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I know very little about reloading so I’m wondering if it’s worth the time and financial investment for some of the harder to find and expensive cartridges I shoot such as 45LC and 44 Spcl. I could probably sadly include 38 spcl in that category as well these days.

The start up costs don’t seem too crazy for a single stage press, etc. but I know primers and even powder is hard to come by.

In the current environment, is this a great idea or a really stupid endeavor? I shoot a couple hundred rounds each range trip which tends to be twice a month. My goal would be to save a few bucks and also have access to these calibers that have dried up over the past year.

Let me know what you guys think. Thanks!
 

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If you are approaching it strickly from a bean-counters perspective, it could turn into a chore that you HAVE to do. There is a learning stage that can zap some of the fun out of it. It really requires having a dedicated space that many people don't have. During shortages, components are just as scarce as ammo. Since you shoot 44spl, handloading and bullet casting are the next natural steps. Even during good times 44spl has expensive and hard to find. Handloaders can make ammo for a whole lot cheaper in most cases, but whether it is worth it is up to you. I enjoy it.
 

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You most likely won’t save anything because you’ll shoot more. You will also be, or end up after a bit, shooting better ammo than you can buy And tailored to you and your guns. Components are hard to come by but with patience you can fin m sporadically.
 

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Components are hard to find, however they are around if you search. I shoot .44-40, .38-40, and compete with .45ACP, so rolling my own is required. I couldn't afford to buy what I need, even if I could locate it. Also, handloading forces me to shut out the rest of the world and concentrate on bullet making for a few hours. If you decide to begin, start simple, with a single stage press. Always double check yourself, every step the way. And have fun!
 

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Reloading is an enjoyable part of the shooting hobby. There is an initial investment in reloading tools, but they'll pay for themselves after awhile. BTW avoid a single-stage press as they're really slow, and they only good for making small quantities of ammo such as for hunting or benchrest shooting. At the very least get a Lee Turret Press. Once you get into it then you may find yourself wanting a true progressive press.

Having said that, right now is a bad time to be getting into reloading as both the tools as well as the components are really difficult to find. My advise right now is to keep saving your brass, and get into it once the market returns to being somewhat closer to normal.
 

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Depends on your disposable income. Everything is available, just more expensive. I know a couple of guys that willingly pay $200 for a 1K primers but they also drive $80,000 pickups. One of them is a MD.
 

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I'd probably get a turret press ( I have a Lyman T-Mag I like) for loading the rounds you indicated.
It's nice to set the turrets up and be able to change calibers easily once everything is set.
You can get a fully equipped setup from Lyman for a reasonable price.

I really like my Dillon 650, and if you're going to crank out very many rounds, that works really well.

As for "Feasible"?

Everything is in the numbers, and in what you're going to load and how much you're going to load.

And then, there's being able to load rounds for specific guns or people.

For example, the Trail Boss Loads I do for .38 spl work really well for women, especially elderly women.
They also work really well for me right now since I'm recuperating from having my shoulder rebuilt.

I'm not up to full bore .38/.357 or .45 acp rounds yet, but the loads I've worked up that allows women I know to spend more time at the range, and in one case allows a particular woman to shoot so well that she got her reloading husband to start loading identical rounds for her.

I "Gift" them the ammo, I do not sell it to them. One lady "Gifted" me the once fired brass she'd saved from over 2,000 factory rounds of .38spl, so it works out well from my standpoint.

And, because I stocked up on components, I'm able to enjoy shooting while others have been having to curtail their shooting due to lack of ammo.

All in all, I think it's worth the time, money and effort, but it's an individual decision for everyone.
 
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Reloading, yes but it's a bad time to start! My son in law just purchased 3030 rifle and can't find ammo.
Asked about reloading, he purchased a single stage reloading press and a set of dies.!! I have about 13000 LRPs, and at least 6 pound's of powder for 3030,7 reloading manuals, and about 50 units of brass. Going to donate him some with other stuff, tumbler, walnut, etc. Said he doesn't need a scale because he is a North Carolina State Trooper. Don't know where got it.
It's a 3030 , single stage Will be all he needs. But this will get him started in reloading. And give him the experience needed, to grow form there and teach my one year old grandson the same, I Hope.
I'm soon to be 67 years old,when grandson get to be 16 I will be 82 if still here.
A little off subject but think you will better reloading, who knows what the next 15 years plus has in-store?
 

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Reloading is always cheaper than purchasing ammo at retail prices. However, we have been experiencing both an ammo shortage, and a primer shortage. If you can't find primers, some have tried reloading primers, but the process is slow and tedious. I will quit shooting until primers become available again..... I currently have enough primers to last until the first quarter of 2022 if I cut back on my practice time.....bummer!

One advantage of reloading, is you can often "fine tune" the load for best accuracy and reliability for both pistols and rifles. Once you find "the sweet spot" for the load your gun prefers, it often produces better accuracy than using factory ammunition.....
 

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You most likely won’t save anything because you’ll shoot more. You will also be, or end up after a bit, shooting better ammo than you can buy And tailored to you and your guns. Components are hard to come by but with patience you can fin m sporadically.
words of wisdom.

I started in July as the shortages began. I was able--and still can get some components. it is worth it to me because I can tailor some rounds(overall length ) for a couple problem child guns. PLUS I KNOW that my loaded ammo with work, cycle the slides( especially in 1911s) and it is fun to make your own ammo. I am saving about 35 cents pe r round over todays prices for factory ammo as well.

I suggest buying a couple reloading books like Lymans, or sierra or hornady. read them a couple of times to get the feel of what reloading is like and what you will need to get started. If you have friends who are willing, go watch them reload and let them e xplain how it works.

research the loaders available and buy what you might like.

components are coming back slowly--probably 12-16 months before regular items are in stock all the time.

You may have to may a bit more for primers now but at least you will have what you need to get started, practice, find out what works for you and enjoy what you reload. when times like these come along we pay more for items, when prices drop, we stock up for the next shortage :)
 

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Started reloading about 12 years ago, when I began to shoot a lot more 9mm in IDPA. A progressive Lock and Load by Hornady. Then began to load for my military vintage rifles and other modern rifle calibers on a single stage Redding. There is indeed a learning curve to avoid the risk of injury or blowing up a gun. I have seen others have that happen.

Now I reload for 14 calibers, and have plenty of "components" for all my loads. I enjoy the time at my presses in my garage. Right now the tools and components are scarce, & sometimes expensive, but if you go ahead and place "back-order" orders, your dies and such will come before too long. Some months ago, decided to make 38 special, placed orders for dies on "back-order", and before too long, a couple of months, had a Redding and also an RCBS die set.

Bullets and Starline cases came in a month or so, and I had power and primers. Even several days ago, made up about 200 38 Special for some shooting later today with a grandson. I couldn't afford to shoot my military rifles and others if I didn't "roll my own" ammo for them. Just had a 1919 303 Enfield re-barreled, and will shoot that too today with some 303 of my own making.

I suggest taking the "long" view, and go ahead and begin to read as much as you can, and and begin to acquire the tools and supplies, and eventually when others ask how they can shoot in shortages, you will answer like I do. As for the cost, the cheapest approach is to not have any firearms, and never shoot. But dies and a single stage, scales, and a few other items will set you back maybe $400-500. The savings come from re-using the brass, and bulk buying bullets and primers when they become available and more affordable.

Right now I have about 10-15 K rounds made up in my cabinets for my firearms. From 223 to 45-70.

In simple words, if you want to shoot in the future, with the inevitable shortages of factory ammo, be pro-active, and begin to gather up what you need.

NV
 

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On reloading, kind of depends on what and how you shoot. I have not reloaded in 20 odd years. Previously I was casting and reloading for all and many calibers. Part of it was cost. Most of it was to get loads that were the best and most accurate for the firearm I was shooting and the discipline I was shooting in.

Anyway. It became a time available to reload. Reloading takes time. Lots of time. So you spend time to not spend as much money. My situation became not enough time as the medical requirement to take care of my wife increased. Not too mention work got real busy.

If you shoot a specific discipline such as action or IDPA or just plan fun. And shoot a lot of it you will probably be less in dollars but spend much more in time.

When I was shooting matches (competed but never that good). It was a bit of pride to know each and every round was perfect and went and functioned the way it supposed to. Now the operator was the issue back then.

So personally I would consider it on a available time versus resources. Again. That is just me. I am 70 now and plan to restart reloading in a year or two as the demands on my time are getting less.

Also, it was a mental break from some of the stresses we all go through. As it is a focused activity and you have to focus to insure each and every load is perfect.

Hope that gives you another perspective.

Remember. You get what you pay for front end or back end.
 
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At 20 years old (1960) I started loading ammo RCBs press, years later Dillon press then comes the year 2000.I cant find the parts I need to do this work. I give up at 70 years old. I sold all.
It is no fun any more at the old age it was more like work :) .
 

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Reloading is somehow like religion, or love.
Unless it’s your job, it has some irrational components.
It can represent your nirvana or refuge to escape from daily troubles and ease your mind in a secluded, peaceful room that becomes your kingdom where you tailor fractional grains of different powders to please every single gun like a bespoke pair of hand-made shoes.
Or it may be a mess in a confusing storage room where somebody mixes different powders into a single can to save space, or distracts you with business phone calls until you build in error brutal bullets jeopardizing any best barrel.
Equipment price is easily cushioned, and – here and presently – the unitary cost of bullets in economic terms is less than half as compared to commercial ones.
Again, this can represent a reason of happiness and freedom, or frustration depending on how you feel spending your money, the way you consider your own time & work and approach the activity.
I would advise trying practicing a few times using a friend’s equipment. Then buying the equipment. Then using it according to your impromptu mood of the moment. The feeling of freedom is priceless.
 

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For hard-to-find rounds, handloading is the difference between shooting and not shooting. Primers and other components HAVE become more expensive, but factory ammo, when available has done the same only much more so.
One point of relative economy for you is that, if you keep your loads moderate, you can run all three guns on a single powder, so you needn't invest in multiple pounds of propellants.To use Alliant Unique as an example, and loads that develop factory velocities, a pound of it will give you about 930 rounds of .44 Special ammo, assuming no waste nor spillage. For factory-ish loads in .45 Colt, a pound of Unique works out to 875 rounds. For .38 Special non +P, a pound of Unique delivers between 1400 and 1750 rounds.
There are other propellants that are more or less suited to your reloading needs, which are more efficient and would likely yield you more rounds reloaded per pound. I used Unique as an example because I like it and knew the numbers off the top of my head.
You'll use one primer per round. Primers are scarce, expensive, and cannot easily be "refurbed".
You'll use one projectile per round. If shooting somewhere private, these may often be recovered, melted down, and recast. Casting equipment is more money, but not MUCH more, and adds flexibility to your response to an uncertain ammunition market.
You'll use one case per round, which may still be the most cost-intensive component of a factory round. With MODERATE reloads, they tend to last a VERY long time. I know pistoleros who have reloaded brass from factory rounds 15 & 16 times, with no apparent signs of quitting. Me, I tend to LOSE old brass before I get into the double-digits in the "times reloaded" category.
The initial investment, to get you every thing you need to begin reloading, plus a few extras that make it far less laborious, should run you under $500, before taxes, and perhaps WELL under. I recommend buying equipment from Lee Precision, initially. Their equipment is durable, inexpensive, high-quality (especially their dies), and easy to learn on. EVENTUALLY, Lee products WILL wear out (except, apparently, the dies), but not all at once. When a Lee product wears out, consider replacing it with an analogous product from, say, RCBS, Lyman, Hornady, or others. I've worn out 3 single-stage Lee presses from heavy rifle reloading. I have a Lyman press, born before I was, that I still use to de-prime and resize everything I shoot. By the time you need to replace something, you'll have a far better idea of what particular features you want in the next one, before repurchasing.
Okay, end of Master's thesis...
 

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Is Reloading Worth It?
I have 2 answers. First, it might save you some money, IF you can find components.

Second Part of the Answer: It depends on your level of motivation. I used to reload rifle and do benchrest shooting. It was very gratifying to work up your own loads that work with your specific rifle. When you can start putting bullets in the same hole 100 yards away, I'd say you're about "there". You're constantly experimenting - brand of primers, shape of the bullet, type of cartridge case. Almost everything you do has some effect on accuracy. But once you develop the right combination, it is very rewarding. A tip: I always liked Sierra bullets the best. Also, if somebody gives you an old reloading manual that might not necessarily be the latest version, don't throw it out. It might have a good "recipe" in there. Always start low with the powder charges and work up. It's kind of cool. Doing it with your kid is fun, too. Just make sure they put in a new primer before they add the powder. It has happened here.

PS: Make sure somebody shows you what impending case separation looks like. Probably not too common with straight-walled pistol cartridges, but with rifle cartridges that have a neck, be advised.
 
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