Thinking about it

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by njsportsman, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. njsportsman

    njsportsman New Member

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    Thinking about reloading

    Thinking about reloading. I was all set to but a rock chucker and at about $.22 a round I don't if it gets much cheaper; at least to be worth the time and effort. Now again I don't reload but, kinda tried to calculate materials and initial cost of equipment and I don't see it. Is it much cheaper that's what I would like to know? I also shoot .223, .45ACP and .357. haven't done the research on those calibers yet. I guess what I am saying is it just for the hobby,art or enjoyment of reloading your own. This bulk idea kinda put the brakes on reloading at least for now or until I can see the savings in it. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  2. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    I don't reload yet, but I plan to do so at some point in the future. Two things are preventing me at this point; the space to work comfortably and safely and the initial start up costs. It takes a fair amount of money to get the necessary gear and supplies. Eventually, the cost per round drops as the equipment amortizes itself.

    So, at some point I hope to reload, but for now, it's just a nice thought.
     

  3. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    NJ

    Regarding your comment about reloading. I am sure there are less expensive rounds out there! But most are of less quality. Some, I value my weapons too much to shoot them. And they are certainly not as good as those you would have if you were loading. Especially when it comes to accurate rifle ammunition. If you buy good quality ammunition form any dealer out there it is not inexpensive to say the least. What loading does for you is gives you the opportunity to develop the load to match the weapon. More versatility as to which bullet you want to shoot. Another thing to consider is the fact that when the liberals fire up their anti-gun campaign again. They will, with Hillary and the goons working hard to get us involved with the UN Weapons Treaty Program. "Without any of our votes! I might add! I do think it will be a long time before an attempt is made to "try" to take weapons but I think their undermining plan in the mean time is to attack ammunition in the near future. This will be by restricting or taxing ammunition to make it so expensive we can not afford it. That's what they were trying to do recently by requiring the manufacturers to put serial numbers on each case and etc. And keep records on them! Can you imagine the logistical nightmare! Just this alone would raise the price of ammunition out of sight. The other issue is if TSHF as has been spoken about on the forum. Ammo will be hard to come by. You will not be finding any in the stores and if you did it would cost you the farm to get it. It will be better than Gold because who will be buying or biting off a piece of gold! When people will want things to maintain living and supporting families. Ammunition will be used for several reasons. As Purchasing or Bartering powers. I have stock piled dies and my reloading supplies due to the fact that if any or all of the above should occur (and I pray it doesn't!) I can make my own ammunition for family defense, personal protection, or bartering for goods, materials and services. Only a thought on some possible benefits of reloading! So! the way a lot of us here on FTF are seeing it, there are many legitimate reasons to load. Also reloading is a personal challenge to build the most accurate round you can for a specific treasured rifle or weapon.

    03
     
  4. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    the savings comes from being able to utilize free brass in the form of range pickups or re-use brass multiple times. ive got 45 acp brass some of which is nearing its end life after 20+ reloads. rifle brass doesnt last as long but the savings is very substantial. your saving .16 a shot as a bare minimum on 45acp. its actually closer to .30 with todays prices if your diligent on buying sale items and picking up range fodder.

    the other benefits non-monetary is you are in control of the quality of your rounds. my toss together in a hurry rifle ammo is better quality than the 45$ for 20 rounds premium match grade ammo you buy off the shelf.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  5. njsportsman

    njsportsman New Member

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    Sniper 03
    Yea I know I don't want to buy the Brown Bear and mainly the russian ammo. Reloading is an option as i said I need to check the other calibers i am shooting especially the .45 ACP. That's the most expensive to buy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  6. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I reload most handgun and rifle calibers as well as shotgun. I also cast my own bullets. I have a rather large investment, but it is paid out over 26+ years.
    The per round savings is way down on my list of "why" I reload. Being self sufficient is one of the biggest reasons. I have the ability to continue to load ammo after supplies become unavailable (SHTF).
    I take pride in my abilities and like the additional control I can exercise over my shooting enjoyment.
    I can also make somewhat exotic ammo fairly easily.
     
  7. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    15$ 500 large pistol cci primers
    65$ 500 berry plated 230grn bullets
    0$ 500 45acp cases
    7$ 500 6 grn charges of unique powder
    --------------------------
    87$ 500 rounds 230grn 45acp


    195$ 500 rounds magtech 230 grn 45acp

    maybe able to find some cheaper elsewhere but thats a median price. all prices are from midway.com. i put 0$ for brass since its readily available as range pickups or re-usable. savings for reloading quality brass cases is like less than half shelf costs. if our going to load large quantities i would strongly recomend some sort of progressive setup. single stage is fine for small lots of rifle rounds but large quantities a progressive is well worth the extra.

    people will shell out big $$ for guns but balk at spending the cost of one gun on a decent loading setup and spend crazy money on loaded ammo. boggles my mind.
     
  8. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    I bought a Lee aniversery kit years ago, $80.00 at the time. I've loaded for up to 16 rifle calibers and 5 handgun. I'm at about 12 rifle and 5 handgun now. I can load 9.3x57, w/ premium bullets for .75 cents a round. Factory ammo that is close is $2.50 a round. .308 is real cheap. I like Prvi 165gr SP bullets, very consistant, very accurate. The last 500 lot I bought were $40.00 shipped. I buy IMR 4064 in 8# kegs since I use it for many calibers.
    Midway runs E-blast specials on bullets a few times a year. I've paid as little as $9.00 per 100 for partitions. 8x57, .308, 7.5x55, .223/5.56, 6.5x55, 7.62x54r, .303, I can load for under .30 cents a round.
    Pistol calibers.. .13 cents a round for some. .44-40 cast lead bullets cost .034 per round. 9mm cast lead bullets, .042 per round. Cast lead 185gr 10mm.. ..052. Loaded ammo under .17 cents a round.
     
  9. jeepcreep927

    jeepcreep927 New Member

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    Some do it for the savings, the enjoyment of just doing it, better accuracy, or any of the reasons stated.

    I started about four years ago for fun and was surprised to find the HUGE increase in accuracy when loads are tailored to a rifle. I have a .222 I built on a Stevens 200 action with a Brux barrel. Good factory ammo will print just under one inch 5 shot groups. My handloads will shrink that to low .2's. My LTR in .308 does under half an inch with reloads. I don't *need* that kinda accuracy, but it's fun.
     
  10. njsportsman

    njsportsman New Member

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    Yea if I go through with this the Lee anniversary is another option. I was looking at the Lee anniversary as well but, was kind of talked into getting the rock chucker. Kind of you get what you pay for kind of deal but, I heard a lot of good thing about the Lee anniversary especially for beginners. I did though hear that the scale and other measuring devices were not reliable. I was told that by a couple of people on another forum. One said that he bought a Lee anniversary and upgraded the measuring devices. So I am still pondering it. The one good thing about the Lee anniversary is it’s cheap and wouldn’t lose much if it’s a bust I think it’s around $100 w/o dies. But the bad is if it truly has unreliable measuring tools I would have to upgrade and that could cost. What is your opinion of the measuring tools? Do you us them or is it true about the reliability? Thanks
     
  11. noylj

    noylj Member

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    How to get started

    I have never understood comparing cheap steel-cased ammunition to hand loaded brass-case ammunition. Then I think about the people I see at the range that set up, blast away for 30 minutes, and leave. Target looks like a shotgun went off, but the target is officially dead.
    If your spare time is precious, then reloading may not be for you.
    If you would like to learn about your gun and what affects its accuracy, reloading may be for you.
    Nobody has yet followed my advise, but I enjoy giving it.
    Buy the Lee Reloader Single Stage Press Kit (consisting of the press and the Lee's "Modern Reloading" manual for $38. Buy a set of Lee dies in the caliber you first want to load for. The Lee die sets includesa shell holder, a dipper, and instructions that include loads using the dipper. The 3-die set will run about $30 and the 4-die set will run about $40.
    Buy Lyman's #49 manual for about $20. For priming, you can either prime by hand or on the press. For on the press, you will want to buy either the Lee or Lyman Ram Prime Unit ($11-$16). For priming by hand, you can get the Lee Auto Prime XR Hand Priming Tool for $18.49 and the special proprietary Lee Auto Prime Hand Priming Tool Shellholder Package for $14.99, or $35 for the complete set-up. Rather than the Lee, you could get the RCBS Universal Hand Priming Tool for $56.99 that uses standard shell holders. Of the two options, I prefer the hand priming systems as they eliminate my having to handle the individual primers.
    Look at the loads and buy at least one of the powders, bullets of the given weight/construction, cases if you don't have any, and primers. These loads are all well below max, so you can start off just loading. There will be some, though safe, variation in the weight of each charge, but you are just loading by volume and learning. Follow the instructions to push the dipper into the powder so the powder flows into the dipper by gravity. Run the edge of a business card across the dipper to lever the powder. You will want to buy the Lee powder funnel for under $4.00. This funnel is as good as any other plastic funnel and fits the Lee Powder-through Expander die perfectly. Finally, you will want a loading block in the caliber you are going to load ($6.00).
    If you are going to load for a rifle, you will also want to get the Lee Case Trimmer Cutter and Lock Stud for $6 and the specific case length gage and shell holder for your caliber for $5.
    This is all you NEED to get started for about $150 plus the cost of cases, powder, primers, and bullets
    If you like reloading, you will want to buy some other equipment, including a scale and powder measure. It will take very little time to recoup the cost of the equipment.
     
  12. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    Well the first thing is your trying to load for 2 calibers that there is a TON of cheap ammo on the market for.

    Start looking at the 357 and you will see the cost of reloads is cheaper.

    Now I have said it before and I will say it again. YOUR NOT GOING TO SAVE MONEY BY RELOADING. Some will say you will but you won't.

    Reload to have loads tailored to your specific firearm reload because it is fun and enjoyable and no one bothers you while your doing it.
     
  13. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    i disagree. reloading has saved me thousands of $$ over the years and allowed me to shoot far far more than i could have with offshelf buys.

    i do it for the savings, to be able to have affordable access to rifles and cartridges that you wouldnt normally be able to shoot a lot.

    extreme example 458SOCOM off the shelf 57$ a box of 20 or 1425$ for 500 rounds.

    brass 500ct 366$
    500 bullets 280$

    couple pounds of powder 60$~
    primers 30$

    about 736$ load it yourself even if you use the brass only once and toss em your talking HALF the shelf price for better ammo.

    savings are about that across the board compairing shelf to reloads. with handguns reloading only really saves after the first loading as handgun ammo tends to be cheap off the shelf but the price really drops after the initial brass purchase.

    does reloading save money?? definately
    do you get better ammo than you can buy?? definately

    the only reason NOT to reload is if your a person that doesnt shoot a lot. if you shoot 500 rounds a year or more you should be loading your own.
     
  14. Eric0424

    Eric0424 New Member

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    I started, and continue to reload because it saves me money on the 300-500 rounds of centerfire ammunition I will blast through at the range each visit. I'm not shooting more since I started loading, it just costs less and I have a reason to save my brass now.

    I learned through other hobbies that some of the little needless gadgets will gather dust and/or get lost, or they simply replace a functional tool that will gather dust or get lost, which is why I don't bother with the digital measuring tools, motorized case prep stations or other convenience items available to loaders that I don't have an actual need for. If and when something wears out I may then decide to upgrade, but I won't replace something just because a new or updated version is on the market.
     
  15. njsportsman

    njsportsman New Member

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    Thanks for all suggestions keep them coming. I am really thinking about it and leaning towards it. The only difference is that I am starting with a LEE Press instead of the Rock Chucker that I was originally going to start with. noylj recomended a LEE bare basic press but I was thinking about the Lee Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Press Kit - MidwayUSA 112.00 less dies. I am new to reloading does this kit come with everything needed? If so all I would need are the dies ,powder,manuals recommended etc... If not what else is needed. Thanks
     
  16. noylj

    noylj Member

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    I have nothing against the Lee package. If you are reloading bottleneck case, you will need to get the caliber-specific Lee case gage and special shellholder to trim your cases. You will also want (not need, but want) a decent 6" caliper to measure case length and COL. You will graduate, after some time to a case length gage that will measure off a datum on the ogive of the bullet.
    Go to the Lee web site and watch their videos.
    If you get the Challenger press, buy a bushing for each die. It really makes things more pleasant to simply pop the bushing out and pop the new bushinged-die in. The only die you will need to adjust afterwards would be the seating die when you change bullets.
    When it comes to Lee, read all of the instruction sheets and manuals. They don't waste words and if they say to run a hopper of a graphite-coated powder through the press, they mean it.
    If you go with a beam scale, such as the Lee Safety Scale, be sure you can use it, zero it, and read it properly. Mount it at eye-level so you don't have to squint and bend over to read it. Practice with it before you even start to reload.
    For rifle (bottleneck) cartridges, I would want a Lee Auto-Prime XR rather than prime on the press. Back in the late '70s, I had an RCBS bench-mounted priming tool, but it costs over $100 now.
    I have had success with the Lee Perfect Powder Measure for loading rifle cartridges, but you HAVE to run graphite powder through it, you have to disassemble it and remove any burrs or flashing from the casting, and you have to get the tension just right. Many powders can leak. Put something under the measure to catch the powder, DO NOT try to tighten the assembly when powder leaks out. Disassemble, clean, and then set it to a tighter tension. The measure will wear for a tighter fit and get better over time.
    No matter what you are loading, I prefer a powder measure off the press if I am using a single-stage press. I will drop a charge in a case and weigh it to be sure it is right, then I will seat a bullet. I found that I was not very good with a loading block and preferred to inspect each case for the right height of powder in the case and immediately seat the bullet. Every 10 or 20 rounds I would check the charge weight being thrown again. You should be able to stay within +/- 0.2gn and normally you will be withing +/- 0.1gn.
    I know for myself, my first press was a Rockchucker and I was very happy to sell it after about a year when I bought a Forster Co-Ax press. Then, I got one of the very first Hornady progressives back in 1980 or so. Despite those press changes, I still have the little Lee Reloading Press mounted on my bench, now next to 2 Dillon 1050s. I can load 20-50 .30-06 rounds on it, no problem.
     
  17. jeff423

    jeff423 New Member

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    Look at this site: Handloading Cost Calculator
     
  18. njsportsman

    njsportsman New Member

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    Thanks but for now I am only interested in handgun ammo: .45ACP, 357 Mag and 9mm. I do shoot a couple of rifle rounds 30.06 and .223. My 30.06 rifle I shoot once a year. I go through a box a year maximum it is my hunting rifle. I shoot a few rounds to make sure it is still sighted in and then if I am fortunate I get a few shot’s at a deer but, that is really it for the 30.06. Now my M4 is a different story I will eventually reload the .223's. I want to get a lever action just because I have always liked the old cowboy style rifles that’ll be in either 30/30 Win or .35 Rem.
     
  19. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    The only problem with that is they don't include the cost of your set up. But in the over all scheme of things is nothing.