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An Introduction to Reloading...
So, you think you want to reload some ammo. Maybe you just purchased your first centerfire weapon and want to save some money on practice ammo or you want to create some customized loads that the ammo factories don�t offer. I�ll help you figure out if you should reload and maybe the best way to get started. Reloading is simply putting a new primer, bullet and powder into an existing brass case. Patience and attention to detail are required for safety.
Most people reload to save money; I do. My primary pistol is a 45 auto. I reload practice ammo for $3 a box of 50. The cheapest factory ammo I can find is about $10 a box. So, I save $7 for every 50 rounds that I shoot. It doesn�t quite work that way. That is the first myth of reloading: that you will save money. Wrong, many will end up spending as much, or more, than if they bought factory ammo. But, you will shoot much more for the same money and that is what makes reloading valuable. You can stop worrying so much about the ammo cost and concentrate on practicing. If you don�t plan to shoot more than 1 box of ammo every few months, don�t bother with reloading, just save your brass for future use. The cutoff point of reloading economics is about 1 box every month. The exception to this is some calibers in which military surplus is available. It really doesn�t make sense to reload for 7.62x39 ammo unless you want a special load. Bulk 9mm and .223 plinking ammo are also hard to justify reloading for right now. If the import supply gets cut off, it will make sense to reload these calibers. Just save the brass until then.
Everyone wants to know how much will it cost for a reloading setup. I�ve been reloading rifle and pistol ammo for 10 years now and have acquired about $500 worth of reloading equipment and it suits my needs for precision and high-speed reloading for both rifle and pistol. You don�t have to spend that much, but the hobby can be addictive especially to mechanically-oriented people. I was in college when I started reloading and money was tight. I spent about $100 to be able to begin reloading .357 magnum ammo. Over the years, I added more equipment to handle different caliber�s and be more efficient in reloading ammo.
If money is tight, the Lee anniversary kit with the Challenger press is the best start I�ve seen for $75. Spend another $30 for the caliber-specific Lee dies and the correct Lee case trimmer pilot and you�ll be set. The equipment is not optimum for long term use, but it is a good start. This will allow rifle or pistol reloading at roughly 50 rounds an hour (maybe 75 with practice). Lee equipment new normally sells for about 60% of the suggested retail price.
If you are going to be reloading a great deal of pistol ammo and can put a few...
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