Should I Reload?

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shaman
 
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Should I Reload?

Postby shaman » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:02 am

That is a very good question.  Now, in the doldrums between Deer and Turkey Season, is a good time to ask the question.  I am just now celebrating my 10th anniversary as a reloader.  I spent a good twenty years before that not reloading, but all the time wondering.    I never threw away any brass just in case. If you are a deer hunter that hunts with a center-fire rifle, you may find benefits in reloading. I now load for  everything I shoot--  over a dozen chamberings.
 
Here's the rest of the story:
 
Should I reload?
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Huntingdad
 
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RE: Should I Reload?

Postby Huntingdad » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:25 am

Good read as normal for you. My uncle has been reloading since they started putting bullets in brass cases!! lol He has a large following for loading rounds for SCI members. His guys always win any shoot offs they have in camp. They are not better shooters just shooting the right loads for their guns he says.
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easports
 
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RE: Should I Reload?

Postby easports » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:42 am

Is it tough to get started? I've been thinking about for some time.

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shaman
 
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RE: Should I Reload?

Postby shaman » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:50 pm

No, not hard, if you are willing to follow the directions and do the measurements.  This isn't a pinch-of-this and a hair-more-that kind of thing.  Mostly it is a lot of doing the same thing over and over again the same way.  As a for instance, I've had my sons helping me for years.  Angus has been down pulling the handle with me since he was 4.  It's a great father-son thing. 

The best way I can say to get started is to order the book I recommend in the article.  If it looks like fun, go for it. 

I find I can do 20 rounds of 30-06 in under an hour.  50 rounds don't take a lot more, because of a lot of the time spent is getting set up for each step.
 
The skills needed are not that demanding.  You'll have to be able to measure to .1 grain using a balance scale.  You will have to be able to measure to within .001" with a caliper.  Strength is not an issue.  Dexterity is not an issue.  You have to be able to keep a clean workbench and be able to devote enough time to get a batch done start-to-finish. 
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shaman
 
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RE: Should I Reload?

Postby shaman » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:56 am

Thanks!  I couldn't agree more. 

Here's PT II of the article:

http://genesis9.angzva.com/?p=958

Basically, it's a listing of the bits and pieces beyond the RCBS Supreme Master Kit that I bought in order to get my loading bench fully stocked.

It also has the story of my quest for Spike, the Wonder Buck.  It was the first time I'd been out with reloaded ammo, and it was also my first deer hunting trip with Mooseboy.
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shaman
 
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RE: Should I Reload?

Postby shaman » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:01 am

Here's PT II of the article:

Should I Reload Pt II

Basically, it's a listing of the bits and pieces beyond the RCBS Supreme Master Kit that I bought in order to get my loading bench fully stocked.

 
It also has the story of my quest for Spike, the Wonder Buck.  It was the first time I'd been out with reloaded ammo, and it was also my first deer hunting trip with Mooseboy.
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MSHunter
 
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RE: Should I Reload?

Postby MSHunter » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:06 pm

I finally got my reloading bench setup. I have a few more incidentals to purchase. My next major purchase will be powder, primers and bullets. I hope to be loading rounds by the end of the month.
"This is the world we are born into -- we should never let that slip away from us. May it never cease to stimulate, inspire and humble us." from Stalking & Still-Hunting: The Ground Hunter's Bible by G. Fred Asbell

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Sam Menard
 
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RE: Should I Reload?

Postby Sam Menard » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:40 pm

I have often thought about getting into reloading. My problem is finding enough time to do it right. When I get into something, I get a bit obsesive about it which usually makes me late for appointments or forgetting to do my chores. Maybe when my life slows down a bit.

Sam
"The true hunter counts his achievements in proportion to the effort involved and the fairness of the sport."

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Cut N Run
 
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RE: Should I Reload?

Postby Cut N Run » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:30 am

I have reloaded thousands & thousand of rounds in everything from .17 Remington to .458 over the years (plus untold numbers of shotshells). It is nice to be able to brew up a load for reduced recoil or accuracy. Once you buy the equipment and the supplies to do it, you will need to punch out a lot of rounds to make up the cost. The money you save is a tangible thing, but you need to take into account your time as well.

Like shaman said it is almost as easy to knock out 50 rounds as it is to do 20. Twenty is not worth the time to make the effort to me (depending on caliber). I would usually do 100 minimum at a time and sometimes when reloading buddies would get together with multiple presses, we would work for most of the day and turn out a few thousand rounds & go shoot a bunch of them the next day or weekend. You get in the production groove and become like an assembly line. Face it, once you take the time to set the dies up properly and you have the powder measure throwing correct charges of powder, you may as well knock out a bunch. I would weigh every charge early on until I knew the powder measure was staying accurate, then I'd weigh every third or so.

I used to reload .223s by the thousand and burn most of 'em up the next day at the range. No telling how many .38, .357, .41 Mag., .44, & .45's I've cranked out, but I'll bet we kept the people at DuPont busy making more powder. I recently ran out of a lot of 500 rounds I made up for my .308 that lasted 8 years. I switched to factory loads and only had to move the scope a few clicks. When I sold a few guns and cut back on the volume of shooting I was doing, I gave most of my reloading gear to one of my friends. I just didn't have the time or motivation to mess with it much.

I just don't shoot my main deer rifle that much any more and modern factory loads shoot great out of my favorite rifles. There are also a number of different velocity factory loads made to match most shooter's preferences & hunting situations. If you wanted benchrest match-type accuracy then you might think about rolling your own. I probably shoot less than 40-50 rounds a year out of each of my four cartridge rifles and it is not necessary for me to go through the effort to worry about trying to tighten those groups up, because they're fine for hunting...especially because I seldom have the opportunity to shoot over 100 yards in a hunting situation. I can practice out beyond 300 yards at the range, so I know where each gun is shooting.

One major advantage of reloading is if you shoot a caliber that is rare, not as popular, or has been discontinued and factory ammo is hard to find or expensive, it can save you a bundle. You can also tame down recoil to make a bigger gun shoot like a BB gun. A buddy of mine used to hunt with a .30-40 Krag in wet weather and he cooked up some loads that were superior to any you could buy. Wildcat cartridges are the same way. The Weatherby calibers can be reloaded for a lot less money than the factory rounds are sold for.

If you have the time, money, interest, you shoot a lot, or just want to make up your own loads, reloading can be a blast (pun intended). You can also hook up with someone who reloads and often they will work with you about using their equipment if you pay for the supplies (I had a friend who used to do this with me and he'd just buy me extra bullets, powder, & primers for my trouble & use of my gear). I have gotten to the point in my life that I buy factory loads by the hundred and as long as they're the same production lot (check the the box for matching lot numbers) they will shoot well enough for me to hunt with at any ranges I get around here. But that's just me.

Jim
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shaman
 
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RE: Should I Reload?

Postby shaman » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:35 am

That's very cool!

What are you going to be loading?
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