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Posted: 3/12/2006 8:24:10 AM EDT
I been thinking possibly involving myself and investing in reloading equipment, is it worth it in the city of San Francisco? If so how hard do you think it would be for me to acquire the necessary gun powders, casings, primers and everything else that is needed to begin reloading. Thanks in Advance.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 8:32:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 8:32:55 AM EDT by Blue84S10]
It can be worth it. Depends on how much you shoot. Doesn't really save you money...but you do get more shots for your buck. If I was going to do it again, I'd get a progressive setup and only reload 45acp. You can mail order most anything you need. I'd probably wait for a fun show at the Cow Palace and see if you can find a good deal on powder/primers there to avoid the hazard fee for shipping.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 8:49:34 AM EDT
Hey thanks Blue84S10 Yes, if I get into reloading its mostly for the learning experience and if it saves me a few bucks or two its that much better. Its a Right, a hobby and wish to expand my understanding of the two.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 9:27:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 4:06:21 PM EDT
I have crunched the numbers many times, and I concluded that reloading common calibers is not worth it if you count your time in. The only one that came close was .45ACP. Where it really pays off is being able to develop a specific load for a specific barrel. But for pistol loads like 9mm, its actually cheaper to buy russian stuff and throw away the steel cases. Remember to factor in shipping, haz mat charges, delays in shipping, and your time and the equiptment. For .223 its about a few cents per round cheaper than buying bulk ammo, not worth the time IMO. I was going to start reloading 12 ga, but K-Mart started selling 7/8 oz target loads (Winchester AA) for $3.19 box, which is the cost of materials for me to do it myself! Yes for HP rifle loads like 22-250, .338, 7 or 8mm, reloading is way cheaper because there is not a huge demand for those rounds, and you will only shoot a few at a time, so your time investment is less.

Some places to look at for equiptment and supplies are Midwayusa.com, Cabelas.com, T&T reloading. Always factor in Shipping and Hazmat fees into the price. Best deals for lead/projectiles is on ebay. The new flat rate priority mail box has made shipping costs even accross the board. ship up to 50 pounds in one box for $8.10.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 4:35:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 4:37:30 PM EDT by NeoWeird]
I've been trying to get into it myself, so I went out and bought one of the cheap Lee Loaders for the .223 catridge, but since I haven't built up any of my .223 yet I haven't bothered loading anything.

I did get a catalog from www.natchezss.com and they seemed to have some good prices on stuff as well. Haven't bought from them, but have been damn close a couple times.

ETA: This has always tempted me everytime I see it. Basically everything but the individual dies. Not bad at all for a complete loading system for under $100 www.natchezss.com/category.cfm?contentID=productList&category=22&brand=LE&mfgGroup=321&subgroup=898&CFID=2360236&CFTOKEN=22042954
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 6:35:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 6:36:53 PM EDT by PaDanby]
For blasting ammo, it probably isn't particularly worth it. Especially for .223 and 9mm. Haven't run the numbers, but .45 may be worth it.

As soon as you get away from blasting ammo, the pendulum swings over to reloading. Especially if you are into any kind of volume competition or precision shooting. You can really cut the costs down to a significant savings, INCLUDING factoring time in, when you start shooting more than a few hundred rounds a month especially using a progressive press. And with few lucky exceptions, storebought ammo isn't going to get the precision serious target shooters want.

I don't think that casting bullets is worth it in common calibers.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 5:32:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2006 5:34:55 AM EDT by douglasmorris99]
I was doing extensive reloading up to about 10 years ago and really broke it down before I got into it in 1985

I found my nut, to where I was saving money was after the first 15k rds,,
I had started with a single stage press and it was ok, but too time consuming for what I was attempting to do so I kicked it up a bit.

I bought a RCBS 4x4, several caliber Dies, 45. 9. 38. 223, 30-06 and 303. at 15k I had saved enough to pay off my start up costs.

I was shooting an average of 2k rds a month in various calibers.

when 9mm and 38 got to 7 to8 bucks a box, I stopped loading those that was pretty close to my cost.

pistol caliber is fairly easy, basicly a clean, unsplit case, feed it, load it, store it.
rifle calibers have a bit more to pay attention to and if not seated and crimped properly the round is useless and dangerous. has to be properly lubed or will get stuck in your dies etc..if not properly seated and crimped you can have flash off in your muzzel/mag not a good thing either.

by the time I got good at it,(rifle ammo) 5.56 ammo got pretty cheap. I continued to load 30 cal until I sold those weapons, I no longer own a 30 cal rifle. so, sold the dies,

I am now back to a single stage press, I only load 44 spc for the most part as my cost is about 12.00 per 50 vs 19 for reloads and only shoot 1 or 200 rds a month.

I have 45 and 9mm dies if push came to shove I can load ammo. I still have about 1k in componets for those 2 calibers each.

with 45, 9, 38 and 556 being where it is price wise today..It is not cost effective to get into mass production to "save money" but still self satisfying that you accomplished something.

on the up side,
gave me something to do, out of the house, where Icould just lose myself for a few hours.

once you explain to the wife how dangerous it is if you confuse rounds, charges etc..she will leave you be if your reloading

My daughter would help often,she thought it was cool till she was about 15 and it gave us some daddy daughter time to talk, be together, was good for us. hell I got to do the "sex talk" with her when she was 12, while reloading...that was uncomfortable..but..mom couldnt handle it and thats why she was asking dad...

you can load hot or cold, make your own custom rounds,

the neighbors leave you alone lol..

I am a bit of an insomniac, so was not unusual for me to be up at 2am out in the garage reloading,,and those hours got some thing done rather than walking the floor and it did get me sleepy enough after an hour or two to go back to bed..
well thats my experience and input,,good luck with your decision either way.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 6:38:11 AM EDT
There's a cost savings when reloading pistol ammo and current focus on 9mm .40 and .45. The cost for reloading is about 1/2 or less than the cost of manufactured ammo. Reloading .308 match ammo is also worth while since it runs $0.75/rd in bulk and my cost is about $0.35/rd.

There are some upstart fees, like a good reloader (Dillion only), a scale (electronic today) and some other tools. I've been reloading for 16 years now so these costs are now averaged out. The nice benefit with Dillion is their replace the part if it breaks policy.

Time is another factor, so consider how much your time worth per hour. If you're extremely busy then reloading is not an option. I would much rather spend a few hours reloading than spend my after tax dollars.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 7:27:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2006 7:29:25 AM EDT by warlord]
If you factor in your own personal time, want charge yourself out, I would figure at least double or triple what your salary per hour because it what you take to the bank, ie your salary minus any taxes etc. But reloading is just another aspect of shooting. You can get components of powder and primer at the local gunshow because you don't have to pay the Hazmat fees. If you shop around, you can also find bullets significantly cheaper than buying them and having them shipped in because shipping is real expensive because of the fuel situation.
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