Sunday, March 2, 2014

What have I begun?

After a long time of internal debate, I’m now starting to reload my own ammo. Prices aren’t coming down fast enough if at all and this will allow me to dig deeper into my hobby of choice and save some coin to boot.

To date, the following has been amassed…

1. Reloading bench                 11. Powder trickler            
2. Hand press                         12. 30.06, .308 & .223 dies
3. Priming tool                        13. Tumbler
4. Powder measure                 14. Case trimmer
5. Lube pad                            15. Calipers
6. Neck brushes                     16. Walnut shell media
7. Scale                                  17. Bullet puller
8. De-burring tool                   18. Shell holders
9. Powder funnel                    19. Components: primers, brass, powder & bullets
10. Case loading block           20. Spec manual

I still need to get some more component bits when I go back to the gun show tomorrow but I should be set up completely with all brand spanking new equipment for less money than I would have spent on one case of 7.62 X 51 or two cases of .223.

I’ll probably start making .223 which I should be able to make for…

Primer = 3 pennies each
Case = 4 pennies each
55gr bullet = 12 pennies each
Powder = 14 pennies each

Hmmm…so basically if I buy all the components and consider my time/labor worthless, it still costs me 35 cents per round.


Reclaiming the cases on the ammo I’ve already bought will save a few cents but not much. But then again, I’m trying to duplicate factory ammo so I can always buy a lighter bullet and use a different powder with a reduced load just to plink with and save my Zombie ammo for actual Zombies. I need to do some more homework before I start slinging lead down range.

Nobody said the shooting sports was a cheap hobby

UPDATE: I just found online the same powder I bought today at the gun show for almost half what I paid so future .223 builds are doable for 26.7 cents per round; then shave off 4 more cents for the reclaimed brass so 22.7 cents per round or $227 per 1000 rounds.


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lowly said...

You should be able to get that down to 17 cents a round by shopping carefully.

Bullet $0.08
Powder $0.07
Primer $0.02
Brass free

Buy all that stuff in bulk. 5k primers, 8 lbs jugs of powder, 5k bullets. Powder valley is good for powder and primers, various places will have bullets in bulk at times. Works best if you set up a 'cash for deals fun' so you have the cash should you need it.

Pick up all brass at the range, accumulate the stuff you don't use, and trade for brass you do.

kaveman said...

Absolutely, I was figuring cost on what I bought today at the show just to get started. I'm going to run a small batch and see what works and then start buying bulk supplies.

Thanks for the info about Powder Valley.

Robert Fowler said...

I've been shooting a 55gr lead round nose with a gas check through my M4. I've shot a few hundred of them with no problems at all. I cast a lot of different bullets because I load commercially, small time.

I do cast a couple of different rifle bullets like the 55gr and a 120gr lead round nose that works great in 30 carbine. I stated out casting with a old turkey fryer and a used pressure cooker bottom. I upgraded recently to a electric melter so I can work in y shop instead of being a slave to the weather. I'm not casting bullets when it's below freezing.

Handgun bullets, after you get your return on investment for the molds can get down pretty cheap. It helps that my SIL works at a tire store. He's brought me a couple hundred pounds of wheel weights. You can also salvage lead at the range. The one I use is deserted through the week when I go. I'm always picking up spent bullets. You would be surprised how many you find just laying on the ground. If you check around, you can get started pretty cheap.

The Jack said...

Interesting how the finances change with rifle versus handgun.

I do 45acp. And I find my powder is one of the lesser expenses (after brass and bullets)

Though those two can be taken down by reusing brass and casting own lead.

Firehand said...

Now you know how I became a member of the Bent-Back Brasspicker species

PolyKahr said...

Youmay also find tht reloading is both interesting and fun. I load .45ACP these days, on a single stage press. Different powders react differently in my weapon, and I enjoy the various operations as I try to get them all exactly the same, thus eliminating variability. I find a digital scale (in grains) and a caliper are indispencable tools in this endeavor. Good luck,

lee n. field said...

Only a hand press?

Seriously take a look at the Lee Classic Turret. (Not the "Deluxe Turret".)