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 Basic Reloading Questions .... ??? 
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 Post subject: Basic Reloading Questions .... ???
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:45 pm 
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I hope this comes off the way I intend it to .... but, I wonder what do I gain in reloading my brass?

I mostly shoot 9 mm and .380, but also have 38, 40 and 45 calibers that I shoot sometimes. But, the 9 and .380 is where I'm at.

I shoot fairly frequently ... at least once a week. I usually shoot 300-500 rounds at a time when I do shoot. I don't spend much time doing so, firing off a round every 1-1.5 seconds using a mag loaded with 5-7 or 10 rounds at a time.

I usually buy my shells in bulk. Cabella's, or Sportsman's has (in my opinion) good deals on bulk ammo and I buy 1000-1500 rounds at a time.

So, here's where I am.

I have a Dillon 550B reloader that I bought a few years ago, but have never used. I had trouble setting it up and just stopped screwing 'round with it. It's attached to my reloading bench that I built (which now has towels folded up on it), but not used. I guess I got distracted and lost a place to shoot, so I just never did any reloading. Having powder and primers around were a bit disconcerting, too. I worried about any possible explosive events while reloading. What I do for a living would not do well with eye, hand, finger damage.

My questions revolve around how much will I save reloading shells .... say, 2000 rounds a month of 9 mm? How difficult is it to get the 550B set up accurately for the rounds I want to reload? How much time does it take to reload 1000 rounds of 9 mm? Dangers involved in reloading?

Also, I usually buy the least expensive practice rounds I can find. Wolf is one brand. I see that the brass is "bi metal". Is this stuff reloadable in 9 mm or 380? Or should I just toss it and use a better brand?

I'm sure there are more questions. But, I'm sure many will think I'm just stupid and ask questions that are self evident. I am pretty ignorant of reloading, but would like to do some if it makes sense economically.

I appreciate any help, opinions and recommendations you would be kind enough to give.

Thanx. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:34 pm 
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hi, this is based on relatively current data

4000 115gr FMJ 9mm bullets $275 dollars shipped or $06.875 each or $6.87 per 100.

1000 small pistol primers, 27.89 per thou, or 2.78 per 100

4 pounds, or 28,000 grains of titegroup. $59.99 which figures to 5945 "doses" of 4.7 grains which is a great load for 115Gr which for our purposes we will round off to a penny per round or $1.00 per box.

so

$6.87 for bullets
2.78 for primers
1.00 for powder
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$10.65 per box.

I did not count brass, I figure this is with previously held brass or donated, Even if you had to buy brass, I find 9mm all the time for less than $40 a thousand or $4.oo a 100, which would make your reloaded ammo $14.65 per 100. which is less than all but the cheapest Wolf crap.

Yes you have some time invested too, but for me, the two or thee hours a week I spend cranking out ammo is far better spent than watching reruns of King of the Hill or Family Guy.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:22 pm 
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Getting that Dillon running right out of the chute is sort of like learning to run before you walk.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:29 pm 
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DeanC wrote:
Getting that Dillon running right out of the chute is sort of like learning to run before you walk.


Yeah, so I've been told.

But, that said .... I've sorta always been a "ready, fire, aim" sorta guy. Not always the best type of person, but has worked well for me so far.

Personality flaw. :oops:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:41 pm 
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1911fan wrote ... <<<I did not count brass, I figure this is with previously held brass or donated, Even if you had to buy brass, I find 9mm all the time for less than $40 a thousand or $4.oo a 100, which would make your reloaded ammo $14.65 per 100. which is less than all but the cheapest Wolf crap.>>>

1911fan .... Yes, I understand.

I don't have exact $$ for all that I order, but here's the latest. I ordered 500 rds of Wolf 9mm 115 gr FMJ from Sportsman's. It was $88.32. I guess that's about $17.65ish per box of 100 rds. I don't know what shipping is, but when I order 1500 or 2000 rds at a time, I get some sort of discount on shipping. Like $10 off. So, it may cost me 10 bucks to ship all this ammo. But, I'm not certain.

I am not a purist when it comes to practice ammo. I want something that is accurate for my needs, reliable to cycle and doesn't spit in my face. I know Wolf is crap, but I'm just punchin' large holes in a BG at 7-10 yards at a pretty good pace.

Saving 3 bucks a box reloading doesn't seem like much to me .... especially if I have to factor in my time sitting in the cellar making shells while everyone else is up here watching The Factor. :D


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:45 am 
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Bagger wrote:
1911fan wrote ... <<<I did not count brass, I figure this is with previously held brass or donated, Even if you had to buy brass, I find 9mm all the time for less than $40 a thousand or $4.oo a 100, which would make your reloaded ammo $14.65 per 100. which is less than all but the cheapest Wolf crap.>>>

1911fan .... Yes, I understand.

I don't have exact $$ for all that I order, but here's the latest. I ordered 500 rds of Wolf 9mm 115 gr FMJ from Sportsman's. It was $88.32. I guess that's about $17.65ish per box of 100 rds. I don't know what shipping is, but when I order 1500 or 2000 rds at a time, I get some sort of discount on shipping. Like $10 off. So, it may cost me 10 bucks to ship all this ammo. But, I'm not certain.

I am not a purist when it comes to practice ammo. I want something that is accurate for my needs, reliable to cycle and doesn't spit in my face. I know Wolf is crap, but I'm just punchin' large holes in a BG at 7-10 yards at a pretty good pace.

Saving 3 bucks a box reloading doesn't seem like much to me .... especially if I have to factor in my time sitting in the cellar making shells while everyone else is up here watching The Factor. :D


Bagger, you miscalculated the price of your brass, $40 per thousand, will work out somewhere between $.20 & $.40 per hundred. This is because you can reload it between 10 to 20 times. So you can double your savings when you calculate in the life of the brass.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:09 pm 
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1911fan wrote:
hi, this is based on relatively current data

4000 115gr FMJ 9mm bullets $275 dollars shipped or $06.875 each or $6.87 per 100.

1000 small pistol primers, 27.89 per thou, or 2.78 per 100

4 pounds, or 28,000 grains of titegroup. $59.99 which figures to 5945 "doses" of 4.7 grains which is a great load for 115Gr which for our purposes we will round off to a penny per round or $1.00 per box.


I am a reloader also but can't find bullets at the price you mention above. Where do you guys buy your reloading supplies (powder,bullets,primers)?
I've looked at Cabela's and the like and even online at midway but can't find bullets for less than $13/100 (.38 metal case).


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:39 pm 
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Everyone's situation is different depending on what you want to get out of your range time.

I do any high volume practicing with a .22 Ruger clone made by AMT. Name brand .22 LR ammo is $4 per hundred. If you want to shoot junk, there's Wolf and places like that.

With low cost pistol ammo being widely available it's not easy to save money by reloading. You only save money if you are good enough and consistent enough that you can make high-end ammo.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:22 pm 
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Wolf 9mm/.380 is not reloadable. Berdan-primed, and "bi-metal" = copper plated steel.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:52 pm 
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I found that getting the 550 up and running was fairly easy, intimidating, but easy.

I'm a visual learner. So, I found a few YouTube videos to be very helpful.

This guy has three intro vids starting with this one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqF8f2-4RdM&feature=channel

Then watch his toolhead setup series starting with this one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V48xgW80A0

After watching these you'll know if you want to give your 550 another shot.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:34 pm 
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GunsandTrucks wrote:
1911fan wrote:
hi, this is based on relatively current data

4000 115gr FMJ 9mm bullets $275 dollars shipped or $06.875 each or $6.87 per 100.

1000 small pistol primers, 27.89 per thou, or 2.78 per 100

4 pounds, or 28,000 grains of titegroup. $59.99 which figures to 5945 "doses" of 4.7 grains which is a great load for 115Gr which for our purposes we will round off to a penny per round or $1.00 per box.


I am a reloader also but can't find bullets at the price you mention above. Where do you guys buy your reloading supplies (powder,bullets,primers)?
I've looked at Cabela's and the like and even online at midway but can't find bullets for less than $13/100 (.38 metal case).


This...

http://www.zerobullets.com/

The website says there's an $8 shipping fee for residential, but every time I order, they say it's free shipping for orders over 1,000 rds.

ETA: They don't actually list anything on the website. You gotta call the 800 number.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:32 am 
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Thanks to everyone for the replies!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:46 pm 
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I picked up a Dillon 550 about 10 days ago. Built my bench, bolted down the press (can use clamps too if I want). I'm set to reload .45 acp, and based on the instruction manual and after initial setup, my questions are only about finer detail types of things.

For me and the components I bought, it costs me $0.238 per round to reload one .45 acp round. This is only factoring in Bullets, Powder, and Primers. The brass, having been paid for before, and recovered after shooting, is now free in my accounting method, and keeps it simple. I'm using Winchester primers, Winchester fmj round nose bullets, and Hodgdon Universal Clays for powder.

The last .45 acp I bought was $170 after tax, for 500 rounds, and was Remington UMC. That is $.34/round. For reloaded, at $.238/round it comes out to $119 for 500 rounds. So in theory, I save $51 for every 500 rounds I reload.

By my math that means I save about $102 for every 1000 rounds I reload compared to factory ammo using these components. With the amount of shooting I like to do, I pay myself back for that Dillon 550 pretty quick. You are on 9mm so your numbers will be a little different, but still somewhere in the ballpark.

I spent about $500 or so getting the press, and the scale, and the dies so I could get going. So my break even point should be somewhere around the 6000-7000 range, plus a little comfort zone in there. Figuring the press out is fairly intuitive, and if it isn't for a certain person, I found the instruction book to be pretty clear.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:27 pm 
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Sure. Your accounting method is off, technically -- the brass is free for now, since you already paid for it as part of the cartridges you shot, but it won't last forever, and will need to be replaced -- but it's still pretty close, and with ammo prices rising faster than one-used brass prices, you'll still continue to save.

Plus, with some tweaking, you're liable to get a (slightly) more accurate load and certainly a more enjoyable (whatever your taste in recoil is, you can accommodate it) for your particular gun.

Sounds like a win.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:48 pm 
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joelr wrote:
Sure. Your accounting method is off, technically -- the brass is free for now, since you already paid for it as part of the cartridges you shot, but it won't last forever, and will need to be replaced -- but it's still pretty close, and with ammo prices rising faster than one-used brass prices, you'll still continue to save.

Plus, with some tweaking, you're liable to get a (slightly) more accurate load and certainly a more enjoyable (whatever your taste in recoil is, you can accommodate it) for your particular gun.

Sounds like a win.


Agreed. Add to that the fact that I need a hobby which doesn't include sitting on the couch arguing with my significant other. She gets a benefit too! In only 200 rounds loaded, its tough to call, but so far I like to plunk out rounds for an hour or so, its kind of relaxing. Lots of little things to watch for, and knowing the consequences of a mistake, it keeps me on the ball. Better than going into zombie mode watching tv for a few hours.

Oh, and I have a bad habit of accounting to my benefit at times. Makes life more enjoyable when you lie to yourself on paper.

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