Many people choose to use reloading brass to make their own cartridges, which is legal under federal law for personal use. The process may seem complicated, but it is easier than it first appears. There are several reasons that people take up reloading, and anyone with an interest in firearms should look into the matter to see if those reasons apply to them.
What Is It?
Reloading brass is the outermost part of a cartridge, the part that holds all of the others in place. It does not include the primer, bullet, or propellant. Those are separate components, although it is necessary to install them in the reloading brass to create a complete piece of ammunition.
The brass can be brand new, but it is also common to use brass that has already been fired. While the brass will gradually wear out over time, it will stay in good shape through many uses as long as it was built to a high standard in the first place. A little bit of cleaning and a quick inspection for flaws is all that it takes to make sure that the brass is safe to use for a new cartridge.
Why Use It?
There are plenty of people who enjoy reloading as a hobby in its own right, but most people get started to save money on ammunition. Shooting is expensive, especially for rare calibers, but brass and labor tend to be most of the cost. Reusing brass and providing your own labor eliminate those costs. That makes it much easier to sustain a shooting habit in the long term.
There are also environmental reasons for reloading. Recycling brass eliminates the need for replacements, which cuts down on the amount of mining that is necessary to sustain the ammo industry. That is great news for the environment, since mines tend to be fairly heavy polluters. It also cuts down on shipping costs, which saves fuel. The impact of a single reloading enthusiast will be minor, but a large number of them can have a big impact on the environment over time.
Finally, it also gives you more power over your ammo. People who buy finished cartridges can only get the most common loads. Reloaders can tweak their ammo to meet their specifications and get better performance.
How Is It Used?
The reloading process is fairly simple. At the most basic level, it involves gathering all of the parts that go into a finished cartridge, preparing them, and running them through a reloading press. There are a few different types of presses, with some taking more work or being more productive than others. It is simply a matter of following the steps, so anyone can learn to do it.