February 20th, 2006 12:51 PM
I apologize up front if this isnt the place for this question. I shoot about 100 rounds a week through my .40 XD and am wondering if I couldn't save some $$ in the long run by reloading my own practice rounds. Any advice?
February 20th, 2006 12:58 PM
1952 - 2006
I find that by reloading I can shoot 5 rounds for every factory round I buy.
Of course, your initial cost is going to be higher, ie. purchasing all the equipment, but it will pay for itself in short order.
Before you get into reloading and spend the money, I would suggest that you buy a couple of good reloading manuals and learn the basics. It can be a very interesting hobby in conjunction with your shooting.
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February 20th, 2006 01:06 PM
Yes, you can. After you have a setup of reloading items (press, dies, scales, etc...) you will start saving $$$ and will also start shooting more. Start out with a single stage press, a set of carbide dies, and a powder scale. After you learn how to then you will want to move up the the Dillon system. Check out the reloading sites on the net for more information and the best price on bullets, powder, equipment, etc...
February 20th, 2006 01:10 PM
I'm new to this forum business so I hope this reply gets attached to the correct thread. I reload .45 ACP for practice and the cost is greatly dependent on how much of your original brass you recover. Assuming you recover 100% of your brass (more like 70% to 80% in my experience) and buy your components in bulk, the cost per round of the reloaded ammo is approximately half that of the cheapest factory stuff you can buy. This, of course, does not account for the cost of all of the reloading equipment. Just charge that off to "necessities".
February 20th, 2006 02:01 PM
I must respectfully disagree. If you're gonna go for a Dillon eventually, get it to start with. Reloading a single caliber using loads in one of the manuals isn't rocket science. Just be sure the powder measure automatically drops the powder charge and you don't have to pull a handle to drop the powder charge or pick up a new primer. This was a problem with the early Dillons and on many occasions I saw people who ended up with a round with no powder.
Originally Posted by frankmako
I started out using a single stage press (this was in the days before Dillon) and it took forever to load any reasonable amount of ammo. If you added in the cost of your time, even at minimum wage, it would get to the point of being a rather expensive proposition.
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February 20th, 2006 02:12 PM
No need to add much - it's all here.
I am ambivalent tho re single stage or not, to start. Only reason I like the idea is - however slow - it instills care and familiarization - then move on up to better things.
I started reloading over quarter century ago and started with very limited funds, so went Lee. I have since added quite a bit, including other makes of stuff. Still never went Dillon tho wish I had. Having what I have tho is adequate and now I reload more for the ''big cals'' - 45-70 for example.
If affordable a good set-up is a good way to go - it is almost a ''one of'' - so once started it is all down to time and consumables - and yes it saves a lot but - as most find, you shoot a lot more
Chris - P95
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February 20th, 2006 02:16 PM
There is certainly money to be saved by "rolling your own," especially if you are meticulous about policing up your brass (as geezer mentioned) and shopping around/buying bulk for the other components.
Right now I'm reloading 45 ACP, just 200-230gr FMJ practice rounds. I haven't calculated the cost per round for a while on that, but it is certainly way cheaper than you can get it anywhere else, plus the satisfaction of DIY.
My real passion in reloading right now is 45 Colt for a Blackhawk / Trapper combo. There are some huge performance differences between well-crafted handloads and the typical factory ammo floating around for the big .45. I realize huge cost savings here, because the Cor Bon or Buffalo Bore premium ammo is almost $1.75 a shot. I can reload my own, tailored exactly to my situation, for about $0.35 a round.
So, is it cost effective? I would give it a "qualified" yes. It can be, for large volumes of ammo with some discipline on sourcing your components (bullets, brass, etc). Or, it can lead to yet another expensive hobby, albeit an enjoyable one. Come on, you really NEED the chronograph, powder alarm, and digital scale, don't you?
All of that being said, reloading is cost effective for me. More importantly (to me), it has added a whole other dimension to my enjoyment of shooting and hunting.
"Speed is fine, but accuracy is final." - Bill Jordan
February 20th, 2006 02:25 PM
I like the fact you can load all sorts of custom loads too. I use a Dillion 550 , it seems to load fairly fast. In the long run , if you do not count time involved, you can save a good amount of cash.
February 20th, 2006 03:16 PM
I to say go for a progressive or like a lyman turret press..
Even if you account of you time $$ wise with a progressive it sure makes up for it when you can roll 400 or so a hour
Where you really recoup your cost is with mags be it 357 mag, 41 mag, 44, 454 or of course the big 500 mag
i prefer Hornady's Lock and load press over Dillion
February 20th, 2006 04:14 PM
How much you will save depends on >> what cals. you will load for(you mentioned .45ACP) and how much more you will shoot after you start pumping out the ammo. Some of the pistol calibers and a few of the rifle calibers are fairly inexpensive to buy ,if you buy in bulk. They will not be as cheep as if you load them,but it's starting to be fairly close. As some have said,look around for the components. Sometimes you find someone that wants to get rid of powder for $6-$8 per pound. Brass...hell you can pick up once fired (the popular cals.)brass for 2-5 cents each. The most important thing that I would (always do) suggest to the starting out reloader is.....talk to as many long time reloaders as you possibly can before you buy your first piece of equipment or book. This WILL save you tons of money. They will get you on the right track to safety,saving money,and the whats and hows of getting what you want from the process.-------
February 20th, 2006 05:40 PM
What are the pros/cons to the different types of presses? I've been looking to start reloading myself but I dont really know where to start. Also, do you need a different machines to reload for rifles and pistols?
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February 20th, 2006 05:48 PM
Not much to add. I don't reload 9mm because it's about as cheap to just buy loaded ammo. 45 ACP, cheaper to reload. 44 Magnum, much cheaper -- but I now shoot so much of it, that it probably evens out (I get to shoot a lot more for the same cost). With odd or big calibers, I couldn't shoot them at all without reloading, like 416 Rem Mag.
I think one of the best things is after you get involved in reloading, ammo cost or availability won't be a factor when you look at some new gun you'd like to have -- because you'll know you can make relatively inexpensive ammo. I have that 416 and a 40-65 just for those reasons. The guy who had the 416 couldn't begin to afford shooting it, so I get it for a great price and then just load it down if I want to play with a big bore without it turning me in circles. I have a couple boxes of full house loads made up in case of an Elephant getting in the yard (no Elephants so far, so just having the gun must be working).
My 44 "Magnum" loads at the house are about 44 Special-power, so my wife likes shooting them. It's a neat hobby.
February 20th, 2006 07:23 PM
Lots of machines out there will load both rifle and pistol ammo. There are some good resources online to do research, or just buy a reloading book to get a feel for the basics. Best bet would be to find someone who reloads and have them walk you through the process to see if it's for you.
Originally Posted by A1C Lickey
"Speed is fine, but accuracy is final." - Bill Jordan
February 20th, 2006 07:41 PM
The real savings is when you buy in bulk quantities whether it be gunpowder,brass,bullets or primers.
You can buy once fired brass in 500 or 1000 peices for cheap or if you are inclined you can pick up the brass at ranges for nothing. Even Ebay had good prices on once fired brass.
For shooting on the cheap, lead bullets are hard to beat. Last time I bought some was 24 bucks for 500 230 grain LRN for .45, although I usaully mold my own these days from wheelweights.
If you value your time, go with the Dillon 550B press. It'll do just about all rifle and pistol loads. Even if you just do one caliber now, you can always grow into it...
February 20th, 2006 07:54 PM
And then even though you have loaded over 10 years it happens...
Ya get a Caliber that gives ya problems and the old Standard H-110 isnt working in any grain form
Well im frustrated to say the least time for new powder for the big boomer
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