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Don't reload? You should... here's why

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by 1KPerDay, Apr 23, 2013.

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  1. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Even if you dismiss the other advantages of reloading: the much cheaper ammo cost, the greater flexibility of building ammo to your specs, the ability to build ammo from your supplies when no factory ammo is available anywhere, the enjoyment of the activity... even the environmental benefits... the following should be reason enough. This is the first group I shot of the first batch of new loads I'm working up for a new bullet (Berry's 155gr HBFP with HP-38). Seated from a cardboard box rest at 25 feet, I first fired a group of factory ammo, CCI Lawman 180Gr TMJ (left group) and then my reloads (right group):

    Glock 23:

    IMAG0556_zpse439b1a0.jpg
    IMAG0557_zps67f7445e.jpg

    And through the Taurus:

    IMAG0558_zps4d8a137e.jpg

    PPC bronze produced a similar group to the CCI Lawman.

    I'm not claiming I'm the best marksman in the world (I'm definitely not even close). But I just was impressed at the obvious improvement over commonly available factory rounds. These aren't what anyone would consider "Match" reloads, either. These are relatively cheap, plated bullets assembled safely but quickly via Lee Classic Turret into mixed range pickup cases. For handguns I don't trim, I don't clean or uniform primer pockets, I don't weigh cases or bullets or sort brass by headstamp. If my powder measure throws within .1grain or so I call it good (I don't approach max loads; HP-38 meters very consistently though... I get no variation to speak of). I don't freak out if OAL varies a couple hundredths, as long as the rounds still pass the "plunk" test and chamber well.

    I put off reloading for many years... now I wish I'd started many years ago. :)
     
  2. DeathByCactus

    DeathByCactus Member

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    My brother and I got a kit this weekend. We are gonna learn how to cast and reload. It will take time (18 weeks) to get what we need, but in the end I think it will be greatly beneficial.

    Especially now that I have a .357 mag (so by default .38 special/+p) and a .38 super. Eventually will work our way to precision .308 ammo.
     
  3. Ryanxia

    Ryanxia Member

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    I had started collecting the components to reload before the panic buying, even reloading components are getting hard to get around here so I sold my components to friends since it will probably still be a year or two before I bother picking up a press and actually starting to reload.
     
  4. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Many non-reloaders will dispute this. They will add up the start-up costs (all the equipment and indirect accessories) and they will add their time in with monetary value.

    I have a brother that explained to me that his time was worth a little more than $20/hour and given that, reloading was no way to save money. So of course, instead of using his spare time doing something that I could describe as productive, he spends four-plus hours a day watching TV or playing PlayStation when he could be reloading ammo. I guess that means his TV/game habits cost him upwards of $100 per day.

    He doesn't have any ammo today but I can load up a couple hundred rounds tonight in an hour or so.
     
  5. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    That's funny. I always chuckle when somebody says their time is worth money when talking about a hobby. So when they go fishing, golfing or hiking, they're loosing thousands. And vacations........whoa! :)
     
  6. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    I was going to buy him a Lee Classic Loader 9mm kit for his birthday, but Heaven forbid he make some ammo while watching TV. :neener:
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  7. Grassman

    Grassman Member

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    I've been loading for about five years now, and I can't quite say it saves me money, maybe a push. But I enjoy it, so that's worth it for me.
     
  8. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I paid for my press and tools and accessories within the first few months... IF you don't count the time it takes to reload.

    I'm cheap though... and it's very difficult for me to pay for a box of factory ammo now. The little voice in the back of my head keeps saying, "I could reload that for 5 bucks!!" :D LOL

    I have sort of a love/hate thing going with rifle loading, though... all the extra prep is not fun for me.

    Handgun reloading feels like I'm being productive and actually have something to show for a small amount of effort. Rifle reloading to me still feels like a huge amount of time and effort for little benefit. But I'm more of an informal/plinking/run-and-gun shooter right now. If I ever am patient enough to learn how to shoot long range properly, I'm sure the effort of reloading really consistent rifle rounds will be worth it.
     
  9. Bruno2

    Bruno2 Member

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    Forget about saving money. I bet I have easily 5 grand tied up in my reloading bench if not more.
     
  10. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    So... you'll break even after you load 10 boxes of rifle rounds? :D
     
  11. Bruno2

    Bruno2 Member

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    At todays prices yes!
     
  12. IdahoSkies

    IdahoSkies Member

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    Money wise, it often depends on caliber and frequency. I absolutely save money when I load my 10mm. My 9? Not so sure. But I like the flexibility, I can pretty well shoot when I want to shoot, especially in this climate. I have components, and if I find factory loads great, I can shoot those two. I like having the choice.
     
  13. rodregier

    rodregier Member

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    Your time is only worth something if it could be applied on a discretionary basis to generate revenue. For example, a trades-person who can work optional overtime and receive additional pay for that added time worked.

    Just sayin'
     
  14. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    I annually "purchase" all my powder and primers with Cabela's points, so those components don't technically cost me a dime. Almost all of my equipment was given to me when my dad stumbled across it all at an estate sale for nothing. I did buy my LnL AP though and I buy all my rifle bullets. Dad casts and gives me all the handgun bullets from lead he's acquired over the many years and a lot of that lead was given to him; he must have a couple lifetimes' supply of lead there. So reloading barely costs me anything from year to year and it cost me absolutely nothing to get started.
     
  15. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

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    reloading is great except you cannot get components. I cant even get a turret for a lee press
     
  16. David E

    David E Member

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    Yeah, our time isn't worth squat....

    I've found that the people who claim their time is worth something, they are either too lazy to reload or they can afford the setup that allows them to maximize their reloading time.

    It's not hard to get a setup that'll produce 1000 rounds or more an hour. Let's put 9mm component costs at .15 cents per round, or $150 per 1000. Add brothers $20 "labor" costs and we are at $170 per 1000

    Right now, I can find 9mm for $18.50 (with tax) per 50, or $370 per 1000 for a difference of $200. Before long, the entire reloading setup is paid for and you're coming out ahead each and every time.

    Or, like your brother, he can bitch about not having ammo to shoot as he watches another rerun of "Red Dawn."....at $20 an hour.....("so it cost you $40 to watch that movie?")
     
  17. joecil

    joecil Member

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    Well for me I own two presses a Lee Classic Cast and a Lee Classic Turret. Now I load 9mm, 45 ACP, 45 Colt and some 45-70 on the LCT using Lee Dies and powder feeds for each caliber. Now the LCC I also load 45-70 but my heavy hunting loads using RCBS Cowboy dies as well as 12 ga Magtech brass shot shells with BP. I also use it for bullet sizing, Lee bulge buster setup for 45 ACP and with Lee Universal Decapping die for used brass before cleaning it. Now I have a lot of money into my setup including scales, tumbler, media for tumbler, lubes for bullets, and at least 1000 bullets for each caliber for plinking with hunting bullets for 45 Colt and 3 for 45-70 as well as several powders for each caliber including Black Powder (several brands). Since I've only been at it a little over a year I've not recovered much in cost however even buying the bullets, brass, powder and primers the per cartridge cost is considerably cheaper especially for the 45 Colt and 45-70 but not so much for the 9mm and 45 ACP but still save a bit. However I find it very relaxing really and as much fun as actually shooting often wondering way I didn't do it from the start which is 50 years of shooting for me.

    At any rate one of my favorite powders for 9mm, 45 ACP and 45 Colt is HP-38 but have loaded all 3 with several other powders.
     
  18. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    My brother who is 10 years behind me in life decided last year he wanted to really get into shooting. I have been shooting over 50 years and rolling my own for over 40 years. He asked me plenty of questions about hand loading and I kept the answers going. So I decided that for Christmas I would set Russ up with a complete RCBS Rock Chucker kit, the loving and generous brother that I am.

    Everything arrived and was wrapped well before Christmas. I was really proud of myself. Then disaster struck our little world. Russ is doing real well producing 357 and 9mm as well as 223. He has found some components but my stash has taken some hits. :)

    Never figured on this latest drought when I gave him the press. The deal is that most of the components I have given him will be returned when things settle down. Getting him into reloading was a great idea and he loves it, just that my timing sucked big time.

    On a side note like I told Russ, I build for accuracy and not to save money.

    Ron
     
  19. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    Well you can always consider your purchases of equipment as investments. If you buy a press, scale, trimmer, and other stuff, you can usually sell it for what you paid for it after a few years because of inflation. Does anyone doubt they could sell a Dillon 650 today for at least what they paid for it ten years ago?

    If you accept the investment basis, then the equipment really doesn't "cost" anything at all. And given today's interest rates, there's hardly any difference in buying reloading equipment and stuffing cash under your mattress. :scrutiny:
     
  20. 2@low8

    [email protected] Member

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    Now I’m saving too much money!

    It was all about saving money when I started to reload because I was a new LEO making $143 a week who caught the shooting bug in the police academy.

    I started with a Lee $9.99 kit in .38Spl/.357Mag, a hundred primers, a hundred bullets and a pound of powder. Today, after 45 years of reloading, I have 4 progressive metallic presses, 4 single stage metallic presses, 2 progressive shotgun presses, 2 single stage shotgun presses and about every useful doodad that you can think of. I don’t even want to think how much I have invested in my equipment! Now I’m saving too much money!

    Shooting has been a passion for me and there’s not a doubt that reloading opened the door…..Frankie
     
  21. wvshooter

    wvshooter Member

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    There are a lot of nice things about reloading.

    One of the best things is not having worry about the panics that hit the supply of factory ammo. I bulked up on primers and powder a couple years ago and have plenty.
     
  22. pockets

    pockets Member

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    I reloaded years ago. But like your brother, my time is worth more than what I could save reloading ammo...plus, I do not find reloading to be relaxing.
    However, instead of spending four hours a day playing video games, I spend a couple working my side business. That earns me far more extra cash than I could save by reloading. I've been doing this for 16 years now. My hobby side-line has paid for a few dozen firearms, ammo, vacations, guitars, slot cars, etc....not to mention buying goodies for my wife.
    .
     
  23. baz

    baz Member

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    I have a Lee hand press and primer tool. I'll decap, resize, and prime while watching TV. But when it comes to loading the powder and adding the bullet, no way. That requires my full concentration. I also have a Lee Classic turret press almost put together to begin reloading rifle calibers. But I plan to continue to use the hand press for the pistol calibers. I just like it.
     
  24. The-Reaver

    The-Reaver Member

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  25. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    baz

    Same with me; when it comes to the actual loading of the rounds, I don't want any distractions whatsoever. Reloading ammo gets my full 100% attention.
     
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