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Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure


Why Should You Use Latex Gloves When Handloading?

By Chris Ward

Reloading your own ammo is a significant cost saver and a fulfilling and entertaining hobby. But is it dangerous? In some cases, yes, but for reloading enthusiasts, it’s not hard to mitigate the risks. If you’re on the fence about learning how to reload and how to get started, we’ll cover the benefits of reloading, and how wearing latex gloves or nitrile gloves can eliminate some of the health risks associated with this cost-saving pastime.

What groups of people would enjoy handloading?

It’s not just members of gun clubs who can enjoy reloading. Gun enthusiasts who are keen to be the best shooters around will appreciate how reloading can improve their accuracy. If you do a lot of target practice, you can chew through ammo, and the costs can add up quickly. But if you learn how to make your own ammo, you will save on the costs associated with purchasing commercial-grade ammunition in bulk. Possessing the following traits can help you make the most of your reloading project:

  • You’re mechanically inclined.
  • You’re patient and focused.
  • You like to experiment and figure out how things work.
  • You have a keen eye and attention to detail.
  • You’ve got some spare time on your hands.

Learning how to reload and making the most of your firearms can be a time-consuming hobby. But if you find yourself bored with what’s on the TV most weekend nights, getting into reloading can make your free time more enjoyable, and you’ll have something tangible to show for all the time you spend on your new hobby.

What are the upsides to handloading?

  • You can save money on ammunition costs, but it depends on o the type of ammo you use the most. If you shoot 44 Magnum bullets but decide to handload your own instead, you’ll spend about 13 dollars to reload, versus paying $40 for a 50-count box. But handloading has other benefits if saving money isn’t your primary reason for doing it.
  • Handloading is fun, especially for people who are mechanically inclined and love to learn how to make things themselves.
  • Handloaded bullets are sometimes more accurate than commercial grade ammo. When you reload, you have the freedom to tinker with where to seat the bullet and how to create the ammo for your specific gun.
  • You can shoot more often when you’re able to supply yourself with high-quality ammo.

What are the downsides to handloading?

  • It could be more expensive for certain types of ammunition.
  • Reloading can take up a lot of your time.
  • You’ll need to dedicate a space for reloading to avoid contaminating your house or apartment.
  • Not taking the proper safety precautions for handling reloading materials can be hazardous.

When you start reloading your ammo, you will be exposed to lead dust during tumbling and when you work with primers. Lead is dangerous when it is inhaled or ingested. Touching lead without protection usually isn’t an issue, because lead is not absorbed through the skin. But you’ll need to work in a well-ventilated area and wear masks when handling the lead. To avoid ingesting lead, it’s a good idea to wear gloves when handloading.

You’ll also have to handle certain chemicals during the reloading process, called solvents. Solvents are readily absorbed through the skin and can cause poisoning. You’ll need to wear gloves to prevent solvents from being absorbed through the skin and making you sick. Wearing high-quality protective gloves will also prevent you from accidentally ingesting lead or bringing lead dust into the house. It’s also a good idea to change clothes and throw them straight into the washer as soon as you’re finished reloading.

What types of gloves are best to use when handloading?

Not only will wearing gloves while reloading protects you from lead and other chemical poisonings, wearing gloves is a constant reminder that you’re working with chemicals. You don’t realize how much you touch your face, or scratch or rub your eyes until you cover your hand with a glove. Wearing gloves will remind you not to touch your face, brush your hands on your clothes, or head on into the house and touch other items while you’re potentially covered in lead dust and other chemicals.

Signs of lead poisoning in adults include the following:

  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Anemia
  • Problems hearing
  • Drooping wrists and feet
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and constipation
  • A ring of lead around the gum line
  • Hypertension

Although lead poisoning is severe, it is treatable. But prevention is worth a pound of cure.

There are two types of gloves you can wear while handloading and both will offer some level of protection against lead and other chemicals. Most people start with a latex glove because they provide decent dexterity. However, latex is somewhat porous, although wearing latex gloves while reloading is better than nothing. Nitrile gloves, however, offer superior protection from chemicals. They are non-permeable, and they are also safe for people with a latex allergy.

If you’re a reloading enthusiast, it’s a good idea to purchase high-quality nitrile gloves in bulk so you can save money and protect yourself while you enjoy your hobby.