Just went on Amazon out of curiosity and looked for a Lee 4-die carbide set for 9mm. Only one popped up at a price of $100.
I bought mine in October of 2017 for $45. Crazy times.
I bought mine in October of 2017 for $45. Crazy times.
Thanks for all the awesome advice man. Wish I had someone like you local to me as a mentor. Would be fun.I'm gonna quote myself and add to this idea.
If you're thinking about buying a pound of pistol powder, think eight pound caddy when you're buying rifle powder. That is, if you plan to stick with it. When you get an eight pounder, it's all the same lot. Believe it or not, contemporary canister grade powder does sometimes vary from lot to lot.
Each pound of powder contains 7000 grains of powder by weight. A charge of 6.0 gr. in a pistol cartridge yields 1,166 charges in a pound. A conservative charge of 40.0 gr. of powder in a .308 Win. yields 175 charges. Do the math when planning. Improper planning is how I wound up with too much pistol propellant.
One thing I always tried to do. Keep my supplies of reloading components balanced. That is, if I had X amount of bullets, I'd want to have the appropriate amount of powder on hand and the same number of primers. Enough to complete X amount of finished rounds of ammunition. Might not be so easy to do these days.
I used to load odd counts of ammo. Depending upon how many bullets of a certain type I had, or primers, or brass, or (lastly) powder. That would cause me to come up with odd lots of finished ammo. These days, I'm pretty much guided by even quantities of bullets. I try to load in 50's or 100's. The component I least like to have around in odd quantities is bullet stock. I've put the odd lots of finished ammo in front of the boxed stacks of same cartridge and have been concentrating on firing those off. I'm getting there but not lately.
Side bar. Is a 50 round box of finished revolver ammo short count if it contains only 48 cartridges? Not necessarily, because divide 48 by six (number of rounds in most revolver cylinders), you get an even eight count. That is, eight batteries of an even six shots each. A 50 round box always leaves two odd ball cartridges. Unless you are shooting a gun with a five shot cylinder, then the 50 count is ideal.
For a time, I loaded using a progressive Dillon 550 but quit that for several reasons. Now I just load single stage like I did for 30+ years before the Dillon. When I loaded with the Dillon, I often just dispensed them loose into bulk boxes.
One other thing if you're starting out and haven't set up yet. Determine which position is most comfortable for you in doing the work. I've always done my reloading from a standing position. I find the ease of motion more advantageous. And I've actually set up and loaded sitting to see how it went. Others always do their loading sitting. Or modified standing, using a bar stool (or similar) as a butt rest.
I have some Hornady TiN dies in .38/.357 that I've had for literally decades. Honestly I can't tell the difference between them and carbide, and I have a lot of carbide dies too. I've loaded untold thousands of rounds with them, and they look like new to me. If someone says they're wearing them out in 2k rounds, they're doing something seriously wrong, like maybe lubing their brass with valve grinding compound?Yeah it says no lube. I didn’t even see any hornady carbide dies, only the TiN ones. Maybe I missed it. I use a lot of titanium nitride coated carbide and high speed steel as a machinist and under those conditions it doesn’t last long, but those are pretty extreme conditions. I do know it’s extremely hard. I’d be curious to see how long that coating would last on the sizing ring. I did a quick google search and saw one person complaining about the coating wearing off after 2k rounds. I think I’ll stay away from it until stuff becomes more available but I’d love to experiment.
Kablouey -- the sound of brain exploding. I can't stand an empty slot in a box -- I get the 6x8=48, or 3x15=45 -- but a box has fifty in it and anything less is a crime. I am single processing 10 pieces of brass from a set I used in a recent load test because if I don't, I'll have a box 10 rounds shy of full and that's freakin' unconstitutional!... Side bar. Is a 50 round box of finished revolver ammo short count if it contains only 48 cartridges? Not necessarily ...
Very interested in the reason behind this because after finishing off 1040 (*) pistol cartridges (from brass that I'd previously sized, cleaned, case mouth expanded, and primed -- I was just adding powder and bullets) on my single stage press the other day, I woke up feeling my bad shoulder, bad wrists, and bad elbow quite distinctly. That did get me thinking about a progressive again -- anyway -- very curious about why you went back.For a time, I loaded using a progressive Dillon 550 but quit that for several reasons. Now I just load single stage like I did for 30+ years before the Dillon. When I loaded with the Dillon, I often just dispensed them loose into bulk boxes.
I don't need to tell you, you over-bought.. (and yeah... underlearned) but we all did that at first because we wanted to cover our bases. (there will be some old hands who will say... "naw, I got exactly what I needed"...( You can take that as horse hockey coming from a guy with a thousand dollar progressive press in a box on a shelf he's never been able to figure out, much less master) .... ..I truly hope you're right. And I'll be waiting in case you are . While I am very new, I just spent nearly a grand on equipment and much less on components (only because they're basically nonexistent right now). I'm pretty serious about doing this thing. My press kit comes tomorrow and Friday I'm going to go out and find a free craigslist desk or something to start building a bench out of. I'd buy a desk but kinda ran out of money .
I bought a single stage press kit, dies for 9mm luger (and makarov because I'm a dummy) and 308, an ultrasonic cleaner (figured would be nice for cleaning gun parts too and I found one on sale), a rotary tumbler, cleaning solution, a nice digital scale, calipers, powder trickle, chamfer tool, chronograph, 3 different reloading manuals (lee, lyman, and hornady), some reloading trays and ammo boxes.
got lucky and found 5,000 small pistol primers the other day for $33/1k
also got a good deal on 1,000 large pistol primers
I bought 1,000 fmj 9mm bullets, and a friend is hooking me up with some 9mm brass this friday to get me started.
the guy I bought the 308 dies from I also bought 700 .308 cases from.
also bought a lb each of CFE, HS-6, titegroup, accurate #5, and w748
waiting on a buddy to come up with the money to buy some 308 bullets
.. I think that's it.
I started out with the intention of wetting my beak spending as little as possible.. but the more I learned the more excited I got.. so went a little crazy buying stuff over the last few days.
To be clear, I bought the lee challenger breech lock single stage kit. Took some advice from some guys to start out single stage. But I’m absolutely on the lookout for someone that’s willing to teach. I’m meeting up with a guy friday that’s hooking me up with some brass, perhaps he will be willing to take me under his wing, who knows.I don't need to tell you, you over-bought.. (and yeah... underlearned) but we all did that at first because we wanted to cover our bases. (there will be some old hands who will say... "naw, I got exactly what I needed"...( You can take that as horse hockey coming from a guy with a thousand dollar progressive press in a box on a shelf he's never been able to figure out, much less master) .... ..
Somebody really needs to put out a "basic manual" on how to begin reloading.
First, sit the Hell down. this is going to take a while and your back will appreciate your being relaxed.
For more than a year I tried to find anybody within 50 miles of me (I live inDallas, a huge city) anybody, who was reloading and would be willing to let me come watch them and ask questions. Bunch of them on this forum.... 7-million people, NOT A SINGLE REPONSE. So, I just jumped in, bought a Lee single stage press, a set of Lee dies, a "cheap" battery powered scale (about the size of my IPhone) I've been using it for about 6 years... my total investment less than $200 dollars.
Using a Lee, Single Stage Press, clean brass (oh yeah, spend $75 bucks for a brass vibrator) and, Bullseye powder with CCI primers.....
I can reload 25 to 30 Bayou or Federal Hydrashok .355 9mm bullets in less than 40 minutes. YEAH, I reload my own self-defense rounds... Read Mass Ayoub.... then get back to me.
That's not a world record ... even approaching close for a progressive press... but everything I do goes BANG, not BOOM. I never fret over a double charge, or squib.
I carry my Glock 19 every day wherever I go without fear or loathing. I go to a range every 30 or 45 days and throw a couple a hundred downrange into the 9 and 8 rings on the B27 targets.
If you expect more of yourself, THEN buy more.... Sounds like you already have. But if you are looking to self-teach reloading for your personal needs... sell your progressive toy... buy a single stage, find a senior citizen like me in your town, and introduce youself.. First visit, take a pound of Bullseye and 500 empties (with primers) and 500
9 mm slugs.. A couple of hours later you will go home with Knowledge you can not get from this internet, or a book... Bottom line, you are probably not going to find help here, or anywhere. You WILL find lots of opinion from Mall Ninjas, wannabees, pretend crackshots and a bit from people who have been right where you are.... frustrated owners of goodies you have no idea how to use.
I am in Dallas... I am willing to teach anybody who wants to learn... I dont want to sell anything... trade anything... and there is no guarantee of your outcome once you are out my front door... It is the least I can do for somebody new to the reloading hobby...
Agree to sentence #1.On another but similar note..... during normal times 9mm Luger ammo is so cheap that there's no savings in rolling your own. Almost all brand name store bought is better than you can reload except if you are extremely precise. ...
With store bought ammo you get nice, clean, new brass. Add the cost of nice, clean, new brass to the cost of the bullet, primer and powder and show me your .20 per round cost! I just saw an ad for brand name 9 mm at .34 per round in 1000's.I call Bull Sh......! .40 to .50 cents a round is the current "advertised" price.... but it is a "come on" you will not buy it for that.. try 75 to 80 cents minimum per round for cheap crap.
I am still reloading 9 mm for less than .20 cents a round... but admittedly using powder and primers I have had in stock for a year or so. I have a stock of about 18 pounds of Bullseye. At my rate of use, that's a couple of years of reloading. Same with the 3 thousand Bayou bullets on my shelf. I do not buy in boxes of 50 I buy in cases of 500 to 1000....
Buy what you will need.... you don't buy a house or a car based on what you want this week ... next month... you buy based on what your wife will need next year and the 5 years that follow. You can be sure what you buy today will be worth more next time you need to buy. You need to stretch your horizons..
I buy that -- and to be fair -- my example above was .40 S&W. I have a set of targets in 9mm I recently did with bullets I cast that I haven't measured yet, but just going off the 1" grid, my best group (10 shot groups at 15y) was just under 3" and my worst group was about 6" -- although if I call one shot a flier in that group, it goes back to 3ish inches for the remaining nine. But yeah, 3/5ths of those 9mm test targets eyeball out to around 3"....
However, for .40 S&W, I noticed there were dramatic differences in accuracy between factory ammo and handloads, and dramatic differences in accuracy between different handloads as well.
Since the case is the only reusable component, you have to factor in how many times you can use it. For target ammo, I can get at least a dozen loadings out of a piece of Starline brass. I just bought some yesterday for $.19 each, so divide .19 by 12 and you get about 1.5 cents per loading for brass. I use RMR 124 gr MPR hollowpoints at $.11 per bullet, Ramshot Silhouette costs me $30 for a can with 7000 grains of powder, and I use 5 grains per round, so that about 2 cents worth of powder. Primers are about 4 cents each.With store bought ammo you get nice, clean, new brass. Add the cost of nice, clean, new brass to the cost of the bullet, primer and powder and show me your .20 per round cost! I just saw an ad for brand name 9 mm at .34 per round in 1000's.
Ballisticdeals.com Has Hornady 3 die set $40+ shippingI was ordering all the stuff for my first reloading bench and couldn’t find a 9mm die set in stock anywhere. Eventually I found one on eBay but just realized today somehow I ordered a 9x18 makarov. Oops. Anyone know where I could get ahold of one in stock? My stuff is going to be here by this weekend and I’m really excited to get started. Best I can find is a used RCBS 3 die set on eBay for around $70+shipping.
My 9mm ammo runs me around $2/100.With store bought ammo you get nice, clean, new brass. Add the cost of nice, clean, new brass to the cost of the bullet, primer and powder and show me your .20 per round cost! I just saw an ad for brand name 9 mm at .34 per round in 1000's.
This is why I long ago stopped rolling 9mm. It's so cheap to buy factory I don't want to BUT, I have a 5 gal bucket of brass, along with powder and primers and of course dies. If I get to where I am down to say 1K of factory stuff left and it's still not there to buy? Then I will start rolling it again. Once you learn how all you need is the supplies. Which as I often tell people if stored properly will outlive you. I have no doubt when I die my kids will inherit all kinds of stuff like this. They can do with it as they please. In the mean time I can still head to the range weekly. Well at least I can when they stop calling me to come to work on my nights offOn another but similar note..... during normal times 9mm Luger ammo is so cheap that there's no savings in rolling your own. Almost all brand name store bought is better than you can reload except if you are extremely precise. That said, I get as much satisfaction from reloading as I do from shooting! Nothin' better in an evening than pouring a cup of Black Rifle, turning on some music and pulling those handles!
Even that is actually great right now. A LOT of people just bought a gun for the first time in their life. Of course a lot of them ended up with a 9mm of some flavor. Well of course they then found ammo hard to come by. So a place selling it at that price and letting them buy a couple boxes a week is great. At least the newbies can get some time on the new gun. I am seeing a LOT of people at the range of late saying they are first timers with some new gun in hand. Normally they are in and out in now time but, at least they are getting their feet wet in this.Northwest Armory in Feb 2020 was selling $8 a box of 50 9mm 115gr brass CCI Brazer. Now they're selling $15.99 but limit 2 per week.