I started reloading/handloading handgun & rifle calibers in the late 1960's. Started with a .38 Lee Loader then a used Pacific "C" press. Had unrestricted access to a couple of Star progressives in .38 & .45 ACP in the 1970s and was given a old Lyman turret press around 1980. Churned out thousands of rounds .380, 9mm, .38spl, .357, .44spl, .44 mag, .45acp, 45lc. And .222, .30 carbine, .30-30, 30-06, 7.62x39mm, and .45-70.
But for hand-loading [different from reloading] my press of choice is the "O" frame RCBS Rock Chucker single stage. It turned out sub moa regularly in ,222, .223, .308, and .270 if I took my time and did my part.
My powder measure, scale, trickler, case trimmer, etc are all manual. I haven’t bought any reloading tools since 1980. There are faster, easier tools out there but I as I became more interested in hunting, I found myself more interested in quality than quantity plus my initial investment is long since paid for.
But I don’t shoot nearly as much center fire handgun/long gun as I used to. A couple of state and federal agencies were kind enough to pay me to satisfy my shooting addiction. The day of my military retirement had me hip shooting Rambo style an M-60.
So for the past decade, except for annually checking the zero of a .270 prior to deer season, I haven’t done any center-fire rifle. In fact, most of my reloading stuff is still packed.
But that may be fixing to change. In 1965, I qualified with an M14 at Ft. Jackson. I’ve wanted one ever since. I recently purchased a Springfield M1A, NM, or "loaded" as they say. This rounds out my collection of all small arms I’ve qualified with since on the civilian and military side and all safe[ly] secured.
I’ve never loaded shot shells. Not a skeet/trap shooter, don’t hunt ducks, and dove shells are too cheap. If I were to load, it would be .410 for rabbits. A box of .410 is around 3x the price of 12 gauge dove.
It wasn’t unusual to fire a couple of hundred rounds of .22 or more over every weekend we weren’t hunting. Semi-auto, bolt and lever action rifles. Semi auto and single action handguns.
Then the supply dried up. I’ve never been lucky at WalMart lotto. Seems as if some folks have an inside track knowing when the deliveries are being made and literally buy them off the truck. Saw some 325/$25 boxes of Federal at Larry’s in Huntsville. Can’t remember the last time Academy in Decatur had any. Far as GM goes, I’ll be ****ed before I’ll pay their outrageous prices. Last time I was in the one in Florence, they had shelves and shelves of that .17 rimfire and not a single .22.
Regarding the .22s. Used to be the cheapest .22 you could buy was .22 Short. Now they are the most expensive. I have two rifles dedicated to .22 Short only.
I can’t remember the last time I saw any .22 Long. I never understood why they ever survived after the introduction of the .22 Long Rifle over a hundred years ago.
How many of you have ever seen a .22CB? When I lived in the city, I used them in a single shot to eradicate some pesky squirrels that wound up in a wild rice and sausage pilau.
Save your brass!