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Old January 31, 2005, 11:55 AM   #1
Join Date: October 26, 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 25
What and how much?

I'm planning on loading my own ammo, mainly 9mm and 45acp. What equipment will I need to get started and about how much would it all cost. I'm just interested in saving money on ammo in the long run, not rolling top notch super cartridges. Any feedback would be great!
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Endor5 is offline  
Old January 31, 2005, 12:30 PM   #2
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Join Date: October 15, 2004
Posts: 934
Ammo is too cheap for those two cartridges for reloading to offer an economic incentive to you unless you are a very high volume shooter. Assuming jacketed bullets and that you already have brass on hand, it'll cost you around 14 cents a shot to load. Take you just short of forever to recover the $250 to $750 starting investment and that's disregarding your time.

Cost per shot for home cast is down around a nickel, but that takes another investment in both cash and time.
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Old January 31, 2005, 12:53 PM   #3
Join Date: December 14, 2004
Location: Northwest NJ
Posts: 38
To make reloading worth while, you either have to be a volume shooter, or you have to have a need or desire to shoot something different than factory ammo can offer.

You should be able to get into a Lee Progessive press for $200. Add another $50 for a second caliber. You will need a scale, some loading manuals, and a few other odds and ends, so figure another $100. Of course, you can spend much much more, but I wouldn't until you find out if you like reloading. If you don't, or if you want to upgrade, you can always sell this stuff on ebay and get most of your money back.

I reload using hard cast lead, and it costs me about 5 1/2 cents per round for 45 ACP and just ever so slightly less for 9mm. Of course I have tons of brass donated by non-reloaders, so that's not included in the costs. I shoot 300-500 rounds per week, so I didn't have any problem getting back the cost of the equipment.

Reloading makes it possible to shoot a lot more than I would have otherwise, and my shooting has improved dramatically as a result. As you become a better shot, then the other benefit of reloading comes into play. There is a very good chance you will be able to develop a load that will do much better accuracy wise than any factory load. I tried a variety of factory ammo (many years ago) in my 45s, but never could get much better than a 2 1/2" group. With my reloads, I consistantly get 1" groups.
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Old January 31, 2005, 03:50 PM   #4
Jim Watson
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Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
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If I were not retired, with dies and brass and the time to fool with it, I probably would not bother reloading 9mm. Certainly not ball, although handloaded fast JHP defense practice or subsonic target ammo are enough better than econo-ball it might MIGHT be worth the effort. Only you can say.

Handoading .45 ACP is worth the trouble. You will save money (or shoot more) and the flexibility of loading your own stuff is a big advantage. I load mostly to 90% of hardball power for IDPA, but with an occasional batch of full power defense practice and some powderpuff beginner ammo.
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