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Old 02-29-2012, 02:10 AM   #111
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Very informative billt. Since I started shooting my new gun I started picking my brass up. Seems I go through more ammo being its a semi- auto lol. I don't even have a reloader!! After your post I might have to look at a reloader. It also sounds like some peaceful alone time to relax. Thumbs up Bill.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:10 AM   #112
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Wow that was an excellent write up Billt you've convinced me into learning about reloading and investing in it. Any advice for me, Ill be honest I don't know any thing about reloading.
About the only advice I can give is to research and buy good equipment. Progressive loaders are not that complicated to operate or understand. They just do multiple things at the same time. The basic procedure is the same, as are the dies. Dillon makes excellent progressive machines. The Hornady Lock-N-Load Progressive is another good solid machine. There are several videos of each on You Tube that show how they run, as well as how to set them up.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:12 AM   #113
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I wonder if starting another thread would be best considering how far off topic this has become.
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"The biggest issue with assembling an AR isn't so much getting the parts together right - it's getting the right parts together."
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:53 AM   #114
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The main issue with reloading cost is where you obtain your components. Too many people pick up a Cabela's catalog, and using their component prices as a baseline, dismiss reloading as "not worth it". Like anything else you buy in quantity, you must shop around for the best price if you expect to save. In over 40 years of shooting and reloading, I've picked up enough empty shotgun hulls and brass off the ground to fill a 2 car garage solid. Today as more people are getting into reloading it is becoming more difficult, but there is still a lot of brass available for the picking. Especially in the cheaper, more common calibers like 9 MM and .223.

It was the same 25 years ago when .308 and .30-06 was then considered to be common and cheap at the time. I would collect boxes of the stuff because most shooters couldn't be bothered with it. I would even have guys come over and ask me if I wanted their brass, after they saw me scrounging for it. I always said yes, even if it was for a caliber I didn't reload for at the time. Sooner or later I did, and that brass was put into good use.

Many leave 9 MM and .223 on the ground at my local club because they feel it is simply too cheap to bother with. While that may or may not be true today, you can bet the cheap prices won't last much longer. I'm surprised they've lasted this long. The days of factory, brass cased, reloadable 9 MM for under $10.00 a box aren't going to be with us much longer, as the prices of the raw materials used in ammunition keep rising, (Brass, Copper, and Lead). It is one of the main reasons so many manufacturers are going to steel cased ammunition. Especially the Russian manufacturers. Brass is a premium commodity in that country. Even American companies like Hornady are now producing steel cased 7.62 X 39 MM ammo at premium prices.

If you buy in bulk you will keep your cost per round lower. Watch for sales. The Internet is a good source to shop for bulk components. It means a more expensive initial investment, but you will save a lot more, and you'll be shooting clean, accurate, brass cased, hand crafted ammo. Not filthy, inaccurate, steel cased, Russian crap. For example, I picked up 12,000 primers recently from Cabela's of all places, (they do have sales that you have to watch for), for just $19.95 a thousand. I should have bought more as there was no limit. That's a mistake I won't make again if they ever have them for that price again.



For powder WC-844 is excellent for both .223 and .308. Places like Pat's Reloading has it for just $85.00 for an 8 pound jug. If you buy several at once you amortize the Haz-Mat fee.

http://www.patsreloading.com/patsrel/ItemDetails.aspx?Category=Powder&SubCategory=Rifle _Powder&Name=WC844_Surplus

For bullets I purchased a case of 5,000 Lake City 55 Grain FMJ Boat Tail Bullets for $390.00. These are the same bullets Federal loads in their XM-193 Ball Ammunition.

http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=8691&dir=278|281|1081|1141

If you break the price down on the above prices, and you already have the brass you are looking at:

Primers..........02 cents per round

Powder, (25.0 Grains per charge).........04 cents per round

Bullets.............08 cents per round

Total...........14 cents per round

If you want to calculate time it would depend on how many rounds per hour you are capable of producing on your equipment. I'm not in a race when I reload, but on my Dillon Progressive I can easily produce 400 rounds per hour once I'm up and running with full primer tubes. Even at just .14 cents a round that amounts to $56.00 of ammo per hour. No one will pay you that to chat on the Internet.

As I said, I've been doing this sort of thing since I got out of high school in 1970, 42 years ago. Over the decades it has paid off well, and continues to do so. For someone starting out in reloading it still can, you just have to shop carefully for your components. Paying too much for anything negates any savings you might experience from it down the road. Reloading components are like anything else, the cheaper they can be obtained, the "better" they are.
I always wanted to get into reloading ammo, but I don't know anyone who does who can show me how to start, and I am definately not just going to pick up a book and start. My luck I will end up having an accident. Good write up billt.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:02 AM   #115
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I always wanted to get into reloading ammo, but I don't know anyone who does who can show me how to start, and I am definately not just going to pick up a book and start. My luck I will end up having an accident. Good write up billt.
It's very easy. Most all reloading manuals have a chapter in the front explaining the basics. The reloading dies come with good, clear instructions on how to set them up. The new 8th Edition Hornady Manual has good section in the beginning explaining all of the tools required, what they do, along with how to use them. Once you learn the basics you can go from there. You don't have to start with a ton of expensive equipment. A press, a set of dies, scale, and powder measure and you'll be good to get started. From there, you can add equipment as you wish. Once you take the plunge and get going, you'll be surprised how easy it really is.
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