Thinking about starting to reload to save money, but... [Archive] - Glock Talk

PDA

View Full Version : Thinking about starting to reload to save money, but...


NeverMore1701
11-29-2011, 11:51
Initial equipment costs, even for a basic setup, seem a bit steep. Is there anywhere that offers a package deal with everything you'd need to start out, or is it a matter of piecing everything together? Right now I mostly shoot (and would reload for) .380 and 9mm, and I'm just trying to see how long it would take for me to come out ahead reloading, as opposed to just buying WWB as I have been.

dkf
11-29-2011, 11:57
https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=630&category_id=26&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=41

http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/content/p/9/pid/25215/catid/7/Dillon__039_s___039_Eliminator__039__Scale

The two links listed above gets you the majority of what you need to start and is not junk equipment that you'll have to buy again 5 or 10 years down the road. You still need some case prep tools, funnel, reloading manual and etc.

IndyGunFreak
11-29-2011, 12:12
https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=630&category_id=26&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=41

http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/content/p/9/pid/25215/catid/7/Dillon__039_s___039_Eliminator__039__Scale

The two links listed above gets you the majority of what you need to start and is not junk equipment that you'll have to buy again 5 or 10 years down the road. You still need some case prep tools, funnel, reloading manual and etc.

Pretty much. (If you get the Kempf kit, definitely get the pro auto disk)

Read Colorado4Wheel's sticky in it's entirety, there's a LOT of good info in that thread, beyond just the first post.

Only thing you absolutely need in addition to the above, is a set of dial calipers.. which can be had for $10-$14 at Harbor Freight. If you want you can forego a tumbler, media separator, etc.. which aren't really absolutely necessary. You can wash your brass in the sink, and let them air dry. As our favorite lunatic here says, they will not attract women of "ill repute".. but they'll work in your gun just fine.

I don't load .380, but I load FMJ 9mm, for about $5.20 per 50. With factory prices hovering around $11-$12.... It doesn't take long to recoup that initial investment.

Shadyscott69
11-29-2011, 12:16
Initial equipment costs, even for a basic setup, seem a bit steep. Is there anywhere that offers a package deal with everything you'd need to start out, or is it a matter of piecing everything together? Right now I mostly shoot (and would reload for) .380 and 9mm, and I'm just trying to see how long it would take for me to come out ahead reloading, as opposed to just buying WWB as I have been.

All you need to know about reloading is contained here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcT6Tyv4Unw

Jon_R
11-29-2011, 12:26
I like Dillon and this is a good source to get a package. That is the 550 but he has the other ones to.

http://brianenos.com/store/dillon.550.html

If you have the cash to get started it is likely if you decide it is not for you then you can sell it pretty easily without a lot of loss. They hold value pretty well. Payback depends how much you shoot. IMO it takes a lot if you want a progressive press but if you are shooting a lot a progressive (fast) press is warranted depending how much you value you time. With a 550 I can load 400-500 rounds in an hour once the machine is setup.

IndyGunFreak
11-29-2011, 12:26
All you need to know about reloading is contained here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcT6Tyv4Unw

That's also all you need to know about detecting dementia in your grandparents..

atakawow
11-29-2011, 12:34
It is all about long term savings. Yes, for a $200 investment in reloading equipment, you could buy a case of factory ammo. But after that, then what?

The biggest factor in cost is how cheaply you could purchase components. Plan it wisely and you can cut your ammo cost per 100 by as much as four times the price of factory, though half the cost of factory is usually the norm. Regardless, reloading will always be cheaper than factory bought.

Again, it is about long term saving. The sooner you start, the sooner you start saving.

fredj338
11-29-2011, 12:37
Read the sticky, get a copy of The ABCs of Reloading & read that, get a good reloading manual like the Lyman #49 & read that. Then you'll have a good understanding of the process. It always comes down to time vs money. The higher volume per hour, the more it will cost you in equip. if you have time, a single stageor Lee turret are an economical approach to reloading for many. If you have no time, then a progressive like the SDB, LNL or 550B is certainly worth the higher cost. You can reload 380 & 9mm for about the same cost, $10/100 w/ components bought in some kind of bulk. The only way you get under 50% of most factory ammo is to cast your own bullets. Exotics rounds like the 41mag, 10mm, even 357sig can be loaded for about 1/3 the cost of factory.

F106 Fan
11-29-2011, 12:57
Figure that you can reload for 1/2 the Wally World price. Now all you need to do is multiply that savings times the number of boxes of ammo you shoot in whatever period of time you expect to recover your investment.

If a Dillon 1050 (very high end) costs $1800 and you shoot 2000 rounds per month (say the Wally World cost is $300/1000 and you save $150/1000) then it is going to take 6 months to break even. But the 1050 doesn't lend itself to easy caliber conversion. At least not as easy as the 550B.

For a Dillon 550B (recommended) and all the fixin's at $650 and shooting, say, 500 rounds per month, the savings would be $900/year so the press pays back in less than 9 months.

http://www.brianenos.com/pages/dillon.html

So, even when you look at fairly high end presses, if you shoot enough, the price is irrelevant. Pick any factory ammo price you like if my Wally World estimate is wrong. I KNOW that .380 ammo at WW is very high priced but it's been a long time since I bought any 9mm.

What's the difference between a 550B and a 1050? How long it takes to load 1000 rounds. I have 2 of the 550Bs and a 1050 in .45 ACP. Before the end of the year I will have another 1050 for 9mm. The 550B is too slow for my short attention span and I really don't enjoy reloading all that much. But I have loaded a whole lot of ammo on those two presses (one set for large primer and the other for small primer) and they have given remarkable service.

Yes, I could get by without the 1050 and just load on the 550B's. But I don't want to!

Like the others, I will suggest reading the 'stickies' at the top of this forum. And when you get to thinking about the cost of the various presses, think about how long it will take to load versus the time available to do it. I, too, started reloading on a single stage press. For about a week... Then I moved to a Ponsness-Warren MetalMatic and used that for a couple of years. But when I started shooting a LOT, I bought the 550Bs.

Try to avoid the mistake of getting into reloading 'on the cheap'. Take a somewhat longer view and, remember, used Dillon presses go for 80-90% of the original cost. There's not a lot of downside in buying the press, shooting for a few years and then selling the press.

Richard

DoctaGlockta
11-29-2011, 13:23
The Lee Loader is the ticket to getting your CRB card quickest.

dkf
11-29-2011, 13:35
I'm just getting into reloading so I don't have a tumbler.(yet) I have been washing my brass in a bucket with some Dawn "Power Clean" (strongest stuff they offer) dish soap with some vinegar added to it. After soaking for a while rinse the brass off and lay them out on a towel to dry. Not the fastest but its cheap and gets the brass pretty clean and shiny.

I just picked up a .380 last month that I'm going to load for. I've found that cast bullets are in the $50-$60 per 1000. For my .357sig Glocks I stick to jacketed bullets.

Colorado4Wheel
11-29-2011, 13:42
Try to avoid the mistake of getting into reloading 'on the cheap'. Take a somewhat longer view and, remember, used Dillon presses go for 80-90% of the original cost. There's not a lot of downside in buying the press, shooting for a few years and then selling the press.

Richard

Wise Words.

I have owned every press in the sticky I wrote a while back (some of them twice:faint:). I would have saved a lot of frustration and $ if I had just got the 650 from the start. Not saying everyone should get a 650. Not at all. My first press was a LCT. It was a great press to learn on. I don't regret it at all. My second and forth presses where mistakes. Once I had the LCT I knew I needed more speed for one primary caliber. I should have bit the bullet and bought a 650 with a roller handle way back then. Instead I fiddled around with a 550 and LnL till I finally just said "screw it, I'm getting a 650" (and bought another LCT). With out a doubt, just like in race cars, speed is money. So if you want speed spend the money once. If your happy with 100 rds in 30 mins get a LCT to learn on. If your happy with 400 rds a hour you can do with out a casefeeder and be very happy. If you want over 400rds a hour might as well just spend the money and be done with it. It only hurts for a short period of time.

TexasFats
11-29-2011, 13:55
Reloading will not save you any money--you'll just shoot more.

GioaJack
11-29-2011, 14:10
That's also all you need to know about detecting dementia in your grandparents..


:fist:


OP, loading equipment is like wives, you're going to upgrade every few years anyway so it doesn't matter what you begin with... you're just lookin' to start having fun.

Fine, fine, I look at this stuff different than you guys... sue me.


Jack

MisterLady27
11-29-2011, 14:26
Howdy All,

1. I'm with TexasFats - no money saved here.

2. But ---- More shooting = more fun!! "And fun is fun, but you got to know how." :cool:

ML27

ursoboostd
11-29-2011, 15:41
That's also all you need to know about detecting dementia in your grandparents..

:rofl: I laughed pretty hard.

WiskyT
11-29-2011, 16:12
:fist:


OP, loading equipment is like wives, you're going to upgrade every few years anyway so it doesn't matter what you begin with... you're just lookin' to start having fun.

Fine, fine, I look at this stuff different than you guys... sue me.


Jack

Jack is right, even if it has been many summers since he was able to converse with someone on a reading level higher than a NASCAR fan.

Just get a cheap single stage and a set of Lee dies with the dipper and you'll be making ammo an hour after you sign for the box. You don't need calipers and you don't need a tumbler. You do need one good reloading book. Beware of people trying to save you money by telling you "it's only $500.00".

TN.Frank
11-29-2011, 16:36
Hit one of the Local Sales Network sites and look for used equipment. Reloading equipment normally sells for cheap so you can stretch your dollar a bit.
Once you get the basic stuff it doesn't cost much to add a caliber to your equipment. Just be sure to get a decent press, none of these Lee aluminum/pot metal presses, spend a few bucks on a good RCBS, Lyman or Hornady press, you can thank me later.
Dies are fine in the Lee brand and you'll get a shell holder and powder dipper to boot.
Get a decent scale, RCBS 5-0-5 works nice and get some good calipers too. I like dial calipers since I've worked as a machinist and know how to read em' AND batteries do die when you need them the most so I simply avoid anything that needs a battery.
A decent powder measure like the Lee Perfect Powder measure will make life a lot easier. I loaded for years measuring out charges on my 505 but it was pure heaven once I got a powder measure to throw the charge. Made things to a lot faster.
Other then that bullets, primers and powder are the only things you'll need to start loading and once you've loaded up a few boxes the savings will more then pay for the equipment that you've bought.

Next thing you'll want to look into is bullet casting equipment since the bullet is the most expensive component out of the three expendables that you'll use. Then you can load up a 50 round box of handgun ammo for about $3 bucks using home cast bullets.

michael e
11-29-2011, 16:41
Have a lee , was around 150 for set up with 1 caliber, about 50 for each added caliber. It pays for its self in short amount of time. I have been using the same set up for over 10years, up to several calibers now, but started with 45, 9mm.

TN.Frank
11-29-2011, 16:45
Ok, going to add this after reading a couple of the replies here. You CAN get by with minimum equipment if you just want to get your feet wet and give reloading a try. Here's what you'll absolutely need.

1) Good quality "O" ring style press(RCBS Partner Press will work fine long as you're not loading a bunch of magnum rifle ctgs.)
2) Dies(Lee comes with a shell holder, dipper and loading data)
3) Shell Holder for the ctg. you'll be loading if you don't buy Lee dies(see above)
4) Calipers(I know some of ya'll don't think they're needed but it really is nice to be able to measure OAL.)
5) Lee Powder Dipper set.(let's you have more choices in loads)
6) Loading book(2 is better then one and 3 is better then two, you can never have too many. I recommend the Lee book for your 1st one.)

With this you can start loading ammo that'll be decent enough. If you want to load something other then the powder charges that the dippers will throw then you'll need a Scale and a Powder Measure but if you can live with the powder charges that the dippers throw then you'll be fine.

WiskyT
11-29-2011, 16:52
Ok, going to add this after reading a couple of the replies here. You CAN get by with minimum equipment if you just want to get your feet wet and give reloading a try. Here's what you'll absolutely need.

1) Good quality "O" ring style press(RCBS Partner Press will work fine long as you're not loading a bunch of magnum rifle ctgs.)
2) Dies(Lee comes with a shell holder, dipper and loading data)
3) Shell Holder for the ctg. you'll be loading if you don't buy Lee dies(see above)
4) Calipers(I know some of ya'll don't think they're needed but it really is nice to be able to measure OAL.)
5) Lee Powder Dipper set.(let's you have more choices in loads)
6) Loading book(2 is better then one and 3 is better then two, you can never have too many. I recommend the Lee book for your 1st one.)

With this you can start loading ammo that'll be decent enough. If you want to load something other then the powder charges that the dippers will throw then you'll need a Scale and a Powder Measure but if you can live with the powder charges that the dippers throw then you'll be fine.

I would ammend #5. The dipper SET is very limited and costs almost as much as the Perfect Measure. The individual dippers are too far apart for any real flexibility with loads. If the one dipper that comes with the dies is not useful enough, or tedious to use, just get the Perfect measure. If you use the dipper, you don't need a scale. OAL length is easily set by adjusting the seating die on a factory round.

fredj338
11-29-2011, 16:58
Ok, going to add this after reading a couple of the replies here. You CAN get by with minimum equipment if you just want to get your feet wet and give reloading a try. Here's what you'll absolutely need.

1) Good quality "O" ring style press(RCBS Partner Press will work fine long as you're not loading a bunch of magnum rifle ctgs.)
2) Dies(Lee comes with a shell holder, dipper and loading data)
3) Shell Holder for the ctg. you'll be loading if you don't buy Lee dies(see above)
4) Calipers(I know some of ya'll don't think they're needed but it really is nice to be able to measure OAL.)
5) Lee Powder Dipper set.(let's you have more choices in loads)
6) Loading book(2 is better then one and 3 is better then two, you can never have too many. I recommend the Lee book for your 1st one.)

With this you can start loading ammo that'll be decent enough. If you want to load something other then the powder charges that the dippers will throw then you'll need a Scale and a Powder Measure but if you can live with the powder charges that the dippers throw then you'll be fine.

I can agree w/ everything but the manual. The Lee is the lat manual I woudl recommend, too vague, not enough load data using current powders. The lyman is the best bet IMO for the noob, then the Speer #14, both offer some lead bullet data & current powders. Cross ref w/ powder manuf web sites & you are good to go.

TN.Frank
11-29-2011, 17:10
I guess the manual is somewhat subjective. I started with a Speer #11(which I still have) then moved to the Lyman #46 and shortly after the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook, 3rd Edition then picked up the Lee "Modern Reloading" in the late '90's and I've been happy with all of em'.
Speer is a good one too and I've probably use it more then the others, Lyman will work too but it's larger and doesn't store as easily as the other two although some folks may like a larger book.

I guess if you really want to go bare bones you could get
1) "O" Ring press
2) Lee Dies
3) Loading manual(pick one, they're all decent enough to start with)

and just use the dipper that comes with the dies until you get the hang of things. You just have to pick the powder and bullet that'll match the dipper that you have. One thing I like about the Lee book when using the Lee dies and dippers, it lists the proper dipper to use in the book so it'll all kind of work together.

You can make it even simpler and just pick up a $25 Lee Loader like a lot of us did and load up decent ammo with it until you figure out if it's for you or not.

glockaviator
11-29-2011, 17:24
I started out with a $30 lee hand loader and now have about $1000 of stuff. Pretty typical. I have no idea if I've saved money or spent more than if I bought factory ammo.

But....I load for precision, 1000 yard, sniper rifle competition. I doubt that factory ammo would be good enough. (and I need all the help I can get).

F106 Fan
11-29-2011, 17:49
Initial equipment costs, even for a basic setup, seem a bit steep. Is there anywhere that offers a package deal with everything you'd need to start out, or is it a matter of piecing everything together? Right now I mostly shoot (and would reload for) .380 and 9mm, and I'm just trying to see how long it would take for me to come out ahead reloading, as opposed to just buying WWB as I have been.

All of the posts above make various assumptions about the quantity of ammo you plan to load. And you didn't say...

If you only shoot a couple of hundred rounds per month, a single stage press will do the job. But you better like reloading; you'll be spending a lot of time doing it. That RCBS Partner press (and kit) is very reasonable.

There are 3 people shooting my reloads and we might go through the better part of 1000 rounds every time we go out. That's not all that many when you think about it. Say 300 rounds per person. For Action Pistol, that's not a lot; 3 ten round magazines emptied out in a matter of seconds. I haven't shot IDPA competition yet but I understand it is a couple of hundred rounds - for each of us, for each monthly match; plus the prematch clinics. When I shot IPSC back in the early '80s, I would burn through about 500 rounds a week for practice and, at best, I was a mediocre local shooter. I'm still mediocre but I'm a lot older and slower with dubious eyesight so, in a way, I've improved; relatively.

Anticipated volume is everything. It affects the equipment choice in a huge way. I stated earlier that I only used my single stage press for a couple of weeks before I realized that it was inconsistent with my ammo usage. Today it would be insane to even try. The 550B is a great press but even it won't keep up with my grandson and his XD9; well, my attention span doesn't span far enough.

Richard

jfrey
11-29-2011, 18:44
If you reload .380 and 9mm I really suggest you check out the Dillon Square Deal B press. It is highly under rated and a good press for a beginner. The press runs around $370.00 and an extra set of dies is about $80.00. Unlike tha 550, it is an auto index machine which cuts down on the chances you could double charge a case. Get a powder like WSF or Unique that fills at least half the case so you can see if you over load one. I paid for my first SDB in about 3 months with the savings over factory ammo. Reloading is a little expensive up front but the pay out comes with the more loading you do. You don't have to get a single stage press to learn reloading. Just read the literature and the instructions that come with the press and you will be fine.