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Questions on re-loading

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Grassman, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Grassman

    Grassman Well-Known Member

    I'll preface this by saying I know didly squat about re-loading, but might want to lean how. The main question I have is what are the cost savings of re-loading, I'll be trying .308 .40 and 22-250 cal. The reason I am asking is because I could get into it fairly cheaply. My dad, (rest his soul) gave me boxes of old reloading equipment, everything you might need from manuals to all equipment and presses. It's all about 30 years old, but I don't think that's a problem. Or is it? I know techniques and things have changed, but this equipment all looks pretty good. The price of ammo is going up, and might get even higher. Also apart from saving a little money, it might be pretty enjoyable. What say you?
  2. atblis

    atblis Well-Known Member

    There's a reloading forum on here you might browse around in.

    The thing about reloading is that you can get much much higher quality ammo for about the same price as regular. You can also tailor it to your gun which can make a huge difference in accuracy.

    You can save money, but that is usually true for more exotic calibers. 10mm Auto for me is definitely worth my time. 9mm, not so much but I still do it.

    Reloading cost calculator. Look up some prices on components and plug them in.
  3. FoMoGo

    FoMoGo Well-Known Member

    I am reloading .44 special and .357 mag for around $5 a box of 50... and I am on the higher side of it.

  4. longdayjake

    longdayjake Well-Known Member

    Well, if you already have the equipment then you don't need to worry about the huge quantity that you will have to reload to pay for the equipment. That is the biggest consern that most have when starting out. By far the most expensive part in reloading is the equipment and then comes the components. You can actually make plinking (cheap rounds) for really really cheap no matter what gun you are reloading for (except maybe .50 bmg) Even high end stuff is usually cheaper than buying half the quantity already loaded.

    I don't see why you wouldn't start. Though IF you decide not to I would like to be first on the list to buy the stuff from you.
  5. Grassman

    Grassman Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking I might give it a try, start reading up on it. There is a lot of equipment there, my dad was a spare no expense guy, so I'm sure it high quality equipment.
  6. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Golly, my "new" reloading equipment is 30 years old. Works fine.

    Primers and powder, if any are included, might or might not be OK, depending on the storage conditions.

    Start by reading the manuals, the part at the front where it describes what has to be done and why. Once you understand the process, try a few loads based on the data in the manuals.

    You might want to discard any powder that looks old or smells funny; old powder is dangerous not because it will give high pressure, but because it may give too low pressure, and letting a bullet stick in the barrel.

  7. the foot

    the foot Well-Known Member

    Grassman, 30-year-old reloading equipment is not a problem. Many of us reloaders are using the same gear we bought or inherited way back.

    For me reloading is a hobby unto itself, aside for the fact that I am a shooter.

    Check out the gear you have, get a few books on reloading, figure out what new equipment you might need, and give it a try.

    A bit of advice, do not pay much attention to what you read on the internet about the subject. I find all sorts of bad info on reloading on the internet. Info ranging from sometimes good, to sometimes dangerous or ludicrous.
  8. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 Well-Known Member

    1st rule to reloading is there is never a dumb question.
    2nd rule is when in doubt don't try it.

    Best advice is try and find a knowledgable human resource as a mentor to apprentice under. I am very fortunate that it is how I got started and the guy has saved me from wasting money on stuff and given me loads of valuable advice.
  9. longdayjake

    longdayjake Well-Known Member

    Just curious... What color is all the stuff you have? Blue, green, red, orange?

    Just knowing the color may help us to know just what quality you have.
  10. Grassman

    Grassman Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I have a ton of powder also. Should I just get rid of it? There are a lot cases and bullets too, not sure what caliber, haven't really gotten too far in it. I might pull it all out this weekend and see whats what.
  11. Grassman

    Grassman Well-Known Member

    Some green, some red.
  12. RustyFN

    RustyFN Well-Known Member

    On average you should be able to save 50% on pistol ammo and a little more loading rifle.
  13. atblis

    atblis Well-Known Member

    Powder will keep for quite a while if stored properly. I wouldn't throw it away necessarily.

    If it was in unopened containers, and stored in a temperature stable location, it could very well be just fine.
  14. Grassman

    Grassman Well-Known Member

    Well, after I look at the stuff, I'll report back with a ton more questions I'm sure.
  15. presspuller

    presspuller Well-Known Member

    As long as its been kept cool and dry it should be fine. If it smells bad then do not use it.
    If in any doubt then use it as plant food.
  16. longdayjake

    longdayjake Well-Known Member

    Well, Green usually means good if it is RCBS. Red, you could be getting lee stuff which is pretty good starter stuff however there are experienced shooters that swear by lee. I cant remember if hornady presses are red or orange. If it is a hornady then it will be good. Sounds like you hit the jackpot. Sorry it had to be the result of losing someone you love. Take some pictures of everything when you can and post them so we can see all that you got.
  17. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    "It's all about 30 years old, but I don't think that's a problem. Or is it? I know techniques and things have changed,"

    Nothing has really changed much in reloading since the late fifties. We do have some new tools, mostly gages of some type or other, but the basic tools are pretty much the same as before. I started loading in '65 and still have all of my original gear. Have lots of newer stuff too but it's because I do more things now, not because the old stuff isn't still working quite well!

    I also have a few half filled cans of powder I got on my original purchase, retail price marked as $2.75! Haven't checked it this year but last year it was still ready to use. I just never got any good accuracy with some of it so the unused cans are still there! Unless your powder (and primers) have been stored in heat above maybe 105 degrees, it should be fine. Cold sure doesn't harm it!

    The color of your gear doesn't matter, all our makers produce quite good tools. Set yours up, load awhile and then ask questions for what might work easier, item by item, not by brand.
  18. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Well-Known Member

    First thing that cought my attention was the 30 yr old manuals. I would read them for a basic understanding of what you are getting into, then get a new manual that will have lower charges in it and tell you about all the new toys and gadgets that have come out.
  19. Arthur_500

    Arthur_500 Member

    Purchase one or two new manuals. Believe it or not some of the older manuals had some figures that were occasionally optomistic or (worse)aggressive. In other words, they may have given figures that were borderline unsafe. A new manual will give you the opportunity to compare and stay safe.
    Bullet manufacturers will give several different types of powders but you can often get free loading information direct from the powder manufacturers.
    Get a handloading book that gives you step-by-step pictures and follow it carefully. Soon you will find you are cruising along and taking shortcuts - that's not good but we have all done dumb things. Drop your bullet into the case because you forgot to resize it and you'll understand what I mean.
    I would suggest spending the money on an electronic scale and/or powder measure. Personally I think it is a great investment in "new" technology. Good luck and have fun.
  20. Grassman

    Grassman Well-Known Member

    Really appreciate the info guys, I'm going to get in those boxes and see what I got, this weekend.

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