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Is reloading a lost art?


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Bench Rest shooters with 40 pound Rifles I use to be one).  Big Bore Single Shot Long Range Shooters, BPCR rifle shooters, Some Hunters, are the ones who treat reloading as a mythical "Dark Art."  Most of the folks who play the CAS game, or Pins, or IDPA and the like treat reloading as a necessary evil so they/we can afford to get out and play our fav games a time or three each month.

 

Were I shooting a Box or three of ammo each year, I'd not bother.

 

I personally shoot BP and Subs for CAS.  The Art:  Fill the BP till you get a little compression . . DONE.  With APP:  Fill the case to base of the bullet . . DONE.  No arts and no Rocket Science, No Magic.  Really really simple stuff. 

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If the importance of reloading isn’t learned this time around it never will be. 

I also have have heard a lot of people in my area say that reloading is a waste of time, just buy it and have it delivered.  Now that ammo is almost impossible to find, and the prices are crazy, many

In normal times, 9mm and .223 is cheap enough that it really isn't that much advantage to reload when shooting large round counts.     I was at an auction yesterday.   Ammo prices were insane.  B

Reloading is therapy for me. Don't load lots anymore. Haven't shot a match in three years. Still like to limber up my cowboy guns from time to time. Since my Open Tops and 66 are both .44 Special and the 66 set up to run .44 Russian, I use same cases and bullets loaded to length for rifle. About 20 grains FFFG by volume. 200 gr Big Lube. Ain't any factory loads for me, anywho.

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23 hours ago, Throckmorton,23149 said:

Lost art ? oh heck no,  I often tell my buds that I shoot to reload. Now days don't shoot nor reload like before the dryup of components, but still doing it, still lovin' it.

That was me pre-CAS... Other'n my ARs and a couple of former duty guns... none have seen "factory" ammo.  Except a couple of .30-30s that have been used for hunting... I'd buy Federal factory ammo to hunt with and use the cases for my target loads...

6 hours ago, Jeb Stuart #65654 said:

I also have have heard a lot of people in my area say that reloading is a waste of time, just buy it and have it delivered.  Now that ammo is almost impossible to find, and the prices are crazy, many of these people ask me if I could reload for them, answer is NO!  "Failure to plan ahead  on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on mine."

I've told more than one person, buy the components you want used, come on over and I'll teach YOU how to do it... that way you won't be dependent on me.

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no , not lost , but i have limited mine a lot in recent years , i only load for SASS these days in 45colt , 38s&wspcl , 4570 and 12ga , its what im shooting now , finding components right now sucks but i have most of what will keep me shooting this year even if i have to pass on shooting some i might like to , i think you will get this from most SASS shooters , most of us reload our primary rounds , 

 

so maybe , ive divested all my other centerfire rifle and handgun stuff [not the guns] over the last few years , my kids didnt want to get started and wouldnt take what i was no longer using , i found good homes for it but ive never followed up to see if they carried tru with it , 

im now regretting a couple -  ill maybe return to  38s&w and 455webley but only because im starting to shoot them a little more again , some ill never go back to in the quantities i would need to reload for , i either have a few or will buy the few i need 

 

 

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Just adds that much more to the hobby. I like making my own loads. I guess, if you're very busy or just hate reloading and you can actually find ammo, then more power to ya. I buy shotgun shells every once in a while and hardly ever buy loaded ammo. Just me.

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I'm new to reloading for 30-06, and am following a discussion about using a taper crimp for plated Berry's bullets.
The intent of the taper crimp is avoiding penetrating the thin copper plating over the lead bullet.

Question: does a taper crimp also have merit for cast lead bullets in the '06?
My interest is low recoil plinking loads with Hi-Tek coated bullets for youth shooters and ladies.

I still can't find any H4895, so this is mostly academic right now.

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32 minutes ago, bgavin said:

Question: does a taper crimp also have merit for cast lead bullets in the '06?

 

Nope.  So WHAT if the crimp bites into the copper plating or the poly coating?   You are not making bullseye competition ammo.  Plinking does not take sub-moa accuracy.  You WILL need the stronger bullet "pull" that a roll crimp provides to get the powder to burn well when you are using a fast powder and a light bullet.

 

Use a moderate ROLL crimp, either into the crimp groove or a full-diameter band of the bullet.  Won't need a hard bullet (12 BN or harder) for your purposes.  

 

Load with 12 grains of Red Dot.  Or Unique.  Or 7 grains Bullseye.  Fire away.   You don't want to load H4895 for a light cast bullet load anyway.

 

Here's a great primer that applies to 30-06 cast bullet loading over a wide range of power, by perhaps the biggest guru of cast bullet reloading.

https://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?13425-Cast-Bullet-Loads-for-Military-Rifles-Article

 

BTW - this tagging of your question onto another topic hides your question from most forum readers.  You would get more answers by starting a new topic for this wide diversion from the original topic.

 

good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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Reloading is a necessary evil imo but I do like tools and gadgets and reloading is slam full of them so I guess it’s not all bad. And there is the satisfaction of putting meat in the freezer or shooting a match with your loads. But it’s still a chore. 

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8 hours ago, bgavin said:

I'm new to reloading for 30-06, and am following a discussion about using a taper crimp for plated Berry's bullets.
The intent of the taper crimp is avoiding penetrating the thin copper plating over the lead bullet.

Question: does a taper crimp also have merit for cast lead bullets in the '06?
My interest is low recoil plinking loads with Hi-Tek coated bullets for youth shooters and ladies.

I still can't find any H4895, so this is mostly academic right now.

Got any Trail Boss?

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I guess it depends on what you shoot, and how often you shoot it.

I have never tooled up to reload .223 because I don't shoot my AR often enough to make it worth the effort.   I once hit a 2 liter soda bottle at a hundred fifty yards with the plain iron sights on my very early SP-1 model.   That told me that in this caliber, factory .223 is plenty accurate, and especially surplus ammo is plenty cheap.   I can't even remember the last time I fired it though.

On the other had, I shoot a LOT of Cowboy ammo in various calibers every year.   There is no way I could afford to shoot as much of that as I do shooting factory ammo.   Plus, some of the calibers I shoot, factory ammo is down right hard to find.

No, I don't tailor my loads to each gun.   Not seen a need to.  I am sure I could if I had to, but I don't have such a requirement.

But as long as there are people out there who shoot guns a lot, for which the cost of factory ammo would be prohibitive, or perhaps even impossible to obtain, reloading will endure.   And if I ever started shooting my AR every month, I bet I'd start reloading for it too.

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On 4/18/2021 at 5:49 PM, John Boy said:

The lost Art is with reloaders that come to the process with one or two caliber firearms and only have a pound or two of ABC or XYZ powder ... don’t buy a reloading manual or read the vendor loading tables ... then come to the forums wanting to know which of the only powder they have for a load and further never specify the bullet weight

So, the bottom line is They Don’t Buy a reloading manual for 30 bucks or Read vendor tables before they jump into the reloading process.  So candidly, Sympathy can be found in the dictionary between s**t and syphilis for there lack of due deliginces   

You must be related to Captain Dan Blodget!!!

'S**t and syphlis'...

He's the only one I know who uses that phrase!!!

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Sue, carry over from the military with the F word in front of the sympathy word :D

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as a professional desk jockey, I need reloading in my life, If I don't get to work with my hands on the weekends or after the kids go down, I think I'd go crazy... er...

Edited by El CupAJoe
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Has never been a question in Australia.  Reloading is widespread. Factory ammo has ALWAYS been awfully expensive here.   No dramas for someone who checks his sights at the range twice a year before his deer hunts...  one or two boxes of rifle ammo a year...    When you shoot Wild Bunch regularly, CAS occasionally, and IPSC twice a week... you go through a LOT of ammo.  And TBH... noone here sells suitable ammo for any of those (other than shotgun)  My Pistol club doesn't allow jacketed projectiles....and ALL of the "cheaper" 9mm ammo is jacketed it seems..   SO..apart from COST there is the simple factor of getting the right ammo.  Handloading is really  the only choice.      Upside is you can also tailor the loads to your guns.    My respect for Mr Dillon is not a whole lot less than my respect for JMB! :D

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No doubt that most folks that play this game end up reloading their ammo. With little ammo available now it's about the only way folks can continue, and as loading supplies dry up even that route is in danger of going away. My comment to the OP's question about whether loading ammo is becoming a lost art..... that depends upon what you call an artist. It is a fact that the vast majority of folks I know in this game do indeed reload their own ammo. But it is also a fact that most of them is to drop 3 grs of this into a 38 case, put a bullet on, crimp it and repeat over and over. This game is not a real shooting game. With huge targets a few feet away anything that goes bang will get the target some where. Accuracy is by no means a criteria in CAS, and most of the reloader/players don't really have a clue how to build truly accurate ammunition or load for a specific gun. I started reloading in about 1962-3. At first it was just Shotgun shells using a recipe from one of the powder companies. But as things progressed I found that metallic cartridge loading offered the opportunity to fine tune ammunition. Years later I found that there were indeed "Artist" in the reloading arena when you sat at a bench and watched through a 60X scope as someone would put holes in a down range paper that were all right next together. The Art of creating precise and accurate ammunition for a specific gun is not lost, but IMO it is quickly becoming so. 

 


Snakebite 

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Folks wanting to get into reloading are in dire straights now with this pandemic created by new gun purchasers and Vista Outdoors.

Except for lead at the scrap yards, the availability on the Internet and stores is between nil and slim for brass, primers, powder, bullets, presses .and dies.... unless one wants to pay scalper prices 

There are a vendors that now don’t have bullet molds available too except with Accurate Molds being the #1 available  choice for service and nearly any mold design one could want.  Common caliber molds, ie, the 38Spl are always on eBay listed in Ideal Molds but now have jacked up prices too

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We've been through droughts before, hopefully this will ease up in a few more months.

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Previous droughts didn't have ANTIFA/BLM, riots, arson, looting, thousands of illegals overwhelming the southern border, openly embraced Socialism and a full court press for massive gun control.

I figure this drought will last much longer than the previous ones.

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Well I'm 31 and I've been reloading since I was 21, self taught. Never had a mentor until I joined a shooting forum online. There are PLENTY of other younger guys like myself who are getting into reloading. 

 

If you frequent any of the Precision Rifle forums, reloading is an absolute must. There are custom ammo companies who will make tuned handloaded ammo for your rifle but you'd either need sponsored or have a hell of a job to afford it. The precision reloading world is currently BOOMING with new products, tech, all sorts of wild stuff. I really don't think thats going anywhere. 

 

Most of everyone I know who shoots IDPA or USPSA more than 1-2 times a year all reload. A lot of the young guys are wanting to get into reloading if they have already. 

 

I think reloading is far from being a lost art. What IS becoming a lost art, is the way of the rifle, like Jeff Cooper wrote a book about. Fast, efficient, open sighted shooting from ranging distances and field positions. These days its 3-gun madness, combat/self defense style shooting, or precision long distance behind a $2k scope.  The only caveat to this is there is a good amount of odd positional shooting in leagues like PRS 

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.

Edited by Snakebite
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I've had several guys at work, young 22-27ish , ask me to show them how to set up and reload. I've helped several get started including 2 young guys at the local fun shop...dying out? Not by a long shot. These guys are not sass shooters but they like to shoot so its not just here.

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34 minutes ago, ORNERY OAF said:

I've had several guys at work, young 22-27ish , ask me to show them how to set up and reload. I've helped several get started including 2 young guys at the local fun shop...dying out? Not by a long shot. These guys are not sass shooters but they like to shoot so its not just here.

WOW several guys. Must be more stuff available in Ohio than here in California. I had one person express some interest in reloading but finding equipment has been tough, and finding supplies has been impossible. I can't even imagine how difficult it must have been to outfit several guys.  

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This has been over the last couple years,, not last week...I gave one my old press, one bought a Dillon, one will be waiting for his Dillon for a few months and one has been collecting reloading  supplies for a while and now is hurting sine its been about two years since we got him set up,, he didn't stack deep like i told him...I just sold  my pal at the lgs 2 1k sleeves(1 sm pistol,1 sm rifle) for 25 bucks each and an 8lb jug of powder for what I got it for. He had all the rest of the stuff...and yes, I imagine its easier to buy gun related stuff in a free state as opposed to P.R.O.C..The local lgs has ammo and even powder(green dot, shotgun powders-none i use) ...primers are still out. 

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a younger cousin of mine discovered competitive shooting.  i mean he is HOOKED.  he also got a dillon and started reloading.  this drought is killing him, but he’s weathering it fine.

 

lots of older shooters at his club have been a great resource for him.  i help out when i have an opportunity, but i’ve never reloaded automatic cartridges before... well i just started reloading 45acp (but am no where as comfy with that as i’ve been with my cowboy ammo).

 

OP,

I liken reloading to driving a standard transmission vehicle. it’s less common, but way more rewarding imho.

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On 4/25/2021 at 4:37 PM, Snakebite said:

WOW several guys. Must be more stuff available in Ohio than here in California. I had one person express some interest in reloading but finding equipment has been tough, and finding supplies has been impossible. I can't even imagine how difficult it must have been to outfit several guys.  

not trying to be snide but is california still allowing you to reload at all ? ive heard stories from relatives and friends that its becoming increasingly difficult to get components beyond what the rest of us are dealing with , i will admit to no personal experience tho so correct me if im wrong , 

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Supplies have been virtually non existent around my area for quite a while now and I haven't seen anything for sale at any of the online vendors. As far as I know the State has not limited purchasing any loading supplies. The only limits I am aware of is that a person can have a max of 20 lbs smokeless powder and only 1 lb of real Black powder. I've never heard of the law being enforced, but it's on the books.  

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On 4/18/2021 at 9:27 PM, Dusty Morningwood said:

Reloading is therapy for me...

 

Bingo!

 

:D

 

I reload more than I shoot currently.

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9 hours ago, watab kid said:

not trying to be snide but is california still allowing you to reload at all ? ive heard stories from relatives and friends that its becoming increasingly difficult to get components beyond what the rest of us are dealing with

It depends upon the area.
Cities (like Sacramento) have a city ordnance that prohibit internet purchases of "gun components".
I do not know if this applies to reloading supplies..
As I understand it, it applies to anything that goes into making a "gun".

CA has a state-wide ban on ammunition sales unless they are shipped to an FFL and the DROS paperwork (and fee) is collected.
Biden is trying his best to make the CA policies apply to all 50 states.
I cheer for AZ, MT and the other states that have signed legislation to prevent the Feds from this overreach.
CA is not one of those states.

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To back up to the op’s question about it being a ‘lost’ art, at 70 years old sometimes I get lost and have to do some serious thinkin when I try setting up for a caliber that I’ve not reloaded for a long while. My last .38-40 and .44-40 loads date from about 2 years ago. But it does come back to me so it isn’t lost, just misplaced. 

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I love to reload.I would get up at 5:00 or so and get me cup of coffee and go reload.I started reloading 44-40 and did not have anything to shoot them in because people said it was hard to reload because the cases are so thin.I mess up the first case and not any more after that.I started reloading 45s before I had any 45s.I like to reload.I started reloading 12 ga. brass shells with Clays smokeless and had fun working up a load.I love to reload.If I did not reload I could not shoot.

 

 

Edited by Pit Bull Tex
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On 4/27/2021 at 1:13 AM, Snakebite said:

Supplies have been virtually non existent around my area for quite a while now and I haven't seen anything for sale at any of the online vendors. As far as I know the State has not limited purchasing any loading supplies. The only limits I am aware of is that a person can have a max of 20 lbs smokeless powder and only 1 lb of real Black powder. I've never heard of the law being enforced, but it's on the books.  

Even equipment, I have been trying to find a RCBS lock out die and even those are unavailable.  

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10 minutes ago, Billy Boots, # 20282 LTG-Regulator said:

Even equipment, I have been trying to find a RCBS lock out die and even those are unavailable.  

It's getting hard to find anything. I had to pay a pretty stiff price for some used 9mm dies for my 650. I have a RCBS Rock Chucker and some 310 hand loaders. After seeing what they are fetching, I might just list them.

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Yep.
I had to pony up for Redding 243 dies.
They were out of stock for ages.. Midway finally got some in, and lucky me... free shipping.
 

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