Every hunting enthusiast knows that hunting equipment, particularly rifles and pistols, could get very expensive. Maintaining and reloading your gun also become added costs in the future. Though a round of ammunition could last around 6 months to one year, depending on how often you hunt, there is no denying that replacing them is expensive. Let’s face it, not everyone can afford to purchase them regularly. This is why it is so important to use your ammo wisely.
When the time comes that your gun runs out of ammo, looking for good quality and affordable replacements could get difficult. A great and more affordable alternative to buying ammo is rolling your own. Some might think that rolling your own ammo is dangerous, difficult, time-consuming, and unreliable. However, given the right training and experience, rolling your own ammo could actually have more benefits than buying the factory-made ones.
Why You Should Try Reloading
First, being an accomplished ammunition reloader is a skill that is in great demand in the world of hunting. People could turn to your for help and even purchase ammunition from you. Second, reloading gives you control over your access to ammunition. You no longer have to worry about finding and waiting for the store to sell them to you. Instead, you could make supplies that would last you for years. Third, it gives you the ability to customize your ammunition to your specific needs as a shooter. Your ammo’s specifications such as velocity, accuracy, and size could all be adjusted to what you need. Fourth, it saves you around 40 to 70 percent of costs, depending on your choice of materials. Fifth, it gives you the satisfaction of knowing that you can reload your own ammo. It somehow empowers you to be a better hunter and reloader as well.
What You Need
Handloading your own ammunition requires a lot of practice and learning. If you want to learn how to start reloading, you must first purchase your own reloading equipment which is available at any gun shop.
The first thing you need is a reloading press. If you are a heavy ammunition user, and you need a high-volume reloading press, what you need is the progressive press or turret press. However, if you are still new to reloading, it is recommended for you to use a single-stage press. Since you are a beginner, the most important thing for you to learn first is how to make a good reload rather than making a lot of poorly made ones.
Next, you will need a set of dies, which are usually sold in sets of 2 dies (for bottlenecked cases) or 3 dies (for straight cases). Dies are responsible for depriming and resizing the brass and seating and crimping the bullet. While some dies come with its corresponding shellholder, some do not, so you will need to purchase one if your die does not have it. Shellholders are used to hold the case in position while it is moved in and out of the dies.
Next, you need a scale and powder measure. A scale is needed to measure the amount of powder needed for each round of reloaded ammo. Most scales are digital nowadays, but balance scales are suitable for beginners. A powder measure determines the amount of powder needed to be charged into each brass case.
A priming tool is not mandatory, but can also be useful in seating and preparing the brass cases for priming. Primer pocket tools are then used to clean residues in the primer pocket after it was detonated. They are also used to ensure uniformity and smoothness of each brass case.
Finally, a case trimmer is needed to reshape the case back into the right specifications. This is because cases are usually stretched or deformed when fired, so you need a case trimmer to fix them.
Now that you have the basic equipment for reloading your own ammo, you can definitely start training. All you need are the proper reloading equipment and the materials needed which are: cases, smokeless powders, bullets, and primers. To know more about the process of handloading, you must also get your own reloading manuals.