When is it time


February 5, 2007, 07:21 PM

- How did you determine when it was time to start reloading? Was it passed down (father to son) or did you start due to the cost of manufactured ammunition or just something to do during down time? I see many facets to reloading, precision, sense of accomplishment; more along the lines of obsession too (the perfect shot).

- As a potential beginner how much $$ is wrapped up in the systems you have? I've read about the systems some of you have but I have this sneaky feeling that there is no box out there that contains it all.

- What brought this on is I'm going to start (relive) my action pistol days again. The first go was stopped due to money; I've missed the firing line since.



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February 5, 2007, 07:34 PM
I started with a Lyman kit with a turret press that had most of what I needed. With that and powder, dies for 9mm and .45, primers, bullets and a box of cases that I had just shot and a bench I'd guess that my first reloads cost about $450.00. Of coarse, Then there was the tumbler. and some extras like primer pocket brushes. It's just a matter of your budget. You can spend a little less but not much or you can spend a lot more. I enjoy the hobby. It definitely gives me a sense of satisfaction and I enjoy the reloading and research process a lot. Can't think of anything else I would have like to have spent the money on. And I really like coming to this site and getting great tips from people I consider of a like mind to me. Great bunch of people. Welcome and enjoy:)

February 5, 2007, 07:38 PM
I bought a 44 Magnum and really liked shooting it but the ammo is pricey. I thought of reloading as a way to expand on my hobby and learn something new, so cost wasn't the only factor.

I started with a Lee Loader for around $15, bought 100 primers, a pound of AA#9, and 100 bullets. Total startup cost was less than $75. I quickly knew I liked it and wanted to upgrade my equipment so I bought the Lee Anniversary kit and a set of Lee Dies, that was another $100.

I load about 300 rounds a month now of a variety of calibers and find it as much fun as shooting. Nothing better than spending a Sunday morning loading up and then spend the afternoon firing away.

February 5, 2007, 07:39 PM
I knew it was time to start when I bought handguns chambered 10mm, .500 S&W Mag, and a .44 Special. I have about $750 invested in equipment, which I can "pay for" in a single evening loading the above calibers.

February 5, 2007, 07:44 PM
I watched a friend readily out shoot my commercial ammo with his hand loads. That was back in the sixties and I bought my equipment piece meal and wherever the price was best. Most of the money went to a good used press and scale. Still using it.I can't even imagine how much money I've saved in 40+ years of loading. To say nothing of the fun I've had.

February 5, 2007, 08:05 PM
My grandfather and I learned together about 33 years ago, just something he always wanted to do.

I figure I have about $1,200 to $1,400 invested in all my equipment over the years

February 5, 2007, 08:10 PM
I just wanted to shoot more!:)

February 5, 2007, 08:25 PM
- I think I'm settled on starting, I was skeptical as I was talking to a fellow Trap shooter and he expressed that he was saving about a dollar per case (that's 250 shells I believe), I promptly asked if we did remodeling too. :D

- On a serious note, thinking back to my action pistol demise money was the big thing and I lived in an apartment too. I'll let the text flow and read up on the different "rigs" many of you have. As a shower shoe, Cabelas is looking good to start shopping for one (rig that is). Time to buy some books as well.

Thanks again,



February 5, 2007, 08:58 PM
I like knowing that I can do things for myself. I enjoy tinkering and building with my hands so reloading was just a natural progression in shooting. When I realized how much money could be saved it was like a rock rolling down a hill. Now I think I have spent more money on equipment and new guns that I can load for because it is economical and I can shoot more, than I would have if I just kept shooting the .308 and .45 with factory ammo originally. It is like crack, once you start you always need a new fix.:evil: Just say no

February 5, 2007, 09:11 PM
At the time factory ammo was over $1.00 a round, and actually still is with the exception of the Wolf which is still about $0.55.

February 5, 2007, 09:21 PM
I started off with a Lee Aniversary Kit because I couldn't afford to keep shooting good ammo, and was tired of excessive cleaning after bad ammo.

Everything included except the dies, primers, powder, bullets, and spent cases (of course you do that first) Figure $80 bucks for the kit, $25 for the dies, $20 for 1000 primers, $16 for powder, plus whatever for bullets. $142+ and you're good to go. Read the postings throughout the forum on what people think of whatever press. If money is tight, Lee is nice, inexpensive, and gets the job done. I'd suggest the 4-hole Turret press w/ Auto Index for starting out. It's basicly an advancing single-stage. You see everything done to each case as you go, and it'll produce at a decent pace.

Check midwayusa.com Excellent place to get gear, well organized, and there's always a sale on.

February 5, 2007, 09:24 PM
cost went up and i too bought a lee loader. loved it. then bought a lee press and dyes then just kept on adding. total cost was around 150 for eveything. now im totally set. make my own rounds. best feeling around to make your own ammunition. pays for itself quick too

prices on materials

depending on where you live

cci primers 2.39 for 100
winchester 748 powder from turners outdoorsman. local place 21.99 for 1lb
bullets depending on what brand ebay i found most of the times the cheapest. 15.00 delivered from ebay for 100 bullet tips

cases. most of the time i use my own. you can buy once fired for around 10.00 for 100 on ebay or even brand new.

cost is 0 when you use your own.

February 5, 2007, 10:06 PM
Mr. Newby here......

Never thought for a minute that I would ever get into reloading....that was for die hards.

Well, after checking out this forum for a short while I realized just how small my "total knowledge" about firearms really was.....and this after thinking I was begining to really starting to know a thing or two........NOT!

I was surprised to see just how inexpensive it was to get into reloading......heck you could by the Lee Aniversary kit and a set of dies for ~$100.

So I set about reading back through pages and pages of old posts, reading catalogs and began asking questions.

Rather than get the minimum $ set up possible, I decided to spring for a set up that I thought would meet my foreseeable needs and then some.

So I popped for a system based on the Lee Classic Turret Press, got a Franklin tumbler and dies for .30-30 and .357.

Including my first couple pounds of powder and 600 some bullets, I'm pumped just about $500 into this......Way more $ than I ever imagined. But my wife has been great about it and sees the wisdom in it.

The biggest pita so far has been taming the chaos in the basement to create room for my set up. But this is paying extra dividends, as I can now get at and use my woodworking tools again. :)

What pushed me over the edge was the concept of "completing the circle of knowledge".

Thanks Dave, Fred, Bushmaster and others for making me feel welcome. This is IMHO the best forum on THR.

Now that I have a greater appreciation for what it takes to achieve accurate shooting, I'm contemplating the next facet of shooting sports that I once said I'd never get into......bench rest shooting.

February 5, 2007, 10:53 PM
I bought a used Hollywood press and 30-06 dies from a college professor I had for $25.00 in 1963. I had just purchased a beautiful surplus M1 Garand and it needed to be fed. There wasn't much money in my pocket in those days, and it seemed like the only way to shoot that Garand. It has grown ever since, and I can't even begin to estimate how much money I've got invested in my hobby now. I do know that anytime I want to go shoot any of the guns I own in 27 different calibers, all I have to do is pick a box of the right caliber off one of the shelves and go do it.


Guy B. Meredith
February 6, 2007, 12:04 AM
I knew it was time when I began buying commercially reloaded ammo in the 750 round can for competition--two cans every 6 weeks--and my reloader relocated to Nevada.

I invested less than $1000 for Hornady LNL, RCBS dies, RCBS scale, RCBS primer flipper, micrometer, Hornady case tumbler, corn cob media, a couple pounds of AA#2, 5000 WSP, 1000 Starline .38 spl cases and 1000 West Coast Bullet copper plated 158 gr RN in .357 diameter.

The rounds I produced were around $4/50 rounds in contrast to the $7.50/50 rounds from the commercial reloader.

February 6, 2007, 01:29 AM
I started to reload when shooting a thousand rounds of 308 (7.62x51 ) in an hour got easy, and my son discovered how much he now enjoys going shooting with me

February 6, 2007, 10:25 AM
SSN Vet, I couldn't have said it better. I followed the same path and just fired my first reloads this past weekend. I went with the Lee Anniversary Kit, which is fine for now. Pulling the trigger the first time is anxiety provoking ("Did I do everything I was suppose to???"), but, as you said, it was another step in completing the circle.

Go for it, Weimer01; good luck and have fun!

The Bushmaster
February 6, 2007, 11:36 AM
Hell of a neat thrill firing your first reload. Huh;) ...Wait 'til you drop your first deer with one of your reloads...:)

February 6, 2007, 11:45 AM
Even better is your first elk, and then the second, and the third.......... All with a round you made yourself. This fall, I'm going after my first moose, in Northern Alberta, and you guessed it, I'll be using ammunition I made myself.


Ben Shepherd
February 6, 2007, 12:27 PM
Being from pioneer stock in Utah, and having a rifle in the family given a relative by Daniel Boone, I'd say passed down from way before my father, but that's who I learned it from.

The Bushmaster
February 6, 2007, 01:34 PM
In my case I just had too much time on my hands...Soooo....:neener: Now I don't have enough time on my hands...:D

February 6, 2007, 10:56 PM
Thanks to all for the replies, now comes the fun part... :D

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