A Reloader is Born


March 25, 2004, 02:05 AM
First, the background.

A young gentleman sold me a Lee-Enfield a few years ago. He claimed he was selling it to finance his first 1911. I gave him more than it was worth, hoping he would enjoy his new pistol.

Within the next year, we had bumped into each other occasionally...he always asking about the rifle and I was always asking about his pistol shooting. One thing led to another, and he joined me at a local IDPA match. He had the time of his life and has subsequently been to the majority of matches over the last year or two.

We've become pretty good friends since last months IDPA match.

We met up last week and did some pre-match practice for this months shoot. He got to see where he stands on the timer and it's obvious that he's pushing himself to become a better shot. Sometimes it only takes a nudge to get him going the right direction, while others times I can sit back and watch the lightbulb flick on by itself. It's pure enjoyment to watch and assist.

I get a call from him just a few days ago. We're talking guns and it sounds as if he's beating around the bush....I ask him what he really wants... "Uh...well, could you teach me to reload?"

;) :D

Of course I can.

First things first. "I'm going to give you a few manuals...now, I'm not asking you to read the whole thing..just the beginning portion so that you fully understand what you're getting into," I tell him. I hand him the Hornady Vol 1, Speer and Understanding Firearm Ballistics. "When you're done with them, let me know," I say as I usher him out the door.

See...this is my little test. If you're serious about wanting to learn... obviously you'll read the books. If you don't read the books, it's still obvious you want to learn, but aren't willing to put in the time to do it right and I won't waste my time on you. I've had several people tell me they want to learn how to reload ammunition, and I put the books in their hand, yet after they leave I find the books sitting right where they put them down.

Back to the story...

Two days later, I get a call. "I'm done with the books."


"Great, come on over, we'll get started. I just happen to be getting ready to load some .45 Colt," I say.

He shows up with two of the three books...he's still reading the ballistics book. (I can't blame him, there's a lot of information in there)

We get started loading the ammo. He creates 15 cartridges from start to finish on my old Pacific single stage press. He was pretty amazed it was so simple. We talk about required purchases (tumbler, scale, calipers) while examining different bullets, powder and primers.

I then take him over to my Dillon 650 and tell him how to operate it to complete one cartridge. He sits the bullet on the case and cranks the handle. The machine spits out a completed round. He turns around and looks at me, eyes wide, jaw officially dropped...."I have to get one of these!" Uh, huh...I know exactly the feeling. Several years ago, that's how I got reeled in too.

Before he left tonight, he stated that his list of things to purchase is getting longer and longer. I just smiled.

Ladies and Gentleman, I've officially created a monster.

Hopefully, he'll show up here soon.


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March 25, 2004, 02:34 AM
That is a great story. Reading all that material is not done by most I'm afraid, at least not right away as it should be. When I got my Dillon 550B in September I thought I read everything, but later found I had ignored stuff I didn't think was important at the time. Those manuals all talk about the same general things, yet have an amazing amount of different info in each one. Each one seems to stress something different. As I progress in reloading I get more and more into it, I go back and read stuff I didn't think was important before.

Your friend is lucky he has a good teacher!

Matt G
March 25, 2004, 03:31 AM
Hmmmm.... move it to Handloading And Reloading forum, or leave it in General Discussion?

I think I'll leave it in Gen Disc for awhile, and then slide it over into H&R later. :)


Standing Wolf
March 25, 2004, 05:10 AM
Well done!

I was interested in accuracy all along. When I started loading my own ammunition, I became passionate about accuracy.

March 25, 2004, 06:02 AM
Greeat story.

I just got a dillon 650B at our gunshop and man, its hard to keep in bullets, shells arent a problem but i keep running out of everything else!

March 25, 2004, 07:00 AM
Reloading is to much fun... I find that I'm enjoying it almost as much, if not more, than the actual shooting part now...

Started with the simple mindset of saving some $$ on ammo, pretty much trashed that theory. BUT I have done a TON of shooting :D

Great job on getting him started on the right foot. I can't imagine how helpfull it is to have someone with experience show you the ropes.

Give a man a box of ammo, he can shoot for a day....
Teach a man to reload, he can shoot for the rest of his life :D


March 25, 2004, 07:07 AM
Good job and nice thought process.

March 25, 2004, 07:33 AM
Hmmmm.... move it to Handloading And Reloading forum, or leave it in General Discussion?
Your decision, but it really is a nice thread that has more to do with education and helping with the development of a fellow shooter than the actual process of reloading.

March 25, 2004, 08:00 AM
Good deal

Now, if I could only get myself to start rolling my own.

I have a Lee press, powder trickler and scale already.

Just need the room to do it in.

At least thats my excuse;)

March 25, 2004, 10:42 AM
:D Good job, esheato. Isn't it just purely fun to watch people develop their shooting interests?

Oh, and Matt -- good call. I had literally just come to the same conclusion right before I read your post! :D (Once it starts sinking to the bottom in Gen'l would be a good time to move it.)


March 25, 2004, 01:23 PM
Thanks for the positive comments guys. I can't describe how good it feels to watch his curiousity turn into knowledge.

My g/f calls him my new "student." ;)


Eskimo Jim
March 25, 2004, 01:39 PM
That's great!! The more to the party, the merrier!!

That's a great that you are mentoring him too.


March 25, 2004, 04:00 PM
LennyJoe, jump on in there. I started with a Lee Anniversary Kit, own two in fact.

Lots of satisfaction in reloading your own cartridges.

Johnny Guest
March 25, 2004, 04:11 PM
Hmmmm.... move it to Handloading And Reloading forum, or leave it in General Discussion? Hey, it's a great topic. If you WANT to move it to H&R, we'll receive it like a prodigal son.

But I tend to agree with Kingcreek - - this is more about mutual assistance, mentoring, and bringing along the younger generation, than about actually stuffin' cat'idge cases. It'll probably get more views, and wider appreciation in Gen'l than in H&R.

Excellent thread, esheato. Thanks for sharing the story. Of course you realize, you are now obligated to keep us updated on the continuing saga, right?


March 25, 2004, 04:41 PM
HEhehe i spend more time casting bullets and reloading ammo than i do shooting! to the poster who can't keep his stock of bullets up i suggest casting your own!

March 25, 2004, 04:43 PM
esheato ...... most enjoyable write-up, thx. Always good to read or hear of such cases.

Now be sure .... get his butt along to THR ..... he owes it to himself!:)

March 25, 2004, 06:47 PM
Baby steps...we're starting with baby steps.

I started him on the books and then the single stage. We briefly fiddled with the Dillon 650. Give him some time...I'll get him to THR. ;)


March 25, 2004, 07:17 PM
How does he feel about zombies? ;)


Henry Bowman
March 26, 2004, 09:30 AM
Please identify the 3 books for us: Title; author; publisher. I want to read befor I shell out $$$ to get started, but there are so many books, i don't know where to start.


March 27, 2004, 01:56 AM
The books I recommended were:

-Speer Reloading Manual #13 (there's a ram skull on the cover)
-Hornady; Handbook of Cartridge Reloading Fifth Edition Vol 1 of 2 volume set.
-Understanding Firearm Ballistics by Robert A. Rinker (available at Barnes & Noble.

Honestly, I'd recommend finding someone that already reloads to show you the ropes. Someone you can ask questions. I guarantee someone on here would be more than willing to help if you asked. I know I would help in a heartbeat if we lived close.

Another book I hear recommended quite often is The ABC's of Reloading by C. Rodney James. It is available here (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0873491904/104-4118912-8555115?v=glance) for an affordable 15 dollars.

I had recommended the Speer manual because it covers a lot of topics. From cartridge components to the relationship between velocity, energy and pressure to advanced techniques.

The Hornady manual has a step-by-step guide to reloading. It's mostly geared towards rifle reloading, but the same basic principles are employed in pistol and rifle. This manual is not very conducive to the new reloader though as it's a 2 volume set and costs nearly 50 dollars.

The ballistics book is invaluable as far as I'm concerned. It dispels a lot of myths; clears the fog as far as internal, external and terminal ballistics...it is oriented to the geek a little bit. Some math formulas if you wish to attempt them (they're not that hard) and a lot of science applications, but most gun stuff is built around that. And for only 20 dollars, IMHO it should be on every serious gun owners shelf.

Hope this helps some.


March 28, 2004, 04:29 AM
Hello everyone I am Ed's friend My name is Austin. I am the person he has started teaching how to reload. This site looks very cool and informative and am looking forward to searching through it. Thanks Ed for the recomendation to THR! :D :D

March 28, 2004, 04:33 AM
Welcome to THR.

Read and Learn.

You've got a lot of catching up to do. ;)


March 28, 2004, 04:52 AM
Welcome Ed. Do you like Zombies?

March 28, 2004, 05:01 AM

You've got the wrong guy! I'm Ed...I've been around for a lil' while...the new reloader is Austin. Yes, I like zombies. I would use a ...ehh, nevermind. ;)


March 28, 2004, 05:16 AM
its 4AM and I aint slept gimmie a break. ;)

So c'mon Ed, Austin. What do ya favor in a zombie outbreak?

March 28, 2004, 05:30 AM
Hmmm...I'm thinking about a Mossberg 590 stocked full with 4 Buck as a primary and the SIG P226 on the belt for pure mag capacity. 15+1 is awfully convincing.

I know, I know..it's ONLY a 9mm...but I think it would be adequate.

If you stay in pairs and both personnel are armed, it could be survivable.


March 28, 2004, 10:05 PM
An 8 shot defender mosberg with number 4 buck shot and a high capacity fullsize Kimber with slivertips. When all ammo is exhausted a hand to hand combat is required a pair of machettes will do the job.

Johnny Guest
April 1, 2004, 01:33 PM

Blatant thread highjack, here - - This is about a newly fledged handloader, NOT another inane "Slaying the Unkillable Undead" exchange of - - - Whatever.

Anyway, welcome aboard, Austin. You probably already know, there's a lot of good information passed around in the Handloading and Reloading Forum.


Don Gwinn
April 1, 2004, 07:23 PM
I have ABC's of Reloading and some others, but Speer #13 was the first thing I read on reloading. It was a gift from ArmySon, and I treasure it. The cartridge/load descriptions and history alone are fascinating enough to keep a man reading for an entire weekend. I know this to be true. ;)

Welcome aboard, Justin. Are you loading .45?

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