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Why Do People Reload When ...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Satasaurus, Apr 1, 2013.

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  1. 2rott

    2rott Member

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    I don't cast my own, but before the current shortage of supplies, It cost me between 10 & 11 cents a round of 38spl. The brass was free for the taking at the local range & I saved my own too. I was able to reload (I only load lead bullets) whatever I needed, very mild loads for cowboy shooting, moderate for IDPA & hotter loads for Bowling Pin matches. For over 35cents each or more, I was buying whatever Walmart had at the time. Reloading has saved me much money, at least that's what I tell my wife. But what actually happens is that I shoot 3 times as much.
     
  2. smkummer

    smkummer Member

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    Us reloaders and bullet casters are doing well

    We are able to ride out the hysteria right now and for the most part are still shooting as normal. I am shooting 38 special/9mm for about .06 per round, with the most expensive component being the .03 primer. 44 mag., 44 special, 45 auto and 45 Colt for about .08. 30-06, 7.62X39 and 30-30 for about .12 because I am including the addition cost of a gas check and more slower burning powder, these are reduced loads but will still take down a deer if needed. 9mm, 45 auto and 38 special brass was free range pick-ups, back when people left it lay. Once you start reloading, you will never quit. I sent you a PM of 44 mag. dies and a 44 lyman mold.
     
  3. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    This. How can one reasonably calculate the savings against a product that is widely unavailable for purchase? If I wanted, I could immerse myself in my man cave for a few hours and come back with 1000+ rounds of any of several calibers of rifle or pistol ammo. How many miles would I have to drive and how many stores would I have to visit to buy 1000 rounds of commercial 9mm today? How much would it cost? And don't even think about .223!

    There was a time a few years ago when I was buying bulk packs of generic 9mm commercial FMJ because it wasn't all that much more expensive that loading my own jacketed rounds. Those days are gone. Even back then cast bullet reloads were significantly cheaper than factory, and the is even more true today.
     
  4. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    While I would fully trust my reloaded ammo for self defense, I choose to carry factory ammo instead.

    I have no idea if it would actually matter in court, but paying $20 for a box of ammo to save potentially $100K in legal fees seems like a reasonable investment to me. I've actually taken this thinking one step further because my bedside gun is a Sig P229 in 357 Sig. Why? Because that's what the Secret Service carries to protect the President. I figure if it's the right choice for that role then how could anyone question my choosing the same gun to protect my family?
     
  5. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I size and shoot 'em in light 9x19 loads and in .380ACP as well as in .38 special for my rifle with that specific light load. They can hit hard....or not, depending on the charge used. In the rifle, they're great small game getters. I've used .38 wadcutters from a revolver to take rabbits, too. That particular bullet just seems to be accurate in about everything I've shot it in. It can be pushed hard enough with a mild load to lead in a 9x19, but I keep 'em just hot enough to function the gun 100 percent for practice loads. Cheap to cast, too, as lead goes a long way at 105 grains per bullet. :D

    This particular mold works so well in 9x19 that I've not bothered to use anything else in that cartridge except, of course, for jacketed stuff for carry and for competition when I used to shoot IDPA with it. I could get the 115 grain Winchester JHP, quite accurate, from Midway for pretty cheap and drive it to minimum power factor without leading.
     
  6. temmi

    temmi Member

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    You reuse the brass

    recalculate without the $20 brass

    And

    It is fun and rewarding

    Snake
     
  7. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    I have a very worn C96 Mauser (7.63mm) that requires bullets of 7.92mm (.312") to get decent accuracy. Reloading to fit beats having the barrel relined. And it is fun. Plus it keeps me from hanging out at the pool hall.
     
  8. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Member

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    Cause going from this
    rawlead_zps5904ec9a.jpg
    to this
    Meltinglead_zps9f0fff6b.jpg
    to this.. is kinda fun in of itself.
    leadingots_zpsecfc8917.jpg

    I haven't even gotten into pulling a loading lever yet.
     
  9. shafter

    shafter Member

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    Being able to reuse brass is a large part of the savings. My 38 Specials reload at about $7/50. Factory costs about $18/50 around here. The savings for 45 Colt is even greater, approx $9/50 vs $40/50 for factory. The brass lasts a looong time if you use moderate loads.
     
  10. wally247

    wally247 Member

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    My 38 sp. is running me 3 cents a round right now. "Free" lead bullets and picked up brass. 2 grains of Trail boss and a 2 cent primer.
     
  11. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    Not to hijack the thread, but since we're talking about saving money....


    Trail Boss is 25% to 35% higher than other handgun powders such as Bullseye, Red Dot, etc. When you buy a can of it, you have to remember you're buying 9 oz., not 16.

    35W
     
  12. hddeluxe

    hddeluxe Member

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    As others have said: it is fun, saves money, more accurate round, and best of all you can shoot a LOT more for the same money as buying factory ammo.
     
  13. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    I do it because you learn a great deal in the process of learning to do it safely. I love teaching myself to do things. It is very rewarding and makes shooting more enjoyable as well.
     
  14. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    Yesterday, my WallyWorld got in a shipment of ammo. Mostly shotgun and hunting rifle ammo. 1 case of .38 Special FMJ. I was on my way to a pistol shoot when I stopped to check what they had. If I had been relying on factory ammo bought on the way to the range to supply me for that shoot instead of my reloading tools and time, I'd've had to change guns, since I wanted to shoot my 9mm in that shoot.

    And the ammo in my truck was 3 boxes of 9mm that I loaded for 13.50. One of those boxes of .38 would have been more than that. I was talking to one of the guys at the shoot who doesn't reload. He kind of flipped out when I told him how much I spent on my ammo for the day.

    He's shopping for a reloading press now.
     
  15. Arizonagunrunner

    Arizonagunrunner member

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    Cost me $5.50 to reload 50 rounds of 38 Special.
    158 gr SWC backed by 4 grains Unique or Bullseye.
     
  16. Arizonagunrunner

    Arizonagunrunner member

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    Agreed. That is about what I pay for my supplies. Way cheaper to reload then buy factory
     
  17. Stainz

    Stainz Member

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    I've only been reloading for the last 10.5yr. One day, I counted the .45 Colt cases I had kept - over 2,700! I did the math - at my price, a bit less because I worked at the range, I would break even - including the Dillon 550B, dies, scale, tumbler, etc - at 2,100 rounds. I bought the equipment and a new hobby was started.

    You cannot use just the cost of powder & primers in determing per round cost. You must amortize the reloading press, etc, cost first. Sure, you 'acquired' the brass - but it has a finite life and you have tumbling medium and polish to contend with. Pour your own bullets with 'free' lead? The equipment required to do that wasn't free - and you'll need lube, etc. Bullet boxes? Sure - headfirst in the range dumpster can yield some nice boxes, just wipe off the pickles, pop, and fries. Then there is the 'footprint' in your home dedicated to reloading - and ammo and component storage.

    I've found the following to be more descriptive of the reality of reloading: You won't shoot more cheaply, you'll just shoot more! It is a hobby into itself - and today, the component 'shortage' is just as aggravating as is the ammo shortage. I ordered 500 .327 Fed Mag cases from one source and 500 matching bullets from another source on April 4th. Both sources had my order 'in stock'. The bullets arrived yesterday, but the other source is way behind - weeks, even - and I don't expect them until May. Aggravating? I have plenty of lead and .32 S&WL cases - I'll reload them. First, I'll finish some more .45 ACP ball ammo... I always have something to reload!

    Stainz
     
  18. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    I don't amortize my loading equipment. Who cares? You have to have it. What difference does it make how it affects the cost of a single cartridge? Who amortizes their golf clubs? Or fishing rods? Or their television? Or the computer they use to locate and buy components? Either you want to reload, or you don't.

    I think the #1 mistake people make when they decide to handload is "I gotta go buy all shiny, new equipment" or "I'm going to be loading handgun cartridges, so I HAVE to have a progressive". There's no need in this. My main press, a Rockchucker, has been in continuous use for over 40 years, almost 30 by me after my father gave it to me. A friend who knows I reload had a neighbor selling all his stuff. Got a Lyman turret press, some bullets, brass and various other tools for $75. I now load all my handload ammo on the turret press. Through people giving me equipment, bartering and buying good used stuff, I've gotten two guys set up to reload for almost no cash layout on their part.

    Another mistake: "I need to order all new brass." Common brass such as 38 Spec., 357, 9mm and 45 ACP I never buy. I pick it at ranges or at the house at my own range. Anybody can do this.

    Since I have a range literally at the back door of my reloading room, I shoot almost daily. And the more I shoot, the cheaper my equipment becomes.

    One of my more recent acquisitions was a custom 4-cavity mould for my .44 Special. It cost $130 or about the same price as 1000 lead bullets. I've already cast well over 1000 bullets and have almost shot all of them, so the mould has already almost paid for itself.

    I could go on and on, but my favorite hobby is shooting and reloading, not math. ;)
     
  19. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    ^ Awesome post. I agree 100%. If you're kicking the numbers around that much, you really need to ask yourself if reloading is for you. I realize for some it is simply a means to an end, but I would wager the majority of us like loading nearly as much as shooting. When I first started I was like, "I'm out of ammo. I've got to go load some up."
    Now I'm like, "I'm out of brass. I've got to go shoot so I can have so brass to load."
    When you have that mindset, you don't figure in the cost of your equipment, because it's entertainment at that point.
     
  20. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    Also you can recoup the cost of your reloading equipment if you ever give it up, so I'm not sure you should amortize it unless it wears out or breaks.
     
  21. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    Exactly. This same thing occurred to me after I posted above. Excellent point!
     
  22. Stainz

    Stainz Member

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    35W,

    For a fellow who'd rather be shooting & reloading than doing math, you sure used it a lot in your earlier replies (#24, 64, & 111).

    As for using a new progressive press vs an inherited single stage, I guess I am guilty of spending what would have bought a nice firearm on equipment all at one time. Within a month of starting, I had made up 2,100 .45 Colts - which passed the break-even point on my amortized, actually 'rationalized', equipment expense. I've never had to buy a .32 S&WL, .38 Spcl, .44 Magnum, or .45 Colt case - folks donate them to me all of the time. I have bought fresh new Starline .45ACP brass - it loads into moonclips by hand and doesn't have extractor/ejector scars like range sweepings do. Revolvers deserve nice looking brass (This is a revolver forum...). While I have a lifetime supply of .357M brass, once again, Starline loads into my 627's X8 'clips more easily, so I bought some just for that purpose. I also have had to buy a few .44 Russians & Specials over the years - folks tend to keep them. Then there is the now-all-but-obsolete .327 Federal Magnum (CA, S&W, & Taurus have dropped their so-chambered revolvers. Starline has no brass in stock and it's not in their schedule.) - I found the Starline .327 brass in-stock - ordered it - and may have it in May. The loaded ammo is hard to find - Federal has other priorities.

    There is another reason to reload. As an example, about eight years ago, I bought 300 once used .32-20 cases - took .010" off the rim thickness by sanding them on a flat; took .024" off the rim OD on a micro lathe; size them in a carbide M1 Carbine sizer (Fed SP primer); load 100gr .313" LDEWC over 1.8-2.7 gr Titegroup (I had to modify the Dillon's powder measure) using a modified .32 S&WL die, and, voila, ammo for my 1895 Nagant revolver! Oh sure, there was the weak Ruskie target ammo - when you could find it - and Fiocchi had some $55-$60/50 ammo. My homebrews didn't bridge the b/c gap, but at least I can reload it. Starline briefly made the right brass, but it's thin mouth tore when reloading, so they quickly dropped it. So, add making oddball ammo to the reasons to reload. Of course, PRVI Partizan (Serbia) makes the correct ammo now - $24/50. Yeah, it bridges the gap - and I might get a reload out of it... they had it in stock, too!

    Stainz

    PS Normally, you amortize equipment that wears out - hardly a problem with Dillon's 'no bull' promise. Still, it allows clearing equipment costs to the point of little if any salvage value. Thus, as I am abt to do when I tire of a 'thing', I can 'donate' it, should my son not want it, to the thrift stores, etc, as I do regularly these days... just too much 'stuff' around here - and turning sixty-five is just weeks away. I sold my last Alfa Romeo eons ago - my sailboat, too. It really is like golf, I suppose... and the cost is for the fun involved. BTW, my favorite golf hole is the windmill - the pirate's head is next...
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  23. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    You're right. I should clarify that I thoroughly enjoy calculating my savings, but find the thought of agonizing over equipment costs vs. savings horribly boring.

    And thank you for researching my posts. I'm flattered. :)
     
  24. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
    it gives us something to do,if the wife see's your busy,no honey-do's,bores the wife,so she stays away,and it's better than spending it on ladies shoes.
     
  25. monet61

    monet61 Member

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    I reload .45 Colt, .45 ACP,.38Sp,.357. I shoot a LOT of them. Once I started reloading I realized that I liked it. Kinda Zen. I have friends that I give
    my 9mm and .223 brass and they give me the stuff mentioned above. And I pick up brass every time I shoot. It is a good thing for me. I have enjoyed this thread.
     
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