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Old February 22, 2015, 05:48 PM   #26
g.willikers
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Lastly, don't forget who you are asking about this.
Folks who want that scarce reloading stuff for themselves.
Trust Noone.
(Oops, did I say that out loud? Dang.)
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Old February 22, 2015, 07:34 PM   #27
sawdustdad
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I think I've found a sweet spot for reloading. I use an RCBS rock chucker (single stage) for rifle and a Dillon Square Deal for pistol.

Pistol shooting volume is 200-300 rounds/ week avg. while rifle is much less, maybe 25-50 avg per week. I think a single stage press is tedious for loading 1000-1500 at a time which is what I do. I only load 200 rifle at a time on the single stage which is manageable, in a couple 2 hour sessions (clean, size, deprime, trim---then prime, charge, seat and (sometimes)crimp.)

If I were shooting a lot of .223/5.56 I might want a progressive rifle press capability. But I don't at this point.

I'd say you are still looking at $1000 to get set up. Need to think long and hard to be sure your usage justifies the investment.

I'd be handloading even if it didn't save money, it's a hobby, not a financial decision for me.
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Old February 22, 2015, 07:38 PM   #28
Nick_C_S
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Garages are full of dust layered loading equipment, as well as e-Bay.

The source is from those who want to load their own strictly to save money; and fail to embrace it as the craft that handloading is. I have yet to meet a person who started loading only to save money and stuck with it (if they never found the craft of it to be enjoyable).

True, you won't save money - you'll only shoot more. And all of us old-timer loaders have one thing in common: We - at least at some level - enjoy loading as a craft and past-time in and of itself. We're wired in a way where it transcends shooting and we load for the sake of loading.

Here's how I've always seen it: If you don't enjoy loading as a craft in itself, then you must count your time doing it because it's a chore. At that point, it is not cost-effective to do it. If you do enjoy loading, then you don't have to count your time - you're doing something you enjoy. It is then cost-effective.

Speaking for myself, I've got the bug so bad I actually enjoy reconditioning brass and all the processes thereof. And I do everything on a single stage - for the last 30+ years.
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Old February 22, 2015, 07:47 PM   #29
Smoke & Recoil
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What Nick_C_S said.
The reason that I started reloading is because at the time I couldn't find
8x57 JR (rimmed .318 dia bullet), that was 32 years ago, and now I have
like 2 billion dollars worth of reloading toys because I enjoy it.
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Old February 22, 2015, 08:14 PM   #30
Farmland
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Is it worth it? You only know the answer. However I will give you an example of a very low loaded round count that IMHO is well worth me reloading.

I only load about 300 25-06 per year. That would be 15 boxes a year. This is my ground hog gun and most shooting is done between 200 and 400 yards. First off I found very little factory ammunition that grouped well at these ranges. Second bullet is very limited in factory loads.

Reloading permitted me to find a load that worked and I was able to dial it in to make an outstanding rifle bullet combination for the gun.

This was priceless as I average over 200 hogs off the farm each year.

Even with all the high tec reloading stuff I have everything is done on a $100 Lee Classic Cast Single stage press. I use RCBS dies, powder measure and scale. I load primers with a 20 year old Lee hand tool. So for right around $250 in equipment I now produce outstanding ammunition that is price less for me.

I have since dialed in my 30-06 and to be honest I only go through two boxes of ammunition a year. 99% of used prior to deer season for practice.

So no you don't have to be loading hundreds to thousands of rounds to get into reloading. No you don't need the best or so called top shelf equipment.

I do run two Dillion 650's for my pistols and 223. Why two? Because I had the money and well I needed no other reason.

So there is more to reloading than figuring out cost, how much do you shoot and will you save money. This may help you to find the most cost effective machine but in truth all worthless information when you figure all the things you can accomplish by reloading.

What I found out was when I bought the bare minimum it only took 10 minuted before I wished I bought the better set up.
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Old February 22, 2015, 08:28 PM   #31
lee n. field
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I'm shooting more and more and its getting expensive. My girlfriend loves to shoot too so I'm thinking its time to take the plunge.

What do I need to start with? I have these calibers; 9mm, .38, .357, .44mag, .223, .243, 30-06 and a all of my shotguns are 20ga.

I shoot skeet/trap on occasion so I could save some money there too.

I have been around re-loading many years ago and I know it can be done safely and I have a nice workshop in my house that would be perfect for a reloading work area.

Give me some direction, an approximate cost of getting started etc.
For metallic cartridge reloading (shotshell uses a completely different set of equipment), I recommend:

Lee Classic Turret Kit,

Lyman Reloading Manual (whatever edition is current, 49th, I think).

Lee die sets as needed. (Lee, because they include a shell holder, and the Autodisk powder measure integrates with their expanding die.)

You can, if you cut things to the absolute bone, get down to a bit over $100. If you do it right, look to spend on the order of $250 to get started. After that, the cost of additional die sets and labor saving conveniences. Plus consumables, of course.

Quote:
Garages are full of dust layered loading equipment, as well as e-Bay.
It's very, very seldom, any more, that I find a good deal on any reloading equipment at ebay. If you have a local gun shop that has a "junk table", that can be a good place to look. (RCBS Rock Chuck II, for $40 -- woo hoo!)
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Last edited by lee n. field; February 22, 2015 at 10:05 PM.
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Old February 22, 2015, 09:06 PM   #32
Gravedigger56
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2 Grand and you don't have everthing yet?

You either bought commercial grade automated stuff, or got hosed severely ...
...

LOL. And I don't even own a progressive!

Didn't get hosed on anything so far. Price shopped on everything I've bought and took advantage of rebate offers and sales. I discovered that you don't want to use an inventory app and start adding every little item up.

There's only 2 items that I didn't need and that would be my RCBS vibratory tumbler and a RCBS case trimmer. I impulse bought the tumbler before I researched tumbling methods and discovered I want to wet tumble instead.

Last edited by Gravedigger56; February 22, 2015 at 09:13 PM.
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Old February 22, 2015, 09:23 PM   #33
StripesDude
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I started reloading last March. Started with a Lee Classic Turret, and upgraded to a Loadmaster after about four months. Have no issues with the Loadmaster.

I started only loading pistol, but am getting into 223 and will use the Classic Turret for that.

My advice is to start with an affordable press, and see if you like the hobby before jumping in with a $500+ press. Also, stock up on components as money permits.
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Old February 22, 2015, 10:17 PM   #34
SARuger
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Awesome advice!!!

I think I can start out small with good equipment and go from there. I have a feeling it will be enjoyable for me.

I did get a lead on a garage full of used equipment that I will look at soon. My girlfriend found it for us
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Old February 22, 2015, 10:32 PM   #35
McCarthy
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Quote:
2 Grand and you don't have everthing yet?

You either bought commercial grade automated stuff, or got hosed severely ...
Same here. Just started reloading and I was well beyond $2,000 with my Redding Turret and everything needed to get started. Those $2,000 don't include what I paid for my progressive setup in blue Add another $2,000!

I also shopped around online for the best price, discounts and no shipping fee coupons.

If you want quality tools and all the tools possibly needed without improvising you will end up paying for it.

Reloading (for me) is not about saving money. It's about learning a new craftsmanship and passion.
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Old February 22, 2015, 11:26 PM   #36
Hammer357
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I have only been reloading for a short time myself and see you have gotten
some very good advice to follow so far. I started with a single stage press,
which I agree is probably a great place to start as far as a learning curve
would go. So far I have come to realize a few things that I think are important
to consider in my decision to start reloading. I am fortunate to live close enough
to a few places that have hard to find reloading components (like powder)
fairly readily available. I have family in an area of Iowa that doesn't have any
place close for the same components. This would obviously make things harder
to get and more expensive for the most part as ordering primers and powder
requires you pay for hazardous shipping fee which drives up the cost. I have
only reloaded for pistol so far which has let me use cast bullets which are cheaper. Probably the biggest surprise is I know I have always enjoyed shooting as a hobby, but now have added a new hobby to the list, which is reloading.
I have found it to be very enjoyable. Perhaps if you had a friend that reloads you could go hang out while he does it to see if it interests you. Perhaps both you and your significant other might enjoy it. Good luck and enjoy!
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Old February 22, 2015, 11:44 PM   #37
rduchateau2954
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I just made and priced out my setup with lots of help from these fine folks. Similar calibers as you. Here is what I came up with.

Lee Precision Classic Turret Kit - $229.99 includes:
- Auto Disk Powder Measure
- Large and Small Safety Prime
- Cutter and Lock Stud
- Chamfer Tool
- Small and Large Pocket Cleaner
- Case Lube
- Beam Scale
- Modern Reloading 2nd Edition
Lee 4 Hole Replacement Turrets - $12.99
Cabelas Bullet Puller - $19.99
Cabelas Electronic Caliper - $29.99
Cabelas Model 400 Vibratory Case Tumbler - 59.99
Cabelas Media Sifter Pan - $ 9.99
Cabelas Corn Cob Media and Brass Case Polish Combo - $17.99
USA Caliber Loadbooks Gauge Specific Reloading Manuals - $9.99
Lee Deluxe Carbide Pistol Four Die Set - $47.99 x2

Total price excluding sale prices and possible discounts is - $486.90

Not including a digital scale, powder charge bar or a 7.62x39 setup.

That's just for 9mm and .44. I choose the Lee Classic Turret because it's highly recommend (even in the sticky at the top of this sub forum), it's only a few bucks more than the Lee Classic Cast single stage, and it's super simple to remove the indexing bar to run it like a single stage.

I'm also reading the book "The ABC's of Reloading" a second time. Definitely worth reading at least once.
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Old February 23, 2015, 06:03 AM   #38
Gravedigger56
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Quote:
Reloading (for me) is not about saving money. It's about learning a new craftsmanship and passion.
This ^^^^^^^^^^ 100%.
If you save some money down the road, that is just a bonus!
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Old February 23, 2015, 08:43 AM   #39
BoogieMan
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I recently got into the reloading game because I was shooting 300+ rounds a week 9mm and ammo was going up. Ammo has settled back down a bit and it's probably not worth it if you consider time. However it's winter. I'm not going to go shoot when the weather is crappy, I don't shoot at the range much when it's hunting season. I have invested about $600 into this so far. I started with a Lee load master and added a used Texan single stage for rifle. The off months give me time to build up stock and hopefully I will get the summer time to enjoy that stock. Reloading is enjoyable when everything goes the way you expect, sucks when your fighting the process. Kind of like fly fishing.
I don't think that I have even come close to recouping my expenses yet, but over the next year I will probably break even. Mostly because I have added some more expensive rifle cartridges into the mix. If your the type of person who enjoys doing things for yourself and working with your hands this is a great hobby. Don't expect to do it just to save a few bucks or you will lily be disappointed.
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Old February 23, 2015, 05:20 PM   #40
Navistar
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I recently started loading and finding i enjoy the loading part as much as shooting. But because I am still on a steep learning curve, It takes me all day to load 200-300 rounds jus the way i want them.

On another note, I went a little cheaper and got the Lee Classic Turret and for the last 2 months I have not regretted it. I love that I can easily disable the turret function and single stage everything until I feel all the dies are fine tuned the way I like them. Then I can begin using the turret function to speed things along a little.
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Old February 23, 2015, 06:41 PM   #41
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Everything I shoot is a reload by my own hand so I would not dissuade you from that,however one alternative is remanufactured(reloaded) ammo from one of the many reputable outfits such as Atlanta Arms And Ammo or The Bullet Works. They get used brass and process it and reload it on high speed machines much as new stuff is made. You will be able to do your own a bit cheaper only if you figure nothing for your time.Some of my shooting buddies who are afraid to roll their because they think reloading is black magic use the reman stuff and save a ton over new. Some of the reman companies offer reduced power loads as well as factory new imitations.
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Old February 23, 2015, 07:17 PM   #42
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Quote:
however one alternative is remanufactured
You may get what you paid for when buying cheap ammo: I picked up a box of 9mm "Ultramax" remanufactured ammo once at the local gun store ..... bullet runout was so bad that about 1/3 of the cartridges would not chamber in my EMP .... the case was bulged on one side by the bullet not being seated squarely that they would not feed.

One of the best reasons to reload is that YOU get to be the QC guy and make ammo as good as you want to make..... and you won't find out you bought crap 1/2 way through the first stage of a match.
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Old February 23, 2015, 07:27 PM   #43
Greg Mercurio
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My recommendation is to buy a good reloading manual and read the first half of the manual a few times. Understand the reloading process before you start spending a lot of money. Ignore the data part for a while, except to choose powders. After that start looking for equipment. Used does not mean worn out. There are some killer deals to be made if you are patient. Anything you buy used can probably be resold for what you have invested as you upgrade.

It's a journey, not a destination.

I still have the first press, powder measure and scale I bought over 40 years ago. I still use them. I also have progressive presses and an electronic scale that get used as well. Options are nice to have.
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Old February 23, 2015, 07:29 PM   #44
Nick_C_S
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One of the best reasons to reload is that YOU get to be the QC guy and make ammo as good as you want to make.
Well stated jimbob86.

And I - and probably most other handloaders - make better ammo than factory.
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Old February 23, 2015, 07:32 PM   #45
Gravedigger56
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Quote:
Used does not mean worn out.
Absolutely right. I just saw a brand new, in box, complete Lee Classic turret reloading kit with a bunch of extra items for sale for $150.
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Old February 23, 2015, 07:37 PM   #46
Nick_C_S
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I am still on a steep learning curve; it takes me all day to load 200-300 rounds just the way I want them.
There's no reason to rush. Load at your pace and your comfort level.
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Old February 23, 2015, 07:46 PM   #47
Crankgrinder
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I started out on a lee turret press. Not even the classic cast turret press but the aluminum one. Been on it since 09 and it still works just as it did then. When I get some money ill move to progressive style.
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Old February 23, 2015, 07:48 PM   #48
Navistar
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Thats the way I feel about it Nick. Just letting the OP know that even with a turret or progressive, it will be a long time before he feels comfortable ripping through 1000k rounds a day. Loading takes a lot of time, fine tuning the dies and getting the feel for the press. Then when you want to do a different caliber, you start all over again. Im not married so I dedicate one day a week to loading. No feelings hurt
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Old February 23, 2015, 08:31 PM   #49
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Used Equipment is good. I have been reloading since 2004 so I am one of the new guys on the block. I reload 13 different calibers (not all at the same time) but since the shortages of the last few years, I have taken a break from reloading so I may not be the best person to ask if you should start. But, yes get into reloading slowly and work your way up to many other calibers. 38 special is a good place to start, easy to do. I started with 45 ACP and kept purchasing more and more guns just so I could reload those calibers. (LOL)

I still have 200 cases for 223 sitting on my bench from Aug. 2014 lubed and ready to go but there they sit. Mostly I have loaded so many rounds (25,000) that it did not make any sense to just keep reloading more and more. If I can get out this spring and do some shooting, I guess those cases will finally be reload. (LOL).

It is a hobby in it's self and something I believe you will enjoy.

I don't worry about shortages any more, but just finding the room to store all those shinny new reloads. (LOL)

Have fun and stay safe.
Jim
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Old February 23, 2015, 08:47 PM   #50
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It's a journey, not a destination.
Sounds cliche' .....but is true. You can make it whatever you want, and it may take you places you did not intend to go in the first place. I started reloading so I could afford to shoot my deer rifle (.270WIN) at prairie dogs. Then I got into shooting bowling pins, and nealy all of those guys rolled their own..... I am now looking for a .243 because I have dies and brass for it .....

There is so much that you learn reloading your own ammo..... in hindsight, even if I had saved no money, I'm glad I learned those things .....
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