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To those that reload

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Gdbyrd, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Gdbyrd

    Gdbyrd New Member

    Oct 4, 2011
    Rio Grande Valley, Tx
    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.
  2. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Participating Member

    Jul 3, 2010
    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.
  3. Stack

    Stack New Member

    Mar 26, 2011
    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.
  4. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Mentor

    Mar 18, 2009
    Central Arkansas

    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.
  5. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Participating Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Black Hills, SD
    If I plan on shooting it much, and it is a centerfire rifle or pistol, I reload for it.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  6. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Mentor

    Jun 18, 2011
    I reload everything except 9mm. It's cheap to buy and too fiddly to work with to make reloading worthwhile for me.
  7. Furncliff

    Furncliff Senior Member

    Dec 10, 2005
    Western Slope of Colorado
    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.
  8. StrawHat

    StrawHat Senior Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    NE Ohio
    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.
  9. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Mentor

    Oct 19, 2010
    East TN
    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.
  10. jagter82

    jagter82 New Member

    Dec 9, 2007
    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.
  11. LNK

    LNK Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    SE MA Soon Somewhere else
    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.


    MMCSRET Senior Member

    Feb 18, 2008
    North Central Montana, across the Wide Missouri
    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.
  13. Tadracket

    Tadracket New Member

    Oct 18, 2011
    Southport NC
    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.
  14. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Elder

    Jan 27, 2006
    West Tennessee
    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.
  15. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Senior Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    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...

  16. RhinoDefense

    RhinoDefense Active Member

    Jul 2, 2010
    I reload everything I shoot but rimfire.
  17. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Sep 10, 2008
    SW Arizona
    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.
  18. Tallinar

    Tallinar Active Member

    Jun 4, 2010
    Des Moines, IA
    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.
  19. Damon555

    Damon555 Active Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    The south
    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.
  20. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Active Member

    May 29, 2010
    Medina, Ohio USA
    I also reload for everything I shoot except .22rimfire. It makes no sense to do otherwise.

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