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Old April 10, 2013, 09:35 PM   #1
amusante
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Interested in making my own Ammo...What's Involved?

Hey Guys,

So ammo is definitely not cheap, and I'm interested to see how much cheaper it would be to make my own ammo, and what would I need to get in order to make this happen. Anyone have good info?

Thanks
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Old April 10, 2013, 09:42 PM   #2
the rifleer
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If by making your own ammo you mean reloading, it means getting a maual, reading it and understanding it. From there, you need to invest maybe $400 for decent reloading equipment and have fun.
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Old April 10, 2013, 09:48 PM   #3
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Like rifleer said manual first read it and understand it well and decide if its for you or not. Don't know why it wouldn't be. Most manufacturers sell a kit for the beginner. I'd start there. Hornady,Lee, ABC's of reloading and speer put out a good manual. To name a few.
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Old April 10, 2013, 09:51 PM   #4
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At this point in time, there's not much savings to be found. The prices of components and reloading equipment has risen similar to the loaded ammo cost besides being mostly unavailable.
What isn't backordered or out of stock is priced 300-500% over premania levels.
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Old April 10, 2013, 09:59 PM   #5
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Mobuck is right. Not a good time. Wait 6 months or a year. I'm at a standstill with my stuff. If I have primers I can't get bullets. What I have bullets for I can't find the primers for ...sucks.
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Old April 11, 2013, 01:22 AM   #6
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They are right Im just starting now and half my stuff is on back order . Just got my press last week after being on back order for 10 weeks . Got lucky and found some dies and a tumbler . The dies came in couple days ago and the tumbler will be here Friday . I have some primers but still have primers powder and bullets on back order . I was smart and kept all my brass for the last year or so . Got lots of that but no powder or bullets . My plan now is to start claening and sizing brass so it will be ready to load . Not including the bullet stuff Im in to it for about $450 or so If you include all the powder , primers and bullets on back order . well I try not to think about that
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Old April 11, 2013, 01:29 AM   #7
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There is a more appropriate part of this forum for what you want to do.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=9

See what answers you get here, your thread might get moved there if a mod decides to move it to a more relevant part of the board.
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Old April 11, 2013, 08:27 PM   #8
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For a rifle I think the biggest appeal of reloading is that you can fine tune your loads and find-hopefully-the one that is just right for you-most accurate IMHO.
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Old April 11, 2013, 08:43 PM   #9
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Start with the "For the new reloader: Equipment Basics" thread over in the handloading, reloading, bullet casting section. In general I think you need to decide how much you're shooting and if the startup costs would be worth it for you. You won't save any money reloading but you will probably shoot more, I know I do. In fact if not for reloading I wouldn't be doing any shooting right now.

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Old April 11, 2013, 09:58 PM   #10
mattL46
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For what its worth I spent over a $1000 more like $1200 getting started. Although I reload for more than a handful of cartridges and needed some not so basic tools. And a lot if it was ordered and special ordered. Good amount of shipping costs.
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Old April 12, 2013, 03:30 PM   #11
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I started reloading for centerfire in 1976. While I'm not really current on todays prices or availability. I'm pretty sure you get started for less than $500.

RCBS, Redding, Hornaday, Lee, Dillon and Lyman amoung others make a start up kit that includes everything you will need, minus, dies, shell holder, trimmer or trim die. Brass, powder, primers, and bullets can add up also.

I am not even aware of what people are paying for ammunition today, because I don't have to buy it. I have everything I need to keep shooting for a while anyway.

Where reloading really comes into it's own is when you , like me, reload for rare or obscure cartridges. I reload for 223, 300WBY, 340WBY, 6.5/284Norma, and 44 magnum. I have in the past reloaded for 300WM, 30 carbine, 9mm, 357/38SCL, 7.7Jap, and 257 Roberts. I generally use only Norma or Lapua brass, which is the most expensive. Factory loaded ammo for any of these except for 223 and 44 mag are outrageously expensive, and from what I read here, both are scarce right now.

One more thing, get a very good reloading manual, I like Lyman's , because it isn't tied to their own product, like Speer, Nosler, Barnes, Sierra, ect.

Very important is to very carefully read the instructions than come with the reloading dies! The instruction included in the manuals is rather generic, the instructions for specific adjustments for sizing, seating and crimping are in the instructions included with the dies. Also don't get discouraged if your first effort isn't word class. This is a hobby that requires your full attention all of the time! Be safe! Always look for signs of excessive pressure!
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Old April 12, 2013, 03:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
RCBS, Redding, Hornaday, Lee, Dillon and Lyman amoung others make a start up kit that includes everything you will need, minus
minus a lot I'll tell ya . I just bought the Hornady classic load kit for $270 shipped . Although I have some of this , you will still need a brass cleaner $70, dies $50 , case trimer $80 , caliper $30+ thats $500 . Now powder , primers bullets and maybe brass . Minimum $300 . If you want enough for more then one trip to the range . It would be more like 6 to 7 hundred dollars so really $1,100.00 will get you a very good start .
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Old April 12, 2013, 06:28 PM   #13
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MG, it may cost more than it used to, but you can get started for less than $1100.

I would assume that, if you have fired your rifle, then you have some brass. As for the rest, a trim die specific to your cartridge was about $30 for the Redding, I use. This takes care of the need for a caliper for the first round. Just seat your bullet until it chambers, or compare it to a factory round.

I have no idea what cartridge this guy wants to reload for, but 1lb of powder, 100 primers, 100 bullets from Speer or Hornaday, shouldn't break him, but would get him started. Around here, shooting Valhalla, reloading equipment shows up at garage sales, flea markets, and real bargains can be found.

Sure you can spend well over $1200 for reloading equipment, I sure have, but when I started in '76 I didn't and I couldn't and I still was able to reload for my rifles until I piece by piece assembled, not all I wanted, but all I needed to shoot my own loads.
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Old April 12, 2013, 07:01 PM   #14
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal God
It would be more like 6 to 7 hundred dollars so really $1,100.00 will get you a very good start .

$1,100 is WAY high.

You can be ready to go to the range with several hundred rounds loaded for $600, easy.

The basic equipment isn't going to be over about $350. Another $150 for components gets you your first 100 rounds, at least, with enough powder and primers left over for hundreds, if not a couple thousand more, you'd just need more bullets.

I don't think I have $1,100 in my setup, including a few thousand primers and bullets, about 8 pounds of powder, like 6 die sets AND a $350 RCBS Chargemaster 1500 combo.

Might be $1,100 "ish" but what I've got is a whole lot more than a "start".
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Old April 12, 2013, 10:00 PM   #15
Metal god
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Although you guys are correct I believe I am correct as well . Yes if you want and your shooting pistol you can get started for 5 or 6 hundred easy probably less . I was talking a little more middle of the road quality components and making match grade cartridges . When I get all that I ordered . I'll be good for 500 match 308 , 1k 223 and 500 9mm . I'm into this for around that $1,100 mark . I did buy 6k of primers so thats a extra $100 not really needed . I can easily go through 6 or 7 hundred rounds in one range trip not including 22lr . Last time I went , I shot 300 and that was low cus I had my new rifle and was working on a review , dope , and ran out of 308 . Only brought 100 rounds of GMM . Any ways you guys are correct . It's just that would not be good enough for me . Thought I should clarify
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Old April 12, 2013, 10:20 PM   #16
Brian Pfleuger
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I use Norma brass and a $350 dispenser, my friend. The cheap stuff I use is a Lee press and dies. My ammo shoots 1/2-3/4" or less depending on the gun.

Even counting the $350 scale, I'm barely at $1,100 after 5 years of spending and counting all consumables.

There's no way that number is reasonable for the average starting prices. You certainly COULD spend that, if you started with Dillon progressives and $200 die sets, you could spend a lot more than that but an ordinary, reasonable average *starting* price is not remotely close to $1,100.
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Old April 12, 2013, 10:28 PM   #17
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You can start for less than $100

Lee makes a very simple kit to which all you have to add are the components and a plastic mallet. The kit, mallet, and the components you'd need to reload one of the more common rounds (I started on 44 mag) should still cost you about $100 or less and most of that will be for the components . . . if you can find them. This simple kit is a slow process, but it works and you'll learn the basics. If you enjoy it, the next step will be a press and some dies and you grow from there. I'd check e-bay for the press and dies.
Live well and be safe.
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Old April 12, 2013, 10:54 PM   #18
Metal god
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I said for me and agreed with you . But for the sake of what ever . How much can you get 20 pounds of powder and 6k primers for . It was right around $400 for me . That does not include the 500- 308 bullets 1k 223 bullets and 500 9mm bullets thats a couple more hundred add the reloading components and BAM $1,100 I thought I was getting a good to average price . I am new at this so maybe I got ripped . if so oops

I did say
Quote:
you will still need a brass cleaner $70, dies $50 , case trimer $80 , caliper $30+ thats $500 . Now powder , primers bullets and maybe brass . Minimum $300
Thats $800 including brass with just one set of dies . Already have brass $650 $700 . I don't think my original post is all that far off . Im sorry if your stuck on all my extra stuff that puts me at the $1,100 dollar amount I'm at . Like my OP said I have a REALLY good start and not , just a start .
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Old April 13, 2013, 10:22 AM   #19
jim8115
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Been seeing a lot of posts like this in different places, so I am going to give my 2cents worth.
Reloading is not for everyone. It is actually quite a commitment. A lot of people who are jumping on the reloading bandwagon are going to discover that it just isn't for them, for one reason or another.
For that reason, I suggest starting with the minimums. There is no reason to drop 1000 bucks to get started.
What do you really need?
Manual - 35.00
lee hand press 35.00
dies 50.00
caliper 30.00
balance scale 100.00
pound of powder 25.00
couple hundred primers 10.00
less than 300 bucks, and you could start with the lee dippers- 10 bucks-, instead of a scale, though it will be frustrating trying to find the exact dipper for the load you want sometimes.
You don't have to have a tumbler, wash your brass by hand.
As you progress, and decide you want to keep reloading, you can upgrade

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Old April 13, 2013, 10:30 AM   #20
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You can get started with a minimum of investment, assuming you can find bullets, powder and primers. Here's what I have used for over 3 years now:

Hand press - $40
Vibratory brass cleaner - $50
Dies - $35 per caliber, some do two such as .38 sp/.357 mag
Calipers - $10

You don't really need a manual and you don't even have to have a scale either if you use dippers.

You can easily get started for less than $200 reloading common ammo like .45acp, .38 special and 9mm Luger. The equipment pays for itself in a couple of thousand rounds. So far I've saved over $3500 compared to buying new ammo.
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Old April 13, 2013, 11:01 AM   #21
Nathan
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Frankly, I would suggest most people would do well withe the Lyman TMag Turret Expert Kit. Lyman says:


Quote:
The versatile T-Mag turret Press plus everything you need to get started reloading the right way.
Lyman's popular Expert Kit has always been the one kit with a complete selection of top quality equipment - including the Universal Case Trimmer. This is a truly complete selection of the best reloading tools in one package. Just add components and start loading your own high quality, custom ammunition. For powder handling, this kit combines both a Pro 500 Scale and Lyman's famous #55 Powder Measure. In addition, it is difficult to find another kit that includes any case trimmer, much less the efficient Universal Case Trimmer with 9 pilots. To complete the kit, all the accessories needed to add speed and versatility are included as is Lyman's All new 49th Edition Reloading Handbook.
T-Mag II Press
Universal Trimmer with Expanded Pilot Multi-pack
Pro 500 Scale
#55 Powder Measure
Universal Priming Arm
Primer Tray
Auto Primer Feed
Extra Decapping Pins
49th Edition Reloading Handbook
Primer Catcher
Deburring Tool
Powder Funnel
Quick Release Turret System (T-Mag Press only)
Case Lube Kit
7/8" x 14 Adapter (mounts #55 powder measure in press turret)
All Lyman Expert Kits include the Universal Trimmer w/ 9 pilots. Compare to RCBS & others! (Dies and Shellholder purchased separately.)
Just add my favorite Hornady dies, a shell holder, components and a tumbler.

I think the kit can be had for $350ish, $75 to get a tumbler and materials, $45 for dies and shell holder, and you are good to start. Expect to scrounge or spend something to get an acceptable work area...

You will need task lighting, a shelf to isolate your scale from the reloading operation.
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Old April 13, 2013, 11:32 AM   #22
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This forum has a sticky thread at the top on reloading equipment for beginners.

Lots of good things in kits. I would not be buying lots of primers and bullets and powder at the beginning, though. Every gun seems to like a little bit different combinations best, so unless a friend has let you load the particular components in question and know your rifle likes them already, you'd do better to spread component money around some smaller purchases so you can decide what to buy.
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Old April 13, 2013, 11:55 AM   #23
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Unclenick : you are correct . The reason Im buying so much is I'm in CA . Not sure how it all is going to play out here in the next year or so . A lot of people are freaking out about CT and NY new laws . CA has 47 new bills coming this year that make NY look like TX . A few of them are ammo bills . Only FFL can sell ammo , all ammo buys must be reported to the police , no internet buying , 500 rounds max , background checks on ammo buying , license to buy ammo , $.05 tax on each bullet . Yea not even kidding . That is way out of control . I like to shoot and I like to shoot a lot so I need to get all I can before it gets stupid here .

Even if some of what I have is not perfect for my rifles . I'll still have some for plinking and for the zombies

EDIT: hmm maybe I should have said all this in my first post . It would have explained why Im spending as much as I am . oops
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Old April 13, 2013, 04:58 PM   #24
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I started many years ago as a kid with a lee loader aka wack-a-mole foe 30/30
Still have it today
Cleaned my brass by hand with a drill and soap and water
Loaded over 1000 rds with that system so dont let any one tell ya that is expensive to start reloading unless you need to load 500 rds an hour!
A lee loader $35-45 depending the gouging
Case trim gage under $10
Maybe a set of lee dippers $15-20
Bullets
Powder
Primer
And you are rolling your own

But you are warned
I now have several thousand dollars of equipment to do the same thing
Its an addiction
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Old April 14, 2013, 03:12 AM   #25
mattL46
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Metal god I agree. Cost me over a 1000 including a few advanced but neccesary (to me) tools. Powder is around 25$ a pound. Box of bullets are the same. Cmon folks. And heaven forbid if you have to ship anything...I did!
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