The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 22, 2000, 07:20 PM   #1
Join Date: February 24, 2000
Posts: 36
Hi gents,
This is my third post today - sorry if I'm wearing out my welcome. I've only been on TFL for a short time and I've spent that time diligently reading the posts that others have written. I've learned a lot I must say. One day I might know enough to take sides when Pluspinc and other professionals begin the technical debates.

My question here is about reloading. My gun was expensive, but it's paid for now. The range fee is $10/hr, but I don't own land so what can I do? About the only thing I can think to do to save money is to reload my brass, but it's a little intimidating. I don't want to blow myself up, ok? How hard is it to learn to reload? I would like to find out some basic references so I could read up on the subject. How expensive is it for the initial setup? What is the cost to reload, say, 500 rounds - everything included? My .40 ammo is about $12-13/box, so factory ammo would run me $120 + tax. (I know I can get it cheaper on the net). Are there any questions I have failed to ask?

All responses appreciated.
Cullen is offline  
Old March 22, 2000, 08:14 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: November 9, 1999
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 113
I just started reloading myself (well, 6 ago, and have only been around firearms for 1 year). So, I can give you a newbie impression of the whole mystique of reloading. First off, let me say that it is VERY EASY to learn...provided you do your homework ahead of time. Before I ordered my first reloading set I purchased a very good book entitled "The ABC's of Reloading" by C. Rodney James. This provided lots of invaluable info for someone new to reloading. This book is available from and many largeer book stores.

Here is what I spent when I first got started:

Lee 35th anniversary reloading kit: $67 (Midway)
Calipers- $23 @ midway
work bench- $65 from Home Depot
Tumbler with sifter- $79 from Midway
1 set of Carbide pistol dies: $21 @ Midway
1lb Unique powder- $16.00 + tax Locally
1000 CCI pistil primers- $19.00
1000 bullets (jacketed) ~ $45
brass- find for free at your range
good reloading manual - ~$25 or so Get a couple (Speer and Hornady make a good one)
plastic ammo boxes for your rounds- $3 a piece

That pretty much covers my initial expenses:
The Grand total was ~ $328 for EVERYTHING
Depending on how much you wanna reload, you might wanna consider a turret press or a Progressive system. If I had known what I know now, I would have jumped immediately on a manual indexing Lee turret press Kit rather than go the single stage route.
I started out reloading 45 acp, as the cheapest place in town had 45 for 23cents per round. Buy reloading myself, I have cut that down to 10.8 cents per round. Let us know if you have any further questions. I have no affiliation with Midway USA, but have received FANTASTIC service from them, so continue to use them.


Fusternc is offline  
Old March 22, 2000, 09:46 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: February 8, 2000
Location: Tucson Arizona
Posts: 1,619
Cullen, I have a Lee turret pistol reloading kit. Midway sells them for$99.99. Good starter kit. 3 pulls on the handle and you have a finished round. Takes 20 minutes to a half hour to make 50 rounds. Real easy to change calibers. Not as fast as a progressive press, but alot cheaper.I also have a Lee reloading manual, they definately help. With this press you also need a set of Lee carbide dies. Whatever you decide to do, enjoy.
railroader is offline  
Old March 22, 2000, 10:01 PM   #4
Join Date: February 27, 2000
Posts: 21
Contact and have them send you a copy of the Blue Press. I have used their Square Deal B for 7 years and it is great for loading handgun rounds quickly. Dillon equipment might cost a little more to start with than those single stage presses but it is well worth the extra $100.00 or so. Dillon gives a life time guarantee and they stand by their products with a great customer service department. Loading is almost as much fun as shooting and I can't say enough good things about the Dillon company. Oh yes I forgot to mention the beautiful models that are on the front cover of every Blue Press catalogue. Dillon is the best! P.S. I don't work for the company or own stock
sigman is offline  
Old March 22, 2000, 10:24 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: February 7, 2000
Posts: 173
I agree with sigman i strarted out on a Lee and quickly decided to go buy a DIllon 1050 and it is the best investment ive ever made.I would look at the square deal b or the 550 for the best deals unless you shoot a lot then i might would go with the 650. Dillon`s customer service is fantastic also i broke my decap pin (my fault) I called dillon to order a replacement and they sent it out at no charge.Ive had the press for 4-5 years and have loaded over a hundred thousand rounds on it easily !

killer45auto is offline  
Old March 22, 2000, 10:30 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: February 7, 2000
Posts: 173
as for the price part
45acp = 3.00$ a box
.40 about 2.00$ a box my cost!

the dillon 550 is 325$
the Square deal b is 225$
add a scale and a few reloding manuels and your set id say a good estimate would be about 500$ to buy all your gear and the raw components .

killer45auto is offline  
Old March 22, 2000, 11:17 PM   #7
Mal H
Join Date: March 20, 1999
Location: Somewhere in the woods of Northern Virginia
Posts: 15,469
Moving this to Handloading and Reloading forum. Look for it there...
Mal H is offline  
Old March 23, 2000, 12:25 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: July 6, 1999
Location: Chihuahuan desert, Texas
Posts: 773
Welcome to the joys of rolling your own. In your area McBride's gun shop on Lamar has a good reloading department and a knowledgable staff. They're not the cheapest in town but you'll get a lot of good info.

Join the NRA.
burrhead is offline  
Old March 23, 2000, 05:01 AM   #9
Bud Helms
Join Date: December 31, 1999
Location: Middle Georgia
Posts: 13,155

I agree with the advice you are getting on the Lee and the Dillon presses. Definnitely get a copy of the Blue Press and check out the Square Deal and 550 presses. I just want to get my two cents in and recommend you get a couple of reloading manuals and read, read, read first, if you haven't already.

Lyman and Hornady are good starters for manuals/books.

Good luck.
Bud Helms is offline  
Old March 25, 2000, 04:49 PM   #10
Walt Welch
Senior Member
Join Date: November 3, 1998
Location: Alamo, CA
Posts: 424
I have both the SDB and 550. I much prefer the SDB for loading pistol rounds (which is all that it will do). It is a lot handier to work with.

Be aware that most reloading manuals are available on line. Go to Shooter's World, and do a search. I prefer to do a product search under 'Supplies, Reloading.' Here is the URL:

Also, join the NRA. They have a superb technical staff, and can answer any questions you have.

Good luck. Walt
Walt Welch is offline  
Old March 25, 2000, 05:16 PM   #11
Randall Shaw
Join Date: December 26, 1999
Location: Palmdale,Ca,USA
Posts: 44
I would agree with the rest of the members ,
Find a shop a get a good look at what you are buying first hand , I did that two years ago
and I am glad I did , I knew nothing about reloading so a bought a speer book and read it , Then I found this best store around
" The Reloading center " down in L.A. sure it was 1.5 hour drive but well worth the time and trouble they answered all my
rookie questions and gave me a bit of a package deal. If you want to know yes I bought a dillon SDB sense then I bought a
dillon 1050 from the same guys and love it but the SDB still gets used for .45 and 9 mm ever week . So my biggest piece of
advice is ask a butt load of questions and follow the loads in the books , These guys on this board wont slam any body for
wanting to learn to do it right.
Randall Shaw is offline  
Old March 25, 2000, 09:47 PM   #12
Junior member
Join Date: January 23, 2000
Posts: 467
Get yourself several high quality reloading manuals (Speer #13 and Lyman's 47th are too good ones). I would also recommend getting powder company's manuals. You're already doing one of the most important part of reloading, ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS. True shooters love to help people out with questions regarding reloading and firearms in general. Myself, I use a Dillon 550B and a Rock Chucker. ALMOST everybody eventually swings towards the Dillon. It's fast and Dillon is a great company to deal with.

If I can be of further assistance, feel free to email me. Good luck and let us know what you decide on!
Svt is offline  
Old March 25, 2000, 10:21 PM   #13
Member In Memoriam
Join Date: March 19, 2000
Location: Jeanerette, La. Near the
Posts: 1,999
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Cullen:

About the only thing I can think to do to save money is to reload my brass, but it's a little intimidating. I don't want to blow myself up, ok? How hard is it to learn to reload?

All responses appreciated.

Reloading is not difficult at all however it must be done right. My best advice is to READ READ READ all the books you can get your hands on and ASK ASK ASK Questions. I personally would be willing to try and answer any question you have and I don't think it bothers anyone here how many questions you ask. In my 40 years of shooting and over 35 years of reloading one thing I have learned is that a shooter is always willing to help out another shooter. Feel free to E-mail me at any time and for any reason.

Southla1 is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:29 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.06555 seconds with 9 queries