To those that reload


October 20, 2011, 10:34 PM
I have been reloading 44 mag for a little over a year now. For those of you that reload, do you guys reload for a lot of your calibers? Or how do you decide what to reload for and what not to reload for?

Trying to decide between extending my collection of firearms, or further supporting what I already have.

My only qualms with reloading are that I don't shoot year round. It's kind of seasonal. So I really don't get that much shooting time in. And another problem is that I have a bunch of different calibers that perform similar functions. 17 remington, 223, 22 hornet....243 and 6mm..etc, the list goes on. They all see approximately the same use too.

I wish when I was picking guns up I had stayed with only a few calibers.

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October 20, 2011, 10:52 PM
but lots of calibers are fun? I reload for all my rifles, BUT i also use quite a bit of factory ammo for goofing off. If its very close to as cheap to buy ammo then i say buy it. .223 ammo here is about 10 bucks a box, i can load it for 1/2 the price but with all the prep it takes me about 20mns to make a box of rounds. Most of the rounds i shoot out of my mini are factory. The only rounds i think are a must are specialty rounds, Or rounds you want to use a bullet you cant get in factory ammo.

October 20, 2011, 11:20 PM
I DO try to limit my caliber selection somewhat unless of course I just get a killer deal on a nice gun I really wasn't looking for. That said I reload for all my guns and when I say all my guns I mean I don't shoot certain same caliber loads in all the guns that may chamber it. Some of my loads are tailored to a specific arm. I choose to reload any time I can build a better round for 1/2 the price which is almost always at least after the first pop. I can't afford exploding targets but I can afford cheap store brand soda pop and dog town bullets from Midway. At least I can tell when I hit a target at 250 yards. The FMJ stuff you can buy for about .30 a round just doesn't have the same effect and it's a great varmint load to boot.

Arkansas Paul
October 20, 2011, 11:34 PM
Or how do you decide what to reload for and what not to reload for?

Easy. It depends on whether or not they're centerfire or rimfire.
Not trying to be a smart aleck there but that's it. I don't own a caliber that I don't reload for with the exception of .22lr and .22WMR.
Not only that, but when I buy a gun now, I just buy the dies as well. I now have guns that have never fired a factory round.
There are two ways to look at this though. If you reload strictly to save money, there are some calibers that just don't offer much savings, such as 9mm. Then there are people like me who think that handloading is half the fun. I enjoy loading just as much if not more than I enjoy shooting these days. There's just something about trying to find that sweet spot for a particular rifle.

Coal Dragger
October 20, 2011, 11:53 PM
If I plan on shooting it much, and it is a centerfire rifle or pistol, I reload for it.

October 20, 2011, 11:53 PM
I reload everything except 9mm. It's cheap to buy and too fiddly to work with to make reloading worthwhile for me.

October 21, 2011, 12:02 AM
At one time I had decided to limit calibers, I changed my mind because as LoonWolf said ... different calibers are fun. So far I have avoided getting into reloading 9mm, today I paid $19.90 / 100 at Walmart for Federal. Loading .357 and .45acp is a money saving event though. Not to mention finally finding the sweet spot in a .357 rifle for accuracy.

October 21, 2011, 06:42 AM
I used to reload a lot more than I do now. Back then, I would reload every shot I fired in about 15 firearms, and I was a competitive revolver shooter. I almost spent more time in the reloading area than I did on the range! Then, I started trying different firearms and increased my reloading die inventory to include cartridges for which I did not own a firearm. At some point, I came to my senses and while I still have most of the dies, I have sold off many of the firearms that do not fill a need for me. I have also stayed away from small bores. I now reload for 3 different rifle cartridges and 4 revolver cartridges. I find my time is better spent as I have settled on one load for each cartridge and I get enjoyment from both reloading and shooting.

October 21, 2011, 07:37 AM
I like to reload, so I reload for every cartridge that i have a firearm for. About 25 at last count.

When I buy a new firearm chambered for a cartridge I don't reload, the next purchase after the gun is a set of dies and a shell holder.

I save a bit on ammunition. I get to shoot loads that work well in my firearms. I generally always have ammunition on hand and am less affected by shortages.

If you already have the base reloading gear on hand, adding another cartridge to your reloading mix is not very expensive.

October 21, 2011, 08:45 AM
I enjoy reloading and reload most of the cartridges I have and will be starting to reload for the ones that I have laying around. I also reload over 50rnds. I would say if you are not a match shooter or a hunter who likes to reload less than fifty for one rifle than reload for all of them. that way you have lots of ammo to go shoot for practice and fun.

October 21, 2011, 09:03 AM
Just to pile on, I reload for everything that it makes sense to. I don't reload 7.62x39 or .380, but do for x51 and 9mm. I guess I am one of the few to reload for 9mm. Doesn't take long to cast 125 grain LRN bullets at 6 per cast. I reload all my pistol and revolver bullets on a pro1000, 9mm 45ACP 38/357. Takes 5 minutes to switch calibers on the press once you have done it a few times. Hardest part is scrounging for lead. Rifle I buy components in bulk and have settled on a load for each rifle that fills the bill. Anything I want to try I do in small lots. Do I save money? No, because I shoot a lot more. Hard to cast in the winter so I do all my casting now in the fall and in the spring.

I think I enjoy shooting in the winter more than the summer because I get the range to myself(in the State forest on an unplowed road). However I limit winter shooting to Bolt action or Revolver mostly as finding brass in the snow is impossible.


October 21, 2011, 09:21 AM
I have loaded for every thing I have ever owned, the exception, of course, rimfire. At one time I had 141 different sets of dies, no duplicates, and the firearms to go with them.

October 21, 2011, 09:49 AM
I reload 8 different calibers at the moment. Everything I own except 22lr and my AK. As long as I can buy 7.62x39 cheaper than I can load, I won't bother loading it. But I do shoot brass cases and keep them. So one day, I will start loading them too.

I load my high power rifles just because I can make a $2.50 round for under a buck. As for .223, I load Hornady V-Max. It is all I have ever loaded for .223 and I use that round for everything from varmints to punching paper. I gave my buddy a box and he won't shoot them. He said they are too expensive for just target practice.

My reasoning, I like to practice with what might have to save my family one day. And two, I can load ballistic tips as cheaply as I can buy 5.56 ball ammo. Sure I can get steel cased ammo cheaper for plinking. But then I just got a bunch of cheap ammo which may or may not go off. May or may not group tightly at 100 yards.

I'm fine with that for my AK which only has to hit a silhouette at 100 yards. But for my AR, I want better. I load 9mm with the same though in mind. That is my go-to pistol so I practice with the same hollow point rounds I carry. And for those, I pay maybe $2 more for a 250 box of hollow points than I do for ball. So why not load hollow points.

October 21, 2011, 09:58 AM
I don't handload everything. I don't handload for automatics for two reasons. I shoot on my own property and don't want to spend an hour scrounging around in the grass for my brass every time I rip off a few rounds. I can buy .223, .380 and .45ACP reasonably enough to do the shooting I want to do with those cartridges. My lone centerfire boltgun is a .270WCF and I simply don't do enough shooting with that rifle to justify the expense and effort. Just as I wouldn't handload 9mm or .40S&W, if I had one.

I do handload for .30-30, .32H&R, .32-20, .38Spl, .357Mag, .38-40, 10mm, .405WCF, .44Colt, .44Spl, .44Mag, .45Colt, .480Ruger, etc. Because I either shoot them enough to justify the effort and expense, I need loads that are unavailable over the counter, or both.

451 Detonics
October 21, 2011, 11:25 AM
I reload for most of the common handgun calibers and some not so common. These include:

9mm - 38/357 - 38 Super - 9X23 - 44 special - 44 Mag - 45 ACP and Super - 45 Colt - 460 Rowland - 460 S&W

In rifle I load:

.223 - 22 CHeetah - 30 Carbine - 300 Whisper - 30-30 - .308 - 8X57 - 9.3X74R - .375/338 - 450 Alaskan

And there are other I have forgotten to list I am sure...yep...didn't list 28, 20, 16, and 12 gauges...

October 21, 2011, 11:30 AM
I reload everything I shoot but rimfire.

October 21, 2011, 11:44 AM
I would look at it from an economic stand point. If you own it, reload for it regardless of how much you shoot it. An example of this is easily realized with your 44 magnum. For example, even if you load a jacketed XTP using a lot a slow burning powder it can be loaded for less than you can buy the factory for.

But economics aren't the only reason for reloading, not by a long shot. If you wanted to regulate your loads to everything from a comfort zone load, to the maximum full house load, you would be faced with a near impossible task of trying to find the performance grade of what you can make at your bench.

October 21, 2011, 11:49 AM
For those of you that reload, do you guys reload for a lot of your calibers? Or how do you decide what to reload for and what not to reload for?

I currently handload for four cartridges.

The primary reason I handload is because I shoot a lot of something and I want to shoot it cheap. I also handload for any gun where I genuinely care about accuracy; or for any cartridge where I want to take advantage the broad versatility of light/hot loads.

The ones I currently handload for and regularly shoot are:
.38 special/.357 magnum
.44 special/.44 magnum
.45 Colt

There are two other cartridges that I shoot regularly, but have no desire to handload for. This is because ammo is available very cheap, and I use these as fun guns only with no real intentions of trying to accurize them. These would be 9mm Makarov and 7.62x54 Russian.

October 21, 2011, 12:10 PM
With the exception of rimfire, if I own it I reload for it. Having the equipment is half the battle. Components are far cheaper than buying loaded ammo. When reloading costs half as much as buying then it's a no brainer.

Being a part time shooter is even better. Just load what you're going to shoot when you're not shooting. I load all winter and don't have to mess with it come summer time.

Kevin Rohrer
October 21, 2011, 12:14 PM
I also reload for everything I shoot except .22rimfire. It makes no sense to do otherwise.

October 21, 2011, 01:18 PM
I load for all my center fires + 1. I have started choosing new calibers by how much brass I have picked up.

.223 & 9mm are both worth while for me. I load .223 for $1.60 a box & thats a lot cheaper then $10 at Walmart.I can even load the "good stuff" for $3.40 a box.

October 21, 2011, 01:34 PM
I got started reloading when I bought a 338/06. Didn't really have much choice. Currently load for the 338/06 plus 308, 30/06, 300WSM and 7mm Rem mag. I load for these because I can get better performance than with factory ammo + save a little.

I don't relaod pistol ammo because I can get new or factroy reloaded (GA-Arms) cheap enough to not make reloading worth the trouble. Same with 5.56 ammo for the AR's. I don't shoot 44 mag 30-30, 45-70, 35 Rem enough to justify buying the gear to get started.

October 21, 2011, 02:06 PM
" do you decide what to reload for and what not to reload for?"

I don't reload rimfire.

October 21, 2011, 02:46 PM
If and when I ever get a gun in a calibre I don't already have, the first thing I buy after the initial ammunition purchase is a set of reloading dies.
Actually, recently I found a set of used dies in a calibre I DON'T have a gun for at a garage sale so cheap that I bought them anyway. Now I've got to find a gun to go with them. :) Now I'm in the market for an inexpensive .45-70, if there is such a thing.

Arkansas Paul
October 21, 2011, 05:05 PM
Now I'm in the market for an inexpensive .45-70, if there is such a thing.

NEF Handi Rifle. I can't imagine how they must recoil though with heavy loads though. I've got one in .280 and it's bad enough.

October 21, 2011, 05:09 PM
how do you decide what to reload for and what not to reload for?
Many times it was, hmm, what caliber do I want to buy next to reload for. :)

Rollis R. Karvellis
October 21, 2011, 09:42 PM
The only caliber I, don't reload for right now is .44 mag. I, only have one model 29, and it is a safe queen, well almost. I, do try to put a box through it every year just because it is to nice not to shoot. I, also have a 657, and as we all know it is a much superior caliber. If I, was to decide to start loading for the 29, it would take about 10 minutes to Starte because I, do have plenty of back stocked components for it.

October 21, 2011, 11:28 PM
I reload for everything I shoot except rimfire. I have some guns that have never seen factory ammo.

October 22, 2011, 11:26 AM
I reload for everything due to cost. Even 9mm Luger, I am saving some money. It used to be I had more money than time, but that has changed now that I have twins on the way and my wife is no longer working :)

I only have pistols in 9mm Luger & .45 ACP, but am also setup to reload .44 Rem Mag, .357 Mag / .38 Special, 40 S&W.

I only have rifles in .270 Win & .223 Rem / 5.56 NATO, but am also setup to reload .308 Win / 7.62 NATO.

October 22, 2011, 11:42 AM
I tend to have on hand everything needed to reload for every thing that I shoot except for rimfire. It's not always economical to reload for some calibers but if I NEED to reload ammo for XXX I have the ability to make a bullet and load for it. Currently I have the capability to reload for 50+ cartridges. For the X39 Rus it is a no brainer to buy steel commi stuff but for the 500 S&W, 500 NE, and the like I could not afford to shoot in the volume I do unless I reload. YMMV:D

I now have a 5 gal bucket of 40 S&W brass and NEED to get the gear to reload it. Then with some stockpiled ammo I NEED to find a pistol to use it up in. It is a disease I tell you!!:D

October 22, 2011, 12:09 PM
If I shoot it I load for it, with the exception of .22LR.

By loading my own I have ammo when there's none on the shelves locally at any price (like 2008). I also get to shoot quality ammo for half or less than the price of the "crappy" ammo that's offered at big discounts.

As long as there are those who choose to not reload I have an endless supply of brass. So far my "stock" has been growing by 100 to 500 pieces, depending on the caliber, at each weekly range session.

October 22, 2011, 12:19 PM
I reload for the calibers that I shoot more than 200 rounds a year. I have a nice older Browning High Power that I rarely shoot. Since I bought the pistol 2 years ago, it might have seen a hundred rounds...but I doubt it. It's the only 9mm I I don't reload 9mm. If I ever feel the need, I've got a friend who will loan his dies to me.

October 23, 2011, 04:08 PM
I reload for everything I have. I enjoy it. It extends the sport into the dreary, dark days of winter up here too.

Rather than limiting my scope, I have the opposite problem. In fact, I confess to having a set of 444 Marlin dies sitting on the shelf all forlorn and unused. They forced me into buying a rifle for them. Anything to keep them happy. ;-)

Hondo 60
October 23, 2011, 04:46 PM
I reload for all of my guns, just because I want to.
It also allows me to shoot waaaaayyyyy more than if I had to buy all of my ammo.
I just bought a Ruger Redhawk in 44 mag.
While I'm waiting for bullets to arrive, I bought a box of ammo.
There's no way I could afford that very often.
But I'll save about 60% or more by reloading.

Besides, it's raining out now, so if I wasn't on this forum, I'd be "pullin' the handle".
It gives me something to do.

I think reloading is very much like goin to the casino. :scrutiny:
Pull the handle & win - except with reloading, you ALWAYS win. :D

evan price
October 24, 2011, 04:03 AM
I can shoot small stuff like 9mm and 38 special for about 3 cents a shot. $1.50 a box reloaded. I reload everything centerfire except shotgun shells.
IN the beginning I only wanted to have calibers I "needed" but suddenly I found out how much fun guns in odd calibers could be. That's why I got into 32 cals.

If I could reload rimfire I would. (Well maybe not)

October 24, 2011, 10:41 PM
I reload almost everything I shoot, even stuff that you can buy cheaply, like 20 gauge. Sometimes it's to save money, and sometimes it's to make loads you can't easily buy.

October 24, 2011, 10:58 PM
I wish when I was picking guns up I had stayed with only a few calibers

so sell some and get yourself down to a few cartridges.

I also have always reloaded for everything - from 32 ACP through 7mm Mag and then there are the shotgun bores

I have slowly sold off those I no longer shoot - I have moved a few times and what worked in one place is out of place in my new home, so away they go

Do the same

October 25, 2011, 06:42 AM
I load for: .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .357 Maximum, .44 Russian, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .45 ACP, .45 GAP, 9x19, 40 S&W, 10mm Auto, 7.62x39, .30-'06, and .300 Winchester Magnum because these are the rounds I shoot a LOT of. Handgun much more than rifle generally.

I own a .380 ACP but don't load for it because the one gun I have chambered for it is a royal PITA to shoot and clean so it's basically a safe queen. A SQ for my son now since he wanted to borrow it.

I started loading and casting circa 1970 because at that time the factory fodder was expensive junk. I load and cast basically to support my habit ... shooting. With the exception of the .380, I load for everything I shoot because that's just the proper thing to do, it's fun and interesting and I dearly love everything associated with it. And the result is I get customized ammo that perfectly suits my need at a particular time. Brought back several [Canadian] Caribou in 2000 and that's a measure of satisfaction I can't begin to describe.

My 'home defense" ammo is all of the store bought variety and replaced about every five years. Several reasons for that but I'll simply say basically I'm a very conservative sort of guy.

Handloading ammunition, or as I generally refer to it ... handcrafting, is a way of life for me. In one sense it's a hobby and as such you can't justify its cost. If every golfer had to justify cost, only successful pros would play the game.

Emerging cataracts have caused a temporary halt to pistol competition but I tell you, win a match with your own cast and loaded boolits and you'll never again question why you do it. Truthfully, just putting holes in paper, banging steel or plain blasting does it for me. And when shooters to my right and left at my gun club have to stop when they've exhausted their 50 or 100 rounds and I keep going, I know this is a labor of love that will stop for me only when I can no longer work that press handle for whatever reason.

October 25, 2011, 01:45 PM
I like most people reload for most, if not all my guns. Only ones I dont do are 2 rifles I recieved from my father, one is 25-06 and other is 30-06, i dont shoot but maybe 1 box a year through them, so i dont reload. I reload for everything else, including 9mm, and 223, that way I can tailor make rounds made for my guns.

41 Mag
October 26, 2011, 07:47 PM
I reload for everything I shoot except rimfire. I have some guns that have never seen factory ammo.

Ditto, with the exception of shotshells. I have the equipment and components, just no space on my current bench to mount and do it on. Since I haven't shot a full box of shells in over 20 years, I hardly see the need. Oh I do shoot a few rounds of buck shot to rid the farm yard of feral hogs on occasion.

October 26, 2011, 07:56 PM
I reload for my handgun calibers.

My only rifles are chambered for .22LR, x39 & x54R. Milsurp ammo for the rifles is cheaper than I could load it for. Although I have accumulated a supply of x39 brass & will eventually load 7.62x39 with .308 bullets and soft primers for my early Mini-30.

Generally I'm not interested in a firearm unless I can buy ammo for it milsurp or at WalMart.

Of course, I never pass up a batch of .223 or .308 brass when opportunity presents. I'm sure I'll eventually own something to use it in. ;)

October 26, 2011, 11:52 PM
For those of you that reload, do you guys reload for a lot of your calibers?
Yep, pretty much all my centerfire rounds, to include .380, 9mm, .38/357, 10mm, .41 Mag, .45acp, .45LC.

October 27, 2011, 10:21 PM
I reload all my centerfire pistol (9mm, 44) except for .30 Carbine ... probably because it's a recent caliber acquisition and I haven't shot them at all yet. If I end up shooting more than a couple hundred a year, I'll invest in some dies and work up loads. Reloading 9mm is definitely a money saver for me, and I don't find it a pain to reload at all.

I don't shoot enough rifle or shotgun to justify the dies and tools. That might change some day, but even midrange factory rifle ammo is more accurate than I am.


October 27, 2011, 11:37 PM
I don't reload for shotgun, nor rimfire. I do load for a variety of both handgun and rifle calibers. Yes, I guess I load for all my centerfire rifles and handguns. I also cast bullets for the handguns.

October 27, 2011, 11:59 PM
I load for everything I shoot. I don't worry about calibre selection when I buy or build a rifle. I go for the math behind the round. In fact, reloading really pays off better when you shoot a lot of expensive high performance but semi-obscure cartridges.

I load for the basics: .38spcl, .357, 9mm, .40 and 10mm, .45ACP, 5.56mm, 7.62mm. But I also load for 6.5Grendel, .50Beowulf, and coming soon. .300BLK and maybe .50GI. The 10mm is one that is common, but really pays off to load in more ways than one.

I also like the flexibility, tailoring, and quality that loading yourself delivers. So much so that the only factory ammo I have is the +P, +P+, and .40 carry loads --I don't load "hot" loads, so I purchase the Winchester T stuff, but only for this application.

I just went shooting today, I have a Grendel AR I built that has reached just over 100 rounds today. All of the brass is new Lapua, and I understand the Grendel is more accurate after the brass has been fired once and then reloaded. I don't know yet. But I can say that with that new rifle with a freshly broken in 20" Satern barrel and ACOG, I put five 100gr. AMAX through one ragged hole at 100m!

I doubt factory ammo is capable of that.

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