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Cool.... I can shoot .38's cheaper than .22lr

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Carbon_15, Jan 1, 2009.

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  1. Carbon_15

    Carbon_15 Member

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    Acording to the calculator in my Lee shooters program, 50 of my .38 reloads cost $1.07 to assemble. I cast the bullets from "mined" and smelted range lead, drop in 4.2 grains of American Select at 18.99 a lb, and use primers that I bought in bulk years ago at 1.00 per hundred. Even at todays higher primer costs, that only $2 and a few pennies per 50
    Federal 550 pack .22's figure out to 1.09 per 50. Switch to anything but bulk pack stuff and your up to atleast 2x's the cost of my miserly .38 loads

    Dang, I'm glad I discovered casting!!
     
  2. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    That is impressive. Rock on. :)
     
  3. Dean Williams

    Dean Williams Member

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    If you're gonna shed a lot of lead, casting is the way to go!
    Have fun.
     
  4. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Absolutely, love it.

    stages.jpg
     
  5. crebralfix

    crebralfix member

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    Sounds great...until you run out of cheap primers. So what's the real price per round when you cast?
     
  6. Dean Williams

    Dean Williams Member

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    Even if you pay a dollar per pound for scrap lead, it's cheap.

    For 38 Special.
    Lead $1 lb. Primers $28 per k. Powder $22 lb.

    148 gr bullet = $.02
    3 gr powder = $.009
    primer.........= $.028
    $.057 per loaded round

    That's $2.85 a box for 38, (50 count).
    Still dirt cheap for centerfire fun.
     
  7. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    You're hooked now. Great feeling isn't it?
     
  8. rmmoore

    rmmoore Member

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    Hopefully you've already depreciated away the cost of your Capital expenses like reloader, smelter, tumbler, and consumables (items needed FOR the 'process', but not necessarily a part OF the 'product' (ie. tumbling media, bullet lube, ect). :D I hate to draw fine lines, but expenses are expenses. It's STILL cheaper to reload though:neener:
     
  9. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    Here's the way I look at it. Casting helps me to relax, so what I spent on a 20.00 mould, & a 20.00 4# pot were worth it the first time I cast for an afternoon. You'll spend 40.00+ for a good massage that doesn't last more than a day. I spent 40.00 that will last me a long dang time and I get more benefit that I would have from one massage. I also bugged folks during the summer for lead and got a few hundred lbs for free, so my pistol rounds cost me primers & powder only. I load 38, 357, or 9mm for under 40.00/1000 all day long. :neener: Then I get to shoot them:eek: If there is a downside to this I haven't found it.
     
  10. adam500

    adam500 Member

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    Where do you get all the brass? That is not figured into the price and is the most expensive component.

    Adam
     
  11. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Range brass is everywhere and fairly inexpensive. Usually free.
     
  12. MMCSRET

    MMCSRET Member

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    38 special light loaded can be loaded in excess of 30 times, not much to depreciate, but a lot to appreciate.
     
  13. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    Look on the sale forums and you will find pistol brass for around $40.00-$50.00/1000 usually and lightly loaded it will last a long time. If you have a local range hit it often and start picking it up every chance you get. Pick up everything and trade off what you don't need for what you do need. See how fast it adds up. Tell everyone you know that shoots to save you their brass too.
     
  14. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Factor in electricity costs for the casting machine?

    What's your time worth?

    Nothing wrong with reloading, but there are costs (brass, current cost of primers, cost of lead, electricity, initial costs of loading machine and dies) you haven't factored in.
     
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    This comes up frequently in opposition to handloading.
    If you have a job where you can go to the shop or office at will and crank out some PAID overtime, you might do better to buy your ammo. For common pistol calibers, at least.

    But if the alternative is to watch beer commercial millionaires throw a ball around, well, that is your choice.
     
  16. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    When you run out of American Select, buy a jug of Alliant Promo. About $75 for 8 pounds, and you use less than with AS. (4.0 grains of Promo is a good load with 125 grain cast bullets, 3.5 is probably a max load for 158's but I haven't tried that yet)
     
  17. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    I don't watch TV. I spend most of my time on the net learning and sharing experiences. I have been out of work for 2 1/2 years and have no fixed schedule. My time is my time and I enjoy reloading and casting, so it is time well spent. For those of you with schedules and time constraints, you will have to figure it on your own.
    If your time is so valuable that you can't/won't cast, but buy already cast, go for it. Most of the rest of us would rather save a few bucks and do it ourselves. Nothing wrong with either way, your lifestyle will dictate which way you go.

    OK, so I leave a light or two off or take a shorter shower. Not trying to be a smart a$$ here.

    Look at it like this. You could chill for a few hours in front of the idiot box for mild entertainment that you will most likely nitpick later on, or you could spend that same time casting peacefully making things to bring more enjoyment later. Fun that spawns fun kinda.
     
  18. Carbon_15

    Carbon_15 Member

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    heck yea. Its nice to be a little less dependant on local supply, shipping charges, panic buying etc for my bullets. Powder and primers are usualy pretty available. But bullets are getting hard to find around here.

    its fun...a hobbie. Do you think you could be working overtime instead when your fishing, or playing golf, or watching sports.

    I have never bought any brass (except 7.62x39) I can pick up enough brass at my local range after an IDPA or steel challenge match to keep me reloading for decades. If I get low for some reason, there is an indoor range nearby that will let me pilfer their brass.

    as many rounds as I go through, I made up the cost of equipment in no time. the good thing is quality reloading equipment will last a lifetime.
     
  19. JImbothefiveth

    JImbothefiveth Member

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    How do you cast the lead safely? (Without breathing it in.) A mask?
    Or do you cast outdoors, and go away while it melts? (Would be nice to be able to shoot cheap centerfire.)
     
  20. shiftyer1

    shiftyer1 Member

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    I thought a hobby was supposed to be enjoyable and relaxing. If reloading and casting fits in those catagories for someone then I think it would be WORTH the time, and the extra electricity? bill.
    Oh by the way u left the hallway light on.
     
  21. fecmech

    fecmech Member

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    There are no fumes off of lead at casting temps(600-700 deg. F). Lead needs to get up in the 1000-1100 deg range for fumes. The only problem with lead casting is hand to mouth contamination from handling the lead. If you wash your hands after handling lead and don't suck on your fingers or the lead ingots, or smoke while casting you will be fine.
     
  22. Carbon_15

    Carbon_15 Member

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    I wear rubber gloves and a reperator...and always cast outside. I dont know if the resperator is necisary, but it makes my wife happy and I dont have to smell the flux buring off.
     
  23. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I have cast with my mould and lead in a friend's pot. I once figured it out, a two hour session that provided enough bullets for two BPCR matches* took about a quarter's worth of electricity. So I buy him a hamburger after casting.

    *Match rifle bullets is ALL I will cast. I think it is drudgery and not worth it for pistol or plinking bullets, I am willing to pay the production casters for that grade of bullet.
     
  24. Dean Williams

    Dean Williams Member

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    As far as brass goes, if you are going to get your brass by shooting up some factory ammo, then the brass is a no cost item once you've shot the original factory load. You pay the price of new ammo, shoot it just as you would whether you reload or not, and that brass has been fully paid for. One shot, done. Every time you reload that brass thereafter, it's the same as being free brass. If you are a non-reloader you would have had no further use for it anyway, and it would have been thought of as "just the cost of shooting".
     
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