I Know Almost Nothing About Reloading...

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by TechDiver, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. TechDiver

    TechDiver New Member

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    ... but I've been looking at it, doing some math, and I have a question. Is it really worth reloading from a money saving standpoint or is it more about quality and satisfaction of knowing you cranked that round out yourself ? After doing some casual pricing of stuff the money angle doesn't look all that. I shoot mostly 9 mm and 5.56 and that stuff can be bought for pretty cheap.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  2. dead meat

    dead meat New Member

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    I've been a reloader for 40+ years and don't shoot a lot of factory ammo. I do believe that it doesn't pay to reload some rounds though, 7.62x39, 223 and 9mm are top of the list for not reloading. Surplus ammo is tough to beat for just having fun with, your not going to use this ammo for a match though. The price of equipment can be a problem for a guy starting out but i pick up used stuff for myself and friends at gunshows, if you want to get in to large batch reloading then your looking at a Dillon or similar unit and they come with a price tag that may take a little while to pay for sure. If your only shooting one or two different calibers i would stock up on factory when you find a deal.
     

  3. Pancho_Villa

    Pancho_Villa Supporting Member Supporter

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    +1 on deaad meat's info.

    I have been loading @ 37 years. I use to shoot quite a bit, but not as much now. I am not a competive shooter either. Maybe a few hundred rounds a year of pistol ammo. Mostly .38/.357, .44 mag, .45 acp. I only load ammo for those and that is if I cannot find any deals on ammo at gunshows. I buy used guns and can sometimes pick up factory ammo for nothing when I buy a used gun off someone.

    I shoot .25 acp, .32 acp, .380, 9 mil, and .40 S&W, but don't load for them. Just isn't worth it. Keep loosing suto pistol brass all the time also, so I don't sweat the small cals. Been thinking about dies for the .40 cause I have a few in that caliber, but I just can't justify it. Might get some loading dies anyway, if I find some used ones at a show.

    Same for the rifles. I don't lose as much brass with the bolt guns. And loadin for them isn't as much hassle as the pistol rounds. Don't shoot as much either. Have the .221 Fireball, .222 Rem, .223, .22 Hornet, .243 Winch. .270 Winch, .300 Savage, .303 British, .30 carbine, and 7mm-08. Hope to get a set of .308 soon. Only shoot @ 40 or so rounds of most of these a year so reloading isn't really practice, but I can adjust powder charges and bullet weights and such to tinker with accuracy. So I load them. The 5.56 or .223 I have, but don't use much at all cause of all the cheap surplus ammo. Same for the stuff I feed the Aks and SKSs in 7.62X39, plenty of surplus.

    All I have is an old RCBS Rock Chucker Jr. dies and all. Slow, but more than I have ever had a need for. Would really have no use for a progressive machine even if I could afford to buy one.
     
  4. FlashBang

    FlashBang New Member

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    I always have a well stocked supply of surplus ammo as well as factory ammo that I keep on hand. I also am set up to load every caliber that I own and keep a well stocked supply of reloading components on hand as well. I do reload for special rounds such as subsonic and accuracy rounds. It makes sense to have multiple avenues to use and/or fall back on in the event ammo or components become unavailable or the price climbs due to another scare.
     
  5. colt45

    colt45 New Member

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    TechDiver, don't know how long you have been shooting but 9mm &.223 ain't cheap anymore. .223 use to be $4-5 per 20rds not that long ago and 50rd box of 9mm was in the $6-8 range as well. Price on 45acp & 45colt
    has gone thru the roof, use to get Winchester cowboy loads for $17 per 50rds, it's now close to $40
    If I load up my XDm 9mm (19+1) I only get 2 full mags out of a 50rd box and also feed 2 Browning Hi-Powers, CZ- 75, PPQ & a Kel -Tec all with healthy appetites.

    As I type this Sportsman's Guide (EMAIL ON AMMO ) just popped up 1k rounds WOLF 124gr 7.62x39 $242.24 I remember same ammo being delivered to the house for $80:eek:

    So if you shoot a lot you really need to reload, plus we don't know the next time the dip sticks in D.C. will get their panties all bunched up.
     
  6. TechDiver

    TechDiver New Member

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    THAT is one of the main things that has me thinking !!:mad:
     
  7. austinarmory

    austinarmory New Member

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    Is it cheaper? No. You just end up buying more.
    Is it fun? Absolutely.

    Progressive presses are awesome for hand gun calibers.
    I shoot about 4-5k rounds a year. Every time I see a good deal on brass, primers or lead I buy.

    I think I have about 10 lbs of powder, 20k pieces of brass and I don't know how many bullets.

    It's really nice when the politics hit and you don't have to pay out the nose for factory ammo.

    If you have the funds to buy in bulk, there is a roi out there somewhere, but that isn't the reason I reload.

    If you are close to austin I would be happy to give you a 101 on reloading.
     
  8. dead meat

    dead meat New Member

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    Like austinarmory i stock up on components buying powder in 8-10lb lots. I also try to work one powder for several different calibers to cut down on inventory, i load from 17 caliber to 338. I wouldn't reload stuff like the 7.62x39, surplus is to cheap.
     
  9. SloMo

    SloMo New Member

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    I'm loading 9mm and .40 for just over a dime per round. Cheap factory ammo in those calibers is about three times that much around here. Buy components in bulk if you want to save money. Bullets and powder by the case, and primers in minimum lots of 15-20k. For rifle, I buy blemished bullets in bulk, and buy primers and powder in bulk as well. You may not be able to find your preferred powder/primer/bullet, but you can find something that works well for your applications. As a bonus, if components are hard to come by, you're set for a while. Yeah, I save a lot of money reloading, no way I could support my habit otherwise.
     
  10. colt45

    colt45 New Member

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    We had 10" of snow this week and shut the entire area down, been reloading 9mm and 5.56, it helps starve off cabin fever:p
     
  11. JONNIN

    JONNIN New Member

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    there are many ways to reload. Take standard 9mm: I can go buy new brass, match primers, case filling powder, gold plated bullets, spend 10k on precision equipment, spend all day making each round an individual work of art, and produce ammo at a rate of $100 a box or something. (Yes, I am being silly, but only a little bit --- using top shelf components to make match grade ammo is pricy, but SO IS MATCH GRADE AMMO off the shelf, yours is better than theirs and costs less too its just more than cheap steel junker ammo).

    Or I can use a $100 single stage press, lead bullets, brass I found on the range, cheap primers (as far as it goes), flashbang powder, .... and if I do my part I produce ammo that is brass cased, very consistent (if not match grade, it will hold its own vs any standard off the shelf ammo) and costs maybe $6 a box.

    That is not far off. Using cheap bullets, even with the component price creep, I still can keep it around that per box. Not going to fund your next car with the savings, but its tangible.

    Then take a look at 44 mag or 45 LC. Those are nearly a dollar a shot -- over 40 bucks for a box of 50. I can make those for no more than $12 per box, if I reuse my cases many many times (harder to find these on the ground!). Saving at least 25 bucks per box!

    Rifles are amazing savings too, for larger calibers.
    If you just shoot a little 9mm now and then, reloading is probably more trouble than its worth unless you enjoy it, saving $20 a year isnt impressive. If you blow out 2 boxes a week, its a lot more impressive results. If you shoot big expensive calibers (or little idiotically overpriced rounds like 380) by the bucket, the savings is outstanding.

    Time is $$. If you reload a lot, an efficient press is part of it... I use a turret, which makes a box in 15 min for things like 9mm. Costs a little more, but my time has value.
     
  12. colt45

    colt45 New Member

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    What JONNIN said is so true!!!!!! Great post sir.
     
  13. grandpa1466

    grandpa1466 New Member

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    I reload 9mm, .380, 45 acp, and soon, 9x18 Makarov, using range brass. It does save me money, yes, but even better, in my 9mm and .380 I have worked up loads that are more accurate than any factory ammo I've used in my particular guns. I also reload rifle rounds in .243 and .300 Savage, both of which are nearly impossible to find. If you can find the factory 300Sav, it is over $40 per box of 20.
     
  14. dtom29

    dtom29 New Member

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    It's not always about cost savings. Although I save no matter what the caliber, some a lot more than others. In the past 6 months it's been about availablity. I'm feeding multiple 9mm's one of which is full auto. When no one could find 9mm I was still shooting as much as I always did because I had the components to load. I buy very little 9mm because I've always loaded my own. 45 ACP is the same way. I also load 380 and 38 special. 300 BLK is next, and now that 223/5.56 has jumped $100 a case I'll start reloading that also.
     
  15. colt45

    colt45 New Member

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    I'd like to find 9x18mak brass and plated bullets, where are you finding these?
     
  16. JONNIN

    JONNIN New Member

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    Mak brass is a pain. There is a little for sale online, starline made some, maybe others, and a few companies make brass cased ammo at a high price but you can reuse the brass. What a lot of people do is wing it... you can trim a 9mm to work easily (but tedious), and I bought 500 cases of 9x18 police (cheap, because no one wanted it) which is not quite right but it works fine in my mak. As for bullets, I use lead, the MO bullet company offering. Dunno who might have a plated round for it.
     
  17. grandpa1466

    grandpa1466 New Member

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    Right now, I'm using brass from factory ammo that I bought and shot. I ordered the case length gauge so I can trim 9x19 brass down to use if I have to. I have LRN bullets on order from http://www.missouribullet.com/.

    I saw a good idea on another post somewhere. One guy uses all his brass 9mm Luger as is. Whatever nickel luger he can find, he trims to 9x18. That way he keeps things separated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  18. colt45

    colt45 New Member

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    I like the nickel case idea!
     
  19. Ajole

    Ajole New Member

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    A big plus one to the idea of loading the slightly odd calibers. And when I say "odd" I mean compared to the stuff most people shoot these days, but are almost obsolete now that everyone thinks NATO is the answer to anything gun related.;)

    I have a Garand that requires slightly non-standard 30-06, or a special gas plug, and the .300 Savage isn't as easy to find anymore.

    Now if I could just find a good way to reload rimfire.:p
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014