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Reloading - Having 2nd Thoughts, 3rd Thoughts... COST OF BRASS :(

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Mike1234567, Sep 25, 2011.

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  1. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    This thread is only about cost of brass...

    I had recently decided to jump into reloading to save money. My intention was to reload only for ammo that costs more than $1 per round. For me, this would be .500 S&W Mag, .458 SOCOM, and .375 H&H Mag. That's about it. I don't intend to shoot very much at all in the next few years. In fact, I may only load 1000 rounds each... ever.

    The cost of brass for these calibers is insanely high. Where the heck can I find AFFORDABLE brass in these calibers?:confused::(
     
  2. BoilerUP

    BoilerUP Member

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    Buy a box of factory ammo, shoot it, reload the once-fired brass.
     
  3. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    Thanks, BoilerUp. I know I can do that but I want 500-1000 rounds of each caliber cached and I'll probably never shoot more than a few dozen rounds each. This is really just "ammo insurance". I'll be adding "food insurance" and "water insurance" too.
     
  4. gofastman

    gofastman Member

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    Yeah :confused:
    Hence the term reloading
     
  5. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    +1 - factory ammo will give you your supply of 'once-fired' brass.

    I CAN recommend with confidence your looking at the Lee Anniversary single stage kit.

    https://factorysales.com/html/xcart/catalog/anivers.html

    Less dies and components this is $82 and has just about everything you will need. I added a $9 Harbor Freight digital caliper and an under $30 digital scale. I can reload 50-75 pistol rounds per hour at a very relaxed pace. IMHO it is perfect for very low volume shooters.

    Yes 500 rounds of brass WILL be pricey in those calibers so if you just want it to say you have it, rather than use it, perhaps you should rethink your need to reload at all? Look for sales of factory made and be done with it.

    I mean honestly if truly you are not interested in shooting those calibers, you really will never 'need' more than a box or two of the stuff. Come a Zombie Apocalypse you're gonna want a 12ga, a 9mm and either an AR or an AK in standard military caliber anyway.

    p.s. if it ends up being a Vampire invasion instead of Zombies, all you need is some crosses, garlic, wooden stakes and stout hammer.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  6. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    What's stopping me from buying factory-loaded ammo is...

    1. Cost per round ($3-4) and...

    2. Quantity I want to cache (1500-3000 rounds)

    So, worst case scenario is $4 each for 3000 rounds = $12K. I was hoping to save around 75 percent but it looks like I'll just have to adjust my sights a lot lower.
     
  7. scrat

    scrat Member

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    WA WA WAAAA pass out the tissue paper. So it cost a lot. make the decision and move on. You really dont need the deciding factor to be 1000 rounds thats pathetic. Like others have said you buy a box of ammo at a time go shoot a box now when you get it. then reload that box you get the experience of the reload then just save up and buy another box at time when you can. I remember when i was young maybe 25 years ago. Money was tight. Every payday i would go out and buy a box of ammo for each of my guns. then every 2 to 3 months i would go shooting. You do what you need to do. If your serious about reloading if your serious about shooting you will find a way.
     
  8. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    That's pretty funny, Scrat. Please note that I'm not crying/whining but, rather, b-wording. But yes, I am indeed pathetic.:D
     
  9. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    The cartridges you are planning to load are not very popular or plentiful and therefore the brass is not very common. Unfortunately, that leads to high case costs. Basic economics.

    In other words, you will not find case prices that are similar to once fired military brass.

    One of the benefits of reloading is the cases are reusable so the per round cost of the case goes down with each reloading.

    I would re-evaluate the amount you want to have on hand so you are spending less out of pocket at the moment. Also, watch the internet like a hawk. Specials and sales come along periodically and you could score some good bargains.

    You will save money on reloading. No one ever said it would be cheap.
     
  10. thorn-

    thorn- Member

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    For the amount of rounds you intend to shoot , ~1000, reloading may not be worth the time and money required to learn and purchase equipment. Remember that in the beginning, reloading saves you NO money at all. The lower cost of ammo is offset by the $300-500 you spend on equipment - unless you find a bargain on a used press, or go very budget with something like a basic Lee setup (ie, a C press and dippers).

    I reload 9mm and .44, but have several other calibers that i do NOT reload for... mainly rifle, also .30 and shotguns. I don't shoot those guns enough to justify the costs of the dies, equipment, and components, so a $30 box of ammo is just fine for my needs.

    thorn
     
  11. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    Assuming I'll never find cheap brass for these calibers then maybe I should lower my cache count to 200 each. I had considered buying high quality reloading gear (mostly used) and selling it after I reload 1000 rounds but, perhaps, it's fiscally more sound to buy used budget (not cheap) reloading gear and keep it to reload those 200 rounds each.
     
  12. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    Reloading is a 'long term' hobby and it is not for everyone. Just to get involved for a one-time reloading session of oddball calibers? Seems counter-productive to me.

    For calibers you have NO plans on shooting, seems to me your stockpile numbers -even at 200 - are kinda high? Hey, I'm not about to calculate your budget. You pays yer moeny and you takes yer chances.

    If you are actually looking for SHTF survival stuff? Those calibers ain't it.
     
  13. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    Ditto. 1500-3000 rounds in a cache when you only pull the trigger 1000 times a year doesn't make sense from a reloading perspective.

    You get the economy when you figure that you are spending $0.10 for the powder, $0.03 for the primer, $0 to $.30 for the bullet and reusing the case. These are low quantity costs, you get better savings with larger quantities. The case is almost always the most expensive part of the bullet and it is reusable. If you add in the cost of the loading equipment and if you are buying new cases, you are probably spending more to load them than factory new cartridges.

    For less than run-of-the-mill calibers, reload what you have and buy what you can when you find a good deal. There are often folks who find range brass in small numbers and sell them for whatever they can get. Build up your stockpile over time and you will eventually have your hoard, not feel the pain all at once, and shoot more often without financial guilt.
     
  14. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    It looks like I'm back in business. After more research I've located brand new brass in each of these calibers for 55-63 cents each. Who knows... maybe I can find it even cheaper? Even if I only save $2 per round (should be closer to $2.50+) this is still an overall savings of at least $6K not counting the reloading gear which I'll probably just re-sell once I'm done.:)
     
  15. daorhgih

    daorhgih member

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    Have you checked with ... ....

    .. THE BRASS-NAZI WITCH?? No, really, have much patience with acquiring the MTbrass at first; it will pay off for you. Tried Bun Groper??
     
  16. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    daorhgih... thanks for the suggestion to try GB. I actually had another guy PM me about that. Indeed, GB is where I found some of the brass but those lead to better Giggle searches too. I didn't expect GB sellers to have reasonable prices.

    Oh... and thanks for the hilarious Spoonerism!!:D
     
  17. medalguy
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    medalguy Member

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    Google is your friend. Spend a little time on your keyboard and you might be surprised with what you can find. ALso troll lots of gun boards watching the "for sale" threads. Many times I've seen some of these calibers offered in quantities of 10-20 pieces of brass, not enough to get anyone excited but they do add up over time. They do tend to disappear pretty fast though.
     
  18. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Yup!

    For most of my cartridges, I cycle a relatively small quantity, 200-300 or so, through shooting and reloading. As cases fail, I add new ones to the mix.

    I am always on the look out for bargains and stock up before I need components. As such, i weathered the component shortage in 2009 without problems.

    If properly stored when not in use and not abused when in use, good reloading equipment will last forever. Adding new cartridges to the mix is pretty economical as you already have the common equipment on hand. Besides components, usually just a set of dies and a shell holder are needed.

    Most folks that get into reloading end up still spending the same amount as before reloading, they just get to shoot more due to the reduce cost of the ammunition.
     
  19. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    You'll find that bullets for those rounds are pretty pricey as well. I wouldn't plan to start reloading just for those unless you have a difficult time regularly finding ammo. If you already were a reloader, getting dies for those cartridges as well would be worthwhile and relatively cost effective. That's what I did for my .308 Marlin. I doubt that I'll ever load 500 rounds for it and I think that I only have 80pcs of brass, but I am assured of always having ammo for it when I need it.
     
  20. billyjoe

    billyjoe Member

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    Once fired brass is a better buy than new brass. The calibers you have listed are not the common to buy once fired but you can find them once in a while. Just keep your eyes open and check the sale forum, gun shows, and auctions sites regulary and you will find it eventually. Even with new brass you will still save 50-75% over factory prices for the calibers you are loading for.
     
  21. joed

    joed Member

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    You're not doing the math correctly. As someone said, it's called reloading. You think brass is high now? I'll bet you it isn't cheaper in 5 years.

    About 10 years ago I decided to start stock piling ammo when I purchased a progressive press. I was buying brass in 2k lots for everything I own. At the time it seemed expensive. The last 2 years showed me I was very wrong.
     
  22. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    Trust me, once you get the reloading equipment and learn the hobby, you ain't gonna want to sell it.
     
  23. Frozen North

    Frozen North Member

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    Big boom=big $$$..... that is the cold truth of the situation. This is the reason why many shooters pick calibers like .308, .30-06, and .223 over the more exotic calibers you have listed.

    The reason people stock pile ammo are many, but a few key things are repeated over and over.

    1) If for whatever reason ammo becomes hard to come by, I want a supply to last me through the drought.....

    How long will it take you to burn through that much ammo? It sounds like you don't shoot these guns much, so two boxes each should last you many years. It takes a determined shooter a LOOOOOOONG time to burn through several thousand rounds in these calibers. Outside of a total societal breakdown lasting for decades, I think you can safely set your stocking goals MUCH lower.

    2) I want to be able to use ammo for bartering in a total societal breakdown situation....

    These are not common calibers you have listed, so they would have little value. Calibers like .38, .357 Mag, 9mm, .45 Auto, .223, .308, and 30-06 would be worth their weight in gold though. Because these calibers are so common, you could easily scoop enough once fired brass to get you going for very little money.

    3) I want enough ammo to fight off a Canadian zombie invasion....

    I have a feeling the invasion force would eat someone for lunch long before they could use 10,000 rds in a fire fight.... I roll my eyes....

    What I am trying to say is that stockpiling ammo may be sensible, but not for the calibers you have listed. The benefits of stockpiling would only be seen if the stockpiles are for common sporting or military arms.

    My best advice would be to buy a reloading setup, and shoot allot more than you do. If that does not appeal to you, stick a few boxes of ammo on the shelf for each of these guns and call it good.
     
  24. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    In reply to other calibers costing less...

    I've been stockpiling ammo in many of the "most popular" calibers from .17HMR and .22LR through .30-30 and .243 Win, .308 Win to .30-06 plus .410, 20ga, and 12ga and some pistol calibers. It's really just the three calibers I listed above that are so cost-prohibitive. I shoot very little and will be pairing down the number of firearms I keep but I'll keep the ammo. My stockpiling is for "investment in the future" and, again, I already have at least 1000 rounds each of the more common calibers for barter if that ever becomes viable. The calibers I listed are mostly for when "I" might need them, e.g. the .458 SOCOM subsonic in a suppressed carbine for quiet hunting. Really though, I could do without the .500 Mag and .375 H&H Mag but they seem like such fun "plinkers". :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  25. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    1000 = 1000

    1000 bullets + a 4# keg of powder + 1000 primers + 100 cases = 1,000 rounds of loaded cartridges.

    Consider this: If you meet five criteria, you are better off reloading
    1) You will not need 1,000 rounds all at once.
    2) You will find enough time to reload after firing
    3) You have a small work area.
    4) You can operate the equipment
    5) You will be able to recover your brass after firing

    Now, back to the limited subject of the thread:

    The money you save not buying 900 excess cases in three calibers will pay for the loading gear easily many times over. Much less buying 900 excess loaded rounds, even at wholesale prices.

    In short: Brass is expensive in the chamberings you named. Cut costs by re-using the brass.

    Respectfully,

    Lost Sheep

    P.S. Frozen North points out the central point: Exotic calibers means expensive brass. Instead of 458 Socom, consider 458 Win Mag or even 45-70 chambered in a strong bolt action, you can get near the others' power levels in the same bullet much cheaper.
     
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