I know that buying walmart winchesterUSA 45acp ammo at 29.95/100 is plenty cheap, but there is a "creative" side that wants a new hobby. Shall I reload?
That's a personal decision. You can get creative with reloading. I personally like 9mm flat point, truncated cone or semi-wadcutter rounds however I don't see 9mm factory ammunition utilizing that type of bullet. Often times you need to take a .38 special or .357 bullet and use it with a 9mm case to get that combination.
If you own multiple calibers especially some exotic or expensive calibers you get a quick return on your investment reloading. I have three 10mm pistols I own that I rarely take to the range because of the cost of factory ammunition. I know I can reload 10mm for much less than what I can buy it for. If you shoot revolvers the brass can last forever with the proper light target loads. I own several .357 magnum revolvers and bought a .44 magnum last November.
So I go do Dillions website, and wow, their cheapest reloader, with the bare minimum will set me back about $700, before buying supplies. Looked at their "Square Deal B". I used their interactive purchase guide, and it was nice, and added a lot of $$$ <g>.
Dillon's are expensive, but they have great customer service. They will take care of you if you have an issue. I have heard of people buying used stripped to the frame presses back to Dillon with a note asking to invoiced or quoted for a reconditioning fee instead they get a completely reconditioned and upgraded press using the stripped frame that was sent them with no bill.
Is there someplace I can go to do some research online?
Google ammunition reloading and you'll most likely find some forums on the topic. If you have specific questions, I'm sure that one of us here can answer it.
Do you reload? Why? What equipment do you use?
Yes. What got me started in it was the economics of it. It is less expensive to reload if you price out the price per round. I bought an RCBS Rock Chucker Master Reloading Kit back in 1993. Reloaded some pistol ammo for awhile then stopped. I had other priorities going on in my life which caused me to not be as active with anything firearm related as I am now. Reloading also takes a bit of time to do, if you're pressed for time then it's not something for you. I was also a bit younger and didn't have as much disposable income on any expensive hobbies such as shooting.
What's getting me back into reloading is the availability of ammunition. It flies off the shelf at superwallyverse as soon as they stock the shelves. I also own firearms in varying calibers. The Rock Chucker is getting dusted off because of the availability of ammunition and the fact I have caught the black rifle disease. I'm going to be building some multi caliber AR-15s; (9mm, .45 ACP, possibly 10mm, 5.56mm, 5.7x28mm, 7.62x39mm, 6.5 Grendel and 6.8 SPC).
Some of the more exotic calibers are expensive to buy factory. For practice ammunition, it typically is less expensive to reload whether you're using a mainstream caliber or not.
I bought the Rock Chucker for three reasons.
- Availability of different caliber dies from the manufacturer
- It can be upgraded to a progressive with a Piggyback III (IV of you have a Supreme) conversion unit
- It can be used as a single stage shot shell loader with RCBS shot shell dies if you can find them.
The only thing I do not like about the original Rock Chucker is that it can only handle ammunition up to .223 Rem/5.56mm in length. Great single stage press if shoot only shoot handguns and AR-15s. However if you shoot more powerful rifle rounds with a longer overall length you need a Rock Chucker Supreme (2nd generation Rock Chucker) or another press.
I am also buying a second press this year. A Hornady Lock-N-Load AP. It's comparable to the Dillion 550B or 650. I'm going to use that to mass produce ammunition or handle longer rounds that my Rock Chucker cannot handle. My Rock Chucker to develop the prototype load and only load 50 or so rounds to get chrony data on the range. Hornady and Dillon are in a whizzing match now over the progressive press market.
I do recommend you start out with a single stage to learn the process then upgrade to a progressive or see if you can find what you want used. Lots of people buy the equipment, find out they don't have the time or the patience to reload then sell their equipment. However, with the current federal political climate you may have a bit of a challenge finding used equpiment now. Anything firearm related, I tend to keep and hoard.