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Old May 31, 1999, 03:10 PM   #1
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I have heard about reloading and I was wondering if I should start reloading or not. Does in save enough money to reload or do the starting price of the machine and the primers cost way to much to start?
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Old May 31, 1999, 04:16 PM   #2
James K
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I'll ask three questions:

How much do you shoot?

How much time do you have?

If shooting cost less would you shoot the same or more?

A hunter who fires five shots a year won't profit from reloading. A busy, three-job family guy won't have time to either reload or shoot.

If cost of factory ammo keeps you from shooting or shooting more, and you have spare time, reloading is an option.

Caliber is also a factor. With some calibers (like 9mmP) dirt cheap, it does not pay to reload or even worry about reloadable cases. With, say, .44 Magnum, reloading is almost necessary if you want to shoot much and are not wealthy.


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Old May 31, 1999, 07:43 PM   #3
Bruce in West Oz
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G'day Josh

As Jim so correctly points out, it depends on a number of factors other than the direct cost of components.

For example: Setting-up costs. I suggest there's nothing wrong with buying good secondhand reloading gear. Do you have any friends who are "into" reloading? Better yet, are you a gun club member?

I bought my RCBS Rockchucker press from a fellow club member -- $125AUD (about $75US). On the spur of the moment, he included (in the price): lube pad; reloading manuals; Qnetics (?) powder thrower; powder trickler; case trimmer; deburrer; primer pocket cleaner; bullet tray and case; and about 500 bullets of different weights!! He also sold me a set of scales for a further $50AUD ($35US).

I only reload my Hornet at present, so let's consider that.

Factory ammo here is approx:
$1.10AUD a round ($22 for 20).

Reloading component costs are (per unit):
Winchester brass -- 28 cents
Hornady 40 gr -- 28 cents
Powder -- 5 cents
Primer -- 4 cents
TOTAL -- 65 cents

But of course, you don't buy new brass every time, so the costs diminish with the more times you use the same brass. And I could save significant amounts of money by buying "generic" projectiles (used in .22 WMR).

The best estimate (taking case life into account) I can make is I save at least 60-65% on every round I fire. I only fire around 500 rounds a year, so I'm saving myself about $375 a year in ammo.

As for my time -- well, it's fun and I find it relaxing. If I'm not doing anything critical (say just decapping or tumbling), I have a small B/W TV set at my bench, so I don't have to watch Seinfeld or Mad About You or The Nanny ....

Give it a try -- when you put your first rounds downrange -- and they go "bang" like they're supposed to and you get a better group than factory ammo -- it's worth every second!!

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Old May 31, 1999, 10:42 PM   #4
Big Bunny.
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Reloading...highly recommended.


XXX the Bunny.
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Old May 31, 1999, 10:43 PM   #5
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I reload 9mm and .45 ACP. While it's true you don't save as much with 9mm as other calibers - I do save 40-45%! That adds up quickly.

On .45 ACP I save about 50%.

I reload for two main reasons: cost savings (get to shoot twice as much) and I can customize the ammo to the application.
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Old June 3, 1999, 09:54 PM   #6
Don Morgan
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I have been reloading since the early 70's and I have found out that reloading does not save me money, it only causes me to shoot more ammunition. What it does do for me is this. It has improved my knowledge of ammunition, It has made me pay attention to detail, it has helped me in developing the the best cartridge for my firearms that I shoot. I have become very successful in making Wildcat Cartridges and compete with them in the NRA Silhouette Matches. If you are in it for the savings then you are in it for the all the wrong reasons, for if you scimp on your components then you are not saving at all and you will do nothing but be discouraged from the results. I have use the RCBS Rock Chucker since I started One Bullet at a time and each bullet is done the same way with the components of my choice for the type of shooting I will be doing. Reloading is about perfection in my arena, not by how many rounds I can make in an hour.


Society is safer when the criminal does not know who is armed
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Old June 4, 1999, 11:57 AM   #7
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I would try my hardest to find someone nearby that can teach you the basics and let you use their equipment for a while. I love loading almost as much as shooting and it is definitly worth my time. (I also can put 5 of my rounds in 1-1/4 at 200 yds. Not able to duplicate that with factory yet.)
Point is, if at all possible you should find out if you like it before paying the start up fee. As stated earlier, it really does not come down to cost, but if you like it.
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Old June 4, 1999, 12:30 PM   #8
Mal H
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JoshP, are you still out there? Hellooo. In order to really answer your questions, you have to answer Jim Keenans.
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Old June 6, 1999, 11:05 AM   #9
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Here are they answers to you questions.

I shoot a lot.

I have a lot of time.

And I would shoot more or at least the same
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Old June 6, 1999, 11:16 AM   #10
Trapdoor Billy
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JoshP, I'll throw my .02 in. NO, you will not save a dang cent, but you can shoot a whole lot more for the same cost.

Trapdoor Billy
Indian Scout and Delaware Cowboy
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Old June 8, 1999, 03:13 AM   #11
Art Eatman
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Since reloading equipment doesn't wear out, the annual capital cost will get real cheap. A lot of my gear was "good-used" when I got it, and some of the stuff has been around since 1950. Over a 20- to 40-year period, then, you wind up with an ammo cost, pragmatically, of just the powder, primer, and bullet.

What happens is, you start scrounging brass at whatever range you hang out at, you buy components in some amount of bulk, and compared to store-bought stuff you save a lot. Again, over the long haul.

Mostly, there's the satisfaction of doing good things for yourself...And you can tailor your loads for specific purposes far better than the relatively limited factory loadings.

What the hell. Keeps you outta the beer joints...
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Old June 8, 1999, 05:46 AM   #12
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Over 20 years ago, I did a cost analysis on .45ACP, reloding vs factory ammo. I found that in using the most expensive jacketed HP bullets avialable (Sierra 185 gr.), and using a maximum powder charge, I could reload 3 rds. for the cost of one rd. of the cheapest factory then available. I was using a Rockchucker press at the time.
Today, I have 2 RL550's, one each for large and small primers. I buy in bulk, instead of buying 1 box of 100 bullets, 1# of powder, and 100 primers. I don't use max loads, and I don't use the most expensive bullets. I haven't done a recent cost analysis, but I'd be willing to bet it's about the same, or perhaps even better.
If you shoot a lot, and have the spare time, reloading is the way to go. It's not for the casual shooter who isn't going to fire more than a few boxes of ammo a year. If you'd like to shoot 100 rds or more per month, then get with it!

Shoot straight regards, Richard
The Shottist's Center

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Old June 8, 1999, 10:36 PM   #13
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Stop and think. How could making ammoEVER be a waste of time?
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Old June 9, 1999, 01:25 PM   #14
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I have grappled with the same question.

I grappled with it for years, actually and even did a cost benefit analysis of reloading and decided it wouldn't save me any money for literally three to four years.

However, after some research I found I didn't need to buy a 300.00 Dillon multi-stage press, and bought a Lee single stage press instead. Point is, you can really reduce those huge start up costs and only outlay a couple hundred dollars - including powder, primers etc.

I'm currently waiting for my primer tool, and still have to order my case cleaner, so I haven't actually begun yet. However, I have had a blast just loading a few dummy rounds. I'll be loading 10mm and .40 SW. The 10mm stuff is still kind of expensive, but I will be saving money sooner than if I had bought some huge multistage machine. My point is, reloading looks really fun and that may be worth the cost, but also, that you can get set up for pretty cheap. You don't NEED a big outlay, just time and patience. Good luck.

Don't Tread on Me

Why 10mm beats .45 ACP . . .
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Old June 11, 1999, 01:32 PM   #15
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Hi, really really depends on what you are looking to do.
I buy Wolf (non-reloadable) 9mm for about $11/100, and the bullets (Sierra FMJ 115) cost me $12/100. So it only costs $1/100 more to buy ready to go, in the box rounds than just the bullets. I won't mention the time, powder, primers, cases part..that's extra. For defensive loads (hp's) I don't really shoot those at the range, so I dont bother to handload them. I just keep a couple hundred on hand.
However, in 223, I almost exlusively handload.
I use Varget powder and V-max or Sierra HPBT's. Expensive components. The ammo I make is at least as good Federal Gold Match. My costs come out to about $180/1000 whereas I would spend close to $750/1000 for new match quality ammo. Now that's a big difference!
So in my opinion, if you are doing target work..reload. If you want "plinking" ammo, forget it. (unless you find handloading theraputic like I do).

Same Shot, Different Day
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Old November 6, 1999, 06:22 PM   #16
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Not having read any of the preceding replies, how can you ask such a question. The purpose of reloading is spiritual.....bringing the shooter closer to the shot. Come on, it isn't about money. It is about the refinement of a reloader's skill. The thrill of having a pet load perform in a pre- determined manner.

We reload as a form of fufillment, not to same money. Sometimes we do, often we don't. But, we don't keep count of anything other than the scoring rings!

The Epistle according to Mikey

When Guns Are Outlawed, I Will Be Another One Of The Quarter Million Violators Who Are Not Prosecuted
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Old November 11, 1999, 05:19 AM   #17
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I started with a Lee Loader for $9.95.Most of the work,you can do on your lap while doing something else.
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Old November 12, 1999, 10:57 AM   #18
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Mikey is close. It's therapuetic and brings us closer to the "gun thing". I've never had a gun I had to get away from but wives are a different story. It's rewarding to have "stuffed" your own especially when you find the right combinations for accuracy beyond the factory stuff. I wouldn't do it for savings but for pure enjoyment. And if you're an accumulator watch out as you will have stacks of open bullet boxes and hoards of powder containers. But it's great!!
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Old November 12, 1999, 06:04 PM   #19
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If I answer Jim Keenan's questions, will you let me know if it would be cost effective for me to reload?

How much do I shoot? Depends on how much time and money I have. If both are in good supply, I'd like to shoot 100 rounds or more per week. My wife would also like to shoot a bit.

How much time do I have. Varies quite a bit. Right now I have lots of time. Sometimes I have no time at all.

If shooting cost less, I would shoot more.

I shoot 9mm which I can get as low as $6.99 USA per box of 50.
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Old November 14, 1999, 12:33 AM   #20
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Cast slugs for practice rounds-9mm 24.00 a 1000-45 acp 34.00 a 1000.Primers 60.00 for 5000.powder bulk got together with some other people down to 8.00 a pound.Cost for 9mm about 5 cents.cost for 45 acp 6 cents.38 and 357 5 to 6 cents.I do not load carry ammo.It doesn't look good if you have to use it.Cost of loading saves you money period.You might shoot a lot more but it still saves per round which is what you have to look at.Another factor is if you shoot more you become a better shot.I think all of us want that don't we.
PS Did not include cost of brass.If averaged out the cost is allmost too small to figure in
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Old November 15, 1999, 08:37 PM   #21
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NO!don't do it!Take my advice,since i started reloading i've saved enough to afford to shoot three days a week,two days aweek i reload,the other two days i clean very dirty guns!Its taking away time to do something constructive,like sitting on my a**,wachting the brain drain!

Just kiddin'go for it,Matt
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Old November 17, 1999, 05:30 AM   #22
Big George
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After procrastinating quite a while I finally jumped into reloading with both feet. I had been taking advantage of two buddies who would churn out tons of 45ACPs for me if I would furnish components.

I bought a Dillon Square Deal B, and all of the Dillon goodies. I bought a 10X16 building since my wife wasn't too happy about the Hoppes #9 stains on the carpet. Of course the building had to be heated and airconditioned, insulated, and furnished.

Since I already had by brass I really had a leg up on cost per round. The way I figure, my next 5000 rounds will cost me about $1.00 apiece, .06 for the round and .94 to amortize the building!

Reloading is for those who want to shoot alot and have a great time making rounds. I'm retiring Jan.1, and I'm set up for the rest of my life...If Shumer, Boxer, Klinton, and Gore don't get their way.

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Old November 22, 1999, 04:57 PM   #23
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joshp, i don't know about saving money, but it has saved my sanity for alot of years now. yea, someone said something about being a spiritual thing - yep! for most of us it is a lifelong hobby, no that's not the right word, committment, no that's not the right word.... passion, yea, that's it, passion. well anyway, there's lots of reasons, and when you find your reason, you'll probably never quit. when that happens, cost is of little concern.

safety first
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Old November 25, 1999, 10:31 AM   #24
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Yes it is a waste of time, but it is such a great way to waste it. You can easily make better ammo than factory, tailored for your gun specific.

Saves money, hell no. Makes me want to shoot more and more and more.


Disperse you rebels, disperse and lay down your weapons at once
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Old July 7, 2000, 11:12 PM   #25
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Matt:
NO!don't do it!Take my advice,since i started reloading i've saved enough to afford to shoot three days a week,two days aweek i reload,the other two days i clean very dirty guns!Its taking away time to do something constructive,like sitting on my a**,wachting the brain drain!

Just kiddin'go for it,Matt

That was TOO FUNNY!
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