This is the first part of a series on reloading ammunition: Reload your own | Getting started | Polishing the brass | Depriming | Dropping gunpowder | Pressing the bullet

Tired of dropping bundles of cash? Frustrated in trying to find ammunition after the latest government announcement causes many to scurry, stripping shelves and leaving you in the cold? Maybe you should think about reloading your own ammunition. Plus, it is a great hobby.

I started reloading before the last two ammunition shortages. During these panics, I was always able to visit the shooting range, despite the ammunition shortages.

In fact, at a local sporting goods store, I once saw two old men loading shopping baskets full of ammunition. I would love to know how much they were spending. I ended up in line behind one of them and mentioned the economics and availability of reloading rather than hoarding, but my message fell on deaf ears.

First, let's clear up some common misunderstandings about reloading.

1. It's not rocket science. It is a series of repeated steps, requiring patience and focus, without distractions. Reloading is quite stress-relieving as it forces you to focus solely on the task at hand.

2. It's not dangerous. Simply follow common-sense safety rules, such as no smoking and cleaning up when finished.

3. It does save money. After the initial investment, reloading saves a considerable amount of money, if you do not shoot up your profits.

Currently, 9mm 124gr JHP rounds sell commercially starting at approximately 80 cents per round. I can roll my own for about 19 cents per round (if you don't factor in my time and reusing the brass). This is a savings of 61 cents per round for JHP.

Your cost in getting started will vary as to how deeply you jump into the hobby. For most, it will be roughly $300, plus raw materials like primers, bullets, powder and brass. It takes about 850 rounds to justify the basic cost, if you are the type that needs to justify the expenses. For my peace of mind, I wrote it off as a birthday present and the enhanced security of keeping ammunition in stock.

I am lucky enough to belong to a range that allows us to harvest expended brass. However, if you buy new brass or save what you are shooting now, it can be reused for large savings.

For instructions, there are many YouTube videos examining and explaining all of the steps in reloading, or you might be able to find a class. Find someone at your range who reloads. People enjoy sharing knowledge.

Another added benefit? It gets you into the garage and provides peace and quiet.