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Reloading thoughts

I’m looking at expanding my reloading capabilities. As .223 work out at £1 a round and .243 even more it makes sense to do so. There are several obvious advantages in addition to the cost savings such as you get to define your loads and make each round to your own specification. Not necessarily a benefit that we in the UK would use. Experimentation requiring a lot of time and effort especially with the limitations we live under.

However, I have given it a bit more thought since I last looked. Sticking to a standard load and bullet makes sense and makes it much easier. I define the loads and laminate them so that I can make sure for each bullet type that I have the defined safe and maximum loads. With someone experienced to show you it is an easy enough task to do and not beyond anyone who has the capability to use a firearm.

Another, not so obvious benefit for us in the UK, is that unless you have expanding bullets, you can buy as many component parts as you need and store them. As long as they are in their component parts they do not count to your ammunition holdings. Once you assemble them then they get counted as rounds on your ammunition count. There are limits set on how much powder and primers you can hold but you can build a significant number of rounds within those limits.

It is worth knowing that Expanding bullets are treated differently, even if they are not part of a complete round they count towards your ammunition count and go on your FAC when you purchase them so you need your FAC with that calibre defined to purchase expanding bullet heads and you need to remember your limits when storing them.

As another quirk of our mickey mouse laws if you have an assembled round it is illegal to take it apart and return it into it’s component forms. Can’t actually think why anyone would want to do that but there you go.

One area that is rarely reloaded in shotgun cartridges. The costs to reload standard shotgun cartridges usually work out to be more expensive, more time and trouble than it costs to buy them. The only time I can see a need to reload shotgun cartridges is when you want a non standard load. The benefits of having shotgun cartridges in component form is lost as the limit on shotgun cartridges is down to powder limits and you can have several thousand without issue.

Disappointingly, one calibre that seems to be unable to be reloaded in .22 Rimfire. As this is the one I use most and the rounds are recorded on the FAC I would like the capability to have some in component form. There is only one positive here in that .22LR is cheap. I’m keeping my eye on this area and may even add another calibre to my FAC to get around this.

So, for prepping, I was looking at having the reloading capability on all my firearms excluding, currently, the .22LR I can’t do. The rifles so I have a capability into the future and the shotguns so I can customise the loads. I currently can reload the .223 and the 12G, which I have never used yet, but I’m going to have a go with everything this year.

Finally, I was looking at having the capability of reloading other calibres. Calibres I don’t have but perhaps could come across in my travels when the owners of those firearms have no further use for them as they are out of ammunition or are no good for their needs. The powders I have are multi use, the same with the primers. All I would need is the cases and the bullet heads. Providing I avoided expanding bullet heads I could acquire cases and bullet heads now. The question is what are the most popular calibres in the UK, the ones I am more likely to come across? This of course also includes handguns. There is a vast collection of firearms out there. From what I understand most are not registered and the chances are you will come across some after an event. Best be prepared.

I’m going to start a thread on the forum around calibres in the UK. I’m interested in what is out there. So please go over there and offer your opinion or if you would prefer leave a comment here.

8 comments to Reloading thoughts

  • joe


    Just wondering if you know, is it possible to reload shotgun shells you have already fired. If so, this would be one good way to cut down on costs.

  • Skean Dhude

    Joe, It is possible to reload shotgun shells. Bear in mind that factory shotgun shells are cheap and it isn’t worth it atm unless you are reloading special loads. After an event though reloading will be the only way so best preparing for that.

  • kiddsy

    Hi, At the moment I have reloading equipment to reload all the firearms in my possession, even for my old pistol calibers that I used to shoot before ‘panic’ set in and they were confiscated, which took by the way 16 months before I was reimbursed. I find that with the cost of powders, primers, heads, the cost of reloading has reduced to only 50%, it used to be more, but components have gone up and are increasing all the time, at least the shells will normally load about 7 to 10 times. The most common pistol calibers are 9mm .38 and .45.

  • Joe

    Thinking about rifle and handgun reloading, would it be possible to use inert rounds.
    Take out the bullet, put in the powder, primer etc. into the shell and put the bullet back into the shell.
    When all said and done, an inert round is one that has already being fired.

  • Skean Dhude


    Don’t see why not. It usually uses a real bullet head and cartridge. Powder and primer are usually all that is missing.

    In saying that I have a 50 cal inert round that has a hole drilled through the cartridge case. Someone being over paranoid me thinks and a typical mindset today.

  • midnitemo

    Joe you can actually buy dud primers to fit to your inert rounds for that absolutely live and realistic look …. I’m a bit non plussed why you would want to buy inert rounds in the first place when you can just have the components minus the primers and be fully legal..i’m currently destruction testing a small batch of .38spl brass to see how many reloads I can squeeze out of them before they start failing….approaching 20 at the mo , not in need of trimming(don’t expect them to either)not cleaning the brass either(field conditions)only concession is i give the primer pocket a clean with a lee tool if it looks suss.

  • Ysbryd

    I’ve never bothered researching reloading in any depth before, with the possible savings you guys talk about it would be well worth it if I ever get around to submitting a variation for a larger Center fire rifle.
    At the moment I only use a .22LR, some people say you can reload them and some say you can’t. All I know for sure is that it isn’t economically viable as they’re so cheap and that you would have real issues with getting your range consistent as the primer/powder load is so small.
    When I’m after bunnies I like to use subsonic CCI segmented rounds with a moderator to avoid attention from the woolly hatted fox feeders.

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