Always "Reload"?

Always "Reload"?

This is a discussion on Always "Reload"? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I'm always seeing where people reload to save $$. Does anybody just get new material that hasn't been shot & load your own, new or ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array ArmyCop's Avatar
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    Always "Reload"?

    I'm always seeing where people reload to save $$.
    Does anybody just get new material that hasn't been shot & load your own, new or is it always using already shot stuff?
    Can you save any $$ using new material to make your own ammo?
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  2. #2
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    Gramps reuses his own used brass as many times as it is still good. He also picks up brass left on our outdoor club range by people who don't reload - that's free "once fired" stuff! Then when he still needs more he buys "once fired" brass which is less expensive than new.

    As far as how much money you could save using new brass, look up some pricing and add the prices of the other components then compare that total to new ammo. I know, that takes more time than having someone else give you the answer, but someone else's answer might not be correct for your gun(s) and/or your area.
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  3. #3
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    The most expensive component for most reloads is the brass case, leaving out sexy hunting or target bullets.

    Since I'm not a bench-rest shooter, once-fired brass is good enough for my rifle reloads... around 15 cents a case (.30-06 and .30-30) versus 50-60 cents each for new. Obviously, primers bullets and powder are single-use.
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    I would have happily bought some factory new brass 9mm casings, but couldnt find any during the post sandy hook shortages. For shotshell reloading, while you can buy new hulls, I generally just buy some new AA completely loaded shells, fire them and reload them till they are no longer fit to load.

    I also pick up brass at the range, pick up my shell casings, etc.
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  5. #5
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    I have tons of once or twice fired pistol brass in my pistol calibers. That said I also have a lot of boolits to load into them along with the Primers to ignite the Powder in the case. Yes, I did start early because of competetion in the early 90's, and working part time at a gun store and range and it has supplied me with what I have at this time. The only thing I have bought was Primers in the 5-7 years ago in quantity and Powder in the same time. The rest I already had in stock. Right now I am shooting lead and primers from the middle 90's. Yes I have Ammo. And that does not get into my supply of Social Ammo which is also very large that was bought in the middle 2000's before the "Best Gun Salesman of the Century" was elected to office by the "Low information Voters" who are now trying to figure out where their health insurance is...... Yes you needed to get into Reloading a few years ago to enjoy the savings from it now. However, if you start now and build your inventory over the next few years, you can also reap the benefits from it. Good Luck and YMMV.
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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    I occasionally buy new bass. That usually happens when I have too many primers and bullets sitting around. I think I might have one bag of .45acp brass and one of .308 Winchester.
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  7. #7
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    For my pistol loads, I use anything I find. New, once fired or recovered range brass. I load and shoot until they split or separate.

    I buy once fired Lake City brass for my .223/5.56 and get 4-5 reloads before I start seeing splits. I don't anneal, I'd probably get another 3-4 loads if I did.

    I do buy new .308 brass for my bench gun. I reload them as well but the new cases and Custom Comp. cartridges are for precision, the reloads are for fun and hunting. I like Lapua cases best but I actually get good results with new Winchester brass in .308. Norma tends to split on the first load.

    The real answer is the same as reloading shot shells. You can buy for about the same $ but you can hand load/re-load a better round for the same $. Even when using all new components. The end product can be(CAN BE, not will be) better quality at a comparable price.
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  8. #8
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    I haven't paid for brass in years other than .45-90 brass.
    I get all the once fired .308 stuff I can stand from the State Police.
    I get all the once fired .45 from the Sheriffs. In fact, I have so much that I quit taking it.
    I get all the once fired .223 from the Nuclear Plant that the guards have shot up for qualifying.
    I make all of my .300 Blackout brass from the .223 stuff.
    I take the .45,308,and 223 and trade if for brass in other calibers.
    At the gun range we have 5 gallon buckets full of brass there for the taking from people that don't reload.
    I cast most calibers.
    Yesterday I cast 500 247 grain .311 bullets for the Blackout.
    Last week I casted 100 500 grain bullets for the Sharps .45-90.
    I have bins full of thousands of .357,9MM. 40, .45 and 44 cast lead bullets.
    I have several hundred cast bullets with gas check that are 150 grains.
    Going to the gun range can be very fruitful. I was actually considering ordering a hundred new .44 mag brass when a guy walked up to me and asked if I shot .44. I told him I did, he had been at the pistol range and gave me 5 boxes of 50 each once fired .44 mag brass.
    Another time I got 100 7.5 Swiss brass from a guy that loved milsurps but didn't reload. Since I have a couple of K31's, I got lucky there too.

    Lead? I get that from a friend of mine that owns a tire shop or lead shielding at the Nuclear Plant. Once they scrapped some turbine bearings, me and another scarfed several hundred pounds of babbit bearing lead, high tin alloy, excellent to alloy lead with.

    I do buy powder and I do buy primers.
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    Thought I was a pretty avid handloader but I just dabble compared with HotGuns.
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    If I am forming 256 Win Mag from 357 Mag or 30/357 Herret from 30-30 I prefer virgin brass since it is not work hardened from having been fired. All other calibers I save my brass plus any range finds and load them until they are worn out.
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  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array airslot's Avatar
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    I started reloading my once fired brass.
    Last year, I scored a lot of new 223 and 308 when somebody got out of reloading. I've been loading my way through it and still have over 2000 pieces to go. Fortunately, I had already accumulated the bullets, primers and powders to finish them.

    I'm loading a variety of bullets: ballistic tip, accubond, combined technology, bonded. With the new components, my costs are about half of a commercially loaded round.
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  12. #12
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    I spent a good portion of today developing subsonic Blackout loads using the cast 247 grain bullets with Trailboss which is by far the quietest load there is. So far, I've got good accuracy and good penetration.
    Using the Sierra Match Boat Tail Hollowpoint at 220 grains is good, but they are expensive at around 40 cents a bullet. The cast is almost free other than the time it takes to cast them and that dosent take too long to get a pile of them as I am using a 5 cavity mold. Most of the time is spent sizing and lubing. I use a hot lube plate on the Lubrisizer.

    I haven't whacked a deer with that particular load yet, but I have no reason to think that it wont work.
    Also, I am about to embark on making a hollowpointer for that cast 247 lead bullet. A hollowpoint in that big lead bullet would bring it down to around 220 grains, but even at subsonic speeds with cast lead it shows promise for others that have tried it.
    If it works, it will be the ultimate urban sniper rifle for deer.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    If I am forming 256 Win Mag from 357 Mag or 30/357 Herret from 30-30 I prefer virgin brass since it is not work hardened from having been fired. All other calibers I save my brass plus any range finds and load them until they are worn out.
    Yeah, and wearing them out takes more doing than many would suggest. There are .38 Special and .45 ACP cases that have regularly rotated through my press for the entire time I've been reloading since about 1976. I recognize some of the head stamps of bygone days. The odd crack may appear in a case mouth which causes the cases to get tossed but otherwise they're still working for target loads. No trimming for length ever.

    Once loaded a batch of 60 Lake City '67 .30-06 cases 16 times on a longevity test. None failed. Were trimmed twice as I recall. These were used for high-power competition shooting ... in an M1 no less! Some head stamps were obliterated and the rims appeared very worn and "chewed" but they still fed fine. I finally disposed of them before they gave out.
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  14. #14
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    Good stuff there, HotGuns! That load sounds like it would provide much "splat" with good hits on deer. Penetrations bound to be astounding, no matter from which angle the shot is taken.

    I tend to stray off into obsolete cartridges. My bench still has a batch of .41 Long Colt, sized and primed, ready to load with some hollow based bullets over Unique. Life sure has put a crimp in my fun hobby time.
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  15. #15
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    By "materials" we're all assuming you just mean brass. Most folks probably use used brass. Not near as many folks make the effort to cast their own projectiles.

    Personally, unless you are looking for benchrest accuracy, I don't see any reason to not use already shot brass. As stated above, brass will last you a while and since you should be giving every case a good once (or twice) over during the reloading process, you'll weed out any bad brass along the way.
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