Reloading can be a way for avid shooters to save a significant amount on the cost of ammunition and produce rounds that are specifically tailored to each individual gun. Since loading your own ammunition allows for customization of each of the parts of the load, with a bit of experimentation it can increase accuracy of the ammo shot through your gun.
If you’re just getting started with reloading, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed with finding the reloading equipment and supplies you will need. You may not be sure if you should be looking at discount reloading supplies, or spending top dollar to get the precision reloading equipment. This buyer’s guide will help point you in the right direction, and have you on your way to loading your own ammo in no time.
There are several different components to the supply of reloading equipment you will need to get started, including:
- Set of dies for each caliber
- Full length sizing die
- De-capping die to remove primer (some kits combine full length sizing die and de-capping die into one convenient die)
- Bullet seating die
- Bullet crimp die to secure the bullet in the case
- Case trimmer
- Resizing dies
- De-burring/chamfer tool
- Tumbler/shell cleaner
- Priming tool (optional)
- Shell cases
- Powder measure & scale
- Case lubricant
Most of these components can be found in reloading kits sold by manufacturers, with the exception of resizing dies due to the specific sizes required for each caliber of round you will be reloading. If you are just getting started, I recommend purchasing a reloading kit and dies for your caliber of ammunition, as it can be much more cost effective than buying each piece individually and already comes with the necessary parts.
The main types of presses are single stage, turret, and progressive. Single stage presses utilize only one die at a time, meaning you will have to replace the die for each part of the process. A turret press can hold multiple dies, and each time you press the handle, the head will rotate. This means you can set your dies once and leave them in their place, increasing the amount of rounds you can load.
A progressive press holds multiple dies much like a turret press, but in this case it holds multiple shells on a moving base, while the dies are stationary. This means that each time the handle is pulled, the shell is progressed from one step in the process to the next. Since you are loading more than one round with each pull of the handle, this greatly increases the amount of rounds you can produce in that same time with a single stage or turret press.
Once you’ve decided on a press, the next item on your list of supplies will be your dies. Choosing a die set can be a bit tricky, because some dies fit differently in presses made by other brands. Other brands of dies should work, but in order to ensure your die will fit the way it was designed, it is best to use it in a press of the same brand. Always be sure the dies you’re purchasing are made for the caliber of ammunition you’ll be reloading.
If you have purchased a kit, it is likely that it will have come with a case trimmer, de-burring tool, priming tool, powder measure, scale, and case lubricant. Now all that’s left is choosing your reloading brass, bullets, powder, and primers. This is where reloading gets fun. You can experiment with different combinations of brands and quantity of powder to create the mix that is perfect for your gun. Let Sportsman’s Warehouse be your reloading supply store! We have everything you need to get started, and everything you need to keep you going.
Note: Reloading can be dangerous if not performed properly. Always wear proper safety gear, and follow instructions detailed in a reloading guide written by the manufacturer.
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