thinking about starting reloading

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by focusmaniaczx3, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. focusmaniaczx3

    focusmaniaczx3 Member

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    im starting to toy with the idea of starting to make my own ammunition. did alot of looking on youtube to see what is all involved and what not but after looking into prices for brass and the bullets and primer and what not im starting to think it might not really be worth it. i really would like to reload my brass when i use it but is it really worth it? i dont even know what brand to go with when buying new brass and bullets and im having trouble locating primer caps too. if anyone could point me in the right direction with all this i would greatly appreciate it. maby point me in the direction of some cheaper materials as well if there are any that are more affordable that dont sacrifice alot of quality. what do you use? thanks guys. you have all been awesome to me since i joined this forum!
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Whether it's worth it, pretty much depends on what you are loading.

    I used to buy 9mm by the case, because I couldn't load it for what I could buy it for. But the last ammo I saw a price on, for my 375 H&H, the sticker says 147 dollars, for 20 rounds. That's 7 and a half dollars a shot. I can load it lots cheaper than that. Even with premium bullets for a buck and a half each, I can still load for two dollars per, making 40 a box.

    I see 380 for anywhere from 30 to 50 dollars a box of 50. I can load it for less than 10. Definitely worth it.

    I buy most of my stuff from Graf and Sons. www.grafs.com
  3. cakes

    cakes New Member

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    My savings from reloading for the 500S&W can be calculated in 'dollars per round'.

    There are other reasons to reload. I load spire point .30-30 rounds and hunting loads for 7.62x39. I also load light loads for hard kickers like .338WM. Not having to pick from what's on the shelf and not worrying about ammo availability are also good reasons.


    But, hand loading ammunition is not for everyone. Do some more research to decide whether it is for you.

    I get almost all of my components locally, but they are available online.

    www.reloadersauction.com
    www.midsouthshooterssupply.com
    www.natchezss.com
    www.berrysmfg.com
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  4. focusmaniaczx3

    focusmaniaczx3 Member

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    where do you guys get your primers at now? im having trouble locating them and im not entirely sure what the difference is between small pistol primers and large pistol primers. at what caliber is the difference?
  5. focusmaniaczx3

    focusmaniaczx3 Member

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    i feel like such an idiot now. i was talking to my old man on the phone about this about an hour ago and he called me a dumbass because i wasnt thinking about casting my own bullets. i cannot believe i didnt think about that. im definitely going to start reloading. i also found a few places where you can get primers but im still not sure about the difference between small pistol primers and large pistol primers. i held a .32 and .45 next to each other and i swear the primers look to be the same size. what is the difference exactly? im sorry to nag guys, really but i just like to know this kind of stuff.

    also as an afterthought. how difficult is it to load your own .22 rimfires? i dont much like the idea of trying to use one of them in a press. i had one go off once from getting dropped about 3 feet onto a hardwood floor in my kitchen so you can understand why im kinda standoffish. however i very much like the idea of buying a few hundred tracer rounds and going ape **** with them in a drum on my 10/22 with the little "gatlin gun" crank one day except i cant find any boxes of tracer ammo for the .22 so i would have to load my own
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  6. carver

    carver Moderator

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    The first thing you need to do is to purcahse a good reloading manual. Then read it! The reloading manual will answer all of your questions. It will tell you when to use a small pistol primer, and when to use a large pistol primer. One example of what you can save by reloading is that I can reload .38 spcl., 148 gr. wad cutters for around $2.00 per box of 50. Or at least that's what it's costing me right now with components on hand. I haven't bought anything new in a while, and I don't even know what .38 spcl. is going for at this time. Getting low on 148 gr. Hornady XTP bullets, so I might find out soon!
  7. focusmaniaczx3

    focusmaniaczx3 Member

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    ill do that. buying a reloading manual and reading it cover to cover probably is the best thing i could do. ill see if i can find one at barns and noble tomorrow and if i cant ill just order one. for all my plinking needs i think ill be casting pretty much everything myself. what are everyones preferred casting molds for ball ammo? i think mostly ill cast rounds for .32apc .40s&w .45LC and 9mm luger as far as pistol ammo goes. ill probably cast ALOT of 7.62x39, .223, and 5.56 too
  8. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    The reloading manual is a must, try the Lyman 49th for a beginner its great. There's no other way to get into reloading without manuals. Once you have read one or two you will at least know the lingo around this forum and be able to really learn.

    My personal suggestion is that if you are looking at cranking out a bunch of ammo to go blasting don't start reloading. You need to start slow and commit a good amount of time into learning the procedures in a safe manner. I can't stress enough that one weekend of reading is not going to be sufficient to be a well informed, safe reloader. If you believe the course of reloading and learning is as interesting as range time than dig in and buy your manuals and start deciding on what reloading system is going to work best for your calibers. There are three; single stage, semi-progressive, and progressive. As you read your manuals you should find a little bit about them, you can then make your decision on a press that fits your needs and budget.
  9. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    You asked about reloading 22LR. You can't. Rimfire ammo is unreloadable, for the hobbyist.

    Small and Large Pistol primer difference is the diameter of the primer. Large Rifle is not just bigger around but also slightly taller than Small Rifle. Small Rifle and Pistol are the same size, but different "Hot" and different cup thicknesses, so are not interchangeable. Large Rifle and Pistol are the same diameter, but, as I said, LR is taller, plus the rifle is both harder and Hotter than the pistol, so they are not interchangeable.

    The swap-over for pistol is at 40 caliber. 25, 32 (all of 'em), 38 (all of 'em), 9mm (all of 'em) and 40 S&W are small. 10mm and up are large. EXCEPT. Some of the "non-toxic" 45 ACP uses small. Some foreign 45 uses small.

    Rifle swap-over is different. Most 22 Center Fire (Hornet, Bee, Wasp, Fireball, 222, 223, etc) are Small Rifle. I say most, because 22/250 case started as 300 Savage, so I think it's Large, and I think 220 Swift is Large. 30 M1 Carbine is small. 7.62 x 39, it depends on who made it. RP brass is Small, while Winchester is Large. Lapua is Small (I think). But just about all others use Large.
  10. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    Whether or not it makes 'sense' for you to reload (beyond the fact that it is an enjoyable hobby) depends a LOT on how much you realistically will shoot in a year - or a range session.

    Competition shooting can burn up thousands of rounds per month. One of my sons barely goes thru 4 boxes of .40 per YEAR. I suspect most 'recreational' shooters get to a range once or twice a month and not every month by a longshot. I fall into that category.

    I can easily keep up with my needs with a Lee single stage, though I upgraded to their turret. I find it a relaxing way to spend a few hours that would otherwise be coach-potatoed anyway and have new skill under my belt.
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    ha ha, the shocker!!! thats funny;)
  12. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    When i got all my equipment the only thing i needed was primers. I got out the phone book and started dialing. about the tenth business i called had about a thousand and i bought them all.
  13. focusmaniaczx3

    focusmaniaczx3 Member

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    thank you guys so much for all your info. it has been extremely extremely helpful. it looks like im going to be adopting a new hobby! by the way i spent all day huddled up in barn and noble reading all the info on this that i could lay my grubby hands on. i will be casting an easy 99% of the ammo i use. ill buy some hollow point bullets for my carry and some ballistic tips for my hunting rifles (both of which i will load) and the rest ill cast for those shoot random crap days. does anyone collect wheel balancing weights to melt down for bullets? a guy suggested that in a youtube video i watched and it sounds like a good idea. there are several places around here i could collect these from for free or next to nothing. probably 10-20lbs worth at a time
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  14. cakes

    cakes New Member

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    I would seriously consider getting set up to reload, and loading for a little while before you take on casting. The things that you learn while reloading will help you be a better caster when you are ready for that. And, if your first loads are with your own cast bullets, and something isn't working right, the troubleshooting will be a lot harder.

    Yes, you can use wheel weights. If you know you are going to end up casting you should start stocking up on them NOW. It won't be long before there are no more lead wheel weights.
  15. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Wheelweights are a fantastic source for bullet metal, They are just about the perfect alloy for less than 1000 fps shooting and are abundant. You have to watch out for those pesky zinc weights they are using now, just one inadvertently melted in a 20# pot will ruin the entire pot. Keep your melt temps below 700 degrees so the zinc weights wont melt and you can skim them off the melt. Lead melts at a nominal 666 degrees anything more is unnecessary as all the metals it alloys well with melt at lower temps. Good luck with your new hobby, and that shocker thing really cracks me up:D
  16. Insulation Tim

    Insulation Tim Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Much of your initial expense is a one time expense (Press, Dies, etc...the hardware).

    I started reloading a year ago for 3 reasons:

    1) I love gadgets;
    2) to assure a supply of 45 ACP;
    3) save money


    I started with the Lee Classic Single stage press which works extremely well once you figure it out. Use "youtube" to your advantage as the written directions will spin your head. I recently upgraded to a Dillon 550, though I'm not sure why. Classic example why I shouldn't be sitting at the computer on the internet, credit card in hand and a large glass of brandy in front of me.:D (Maybe they were throwing in free Ginzu knives).

    I primarily load 45 ACP and just added dies for 9mm.

    I figure that even with the increase in cost, I can load 45 ACP at 12 to 14 cents apiece. Let's say $ 13/100. WHEN, you can find 45 ACP around here, it is generally in the $50+/100.

    Your payback comes pretty quickly.
  17. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    excellent point tim, and these savings are compounded with rifle ammo as they usually cost more for less cartridges... most of my rifle ammo loaded with premium components costs around 60 cents per round. excellent compared to a buck and a half per shot for winchester supreme... yikes, and mine more accurate;) just a bonus:D
  18. focusmaniaczx3

    focusmaniaczx3 Member

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    well im going to be having my first experience casting and reloading tomorrow or the day after hopefully. i was talking to my uncle about it and a friend of his has pretty much the whole setup. its all the bone basic stuff and is old as hell (not a thing wrong with that) and is the same basic stuff i want for myself. we are heading over there monday for some target practice but im going to be doing all the casting and loading for all 3 of us, with a set of experienced eyes looming over my shoulder the whole time of course. he said we would be making .40 .45 and .357s and he just happens to have some .270 ballistic tips too. that's gonna make me smile when deer season comes around again next year.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  19. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    an experienced reloader at your disposal is probably the most valuable tool a beginning reloader can have. Use his knowledge wisely soak it like a sponge.
  20. old semperfi

    old semperfi New Member

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    i live in southern indiana,old country boy at hear
    when i first started reloading it was with a lee hand loader,im not sure if they still make them or not.you actually pounded a pin thru case to remove primer and pounded case in resizer to resize case.you needed only primers and powder to reload.this was pretty slow but i managed to learn on my own.i guess this was thirty years ago or so but i got hooked.i still can reload and save at least half or sometimes even more.try it you cant go wrong if you shoot much center fire.we will help you with any questions or problems old semperfi
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