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Old 08-30-2020, 11:56 AM
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Default Why Did I Start Reloading? $$$

It was all about money!

The time was 1983. I had recently bought a new S&W 586. I just had to have that revolver. As a kid, I didn't really consider the cost of feeding it. I scrimped and saved and bought the 586. Then, after the shock of buying a few boxes of factory ammo, I got smart and started reloading.

Fast forward to 2020. I found this old box while rutting through some long forgotten stuff. This is an example of what I fed my 586 in 1983. Check the price! $17.24 for a box of 50 rounds! Perhaps that sounds decent for factory ammo in today's climate. However, that equates to $45.39 in 2020 dollars! Wholly shmoely! That would be about 91 cents a round in today's dollars. Expensive ammo on a kid's income sure didn't make for much shooting.

So THAT'S why I started reloading. Money, plain and simple.

What made you start reloading?
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:07 PM
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Yep,that’s abound when I started reloading and for the same reason. Hard to buy much ammo at those prices when you’re making about $4.00 an hour
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:08 PM
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Well I needed more money to buy tools to go after Razor Clams.

Just joking.....

I actually only had a .22 rifle and a Ruger 22/22 Mag as a youngster, so no reloading but I did finally save up for a Winchester model 100 in .308 and like you found out that they had a nice price tag.

Then someone got me into trap shooting.
MORE $$$$.

Got to love it.
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:23 PM
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1993 was when I got my first handgun ... 629-4. Ammo wasn't terribly expensive for me but loading my own definitely made it way more affordable to shoot.

Then it became all about loading EXACTLY what I want vs settling for whatever is available. And trust issues ... I trust my handloads way more than anything on the shelf.
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:31 PM
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Default Mostly, I was curious.......

I wanted to tailor loads and experiment, which I did a lot of. I always shot for making the most budget conscious reloading I could do. Then I had to quit work on disability and it became "If I want to shoot like I want, I'm going to have to reload" That worked fine and I bought new stuff as I went along to streamline my operation.

NOW, I'm just glad to reload because I wouldn't be shooting at all buying all commercial ammo. It's bizarro.
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Old 08-30-2020, 02:02 PM
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It was all about money!

The time was 1973. I had recently bought a new Colt Trooper and Remington 700BDL in 243 Win. I just had to have those guns. As a kid, I didn't really consider the cost of feeding it. I scrimped and saved and bought the guns. Then, after the shock of buying a few boxes of factory ammo, I got smart and started reloading.

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Old 08-30-2020, 02:12 PM
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Back in the 80's I saw an article for Thompson Contenders in 7mm TCU..

I was so impressed with the ballistics that I had to have one.

Didn't realize I had to load my own to shoot it.

That was my baptism.. Now I load to customize my range fodder.
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Old 08-30-2020, 02:22 PM
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Pretty much the same story for me. I started shooting centerfire handguns in 1987, my first being a Dan Wesson Model 15-2. I found that 357 Magnum ammo was expensive, even 38 Special ammo could be pricey, especially if I could not find re-manufactured ammo. I bought a Lee Challenger kit from Midway USA, along with a bag of 500 pieces of 357 Magnum brass that bore the headstamp "Midway". I reloaded that brass a lot and I still have some of it! It was loaded with everything from 148 grain LWC target loads to maximum charges of H-110/W-296 driving 125 and 158 grain SJHP bullets.

Since then, my firearms and caliber collection has grown and for each centerfire caliber, I have dies, bullets, brass, powders, and primers. During my days of USPSA competition I finally figured out that my reloading efforts had not saved me one penny, but it did allow me to shoot at least three times as much ammo for the money spent!
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Old 08-30-2020, 02:27 PM
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I started loading for the 300 Winchester Magnum in a Browning BAR which I used for a Grizzly Bear Hunt in the early 1970s. Ammo was never cheap for that gun and my partner and I both had identical rifles.
After you get into reloading for a while it is addicting and very enjoyable.
Let's see, forty seven years for me and still enjoying it more than ever.
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Old 08-30-2020, 02:38 PM
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I don't and didn't count pennies when shooting or reloading. In 1969 I was shooting my 38 Special and as I emptied the cylinder watching the brass hit the ground I thought "I wonder if these could be reused?". Did some research, bought a Lee Loader, and that started it all...

If I want to ruin a pass time/hobby I'll start assigning cost to each piece of bait (hmmm, how much does this frozen anchovy cost per fish?) or compare cost of each bullet available to find the cheapest, then do some math and get an often skewed cost of my handloads vs factory ammo (I would have to keep records of the cost of the powder I bought in 2009, the primers I found on sale in 2011, the free brass and new brass purchased in 2000, or the cost of the lead wheel weights I bought in 1991, not to mention shipping, Haz Mat etc, vs travel expenses to get supplies). So I happily buy components that I need (none with exorbitant costs) and enjoy my bench and range time...
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Old 08-30-2020, 03:40 PM
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Love hearing about the subtle differences, the several different paths to reloading. Money in one disguise or another always seems the major incentive for pistol reloading; rifle often has a different driver.

An uncle of mine couldn't find commercial ammo for a particular firearm he had acquired and decades ago showed me how he reloaded for it. Twenty years ago I started shooting again, the CONCEPT of reloading, making my own ammo, intrigued me.

Looked at the cost of a basic setup, and it didn't take long to figure out I could explore the new hobby for "free". $600 saved on the 5,000 rounds of 9mm I shot each year - let alone the other calibers I shot - would MORE than pay for the equipment. And so it began.

Today? Until COVID, I was still shooting more ~7k reloaded rounds per year across 2 pistol and 5 rifle calibers. I've enjoyed the hobby and enjoyed buying new equipment that "made reloading easier" or "more precise". Sometimes it di, often it didn't.

As a result MAYBE I've broken even in total lol. Maybe saved a little money, DEFINITELY had success improving precision. DEFINITELY had fun.
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Old 08-30-2020, 03:55 PM
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Nearly everyone thinks they will save money. Nearly everyone gets to shoot more and nearly everyone has much more ammo stored away for shooting whenever they want at a reasonable cost. Then there are the loads you can't buy off the open market. All JMHO-YMMV...........
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Old 08-30-2020, 07:18 PM
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A .257 Roberts and .41 Mag got me into loading.

Ammo for both was hard to come by, and expensive when you did.

At that time the .257 Roberts factory rounds were loaded at much lower pressures than modern rifles can handle, thus the curiosity of what this classic caliber in a Ruger 77 was truly capable of delivering.

Handloading is all about performance for me. I do admit that I've not hesitated to buy .45 Win Mag's, .454 Casull, 7X61 S&H, 6.8 SPC, .450 Bushmaster, .357 Rem Max, 7X57 and several other caliber firearms because I'm not at the mercy of factory offerings.

As posted earlier, the ability to "season to taste" is what got me into it, and what's kept me in it.
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Old 08-30-2020, 07:30 PM
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I started just a couple of years before you, and at first it was about the money too. I didn't appreciate the benefit of having a continuous supply of consistent ammo.

Now decades later, I find that more important.
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Old 08-30-2020, 07:55 PM
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Started in 1968 with a Lee loader loading 30 carbine. I discovered my loads were just as good as the surplus stuff available, so moved up to loading for my .270. By then I was hooked, and bought RCBS equipment that is still being used - even this morning. It took a few years before my "savings" caught up with my initial investment.
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Old 08-30-2020, 08:39 PM
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Default Started reloading

I picked up a 6mmBR target rifle, and a friend just gave me all his reloading RCBS equipment that he wasnít using anymore. So I started reloading handgun calibers which turned out to be a real money saver. Willyboy
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Old 08-30-2020, 08:47 PM
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Actually sold all my loading stuff because it just sat there after a traumatic accident.
However I am re buying so i can load HBWC's for bullseye league. And perhaps SWC to plink steel plates.
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Old 08-30-2020, 09:19 PM
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The year was 1980. I traded a Gibson SG (customized) and a Kustom III Lead half stack amp to a buddy for a 6" Ruger Security Six, Lee Loader with all components and a 22 rifle I can't remember. No internet then, no one to mentor so I followed the directions in the kit. Still have all 10 fingers LOL. Started out as "saving money". That ship sailed years ago!

Then a local guy who had a small gunshop behind his house and shot Bullseye Competition, asked if I would be interested in his RCBS press and steel 38 Special dies? For $50, it went home with me. I built my first bench and have been hooked ever since! Still have/use the 1978 Reloader Special press and the dies still work, though they were retired for carbide years ago.

This COVID thing has put a "crimp" in my shooting for the past 6 months. Luckily I learned from past shortages and have a supply of components. I'm still locating/purchasing when I can, especially with November rolling around. That scares me more than COVID! I retired a year ago, so now I have more time for my hobby and I enjoy it more now because of that. Been reloading with my 9mm Lee Loader for my Glock 17, 115 Gr. plated RN/TiteGroup powder. Life is good :-)
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Old 08-31-2020, 09:44 AM
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I started reloading as a hobby, something to do during those long winter nights where it was too cold to shoot. My friends made fun of me for reloading 9mm, who's the fool now ?
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Old 08-31-2020, 11:56 AM
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In 1967 reloadin ammo & casting my own bullets it seemed like a good idea . I could shoot more ... it was fun .

It's 2020 now , we are in the midst of an ammo availability shortage ...

Reloading seems to be a better idea now than it did in 1967 ...
Still shooting more for a lot less and still enjoyable hobby .

Plus ...I have all the ammo I want ... Do you ?

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Old 08-31-2020, 12:15 PM
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I started reloading in 77-78 but it was more for increased accuracy in my model 70 .243. I expanded into handgun rounds shortly thereafter.
If you can get your hands on used brass there is most defiantly some cost savings. Now I have know idea how much I have invested in reloading equipment.
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Old 08-31-2020, 12:25 PM
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I started reloading because of my father. He was a reloader for hunting. I think it was all part of the process of hunting for him. Making a better load from scratch and use it successfully on a hunting trip. I never really started reloading in greater quantity until I got a 357 that I was using for target competition. Since then it has become a Zen thing for me. I too have been trying to build a better cartridge. Something about buying an "average" over the counter rifle and trying to make it better through customizing the round to the rifle. It is like making a wooden table from scratch. There is a pride and sense of accomplishment when you find the right combination and use it successfully. Never about money for me, just carrying on my father's tradition.
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Old 08-31-2020, 01:01 PM
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Why did I start reloading? It was part of my master plan for becoming a pistolero par excellent!!! First, I got my hands on a S&W Model 19. Nickel. Four inch barrel. Pachmayr grips (they were cheap). Next the critical part. I had a little talk with my wife. We'd only been married less than a year. And to quote her own statement, "I was gullible!!!" I told her that if I bought a good reloading outfit, I could save a lot of money on my shooting. Why ... I could make a couple of boxes of shells for not much more than the price of half a box of factory loads. With that out of the way ... I took my next step. I hoarded .38 Special casings. I fiendishly searched for Zero brand bullets ... lead and jacketed. And, I got myself a Lee Loader!!! Happy!!! With my carpenters hammer and using the kitchen table for a bench, I whomped up experimental .38 Special super duper louden boomers. These were experimental b/c I didn't take time back then to read a reloading book and only slightly paid attention to how to use the little yellow cup thing to scoop powder for my reloads. The results were impressive. I couldn't buy anything in .38 Special that was as impressive. Then on a day when I was dreaming of bigger, louder .38 Special ammo, I chanced to buy a Lyman cast lead bullet manual. Therein I discovered such things as pressure, starting loads and ... ah ... maximum loads. Therein I discovered that while a .38 Special could be heated up to semi-magnum power, it was better to just use the magnum casings. Then I discovered that if I reloaded normal loads, my revolver was a bit more fun to shoot, less expensive too!!! Now 40 years later ... I'm still loading. I can make anything I want for my revolvers or rifles from mild to wild. And, other than one revolver and one rifle, I haven't boogered up any other firearms since about 1982. Sincerely. bruce.
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Old 08-31-2020, 01:16 PM
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The year was about 1973. I was a college undergraduate with a tuition scholarship but had to work to pay all my other expenses. I had scraped pennies together to buy a S&W 28. I could afford the occasional box of ammo but wanted to shoot more. First came the Lee basic (pound with hammer) tool followed a couple years later by a RCBS single stage press.

Occasionally I could find a 50 count box of .357 Winchester Luballoy for about $7. Sometimes I'd find some Federal .38's for a couple buck less. I could reload the fired cases for about 5 cents each with bought cast bullets, Alcan primers and Bullseye powder.

Fast forward a bunch of years and reloading is still cost effective in a number of cartridges, especially .357 mag.
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Old 08-31-2020, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosedog View Post
After you get into reloading for a while it is addicting....
Boy!! Ain't that the truth!! Most people reload so they can shoot. There was a time when I was shooting so I could reload! It's that addicting!
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Old 08-31-2020, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
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After you get into reloading for a while it is addicting and very enjoyable.
Actually I find it very tedious. I wish I had elves show up and do the chore...
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Old 08-31-2020, 05:19 PM
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1979, I was 19. I asked my dad to buy me a Virginian Dragoon in .44 Magnum, which he did. Since I was under 21, I couldn't just walk into a store and buy handgun ammo, and while I had a decent job at the time, that ammo was expensive anyway. I started watching my dad reload when I was nine, but by the time I turned 19, he had downsized all his stuff and didn't have his equipment anymore. So I bought everything I needed to get started, and started cranking out my own. I used to laugh at the fact that I couldn't buy ammo for my revolver, but I could buy all the components I needed to make my own.
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Old 09-01-2020, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krogen View Post
It was all about money!

The time was 1983. I had recently bought a new S&W 586. I just had to have that revolver. As a kid, I didn't really consider the cost of feeding it. I scrimped and saved and bought the 586. Then, after the shock of buying a few boxes of factory ammo, I got smart and started reloading.

Fast forward to 2020. I found this old box while rutting through some long forgotten stuff. This is an example of what I fed my 586 in 1983. Check the price! $17.24 for a box of 50 rounds! Perhaps that sounds decent for factory ammo in today's climate. However, that equates to $45.39 in 2020 dollars! Wholly shmoely! That would be about 91 cents a round in today's dollars. Expensive ammo on a kid's income sure didn't make for much shooting.

So THAT'S why I started reloading. Money, plain and simple.

What made you start reloading?
I have been reloading for 10 years when some rounds were expensive i.e. 45 colt sig 357 win.308 then the prices came down some, now with the availability or lack of im glad I still reload. my list .223, .308, .38 spec, .357,.9mm .357 sig,.10mm
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Old 09-01-2020, 10:02 AM
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You can't shoot out the barrels in 3 firearms buying factory ammo. Shooting prairie dogs is an addiction that really drives reloading.

Yup! I've been saving money! Twenty-Four die sets, bullet moulds. sizer dies, 4 presses (Dillon 450 & 550), 2 Lyman cast bullet sizers, case trimmer, and accessories. After 35 years of reloading, casting bullets, and saving money, my savings account finally got a balance over $1,200.

But for the last 25 years, all my center fire handgun ammo (except for 357 mag & 44 mag) has consistently cost me less than 22 LR from the store. The most expensive 22 LR I bought was $215 for a 5K case 2 years ago. Center fire rifle ammo has increased from $10 - $17 per hundred to $22 to $35 per hundred.

Reloading does produce cheaper ammo, but most reloaders shoot up the savings in ammo costs.
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Old 09-01-2020, 11:55 AM
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I started 6 years ago with the goals (in priority order) of a) Better accuracy; b) Sounded fun; c) Have ammo for one obscure caliber I had and; d) Save some dough. My intent was to go with and stay with 4 calibers: .223, 9mm, .38 Spcl, .270 and .32 Rem.

Since that time I've deeply internalized:
* The savings are in Cost / Round......not total $ spent.
* Adding calibers is easier and more fun than I thought it would be.
* Saving total $ spent is less important than having fun.

I've since added .38 S&W, .380, .30-06, and .284 Win to the mix.

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Old 09-01-2020, 01:58 PM
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I bought a 22 Hornet around 1978. Rounds were through the roof - when you could find them. Got me started with this:
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Old 09-01-2020, 02:02 PM
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Now my bench looks like this:
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Old 09-01-2020, 02:43 PM
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$. That is all.
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Old 09-01-2020, 04:00 PM
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My Dad was not a "gun" guy, but he loved waterfowling. I am the second of 4 brothers roughly spaced out 3 years apart. Dad moved to Houston in 1955 and was able to use factory ammo until he kids hit the field. Grew up on a MEC single stage in Dads garage. When I got into guns seriously, realized would have to reload to shoot. Worked out a deal with my youngest brother (other gun guy in family) that he buys components and I reload.

Funny thing is, recently reloading heavy dove (don't hunt waterfowl anymore) was not worth the effort. You could buy factory loads for less than a dollar more per box. Lead shot has increased a bunch more than lead bullets. Now with the shortage, may have to load some shotgun shells for dove season as the factory loads have increased by a buck or more per box over last year.
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Old 09-01-2020, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just another 22 shooter View Post
It was all about money!

The time was 1973. I had recently bought a new Colt Trooper and Remington 700BDL in 243 Win. I just had to have those guns. As a kid, I didn't really consider the cost of feeding it. I scrimped and saved and bought the guns. Then, after the shock of buying a few boxes of factory ammo, I got smart and started reloading.
I actually made a good enough case for reloading to save money that my parents bought me the press and all the accessories for Christmas that year. Then I learned there was a world of bullets available the you couldn't buy in factory ammo. Then I learned that my 243 shot better with my handloads than it ever did with factory loads.AND I could brew up loads for my 357 in between the wrist benders that factory 357 magnum ammo was in those days and the soft ball 38 Special. AND at HALF the price or less. AND I enjoyed reloading and couldn't read and absorb enough about reloading. From there thing just got totally out of hand....
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Old 09-03-2020, 12:07 PM
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In the mid 70s I had a family to raise, a new business to run, a used mod 19, and not much money! I bought an RCBS press with 38 dies and the minimum necessary items to reload! I could make 50 rds for $2.58 and shoot every week end in the back yard with my boys and a couple hundred rounds! And now;

along with a couple old Herters presses that can be mounted on the steel plate inletted into the bench top with 4 bolts! The old, well used, mod 19 has been traded off to make room for a few more Smiths to replace it!
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Old 09-05-2020, 12:23 AM
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In 1980 I walked into a Mom & Pop gun shop in Mississippi to purchase my first handgun ever, without knowing what kind of handgun I even wanted.

They must have saw me coming because I walked out with a
Ruger Blackhawk chambered in .41 Magnum and a bunch of reloading stuff.

Fortunately that also included a Lee reloading manual and instructions to carefully read the how-to reload section.

40 years later and I still have and use that reloading stuff they sold me about once a week.

That'll show 'em!

...oops!

They sold me a Lyman 45th edition reloading manual, not a Lee...great reloading instruction section in that one!


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Old 09-05-2020, 12:12 PM
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in the 60's my brother and I were shooting up hundreds of rounds of shotgun ammo continually. My step dad started locking up all his factory stuff and told us if we wanted to shot, we had to handload. It was a no choice kind of thing.

Then 50 years later, I discovered the auditory feedback of Silhouette steel and I was hooked like I was a kid again. I also discovered a new caliber for me, the 357 Maximum. When you could find it, it was $2.25 plus per round.
Handloading became a necessity again and turned into a great hobby all by itself.
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Old 09-05-2020, 12:36 PM
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I started in 80ís. I was 15 and in a non shooting family, so go bless my parents for indulging me in my adventures. I had purchased a model 70 in 30/06 with 2 boxís of corelocís. I had a misfire from each box. I told my dad Iím loading my own ammo from now on. This way Iíll know who to blame for the mistakes. I got a reloading kit for Christmas that year. I now cast and load for 16 different cartridges. It also helps keep old guns shooting.
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Old 09-05-2020, 02:26 PM
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At the range yesterday a guy ask me if I reloaded. I said it was the only way I could afford to shoot as much as I did. There were at least 100 empty 5.56 cases laying around my table. What's that, about $60 worth of factory ammo today? I don't know because I've never bought a single round of 5.56. I shoot every week.
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Old 09-05-2020, 04:22 PM
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1973, I bought a Contender, with a screw-on choke, in 44MAG,
the shot cartridges had to be reloaded,,
so I bought a Lee loading kit that needed "hammer" to do the reloading,
so, I quickly switched to a cheap RCBS,, that did not use a hammer to do the operations,,

A decade later, I got a "Square Deal"

A decade after that I got a 550B,,

A few years ago, a guy had a STACK of RCBS Summit presses at a gun-show,, $80 each,,
I had to have one,
but, I know I will probably never bolt it to the bench,,,
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Old 09-05-2020, 04:36 PM
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I STARTED IN 1980, I GOT HOOKED I GUESS. JP
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Old 09-05-2020, 06:01 PM
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When I was single digits years old, I learned to shoot with my dad and his buddies. Part of shooting was policing your brass and reloading it for the next outing. That's just how it works.

As I got older I was kind of surprised everyone didn't do it that way.
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Old 09-05-2020, 07:27 PM
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I only started reloading because I couldn't find .44 special at my LGS.
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Old 09-05-2020, 09:40 PM
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My dad reloaded as he was a 1911 fan. I grew up on a farm where we tried to be self sufficient. I had an uncle who was a Jeweler/gunsmith, one who was a machinist for the rial roads, and another who was a telephone tech. They all reloaded. The Jeweler made bullet molds, the others and dad knew how to cast and even copper plate their cast bullets. We had a single stage and progressive press that was easily configurable for pistol. My machinist uncle had a 2 single stages that he used for rifle, and my telephone uncle had the shotgun press. There would be casting and loading parties at each others places for ammo needs. It helped that one of my good friend's dad worked at Hercules as QA in Brunswick Ga testing powders. We often got a partial pound of Hercules powder to dispose of.

I was cleaning brass at 10 years old. Sizing and de-capping at 11 and 12. By 13 years old I was loading my own while being closely watched. At 16 I had free reign to load hot 38SPL and 20 gauge shotgun with Blue Dot.

I had a single shot 30 carbine as a deer rifle until I was 21. I went deer hunting below the dam on the pond and had my ladder stand knocked out from underneath me as I shot all 7 rounds I had at a boar hog. I spent the night in the tree because I had pissed off the hog. My uncle's got together and got me a Remington model 78 30-06 for birthday. It is still my go-to deer hunting rifle 40 year later.

During that time I reloaded on the farm when I could but I would also buy factory ammo or get the cheap commy block ammo and guns to burn it off. In the early 90's I stole my father's little used RockCrusher and extra sets of his dies. I used that and would go bonzo reloading the once a year visits to the farm.

I got a Dillon 550 about 20 years ago and I am up to about 10 calibers. I sill use the Rock Crusher for case prep and custom loads. I let my Brother-in-law inherit most of Dad's reloading gear as I got the gun collection when he passed. I made out as he had a couple of class III guns I decided to sell.

I also load some oddball calibers that are difficult to find when ammo is plentiful. The good thing about hand loading is that I can create match grade accurate ammo that is tuned to a particular gun much cheaper than I can buy discount ammo that is all over the place with velocity and accuracy.
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