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Getting into reloading in the age of covid

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by daniel craig, Nov 8, 2020.

  1. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    The times are getting to the point where it seems to make more sense to reload for my hunting rifle (albeit with a Lee hand press due to cost).

    I’ve been hearing that even now reloading is getting harder to do due to component shortages. Have you been finding that to be the case or is that mostly rumor?


    So to caveat: how hard would it be to make my own black powder and transition to that? I’m trying to plan options in case we have a long term (5years to a decade or more) drought.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
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  2. whughett

    whughett Member

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    No rumor, primers are worth their weight in gold if you can find them. I limit my self to on-line due to self quarantine concerns so maybe prowling small isolated local gun shops would be productive.
     
  3. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    The time to buy components has passed.
    People are buying up everything they can find.

    it’s sad as it makes things more dangerous as it means we have less ammo to practice and less components for reload what we have.
     
  4. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Naw, reloading is just as easy to do as it ever has been, and I really enjoy it. It's finding reloading components that's becoming a real pain lately.:neener:
    I'm glad I stocked up. I probably have enough to last me the rest of my life. However, I'm pretty old, so "the rest of my life" on Earth might not be all that long.;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2020
  5. NMexJim

    NMexJim Member

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    Now may not be the time to start reloading due mainly to primer availability. Power continues to be available across a workable span, but you may not be able to get one that's highly recommended. But, powder can be found especially if you're willing to pay hazard shipping charges. Bullets and cases aren't a problem. Reloading equipment is in decent supply.

    Really, just walk into your local gun store and look around. Chances are that you'll see some bare shelves.

    I've been lucky to maintain by leaving requests to be notified when products become available - with the exception of primers. My understanding is that ammunition manufacturers are buying up all the primers they can find in order to keep supplying products. The surge in gun buyers since COVID has put a strain on everything.

    I've stayed well-stocked on primers for the past 12-years. I do not pass up available primers.

    Good luck.
     
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  6. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I have a good Army buddy that asked me advise about getting into reloading... I told him to wait until after the election. Either things will lighten up a bit, or it won't matter. At this point, given your desire (hunting cartridges) and cash flow (keep it on the downlow...) I would just pick up as much factory hunting ammo as I could and forgo the reloading.

    I did the same thing with another friend of mine on an AR-10 build, and my own AR-15 build... wait until the election. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like things are going to ease up there, either.
     
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  7. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Primers are hard to find, powder and bullets are not as bad.
    For a few extra $ I would really consider some type of bench mounted single stage press, the Lee hand press is probably not at it's best resizing rifle brass.
     
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  8. George P

    George P Member

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    All components are on major backorder; mostly because the components are being used to make factory ammo. Last I had heard, there is a huge multi-BILLION dollar ammo and gun backorder
     
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  9. stillquietvoice

    stillquietvoice Member

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    I've done some online ordering of late just got 3 lb of ramshot big game 300 hornandy btsp interlocks, 6mm, and 300 60 gr, 224, bullets. Primers are hens teeth.
     
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, a tough time to get started in reloading, just keep your eye out and be patient. We have a thread stickied at the top of the reloading section where people are posting where things are available.

    It will get better one of these days. :)
     
  11. George P

    George P Member

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    I am not so sure; one of the first things China Joe has promised to do is to eliminate internet sales of guns, ammo, and components
     
  12. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Executive orders are not laws and if we do not stand up for our rights then we will loose them.
     
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  13. George P

    George P Member

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    It's been death by a thousand cuts since at least 1968. These have made things today even harder to find (gotta stay on topic)
     
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  14. CRracer712

    CRracer712 Member

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    To the OP, I started reloading back in early 2000's for my 30-06 and 243 using the Lee hand press. Pretty easy to do, though sizing those cases were a bit stiff, make sure to lube them.

    After I found out it was actually pretty easy to reload, I bought a challenger press which made sizing much easier. Used my hand press and universal decapper to deprime brass prior to cleaning.
     
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  15. otisrush

    otisrush Member

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    If you're looking at reloading as a long term activity (i.e. you want to be in after the drought is gone) then I see no downside to starting now. If you're seeing reloading as a way to get through the drought (and afterward you'll go back to buying factory ammo) then I say just do the best you can buying factory. Reloaders are no better at weathering droughts than those who buy their ammunition. The key to getting through a shortage is stocking up. The difference between the two groups is what is being purchased to have on hand.

    I pretty much got into reloading in the 2012/2013 madness. At that time both powder and primers were hard to find. As I recall, between the two of them, it was tougher to find powder.

    What you have to do, imho, is plan out very well which components you're willing to use, and then establish a periodic habit of checking for the things you need. It needs to be a routine. In my case I just increased the frequency I would physically go into local gun stores - browsing. For every 10 times I'd go into a store I might find nothing I need. But that 11th time they may have a brick of primers on the shelf. I'd narrowed down my powder list to about 6 - and then I put the list in my phone. My work put me in close proximity of a Cabelas about once a week. Every time I was in the area I went in. 99% of the time the powder shelves were empty. But one day I walked in and there was a 4 lb jug of one of the powders on my list.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2020
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  16. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    I got started as the last panic ramped up. It will be a bit more challenging to get what you need, but don't let that stop you.
     
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  17. Erief0g
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    Erief0g Contributing Member

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    It's worth it.
    It will be difficult to source what you want and only a bit better to source what will work.
    If you are a patient person start reading, learning, and writing down a list of materials.
    This shortage will recover, then you can fulfill your list, and be ready for the next shortage come election, pandemic, murder hornet swarms, and someone opening the jumangi board.

    It's worth it.
     
  18. Eugen

    Eugen Member

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    Yes, shortages of factory ammo and reloading components is real right now. But, that should not be a determinate as to whether to reload now or not. In my opinion there is no really good time or bad time to get into reloading. From my limited experience there is a high correlation coefficient between the supply of factory ammo and the supply of handloading components. The real question is, how long this shortage will last?
     
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  19. magyars4

    magyars4 Member

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    Just an idea...
    If your just starting into reloading. Maybe you can find someone local who has all the components and is willing to share the load so to speak.
    Maybe you provide the brass and labor? Or some earlier to obtain components?
     
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  20. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Welcome Aboard !
    Reloading is a hugely rewarding hobby, that's truly fun and relaxing. In any season it can have high initiation fees, learning-wise and financially. But then so does getting your first car, or spouse !!

    I'd look around locally. Ask at your gun range or gun club by posting an ad on the bulletin board. Look for someone aging out of the hobby. That way you not only get the equipment, but also many of the books, tools and supplies.

    And don't hesitate to ask questions as you go.
     
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  21. dh1633pm
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    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    Your welcome to use my equipment again anytime. When I started I acquired what I could, when I could. Started with a press, then dies, and then worked my way from there. My first loads were with measures, that had been vetted with my dad's scale. Used powders that you couldn't get enough into the case to be too dangerous. Then got my first scale. It took a bit, but eventually I got to where I am today. I even bought and sold reloading gear to fund what I really needed. It took a bunch of years.
     
  22. Orcon

    Orcon Member

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    Welcome to the club @daniel craig ! I got a reloading kit for Christmas during the Obama years so I know your pain. Let this be a lesson in stocking up on supplies when things are calm. Just grab a few components every month to build a nice stash over time. What are you reloading for?
     
  23. DanK3Pos

    DanK3Pos Member

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    Large Rifle Primers are somewhat easier to find than Small Rifle or Small Pistol primers. Powder isn't too bad, especially those typically for the larger caliber hunting rifles. Hopefully you've held onto your brass. Check for availability of dies for your cartridge.
     
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  24. AK Hunter

    AK Hunter Member

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    I got caught when Obama got elected & had to pay 60 cents a round for .223s, they were selling for over $1 a round at the time. I told myself I would never do that again & decided to start reloading. Now I'm stocked up & can reload almost any thing I shoot but I have to replenish my stocks even in these hard times. So I still hunt down the reloading supplys & buy them at a little higher prices. I found one of my local shops has a line on primers, he can get me anything I want as long as I want to pay the higher prices. Another shop has a good supply of powder but the price of it keeps climbing too.
     
  25. Frulk

    Frulk Member

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    Primers are to this crisis what .22LR’s were to the last one. I’ve seen asking prices of $150 for 1K small rifle primers on a local all things gun website of private sellers.
     
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