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The Benefits of Reloading Your Ammunition

Each passing day it becomes increasingly obvious that we have to protect our families in the event of an attack on U.S. soil. Wars are taking place all around us and we cannot leave ourselves vulnerable. I know that I am not alone when it comes to the desire of being prepared for such an event to the best of my ability – firearms and ammunition are not an exception to this.

I recently wrote an article about ammunition where I made the point that you need to make sure you have the appropriate ammo to match each purpose you have for using your firearm. For example, if your purpose is personal protection then you need to purchase factory made ammunition. I still stand behind that as a general rule, but what happens if you can’t get ammunition from the store for some reason? What if there is an attack on the United States and either the stores that sell the ammunition are closed or maybe they have even run out? Although I pray that this situation is one that we never have to face, I also believe that we need to be prepared for every situation possible. That is why reloading your own ammunition is a great option.

There are several reasons why you should consider reloading. The first I touched on above – in the event that factory-made ammunition is not available for some reason, you will still have the ability to generate your own ammunition. Basically all you need to do is make sure you have the supplies on hand to do so.

The cost is another benefit for reloading. I can reload a box of ammunition for 33% – 50% off what it would be to purchase it at a retail store. To me, that makes it worth it right there because that means that I can practice my shooting a lot more and stay within my shooting budget. Practice is also extremely important but that will be for another article.

Reloaded ammunition can actually be more accurate. This may be surprising to some but you can customize your load for your specific firearm because every firearm is different.   For instance, rifle chambers are different from rifle to rifle and if you customize your load you can increase the accuracy of your rifle.  Fitting the brass to your chamber will allow for a more consistent round and may allow you to shoot tighter groups.  Your particular rifle may also shoot a heavier or lighter bullet better than what factory ammo has to offer.  By changing bullet weights you can increase accuracy as well.  Sometimes the only way to do this is by reloading.

You can also customize your reloads to suit your own needs. You can actually reload you rounds for more or less recoil. This may be a benefit if different family members will be shooting this ammunition as well.  For instance, if the firearm you have is fine for you but produces too much recoil for someone else in your family, you can adjust it by reloading specific ammo for that very situation. By changing bullet weight, powder, or the amount of powder used, your reloads can be customized.

Different powders have different burn rates allowing you to control how the firearm recoils.  Using a lighter bullet helps with recoils.  By decreasing the amount of powder will also reduce recoil.  The options are endless. However, it is imperative to always stay in the specs of the reloading manual.

You also have the ability to store up your supplies in the event of an emergency. The key here is to make sure you are storing your supplies in a location that is temperature regulated. If you have that ability then you are good to go and you will be able to store these items for many years to come. There are warning signs that occur when your items haven’t been stored properly – brass casings may turn green or the steel casing will start to rust. In the event that you see this occur, you should never use those casings for any reason.

If reloading sounds like an option you would like to consider it is fairly easy to get started. My suggestion is to pick the caliber that you shoot the most and focus on getting all of the supplies you need to start reloading that caliber first. Later on you can purchase additional dies for other calibers you would like to reload. After the initial cost of your reloading supplies there isn’t much to it. I would suggest you purchase a good book on all of the “how to’s” of reloading as you want to eliminate mistakes at all cost – after all you may be depending on this ammunition to save your life.

As I said before, in the perfect world I would always recommend factory made ammunition for your personal protection needs. However, in a state of national emergency you may have to do what you have to do in order to protect your family and that may mean using reloaded ammunition. It is better to have everything you need on hand to be able to complete this task than it is to be without it.

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6 comments

  1. You made a good start but the possibilities are almost endless. I shoot Cowboy Action and throw a lot of lead down range. Shot my third match for the month yesterday (Law Dogs and Cowboys Charity challenge). Any way my ammo is 44 cal 200 gr Cast lead @ 750 fps. My cost is under $ .04 per round or about the same as 22 rim-fire. I cast the bullets, material is 25 to 75 cents per pound. If you are considering reloading and casting take a look at Lee Precision. You can get started for the cost of a couple boxes of factory ammo. If you crave a lifestyle or fantasy of 1860 to 1899 time period check out Cowboy action Shooting at sass.net to find a local club. Our matches involve 80 pistol caliber rounds (40 from pistol and 40 from rifle) and 20 shotgun rounds. As for home defense my 1800 vintage loads will do the job and be safer for the rest of the neighborhood than factory magnums.

  2. #1 suggestion: find a mentor who already reloads! Reading a book is great, but first hand
    knowledge is priceless. A mentor can show you the pitfalls that a book may lead you into.
    People who are into guns enough to reload are more than willing to show a newbie
    the ropes. I’ve had several experienced reloaders who helped me with chambering problems.
    I thought I reasoned thru the problem, but they showed me the error of my ways.

  3. dans-in-co’s suggestion is right on the money, my mentor taught me over 25 years ago. It has been invaluable to know I can still call him up today if I have questions. Suggestion #2 is buy the best equipment you can afford, you deffinately get what you pay for in reloading equipment.

  4. well ive been reloading my own ammo for years now but i still buy a lot of factory ammo to ive found its easy to get the brass you need to reload that way ive got my bullet casting stuff for my pistol reloading and my muzzle loader bullets along with both of the 12ga slug molds from lee i stock up on things like rifle bullets and primers every chance i get ive also tryed to get as many 5 gal buckets of wheel weights as i could get because lots of places have done away with the lead weights now i have about a thousand pounds of them now and trying to find much more of them as they are now useing the steel weights and the zink ones up here as of jan 1st this year so the old lead ones are comming off when you get new tires mounted they replace the lead with the new ones my goal is to put up as much as i can so i wont have to order alot of lead for casting its a fun past time hobby casting your own bullets you save lots of money and i shoot 10 times more than i ever could befor i started reloading so dont let someone fool you that you save alot of money reloading your own ammo because if your like me i havent seen any saveings but i shure do shoot a whole lot more now than i ever could befor

  5. I have been a long time reloader , started with the simple hand held types of loaders that you can’t find anymore. I have loaded hundreds of thousands of rounds, annealed my own brass trimmed and modified rifle brass to make more accurate ammo. Not until I started shooting IPSC a few years back and was working 24/7 did I buy my first large lot of ammo. Up until that point I had only bought small lots of special purpose self defense type ammo because I believed factory ammo should be more reliable. In point of fact I have had less failures, much better accuracy , less recoil, cleaner burning, and harder hitting ammo with my hand loads then factory ammo. I have never had a failure to fire with the exception four rifle rounds and I had set them all aside for consideration ( I could feel a difference when seating the primers) where I had tried to make the bottom of the primer pocket shine and polished it too deep so that I had weak primer hits. Most large volume factory ammo I have a failure to fire about every 250 rounds and the powder charges are not consistent and the powder is sooty if I don’t take my gun down and clean it during a long shoot it is highly likely that it will fail. Reloading is a technical exercise, I personally depend on my own checking and in process quality control. The bullet and powder manufactures all have staff technical experts that can advise on building loads. I once had Sierra bullets, Accurate Arms powder and Smith and Wesson on a conference call to build a special purpose load for my .44 mag.(Sierra set up the call). I have had almost as much enjoyment from reloading as shooting. However it is cool when your 100 yard high power target is a fifty foot .22 target with 12 bulls eyes on it because that’s all you need are the bulls eyes. Your loads are “tuned” to you rifle your powder charges are with in a .1 of a grain your brass is fire formed to the chamber the case necks are trimmed and turned, you can cover your five round group size with a quarter all day long and some times a dime.

  6. I have been reading several of your articles and signed up for your web page. I find most of them to be very superficial in content with no real details on how to build or actually solve the problem or build the systems described. It seems to always be left to some advertiser to sell us something.

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