How do you start to reload target ammo?


The guys at the club all call me a brass hound, always on my hands and knees picking up brass :roll_eyes:, but this saves me so much money, if I have a couple hours on a rainy day, I separate all the different calibers, inspect everything, and they are ready for the tumbler. I have 5 gallon pails filled and sorted out, all set to be cleaned. It’s also good to have a lot so when a newbie needs some brass, you can help them out, itall comes around in the end. I’m going to start annealing my brass on larger calibers as well to get the most out of each piece of brass that I have. I’ve been reloading for a long time and one thing I’ve always found to be so important is, taking special care of all your brass, your end result will only be as good as your prep work. I put a lot of time into my brass prep.


I had to look it up - so I figured someone else might not know it either.




  1. heat (metal or glass) and allow it to cool slowly, in order to remove internal stresses and toughen it.

Thanks Dawn, I thought about that later on. It really only applies to rifle cartridges, I’ve never seen anyone do it for pistol ammo. Here’s a great video as to why and how to.
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I grew up with my dad reloading. Casting lead round nose and semi wad cutters in the garage over a Coleman camp stove. I spent hours watching him reload shotgun, rifle and handgun ammo.
My father was very meticulous when it came to reloading (and in life in general). To the best of my knowledge in over 30 years of reloaded, he had one pop no kick and it happened in his own revolver.

There was a group relatives shooting in a gravel pit all using his 38 special reloads that day. When he got the pop no kick he stopped all shooting and would not let anyone fire another one of his reloads that day. Once he got home he checked each and ever round for proper weight (over 1000 rounds).

My point is, even the best (yes I think my dad was one of them) reloading people can make a mistake. I reload my own handgun ammo from 380 to 44 mag. I do it because I enjoy it. It can save some money (eventually) but really it is quiet time and relaxing for me.


Your dad sounds like mine. I’m envious of that level of patience.

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Patience is such an amazing thing - and something that I am always working on.

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I started reloading to save money. Yeah, that didn’t quite go as planned, ask my wife!
As you start looking at reloading, there are several basic things that you need to do.

  1. Read, read and read some more. This is the book that I recommend as the frst source of information:
  2. There is a great FaceBook group for reloading called The Reloading Room. With over 30,000 members this a well moderated and extremely friendly group. I suggest this not to get recipes for hand loads, but to asked questions that the printed resources you have (you have reloading books, right?) aren’t clarifying for you.
  3. Get a mentor! There is nothing more satisfying to me than to teach someone about something that I know. It helps them to grow, learn the safety principles and it forces me to grow as well!
    Remember that you are creating a thing that has devastating power in a small package so getting all the knowledge you can is the best way to prevent tragedy.

Once you have done the above mentioned. it is time to determine what is needed to get started. This is where your mentor can be a great asset. Secondarily. the Facebook group. Many of us bought too many gadgets and unnecessary items thinking we would need them to get started. You don’t NEED very many things to make good quality ammunition,

If you have questions: reach out to me on this forum and I will help you in every way that I can.


I am retired and started reloading about five years ago, not to save money but more as a hobby and for something to do when the weather is too bad for outdoor activities. I think most reloaders would agree that you really don’t save a lot of money because of the cost of the equipment and because you shoot more. Since I started reloading, I have upgraded most of my tools several times over in the last couple of years. Some of the equipment can be quite expensive. For example: Redding Competition dies can run $200 -$300 dollars and a Wilson Micrometer case trimmer with the shell holders is about $200. I could go on and on, but you get the idea - it can get expensive very quickly.

I really enjoy it and have gotten to the point where I not only reload to shoot, but shoot to reload. The precision required and the attention to detail is what I find so satisfying about the process. I was lucky when I first started to find a class at my local gun range offered by a competitive shooter and an employee of Hornady. It was very good and I learned the fundamentals of the process.

If you are thinking of getting into reloading, here is what I suggest that you do.

  1. Buy a good quality manual and study it and study it again. Lee, Hornady and Lyman all publish good ones.

  2. Stick with a single stage or turret press. A progressive press is more suitable for high volume but you won’t get the precision unless you go high end, such as a Dillon, which will cost you big bucks.

  3. You can buy a starter package. The Hornady Lock-N-Load noted above is a pretty nice one Lee Precision also makes several entry level kits that are a little bit cheaper than Hornady. The downside to buying a kit is that there will be components included that you simply don’t like. My Lee powder scale and primer feeder are both collecting dust on the shelf. Another option is to buy used equipment. There is a lot of the entry level equipment available from people like me who upgrade and sell their old stuff.

  4. Develop procedures that allow you to verify that each step of the process is done correctly. For example, I use a reloading tray and shine a light into each case after dropping the powder. A squib load, no powder, can lodge a bullet in the barrel which can be catastrophic if not detected. A double load can blow the gun up. Either situation can send you to the emergency room.

  5. There is a wealth of information on the internet and some excellent forums where experienced reloaders answer questions and post information. I would urge caution and advise you to use every resource available to verify information. I never use load recipes posted by some person on a forum and alway use the powder or bullet manufactures published data to work up my loads. In one instance, I called Western Powders to clarify conflicting information between their data and the bullet manufacturer. They were very helpful and answered all my questions and resolved the issue.

It’s a great hobby and good luck in your endeavor. If I can be of any assistance contact me on this forum and I will help in any way I can.