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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 7/12/2008 3:33:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/14/2008 7:43:46 PM EST by jtb33]
Well, I am new to reloading. In fact, I've never reloaded a round yet. I am not a competition shooter, I don't own a machinegun and I probably only get to the range once a month; if that. Regardless, I figured that I'd give reloading a try; it's fun and I can shoot more and save money, right?

Well, I decided that the three calibers I use most are .223, .308 and 9mm, so I planned on getting components to reload for those calibers. I plan on adding .45ACP (and possibly .38/.357) soon to complete things.

I looked over the various options for reloading presses and decided that since Dillon was local to me, I'd go with a Dillon RL 550B. I knew that it would be more expensive, but would save time reloading and be easier. Time is a major factor for me, so I calculated that it would be worth it.

I didn't buy everything up front since we were having a new house built and I wouldn't be using this until we moved. I didn't want to lose things or damage things in the move, so I bought the press itself first as prices were going up on it. That was over a year ago. We're now in the new house and I had a small workbench installed in the garage. I've purchased all the equipment that I feel I need or want for reloading at this time. Everything was purchased brand new via Dillon or MidwayUSA.

So, here are my expenditures:


The press and related:


Dillon RL 550B reloading press w/9mm conversion kit $369.00
Dillon 550 Strong Mount $41.95
Dillon 550 Machine cover $23.95
Dillon 1" bench wrench $6.95
Dillon Roller handle (aluminum) $38.95
Dillon 550 aluminum bullet tray kit $36.95


My "accessories":


Frankford Arsenal Impact Bullet Puller $11.72
Lyman E-ZEE Powder Funnel 22 to 50 Caliber $3.56
RCBS Rotary Case and Media Separator $29.91
Lee "Modern Reloading Second Edition" Reloading Manual $12.31
Lyman Pro 1000 Magnetic Powder Scale 1005 Grain Capacity $50.15
Frankford Arsenal Electronic Caliper 6" Stainless Steel $9.99
RCBS Primer flip tray $2.00
RCBS Powder measure $5.00
Dillon Large primer pick up tube $7.49
Dillon Small primer pick up tube $7.49
Corn cob media - 10 lb $11.95
Dillon case lubricant $8.95
Dillon brass polish $8.95
Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ tumbler $39.99
Safety glasses (Beretta - clear) $12.99


Additional accessories:


Dillon AkroBins for RL 550B x6 $13.20
Dillon Ammo Boxes - 9mm - 100ct x 10 $16.20
Dillon Ammo Boxes - Medium Rifle (308) - 50ct x 10 $21.00
Dillon Ammo Boxes - Small Rifle (223) - 50ct x 10 $16.50


Items for each caliber to load:


Dillon Carbide Sizer/deprimer die - 9mm $23.95
Dillon Seating die - 9mm $21.95
Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die 9mm Luger $13.99
Dillon toolhead stand $17.95
Dillon 9mm case gauge $11.50

Dillon .223 case gauge $21.95
Dillon 3-die set (steel) 223 $59.95
550 Conversion 223 $40.95
Dillon 550 Quick change set (tool head, stand, powder measure, powder die) $89.95

Lyman Case Length Gage 308 Winchester $14.95
Dillon 3-die set (steel) 308 $59.95
550 Conversion 308/30.06 $40.95
Dillon 550 Quick change set (tool head, stand, powder measure, powder die) $89.95


and my components:


Hornady Bullets 22 Caliber (224 Diameter) 55 Grain Full Metal Jacket Boat Tail Box of 500 $37.39
Hornady Bullets 30 Caliber (308 Diameter) 150 Grain Full Metal Jacket Boat Tail Box of 100 $15.74
Remington 124g 9mm FMJ 500ct $62.30
Accurate Powder 2230 - 1 lb $17.99
Accurate Powder 2520 - 1 lb $17.99
Accurate Powder No 5 - 1 lb $16.99
Magtech Large Rifle Primers - 1000 $24.99
Magtech Small Rifle Primers - 1000 $24.99
Magtech Small Pistol Primers - 1000 $24.99
(Already have a bunch of .223, .308 and 9mm brass)


My expenditures in tax and shipping totaled $130.60

So, the grand total I've spent? $1689.01

I'm going to have to do a LOT of shooting to make up for that.

Edited to add pics:





Link Posted: 7/12/2008 3:43:56 PM EST
So get started...

You really need to get more powder though...
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 3:57:57 PM EST
Wow,
I mean Damn... That's a lot of money you dropped.

Get Started dude. Start making that investment pay for itself.

I'd be itching to get started with all that. And then living at the range.
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 4:13:43 PM EST
You still need something for trimming, primer pocket swaging/reaming, and I suggest the case gages for .223 and .308 as well.
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 4:24:11 PM EST
You have to consider every single one of those pennies as capital investments. Only after you write those costs off as infrastructure do you save money.

After you start loading, the cost difference between new & reloaded can be considered amortization of your capital investment. It'll still take you a couple of thousand rounds to recoup the costs if you do it that way.

Or, you can consider it a sunk cost and just start reloading.

Also, you need a mindset shift. You will NOT save money reloading. Instead, you will simply shoot many, many more rounds for the same dollars spent.
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 4:25:07 PM EST
Welcome to the Blue kool-aid club.

It does cost some money to get started, but remember you started with some good equipment.

Try to buy primers and powder local to save the hazmat charge.

Get your bench set up and start your first loads.

You will need some sort of trimmer and deburring (case neck) tool.

Got to be a typo on the $5 RCBS powder measure.
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 4:28:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By limaxray:
You have to consider every single one of those pennies as capital investments. Only after you write those costs off as infrastructure do you save money.

After you start loading, the cost difference between new & reloaded can be considered amortization of your capital investment. It'll still take you a couple of thousand rounds to recoup the costs if you do it that way.

Or, you can consider it a sunk cost and just start reloading.

Also, you need a mindset shift. You will NOT save money reloading. Instead, you will simply shoot many, many more rounds for the same dollars spent.


Bingo! Load to save, save to load.
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 4:35:59 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/12/2008 4:39:47 PM EST by ProfGAB101]
You got off cheap.

I own 2 SMG's so I either reload - or can't afford to shoot.

I bought a (antique ) plumbers furnace to melt down and purify wheel weights to make clean alloy ingots for my Master Caster. I cast for 380 acp, 9x19, 44mag, 45 acp and 45-70gov.

I use 2 Dillon presses, a XL650 in full dress and a RL450 for many rifle cal.

a RCBS rock Chucker for the Dillon RT1200 trimmer for .223 and .308

An RCBS and a Genuine Star Lube sizer.

I tend to have at least 500lbs of clean lead ingots on hand ( Currently about 1900lbs)

The SMG's run fine on cast lead, although I won't shoot it thru the sealed suppressors. I do shoot cast lead thru all the cans which allow dissassembly for cleaning.

Note: - Long before I ever had any NFA toys I was reloading, I started while still in High School because being under age I could not BUY "Handgun" ammo over the counter.

Silly law was a Joke cause the only Handgun I had was a .22LR and they would sell me all the 22 I wanted. But even when they sold me a Win 94 in 357mag - they would'nt sell ammo for the rifle I bought. They would sell me all the brass, primers, powder and slugs I could afford.

Link Posted: 7/12/2008 4:55:29 PM EST
jtb33,
You bought the best and it will last many rounds. I figured for my Dillion I would have to load something like 5,000 .45 or 8,000 .223 rounds to recoup the cost. That will tell you when I started. In addition, I like the fact that I can create any custom load I want.

Good luck, be careful and most of all, HAVE FUN!!!
skink
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 5:16:16 PM EST

Originally Posted By jtb33:
Well, I am new to reloading. In fact, I've never reloaded a round yet. I am not a competition shooter, I don't own a machinegun and I probably only get to the range once a month; if that. Regardless, I figured that I'd give reloading a try; it's fun and I can shoot more and save money, right?

Well, I decided that the three calibers I use most are .223, .308 and 9mm, so I planned on getting components to reload for those calibers. I plan on adding .45ACP (and possibly .38/.357) soon to complete things.

I looked over the various options for reloading presses and decided that since Dillon was local to me, I'd go with a Dillon RL 550B. I knew that it would be more expensive, but would save time reloading and be easier. Time is a major factor for me, so I calculated that it would be worth it.

I didn't buy everything up front since we were having a new house built and I wouldn't be using this until we moved. I didn't want to lose things or damage things in the move, so I bought the press itself first as prices were going up on it. That was over a year ago. We're now in the new house and I had a small workbench installed in the garage. I've purchased all the equipment that I feel I need or want for reloading at this time. Everything was purchased brand new via Dillon or MidwayUSA.

So, here are my expenditures:


The press and related:


Dillon RL 550B reloading press w/9mm conversion kit $369.00
Dillon 550 Strong Mount $41.95
Dillon 550 Machine cover $23.95
Dillon 1" bench wrench $6.95
Dillon Roller handle (aluminum) $38.95
Dillon 550 aluminum bullet tray kit $36.95


Well, of the above, you probably didn't need the strong mount, the machine cover, the roller handle nor the bullet tray, so there's $142.00 you blew on ancillary stuff not really needed for the task at hand. I sit when I reload and don't need the mount at all. The roller handle is nice, but I've used the ball handle for 13 years and it works perfectly. The machine cover? I throw over some old t-shirts to keep the dust off and the bullet tray? 1 pint wonton soup containers with the lids on are a perfect height and big enough to hold 50 bullets at a time.

My "accessories":


Frankford Arsenal Impact Bullet Puller $11.72
Lyman E-ZEE Powder Funnel 22 to 50 Caliber $3.56
RCBS Rotary Case and Media Separator $29.91
Lee "Modern Reloading Second Edition" Reloading Manual $12.31
Lyman Pro 1000 Magnetic Powder Scale 1005 Grain Capacity $50.15
Frankford Arsenal Electronic Caliper 6" Stainless Steel $9.99
RCBS Primer flip tray $2.00
RCBS Powder measure $5.00
Dillon Large primer pick up tube $7.49
Dillon Small primer pick up tube $7.49
Corn cob media - 10 lb $11.95
Dillon case lubricant $8.95
Dillon brass polish $8.95
Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ tumbler $39.99
Safety glasses (Beretta - clear) $12.99


You did ok on the stuff above, so good job there.

Additional accessories:


Dillon AkroBins for RL 550B x6 $13.20
Dillon Ammo Boxes - 9mm - 100ct x 10 $16.20
Dillon Ammo Boxes - Medium Rifle (308) - 50ct x 10 $21.00
Dillon Ammo Boxes - Small Rifle (223) - 50ct x 10 $16.50


Looks good there, as one needs ammo boxes for sure.

Items for each caliber to load:


Dillon Carbide Sizer/deprimer die - 9mm $23.95
Dillon Seating die - 9mm $21.95
Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die 9mm Luger $13.99
Dillon toolhead stand $17.95
Dillon 9mm case gauge $11.50

Dillon .223 case gauge $21.95
Dillon 3-die set (steel) 223 $59.95
550 Conversion 223 $40.95
Dillon 550 Quick change set (tool head, stand, powder measure, powder die) $89.95

Lyman Case Length Gage 308 Winchester $14.95
Dillon 3-die set (steel) 308 $59.95
550 Conversion 308/30.06 $40.95
Dillon 550 Quick change set (tool head, stand, powder measure, powder die) $89.95


I might have forgone the Dillon rifle dies and gotten Reddings, but what's done is done. You might have saved some money here buying off of Ebay, but we're not talking huge savings going that route vs. yours.

and my components:


Hornady Bullets 22 Caliber (224 Diameter) 55 Grain Full Metal Jacket Boat Tail Box of 500 $37.39
Hornady Bullets 30 Caliber (308 Diameter) 150 Grain Full Metal Jacket Boat Tail Box of 100 $15.74
Remington 124g 9mm FMJ 500ct $62.30
Accurate Powder 2230 - 1 lb $17.99
Accurate Powder 2520 - 1 lb $17.99
Accurate Powder No 5 - 1 lb $16.99
Magtech Large Rifle Primers - 1000 $24.99
Magtech Small Rifle Primers - 1000 $24.99
Magtech Small Pistol Primers - 1000 $24.99
(Already have a bunch of .223, .308 and 9mm brass)


Again, not a lot to knit pick above, maybe a few bucks here and there, but not a lot.

My expenditures in tax and shipping totaled $130.60

So, the grand total I've spent? $1689.01

Hell man, I've done it for almost 14 years and have bought pretty good stuff, but in the last 2 years alone, I've gotten certain tools (case gages, headspace gages, better micrometers, specialty bushing dies) and I've spent probably twice that. And I got a lot of shit off of Ebay and saved, so wait until you really get into it.

I'm going to have to do a LOT of shooting to make up for that.

Reloading is a hobby within a hobby. It's a cerebral endeavor and I find it quite relaxing and stimulating to the mind. Plus it's just plain cool as shit to tell your liberal friends and neighbors that your make your own ammo!



Take care, don't smoke while reloading and keep us posted on your journey.

Chris
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 5:20:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By drmgallen:
So get started...

You really need to get more powder though...


I purposely bought the 1lb powder size to make sure that it works well in the RL 550 - though I've heard that Accurate powder does well in it.


Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
You still need something for trimming, primer pocket swaging/reaming, and I suggest the case gages for .223 and .308 as well.


Already have the case gauges; they're listed above.

I will eventually get a Dillon Super swage 60, but it's $90 and I don't have any military brass for reloading yet. I'm also holding off on a trimmer for now - haven't done my research on those just yet and don't need one right now.


Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Welcome to the Blue kool-aid club.

It does cost some money to get started, but remember you started with some good equipment.

Try to buy primers and powder local to save the hazmat charge.

Get your bench set up and start your first loads.

You will need some sort of trimmer and deburring (case neck) tool.

Got to be a typo on the $5 RCBS powder measure.


I bought all my powder and primers from Sportsman's Warehouse locally. They had the best price on those.

No typo on the RCBS powder measure - I got that and the flip tray from someone local who was selling off a bunch of new-in-box reloading stuff. Those are the only two items I didn't get at a store.

Well, yes, I am eager to get started, but the 100 degree heat, which increases to 110 in my garage has me holding off for now. I did get the press set up and mounted, got all my (once-fired) brass tumbled, polished and sorted so that once it cools off a bit (or I get motivated to bear the heat) I'll start reloading. I'm sure that I'll have some questions once I do get started.

Link Posted: 7/12/2008 5:22:11 PM EST
Wow!

I only spent about $450 or so to get started.
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 5:27:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/12/2008 5:31:11 PM EST by ma96782]
Well there you go.....BLUE Kool Aid cost more then the.........Red stuff.

Both are refreshing and will hit the spot.

But, IF, you like the BLUE taste, better.............there you are.

Aloha, Mark
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 6:30:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/12/2008 6:33:20 PM EST by Whelen]
Next time you place an order for reloading supplies, consider getting an additional loading manual.

Different loads.

Different bullets.

Different testing.

Different results.

Compare and contrast.

Hornady and Nosler are both excellent.

Link Posted: 7/12/2008 7:15:32 PM EST
Let me know how the Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ tumbler $39.99 works. Was thinking about buying one, but seen bad reviews on Midway.
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 7:28:27 PM EST
How does that saying go..."Go Big or Go Home"

Seems like you bought some good equipment.
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 7:45:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By ma96782:
Well there you go.....BLUE Kool Aid cost more then the.........Red stuff.

Both are refreshing and will hit the spot.

But, IF, you like the BLUE taste, better.............there you are.

Aloha, Mark


My Rock Chucker is green.
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 7:50:34 PM EST

Originally Posted By zack-s:
Let me know how the Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ tumbler $39.99 works. Was thinking about buying one, but seen bad reviews on Midway.


I have one, it works fine. The included polish makes the cases nice & shiny.

The only things I don't like so far is that it is plenty loud & the basket that you crank around over the bucket to seperate the cases from the media does spray some media around, not enough to matter, but enough to be annoying.
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 8:20:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/12/2008 8:23:26 PM EST by drmgallen]


What else can you do when you do not reload?

Less than 25 cents per round for my nephew...

50 gr Sierra BlitzKing, pushed by 27.8 gr of H335 and CCI 400 primers for his bolt gun...with my mixed brass on their 4th reload. You never know if you will get your brass back...:-)

This load works well in my Rem 700 and in my nephew's Savage...YMMV...
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 8:25:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By zack-s:
Let me know how the Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ tumbler $39.99 works. Was thinking about buying one, but seen bad reviews on Midway.


I read the reviews and it turned me off as well. I ordered a Hornady tumber from Midway, but it was backordered for over a month. I didn't want to wait, so I picked up the F-A tumber at Sportsman's Warehouse. I figured that if it went bad, I could just take it back. I've only done a few tumble sessions for a couple hours, but no complaints so far. Not too loud and the in-line toggle switch is nice.

I bought the RCBS media seperator because I like that it is totally enclosed, so the media doesn't get all over. That was a good buy.
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 8:29:44 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/12/2008 8:31:58 PM EST by ma96782]

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:

Originally Posted By ma96782:
Well there you go.....BLUE Kool Aid cost more then the.........Red stuff.

Both are refreshing and will hit the spot.

But, IF, you like the BLUE taste, better.............there you are.

Aloha, Mark


My Rock Chucker is green.


Yup.....and my "first" was a used RCBS Jr. (just trying to save $).

Some folks got the big $$$$.

Then "others" start with USED equipment.

Aloha, Mark


Link Posted: 7/12/2008 8:39:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/12/2008 8:45:01 PM EST by Keith_J]
Take care of the tools. Compare ammo with PREMIUM. Have fun reloading. The real saving is reusing the brass.

My reason for reloading back in 1982 was a box of 50 .22 Hornet factory loads was $25. A box of 100 bullets was $6.25, the primers were $1.00 and powder for 100 rounds was $1.75. The Lee single stage kit with a scale was $100. 5 boxes of factory ammo.

I still have the dies, press and scale. And use them.
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 8:39:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By ma96782:

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:

Originally Posted By ma96782:
Well there you go.....BLUE Kool Aid cost more then the.........Red stuff.

Both are refreshing and will hit the spot.

But, IF, you like the BLUE taste, better.............there you are.

Aloha, Mark


My Rock Chucker is green.


Yup.....and my "first" was a used RCBS Jr. (just trying to save $).

Some folks got the big $$$$.

Then "others" start with USED equipment.

Aloha, Mark




32 years ago...I started out with a green Rockchucker...it served me well for a long time...then I went blue after I got into my P16....then there was no turning back...:-)
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 8:45:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Take care of the tools. Compare ammo with PREMIUM. Have fun reloading. The real saving is reusing the brass.


I have to agree..with the loads that I made for my nephew...they have to be at least a buck a round on the open market... Premium, fast, accurate and a great bullet...and maybe I might get my brass back (4th reload may be end of life)...no worries...
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 5:38:05 AM EST
I solved the problem you have of spending all that money up front. I simply decided that the first shot i fired with my first reload cost around $2000.

Then I got into casting my own. Again the same thought process.

Now I'm really saving money. All costs expensed on the first shots. At least that's how I explained to wifey.

Oh yeah, you do need a LOT more powder and a LOT more primers. Check out Powder Valley and buy in bulk.

QED

John
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 7:24:57 AM EST
jtb,

The initial outlay is indeed hard to swallow. Looking at your list you've spent pretty wisely and as others have already said, your equipment is very good and will likely out-last you if you take care of it. Be thankful for forums like this where folks can help guide you and save you money. That 1700 is nothing compared to what I've wasted on gadgets and stuff I thought I had to have. I've been loading close to 25 years and the best advice I have for you is:

buy the best equipment the first time... it costs a lot less to only buy once.
i.e. - Ask me how many case trimmers I have or have owned
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 9:59:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/13/2008 10:09:38 AM EST by warlord]
I would also suggest watching the various retailers for sales on bullets, powder, and priimers.

For me, I scrounge as much spent cases at the range as possible. Even though I bought unfired cases, I have yet to use them.

I shoot the cases until they split in the mouth or body, but generally if you keep the loads reasonable(ie no "balls to the walls" velocities) pistol cases last a long time.

For pistols especially, I only flare the case mouth just enough so that the bullet will sit straight on the mouth, and also I use coated lead bullets(which performs like jacket bullets but is way cheaper than the true jacketed bullets) with a beveled base so that you need little or no flaring of the case mouth.

And of course I crimp only enough to take the flare out of the case mouth. My philosophy about crimping is that crimp as little possible to do the job and no more, because the sizing die should reduce the overall diameter of the case enough to hold the bullet in place.

For rifle ammo, I use a Lyman M-Die with a stepped rod in the middle that expands the neck and flares the mouth a tad to accept the bullet, and I roll crimp to take the flare out. I toss out the rifle case after the 3rd trimming, or when the case mouth or body splits, when the primer pops out during firing (indicating a worn primer pocket), or the case needs an inside neck reaming(indicated by the fact that a bullet won't drop through a fired case), or indications of incipient case head separation.

Or course this is only for generally available cases, if you have an expensive or rare case you may want to go through some heroics to get max use of a case, such as annealing, inside/outside neck turning etc.
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 10:09:04 AM EST
The OP definitely bought a good topline setup for someone who is going to reload a lot of ammunition.

I would strongly hope that no one who is considering beginning reloading thinks that that is a beginner's setup.

It is definitely not what I'd recommend to someone just starting out.
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 10:15:37 AM EST

Originally Posted By spqrzilla:
The OP definitely bought a good topline setup for someone who is going to reload a lot of ammunition.

I would strongly hope that no one who is considering beginning reloading thinks that that is a beginner's setup.

It is definitely not what I'd recommend to someone just starting out.
Well, a Dillon 550 is not exactly a beginner's machine either, but it doesn't take much to get beyond the beginner reloading stage. I must point out that Dillon equipment is quite good and their customer service is superb and is a one time purchase, but you do pay for that kind of service. In the long run it maybe cheaper, but in the short run there are cheaper alternatives such as Hornady and Lee etc.
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 10:40:16 AM EST

Originally Posted By drmgallen:
....
You really need to get more powder though...
True that!

Reloading, in my experience, does not save you money.... it will allow you to shoot a lot more for the $$ spent, though!

As an added bonus, you are now set up pretty much for life. In 10 years you'll be thinking how much cheaper your ammo is than heading to the store.
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 1:17:42 PM EST
I appreciate all the feedback and tips thus far.

Yes, I did "go big" right out of the gate, even as a newbie. I've done so many things in the past with "beginner equipment" or cheaper stuff only to have to upgrade and replace shortly thereafter - and that gets expensive.

My goal with this, was something that I could use as a beginner, but something that allowed me to use the same thing (just, differently) as I gained experience.

I didn't buy a whole lot of components (bullets, powder or primers) because I want to see how well they ones I bought perform in my rifles before I get a LOT of each. For example, a lot of people here seem to like CCI primers, but you will see that I bought Magtech. A lot of people here also talk about Varget powder, but I decided to give Accurate powder a try first. Same with bullets.

So yes, I'll go bulk on those components after a few trials with what I have already bought.
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 1:58:55 PM EST
I feel your pain man. I'm in the process of gearing up. I figured I'd start with a single stage press and learn the whole reloading routine with just a couple of rifle calibers I don't shoot in huge quantities. I'm starting with 6.5x55 and figure I'll do .308 next. If I enjoy it I'll probably eventually go progressive to do .223, .38 and maybe 9mm.

Anyway, I've got about $500 invested so far, and I haven't bought any bullets, primer or powder. The way I figure it, those first 20 rounds will cost about $40 each to shoot. After that, it's all gravy . . .
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 2:25:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By jtb33:
I appreciate all the feedback and tips thus far.

Yes, I did "go big" right out of the gate, even as a newbie. I've done so many things in the past with "beginner equipment" or cheaper stuff only to have to upgrade and replace shortly thereafter - and that gets expensive.

My goal with this, was something that I could use as a beginner, but something that allowed me to use the same thing (just, differently) as I gained experience.

I didn't buy a whole lot of components (bullets, powder or primers) because I want to see how well they ones I bought perform in my rifles before I get a LOT of each. For example, a lot of people here seem to like CCI primers, but you will see that I bought Magtech. A lot of people here also talk about Varget powder, but I decided to give Accurate powder a try first. Same with bullets.

So yes, I'll go bulk on those components after a few trials with what I have already bought.


Actually you did great with the powders...you got ball powders...that meter much better than Varget (stick, and may jam your powder bar). Your powder loads will be easier to throw...

Primers? for my 223 plinking ammo, I use the Wolf Small rifle magnum...$90 per thousand

When you decide on the powder and primer combo than makes you happy...order both your primers and powder at the same time...for one Haz Mat fee.
Link Posted: 7/14/2008 7:44:17 PM EST
Edited to add pics - first post.
Link Posted: 7/15/2008 5:04:29 AM EST
Just think, after 150,000, the equipment only cost you $.01/rnd.
Link Posted: 7/15/2008 5:16:11 AM EST
jtb33, you got yourself a good set up there, you won't regret it.

Also, nice job on the pinewood derby car.

Zach
Link Posted: 7/15/2008 7:22:01 AM EST

Originally Posted By jtb33:
Edited to add pics - first post.


Dang!..that is nicer than my set up...

Do you have anything to hold down the back of your press? Especially important when resizing larger pieces of brass....

And clean the finger print off your camera lens...
Link Posted: 7/15/2008 8:41:41 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/20/2008 1:48:42 PM EST by HMFIC70]
Nice set up........
Link Posted: 7/15/2008 9:31:39 AM EST

Originally Posted By drmgallen:
Dang!..that is nicer than my set up...

Do you have anything to hold down the back of your press? Especially important when resizing larger pieces of brass....

And clean the finger print off your camera lens...


Thanks. Yes, I did clean the camera lens after I saw the picture results.

If I need to use more torque, I just remove the vice on the side of the bench and add a third two-prong clamp to the rear of the hardwood. So far though, I've tried 308 and 223 and it's rock solid.


Originally Posted By Zach540:
jtb33, you got yourself a good set up there, you won't regret it.

Also, nice job on the pinewood derby car.

Zach


Thanks. My son and I built it; he won first place out of all the Wolf scouts and second place among all the cub scouts. He got a trophy and was very proud.



Originally Posted By HMFIC70:
Nice set up........until I saw your clock......GO STEELERS


You don't like DPMS "Panther Arms"?

Also, rather than spend the $$ to get the wrench holder from dillon, I just drilled some holes in the hardwood base to hold the tools. It's actually more convenient anyway.
Link Posted: 7/15/2008 9:52:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/15/2008 9:57:03 AM EST by AssaultRifler]
You listed the aluminum roller handle in the OP but looks like you have the plastic one? You change your order?

FWIW, I checked my records last night, bought my 550B fall of 1991 for $283, think that included shipping! Your's should last at least that long too!

eta: nevermind, I checked Dillon's site, looks like the alumnium handle comes in black as well as blue. The one on my 650 is blue

Link Posted: 7/15/2008 10:41:51 AM EST

Originally Posted By jtb33:
I appreciate all the feedback and tips thus far.

Yes, I did "go big" right out of the gate, even as a newbie. I've done so many things in the past with "beginner equipment" or cheaper stuff only to have to upgrade and replace shortly thereafter - and that gets expensive.

My goal with this, was something that I could use as a beginner, but something that allowed me to use the same thing (just, differently) as I gained experience.

.....


The great thing about reloading is very little of what you buy is strictly "beginner only" stuff. My first press was the RCBS Partner press. I now use it to deprime cases. I still use most of the stuff from my starter set. but some of it infrequently.

It is hard to save money on plinking ammo. But making quality stuff or exotic stuff is a no brainer.
For example, try finding 35 Whelen ammo with a premium hunting bullet. And when I bought my 416 Rigby, factory Federal ammo was $120 per 20. I can reload MUCH cheaper than $6 a pop.

I also echo that your setup is NOT the typical beginner outlay, so other newbs out there shouldn't get sticker shock and give up on reloading before even trying.


Link Posted: 7/15/2008 12:35:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By jtb33:

Originally Posted By zack-s:
Let me know how the Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ tumbler $39.99 works. Was thinking about buying one, but seen bad reviews on Midway.


I read the reviews and it turned me off as well. I ordered a Hornady tumber from Midway, but it was backordered for over a month. I didn't want to wait, so I picked up the F-A tumber at Sportsman's Warehouse. I figured that if it went bad, I could just take it back. I've only done a few tumble sessions for a couple hours, but no complaints so far. Not too loud and the in-line toggle switch is nice.

I bought the RCBS media seperator because I like that it is totally enclosed, so the media doesn't get all over. That was a good buy.

dont sweat the tumbler..remove the aluminum base plate and put the rubber feet back on the base. this will allow air to circulate around the motor and it will be fine. I have run mine for many many days continually, just stopping to change brass, it still runs fine. I've had it for 2 years now.
Link Posted: 7/15/2008 12:44:27 PM EST
I bought a NOS turret combo on the EE here for about $250.

Add dies, components, and I'm off to the races.... It CAN be done for a lot cheaper.
Link Posted: 7/15/2008 1:22:41 PM EST
My dad had less than $25 invested in reloading and produced ammo for his 7mm Mauser that was sub MOA. Since ammo was ~$10 a box, he came out ahead...far ahead.

Lee Loader, for the win. Yes, his first load with H4831 wasn't that good. But switching to IMR3031 with the SAME SCOOP, BULLET AND PRIMER got him 5 shot groups that could be covered with a quarter at 100 yards. And it was the demise of many deer.
Link Posted: 7/15/2008 1:28:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By n8pgp:

Originally Posted By jtb33:

Originally Posted By zack-s:
Let me know how the Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ tumbler $39.99 works. Was thinking about buying one, but seen bad reviews on Midway.


I read the reviews and it turned me off as well. I ordered a Hornady tumber from Midway, but it was backordered for over a month. I didn't want to wait, so I picked up the F-A tumber at Sportsman's Warehouse. I figured that if it went bad, I could just take it back. I've only done a few tumble sessions for a couple hours, but no complaints so far. Not too loud and the in-line toggle switch is nice.

I bought the RCBS media seperator because I like that it is totally enclosed, so the media doesn't get all over. That was a good buy.

dont sweat the tumbler..remove the aluminum base plate and put the rubber feet back on the base. this will allow air to circulate around the motor and it will be fine. I have run mine for many many days continually, just stopping to change brass, it still runs fine. I've had it for 2 years now.


Thanks for the tip; I'll have to do that.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 12:19:49 PM EST
I always try to remeber that the value of the equipment is not gone once you buy it . So when figuring out cost per round I figure what the depreciated value of the equipment is as if I were going to sell it. At most you'll lose 15% of the value of the Dillon stuff over the next 10 years.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 1:35:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By donttellthewife:
I always try to remeber that the value of the equipment is not gone once you buy it . So when figuring out cost per round I figure what the depreciated value of the equipment is as if I were going to sell it. At most you'll lose 15% of the value of the Dillon stuff over the next 10 years.

Its common when selling Dillon presses in excellent condition, to take the then current selling price x 80% as a fair sale price. I sold my 4½ RL550B and it's unique equipment to upgrade to a 650 w/casefeeder 2 yrs ago and used that method. It sold in 2 minutes for a bit more than I originally paid for it. So, unless you trash your press, in 5 to 6 years you should be able to get 100% of your costs back if you sell it to upgrade.
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