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non-reloader with a reloading question

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by PuddleMonkey, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. PuddleMonkey

    PuddleMonkey Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I've been saving my brass for months now even though I'm undecided on reloading. I keep it in 50lb boxes mixed with everything I shoot (9mm, 45acp, 38spl, 357mag, 44mag, 460, 223, 5.56, etc). My question is how much money on average is saved per box? I shoot weekly and go through quite a bit of new factory ammo, but is this reloading BS even worth it? Seems like a lot of effort to sort it all out, clean it, then reload it. Not to mention the money spent for a shaker, reloader, dies for each caliber, bullets, powder, primers, etc.

    So are there substantial savings, or are reloaders just that bored/broke?




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  2. yotehunter

    yotehunter north west Active Member

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    I reload for accuracy more than savings. And it is fun to go out and test different loads
     
  3. ripcity

    ripcity Milwaukie Active Member

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    I never thought I would enjoy reloading. But, once I started I cannot stop. I almost enjoy doing it more than shooting, if that makes any sense:).
     
  4. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    In very common calibers like 9mm where cheap import ammo can be found on sale you might save as little as 25% on some calibers like 30-40Krag you can save as much as .90 cents a round. The investment in a press and dies etc is quickly recouped.

    But there is the time factor it takes time it takes a place to do it and it takes paying attention.

    I have reloaded now for 44 years and its very rare for me to buy a box of any facotry ammo besides shotgun and .22 rimfire. About the only reason I will now days is if I buy a firearm in a new caliber as a way to shoot the thing right away or to get brass for reloading.
     
  5. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    If you are a hunter and rarely target shoot, reloading only makes sense from an accuracy standpoint. Chances are your savings will never recoup the cost of a reloading setup unless you go with the very cheapest.

    On the other hand if you shoot a lot, like me where I will this AM go shoot at least 50 rounds of .308 and if time is left, another 200-300 rounds of 9mm, reloading is essential unless you're like the Geico Motorcyclist and "Made of Money".

    I never even consider buying .308 ammo new as even the best available doesn't come anywhere near the accuracy of what I make for myself. For 9mm my cost, using a Montana Gold 124 gr JHP bullet, powder bought in 8# jugs, and primers bought in "sleeves" (5,000 per) my net cost is "right at ten cents per round. Costs me .16 per round for .223 using case lots on bullets, etc.

    With that kind of volume it's not hard to see that a top end press like a Dillon XL-650 with case feeder pays for itself in short order. Also cuts the time you spend pulling a handle as each pull creates a new round.

    In short, reloading is done by some as a hobby to provide more accurate ammo, by some to save money on their ammo, and by guys like me that do it for both reasons. Every beginner needs to decide for themselves what their reason is and invest accordingly.
     
  6. Spray-n-pray

    Spray-n-pray Battle Ground Moderator Staff Member

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    If it weren't worth it, nobody would do it.
     
  7. krivey

    krivey mcminnville oregon Active Member

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    If i were you, i would sell the 45,38spl and 357 mag brass to me :)
    Otherwise, on the 45 and 357, i tend to spend about 1/2 the price of factory (not bulk)
     
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  8. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    I've saved a small fortune reloading.. pistol, rifle, shotgun. Where it really pays off is items like my hand cast shotgun slugs, which just happen to be darn accurate and have the hard surface penetration of a M855 steel core 5.56
     
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  9. lamrith

    lamrith tacoma Active Member

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    Here is what my research found. I am only loading 9mm which people say is the least economical to reload. The best prices you see for 9mm 115g on sale is usually 10.99/box, maybe 9.99 if you stumble on the walmart boxes. Then add tax here in WA and you are back to $10.99/50 anyway.

    Buying comps locally (Sportco & UPammo.com) and using your saved brass you can make 50rnds of 9mm 115g for ~$6.32. That is after paying tax since all the comps are local bought. Even stepping up to 147g the price is only ~$6.38 per 50. That is a $4.60 savings per box, or 40%+.. The other calibers that only gets bigger.

    NOW, you will save per round/per box. BUT the evil part of reloading is that you end up spending MORE total $ over the course of the year because you end up shooting a whole bunch more. The ammo is cheaper so you shoot it more, so you actually save $ given how much you shoot versus factory bought, but you do shoot more...
     
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  10. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    I"ve saved THOUSANDS over the last 20 years loading for just one caliber primarily,my cowboy shootin' rootin tootin' 45's.

    IT most certainly takes time,space and an initial out lay for equipment.For as much as you shoot,it would take a lot of time but would save a lot of money farily fast.

    no wait,you'd just have more ammot to shoot,no money saved. LOL

    If u decide to do it,start with pistol,it's less steps than rifle. no lubing and no trimming in most cases with pistol ammo.

    if u decide not to,youir brass stash is worth some loot to ther rest of us addicts. :)
     
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  11. rrojohnso

    rrojohnso Vancouver, WA Member

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    One thing not addressed here is case prep and time. I love reloading, and like DS, I do it for both the quantity and the quality (for my .308, I spend about $9.20 over the factory equivalent at $26 - mine is more accurate as the rounds are tuned to my rifle). The quality of the ammo is relative to the quality of prep put in on the brass (pistol cases require little prep, while rifle rounds require more).

    Time is money. For many of us, this is a hobby we enjoy spending time on. You should consider what value you place on time to complete all the functions involved in reloading. If you get a progressive press, that will speed up the load time. Of course, you can buy tools and equipment to expedite the case prep process, but there is still a measure of time involved in getting the cases ready to go after you fire them. If you want really accurate ammo, then more time is needed, yet.

    Brass is usually the most expensive component up front. Considering you can reuse it many times, you will see a large savings by the time you reload the same cases by the 3rd or 4th firing. So saving your brass as you have is a great way to save money on components up front! A friend of mine told me 'many people start to reload so they can afford to shoot more, but eventually they shoot more to reload,' and I agree with that. Cheers
     
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  12. IheartGUNS

    IheartGUNS WaCo Well-Known Member

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    To me reloading is a hobby, at the same time I save some money:thumbup: So if you try it, and liked it, good for you. If you don't like it, then you better of buying new ammo. Btw, I can reload 1k 223 for about $150.
     
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  13. rds801

    rds801 Portland Member

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    I would start separating that brass right now because you will reload sooner or later ;)
     
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  14. bballer182

    bballer182 Molalla Active Member

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    ^^^ what he said :D
     
  15. PX4WA

    PX4WA Tacoma, WA Active Member

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    Get the steel cases out of there and throw it away..

    Sorting it is a lot of work... Sell it to a reloader who has the sorting equipment. You could get 2$ a pound unsorted
     
  16. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Sorting steel cases is easy, get a powerful magnet
     
  17. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    My Dillon has paid for itself like 5 times over. The steel cases don't bother me (Magnet trick works) What cheeses my burrito is the small primer 45 ACP brass. Who's brainiac idea was that??? I try to visually check but they sneak in.
     
  18. PuddleMonkey

    PuddleMonkey Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Great info guys, I appreciate it! As expected, these responses bring more questions to mind...



    How many times can you reload the same brass? How do you know when it's no longer usable?



    I just watched a video on the XL-650 and I have to say that is quite impressive. I see they make a 1050 model too, is that even necessary? Any better reloaders out there I should be looking at? I'm not afraid to pay more for convenience or ease of use. My issue is time, not so much money, and these Dillons look like they can crank out some serious bubblegum.



    Although I have a bunch of 9mm brass, I have no interest in reloading it because of how cheap it is to buy. I think I'd be looking 38/357 and 44. Maybe 460 if it's even economical, I imagine the bullets, primers, etc are not cheap to begin with for that. Are the 38/357 different dies?

    I don't see shooting more being a problem, I shoot 500-750 rounds a week and that's basically my max based on spare time to get out into the woods each week.



    I watched a video of 357 being reloaded and the guy was spraying a lube on the casings, is it necessary? I didn't see any trimming going on, I personally see zero chance of me reloading my 223/556.



    I'm definitely liking this Dillon Progressive reloader, unless there's better I should be considering. What's a good shaker thing to look at, or whatever it is that cleans the brass?



    I already have the sorting equipment, my retired father has been nagging me to let him take the brass boxes with him fishing so he has something to do while waiting for the fish to bite. He also recycles any metal he can get his hands on so I'll let him have the steel ones to recycle.
     
  19. bballer182

    bballer182 Molalla Active Member

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    Replies in red above. Let me know on that brass.
     
  20. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Case prep for me is an ongoing process. When I get back from the range all the spent brass is put in a bin. The next day I spend about an hour depriming, getting it ready for tumbling. Next day it's tumble/clean, and dry. Day three, another hour or so trimming and priming. Day 4 is loading day.

    Sure, it sounds like a 4 day job but in reality I only spend an hour per day. Show me one person that doesn't have that kind of time. It's a great way to "decompress" after work or if retired like me, a great time filler. Most people have far more time than money, it's just a matter of how much they waste on other things like watching reruns of "Dukes of Hazard" etc. (waiting for scenes with Daisy in them) :cool::cool:

    A lot of my case prep is done while I sit and talk with my wife in our family room. She does her crossword puzzles and I trim cases. Works out great.:laugh: