gun show brass/bullets$$$ vs. online brass bullets$$$


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usmc0811
February 13, 2013, 11:22 PM
Hi everyone next month i want to start to reload and am new to all this. My question is is it cheaper to buy bullets, brass, and powder at a local gun show where you will have to add in the cost to drive there and the $10 to get in or online where you will pay for shipping and hazmat for powder. I did do a quick search on here but did not find what i was looking for. So if you have been doing this for some time and have experiance with online and gunshow buying I would like to hear from you. Thanks.

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NWcityguy2
February 13, 2013, 11:41 PM
Online is generally cheap for most people if you are willing to spend a couple hundred dollars at once. For me I drive by a gun shop that sells reloading supplies twice a month and I only have to spend $100 online before the shipping and hazmat pay for themselves.

Somethings are nigh impossible to find right now while others go in and out of stock a couple days a month. What are you looking for specifically?

ColtPythonElite
February 14, 2013, 12:54 AM
Online has always been the best for me.

TooManyToys
February 14, 2013, 02:23 AM
Often times you can snag real good deals on bullets, brass, powder etc. at gun shows from private sellers who just want to get rid of something that is of little or no value to them.

Household auctions are another place to grab some great deals at times.

Reloadron
February 14, 2013, 05:36 AM
Tough question to answer. I buy most of my components online, especially when I see good deals or sales. However, when I go to a good gun show, as I walk the show if I see what I feel is a good deal I buy it. For example if wandering a show and someone has an unopened box of 1,000 CCI small rifle primers on the table for something like $20 they are just looking to get rid of I buy them. May or may not need them at the moment but if the price is right I buy it and save it.

As mentioned, online for powder and primers you want to do large orders so as not to get beat up by HAZMAT charges. Frequently 4 or 5 guys will go in together and make a large order so shipping and HAZMAT doesn't eat the good deals. Large orders often get free shipping also which is nice.

Ron

beatledog7
February 14, 2013, 07:12 AM
I've found some good deals at shows, but I've also been to shows and found nothing I wanted at a price I was willing to pay. If I shop long enough on line, I can usually find a suitable product at a decent price, assuming I really need whatever that is.

Level of effort to acquire and price are the real discriminators between wants and needs.

Walkalong
February 14, 2013, 07:20 AM
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. You really have to shop around these days. Before the internet and especially pre Clinton, the best prices were generally at shows. That is no longer always so.

Searcher4851
February 14, 2013, 09:23 AM
It really depends on your luck at the time. Personally, I enjoy checking everything out at gun shows anyhow, and I always seem to find something at a reasonable price.
Generally, online pricing is cheaper on powder and primers, but depending on your needs, it's hard to find a lot of powders and primers online right now. By the time you add in hazmat fee and shipping, unless you have a large order to average those costs over, you can often end up with a better deal at a local gun shop, or a show. Bullet selection is usually better online if you're looking for something specific.
Basically, most everything is hit or miss at shows, but you can get some good deals. Right now, pretty much everything is hit or miss, even online.
Good luck on your reloading journey, and welcome to The High Road.

usmc0811
February 14, 2013, 09:34 AM
im looking for brass,primers and 40cal. bullets so i can start reloading next month. i will be getting the lee classic turret press kit that comes with most of the stuff to start out with minus the stuff mentioned above. I was going to get the RCBS single stage press but kept changing my mind liike 100 times, i think the lee will save me some money up front so i will be able to buy other accessories like a reloading manual or two. I have been doing alot of reading online watching videos and talking to some friends that reload. All the stuff that I have been reading and the videos online make it seem like the lee press is good to go, cheaper than the RCBS and dillons but still a quality press and should be good for what i want it for which is to make a few hundred rounds each month to shoot at paper.

Searcher4851
February 14, 2013, 10:32 AM
You'll be quite satisfied with the Lee classic cast turret. I use mine regularly. I really like how easy it is to change calibers. I load several different calibers and have a turret with dies all set up for each one that I load.
It's good to have a variety of manuals as each manual will be a little different. Also most of the powder manufacturers have load data for their powders online.

fallout mike
February 14, 2013, 10:43 AM
i think the lee will save me some money up front so i will be able to buy other accessories like a reloading manual. This kinda gives me a bad feeling. How did you expect the to load without a manual?

returningfire
February 14, 2013, 11:43 AM
You can get all the recipes online from the powder manufacturers these days.

A far as where to buy, just familiarize yourself with what prices are online, then go to the gun show and look around. Like some guys have said sometimes you find a deal when someone is just wanting rid of something they don't need, but sometimes you need to keep on walking. If components were plentiful I would wait until just before the shows close on the last day and start making offers. I know I set up at gun-shows to sell, and sometimes I had rather sell at a reduced price or break even price rather than load it up and carry it to the next show months away.

Then if you can't find something at a good deal buy it online. just don't buy anything from people or websites that are price gouging. :mad:

9w1911
February 14, 2013, 12:19 PM
typical gun show pricing around here is 10.00 per 100 once fired 44 mags etc. my guess will be more expensive when I go this saturday. Cant wait to see some 900.00 numbers matching SKS "never fired" with a factory refurb stamp on it LOL

fallout mike
February 14, 2013, 12:32 PM
Returningfire, I know this. But its not a good idea for a new handloader to begin by getting all his load data off the internet. He may start getting bad info from anybody on gun forums and without knowing better lose digits shooting jacked up loads. You need to get it instilled at the beginning to use known sources for your recipes, like from a manual.

returningfire
February 14, 2013, 12:34 PM
Good point.
Is not everything on the internet true? Say it isn't so!

fallout mike
February 14, 2013, 12:47 PM
I like the insurance commercial. " This is my date. He's a french model" . "Uhhh, Bonjour ". I crack up everytime I see it.

tmccray45
February 14, 2013, 12:57 PM
USMC0811: If you are new to the reloading game, I would avoid buying brass from online auction sites or from some unknown guy sitting at a gun show. I know it's hard to believe, but sometimes these guys ain't telling the complete truth.

How do I know this? Well, . . .

When I was new to reloading (and I mean NEW), I made the mistake of "winning" an auction on eBay for 50 pieces of 25-06 brass. The brass was described as being "once fired", and I got it for a song. It was polished to a high shine and looked great!

I used the information from the Hodgdon site and loaded them far from the max load. I proudly chambered my beautiful handloads in my Stevens and let fly. Turns out that the guy from eBay was correct with his description because "once" I had "fired" them, I noticed that the necks were beginning to split. I think I got three reloads out of some of the brass, but that was the maximum.

From that point on, I've purchased unfired brass. Once burned, etc., etc.

dickttx
February 14, 2013, 04:15 PM
I would never go to a gun show EXPECTING to buy anything. You MAY get lucky and find a good deal but you will never fill a shopping list.
Right now no one has much and most prices are pretty high anywhere. I can't believe that gun show vendors would be unaware of this.:D

9w1911
February 14, 2013, 05:41 PM
Buying used brass requires you to pay attention which is what you should be doing anyway always
inspect your brass. One reason why I use hand tools to prep cases and lube cases by hand so each case passes through my hands

DJW
February 14, 2013, 05:54 PM
At this point in time you may have difficulty locating primers. May need to be patient as panic has driven demand through the roof.
As far as powder goes you may have somewhat better luck as there is generally not just one powder that will do the job.
Bullets seem to be generally available but pricey just now.
Good advice is to get a manual and examine the "recommended" powders.
You will need to be patient to assemble all the components necessary. When things (hopefully) settle down and you have saved some money then you can stock up on some components for future use. Gun shows can be fun but make sure you are informed as to online prices and availability before going to the show. Just one hint. Powder Valley Inc. used to ship powder and primers together for one hazmat charge...........see if that is still the case.
Good luck.

tcanthonyii
February 14, 2013, 08:00 PM
Powder locally cheaper unless buying in large bulk. Same with Primers. I don't count the cost of fuel because I just enjoy going to the gun store.

Online for bulk bullets but if you're buying a few hundred or a thousand or two at a time locally can be very competitive. I've only bought powder, primers and bullets from LGS's.

Brass?? I've had great luck at LGS, gun broker online and gun shows. Heck even the local range here sells it very reasonable and not jacked up prices. Check the local salvage yard too. Locally here they'll sell it by the 5 gallon bucket.

I found some OK deals on bullets at a gun show but nothing to write home about. Just a bunch of hornady seconds.

I'm very pro LGS. Not only do they provide jobs but if you build a relationship with them you'll get better deals and special treatment.

usmc0811
February 14, 2013, 09:06 PM
fallout mike what i ment by i think the lee will save me some money up front so i will be able to buy other accessories like a reloading manual. is that it is cheaper than dillon and rcsb presses that i will be able to buy the press and amanual or two at the same time so i will be able to read up and start to reload as soon as i can, rather than buying an expensive press and not have any money left over to buy the other accesories till later.

usmc0811
February 14, 2013, 09:10 PM
yeah I will be getting all my info for loads from a manual not online, I want to take baby steps and check everything over and over again, want to keep all my fingers.

fallout mike
February 14, 2013, 09:44 PM
I hear some people on other forums talking about getting into loading and from what they are saying I am scared for whoever is around when they are loading or shooting their loads. I was just making sure. I have several pieces of lee equipment that I like better than RCBS equipment that I have. Its made cheaper but is more user friendly.

MikeS.
February 14, 2013, 10:23 PM
I buy used brass at gun shows and have had good luck doing so. Last year I picked up 1k of 45 acp for 15 bucks.

OP where are you? Some of the members might be able to help you out with components.

9w1911
February 15, 2013, 12:48 AM
1k of 45 acp for 15 bucks.
--well done sir!!

tcanthonyii
February 15, 2013, 08:29 AM
I thought I was doing good with the 500 I bought last week for 25 bucks. Let me know where I can get those deals!!

BullfrogKen
February 15, 2013, 01:46 PM
Hi everyone next month i want to start to reload and am new to all this. My question is is it cheaper to buy bullets, brass, and powder at a local gun show where you will have to add in the cost to drive there and the $10 to get in or online where you will pay for shipping and hazmat for powder. I did do a quick search on here but did not find what i was looking for. So if you have been doing this for some time and have experiance with online and gunshow buying I would like to hear from you. Thanks.

You must have picked one of the worst time to get into reloading I've seen in my lifetime.

It's not a matter of what option is cheaper right now, it's a matter of who has anything in stock.

I don't go to gun shows hunting for components anymore. Used to be a time that was the place to go to find something for a good price. Not anymore, hasn't been that way for me for maybe a decade.

I go to a local shop to get most of mine. Its not a national chain or anything just a mom & pop, but they have a huge reloading section. Great prices, usually in stock, and it's just a place I want to support.

I've gone on-line to order powder & primers when I was arranging a group deal for the local club. It didn't pay until I ordered the 48 lb minimum to get free shipping.


For you, a new guy, it will definitely cost more if you just go buy 4 or 5 lbs of powder and a few thousand primers. Get in on a big order with some friends? Yup, that's a great way to get some components.

You might have to do it anyway. Not knowing where you live, or the how well the FFLs close to you support reloading, it might be your only option until the environment calms down.


Semper Fi!

HighExpert
February 15, 2013, 06:03 PM
Where are you at USMC0811? If you are anywhere close to Norfolk, VA, you might look up Mac's Reloading. He has lots of once fired as well as bullets and is trustworthy. I have dealt with him an numerous occasions and have nothing but good to say.

Sniper66
February 15, 2013, 07:56 PM
The answer to your question is, it depends. You picked a bad time to start reloading. Components are very hard to come by. So, you might just have to pay for whatever is available. I'm fairly new to reloading, only been at it for the last 4-5 years. The availability and price of components has changed dramatically since I started. Since Obama took office and I anticipated something like this panic, bought supplies when I could find them for a reasonable price. Lately I have had to pay the asking price, not much shopping. I buy from a local guy who sells for wholesale, but his selections are limited. I buy from Cabela's in KC; they used to offer bargains periodically, but now they are out of almost everything. And I have ordered some from various outlets. In a nutshell, buy 'em when you find 'em.

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