Reloading 9mm Ammo: Taking the First Steps

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Taking the First Steps in Reloading 9mm Ammo

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MTM Case-Gard 9mm Storage Box

I have recently started reloading 9mm ammo, and it has been a very rewarding experience. Reloading can be a bit confusing at first, with all the load data to sift through, the reloading components, and many products needed to reload properly. It has been an adventure, and I have learned a great deal.

Reloading can be confusing and expensive at first, no matter how much you prepare. To keep within a small budget, I purchased a pre-configured Lee Pro 1000 Reloading Kit For 9MM Luger. This is not an expensive reloading kit, and their are more expensive progressive presses on the market, but it does the trick starting out.

The reloading press came with the carbide dies, shell plate, case tubes, and primer tray to reload the 9mm cartridge. You can purchase this reloading kit configured for the caliber of your choice, for under $200.00 online. It took some adjusting to get the dies and powder measure configured and set for the proper OAL and Powder Charge, but once it was done, I was off reloading in no time.

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Lee Pro 1000 Reloading Press with Bench and Accessories

What is Involved in Reloading 9mm Ammo?

A reloading press is just one component to reloading operation. I had to consider the reloading components like smokeless powder, small pistol primers, projectiles, and brass. I also needed a way to clean the brass and store it properly. There are also reloading manuals, additional dies, a safe way to store materials, reloading trays, and much more. It comes with a price tag at first, but after the initial investment things become more reasonable to maintain.

One helpful tip is to always keep your once fired brass, and any that you can find from other shooters. Many shooting ranges will not allow people to pick up others brass, but if you happen to be in a popular outdoors shooting location such as a piece of private property or state land, always have a look around for what others may have left. I have collected thousands of brass casings of all different calibers by picking up what other have left behind. Be careful though, always make sure to check for case neck separation, cracks, dents, and other signs of wear. You want to throw out any cases that are unfit for reloading. Also, you may want to reconsider recycling brass for really high pressure or rifle cartridges, as you don’t how they were loaded originally and may be weakened.

Does Reloading 9mm Ammo Save Money?

After years of buying factory 9mm loads, I can appreciate the extreme savings I get from reloading 9mm ammo. Even with a reasonably priced caliber like the 9mm Parabellum, I save about 50% of the cost per 1000 rounds loaded. Going above the 9mm, there is a lot of room for additional savings when you start considering larger pistol calibers or reloading rifle cartridges. I have recently invested in the equipment to start reloading the 10mm Auto to use in my Glock 29, which is sure to save me a lot of cash in the long run.

I highly recommend purchasing a reloading press. A basic kit like the Lee Pro 1000, when properly configured, can be extremely beneficial to the avid shooter. It is exciting to work up a load for your favorite caliber and test it on the range! If you enjoy the science of tearing something apart and putting it back together again, this is the hobby for you.