My first reloading experience was in Dad’s basement shop, watching, then helping him reload .38s and .30-06. I was about ten, and I still have the trophy he won at a local DCM (Department of Civilian Marksmanship) match with his handloads. Later, during my toolmaking apprenticeship, I moonlighted for a gentleman who made bullet-making dies for the benchrest competition elite. Most top shooters used Bob Simonson’s dies, including the founder of one of today’s premium bullet companies. I learned a ton about accuracy from Bob.
When I began reloading in 1976, my department used .38 Special/.357 Magnum revolvers. Naturally, this was the first cartridge I reloaded. After a few hundred rounds, I started seeing scratch marks on my cases. I sent the die to RCBS, which sent a replacement die with a note asking how long I tumbled my brass to get them clean before resizing them.
For years, many people have said it is unwise to carry handloaded ammo for defensive purposes. This is based on two elements, both of which I believe are mostly myths. The first point of contention is that handloaded (reloaded) ammunition is unreliable.
Bullseye is one of the oldest smokeless pistol powders and still one of the most popular. Since it hit the market 103 years ago, it has been a staple for most handloaders and the backbone of most “accuracy” loads in the popular calibers. In my area, Bullseye is one of the first powders to disappear from shelves, lasting about a heartbeat longer than an econo bulk box of .22 Long Rifle ammunition.