I reload the majority of my centerfire ammo. The 22 hornet, for example, would be an expensive little varmint round if you were buying factory ammunition all the time. Availability of hornet ammunition is another cause for concern, most gun shops tend to not stock them as they just aren’t that popular anymore. Personally, I adore the 22 hornet, it’s a punchy round but I will write about that later. Factory ammunition for the hornet where I live works out to be £22.50 for 25. Scary! Options? Load my own? How does 25p per round sound?
WHAT DO I NEED
Ok, so, if you want to just load a few here and there and aren’t overly bothered about extreme accuracy, you can purchase one of these lee loaders. The concept is great for the occasional reloader, safe and simple instructions. Provided you use the items listed, you will be able to make reloaded bullets.
LOADING FOR MORE
I am running several centerfires, buying lots of single kits would be expensive and could very easily become dangerous. I needed a press. Rather than buying loads of different brands and hoping to get it right, I bought the Lee classic kit . Though it said kit, I wanted some extras, for example, the lee auto primer, the Lee zip trim and some aftermarket MTM digital scales just purely to cross-reference the load against the traditional beam scale. You will need to buy dies in the calibre you require and again, I use Lee. It was a sensible outlay but I knew that once I was up and running the savings would more than pay for the equipment.
The thing with reloading is safety safety safety. You are working with primers, powders and bullet heads. With the kit, you will receive detailed instructions on how to use the press. Read the instructions carefully, then, read them again and stick them on the wall in front of the bench. Which powder make you opt for, very often will have load data available for you’re calibre, another great thing. If for any reason they do not have suitable data, there is a wealth of reloading data books available online.
TAKE A TRIP
Take a trip to the gun shop, speak to the staff, some if not most will have experience with reloading. Advice is free and normally worthwhile. Whilst at the gun shop you can buy the powder, primers and heads. The law regarding bullet heads have recently changed and so do check with the local licencing agency as to where you stand on numbers.
SAVING OR NOT
Taking in to account the initial cost of buying the press and other items, I worked out that I was actually starting to make savings after the first 200 rounds. Yes, 200 rounds! Hornet rounds are churning out at approx 25p per bullet. Now think about reloading the 223, the 243 and before you know it, you are saving money hand over fist. Especially if you can find a load that uses the same powder for more than one calibre. I will at a later date do a post regarding the actual process of reloading but for now, I hope you enjoyed this post.