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:)We have had a similar reloading journey to many here. Had a Rock Chucker and was perfectly satisfied with it loading rifle and a limited amount of handgun (mostly revolver) ammo. That was until we were bitten by the "combat shooting" bug in 1977. We were lucky and had fallen in with a pretty good bunch of shooters some of whom had Star machines ($1000+) and a few had C&H Auto Champs. This was in the pre-Dillon days. We bought a C&H machine and, even with it's quirks, it served us well. Then Dillon came on the scene and the 550 became the standard for the average shooter wanting to load in volume; and then the 650 and the RL1000, 1050, etc.... Our old Rock Chucker has been replaced by a Redding T7 for low volume cartridges but for everything we shoot in volume we now run 3 Dillons; a 550 set up for .223 with a Hornady powder measure, a 650 with case feeder for .45ACP and 9mm, and another 550 for all the other handgun cartridges we shoot.. We shooters owe Mike Dillon and his heirs a huge debt of gratitude for putting progressive loading within reach of the average shooter. We have tested the progressives from RCBS, Hornady and lee over the years. We could live with the first two if forced to, but based on close to 40 years of use it's hard to beat the Dillon machines and the company's service. And yes, progressive loading is really pretty simple; just pay attention to the details.
 
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Maybe. But if you aren't a decap first & wet tumble kind of guy, and don't load rifle, then starting with just a 550 or 750 will be A-OK.

I only started w/ a SS because I started collecting brass and decapping/cleaning about a year before I started reloading. Loaded 45acp on a 550 for 2 years (ish) before branching out to a Co-Ax and some rifle ammo....
Another thought that enters the conversation should be that of the folks that are still a bit timid about the entire matter. A scale, powder drop, priming tool, dies and a decent caliper are all expenses in addition to the press itself. Some folks may not want to go in head first until they know that it is something they want to do. Then again, many of the items I mentioned already come with a progressive. I think it’s safe to say we are both right....to an extent. The guy that jumps into a 1050 just has a bunch more disposable income than I had some 40+ years ago.
 

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I just reloaded 1000 rounds of 9MM ammo. I had about 11 hours in casting, sizing and loading the rounds. I have several tire shops that supply me with wheel weights, so essentially have no expense in bullets. Primers were pre-panic and I had $38.00 in primers, a little over 1/2 pound of powder at 25.00 a pound or $12.50. Brass is range pick-up so I had $50.00 in a thousand rounds of 9MM. Todays prices are around $400.00 for 1000 rounds.
These are bare minimum expenses. Lead could be $18.00 and brass if you had to buy it. Plus 11 hours of work. Plus $1200 dollars in casting equipment ,molds, lubri-sizer, and Dillon 550 press. So how much is your time worth?
 

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Do you like to do it? Or not?
Is golf or fishing worth your time?
The choice is up to the individual. If someone just hates it, there is a choice.
Granted, there are some folks that dislike it, but find it necessary because they just can’t keep buying cases upon cases at retail.
It is certainly better time spent than staring at puzzle pieces on a card table, waiting for someone to deliver your Jello to you......
 

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I had $50.00 in a thousand rounds of 9MM.... Todays prices are around $400.00 for 1000 rounds...... Plus 11 hours of work.
So you made about $32/hr to load. Plus it's availible, and tailored to your gun and needs! If you enjoy it, even a little- that's awesome. If you hate it, still good. $400/case is cheaper than I've seen anything yet but the comparison holds true either way.
 
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I enjoy the process and attention to detail. This keeps my mind sharp and my hand eye coordination fluid. Finding a load that is accurate in your pistol and shoots smooth is the next advantage. Now I have loads I created and can make as many of them as I have components anytime I want to. No more worries about running out of ammo and shooting less as a result. Now pass the Jello
 

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Is reloading worth the time, money, and is it feasible?

Like others have indicated, it somewhat depends on what kind of shooting you are doing / plan on doing, how much time you have, how much are you willing to spend etc.

I started on a RCBS rock chucker 30ish years ago, reloading mostly rifle ammo for bench rest and hunting. Still use it for precision rifle loading.

Then I invested in a Dillon Square Deal B, and used it for the different pistol calibers I was shooting. And I was shooting a lot (practice > competition).

When I was starting to shoot even more, I bolted a Dillon 650 to the bench. This loader is currently used for .45 ACP and .223 / .556
exclusively, and is cranking out rounds by the 1000's.

Nowadays, its a relaxing hobby. I can customize my ammo the way I want it, being hunting or just shooting fun. Am I saving any money? No. Is it feasible? For me, yes. For you, assess your situation, and then decide.
 

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Am I saving any money? No
Huh?

I would ask how could you not be saving money? With your volume over time, all the equipment has long since been paid for in savings. So unless you buy astronomically priced components, (including Lapua brass not being kept and reloaded) you have to be saving money.
 

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Huh?

I would ask how could you not be saving money? With your volume over time, all the equipment has long since been paid for in savings. So unless you buy astronomically priced components, (including Lapua brass not being kept and reloaded) you have to be saving money.
Saving pr. round? Sure. I'm just shooting a ton more than I would if I had to buy ammo ......😂
 

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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!
It's a relaxing process that you can actually veg out with and get rid of the day's issues.
You don't even have to shoot a lot more but you can develop super accurate loads that your guns just love and your friends envy at the range or just field shooting out on your property.
Being a retired engineer, I love the development work ups for my guns as after you have much better weapons that literally become one with you.
It's fun and my sons have learned from me for their firearms and stop by once in a while to do their reloading.
 

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It's a relaxing process that you can actually veg out with and get rid of the day's issues.
You don't even have to shoot a lot more but you can develop super accurate loads that your guns just love and your friends envy at the range or just field shooting out on your property.
Being a retired engineer, I love the development work ups for my guns as after you have much better weapons that literally become one with you.
It's fun and my sons have learned from me for their firearms and stop by once in a while to do their reloading.
Totally agree. I enjoy developing "super-loads" more and more. My latest caliber I have grown fond of is .270 Win, which I haven't touched at all until a few months ago.
There's just nothing like bringing a cup of coffee out in the workshop, developing a good load, running it over the chrony on the rifle / pistol range in the back, and it all comes together to perfection. You sit back and and watch the load creep into sub-moa groups, and finally enter it into the reloading log as "The Perfect Load". Oh, the satisfaction.....
I highly recommend you pick you the reloading hobby. No rush. Just have fun with it.

Good luck.
 

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When I was starting to shoot even more, I bolted a Dillon 650 to the bench. This loader is currently used for .45 ACP and .223 / .556 exclusively, and is cranking out rounds by the 1000's.
Saving pr. round? Sure. I'm just shooting a ton more than I would if I had to buy ammo ......😂
You are straying off the tracks here....
Shooting a gazillion more rounds is a personal choice. This is always brought up as a defense mechanism usually by non-loaders.
As Fletch mentioned, your equipment is more than paid for.
If you paid retail, by the case, to shoot as much as you do right now, would you say the cost is the same as reloading? Of course not.
Now let’s compare the expense to reload a case of 45 using components purchased pre-Covid vs going out and buying a case right now. Just this one example paid for a chunk of your reloading gear.
 

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It's not all about money.
Personally, making bullets and reloading ammo has given me more knowledge and better shooting skills. Another side benefit is making new friends that share your interest.
.... You can't put a price on that.
 

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It's not all about money.
Personally, making bullets and reloading ammo has given me more knowledge and better shooting skills. Another side benefit is making new friends that share your interest.
.... You can't put a price on that.
I wonder if the OP is still following this thread? I am and want to pull the trigger on a Dillon 650. After loading several thousand 9mm and 45acp rounds on my turret press, there has got to be a better way. I will keep my T7 for rifle rounds, but I want a progressive soooo bad now. I am thinking of asking for one for Christmas and my Bday. What is the approximate cost for me to set up a 650 for 9 and 45? I am overwhelmed by information on it.

I feel I have made so many "friends" on this forum. a true benefit to searching for help and information, I was new (and still am) to auto pistol reloading and learning fast with all of your help.

Decisions decisions Which do I want more: A Dillon 650 set up or a WC Elite Commander.???
 

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Decisions decisions Which do I want more: A Dillon 650 set up or a WC Elite Commander.???
Whoa!! That is a dilemma I wish I had!!!!!
I don’t know about the 650 as you may have to source it used. A 750 with a case feeder and all the trimmings on Dillon’s website is just over 1500 bucks.
That’s probably less than half of what the gun costs….
1st world problems, amigo!! 😉
 

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Whoa!! That is a dilemma I wish I had!!!!!
I don’t know about the 650 as you may have to source it used. A 750 with a case feeder and all the trimmings on Dillon’s website is just over 1500 bucks.
That’s probably less than half of what the gun costs….
1st world problems, amigo!! 😉
I know Flech, what a problem to have LOL I will keep saving and make a decision when I have most of the money in my gun kitty. It will probably depend on how much pistol ammo I have been running when the time comes. I just ordered a Stan Chen magwell, EGW HD safety and a WC extended slide stop for my Kimber carry. The savings just dribble away LOL
 

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just ordered a…. EGW HD safety
I have been using Wilson BP safeties… But the EGWHD is next on my list! Those two are the most robust of the Ambi safeties. Will be interested to hear how you like it once it’s on your Kimber.
 

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:)We have had a similar reloading journey to many here. Had a Rock Chucker and was perfectly satisfied with it loading rifle and a limited amount of handgun (mostly revolver) ammo. That was until we were bitten by the "combat shooting" bug in 1977. We were lucky and had fallen in with a pretty good bunch of shooters some of whom had Star machines ($1000+) and a few had C&H Auto Champs. This was in the pre-Dillon days. We bought a C&H machine and, even with it's quirks, it served us well. Then Dillon came on the scene and the 550 became the standard for the average shooter wanting to load in volume; and then the 650 and the RL1000, 1050, etc.... Our old Rock Chucker has been replaced by a Redding T7 for low volume cartridges but for everything we shoot in volume we now run 3 Dillons; a 550 set up for .223 with a Hornady powder measure, a 650 with case feeder for .45ACP and 9mm, and another 550 for all the other handgun cartridges we shoot.. We shooters owe Mike Dillon and his heirs a huge debt of gratitude for putting progressive loading within reach of the average shooter. We have tested the progressives from RCBS, Hornady and lee over the years. We could live with the first two if forced to, but based on close to 40 years of use it's hard to beat the Dillon machines and the company's service. And yes, progressive loading is really pretty simple; just pay attention to the details.

Sounds like Deja Vu. I started with a $115 Square Deal and still use it regularly.Only load 45 and 38 super on it. Dillon rebuilt it for free 3 years ago.I have a 550 for .223, 6.5 Grendel and 6.5 Creedmoor.
I love Dillon.
 
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