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Old February 17, 2013, 11:32 PM   #1
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Percentage of gun owners that reload

There are a lot of gun owners in my neck of the woods, but it seems that very few reload. I wonder what percentage of gun owners reload. I have talked with several people about the benefits, but few seem interested. I'm not sure what their hesitation is.
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Old February 18, 2013, 12:37 AM   #2
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Started reloadling with my Dad in about 1962-63. Been reloading ever since. I've asked myself your question many times. I would guess slightly less than 10% reload. Say 7 or 8%. As far as reasons why? I DO know that many are intimidated. Some are eager to to spend $1500-$2000 for a firearm but, think $150-$200 to get started in reloading is TOO MUCH. Some are not detail oriented and find the process of reloading too tedious or time consuming. And, finally, some shouldn't reload and are at least smart enough to know it.

My next door neighbor loves to shoot and has a good income. If he wanted to go shoot, he would go buy a case and go. Several times over the years I asked him what he was going to do if he couldn't buy ammo. He firmly believed that would never happen. He now knows differently. He wants me to load for him. I told him if he could find powder, bullets and primers I would gladly teach him. Of course he can't find that either. He knows better than to ask me for my small stash of components. He's SOL and knows it!
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Old February 18, 2013, 12:42 AM   #3
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Here I am taken back to the words of Blondie:

"There are two kinds of people in this world. Those with loaded guns, and those who dig."
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Old February 18, 2013, 01:03 AM   #4
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Have wondered that myself, AL45. I suspect Waldog's estimate is close, may even be high. Many shooters just don't have the tinker gene that is required for reloading. I also cast my own bullets, think that takes still another gene that I have yet to name.
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Old February 18, 2013, 01:46 AM   #5
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A friend got me interested in handloading in 1990. He had been doing it for a few years and suggested that I start. I bought a starter kit and he helped me to set it up and now I load much more than he ever did. I would guess that the others are correct and less than 10% of shooters do it. I will say that my talking to co-workers has helped to start 3 of them recently. A friend of mine in Ft. Worth, Texas told me it was too big a pain in the rear from what he could see. But then he is not really a shooter either having guns he hasn't shot in years. I like the process of tinkering around with the stuff and the satisfaction it brings me when I shoot a load that is accurate and I know I put it together and at less cost than factory ammo. I load 44 special among others and that stuff is high dollar.
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Old February 18, 2013, 02:35 AM   #6
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Old February 18, 2013, 02:39 AM   #7
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At my range, it seems the percentage of people I meet on the firing line is a lot higher than 10%.

However, the number of gun owners who actually go to a range and shoot is nowhere near 100%, so maybe the 10% is close to correct, if not high.

Among those who might not want to reload are those who shop around for bargains or who have found a commercial reloader nearby. Many police departments keep local commercial reloaders in business and civilians might be able to take advange of those businesses for inexpensive range ammo.

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Old February 18, 2013, 02:48 AM   #8
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A lot more than 10% of ammo expended is hand loaded since hand loaders tend to shoot more.
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Old February 18, 2013, 03:45 AM   #9
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I know more than 10 people who enjoy shooting, but i am the only one I know that reloads....
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Old February 18, 2013, 04:02 AM   #10
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In my experience i have noticed that 100% of the people who reload, also own guns.
However, the vast majority of gun owners do not, and are happy.
Interestingly, though, I believe that on a typical day at my range, probably just over 50% of the shooting parties reload.
Therefore, I make the following observations:
1. Reloaders shoot more.
2. People who shoot more, tend to learn to reload.
3. People that shoot AR type guns a lot, from a standing position, mostly miss, and then leave the range, are not reloaders, nor good shooters. For some reason this is the Saturday crowd.
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Old February 18, 2013, 04:18 AM   #11
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On our deer lease, there are three of us who handload, so that's 30%. I suspect that's a high percentage.
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Old February 18, 2013, 05:15 AM   #12
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Very few people at the range I shoot at reload. They are always giving me their brass. I've introduce re-loading to several of my shooting buddies, and a few of them have taken up the craft.

My dad taught me back in the early 70's the art of re-loading. I began on a RCBS Jr (still have it!), but now use 2 Dillon Progressive machines. I've now began casting my own handgun bullets from scrap wheel weights, reducing my shooting cost even more.
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Old February 18, 2013, 05:16 AM   #13
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I live in the big city. When I go to the range it's usually a 'Club' practice day or a shooting match. With these guys it's 50% plus reloaders.

I am starting to see some of the 'Old-Timers' cut way way back on their time spent reloading. More time w/family, no joke or excuse. That or their reloading body parts, arms, wrists, back, are wearing-out.

Despite having fully equipped and supplied reloading rooms,these guys were bringing their own dolly to the gunshow to load up on factory ammunition cases well before the panic we see now. And yes. They were buying U.S. brass cases and leaving the empties on the ground.
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Old February 18, 2013, 05:20 AM   #14
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@Marco Califo
"People that shoot AR type guns a lot, from a standing position, mostly miss, and then leave the range, are not reloaders, nor good shooters. For some reason this is the Saturday crowd. "

100% accurate statement...

Ran into one of those this past weekend at our range.
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Old February 18, 2013, 07:12 AM   #15
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I only know of 4 others that reload. When I visit local shops I might see 1 or 2 others in the reloading section. For example, I visited Green Tops (old store)in Richmond and the place would be packed and there would be no more than 2 customers in the reloading section; me and another person.
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Old February 18, 2013, 07:30 AM   #16
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As another poster pointed out. At the range i go to I see most everyone reloads.
There are those that don't ,but by far most do. I think with the way things have been the last year now more and more people are starting to. I sell brass on the side and I see the effects of it already. I have also noticed at my local stores around here that even stuff that a reloader has already is gone. Presses,scales, Heck the one store is totally out of ammo boxes. I think this summer with the scare going on and the mass amounts of AR;s that were sold. We are going to see some very busy activity going on at the range. I think there will be lot's of new shooters trying out there new AR's. If that is true,then i think the 10% will be about right. For me-- I think this year is going to be a big year for 223 brass .
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Old February 18, 2013, 07:41 AM   #17
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Being the Club President I am around lots of the more serious shooters, who shoot in IBS, Tactical Rifle, 600 F Class, Steel Challenge and Defensive Pistol Matches. Probably 20% of the handgun guys buy ammo, everyone else reloads.

Now when you get to the centerfire plinkers and guys who do not shoot in matches, but still use the range, the number of reloaders starts to fall off significantly. We are probably down to 50%.

Then you get to the crowd that are gun owners who do not shoot at the range, and the number or reloaders is near Zero.

I am guessing the 10% number is probably high nation wide.
We are probably above 10% in my area, as we have a lot higher percentage of back woods hillbillies who reload.

I think we could also determine that a much higher percentage of Rural Gun Owners reload than City gun owners. They just plain shoot more, and are way more Gun Oriented.

I have 3 main circles of friends, my Gun Club Friends, my Church Friends, and all the rest of my friends. Of my Gun Club Friends 100% Reload. My Church Friends are probably around 5%. Most of my Church Friends are imports who retired into our area from the North East for lower taxes, and less regulations.
The all other catagory of friends would probably be at around 30% or higher reloaders.


Last edited by Viper225; February 18, 2013 at 07:53 AM.
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Old February 18, 2013, 08:03 AM   #18
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Percentage of gun owners that reload

I've been shooting a since the early 80s and always considered myself an avid shooter. I've also always wanted to learn how to reload and am also quite a tinkerer. I've never been able to cross the invisible line to buy the reloading equipment. My calibers are now down to 9mm, .380. .22LR. Not sure it was worth it (cost-wise) a year ago. Maybe now it is very much worth it.
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Old February 18, 2013, 08:14 AM   #19
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Just my observation at the range. Very few reload. Those whom do are generaly in the 60+ age range. Of coarse at my range I see about 75% guys shooting black guns with steel cased ammo. We have over 1200 members.
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Old February 18, 2013, 08:42 AM   #20
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I've seen the number dwindle over the years. I believe that many of the younger shooters see ammo as a disposable, not recyclable. With the cost of 223 ammo prior to our newest shortage who could blame them? Much of what I see now at the range are the one gun wonders. That's all they have or bring to the range. I'll show up with a half a dozen and they show up with one and bring 3x the ammo! There done in half the time packed and gone. With some I see, I believe the safest thing down range is the target!

I've also wondered if this is what others noticed when I first started? If this is nothing more than a weather pattern...
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Old February 18, 2013, 08:44 AM   #21
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Re: Percentage of gun owners that reload

At my local public range the amount is prob around 10-20%. I have guys give me brass all the time. Last time there I got 300 rounds of .45acp brass from someone who "Just shoots the stuff".
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:06 AM   #22
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Percentage of gun owners that reload

The reason is because reloading is time consuming, and takes effort, I believe.
Indeed, those that reload, tend to be at the range much often. My friends that don't reload, go to the range once every 2-3 months, I go every 2 weeks.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:17 AM   #23
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Last year the number of reloaders I would meet while at a range was very few. I would say it was close to 1%. In the last month the number of shooters I have seen at the pistol range are mostly reloader. The number is close to 50%. These are the only people with ammo to shoot at the moment.

The number or reloaders locally has gone up over the past 6 months. It still is probably only 2%. The number of people shooting more than a box or two of ammo at a time since the start of the year that reload, is probably closer to 75%. There are still plenty of gun owners and people that like to shoot out there. They just don't have any ammo at the moment to burn through.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:26 AM   #24
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I got my RCBS single stage set up years ago from my brother who found reloading to be too time consuming. He doesn't shoot much at all any more. I find that if you are friendly at the local ranges you can score alot of once shot brass. Very few of the shooters I meet are reloaders and alot of them seem suprised that I want their brass. Most feel it is just too much trouble or are nervous about the process.
I will tell them all the good reasons to reload but don't see very many converts. And that's OK, more brass for me!
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:28 AM   #25
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Since the question was phrased as how many gun owners, I would have to say less than 1%. If the question had been phrased how many regular shooters, I would tend to think a much higher percentage.

The most frequent response I hear as to why many don't reload is either I don't have the time or I don't have the space to reload. I personally think the real reason is some folks mistakenly think it is too big a technical challenge. They would be willing if they had someone show them the ropes, but they do not want to study and learn it on their own. Then there are those who are not mechanically inclined and could not even drive a nail to hang a picture.

I am not complaining since I like having the non-reloader's brass available to us reloaders.
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