Questions on re-loading


PDA






Grassman
November 26, 2008, 06:24 PM
I'll preface this by saying I know didly squat about re-loading, but might want to lean how. The main question I have is what are the cost savings of re-loading, I'll be trying .308 .40 and 22-250 cal. The reason I am asking is because I could get into it fairly cheaply. My dad, (rest his soul) gave me boxes of old reloading equipment, everything you might need from manuals to all equipment and presses. It's all about 30 years old, but I don't think that's a problem. Or is it? I know techniques and things have changed, but this equipment all looks pretty good. The price of ammo is going up, and might get even higher. Also apart from saving a little money, it might be pretty enjoyable. What say you?

If you enjoyed reading about "Questions on re-loading" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
atblis
November 26, 2008, 06:26 PM
There's a reloading forum on here you might browse around in.

The thing about reloading is that you can get much much higher quality ammo for about the same price as regular. You can also tailor it to your gun which can make a huge difference in accuracy.

You can save money, but that is usually true for more exotic calibers. 10mm Auto for me is definitely worth my time. 9mm, not so much but I still do it.

Reloading cost calculator. Look up some prices on components and plug them in.
http://www.handloads.com/calc/loadingCosts.asp

FoMoGo
November 26, 2008, 06:27 PM
I am reloading .44 special and .357 mag for around $5 a box of 50... and I am on the higher side of it.


Jim

longdayjake
November 26, 2008, 06:48 PM
Well, if you already have the equipment then you don't need to worry about the huge quantity that you will have to reload to pay for the equipment. That is the biggest consern that most have when starting out. By far the most expensive part in reloading is the equipment and then comes the components. You can actually make plinking (cheap rounds) for really really cheap no matter what gun you are reloading for (except maybe .50 bmg) Even high end stuff is usually cheaper than buying half the quantity already loaded.

I don't see why you wouldn't start. Though IF you decide not to I would like to be first on the list to buy the stuff from you.

Grassman
November 26, 2008, 06:53 PM
I'm thinking I might give it a try, start reading up on it. There is a lot of equipment there, my dad was a spare no expense guy, so I'm sure it high quality equipment.

Jim K
November 26, 2008, 06:59 PM
Golly, my "new" reloading equipment is 30 years old. Works fine.

Primers and powder, if any are included, might or might not be OK, depending on the storage conditions.

Start by reading the manuals, the part at the front where it describes what has to be done and why. Once you understand the process, try a few loads based on the data in the manuals.

You might want to discard any powder that looks old or smells funny; old powder is dangerous not because it will give high pressure, but because it may give too low pressure, and letting a bullet stick in the barrel.

Jim

the foot
November 26, 2008, 07:09 PM
Grassman, 30-year-old reloading equipment is not a problem. Many of us reloaders are using the same gear we bought or inherited way back.

For me reloading is a hobby unto itself, aside for the fact that I am a shooter.

Check out the gear you have, get a few books on reloading, figure out what new equipment you might need, and give it a try.

A bit of advice, do not pay much attention to what you read on the internet about the subject. I find all sorts of bad info on reloading on the internet. Info ranging from sometimes good, to sometimes dangerous or ludicrous.

Birdhunter1
November 26, 2008, 07:15 PM
1st rule to reloading is there is never a dumb question.
2nd rule is when in doubt don't try it.


Best advice is try and find a knowledgable human resource as a mentor to apprentice under. I am very fortunate that it is how I got started and the guy has saved me from wasting money on stuff and given me loads of valuable advice.

longdayjake
November 26, 2008, 07:17 PM
Just curious... What color is all the stuff you have? Blue, green, red, orange?

Just knowing the color may help us to know just what quality you have.

Grassman
November 26, 2008, 07:20 PM
Yeah, I have a ton of powder also. Should I just get rid of it? There are a lot cases and bullets too, not sure what caliber, haven't really gotten too far in it. I might pull it all out this weekend and see whats what.

Grassman
November 26, 2008, 07:21 PM
Some green, some red.

RustyFN
November 26, 2008, 07:56 PM
On average you should be able to save 50% on pistol ammo and a little more loading rifle.
Rusty

atblis
November 26, 2008, 08:02 PM
Powder will keep for quite a while if stored properly. I wouldn't throw it away necessarily.

If it was in unopened containers, and stored in a temperature stable location, it could very well be just fine.

Grassman
November 26, 2008, 08:18 PM
Well, after I look at the stuff, I'll report back with a ton more questions I'm sure.

presspuller
November 26, 2008, 08:58 PM
Yeah, I have a ton of powder also. Should I just get rid of it?

As long as its been kept cool and dry it should be fine. If it smells bad then do not use it.
If in any doubt then use it as plant food.

longdayjake
November 26, 2008, 09:16 PM
Well, Green usually means good if it is RCBS. Red, you could be getting lee stuff which is pretty good starter stuff however there are experienced shooters that swear by lee. I cant remember if hornady presses are red or orange. If it is a hornady then it will be good. Sounds like you hit the jackpot. Sorry it had to be the result of losing someone you love. Take some pictures of everything when you can and post them so we can see all that you got.

ranger335v
November 26, 2008, 09:26 PM
"It's all about 30 years old, but I don't think that's a problem. Or is it? I know techniques and things have changed,"

Nothing has really changed much in reloading since the late fifties. We do have some new tools, mostly gages of some type or other, but the basic tools are pretty much the same as before. I started loading in '65 and still have all of my original gear. Have lots of newer stuff too but it's because I do more things now, not because the old stuff isn't still working quite well!

I also have a few half filled cans of powder I got on my original purchase, retail price marked as $2.75! Haven't checked it this year but last year it was still ready to use. I just never got any good accuracy with some of it so the unused cans are still there! Unless your powder (and primers) have been stored in heat above maybe 105 degrees, it should be fine. Cold sure doesn't harm it!

The color of your gear doesn't matter, all our makers produce quite good tools. Set yours up, load awhile and then ask questions for what might work easier, item by item, not by brand.

bullseye308
November 27, 2008, 01:35 AM
First thing that cought my attention was the 30 yr old manuals. I would read them for a basic understanding of what you are getting into, then get a new manual that will have lower charges in it and tell you about all the new toys and gadgets that have come out.

Arthur_500
November 27, 2008, 02:05 AM
Purchase one or two new manuals. Believe it or not some of the older manuals had some figures that were occasionally optomistic or (worse)aggressive. In other words, they may have given figures that were borderline unsafe. A new manual will give you the opportunity to compare and stay safe.
Bullet manufacturers will give several different types of powders but you can often get free loading information direct from the powder manufacturers.
Get a handloading book that gives you step-by-step pictures and follow it carefully. Soon you will find you are cruising along and taking shortcuts - that's not good but we have all done dumb things. Drop your bullet into the case because you forgot to resize it and you'll understand what I mean.
I would suggest spending the money on an electronic scale and/or powder measure. Personally I think it is a great investment in "new" technology. Good luck and have fun.

Grassman
November 27, 2008, 10:04 AM
Really appreciate the info guys, I'm going to get in those boxes and see what I got, this weekend.

jpwilly
November 27, 2008, 10:22 AM
Lee makes some really good presses and some low end presses. Lay out your Dad's old stuff and take pictures we can help you identify it and let you know what you'll need. YOU WILL NEED A NEW RELOADING MANUAL.

XD-40 Shooter
November 27, 2008, 10:31 AM
I got into reloading about 3 years ago, when the Fiocchi 40 ammo I used to buy crossed $200/case. I've been loading my own 40 S&W ammo for $6/box, ever since. I shoot about 60 boxes/year, I'm saving at least $7/box, so the savings are very significant. My equipment payed for itself in the first 1000 rounds.

Lee 4-hole turret press kit = $85
40 S&W dies = $30
Lee safety scale = $20

As for the actual cost of my 40 S&W rounds:

2000 Ranier 165 grain bullets on sale at midwayusa = $185
8lbs of Unique = $100
10,000 Wolf Small Pistol Primers = $210 delivered

The bullets come out to just over 9 cents/piece, powder at 7 grains per charge is 1 cent, and the primers are just over 2 cents. That's 12 cents/round or $6/box.:D Plus, reloading is a very enjoyable hobbie that gives me a great since of pride.:)

ar10
November 27, 2008, 05:09 PM
buy some books and read them first, (ABC's of reloading" is good starting point).

Grassman
November 27, 2008, 07:45 PM
Wow, XD-40, you have really done the math. That sounds great. I'll be reloading(hopefully) .40 cal also, and maybe some 22-250.

Is 22-250 worth reloading? They ain't that expensive. But they ain't cheap also.

bullseye308
November 27, 2008, 10:51 PM
Is 22-250 worth reloading? They ain't that expensive. But they ain't cheap also.
It sure is. The mail benefit from reloading is the ability to tailor the round to your gun and get the most out of it. Factory ammo might work in every firearm our there but won't shoot great in most of them. That is where reloading comes in, you load what the rifle likes(after figuring it out) and get the most out of it. What if you find a specific bullet that you want to shoot but it is not loaded factory in your caliber? Simple, you load it. :D Lots of other reasons too.

rfwobbly
November 27, 2008, 10:54 PM
Grassman -
Congrats on your inheritance. You're going to think of your dad every time you pull the trigger. What a great gift!

I was having trouble adjusting a C-H powder hopper and needed a new part to convert it from rifle to pistol loads. I called C-H and they asked me to make some measurements to verify the new part would fit. "Nope, sorry. Can't help you", the guy finally said. "That design was discontinued in 1961".

I'm still using that powder dispenser !! It works better than most new units I've tried.


IMHO, the only place I believe you'll need to watch out is with the reloading manuals. Powder formulations have changed over the years, but a lot of the same names have been retained. Be sure to use the older powders you have with the older RLM data. Buy up-to-date RLMs for any new powder you might buy.

The explanations of safety, reloading procedure, head space, shell trimming, etc, found in the older manuals will still apply. It's just the "load data" that will vary due to the newer formulations. You can check this for yourself using load data off the manufacturer's websites.

Again, congrats. And welcome to the "club".

Grassman
November 28, 2008, 11:14 PM
Well I got out in the shop today and took some pics of all of that reload equipment. I couldn't get em downloaded yet to post, hopefully tomorrow.

buck460XVR
November 29, 2008, 02:17 PM
Word of warning Grassman......reloading is very addicting.:what: Like any other addiction it is not cheap to feed the hunger. Altho you will produce higher quality cartridges at a fraction of the cost of factory rounds you will find yourself shooting and reloading many more rounds than you ever imagined possible. So yes, you will save a lot of money per round, but overall, more than likely, you will not recognize any overall savings whatsoever.:banghead:


Not that that's a bad thing.:D

XD-40 Shooter
November 29, 2008, 04:34 PM
I agree buck, I've got 4000 rounds of 40 S&W loaded that will take me at least 1.5 years to shoot, do I need 4000 rounds? Nope. Reloading sure is fun though.:D

rfwobbly
November 30, 2008, 10:15 AM
I must have 2000+ rounds of 9mm loaded...

It's all experimental, 20 rounds of this, 10 rounds of that... just waiting to get to get to the range. I can't keep enough boxes around to house them all; they're all in baggies with notes inside. I go to the store to buy more plastic boxes, and buy a new box of bullets instead.

Why buy gold when you can buy lead? :D

ar10
November 30, 2008, 10:23 AM
I must have 2000+ rounds of 9mm loaded...

It's all experimental, 20 rounds of this, 10 rounds of that... just waiting to get to get to the range. I can't keep enough boxes around to house them all; they're all in baggies with notes inside. I go to the store to buy more plastic boxes, and buy a new box of bullets instead.


I solved that problem. Every time I'm at the range I go through the trash. I've got more plastic boxes than I have bullets, and I have a lot of bullets.

Grassman
November 30, 2008, 11:02 PM
Man, I really wanted to get you guys opinion on my reload equip., but I can't seem to get the pics downloaded. Soon maybe?

presspuller
December 1, 2008, 07:02 AM
Is 22-250 worth reloading? They ain't that expensive. But they ain't cheap also.


If the primer comes out of the brass it is worth reloading.

moooose102
December 1, 2008, 09:02 AM
the single most important thing you can do is READ! read those books until you UNDERSTAND them. then, come back here and ask specific questions that you do not understand. it is a fun hobby, i like reloading as much as i do shooting, maybe more. i only have about 1&1/2 years under my belt, so i am certainly no expert. the guys on this board have been a marvelous help! but you have to do your part also. the # 1 thing you need to do this is concentration. you can not do it where and when you are being disturbed. you will make mistakes, and they can be DISASTEROUS! so, get those books out, read up, figure out what powder, bullets etc to buy and get started. anytime you get stumped, or feel iffy about something, STOP, and get help. there is always somebody here, you just may have to wait a little while to get the answer you need. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A DUMB QUESTION, EXCEPT THE ONE YOU DO NOT ASK.

rfwobbly
December 1, 2008, 12:39 PM
Man, I really wanted to get you guys opinion on my reload equip., but I can't seem to get the pics downloaded. Grassman

No problem. Simply buy a 6 pack of St Pauli Girl or Newcastle Brown Ale and I'll be right over. We're not above making house calls!

:D

Grassman
December 1, 2008, 01:52 PM
No problem. Simply buy a 6 pack of St Pauli Girl or Newcastle Brown Ale and I'll be right over. We're not above making house calls!

Bring it man, I'll supply all the beer. Might be a bit of a drive for ya.

HarleyFixer
December 3, 2008, 11:37 AM
If you just want current load data you may want to try
http://www.ammoguide.com/

If you enjoyed reading about "Questions on re-loading" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!