Index  •  FAQ  •  Search  

It is currently Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:38 pm

This is a static archive the Twin Cities Carry forum, maintained as a public service by the current forum of record, The Minnesota Carry Forum.

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
 Newbie Question about Reloading 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Newbie Question about Reloading
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:52 pm 
Longtime Regular

Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:44 pm
Posts: 599
MostlyHarmless wrote:
Right now you can't get ammo or components in quantity at reasonable prices. The market is a mess.

If you look at prices, say, a year ago, you could get Berdan primed, aluminum-cased 9mm for around $11 for a box of 50, and .40 S&W for a buck or two more. I don't think anyone can reload for much less than that, including all the costs -- press, dies, scale, trays, boxes, gadgets, books, leftover components, replacement brass, mistakes that have to be thrown out.

Another consideration is that even people who are careful, smart, knowledgeable, who have the right equipment and a good process, and who have done it a lot, sometimes overcharge a round. The results can be, how shall we say, dramatic.


I think you'll find a lot of reloaders who will disagree with you on some of that. The cost of the equipment is not a fixed cost, forever. I am also loading .45 acp for about $6.50/50 rounds compared to retail which is maybe $15/50. Eventually, there is a break even point on the costs of your equipment. Just takes some accounting. To be honest, my break even point probably happened at 4000-5000 rounds. Less or more, depending on how you want to account everything. I will only suggest this: If you are going to shoot 20,000 rounds anyway. Its a hell of a lot cheaper to do it if you reload, than if you bought it retail. I will stand by that no matter what, I just don't see a good argument against it.

Frankly I no longer care when I break even on my press, scale, calipers, tumbler, etc. I can now shoot, and afford it, whenever I want. I have ammo when others don't. I have another hobby now. I also have a better excuse to spend what I spend on shooting, so the little lady doesn't bite my head off. (The benefits are endless!)

I also think that most reloaders will tell a person new to the process, that cost savings better not be the only reason you want to reload. There are many other benefits to it, the most obvious one that comes to mind right now, being that at any given time I could have several thousand rounds loaded and on hand, while everyone else is running in and out of Dicks, Wally World, and Gander begging for 1 box at a time, at stupid prices, if it is even available.

Also, for safety, there was a thread recently on the High Road about a well-trained, ex military gent who blew up his revolver with CorBon ammo, a result of a squib that went undetected. So I wouldn't bet my life on factory ammo over reloaded. In fact, I'd trust mine more than factory more often than not. Safety lies with the shooter as much as with the gun or where the ammo was built.

_________________
EJSG19


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Newbie Question about Reloading
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:08 pm 
Senior Member
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:24 pm
Posts: 471
Location: 12 miles east of Lake Wobegon
There is no perfect ammunition and even the best manufacturers do let bad rounds get by occasionally. Compared to handloads, this is extremely rare.

I would speculate that ammunition problems that pose a safety hazard at the range (overpressure loads and primer only loads) occur in handloads nearly 100 times as often as in factory loads. Even careful, competent handloaders make mistakes.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Newbie Question about Reloading
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:42 am 
Longtime Regular

Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 9:55 pm
Posts: 598
Location: Dundas, Minnesota
I reckon we could argue all the live-long day about a myriad of safety issues and the shooting sports. Maybe another thread perhaps? The OP asked about reloading specifically as a cost-saving measure. The consensus is that it saves a buttload of $. My gear was paid for within the first couple thousand rounds of 45acp. Everything after that is gravy. I make ammo for ~$6-$7 a box. If I attach a dollar value to my time, that changes. However, that would be disingenuous. If I weren't reloading, I'd be sitting in front of the T.V. I might as well be doing something constructive. A significant majority of the IPSC and IDPA folks I know roll their own. Must be a reason for it.

MostlyHarmless wrote:
There is no perfect ammunition and even the best manufacturers do let bad rounds get by occasionally. Compared to handloads, this is extremely rare.

I would speculate that ammunition problems that pose a safety hazard at the range (overpressure loads and primer only loads) occur in handloads nearly 100 times as often as in factory loads. Even careful, competent handloaders make mistakes.

_________________
I say I'm cleaning guns... My wife says I'm petting them.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Newbie Question about Reloading
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:34 am 
Junior Member

Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:44 am
Posts: 7
MostlyHarmless wrote:
Right now you can't get ammo or components in quantity at reasonable prices. The market is a mess.

If you look at prices, say, a year ago, you could get Berdan primed, aluminum-cased 9mm for around $11 for a box of 50, and .40 S&W for a buck or two more. I don't think anyone can reload for much less than that, including all the costs -- press, dies, scale, trays, boxes, gadgets, books, leftover components, replacement brass, mistakes that have to be thrown out.

Another consideration is that even people who are careful, smart, knowledgeable, who have the right equipment and a good process, and who have done it a lot, sometimes overcharge a round. The results can be, how shall we say, dramatic.


You CAN get components at reasonable prices. You have to know where. Though component prices are on the rise just like factory ammo or anything else gun related it seems. I know I save at least 1/2 on factory ammo costs by reloading and really it gets cheaper the more times a case can be safely reloaded. (I have .44 magnum cases that have been reloaded over 20 times.)

I've NEVER overcharged a case or had a squib load (primer only) because I'm carefull and visually look at the amount of powder that is in each case before seating the bullet-no exceptions. I've never had any of my reloads fail to fire. I've had a couple of factory duds though.

I think handloading is all about the hobby. And it will save you some money. Like any other hobbie, golf, fishing, etc., you can spend as little or as much money as you want on the bells and whistles.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Newbie Question about Reloading
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:52 pm 
Longtime Regular
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:53 pm
Posts: 1421
Location: South Minneapolis (East of Lake Nokomis)
Maverick68 wrote:
Since I have never even seen this done, can you give me a couple high-level tips:
How much time does it take to reload 100 shells?
What is the initial investment required in tools/machines?
How does the cost of materials compare for 100 completed shells versus 100 factory shells?


Hey Mav,

This was discussed over on the day care site a while ago. I'll paste some of what I wrote:

Quote:
I ordered a reloading press kit from Midway:

Lee 4 Hole Turret Press with Auto Index Deluxe Kit $99.99 (I see it's ten bucks more now.)
Lee Deluxe Handgun 4-Die Set 38 Special, 357 Magnum $34.49

(You will note the word 'Deluxe' appears in both items, so clearly I am making no compromises in quality while keeping economy in mind.)

In the meanwhile I got 1000 CCI small pistol primers at Gunstop for $29.88.

I ordered 1000 158gr .357 RN lead hard cast bullets from Dardas Cast Bullets for $64.75.

Back at Gunstop I bought $8.00 worth of corn cob tumbling media for Strad, who kindly polished up about 2000 rounds of my brass I've saved up over the last year or two. (Thanks, Strad!)

On that same trip I bought the Lyman 49th Edition Reloading Handbook, which had been recommended to me by a few people, for about $25.

So we're at about $263. I don't remember the shipping charge on the Midway order, let's say it was $10, and I still need a pound or so of powder for maybe $25, then I think I'm ready to get started for, let's call it: $300 for my first thousand rounds. That's $15 a box -- including buying the whole kit! Wow, can that be right? Why didn't I do this years ago? I feel I should check my math again, but for now, that's what I think I'm spending.


Since then I've loaded & shot that thousand rounds and am very happy with how it's worked out. Last night I loaded up 100 rounds in, I think, about two hours, including lots of breaks for weighing charges and changing music and wandering off due to distractions around the house -- I'm guessing I could do a hundred in less than an hour if I stuck to it without a break, but I haven't been that manic about it yet.

I have since bought a couple more books, a digital caliper at Menard's for about $25, and by now I've accumulated enough mistakes that I'm going to go buy a kinetic bullet puller soon for about $15. Many people will tell you you need to spend more than I did, but you don't, really.

Every round of that first thousand was a good one. :)


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Newbie Question about Reloading
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:29 pm 
Longtime Regular

Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:44 pm
Posts: 599
I learned not to get too hung up on my rounds per hour production numbers. Safety is a bigger concern.

Take for instance, the Dillon 550 progressive press is advertised as being capable of something like 500 rounds per hour. Keep in mind this is for an experienced operator, not taking time to refill primer tubes (meaning you have extras full and ready to go), checking powder measure accuracy as often, among other things that a new reloader will probably should be checking (like COAL, charge weight, amount of crimp, etc). I'm talking straight wall pistol ammo here.

I'd say when things are moving right along, I make maybe 300 rounds in a solid, focused hour. Rarely do I need to outperform that, and a couple nights of reloading like that will keep me shooting for a long time. Generally I run out of components anyway, no matter if I reload 100/hour or 400/hour.

My point (finally I know...) is that the rate of rounds per hour isn't nearly as important as I originally thought it would be. However, I am extremely happy I started with a progressive press, for pistol ammo. Not for everyone, but for me it wasn't that bad to learn, and my time spent probably produces 2x or 3x the ammo as it would on a single stage.

_________________
EJSG19


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Newbie Question about Reloading
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:57 pm 
Member

Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:25 pm
Posts: 33
Thanks for all the comments.

Is there really that much extra space in the casing to double fill it with powder? If you overcharge one, what happens? Does the gun blow up and pieces go everywhere or something less spectacular? :shock:


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Newbie Question about Reloading
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:30 pm 
Longtime Regular
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:00 pm
Posts: 1013
Location: North Suburbs
Maverick68 wrote:
Is there really that much extra space in the casing to double fill it with powder?

Yes, with many powder and cartridge combinations, there is ample space to hold double the powder.

Maverick68 wrote:
If you overcharge one, what happens?

Nothing, so long as the error is caught before the round is chambered and shot.

Maverick68 wrote:
Does the gun blow up and pieces go everywhere or something less spectacular? :shock:

There are a lot of variables, but it can be anything from a louder-than-normal bang to a blown up gun causing serious injury or death.

Take a look at some photos: http://images.google.com/images?q=glock%20kaboom


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Newbie Question about Reloading
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:39 pm 
Member

Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:25 pm
Posts: 33
Kinda interesting that 90% of those pictures are of Glocks.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Newbie Question about Reloading
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:48 pm 
Longtime Regular
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:00 pm
Posts: 1013
Location: North Suburbs
Maverick68 wrote:
Kinda interesting that 90% of those pictures are of Glocks.

Using the search term "glock kaboom" will do that. :wink:

The Glock kaBOOM! is a fairly well-documented phenomenon, but Glocks are certainly not the only guns that can blow up with a double-dose of powder.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Newbie Question about Reloading
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:17 am 
Longtime Regular
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:53 pm
Posts: 1421
Location: South Minneapolis (East of Lake Nokomis)
Regarding the overcharging issue: I'm loading .38 Special lately with Hodgdon Titegroup powder. The .38 Special case goes back to black powder days so it has lots of extra room because modern smokeless powder takes up much less space per unit of energy. [9mm, on the other hand, was designed for smokeless, which is why the case is so teeny tiny. You can overcharge a 9mm, but it's not as easy.] Also, Titegroup is one of the most compact powders out there; a moderate power load is 3 or 4 grains. That means close to 2000 loads from a pound of powder, which is great money-wise. But there's a lot of empty space in there.

Out of curiosity just now, I dumped in powder til a .38 case overflowed: that turns out to be quadruple the load I'm using at the moment, which is 4.7 grains of Titegroup, so about 19 grains. I see I could easily seat a bullet over a triple load with this powder. I feel safe in saying: that would be bad.

Fortunately my auto-indexing turret press makes this almost impossible to do. I feel very comfortable with this setup because there's only one thing happening at a time, so if something doesn't happen, it's very obvious. True, a progressive press can crank out ammo four times as fast, but that's because there's 3 or four things happening at once with every pull of the lever. Much easier to miss something. Someday the 'need for speed' (and a better budget!) might get me into the cool crowd with a Dillon 550, but I'm not ready for that yet.

Other powders are bulkier. Cowboy action shooting uses very light loads, so for those guys, IMR (now owned by Hodgdon) came out a few years ago with Trail Boss powder. A double load of Trail Boss overflows the case. This has the obvious safety benefit, plus a nearly-full load doesn't slosh around the case, so burning is more consistent and thus velocity is more consistent and thus accuracy should be better.

So, the other good thing about the turret press is that it requires the use of both hands with every pull of the lever, inserting components or removing finished rounds, which slows my drinking way down. ;)


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Newbie Question about Reloading
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:24 am 
Raving Moderate
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:46 pm
Posts: 1292
Location: Minneapolis
Pat Cannon wrote:
So, the other good thing about the turret press is that it requires the use of both hands with every pull of the lever, inserting components or removing finished rounds, which slows my drinking way down. ;)


[Insert obligatory anti-alcohol post here.] :wink:

_________________
I'm liberal, pro-choice, and I carry a gun. Any questions?

My real name is Jeremiah (go figure). ;)


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Newbie Question about Reloading
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:27 am 
Senior Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:48 pm
Posts: 479
Location: Afton
Actually, in these times of Obamammofamine, and even before January 20th, you COULD actually save money/pay off your reloading investment with some of the more expensive calibers. 500 Smith ammo is $2.25 around, and handloaded stuff is maybe 40 cents a round. So you're saving $1.80 PER ROUND, and handloading 200 rounds puts you up $360, which will pay for everything you need (and then some!!) to manually load that caliber. Same for .338 Ultramag, and 50AE, and 460 S&W, and some of the others.

And if that isn't a revelation, consider the price of a box of puny little .380 ammo these days: Would you believe 30 bucks for 50 rounds?? :shock: :shock: The primer price is now 3 cents each, the powder cost for that mousefart caliber is parobably only 2 cents, and the bullet will probably be 15 cents, for a total of 20 cents. So you're saving 40 cents a round, or $40 a hundred, and in 500 rounds you're up $200. If things ever get back to normal we will go back in the direction of it taking much longer to outright cover the cost of the reloading equipment, but in some cases you will still actually be saving money.


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

This is a static archive the Twin Cities Carry forum, maintained as a public service by the current forum of record, The Minnesota Carry Forum.

All times are UTC - 6 hours


 Who is online 

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron


 
Index  |  FAQ  |  Search

phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group