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Posted: 9/29/2001 2:28:56 PM EDT
I would like to spend more time at the range as I'm sure everyone would but I cant mainly because all my money goes to bills and paying for college tuition. So, every few months when a gun show comes around I go stock up on lower priced ammo (lower priced that local shops in my area). I shoot my H&K USP 40, my MAK 90 Sporter, and my Marlin Guide gun 45/70. I would be looking to reload 40sw and the 45/70. I think reloading the 7.62x39 would be a waste of time since I can get it at shows for around $1.50-$2.00 per 20 rounds. Before I take the initial step to but some beginners books on reloading, can anyone tell me if its worth my time? How much would I really save money wise? If I can get a box of 40sw anywhere from $6.98 for Wolf to $10.00 for American Eagle would I save much? I can take an educated guess and say reloading the 45/70 would save me alot, but I honestly dont shoot that rifle very often. Thanks for the advice/input!! Max
Link Posted: 9/29/2001 2:50:13 PM EDT
Well if you are just starting out I suggest that you get a single stage reloading package, like from RCBS. I agree that the 7.62x39 is not worth reloading since milsurp is so cheap right now, but that may not always be the case. Hopefully you have been keeping all of your brass. If you have it will cost 1/2 as much to reload the .40 and reloading for the 45/70 will save you even more. This will depend mostly on what type of bullets you use, cast being the cheapest and jhp and jsp being a bit more.
Link Posted: 9/29/2001 2:52:23 PM EDT
Yes, it's worth the money and time. You won't save any money, but you'll shoot a LOT more. People reload for two basic reasons: It's a hobby in it's self, or we can't afford the price of factory ammo. Best advice: Take a LONG look at Dillion's equipment. You can get into reloading cheaper, but the Dillion is so much better, and so much faster, you'll probably wind up with one sooner or later. Cut to the chase, bite the financial bullet and buy a 550. They not only load FAST, they load absolutely first line ammo. My buddy loads "popping" 45 ACP, AND his 600 yard match ammo on one. Can't beat the warrenty, and Dillion WILL take care of you're questions or problems ASAP. You can load anything from 25 ACP to 458 Weatherby magnum on one. (No I don't own stock in Dillion, I just use one). I bought one of the first reloaders Dillion ever built, a 350. After 30? years, it's still loading high grade ammo.
Link Posted: 9/29/2001 2:52:33 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/29/2001 2:54:05 PM EDT
I do a lot of reloading, the only place I save any money is for .45acp, I shoot a ton of it and I can crank out a thousand rounds in a couple of hours on my 650XL. I also like to reload for accuracy, that is more single stage press work, I don't save any money for that, but I do get way better accuracy. Over all if you are going to be shooting a 1000 rounds or so a week, go to it, or if you need the accuracy of matching a load to a particular gun, go for it, otherwise, it is just another hobby.
Link Posted: 9/29/2001 5:12:01 PM EDT
Thanks for the advice everyone!! I think I may start looking at prices and thinking about it!! Max
Link Posted: 9/29/2001 5:14:55 PM EDT
reloading is definitely cheaper after the initial investment of the reloading equipment.
Link Posted: 9/29/2001 5:19:32 PM EDT
I reload .32, .357, .40, .44, .45 and will soon start on 9mm and .45/70 (black powder). I've used an RCBS single stage for years. The reason I never went to a progressive is that I've seen too many squib loads. Also, I use reloading as therapy. When I get a bit stressed out, I sit down and do whatever step needs being done, so I don't worry about not being able to pump out 500 per hour. One thing I have done to keep it simple is to load only one powder (currently I'm using Hodgdon's Clays). The real savings is in the brass, so start saving it.
Link Posted: 9/29/2001 5:20:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By shooter65: reloading is definitely cheaper after the initial investment of the reloading equipment.
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It takes about 500 rounds to recoup your initial investment.
Link Posted: 9/29/2001 5:47:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Malpaso:
Originally Posted By shooter65: reloading is definitely cheaper after the initial investment of the reloading equipment.
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It takes about 500 rounds to recoup your initial investment.
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I am under the impression that good equipment costs $350 or more. That is $0.70 savings per bullet! How is that possible? The brass costs some, and so do the powders, primers, and bullets. Good ammo can be had at $0.25 per bullet. Assuming a $350 setup and a $0.10 savings per bullet, the breakeven point is 3000 rounds. This may even be conservative. I suppose that the reloading the $20.00 a box type stuff could save you that much though. I don't reload, but I think I have a fairly good idea of the costs. Am I way off?
Link Posted: 9/29/2001 5:55:03 PM EDT
You may want to visit the range immediately after the local police use it. Around here it just rains .40 cases. You move in and scoop up the largesse. Seriously though, it's a good idea to handload for 45-70. IMHO, the only advantage to to reloading is that you get match-grade ammo for about a fifth of the price. Sure you can buy Wolf ammo for the .40. Those of us who shoot .45 acp can get a box of 50 FMJ from any number of pretty good sources for $6-9. But if you really want to find out how accurate your handgun is, jeez, don't shoot that stuff. Ditto the 45-70. However, if close enough is good enough, then don't waste your time and money. Buy the cheap stuff and blaze away. Just my .02
Link Posted: 9/29/2001 6:07:21 PM EDT
I vote for reloading also. I also think you should go ahead get a progressive reloader and learn on it but always (I mean ALWAYS) be cautious and thorough. You'll really enjoy loading pistol calibers it's amazing the accuracy you can achieve!! As for cost, if you shoot a lot it'll pay off, you can load .40 for less than $3 a box and can produce premium loads much cheaper, more consistant and in greater qty.s than you would purchase if not reloading. You'll need to do some 'book work' with reloading and it'll require some patience too.
Link Posted: 9/29/2001 6:21:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/29/2001 6:21:30 PM EDT by Symtex]
I relaod my .40 and .45. I shoot alot every weekend for IDPA. I can relaod for about $4 a box for either the .40 or my .45. Im shooting just enough powder to meet the IDPA power factor and use cast lead for the .45 and the .40 I shoot [url]http://www.precisionbullets.com/[/url] the black bullet. It is cheap and will not foul the Glock barrel, or else I would shoot the cast lead in the .40. Many people will tell you not to shoot cast lead because of the fouling, but if you want to shoot alot and dont mind the cleaning, there is nothing wrong with cast lead. It cost less than half as much as FMJ bullets. The black bullets are cheap too and I really like how clean they shoot. I have a Dillon 550b and man I love it. You really dont save money you just end up shooting twice as much. The initial start up is a little costly, but once you get it going it pays pays for itself very quickly. If you have a gun that shoot Mil. Surp. keep on buying it cheap while you can. Only reload the stuff if you think you can shoot sub MOA with that SKS, AK, MAK90 I assume one of those due to the 7.62x39 you said you shoot. Anyone who has a reloader and shoot often will tell you it pays for itself and is enjoyable. If you start to shoot any Leagues you will like being able to load your own ammo to lessen the recoil for faster shooting. I started with the single stage and very quickly went to the Dillon 550b. If you shoot alot the single stage is a pain in the ass. Great for precision rifle loads, but for mass handgun turnout get a multi-stage loader...... [(:|)]
Link Posted: 9/29/2001 6:29:48 PM EDT
I am sure you could save money but I sure don't know anyone who really does. Usually you end up spending the same amount of money but either shoot more or you shoot better quality home rolled ammo. I am one of the ones who prefers the higher quality more accurate handloads that I get shooting match grade bullets carefully loaded on a turret press. My .223 and .308 rounds end up costing about the same as most surplus at around $.20 - .25 per round. Those handloads shoot less than MOA every time though in my AR-15 though where the cheap Winchester and PMC I sometimes shoot averages closer to 2 MOA. With my .45 auto however, it's all about cost. I can reload using LRN 230 grain bullets for around $.05 per round. I can afford to shoot lots of that and don't mind the extra cleaning involved with lead. All in all, it's all about fun. I love to come up with a new load that shoots well and I love to do the actual reloading. I love to shoot any gun I get my hands on and I love to clean those guns after a nice day out in the open air at the range.
Link Posted: 9/29/2001 6:43:40 PM EDT
I started reloading because I am cheap. Well, I haven't saved any money but i do get to shoot at least twice as much ammo as I used to. For $0.09 I can reload .223 that is more accurate than any factory non match grade ammo. The first time I went to the range after I started reloading I took some handloads and some Wolf ammo that I already had. With the wolf I was getting 5" groups at 25 yards! My handloads all hit the X ring. I haven't shot any wolf since and I'm trying to figure out what to do with the 75 rounds I have left.
Link Posted: 9/29/2001 7:47:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By hg112: I started reloading because I am cheap. Well, I haven't saved any money but i do get to shoot at least twice as much ammo as I used to. For $0.09 I can reload .223 that is more accurate than any factory non match grade ammo. The first time I went to the range after I started reloading I took some handloads and some Wolf ammo that I already had. With the wolf I was getting 5" groups at 25 yards! My handloads all hit the X ring. I haven't shot any wolf since and I'm trying to figure out what to do with the 75 rounds I have left.
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find some RR tracks to place them on make Bullet man stick figures glue them to a cheap belt and wear them as a Halloween bandolier see if they float pull the bullets and make a cheap cherry bomb create a hexagonal reactive target rapid fire on video 21 gun salutes test a phone book or three cheap paperweights mail to Afganistan use your imagination...
Link Posted: 9/29/2001 8:00:59 PM EDT
How many times can you re-load a .223 casing?
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 7:52:32 AM EDT
Yeah, Godzilla, do get into reloading. I used to reload 7.62 x 39mm for an SKS. 150 gr. LRN bullets cycle and shoot well from the magazine. 180 gr. LRN bullets shot very straight, but had to be single-shotted due to excessive length. After shooting thousands of reloads from my SKS, I finally gave up and just stockpiled Wolf. Reloading for your pistol is a good idea. Buy bulk lead bullets, or become a bullet caster. I just love the vicious splash 9mm LRN bullets make when they hit hard hard objects. If you want to learn the reloading trade, here's some good starter advice. Buy a decent $100 surplus boltaction rifle in a relatively common caliber, buy a singlestage O-frame press, a set of LEE dies and make your own ammo. I only say LEE because the dies come with complete directions/load data and a powder scoop. After making and shooting a few hundred rounds, you will have a very decent traditional intro to reloading. If you reload for a semi-auto, it will be a little harder to tell what is going on with your reloads. The boltaction will be simpler and a good learning weapon. Is their an economy in reloading? Yes, in some calibers, less so in the most common calibers. Economy isn't everything. It is just a neat side-benefit from making ammo that exactly suits *your* purposes. ------- got 4895?
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 9:02:51 AM EDT
500 rounds break even point? HAH! I calc 26,000 to 35,000 rounds to break even reloading 5.56mm. ======================================= [b]Reloading Analysis .223[/b] model - 5,000 rounds - no shipping or taxes included lubricants, media, etc… not included this is for blasting ammo, not match $247.00 Accurate 2230 - 18 lbs Powder - 280 rounds/lb. - 2 8lb jugs, 2 1lb jugs $184.75 Bullets - Win 55gr FMJ $61.95 primers - win sr $35.00 brass - $35/1000, 5 reloads $528.70 supplies for 5,000 rounds $105.74 cost per 1,000 rounds $98.74 cost per 1,000 rounds - if you never buy brass $130.00 cost of GA reloads $24.26 savings per 1,000 round $31.26 savings per 1,000 round - if you never buy brass $325.95 Dillion 550B press $25.95 roller handle $33.95 strong mount $27.95 bullet tray $33.95 low powder sensor $11.95 spare parts kit ? bench???? $77.95 super swage 600 $144.95 CV2001 case cleaner $49.95 case/media seperator $103.95 dies, carbide $836.50 Cost of Reloading tools 34481 number of rounds to break even (buying brass) 26759 number of rounds to break even (not buying brass) $1,365.20 total investment for 5,000 rounds $273.04 price per 1,000 rounds
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 9:12:00 AM EDT
When I had time and enough to spare, I reloaded. Now, I buy ammo in bulk amounts that permit a cost per round of [u]less[/u] than if I were reloading the same round. I've basically reduced my weapon inventory to those chambered in military calibres, simply in order to permit purchases of surplus ammo to keep me covered. And trust me, I'm covered![:D] I've kept all of my reloading equipment, safely packed away, for the time being. Eric The(YouKnow,ForARainyDay!)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 9:13:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2001 9:24:25 AM EDT by hg112]
For 1000 rounds of ss-109 0.00 Brass -you already have it. 0.06 Bullets 0.04 4lbs of NEW milsurplus powder 0.015 CCI Primers-at the gunshow. 11.5 per round
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 9:26:08 AM EDT
hg112 - I'm amortizing the cost of the reloading equipment as well, the only way to get an honest break-even calculation. Certainly you do better financially with more expensive loads, like the SS109. For standard, 55fmj plinking ammo, it takes a LONG time to pay off the investment.
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 10:06:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By fight4yourrights: hg112 - I'm amortizing the cost of the reloading equipment as well, the only way to get an honest break-even calculation. Certainly you do better financially with more expensive loads, like the SS109. For standard, 55fmj plinking ammo, it takes a LONG time to pay off the investment.
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you are right. If you are just reloading .223 it may not be worth it. I save tons of money by reloading .357. I save about $16 for a box of 50. When reloading many calibers the equipment will pay for itself in no time.
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 10:21:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By VA-gunnut: Reloading for the 40 in my opinion is not worth it. I have the stuff and used to load for my 40's but given the price now it is not worth my time or effort.
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I don't follow this logic or the numbers. I load my 40's using 5.6 gr WSF, a 180 gr Montana FMJ bullet and Winchester primers. Total cost per box of 50 rounds is under $4. What are you buying that makes it not worth your time or money considering that comparable ammo is around $9 or more/box?
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 10:42:42 AM EDT
... except for IDPA & IPSC styled shooting I really don't save much money. ... but it's not about the money, it's about the capability and interest in the sport. ... reloading is good therapy
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 11:08:04 AM EDT
You've been given some excellent advice here. As you can see, a lot depends on the caliber of ammo you are reloading for. Some military calibers such as .223, 308, 7.62x39 etc, can often be found on the surplus market for lower prices when bought in bulk. I used to load for .223, but when I factor in my time, it is cheaper for me to buy loaded ammo. You could definitely save for the 45/70, especially if you reload cast bullets. This is another plus for reloading. You can begin with light loads and work your way up. A 350gr cast bullet at 1000fps will definitely kill the hell out of a coke can! A friend used this same concept with a .375 H @ H for a bear hunt. He began with 235gr bullets at around 2000fps and worked up to full power 300 bullets at 2500. Same goes for most handgun ammo. I can reload .38 specials for around 4cents each with homecast 158gr lead bullets. Not much more than a .22 But again, you have to account for your time when casting bullets, etc. I also agree with the posters that you do not really save money. Reloading is merely a way for one to shoot more for the money invested.
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 11:25:59 AM EDT
I do not know your exact situation, but since you are at present a student, I would off hand say hold off on investing in reloading, with one exception. Get several reloading manuals and study them, educate yourself. Do this before you do anything else, whatever your situation is. A good manual for a beginner to study is Lyman's 47th. Hodgdon's is another good one to have. Study some good manuals and not only will you learn about reloading, you will learn more about firearms in general. I reload 9mm, 40 S&W, 357sig, .45Auto, 38spcl/357mag, 44spcl/44mag, 223 Rem, 6x45mm, 30-30, .308, 7mm Rem Mag, .378 Wby Mag, and 50 BMG.
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