For anyone thinking of getting into reloading...

ButchA

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If anyone (like me) is thinking of getting into reloading, considering the pros and cons, debating over the cost savings, or Lord knows what, I created a Screen Print image from one of those online calculators. Then I brought it up in Photoshop and used the text editor mode and wrote notes all over it. I hope you can understand it.

I am using my classic 1911 .45 ACP for an example. IF I did decide to get into reloading, I would start with the historic .45 ACP round that everybody's grandpa has shot, using a 230gr bullet and 5 grains of Bullseye powder. From what I've read, that is the original, famous, GI load, used for decades.

But first off... Click here for the online calculator link: http://www.handloads.com/calc/loadingCosts.asp

Or, try another one to verify the mathematical formulas (they are all 100% spot on): https://x-reload.com/load-cost

There was even a guy on the internet (I forget where or what forum - sorry) who must have gotten with some finance guys and I.T. guys and created a wicked looking, color coded, Excel spreadsheet. Everything broken down to the tiniest, minute, detail --- just like those online calculators. From I remember he uploaded it to a Google Drive account, so people could safely and securely download it for their own use. I have the downloaded version on my laptop, and it works fantastic!

Anyway, regarding my Screen Print image below, I used a combination of MidwayUSA and MidSouthShootersSupply for reloading supplies, dies, presses, etc... So the original startup cost of everything is just a simple "ballpark figure". Simply put - I have never reloaded, have clue about it, other than reading Richard Lee's Second Edition book over and over. I've watched You Tube videos, but still, I've never done it. I would start out extremely small and simple, only reloading about 50 rounds of .45 ACP just to see if I could do it and not blow myself up (LOL... you know what I mean...)

I hope this helps you out like it did me!

 

ButchA

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Ah-ha.... I found the link to that incredible Excel spreadsheet. It's okay... It's 100% secure... The guy created an internet link, and you click on it, and it automatically downloads "Reloading.xls" to your Downloads folder on your computer. Click on the file, and Excel will open it in Secure Mode, so you have to click on "Enable Editing" in order to use it. Again, it's totally safe and secure. No viruses, malware, spyware, hackers, etc... It's totally legit!

http://westernsafellc.com/Reloading.xls
 

boatdoc

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Jun 9, 2018
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nice thread Butch .

seriously thought about reloading due to my hand issues. many fellow shooters expressed their joy in reloading custom 45 and 9mm rounds. almost ordered the equipment and supplies BUT I did some calculations and including buying new brass my round price was over 30 cents per(for 45 acp)round and the fact that factory loaded ammo (185 and 230 gr) is below 30 cents a round. I decided to stick with factory ammo for now.

If the dems ever get around to banning factory ammo or doing what they did in Komifornia..then maybe I will change my mind.

good luck in your endeavour
 

ButchA

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Thanks... I am considering it, just as a learning aspect. But like you mentioned, if they (Dems) go crazy and start banning ammo or tax it or make it cost $100 for a small box of WWB 230gr FMJ, then of course reloading would solve that issue....
 

boatdoc

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an awful lot to learn before you can safely reload. For me that is a challenge to be accepted when I have mor e time. still willing to learn all I can now and maybe someday I , too,will be a reloader
 

gun_fan111

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Dec 10, 2018
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Once the initial investment on equipment was done, I found myself buying components in larger quantities which helps reduce the cost from what you are looking at. As you can see bullets are the biggest cost and there are a lot of cheaper options out there compared to what you are pricing out.
 

Fred_G

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Jun 8, 2018
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If I am reading your info right Butch, you have 100 bullets costing $21.24 per 100. Some pretty expensive bullets. Bayou Bullets has coated lead 230 grain for $10.50-$11.50 per 100, cheaper if you buy more. http://www.bayoubullets.net/categories/hi-tek-supercoat-bullets/45-acp.html That should drop your price per round a bit. Berry's Bullets sells plated for a touch more, I have had good luck with Bayou Bullets in .45 ACP.

Also, you might look for a used press, I know Dillon has a pretty good reputation for warranty for older reloaders. You can also find primers in 100 lots, but more expensive than buying them in bulk. If you have other friends that reload, you can buy bullets/primers/powder in bulk, saving a bit more on the price and shipping.
 

TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot

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ETex Piney Woods
For anyone in the southeast, there's a 2-day course on the fundamentals over in Troy, NC in March. I'm gonna go because I don't know anything about reloading and it's worth it to me to see if I really want to get into it.

Basic Metallic Cartridge Handloading with Frank Stephenson (SS)*
Capacity: 12
This is an extended version of the NRA Basic Metallic Cartridge Reloading course that will provide the basic knowledge, and skills, necessary for safely reloading metallic cartridges. Reloading experience is not necessary. Students will learn the fundamentals of metallic cartridge loading for both pistols and rifles on a single-stage press, with each step being covered in detail. Students will have the opportunity to load 50-100 rounds of ammunition.
Basic Metallic Cartridge Handloading | 3/3-3/4 | SUM | 9 AM - 6 PM | $185
 

TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot

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The four NRA gunsmith schools - CA, NC, NM and OK - do a variety of short-term spring/summer classes every year. A google search for "NRA gunsmith schools" will get you to them. Maybe there is one within driving distance for you. They don't all hold the same courses every year, so I don't know if/when others might be holding a reloading class. This year I'm taking several - reloading, barrel fitting, basic gunsmithing, etc. My girl Pistol Annie is going to the basic gunsmithing class with me. She's also taking a two-week course in engraving. This time next year look for me to have a couple of pistols with custom engraving ;-)
 

Penguini

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I like the trumpet! I was a trumpet major in college lo, these many years ago. I am a reloader, and have been for over 40 years. Calculators aside, it's a hobby that you will love! It extends your shooting experience, especially if you get into casting your own bullets. I do my own and powder-coat them. I write for the gun website snipercountry.com and have a few reloading articles there. Here's the first one that explains it best: https://www.snipercountry.com/how-to-reload-ammo/. If you get a chance, give it a read and you can leave a comment below. Hope it helps! (you don't need expensive equipment to start out...a simple kit from Hornady, Lee or RCBS will get you going).
 

STI

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NE Texas
Shoot matches and you should get all the brass you would ever need, almost everyone I mentioned that to now has all they could ever need
Primers buy with a group in 5000 multiples
Bullets cast your own

Your cost will get to 22 rf or less, when I started many years back I discovered a whole new world in shooting,
I have been loading all my life it seems over 60 yrs I can document for sure.
 

Penguini

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I agree with STI. If you cast your own bullets, the brass becomes the most expensive component. That's why picking it up at a match makes sense - most guys don't reload, especially 9mm, so it either just lays there until a general clean-up day or the range owners sweep it up to re-sell it. If you have to buy bullets, buy in quantity if possible. Cast will be cheaper than jacketed, as a rule. That's why getting into bullet casting saves even more money. I get free wheel weights from a local tire shop - check on that as a possible source. Just don't try to use any but the lead weights - zinc, iron and aluminum are used as lead becomes increasingly "politically incorrect" but they will ruin your alloy. As for reloading equipment, check FS Reloading - it's Lee's factory outlet. You can get a single-stage press kit that pretty much gets you what you need to start off with for about $120. Anyway, it's just one of many kits out there. Hornady has their single-stage kit, with digital powder scale, etc., for about $350. Just a couple of options. STI is right about the cost - once you get going, you can shoot .38 Special or 9mm for less than some .22LR ammo costs. Check it out!
 
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ButchA

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Richmond, VA
I like the trumpet! I was a trumpet major in college lo, these many years ago. I am a reloader, and have been for over 40 years. Calculators aside, it's a hobby that you will love! It extends your shooting experience, especially if you get into casting your own bullets. I do my own and powder-coat them. I write for the gun website snipercountry.com and have a few reloading articles there. Here's the first one that explains it best: https://www.snipercountry.com/how-to-reload-ammo/. If you get a chance, give it a read and you can leave a comment below. Hope it helps! (you don't need expensive equipment to start out...a simple kit from Hornady, Lee or RCBS will get you going).
Thank you...

That's my prized 1967 Holton Collegiate trumpet that my mom bought when I was in grade school, through the school's music dept. All these years later, and I am still playing. I am currently 2nd chair trumpet/cornet with The Shriners "Million Dollar Band" here in town. I also play cornet with The Sauerkrauts, a spin-off group of us Shriners, and we play all that Oom-pa, German/Bavarian music at Oktoberfests! It's a lot of fun!

Thanks for the link about reloading. All I want to start with right now is the famous .45 ACP and get a clear understanding of how it's reloaded. Once I "get my feet wet" and can do it over and over and over. I want to look at how the .308 round is reloaded. That's all... Nothing more. Two equally famous military rounds that are supposedly easy to reload.
 

RStone

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Jan 28, 2019
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Arizona
My initial costs to buy all the bullets, powder, Dillon XL650, case feeder, workbench, etc. was high. But I realized with the volume of new manuf ammo I had been shooting , I would pay for my start up costs in 6 mos. Now my reloading habits help defray the costs of shooting for my son. I find the whole process relaxing.
 

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