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Well after shelling out a lot of money for .38 and .357 ammo over the last few days I'm thinking reloading may be the way to go. I'd probably save some money but in truth I think the motivating factor is the natural outgrowth of my interest in firearms. And, believe it or not, I am pretty satisfied with my stable of firearms, so I might as well spend my allowance on something else that is gun related.

I am less than a noob on reloading so I have some basic questions. I won't bother you with the set up because I've already been researching, and I'll save those questions for later.

At present I probably have well about 1500 once-fired factory .38 brass and about 500 once-fired factory .357 brass. All types - Remington, Winchester, Magtech, SB - whatever these manufacturers are using or producing. I also have several thousand factory loads in my stash.

Q1: Is there a need to "sort" this brass by mnfr, or can I just use all the .38's (or .357's if loading those instead) in a single "batch?"

Q2: Has the panic also hit powder, primers, bullets, etc.?


Q3: Are the components now as scarce as hen's teeth and at inflated prices? And if investing in components now, does the current math still hold - you save about 50%-ish?


Thanks in advance,
PEF
 

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Answer to Q1: no need to separate brass.
Answer to Q2: YES, the panic has set in onto the reloading world as well. Its much harder to find primers, bullets and even powder (prices have gone up).
Answer to Q3: It is still cheaper, however not by much. To some who reload the savings are worth it, and to other the savings aren't worth it. Its a hobby of sorts to most that reload and thus why we do it, and not so much because of the savings. You can start out with a simple "Lee Hand Loader" which is to see if you like it before you go out and spend money on a much more expensive loading machine.
 

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i will answer questions 2 and 3 because im not so sure about question 1

question 2 is yes the panic has hit powder, primers, and bullets...it is very difficult to find them these past few months. you just gotta find it at the right place at the right time. hopefully somewhere that hasnt raised their prices too.

question 3 yes prices have inflated from what ive researched and what i have seen. but like i said if u can luckily find the ingredients at a place that does not increase their price then your set.

i wanted to start reloading my own ammo starting in end of january early february but i put that thought on hold because i cant find any of the components an if i do find them they are overpriced to where i did the math and its the same price if not cheaper to just buy the ammo from the store.

it sucks man, but hopefully things will turn around. and for your answer to question 1 if i had to guess i would say it does not matter about the brass, but i am not sure so dont quote me.
 

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See the reloading cost calculator at: Handloading Cost Calculator

This will give you an approximation of the costs, or savings you might recognize if you reload. Of course, this calculator does NOT take the initial setup cost into consideration. It assumes you already have all the necessary equipment and that the costs have already been amortized.

For example:
1 lb powder $30.00
4.5gr/cartridge
Primers $35.00/1000
Brass $0.00 - using reclaimed brass
Bullets $95.00/1000

cost per cartridge $.149
cost/50 $7.46
cost/1000 $149.29

If you have to buy new brass the costs go up to:
cost per cartridge $.274
cost/50 $13.71
cost/1000 $274.29

The above figures are for 9mm. If you use a different caliber all the amounts used will differ.

Of course, I have seen primers at the gun shows going for $100/1000, and no one has bullets, or powder in stock.
 

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For general purpose handgun reloads, I wouldn't bother with sorting brass. If planning on match-grade loads where .1" makes the difference between winning and losing, nah, I still wouldn't sort.

Reloading components are non-existant here. But it's still cheaper when you can find them vs commercial loads.
 

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.38 and .357 are easy reloads good luck finding primers. You will have to shoot a lot to recoup your costs so I would not recommend it at this time unless you have lots of time and need a new hobby.

I am a wierdo that likes to reload. I enjoy it as much as shooting. I spend hours and hours on it. I like to build my own stuff.
For a while the 9mm white box was cheaper than me reloading and you still got to keep the brass. Look at a bulk ammo purchase or surplus ammo( may be a while before you can get some ).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
See the reloading cost calculator at: Handloading Cost Calculator

This will give you an approximation of the costs, or savings you might recognize if you reload. Of course, this calculator does NOT take the initial setup cost into consideration. It assumes you already have all the necessary equipment and that the costs have already been amortized.

For example:
1 lb powder $30.00
4.5gr/cartridge
Primers $35.00/1000
Brass $0.00 - using reclaimed brass
Bullets $95.00/1000

cost per cartridge $.149
cost/50 $7.46
cost/1000 $149.29

If you have to buy new brass the costs go up to:
cost per cartridge $.274
cost/50 $13.71
cost/1000 $274.29

The above figures are for 9mm. If you use a different caliber all the amounts used will differ.

Of course, I have seen primers at the gun shows going for $100/1000, and no one has bullets, or powder in stock.
Thanks. I did some checking on Midway for components (out of stock, just gathering price) for a .38 +P recipe and came up with a similar amount. So yea, would definitely save some money in the long run. I think it would be a satisfying hobby as well.

Thanks all for the responses.
 

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Not much to add to the above. No, Yes, Yes. I wouldn't rush into buying "tons" of components right away. Given a little time, availability will improve and those doing the scalping will disappear like roaches when the lights come on.
 

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Primers and Bullets are the hardest to find here. You can always get your range brass. Powder is relatively easy to get with limits on daily purchases. Presses are easy to get also. However now is about 2-3 years too late to start reloading and the same for stocking components to do the same. The folks that missed the boat in 2008 are now trying to clean the shelves in 2013. You can start the process but it will be a long time before you can do it in volume. Good luck with your choices.
 

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Any reloading kit suggestions for someone wanting to get into reloading? A good novice bran..any to stay away from?

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