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After spending $50+ a week on ammo for my pistols, I am seriously thinking of starting to reload my own ammo.

The only thing stopping me is because I have no Idea what to do or what to get. I was also wondering how much work it is to reload my own ammo and how much it would cost for the supplies and equipment.
 

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Reloading is a whole different hobby that you'll need to make an investment in.

First and foremost, you need a place to reload. Be it a section of your garage workbench, or if you have a whole room you can dedicate. Then you need a solid sturdy bench to mount your press. My first bench was an old rickety computer desk that I converted :dope:. It wasn't the best, but it worked until I got something a little more permanent.

Then you really need to research and see what kind of press you want to buy. What are you going to be reloading? Rifle or pistol...or both?

Then after you figure out what caliber you want to start with, you have to buy dies, shellplates/conversion kits...etc.

Before you start shelling out money on components, I think the first thing you need to do is buy a couple different reloading books and read them. I didn't have anybody to show me how to reload; I read books and learned through trial and error. Actually...before you do ANYTHING...read the books.

Get an idea of what you're going to be getting your hands on and how important it is to be careful.

Reloading is a lot of fun and there is a lot of satisfaction knowing that your bullets that you made yourself, can out shoot anything the factories put out. :rock:

To answer your question, reloading can be relaxing and sometimes tedious. It just depends on how meticulous you are, LOL.

Myself...when I load pistol bullets, I go for speed. Rifle bullets...it may take me an hour to reload 20 rounds.

As far as money...it's like anything else, you can put into it what you want to get out of it. You're largest single item expenditure is your press. Start by researching Lee, RCBS, Dillon...

Dies
shellplates
caliper
scale
powder measure/s
primer flip tray
brass tumbler
media for the tumbler
polish (for the brass)
separator

Then...

Primers
powder
bullets
brass
containers (to keep your finished product in)

yada yada

I'm by no means saying you need all this stuff to get started, but as you can see, by the time your finished, you may find these items extremely helpful.

Hope this helps. I'm sure others will chime in as well.
 

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At that rate, reloading would pay for itself quickly. For pistols it is hard to beat a Dillon progressive loader. The brass lasts forever, so the cost of primers, powder and bullets is the only expense. Aside from the convenience, I appreciate the ability to load top quality ammo, taylored for each firearm.
 

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Johnny Numbers gave you a great answer. He covered pretty much every thing.

Like Johnny, I did not have anyone to show me how to reload. So I bought the ABCs of Reloading. I read it cover to cover. Then I bought Modern Reloading by Richard Lee and read it cover to cover. Once I had a good understanding of the concepts of reloading, I bought my reloading equipment and components. I would suggest that you do the same.

I have found reloading to be a wonderful hobby. I can shoot for less money and make ammo that is just right for my guns.

Best regards.
 

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You said "pistols" so I am presuming you have 9/40/45 and perhaps 38/357/44.

A Dillon 550B is a great machine. Get caliber conversions for your desired chamberings. I use an ammo can for transporting loaded ammo unless flying. A good bench, some shelves and a tolerant spouse is needed. A brass tumbler saves lots of time polishing cases. Bullet tray, calipers, powder measure, adjustable stool, reloading manuals, Dillon Press, bullet puller, spare parts for reloader.

See if you can latch on to a friend for some reloading lessons and pointers. Take a reloading class if one is available.

Here are some good powders to get. I really prefer Vihtavuori N310/N320 for most 9/40/45 loads.

Bullseye
Unique
Red Dot
Clays
Vihtavuori N310, N320, N105
Power Pistol
Accurate No. 5

You might want to stock up on different projectiles right now. Prices continue to rise.

All said and done, to load your first 1000 rds and to have 1 or 2 caliber conversions, you will spend somewhere around $1000 for a new setup w/bench and all.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info.

Thats a little too much for me right now, but I think sooner or later I will take leap and end up getting the equipment I need and learn how to reload.

My main concern is the .45 ammo, I shoot 50 rounds every range trip, lucky for me, I was able to find 100rd value packs of Winchester 230gr FMJ whitebox for around $30 a pop at my local wally-world. but, once you add in the .38sp and a few boxes of .22s, it gets a little pricey... sadly, I have had to cut down on the range trip to every 2 weeks or so...
 

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Stonyman65 said:
Thanks for the info.

Thats a little too much for me right now, but I think sooner or later I will take leap and end up getting the equipment I need and learn how to reload.

My main concern is the .45 ammo, I shoot 50 rounds every range trip, lucky for me, I was able to find 100rd value packs of Winchester 230gr FMJ whitebox for around $30 a pop at my local wally-world. but, once you add in the .38sp and a few boxes of .22s, it gets a little pricey... sadly, I have had to cut down on the range trip to every 2 weeks or so...
Just keep saving your brass for when you may reload or exchange it for reloaded ammo.
A 22 rimfire conversion is on my list of things to buy.
 

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Are you really 16 years old? At this point, isn't reloading an issue best left to your Dad or guardian?

You can't even buy supplies at that age.
 

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RdB said:
Are you really 16 years old? At this point, isn't reloading an issue best left to your Dad or guardian?

You can't even buy supplies at that age.
I disagree...I was reloading at 12, my Grandad did have to buy my supplies, but your never to young to learn...and to learn to be responsible in the process...priceless.
 

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Never too young to learn. I wish I started at that age. Would have saved myself some $$$$.

If 45 ACP is your thing then get a Dillon Square Deal. First 1000 can be done for around $500.
 

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16 years old????????

Great. All those things you need that are mentioned can now be called-GIFTS. Birthdays, christmas-opps, you missed the perfect starter or did you?

Watch for used presses if you belong to a club or in the newspaper. There is a NIB 550B for sale at my club with a number of different dies that the seller says is worth about $580-all for $300. Be patient, save that money and go for it.

Start picking up all the brass you can find and just hord it for the future. You can't have enough brass and there is no need to buy it. I love those folks who spend all that money for factory ammo and leave the brass for me. Make sure before picking anyone's brass up that you ask if they reload and can you have it if they don't. If they don't reload they will love to have someone clean up after them.

Oh, after you get that set up you can start casting your own bullets. that's another story.

Just noticed you were in Jacksonville. I'm in Ormond Beach-if you want to see how it's done and you get down my way sometime drop me a PM and I will try and be available to show you my set up and walk you through the method.

John
 

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my oldest girl loaded and shot her first at eight

38 Special, GP100.

MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FIRST PURCHASE: Lyman Pistol & Revolver #2 or #3.
My #2 (I own many manuals) gives the best, easiest-understood advice for starting.

Second buy: safety glasses.
 

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At $50/week, you could certainly start buying some reloading related material if you could forego shooting even one week. Reloading manual suggestion is great, something to read before you even get started. Second the safety glasses, nowadays I realize that I need my eyes to shoot.

I started at 15, really didn't have anyone close to help me learn, and no internet, so all from books, and the local store that sold the supplies, although I couldn't get there on my own. Had I the internet at the time, I would have used forums like this extensively for asking about anything I didn't quite get from the books, or on what to buy. Trial and error isn't the way to learn reloading, that's for sure.

Cliche, but reloading doesn't really save you money, you just shoot more for the same price. :)
 

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Stoney--I'm going to take a different approach than the previous posters. You are 16 so I think you might have more time than money to spare. These guys want to set you up with outfits that will let you easily shoot 300-400 rds per week. I'm guessing if you had the equipment you would have difficulty just buying the components to shoot that much. Try this for size. To start get a single stage press, used or a new Lee for about $25., set of Lee .45 Deluxe die set which will include the shell holder ,about $30. A used powder scale or new Lee scale for about $24. And a Lee powder measure kit for about $7. Add a small powder funnel for a couple bucks and a good reloading manual from Lyman or Lee or Hornaday and you are good to go. You don't need a case tumbler at this stage, dirty cases shoot just fine. Thats it about $100. It will get you going as far as equipment and you will of course need powder ,primers and bullets. With what I've laid out here after a little experience you will be able to load easily one 50 rd box of ammo per hour. Later when you know more about reloading or decide to upgrade you will have a better idea of what you want and need. You will be able to sell the stuff you bought now to another shooter for $30-$40 and move on. Good luck whatever you decide to do.
 

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Stonyman65 said:
Thanks for the info.

Thats a little too much for me right now, but I think sooner or later I will take leap and end up getting the equipment I need and learn how to reload.

My main concern is the .45 ammo, I shoot 50 rounds every range trip, lucky for me, I was able to find 100rd value packs of Winchester 230gr FMJ whitebox for around $30 a pop at my local wally-world. but, once you add in the .38sp and a few boxes of .22s, it gets a little pricey... sadly, I have had to cut down on the range trip to every 2 weeks or so...
I would consider getting a Single stage outfit (very inexpensive) to start. I use an old RCBS JR 2 single stage. It really teaches you the insides of reloading. And , if you price around you can get started with equipment for under $200. Lee is offering an excellent starter deal (single stage press) now for under $100. A single stage is a great place to start, because many folks continue (as I do) to do their rifle rounds on a single stage. On my single stage I can load about 100 rounds per hour (45 acp) for about $12.

John
 

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I agree with FECMECH and CBXJOHN. Start with a single stage press and wait on the tumbler. I have been reloading for nearly forty years and still don't use a tumbler, the cases shoot just fine dirty.

Look around for a used press and dies, take a trip to look over someone elses set up, continue to ask questions here and definitly get, read and study the reloading manuals you've been pointed to.

Good luck, we're here for you. :)
 

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Age 16????? :rock:

I hope someone else is buying the ammo for you.:scratch:

At that age you have many years of reloading experince ahead of you.

Find a mentor in your area and pay atttention :)
 

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If you want to buy a single stage to start, (and there is nothing wrong with that, depending on the press, progressives can add their own frustrations to reloading, slower pace of the single stage is good for starting, and is what I did with my Grandpa first) my recommendation would be to then start with rifle if you have one, where you can actually tell how good your reloads are, and the reduced output isn't typically that big a deal.

I would turn out 500+ rounds shortly after I started, couldn't stand doing even 100 rounds of pistol/7.62x39 on a single stage, so immediately went and bought a progressive for that purpose.

Guns were my hobby well before cars and houses and all that stuff, what else did I have to spend my money on? There are certainly worse things. Most of what you buy for reloading now will last you a lifetime anyways, it's a decent investment. Plus, you can always search places like Craigslist for reloading stuff for sale, which can save you even more. Locally we've got people that advertise that they BUY reloading stuff, but in talking with them, they sell too of course.
 

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loading

I've been loading for over 30 years now and I still pick up new gear. Nothing says you have to start out with a huge investment. You may find out that reloading isn't for you. Buy quality items and keep on adding to it.
 
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