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Thread: Is reloading a viable option for new low volume shooters?

  1. #61
    Boolit Master Rapier's Avatar
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    Teach them, let them be the judge of what is reasonable. One thing for sure over $2.00 a pop is not reasonable, for regular hunting ammo. And the shop owner apologized for the price but said that was all he could get.
    “There is a remedy for all things, save death.“
    Cervantes

    “Never give up, never quit.”
    Robert Rogers
    Roger’s Rangers

    There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
    Will Rogers

  2. #62
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by toallmy View Post
    A single stage press , dies , & a good powder scale are available used or new at a very reasonable cost + they will last a lifetime . Pick up a pound of powder , a couple hundred primers with a box or two jacketed bullets a new reloader is in business . But honestly very few people are willing to set down and take the time to load themselves a box or so of ammunition .
    Especially true for a straight wall caliber like 38spl. The basic lee press with a safety scale and a 3 die set..a tray of primers pound of powder and some lubed cast or jwords , save your own brass..and you are set for under 150$

  3. #63
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Three44s View Post
    The shortages of components should make used reloading equipment easier to find.

    The greatest shortfall in components lately is primers.

    As bad as things are, I would buy what is half way reasonable and as few primers to just get by until things moderate.

    Learn the craft and be ready to pounce by acquiring the tooling when the opportunity presents itself to stock up on components.

    Three44s
    I am seeing a lot more reloading equipment show up on used forums and at much better prices. And if they are at decent prices, they are sitting for a few days or a week. Compare that to over the last year where people were selling used equipment at new prices since all of the new equipment was out of stock.

  4. #64
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by reddog81 View Post
    If I had started on a Lee Loader I would have given up quickly.
    Do you really think people who started with a Lee LOADER kit would drop out because it was slow and they don't know there were other options?

    I've read dozens of posts from people who got into reloading with the old Lee LOADER kits because they were inexpensive and then they grew into a wide interest and much more volumes. On the other hand, I've never even heard of anyone saying they started reloading and then dropped out because their LOADER kit was so slow; in fact, I can't believe anyone actually believes that!

    I've been case cramming since '65 and have a short ton of reloading tools carefully chosen for my needs, not someone else's. As a young father with three little girls and their momma depending on me, I wanted the tools I saw in gun magazines but I started my reloading with a Lee .30-06 LOADER kit because I could handle that. I've known several avid reloader/collectors who still buy (and use) any old Lee kit they can find but, sadly, they haven't been made for decades so they're a moot issue for today's noobs.

    As I said once before, it's hard for avid hobbyists who load thousands of rounds a month on 1150 Dillons to not think other people should start high just in case others might someday want to go where they are now; that's some rarely true nonsense. But Lee's semi-excellent old whac-a-mole kits are long gone so they don't matter.

    The present best low cost starting gear for most folk would be based on Lee's little "RELOADER" press and RGB dies. Not only is that an inexpensive basic starting place for noobs on a budget, it really works quite well and it's all most low volume shooters will ever need.

  5. #65
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by 414gates View Post
    The way the factory makes rifle ammo, it is by default more consistent than anything a handloader can produce.
    While the statement is accurate, I would rather have my inconsistent groups of under 3/8" than the consistent groups from factory ammo of 1-1/4". At 500 yards it starts mattering.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  6. #66
    Boolit Master
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    When you have to chase each component for reloading,its somewhat easier to have to chase only one item......a packet of 20 rounds of 223 or 308 or 9mm .....all seem to be in good supply here,and nowhere near US$2 a round.......223 well under US$1 a round,308 about US 1.15,and 9mm ,only US 30 cents a round.

  7. #67
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    Do you really think people who started with a Lee LOADER kit would drop out because it was slow and they don't know there were other options?

    I've read dozens of posts from people who got into reloading with the old Lee LOADER kits because they were inexpensive and then they grew into a wide interest and much more volumes. On the other hand, I've never even heard of anyone saying they started reloading and then dropped out because their LOADER kit was so slow; in fact, I can't believe anyone actually believes that!

    I've been case cramming since '65 and have a short ton of reloading tools carefully chosen for my needs, not someone else's. As a young father with three little girls and their momma depending on me, I wanted the tools I saw in gun magazines but I started my reloading with a Lee .30-06 LOADER kit because I could handle that. I've known several avid reloader/collectors who still buy (and use) any old Lee kit they can find but, sadly, they haven't been made for decades so they're a moot issue for today's noobs.

    As I said once before, it's hard for avid hobbyists who load thousands of rounds a month on 1150 Dillons to not think other people should start high just in case others might someday want to go where they are now; that's some rarely true nonsense. But Lee's semi-excellent old whac-a-mole kits are long gone so they don't matter.

    The present best low cost starting gear for most folk would be based on Lee's little "RELOADER" press and RGB dies. Not only is that an inexpensive basic starting place for noobs on a budget, it really works quite well and it's all most low volume shooters will ever need.
    Heck.. for .410 shotgun loading I'm using a manual kit with a plug, a pin and aluminum block and a mallet... slow going compared to my lee loaders in 12-16 and 20... but works.

  8. #68
    Boolit Buddy
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    Personally, I find the entire process to be therapeutic. It’s nice to sit down at my bench and shut off the world and focus on a simple task that results in my ability to shoot when many of my friends can’t or won’t. Yes, it costs me money and time but many of those same friends are burning their money and time at a bar or hopping up a car they’ll sell at a loss within a year. At least my hobby results in something beneficial. There is also the benefit of being able to be just a bit more self reliant. There is a pride in saying “I made this and I can make it again.”

    When I was young my father told me to save my brass because one day I could learn to reload it. To this day he has never reloaded a single cartridge but that idea of reusing what others considered trash held a sort of mystique for me. He bought me a used MEC 12 gauge setup and the old man that sold it to him taught me just enough to be dangerous (quite literally). Eventually I bought my own Rock Chucker kit and started learning center fire. I started with 9x19 and .223. I’m sure I could have bought factory ammo much cheaper but then I wouldn’t have learned the lessons of those first loads. Soon I was learning how to load the finicky 7.62x25 and .32ACP, casting my own boolits, and eventually making gas-seal rounds for my Nagant revolver. I love that I can take any ammunition I find and harvest components to use or modify for use in other cartridges. I’m now loading for nearly 20 cartridges, I have successfully reloaded primers, and have started swaging .224” bullets from .22lr brass thanks to BTSniper. I know I have spent more on my tooling and components than I have saved but the knowledge I’ve gained over these years has been invaluable. I’m now to point that I have what I need and want and can start to really benefit financially from the investment.

    So, is it worth starting to reload today? If they are the type of person who values the ability to make something from essentially nothing, then absolutely. If they are only trying to save money, not unless they are into obsolete cartridges or decide to shoot competitively. I have steered many folks away this hobby because they were careless people or had unrealistic expectations. Others I have encouraged and aided in their learning of the skill. It really is a very personal experience that is different for everyone.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check