How did you get started reloading?


Dec 7, 2007
I was a junior member of a rifle and pistol club that was affiliated with the Department of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM). Through the DCM we would get surplus military and .22 Rimfire ammunition. We would take military ammunition and pull the bullets, neck size, and seat soft point bullets of the same weight for hunting. I have to say that we really didn't know what we were doing at the time. But it was this start that drove me to want to create my own ammunition that was as good or better than factory and of course, save money.


Mar 6, 2017
My gosh, when I think about it, it's somewhat scary, but a different world then. Me and another kid were loading shotgun shells unsupervised when we were probably 10 or 12. Would load a big pile, then us and about 6 or so other teenagers to young adults would spend summer evenings shooting bats. Seems a little crazy to me now, but you had certain instructions and didn't do dumb things in life in general, or you would get your butt tanned.

We also ran around on numerous tractors unsupervised and were small enough that you had to stand up to push in the clutch and change gears, so there is that. Different times for sure! :D

Past that I reloaded for rifle when I was 16. Had a Ruger M77 25-06 heavy barrel that was a long range ground hog buster.......that rifle taught me what tuned reloads can do in a rifle.


Jan 6, 2011
In 1985 got a great deal on a pristine used 7 mm Weatherby MKV. Could not afford the $60-80 per box ammo. I had a good friend who was a former Marine Sniper that took me under his wing and taught me to reload. I currently load 35 different calibers up to 50 BMG


Nov 8, 2006
Funnily enough, it was to feed a rifle! More seriously, I had received a lever gun (.356 Win) as a gift for doing a funeral. It was hard to find ammunition, so if I wanted to feed my habit, it was load. I enjoyed the scientific nature of ballistics and the details of creating accurate ammunition. No one taught me, but I read after some mighty fine hand loaders. It has stood me in good stead as I continually fed that rifle and all those that came my way.


Apr 30, 2016
many of my preferred cartridges laid outside the mainstream of the most common cartridges, not wildcats or obscure, just not as common place as 30-06, 270, 30-30, 308, 7mm, 300, etc. so ammo had to be ordered, but I could never find ammo with the bullets I wanted to use, so I started down this road.


Dec 16, 2019
1986, two of us were shooting about 500 rounds 9mm a week. Back then I believe they were about $8/box maybe? First my friend bought the equipment and after a while I did too. Then evolved into 300WBY, 357MAG..and now most of the classic cratridges.


Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
I bought my first rifle, a Remington 700 BDL 30-06 back in '73. The next year I started reloading. In high school I had a little business loading 30-06 ammo for some friends and even a couple of teachers. Profits were used to feed my addiction.
Now 48 years later, I've come to realize that rolling your own doesn't save you money, just the opposite as you shoot a lot more!


truck driver

Ammo Smith
Mar 11, 2013
My father reloaded shot shells for shooting trap and I was just getting into hunting and shooting. I was 11 years old at the time and had to rely on an allowance to buy ammo. The allowance wasn't much and I had to buy school lunch with it also .
Dad allowed me to help him reload and taught me how to load the shot shells on a single stage press. He also allowed me to load enough shells for hunting once he was sure I could do it safely.
So it was more economics that got me into reloading and I graduated from reloading shot shells to rifle ammo when I got my first do all center fire rifle which was a 725 Rem chambered for 30-06. It was used but a prized position which I used for varmint hunting as well as deer hunting.
Reloading helped me to shoot more and I eventually shot the throat out of the barrel and had to re-barrel it .
Didn't know much about reloading rifle cartridges and followed the reloading manuals load charts with out changing loads that weren't printed in the manuals till I found this forum and expanded my knowledge with the help of my friends here.
I still have my first shot shell press and center fire rifle press though I have moved on to newer equipment.


Aug 15, 2016
My dad is the one who got me started reloading.
He did his own .30-06, and 12 ga. shotshells when I was growing up. As far back as I can remember, I saw a shotgun reloading press in his den, or in the basement.

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
Started "helping" Dad & Grandpa when I was a little fellow. Maybe five years old or so? They'd let me seat the bullets for their rifles. Grandpa had a big old press and quite a handloading setup in his shop. After he passed, it all went to Idaho with my uncle.

For some years Dad didn't have a loading press, but mostly we hunted with shotguns & 22's anyway. Then he gave me the 6mm Remington 700 BDL that's been seen here on this forum, 1974. I'd been reading everything I could about handloading, and wanted to handload, so I bought a Lee Loader. :) I learned, and Dad smiled. Eventually he bought a new RCBS press and we both used it for a few years. I didn't get a press of my own until the mid 1980's when I bought a used RCBS Rockchucker which I still use time to time. It's a good piece of gear.


Oct 23, 2020
I was shooting a pile of rounds per week trying to be a serious IDPA competitor some 25 years ago. I could scrounge a lot of cheap 9mm...but once a .45ACP came into my life, it was load ammo or skip meals.

I sort of naturally went from handgun to rifle ammo as my tastes changed.


May 12, 2005
I initially got into it by loading my own 12ga ammo due to shooting skeet, trap, and walking sporting clays while I was stationed at then Vandenberg Air Force Base (Now it's Vandenberg Space Force Base). It then evolved to loading for my 44 and 45ACP and finally loading for my rifles. Fortunately, I had some excellent tutors there to help me out if I had questions.


Apr 7, 2019
I was a single dad on active duty, trying to be both mom and dad then make ends meet. I started taking my 2 daughters to the rod & gun club with me shooting trap and skeet. I started teaching them to shoot trap and had to reload our hulls in order to afford shooting. It got to where they would be sad if we couldn’t go. So instead of not going I sat out and loaded for them. I wouldn't trade those days for anything.


Nov 5, 2015
A guy I worked with got me started reloading for a Rem 760 30-06 I had bought in high school. He showed me enough to get started. From there it was asking different members of a range I joined and reading everything I could get my hands on. Has been a very enjoyable and rewarding hobby for sure. One I have shared with my son, grandkids and nephews. Dan.


Dec 24, 2006
I have always really like anything gun related. My Dad got me a RCBS Partner Reloading kit with a coupon from an NRA deal when I was about 13. My first loaded rounds were for his 44 magnum, shortly after I got a 7 Rem Mag which is still in my hunting family, then a 22-250. I shot alot of H870 from the 7 Rem with 140 PT's and 160 Barnes X bullets back then. I used the 52 grain Speer HP with H322 in the 22-250 to shoot crows, woodchucks, deer and about anything else. I dropped off a bit when I was early in my Marine Corps career since I lived in barracks and base housing. About the time I bought my first house I got all of my old equipment and set it back up and man, it has been downhill ever since. I love the stuff.

My only teacher per se was a gun shop owner who would coach me and I would run home and try out what he passed. I wore the cover off my original Speer manual.

Editors note: upon meeting Mike, stuff has just gotten sillier every year. He was one of the best mentors from afar I've had with this hobby. :cool:


Nov 8, 2006
I'm humbled to be considered to be in your league, Scotty. You are doing a great job building some excellent ammon without any input from me.


Jan 31, 2021
In the early 80's our small town in Tennessee had a gun club (skeet and trap) just outside the city limits. Nobody there was under the age 60. If I would come on Tuesday afternoons to pull and keep score, I was allowed to shoot for $.75 per round at the end of the day. My mom or dad would take me and then pick me up. They all reloaded and told me I should too. For Christmas that first year my dad took me to the hardware store where I got a MEC and all the supplies. Dad was thrilled b/c I now made all our range and hunting loads. (Best load I ever stumbled upon was a 2.75" high brass 5 shot for ducks. It was amazing to shoot lead back then.)

The two or three guys at the skeet range who were so nice in helping me learn to shoot all shot 16 gauge browning superposeds. I now shoot a 16 gauge Citori for that reason and never take it out of the case at the range or in the field without thinking of them.

As for rifles, being stuck at home working during the onset of COVID told me I needed to also get into rifle cartridges here, 40 years later. And many of you on here helped me find my way, along with a lot of used equipment.

Last edited:

Bruce Mc

Oct 26, 2005
I have no recollection of what got me interested in reloading. I'm guessing it was from the magazines of the time and I guess I convinced my Dad that it would be beneficial to our hunting as he bought me an RCBS rock chucker kit for Christmas 1972. Included were dies for .243 win, 30-06, and 30-30. Mr. Nagel at Nagel's Gun Shop in San Antonio put me on the right track with powder and bullets and threw in a Pacific Press reloading manual.