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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The prices for ammo is going apeshit and components are just as bad. But it still pays to reload if a person shoots enough to justify the start-up expenses. Those expenses can easily reach well over a grand if a guy can only be satisfied with the best and will only shop at the local gun store or sporting goods warehouse stores like "Sportsman's" and others or the catalogs.

But even if a guy has "Cadillac tastes and a Hyundai budget", he can do pretty well with used equipment. My buddy whom I taught to reload 12-14 yrs ago and is a reloading fool, now, uses an RCBS Rockchucker he picked up at a garage sale (along with a whole bunch of other reloading gear) for $100.00 . The gear he got along with it was worth more than that. As far as components, he and I would spend as much time picking up brass at the range as shooting, which has always saved money and is now a money maker (I'll even pick up stuff I don't need since the scrap value has skyrocketed). Hey, I love shooters who don't pick up after themselves at the range -- except the ones who just leave .22 RF or .17 RF (that's just littering).

Another good way to save bucks on components is to go in with some other prolific loaders to buy powder in bulk which saves over half of the sporting goods store price. For projectiles, we were using military surplus where we could, but also (again) garage sale stuff, when we could find it.

One of the members put up a link to a neat little program that figures reloading costs per unit and it's pretty informative. What I do know is that there are a hell of lot of firearms sitting in peoples' houses gathering dust and rust because the owner saw the price tag on a box of ammo, and threw up his hands saying he couldn't afford it any more.

Me? I look at the price of 20 rounds of Federal .41 Magnum, personal defense ammo, which was $24.95 the last time I looked -- probably more by now -- and I throw up my hands and say, "Amen! -- sure glad I reload!!!" I pay less than $24.95 for 100 of the exact same bullets that are in the defensive ammo, I use the same brass I have used for many years and many loads, put in maybe $1.00 to $2.00 worth of powder (that's a high estimate and based on commercial powder, not the stuff I actually use) and say "Amen" again! Oh yeah, I forgot the primers -- they now cost almost $3.00 per 100, so that's another $0.60 to add to my costs. By the way, I can't do anything about the price of primers, but I'm damn glad I bought all I could many years ago when they were about $5.50 per carton. A carton has 10 boxes of 100, so that was $0.55/box of 100. They do not go bad if they are kept in a sealed container, and I have several thousand that have been kept in military ammo cans between 20 and 25 years (no, I'm NOT kidding or exaggerating!).

Not everyone needs to get into reloading -- if a person only wants to shoot 3 - 4 times per year to keep up his/her proficiency with their carry weapon, or the hunter who goes out two weeks before deer season to sight in his rifle, it might be better to just purchase a box of the factory ammo in his/her caliber and call it good. Even Blazer or the off-brand factory remanufactured ammo is plenty good for that. But even if you do that, you must spend the extra dime for GOOD factory defensive or hunting loads. Don't skimp on the important stuff. You don't put old used oil in your car, do you?

So is reloading worth what it costs? Yes and no. You have to do enough to justify the start-up expenses and you have to decide in your mind that you will spend the time necessary not only to learn to reload safely and properly, but to also reload regularly. Otherwise you're going to be the one selling your press and supplies at next year's garage sale. Which, by the way, is where I got my own Rockchucker for about $25.00 or so, many years ago!
 

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Old School.
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I started late in life reloading as I only been at it about 3 or 4yrs now. I bought a used Dillon SDB when I started. I got everything to start up at the time for about $300. Wife insisted I get this fancy Craftmans bench and put it in the day room. (smart lady) Another $300. So it was about the price of a new pistol. That's what I tell people when they ask. I have added a few sets of dies and such so I have invested more so I can do more. Have I saved a ton of money No. Due I care No. Why :?: because reloading is a hobby in it's self. I enjoy it and it is relaxing. It is a natural extenshion of a great hobby/sport. Yes I save money everytime I go to the range.
Try it I think you might like it. ;)
 

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Angry Citizen
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When I grow up and have a house with a garage, I might start reloading. I absolutely love to shoot (1200 rounds in the first month!) and might end up benefiting from it. Of course, then I'll come crawling over this direction asking for help on stuff. I'll probably end up picking up some used equipment off Craigslist when I start.
 

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Old School.
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Mr Cake I would recommend that you try a reloading shop that sells everything you need. Some times it maybe a gun shop combo. Here's where I go to get everything I need and if I have a problem they fix it right now. A outfit like this is so much better because you get their support when you deal with them. http://spacecoastbullets.com/
 
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"One of the members put up a link to a neat little program that figures reloading costs per unit and it's pretty informative."

Is it possible that you can share this link with other reloaders?
 

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"Is It Worthwhile To Reload?"





In a word yes! This is 2,350 rounds I finished loading yesterday. The brass was mixed headstamp. CCI, Remington, Winchester, Lake City, S&B, and a few others I'm forgetting. This brass was obtained from on line sources on the web. I processed it all the same. First I resized and deprimed all of it with a RCBS Small Base Sizing Die. Then I processed all of the primer pockets on my Dillon 600 Super Swage, because some of them were military with crimped primer pockets. I then trimmed all of them to uniform length on my Giraud Powered Case Trimmer. After that they went into the tumbler for several hours and received a polish with ground corn cob and Dillon Rapid Polish added to the media. The final step was to run it through my Dillon and crimp with a Lee Factory Crimp Die. They turned out very good. My total investment in this batch of .223 was:

Brass---------$20.00 total. (It was free, but I paid the shipping).

Powder-------$65.00 for 8 pounds of AA 2230C. (25.0 Gr. per load X 2,350 = 58,750 Gr. 58,750 divided by 7,000 Grains per pound = 8.39 pounds of powder total.)

Primers-------$59.38 for 2,350 primers @ $25.00 per thousand.

Bullets-------$172.21 (2,350 Winchester 55 Gr. FMJBT from Midway)

Boxes--------$52.00 for 100 boxes and trays from Midway. (Actually $26.00 because I used only 47.)

Grand Total = $342.59

By comparison this is 1,000 rounds of Remington UMC FMJ in .223 cost me $371.00 delivered from Natchez. Reloading can be extremely cost effective but you must find good scources, and buy in bulk. Here are 2 very good scources for brass, bullets, and powder.

http://www.gibrass.com

http://www.patsreloading.com

 

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Melanie wanted me to be sure to tell all of you that is NOT DIRT that appears to the left and right of the boxes in the photograph. It is color saturation from the camera shot. :lol: Bill T.
 
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I work at Federal and get my shooting ammo pretty cheap (factory seconds) but it still adds up. The last two times I went shooting I kept my cases. I don't think it is really worth doing just for the brass scrap but I have heard stories of people selling once shot brass cases. Does anyone know anything about this? I am hoping to finance some of this expensive new hobby. Thanks.
 

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With the cost of ammunition and components what it is today I would save all the brass you shoot regardless if you reload or not. If you don't, in time you're goinng to run across someone who does and you will be able to sell it for something. Besides, at my gun club they ask everyone to pick up their spent brass. Why not put it in a box and bring it home? Bill T.
 

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Ruler of Ramnation
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billt said:
With the cost of ammunition and components what it is today I would save all the brass you shoot regardless if you reload or not. If you don't, in time you're goinng to run across someone who does and you will be able to sell it for something. Besides, at my gun club they ask everyone to pick up their spent brass. Why not put it in a box and bring it home? Bill T.
I'm up with all that! Worthwhile? Of course. Some folks aren't inclined, and rightfully so---they may not be safe in anything they do generally speaking. I do think that any 'shooter' should at least become educated in the science of how cartridges are made and how things work in the scheme of things. It would be part of the 'hobby' as it were. For those who are or have recently become serious about their hobby, an education in reloading and subsequently handloading at least one cartridge occasionally, would be rewarding as well as beneficial. I clean and de-prime all of my spent brass whether I reload for it or not. I trade it for components or the value toward new ammunition purchases. These days it only makes sense.
 

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As an example, all 2,350 rounds I reloaded in the photos above were obtained on the Internet FREE from a fellow shooter who loved AR-15's, but didn't reload. All it cost me was $20.00 for him to be kind enough to ship it to me. I offered to pay him but he wouldn't accept. The postage was less than the $20.00, but I felt obligated to at least give him something. Bill T.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
exdrinker said:
I work at Federal and get my shooting ammo pretty cheap (factory seconds) but it still adds up. The last two times I went shooting I kept my cases. I don't think it is really worth doing just for the brass scrap but I have heard stories of people selling once shot brass cases. Does anyone know anything about this? I am hoping to finance some of this expensive new hobby. Thanks.
Brass costs have skyrocketed over the past year, both for cases and even just scrap. Used to be I would collect the calibers that I shoot plus some for friends/customers, when I picked up stuff at the range. Now I'll pick it all up. The scrap dealer in town is paying over $2.00/lb and it's really zero effort to pick up. Lead has gone skyhigh also, which we discussed in another thread.

Like the price of petroleum products, "they" are blaming the Chinese and Indians -- I don't know, but I do know it's getting crazy! On the other hand, I used to sell a box of 50 .40 S&W or .45 ACP for about $7.50 and now nobody blinks when I charge $13.50 for plain or $22.50 for JHP.
 

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Angry Citizen
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gunrnr said:
I charge $13.50 for plain or $22.50 for JHP.
Gun runner is ma friend?
 

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At the Cabela's near me they are now charging as much as $40.00 for a 50 count box of .223. That would make the 2,350 rounds I just loaded cost $1,880.00!! It's all but out of control. Especially with .223.

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.e ... t=11082005

Granted Barnes Bullets are more expensive than FMJ, but who can afford to work a hot dog town all afternoon at a dollar a pop? It's insane. Bill T.
 
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