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Old July 8, 2000, 01:23 AM   #26
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It depends on how much time and money you have.

Do you have more time than money?

Do you have more money than time?

What is your spare time worth to you?

If your time is worth a lot, then it will not save you much money.

(I must add here that reloading is about more than money, but you asked about money)

For me, I have a lot more time than money. I am a student with a lot of time and almost no money. So, being able to reload a box of 9mm, .40, 10mm, and .45 for around $4.00 a box of 50 is the only way I can enjoy shooting.

I got my equipment as a Christmas present ten years ago, so it was effectively free (and I am sure most here could get it as a gift if they asked for it for Christmas/birthday etc from their family and friends). It costs about $250 to get started with a Dillon Square Deal B, which comes with most of what you need. You will want to allow for more money if you want more goodies. You can spend as much monay as you want to get started, but I have gotten by for 10 years and many tens of thousands of rounds with only my initial investment of around $300.

Brass is free because I pick it up out at desert shooting sites or whereever I shoot.

If your time is valuable, it may not be worth the trouble to get 50 rounds for about $4.00-$5.00 for most ammo types.

If you are into the more expensive ammo, then reloading is almost your only option to get some practice. For instance, 10mm ammo is like $15 a box of 50, and I can reload it for about $4.50. I could not afford to shoot my 10mm if I did not reload.

Reloading gives me a lot of enjoyment in shooting. I can reload in my spare time, and when I go shooting I can shoot all day for very little expense. That allows me to shoot without feeling guilty for blowing $50 in ammo (which is so very easy to do at $8-$15 a box).
I can do a whole lot of shooting for about $20 because I reload. For me, that is the only way I can shoot as much as I want.
Some day when I make more money, I will reload for the feeling of freedom and independence. At that point, my time will be worth a lot and I will reload as a hobby. There is a truly great feeling of making your very own bullets. It feels very American, for lack of a better term. I still remember the first time I pumped my very first bullet off the press. It felt SO good. I cheered out load at the feeling of independence. It was/is just so cool and free to sit in your home and make your very own ammo on a little press. Seeing the complete cartridges tumble into your bin, and think about how much fun you are going to have shooting them. I love the feeling of reloading my own ammo.
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Old July 8, 2000, 06:46 AM   #27
Bud Helms
Join Date: December 31, 1999
Location: Middle Georgia
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I always wonder why people say they don't save money reloading. <OL TYPE=1><LI>It may not have an effect on how much money you put into your savings account each month.<LI>You will experience the initial cost of equipment and the occasional investment in replenishing components, but that has been explained, along with how that diminishes with each round reloaded.<LI>you definitely WILL save money on each round reloaded, as explained here.</OL> Now you may change your shooting habits and spend more money on shooting, in general, because you can do it incrementally, as a reloader. But I take exception to the flat statement that it doesn't save money. No basis for that. It doesn't mean you won't spend more.

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Old July 8, 2000, 10:39 AM   #28
Art Eatman
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Another thing: Think about the way prices go up faster than your salary/commissions. You buy the reloading gear now, with today's dollars, along with a bunch of primers, powder and bullets.

What's that stuff gonna cost, five years from now? Ten years? Some of my loading equipment is over 50 years old. I'd say it's pretty well amortized by now. I've loaded with powder and primers that I knew were well over 20 years old.

I remember when Dupont IMR powder sold for $1.25 a pound, and no sales tax. What's it gonna be, ten or twenty years from now, starting with today's $17 to $24 a pound?

There ain't noway, nohow, that a reloader won't save a ton of money, per round fired, over a lifetime!

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Old July 8, 2000, 04:52 PM   #29
Guy B. Meredith
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To decide whether you are saving money the first thing to do is compare the savings in ammo to the cost of the equipment. Determine how long it will take to make up for the investment at the rate you shoot.

The next thing to consider is what your time is worth and factor that in. If you are giving up TV time then make that a $00.00.

I paid a little under $600 to set with a Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Progressive, vibratory cleaner, RCBS dies, lockout die and scale, micrometer, nice bench ($100), first primers, first powder and first 1000 bullets ($52). I am now producing ammo at $4 per 50 that I previously paid $14 or better for in the store. I am shooting 1000 rounds/mo and ramping up towards 2000. Won't take long--just a little under 3 months at the rate of 1000 rounds/mo.

Next, do you absolutely like the ammo you buy from the manufacturer? I don't. With reloading you are in control of every facet of the process--it is YOUR ammo that works in the way YOU like with no need to accomodate a one-size-fits-all commercial product.

Like sundog and TheOtherMikey said, there is a very theraputic side to the activity. I feel very free of commercial restraint and self sufficient. The time spent is relaxing and the success of the product of the activity very satisfying.
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Old July 9, 2000, 02:11 PM   #30
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You can save a lot of money if, as others have already noted, you use premium components, are reloading bigger cartridges, or are shooting proprietary cartridges. Using "bargain" components you will still see savings but not as much.

My big reason for reloading is accuracy. While many folks can achieve great accuracy with factory ammo, not everyone's rifles are so well mannered. I have a rifle that shoots factory ammo into 2-3" groups regardless of the brand. With several different handloads I can shoot 3/4" groups. Regarding pistol reloading, I wish I could use my handloads in my carry pistols but this is obviously a no-no thanks to the liberal DAs and juries out there.

One other comment, reloading allows you to customize the process and the components. If you can find a commercially, mass-produced box of neck-sized ammo I'll buy it for you.

If you decide to jump into reloading, have an experienced reloader help get you started. Then be meticulous and use common sense. Good shooting.
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Old July 9, 2000, 06:32 PM   #31
Target Shooter
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I have been reloading for over 20 years.
I started reloaded not to save money but only to produce more accurate rounds. If you do quite a bit of shooting in several different calibers I would say reloading could save you money. The only problem is you will shoot more for less so the savings will end up down range rather than in your wallet. As a big shooter, I never seen this as a problem. Most my rifles and pistols never had factory ammo in them.

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Old July 9, 2000, 08:18 PM   #32
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ghostsix:
I started with a Lee Loader for $9.95.Most of the work,you can do on your lap while doing something else.[/quote]

Well . . . You DON'T want to be doing something else while reloading. That's a good way to double charge a case or forget to charge a case. The first can kill you. The second can screw up your whole day.

I started with a Lee Hand Press (in the lap), and found it slow and tedious. Eventually I invested in a used bench mounted single stage press, and then a new single stage RCBS. This speeds up the process considerably and the ammo is more accurately loaded.

A scale, powder measure, case vibrator, micrometer . . . these things add up. I have a permanent set up in the shop -- organization is key. Reloading takes some space.

I don't reload the 7.62X39 ammo -- surplus is too cheap and easy. Nor the 8mm Mauser, Makarov (maybe eventually), or 32 ACP (too small). But I load 38 Spc. for plinking, some .357 mag custom loads, 44 mag, and 45 ACP --all primarily hard cast lead bullet loads for plinking. It's less expensive than factory ammo, but I'm loading maybe 500 to 100 rds per reload session. Volume is where this hobby pays off.

Custom loads for these handgun calibers are much nicer than the factory stuff. I can "tune" the load. Also, I get all the load data while reloading. Never saw a box of factory ammo that told me how much of what sort of powder.

If you enjoy working with good tools and producing precision products then it's a good hobby. If you're pressed for time and just trying to save money, it's probably cheaper to buy surplus ammo.

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Old July 10, 2000, 03:38 AM   #33
Ala Dan
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Actually it probably saves most user's money,
in the long run. Think about this equation for a moment. If you didn't spend your hard earned money on reloading; you might spend
it on women!!! If you spend the cash on
women, you ain't going to have none left
to spend on reloading!!! Now how about
them apples?

Seriously, Use to be a time when one who reloads could save lot's of money; but like
everything else, the cost of component's has
risen so the noticeable saving's in dollar
figures are nill. I reload because I can
custom tailor my ammunition to my weapons!!!
And besides, it's a hobby that never get's
boring. So, as I like to tell folk's-
"Pack up the babies, grab the ole' lady
and let's go shoot'in"

Ala Dan, Life Member N.R.A.
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Old July 10, 2000, 01:24 PM   #34
Nestor Rivera
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well, another consediration is what do you want the ammo to do ? I shoot a lot of mill surplus rifles and to be honest mill-ball will begin to wear on you after a bit. It is very nice to be able to shoot a big bore loaded down to somthing a little less opressive. As well as the fact that most mill surp ammo is corrosive (yes I know how to clean it)

Some ammo is also hard to find or priced so high that reloading is MADATORY (6.5 carcano comes to mind)
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Old July 12, 2000, 10:55 PM   #35
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That spiritual feeling everyone is experiencing is called independence.

YES!, reloading is the way to go.

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Old July 13, 2000, 12:25 PM   #36
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Art Eatman:
What's that stuff gonna cost, five years from now? Ten years? Some of my loading equipment is over 50 years old. I'd say it's pretty well amortized by now. I've loaded with powder and primers that I knew were well over 20 years old.[/quote]

One of the few smart things I have done in my life, was years ago when the Original H-4831 was avaliable was to stock up on it. The first of it that I was buying was at $1.95 a pound. Then as supplies were being used up it went up to $3.95 a pound and that is when I made my move and bought a 100# keg. At that volume I got it for $225 (shipping included {hazmat? What was that?}). I had some empty cans of the same powder and as they became empty I refilled them from the keg. Well today the keg is a memory and I have left only about 3 pounds of the Original H-4831. Yes it is still as good as the day it was made, and there will be a funeral when the last of it is used. Buy NOW! We do not know what tomorrow will bring!

Carlyle Hebert

[This message has been edited by Southla1 (edited July 13, 2000).]
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Old July 14, 2000, 05:14 PM   #37
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It costs me 7.5 cents for a 230gr FMJ bullet from Montana Gold or Winchester, 1.2 cents for a primer, and about 1.5 cents for powder. Brass is basically free from stuff I have collected from fellow shooters. That means a 50 round box of ammo costs me as little as $5.10! That's 50% off factory ammo.

When I use lead bullets, it costs me $3.85 a box! Even if you factor in some cleaning media and other sundry items, you can shoot at least twice as much for the same price if you shoot 45ACP.

I started with a Lee single stage and graduated to a Dillon RL550B. I recommend saving up and get the Dillon. Every time I went cheap on reloading equipment, I was sorry and went to the Dillon. This includes press, scales, calipers, tumbler, etc., The quality is evident when you use the product.

Street Smart Professional Equipment

PS. I buy my components from a mom and pop called Powder Valley. They have great personal service and very fast turnaround. Give 'em a call at 800-227-4299.
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