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Poll: What’s your number one reason for reloading?

Reloading for precision - Image copyright 2012 Ultimate Reloader

We all have different motivations for reloading, but I want you all to think about what the “biggest” motivation is for you all for reloading your own ammunition. It may be hard to select only one, but please do so. :)

What is your number one reason for reloading?

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-Gavin

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47 Responses to “Poll: What’s your number one reason for reloading?”

  1. Gregg says:

    I was driven to start reloading to save money. Not sure I do, because I just shoot more. But now I find it a whole different hobby I enjoy. Making bulk handgun ammo that is better, at least for my guns, than factory. Making rifle ammo accurate for long distance shooting. Great satisfaction getting an X at 600 yards with stuff I reloaded.

  2. Joe says:

    I first got into reloading with the thought of saving money but quickly found out all the tools add up. But, I like tools. I’m kind of a tool hoarder I guess. Now sitting in front of my press has become my get-a-way. Working up a load then seeing the outcome 100, 200, and 300 yards away if pure satisfaction. To me there is nothing better then receiving a CMP accomplishment pin after a match knowing it was your ammo that got you that pin. It all pays off in the end.

  3. I run an SVI 2011 pistol in .40 cal and it runs best with a cartridge with COL longer than SAMMI spec and with load recipe not in published books. I load 223 rifle because the 69gn stuff (which I shoot a lot of) is significantly cheaper. Having said that, I now load rifle on a Dillon 1050 so I’m not saving any money… but at least I will never run out of the specific ammo that my scope is zeroed for. I also load 12 gauge shotshells which saves a couple bux a box but the biggest savings with those is casting and loading your own 00 buck and slugs – which I also do.

  4. Anthony.L says:

    Reloading for me began as a way to save money loading for my 338 Lapua Magnum. When it came to buying factory rounds in that caliber you can pay for a single stage press really quick. What I found out is reloading is a hobby within itself. Anyone that enjoys and takes pride in building something with their hands will enjoy reloading. I now reload for all my pistol and rifle calibers, regardless if it saves me money or not. The amount of the equipment I’ve accumulated will takes years to pay off but that doesn’t matter any more.

  5. SteveO says:

    Like Gregg above says, originally started reloading to save money but then found myself shooting more. But I have seemed out and found ways to save on my supplies so now I reload a lot and shoot a lot. Another big thing for me with reloading is the enjoyment I get when I go out in the garage and just do a bunch of reloading, it really has become a great hobby of mine now.

    Last weekend myself and a couple of buddies planned a “shooting weekend”, we planned on pulling our trailers and campers out to the desert along with all of our steel targets, Tannerite, and a couple of shot timers. The week before the trip I was in heaven in the garage every night getting stuff ready and reloading. I loaded 500 9mm, 750 45acp, and 750 .223 on my XL650 and 150 each of 20 ga and 12 ga on my SL900. I think I may have had more fun and enjoyment loading than the actual shooting on the weekend! (well not exactly but I really enjoy reloading)

  6. Steve Ferguson says:

    I shoot an average of 1000 rounds a month (45 ACP 200 gr LSWC ). The only way I could achieve the best load for a perticular gun and afford to shoot that much is to reload.

  7. Gerry Catha says:

    All of the above.

  8. Dave Stiles says:

    I started out pretending I’d save money. As with any hobby you just buy more stuff to support your hobby habit. I just do it to have fun. I like building stuff for less $$ that other guys spend more $$ on. I’m working on an automatic case feeder and bullet feeder. I’m modifying the Lee Loadmaster priming system. Building a nice bench, shelves, modifying an old dresser drawers to accommodate all my reloading stuff, talking with other reloading buddies, reading the web sites; it’s all part of the fun of handloading. I also like collecting guns, working on guns, shooting guns, hunting game, cooking game, and eating game. There are so many pieces to the gun/handloading/hunting culture; it really is absorbing. I reload .40, .45, 7.62X54, and .270. Next gun is .223. I also reload shotgun shells for the range.

  9. Shawn says:

    1. The range is closed on Sundays. I put the kids to bed and load for a few hours to get my “fix” for the day.
    2. Had no delusions about saving money. I shoot more and upgrade loading equipment. I am on my fourth press setup, but I like learning how each company comes up with their own solution to loading.

  10. Walter says:

    It looked like a cool hobby to complement a cool hobby. Now that I do reload, I don’t have to worry as much about running out of the seasonal production cartridges (.30-40 Krag) or the sometimes hard to find cartridges (.41 Magnum) as long as I keep components on hand.

  11. Alex says:

    To save money? Give me a break, by the time you buy all the equipment and tools and then start to reload you could have bought several thousands of rounds. I guess it will take me 20 years for it to pay for itself and thats if I shoot every weekend. I probably have over $4000.00 in equipment, brass, lead, powder, and primers. Does it save you money to reload your own? I figure you save about 1/3 the cost.

  12. Robert says:

    Started reloading at age 16 because I love to shoot, then I was hooked on it for pure enjoyment.

  13. Dale says:

    I used to reload to shoot, now I shoot to reload. With lots of trigger time over the years ,these days shooting is for skills drills and testing my work on the loading bench.

    Today was my first opportunity to pick up Hodgdon CFE-223 so now I can work up loads for my 223 caliber weapons with a goal of that perfect – one load.

  14. Gary says:

    While there is an economic factor, it’s easy to load good, accurate ammo {for pistol} that’s still markedly less than the cheap, bulk pack stuff like WWB, etc. Plus can get the recoil signature you want so the gun shoots “flat”, yet still makes the velocity it has to for the various sports: USPSA/IDPA, etc. Ones practice ammo need not be loaded as hot or as accurate, either….

  15. AceRph says:

    LIke many of the previous responses, I started to reload thinking I would save some bucks. That didn’t exactly work out. But what did happen is that I found a hobby that has similar requirements to my motorcycle riding in that you must really pay attention and not let the distractions & troubles of the day intrude on your concentration.

    It’s very relaxing. Plus, I discovered that working up a new load & finding one that shoots well out of one of my rifles is very satisfying. I’m hooked.

    And when you’re hooked, the money is just a means to an end.

  16. al says:

    i have been interested in reloading for a few years now(i tend to research a LOT, before i buy tools).
    mostly to save money, but now i think this will become more than that.
    deciding on a press was probably the hardest decision i had to make for reloading. i was going to buy a Lee LM until i saw your videos Gavin… i am so glad i didnt buy a LM now. ;)
    it was Gavin’s experience and YT videos that narrowed my search for quality gear.

    thank you Gavin, for all your hard work.
    i look forward to more of your videos. :D

    cheers,
    al
    kelowna, bc canada

  17. Tad says:

    I started reloading about 25 years ago so I could afford to shoot police shooting matches. I bought a Hornady Progressive Reloader and the rest is history. I have (3) Hornady progressives on my bench now with one Star Progressive. I do it now to save money as well as a hobby. I mainly reload 45 ACP and 38 Spl. I just started loading .30 carbine. 25 years later I love shooting my 1911 Wadguns and I could not afford to do it without reloading.

  18. Conrad Chaffee says:

    I reload for all the above reasons, plus convenience. I like the ability to load ammo that exactly suits my purpose also.

  19. Sam says:

    I got into reloading, like others, to save money on a per round basis. Yes I still spend the same amount, but just shoot more. Added accuracy, lower recoil, custom ammo, etc are all welcomed and enjoyed extras. However, if it weren’t for the per round cost savings, I could never justify reloading to my wife or my checkbook. I would much rather shoot every weekend than only one weekend a month, and reloading lets me do that.

  20. george says:

    I reload for fun …
    I reload ,because I enjoy tinkering …
    I reload ,because I like pretty nickle plated ammo . 45-70 nickle starline brass ,topped off with a red tipped leaverevolution 325 g. ,it’s just a beautiful thing , as are the .30 cal. Nosler ballistic tipped

    • Rick Pasour says:

      Hi George- Yes it is. I just started handloading ammo for my 444 marlin and boy has it been fun hobby.And also being able to make up ammo that none of the ammo compaines make up is kind of special that the only place you can get that kind of of ammo is you make it up with your two own hands. A ammo youll be proud of when you put that bead on that big game animal and the animal has been killed humainily with a ammo that you made is a proud thing to smile at. I think. Rick

  21. The main reason I started reloading was to save money. It enabled me to practice more often. Then you work up loads and find the reason your HANDLOADING is for acuracy. Then you get into wildcats
    and now you need to load to keep shooting. Take your pick because I’ve always took pride in making
    a long range shot on big game!

  22. Dan Pauley says:

    Should re-do the poll except this time make it a priority order.
    I think all of us agree with at least two of the reasons being very close.
    Which is the most important down to the least important reason.
    Shoot more, Save money, Enjoy Reloading, Optimize Accuracy, Special match Ammo, Ammo no longer available, Other ______????

  23. Ted Taylor says:

    I load because I enjoy it. I consider it my “therapy”. When Everything seems to be closing in, I come out to my shop and sit at the bench and load. When I find out I don’t have what I need I can feel the panic set in. I bought my wife a Tarus Hy-lite 38sp. When we go out shooting together, she often goes through more rounds than I do. Then when we get home I have another excuse to load, and life is good!

  24. Rick Pasour says:

    I started reloading a few years ago in making up shotgun shells for upland bird hunting and later on i had found that my rifle ammo was going to be less and less of the ammo i shoot being made. So I figured why not make up my own handloads ones that there are so many different combinations in bullets some not even being made by any of the big ammo companies at all.Handloads that have my name on them as all handloaders do. I shoot a caliber that is a older caliber but its just as deadly and can be used on every north american big game animal with great success.Its the 444 marlin. I saw that there was so many different kinds of flat nose and hp-xtp bullets i could use with great results on big game with one shot kills as it should be on all big game to have a result of clean humane kill.

  25. TL says:

    I started handloading to satisfy my thirst for handgun shooting. When I discovered carbide sizing dies,
    I was In heaven. Loaded literally hundreds upon hundreds of handgun rounds using the old case lube
    pad. Thirty years later I enjoy loading for military rifles that would be difficult to feed any other way.
    I have several single stage presses, one progressive and the new Lee Classic Turret Press. For the average handloader, veteran or beginner, a hard press to beat. In a single stage unit, there is no better than the Forster Co-Ax Press.

    God Bless, TL

  26. Scott says:

    I always bite my tongue when I see people arguing over the “savings” of reloading. I use Berry’s bullets ($.07 -$.10 a piece for 9mm to .45cal), CCI Primers ($.02 or $.03), and various powders ($.02 to $.03 per pistol load and $.08 for .223). I reuse brass many times over and get more from the range or my occasional new ammo (ouch!) purchases. I have thousands of cleaned brass for every caliber I load. I don’t place a dollar value on my time but do have to add a few cents for tumbler electricity. I buy bulk when I find a sale and rarely pay regular price.

    Put that all together and my handgun loads cost me $.12 to $.15 and .223 around $.17

    I’ve loaded over 10,000 rounds metallic and nearly as many 12GA. I actually have a spreadsheet with every expense, recipe, load, etc and I have paid for my reloading hardware over and over again. Plus I really enjoy reloading except when I have to pull a piece of .223 brass of of a die, but that’s less than 10 minutes work and it breaks up the routine a little.

    I’d guess at this time I’ve saved (bottom line) about 60% over retail ammo – even the cheap stuff. Of course I’d like to think my loads are better that WWB or similar.

  27. Charlie says:

    It’s a natural extention of the hobbie I enjoy more and everyday..

  28. Robert says:

    Initially, my main goal was to save money. I realized early on, that I could forget that. I bought a Progressive Press right out of box. With buying Shellplates and equipment, I used alot of Funds initially. Once I got started, I really enjoyed it. I am now retired and besides Gardening, this has become my number one Hobby. I have 3 Presses, Dillon Progressive, Redding Single Stage and a Lee Single Stage. I use all 3 for different things. I seem to be a “Sucker” for deals. I’m constantly looking online for deals in equipment for “Reloading”. I guess you could say, It is what I use to “relax”. I get in my little shack outback, close the door and reload and relax. I probably do save by reloading some of the larger Calibers I reload in Rifle, since the price of Ammo has gone up in the past several years. I don’t keep up with it because I am relaxing so much. I really don’t want to know what it cost, and I surely don’t want my wife to know what I spend on componets, she would probably flip out. I just enjoy doing it. I’m having fun.

  29. Andrew says:

    So I can be more preparred when the Zombie Apocalypse comes!!!!

  30. adam says:

    I am learning to shoot. I’ve gone through over 12000 rounds of .22lr in the last few months and made a lot of progress. Now I would like to do the same with larger calibers but even buying the cheapest ammo this would be very expensive.

    However, once I get going I expect I will get into it and make custom rounds etc

  31. Willy says:

    Hmmm,

    I’ll be honest, I started for personal reasons, You know “save money”, shoot way more, I really enjoy it, and the improved accuracy of my custom handloads, and on and on etc. I also shoot a LOT of .41 Rem Mag, which would send me to the poorhouse like a drunk cowboy on a Saturday night otherwise…

    But I quickly saw a pontential for: Profit!!!
    I would rather “work” reloading than have a real job, if I could. I’m not quite to that point yet, but it is coming. Making a profitable business out of loading apeals to my sense of challenge, and selling ammo @ gun show and competitions exposes me to lots of other like minded folks!

  32. PETE says:

    Well, just like everyone else i thought i could save money and the evil evoultion of shoot more for less came full circle for me too. But i voted for , “Can’t get what i want from factory, so i roll my own”. I guess it applies to my .450 bushmaster, and my WW2 military rifles specifically. But all the choices really apply for me. Have full control over your ammo, achieve great accuracy for a decent price, feeling of pride in your ammo, and dont worry about about the ammo shortages.

  33. Mick says:

    I started loading while learning to shoot PPC in the early 80’s. A friend had a progressive press, Starline I believe; we scrounged wheelweights, cast and loaded for ouselves, the police department he belonged to, and a local community college police training program. I bought a Dillon 450 when they went direct-to-consumer, and haven’t looked back. One summer alone I kept the boxtops of Federal Small Pistol primer bricks; 21 was the number, and we did that until I had to start buying more Pampers than powder— life changes. I also use a RCBS Junior for my rifle and small-batch pistol ammo, as I have accumulated more calibers than shellplates. Side note: I sent that Dillon, with all manual powder/primer feed, back to them for a check-up at around 300k rounds, with a note of how much I used it; it came back cleaned, in a fresh but bigger box, with all auto feeds and a “NO CHARGE” bill, and a note from Mike Dillon to send it back each 2-300k. It’s been back twice, and each time upgraded free. So another reason I reload is the kind of business folk you run into in this hobbby/addiction in addition to all the others listed!

    • Mick says:

      I should note that the Dillon was for my own use; my cop buddy had the reloading paperwork; I just helped a bunch!

  34. Ryan says:

    Like most of the above started out saving money. I started in the early 80’s and only had a 357. I purchased a hugh box of mixed 38 special and 223 from the Air Force Rod and Gun Club. Guess about 100 plus pounds worth. Ditched the 223 since it was before it was very popular and in Florida no one shot it, damn wish I had kept it now. I’m still using the same military brass for about 30 years now.

    I haven’t bought much in equipment, except for dies. I have a progressive press set up to 38/357, thinking about getting it set up for .380 auto since my wife and I go through about 150 -200 rounds a week. More if we go home to the farm and that range is free, just harder finding and picking up our brass.

    But mostly use my turret press like a single stage for most of the time (that Lymann was the cheapest press at the time).

    Now reloading everything I shoot but shotgun. I find it relaxing, plus with more consistance accuracy is outstanding, especially with my .270 and 300 Savage. And I like always having a bunch of assorted loads available if needed.

    PS only use factory loads for conceal carry.

  35. Bob C says:

    Saving money is the biggest reason for the pistol calibers. Shooting (and Practice) for IDPA consumes a lot of ammo.
    But, I reload for accuracy with all of my rifle calibers. I have been able to convert a few hard core store bought shooters the performance of reloads. I started over 40 years ago with a single stage RCBS press, it is still going strong. Some of the rifles have been a challenge but I have always found a powder that works best for each of them.

    I only use factory for concealed carry, much easier to explain in court.

  36. OregonBuzz says:

    All of the above. Except for concealed carry. I contacted my local police dept. and found out what ammo they use/issue and I use the same in my concealed carry weapon.

  37. Phil says:

    For the fun of it. I don’t shoot that much anymore but I sure can’t see giving that brass away and since I am now semi-retired it keeps me away from the TV. Watching TV these days does nothing but make my pressure go up.
    I now only reload .357, keeps it simple

  38. Brian says:

    I load to get what I want, when I want it.

  39. Dave says:

    To get me out of the house and away from the wife!

    But seriously, it’s not any one reason. Mostly, it’s the satisfaction of doing it right.

  40. daboone says:

    I reload because my dad taught me to in the mid 1950s. I’ve always reloaded because it was fun and even when newly married, then 5 kids later I could afford to keep shooting. It wasn’t until the last 10 years that I’ve done anything but “cookbook” reloading. Reloading always fulfilled the hunting and plinking requirements for my family. Now my sons and daughters and their families are all shooters and handloaders too.

  41. Alkay says:

    Nobody reloads to save money. I reload to shoot more.

  42. Mr. Bullet says:

    Like most, I began reloading to save money and shoot more. Now I’m obsessed with creating perfect bullets for hunting, and found I enjoy the hobby. Back to saving money though, when I do very rough math, the ~$1000 initial investment paid for itself in less than 1000 rounds, even if you use a low cost factory ammo as a baseline. When it comes to high quality ammo, I can make a premium hunting round with Barnes bullets for around 50 cents vice $3 (i think that’s what they cost now). I would never have coughed up the money to shoot this kind of bullet before getting into reloading.

  43. ironvic says:

    I started reloading back in the late 1970s, .38 Special for my Smith & Wesson 6″ Model 28. I made cream puff loads using the full wadcutter bullets so I could get used to the recoil, having been an airgun and .22 LR shooter up until then. I used a Lee Loader kit on the kitchen table to do my reloading. At the time I also bought the basics; powder (Unique and Bullseye) as well as a mechanical scale (RCBS 5-0-5), primers and reloaded the brass I had left over after shooting the store bought stuff.

    Back in the days before political correctness ruled the roost, A bunch of us guys assigned to the headquarters fire station would have monthly “gun cleaning days” where we would bring in our favorite guns and clean them up or swap shooting stuff. One of the captains had a RCBS die set for .38 Special which he gave me to get me started with a press. He was an avid reloader and was happy to see that I was really interested in learning how to reload. For me reloading ammo brings back some of that early feeling of satisfaction that I could actually make my own cartridges and I still feel that way when I’m “groovin’ on the reloads” in my shop.

    Nowadays I still use a RCBS single stage press and enjoy the “zen”of reloading. I work like a craftsman, making each round by hand just for the pure relaxation of the process. In these days of artificial component shortages, I reload to save money, but also to assure I have an adequate supply of ammunition for my favorite handguns.

    When I get a nice tight .45 ACP, .38/357 or 9mm target group, that’s just icing on the cake.

  44. Walter says:

    In Connecticut a permit is required to purchase ammo. A record is kept on the amount of ammo you purchase. Purchasing reloading supplies does not require a permit (At this time). I am not comfortable with the government recording my purchases.

  45. Kent says:

    All the above. Initially, I got into reloading to save money, but I just found myself shooting more and more, which was a good thing because that’s what pistols are for. Next, I got into rifles and rifle accuracy soon thereafter. If you want rifle accuracy you can buy premium ammo which is REALLY pricey, or you can craft your own via reloading, which by this time had become both challenging and enjoyable, too. Lastly, I got into rifle wildcats, some existing, and later some of my own design, neither of which you certainly cannot buy off the shelf.

    One last comment. If you get into semi-auto anything, much more full auto, you’re going to be burning up a lot of ammo. That’s just a law of nature. Therefore, unless you can afford it you should get into reloading and learn how to use a progressive press.

    One last, last comment. The Russian ammo is getting back to very attractive prices. Just keep in mind that most if not all of their bullets have soft steel jackets with a copper flash, and they can turn your rifled barrel into a smoothbore. See the test at luckygunner.com.

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