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Why do you reload ammunition?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by KY DAN, Nov 21, 2021.

  1. MWC1974

    MWC1974 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2021
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    Location:
    Virginia
    My dad and I started reloading (shotgun) when I was 10-11 years old. Mostly because we dove hunted, shot trap and skeet, and man I could burn through some shells and never cut a feather or bust a clay. 1 bird in my first year, yes really. It got me hooked, I liked to load shells that I could shoot. It was even more gratifying to shoot a bird with a shell I personally loaded. Fast forward 37 years and I still reload. Mostly because I know how, I understand the value and the reward, as well as… well, it’s just a great hobby. I now load for every gun I shoot; rifle, pistol, and shotgun.

    By the way, I’m a MUCH better wing shot these days. :rofl:
     
    kcofohio, horsemen61 and ballman6711 like this.
  2. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    I couldn't afford to shoot as much as I do if I didn't reload and cast my own.

    Often times my ammo budget would be $20-$50 a month. I can shoot a lot of cast bullets for that, compared to 1-2 boxes of ammo.

    Last I checked, my reloads cost me about $4 a box for 45 auto or 38spl or 44 special. And that's a high estimate cause I factor a little in for the lead, but I got a lot of it free.

    My buddy will shoot a part of a box of 38s when he comes over. I shoot as many as I want.
     
    EMC45 likes this.
  3. BobABQ

    BobABQ Member

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    Dec 17, 2016
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    185
    Why do I reload? Primarily to have ammo tuned for my firearm. The reason I initially took up reloading was to be able to shoot my M-1 Garand and my 1908 Swedish Mauser. Finding ammo for either can be difficult and I really don’t want a bent operating rod in the M-1 or a damaged Swedish Swedish Mauser because modern loads develop too much pressure.
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
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    73,539
    Location:
    Alabama
    That's what started me out, reloading and casting with home made equipment. It was the only way I could shoot more than a box every once in a while.
     
    Bazoo likes this.
  5. Engineer1911

    Engineer1911 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2018
    Messages:
    231
    Location:
    Augusta, GA
    Just 2 reasons:
    1] cheaper ammo, especially if you cast bullets.
    2] always have ammo to shoot with proper planning.

    I do not reload to save money, that does not happen, but I do shoot a lot more.
     
  6. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2020
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    2,800
    After nearly singeing the hair off the back of my hands with hot 357 loads I have a new reason. I can DOWNLOAD cartridges to suit my power level needs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2021
  7. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    Apr 21, 2021
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    Location:
    Cecilia, Ky
    I'd hate to be at the mercy of the ammo manufacturers again. Not having the versatility of loadings. One bullet one velocity. Back to the boring old 38/357
     
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  8. kalielkslayer

    kalielkslayer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2021
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    1,054
    Started loading shotgun 52 years ago. Went years without shooting a factory shell until steel became mandatory for waterfowl.

    Still loaded for upland, still do.

    In the late 80s I moved to this redneck county. Everyone loaded here so I got a Rockchucker and learned how. Pretty early I was able to get my new .338 to shoot sub 1” groups, when I did my job. Never looked back. I buy a new caliber (10 day waiting period in Kali) I usually have my dies before the gun. I may break in the barrel with a box of factory, but never, ever hunt with factory.

    Just 18 months ago I started loading for handguns. I had bought dues for all the calibers I owned except.40. Bought a progressive after the slow process of using the Rockchucker.

    For rifle, it’s to tailor the load to the gun and get as much accuracy as possible.

    For shotgun I tailor the load for the game I’m hunting.

    For handguns, it’s purely economic and availability.

    I have enough components for handgun ammo I don’t think I’ll ever need anything else. That doesn’t mean I won’t buy more, just that I probably don’t need anymore.
     
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  9. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
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    5,689
    Location:
    West Virginia
    I started reloading to save money on the ammo I needed for competition and casual shooting. Then one day I discovered I just loved hand loading and playing with different powders and bullet weights for accuracy and I really like learning about reloading and ballistics. Reloading is a great stress reliever as well as a constructive way to pass time when I can’t do other things.
     
  10. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Jun 5, 2013
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    Location:
    Ca.
    I started in 1995 after I got into SASS.

    Being a recent divorcee’ with a 3 year old daughter and three .45 Colts to feed, I found out real quick that the boxes of Ten-X Cowboy loads I was buying for practice and (infrequent) matches ate up all of my mad money stash very quickly.

    With several coffee cans full of empty cases and a Lee Challenger set, I started putting together rounds that helped me stretch my $$ through some emotionally and financially lean times.

    26-odd years later I still load to save money, especially with even more unpopular or expensive .38 wadcutter, .44 Spl., .454 Casull, 41 Mag. and .32 H&R Mag guns taking up so much of my range time. ;)

    Stay safe.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2021
    rperyam, Pat Riot and GeoDudeFlorida like this.
  11. swg1

    swg1 Member

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    Feb 15, 2020
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    For all the odd-ball rounds that are not available commercially.
     
  12. Gooseman69

    Gooseman69 member

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    Dec 11, 2021
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    Location:
    Montana
    More I spend on reloading the less my wife spends on shoes !!!!!
     
    Jackiesman likes this.
  13. 1976B.L.Johns.

    1976B.L.Johns. Member

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    Feb 4, 2015
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    Location:
    Northern Minnesota
    That didn't work for Larry Potterfield in his TV commercials.
     
  14. BW460

    BW460 Member

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    Apr 17, 2021
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    According to my girlfriend, I reload so I can shoot more!
     
    Jackiesman likes this.
  15. GoldieMI

    GoldieMI Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    Messages:
    791
    Location:
    The Mitten- SE MI
    Reasons Why:
    to feed the CDO monster
    to ensure I have ammo for use when I want to use it
    I own the following: 6mm Dasher / 6PPC / 22PPC
    to shoot more
     
    horsemen61 likes this.
  16. Jackiesman

    Jackiesman Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2021
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    319
    I started with shot shells in 1959 - rabbits, pheasant and quail in Kansas took as many as 3 boxes per weekend. Graduated to 45ACP, then to all calipers cause it's fun, cost effective, and self sustaining. Now it's the second hobby right behind hunting.
     
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  17. JemezDave

    JemezDave Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2021
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    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Dad got me started reloading when I was 13. Bought me a rockchucker press I still use today. Dad, my two brothers and I were deer and elk hunters. I loaded 4 calibers one for my .270 WIN, for all of us. Still loading today 47 years later, and I still love to shoot. Winter, on a cold and blustery day you’ll likely find me in the shop with the wood stove fired up listening to sports radio, loading rounds. Simply put I love to shoot and enjoy reloading when I can’t be shooting or hunting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2021
  18. Archie

    Archie Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
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    4,158
    Location:
    Hastings, Nebraska - the Heartland!
    Pretty much all the responses in these pages are reasonable and not alien to my thinking. I'll relate mine, but probably nothing new.
    1. I have some 'odd' calibers; they either don't exist or are fairly rare when available. I have one caliber that isn't commercially made anymore.
    2. The loadings I want are not available or not common. To my knowledge, one cannot commercially purchase .38 Special Super Police loads. No one loads heavy solid bullets for much anything except the large 'African' calibers.
    3. The items above, if available, are relatively expensive, even before the COVID panic and the current administration.
    4. I can exercise my creative nature in a way I find invigorating.
     
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  19. sisyphus

    sisyphus Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2020
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    620
    Location:
    Iowa
    1. cost
    2. hedge against availability
    3. enjoyable hobby
     
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  20. Mogas

    Mogas Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2021
    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Mountain Home Arkansas
    I reload because I I can fine tune my cartridges to the power I want. Too much "watered down" factory ammo being sold in some calibers. Some factory ammo for my older military rifles are being loaded with bullet diameter wrong for my rifles. Most factory 270 caliber too fast for my liking especially shooting deer at less than 100yds . Now I have to start reloading in secret! Too many people coming over asking me to reload a few rounds for them. They generally ask without bringing powder, bullets, primers or even their own brass and then leave without offering to reimburse me for the supplies I used. They think saying "Thank you" is sufficient . So now I tell these people that I will trade them bullets for beer on a one to one basis. One bullet, one beer. Primers, powder and bullets are expensive and hard to find, Beer is Not! After this, they quit asking. Wonder why? I think this is fair. I mean looking back when I was dating, all my old girlfriends charged me for their services.
     
  21. Capybara

    Capybara Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    747
    Location:
    Ventura County, Ca.
    A few years ago I had the C&R bug pretty badly. I bought all kinds of cool vintage firearms that mostly took somewhat to very obscure rounds, stuff that they didn't have at WalMart or my local gun store. So it became a matter of necessity if I even wanted to shoot certain guns. Then I began to see that reloading
    is an entire art and science unto itself. I became an NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor, took up the mantle of running a local reloading club and over the years we were doing that, I taught about 300 others how to reload.

    Sadly, I am in a state that punishes free citizens for wanting to exercise their civil and God given rights so between pressure from the ATF to become an FFL06 and the passage of the horrifically bad ammo laws that my state has passed in their goal of civilian disarmament, we had to shut down the reloading club. But I still really enjoy reloading because it's fun, it gives you a bit more control over your "ammo destiny" when living in a state that is doing it's best to completely disarm us and it's an interesting process to work up and refine loads for your firearms. I don't shoot competition, I don't hunt, mostly just plink but even at that level, reloading gives you a sense of confidence about what you are able to achieve with your firearms addiction.

    I look forward to exiting soon to a free state where I will likely start up another reloading club. I can think of no better way to empower firearms owners to be in control of their own ammo needs and therefore their 2A rights than to reload. Sorry but when I meet shooters who "don't reload", it reminds
    me of meeting a driver who "doesn't know how to change a flat tire." Just my opinion, and yes, reloading is time consuming and takes considerable patience to even become safe and functional at it, but in 2021 America, if you are at all serious about being a responsible, skilled gun owner, it feels as if you REALLY need to be a reloader.

    Shot from the good old days of our club...

    Reloading Club.jpeg
     
  22. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2021
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    2,557
    Location:
    Cecilia, Ky
    I wish I could just have a reloading buddy. I do know someone that loads. But he isn't as enthusiastic about it as me I think.
     
    Jackiesman likes this.
  23. Telum Pisces

    Telum Pisces Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2020
    Messages:
    329
    Location:
    Out There
    Because I can't stand not finding a round that I like and my firearms like. I know I can load anything I want when I want.
     
  24. Weflyfast

    Weflyfast Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Messages:
    442
    Well- like so many have said is therapeutic-
    Also- I load for old Winchesters that you cant buy ammo for- if I want to play with the old stuff.....I have to make the ammo!
     
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  25. barnfrog

    barnfrog Member

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    Feb 2, 2021
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    815
    Location:
    Capital District, NY
    Because I dig it, daddy-o. Ain't that reason enough?

    Reloaded shotgun ammo in high school with my buddy. Then we went to different colleges and then he moved to the west coast and my shooting dropped off precipitously.

    Fast forward to last year when I had just gotten a new rifle and was testing various factory ammo to see what shot well out of it. Didn't like paying that much for ammo and like so many others, wondered if I could load my own less expensively. As predicted, the ammo costs less but I'm shooting more, but those are both positive outcomes in my book.

    I also found out I really enjoy load development. The frustrating part of that is I don't have a rifle range nearby, so I usually have to wait a week or more to try out my latest variations and adjustments. Patience is indeed a virtue.
     
    ballman6711 and GeoDudeFlorida like this.
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