A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO RELOADING HUNTING AMMUNITION
An article on reloading your own ammunition. Check it out.
“When the Great Ammunition Shortage began in earnest in the latter part of 2020, many hunters discovered with dismay that reloading supplies were also virtually impossible to find. Those who had stocked up on brass, powder, primers, and bullets were in good shape; everyone else was SOL.
Now’s the time to start preparing for the next ammo shortage. Reloading is fun, rewarding, and safe, and components are finally back in stock at most sporting goods stores. If you’ve been wanting to start rolling your own but haven’t been sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place.
Why Reload Your Own Ammunition?
There are two primary reasons to reload your own hunting ammunition: cost and control.
Reloaded ammunition is almost always cheaper than good-quality factory ammunition. You might be able to find practice ammo for something close to the cost of your reloads, but that’s less common now than it was pre-2020.
To take one back-of-the-napkin example: a decent .308 Win. hunting cartridge runs about $2 per round. You can find them above and below that price point, but that’s a representative average. If you already have .308 brass, you only need to pay for the bullets (about $0.50 per bullet), powder (about $0.36 per cartridge), and primers (about $0.09 per cartridge). That’s less than $1 per reloaded cartridge, saving you more than 50% each time you pull the trigger.
That saving doesn’t take into account the initial equipment investment (more on that below), and it’s easy to spend more on bullets. But by and large, reloading your hunting ammo will save you a good chunk of change.
Hunters also turn to reloading because it allows them to control each element of each cartridge. This article won’t get into the intricacies and frustrations of “load development,” but for now, it’s enough to know that it’s possible to tune your ammo to your rifle and optimize accuracy. Your rifle might prefer a specific kind of bullet or powder, and reloading allows you to find what your rifle shoots best and use that every time.
What Equipment Do You Need?
The list below outlines the basic equipment you need to start reloading bottleneck rifle cartridges. I would recommend purchasing a reloading kit rather than trying to purchase each item separately. You’ll save money buying the kit, and it will also come with items that may not be strictly necessary but sure are handy.
Hot tip: if the sticker price of a new kit is out of reach, you can find full kits on the used market. People often overestimate their interest in reloading, and after the press has taken up space on their workbench for two years, they offload everything at a reduced price. eBay, Craigslist, and online hunting and firearms forums are great places to look.”
The full article can be found here.
Photo Credit: Original Author