Reloading or hand-loading ammo is a great skill to have and something that any prepper with firearms should be doing or at least preparing for.
Even if you do not reload now but think you may in the future you should start collecting the components. You can purchase all of the components you need (brass, bullets, primers and powder), or you can collect the lead you need to cast your own bullets, and collect brass from ranges.
The equipment you need to cast your own bullets is not crazy, and you can find some good videos on casting bullets on YouTube. For lead, hit your local tire repair place for the lead tire weights. You will have to sort out the zinc and there are a few way to identity the lead from the zinc. The easiest may be to tap it on a heavy piece of steel. The zinc will make a ping sound and the lead a thump sound since it is a softer material. You should think about collecting lead now. With all the lead smelting locations being targeted for closure, lead will become a precious metal.
You can get brass from shooting ranges. They most likely will not give it to you so if you are paying for it target an indoor range since it will be cleaner. In the past I would have recommended that you try and not get too much 22 since it cannot be reloaded. However with as hard as 22 LR is to get now there may not be too much in the mix. If they will allow you to sort it a little then grab a set of sorting trays This will sort out the 22 LR and separate several sizes.
When I first started reloading it didn’t save me money but I had plenty of ammo to shoot and save. Today it can save you a lot of money. I can reload a box of 9mm ball ammo for about 1/2 the cost of buying it. You will save even more if you are reloading more expensive or harder to find rounds like the 357 SIG.
The equipment needed can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousands. Like most things you get what you pay for and reloading equipment is no different. If you plan on reloading thousands of rounds then you should spend some money on a Dillon Precision loader or one of the higher end progressive loaders. http://www.dillonprecision.com/ If you just want to load a few rifle rounds or are looking to develop your own loads for accuracy then a single stage might work well for you. http://leeprecision.com/reloading-presses/single-stage/ .
Another thing to purchase now is powder and primers. Primers are easy since there are 4 sizes, small and large pistol and small and large rifle. Pick up what you think you will need and what you can afford. Even if you don’t use them they will only go up in price, so you can use them to barter or sell. In the spring of 2013 you could have named your price for powder and primers. I will make some basic recommendations on what you might want to buy in another article in the future. You can do a little homework on what you might want to load and start with some basic loads.
Reloading is a great skill to have. I am convinced that ammo will continue to get harder and harder to obtain and the cost will only go up. Whether your reasons are an end of the world scenario or that you do not want to lose your opportunity to just shoot you might want to make sure that you will always have ammo. Personally I believe that you cannot have enough ammo stock piled.