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To Reload or Not to Reload Handgun Ammo

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To Reload or Not to Reload Handgun Ammo

Old 05-01-2016, 08:10 AM
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Default To Reload or Not to Reload Handgun Ammo

I know there are varying opinions out there, interested in hearing pro's and con's of reloading handgun ammo.

I shoot a few different calibers... 9mm, .40, .38 special, .357 mag. Looking to add .44 mag. Usually hit the range twice a month, 200 rounds if I'm by myself, maybe 500 rounds if I take the kids.

I only shoot at range and have been buying target ammo online. Seems like if I'm careful I can find 9mm for $9.99/box and .40 for $10.99/box. Haven't bought much of the 38/357, not sure yet on best prices I can get. Usually have to pay shipping on top, but I'd pay shipping as well if I were buying reloading stuff.

Seems like by the time you're done with cost of tumbling and then bullets/powder/primers, there wouldn't much room to reduce costs over new, but I'd like to hear from someone who does it. Thanks.
Old 05-01-2016, 08:12 AM
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I was considering this, but after talking with someone who routinely reloads, unless you are looking for specialized loads, you won't save anything over buying retail.
Old 05-01-2016, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Restrain View Post
I was considering this, but after talking with someone who routinely reloads, unless you are looking for specialized loads, you won't save anything over buying retail.
And the question of do you have the time.
Old 05-01-2016, 08:20 AM
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As far as I can tell, the best reason for re-loading is to create a load that performs better than factory loads in your personal firearms. "Better" depends on your goals- hotter, more accurate, less recoil, etc. After you buy all the equipment, add the cost of components and the value of your own time, cost savings is not that great.

My friends who reload have more trouble finding components than I have finding factory ammo. Best of all, they willingly pick up all my spent cases and hulls!
Old 05-01-2016, 08:33 AM
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I reload,I got into it because ammo was hard to find and expensive (.45acp). You can save a little bit of money once you are established,but the main thing is the ability to load custom and also to get ammo when the zombie apcolypse hits.There are many levels of reloader package kits out there.I went with a Lee classic and was happy with it.Speed didn't matter to me.RCBS,Dillon,Lee are all good.
Old 05-01-2016, 08:45 AM
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See if you can get Un Interrupted ALONE Time to do it

In a PRIVATE Space

Phone / Wifey / Kiddies are a recipe for DISASTER !!!
Old 05-01-2016, 08:50 AM
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Like said above.
If all your doing is the range you save nothing when you consider the upfront cost and your time.
Dialing in a specif load for accuracy is the only reason to do it.
Old 05-01-2016, 08:57 AM
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Agree with what has been said about advantage is specialized rounds. Thru all my searching for factory ammo I can't find a better price then the local wally world. No shipping involved. Now with their Perfecta brand (good ammo) it is even a better deal. As much as I hate to go to/give my money to wally world I do. I just go very early to avoid the 'Walmartians"
Old 05-01-2016, 09:07 AM
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I just picked up all the supplies necessary to reload a thousand .44 mag. full house loads. It penciled out to be just under .20 cents per round minus brass which I already have. It's been a long time since I picked up a box of 50 .44's for ten dollars.
Old 05-01-2016, 09:13 AM
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You can save money by reloading but it will take a while to recoup your initial investment. I reload on a Dillon machine and when I do sit at the bench I crank out a batch of 500 rounds. It takes about 15-20 mins to do. I reload a box of 40 for right at 8.75 a box including all shipping and taxes on the components. Now I find reloadinf produces more accurate rounds once you find what your gun likes. But for punching holes in paper unless you shoot a lot it's not worth it. When I started reloading I was shooting around 2000-2500 rounds a week of various calibers. If I had to purchase the equipment to reload now I wouldn't but 15 years ago when I started reloading I was able to save an average of 50% per box than off the shelf ammo.
Old 05-01-2016, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Jgarris11 View Post
You can save money by reloading but it will take a while to recoup your initial investment. I reload on a Dillon machine and when I do sit at the bench I crank out a batch of 500 rounds. It takes about 15-20 mins to do. I reload a box of 40 for right at 8.75 a box including all shipping and taxes on the components. Now I find reloadinf produces more accurate rounds once you find what your gun likes. But for punching holes in paper unless you shoot a lot it's not worth it. When I started reloading I was shooting around 2000-2500 rounds a week of various calibers. If I had to purchase the equipment to reload now I wouldn't but 15 years ago when I started reloading I was able to save an average of 50% per box than off the shelf ammo.
500 rds in 15-20 min? It takes longer then that to de-prime/ clean the pockets and run through a cleaner
Old 05-01-2016, 10:30 AM
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If you have to ask that question, your heart ain't into owning guns or loading equipment.
Old 05-01-2016, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Thalasso View Post
500 rds in 15-20 min? It takes longer then that to de-prime/ clean the pockets and run through a cleaner
He probably has a 4 or 5 stage reloader
Old 05-01-2016, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Tireless View Post
He probably has a 4 or 5 stage reloader
So cleaning brass and primer pockets isn't figured into the time?
I could see it if everything is already done
Old 05-01-2016, 11:02 AM
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Thanks all for the replies, definitely a lot to think about.



Originally Posted by Restrain View Post
I was considering this, but after talking with someone who routinely reloads, unless you are looking for specialized loads, you won't save anything over buying retail.
I really just enjoy target shooting.... on a recreational basis, not looking to get into competition shooting.

Originally Posted by Tommysmicroskiff View Post
See if you can get Un Interrupted ALONE Time to do it

In a PRIVATE Space

Phone / Wifey / Kiddies are a recipe for DISASTER !!!
That's probably the most appealing part of it to me, something to do out in my shop for a few hours that isn't too taxing, and lets me enjoy some solitude.

Originally Posted by puma4440 View Post
If you have to ask that question, your heart ain't into owning guns or loading equipment.
Not sure where that's coming from. Lifetime gun owner, spent years reloading shotgun shells for trap & skeet. Handguns are a new thing to me, trying to decide whether I want to start reloading.
Old 05-01-2016, 11:10 AM
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I forgot to mention the "Walking Dead" factor.A reloader is top priority at this stage in their game...
Old 05-01-2016, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by muskamoot View Post
I forgot to mention the "Walking Dead" factor.A reloader is top priority at this stage in their game...
Now, if I only had a Python....
Old 05-01-2016, 11:49 AM
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You can save money reloading pistol ammo especially if you buy components in bulk. It does take some time but I use the savings to shoot more. There is not much prep required for pistol. A light tumble is all you need with a progressive press. Before I had kids I was shooting 200-300 rounds a week of 9mm at $0.12/round for 124 or 147gr cjp or jhp. It usually took 1 hr to load 400 rounds.
Old 05-01-2016, 11:54 AM
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I reload for a couple rifles (30-06 and 5.56/.223) and a bunch of handguns. Definitely worth it for the 30-06, only worth the effort for hunting ammo in .223. Range ammo in 5.56 in bulk is pretty cheap, so not so much advantage there.

In handguns, 9mm range ammo is pretty cheap in bulk, so again, not much advantage, and that's my only reason to reload 9mm. SD loads are commercial ammo.

If you shoot any other handguns, then reloading begins to make sense. It costs me 11 cents/round to load .38spl. (same as 9mm). I shoot a lot of .38spl.

.45 colt, .44mag, .44 spl, .357 mag yield big savings by reloading.

I use Dillon Square Deal presses for handgun ammo.

400-500 rounds/hr. starting with clean cases and filled primer tubes.
Old 05-01-2016, 12:00 PM
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.45ACP gets expensive at 35+ cents per round. I can reload for less than half that.


.

Last edited by Milehog; 05-01-2016 at 12:11 PM.

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