Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Axis II, Sep 10, 2016.
Save your equipment, you'll be glad you did
I have just gotten back into reloading this year after about 15 years. I kept all my reloading equipment and I'm glad I did. I don't have a lot of extra money after the bills are paid. If I had sold my reloading gear back then I wouldn't be able to reload today. I'm stunned at today's prices of gear and components. I'm using components that are literally half the price of today's prices.
So you're having doubts now. Likely it will pass. When it does believe me you'll be glad you hung on to your reloading equipment.
Me! According to AmmoSeek the cost of factory 6.5x47 in the US is over $2 a round. I handload for 50 pence a round (around 66c per round). On the 100m range I only shoot ~30 rounds a day; for long range I will shoot around 100-150 rounds a day. Since my round count doesn't change, the cost savings play a big part for me to keep shooting.
I hesitate to think how much I have tied up in components (20k+ primers, 20k+ bullets, 50lbs+ powder) right now and I don't intend on falling much below that level due to the unstable political climate regarding all things gun related. Of course I suppose I'd be stockpiling loaded ammo anyway if I wasn't a reloader.
I do not however count my time like some people do. I love reloading and look at the time spent as time spent pursuing my hobby that I'd be diddling away in some other way otherwise.
My point is just that there are so many associated costs that have to be considered when determining whether we save money reloading. My advice to prospective reloaders is always "don't do it if your only goal is to save money".
Didn't do any reloading for a number of years then started again, now with 9mm., following a period of time when I was rehabbing from knee surgery (sure had fun testing out all the different loads I had in a SIG P228). After that another lull and several moves in the interim have me thinking about starting up again now that we've finally got settled in to our new home.
Would never consider selling off any of my reloading equipment. Probably wouldn't get much for it and it would be really expensive to replace nowadays.
Unless one is pressed for cash, I say hang onto stuff.
I appreciate the sentiment but a quick calculation below.
I've fired 700 rounds of 6.5x47.
At cheapest factory cost ($2.30/round) = $1,610 (USD)
At reloaded cost (60c/round) = $420 (USD)
Saving of $1,190 (USD).
I don't have quite as much in bulk storage as you (maybe 10kg -- oops, 22lb of powder, 10k primers and 1k bullets per calibre), so if I had spent $1k on loading setup I'm looking at positive $200 right now.
Also, I enjoy reloading, don't see it as a chore and love squeezing every last drop of performance out of my firearms! The money saved is just a side affect to my shooting fever.
I find the process to be therapeutic for the most part, drudgery on occasion. However, I have NEVER totally given up- I can shoot a lot more for the same $$$, which is certainly an incentive to continue.
I do find one item that still seems to be costly: when I purchase a new firearm in a chambering that I don't have the equipment to reload for, the cash outlay to do so can be substantial. But I still make the INVESTMENT.
Where you buy your 9mm from? It's about $15/50 around here for WWB. It's $10/50 for the really cheap stuff, which works out to $20/100. You can easily load 9mm for $10/100. I load it even cheaper than that with my cast boolits.
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don't reload I was surprised. I just thought handloading was a necessary part of shooting.
Anyway when I got out on my own I had a few guns, not many and no handguns at all. I started shooting "backyard" trap using a handthrower to launch clays and so I began to reload shot shells. I did not have much disposable income and so I used a Lee shotshell loader and hulls picked up off the ground. That gear made it possible for me to shoot, I didn't have the money to buy ammo and even when I did, it was inexpensive shells from KMART, they were at the time $2.99/box of 25. We was poor as they say.
I did this for a number of years and then started shooting handguns. For years I used only factory ammo but it was ok since my actual consumption was not very great. Then I started shooting weekly at my clubs pistol night and this is what got me handloading centerfire ammo. I always knew that I would handload but really didn't have the actual need so I couldn't see spending the money for the stuff on the bench. I found that my ammo consumption and that of my wife and son and the fact that my clubs indoor range (for winter shooting) required lead, plated or coated bullets, this was the factor that forced me into handloading.
I do all of my handloading in my unheated garage. Very cold in the winter and hot in the summer. When it's nice out I will make a lot of ammo so that I'm not suffering in the cold or heat. For me a "lot of ammo" is 5-10k rounds. Sometimes I feel like doing this other times I don't. But I always have plenty of ammo to shoot and I don't have to go on an extended shopping trip to find some. I seem to alternate my interests between shooting sports and fishing. So at times I building up my fishing tackle supplies and at other times it's shooting supplies. Variety is the spice of life.
When I was shooting only factory, I was always looking for ammo deals. Once I started handloading my own I went cold turkey with factory and my ammo consumption rates skyrocketed overnight. Last week I decided to clean up my ammo cabinet and realized that I have almost 2000 rounds of 9mm factory, 1400 45 acp and 700 38 Special. I will shoot it eventually but I have developed loads that work very well in my guns so I t will be for the brass that I shoot that stuff.
One last thought, I really don't understand why guys buy especially the low end equipment and then when they upgrade sell off that stuff. A one hundred dollar entry level Lee press isn't worth that much on the used market but could be very handy some day to the handloader and having it stored in a box to my way of thinking is like money in the bank. Unless it gets flooded in the a hurricane it should last a century. Handloading is not for everyone though and as others have said, we should enjoy our hobbies and if this activity is a chore for you then you need not stay with it to please any of us. Like others have said, I too have read all of your threads and have thought to myself that you seem to be making this way more difficult than it needs to be. Again not an insult, if you were my neighbor we would be friends I'm sure. But if that was the case, you would be slaving at the bench because I would be dragging your behind to the range at least once a week and you would need a constant supply of ammo. Don't believe me ask my brother.
If I can do it in south Texas in July and August, y'all can too(ok, maybe arizona gets a pass)
but seriously and to the OP's point, I'd say keep your grear and if the enjoyment of the hobby doesn't come back in a few years, then sell.
Wonderful news. I'm pleased that you have decided to stay with it.
There are all sorts of ways to record data. You need to find the way that fits your needs.
Search the forum, the subject comes up from time to time.
I use three ring binders with one tab per cartridge (I had two for 223 Remington, one for plinking/varmint loads, one for Service Rifle competition loads).
I have sheet for notes, a sheet that records reloading data, a sheet for velocity and a sheet for groups.
I'm old school.
Many folks use spread sheets on their computer.
Develop a system that works for you.
P.S. I just reloaded a few handgun rounds a day or so ago, the first time at the reloading bench since my 700 round prairie dog reloading session back in July. Lulls happen.
So, maybe there is some documentation....
once I get some free time I will go through here and see what I can find. I kinda remember what they were but I used BM and h335 so don't want to say oh I remember 25gr and kaboom! cause it was 25gr of the other.
Shoot and reload
Usually go to the range at least once a week and as soon as I get home, the brass goes in to the tumbler for cleaning and is reloaded that evening or within the following few days.
I love to shoot and love to reload! each is an extension of the other. Besides which, if I was purchasing ammo I couldn't afford to shoot as much as I do. A typical range session involves a minimum of 50 rounds each of 9mm, .357, 45ACP and 45 Colt. usually about 15 rounds of 30/30 and 7.62x39 rounds out the range session.
Yep I like to load and shoot, shooting as often as I do keeps me honed up with each of my pistols. Keeps you very proficient and comfortable with my favorite shooters.
So my advice is shoot MORE and then you will LOAD more
YOu say you didn't write down your fave loads, but maybe you did. Why don't you review the reloading threads you started and see what you wrote about your data in those. Bet ya a whole dollar you wrote about the loads you liked there.
Attention to detail is a fundamental component of reloading...near-OCD may be better.
We are all different. If it "ain't for you", you'll know it. If it is, conversely, you'll know that too.
Life is too short to do something you don't enjoy. Divorce rates prove that.
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