Judging by the lack of components on store shelves, reloading seems to be gaining in popularity. If you follow reloading forums, there are LOTS of new people asking questions and searching for information. Good… I remember when I was new at this and how difficult it was to discern good information from bad; to separate myth from fact and (perhaps most importantly) to learn how to figure out what was safe & sane advice.
I think every new reloader rationalizes their decision to jump into the hobby to ‘save money’. Yes, you save money on the absolute cost of each completed cartridge you reload. For most common calibers (.223, 9mm, .308, .45 ACP), you can save about 50% from retail prices. For obscure calibers, you can save much, much more – often 90% from retail pricing. For some calibers, finding ammo at any price is nearly impossible. So yes, you ‘save money’ – but you really don’t.
Reloaders quickly learn that while they save money on each round they make, they make more ammo than they would have ever purchased before. So, they spend MORE than they used to… and then they realize what else can be done. That leads to buying more equipment and more components. In the end, everyone I know that reloads ends up spending much more after they started than they did before they started.
So why reload? Several reasons, among many:
- Availability. Given an adequate supply of components, you’ll never care what’s in stock on store shelves again. It’s an awesome feeling to know that you’re not at the whim of the market when you want to shoot.
- Accuracy tailored for your gun & style. Commercial ammo is ‘generic’ for the most part. Reloaders have the ability to tailor their loads for superior results. Perhaps you’re after ultimate accuracy; perhaps you’re interested in low recoil plinking rounds. You’re in complete control.
- Saving money. Yes, I know this contradicts what I just said above. But, reloading IS much cheaper compared to commercial ammo on a per-round basis. Just know that you’ll actually shoot & spend more than you did before.
Like the rest of this site, I’m sharing what’s worked for me. There are other tools, other processes and (as long as it’s safe) there is nothing wrong with doing it differently. You’ll take bits & pieces to figure out what works for you.
This is a ‘work in progress’. There is no way I can write all of this out quickly, so I’m laying a foundation that I’ll build on over time.