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

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Old 03-13-2019, 12:12 PM
Starslinger Starslinger is online now
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Default Can .357 be reloaded for less than factory 38 special?

Since recently purchasing a lever action .357/38 carbine and seeing the cost of .357 ammo, I've been giving some thought to getting into reloading. However, I think that I can do most of my practice shooting with 38 special since I never shoot beyond 100 yards. I've heard that 38 special is generally not as accurate or as flat shooting as .357 magnum through a 16.5 inch barrel, so that is an incentive to shoot .357 magnum instead of 38 special. I don't hunt, I just shoot paper and steel for fun. But the lever carbine is kept loaded with .357 magnum at home in case an intruder decides to break in. I can buy 38 special locally for about 32 cents a round and .357 magnum for about 68 cents a round. If I buy the reloading gear, but I don't cast my own bullets, would I be able to reload .357 for 30 cents a round or less? Thanks for any advice!
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:14 PM
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short answer - yes
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Old 03-13-2019, 1:32 PM
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Without even trying.....
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Old 03-13-2019, 1:47 PM
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absolutely YES and you will get to play with the loads to find the most accurate loads for your particular rifle.
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Old 03-13-2019, 1:57 PM
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Thanks folks!
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Old 03-13-2019, 2:51 PM
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not counting the loading press

using your brass
primers about 3 cents each
powder about 3 cents
bullet from 6-10 cents

per round say 10-15 cents each
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Old 03-13-2019, 4:52 PM
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I started reloading because the cost of 357 magnum made shooting my 686 impossible.

Iíve never done a cost analysts, but once you buy the components you can shoot all you want.

If you really want to save money you can start casting your own bullets...


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Old 03-13-2019, 5:02 PM
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I cast my own lead so my cost of reloading 38/357 is about $0.08 a round. Using Bullseye powder, it doesn’t take a large charge to make it go bang.

.357 Mag ammo out of a carbine moves things up a LOT, and it comes darned close to a 30-30 class cartridge.

The Amazing 357 Magnum http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s....php?t=1233470
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Old 03-13-2019, 5:22 PM
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Yes is a very easy answer. The real question is do you have the time.
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Old 03-13-2019, 6:17 PM
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Whats your time worth? If zero, yes.
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Old 03-13-2019, 6:29 PM
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Cast them boolits and save a ton of cash!

Take care
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Old 03-13-2019, 6:59 PM
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357/38 spl is cheap and easy to load. These were the first rounds I started reloading. Many powders will work so just watch the calguns reloading sale subforum and get those fast burning powders when they come up cheap. Then after you get the bug you start casting your own bullets and its cheaper still. Then you move up from a 1 or 2 cavity bullet mold to a 6-cavity and a progressive press and it really gets cheap and quick.
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Old 03-13-2019, 9:55 PM
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.357 and .38 can be reloaded for less than the cost of factory 9mm. If ammo price was based purely on the cost of materials those 3 should be almost the same price.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:24 PM
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38/357 ?
Watch for deals. Ive got powder at 75 to 100 per 8lb jug. I scrounge for lead. Whatever I can find for free or close to free. Primers can be found as cheap as 22.00 per 1k.
So, yes if you are creative one can load for cheap.
But there is time, press, and all that goe with reloading. Not for everyone.


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Old 03-14-2019, 3:11 PM
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Commercial 357 is typically jacketed bullets. You aren't going to get jacketed bullets for 6 cents. More like 15 to 20 cents for garden variety jacketed. When comparing apples, it's best to stick with apples.

A 357 carbine can be a bit fast for lead bullets.
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Old 03-14-2019, 3:27 PM
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My 357 rifles like 158 grain, RNFP, Hi-Tek coated Missouri bullets (cowboy #15) pushed with 2400 powder.
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Old 03-14-2019, 3:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfish View Post
My 357 rifles like 158 grain, RNFP, Hi-Tek coated Missouri bullets (cowboy #15) pushed with 2400 powder.
How much 2400 are you using? Thinking about giving these bullets a try soon. I have some of their harder 158 gr LSWC with traditional lube, but the accuracy was horrific out of my 1894 with a healthy charge of 2400. I personally think they may be too hard.

Edit: I had better luck with 160 gr coated RN from Bayou, but I prefer the RNFP bullets in lever guns.

Edit again: I guess my real question here is how fast you can get away with pushing the softer coated bullets.

Last edited by WHH; 03-14-2019 at 3:49 PM..
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Old 03-14-2019, 6:51 PM
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The short answer is yes. Long answer...maybe.

When I started reloading 25 years ago, the answer was absolutely yes. There wasnít that much bulk ammo, like American eagle or Winchester white box, and there wasnít anything like remanufactured ammo. Factory ammo was fairly expensive. And components were cheap and plentiful.

The problem today is that factory and remanufactured ammo is pretty close in price. And youíll need to drop several hundred on hardware to get a decent start. But equipment should be considered sunk cost and not figured into price per round. Not the least because once purchased it will just keep going and going and going spitting out ammo and will do so for 25 years. And long after that too.

Now, the real reason you reload, especially in kalifornia isnít price. Current laws as well as what we all know is coming is why you reload. You could stock up on ammo, but youíll run out eventually. However, a lot of reloading gear gets bought then sold later because it went unused.

Reloading is far more about ammo security than anything. Canít snider it an insurance policy. Even if itís just a decent single stage press and some accessories, say, $3-400, itís well worth it. It might not be used a lot, but then again, it might be.


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Old 03-14-2019, 6:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-forceJunkie View Post
Whats your time worth? If zero, yes.
Depends. If you want me to work on a broken toilet, it's not worth my time.

Doing something I enjoy does not mean my time is worth zero.
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Old 03-14-2019, 6:59 PM
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You can reload 357 for probably less than .15 a round depending on bullet
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Old 03-15-2019, 3:59 AM
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Here is a screen-scrape of my spreadsheet for my .357, and I have some 124gn JHP's but I forgot to sheet-plug the price I paid for them... (.143/ea * 1000).



Buying brass is not an option, yet... just recycled.
This is also not including the electricity for the tumble, the tumbling media, nor the Brasso and solvent for the tumble, nor the cost of the tumbler...
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Last edited by the86d; 03-15-2019 at 4:17 AM..
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  #22  
Old 03-15-2019, 10:51 AM
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Good information folks. Thanks!
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