Most center fired ammunition these days is easy to find either by ordering it off the internet or by finding it in your local sporting goods store.
Then why would any want to reload their own ammunition?
When ammunition was in short supply the reloader could assemble their own ammunition as long as they had the necessary components. If you didn’t reload then you had to pay outrageous prices for the ammunition that was available, as well as accept whatever was available.
There is also the economics of reloading. If you recycle your brass or have a supply of brass from your local range then you only need to purchase the bullets, powder, and primers. This allows you to save on the cost of the brass which is major cost of reloading.
For the discriminating shooter reloading also allows you to control every piece that goes into the cartridge. You can assemble ammunition that is optimized for your gun. You select the powder you want to use, primer, bullet type, and weight. For hunters this gives you the ability to have the exact round you want to use for the game you are going after. For the competitor you can tune the load to operate with your gun and gain those precious seconds during competition.
If you have a rare caliber you know how difficult it can be to find ammunition when you want it. Reloading allows you to assemble these hard to get cartridges for all the reasons above. Even when ammunition is hard to come by reloading dies are not.
What you’ll need is a reloading press, reloading dies, and some reloading books (or internet access to lookup recipes). There are several manufacturers of reloading equipment including Dillon, RCBS, Lee, and Hordnady. Each has its advantages either in cost, capacity, or durability. Once you’ve selected your equipment then you’ll need to lookup recipes either in books or on the internet (relay on manufacturer webs sites for reloading recipes). What you’ll be looking for is what components you’ll need to reload your ammunition. The type of powder, amount of powder (grains), primer type, and bullet. Change any of these components and the recipe will change. Reloading can be fun but you must be diligent that you follow safe recipes from reliable sources.
One thing thing you won’t save on is time because once the reloading bug has bit you’ll find yourself saving brass and trying to figure out how you can squeeze more speed out of a cartridge or making it operate optimally in your firearm. What you will gain is the ability to make your own ammunition no matter what happens in the market place and meet some great people in the process.
If you want to learn more about reloading check out our NRA Reloading class coming up in February.