Economics of reloading ammo(e)

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Aurelius, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. HardCase

    HardCase winter is coming

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    Ummm, are you using the really rudimentary system of hammering the primer into place? I personally find that to be verging-on-insanity! If that is the case, invest $10 or whatever in a 45acp size hand-primer, a much safer and probably more accurate way to go.
  2. toolfan

    toolfan Broken Hearted

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    Yeah. I'm cheap. :D

    Actually, I haven't been able to find the lee hand primer ($15) in stock anywhere. I don't want to pay ~$35 for the RCBS or Hornady, so I'll continue whacking away for now.
  3. lorazepam

    lorazepam Two fisted burger

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    Went to look around at the gun show last weekend. White box winchester 9mm 30.00, 7.62x39 300.00/1000, plenty of primers if you want to spend 60.00/1000.
    Blazer brass 9mm 18.00/50.

    I can reload hornady xtp in 9mm for ~.20 each, so the cheap stuff isn't so cheap any more. Ridiculous is the only word that describes what has happened with the ammo situation around here.
  4. toolfan

    toolfan Broken Hearted

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    I'm thinking about buying a tumbler or an ultrasonic cleaner.

    Cleaning brass by hand sucks.

    But that's going to throw my economics out the window.:lol3
  5. Patriot4570

    Patriot4570 Trail Blaster

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    You got that right.I need some more crushed corn cob media for my tumbler having clean brass makes life so much better.
  6. HardCase

    HardCase winter is coming

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    Back in the 60s when I first learned reloading from my dad we never cleaned brass. We'd wipe it off with a rag or paper towel, lube it up, and throw it in the sizer. Seemed to work out okay. I bought a tumbler back in the early '80s because it seemed like a good idea, and clean brass now although not necessarily after every reload.

    Yup, the economics of it all have to be viewed in the long term. If you get all of the gear and gizmos at the very start, it can be expensive, but like most hobbies I suspect that the majority of participants pick up items here and there over a period of years or decades. Most of my reloading equipment is around 30 years old, give or take, but I'll still pick up an item here and there. My latest was a Dillon primer pocket swage, I've got tons of once-fired military 308 and 223 brass. The swage works great.
  7. toolfan

    toolfan Broken Hearted

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    The reason I want clean brass is that the cleaner it is, the easier it is to find. :lol3

    But I loaded up about two shootin' trips worth of ammoe, so I'm probably good for the next month and a half.

    I think it's time for a press too. Hammering cases into the lee loader is a pain the ass.
  8. Aurelius

    Aurelius Long timer

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    At the Orlando gun show two weeks ago, supplies seemed to have gone back to their pre-Obama levels. Where just a few months prior people were litterally climbing over each other to buy up every box of primers and popular military ammoe, this time there were crates of the stuff available. Prices are still inflated, though. Typically a box of 1000 primers sold for $27; the cheapest I found at the show was $39, and some tables were asking as much as $45. :eek1 At the previous gun show the number of people waiting at the gate was three times the usual amount; this time it was back to normal levels. I also noticed that MidwayUSA once again has .22 caliber bullets in stock in most bullet weights. That hadn't been the case since last March. Still no sign of my favorite .22 LR ammo(e) however. :cry
  9. HardCase

    HardCase winter is coming

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    I do believe that the Lee Loader is definitely a prelude to a press for most shooters! :D

    I hear ya on the clean brass being easier to find bit! That dirty stuff blends right into the dirt and grass.
  10. Aurelius

    Aurelius Long timer

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    Slight thread hijack, but why are you guys using pistol primers at all? I've used nothing but rifle primers in all my pistols for the past 15 years or so. Sticking with one type of primer for all my guns allows me to buy them in large quantitites at 'bulk' prices.
  11. Aurelius

    Aurelius Long timer

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    Does Red Dot powder burn cleaner than Bullseye? :ear
  12. HardCase

    HardCase winter is coming

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    I use pistol primers, large or small, in all of my handgun reloading except for the 500 S&W which specifically calls for LR primers. I think that there are some minor dimensional differences for one thing. I know that there seems to be a trend toward using rifle primers for everything, but I've not followed that one yet.
  13. Aurelius

    Aurelius Long timer

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    No dimensional differences at all according to my new super-duper dial caliper. :lol3 Rifle primers have a harder shell and burn hotter than pistol primers, but those are the only differences. Someone opined that the hammer springs on some pistols are too weak to reliably detonate rifle primers, but I've never found that to be the case.
  14. HardCase

    HardCase winter is coming

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    Hmmmm, you might be correct about the dimensional differences......I recall when I first got my early-edition 500 Smith in '02 or '03, shortly after that gun was introduced, that there was some concern expressed in the literature that certain brass was made to accommodate LP primers and other brass was set up for LR primers, and that you shouldn't use the wrong primer in a given case. I think that the concern had to do with primer depth. Seems like some early Starline brass was set up for LP primers and then they changed over to LR and the cases were marked accordingly.......or something like that. I'll have to see what I can track down on that issue.
  15. Aurelius

    Aurelius Long timer

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    Looking at it from a common sense standpoint, you have to wonder why any engineer would deliberately design cases with different sized primer pockets, especially since the dimensional difference would be so small as to be imperceptible. From a manufacturing standpoint, it just makes no sense. :scratch
  16. beefjerky

    beefjerky Long timer

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    It's not the engineers, but the marketeers!
  17. Ge-Mini-gun

    Ge-Mini-gun Been here awhile

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    According to the SAAMI specs, the depths for small pistol, small rifle, and large pistol primer pockets are all the same at: .118" to .122"; while large rifle primer pocket has a depth of: .128" to .132".
  18. Aurelius

    Aurelius Long timer

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    I've used nothing but large rifle primers in both my .44 Magnum and .45 ACP. Neither gun seems to mind. :1drink
  19. HardCase

    HardCase winter is coming

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    I was thinking that the problem with LR versus LP primers was one of seating-depth. 1/100th of an inch probably isn't going to make much of a difference most of the time, it seems that many primers are seated slightly below flush with the head of the case in any event, so an LR in an LP pocket might just bring it to flush, but if a given round had a slightly protruding primer I could see at least the remote possibility of a slam-fire in a semi-automatic pistol, or a cylinder binding up in a close-tolerances revolver. I think I'll just continue to follow the specs suggested by the manufacturers, but it's nice to know that in a pinch one could use some primers interchangeably.
  20. toolfan

    toolfan Broken Hearted

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    another bump, cuz I finally got a press and now the joneses want to keep up.
    :lol3