Help getting started

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by WHSmithIV, May 6, 2012.

  1. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm totally new to reloading my own ammo. Can anyone tell me what I'll actually need to get started inexpensively?

    There is so much info out there and I've been reading so much of it that it would take me a 100 years to get through it all and I'd never even get one cartridge reloaded.

    To start with I'd like to reload .45 ACP and 30/30 cartridges.

    Will
  2. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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  3. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    That's about $470 with shipping charges... in order just to cover the initial cost would mean reloading over 1000 rounds....
  4. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Yup, you can go more expensive if you wish, but Lee Equipment is your best value.

    You will never save money handloading. You will save money per round, but you will end up shooting a **** load more. Cheaper by the bullet more expensive as a whole.

    A thousand rounds don't last long around here. Burn that up and then some monthly. Many handloaders burn that up weekly.
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  5. American Leader

    American Leader Well-Known Member

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    WELCOME ABOARD FROM THE GREAT STATE OF IOWA! If you shoot much at all it won't take long to shoot up 1,000 rounds.
  6. rcairflr

    rcairflr Well-Known Member

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    If you only shoot a couple rounds a year and not looking for accurate ammo through load developement, reloading may not be for you.

    I started reloading about 20 years ago and have shot thousands of rounds of reloaded ammo. Because of this I have shot more and saved a lot of money.

    If you are a life long shooter, the sooner you start reloading the better off you will be in the long run.

    Reloading isn't just about saving money on factory ammo.
  7. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    In my case, when it comes to .45 and 30/30 rounds I only expect to shoot around 500 rounds per year combined. I'll go through a lot more .22 rounds but .22 ammo is cheap anyway. My 30/30 is my hunting rifle and my .45 well that's my .45..... I'm always looking for C&R firearms but do not expect to put a lot of rounds through them. I'll probably need to hand load hard to find ammo at some point (which will be a different problem entirely).

    So, for all practical purposes and with limited space to use for setup (and a limited budget), I don't want to have to have a ton of equipment that is seldom used.
  8. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    First, Welcome to the forum from the across the pond. You've stumbled on a great place to be. There's lots of expertise here and people are quite happy to share their experience and knowledge.

    One of the first things you should do is read up on reloading. There are a number of resources...I have the Lee reloading book; others have the ABC's of Reloading. If you are near anyone who reloads pick their brains and try to get them to show you what they do.

    Jack404 has posted a stickey at the top of this part of the forum that has a link to a gold mine of material he has collected over many years. Some of it should help you.

    I too started on a tight budget.
    If you are patient, and keep your eyes open you may find some used equipment. That's how I got my press.

    The savings varies with the caliber and type of round you are reloading. I save about 50% on my .357 reloads and about 30% on my .223 reloads.

    However, the real bonus comes from being able to tailor your ammunition to your gun to get maximum precision/accuracy. You get a special satisfaction when you squeeze the trigger, the gun goes bang, and the bullet hits the x ring consistantly, knowing that "I made that". You are in control of the ammunition, not the factory.

    You also control how much ammunition you have when you want it. It doesn't matter if the local store is out or not...if you have the components, you can make your own ammo and don't have to wait for the store to restock.

    I have my reloading bench in the kitchen, because it is the only room without carpet, and it's on a desk that measures about 18"X40"; I'm not a heavy reloader (only about 3000 rounds in the last couple of years or so) so it serves the purpose well enough.

    I have found that reloading can be a relaxing process.
  9. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    Thanks BlackEagle,

    Looking for used equipment is exactly what I'm doing - There are a few on-line auction sites that have used presses continuously (some with extras also) so I'll start with getting a press with whatever it comes with at the best price I can find. Then I'll continue piecemeal. Other than calipers, a decent scale and the dies for the calibers I'll be hand loading I don't know what else I need. I also have to find a source for gunpowder and primers... casings and bullets seem to be easy enough to find on the net.
  10. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Reading up on the reloading process should help you with your shopping list. Seeing someone else's setup in operation will also help. I am using almost all the stuff I got at the outset.

    If you go with digital scales get a decent set. Mine measure .1 of a grain, but because of the electronics (they "think" in grams and "translate" to grains"), they miss out on some values--jump by .2 grain instead of .1 grain.

    There are some other threads in this section that suggest shopping lists for those just starting reloading.

    Also, remember, the only dumb question is the one not asked. Read a lot, ask a lot. We have all started out from zero and had to learn; we're just glad to pass on what we've learned.
  11. rcairflr

    rcairflr Well-Known Member

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    The savings depends on what grade of ammunition you are rating your reloads against.

    For .223 I reload with Hornady Vmax and Sierra Matchkings.

    A box of quality ammunition costs about $20, I can reload Vmax for $5.50 a box of 20 or Sierra Matchkings for $6.40 a box of 20.

    That gives me a savings of about 300%. Very substantial and more accurate than factory ammo.

    If you are loading cheap FMJ and comparing it to cheap FMJ .223 factory rounds. Then the savings isn't as substantial.
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  12. carver

    carver Moderator

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  13. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone for your input. I'm sure I'll be posting more questions once I have enough together to get started.

    Will
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