View Full Version : Need More Info

mr surveyor
03-19-2012, 08:00 PM
y'all been too quiet here lately and I need to read more reloading chatter. Having devoted my first year primarily to loading nothing but .357 mag, I'm ready to buy another set of dies. Even though my (social) carry guns are now the CW9 and CM9, I just don't see any real cost saving advantage to load 9mm. That's the reason I've loaded near 1000 rounds of .357 mag in the last year .... component prices averaging about $8 per 50 rounds (depending mainly on bullet variety) vs $22-30 for factory "range ammo". The next most expensive ammo I use (or would if it were "affordable") is .45 acp. In rifles, I do love my 30-30 and .243, but the old 30-30 just begs to be shot - alot. So, the dilemma is which set of dies and components to concentrate on next. I don't really "need" to shoot either the Kimber or the old Marlin, as I don't carry the Kimber much, if any, and now very rarely have a chance to hunt. The reasoning for loading the .45 next is the simplicity of the straight walled case, simple loads and multitudes of bullet styles. Then the thought of the next progression should be a simple rifle round, although the 30-30 has a lot less in projectile availability. Either would require stocking different primers than what I keep now as well as powders (although I can use Unique in the .45, and possibly in some loads for the 30-30). Brass for either one is really not an issue, at least in the quantities I would be loading. And both would be in the same range of cost savings as the .357 mag.... around 50-65% (or more).

One possible tie breaker is that a buddy offered to loan me his 30-30 dies to try out. If I can work the brass without crushing it, the 30-30 may just have to be next.



03-20-2012, 03:08 AM
I reload many sizes, ie 380, 9mm, 45 ACP, 357, 38 Spcl. I started reloading the 357 and 38 Spcl most recently, since i just got a henry 357. I load using Bullseye, CCI primers and either lead or Berry's plated bullets. My reloads run between $6 - $7 a box to load. When I load I usually do a lot at a time. Just last Saturday I loaded 750 45 ACP LRN. I plan on doing at least that many 357/38 Spcl this weekend. I have at least 4000 empty 9mm waiting. I counted last weekend and I have on hand:
1500 45ACP
1785 9mm
1100 380
350 38 Spcl
100 357
Most of the guys I shoot with don't reload but save all their brass for me plus we pick up all we can at the range before it goes in the can. My range don't care if we get it before the can but don't want you picking after.
All is done with a Lee single stage press. I clean using an ultrasonic cleaner. Recently I switched from an initial vinegar and water bath to a Lyman ultrasonic cleaner solution. That stuff cleans great and fast and everything shines.
I shoot at least 200 rounds of various stuff a weekend so my reloads don't tend to stay around long.

03-22-2012, 12:54 PM
I agree, mooore handload talk. Where do we start?

03-22-2012, 01:38 PM
Mr Surveyor,
where do I begin on this. I have been a reloader & bullet caster for most of my adult life. I started in 1976.
You are right with 9mm range ammo costing about $12.00/box of 50 rounds. Yea your cost to reload FMJ is between $8.00-$9.00 a box. But that is for the cheapest round to load...try doing the math for 380 ACP or 45 ACP...then it is very cost effective. Now let us look at the cost for a premium JHP in 9mm where you can load your own for the price of store bought range ammo and thats significant.
I can personally load the following pistol rounds and cast bullets in all of these calibers: 32 ACP,380 ACP, 9mm, 38 Spl, .357 mag, 44 Spl, 44 Mag, 45 Colt, 45 ACP and thats just the pistol rounds. I can & do load .223 , 260 Rem, 6.5 Swedish Mauser, 7x57 Mauser, 8x57 Mauser, 30-30, 30-06, 300 Win Mag, and 45-70 to include hand rolled black powder rifle loads for my Sharps Buffalo Rifles. 20 gauge, 16 gauge and 12 gauge Shotgun rounds. The only one I believe that I missed was 40 cal.
If I were you I would next get a set of carbide dies for the 45 ACP because they are so expensive. I also use alot of Unique Powder, not the cleanest burning but is suitable and does a good job on almost all the above pistol cartridges. It is a somehat medium burn rate powder but as the name says it is very universal. You can even load good fioeld loads for shotguns, as well as reduced rifle loads with hard cast lead rifle bullets. So feel free to fire away and I will be happy to share my 36 years of reloading with you guys.

PS "Unique" works very well for medium duty to light heavy duty loads in the 9mm, 38 Spl, and 45 ACP with very consistant accuracy. It is one of the prefered powders for 45 Colt as well. Guess thats why they named it "Unique" That powder dates back to the turn of the last century and is still viable today.

03-22-2012, 01:42 PM
I almost forgot one of the most imp[ortant reasons for reloading.....Total independence and being self sufficient. Not to mention that you can load anything that floats your boat at that particular time. You can also play with seating depths, load densities and powders of your choice and taylor said loads to your individual weapon.

03-22-2012, 02:01 PM
No reason not to do both the 45 and the 30-30. The 30-30 although bottle necked and requiring lube is pretty straight forward to load and has a rim, so no worry about head space, pushing the shoulder back etc.

I have a TC Contender in 30-30 that I loaded a bunch for years ago. I've been thinking of dusting off the dies and doing some more after it took it out last summer. Lots of fun.

With the Contender I made most of my loads for it only so I didn't get them into my 94's. Many times I just neck sized those cases which made it easier yet.

03-22-2012, 08:02 PM
If I look at the price of boxer-primed brass case 9x19 ammunition, I still save enough to pay for reloading. If I look at the group size, reloading really pays for itself.
If you already have the equipment, amortization isn't an issue.
Back in 2010, I first hit forums where people were "worried" about the pay-back for reloading. Since I always saw it as being able to load what and when I wanted, the "cost savings" was never on my radar.
Back then, I could buy American Eagle 9mm 115gn JHP ammunition for $289/1000 rounds 9$0.29/round) or "crappy" Brown Bear 115gn JHP for $94.50/500 ($0.19/round).
Buying virgin starline brass would run $129.99/1000 cases, Remington (expensive) 115gn JHP bullets would run $191.99/2000, Remington 1 1/2 SPP would run $30.40/1000, and Win 231 (not the less expensive HP38) would run 131.99/8lb keg.
Taking a 5.0gn charge weight, my cost per round for high quality components came to $0.27/round for with virgin brass and $0.14/round when I re-used the brass. This was without even looking at Montana Gold, Zero Bullets, or Precision Delta for equal quality jacketed but less expensive bullet--not to mention the commercial lead bullets I could buy for a fraction of that.
Thus, if Brown Bear was all I needed, then it was cheaper than buying virgin brass and high cost bullets, but was still more expensive than using brass already on hand.
Anyway, don't need any reloading chatter if you are happy with commercial.
However, now MIGHT be a good time to stock up on 9mm bullets and such. Buy 3-6k from Montana Gold or Precision Delta now.
Either that, or stock up on ammunition. The demand is going up--and the demand was already quite high.

mr surveyor
03-30-2012, 11:18 AM
actually, I'm now on a mission to learn everything I can about the 50-70 Government load for a particular vintage 1870 Navy Springfield (rolling block) that I own. Components are available, although not sized exactly for my particular rifle, and dies/moulds are available to cast my own bullet size. I have absolutely no experience with black powder loading, but that is what my gun will get.

I really need to find an antique arms expert, preferably within a 3-4 hour drive from NE Texas.

This is the one I really want to load for



mr surveyor
03-30-2012, 11:21 AM
and, for what it's worth, I do have the spec's for the ammunition (450 gr bullet, 70 gr black powder, velocity approx 1250 fps), and original barrel bore spec of 0.515" for this model. I need to slug the barrel to verify the bore (and a very beautiful bore it is).