5 Basic Tips to Get You Started in Reloading Your Own Ammo (video)

News & Tips: 5 Basic Tips to Get You Started in Reloading Your Own Ammo (video)...

If you are a shooter or hunter considering getting started in handloading ammo or just looking to save a little cash on ammunition, here are some basic tips to expand your reloading knowledge.

First, handloading ammunition is one of those pursuits that can become really complex really fast. So complex you might decide not to try it. Don’t be put off. Besides being an enjoyable pastime in itself, the knowledge that comes from loading your own will make you a better shooter. Also, watch the "Introduction to Reloading with Hornady" video below.

Getting started in handloading? We've listed five tips to get you started:

inside lyman reloading manual
Inside the Lyman's Reloading Manual you'll find a wide selection of powders, popular bullet brands and Lyman cast bullets. A must-have reference on every reloading bench.

1) Begin With a Reloading Manual

Your first purchase needs to be a quality reloading manual describing the tools and equipment
you'll need to get started in reloading. READ IT! Understand it! Following its directions PRECISELY will keep you and your firearms safe. It will also prevent you from spending a lot of money on unnecessary experimentation.

A reloading manual is great information for the beginner, and a valuable reference tool for the seasoned expert.

1 arrow pointHere are the three most popular reloading books at Bass Pro Shops:

1. Lyman 49th Edition Reloading Handbook. Lyman began in 1878. They produced and continued to develop innovative products for shooters and reloaders.

2. Sierra Rifle & Handgun Reloading Manual: 5th Edition. Sierra began in 1947 in a time when shooters were discovering that to satisfy their own demand, reloading was the answer.

3. Barnes Reloading Manual Number 4. Barns Bullets started in 1932 by Fred Barns who began selling bullets made in his basement workshop. And in 1992, the First edition of the Barnes Reloading Manual was introduced.

1 arrow pointHelpful printable "Getting Started in Reloading" information from Lyman


2) Keep it Simple

Build your reloading set up as you need it and as you learn.  Start with one cartridge. One powder. One bullet style and weight. Learn everything there is to know about that cartridge and reloading technique before you move on to the next.

How do you achieve better accuracy and performance than the very best factory ammo? Team Wild's Simon Barr learns about the benefits of reloading his own ammunition using Hornady reloading equipment and components. Watch the "Introduction to Reloading with Hornady" video below.

3) Know Why You Want to Handload

There are two primary motivations for handloading: quantity and quality. Both are equally valid, but require different approaches and, to some extent, equipment. Creating custom, super-accurate loads paired to your personal firearms requires precision, testing, and documentation. Saving money and supplying a rabid shooting addiction requires efficiency, economy, and repeat-ability.

1 arrow point Bass Pro Shops carries the Reloading Supplies you need. Discover a large selection of components in all of the top brands.

4) Seak a Mentor

Talk to the handloaders at your gun club. Find someone who will at least let you visit his/her workshop to see what they have and how they do it. Just keep in mind this is someone who has been loading for a long time. You don’t need ALL that stuff to get started.

5) Safety First

Loading your own ammunition is safe IF you follow the rules. Work your way up to maximum loads. Always do a quality check of your work often to ensure consistency. Weigh and measure everything as you get started. Double check the manual.

1 arrow pointIts important to cover a few safety items before you begin, here is a list of what you need to consider on Reloading Safety


2 reloading kit
Designed for ease, durability and reliability, the Explorer Reloading Kit from RCBS® gives you everything you need to start loading your own rounds.

Choosing the Best Ammo Reloading Equipment:

We've listed our five basic tips for a shooter or hunter considering handloading their ammo. Also, as a beginner, consider a reloading kit like the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit. Generally, there is a discount for buying a complete starter kit from one manufacturer and if it turns out handloading isn't for you, your investment isn't substantial. Plus, you'll use some of the starter kit components even if you progress to a more advanced set-up.

A few helpful links to more information on re-loading your ammo:

10 Most Common Reloading Mistakes

Have You Considered Re-Loading Your Ammo?

Gear Gude: Essential Reloading Tools for Beginners

Find an NRA Training Course near you

NRA Cartridge Reloading Training