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Location: Lexington, KY
Joined: 10/13/2004
Posts: 9
Is Reloading really worth it?

Is it really worth me buying the equipment to reload my own shells? right now i own an SKS and a .303 as far as reloadable shells go, but in the future i will be purchasing more rifles.
I think it would be a great experience to shoot something that i loaded.
What do you all think of this and what am i looking at spending on equipment to load my own shots?

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
Is Reloading really worth it?

If you're asking whether or not you're going to end up money ahead by reloading, I would say only if you shoot a LOT! But reloading isn't just about saving money. It's also about the satisfaction of shooting ammunition that you made yourself, and about the ability to tailor a load EXACTLY to your gun, your shooting style, your situation.

I no longer reload for my .30-06 because I have found a couple of different factory loads that shoot just as well as any reloads I could come up with. But there are literally hundreds of different choices in factory loads for the .30-06. With your .303 there are far fewer choices in factory loads, and it is far more likely that you would be able to custom design a load that would shoot better in your particular gun than anything you can buy.

Another example... I hunt elk in an area that is fairly thick with black bears. For that reason I carry a .44 with me "just in case." But it's not a .44 magnum, it's a .44 special. I used to own a .44 magnum and found it too big and heavy, and the loads were too punishing for me. I now have a nice, sleek, single-action Colt clone in .44 special that I carry. I like it very much.

But no one makes a really good "bear round" in .44 special. No one even sells a .44+p type of load that I could use. No problem. I make my own. The hot .44 loads I shoot in my gun show no signs at all of excessive pressure, but generate several hundred more feet per second in velocity than any factory load. I am very comfortable shooting this load, and confident that it will serve the purpose if called upon in an emergency.

So, bottom line: If you are only considering reloading as a means to save money I would recommend against it. There are lots of other good reasons to get into reloading, though.

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Location: Lexington, KY
Joined: 10/13/2004
Posts: 9
Is Reloading really worth it?

the satisfaction factor is more of what i was going for and saving money in the long run would be great. I would love to be able to shoot both the guns alot more and i would love to be able to make the "perfect" deer round for my .303. However, the 303 is too heavy to carry through the woods all day. I was thinking of switching to a synthetic stock to solve this and make it a better hunting rifle

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Location: Southeast Washington State
Joined: 09/28/2004
Posts: 117
Is Reloading really worth it?

Well, you could spend less than $100 and be reloading for that 303 in short order. Lee reloading products are getting pretty cheap these days, and it doesn't take a great deal to get started. You might find that there are certain items that make reloading a lot easier and more enjoyable, though, so do some research and figure how much value reloading has for you. Discounting time and your initial investment for the equipment, the costs for reloading premium ammunition are less for reloads. Generally, you can reload better ammunition than you can buy ready made, especially when you can tailor the loadings to your specific firearm, as was stated above.

The one facet of reloading that appeals to me more than any other is the knowledge I've gained about internal and external ballistics by getting involved in reloading. It is a lot easier for me to visualize how ammo will perform now that I know what the component effects are and how they work together. Reloading compels you to learn and understand what is happening in the firearm and what will happen downrange once the bullet leaves the barrel. That is a big step toward becoming a truly competent shooter.

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Joined: 06/18/2004
Posts: 66
Is Reloading really worth it?

QuestionMan:

It seems well accepted that different loads from different manufacturers shoot differently in different rifles. A Hornady Custom 117 Grain Boat Tail Soft Point .25-06 load may shoot 1" groups in my Springfield custom rifle but may shoot 3" groups in the next fellow's Winchester M70 .25-06. What if I want to shoot a commercial .30-06 cartridge using 180 grain Nosler Partitions, but the one or two commercial loadings don't shoot well in my rifle? What if I go to the store to buy a couple of boxes of my Hornady Custom 117 grain Boat Tail Soft Point .25-06 and they are slap out of this particular load?

Reloading allows you to develop a load which shoots well in your rifle -- using any bullet you choose -- and be able to reproduce the load at will. Additionally, you may be able to achieve greater accuracy with reloading, because you can use brass fire formed to your particular rifle (fire forming is just the process of the brass expanding, when the cartridge is fired, to exacly fit your rifle's chamber), while commercial rounds must be a little loose and sloppy to fit into any rifle. Along these same lines, you can adjust the position of the bullet so it is just the right distance off the rifling lands of your barrel to maximize your accuracy, while the manufacturer can't do this, having to load to the specific standard measurements.

I don't reload, but hope to get into this in the near future. The chance to load accurate cartridges with bullets of my choosing is the the big bonus I see, plus the satisfaction of shooting a do-it-yourself load.

Money savings really isn't one of my motives. Not that I'm made of money, but I just don't think the savings are going to be dramatic.

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Joined: 10/30/2004
Posts: 117
Is Reloading really worth it?

Cheap set up lee hand dies. maybe 30 bucks? Plus supplies.

Good setup 400 or so.

Brass is one of the most costly components hence you can save some money there. Is it worth it for a few boxes a year? No. I shoot about 8000 rounds a year so it saves me tons.

But you get the satisfaction as noted. And the ability to tweak to your gun. Used to be you couldn't get quality bullets and good speeds unless you loaded. Nowdays you can get good bullets and high speeds. Though they may or may not be accurate.

One thing you'll find though, is even if loading, if your gun is not tight IE somewhat accurized and bedded, then the reloading is often in vain.

Only you can answer whether you want to or not. But as mentioned it gets you deeper into the game. You learn more, you can shoot more for less. The better you get. One thing to note is that if you don't mind resighting the gun, you can buy surplus powder cheaper, use your brass, and buy "bulk" bullets and practice all summer pretty cheap. Then have your good X type load tested out and just load em up and zero in. In the end you'll want to tweak your gun, learn bedding and trigger work etc.....

The only negative things are the initial dollar input and time spent.

But if you do start, get a good video. And find a good reloader to help tutor you along. I screwed up lots of brass etc... in the process as a teenager because I didn't understand exactly what I was doing. Safety wasn't an issue but a few other things were.

Good luck, Jeff

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Moderator
Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Is Reloading really worth it?

You probably won't save any money. There is a great satisfaction in dropping game with a home rolled round.

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Location: Rivers,Manitoba,Canada
Joined: 04/17/2005
Posts: 53
Is Reloading really worth it?

I've always reloaded and love working up a load.The fun of taking that buck or whatever with your own custom ammo is almost priceless.As far as cheaper no not really considering reloads may cost half of what factories are per box but you end up shooting more.Reloading where i live is a great way to pass long winter evenings and it's a fun hobby.

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Location: SW Alaska
Joined: 12/14/2004
Posts: 14
Is Reloading really worth it?
Deathwind wrote:
I've always reloaded and love working up a load.The fun of taking that buck or whatever with your own custom ammo is almost priceless.

Damn straight!! It is well worth every penny.

Reuben

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Joined: 09/23/2004
Posts: 137
Is Reloading really worth it?

There is one hidden and unspoken benifit of reloading....Its a way to get away from the ole lady and kids. You set up a reloading room. You can make the room off-limits to the wife and kids because of the meticulous nature of reloading and dangerous components used. So when the hustle and bustle of the house gets to ya, you can say you need to work up a load for your rifle. Trudge off to the reloading room like its a god awful chore. The whole giggling to yourself that you are heading into a sanctuary of sorts. Big smile

Oh by the way, don't let your ole lady read this post.

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Location: calif.
Joined: 04/12/2005
Posts: 37
Is Reloading really worth it?

well my take on the reloading is if you like guns and the ammo that gets shot through well if you shoot more then a box every time you got to the range then yes you can save money i like reloadin because you get to try new hotter loads and for killin papper you can make very light loads when every you feel like it you get to make as many as you think you will shoot and for pennys you can reshoot them over and over and well when you get some friends to go with you to the range you slide a very hot 44mag load LOL and watch them shoot one round and think a cannon went off and you all can sit back and laugh .. I say I made that lol got friends that come over and use my machine and we sit around and shoot the s--- and kinda have fun reloadin ..so yes reload and shoot your own stuff

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