Start up Costs

Start up Costs

This is a discussion on Start up Costs within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Went to the Gun Show this weekend in Harrisburg PA. Was buying ammo and mentioned that I was interested in getting into reloading. Guy selling ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Backnblack's Avatar
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    Start up Costs

    Went to the Gun Show this weekend in Harrisburg PA. Was buying ammo and mentioned that I was interested in getting into reloading.
    Guy selling me the ammo (Factory not Reloads) said the start up costs will be over $1k and unless I'm doing rifle cartridges it is not worth it.

    I think he was talking out of his ass and there was little truth to his statements.

    I shoot .380, 9mm and .45

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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    He is in the business to sell you ammo. Realistic cost is this; 150$ -200 for a single stage press, and 150 for dies, powder primers bullets and brass. You should be able to get what you need and be making your own for 400 or less. Save the brass that you have and you can knock off about 80$ off that, as I included in that price 25$ for each caliber you listed each 100 pieces of virgin unprimed brass.

    I have reloaded for over 25 years and can tell you a single stage press is all you need unless you shoot thousands of rounds a year. I have used the same press all this time. In my opinion, a beginner should start with a single stage to learn each phase of the process for safety and educational reasons.
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    Member Array KimberUltra's Avatar
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    I don't reload myself, but am looking into it. 1000 bucks sounds a touch high, but the different could be the press he was referring to. You can spent 100 bucks on a press or 1000 on a press. The startup costs are only as high as the equipment you need. The press I want is only a turret press and won't hurt my wallet to much compared to a progressive press.

    You can save money reloading all ammo, but the general trend Ive seen from people I know who reload is when you start reloading you shoot 5 times more than you would normally. 45 acp is a good one to save some cash on.

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    Senior Member Array mwhartman's Avatar
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    I've been researching reloading. Many of the sites and folks prefer the Dillion X650 which starts in the $600/650 price range. If you add the extras you can hit or exceed $1,000 very quickly. However, as glockman pointed out, there are less expensive pieces of equipment which, I believe, require more manual assistance on your part.


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    No matter how you look at it, you're going to save money and shoot lots more. Check out a kit with dies from Lee, and get some loading manuals for comparisons. Their instructions are straightforward. I started with a Lee Loader for $10, a melting pot and a mold. Over the years I've augmented the tools with progressive presses and dies for most calibers, little by little. The satisfaction, self-reliance, and quality product are worth it.
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    Member Array Backnblack's Avatar
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    I was thinking it could be started in the area of $400-600

    Some of his reasons is the disasters in Japan and New Zealand has raw materials hard to get.

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    Member Array ABC111's Avatar
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    If you are just getting into reloading I would recomment a Dillon 550. I started on the 550 and several years ago went to the 650. Great Customer Service and a life time warranty. You can't go wrong.

    One thing and this is JMO. You will NOT save any money by reloading. However, you will shoot alot more.

    Good luck and have fun.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backnblack View Post
    I was thinking it could be started in the area of $400-600

    Some of his reasons is the disasters in Japan and New Zealand has raw materials hard to get.
    Toyota and Hondas are not raw materials. He is a salesman, Ill give him that much.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Senior Member Array FLSlim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    He is in the business to sell you ammo. Realistic cost is this; 150$ -200 for a single stage press, and 150 for dies, powder primers bullets and brass. You should be able to get what you need and be making your own for 400 or less. Save the brass that you have and you can knock off about 80$ off that, as I included in that price 25$ for each caliber you listed each 100 pieces of virgin unprimed brass.

    I have reloaded for over 25 years and can tell you a single stage press is all you need unless you shoot thousands of rounds a year. I have used the same press all this time. In my opinion, a beginner should start with a single stage to learn each phase of the process for safety and educational reasons.
    Good advice offered by glockman10. Like him, I've been reloading a long time, since the late 70s. You can get into the game for much less than $500 with a single stage press and decent equipment (e.g., dies, scale, calipers, powder measure/drop, tumbler, reloading manual or two). IMO, the one area not to skimp is on a scale-go for a quality beam or electronic. If you jump into it, buying powder, bullets and primers in bulk provides a big savings.
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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    The salesman was full of something, definately not knowleged.

    Do a quick review of the reloading area and you will find some very good articles that will answer your question. What GMan10mm said is right in the range depending on what type of equipment you start with.

    One thing to keep in mind is that no matter whether you start single stage and go to turret or progressive later, some of the stuff you will always use. Tumbler, calipers, scales, dies, shell plates, case trimmers, all of the tools that go along with it will be used for years and years so don't buy just the cheapest you can find. Make sure they are good quality and you won't have to replace them.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Member Array Andriss's Avatar
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    My husband started reloading this past February and we spent about $500 in reloading equipment. That included a single stage press kit, 2 sets of dies, tumbler, D-Terminator electronic scale, calipers, a couple manuals, and a subscription to loaddata.com.

    This cost did not include the thousands of primers he has purchased or the pounds of powder we have sitting on the shelf waiting to be used. We usually make these purchases when the gun show comes to town.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Devilsclaw's Avatar
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    I started in 1994 for around $145 with all new equipment. (Lee Anniversary Kit plus some dies) Components for another $64. Prices are a little higher now, but not much.

    I remember how much it cost, because that was all I had at the time.

    $250 would get you going in good shape, maybe not all the "bells and whistles" but you could get started. 2 years ago, I bought another Anniversary Set at a gun show (looked brand spanking new) for $30.

    After all these years, I reloaded some 45-70 earlier this evening on that very same press. Still works as well as it did when it was new.

    As someone pointed out, a Lee Loader is around $20 per caliber. Not much fun, but it can be done.

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    I just invested this year's tax refund on reloading gear. I leap-frogged over the beginner step and went with a progressive (Hornady). Add in dies for 3-4 calibers, a scale, a tumbler, bullet puller and some odds and ends, and yes, I dropped over a grand. If I wasn't shooting 300-400 rounds a month right now I'd definitely have stuck with a single stage, and not have spent as much time negotiating a learning curve.

    If you stick with tried-and-true load recipes, you won't even need a scale. Dick Lee makes a strong case for measuring powder by volume (dippers) in the Lee reloading manual, and as a career measurement guy I can't argue with him.

    If I'd pursued the low-dollar route I'd have a used but serviceable RCBS Green Monster, new dies and a tumbler for around $300 tops. You can't go wrong starting simple with a single-stage.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I started with a lee pro 1000 press and lee dies,I now use a dillon 550 and rcbs dies,I may have over 3000.00 in reloading equipment,part of that is a cast master bullet casting machine and Star lbullet sizing and lube machine,By buying components in larger quantities to cut hazmat and shipping fees,wolf primers are going for around 16.00 1000,I usually buy 15-20,000 at a time,and either Unique,or American Select powder 8# $96.00,I usually buy around 24 pounds at a time,by casting my own bullets an getting decent prices on powder and primers and having thousands of rounds of range brass, I will reload 100 rounds of 9,40,or 45 for around $5.00.I sell 100 rounds of either caliber to my friends locally for $12.00 100
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  15. #15
    Member Array Backnblack's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great info...Just need to clear out a work area, do some reading and get started.

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