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Reloading your own ammo saves you a lot more money than buying from a shop. However, you also have to do it by yourself either manually or with the help of a reloading press. This process takes time and most new to this often ask how long does it take to reload ammo.
How Long Does It Take To Reload Ammo?
The time it takes to reload ammo depends on your reloading setup. A common single stage press can usually reload 100 hulls in about an hour. A progressive press can reload around 400 to 500 in an hour. If you do everything manually it might take you longer than an hour to reload 100 hulls.
You have the option to spend more money to get a setup that provides faster and easier reloading. You can also get a basic setup which requires more work for you to do. You also factor in how fast you work so the times may vary.
You should treat reloading ammo as a hobby because you’ll be spending a lot of time if you’re new to it. As you do it more and more, you will lower the time it takes for you to reload.
Steps for Reloading Ammo
To give you an estimate on how long reloading ammo is, you need to know the steps for reloading ammo. These are the most common steps for reloading ammo:
- Prepare and clean the case or brass.
- Sort out the crack and damage case or brass.
- De-prime and resize the case or brass.
- Remove the crimp around the primer pocket.
- Clean and uniform the primer pocket.
- Reprime or insert the new primer.
- Load gun powder into the shell.
- Seat the bullet into the casing.
- Crimp the bullet.
Depending on what type of reloading press you use, you can skip or combine some steps and makes reloading faster. If you do all these manually, it will take you around 38 minutes to do reload 20 ammo.
That makes it around 3 hours to reload 100 ammo. You should decide if it’s worth spending 3 hours reloading ammo instead of buying new ammo. However, you can shorten time with the help of tools like a reloading press. Some people just do it for the fun they get reloading ammo.
Reloading Ammo vs Buying Ammo
People who like to reload their own ammunition typically fall into two categories; people who shoot a lot, and people who want better accuracy.
The first group wants to save money since buying a lot of ammunition is costly. The second group believes that reloading their own ammunition makes their marksmanship skills better. If you fall under one or more of these categories, you’re likely inclined to reload your own ammunition.
How do you know if reloading ammunition is for you? Well, most people who are into reloading ammunition share these characteristics:
- Detail-oriented: some people want to know every little detail they can on firearms.
- Mechanically inclined: if you enjoy tinkering with things and learning how they work, you’re more likely to reload your own ammunition.
- Patient: reloading ammunition takes a lot of time so it’s not for impatient people.
- Idle: since it takes a lot of time, most people who reload their own ammunition need to have a lot of free time.
Why Reload Your Own Ammunition
If you’re not convinced about reloading ammunition on your own, knowing the benefits of doing it might convince you. Granted, reloading ammo can be time-consuming and there’s a learning curve involved, yet it also has its merits.
- Affordability: Some types of ammunition can save a lot if you reload it on your own. For example, buying a 50-count box of 44 magnum bullets will cost you around $40. Reloading them on your own will only cost you around $13 which saves you a lot. 9 mm Luger and 5.56 mm rifle rounds are also cheap to reload.
- Accuracy: Many people believe commercial ammunition doesn’t give them the best accuracy. They believe reloading on your own allows you to improve your accuracy. By seating the bullet a little farther out, you can greatly improve its accuracy. You can also use your own components that improve your gun’s performance.
- Fun: Some people simply enjoy reloading their own ammo. You also learn a lot about the mechanics behind shooting a gun. Some people just like to know how things are made.
- Frequency: Since you save a lot of money, you’ll be able to shoot more. All you have to do is stacking up ammo reloading supplies.
Types of Reloading Press
You can use different types of reloading press from a cheap single stage press which can accommodate 1 die at a time or a progressive press that can reload 1000 rounds every hour.
Single Stage Press
Single-stage press can only make room for 1 die. You will have to switch it out a couple of times for resizing and bullet seating. You also have to prime the case with the press or do it by hand.
Most single stage press contains:
- Powder station
- Hand priming tool
- Case prep tools
Single-stage presses are relatively cheap compared to other types of press. However, you also have to do some steps manually with it so it takes you more time to reload.
Turret press allows you to use more dies that you can rotate over the casing. It’s quite similar to a single-stage press except you can use several dies in a turret place at a single time.
A turret press has a turret on top that helps you hold the dies together. Depending on the model, you can fit 3 to 7 dies at a time. There are two common turret presses used by most people.
Traditional Turret Press
Most turret press you find at shops can be classified as traditional turret press. The turret sits in the middle and also works as an axis for your dies. This turret press also usually contains a primer arm for priming cases.
You can also use it as a single stage press but it’s a lot slower than a single stage press. You’re better off using it to load them sequentially.
Auto-Index Turret Press
This turret press comes with an auto-indexing feature. An annular ring holds the turret in this press. It can hold up to 4 dies at a time.
This is great for people who want to quickly do their cartridge reloading but don’t want to spend on buying a progressive press. The reloading time is decent.
Progressive reloading press contains multiple die stations on top and also has multiple places you can put your brass cases. Each pull of the press can do you up to four different actions.
Some models have “tool heads” for faster caliber switches without the need to set each die again. If you want to quickly reload ammo, then use a progressive press. However, they can be quite pricey.
Is it Hard to Reload Ammo?
While reloading ammo can be difficult at first, after you get the hang of it, it’s quite easy and fun. You just need to be careful and follow directions exactly as the reloading manual instructed.
How Long Does Reloaded Ammo Last?
If you store them well, they can last for well over 15 years. You need to keep them off humidity or it will rust. Keeping it in safe and secure storage will keep your reloaded working for a long time.
Depending on your reloading kit, reloading 100 ammo may take up 1 hour to 3 hours or more. Some reloading kits need you to do some things manually while the more expensive reloading kits make reloading faster and easier.