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Old April 13, 2008, 04:09 PM   #26
Al Norris
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When I got back into shooting, mid nineties, I knew I was was going to eventually be reloading (Fond childhood memories of my Uncles and Grandpa). So I saved every single piece of brass that I shot.

My step-son "pushed" me into the hobby, by buying a lee anniversary kit for Christmas awhile back. I started with several hundred pieces of .44, a couple hundred .357 and 300wm, a few thousands of 9mm and .223.

So my initial expenses were for dies, primers, powder and bullets.

I started with 44. Then my .300wm and .223. Next was for .357 and finally, last summer, 9mm. My next project is to break down and get the dies for my 7.65 Arg. - That's assuming that I can stop buying brass for my SBH! - I'm up to 1100 pieces now, and it isn't enough to last all summer.

Saving money was never a concern. Making good ammo that was tailored for each gun was always my goal. Whether for hunting or just plinking. Experimenting with different bullets is also a lot of fun.

For me, the idea that I can shoot much more than I could if I was limited to buying store-bought ammo, is reason enough. Spending those cold dark winters, up here, reloading, in order to shoot spring, summer and fall, just takes the cake!
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Old April 13, 2008, 04:47 PM   #27
CrustyFN
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I would be curious to know how many got into reloading just to save money and that is the farthest thing from their mind now. Don't get me wrong I still like to save money but the custom loads and relaxation I get from reloading are more important than the savings now.
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Old April 13, 2008, 04:56 PM   #28
The Tourist
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As a younger man, yes, I saved money. I resized my cast bullets by mixing a batch of 50% wax and 50% Vaseline and melted it into a pie plate so it was about 1/2 inch deep. I cookie-cut each bullet out with a Lee tool, and then hammered each one through a swage die.

I now have a modern tool for everything--except one of those automatic powder jigglers that drop grain by grain over an electric strain gauge.

I think I'll buy Laser Cast from now on, perhaps buy .380 ACP in bulk. I'll get 22LR's in the same 550 count bulk packages. I'll buy the fancy-schmancy .22 centerfire bullets as needed.

In my life now, free time is worth a lot more.
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Old April 13, 2008, 05:55 PM   #29
Tim R
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djonathang,

Congrats! In 1983 I bought the RCBS kits because my wife thought $12.50 was too much to spend on a box of 30-06 for my bolt gun. I still use most of what I bought back then but today I do have a mix which includes about every color and then some.

Like '06 I think the 270 would be a good cartridge to learn on. Then I got a M-1 Garand....a .357, a 1911 and so on.

Then I started loading match 308 for a tuned up M-1 Garand....savings over store bought match ammo was extremly high.

Now most of my reloading is for match 223 to shoot in my AR's. I shoot a couple of matches a month and still savings is high.
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Old April 13, 2008, 06:48 PM   #30
djonathang
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Tim,

You're going to need to explain to my wife the $500 is $12.50 when you take into account inflation
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Old April 13, 2008, 08:44 PM   #31
bigautomatic
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Rusty-
I started out reloading to save money too, but you are right. It goes way beyond the comfort level of my bank account. It is difficult to put a monetary value on my sanity. When I'm at the bench, it requires all of my attention, so everything else just fades into the background (work, chores around the house, general worries, etc). I have also gained a great interest in making 5 shots go through the same hole over the last couple of years, so I'm starting to go in pretty deep. Aftermarket barrels with custom chambers, neck turning, triggers that are measured in oz. insted of lb., etc.
Funny how reloading has brought me to be interested in accurate shooting, instead of the opposite. But then again, I tend to do everything bass-ackwards.
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Old April 14, 2008, 10:33 AM   #32
whitefish
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djonathang, I'm in the same boat as you. I debated for awhile as to whether or not to get into realoding. Cost savings were a factor for me, but in the end it was the idea of being able to make custom rounds that really appealed to me. Even with my 300 WM, I can make custom rounds that you simply cannot get off the shelf (or get them cheap). And when I get that 358 BLR I want, reloading will become absolutely necessary.

Also, being a techno junkie and a compulsive tinkerer, I like the idea making my own amo and what goes into it.
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Old April 14, 2008, 05:59 PM   #33
Tim R
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djonathang,

I should restate what my wife said. She suggested I get into reloading as she thought $12.50 for a box of Winchester ammo was too expensive. My reloading equipment has paid for it's self many times over. I started with '06 but now reload for 9mm, 38/357, 38S, 40, 45ACP, 308, 223, 30-30, and 300 H&H.

I load mostly '06, 308 and 223 as I shoot service rifles competivley. Try pricing a 100 rounds of Fed. Gold match in 308 and see what store bought would run me for 1 match.

While you will not have any great returns on your investment for awhile, you will be able to build better shooting ammo to suit your needs. There is some value in this alone.

One thing I suggest which may not have been brought up yet is keep a log of some sort and record what you are doing with your reloads. At first there will not be a real point but later you will find you can use your notes as a trouble shootng guide and keep track of things that work or don't work.
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Old April 14, 2008, 06:07 PM   #34
djonathang
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Your wife sounds delightful. Thanks for the log idea. I know how these things can get away from you as time passes. Without a log, you can end up "throwing darts."
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Old April 14, 2008, 06:15 PM   #35
Tim R
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djonathang, I'll give you an example. I found a load my Winny Feather Weight likes and it was putting 4 shots the size of your thumb nail at 100 yards. I told a guy about this and of course he had to say BS. So I loaded up some ammo and we went to the range. I could not get my groups any smaller than 1 1/2 inches. I went home with a red face. I got into my notes and discovered I had subsituted CCI primers with Winchester primers which was the cause of the larger groups.
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Old April 16, 2008, 07:18 AM   #36
qajaq59
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Will you save money? You would if you only shot as much as you shoot now. However, that's not going to happen. You'll do just like the rest of us do and spend serious time at the range.
But you'll have fun, shoot better, and learn a lot more about ballistics then you know now, so I'd say go for it.
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Old April 17, 2008, 05:36 AM   #37
River Rat 1969
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Value of Reloading

Jonathan, if you shoot a lot, say 500 rounds of pistol ammo per week, you will save money by reloading. The biggest thing you will find about reloading for your rifle is accuracy, if you are patient, and keep good reload records. For example, we used to be on a deer culling permit here in Virginia, and could legally spotlight deer.

Using a 7mm Remington Magnum, upon firing factory ammo, the deer would be obscured for several seconds with smoke in the million candlepower spotlight. 300 yard shots in bean fields would often result in a deer not being recovered. This is the primary reason I started to reload........to make ammo with less smoke in a spotlight beam.We finally found a load producing maybe a half second wisp of smoke, instead of three to four seconds worth of smoke. Additionally, groups with factory ammo in a Ruger M77 were in the 1-1/2 inch range, but with our reloads groups were shrunk to 1/2 inch.

Best regards, Jim
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Old April 17, 2008, 07:43 AM   #38
Sevens
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I've heard many fine reasons for developing a new handload to solve a problem with factory ammo, but that's a darn good one, a new on me and pretty practical, too!

While I'm not much of a hunter, I do have to say that I've never heard of any state that allows deer hunting at night. In Ohio, it's illegal even to spot or shine for them, even if you don't even have a firearm anywhere in the vehicle. (I do understand temp permits for deer reduction... and not to get off topic, but if there's anything that Ohio needs, it's deer reduction)
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