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Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by sharpshooter1997, Feb 15, 2013.
How much is it?
To start from scratch, press, dies, scale, caliper, powder, bullets, case cleaner, cleaning media, case trimmer, etc.
Do you have brass?
Buy used and spend $500 to $700.
Buy all new and you can spend $1k+ in a hurry.
This is based on my quick research a couple of months ago, YMMV
You can start reloading for about $30.
Spend as much or as little as you want. Yes the $27 Lee loaders do work and have been made for 40 years or so.
Single stage--$150 up
You need to decide the level you want to start out--
I just got started a couple months ago. Way more expensive than I thought. Initial was about $400 for turret press, dies, primer tool etc. This is a heavily accessory driven hobby. I'd say it depends on what calibers you want to reload and how convenient you want to make it.
The other thing is if you have to buy brass, might as well keep scrounging for factory ammo. Brass makes the initial load about as expensive as factory. Do you have a reliable source for components in you area? Ordering powder and primers over the internet isn't worth it unless you're spending $500+. And that makes for a 5% premium with hazmat.
Not trying to be discouraging but I would rather have someone be informed than going in blind.
Before you even think about buying components you need to read the ABCs of reloading. Once you have done that you need to read it again. Reloading has many benefits but it will kill you if you don't know what you are doing. Example: you decide to put your primers in a small glass jar so it is easer to pore them out. For some reason you shake the jar. You just blew your hand off.
Reloading is cheaper if you already have the brass. If you buy new brass it will be the same as buying factory ammo. I avoid this by buying once fired brass or factory loads and reloading them after I shoot them. You will need to introduce new brass as your other brass wares out. Bottle neck brass wares out faster.
Once you are ready to git started watch for deals on single stage press starter kits. RCBS makes some good kits for about $375. That will include everything except case trimmer, caliper, brass, powder, bullets, primers, case tumbler, dies and the media for the tumbler.
A better question would be? What will it cost you to not reload. Ammo prices continue to go up. By rolling your own you can get some control over your cost.
If you add bullet casting to you reloading you can make major savings.
I haven't seen it mentioned often, possibly not at all but is anyone using a chronograph to fine tune their loads? When reloading pistol loads we always follow the mfg. reloading data, and sample fire 5 or 6 rounds to see where we are at with speed. It's rare that the tables are accurate with the actual powder to speed comparisons. I'm sure experienced reloaders can go by recoil or sound, but I think the chronograph is a perfect tool for any reloader.
A chronograph is on my list of reloading items to acquire. To me it is not essential and I have some other accessory items to buy first.
It is not the initial cost you have to worry about, it is how much you will spend once you start liking it A Lee single stage basic kit (which I still use) costs $150 and includes almost everything you need, figure an RCBS die set runs about $35 around here and I got my last set of calipers for $27, and my trimmer was about $30. If you already have some brass you can cut that cost completely out, if not I get alot from the local shooting range, once fired brass works as good as the new stuff, and is either free from individuals or cheap in the range store (about $0.15 each for rifle around here) I normally get enough brass from individuals that I never need to buy any for any common caliber, I help people sight in rifles and give them shooting tips and they give me their brass, works out nicely OK back to the math, bullets for rifle calibers run about $30 per 100 for my SGKs and SSTs sometimes a little less, but there are less expensive bullet out there that work plenty good, as low as $23 for 30 cal Pro Hunters and Hot Cores. Good powders run me around $23 a lbs (1lbs will make about 120 30-06 rounds) and a brick of 1,000 primers normally costs me $30 for CCIs.
So to start reloading one rifle caliber is $242 plus your components, boil down the math on what it costs per round after that and I get my premium 30-06 165gr SGKs for $.50 each one quarter of what they cost me from Federal Premium.
You will eventually want to upgrade to a digital scale ($30-$50) a better hand primer I like the one from Hornady ($35) and some way of thoroughly cleaning your brass I recommend a Hornady ultrasonic cleaner they are on sale for $89 on Midway right now.
Not that expensive, that whole setup and a hundred rounds is less then one car payment and saves me a fortune in the long run.
If you are serious about cleaning your brass, nothing works better than a tumbler with stainless steel media. Brass comes out looking factory new, often much more shiny and the primer pocket are spotless as well.
Was your first car a new muscle car?
Read first (ABC's of Reloading)- buy later.
about the same as buying your next gun. what i tell people is take the money you are thinking about using on your next firearm purchase and buy your loading gear. buying used, especially dillon or rcbs and your set. both companies support their products regardless of how it got to your hands.
The way I look at it is reloading ammo is cheaper than factory. If you going to start reloading someday the sooner you get started the sooner you start making you initial cost back. Maybe only reload for one caliber when you get started pick up extra dies as you go.
check out the Lee single stage press kit or the RCBS rockchucker supreme kit, I have the RCBS. Beyond that you will need dies, shell holders and a case trimmer. I got the Lee shellholder set and for rifle dies I use the Lee RGB dies they are cheap and work fine, just don't have a fancy box and nice outer finish, the inside of the die does the work and they work just as well as any. If I buy brass I buy once fired, it is still cheaper than buying factory, even buying new brass is cheaper when you factor in reusing the brass.
If I was you I would do what I did, keep checking armslist and Craigslist and wait for a good deal. I got a pretty good setup for 200 bucks. Remember, patience is a virtue
I just found a Lee Anniversary kit for $118 and 4 die carbide for 9mm for $46
Comes with a lot of extras.
2 month wait though.
Coupla hundred with hand loaders. Few thousand eventually...
But there'll be the "it only costs me $0.008 per round to reload" folks here too.
Bullets may be cheaper but the cost won't go down cuz you'll be shootn more.