Thinking about reloading this winter

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Dakota Carpenter, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. I have really been think about starting to reload but I have a few questions. First of all, I shoot mainly 9mm, is it really worth buying the equipment and supplies? I shoot roughly a thousand rounds in a around two weeks, but this winter it will slow down a lot. That's why I want to get into reloading over the long winter and save up ammo for next year. Bulk prices aren't bad but can anyone give me a ballpark as to how much I might save? I don't want to have to spend an hour on 20 rounds and shoot them in 20 seconds. Im thinking about an auto loader but roughly how many 9mm rounds can they pump out an hour? I'm completely new to reloading so any info will help.


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  3. Did you check the Stickies at the top of 'Reloading'?

  4. Search &/or visit the stickies but figure @ 3K rds a month, that's 36K rds a year @ $200/1K in bulk/cheap factory = $7200! You could reload the same ammo, actually better quality ammo, for half that buying components in bulk. A top end Dillon 650 w/ case feeder & goodies will set you back, call it $1200 for one caliber. You will pay for the machine in 2m shooting that much ammo. I wouldn't even consider anything cheaper for that kind of volume.
    Once you get the process down & understand what you are doing, loading 700rds/hr is pretty simple. Your first go though will be much, much slower if you are smart though, reloading is NOT just pulling the handle. Get the ABCs of Reloading & a good manual like the Lyman #49 & read them thru.
    #3 fredj338, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  5. Sure! Almost every competitive shooter on the planet either reloads or has a sponsor sending over truck loads of ammo.

    9mm is pretty cheap ammo. I didn't spend any time looking for a deal but the first place I came to had 9mm 124 gr FMJ for $215/1000.

    It is possible to load 124 gr FMJ for $125/1000. It could be less if you would shoot a lead bullet.

    Speed costs money, how fast can you afford to go?

    Let's say you shoot 10,000 rounds per year. The savings, based on prices I used above, is around $900/year. You have many choices for equipment, all of which cost less than you would save in a year.

    You could load with a single stage press at 100 rounds per hour for, perhaps, $200 in equipment. You could move up to some automation like the Lee Classic Turret and $300 would get you started making perhaps 200 rounds per hour. Next up would be the Dillon 550 which, fully featured, might cost $700 but is able to crank out about 500 rounds per hour. Or, you could really go nuts and buy a Dillon 650 for about $1000 and crank out 800+ rounds per hour.

    I absolutely do not recommend the single stage press. Loading 10,000 rounds that way is too grim to contemplate. Any of the other 3 loaders would do fine.

    Read the stickies at the top of the list.

  6. TKM

    TKM Shiny Member
    Lifetime Member

    Reloading 9mm is right up there with making your own pencils.

    Sure, it can be done and it will save you some money, but everybody is gonna look at you funny. I just don't tell anybody.:whistling:
    #5 TKM, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  7. Thanks for the info guys those are the answers I was looking for. I'm thinking of goin with something in the $300-$500 range. I dont need 500+ rounds an hour. Around 200 an hour or a little more would be enough. Like I said I'll be reloading a lot more than shooting this winter, so ill have plenty of time. God damn winter...
  8. A popular choice is the Lee Classic Turret (200 rounds/hour) from Kempf:

    Select the Upgrade to the Pro Auto Disc Powder Measure.

    The Kempf kit doesn't include the Lee measuring scale and that's a good thing. There is a better one at Dillon:

    It's useful to have a case gauge for checking completed rounds:

    A tumbler or vibratory case cleaner is useful:

    A pair of calipers:

    The Lee Taper Crimp Die is a better choice for crimping than the Lee Factory Crimp Die:

    You will also need loading manuals. Speer, Hornady Lyman are all recommended:

    "ABCs of Reloading" gives a good overview. It is also available as an eBook from Amazon.

    Jacketed bullets from Precision Delta or Montana Gold, powder and primers (in quantity) from Powder Valley.

    #7 F106 Fan, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  9. You save about 40% reloading 9mm.
  10. Hoser

    Hoser Ninja

    The 550 is a kick butt machine.
  11. Yes, a far faster and more versatile solution than the Lee Classic Turret. Also a couple of hundred dollars more costly.

    It is worth reviewing the YouTube videos for the LCT and the 550. One thing to note: It takes 4 handle strokes to complete a single round with the LCT versus just 1 with the 550.

    Funding available, the 550 is a much better choice.

  12. The problem is it would cost me 5x the cost of a pencil to make it, not so w/ 9mm ammo. If I could make my own pencils & save 50% I would. If I could make anything & save 50% I would.:dunno: Reality, if you already own equip, it costs dies & a shell plate to be relaoding 9mm for 45-50% less than factory, not sure why C4W 9mm cost so much.
    #11 fredj338, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  13. Beware Owner

    Beware Owner NOT a victim.

    Who doesn't like to save money?

  14. What do you mean?
  15. We have this discussion all the time - without resolution, I might add!

    I maintain that we don't save a dime by reloading, at least in terms of overall budget and expenses. All that happens is we shoot more for the same money. Shooting more is a good thing.

    I don't think I would open a bank account to accumulate all the money I save...

    It seems to me that once I pour the reloads into an ammo can, the costs are forgotten. It's not like I open a box that still has a price tag from Wally World. The costs are sunk and the ammo is now 'free'. Shoot at will...

  16. Or start with the 550 Basic Loader. Less expensive as it doesn't have priming system, powder dispenser. You can add those later on to turn it ino a full 550. I'd buy it in a heartbeat over a LCT, use a hand primer and a Lee Auto disk powder drop with it if I was on a budget.

    I was going to go that route, but came into some extra money and ordered the full 550b and glad I did.
  17. Beware Owner

    Beware Owner NOT a victim.

    If it costs you less to produce the same amount of ammo, you're saving money. Now, if you choose to shoot more because you're saving money, well, you're still saving money. Whatever you choose to do after that is on you. You're still saving money if you shoot twice as much by reloading.
  18. Yep, when I go to the range, I don't bring a couple of boxes, I take a couple of ammo cans. No more ammo anxiety.
  19. Yup! That's the other argument.

    But in terms of cash flow, you haven't saved a dime if you just shoot twice as much.

  20. M24C

    The 9mm will have the smallest savings due to it is cheaper. But also easy to get brass for it. For me the cost per load is about .15 a cartridge. If I would shot lead and went with a real fast powder I could get that much lower. I save more on shooting 40 S&W, But as pointed out I just end up shooting more!

    If I was starting new I'd get the Dillon 650, I have the 550 works great, but the 650 is a bit nicer 5 station and faster. Anyways good luck in your search!

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  21. We have dozens of competitors at my club (myself included) who reload 9mil. The only thing close to what I am shooting with my 9mil reloads is Atlanta Arms and Ammo. Remanufactured 147s are 13.95/box (50) plus shipping. Their new ammo uses Starline Brass and VV powder (like I am using) and costs much more.

    Plus I had to develop another 124gr round for my racegun that had to run the compensator, but still shoot as softly as possible. Shaved 100fps off the factory 124 load I was using.

    Reloading (9 or otherwise) is the only way to get a preferred match round at an anywhere reasonable cost. If I didn't shoot competition, I wouldn't be reloading - I'd just buy factory in bulk and be done with it.

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