When you think about reloading your own ammo, most people see the price of the equipment and the technical know-how and are immediately put off from even trying.
In this blog, I’d like to get into the top 5 reasons why you should reload your ammo and which products I use for my reloading setup.
I only started reloading about 9 months ago when I was somehow able to get the final supplies I needed from Frankford Arsenal. I’ve poured more than enough gunpowder back into the reservoir from double-charging a case to learn my lesson.
There is enough information for everyone to avoid the same pitfalls that I’ve experienced by following along with our blogs. We’re confident that somewhere within our extensive catalog is the answer to any question you have on reloading.
What is Reloading?
Sometimes people in our industry use terms like “reloading your own ammo" and we expect everyone in the world to know exactly what we’re talking about. When learning something new it’s vital to know the meaning and purpose of the lingo behind the topic. Many beginners simply don’t know what a die or primer pocket even means.
Reloading your own ammo refers to the process of taking empty brass casings and turning them into live ammo you can shoot with. The process of reloading is essentially the same for all types of ammo with minor differences with gun powder, primers, and the measurement of bullets. The main components are primer, case, bullet, and powder, but you can read more on bullets, with our blog,Bullet Vocabulary.
1. Reloading Saves Money
You might have heard from many different people or companies that reloading will save you money in the long run and you should buy their products immediately. However, when does a company ever tell you how much you’ll actually save?
They don’t want to tell you those numbers because many companies out there won’t really save you money because their products don’t work as well or they’re so expensive that it will take years to overcome the initial cost.
Reloading 9mm Ammo
Right now the most affordable 9mm ammo is listed at around $0.40/bullet, but that’s before shipping. The average price anywhere online right now is still around $0.60 per round for an FMJ. To keep my math straight and to continue our theme of simplification, less stay with $0.60 per round. So, you can buy right now a box of 50 rounds of Federal American Eagle FMJ from great companies for $30 a box. This is much better than the early days of Covid and still a fair price if the shipping cost is low.
Typically, I spend around $0.08 per bullet that I reload for a box of 50 rounds ($4.00/box). My ammo always performs better than commercial ammo because I use better primers and cleaner-burning powders. I don’t get to shoot as often as I’d like, but I still shoot about 500 rounds per month of my own ammo.
To put that in perspective, even though I only shoot 500 rounds a month right now, I’m saving a little more than 3x the money I’d spend with buying commercial ammo.
I was really nervous about using the M-Press because it’s an expensive piece of equipment, but the features on the machine basically do everything for you, from lining up the brass to ensuring your priming are punched out and caught in a tray underneath.
I’ve been around guns and ammo my entire life with my father serving in the Army for 26 years and me serving 4 years with 2 tours to Iraq. I’m not real proud that I never really knew that custom loading can make a world of difference. Frankford Arsenal Brand Manager, Jarrod explained it to me like this, every gun is different, so why would one brand of a bullet work great for every gun? The only real way to maximize your accuracy is to reload your own ammo.
For example, I normally shoot about 1.5 MOA at 15 yards with my Walther PPS M2 and Glock 48 with one of the best commercial ammo brands, Federal. When I reload my own ammo, with my own powder, bullets, and primers, I shoot a sub MOA grouping at 15 yards. This difference may not seem like a lot, but it can be the difference between a kill shot and a minor flesh wound at 20 yards on an assailant.
The ability to set your bullets in at different lengths and test those bullets out is such an incredible feeling too. With commercial ammo, you don’t get any kind of choice of the weight, primer, or powder you use. If you’re serious about accuracy, the only way to optimize to the highest level is to reload your own ammo. The Frankford Intellidropper can dial in any style of ammo to less than 1/1000 of a degree. This level of precision is difficult to find and the best measurement tool on the market today is from Frankford Arsenal.
3. Get Around New Gun Laws
To be crystal clear, I’m not talking about breaking any laws or finding loopholes in the laws to avoid abiding by regulations. Recently, we discovered the hard way that many sites online, such as Facebook and Twitter will not allow us or anyone else to promote ammo. We’ve not only lost thousands per month in sales, but we’re having to rethink how we market products in the future. I want to share this story, not to complain or try to gain sympathy, but to educate our readers on what the future looks like.
We’re getting to a point where buying ammo online is being restricted at the state level and law-abiding Americans are forced to find alternatives on where to find ammo. The problem is that many brick-and-mortar stores have to sell their ammo at jacked-up prices to compete with the companies that sell online.
As we’ve seen with places like Walmart and Dicks Sporting Goods, many big corporations are caving to the political climate and adjusting what ammo they sell and how much you can buy.
Reloading your own ammo will prevent you from dealing with crazy laws like what California is going through with their newest legislation on gun control. California has always been the most aggressive state on gun laws, but if more states follow, you’re not going to be able to buy ammo without a separate license. If you reload your own ammo, you don’t have to worry about any of the politics that surround gun rights. You can reload all the ammo you want and continue to shoot without worrying if someone is going to knock on your door and ask for an ammo count.
4. Practice Makes Perfect
Many people automatically assume that elite military soldiers are just innately great shooters who were born to be great at everything. In part, that’s probably true, but every last one of them will tell you that it’s their training that separates them from the average shooter.
However, if you reload your own 9mm ammo with Frankford Arsenal, you can end up spending about $80 for 1,000 rounds. I’m not saying you’ll be at the proficiency of an elite SF soldier, but you will undoubtedly become better and more confident.
Just like in anything you do in life, the more time and effort you put into something, the more benefit you’ll see from it. Even the best USPSA shooters in the world practice every day and most either get endorsements to pay for their ammo or reload their own ammo.
If you read our previous blog, Step-By-Step Guide | Reloading Your Own Ammo, you’ll have all the tools and info you need to get started on your journey. Being able to save thousands of dollars on ammo will allow you to practice more and dial in your load data to ensure you’re going to be as effective and accurate as possible.
Whether you want to compete against your fellow Americans in a friendly competition or just become more comfortable in your shooting, reloading your own ammo is where you should start, unless you’re filthy rich and money is not a concern for you.
5. Increase Your Understanding of Ballistics
I spent 4 years in the U.S. Air Force and have shot almost every gun the military uses in combat. I always knew which bullets were armor-piercing and what each bullet type looked like, but that was the extent of my knowledge. It was a very humbling experience when Jarrod from Frankford Arsenal taught me how to reload because most of the things he talked about, I just didn’t know.
For example, I didn’t know that you can change the depth of your bullet in your casing to customize your bullet to your gun. I just assumed that all bullets for each caliber were the same and that’s why they work in any gun with that caliber.
I also didn’t know that some powders are better than others and an individual grain of powder can make the difference between a hit and a miss. Using the Intellidropper will allow you to dial in each load so you know exactly how much powder you need for each bullet. Ballistics can be a daunting task to understand, but Frankford Arsenal took all the guesswork and stress out of it for me.
There are so many benefits to reloading your own ammo, but I wanted to focus on the ones that I see from my own reloading journey. Everyone is different and you may even find more benefits to reloading than I was able to list here.
Either way, if you want to practice as often as you’d like, improve your accuracy in every caliber you own, and save thousands of dollars on ammo, Frankford Arsenal will give you the most affordable and best option to become a better shooter.
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