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

  1. #41
    Boolit Buddy
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    For my past reloading in recent years I never reloaded 9x19 or some of the common military rifle rounds like 7.62x39, 7.62x51, 5.56 nato. Because considering my time it was not worth it. I was planning to load 300 black out and standard hunting rounds since at $2-4 dollars a round it was worth it. 5.56 m193 natio is approaching 50 cents around and cheaper to buy it. But decent 300 blackout and also 308 of any kind is worth reloading. So is 30 US Car, and a lots of other ammunition. So it really depends on cost of components and time. I also have a lot brass and have already purchase powder and bullets and have some primers. For my lever center fire guns, that ammo is also very expensive not always easy to find.
    for example 35 remington at midwayusa is not available and the old price was $2.25 to $4.70 around. When it becomes available all of those prices will go up.
    But 30-30 from midway in one loading from remington is available at $1.40 a round. So if you just need a single box or two for hunting reloading is not needed. But still if you want several hundred for self defense then maybe reloading is viable.
    .38 spl now days is expensive and reloading can cut the price a bit. say 56 cents to $2 a round.
    For self defense pistol ammo I buy factory for a lot of reason or at least i did. I use to buy +P+ 9x19 federal from them for use in my glock and a full size smith and wesson sigma that can handle it. The issue is I do not like like to load hotly loaded max pressure ammo because I do not not have pressure testing equipment and uniform components to safely do so.

  2. #42
    Boolit Buddy
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    Now is probably a more cost effective time than ever to get into handloading. It isn't as if the price of ammo hasn't skyrocketed. I remember buying 22s for a penny or two a piece or so and 9mms for 9 cents and I'm not that old. It may go "down" in price but it'll probably never be as cheap as it once was.

  3. #43
    Boolit Buddy Pereira's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty Boolit View Post
    If any of them shoots 45/70 the answer is yes it is worthwhile.
    I don't shoot that one but, try finding...

    41 mag., 38-55, 444, 35 Rem., 308 MX, 25-20, or for the real kicker 32 colt.

    The 41 mag. was what got me started some 15+ yrs. ago.

    RP

    If you don't have a C&R FFL, you really need to consider getting one------it's a license to spend money, though.
    Quote by a member of another forum.

  4. #44
    Boolit Master
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    My #2 son recently gave me a reason for him not to reload a particular caliber. This son along with his brother has been shooting and reloading since they were 5-6 years old. They are now 42 and 44 years old. They each have a bunch of guns. #2 has worked at a couple of gun stores. His latest was the gun room at Cabelas in the Portland OR area. There he bought a Tika ultralight in 6.5 Creedmore. Federal sold him some of their good ammo cheap. He went and tried it out. 0.25 to0.50 inch groups at 100 yards. It wasn't a fluke. That is what it shoots with premier 120 gr Federal ammo. Shoots 0.75 inch groups with 140 grain ammo. Asked when did he want to buy dies and he said "Never". As long as he could get this sort of accuracy out of factor ammo he saw no reason to buy dies and spend the time to find a load that he could readily duplicate with over the counter ammo. He now works only one job and understand about ammo shortages. He has to pay full price for the Federal Ammo but has a good supply of it. His father, his brother and he have a good supply of brass,powder projectiles and except for large rifle magnum we have primers. Federal changes the load or go out of business we/he will get dies and reload for that caliber.

  5. #45
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    The 6.5 Creedmoor seems to have incredible support from a few ammunition manufacturers. It’s beyond anything I’m aware of in any other cartridge. I bought a Dillon case trimmer from a guy that decided to quit reloading because the factory ammunition was so good.

    The decision to reload was one of economics for me. I couldn’t shoot very much if I had to buy factory ammunition. I started with a gun show purchase of a used RCBS JR3, a scale and dies. (Still have all of’ em.) Boolits came from a nearby range that cast them and sold reloads. It was slow but powder was about $9/pound, primers were $0.69/100 and my wife and I got to shoot all we wanted. That led me to meet one of the best friends I have had, may he Rest In Peace. He taught me to cast, alloy metals, work on guns and continue with life after losing my wife at the age of 28. All because I chose to reload.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  6. #46
    Boolit Master
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    If these “new, low volume shooters” remain casual shooters, using up a box of ammo only very few months, then reloading may not hold much interest for them.

    If they ever get bitten by the competition bug, ammo usage goes way up, especially in the action pistol sports, where 20,000 rounds a year is considered low volume consumption. Reloading is pretty much the norm save for those few with very deep pockets (and even most of those will reload to customize the load to the guns used).

    But right now is a very bad time to break into reloading: while availability is beginning to improve, tools and components are still hard to find and are selling at premium prices.

  7. #47
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Although expensive and sometimes hard to find, factory ammo in general is more accurate than ever .

  8. #48
    Boolit Buddy Pereira's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawlerbrook View Post
    Although expensive and sometimes hard to find, factory ammo in general is more accurate than ever .
    Not always as accurate as your own though, just one example.
    Last Fall before deer season.


    RP

    If you don't have a C&R FFL, you really need to consider getting one------it's a license to spend money, though.
    Quote by a member of another forum.

  9. #49
    Boolit Master


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    Deer will never know the difference.

    I remember when 30/30 3 inch at a hundred was Miracolas!

    I remember when 1/2 groups were Also, Warren page prayed for them. Bet many here have to look him up.

  10. #50
    Boolit Master


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    Bare minimum for new reloader:

    1. Latest loading manual from Lyman. #1 priority!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Single stage press Anyone's used with primer feed or seat. Under $100

    3 DIES for caliberd with shell holder NEW under $75.00

    4 Powder scale ballance beam used $50 electronic new Under $40

    5 Powder measure used $100 new $100-300

    There you go. Single step the brass, each time. I use a 1 pound coffee can per batch. No real time to spend due 1 step to the coffee can fully. Get back to it when you can.

    Finished sizing cleaning priming. Next step fill one case with the measured powder charge. Seat the bullet Right then 1 at a time. If you crimp use another step to crimp and finish. Do to all in your 1 pound coffee can.

  11. #51
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    I have a friend that doesn't reload. He couldn't find ammunition for his 338/378 Weatherby, then some showed up in 2015 for $160 a box. Yep.$8 a round. As he elk hunts only and a box lasts him 5-7 years he is OK. An old time he worked with had dies and loaded him 50 for a favor he did him. If he shot 10 rounds a year it would be worth it to reload.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  12. #52
    Boolit Grand Master

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    That's pretty much what the Lee 'Whack-a-mole' was made for.
    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.


    OK People. Enough of this idle chit-chat.
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    EVERYONE!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  13. #53
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pereira View Post
    Not always as accurate as your own though, just one example.
    Last Fall before deer season.


    RP
    There is no difference in those two groups.
    Don Verna


  14. #54
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idaho45guy View Post
    For the average shooter... Absolutely not. If they are shooting 9mm and .223 rounds, then reloading is not for themÖ..
    When it comes to 9mm or 380, I canít say I agree. As others said a Lee Classic loader is a good, low cost starting rig that will be useful even when presses and such are acquired.
    Assuming he has his brass, at present component costs (ten cents each for primer and projectile) a guy can roll his own for < $11.00 / box including tax. The best LGS sale price Iíve seen for 9 mm is $17.00 plus tax so heís saving 33%.
    An average urban shooter will go through a minimum 100 rounds at a local range so the $12.00 heís saved over sale price 9 mm will nearly offset the range fee. Or three trips will pay off the Lee kit. One could expect similar savings, relative to sale ammo costs, for .40 & .45 acp.
    This assumes he has the time and inclination to reload.

  15. #55
    Boolit Buddy Pereira's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    There is no difference in those two groups.
    Maybe Not, but the lower group cost a third of what the top group cost.

    RP

    If you don't have a C&R FFL, you really need to consider getting one------it's a license to spend money, though.
    Quote by a member of another forum.

  16. #56
    Boolit Master

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    Was at WalMart this afternoon to pick up trashbags and a few other items, wife found some jeans on clearance for $11 a pair. I went by sporting goods and looked at the ammunition behind the counter. They had lots of 22LR, mostly yellow box Win and Federal 325 bulk packs. In centerfire I could see the caliber on only one, 350 Legend. They had about ten boxes of that. There were about 7 or 8 other calibers there, only one or two boxes of each of those. So a total of 20-25 boxes of centerfire ammo. I did not look at pricing but it was surely not cheap.

    For a town of about 2500 and a county population of just over 17,000, that won't go very far. I know of only one pawn shop and one feed, grain and farm store in the county that also sell ammunition. There may be 2 or 3 country stores in the outlying parts of the county that also sell ammunition that I don't know about. There used to be lots of hunters in the area, not quite so many now but that is not much selection of ammo.
    Spell check doesn't work in Chrome, so if something is spelled wrong, it's just a typo that I missed.

  17. #57
    Boolit Buddy 414gates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawlerbrook View Post
    Although expensive and sometimes hard to find, factory ammo in general is more accurate than ever .
    The way the factory makes rifle ammo, it is by default more consistent than anything a handloader can produce.

    All the reloading techniques and tricks we learn and share are just to be able to duplicate a particular load across reloading sessions. The factory doesn't have that problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pereira View Post
    Not always as accurate as your own though, ...
    This is true in a lot of cases simply because the seating depth of the factory ammo is not tuned to the rifle.

    Fit a barrel tuner and you may find you need to still catch up to factory ammo consistency.

  18. #58
    Boolit Master trapper9260's Avatar
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    I was brought up with not much and my dad started with shot gun reloading to save money and used and Lee hand loader to do our shotguns, We did found it was cheaper to load our own then buy the ammo because for the supplies we use they mostly was able to be use in most of the reloading of other ammo. The I got into center fire and is because wanted to, in the end I can load how I want the loads and also do not worry about if the store will have what I want or stuck with what the factory say you need to pay because once you are set up most of what you have can be used for other ammo to load , besides you can load some ammo that the factory dose not sell. Like shot shells and 00 buckshot in a 30 cal ,Just for starters . It is worth it in the end , yes for what was stated it is not a good time to get into it .One dose what is best for them. They are the only ones knows .
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  19. #59
    Boolit Master


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    Depends on what they are reloading. If they are shooting very common ammo.. then.. right now.. getting into reloading will be a long time to recoup expenses ( assuming reloading becomes cheaper.. if prices drop.. if they never drop.. then sooner is the best time to get in.)

    If they are shooting something boutique or special.. then reloading may be the best starting point. For instance safari cartridges that cost 150-200$ a box of 10-20 rounds. You could be saving money by the time you made about 30 rounds.

  20. #60
    Boolit Master VariableRecall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idaho45guy View Post
    For the average shooter... Absolutely not. If they are shooting 9mm and .223 rounds, then reloading is not for them. Even shooting .40 S&W and 10mm loads, it is not viable unless they are accuracy hounds and capable of really wringing out the accuracy of custom loads.
    Funny enough, I load for both! Not everyone has a 2,000+ round stock to draw from when they are getting started with firearms! With ammo prices these days, even with the expense of components, reloading is still a better value than trying to grab whatever might be left at the store.

    The more I use my brass, the greater value that I can draw from what I have. It doesn't matter to me if it takes longer than getting to the store and just picking it up, I like the process and the knowledge that what's in my can is all my own.

    Also, when it comes to viable reloading tools for low volume shooters, I'd recommend any of Lee's value oriented single stage presses. Starting small is just fine! I started my own journey on a Hand Press!

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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