How Much $ To Reload .38 Special?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by ninjatoth, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    I have talked about reloading .44mags in the past but never got around to it and then I sold my .44 revolver, now I have a SP101 .357/.38 and am a bit more serious about reloading than before. Plain and simple question-how much does it cost to reload a round or a box of .38 special? I am thinking of staying with just light target loads.
     
  2. Anna_Purna

    Anna_Purna New Member

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    I don't know all the totals, so others will help u out there, but for me, just finding the powder these days to load anything is the hard part. Good thing I planned ahead and hoarded before the communist invaded the white house. ;)
     

  3. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    I just started a mini hoard, normally I don't feel the need to, normally I never keep more than 100 target rounds at a time to shoot, but somehow I kept going back online and ordering, and going to the local sports store when magtech 38 was and still is $17.99/50. Now I have 700 rounds stacked up, and am feeling even more ammo greedy the more I get.
     
  4. Bayou

    Bayou Active Member

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    I load 38 spl along with a variety of others. My reloading hardware equipment was bought and paid for more than 35 years ago. My component supplies - powders, primers, projectiles - were purchased over many years. So, for me, a 38 spl reload costs a nickle or less.

    Your question, as posed, is not answerable without more information.

    Do you own reloading hardware - dies, press, scale, etc, etc, etc....or do you have to buy these?

    Do you own the component supplies, or do you have to buy these?

    If you have to start from scratch with acquiring all the necessary reloading hardware and components, your cost will be significantly more especially at today's prices.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  5. gr8oldguy

    gr8oldguy New Member

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    It cost about $3.75 - $4.00 a box of 158 gr rounds for 38 spl. I cast my own bullets that helps to keep the cost down. good luck
     
  6. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    I have no equipment yet, was hoping to find the bare bones of what I need and stick to one caliber, and I have lots of time on my hands to tinker also so ripping them out on an automatic press isn't a priority to me.
     
  7. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    You can get a basic single stage press, dies, shell holder, priming tool and scale for $131, less if you shop for used equipment (ebay) http://www.amazon.com/Lee-Precision-50th-Anniversary-Reloading/dp/B00162RM3E

    You will also need dies- $36 (less for used) http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-list...words=38+special+reloading+dies&condition=new

    You will need brass, bullets, powder and primers. While brass DOES wear out, 38 Sp wadcutter loads are VERY mild, brass lasts a long time.

    Wadcutter bullets are cheap (casting your own is cheaper) Look up price of components, use this calculator to figure your costs-
    http://handloads.org/calc/loadingCosts.asp
     
  8. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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  9. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I cast my own, and buy primers and powder in bulk.

    I load .38 special for about $4.50/hundred. ($2.25 per box.)
     
  10. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    I can reload .357 mag. for about .08 or .09 cents a piece................
     
  11. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

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    I load 158gr and buy S&S cast bullets. Primer, powder and the bullet puts me right at $14/100. That is today's pricing. $45 for 500 bullets, $35/1000 for CCI primers and $20 per lb of AA#5. If I went to a 125 gr bullet I could save a couple pennies per round but I like the way the 158gr bullets shoot.
     
  12. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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  13. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    Thanks for the replies, I will probably buy the book, study it and then go from there with getting supplies. I just hope I don't blow myself up when I start, this is all foreign to me.
     
  14. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    I also like 158gr, in .38 . If I was going to reload some .357s I might do 110 or 125gr since I have a snub.
     
  15. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    IF YOU FOLLOW THE MANUAL AND PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU"RE DOING,It would be virtually impossible to blow anything up with your handloads.

    Most accidents are caused by not paying attention, or trying to experiment, before you know exactly whst you're doing.

    One good way to avoid problems is cancel your subscriptions to any gun magazines you may be getting.:p.
     
  16. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    Hello again, ok, I have still been putting off getting a reloading kit but i'm not putting it off any longer, I think i'll go with the Lee single stage kit because I got the time to tinker, but my question now is: what is a good reloading manual/book if all i'm ever going to reload is handgun calibers, specifically the .38 spl? Do these books have "recipes" for how much powder to use specific by a brand name etc? I know it's a dumb question because I think I know the answer but I never read one of those books so I don't know. Also, can someone give me some examples of what they use just to get an idea. I seen a video of a guy today using 2.8gr of Alliant bullseye powder over what looked like a 148gr wadcutter. How powerful do you think that kind of load will be? And what size primers do I need for a .38?...I am very newbie at this so I don't even know that. I am wanting to reload light to medium power .38s to fire through my SP101 .357 if that helps if anyone has any suggestions. Thanks.
     
  17. gr8oldguy

    gr8oldguy New Member

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    If you want to reload, start simple. Get a Lee Loader for 38 special. It will cost around $25-$30. Buy a set of Lee dippers, another $12 and a Lee reloading book second edition. I used a Lee Loader for years. They are slow, very slow, but it's a good way to learn and if you enjoy it, then move up to a turret press. I can tell from the questions you're asking, you know nothing about reloading. That's why I suggest the Lee Loader and the book...read the book. Once you get the hang of it you can load a box and half of ammunition per hour. good luck
     
  18. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Answers in red above
     
  19. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    Thanks for the replies, most of that info I pretty much knew from my research, I just wanted to hear from someone else to make sure I am in line with what I been learning. Also, I notice that I can get a progressive press for about the same cost as a single stage kit+ dies, and since I plan on only loading one caliber, do you think that's a good idea? I am a little concerned about how accurate the powder is measured out if it's all automatic, but at the same time the fact that the dies stay in place makes more sense to me as far as getting the bullet seated at the right depth with no screw ups since the dies pretty much never come off. What do you think I should get? BTW I am pretty handy and figure stuff out pretty quickly so i'm not as worried about messing up as I lead on to be, I just like to go over things more than I need to in my head before I actually do something.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  20. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    The .38 special is one of the most versatile and forgiving calibers one can reload. I only listed Bullseye & Unique previously. I would add that the list of pistol powders that won't work in the .38 special is comparatively short.

    I would suggest you download some data and read through it to get a feel for what it all looks like:
    http://www.accuratepowder.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/WP_LoadSpec_1-23-14.pdf
    http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/
    http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/default.aspx
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014