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What was it that got you started in the Hand-Loading game?
by Scott Crawford - February 20, 2020
This of course is an age old question asked over & over for decades by the unknowing and even more sinister, the advanced hand loader who knows every reason in existence. No matter what age you were when you started, we all had our reasons, at least initially. I, along with hundreds of thousands did it so we could afford to shoot more. You know, cheaper ammo lets you shoot more. Right?
What I came to realize was that although the cost per round "eventually" came down - after paying for all of the equipment I invested in. I was spending more & more each month. Much more than I ever planned to spend. This wasn't a budget saving investment after all.
What it did accomplish eventually was providing me with a lot more ammo to shoot & hunt with at reduced prices. Even today, five years into retirement - I'm still loading bullets, primers, powder and cases that I acquired a dozen years ago. A plug on how to buy reloading components - after you find something that works well; buy it in bulk, buy lots of it and then buy some more. I say this because in all things, when you find what you like, they stop making it.
I started reloading, or at least learned a bit about reloading when I was about 12 years old. It was 12 gauge shotgun shells to start with at my neighbor's dad's bench. He shot a lot of trap & skeet and hunted often so he had quite the setup. When I was older, out on my own - I think it was around 1976 I invested in my first setup.
It consisted of an RCBS turret press, powder measure, scale, lube pad and primer tray and dies from Lyman for 357 Magnum. I quickly expanded to 44 Magnum then 444 Marlin & eventually 45-70. I've been reloading ever since. This all started before the internet and I must have asked a thousand questions of shop owners and anybody I could talk to about reloading.
RCBS Starter Setup That I Began With
Lyman Die Set like the ones I Started With
Back in 2009 I went back to a single stage press to focus more on quality than quantity and I've really enjoyed my time at the bench. Today I'm back considering another turret. It's not a must by any means however I'm looking to mix things up a bit. Same with dies. I've been loading with Hornady dies for years but I'm looking at the Lyman Pro series (coming out soon) with adjustable heads like micrometers. If reloading is about anything - it's about choices.....
New Lyman Pro-Series Dies Are on my Buy List!
Well, to wrap this up I'll just say that although I got into reloading to save money on my ammo - the true test of time (40 + years) is that I love this hobby as much as I do shooting.
HORNADY LYMAN PRODUCTS RCBS 357 MAGNUM 44 MAGNUM 444 MARLIN 45-70 GOVT