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reloading worth the time?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by slayer, Jul 31, 2010.

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  1. slayer

    slayer Well-Known Member

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    My wife bought me a new mec reloader for Christmas last year. I'm just now finally getting the time to start looking at using it. I have a lot of shooters telling me that it just isn't worth the time and trouble to reload anymore. I'm at least going to get into it some just as a hobby if nothing else. Is it the general consensus that factory loads are more practical these days? is there any merit to reloading for the quality of the shells that you can produce? [better than factories] I was looking to save maybe a couple of bucks per box, but I guess that is not feasible in todays market. Any comments? I presently shoot federal 1200's at about 5.50 a box.
     
  2. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    Only you can answer that. If you are able to buy your components in bulk, yes, you can save money reloading.

    But if you hate doing it, its definitely not worth it. I look at reloading as a sub-hobby of my shooting hobby.
     
  3. maclellan1911

    maclellan1911 TS Member

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    When I reload. When it rains on days I was planning to shoot.

    How much you shoot depends on reloading fun. In the past few years I am only shooting about 2500 targets or ten cases/year. I can reload a case on my mec 650 in 1 hour. When I was shooting a lot more I would some times suppliment my reloading with new shells.

    Do you save money reloading? Is affording factory ammo not an issue? Can you work over time or a secound job to support you shooting? if so then the saveings are a not an issue.

    I did a gruop buy on componants
    Remington figure8 wads 60.00/5000 purchased 3 cases
    Clays powder 85.00/8lbs purchased 4
    CCI primers 20.00/1000 purchased 3 cases @ 5000 per case
    hulls free remington STS
    Lead shot purchased 20 bags when it was 22.50 bulk rate a few years ago
    I was shooting Remington STS now they run 7.49 box locally

    Reload cost calculator has me @ 2.75 per 25 shells save money yes. for me with no over time or time for a secound job Im still saveing over 10.00 case compared to remington gun clubs.

    A plus to reloading I ran my first 50 and 75 straight with MY reloads
     
  4. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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    You decide:<UL><LI>it's never exciting<LI>it's usually boring, repetitious and tedious<LI>it can be terribly frustrating<LI>it requires attention to detail and a higher-than-normal level of concentration while it's being done<LI>it pays a wage of the savings on a flat (MAYBE $20/hr)<li>its primary reward is self satisfaction; that's why I do it.</UL>

    MK
     
  5. bobdog

    bobdog Active Member

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    I shoot too much to buy the shells I need, but reloading is about more than saving money. My garage is Switzerland, a place to go in the evenings to listen to a ball game while I'm cranking out shells, and something completely different from what I have to do during the day. I've done it long enough that I don't worry about shooting registered with my reloads.

    Until Federal starts supplying me with shells to wear their T-Shirts, I'll keep reloading. If you don't enjoy reloading, it's not worth it, even if the components were free.
     
  6. Porcupine

    Porcupine Active Member

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    I figured out that I was reloading about sixty hours a year to save about $300 per year in ammunition costs. Not great savings, but reloading is a great hobby by itself. I stopped reloading because at my stage in life, I want time, not money. Good luck.

    LA in MA
     
  7. slayer

    slayer Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the input, guys. I am heading into retirement within the next 6 mo to a year. After I build my retirement home in northern Michigan, I think reloading will be a pleasant pastime while I listen to my Tigers or Wings. Thanks again Bill in MI
     
  8. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Reloading is part of the game. Can you save money? Yes. I'm retired and I find that reloading gives me something to do, and I've been reloading for 35+ years. Now, I've even decided to make my own shot. Why? Maybe I can save some money, after the payback on the set-up. But, mostly because it gives me something more to do. Retirement means lots of extra time and I get tired of sitting around reading books.......
     
  9. SevenMaryThree

    SevenMaryThree Member

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    I shoot 1200-1500 rounds a month of 12 & 28 ga. combined.

    My component costs come to $2.64 - 2.83 per box. New AA / STS shells are 8.49 - 10.99/box.

    I save over $300 / month reloading, and I get to hide in the basement for a couple of hours.

    Win / Win.
     
  10. goose2

    goose2 Well-Known Member

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    Reloading is one of my main hobbies. Sometimes I get as much enjoyment out of reloading as I do shooting. Besides that why is it some of you have to put a price on everything you do. To hell with the cost, Just enjoy yourself a little.
     
  11. Mark425

    Mark425 TS Member

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    I shoot about 15,000 shells per year. My loads save me about $2.00 per box over the el-cheapo Wal-Mart stuff and 3.75 over premium shells. That works out to a minimum savings of $1200 per year compared to Wal-Mart and $2200 over the premium shells.

    To make it worth your time/money, you have to buy your components in bulk. Enough to make 5000 shells. Do not buy your stuff at Basspro, Cabelas, Gander Mountain, etc. or you WILL NOT save a penny. Buy from your club or mail order from places like Recobs Target Shop or Gamaliel. If you’re lucky enough to be near a major supplier then your savings will be even more. Get your prices from recobstargetshop.com and enter those into the reload cost calculator on this site. You will get a cost from the calculator. Then figure out how long it will take to pay off your reloading machine. You can make your decision then.
     
  12. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    If you have the time and ability, it's still a toss up. I reload because I like it, I have confidence in my loads, and like to shoot a "custom" load that would not be found easily in a factory shell. I use "Quality" components and have many years of experience. If you are willing to spend the time to "learn" how to do it "properly", then it would be a good passtime. It's not something to do when you are short of time an in a hurry. In those times, factory might be a better idea. I shoot premium reloads for less than budget prices. I buy components in bulk for savings. All in all, my cost per box is less than $4.00 and I get the performance I want. I can probably push the cost lower using cheaper components, but I'm not in it for the savings alone.

    Most important, use a GOOD scale and check your drops. Always use reliable data for the exact components you are using. There may be some wiggle room as you gain experience, but a new reloader should go by the book. Inspect your hulls, inside and out, and discard ANY that don't measure up. When selecting loads, look for pressures under 10,000 PSI and over about 8,000. That would give sufficient pressures for the powder to burn properly and allow for a little headroom for error. Do NOT swap around with components, unless you have data to support it. A call to the powder manufacturer is always a good start, if you feel the need to substitute something.

    If you have a friend that you trust as a reloader, you can have him/her walk you through the process and show you the ropes.
     
  13. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

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    Iowa man!!
    I shoot about 5,000 rounds a year. I save the reloading until winter when there is not much else to do. My last batch figured out to $3.73 a box. Good enough for me to do it.
     
  14. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    Again, I find myself agreeing with timb. If you value your time spent, if you insist on factoring in the cost of equipment, if you find it boring and a pain in the arse, if you find you hate the experience, then NO don't even start. On the other hand there are many of us here that treat the reloading experience as a satisfying part of the shooting process. We enjoy the making of custom loads that suit our needs better than any factory "one-formula-fits-all" shells that just may cost twice what we can load for by finding sources of components for the best price. If that sounds like what you are shooting for (sorry) then, yes, it's worth it. I load two different loads for different purposes and use gold and green hulls to tell which is which and there's no way I could find these custom loads on a shelf......breakemall.....Bob Dodd
     
  15. Jeff P

    Jeff P Well-Known Member

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    No. reloading is a time sink, something that you should never enjoy. Please ship all once fired STS and Nitro hulls to me, postage paid, and I'll properly dispose of them.

    Also, in the public interest, I'm buying any and all PW presses - all guages - and Spolar gold's in good working condition for $150 each. I'll pay an additional $75 for good, clean hydraulic units....PM for the address to ship your press. Not buying MEC at this time, but if you ship it to me, I'll properly dispose of it.

    Obviously, tongue firmly in cheek...I have three lifetimes worth of hulls, 4 presses - all guages - and if I don't have 40 flats loaded, I feel like I'm missing something.

    its a great hobby, stress relieving for me. I used to sit in deer stands and worry about life's problems. I still do that, but now i can do it front of a reloader too. And I'm saving money. Enjoy!
     
  16. dolphin62

    dolphin62 Member

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    worth every bit of it....no sugar coating
     
  17. W.R.Buchanan

    W.R.Buchanan Member

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    There are 4 reasons to reload your own ammunition.

    1. Improve Performance

    2. Save Money.

    3. They don't make it anymore.

    4. Satisfaction of a job well done.

    That's what Larry Potterfield of Midway USA says and I think he might be right.

    Most of us can say yes to at least two of the above.

    Many can say yes to three,

    and guys that have old guns in obsolete calibers reload for all of the above reasons.

    You have to decide which reasons suit you.

    Randy
     
  18. Biggray

    Biggray TS Member

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    I have just got into the reloading scene this past week. Bought all components in bulk and did the math. I will be loading shells for $3.92 a box. The cheapest shell I could find was going to run about $5 per box. Not a big saving, but enjoyed the heck out of loading my own "special" shells.
     
  19. psfive

    psfive Member

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    Buy your componets in BULK. When you make your own shot it is almost free (and it does break targets). Build a custom load at a clear savings. Relax-Reload and Enjoy the whole process and the satisfaction of it all. Priceless. Paul
     
  20. Pull & Mark

    Pull & Mark Well-Known Member

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    slayer, I have to reload as I shoot more 28's and 410's than I do 20 ga. and 12 ga. these days. You can save a lot of money on the sub gauges, and is only way to go. So loading the 20 gauge goes without saying as same powder as 28ga. Now for 12 gauge only I can load a l l/8th oz load for about 3.51. This load is just as good as any STS or Win. AA load. So its better than all economy loads and I can still save over 2.00 dollars doing it. But I don't use the l l/8 oz. loads. I use the one oz. loads and trying to find a one oz. factory load around here is very hard and impossible to try to buy multi flats at one time. So loading allows me to have all the l oz. loads at whatever speed and shot size I want at any given time. You have to like to tinker with things to like loading I think. As well as the time. Theres nothing like breaking your first 100 strait with shells that you loaded. You have the machine, but you will need to layout some serious cash to buy all the components at one time to get started. Wads 71 dollars for 5000, and 160 dollars for 12 pounds of powder, 125 dollars or more for 5000 primers, 14.25 bags of lead for 5000. Which is 20 flats of shells. Good shot is 30.00 a bag right now. Thats right at 855 dollars to buy to get started. Now you can buy less shot to get started and not buy that 4 pound powder yet to save a little. To get at these prices I have to drive half way across my state as well. So I only like to do it once a year. Finding good places to buy your components is the key. Asking the reloading shooters at your club is the best way to start. Break-em all. Jeff
     
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