On the fence


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coondogger
September 25, 2012, 08:17 PM
I've been debating about learning how to reload. Although for some loads, like
.223, there doesn't seem to be an appreciable savings, for others (.270 or 30-06, for example) it does translate into cheaper rounds. Then there is the
problem of actually learning how to do it. It seems daunting and I'm afraid I'll
make an error which could have catastrophic consequences. So I've remained
on the fence about it for about a year now. Any thoughts?

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FROGO207
September 25, 2012, 08:35 PM
Well to tell you the truth it is part savings and a BIG part of being able to customize loads/make what I cant buy that got me into reloading. Just duplicating factory fodder is OK but taking a rifle that will only shoot factory ammo at a target so it looks like a shotgun blast and making it into a 1/2 MOA rifle with custom handloads makes me want try it with another one soon. Yes it is a fair amount of money to get started but you will soon be recouping your cost as well as producing ammo that is tuned to your particular firearm. If you can possibly find a reloader in your area that will show you how to actually reload a single round of bottle-necked rifle and then a pistol round a lot of your questions will be answered. Most reloaders will mentor a new reloader if asked. At least the ones around here will I know. We all want you new reloaders to be safe and have fun doing it.:cool:

A tip: if you put your general location (state?) into your profile info a local reloader might even PM you with an offer to help. We at least want to be within driving distance. :)

rsrocket1
September 25, 2012, 08:37 PM
Start with 45 ACP and Unique. Very forgiving low pressure cartridge and a smooth predictable powder that will just about overflow with a double charge in that case.

Otherwise, 25g H335 under a 55g .223 bullet is pretty full, not much chance of double charging that, but since it is near the top of the pressure range, you don't want to go too much above that.

Reloading pistol rounds is a bit easier to start out with than a rifle cartridge.

You may not save much, but you will learn a lot.

FROGO207
September 25, 2012, 08:45 PM
When I teach somebody how to hands on reload a round I try to do it at a range so they can put it into a firearm and actually shoot it then. That is always the best part-----That it is an easily learned skill, not something bordering on black magic or the like.:)

SHR970
September 25, 2012, 08:51 PM
The initial start up cost is in getting the press, scale, and book(s); I don't count the die set as start up. For each caliber you add to your repertoire you need a die set and shell holder.

Brass is a one time every so often cost; for certain calibers it can be amortized over as little a six and others to over 20 loadings. 9mm, 223, 40S&W, and others can normally be picked up in quantity at the range.

Some calibers are cheaper than others (223, 9mm, etc.) to buy factory ammo when available. But when we hit those periods of buyers panic like 2008-2010 and there is no ammo on the shelves you will be able to weather the storm better than most if you have some supplies on hand.

If you get a caliber with a name like a WSM, RUM, or SuperMegaSpecializedMagnum your savings will be immediately apparent.

readyeddy
September 25, 2012, 09:08 PM
Hand loading is the only way I know how to get consistent accuracy for rifles. Sure, most can eventually get a one inch three shot group with many factory loads, but try and shoot ten shot groups and you'll likely end up with 2 - 3 inch groups. But if you measure and weigh every load using superior components, you will get the maximum potential out of your rifle.

tglazie
September 25, 2012, 09:11 PM
do it. you wont regret it. I doubt you will truly "save" money, because you will just end up shooting more for the same amount you used to spend on factory ammo, but you will become a better shooter and learn a lot in the process.

If I absolutely, positively HAD to make a shot, it would be with my own ammo without a doubt. And I have been reloading for less than a year, imagine the confidence some of the true vets on this site have shooting their ammo.

Waldog
September 25, 2012, 10:01 PM
You should save at least 35%-40% on 223.
Much more on larger calibers, up to 70%, i.e, 30-06, 338Mag, any of the "Short Mags", Weatherby Mags (Gigantic savings here)

hogshead
September 25, 2012, 10:07 PM
Just do it. I did and if I can you can. This site is a wealth of infromation, The hardest part is getting started.

bluetopper
September 25, 2012, 10:09 PM
I never shoot factory ammo and frankly think it's silly to do so. But if you don't want to learn to reload.......don't.

srtolly
September 25, 2012, 10:37 PM
I started a couple months ago. I have gotten my .40 HiPoint to shoot a 3" he in a target which I couldn't get below 5" with factory ammo. I'm still tuning so I'm sure it will get better.

KansasSasquatch
September 25, 2012, 10:44 PM
I'm fairly new to reloading but I have come to realize that as long as you aren't doing it while half asleep, and as long as you follow the knowledge in the good manuals, you shouldn't have any problems. When it comes to saving on stuff like .223 and 9mm, the key is to buy components in bulk. Bulk usually means quantities of 2000 or more. It costs a good bit to do that but in the long term you will see the savings. I think I've had my Hornady LNL AP for less than a year but I'm sure it has already paid for itself just from the .223 and .45 I've loaded.

Hondo 60
September 25, 2012, 10:49 PM
RELOADING MANUALS ARE YOUR BESTEST FRIENDS

Before a sunk a dime into reloading I went to the local library & checked out a reloading manual.
(reloading is very easy once you get the hang of it)

As far as saving money???
Ha-ha, that's a good one.
There's always the latest gadget to buy, or another powder to try, or a fancy bullet.
So I end up spending as much or more.
But I have FUN shooting my own reloads because my accuracy is better.

For example: I can do 2" groups with my AR-15 with factory (cheap) ammo.
My ammo costs $4.37 for 50rds. (with reusing brass) & I can get 1" groups.

Same goes for other calibers.
I save 50 - 80%, but shoot a LOT more.

Here's a target I shot at about 10yds with my
Uberti 1873 Cattleman (45 Colt)
The flyer was my fault - I knew it as soon as the gun went BOOM.

http://www.jbabcock.net/guns/uberti_target.jpg

skywalkrNCSU
September 25, 2012, 10:53 PM
It will take me a while to get to the point where I am saving money since I keep finding things I want to buy for my reloading setup but the main reason I do it is to add to my hobby. I don't get to the range that much so now I have something to do in between. Load up different combinations, research new loads, etc. That way when I do go to the range I feel like I am doing more than just plinking, I am testing my loads and refining my data for next time.

I figure I will save money eventually and if I decide to get out of it the equipment and components will hold their value pretty well.

Plus I am too cheap to buy match grade ammo but I don't mind reloading it.

Lost Sheep
September 26, 2012, 03:28 AM
I've been debating about learning how to reload. Although for some loads, like
.223, there doesn't seem to be an appreciable savings, for others (.270 or 30-06, for example) it does translate into cheaper rounds. Then there is the
problem of actually learning how to do it. It seems daunting and I'm afraid I'll
make an error which could have catastrophic consequences. So I've remained
on the fence about it for about a year now. Any thoughts?
Not daunting at all, really. If you can change a tire without losing your lug nuts and follow a recipe without ruining a cake, you can reload.

Check this thread. My posts #15 and 16 are long, so I won't reproduce them here, but it is LOADED with good information, including the link posted in the original post.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=678589

Thanks for asking our advice.

Lost Sheep

skywalkrNCSU
September 26, 2012, 10:04 AM
Also, if you don't have a friend who can teach you, there are enough YouTube videos out there to show you the basics. Combine that with the ABCs of Reloading and you should be fine, just take your time and don't rush.

Ky Larry
September 26, 2012, 10:57 AM
I like reloading as much as I like shooting. It is a facinating study and challenge to find better loads and the possible combinations of components is almost limitless. You can do this.

1. Get a good reloading manual (Speer, Lyman, Hornady, etc) and read it.

2. Get another manual (or several) and read them.

3. Assemble your reloading tools.

4. Pick a load and assemble your components.

5. Follow you load manual's step by step instructions.

6. Keep good records. This is one of the most important steps in sucessful ammo reloading.

7. Youtube has lots of useful videos.

8. If you get stuck, don't hesitate to ask the good folks on this forum. They are very friendly and knowledgeable. There are no dumb questions.

You CAN do this. Good luck and have fun.

dickttx
September 26, 2012, 12:17 PM
If you have to be talked into it you may not be ready to do it.
Not saying this to be unkind, but, while not rocket science or brain surgery, it does take a considerable amount of time, both for learning and doing. Also a considerable amount of money to get set up, and some pretty good space for working and storage.

James2
September 26, 2012, 01:17 PM
Lots of great advice on your query.

Originally I started to reload to save money since the guy at the store told me you could load them for much less than factory ammo. He was right, but save money? No, but I did shoot much more. ( If you really want to save, put your money in a savings account, don't spend it. ;) )

Many years later, I still load for a number of reasons. It is a great hobby of its own. I enjoy doing it. Still costs less per box of rounds. Gives me more consistent ammo than factory. I have never regretted getting into reloading.

Go for it.

Grimshaw
September 26, 2012, 02:39 PM
I also have been holding off on reloading for the same reason.My wife made a statement the other day saying, i hope you dont blow anything up.Now I hope that didn't send out some kind of bad JUJU

Shmackey
September 26, 2012, 03:03 PM
When looking at costs for loading .223, compare apples to apples. You'll be making match-grade ammo that runs perfectly in your rifle. So look at the cost of factory .223 match ammo (still not as good as yours), not the cost of bulk-pack plinking stuff.

Even so, at 2 cents for a primer, 10 cents for a bullet, 5 cents for powder, and 3 cents for brass used multiple times, you're at 20 cents a round. I can't find even the lowest-end .223 ammo for $4/box.

cougar1717
September 26, 2012, 03:27 PM
Some questions for potential reloaders:

Are you detail oriented?
Are you willing to read a book and follow specific instructions about how to reload?
If you are a kinesthetic learner, do you know someone who reloads who can show you how to do it?
Are you willing to inspect every brass case you reload for defects since this is what protects the shooter from disaster?
Do you understand that it may take up to 100+ cartridges to settle on a load for one particular caliber? It's not like you dump in the components and out pops the most accurate cartridge.
Are you willing to record your loads in a notebook or computer?
Are you willing to record (and compare) your results?
Do not be fooled by the cost savings -it's a hobby. Are you willing to spend money on equipment upfront in order to work up better ammo than you can buy?
Do you have the time to reload? Boxes of components sitting in your basement do not assemble themselves.
Do you have a place to reload that young kids can't get into? Most primers release lead. Do not put your kids in danger by setting up at the kitchen table.
Finally, reloading is not for everyone and that is okay.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
September 26, 2012, 03:32 PM
You can always start buying the tools for reloading a bit at a time.

I would start with some GOOD reloading manuals so you can read about what to expect with this new hobby. You may get into reading and discover it is not for you, or you may really get into the details of it and want to do it even more! Then, if you do decide to jump in and do it, you can start buying equipment, who says you have to have it all this week?;)

Friendly, Don't Fire!
September 26, 2012, 03:33 PM
You can always start buying the tools for reloading a bit at a time.

I would start with some GOOD reloading manuals so you can read about what to expect with this new hobby. You may get into reading and discover it is not for you, or you may really get into the details of it and want to do it even more! Then, if you do decide to jump in and do it, you can start buying equipment, who says you have to have it all this week?;)

The world may not be here next year anyway.:confused:

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