Prepping To Reload My Own Ammo

Earlier this year I found myself in a bit of a predicament. I wanted to continue shooting USPSA but factory ammo was scarce and, what was available was rather expensive. If I wanted to continue to shoot I would either need to sell an organ to cover the cost of ammo or start reloading.

Since I’m kind of fond of my insides, I needed to begin taking the steps to reload my own ammunition. The first step in the process would be finding a suitable place to setup my future press. The less than ideal but better than any other place was my unfinished basement.

Old Refridgerator - 1 The prime spot in my basement was being occupied by my former beer-fridge. This wasn’t just any refrigerator, this was the Cadillac of Fridges in the 1960’s (or so I like to think). It was built like a tank and weighed as much as a small automobile. Disposing of it would be a problem.

Since my township requires a certified technician to remove the refrigerant (and place a sticker on it) for disposal, I needed to get creative. I waited for my electric supplier to start up a rebate program then signed up. They would dispose of my working refrigerator and give me a $50 rebate check for using less electricity. Since it hadn’t been plugged in in over a year, this was an all-around win for me.

With the refrigerator out of the picture, I needed something to bolt my press to. I was going to build a simple bench but luck struck. My employer was renovating their showroom and I was able to score a laminate cabinet that was destined for the dumpster.

Before setting the cabinet, I built a stud wall and began wiring it for electric. I’m at the point now where I’m just about ready to cover the wall and hang a light fixture.

Dillon 550 - Reloading Press - 1

In the meantime, I ordered a Dillon RL 550B from Brian Enos. The press has arrived and I’m coming down the home stretch. I expect to have the wall finished, cabinet set, and press setup by the end of the long weekend.

I have a thousands bullets from Black Bullets International (the old coating – I ordered them months ago when I first wanted to start reloading) and a pound of Clays (I bought it at the same time as the bullets).

I have enough factory ammo to shoot Ontelaunee USPSA this month then I’ll be pretty much out. I expect to have rounds loaded and ready for testing prior to the next match (I’m not sure if that will be Lower Providence or Southern Chester – it all depends on my schedule). I’m not sure how I’m going to chrono the rounds just yet but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I’m hoping I know someone with a chronograph that I can meet up with at a local range.

3 comments On Prepping To Reload My Own Ammo

  • Walt, I have a chronograph you can use. Some time we need to go scouting for this upcoming season. There is a public range there to use. When testing loads I used to take four or five different combinations of 5 shells each. That way it make the trip to the range worth while. Now I load a shell go out back shot it then go back in and load another. You could try that (Lol).

  • Welcome to the world of reloading. You may find it a rewarding or, frustrating hobby. Before you decide to dump your life savings into reloading equipment do take serious note …
    POWDER has been absent for almost two years now with no relief in sight! You may be sitting on a trashcan full of cleaned and primed brass. You may have cans full of your own cast bullets. You might have several cases of primers on the shelf … BUT … all for naught as you can’t beg, borrow, steal a pound of powder to save your life!
    While you wait, and search in vain … take the time to study the process in detail. There are many websites with tons of information and much to learn.

  • Selling an organ to cover the cost of ammo does not sound like a pleasant option. It’s good you were able to make it work.

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