Are You a Brass Junkie?

Let's consider what motivates a gun owner to purchase a reloading press. Is it about self-reliance and a do-it-yourself conviction, or is it mostly about saving coin?

Are You a Brass Junkie?

Are reloaders cut from the same cloth as fly fishermen who choose to tie their own flies? Is reloading ammunition less about self-reliance and more about saving a little cash? Or is it really all about that satisfaction a hunter or shooter gets from using their own hand-crafted ammunition?

It seems reloaders are motivated by a variety of different reasons, but only a handful consistently rise to the top and, within that group, there are two core reasons most often cited by gun owners, firearm publications and reloading experts.

Motive # 1 — Cost Savings

If you shoot competitively or simply shoot a lot, reloading spent cartridges is the best way to make these pursuits more affordable. In many cases, it’s less expensive for shooters to buy the components and assemble ammunition themselves. Those who shoot a few thousand rounds or more each year — and ultimately choose to reload their own ammo — stand to benefit significantly based on the cost-benefit alone.

In the comment section of a post, a gun owner from Illinois contrast reloaders from other shooters this way:

gun owner purchase reloading press

It's usually recommended that beginning reloaders start with a single-stage press like this Brass Smith C-Frame by Lyman. They're less expensive, easier to set up and the reloading process is simplified.

"There are two kinds of people. Those who buy factory ammo and leave their brass on the ground or in the trash cans at the range, and people like me who pick up that brass and reload it for half the cost or less."

Andrew, who commented on the same blog post, referred to himself as a “Brass Junkie.” He said the only sad part about being a reloader is that he spends more time at ranges gathering brass than shooting.

Once the upfront cost of the equipment is out of the way, new reloaders are well on their way to joining the ranks of Brass Junkies everywhere. Plus, a beginner can offset upfront costs by starting out with a single-stage press. They’re easier to set up than other presses, and the reloading process isn’t as complex. According to Pew Pew Tactical, “(The single press) is recommended so that you can pay close attention to your ammo as you load it, especially if you’re a beginner.”

Motive #2 — Accuracy

Shooters who seek the perfect load and a refined, customized level of accuracy are often reloaders or good candidates to become reloaders.

Gun writer Tom McHale, who posted a story to answer common questions about reloading, prefers loading his own practice and training rounds. By doing so, he can craft rounds that are on the lighter side of velocity and recoil. Plus, McHale is no stranger to the pursuit of accuracy.

“You can embark on your own accuracy Olympics,” he wrote. “Especially with rifle loads, you can experiment to find the perfect combination of bullet, powder, primer and charge that makes your rifle perform to its full potential. Factory ammo is great, but it has to be made to function in all rifles for a given caliber, so it can’t be optimized for yours.”

Avid shooters who go through a lot of ammunition often gravitate to the turret press. Its design is similar to the single-stage press, but it holds multiple dies at once so a reloader can manually index from one die to another. As you might expect, this feature hastens the process. And while the turret press can’t match the output of a progressive press, it’s far more affordable. considers the turret a great choice for the rifle or pistol reloader, while it’s also a, “great precision rig for the more experienced reloader.”



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