Reloaders: How did you get into said?

I started loading 45lc to save money using a lee three hole turret, that alone paid for the initial costs, feeding a few single and lever actions could get spendy. Read the directions that came with the dies and press along with using a few different reloading manuals for info. Yes another guy taught by an idiot.......
I didn't have a computer and I don't think youtube was even a thing, what is really funny though is I bought the press, dies and initial supplies in Bakersfield CA while visiting in-laws. Now I use a classic turret and it does fine keeping up with my needs so no need to upgrade to a higher volume setup like a blue press or such.
Did you learn how to reload from a relative or friend? A workshop or class? Self-taught? Inquiring minds want to know. (Well, at least one does.)

Thanks. :)
My grandfather started me out when I was 6 years old. That was nearly 68 years ago. Been doing it ever since and have passed the skill on to many other sportsman through the years. Still do it with a single stage RCBS, one round at a time.

Mark W.

Dad and his buddies from work got into reloading when I was about 11 and when they got tired of pulling on the handle I got drafted. From there I learned all about how to load ammo. And except for a time during high school when dad wasn't doing it and I was more interested in girls and the Willys jeep I have done it since that garage full of guys making ammo when I was 11


Dang, I forgot I started out loading shotshells to shoot trap!! I was stationed in San Diego and went to a few public trap clubs as well as the Navy facilities on North Island. They had several trap plus skeet. I had never shot skeet until I went there.

Bought a MEC shotshell reloader with an adjustable charge bar. Followed the instructions. Used 1oz loads in AA and Rem blue hulls. Weekends at North Island were 8-10 boxes of shells, so it was quite a bit of savings for an enlisted man. Besides regular trap/skeet, we played a lot of games like Follow The Leader and Annie Oakley.

Thanx for spurring my memory!!!!
Some of the best folks I ever met at the trap and skeet shoots:D. Hot coco in the winter keeps your trigger finger warm:D.
I was 13 years old... One of Dad's hunting buddies looked at ME when Dad b*tched about poor accuracy and bullet perfomance, and said "Why not start loading your own?"
That plus his 'starter kit' of .30-06 dies and a pound of 4064 got me started.
Dad refused to handload rifle because, he said, "it was too easy to make mistakes", but he didn't have much reluctance to shoot the stuff his 13-yo kid made. And in fact after I put Nosler Partitions on top of the 4064 he bragged 'his kid's reloads' to others.

... And the rest is history...
Well, if you must know...
It takes one hell of a lot of mowed lawns and washed cars to keep a kid in reloading components. And build a .243 varmint gun from parts mailordered from ads in 'American Rifleman' in 1965.
When I was preparing to join the Navy some years later I loaded up about 180 rounds of the '06 ammo for Dad and he hunted with that til he retired from big game hunting. He got his mule deer almost every year, several antelope, a black bear, and an elk with that same batch of handloads (plus a substantial number of coyotes).
Never blew up a gun, never got a bullet stuck in the gun barrel from a squib. Only 8 different rifles, 5 different shotguns, 4 different handguns, but a lotta-thousand reloads fired through them.

That brings back other fond memories... such as going duck hunting at 0-dark-30 on weekdays, then coming into high school homeroom in muddy boots and camo gear (and guns in the truck, birds in a cooler... my goodness how times have changed)!
I started because stuff was getting to expensive and i was raised to DIY things in life. I started out buying a few manuals and reading those for about a year. Then ammo shelves were getting real bare but the reloading supplies were abundant. I bought my press and started loading up on the rest of the tools needed. Found a reloading group on farcebook that was geared to noobs like myself. Asked lots of questions there. Watched and read the things suggested.
From there i started with 45 and loaded pistol stuff for about a year to get familiar with the process, powders, and projectiles. Then i moved into reloading for my hunting rifle.
At that point i was well into a never ending rabbit hole.
I still reload, i am trying to teach my kids.
I have only had one squib. It was in a batch i was loading with my son and he just couldn't focus and stop talking while we were loading. It was entirely my fault. I had a feeling there might be something wrong with that batch and we took our time shooting through those rounds "just in case". It was a great demonstration of things i was preaching about but he doesn't want to reload stuff now. I think it scared the beejesuz out of him.
The rule has always been no bs'ing while we are loading and we can do the Q+A stuff separate from the loading. Both kids now understand why in it's entirety.

I use a Dillon 550 and load for nearly all of my firearms.
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Self taught, with help from a few different forums and internet videos.
I started because it was tough to find factory 300 H&H and I had some old brass.
Found most of my equipment one item at a time on the used market, and bought new what I couldn’t find when I needed it.


Learned using a teaspoon as a powder trickler. On a Herter's balance beam with an oil-reservoir dampener paddle. RCBS original Rock Chucker press. Dad's equipment that he wasn't too familiar with.

Then a school chum taught me it was a science. With what I learned, went back and taught Dad. He learned to love it just as much.

I can't imagine engaging in the shooting sports without the direct involvement that comes from constructing the ammunition.


I doubt I would have ever expanded my interest in guns and shooting to the level I had if it had NOT been for reloading.

For me shooting and reloading are hand in hand. It 'personalizes' my shooting experiences.

I'm sort of the same. Shooting and reloading went hand in hand because I couldn't afford the price of factory ammo.

I started around 1978 -79 back in Hawaii. I had a desire to shoot more but little money to buy ammo. I saw in a local penny saver type newspaper that a reloading press was up for sale in a neighborhood really close to where I lived. I called and met with Mr. Ogdon. He ended up selling me my first press and a bit of his extra unneeded reloading equipment. The deal was: I'd buy his press and he would give me a couple of lessons. In no time flat, I was able to load .38 Special ammo for my revolver practice.

Additionally, my first Speer Reloading Manual #10 had a great section for the beginner along with data for reloading various cartridges. It made for an easier expansion of my reloading activities into bottle necked cartridges.

Aloha, Mark
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Some great responses here, I’m in the self taught by an idiot category... Originally started as a cost savings, so I could shoot more off the same funding. Started with a Lee Loader in .380 ACP, that was way back in986.

For someone just starting out, manuals are the foundation, read and understand the steps necessary, heed the precautions that are preached, over and over again. Reloading is a dangerous hobby in itself. You don’t want to have something go sideways. A reliable and consistent powder measure and scale are critical. As are attention to details to ensure things like squib or overcharged rounds are avoided.

Being OCD helps ;)

Always validate loads with published, reliable information from bullet and/or powder manufacturer's as well as other established and reliable resources. One can never be too careful.


Additionally, my first Speer Reloading Manual #10
I have #9 as I was a couple years ahead of you but it was what 'directed' a lot of my initial efforts - along with a couple library checkouts of some other manuals as well, such as the 'ABCs Of Reloading' - heck I wonder if these are even still in libraries - as well as any OTHER gun related books.
Self taught with some help from @Dyjital and @ageingstudent when I got stumped or had general questions. I watched some YouTube videos to kinda see the basic process then went from there. If you have some common sense and reading comprehension it’s not to hard to start.
Both are outstanding reloading Gurus to say the least!!! I too have picked their brains with questions over the years. In fact I bought some reloading parts from @Dyjital and did a trade with @ageingstudent this month. Great assets to the community here. :s0143::s0143::s0143:
Guess being in the right place/time really is an advantage. Dillons 450 had just been intriduced & my gunsmith/IMHSA enabler convinced me learning to do 4 stages at once was not that big deal. It was all pretty much manual for each station.

Before long the 550 came out, and 20 years later a new view of heaven appeared calling itself "650".

I like the setup as its the only style press I've ever had. 550 loaded from 223 to 45/70, included the Holy Black as well.
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