I saw something on the schedule at a local gun range that caught my attention last week, so I decided to write a column on it. Independence Indoor Range, here, in Boise offers a basic reloading class, at a very reasonable price. I dropped by to see how it was taught and came away a very happy camper.
To the majority of the GunsAmerica audience, maybe this isn’t so important. If you learned how to reload from your dad and have decades under your belt, you may have forgotten what it is like to have no idea what you are doing.
But from a rookie perspective, it can be extremely difficult to get started. Some people learn well from a video, but I’m not one of them. Hands-on tends to stick better and it is nice to have a real human to ask a question.
The class was fantastic and covered the basics of rifle and pistol. The instructor was a consummate professional, with a depth of experience well suited to teaching. We learned on RCBS rock chuckers, though the instructor was quick to point out that any brand of single stage press would work. None of the class felt like a sales pitch for this product or that product. And the bare necessities were stressed.
Most importantly, we covered the nitty-gritty of what it’s like to set up a press. As a noob, figuring out the dies is probably the most stressful part of reloading and after two hours I left confident I could handle it.
Every student in the class took several rounds through sizing and depriming, case prep, and all the steps back to loaded ammunition. Along the way, we learned how to read the reloading manual, and performe safety checks as the batch progressed.
A few rounds were even loaded incorrectly so that we could see what an error looked like. As a side benefit of having the class at an indoor range, we were able to test fire our work.
Teaching people the skills of reloading is one of the most important things we can do. It cuts the cost of our hobby down considerably, as well as instills a sense of self-reliance. I don’t know that I am likely to beat Gold Medal Match for accuracy anytime soon, but with advanced skills, it can be done.
I would encourage other ranges with the space and tools to follow the example set by Independence. The more shooters we have invested in our rights, the harder they are to take away.
If you’re like me and you’re ready to dive headlong into reloading, I suggest you start with a class to get your feet wet. As mentioned, while print and video tutorials are helpful, they’re no substitute for the classroom experience, especially at the outset.
Yes, I will be filming my journey into reloading. Going step-by-step to show you what I’ve learned and what works for me, my process, my tools, my press, etc.. Consider this forthcoming series on reloading a supplement to your individual efforts. We will conquer this discipline together.