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Old 10-02-2012, 16:38   #26
Colorado4Wheel
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Interesting.
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Old 10-02-2012, 16:41   #27
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Using Berry's 124 gr round nose, primers, and choice of powder, it cost me about $0.14 per round. If on sale the cheapest 9mm I can get is $0.18. At 500 rounds a week, you save about $20 per week. Assuming 26 weeks of shooting, you have $520 for start up of reloading equipment to break even. The second year you are that much ahead.

I use a LCT and can load about 50 rounds an hour. It was the least expensive way to start when I wasn't sure I wanted or could reload. The biggest single problem is finding low cost powder and primers due to additional fees to ship.
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Old 10-02-2012, 16:44   #28
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Compared the Kempf kit:....
stak- What are you doing over here in 'Reloading' lately?

k
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Old 10-02-2012, 16:48   #29
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oops

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Old 10-02-2012, 16:52   #30
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For the volume you are talking the Dillon 550 or 650 are the best choices. the Lee cast turret and single stages would be to slow.

Everyone in my IDPA club except one single marine reloads. At least 15 of them, me included reload 9mm. I am currently reloading 124 gr 9mm for $117 a K or $5.85 cents a box of 50. A quick look at Cabelas shows 123gr American eagle 50 pack for $15.99.

So yes it pays to reload. Now a note of caution the only way to get the price most of us have listed is to buy in bulk. SO if you buy your components in bulk, buy a 550 and the other stuff you need you are looking at around a grand upfront. The rate that you are shooting you would pay for your equipment in no time.
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Old 10-02-2012, 16:52   #31
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Quote:
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IFirst of all, I shoot mainly 9mm, is it really worth buying the equipment and supplies?
Yes it is worth it. You'll go into it intending only to load 9mm, but you'll end up loading for other calibers. Once you make the initial investment in equipment, consumables for a single caliber, adding calibers is a matter of buying dies.

There is also the indescribable quasi-mad-scientist satisfaction from shooting your own handloads.

Quote:
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Bulk prices aren't bad but can anyone give me a ballpark as to how much I might save?
http://www.handloads.com/calc/loadingCosts.asp

Input your local prices for powder & primer. Search for your desired projectile via an online vendor. Use the Hodgdon Reloading Data center to estimate your charge weight. What projectile do you want to use? FMJ, Copper Plated, Lead (hard cast)?

I input the cost of components used for my current batch of 9mm.
$0.081 per round

$4.07 per 50

$81.39 per 1,000
You can estimate your own reloading costs & compare them to the prices you pay for bulk ammo.
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Old 10-02-2012, 17:57   #32
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stak- What are you doing over here in 'Reloading' lately?

k
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oops

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You know how I love numbers and spreadsheets!

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I've been lurking a long time and decided it is about time to start my next hobby.

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Old 10-02-2012, 20:29   #33
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...I've been lurking a long time and decided it is about time to start my next hobby.

-Mike
Wanna buy a 650??










j/k - what's not to luv about my 650?
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Old 10-02-2012, 21:14   #34
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Are you going to get a 1050?

If I were a couple thousand miles closer I would probably take you up on it.
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Wanna buy a 650??










j/k - what's not to luv about my 650?
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Old 10-02-2012, 21:37   #35
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Thanks again you guys are really helpin me out. I plan on loading FMJ, either 115 or 124. Being that the cold is coming soon, shooting will drastically slow down so I should be able to save up the cash to get started soon. I'm thinking the Dillon 550 is the way to go. One question, how many of you check every completed round with a caliper or gauge? I know it's important but damn! The YouTube link was great by the way.
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Old 10-02-2012, 21:57   #36
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Are you going to get a 1050?
1050? Not right away though - I'm actually looking for a larger house, in which case I'd likely keep the 650, too.

Richard and unclebob say I should get a 1050 sometime, so who am I to argue...
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Old 10-02-2012, 22:11   #37
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Thanks again you guys are really helpin me out. I plan on loading FMJ, either 115 or 124. Being that the cold is coming soon, shooting will drastically slow down so I should be able to save up the cash to get started soon. I'm thinking the Dillon 550 is the way to go. One question, how many of you check every completed round with a caliper or gauge? I know it's important but damn! The YouTube link was great by the way.
Just make sure you have your load developed and are confident it works perfectly for you - before the winter chill sets in and you load 10,000 rounds.

I try to case gauge every round I'll use in an important match (after they are all loaded) - but sometimes just can't get a Round Tuit and it doesn't get done. I'll pull an occassional completed cartridge out of the bin as I'm going along and measure the OAL and crimp, and I'll pull an occassional case off the press and measure the powder drop on a digital scale. All this probably explains why my production rate doesn't near approach the advertised rate of the press.
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Old 10-02-2012, 22:12   #38
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Thanks again you guys are really helpin me out. I plan on loading FMJ, either 115 or 124. Being that the cold is coming soon, shooting will drastically slow down so I should be able to save up the cash to get started soon. I'm thinking the Dillon 550 is the way to go. One question, how many of you check every completed round with a caliper or gauge? I know it's important but damn! The YouTube link was great by the way.
The 550 will be an excellent choice. You can start with the basic machine and add the strong mount stuff later. It's nice to get the press up higher but it isn't compelling. The strong mounts, bullet tray and output bin add about $120 of deferrable costs. I still don't use the roller handles...

The nice thing about Dillon is that the products are guaranteed FOREVER and the warranty transfers. That's why the stuff sells for a premium on the used market.

I check the first few rounds when I start making a batch to be certain my bullet seating die is correct. This is important when loading cast lead bullets because the bullet lube fouls the die and bullets tend to load short. Not a problem with FMJ. For cast bullets, it might be worth checking one every hundred or so. Maybe every time the primer tube needs to be filled.

I also run a few through a case gauge to be certain the resizing die and taper crimp die are doing their jobs.

I check several charges before I start loading and I check again every few hundred rounds if I think about it.

These are machines; once they are properly adjusted, consistency should be pretty automatic.

Now, competitive shooters take a different view and they will drop every match round in the chamber (barrel removed, of course) just to be absolutely certain they don't have a failure during an event. Practice rounds are seldom checked.

Richard
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Old 10-02-2012, 22:16   #39
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If you can afford to buy all your components in bulk and have a cheap supply of brass, you can reload 9mm for a little more than half the cost of buying it at Wal-Mart.

By bulk, I mean ordering primers by at least the case (5k) if not multiple cases, preferably combined with powder (4lb, 8lb, etc.) so you get them on one hazmat charge, and bullets at least 2-3k at a time.

If you buy your supplies 1lb of powder, 100 bullets, and a few hundred primers at a time at Bass Pro or Gander Mountain, you probably won't save any $ over Wal-Mart. If you buy new brass there too, you may actually spend more making your first reloads than buying factory ammo.

Hopefully, you planned ahead and have been saving your used brass for some time. I saved my brass for years, knowing that I wanted to get into reloading eventually.
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Old 10-02-2012, 22:41   #40
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I have thousands and thousands of rounds saved that should last me a while. For buying supplies in bulk, what are some good sites to order from? I've used Midway USA for other things and I see they advertise reloading supplies.
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Old 10-02-2012, 22:47   #41
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Any opinions on the Lee Pro 1000 progressive press? I see its a lot cheaper and has a casing feeder. The only disadvantage I see is that you may not be able to change calibers. Is that true?
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Old 10-02-2012, 22:48   #42
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I've gotten powder/primers from Grafs mostly, also Wideners. Bullets (jacketed) from Shooters Connection, Precision Delta, and Montana Gold.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:54   #43
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Any opinions on the Lee Pro 1000 progressive press? I see its a lot cheaper and has a casing feeder. The only disadvantage I see is that you may not be able to change calibers. Is that true?
It is a lot cheaper for a reason. Quality! Lee presses tend to need a lot of attention and tinkering to keep them running. A Lee Pro 1000 progressive press vs a Dillon is like comparing a harbor freight saw vs a Dewalt worm drive.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:15   #44
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Any opinions on the Lee Pro 1000 progressive press?
Many opinions. None of them favorable.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:19   #45
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I have thousands and thousands of rounds saved that should last me a while. For buying supplies in bulk, what are some good sites to order from? I've used Midway USA for other things and I see they advertise reloading supplies.
All of the major suppliers sell reloading supplies but they are ALL overpriced compared to the manufacturers and specialty suppliers.

For jacketed bullets, Precision Delta is the place to go:
http://precisiondelta.com/product.php?indx=5

Montana Gold is another great supplier:
http://www.montanagoldbullet.com/

For powder and primers, Powder Valley is the place to go:
http://powdervalleyinc.com/

There's another thread running on cast lead bullets:
http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1445834

There is a 'suppliers' sticky at the top of the forum.

When you order powder or primers there is a HazMat fee involved in shipping. Powder Valley charges $27.50 for 48# (I believe) of mixed powder and primers. It pays to fill up the order, cash flow permitting. Ten thousand primers (about $300) and 8# of powder (about $120) is enough to make about ten thousand rounds. Prices in () are just a guess and, of course, they are all dependent on which primers and which powder. But basically, you need to buy a few hundred dollars worth to make the HazMat fee become insignificant. You can't buy just 1000 primers ($30) and then pay the HazMat fee ($27.50) and come out ahead of just buying at the LGS.

Search the forum for other suppliers of jacketed bullets. Zero bullets are pretty nice. I got them from:
http://czcustom.com/zero-bullets.aspx

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Old 10-03-2012, 07:40   #46
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Any opinions on the Lee Pro 1000 progressive press? I see its a lot cheaper and has a casing feeder. The only disadvantage I see is that you may not be able to change calibers. Is that true?
Adding a case feeder definitely improves productivity. The Dillon 550 may be 500 rounds per hour while the 650 does 800. Is the extra 300 rounds per hour worth the extra $300? Absolutely! Cash flow permitting, of course.

That's why SARDG is the smartest of us all. She went right for the 650 and didn't waste a lot of time and money stepping up through various incantations of reloading machines.

Here's a selector for Dillon machines:
http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/cus...-reloader.html

I added a 650 to my collection for loading .223 and 9mm. I bought all of the options except the handle and I believe it came to almost exactly $1000. FWIW, I ordered if from BrianEnos.com for the same price as buying direct from Dillon except shipping is FREE. That's about $30 or another 1000 primers!

On the low end, dollar wise, for reloading machines, folks around here are willing to suggest the Lee Classic Turret. It works well enough, it's cheap enough and the production rate isn't truly grim. But it's still 4 handle strokes per loaded round.

However, most everyone here would rather see newcomers load with Dillon machines. And almost everyone around here does exactly that. They like their machines, they have iterated through other machines and are pretty convinced that Dillon is the way to go.

It is also true that Dillon machines are relatively expensive and sometimes hard to justify. And why would a newcomer take it on faith and ramblings on the Internet that, indeed, Dillon is the way to go?

I suggest that newcomers take a longer view of reloading. As long as I shoot, I will be reloading. And I might as well have the right equipment for the job.

Richard
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:13   #47
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Lee makes regressive loaders, Dillon makes progressive loaders. There, pretty much cleared that one up. The Lee can be made to run but most struggle & end up loading something like 250rds/hr anyway. All that to save a couple $100, just not worth it. Buy quality once, it will last you until you die. Unless that is next year, you are always better off w/ quality tools. If you are all thumbs & not mechanically inclined, hate tinkering w/ equip, then the Lee will only frustrate you. If you just want to take the press out of the box & start reloading, Dillon all the way.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:43   #48
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Get a 550 or 650 Dillon and don't look back. I've had my 550 for 20 years! If you get the 650 it will be faster.

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Old 10-21-2012, 19:00   #49
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Got the Dillon 550 on Friday and shot my first batch of reloads today! They shot just as good or maybe even better than factory. I tried out some different powders and primers before I buy bulk. So far I like Unique the best. Thanks again everyone for getting me started


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Old 10-21-2012, 19:05   #50
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Great choice. You will enjoy it for years.
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