Start up Costs
This is a discussion on Start up Costs within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; You can easily get started for under $550. My buddy and I started out on a single stage press and quickly grew tired of trying ...
June 14th, 2011 07:34 AM
You can easily get started for under $550. My buddy and I started out on a single stage press and quickly grew tired of trying to reload for 2 people so his parents bought him a 550b. Couple years later Dad and I got a 650b which I prefer over the 550 especially when loading by myself. can you start reloading for $1k? Sure if you buy all the expensive stuff. Or buy a 550b plus $600 worth of powder, bullets, primers, and brass. I think dad and I have a little over $3k invested in reloading but that's including casting equipment too. Use range brass, just inspect it after cleaning, and that'll save you a bit of money as well. If you're friends with someone who works @ a tire shop start saving wheel weights that's what I make my bullets out of and I have no real problems and I save even more! I only have to rely on primers and powder from others.
Once your initial costs are paid off, which will depend on how much you shoot, you'll be good to go. I reload all my pistol calibers for less than $6 per 100 if I remember correctly and that's with .44 mag being my largest caliber. If you want a quick estimate of how much rounds are going to cost based on the supplies cost this is a good thing, http://www.handloads.com/calc/loadingCosts.asp, You can do it all by hand fairly easily but this is just easier is all.
June 15th, 2011 08:18 PM
August 31st, 2011 02:53 PM
how long does it take to reload 100 rounds? You have to account for value of your time. Not to knock reloading (since I am considering it), but I can buy 100 rounds of range ammo (say S&B) for $21 +tax at Cabelas. If it costs me $6-7, the savings is $14. How long does it take? If I make considerable more than $14/hr (to account for taxes, etc), then I could "save" more by working more and buying factory ammo.
August 31st, 2011 10:58 PM
If you factor in your time you probably won't save any money. Well unless you figure that instead of watching tv, or sitting on DC to post stuff, or whatever else we do that basically burns daylight you spend that time making bullets.
Originally Posted by DirkD
I actually enjoy the time I get to spend alone out at the bench, with the radio on just working on ammo. Yea, my billable rate is more than 14 or whatever per hour, but that really isn't why I got into reloading. Oh, but if ammo gets scarce like it was a couple of years ago, no matter how much you make per hour if ammo isn't available, reloading definately pays off.
Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
Texas CHL Instructor
Texas Hunter Education Instructor
September 1st, 2011 12:15 AM
September 1st, 2011 11:30 AM
There is almost never any real money saving in reloading because whatever you save, you immediately go out and use to buy more primer, powder and bullets!!! :)
What reloading DOES do is let one shoot more for the same amount of money.
You can get started in reloading for under $100 or spend multi-hundreds, even thousands. It all depends upon how much and how fast you want to load and how much convenience and automation you want.
An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. - Robert A. Heinlein
September 1st, 2011 04:27 PM
I`m running a Lee 4 Station Turret press with accessories. With all the extra toys I`ve bought it`s around $3-500 total. I`m just reloading .45ACP with Lee Carbide Dies,Never a problem here. It Works!.
September 1st, 2011 05:30 PM
I got the bug and started simply or so I thought. I found a used Dillon Square Deal B for $300 with .45 ACP dies. I still have it and use it for only that round. I can crank out about 300 rounds in an hour if you don't count setup time, eg. loading primer tubes, checking the powder load and fetching the brass and bullets. I usually load the primer tubes in advance while watching TV and the have all the supplies handy. Like another poster said it is rather relaxing to reload and concentrate on only one task while listening to your favorite tunes. Gets almost Zen like sometimes. Right now I can load .45ACP for about 60-75% of new depending on the powder I use. BUT, I am also shooting more and using more ammo.
I later bought a second used SDB for $325 but it had .40 S&W and 9mm dies. Used that for years until the AR bug bit me hard. Sold the SDB and dies for $325 (100% Return on investment) and used that to get a 550B with .223 quick change, 9mm quick change and .40 quick change. Total cost was about $1000 but buying bullets, powder and primer in bulk has saved a lot. I believe from what I have shot over the last year or so that I have made back the money on the 550B. Still have the original SDB for my .45 ACP and all the other stuff. Bought a better electronic scale and kept a used scale that came with the first SDB as backup. Bought a less expensive tumbler and it's still running after five or six years.
So, you can spend a bunch or go less expensive to start. Normally, selling good reloading equipment is not a problem if it's not for you. The first bidder paid my asking price for my used SDB and it had been posted for about one hour.
Decide how much you want to shoot also. If you don't shoot at least once per month, it will take longer to make back your investment. Talk to guys at the range about it. Usually, you will know who is reloading because you see them picking up their brass. I really enjoy the time I spend and I know I have saved some money but not a bunch because, like I and others have said, you end up shooting more.
September 12th, 2011 12:45 AM
Lee Classic Turret press kit will run $200 shipped from Kempf's Gunshop; with dies.
Add calipers and components and a manual or two.
$250 is very doable. I started on much less.
May 22nd, 2012 10:04 PM
Here is what I have so far. Just started reloading about a month ago. I do not plan on saving money,I want to shoot alot more for the same price. Casting and using my saved brass it cost me about 4 cents a round vs 40 cents. Since my first IDPA shoot is June 2nd I want to be ready.lol
Dillon 550B press $400.00
Dillon .45acp dies $64.00
Lee single stage press (for sizing only)$27.00
Lee melting pot $80.00
Lee .452 mold $22.00
Lee .451 sizer $31.00
Lee .452 sizer $31.00
Hornady powder scale $30.00
1 pound Clays $20.00
1000 Federal 150M primers $33.00
Lyman reload manual $40.00
Lead 1000# free
Bullet tumbler $45.00
Media cleaner(pet store) $9.00
Total cost so far is about $900.00.
For a little over $1000.00 i will be reloading 9mm,38spl and 45acp.
Proud IDPA Member
"Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid." ― John Wayne
"Necessity of action takes away the fear of the act, and makes bold resolution the favorite of fortune." -Francis Quarles
May 24th, 2012 04:19 AM
All work and no play makes Dirk a dull boy. Reloading isn't work (if you're doing it right!), it's an extension of the shooting sports.
Originally Posted by DirkD
I've been reloading since the mid-'70s with my single-stage Herter's press. For the vast amount of shooting, high precision loads aren't required. Paper at 15-25 yards doesn't know the difference between 4.7 or 4.8 graqins of Bullseye powder. I currently utilize a Lee hand press ($29) to size and flare all my cases. Then I use a Lee hand primer to prime them--all from the comfort of my Laziboy recliner. Who says reloading can't be enjoyable AND relaxing?
Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid...
Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth
August 25th, 2012 01:56 AM
Of course he was talking out of his rear end!
Originally Posted by Backnblack
LOL don't ask a man who sells ammo for a living any advice on how not to give him any more money.
A thousand dollars? Man, I'd have the beyond ultimate setup for that kind of money. Realistically you can get yourself set up for maybe $250.
Lee sells two "complete" kits featuring the Breech-Lock challenger single stage press. One has "on-press" priming" the other has a pair of hand-primers. Both retail for about $115.
You'll need dies for your calibers. You'll need a vibratory case tumbler (Cabelas makes a very nice "made in USA" model). That's $50. Some retailers sell a combo of tumber and media separator. I use the Frankford Arsenal "colander" strainer and a free pickle bucket. A bottle of Nu Finish car polish is $5. Corncob media from Grainger is cheap. Or buy "Zilla" walnut from Petco. You'll need at least on "universal" reloading tray that will fit a variety of calibers. And you'll need a set of dial calipers. Don't skimp on this item. Oh, and a primer flip tray is also nice if you want to use the Lee Ram Prime ($10).
Definitely go single stage to start. You want to learn how load QUALITY ammo first, not quantity.
August 27th, 2012 03:22 PM
I sell ammunition for a living. See my response in post #24.
Originally Posted by ThePontificator
August 30th, 2012 12:13 AM
About 40 years ago, when the standard police issue was a .38 Spl or .357 Magnum revolver, my basic reloading setup-a Redding Turret press, .38 Spl dies, a beam scale, a powder measure and several wood loading blocks, set me back under $100. Components were dirt cheap compared to today’s cost. But I’m sure that a similar basic setup could be obtained today for under $500 - but with better quality equipment.
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