A reader sent this picture of his daughter assisting him in reloading cartridges. On a single-stage press, such as the RCBS pictured, there’s plenty to do. A young child can easily and safely deprime cases, such as this young girl is doing. She deprimed 500 of them for her father, and was very pleased with herself. It reminds me of pleasant times when my daughter was about five, who loved to help me reload ammunition.
My own first experiences with reloading were when I was much older, perhaps eight, or nine. My father reloaded hunting ammunition for his Model 99 .300 Savage. He was deadly with that rifle in the woods. I helped, or at least watched and handed over bullets. He used a Lyman 310 tool and an Ideal reloading manual. The 310 works just fine if you use the same rifle and don’t have to full-length resize the cases.
We only loaded a couple of boxes at a time. The rifle wasn’t shot that much, mostly sighting in from a bench on our property a quarter mile away, across the Namekagon River, where there was a good backstop, and while hunting. More shots were fired during sighting in and in small amounts of practice than were fired while hunting, even if my father routinely shot one or two deer a year. I shot my first deer with that rifle at age 13.
Reloading cartridges – and then shooting a few of them – is an experience a child will remember forever. It imprints the brain with the possibilities of being productive and having some control over the material world. I remember the experience as being empowering. It’s a great building block for responsibility. To be trusted with real involvement in a powerful activity that requires responsibility, shows a child that they are loved, trusted, and respected.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.