There are many types of machines and methods for reloading. This article will cover the average shooter that wants to start reloading so that they can shoot more at a lower cost.

Commercial ammo in almost $20 for 50 rounds and bulk reloaded 9mm goes for about $90 for 300 rounds. That is 30 to 40 cents a round. Assuming you reuse the brass, reloading components are 11 cents per bullet, 4 cents per primer, and around 4 cents for powder. At 19 cents a round you not only save 11 to 12 cents, but you are reloading ammo to suit your needs.

Use Case number 1

I am a casual shooter. I am a member of my local gun club and have a few handguns in assorted calibre's and would like to start loading to save money and learn the process better.

The Lee Precision Breech Lock Challenger Kit singe stage press kit sells for around $250. It is a great kit that comes with everything you need to reload pistol or rifle cartridges. Just grab a set of calibre specific dies (and a trim die for rifle) with brass, powder, primers and projectiles and you are set.

For pistol calibres you will want the 4 Die kit from Lee. It comes with the following:

  • Sizing and depriming die.
    • This resizes the fired brass back down, and removes the spent primer.
  • Powder Through Expanding Die
    • This allows you to pour the powder into the case, or mount a power measure on top to automate the process. It also bells the mouth of the case to ease placing the bullet for seating in the next step.
  • Bullet Seating Die
    • This die seats the bullet to an adjusted depth, and crimps the case if desired.
  • Factory Crimp Die
    • This uses a taper type crimp and better sized the entire case. This is great for guns with tight chamber tolerances.

Rifle calibres are similar but different enough for their own section Link to Dies:

  • Full Length Sizing Die.
    • This sizes the entire cases back down to spec and removes the primer.
  • Collet Neck Sizing Die
    • This just sizes the neck of the case. Do this only if you are shooting the ammo out of the same gun it was fired in. (More on this later)
  • Bullet Seating Die
    • Seats the bullet to an ajusted depth with no addition crimp.
  • Factory Crimp Die
    • The rifle crimp die is a collet type crimp that is great for larger calibres in magazines to prevent recoil from changing the bullet seating depth.

The next articles will have much more information on what do to once you have this equipment, but for now the instructions that comes with the dies will serve you well.

Use Case number 2

I am an avid shooter and shoot in the occasional competition and practice once or twice a week. Ammo purchases are a line item on my monthly budget.

The Dillon Square Deal B is by far the best value for reloading one or two calibres with the same primer type. (Eg. 9mm, 38spl and 40S&W all use small pistol primers, 45 ACP uses large pistol primers).

To reload 9mm you will need the following:

For just less than $700 you have everything you need to reload one pistol calibre at around 400 rounds per hour.

To add a second calibre, you will need:

You can switch between small and large pistol primer sizes if you wish. It just takes a bit more time to swap the press between calibres.

Use Case number 3

I shoot a lot!!! I want to load rounds faster than a square deal, and I want the ability to reload rifle cartridges quickly too.

To start, you will need:

To add an additional calibre you will need:

More articles will follow about what to do once you have all this equipment. All prices quoted are Canadian Dollars with conversion in the 75 cent range from Rouge River Arms Mentioning this article with get you 5% off the quoted prices.

If you have any questions, please email me at I'll make additions to the article based on the questions and feedback I receive.


Update: Take a look at the Brass Cleaning article.