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Old January 19, 2006, 05:33 PM   #1
OneInTheChamber
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Talk me into reloading

Hey guys; I'm looking to get into reloading 9mm luger, 20 gauge (for birdshot) and .223's.

I'm looking to fire around 500 rounds of 9mm each month, 200 rounds of 20 gauge, and another 200-300 rounds of .223.

How much $ in equipment is going to be needed to start from scratch?


What kind of cost per round can I expect out of each?

Thanks,

Chase
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Old January 19, 2006, 06:11 PM   #2
Dave R
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The reason to get into reloading is because it will magnify your enjoyment of shooting. Your ammo will be more accurate. Each gun will have more flexibility (lite loads, stomper loads, light bullets, heavy bullets, fine tune for a particular application, etc.)

You can certainly save a lot of money if you don't wind up shooting twice as much.

Cost to get started? Well, do you want "Chevy" equipment or "Cadillac" equipment. A Lee Anniversary kit contains most of what you need, and it runs $70-$80 at www.midwayua.com. There's your Chevy. An RCBS kit runs what, $350? There's your Cadillac kit. Or you can do what I did, and shop garage sales, and gun shows, and buy used gear cheap. I was under $60 invsted when I loaded my first shells. Got up to about $120 pretty quick (mostly because I bought a caliper at retail.)

Current costs for me:

9mm is $3.61 per 50, using Laser-Cast bullets. The bullet is the most expensive component.

.223's are running me $3.77 per 20, but that's because I'm buying good bullets at small quantity at retail. If I switched to cheap milsurp "pulldowns", I could almost cut that in half. But the load I'm using is awesomely accurate, so maybe I'll keep paying $3.77 per 20. (Because I get about 20 dead Prairie Dogs per batch...)

I don't do shotguns, yet. But my buddy tell me he's at about $2.50 per 25. That's buying components pretty smart.
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Old January 19, 2006, 06:41 PM   #3
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Dave pretty much covered it but you will need two reloaders one for the rifle/pistol one for shotgun.
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Old January 19, 2006, 07:58 PM   #4
OneInTheChamber
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Could someone please list exactly what I would need or recommend complete kits and the dies I would need.

Thanks,

Chase
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Old January 19, 2006, 08:23 PM   #5
joecad
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ok here is a list

ok here is a list :
2 presses (one shot gun & one for pistol/rifle)
i set of dies for each caliber.....i use lee's 4 carbide die sets
powder scale
powder measure ( i hear the disk types are better)
brass tumbler or vibratory cleaner(i heard that some use rock tumblers from harbor freight .....vibrating cleaners are pretty cheap)
molds for those cal's you wish to cast yourself (2 or 6 cavity i use the molds that allow for tumbler lubrication.....its easier)
furnace if you cast yourself (get one that feeds from the bottom)
depending on what press maybe auto primers.
reloading manuals get a couple information is a really good thing.
if you cast you can scrounge or buy cheap lead
maybe the best way to get started would be to buy the setup for the caliber/gauge the you shoot most...although 9mm might not offer that much of a savings....something like 45acp shows pretty good savings.
incidentals like cleaning media ( get the stuff from the pet stores), primers
bullet lube, flux, powder, primer pocket cleaner case length trimmer,case chamfering tool.
i am sure someone else will come along shortly to add the things i have forgot....and to offer opinions and experiences.
the cost?....get you final list together and price the stuff out then if you decide to buy used you will be able to better determine if you are getting a deal.
in the meantime...while you wait to get your stuff.....buy ammo with reloadable brass and save it
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Old January 19, 2006, 08:38 PM   #6
dairycreek
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I have been an acive reloader for somewhat over 40 years and can attest that it is a marvelous hobby which I have enjoyed immensely. It has increased my knowledge about firearms a great deal and provided a lot of personal satisfaction. However, it just isn't for everyone. Lots of folks just don't want to take the time to learn how to do it well. I can't tell you how many I have seen begin and then quit. That's why I don't recommend diving in with tremendous initial expenditures. My personal choice for a starting point is with a kid such as the RCBS Rockchucker.

It is a high quality outfit that starts aroun $250.00. There are kits that you can get for less too. A good reloading manual is an absolute must. It won't take long until you know where you are and can make your own decisions. Good luck!
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Old January 19, 2006, 08:58 PM   #7
Dave R
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Shorter version of what you need (ignoring shotguns):

-Either a Lee Anniversary Kit or an RCBS kit
-One or two more items...not sure I remember which. A caliper to measure overall length? A chamfer tool? (I think the Lee kit has it.)
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Old January 19, 2006, 09:10 PM   #8
duck911
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How can a guy tell if factory ammo has "reloadable brass?

Thanks,
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Old January 19, 2006, 10:24 PM   #9
Barr
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Basically any good quality ammo that is Boxer Primed can be used to reload with. I started reloading with Walmart Winchester White Box for 9mm. 3 reloads and going so far.
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Old January 19, 2006, 10:39 PM   #10
T. O'Heir
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"...factory ammo..." All commercial factory brass is reloadable. Some maker's brass is better than others though. However, if you look into the empty case and you see two primer holes, pitch it. It's Berdan primed. While it can be reloaded it's not economically a good idea. Also any milsurp with steel cases isn't reloadable. Usually has Berdan primers anyway.
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Old January 19, 2006, 11:48 PM   #11
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Reloading?

DON'T DO IT!. If you start reloading you will find you enjoy it as a hobby all by itself. You will become hooked on it for life. There is no cure short of the grave.
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Old January 20, 2006, 10:32 PM   #12
caz223
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I have yet to figure out whether I reload so I can shoot, or I shoot so I can reload.
That pretty much says it all.
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Old January 20, 2006, 11:22 PM   #13
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I have often found myself saying....I need to shoot up some of that .45 I have loaded, so I can try that new load I have been wanting to try

I really do enjoy both, and the roloading makes my range time even better.
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Old January 20, 2006, 11:53 PM   #14
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OneInTheChamber I had a guy show me how to reload so I guess I was lucky. Get a kit and just start. But! Don't do like most guys like to do. Read the instructions after you have a queistion . Even with the kit you will need to get powder, primers, bullets, brass and a tumbler. If you get a carbide die you will not need the lube pad and case lube. As far as I know they only make carbide dies in pistol calibers or straight wall type cases.

Read the reloading manual first and give it a try. It's not that hard. Don't get in a hurry. You will need a good reloading bench. I does not need to be fancy. Just something that will handle the force when you push down on the press. It helps to have good lights to light up your bench. If you fallow all the safety rules outlined in the manual you should be just fine.

I really like the Rockchucker press. I think that press will last forever. I bought mine used and I bet I have reloaded 40.000 rounds after I bought it. I know I have loaded 20.000 rounds just in 45 ACP. One day I'm going to get a Dillon press. When I shoot IDPA I see some people have reload problems with there guns. They use a progressive press. I have never had a reload problem with a single stage press. But it sure does take a long time to reload 1000 rounds with a Rockchucker. The Rockchucker really shines when reloading rifle ammo. If I reload I will not except anything other than first rate ammo. I guess thats why I'm slow to change.

Good luck be safe and have fun!
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Old January 22, 2006, 02:04 PM   #15
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I agree with wilson. Besides being relaxing next you'll have podwer, brass and so on coming out your ears. So stop now before it's too late.
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Old January 24, 2006, 07:24 PM   #16
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It is cheaper than drinking!
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Old January 25, 2006, 01:15 AM   #17
gschwertley
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Should you start reloading?

Once you get started, after while you won't be loading just 9mm, .223 and 20gauge. Once you have the equipment, you'll figure that "I already have most of the stuff, all I need to buy are the dies for .44-40 and I'll get that neat lever action." This will then happen many more times until your are loading 10or 15 metallic calibers; it may not proliferate quite so fast with shotgun.

After that, you'll discover how cheap and versatile cast bullets are and you'll get into that.

Pretty soon, you'll be loading 28 gauge rifled slugs, 8x50R Austrian, and .41 Long Colt.
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Old January 25, 2006, 01:39 PM   #18
Tom Matiska
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Good reading:


http://www.again.net/~steve/page8.htm

All are good reasons. Pick one or more and get started.
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Old January 25, 2006, 03:49 PM   #19
scottmphoto
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Reloading.

Cheaper than drinking?


Who says?
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Old January 25, 2006, 03:53 PM   #20
Barr
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Drinking is cheaper only if you drink Natural Ice. blah! nasty beer.
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Old January 25, 2006, 04:23 PM   #21
Leftoverdj
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Skip the shotgun shells to start with. Factory shells are too cheap to save significant money right now, and shotgun shells have a different set of problems. Keep it in mind for when shells go up and the price of shot goes down.

The 9mm and .223 are worth loading for, but not by a lot. They are about the cheapest centerfire ammo going. If you are shooting a bolt action .223, you should be able to save money while still improving accuracy.

It's still worth learning to reload, but the real savings come when you add more guns. There are huge savings if you shoot oddball stuff. Those guns mostly come cheaper, too. There are even bigger savings to be had if you get into casting. I shoot a fair amount of .41 Mag with my own cast bullets at about a tenth of the cost of factory, less than $2 a box versus about $20.
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Old January 25, 2006, 05:12 PM   #22
Dave R
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Quote:
Once you get started, after while you won't be loading just 9mm, .223 and 20gauge. Once you have the equipment, you'll figure that "I already have most of the stuff, all I need to buy are the dies for .44-40 and I'll get that neat lever action."
LOL. Happened to me. Once I started reloading, I realized I had no reason not to buy a Swiss K-31. So I did, and I shoot it for the same cost as shooting my .308 reloads. That rifle has never had a commercial round through it. And I am really glad I got it.
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