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first time - how many components should I buy?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by -Gadsden-, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. -Gadsden-

    -Gadsden- Well-Known Member

    (assuming I'm able to find anything!)

    I'm thinking 1lb of powder, 1000 bullets and 1000 primers, as many cases as I can find at ranges and perhaps getting some once fired if I can't get enough.

    Is this too much or too little? I know with economies of scale I could get a better deal by buying in bulk, but perhaps saving money initially is less important than getting a powder/bullet/primer that works for your gun?


    (I'll be reloading for a SIG Sauer SP2022 in 9mm and eventually but not immediately a Ruger SP101 .38spl/.357....for now)
  2. chris in va

    chris in va Well-Known Member

    You'd be just fine starting with that. Depending on your firearm and caliber, I'd hold off getting a thousand bullets though as you don't know if your gun likes the shape and weight.
  3. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Well-Known Member

    1000 primers is good, I would go with 500 bullets, I would get 2 or 3 pounds of powder just so you can play with different powders and find one you really like.

    The panic has slowed, but I don't know if the components are slowing going to come back down in price or if this is the new normal. If this is the new normal. Go with 1000 bullets and 1000 primers and 2-3 pounds of powder. They don't eat anything and take up very little space.
  4. ngnrd

    ngnrd Well-Known Member

    As far as ratios go, that's tough to say without knowing what powder you are looking at. But, assuming 5 grains of powder per 9mm load, one pound of powder is 1400 rounds worth. So, you would run out of bullets and primers well before you ran out of powder. If you used 7 grains of powder (for the .357), you would be dead even in your powder:bullet:primer ratio. Larger average powder charges and you would run out of powder first.

    The big question is... Can you get a single pound of powder that is appropriate for both 9mm and .357? (possibly, but it would likely not be ideal for either) And you will definitely need different bullets, and will likely need different primers.

    In regard to actual quantities of P/B/P, only you will know if 1000 rounds would be enough. And brass...? You'll want to get enough to cover at least one range session, maybe two or three. That way you can have a couple of sessions worth loaded at all times, and you won't have to worry about needing to load your empties before you can shoot again.

    How often do you shoot, and how many rounds at each session?
  5. -Gadsden-

    -Gadsden- Well-Known Member

    That's a good point -- right now I don't shoot just because the cost is prohibitively high, and $14 bucks for an hour per lane and two boxes of 50 costing $30-40 aint a good deal. I have a habit of sitting around and not spending money until I'm good and ready :D But typically it might be 100-200 rounds. I live in an urban/suburban area where ranges are expensive and exclusively indoors, so since I'm hoping to move up to New Hampshire I hope to do more frequent and voluminous shooting soon.

    I'd also like to have a good bit of loaded rounds stocked away and not be caught empty handed again when/if prices go up and supplies go scarce, so having extra won't bother me.
  6. splattergun

    splattergun Well-Known Member

    1000 rounds is a good start. 1000 bullets of a single type might be a bit much, though, if you decide you don't like your chosen projectile.

    I think by the time you get 1000 rounds loaded you will have a good grasp of the fundamentals of reloading and will know for certain whether you want to invest in 8 lb jugs of powder, bulk lots of bullets, and primers by the case. :D
  7. orionengnr

    orionengnr Well-Known Member

    Good point about making certain that the bullets you buy will feed in your pistol, but (in my experience) if you have a reasonably reliable and well maintained firearm, and buy a popular bullet profile you will be okay.

    For 9mm, I would start with a LRN, a TC or an SWC (like these http://www.missouribullet.com/results.php?category=5&secondary=8
    ). Yes, that is a thinly veiled endorsement of Missouri Bullet Company. :)

    If you have trouble initially, it is likely your overall length (well, not yours, but the cartridge's) and crimp, and you will figure that out quickly.

    The reloader's forum on THR has a number of knowledgeable and helpful individuals, and you will learn lots here.
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    More than I bought the first time. It'll do just fine.
  9. PhotoBiker

    PhotoBiker Well-Known Member

    I would start with 1.

    Before committing to 1000 of anything though, you should buy boxes of 100 of whatever you can get. Powder and bullets are still virtually non-existant at my LGS for 9mm (I have plenty stored up though).

    Brass should be pretty easy to get your hands on, you just have to look around.

    You will want to try different powders too, again whatever you can get that will work for 9mm that is (and there are a lot of powders to choose from).
  10. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Well-Known Member

    If 9mm is your primary concern right now I'd probably order whatever I could get my hands on that's suitable. I wouldn't hesitate to start with 500 round nose bullets, a pound of powder, and 1k of primers. I see the situation differently from those that suggest not to start with 500 of one particular bullet. It's slim pickings right now for 9mm bullets. If you can't find a good load within your first 100 bullets, chances are someone else would offer you a fair price for the other 400. It wouldn't be hard to get 80% of your money back if you pay pre-panic prices for your bullets. You almost can't start with less than 1lb of powder unless you get one of the odd-balls like Trail Boss or IMR PB. It'd be tough to find the better powders for "normal" prices, I'd look at as much load data as possible and just pick a powder that's listed for a decent range of bullet weights, the Lee 2nd Ed manual is a good place to look for that. For primers, pick any available brand of small pistol primers and buy 1000 or more. Magnum small pistol primers are fine, in fact you might be better off with magnums if you're eventually going to load .357, as some suitable .357 powders work better with magnum primers. Just start towards the bottom of listed data when you start working up loads and you'll be fine. You never know, you might find a great load using components that no one else wants.
  11. Cleftwynd

    Cleftwynd Well-Known Member

    Sadly, I can't get 100 rounds ammo with a pound of powder in some of my rifles, I wish I could get 1,400 per!!! lol
  12. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    If you want to save some costs buy in bulk
    primers come in sleeves of 5000 and they don't go bad
    Powder (for most makers) come in 1, 4, and 8# jugs - the bigger the jug, the lower the price per pound.

    Folks are talking about powder running 20-30 per pound. I bought 8# jugs that cost $102 each - that's less than $13/pound. 8# jugs typically come in a case of 2 jugs. Buying this way, especially in pistol loads, you'll have enough to last you for quite a while
  13. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    When I got started I rarely bought more than 100 of any bullet until I tested it. Exceptions were those not sold in smaller than 250 (such as Nosler SHG) and 500 (such as MBC, as I recall). But then only when they have good reviews and recommendations from folks who have loaded and shot them.
  14. blarby

    blarby Well-Known Member

    Right now ?

    Anything you can lay your dang hands on.

    Whatever you don't need- you can trade.

    The sky really is falling ! Grab that shopping cart at Bimart and cabelas, and just clean that mutha out !

    Walk down each aisle with your left arm out, sending a cascading waterfall of bullets, powder, primers and wads into the cart in front of you. If you can, unbolt the display presses- and make them give you a deal on them.

    Big PLANO container behind the counter full of parts you dont even understand ?

    SCREW THAT ! Shake it out in your cart anyway. When the stunned clerk looks at you in horror, just look him straight in the eye, Grunt like a pig, and take the damn container , too.

    Reloading manuals ? Throw 'em all in the cart- everyone needs 5 copies of the same damn book.

    And don't forget to take all of the factory ammunition too, even the 22-250 Nielson improved that was put there so long ago that the green and yellow on the box has faded to look like no-name mac and cheese at walmart. So what if you dont own the gun its chambered for- you'll get $97 and 4 gallons of water on the black market for that one dog-eared box thats missing a cartridge.

    Put it all on the highest interest credit card you have- it doesn't matter. The government thugs that are coming to take all of the guns and bullets away on thursday will probably bankrupt our economy- so you wont need to pay that bill - besides- you just might die in that furious street by street second civil war thats starting on firday.... and the Koreans are scheduled to show up on sunday....so I seriously doubt you'll ever need to pay that bill.

    Beans , bandaids, and bullets- Well heck, at least you'll have 1 out of three...and as my home ec teacher always told me, a " C-" aint that bad- at least you can make meatloaf sandwiches.

    Oh wait- thats what the laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaast guy did.

    Buy one box of whatever primer size you intend to start using, one pound of powder, and one box of bullets in that caliber.

    Come back and tell us what you got- we'll help with the rest.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  15. cwbys4evr

    cwbys4evr Well-Known Member

    I got enough to load 1000 of rifle and handgun so I would agree that is a solid starting point.

    Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk 2
  16. medalguy

    medalguy Well-Known Member

    I would hesitate to buy 1,000 of any bullet until you know your firearm will handle it. Try to find a box of 100 or ask on the Pay it Forward thread if you can get a few bullets to try. I have a few 9mm 115 gr RN that I would be happy to send you for testing. Not many, maybe 50, but they're yours if you want them. PM me if you do. Sorry no .38 or .357 bullets left. I loaded 'em all up.

    Most guys have a few bullets left over that didn't match their brass quantities, so just ask. I would recommend buying whatever primers you can find. They last forever. Powder is a little different-- go with something that is commonly used in the calibers you want to load for, store it where it's cool, and it will last forever.
  17. Matt Dillon

    Matt Dillon Well-Known Member

    You may wish to consider looking at Promo, for pistol powdet,as it is much more economical than other similar powders and one jug will last a loooong time!
  18. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Well-Known Member

    If I were in your shoes, I'd buy an 8 lb keg of Unique and 10,000 Small Pistol Primers.

    Good Luck :)
  19. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Rather than buying 1k of bullets, I would invest that money into primers and a powder that generally functions well in 9mm. Then once you've tested a s few bullet types / weights make you bulk buy of bullets. This will eliminate the possibility of getting stuck with bullets that don't work well in your firearms.
    As for brass, get as much as you can get your hands on.

  20. CZ223

    CZ223 Well-Known Member

    I would buy what I could find and could afford

    Right now it is hard to find anything online. Cabela's is darn near cleaned out every time I get there. The last time I was there they had no pistol powder. Remember, you are in this for the long term. If you go looking for bullets and can't find any but you can find primers, buy them. For powders I would start with 231, bullseye and, unique. Don't let the prices get you down either. If you wait for them to go down they may just go up. If I could find 1000 bullets for the 9mm, any bullet, I would buy them. Also, If you find components for the 38/357 I would buy while the getting is good. I just went to a gun show and bought $1400 in components because I could get them. I will be going to another gun show in two weeks and hope to be able to get more.

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