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Is it hard to reload...


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A complete novice to the re-loading world, I've read the forums etc, even watched a couple of videos on reloading. I suppose the cost savings is substantial, once the equipment has paid for itself.

A big question is the time factor. Once you have gained a semi-mastery of the reloading process, what would be a workman speed to produce say 500 rounds? Couple of hours? Longer ?

Thanks for a truly great, informative forum.

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It takes me one hour to load 600-800 rounds on my Dillon 650. It is faster if I pre-load all of the primer tubes, and have the bullet tray full and the case feeder full to start. Every time I put a primer tube in, I add brass and bullets. I don't push the press too fast, but I have a friend who gets around 1000 an hour. I like to go slow, but methodical as I have an almost zero component loss record. The best answer to your question is that it depends on the equipment, and you. A couple of hours is a very attainable goal for a beginning reloader with a progressive press.

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It's not really a cost thing, it's really about making a commitment to shooting as a hobby or sport. People who shoot factory ammo are the casual shooters and peripheral players.

Obviously you don't know where Mark Turrin gets his ammo.

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-snip-

A big question is the time factor.  Once you have gained a semi-mastery of the reloading process, what would be a workman speed to produce say 500 rounds?  Couple of hours? Longer ?

Thanks for a truly great, informative forum.

Of course your mileage may vary and everyone goes at their own speed. But for me....

From the time I walk in the room. Fill the powder hopper. Verify the charge. Fill the primer pickup tubes. Change CDs in the radio. Lube the cases. Fill the bullet tray. Fill the case bin. Answer the wifes question. Fill the primer feed. Start reloading. Verify OAL and crimp after a few rounds. Change CDs again. Verify charge every 200 rounds (100 for match). Fiddle with the primer slide every couple hundred rounds. Refill the primer pickup tubes at 400 rounds. Answer another of the wifes questions. Put the reloaded ammo away. Empty the powder hopper. Empty the spent primer cup. Put the powder and bullets away. Clean the press of debris. Turn off the radio. Answer another of the wifes questions. And walk out of the room.

About 3 hours for 800 rounds on a Dillon 550B. Never broke it down but 400 / hr is realistic for actual press running time. Setup and teardown is another hour. I don't try to set speed records. Just using time as efficiently as possible.

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Contrary to most others experience with the financial aspects, I have not saved a dime. But I have shot alot more for the same price.

Travis F.

I'm actually saving money reloading 45. I buy components in bulk, and there's only so much time I have to go shooting. I do a little better than halving the price of the cheapest mailorder 45, and I can't manage to shoot twice as much. I manage to shoot about 150% of the volume I was shooting when I bought loaded ammo.

Take a good hard look at the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP before you decide to purchase a 650.  The Hornady can be had for $500 with a case feeder (no dies but those are pretty inexpensive) from Cabela's.  Also, Hornady's customer service and warranty are as good as anyone else's in the industry.

I'll second the lock-n-load. Midway has it for $299, and you ahve to buya shell plate and a pistol sized powder insert. About another $36. You get a quality press that falls betweena 550 and 650 in features, and it costs you about $355 shipped. The individual bushings and reliable means of getting the primers into the trash without me touching them the occasional or frequent out of control primer is very nice. Chanign calibers is very fast too.

The only thing that makes reloading hard is a lack of mechanical aptitude to tinker with thing. There's a class of people who jsut find things like that REALLY hard, and if you are one of them it might not be for you. If you tinker with your car, or can do home repairs, you likely are capable provided you can focus and not get dangerously bored or distracted.

reloading quality rifle ammo REALLY starts to stack up the savings too.

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About a month ago, I asked the same basic question here, and ended up ordering a Dillon Square Deal from Brian, in .45acp.*

Other accessories, which add up *quick*, I bought here and there off eBay, etc. When it arrived it took about an hour to set-up. The next day, as a complete newbie, I was off and reloading. <shrug>

I'm now almost done with my second box of 1k primers. My attention span is such that I usually only crank out batches of 200 rounds, or two primer tubes worth, which takes 35 minutes, or so. I'll usually do 200, take a break, do another 200, remove the powder feeder, dump the powder back into the container, and clean up....

Speaking for me, only, there was no way I could participate in this sport withOUT reloading. Do I shoot more now that I reload? Well, kinda, but two IPSC matches a month, plus an evening local match, once a week, and maybe practice once a week...I was going to be shooting 1k rounds a month, regardless.

* Given all the little parts and accessories that came with my entry-level Square Deal, I would NOT want to have bought it used off eBay, and discover you were missing the small primer conversion kit, etc..

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thanks for all the input .

I priced some decent 40 at a very cheap local distributor in DFW from $85-97.5 per 1000/case.

Due to employment, I've been able to somewhat skirt the reloading issue for pistol, and have a world class rifle shooter buddy who will occasionally throw me a favor with rifle handloads.

I guess I equate reloading with tying flies for fly fishing. I don't like it and don't have the time for it when I can buy about what I want for a couple of bucks at the store.

But the ability to fine-tune a load is certainly appealing, and I'm sure the $$$ savings adds up over time. Reload for a couple of hours or dry-fire for the same time, unfortunately, that maybe where I'm at the next year or so.

thanks again for everyone's insight,

I probably just need to break down and force myself to learn to reload

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What I like about reloading is the convenience. I can make up what I need on my schedule. I don't have to go out and order ammo, or go to the store and buy it, of course all this assumes that I have components handy. I typically have in the garage 2-5K of each caliber bullet I use, 10-30 pounds of various powders and lots of primers. If you keep some stock of components that all you have to do go it go the machine.

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Good thread, reloading is something I'm very interested in getting going with too. Right now I shoot the Wally-World Winchester white-box .45, and while it's good ammo, I'm shooting like a 192pf for no good reason. :blink:

I feel like I'm at the point now where I'm wishing I could be putting more volume downrange and while I've learned to manage the recoil of the factory ammo, and that has proven an invaluable lesson, I really think it's holding me back.

I've come to the realization that if I want to reach my shooting goals, it ain't gonna happen on factory over-the-counter ammo (some of my buddies who shoot around here make fun of me for shooting factory...and for good reason, it's just a big waste of time).

I'd put the PF at the top of the list for why I want to reload, though.

- Gabe

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Don't do it if you think your going to save alot ot money.

It will take up more of your time, than just buying it at the store.

IF you shoot only 200/300 rounds a month it ain't worth it.

Also lets say you shoot more than 300 rounds a month but they are lots of different ammo. like rifle, shotgun, pistol in multiple calibers. Getting setup to load them all is a pain.

Don't expect to get more than 1/2 of your brass back at a match.

If you shoot 9mm I don't think you'll come out ahead ever.

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Gabe,

Excellent point on the PF. It's something I have a tendency to dismiss until I shoot a great hand loaded round, and realize recoil management doesn't necessarily have to be part of a strength/conditioning program for hand/wrist and forearm development.

Just need to find the motivation to get reloading.

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If you can buy it that cheap, then you may not save any money at all reloading. I use only once fired brass, VVN320 powder, WSR primers, and Zero bullets, so my cost per thousand is about $90. I do it because I can load it when I want(I keep 2-3000 rounds loaded all the time), make a custom load for my guns that makes PF but not much more, change the OAL, and have more control over the entire ammo management process. I don't love to reload, but I don't mind it either, and you get a great satisfaction out of doing well with your own ammo. All good advice so far in this thread, but if it is about cost only, buy that ammo!

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Definitely worth it.

I started on a Dillon 550. I relaod my .40 ammo for less than $50 per thousand. It is not hard. I load 500 at a time in about 2 hours. The ammo is as accurate as you could need for an IPSC match.

I have loaded one round with the primer upside down. As far as I can tell, in more than 13,000 rounds loaded, that has been the only error I haven't caught before the round was loaded.

Find a guy at your club who reloads. Ask him if you can come over to his house and do some reloading. After a 1 hour session, your fears will be dispelled.

Good luck,

DogmaDog

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Really a great, informative thread. Again, not so much for the $$ only savings, but the time issue also.

But, it's probably putting off the inevitable, especially for open.

Thanks again everyone

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was nervous like everyone else, especially with the primers all lined up in the tube of my Dillion 650.

But after that, I started reloading .45 and .40's.

Plus u save money about half the amount u would spend buying new breass.

I would highly recommend it if you shoot often.

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  • 1 month later...

Putting in my 2 cents here.....

You just can't go wrong with a 550B, the best thing you need to keep up production is extra primer tubes.... I have 6 large and 6 small, just take you time and load them up then you can easily knock off 500- 600 rnds an hour after a little practice and careful setup......

add in some spare toolheads and powder measures for quick change over and you have all you wil ever need......

I can't say enough about the guys at Dillon either...best product support I have ever seen....

Mine is almost 10 years old.....maybe 250,000 rounds....still runs like new.....

Good Luck what ever you do,

Joe

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Are the saving's worth it? I'm about to pick up 10,000 180 gr 40s for $240. Granted that's my share of a bulk order, but even adding in primers and powder, you can't beat reloading.

Plus, it's half the fun! :)

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  • 7 months later...

I use a 550B, set up to reload .45acp. Factory ammo at my club is £30 ($50) per 100. My reloads work out at £9.50 ($16) per 100. We're not known as 'rip off Britain' for nothing!!

I reload for the custom loads, but

Shooting is my sport

Reloading is my hobby.

I'm not ashamed to admit I like reloading !!

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  • 1 year later...

My $.025

Reloading for pistolas is mostly about volume and cost savings per round. And making major if needed. Mostly.

If you get into rifle shooting reloading for rifles is a whole different game. Some of my rifle rounds are more than store bought. But DAMN do they shoot nice. :D

Have fun, it's mostly safe. mostly. ;)

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+1 On the starting on a single stage press. Have a experienced reloader help you get set up. Some one at the club is sure to oblige. Once you feel that the single stage is holding you back you then decide on Progressive presses. Your savings for the ammo will be huge.

I know I will get crucified for this: Lee makes good value for money stuff and if well maintained they do last a good time. My Lee is still going strong after 26 years.

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