Newbie Questions


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kd7nqb
January 5, 2008, 10:22 PM
First of all I did read the econ of reloading sticky found it useful but still have a few questions.

How many rounds does a person have to shoot to reach the point that they will end up paying for the required reloading equipment.

I know almost nothing about reloading, if I get a reliable reloading manual such as that put out by Speer and am careful about making sure that all measurements are accurate can I be assured a relative level of safety.

And now for the questions that I have seem alluded to in other threads but never specifically answered.

Recommendations for a good value based reloading set up? Is it important that all my equipment be the same brand?

I know there are TONS of advantages to reloading but is it worth getting into SOLELY for the economic savings, (This was answered in the sticky but that was 5yrs ago and ammo has gone up a lot since then)

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wworker
January 5, 2008, 10:38 PM
I'm new to reloading too, but I'll answer one of your questions on the reloading press.

One of my coworkers who's been reloading for many years recommended a progressive turret press. These cost more, but you can turn out more quantity in less time than using a single stage press. Single stage presses have their advantages too, better accuracy to name one.

At the point in my reloading experience, I see that there are many options for presses, dies, and accessories. Reloading is very diverse in how to accomplish it with the many companies that supply the equipment. You have to decide on how much you would be comfortable with in spending.

I look at reloading as a hobby, so the cost aspect isn't the primary driver one way or the other. If I'm having fun learning and reloading, then fine.

jpwilly
January 5, 2008, 10:52 PM
The answer depends on how much you spend on ammo now, how often you'll shoot, the calibers you shoot and want to reload, plus the investment in to reloading equipment & books. Trust me it's a black hole.

I've got around $700 invested. I shoot many calibers and have the dies to reload a few of them. They include; 45ACP, 400 Corbon, 223 Rem, 30-06, 303 Brit, & 7.62x54r. Using once fired factory brass I spend $150 to make 1000rnds of 45ACP a savings of $90 over CCI Brass Case sold at Wal Mart for $11.97 per 50rnds. With 400 Corbon the savings are quite high because it's not a common round...I don't want to factor it in. The 223 Rem turns in a savings of around $150 per 1000K over factory plinking ammo...making your own match or Varmint ammo can save even more. Good 303 Brit, 7.62x54R brass case commercial hunting or target ammo is pricey...I can build if for much less than $15 to $20 a box of 20. Savings with those calibers is high around $400 per 1000K (using fired brass). So for me the payback will take a year and a lot of loading...don't forget how wonderful it is to be able to make whatever you want!

My equipment includes:
Lee Classic Turret Press Kit (Saftey scale, ram primer system LG & SM, Auto Disk Pro Powder measure) from Cabelas for $150
Extra 4 hole Turrets $10 ea x 4
Lee Dies around $25 each set x5
Smart Reloader Digital Powder Scale $29
Digital Calipers $50
48th edition Reloading Manual $20
Lee Perfect Powder Measure $30 for rifle
Lee Case Trimmers $5 each x5 and cutters $5ea x 2
Lyman Debur Tool $12
Lee Primer Pocket Cleaner $10
Lyman Primer Pocket Uniformer $13
RCBS Case Lube kit $15
Cabelas Tumbler Kit $50
Bullets Primers Powder etc...

jfh
January 5, 2008, 11:02 PM
Some quick answers:

Comments first--to figure payback, we really need to know what calibers you are considering loading for. For the same reason, we also need to know a bit more about volume. I reloaded rounds this summer for about 10-12 cents a round (and that included a 1.5 cent cost for new case amortization) that duplicated the ballistics of PD ammo that typically costs $1.00 per round in consumer boxes. OTOH, I could have bought reloaded 38 Special ammo for perhaps 25 cents a round--what do you compare your reloading costs to?

Cost: You can build up a good hardware setup for about $300.00 or so (less as well) using a Lee Classic Cast Turret package. That press is 1) capable of operating like a single stage press when you are raw-new, 2) changing to a manual-indexing turret when you are ready to go the next step, and 3) become an auto-indexing turret capable of about 150-200 rounds per hour when you are fully acclimated. It is capable of loading both handgun and rifle ammunition--so you aren't limited in that area.

Here's a link (http://www.realguns.com/archives/122.htm) to an exhaustive review of it--read this, and it will probably help you to ask more questions.

That cost includes everything from a tumbler and media forward to a couple of ammo boxes. Add in the cost of components--figure quantity buying--at maybe 200.00, and you are set to go.

Press type: Generally speaking, I would NOT recommend a progressive press to a novice reloader--nor would I recommend a single stage press to the same novice if he is currently shooting 250-500 rounds a month in handgun ammo. An auto-indexing turret is a good compromise. I loaded 1000s of rounds this past year on one (the standard Lee Turret, updated) doing load development. Once I have the recipe for a given reload sorted out for a specific (hand)gun, then I do production on a progressive.

wworker has a good basic orientation when he says that reloading is diverse. You don't need to buy the same brand gear; Many people own one brand of press and another brand of dies, for example. Individual's taste in scales run the gamut from being satisfied with a standard LEE $20.00counterbalance on up to 200.00 digitals.

IMO, it is important to honestly assess what kind of person you are insofar as being process-oriented or goal-oriented. If you 'just want to load' and spend your time shooting, one brand (Dillon) may be more in line with fitting your needs (if cost is not a factor). OTOH, if you enjoy problem-solving and are cost-conscious, Lee probably represents a better press for you.

So, read the review and ask more questions--both of you. There are posters here more than willing to answer newbie questions.

Until you decide on the hardware, I would recommend buying at least two books / manuals--personally, I like to recommend 1) The ABCs of Reloading, 2) A "Lyman" Book (either latest general or the Pistol and Revolver book), and Richard Lee's "reloading." Just plan on reading them as overviews for now to begin to understand various topics and issues better, and that will help you in asking questions.

Jim H.

RustyFN
January 5, 2008, 11:12 PM
I bought the Lee Classic Turret press and it cost $200. You can buy it in a kit now at www.kempfgunshop.com for around $150. I paid my press off in about three months just loading 9mm. Loading larger calibers and rifle will pay it off faster. I can load 200 rounds per hour at a comfortable pace. Now I also load 38/357 and 223. I would recomend this press over a single stage for loading pistol because it will be much faster. The CT press is very easy to setup and use. Go to the Lee web site and you can watch a video of this press in operation.
Rusty

mike_in_md
January 5, 2008, 11:15 PM
Q: How many rounds does a person have to shoot to reach the point that they will end up paying for the required reloading equipment?

A: I started once I wanted to shoot about 3 to 4 times as much ammo as I wanted to pay for.

Q: I know almost nothing about reloading, if I get a reliable reloading manual such as that put out by Speer and am careful about making sure that all measurements are accurate can I be assured a relative level of safety.

A: Yes. Follow all the instructions...They are easy to follow

Q: Recommendations for a good value based reloading set up? Is it important that all my equipment be the same brand?

A: In my opinion, if you plan to shoot more than several hundred rounds per month you should seriously look at the Dillon 550 (http://www.brianenos.com/store/dillon.ez.550.html)or hornady LNL (http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=679228&t=11082005). Otherwise, get the Lee Anniversary Kit single stage press (http://www.leeprecision.com/html/catalog/anivers.html). I started with the Lee kit that has everything you need. It's not important that the equipment be the same brand either. For example, My lee, redding and Hornandy dies all work in my Dillon 550 since the dies are universal size. Recommend that you click on the underlined reloading presses that I listed above for more info or to order the equipment.

Q: I know there are TONS of advantages to reloading but is it worth getting into SOLELY for the economic savings, (This was answered in the sticky but that was 5yrs ago and ammo has gone up a lot since then)

IMO. Yes.

kd7nqb
January 6, 2008, 01:56 AM
Well this feedback has been great for the record right now I shoot .22lr and .40S&W I have been told many times that .22lr is not worth reloading for and its still cheap so thats fine. I soon want to buy a 9mm and Mosin so all in all I plan on reloading .40,7.62x54r, and 9x19. As for volume right now I shoot maybe 100rnds a month but that looks like it could go up if I reduced the per round cost. My GF's dad just offered to teach me about reloading since he has all the equipment the only thing he said to provide was dies for .40 since he doesn't shoot .40 and a powder hop since he likes to have a different hop for each caliber. I think this is a perfect situation and of course I am sure once I learn I will be addicted enough that I decide I need my own press.

taliv
January 6, 2008, 02:05 AM
well obviously, if all you have to invest is $30 for a set of .40sw dies, then it won't take long before you're saving money. just don't break up with your GF.

forget about reloading any rimfire (22lr).
if all you're shooting is 100 rnds/month of a pistol caliber, I would not consider reloading for economy.

jfh
January 6, 2008, 03:05 AM
"...if all you're shooting is 100 rnds/month of a pistol caliber, I would not consider reloading for economy."

Of course he's not doing it for economy: He's got a perfect excuse to be at the gf's house 'most any time, and to sort out her father as well.

I think he's massively understating the benefits of this arrangement.

Jim H.

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