Reloading - Having 2nd Thoughts, 3rd Thoughts... COST OF BRASS :(


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Mike1234567
September 25, 2011, 12:35 PM
This thread is only about cost of brass...

I had recently decided to jump into reloading to save money. My intention was to reload only for ammo that costs more than $1 per round. For me, this would be .500 S&W Mag, .458 SOCOM, and .375 H&H Mag. That's about it. I don't intend to shoot very much at all in the next few years. In fact, I may only load 1000 rounds each... ever.

The cost of brass for these calibers is insanely high. Where the heck can I find AFFORDABLE brass in these calibers?:confused::(

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BoilerUP
September 25, 2011, 12:45 PM
Buy a box of factory ammo, shoot it, reload the once-fired brass.

Mike1234567
September 25, 2011, 12:54 PM
Thanks, BoilerUp. I know I can do that but I want 500-1000 rounds of each caliber cached and I'll probably never shoot more than a few dozen rounds each. This is really just "ammo insurance". I'll be adding "food insurance" and "water insurance" too.

gofastman
September 25, 2011, 12:54 PM
Buy a box of factory ammo, shoot it, reload the once-fired brass.

Yeah :confused:
Hence the term reloading

RandyP
September 25, 2011, 12:55 PM
+1 - factory ammo will give you your supply of 'once-fired' brass.

I CAN recommend with confidence your looking at the Lee Anniversary single stage kit.

https://factorysales.com/html/xcart/catalog/anivers.html

Less dies and components this is $82 and has just about everything you will need. I added a $9 Harbor Freight digital caliper and an under $30 digital scale. I can reload 50-75 pistol rounds per hour at a very relaxed pace. IMHO it is perfect for very low volume shooters.

Yes 500 rounds of brass WILL be pricey in those calibers so if you just want it to say you have it, rather than use it, perhaps you should rethink your need to reload at all? Look for sales of factory made and be done with it.

I mean honestly if truly you are not interested in shooting those calibers, you really will never 'need' more than a box or two of the stuff. Come a Zombie Apocalypse you're gonna want a 12ga, a 9mm and either an AR or an AK in standard military caliber anyway.

p.s. if it ends up being a Vampire invasion instead of Zombies, all you need is some crosses, garlic, wooden stakes and stout hammer.

Mike1234567
September 25, 2011, 01:00 PM
What's stopping me from buying factory-loaded ammo is...

1. Cost per round ($3-4) and...

2. Quantity I want to cache (1500-3000 rounds)

So, worst case scenario is $4 each for 3000 rounds = $12K. I was hoping to save around 75 percent but it looks like I'll just have to adjust my sights a lot lower.

scrat
September 25, 2011, 01:09 PM
WA WA WAAAA pass out the tissue paper. So it cost a lot. make the decision and move on. You really dont need the deciding factor to be 1000 rounds thats pathetic. Like others have said you buy a box of ammo at a time go shoot a box now when you get it. then reload that box you get the experience of the reload then just save up and buy another box at time when you can. I remember when i was young maybe 25 years ago. Money was tight. Every payday i would go out and buy a box of ammo for each of my guns. then every 2 to 3 months i would go shooting. You do what you need to do. If your serious about reloading if your serious about shooting you will find a way.

Mike1234567
September 25, 2011, 01:20 PM
That's pretty funny, Scrat. Please note that I'm not crying/whining but, rather, b-wording. But yes, I am indeed pathetic.:D

cfullgraf
September 25, 2011, 01:22 PM
This thread is only about cost of brass...

I had recently decided to jump into reloading to save money. My intention was to reload only for ammo that costs more than $1 per round. For me, this would be .500 S&W Mag, .458 SOCOM, and .375 H&H Mag. That's about it. I don't intend to shoot very much at all in the next few years. In fact, I may only load 1000 rounds each... ever.

The cost of brass for these calibers is insanely high. Where the heck can I find AFFORDABLE brass in these calibers?:confused::(

The cartridges you are planning to load are not very popular or plentiful and therefore the brass is not very common. Unfortunately, that leads to high case costs. Basic economics.

In other words, you will not find case prices that are similar to once fired military brass.

One of the benefits of reloading is the cases are reusable so the per round cost of the case goes down with each reloading.

I would re-evaluate the amount you want to have on hand so you are spending less out of pocket at the moment. Also, watch the internet like a hawk. Specials and sales come along periodically and you could score some good bargains.

You will save money on reloading. No one ever said it would be cheap.

thorn-
September 25, 2011, 01:23 PM
For the amount of rounds you intend to shoot , ~1000, reloading may not be worth the time and money required to learn and purchase equipment. Remember that in the beginning, reloading saves you NO money at all. The lower cost of ammo is offset by the $300-500 you spend on equipment - unless you find a bargain on a used press, or go very budget with something like a basic Lee setup (ie, a C press and dippers).

I reload 9mm and .44, but have several other calibers that i do NOT reload for... mainly rifle, also .30 and shotguns. I don't shoot those guns enough to justify the costs of the dies, equipment, and components, so a $30 box of ammo is just fine for my needs.

thorn

Mike1234567
September 25, 2011, 01:29 PM
Assuming I'll never find cheap brass for these calibers then maybe I should lower my cache count to 200 each. I had considered buying high quality reloading gear (mostly used) and selling it after I reload 1000 rounds but, perhaps, it's fiscally more sound to buy used budget (not cheap) reloading gear and keep it to reload those 200 rounds each.

RandyP
September 25, 2011, 01:45 PM
Reloading is a 'long term' hobby and it is not for everyone. Just to get involved for a one-time reloading session of oddball calibers? Seems counter-productive to me.

For calibers you have NO plans on shooting, seems to me your stockpile numbers -even at 200 - are kinda high? Hey, I'm not about to calculate your budget. You pays yer moeny and you takes yer chances.

If you are actually looking for SHTF survival stuff? Those calibers ain't it.

rsrocket1
September 25, 2011, 01:47 PM
Ditto. 1500-3000 rounds in a cache when you only pull the trigger 1000 times a year doesn't make sense from a reloading perspective.

You get the economy when you figure that you are spending $0.10 for the powder, $0.03 for the primer, $0 to $.30 for the bullet and reusing the case. These are low quantity costs, you get better savings with larger quantities. The case is almost always the most expensive part of the bullet and it is reusable. If you add in the cost of the loading equipment and if you are buying new cases, you are probably spending more to load them than factory new cartridges.

For less than run-of-the-mill calibers, reload what you have and buy what you can when you find a good deal. There are often folks who find range brass in small numbers and sell them for whatever they can get. Build up your stockpile over time and you will eventually have your hoard, not feel the pain all at once, and shoot more often without financial guilt.

Mike1234567
September 25, 2011, 01:52 PM
It looks like I'm back in business. After more research I've located brand new brass in each of these calibers for 55-63 cents each. Who knows... maybe I can find it even cheaper? Even if I only save $2 per round (should be closer to $2.50+) this is still an overall savings of at least $6K not counting the reloading gear which I'll probably just re-sell once I'm done.:)

daorhgih
September 25, 2011, 01:53 PM
.. THE BRASS-NAZI WITCH?? No, really, have much patience with acquiring the MTbrass at first; it will pay off for you. Tried Bun Groper??

Mike1234567
September 25, 2011, 01:58 PM
daorhgih... thanks for the suggestion to try GB. I actually had another guy PM me about that. Indeed, GB is where I found some of the brass but those lead to better Giggle searches too. I didn't expect GB sellers to have reasonable prices.

Oh... and thanks for the hilarious Spoonerism!!:D

medalguy
September 25, 2011, 01:58 PM
Google is your friend. Spend a little time on your keyboard and you might be surprised with what you can find. ALso troll lots of gun boards watching the "for sale" threads. Many times I've seen some of these calibers offered in quantities of 10-20 pieces of brass, not enough to get anyone excited but they do add up over time. They do tend to disappear pretty fast though.

cfullgraf
September 25, 2011, 02:00 PM
Yup!

For most of my cartridges, I cycle a relatively small quantity, 200-300 or so, through shooting and reloading. As cases fail, I add new ones to the mix.

I am always on the look out for bargains and stock up before I need components. As such, i weathered the component shortage in 2009 without problems.

If properly stored when not in use and not abused when in use, good reloading equipment will last forever. Adding new cartridges to the mix is pretty economical as you already have the common equipment on hand. Besides components, usually just a set of dies and a shell holder are needed.

Most folks that get into reloading end up still spending the same amount as before reloading, they just get to shoot more due to the reduce cost of the ammunition.

helotaxi
September 25, 2011, 02:02 PM
You'll find that bullets for those rounds are pretty pricey as well. I wouldn't plan to start reloading just for those unless you have a difficult time regularly finding ammo. If you already were a reloader, getting dies for those cartridges as well would be worthwhile and relatively cost effective. That's what I did for my .308 Marlin. I doubt that I'll ever load 500 rounds for it and I think that I only have 80pcs of brass, but I am assured of always having ammo for it when I need it.

billyjoe
September 25, 2011, 03:13 PM
Once fired brass is a better buy than new brass. The calibers you have listed are not the common to buy once fired but you can find them once in a while. Just keep your eyes open and check the sale forum, gun shows, and auctions sites regulary and you will find it eventually. Even with new brass you will still save 50-75% over factory prices for the calibers you are loading for.

joed
September 25, 2011, 03:39 PM
You're not doing the math correctly. As someone said, it's called reloading. You think brass is high now? I'll bet you it isn't cheaper in 5 years.

About 10 years ago I decided to start stock piling ammo when I purchased a progressive press. I was buying brass in 2k lots for everything I own. At the time it seemed expensive. The last 2 years showed me I was very wrong.

bluetopper
September 25, 2011, 03:49 PM
Trust me, once you get the reloading equipment and learn the hobby, you ain't gonna want to sell it.

Frozen North
September 25, 2011, 03:50 PM
Big boom=big $$$..... that is the cold truth of the situation. This is the reason why many shooters pick calibers like .308, .30-06, and .223 over the more exotic calibers you have listed.

The reason people stock pile ammo are many, but a few key things are repeated over and over.

1) If for whatever reason ammo becomes hard to come by, I want a supply to last me through the drought.....

How long will it take you to burn through that much ammo? It sounds like you don't shoot these guns much, so two boxes each should last you many years. It takes a determined shooter a LOOOOOOONG time to burn through several thousand rounds in these calibers. Outside of a total societal breakdown lasting for decades, I think you can safely set your stocking goals MUCH lower.

2) I want to be able to use ammo for bartering in a total societal breakdown situation....

These are not common calibers you have listed, so they would have little value. Calibers like .38, .357 Mag, 9mm, .45 Auto, .223, .308, and 30-06 would be worth their weight in gold though. Because these calibers are so common, you could easily scoop enough once fired brass to get you going for very little money.

3) I want enough ammo to fight off a Canadian zombie invasion....

I have a feeling the invasion force would eat someone for lunch long before they could use 10,000 rds in a fire fight.... I roll my eyes....

What I am trying to say is that stockpiling ammo may be sensible, but not for the calibers you have listed. The benefits of stockpiling would only be seen if the stockpiles are for common sporting or military arms.

My best advice would be to buy a reloading setup, and shoot allot more than you do. If that does not appeal to you, stick a few boxes of ammo on the shelf for each of these guns and call it good.

Mike1234567
September 25, 2011, 04:31 PM
In reply to other calibers costing less...

I've been stockpiling ammo in many of the "most popular" calibers from .17HMR and .22LR through .30-30 and .243 Win, .308 Win to .30-06 plus .410, 20ga, and 12ga and some pistol calibers. It's really just the three calibers I listed above that are so cost-prohibitive. I shoot very little and will be pairing down the number of firearms I keep but I'll keep the ammo. My stockpiling is for "investment in the future" and, again, I already have at least 1000 rounds each of the more common calibers for barter if that ever becomes viable. The calibers I listed are mostly for when "I" might need them, e.g. the .458 SOCOM subsonic in a suppressed carbine for quiet hunting. Really though, I could do without the .500 Mag and .375 H&H Mag but they seem like such fun "plinkers". :)

Lost Sheep
September 25, 2011, 05:01 PM
1000 bullets + a 4# keg of powder + 1000 primers + 100 cases = 1,000 rounds of loaded cartridges.

Consider this: If you meet five criteria, you are better off reloading
1) You will not need 1,000 rounds all at once.
2) You will find enough time to reload after firing
3) You have a small work area.
4) You can operate the equipment
5) You will be able to recover your brass after firing

Now, back to the limited subject of the thread:

The money you save not buying 900 excess cases in three calibers will pay for the loading gear easily many times over. Much less buying 900 excess loaded rounds, even at wholesale prices.

In short: Brass is expensive in the chamberings you named. Cut costs by re-using the brass.

Respectfully,

Lost Sheep

P.S. Frozen North points out the central point: Exotic calibers means expensive brass. Instead of 458 Socom, consider 458 Win Mag or even 45-70 chambered in a strong bolt action, you can get near the others' power levels in the same bullet much cheaper.

Canazes9
September 25, 2011, 05:02 PM
Maybe I missed this in the discussion, if so my apologies.

My question is, if these calibers aren't "SHTF" requirements nor are they effective barter material why are you trying to stockpile 1000+ rounds of loaded ammunition? Seems to me you would do just as well to buy 200 rounds of brass and enough bullets, powder, primers etc. to load the other 800. You can have 200 rounds loaded in your cache and the ability to make the other 800 as needed. You will need to keep the press, but this seems a lot more cost effective to me than what you are describing.

Not familiar with loading the rounds you have listed, but would think it would be reasonable to expect at least 5 reloads out of your brass, except perhaps the 375 H&H - might get less from this, but I really don't know. Even if you assume only 3 reloads per case, 350 rounds of brass, bullets, powder and primer will still be worlds cheaper than 1000's of rounds of loaded ammunition. Additionally you will still have the press, which I believe will provide you a lot more options in both current day and post apocalypse scenarios.

JMO,

David


Edit - darn it Lost Sheep beat me on the keyboard....


David

Mike1234567
September 25, 2011, 05:13 PM
RE: Replace .458 SOCOM with .45-70 or .458 Win Mag to save on brass cost...

I've looked into those. Isn't it trickier to load those subsonic? If it can easily be done with consistency then I'll definitely reconsider.

ETA: The typical .45-70 has a very slow twist rate which really worries me regarding stabilization of heavy/long projectiles so the 1:14 twist rate of the SOCOM is a strong selling point for me. IIRC, the Win Mag has a pretty slow twist too.

Frozen North
September 25, 2011, 05:17 PM
I think the bottom line and what the common theme of these posts is that you either need to make some compromises or commit spend your nest egg on ammo. You just can't have it both ways.

Mike1234567
September 25, 2011, 05:21 PM
Maybe I missed this in the discussion, if so my apologies.

My question is, if these calibers aren't "SHTF" requirements nor are they effective barter material why are you trying to stockpile 1000+ rounds of loaded ammunition? Seems to me you would do just as well to buy 200 rounds of brass and enough bullets, powder, primers etc. to load the other 800. You can have 200 rounds loaded in your cache and the ability to make the other 800 as needed. You will need to keep the press, but this seems a lot more cost effective to me than what you are describing.

Not familiar with loading the rounds you have listed, but would think it would be reasonable to expect at least 5 reloads out of your brass, except perhaps the 375 H&H - might get less from this, but I really don't know. Even if you assume only 3 reloads per case, 350 rounds of brass, bullets, powder and primer will still be worlds cheaper than 1000's of rounds of loaded ammunition. Additionally you will still have the press, which I believe will provide you a lot more options in both current day and post apocalypse scenarios.

JMO,

David


Edit - darn it Lost Sheep beat me on the keyboard....


David

I don't post about SHTF or Apocalypse scenarios on THR. But I am saving/stockpiling/preparing for very hard times such as total economic collapse or severe weather damage. :)

You make some very good points which I've seen a couple of times now and, I must admit, they are perfectly logical. Yes, I could decrease the number of loaded rounds to 200 per caliber and keep the reloading gear instead of selling it. That said, I'd hold onto the 1000+ rounds each of the more common calibers for investment and/or barter.

Seedtick
September 25, 2011, 05:45 PM
Trust me, once you get the reloading equipment and learn the hobby, you ain't gonna want to sell it.

Yep, I agree. Just wait and see reloading is fun.

I actually enjoy re loading more than un loading.

YMMV

Seedtick

:)

brickeyee
September 25, 2011, 05:47 PM
For me, this would be .500 S&W Mag, .458 SOCOM, and .375 H&H Mag. That's about it. I don't intend to shoot very much at all in the next few years. In fact, I may only load 1000 rounds each... ever.

Planning on fighting a war all by yourself?

Mike1234567
September 25, 2011, 05:56 PM
Planning on fighting a war all by yourself?
LOL!! Nope... I just think it's a good investment. As I previously stated, I'm stockpiling food (canned & freeze dried), having a well drilled, an enclosed garden built, etc. One day, I hope to also have a full set of photovoltaics installed. Just trying to be as independent as is practicable. If you're asking why the big bore firearms then it's because I want to cover all bases. If I move where there are big brown bears or if the feral hogs here grow to 400 pounds I want all the stopping power I can get.

At any rate, I'm now considering 200 rounds each and keeping the reloading gear.

GCBurner
September 25, 2011, 05:59 PM
Empty unprimed new brass for .577-450 Martini-Henry goes for around $4-$9 apiece, so I've only picked up a stockpile of around 40 rounds for my rifles. I just shoot them recreationally, though, since the chances of having to stand off a Zulu attack here in Florida are pretty low. Old guns and ammunition for them comes out of the "Fun" budget, not the "Necessities" budget, so I don't buy or shoot more than I can afford, and as long as I can afford it, I shoot what I like.

BoilerUP
September 25, 2011, 06:14 PM
Can't say a niche caliber is gonna be real great for "severe economic collapse".

Mike1234567
September 25, 2011, 06:27 PM
Can't say a niche caliber is gonna be real great for "severe economic collapse".
I hear (read) you. Most of my cache is common stuff for use/sale/barter later. Of the three I mentioned for reloading the .458 SOCOM is the only one for "bad times" and would be used only for quiet hunting.

GCBurner
September 25, 2011, 06:30 PM
Can't say a niche caliber is gonna be real great for "severe economic collapse".
That's why I call it "Entertainment", in the same class as books, CDs, games, and sporting equipment, rather than "Necessities", like food, clothing, fuel, tools, and spare parts.

Lost Sheep
September 25, 2011, 06:34 PM
LOL!! Nope... I just think it's a good investment. As I previously stated, I'm stockpiling food (canned & freeze dried), having a well drilled, an enclosed garden built, etc. One day, I hope to also have a full set of photovoltaics installed. Just trying to be as independent as is practicable. If you're asking why the big bore firearms then it's because I want to cover all bases. If I move where there are big brown bears or if the feral hogs here grow to 400 pounds I want all the stopping power I can get.

At any rate, I'm now considering 200 rounds each and keeping the reloading gear.
Nearly 40 years ago I read an article addressing how to prepare for a post-disaster life. The main point was that to try to be completely independent was a fool's errand. Humankind is societal by nature. No one person or nuclear family can survive long independently. And the most practical way to survive is to make your pre-disaster lifestyle as much like your post-disaster life as possible (at least, that's what I came away from the article with).

It said (as an example) that in the event of a major disruption in food delivery systems, city-dwellers would head out to rural areas to buy food (or to move). Those who already live in small towns and farm country would be at an advantage, since they already are there and have personal contacts and networks of people they know and depend on (more to the point, are INTERDEPENDENT with).

The article went on to suggest learning skills that would be useful. Veterinary medicine, first aid skills, small engine repair, canning, etc. If you have a rural home with a decent half acre of vegetable garden and a few fowl, you could be in a far better trading situation than having 3-4 thousand rounds of negotiable ammunition. Being on good terms with most of your neighbors is worth more than gold.

I discern from your remarks that you agree with that assessment. (Your well, photocells, etc). Examine everything in that light. I hope we have helped in that regard with respect to your selection of chamberings and reloading plans. As an aside, how well set up is your gunsmithing toolbox and stock of spare parts?

Canazes9, I appreciate your comment more than you know. Usually (because of the length of my posts) I am the one late to the post.

Lost Sheep

P.S. If you are considering the 458 SOCOM in semi-auto, may I suggest a 45-70 Marlin lever action rebarreled to 1:14 would be less finicky in its response to varying power levels and use of lead bullets than a gas-operated gun.

Mike1234567
September 25, 2011, 07:02 PM
Lost Sheep,

Yes, you folks have helped quite a bit.

You're correct, I'm doing everything I can to become independent as soon as possible. No matter what happens I still want my independence from corporations (food, water, fuel, electricity, etc.) so no matter what happens the impact on me should be minimal. I'm just sick of being controlled and dependent.

I'm trying to convince my neighbors to do the same, not with direct "advice" which people usually hate, but by example and just telling them why I'm doing this. This round-about method seems to be working to a degree. Only time will tell if anyone takes the initiative. The more who do adapt an independent lifestyle the greater we are in numbers and strength.

Cached ammo is just one piece of the puzzle. I'll probably decrease the amounts to 300-500 rounds in calibers of firearms I don't have and 500-1000 in the calibers of firearms I do have and 200 rounds in those I reload for.

A Marlin .45-70 re-barreled would work very well. I'll try to find a source for that. :)

mahansm
September 25, 2011, 07:29 PM
I can only speak to the .500 S&W Magnum. I purchased 250 rounds of new brass from Starline, a few hundred 300 grain Hornady (XTP) bullets, a brick of large rifle primers, and am using my stock of 2400/296/Lil Gun/Trail Boss powders. I also bought 500 of the 400 grain from Missouri Bullet Works and about 150 350 grain Berry's plated. I also have 60 round of fired Starline brass with the early pistol depth primer pockets, but a reamer takes care of that.

I keep about 50-100 loaded with the XTP bullets at near max loads using the Hornady data and Lil Gun, and about another 60 loaded with the lead and around 11-12 grains of Trail Boss for the ladies to shoot.

I don't burn through all that many round from the big revolver at the range in any one session, as there's only so much fun I can stand at a time. 2 liter pop bottle full of water with the cap on tight is fun when hit with one of the Hornady bullets at around 1900 fps. .45acp/230 gr Ball not so much, though.

I've got more than I care to shoot in any one session and it doesn't take all that long to put them back together on my Dillon.

GCBurner
September 25, 2011, 10:09 PM
Once you get your brass, then you can start thinking about the cost of lead, and the economics of gearing up to cast your own bullets.
But that's a topic for another thread. :D

Mike1234567
September 25, 2011, 10:29 PM
Actually, casting is on-topic here. :)

denton
September 25, 2011, 10:46 PM
Your tastes in cartridge recipes will change as you get more experience reloading. It's kind of discouraging to find a better recipe after you've loaded a few hundred rounds.

I try to keep basic necessities on hand to cope with the kinds of emergencies we often get here: Power outages, winter blizzards, etc. But my stock of ammo is a few hundred rounds for handguns and a few dozen rounds for rifles, with the exception of the 223. However, I do have an embarrassingly large stock of powder, primer, and bullets. Since most brass can be used at least 10 times, I don't need a huge stock of brass.

If you're going to try to use 500 S&W ammo as barter stock, you'll have to find another 500 S&W owner in need. That's not going to be easy. Good barter stock is stuff that a lot of people want: 7.62x39, 223, 308, 30-06, 9mm, 38 Spl.

GCBurner
September 25, 2011, 10:58 PM
Actually, casting is on-topic here. :)
Casting your own bullets, or boolits, is a subset of reloading that's practically a separate hobby all on its own. It ranges from the primitive Dan'l Boone type casting lead balls over a campfire using an iron pot and a dipper, to people making sophisticated alloys with temperature controlled production casting equipment. Also swaging projectiles from lead alloy wire, sizing, lubricating, and adding gas checks or paper patches.

Mike1234567
September 25, 2011, 10:58 PM
denton: The .500 S&W, .458 SOCOM and .375 H&H Mag aren't for barter (probably). I've been stockpiling many of the most popular calibers for that. :)

Mike1234567
September 25, 2011, 11:01 PM
Casting your own bullets, or boolits, is a subset of reloading that's practically a separate hobby all on its own. It ranges from the primitive Dan'l Boone type casting lead balls over a campfire using an iron pot and a dipper, to people making sophisticated alloys with temperature controlled production casting equipment. Also swaging projectiles from lead alloy wire, sizing, lubricating, and adding gas checks or paper patches.
I don't want to complicate things too much so I'll need to KISS. My feeble brain ain't what it used to be and it ain't getting any better. :D

FROGO207
September 25, 2011, 11:04 PM
Having a small finished ammo supply and enough components ahead to reload for the foreseeable future would be the smartest move IMHO. I try to keep what I presently shoot within 6 months on hand assembled. The rest is what I would need for 3 years of non availability. And lead casting is in the mix for sure. All my pet loads are on paper cause that will always work in a power shortage. The ammo supply is only a part of the big picture. I do however dislike these pesky shortages we seem to have on occasion and plan for these.:cool:

zxcvbob
September 25, 2011, 11:16 PM
Starline Brass has .458 SOCOM brass for $340 for 500, and .500 S&W for $242/500 (but that one is backordered). That ought to get you started.

scythefwd
September 25, 2011, 11:22 PM
Yep, I agree. Just wait and see reloading is fun.

I actually enjoy re loading more than un loading.

YMMV

Seedtick


Seedtick - time for another lead test.... may have a buildup in the fun parts of the brain :)

cacoltguy
September 25, 2011, 11:38 PM
Ammo for Barter? Someone has watched too many Mad-Max movies. If you want economic assurance during times of crisis, buy lots of gold. You can always use your profits to figure out a way of making primers and casings that reloaders will need since you must be assuming those components will never dry up lol. Anyone can reload their own ammo and if for some reason they can't, I doubt there would be too many people looking to barter for 458 SOCOM and 375 H&H reloads that were made buy some guy who learned yesterday.

RandyP
September 26, 2011, 12:16 AM
Two men enter - one man leaves. Break a deal? Face the Wheel.

I'm sorry, Survivalists can be flat out hilarious sometimes. And now I must go down into my bunker, close the lead lined door, eat some jerky and go sleep on my cot.

lol

GCBurner
September 26, 2011, 12:31 AM
I don't want to complicate things too much so I'll need to KISS. My feeble brain ain't what it used to be and it ain't getting any better. :D
Simplest is to find a bullet mold that makes a design and weight of bullet you like to load for. Once you've got that, all you REALLY need is an iron pot to melt the lead, a long steel spoon or dipper to get it to the mold, and some sort of wax or grease to lube the cast bullets. People have been doing it that way since the invention of gunpowder.

35 Whelen
September 26, 2011, 12:55 AM
This is really just "ammo insurance".


The reason your brass is so high is that you're loading relatively obscure calibers with the possible exception of the 375. If I wanted ammo insurance, I'd pick rifles and handguns in common calibers.

Have you checked Graf's? Their Prvi 375 H&H brass is 52 each...delivered.


The typical .45-70 has a very slow twist rate which really worries me regarding stabilization of heavy/long projectiles


Since the 45-70 was designed to shoot the long 500 gr. bullet, I wouldn't worry about twist rate. I'm sure modern rifles have the proper twist. I know mine does.

You mention needing something to kill big bears and 400 lb. hogs? 400 lb. hogs are EASILY killed with common deer calibers and Lord only knows how many bull elk, which weigh significantly more than 400 lbs., are killed each years with cartridges like the 270, 7mm Mag, 280 Rem. (killed a 350 lb. +/- boar with one), 30-06, etc. every year.

35W
35W

dbarnhart
September 26, 2011, 01:14 AM
+1 on Lost Sheep's reply. Stockpile the projectiles, primers, and powder. Then simply reuse a small number of cases.

Mike1234567
September 26, 2011, 11:21 AM
I recognize good advice when I see it. Thank you, everyone. I'll be checking those sources mentioned for brass.

To those who think I'm a "survivalist". Nope... probably not gonna be around long enough to worry about that.:) This is just insurance against hard times just like having stored food, my own water supply, a garden, etc. I'm more like a Mormon or Quaker than a survivalist, LOL!!:D

RandyP
September 26, 2011, 11:34 AM
To be ready for Amish Zombie uprisings..... a good stout flintlock mucket is key. A bag of flints, gunpowder, some lead and a mold and yer good to go!

Mike1234567
September 26, 2011, 12:09 PM
Amish zombies... hah hah. I gotta remember that one.:D

zxcvbob
September 26, 2011, 12:31 PM
What do you need a .375 H&H for that a .30-06 can't handle with heavy bullets? There's nothing wrong with getting a .375 if that's what turns you on, but maybe get an '06 too for your "stockpile" gun?

(I reload, but my battle rifle is an M1 Garand and a dusty ammo can full of loaded clips of milsurp. This reminds me, I need to get it out and practice)

Mike1234567
September 26, 2011, 12:35 PM
Yeah, I'll probably never need the .375 H&H Mag but I wanted it. Who knows? Maybe I'll move to Alaska someday.:D I suppose I should pair down my firearms and, subsequently, my reloading needs. I REALLY want a .458 SOCOM (or ballistically similar) though!!:evil:

zxcvbob
September 26, 2011, 12:48 PM
All I'm saying is maybe those aren't the best choices for having thousands of rounds of ammo (or even brass.) Just gives you an excuse to buy another gun (or upper) in a common caliber. ;)

Montenegrin
September 26, 2011, 03:06 PM
If you want to reload common cartridges,just pick fired ones from range,and that is cheapest solution.But I doubt you're going to find any .458 SOCOM at the range ;)

RandyP
September 26, 2011, 03:12 PM
I think your question has been thoroughly answered, though perhaps not the way you had hoped it would be?

Oddball calibers are very pricey to shoot - end of story - there's no such thing as a free lunch.

Military calibers offer affordable surplus ammo that is readily available, often in handy storage 'spam cans'.

You have every right on earth to stockpile as much ammunition as you and your bank account wish preparing for a highly (astronomically highly) unlikely scenario requiring using ammunition as a bartering agent.

zxcvbob
September 26, 2011, 04:17 PM
IMHO, if you're going to use ammo as an alternative currency, the best choice is .22LR

AK_Maine_iac
September 26, 2011, 04:45 PM
If you live here in Alaska you really do not need the 375H&H. The 30.06 has and will kill anything that walks up here. Al tho i do have one just because. It is a large heavy gun safe queen. Only gets to see daylight when she gets a good cleaning every six months or so. Gets fired once or twice every few years.
If you still want a big bore I'd just get a 35Whelen. (I did) That way you can load two calibers with the same 30.06 brass.

Mike1234567
September 26, 2011, 04:58 PM
To address the ammo for trade thing; I don't have tons of any caliber but I do have the following list. I tried to choose the most common calibers which more people are using and it's these calibers I'm stashing for sale/trade later. Overall it's a decent stash but not a whole lot of any caliber. I'll surely be pairing some of these down a bit and adding somewhat smaller quanities of differing calibers, e.g. .38 Spc, .44 Spc, .380, .32, etc. Anyway, I'm collecting "common" ammo for trade. The esoteric stuff is for myself.

ETA: If your favorite caliber isn't listed please don't be insulted.:)
These are for barter and "some" for myself:
.17HMR (800)
.22LR (10K)
.223 Rem (1.2K)
5.45x39 (1.2K)
7.62x39 (1.2K)
.243 Win (700)
.270 Win (800)
.30-30 Win (1K)
.308 Win (1.5K)
.30-06 Sprg (1.2K)
.410 bore (1K)
20ga (1K)
12ga (1K)
7.62x25 Tokarev (500)
9mm Luger (1.2K)
.40 S&W (600)
.45 ACP (1.2K)
.357 Mag (500)
.44 Mag (500)

I don't yet have any ammo in .375 H&H Mag, .458 SOCOM, or .500 S&W Mag. I've been waiting on those. These three are just for me, more-or-less, so having 200 rounds of brass and reloading supplies works for them.

RandyP
September 26, 2011, 05:32 PM
OK, I gotta ask - do you own firearms in all those calibers? i mean, realistically there will NEVER come a time when you will need to swap bullets for bacon here in the US of A.

I only ask because I can't recall EVER spending any of my hard earned on supplies I can't use just because someone might want to swap me for them later on - lol

Canazes9
September 26, 2011, 11:25 PM
i mean, realistically there will NEVER come a time when you will need to swap bullets for bacon here in the US of A.

I only ask because I can't recall EVER spending any of my hard earned on supplies I can't use just because someone might want to swap me for them later on - lol

Hmmmmm, wish you could have joined me in South East Louisiana in early September 2005 - not a complete breakdown, but I did not regret the supplies I had stockpiled. I think most folks fail to realize just what happens in highly populated areas when the trucks, trains and supply ships stop moving for a week.

At one point I had 14 people that weren't my family (in addition to my family) living in my house. I helped them all go back to assess the damage to their homes after the storm. Some had homes to go back to some didn't. Most had no firearms and were EXTREMELY grateful to be supplied w/ a firearm and a generous supply of ammunition. All of my firearms came back home to me (except my 4" 686 that my buddy talked me into selling him) and those families all now own their own firearms.

Apocaplyse now? No, but are there occasions when you may be glad of a generous stock pile of ammunition and firearms. Even in this country - even in the recent past.

JMO,

David

dbarnhart
September 26, 2011, 11:28 PM
>>This is just insurance against hard times just like having stored food, my own water supply, a garden, etc<<

I can relate. I do the same thing: When times are good I stock up on components so that when times are bad I can still shoot.

RandyP
September 27, 2011, 08:46 AM
I heartily agree that having a small food stockpile and arms and the ammunition for them can be a very handy thing indeed. My comment related to stockpiling a thousands of rounds for calibers I don't even have "just in case" I wanted to barter with them.

IF I can stay in the bunker (home base) having mass quantities of stuff makes some sense. If however I need to be mobile, even to the point of carrying everything on my back? My options for lightest-weight and portable firearms and ammo will win and the rest will need to be left behind.

CraigC
September 27, 2011, 09:02 AM
A brass case can be reloaded so many times over its life, I never even factor it in. Especially with pistol cases.

I also agree that it makes no sense to stockpile 3000rds of a cartridge you only shoot 1000 times a year. If I was only shooting that much, I probably wouldn't buy 100rds of brass at a time. Unless it was a chambering for which cases are scrarce.

Mike1234567
September 27, 2011, 11:21 AM
There are only three calibers for which I've been stashing that I don't have firearms for. That said, I'll be selling many of them because I just don't need them all. This is a learning process for me and I'm just now coming to grips with logical caching of supplies. Indeed, I'll be pairing down the number of rounds I keep in most calibers except those I'll be shooting. I'll be buying a reasonable quantity of other popular calibers... mostly handgun.

After selling some nice firearms that I decide are redundant or I really don't need then I'll be buying a few "budget priced" pistols and long arms to stash... something like Hi-Point 9mm pistols and .45 ACP carbines (just a couple each). Those are strictly to barter/trade/sell/loan.

I'm not an "apocolypse guy" but I do know disasters can and do happen. BTW, I do understand being "mobile" but, IMHO, it's nearly always better to stay put where one has an excellent supply of everything needed. This is assuming there's no immediate danger nor severe property damage. Lastly, I'm not in the best of health so "bugging out" into the woods isn't something I can survive and I don't want to do that anyway.

Please allow me to clarify another point; My caching isn't just disater preparedness and isn't only for barter/trade. I know darned well ammo prices will increase probably well ahead of inflation. I believe ammo is a very fiscally sound investment. If/when state or federal taxes are imposed then I'm ahead of those too. In other words, I try to CYA (my A) in as many angles as is practicable.

At any rate, I think I have the answers to my original query. I'll buy a couple hundred rounds of brass and the reloading supplies for any "pricey/esoteric" calibers along with budget-priced but decent quality reloading gear.

ElectrikKoolAid
September 27, 2011, 12:50 PM
If you're going to stockpile barter fodder, I would go with cigarettes.

When the end of society comes, there are going to be some seriously irritable people out there.

However, the niche cartridges you are thinking of stockpiling are not the best rounds to learn reloading on.

Mike1234567
September 27, 2011, 01:05 PM
If you're going to stockpile barter fodder, I would go with cigarettes.

When the end of society comes, there are going to be some seriously irritable people out there.

However, the niche cartridges you are thinking of stockpiling are not the best rounds to learn reloading on.

I'm not going to help anyone continue smoking but cheap booze is quite another issue. Yup... I guess I'll stockpile some booze too. I just hope I can keep it replenished!!;)

So, let's see. I'm stockpiling highly flammable paper articles (e.g. toilet paper), flammable liquids (e.g. alcohol), ammo, and highly explosive gun powder. Hmm... me-thinks I need to build at least one cinder block storage building.:D

Again, the "niche cartridges" are for me and I'll reload for those. I'm only caching "common calibers".:):)

bukijin
September 29, 2011, 10:30 AM
Brass costs money ?? I thought you got it for free on the ground at the range......better stock up on components though - primers, powder and lead.

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