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Reloading

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by GLW, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. GLW

    GLW

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    I've been having readers of this forum sending me private messages asking for advise on various subjects which is great and I am happy to share what little information I can. But I thought that if one person is asking, there may be several more who might have interest in the same information. One of the best ways to utilize this technology is to share ideas. So with this in mind, I thought I would answer one readers question in a thread rather than simply responding in a private reply. In this way, others can also offer their opinions and expertise to the benefit of all.

    This shooter has been competing with a 9mm exclusively but is now considering adding a G-30 to his arsenal in order to compete in Major Sub. His option is to stick with 9mm and buy a G-26 for am-sub. He expressed concern over the recoil of the 45acp and asked for my input.

    My initial response led us into a discussion of reloading. I asked him if he currently reloaded and if not, would he be interested in doing so. He does not currently reload and was interested in more information on this subject.

    My guess is that most GSSF competitors do not reload their own ammunition. For the casual shooter, reloading can be more hassle than it's worth. There is the initial cost of the equipment, the need for a dedicated area in the house to set it up where distractions can be minimized. The cost of components. The time and frustration associated with learning a new skill. The potential for damage to the firearm and even injury to yourself and others if proper care is not exercised in the assembly of your ammo. The time to gather your spent cases after a practice session, clean them, assemble the components into loaded rounds and then inspect the finished product before heading back out to the range. Also note that GSSF and Glock discourage the use of reloaded ammunition in their firearms, primarily for liability reasons, and will not offer a reshoot in the event of an ammunition related malfunction. For these reasons, plus others I'm sure we could come up with, the casual shooters would probably be better off sticking with factory ammunition.

    Now with all that said, if your wish to be more than a casual shooter, reloading is another aspect of the sport that deserves consideration. Do you need to reload to be a top competitor? No. If I had unlimited factory ammunition to draw from, I would spend my time making empty cases rather than filling them but cost is a factor. I really don't save any money by reloading but the money I spend gives me more ammunition to play with if you get my drift. Reloading equipment will eventually pay for itself in the savings over the cost of factory ammunition. Some will argue that 9mm ammunition is currently cheap enough to negate this argument but savings can be realized and remember that this discussion was initiated regarding a question over 45acp which is considerably cheaper to reload vs factory ammo.

    A casual shooter by definition doesn't spend countless hours at the practice range. But to elevate yourself out of that "casual" status, you are going to have to practice on a regular basis. This takes ammo. Especially when you are just getting started as a competitive shooter. Another benefit of reloading is that it gives you the ability to tailor your loads to meet specific needs. In the case of GSSF competition, where the power of the ammunition is not considered in the scoring process, it is to your benefit to shoot soft recoiling rounds. This offers several advantages. For one, most people tend not to flinch as noticeably when shooting a firearm with mild recoil. Recovery time between shots can be a little less when the muzzle does not lift as much. This gets back to the original question posed by the reader. If he is concerned about the recoil of a G-30 with factory ammunition, reloading his own ammunition would be a viable solution.

    It is possible to find loads that shoot more to the point of aim on guns with fixed sights. There are other advantages to having control over the assembly of your components but let's just say that this activity will increase your understanding of competitive shooting and give your more options than someone limited to what they can find on sale at the local sporting goods store. My teammate, Bobby Carver discussed reloading in a "tips from the pros" article which is a sticky. Check it out for other insights into reloading.

    The reader also asked about what equipment to select. Here I'm going to hedge a bit. I'm sure others will want to offer their opinions on this subject. I've used Lee, RCBS and Dillon presses as well as related equipment from a variety of other manufacturers. Basically, all the name brands will offer good equipment. Because GSSF shooters are interested in producing plenty of ammunition for practice and match use, consideration should be given to the entry level progressive presses on the market. A single stage press has it's advantages but a high production rate isn't one of them. At the same time, the high end progressives are not the best place to learn the reloading process. I have both the Dillon 1050 and 550. Both are great presses but I would not recommend the 1050 to someone new to reloading. The 550 on the other hand is one of the most versatile progressive presses I've seen and is not so automated as to be difficult to learn on. Dillon offers terrific product support and I'm sure they could help you assemble a complete list of required equipment to get you started. I'm quite sure that other manufacturers have presses with similar features so shop around and learn all you can before deciding.

    I hope this answers some of your questions and I hope you don't mind my using this forum to address them. Perhaps this will generate comment from others as well. Good luck and feel free to pm me with other questions.

    After posting this, it occurred to me that it might be taken as a put down of "casual shooters". This is by no means the case!! GSSF is a perfect forum for shooters of all experience levels. Not everyone has the time or the desire to make GSSF their focus. I consider myself a "casual" SASS shooter. I have a great time at SASS matches and am made to feel welcome by all in attendance despite not making that sport my focus. I encourge all to enjoy the sport of GSSF and only wish to help in any way that I can. Now, I think I'll shut up and try to dislodge my 11.5 EE from my mouth.
     
  2. Pharaoh

    Pharaoh

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    PPPPPPSSSSssssssstttttt! your not giving away all the good stuff are you???

    Just kidding. I think it's is great your helping out.


    Pharaoh
     

  3. ede

    ede Bama's Friend

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    not really to the point of what your saying but i find reloading relaxing and another way to enjoy my hobby when i'm away from the range.
     
  4. lbm

    lbm

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    Thanks for all of the information.
    lbm
     
  5. Ranger54

    Ranger54

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    A bit ago, I considered myself a casual shooter, like for many many years. Then started reloading on an RCBS RockChucker, rifle and pistol to mainly save money and learn more, but still just casually shooting.

    THEN I discovered GSSF with my first Glock, decided that I liked the fact that the casual shooter had a place in competitive shooting, could win prizes and have a LOT of fun.

    Initial Glock was a 30 for CCW.

    GSSF got me to pick up a 17.

    After that, began shooting in a league at my local range, started as just accuracy, now we do IDPA kinda COF,s with paper, steel, moving targets.

    Somewhere in there, I picked up a Dillon 550 to reload .45ACP and 9MM.

    Got a 21C, love it.

    Then a friend had a 24C he did not like (really has some issues! *LOL*), bought that from him. Got the .40S&W setup fot the 550.

    A 23 in OD was added when I won it in a random drawing in Mingus this year.

    In Texas, I get 3 GSSF matches a year, live in San Antonio.

    OK, my story of casual to just somewhat above and loving every minute of it!