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Posted: 2/14/2013 7:13:58 AM EDT
A friend of mine is wanting to get into reloading for various but common calibers. Can he possibly find what he needs as far as bullets, powder, primers and various dies, or does he need to wait for a few months until things are back in stock?
I don't reload so I don't have a clue as to what is out there.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 7:18:34 AM EDT


Supplies are mostly sold out at this time.

I bought my supplies just before the rush. It should calm down at some time.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 7:32:40 AM EDT
I was well-stocked on pistol supplies prior to the rush. I was a *little* light on rifle supplies when it hit (I had put off purchases around the holdays).

Having said that, it is possible to source all the necessary stuff, but expect a wait.

I ordere primers. Took them a month to get to me.

My last bullet order took two weeks. I have since placed another one and that one is expected to take 6 weeks.

I source powder locally, and go to the store once a week. In 8 weeks I have been able to find 20 pounds of powder.



It's out there, sort of, your friend will just need patience.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 9:16:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By exx1976:
I was well-stocked on pistol supplies prior to the rush. I was a *little* light on rifle supplies when it hit (I had put off purchases around the holdays).

Having said that, it is possible to source all the necessary stuff, but expect a wait.

I ordere primers. Took them a month to get to me.

My last bullet order took two weeks. I have since placed another one and that one is expected to take 6 weeks.

I source powder locally, and go to the store once a week. In 8 weeks I have been able to find 20 pounds of powder.



It's out there, sort of, your friend will just need patience.


What he said is same thing in TX....be patient...

Link Posted: 2/14/2013 10:22:27 AM EDT
There are three options for those wanting to start reloading right now:

1. Wait until the panic dies down, this could be 6-12 months or more.

2. Pay outrageous prices on places like gunbroker and gunshows.

3. Be very diligent searching for reasonable deals on components among the various major distributors.

I started reloading during the '09 panic and picked option #3. It took a little time, but I didn't pay outrageous prices, and I got plenty of reloading done that year.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 10:30:02 AM EDT
It can be done but its a pain in the ass. I just ordered everything to get me started over the weekend, and I had to piece it all from multiple places. Unless he gets lucky and finds components in stock at the right time, he will be paying for primers and powder.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 10:41:59 AM EDT
Originally Posted By tbonifie:
There are three options for those wanting to start reloading right now:

1. Wait until the panic dies down, this could be 6-12 months or more.

2. Pay outrageous prices on places like gunbroker and gunshows.

3. Be very diligent searching for reasonable deals on components among the various major distributors.

I started reloading during the '09 panic and picked option #3. It took a little time, but I didn't pay outrageous prices, and I got plenty of reloading done that year.


I agree with everything you said.


A little story:

A few months ago I was approached to make a large reloading purchase for a couple of gentleman as they didn't know where to look for things. They told me they wanted to load 20K rounds of ammunition (5K 9mm, 5K 45 AUTO, 5K .223, and 5K .308) and they wanted to do it efficiently but no case feeder. I found brass, powder, bullets (168gr match for the .308), primers, LNL AP, Dillon Super Swage, tumbler, etc. and it came to ~$6000 to have all of the rounds loaded and sitting in ammo cans.

They figured it would be ~$5000 and balked about it and said they would just buy loaded ammo. Fast forward to the end of December and they all of a sudden want the stuff again as they can't get loaded ammo. I told them tough $hit and they should have listened to me when I told them it doesn't get cheaper and to not put it off. I had spent countless hours scouring for deals in the evening when I got home from work and those deals were now gone and I wasn't going to do it again for nothing when they didn't follow through the last time.

---------

The moral of the story is try to help your friend but don't forget to instill the lesson that it doesn't pay to put things off as they only get more expensive and sometimes they aren't obtainable at any cost. I have learned this lesson in the past and am better off now because of it.

Link Posted: 2/14/2013 11:16:29 AM EDT
I started getting everything I needed the last of January, I have it all now and didn't pay the crazy ass prices for it
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 11:28:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 12:00:51 PM EDT by dryflash3]


A little story:

A few months ago I was approached to make a large reloading purchase for a couple of gentleman as they didn't know where to look for things. They told me they wanted to load 20K rounds of ammunition (5K 9mm, 5K 45 AUTO, 5K .223, and 5K .308) and they wanted to do it efficiently but no case feeder. I found brass, powder, bullets (168gr match for the .308), primers, LNL AP, Dillon Super Swage, tumbler, etc. and it came to ~$6000 to have all of the rounds loaded and sitting in ammo cans.

They figured it would be ~$5000 and balked about it and said they would just buy loaded ammo. Fast forward to the end of December and they all of a sudden want the stuff again as they can't get loaded ammo. I told them tough $hit and they should have listened to me when I told them it doesn't get cheaper and to not put it off. I had spent countless hours scouring for deals in the evening when I got home from work and those deals were now gone and I wasn't going to do it again for nothing when they didn't follow through the last time.

---------

The moral of the story is try to help your friend but don't forget to instill the lesson that it doesn't pay to put things off as they only get more expensive and sometimes they aren't obtainable at any cost. I have learned this lesson in the past and am better off now because of it.


So you managed to source componets and equipment to start reloading, for 20,000 rounds of various ammunition, across different calibers, all for $6,000 or better expressed as 30 cents per round?

I'm calling bullshit.

Politely disagree if you want, but this a technical forum not the "do whatever you can get away with" GD, General Discussion forum. dryflash3

Link Posted: 2/14/2013 12:06:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By bp7178:


A little story:

A few months ago I was approached to make a large reloading purchase for a couple of gentleman as they didn't know where to look for things. They told me they wanted to load 20K rounds of ammunition (5K 9mm, 5K 45 AUTO, 5K .223, and 5K .308) and they wanted to do it efficiently but no case feeder. I found brass, powder, bullets (168gr match for the .308), primers, LNL AP, Dillon Super Swage, tumbler, etc. and it came to ~$6000 to have all of the rounds loaded and sitting in ammo cans.

They figured it would be ~$5000 and balked about it and said they would just buy loaded ammo. Fast forward to the end of December and they all of a sudden want the stuff again as they can't get loaded ammo. I told them tough $hit and they should have listened to me when I told them it doesn't get cheaper and to not put it off. I had spent countless hours scouring for deals in the evening when I got home from work and those deals were now gone and I wasn't going to do it again for nothing when they didn't follow through the last time.

---------

The moral of the story is try to help your friend but don't forget to instill the lesson that it doesn't pay to put things off as they only get more expensive and sometimes they aren't obtainable at any cost. I have learned this lesson in the past and am better off now because of it.






So you managed to source componets and equipment to start reloading, for 20,000 rounds of various ammunition, across different calibers, all for $6,000 or better expressed as 30 cents per round?

I'm calling bullshit.

Politely disagree if you want, but this a technical forum not the "do whatever you can get away with" GD, General Discussion forum. dryflash3



A few months ago I see no problem hitting that 6K mark for plain jane ammo
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 12:10:24 PM EDT
'flash's comments notwithstanding, I'm not sure where I stand on this one without a line-by-line expense listing. NOT INCLUDING BRASS, I think the cheapest I could do it (assuming free brass/range brass/already had brass) would be somewhere in the high $5k mark given everything required.



Originally Posted By bp7178:


A little story:

A few months ago I was approached to make a large reloading purchase for a couple of gentleman as they didn't know where to look for things. They told me they wanted to load 20K rounds of ammunition (5K 9mm, 5K 45 AUTO, 5K .223, and 5K .308) and they wanted to do it efficiently but no case feeder. I found brass, powder, bullets (168gr match for the .308), primers, LNL AP, Dillon Super Swage, tumbler, etc. and it came to ~$6000 to have all of the rounds loaded and sitting in ammo cans.

They figured it would be ~$5000 and balked about it and said they would just buy loaded ammo. Fast forward to the end of December and they all of a sudden want the stuff again as they can't get loaded ammo. I told them tough $hit and they should have listened to me when I told them it doesn't get cheaper and to not put it off. I had spent countless hours scouring for deals in the evening when I got home from work and those deals were now gone and I wasn't going to do it again for nothing when they didn't follow through the last time.

---------

The moral of the story is try to help your friend but don't forget to instill the lesson that it doesn't pay to put things off as they only get more expensive and sometimes they aren't obtainable at any cost. I have learned this lesson in the past and am better off now because of it.






So you managed to source componets and equipment to start reloading, for 20,000 rounds of various ammunition, across different calibers, all for $6,000 or better expressed as 30 cents per round?

I'm calling bullshit.

Politely disagree if you want, but this a technical forum not the "do whatever you can get away with" GD, General Discussion forum. dryflash3



Link Posted: 2/14/2013 12:13:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By angus6:

A few months ago I see no problem hitting that 6K mark for plain jane ammo


Including brass? And starting with NO GEAR? Basically, you have an empty room, and an empty reloading bench, and no brass. You think you can get the gear, the brass, and the components for $6k?

I'm not calling BS, but skeptical, I am.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 12:16:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 12:26:03 PM EDT by bp7178]
Sorry if it came off harsh, but this being a technical forum, I think a poster should be prepared to back up their statements and should be called out for being less than accurate.

Before I got into reloading I worked up all the costs. This included the equipment and an initial purchase of all the componets, including once fired brass, all for .223.

Before you recovered the cost of the equipment, and I was only looking at a single stage press and associated stuff, you'd have to reload THOUSANDS of rounds before you even began to recover the cost of the inital purchase of equipment.

I can't stand the lie of reloading being a cheaper alternative to buying factory ammunition, especially saying you can load 20,000 rounds of ammo across 4-5 different cartridges plus an initial purchase of equipment for $6k. Keeping in mind how drastically more expensive .308 rifle cartridges would be compared to say 9mm.

This grossly misleads people.

I got into reloading so I could tailor ammo to my rifle and shoot high grade ammo for less than I could buy it for. When you factor in your time, you are always in the negative.

My advice to anyone looking to get started (esp w/ .223) would be to invest heavy in equipment related to brass prep. That is where you loose all of your time. Any device that will make brass prep quicker, go for it. Things like power trimmers, shout out to Little Crow World's Finest Trimmer, are worth their weight in gold. All of your brass prep work can be done w/o needing primers and powders.

My other gripe is the lie of the progressive press...but that is for another time...
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 12:31:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 12:50:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By bp7178:
Sorry if it came off harsh, but this being a technical forum, I think a poster should be prepared to back up their statements and should be called out for being less than accurate.

Before I got into reloading I worked up all the costs. This included the equipment and an initial purchase of all the componets, including once fired brass, all for .223.

Before you recovered the cost of the equipment, and I was only looking at a single stage press and associated stuff, you'd have to reload THOUSANDS of rounds before you even began to recover the cost of the inital purchase of equipment.

I can't stand the lie of reloading being a cheaper alternative to buying factory ammunition, especially saying you can load 20,000 rounds of ammo across 4-5 different cartridges plus an initial purchase of equipment for $6k. Keeping in mind how drastically more expensive .308 rifle cartridges would be compared to say 9mm.

This grossly misleads people.

I got into reloading so I could tailor ammo to my rifle and shoot high grade ammo for less than I could buy it for. When you factor in your time, you are always in the negative.

My advice to anyone looking to get started (esp w/ .223) would be to invest heavy in equipment related to brass prep. That is where you loose all of your time. Any device that will make brass prep quicker, go for it. Things like power trimmers, shout out to Little Crow World's Finest Trimmer, are worth their weight in gold. All of your brass prep work can be done w/o needing primers and powders.

My other gripe is the lie of the progressive press...but that is for another time...


Wait, what?

You are trying to argue two different points, it seems.

Some truths:

#1. Reloading IS cheaper than buying factory ammo, round for round.

#2. Progressive presses are not "a lie". If you reload straight walled pistol, like .40 or 9mm, it is INCREDIBLY faster than a single stage. I can do 500+ rounds per hour on my progressive. How fast can you go on your single stage?

#3. *IF* you treat reloading as a time sink, instead of a hobby, and you "charge" yourself for your time, you will NEVER come out ahead.

#4. The equipment does pay for itself (unless you are charging yourself for time), and yes, it does take a while, depending on what you paid for components vs the current cost of ammo. This varies wildly with caliber, which I'm sure you know.


An example: Reloading .40 S&W costs me, out of pocket, approximately $.16/rd for 180gr FMJ. If you went to the store in September, the best deal going was on Remington UMC MegaPacks. 1k would have cost you about $250, ON SALE (closer to $320 if not on sale). So, you save $90/k. If reloading is a hobby, and your time is free (the way many of us view it), your press is "paid for" after approximately 12k rounds, in my case (including tumbler, dies, scale, etc etc).

Different calibers will have different rates of return. How long does it take me to shoot 12k rounds of .40 S&W? About 3 years. But I reload more than one caliber, and I shoot more than one caliber. The savings on the other calibers may not be as high, but neither was the entry cost. To add 9mm to my reloading bench cost me only $200. If I have to cost justify $200 worth of gear for 9mm ammo, and leave the cost of the press and gear in with the initial caliber I started with, then 9mm pays itself off in approximately 3k rounds, and then future 9mm ammo is literally a savings, since the balance sheet for that caliber has already gone to zero. On the other hand, if I apply the $200 to the overall cost, and then use the savings from all reloaded rounds against the base acquisition cost PLUS the dies for those calibers, then your return on investment ("paying it off") of the whole package comes much faster.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 2:33:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 2:35:05 PM EDT by Thoreau]
1st time reloader here having just picked up my press last week and loaded (and test fired without any kabooms) my first rounds that weekend.

The biggest thing is definitely gonna be sourcing components, and depending on location and desires, the equipment too.

Luckily for me I live down the street from Dillon, so that covered the equipment side of things easily enough. Having a local Cabela's, Sportsman's Warehouse, and even a few of the major mail-order/online shops here locally has helped a ton as well, but it's certainly cost me in terms of fuel spent searching and higher prices on high-demand items.

I've had primers cost anywhere from $32.50 per 1k to $55 for the same, powder for $70-something for 4lbs (800-X), and bullets in the range of $33 per 250 (40 cal.) for basic FMJ.

Still a ton cheaper than any factory ammo one can find in stock these days. =)

The nice thing is, being new to this all, it's no big deal to pick up small quantities of components, even at higher prices, just to get started and learning. It's not like I'm gonna crank out a dozen cases of ammo right out of the gate. Not until I've played around with various load specs, tested them in my firearms, etc.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 2:46:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By exx1976:
Originally Posted By bp7178:
Sorry if it came off harsh, but this being a technical forum, I think a poster should be prepared to back up their statements and should be called out for being less than accurate.

Before I got into reloading I worked up all the costs. This included the equipment and an initial purchase of all the componets, including once fired brass, all for .223.

Before you recovered the cost of the equipment, and I was only looking at a single stage press and associated stuff, you'd have to reload THOUSANDS of rounds before you even began to recover the cost of the inital purchase of equipment.

I can't stand the lie of reloading being a cheaper alternative to buying factory ammunition, especially saying you can load 20,000 rounds of ammo across 4-5 different cartridges plus an initial purchase of equipment for $6k. Keeping in mind how drastically more expensive .308 rifle cartridges would be compared to say 9mm.

This grossly misleads people.

I got into reloading so I could tailor ammo to my rifle and shoot high grade ammo for less than I could buy it for. When you factor in your time, you are always in the negative.

My advice to anyone looking to get started (esp w/ .223) would be to invest heavy in equipment related to brass prep. That is where you loose all of your time. Any device that will make brass prep quicker, go for it. Things like power trimmers, shout out to Little Crow World's Finest Trimmer, are worth their weight in gold. All of your brass prep work can be done w/o needing primers and powders.

My other gripe is the lie of the progressive press...but that is for another time...


Wait, what?

You are trying to argue two different points, it seems.

Some truths:

#1. Reloading IS cheaper than buying factory ammo, round for round.

#2. Progressive presses are not "a lie". If you reload straight walled pistol, like .40 or 9mm, it is INCREDIBLY faster than a single stage. I can do 500+ rounds per hour on my progressive. How fast can you go on your single stage?

#3. *IF* you treat reloading as a time sink, instead of a hobby, and you "charge" yourself for your time, you will NEVER come out ahead.

#4. The equipment does pay for itself (unless you are charging yourself for time), and yes, it does take a while, depending on what you paid for components vs the current cost of ammo. This varies wildly with caliber, which I'm sure you know.


An example: Reloading .40 S&W costs me, out of pocket, approximately $.16/rd for 180gr FMJ. If you went to the store in September, the best deal going was on Remington UMC MegaPacks. 1k would have cost you about $250, ON SALE (closer to $320 if not on sale). So, you save $90/k. If reloading is a hobby, and your time is free (the way many of us view it), your press is "paid for" after approximately 12k rounds, in my case (including tumbler, dies, scale, etc etc).

Different calibers will have different rates of return. How long does it take me to shoot 12k rounds of .40 S&W? About 3 years. But I reload more than one caliber, and I shoot more than one caliber. The savings on the other calibers may not be as high, but neither was the entry cost. To add 9mm to my reloading bench cost me only $200. If I have to cost justify $200 worth of gear for 9mm ammo, and leave the cost of the press and gear in with the initial caliber I started with, then 9mm pays itself off in approximately 3k rounds, and then future 9mm ammo is literally a savings, since the balance sheet for that caliber has already gone to zero. On the other hand, if I apply the $200 to the overall cost, and then use the savings from all reloaded rounds against the base acquisition cost PLUS the dies for those calibers, then your return on investment ("paying it off") of the whole package comes much faster.


I'm not going to get into the marketing behind progressives here, other than to say I would advise anyone to look at those numbers very lightly.

I don't load pistol, only .223 so I'll keep my comments in that box. Technically, I have a turret press but I digress...

Case prep, especially for military .223 brass, is where you loose the most time. Especially on the first go around. Dropping powder and seating a bullet is nothing compared to it. I'm after the highest quality round I can shoot. I can make a higher quality round for less than I can buy one for. Match ammo, even for .223 is very expensive.

If you are trying to make the cheapest ammo possible and are only shooting 55 gr FMJ, then the cost will balance out faster. I'm not into using up a lot of my time, which I could be spending shooting, to make expensive noise. I would rather tune and develop a good accurate load, and shoot that. Of course, this is more expensive. If I want blasting ammo, I'll buy it and save the brass.

The initial investment in reloading is considerable, and there are hidden costs. It will make a return, but if you are in it for the short term you are doing it wrong. Reloading round for round is cheaper, but when you factor in your initial cost, that savings will not be apparent until you have reloaded many thousand rounds.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 4:42:27 PM EDT
Originally Posted By bp7178:
SNIP...


The initial investment in reloading is considerable, and there are hidden costs. It will make a return, but if you are in it for the short term you are doing it wrong. Reloading round for round is cheaper, but when you factor in your initial cost, that savings will not be apparent until you have reloaded many thousand rounds.


I disagree.

If you were to go out and purchase a thousand rounds of really nice .30/06 hunting ammo and then compare that to the cost of the components to make your own...

I can easily reload that ammo for less than 50 cents per round using brass I already have here. 'Cheap' 30/06 ammo is a buck a round for factory and can easily get up to as high as 40+ dollars per box of 20 for the 'premium' ammo...

If I can save 50% on a thousand rounds of that (factory price of one dollar per round) The savings would come to 500 dollars. 500 dollars will easily buy all the tools you really 'need' to get the job done.

Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:53:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 6:12:04 PM EDT by jlficken]
I apologize that after looking at the actual spreadsheet (I didn't have it when I posted) that it was actually ~$6900 ($.35/rd) didn't remember correctly and should have checked first.


This pricing is from 10-12-2013 and came from scrounging for deals and free hazmat as well as free shipping deals. It also includes some places that I get a C&R FFL discount like Graf's, Midway, and Brownells. They could have saved by not using the Dillon scale, not getting case gauges, not using the Nosler match .308 bullets, etc and gotten down to probably less than $6500. I also only used dealers and on brass prices could have saved by buying smaller quantities at a time on the EE for less than I listed in the spreadsheet.

Again, sorry for posting and incorrect amount initially.

I am still looking how to format this correctly.

ManufacturerModelQuantityPriceExtended PriceShippingTotal
Graf'sShipping on 250lbs by freight$0.00$80.00$80.00
HornadyLock N Load AP1$369.99$369.99$25.00$394.99
Hornady#16 Shell Plate1$26.99$26.99$26.99
Hornady#1 Shell Plate1$26.99$26.99$26.99
Hornady#45 Shell Plate1$26.99$26.99$26.99
Hornady#8 Shell Plate1$26.99$26.99$26.99
Hornady10PK LNL Bushing2$33.99$67.98$67.98
Hornady223 FL Die Set1$27.59$27.59$27.59
Hornady308 FL Die Set1$27.59$27.59$27.59
Hornady45 ACP Carbide Die Set1$35.39$35.39$35.39
Hornady9mm Carbide Die Set1$35.39$35.39$35.39
Hodgdon8lb H3356$130.99$785.94$785.94
Hodgdon8lb Universal1$120.99$120.99$120.99
DillonD-Terminator Scale1$120.99$120.99$120.99
Remington5000ct 7 1/2 Benchrest Small Rifle Primers1$141.99$141.99$141.99
CCI5000ct #34 Large Rifle Primers1$157.99$157.99$157.99
Remington5000ct 1 ½ Small Pistol Primers1$141.99$141.99$141.99
CCI5000ct 300 Large Pistol Primers1$112.99$112.99$112.99
Once-Fired1000ct 9mm Once-Fired Brass5$33.99$169.95$169.95
Federal2000ct .224 55gr FMJ2$139.03$278.06$278.06
Federal1000ct .224 55gr FMJ1$71.91$71.91$71.91
DillonSuper Swage 6001$88.99$88.99$88.99
Dillon308 Case Gauge1$25.09$25.09$25.09
Dillon223 Case Gauge1$24.19$24.19$24.19
Dillon9mm Case Gauge1$14.49$14.49$14.49
Dillon45 ACP Case Gauge1$14.49$14.49$14.49
Hornady8th Edition Reloading Manual1$22.99$22.99$22.99
Graf'sTumbler Kit1$71.99$71.99$71.99
Once-Fired1000ct .308 Once-Fired Brass5$130.00$650.00$57.50$707.50
Once-Fired1000ct 223 Once-Fired Brass5$63.00$315.00$57.50$372.50
Once-Fired1000ct 45 Brass5$60.00$300.00$0.00$300.00
Montana Gold4000ct 9mm 115gr FMJ Bullets1$305.00$305.00$305.00
Montana Gold1000ct 9mm 115gr FMJ Bullets1$115.00$115.00$115.00
Montana Gold2000ct 45 230gr Bullets2$328.00$656.00$656.00
Montana Gold1000ct 45 230gr Bullets1$191.00$191.00$191.00
Nosler1000ct .308 168gr Custom Competition Bullets5$217.99$1,089.95$0.00$1,089.95
Possum Hollow223 Case Trimmer1$21.59$21.59$21.59
Possum Hollow308 Case Trimmer1$21.59$21.59$21.59
Possum HollowPower Adapter1$6.79$6.79$6.79
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 6:58:59 PM EDT
Prices last year:

Craigslist Desk - $50
Lee Turret - $80
Lee Dies - $30
Lee Trimmer - $5
Debur/Champf - $15
Calipers - $25
Scale - $30
Tumbler - $60
Brushes - $10
Pocket Tool - $5

Total for equipment: $310

Powder - $20
Brass - $25
Primers - $15
Bullets - $80

Total for 500 self-loaded rnds 45ACP: $140 = $0.28/round (I remember it being a quarter per round when I had receipts in front of me)
Total for 500 factory rounds 45ACP: $200

$300 equipment / $60 savings per 500 rounds self-loaded = 2500 rounds to pay for equipment

I get less than 1MOA accuracy with my $600 300WM rifle and $300 [mostly] Lee equipment.

HOWEVER: Time spent...definately not "saving" money reloading. I would not recommend getting into reloading right now. The prices are rediculous and you won't be saving any money. It's a real PITA to find supplies. You might as well spend all that time searching for ammo or relaxing watching Gomer Pyle instead of picking up a new hobby in a crap market. I don't enjoy the "hobby" right now. I won't be selling my reloading supplies, but I haven't been able to use them either. I can't even afford to go to the matches anymore. FML
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 7:30:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 8:57:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Ar-15TechGuy:
Originally Posted By bp7178:
SNIP...


The initial investment in reloading is considerable, and there are hidden costs. It will make a return, but if you are in it for the short term you are doing it wrong. Reloading round for round is cheaper, but when you factor in your initial cost, that savings will not be apparent until you have reloaded many thousand rounds.


I disagree.

If you were to go out and purchase a thousand rounds of really nice .30/06 hunting ammo and then compare that to the cost of the components to make your own...

I can easily reload that ammo for less than 50 cents per round using brass I already have here. 'Cheap' 30/06 ammo is a buck a round for factory and can easily get up to as high as 40+ dollars per box of 20 for the 'premium' ammo...

If I can save 50% on a thousand rounds of that (factory price of one dollar per round) The savings would come to 500 dollars. 500 dollars will easily buy all the tools you really 'need' to get the job done.



"Really nice" bullets are expensive. If they are in a Federal GMM cartridge or in a Sierra box.

Brass is a part of the equation. If you don't have a supply, you will have to pay for it. I wouldn't suggest mixed headstamp if you're looking for sub-moa unless you want to sort.

IIRC, the way I figured it was $0.85 per round, based on BH 68 gr. blue box. To reload near the same round, and granted it would be better ammo, would have been like $0.45 per round. These are fuzzy numbers...when you factor in the equipment, and I'm not shopping for bargin stuff, I want quality, the cost per round was much higer. The cost would defray slightly as you reloaded the brass more than once. I had figured in a buy of once fired LC 09 brass. Again, this didn't completley wash out until you got into the thousands.

If you are banging steel or playing "Johnny Plate Carrier" at the 7-yard line, you can make blasting ammo very cheap. Of course the problem now is finding componets.

If a guy wanted to get into reloading, I would start saving brass first, maybe even buy some once fired military. IMO, you are better off to get the original primers so you know you're getting once fired for sure. Buy all your brass prep, tumbling etc and slowly build up and start working your brass.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 11:08:14 PM EDT
Being a recent noobie here, i'd recommend this to anyone else getting into this.

Like prior posts have said, if you need it and can't find it...order it from SEVERAL places. Once one gets it and sends you shipping confirmation cancel the others. They are ALL standing in line with manufacturers with first in first out, so you never know who is next in line.

Powders - look for large quantites online no less than 8 lbs hopefully more, and hopefully with primers also. But if you are diligent, you can find these locally. Just keep looking.
Primers - see powders

Brass - go shoot up some of that store bought ammo you have at the local outdoor range. Usually they keep the brass but get a brass catcher to keep yours, and while there scrounge around for left brass ANYTHING....even if you don't shoot it. You can always use it to trade or sell to someone that does need it. If you find what you shoot...smile

While you're looking for stuff see what others are having a hard time finding. Have a #16 shellplate and run across them in stock? get one....trade value OR if you know someone looking for it, give them immeadiate heads up or if it's decent priced (not flea bay priced) just buy it for them, i'm sure they would appreciate it and reimburse you, otherwise..you have it for trade value.

Patience and persistence is key. Deals pop up on EE all the time you just have to find them and jump when you see them.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 12:18:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By KnifeCollector:
A friend of mine is wanting to get into reloading for various but common calibers. Can he possibly find what he needs as far as bullets, powder, primers and various dies, or does he need to wait for a few months until things are back in stock?
I don't reload so I don't have a clue as to what is out there.


How much money does he have to invest?

Stuff is out there, if he has some cash to spend.

If he needs it 'now', he'll pay a premium.

If he can wait, he'll pay less.

It's really that simple.

Chris

Link Posted: 2/15/2013 5:04:17 AM EDT
Maybe you should just retype all your posts twice. It seems they are much much better the second time you post on a topic. :)

I agree with everything you said below, especially that for military .223 loading, a progressive does not mitigate very much of the work. UNLESS you get a Super 1050 that swages on-press, and a Dillon trimmer.... But that's CRAZY money.

Originally Posted By bp7178:
Originally Posted By exx1976:
Originally Posted By bp7178:
Sorry if it came off harsh, but this being a technical forum, I think a poster should be prepared to back up their statements and should be called out for being less than accurate.

Before I got into reloading I worked up all the costs. This included the equipment and an initial purchase of all the componets, including once fired brass, all for .223.

Before you recovered the cost of the equipment, and I was only looking at a single stage press and associated stuff, you'd have to reload THOUSANDS of rounds before you even began to recover the cost of the inital purchase of equipment.

I can't stand the lie of reloading being a cheaper alternative to buying factory ammunition, especially saying you can load 20,000 rounds of ammo across 4-5 different cartridges plus an initial purchase of equipment for $6k. Keeping in mind how drastically more expensive .308 rifle cartridges would be compared to say 9mm.

This grossly misleads people.

I got into reloading so I could tailor ammo to my rifle and shoot high grade ammo for less than I could buy it for. When you factor in your time, you are always in the negative.

My advice to anyone looking to get started (esp w/ .223) would be to invest heavy in equipment related to brass prep. That is where you loose all of your time. Any device that will make brass prep quicker, go for it. Things like power trimmers, shout out to Little Crow World's Finest Trimmer, are worth their weight in gold. All of your brass prep work can be done w/o needing primers and powders.

My other gripe is the lie of the progressive press...but that is for another time...


Wait, what?

You are trying to argue two different points, it seems.

Some truths:

#1. Reloading IS cheaper than buying factory ammo, round for round.

#2. Progressive presses are not "a lie". If you reload straight walled pistol, like .40 or 9mm, it is INCREDIBLY faster than a single stage. I can do 500+ rounds per hour on my progressive. How fast can you go on your single stage?

#3. *IF* you treat reloading as a time sink, instead of a hobby, and you "charge" yourself for your time, you will NEVER come out ahead.

#4. The equipment does pay for itself (unless you are charging yourself for time), and yes, it does take a while, depending on what you paid for components vs the current cost of ammo. This varies wildly with caliber, which I'm sure you know.


An example: Reloading .40 S&W costs me, out of pocket, approximately $.16/rd for 180gr FMJ. If you went to the store in September, the best deal going was on Remington UMC MegaPacks. 1k would have cost you about $250, ON SALE (closer to $320 if not on sale). So, you save $90/k. If reloading is a hobby, and your time is free (the way many of us view it), your press is "paid for" after approximately 12k rounds, in my case (including tumbler, dies, scale, etc etc).

Different calibers will have different rates of return. How long does it take me to shoot 12k rounds of .40 S&W? About 3 years. But I reload more than one caliber, and I shoot more than one caliber. The savings on the other calibers may not be as high, but neither was the entry cost. To add 9mm to my reloading bench cost me only $200. If I have to cost justify $200 worth of gear for 9mm ammo, and leave the cost of the press and gear in with the initial caliber I started with, then 9mm pays itself off in approximately 3k rounds, and then future 9mm ammo is literally a savings, since the balance sheet for that caliber has already gone to zero. On the other hand, if I apply the $200 to the overall cost, and then use the savings from all reloaded rounds against the base acquisition cost PLUS the dies for those calibers, then your return on investment ("paying it off") of the whole package comes much faster.


I'm not going to get into the marketing behind progressives here, other than to say I would advise anyone to look at those numbers very lightly.

I don't load pistol, only .223 so I'll keep my comments in that box. Technically, I have a turret press but I digress...

Case prep, especially for military .223 brass, is where you loose the most time. Especially on the first go around. Dropping powder and seating a bullet is nothing compared to it. I'm after the highest quality round I can shoot. I can make a higher quality round for less than I can buy one for. Match ammo, even for .223 is very expensive.

If you are trying to make the cheapest ammo possible and are only shooting 55 gr FMJ, then the cost will balance out faster. I'm not into using up a lot of my time, which I could be spending shooting, to make expensive noise. I would rather tune and develop a good accurate load, and shoot that. Of course, this is more expensive. If I want blasting ammo, I'll buy it and save the brass.

The initial investment in reloading is considerable, and there are hidden costs. It will make a return, but if you are in it for the short term you are doing it wrong. Reloading round for round is cheaper, but when you factor in your initial cost, that savings will not be apparent until you have reloaded many thousand rounds.


Link Posted: 2/15/2013 6:08:07 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 6:40:37 AM EDT
I have started sourcing the components and a press since Sandy Hook. It's there you just gotta look and be persistent.

Rock Chucker Kit. - $319 Local
RCBS FL .223 Dies - $40 Craigslist
RCBS #10 Shell Holder - $8.99 Amazon
Ramshot TAC per 8lb jug - $159 Midway
IMR 4198 per 1lb. - $24 Local
Hornady 55gr FMJBT 6k - $539 Wideners
Hornady Z-Max 55gr w/c 1k - $128 Midway
Hornady 75gr HPBT 1k - $183 Midway
Wolf SRM Primers - $39 per k Local

I bought some once fired LC brass a few years ago for $50 per 1k bag. I've also been saving PMC and Prvi brass for a while. I need to start collecting the brass people leave laying around at my club.....

You just have to look everyday and call around. I wanted to get started last go around with Obama but got sidetracked with buying lots of 5.45x39 for ten cents a round. I'm well stocked on that and have several commie guns and two ar15's that shoot it. Honestly, As far as the money savings go, I'm already there with the 5.45. I really got into this for precision and long term sustainability, the cost savings matters but is not my main reason for reloading. I also am adding a bolt gun in a larger caliber in the near future and cost savings will make a big difference in that respect.


Link Posted: 2/15/2013 9:52:54 AM EDT
None of the stuff you posted from Midway is in stock. All the Ramshot/Accurate powder they sell is drop shipped, you'd be lucky to get it in 6 weeks.

Grafs Reloading by me will only sell you 200 primers at a time, and you don't have a choice over brand. You buy what they have or you don't buy.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 9:58:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By exx1976:
Maybe you should just retype all your posts twice. It seems they are much much better the second time you post on a topic. :)

I agree with everything you said below, especially that for military .223 loading, a progressive does not mitigate very much of the work. UNLESS you get a Super 1050 that swages on-press, and a Dillon trimmer.... But that's CRAZY money.


Funny, I thought it was clear the first time lol.

Crazy money is right, but man that's a work of art.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 4:50:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2013 4:52:07 PM EDT by lambo]
Originally Posted By bp7178:
None of the stuff you posted from Midway is in stock. All the Ramshot/Accurate powder they sell is drop shipped, you'd be lucky to get it in 6 weeks.

Grafs Reloading by me will only sell you 200 primers at a time, and you don't have a choice over brand. You buy what they have or you don't buy.


As I stated you have to be persistent and check often. With this craze going on as soon as something goes up on Midway you have literally hours to order it until it is gone. Over the past month I have ordered 2k of Z-Max 55gr and 1k of the 75gr HPBT's and have them in my possession. Same with Wideners, the 6,000 55gr Hornadys were gone within a few hours. The TAC will be here in about 6 more weeks as there is a 10-12 week wait. I'm just fine with waiting for it as most folks can't buy it if they wanted to.... Meanwhile I'll use the IMR 4198 I got from Dunn's last week.

I am fortunate enough to have computer access all day long at work. I know the prices are inflated, but they are not even close to gun show crazy. People are just going to have to accept the fact that we will never pay the low prices of yesterday, inflation & the devaluing of the dollar take their toll. I bought a shitload of 5.45x39 in 08/09. I just bought more a month ago or so. I'm into it for roughly .14 a round average for my whole stash. I will never have to buy that round again for the rest of my life. I don't have to worry about price increases, unavailability, etc. I'm doing the same with 5.56 and reloading. I know I'm buying in at an increased price compared to others, but it's better than not buying in at all. Stack it deep when you can, I do.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 5:21:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2013 5:21:55 PM EDT by angus6]
Originally Posted By bp7178:
None of the stuff you posted from Midway is in stock. All the Ramshot/Accurate powder they sell is drop shipped, you'd be lucky to get it in 6 weeks.

Grafs Reloading by me will only sell you 200 primers at a time, and you don't have a choice over brand. You buy what they have or you don't buy.


Dang it was a 1K limit at the store Monday when I stopped in for 20K out the side door and 1K out the front
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