Reloads?

This is a discussion on Reloads? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm sure questions like this has been asked a million times - but the times we live in are a changin'! So my question is, ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Jemsaal's Avatar
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    Reloads?

    I'm sure questions like this has been asked a million times - but the times we live in are a changin'! So my question is, is it worth it to start reloading right now?

    I went online to price some stuff, and from what I've found, I may be saving about $.07 a round. I've been buying .40 cal rounds for just under .40 cents a round. When I priced stuff out for reload, here's what I found for 1000 rounds:

    Powder: 16 pounds (two bottles), approx. .20 cents a round. I'm looking at about 6.5 gr. a round. (I'm interpreting "gr" as grams, is that right?)

    Primers = $.03 a round

    Bullets 155 gr = $.10 a round

    Total = .33 cents a round. (I save all my brass from the range already).

    These prices are online prices, but don't include shipping, etc. So, am I missing anything that also should be included in loading? I'm not counting start-up costs here (buying the equipment, etc), that'll be a separate assessment. Is this about what you all pay? Also, are these prices drastically higher than normal as well? I would think so, but don't know since I've not done it. Also, is 6.5 gr. about right for a 155 gr bullet?
    Of course - before I EVER actually start reloading, I'd buy a manual and follow it to the "T" since I'm aware of what can happen if your reload is too hot, or even if it's not powerful enough. This is just some preliminary work to see if it's even worth starting to find the equipment.

    (Didn't put this is the ammo sub-forum because I'm not really asking about "defensive" ammo. I'll use standard store bought JHP's for that.)

    EDIT: of course, I didn't see the standard "reload" subforum at the bottom. Sorry Mods. I guess this thread actually belongs there.

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  3. #2
    Member Array AZ_Larz_NY's Avatar
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    I am just starting to reload myself. It will be a cost savings down the road, but the initial cost is a bit high depending on what you want to load and how. With prices climbing and things getting harder to find, the choice is yours.

    I have been gathering stuff for reloading for about 2 months now and later today should have everything I need.

    Gr= grains. Depending on what powder you are using, you can get around 1500 rounds out of 1 lb of powder, 16 lbs will last a loooong time.
    Primers, that is close right now, bullets, depending on what you want to shoot, yes or a little more.

    Plus, reloading is fun and another thing in the gun world to be able to share with others. My Uncle reloads and he comes over all the time now to talk about stuff and help me.

    IN my opinion, reloading will save about 40% or more.

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    AND for GODS sake, get your finger off the trigger until you are ready to squeeze the trigger!

  4. #3
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    Okay gr is grains and 1 grain = 64.79891 milligrams or 1 gram is approximately 15.43236 grains.

    That will change you calculation a lot.

    I can buy 9mm cheaper than I can reload it.

    .38 spl and .357 magnum are great rounds to reload mainly because they lend themselves to the reloader who wants to work up a round.

    .308 and 7mm Magnum rounds are were I find my biggest savings.

    The more you reload the more you save, plus its fun and makes you more immune to ammo shortages
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    GR is grains, not grams. There are 7000 grains in a pound of powder, so your powder will go a lot further than you are suspecting.

    Also, realize that when you buy primers or powder online, you'll pay hazmat fees of around $28 on top of shipping charges, so the trick is to buy from someplace that will combine both (like Powder Valley) and split that hazmat fee up amongst as much product as possible.

    Also, until you have a really good idea of what power and primers you want to invest in, I'd suggest you buy locally and suck up the retail cost. Buying 5 or 8 lbs of powder that you end up not liking is a sure way to kill any savings you might have made.
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    Powder and bullet weights are in "grains" not grams. A pound of powder is approximately 7000 grains. I load 5.0 grains of powder in my .45 ACPs (light loads for range work) so that's 1400 rounds per lb.
    I don't buy in bulk due to space, etc., so my "savings" aren't as high as those who do, but a 50-rd box of .45s costs me @$9-9.50. That's about half of what commerical loads run. My cost for primers is $5.00/100 or $.05 each. That's off the shelf, not a large bulk order online. I also don't pay the hazmat fees by buying in the LGS, which have go up sharply.

    There's more about reloading than just $$$s. It's an extension of the shooting sport, a hobby unto itself. The equipment lasts indefinitely. The only item I ever wore out was a Lee hand priming tool. I couldn't get the part I needed, so I upgraded to a RCBS model.

    (Methinks we were all typing and submitting at the same time!)
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    Senior Member Array Jemsaal's Avatar
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    Hmm.

    So what you all are telling me, is that if I put 6.5 grams of powder in a round, it'll be one heck of a wake-up call?

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    Member Array AZ_Larz_NY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jemsaal View Post
    Hmm.

    So what you all are telling me, is that if I put 6.5 grams of powder in a round, it'll be one heck of a wake-up call?
    I would say you might see little birdies flying around after that. LOL!

    Be safe!
    NEVER point a gun at something you are not prepared to destroy!
    AND for GODS sake, get your finger off the trigger until you are ready to squeeze the trigger!

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    VIP Member Array high pockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jemsaal View Post
    Hmm.

    So what you all are telling me, is that if I put 6.5 grams of powder in a round, it'll be one heck of a wake-up call?
    Actually you'll be waking the neighbors; you'll probably be taking a permanent dirt nap!
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    Senior Member Array Jemsaal's Avatar
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    Alright, so if I recalc. using "grains" instead of "grams" (that would have been an interesting experience!), here's what I get.


    Powder: 1 pound = approx. $.017 a round.

    Primers = $.03 a round

    Bullets 155 gr = $.10 a round

    Total = .14-.15 cents a round. (I save all my brass from the range already).

    Does this about right when it comes to prices?

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    I'd say that's a fair estimate.
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    Member Array lambo969's Avatar
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    Hazard shipping is going to get you for the primers. Make sure you order them in bulk, or just try to find them locally - in my experience, I pay more for primers at local stores than the price listed online, but much less than the price plus hazard shipping. However, I don't purchase 10,000 + primers at a time. It may end up being cheaper if you buy in bulk, but I find that the hazmat fee is spread out over the entire shipment the LGS gets in so it is the cheaper option for me (can't really afford to drop that kind of money!).

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    VIP Member Array sixgun's Avatar
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    Ive been reloading for a couple of years now. I buy most of my stuff used presses and such. And a buddy casts my bullets for me for $5 a hundred. Thats a fair price for his troubles. I load 9mm and use 3.8 grains of titegroup powder. And I scrounge the range for brass. I estimate 50 rounds cost me about $7 to load. So in the long run id say its worth it and its a fun hobby to.

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    Senior Member Array Jemsaal's Avatar
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    That's good.

    Now - the other part I'm worried about . . . could someone list what I would "absolutely need" to start reloading? Then, the things I "should" have. And finally, the things that would be "nice" to have.

    I know I'm asking for a lot . . . but I really appreciate it!

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    Need:

    Press
    Powder Weight Scale
    Powder dropper
    Die set
    Dial Caliper
    A lubing method (pad, pump spray, etc.)
    Reloading manual

    Should have:

    Priming tool
    Second Reloading Manual
    Bullet Puller

    Nice to have:

    Brass tumbler

    ***If you reload any rifle rounds you'll need a trimming method for cases, but for your .40 pistol rounds, this isn't a necessary step.
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    Also, Lee has some scoop thingy that you can measure powder with, but I'm not even going to consider as a way to 'cheap out' because the .40 round is a high pressure round. You need to pay a lot of attention to COAL and powder charge (not that you dont' with all round) with the .40 or you risk problems you don't want.
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