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  #1  
Old 09-07-2019, 6:32 PM
benos4752 benos4752 is offline
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Default Is reloading really worth it?

I know a lot of people get into reloading to save money, but is it really worth it?

Right now I am only really shooting 9mm and 5.56. I have a .40 S&W and a 12 gauge and am saving for a rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor. But the VAST majority of my shooting is 9mm and 5.56.

And I am currently on track to shoot somewhere between 5-10,000 rounds of 9mm and about 5,000 rounds of 5.56. Using Brownells prices, not including the price of loss brass, I'd save about $20/1000 rounds of 9mm. I couldn't find 5.56 bullets on there, so unsure about that.

Assuming I do not start shooting more, it kind of feels like just getting a prime membership at Target Sports USA once my FFL03 comes in will be about the same savings, especially since it will have an obviously much smaller time investment.

Unless I get into competition and want specialized rounds, is it pointless to go purchase reloading equipment and supplies for my apartment?
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  #2  
Old 09-07-2019, 6:39 PM
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i reload 9mm and .223 but i go all out and actually cast my own bullets for 9mm and i only use the cheapest bullets for 223

its worth it to me
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Old 09-07-2019, 7:09 PM
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I reload my .223 for 37 cents a round and those are match grade, tailored to my rifles. I reload .45 ACP for about 25 cents a round using 230gr fmjs from Berrys. Totally worth it IMO. YMMV.
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Old 09-07-2019, 7:12 PM
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Forget reloading .223 an 9mm. Those rounds are mass produced and not worth reloading. If you're reloading something else like .44 mag or 6.5 creemoor for competition, you'll just shoot more, which is GREAT!

Reloading is a great hobbby.


Do it.
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  #5  
Old 09-07-2019, 7:33 PM
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I started reloading because I had a ton of .308 brass I saved and wanted to get into it to save some money. The hobby is expensive to start but once you get everything going it's worth it. Issue is you spend a lot on mass orders of powder and componants. Now that the ammo law is in effect, and I know it's not that big a deal, I value the fact that I rely on myself to keep myself stocked.

I reload 9mm, 45, 357, 223, 308, 6.5 creed and 7.62 x 39. And I always start a new caliber with 1k+ brass and go from thier. Best thing is as easy the hobby is you almost always have an avenue for brass at the range from people that could care less. Brass is usually the most expensive part of the round FYI.
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Old 09-07-2019, 7:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benos4752 View Post
I know a lot of people get into reloading to save money, but is it really worth it?

Right now I am only really shooting 9mm and 5.56. I have a .40 S&W and a 12 gauge and am saving for a rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor. But the VAST majority of my shooting is 9mm and 5.56.

And I am currently on track to shoot somewhere between 5-10,000 rounds of 9mm and about 5,000 rounds of 5.56. Using Brownells prices, not including the price of loss brass, I'd save about $20/1000 rounds of 9mm. I couldn't find 5.56 bullets on there, so unsure about that.

Assuming I do not start shooting more, it kind of feels like just getting a prime membership at Target Sports USA once my FFL03 comes in will be about the same savings, especially since it will have an obviously much smaller time investment.

Unless I get into competition and want specialized rounds, is it pointless to go purchase reloading equipment and supplies for my apartment?
Prices vary dramatically based on how much you shop for deals and buy components in bulk.
If you priced out reloading just 1000 rounds, it's probably going to cost more than buying factory ammo.
When you order powder 32lbs at a time and primers 10,000 at a time and plated or lead pistol bullets 10,000+ at a time on group buys, you save on shipping costs per piece and that adds up to significant savings on your finished ammo.

Also, do you value your time or would you consider being more self sufficient in your ability to make loads for your specific guns that are more accurate than factory ammo to be important to you?
Most people that stick with reloading consider it another hobby that complements their shooting hobby rather than WORK.
If you see it as WORK, it's probably not for you and you would do better to work some more paid overtime and just order factory ammo.
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  #7  
Old 09-07-2019, 7:55 PM
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For range fodder in uber popular calibers? Not really.

Specialty rounds for hunting? Kinda, but you don't hoot much.

Optimized for your firearm? The only way...albeit OTC premium loads satisfy most, but can be costly.

Less popular rounds? 45 Colt for one and even 45 ACP can = substantial savings.
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  #8  
Old 09-07-2019, 7:59 PM
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I have been reloading for over 20 years. None of my current hunting rifles have ever shot factory loads.

If you want premium bullets and to tune your loads to your particular gun then reloading is worth it.

For high volume shooting of a 9mm not so much. I have dies for 9mm but seldom load for it. 9mm bulk is so cheap it is not worth reloading. I buy in bulk online and get free shipping. I save the brass but currently I dont think that it is worth the effort for 9mm. Last time I ran the numbers I could not buy the components for what I was paying for loaded ammunition.

I do load .223, but that is for varmint hunting so I am using premium bullets and trying to get the most accuracy out of a lead free bullet.

Last edited by Brad H; 09-07-2019 at 8:04 PM..
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  #9  
Old 09-07-2019, 8:12 PM
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I cast/swage and reload. It keeps me off the streets looking for hookers and blow. The wife likes it that way. It is expensive but the equipment can last forever. I have dies and molds for at least 25 calibers.
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  #10  
Old 09-07-2019, 8:27 PM
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Two things not yet mentioned:

I'm set for a SHTF scenario.... and

I give and get a break from the wife a few nights a week when reloading.

And a bonus....I'm not paying the State for a freakin' BGC!
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  #11  
Old 09-07-2019, 8:27 PM
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I seriously doubt that anyone in the history of the world ever "saved" any money by reloading.

Most folks that I've seen (and including myself) that have taken up reloading will actually increase their shooting budgets, but will find that money providing far more shooting experience that of they used factory rounds.

You'll also find that the flexibility of reloading will allow you tailor your loads to your specific weapons and thereby get a little more enjoyment than you would with factory loads. I like to make the smallest hole possible in a target using as many rounds as possible. Once I have a rifle dialed in, my handloads will make a much smaller group hole than will factory rounds.
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  #12  
Old 09-07-2019, 8:55 PM
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I do it for several reasons, none having to do with saving money.
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  #13  
Old 09-07-2019, 9:08 PM
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At first, not really. Now after 10 years of reloading definitely saving money.

I recently assembled a 6.8 spc for hunting and have loaded my first accurizing rounds.

The big difference is you only need a single stage press "kit" to start. After that it's how far you want to take it. I still use my single stage and work in batches for rifle. I use a manual turret for handgun and case prep. I do have an automatic powder dispenser for rifle and special handgun loads as well as a fancy "pencil sharpener" case prep machine for by rifle loads. Those turkeys @385 yds are tough to hit

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  #14  
Old 09-07-2019, 9:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benos4752 View Post
Unless I get into competition and want specialized rounds, is it pointless to go purchase reloading equipment and supplies for my apartment?
Reloading is a hobby unto itself.

I reload because I like weird cartridges and enjoy shooting and hunting with ammunition I've made. Reloading is adjunct to my main hobbies, but is still a hobby.

If you don't give two ****s about DIY, and you don't give two ****s about match quality ammo, then reloading isn't for you. The only thing reloading does (other than being another hobby) is allow you to produce and shoot match quality ammo for crap tier ammo prices. If you're in it to produce crap tier ammo very cheaply, you'll probably be better off buying crap ammo by the pallet and spending your time drinking beer instead of reloading.
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'ol shooter View Post
I do it for several reasons, none having to do with saving money.
Same here, however saving money happens to be a byproduct so it just works out awesomely. My first loading set up ($300) paid for itself in a couple days by loading 2k rounds of 45acp. After that I was saving myself like $200 with every case of 45acp I loaded and it would cost me about 1.5hrs of time to load 1k rounds. Long enough to listen to a movie while loading. Whoever says they aren't saving money is doing it wrong, its built in. And to give another example, I save myself around $600 when I load 1k rounds of 50ae instead of buying factory ammo. So worth the price of admission? Effin A it is.

But my main purpose of loading is creating custom ammo and again it just happens to be at least half the price of the closest factory ammo. I primarily load 9 and 40 that cannot be purchased for matches and its real cheap. I can't afford to buy that type of ammo. It's so cheap that its my practice ammo too. Quality is exellent, my current batch of 40major has an sd of 8.2. Loading is fantastic.

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Last edited by Dooder; 09-07-2019 at 11:37 PM..
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Old 09-08-2019, 1:19 AM
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Who needs to learn to reload when there is an empty video game seat available? Or when opportunity awaits by
locating an unoccupied rug on the floor of the local hookah lounge near you?

Last edited by hambam105; 09-08-2019 at 1:24 AM..
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  #17  
Old 09-08-2019, 3:34 AM
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It's about an hour and a half each way to the nearest store in California that sells ammunition. It's about a 40 second walk to the room I use for reloading. I reload first, for convenience sake (no three hour drive to buy ammunition), second because I can turn rounds tailored to my rifles, third because it helps fill the time on long, cold, snowy winter days, and fourth because I like the science experiment aspects of testing loads.

I made several smart component buys that have allowed me to save some money but given the amount of centerfire ammunition I typically shoot in a year, it's probably less than $100.
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Old 09-08-2019, 3:59 AM
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I reload 9mm for 9 cents per round. 135gr bullet tailored to my pistol and my shooting preference. Of course, that's not counting my time but I can crank out 600 rounds in an hour if needed. You can do your own math to figure out if it's worth it.

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Old 09-08-2019, 4:31 AM
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I reload for the savings and relaxation. Yes the savings is there. I purchased a bunch of lead and make PC bullets for my 9mm, 38 spl, and 357 mag. Powders, primers, and bullets I purchased a lot back when prices was cheaper.
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Old 09-08-2019, 4:58 AM
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Yet another guy wondering if it adds up.

Ok it's not about saving money, while it is possible to loading on the cheep thats not the point for me.

1. never buy ammo again other than 22lr or 22 mag

2. never worry about ammo bing in stock or having to go on the hunt for ammo.

3. panic buy's go by by. Yeah there may be a run on powder or primers but it never lasts and they sure as hell don't jack the prices up like they do with ammo.

4. you can make th ebest or the cheepest ammo for your guns your choice and it's all up to you.

but sitting here trying to figure out if it's worth it ornot is pure BS As for a loader in an apartment, I did that for a decade or longer and it was an RL 550B bolted to a filing cabinet. it can be done, you just need to put forth effort to make it happen.
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Old 09-08-2019, 2:39 PM
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One perk I enjoy from reloading is the simple fact that I can acquire ammunition in defiance of the wishes of the Democrats and the legislature. There is something quite enjoyable about doing something that speaks of Liberty, and irks the communists we are constantly dealing with.
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Old 09-08-2019, 4:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splithoof View Post
One perk I enjoy from reloading is the simple fact that I can acquire ammunition in defiance of the wishes of the Democrats and the legislature. There is something quite enjoyable about doing something that speaks of Liberty, and irks the communists we are constantly dealing with.
Not why I got into reloading but I have to admit, it was quite satisfying and a relief the last 2 times I went to PPT a gun and witnessed the mess that is buying ammo today in California. Now, I doubt I would have any problem with the BG check since I've recently PPT a few guns. But I sure am happy I can avoid the anxiety of possible denial and giving them that extra $1 and my info every time I need ammo.

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Old 09-08-2019, 4:51 PM
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Quote:
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One perk I enjoy from reloading is the simple fact that I can acquire ammunition in defiance of the wishes of the Democrats and the legislature. There is something quite enjoyable about doing something that speaks of Liberty, and irks the communists we are constantly dealing with.
Yep it sure is nice.
See reason #1 in my above post
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Old 09-08-2019, 4:54 PM
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Not why I got into reloading but I have to admit, it was quite satisfying and a relief the last 2 times I went to PPT a gun and witnessed the mess that is buying ammo today in California. Now, I doubt I would have any problem with the BG check since I've recently PPT a few guns. But I sure am happy I can avoid the anxiety of possible denial and giving them that extra $1 and my info every time I need ammo.

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I donít see it as a real hinderance as it is total BS.
It will never be anything other the striping of rights until they decide to call it criminal control and actually do it.
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Old 09-08-2019, 5:29 PM
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From a financial sense, not to me. I was thoroughly happy buying online.

Politically, I reload as a big eF you to Kalifornia and my refusal to go through the new background checks on ammo purchases.
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Old 09-08-2019, 5:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'ol shooter View Post
I do it for several reasons, none having to do with saving money.
Ditto.^^^. Not to mention I do not have to worry about buying ammo at some store. Other than some shotgun ammo about two years ago I purchased, no need for store bought ammo. 'ol shooter knows of what I speak.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:07 PM
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I shoot big cap cases so I've paid for mine many times over. Well, I've had it since the 70s.
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Old 09-09-2019, 2:55 PM
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what are you guy's recommendation for a quality start up set, basic and functioning but not in the 4 digit price range off the bat.
Any RCBS kit that has a Rock chucker supreme in it.
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Old 09-09-2019, 3:29 PM
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what are you guy's recommendation for a quality start up set, basic and functioning but not in the 4 digit price range off the bat.
Did you read my stickied threads?

https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/...d.php?t=158086
https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/...d.php?t=229221
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Old 09-09-2019, 3:30 PM
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Don't load much 9mm, but when I do I cast my own. But I load lots of 223 and its definitely worth it, particularly when you can tailor the rounds to your rifle. I buy bulk or pulled bullets on sale, use surplus powder (WC844 or 846), get brass pretty much for free (from buddy's, range pickup), get primers from calgunners or craigslist, etc. My component cost for 223 is right around 15 cents per round and in my primary AR I'll average about 1.5 MOA with that load. I can load even cheaper with cheaper bullets (pulled, blemished, etc.) but then the groups start opening up.

As for a good starter kit, I would have to say look into the Lee Turret Press kit. I bought a large lot of loading equipment and supplies a while back and included was a Lee Turret. I intended to just sell it off but decided to mount it to the bench and check it out and the more I use it, the more I like it.
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Old 09-09-2019, 3:59 PM
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Reloading 9mm doesn't save me much, but at times do it anyway. You can find it on sale in large quantities near the same cost, but sometimes it's sold out. I can sit down pounds out one or two thousand rounds and head out. I also pound out defense round, JHP for much less. Also I shoot a lot of times with new shooters. Nice to start them on low powered loads. Being able to Taylor loads means a lot to me.

That's 9mm. But also load 357, 44 mag, 45acp, 556, 308. I use the Rock Chucker, Dillon 650 and Dillion super 1050. I like the freedom to buy bulk components online. I still buy factory and do the BG check, have no problem with it, but sometimes I wonder if California looks at 1,000 round purchases with panic. I shoot a lot, but wonder if they think I'm a problem. Too me, it's a right to self defense, and I wouldn't shoot anyone unless my life or a family members depends on it. For theft, I have home owners insurance, I don't mind using home owners or auto insurance, but I refuse to use the medical insurance.

I think California is doing a great job lately. I think it's common sense to release a lot of prisoners, take away guns from good people, restrict our police and make it harder to get ammo. Great wisdom there. Comrade Newsome has our best interest in mind. It's nice to know if I get shot, the perp is going to serve a good 6 months.

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Old 09-09-2019, 4:32 PM
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If you have to ask the question then NO it is not for you. Bottom line is at the end of each year you will have spent as much money as if you just bought the ammo. However you will have shot much more. Also it is a hobby in itself. If you count your time it also does not pay. As far as shooting hard to find cartridges you would not usually buy them if you do not reload and if you did you would just shoot them very little IF money is a factor.

Remember it is also a hobby that many enjoy. To each their own.
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  #33  
Old 09-09-2019, 7:52 PM
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^^^^^^^^^^Beat me to it^^^^^^^^^^^^^. If you have to ask, find another hobby.

I figured this out on my own way before social media around 1969.

If it's for you, it will call to you. You will seek it on your own.
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Old 09-10-2019, 4:45 AM
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^^^^^^^^^^Beat me to it^^^^^^^^^^^^^. If you have to ask, find another hobby.

I figured this out on my own way before social media around 1969.

If it's for you, it will call to you. You will seek it on your own.
yeah but kids these days want fast cheep and easy. but it don't work that way.

and if you never took your toys apart as a kid it might not be for you as you need to pay attention and have respect for what you are working with
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Old 09-10-2019, 8:26 AM
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I started 20= years ago mainly because I fell into a bunch of components for next to nothing. That said, what I like about it is the freedom of not fretting about where to find ammo for the weird calibers (10mm,41 mag etc.). It also gives you freedom when shopping for guns for the same reason. Like wow look at that colt..oh its a 45 long colt..no sweat I'll check E-bay for a die set and shell holders. There was NEVER an ammo shortage for many of us here.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:02 AM
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There was NEVER an ammo shortage for many of us here.
This.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:47 AM
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I started shooting matches at the local range 4 years ago , started reloading 6 months after that , I currently only reload 9mm , initially i was saving about 20 to 30 dollars per 1000 rounds but the price of ammo seems to have gone up so savings has gone up as well. Its costing me .10 cents a round and me and my wife are shooting almost every weekend at matches. So there is a good amount of money saved

When the Mrs started shooting she was complaining her wrists and hands would hurt after a match so I loaded soft shooting rounds so she wouldn't lose interest. I've slowly increased the load from the low end to a medium as she has gotten better and now she handles factory loads with no problem.So customizing is also a benefit.

I haven't bought ammo in years now and given the current ammo laws I am happy to keep the state in the dark as to how much ammo I have.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:55 PM
koehn,jim koehn,jim is offline
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I don't save money by reloading, but I get to shoot a lot more for the same money. I also cast my own bullets and have some rifles that have never shot better. Reloading allows you to tailor the ammo to the weapon. It is not, however cheap and can become addicting.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:57 PM
Jwalt Jwalt is offline
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For a lot of people, they find they just shoot more for the same total expenditure.


I have very limited time to shoot with two small kids + work. Reloading winds up saving me a few bucks. 'Worth it'? I don't know. I spend an hour listening to a podcast and save 10 to 40 bucks in that hour depending on what I'm reloading. It's peace and quiet, but I'd probably be just as happy working on a flintlock kit or something similar.
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Old 09-10-2019, 1:14 PM
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downdiver2 downdiver2 is offline
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I like to think of reloading like work traffic.

Quality of life and time spent.

I don't want to sit in 2.5 hours of traffic each way to work, what kind of quality of life is that? I would rather pay a toll and breeze home in 35min. Same with reloading - I 'aint got time for dat".

To each their own. To you guys/gals who reload, good on you!
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