So is it possible to save money by making your own bullets? There are numerous items that you will have to purchase just to get started loading. The first item on our list is a reloading press. The second is a set of scales for weighing powder. The next is a set of reloading dies to fit the particular caliber bullet that you want to load. The next item would be a powder dropper, to dispense the powder charge, then a reloading book that shows all of the different calibers you can load. The next item would be a case lube pad to roll your cases in a lube before reforming the case, plus a box of bullets, powder, primers, and of course, you have to have the empty cases that you intend to load. These items are just a start to reloading. The many and varied items that you can add later are as vast and numbered as the bullets themselves.
The main question that you have to ask yourself is how fast do you want to reload these bullets. This can be a very casual, slow process, or a full, pedal-to-the-metal monster machine that is capable of producing around 1,000 rounds of ammo an hour. Wow, that seems like fun turning out 1,000 bullets an hour. Don’t forget that this monster of a machine is hungry, and I do mean hungry, for all of the goodies to keep it going. That means to keep this bad boy rocking along at that speed, you also need pounds and pounds of powder, along with all of the rest. I am not trying to discourage you, just be aware of what your intentions are. The latter machine would be a good set up for a gun club where you can enlist help in running the machine.
Now that I have scared you to death, let’s look at the costs of these reloading machines. It will cost around $300-$500 to get set up with what is called a single stage press and everything you need to reload one caliber. This is the slow way to load, slow and easy. By the way, this is how I have been doing it for all of the years that I have been reloading.
The monster machine will cost you the better part of $1,800 just for the machine itself. I am not recommending any particular reloading equipment because there are so many to choose from that certainly do the job. I have been using someone else’s reloading machine, a Dillon 1050. This is a reloading machine that will put bullets in a box quicker than you can say scat. It smokes.
To figure if you can actually save money by reloading your own bullets, you would have to make a list of all you intend to spend and check it against the cost of factory bullets. Cost also depends on just how much you are shooting, a little or a whole lot, and if you are shooting pistols or large-capacity rifles.
Why do I reload? Well, I just plain enjoy it. I don’t do it to save a lot of money. I can sit and read about loading and guns for hours. I would recommend reloading to anyone who has an interest in guns and shooting sports as a whole. I find it very relaxing, and it keeps your mind working on many subjects, including math.
If you do your own reloading and would like to share your special pistol or rifle loads with all of us, send it to me and I’ll discuss it with our readers.
Roger Sherrill lives in Ringgold. He can be reached at email@example.com.