Kids and Handloading, when and if to start?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by olehippy, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. olehippy

    olehippy New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    S Tx near San Antonio
    I spent the majority of yesterday working with a new experience, ‘helping’ my 13 yr old sons reload their first ammo. They love to hunt and target shoot, and have been my handloading helpers for years; when about 9 or 10 year old rock chunkers they took turns being my ‘handle puller’ (great piece of equipment and THE way to operate a press while it lasted, voice activated and everything!). As they grew have learned many of the techniques, powder measure and scale operation, seating primers and bullets, verifying data in the manuals (teaching that was a real chore!) on and on.

    Friday they announced they wanted to handload their own ammo – and of course shoot it to verify their loads. After gaining a few concessions from them (who still has absolute control over weapons and ammo ect ect) my wife and I agreed – she’s even talking to me afterwards!

    For their maturity and patience level they really did quiet well! A little grumbling about having to use our Lee single stage press instead of the faster, easier RCBS progressive, actually having to spend the time to set the powder measure ‘just’ right (‘if it weighs close we’re READY!’ didnt work with dad. . .) and being forced to spend the extra time to be exact and error free in their steps. But, they seemed to have survived!

    Sadly because of rainy weather (thank God, been in a 2 yr drought) we had to fire their first rounds off the back porch at makeshift targets, but their faces when their 1st handloads shot accurately (well their face when that 1st round went downrange was worth a year’s pay). BTW we live in the country and shooting on our land is legal and safe.

    How have others here dealt with their kids and handloading? Or maybe, other kids and the same? I thought it might be an interesting topic to offer up for discussion, looking forward to it.

    Miles
  2. Lotsdragon

    Lotsdragon New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    813
    Location:
    Potosi, Mo
    Well sadly, I guess this is another of those things I will miss, not having children. They are both 13? Think thats a fine age to start them on reloading with supervision. Takes a lot of practice and patients any way and that is a fine lesson for children to learn anyways. Sounds like you had a great time.Lucky kids! Never got to reload with my father, but I know it would have been fun if we had of. Give them kids extra hugs when you can cause they wont want you too forever. Have fun and be safe.
  3. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Messages:
    4,945
    Location:
    SW Fort Worth
    My friends 6 yr old grandson has been helping out in the reloading room for well over a year now. He's the brass sorter and get's to put the bullet on top of the case, but he knows - ONLY after verifying the powder charge; he says "Powder Check" before seating every bullet. Of course we've always got an eye over his shoulder just to make sure; but he's learning the safety and the sequence of reloading operations. With the proper oversight, I don't think there is too young of an age to start out. So long as directions can be followed and the youngster shows the interest.

    My son is 9 and he's helped me out, but he's more interested in firing his .22, so for now, reloading has just been a mild interest, so I haven't pushed him into anything. I'm sure with his interest and determination on the range in learning to shoot, he'll be hanging around the reloading bench before too long. He took first place in his first youth shoot last summer, I was proud of him. He was pretty thrilled too.
  4. flannelman

    flannelman New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,176
    Location:
    Rural Arkansas. But isn't all of Arkansas rural?
    My 8 yo son is always asking it there is any brass to deprime and size. We spent a whole afternoon depriming and sizing .30-06 brass right after I got my press and other gear back in the Spring. He loves working the handle on the press. I still do all the critical stuff but I let him help out. It is a lot of fun.
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    18,269
    Location:
    Heart Of Texas
    Olehippy I cant wait till my boys are old enough to do it on thier own. JR and Wes are 4 and 2 respectively and they both already help, Wes likes to pull the press handle (with my help of course) and JR loves processing cases. I must admit I really dont mind him liking to do that part;) He likes using the RCBS case prep center and does a fine job for a 4 yr old. When they are old enough Ill do just as you did. You must be overcome with a sense of pride;)
  6. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    10,564
    Location:
    Northeast Georgia
    My son never seemed interested in reloading growing up (37 now), loved to shoot but not reload. Two of my grandchildren live with me. My 15 year old grandson is more interested in the Playstation III that anything else.

    My 9 year old granddaughter seems to enjoy being out in the reloading room with me and asking 1000's of questions. I let her do little things like setting the case into the shell holder and to 'pull the handle" on the presses and check the weights on the powder scale. I supervise her in everything that she does, of course. I hope someday that she will be interested enough to ask to do some reloading.

    I think that it is great that your 13 YO's want to load and shoot their own reloads, great learning experience and great memories in later years!
  7. Popgunner

    Popgunner New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,764
    My three daughters have been case sorters & handle pullers from about 5 years old. They have all been interested mostly in loading shotgun shells that they have shot on the trap range. Around 8 years old I've let them load boxes of shot shells by themselves with me watching. They havn't been asking to load metalic cartridges as much but they seem to like the shotshells.
    We left two 12 year old boyscouts that had the shooting merit badge & had done hunter safety in-charge of shotgun shooting at the local scout camp. They were running the other boys thru the shooting merit badge & they were using a Lee-loader tool to load weak loads for a .410 single shot. one kid was loading shells for the shooter & the other kid was snapping the re-useable plastic pidgeons back together. We were watching from a little distance & the boys did a fine job for several hours.
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    18,269
    Location:
    Heart Of Texas
    Gril scouts, Boy scouts and cub scouts are a fine investment for parents;)
  9. Rocket J Squirl

    Rocket J Squirl New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Messages:
    418
    I started at Nine, our boy scout troop did at 12.

    But that was back in America
  10. gary0529

    gary0529 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2007
    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    Northwestern Va.
    I started pounding cases into the Lee cheapie die/reloading set when I was approaching 12 years of age.
    Just as long as you are supervising their activity and they have a modicum of sense I think 13 is plenty old enough.
    As an aside, was speaking with my younger (60 y.o.) brother the other day and he mentioned that he took one of my Lee sets in for show and tell-bullets but no primers or powder and went through the reloading process using either sugar or flour as powder.
    Can you imagine a kid trying that today? Guess it goes along with taking my 12 ga. to school in the trunk of the car so as to head out for pheasants as soon as the bell rang.
    I would still be incarcerated today if today's rules prevailed then.
    It was good for a chuckle when he brought it up.

    Just an old man reminiscing.

    Gary
  11. olehippy

    olehippy New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    S Tx near San Antonio
    A lot of great answers, and ways to keep a time honored hobby alive in today’s changing times. I hadn’t thought about the Boy Scouts, we do have a FFA youth shooting club – geared mainly toward skeet and trap shooting, but a great organization.

    My twins are certainly intelligent enough to handle handloading when they have their head out of their, well better not go there. . . If you’ve never been around identical twins (and these two are,) when they get bored what one of them cant think of to get into the other can, and mine are no exception.

    I had to laugh at Garys recollections. Almost 20 years ago I was assigned to a small town in S Texas for a year or so. A generally farming and ranching community, 90% of the youngsters were want-a-be rodeo stars and drugstore cowboys, just country boys. Probably the majority of high school boys drove pickup trucks (well a fair amount of the girls to!) and if you drove through the parking lot of the local high school probably half of the trucks in the student parking area had gun racks in the back window, most of those gun racks had at least one rifle and/or shotgun in it. BTW most of those vehicles were unlocked, some with their windows down, and the weapons were safe. I’d hate to see the reaction if today’s kids did this.

    Miles
  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    18,269
    Location:
    Heart Of Texas
    My 5 yr old boy went to school to show his friends a dummy round that I had given him. just a case and a bullet, no primer, no powder. We got a call around lunch time from the principal. It was a big mess, so much panic over a 'paperweight' and the cops were there questioning everyone. I explained to them that I handload and that was a dummy round I had made for him and that he just wanted to show his friends since he helped me make it. I didnt see a problem and after all things were explained the local LEOs didnt either. But the school principal was still in panic mode over the whole deal...:rolleyes:
  13. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    10,564
    Location:
    Northeast Georgia
    Tell me about it, think of the hoops my family had to jump through for over a year because my Grandson took a derringer to school. It was not a pretty sight, two years have gone by and the Sheriff's department still has my gun.
  14. army mp

    army mp Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    484
    Location:
    western Pa,
    I had My grandson sizing and popping primers at 5 I didn’t let him near powder or primers. But he had a ball with the single stag press. With me right there to make sure little fingers, didn’t get in the way. He is 16 now and moved away. He was back for two weeks last summer. And we spent a few hours reloading. He shot up a lot more than we loaded this time.
  15. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    18,269
    Location:
    Heart Of Texas
    Thats been my problem here lately, Ill reload 200 and go shoot 300.:rolleyes: Im never gonna catch up;)
  16. bcl32

    bcl32 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    From the time my middle daughter was 3 she would set in my lap and watch me reload, by the time she was 5 she would reload 12ga. for me on my MEC 600 with me watching, by the time she was eight she was loading 30-06 including setting up and weighing the powder charges, still with me watching and helping with the resizeing. By the time she was 11 she didn't need me except to tell her what needed reloading. She is nearly 40 now and still enjoys reloading, actually much more than shooting.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum 6.2 X 284 handloading Dec 14, 2013
The Ammo & Reloading Forum 45 Colt Wax handloading Jul 28, 2011
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Handloading Start-up Tips? Nov 3, 2009
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Handloading for others? (well for $$s?) Aug 29, 2009
The Ammo & Reloading Forum new to handloading Mar 19, 2006

Share This Page