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Old 03-24-2018, 02:56 PM
Babysitr Babysitr is offline
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Does loading .38 spl make sense for me? Does loading .38 spl make sense for me? Does loading .38 spl make sense for me? Does loading .38 spl make sense for me? Does loading .38 spl make sense for me?  
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Default Does loading .38 spl make sense for me?

I'm somewhat new to revolver shooting and love it. Have several .357/.38. and considering starting to reload. beside having fun at it, how much cheaper would reloaded wad cutters really be? I keep Unique for shotgun loads,maybe could find a .38 load using that. RCBS kit available at $300, maybe LEE ? .38's can be found at about $16 a box. Probablly shoot 300+ per year, and that keeps goin' up..Thanks for opinions
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Old 03-24-2018, 03:33 PM
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Okay, bend in close and I'll whisper the dirty little secret that handloaders are reluctant to share... you ain't going to save _any_ money. None. Zero.

Almost all of us start out reloading with that as the rationale. And, for sure, it's a great thing to tell the wife.

Three hundred bucks? Heck, you can go buy yourself a Lee Loader Kit for twenty-some dollars and be in business. It's slow, but you can make yourself some excellent ammo that way.

That said, the $300 that you have in mind is the way to go. A good press will last you a lifetime. So will most the other things you'll need, like a good powder scale. Those things will be your springboard to things you cannot even imagine today.

Since you're looking at a straight wall revolver cartridge, pay the premium for carbide dies. You can thank me later.

Here's the other half of the secret... you'll shoot more. A LOT more. And you'll come to understand things about your guns and the ammunition they digest that can't be gotten any other way.
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Old 03-24-2018, 03:55 PM
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although I may not agree entirely with the above post much of it is true. If you start reloading you will shoot more and the savings really aren't huge. If you really only intend 300 rds it would be a wastes of time and money. I started loading 40+ years ago so I could get better accuracy out of my rifles, than started loading for handguns, than started casting my own bullets once you get started it's hard to stop. The last thing I did is a blessing and a curse......I built my own shooting range it's great to have a place to shoot anytime I wish but it costs me a lot more because I shoot more.
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Old 03-24-2018, 04:09 PM
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Reloading is everything said above plus it's something to do instead of watching the TV all the time. It gives you
a reason to pick up that empty brass at the range and do something with it besides collect them. It gives you a
reason to get involved is some of those conversions you just stand there and nod your head at. And it will also
give you a way to shoot Bulleye 45 at 25 and 50 yards without changing your sights just adjusting how you reload
your ammo.
And the list goes on and on.
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Old 03-24-2018, 04:11 PM
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I reload exclusively .38 Special. Started back when it was fairly expensive. I shoot some 9mm, but at less than 20 cents a round, the time and effort doesn’t make sense to me. Plus, I don’t like bothering with policing up the brass (most of which falls in front of the firing line anyway). Once you pay back your initial investment, the savings is obviously in re-using the brass. And yes, you might save a few cents, if you watch the sales for components. At the indoor range distances that I shoot, it’s not so much about accuracy. I mostly do it because it’s an enjoyable, relaxing pastime. If I can save a little money, that’s just a bonus. Best of luck in your endeavors.
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Old 03-24-2018, 04:19 PM
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With the nonsense going on today in DC and other places having the ability to load your own ammunition would seem to be a hedge against not finding ammunition.
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Old 03-24-2018, 04:35 PM
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I haven't bought .38 in a long time. It's a great reloading round, and Unique will work just fine. Costs about 6$ a box, using coated 158 grain SWC.
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Old 03-24-2018, 04:57 PM
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I kinda hate to get into this cost analysis thing, because it depends on which equipment you buy and so on. I don't even consider the value of time, 'cause I have plenty. I do consider the advantage of loading your own stuff how you want it, plus the enjoyment of the reloading process, but do not place an economic value on those subjective parts. Anybody can argue with the price of the basic equipment, but it ranges from A to Z. You will definitely enjoy your shooting more (and more) - priceless.

A quick look shows that you might break even at about 2000 rounds, then your cost goes down to about 6 cents each after equipment is amortized.
Press/dies/scale - $300 (YMMV depending on single stage, turret, etc)
2 lbs. powder - $60 (you already have Unique, a great powder for .38, but it will need to be replaced)
2000 158 g. HiTec coated bullets - $172 (Missouri Bullet Co)
2000 primers - $60
tumbler/media - $50
200 brass - $10 (assume 5 cents apiece once fired or range pick up = free)
Total $652

Factory ammo at your price of $16/50 = $640
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Old 03-24-2018, 05:02 PM
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I once asked myself that question, when I was shooting about 50,000 rounds annually of .38 special ammo. So, I ran some numbers.

I figured that, ignoring the cost of setting up the reloading equipment, I would save around $8 per hour for every hour that i expended loading ammo.

My conclusion: reload your own ammo, only as a hobby that you enjoy doing, not for economic reasons. I do not enjoy repetitive actions that require little brain power, so my mind wanders, and I would likely produce defective ammo due to not paying enough attention to what i am doing.

Yes, of course there are other ways to look at it.
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Old 03-24-2018, 05:06 PM
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As an older newby reloader, I went into it with the intent to further my interaction with the shooting hobby. I love to tinker and this gives me something to feel an accomplishment. I have a pretty good stash of ammo but I like the I did it myself feeling. Will I save money? Probably not but I enjoy it. Plus I load .32 S&W long which is kind of an obscure load nowadays.
On another note for those contemplating it, RCBS has an awesome rebate going on now, spend $500 and get $175 rebate, so you could get a Rockchucker starter set( which is what I went with), with a couple of sets of dies and a few odds and ends for a great price.
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Old 03-24-2018, 05:23 PM
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It’s a fun hobby. You still spend what you can. You just get to shoot more.
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Old 03-24-2018, 05:28 PM
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I'm not sure if you posted a somewhat similar thread over on defensivecarry.com, but, if not, here's the reply I just posted there:

I actually put together a spread sheet analyzing the cost vs savings before I bought mine, and as I recall I calculated that I'd save ~$75 per range session (shooting about 400 rounds of .38 SPL per session, which is a bit higher than my average, but not far). It's true that it can eat up a ton of time, which I don't have. Between the savings and the time, I opted for a Hornady Lock and Load progressive press. I believe my initial outlay with press kit, dies, shell plate, powder, primers, and bullets was ~$700. (I saved shells for while before hand). I had an ultrasound cleaner before I started reloading (which is an expensive piece of gear), but frankly I hate using it to clean brass and got a cheap vibratory cleaner that works brilliantly but adds about another maybe $75 including media. So, assuming one range trip per month, which is sadly about right for me, the initial outlay was paid off within the first year.

I can load an average about 200 rounds per hour. It can be more, but stopping to reload primers and monkey around slows me down to 200ish rounds. So in two hours or less I can be ready for a range session the next day.

Now that I'm mostly shooting 327/357/44 Magnum, the savings are even greater.

If I were to do it again, I'd look really hard at the Lee progressive presses before I bought. I've ended up buying stuff by Hornady, Lee, and RCBS, and the Lee stuff has been cheaper but works just as well or even better in some cases. My Hornady powder drop has become completely obsolete since I got the much cheaper Lee Auto Drum that outperforms the Hornady in every way at a fraction of the price. The Auto Drum also requires Lee dies, so I'll be replacing some RCBS dies as well, which is fine with me because my Lee dies have been flawless.

The other side of reloading is it gives you an enormous ability to shoot what you want. For example, I load tons of light 44 magnum loads for practice, then also load a good number of midlevel 44s to keep things interesting. So far I haven't loaded any full strength magnums, because I have a couple of boxes I bought from Walmart that I've been shooting through at a very slow pace. Reloading impacts the way you shoot so much it becomes a hobby in itself.


I'll add that .38 SPL tends to cost over $0.30 per round, and you can reload for half of that if not less. 50% savings is no joke, and using a progressive press means you won't eat up tons of time doing it.
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Old 03-24-2018, 05:35 PM
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For handgun rounds, it's to make what you want such at target loads.
Mostly 38's & 44 Spl for me.
Now, if your into rifles, that where you can save a lot of money reloading.
300 WBY magnums cost $70-80 for 20!
I can load them for my hunting buddy for around $1-$2 per round depending on what bullet he wants.
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Old 03-24-2018, 05:38 PM
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Does it save me money? Probably not. As stated above because the cost per round is so much cheaper I shoot a whole lot more but I get the extra time shooting so money wise it’s a trade off but what I really enjoy is tayloring loads for each of my guns. I’ve been loading off and on for over 30 Years and it still amazes me the difference a certain load can make even at 15-25 yards! The downside to my constant testing is you wind up with a lot of different powder and different types of bullets so you spend more money on components than actually needed. A lot of guys would be happy to find one load that works ok with all their guns and cost wise that’s the smart way. Every time I get a new to me gun I can’t stand it, I have to find what works best.
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Old 03-24-2018, 05:42 PM
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I think you can save money IF you don't go crazy. I's fun to go to the range and shoot 300 rounds in an afternoon though. IF you shoot a LOT more and get a reasonable priced setup for a cartridge or two, you might come out ahead financially. I'd guess I'm WAY in the hole personally. I started with a cheap press and 38/357 LEE dies. Well, I now have 25lbs of powder, thousands of primers, couple hundred pounds of brass in about 25 calibers, 25 sets of dies, 4 presses, case trimmers, length gauges, measuring equipment, several powder scales, dedicated reloading room and bench. Then I bought a bullet mold which has now morphed into 50 or so of them and all the associated bullet casting gear. Now throw in the time spent at the bench isolated from family (I lock the outside door when I open a can of powder, absolutely no distractions). It would have been WAY simpler and cheaper to have had a nice .38 and buy a half dozen boxes of wadcutters every year.. WAY cheaper!
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Old 03-24-2018, 05:56 PM
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In your stated situation I suggest buying the next year's ammo factory loaded (under $12/box) and look around for the year on what you'll need to reload. Gives you some time to analyze things better.

You might also look around your locality for a custom loader as another alternative.
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Old 03-24-2018, 06:03 PM
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For me, it isn't about saving money (I don't think I do) but it gives me the capability to load ammo the way I want it. 99% of my shooting is bullseye, I like light wadcutter loads which are hard find.

It also helps insulate me from the panics. I was shooting all I wanted in 2008-2012 when there was no ammo.
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Old 03-24-2018, 06:58 PM
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The reason I reload and cast bullets for 38 special , and every other gun I own, is because after an election, when a certain party wins, all the ammo disappears off dealers shelves . With the simple stroke of a pen you can loose the right to buy ammo over the internet .
I have been through this....more than once.
I reload and cast bullets so that I'm not at the mercy of what is left on a dealers shelf. I can make all the ammo I need, the panics that have happened will happen again...you might want to " Be Prepared" for the next one.
Being the master of your own ammo supply feels good !
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Old 03-24-2018, 07:01 PM
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I have reloaded for three decades now. I can honestly say that I did not save one penny by reloading. I did get to shoot 20% to 50% more ammo, depending upon caliber and what sort of deals I could get on components.

And yes, a good press, dies, powder measure, and scales can last a lifetime.

My advice: If you are going to shoot a couple hundred rounds per year, just buy ammo, in bulk if possible. If you are going to shoot a couple hundred rounds per month, reloading starts to make sense. If you are going to shoot a couple hundred rounds per week, you are one lucky dog and you either have deep pockets or you reload your ammo.
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Old 03-24-2018, 07:13 PM
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I've been reloading for many decades. Reloading gives me peace of mind, knowing that I'm not burning up a twenty dollar bill or a twenty plus for every box. I also get some satisfaction in shooting something I made. I like being able to make ammo not readily available. I shot competition for many years and would never been able to afford the sport without reloading. Quality factory match ammo costs would have prevented it. I've been doing it long enough where, once in a while, someone will give me free bullets or brass because they or someone they know has given up the hobby. Today I loaded up 200 rounds of 9mm with FMJ bullets given to me. They cost me about $1.35 per box of 50!
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Old 03-24-2018, 07:21 PM
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Years ago I bought a Lee Anniversary Kit . It has worked fine for me through thousands and thousands of rounds reloaded and I saved a lot of $ vs buying the blue , orange , green reloader kits . I also use Lee dies exclusively and coundn't be happier . The one recommendation I would recommend , if you buy the LEE set is to upgrade your powder scale to the RCBS . The Lee works , but it has some oddities that require really understanding how to use it properly .
I started out using the Lee Reloader kit for 38spl , as many many current reloaders did . I reloaded over 1500 rounds with that little kit that cost me about $30 at the time . For someone wanting to reload less than 1000 rounds a yr , I highly recommend that little LEE kit . Reloading just isn't for everyone and I hate to see someone spend hundreds of dollars starting out only to discover they just don't care for it . Regards , Paul
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Old 03-24-2018, 07:24 PM
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If all you're shooting is 300 rounds per year you could probably find someone who has a progressive press and is willing to show you the ropes and you can knock out that many rounds in 2 hours. I wouldn't waste money on reloading equipment if you're shoooting that little.

If you want to start shooting a lot more than go for it.
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Old 03-24-2018, 07:27 PM
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I have been handloading since I was 10 years old 1967 and casting since about 81 I have no idea how much I have saved but I bet it has been a lot. I really do not know how much ammo cost other than 32acp as I do not load for them. I figure if I shoot conservatively I have enough for the rest of my life,,,,,,,
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Old 03-24-2018, 07:53 PM
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There are a couple of ways to look at this question that comes up frequently, maybe several times a month.
If you have to ask yourself or others if it's worth it to "reload" a particular cartridge, it's not, simply because of the misery involved in doing so. I can't see how any potential cost saving would obviate the unpleasant work.

"Handloading", however, is a hobby in itself. One can make ammo considerably more accurate than factory ammunition, but it takes load development (experimentation), something that requires both a curious mind and time.

It's understandable that some people don't have the time or the interest in load development. Nothing wrong with that.

If you're not going to enjoy the advantages of handloading, then it seems there is little point in reloading, unless you just want ammo that always fires with little or no concern for accuracy. That's easy to do as long as you have read a loading manual (as opposed to a YouTube video) and are aware of safety practices. There may also be some money saving in there somewhere.

The AR15 people probably ask the "reloading or not" question more frequently than others, and it's far from a stupid question. It's certainly a legitimate one.
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Old 03-24-2018, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by reddog81 View Post
If all you're shooting is 300 rounds per year you could probably find someone who has a progressive press and is willing to show you the ropes and you can knock out that many rounds in 2 hours. I wouldn't waste money on reloading equipment if you're shoooting that little.

If you want to start shooting a lot more than go for it.
Once you find out how cheap you can shoot on a per round basis, those 300 rounds will become 500, which will become 750.............

The next thing you know you will buying new guns and loading for them. It simply progresses.
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Old 03-24-2018, 10:13 PM
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I buy most of my components when I find a better than usual price on them. I can also load up ammo that offers something different than what I can buy. I bought my reloading equipment years or decades ago and don't really care if it pays for itself or not (it probably has). Sometimes it's just relaxing to load up a quantity of ammo.
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Old 03-24-2018, 10:18 PM
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$43 for 100 rounds of Winchester white box factory loads of $13 for your reloads? Not even a choice is it?

Not to mention stockpiling powder and components occupies much less space and keeps you immune from the next shortage. Which might be the last shortage before a total ban.
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Old 03-24-2018, 10:19 PM
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I shoot on average 300-400 rounds a week of mostly 357 magnum and for me at least it has been very cost effective to reload at home. Commercial 357 sold at stores cost anywhere from $29-39 bux for a box of 50. But that's mostly full power loads. I just want to plink & do bowling pin matches. Pay attention to online sales & local prices on supplies and you'll spend considerably less and get more bang for your buck.
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Old 03-24-2018, 10:22 PM
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With a box of fifty Winchester 148gr wc bullets at around $34.....

Ten boxes is $340 plus tax!!

How much was that loading press?
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Old 03-24-2018, 10:27 PM
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With a box of fifty Winchester 148gr wc bullets at around $34.....

Ten boxes is $340 plus tax!!

How much was that loading press?

I shoot 2X that much a month. Press cost me $269.

Choice is yours to make and no one else's. You can spend up to $500 initially for a press and supplies or you can spend 500 bucks on ammo. But you're always going to be buying ammo because bullets don't grow back after you shoot 'em.

reloading pays for itself in time.
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Old 03-24-2018, 10:40 PM
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Without reading the first post, YES! RELOADING ALWAYS MAKES SENSE!

No excuse not to do it. I see the other people at the range flushing money down the toilet (i.e. shooting factory ammo) and laugh and point!!
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Old 03-24-2018, 11:29 PM
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I'm retired and have reloaded ammo since 1974. I have no problem shooting 300 rounds of 38 spl WC in 1 hour.

I also cast bullets. My original equipment was bought and paid for in 1974 to 1979. I now have 2 Dillon 550 presses, six Lee 6-cavity and a dozen Lyman 2- and 4-cavity bullet molds, all paid for after ONE casting session based on the current price of purchased cast bullets.

All my ammo: 38 spl, 9 MM, 40 S&W, 45 ACP ammo costs less than cheap 22 LR based on 50 round boxes. 357 mag cost $4.30 and 44 mag cost is $5.50 because of heavier powder charges for 50 rounds.

I don't save money reloading because I shoot a lot because reloaded bullets are cheap. I buy primers and powder whenever I find it on sale; primers $20 per thousand and powder $20 per pound. It doesn't happen often but I buy all the cheap stuff I find at gun shows, yard sales, or gun shop sales. Now I have a 5+ year inventory of powder and primers.

Start reloading now, it will not get cheaper!
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Old 03-25-2018, 01:20 AM
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Once you find out how cheap you can shoot on a per round basis, those 300 rounds will become 500, which will become 750.............

The next thing you know you will buying new guns and loading for them. It simply progresses.
Yes, you save big money by reloading, with the same amount of money expended, you get to shoot four, five maybe six times as much.

If you don't think that is 'saving money' ask your wife (replace the word cartridges with shoes, and reloading with sale).
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Old 03-25-2018, 03:20 AM
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Default IF...

IF:

You shoot a lot.

You show control over not buying every gadget or just what will do the job well w/o spending more.

YES, it save me money. 9mm is not economical to reload but when you don't have any money and want to shoot, reloading is great. Any cartridge that isn't 'common as dirt' is going to cost more. If you think you may shoot more or get into another caliber, I'd say certainly go for it.

OK, I don't save much money on 9mm. Except that I do shoot more with my 9mm carbine so it saves a little more.

But I do save on...

.38/.357
.44Spec/.44 mag
30-06 ( and Garand for not shooting with a gas cap)
7.7 Arisaka
.223/5.56 Nato
I will be loading 5.56x54R when I get the dies.
If I get into my old break open Colt I'll do .38 S&W which you don't find and is expensive when you do.

PS: When you find out that it's gangs of fun, let yourself loose and buy all the reloading stuff you want.
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:32 AM
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Thank You all for the kind replies, about what I thought,as I've shotgun loaded for years. I'm gonna do it. I would love to find a decent setup used, e-bay ,estate sale ect. I will be patient on this one. single stage is perfect. My 28,19,10,15,trooper are wanting more farm time, and I'm retiring.
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:36 AM
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Without reading the first post, YES! RELOADING ALWAYS MAKES SENSE!

No excuse not to do it. I see the other people at the range flushing money down the toilet (i.e. shooting factory ammo) and laugh and point!!
I just pick up their once fired empty brass and smile!
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:40 AM
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OK, I don't save much money on 9mm. Except that I do shoot more with my 9mm carbine so it saves a little more.
I load mostly 115 gr. FMJ bullets for 9mm. It costs me around $5.65 per box of 50. How is that not saving $4.00 or better per box of factory ammo?

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Old 03-25-2018, 08:45 AM
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I don't mind reloading at all. Something to do when the mood strikes me. I have 44 magnum components on my table now.
I use Handloads.com calculator to figure out my cost of ammo. With (quality) components and deals have loaded .38 Special @ $3.48 a box of 50. The local gun store ran in Nov. & Dec. all of their cast bullets at half off. Coated included. Bought 4 boxes.
Is it right for you???? The decision is yours! Regardless, enjoy shooting. Bob
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:47 AM
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Having been one who started out with a Lee Loader, I don't recommend them unless that is all you can afford and since you are buying factory ammo, I'd say that you can afford better. I won't get into the argument as to which equipment brand is better. After I got tired of the tedious and time consuming process of reloading with the Lee Loader kit (it didn't take long), I upgraded to a Lyman kit. That worked great and saved me a lot of time. Later on when I began shooting competition and therefore shooting quite a bit more, I got my first Dillon. It was a 450 at the time and since has been upgraded to a 550. This is to point out that your decision really boils down to how much you shoot or want to shoot. I retired from pistol competition years ago, but still shoot a couple hundred rounds of pistol ammo per week for fun.
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:52 AM
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For me, I just like reloading. I have 5 shotgun presses, 4 bench rest type specialty press's for precision rifle reloading and a turret press for pistols. I wish I still had the Star Press's that I used to own.

If you shoot a lot, you will certainly save money eventually. For me, I have had a hard time finding .38 Wad Cutters other than Ultra-Match for about $35 to $45 per box depending on the brand, or remanufactured ones that I do not like using. Similar issue with 45 ACP SWC. So another reason to reload.

Bob
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Old 03-25-2018, 09:04 AM
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Default IF RELOADING ANY CALIBER.

38 Special would get my vote for the best. An easy to load, straight walled case, & 2.7 gr's of powder goes a VERY long way. Accurate & pleasant to shoot. The cost for cast boolits is reasonable. Retired with the time, close to a range, planning on shooting 1+ times a week? A no brainer, AND figure on shooting 200 rounds per visit EASY. It's NOT REALLY about the $, but at that volume, YES you will save $ in the not so long run. JMO.
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Old 03-25-2018, 09:51 AM
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After amortizing the cost of your equipment, you'll probably save 50%+- on your ammunition costs. How long it will take to amortize would depend largely on your cost of components. When I bought my progressive press years ago, I calculated that 2000 rounds of various calibers for which I was loading would pay for the equipment in savings over factory ammo. The question you might ask yourself is how often and how much will you shoot. Be realistic. I recently decided to suspend reloading .45 ACP because I just don't shoot that much of it any longer. I have other calibers to play with and load for, including .38 Special. Besides, I am at the age at which sweeping and picking up brass, and, loading up magazines has lost its appeal.
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:26 AM
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If you like to shoot your firearms then handload.

If you are so broke that purchasing $50.00 worth of ammo 3 or 4 times a year is a financial hardship, handloading is not for you. I don't mean to be a jerk, but as a few other posters have stated, just asking the question "if handloading would sense" means to me that it doesn't.

As far as getting pleasure out of the activity, handloading is not for everyone and there is nothing romantic about it. The common "wisdom" among shooters that reloading ammo saves a ton of money is simply not true. But if you want to enjoy handloading as a hobby the best way to ensure that you do is to gather good tools right from the start. As with everything, you get what you pay for.

I have said it many times, some will argue that I'm wrong, but to get started in this endeavor you will need at a minimum an investment of $500.00 however $1,000.00 is not out of the question.

Someone will respond to this with a detailed post giving prices at the $250.00 level or proclaim buy used but when you add up all of the things needed to put together a reloading bench even $500.00 is really not enough. It is of course true that you can buy such and such *ee kit for $150.00 but that is not everything you need, probably most of what is in the kit is not what you want and 2 months into the hobby you will have spent more money on common hardware (nuts and bolts and lighting and storage) for your bench than the cost of that kit.
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:53 AM
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Hmmm. It would appear I failed to consider the cost of "starting from scratch". I loaded for years on a single-stage press (still use it) and already had "stuff" before I bought my progressive. Yep. Bench, scale, dies, primer flipper; all that good stuff. It does add up. Again, how much, realistically, do you intend to shoot?
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Old 03-25-2018, 11:04 AM
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I load mostly 115 gr. FMJ bullets for 9mm. It costs me around $5.65 per box of 50. How is that not saving $4.00 or better per box of factory ammo?
I think he means you ONLY save $4 per box in 9x19. If you shoot one box per month it will take a long time to amortize your costs. But if you shoot a lot, or shoot less ubiquitous calibers where factory ammo may cost more, you can save $10, $15, $20, $30 per box it adds up faster.

But even $4 per month is $48 a year, if you are doing one box a month a Lee Loader or handpress is an economical choice. And you make ammo tailored to your gun. And you will shoot more because it's more fun.

Just sayin'.
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Old 03-25-2018, 11:21 AM
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I hope it makes sense because I've been doing it for nearly a half-century.

OP shoots 300 rounds per year using ammo at $16 per box, so his expense is about $96 (plus sales taxes). A relatively simple reloading kit (light duty press, dies, powder measure/scale) can be put together for about $100 to $150. Box of 500 cast .38 bullets is about $35, 500 primers are about $15, a pound of pistol powder is about $20 (good for 1400-plus rounds), so the cost of loading 300 rounds is about $35. Total start up investment is recovered in under a year and a half, and the equipment will last a lifetime with very little care.

Most of the reloaders I have known started off small, then discovered that they can do a lot more shooting within their current budget. I suspect the OP would quickly find himself shooting much more frequently and enjoying it a lot more.

About 46 years ago I branched out into bullet casting, scavenging lead alloys from printers and tire shops. I was shooting .38, 9mm, .45 and other calibers for less than the cost of store-bought .22LR. Can't quite do that anymore, but it's still pretty close.
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Old 03-25-2018, 11:28 AM
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With the nonsense going on today in DC and other places having the ability to load your own ammunition would seem to be a hedge against not finding ammunition.
Major DITTO! Any time I acquire a firearm chambered for a caliber I have not used in the past the first order of business is a set of reloading dies and a good bullet mold. Looking into my reloading closet right now I see over a dozen powders, cartons of primers (5000 per carton in all types), several thousand bullets, and many thousands of empty cases (in various stages of processing). During the long dry spell of recent years, when neither ammo nor components could be found regardless of price, I felt the pinch just a little bit, but I was always able to keep myself supplied.

Anyone who doubts the need should read the UN Treaty on Small Arms Trafficking, paying close attention to proposed restrictions on ammo, components, and reloading (i.e.: manufacturing).

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Old 03-25-2018, 11:46 AM
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[QUOTE=Thomas



The common "wisdom" among shooters that reloading ammo saves a ton of money is simply not true.

to get started in this endeavor you will need at a minimum an investment of $500.00 however $1,000.00 is not out of the question.


A quick ebay search for a rockchucker (quality) press Used 40$, & the first 1 listed. YES other items will be needed/wanted & the upgrades to newer/better is ongoing, depending on how INTO IT you become. Brass can be cleaned on the stovetop & dried in the oven. I can't remember the last time I trimmed my revolver brass. SURE in 35+/- years I probly have app 2500$ worth of STUFF. Some of it I actually use. Play Golf? How much have you spent on clubs (how many sets?), green fees, club memberships, caddies, carts, tips, silly looking clothes??? Fishing, hunting, scuba, photography, skiing, tennis, ALL THE ABOVE.
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Old 03-25-2018, 12:40 PM
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........snip.....

A quick ebay search for a rockchucker (quality) press Used 40$, & the first 1 listed. YES other items will be needed/wanted & the upgrades to newer/better is ongoing, depending on how INTO IT you become.
......../snip.....


........snip.....
SURE in 35+/- years I probly have app 2500$ worth of STUFF.
....../snip......
Thank you for agreeing with me!
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Old 03-25-2018, 02:17 PM
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I'm somewhat new to revolver shooting and love it. Have several .357/.38. and considering starting to reload. beside having fun at it, how much cheaper would reloaded wad cutters really be? I keep Unique for shotgun loads,maybe could find a .38 load using that. RCBS kit available at $300, maybe LEE ? .38's can be found at about $16 a box. Probablly shoot 300+ per year, and that keeps goin' up..Thanks for opinions
Only you can answer your question. I started way back in the last century, mid 1970's or so. I was young and raising a family, so I started out with the saving money idea. I cast my own .38's, loaded all of them. I don't remember ever buying any factory loads for .38/.357's.
I still reload, and cast bullets. The casting of bullets is not nearly as easy as it was 40 years ago. I only cast .38/.357 now, and not many of those. I load a lot more than I did then, because my Wife and one Daughter shoot with me regularly. I gladly do the work of reloading because I get to spend time with them on the range. It also makes them safe shooters, with some degree of confidence in their ability to protect themselves.
I buy bullets for my 9 mm and our daughter pitches in with the cost. That is a great help.

So, in a nutshell, it's up to you.

Have a blessed day,

Leon

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