Tired of .39 cents a pop. What reloader? [Archive] - Glock Talk

PDA

View Full Version : Tired of .39 cents a pop. What reloader?


Backfire_Tx
09-29-2012, 12:24
Ok, i bought a Glock 23 back in May. Thought the "novelty" would wear off after a while, but its nearly October and it has not. I go out and shoot probably 70-100 rounds per week - practice various improvement of skills with gun. I make my "cheaper then dirt" store "ammo run" so much that the guy in there knows my kids first name.

Anyway, i have a glock 23 40. and want to reload for plinking my metal targets in an affordable way (my wife is starting to take notice of the checkbook drain)! I want to have similar loads to my SD 165's @ 1150 fps.

What reloader would you guys recommend for a newbie? also anyone know what the cost of reloading is per round - including the brass, primer etc? I then could figure the pay back of the equipment out.

michael e
09-29-2012, 12:31
RCBS has a calculator that you plug all the info in and it will tell you PPR , I couldn't get the app to work on my phone but on my computer it worked.
As for the brand no one will agree so it's really about how much you want to spend, I use Lee, its cheaper to start and has worked great for me for over 10 years.

Colorado4Wheel
09-29-2012, 12:35
http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1027887

After I wrote that I bought LnL and it was a total PITA. I now own a LCT and a 650. Having owned nearly every press in the sticky I would get a Dillon or a LCT.

Boxerglocker
09-29-2012, 12:54
70-100 rounds a week an LCT would fit your needs perfectly to start out with. You could easily cut you round cost by 50% or more even with inflated local gunstore component costs.

F106 Fan
09-29-2012, 12:56
Reloading only makes sense if you buy in volume.

Precision Delta 165 gr FMJ cost $120/1000 and there is a penalty if you don't buy in multiples of 2000. Not much of a penalty but nevertheless...

Find somebody else who wants the same bullets and split the cost.

So, the costs are
Bullet : $120/1000
Primer: $30/1000
Powder: $18/1000 in 1# cans. 8# cans are cheaper

TOTAL: $168/1000 or $0.168/round.

You can bring the cost down to around $0.12 if you shoot lead bullets. Whether you do this in a Glock barrel or change to an aftermarket barrel will depend on which side of the "shooting lead in a Glock barrel" debate you come down on.

If you shoot 5000 rounds per year, you stand to save $220/1000 or $1100 per year.

Now all you have to do is decide how much of that savings you want to invest in equipment and how much time you want to spend loading ammo. There is a pretty direct correlation between equipment cost and reloading speed.

At 100 rounds per week, even the least expensive single stage press will be adequate if you don't mind spending 2 or 3 hours reloading. With something like an LCT, you would spend about 30 minutes creating 100 reloads. On a Dillon 550 it would take about 12 minutes and on a Dillon 650, you would be done in 5.

Another thing to consider: After the equipment is paid for, the number of rounds reloaded will increase such that the total amount of $ spent on ammo will remain unchanged. You will just shoot twice as much. It just seems to work out that way...

Read the stickies - there is a lot of good information in them.

Richard

fredj338
09-29-2012, 13:47
Buy in some kind of bulk, you are reloading for 50% of cheap factory. For 100rds/wk, a Lee CT is fine, even a good single stage can do 100rds/wk in less than 2hrs total time. Get The ABC of Reloading, read it, get a good relaoding manual like the lyman or Speer, read it. You'll have a better idea of what you need vs want. IMO, cost of gear is never the issue. We all spend far more on the ammo & rarely put a though to the high cost. Not that it's needed, but a fully tricked 650 is under $1200. At 400rds of 40/m, you would pay for it in about 18m. SO unless you are planning a very short life, cost of quality gear is just not a big issue compared to expensive factory ammo.

Gpruitt54
09-29-2012, 14:01
I've been reloading slightly less than two months. I am no expert. I bought the Lee Classic turret press. I reload 9mm and .40 S&W. For the 9mm loads, my cost is .15 cents per round, that is about $8.00 per 50 round box. It breaks down like this:

1000 Cases Once fired @ $32.00
1000 primers @ $32.00
1000 bullets @ $82.00
1 LB of powder @21.00 using 4.3 grains per round

But, the biggest reason for doing, it is to get complete control over the performance of the rounds. I am not doing anything close to competition shooting. But, since I started reloading, my shot groups have improved by 30%. I could not believe the increase of my performance using the rounds I've produced.

I am still totally geeked over the being to make rounds. But, that's just me.

Anyway, understand that you are going have to work through issues with the rounds with you initially start. Believe me, I have been on this forum heavily, working through issues with my loads. But, there are some fantastic guys here that will help you get the best out of your reloading. Yeah, there is the expense of buying the gear and setting up and a space to reload. Those are one-time costs. After that, it's the costs of the consumables.

Here is something that an old timer told me; and I am passing it along. If you interested in learning how to make rounds and addressing the precision and details associated with the process, then by all means, learn to reload. But, If you are only interested in getting your hands on 1000 rounds, go and buy 1000 rounds.

Do it! You will be glad you did.

Clay1
09-29-2012, 14:08
What reloader would you guys recommend for a newbie? also anyone know what the cost of reloading is per round - including the brass, primer etc? I then could figure the pay back of the equipment out.

The same reloader that I would recomend for something that has reloaded for a while. If you look at both the national surveys from the two major action pistol sports: USPSA and IDPA the dominate reloader is a Blue one: Dillion. It's not even close on which reloader to choose:

In 2010, Dillion had 97% of the reloaders used by people that attended the nationals in USPSA Production/Limited tournament. In 2011 the results were virtually the same 96.7 %.

2010 IDPA Nationals Equipment survey: Dillion 196 machines, the next closest was 13.

Just buy a Dillion and forget it.

Gpruitt54
09-29-2012, 14:10
There are some reloading costs calculators for Smart phones. They do a really good job at letting see what your loads will cost based on the cost of the consumables:

Bullets
primers
Powder (Figuring out which one works best for you, can be challenge, but worthwhile.)
Cases

wrx04
09-29-2012, 14:21
My opinion:

Buy a dillon 650 w/ casefeeder
Buy 8lb jug of powder and 10k primers from powdervalley
Buy 2k 'once-fired' pieces of brass
Buy 2k of your favorite bullet from montana gold

I bought a 550 when i started, but i wish i would've bought the 650. Dillon makes a high quality machine and it's worth every penny. It seems like a large investment up front, but if you enjoy shooting and shoot often, it will be paid off in less than a year. Mine paid for itself within 6 months and is the best investment ive made when it comes to shooting. Good luck.

fredj338
09-29-2012, 14:23
There are some reloading costs calculators for Smart phones. They do a really good job at letting see what your loads will cost based on the cost of the consumables:

Bullets
primers
Powder (Figuring out which one works best for you, can be challenge, but worthwhile.)
Cases

Cases though don't really get factored properly unless you are leaving them behind. Case cost should be amortized over at least 8 reloads. Many, like 45acp, can be loaded in excess of 15X. This puts once fired cases at a cost of less than 1c/rd. Re suing th ecase is what makes reloading cost effective. If you are buying cases, then you might as well buy factory ammo.

countrygun
09-29-2012, 14:27
Reloading only makes sense if you buy in volume.

.

Richard

I assume you are referring to the OP's situation and not as an overall statement about reloading.

Gpruitt54
09-29-2012, 14:29
Here is my opportunity to vent on something. For all the hobbies I have been involved in order the years, there is one common factor and it's this.

People who have been doing the hobby for a while always try to convince a beginner to spend unnecessary sums on equipment intended for a more experienced hobbyists. I think I saw a post that reverenced people who compete in IPDA events. Yeah, sure. Those guys are likely, experienced shooters and reloaders. The guy who started this threat is considering starting to reload. He can do that without buying an expense reloading press. I understand that some gear is better than others. There is always something better. as an example, how would buy a 16 year old newly minted driver a 60,000.00 car? Even if you could afford it, it would be stupid to do so.

Start with a moderately prices turret press. On the other hand, I would not recommend a single stage press. It simply takes way to long to produce rounds that way.

Buy an expense press only after you've been loading a while and you've lived with the mid-priced gear for a while. I bought my Lee Classic and only the items I needed (not a kit) for a total of $234.00 on Ebay. So, If I discover that reloading is not for me, I have not tossed a silly amount of money at gear.

Oh, did I say that I am getting fantastic performance from the loads I make with my $234.00 totaly low-price gear.

Don't spend a lot at first. Do that later, after you have some milage on that cheaper gear

Gpruitt54
09-29-2012, 14:36
Cases though don't really get factored properly unless you are leaving them behind. Case cost should be amortized over at least 8 reloads. Many, like 45acp, can be loaded in excess of 15X. This puts once fired cases at a cost of less than 1c/rd. Re suing th ecase is what makes reloading cost effective. If you are buying cases, then you might as well buy factory ammo.

I agree. That is why I buy once fired cases. I am able to recover my brass at the range I use. So once I go through my brass for the second fired batch... Actually, I have no idea how to calculate the case costs for the second time fired.

How would that work? Do I take the cases out of the calculation all together at the second firing.

wrx04
09-29-2012, 14:53
Here is my opportunity to vent on something. For all the hobbies I have been involved in order the years, there is one common factor and it's this.

People who have been doing the hobby for a while always try to convince a beginner to spend unnecessary sums on equipment intended for a more experienced hobbyists. I think I saw a post that reverenced people who compete in IPDA events. Yeah, sure. Those guys are likely, experienced shooters and reloaders. The guy who started this threat is considering starting to reload. He can do that without buying an expense reloading press. I understand that some gear is better than others. There is always something better. as an example, how would buy a 16 year old newly minted driver a 60,000.00 car? Even if you could afford it, it would be stupid to do so.

Start with a moderately prices turret press. On the other hand, I would not recommend a single stage press. It simply takes way to long to produce rounds that way.

Buy an expense press only after you've been loading a while and you've lived with the mid-priced gear for a while. I bought my Lee Classic and only the items I needed (not a kit) for a total of $234.00 on Ebay. So, If I discover that reloading is not for me, I have not tossed a silly amount of money at gear.

I'm a fairly new reloader (<2 years) and i completely disagree with this statement. As long as you KNOW you enjoy shooting and plan to make it a long term hobby, i suggest you buy the best right off the bat. Buy once, cry once.

If you buy a 'middle-of-the-road press', i guarantee 6 months from now you will want to upgrade. This means you take a loss and deal with the hassle of selling, or you put the press away and never use it. Waste of $$ IMO.

Realistically, with the costs of guns, ammo, gear, range time, etc... even if you buy a 1050 with all the bells and whistles, that investment is a very small number relative to the cost of the hobby as a whole. This is especially true when you consider the press will eventually pay for itself.....sooner rather than later if you shoot a lot.

m2hmghb
09-29-2012, 15:04
Here is my opportunity to vent on something. For all the hobbies I have been involved in order the years, there is one common factor and it's this.

People who have been doing the hobby for a while always try to convince a beginner to spend unnecessary sums on equipment intended for a more experienced hobbyists. I think I saw a post that reverenced people who compete in IPDA events. Yeah, sure. Those guys are likely, experienced shooters and reloaders. The guy who started this threat is considering starting to reload. He can do that without buying an expense reloading press. I understand that some gear is better than others. There is always something better. as an example, how would buy a 16 year old newly minted driver a 60,000.00 car? Even if you could afford it, it would be stupid to do so.

Start with a moderately prices turret press. On the other hand, I would not recommend a single stage press. It simply takes way to long to produce rounds that way.

Buy an expense press only after you've been loading a while and you've lived with the mid-priced gear for a while. I bought my Lee Classic and only the items I needed (not a kit) for a total of $234.00 on Ebay. So, If I discover that reloading is not for me, I have not tossed a silly amount of money at gear.

Oh, did I say that I am getting fantastic performance from the loads I make with my $234.00 totaly low-price gear.

Don't spend a lot at first. Do that later, after you have some milage on that cheaper gear


Or you advise someone to buy something like a Lee Pro 1000 or a Lee Loadmaster that requires tinkering, they get so fed up with it that they give up on reloading. I suggest the Lee Classic Turret or the cast version of it as the cheapest, no sense with a single stage for handgun reloading, and in reality unless I'm doing extremely accurate loads I use the 550 for rifle reloading.

Oh and another thought, you get a better ROI on the dillon presses, they retain their value better then other presses.

F106 Fan
09-29-2012, 15:05
I assume you are referring to the OP's situation and not as an overall statement about reloading.

Specific to the case at hand - 100 or so .40s per week. That's the topic.

If a person just wants to experiment with a pound of powder and 1000 primers, sure, buy locally.

But once they have settled on a brand of primers and perhaps a specific powder, they should consider ordering a large enough quantity that the cost savings will cover the $27.50 HazMat fee from Powder Valley. It isn't hard!

This applies to pistol and precision rifle. 8# of IMR 4064 will only load about 1300 .308 rounds. That's a lot through a bolt action rifle but for the same $, I can only get about half as much powder locally. So, the second 600 loads are free! If I ever start loading for my M1A, that 8# can will drain out pretty quick!

Same with primers. If I buy in lots of 5k, I save at least half the cost of locally purchased primers. Sure, 5k Federal Match LR primers are going to last a LONG time but the second 2500 are free!

The problem is, as always, cash flow. Is it worth tying money up in supplies that won't be used in the next week, month, year or decade? With all the uncertainty around, I prefer to have supplies that will cover me for a very long time.

For me, the higher volume makes all the sense in the world when I consider pistol. 10k of primers seems like a lot but it won't last a year. 8# of powder seems outrageous but it only loads 11,000 rounds.

Each reloader needs to evaluate the costs and cash flow. I would rather have bullets than cash!

Richard


Richard

Gpruitt54
09-29-2012, 15:07
I'm a fairly new reloader (<2 years) and i completely disagree with this statement. As long as you KNOW you enjoy shooting and plan to make it a long term hobby, i suggest you buy the best right off the bat. Buy once, cry once.

If you buy a 'middle-of-the-road press', i guarantee 6 months from now you will want to upgrade. This means you take a loss and deal with the hassle of selling, or you put the press away and never use it. Waste of $$ IMO.

Realistically, with the costs of guns, ammo, gear, range time, etc... even if you buy a 1050 with all the bells and whistles, that investment is a very small number relative to the cost of the hobby as a whole. This is especially true when you consider the press will eventually pay for itself.....sooner rather than later if you shoot a lot.

The operative word is IF.

I understand what you are saying. I don't totally disagree; only partially.

Ebay is full of expensive; all in; experiments that did not work out as planned, ending with selling the gear at a loss. For me it's a philosophy. Once I am convinced of the longevity of any endeavor, it is at that point, I will consider buying the high-end, but not before I've made that calculation.

I've been reloading for almost 2 months. We'll see if I feel compelled to buy a more expensive press sooner rather than later. I have nothing to gauge against. No one I know reloads.

F106 Fan
09-29-2012, 15:10
My opinion:

Buy a dillon 650 w/ casefeeder
Buy 8lb jug of powder and 10k primers from powdervalley
Buy 2k 'once-fired' pieces of brass
Buy 2k of your favorite bullet from montana gold

I bought a 550 when i started, but i wish i would've bought the 650. Dillon makes a high quality machine and it's worth every penny. It seems like a large investment up front, but if you enjoy shooting and shoot often, it will be paid off in less than a year. Mine paid for itself within 6 months and is the best investment ive made when it comes to shooting. Good luck.

I would certainly look at Precision Delta for bullets. They are cheaper than Montana Gold.

Richard

F106 Fan
09-29-2012, 15:20
Or you advise someone to buy something like a Lee Pro 1000 or a Lee Loadmaster that requires tinkering, they get so fed up with it that they give up on reloading. I suggest the Lee Classic Turret or the cast version of it as the cheapest, no sense with a single stage for handgun reloading, and in reality unless I'm doing extremely accurate loads I use the 550 for rifle reloading.

Oh and another thought, you get a better ROI on the dillon presses, they retain their value better then other presses.

^^^^^ I agree with this 100%

Reloading isn't much of a hobby. SHOOTING is the hobby and reloading makes it possible. I absolutely guarantee that if you don't shoot, you won't reload.

So the question isn't whether a person LIKES reloading. If they want to shoot in quantity, they better learn to at least tolerate it!

The way to make it tolerable is to have decent equipment. In terms of production rate, I would consider the Lee Classic Turret as the absolute bottom end for pistol reloading equipment. With the LCT it is possible to crank out a couple of hundred rounds per hour for an investment less than $300. That's about $200 for the Kempf kit, $70 for the Dillon Eliminator scale and a few bucks for gadgets.

Buying $600 worth of factory ammo (about 33 boxes) will have paid for the equipment and the components to reload.

Richard

Backfire_Tx
09-29-2012, 16:25
I have got a bunch of it in here, will go through comments and do more research. Last time i did this on the forum, it was trying to figure out a holster. Got great input that saved me a bundle (did not have to pile my holster collect in closet as i struck out one by one). Appreciate the advice.

Colorado4Wheel
09-29-2012, 16:26
I am on my second LCT. Should never have sold the first one. To me it compliments my 650 perfectly. For my seldom used calibers all I have to do is buy a set of dies and a $10 turrent and I am loading my own. I wouldn't want to load 1000 a week on it but it's a very versatile press.

Gpruitt54
09-29-2012, 16:45
Or you advise someone to buy something like a Lee Pro 1000 or a Lee Loadmaster that requires tinkering, they get so fed up with it that they give up on reloading. I suggest the Lee Classic Turret or the cast version of it as the cheapest, no sense with a single stage for handgun reloading, and in reality unless I'm doing extremely accurate loads I use the 550 for rifle reloading.

Oh and another thought, you get a better ROI on the dillon presses, they retain their value better then other presses.

I currently use a Lee Classic turret press. Before I purchased the press, I read other forums and I've heard this tinkering phrase used. I guessing this is comething that users of other presses like to use to describe other products. I can tell you, that in the two months I've been using the Lee Classic, the so-called inkering phrase seems to be nothing more than a myth. Or, a slight. Maybe you can define what this phrase means to you. My actual day-to-day experience with the Lee Classic Turret is; you install it, and you use it. It works, and it works well. It's producing excellent rounds. and my shooting had bever been better.

I don't own the other presses you mentioned.

m2hmghb
09-29-2012, 17:27
I currently use a Lee Classic turret press. Before I purchased the press, I read other forums and I've heard this tinkering phrase used. I guessing this is comething that users of other presses like to use to describe other products. I can tell you, that in the two months I've been using the Lee Classic, the so-called inkering phrase seems to be nothing more than a myth. Or, a slight. Maybe you can define what this phrase means to you. My actual day-to-day experience with the Lee Classic Turret is; you install it, and you use it. It works, and it works well. It's producing excellent rounds. and my shooting had bever been better.

I don't own the other presses you mentioned.

I didn't say the turret required tinkering, that's why I recommend it. If you look at reviews the lee progressives are some of the lowest rating, they require more user intervention then the others. More things to adjust and so on.

With a Dillon the only annoying thing I've ever had to deal with is the primer setup, sometimes I'll deprime them and prime using a hand tool, it just depends on my mood.

fredj338
09-29-2012, 17:46
I currently use a Lee Classic turret press. Before I purchased the press, I read other forums and I've heard this tinkering phrase used. I guessing this is comething that users of other presses like to use to describe other products. I can tell you, that in the two months I've been using the Lee Classic, the so-called inkering phrase seems to be nothing more than a myth. Or, a slight. Maybe you can define what this phrase means to you. My actual day-to-day experience with the Lee Classic Turret is; you install it, and you use it. It works, and it works well. It's producing excellent rounds. and my shooting had bever been better.

I don't own the other presses you mentioned.

Yeah, no one has serious issues w/ the LCT other than maybe priming. It's why the only Lee press I will recommend is the LCT or the Classic Cast ss, the rest, junk IMO. Buy quality gear once, you'll have it for decades. Hate reloading, quality gear has higher resale than junk.:dunno:
As to amortizing cost of brass, not that it matters, but I just take my cost of once fired & divide by 8. I get at least 8X reloaded for handgun & most rifle. FL sized 223, maybe 8, maybe.

RustyFN
09-29-2012, 18:39
If you buy a 'middle-of-the-road press', i guarantee 6 months from now you will want to upgrade.

You would lose that bet with a lot of people, not all of us are the same as you. I have been loading on a Lee classic turret for six years and think it's a great press. I recently bought a Dillon 550 to speed up a couple of calibers. I still use the classic turret as much as the 550.

sellersm
09-29-2012, 19:00
The Lee Classic Turret (cast, of course) is one press that can stay on the reloading bench long after it's been "upgraded and replaced"! Its ability to be used as a SS press, and it's ability to do very economical caliber changes and produce 'low volume' amounts of other calibers, makes it a very worthwhile investment!

In today's economy, at least around here, there's no such thing as a "lost investment" when it comes to reloading gear of any brand.

wrx04
09-29-2012, 19:09
If you buy a 'middle-of-the-road press', i guarantee 6 months from now you will want to upgrade.

You would lose that bet with a lot of people, not all of us are the same as you. I have been loading on a Lee classic turret for six years and think it's a great press. I recently bought a Dillon 550 to speed up a couple of calibers. I still use the classic turret as much as the 550.

Fair enough. That was MY experience....others may be different. I still feel that you cant go wrong buying the better press from the start, even though you may not [I]need[I] it at the time.

It really depends on how much you shoot, but even you upgraded.....even if it was after 6 years.

norton
09-29-2012, 19:20
I don't have any experience with the LCT, but people on here seem to like it so it must be a good piece.
I am from the school of thought that everyone needs a quality single stage.
I use my Rock Chucker for sizing cast bullets, I still deprime and resize on it (it makes my Dillon 550 run smoother and cleaner)
You can pull bullets with it.
I also load my rifle rounds with it.
Whatever you decide, welcome to the sickness.

Colorado4Wheel
09-29-2012, 20:38
My opinion:

Buy a dillon 650 w/ casefeeder
Buy 8lb jug of powder and 10k primers from powdervalley
Buy 2k 'once-fired' pieces of brass
Buy 2k of your favorite bullet from montana gold

I bought a 550 when i started, but i wish i would've bought the 650. Dillon makes a high quality machine and it's worth every penny. It seems like a large investment up front, but if you enjoy shooting and shoot often, it will be paid off in less than a year. Mine paid for itself within 6 months and is the best investment ive made when it comes to shooting. Good luck.

This is good advice. You should buy his 550 so he can get a 650.

shotgunred
09-29-2012, 20:45
Here is my opportunity to vent on something. For all the hobbies I have been involved in order the years, there is one common factor and it's this.

People who have been doing the hobby for a while always try to convince a beginner to spend unnecessary sums on equipment intended for a more experienced hobbyists. I think I saw a post that reverenced people who compete in IPDA events. Yeah, sure. Those guys are likely, experienced shooters and reloaders. The guy who started this threat is considering starting to reload. He can do that without buying an expense reloading press. I understand that some gear is better than others. There is always something better. as an example, how would buy a 16 year old newly minted driver a 60,000.00 car? Even if you could afford it, it would be stupid to do so.

Start with a moderately prices turret press. On the other hand, I would not recommend a single stage press. It simply takes way to long to produce rounds that way.

Buy an expense press only after you've been loading a while and you've lived with the mid-priced gear for a while. I bought my Lee Classic and only the items I needed (not a kit) for a total of $234.00 on Ebay. So, If I discover that reloading is not for me, I have not tossed a silly amount of money at gear.

Oh, did I say that I am getting fantastic performance from the loads I make with my $234.00 totaly low-price gear.

Don't spend a lot at first. Do that later, after you have some milage on that cheaper gear

I agree! It is much easier for someone to try reloading with a cheaper setup. The classic turret is the best buy for giving reloading a try. Just don't be surprised if your lee press is sitting in the corner with 10 years of dust on it like mine is. Would it have been cheaper if I just started with a 650?
YES!
But I bought as much press as I was willing to at any given time. Heck I kept my lee but couldn't get rid of the hornady quick enough. I also had a 550 for several years. Of course if you want a used 650 I would be willing to sell you mine. :cool:That is the only way I could justify buying a 1050.

Of course i don't need a 1050 or even my 650. Like 80% of the people out there the Dillon 550 is all the press I will ever need. If you can afford it the 550 is the way to go. If you can't or won't then the Lee Classic turret is your next best bet.

Colorado4Wheel
09-29-2012, 20:51
So the Lee Classic Cast is NOT a cheap press. It's nearly the price of a Load Master and way more the a Pro 1000. It's no 550 but it's a good value and a good press for the money.

TX Archer
09-29-2012, 21:56
Of course i don't need a 1050 or even my 650. Like 80% of the people out there the Dillon 550 is all the press I will ever need. If you can afford it the 550 is the way to go. If you can't or won't then the Lee Classic turret is your next best bet.
This is good advice and exactly where I fall. After reading and pondering for months, I chose to suck it up and pay more to start with the 550 over the LCT. I just couldn't justify the cost of the 650. I'm at the one year mark and have loaded about 12,000 rounds on it. I often find myself wishing I had a 650 but have no real need for it. The 550 does everything I need it to do and it's a quality piece of equipment.

PsychoKnight
09-30-2012, 05:50
There's never any point in buying junk. But I think entry level should be midrange quality for most items (within the same category of equipment).

However, on the amortization issue, it can also go the other way. If someone becomes an enthusiastic and lifetime shooter, the equipment cost doesn't make much difference whether they start with an accessorized 650 or a stout SS, or LCT. They don't cry multiple times. They get excited about the next gadget to further their hobby and the money spent is not much different than it would be on the next firearm purchase. Long term shooters don't complain about the money they spend each time they buy a new gun - same thing each time they upgrade their reloading gear. They talk about how happy they are, not how much they spent. So, its okay for a new shooter to start with slower, more modest equipment.
Upgrading should not be viewed as a waste of money comparing to buying a mini-factory up front.

dstanley66
09-30-2012, 06:16
The high prices on ammo is way I started reloading a few months ago on a RCBS rock chuncker, it works great just a little slow if you are in no hurry, but I can already see I will be upgrading some time next year, good luck.

F106 Fan
09-30-2012, 07:52
There's never any point in buying junk. But I think entry level should be midrange quality for most items (within the same category of equipment).

However, on the amortization issue, it can also go the other way. If someone becomes an enthusiastic and lifetime shooter, the equipment cost doesn't make much difference whether they start with an accessorized 650 or a stout SS, or LCT. They don't cry multiple times. They get excited about the next gadget to further their hobby and the money spent is not much different than it would be on the next firearm purchase. Long term shooters don't complain about the money they spend each time they buy a new gun - same thing each time they upgrade their reloading gear. They talk about how happy they are, not how much they spent. So, its okay for a new shooter to start with slower, more modest equipment.
Upgrading should not be viewed as a waste of money comparing to buying a mini-factory up front.

Interesting argument and all true, of course.

However, every $ spent on reloading equipment can't be spent on buying more guns or components. The argument can also be made to buy enough press the first time so that, in the longer run, there is more money for guns.

Every person's situation is different. Some have serious $ constraints, others worry about whether they will like reloading, still others are on again, off again, shooters, and so on. All the group can do is offer differing opinions, and the more the merrier, letting each newcomer decide for themselves.

But sometimes I wish the newcomers would take a longer view of reloading. They're going to be reloading as long as they're going to be shooting and that might be decades.

Richard

shotgunred
09-30-2012, 08:33
In this thread people are talking about price but not how much you reload. So I broke out the calculator.
If you reload for 30 minutes a day average you would get.

Lee Classic Turret 875 rounds a week 4550 a year.
Dillon 550 1925 rounds a week 10,0100 a year.
Dillon 650 3500 rounds a week 18,0200 a year.

For me this is the spot I would start looking at the next press. Like a lot of people I averaged 12 to 15 K a year with the 550 with no problem. It just took longer. But almost anyone can spare a half an hour out of their day.

RustyFN
09-30-2012, 09:10
Interesting argument and all true, of course.

However, every $ spent on reloading equipment can't be spent on buying more guns or components. The argument can also be made to buy enough press the first time so that, in the longer run, there is more money for guns.

Every person's situation is different. Some have serious $ constraints, others worry about whether they will like reloading, still others are on again, off again, shooters, and so on. All the group can do is offer differing opinions, and the more the merrier, letting each newcomer decide for themselves.

But sometimes I wish the newcomers would take a longer view of reloading. They're going to be reloading as long as they're going to be shooting and that might be decades.

Richard

Yes but then If starting with the 650 is the way to go and buy once cry once then why do we see so many threads from people that started that way wanting to know what press to buy for smaller quantities and load development.

F106 Fan
09-30-2012, 09:23
It seems to me that 30 minutes a day is like a chore. Like doing the dishes, feeding the dogs, taking out the trash. Something I would need to do every day.

I don't want another chore. I want to spend about an hour loading for a week and if I don't shoot the next week, I don't have to reload either.

I'm in favor of the fastest machine available. I want reloading over and done with. I might spend most of a day reloading but I don't want to have to come back to it for months. Maybe I'll load 2k to 5k rounds in a batch and maybe I'll stock 10k or so. Reloading isn't my hobby, shooting is my hobby. I want reloading over and done with.

Oddly, I enjoy making precision rifle ammo. It takes a long time to make but 50 rounds is a big day at the range. I made 50 .308 168 gr HPBT the other day and I'll probably make 50 .308 175 gr HPBT tomorrow. The 168 gr is to shoot in my SSG and the 175 gr will be used to break in the barrel on my new Rem 700.

As there are differing financial considerations, there are also differing points of view about time spent reloading. My solution is to spend the money and get the speed.

Richard

F106 Fan
09-30-2012, 09:37
Yes but then If starting with the 650 is the way to go and buy once cry once then why do we see so many threads from people that started that way wanting to know what press to buy for smaller quantities and load development.

I haven't seen too many threads where folks have high rate machines and want to downgrade. "I want to trade my 650 for a 550 and change!". Not going to happen!

What I have seen is people wanting to branch out from pistol loading to something like precision rifle. Or maybe they want a single stage for swaging bullets or some other specific application.

I just bought a Redding T7 for precision rifle because it is just a lot more convenient than my RCBS single stage press. It's nice to have all the dies in one place. But I want to trickle the charges and while I could do that on a 650 (or one of my 550s), there is no speed penalty using the T7. I have to wait on the Chargemaster anyway.

I don't think I have ever seen a complaint about a machine being too fast. "Darn, I ran out of primers again! I got to get a slower machine!".

I have also seen threads where folks just don't want to pay for the conversion kits for faster presses (like I don't want to convert my 1050) and they decide that, for some low volume cartridge, they can get by with something else.

I feel the same way. I load a thousand or so .38 HBWCs per year. I don't know that it is worth the money to convert my 650 when I have a 550 sitting in storage. I can just clamp the 550 to something, load the cartridges and be done with it. I just don't shoot the S&W 52 all that often.

I have seen plenty of threads where people want to move from single stage presses to almost anything else. There is even the odd thread where somebody moves from an LCT to a 550.

Richard

Colorado4Wheel
09-30-2012, 09:42
The answer is to buy the fastest machine that you can afford. Most people don't have unlimited budget or time. The reality is that if you shoot regularly you can afford at least a LCT and most likely a 550. But instead they focus on the $200 difference in price between the 550 and the LCT. Or auto index vs manual index. The reality is none of that really matters. In the end if $200 really matters get the LCT for pistol or a SS for rifle and be happy, if you can swing it get the 550 and just start loading. If you want the fastest most reliable press for high volume get the 650. You will spend way more but for some it's clearly worth it. If all you ever want to do is make some pistol ammo and never want to load rifle the SDB is a decent choice. Spend as much as you can. You will be happier in the long run.

shotgunred
09-30-2012, 09:44
It seems to me that 30 minutes a day is like a chore. Like doing the dishes, feeding the dogs, taking out the trash. Something I would need to do every day.

I don't want another chore. I want to spend about an hour loading for a week and if I don't shoot the next week, I don't have to reload either.


As there are differing financial considerations, there are also differing points of view about time spent reloading. My solution is to spend the money and get the speed.

Richard
But not everyone is like you. I liked reloading on the 550 much better than the 650. I found it relaxing. Not a chore. With the 650 I am done to soon.

F106 Fan
09-30-2012, 11:02
Some people take reloading as an opportunity to sneak off and get some peace and quiet. Maybe just take a break from the ratrace and relax over something enjoyable.

Others, such as myself, spend all their days by themselves. I'm retired and my wife works (thankfully!) so escapism isn't much of an issue. I reload in the garage so all I have to do is time it for when it isn't too hot or too cold. Right now, early mornings works pretty well; right after I walk the dogs. In the winter, I putter around in the afternoon.

We all have different equations for time versus money. But I still think the LCT is the minimum configuration for pistol reloading. Even with someone else's money.

Richard

Boxerglocker
09-30-2012, 11:25
I have seen plenty of threads where people want to move from single stage presses to almost anything else. There is even the odd thread where somebody moves from an LCT to a 550.

Richard

:agree: Let's face it as someone once said in a previous thread... If speed didn't matter we would all be loading on single stages.
I for one prioritize my set-up configuration to MINIMIZE the time I need to spend at the bench.

fredj338
09-30-2012, 12:48
Fair enough. That was MY experience....others may be different. I still feel that you cant go wrong buying the better press from the start, even though you may not [I]need[I] it at the time.

It really depends on how much you shoot, but even you upgraded.....even if it was after 6 years.
Agian, few of us need a 650, but it gives you options. Go fast, go slow, I like having options. Without a case feeder, it's a great auto indexing press, but no faster than it's little brother the 550B. A 550 is about all the press 90%+ of the reloaders need. Even a LNL can be made to run well enough for the 90% that want a good progressive press. Buying anything that causes me problems or issues is just not how I choose to spend my money & I don't recommend it to anyone else either, but hey, it's not my money either. I have never regretted buying quality tools in any fashion. :dunno:
But instead they focus on the $200 difference in price between the 550 and the LCT. Or auto index vs manual index.
This is so true. Looking solely at cost of equip is miopic. Consider that $200 is what, 500rds of factory 9mm? Most would happpily rush down to Waly & plop down $200 for their months worth of 9mm but baulk @ paying $200 more for better reloading gear!? It's just stupid economics. Consider reloading at least a 10yr investment, Even a $1200 tricked out 650 will only cost you two gal of gas a month. What is your time worth? EVen though it's a hobby, my time has some value when it comes down to buying vs making. SO better gear gets the job done sooner.

Backfire_Tx
09-30-2012, 15:17
Reloading only makes sense if you buy in volume.

Precision Delta 165 gr FMJ cost $120/1000 and there is a penalty if you don't buy in multiples of 2000. Not much of a penalty but nevertheless...

Find somebody else who wants the same bullets and split the cost.

So, the costs are
Bullet : $120/1000
Primer: $30/1000
Powder: $18/1000 in 1# cans. 8# cans are cheaper

TOTAL: $168/1000 or $0.168/round.

You can bring the cost down to around $0.12 if you shoot lead bullets. Whether you do this in a Glock barrel or change to an aftermarket barrel will depend on which side of the "shooting lead in a Glock barrel" debate you come down on.

If you shoot 5000 rounds per year, you stand to save $220/1000 or $1100 per year.

Now all you have to do is decide how much of that savings you want to invest in equipment and how much time you want to spend loading ammo. There is a pretty direct correlation between equipment cost and reloading speed.

At 100 rounds per week, even the least expensive single stage press will be adequate if you don't mind spending 2 or 3 hours reloading. With something like an LCT, you would spend about 30 minutes creating 100 reloads. On a Dillon 550 it would take about 12 minutes and on a Dillon 650, you would be done in 5.

Another thing to consider: After the equipment is paid for, the number of rounds reloaded will increase such that the total amount of $ spent on ammo will remain unchanged. You will just shoot twice as much. It just seems to work out that way...

Read the stickies - there is a lot of good information in them.

Richard

Perfect - just the data i was looking for. Just need to decide if time savings is worth the money increase for a Dillon 550. Time is very limited for me these days. Richard thanks.

F106 Fan
09-30-2012, 15:23
Perfect - just the data i was looking for. Just need to decide if time savings is worth the money increase for a Dillon 550. Time is very limited for me these days. Richard thanks.

I wonder if the reverse psychology works: Plan on a 650 and step back to a 550 in the interest of saving money.

I'm good at spending other people's money!

Richard

shotgunred
09-30-2012, 15:38
Perfect - just the data i was looking for. Just need to decide if time savings is worth the money increase for a Dillon 550. Time is very limited for me these days. Richard thanks.

If the difference in cost between the LCT and the Dillon 550 is not the determining factor for you then don't hesitate buy the 550! That $200 buys you double the output, a forever warranty, A much better priming system and a better charging system. The only real reason to start with the LCT is the difference in money.

Colorado4Wheel
09-30-2012, 15:55
If the difference in cost between the LCT and the Dillon 550 is not the determining factor for you then don't hesitate buy the 550! That $200 buys you double the output, a forever warranty, A much better priming system and a better charging system. The only real reason to start with the LCT is the difference in money.

Exactly.

But I did buy a LCT simply to load my seldom used calibers instead of switching over my 650.

F106 Fan
09-30-2012, 15:57
But I did buy a LCT simply to load my seldom used calibers instead of switching over my 650.

A very few 650 caliber conversions will buy an LCT. Why not?

Richard