Not loving reloading.


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9mm+
March 11, 2010, 11:41 PM
Okay, I have been working with a buddy's reloading setup while saving up to buy a rig of my own. The plan is to start reloading my 40S&W's primarily (I shoot that caliber the most) and save some money in the end. To be perfectly honest, I find the whole thing a pain. It's quite time-consuming (mainly because I am not good at it yet), and I don't find the case inspection, cleaning, primer setting, etc. to be very...well...rewarding.

Maybe I am not patient enough for reloading or maybe I simply need to stick with it longer to get "in the groove". In any case, I am holding off purchasing my own setup for now. My groupings with purchased remanufactured rounds are as good as what I am getting with my own reloading.

For those who are far more experienced than I in reloading, is there some "ah ha" moment just around the bend or is this as good as it gets?

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Buck Snort
March 11, 2010, 11:49 PM
Its not everybody's cup of tea.

ants
March 11, 2010, 11:51 PM
Quit. You're hoarding up primers needed by the rest of us.

:neener:

Just kidding. Seriously, if it ain't your thing, don't do it.

Quoheleth
March 11, 2010, 11:52 PM
If you don't enjoy detailed work, working with your hands, and multi-steped processes to achieve an end, reloading might not be for you. That's OK - it's not for everyone. Better to be honest with yourself now, before investing in the equipment and components, rather than after spending several hundred bucks.

I'll give you two attaboys for being honest with yourself...and for saving the primers for the rest of us. :neener:

Q

jfh
March 11, 2010, 11:57 PM
Maybe you are still at the spot where the tasks involved in reloading just appear to be a jumble, so to speak--or not part of an organized workflow that either 1) is enjoyable in and of itself, or 2) has a satisfying end product. If that is true, then you can try re-reading some of the introductory information--say, the ABC's book, or the Lyman books.

But, if you think you understand the process and are just not motivated by it--it's probably better to quit now. Dissatisfaction can lead to distraction which can lead to unpleasant results in reloading.

There's nothing wrong with not being the type personality for reloading--for all I know, you can enjoy shooting more than I do.

Meanwhile, as ants implies--I'll buy those spare primers....

Jim H.

Gunfighter123
March 11, 2010, 11:57 PM
What kind of reloader ??? Some are easy to work with and some are harder. If you shoot more then 1000 rds. a year reloading is a nesisary evil !!!

Arkansas Paul
March 12, 2010, 12:01 AM
For me there was no "ah ha" moment. I was hooked from the get go.
Handloading is a tedious and precise process and not everyone enjoys such things. It's all right. To each his own brother.

Mags
March 12, 2010, 12:04 AM
If this is your ONLY goal:save some money reloading is not for you. Now if you want something fun to do while you are not shooting and want to get the most out of your loads by finding the best recipe for your gun than reloading may be for you.

ezypikns
March 12, 2010, 12:04 AM
I may be fooling myself but I think I save a little money. Plus I enjoy the thought and concentration it takes to safely produce good safe shootable ammo.

I started out with a single stage press and now have a Dillon 550. I can load 250 rds. in an hour (which is really a little on the slow side).

I guess though that reloading is like anything else...it's not for everyone.

Hatterasguy
March 12, 2010, 12:08 AM
I don't reload, don't have the time.

My friend does, and manages to spend twice what I do. So while you can save money, if you factor in your time its a wash.


Reloading for me is like fly tying. When I retire in oh 40 years I'll take both of them up. But now I just like shooting. I'm off to Cabala's this weekend to buy 400 rounds of 5.56 for $140 and I'll blow it all down range Friday.

dld
March 12, 2010, 12:10 AM
when I was in my early twenty's I started reloading and like you had better things to do with my time, even if it was nothing:banghead:
thirty years later I gave it a try again still using the same set up and material.
I enjoy it now, I am not in a big hurry, I have other chores I dislike doing even worse so reloading is my time well spent.
It does not matter that I am saving money, it is just the accomplishment of doing something well and seeing the results of it.
Hang in there, stop and smell the roses:what:

Texas Gun Person
March 12, 2010, 12:12 AM
Like most others are saying. It's not for everyone.


I don't do it just to save money. I enjoy activities that give me something to do. :) I hate sitting on the couch and watching TV.

I also enjoy cleaning guns after a day of shooting... :D I just find it rewarding to take care of things that are my own. Because many people don't that have luxury in the world.

Hatterasguy
March 12, 2010, 12:13 AM
I'm 24, so no I will not stop and smell the roses.:D

I agree with you though, I'll probably start reloading at some point in my life. Just not now.

Sam1911
March 12, 2010, 12:13 AM
I'll agree with the "what press?" question.

If you're trying to load bulk handgun ammo on a single stage press (or even perhaps a turret press) it could definitely seem horribly tedious.

I shoot a fair number of rounds a year and my process is to tumble the empty cases and then run them through my progressive press. I'll inspect them as I'm picking up each case (no auto case feeder) and otherwise just keep a watchful eye as I insert the bullets (no bullet feeder) and pull the handle. Otherwise the press is doing all the work for me. A solid hour of reloading will produce an honest 500 rds, so this isn't something I have to do more than once or twice a month.

This is a very different procedure than loading high precision rifle cartridges where every step is as exacting and hands-on as possible. A single-stage or turret press makes a lot of sense for that kind of work.

If you're using the most efficient equipment for the job and still find that you just aren't into it, reloading certainly may not be for you. That's fine! Take the time you'd have spent on loading and work an extra hour so you can buy a box of factory stuff! :D

geigersd
March 12, 2010, 12:19 AM
If you don't enjoy detailed work, working with your hands, and multi-steped processes to achieve an end, reloading might not be for you.

But, if you think you understand the process and are just not motivated by it--it's probably better to quit now. Dissatisfaction can lead to distraction which can lead to unpleasant results in reloading.

These are the two best replies you can get. Yes it's detailed and not everyone is into that.:barf: And yes, distraction can get you hurt or killed. :eek:

I started out reloading to "save money", and ended up loving the process and detail work. My goal now is to find the best loads for my weapons, and the side benefit is the cost reduction of reloading. Good luck with your decision and be safe above all else!

If you do decide to continue, the Reloading section here is very helpful, and the people who post on it are very knowledgeable.

jmortimer
March 12, 2010, 12:20 AM
The type of ammunition I like would be very expensive. Top of the line heat treated hard cast LBT bullets like Buffalo Bore and Double Tap - So I save a bundle. But it is not just about $$$. I never really think too much about the process - for some reason my mind is on the end result - a fantasic round of ammunition that will smoke the intended target - either two or four legged.

ljnowell
March 12, 2010, 12:25 AM
Not loving reloading? How can this be? BLASPHEMY!!

Seriously, its not for everyone. Personally, I like reloading almost as much as shooting.

4D5
March 12, 2010, 12:28 AM
I'd shop wisely when buying re-manufactured ammo.

Before I reloaded I used re-manufactured ammo. Well one day at the range I was doing some rapid fire revolver work with re-manufactured ammo. I had a round only detonate the primer and send the bullet into the barrel. Fortunately I caught it before I pulled the trigger again :what:

Had I not, the outcome would have been dramatically different.

It's kind of like not shooting someone else's reloads in your gun.

Gunfighter123
March 12, 2010, 12:29 AM
Like Sam said above. I have 1 Dillon 550 and 6 Lee Pro1000s --- all are progressives and all pump out one loaded round for each pull of the handle --- I mainly stick with handgun loads with these presses.

For Hi-Power rifles , I use a Lyman Turret press and a old lyman single stage press. With centerfire rifle loading --- you are makeing loads with 3 -5 times the explosive power of most pistol loads ---- for me , the extra time involved with the rifle loads is worth the caution.

I've competed in " Action Pistol " matches for 20-25 years --- in my "prime" I would be shooting over 50,000 rounds A YEAR !!! NO WAY could I have been able to buy factory ammo , even if I worked three jobs !!!

W.E.G.
March 12, 2010, 12:32 AM
Your gonna need to come up with a shooting objective beyond just burning-up .40 ammo if you're ever going to enjoy reloading.

The process needs to become an end unto itself for you to get the most out of it.

Let me suggest that you go out and buy a 32-20 lever gun and work on your loads for that.
I guarantee it will distract you from that horridly un-interesting .40 crunchenticker.

If you wanna shoot .40 or 9mm, just buy a couple cases of Wolf an be done with it.

wvshooter
March 12, 2010, 01:28 AM
I have a RCBS single stage press which I use to load 9mm, 40 S&W, 38 special and 357 magnum. I started because I like to do a lot of shooting and don't like paying retail prices for factory ammo. BTW, I would never shoot reloaded ammo that I had not reloaded myself. I only trust me.

Bottom line, if you do a lot of shooting reloading is a must unless you've got more spendable income than most of us. If you are that person that shoots a lot I'd recommend a Dillon progressive press. Tremendous quality and they will pump out a lot of ammo in a hurry. The best I can do with my single stage press in 80 rounds per hour. Yes it's boring reloading handgun ammo but because of my press I've got several thousand rounds on hand and that's a good feeling.

Gunfighter123
March 12, 2010, 01:39 AM
because of my press I've got several thousand rounds on hand and that's a good feeling.

AMEN to that my brother !!!!! I laughed out loud for a year or two and still do when I read people crying and moaning about the gun stores being out of ammo !!!!

At ALL TIMES , I have a minimun of 1000 rds. loaded for EVERY calibur I own --- .32s , .38s , .357s , 38 Super , 9mm , 10mm , 40S&W , .45acp , 44spl , 44mag , 45LC , and a few others. NO WAY , could I afford that if it was factory ammo.

And I do agree ---- BE VERY CAREFULL buying remanufactored i.e. -- someone else's reloads. At a gun show etc. --- make sure to ask for a copy of their insurance policy.

Beelzy
March 12, 2010, 01:47 AM
Uh......don't now how to say this but...

It's still time consuming even when you are a pro at reloading.

(More primers for me.LOL!!!)

mcdonl
March 12, 2010, 07:34 AM
I loved it the first time I did it, but I have kids and like the "time away" in the basement and I am in no hurry. Also, my 10 year old loves to help me cast, size and lube.

No money savings... I now spend every penny I get on reloading and casting supplies.

ole farmerbuck
March 12, 2010, 07:43 AM
I would almost rather load than shoot. I like working up new loads. I think of reloading as a challenge to get the best groups.

Remo-99
March 12, 2010, 08:34 AM
is there some "ah ha" moment just around the bend or is this as good as it gets?

The enjoyment 'pay off' from reloading doesn't come from focusing on cost savings plus time inputed verses how much time I can save if I just buy someone elses ammo.
Kinda like 'why do folks enjoy shooting?' - With all this time I spend at the shooting range, I could be saving time by being back in the office or at home watching TV and it wouldn't be costing me money.

Alot of folks (I know I do) reload because we/I find it an enjoyable outlet or hobby that complements our/my shooting hobby also.
Hobbies take the mind away from day to day mundane tasks, and if you personally think reloading as just another of those mundane tasks, then it may not be your 'cup of tea' as another poster said.
'Everyone to there own' another borrowed line, but who knows you might find the 'ah ha' later on. :)

EddieNFL
March 12, 2010, 08:50 AM
So while you can save money, if you factor in your time its a wash.

That's a valid point if you take time away from making a living. Very few people get paid to watch TV or pursue other hobbies.

rattletrap1970
March 12, 2010, 09:01 AM
I can understand the sentiment. I have a lot of friends who like to shoot.. That's it. They just aren't into the time and detail of reloading. You are right, it isn't for everyone, but that's ok. Think of all the free brass these folks leave laying around. :)
I do have to say, at least for me, reloading pistol ammo is not as interesting as rifle. I do it more to save money and keep my reloading skills up. You may enjoy reloading for rifle a bit more because the changes you make tend to have more of an effect on your downrange performance.
When you are trying to hold a sub MOA group at 200 yards consistently, all the little things you do are far more apparent. This might make reloading more interesting. If not, could you just pick up your brass and leave it in a box for the next guy?
I use 2 Dillon 550's by the way, More interesting to me than a single stage. Although I would mind owning a single for dedicated fussy work.

HOWARD J
March 12, 2010, 09:06 AM
I started 40 years ago ---to see what it was all about----me & a rockchucker.
I was not impressed...................
By the time I was taking 3 kids to the range every weekend---shooting approx, 1000 rds.
I got real impressed.
I started out saving a lot of money---much later I had spent so much money on equipment--it just turned into a fun hobby & a great excuse to buy another weapon.
What ever floats your boat...........................:):):)

cisco11
March 12, 2010, 09:26 AM
I started reloading about 1968...............you couldn't buy good factory ammo then. I wanted to load .264 mag. in Nosler partitions for a sheep hunt to the Yukon.I have been reloading ever since. I find it tedious, time consuming, and a general pain in the ass. I reload for so many calibers and have so much equipment it is hard to quit. I only punch paper to work up a hunting load. I am trying high grade factory loads in some calibers and may never load for them again if factory loads shoot well. But, where do you find .450 Alaskan and .348 Ackley improved ,among others?
Cisco

qajaq59
March 12, 2010, 09:30 AM
I think you are pretty smart to think of it now instead of spending a bunch of money and then hating it. I could fill up the whole web with things I don't like to do. And if I don't like them, I sure don't do them!!!

strambo
March 12, 2010, 09:53 AM
I got into it to save $ only. My dad bought me a Dillon Square Deal B (progressive handgun press) for my B-Day when I was in college.

I quickly (surprisingly) began to enjoy loading in, and of itself. I load .300WM on a single stage Lee and love crafting custom match grade ammo to exacting tolerances for waaay less $ than the cheapest factory stuff.

For handgun, I just crank out the 9mm at about 400 rds/hour for 1/2 factory price (or less) still using 124gr FMJ bullets.

An afternoon will get me through a 5 day shooting course and save me hundreds of dollars.

EddieNFL
March 12, 2010, 09:57 AM
I was hooked the first time I saw someone reloading. How could I not love it? It was related to shooting. Thirty-six years later and the romance is still there.

Old Shooter
March 12, 2010, 09:58 AM
Reloading can be a satisfying hobby in and of itself as others have mentioned. Many people enjoy it but it is not for those who have other, "more important" things to do with their limited free time.

So, go into the world little grasshopper, you shall return.

SlamFire1
March 12, 2010, 10:08 AM
For those who are far more experienced than I in reloading, is there some "ah ha" moment just around the bend or is this as good as it gets?

Reloading is a boring and tedious chore.

I never could do assembly line work. There are those who show up, hit a red button all day every three seconds, and love it. Not me.

nitetrane98
March 12, 2010, 10:24 AM
I'm 24, so no I will not stop and smell the roses.

Or, "The roses weren't in bloom so we just hauled alpha."

mongoose33
March 12, 2010, 10:49 AM
There are lots of reasons to reload and enjoy it, but if these aren't reasons that are important to you, then perhaps it's not your cup of tea.

Some people like golf; some hate it. Different strokes and all that.


I agree w/ a previous poster who said that if your only motivation is to save money, it can be a tedious thing to do.

However, there are lots of reasons to value and enjoy it (not to say these are reasons you will):

1. I have a source of ammo independent of what the stores can/will provide.

2. In a SHTF scenario, I have ammo. Suppose martial law is declared; where are you going to get your ammo then?

3. I enjoy figuring things out. I had to learn reloading on my own, with the help of books and the internet. There is a certain satisfaction in learning to do something the vast majority doesn't do, and doesn't understand. I bent a piece on my LnL progressive a couple days ago; while I wait for a replacement from Hornady, I fabricated one last night that works. There's some real satisfaction in being able to do that.

4. I enjoy learning. This is just complicated enough to make it an enjoyable learning experience. How can I make ammo more accurate? Hit the sweet spot? How do different powders perform? Different bullets? What works best in my gun? How does OAL influence performance? Does the X-Die really work? How? Can I combine it with the lube die effectively? There are tons of interesting questions.

5. There is a satisfaction, at the end of the reloading session, that comes from looking at the hundreds of rounds I've loaded and realizing they're better than I could buy. It's the same satisfaction, I suppose, that people get when they wash their car by hand and enjoy the result, knowing it was their own hands that created the result. (FWIW: I *never* wash my car).

6. I find the process relaxing. It's a kind of shut-out-the-world peace I experience while reloading.

7. I do save money, but of all these reasons, it's the least important and satisfying.


If you can't find enough reasons above, or others I've not listed, that make it enjoyable for you, then it's probably not your cup of tea.

EddieNFL
March 12, 2010, 11:06 AM
Reloading can be boring. For me, some shooting can be rather dull. Firing round after round at a basic paper target doesn't trip my trigger. For those who have made the transition, handloading is a blast, it does requires significant attention to detail and a reasonable degree of mechanical aptitude.

Jesse Heywood
March 12, 2010, 11:13 AM
Mongoose33 gives sage advice.

I was bitten at my first experience, when I was 11. But, I love to experiment and tinker. Sometimes people ask why I try different ways of doing things, and I answer "why not?" Not everyone is like that.

I have also found that reloading to save money doesn't work. I probably spend much more than I would simply buying ammo. But it does allow me to shoot a lot more.

9mm+
March 12, 2010, 11:54 AM
Thanks, guys, for all of the great responses! Seriously, you gave me a lot of good feedback and it is very much appreciated.

The press my friend has is single stage, which is slow as you all know, but factoring in the other prep work, too, I have determined that reloading is not right for me at this stage of my life. The issue I have is that there is not enough time in my day to enjoy reloading; with two teenage boys and a hectic career, opportunities to unwind and truly enjoy reloading are few and far between. Once the boys are out of the house in a few years, I think I will look at reloading in a whole new light and will likely embrace it with vigor.

Thanks again for the insight and responses!

Hondo 60
March 12, 2010, 12:02 PM
IMHO there's no "ah-ha" moment. Either you enjoy it or you don't!

I find it very relaxing & rewarding.

Wait a minute! I take that back - The first time I went to the range with Yurko-made ammo, I definitely had an "Ah-ha" moment. My accuracy improved by leaps & bounds.

But seriously - reloading isn't for everyone. All I can say is - don't do it if you're doing it just to get done. That's when mistakes can happen with SERIOUS (possibly even deadly) consequences.

jamesicus
March 12, 2010, 12:06 PM
This is one of the best -- and most useful -- threads I have read on a reloading Forum.

Seismic Sam
March 12, 2010, 12:06 PM
Yes, spending time with your reloading setup instead of with your teenage boys is certainly not the best use of your time, even if you liked it. Just forget about it for now, enjoy the time you have with your boys, and you can always come back to it when they get to the age where they think dad is an old, square geezer who yells at them too much for getting speeding tickets. Plus with two sons driving, you will have new incentive to try and save money by handloading!! So long for now, and we'll see you when you get back in a few years!!

ljnowell
March 12, 2010, 12:09 PM
That's a valid point if you take time away from making a living. Very few people get paid to watch TV or pursue other hobbies.

No kidding. I always laugh when people use that line. Do you bill yourself for your time spent playing golf? Then why would you for reloading?

BlayGlock
March 12, 2010, 12:11 PM
I did not like it as much until I got a progressive press. Much less tedious.

lgbloader
March 12, 2010, 12:12 PM
Thanks, guys, for all of the great responses! Seriously, you gave me a lot of good feedback and it is very much appreciated.

The press my friend has is single stage, which is slow as you all know, but factoring in the other prep work, too, I have determined that reloading is not right for me at this stage of my life. The issue I have is that there is not enough time in my day to enjoy reloading; with two teenage boys and a hectic career, opportunities to unwind and truly enjoy reloading are few and far between. Once the boys are out of the house in a few years, I think I will look at reloading in a whole new light and will likely embrace it with vigor.

Thanks again for the insight and responses!
__________________


Folks, this sounds like a good man that knows his priorities and has them in order of preference. We all should take note.

9,

Good for you, Mate.

See you on down the freeway...

LGB

Shinbone
March 12, 2010, 12:18 PM
Amen to that. Those boys need you right now.

fireside44
March 12, 2010, 12:32 PM
Love loading, hate brass prep. Hate it. Too bad that is most of reloading.

mongoose33
March 12, 2010, 01:21 PM
Love loading, hate brass prep. Hate it. Too bad that is most of reloading.

For handgun brass, could hardly be easier; I toss the cases in the tumbler, couple of hours later, run them through my media sifter, and they're ready to be reloaded.

Rifle is a bigger pain. I reload .223, and trimming, chambering and deburring is a pain.

I've been working w/ the X-die from RCBS, which prevents the case from growing beyond a few thousandths. I'm on the 7th reload of a batch of X-Die prepped .223 brass, and I've not trimmed them, nor deburred and chamfered since the first time I prepped them for the X-Die.

In fact, you can use the X-Die in conjunction w/ an RCBS lube die to actually do progressive reloading of .223. The lube die has a decapping pin, so it can work on the LnL AP as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqPJJinDr8Q

.

bds
March 12, 2010, 01:24 PM
The issue I have is that there is not enough time in my day to enjoy reloading; with two teenage boys and a hectic career, opportunities to unwind and truly enjoy reloading are few and far between. Once the boys are out of the house in a few years, I think I will look at reloading in a whole new light and will likely embrace it with vigor.
The two teenage boys don't like to shoot? When our son was growing up in the house, shooting/case sorting-processing/reloading were some of many quality times we spent together along with hiking, camping, fishing, off road/dirt bike/quad riding as a family.

We involve the entire family in regards to shooting and reloading - my wife and daughter help me with reloading. I have built another 2'x3' portable reloading bench on casters so I am not isolated in the garage when I reload. I have two presses mounted (single stage and progressive), so wife/daughter will deprime/size on the single stage (they think it's a resistance workout) while I use the progressive or we switch out (it's easier to work the progressive just to powder charge/seat bullet. I hand prime cases and this allows me to be with the family in the living room while we chat, watch TV/movies, or play games together. Now, I hardly reload in the garage bench anymore (I use it to tumble cases). When our son comes to visit, of course he is happy to help me reload so he can shoot them. :D

I think if you have to rush and things are not well organized and laid out for smooth reloading, it will become frustrating. I have helped many shooters set up for reloading who have family to raise/hectic jobs and recommended them to break down the reloading process in steps that can be performed when time allows so they don't have to rush. Sorting cases by caliber can become a game to kids. Tumbling can be done while you are doing something else - I use a timer (20-30 minutes average unless I am doing some specific polishing job). I deprime/size cases while I watch TV/movies in the living room. I hand prime cases while watching TV/movies/playing game with the family (when it's my turn, I simply set the hand primer down). All of these steps can be pursued while I am distracted by some other activities.

The only time I focus is when I am on the progressive to flare cases/powder charge and seat bullet/taper crimp cases. The family knows the importance of doing these steps carefully and they either give me "quiet time" or offer to do the progressive press steps themselves (I check the press settings, shell plate timing and dies before they start the session). As to time, in another thread, we calculated the total time required to reload and I came up with about 400 rounds an hour using the separate sort, tumble, single stage deprime/size, hand prime, progressive powder charge/bullet seat steps (if not factoring deprime/size and hand prime times since I do other activities with family while doing these steps, about 900 rounds per hour). http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=6344162#post6344162

If you like to shoot, reloading can be a happy/relaxing compliment with some organized steps and proper supplies/equipment/bench setup and storage. Maybe you could approach it again later with a different perspectives?

918v
March 12, 2010, 01:29 PM
Reloading is like making your bed. Everyone sleeps, but some of us sleep better than others.

Reference accuracy, if you are shooting off hand, you will be hard pressed to see a difference unless you are awesome or a robot. The other factor is your gun. Some guns are capable of a certain accuracy level and that's it. Others can be tuned with handloads. For example, a Glock will never shoot 1" groups at 25 yards, but a custom 1911 can, with some handloads... some handloads, not all handloads. However, if you were to shoot both with some cheap factory ammo, they would prolly shoot the same. You cannot just slap a load together, even though it is published in a manual, and expect it to shoot like a laser.

I test for accuracy by shooting off a bench rest. This eliminates shooter error and enables me to see what the gun is capable of. My handloads often shoot better than factory, but not always. If my handload is not significantly better than factory, I change the components. Primers, powder, bullet case- they all matter.

A Ha! moments? I still have them twenty years later. For example, I finally figured out why once-fired rifle brass shoots different than new rifle brass and requires a powder charge adjustment to stay inside the sweet-spot. This was as obvious as day and night but I discounted it for some reason: Once-fired brass is not returned to original dinensions by the sizing die, hence it has a higher capacity, therefore pressures are lower and so is the velocity. That is often enough to take you out of the sweet-spot.

Another A HA! moment is shooting HBWC too slow. For years I thought you should keep the velocity to around 700 FPS to reduce the risk of their skirts blowing off and lodging in the bore. Most recently I decided to be brave and up the velocity to around 800 FPS and my groups shrunk by 50%. That's right, 50%. Reading a Speer reloading manual shows they recommed a max chaqrge of 3.8 grains of 231 in a 357 case. I now use 3.7. For years I used 3.4 and the accuracy suffered.

I'll give you one last A Ha! My Sig P210 has a .357" bore. Most 9mm bullets mike .355" You do the math.

Handloading enables you to get your gun to shoot it's best. If that's not good enough for you, consider you are saving 50% on ammo. If that's still not good enough, let us have your primers.

ric426
March 12, 2010, 01:59 PM
Folks, this sounds like a good man that knows his priorities and has them in order of preference. We all should take note.

I totally agree. Spend time with your kids while you can. I grew up in a shooting family and looked forward to trap shooting with my Dad, uncles and granddad every Sunday. Some of my last times with my Dad were spent plinking with an air rifle out his patio door cracked open in the middle of a Wisconsin winter. For a long time it seemed that the family shooting tradition was going to end with me, but my son is the one who got me back into it recently when he decided to get his first handgun. Ironically, it was going to be from the same shop I used to go to with *my* Dad a long time ago. I told him about it and it was really touching when I found out that he'd told his friends who were supposed to go with him that he was going with just his Dad instead. It felt like everything had come around full circle and the tradition was going to continue. Times like that are priceless and make it all worthwhile. Don't take away from your family time for something like reloading. There will be plenty of time for it later.
BTW, my son watched me setting up my new reloading equipment and doing some case preparation and declared that it looks like too much trouble. He's 26 and doesn't have time for that stuff. I give him six months or so before he starts asking about reloading his own 9mm & .40 ammo.

mcdonl
March 12, 2010, 02:20 PM
Once the boys are out of the house in a few years, I think I will look at reloading in a whole new light and will likely embrace it with vigor.

And the best thing about it is you will have first hand knowledge when you decide to take the plunge.

I wish sometimes I had boys. I have one teenage daughter and one about to be and I used to be very involved as a coach and mentor until they each hit middle school. I discovered, that even though I am a good husband and dad, I do not have the skill set needed to manage large groups of teenage girls. Not sure who does really, but not this cat.

So, as my kids got older and left the travel soccer system and stopped doing Odyssey of the Mind (the two programs I coached) I had more free time, though sometimes I think I would rather be in your shoes and still busy with the kids outside of the home....

In the mean time, maybe you could provide your buddy with some supplies and he could load for you, you could save money and he could get some ammo for this time?

OregonJohnny
March 12, 2010, 02:24 PM
When I started, I had a temporary, semi-portable setup in the living room. It was a painstakingly slow learning process, since I didn't have anyone experienced guiding me. It would take me about 2-3 hours to load 12 .44 Magnum rounds. 2 years later, I have a very nice, organized permanent setup on a bench in the garage, and I've hit a groove where I can reload about 25 rounds/hour. I still consider myself a novice, and I'm just loading the minimum charges for economical plinking rounds, but it's pretty enjoyable. It just takes practice, patience, and more practice. When I fill up a 50-round plastic case with shiny home-made .45 ACP rounds that cost me 1/2 as much as a store-bought box of 50, it's a great feeling of satisfaction.

RainDodger
March 12, 2010, 02:48 PM
It's very detail-oriented of course, and I don't think there's any particular moment when you all-of-a-sudden love it. For me, it's incredibly rewarding to put together a really accurate rifle load for an individual rifle, that fills my need. Handloading has become (for me), as rewarding as the shooting part! I love going over to my shop on an evening and losing myself in the processes of putting together a few hundred rounds of pistol, or taking my time with some precision rifle cartridges. It's very relaxing - you can't really think of anything else while you're handloading, or you risk mistakes.

I use a progressive press only for pistol and 12 ga shotgun shells (for trap shooting). I use a single stage press for all my rifle work. It just gives me a good feeling to produce a precision rifle cartridge! I'm not just loading to save money - in fact when I factor in my time, it's very expensive to handload - both monetarily and time-wise. I value my weekends, as I work long hours during the week.

I think you either have the gene or not... if you're not the type to enjoy the detail and the really anal record keeping you should do, you should just buy your ammo and enjoy the shooting part. Don't let it spoil your time shooting, if you don't really like it!

1KPerDay
March 12, 2010, 02:52 PM
I think I need one of these.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liVQcMmC2aE&feature=player_embedded#

armarsh
March 12, 2010, 10:51 PM
You are missing out on a great father-son activity by not teaching your sons to reload. My first experience reloading was converting a five gallon bucket of military 308 into 22-243's for my dad.

And I think at least one reason why you don't like it is you are forced to do the whole process from beginning to end in one session. I almost never do that. If you have your own stuff you can do one operation and let it set for awhile.

Pat M
March 12, 2010, 10:56 PM
Well, when you get married you'll enjoy having a reason to go spend three hours in the corner of your basement.

ol' scratch
March 13, 2010, 12:49 AM
It depends on what you are reloading. For me, .45 and rifle ammo is worth it. Have you seen the price of .45 lately? I can work up match loads for my long guns. I have a match load I am developing for my Garand using 168 grain match bullets and spent Greek brass. I can now load for less then I can get it from the CMP. Not to mention I have a deal in the works right now to purchase a bunch of 155 grain bullet pulls. My cost will be .30 cents a round. I can load the 168 grain for .41 cents and they are match grade bullets.

Leaky Waders
March 13, 2010, 01:27 AM
Like most others - I enjoy reloading.

To me it's almost like fly tying...rolling your own to shoot.

But I don't reload cheap brass eg milspec 223 etc. Only 45 long colt and 28 gauge.

I do save all of my rifle shells for eventual reloading, but I really don't shoot them enough to make it worthwhile at this time.

I have found that reloading is not really 'cheaper', instead I just get to shoot more for the amount of money spent on a hobby.

No having to worry about what ammo is carried at what stores is another big plus for reloading.

redbullitt
March 13, 2010, 01:50 AM
Well honestly, fwiw, I dont really care to reload pistol either. I do not really go for groupings with my pistol. I do it so I can afford to put rounds down range, i can understand why you dont care for it. I dont shoot pistol well enough to notice a difference between good factory rounds and my cartridges.
HOWEVER, to me , rifle rounds are a whole different story. Match grade ammunition or 338 rounds get expensive fast, if i dont reload, I simply cannot afford to get any decent trigger time in.
Get a good rifle and set up handloads for it, do a couple ladder tests and some load development, and i can promise you will feel better about the tedious parts of the process. The first time I shot a one hole group with my handloads, I was hooked. If I were shooting mostly pistol and cost were not much of a consideration, I would probably run walmart white box mostly and not worry about rolling my own.

Good luck

qajaq59
March 13, 2010, 06:52 AM
And I think at least one reason why you don't like it is you are forced to do the whole process from beginning to end in one session. I almost never do that. If have your own stuff you can do one operation and let it set for awhile. armarsh has a good point here. If I had to run over to a buddy's house and do every step all at once, like the OP is doing, maybe it wouldn't be quite as relaxing? It's fun to just wander out to the shop and work on some case prep or load and seat some bullets at my leisure. But the other way sort of sounds like work.

dagger dog
March 13, 2010, 07:12 AM
I work as an auto mechanic at a small independent shop, we have plenty of "garage groupies" guys that frequent the shop to shoot the breeze, some are dailys.

They actually get tired of me handing them loaded rounds to inspect, that and the speil that goes along with them, explaining the whys and what fors associated with producing these mini missles of deadly lead. As soon as I greet them for the morning bs session and reach into my pocket , they will start to turn away, knowing another reloading story is about to unfold.

Guess I'm too old and too addicted to change my ways!

Sam1911
March 13, 2010, 08:23 AM
I'll repeat a statement I made earlier regarding the press. You're trying to ride 100 miles on a tricycle (actually, someone else's tricycle) and that's going to get old FAST.

You're locating and purchasing components, scheduling a time to load that's convenient for your pal, traveling to your friend's house, and then spending an afternoon of tedious setting up, measuring, double-checking, setting up again for the next die, and so on and so on, plus as you've mentioned, sorting brass, re-priming, etc. -- all to load the equivalent of $9-$15 worth of ammo in an hour. Yeah, unless you're just a process freak that has an innate love of every detail along the way, that's going to look like "a long walk for a short drink."

I need to come up with something under 10,000 rds. a year, give or take. I could not possibly afford to buy that much factory ammo.

HOWEVER, if I was forced to turn those out on a single-stage press, I'd probably end up getting a second job instead just so I could buy factory ammo!

Now, sitting down to a bucket of tumbled brass and 15 minutes later having the week's batch loaded up, well that's something I can live with.

As other have said, though, if I'm going to produce some precision rifle ammo, I'm going to be focused, "in-the-moment," detail oriented, and loving every minute of it (while only producing 50 or 100 rds. in an hour, maybe). Totally different thing.

INSULATION TIM
March 13, 2010, 09:16 AM
For me, it is my evening relaxation time. I have a single stage Lee press and it works superbly, once I figured it out. I reload both 9mm and .45ACP.

I purchased a Dillon 550 but haven't gotten around to setting it up. When I do, it should speed the process.

I like the cost savings, but also the ability it gives me to tailor the loads the way I like them.

RandyP
March 13, 2010, 01:56 PM
The notion of saving money by reloading pistol ammo can be a overstated, most agree that they spend they same $$$ and just shoot a lot more for it.

I spent 40 years shooting pistol on store bought before I started reloading, more out of concerns over the US being Obaminated, than anything else, and to not have to worry about the ammo shortages his election created by panic buying.

I find it relaxing and fun. Would I still reload if $$$ were not an issue? I dunno, buy me a winning Lottery ticket and I'll tell you. I'll probably be spending too much time with leggy supermodels to spare any moments for reloading. LOL

thorn-
March 13, 2010, 03:09 PM
To the OP:

It does sound as if you've got a lot good things going on in life, that takes priority of your time. And there's nothing wrong with that at all, that's a plus! Reloading may ALSO just not be your cup of tea. I don't like golf, and can hardly understand why anyone else does. I don't like watching baseball on TV... borrrring... but many people would disagree. ;)

But taking all that into account: if I had only a single-stage press, I'm not convinced I'd be reloading pistol ammo either. In my opinion, it is too many repetitive steps and too much time spent doing it.

Something else another person metioned: you're reloading by appointment, so to speak, and that's a bit different experience. I spend almost no time on case prep. I dump them in a tumbler and do something else for 3 hours. Sift them out, and start reloading. I also don't feel compelled to do everything in one sitting. I might clean on Sunday night, do some reloading on Monday, and on Tuesday do a final quality check. It feels less like a job that way, and more of a choice.

But whatever your decision, it sounds like you're considering all the variables and doing what's right for you. That's the important thing. :)

thorn

strambo
March 13, 2010, 03:40 PM
Yeah, even a single stage press at your own home, maybe getting your boys involved a little and splitting up between 2 sessions would make a HUGE difference.

Tumble some brass, then crank 'em all through the sizing die. Sit down in front of the TV and the 3 of you can hand prime 'em. Next session, put the seating die in, give 'em all powder, seat the bullets and your done.

A progressive would just be crankin' out the rounds in 2 short sessions. Once you have a progressive set up...walking into your loading area for just an hour can result in 2-400 rds.

Sounds like you need a basic progressive press set up...or none at all until a few years down the road.

bds
March 14, 2010, 06:59 PM
You're trying to ride 100 miles on a tricycle (actually, someone else's tricycle) and that's going to get old FAST.

I had a mental picture of that ... gave me a good laugh.

Yes, very true.

ranger335v
March 14, 2010, 09:07 PM
"To be perfectly honest, I find the whole thing a pain. "

Goodness, then don't do it!

EddieNFL
March 14, 2010, 09:25 PM
"To be perfectly honest, I find the whole thing a pain. "

Goodness, then don't do it!
No pain, no gain.

StretchNM
March 14, 2010, 11:25 PM
Let's just say..... what if comes the day when ammo cannot be bought. And it turns out you just fired the last of most of your ammo last week. And....there're some Marxists (uh...tens of millions of them at last count...right here in MY COUNTRY) coming to take what's left of yours that they haven't already taken. And....you're over at your buddy's and he's trying to let you down easy, when the answer for more ammo is no. And......aw I'm just rambling....cogitating.......musing.....

Just sayin........

Oh wait! Let's just say....you're getting hungry because the grocery stores aren;t quite stocked as well as they were.....and your job is no more.....a couple of feral hogs and a doe would go a long way...and....pestulence is everywhere......and.....well, I'm rambling again.....thinking of what might be coming here in MY COUNTRY in the next few years...........just sayin.

Some reloading equipment and components might be nice. Or some food to trade to a friend who might reload some for you....

((( :D )))

bds
March 15, 2010, 12:32 AM
... if comes the day when ammo cannot be bought. And it turns out you just fired the last of most of your ammo last week.

If that day ever comes, I guess I will have to dig into my scrap 5 gallon bucket and reload my spent primers and load my rounds with match heads. :uhoh:

Save your spent primers, you never know! :D I am just kidding. - back to the OP.

qajaq59
March 15, 2010, 09:16 AM
... if comes the day when ammo cannot be bought. And it turns out you just fired the last of most of your ammo last week. When that day comes the guys with black powder flint locks will be the ones that are eating good. They can make BP and find flint in the gravel bank. LOL

GMFWoodchuck
March 15, 2010, 06:25 PM
I like reloading for them same reasons as what they guys above have said. And one more.

Reloading seems to keep my wife out of my hair for a while. Not sure why. Not going to ask. But she leaves me alone when I reload for awhile.

GMFWoodchuck
March 16, 2010, 12:12 PM
You could look at it from a different standpoint. Building engines versus driving. An engine builder may well be happy if his engine was put into a tractor. But that doesn't mean the racecar driver is going to have any interest in driving one. The builder (reloader) is concerned with how optimal the engine is for the application. Does it have enough horsepower (bullet speed) enough torque (bullet weight)? A tractor engine would need more torque (hunter gunning for bear) but a racecar engine would need more horsepower ( a varmint bullet reaching a target 400-500 yards away.) Reloading and shooting are two different things really.


Different strokes for different folks. Maybe you're the racecar driver.

Yank
March 18, 2010, 12:42 AM
I always new I would reload my own some day. Growing up watching my father turn out cartridge after cartridge in 30-06 on the old Lyman Spartan single stage press. I was fascinated with methodic approach he took to inspect, measure and load cases, the mechanics of the press and how he wiped and polished each cartridge. It wasnt until much later that I realized his true motivation and love for the outdoors was out of necessity as his wife, my mother, was the biggest nag west of the Mississippi.

jmalys
March 18, 2010, 11:25 PM
I have been reloading for about 3 months now and enjoy it. I have a single stage press, nothing fancy, but I will say an auto powder measure is something that made hand loading hand gun rounds A LOT less tedious. I am pretty slow, it takes me about an hour to do 50 rounds, and usually I just do batches of 25 every now and then.

Loading .40 S&W and .357 mag is pretty satisfying to me, but more so for the .308 and 45-70. The prices for 45-70 rounds for modern (1895) rifles are simply horse dung. $60-$80 for 20 cartridges?? Give me a break. I can reload the same stuff for like 9 dollars per 20.

It is nice to reload match .308 rounds as well, which will cost about 1/3 of the price as store bought, not to mention neck sizing only, which theoretically improves accuracy.

But like I said, if you have a single stage press, invest in an auto disk measure or something similar; saves a bunch of time.

Peter_S
March 22, 2010, 01:30 PM
Like others have said; if I was reloading only to save money it would probably drive me nuts. I enjoy the process and probably use many more steps than necessary. I wander into the garage and spend some time reloading then go do something else, go back when I'm in the mood again. It suits my ADD-type personality :-)

Damon555
March 22, 2010, 03:37 PM
There will be an ah-ha moment. Mine came when the rifle loads I was building shot groups 1/2 the size as factory ammo. You just need to keep trying.

But as mentioned, reloading isn't for everyone. It's expensive to get started. You will save money about 20 years down the road.

lykoris
March 22, 2010, 06:38 PM
I started reloading for one reason, control.

Overall I find it manually repetitive and quite tedious for pistol/revolver ammo.

Rifle adds more steps but really is no different.

I don't enjoy the process but the time spent doing it enables me to reflect on certain issues.

The most I have got out of it would be that my wife now shoots full load 9mm and in due time I will have her comfortable with shooting full load 45 auto.

I don't appreciate the process much but admire the results.

Riss
March 22, 2010, 07:56 PM
Contrary to popular belief, reloading does not save you money. It allows you to shoot more with the same amount of money.

KevinR
March 22, 2010, 08:34 PM
Equipment , Equipment , Equipment Its all about your equipment, the better your equipment works the more fun you will have. Contrary equipment will turn you off to the whole experience.

918v
March 22, 2010, 11:43 PM
Contrary to popular belief, reloading does not save you money. It allows you to shoot more with the same amount of money.
That's like saying you won't save money by eating in because cooking your own food allows you to eat more.

StretchNM
March 22, 2010, 11:59 PM
Well, there is truth to that statement of Riss'. You can reload most cartridges substantially cheaper than buy them, after you've shot and reloaded enough where the savings pay for your equipment. But.... then what happens with most of us is, once cartridges are reloaded, we just have to go out and shoot them. Once they're shot, we just have to clean them and reload them. And on it goes.......

To me, reloading is its own process, seperate and apart from shooting. I reload them for the joy (and peace) of "building" something correctly. Then, rather than sit around enjoying them or marveling at them, I have to shoot them. An entirely different process where I'm concerned with how they group.

So....if I had to buy manufactured ammo, I couldn;t justify the expenditure. But I accept the costs when buying components. They're cheaper in the individual components of the purchase. When you add it all up, you've shot way more reloads than you would have if you'd been forced to buy factory ammo. The costs of equipment and components, in the end, costs substantially more than buying ammo, IF you're like me and you shy away from the high cost of factory ammo. That's my take, anyway.....

twofifty
March 23, 2010, 12:10 AM
If it weren't for reloading there would be no HG comps for me.
Plus I enjoy the process for all the reasons mentioned by others.
Add to that the learning & insights into internal and flight ballistics that are part of it - I love learning stuff.

But certainly, reloading is not for everyone and that's ok.

lykoris
March 23, 2010, 06:31 AM
I agree with Riss.

The group of guys I shoot with on the weekend come with a box of 50 cartridges and on the rare occasion maybe two for each calibre they shoot. None of them reload.

I shoot 200 a session as a minimum, with my wife it would be 300-350 per session minimum.

for rifle it's the same as above, they come with 20 cartridges, I'll come with at least a 100.

In France they all reload due to legal restrictions on purchasing ammo per category 1 firearms , 1,000 cartridges per year :barf: so I know a lot of reloaders. The only guys I know that save money are those that come with commerical boxes of factory bought ammo....which is basically the group of guys I shoot with on a regular basis.

Seriously, the reloaders talk less and shoot 4 times more :D :D You don't save money unless you are 'extremely disciplined' with costs.

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