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Two questions: When did you start reloading, and why did you start?

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As a kid in the 60's and 70's I used to sit next to my father while he was at the reloading bench, as I got older he would let me help by handing him cases or pulling the arm down. For a while after I moved out of his house I would just go back and use his equipment. That didn't last to long, by then I had read about new and improved equipment and I had to have the "good" stuff. My father just smiled and said his single stage set up has worked for him for a long time. It didn't take long before I sold the turret press and got a single sage. Iv'e been happy with that set up for about 30 years now. 

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I started reloading on an Ideal C press and casting using Ideal single cavity molds with my grandfather when I was 10. Not a lot of variety in a small farm town so we had to reload.

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I started reloading shotgun shells in the late-1990s when I was in HS as it made economical sense then. I shot sporting clays often and components weren’t as pricey as they are now. 

I’m fortunate in that my family has a lot of land in the Northern VA area and I shot pretty regularly. When I was a senior I got the magnum bug and shot Weatherbys pretty extensively (namely the .270, .300, and .378) and .308 Norma Mag which I still love so handloading got those guns came naturally. 

Moved to Richmond in 2009 and don’t shoot rifles nearly as much as I used to so my reloading is relegated to pistol cartridges like .38 Spl, .44 Spl, and .45ACP and occasionally .243 Win as it’s the only long-range cartridge I shoot that I can’t buy in bulk. 

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Started saving brass in 2007 because a friend gave me a press, scale, and all the jazz minus powder and dies. Seemed fun to do and I liked to shoot.

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I started after I was out of the military for a few years, I guess in 1975 or '76. I was living in Houston, TX and was starting to shoot handguns quite a bit on weekends. I wasn't making a lot of money so bought a used RCBS single stage press, scale and dies and all the goodies and started reloading .38 Special/.357 Mag. to feed my Ruger Security Six. Shortly I found myself with a Colt 1911 to reload for and it went on and on. 

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1977 for me. It was for a 6" S&W model 10 I bought. I used a little Lee loader kit that required you to pound the cases into a die with a wood mallet (I used a hammer handle), then flip it over and pound it back out. I had to tap the primer into the case using the Lee gizmo, and I would set off a primer every once in a while in the process. Very primitive but it worked.

There was no bulk brass to be had in the stores I shopped in (mom and pop type). Bullet choices were limited and were usually some form of JHP or swaged SWC. I usually ended up using Unique as that was a common powder then and was one of the powders listed in the Lee user manual that came with the kit.

Around 1979 I bought Lee loader kits for .45 ACP along with 12 gauge shotgun.

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I started loading 12 Ga as a 10 year old kid in 1965 on a Pacific press. Dad charged us a buck a box which was half as much as buying a box.

In 1976 I bought a Lyman Spar-T press and a set of 38/357 dies, scale and trimmer. I picked up an RCBS Ammo Master press several years ago.

At last count I load 20 different calibers.

 

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I started when I bought a Bren 10.  Even back the the ammo cost $1 per round.  And all of the ammo was thermonuclear.  Jerry Miculek has his Dillon for sale so I bought it.  

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On 7/13/2018 at 1:14 AM, Boogieman said:

I started when I bought a Bren 10.  Even back the the ammo cost $1 per round.  And all of the ammo was thermonuclear.  Jerry Miculek has his Dillon for sale so I bought it.  

Wait. You bought HIS dillon?!

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28 minutes ago, crockett said:

Wait. You bought HIS dillon?!

Yeah.  Seems that his rate of fire greatly exceeded the 550's reloading rate so he upgraded to something else.  I have to say, he had it broke in real good for me.  

I also have an EAA race gun I bought from Max Michel Jr.  When he turned 13 or 14 and a Grand Master SVI (or STI) gave him one of their new at the time plastic lower 1911 race guns.  So I snapped up his Witness Gold Team.

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2007. My wife and I had just started going to this new range that had everything. It was the nicest one around at that time. 100 yd Indoor rifle range, lots of hand gun bays with the programmable target gizmo that would automatically move, stop and turn. They sold everything including ammo, hand guns, long guns, class three stuff, reloading stuff. they were always offering seminars on various things and one weekend they had reloading. the day we went they had a Hornady rep demonstrating the LNL AP with EZject. I think he had a good sturdy table pre- drilled and he literally pulled the press from a box, mounted it. assembled everything. adjusted everything for .44 special. covered every step in detail as he proceded to make .44 special rounds right before our eyes. then we went and shot what he made. My wife and I looked at each other and said " we got this"! I'll bet that guy sold a lot of presses that day. They were offering a 1000 bullets free as well as discount prices on the kit. For a short while we had a little buyers club whereby a bunch of us would collectively purchase componants in bulk through the range and shipped to the range. Our reloading has kind of ebbed and flowed over the years but we're both glad we started. This "The Reloading Bench" club you've started here has rekindled my interest. Thanks

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Bought my first pistol a few years back and was spending $300 a month in ammo every month. 

At the time a lot of people online told me it wasn’t worth reloading 9mm.  Paid for that 550B in ten months. Suck on that internet commandos!

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Posted (edited)

Dabbled in it for years. Had a good friend that was an experienced and very knowledgeable reloader. Was too good of an opportunity to pass up, so I had him teach me. 

I did it for fun. I load .38spl because it’s cheap, and M1 Garand because I can load it a lot cheaper than the $1 per round cost of Garand safe .30-06 loads. 

Edited by Collim1

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I was fine spending money on 9mm to shoot every week, gun store has great deals on cases....

Then i bought a 38 special, and didn't realize the ammo cost a lot more to shoot. And i like to shoot a lot.

So now a month or so later i have all the components i need to start reloading and today i reloaded my first bullet! i like it a lot and i think it will be a lot of fun. the kids think its a blast too, so its a win win. I have the basic lee loader and i like how it was cheap and concise. seems to work , can't wait to load up a nice batch and take em to the range... Honestly i don't think ill every buy commercial ammo again...Unless i need more brass..

 

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On 8/30/2018 at 8:16 PM, james bay area said:

I was fine spending money on 9mm to shoot every week, gun store has great deals on cases....

Then i bought a 38 special, and didn't realize the ammo cost a lot more to shoot. And i like to shoot a lot.

So now a month or so later i have all the components i need to start reloading and today i reloaded my first bullet! i like it a lot and i think it will be a lot of fun. the kids think its a blast too, so its a win win. I have the basic lee loader and i like how it was cheap and concise. seems to work , can't wait to load up a nice batch and take em to the range... Honestly i don't think ill every buy commercial ammo again...Unless i need more brass..

 

I'll give you a month and you'll be ready for a proper press.  :supergrin:

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How funny you said that .. I am here looking at 500 brass thinking this hammer pounding is going to get old.... But i like to shoot a lot every week and funds are low, so It will definitely be worth it in a few ways..

I liked the fact that the lee kit was only 30$ to start, some hobbies cost a lot more.. now that I know this will be something I want to pursue, then yes I'm sure a proper press will be in order sooner than later!

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On 8/31/2018 at 9:52 PM, james bay area said:

How funny you said that .. I am here looking at 500 brass thinking this hammer pounding is going to get old.... But i like to shoot a lot every week and funds are low, so It will definitely be worth it in a few ways..

I liked the fact that the lee kit was only 30$ to start, some hobbies cost a lot more.. now that I know this will be something I want to pursue, then yes I'm sure a proper press will be in order sooner than later!

A 550 would be the right way to go, while being able to crank out a lot of ammo it’s still not on the expense level of a 650 or 1050.

the 550 is also easier to learn compared to the indexing seblings.

Regarding more expensive hobbies let me just say this... I’m about 30k deep in the rabbit reloading hole...

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a couple years ago I was in the woodshop and found my dad's old press.  He never actually reloaded anything with it, and he only had the dies for 7mm magnum (which I've never shot, and he only shot a couple times before deciding he didn't need that much range where he was hunting)

I bought a G20.4 3 or 4 years ago, and decided that I should probably learn to reload to feed it.

I went out and bought a sailboat keel chunk for some lead, bought everything I need to cast and powdercoat bullets, and load up half a dozen calibers.  Bought a good supply of powder just as it was coming back on the market near the end of the Obama reign of terror, and then I've pretty much just sat on it since then.  

I've loaded up a couple thousand copper plated .40 and 9mm rounds, cast a few thousand of .40 and 30 cal bullets, and probably shot a grand total of maybe 30 of them.  

 

I dunno, I'm a little bit of a hoarder I think, so once I get everything set up and make a few, I realize that I don't really want to shoot it up because then I'd be burning the money I spent to buy all this stuff...   

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1 hour ago, Cougar_ml said:

a couple years ago I was in the woodshop and found my dad's old press.  He never actually reloaded anything with it, and he only had the dies for 7mm magnum (which I've never shot, and he only shot a couple times before deciding he didn't need that much range where he was hunting)

I bought a G20.4 3 or 4 years ago, and decided that I should probably learn to reload to feed it.

I went out and bought a sailboat keel chunk for some lead, bought everything I need to cast and powdercoat bullets, and load up half a dozen calibers.  Bought a good supply of powder just as it was coming back on the market near the end of the Obama reign of terror, and then I've pretty much just sat on it since then.  

I've loaded up a couple thousand copper plated .40 and 9mm rounds, cast a few thousand of .40 and 30 cal bullets, and probably shot a grand total of maybe 30 of them.  

 

I dunno, I'm a little bit of a hoarder I think, so once I get everything set up and make a few, I realize that I don't really want to shoot it up because then I'd be burning the money I spent to buy all this stuff...   

 

I'm somewhat in the same boat. I like options (hobbies) for rainy days, so to speak. I don't shoot 20k rounds a year as others do in matches and training, heck I don't even shoot 5k rounds a year at the current rate. But I COULD upload A LOT and that's what I like. Close to 60 different powders is all that I'll give away.

Christmas is reloading time for me. Wait and see... I'll come up with some neat stuff...

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2 minutes ago, crockett said:

 

I'm somewhat in the same boat. I like options (hobbies) for rainy days, so to speak. I don't shoot 20k rounds a year as others do in matches and training, heck I don't even shoot 5k rounds a year at the current rate. But I COULD upload A LOT and that's what I like. Close to 60 different powders is all that I'll give away.

Christmas is reloading time for me. Wait and see... I'll come up with some neat stuff...

I think I'm actually at less than a thousand rounds a year right now.  It's probably not cost effective for me to do reloading at that low of a rate, but the reloading itself is an interesting and entertaining hobby/skill and depending on how much worse my state gets, might become very necessary in the future if I want to exercise my god given rights.

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I started in the late 1960's reloading shotgun shells on a Mec Jr.  I was in high school, and my Dad set up the press for us-buddy and me-we provided the muscle.  I was shooting 12 gauge-hunting birds, shooting clay pigeons-the rounds we loaded used cushion wads and overcards.  I got away from shooting when I got married, but got back into it in the late 1990's, shooting factory ammo in handguns, rifles.  I was saving brass, and about 10 years ago decided to get my first press-a Lyman turret.  A few years later I decided to start casting my own bullets, and even bought a Mec Sizemaster to make up some shotgun loads again. 

 

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