Reloading...How much to be worth it?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by CHLChris, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

    2,523
    0
    0
    From the perspective of possible future SHTF, I'd like to at least think of reloading.

    From the sticky at the top, the Sinclair video makes it clear that one could reuse brass as many times as to the 4th trim and slightly beyond. So if one has high quality factory ammo, one could collect (hoard) primers, bullets, and powder to reload many times over.

    Without cheaping out too much, how much would it cost someone to go from zero to fully outfitted reloader? And I'm counting all the tools and little accessories and books and such. I would only want to reload for .45acp and 5.56/.223, but I'd probably want to be outfitted for 1000 rounds of .45 (no brass) and 10,000 rounds of 5.56/.223 (no brass).

    Rough numbers, anybody? I'm very interested in whether it would be worth it from a preparation-type perspective.
     
  2. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    20,110
    19
    38
    if your looking at it from a shtf perspective 45-70 is prolly the way to go or some other straight wall blackpowder based cartridge. can always go back to using black powder when modern propellents disapear 70 grns of bp under a 45 cal lead bullet.

    bottleneck cases complicate the reloading process and usually have severely decreased case life when compaired to straightwall. in shtf situation time and energy will be precious commodities. the less time you spend loading the better.

    shtf i would look at single stage or even a hand held press easier to cart around few parts to go wonky.

    ball park prices i would guess:

    rcbs rock chucker single stage3-500$ depending on accessories.

    dillon xl 650 progressive 1000-1500$ depending on accessories. caliber conversions and spare parts raise the price a bit

    bout the price of a higher end 1911 at worst. im not even gonna guess at component prices as in powder primers bullets

    a progressive loader can easily crank out 500+ per hour set up time once you have done it a few times about 30-45minutes. single stage your looking at around 50-75 rounds an hour this includes case prep time. the most time consuming portion is priming and powder charge with single stage.

    single stage disadvantage is more human error in loading creeps in
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010

  3. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

    10,270
    1
    0
    You can get an RCBS Rockchucker package that gives you just about everything you need to get started except the bench and reloading
    manual(s). The package comes with a Speer reloading manual, though.

    Then you need your brass, primers, bullets, and powder. If you're talking about mass loading for the Apocalypse, you probably won't be too picky about the brands of any of those. But if you're going to have fun along the way in mixing up different recipes, if you're like me, you're going to want to try different bullets and powders at the very least. Then, you'll also have to buy a manual for each brand of bullet you're going to load.....no winging it.

    You'll also need a set of reloading dies for each caliber that you plan on loading.....about $35 a set.

    I load .223, not the .45 that you mentioned. But I will say that, of all the calibers I load (six right now), the .223 is by far the least expensive.

    You can do the math on the previously mentioned items by going to Midway and getting prices, or someplace similar.

    I've only been handloading for about six months now, but it's safe to say that I'm obsessed with it. It is so much fun. There are others who know a lot more than I do that can give you better insight than me.
     
  4. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

    2,523
    0
    0
    JonM,

    My goal isn't to have a reason to get another firearm. I'm not asking the question, "What gun for SHTF?" in this thread. Just looking for reloading info.

    Today I have an AR and a 1911, so those are the ones I'd reload for.

    lon, again a great response! At $1500 I may need to wait a little while longer, but I love the idea of a single set. At MidwayUSA, a master set by RCBS is about $300. I would think $500 would get me started, right?

    Then materials...
     
  5. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    20,110
    19
    38
    definately. i started with a very similar package loading 20 years ago. your gonna have fun
     
  6. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

    9,663
    4
    0
    I can load 45acp for about $0.17 each which is just under 1/2 what you pay for Federal Champion at Walmart. That doesn't count brass, I've come across it here and there and saved enough from my pre-reloading time.

    You can get a lee 4 hole turret kit which gives you everything you NEED to get started for around $150. You'll soon be buying other things to make it easier. I know this isn't the best press in the world but I've loaded thousands of rounds with mine with no problems. If you only load 45ACP, you'll have paid for your press and materials after 1,000 rounds.

    Having that out of the way, I do want a better press but I've been loading on this one for 3 years and see myself loading on it for years to come or when I can afford a better press. It has saved me money and gotten me into the reloading world without breaking the bank.
     
  7. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

    13,934
    4
    0
    You need the basics of

    Press
    Manuals At least 2
    powder measure
    scale
    Calibers
    priming system (hand or on press)
    dies
    lube weather it is pad spray or something else
    shell holders (for press)
    reloading trays
    Chamfer and deburring tool

    That should get you going.

    Depending on what you want to spend your money on. It get go from 300 to 500 up to 5000.
     
  8. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

    10,270
    1
    0
    $1,500? Did I say that? If I did, I apologize. I would think about $500 would get you well on your way, Chris.
     
  9. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

    10,270
    1
    0
    All of those things come with the kit I got, except for the (1) manual, a caliper, dies.....and I think it came with one shellholder but I don't remember.
     
  10. hunter Joe

    hunter Joe New Member

    2,361
    1
    0
  11. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

    2,523
    0
    0
    Nope, JonM said $1500 as a top figure for a top shelf setup. It just made my eyes cross. I'm so glad that it can be done for much less!!
     
  12. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

    10,270
    1
    0
    Oh, that's COOL!
     
  13. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

    9,663
    4
    0
    I've been doing the hard way for years....adding it up myself. That one is definately being added to the favorites.
     
  14. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

    2,706
    4
    38
    You should be reloading for savings somewhat and not so much a SHTF scenereo. I reload for accuracy for long distance shooting and the savings are nill due to the cost of more spendy componets. I say reload and shoot the snot out of your firearms and wear them out and always be near out of ammo. Don't worry so much about an unrealistic SHTF scenero. Lifes too short.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2010
  15. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

    2,523
    0
    0
    mrm, I think the S is going to HTF faster where you live than some other places around the country. I'd rather be ready and not need to be, than need to be and not ready.
     
  16. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

    2,706
    4
    38
    O.K. So what are you going to do when this SHTF happens? Are you going to stay put and fend off hoards of intruders within a few weeks after anarchey rules and the rule of land at that time are other humans trying to take your shat? Are you going to go to the hills to make your stand? Are you going to go nomadic and become a hunter/gatherer?

    Stay too long within range of a city and the hoards will eventually kill you and take your shat no matter how many guns and how much ammo you have. Just try to go to the hills and the long time locals up there will send you to Saint Peter from long distance before you can say hello. Going nomadic, unless your extremely familiar with that kind of life, will kill you slow.

    Until a couple of years ago I never had herd the term of SHTF. I have thought of natural disasters including social break down and severe civel unrest over the years and what I would do or not do. I have places I can within reason safely go if needed weather it be somewhere else here in the flat lands or the hills and I have and do for many years now treck the PCT and CD and know how to travel fairly quick and light by foot in relative comfort. Firearms as well any items with bulk and weight are not in any plan I may have to formulate given such a SHTF situation arises and I end up traveling. Not to say that a firearm and some ammo would not be in the equation of the remote chance such a thing as SHTF happens.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2010
  17. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

    9,663
    4
    0
    I never really concidered being able to reload my own ammo as a SHTF type of project. If components get tight(like a year ago) the only ones who could continue to roll their own were the ones who had a decent stock. I personally never ran out of anything but my supplies did get lower then I would like and as I tried to move into a couple of new calibers finding some things, mainly primers, was an issue. Magnum primers were even tough to find for a while.

    Being able to load your own can help you if the economy gets worse or inflation gets out of control because (again if you have some stock) you can continue to shoot, protect yourself, and hunt to feed yourself if needed. If the SHTF, you aren't going to be packing your press with you when/if you bug out and you aren't going to pack thousands of rounds out on foot.
     
  18. hogrider

    hogrider New Member

    249
    0
    0
    Reloading

    Reloading isn't something you want to start learning when the SHTF. I suggest you get a Dillon Square Deal in .45acp. Then all you need is basic items like reloading manual, scales, tumbler and media, deburring tool, powder and primers ect. You don't even need the tumbler to start with. You can be reloading using your old brass for less the $600. Then as you learn the process of reloading you can add a second press in the progressive type for another $400 to $500 for when the it really hits it. Oh, you'll need to add a trimming tool too at some point. Point is...you don't have to get everything all at once. The ability to reload can be had for around $600(high estimate) and that would be a darn good set-up for one caliber. I suggest you not wait for SHTF. It's much easier to learn the process with a straight wall caliber as well.
     
  19. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

    10,270
    1
    0
    Why is that?
     
  20. hogrider

    hogrider New Member

    249
    0
    0
    Why

    Well I found it easier to set-up the dies but I didn't have a Square Deal. With the dies already being set-up it wouldn't be. Sorry bout that.