Reloading for the GF ? (not a reloading question)


July 26, 2005, 11:23 AM
Hi guys,

I have a dilemma. I am sure some of you have faced it before, so I am hoping to get some input to help my situation.

I reload. I'm a reloading junkie. I *hate* to buy factory ammo, it makes me feel like I'm getting screwed and an inferior product to boot.

My GF, has been going shooting with me for the past two or three range trips. She seems to do well, follows the four rules to the letter and really seems to be interested in shooting.

I let her shoot my Commander and a couple of others when we went. Now she has taken her CCW class and sent her paperwork and everything in. She (and I) expects that she will be approved without a problem.

I have tried to instill in her, the fact that no matter what gun you shoot, regular practice is the key to being a good shot.

Everything is great so far right ?

Here's the problem. When she went to the range with me, to shoot a couple of my guns, she shot a few of my reloads. No problem with that, since I am adamant about checking and rechecking everything.

I know Murphy pays everyone a visit sooner or later. I have come to accept the risk (however small it truly is) and realize that the potential for ANY handload, from ANY handloader has the POTENTIAL to be a bad load. Knock on wood, I haven't had a KB or a double in over 25 years of rolling my own.

Since I am shooting MY gun, with MY loads, if an accident or KB occurs, I can pretty much look in the mirror for the source of the problem and accept full responsibility.

I don't shoot other people's loads, gunshow reloads or take data from unknown sources without verifying it for myself before pulling the handle on the first round.

The GF has just bought a new 1911 (which is a huge expense for her), and is all giddy about it (same as me when I get a new gun). She is ready to go to the range and start practicing once or twice a week.

The cost of factory ammo is unbelievable. I rarely buy it so I was kinda out of touch with prices. WallyWorld is $19.97 per hundred rounds of WWB. We all know how long a hundred rounds of pistol ammo lasts - not long.

Blazer aluminum and Wolf steel case cost less, but neither can be reloaded, and I am unsure about the long term effects of shooting steel cased ammo in a 1911. I know some do it, but this is the only gun the GF can afford.

I have never let anyone shoot a steady diet of my reloads. I have let someone shoot my reloads in MY pistol, but not too many and not too many rounds. It's not the issue of someone burning up my loads, it's the fact that I would hate it if someone pulled the trigger on one of my loads and got a KB. Doing so in one of my guns would be bad enough, but someone else's gun - it's out of the question. Not to mention the possibility of injury.

I have always been adamant about keeping my reloads to myself. I have given away components to help a buddy or two get a starting stash over the years, but NEVER given them any of my loads or allowed them to be fired in other's weapons.

All this being said, the GF may not be able to afford the ammo to practice as regularly as she needs or would like, given the cost of factory fodder.

Would you allow her to shoot your reloads (I'm heavily against this), teach her to reload, or suggest steel or aluminum cased ammo ?

She is not the most detail oriented person in the world. She is intelligent enough to grasp the concept and probably pull it off, but reloading isn't a game where 'probably' makes me feel secure.

She will probably be shooting 3-400 rounds a week.

Someone tell me I'm being too paranoid (or not) about my loads in other peoples guns, steel or aluminum cased ammo works or a killer source for decent factory ammo.

With retail prices being what they are it's a wonder there are as many people shooting as there are. Guns cost a ton and the sticker shock of ammo, could certainly discourage a newbie in a heartbeat.

Thanks in advance for the feedback...


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July 26, 2005, 11:32 AM
I reload for my wifes guns. She doesn't like to reload and I don't want her buying ammo. For plinking, I just set the dump to a good mid range charge and set everything else for spec. Witht he dillon, it doesn't take long

July 26, 2005, 11:35 AM
I'd reload for her - taking extra care with that batch of loads. Perhaps keep hers separate, or distinctive (i.e. one brand of case is reserved for her loads, or something like that). I don't have any problem with this.

July 26, 2005, 11:37 AM
I showed my GF several KB photos, got her field stripping and cleaning her own gun (1911), related a couple of horror stories about squibs and double charges (one with a blown barrel in hand...not mine, a borrowed example) and then taught her to load.

First she cleaned, deprimed and sorted a couple of thousand. Then hand primed them. Then loaded them, all with a case gauge check. Recheck powder throw every 30. Then eventually onto a progressive. At this point she's probably more careful than I am. So, in the end, we shoot each others loads on a random trust w the constant awareness that S*** happens BUT you really want to avoid blowing up the other's gun.


July 26, 2005, 11:50 AM
I look at it this way; you know how you reload, what precautions you take. Ultimately it's up to her what she runs through her gun. If she's willing to take the chance on your reloads and you are okay with running your reloads through your own guns, I don't see a problem.

July 26, 2005, 12:06 PM
I'd giver her very detailed instructions and drill her on what to do if something didn't go right. There is a feel, a sense that something went awry when you shoot a lot. That shot just didn't feel right. Got to know when to hold up and check it out. All I shoot is my reloads but I shoot timed shots making sure all is ok.


July 26, 2005, 12:08 PM
First of all, kudos to you for your attention to detail and trying to not endanger others with your handiwork. Folks like you are becoming more of a rarity with every passing year.

Secondly, after all of your hard work, I wouldn't feel too bad about letting your lady shoot your reloads. Like you said, practice is the key to proficiency and practice requires bullets. If she's willing to take her safety into her own hands by owning a pistol, she should be willing to take the little risk that your reloads present.

Third, while it might be a cost upfront, might I recommend you both pool your money and buy a communal .22lr upper for that fine 1911. I've been very satisfied with my Marvel Unit 2 and wouldn't hesitate to suggest you go with one of their models. You get all the benefits of shooting your carry piece, but it comes with a cheaper feeding cost.

July 26, 2005, 12:20 PM
Mt GF, and soon to be wife, has never shot a factory round from any of my shotguns/rifles/pistols/revolvers. I am a detail oriented person, but knowing the possible outcome of the "worst case" possibilities- I do have the thought in hte back of my mind. That said~the benifits far outweigh the risks- factory recalls happen also. You are to be applauded for your thoughtfulness concerning her safety (or your relationship :rolleyes: ) ammo accidents are SOO far in between as far as the list and number of firearm accidents that the odds are always going to be in your favor. Relationship wise- don't let her shoot any shotgun slugs and expect to get a big sloppy wet kiss and hug afterwards :neener: I didn't :scrutiny:

Rabid Rabbit
July 26, 2005, 12:32 PM
Teach her how to load her own. When my wife was shooting my guns and only shooting 4-500 reloads, but thousands of 22lr a year reloading for her wasn't a problem. Now she has her own pistols and shoots 300 month. I told her she needs to start loading and this past week she started and is now learning how much time and effort it takes to turn out decent loads.

July 26, 2005, 12:49 PM
load for her. i load for my wife.

but this quote bothers me a bit:

I know Murphy pays everyone a visit sooner or later. I have come to accept the risk (however small it truly is) and realize that the potential for ANY handload, from ANY handloader has the POTENTIAL to be a bad load.

i don't buy that for a second. good handloaders are no more susceptible to an error than the factory loads - in fact, i'd argue less so. maybe you haven't shot enough factory to have troubles, but since i've only been loading for about 8 years (and only the last 5 was i avid w/ it) so i've shot plenty of factory stuff - and have had blown primers, fail to fire, and stuck cases. i have also noted that once i develop a load, i have not once had any of those troubles. also, my loads are far, far more accurate, quite a bit more velocity (energy), and i get 'premium' ammo at less than wal-mart special prices.

by now, surely you trust your own loads??? take her out w/ your handloads, and start developing a load fresh, from the bottom powder charge. tailor the load to her and her gun. make her shoot the development shots over the chrony, and let her tell you where she wants to run. simple.

good luck.

July 26, 2005, 04:52 PM
If you are still leery of having her use your loads, the aluminum cased CCI stuff is fine. I've used it in multiple handguns from Glocks to Kimbers, with no issue. I haven't used any of the steel cased stuff, although I keep hearing reports that the newer gen of that is OK.

FWIW, I give my reloads to friends. I'm SUPER detail oriented, and I'm not concerned. The worst thing that ever happened was me using S&B brass, which doesn't prime well. Occasionally one of those will not go bang because the primer isn't seated correctly. :(

July 26, 2005, 04:54 PM
Particuarly with an ACP where you can see a double charge with a normal powder, I wouldn't hesitate to load for her. Like I would with any new shooter, I would emphisize how important it was to stop when ANYTHING goes wrong. Since you are careful I think the greatest danger is firing another round with a bullet stuck in the barrel. And caution in that area is a good practice with any ammo, not just yours.

One last thing to reduce the risks to almost nothing. Whatever the load, you fire the first round of that batch. That way if you aren't careful enough and mix up powders or charges for the whole batch, you find out the hard way instead of her.

That's more cautious than I am actually am. In practice I let people I truley care about use my ammo. If I didn't think it was as safe as factory I wouldn't do that.

Father Knows Best
July 26, 2005, 04:57 PM
Go ahead and load for her. Close friends and family are an exception to the general "don't share" rule of reloading. And NEVER sell your reloads.

Standing Wolf
July 26, 2005, 06:34 PM
Better for someone else to shoot my high quality reloads than some amateur's. I've already made most of the stupid mistakes.

July 26, 2005, 07:24 PM
My 11 year old Daughter reloads her own (20 Ga Shotgun). I setup and triple check everything on her machine (Lee Load-All II) prior to her first pull of the handle. Granted she only shoots real light loads for trap/skeet I try to stay well below 10,000 PSI and preferrably in the 8,000 PSI range.

I also "loaded" and marked four Primer/Wad/Shot only rounds, which we took out to the range and tested so that she would know what squib sounded and felt like and what to do (Dowel rod down the barrel to push the wad out). We also practiced with loads with spent primers (no powder), so that she also knows what to do when there is just a *Click* instead of a *BANG*. (Muzzle stays pointed downrange, and wait for 60 seconds.) So far no squibs/FTF's (It's really hard to screw-up with a Load-All.)

Any loads that don't crimp properly or look suspect get cut open and the components salvaged/recycled.

If you really want to get to know your kids, shot and reload with them........

July 26, 2005, 07:43 PM
If you are a safe reloader, I wouldn't worry about it. If you really wern't gonna let her shoot your reloads, CCI and WOLF will be ok. I would go with CCI it is very cheap at online sources.

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