Reloading: A Hobby For the Rest of Your Life

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf

For as long as I can remember I have been around reloading. I have tons of childhood memories of my father reloading and shooting. I remember how he would let me help him load his ammunition, by letting me clean primer pockets or wipe the sizing lube off of his cases. I really thought I was doing something. Well, I guess I was, I was spending quality time with my father doing something that would become a great hobby and eventually land me a great job, working for a great company, Sierra Bullets.

20141109_140229I remember watching my father sizing cases on his Herters press, dropping his powder charges with a Belding and Mull powder measure and weighing powder charges with his Texan scales. Heck, I can even remember when he would buy powder at a local pawn shop, and they would weigh it out and put it in a paper sack. He would save his empty powder cans, wrap them with masking tape and write what the powder was on them with a black magic marker.

When I was in Junior High, I got my first shotgun, a 20 gauge Mossberg 500 and within a couple of weeks my father came home with a 20 gauge Lee Load All and a pound of Blue Dot. He gave me a crash course on how to use it, and got me up and running with a couple of safe loads. I put a lot of shells through that old 20 gauge.

From that day forward I was hooked, if I got a new gun, I was loading ammunition for it. I don’t buy factory ammunition unless I just want to shoot it up so I can get some once fired brass. I reload everything that I shoot, except for rim fire stuff, and if I could figure out how to do that safely, I would probably load that too.

Through the years I have learned to appreciate things like once fired military 30-06 cases that can be converted to obscure cases and I know the value of a five gallon bucket of lead wheel weights that will be melted down and cast into bullets.

I remember finding 19 once fired Norma 7.7×58 Arisaka cases laying on the ground at a public shooting range, and it was like Christmas came early. I must have looked for that 20th case for about thirty minutes, but I never did find it.

I can’t thank my father enough for getting me started in reloading, he gave me a great hobby, many wonderful memories and taught me the skills that gave me a career doing something that I love.

If you are a reloader, teach someone. You may just give them a hobby for the rest of their life and who knows, you could help them find an enjoyable career, doing something that they love.

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1 Response to Reloading: A Hobby For the Rest of Your Life

  1. DAVID RUPPEL says:

    I love to reload my own cartridges! I finally got an elk this season using an 8mm Mauser round I loaded myself. That was awesome. That is the first time I’ve shot a game animal with one of my own loads so it made it even mire special for me.
    I have shot many coyotes with my own reloads but my first elk with my handload.
    I also enjoy working up loads for all my firearms so they shoot how I want them to shoot. I find reloading relaxing and fun. Been doing it for 20+ Years. Great hobby and I ve gotten to teach others the basics of reloading as well.


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