What Caliber To Reload Next?

As I mentioned yesterday, I have spent a fair amount of time deciding on what caliber to reload next. I feel pretty good about the loads I am doing for the old Webley and .38 Special. I am still testing the loads I am doing for 9mm but I’m pretty close I think on those. I also received several gift cards for Father’s day and instead of spending them on something disposable I have decided to invest it in additional reloading dies.

Deciding which caliber to go with next has been a bit of a challenge. I am stuck between adding another secondary pistol caliber, .380 ACP, or branching into rifle calibers with 5.56/.223, .30-30, .300 Blackout or 7.62×39.


Missing space if for 300 Blackout
.380 ACP, 5.56/.223, 300 BLK (missing), .30-30 or 7.62×39?

I have several pistols chambered in .380 ACP. Like .38 Special the cost of the rounds in this caliber is significantly higher than the amount of material involved and it tends to disappear fairly quickly from the store shelves during a run on ammunition sales like we are starting to see. I also really enjoy shooting it, other than the cost of the ammunition. So this would definitely be a good choice.

5.56/.223 is a primary defensive round for my family and is most at risk of disappearing from store shelves in the near future but I honestly don’t shoot it all that often. Mostly because I have a 7.5 inch barreled pistol that is too loud to be allowed on indoor ranges. My wife’s carbine is chambered in this round but I’m not secure enough in my manhood to take her pink rifle to the range without her. I have all the parts for a 5.56 upper but haven’t assembled it yet. This was supposed to be a project to do with my son in law and we haven’t been able to make the time for it. So, it sits and I don’t shoot.

My son has an AR chambered in .300 Blackout and all the buzz around this caliber has tempted me for a long time but adding this round would mainly be to save him money and because of its current cool factor. I don’t currently have any firearms chambered in this caliber.

I love shooting the .30-30 round and have two rifles chambered for it. With my love of lever action guns I will probably end up adding more at some point. The round is pretty cheap locally and generally one of the last to disappear from store shelves during a run. I could save money reloading it and it is has generally been my “go to” hunting round. I don’t shoot it all that often though because there are no indoor ranges that allow it, at least not within easy driving distance, and summer in Texas (all 9 months of it) is a pretty tough time to go to an outdoor range. Not to mention the fact that most of the ones close by are still flooded and probably will be for several more weeks at least.

7.62×39 is a secondary defensive caliber for me. I have an AR and an AK chambered for this round and really enjoy shooting it. I have been working with it for use when hog hunting although I have yet to get a shot on a real piggy with it. Everything so far has all been at the range but it has been surprisingly accurate and reliable from the AR platform. The steel-cased ammo from overseas is super cheap, cheaper than it would cost me to reload, but is also very vulnerable to disruptions in availability. It almost dried up locally after Russia’s Ukrainian adventures started. It is also a round that disappears from shelves quickly during a run. The steel cores and steel cases of the cheap imported rounds mean they are a no no on most indoor ranges. If I choose to reload I could also put together some nice hunting loads with bullets available from various sources including Hornady. It may also be possible to run it with .308 bullets which would really open up the options but I would have to test these out to see how they work in the AR.

Those are my options. I will make a decision pretty shortly but feel free to provide suggestions in the comments section.

God Bless



3 thoughts on “What Caliber To Reload Next?

  1. As advisement, may I suggest, that now appears to be a very good time, for you to learn a form of reloading self-discipline as a martial art, by surgically loading. For instance, the .223, is a bread-and-butter caliber for you and your family, therefore, slow-it-down. Clean the cases. Deprime, ad clean the primer pockets thoroughly and methodically. Trim the necks with a degree of precision. Think of each step, like a martial artist doing a kata. Verify each and every powder charge by volume then weight, selecting granules that will bring each powder charge to specific weight uniformly. Seat the bullets with care. Inspect the final product, one by one, taking your time. You will develop a surgical feel to loading. Your accuracy will improve by leaps and bounds as you make each and every shot, count. You develop, into a professional.

    One of my late brothers, had a flinching problem when shooting. I loaded his calibers of 7RM, and .30-06. He immediately lost the problem flinch, and almost overnight, brought a 5″ group at 100 yards, into 1.75″. His confidence hunting, and harvesting game, was an instant success. He would from that time on, to the remaining time of his life, only shoot ammunition that I reloaded for him. Unfortunately he was too ham fisted to reload, but we had a good time, and laughs, with his inexperience. We hunted the hills, the fields, and the swamps where he lived. He used ti freak out when I would stalk, then place my hand on deer as they flipped out, and I allowed the animal to go, unharmed. My brother accredited that skill to my previous experiences in Southeast Asian jungles, but I told him, that it all boils down to, training oneself, and applying self-discipline. I also snuck up on a friend, a full-blooded Cherokee, and he almost screamed. Plenty of good times afield.

    The Apostle Philip was walking on the road and passed the Centurion’s chariot. It’s driver, reading aloud in Hebrew. Philip stopped to listen and asked, if the driver knew what he was saying. The driver replied, that he knew the words but did not know what they mean, as nobody taught him, the meaning of the words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very insightful, thank you.

      I really like reloading. It’s relaxing and almost meditative. I am totally focused, no distractions but not in a way that has my brain is working overtime. I will take breaks from work and pull the handle a few times to resize or prime. I only charge the cases and seat the bullets when I can be totally focused though. I don’t use a powder drop. I dip the powder with some measures from Lee. I am really enjoying it and can’t wait to start on some other calibers. I am pretty confident in my .38 Special and Webley loads. I am still working on my 9mm loads but I am at a standstill until I can make it to the range again.

      I don’t go fast and don’t like rushing. I take my time and just enjoy the doing…

      God bless.

      Liked by 1 person

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