Why do you reload?


September 18, 2005, 04:12 AM
Ok, out of curiosity, why do you reload? Please state specifics in a post. Thanks in advance.


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September 18, 2005, 04:16 AM
The reasons I reload is that buying powder, .308 bullets and WLR primers and brass for the .300WSM is cheaper than buying factory loaded rounds, hence cost effective.

I can set my accuracy based on my shooting methods.

And finally, quality time. I've met my family.


September 18, 2005, 05:08 AM
I load for rifle calibers .223, .243 Win, 25-06 Rem, 6.5-284 and .308 Win for my own rifles and .260 Rem, 7mm-08 and 30-06 for others. On average, I find that my handloads cost me 60% of factory at the local Wallyworld or Cabelas and less than 50% at the gun shops. My best estimate puts the break even on supplies, reloading equipment and tools at about 300 - 325 rounds for 1 caliber and progressively less for added calibers - dies & tools are relatively inexpensive. I find the least cost savings with the .223 and would not load if it were the only caliber nor do I shoot enough handgun ammo to justify the cost.

I enjoy developing best accuracy loads for my rifles and have helped others find that sweet load for their huntings and practice needs. I'll be getting calls in the next few weeks from my hunting friends looking for some new ammo or help with their new rifles for the upcoming season.

I'm not a trophy collector and have given up taking game for meat but still enjoy shooting and working with guns.

I appreciate my wife leaving me alone to work in my shop after dinner and the weekends. I suppose if it I ever gave up guns and ammo, I would have to start watching TV, chasing women or knitting or something equally productive.

September 18, 2005, 07:52 AM
I reload for the first four reasons. I don't escape from social or domestic time as both of my step kids have taken up reloading.

September 18, 2005, 08:37 AM
I reload for all of the reasons in the poll.

When I started, it was primarily for cost concerns. Lately, it is more because I enjoy reloading.

Do you reload to shoot? or shoot to reload?


Ky Larry
September 18, 2005, 08:59 AM
I reload for cost and accuracy. Also, my wife and I both work. She deals face to face with the public all day and I have a fairly high stress job. We both get home about 3:30 pm. She tapes her favorite soap opera and watches it when she gets home. I head out to the reloading shed for an hour or so. Afterwards, we both are more relaxed and civil to each other. Also, I don't drink and I hate golf.

September 18, 2005, 09:53 AM
My reloading is a combinatiom of all of the above. Accuracy, custom loadings for each weapon. Cost, the cost of the supplies is less than either buying custom loads or factory ammo. I ENJOY IT!! :evil:

Livin in Texas

September 18, 2005, 10:16 AM
I reload three of the most common and cheap calibers - 9mm, 7.62x39mm, and 7.62x54R, so it certainly isn't for saving money! I do, slightly, but I have a lot of fun tweaking for accuracy, and the whole thing is just way too much fun! :D

September 18, 2005, 10:33 AM
I voted "other" because I genuinely enjoy it. Also I can load for obsolete calibers like the 357 Maximum. (That were never loaded correctly from the factory!)

September 18, 2005, 10:38 AM
I voted "other" although the accuracy and cost effectiveness of it rate highly also. My "other", like other respondents', is that I find it fun and relaxing. It's puttering with a purpose.

September 18, 2005, 11:01 AM
i reload because i can't stand running factory garbage thru my guns.

reloading for my guns gives me far greater accuracy, a lot more velocity, and does it for very little cash - certainly less expensive than quality factory loads (bha, hornady).

i also reload because when i first got into guns, i ran out of ammo once. since i started reloading, that thought has never entered my mind again, and if i ever feel like i need to keep more on hand, it doesn't take much for me to increase my 'reserves' by a few hundred rounds per cartridge.

September 18, 2005, 11:01 AM
Accuracy for hunting rifles and cost effective for AR's and pistols.

September 18, 2005, 11:11 AM
It's just plain fun. Although I love being able to tune my accuracy to the weapon the ammo will be used in, there's no denying that reloading is a hobbby to me. When you try way more powder just to see how they do in your gun will respond (when you've already worked out a 1/4 MOA load) you're tinkering, for sure.

That's the beauty of it. I'll likely NEVER recoup the cost of all of my materials, because I try way more than I need to. I wouldn't change that for anything.

September 18, 2005, 11:27 AM
Cost: How else could I afford to shoot my K31?

Relaxation: Reloading is meditation for people that don't like to chant.

Pride: Lookie there. That's my cartridge that made that there hole in the target!

September 18, 2005, 11:29 AM
Compared to what even practice ammo costs for a box .45 ACP, I can reload for about $4.00 a box, depending on how many times I reuse brass, or use picked-up brass from a CCW student.

Also, there is something fundamentally satisfying about whomping a steel target, or splattering a jug full of water with a round that I put together with my own hands.



Essex County
September 18, 2005, 11:55 AM
Number 1 is accuracy. I have this thing about used bolt guns following me home from gunshops. I enjoy twicking with them to see what kind of accuracy can be wrung out of them and handloading is a huge part of this process..........Essex

September 18, 2005, 12:36 PM
I went with cost effective. I don't shoot anything real exotic, but some of the calibers I load for are not cheap. Cartridges such as .45-70, .44 Mag, 357 Mag, .45 Colt .243, .444 Marlin, etc. get expensive really fast if you do not load it yourself.

It is also a fun hobby. The only things I really hate are hazmat shipping fees and trimming cases.

The Bushmaster
September 18, 2005, 01:03 PM
It's relaxing and I enjoy the many chalenges and triumphs at the bench, both loading and range. Not to mention the satisfaction downing game with your own creation...

Wil Terry
September 18, 2005, 01:11 PM
I am beholding to no man nor organization for my ammunition supply for 135 different cartridges. I can shoot for decades with the components on hand currently.

September 18, 2005, 02:35 PM
I checked "accuracy", and that's true, but the bottom line is: There is no factory ammo for some of my rifles... :)


September 18, 2005, 02:47 PM
All of the above.
My first gun was a .41 mag.
As you know, it's not feasible to shoot that caliber without reloading, at least not when I started out in school.

September 18, 2005, 03:47 PM
I handload pistols to get more power for my tiny carry guns.

I handload rifles to get more accuracy.

The Bushmaster
September 18, 2005, 04:21 PM
Wil Terry. You are still beholdin' to a few people. :rolleyes: ..The ones that manufactured your components. I doubt that you can manufacture brass cases as yet. You are beloldin' to those that have pioneered the load data you use. I'm afraid you still need all of us. Are you able to manufacture your own firearms? :p And the list could go forever. :D

I am as self sufficient, independent and at 5'7" 155 lbs 62 years I am as rugged an individual as you can get. Junkyard dogs give way to me. But I still haven't mastered the skill to manufacture many of the things that I must have. :) Soooo...Back to the real world..... ;)

Wil Terry
September 18, 2005, 06:47 PM
In any case I can keep the guns I have shooting until I'm too damned old to care anymore and that to me is a most satisfying feeling.

Eskimo Jim
September 18, 2005, 07:15 PM
I reload for several reasons:
1) cost
2) to get the most out of my firearms for accuracy
3) yet another facet of my life where I can be a little more self sufficient or get better quality for my buck
4) to learn more about my firearms
5) when I get the urge do do something gun related when I can't get to the range due to time of day etc
6) my wife and I reload together so we spend more time together.


September 18, 2005, 07:35 PM
I started reloading to save money, so that's what I checked on the poll. But it turned into a hobby I really enjoyed, and one I completely abandoned since I started making knives in February. But of course I haven't needed to load because I haven't been shooting either, but I'm going to rectify both situations soon. :)

September 18, 2005, 10:45 PM
Reloading allows me to shoot more for the same $$. It also makes me an integral component of my ammo and more personally involved in my shooting, which helps me to enjoy it more.

Sitting at my bench after wife and kid goes to bed, listening to talk radio and pressing out rounds of .45 is one of the more satisfying and enjoyable things I do.

September 19, 2005, 03:23 PM
I gotta mirror Eskimo Jim.

I reload for several reasons:
1) cost savings (except for 30/30win.)
2) to get the most out of my firearms for accuracy
3) yet another facet of my life where I can be a little more self sufficient or get better quality/variety for my buck
4) to learn more about my firearms
5) when I get the urge do do something gun related when I can't get to the range due to time of day etc
6) And since I own one wildcat that I can't purchase ammunition for, I've got to neck size .338win down to .30cal. Fireform them, then load them to be proven reliable and accurate. It's a 30/338. Very close to the .308Norma. (Some would say the same)

Wallyworld won't sell 500 rounds each of 9mm, .45acp, .38spl, .357mag, or .44mag in one sale. :D But the Dillon press will hammer out that many an evening for a lot cheaper.

And this is something I sit and teach my boys. It teaches them stepped processes. It teaches them patients. Then they get complete satisfaction that when they've reloaded from start to finish, and knocked over a chicken or pop can at 100 or 150 yards off hand with an open sited rifle. (hey, they're only 11 and 13) -And I get to feel good about what I've taught them.


September 19, 2005, 06:08 PM
I started reloading because I am well aware that it may not always be possible to BUY ammo. If you can make your own you have a leg up on that development, and can protect yourself whereas otherwise you might be toast.

I keep at least 20,000 primers on hand of each kind I need, 200 lbs. of powder, a very large supply of brass, and bullets are not a problem cuz I make them for a living.


September 19, 2005, 08:25 PM
The in-laws spend 1 week a month living with us . . . . .

That and I can shoot SOOOOO much more by reloading. I don't even think about how much it's going to cost when I go to the range whereas when i wasn't reloading it hurt sometimes to shoot a couple of hundred rounds. Especially for the Model 500.

I also find the concentration when reloading to really relax me. A couple of hours at the bench and I've forgotten about work and all the bs going on there.

Have a good one,

September 19, 2005, 08:46 PM
I voted other because I reload due to lack of locally available JHP Makarov cartridges.

I just started reloading so I am a newbie at this. I don't know if it is cost effective or if it is more accurate or any of the other things as of yet.


The Bushmaster
September 19, 2005, 09:24 PM
Wil Terry...I can except that reasoning...I have a bit of a bad feeling for those that call themselves survivalist. They live in a different century and do not contribute to a free society...I hope you are not one of them :(

AMY!!! Hello!!! Welcome back... :D

September 19, 2005, 09:42 PM
Cost effective +1
Other +1 - Because I enjoy it.

Major Beer
September 19, 2005, 11:00 PM
all of the above - honestly i am kind of a geek anyway and i figured it would add more to my gun geekiness.

after i tried it, i really like it.

i never appreciated the cost savings until i got into shooting other calibers.

September 20, 2005, 12:52 AM
I like to tweek loads for individual rifles and pistols to get the best accuracy. That involves not only testing slight variations of powder charges for a given bullet, but also adjusting bullet seating depth relative to the barrel lands. Can ONLY be done by hand loading!

And, the cost savings is a matter of pride, as I shoot a lot. I shop the gun shows and mail order specials for bulk bullets and powder. Examples: My 9-mm Luger costs me $2.07/50, .45 Auto 200-gr SWCL is $2.78/50 (.45 Colt 255-gr SWCL is about the same), .223 55-gr FMJBT is $2.09/20, And .30-06 168-gr FMJBT is $3.02/20. :p

September 20, 2005, 02:47 AM
Basically it is a hobby & I am pleased it is my reloads that allow be get some decent groupings. Also I shoot basically at an indoor range of 20 yds SO there is no reason for full-house loads.

Then it is a challenge like what loads for revolver & what loads for semi-auto, but then different calibers from 9X19 to 45ACP are different.

Also a change to a different shape &/or weight of bullet tip to different makes & types of powder. Tack in PPC revolvers that have a light trigger pull so the use of Federal primers & lighter loads. Actually it is sort of endless & at the club, since we ALL reload it can be quite a discussion.

September 20, 2005, 05:44 PM
Besides being the only way I can afford to shoot much I have one rifle that factory ammo is not availible for, and a few rounds that if ammo is availible it is too cost prohibitive to use (.45 Colt +P which is not availible locally).

September 21, 2005, 01:12 AM
Have been "interested" in doing it for a couple years. My boss even set me up with a nice old Bair press, some dies, a scale and some other stuff. Never really got around to it.

THEN, I became horribly addicted to skeet. Picked up a used MEC 650 off the club's bulletin board in order to shave a little cost on shooting. Turns out I really enjoy reloading so I dug out the Bair press and and now I'm cranking out .38 test loads for my various revolvers in that caliber.

I enjoy the precison and detail oriented processes. I enjoy the testing process. I get a weird satisfaction getting good, consistent hits with something I made. Makes tight groups and clay smoke just a touch more enjoyable for some reason.

September 21, 2005, 01:14 AM
Only to save money. If I could get the same bang for my buck without reloading, I'd do it in a heartbeat.


Sam Adams
September 22, 2005, 05:17 PM
At first the reason was cost-effectiveness. Later, as I got into rifles more, the accuracy factor came into play more - and the cost savings of handloading vs. factory "match" ammo is HUGE.

It'll become a bit more social when my kids get old enough to help out (as in everything but loading the powder and bullets, which only I will do until they are teenagers and VERY careful for a long time). I'll gladly pay a few bucks for either kid to deprime & size, bell or trim and load primers into brass.

Its also become a bit more social since I got a Lee Hand Press. Now I can be inside, watching the kids or being with my wife while she watches some *****hole program on the WE network, and do a bunch of reloading tasks (but no powder or bullet loading - those are reserved for the garage).

September 23, 2005, 09:52 AM
For me, it started out as a way to save some cash on pistol ammo. But it really has amounted to far more practice than I would have had otherwise.

With 2 kids and limited range time, it's nice to be able to load a large amount of solid pistol ammo and maximize practice during those all too rare range trips.

I only load 1 rifle caliber now (223, still a newbie rifle reloader). With the extra time taken by bottleneck case prep, I can't see loading blasting ammo as being too productive. Well, at least not for that caliber. I only see loading match or hunting ammo as being productive in .223. It is nice that while loading excellent ammo with premium components, the economy is still there. I can load a box of near-match grade ammo (my skill being the limiting factor, not anything else) for less than half what it would cost. Again, I just end up practicing more.

September 24, 2005, 12:03 AM
I'd click on it.

Doing "God's Work" (thank you, Col. John Boyd!) in my reloading room is therapeutic. I visit the shrine often.

I have a bunch of antique cartridge firearms, and one doesn't just scoot down to WalMart and pick up a box of .32 Remington, 7.62x45 Czech, or 6.5x53R Dutch Mannlicher. I'm not hurting for ammo with respect to any of the above cartridges. I even sell brass for the 7.62x45.

I also have a few intense wildcat rounds that aren't commercially available. So I handload for my 7mm Rimmed International, 6.5-06 and 6.5-300 Weatherby.

I handload for 24 different chamberings. That includes .30-06, 7.62mm NATO, and 7.62x39. If one takes the time and effort to create quality handloads, accuracy is indeed a pleasant reward. I may or may not be able to get excellent groups with Black Hills 168gr Match fodder, but I know I will get results with the stuff that comes out of my reloading presses:


September 24, 2005, 01:26 AM
I marked other.

I got into it for cost savings. (First gun was a .44 Mag)
Then I started focusing more on accuracy, and I just plain enjoy it as a hobby.

I almost marked the Get away Social interaction, but I mostly use my computer for that. Although, i will say that I often find myself reloading when I get to stressing about work or something else in my life. It is very zen-like to get into a good grove while reloading!


September 24, 2005, 01:36 AM
I can build loads I can't buy.


September 24, 2005, 03:25 PM

I started with a Lee Loader that I bought off eBay that I loaded 300 Win Mag for my nephew, so he could go shooting with me. (He likes the idea of being able to hunt Grizzley Bears) I used CAI Indian 308 at 8 cents each for donor bullets and powder and so I loaded about 200 rounds for the price he was paying for a single box of 20 at Bimart - so the Lee Loader paid for itself about 20 times over.

I noticed that the 300 WM Lee Loader could be used for other cartridges since it only neck sizes, so I loaded up 60 rds for my MAS 49/56 using the Indian 308 brass as starting material to fire-form to 7.5MAS. The 49/56 I bought cheap because it shoots an uncommon cartridge - I had hoped to convert it to 308 using a collet - because I had such success with the VZ52 - but the collets that I made kept ejecting with the spent cases - so I fire-formed some cases to the correct length - and really enjoyed shooting that rifle. The MAS49/56 is a great rifle and shoots minute of bowling pin out to 175 yds nicely. It just suffers from expensive ammo that, with reloading, can be made as cheaply as shooting milsurp 308.

I also really like shooting my Garand, and started tearing apart more Indian 308 for components to shoot it cheaper than CMP ammo. At that point I started loading for accuracy also - and I started picking up reloading equipment - a factory second Lee press; and a couple RGB dies through Midway; and reloading dies and powder measure through eBay.

I like Lee equipment, and recommend Lee depriming dies - and reloading manual. The Lee Classic Cast press is solidly made too and gets a recommend along with the Perfect Powder Measure... with the caveat that the Perfect PM isn't perfect if you start loading tiny pistol cartridges with flake powder... I mostly reload modest quantities of rifle mid-power cartridges like 30-30 (for another nephew) and 300 Savage and 7mm Mauser (for a son-in-law), with extruded powders so it works great for me, but I reloaded a thousand 38 special (for my Dad) and found I had to rap the powder measure each time to get small doses of flake to feed properly.. anyway... between eBay and Midway for the gear, I figure I'm still money ahead with reloading.

September 26, 2005, 12:54 AM
I clicked accuracy, as I mostly shoot high power paper, but like most people, there are actually multiple reasons. I reload for a lot of wildcat calibers based on the 30-06 case, that ain't available anywhere. I also reload for obsolete calibers that may be available, but are priced as collectibles. For some reason, I still have a .458 Win Mag, a few years ago, this jumped to $60 per box of 20, which is ridiculous. I also fear future "shortages" and like to keep lots of components in stock. The main reason is still accuracy, I build my own rifles, and build the ammo for them, each load is tailored to a particular rifle, for a particular use. Cost is not a big issue for me, as the price of premium components may raise your cost close to factory fodder, especially when you count your time spent loading. You can't bang out match quality ammo on a progressive press, attention to every little detail takes time, and lots of it.

September 26, 2005, 02:06 PM
Other than saving money I reload to make handgun loads not available in factory ammo. Regular factory .38 sp is pretty anemic. Very few in the 800fps+ range. Midrange(900 to 1000fps) .357s using cast bullets is another one that's not available. Also very few decent factory loads in .45 Colt. I don't much care for cowboy loads and the Buffalo Bore and Grizzley are darned expensive. I can make my own in .45 Colt in the 850 to 900 fps with a 255 gr bullet or even a bit stouter according to what I want to use them for. I also reload both 9Mm and .45 ACP with cast lead bullets because they're cheaper to shoot. I've never considered my time as part of the savings. Heck, I enjoy shooting my very own ammo.

September 26, 2005, 08:55 PM
For cost, 9mm blasting ammo is dirt cheap, but wimpy.

For cost, 44 mag and 45 Colt factory costs way to much, so I reload that for money.

I don't think there is any factory 257 Roberts Ackley Improved or .223 downloaded to 218 Bee.

If you want a Barnes triple shock bullet in 8mm with CIP pressures, you gotta do it yourself.

Peter M. Eick
September 27, 2005, 08:27 AM
Why? Its a fun and enjoyable hobby!

October 6, 2005, 07:53 AM
I enjoy it!

shooting time
October 6, 2005, 12:26 PM
I enjoy it ,Like to keep plenty of ammo on hand,Shoot a bunch up on full auto,and most of all it is cost effective

October 7, 2005, 03:09 PM
Cost is the big reason. And local availibilty. Some of what I shoot are uncommon calibers, at least around here. .38-55., .41 mag, 7.7-06, .38 Long Colt, .45 Colt, .45 acp, 8mm Gibbs, .30-30, .32 acp.

The only cenerfire calibers that I have ever bought factory loaded ammunition for are the .45 acp and .32 acp. The .32 acp is the only one I don't load for, but the only gun I have in this caliber is a two-shot derringer.

October 9, 2005, 12:46 PM
More than anything else...Man I love a value! And better for cheaper is the best value of all.

October 9, 2005, 08:39 PM
Ok, oddly enough, it was my G/F that came up with a good reason for me to reload. She there have been times I went to reload and was in a bad mood. When I came back, however, she said I was almost a different person. I guess it may be theraputic.... Cool. Now I can avoid reality WITH HER APPROVAL! :D


October 9, 2005, 11:54 PM
After shooting 22LR in Bullseye competition I wanted to get into 45 ACP. I couldn't find any place to buy the light target loads all my friends were shooting. I could only get it 2 ways - pay a custom reloader twice what regular factory ammo costs or load it my self.

I use almost exclusively "once fired range pick up" brass and my handloads cost about 1/2 what cheap factory ammo costs. I'm retired and partially disabled and have plenty of time. I paid for the equipment in savings the first year. I get satisfaction from rolling my own and find the time spent to be relaxing.

Black Snowman
October 11, 2005, 01:35 AM
Allows me to be a better shot. I get to shoot more on the same budget. Also, I enjoy the fun of experimentation.

October 11, 2005, 08:55 AM
Cost plus it's time that i
can use to relax.

October 11, 2005, 09:15 AM
All of the above and because I can.

WayneConrad, you don't chant when you reload?

October 11, 2005, 04:39 PM
WayneConrad, you don't chant when you reload?
Not unless you can count muttering "My precious round, my shiny, my precious pointy shiny round is all mine and you can't have it."

The Bushmaster
October 11, 2005, 08:26 PM
I can see Wayne has been watching Way too many movies... :neener:

October 11, 2005, 08:41 PM
Cost and accuracy/reliability!! I cannot shoot enough to stay proficient if I can't afford it. I can shoot a lot thanks to my Dillon machines.

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