Originally Posted by Zep
jt - Excellent advice!
And I would like to add for many of us it is also an interest/hobby so we enjoy the time spent and we justify the money as entertainment. We really like to do it. I have always enjoyed hand loading and when I saw the accuracy increase it just blew my mind, as mentioned just above by jt, so many possibilities open up.
I don't think I have mentioned it in my posts, probably would have avoided bad feelings in another thread but I ran the trap range at a club for a number of years and I actually told more than one newbie to just buy factory for the first year or two, concentrate on the shooting. They all did that and many never got into the reloading aspect. It is not for everyone and shot shell is a walk in the park compared to metallic. .
Yeah, I enjoy the process. I think reloading falls pretty well into the DIY category. I'm a homebrewer love tinkering with brewing beer and working my own recipes, building my own electric brewery, and reloading is the same way. Figuring out what my rifle likes best is no different than figuring out what beer I like best.
Your point about concetrating on shooting skills is important, too. Reloads, no matter how accurate, will not make up for poor marksmanship skills. With the number of choices out there in ammo, most people should be able to find something that will do at least 1.25" or better at 100. While that's not acceptable for a lot of shooters, it's plenty sufficient for minute of deer or other large game.
You also nailed it that it has to be something you enjoy. I trimmed, chamfered, deburred, and primed a bunch of cases one evening this week at the coffee table while the Olympics were on because my wife, 2 year old, and newborn were down here and I didn't feel like sitting at the bench to do the basics on case prep. At some point though, like charging the cases, you need to do that without distraction and that usually pulls you away from family.
I'm putting my motorcycle up for sale because I don't ride it that much any more as it pulls me away from my wife and kids. I'll get another one later one when we can leave the kids home for a bit by themselves and my wife and I can go for a ride together.
It can be a time consuming hobby if you're going for absolute precision, measuring each case after trimming, overall length of completed rounds, weighing each charge, weighing and sorting brass and bullets, etc.
It can be very rewarding, but there is a "cost" associated with that outside of the initial investment.