How do you start to reload target ammo?


Shooting a few hundred rounds at the range weekly - or a few times a week - can get really expensive when it comes to ammo.

Who here reloads? Any tips for those who’d like to start reloading? Equipment suggestions?

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Welcome to the Community! Please Introduce Yourself
What hobbies do you have outside of firearms/self-defense?

I hand load ammo from time to time and, from my experience it really isn’t the money saver that it was years ago. There is the up front cost of the equipment to consider. I personally prefer a single stage press for beginners because, it minimizes opertunity for mistakes. When using hand loaded ammo compared to store purchased ammo (Winchester white box comparison) I generally save about 50 cents to a dollar per box of 100. If you weigh the money saved verses the time spent reloading is that little bit all that worth it? The real advantage that I have found is that you can custom tailor your range ammo to reduce recoil or, to get maximum ballistics for your specific firearm.

The people that seem to benefit the most from hand loaded ammo are hunters and, competitive shooters with the advantage (from my pov) to be in favor of competitive shooters with their advantage being from more consistency in their ammo.

For the people such as myself (those that go to the range for CCW training and, recreation) think about the minimal cost savings compared to the time investment. For me it really isn’t worth my time most of the time.


I’ve heard that too. I used to help a mentor of mine handload in his basement but when I moved and talked to another guy about handloading he said it really doesn’t save you money. But surely how much money you save depends on the brand of ammo you buy, right @Thad?

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Absolutely @luke_ouellette, the amount that you do or, don’t save is completely dependant on what you use. With the exception of the powder I use I go with the cheapest I can find for everything else. The reason I use better powder is that I hand load 9mm Makarov and, for that I need the fast burning powder due to the case volume and, short barrel legnth of my P64. My P64 is the primary reason I started in the first place. 9mm Makarov (9x18) is not easy to get locally in my area. Only 1 store offers it and, another customer that has more time to get there tends to buy them out before I even know it’s in stock.

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That makes sense, @Thad.

I’ll tread very carefully with this follow-up question (this is not to start a political rant/bashing thread :smiley: ).

With the political climate the way it is, do you think that the value in reloading will come back? :thinking:

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@Dawn, maybe. Even during the ammo shortage I didn’t see much of a gain in savings. You will save more in the long run if you start casting your own lead bullets but, that introduces more initial cost and, safety risk.

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Did you find that it was easier to find the necessary items to reload than it was to find the ammo during that shortage, Thad?

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Nope, it was about the same for me. I don’t buy supplies all that often anyway and, didn’t need much during that time .22 rimfire was the hardest hit during the shortage and, that isn’t the priority to me that it is to my girlfriend. Her 15 year old has cerebrilpaulsey and, prefers .22lr for the lesser recoil.

For the supplies that I buy, it was about the same but, for others it was probably easier to find what they wanted.

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Since I’m getting ready to start reloading, here’s my 2 cents; it depends on the caliber your shooting, and the quantity your shooting, and what kind of press your using. At 9.99 per 50 rounds, you’d have to load lots and lots of 9mm to save money/recoup the initial costs. 357 magnum, on the other hand is 24.9o per 50. Shooting a lot of that, reloading will pay dividends quickly. Once you start(if you start) shooting big bores(44 mag, 45 colt, 454 Casull) you rally start to see the savings. If you are competition/action pistol shooter you could see savings early on due to the sheer volume of rounds being shot. Just for price comparison, I’m going to go with a Hornady Lock-n-Load classic single stage, Lee dies, and a Frankford Arsenal stainless steel pin wet tumbler. With these items, I’m looking right at 500 bucks. Yes, it will take awhile to recoup that, but, I’m also doing it for the hobby aspect. And yes, in the near future I’m going to get a big bore revolver, most likely in the 480 Ruger variety.


Okay, my question, too this topic. I buy my ammo loaded and ready to go. How, or what do I need tool wise, to load my own ammo? It’s something I would like to try out.


@45IPAC - can you share some links or details on what you’ve been looking at for reloading with @ShawnT?

Here’s some info to get you started, Shawn. A blog article by Beth Alcazar:


@Dawn, thank you. I’m going to look it up. It’ll be an interesting venture and fun learning experience.

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Sure. Here’s the press I’m going to get

The tumbler



From here you need primers, powder and brass. With the Hornady kit, there’s a mail in rebate for 500 bullets. Also, with the steel pin tumbler, I suggest this magnet
And you need a table/bench of some kind. I’m going to build my own, maybe in a shou sugi ban finish.

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Now, I was told that some parts of the reloading process/ equipment require you to be 21 to purchase. What parts of it require you to be 21?


Primers do powder would be my guess. If you order those online, they require hazmat shipping. I don’t know if you have to be 21 or not.

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I’m definitely going to try it. I’m extremely into learning as much as I can about all aspects of firearms. A benefit for me. I get into something I get into it bad.


I use a Lee reloading station with a rotating turret.

Berrys bullets is a great spot to order projectiles from.

I use Alliant Bullseye powder for alot of loads in pistol catridges.

Grab the Lyman 50th Edition reloading guide. Lots of good info in there.



These guys @BigMike?

I know we have something about links in our Community Guidelines, but it’s totally cool to drop reference links in your posts. :slight_smile:


What about the Hornady reloading book? Or is that only good if you’re reloading with Hornady bullets?

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I’m sure Hornady lists their bullets, but, I would think load and velocity would be the same for the bullet weight.