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Old March 21, 2013, 04:47 AM   #1
Join Date: September 9, 2011
Location: Georgia
Posts: 65
Coming Home Present

I'm about to finish my current trip to Afghanistan and have ordered a Lee Classic Turret kit as my present. I've been relaoding with the Lee Hand Press and have been looking at the turret press for a while. I've read and watched a lot of material on the product and am looking forward to using it. The place I bought it from puts together their own additoins to the kit that Lee sells, to include a set of dies. I already have dies for .45 acp as that is the only caliber pistol I own. I ordered their kit with a set of 9mm dies thinking that I'll eventually get a 9mm pistol. I own a few bolt action rifles in .308 but have read so much about rifle reloading that I'm not sure I'm ready to move into reloading for the long guns.

I'm not looking at bench rest shooting or competitions with sub moa accuracy, more like 100-200 yard hunting for deer and boar in GA. I'm a contractor who travels around Afghanistan a lot, the next trip out I will most likely be armed with some sort of 9mm pistol so I was intending to buy the same type pistol for practice when not deployed.

I feel like loading for pistol ammo would be more to my benefit and just continue buying ammo for the rifle but was looking for the good people of this forum to chime in with pros and cons of loading for long guns.
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Old March 21, 2013, 08:06 AM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Western Colorado, finally.
Posts: 19,118
Reloading for rifles is no more difficult and far more cost effective than reloading for handguns.

The cost benefits from handgun loading comes only with quantity.

The cost difference with rifle rounds is dramatic. In most cases, you can load your own using the most expensive (or best) components available and do it for close to the same cost as the cheapest factory ammo. There's a ton of .308 available but you can certainly still load excellent ammo for less than the cheapest factory ammo.

Browsing MidWayUSA, I see some of the cheapest .308 available is about $13 per 20. You can cut even that by about 1/3 by loading your own.

Examples, I use Barnes TTSX bullets in a few calibers. They run about $35/50, darn near the most expensive "normal" bullet you'll find. I also use Norma cases, typically about the most expensive there is, around $1/each.

For 7mm-08, the powder cost comes out to about 20 cents each shot. The cases, I haven't tossed one yet and some with 8+ loads, say 10 cents each shot. Primers are about 3.5 cents for CCI BR. So, 70 cent bullets plus another 33 cents, that's $1.03/shot, $20.70/20. Checking Midway, the cheapest 7-08 ammo is $17 and that's Prvi Partisan, the next cheapest is $20.99/20. So, I've beat the price of all but the absolute cheapest ammo, and I've done it with the nearly the most expensive components I can buy.

Now, compare my ammo to factory stuff that uses the same kind of bullet... It's $39.99/20! I've cut that price in half, but!, I use the 110gr bullet, which you CAN'T BUY in factory ammo! What's that worth? The best ammo money CAN'T buy, for the same price as the CHEAPEST factory stuff.

Now, compare with "ordinary" components. Winchester brass, 50 cents each, 10 shots, 5 cents. Tons of bullets available at about $20/50 and even $25/100... 25 cents each, powder and primers still about 23 cents each.... You're at 53 cents each, $10.60/20... about 1/2 the cost of the cheapest factory ammo you can buy.

For your .308, you can cut those prices even more, at least another $1/20, so you're at about $9.50/20, versus the cheapest factory ammo available at $13.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; March 21, 2013 at 08:14 AM.
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Old March 21, 2013, 01:57 PM   #3
Join Date: September 9, 2011
Location: Georgia
Posts: 65
Thanks for the response Brian. I will most likely use my own brass from the factory ammo I already have. But I will also politely ask to pick up people's range brass if I see them shooting factory ammo. I guess I read too much into some posts when I saw stuff about annealing cases and most of the info I've read talked of only using the brass 3-5 times before discarding it.

I'll be reading a lot more during my remaining time here in the sandbox and I'll probably re-read the ABCs manual when I get home. I'm trying to run searches for all this but the internet service in Afghanistan leaves a lot to be desired.
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