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Ammo and Reloading Factory Ammunition, Reloading, Components, Load Data and more.

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  #1  
Old 01-14-2019, 10:33 AM
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Default Questions on Reloading Consumables

I am an experienced reloader for rifle rounds using a single stage press (Forster Co-Ax), but do wish to shoot handguns more and want to reload for those as well. I expect to be reloading for 9mm, 45ACP, 38 Special, 357 Mag, and 45 Colt. I am not very knowledgeable on brands and sources for bulk brass (including new vs 1x fired), or bullets (for practice), powder, and primers and would appreciate some guidance in those areas. I would likely want to buy 500 - 1000+ at a time. I can also drive a couple hundred miles out from the San Francisco bay area to pick up and avoid shipping.

Thanks.

Phil
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:56 AM
California Ken California Ken is offline
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Hi Phil

I am new to reloading, but have the equipment and just loaded and tested my first 50 rounds of 9mm.

I got my "ingredients" from PowderValley.com, but I would suggest you do some price comparisons for what you want to buy. Different stores/websites will have different hazmat charges, shipping charges and ship times (one website has the powder shipped from the manufacturer).

I also just went to the Gun Show at the Cow Palace in Daly City (I live in the Bay Area) and the prices were a tad cheaper and I could have the items right away.

Hope this helps!



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  #3  
Old 01-14-2019, 11:32 AM
JackEllis JackEllis is offline
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OP, it's typically not cost effective (time, fuel and wear and tear) to drive very far to pick up bullets and cases. For the price of 3 gallons of fuel (or less depending on the type and quantity) I and other sellers can generally ship you all the used brass you've said you need. For me that equates to a 40 mile radius.

The same rule of thumb doesn't quite hold for powder and primers but it still might make sense to buy from a local store depending on the quantities you want.

Another thing to do: look for sales.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:53 AM
rsrocket1 rsrocket1 is offline
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Start with just one caliber. 45ACP is pretty forgiving in that it's a low pressure round with a truly straight walled case that you can see the powder charge fairly easily.

With 45ACP, you'll probably lose the case before you wear it out by reloading it. I have many cases with the lettering worn off of the headstamp and they are still working fine. The only problem you may run into is that several newer 45ACP cases are coming out with small pistol primers instead of the traditional large pistol primers. If you scrounge for range brass, just be sure to separate the LPP and SPP brass before running it through your press.

As for the other calibers, I use range pickup brass for all the calibers listed except 45 Colt (which I don't shoot, yet). 9mm is the most abundant brass around and you could easily fill a coffee can full of cases left by other shooters in a very short period of time. It is a little more finicky in that it is a tapered wall case, the internal volumes are all over the place and the powder can get really cramped in that small space which leads to very high pressures very quickly.

38 Special is another tame cartridge. The bad thing about it is that it is narrow and deep and you can accidentally double or triple charge it and still have the possibility of missing it on inspection.

A powder like Unique is bulky so you will see a double charge in 45ACP and it will also work in all the other calibers you mentioned. It's not the best but it will work in all of them and very well in some. A pound is about $20-$30 and will load about 1400 rounds at about 5 grains per shot so that's all you need to begin with. A box of 1000 primers typically runs for $30-$35 so your main cost will be bullets. For 45ACP you can't go wrong with 230g round nose so your choice will be lead, coated, plated or jacketed with increasing cost in that order.

After your first few hundred reloads, you will probably want to move on to a progressive but you are fine using a single stage press.

Good luck
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Old 01-14-2019, 2:05 PM
Divernhunter Divernhunter is offline
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Everglade ammo.com for bullets. They also have brass. Their prices include shipping. Their products are excellent. I prefer jackets bullets in my pistols but have a local commercial bullet maker for when I use lead bullets.
For new brass it has to be Starline Brass hands down. Their prices include shipping and they have excellent brass.

9mm and 45ACP win 231 is very good powder.
For mag loads in the 357 H-110 is great. I have used Unique and 700-X for light loads and they work well but there may be better. Since I had about 15 pounds I will use it up 1st.

I buy my primers usually local and get 1000-10,000 at a time.

It pays to buy bulk
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Old 01-14-2019, 3:50 PM
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Companies like http://www.thebluebullets.com for coated lead bullets. Very reasonable pricing.

Calguns marketplace for once fired but cleaned brass. A step up is https://fancybrassco.com, fully processed brass (Deprimed, swaged crimp removed, and roll sized, Wet chem washed then polished in corn cob) still cheaper than factory new.

For primers and powder (buying in bulk) there is https://www.powdervalleyinc.com

Most companies include shipping in their pricing, and regardless would be cheaper than paying for gas to go a couple of hundred miles like you stated.
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Old 01-14-2019, 4:19 PM
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned
https://www.xtremebullets.com/Copper...ets-s/2897.htm
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Old 01-15-2019, 7:22 AM
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I am the OP. Thanks to all for the multitude of sources for reloading supplies. Lots to choose from of which a few I was aware of, but many I was not.

I expect to use the Dillon 550C, which I understand is easier to change calibers on. I expect to be using 9mm, 45 ACP, 45 Colt, and 38/357.

Phil
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Old 01-15-2019, 7:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil3 View Post
I am the OP. Thanks to all for the multitude of sources for reloading supplies. Lots to choose from of which a few I was aware of, but many I was not.



I expect to use the Dillon 550C, which I understand is easier to change calibers on. I expect to be using 9mm, 45 ACP, 45 Colt, and 38/357.



Phil
Dont forget to read the sticky

https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/...php?p=11170591


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Old 01-15-2019, 9:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil3 View Post
I am the OP. Thanks to all for the multitude of sources for reloading supplies. Lots to choose from of which a few I was aware of, but many I was not.

I expect to use the Dillon 550C, which I understand is easier to change calibers on. I expect to be using 9mm, 45 ACP, 45 Colt, and 38/357.

Phil
Good choice. The Dillon 550C is an excellent progressive loader and Dillon has excellent support. You can start by loading one cartridge at a time "turret style", then move on to having all 4 stations filled. A lot happens at the down stroke and in the beginning, a lot could go wrong all at the same time so take it slow.

I have a Hornady LnL AP but I narrowed my choice to that and the 55C. When it came down to choosing, Hornady included 500 free bullets and I got an offer for a $150 gift card with a $500 purchase at Cabelas which sealed the deal. If the final price were the same I would have been happy with either although I do like the auto advance, the 5 stations and the quick release bushings of the LnL AP because I also load lots of calibers and change out dies often.

If you ever take up casting, you'll really see the price savings per loaded cartridge. Essentially, all handgun cartridges will cost 5-7 cents per shot and all rifle cartridges will cost 13-20 cents a shot depending on how much lead you use and what you paid for it. It's a great feeling to come home from the range after shooting 300 shots knowing you only spent $18 in components.
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Old 01-15-2019, 9:57 AM
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Coated lead do everything for me that plated bullets do, for a cheaper cost. It really adds up for those of us who shoot in the tens of thousands of rounds per year.

Primers and powder really need to be bought in bulk, and better still when companies offer free hazmat deals or other discounts. But before ordering a ton, you ought to try a couple powders and see what you like. For testing something new, local shops make sense even if not the cheapest option.

I'm loading 9mm for 9 cents per round and I use nothing but quality components. But in order to get there you have to buy in bulk and pull the trigger when the deal is good.
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Old 01-15-2019, 6:02 PM
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For jacketed bullets, it's hard to beat Precision Delta for quality vs. cost and rival coated or plated bullets on cost.

Lead bullets I primarily shoot Bear Creek moly bullets.

Brass mostly comes from Gunbroker. Personally I like 1X matching headstamps. When I buy new, it's pretty much always Starline.

Powder and primers is mostly Powder Valley. I buy enough at a time the shipping and hazmat is pretty amortized. Do watch for free hazmat with other vendors such as Natchez.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:25 PM
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I also recommend starting with an easier caliber to level off the learning curve. I like .38Spl because the cannelure makes setting seating depth so much easier. It is low pressure and there are a lot of different bullets. The .45ACP might be easier because of it's larger bullets (easier to handle) and forgiving nature (tolerent of powder and OAL variations)

I've found powders that are very versatile and still meter very well are Win 231/HP-38 (they are the same powder) and Alliant BE-86...both meter better than Unique. Compare prices to include HazMat and shipping. Different retailers will offer free HazMat or shipping with certain levels of purchases. Be aware of a retailer who raises their prices when offering something "Free".

Plated bullets used to be a great buy to use in place of jacketed bullets, but Rocky Mountian Reloading (RMR) now offers FMJ and JHP bullets at much the same price as other's plated bullets. RMR bullets are high quality and very consistent as they are all manufactured in-house. Shipping is included in their prices and they ship very quickly (usually 2-3 days)

Polymer Coated cast bullets have pretty much replaced Powder Coated bullets. The coating to look for is called Hi-Tek from Australia. I use BnB casting out of AZ...they offer free shipping when you buy their bulk packs
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