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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 06:49
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Hey guys I am considering getting into reloading.  A few questions though.
1. Is reloading still noticeably cheaper?
2. how expensive equipment does it take to load precision match loads?
3. what would be the best beginners kit?

I will start out loading handgun ammo for practice. then I want to work up to  loading  for my HP rifle.

I have already been reading on the ABC's of reloading, dunno if its still good to reload or i should just buy factory loads.  

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Well to wet your whistle....LEE Anniversary or similar single stage kit will give your everything your need short of consumables and dies.  It's probably the cheapest good quality reloading kit available.  These are tailored more toward reloading HP rifle rounds then handgun rounds.  Most who reload handgun use progressive presses for higher production.  I find that after your initial set-up costs it's about 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of factory loads.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 09:28
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I am not for sure of the cost of loading. I want to mainly load 9mm practice loads and 223match rounds. But for the 9mm  it seems that 100fmj is around 12+ bucks.  and the 223 seems about 30 for 100 match bullets.  can you recommend any books dvds, or anything else I need to get or ready before i get into it. What kind of price per 100 are you all getting on these rounds?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 09:43
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i have the rcbs master kit, and i prefer lee dies. it cost me about $.29 to load a match .223 with once fired brass.

it takes a lot of initial investment but is worth it if you like to shoot a lot.

i can load 20 rounds here at the house faster than i can drive to walmart and buy them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 10:32
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You'll need to do some math on the consumables to see your reload costs.
 
Aprox 26Gr of powder... 1lb=5000gr...5000/26=192 rounds per pound  $25/192=$0.13ea
one primer cap small rifle.... $35/1000= $0.035ea
projectile price varies widely Do thje math for your favor.
Brass once acquired can be used multiple times.
 
Typically, reloads are more accuracte than factory loads, especially once you dial in your load for that gun.  So you can see theat reloading, once your set-up, can save you big dollars.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 10:42
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Originally posted by budperm budperm wrote:

You'll need to do some math on the consumables to see your reload costs.
 
Aprox 26Gr of powder... 1lb=5000gr...5000/26=192 rounds per pound  $25/192=$0.13ea
one primer cap small rifle.... $35/1000= $0.035ea
projectile price varies widely Do thje math for your favor.
Brass once acquired can be used multiple times.
 
Typically, reloads are more accuracte than factory loads, especially once you dial in your load for that gun.  So you can see theat reloading, once your set-up, can save you big dollars.
 
Aint there 7,000gr in a pound?
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 11:23
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Loading cost calculator

Rolling your own is the only way to go. If you can scrounge some free brass and pick up some used reloading gear to get started it is very economical. A couple years ago I put together a 30-06 reloading kit for my friends 21st birthday for just over 100 bucks.

Also, buy in bulk. Kegs (8lbs) of powder, cases of primers (5000), a lot of bullets after finding one you like. It requires some money up front, but it will really stretch your shooting dollar. Its like tools for your car or house, reloading tools will pay for themselves quickly. I just enjoy doing it too!

I can roll a box of 9mm for about 4 dollars, even at today's prices. But that is free brass and buying in bulk.

There are a lot of videos online and plenty of us that would be happy to walk you through the process. I showed a guy the ropes this spring, through another forum. He was sold after loading 20 rounds himself.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 11:32
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Originally posted by Bigdaddy0381 Bigdaddy0381 wrote:

Originally posted by budperm budperm wrote:

You'll need to do some math on the consumables to see your reload costs.
 
Aprox 26Gr of powder... 1lb=5000gr...7000/26=269 rounds per pound  $25/269=$0.093ea
one primer cap small rifle.... $35/1000= $0.035ea
projectile price varies widely Do thje math for your favor.
Brass once acquired can be used multiple times.
 
Typically, reloads are more accuracte than factory loads, especially once you dial in your load for that gun.  So you can see theat reloading, once your set-up, can save you big dollars.
 
Aint there 7,000gr in a pound?
 
 
Very possible....My memory is worse than my math but that ain't saying anything! Bucky
 
Yep, just checked, your right!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 11:39
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Not only is reloading cheaper, I get quite a kick out of reloading rounds that are more accurate than the high in Factory loads.  A large part of the fun is dialing in and finding the load that works best in your gun for each bullet weight and type.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 12:12
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Like anything else one can send large sums of money to get the so called best but many load winning match rounds with are loaded with modestly priced equipment.  The previous post about cost saving of ½ to 1/3 is in line with my experience with 1/3 cost the brass, 1/3 primer and powder and 1/3 the bullet of the reloaded costs. Something that I have done that has really saved me  money was to find a person who makes their living by selling reloading components and reloaded ammo that lives close so I could drive and pickup powder and primers and save on hazemat costs. Also I worked with seller to help him round out orders.  Let’s say he was placing a wholesale powder order and needed 30 to 40 lbs more to move into the next pricing category I would help him fill out the order.  Now I could not use 40 lbs of powder but would get shooting friends to take some of it and the seller would over stock his powder for the next gun show or I would buy a case of bullets that he wanted to sell.  I ended up build up a nice supply of reloading supplies that way.

For reloading tutorials the bullet and powder manufactures have good sections in their manuals on the basics and sometimes include advanced techniques. I am sure you could find someone at a local gun shop or range that will help you with some items that might be over looked from your reading of the manuals.  I would recommend starting with a single stage press.  My best reloading experiences (most fun) are with a single stage press.

 

Regards,

dsr



Edited by dsr - October/10/2011 at 12:15
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 12:15
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 12:16
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You'll find a range in cost depending on what you want to do. For instance, you could get primers and powder in bulk, especially if you ever find them on sale or with reduced/waived hazmat fees. Get bulk bullets and use relatively inexpensive brass. Along with a starter reloading kit, you might get 3-4 reloads out of the brass and reasonable results in terms of accuracy and performance. You could also set your powder dispenser to a safe, lower charge and not bother measuring to the 1/10th grain every round. If one charge is 42 grains and the next is 41.7  or 42.4 it will still be as good as Core-lokt.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, if tailoring a particular load to your rifle for the highest accuracy, it can get expensive. I chose to go that route because that was my goal. Factoring in my time, it costs me the same as it would to pay for premium ammo. However, the results are better than I ever got with anything off the shelf. Because reloading at this level gets more involved, I've limited my rifles to two chamberings (.308 Win and .30-06) to minimize the variation in equipment, components and adjustments. I use the same powder and charge for two bolt-action Rem. 700s and until recently the same seating depth. I switched bullets in one so I do have to go back and forth.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 13:16
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Those are good tips for maximizing your savings!  A deeloped loads for my 223, 270, 308 and 300WM all using Varget powder.  All are sub-MOA even though Varget is not a suggested powder for some of the loads and weights I shoot.  Makes for burning thru a 8lb keg pretty fast Cool but I don't have 52 different powders to deal with! Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 13:55
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1. Is reloading still noticeably cheaper?

 

Yes, in most ever caliber, (.223 or 5.56 is the only that is close all the rest are far greater differences usually less than 50% most exceeding 100% cheaper to reload cost of 1 reload maybe $.50 (case, powder, fancy bullet) cost of buying a 20 round box $20, when you get into the fancy stuff maybe $40 per box of 20.

Pistol is even bigger difference 9mm cost me $100 per 1000  bullets ($.10) primers are around $100 per 5000 ($.02)  cases are $.10 a pop. Powder is say $25 per pound (7000grs to a lb) say you get 1000 rounds per lb so $.025 of powder.

So

$5.00 for bullets

$1.00 for primers
 
$5.00 for cases
 
$1.25 for powder.
 
So you are looking at $12.25 your cost for loaded ammo +-10FPS that your hands made.
 
In bulk when I buy the powder and bullets and cases correctly I am down less than $5.00 per 50 (yes.) and that is copper plated. 
 
The cost of the case is an extreme variable.
2. how expensive equipment does it take to load precision match loads?

 

In my opion HNL or Hornady's Lock and Load is a great, great starter kit you can start for $350 and have fantastic equipment.

I am not on a soap box you really can't go wrong they all have decent quality and will last a long time.
 
I started on a Lee Anniversary or Lee Clasic, went to a RCBS than Dillon.
 

 
3. what would be the best beginners kit?
That depends on you. 
I will start out loading handgun ammo for practice. then I want to work up to loading for my HP rifle.

I have already been reading on the ABC's of reloading, dunno if its still good to reload or i should just buy factory loads.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 14:29
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I think the cheapest .308 load I'd care to shoot (basically equivalent to reputable mil-surp) would cost .62/rd bulk buying components (assuming four load cycles). Then I'd add .20/rd for time + equipment amortization. Decent stuff like Prvi 168 gr. is .70/rd. The only non-premium stuff I've done recently (and it's been a while) is to get rid of some stuff - a stray bottle of Reloder 15 (good powder but more temp. sensitive than Varget), some Speer 165 gr. soft tips BTs, and 54 primed, unfired LC cases that I got from an estate sale.

A word on that: I bought it for next to nothing, along with a 100 cases of fired brass back before I thought about these things. I have no idea how many times the rest was fired. The headstamp is LC 90 so those primed cases were likely primed 21 years ago. Now, I have surplus HXP with headstamps as far back as '62 and it all fires the same. Ammo stored well will be fine. But were these cases stored in a cool, dry place or a hot garage? At any rate, they're getting loaded light and will be be the only ones I'll throw into the once-fired misc. brass bin. (All that brass, BTW, can vary in volume so will have to be loaded light...if it ever gets loaded and that would be unlikely.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/11/2011 at 10:24
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IMO if you are mostly wanting to load 9mm and .223, get a progressive.  Those are typically very high volume rounds.  The amount of time wasted using a slow single stage press could be huge.  Life is to short to waste it on a single stage reloading press.  Wink  300 to 400 rounds per hour on a decent progressive vs 50 rounds per hour on the single stage.  Its a no brainer IMO. 

I load my match 223 rounds on my hornady progressive and they shoot 1/2 MOA or better out of my precision AR.  So good ammo on a progressive is easily attainable. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/11/2011 at 11:13
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well If i decided to get the LEE anniversay deal,  what all would i need, can you recommend load data books, or how to video, I have the abc's of relaoding book, which dies, I hear the carbite ones dont need lube for handgun rounds. I really want to im just kind of iffy about getting started. Are teh componets in the lee kit good? Should i get a caliper, or better scale. On the the lee set the primer thing that comes with it is only for CCI and winchester primers.   In books they have all kinds of tools,  frankenstien looking screwdrivers, I would need a tumbler too correct.Exactly what would i need to sit down and load: kit , powder, primers, brass, bullets and......
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/11/2011 at 11:50
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With the Anniversary kit all you need extra are the dies and consumables.  Like others have said it really isn't conducive to 45 and 9mm rounds cause it is too time consuming.  It is a great starting point to allow you to experiment and experience reloading for under $200.
 
A couple other reloading manuals like Hornady & Noslers wouldn't hurt either.  The bullet and powder manufacturers both have recommended bullet types and weights as well as recommended powders for each caliber.
These are the safe starting points for loads then bench time to find the most accurate amount of powder for each bullet type and weight...the fun part.


Edited by budperm - October/11/2011 at 11:52
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/11/2011 at 12:10
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If your looking to save a few bucks,look around for some of the older loading books that are within the last 10 yrs or even used books,they will give you 95% of what you need to get started!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/11/2011 at 17:19
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Ditto on the older reloading books. Muhc of the load data you would need is available at manufacturers websites anyway.
 
I find that cost savings are much greater with rifle rounds than pistol. Most any reloads will be cheaper than factory (other than maybe steel cased russian ammo), but time also is a factor.
 
If I could do it over again I would go for a Dillon progressive to start. I bought a Lee Turret press to start thinking it would be a nice compromise between progressive and single stage. I don't use the indexing features, I just use it as a single stage anyway. Fine for small batches, but for volume reloading (I shoot High Power, USPSA, 3-gun, etc) a progressive can't be beat.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/11/2011 at 18:55
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I have rethought this post many times.
 
I might suggest a self indexing press (don't know if this is not considered progressive since you have to move it with your finger yourself).
 
I might suggest the Hornady Lock N Load.
 
 
you can get on sale for $350 around CHRISTmas.
 
 
 
I might suggest (but it is big $$$ the RL550B by dillon.
 
 
You should be able to get for $359-389 from Dealer.
 
 
The first cost less per set-up or caliber.  You just twist in and your good
 
The Dillon gets pricey with different tool heads.  You have to swap out the whole head, vs. just twist in your lock n load dies.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/11/2011 at 20:57
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My first reloading press was a Dillon 550, an awesome press. When I moved to Alaska I needed a lot of .44 for practice to qualify for carrying a bear gun at work. I was appalled at the 17 dollar a box, local price, for Blazer 44 special! (remember those days?)

In retrospect, I would have bought a single stage kit with my very first centerfire firearm purchase. I would have saved a bundle, even as cheap as ammo was years ago. And, it would have made the learning curve less intimidating. I am pretty good with mechanical things and figured it out, sans internet videos, or knowledgeable friends, just stumbled through with my manuals and the VHS videotape from Dillon.

------------------------------------------------------
The Lee kit has everything you need except dies and a good caliper. Lee Deluxe 4 die carbide set is as good as anything for handgun. But shop around, other brands may be competitive in price. I have dies from all the major brands. The Lee Factory Crimp Die is unique and valuable for auto cartridges, like 9mm, but totally unnecessary for straight walled cases like 38 special. I use a Lee FCD with my Dillon dies for auto cartridges, purchased extra. It gives the case one last squeeze to make sure everything is within spec.

Calipers aren't absolutely necessary, but an important safety check for OAL, since you are just starting out. You'll need them later if you get into rifle reloading anyway. Fancy dies are nice, they give you more control eliminating variables, when you get into precision rifle reloading.

I'm not familiar with current online resources for a new reloader, I'd have to google it up. You might as well do that.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2011 at 06:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2011 at 06:32
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what is the difference between the Lee anniversary  kit  vs lee standard kit. other than the $10. Which should i get? So i need a caliper.  dies. and data books. What would be agood caliper  and die set for 9mm and 223? Carbite is what what i want, correct? I will not use the 223 one for a while I will do 9mm loading for a bit then a move onto rifle rounds.  I understand that progressive presses are alot better for turning out alot of rounds an hour. Right now i just want to get it down. I figured for now I will use the single stage then later on  might get a progressive for handgun rounds and just use the single stage for match rifle rounds. I am on a strict budget,, which is why i am getting into reloading.  So i need to be reasonable on my prices but i dont want something that i will regret when i could have just spend extra 5 for 10 dollars and got something alot better.
Thanks for your alls pateince.  Wont i need some sort of tumbler or some way to clean the brass?
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Here is about as good of an no nonsense explanation I have come across.




I hope this helps some people getting started.

Taken from another thread a while back.
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