Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by BullOnParade » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:31 am

Rifle ammo definitely costs more to reload, but compared to obscure caliber, match grade ammunition, the savings are there.

I can reload .38 for a third of the price of factory, and I doubt I spent $500 to start between a turret press, dies, tumbler and media. I can make 100 rounds in an hour, that's approximately $20 savings on the aformentioned .38s, and $20 an hour is a pretty good use of my time in my opinion.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Halfapint » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:53 am

BullOnParade wrote:Rifle ammo definitely costs more to reload, but compared to obscure caliber, match grade ammunition, the savings are there.

I can reload .38 for a third of the price of factory, and I doubt I spent $500 to start between a turret press, dies, tumbler and media. I can make 100 rounds in an hour, that's approximately $20 savings on the aformentioned .38s, and $20 an hour is a pretty good use of my time in my opinion.
True, I cranked out probably 3000 9mm for pennies over the course of 3 days. The amount of time it took and the savings from making them is better than I could hope for in general. My .223 habit is actually even better, I get Berry's bullets by the bulk (5000) which costs like 9c per bullet, the powder costs me about 7.3c per charge, and the primers cost 3.2c. so I'm in all of about 20c per round for ammo that I'd guess would be in the 80c or more range. At 200 yds I'm shooting right about 1 moa. I bet I could bet better with a nice bolt gun, but I'm not worried about it that much with my AR's.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by BullOnParade » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:15 pm

That's pretty good halfapint. A lot of guys talk down about reloading for 9mm and .223, because of the availability of cheap/surplus ammo. But your recipe sounds like a sweet spot.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Halfapint » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:31 pm

BullOnParade wrote:That's pretty good halfapint. A lot of guys talk down about reloading for 9mm and .223, because of the availability of cheap/surplus ammo. But your recipe sounds like a sweet spot.
I'm using A2460 for the powder, it's messy I guess. But it's always on the shelf, and where I buy it is actually cheaper than having to pay for the fees to ship powder. Just makes me spend more time cleaning. But I don't know I researched cheap good powders when I was starting out and I've stuck with it.

While you can find cheap surplus ammo I've found (as well as others on here) that they are less than ideal for accuracy. Not that I'm a competitor, but for the price if I can produce a cartridge that 9.9/10 times hit within like 1/2" of where I want it.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Zed Hunter » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:25 am

Plus talk about a post apoc. skill. Ammo is a consumable. And very tradable. Two 5.56 for a can of food.

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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Halfapint » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:30 pm

wow, my calculations were off, I thought 1lb was 5000 grains, apparently 1lb is 7000 grains...... so drop a couple cents off my reloading costs. Last night I cranked out around 500 300bo, I've been using the 110gr Nosler Varmegedon, but they are 27c per bullet, I think they cost me around 35c to produce. Which is almost the same as my 150gn 308.
Zed Hunter wrote:Plus talk about a post apoc. skill. Ammo is a consumable. And very tradable. Two 5.56 for a can of food.
Yeah, I started reloading because I wanted to be able to make my own ammo. But if SHTF being able to produce quality ammo with relative ease and speed would be a good skill to have. Watching Eugene in TWD make ammo and only produce a "handful" made me laugh. I mean I understand they are making their own bullets and stuff but I can crank out 500rds in a couple hours.....
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Zed Hunter » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:18 pm

I have no idea how Eugene is producing propellant. Primer materials are dangerous enough to produce in 33 gr batches.

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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Halfapint » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:42 pm

Zed Hunter wrote:I have no idea how Eugene is producing propellant. Primer materials are dangerous enough to produce in 33 gr batches.
My guess is black powder. Even in guns designed for smokeless it'll work, would have to be pretty low charges because black powder has scary pressure spikes as it doesn't burn uniformly. I've never made primer materials but the old school primers were mercury fulmate(sp) which is easy enough to make. If you had access to bleach you could make potassium chlorate. I've made Armstrong powder before from matches. It's slow and you need a lot of the oxidizer.

Personally the bullets would be the worst part I think. I've never made my own bullets, but assuming they are making their own molds, a lot can go wrong, and make things inaccurate, slightly to large the bullet gets stuck and could cause barrel to go boom, to small and it could bounce inside the barrel.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Zed Hunter » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:56 am

I have been casting bullets for over 40 years. It is an art. I have not developed the skills to make my own molds but maby some day. I am just beginning to learn how to swage. 224 bullets jacketed with spent .22 lr cases.

If you want to know more about these skills lurk on castboolits.com . Lots of knowledgeable people who are willing to teach New people. Search the archives first. Most questions have been answered there.

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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by eugene » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:20 pm

There are lot of reloaders who cast their own so it wouldn't be unbelievable for them to find reloading gear and casting tools too.

I just finished off the last of my Berry's round nose and started on the target hollow point. Going to run factory self defense across the chrony and then make some loads that are as close as I can. Think I'll call the Zombie Killers

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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Halfapint » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:16 pm

eugene wrote:There are lot of reloaders who cast their own so it wouldn't be unbelievable for them to find reloading gear and casting tools too.

I just finished off the last of my Berry's round nose and started on the target hollow point. Going to run factory self defense across the chrony and then make some loads that are as close as I can. Think I'll call the Zombie Killers
Agreed, I mean by now they should have found at least a dozen reloading setups, I'm curious how they are using a "machine" shop to make boolits.

Do either of you know of other places to buy bulk bullets? I usually buy from sportsmen's warehouse because the price for berrys there and online is nearly identical. I've yet to find a place that I can get bulk any cheaper than just buying from the store.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by MPMalloy » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:43 pm

Halfapint wrote:
eugene wrote:There are lot of reloaders who cast their own so it wouldn't be unbelievable for them to find reloading gear and casting tools too.

I just finished off the last of my Berry's round nose and started on the target hollow point. Going to run factory self defense across the chrony and then make some loads that are as close as I can. Think I'll call the Zombie Killers
Agreed, I mean by now they should have found at least a dozen reloading setups, I'm curious how they are using a "machine" shop to make boolits.

Do either of you know of other places to buy bulk bullets? I usually buy from sportsmen's warehouse because the price for berrys there and online is nearly identical. I've yet to find a place that I can get bulk any cheaper than just buying from the store.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Halfapint » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:40 pm

MPMalloy wrote:Natches?
How have I never heard of them?!?!?
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by taipan821 » Sat May 19, 2018 7:52 am

A little update on my introduction to reloading
SRO1911 wrote: If you want to hand polish, I would suggest NevR Dull from eagle one. Its like cotton batting soaked in a mild solvent, works great and a can will last years.
Thanks for the recommendation, it is so much easier to use and with less mess.
I have 100 rounds ready for step two, currently seeing if a friend will give me his empty brass as well to build up a stockpile.

currently looking at dies. I can buy a basic die set (Lee) which contains the full length sizing die and the bullet seat die. or i can buy a full die set which includes the neck collet die and crimp die.

Could someone explain what a neck collet die is used for, and the benefits/cons of crimping ammo? Firing a bolt action rifle
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by MPMalloy » Sat May 19, 2018 7:57 am

taipan821 wrote:A little update on my introduction to reloading
SRO1911 wrote: If you want to hand polish, I would suggest NevR Dull from eagle one. Its like cotton batting soaked in a mild solvent, works great and a can will last years.
Thanks for the recommendation, it is so much easier to use and with less mess.
I have 100 rounds ready for step two, currently seeing if a friend will give me his empty brass as well to build up a stockpile.

currently looking at dies. I can buy a basic die set (Lee) which contains the full length sizing die and the bullet seat die. or i can buy a full die set which includes the neck collet die and crimp die.

Could someone explain what a neck collet die is used for, and the benefits/cons of crimping ammo? Firing a bolt action rifle
When I reloaded, I used Lee dies and they worked very well.

Good luck!

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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Zed Hunter » Sun May 20, 2018 10:40 am

I bought the original neck collet die set years ago. The collet fingers would close up and crush the cartridge shoulder. Hopefully this has been corrected over the years. If you want to just neck size your brass set your sizing die 1/4-1/2 turn up from full length sizing.

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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Halfapint » Sun May 20, 2018 11:06 am

taipan821 wrote:A little update on my introduction to reloading

Could someone explain what a neck collet die is used for, and the benefits/cons of crimping ammo? Firing a bolt action rifle
I would go with a full size die. Even in bolt actions I noticed that if I didn't fully resize my brass it would stick in my bolt gun. It gets to be an even bigger issue if you are running a semi auto (I know you're in Australia). The neck sizing is for when you have fired the brass out of your own gun and just need the neck sized down to accept the bullet, if you don't at least resize the neck the bullet will fall into the cartridge.

Lee dies are just fine. I started with them and still use them for nearly everything except my 308 match rounds.

Good luck!
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by taipan821 » Mon May 21, 2018 3:09 am

thanks for the info halfapint.

More questions
1. Are dies interchangable? can I use RCBS dies in a lee press?
2. what advantages does a turret press have over a single stage? (single stage press $142 AUD, turret $175 AUD )
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by flybynight » Mon May 21, 2018 5:25 am

More questions
1. Are dies interchangable? can I use RCBS dies in a lee press? Yes
2. what advantages does a turret press have over a single stage? (single stage press $142 AUD, turret $175 AUD ) With a single stage you have to remove and screw in each die as needed. Turret all the dies stay on the press and you rotate them to the front as needed for whichever point in the reloading process. So quicker in that respect . With such a small change in price between the two I would go with the turret
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by taipan821 » Mon May 21, 2018 7:15 pm

flybynight wrote:More questions
1. Are dies interchangable? can I use RCBS dies in a lee press? Yes
2. what advantages does a turret press have over a single stage? (single stage press $142 AUD, turret $175 AUD ) With a single stage you have to remove and screw in each die as needed. Turret all the dies stay on the press and you rotate them to the front as needed for whichever point in the reloading process. So quicker in that respect . With such a small change in price between the two I would go with the turret

Thanks for the answers. I understand the basics of reloading, now I just need to start collecting gear. While reloading kits are common, I do not like the scales provided and can't fork out $250-$600 at once for a kit. On the plus side i can get 3kg of once fired.223 cases for $80 (thank you US gun ranges!) and I finally found .224 55gr fMJ projectiles, 100 for $23 AUD (same as speer 22 cal 55gr varmint softpoint)
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by Halfapint » Tue May 22, 2018 2:09 am

Here are some things I wish I knew when starting. Get a cheap (used?) single press. It makes resizing and decapping easier. If you are thinking of doing reloading on a scale of more than say 50 it so a day, het a turret press I started with a single and did everything by hand. It’s tedious and annoying when you screw up (and you will, oh god, will you ever!). I would probably still be using a turret press had I not found a Hornsby progressive for $200.

If you are buying brass online and/or reloading brass you haven’t shot get small base dies and a case trimmer. People have some really whacked guns and brass forms to that the small bass die will make it to spec. Then trim it to the proper length. I bought a cheap drill that is used just for my case trimmer. Once the brass is cut to the proper length chamfer, de burr, primer ream, and trim the primer pocket to the proper size. Yes this is the absolute worst part of reloading. Cutting, and prepping the cases blows all sorts of donkey dick, but it makes a vastly better product. Do it right to start, don’t be like me and wonder why shit doesn’t work right.

Lastly, buy reloading books and see what you shoot and what powders can be used with each cartridge. I shoot A2460 in my 223 and 308 because it works well for both and it’s always in stock. I shoot H110 for my m1 carbine and 300bo I can buy one powder and reload multiple cardridges. Not sure if you have places that sell reloading stuff, but maybe see what they have and research the powders then check every once and a while to see if things are stocked regularly.

Anywho there’s tons of stuff to say. But research and don’t just jump in! It can get very expensive if you do that..... ask me how I know!
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by taipan821 » Tue May 22, 2018 3:44 am

Halfapint wrote:Here are some things I wish I knew when starting. Get a cheap (used?) single press.

If you are buying brass online and/or reloading brass you haven’t shot get small base dies and a case trimmer.

Lastly, buy reloading books and see what you shoot and what powders can be used with each cartridge.
while a turret press is available for decent price, I'm going to start with a lee C press, then move from there. the plan is to leave the c press as a dedicated swager once I get a better press. I'm also going to be getting an RCBS Pocket Primer Swager (think that's right) for removing primer crimp. with regards to used brass I don't mind throwing stuff away, so if 20% of that 3kg bag goes in the bin I'm good. A headspace gauge is also on the first buy list and I'll pick up some case trimming tools. I'm also most likely going to stick with ADI powders (australian company) and they offer a decent range of powders.
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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by NapalmMan67 » Tue May 22, 2018 11:07 am

Halfapint wrote:
eugene wrote:There are lot of reloaders who cast their own so it wouldn't be unbelievable for them to find reloading gear and casting tools too.

I just finished off the last of my Berry's round nose and started on the target hollow point. Going to run factory self defense across the chrony and then make some loads that are as close as I can. Think I'll call the Zombie Killers
Agreed, I mean by now they should have found at least a dozen reloading setups, I'm curious how they are using a "machine" shop to make boolits.

Do either of you know of other places to buy bulk bullets? I usually buy from sportsmen's warehouse because the price for berrys there and online is nearly identical. I've yet to find a place that I can get bulk any cheaper than just buying from the store.
What do you consider bulk? Some vendors classify 100-500 bulk, others 1000+. Anyway...

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FWIW- I've been shooting the HiTek coated bullets from Missouri in both 9mm and 45, and they are great. Much easier to load than plated, but maybe that's just me.


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Re: Press therapy - reloading room *chat*

Post by taipan821 » Sat May 26, 2018 6:13 pm

Another question, regarding headspace gauges.

worth it? I'm not being picky at the moment about case dimensions, just wanting to make sure the case will load
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