Will you learn to reload now?


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shuvelrider
January 22, 2013, 09:32 PM
After reading so many posts here and elsewhere about ammo shortages , it still amazes me that more people do not start reloading. I am a small time reloader that started around 6 years ago, and do around a dozen calibers as I need them. My supplies are usually 3-5 thousand primer of each type I use, brass I've accumulated and of course bullet and powder as needed.
I cannot remember the last time I actually bought commercial ammo out of necessity, as I usually roll my own and just put it away. Some for range time/hunting and other I just keep for preparedness. I am doing this with a LEE single stage press too, just relaxing time for me sit at my table and roll ammo.
My latest project is .308 Ball for my FAL rifle, I have 700 primered cases I found online before the "scare". Then on to ammo for the AR or some of the other rifles and pistols I own. What I'm trying to say to some of these people who are wringing their hands over lack of ammo, it doesn't take that much to get started at reloading and keep yourself supplied with ammo.

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Plan2Live
January 22, 2013, 09:37 PM
Probably not. There is a ceratin level of risk involved with reloading that I personally don't want to assume. I will increase my minimum reserve number but I will leave the loading to factories with better technology than I can afford.

heavydluxe
January 22, 2013, 09:37 PM
I'm on the cusp of buying a Lee single stage press or turret, myself... Just trying to decide how cheap to walk in the door. I don't feel a real rush in that components for the caliber I want to reload (.223) are basically nonexistent.

:)

SigSour
January 22, 2013, 09:47 PM
OK, so I wasn't brought up around firearms (damn you NYC and your restrictions!!!) and I've been REALLY interested lately about reloading (been to the Bass Pro Shop here in CO. and checked out a few reloading kits) and have and I'm sure will have a questions that I'm positive you fine folks here on THR will be able to answer. The first being, is reloading as simple as youtube videos make it out to be or are there any "gotchas" or dangers in the process to be on the lookout for?

I have this image in my head of firing my first reloaded cartridge my gun blowing up in my face like Elmer Fudd... only it won't be nearly as funny.:what:

Any videos out there anyone could recommend on the proper reloading procedure? And what would you say the cost (per round) of reloading is compared to purchasing?

Thanks

ngnrd
January 22, 2013, 09:48 PM
The process is simple. The devil is in the details.

M2 Carbine
January 22, 2013, 09:48 PM
Been reloading since about 1961 when I got my first 1911 and 38 revolver.
There's just no way I'll pay the cost of factory ammo.

Can you imagine what this would cost if it was Wal Mart WWB? (costs me about $3.50-$4.00 and 8-10 minutes of my time for 50 rounds.

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/45incans.jpg

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/45and38reloads.jpg

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/45ACPinammocan.jpg

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/9mmReloads.jpg

shuvelrider
January 22, 2013, 09:54 PM
There is risk in everything we do on a daily basis Mr. Plan, if you stay within the parameter's of the reloading books for your chosen caliber------then no problem. To Mr. Heavy I suggest to jump in and buy the press you want and then pick up supplies as they become available.
Just a matter of taking your time, reading, ask questions, and double check your work. It's not a race, it's a hobby you learn and continue to learn more as you go along.




M2, that is impressive. I imagine you have a progressive press by now:)

Certaindeaf
January 22, 2013, 09:59 PM
[QUOTE=Plan2Live;8676971.I will leave the loading to factories with better technology than I can afford.[/QUOTE]


They can't/don't afford a set of eyeballs making sure there's even an actual hole in the flash hole.. the list of potential and actual failures of/by manufacturers is very long.

horsemen61
January 22, 2013, 10:03 PM
I started reloading before the panic so I will continue to do so.

BHP FAN
January 22, 2013, 10:08 PM
I load .45-70's for about $6.00 a box, the last commercial .45-70 I saw was $45.00 a box. Oh, here's some cheap stuff for $33.00 a box, but there's some for $90.00, too.

http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/cheap-government-centerfire-rifle-ammo-sale-online-discount-prices-c-10480_14658_14743_14909_14768.html

Steve CT
January 22, 2013, 10:09 PM
I resumed reloading a year ago, my previous reloading experience was 30+ years ago. I use a Lee Classic Turret, but currently as a single stage press.

Reloading is straightforward and fairly easy, but requires patience, precision, and attention to safety, just like shooting. I find it to be relaxing and it keeps me connected to shooting even when I am not shooting. Fortunately, I was already in acquisition mode for components, so I am pretty well set. Between factory ammunition (or, as I now refer to it, "future brass") and components I am good for about 10K rounds in 9mm, .45 ACP, .357, and .223. And I'm picking up 10K in .22 lr tomorrow as part of a group buy.

cfullgraf
January 22, 2013, 10:12 PM
Reloading is a hobby for me that extends my enjoyment of shooting. I have been at it for 32 years.

Reloading, like anything, is not for everyone. That is ok. No one should feel pressured to reload. No one should feel pressured to not reload.

I do have my idiosyncrasies. I hate football on TV and I have my cars serviced even though I have a fully equipped automotive repair shop at the house.

2zulu1
January 22, 2013, 10:20 PM
I began reloading in the 60s and learned that reloads were typically a higher quality than a lot of factory stuff. When I went into LE, reloading allowed me to practice with a lot more rounds than factory ammo, especially as a Patrolman with a growing family.

Buy several good handloading manuals, follow proper common sense protocol and your good to go. :)

BHP FAN
January 22, 2013, 10:21 PM
A lee hand press costs about $30.00, and a set of dies are about the same, for just about any caliber you want, Lee's Modern Reloading book cost me $8.00. You can easily get into loading your own ammo for $100.00, or less.

M2 Carbine
January 22, 2013, 10:22 PM
I will leave the loading to factories with better technology than I can afford.[/

I have no records to prove this, but taking into account the ratio of the number of reloads I've shot over the years compared to the number of factory rounds I've shot, there has been a good percentage more factory failures than reloads.
Just this past Sunday a couple lady students were shooting my .32 ACP reloads and 9mm factory ammo. They had two dud primers in the factory rounds.
Yesterday I had 4 Remington 22LR cases that contained no priming. This is very common, especially with Remington.

Last year a friend was shooting a .223, using Remington ammo. The accuracy was terrible. You could hear the variation in the sound indicating a rather large difference in the powder charges.

I can go on and on. "Factory loaded" does not necessarily mean correctly loaded.

30 years ago a bad factory round was very unusual, not now days.

BHP FAN
January 22, 2013, 10:24 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6IoNCtFHwU

gspn
January 22, 2013, 10:27 PM
Just a heads up...you're too late. If you plan to get into reloading now because of the ammo shortage all you'll be left with is the expense of the equipment...and still no ammo.

That's because almost all the components have been sucked up by panickers/hoarders.

If you are considering reloading do yourself a big favor...order your COMPONENTS first...you'll always be able to buy a reloading machine...but right now you can't get any primers, powder, and dang few bullets.

M2 Carbine
January 22, 2013, 10:33 PM
M2, that is impressive. I imagine you have a progressive press by now
Yeah, I've had this old 450 Dillon for many years. No telling how many hundreds of thousands of rounds it's turned out.

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/hotweatherreloads.jpg

The press is set up all the time and ready to go. I can be turning out loaded rounds seconds after I sit down.
That way if I have a little time with nothing to do I can turn those few minutes into loaded ammo. I seldom have to take time away from anything else to reload but next thing there's another 50 cal. box of loaded ammo.:)

cal30_sniper
January 22, 2013, 10:38 PM
Just a heads up...you're too late. If you plan to get into reloading now because of the ammo shortage all you'll be left with is the expense of the equipment...and still no ammo.

That's because almost all the components have been sucked up by panickers/hoarders.

If you are considering reloading do yourself a big favor...order your COMPONENTS first...you'll always be able to buy a reloading machine...but right now you can't get any primers, powder, and dang few bullets.

What he said. This shortage caught me with my pants down and only a few hundred primers. Now I can't get anymore. Reloading is about to come to a smoking, screeching halt for me unless supplies start to catch back up. I imagine it will stay that way for quite a while.

chris in va
January 22, 2013, 10:43 PM
Probably not. There is a ceratin level of risk involved with reloading that I personally don't want to assume. I will increase my minimum reserve number but I will leave the loading to factories with better technology than I can afford.


Clearly know nothing about reloading.

A lee hand press costs about $30.00, and a set of dies are about the same, for just about any caliber you want, Lee's Modern Reloading book cost me $8.00. You can easily get into loading your own ammo for $100.00, or less.


Ditto.

robhof
January 22, 2013, 10:54 PM
Started reloading in 1992, when I scored a great deal on a DW 357max, had a 357mag many years ago and foolishly sold it. I knew when I bought the gun that the cartridges had been discontinued, but I did see brass for sale on
Ebay at the time, a Lee single stage and a set of dies and now I'm loading for several calibers and have jars of brass primed and waiting for a rainy day or any bad weather to load up for the next several range sessions or next hunt. The joy of dropping game with home rolled ammo is as good as B/p hunting and I do that too. Haven't made my own B/p recently, did in high school in the 60's to feed a kit pistol I assembled. Haven't saved any money, but get many more rounds down range than if I were buying by the box. I usually take a bag or ammo can full and shoot til empty or I'm tired, as before it was a box or two and home again.

gp911
January 22, 2013, 10:54 PM
I've been meaning to for years. This one put me over the top. The next trip to the LGS is gonna be expensive but I'm getting all the stuff I've been putting off.

readyeddy
January 22, 2013, 11:00 PM
Yeppers, too late. Components are hard to find. Even Lyman's 49th reloading manual is sold out on Amazon!

mgmorden
January 22, 2013, 11:28 PM
Been reloading for nearly 8 years already, and will continue to do so (though components are getting harder to find too).

As to the factories having better technology - thats true, but they're targeting different criteria with their better technology. Namely production speed and automation.

Why do you think many hunters load their own premium hunting ammo and competitive benchrest shooters all handload their own. The reason is simply that handloaded ammo typically is of higher quality.

Its kinda like comparing McDonalds to a homemade hamburger. Sure, Mickey-D's is faster and more convenient, but if you can't make a better burger in your backyard then something is wrong with you ;).

Clean97GTI
January 22, 2013, 11:36 PM
I've been seriously thinking about it lately as a couple calibers I own are getting rare and expensive.
I think a few hundred cheap rounds of 6.5jap or .30-40 krag would be nice.

heeler
January 22, 2013, 11:43 PM
Okay,so help me out here guys.
Could you please tell me or show pictures of all the necessary components that are necessary for reloading??
Let's say an absolute fresh start such as having to buy a few hundred cases of factory brass and primers to match and powder.
How do you decide what kind of powder to use and I ask this because once upon a time a factory rep from an ammo company claimed they used proprietary powder that was not sold to the public.
Not sure if that's true but he seemed straight up in our conversation.

Last,there must be an art to reloading because on three different occaisions I have been given reloads to try in big bore rifles and all three examples from three different "reloaders" were horrible in the least and one damn near ruined the bolt on my 6mm. rifle as it took a mallet to hammer it open after the shot!!!
Needless to say I am quite wary.

Squeaky Wheel
January 22, 2013, 11:46 PM
Okay,so help me out here guys.
Please spend a considerable amount of time READING and then re-reading on the subject BEFORE you attempt any reloading. The short answer is that there are loading "recipes" that give safe, known loads for different cartridges, bullet types, and powders.

heeler
January 22, 2013, 11:55 PM
I savvy what you are saying Squeaky and have no intentions diving headlong into something that could blind or cripple me by making some stupid juniour high chemistry lab experiments with gun powder.
I just wanted to see what's needed.
I actually know someone who no longer hunts or shoots and he might be willing to part with the equipment.
Not sure how much components have advanced or changed but his reloading stuff is circa late 1970's in age.

Certaindeaf
January 22, 2013, 11:57 PM
Okay,so help me out here guys.
Could you please tell me or show pictures of all the necessary components that are necessary for reloading??.
Primer, powder, payload/bullet, case/shell. If you're loading shotgun, include wads.

heeler
January 23, 2013, 12:06 AM
The actual tooling required to reload is what I meant.

gspn
January 23, 2013, 12:12 AM
The actual tooling required to reload is what I meant.
Read this:

http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-238214.html

There is no "art" to reloading. It's like following a recipe. If you follow the recipe you will get good results.

Some people can't follow recipes and mess things up...and it leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. Don't shoot reloads from people you don't know...and don't shoot reloads from friends who you know can't/won't follow instructions.

Once you are geared up and "learned up" it's very easy and enjoyable.

izhevsk
January 23, 2013, 12:14 AM
I recently purchased the Lee Challenger kit and a Lee's reloading manual from Midway, as well as primer / powder / brass / bullets / and a set of dies from Cabela's. I'm holding off on giving it a go until I can get a digital scale and digital caliper set, however, as I'm a bit wary of actually using that Lee safety scale for measuring powder without a way to double check the measure. The 1/10 grain increments on the scale seem to be a bit difficult to read, and I'd rather be safe than sorry.

thump_rrr
January 23, 2013, 07:05 AM
Are you interested in reloading for pistol, rifle, or both?

This is because reloading for rifle is a little more complex and requires a few more tools and a few more steps.

A rifle cartridge when fired pushes the shoulder forward and the brass flows forward.
This means that the dies will need to be adjusted to push the shoulder back the proper amount for proper headspace. The case will then need to be trimmed if the brass became too long. It won't need trimming every firing but at some time it will.
Also the bullet can be loaded to an infinite number of overall lengths so again being able to measure where the rifling on your firearm begins is another step.

Hornady, Sinclair, and a few others make tools which allow you to measure all these things.
A headspace gauge, a case gauge and a bullet comparator will enable you to do all these tasks and once your dies are set up for the gun and bullet combination of your choice you will not need to use these till you either change bullet profiles or get another rifle to load for.

I don't mind investing in quality tools since they will last me for my entire lifetime and maybe a few more generations to come.

I started gradually on pistol calibers then went on to rifle once I was confident in my abilities.

You can checkout the youtube channel of iraqveteran8888.
He has a bunch of good reloading videos.
Also ultimate reloader is another good site to go see.

bottom shelf
January 23, 2013, 07:22 AM
And what would you say the cost (per round) of reloading is compared to purchasing?

My reloading costs per round are:

9mm = $.13
.38SPL = $.18
.357MAG = $.21
.40S&W = $.17
.44 MAG = $.28
.45ACP = $.20

This is with primers running $32/1000
Powder = $24/pound
Bullets are all FMJ purchased from Montana Gold
Brass is picked up for free.

Westfair
January 23, 2013, 08:25 AM
A tip one of my chemistry teachers taught me is applicable to reloading - NEVER attempt to base measurements on memory, and triple check RELIABLE SOURCES if you are unsure as to the severity of outcome.

Always consult your reloading manual to at least determine a basic load for the brand/type of powder for the caliber & bullet weight you are reloading.

HoosierQ
January 23, 2013, 08:29 AM
A lot of people are not going to reload. There's risk. There's investment of time. There's capital investment. Some people reload some don't.

SharpsDressedMan
January 23, 2013, 08:36 AM
If someone is serious about starting to reload in North Ohio, I would be willing to show them how, and have some extra gear I have acquired that I can part with (press, powder measures, scale). I won't post the stuff for sale until I know that any THR guy near me that takes me up on this offer doesn't want it. Send me a PM if you are interested and can drive to Wadsworth (near Akron).

vito
January 23, 2013, 08:37 AM
I thought the same thing and ordered what I thought I needed to get started. I ordered a Lee Classic Turret press, 2 sets of dies, a tumbler, scale, caliper, kinetic hammer, funnel, reloading book and basic supplies. As soon as I get a chance I will put everything together and then try to get started. I will admit its a bit intimidating, especially in how to set up each die, and to make sure I don't overfill cartridges, but I am excited about getting started. If anyone reading this knows of a link to a good set of basic instructions with step by step information it would increase my confidence factor significantly. But between the ammo shortages that seem to occur every few years, and the high cost of factory ammo, I thought this was a hobby worth getting into. (I also need to find a way to overcome my wife's fear about having one pound containers of gun powder in the house.)

pockets
January 23, 2013, 09:53 AM
Will you learn to reload now?
No, not 'now'. I learned to reload cartridges over 3 decades ago.
Still have some of that unused equipment around somewhere.

These days, I have neither the time nor the inclination to reload. It is not fun to me, nor is it relaxing.

I have a side business from which the 'dollar return on hours invested' earns me far more cash to buy factory ammo, than I could possibly save in home reloading....even if all the components were free (which they are not). All of my guns are purchased with this side-cash also (as was my Jeep and most of my guitars).
Okay, technically speaking I suppose I do 'reload' my flintlocks. ;)
.

UKWildcats
January 23, 2013, 09:59 AM
I made the jump years ago, first to feed my Prairie Dog guns since finding good ammo is expensive and time consuming


PD Ammo -- Varmint Bullets not FMJ -- what I get is cheaper and far more accurate
Hornady 53/55 VMax -- $0.15/each
Primer -- $0.03/each
Powder -- $0.08/load (25 grain)
Case -- essentially free

Total -- $0.26/cartridge that will outshoot most anything on the shelf -- Replace the VMax with a 55 FMJ at about $0.09/each and it brings the cost down to $0.20/cartridge


I have reloaded for 45acp for a while and will continue -- generally 200 gr LSWC over Win 231 -- bullets are generally Missouri Bullets which run about $0.09/bullet -- giving me a estimated cost for each cartridge of $0.15/cartridge.


What I have done is plan to start reloading for 9mm now -- already had the dies and Dillon Conversion kit along with bullets and cases -- will convert Dillon from 223 to 9mm next and pump out 1K rounds.


Ordered yesterday 2k 9mm bullets -- expected delivery in April ? -- 124gr JHP from Precision Delta -- also about $0.09/bullet -- Cartridge cost of about $0.15/cartridge


On a Dillon 550 I can easily do 400 pistol cartridges an hour -- 223 is a little slower but comparible


Reloading is not hard or unsafe as long as you pay attention to the details.


UK

rdhood
January 23, 2013, 10:03 AM
I have been reloading since the very first day of gun ownership. I have shot (maybe) two or three boxes of retail handgun ammo ever. In fact, I originally bought about 10 boxes of .40 for my first handgun. I shot one box, and started reloading. I sold the other 9 boxes off in the last panic in 2009.

Reloading is not hard or unsafe as long as you pay attention to the details.

Yep.

holdencm9
January 23, 2013, 11:32 AM
I decided to get into reloading this past fall/December when I got my first .45 Auto pistol. And I am so glad I did!

I always maintain a decent stash of factory ammunition just in case, for times like these, but it is a very satisfying feeling to crank out a box of ammunition, and I actually enjoy cleaning and sorting the cases, and comforting to know that I have enough components to absorb most mini-crises, although I am already halfway burnt through my pistol powder.

As far as cost and savings, people will say that you won't save any money because you will just shoot more, but I have so far avoided that trap. People also say the main reason to reload is so you can have control over every aspect of your ammunition, which I agree is nice, but I started first and foremost to save money.

My initial purchase was a $240 lee classic turret kit form Kempf gun shop, that included the press, pro auto disk measure, safety prime system, a 4-die carbide set, and some ammo boxes. I highly recommend.

I then had to buy about $100 worth of stuff off Amazon (reloading book, bullet puller, reloading scale, caliper, funnels) and spent about $250 on components at Cabela's (small/large pistol primers, two pounds of powder, about 1000 bullets, and a couple reloading manuals).

So that is about a $590 initial investment, but so far I have already SAVED about $200, without even trying that hard. I could buy cheaper components, or buy in bulk, and save more, but so far I am satisfied. I save about $20 per 100 .45's, and $6 per 100 9mm. That is about what I shoot in any given range trip so I look at it as saving $26 per visit. If I keep going at this rate I will probably get my ROI by about August.

There is probably some risk but not much more than with factory ammo, and with all the great advice here, you can get any questions answered. And it is pretty fun. I won't lie, I probably wouldn't do it if I didn't save SOME money, but to me it is even worth it to reload 9mm where I only save a few bucks each time. Also, I started with handgun rounds (45 and 9mm) but eventually will get into rifle rounds once I have some more experience.

Bigdog57
January 23, 2013, 11:41 AM
I began reloading about twenty years ago, and was taught by a co-worker and shooting buddy. He had a Lee Turret Press and a separate turret for each caliber. I started with just the basics.... .38 Special and .45ACP. Now I am set up to load eighteen different calibers. The turrets make it a 'plug&play' system.
I use two powder measures - one for pistol and one for rifle - minimises the adjustment necessary for the different types. Also two Lee hand primer tools - small and large - again for ease of use and speed in set-up.
I keep a good stock of components, probably having all I need for the rest of my shooting life, but I do restock as I use them, and this served me well during the 2008-2009 period with the last buying spree. Had I not already had my equipment and components, I would not have been able to shoot during that time. Ditto right now - as Yogi said, "It's Deja Vu all over again!"
This is a matter of basic prepping - food, water, ammo, etc. Expecting to always be able to go to Wally's and buy your ammo needs, just doesn't work at times like this. The bullet selections at my favorite online vendors is reduced, but still enough to get started. Brass for most popular calibers is available at your local range - unless they have rules against it - mine does not. I can also convert/reform some popular calibers of brass to others:
.30-06/.270 into 8mm Mauser.
.284Win into 7.5X55 Swiss.
.243Win into .308Win.
.32-20 into 7.72X38R Nagant.
.223Rem into 7.62X25 Tok.
This is the more advance area of reloading, but shows what can be done to ease shortages. Casting our own lead bullets is popular too. I am just getting into this.
The very advanced reloaders can even swage .22LR brass cases into bullet jackets, but this can get expensive for the equipment to do so. I've read of shooting clubs investing in this.

With sufficient knowledge, equipment and funding, we can do most anything the factories can do, on a smaller scale and with better QC. In certain calibers, it can be very cost effective. Not so much in some oddball calibers.
I expect to continue handloading for quite some time to come! The biggest limitation is primers and powder, but there are even alternatives there, if the need arises.

youngda9
January 23, 2013, 12:01 PM
If you cast your own, bullets cost about 2-3 cents each (assuming you pay $1/lb for lead). That will cut your total reloading costs in half.

longknife12
January 23, 2013, 12:07 PM
Back in the 50's, a cop took a 15 year old kid n taught him to shoot and reload....the kid is still doing it.Simple, I've never found any hazard.
Dan
;)

bergmen
January 23, 2013, 12:19 PM
I pack my own parachutes and load my own ammo (except rimfire of course). One round at a time, inspected at each step. Never an issue in more than 20 years of reloading (and 42 years of packing parachutes).

Dan

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