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How did you start??

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by kalielkslayer, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. Big Wes

    Big Wes Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    Virginia
    No gun people in my family. I got into guns and hated buying ammo so in the early 90's I bought a Dillon 550b and taught myself how to load. Now over the years, I have three presses 550b,SDB, and a 650. Love it great hobby.
     
    memtb likes this.
  2. bersaguy

    bersaguy Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,173
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    I had a buddy of mine who knew I was into shooting, and he asked if I wanted to go in together to get a reloading set up. He bought a Lee Value Turret, calipers and a few other odds and ends, I bought a pound of titegroup, some primers and some Berry's 230g. We both only loaded for 45 at the time. This was about 9 years ago I suppose, 2012-ish. It was right around the Sandy Hook shortage, so 45 was particularly difficult to come by. I was hooked immediately. My buddy got busy growing his family and moved a couple of times, so the press came home with me. Its still the one I use, but now it cranks out 45, 9, 380, 38/357, and soon will be making 30 carbine. The only metallic cartridge I own but don't reload for is 270win. Availability has always been my primary reason for reloading, but I've probably more than broken even at this point.
     
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  3. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2020
    Messages:
    2,011
    Location:
    South central Ohio
    My dad reloaded shotgun shells ever since my earliest memories. He eventually transitioned to centerfire rifles when he started helping a family friend thin the groundhog population for the farmers nearby. So mine came from him, just like a lot of the things I enjoy in life.
     
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  4. johnjohn

    johnjohn Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    113
    Location:
    Lafayette La.
    I started about 1995 or 96 can't really remember exactly. I sure envy you fellas who had mentors. No body I knew had a clue about that "reloading stuff". So a friend ordered a Lyman T-Mag for me and a set of .38 special dies. All I had to go by was the manual that was included with the press. Did a lot of intense studying. Just after I kind of got my "feet on the ground" the first "shortage" hit. What do you mean you don't have any primers ,and don't have any idea when you'll get any??? We survived and will this time too.
     
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  5. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,675
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Started at age 12 with Lee- wack- a- mole shot shell reloading dies . Those were paper hull shells in those days.
     
  6. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    14,055
    Lyman 310 tool, .30-06 dies.

    Later added a .311291 mold and a Lyman No. 45 sizer-lubricator.
     
    memtb likes this.
  7. Tennman73

    Tennman73 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2021
    Messages:
    8
    Out of necessity. By learning to reload I am able to shoot more. Plus I discovered a fun new hobby, calling and visiting outfitters looking for primers and such.
     
    memtb likes this.
  8. loadedround

    loadedround Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    3,487
    Location:
    Valley Forge, Pa
    Bought several pistols while in the army and when I came home was paying a local sporting goods store to reload my 38 and 357 brass. When my older neighbor found out what I was paying for reloaded ammo, he taught me how to reload on his massive Hollywood press and also let me use his 30-06 dies to reoad fo my brand new Remington 700 BDL rifle. Ray, my neighbor suggested I buy a Lyman Tru-Line Jr press with the necessary dies. I used that press for a good 5 years until I ungraded to a Lyman All American press when I finally discovered Carbide dies. No more time spend cleaning lube of sized cases. Today my Son and I are running two Dillon 550B's an XL750, and a Redding turret press and at last count, load 29 different calibers and enjoy the father-son relationship. RIP Ray, my old mentor!.
     
  9. MauriceSam

    MauriceSam Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2019
    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Started in 1986 when my neighbor introduced me to reloading. There was a bunch of guys in the neighborhood that reloaded (most were Vietnam and Korean war vets older than me) that had "block" reloading get togethers where they reloaded mass quantity, each at a RCBS rockchucker doing a single step of the operation to load a particular caliber. I bought a LEE "C" style press, box of dippers, 38/357 dies and a pound of Unique. A couple boxes of various styles of bullets and a Lyman manual and I was on my way. Jim shared some of his pets loads with me to get me started (which I still use ). My press was mounted to a thin piece of plywood that I clamped to the kitchen counter. I had a Midway tumbler that was a vibrator box with a Rubbermaid container with a black rubber strap holding it on (paid $25 for it from Midway. Seems pretty lame setup looking back, but it worked) I ended up selling the little bit of equipment I had to a friend for $100 and bought it back years later for the same $100.
    For the next couple decades I reloaded off and on. Now I have multiple presses, multiple everything, (like most of us do) and would rather reload almost more than shooting. It's relaxing and actually makes me shoot more so I can reload more. From the kitchen counter to now having a good portion of my garage dedicated to my passion.
     
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  10. MauriceSam

    MauriceSam Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2019
    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Arkansas
    After reading so many comments on this post it's interesting how many started like I did, a friend and a book, etc. There wasn't any internet to learn from. Your own trial and error (hopefully minor errors). I do think it is great that forums like this one exist where you can learn, share ideas and experience, and have a comaraderie with like minded folks. Also glad to see so many younger people get into reloading to keep it alive. Have tried getting my son interested, but he would rather buy his factory made ,( or shoot my reloads) instead of "wasting" his time. Funny now with the ammo situation he is always whining that he can't find ammo. Hopefully my son in law will take over my stuff one day. He seems to have a better understanding of what it can be to load your own.
     
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  11. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,145
    I first pulled the press handle in 1998 freshly back from Atsugi Japan. My mother's boyfriend had a Rockchucker kit and asked if I wanted to load ammo. I obliged and really was into it. I loaded again in 99/2000 on a 550B my buddy from Battalion had. I still didn't have my own gear and still enjoyed shooting, so I had to remedy it somehow and soon. I saved up a good bit of money and by 2001 I bought the RCBS Supreme Rockchucker kit from Cabelas. I started cranking out ammo after I read the manual through a few times. I was actually intimidated a little by the kit and it sat in the box for a while.

    I had a local guy I knew who was a reloader (since the mid 60s) who I attempted to get advice from, but he wouldn't help out. He said to check your manual and see what it says. He was no help. (Later on as I got more into the oddball calibers he gave me a call asking about 7.5 Swiss data for a friend......I told him to check his manual and see what it said) I just slowly went forward with it all and really enjoyed it. First cartridge I loaded for was .38 Special ammo. (Bet ya never heard that before:rofl:). The local gunshop was getting out of all their reloading gear and had a 40% off sale so I went up there and bought a bunch of stuff from them and built my dies sets and accessories up. They actually ended up getting back into reloading gear and had to redo the whole area after they sold everything.....
     
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  12. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,555
    Location:
    Smyrna Tennessee
    I started in 89 because I wanted to improve the performance of a TC Contender and someone told me I could do that by loading them myself. I ordered a Lee Anniversary kit and read the book a few times and started experimenting. My goal was to increase the range of a Super 14” 30-30 Contender and I did that with a 150 grain Sierra pointed bullet and soon after with Nosler Ballistic Tips. A few years later the local gun shop had their yearly sale and the new Accurate #1 manual came out and William T Falin Jr was there signing manuals and offering advise on loads. He gave great advise and his work number if I had any questions. At that point I ordered dies and bullets for every caliber I had and it took off from there. I now load for everything I shoot except .22 and 20ga, and cast for all but 223. I have loaded on a Lee single stage for over 30 years, scavenged brass almost as long(lead too), and saved many thousands of dollars doing it.
     
  13. __steve__

    __steve__ Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2020
    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    N Charleston
    I got started after firing over 1000 dollars worth of factory loads within a month of purchasing my 500S&W. I paid $40 for an O RCBS press, got the other stuff and have been loading since January. Still need to develop a proper case cleaning station, using more of a manual labor intensive procedure now.
     
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  14. peeplwtchr

    peeplwtchr Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2019
    Messages:
    1,169
    I started last year with 3 manuals and THR.
     
  15. memtb

    memtb Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Winchester,Wyoming
    Learned on my own, starting at age 15.

    I guess that I’ve had a love affair or infatuation with firearms/shooting/hunting since birth.....or very soon thereafter. My Dad hunted some when he was young, but, only knew work when he was raising a family. I could count on the fingers using both hands the number of times we went hunting.....but, supported my hunting passion also allowing me to have guns. My first being a Benjamin Pump for my 7th birthday, giving me a Stevens 22/410 (which he had won soon after WWII) on my 8th.

    When I was somewhere around 7 years old, I saw my uncle reloading some rifle (30-06) cartridges. I was astounded, and absolutely smitten with the realization that you could reload your own ammunition!

    Fast forward to around age 14, I saved my yard money and picking up pecan money, to buy a Winchester Model 88 in .308 Win. I quickly discovered that I couldn’t afford to shoot much, unless I could cut costs. I bought a Lee Loader.....thus starting my run “down the rabbit hole”! Everything was done with no mentors......merely written material and a burning desire.

    By age 17, I had my first centerfire handgun (S&W Model 28). Bought a Lee Loader for it.....and starting loading for it. Already married at this time, with the bills of a young family, my loading components and equipment was very slowly accumulated. By the age of 20 or 21, I was casting bullets for the Model 28, and soon afterwards for the .308 Win. .....which really cut the costs of shooting, while giving much satisfaction knowing that I was producing my own ammo!

    I’ve never shot as much as many shooters, and at times did very little loading/shooting.....but, never stopped.In fact most of our (wife and self) guns have never fired a factory round.....the exception being our defense handguns and our 22 RF’s. Actually, a few of our firearms have never had a jacketed bullet run through the bore! memtb
     
    alfsauve, Big Wes, EMC45 and 4 others like this.
  16. Big Wes

    Big Wes Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    Virginia
    Great story!
     
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  17. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    7,337
    Location:
    "Land of (dis)Enchantment"
    I started out as a teenager. I think that the local gun store was selling .38 Special 148 WC ammo for $5 a box, and I thought that was too high.

    As a result, I purchased an original Lee Loader, a lb of W231, a couple of sleeves of primers, and some HBWC bullets. Mom wouldn't let me load at the kitchen table, so I went out to the back porch, sat on the ground, and using a mallet turned out .38 ammo. I probably saved about $1 per box, not factoring in the cost of my time, but hey, I was a teenager with time to spare.

    Not long after getting my own place I replaced the Lee Loader with a C-press, and the rest is history.
     
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  18. mokin

    mokin Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,210
    Location:
    Western Colorado
    Sounds like a nice relaxing hobby and a good way to keep out of trouble. Kind of makes me want to get a whack-a-mole and try it!

    I started shooting with my dad when I was 8 or 9, big enough to hold his .22. I developed an interest in reloading when I really got into shooting in high school. I knew a few other guys who's dads had reloading gear and we talked about it a lot. Also, there was a family friend who knew all about guns, ammo, and shooting who encouraged the interest. I think my parents figured guns were probably safer than cars or girls and were okay with it.

    It was some years later, after active duty in the Marine Corps, a college degree, marriage, moving around... and acquisition on a couple of rifles with rather rare chamberings that I bought a Lee starter kit and went to work. That was almost twenty years ago. I was fortunate enough to be a part of a shooting club with a member who held a workshop to introduce people to handloading. We were shown different presses, how they work, etc. Good stuff.

    I mounted my press on a chunk of two by six so it could be clamped to a table and moved around.

    I ended up on more than one project where the permits were not in order and had to spend considerable time waiting in a hotel room for word to begin. I'd pass the time handloading. A couple of presses have been all over the western U.S. I ended up going home after one project with over a thousand rounds of different cartridges once.
     
  19. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Messages:
    3,939
    Traveling reloader! house keeping must have been freaked out
     
  20. mokin

    mokin Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,210
    Location:
    Western Colorado
    I'm always careful when on the road. I never leave it set up if I'm going out for the day, break it down every night and transport my stuff in a non-descript tote with non-firearm related stickers on it. I usually put dirty clothes on top of the tote in case housekeeping gets curious. It's kind of a pain but I figure it's a way to be constructive at night. I was more concerned that housekeeping might notice spilled stick powder and mistake it for mouse droppings.
     
    Mark_Mark likes this.
  21. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Messages:
    3,939
    well, better than spending night at the bar.
     
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