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Why Do People Reload When ...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Satasaurus, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    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.
  2. 4season

    4season Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. EMC45

    EMC45 Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. Jimfern

    Jimfern Well-Known Member

    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?
  7. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. RCModel, I believe that would be just under 10 cents apiece for those bullets. :)
  9. kBob

    kBob Well-Known Member

    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......

  10. gspn

    gspn Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. rrothgeb

    rrothgeb New Member

    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
  12. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. exbrit49

    exbrit49 Well-Known Member

    Just re-costed out my reloads

    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.
  14. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Well-Known Member

    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.

  15. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    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
  17. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    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
  19. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Well-Known Member

    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.

    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.
  20. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    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.

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