Whether you want to save money, or you simply want to maximize loads, reloading your ammo can be an intriguing prospect. It’s something that you should seriously consider.
Reloading ammunition has plenty of benefits that may prompt you to explore doing it. On a practical level, it can boost the accuracy of your weapon. It’s an ideal proposition for hunters and recreational shooters as it can allow them to create ammo for multiple uses.
In terms of savings, it has been said that you can save as much as ½ of your ammunition expenses if you were to reload your own.
And even if you’re not after cutting down on costs, you would find reloading ammunition a fun and relaxing hobby.
Now, one thing that would likely be bugging you is: ‘what do I need to have to reload my ammo?”[lwptoc]
Here is a list of the ammo reloading tools that you must prepare or invest in:
It is important to have accurate, complete, and reliable data when reloading ammunition. This is where a reloading manual comes in.
With a reloading manual, you can be guided on the fundamentals of reloading. You’ll know how much powder to put and prevent injuries and accidents as excess powder could blow up your rifle. You will also learn how to properly use equipment needed in reloading your defense ammo.
Another important ammo reloading equipment, a reloading press comes in different variations namely: single-stage, turret, and progressive.
A single-stage press is a reloading press that can only work on one bullet at a time. This is the most affordable type of reloading press, but it can take some time to set it up.
On the other hand, a turret press can hold multiple dies. It can make reloading faster and more convenient. However, there is also the similarity between single-stage and turret press as the removal and inserting process remains a manual function. It’s slightly more expensive, though, compared to a single-stage press.
The progressive press is the most expensive but also the most effective among the three types. With a progressive press, you can have a case seated and sized at the same time. Most progressive press models have at least three die stations.
Yet there are also downsides to using or owning a reloading press. The most glaring is that it would take a longer time to set it up compared to the two other reloading press types.
The single-stage press is often most recommended for beginners. Not only is it affordable; it is also easy to operate.
You would need a powder scale if you want accurate powder measurements. There are two types of powder scale you can choose from the balance beam and digital model. The former measures powder manually while the digital model does so electronically.
Aside from type, you also have to take into consideration the capacity, durability, and price of the scale.
Speaking of measurement tools, you will also need a caliper. Most starter kits for reloading ammo, unfortunately, don’t have one but this is something that’s highly recommended to beginners and even professionals.
With a caliper, you can make accurate measurements of seated primer depth. You can also check the case lengths before and after trimming. This can help you in maintaining an appropriate overall length of the cartridge.
Aside from measuring, calipers can also protect you. It can prevent the overloading of the interior case, saving you from a potentially nasty accident.
In choosing a caliper, consider factors such as the ease of use, construction, battery life, and price of this measuring tool.
You’ve read about dies earlier and may be wondering what these and more so, their purpose in the ammo reloading process.
Dies are used in the production of the cartridge for reloading. More specifically, these are used in decapping, resizing, and expanding the bullet seating and case mouth.
As for the number of dies needed, it would depend on the kind of cartridge being reloaded. Generally speaking, most reloading settings call for 2-3 die sets.
Also known as priming punches or arms, priming units are utilized for achieving maximum accuracy in reloading ammunition. Loading presses have basic priming units for setting new primers. It is usually seated while the sized case is removed from the sizing die.
However, it is recommended that you get a priming unit that can be adjusted to provide a uniform primer seating depth. You can also invest in a hand priming tool for increasing the comfort and speed in the priming of cases.
With a case trimmer, you can trim cases and reuse them. Not only would this let you save money, but you can also create rounds that are more accurate than those you would buy.
In selecting a case trimmer, you would have to consider the cutter material. Steel cutter is a standard option, but you can also get one made of brass or carbide.
Other factors to consider are the durability, accessories, and price of the case trimmer.
Burrs usually form on the interior and exterior of the case mouth during trimming. With a deburring tool, you can prep the case for reloading. It is recommended that cases deburred for first reloading even if these are not yet trimmed.
Reloading blocks can also serve you well. These trays hold cartridges and allow you to work on the various steps required in reloading ammo. Most starter kits contain at least one of these.
Reloading ammunition can be a productive and cost-effective endeavor for you in the long run. If you want to get started on it, then you should invest in the above-mentioned tools. Using these tools should increase the chances of you successfully reloading a cartridge. You will also have the peace of mind that the ammo you have reloaded would be safe to use and not haunt you when you eventually use it.