There are a lot of reasons to get into reloading, but most of them come down to control—control over your access to ammunition, control over the power and accuracy of your rounds, and control over the cost of your shooting. On a per round basis, handloading can save you anywhere between 40 and 67 percent depending on your choice of components. After gaining experience with reloading, you might want to move on to casting your own bullets, which can save you up to 80 percent per round. So, whereas you might have to spend a little over $200 for a 500-round brick of .45 ACP practice ammo, by reloading, that same money will put almost 900 FMJ rounds into your ammo can. With reloading, you have control over your components, so you can choose to buy hard-cast lead bullets instead of FMJs, which will let you load and shoot 1,500 rounds for about as much money as it costs to shoot 500 rounds of factory-made .45 ACP. That is a compelling reason to roll your own ammo.

Broken down to its essentials, reloading is a pretty simple process of sizing and priming a cartridge case, adding a powder charge to that case and seating a bullet on the charge. But for such a simple process, there is a bewildering array of equipment for the novice reloader to choose from. Before you even try to sort through the choices, I recommend that you take some time to do a self-assessment of your shooting interests and your space and financial constraints.

So think about your situation and let your needs drive your reloading equipment choices. The first thing to think about is space. Where will you reload? Typically, you will need a space where you can install a solid bench to mount reloading presses and associated gear. So, do you have a dedicated place for a reloading bench? The space can be quite small. Even in an apartment, you can turn a small closet into a reloading room with a little ingenuity…


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