Why Do People Reload When ...


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Satasaurus
April 1, 2013, 09:47 PM
It looks like it only costs a few dollars less per box? Unless I'm missing something. I just looked online and, even though it's all sold out, I'm seeing that per 100 rounds of .38 Special it will cost roughly:

1. Primers - $3/100

2. Brass - $20/100

3. Powder - $1.25/100

4. Bullets - $10/100

That comes out to $34.25/100 rounds which is right around what factory ammo costs. I don't know much about reloading, but I'm pretty sure you can use brass more then once. How many times can you use it? If you used it twice then it would only be $24.25 which is a lot better. I don't know how much money casting bullets saves, but unless it's significant savings I'd rather not do that. If anyone could elaborate I would appreciate it.

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climbnjump
April 1, 2013, 09:48 PM
Because it's fun!

foxs
April 1, 2013, 09:49 PM
satisfaction, better accuracy.

Gaucho Gringo
April 1, 2013, 09:54 PM
Once you have the brass it can be reloaded many times. So you deduct your cost of brass and the cost for reloading 100 rounds drops to less than $15.00 or 15 cents a round.

mokin
April 1, 2013, 09:58 PM
I enjoy it. From a little more practical standpoint, I can load a higher quality round for the same money I can buy blasting ammunition. This of course completely discounts the cost of my personal time.

silicosys4
April 1, 2013, 09:59 PM
Cut the cost of brass after the first reload, and bullets if you cast, and that's where I'm at. $5/100 total sound better? .38spcl brass can be reloaded 20+ times if you shoot nothing but wad cutters at low velocity. I have cases with 5+ reloads on them that look like new after being cleaned.

Lead for casting is cheap to free. At $1/lb, I get 40 or so bullets, so $2.50/100 or so if you can't scrounge it, which many people can.

Your brass costs are closer to $5/100, and you can buy cast bullets for much cheaper than you've budgeted, closer to $6.50-$7/100.

That's all if you buy in bulk, which from what I've gathered, is what most reloaders do when it comes to plinking ammo.

For SD ammo I do buy quality bullets though, and Speer gold dot bullets are spendy for sure.

OH_Spartan
April 1, 2013, 10:00 PM
You can reuse brass....20 per 100 gets you 1000+ rounds. Now you are at $16.25 per 100. A lot of pistol brass can be had for less than $50 per 1000.


But there's also the thing about tailoring a recipe for my gun, making a round my wife can shoot without hurting her wrists, making use of the time I spend watching football, etc

rcmodel
April 1, 2013, 10:01 PM
You made a big mistake and figured the cost of the brass every shot.

Bottom line so far is, Brass lasts forever in revolver calibers.
Almost forever in auto pistols until you lose it in the weeds.

And you did the math on one of the least expensive factory calibers there is in the .38 Spl.

Do the math on .454 Casual, .44 Magnum, .45 ACP, or 32-20 WCF and get back to us on your math!

PS: Don't do the math on common calibers like .38 Spl or 9mm Luger.

rc

Tomcat47
April 1, 2013, 10:03 PM
Because it is fun as stated above and if availability continues to be a problem.....


Knowledge is Power!............:D

DC Plumber
April 1, 2013, 10:04 PM
My 38 specials cost me:

158g LSWC $0.08 each (that's a purchased bullet, not cast myself)

Primer $0.03 each

Powder $0.01 per round (3.1g of 231 at $20 per pound, 2200 rounds per pound)

Brass $0 Once you buy them, they last nearly forever.

total $0.12 each

Granted, these are plinker loads, but no where near $0.35 each. Basically your brass and powder numbers are ruining the total.

Jim Watson
April 1, 2013, 10:06 PM
And there is the matter of specific loads.
Tell me where to buy midrange wad cutters for $34 a hundred.

DC Plumber
April 1, 2013, 10:09 PM
Wow, 17 minutes for 10 replies. Sorry to jump on you, we're just trying to help. Reloading is a great way to shoot more for the same $$. And like RC said, do the math on expensive ammo.

My 458winmag cost $105.00 for 20 rounds. I can reload the exact same bullet in my own brass for less than $2.00 per round, way cheaper if if I use lead for practicing.

There's a reason so many people are doing it.

wproct
April 1, 2013, 10:18 PM
It's a personal choice. I've always reloaded my 38 spl target loads, but I buy my centerfire rifle cartridges factory loaded as I don't shoot enough. Reloading is relaxing. Oh, also my first posting. I have enjoyed reading.

Satasaurus
April 1, 2013, 10:19 PM
Ahh, okay now it makes sense. Dang, I should have gotten all the stuff when I had the chance. At those prices I would be at the range all day. Screw $17 for a box of 50(before the crisis...). Does anybody know offhand what 44 Magnum costs to reload? Since everything is sold out I'm pretty much doing educated guesses.

rcmodel
April 1, 2013, 10:32 PM
10-20 years ago, if you cast your own bullets from free lead wheel-weights?

It used to be about the same or cheaper then shooting a .22 RF at todays prices.

When I started reloading lead was free, bullet lube was .50 cents a stick, primers were .01 cents ea, and a pound of powder came in a paper sack for a buck ninety eight.

After this years craziness??

Who knows what reloading components, or loaded ammo will cost then??

PS: Here is what good cast lead .44 Magnum bullets cost.
A little less then a Penny a shot.
http://www.missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=103&category=5&secondary=12&keywords=
What powder & primers will cost is at best a guess at this point in time.


rc

BYJO4
April 1, 2013, 10:32 PM
Cost of reloading will vary depending on where and in what volume you buy componets. First, I reload my cases a minimum of 20 times and I normally get my brass free from other shooters who don't want to reload and gladly give it to me. $3 per 100 is about right for primers, $7 per 100 for cast bullets, and $1.25 for powder per 100 rounds. This give me a cost of $11.25 per 100 for 38 or 357 Mag.

Valkman
April 1, 2013, 10:33 PM
For the big calibers it really adds up. I load 454 Casull and 44 Mag and haven't bought any factory rounds in a while but I know I'm saving a ton besides loading them however strong I feel like.

Clippers
April 1, 2013, 10:40 PM
Before reloading, I shot occasionally. Now I shoot more than I ever could have imagined. At work people tell me how they can't find ammo, and that they don't want to shoot up what ammo they have. I tell them that through this whole ammo crunch, I've been shooting a hundred or so rounds every weekend and when the weather permits, I shoot a few rounds while I'm home for lunch. Its been great! I can't imagine owning a revolver and not reloading for it now.

Satasaurus
April 1, 2013, 10:57 PM
Before reloading, I shot occasionally. Now I shoot more than I ever could have imagined. At work people tell me how they can't find ammo, and that they don't want to shoot up what ammo they have. I tell them that through this whole ammo crunch, I've been shooting a hundred or so rounds every weekend and when the weather permits, I shoot a few rounds while I'm home for lunch. Its been great! I can't imagine owning a revolver and not reloading for it now.
Man, I can't wait until the prices go back down(I HOPE). I'm immediately getting all the stuff to reload. Another thing I was concerned about though is I've heard of sizing and someone mentioned the bullet lube, and crimping. Do I need to do all that stuff just for target ammo? What's mandatory and what's not?

silicosys4
April 1, 2013, 11:03 PM
For sizing, I would recommend lee push through sizing dies, and liquid Alex lube. Much cheaper than a dedicated lumber/sizer, and it works great for me, all the way up to .44 magnum at magnum velocities. I used bullets cast as dropped from a lee tumble lube mold, but they weren't reliable out of a semi, and weren't able to chamber in some of my revolvers, both of which were solved with sizing.

The FIRST thing you should do is buy a good reloading manual, read it, then decide what equipment you'll need, and what your options are.

I load 44 mag full house hunting loads for $8-$12/100.

Clippers
April 1, 2013, 11:06 PM
A good place to start is by watching Youtube videos and reading reloading manuels. It becomes a very exciting hobby. You'll absolutely shoot your loaded ammo just so you can load more. Do your research on presses and and/or kits along with all the reloading components so when things start to become available you'll be ready.

Mat, not doormat
April 1, 2013, 11:12 PM
My .38 Spl loads are about $0.11/ round. Also, I get to load exactly what I want, that is, a 125 grain lead bullet at 700 fps. Perfect for cowboy. The brass is generally good for 7-12 loadings, depending on quality, and whether it was nickle plated.

marv
April 1, 2013, 11:14 PM
I can make light pissant loads so that practice becomes fun instead of punishment.

35 Whelen
April 1, 2013, 11:23 PM
Man, I can't wait until the prices go back down(I HOPE). I'm immediately getting all the stuff to reload. Another thing I was concerned about though is I've heard of sizing and someone mentioned the bullet lube, and crimping. Do I need to do all that stuff just for target ammo? What's mandatory and what's not?
What's MANDATORY is buying a good reloading manual before you spend one red cent on equipment or components. I'm not alone in recommending the Lyman 49th Edition.

My son came to the house yesterday to shoot his RIA 45. He was commenting on how expensive ammo is. I did a quick calculation and figure it cost about $2.00 for me to load a box of 50 ea. 45 ACP's with my cast 200 gr. SWC's. My lead has been free, but I did buy almost 450 lbs. last Saturday. Even at the price I had to pay, a cast bullet will cost me about 1, (Actually closer to 1/2 if you figure the 500 bs or so sitting around that I got for free) so I guess a box of 45's would be closer to $2.50 per 50.

35W

rcmodel
April 1, 2013, 11:26 PM
A good place to start is by watching Youtube videosBeware about that.

I've noticed a very high incidence / percentage of Morons on YouTube where it comes to all things gun related.

rc

wlewisiii
April 1, 2013, 11:39 PM
My .45 Colt costs me $7 to reload or $30 from the factory for 50 rounds. I'll make that significantly cheaper still once I start casting. .38 isn't quite so dramatic but sufficient. But it's my rifle loads where reloading really shines especially for my Arisaka where the only factory loads are $40 for 20.

I could not afford to shoot if I did not reload.

Lost Sheep
April 1, 2013, 11:57 PM
Ahh, okay now it makes sense. Dang, I should have gotten all the stuff when I had the chance. At those prices I would be at the range all day. Screw $17 for a box of 50(before the crisis...). Does anybody know offhand what 44 Magnum costs to reload? Since everything is sold out I'm pretty much doing educated guesses.
To answer your specific question, there are many, many calculators on the internet that will answer you question, based on the cost of supplies where you are. Supplies in my town tend to be more expensive because of the shipping.

Here's one.

http://www.handloads.com/calc/loadingCosts.asp

But your original post asked a more general question.

Here's one man's take on it:

The fish I catch might cost more than the fish I buy;
The veggies I grow might cost more than the those I buy;
The ammunition I shoot might cost more than retail;
Why do I fish, garden and handload?
If you have to ask why, you probably won't understand; these activities enrich my life.

Actually, to tell the truth, I do calculate the cost of my ammunition, fish and zuccini. I even include the dollar value of my time.

Here is an essay I wrote enumerating some of the reasons:

Why reload?

Let me count the ways:

Economy: Depending on what cartridges you are reloading (and whether or not you want to count your time and the up-front equipment costs) you can save anywhere from just a little to 80% or more of your ammo costs. (9mm is very close to no savings. 500 S&W, my friend's ammo costs are $0.75 per round, factory loaded ammo is $3.00 each for comparable ammo. More exotic calibers (especially rifle calibers) can save even more. Some rounds are not even available on a regular basis at any price.

Quality: Ammo you craft yourself can be tuned to your firearms particular characteristics. Handloaders for rifles quite often find some individual guns have quite striking differences in group size when shooting tuned ammunition.

Knowledge: As you study reloading, you will, perforce, also study internal ballistics. The study of internal ballistics leads into the study of how your firearm works.

Customization: Ammo you load yourself can be tuned to your particular needs. My friend with the 500 S&W loads full power loads and "powder puff" loads that clock 350 grain slugs a little under 800 feet per second. I know that's more than a G.I. 45 ACP's power and momentum, but they shoot like 22 rimfire in that big, heavy gun. Great for fun, familiarization, training and letting the curious bystander go for a "test drive" with a super-light load, a medium load, a heavy load and, if they are still game one of the big boomers. This tends to avoid the "rear sight in the forehead" mark.

Satisfaction: Punching small bunches of small, medium or large holes in paper or bringing down a game or food animal with ammunition you crafted yourself has a good deal of satisfaction. Same reason I prefer to make my own biscuits instead of store-bought.

Smug satisfaction: When the ammo shelves are bare during a market or political scare, loaders are demonstrably less affected by the shortages. A couple of pounds of powder, a thousand primers and bullets (or few pounds of lead) and a hundred cartridge cases wouldn't fill a small book carton, but lets the loader know he can shoot while price-gougers take advantage of non-loaders.

Self-satisfaction: The repetitive, calm, attentive concentration of the reloading activities is often found to be so much fun as to bring to the shooter's mind the question, "Do I reload so I can shoot shoot or do I shoot so I can reload?". Some find loading to be as satisfying a hobby as shooting or fly-tying or many other hobbies.

The more fanatical among us combine a couple of the features I have mentioned and, instead of shooting for bullseye accuracy at the range, reload in a search for the "magic load" that achieves perfection in a given rifle. Then, they move on to the next target, which is another rifle and another tuned load. But you do have to be at least a little fanatical to even get it. It is the hunt they seek, for they enjoy the quest more than the goal.



Lost Sheep

Lost Sheep
April 2, 2013, 12:03 AM
Man, I can't wait until the prices go back down(I HOPE). I'm immediately getting all the stuff to reload. Another thing I was concerned about though is I've heard of sizing and someone mentioned the bullet lube, and crimping. Do I need to do all that stuff just for target ammo? What's mandatory and what's not?
Again, thanks for asking our advice. Don't get too far ahead of yourself. Reloading isn't rocket science, but it does involve flame and smoke and things that go very fast. Caution is to be observed. Still, if you can change a tire without losing your lug nuts and back a cake that rises properly, you can reload safely and with high quality.

Aside from eye protection and manuals, you only need three things (physically) to load good ammo. (Of course, you would be severely limited in some ways, but capable of producing one round at a time, but safely.)

Press because fingers are not strong enough to form metal
Dies because fingers are not accurate enough to form metal to SAAMI specs
Scale (or calibrated dippers) because eyeballs are not accurate enough to measure out gunpowder.

A set of calipers would be a good idea, too, just to verify dimensions.

Everything else can be done without, substituted for or improvised until you can afford to buy good, quality gear.

But it is more efficient and cost effective to get equipment that fits your needs in the near future.

But the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING is knowledge!!!!!!!!

Get a couple of loading manuals from your local library and read the early chapters. It does not matter how old they are, the steps of loading have not changed much in the past 150 years and you will see how it is done and what equipment is needed.

We could target our advice better if you shared some information about yourself: (What I use has no relevance to you if our needs are not similar.)

What calibers will you be reloading?

What quantities will you be reloading for those calibers?

How much time will you be willing to devote to those quantities

What is your budget?

Will you be putting your gear away after each session or leave it set up permanently?

How much space will you devote permanently to a loading area, if any?

Do you want it to be portable?

What are your shooting goals? Cheap ammo? Ultimate long-range accuracy? Casual plinking, Serious competition - what kind? Cowboy Action Shooting? Strictly hunting?

Lost Sheep

Inebriated
April 2, 2013, 12:47 AM
I reload because I can buy thousands of components, and guarantee that I'll have ammo when I want it. But my .45 ACP loads are coming in pretty well under factory prices.

ArchAngelCD
April 2, 2013, 01:00 AM
Does anybody know offhand what 44 Magnum costs to reload? Since everything is sold out I'm pretty much doing educated guesses.
At current component prices (current just before the "shortage" that is) The price for loading 50 rounds of 240gr LSWC .44 Magnum rounds is exactly $8.36. That's a far cry from the cost of factory ammo when it was available. Cowboy .44 Magnums are $43/50 rounds from Ten-X and $32/50 rounds from Ultramax, that's a lot more than the price of the handloads.

Add to that you can customize your ammo for anything you want to do, it's a great hobby.

Buck13
April 2, 2013, 01:21 AM
I started because I have a 96-year-old revolver in .32-20 and there is a nice indoor range nearby that only allows copper jacketed or plated bullets. I've seen JHP ammo in that caliber on a website, but it is never in stock. Lead factory ammo is 60 cents a round for muzzle energy that can be bettered by a hot .22LR. I can reload plated bullets in .32-20 for 20 cents a round and comply with the range rules.

Now that I have the tools, I can load my 10 mm brass down to wimpy stuff that feels like a .380, or for 33 cents up to hairy monsters that come close to Buffalo Bore's $1.50 a pop goodies.

It's not JUST the price. You can make things you want that you can't buy because no one manufactures them in mass quantities. Just like home-brewed beer: I can't make an IPA as good as I can buy, but I can make a good peach mild ale, or a ginger-and-chile-pepper-spiced red ale. Those are not availble commercially at any price.

ArchAngelCD
April 2, 2013, 01:51 AM
or a ginger-and-chile-pepper-spiced red ale. Those are not availble commercially at any price.
I know you are using that as an example but that sounds REALLY good. I do like spicy foods and drink!

PabloJ
April 2, 2013, 01:54 AM
Because it's fun!
In terms of fun it's right up there with the sport of curling. Oh yeh!

evan price
April 2, 2013, 03:06 AM
I got into reloading so I would save money and still be able to shoot in case of supply disruptions...like now.

I shoot any nonmagnum pistol caliber for under five cents a shot. Most magnums are only a couple cents more. I load rifle for less than a third the cost of storebought. Plus I can make exactly what I want.

ObsidianOne
April 2, 2013, 03:48 AM
As others have stated, there's more reasons than just savings that reloading offers. Examples include entertainment (I personally spend more time scavenging for brass and reloading than I do shooting!), creating more accurate (factory ammo doesn't perform the best for every gun, with reloading, you can fine tune your loads to your gun so that it is more accurate and/or powerful) ammo, getting higher quality ammo, often for less than the price of plinking ammo, and most of all, being able to afford to shoot more.

I'll give you a break down for example, as I have a caliber that is very 'odd-ball', if you will. 41 Remington Magnum.

You'll see it average over $1 per round (pre-scare price) in factory ammo, however, look below:

Alliant 2400 - $32.00/lb. (17.5 grains per round)
CCI Large Pistol Primers - $39.99/1000
Hornady XTP 210 gr - $25.99/100
Starline 41 Magnum Brass $21.99/100
Reload about 7 times per piece of brass

Now, these are all prices that I've paid recently, unfortunately I didn't reload this caliber before all the madness hit, so these prices are mostly over what they normally were.

As you can see, that's cranking out a round for .41 cents a round! A box of 50 rounds would cost me about $21.00, whereas normally you could buy a box of factory rounds for ~$35 for 20 rounds.

I also reload for 9mm Luger and the savings, even then, are very good.

Deer_Freak
April 2, 2013, 05:10 AM
Any reloading handbook you buy the first sentence in the book is don't expect to save a lot of money reloading. You might save a little more by reloading with the ammo shortage. Another thing you are going to run into is the selection of bullets. Even when supplies are plentiful you can't find JSP bullets for a 357 or a 44. You can cast bullets but to get cheap factory ammo velocity you need a gas check. People say they can reload ammo for $4 a box but unless they are reloading for a 25 auto they have a $4 box of ammo.

ObsidianOne
April 2, 2013, 05:21 AM
Any reloading handbook you buy the first sentence in the book is don't expect to save a lot of money reloading. You might save a little more by reloading with the ammo shortage. Another thing you are going to run into is the selection of bullets. Even when supplies are plentiful you can't find JSP bullets for a 357 or a 44. You can cast bullets but to get cheap factory ammo velocity you need a gas check. People say they can reload ammo for $4 a box but unless they are reloading for a 25 auto they have a $4 box of ammo.

False. Lots of savings can be had, the problem is that you won't SPEND less, just be able to shoot more.

Pre-scare I was reloading 9mm for .13 per round, under $7 a box of 50. Factor in how much I'd shoot, probably around 400 rounds a month, $11 a box. That's almost $90. Reloading 9mm came out to be around $53 for 400 rounds. Please tell me how I'm not paying less for ammo.

I've seen plenty of JSP .357 or .44 prior to the scare on the shelves of my local store.

To my knowledge (I'm sure there are more, I'm just not aware of them) the only caliber that there aren't savings to be had with is 7.62x39, and that is due (again, to my knowledge) to most brass being expensive and uncommon for the caliber. In addition the more common guns that shoot it (AK variants and the SKS) ding the brass pretty bad upon extraction.

Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk 2

JohnM
April 2, 2013, 07:41 AM
I don't know much about reloading

There ya go!

GP100man
April 2, 2013, 08:12 AM
First let`s ask how much do you shoot ?? & what ???

If it`s a few 100 a yr. then investing in a good reloading outfit has probably promted this thread ,but if it`s a few 1000 a year then it`ll pay off in the long run.

I started to feed a 44mag then added calibers since I had the equipment , then added casting as components became more expensive thus allowing me to maintain my shooting quota persay with out investing $$$ in factory fodder.

Been doing it since `83 & never regretted a dime spent on equipment or components .

I`m in the 3-4,000 rounds/yr. shooter since giving up any type of competition.
But when competing I shot 3-4,000/month counting practice.

So ya can see if ya can save $.02-.05 per round it`ll add up qwik.

highlander 5
April 2, 2013, 08:46 AM
If you want to see a real savings wait till you start loading rifle calibers such as 45/70.
Factory 45/70 ammo is some where around $50 a box of 20,I can load that same box of 20 for around $6 using my own 500 gr cast bullets. Years ago a writer for Guns and Ammo was curious as to how may times he could reload a 38 special case. He used what is considered a standard load 144 gr wadcutter behind 3.5 gr of Bullseye and a standard primer. The brass case finally failed at 156 reloads. So how much does a 38 case cost now a days 5 maybe 10 cents? Now do you see the cost savings of reloading?

Certaindeaf
April 2, 2013, 09:07 AM
With cast bullets, my 30-06 reloads cost about as much as my 9mm reloads.. with thumpers, full power rifle powder with paper patched lead slugs, the powder differential is the main difference.. as little as four cents a shot.

4season
April 2, 2013, 09:30 AM
Like the others have said, if you figure cost for one load on a common caliber then you wont save money. But you can customize your loads for your gun even if it something common like a 38. But I never got into reloading for the savings. My first deer rifle was a 260 rem. There were only a few factory loads out there for it and my rifle didn't like any of them. Within a couple of weeks from getting my reloading equipment my groups went from 6-8 inch to .75-1.5 inch. Now most guns won't show that kind of improvement but it was sure worth my time for this gun. Every gun that I have ever worked up a load for has cut it's group size in half. That includes common handgun calibers.

EMC45
April 2, 2013, 10:13 AM
I can reload (With my cast bullets) .38 Special for about $2 a box of 50. .32 S&W-L less than that. I can reload cheaper than I can shoot rimfire .22LR. I don't factory in the cost of brass in most instances due to the fact once any of my friends find out I reload they save all their brass for me or I pick it up off the ground at the range.

AethelstanAegen
April 2, 2013, 10:27 AM
I've started handloading .45 Colt and 12ga. At this point, I'm reloading .45 Colt at well under half the cost of factory ammo and that's without casting my own bullets and with using blackpowder (generally more expensive than going the smokeless route since you use more of it). The 12ga is certainly also cheaper but I started reloading since my Winchester 1897 has 2 5/8" chambers and thus the modern factory stuff is too long (so a win-win for me to reload). One day I'll get a press and start loading for my other calibers but I've been having fun starting with the Lee Classic Loader die set you use with a hammer. It's been working really well so far.

mljdeckard
April 2, 2013, 10:49 AM
There is USUALLY a cost advantage for most kinds of reloading. But that's not really why we do it.

First of all, you can have a degree of precision and versatility reloading that you don't get with factory loads in most cartridges.

Second, it gives you a more global understanding of shooting and firearms in general. If you don't reload, ammo is that other side of the fence you never look over, someone else's problem. If you DO reload, you own more of your own operation.

Jimfern
April 2, 2013, 10:51 AM
Reload to save money? Look at it this way, the fish people catch and the deer/elk people hunt cost quite a bit more per pound than fish or steak do at the store once you consider all they bought to be properly outfitted for those endeavors. Do you ever hear them complain about it?

mljdeckard
April 2, 2013, 10:54 AM
Here's an example of the fun you can have. I don't take the boys out right now because I'm hoarding .22. But I was finishing off belling 1000 .45 cases I bought online last night, and my 7 year-old wanted to help. So I let him set the cases in the shell holder in the hand press while I ran them through, we made a game of it, going through the last few hundred that way. It was a way to involve him in the process and get him interested at a young age.

SharpsDressedMan
April 2, 2013, 04:41 PM
RCModel, I believe that would be just under 10 cents apiece for those bullets. :)

kBob
April 2, 2013, 08:57 PM
I started reloading when I was a younger fellow making a nickel over minimum wage and hour. I started with an old Lee Loader and a plastic mallet.

I once figured that even buying someone elses .45 bullets that by the time I had loaded my first one hundred brass three times I had paid for the tool.

When someone else found out I was hammering away at the Lee Loader they gave me a Lyman C press and things got "better"

A buddy that was a security guard when he started would pick up brass on the range on days he volunteered as a range officer and swap and trade for the brass he wanted. He went with a Lee of a later design sort of a nut cracker affair and would do ammo in stages as in one night while watching the idiot tube he might size a paint can full of .45 ACP brass or .38 Special or .357 mag and on a different night he might prime a few hundred etc etc.

For a bit two buddies and I did what we called a "regressive loader" this was a fun poke at the Progressive loaders at the time. We would set up three C type tools on a table and set each up for a different operation. The guy on the left would start de priming and sizing, next guy belled and primed, third guy threw powder seated bullet and crimped, we kept a 1921 over stamp Thompson fed doing that one summer. Still took a lot longer to load the brass than to "unload" it with the Thompson though.......

Neatest reloading "trick" I was aware of was a college shooting club that had members contribute to the purchase of a progressive loader by pitching in the money AND time to load ammo using bulk components also purchased with group money. I understand everyone had their money back in savings by the end of two semesters and a pile of their own reloads, and the club had the machine, actually eventually three set up for different calibers. Yep, no savings there......

-kBob

gspn
April 2, 2013, 09:06 PM
Beware about that.

I've noticed a very high incidence / percentage of Morons on YouTube where it comes to all things gun related.

rc

Yep...the same folks who populate the "comments" section on the interwebz can also post anything they want on Youtube.

I'd start with a few good books to build a solid foundation of knowledge. Once you have that you'll have enough knowledge to begin smelling BS even on the internet.

There are some great videos out there...but without a working knowledge to begin with you won't be able to separate the good from the bad.

The ABC's of Reloading by Rodney James is a great place to start. Good luck...and welcome to a rewarding hobby that can offer as much knowledge as you want to learn.

rrothgeb
April 2, 2013, 09:24 PM
1. becasue you can save 50-70% on each round your shoot, but you shoot up the savings.
2. once you start, Your free from what every the FED does to ammo.
3. When the ammo stops being made, you can make your own.
4. redo you math

jmr40
April 2, 2013, 10:09 PM
It is not worth my time for handgun rounds. Yea, I could save a few bucks, but my time is worth something. If I were paying myself minimum wages the cost of handloading most handgun rounds would be 2X-3X more expensive than buying it. For all of my handgun and 223 rounds I can buy them cheap enough that it is not worth my time. I do save my brass, and can sell it for enough to offset the cost of new ammo even more.

I do reload for my centerfire hunting and target rifles. There isn't enough difference in the accuracy between any handgun rounds, shot at typical handgun ranges to matter. But I can improve both the accuracy and velocity of my rifle handloads considerably over even premium ammo. Cheap 30-06 or 308 ammo runs about $20/box of 20 The premium ammo, loaded with premium bullets runs $40-$60/box of 20. I can load premium bullets, get 50-100 fps more velocity, and much better accuracy with my handloads.

It is worth my time for that.

exbrit49
April 2, 2013, 10:21 PM
This last weekend, knowing that my component costs have increased. I set up an excel program and ran a costing analysis on my reloads.
These are real numbers based on the latest prices at my LGS

Reloading costs exclude the brass costs for two reasons. Much of my brass is range pick up or purchased used at low cost. In addition straight walled pisto cases last almost forever. (some of my cases have exceed 30 loadings!

anyway, here's my costs to load a box of 50 rounds: Note: all handgun loads are hard cast.
45 Colt $7.65
45 ACP $7.10
38spl $5.50
9mm $5.50
.357 Mag $11.22

30/30 $7.10 per 20 rounds

These are not all of the calibers I reload but I think it does show why it I reload.
Roger

Deaf Smith
April 2, 2013, 10:29 PM
You guys need to price ammo today?

I reload mainly 9mm, .40 S&W, .38 Spl, .357 Magnum, .44 magnum, and .45 ACP. Normally I use Unique powder (in 8 lb canister) and lead slugs (including Moly coated) slugs.

I also reload .22 Hornet, .223, .270 WSM, 30/30, and .308. Varget is used in them all and I buy it in bulk. Same for the slugs to.

And I have plenty of primers so about the only ammo I buy in the store is .22 lr.

Yes it cuts cost and I can pump out 30 to 50 rounds in 15 min and go back to watching TV. By the end of the week I have over 100+ rounds of whatever handgun ammo I wanted to shoot. Same for rifle.

See the shortage has not hurt me. I don't waste ammo when I practice but I do practice well and often.

Deaf

Certaindeaf
April 2, 2013, 10:33 PM
It is not worth my time for handgun rounds..
Any "round" can be shot out of a "handgun". what are you talking about or are you just bragging in some fashion?

MCgunner
April 2, 2013, 10:40 PM
If you cast, bullets are significantly less. I used to get free lead, but must buy it now as I don't belong to that gun club anymore, moved. 2.7 grains Bulsseye per shot (wadcutter loads) goes a LONG way. Brass, well, I've been using the same .38 brass for over 30 years, never seems to wear out with .38 pressures. Nickeled will crack after some time, but standard brass seems to hold up forever.

Others have hit on other reasons. I like always having the optimum load for my weapons that my weapons are sighted in for and that hit POA in those guns. I make loads that I cannot buy, too, specialty loads for certain guns like a .357 magnum load with Lil' Gun that equals Buffalo Bore that costs a HELL of a lot more than my reloads. I also have a light .38 load, 105 cast SWC from a lee mold over 2.3 grains Bullseye that clocks 900 fps out of my 20" lever action carbine and mimics .22 rimfire pretty well. It shoots 1.5" at 50 yards and allows me to take squirrel to that range. I plink with that one a lot since I haven't been able to buy .22LR for a while.

And, yeah, it's fun. :D

Certaindeaf
April 2, 2013, 10:46 PM
I use those 105's out of a 9 and they hit harder than a .22 rimfire, that's for sure.

Lost Sheep
April 2, 2013, 11:11 PM
It is not worth my time for handgun rounds. Yea, I could save a few bucks, but my time is worth something. If I were paying myself minimum wages the cost of handloading most handgun rounds would be 2X-3X more expensive than buying it. For all of my handgun and 223 rounds I can buy them cheap enough that it is not worth my time. I do save my brass, and can sell it for enough to offset the cost of new ammo even more.

I do reload for my centerfire hunting and target rifles. There isn't enough difference in the accuracy between any handgun rounds, shot at typical handgun ranges to matter. But I can improve both the accuracy and velocity of my rifle handloads considerably over even premium ammo. Cheap 30-06 or 308 ammo runs about $20/box of 20 The premium ammo, loaded with premium bullets runs $40-$60/box of 20. I can load premium bullets, get 50-100 fps more velocity, and much better accuracy with my handloads.

It is worth my time for that.
If all you shoot in handgun ammunition is 9mm, yes, you probably do not save any money. But my friend shoots 500 Smith and saves 75%. And his ammo is probably better quality than the $3.00 each retail priced stuff.

My 454 Casull and 45 Colt is considerably less costly than store-bought ammo, too.

On the other hand, a few years ago I bought a BUNCH of 45 ACP (UMC label from Wal-Mart) when it was on sale for LESS than I could have bought brass, bullets, primers and powder. Go figure. I bought all I could afford. Not hoarding, just bargain-hunting. I sure am glad I did. But I digress.

Your post SEEMED dismissive of handgun cartridge loaders. (Post 55). I am sure it was not intended to be.

Thanks for contributing.

Lost Sheep

Arkansas Paul
April 2, 2013, 11:11 PM
I'm loading 1k .38 specials for around $55 and that's at todays component prices and $40 a bucket for wheel weights.
You don't count brass. With standard loads in .38 special it lasts nearly forever. I read about a test a gunwriter conducted where he loaded the same piece of brass until it split. It split on the 158th loading. Now I don't reckon it will all last that long, but that's downright impressive.

Does anybody know offhand what 44 Magnum costs to reload?

I don't load .44 mag but I do load .45 Colt and it will cost about the same. The .44 may cost a touch more due to increased powder charge, but not much. I'm loading 1k rounds for about $60-$65. That's with my own cast bullets.

Lost Sheep
April 2, 2013, 11:22 PM
In terms of fun it's right up there with the sport of curling. Oh yeh!
I imagine it is.

Think of the excitement and enjoyment those guys who fire groups at 1,000 yards that you measure with calipers, one round every five minutes (sometimes reloading at the shooting bench and using the same casing for the group). Yah. Exciting. Not the kind that makes you whoop, "Wahoo!" necessarily, but deeply satisfying nonetheless (if you are of that temperament).

Each to their own.

Lost Sheep

p.s. Curling is sometimes called "Chess on Ice" and I have wondered why anyone would enjoy such a slow-moving sport, until I looked into it. It is strategic, dynamic, and no less demanding than billiards (which I do enjoy). Don't knock it.

p.p.s. If you HAD to be on a curling team, would you rather be a thrower or a sweeper? After you answer, research the game. You may be surprised. I was.

CraigC
April 3, 2013, 12:12 AM
Does anybody know offhand what 44 Magnum costs to reload?
$7-$8 per 50rds with commercial cast bullets.

Fishslayer
April 3, 2013, 02:09 AM
PS: Don't do the math on common calibers like .38 Spl or 9mm Luger.

rc

Why not? I load my 9mm and .45ACP for about half the cost (or better, figuring current prices) of factory ammo. Better still, I HAVE ammo right now. Wife & I went to the range today & burned about a hunnert rounds each. No drama. Plenty more where that came from. ;)

And I can load up powderpuff .45 for the wife. She loves her some 1911 goodness but can't really do much recoil.

sixgunner455
April 3, 2013, 02:17 AM
I *have* ammo. People that don't reload, unless they stockpiled, don't. Those who stockpiled factory ammo spent more than I did/do.

Getting primers is a challenge right now, but I already have some.

Hunting rifle rounds cost me about .25-.30/ea, vs. $1+/ea. Pistol rounds are much less, too. I don't actually spend less money than I otherwise would, though. I just get to shoot more, and more often, and can afford to feed more of my guns than I otherwise would be able to do.

35 Whelen
April 3, 2013, 02:58 AM
PS: Don't do the math on common calibers like .38 Spl or 9mm Luger.

Last time I saw .35 Spec in Walmart it was $17 or $18 per 50 for the 158 gr. RN lead. I load the same load with cast bullets for under $2 per box of 50. If I had to buy lead bullets, it'd probably add $5 or so to a box of 50 (just guessing)

35W

Driftwood Johnson
April 3, 2013, 08:04 AM
It is not worth my time for handgun rounds. Yea, I could save a few bucks, but my time is worth something. If I were paying myself minimum wages the cost of handloading most handgun rounds would be 2X-3X more expensive than buying it. For all of my handgun and 223 rounds I can buy them cheap enough that it is not worth my time. I do save my brass, and can sell it for enough to offset the cost of new ammo even more.

Howdy

Try loading your handgun rounds with Black Powder sometime and you will quickly see that it is worth your time.

jmr40
April 3, 2013, 08:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmr40
It is not worth my time for handgun rounds..

Any "round" can be shot out of a "handgun". what are you talking about or are you just bragging in some fashion?


Your post SEEMED dismissive of handgun cartridge loaders. (Post 55). I am sure it was not intended to be.



No offense intended and I'm sorry if I said anything to upset anyone. When I do the math there is not enough savings to justify the time involved in reloading for the handgun rounds I shoot. For one thing, I simply don't shoot as much handgun ammo as rifle ammo.

That is not the case with rifle ammo. I save enough money to justify the time involved. The greatest advantage for me is being able to not only load a much more accurate round, but be able to get a little more veloctiy from the loads. Even if I were not saving money it would be worth the time.

I can buy FMJ 9mm in bulk pretty cheap and it does what I want it to do. Seveal years ago I ran across a lifetime supply of Hornady 124GR+p dirt cheap. I will never live long enough to shoot it and have no need to load premium bullets.

Try loading your handgun rounds with Black Powder sometime and you will quickly see that it is worth your time.

Not many black powder loads in 9mm or 45 ACP.

kimbershot
April 3, 2013, 08:23 AM
45 acp!

free brass, free lead and i cast my own bullets, primers 3.5cents, powder--penny? lgs--selling boxes of 45's at 25.00 :eek:

right now i can shoot my 45' cheaper than you can shoot a 22--if you can find 22 ammo.

(ps--still have about 8k of 22 bulk at 13/pack :D)

(pps-got the time-retired :))

mljdeckard
April 3, 2013, 09:04 AM
I spend most of the time required while I watch TV. I can size, de-cap, bell, and prime while I watch TV on my Lee hand press.

And I for one, am endlessly fascinated by the process.

1911Tuner
April 3, 2013, 09:12 AM
It largely depends on how you reload and whether you insist on high-end jacketed bullets or you can be happy with home cast or commercially cast bullets. And don't believe that hype about not being able to drive cast bullets to full magnum velocities. It can be done without leading...but you usually have to pour your own, because commercial cast bullets are often a little too hard.

The biggest advantage to reloading is the ability to make your ammunition when shortages occur. As long as you've got primers and powder in stock...and lead and a means to melt it...you've got ammo when other people are hurting.

Gtscotty
April 3, 2013, 11:41 AM
Even not getting especially great deals on my components, and not buying anything but bullets in bulk, I can still load mid range (240gr lead @ 1100 fps) .44 Mag for $11.70 a box. When I start buying primers and powder in bulk, that price will go down significantly.

The financial benefit of reloading doesn't really come into play with some of the most common rounds like 9mm... that's why I don't even bother loading them. If, however, you want to shoot some of the more exotic rounds like .44 Mag, 10mm, .454 Casull, etc. and dont have piles of excess money laying around your house, you pretty much have to reload to spend any decent amount of time at the range. The advantage only increases from there when you start looking at pretty much any full power rifle round that's not .308 or .223.

Even beyond the cost savings, one of the most interesting things about reloading is it lets you tailor loads to your specific rifle. A lot of folks have rifles that are sub MOA with their hand loads, that aren't terribly close to MOA with most factory loads.

Certaindeaf
April 3, 2013, 11:46 AM
I think we reload even the "lowly" 9mm so we can shoot. It's about impossible to find in stores etc. at any price, same with .22's. It's also nice to shoot them for like $30 or so per thousand.

Arkansas Paul
April 3, 2013, 11:51 AM
Yea, I could save a few bucks, but my time is worth something. If I were paying myself minimum wages the cost of handloading most handgun rounds would be 2X-3X more expensive than buying it.

If I had that mindset, I wouldn't load at all. Handloading is every bit as much a hobby for me as shooting is. I ENJOY it. I don't calculate my time when I want to play golf, watch football or go fishing, so why would I with handloading?

I always get a laugh when people say you have to take your time into consideration when participating in a hobby. That's like saying, "Well, I would go hiking today, but my time is worth something, so I'll just sit here on the couch."

jim243
April 3, 2013, 12:01 PM
If anyone could elaborate I would appreciate it.

Because I am still going to the range and shooting and you are not.

Jim

palmetto99
April 3, 2013, 12:11 PM
I just kind of enjoy the time spent in the shop with some music on and no one bothering me.

Plus, as someone stated before, if you want something other than 130 grn fmj plinking rounds, reloading is the way to go. I can imagine that if one were reloading .44 spl or .45 colt other than .38 spl, $$ can be saved.

BTW, I have seen more split revolver brass than auto. Maybe it's just me.

kbbailey
April 3, 2013, 12:25 PM
My father and I competed shooting ATA trap years ago. We were shooting 600 12ga /wk.
Our reloads performed as well as new shells and was a bunch cheaper. It was a ritual to reload those hulls during the week to be ready for the wknd.
I find reloading enjoyable, almost as much as shooting lol.

Satasaurus
April 3, 2013, 01:16 PM
After reading this thread I would kick myself in the face if I could for not reloading for the entire time I've been shooting. I've shot thousands and thousands of rounds over the last several years and just never looked into reloading enough. To think I could have shot triple what I have really hurts. I haven't shot more then 100 rounds at a time because of how much factory ammo costs. If I would have saved all the brass from the factory ammo I shot I probably would have had a lifetime supply.

CoRoMo
April 3, 2013, 01:19 PM
Why Do People Reload When ...

... it's [factory ammo] all sold out...
Well, if ammo is all sold out from stores... reloading and saving money while doing so means you have ammo?

Certaindeaf
April 3, 2013, 01:56 PM
After reading this thread I would kick myself in the face if I could for not reloading for the entire time I've been shooting. I've shot thousands and thousands of rounds over the last several years and just never looked into reloading enough. To think I could have shot triple what I have really hurts. I haven't shot more then 100 rounds at a time because of how much factory ammo costs. If I would have saved all the brass from the factory ammo I shot I probably would have had a lifetime supply.
I started reloading around when I was 16 (9mm was the first, heh). That was a ways ago. I didn't have much money back then, that's for sure. I shot a bunch. Then I got paid to shoot up lots of ammo for years. that was fun. Then I got my old stuff out and got some new stuff to shoot some more. shooting is fun

oneounceload
April 3, 2013, 02:09 PM
I now shoot more shotgun than metallic - but I couldn't have over 250,000 through one of my shotguns without reloading for cost savings
Whether shotgun or metallic, my reloading costs have always been 1/3 of whatever factory ammo costs

Zoogster
April 3, 2013, 02:18 PM
People that reload like to encourage it but it is not for everyone.

I enjoy reloading, it does not save much on less expensive rounds, and for the additional time it takes if you compared it to how much you get paid professionally per hour you would probably save money buying factory ammo in in a larger number of calibers if you just worked an extra few hours and bought some factory ammo. So it is something that you need to also enjoy to really be a savings.


Reloading can also be dangerous. While it can be done in a perfectly safe manner, being absent minded on a single round can cause catastrophic failure, your gun being damaged or destroyed, and hand or face injuries.
With factory ammunition that is very unlikely.


I would be cautious encouraging a bunch of people you don't know to take up reloading.
It deserves a certain quality of attention, which can become lacking in some people after they load round after round and start to get casual with it and let other things take thier attention during reloading.



As far as positives beyond what has already been mentioned such as cost and tailoring your own rounds:
Reloading still depends on factory produced components. Which means you are not really any more self reliant, and your ability to shoot still depends on purchase of items you are merely assembling (with some measuring, weighing, resizing, trimming, tumbling, inspecting, and otherwize reconditioning brass.) With bullets being the only component some even produce.
However reloading makes you familiar with those components, and for myself has resulted in me thinking even beyond just purchase and towards being capable of making my own as well.
Causing me to think about homemade primers, homemade propellants, and homemade or makeshift 'brass'. I feel fairly confident that even without the ability to buy anything from the factory I could still manage to produce ammunition in certain calibers with even more time invested per round.
Without reloading I would not have arrived at that point.
So reloading is certainly a progression towards better understanding and self reliance of what is necessary to exercise a right that has and can be restricted by governments around the world limiting access to such things.
So even if the day came that I couldn't buy ammunition I feel confident I could still have ammunition.

Arkansas Paul
April 3, 2013, 02:43 PM
People that reload like to encourage it but it is not for everyone.
So it is something that you need to also enjoy to really be a savings.

Both of these statements are very true. If it were something I viewed as a chore, I wouldn't do it. I would do what Zoogster said and volunteer for a few hours overtime a week and simply buy my ammo.

ljnowell
April 3, 2013, 02:44 PM
It looks like it only costs a few dollars less per box? Unless I'm missing something. I just looked online and, even though it's all sold out, I'm seeing that per 100 rounds of .38 Special it will cost roughly:

1. Primers - $3/100

2. Brass - $20/100

3. Powder - $1.25/100

4. Bullets - $10/100

That comes out to $34.25/100 rounds which is right around what factory ammo costs. I don't know much about reloading, but I'm pretty sure you can use brass more then once. How many times can you use it? If you used it twice then it would only be $24.25 which is a lot better. I don't know how much money casting bullets saves, but unless it's significant savings I'd rather not do that. If anyone could elaborate I would appreciate it.

Because your numbers are wrong. Brass is reuseable many, many times. 38 brass is something that I get an easy 20 reloads out of. If I buy once fired I pay maybe $50/1000 cases. Much cheaper than you list. Bullets? I pay like $30/500. Much cheaper than you have listed. I buy primers in bulk and pay less than 30/1000, like you listed, but even if you go with that, ok. Powdast time I bought I paid 13/lb.

So for 100 rounds:
bullets 6.00
powder .50
primer 3.00

That makes 9.50/100. Sounds a lot cheaper than buying ammunition to me.

ljnowell
April 3, 2013, 02:49 PM
It is not worth my time for handgun rounds. Yea, I could save a few bucks, but my time is worth something. If I were paying myself minimum wages the cost of handloading most handgun rounds would be 2X-3X more expensive than buying it. For all of my handgun and 223 rounds I can buy them cheap enough that it is not worth my time. I do save my brass, and can sell it for enough to offset the cost of new ammo even more.

Do you pay yourself to go shooting? What about playing ball with your kid? Reloading isnt a chore, its a hobby. With a progressive press 3-500 rds per hour are easy. I dont think you would be costing 3x what new ammo costs.

Guy de Loimbard
April 3, 2013, 02:58 PM
When you reload, ammunition price is not a factor in the purchase of a new gun. When I used to own a .45-70 marlin, I think I was loading 50 rounds for $6 or $7, while store bought ammo was $30 for a 20 round box.

CraigC
April 3, 2013, 03:24 PM
It is not worth my time for handgun rounds.
With some handgun rounds, I fully agree. I can't see myself ever reloading a cartridge you can buy as cheap as 9mm but with most the others, it saves me a boatload. I do factor in my time because handloading is not really much fun to me. It is a necessary chore so that I can shoot the guns I want to shoot, close to as often as I want to shoot them. If I was satisfied with making noise at the indoor range a couple times a month with a Glock 9mm (which is not too bad a way to spend your time), I would be fine with factory loads. I wouldn't be shooting too much .38-40 or .44Colt if I didn't handload.

That said, at this point in time I won't be casting any bullets. Commercial cast bullets are far more convenient for me. Right now I have more money than time, others have the opposite problem. We all have to find what works for us.

Satasaurus
April 3, 2013, 03:36 PM
Some people actually prepare their own food, too. I guess people are just stupid.
I don't know if that was directed at me, but if so I don't need the sarcasm. I was asking because obviously I don't know that much about it. I actually hardly ever eat out because I'd rather not be obese with heart problems, and my food is a lot better anyways.

Also, reloading would be a lot of fun for me, definitely not a chore. Now I'll start getting the calibers I was avoiding because of factory ammo costs.

Arkansas Paul
April 3, 2013, 03:39 PM
Also, reloading would be a lot of fun for me, definitely not a chore. Now I'll start getting the calibers I was avoiding because of factory ammo costs.

If you really want to save money, and have some time on your hands, casting will save big $$$.
A bucket of wheel weights runs me $40 and yields around 110 pounds of useable lead ingots. That's 4,400 175 grain .40 bullets for $40.00!
Of course it does involve a fair amount of time as CraigC pointed out, so it's not for everyone.

Certaindeaf
April 3, 2013, 03:39 PM
I don't know if that was directed at me, but if so I don't need the sarcasm. I was asking because obviously I don't know that much about it. I actually hardly ever eat out because I'd rather not be obese with heart problems, and my food is a lot better anyways.

Also, reloading would be a lot of fun for me, definitely not a chore. Now I'll start getting the calibers I was avoiding because of factory ammo costs.
No, not at all. Even though I knew you started the thread it was just a general statement. I think the statement has merit, facetious though it was.

silicosys4
April 3, 2013, 04:05 PM
The guys that can't save money on their 9mm reloads need to get a progressive press. I wouldn't load 9mm or 38 spcl on a single stage either, but it doesn't mean that a progressive doesn't make sense. I load about 100 9mm in 15 minutes on mine.

I watched a guy pay $45 for 100 rounds of 9mm ammo the other day. It was the first 9mm ammo he had been able to find in months. I thought about the THOUSANDs of rounds of 9mm I had shot in the last two months for all of $80/1k or so. Last I looked factory 9mm ammo was a lot more than $80/1k.


The equivalent of the afternoon's worth of time to load 1k 9mm rounds was FULLY worth my time, considering that 1k 9mm rounds is going to cost you ALOT of money right now, IF YOU CAN FIND THEM.

Very few people have a lifetimes supply of 125 gr. +p 9mm ammo on hand

Satasaurus
April 3, 2013, 04:15 PM
Another thing I just thought about is that I've heard it's not a good idea to use reloaded ammo in a carry gun because they could try to say it was tampered with, etc, etc. Is that true? Do you guys carry your reloaded ammo?

zxcvbob
April 3, 2013, 04:22 PM
Another thing I just thought about is that I've heard it's not a good idea to use reloaded ammo in a carry gun because they could try to say it was tampered with, etc, etc. Is that true? Do you guys carry your reloaded ammo?


Let's say you do use factory ammo. What's preventing them from accusing you of tampering with that? Oh sure, the unfired ammo still in the magazine was OK, but you loaded the magazine so you knew how many to fire and then stop to make it look that way :rolleyes:

I carry factory ammo because it's just simpler that way. But I use reloads for home defense (presumption of innocence is stronger there), and if I run out of factory ammo because the shelves are empty I will carry my own reloads.

Arkansas Paul
April 3, 2013, 04:23 PM
Another thing I just thought about is that I've heard it's not a good idea to use reloaded ammo in a carry gun because they could try to say it was tampered with, etc, etc. Is that true? Do you guys carry your reloaded ammo?

You will hear everything from "It's fine. Carry it." to "No way. Don't ever do that."
I don't presonally. My CHL instructor recommended not carrying handloads. He said carry factory ammo and put the factory box in your safe. If you find yourself in an HD situation, hand them the box and say, "This is what my firearm was loaded with."
It may be a little overkill, but it sounds like a good idea to me.

hovercat
April 3, 2013, 10:55 PM
Unless you accidently hit a cop or politician during your HD, the police report will list the ammo used as Winchester, or Frontier or whatever is stamped on the brass. And that is the information the prosecutor and defense will get. CSI is not going to investigate the ammo. They know who shot it because you or your attorney told them so.

Deaf Smith
April 3, 2013, 11:02 PM
Well in Texas I would not worry much about what kind of ammo I had unless it was a gray shooting were there were doubts about my honesty. As long as it was a righteous shooting I'd be on solid ground.

But in California or New York? Dunno about the DAs there.

And if you are wondering.. I do use factory loads in my carry guns. But I sure use reloads for my practice.

Deaf

Lost Sheep
April 4, 2013, 03:04 AM
Another thing I just thought about is that I've heard it's not a good idea to use reloaded ammo in a carry gun because they could try to say it was tampered with, etc, etc. Is that true? Do you guys carry your reloaded ammo?
The first question to answer in criminally investigating a shooting is, "Was the use of deadly force justified?" If yes, the questions generally stop there. What ammunition was used is pretty much irrelevant.

In VERY few cases, the forensics may be used to determine facts, based on powder residue and such, but this is vanishingly rare.

Of more concern is claims and civil suits for damages where claims are made that you manufactured excessively painful or deadly ammo.

Having ammo not "standard" has never actually changed a court outcome that I have ever heard of, but occasionally extra money is spent by the defense to counter (or prepare to counter) claims that the home-rolled stuff means something.

Personally, I recommend using whatever your local police use. It is hard for a prosecutor to claim you are extra-sanguine if you use the same stuff his colleagues in law enforcement do. I have my house gun loaded with Glaser Safety Slugs (they have "Safety" right in the name! - How can you call that bad?).

But there are a lot of handloaders who regard their own ammo as more reliable and more accurate than factory, so they recommend that.

Like the subject line, though. Another thread. (Actually, many. Do a search.)

Lost Sheep

Zeke/PA
April 4, 2013, 08:19 AM
Beware about that.

I've noticed a very high incidence / percentage of Morons on YouTube where it comes to all things gun related.

rc
I have also found some You Tube info questionable.

45_auto
April 4, 2013, 09:00 AM
A good place to start is by watching Youtube videos
Beware about that.

I've noticed a very high incidence / percentage of Morons on YouTube where it comes to all things gun related.

rc

I believe that should say:

"I've noticed a very high incidence / percentage of Morons on YouTube where it comes to ALL things."

Always remember that half the people out there are below average in intelligence.

Drail
April 4, 2013, 09:13 AM
People reload because they can produce a better product than almost all of the mass produced junk we are being sold today. I have been reloading for over 30 years simply because I want absolute control of the quality of my ammunition. I have seen too many boxes of factory ammo with primers inserted backwards and sideways or cases with no flash hole in them. No thanks. Forget about learning anything on Youtube. It is for entertainment purposes only.

AethelstanAegen
April 4, 2013, 04:15 PM
Always remember that half the people out there are below average in intelligence.

Well only if we're using the median for the average. Outliers and uneven distributions can skew the mean and mode average. That said, point well put.

Forget about learning anything on Youtube. It is for entertainment purposes only.

This is generally true, but I think like all things in life, you have to consider the source. Person A on youtube might well be a dangerous moron, but that doesn't mean all youtube content creators are idiots. I first learned about the Lee Classic Loader from a youtube video. The information from that video really helped me get into handloading. I'm not in a position to be able to afford a press, etc (it's on the to-acquire list) but I was able to get into hand loading with a $25 kit. As 45_auto pointed out, there's an awful lot of idiots out there in general and I've seen some very poor advice come from supposedly reputable sources. So in everything, it's better to a little research and make sure there's corroborating evidence for anything you read on forums/watch on youtube.

Missionary
April 4, 2013, 04:36 PM
Greetings
Because I cast my own bullets (boolits). So if you now refigure your data and the fact reloaders reuse that expensive brass my cost of a box of my reloads is far cheaper than you might spend driving about trying to find ammo.
If I want a 280 grainer in my DW I have it. If I want a 185 grain WC in my carry Ruger I have it. If I want a 240 grainer at 1350 fps I have it or the same bullet made of very soft lead at 950 fps I have it.
And on this could go. In the end I have the perfect load for each condition and am never out of ammo and will always be able to afford to go shoot a few more. I will never be a slave to the mass hystaria that empties the shelves and raises prices to somewhere the Russians think they can fly to.
Mike in Peru

PS.. I forgot to mention just a couple calibers.. 414 Supermag, 33 Winchester, 44-77, 50-70 and 50-95. Seen any of those on the shelf lately.

2rott
April 4, 2013, 05:09 PM
I don't cast my own, but before the current shortage of supplies, It cost me between 10 & 11 cents a round of 38spl. The brass was free for the taking at the local range & I saved my own too. I was able to reload (I only load lead bullets) whatever I needed, very mild loads for cowboy shooting, moderate for IDPA & hotter loads for Bowling Pin matches. For over 35cents each or more, I was buying whatever Walmart had at the time. Reloading has saved me much money, at least that's what I tell my wife. But what actually happens is that I shoot 3 times as much.

smkummer
April 5, 2013, 07:54 AM
We are able to ride out the hysteria right now and for the most part are still shooting as normal. I am shooting 38 special/9mm for about .06 per round, with the most expensive component being the .03 primer. 44 mag., 44 special, 45 auto and 45 Colt for about .08. 30-06, 7.62X39 and 30-30 for about .12 because I am including the addition cost of a gas check and more slower burning powder, these are reduced loads but will still take down a deer if needed. 9mm, 45 auto and 38 special brass was free range pick-ups, back when people left it lay. Once you start reloading, you will never quit. I sent you a PM of 44 mag. dies and a 44 lyman mold.

Elkins45
April 5, 2013, 10:03 AM
I HAVE ammo right now. Wife & I went to the range today & burned about a hunnert rounds each. No drama. Plenty more where that came from. ;)

This. How can one reasonably calculate the savings against a product that is widely unavailable for purchase? If I wanted, I could immerse myself in my man cave for a few hours and come back with 1000+ rounds of any of several calibers of rifle or pistol ammo. How many miles would I have to drive and how many stores would I have to visit to buy 1000 rounds of commercial 9mm today? How much would it cost? And don't even think about .223!

There was a time a few years ago when I was buying bulk packs of generic 9mm commercial FMJ because it wasn't all that much more expensive that loading my own jacketed rounds. Those days are gone. Even back then cast bullet reloads were significantly cheaper than factory, and the is even more true today.

Elkins45
April 5, 2013, 10:14 AM
Another thing I just thought about is that I've heard it's not a good idea to use reloaded ammo in a carry gun because they could try to say it was tampered with, etc, etc. Is that true? Do you guys carry your reloaded ammo?
While I would fully trust my reloaded ammo for self defense, I choose to carry factory ammo instead.

I have no idea if it would actually matter in court, but paying $20 for a box of ammo to save potentially $100K in legal fees seems like a reasonable investment to me. I've actually taken this thinking one step further because my bedside gun is a Sig P229 in 357 Sig. Why? Because that's what the Secret Service carries to protect the President. I figure if it's the right choice for that role then how could anyone question my choosing the same gun to protect my family?

MCgunner
April 5, 2013, 10:17 AM
I also have a light .38 load, 105 cast SWC from a lee mold over 2.3 grains Bullseye that clocks 900 fps out of my 20" lever action carbine and mimics .22 rimfire pretty well. It shoots 1.5" at 50 yards and allows me to take squirrel to that range. I plink with that one a lot since I haven't been able to buy .22LR for a while.


I use those 105's out of a 9 and they hit harder than a .22 rimfire, that's for sure.

I size and shoot 'em in light 9x19 loads and in .380ACP as well as in .38 special for my rifle with that specific light load. They can hit hard....or not, depending on the charge used. In the rifle, they're great small game getters. I've used .38 wadcutters from a revolver to take rabbits, too. That particular bullet just seems to be accurate in about everything I've shot it in. It can be pushed hard enough with a mild load to lead in a 9x19, but I keep 'em just hot enough to function the gun 100 percent for practice loads. Cheap to cast, too, as lead goes a long way at 105 grains per bullet. :D

This particular mold works so well in 9x19 that I've not bothered to use anything else in that cartridge except, of course, for jacketed stuff for carry and for competition when I used to shoot IDPA with it. I could get the 115 grain Winchester JHP, quite accurate, from Midway for pretty cheap and drive it to minimum power factor without leading.

temmi
April 5, 2013, 02:33 PM
You reuse the brass

recalculate without the $20 brass

And

It is fun and rewarding

Snake

Carl N. Brown
April 5, 2013, 02:45 PM
I have a very worn C96 Mauser (7.63mm) that requires bullets of 7.92mm (.312") to get decent accuracy. Reloading to fit beats having the barrel relined. And it is fun. Plus it keeps me from hanging out at the pool hall.

Greg528iT
April 5, 2013, 02:48 PM
Cause going from this
http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/x349/jaggoett1/1911/rawlead_zps5904ec9a.jpg
to this
http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/x349/jaggoett1/1911/Meltinglead_zps9f0fff6b.jpg
to this.. is kinda fun in of itself.
http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/x349/jaggoett1/1911/leadingots_zpsecfc8917.jpg

I haven't even gotten into pulling a loading lever yet.

shafter
April 6, 2013, 11:21 AM
Being able to reuse brass is a large part of the savings. My 38 Specials reload at about $7/50. Factory costs about $18/50 around here. The savings for 45 Colt is even greater, approx $9/50 vs $40/50 for factory. The brass lasts a looong time if you use moderate loads.

wally247
April 6, 2013, 11:36 AM
My 38 sp. is running me 3 cents a round right now. "Free" lead bullets and picked up brass. 2 grains of Trail boss and a 2 cent primer.

35 Whelen
April 6, 2013, 11:53 AM
My 38 sp. is running me 3 cents a round right now. "Free" lead bullets and picked up brass. 2 grains of Trail boss and a 2 cent primer.
Not to hijack the thread, but since we're talking about saving money....


Trail Boss is 25% to 35% higher than other handgun powders such as Bullseye, Red Dot, etc. When you buy a can of it, you have to remember you're buying 9 oz., not 16.

35W

hddeluxe
April 6, 2013, 05:06 PM
As others have said: it is fun, saves money, more accurate round, and best of all you can shoot a LOT more for the same money as buying factory ammo.

HKGuns
April 7, 2013, 01:07 AM
I do it because you learn a great deal in the process of learning to do it safely. I love teaching myself to do things. It is very rewarding and makes shooting more enjoyable as well.

sixgunner455
April 7, 2013, 03:36 PM
Yesterday, my WallyWorld got in a shipment of ammo. Mostly shotgun and hunting rifle ammo. 1 case of .38 Special FMJ. I was on my way to a pistol shoot when I stopped to check what they had. If I had been relying on factory ammo bought on the way to the range to supply me for that shoot instead of my reloading tools and time, I'd've had to change guns, since I wanted to shoot my 9mm in that shoot.

And the ammo in my truck was 3 boxes of 9mm that I loaded for 13.50. One of those boxes of .38 would have been more than that. I was talking to one of the guys at the shoot who doesn't reload. He kind of flipped out when I told him how much I spent on my ammo for the day.

He's shopping for a reloading press now.

Arizonagunrunner
April 8, 2013, 01:43 PM
Cost me $5.50 to reload 50 rounds of 38 Special.
158 gr SWC backed by 4 grains Unique or Bullseye.

Arizonagunrunner
April 8, 2013, 02:05 PM
Agreed. That is about what I pay for my supplies. Way cheaper to reload then buy factory

Stainz
April 9, 2013, 08:42 AM
I've only been reloading for the last 10.5yr. One day, I counted the .45 Colt cases I had kept - over 2,700! I did the math - at my price, a bit less because I worked at the range, I would break even - including the Dillon 550B, dies, scale, tumbler, etc - at 2,100 rounds. I bought the equipment and a new hobby was started.

You cannot use just the cost of powder & primers in determing per round cost. You must amortize the reloading press, etc, cost first. Sure, you 'acquired' the brass - but it has a finite life and you have tumbling medium and polish to contend with. Pour your own bullets with 'free' lead? The equipment required to do that wasn't free - and you'll need lube, etc. Bullet boxes? Sure - headfirst in the range dumpster can yield some nice boxes, just wipe off the pickles, pop, and fries. Then there is the 'footprint' in your home dedicated to reloading - and ammo and component storage.

I've found the following to be more descriptive of the reality of reloading: You won't shoot more cheaply, you'll just shoot more! It is a hobby into itself - and today, the component 'shortage' is just as aggravating as is the ammo shortage. I ordered 500 .327 Fed Mag cases from one source and 500 matching bullets from another source on April 4th. Both sources had my order 'in stock'. The bullets arrived yesterday, but the other source is way behind - weeks, even - and I don't expect them until May. Aggravating? I have plenty of lead and .32 S&WL cases - I'll reload them. First, I'll finish some more .45 ACP ball ammo... I always have something to reload!

Stainz

35 Whelen
April 9, 2013, 12:05 PM
I've only been reloading for the last 10.5yr. One day, I counted the .45 Colt cases I had kept - over 2,700! I did the math - at my price, a bit less because I worked at the range, I would break even - including the Dillon 550B, dies, scale, tumbler, etc - at 2,100 rounds. I bought the equipment and a new hobby was started.

You cannot use just the cost of powder & primers in determing per round cost. You must amortize the reloading press, etc, cost first. Sure, you 'acquired' the brass - but it has a finite life and you have tumbling medium and polish to contend with. Pour your own bullets with 'free' lead? The equipment required to do that wasn't free - and you'll need lube, etc. Bullet boxes? Sure - headfirst in the range dumpster can yield some nice boxes, just wipe off the pickles, pop, and fries. Then there is the 'footprint' in your home dedicated to reloading - and ammo and component storage.

I've found the following to be more descriptive of the reality of reloading: You won't shoot more cheaply, you'll just shoot more! It is a hobby into itself - and today, the component 'shortage' is just as aggravating as is the ammo shortage. I ordered 500 .327 Fed Mag cases from one source and 500 matching bullets from another source on April 4th. Both sources had my order 'in stock'. The bullets arrived yesterday, but the other source is way behind - weeks, even - and I don't expect them until May. Aggravating? I have plenty of lead and .32 S&WL cases - I'll reload them. First, I'll finish some more .45 ACP ball ammo... I always have something to reload!

Stainz

I don't amortize my loading equipment. Who cares? You have to have it. What difference does it make how it affects the cost of a single cartridge? Who amortizes their golf clubs? Or fishing rods? Or their television? Or the computer they use to locate and buy components? Either you want to reload, or you don't.

I think the #1 mistake people make when they decide to handload is "I gotta go buy all shiny, new equipment" or "I'm going to be loading handgun cartridges, so I HAVE to have a progressive". There's no need in this. My main press, a Rockchucker, has been in continuous use for over 40 years, almost 30 by me after my father gave it to me. A friend who knows I reload had a neighbor selling all his stuff. Got a Lyman turret press, some bullets, brass and various other tools for $75. I now load all my handload ammo on the turret press. Through people giving me equipment, bartering and buying good used stuff, I've gotten two guys set up to reload for almost no cash layout on their part.

Another mistake: "I need to order all new brass." Common brass such as 38 Spec., 357, 9mm and 45 ACP I never buy. I pick it at ranges or at the house at my own range. Anybody can do this.

Since I have a range literally at the back door of my reloading room, I shoot almost daily. And the more I shoot, the cheaper my equipment becomes.

One of my more recent acquisitions was a custom 4-cavity mould for my .44 Special. It cost $130 or about the same price as 1000 lead bullets. I've already cast well over 1000 bullets and have almost shot all of them, so the mould has already almost paid for itself.

I could go on and on, but my favorite hobby is shooting and reloading, not math. ;)

Arkansas Paul
April 9, 2013, 02:51 PM
^ Awesome post. I agree 100%. If you're kicking the numbers around that much, you really need to ask yourself if reloading is for you. I realize for some it is simply a means to an end, but I would wager the majority of us like loading nearly as much as shooting. When I first started I was like, "I'm out of ammo. I've got to go load some up."
Now I'm like, "I'm out of brass. I've got to go shoot so I can have so brass to load."
When you have that mindset, you don't figure in the cost of your equipment, because it's entertainment at that point.

zxcvbob
April 9, 2013, 03:11 PM
Also you can recoup the cost of your reloading equipment if you ever give it up, so I'm not sure you should amortize it unless it wears out or breaks.

35 Whelen
April 9, 2013, 04:00 PM
Also you can recoup the cost of your reloading equipment if you ever give it up, so I'm not sure you should amortize it unless it wears out or breaks.
Exactly. This same thing occurred to me after I posted above. Excellent point!

Stainz
April 9, 2013, 04:11 PM
35W,

For a fellow who'd rather be shooting & reloading than doing math, you sure used it a lot in your earlier replies (#24, 64, & 111).

As for using a new progressive press vs an inherited single stage, I guess I am guilty of spending what would have bought a nice firearm on equipment all at one time. Within a month of starting, I had made up 2,100 .45 Colts - which passed the break-even point on my amortized, actually 'rationalized', equipment expense. I've never had to buy a .32 S&WL, .38 Spcl, .44 Magnum, or .45 Colt case - folks donate them to me all of the time. I have bought fresh new Starline .45ACP brass - it loads into moonclips by hand and doesn't have extractor/ejector scars like range sweepings do. Revolvers deserve nice looking brass (This is a revolver forum...). While I have a lifetime supply of .357M brass, once again, Starline loads into my 627's X8 'clips more easily, so I bought some just for that purpose. I also have had to buy a few .44 Russians & Specials over the years - folks tend to keep them. Then there is the now-all-but-obsolete .327 Federal Magnum (CA, S&W, & Taurus have dropped their so-chambered revolvers. Starline has no brass in stock and it's not in their schedule.) - I found the Starline .327 brass in-stock - ordered it - and may have it in May. The loaded ammo is hard to find - Federal has other priorities.

There is another reason to reload. As an example, about eight years ago, I bought 300 once used .32-20 cases - took .010" off the rim thickness by sanding them on a flat; took .024" off the rim OD on a micro lathe; size them in a carbide M1 Carbine sizer (Fed SP primer); load 100gr .313" LDEWC over 1.8-2.7 gr Titegroup (I had to modify the Dillon's powder measure) using a modified .32 S&WL die, and, voila, ammo for my 1895 Nagant revolver! Oh sure, there was the weak Ruskie target ammo - when you could find it - and Fiocchi had some $55-$60/50 ammo. My homebrews didn't bridge the b/c gap, but at least I can reload it. Starline briefly made the right brass, but it's thin mouth tore when reloading, so they quickly dropped it. So, add making oddball ammo to the reasons to reload. Of course, PRVI Partizan (Serbia) makes the correct ammo now - $24/50. Yeah, it bridges the gap - and I might get a reload out of it... they had it in stock, too!

Stainz

PS Normally, you amortize equipment that wears out - hardly a problem with Dillon's 'no bull' promise. Still, it allows clearing equipment costs to the point of little if any salvage value. Thus, as I am abt to do when I tire of a 'thing', I can 'donate' it, should my son not want it, to the thrift stores, etc, as I do regularly these days... just too much 'stuff' around here - and turning sixty-five is just weeks away. I sold my last Alfa Romeo eons ago - my sailboat, too. It really is like golf, I suppose... and the cost is for the fun involved. BTW, my favorite golf hole is the windmill - the pirate's head is next...

35 Whelen
April 9, 2013, 05:51 PM
35W,

For a fellow who'd rather be shooting & reloading than doing math, you sure used it a lot in your earlier replies (#24, 64, & 111).



You're right. I should clarify that I thoroughly enjoy calculating my savings, but find the thought of agonizing over equipment costs vs. savings horribly boring.

And thank you for researching my posts. I'm flattered. :)

dprice3844444
April 9, 2013, 05:53 PM
it gives us something to do,if the wife see's your busy,no honey-do's,bores the wife,so she stays away,and it's better than spending it on ladies shoes.

monet61
April 9, 2013, 06:09 PM
I reload .45 Colt, .45 ACP,.38Sp,.357. I shoot a LOT of them. Once I started reloading I realized that I liked it. Kinda Zen. I have friends that I give
my 9mm and .223 brass and they give me the stuff mentioned above. And I pick up brass every time I shoot. It is a good thing for me. I have enjoyed this thread.

Stainz
April 9, 2013, 06:33 PM
35W,

Please, please - don't be flattered - I'm just anal about remembering humorous posts - and I've been here since the first post.

dprice,

Great idea - to stay away from 'honey do's' - priceless! It kept me from weedeatting the yard today!

Stainz

gahunter12
April 9, 2013, 10:56 PM
You will save a lot of money per round, but will spend the same or more over all with the ability to shoot a heck of alot more. I stocked up on over 20,000 primers last year at $28/1,000, 10,000 bullets, and picked up 24lb of powder in preparation of last years election. I started loading late 2008 during the first election, and seen the craze.

I am still loading on last years stock, and will for most of the year. I just picked up 7,000 primers about 3 weeks ago to replace the 7k that I have loaded since January for $36/1k.

My wife's 38spl loads cost $12.40/100 or $124/1k (Platted bullets, CCI primers, W231 powder.

My 40, and .45 loads are as follows.
40s&w cost 14.51/ 100, or 145.15/1k. (Platted bullets, CCI primers, WST powder).

.45acp cost 12.36/100, or 123.60/1k (Lead bullets, CCI Primers, and WST powder).

Fire_Moose
April 10, 2013, 03:11 AM
With the exception of "years ago"....I'm glad I started when i did, Dec. Of '11. Had to be ready for 12/21 eh?

Found I loved it and started building a very modest stock. I was waiting til Feb of this year to finally pay off my truck and be able to build a larger buffer. Well that didn't work like I expected.

I've skipped a couple matches to still be able to shoot as much as I want no issues. But if this goes more then 8 more months I'll have to stop. Lesson learned. Hopefully this will end in a non drastic fashion...


Sent from my CZ85 Combat

wgaynor
April 10, 2013, 08:14 AM
I get my brass for free, I cast my own bullets, by powder and primers in bulk, and have learned how to get better quality bullets than the factory can provide.

longshot7.62x51
April 10, 2013, 10:29 AM
My .308 match loads cost me .45 each where can I get match quality .308 for $45 per 100 then add the cast .45acp loads at .17 and again never going to find that price even at wally world

jolly roger
April 10, 2013, 12:21 PM
Save a boatload particularly on 45 Colt and 44 Special. Also stuff like 303 British and 7.5x55 Swiss which I shoot a ton of out of a K31. Plus get to shoot a WHOLE lot more on other calibers also with cast bullets. If only I could load 22LR would be all set....

Arkansas Paul
April 10, 2013, 12:32 PM
If only I could load 22LR would be all set....

I actually shoot very little .22 for the simple reason that I can handload .38 Spcl, 9mm and .40 nearly as cheap as buying .22s. Especially now. I've got a few thousand rounds of .22, but I just would rather have a little bigger bang. At $50-$60 per thousand for the big stuff, I usually end up shooting it.

4895
April 10, 2013, 01:18 PM
I think I save about 50% off retail ammo, and I never have to wait in line.

carbuncle
April 10, 2013, 10:22 PM
I just like to reload/handload.

Posted from my car phone.

thump_rrr
April 11, 2013, 03:40 AM
Beware about that.

I've noticed a very high incidence / percentage of Morons on YouTube where it comes to all things gun related.

rc
Ultimate Reloader AKA gavintoobe or iraqveteran8888 on YouTube are good sources for online reloading information.

EMC45
April 11, 2013, 12:56 PM
"I get my brass for free, I cast my own bullets, by powder and primers in bulk, and have learned how to get better quality bullets than the factory can provide."

We have a winner!!!!!!

oneounceload
April 11, 2013, 01:11 PM
If only I could load 22LR would be all set....

You can, it is called the 32 S&W Long; 2.5 grains of powder makes it cheap to shoot

Match10
April 11, 2013, 03:56 PM
The most extreme case I reload.... .500 S&W Magnum

Cost to reload brass I already own = $.74 each

Cost to buy Magnum Rounds.... $4.25 each

Give or take.

similar with 7 mm RemMag and .44 Magnum

.223 at $.30 each

I have a ready ammo supply of very accurate loads.

I learned to reload in 1963 on my grandfather's knee. My equipment is paid for and very high quality.

ridgerunner1965
April 11, 2013, 09:41 PM
i didnt read all the above posts but did read a lot of them.there is a certain satisfaction in knowing you harvested a game animal with a cartridge yu manufactured yourself.to feed your family.i have not shot any large game in years with a factory made cartridge.my 17 year old son had never killed a deer with a load he did not load.he has been hunting since he was 8.i dont think he would understand why anyone would shoot loads they did not load therselves.

ridgerunner1965
April 11, 2013, 10:02 PM
my gpa loaded his 32-40 shells with black powder, i load mine with smokeless.he would be proud as he was all about innovation.he taught me a lot!

James2
April 12, 2013, 12:54 AM
You do not include the cost of brass in the cost of reloading.
When we reload, we load fired brass that we have picked up and don't have to buy.
This is really where the savings are. In re-using the brass.

If you buy new brass its not re-loading.

I cast my own bullets from wheel weights I get free. It costs a little for fuel to melt the lead, and a little for lube, but the bullets are probably less than a penny each.

I can load 44 spl or mag for around 7 cents a shot. How does that stack up against factory ammo? I don't know never buy factory ammo.

cfullgraf
April 12, 2013, 01:08 AM
I enjoy reloading.

I always have ammunition to shoot.

'Nuff said.

Lost Sheep
April 12, 2013, 01:14 AM
You do not include the cost of brass in the cost of reloading.
When we reload, we load fired brass that we have picked up and don't have to buy.
This is really where the savings are. In re-using the brass.

If you buy new brass its not re-loading.

I cast my own bullets from wheel weights I get free. It costs a little for fuel to melt the lead, and a little for lube, but the bullets are probably less than a penny each.

I can load 44 spl or mag for around 7 cents a shot. How does that stack up against factory ammo? I don't know never buy factory ammo.
Sure you do Included the cost of the brass). If the cost of your brass is actually zero, then that is the cost, zero, a perfectly valid cost. If someone paid me (Hey, I can dream can't I?) to get rid of their old brass, I would use a negative cost. If you buy new brass (or, as I do, buy loaded ammo, shoot it once and after that, I am reloading) there is a cost to the brass

Pick any nits up with the brass you get at the range?:neener:

Lost Sheep

ObsidianOne
April 12, 2013, 01:18 AM
You do not include the cost of brass in the cost of reloading.
When we reload, we load fired brass that we have picked up and don't have to buy.
This is really where the savings are. In re-using the brass.

If you buy new brass its not re-loading.

I cast my own bullets from wheel weights I get free. It costs a little for fuel to melt the lead, and a little for lube, but the bullets are probably less than a penny each.

I can load 44 spl or mag for around 7 cents a shot. How does that stack up against factory ammo? I don't know never buy factory ammo.
To a point. Like for me, the odds of me finding 41 magnum brass laying around at a range/the desert, probably about as likely as me finding a diamond ring.
I have no choice but to buy new brass, but even then, it ranges from $22 to $26 for 100 pieces and I can get more than a few uses out of it, so the price is negligible, and that is far cheaper than buying a box of 100, hell, even a box of 20 rounds of loaded factory ammo.

TheSaint
April 12, 2013, 03:59 AM
I'm just getting into reloading right now and have placed an order for all the needed gear. Due to the madness, it won't be in for a while. Nonetheless, I decided to become a reloader because of the following:

1. Cost savings. Once you discount your re-use of the brass, things are quite a bit cheaper. Also, I'm going to cast my own bullets, further reducing the component costs.
2. Once I have enough primers and powder in stock, I can produce enough ammo to last years. This recent shortage and price gouging of ammo has really opened my eyes. I do NOT want to be caught up in another buying frenzy, have no ammo in stock and scalpers are trying to sell 9mm ammo for over a $1 per round on gun broker. No way, Jose. I want to mitigate that and control my own supply chain!
3. I like to tinker and learn new things. Why not learn mastery of your ammo by making some of it your own?
4. If things ever really go downhill civilization-wise, somebody needs to be the man to know (as a previous poster mentioned) to produce ammo. It is a basic security need for your neighborhood watch and I am willing to be the responsible civilian sheepdog that prepares for that day and prays it never comes, but just in case...

That about covers it.

JSmith
April 12, 2013, 02:12 PM
My cost to reload .44 magnum is about .22 per round or 11.00/box, I think. That's .16 for the bullet (Berry's 220gr. PFP), .04 for the primer, and .02 worth of powder (9 gr. of W231). I front-loaded the cost of the brass to Box #1. I bought all my supplies pre-panic, so those figures may not be accurate for the current market. The cheapest pre-panic factory ammo I used was 27.99/box for PMC.

SSN Vet
April 12, 2013, 02:23 PM
scrounging WWs and range brass adds to the fun and decreases the cost.

jeepmor
April 12, 2013, 04:23 PM
I want to mitigate that and control my own supply chain!

Umm, if you haven't noticed, reloading components have been part of the same mad dash by the panic stricken. It settled down after Obama was elected, it should settle down by deer season and be routinely available is what I've read. It being stocked shelves.

dg803
April 12, 2013, 05:54 PM
I have access to a couple Police ranges in the area and pick up all the brass. Been buying bullets and boolits, powder and primer for years in anticipation of reloading. Bought equipment earlier this year. Brass free, all other components have been paid for many years over. Almost free.:D

I am a new member to THR and this is my first post.

BullRunBear
April 12, 2013, 08:46 PM
dg803,

Welcome to THR.

Sounds like you have the right approach: scrounge what you can; buy when materials are (comparatively) cheap; stockpile against times like now; enjoy the whole process; shoot when you like.

Jeff

splattergun
April 12, 2013, 09:38 PM
A few bucks per box cheaper X lots of boxes = lots of bucks.

MK75
April 12, 2013, 10:40 PM
I reload because I enjoy it, and I shoot... a lot. Even if I save $.05 per round (I save much more) that's still $50 per 1,000. It adds up quick.

Happy Shooting

Crashbox
April 12, 2013, 11:20 PM
I found out very quickly that I do not really save any $$ reloading because I shoot a LOT more. And I get to shoot ammo that I have tailored to my purposes, something the factory-bought stuff is very limited at.

And reloading is very enjoyable, almost therapeutic.

Fishslayer
April 13, 2013, 03:24 AM
To a point. Like for me, the odds of me finding 41 magnum brass laying around at a range/the desert, probably about as likely as me finding a diamond ring.
I have no choice but to buy new brass, but even then, it ranges from $22 to $26 for 100 pieces and I can get more than a few uses out of it, so the price is negligible, and that is far cheaper than buying a box of 100, hell, even a box of 20 rounds of loaded factory ammo.

I think I have found 1 (one) .41 Magnum case in four years of scrounging.
However, there are places that sell used brass and occasionally it shows up (usually small quantities) on private sales boards. Never lasts long though.

TheSaint
April 13, 2013, 04:56 AM
I hear you regarding component shortages, but if you have access to lead and cast your own bullets, plus you have a large back supply of brass or pick it up regularly at the range, that means that you already have two out of the four components that you don't have to worry about. That leaves primers and powder, which in my book, is what we should stock up on when it is available and cheap. I'm going to do so once the madness dies down.

Fatelvis
April 13, 2013, 08:12 AM
I always ask myself: Unless you're rich or have no free time, why would you NOT reload? :D
Seriously, after you recover the brass savings, you can then cast your own bullets and take them out of the cost. Then you can tailor the loads to be most accurate, to your desired powder level, create loads that arent made commercially, etc. The flexibility is great! I enjoy casting/loading as much as shooting!

45lcshooter
April 13, 2013, 08:30 AM
I used to reload heavly, but i have been working more and more hours. So i dont hardly hit the bench at all unless i see a new powder and want to try it. Right now, reloading will always be cheaper than factory ammo.
1. you need to start your car or truck to go to the shop or walmart.
2. price of gas.
3. walmart or your shop wont have it, because of all the other non-reloaders blasting through ammo like water
4. get back in the car or truck, or by now with price of gas your bicycle
5. pull into the next shop only to find the same empty ammo shelves.
Total time wasted: better part of the afternoon, total amount of gas used .01-50.00
All that hassele for a box of ammo. WHEN

1. you can sit at your computer, and let the Postal Employee bring your bullets and brass to the mail box.
2. teach your children what reloading is about, and get them involved with the little things, like cleaning brass, sorting brass
3. equipment is a 1 time cost
4. brass and bullets for the most popular calibers is found on the ground at the ranges everywhere, and plastered all over the internet for sale
5. reloading is a great stress releiver, in knowing your not one of those people that count on the gun shop or wally world to stock your favorite ammo
6. you learn a hobby
7. you can see the benifits of reloading in your accuracy
8. reloading equipment is small enough to be kept in a closet, or as big as a 2 car garage(me personally i would love to have a 2 car garage filled to the gills for an ammo factory.)

Arkansas Paul
April 13, 2013, 09:56 AM
A few bucks per box cheaper X lots of boxes = lots of bucks.

Yep. Even if you were only saving two dollars a box, if you have several thousand rounds on hand, that's a lot of money. And for people who shoot IDPA or USPA, a couple thousand rounds won't last that long.

JSmith
April 13, 2013, 10:17 AM
And there's this to consider. I started reloading solely to mitigate the cost of ammunition for my .44 magnum.

After I loaded a hundred rounds or so I realized I had been bitten by the bug. Now I reload for four handgun calibers just because it's fun (we don't shoot rifle very much.) I stopped considering cost when I got the second set of dies.

RoGrrr
April 13, 2013, 01:02 PM
I have a friend who lives in Tampa and complains that no indoor ranges there allow reloads. Then she went on to say that they had to buy a 22 bcuz it's so expensive to shoot their 9 and 45. She admitted that they will have to shoot their 22s since they don't/can't reload. I explained that there are some ranges where you can shoot reloads but she might have to drive a few miles. But with her being obstinate, she wouldn't even listen to me, and resorted to being quite insulting about it. Well, I'm wondering how many 22s she's now shooting considering nobody even has 22s ?
In the meantime, I continue to shoot several hundred rounds a week since I cast and reload.
None of us foresaw the current ammo shortage; well, neither did I. However, I had gradually built up my component inventory over the years to the point where I have enough that I still don't even consider a shortage. I still load 9s for less than the cost of the 22s I had bought years ago, too. I have enough that I believe it will last me the rest of my life.
In the meantime, I'm looking for a cute sweet little shooting gal to shoot with and then leave my estate to....
It surely won't be my "friend" in Tampa.

ljnowell
April 13, 2013, 01:59 PM
None of us foresaw the current ammo shortage; well, neither did I.

No, there were a lot of us that saw it coming a mile away. Anyone that reloaded through the 08 election knows what happens and how fast it happens. When I heard Obama say in the debate he supported an AWB it was only a matter of time. As soon as the first news report hit of the shooting in SH I told my wife, here it comes, it has begun. Sure enough, there it was. Next time this happens you will see it coming from a mile away too.

dragon813gt
April 13, 2013, 04:53 PM
I reload 9mm for $.03 per round. I think I save quite a few pennies at this cost :)


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TheSaint
April 13, 2013, 05:12 PM
$.o3 a round? That seems mighty cheap! Assuming you are picking up other people's brass at the range, where on earth are you finding primers/powder that cheap? Are you calculating that cost on stockpiled component good prices from years ago when you bought them for less? Curious minds and all that... ;)

zxcvbob
April 13, 2013, 05:17 PM
:) That would probably be Wolf or Tula primers bought a year ago, and homemade cast bullets, and a fast powder like Red Dot or Titegroup.

jcwit
April 13, 2013, 06:21 PM
$.o3 a round? That seems mighty cheap! Assuming you are picking up other people's brass at the range, where on earth are you finding primers/powder that cheap? Are you calculating that cost on stockpiled component good prices from years ago when you bought them for less? Curious minds and all that...

I even beat that.

CCI primers I bought years ago for a little less than $40.00 a sleeve of 5,000, thats .0008 cents a primer.
Powder I bought for $8.00 a lb, in 8 lb. jugs, using an avg. of 5 grains per handgun load thats .005 cents per load.
I cast my own bullets, my lead is free, reclaimed when I help clean the backstop at our indoor range.
Cases are all range pick/ups so no cost there.

So I reload for $ .013 cents per round, comes out to approx $1.30 per box of 100.

Moral--plan ahead and buy the specials and closeouts.

Now tell me reloading isn't worth it.

rodinal220
April 13, 2013, 07:21 PM
Because they don't make it anymore:Like if I have to make some 32 rim fire loads.

I can custom tailor my load for each firearm or application.

Accuracy:many types of good factory match ammo,but hand loads are supreme.

Its a lot of fun and helps me relax.

I can assemble better ammo than some of the bargain priced ammo and steel cased stuff from countries that were not found on my steel globe when I was a tyke.

The quality of many types of bargain,training,promo loads is some of the lowest QC I have ever seen due to the unprecedented demand for ammo.By reloading I know what goes into every round and I control the QC.

Walkalong
April 13, 2013, 08:14 PM
I shoot many loads not available commercially, but I would reload anyway, due to the lower cost, and the enjoyment factor.

Buck13
April 13, 2013, 11:19 PM
I know you are using that as an example but that sounds REALLY good. I do like spicy foods and drink!

It was good! That was the third batch I made, in 1992. I used Laaglander dry malt, which gave a high FG and a little residual sweetness. In 5 gallons, there were 3 or 4 oz. of fresh ginger, and either a half or whole teaspoon each (don't have my notes now for exact amount) of dry red pepper flakes and ground cinnamon. The cinnamon was a lucky guess: just added a little earthiness that kinda pulled it all together.

Surprisingly, almost everyone liked it. I expected it to be controversial, at best.

Fishslayer
April 14, 2013, 01:33 AM
After I loaded a hundred rounds or so I realized I had been bitten by the bug.

I started with .45ACP & .38/.357 in 2009. It took about a year for the newness & excitement to wear off. By then, I had stacked up...well... let's just say that storage space was becoming an issue! :D

dragon813gt
April 14, 2013, 09:15 AM
$.o3 a round? That seems mighty cheap! Assuming you are picking up other people's brass at the range, where on earth are you finding primers/powder that cheap? Are you calculating that cost on stockpiled component good prices from years ago when you bought them for less? Curious minds and all that... ;)

Actually my math was off. It's actually $.035 per round. And that's at last summers prices using CCI SPP and W231. I don't pay for 9mm brass. And I cast my own bullets w/ free lead. Even w/ cartridges where I've had to buy brass like 357/308/300 Savage I save a lot of money. I always buy in bulk. And my definition of bulk has changed since December. I'm patiently waiting for PV to have a healthy stock so I can place an order that should have me sitting good for a long time.


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BruceB
April 14, 2013, 10:52 AM
The more-exotic cartridges can yield incredible savings through handloading.

For example, take my .416 Rigby....

Midway lists .416 Rigby factory loads at from five DOLLARS per round up to about TEN DOLLARS per round.

Are you ready for this? I shoot factory-equivalent .416 ammunition for less than twenty CENTS per round. This is accomplished through the use of my own cast bullets. With savings of the magnitude involved here, tooling costs are amortized VERY quickly. My .416 has now fired almost 2000 rounds, all handloaded....figure out what THAT would cost, in factory ammo!

Naturally, very few shooters would (or could) fire that much factory stuff, so in this case the handloading is an enabling factor, allowing me to do something which would otherwise be impossible. The same can be said for my .404, and to a lesser degree for my .45-70.

Oh.... performance? My most-used .416 load drives a 365-grain cast bullet at 2100 fps with accuracy sufficient to group TEN rounds inside an inch at 100 yards. At this level, the gas pedal is still a LONG way from the floorboards!

THe Dove
April 14, 2013, 11:03 AM
I reload because it is fun and I really enjoy all aspects of it. It relaxes me and I enjoy researching the different loads, etc... If I didn't enjoy it, I probably wouldn't do it......

The Dove

Squeaky Wheel
April 14, 2013, 11:27 AM
People reload because they can produce a better product than almost all of the mass produced junk we are being sold today.

This. Before I started hand loading I bought a box of Winchester 45 Colt (cowboy loads) and found 2 defects in the box of 50. One of the bullets was inserted backwards and another bullet was deformed.

I'm still pretty new to reloading and I use a plain-jane single stage press. I enjoy the solitary time and get satisfaction of producing my own loads. As others have pointed out, it's not for everyone. I can also see that I probably wouldn't enjoy reloading small calibers as much as the larger ones.

Maddawg2020
April 15, 2013, 12:09 AM
you will get more a heck of lot more out of an hour of reloading than 100 hours with your therapist.....not to mention it will cost a lot less than the therapist will charge you

35 Whelen
April 15, 2013, 12:23 AM
you will get more a heck of lot more out of an hour of reloading than 100 hours with your therapist.....not to mention it will cost a lot less than the therapist will charge you
Exactly. Reloading is my time to take a mental bowel movement.

Reefinmike
April 15, 2013, 12:30 AM
mainly because with bulk components and cast, I can literally shoot ten boxes for the same price as factory ammo(well, call it 20-30 boxes if you factor in panic prices on factory ammo). Also because I never have to rely on a store to allow me to have my weekly fun, I just need powdervalleyinc once a year, my local tire store once a month and the berm at the range every so often. Also feels nice watching the guy next to you cringe before shooting off every 15 cent 22lr while you're sending 230 grains of lead down range for 3.7 cents

readyeddy
April 15, 2013, 02:42 AM
Because I can't find any factory 30 06 loads that use SGK #2160 with Lapua brass.

blarby
April 15, 2013, 06:46 AM
The biggest advantage to reloading is the ability to make your ammunition when shortages occur.

Well, I must say I never anticipated needing that advantage- but it is a nice, big fat one !

Personally I enjoy being able to surpass factory ammo quality in a big way- for less cost. Thats a win win for me. Even if I factored in minimum wage labor for plinking fare- its still a win. If I factor in premium labor for what I consider premium ammo ( precision cast bullets, match grade case prep, individual weighing of powder charges, just to name a few of the processes ) To the tune of about $25 an hour ( the average I end up getting for my actual work )- it kinda gets a little closer, but I can't walk into any store pre-ammopocalypse or not, and buy ammunition of that quality.

Not to mention there aren't a lot of purveyors of 215gr Gas Checked hardcast Hollowpoint bullets loaded to my pressure spec in 44 Remington Magnum.... nor are there any that offer .308 cartridges with 180 grain bullets loaded to an average OAL of 2.865 when seated uniformly to the ogive. Even if I wanted them, it's just not to be had.

To top it off, all the fun I've had over the last year with shotgun loadings ? That doesn't come in abox from walmart. It just doesn't.

Specifically, my 44 plinking loads cost me :

Bullet : 0.04 ( this includes a labor cost at $8.50/Hr )
Primer 0.03 (before the crazy- I bought sleeves of CCI for $30 locally- still have plenty)
Unique 0.02 ( 875ish per #- not as good as 45 ACP, but that ain't bad ! )
Lube : 0.005 ( I don't even know how to figure this'n... My last box of BA lube was like $65, and I have no idea when it will run out- no time soon )
Assembly labor 0.06 ( assuming a conservative estimate of about 125 per hour )

15.5c per round. Thats $7.75 per box of 50, and thats the most accurate math I can give you from my end.

My premium SD rounds ( which I trust enough to sleep next to- YMMV, for many reasons...I made this decision awhile ago ) :

Bullet 0.23 ( 200g GDHP )
Primer 0.04 ( Mag Match or Benchrest LRP's in custom tapped brass )
Powder 0.09 ( H110 )
Brass Prep 0.166 ( I can prep about 150 an hour correctly from new, at $25/hr )
Assembly Labor 0.41 ( Individual powder weight and full observed and noted assembly about 1 per minute at $25 per hour. This includes batching 25 from each lot, noting the components used, dating and timetagging the assembly video, and storage of those rounds with that SD card in that lot )

93 cents per round, or 46.50 per box of 50.

I've tried two types of factory ammunition for this gun.

While the remington had a fireball big enough to roast a hot dog on ( I cannot imagine firing this in a dark room half awake...sweet jeebus ) It was not particularly accurate, the flat noses didn't deploy particularly well in any media I tried, and it was loud enough to literally wake all 9 levels of hell. They were $48/50 rounds at Walmart.

The COR-BON rounds I tried in 260 grain shot as well as could be expected in the short barrel of my 44, but the recoil was..... STOUT ( not that my HD rounds aren't, but this would dislocate your wrist if you held it even slightly incorrectly ) the muzzleflash was good, and it had a great HP deployment. The cost : $45 for a box of 20 rounds.

So, in 44 mag- I'm very happy with my handloading results. Both in terms of quality, and price.

Flt Simulation
April 15, 2013, 07:30 AM
I just load .45 ACP

I don't need to buy brass since I always pick up my old brass and any other .45 ACP brass I find at the range.

The last time I bought bullets (prior to all this trouble we now have), it was costing me $132 per 1,000 to the door for Precision Delta 230gr FMJ RN.

Anyway, with primers and powder added, the cost for me reloading 230gr FMJ RN is 18 cents per round. That's $18 for a box of 100.

How much does it cost to buy a box of 100 .45 ACP FMJ now (if you can find it)?

blarby
April 15, 2013, 07:41 AM
45 ACP FMJ here in JC is currently $24/50 at the new LGS- they are the only place in town that has them.

They have HD ammo in 45 I believe it was $28/25.

In Eugene, S/M guns has 45 at about 75cents a round last I checked. They had a few flavors. They were selling 9mm at the height of the crazy for $1 per round
Yep. For 9mm. They sold every shot of it they had.

Lol, poor suckers that have to buy this stuff..............

Flt Simulation
April 15, 2013, 07:57 AM
.45 ACP FMJ here in JC is currently $24 / 50
___________________________

Jeeeze, that's $48 for 100

And to think, it cost me $18 for 100

Reloading is a no-brainer in this day and age if you like to go out and shoot a little.

blarby
April 15, 2013, 09:37 AM
Yep, and I cast for 45, makes it WAY cheaper than that.

But even if you have to buy bullets- its still a no-brainer. Loading 45 once you have it down pat- even on a single stage press, is about as easy as it gets.

kbbailey
April 17, 2013, 08:05 PM
Yep, and I cast for 45, makes it WAY cheaper than that.

Yea, plus the satisfaction of a shiny new bullet dropping from your mould!....then planting that bullet in a empty casing with a fresh primer and powder charge.....then putting that bullet through your target.

housecat
April 17, 2013, 08:26 PM
Any reloading handbook you buy the first sentence in the book is don't expect to save a lot of money reloading. You might save a little more by reloading with the ammo shortage. Another thing you are going to run into is the selection of bullets. Even when supplies are plentiful you can't find JSP bullets for a 357 or a 44. You can cast bullets but to get cheap factory ammo velocity you need a gas check. People say they can reload ammo for $4 a box but unless they are reloading for a 25 auto they have a $4 box of ammo.

Really? When I shot in Metallic Silhouette matches, I used my Ruger 44 mag with plain based cast bullets. They turned over the 200 meter rams just as reliably as the jacketed bullet factory loads. Leading was not a problem either. There must have been tons of really bad shooters at the matches because I out shot a lot of them with my lousy $4.00 a box ammo.

There is more to casting a bullet than whether or not you stick a GC on the end of it. Use the proper balance of antimony/tin/lead, quench the bullets, size the bullet to match your barrel, use a good lube and you can get surprisingly high performance out of plain based cast bullets.

Run your post through the Cast Boolits forum. The people are nice and the replies you get will be civil, but the level of disagreement will be high.

dragon813gt
April 17, 2013, 09:57 PM
Gas checks for cheap factory ammo velocity :laugh:
I don't use gas checks for full power 357 loads.


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Sport45
April 17, 2013, 11:34 PM
Why Do People Reload When ...

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It looks like it only costs a few dollars less per box?

A few dollars a box times lots of boxes equals lots of money. :)

Besides that, reloading can be as enjoyable as shooting. And most hobbies do cost money.

The money I spend on my reloading hobby allows me to shoot for free!

exdxgxe4life
April 21, 2013, 08:16 PM
50% of my brass comes from range pickups. Huge money saver, while time consuming. Accuracy is a major plus, you have an array of better bullet choices. I also cast my own .44 bullets from free wheel weights and make my own gas checks. I can shoot .44 mags for .05 cents. Not too bad son!

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