have powered all look down into cases

check that all are same amount in case

5. seat bullet at proper depth

when your priming do not have powder open or near press its not needed at that time.

you don't have to hide it in another room just at the opposite end of the desk bench

only have 50 shells in process at a time a reloading tray does this nicely keep your area

clean and organized only have on your bench just what you need at the time.

before handling primers wash and dry hands if you have sweaty hands keep a hand towel

hand oil and sweat can kill primers causing a dud or squib [uNDERPOWERED REACTION}

if it does not sound stop shooting wait a minute unload gun check barrel for a stuck bullet

this is rare and if you are clean and organized it should never happen

this need never by keeping hands clean dry and work space clean

1 packet of primers 1 jug powder closed unless using it the bullets your going to load in this batch 3 clear plastic buckets one for sizing and depriming one for sized and primed shells

and one for completed rounds and a small primer flipper tray to keep primers at hand and

to cover and store if you have to stop

and you keep only a few primers out like a packet at a time less chance to have a problem.

a primer that gets sideways can pop in a hand priming tool you have 100 primers in a

plastic tray if one goes they all go I do not mean to scare anyone but a novice does not

need the crap scared out of them a single stage priming tool primes 1 primer at a time you can see its position and eye it through the process use eye protection by the way

so I do not advise novice reloaders to use hand priming tools.

buy hand loading die set everything is done by hand with a hard plastic mallet best with

strait wall pistol like 38-357 9mm 40 s&w 44spl or mag etc an example of a no straight wall case is a

bottle neck type like 357 sig or 7.62.25 they can be done but start and get familiar with

the easy straight wall ones first.


bolt rifles as rifle loading with a set of hand loading dies is really only neck sizing so if you

have 2 rifles of the same caliber keep

the brass separate as the body can be different enough that it may not chamber or ruin

your day out as your ammo may not fit you cant shoot but most times it will.

the die set comes with instructions a powder cup reloading data for that caliber a shell

holder de-primer die / sizer die and a bullet seating die etc. you ought to get a case lengthgauge and cutter can be done by hand or with a drill I will length trim all cases and every 3 times i reload a case depends on the power 30-30 I may never trim but i check length with the calipers anyway..


a very few pistols are not made to use lead bullets check your manual

a bit on bullet molds only use a double tumble lube bullet design unless a single special

purpose is needed use a coffee cup warmer to keep the mold warm if you take a break the bottom pour lead melter is best and holds enough to really get some work done

on bullets who's speed is more than 1000 fps use Linotype lead and do not over heat it

or use a bullet that accepts a gas check and attach it using the proper bullet sizer die

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I'm between two and three. I do have my own equipment and reload, primarily for 45 Colt. Just need to buy some bullets and will be reloading 9mm and 45. I have never done any rifle reloading though. If you are doing handgun reloading and just getting into I reccomend the Lee hand press. It is only 25 bucks and works great, plus its moblie.

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I am a #3.


I use a lot of the tools that Juzcallmesnake mentioned and they work wonderfully. Lee turret press is the way to go.


Mr. Smashy is also correct on getting powder information on their website. Two great books for reference are Lyman reloading handbook and Modern reloading by Richard Lee.


Once you get the hang of it reloading is almost relaxing. I reload 5.56 all the time and everytime I go to the range I probably come back with double the cassings I came in there with. Everyone shoots 5.56 so the cassings are all over the range. (More money saved)


It is a lot of information at first but just take your time and double / triple check yourself and you will be happy with your results.

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First post! #3. I personally love reloading. If you enjoy your firearms you can't go wrong with reloading. It allows me to shoot a far greater volume than anyone else I know. I am 23 and work in retail so I do not have tons of money, so it helps. Initial investment was about 800 for press and needed tools. Then spend a few hundred on supplies for that caliber and you're rolling. I have a dillon rl550b and started out with .45acp, I ended up shooting 8000 rounds my first year of loading. Now I load, 45, 357sig, 308, 9mm and 5.56(which I do not like loading). So refreshing to go out to the range with a gladbag of ammo and just shoot as much as you want. I highly recommend you RELOAD! In my first Lyman reloading handbook (which I will assume was printed at the latest date listed in 1995), it stated that over 4million people reload ammunition and produce more than all the major ammo manufacturers combined. I would say that is very substancial! -Cams

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Guess it would be something toward #3. I used to reload all the time but then I got transferred to the city where I can't shoot or hunt as much as I used to. May start reloading .223 to stock up for WTSHTF though!

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I look at spent brass lying on the ground as being worth at least a nickle apiece. So,over the years, I pick up my brass and ANY brass he other shooters don't want to keep. (learn to read the base of the cases, so you don't get stuck with a large number of Berdan primed cases-they are not reloadable.)

I had never re-loaded before and purchased a pistol caliber progressive press from a well known manufacturer. They were simply incredible to deal with especially with all of my (then) newbie questions.

Reloading allows me to be able to afford to go shooting whenever I want to. It also gives me "peace of mind" knowing I can upgrade what's in the ammo locker and keep it very well stocked up. (which is why two years ago, I decided to standardize calibers-makes reloading less expensive!)

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