Many gun owners prefer reloading their own ammo in order to save money, along with a few other reasons. Here, we break down what you need to know if you are interested in getting started with reloading and some of the reasons for doing so.
What You Need
The first thing needed is a reloading bench. The exact specifications can vary, but it needs to be spacious enough to work with all the other materials used, and it needs to be sturdy enough to support the reloading press.
Casings are the shells that encapsulate the bullets, gunpowder, and primers. They are usually made of brass, although they can be found in other materials. One benefit of reloading is that the shell casings can be reused a time or two after they have been fired, assuming they stay in good shape.
You also need gunpowder. Gunpowder is the material that explodes and provides the energy needed to work the firearms. You need to purchase a scale and measuring equipment as well in order to properly measure your gunpowder to the gram. Different calibers of bullets will have different ranges of gunpowder needed in each load.
Primers are the round pieces you see on the bottom of bullets. This is what ignites the gunpowder inside of the bullet when struck by a hammer or striker.
Of course, you need bullets in whatever caliber you are reloading as well. You will also need a reloading die specific to each caliber you plan on loading.
The last and most important piece of equipment you need is a reloading press. Reloading presses are the pieces of machinery that make reloading possible. They come in varying styles, but essentially reloaders use presses to fit all the components of a bullet together. They are used to set the primer into the bottom of the casing and to fit the bullet into the top of the casing after the measured gunpowder has been added.
Why Do People Reload Ammunition?
The primary reason many gun owners reload their own ammunition is to save costs. For one, supplies can be bought in bulk. This applies to gunpowder, bullets, casings, and primers. Buying in bulk makes for cheaper ammunition costs in the long run. This may be especially relevant in times of ammunition shortages and price hikes.
As discussed earlier, casings can be reused which serves as an easy cost-saving technique. Gun owners can also purchase once-fired ammunition in bulk to save money on two fronts.
There is also the customizability aspect. Reloading one’s own ammunition allows the opportunity to optimize all of the different aspects of the bullets. For example, some hunters prefer to use very specific types of bullets for different prey. Some marksmen may need the grain, or weight, of the bullet to be perfect for shooting at long range.
Reloading ammunition can seem like a daunting task to the uninitiated, but it is not too difficult once the ball gets rolling. Reloading can even become a hobby for some gun enthusiasts, and it definitely helps many gun owners feel more hands-on with their pastime.