Ammo & Reloading Overview

Ammo is a whole world of it's own. Each area of Cowboy Action Shooting uses it's own form of ammo - action shooters shoot lead, mounted shooters shoot wax, and reenactors shoot blanks. Later in my blog I will show you how to clean / reload your brass and load blanks for reenacting. We'll also review some great reloading manuals and equipment, and much more. 

As I mentioned in a previous article, if you plan to shoot more than one match a month you are going to want to start reloading your own ammo. Reloading equipment can be an expensive initial investment, but it is definitely going to pay for itself over time.


SASS has specific requirements for ammunition for competition shooting. A few important things to keep in mind when buying or reloading your own ammo are:


  • All ammunition used in smokeless categories must have not less than a power factor of 60 with velocity between 400 fps and 1000 fps for pistols, 400 fps and 1400 fps for rifles.
  • Revolver and rifle ammunition must be all lead.
  • Shotgun shot size must be number 4 birdshot or smaller, lead only.

The full set of requirements can be found in the Shooter's Handbook at the official SASS website.


Buying Ammo

Until you get set up to reload at home, you can find cowboy loads from makers like Black Hills and Hornady through Cabela's online or reloads with lead at your local gun shows.

Reloading Your Own Ammo

Reloading Presses - A great place to find reloading equipment is Cabela's online, Midway USA, or on Amazon. These places have reloading instructional books as well. For presses I prefer Dillon Precision. They have a no nonsense warranty. If something breaks, call them and they will send you a replacement part right away! Plus, the staff really knows their stuff about their presses. You can order direct from Dillon Precision online or check their current inventory on Amazon.

Lead -
When it comes to lead you have a lot of great options to choose from. I prefer Badman Bullets. The owners are great people. Mid Valley Drifter and his wife, Buckshot Shell-E are both champion shooters and know their stuff about bullets. World Champion Long Hunter uses and endorses Bad Man Bullets and let's face it, he is an awesome shooter!


Shotgun Shells - Shotgun shells are still relatively inexpensive although they are rising in price. You can shoot factory made light target or game loads, or you can load your own to reduce recoil and save yourself some money. I recommend Dillon Precision or MEC reloading equipment.


Find cowboy ammo at Cabela's online
Find reloading equipment at Cabela's online, Midway USA, or Amazon
Find Dillon Precision reloading equipment at Dillon Precision or Amazon
Find lead at Badman Bullets

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