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Old May 7, 2013, 09:44 PM   #1
KnotRight
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Reloading???????????

Back in college daysIi used to reload all my ammo. (still have a couple 1000 rounds of 38 and 357) At that time I did a lot of shooting. Also reloaded 9mm but really did not like to reload that caliber. I guess 15 years ago I sold all my equipment. With what is going on with ammo I start thinking about buying some reloading equipment. I know that primiers and heads are hard to get but you can buy them when ever you see them on the self.

It appears that the equipment will cost $500+ (Carbon dies for 38, 380, 9, 40, 45 and 223). Then the cost of the primiers, brass, heads and everything else. My guess the start up cost would be around $900 to $1,000 for most of the above calibers. Besides enjoying reloading, I am not sure it worth it. I have enough rounds in the above calibers but just thinking about replacing what I shoot which is not often.

Guess the question to the guys that are reloading, are you shooting that much or just enjoy playing around with the different loads?
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Old May 7, 2013, 09:52 PM   #2
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Prices really depend on need vs speed. I spent about $130-150 on all my equipment to reload two rifles. Your biggest starting cost is dies. If you get back into it I would buy the dies for the calibers you use most first and leave the lesser ones till later.
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Old May 7, 2013, 09:54 PM   #3
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Re: Reloading???????????

I'm shooting as much as I want and having Fun with different loads. Only got enough stocked for maybe 6 more months of shooting as much as I want.
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Old May 7, 2013, 10:02 PM   #4
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For me it's a little of both. I didn't start reloading until a few months ago, and I can't say I've saved much if any money, but it makes a difference. I don't jump through hoops to grab every box of .223 I can find.. though I do grab .224 bullets, brass, and SR primers whenever I happen to see them. I have enough stuff on hand to load about a thousand .223 rounds, so if I happen upon a store that has some ammo I can select some that I don't currently reload (like 9mm, since stuff is so scarce for them and correctly priced ammo isn't that expensive).

A LOT of it for me though is the fun of developing a load and of having a round you can't buy commercially (like a 65 grain Sierra GameKing 22-250 round). Another big savings comes in for premium bullet loads.. Hornady Superformance factory ammo is incredibly expensive, but handloads can easily meet or exceed their capabilities for significantly less cost.
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Old May 7, 2013, 10:04 PM   #5
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Welcome back to the Hobby.....

Welcome back. I did the same thing a few years back. Went into a gun shop and wanted to buy some .380 rounds. None found, so I dug up all my old equipment and stuff I would need and started back. Shooting now more than ever. Having more fun than you can imagine. The shelves were stripped back then but I had enough components to build up my stash of reloads. Don't have a lot but enough to meet my shooting needs. Never imagined it would be as bad as it is now.

Lemmon..... Enjoying life in Rural South Carolina....
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Old May 7, 2013, 10:55 PM   #6
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You can get back for a lot less than $1000. Start with a single stage press, get used brass at your local range or buy on the forum here. Primers are around but hard to find but getting better all the time. Powder is starting to become available, and bullets are around.

In short, you WILL save some money on reloads but you will get better ammo, tuned to your own guns, and you won't be held up by folks selling stuff at overly high prices in the future, and you will control your ability to shoot when you want, not when you are lucky enough to find some ammo.

Example: I was at a gun show this past weekend and watched a guy buy a 550 round box of .22LR for $80. I asked him why he was buying that and he said that's all he could afford to shoot. I informed him I could shoot 9mm all day long for about half the per-round price he just paid for the .22 ammo because I cast bullets and reload everything. He was shocked.
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Old May 8, 2013, 11:28 AM   #7
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Guess the question to the guys that are reloading, are you shooting that much or just enjoy playing around with the different loads?
Loaded rounds are invariably cheaper than the equivalent factory round.

Handloaded ammo is tailored to my guns, for whatever purpose I desire, often in ways that can not be bought. Less recoil, more power, lighter bullets, longer OAL, etc.

Handloaded ammo is almost always more accurate.

"Stockpiling" enough supplies for whatever crisis I might want to be prepared for costs 1/3 or less than the same amount of ammunition.

I get to shoot a lot more.

The satisfaction in knowing I made it, instead of just pulling the trigger.

For me, no way it's been cheaper to reload. I've got more money in equipment than I would have spent on ammo in the rest of my life. But I'd have never shot as much as I do, or learned as much as I have, or had the satisfaction of seeing previously mediocre guns shooting 1/2 MOA, or the satisfaction of hunting with my own loads, or owned the guns I do... you can't buy .243AI ammo and 357sig is way too rare and expensive...

Worth every penny, and much more.
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Old May 8, 2013, 11:55 AM   #8
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So far in all the years that I have reloaded I have never been once affected by the shortage of ammunition or even reloading components. So that is a very big plus.

Trying to find some types of factory ammunition as a reasonable price today can be hard for many.

I don't or would not call myself a hoarder but I generally have two years worth of components on hand and during this present crunch has been a bonus. I'm shooting others are spending more time searching for components.

Why two years? Well to be honest I never stopped keeping the same number of components from my competition days. Thus what would traditionally last me a full competition season will now last two years and for some reason I bought way too many primers back when they were $12. Thus I have thousands and thousands of primers that I will probably never shoot in my life time. Heck I am still using the old White Winchester boxes and have not even touch or look at the blue boxes.
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Old May 8, 2013, 11:58 AM   #9
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I guess 15 years ago I sold all my equipment. With what is going on with ammo I start thinking about buying some reloading equipment. I know that primers and heads are hard to get but you can buy them when ever you see them on the self.
You had better not be planning to start loading soon. Everything shooting related is very hard to find in stock. Presses, dies, brass, primers and powder are all "out of stock, no back order". Most think it'll be 6 months for things to get close to "normal" again.

Oh, those "heads" are properly called bullets. Loaded round, cartridge, shell, ammo, is what the uninformed talking heads on the news refer to as bullets.
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:46 PM   #10
JimDandy
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Loaded rounds are invariably cheaper than the equivalent factory round.
I've found one exception that proves that rule. Walmart has 100 round value packs of Federal .45ACP that I can't load cheaper than they sell- if you include buying the brass. But I can reload that brass and get multiple uses out of it.

If you're going to reload for a week, yeah you won't save money. If you're going to reload for years, yeah you will save money.
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Old May 8, 2013, 02:06 PM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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Gonna take me a lot of years, Jim. I'm going backwards instead of forwards.

Just this year, I've spent more on reloading gear (non-consumables) than I would have spent in at least 5 years when I bought factory ammo.
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Old May 8, 2013, 02:09 PM   #12
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I started reloading 40 years ago. Reloading has most likely cost me 10's of 1,000's of dollars over just buying factory ammo. But the reason is: it makes this much more fun and much more likely to actually go shooting on a regular basis.
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Old May 8, 2013, 02:24 PM   #13
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Reloading???????????

For the past 25 years at least I have ALWAYS been able to reload for at least a 50% savings over comparable factory ammo. Calculate your annual factory ammo costs, divide by two, and multiply by number of years acceptable to recover equipment costs. This is your max setup budget. If you do not shoot much and mainly want to save money and increase availability, then you sure do not NEED $500 of equipment. You can get up for $200 or less. If you choose to spend more then it is for the enjoyment/pride as a hobby not for practical need.

Right now primers and powder are hard to come by. Lead bullets for handgun cartridges are available. The .223 Rem bullets will be scarce in the 55-69 gr range. But you can find some in 50 gr and less. Hopefully in the next two years we can again readily by ammo and components!
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Old May 8, 2013, 02:29 PM   #14
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The biggest problem with just now getting into reloading or even for those that have dies and presses is that there is shortage of powder, primers and projectiles.

If your reloading less common calibers in some cases you will not have much of a problem finding bullets but, the common calibers are pretty hard to find target projectiles in bulk. I have found some 90g 9mm bullets but, would have preferred 115g-124g. .223 bullets can be found but, for the most part only in 36-50g or 62-75g varmint or match.

Primers are hard to find across the board and powders are limited in choices and the amount you can buy at one time.

Reloading may still be the only option to get ammo for your gun but, it's not a simple answer by a long shot! Prices are are high and items are hard to find!
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Old May 8, 2013, 03:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Just this year, I've spent more on reloading gear (non-consumables) than I would have spent in at least 5 years when I bought factory ammo.
I don't know about 5 years, but I'm out a couple years myself. It also depends on what you shoot. .50 BMG will earn you back your money a lot faster than 9mm.
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Old May 8, 2013, 03:54 PM   #16
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What I am thinking about doing is start collecting the different items that goes into the gun (nothing related to the press and dies) over the next 6 months. If things become more avaliable I can erither buy the press and dies or sell what I have collected.

The questions that this will answer is, I am I going to shoot as much as I think I am. About 2 years ago I got back into skeet shooting and was thinking about buy a reloader for shotguns again. Then I saw a box of shells for around $5 and decided not to. Also, the urge to shoot skeet has decreased.
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Old May 8, 2013, 04:32 PM   #17
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Yes, startup costs can be significant these days.../ top of the line progressive presses ( like Dillon 650 or Hornaday LNL ) with maintenance kits, one set of dies, powder checks,etc are about $ 850 ....if you want a case feeder add another $ 250 ....and they're about $325 to add another caliber..../ scale, case cleaner, etc...are $350 or so.

so sure, if you want to reload 6 calibers....its pretty easy to get about $3,000 tied up in your equipment.
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But even with today's prices of primers at $50/1,000 and bullets even in 9mm up around $95 /1,000....a 9mm can still be reloaded for about $ 7.75 for a 50 rd box vs $25 retail in my area ( .45 acp reloads @ $ 12.40 a box vs $35 retail)...so there are significant savings.....

Same thing on shotgun shells...I can reload a 1oz shell ( 12ga) for about $4.50 for a box of 25 vs $ 7 retail / if I drop the shot down to 3/4 oz like a 28ga shell ...I can drop that cost to $ 3.63 a box ....( and that's with a 25lb bag of shot at $40.
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From my perspective:

I customize my cartridges and shells to exactly what I want.
I reload and shoot at least 3 times more, with the same ammo budget - because I reload.
But I'd reload ...even if the cost was a push....because I enjoy it(its part of the gun collecting, shooting hobby for me).

I went to range for 3 hrs this am/ a pair of 1911's ....with:
4 boxes of 9mm ( call it $31 )
2 boxes of .45 acp ( call it $25 )....
so $56 in ammo this morning / and I paid less for my ammo than my buddy did for 1 box of 9mm($28) and 1 box of .45 acp....($35)/ and I had a great time.

I'll go again tomorrow or Fri afternoon ....with:
4 boxes of 9mm ( $31 )/retail would be $ $112

and maybe again on Sunday with some revolvers and:
5 boxes of .357 mag...( $ 40 ) / retail would be $ 150

and I shot 5 rounds of Skeet on Tue ...( $ 22 ).../ retail would be $35 / for shells only ( targets were another $30).
--------------
So for less than $ 150 .....I'll have been out shooting 4 times this week ...and having a great time..../ retail it would have cost me over $350...which I wouldn't pay.

I don't save any money, I just shoot more.
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Old May 9, 2013, 07:58 AM   #18
foghorn25
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I used to reload .38 special with a Dillon square deal and like an idiot, didn't forsee "this" coming and sold it. I recently ordered a Lee Turret but as everyone has already mentioned here, things like dies and powder and primers are all back-ordered.

I've never calculated cost savings, my sense is it really isn't that much over buying over-the-counter ammo but obviously it gives you more flexibility with loads, and almost a new sense of "value" for your ammo (I think you actually become more frugal, not less). And it's fun. And now...with the "gun climate" the way it is...it's an option I don't want to be without. It'll be a few months before I can get rolling but as of now I'm cautiously optimistic things will improve, and once (hopefully) ammo becomes more readily available perhaps demand for reloading equipment will calm down.
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Old May 9, 2013, 08:03 AM   #19
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I have been reloading for many years, and still on an inexpensive, single stage Lee press. You don't have to spend a lot of money to reload. Just get a single stage kit, dies, powder, primers, and leftover brass from your factory stuff, and get going.
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Old May 9, 2013, 11:16 AM   #20
snuffy
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Just picking 9mm luger for instance;

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/140...-set-9mm-luger

Says out of stock, back order okay, expected the end of this month. How many will they get in?

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/670...le-stage-press

Here's one single stage press available on the Midway site. Most are "OOSNBO", (Out Of Stock No Back order), Or back order OK. All the less expensive Lee single stages are OOSBO-ok

Point is; getting started in reloading right now is a waiting game and you won't get to choose from the many types of presses available.

A better bet would to be to go to an auction site, the local paper, rummage sales, and keep your eyes open. My nephew showed up last week with a well used MEC 20 ga 600 jr. shotshell press. It was missing the primer station, so he got it for 5$! At a rummage sale! The lady running the R-sale didn't know what it was, found it in her basement after her hubby died.

If that were me running into that, I would say something like this; "can I come over and help you clean your basement"? Where there's one loader, there could be others, and maybe components.
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Old May 9, 2013, 11:18 AM   #21
BigJimP
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I would add to my comments - that I'd suggest you approach the reloading part of this hobby the same way you select a gun ( based on your own criteria).

How I reload, what equipment I choose to use, how much room I have in my shop, different calibers, etc -- might be different than yours....( so I told you how I approach it ) ....there are lots of presses from single stages to progressive machines. These days, all of the press mfg's make pretty good equipment. I don't know if a single stage is right for you ( I had them in the 1960's ) and I can't imagine going back to a single stage - when a good progressive machine ( like a Dillon 650 or Hornaday LNL ) can turn out 1,000 rds an hour easily - at top notch quality. I like reloading - but I like it a lot more at 20 boxes an hour vs 1 or 2 boxes an hour ( I'm semi-retired --- but I have other things I like to do ....

So how you choose to manage that "time needed to reload" issue is a big part of this.

Each mfg of presses - approaches some of the issues differently in terms of how they handle primer fees ( even within the Dillon line of presses - SDB, 550 and 650 all handle it differently )...you have to decide what works best for you ...

I don't reload any of my "Defensive" ammo ...I reload my "range - practice ammo"...so this whole thing, I have to reload because I can't buy what I need...is interesting / but I think its more what I want vs what I need. I want to have at least one case of bullets in each caliber I reload ( so 4,000 of 115gr 9mm ----- or 2,000 of 230gr .45 acp ) etc---and some inventory in loaded ammo ( 10 - 50 boxes per caliber depending on how much I shoot).

Bullets are back ordered right now ...but companies like Montana Gold are accepting some orders again / powder is available - might have to wait for awhile ( so when you get down to 4 lbs ...just place another order with your local supplier), primers are available in case qty's ( 5,000 ) but prices are up around $70/1,000 which is high...

I shoot an average of about 10 boxes a week ( a few more this week ) ...in a variety of calibers / so I plan my inventory on components accordingly/ so I have enough to last me about 6 months usually / maybe 12 months now with things a little harder to get.

I reload to 1/2 case quantities of bullets by caliber usually ....so a case of 115 gr 9mm is 4,000 bullets ....so when I get down to about 10 boxes on hand of 9mm reloads....then I set up the press to run some 9mm and load about 2,000 rounds or 40 boxes...and put them in my inventory --then I go on to the next caliber. I don't want to just load 6 boxes of 9mm to shoot this weekend.../ that makes no sense to me / but it may work for you to do that.

As I shoot from my inventory ...I don't reload until I get down to about 10 boxes in that caliber...( and I shoot a lot of 9mm, .45 acp and .357mag....not so much in .38 spl, .40S&W or .44 mag ) so I only need 10 or 15 boxes in inventory in those calibers....vs 40 or 50 in my heavily used calibers.

I was bored with morning tv this am....so I took my coffee downstairs to my shop, turned radio on - loaded about 10 boxes of 9mm this morning ...case gauged them ...and boxed them up/ in less than an hour -- before I went to my office. It just makes it easy.

But pick what works for you .
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Old May 9, 2013, 11:40 AM   #22
KnotRight
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I just do not think that I would shoot much more than I am shooting now but I do remember that I really enjoyed the reloading proccess. I guess that is why I have a couple 1000 rounds of 38/357 from years ago.

I think that I would not got to the extent reloading that I did years ago but just reload what I shoot. I have enough rounds collected over the past 30 years that I am not really short on may calibers. I know you can never have enough. At lest that what I tell my wife.

When shooting at an indoor range, when the brass hits the floor, who does it belong to? I know at Forest City Gun Club, when a hull its the ground, it becomes the property on the club.
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Old May 9, 2013, 12:31 PM   #23
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At the two indoor ranges I shoot at ....we can sweep up any brass that we shoot that stays in our general lane area ( we aren't supposed to sweep up anything that rolls forward of the firing line....or out of other booths --- those cases belong to the range). But guys I know at the range ...that don't reload ....will often ask me if I want their brass / and they sweep up their area and let me pick it up.

But both indoor ranges in my area are pretty flexible - allowing each shooter to get their fair share ( especially if they're reloaders ) .....if they think you're sweeping it up and then selling it to recyclers, etc...then they'll put a stop to it.
------------
My local shotgun clubs...you can pick up any of your hulls that hit the ground. They aren't too fussy about it / but 90% or more of us shoot O/U's so we don't let our hulls hit the ground....and on bad weather days when some of us shoot semi-autos(or rain guns --- or at least I do ) ....then I just shoot cheaper throw away shells ( Rio, Federal, Estates - whatever they're selling in that gague) that day -- or I just run some of my "older" shells thru that are looking a little beat up.
---------------
As far as reloading.....I'm going to keep it up as long as I'm shooting / I may get to the point where I reduce my ammo inventory and start shooting less...but I'm only in my 60's now ...so that point is nowhere on the horizon/and as long as I enjoy it, I'll keep it up. I'm leaving my office early today - meeting a buddy at my local range..and I have 4 boxes of 9mm and a nice 1911 in 9mm to play with today( I need to take his lunch money !! ).

Last edited by BigJimP; May 9, 2013 at 12:39 PM.
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Old May 10, 2013, 06:18 AM   #24
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Baffled

(ok, this is my first time in a forum anywhere, so if I do anything wrong as far as posting in the wrong place, etc, please guide me to the right way.)
This is more of a question than a reply: due to the current ammo situation, ie none available and expensive when found, I decided to get started in reloading. Problem is, I can't seem to find any places to buy brass, bullets, or powder. Sure, everyone has the equipment, which I've started to invest in (wondering if I've made a mistake) but where are people buying the raw materials? I thought reloading would solve my ammo shortage...ha! Even more confusing is that when I attend a local gun show, there's quite a few of the same vendors I've seen for years that have plenty of ammo for sale, but none in the local gun shops. I've actually emailed a couple places that had pages and pages of "Out-of-Stock" under every item - powder, brass, bullets - and asked how they are staying in business if they have nothing to sell??!! Is this going to become a daily vigil that I have to keep in order to even FIND what I need to reload? How is it for everybody?
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Old May 10, 2013, 07:21 AM   #25
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I stalk the online vendors, and grab things that I need. Buy in bulk, which you need to do anyway to spread out the haz-mat fee. For example, I bought 8 one pound cans of Unique the other day at 3rd generation shooters supply. Paid $21 a pound after shipping and haz-mat. They didn't have the larger sizes, so I got what I could. The opportunity didn't last long. As for supplies in general, they're still short of everything, especially primers right now, don't really see an end to shortages. Silver lining is lots of folks are trying new powders, whatever they can find data for, and some they can't. So it goes.
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