questionswho reloads their own ammo?


Planning on killing something, are we? Lubrication?


Shotgun reloading kits are pretty easy. Since they are allow smushed into a shell casing, lubrication hasn't really been a factor for me. My dad and I only have a shotgun reloading kit, they come as simple as a manual hand-plug shaft and twist sealer, to a machine that measures and does it all for you. It's fun and will save you a little bit in the long run :) no experience with reloading anything else tho.


Easy, I just hit "R" on the keyboard.


I recommend picking up the reloading book by Lee Precision. It's written from a personal point of view and easy to follow. The first half is instruction and know how and the second half is a very detailed loading manual that will cover almost all of your needs. Once you know what you're doing you'll know what you need.


It's not complicated at all.. I'm actually in the process of getting into this too. I know people who do it and I've seen it done.

I'd recommend watching YouTube videos.

From everything I've seen The Lee Progressive 1000 is the best bang for your buck. Not that link specifically, but that type.

Shotgun is pretty straightforward..

(I swore I asked this question before.. but apparently I didn't heh.. I have talked to a few people about it on here though.. I'm think @shrdlu might reload. If not, I'm not sure why I thought that :D)


And because I'm cheap, the Lee Load All 2 is the first shotgun press I'm going to get :)

Super cool though, it's the full-meal-deal for about $50. You can get a primer feeding tray for like $9 I think.. (I'd HIGHLY recommend the tray.. otherwise you gotta hand-feed it)
This is the new one (The "2")

This is the older model:


I don't reload, but suspect I'll need to start that at some point.


I have only heard great reviews on Dillion presses. Their 550 progressive model is the one I have my eyes on.

I don't reload yet but for how I like to shoot 45 acp it would make sense to reload.


Oh, dear. You're heading down the path to poverty, my friend :) Or as my husband once kiddingly told Larry Potterfield, owner & founder of MidwayUSA, "Sir, you have my children's college tuition."
Midway and Graf & Sons are where he gets most of his supplies and he reloads EVERYTHING including ammo for his Sharps #3 Sporter, his Verney-Carron custom double, and all of his big game rifles.

I'll echo taking a look over at as well.


@drchops: It's a reasonable thought (to believe that I reload), but I don't, sadly. I have arthritis, and am grateful that my hands are not visibly disfigured, but I have lost the fine motor skills that would allow me to do this. Beside, I have to keep the local guys in business, right?

I shoot almost entirely 9MM, and it would be easy to buy kit for it, but honestly, it's probably cheaper not to.

When I was young, my daddy always made his own shotgun shells. Nothing like sending the neighbor's dog home with a combination of rock salt and buckshot to make a point about them needing a different dog. Life was simpler then, you know?

I think it's useful to know how, and it's a good idea to have the setup, at least for shotgun shells. I've seen people go all out, but (as I said), I think it's cheaper for regular ammo to just buy it off the shelf.

Rifle shells might also be useful to self load. I'll have to ask my brothers what they think about it. I don't own a rifle, myself.


I've reloaded rifle and pistol rounds.

Probably the easiest stuff to reload is straight cased pistol rounds. (.40S&W, 9mm, .45ACP, .38 Special, etc.) With straight cases and the right dies, you won't need to mess around with lube.

Bottlenecked cases are more challenging.

If you have a revolver, I'd recommend starting with reloading rounds for that. The reason being that a revolver will be less finicky about the ammo you feed it. (Semi-auto's can be a little picky when it comes to rounds with improperly crimped bullets or with varying overall length.)

One important thing to watch for when reloading is to make sure you don't forget to add the powder before seating the bullet. Depending on the press you have, it can be easy to forget a step. If you forget your powder charge, when you fire that round the primer can push the bullet partway down the barrel but not all the way out. If you fail to notice and fire the next round with the barrel blocked, you can destroy your gun.


I've had both Lee and Dillon presses and neither have ever proved me wrong. It is one thing I don't recommend "going cheap" on, it will cause more frustration than enjoyment. I reloaded (pistol and shotgun) for years and really need to start up again.. ammo prices are outrageous!


A friend of mine reloads much of his ammo, both to save money and to have better control via custom loads. He also works as a gunsmith (secondary school science teacher is his main job), shoots in pistol matches and hunts most weekends (to quote him, "somethng is always in season").

I've used his progressive presses to reload .45 ACP and 12 ga. shotgun shells and with a good progressive press it really isn't all that complicated.

However, I have no need for custom loads and even if I tripled the number of times I get to the range each year, a good progressive press plus the assorted gear that goes with it would take years to pay off.

The closest I've ever come to getting a progrssive press was when the Ruger LCP first came out and the price of .380 auto went stratospheric overnight (it suddenly made shooting my SIG P230 way more expensive than I liked). However, I dragged my feet and the .380 has come back down...


Me....on a Dillon SDB and RL550B with dies and toolheads for 9mm, .40S&W, .45ACP, and .38Sp/357. With ammo prices what they are today, and occasional availability shortages (for whatever reason), reloading is a necessity if you shoot much, or plant to practice/compete frequently.

My cost per round has dropped dramatically since I started reloading a few years ago, and I can tailor my loads to match the gun and categories I compete in. I can make 9mm major (a load you can't buy off the shelf), .40 that just meets minimum power factor, wax .38 loads for fast draw events, and I never worry about running out of ammo the night before a match, or if/when political winds change and make ammo hard(er) to get.

About the only caliber/type I don't reload is rifle (.223/5.56 and .308) - don't shoot it enough to justify it - and shotgun. But I'll add that capability if/when needed. : )


I reload some stuff. I have a couple old 8mm Mausers and a (for sale) Kropatchek that ammo is hard to get or too expensive. I make accurate gentle ammo for these old ladies.
Sometimes ammo for things like the 9mm, 308 or 223 will be cheaper to just buy. Wally World sales on shotgun ammo- you'll have to get. Keep all the cases for later, tho.
Get the Lee Precision book, read it, understand it. Google is your next best friend. And before Dillon, try Lee. Dillon is very good, tho pricey, and great for lots and lots of reloads. Lee makes excellent products, and is fabulous for making a kit that you can pull out of a box, load a few hundred on the kitchen table, and put back away. A pair of "C" presses and a hand primer work for me, and I can do whatever I want to with them.
Check ""; for a good start. You'll need dies for your caliber(s), also. Bullets, primer and powder, too. A pair of loading blocks. And a big sturdy box.


I also have a Lee Challenger single stage press, but so far have only used it to de-prime and "unGlock" my .40 brass (i.e. remove case bulges using a Lee RX resizing die) after cleaning and before loading on the 550B.

I can see where using a single stage press is convenient for doing, say, up to a few hundred rounds, but if you plan on loading more than that, the progressive machines are much faster and easier on the arm! I typically shoot about 200-400 round per weekly practice session or match, and I can do 1000+ rounds on a progressive in the same time as it takes to set up and load 50 rounds on the single stage setup. YMMV.


@rustybender: On a related note, a round like the one you described contributed to Brandon Lee's death on the set of The Crow. First, the squib load was fired through the gun used in a scene, lodging the bullet in the barrel (unbeknownst to anyone on the set). Later, a fully-charged blank was fired through the same gun, dislodging the bullet and essentially propelling it with the same force as a live round. Tragic.


Side note: I feel as though I'm the only female in this thread. More females need to carry... (just not the crazy ones)


@potter412: Psssttt... Just to remind you, I'm female, and lord knows @lavikinga is female also. Feel better?


@shrdlu: Yes, haha, thanks.. I've been a woot member for a long time, just not active in the forums until lately.. and certainly not active enough for a rapport with anyone or to know who is who (or what).

edit: and as I read back through this thread again, I realize my eyes have skipped a few posts making my claims obviously wrong. my apologies :)


Carbide dies don't need lubrication, but it's still not a bad idea.


I have been reloading for about 10 years now and don't see myself going back to off-the-shelf for ammo again. (I take that back partially.....I will continue to buy 22 LR, sorry)

I have two setups.
My original is an RCBS single stage (Rock Chucker). This one is mainly dedicated to reloading my rifle rounds (.223 and .308, mainly 69gr and 168gr respectively).

A couple years back I splurged for a Dillon 650. This one loads up 9mm, .40 and .45.

I love both setups. The initial expense can be high. I would recommend going used. Both companies have excellent warranty service for any owner.

Have fun and be safe.


@potter412: Most definitely female AND I carry. That being said, I still prefer my perfume to smell like something other than Hoppe's No.9. ;)


i helped once or twice reloading bullets for my uncle, we had a lead smeltor and a press. But i only did that once; i knew how dangerous lead is.


I don't reload anymore, but my uncle and husband do. I, like @shrdlu, have arthritis and can not, but I did the reloads for my 9mm in my 20's.

It isn't difficult, and everyone above has given you excellent advice. What I would add is, talk to the range you go to and ask if they have the devices. Ours do, and for a fee you can use them. Also, if you have family/friends that shoot on a regular basis, ask if they would be willing to help out. Getting others involved saves money, and also helps out with knowledge if you get a new type of gun.


This is a great post. I also have been looking into getting into it. It is nice to see so many knowledgeable enthusiasts.


@potter412: We're here, we're just more likely to lurk, apparently. Reloading nights were usually dad-and-daughter-watching-80s-flicks-in-the-living-room followed by (liberal handwashing and) popcorn at my house. I miss those days.

I'll see if I can pry any recommendations for good resources out of my dad. I learned from him, so I don't know much about what sources to consult.