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Why do you or don't you reload/handload your ammo?

  • What is the point? I can just buy ammo.

    Votes: 3 10.0%
  • I reload to save money and shoot more

    Votes: 14 46.7%
  • I just don't know where to start but I want to learn

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I reload because it is a great hobby

    Votes: 7 23.3%
  • I just can't make the time to reload

    Votes: 6 20.0%
  • It is pure joy to create better ammo for my handguns and rifles than I can buy factory loaded

    Votes: 5 16.7%
  • The tools and gear are too expensive

    Votes: 2 6.7%
  • I reload and lost interest, now I just buy ammo

    Votes: 1 3.3%
  • I compete with handguns and rifles and would go broke if I didn't reload!

    Votes: 2 6.7%
  • I'm on the fence and just don't know what to do

    Votes: 1 3.3%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to create a casual poll about why shooters reload/hand-load their ammo. I got off early from work today and loaded 1000 rounds of 9mm in about 3 hours with my Hornady progressive press. I was not in a hurry or stressed out in any way, for about $110. These were loads for competition but they could have been for defensive practice/training and have the same felt recoil and point of impact as expensive carry rounds. I load practice carry rounds that shoot just like expensive carry rounds for .380, 9mm 10mm for cheap! And listen to this carefully: When I test my reloads, the SD (standard deviation) is lower than any factory ammo that I have tested! That is a good thing, it means my ammo is better than most.
The reloading learning curve is not that big. It would be best to have a mentor or take a class. With proper research a shooter can learn on his/her own....I did.
If anyone has fears or questions please post them and we can work them out. Denny
 

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Reloading is a stress reliever just like shooting. I do not reload a lot at one time. Normally just a few hundred rounds . I gave up all calibers a long time ago, and now just shoot 9mm. (I also own about five 22.s) I have a turret Press and enjoy making my own loads for various weapons. I shoot about 2-3 times a week and buy quite a bit of ammo for my main shooting and training. I started off with just reading as much as possible and used a Lee Hand Press and would just focus on one box at a time. Later, I would use the hand press in stages. Prime 100 rounds, then another step of 100 etc. Personally I think the best way to learn is to just go slowly, load a box, see how they shoot and then due your tweaking with different powders etc. It is gratifying to shoot ammo that you yourself designed and see how it shoots :victorious: for a particular weapon. There is no need to rush the learning process. Learning is half the fun. Actually I enjoyed the hand press and still use it.
 

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I compete in three different shooting venues. I load ammo appropriate for each "style" of shooting. No way I could afford to compete and practice if I were buying ammo.
I have two Dillon 650's, a Lee Turret, and a Mec Grabber shotshell loader.
Currently load 12 gauge shotshells, 9mm - 38 special - 357 mag - 45 acp - 45 colt - 223 - 30-06 - & 308.
The only ammo I buy is carry ammo.
I don't find loading relaxing. For me it is just a "necessary evil" that has to be done. I would much rather be building pistols or rifles than loading ammo.
 

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I'm a smoker.
I gave up the cigs and cigars years ago. Now just Vape. Actually like it more. Really nice tobaccos and cigar flavors out there. More energy now, blood pressure dropped significantly and can enjoy a good cigar like flavor while reloading. Not trying to preach, but just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the replies and pole votes!

When I run my Hornady progressive press to crank out pistol ammo I usually can't relax. It is a total concentration effort for a couple hours with a net result of 1000 rounds. I could also slow down and load fewer rounds and relax.
The real fun for me is working up new loads and testing them for velocity and accuracy. I still have a ball with my single stage press. I have a Lee tripod stand and have brought it to the range and worked up rifle and even pistol loads right from the back of my Jeep grand Cherokee. What a blast. I can create custom ammo for my weapons that the top ammo manufacturers don't even come close to. The ammo company's have to make ammo that works in all weapons, we can create match ammo that works in our personal weapon. This ammo might not be perfect in your friend's weapon but is for yours.

I know the equipment cost can add up. If I did the math correctly, to recover a $500 investment, you would have to reload 33-100 round boxes of cheap ammo (WWB) or if you only shoot carry ammo, 38-20 round boxes of the expensive ammo. I can load cheap ammo for 11 cents and hollow points for 15 cents a round. Appx. It is possible to recover your investment. Denny
 

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Patton, as I mentioned in a earlier, I would just start with a hand press. Not expensive, and you can use the dies for a turret press later. Then just start adding as you go, tumbler, better scales etc. Pick a easy caliber like 9mm, a mild load within specs and start with just a goal of 10 rds and later 50 etc. Take the first 10 to the range and shoot them. How did they feel, shoot etc. Maybe just tweak them a little. There are so many step by step YOUTUBE videos out there and just focus on safety and taking your time to start. I am by no means a expert, and do not reload by the thousands, like some more knowledgeable guys on this forum. I just believe in the "KISS" method, and enjoyment. I see no reason to rush into this. I started like so many, to save a few dollars. Personally in the long run just do not see the saving to justify it now. I buy bulk 9mm for practice and always have a large stock on hand. Other calibers might mean more saving especially rifle etc. I
I just shoot 9mm because I like the ballistics so well and it is such a universal round. The only 380 I have is a LCP. mabey will get dies for that, but doubt it. All of this is just my two cents. Just like I advise to start shooting powder burner handguns in 22.cal at first to learn the basics. I would not invest in a whole lot of money at first. You may not even like doing it. All of I have said is JMHO but hopefully you can compare other views that differ from mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I started slow also. Cabellas had a Hornady single stage press kit with an electronic powder dispenser for $299. I snatched up and was on my way. It even came with a book. I also found a how to reload book at the library. Reloading became a hobby and I added tools and supplies as they were needed. My setup was perfect for a casual shooter. If I would have bought all my gear from the LEE company my costs would be much less and just about as good.
Now if I didn't compete my set-up would be perfect but needing 500 rounds a month is a lot of work with a single stage press. Among other steps that would take pulling the handle 2000 times. With my progressive press I now have a new round drop in the tray for every pull of the handle. Den
 

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I slowly started gathering equipment over the years. A die set here or there. An auto powder measurer from this place, a used single stage press from that guy, etc. etc. I have almost all the hardware (still missing a scale and a powder ticker.) I even have a few bullets in packs of 100 and some primers.

I don't have any powder. I can currently process brass, deprime, and prime only.

Hopefully, I'll pick up the last few things I need and start making some 9mm & .40 S&W rounds soon.

I guess I need to stockpile bullets and powder next.
 

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I was a little surprised to see the " I reload to save money" being number one. I've been telling that to my wife for years, she doesn't really believe it any more, she sees how much I spend on "stuff" but she indulges my fun hobby. Hobbies cost you money , like that $92.00 NOE mould I bought myself for Christmas , but Hey ! I just enjoy doing it.
Casting and reloading since 1967...Gary
 

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How are the guys reloading thousands of rounds finding the powder? I had put reloading on hold during the shortage. Able to pick up a can here and there, but I do not reload in bulk.
 

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Reloading is a hobby all its own. For handguns, I may save a few bucks, not a big savings, but some. Rifle I don't save a thing as I load precision bullets (I'm a speed and accuracy freak). Equipment costs are a huge, sometimes hidden factor, seems I'm always buying a new scale, dies, or some other gee-gaw for the bench. Reloading will teach you a lot about ballistics and I think with that knowledge you become a better shooter when you better understand how a particular load should behave.

Components can get scarce at times. I make it a practice to buy a box of primers, a pound of powder, a box of bullets every time I am in a store that carries such. I keep a list on my phone of what I am low on. If folks wouldn't buy super mass quantity and horde it we wouldn't have the shortages that keep popping up.
 
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