Why You Reload...


April 1, 2012, 12:18 PM
We reload for different reasons. I often see these reasons as the reasons we choose the press we choose and the components we use. So, concerning our choices, it's not a universal "better than" deal, it's an individual "better for me" deal.

See poll. Just curious. Please only select one option per section (1, 2 or 3). Thanks.

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April 1, 2012, 12:28 PM
I reload pistol ammo both to save money, and I shoot a couple of esoteric calibers..

I reload rifle ammo to tailor the load to the rifle..

shotgun ammo is strictly economics, although with lead at $38. a bag, right now it ain't real economical...

April 1, 2012, 12:57 PM
No better than I can shoot a handgun it would be a fallacy to reload handgun ammo for much better accuracy.

April 1, 2012, 01:06 PM
I started reloading because Cowboy .45 Colt rounds off the shelf were hitting $1 a round in some stores at the peak of the ammo shortage, and $0.60 was still too much to stomach.

The press has already paid for itself, if not the Blackhawk that I just picked up. (In .45 of course!)

April 1, 2012, 01:47 PM
My primary purpose for reloading is to manufacture loads that are not commercially available. Sometimes it saves money, but that's not the purpose. I shoot quite a few less popular cartridges for which few (if any) factory loads are available, but the handloading combinations are nearly endless, like a 200 gr. Accubond at 3,150 FPS for 8mm Rem Mag.

April 1, 2012, 02:00 PM
i can't vote....i reload to shoot more.....

April 1, 2012, 02:37 PM
I started reloading to save money but now I reload to save money, have a supply, what I shoot can't be bought, if it could be bought I wouldn't trust anyone else to do it, & I believe I enjoy it more then shooting. I actually injoy setting up the press the most.

I load almost everything I shoot. The only thing I don't reload that I own is 12 gauge, 7.62x39, 22LR but (I don't shoot these) & 17HMR(I wish I'd got a Fire Ball).

April 1, 2012, 02:47 PM
Hi ya, you forgot one i reload because i just plane like too.. Get to go off alone and not think about anything else for a little while. I tell the wife that i have to be alone and have to focus. Quite me time! :)

Oh, i shoot 357 MAG and 44 MAG so i do save alot over factory loads too lol


April 1, 2012, 02:59 PM
Hi ya, you forgot one i reload because i just plane like too.. Get to go off alone and not think about anything else for a little while. I tell the wife that i have to be alone and have to focus. Quite me time! :)

Yep..I know that feeling!

April 1, 2012, 03:12 PM
Saving money is something to work toward, I think I started for that and probably more likely, I like doing stuff myself. Realistically it's not so much saving money as allow you to shoot more, but then again since it's cheaper you can afford to shoot more, so I guess it is about being cheaper.

A Pause for the Coz
April 1, 2012, 03:52 PM
Well lets see. I could spend $18 - $20 for a box of 50 357 mag rounds or I could reload them my self for $3.52 and that includes the price of the lead,Powder, primers and the Brass casings.
Its a no brainier. if your not reloading your just giving money away.
Notice I did not say saving any money. I have spent way more reloading my own than if I had not.
But I shoot way more than I could otherwise.
I see many range guys shoot their 50 and leave. I shoot another 200 then grab their old brass.:-)

April 1, 2012, 04:15 PM
You left out hobby as an option.
And as with any hobby the enjoyment of the reloading process may be the most important benefit of all. For me, saving money and building better ammo takes a back seat to doing something I enjoy. I think you have to actually like reloading to do it for 20 years.

April 1, 2012, 04:26 PM
Perhaps a modicum more independence. I also grow a garden but it's pretty much for fun.

April 1, 2012, 04:37 PM
Reload for enjoyment, savings, better, more consistent ammo, and for the collapse of society...which, given the current state of things and the current administration, is more likely than not. Pray that we find new Christian leadership instead of the instrument of Satan that leads us to the right and left continuously!

April 1, 2012, 05:14 PM
I reload all 3 for savings and fine tuning the ammo and also for the enjoyment. As an added bonus I get to enjoy more recoil therapy!!

April 1, 2012, 05:24 PM
30 some years ago I got into reloading to save money but I enjoyed it so it is now a hobby unto itself.

When I buy a new firearm with a cartridge I don't have, the next purchase is always a set of dies and components.

Generally, what I load is not easily available in stores. If I reload, I don't have to hunt for them. In pre-internet days, it was difficult to find ammunition that was not mainstream products. Not as much an issue in today's internet age, but I already reload and enjoy it.

Also, I load a couple wildcats and one obsolete cartridge. None of those are available commercially so to enjoy those firearms I must reload.

I will experiment with new processes (we tumbling is an example) or different loadings (brass .410 shot shells is an example) for grins and giggles. This adds to the reloading enjoyment.

April 1, 2012, 05:25 PM
I reload to save money. I calculated that the gear would pay for itself in a year, and if I didn't think the savings were worth the effort, I could go back to buying factory ammo. Haven't bought a single factory round, since. It turned out to be sorta enjoyable, in an OCD kinda way. The biggest hassle was trying to figure out exactly what stuff I needed to start with. Now, it seems so simple.

April 1, 2012, 05:58 PM
None of the options you listed applies to me. I started hand loading and casting bullets to hand load in 1956, been at it ever since.

April 1, 2012, 06:17 PM
I started reloading to save money. However, I've realized that I don't save a thing because I shoot more, buy in larger quantities to add to my stockpile and lower per round costs, and to ride through shortages.

When .380 disappeared from the shelves a few years ago I didn't worry; I had plenty. Looks like a .40 S&W famine starting now; there's over 1000 rounds loaded on the shelf and components for thousands more. No problem.

Shooting more exotic handgun calibers (like .500 S&W), the cost savings is substantial.
I was in Bass Pro today; cheapest rounds for that beast were $55.00 per 20. I've seen premium stuff approaching $60 for 12 rounds. Loading full power rounds with a premium bullet still leaves the cost under $1/round (not counting brass). Of course, I did have to buy a new press (RL550B) to handle this caliber. :-)


Wil Terry
April 1, 2012, 06:34 PM
I BELIEVE YOU MISSED the only thing that really and truly matters in the handloading of ALL your cartridges; Having complete control of your shooting destiny.

April 1, 2012, 08:11 PM
No better than I can shoot a handgun it would be a fallacy to reload handgun ammo for much better accuracy.
Ha, That ends up being closer to the truth than I care to admit. I still take care loading the ammo though, want to make sure that I have best chance for success. Even a a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while.

April 1, 2012, 09:03 PM
I'm surprised a how many guys are not reloading shot-shells..

April 1, 2012, 09:35 PM
Yep I reload because it is cheaper than going to a therapist and when in the zone I will forget all those annoying little things that really do not in the scheme of things really matter. Keeps my mind and hands busy and out of things that I have no business being into in the first place. Plus I REALLLLY like to reload.:D

Steel Horse Rider
April 1, 2012, 09:46 PM
JL, I don't shoot a shotgun so therefore there is no need to reload them. It might be interesting to see the breakdown between rifle and shotgun shooters here.

I reload as others have said because I started a long time ago and really find it relaxing, fun, and educational. I also like to build loads for .357 mag to use in my Marlin as the rifle can utilize different loads than the typical pistol.

April 1, 2012, 10:04 PM
JL, I don't shoot a shotgun so therefore there is no need to reload them. It might be interesting to see the breakdown between rifle and shotgun shooters here.

I load shot gun (12, 20, and 28 gauges plus .410 bore) plus rifle plus handgun.

April 1, 2012, 11:08 PM
I started reloading to save money on handgun ammo, but have since changed my goals to shoot more and load better ammo. I load rifle to load better rounds. I would like to load shot shell, but I can't find the savings in shot shell.

April 2, 2012, 03:38 AM
I reload handgun to shoot more & rifle mainly better ammo.

"Real liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of democracy"- Alexander Hamilton

April 2, 2012, 10:52 AM
I started because of economics. I wanted to take several pistol and rifle classes and I knew that I was going to expend about 1000 rounds of .223 and 357 SIG for each class. When I did the math, I could pay for the equipment and components by the time I had taken 2 pistol and 2 rifle classes compared to store bought ammunition.

This was especially true in reference to the 357 SIG. I do not know too many people that shoot it, but everyone I have met that does reloads for it.

Now it is mainly about keeping myself in ammunition and not having to worry about whether or not I can find it to shoot.

Oh, and since I have recently taken up aspirations of IDPA, looks like I will be saving even MORE money.

Uncle Richard
April 2, 2012, 11:40 AM
Reload for a hobby, self satisfaction, cost effective, and sustainablility. Only reload shotgun when I can get lead for a decent price.

April 2, 2012, 12:02 PM
This poll left off the most important reason for reloading (IMHO); reloading because you enjoy doing so. Reloading is fun and VERY satisfying! It's a hobby in itself. At least that's why I reload (I actually started out of curiosity, "I wunner if I can do that...").

I think it's silly to count pennies when you are talking about a hobby; does the fly fisherman tie flys because it's cheaper? Or is it fun to tie flys? Does a hobby photographer develope his pics because it's cheaper or because he likes to?

April 2, 2012, 02:01 PM
I reload for all calibers I shoot but I mainly shoot 45 and 38 super. If I didn't reload then I wouldn't be able to afford to shoot steel challenge and IDPA at my local club.

Et tu Bluto
April 2, 2012, 03:00 PM
I reload...for better shotgun field loads than I can buy, at least at a that price, pistol and some rifle to shoot more and accurately, hopefully. And I reload .300 Win Mag. So I can afford to check the zero on my scope before the season. Actually have spent a fortune, by my standards, on reloading stuff...but get a lot of satisfaction from it too!

April 2, 2012, 04:05 PM
One option that wasn't listed but why I reload is therapy. I find it very relaxing to sit at the bench and work on some loads. My other choices were quality for brass and economics for shotgun.

April 2, 2012, 04:08 PM
Because my shrink said I should.

April 2, 2012, 04:43 PM
I reload because I make better ammo than the factory does, and it costs 1/4 the price.

However, I don't actually save money. I just shoot a TON more than I normally would if I had to buy ammo. I haven't bought factory ammo other than .22LR in a LONG time!

The only time I will buy something from the store, is if I am starting a new caliber. That way I can get the feel for how it shoots, and to also compare my reloads to something.

April 2, 2012, 04:56 PM
I started reloading after buying my first handgun, a .357. After paying for the gun I barely had enough for .38 bullets. I wanted to shoot .357 but it cost more than I could afford. Enter Mr. Dillon and his blue press, everything was well in the world again.

April 2, 2012, 06:49 PM
I reload because it allows me to shoot some of the more "interesting" firearms that would be otherwise very difficult (or impossible) to locate ammo for.

Personally I find the stardard calibers boring. I don't own a 9mm, a .45ACP, or a .223

I do own and shoot 9mm Largo, 9mm Makarov, .280 Remington, 30-40 Krag, etc

You can't just walk into a sporting goods store and buy 30-40 off the shelf...

As a secondary reason I also load to save $$$, the biggest money saver is .25ACP. For some reason factory .25 is very expensive. I have a Beretta 950, as does my wife. She also has a colt vest pocket pistol that was handed down from her grandparents. We can't afford to feed these pistols without handloading...

April 2, 2012, 07:10 PM
I reload for several reasons, one is the much reduced cost by using my own labor to produce high quality ammo, tailored to each of my firearms.
Second, this matching of ammunition to a particlular gun has really improved the accuracy of each of my pistols and rifles.
Last but not least! I love to reload and find it an extension of the main hobby. I have already reloaded over 1600 rounds of mixed calibers since January. Dont laugh but I still use a single stage Rock Chucker that I purchased in the 1980s!!
I have looked at the progressives but don't like the fact that there is a lack of feel with the progressives. With the single stage I can feel how the brass is forming and also detect issues or problems by feel.

I have been reloading for over 25 years and still love to sit down at the loading bench and watch a nice new shiny batch of reloads come out of the Rock Chucker, and yes each round is polished and tumbled till they shine.

Calibers loaded..380
38 Special
.357 Magnum
40 SW
45 ACP
Thats enough to keep me busy

April 3, 2012, 11:03 AM
I reload pistol and rifle to save money. My 1911 has never shot a retail round. I reload rifle to save money... when the price of ammo is high enough to warrant it. It usually costs about 25-30 cents a round to reload .223 or 7.62x39, so right now I am buying commercial ammo. But when the price rises to 40 cents a round, I reload.

April 3, 2012, 03:23 PM
Most of my pistol shooting is in .40 S&W. I started reloading it, and because I had a gift card to the sporting goods store and nothing else I wanted, I got some factory .40 S&W a few weeks ago. It was Winchester 180 grain, white box.

The cases were filthy, like somebody kicked them around in a dirt pile before they got boxed.

The mouths were roll crimped, visibly pressing into the jacketing.

The accuracy was non-existent., In fact, I have no idea how it even functioned. The extractor must have been holding the shell in place, because there's no way it could've headspaced on the mouth. I shot it back-to back with my reloaded ammo and the difference was huge. So yes, I reload pistol ammo to make better ammo. Mine is clean and doesn't group like a shotgun pattern. It just so happens to be cheaper and a hobby in itself.

Samari Jack
April 3, 2012, 08:07 PM
Hi ya, you forgot one i reload because i just plane like too.. Get to go off alone and not think about anything else for a little while. I tell the wife that i have to be alone and have to focus. Quite me time! :)

Oh, i shoot 357 MAG and 44 MAG so i do save alot over factory loads too lol

Same here. It is somewhat of a skill unto itself. Having a chronograph adds to the pleasure factor.

lil dragon
April 3, 2012, 08:17 PM
I reload .45 for a better round. I reload .303 because I can't find them anywhere for the price I want to pay. I reload my other calibers to save money. So its a combination of things for me.

April 3, 2012, 11:56 PM
...specialty ammo and superior performance.

Note: Handloading with new hulls for the most consistent performance.

Redneck with a 40
April 4, 2012, 12:19 AM
I've found that the money I save reloading, just goes right back into more components, lol. So I pretty much reload to create better ammo for my pistols and rifles.

A factory box of .308 match loads runs about $25/20.
My reloads with Nosler custom comp bullets run me about $9/20 and they shoot better.

A factory box of 40 S&W runs about $15/50.
My reloads cost $6/50 and they shoot better.

An added bonus, I'll always have ammo when they're are "shortages".

Para Cassatt
April 4, 2012, 12:28 AM
When I started reloading, 45 Colt and 8x57 ammo was quite expensive. It wasn't easily found or was downloaded with lighter bullets than I desired.

April 29, 2012, 01:36 PM
Years ago, when I bought my 454, I also bought 3 boxes of ammo to take to the range. That was 60 rounds for $150. I decided right then that I was a handloader. After that, I started reloading for all my centerfire calibers. Now, I load for better accuracy in my rifles and economy and the level of performance I choose in my rifles and handguns and to save money in both. In some calibers, the savings per round is huge.

April 29, 2012, 05:40 PM
Still think there needs to be a " Because I can, and I just feel like it" tab !

Or just something that addresses more than accuracy and cost.

April 29, 2012, 06:51 PM
Cause I like it.

April 29, 2012, 06:58 PM
Well I'm fairly new to the reloading world, but I originally got into it to help save a little money. The more I reload though....I just plain enjoy it. Working up a load with a new powder, making a special load for my daughter. Which when she smiles and I can see the enjoyment she is having, it's makes it all worth while, no matter what. Even if it cost me more, just to see her enjoyment, I would still do it.

April 29, 2012, 07:03 PM
You can't save by reloading, it only cuts your cost down.

April 29, 2012, 07:10 PM
I reload shot shells so I can use black powder for cowboy action shooting. I also only own one rifle which is 45 colt and use the same ammo as my 45 Colt SAA type pistols all again with black powder or substitute. Also load 9mm and 45 ACP for target practice mostly to save money the same as the main reason I reload my black powder ammo as the costs seem to keep climbing lately.

Mac Sidewinder
April 29, 2012, 07:34 PM
I started reloading to be able to shoot more for the same price as factory. But I've come to realize an even greater benefit! The time I spend now with my 15 year old son.

He loves to help me (he sorts, decaps and runs the cases through the tumbler) while I reload our rounds. Of course we both enjoy the time we spend together firing off those rounds so we can start all over again.

Also I get to ensure that he learns proper gun safety and respect. Everytime we are out enjoying our hobby it's a learning environment for both of us.


Arkansas Paul
April 29, 2012, 08:54 PM
I load handgun stuff mainly for economic reasons. I shoot a lot of .45 Colt and factory ammo is just rediculous. I cast and load, so I'm loading 1,000 rounds for right at $75.00.

I load rifle stuff for both economic reasons and to tailor a load for a rifle. Federal 150 grain ballistic tips are going for $35+ a box. I can load a box for about $16.

Don't shoot 100 shotgun rounds a year. No need to reload there.

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