There comes a time when reloading ammo is a much more practical option… When buying new bullets for your gun is out of the question, but buying reloading supplies is. We have an entire guide on How to Make and Use Reloaded Bullets, but first, you must understand reloading.
This is a free preview from our Unlimited Ammo Report, gain access to the entire book by joining the American Gun Association where you will also find an entire library of books on this subject. Click here to learn more.
Firearms Reloading Basics
What is Ammo Reloading?
Reloading is a bit like recycling. Using the empty cases of fired rounds, you refill your bullets to either the manufacturer’s specifications or your own special design for your gun. You start at the beginning and create a fresh bullet complete with new powder, primers, and bullets or shot. Though the tools are simple enough, proper reloading practices take time and patience. You must give it 100% of your attention, follow the instructions carefully, and check your work thoroughly to ensure safe reloading of the various types of ammunition for your firearms.
Pros and Cons of Reloading
There are many benefits to reloading your own ammo, including some that you may not expect. However, reloading is not for everyone. In the next few paragraphs, you’ll learn how to look at both the upsides and the downsides of reloading.
Benefits of Reloading
Reloading has financial, defense, and peace of mind benefits.
- The ability to stockpile ammunition
- Cost breaks on ammo, especially for avid shooters
- Customization options for greater shooting accuracy
- Freedom from government and manufacturer’s limits on ammunition buyer and shooting
- Peace of mind knowing you can keep yourself in bullets even if store shelves are bare
- Stress relief, as ammo making requires a focus that can take your mind off your daily life and turn reloading into a very relaxing project
- Personal satisfaction in your work creating high-quality homemade ammo
On top of this, as you learn more about the reloading process, you will find that you also learn about aspects of weaponry that you may not have otherwise considered. You will learn about head spacing, overall cartridge lengths, bullet and powder weights, measuring in grains, and the many different primer options.
Your accuracy and efficiency as a shooter can also improve. In learning to reload their weapons and all the information that goes along with it, many people have found they develop closer relationships with their guns which enabled them to become much better shooters.
In short, making the decision to reload provides you with more ammo to shoot. You save money by not paying the rising costs of factory ammunition and have a productive hobby to relieve stress. Reloading frees you from the confines of government rules and monitoring. Best of all, reloading your own ammunition provides you with an invaluable learning experience and gives you a great excuse to hit the range and try out your loads.
However, reloading is not entirely a bed of roses. While there are many, many advantages to reloading, there are a few disadvantages as well.
Drawbacks to Reloading
The biggest drawbacks for reloading include equipment costs, time constraints, and personal safety risks.
- High start up costs ($400 – $1000+) depending on your gun and tool choices
- Time constraints, since reloading requires hands-on work and focus to create quality bullets
- Safety concerns, since you are dealing with potentially explosive materials and must follow reloading guidelines precisely to stay out of the hospital
- Gun wear and tear, as poorly crafted reloads can damage your weapon
In addition, keep in mind that you should not use reloads as carry rounds. This is because the seals are not as water-tight as original factory rounds and may not work as well at keeping out moisture, which will impact the performance of the powder. While these are the general points to consider, the pros and cons of reloading your own ammo can vary as much as the guns you own and the calibers you shoot. It is important to take the time to do as much research as possible and learn as much as you can about it, even before investing in your first piece of reloading equipment. Figure your costs, value your time, and understand the risks before you begin.
Now that you’ve been briefed on reloading, you’ve most likely decided this is something you would like to do. Click this link to download the book. It will tell you everything you need to know to make your own unlimited ammo. Become a member of the American Gun Association here.
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Your cost estimate is a little on the high side if you don’t mind using Lee products you can cut the basic start up cost to just about $200, they have a single stage press kit that has the majority of what’s needed to start reloading for slightly more than $100 depending where you buy from, add a set of dies at $50 of course you need a good book and again I recommend the Lee book especially for beginners, I don’t count consumables such as powder, primers, cases and bullets in my equipment costs, I’ve been reloading for over 40 years I use Lee products all the time, I load from handgun to rifle and I always recommend starting with a single stage press and I still use a Lee single stage press as my preferred press.