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Old October 24, 2006, 03:14 PM   #1
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Should I get into reloading?

OK,let me start this by sayingI only have one caliber that I would reload (at the I have avoided others because of this).

I have a couple rifles in .270 that I have considered reloading for. Both shoot the basic silver-box winchester stuff pretty well (one under 1" and the other about 1"). However, I do not shoot them a lot though as the cost is too high. I would like to load for two reasons 1) economics and 2) experimentation. I have a birthday coming up and I usually get some $$ from family, so I have considered buying (with that money) a simple reloading set-up (LEE kit) to get started.

How much will I actually have to shoot to really make it cheaper to reload?

I know I can get better quality ammo by rolling my own, but how will the economics be?
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Old October 24, 2006, 04:23 PM   #2
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Start saving brass NOW!

You can load bolt-action quantities of rifle cartridges easily and well on a VERY inexpensive one-stage system. IF and only IF you count your time as free, you will be able to save money pretty quickly with a simple Lee system. If time is money for you, then drop the whole idea and keep buying your ammo from the factory. I don't own a 270, but I imagine that it isn't the cheapest round out there, so your payback will be pretty fast. If you can get reasonably priced powder (at a show or by ordering in bulk online - maybe with a friend?) then you should be able to save 50% on your ammo without skimping on components at ALL. Check out a place like for mil-surp pulldown powders ... one shipment might well last you a lifetime, but your reloading cost will drop REALLY fast. If you are paying $20 a box, then every box you shoot will put $10 towards paying off your equipnment ... 300-400 rounds later it will be a wash and forever after that you will be shooting for half the price. From Lee, I would take the press, the dies, the priming tool (the handheld, NOT the press mounted one!) and even the powder measure (as imperfect as it is, IMHO it is adequate for most rifle reloading). I wouldn't go with their scale, though ... the RCBS is MUCH better and only marginally more expensive. Read the 100's of posts on Lee stuff ... my experience is that if it has very few parts, you can't beat a LEE for value ... once it gets mechanically complicated, then all bets are off.

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Old October 24, 2006, 04:49 PM   #3
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Reloading Rocks!

As the last poster said, if your time is free, go for it. The Lee basic kit I believe is under $100, so you could start seeing savings very quickly. I reload several calibers, 270 being one of them. I'll try and put a "quick and dirty" price reference in here for you...

Brass: FREE

1 lb of powder: (7000 grains per lb) $23 (If my memory serves correct, most 270 loads are about 55gr on average, so thats about 127 rounds per pound of powder)

100 primers: $2

100 Winchester Power Points or Remington CoreLokt: $15

Total: about $40 for 100 rounds or YOUR LOADS, as opposed to 40 rounds of factory stuff.

I frequent the public range around my house to pick up brass, and I usually come home with 20-30 pcs of 270 everytime I go. Everything I can't use myself is cleaned, inspected, and goes on ebay to finance the rest of my toys.
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Old October 24, 2006, 05:06 PM   #4
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It is a great hobby to get into that you will enjoy. I started reloading after I bought my second center fire rifle. I bought a .223 for shooting varmints and realized right away that I needed to reload. When you shoot 200-300 rounds a day in a target rich enviroment even the $5 box of American Eagle cartridges gets expensive. I reload 100 rounds for $15 vs $25 for the cheap factory loads so I save $100 every 1000 rounds.

I see the Lee Anniversary kits on sale for about $80, and a $30 average for the dies and shell holder. Assuming that you have saved your brass bullets. primers and powder for 100 rounds will cost you around $40. I figure you can pick up cheap ammo for $15 for 20 rounds so it will cost you $75 for 100 rounds. So you have a savings of $35 per hundred rounds of .270 on average, and it doesn't take long to recapture the investment of $110 on the kit and dies just a little of 300 rounds.

Invest in a better kit than the Lee Classic if you can, I recommend a RCBS Master Reloading kit. It is more expensive but I like the case trimmer, hand priming tool, and the scale better than what you get with Lee. Invest in a good brass brass polisher as soon as possible to clean your cases, it will make your life easier, I use a Lyman Turbo Tumbler and I got it for around $35. You will need a dial/digital caliper as well to measure the trim to length of the case and the overall length of the cartridge. Get a bullet puller as well because you will make mistakes from time to time.

Buy the book ABC's or Reloading it will be a big help to you in the long run plus every bench should have one. Check for used stuff on the internet like ebay, gunbroker, auctionarms, or the classifieds here on TFL to get some stuff cheaper. Build a good sturdy bench with a non-sparking surface for obvious reasons with plenty of room for a good set up.

Reloading gives you a hobby to do when you can't shoot your rifles. Plus you get to play around with your loads to get the best performance you can out of your rifle. You also get more range time because of the cheaper cost of ammunition and that makes you more proficient with your rifles or hand guns.

Last edited by taylorce1; October 24, 2006 at 05:10 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old October 24, 2006, 10:31 PM   #5
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Really consider the Lee Classic Turret with the new Safety Prime system. It is a foolproof priming system--you see the primer before it goes in to the case--you know it will be there every time.

The New Classic Turret press is one tough dude--cast iron and steel with precision machined turret heads; get a turret head for each set of dies and you can change calibers in minutes.

Not knocking RCBS or any other press--they are all good. But for the price, the Lee Classic Turret is really hard to beat. I have one and load 3 pistol calibers; I also use it for some single stage work occasionally also--takes about 10 seconds to convert from auto-index to single stage and back again.
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Old October 24, 2006, 11:10 PM   #6
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Saving by reloading?

Most people don't save any money reloading not one extra dollar goes in your pocket. They do shoot a great deal more. Another down side to reloading is it is a very addictive hobby. To some more addictive than shooting. When you find yourself going to the range to shoot so you will have empty brass to reload, you know your doomed to a life of reloading.
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Old October 24, 2006, 11:30 PM   #7
Tim R
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20 something years ago I was in same boat you are only I was shooting '06. The wife suggested I start reloading as she thought a box of 150 gr. silver tips was expensive. I bought RCBS starter kit and a ammo crafter kit and have gone from there. Today I still use the equipment I bought 20+ years ago but today it has grown to an assortment with a little something from everybody.

I now load 9mm, 38Spl, 357 Mag, 40, 45 ACP, 223, 30-30, 308, 30-06 and 300H&H. I have also loaded 7TCU and 45 Win Mag. I will be starting up on 38 super pretty soon too.

I know my list is not as big as others on this board, but it keeps me busy enough.

I load mostly 223 in the summer with some 308 and some '06 depending on what match I'm shooting at the time. If it wasn't for reloading, I would not be able to afford to shoot High Power! I still hunt with an '06 or 30-30.

I would suggest buying quailty equipment which will last you through your reloading career. Outlay will be more but you would be happier in the end.

I do own a couple of Lee priming tools, fast and simple enough, plus I like the "feel" it gives me when priming. But this is where it stops. Something simple like a shell holder....I had a Lee shell holder which would fit '06, 45, and the 308 but the RCBS shell holder just seemed to work and feel better and fit the same cartridges. For awhile I put the Lee shell holder in with die set so I wouldn't have to go looking for a shell holder but I got fed up and dumped it.
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Last edited by Tim R; October 25, 2006 at 12:10 AM.
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