To Reload, or not to reload

To Reload, or not to reload

This is a discussion on To Reload, or not to reload within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Hi, have been entertaining the thought of reloading my own ammo. Just wanted to know if anyone had some entry-level suggestions about a good starter ...

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Thread: To Reload, or not to reload

  1. #1
    Member Array dagace's Avatar
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    To Reload, or not to reload

    Hi, have been entertaining the thought of reloading my own ammo. Just wanted to know if anyone had some entry-level suggestions about a good starter kit. I plan on reloading 45acp, and just would like some ideas on what kits to use, as well as how productive one can expect to be reloading. And possibly a guesstimate on a complete set-up to reload the 45, including all necessary equipment and materials. Can the time really pay off in the pocket book? Thanks for your time guys...


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Get the Lee Classic Turret press from Kempf's Gunshop. It will run about $200 shipped with dies. You will need the press, dies, powder scale, calipers, and components. Get a few manuals as well. Lyman is a good one. All the other things can wait. This setup will have you loading 200-250 rounds per hour and is perfect to learn on.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  3. #3
    Member Array ImaShepardRU's Avatar
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    I use two Lee 1000 progressives set up for small pistol primer jobs, (9mm, .40, .38spl etc) and large pistol primers, (.45acp, .44spl & mag etc) and they work fine for the price. Dillons would be nice but budget constraints being what they are.....It definitely saves money, especially with prices climbing on ammo. For a while bullets alone for .40s&w were half the cost of loaded target ammo and it didn't work out very much cheaper after factoring in all the components. Now.......well.....(if you can find primers) it is starting to make more sense.

    Not to hijack the thread, nor get political, just 2A awareness, but read this article about reloading; Are you licensed to reload that ammo?

    Interesting at the least.
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  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    I just started reloading around New year's. I have a Dillon RL-550B progressive and a set of .45 ACP dies. I had been saving brass for a year or so beforehand, so that was all on hand.

    I can crank out 200 rounds an hour easily, and if I am really in a groove maybe 300. At current prices with my range brass, I am reloading at about 16 cents a round. The absolute best price I have found on bulk practice ammo for .45 ACP is around 35 cents per round, so I am reloading at about half price.

    I bought a bunch of the extra accessories for my Dillon, so I started about a grand in the hole on equipment, though I could definitely have started for more like $500–$600, less even if I had bought a used press. Even so, I will pay off my equipment at just over 5,000 rounds, which is definitely less than a year's worth of shooting, and that's assuming ammo prices stay the same.

    I just received 9mm dies (the Lee Deluxe Pistol 4-die set is really the best way to go!) and should have .40S&W soon. After that will be .38/.357, and maybe .223 if I ever get my freakin' upper delivered and have something to shoot!

    Start slow, figure out what you are doing, and if you stick with one caliber at the start I think you will get the hang of it pretty quickly. By the way, do a YouTube search on "Reloading Dillon RL-550B". There's a guy who put up four or five videos showing the complete process of setting up a 550 from scratch to reload .45 ACP, and it is tremendously helpful.

    Good luck!
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

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    Member Array BIKERIDER's Avatar
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    At Midwayusa.com, Lee 4 hole turret press kit $105, Frankford tumbler kit $60, A reloading manual $30 - $60 and Calipers $17 - $30 ane you are good to go.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Check grafs.com. Their prices include shipping. I use them for 80% of my reloading needs.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  7. #7
    Member Array dagace's Avatar
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    I'd like to thank all of you who replied.....Just the kind of info I was looking for.

  8. #8
    Member Array DPAZ's Avatar
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    I also use Lee equipment and have found it to be both high quality and easy to use.

    With ammo being hard to find, it is a great way to keep your supply cabinet full. Also, the larger calibers are a bigger bang for the buck, as the smaller calibers are cheaper to start when buying retail. (100 x 9mm = $20 at Wal Mart vs. closer to $55 for 44 mag)

    The cost to reload a 44 mag shell is about .17 vs. about .13 for a 9mm, so the cost is much closer to reload, which makes the savings higher for the larger calibers vs. paying retail. These prices assume straight lead bullets (bought in bulk) and having your own brass.
    Last edited by DPAZ; April 23rd, 2009 at 06:04 PM. Reason: formatting
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    Member Array fargus081's Avatar
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    I use the Lee Classic Turrent press for all my reloading needs (except for .375 H&H which I still do on the RCBS to justify it's existence). :-)

    Check this series out at RealGuns.com on setting up a Lee Turrent Press for auto-indexed reloading:

    Real Guns Page 1
    Real Guns Page 2
    Real Guns Page 3

    The Lee site also has videos on how everythings works:

    Lee Precision, Inc. Reloading Tools and Equipment: Setup and Operation Help Videos
    If you rob Peter to pay Paul, you will undoubtedly have the support of Paul.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Landric's Avatar
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    I can do .32S&W Long, .32 H&R Magnum, 9x19mm, and .38 Special for about $.09 a round buying in bulk. .44 Russian, .44 Special, and .45ACP are a couple of cents more a round due to more expensive bullets, powder and primer costs are about the same. I shoot lead bullets, I've never been able to find any advantage to shooting jacketed for just target shooting/IDPA/plinking. I only load jacketed bullets in .223 and in the 9mm I shoot in my P7. Everything else gets lead.

    .45-70 Government costs me about $.35 a round, but that is $7 for a box of 20. Try finding a box of factory ammo for that much anywhere.
    -Landric

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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    first i would get some reloading books. i would look for the older books, they have some of the best information. read up on reloading then go looking for some used equipment to get started. later you can move up to bigger things.
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  12. #12
    TOF
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    You need to be aware that reloading supplies are in short supply right now just as finished ammo is.

    Make certain you can obtain primers before diving in too deep. Bullets and powder seem to be available as long as you are not locked to a brand. Primers however have been very hard to find of late.
    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." - Thomas Jefferson

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    DO NOT START RELOADING!

    I am having enough trouble finding components now and don't need more competition in the marketplace.


    Just kidding of course. It's a fun hobby. I have only been doing it for about a year, but I really enjoy it and it used to save me money, until recently.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

  14. #14
    Member Array fargus081's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtD View Post
    DO NOT START RELOADING!

    I am having enough trouble finding components now and don't need more competition in the marketplace.


    Great thing about reloading is finding deals and stocking up. You can sometimes hear about upcoming price increases on components and stock up on them as well. I did this a couple of years ago when we all heard lead and brass prices were going up. I took a chance and bought what I could afford. After that I just look for deals and make inexpensive practice ammo for the other times.

    You can not only save a lot of money, but also have supplies when most others don't. My neighbor asked me just yesterday if I was able to find any ammo, and my WIFE chimes in with, "Oh, he won't be running out of ammo any time soon!" She said it with a smile, great gal! However it takes planning and keeping up on the news.

    Good luck!
    If you rob Peter to pay Paul, you will undoubtedly have the support of Paul.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    FYI....
    I was having trouble finding dies for .40 S&W. Called Kempf gunshop and was surprised to find what I needed at regular prices....

    https://kempfgunshop.com/

    bosco

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