Economics of reloading ammo(e)

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

  1. ShadyRascal

    ShadyRascal Master of None

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    Beat me to it, Pilot. Universal is real fast for a long barrel.
  2. HardCase

    HardCase winter is coming

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    In my IPSC days (late 80s until about Y2K) I shot up in the neighborhood of 50# of Universal. Great powder, roughly similar to Unique but much cleaner burning, works well in the 40S&W and 45ACP for mid to max loads, as well as 38 Special. I like H110/W296 (same powder, different can) in magnums like the 357, 44, and 500 S&W for maximum loads. I would think H110/W296 would be good in rifle-length barrels. I've been getting some really good accuracy and results with that powder in a H&R HandiRifle chambered in 500S&W. I use the same loads in the 4" and 8 3/8" revolvers as well as the 18" H&R. I'd like to mount a scope on the rifle to really wring it out, but it is quite promising thusfar, the only handgun round gun I've had great albeit preliminary results with aside from a Remington 788 bolt gun chambered in 44 Magnum many years ago. Wish I still had that one! :cry
  3. Bigfeet428

    Bigfeet428 Adventurer

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    I use lil gun for my 22 hornet. The pressure is lower with great results. I've seen 357 loads listed so it might be worth a look.
  4. vspeed

    vspeed Been here awhile

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    The H110/XTP load works well enough for me in the rifle. I'm probably the limiting factor as far as accuracy is concerned. It's ok in the revolver too. It's a full-on .357 mag load though so it's not as pleasant to shoot as my more moderate .357 mag cast loads. Even in the rifle the jacketed load has some kick to it. Of course the jacketed load is more expensive too.

    [​IMG]


    Lucky for me, late last summer I bought a bunch of 55gr .223 bullets to load. I spent a good part of December and January working on those. I use a Lee hand-held case trimmer, so it was a slow and painful process.


    [​IMG]


    I think these are some of those rounds fired from an AR at 25 yards.

    [​IMG]


    I don't remember what rifle I used on this target or at what range, but I'm sure the ammo was something I reloaded.
    My fellow Army vets probably remember these zeroing targets.

    [​IMG]
  5. PunkinHead

    PunkinHead Moobless Adventurer

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    I turned/knurled a handle and epoxied the shell holder in then mounted the cutter side in the lathe. I can trim a bunch in a hurry. If you don't have a lathe you could mount it in a drill press or even a hand drill secured to the bench.

    [​IMG]
  6. El Guero

    El Guero V4 Whore

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    Sounds like he has been loading with H110 too, I don't think you can go much slower burning in 357.

    Which is a bummer, as I want one of the revolver caliber carbines but they don't appear to be all that accurate.
  7. HardCase

    HardCase winter is coming

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    While I don't have empirical data to support this, my 'sense' is that I got somewhat better results shooting a 44 Mag out of a bolt-action rifle/carbine than results with various 357 caliber rifles seem to demonstrate. And I know that I get even better results with the 500 S&W Magnum round out of an H&R HandiRifle than I did with the 357 in the Marlin. I'm not sure why this is. Rifle variables or something inherent in the cartridge? I remember that a number of years back Ruger chambered their excellent No. 1 single-shot in 357 Magnum. I wonder how well those shoot? I've had excellent results wiht the No.1 in rifle calibers (7mm Remington Mag, 270, 375H&H and 9.3x74R).
  8. El Guero

    El Guero V4 Whore

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    I just generally assume that it has something to do with bullet design. Probably 99% of bullets fired through a 357 rifle were designed to be shot from a revolver within 50 yards. At a minimum I imagine that the increased velocity would affect the accuracy of even the most thoughtfully designed pistol bullet. I'd like to see people shoot more with the Hornady pointed bullets to see if that helped at all.
  9. pilot

    pilot Slacker Moderator Super Moderator

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    That is possible, but people use 357 pistol bullets in the 35 Remington rifle with good results. :dunno
  10. El Guero

    El Guero V4 Whore

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    At .35 Remington velocities? I guess it could work, I really don't know anything about bullet design :lol3
  11. VegasKLRider

    VegasKLRider Long timer

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    I have loaded practice rounds for my .35 Whelen using 158gr XTP's, but I limit velocity to less than 2000fps. Not super accurate, but not too bad.
  12. Manuel Garcia O'Kely

    Manuel Garcia O'Kely Back at last

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    Question for you loading Gurus - when buying new equipment, is it a good idea to stick with the same brand for the major components - like press, dies and shell holders, or can you mix and match?

    I did not get a straight answer from my local gun dealer and of course the Lyman reloading book suggests - Lyman. Not that I'm adverse to buying their stuff, but it's mostly mail order whereas I can get RCBS stuff at the local store.

    Another question regarding die setup - once a die is adjusted in the press, it looks like there's a locking collar - I assume this allows you to reset the die at the proper location each time you reuse it? That would seem to obviate the need for a turret style press for most reloading purposes, correct?

    Although there's no loading materials out there so I'm not sure this goes anywhere.

    Thanks.
  13. Andyinhilo

    Andyinhilo Long timer

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    All of the stuff for standard presses (pretty much everything but some progressives like the Dillon Square Deal and the Star) use the same dies and shell holders. That means you can use whichever you like. I prefer Lee dies, and their presses if you are going single stage. The dies are a bit cheaper than the others, and I like the O-ring equipped locking nuts. As you surmise, these are so you can reset the dies in the same position each use. The Lee lock nuts are a bit easier to use IMHO. Some Lee dies also come with shell holders as well.

    I like a single stage press for rifle stuff, and a progressive for straight wall pistol loads.
  14. PunkinHead

    PunkinHead Moobless Adventurer

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    No problem mixing and matching. I have a hodgepodge of Lee & RCBS.
    In theory. In practice (for me at least) die setup is so fast it doesn't matter.

    Maybe share a bit about your plans. Rifle? Pistol? Reloading a ton? Reloading lower quantities but focused on accuracy? Something in between?
  15. Manuel Garcia O'Kely

    Manuel Garcia O'Kely Back at last

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    Well, not having loaded before. My initial goal is to save some bucks on shooting ammo - certainly would load for my .40 S&W, maybe my 9MM. I suppose that this could be 300 rounds a week between the two if I had the materials.

    For rifle, I'd like to load for my .30-30 just for plinking ammo, and might want to load lower power loads for a .30-06 - the hunting loads hurt too much for fun shooting.

    Future goal is to get a target rifle in .308, but that may be down the road.

    I imagine that I would probably want to start to use cast bullets to save additional bucks, and would consider doing my own casting at some point.

    All of this is tempered by the fact that no loading materials are available....
  16. pilot

    pilot Slacker Moderator Super Moderator

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    You can start picking up tools while you wait for components. If you want to cast, go to http://castboolits.gunloads.com/forum.php and do some reading.
  17. Motor31

    Motor31 Long timer

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    I have a mix of various brands of equipment. The only real place you could get into trouble is if you buy a press that requires a proprietary locking style. As long as you use a press that has the universal thread style you can use just about any die you want. I have them from RCBS, LEE and even Herters form the 70's all working fine in a Dillon progressive (450) and RCBS press.

    Some of my dies are set and locked down, like the 9mm, 45, 40S&W since I don't change the loads. The case stays the same size, assuming you trim properly when needed. The only time you might need to reset the die is changing bullets size / weight / design and can require resetting the die. Same for switching from 38 to 357 or 44 special to 44 mag since the cases are different lengths.

    Note that if you load cast lead slugs and they have a heavy lube on them you can get a build up of lube on the seating die that can change the seating depth if you do not pay attention.
  18. Manuel Garcia O'Kely

    Manuel Garcia O'Kely Back at last

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    I've seen one Mfg, I think Orange in color, has a quick change bushing design, but they look like they are the only ones with that special item. It looks like the bushing holds the standard dies.

    Thanks for the reminder on lead lube - that would be a lousy lesson to learn on the 9 or .40 given how small those cases are.

    Looking at the hardware required to do the job, I'm thinking a Lyman set including the case trimmer looks like a pretty good setup to start with - they seem to be the only kits with a case trimmer standard. I know there's a pack of stuff that has to be added to that, shell holders, die sets, caliper and priming system...

    Without shopping for all of the hardware items individually, is there anyone who averages lower prices than Midway?
  19. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    with skyrocketing prices for ammo ... .223 used to be one would do special loads for more accuracy or different weight bullets to justify hassles of reloading .223 .. not to save $$$.

    now days it's common to pay $1 per round for .223 ... making it economically desirable to reload even .223.

    good thing I'm covered with reloading components ... have not purchased or sold anything since this scare started...
  20. Andyinhilo

    Andyinhilo Long timer

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    Orange color stuff is usually Lyman. You might want to look at the Lee case trimmers. They are IMHO easier to use than the Lyman style trimmers, and can be used in a drill if you plan to trim a lot. Cheap, too.

    If you are going to load for a .40 or 9mm, check your pistol's rifling to make sure that it is not polygon style rifling ala Glock. If it is that type, you will probably want to avoid lead bullets. They tend to lead up badly even with mild loads.