Quantcast
  1. Upgrade efforts paused for now. Thanks for your patience. More details in the thread in Tech Support for those who are interested.
    Dismiss Notice

Looking to gain a new skill in reloading ammo. Saving money? Is it a bad idea to buy fired brass?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Turk81, Oct 23, 2022.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. The_Quartermaster

    The_Quartermaster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2022
    Messages:
    479
    I was shown rifle on a single and pistol on a progressive auto indexing. If by yourself and no reloading friends to show you the ropes in person then I agree a single is the way to go for a first timer. However if a well seasoned hobbyist is teaching you in person then there's nothing to be concerned about because after being explained, shown, and hands on with each, a progressive is definitely not rocket science and is just as easy as the single but with much less steps in the reloading process.
     
    Turk81 likes this.
  2. The_Quartermaster

    The_Quartermaster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2022
    Messages:
    479
    It is saving money but it's also not saving money. If you want quality quantities but is limited in funds then you can spread out your purchasing of components. Things like that helps when one can't afford a case of ammo using just one paycheck to spend some of it on.

    And it really is a labor of love. No one is paying me to do nothing either so my time is still not money being made and I actually like doing it from start to finish.
     
    ballman6711 and Turk81 like this.
  3. Jimster

    Jimster Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    1,100
    Location:
    IL
    I started out reloading 45-70 BP on a Lyman 310 tool. Those were the days!
     
    dartor, murf, Turk81 and 1 other person like this.
  4. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Messages:
    3,291
    Location:
    NE Kansas
    To answer your questions here goes. Does it save money? ONLY if you shoot a lot, yes the per-round cost can be much less than factory. But, you must factor in the time you spend. How much is it worth to you? The older I get the more expensive reloading costs, in terms of time. The 2nd issue, range brass vs new. I've done a lot of both. Range brass of course is usually free, but you will pay for it in prep time. Some range brass can take a fair amount of time to clean, resize, trim, cut out primer pocket, prime, load, and set bullet. And then the task of keeping accurate loading data for every experiment and every success. Labeling your ammo cases to make sure you know which ammo shoots well in which gun. Another benefit is improved accuracy if you work at it. New brass is much much easier and economical in terms of saving a lot of time. And NO, I've never bought "once fired" brass and never would. You have no way of knowing for sure what you are getting.
    I personally think the only good reason to reload is that reloading is an engaging and productive hobby. But, to do it right, it's also not cheap.
     
  5. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    1,909
    Location:
    Iowa
    If someone is planning on reloading in reasonable quantities starting on a progressive isn’t a bad idea. You can start by treating it as a single stage or turret press if you want.

    Buying once fired brass is a good way to get quantities of common brass. 9mm brass is common enough that people practically give it away for around $.02 to .03. I’ve bought once fired brass for a few calibers - .38 Special and .30-06 come to mind. I’ve always had enough 9mm and .223 brass to never consider buying it.
     
    Turk81 likes this.
  6. ballman6711

    ballman6711 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2019
    Messages:
    938
    Saving money? Maybe... it really depends on what you load. I don't think you will save much on .223 or 9mm, if any, and you'll have to make a lot of it to break even on the cost of the equipment.

    Where you will save money is the oddballs or less popular calibers as some others have stated. I load for my 480 Ruger revolver and save a ton over the cost of factory ammo. I also load for .223, and I save a bit if I don't have to pay for brass, but really not much.

    And as others have said, a real benefit is you can continue shooting when you can't find factory ammo, provided you have the components.

    I started loading about 4-1/2 years ago because I wanted to try it and maybe save money. My equipment cost to start was about $260, not including components. Now, if I want to load a new caliber, my equipment cost is a set of dies and a shell holder, so about $60 give or take, really depends on which brand you buy.

    Would I do it again? Absolutely! I really enjoy reloading, and it is a hobby that supports my shooting hobby.

    chris
     
    Josh759, Turk81 and GeoDudeFlorida like this.
  7. EricBu

    EricBu Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2021
    Messages:
    1,024
    [HIJACK]Did you send them an email requesting it? If enough of us do, maybe they will offer it.[/HIJACK]
     
    Turk81 and GeoDudeFlorida like this.
  8. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    21,202
    If saving money is the goal, one would buy as little as they can to get by.

    That’s one round it’s difficult to load for cheaper than the least expensive factory ammunition.

    I hope you have better luck with the LNL AP and .308 than I did. The case is tall enough and with the die/bullet combination (RCBS seater/150gn SP) I was using, because of the half index up/down, the bullet would get knocked off the case by the bottom of the die, as it finished the 2nd half of the index. I had to stick the bullet up into the die, raise the ram enough that the press finishes the index, then set the bullet into the case mouth and finish the stroke. That gets old quick when you are used to just setting the bullet on the case and take it straight up.


    Seems like you have already purchased normally ready Winchester ammunition, I think I would reuse that brass until I need more. I would also keep my eye out for other brass, while I am recovering mine as well. Just don’t pick mine up if we are shooting together. ;)
     
    Charlie98, Turk81, AJC1 and 2 others like this.
  9. mdi

    mdi Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Messages:
    5,017
    Location:
    Orygun!
    One reason I won't/don't try and figger my cost vs factory is pricing components. I bought some powder several years ago, price? I bought some lead18 years ago, price? Bought some primers 20 years ago, in bulk, on sale, how much did they cost? Do I research current component pricing vs factory ammo? I use a lot of range pick ups and "once fired" brass. To be fair I would have to include shipping (if I bought ammo on line), wear and tear and fuel for buying locally (only one place in my small town to buy components so I occasionally have to/like to drive 50 miles north) and of course HazMat if I order components on line. Waaaay to much trouble just to satisfy my curiosity.

    The main reason I don't try to place a dollar value on my handloads is I like reloading and adding a "money factor" might ruin my pleasurable pastime. So, bottom line; I reload because I like to reload!
     
  10. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2020
    Messages:
    9,750
    Location:
    Memphis
    The only value I place on my loads are to expensive to sell for many reasons....
     
    dartor and Turk81 like this.
  11. foxmeadow

    foxmeadow Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    211
    Location:
    West of Eugene, Orygun
    None of my shooting buddies reload. only one saves his 6.5 CM brass for some 'way in the future' plan to reload. We have a private range, my friends all seem to be shooting LC surplus, and commercial 9mm, so my range pickup situation is stable. We just don't seem to shoot much anymore; everybody is too busy..
     
  12. 50of4064

    50of4064 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    Whittier,CA
    Now that you have russelled-up the hen house and feathers are all a flying..as Grand-dad would say..
    Welcome to the club, firstly.....you have come to the right place for your questions anything firearm related...the members here will set you straight, no worries there.

    Start with a Single Stage Press AND find someone you trust, who reloads and can give you hands on tutorials.

    When I started handloading, I was given this advice from a friend and I am going to pass it on to you....this is what he barked at me...
    Get a manual.
    Read the manual 3 times, then we will let you
    work with the press. You will not be allowed to use your press entill you are certified by me,
    ( me, being my friend)
    My friend wanted me to learn "hand loading" all my ammo safely, one round at a time , one step at a time, this was a long process....that I am very greatfull to him for...his reasoning was to ingrain the correct, basic steps on a single stage press and those processes will carry through, should I advance to a progressive type press.
    Be safe my friend, take it slow but most of all, have fun!!
    See you at the range!!!!!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2022
  13. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Messages:
    3,291
    Location:
    NE Kansas
    2nd response to this post. I admit the reason I started reloading was to load on the cheap. I'm good at scrounging useable components, rehabbing the brass and finding low priced options on new components. For example, had a friend who had access to wholesale powder from Hodgdon. At one time I bought an 8lb jug of Benchmark for $70. Also in those days I reloaded with my brother and we shot 1,000s of rounds of .204 and .223 at prairie dogs. Under those circumstances, indeed, it was much cheaper and we used spent brass, mostly from shooters I knew and was free.
    Alas, those days are gone. Prices have skyrocketed, supplies have dwindled, and my brother is no longer able to participate. I learned from him and others, bought newer better equipment, and have taught others and made new friends. What I've gotten out of reloading far exceeds what it has cost me.
     
  14. Targa

    Targa Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2019
    Messages:
    1,287
    I started reloading for .44, .454, 45-70, .500 S&W, .475 Linebaugh. There is no way I would even own firearms chambered for the above without reloading. When it comes to the big bores, you cover the up front cost of reloading in a hurry, I also include my molds that I cast with, primers, powder and brass in that equation. I can shoot the heavy stuff with no financial planning whatsoever, it just costs me time to cast boolits and reload for them.

    For .308, .223 and 9mm? It depends, I think I would reload more as a shortage avoidance measure. It was very recently that they were hard to come by and when you did the prices were ridiculous. It’s because of that I started casting bullets and reloading for 9mm.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2022
    ballman6711 likes this.
  15. Russ57

    Russ57 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2022
    Messages:
    78
    I find this an interesting statement and one that agrees with my "DIY" endeavors.

    In every case I can think of, the beginner is told, "you could save money but you won't". Also, "you are about to embark on a very addictive path". Some will say, "If you measure things in dollars you will certainly be poorer, but if you apply yourself and learn, you will be richly rewarded".

    You don't save money because you quickly find out you can make better than you can afford to buy. Since you have had a taste of "fine drink, beautiful women, and fast cars" you just can't go back to your old ways. In short you are up selling yourself. I build fishing rods. Used to be I wouldn't spend more than $100-200 tops on a rod or reel. Now I know the difference that quality gear makes in terms of how many fish end up in the cooler. My average rod now would retail in the $300- 600 range. Given what it costs to go offshore fishing, and what quality fish cost in the store, if that rod gets me one extra fish it has paid for itself and will make me money for years to come. Sure, dollar wise I'm poorer but in other ways I'm way ahead in the game.

    I'm quite sure a big game hunter would find it equally worth his while to invest in developing quality ammo, tricking out his rifle, and investing in good optics.

    Success is always addictive.
     
    brewer12345, Turk81 and AJC1 like this.
  16. drband

    drband Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    Messages:
    2,974
    Location:
    GA
    Start with a single stage or turret press.

    You can save money but you won’t.

    You can produce better than factory ammo.

    You can produce ammo tuned for your gun.

    You can gain a lot of satisfaction crafting your custom ammo.
     
    Turk81 and dartor like this.
  17. rdnktrkr

    rdnktrkr Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    Messages:
    1,270
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    I also feel starting off on a progressive is a little much, I've always recommended the Lee Classic Turret used as a single stage until they get comfortable with each stage.
    I second getting at least 1 good manual and the ABCs of Reloading and read them
    I've purchased fired brass but not 308 or 223 so odds of it being fired in a machine gun are slim to none
    The best way to figure your monetary savings would be when you compare your quality reloads to quality factory loads, think about it most competitors shoot reloads
     
    Turk81 likes this.
  18. sevt_chevelle

    sevt_chevelle Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    893
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    By middle school I had rebuilt a Chevy sbc, by age 23-24 restored my 1970 chevelle while working for a high end shop, but at age 32 when I started reloading people suggested a dillon is to complicated for a beginner.

    It's not hard people.
     
  19. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2020
    Messages:
    9,750
    Location:
    Memphis
    Don't confuse technically savy for average
     
    drband and Turk81 like this.
  20. The_Quartermaster

    The_Quartermaster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2022
    Messages:
    479
    It really isn't.
     
    Turk81 likes this.
  21. Fooey

    Fooey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2021
    Messages:
    121
    Here is the way I see it.
    1. When young and starting out (read poor) we usually spend time to save money. And as we mature we tend to spend money to save time. It is a constantly evolving ratio between time, money and toys. You will always do what is right for you. Ask any 30-40 yr. reloader on here and I bet they will tell you they have or have had 5-10 presses, 6 powder measures , three scales, etc. Now, as products evolve we keep updating our equipment to enhance our fun. We all like to get new toys right? Now this great hobby lets the ammo manufacturers buy us our new toys by us not giving them our hard earned cash. So are we saving money? You bet we are and we are rewarding ourselves with new stuff for the time spent reloading.

    2. I see no problem starting off with a quality progressive if doing a lot of shooting. But keep in mind there is always a need for a single stage press for lots of little chores. Like having a universal decapping die in a Lee $30 C press or a primer pocket swager when your progressive hits a crimp you picked up at the range.

    3. I have resized and reloaded many times military .308 brass and I have never seen reduced case life or excessivly hard to resize cases. Not all machine guns have sloppy chambers. I recently bought 500 sorted LC .308 and it sized fine. Cost was $72. Just took about 45 extra minutes to run it thru the dillon crimp swager.

    Good luck on your loading and read the forums, these guys are a wealth of knowledge.
     
    AJC1 and Turk81 like this.
  22. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Messages:
    6,972
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    In hindsight, no... it's not hard, but for someone new to reloading, it might be a bit much to bite off all at once. A single stage press is always useful... and is always a good place to start.
     
  23. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2020
    Messages:
    9,750
    Location:
    Memphis
    Not to many swaging bullets on a progressive;)
     
    Turk81 likes this.
  24. The_Quartermaster

    The_Quartermaster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2022
    Messages:
    479
    I understand that for a very long time single stages were the only way to get it done, same for walnut media only for cleaning brass. But things have come a very long way with rotary wet tumbling and progressives.

    So I'm a bit perplexed when people say that single stages are better for new people.

    On a progressive for say rifle as an example:

    1. Make sure the right drum is being used and associated bushings. Singles need the same too.
    2. Place casing in shell plate and make sure it's seated correctly. We already do that on a single stage so that is not any different or complex.
    3. Crank handle like a single stage and prime or if already primed straight to drop powder. Same as a single stage.
    4. Next crank seating the bullet. The only difference now between the single and the progressive is that before you crank to seat you add a new casing in. Not even a struggle.
    5. Factory crimp or not, I don't because my seating die already does that. Add a new case like before and seat another with each crank.
    6. Done.

    What is exactly overwhelming here? While I agree that for newbs with no reloading buddies to help guide them, a single is the way to go. But in the age of places like YT, Rumble, etc., this can be worked around making progressives not a monster anymore.
     
    Nature Boy, Turk81 and Fooey like this.
  25. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2020
    Messages:
    8,292
    The way I see it, if setting up and running a progressive is all you know, then you don’t know what you don’t know and what you do know starts to seem easy while what you don’t know seems strange when you eventually learn about it. I call it the Bliss Syndrome: ignorance is bliss as long as you remain in a bubble of ignorance. I saw it with tool operators, programmers, motorcyclists….
    So if you learn everything you need to know about reloading using a progressive then it will be easy to do everything you need to do on a progressive and anything else will seem strange and unnatural.
    Or am I just way off in left field?
     
    drband, ballman6711 and 50of4064 like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice