5 hours of research later and I smell smoke

This is a discussion on 5 hours of research later and I smell smoke within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I think I done fried my brain. Spent 5 hours reading, window shopping, and researching on reloading, started to smell something like smoke, and my ...

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Thread: 5 hours of research later and I smell smoke

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    5 hours of research later and I smell smoke

    I think I done fried my brain.

    Spent 5 hours reading, window shopping, and researching on reloading, started to smell something like smoke, and my head hurts.

    Press
    Scale
    Tumbler
    Dies
    Consumables
    Options

    Then...
    Powder
    Brass
    Bullets

    Which manufacturer of each of the above determines how much powder...

    I keep reading about some of you turning out ammo for 1/3 or less of retail, but in my pricing, the bullets alone are 1/2 of retail (for low end plated), then there is primers and powder to consider, and that is if I scavenge brass.

    I can buy 1000 rounds of .40 reloads for $240 (was $220 but the supplier ran out, had to go elsewhere). Oddly enough I can buy 1000 ct range brass online for $50 and send those in for exchange on the purchase and knock the price down to $170.

    Am I missing something here?
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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  3. #2
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks View Post
    I think I done fried my brain.

    Spent 5 hours reading, window shopping, and researching on reloading, started to smell something like smoke, and my head hurts.

    Press
    Scale
    Tumbler
    Dies
    Consumables
    Options

    Then...
    Powder
    Brass
    Bullets

    Which manufacturer of each of the above determines how much powder...

    I keep reading about some of you turning out ammo for 1/3 or less of retail, but in my pricing, the bullets alone are 1/2 of retail (for low end plated), then there is primers and powder to consider, and that is if I scavenge brass.

    I can buy 1000 rounds of .40 reloads for $240 (was $220 but the supplier ran out, had to go elsewhere). Oddly enough I can buy 1000 ct range brass online for $50 and send those in for exchange on the purchase and knock the price down to $170.

    Am I missing something here?
    Maybe you're over-thinking things? Maybe you're thinking short term instead of long term. That's where you'll come out ahead. I reload for rifles only currently, and have been for a good eight years. It really made sense to me...rifle ammo is most often $1 per cartridge or more for factory quality re-usable brass. I've bought new brass for them, but in small quantities as my original brass won't last forever. Thing is....you should start out using your own once fired brass instead of buying new...that's why they call it reloading. I haven't crunched the numbers for entering into the pistol reloading myself. Right now for me, selling my once fired brass, and purchasing new seems to work out well for me up to this point in time. Actually, I'm buying while keeping/saving what I have in stock and it's not an issue that's come to a turning point decision for me yet. I don't even have a press! Lee original loaders work for me and my rifles.
    Some folks make their own bullets from lead...this is saving them more than if they used plated bullets. Primer bargains will be seen when you're buying 1000 or more. Bulk purchases see the discounts, but one shouldn't buy if they can't use---otherwise it may go to waste. My opinion? Quit frying your brain, and start putting things down on paper. Best advice I can give you.

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    All the numbers that I pushed were per 1k.

    My Baby Eagle has the polygonal rifling so I can not shoot the straight lead bullets. I am not even sure if I can get away with plated.

    Same thing with my Desert Eagle plus the gas port would get plugged with non jacketed.

    I want to get into reloading, if it truly is a money saving factor. Right now I can not see the numbers. My rate of consumption is probably 2k rounds per year, it might go up to 3k after joining the IDPA. I am thinking 6 maybe 7 years to break even at todays market prices for supplies.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

  5. #4
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I cast my own bullets and so the cost is cheap less than .01 per bullet,my range lets me pick up brass for free so no brass price,pistol brass can be reloaded quite a few times.Iif your buying plated bullets and paying to ship and buying cases you aren't gonna save that much
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  6. #5
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks View Post
    All the numbers that I pushed were per 1k.

    My Baby Eagle has the polygonal rifling so I can not shoot the straight lead bullets. I am not even sure if I can get away with plated.

    Same thing with my Desert Eagle plus the gas port would get plugged with non jacketed.

    I want to get into reloading, if it truly is a money saving factor. Right now I can not see the numbers. My rate of consumption is probably 2k rounds per year, it might go up to 3k after joining the IDPA. I am thinking 6 maybe 7 years to break even at todays market prices for supplies.
    I hear you. Unless I buy aftermarket barrels for my Glocks, I'm in the same boat on that. Okay then....a new water heater should realize cost savings after what? Two years? The new energy saving light bulbs should reap cost benefits in the first year? Well, there's a lot more to it than that. Figure your cost for new ammo per year....add 50% for the way things are going, and double your usage in order to keep some in stock (in case you already haven't considered stock), or the cost becomes unfathomable to you to pay. Then gamble on the supplies you will need being available after ammunition has been outlawed, because the next thing to outlaw would be the components for making ammo..............................uh-oh! You know what? I'm smelling smoke now! Anyway.........at a 6-7 year return rate at this time, it wouldn't pay for me. I've become increasingly conservative with what I have vs. what I've allotted to buy and my practice sessions have mirrored my priorities. There are also other ways I practice besides live fire, and this furthers my options for savings. One good reason I stick with what I know as far as pistols and weapons. I'm not changing to go with the current 'fad' or what's 'hot' on the market. I've learned my chosen venues and there's no good reason to change nor impress anyone with me keeping up with the neighbors or what's the newest or 'best'. I'm what they would term as stable or boring. It costs me less in the long run. Older and wiser maybe, but I don't consider myself a smart man.

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I actually just reloaded 500 40 S&W 155grn LRN bullets for a guy for 50.00 and made 25.00 over my cost not counting any labor.He told me that is what he pays for 100 not including tax.I have over 3000.00 invested in reloading equipment and in cost of ammo savings over the last 2 years It has more than paid for itself.you don't have to spend that much money,for about 100-150.00 you can start casting good lead bullets that will get you a bottom pour lead pot and at least 2 to 3 bullet molds,you will need to find a decent supply of lead and used tire weights have about the right amount of tin and antimony to make good cast bullets.If I didn't reload I would only shoot about once a month and lots of 22 and a few out of my carry gun maybe some rifle.
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    A lot of the savings in reloading depends on what you are reloading for. If you only reload 9mm and only shoot a couple hundred rounds a month, it's going to take you a long time to recoup your investment unless you also cast your own bullets, something I don't care to do. Whatever caliber your reload, remember that your brass cost is good for at least 5 loadings (unless it's for a Glock 40 S&W by several reputable sources, but that's another discussion) and in most instances, brass will last way beyond 5 loadings. I have some 45 Colt brass that has been loaded 15+ times. When I started cowboy action shooting, I bought my first Dillon 650 press (already had a 550) and it took less than 3 months to pay for over 1000.00 worth of equipment. At that time, I was shooting about 1500 rounds a month and factory 45 Colt was 20.00+ per box of 50. I could load it for 5.00 per 50 saving 15.00 per box X 30 boxes a month = 450.00 a month X 3 months = 1350.00 saved.

    Obviously, if you're loading 9mm or 40 and only saving 2.00 - 3.00 per box and only shoot 2 boxes a month, it's going to take a lot longer to amortize the investment but if you buy quality equipment, it will eventually pay for itself and then it starts saving you money.

    Like Ram Rod said, if you also load rifle rounds, the savings can multiply very quickly. Hornady factory 223 ammo with a 40 grain V-Max bullet is $17.49/20. I can load the same bullet to the same specs and with 5 loadings per case my cost is $5.92/20 or a savings of $11.57 on 20 rounds. On a single prairie dog hunt where I would shoot at least 300 rounds I would save $173.55 and that's not counting the 1000 rounds or more I would shoot practicing.

    In the long run, do the cost/benefit analysis based on your own requirements. If it saves you sufficient money, do it. If not, don't. Just remember this: As long as you pick up your brass, reloading will ALWAYS save you money. How much it saves depends on what calibers you reload for and how much you shoot.

    Hoss
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  9. #8
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I reload plinking.223 milspec 55 grn bullets the bullets cost me about .07 shipped I have cases and powder is about .05 round primers are just under .02,so for .14 cents a round i'm loading what your gonna pay around .40 + in the stores for and I reload about 300 rounds a week for a friends m16 and he pays me .20 round.Like hoss said depends on calibre you shoot and how much you shoot that depends on savings and also prices you pay for components.Components have increased in the last 3 to 5 years a lot but they aren't going to get cheaper
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array 4my sons's Avatar
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    I consider it a hobby that does give me something back besides the enjoyment of doing it.
    "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." [Warren v. District of Columbia,(D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981)]
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    I'd still reload to some extent if it cost more than factory ammo.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    yea. it really depends on what you are reloading and how much you shoot. For many people it is not worth it. Using lead bullets cuts down on the cost a bunch and casting your own bullets does even more. I personally get the cheapest plated ones I can find, but thats just me. All depends on what you are looking for. And I agree with the above comments that its more than just money saving, its also just a fun hobby!
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  13. #12
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Well I got confirmation from Magnum Research, and I can not shoot plated ammo either. My choices are Jacketed, or Jacketed.

    I found some Speer Gold Dots FMJ HP for $127 - 1k in .40.

    Anybody know of any FMJ Round or Flat point in 180gr. for less than that?

    Also looking for FMJ or SMJ in .44 - 240gr. for under $180 per 1k

    I found a nice deal (I think) on a Lee Load Master with two turrets & shell plates, powder measure (x2), dies for .40 and .44, bullet and case feeder plus a couple of other extras for $355 delivered. The .44 is where I will make the best deal on loading my own.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    First off, I can't for the life of me figure out why you can't shoot plated bullets. A couple of us have been shooting Rainier bullets out of our Kahrs with polygonal barrels and no problems at all. I'm not sure it's not just a CYA thing from Magnum Research since they don't want you shooting any reloaded ammo and plated bullets aren't available in any factory ammo that I'm aware of.

    For bullets, look at the Zero pistol bullets at Powder Valley. They list 180 gr. FMJ 40s for $105.00/1000 or $195.00/2000 ($97.50/1000). A friend picked up some of these on a recent trip to Powder Valley and they're a pretty good looking bullet.

    For your 44s, here's a couple that a quick look found:

    Magtech
    Remington

    Also, if the 44s are for a revolver, you may want to look around and see if there's a local (no freight) lead bullet maker in your area. We have one here that on bulk club orders has been selling us 240 gr. SWC 44s at just under $90.00/1000.

    Hoss
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    Member Array Harlan's Avatar
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    The Three Biggest Lies!

    The check is in the mail.
    I'm from the Government. I'm here to help you.
    You can save a lot of money by reloading.

    It's economy of scale. You need to make ammo by the thousands to save significant money.

    Do it for the fun! To many, this is an enjoyable part of the shooting sports (hobby), and you gain a lot of satisfaction shooting what you rolled.

    Some just aren't interested in or don't like reloading. Others with a limited amount of time would rather shoot than reload.

    This is where custom shops can help. You get precision ammo both new and remanufactured made to your requirements, better than "off the shelf ammo", at a price lower than retail, and, a personal relationship with the manufacturer.
    YOU CAN ONLY HAVE TOO MUCH AMMO IF YOU'RE ON FIRE OR DROWNING!

    Benefactor Member NRA -- Life Member GOA -- Life (Christian) Member JPFO -- Card Carrying Minuteman

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    Member Array Harlan's Avatar
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    False propaganda!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks View Post
    Well I got confirmation from Magnum Research, and I can not shoot plated ammo either. My choices are Jacketed, or Jacketed.
    Call Barry's Precision at: (800) 269-7373 and Rainier Ballistics at: (800)-638-8722.

    They will clear up this false propaganda about plated bullets!
    YOU CAN ONLY HAVE TOO MUCH AMMO IF YOU'RE ON FIRE OR DROWNING!

    Benefactor Member NRA -- Life Member GOA -- Life (Christian) Member JPFO -- Card Carrying Minuteman

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