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ARRRR-15
12-20-2006, 7:27 PM
I looking into reloading in the near future. Whats the startup cost? What do I need? I will probably start out loading .45 and .223. How much do you need to shoot to make it worth while cost wise? I don't mind breaking even in ammo cost I think it would be a fun hobby anyways.:)

MisterDudeManGuy
12-20-2006, 9:36 PM
I looking into reloading in the near future. Whats the startup cost? What do I need? I will probably start out loading .45 and .223. How much do you need to shoot to make it worth while cost wise? I don't mind breaking even in ammo cost I think it would be a fun hobby anyways.:)

Startup budget should be no less than about $300, and that's doin' it on the cheap. If you are wanting to make up blaster ammo, you may find that milsurp ammo is still the cheapest way to go, since you really have to spend buckos to get into a decent progressive setup to pump out hundreds of rounds. Check out Dillon's equipment.

That said, I reload ALL the ammo I shoot. 30-06, 308, .223, 7.5 swiss, 7.62x54r, 45, 9mm, and 7mm mag, 30-30, 30-40, and 8mm. I reload a couple hundred rounds a week of 30-06. My expenses for 1k rounds are kinda like: $20 per brick of primers, $220 for 1k 168gr SMMK, and about $150 of IMR 4895. That's .39 per round, and does not include trimming, polishing, flash hole reaming, neck turning, charge weighing or anything else I might obsess about. It takes like 4 hours to get 200 rounds, slow careful style. On a good progressive and a decent powder measure, you can do that in an hour or less, but the case prep still takes time. I can do that ammo with 150gr M2 pulls and save $150. I do these when prepping for a match where I will shoot issue ammo. These cost me .24 per round. If you go to ODCMP, you will find Lake City M2 BALL for $200 for 960 rounds - about .20 - a reason why I don't bother making much of that.

People have a religious thing about brands. It's Ford/Chevy, and a lot of people like to bag on Lee. Well, you can spend a lot more and get something that may or may not be any better, although Lee's fit and finish are sometimes borderline - so the criticism is sometimes valid. And Lee ends up being no-frills - you won't find a micrometer on a lee bullet seater. :) Anyway, I have a Lee turret press kit ($125-came with everything but the dies), a Redding BR-3 power measure ($125), and a bunch of Lee dies ($30/set). I got off cheap, and my Garand shoots into under 1MOA at 200 yds. I have shot 1.25" 5-shot groups from a bench at 200yds. Case prep and attention to detail mean a lot, as well as charge weighing.

I like reloading. I like knowing what's in that little metal tube, and I have never once had a faulty reloaded round. I can't say that for the Korean ammo we were shooting for a while. You should go for it. I find that it rounds out the whole shooting hobby for me. There's a certain pride that goes along with doing it all. Well, at least for me, that is. :) And nothing at all can beat you being able to make up some rounds for whatever you want and whenever you want.

Bing
12-20-2006, 9:45 PM
Check out the Dillon website at http://dillonprecision.com/. This will give you an idea of what the progressive reloading setups cost.

ARRRR-15
12-20-2006, 9:51 PM
Thanks, that was some helpful info. I was looking at those lee turret presses on midway. So you haven't had any problems with yours? Do you know of any goods books that might help me out? Or that I must have for reloading.

ARRRR-15
12-20-2006, 9:55 PM
Check out the Dillon website at http://dillonprecision.com/. This will give you an idea of what the progressive reloading setups cost.


Yeah I've been getting those dillon catalogs in the mail with the hot chicks on the cover for a while now.:) They are a little out of my price range. I don't shoot much but hoping that if I spent the time to load my own ammo I would shoot more often. Maybe get my buddies off their **** offering some free ammo for them.:D

MisterDudeManGuy
12-20-2006, 10:08 PM
Thanks, that was some helpful info. I was looking at those lee turret presses on midway. So you haven't had any problems with yours? Do you know of any goods books that might help me out? Or that I must have for reloading.

The Lee was all I could afford at the time. I only partly regret the purchase, and it is mainly in the heft/feel of the product. Never once have I questioned the integrity of the resulting ammo. Having said that, I can say that I have sized some pretty heavy brass on it, and it did the job. If I had the money to spare, I would upgrade to a cast press, and I would consider the Lee cast press or the Lee cast turret press, but some of the others (RCBS, Redding) look good too. If I had the cash, my first choice would be a Harrel's - but that's high power tweako stuff. BTW, I almost never use the automatic indexer on the turret because I do batches. Turrets are handy, though, because you can have all your dies preset to the proper height and just swivel them over.

A good book I have read on reloading is "Handloading for Competition", which you can get from Creedmoor. It's a bit advanced, but a good coverage of the overall high performance issues. I also have data books from all of the vendors I use. Choose these by selecting the powder and bullet combo you plan to use - and get their books. The Lee tools catch some heat from people, but the book doesn't (that I've heard). The Lee book "Modern Reloading" has a good load data section, and is a great beginners book.

Bing
12-20-2006, 10:36 PM
I got into reloading because it was more cost effective to reload than to buy factory ammo. I then realized that reloading was another hobby itself. I started off with a single stage reloader 22 years ago and after couple years later I then bought a Dillon 550. Three years ago I upgraded to a Dillon 650 and I wish that I had bought the 650 to begin with.

BTW...where are you located at? A buddy of mine just upgraded from a Lee progressive press to a Dillon 650. I don't think that he ever used the Lee press and it is now waiting for a new owner.

MisterDudeManGuy
12-21-2006, 6:21 AM
I got into reloading because it was more cost effective to reload than to buy factory ammo.

So true. For me, I can shoot match grade ammo at somewhere around .39 per round when factory ammo is a buck a round. For us military cartridge shooters, though, the benchmark is the cost of high quality milsurp - which for me is around .20-.25 a round. Of course, milsurp always dries up.

grammaton76
12-21-2006, 3:18 PM
Maybe get my buddies off their **** offering some free ammo for them.:D

Actually, that's a question I've been wondering about lately. How legal is it to let others shoot your reloads? I let others shoot my reloads in my guns, but given some of the things I've seen posted, I'm a bit curious about actually GIVING ammo to folks...

461
12-21-2006, 3:27 PM
Giving ammo, no problem. Selling ammo- Big problem!


As for the original equipment questions. It's all a matter of taste and level of quality desired in equipment, the ammo made is dependent on the builder of the round, not the equipment used. I still use a Lee turret press and I've reloaded for 15 years, I've considered upgrading several times, but aside from the snob factor I can't see that I'd gain a lot. I'd look at a progressive if I were to need mass quantities of ammo at a shot, but I prefer little batches.

grammaton76
12-21-2006, 3:30 PM
Giving ammo, no problem. Selling ammo- Big problem!


Hmm. How about if they're only paying you back for the components (meticulously calculated down to the 10th of a cent)? I.e. no profit?

ocabj
12-21-2006, 3:39 PM
I'd never let anyone use any ammo I loaded myself in their firearms.

Going back to the original question, I started handloading specifically for .45 ACP, but now load mainly for rifles since I don't shoot much pistol anymore. I think I spent around $400 for all of my equipment starting out. This included the Rockchucker kit which included the measure and trimmer among other things, and then my tumbler, calipers, dies, etc. All the basic stuff to load for .45 and 9mm.

I don't even want to calculate what I spent on equipment afterwards. I have several sets of dies, another trimmer, another tumbler, another press, etc.

MisterDudeManGuy
12-21-2006, 4:34 PM
I'd never let anyone use any ammo I loaded myself in their firearms.


Amen. Upside - a few bucks. Downside - potential legal liability for injury or death. In Kalifornistan, the legal liability might even extend to anyone who ever reloaded ammunition, or considered doing so. :D

tankerman
12-22-2006, 8:21 AM
Thanks, that was some helpful info. I was looking at those lee turret presses on midway. So you haven't had any problems with yours? Do you know of any goods books that might help me out? Or that I must have for reloading.

Where are you located? I may have a lee turret boxed up the garage. If I do you can have it, I will get back to you.

Ravenslair
12-22-2006, 9:10 AM
Here is a link (http://glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=78745) to a post on Glocktalk.com. The author of the post created a spreadsheet that computes all sorts of things for you. It makes it real easy to determine if reloading is for you. If you do reload, it has lots of other useful formulas.

dw1784
12-22-2006, 4:15 PM
I got into reloading because it was more cost effective to reload than to buy factory ammo. I then realized that reloading was another hobby itself.

^^^what he said^^^:D
might be cheaper to buy the ammo depending on how big the hobby gets:D

ARRRR-15
12-22-2006, 4:45 PM
Thanks for the link Ravenslair. Thats some good info.