Skip to comments.Reloading Ammo - Questions & Discussion (Vanity)
Posted on 02/03/2013 10:34:59 AM PST by BuckeyeTexan
With ammo being difficult to find lately and selling for much higher prices when it is available, I decided to purchase some reloaded ammo (9mm) and also consider reloading my own. I have no experience doing either. So naturally, I want to ask fellow FReepers for some advice about reloaded ammo.
Hmmm. That’s a dang good idea. Thanks, darlin’.
I will have plenty of ammo.
I can share.
If it gets really bad over the next 4 years
I will go to black powder fire arms an cast my own bullets.
Good advice. I started years ago with the RCBS Rockchucker kit, added an automatic powder dispenser (Hornady) and a tumbler. And lots of dies, bullets, powder and primers. Primers seem to be a bit hard to find at the moment but there are decent options in powders.
Will do. Thanks much. I don’t intend to buy anything, including a beginner’s kit, until I am confident that this is something I can tackle. I approach home improvement the same way. I never messed with plumbing or electrical work until I had thoroughly researched it and talked extensively with a few experts. Now, I do all of my own work. (And save myself a ton of money.) Gonna put in a new breaker panel next month.
I've dodged that bullet (so to speak) MANY times with reloaded ammo, even though I carefully check the cases to see if they have powder in them. It happens to me mostly with very light target loads for reasons that would take me ten paragraphs to explain. I've had about every accident with reloading that you can have, to the point that I'm starting to hate reloading. But that's me.
There's a LOT of good advice above my post, and I'm sure some good below as well. Key among them is don't be distracted, get carbide dies, mostly use RCBS stuff (the Lee stuff is OK, but the only things of theirs I have are the powder scale, which is good enough but barely, their .223 rifle factory crimp die (very good), powder through pistol cartridge flaring die (good for larger loads - DON'T use it for light loads - see above), and their hand primer, which is outstanding, WAY better than the clunky and dangerous RCBS unit, which I also have).
Get a good manual, follow it strictly. The note above about a vibratory tumbler is huge. The rolling ones take forever and aren't as good. Use fresh components. Get a SAAMI cartridge gauge for every caliber you're going to shoot, primarily for semi-auto pistol. I beat my head against the wall CONSTANTLY over loads that are too big for the chamber in one of my target guns. Nothing like cranking out 250 rounds and finding out none of them will fit your gun.
Midwayusa.com is a good place to buy component and tools. If they don't have it, you don't need it. Buy your powder and primers locally since our junior Nazi government makes them charge you an extra $25 to ship powder and primers because they're "hazardous" (if they were REALLY hazardous, do you think they'd ship them?).
I keep my Glock 19 cleaned and oiled regularly and after every trip to the range. Yet after firing about 50-100 rounds, I find that I get frequent jams (1 per 15 rounds) with (only) Winchester ammo. I don’t buy it anymore. I don’t have that issue with any other brand. So, I will definitely not be reloading any Winchester.
Ask around at some of your local gunshops, if there are local clubs that reload someone will know.
I’ve got some of the equipment needed.
I’ll go half with ya on the rest of the stuff and we could build a reloding bench at my place.
It is generally not less expensive unless you either shoot an extreme amount of ammo or you shoot ammo that is hard to find (say certain obsolete or military surplus foreign rifles).
I would suggest taking an NRA reloading class or one offered by a local gun shop or range. It is an art, especially when learning the sings of overpressure and case head separation.
Right now there is a shortage of most reloading components, so it may not solve you current loaded ammo shortage issues.
I would start reloading for a straight walled rimmed cartridge, such as a .38 Special revolver. It will be more forgiving and allow you to develop your technique before you tackle more demanding loads. A 9mm technically head spaces on the forward edge of the case. This can be a problem if you have an bad crimp or you bullet seating depth is way off. A 9mm in a semi auto also has to have a limited powder range for a specific bullet weight or the action will not cycle reliably. Also the bullet Over All Length needs to be just right if you want it to feed reliably from a magazine. Revolvers are much easier to reload for when you start. If you shoot reloaded .38 Specials out of a .357 Mag, you can also survive if you haven't learned how to spot the signs of overpressure.
Now as to saving money. If you buy from a commercial reloading company, you can buy ammo in bulk (500 to 1000 rounds at a time) at maybe a 5% or 10% premium over you cost of reloading, assuming your time has no value. I buy at a gun show large lots of commercially reloaded 9mm, 45ACP the is a great price. The firm reloads for a number of police departments (range practice/qualification ammo) in the area.
It is a great hobby, but one that takes a lot of care to do safely.
It has saved me a fortune on the cost of shooting vintage obsolete caliber military surplus rifles (7.7 Japanese Arisaka, 7x57 Mauser, etc.). It has saved me very little money over the cost of commercially reloaded 9mm or .45ACP that I can buy at large gun shows.
That’s why I’m puttin the wifey on it. She can load 50 rounds while doin the laundry.
Do not let ANYTHING sidetrack you while reloading. I once loaded several boxes before I realized somewhere along the way I had forgotten to put powder in some of the cases.
Make sure you remove the crimp rim from primer pockets on military cases before you try to put a new primer in.
Make sure the new primer is pointing the correct way.
Make sure you FULL LEINGTH RESIZE (with a lube) any cases you may get. Nothing worse than a loaded round stuck in a rifle. Won’t go in, won’t come out. You often can pull off the rim of the case trying to extract a stuck round.
Don’t let ANYONE mess with your power scale while you are reloading.
I found buying the case, primer, powder and bullet costs as much as a new round. You save after you reload the once fired case.
The ammo companies are capable of making mistakes too. I had a Remington 700BDL which was a good shooter. One day I was doing some informal target shooting and the first round from a new box seemed to have a bit more recoil than normal.
I could not open the bolt. I took it home, and had to beat the handle with a piece of wood to get the bolt unlocked. I looked it over and there were signs of high pressure. A flattened primer which fell out of the case.
I looked the rifle over carefully and there was no damage to it. I could not find a toll free number so called Remington on my own dime. I got transferred a couple of times and no one seemed even interested.
I pulled the bullets and dumped the powder. Not knowing what kind it was I had no idea what the correct charge was.
She can load 50 rounds while doin the laundry.
LOL! nope, flyin solo.