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Old June 19, 2011, 11:24 AM   #1
bamiller
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Total cost for reloading 45 ACPs

Seriously thinking about getting into reloading and as I'm anal about saving money I'm trying to figure out what my total cost for reloading 45 ACPs for range use, including buying all components (brass, powder, bullets, primers) and amortizing the cost of all new equipment. Don't need all the "nice to have" accessories...yet. I'm thinking the bare necessities are press (going with either a Dillon RL 550B or Hornady LNL AP), conv. kit, 3 pc. carbide dies, electronic scale, tumbler & media, electronic caliper, 2 reloading manuals, and a bullet puller. Number I come up with from Midsouth Shooters is $607 out-the-door for this equipment (figuring a Hornady AP press). I read in another thread that the total cost for reloading 45 ACP if one had to buy everything would be about $11.00 per 50. If that is correct I would end up saving about $14 a box as I'm currently paying $36 for a box of 100 WWB at WalMart. Would like to hear from the veterans if this is an accurate number.
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Old June 19, 2011, 11:46 AM   #2
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See this thread for some more info.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=454525
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Old June 19, 2011, 12:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
I read in another thread that the total cost for reloading 45 ACP if one had to buy everything would be about $11.00 per 50
Sounds about right if you have to buy once-fired brass on occasion, and you're shooting plated or even FMJ bullets.

I shoot lead .45ACP bullets from a revolver, so I re-use the brass I already have and don't have to buy it, so my cost is considerably cheaper:

bullets:


230gr LRN (MastercastBullets.com): $0.0694/round

primers & powder (bought locally @ $30/1,000 primers and approx $22/lb, + tax):

primers: $0.037/round

powder:
$0.012/round

total = $0.118/round = $5.92/box of 50.

My actual cost is even a bit lower, as I usually buy primers and powder on-line in a group order, which is cheaper than buying locally.
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Old June 19, 2011, 12:20 PM   #4
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Try this calculator, can't remember where I got it.

http://10xshooters.com/calculators/H...Calculator.htm
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Old June 19, 2011, 12:24 PM   #5
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You could save alot more if you started with a single stage press. Lee has some good options for low dollar singles. Get an O-frame press and it will last you forever. You can always upgrade later.
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Old June 19, 2011, 12:50 PM   #6
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How much do you shoot? By that I mean, do you shoot enough to justify the purchase of a Dillon 500? I started with a single stage and it was adequate. I now use a Lee Classic Turret, and I wish I'd started with it. While not up to progressive levels of production, it does strike a pleasant balance against cost. I would eventually like to step up to a progressive, but I simply can't justify the cost right now. I probably shoot 300 to 400 rds per month of .45.
If you've jumped into the deep end of a practical pistol league, feel free to ignore the previous.
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Old June 19, 2011, 01:04 PM   #7
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Saving is significant depending on how much you shoot. Thats only part of the issue. You are making a more accurate round, You are making it,Reloading is very relaxing, You kinda get the feeling of accomplishment,

Time away from wife and kids,,(did i just say that ha ha)
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Old June 19, 2011, 01:08 PM   #8
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natchez shooters supply has the lock and load ap press for $379.99
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Old June 19, 2011, 01:16 PM   #9
Edward429451
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Quote:
I'm anal about saving money
Quote:
I'm thinking the bare necessities are press (going with either a Dillon RL 550B or Hornady LNL AP), conv. kit, 3 pc. carbide dies, electronic scale, tumbler & media, electronic caliper, 2 reloading manuals, and a bullet puller.
This does not compute. But if you make good dough, and want to move right into where you will prolly wind up a few years down the road...it still doesn't compute. Make the 550 your 2nd press, not the first. Think Rockchucker.

I can load ~ 200 rnds in a couple hours on my RC so that's not too slow. The single stage press will serve you for many tasks even if you do own a progressive. This coming from a man who owns two RL550B's, and two single stage presses, the single stage presses get used more.

If you want to save money loading 45's you'll have to start casting your own. I can load 230 gr LRN for about $1.50 a box of 50.
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Old June 19, 2011, 02:53 PM   #10
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Now you guys have me thinking about buying either a single stage or turret in lieu of a progressive because I'm currently shooting only about 200- 400 rounds a month. My initial thinking was sure as heck I buy a single stage then I wish I'd have bought a progressive and end up selling the single for a loss.
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Old June 19, 2011, 02:56 PM   #11
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Baby Steps

I seriously recommend you start with a single-stage press and use it for a couple years until you really know what you are doing. Used but quite serviceable presses can be had on Ebay or the For Sale area on any reloading site for <$100.

I only have one new press on my bench out of eight; the rest are anywhere from 20-60 years old. Presses made of iron and steel never break or wear out. I started on an RCBS Rockchucker and am glad I didn't jump in with a progressive. It is too easy to get confused and make a mistake (e.g. no primer, no powder, double charge of powder, a pebble in the case, etc). Single-stage presses force you to take your time so you can easily double- or triple-check each round during its manufacture.

As for the cost, I used that reloading cost thingie mentioned above. It works really well.

Bullet: 230gr lead, 6.5 cents apiece ($65 a thousand bought at a local gunshow, no tax)
Casing: Free, range scavenged
Powder: 6.0gr. Unique, 1.5 cents apiece ($18 a pound including tax)
Primer: Any American made, 2.8 cents apiece ($138 for 5k, includes tax)

Total cost per round: 10.8 cents
Total cost for 50-rounds: $5.40

Keeping reloading costs down is a matter of taking advantage of opportunities. Get components when they are on-sale. Scavenge ranges for brass or buy it from reloaders online. For example, I have a store near me that specializes in shotgun shooting. They carry primers and powder for all firearms but don't charge much because they buy in such a large volume and their store front is a pole barn.

Also, keep an eye out for tournament shoots. Dealers don't want to take their inventory home with them and practically give it away. Last month, I got to a benchrest shoot just as it ended. A large reloading component dealer who shall remain nameless was giving really good prices on his inventory so he didn't have to pack it up. Deals I negotiated:

8lbs of 4064 for $120
5k Federal Large Rifle Primers for $125
20cal and 22cal Hornady VMax bullets for <$15 a hundred

And no tax.
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Last edited by Kevin Rohrer; June 19, 2011 at 03:02 PM.
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Old June 19, 2011, 05:15 PM   #12
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On a side note---I shoot about 300 rounds a weekend between 223,308.
This is all done on a single stage press and i have no problem getting them done.
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Old June 19, 2011, 05:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Now you guys have me thinking about buying either a single stage or turret in lieu of a progressive because I'm currently shooting only about 200- 400 rounds a month. My initial thinking was sure as heck I buy a single stage then I wish I'd have bought a progressive and end up selling the single for a loss
I think you will find that even if you get a progressive, you will want a single stage or turret to go along with it. When working up loads it's a pain to mess with a progressive since you will not be making a large number of each load. Much easier to use a single stage or a turret for load development.
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Old June 19, 2011, 06:41 PM   #14
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JMO but I think a serious reloader will always have a use for a ss press. A volume loader may need a turret or progressive loader eventually but may keep the ss press around for low-volume or experimental stuff. Staying with a ss press will keep your initial investment down so you can buy more components and shoot more.
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Old June 23, 2011, 02:47 PM   #15
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These reloader's are right on !

I did the same mental battle a few years back, started with a small single stage press and several sets of dies, now I graduated to a D650 for my mass reloading of 45ACP, casefeeder and all the bells and whistles, guess what, I still use the single stage for all the other calibers, both rifle and pistol rounds, I use the RCBS bullet blocks, that hold 40 rounds each, and have a standalone rcbs powder feeder. I do everything with this little guy, as it's still cheaper this way then to buy a caliber conversion setup for the 650.
I'm doing .308/ 30.06/223/ 38/357 with the 30$ lee press. Now if I want to restock all my 200 G SWC competition stuff for the 45's, then I crank it up and turn out any amount I want, box them up and stack em. Then move back to the little lee. So it's toss up, you will learn a ton with a single stage low tech machine, I hand prime, all of these rounds, have a tumbler and media separator, this is worth it's weight in gold. So jump in with the KISS method and have fun.
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Old June 23, 2011, 03:13 PM   #16
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Im only able to get my 45acp down to about $8-$10 per 50.
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Old June 23, 2011, 04:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Now you guys have me thinking about buying either a single stage or turret in lieu of a progressive because I'm currently shooting only about 200- 400 rounds a month. My initial thinking was sure as heck I buy a single stage then I wish I'd have bought a progressive and end up selling the single for a loss.
I would recommend the Lee classic turret press. It can be used as a single stage press and then when you want to pick up the pace just add the auto indexing rod and you can load close to 200 rounds per hour. For me loading pistol ammo on a single stage is boring. I can sit at my classic turret for hours no problem.
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Old June 23, 2011, 08:17 PM   #18
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My vote goes to the single stage press. I started loading nearly 40 years ago on a Lyman Spartan press and I still have it and I still use it. Since then I've added an RCBS Rockchucker and I use it frequently, and I have six Dillon presses dedicated to single calibers and I use them probably weekly.

A single stage press is definitely the way to start while you're learning. A progressive can make you hundreds of bad rounds of ammo in very short order. It's a real PITA to have to tear them down and start over. Learn what you're doing, all the steps, before going to a progressive. Millions of rounds of ammo are loaded on single stage presses every year.

Then too, some people start reloading, try it for a while, and simply decide reloading isn't their cup of tea. Fine but then you have an expensive press sitting around looking for a buyer. If you have a single stage press it's easier to sell and you won't lose as much money. A small point but one to consider.
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Old June 24, 2011, 08:34 AM   #19
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A progressive press is a bad choice for someone new to reloading IMHO. Also, I strongly recommend a balance beam scale verses a electronic scale. I have never worried about dead batteries in my balance beam scale. Dillon Eliminator scale is excellent and is only $54. Same goes for electronic calipers. Batteries seem to go dead just as you need them most.
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Old June 24, 2011, 09:27 AM   #20
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MrBorland's numbers are close to mine. I reload with a Lee hand press and dies so my initial investment was a LOT lower than what you have shown.
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Old June 24, 2011, 10:15 AM   #21
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You know any press will be great. Should it be a single stage press? You know I can't think of one reason why you have to start on a single stage press. For every reason that people have given I can give you examples of the same problems and issues on a single stage.

It just takes time to learn your system and safety procedures along with good reload techniques. This applies to both. I mean if you are going to have incorrect powder charges in a progressive then you would have the same issue in a single stage because your not looking at the case when the powder has been dropped. Think it isn't easy to get distracted on a single stage and double load your cases ... it has happen many times to far more people than they are willing to admit.

If your not check you bullet seating depth then you can reload 100's of rounds incorrect on either a single stage or progressive.

However I see no reason not to consider a single stage, While mine came 10 years after my progressive press it has become a pretty good asset for doing specialty reloads. I wouldn't think of ever not having my single stage though it does rifle reloading.

You want to start cheap, then any single stage will work fine. I had a Lee single stage kit for about a month, it worked but never liked it because the equipment just wasn't up to my standards in construction material. I replaced everything and went with the Lee Classic Cast Press.

Scales ............. nothing can be more simple than a scale. Ok I have a balance scale. It does a great job. However I use and love my electronic scale for the faster weigh times. Most come with a plug in so you never have a dead battery. I still use the balance but when it comes down to it the electronic wins in my book.

What ever you choose for you will not be wrong. What ever I choose or other choose for you might be wrong. If you start with a single I can almost guarantee it will stay will you for ever. After you start reloading you may find you shot a lot more and that your requirements for ammunition my double or triple.
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Old June 24, 2011, 03:37 PM   #22
Kevin Rohrer
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Quote:
Im only able to get my 45acp down to about $8-$10 per 50.
Look at my costs and compare them to yours. Where are you spending more money?
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Old June 24, 2011, 06:59 PM   #23
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I'm told that one can use a progressive as a single stage starting out then once comfortable go progressive? Been reading, talking to people, and watching you tube videos about reloading and think I'm going to go with the Hornady LNL AP. Would appreciate hearing any first hand knowledge on it, good or bad.
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Old June 24, 2011, 08:11 PM   #24
Farmland
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Contrary to popular belief the type of progressive press is a personal choice. I use a Dillon 650 and LNL, so no big deal when it comes to presses.

Yes you can use a progressive press in the same manner as a single stage press.

In fact I use two presses when reloading my 223 rounds just because I like to. I size & decap them in my Lee Classic Cast Single Stage. I hand prime them mostly because I can do it while watching TV while priming a few hundred or more.

Then just to get them done a little faster I use the 650 to drop the powder, seat and crimp. I just don't use the sizing die and don't fill the primer tube.

There isn't any particular reason I don't use the LNL.
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Old June 24, 2011, 09:04 PM   #25
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Quote:
Now you guys have me thinking about buying either a single stage or turret in lieu of a progressive because I'm currently shooting only about 200- 400 rounds a month. My initial thinking was sure as heck I buy a single stage then I wish I'd have bought a progressive and end up selling the single for a loss.
What makes you think you would sell the single stage press? I have a progressive press and several SS's, and I use the singles at least as much as the progressive.

The ideal setup in my opinion would be a Forster Coax single-stage press and a Dillon Square Deal B -- even though you'll end up buying some redundant dies that way because the SDB uses nonstandard dies. But reloading just for a pistol, you could even start with a cheap Lee Reloader press and when you outgrow it you'll still find a use for it somewhere:


As someone already said, get a balance beam scale, not an electronic one.
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