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  #1  
Old 08-16-2021, 07:23 PM
oddshooter oddshooter is offline
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So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber  
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Default So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber

I thought I was just going to handload one caliber, the 357 Maximum. It was costing $2.25 a round and I had fallen in love; but I couldn't pay the fee to take her dancing.

Back in 1961, I learned to load 12 gauge shotgun when my step-dad decided my brother and I was shooting too much of his expensive ammo and locked it up. I stopped after a couple of years and forgot all about it.

Then years later my son was over in Phoenix and had a 550 press. I tried it and liked it a lot. I bought a 550 for the 357 Maximum rounds.
I discovered I could make better ammo than I could buy. It wasn't just cheaper, it was better.

So I got the conversion kit and the dies and the powder and the bullets.
Yippee, I'm done. That turned out to be a stupid, pitiful comment.
Once you've got the 550 loader, you may think you're done, but NOOOOO. What could one more caliber hurt?

I have now bought over 20 different powders and dozens upon dozens of different bullets and dies for

32 auto, 32S&W, 32S&Wlong, 32H&Rmag, 325fedmag, 32-20 WCf, 9mm, 38 special, 357mag, 357 Maximum, 40, 10mm, 41spl, 41mag, 44spl, 44mag, 45 auto, 45 Colt, 455 Webley, and others I've probably forgotten.
(anyone notice those are all handgun calibers)

That's a lot to buy and to pay for. I really was ignorant of the supplies needed, but I learned pretty fast.

I spent money everywhere. A guy can't live without a few Lee Factory Crimp Dies; and of course for those pesky bullets, you need a few "M" dies to make that perfect nest.

But please don't ever let me sound like I'm complaining. Handloading is now as much a part of my life as shooting. I would go stark raving mad if I couldn't chase the perfect load for the perfect gun.

Some guys just use one powder, one bullet, one recipe for one caliber. That's not me.

It's an addiction like no other.
Enjoy, but get ready for a journey that may surprise you.

Prescut
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Old 08-16-2021, 07:38 PM
cracker57 cracker57 is offline
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So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber  
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one of the first lies about reloading you will hear is its CHEAPER. hog wash you will save money per round, but you will shoot more which could easily cost more per range visit. But it is always more fun to shoot more so you may have more fun for just a little more dough.
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Old 08-16-2021, 07:42 PM
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I started about 10 years ago and load for everything I own. I try and avoid another caliber so I don't need different components. I have even been reloading 9mm since before it was cool. Have two presses and a third 550 that my son adopted when he started reloading. It is a great addiction and very relaxing to me.
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Old 08-16-2021, 07:45 PM
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sounds like you're havin fun. that's what counts...just bought some shotgun components...OMG...I can buy factory ammo for very little more cost. things have changed
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Old 08-16-2021, 07:58 PM
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Oh dear.

Will have to make a list to see all the cartridges for which I load. I'm "ate up with it" too and have been since the mid-1970s. I'm all sad right now and somehow feel detached because I just packed up all dies, press, supporting equipment, and handloading components for a move.

I can assemble ammunition to feed guns chambered in:


.22 Hornet
.223
.22-250
.220 Swift
.25 ACP
.257 Roberts
.270 Winchester
7X57
.30 Carbine
.30-30
.30 Remington
.300 Savage
.30-40 Krag
.308 Winchester
.30-06
7.62X28 Nagant revolver
7.62X39
7.62X54R
.303 British
.303 ICL Improved
.32 ACP
.32 Long Colt (.32 Short Colt as well)
.32 S&W Long
.32-20 WCF
.32 Winchester Special
.351 Winchester Self Loading
.380 ACP
9mm Luger
9mm Steyr
.38 Super
9X23
.38 Long Colt
.38 S&W
.38 Special
.357 Magnum
.375 H&H Magnum
.38-40 WCF
.40 S&W
10mm
.41 Long Colt
.41 Magnum
.405 WCF
.44 Special
.44 Magnum
.45 ACP (and Auto Rim)
.45 Colt
.455 Webley
.455 Self Loading
.45-60
.45-70
.45-90
12 gauge
10 Gauge
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Old 08-16-2021, 07:59 PM
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So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber  
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I gave up my Shotgun press & supplies probably 10 years ago. But my 550 has been running about 25 years, and the original "purpose" of cheaper 38 super ammo, has multiplied into close to 20 calibers.

I'm so thankful I stocked up on primers, bullets & powder as I went along. I can set down here in my basement for hours at a time, and forget to even eat at times.

When I hit a snag or get frustrated, I just walk away for a while. It's my most enjoyable hobby, and outside of buying more guns, the most expensive. But worth it.

I'm so glad I didn't buy a Square Deal press! One caliber is not enough to satisfy me for sure.
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Old 08-16-2021, 08:06 PM
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I have been reloading for over 35 years. It's amazing how the miscellany will accumulate; tools, supplies, various accoutrement.

I had a set of 41 Mag dies on the shelf for, well, I don't know how long. I'm not even certain how I acquired them, probably through a trade.

I toyed with the idea of trading them off, or even selling them.

Then one day at a gun show, a 3-screw Ruger in 41 Mag called my name as I walked down the aisle....it lives here now.

Don't sell anything, you may need it later.
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Old 08-16-2021, 08:58 PM
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So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber  
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I have been reloading for 49 years now. I have trouble remembering the last time I purchased factory-made ammo. Modern, vintage, antique, handgun, rifle, I cater to them all.

Every time I add a new caliber the first thing I do is order a set of dies and a bullet mold.

In the handgun calibers I regularly use I have thousands of cases, usually at one stage or another in the reloading process (cleaning, decapping, resizing, case mouth expansion, priming) and I usually have enough ready to dump powder and seat bullets to replenish my ammo locker.

Economy? As others have pointed out, we tend to shoot much more when we become reloaders, so that point must be conceded. I will argue in favor of economy, especially with home-made cast bullets, because I shoot most common handgun calibers for little more than .22 LR rimfire ammo costs. I currently average about 6 cents per round for powder and primers, re-using cases as long as they continue to perform and casting my own bullets with salvaged lead.

There is also a very strong argument to be made in becoming, and remaining, independent of the vagaries of ammo supplies and periodic shortages (over which none of us has any control). The past few years have given us several chances to see what can happen in the marketplace for those who are not prepared to take care of their own needs.
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Old 08-16-2021, 09:58 PM
terry_tr6 terry_tr6 is offline
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So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber  
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one of the things that blows apart the "saving money" plan is once you can load your own, of course you need to test different loads to find what your guns like and just how accurate they can be. of course, there are a whole range of powders to test, bullet weights, design, and brands that need to be tested. look up how to calculate factorials and you will soon see why you don't save money...
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Old 08-16-2021, 10:26 PM
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Oddshooter:

What happened to .25 ACP? I restarted reloading this little guy when ammo hit $1/round to unobtainable. I started with .38/.357 in 1964 and I'm currently loading 14 different handgun cartridges - not much compared to some of you guys! Time to head to the basement and load up a box of .38 S&W.
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Old 08-16-2021, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by HKSmith View Post
Oddshooter:

What happened to .25 ACP? I restarted reloading this little guy when ammo hit $1/round to unobtainable. I started with .38/.357 in 1964 and I'm currently loading 14 different handgun cartridges - not much compared to some of you guys! Time to head to the basement and load up a box of .38 S&W.
Some of that sounds like me....
From 32 ACP to 500 S&W magnum and lot in between.....
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Old 08-16-2021, 10:45 PM
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Yeah, I know the feeling. Oh and by the way same applies for casting during this shortage of everything I couldn’t find any .501 commercial bullets to feed my 500Mag and 50 Beo, so I’ve decided to buy just one mold, pot Lee APP and one sizing die. Few months later I’m up to a dozen molds and wondering why I’ve waited so long
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Old 08-16-2021, 11:43 PM
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So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber  
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I have the same problem with the 41 magnum . I started out with one mold , now have over a dozen for that caliber . I really love shooting the 41 magnum from " mild to wild " in molds in different cast weights and bullet designs . I lucked out a few years ago and was able to be get the " real Keith swc 220gr H&G 258 " it gets the most use . But so yes , I understand . Regards Paul
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Old 08-17-2021, 07:05 AM
stansdds stansdds is offline
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So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber  
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I have never saved a penny by reloading my ammo. My reloads cost no more than 1/2 the cost of factory practice ammo, but I end up shooting twice as much with my reloads, so no cost savings, just twice as much trigger time. My reloads can also exceed the accuracy of the cheap, factory made practice ammo.
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Old 08-17-2021, 07:33 AM
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So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber  
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It's a slippery slope.
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Old 08-17-2021, 09:30 AM
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So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber  
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Been reloading for my rifles over 50 years. Got into casting my own bullets big when I started shooting handguns. The single shot rifles in my repertoire demand the odd, hard-to-find cartridges... 32-20, 32-40, 45-120, 50-70. And it is cheaper to make my own 45-70 ammo than buy factory. Got dies for every centerfire round I shoot. and I bought a set of 25-35 dies for when I find an affordable model 94 to round out my collection.
I even branched out into collecting the old Ideal hand loaders in my quest for decent molds. It's a fun hobby.

John
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Old 08-17-2021, 11:33 AM
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So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber So you're thinking about handloading for 1 caliber  
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Default Savings! ? !

Most of the posts above sound like "my story"! That being stated, I must add to this discussion. The next step in reloading for me has been to acquire and shoot guns in calibers long gone and/or "out of favor" by the shooting world. Try to find a box .256 Win Mag or 22 Rem Jet on the shelf of your LGS! I also shoot the seldom heard of .224 Harvey K Chucker! The knowledge learned in my reloading of all the cartridges I shoot, rifle and pistol, have allow me to advance into the world of case forming and reloading for the above mentioned cartridges.
SIDE NOTE; You may ask "why .256 Win Mag"? Because Smith & Wesson made ONE , mod 53 chambered in .256 Win Mag! ! I already own S&W guns in the other calibers and there is always HOPE to own one S&W in the .256
Win Mag!
jcelect

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Old 08-17-2021, 12:08 PM
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Like many, I started long ago with no idea of reloading 13 calibers. Summer of 1969; one little Lee Loader in 38 Special, 100 CCI SP primers, one pound of Bullseye, brass I scrounged from the local police range, 250 generic 158 gr LSWC and I was off and running. I have to be careful now as I really have no more room in my shop for another gun and reloading stuff (I had to stop myself from hitting "confirm order" on a vendor's forum for dies, brass and bullets for 327 Fed Mag. I've been eyeballing a Ruger LCRx in 327 for a few months)...

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Old 08-17-2021, 01:44 PM
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I have been reloading for 50+ years now. I don't buy that BS that it's not cheaper. I get to shoot more than twice as much for the same amount of dollars as I could if I was buying ammo. And I shoot 41 mag, 44 mag and 475 Linebaugh. Not to mention the weatherby calibers, and the 264 mag, and the 220 swift. Enjoy what You do.
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Old 08-17-2021, 02:58 PM
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Same thing I thought, "ehh I'll just load for the .357....


Boy was I wrong...
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Old 08-17-2021, 03:56 PM
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I started with 12 gauge at 10 years old in Dad's garage. Were all waterfowlers and lead was Ok back then. Issue was, for waterfowl loads, no one back then was using the AA low brass shells. Not in any book for larger lead sizes. So we used the high brass shell. Those sons of guns would swell and stick in the chamber no mater how many times you sized them.

Fast forward 15 years I got a Colt series 70 Government .38 super and winced at ammo prices. That started me on metallic reloading. Now on 15+ calibers.

The weird thing is, until the most recent scare 12 gauge dove loads only saved 50 cents a box. Could pick them up at Academy for $5.99 a box and reloading was $5.50. The dust started gathering on my MEC. Still have 3 cases of Rem. Heavy dove, so set for this years season, but next year may have to resurrect the MEC.

Hi Ivan!

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Old 08-17-2021, 07:17 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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Hello my name's Ivan, and I reload.

It all started in the fall of 1978, with a cheap Enfield SMLE and the gun store ran out of Winchester ammo, but on a shelf in the back of the store (In a dark and dusty corner) was a Lee Loader in 303 British. Back then a box of 100 Hornady Bullets was $5.69 a pound of IMR 3031 was $7.59 and a tray of 100 primers was 69 Cents, the Lee Loader was less than $9. I already had a hammer and the basement floor!

The cost of 5 boxes of factory ammo (my first hundred rounds) was close to $60, My second hundred rounds was $27.97, My third hundred rounds was $19!

Honest, I thought I could keep my using to just one or two weekends a month! But by 1981 I was using 2 weeknights and every weekend! In 1984 I bought a Dillon 450, about 2 months before they went customer direct. Once it was set up the first large batch was 5000 9mm's. The government was an enabler also! I bought 21,000 55 grain FMJBT/C for 5.56 NATO at 7.99/1000! So I scrounged every 223 brass in central Ohio and loaded 20,00 of them, followed by several batches of 5000 and 10,000 9mm's for my full auto MAC-10.

In 2016 when we sold the farm, my loading room had 17 running feet of loading bench. There was the Dillon, long ago upgraded to a 550b, a Hornady L-I-L AP, 2 RCBS Rock Chucker Supremes, a Redding T-7, 2 Lubrasizers, a Starr sizing machine and a few single stage presses!

Now I live in a condo! My loading room is a 5 feet long bench in the laundry room. It has 1 Lyman 450 bullet sizer, 1 Rock Chucker Supreme, the Dillon 550b, and the T-7. My 8 shotgun presses are on boards and mount to Workmate portable benches. I just bought 2 used sets of dies I didn't need yet, but they take me to 121 cartridges reloaded. My wife has been very supportive and understanding! I do buy her good jewelry! I don't collect girl friends!

Hi I'm Ivan and I reload. (all respond Hi Ivan.)
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Old 08-18-2021, 11:49 AM
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Hi Ivan,

My name is Prescut, and I am able to quit anytime I want.

No really; I'm sure my hand will stop shaking and my mind will stop racing, from just having written that.

Who needs the solitude of handloading? Who needs the satisfaction of producing beautiful little pills? Who needs a rush as a recipe produces a tiny cloverleaf? Who needs the thrill of ringing steel at 200 yards from a handgun?

Well, maybe I do have a problem; but I will never say it our loud for fear the family might start an intervention.


Prescut

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Old 08-18-2021, 12:27 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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Hi, Prescut!

I'm sure I have everything under control also! As to the intervention? Where would my adult children get their ammo?, Three of them and myself used 2700 rounds at a 3 day Cowboy shoot, between a practice day and 3 of competition! I don't think you could buy 2700 rounds of 45 Colt in all of Ohio right now!

Or am I just rationalizing my habit, because it is convenient for others as well as myself?

Ivan

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Old 08-18-2021, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan the Butcher View Post
Hi, Prescut!

I'm sure I have everything under control also! As to the intervention? Where would my adult children get their ammo?, Three of them and myself used 2700 rounds at a 3 day Cowboy shoot, between a practice day and 3 of competition! I don't think you could buy 2700 rounds of 45 Colt in all of Ohio right now!

Or am I just rationalizing my habit, because it is convenient for others as well as myself?

Ivan
Yes, the family thing seems to be pretty common. I'm not sure that my sons or my grandchildren actually know that ammunition can be purchased in stores. They just pack up their fired brass and send it to Grampa's house. Couple of months prior to deer season every year I find myself doing a marathon reloading session, usually 30-plus boxes of rifle ammo. One son really likes .45ACP, the other son shoots .357, 9mm and .40S&W. One grandson prefers 9mm and seems to shoot about as much as I do.

At least they have all learned to save their brass!
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Old 08-18-2021, 09:10 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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I added to bmcgilvray's list, but I have about a half dozen more than this list.

I can assemble ammunition to feed guns chambered in:

.22 Hornet, also 22 K hornet, 2R Lovel, and 218 Bee
.223, also 222 Rem, 222Rem R, 222Rem mag, and 221 fireball
.22-250, also 22 BR
.220 Swift, 22 Savage HP
6mmPPC, 6x 284Win, 243 Win and 244 Rem
6.5x54 MS, 6.5 Carcano, 6.5 Jap., 6.5 x 267 Roberts and 264 Win Mag
.270 Winchester x also 280 Rem
7X57, also 7x57 improved, 7x57R and 7mm Rem Mag
.30 Carbine, 30-30, 30 Remington, 300 Savage, and 30-40 US
.308 Winchester, 260 Win, 7-08 and 358 win
.30-06, 300 Win Mag, 300 H&H Mag, 300 Weath Mag
7.62X39, 7.62x45 Rumanian, 7.62X54R & 8mmx 56 Hungarian
.303 British, 7,7 Jap., and 7.63 Argentine
.32 ACP, 32 S&W Long, 32 S&W and 32 H&R mag
.32-20 WCF, 32-20 Marlin, 338 Win Mag and 338 Lapua Mag
.32 Winchester Special, 8x57 Mauser, 8x57R and 8mm x 56 MS
.351 Winchester Self Loading and 357 Legend
.380 ACP also 9mm Mak and 9x18 Ultra
9mm Luger, 9mm Glenseti
9mm Steyr also 9mm Largo .38 Super 9X23 and 9mm Win Mag
.38 Long Colt also Short Colt
.38 S&W, 38 Special, 357 Magnum also 357 Maximum
.375 H&H Magnum x also 375 Win & 38-55
.38-40 WCF also 44-40
.40 S&W, 10mm, and 10mm Mag
.41 Magnum, 41 Special and 401 Power Mag
348 Win, 43 Reformado, and 43 Spanish
.44 Special, 44 Evans, 44 Evans Extra long and 44 Russian
.44 Magnum, 445 Mag and 444Marlin
.45 ACP and Auto Rim
.45 Colt, 45 S&W Scofield, 45 US, 45 Colt shotshell, and 45 Win Mag
.455 Webley and 476 Enfield
.455 Self Loading and .455 Colt Auto
.45-60, 45-70, 45-90 also 45-100, 45-110, & 45-120, 450- 3 1/4 N.E., 458
Win Mag, and 458 Lott
50-50 Carbine and 50-70 Govt.
12 gauge x also 20 gauge, 28 gauge, & 410 bore 2.5 & 3"

Ivan
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Old 08-18-2021, 09:47 PM
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I'm sorry to inform bmcgilvray and Ivan the Butcher that you have a terminal disease. Might I say, over the top? I suggest a booster shot
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Old 08-18-2021, 10:56 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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I'm sorry to inform bmcgilvray and Ivan the Butcher that you have a terminal disease. Might I say, over the top? I suggest a booster shot
What caliber is the booster shot in? And is it reloadable?

Ivan
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Old 08-18-2021, 11:23 PM
marinevet marinevet is offline
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Thank guys.........I just loaded my first 50 rounds of .308 today.......I started buying reloading gear and supplies around the first of the year. I am a believer of buy once, cry once, so I've got a few bucks tied up in this project. I am retired, so it will give me something to do.
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Old 08-21-2021, 12:54 PM
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I reload because I like to. Period. I don't count pennies for my components and I buy what I need/want with price being secondary. (I can't remember anyone asking a fisherman "How much did that salmon cost you to catch it?"). I don't buy exotic bullets, and 90% of the calibers I reload are fairly common (I was gonna try casting some silver bullets for my SAA clone but Tonto wasn't around to help me find silver). I spend a lot of time, and enjoy researching load data, searching/deciding on components, and all the steps, the shooting and reviewing/recording results. It's my hobby and I enjoy it. (I could be spending my time/money on wine, women and song but I'm getting a bit too old for the song...).

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Old 08-23-2021, 08:04 PM
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Oddshooter:

What happened to .25 ACP? I restarted reloading this little guy when ammo hit $1/round to unobtainable. I started with .38/.357 in 1964 and I'm currently loading 14 different handgun cartridges - not much compared to some of you guys! Time to head to the basement and load up a box of .38 S&W.

Thatís one round I would just buy.

Iím so un-dexterous, Iíd spend all my time looking for brass & bullets Iíd dropped (with magnifying glass) and load maybe 3 per hr.
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Old 08-23-2021, 08:12 PM
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I started about 1972 with the 222 Remington and 6.5 Carcano. Mainly the Carcano because IIRC 20 rounds of Norma ammo cost twice as much as Dad paid for the gun - yes, from Kleins and with a scope. Considering its November 1963 notoriety it was relegated to the closet for several years.

I'm around 100 cartridges now. A while back someone gave me a bunch of 416 Rigby brass, so I went out and bought a 416 rifle. Recently bought a Colt Police Positive in 38 S&W, reload for that now. And reloading allows me to shoot my TZ90 in 41AE - bought that pistol new for $199.00 because I could reload for it. I suspect others have similar stories of how reloading creatively cost $$$ beyond the usual buying bullets and brass.

One of the reasons I'm looking forward to moving into my OR place is that it has a two car attached garage with lots of space. No more cramming stuff into 6x8 ft in an apartment.

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Old 08-25-2021, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
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Oddshooter:

What happened to .25 ACP? I restarted reloading this little guy when ammo hit $1/round to unobtainable.
I have trouble reloading 32 ACP 'cause of the small components and my old, fat fingers so I'm sure 25 ACP would be much worse. Plus I have only one 25 auto, a IJ Walther PP clone, made by Erma, which I have a box and a half of factory Winchester ammo and I can't remember the last time I shot any...
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Old 09-02-2021, 06:59 PM
oddshooter oddshooter is offline
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32 acp is not the easiest to load.
I have trouble getting the bell right. If I get enough bell to hold a bullet upright while seating, I consider myself lucky.

If I get a large bell, I have trouble getting the crimp die to get over the bell without crunching a case or two.

It takes a little adjusting and tuning to get it right.
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Old 09-02-2021, 07:19 PM
Drm50 Drm50 is offline
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I won’t bother to one up with a total list. I will add the #1 rule of loading.
Never, I repeat Never sell a set of dies unless you have multiple sets of same. The #2 rule of loading is that if you sell your dies when you sell the gun, the following day you will get anther gun for same cartridge and you will have to buy dies again. #3 rule of loading, don’t loan you tools. If people want to dance let them pay the band. I’m selling out a lot of guns and dies. Those dies that I didn’t sell were used many times. I would hate to have to replace the dies I have sold recently. Many are now in premium priced categories. The bulk of my dies I bought used through the years.
When you have a large collection of dies lots of times you can use parts or dies from different sets to form and load for Wildcats or obsolete cartridges. I have made up dies from modifying others.
No point in having all those dies if you don’t have a couple hundred bullet molds, sizing presses and sizing dies to go with them.
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Old 09-02-2021, 11:18 PM
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I have a feeling most of us would reload even if we didn’t save money per round because we enjoy it, and we like the variety of loads we can create. Especially when we want something between a special and a magnum, and only we know exactly where we want it to fall between the two. I also prefer lead bullets when shooting steel, so hello reloads!
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