reloading info

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by billc, May 6, 2011.

  1. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Since I do enjoy shooting and taking my son shooting was thinking of starting to reload.Would you say the cost of getting the reloading equ. be worth it to just buying factory rounds.Just got my cableas flyer and they have a rcbs rocker deluxe reloading kit.Looks like it may come with everything but the case cleaner.The kit cost 699.99 plus 70.00 for the case cleaner.Is there anything eles you guys who reload can not do with out for reloading.What kind of price would you say each round cost to reload minus of coarse the equ. cost just cost with bullet,powder,primer.If someone could give me a list of most have for reloading that would be great then I can make sure the kit has what I need .I use to reload shotgun shells for shooting trap and did save some money.Just looks like reloading rifle ammo is more to do and not as easy.I do think the reloading would add to my enjoyment in the hunt to.
     
  2. Mark H. Young

    Mark H. Young AH Senior Member

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    billc,

    I've reloaded for many years now and I don't think reloading is something to get into unless you find ballistics and loading components to be equally as interesting as some really hot porn. It's not something I'd recommend if your goal is primarily to save money. If you get into reloading you'll find yourself on a regular basis carrying home hundreds of dollars worth of components you may never use because you MIGHT use them someday. Reloading is a terrible afflixion. Don't do it!!!!
     
  3. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    +1, for Mark Young, it's a terrible disease!
     
  4. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I must respectfully disagree with the above by Mark though he may have his tongue firmly planted in cheek. Not only will you save money, especially if you shoot a lot, but there is a real satisfaction in rolling your own. Its a fun hobby and much can be learned from it regarding ballistics etc. Its hard to break down the savings per round and I have never tried. But all one has to do is look at the price of factory ammo and you know you can beat that, especially now that it has gotten a lot more expensive to make but also to ship with hazmat fees etc. I dont know if I would lay out 700 bucks to get started unless you're rolling in dough, you can buy a press, a scale (digital), a case trimmer, lube and pad a few other items for lots less. The Chucker is a fine press, been using one for over 30 years but its not the only good press out there. If you plan to load some big rounds, you might try to get a press with a big opening as trying to snake the longer rounds up into the die is sometimes a pain with a shorter press. If you like ballistics and have the time to spend at the loading bench, go for it. If you have loads of dough and dont mind paying premium for all your ammo thats fine too.
     
  5. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    would not only do it to save some money but to get the must out of the guns.I enjoy just shooting at the range also.With it being me and my son now that he is older we can go through some rounds in a weekend.I like to shoot what I hunt with not just shoot some junk that I found on sale.So if the cost is good and ammo better then looks like something I would like to explore.Now if you guys are nice you can give me the short list of stuff and spare me some pain.LOL If you have any magic round you like to load for a 270 win. or 7mm wtby mag,300 win mag
     
  6. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    What is the best way to get started then.I dont have cash just falling out of my pockets but was not sure if that was a good deal on that kit.Would rather spend 700 now then 900 if I am going to end up with all that stuff down the road.Like I was not sure if I really need that case cleaner or not.
     
  7. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Well I have a friend that uses the "The Classic Lee Loader" for $22.99 and has good luck with it!

    But looking a the Rock Chucker Supreme Deluxe Reloading Kit and it looks pretty good too. I have a Rock Chucker Kit and it works well for me. You can add accessories as you go along.

    It's hard to pick a system...
     
  8. TerryR

    TerryR AH Veteran

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    I would suggest that you start with a kit. You have to buy dies for the caliber that you want to load plus powder, primers and bullets. I would wait until you read the manual that comes with the kit before I bought powder or bullets, start with a load that is in the manual and don't go above their max load. I suggest that before cleaning the old brass,buy some new brass for your first few times. I don't know what caliber that you usually shoot but I would start off with something that is easy for you to shoot off the bench, as you will be shooting for groups as you try different loads. You will also probably invest in a chronograph pretty soon as you will want to know what kind of velocity you are getting. I began reloading because I bought a 404 Jeffery a few years ago and factory ammo was virtually nonexistant. I discovered that I enjoy it. I use a simple single stage press -rcbs- and it works fine. I also like a hand primimg tool as opposed to using the primer on the press, but that's just personal preference. There are lots of vedios on youtube that will cover the basics.
     
  9. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    I agree that saving $$$ is not a great reson for the average shooter to take up reloading. However if you shoot alot and go about it right you can do just that.

    The real advantages to reloading are being able to choose the premium bullet you would like to use, work up an accurate load and hunt with this combo. Then to save $$$ at the range work up a load of similar ballistics using a cheap bullet such as Sierra matchking or Nosler ballistic tips and shoot for a fraction of the cost. Still it takes alot of shooting to offset initial setup costs.

    As for equipment the RCBS rock chucker is almost the standard in presses but I purchased a Lyman Orange crusher press (much cheaper) just for crimping (to save time) and found it to be every bit as good as the Rock Chucker, if I had it to do over I would have saved a few bucks by buying an orange crusher when I first set myself up.

    If you shoot a semi-auto you will need to full length resize otherwise by a Lee collet neck size die kit it is much easier to use, requires no greasy time consuming case lube and will extend the life of your cases.

    If you reload alot you will find that an electronic scale is invaluable (you will wonder how you ever got along without it) however when starting out save yourself some cash and get a manual charge thrower and balance beam scale.

    Also when calculating reloading costs many do not add in casings, they do not last forever. Plan on 5-10 reloadings depending on how hot your loads are.

    I personally love reloading, working up new loads, playing with this and that. It is a great hobby if that is what you are looking for.
    Enjoy
    Derek
     
  10. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Bill I do not save any money on reloading really.
    I get the best bullet that works in my gun, that is the only reason I reload.
    This "affliction" was started by a friend of mine and then I inherited a pile of reloading equipment and just had to use it.
    To tell you the truth until this Africa trip I was able to find quality shells on the shelf for local hunting that worked well. As soon as I went to the premium loads for this trip, I did get better results from my shotgun. So, reloading it is...

    Time and patience
    Lee Press: full case resize, bullet seater
    Tumbler and media
    Powder Scale, power or other
    Powder trickler, power or otherwise
    Case Trimmer, hand or otherwise
    Caliper- Lee Valley had good ones cheap.
    Flash hole uniformer
    case length gauge for each caliber you want to play with
    Campher tool, just because you have too much time on your hands.
    Primer pocket reamer
    Funnel to load the shells
    Case holders
    "One shot" case lube
    Shell boxes, lots for the different loads
    A DIARY to write it all down. What actually works or does not.
    Make a dummy round after you figure out what length works best for each bullet/ cartridge so you do not have to go through it all over again when you set the press up for subsequent sessions.



    Recipe's for my 270:
    Barnes MRX BT 150 grain
    Powder: 55.5 grains of RL 19
    Remington Brass
    Federal Match Primers

    Barnes TTSX BT 130 grain
    Powder: 54 grains of H4350
    Remington Brass
    Federal Match Primers
     
  11. WST416

    WST416 AH Veteran

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    billc the Cabelas kit is a really nice kit but for someone just starting out and not wanting to spend a lot of money it has a lot of luxuries that are not necessary for the beginner. You could buy a brand new RCBS Rock chucker supreme master kit for around 225.00 plus shipping on ebay right now. The main difference is you get a beam scale and powder thrower instead an electronic powder dispenser and a hand tool for case prep instead of an electric prep station. All you really need to buy with this would be dies, shell holder, a decent set of calipers and reloading components. With the other set from Cabelas you would still need to buy these extras. This will do any and all reloading you would need to start with provided your not reloading maybe the big NE or 50bmg cases. Thats a pretty big savings for somebody who wants to try out reloading for the first time.
     
  12. Code4

    Code4 AH Enthusiast

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    You can reload ammo cheaply with very basic kit like the The Classic Lee Loader as mentioned by enysse. Savings will be minimal and that has to be your constant objective without getting drawn into buying more kit.

    If you want to handload your ammo to optimise acuracy and performance then you may break even with costs if you are a competitor who shoots weekly or monthly.

    For customised loads with ultimate accuracy, handloading is the only way to go.

    It is a hobby in itself and the rewards can be very satisfying if you are a little obsessive compulsive. I still have my basic equipment (buy the best once and cry once at the price) and it is serving me well decades later with different rifles and calibres from when I started.
     
  13. TerryR

    TerryR AH Veteran

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    I doubt that I have saved a cent by reloading. When I tote up all the bullets that I bought "just in case I want a heaver/lighter load" it probably has cost me money. However, one of the thrills of my life was taking a Cape Buffalo with 404 Jeffery rounds that I loaded myself. Like any hobby, if you like doing it, go for it, if not, well there are plenty of good factory loads available these days.
     
  14. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    I have reloaded for 20 years & I use the RCBS Rock Chucker. I load everything with it & i have no dsire what so ever for a progressive press. That kit has damn near everything youneed to start & is robably in the $400 range. Add a few items down the road & you are all set. The price of ammo now aday & you can recover that very quickly. Odds are you will probably find & develope better loads for your gun & while doing so it will make you a much better shooter!
     
  15. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    I have reloaded for over 20 years & I have exclusively used the RCBS Rock Chucker. It is cheaper & you load anything from the 22 hornet to the 375 HH. Everything you need to start is in this kit. After a while you can puchase other accesories to make things easier. As far as saving money - with the price of factory ammo you will recover that cost quickly. The odds are you will develope better and more accurate loads for your guns & the extra practice will make you a better shooter.
    Buy bullets in bulk like Remington Core/ loct to save the money developing loads. then when you have good loads buy your premium bullets & they usually are pretty close & you will save considerable money on the experimenting!
     
  16. quackaslaya

    quackaslaya New Member

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    I agree with Calhoun on the way to develop loads. I don't think you save any money by reloading because you will shoot a lot more. But shooting is the fun of it anyway. You have the added benefit of becoming a better shot and getting to know better how your rifles perform. I am preparing for my first safari in August and reloading/practicing is a great way to work up to the big day. When you take an animal with loads that you handloaded it adds another dimension to the hunt. Like catching a fish on a fly you tied. I just reload because I enjoy it . Have fun.
     
  17. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Veteran

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    You will not save any money at the end of each year by reloading. You will shoot more, shoot firearms you would not own if you did not reload and have another gun related hobby. You probably will also buy more stuff for reloading, both supplies and equipment than you really need.
    If you plan to reload only to save money then do not do it. If you want a new hobby and part of the gun fun then it will suit you.
     
  18. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I still think that even if one only reloads for a few different guns and doesnt go out and buy more guns just to reload for them, that he will still save money for all the reasons I listed before, ie. high cost of factory ammo, shipping, haz mat fees etc.. I would also agree that cost savings may not be the best reason to reload. You will recoup the costs over time however.
     
  19. merlin

    merlin AH Senior Member

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    Billc

    one of the good things of reloading for you will be the time you and your son will spend together. the next is taking a average shooting rifle and finding a load that turn it
    in to a great shooting rifle. there are a lot of good resouces out there and read as much as you can.
    there are plenty of books and even a magazine on reloading
    and once you start you will get hooked

    merlin
     

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