Loading brass—or reloading ammunition—is an alternative to purchasing ammo that’s already been loaded for you. Many people find it to be an enjoyable pastime, and there are more tangible benefits as well, including being able to stretch your ammo budget even further. In this article, we’ll examine the basics of reloading, why people reload and the long-term benefits of committing to it.
How to Reload
There are 10 basic steps to reloading your own brass:
1. Save the brass. Start hoarding now even if you’re unsure if or when.
2. Clean the brass. Not a necessity but a good habit.
3. De-prime the brass to get rid of an item you can’t reuse.
4. Resize the shell exterior, which has expanded.
5. Re-open the case mouth as necessary.
6. You cleared out the old primer. It’s time to insert a new one.
7. Select the proper propellant and add it to the cartridge.
8. Push the bullet in to the proper depth.
9. Crimp the case to hold the bullet in place.
10. Perform quality control before signing off.
Why People Reload
It’s important to point out that many gun enthusiasts do it simply because they love doing it. They love knowing how to do it. They love knowing that they’ll never be out of ammo because they can just go to the workshop and make more ammunition. Reloading your own ammo can be more cost-effective as well, particularly when you become more familiar with it and are able to quickly do it.
There’s also the matter of quality control. Ammunition manufacturers have to make their products according to many different regulations, some of which aren’t ideal. As a do-it-yourself, you don’t have that problem. You can improve accuracy with a bullet seated a little farther out. You also control the process and can ensure that each and every bullet you use is made according to your standards rather than someone else’s.
The Long-Term Benefits of Reloading
The biggest benefit is cost-savings. A rough estimate is that the cost of reloading yourself will be about one-third the price of retail ammunition. In other words, if a retail 50-count ammo box costs $40, then it will cost about $13 to do yourself. There are upfront costs to consider, but those can be returned in the first year, and there’s the time factor, but experienced reloaders can do hundreds of rounds an hour.
Other long-term advantages include control over dimensions, ballistics, consistency and quality and therefore accuracy. You may not realize these benefits right away, but over time, you’ll be able to make your ammunition according not only to your preferences but your particular guns and the scenarios in which they’ll be used.
Many gun enthusiasts have embraced loading their own brass because they enjoy it, it saves them money and it gives them control over how the ammo is loaded. If this is an activity that interests you, then know that you’ll be joining many others from around the country and world who think like you do.
Annie Grace Wilson is a Public Relations Specialist for Diamond K Brass. She regularly produces content for a variety of blogs that cover topics from ammunition to gun maintenance and safety.