Reloading – The Pros and Cons of Reloading Your Own Ammunition. My interest in guns and being prepared in survival situations has piqued my interest to learn more about ammunition reloading. Making the decision to reload or not depends on determining the cost savings, the cost of reloading equipment, the cost of reloading supplies, learning the procedure about how to reload ammunition, and the time required to reload your own ammo.
Comparing the cost of reloading to buying new ammunition depends on the cost of the supplies needed to reload the desired ammunition. The reloading cost is determined by the cost of primers, bullets, powder, and brass cases. The most expensive item is the brass and ironically, the cheapest item can also be the brass when you get it for free. The list below gives a ball park idea of the price of the consumable reloading supplies you will need.
Cost of Bulk Reloading Supplies (Ball park prices for 9mm)
- Primers – Winchester Lg pistol primers 3.5 cents ea, 5000 for $170.00
- Bullets – Remington 9mm JHP 124 Grain 11 cents each by the 1000
- Powder – Winchester smokeless powder 2 cents a load or $20.00 Lb
- Brass – Once fired 9mm brass 3.8 cents ea or 1000 for $38.00
- Brass – New Remington 9mm brass 17.5 cents ea or 2000 for $345.00
You can save money by purchasing reloading components in bulk.
The point is, after calculating the cost of using all new commercially purchased reloading supplies to include the brass case, primer, powder, and bullet the cost of reloading equals or exceeds the cost of buying new ammunition. The real cost savings is achieved by recycling the brass case and when possible using free brass.
The cost of a new brass case is almost .25 cents. Reuse that case 5 times and possibly up to 10 times and the cost of the case can drop to about .03 cents. Buying once fired brass can also reduce costs substantially. Even better is to find used brass at your local shooting range for free. Using free or recycled brass cases can reduce costs by 50% and more in some situations.
Not only can there be a substantial cost savings in the range of 50% but
there is the added benefit of ending up with higher quality ammunition and also the ability to customize the reloads Taylor made to your shooting requirements.
The reloading equipment you need consists of a reloading press with reloading dies for each caliber. There are two types of reloading presses, the single stage reloading press, and the progressive reloading press. The difference is that the single stage press performs one
reload function at a time and the progressive press performs all the functions at the same time. This means that the single stage press requires 4 handle strokes to manufacture one round and the progressive re-loader performs all the functions with one pull of the handle making the progressive press about 4 times faster than a single stage press.
The most popular Ammunition Reloading Press Manufactures are:
- Dillon reloading
- RCBS reloading
- Hornady reloading
- Redding reloading
- Lyman reloading
- Lee reloading
Each brand has its fans. I think the best reloading press is a progressive so I decided on the Hornady Lock-n-Load Ammo Plant which consists of the Hornady Lock n Load automatic progressive reloading press, Hornady case feeder, and Hornady bullet feeder. My reasons for selecting this system are that the Hornady equipment is quality made, has a lifetime warranty, and includes the 5 station press, case feeder, and bullet feeder. The 5 station press can perform 5 functions with one cycle of the handle so it is fast. The Hornady Ammo Plant can turn out up to 750 rounds per hour. Another feature I like is the Lock n Load quick change collars that allow quick set up for different calibers. One station can be set up to check the powder load so it adds a function of safety along with being fast. The Ammo Plant costs more but you get speed and convenience which saves time.
You also need a sturdy bench for the press. I’ll set up a Reloading Bench in the basement along with storage for all the required reloading supplies. I will build my own bench and check out some of the reloading bench plans available to get some ideas before I start.