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Posted: 8/24/2015 6:17:48 PM EDT
I am thinking about buying a Lee progressive press. I shoot 9mm and 223. I do not own reloading equipment so I will be buying everything. I mostly shoot my pistol. Is it work buying everything to get into reload those 2 calibers or should I just buy ammo from freedom munitions or where ever else I can find deals?  I dont mind the time it takes to reload I can use it to relax.
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 6:41:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 6:47:57 PM EDT
Yes , 9mm cheap to load.
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 6:53:57 PM EDT
First of with all do respect
Buy a Dillon Square Deal B, not any Lee Progressive Press they are a tinker's WET DREAM!  You will spend more time tinkering then reloading!  You  will learn words that will make a Sailor blush!


115gr ammo you might have debate, but once you go to heavier or lighter bullets then reloading makes sense.
The key to saving money is buying in bulk case lots of primers 5K  and bullets in case lots.  Powder in large jugs ie 8# Titegroup.  You brass cases are almost free (hope you have been saving yours)
Look at Berry's Bullets direct
Look at the Hi Tech coated bullets from places like Missouri Bullets or Bayou Bullets
Look at Precision Delta or Montana Gold bullets.

Reloading is relaxation.  Granted there are parts of that are not so fun... like trimming brass unless you have Giraud!
Least your significant other will know where you are at .  

My bad for not reading the 223! Just remember handgun rounds are not as involved  as loading bottle neck cartridges.  Then my recommendation will be a Dillon 550.
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 6:56:57 PM EDT
Yes, you should start reloading if you have the time, patience and attention to detail to do it. I love it, but it isn't for everyone.

Much quoted suggestion, buy a reloading manual first and read the front half. Then decide to buy equipment. Hornady #9, Lyman 49th are good. And if you do decide to move forward, you already have another book.
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 7:05:50 PM EDT
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Quoted:
First of with all do respect
Buy a Dillon Square Deal B, not any Lee Progressive Press they are a tinker's WET DREAM!
-snip-
View Quote


I wouldn't recommend a Square Deal B, simply because he might want to have more flexibility in the future and would be limited right away.  He did say BOTH calibers...
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 7:10:49 PM EDT
Reloading is boring as hell and you have to pay attention to what you're doing, so it's not like you're going to watch a movie or drink a beer while you're doing it.  I sold all my presses and just buy in bulk.
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 7:21:47 PM EDT
As others have said, you can eventually make your money back on 115gr 9mm if that's your goal for reloading.

Same thing for 55gr .223.

Where you make your real savings is more specialized loads like 77gr .223 or 147gr 9mm. Or, if you have some oddball calibers around, you can be shooting while others are waiting for Privi or some of the other manufacturers that do small batches to come back in stock. Just be sure to buy components in bulk when available.

Either way, you can load cheaper and better (better, to me, means more accurate and more consistent) ammo for your firearms but reloading.

Link Posted: 8/24/2015 7:25:42 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 7:39:31 PM EDT

For me, shooting was a gateway drug to reloading which was a gateway drug to casting which keeps me addicted to shooting....



Agree whole heartedly on buying a manual first. If by the time you get done reading it, you can't wait to buy a press.... you are a candidate.

But don't buy anything yet.

Read every sticky on this forum.

If, after doing that you find yourself searching YouTube and coming back here 3 or4 times a day, then its time to get a single stage press or at most a Lee turret.



Do NOT think you will order everything on Tuesday, get it Thursday and have 1,000 rounds by the weekend. This ain't like putting together chairs from Ikea. It's like building furniture by hand.



You are looking at probably $.12-.15 a round starting out.



But whatever you do, don't do it to save money. Because you won't... you'll just shoot more. Do it because you want to, you enjoy peace and quiet and you like puzzles.



If the thought of buying and reading manuals make you say "ugh, there's got to be a better way to get right to it", then do yourself a favor and stay with bulk ammo for now. No harm. No foul.
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 7:44:54 PM EDT
9, 380 and 223 personally.  Not saving money yet but having a blast.
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 7:59:31 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 8:02:06 PM EDT
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Quoted:

You are doing something very, very wrong if you aren't saving money while loading .380.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
9, 380 and 223 personally.  Not saving money yet but having a blast.

You are doing something very, very wrong if you aren't saving money while loading .380.



Not if your shooting twice as much
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 8:08:18 PM EDT
Yup and bingo!  Plus I'm at the start of the hobby.
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 8:10:47 PM EDT
I don't think it is worth reloading plinking 9mm or 223 anymore personally.

300BLK, 308, and match rounds are where I save the big money.

I have tons of plinking 9mm and 223 components but don't even want to mess with loading them (especially 223) since it is so cheap right now.

If I could start over I would own a single stage press, electronic powder measure, and other items to load match ammo and put the other $3K+ I have spent on equipment as well as the insane amount of money that I have spent on components into loaded plinking ammo.

Seriously, if someone wanted to buy me out at the cost I have in stuff I would do it in a heartbeat.  Reloading can be fun but loading plinking ammo (especially rifle) is just a chore to me.  If there is another panic I plan on cashing out (not ripping people off just selling what I have).
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 8:15:18 PM EDT
Well I am still trying to figure out what ammo to feed my guns. I have a Mk25 and a Rainier Ruc. The wide has a P226 so I was thinking 124 gr and as for the AR I have been buying wolf gold by the K and 9mm from FM.   I can hold of on the 223 I would like to do 9mm more than anything.
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 8:35:29 PM EDT
I cast my own, but looking at my cost for loaded 9mm I'd say that it's definitely worth it if you have the time. Ignore the "compare to buying loaded ammo" field in the picture, it was set for another caliber. Saving 12 cents a round once I load 3,200 rounds I've essentially paid for a Square Deal B in savings, and even though you're not casting you'll load waaaayyyyyy more than 3k rounds once you start reloading.



Link Posted: 8/24/2015 9:29:23 PM EDT
I concur get a Dillon you will never regret it.

Vince
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 11:50:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 12:09:25 AM EDT
I didn't reload 9mm until I got a progressive press, but yeah now it's definitely worth it. Coated bullets (I use Blue Bullets) are very cheap and good quality, and I have enough time to load way more than I shoot.



Not to mention my loads are way more accurate than factory stuff.
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 6:49:08 AM EDT
I remember when you could not buy 9mm or 223 ammo.    I had to look around and only found 1 box of factory 9mm for $42.99.   The dealer said he had to pay scalper prices just to have 1 box in stock.   I say stock up now for the next ammo panic.   Reloading is a big advantage when no ammo is there to buy.

I use a progressive but I dont think it is a good place to start.   The Lee Turret will turn out ammo fairly quick and is easy to learn on.   You can use it as a single stage until you are comfortable with the process.   If you decide you like reloading, then you can move on to a progressive.   JMHO.
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 8:19:37 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 9:18:22 AM EDT
I love reloading pistol ammo. No case prep, just tumble the brass and go. Reloading is way cheaper than buying factory, or even re-man ammo. I load 147gr coated LFP from either bayou or BBI over 3.4gr bullseye for 9cpr.

Even cheap tula is running .19 so I'm saving a minimum $100 per K. Since I shoot over 5K per year in matches, that's at least $500.  I just started loading.45 as well and the savings are quite a bit more over the 9mm.
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 9:23:14 AM EDT
If you've ever passed on a gun-caliber because of ammo costs, that would change with reloading.  To answer what you need for .223-9mm. A single stage press will get you started loading loading both, just slower.  But even if you upgrade to any other press it will always have its special uses, such as a decapping station before cleaning. So you could get started and then look around on gun forums,EE, garage sales, pawn shops for another speedier more efficient press, almost all dies work on all presses.                                                                       From other posters the less expensive plated bullets for plinking are a big savings and take a look at the price of some boxes on the shelf,  take note of the bullet used.  You can make those for lots cheaper. And a big part of savings is never letting a good brass go to waste.  And gift certificates to places that sell reloading equipment helps family members at birthdays and Christmas.
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 10:02:13 AM EDT
I'm loading 115g FMJs for about $.14 per round.  That's buying powder and primers in bulk and using Precision Delta FMJ bullets.  I just checked midway and the cheapest jacket bullet they have is $.21 per round.   So I'm loading at about 2/3 the cost of new.  If that's all you're loading it would take a while to recoup your initial investment, but once you get into other calibers then the difference drops down to 1/2 the cost or even less.
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 10:46:00 AM EDT
Know what your getting into.

It's not just the press and components.

It's also space for all the equipment such as things you didn't think you needed such as but not limited to,

Trimmer, headspace tools, swager, tumbler, bins for brass, boxes and labels for completed rounds, etc.. it all adds up.

I have spent thousands in equipment and components and haven't saved a dime.

Never spent so much money trying to save it.

It can be fun but it's not about saving money.

You can shoot more for the same cost and make more accurate loads.

Link Posted: 8/25/2015 11:05:37 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 11:54:37 AM EDT
I personally dont load 223 yet, having to size, trim, and re tumble, takes more time than I am willing to spend right now.

As for 9mm, I enjoy loading that with Bayou Bullets, coated lead, on my 550. No, I do not save money, but I have components available to load almost all the time, and I do shoot more now.
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 11:56:00 AM EDT
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Quoted:
I remember when you could not buy 9mm or 223 ammo.    I had to look around and only found 1 box of factory 9mm for $42.99.   The dealer said he had to pay scalper prices just to have 1 box in stock.   I say stock up now for the next ammo panic.   Reloading is a big advantage when no ammo is there to buy.

I use a progressive but I dont think it is a good place to start.   The Lee Turret will turn out ammo fairly quick and is easy to learn on.   You can use it as a single stage until you are comfortable with the process.   If you decide you like reloading, then you can move on to a progressive.   JMHO.
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^^^EXACTLY THIS^^^
During worst of the crisis I had a few Saturdays I was only person on the line shooting an AR in .223/5.56,

at a range that typically has a dozen ARs firing.

I use Hornady LnL AP now, started with Lee Breech lock, then Lee Turret for a few months.

Definitely recommend starting with Lee Turret, not too complicated and indexing rod is easily

removed to convert turret into single stage press.

Would like to add Xtreme Bullets to the bullet manufacturer's listed. Very high quality plated bullets

at reasonable prices. Plus, if you can get a lot of range pickups take advantage of their Brass Credit program

and save tons of money. Recently loaded 1,500 rounds 9mm 124gr for $90 out of pocket.
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 12:23:51 PM EDT
With my home cast and coated bullets I'm loading 9mm for about $40/1000.  It's cheaper than .22 for me!



I don't factor in  the cost of the powder coating as it was minimal.



I get all my lead and 9mm brass for free.  



Of course I'm not factoring in my time either, because I thoroughly enjoy casting and reloading.  
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 1:15:56 PM EDT
I agree with the recommendation of the Square Deal B if you only intend to reload pistol.  It's easy to crank out a lot of 9mm quickly on a SDB, and it comes pretty much ready to go from the factory.  You'll just need to check and adjust a few things.  

Try to buy used.  If you decide you want to upgrade later on to a press that will reload rifle, you'll have no problem getting most, if not all, of your money back by selling the SDB.  

I bought an LNL AP with intent to sell my SDB, but now I'm having trouble letting the little guy go.
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 2:58:29 PM EDT
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Quoted:


I have to disagree, especially when we're talking about simply limiting scope to straight walled pistol cases as the OP is asking about. If he wishes to branch out into precision loading or loading for rifles in the future that is something else all together.

You don't need a trimmer, headspace tools, swagers, or a tumbler to load 9mm (or .380/.40/.45/.38/.357/10mm...or any other straight walled pistol cartridge). I've loaded for years without any of that stuff, except for the tumbler....but I don't load rifle ammo.

You can literally get into a Lee turret press, dies, and components for a few hundred bucks and start saving money within a two or three thousand rounds.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Know what your getting into.

It's not just the press and components.

It's also space for all the equipment such as things you didn't think you needed such as but not limited to,

Trimmer, headspace tools, swager, tumbler, bins for brass, boxes and labels for completed rounds, etc.. it all adds up.

I have spent thousands in equipment and components and haven't saved a dime.

Never spent so much money trying to save it.

It can be fun but it's not about saving money.

You can shoot more for the same cost and make more accurate loads.



I have to disagree, especially when we're talking about simply limiting scope to straight walled pistol cases as the OP is asking about. If he wishes to branch out into precision loading or loading for rifles in the future that is something else all together.

You don't need a trimmer, headspace tools, swagers, or a tumbler to load 9mm (or .380/.40/.45/.38/.357/10mm...or any other straight walled pistol cartridge). I've loaded for years without any of that stuff, except for the tumbler....but I don't load rifle ammo.

You can literally get into a Lee turret press, dies, and components for a few hundred bucks and start saving money within a two or three thousand rounds.


Agreed for pistol only, the OP is asking about rifle also and if you have not reloaded  rifle cartridges it's a whole 'nother animal.
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 3:17:10 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 3:25:26 PM EDT
It's already been mentioned, but I'll throw in my opinion also... yes, you can save money per round.  You may not save money overall if you end up shooting more, but it will more than likely pay for itself in not much time.  I can load 9's using Xtreme bullets for about 10 cents each.  Even cheap bulk ammo is $230-$250/K delivered.  Wolf is almost $200/K delivered.  That's $100 per thousand that I'm saving.  And It is even greater when reloading 147gr subs.  If you ever start reloading specialty ammo like 45LC, 44Mag, 357Mag, 300blk, 77gr 223's, etc, you can save a lot of money in a hurry.  Also add in that you can tailor your loads to your needs or guns. Lastly, it's nice to have a stockpile of components that I can load into ammo if things start getting bad again.  I have not worried about finding ammo (except 22's) for years.
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 6:52:49 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 8:10:26 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Umm Chris_1522, he will need a swage for 9mm as there is a lot of 9 that is or has been nato marked with crimped primers.
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I get all my 9mm brass for FREE at Fish & Game...  I'll go with 98.9% of the brass I pick up is some form of commercial headstamp.. hard pressed to see crimped 9mm, unless somebody bought M882 to shot at the range..

You want a load of crimped 9mm, you'll have to buy it on one of the Facebook loading groups.. If I do find any, it mostly WCC xx headstamp, and it gets put aside for special purpose loading
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 9:12:56 PM EDT
When ammo is rare , so is powder to load ammo. I dont load 9mm plinking ammo, its  just not worth my time, but 9mm specialized ammo I load.  Some people really get in to the whole how cheap can I make ammo, I get in to the whole how perfect can I make ammo. I carry reloads , All my SHTF ammo is reloads, I trust my reloads completely and to do such requires a huge investment in time and labor, but its worth it if you desire the very best ammo you can get.

The real question is, Are you willing to police you r brass, are you willing to spend the time to make the ammo? I run my wet tumbler a few times a day, but my ammo is second to none.
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 9:35:02 PM EDT
We cast our own with 2 Lee 6 cavity molds and scrounged lead. Cheaper than .22 even when .22 was cheap.
Link Posted: 8/26/2015 9:23:41 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/26/2015 9:30:26 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/26/2015 11:21:13 AM EDT
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Quoted:


No he won't.

Less than 5% of the brass I've encountered of the thousands and thousands of rounds has crimped primers. Just set those aside. You can hit them with a hardware store countersink if you want later or you can just forget about them.
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Quoted:
Umm Chris_1522, he will need a swage for 9mm as there is a lot of 9 that is or has been nato marked with crimped primers.


No he won't.

Less than 5% of the brass I've encountered of the thousands and thousands of rounds has crimped primers. Just set those aside. You can hit them with a hardware store countersink if you want later or you can just forget about them.


I agree as well.  I've loaded tons of rounds of 9mm, I think I found an actual crimped 9mm once.  Most of the military 9mm I've found has already been swaged/reamed (I'm guessing it's some company that sells reloads).  I do check to make sure so I'm not wasting primers / causing a jam on the ole 650.
Link Posted: 8/26/2015 12:08:09 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Umm Chris_1522, he will need a swage for 9mm as there is a lot of 9 that is or has been nato marked with crimped primers.
View Quote


I keep crimped/staked brass in a seperate bucket, when I get a few I chuck up the reamer (RCBS $15) and cut them out while watching tv, etc.
Link Posted: 8/26/2015 9:04:31 PM EDT
Depends- If you like to load the very best rounds for you 9mm,if you like to make things yourself and not be
dependent on retailers supply or sudden buying hoards.....
If you don't have the time or enjoy that sort of thing,you probably will do fine with factory ammo.
Later
John
Link Posted: 8/26/2015 9:38:12 PM EDT
How's (3000) quality handloaded loaded 147's for $432..  



Link Posted: 8/27/2015 12:39:10 AM EDT
I went from a lee turret press to a dillon 1050 and a forster co ax. Huge investment to get into reloading but to be honest, i didnt do it for the cost savings( if there is any) i did it to never run out of ammo to shoot. I been slowly building my supplies since work has been busy and am just gonna stock components until i feel i have enough to relax a while. I have 16 pounds of 8208 that i have in reserve for now and im gonna work on pistol brass and powder for a while. Shooting is always fun. Now if i can swing that mark 7 reloading machine for my dillon itll be easy sailing from here on out
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 2:11:32 PM EDT
Quoted:
I am thinking about buying a Lee progressive press. I shoot 9mm and 223. I do not own reloading equipment so I will be buying everything. I mostly shoot my pistol. Is it work buying everything to get into reload those 2 calibers or should I just buy ammo from freedom munitions or where ever else I can find deals?  I dont mind the time it takes to reload I can use it to relax.
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First, before buying anything, get a reloading manual and read up on the procedures.  It's not difficult, but it is not a hobby that is unforgiving of lack of attention to detail.

Second, I don't know that starting out on a progressive press is a good thing.  I would do my learning on a single stage press.  That's how I did it, and I'm glad I did.  Once you learn everything, you can go progressive, but don't get rid of your single stage press.  There are some reloading chores for which it is the best possible tool.  Hornady, RCBS, and Lee all make a decent or better quality single stage press.

Once you do go progressive, I wouldn't go for the Lee Progressive press.  It's too finicky.  Get a Hornady LnL AP or a Dillon 650.  I have the LnL AP, it's pretty good though caliber changes can be time consuming.  And even though it's a good press, you still have to fiddle with it some, especially if you use the automatic case feeder.  I suspect all progressives are like this to some degree.

If the Hornady or Dillon are too expensive for you, you might consider a Lee Classic Turret press.  It's not a true progressive, but faster than single stage and works very nicely.  Kind of wish I still had mine.  While my LnL AP is faster once I get it set up, I sometimes wonder if I wouldn't spend less time loading a batch of 100 cartridges on the Lee Classic Turret because of the far lower set up time.  I'd imagine the time savings get a lot bigger when you're loading larger lots, say 500 at a time, with the progressive over the turret.  Just my opinion.

Bottleneck rifle cases require periodic trimming to length.  This will quickly become the most aggravating, horrible chore associated with reloading.  I would suggest getting the Little Crow Gunworks WFT trimmer, seen here: http://www.littlecrowgunworks.com/trimmers.html.  Not as fast as a Giraud trimmer, but way cheaper and still considerably faster than a manual trimmer.  Takes most of the dog work out of it.

Also, you can use RCBS X-dies, which are intended to mitigate the growth of bottleneck cases.  They seem to work for my 223 cases.  For any given lot of 223 brass, I only have to trim them once.
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 3:52:47 PM EDT
As others have said, you can save money.

Unless you find you enjoy the process.  Then every caliber you could conceive of starts to creep in.  I do reload for far less than factory ammo.

That said, I'm now up to 11 calibers and 3 gauges.  I will never recoup the cost of all the gear I've acquired.  Additional presses and lots of dies start materializing.

Good luck OP!  It's a great hobby.
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 5:25:15 PM EDT
All the +P or +P+ ammo you can stand for pennies more.
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 6:04:20 PM EDT
Save money, or shoot more.

It's easier for me to stock up on components than it is to stock up on cases of ammo.

1,000 bullets here, 5,000 primers there.  $100 at a time, and I don't miss it the same as I do $350 for a case of ammo.

Then the "scare" comes and there's nothing to be had in stores for loaded ammo, but I've got components for 10k+ rounds of the calibers I shoot the most.  That's a nice feeling.  I'm also less willing to just bump fire a mag into the dirt with my reloads than I am with say, steel cased AK ammo.  I put work into making it so I feel more inclined to put work into shooting it to get the most out of my efforts.
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 6:39:08 PM EDT
To me it's worth it

9mm

Montana Gold 3750 ct cast of 124 gr JHP is $360   ($.097 a bullet)
CCI 500 Primer $31 per 1k  (.031 per primer)
HP 38 power $24 per 1lb (.013 per round),
Brass reusable for ages (less than .01 a round)

So per box of 50 I have $7.55 invested....where can you find a good 124 gr JHP round that is accurate for close to the same $$?



It can be loaded cheaper those prices are the higher end of what I'd actually pay now to get the stuff versus what I paid when I bought a lot of it in bulk.   I use a Hornady LNL progressive that I've had for quite a few years  now and it makes quick work of chugging out ammo.

I reload 9, .40, .38sp., .44 mag .45 and a whole lot of rifle calibers....some save you a lot more but they all save you money per round.
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 7:19:17 PM EDT
Yes.
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