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Posted: 6/29/2003 6:57:31 AM EDT
Well, I'm trying to decide whether or not to just buy a couple of cases of ammo, or buy a reloader.

How much are you guys really reloading .45 for? I'm figuring I can get good .45 by the case for about $10.00 a box.

Is it going to be worth it to reload for me?

Also, how much time does it take you? Another factor for me is that I have VERY little free time. Especially during the summer months. Between work, and all the stuff I need to keep up with at hime, I'm pretty busy.

What do you guys think?
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 7:18:40 AM EDT
I have been reloading for the 45 for Many, many years. It all depends on how much you shoot.
Hard cast lead bullets will save you bunches of money. About $18.00 for 500, $7 for 500 primers,$18.00 for 1 pound of powder. If you load 5.5grains of powder(just an average, check your reloading manual) you will get 1272 rounds out of 1 can of powder. I assume you already have once fired brass, and in a 45 IT will last forever. Your cost to make 1000 45 rounds is roughly $68, plus you have enough powder left over to make 272 moore rounds.

So by your numbers you'd save $32 a case. If the .45 were the only cartrige I were going to reload, I wouldn't bother.

Real money savings come when you load High performance Rifle rounds, like Nosler ballistic tips in 300 mag. I can load 100 rounds for about $60 where 100 store bought rounds are going to cost me about $145
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 9:56:24 AM EDT
I load for .45 and 9mm. chaos4570 is right on point. The only thing I'll add is that my loads (200 grn LSWC over 5.5 gn WW 231) is MUCH more accurate than factory ammo.

An added bonus is that my kids like to help.

Mike
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 3:32:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MAP:
I load for .45 and 9mm. chaos4570 is right on point. The only thing I'll add is that my loads (200 grn LSWC over 5.5 gn WW 231) is MUCH more accurate than factory ammo.

An added bonus is that my kids like to help.

Mike



I too involve my kids. I load everything on single stage presses( I have a progressive, dust collector). I let them do every process except for the measuring of powder and seating of bullets.
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 4:28:49 PM EDT
I agree with Chaos on the cost of around $68/1000. From your price of $10/box, that's a savings of $132/1000.

Question becomes, how much do you shoot? If 500 rounds a week, savings is significant. If 500 rounds a year, not worthwhile.

I use a Lee turret press. You can buy from Midway for around $70 set up for one caliber. Add in some other things like a powder measure and scale, and you'll end up with aboutt $125 in equipment. This basically pays for itself the first 1000 rounds.

Using the turret press, I can load about 300 rounds an hour (with an auto powder measure attachment). I'll generally take a dreary Sunday or two in the winter and load enough to last me all summer. I do all my case prep in advance, so when I sit down to load, all I do is load.

I use basically the same load, a 200gp LSWC (usually from National Bullet in PA) over 5.7 grains of WW231. With a fairly heavy taper crimp will give around 900FPS, and is very accurate.

One more advantage to the Lee turret press, is that you can buy additional turrets for around $6, so you can change calibers quickly, and not disturb setup on each by moving dies around. I've used my Lee press for about 12 years or more, and loaded unknown thousands of rounds on it. It's ther best buy in reloading, but often overlooked for pricier presses that advertise more.
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 7:38:49 PM EDT
I figure its around $6/100 rounds, but I'm also buying 200 gr LSWC in lots of 10,000. If you decide to go the Factory ammo route, can I have your brass?
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 6:09:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/30/2003 6:13:49 AM EDT by ken_mays]
230 gr cast & lubed bullet (in lots of 500) = $.028

4 grains of powder, (at $16 per pound) = $.0091

Primer (at $17 per thousand) = $.017

Brass (free)

This adds up to $.054 per round, or
$2.70 per box of 50
$54.14 per thousand

I use a Dillon 550, and I can turn out about 400 per hour at the rate I reload. I don't spend more than about two hours at a time reloading. That will last me about two months.

I don't do much case prep for pistol brass, just sorting and tumbling. I generally take about two hours every 6 months to sort out my 5-gallon bucket of brass by caliber. It takes me about 10 minutes to prepare for a loading session, including cleaning up my loading area and putting the brass in the tumbler. Time spent in the tumbler doesn't count because I can leave it unattended.
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 6:59:17 AM EDT
Back when lead was available free and I had time to cast (at work), I had it down to a few cents a shot.
Loading down from a max charge makes shooting for fun more pleasant for everyone and you save powder too.
Through the years I find time lacking to pump some out on my 2 Dillons but am accumulating buckets of onced fired brass for when I do fire 'em back up.
Sounds like wintertime loading is your main option...and plenty of it, should you choose that route.
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 8:27:30 AM EDT
Like everyone else has mentioned, yes, it can be well worth it!

If you shoot a lot, it's going to save you money. You're looking at $200 for a case (remember, a box is 50 rounds), when you could reload 1000 rounds for about $60. Depending on what you spend on bullets, powder and primers, you're still going to save $$. You will need to stockpile some brass, and keep picking it up. Since .45ACP is a low pressure round, you can load the cases dozens of times.

I have the ultimate setup... a Dillon 550 with the auto powder measure and stuff... and the best part is, it's FREE. It belongs to a buddy who loans it to me because he's out of town all the time. I used to just load some for him (he'd buy the supplies), but now he doesn't even have a .45, so it's all mine!

Link Posted: 6/30/2003 9:14:23 AM EDT
I just got back in .45 for IDPA. Been shooting .40 in IPSC for several years now.

Since I do not have .45 ACP brass, I am going to buy Winchester 100 round value packs of 230 grain hardball at Walmart for $19.00 each. Then I'll keep my brass and reload it next winter.

I don't have much time to reload in the summer months either. However, I don't think you can beat the long term savings by reloading. Especially if you already have brass. .45 ACP brass lasts forever if you don't try to hot rod your loads.
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 9:32:02 AM EDT
I reload and have bought my components in faily decent bulk quantities (5k bullets, 8 lb powder, 5k primers etc.) and I have a C&R Class 003 so I get a dealer discount at several of the re-loading dealers (Midway, Grafs etc).
I can reload .45 ACP with Ranier plated bullets (200 gr) for $4.17/box of 50.
Please note, I pick up .45 ACP brass.
Also, you can save more if you shoot lead bullets.
VF
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 7:01:45 PM EDT
Sorry for hijacking thread but im in the same boat. I shoot .45 and 9mm all the time and before others were saything how you could reload .45 dozens of times, is it the same with 9mm or is the pressure too high? So like how many times can you reload 9mm brass?
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 10:47:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By tivoli410:
Sorry for hijacking thread but im in the same boat. I shoot .45 and 9mm all the time and before others were saything how you could reload .45 dozens of times, is it the same with 9mm or is the pressure too high? So like how many times can you reload 9mm brass?



I load ALL straight Walled Pistol Brass Until it cracks or more often than not, I loose it.
My .357 brass seems to "COKE BOTTLE" over a great period of time, I retire it when It gets hard to chamber. I RARELY load for 9mm, but I believe you could load it a BUNCH before cases would need to be retired.
Link Posted: 7/1/2003 12:53:59 PM EDT
9mm and .40 brass is so cheap it is harly worth picking up. You can buy once fired brass for $7-$10 a thousand.

I buy nickle plated .40 brass for $50/5000. I don't even need to tumble it, and no picking up brass.

45 brass is much more expensive so people generally pick it up.

Depending on where you shoot (some indoor ranges don't want you to pick up brass, how much you shoot, and what your accuracy needs are reloading can be very worthwild.
Link Posted: 7/1/2003 6:17:45 PM EDT
I generally don't pick up 9mm brass. I can only get 3 or 4 loadings max anyway, then the primer pockets get loose. I'm loading mine to about 1100 FPS with a 115 gr bullet (5.0 gr WW231).

I've got a pile of once fired 9mm Federal brass from the local city police. They qualify three times a year, about 100 rounds each time for 60 officers. There's also generally a mixture of other brass from qualifying with off duty guns. You might try to make a friend on your local PD, and get a supply of 9mm or .40 brass from them.
Link Posted: 7/1/2003 6:42:37 PM EDT
In a way - I cheat!

I get free lead, I cast up many thousand of rounds in the summer. Then in the winter I use my Dillon 650 to load.

I buy W231 in 8lb kegs... Under $100 and primers also in qty.

My guess is my 230gr RNL 45 acp loads (SMG food) cost under $32/1000 using existing brass.

BTW - were it not for this, I could never afford to shot full auto!
Link Posted: 7/1/2003 8:00:05 PM EDT
If you decide to go the reloading route, do yourself a favor and get a Dillon. I know that there are a lot of you out there who have loaded thousands of rounds on single-stage presses, but there is nothing like cranking out 300-400 perfect rounds per hour. Dillon is hands-down the best in the industry. If you EVER have a problem (even if it is YOUR fault), Dillon will take care of it, no charge and no questions asked.
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 7:30:08 PM EDT
Can a Dillon 550 handle .50 bmg?


Originally Posted By Slash:
If you decide to go the reloading route, do yourself a favor and get a Dillon. I know that there are a lot of you out there who have loaded thousands of rounds on single-stage presses, but there is nothing like cranking out 300-400 perfect rounds per hour. Dillon is hands-down the best in the industry. If you EVER have a problem (even if it is YOUR fault), Dillon will take care of it, no charge and no questions asked.

Link Posted: 7/3/2003 1:47:11 PM EDT
Dillon does not retail anything for 50 BMG (yet).
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 10:33:21 PM EDT
What do you do when you "tumble" the brass? Checking to make sure its not out of spec?
Link Posted: 7/4/2003 5:56:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tivoli410:
What do you do when you "tumble" the brass? Checking to make sure its not out of spec?



Tumbling is cleaning. Check dillons webpage www.dillonprecision.com for a picture of a vibratory tumbler. Corn cob or walnut "media" is used to "scrub" the brass clean.
Link Posted: 7/5/2003 2:11:53 PM EDT
Are you trimming your 9mm brass?

cruizer
Link Posted: 7/7/2003 9:43:09 AM EDT
I have never trimmed any pistol caliber case. They will split before length gives you trouble.
Link Posted: 7/7/2003 9:46:18 AM EDT
Cheap .40 brass is easy to find. However I have found most of it is shot through Glocks and won't resize properly. The Glock chamber is not fully supported and brass bulges just above the rim.

I did see that Dillon is selling once fired .40 brass that is rolled sized to prevent this.
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