Ten Reasons to Reload
- Save lots of money
Even if you shoot small quantities of common (inexpensive) calibers, reloading will save you half compared to buying factory ammo. If you shoot more exotic calibers like .460 S&W Magnum, 10mm, or .38 Super, you can save up to 90% by reloading.
- Make more accurate ammo
Right from the start, you'll be able to make ammunition that is more consistent than most factory ammo. Once you find the right recipe, consistency will equal accuracy.
- Shoot more, shoot better
There's an old story that goes something like this:
Pianist Arthur Rubinstein was approached on a street in New York by someone who asked, "Pardon me sir, how do I get to Carnegie Hall?" To which Rubinstein replied, "Practice, practice, practice!"
The way to become a better shot is to practice. By reloading, you'll be able to save money AND practice more.
- Shoot 'obsolete' calibers
I bought a Model 1889 Scmidt-Rubin rifle from a friend that never had the opportunity to shoot it because the 7.5 x 53 ammo for it was long obsolete. After making a chamber cast, slugging the bore, and doing a bit of research, I was able to make some ammo and bring this fine rifle 'back to life'.
- Make special-purpose ammunition
Two guys side-by-side at the range are shooting identical single shot .30-30 rifles at targets 200 yards away. One is less affected by the crosswind, grouping tighter, and shooting flatter than the other. The difference? The more successful shooter was using handloads with higher ballistic coefficient spitzer-style bullets, while the other shooter was using factory ammo with blunt-nosed projectiles designed for tube magazine-fed lever guns (which was all he was able to find in factory .30-30).
- Custom-tailor ammunition for your gun
Some rifles have oddball twist rates that will stabilize only certain size bullets. Some (usually older) handguns have oversized bores that will perform poorly with standard ammunition. If you make your own, you select components that allow you to get the most out of non-standard firearms.
- Make reduced recoil loads
New shooters or shooters with a physical ailment (such as arthritis) will often do better with reduced recoil rounds. Handloading gives you the ability to download many calibers to make them easier to shoot. Another benefit is that often times you can find a good deal on a magnum rifle or revolver that the original buyer found to be too bone-jarring to shoot. A hand loader can easily make a .458 Winchester Magnum shoot like a .45-70, or a S&W .500 feel like a .38 Special.
- Fear no caliber
On a recent visit to my local gun shop, I saw two identical looking used S&W snub-nosed revolvers in the case. One was priced at $450, the other was $150. Why the difference? The more expensive of the two was chambered in .38 Special, which is commonly available and reasonably priced. The other was chambered for .38 S&W, which is much harder to find, and more expensive when you do find it.
- Never worry about an ammo shortage again
For a long period of time after the last administration change, many calibers were difficult to find. Some were borderline impossible to get (.380 was unobtainable for almost 6 months). This wasn't a problem for reloaders, because components were still available.
- Get the satisfaction of doing it yourself, and doing it well
It's a great feeling when you win a competition, have a successful hunting trip, or even just out-shoot your friends with ammo you made yourself.