Should I Reload Ammunition and Why?

This will be the start of a series on reloading. Our main goal in this article will be to discuss why you may want to reload. The next part will be what are the minimum required supplies to begin reloading. We will progress into more advanced topics as the articles continue to progress.

There is many reasons to consider reloading. With those reasons is some misconceptions or down right myths. Lets explore some of the facts of reloading.
Here is a list of the most common reasons people tell me they want to reload.

  1. Reduced dependency on market fluctuations
  2. Reduced Cost
  3. Prepping long term survival
  4. Custom Loads
  5. Stress Reliever

Reduced dependency on market fluctuations

If we learned anything from the ammunition shortage of 2013 it is that ammunition shortages can happen quickly and they can last a long time. If you have not prepared for ammunition shortages you may have found that you were unable to go shooting, training or even have the required ammo to protect your home.
Reloading will not fix poor planning. If you do not have the components stored up to reload than during a shortage you are not better off than those buying ammunition.
Opinion: Reloading will not reduce your dependency on market fluctuations any more than properly budgeting and storing ammunition would.

Reduced Cost

Fundamentally this is a good reason to reload. You can reduce your cost on reloaded ammunition by about 1/3rd that of manufactured ammunition. The larger your rounds or more exotic your ammunition is though will greatly affect the costs.  However in my experience and that of my friends it seldom works out to cheaper. Often you find that you use more rounds at the range. So any cost savings is eaten up by the extra range time you will be doing. Further the cost to set up a reloading bench if starting from scratch will take some time to recuperate.

Opinion: Reloading will reduce the cost of ammunition.

Prepping long term survival

IMHO this is one of the best reasons to reload. Anytime I can reduce my dependence on the market the better I feel. That can be using a wood stove or fireplace for heat or collecting rainwater. I don’t live in fear of the world collapsing but based on hurricanes, tornadoes and other real world situations I am prepared to live if the grid goes down for a short period and possibly a long period. For these situations being able to reload ammunition becomes important. As we have seen in 2013 the stores can be cleared quickly. Once cleared in the event of a localised or national emergency there will be no resupply. The ability to fire and continue to reload spent ammunition can put you at a huge advantage in such a situation.

Opinion: If you prep food and weapons for SHTF then you will want to reload.

Custom Loads

This is actually one of the most common reasons to reload. If you 3 gun, IDPA or other shooting sports you know the value of match grade ammunition. Also based on your gun, qualification needs and pure personal preference you will be able to load a more accurate load yourself then you can every buy from a factory. You might want your 40 rounds to be a bit hot to qualify in majors. Maybe you want your 9 or 45 to be a bit lighter so you can get faster followups. Either way using reloads is likely the answer for a competitive shooter.

Opinion: Custom loads for competition is a great reason to reload.

Stress Reliever

I find that shooting is a huge stress reliever. If you want accurate shots you need to focus on breath control. That calm as I zero in on my target breath in , out then shoot is what brings me back to the range time and time again. At the end of a day coming home and cleaning my guns is also therapeutic.

Sitting at my loading bench, counting, systematically measuring, and listening to some good music is either the first or last step in my circle of shooting. I love my kids and my family but the quiet I get when in my reloading room is one of my most prized times of the month.

Opinion: As either a private getaway or a methodical process reloading can be stress reducing.
In our next article we will go into the types of tools and machines you will need to set up a home reloading room. Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments below with us. We would love to see some sample reloading rooms.

Charles is the editor for 248 Shooter a midwest based gun news and gear review site as well as Online Content Director for On Target Magazine. He is an avid student taking classes from top tier trainers around the country. Charles shares his love for training as well as experience and opinions on some of the most talked about gear and products used by competitive shooters, military, leo and civilians.