Should You Reload Ammo? Pros, Cons & When It Makes Sense

Anyone who has an interest in firearms or shooting no doubt has at least considered the possibility of reloading their own ammo.

There are many reasons why people give at least some consideration to the idea of reloading their own ammo, including but not limited to saving on costs, being more self-sufficient, and simply enjoying the process.

If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you are also thinking about reloading your own ammo but are not yet sure about whether you should or not. At the very least, you’re curious about the subject and specifically want to learn more about the pros and cons of reloading your own ammo.

We’ll discuss the various pros and cons of ammo reloading in this article and discuss where and when it makes the most sense.

 

Is Reloading Your Own Ammo a Necessity?

bullet in reloading press

First of all, let’s get this question out of the way: is reloading your own ammunition truly necessary if you are a gun owner?

The short and simple answer is this: no, it is not. If anything, reloading ammo is merely a hobby. It is not at all a necessity, but it could save you some money in the long run.

 

What Are the Main Factors that You Need to Consider with Reloading Ammo?

The main factors that you will need to consider with reloading ammo include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

  • Cost savings
  • Cost of reloading equipment and supplies
  • Learning how to reload ammunition
  • The time needed to reload ammo
  • The caliber of ammunition you want or need to reload

Ultimately, the cost of reloading ammo needs to be compared to the cost of buying new ammunition if you want to determine if it’s financially viable for you. And the cost of reloading ammunition is determined by primers, powder, bullets, and brass cases.

Speaking of costs…

 

What Are the Main Costs Incurred with Reloading Ammo?

Many people want to get into reloading their own ammunition because they believe it will be cheaper than simply buying ammunition.

But this is only partially true because costs vary according to different factors. For example, cost depends on the caliber that you want to reload and how much you actually will be reloading.

Reloading ammunition has a large up-front cost that you will have to contend with, and it can really only be profitable for you over the long run if you really commit to it. Otherwise, reloading ammunition will really just be something fun to do.

Here are the main costs of reloading ammo that you will incur up front:

  • Complete Reloading Kit: $300
  • Reloading Press: $500 to $1,000
  • Primers x100: $35
  • Bullets x1000: $100
  • Brass Casings: $30 to $50
  • Powder: $25

 

1 – Saving Money (Over The Long Term)

saving money

The first advantage to reloading ammunition, and one of the biggest reasons why people get into it, is to save money. But again, this is something that can only happen over the long term, because you are going to incur a lot of up-front costs in the short term.

That being said, the only ammunition right now that is actually dirt cheap to buy is .22 LR. Other kinds of ammunition, such as 9 mm, .357 Magnum, .45 ACP, .223 Remington, or .308 Winchester, require a fair investment to buy.

How much money can you expect to save over the long term with reloading?

While it depends on the person and also on the caliber and circumstances, let’s consider it this way: right now, the typical box of 50 .357 Magnum rounds would cost you around $30. In contrast to this, reloading 50 .357 Magnum rounds would likely cost you less than 10 bucks.

That’s a significant cost savings margin right there, and it would be even greater if you’re going to be doing a lot of shooting (such as on a daily basis).

 

2 – You Get Greater Control Over Bullet Quality And Ballistics

time, cost and quality triangle

Another big reason why people get into reloading ammunition is because they have direct control over the ballistics and quality of their ammunition, as they can load them to their exact specifications.

This won’t matter that much to people who just like to casually shoot on the range, but those who want to do more precise shooting over long ranges or who care very much about their ammunition ballistics will definitely want to either:

  1. Use a brand and type of ammunition that they trust
  2. Reload their own ammunition

To put things simply, if you want ammunition that you can fire directly to your exact specifications, reloading your ammo could very well be the way to go.

 

3 – It’s A Fun Process

ammonition

Last but not least, reloading is honestly a fun process, as you get to play around and experiment with gunpowder, bullets, shell casings, and fancy equipment.

Honestly, this is probably the real reason why people reload: they simply enjoy it! And to be honest, if you try reloading and find that you don’t enjoy the process at all, you’re probably not going to do it. But if you do enjoy the process of reloading, then it can be something fun for you to do as a neat side hobby.

 

What Are the Three Biggest Disadvantages to Reloading Ammunition?

Reloading ammunition may have a lot of advantages, but it also has a lot of disadvantages as well.

Reloading ammunition may have a lot of advantages, but it also has a lot of disadvantages as well.

 

1 – It’s Not Cheaper Over The Short Term

Cost

As we covered previously in this article, you can expect to pay up-front costs of at least $1,000 or so in order to get started reloading ammunition. You may even need to spend more than that over the long term, but admittedly those costs will be offset by money saved by not buying your own ammunition.

Reloading ammo only saves you money if you do it over the long term. If you get into ammo reloading for the short term only to find out that you don’t particularly enjoy the process, you’re going to lose money up front.

 

2 – It Takes Time (And Patience)

Watch

Here is something else that you need to know about reloading: it is a very time-consuming process and requires a lot of patience and diligence, not to mention concentration.

You will need to set aside time each week to dedicate to the process of reloading your own ammunition.

 

3 – It’s Inherently Risky

danger sign

Last but not least, reloading is inherently risky for the simple reason that you’re dealing with gunpowder. You need to ensure that you take all of the proper precautions and are fully knowledgeable on the subject before proceeding. Seeking hands-on experience with someone who reloads regularly would be wise.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, reloading will be a good option for you if you enjoy the process and really want to save money over the long term.

If the time investment isn’t worth the monetary savings, and if you don’t enjoy the process of reloading, then reloading your own ammunition may not be the best option for you.

The best advice that can be given to you is this: if you aren’t sure if reloading is right for you but want to try it, try to find someone who reloads regularly (preferably a close friend or family member) and ask them to provide you with some training and hands-on experience.

If you find that you enjoy the process, then investing in your own reloading equipment should make a lot of sense.

Should You Reload Ammo? Pros, Cons & When It Makes Sense
5 (100%) 1 vote

Nicholas Oetken
Nick Oetken is an outdoor enthusiast and writer, specializing in writing about wilderness survival, disaster preparation, outdoor tips, and firearms/defense.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here