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Old October 18, 2001, 04:47 AM   #1
Join Date: April 27, 2000
Location: Burlington, NJ
Posts: 48
The press is in the mail Now what?

My Lee pistol kit should be here Monday. Questions: Where is the best place to buy brass, bullets, and power. Locally from what I seen brass and bullets will cost about 170 or more for a 1000 rds of 45. I can buy it for 200. Where I'm I going to save?

How far do I need to be away from my hot water heater while reloading?

Thanks for the help?
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Old October 18, 2001, 04:51 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 30, 2000
Location: Ume?, Sweden
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I get most (ok, all) my brass from shooting factory ammo and saving the cases. I have thought about buying new brass, but it cost almost as much as the loaded ammo, so why bother? (Unless one is going to experiment with heavy loads and/or your gun destroys the brass?)
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Old October 18, 2001, 08:30 AM   #3
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Join Date: July 27, 2001
Posts: 152
what type of hot water heater do you have? Mine is the most dangerous because it is gas and it is considered somewhat of an "open flame". Still, it is out in the garage and I reload about 8 feet away from it. I could stand to be corrected here, but I don't see anything short of a spark leaping from the water heater or sudden water heater explosion that could ignite your powder or explode your primers. Which, if you think about it, if your water heater was doing that, you'd be pretty much screwed anyway(with or without reloading equip around.)

After working with the stuff a couple of weeks, it seems to be pretty darn stable. I, myself, use the manual lee loader, so I'm whacking primers and cartridges with HAMMERS!

As far as components. Reuse your brass for awhile, pick up a bag of new if you like when the gun show is in town. Ask at your local gun shop where you can get reloading supplies like gunpowder and primers - It's weird, but I found a hardware store right up the street that sells powder and primers and some bullets - I never expected to find that stuff in a hardware store. I mail order my bullets, so I get them for a nickel or so a piece. Primers at the local hardware store cost $3 for 100 and powder is about $20. It seems pretty cheap to me considering I have a blast (no pun intended) doing it!
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Old October 18, 2001, 09:35 AM   #4
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Join Date: November 20, 2000
Location: Ohio
Posts: 258
There's a sort of "bag-lady" pack-rat attitude about collecting brass for reloading. I have about 7000 rounds of reloads in the house for various calibers, and I've not bought one single piece of brass. I HAVE bought some factory ammo and saved the cases, but most of it came from scrounging around shooting ranges.

You could spend the weekend scouting out the ranges in your area on the off-hours e.g. early in the morning, late in the afternoon, when no one's around and peep out all the garbage cans and firing lines for spent brass. Once you get your "supply" you're all set for awhile. I suppose you have a vibrator/case cleaning set-up. If you don't you need one. Use a capful or two of cheap paint thinner, run it a couple of hours and they look like new.

You probably know this already, but you CAN reload most calibers multiple times - even MANY times, as long as it's not poor quality brass such as Amerc. I have some 45 ACP that's in about its eighth incarnation. I've heard of guys reloading .38's hundreds of times. Just give it as good an examination as you can before shooting it.
You'll learn how to "read" your press, too - it'll tell you a lot about the condition of your brass while you're sizing, decapping, belling. and crimping.

For bullets, I won't pay over about 30.00/500 for .45, or 20.00/500 for 9mm.
I pay 38.00/1000 for IMI .223 bullets from Wideners, shipping included. Shop around... don't be afraid to ask questions here, no matter how trivial they may sound.....or E mail me if you want.
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Old October 18, 2001, 10:09 AM   #5
Steve Smith
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Join Date: December 9, 1999
Posts: 4,131
Bushy, there really oughtta be some cheaper bullets near you somewhere. Go to a gun show and look for someone selling bullets, and even if you buy from him there, make sure to get his # or address so you can get more (assuming he's local enough for a drive to his shop). At the gun show, you should also be able to find some folks selling once fired brass. Even though most of us have never bought brass, some folks need a head start. There's also a website

with .45's at 4.9 cents each. $50 will get you 1000 cases and a good start.

There are shops that carry some reloading supplies, and they make their money off of folks like you, who don't know any better...but now you do. Loading for pistol rounds is DIRT cheap...don't buy that expensive crap.

P.S. you also save money by using your cases over and over...that's the point, right? I've known guys whov'e been using the same .45 cases for 30 years!
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Steve Smith
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Old October 18, 2001, 11:37 AM   #6
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Join Date: August 7, 2000
Location: Floating down the James River in VA
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Buy powder and primers locally, or buy them in bulk (8lb kegs and 5k of primers, minimum). Lead bullets:
Copper plated bullets (not really needed at .45ACP velocities):
For other stuff:

Cheap load: any case, any LP primer,4.5gr of Alliant Bullseye, 230gr LRN bullet.
With this load, you should get 31 boxes of ammo out of 1# of powder.
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Old October 18, 2001, 03:56 PM   #7
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Join Date: May 11, 2001
Location: somewhere orange county,CA
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I am in same position like you, my shellholder and various accessories are in the mail,
I spent last 3 weeks to decide how to mount my RockChucker, finally I got 30$ black&Decker portable workBench from Lowe's and mounted on it using c clamp,
look at the for once fired brass,(make sure find near your area to save shipping, I saw lots of guys selling brass east US, so it should be no problem) for 1000 .45 once fired brass, usually 30-40$,
or go to several indoor range and find out where they buy reloaded ammo from... usually there's local reloading company supplying indoor range reloaded ammo cheaper than brand name, I found one in local, that is my cheap source for brass and bullet)
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Old October 21, 2001, 07:21 AM   #8
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Join Date: October 6, 2001
Location: S.W. Michigan
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Try midway usa at
Here were a couple of prices.
D & J 185 gr. match lead bullets: $37 per 1,000

Rainier 185 gr. plated fp $59 per 1,000

New Remington brass $58 per 500

Don't buy a 1,000 brass. Re-using brass is where a lot of the money is saved.
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