How did you get started reloading?

A good friend was into handloading as I got more into rifles and shooting. After I bought my first 280 Remington, he suggested that I buy dies and components and come over to his place and he would show me how to load my own ammo. Learned the basics from him. It has been a steady progression of loading for various rifle cartridges since.
When I met DrMike and started hunting and shooting with him, I learned more about reloading from him as well over the years. Being the scientist and student of the finer details of handloading, he taught me more of the more technical points of handloading and wringing the utmost accuracy out of my loads for my rifles. Spent many a good day and evening discussing rifles, shooting and handloading with, along with many days afield or at the range, hunting and shooting.
When I went to work in the LGS's, he became my go-to handloading source for many customer technical questions on handloading, along with many of the fine people working for the various companies in the business. Always something to learn from someone, including many of the great people that participate on this forum.

Have to say that there is something special from making great loads that produce good results, whether it be on paper, or on game. A sense of accomplishment, pride, and satisfaction in knowing that one has been both capable and successful in producing their own ammunition that works well and puts game on the table!
I had an extreme interest in reloading and I had mentioned it to my father in law. He dug up so old reloading stuff (old CH press and other various accessories) and handed them down to me. Ever since I have been completely addicted. Only been reloading for about 4 years but do not plan on stopping.
My grandfather always took me to his ranches when I was a kid, and we would always stop at a local gun shop to get some .22's for the semi auto Browning and 410 shells, and learned to shoot and boy he was a good shot with his .22 Colt Woodsman. He gave me his .244 Remington and his guns before he passed and I learned to start reloading in the early 90's. Learning to reload is a great experience and over the years I absorbed great knowledge from others and from forums like Nosler.
I didn't like the accuracy I got from most factory ammo, and I sure didn't like the price. This was in late '70s. I had a young family ( twin girls) and an "on call" job in the Oilfield. I read alot, and I discovered I could (probably, hopefully) load my own with the LEE Loader. I had a good friend who (gone now) had a press and we talked alot about it. I had also been reading alot of Jim Carmichaels articles on the .280 Remington. He claimed it was loaded to a lower pressure because it was mostly used ( at that time) in semi-autos/pumps, etc.
Well I saw a new Ruger Mod 77 ( Tanger) on the shelf of a GS I always haunted. I watched it for almost a year as they kept lowering the price, hoping to move it! ha So I saved my lunch money, shot rabbits for the Meat Market, etc and I bought the thing. Its trigger was probably 4-41/2 pounds, but it broke clean. I put my first scope on it, a Montgomery Wards 3x9 (Tasco) . I then tried out the only factory ammo I could find, both Remington 150 ptd sp and 165 RN. I zeroed with the 150 ( +1 1/2" @100) The 165 didn't shoot well and was several inches off from the 150 group. This was a few weeks before rifle season in Se Texas. I bowhunted in October, and Rifle began the first part of November.
I shot a really nice 12 PT ( you count all the points in the South, ha) he was huge for SE Texas and was chasing a doe. (but..."at 15yds") from the box stand I was in! I was jazzed. Didn't get another one that year,
So I had bought 3 Load Manuals ( Hornady, Sierra and Speer) and the LEE, along with a balance beam scale. I chose the Hornady 139 Interlock and IMR 4831 (worked up to Max, 55grs.) I got a solid "1 inch", 3 shot group from this recipe and began loading 20rds at a time. That summer, when I had a day off, I drove 35miles to a Public Rifle Range that had a Bench Rest and a 200yd station. I practiced off the bench, and then from hunting positions, loaded and shot that one box of brass(right at 80 rds that summer, 4 trips) worth and got pretty good with that hard trigger, and even practiced "Off Hand" at 200 ( pieces of broken Cinder Block size of an Alarm Clock.) I was having a ball!
That Rifle season I was invited to hunt on a piece of property that joined a big Soybean farm. This particular piece of property had not been hunted for 3 years (owner had died and his son took over)
One Sunday, my best friend and my family went to Church that morning and was on stand by 3PM, it was literally right across the road from my friend's house ( he was single then) I was on a Ladder Stand on a Pipeline Right of Way that had not been mowed that year. About 5PM I saw a deer way down the pipeline. I used the scope ( finger off the trigger, of course and not putting the crosshairs directly on it until I could see it was a buck.
I thought it was "a bit further" than my 200yd target had been so decided to try a shot. I wrapped up in the sling, put the back of my right bicep against the pine I was in, but the way the ladder stand was made I couldn't use my left knee, so tried it Off Hand. He was broadside to me so when the moving crosshairs looked right I squeezed one off. I lost him in the recoil! I didn't know if he was down or took off to "only God Knows where in that East Texas brush", lol I sat there awhile, looking for any movement then got down and walked to where he had been standing, grazing. He was "Right There"! Perfect shot! Tight behind the leg and a bit high. I looked back at that stand and stepped it off....276 long steps! Up until then, 90yds was my longest shot (and that was with a 30-30/iron sights) I was jazzed! When we dressed him out I looked at all the wound channel of that 139gr, lungs all soupy and it didn't bloodshot any more than the 150CL. I had been "hooked" on rifles/hunting/Handloading, but NOW I was "not only hooked but "all tangled up in the line too! ha Pardon the length of the tale, but I was amazed at how it all came together. I was ruined from that experience, became a full blown Looney! I didn't get to shoot as much until my kids got older and jobs got more secure. ( Jimmy Carter Days)
I did competition shooting around the change of the century and started reloading. So I had Quickload, the internet, YouTube and forums to get input, but no tutor.
We can send our loads out for a pressure-check and I did that in the beginning to be on the safe side.
Then I started hunting 2009 and a whole new world opened. I guess I have enough ammo for my lifetime and probably a good part of my sons' life, too. But there is always a new bullet to test!!
I load for a bunch of friends and give some input on ballistics, too. Being a scientist, it is a hobby and a calling. And I am always as happy as a kid at Christmas when someone scores with my ammo. I require them to send a report and some pictures, so I know what the bullet does.

Apart from some foxes with the hornet and all shot-kills (I do not reload those - not enough opportunities) I killed all of the 100+ animals with MY ammo. And a lot more were killed with the ammo I made. Just feels good to know that you close the chamber and know it contains exactly what is required.
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Well I started in about 1968 when one of our group decided to reload for his 308win. I then picked up a set of 270win dies for myself and it was pretty basic until a met a certain gentleman on-line by the name of DM;) he has been my go too guy ever since I believe that I owned 2 rifles and loaded for only 2 calibres. Well he is a very sweet talking type of guy (Enabler):eek: and now I load for approximately 20 different rifles in almost that many calibres!!
Most of you know him on this site and he is likely the most knowledgeable reloader/mentor that I know.

My father in 1972 when I was 12 years old. He helped coach me on reloading, and he was learning as he went as he had just purchased the RCBS press and other necessary items so he could load for his 7mm Remington Magnum, and I loaded for my 6mm Remington. He watched carefully as I loaded, but he let me do it myself. It wasn't long before he let me do it with him, but he didn't feel he had to watch over my shoulder as carefully as in the start. This started a love affair with reloading and I have NOT shot anything for big-game since I was 12 years old that I did not reload myself.

I can spend hours loading rifle cartridges one at a time and it feels like I've only been doing it for a much shorter amount of time. To me reloading adds to the hunt and to the animals you take. It means that much to me. I liken it to someone who ties their own flies or makes lures to use fishing. There's a special meaning to it and it contributes to the whole process. I wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you dad!