Gun Digest

Reloading Ammo: You Never Really Graduate the School of Hard Knocks

Author sits and discusses Handloader’s Digest No. 19 with some Gun Digest executives.
Author sits and discusses Handloader’s Digest No. 19 with some Gun Digest executives.

By now I think you all realize that I have a definite passion for reloading; one that I’m sure you share as well.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be given a voice among the gun writers that write reloading stuff — a voice, but certainly not the voice. I’m a firm believer in the old adage “You’re never too old to learn.”

While I am a confident reloader, and I’ve been fortunate enough to share both my experiences and trials and tribulations with many readers, I continue to grow and learn as well. The writing aspect of my job has forced me to delve into some areas that I normally wouldn’t deal with, and getting out of my comfort zone has been good for me. It has helped me to better understand where other reloaders are coming from, and to look at things from the outside.

However, there are times where I am forced to resort to other people in the industry who either know more than I do, or have a more specialized understanding of particular aspects of the topic at hand. I am proud to call many of the greatest names in the industry my friends, and it’s unbelievable that I can actually pick up the telephone and call some of the gentlemen that were my heroes in my younger days. That’s the central point here; many people in the reloading world are approachable, as am I.

My father grilled several phrases into my head as a youth, but there’s one that sticks out pertains here, and doesn’t contain the colorful language that is usually associated with my dad. “Philip, if you don’t know, ask.” Now this usually came out at 45,000 decibels when I’d done something wrong and plead my ignorance, but it certainly pertains to the reloading world.

I frequently receive emails from readers looking for advice regarding their particular reloading situation, and I do my best to answer them all to the best of my ability; but there have been times where I’ve had to admit I don’t know the answer, and direct them to those people who I feel may be better qualified to help them. Hell, I’ve had to do it myself!

Author with none other than Mr. Steve Hornady. It's nice to able to speak with some giants in the industry, and continue to learn. Photo Massaro Media Group

People like Robin Sharpless at Redding, Carroll Pilant at Sierra, Kent Sakamoto at RCBS, the good folks at Barnes Bullets, Jude Lundy at Cutting Edge Bullets, Chris Hodgdon at Hodgdon Powders; these guys are willing to help us reloaders to get the optimum performance from not only their own products, but from the gear combination we have chosen.

I am proud to announce that I am serving as editor of the 19th Edition of Handloader’s Digest, and in addition to my own pieces written for this book, I have done my best to assemble a team of reloaders that bring with them a boat-load of knowledge and experience. Some names will be familiar, like Craig Boddington and Bryce Towsley, some names you haven’t heard of yet, but will become household names in the reloading industry, but all of them bring a level of expertise and camaraderie to the field.

Never stop learning, and never be afraid to ask. There are no stupid questions when it comes to reloading, and there are plenty of good people who are willing to help you along the way so you can enjoy this hobby for a lifetime.

Thank you all for the kind words and commentary on this series, and who knows, maybe there will be a third installment, or even a question-and-answer series. Until next time, be safe and stay loaded.

Recommended Reloading Resources from Phil Massaro

Gun Digest Shooter's Guide to Reloading

How to Reload Ammo with Philip Massaro

Understanding Ballistics

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