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<>Reloading Pistol Ammo Question<>

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by SONO MAN, Feb 20, 2008.

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  1. SONO MAN

    SONO MAN TS Member

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    Hello everyone. I'm getting my first hand gun soon and I was wondering if it is cheaper to reload than buy new ammo. I'm planning to get a 357 mag revolver and mostly shoot 38 special for target practice. Most likely, I'll be shooting 100 rounds a week .The price of either 357 or 38 special is $15.00 per 50 rounds in my area. The other question would be, is Lee Pro starting kit to reload 38 special for $140.00 at Caleles is a good starter or not. Thanks for your input, Peter.
     
  2. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

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    You bet its cheaper. You can buy bullets in the bulk for very little particularly lead cast. powder goes a long way too.
     
  3. WNCRob

    WNCRob Member

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    I'd strongly suggest that you start out with a good reloading manual and a Dillon Square Deal B, their entry-level machine...its worth every penny (or dollar). If you want to spend more or to get more features, look at some of the other Dillon reloaders. Do it right and you will enjoy shooting and reloading for years to come.

    Have fun!

    Rob M.
     
  4. Dickgshot

    Dickgshot Well-Known Member

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    You can buy remanufactured ammo for one third the price of new ammo. For as little as you want to shoot, there's no reason to get involved with reloading unless you think you'll enjoy that.
     
  5. SONO MAN

    SONO MAN TS Member

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    Dickgtax, I do enjoy reloading shot shells so I think I'll enjoy reloading pistol ammo too. Also, when I checked the price for remanufactured ammo at Cabelas, it cost the same as the Winchester ammo in my local store, unless there is someone sell it for less. Thanks for all inputs, Peter.
     
  6. AAtrap

    AAtrap Well-Known Member

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    Peter, reload your own. Especially if you enjoy reloading. Hornady, RCBS, etc. offer starter kits that are relatively reasonable. You'll enjoy working up a load that shoots well and also fits the type of shooting you will be doing. I reload 45L.C.,9mm, 38special and 44mag. Wouldn't even consider buying new.

    reload and enjoy.

    Steve
     
  7. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    The Lee is garbage. You will get frustrated with it and hate reloading.

    I reload .38's for $3 a box using bullets I bought in bulk at $30/1000. Current bullet prices will be higher but even at $50/1000 the cost will be $4/box.

    If you will only load one caliber the Dillon Square Deal B is a good machine - I had two of them at one time.

    I STRONGLY recommend a machine that auto indexes to reduce the chance of a double charge. That means a Dillon 650 if you stay with Dillon. The Hornady auto index has received mixed reviews but most are positive. Note: it is very easy to double charge a pistol case as the case will hold two or three powder drops without overflowing if you are using light target loads.

    The Dillon 550 is a good machine but it does not auto-index. It has the advantage of using standard dies (the Square Deal B uses proprietary dies). It also is cheaper to convert to other calibers if/when you decide to shoot another cartridge.

    If you have never loaded before it may be a good idea to find someone in your area that can show you different machines and give you a good start.

    I have 6 machines set up for Pistol (four Dillons, two Stars) and three auto index. I have no concerns about using the presses that manually index but I am more careful with them if I get a hiccup/jam/etc (and it will happen).

    The old single stage tool is cheap but has the greatest chance of disaster due to double charging unless you are very careful. A lot of them are on EBay at good prices and you will learn everything you need to learn about making good loads with one of them. You will produce about 100 rounds an hour on one - so it is slow.

    The Dillon production rates are vastly overstated and assume you do not have a jam, do not run out of powder, do not refill the primer tube, do not need to fill the case feeder, do not check your powder drops etc etc. Cut all their numbers by 50% if you are new to reloading, and you get about 70% of the advertised rate if you load for an hour or two. For max speed get more primer tubes and fill them before you start loading - filling those suckers sucks.

    Don
     
  8. alfermann66

    alfermann66 Member

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    I have to agree with WNCrob. The Dillon Square Deal if you're sure .38/.357 is all you'll ever load, but if you might load other calibers I recommend the DL550. Dillon turret loaders are the most accurate I've found and their support is unsurpassed.

    Buz
     
  9. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    I'll second the advice on the Dillon Square Deal B loader. Worst case is you decide you don't want to shoot pistols anymore you can still sell the Dillon for about what you paid for it where as the LEE set up would be more like a write off. The Dillon Square Deal will allow you to crank out about 400 rounds per hour of very high quality ammo so keeping up with your 100 rounds per week use estimate won't be a problem.

    I'm loading rounds like the .38 special/9MM/.38 super for about $4 per 50 using copper plated bullets. A bit less for cast lead. The per round savings is there. It is kind on an illusion though because you tend to shoot a whole lot more when you have an ammo factory at home and your overall shooting expenses go up not down.
     
  10. ccw1911

    ccw1911 Member

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    Don, the Square Deal auto indexes but I'm sure you know that. A single stage press is good to start on as you learn exactly what each die does and most of us started on one. I recommend RCBS,Lyman, and Hornady single stage, they will all last as long as you'll need them. Stay away from the cheap light duty stuff, it takes a pretty good effort to resize those 357 cases. Whatever loader you get make sure you get a carbide sizing die so you don't have to lube the cases.
     
  11. SONO MAN

    SONO MAN TS Member

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    Thanks for all you guys. I have a good idea now how to start. Thanks again, Peter.
     
  12. Phil E

    Phil E TS Member

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    You can reload for about 1/3 of that $15. So you'd save $20/week, or $1000/year, if you shoot at that 100/week rate. Same as with shotgun, amortize the equipment cost out over a year & you can see, you can easily afford good equipment. I'll gently disagree with Don, I don't think the Lee press is junk, but you can save grief with a heavier press, and I think 1911 is spot-on with his advice. You'll never regret having a nice single-stage press on the bench, even if you some day (and I think you may) get a Dillon 550-B. Do you haunt gun shows? Take a friend who knows presses, & look for a $50-70 used RCBS single-stage like the Junior-3, or a Lyman or Hornady. Phil E
     
  13. OldPshtr

    OldPshtr Member

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    Dillon recommendations are right. Great Company and Great Tech
    support.

    Doyal
     
  14. Chichay

    Chichay TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Strong suggest Dillon Square Deal B for consistently great reloads and excellent product support.
     
  15. SONO MAN

    SONO MAN TS Member

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    I thought of the Lee because I can't spend a lot as a starter because I still have to buy the gun, which I'm hopping for a S & W 686, Peter.
     
  16. SONO MAN

    SONO MAN TS Member

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    But Fred, if it will cost $4-$5 per box of ammo, may be I can afford to shoot 500 rounds a week, because now 300 rounds would cost $24-$30 which is the cost of 2 boxes of remanufactured ammo, Peter.
     
  17. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    Jump on in, you will enjoy shooting ammo YOU loaded. I have loaded since 1958, and consider it therapy! LOL

    Using the 357 brass will give you better results, and much easier gun cleaning chores. I like the 158 gr RNFP (round nose flat point) Cowboy bullet. If you are worried about a double charge, use IMR Trail Boss. It is a VERY bulky powder made for low velocity loads with lead bullets. I like Titegroup, made by Hodgdon, but a new or distracted loader could easily double charge a round with it.

    Cowboy loads, at around 850 fps, are extremely accurate and easy to shoot. Buying in quantity will reduce your per round cost.
     
  18. SONO MAN

    SONO MAN TS Member

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    Shooting Coach, do you mean that I use 357 brass to reload 38's? Peter.
     
  19. magnumthunder

    magnumthunder Member

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    Hornady is doing a deal now! if you buy their LnL ap press you get 1000 free bullets. Dillon is a nice press, but cost more!
     
  20. ccw1911

    ccw1911 Member

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    I got in to save money but just shot more instead. lol
     
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