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Old October 7, 2012, 06:09 PM   #39
orionengnr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 9, 2004
Posts: 4,978
When I moved to a Free State almost 9 years ago, I wanted to get my CHL. I started shooting more frequently...and the ammo costs were killing me.

I bought a Ruger MkII and started shooting 100 rounds of .22 then 50 rounds of centerfire. Sometime thereafter, a lifelong friend moved to Germany and "willed" me his Dillon 450, with caliber conversion, scale, manuals, etc. I started handloading for .45acp. (After the initial investment for primers, powder and bullets, plus a vernier and a few odds and ends), my ammo costs went way down.

I still take the Ruger almost every range session, and still put ~100 rounds of .22LR downrange before moving to a centerfire. The difference is, these days I can afford to do it once a week (health permitting). I am no Jerry Miculek, but I am a good bit better than I was even two years ago.

I attribute a lot of that to the 22LR, and the theory of "aim small, miss small" that I read about here.

Even a single-stage press will help you put together 9mm for about 1/2 of factory loads, and you can build 50-100 rounds per week without spending serious time. That is assuming range pick-up brass and lead bullets bought at least 500 at a time (Missouri Bullet will put 2000 in a $13 Flat Rate box).
A pound of powder bought locally goes a good ways (~1400 rounds at 5 gr/rd). I buy primers and powder at local gun shows to avoid the HazMat fee.

Good luck and keep shooting.
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