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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Currently I get my reloads from my father, but that is only about 1-2 times a year. I have reloaded for a couple years when I was younger with my father and figured it would save me some money and allow me to shoot more.

How much am I looking at for a decent starter setup to begin reloading? Right now I would only be interested in .357 sig and .40 cal.
 

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I reload with a Dillon 550B, but that's an expensive way to get started in reloading. I'm not a big fan of Lee Precision - except for some of their dies -, but many people think their stuff is pretty good. For not a lot of money you can get a really inexpensive Lee reloading kit from some of the online vendors like Midway. Those kits tend to have everything you need to get started - scales, powder measures, dies, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would to have a Dillon but I think thats a bit out of my budget. That RCBS kit looks like it might work.

So im a newb, how do you reload .357 sig since it has the bottleneck design? I have brass, do I use a 9mm die for it or...?
 
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The real cost is hard to say as I bought my kit over many years as I could either afford something better or perceived a need for additional gear.

I wouldn't even bother reloading now on the rock chucker with which I started although I still use the rock chucker often. It is one of those things it seems every American should own. Rock chucker, Remington 870, 10/22, 1911, Ford 8n, worm drive Skilsaw, Milwaukee screw gun, craftsman tool box... you know that stuff that you find in every farm's shop.
 

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NotSoSimple said:
I would to have a Dillon but I think thats a bit out of my budget. That RCBS kit looks like it might work.

So im a newb, how do you reload .357 sig since it has the bottleneck design? I have brass, do I use a 9mm die for it or...?
I have never reloaded for the .357 Sig. However, in answer to your question, you can't use a 9mm die for it. You'll have to have dies specifically for the .357 Sig round.

Unlike straight walled cases like the .40 S&W or .45 ACP for which carbide sizer dies are available (these dies don't require lubrication of the cases), the .357 Sig is a bottleneck. I'm going out on the limb here since I don't reload for that cartridge, but I think that the dies for .357 Sig round are going to need lube. Lubing a case adds another step to the process and, unless you use some of the newer spray on dry lubes, gets messy.

The RCBS press kit mentioned earlier is a very good single stage press which is great way to start out. I believe that the Lee single stage press kit would be a bit cheaper and just as effective at reloading quality ammo. Then, later, if you decide that reloading is really your ticket you could upgrade to a progressive press and really crank the rounds out.
 

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Since I'm a newbie - especially in the world of reloading, can someone help explain to me how much I might save by reloading my own?

I own an XD-45. So, obviously I'd be reloading .45 shells.

Shells = free (using my initial shells I buy). On a per bullet cost, do you have a guesstimate what reloads would be if I did it myself?

New ammunition, I spent $17.99 + tax on 50 rounds at Cabela's the other day. That makes it about $0.37 per round with tax?

I need the:

Reloading kit from Cabela's - $269.99
Brass Tumbler - $50-$100?
Primer (CCI 1000 pcs) - $30.00?
Powder (1lb Winschester?) - $20.00?
Bullets - (MagTech 500 pcs) - $84.99?

Thanks for the help.

Regards,

barl0w
 

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barl0w said:
Since I'm a newbie - especially in the world of reloading, can someone help explain to me how much I might save by reloading my own?

I own an XD-45. So, obviously I'd be reloading .45 shells.

Shells = free (using my initial shells I buy). On a per bullet cost, do you have a guesstimate what reloads would be if I did it myself?

New ammunition, I spent $17.99 + tax on 50 rounds at Cabela's the other day. That makes it about $0.37 per round with tax?

I need the:

Reloading kit from Cabela's - $269.99
Brass Tumbler - $50-$100?
Primer (CCI 1000 pcs) - $30.00?
Powder (1lb Winschester?) - $20.00?
Bullets - (MagTech 500 pcs) - $84.99?

Thanks for the help.

Regards,

barl0w
You could do the math yourself by adding the cost of each component and dividing the sum by the number of rounds you load, e.g. cost per hundred primers plus cost per hundred bullets plus the cost of each powder charge per hundred. Each pound of powder measures 7,000 grains. Divide 7,000 by the powder charge you intend to use to determine how rounds each pound will load, and then divide the cost of the powder by that number to determine powder cost per round. Based on the figures you've provided and using a 6.0 grain powder charge I come up with approximately .22 cents per round or $11.00 per fifty excluding the initial cost of brass.

A better way to look at your question is how long will it take me to make up the initial cost of equipment by the amount I save. At one time it didn't take long because the cost of components was so low. Now that copper and lead have gotten more expensive, the savings aren't as great and it will take you a bit longer to reach the break even point. One more thing to consider - how much is your time worth.
 

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I don't know if this would help, but I do have this item in the things for sale section. I will also have it with me to sell at the gun show next weekend if it isn't sold by then. Is this in line with what you are looking for? I am sure the cost is great;

A friend of mine had her husband pass away with cancer recently and he left behind a Hornaday reloading kit, new, in the box, C clamp reloader press with 2 dies. If you are interested she will take $100 flat for it. She doesn't do this and wants her space back. I know it is worth more and this is a good deal.
Any interest just pm me, or leave a message here. Arrangements can be made to get it to whomever would like to add this to their reloading supplies.
I am not sure yet if she has some of the other equipment, casings or powder
but will be checking with her.

You can pm me if you want and I can get you further info. I don't reload so it isn't much use to me, and as I said, it is new, in the box and never used.
 

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Reloading is a very fulfilling hobby that I enjoy. There was an article in Shooting Times, March 2008, explaining how to get started in reloading.

Before you buy a press, get a Reloading Manual. I started with Modern Reloading (not recommended by me) and then upgraded to Lymans and will get the Speer #14 (highly recommended) next time I am at Sportsman's Warehouse. Most manuals have a step by step explanation for loading rifle or pistol calibers and tools needed. The Lyman manual I have lists basic tools to get started and extras you can add as your skills advance. Also, start out with a single stage press. Progressives are nice but if you are brand new it could get frustrating trying to get the progressive system down while learning the basics of reloading.

I started out with a Lee Anniversary Kit that I got for free from my brother. I recently upgraded to the Lee Classic Turret Press. Almost all of my reloading equipment is made by Lee and I purchased most of it from http://www.midwayusa.com. I and all of my friends who reload have had great success with the Lee equipment and the Factory Crimp Die is my favorite. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have reloaded before on both single and progressive stage (Dillon) reloaders. Just not sure if I could swing it at this time.

So what manual? Speer or Lymans?
 

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NotSoSimple said:
I have reloaded before on both single and progressive stage (Dillon) reloaders. Just not sure if I could swing it at this time.

So what manual? Speer or Lymans?
I like the Lyman manual because it lists loads for cast bullets. However, if I was loading both lead and jacketed I go for the Speer manual. I happen to have both. I also go to Hodgdon Reloading Data Center online http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp when I need a quick recipe.
 

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I think that if you go for something like the Rockchucker Kit and dies for one caliber you can get set up for around $300 to $325.

If you are not buying brass, you can load for about half the price of factory ammo. It takes about 1600 rounds of 45 Auto to make back your initial investment.

If you are shooting 200 rounds a week, that pays of in two months.

Neat huh?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
James said:
I think that if you go for something like the Rockchucker Kit and dies for one caliber you can get set up for around $300 to $325.

If you are not buying brass, you can load for about half the price of factory ammo. It takes about 1600 rounds of 45 Auto to make back your initial investment.

If you are shooting 200 rounds a week, that pays of in two months.

Neat huh?
Very neat but getting the wife to approve my purchases is the hardest part :x
 

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Have you got her shooting yet? I got my wife shooting, and now when we go shopping she asks if we need any reloading stuff. :p

You best check out that stuff Cinhil mentioned.

For basics you need: A book, press, shell holder, dies, scales, de-burring tool. Sometimes presses have priming arms, if not you will need a hand priming tool.

A powder measure is nice, but not an absolute necessity. It would probably be your next purchase after you weigh individual loads for a while.

A tumbler is nice too, but not necessary.

A caliper is good to have, but again not necessary.

Get some stuff and then add to it when you can.
 

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I would recommend not using the primer arm on a press. I feel it is best done by hand. That way you can feel how tight or loose the primer pocket is. Loose primers are really bad.

I would also recommend getting the calipers. Just one too-long casing can ruin your whole day.

ian

(edited once to reduce redundancy)
 

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Not to start a war over the issue, but I have to either disagree or qualify items that Ian raises. I decap and seat all my primers using my press and find it just as easy to feel a loose primer pocket with the press as with a handheld unit. I've been reloading both pistol and rifle ammo since 1975 and have only had one blown primer - 9mm - and it wasn't because of a loose primer pocket - a strange overpressure situation that was likely caused by the bullet getting pushed further back into the case while feeding from the magazine. I think this may have been a situation where the case was just enough out of spec not to crimp tightly enough to prevent bullet setback. I do use a hand held primer seater when loading rifle rounds for maximum accuracy.

I stopped measuring pistol cases for overall length a long time ago. Mostly because I use a taper crimp die and find that the overall length doesn't seem to matter as much with that crimp die as it does with the "do it all seater/crimp die" which generally uses a roll crimp. At any rate, your pistol cases are likely to split long before they'll need a trim. I will qualify this statement with a recommendation to measure case length if your prone to shoot maximum loads, especially in revolvers, since you can seat a bullet too deep with a lengthened case, e.g. case gets longer and the bullet seats deeper into the case - see my blown primer incident.

Rifle rounds, again, are a different animal. I find that I can get away with at least one reload without having to trim the case and sometimes two. There's just something about the bottle neck in a rifle case that lends itself to neck stretching - especially if you full length resize a case. With bolt action rifles I prefer to neck size only (you've got to make sure the fired case comes from the same rifle and used for this rifle only for this to work properly, and it only applies to bolt-actions and not auto-loaders) as this seems to minimize case stretch and seems to help in that quest for maximum accuracy.

I find that reloading your own saves money over the long haul, allows you to customize loads for specific results - like light practice rounds, and can be relaxing. On top of those reasons, there's something satisfying about "rolling" one's own ammo and successfully shooting it.
 
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