Ted’s essays

why reload your own ammunition

By the time you have purchased the equipment required to load your own ammunition, then bought primers, powder, brass and bullets, you will not have saved any money over purchasing commercial factory loaded ammunition.

Trained snipers use commercial high-end ammunition made specifically for that task. Cost per round doesn’t matter, but repeatability, reliability and lethality mean everything.

Hunters only take a few shots per year per rifle. They cannot make handloading pay off for them.

Your typical handloader is a guy who shoots in competition. We shoot a lot. The cost-per round must be on par with the cheap ammo while the accuracy through OUR GUNS has to be nearer the high end.

I shot DCM, then CMP, and NRA “high-powered rifle” matches for 30 years. I reloaded my own ammunition tailored to my rifles for that entire time.

I shot with far better riflemen than I would ever be, achieving Expert class with Master and High-Master rungs on the ladder unreachable by my personality type, unwillingness to invest in specialized gear, and perhaps my physical attributes. What I strove to do with my equipment was to eliminate inaccuracies in rifle and ammunition as well as I could so the shooter could learn as much as possible.

Therefore, I was rather careful with my reloading procedures and tested to tiny differences in recipes to optimize my results in each rifle. Because I am not particularly talented in data organization of those results, I simply made notes on my better test targets so I could repeat the results on my reloading bench.

The top and bottom targets were shot at 100 yards while I had different objectives in mind with the load I shot in the middle target, so it was shot at 200 yards. In all cases my results were under 1/2 Minute-Of-Angle. One MOA is considered good enough by most riflemen and gun magazine reviewers.

I strongly recommend AGAINST learning reloading from books, documentation, or videos without the presence of a mentor. Mistakes are easy to make and can be severely destructive and/or injurious. However, absorbing what knowledge you can from multiple sources is a very good idea. No mentor is perfect. Balance your training sources.

On that note, I turn you over to some videos I made of my reloading procedures.

Reloading equipment and overview

Brass Processing – trimming

Brass Processing – refinements

Reloading – finally we add powder and bullets to complete the ammo reloading process