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  • Reloading advice for a complete newbie.

    Posted by james on November 5, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    I am relatively new to shooting and am looking to find ways to reduce the cost of shooting regularly. I’m weighing my options between getting into reloading, or getting a .22 rifle and handgun. I am currently looking into getting a hand press kit from Amazon (linked below) and had a few questions. My goals with reloading are essentially to have more control of my ammo supply, as well as make shooting cheaper.

    First, is this press a good place to start?

    Second, what else would I need to purchase? I know I need dies, as well as brass and bullets etc, but what else would I need?

    Third, if my goal is to shoot for cheaper, is reloading my best bet or should I save up and get a .22 instead? Reloading seems like a fun way to save money, but if I’m barking up the wrong tree I’d like to know before I drop a chunk of change.

    Fourth: I see a lot of places out of stock on primers and such. Where do yall source your materials?

    [press on amazon](http://Lee Precision 90180 Breech Lock, Hand Press Kit

    Thank yall for any advice!

    Edit: would the price difference with this kit be worth it

    【other kit](http://LEE PRECISION Anniversary Challenger Kit II

    james replied 10 months, 3 weeks ago 2 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • microphohn

    November 5, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    You’ll outgrow a hand press VERY quickly. I’d skip it because it will collect dust once you upgrade. Stick with a bench press.

    There’s a difference between shooting cheaper and shooting cheap. When I took up reloading, I could pay for a $500 in just 83 rounds of 338 Lapua. Massive cost savings over factory ammo. But still a buck a round. Which is not “cheap” despite being much “cheaper.”

    If you want to plink at low cost, get a 22LR and don’t bother taking up reloading. Then, once the 22LR market recovers a bit, stockpile 10k-20k rounds and you’ll be set for a good while.

    YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN SAVE COST PER ROUND RELOADING. But you must always ask first the question: “compared to what?” If you are going to load plinking 9mm and are comparing it to factory 9mm, don’t bother. The economies of scale are working against you. You can’t possible pump out 9mm cheaper than a plant making millions of rounds a year. If you are going to load 55gr .223 for an AR, don’t bother. Again, these loads are so common in factories that there is no cost savings and you’ll never break even.

    But let’s say you take up match shooting and the Black Hills load in your “compared to what” is $1.20 a shot. And you can load your own match ammo for 50 cents a round. Well, now you’re saving $700 in 1000 rds. That’s more than enough to buy a nice press and many accessories and get fully up and running in reloading. This was the case for me, as I was shooting Wolf Primed brass (14c per rd) a hornady ELD-m (25c a rd) and about 10c worth of powder per rd. My first season of match shooting paid for almost all my loading stuff.

    The other scenario where reloading pays for itself quickly is with ammo that is very rare or expensive in factory form. Say you have granddad’s old 257 Roberts. Not much of that ammo floating around on store shelves. But brass and bullets aren’t that hard to find and you can load it cheaper than anything you can buy. 338 Lapua loads can be $5 a shot or more. You buy the brass for $1 each and can reuse many times. Which means you’re only replacing a 50-60 cent bullet and 90gr worth of powder, plus primer. So you might have $3 a shot in your first load with new brass, and only $1.50 per shot in reload after that. Loading 338 for $1.50 a round instead of $5 a round will add up savings VERY FAST.

    Which leads to my final point: Don’t expect to actually save money with reloading. Yes, your cost per shot can be less and even enough to pay for all your gear and then some, but you will end up shooting more and end up spending more over all. Which is perfectly fine with many of us. But don’t kid yourself that there is net savings to any aspect of a hobby.

  • AmbulanceDriver3

    November 5, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    Even before the insanity of the current reloading component market, if you only load common calibers in common loadings, you needed to load(and shoot) a metric ass ton of ammo to see anything in the profit column, and even then you had to play math games like amortizing the initial investment over like twenty years. Oddball or wildcat cartridges, special loadings etc change the math in your favor, as does the ability to make precision ammo better than you can buy.

    With the cost of components today, you’re neck and neck with retail ammo if not beyond, and it’s a toss up whether at any moment in time you can find components or loaded ammo. It’s not pretty out there.

  • marcuccione

    November 5, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    One day I’ll save money, but I’ll be dead.

    Seriously though, I just sold a press and bought another one. The cost of the sale didn’t cover the cost of the new one.

  • ocelot_piss

    November 5, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    Check the FAQ and do a few searches mate. You’ll need the same stuff that every other newbie has needed.

    Happy to help if you have any specific questions after you’ve finished your homework.

  • Reloadernoob

    November 5, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    You will quickly tire of this press, unless you use it double-duty as a thigh master exerciser. For about $15 more you can get the Lee Challenger single stage for bench mounting, or get this kit which will get you started:

  • Arizona_Overland

    November 5, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    You will not save any money reloading.
    I know I sure as shit don’t.. if anything the cost per round has almost doubled compared to factory ammo

    It costs more because you are building cartridges with what is usually much higher grade components (powder bullets etc) than most factory ammo. Unless you’re trying to get every last bit of performance out of a cartridge it’s just not worth it. If you shoot long range or have a difficult to find caliber then it makes sense but not for much else.

  • adposa1997

    November 5, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    I would reccomended checking out getting into casting. It makes it more difficult to load but it can make it more cost effective. It is a whole another can of worms to get into


    November 5, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    The Lee press works well enough, the accessories not so much. The Lee scale is despised. The Lee powder measure leaks with fine pistol powders. The Lee hand primer is not well loved.

    Do not expect to save money, most of us don’t. We shoot more for the same money.

  • Key-Rub118

    November 5, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    Backfire did a video on the price of Reloading vs Buying Ammo, here is the link.

    I think he hits the points pretty good. I have no tips on how to find primers, but other component companies have started selling direct from their website and that helps with availability, Hodgdon sells powder directly from their website, Barnes has also started selling their projectiles direct as well.

  • fatguywithagun

    November 5, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    You can absolutely save money on loading 9mm and .223…assuming you got the anniversary kit, upgrade the powder drop and scale, and you have some time on your hands and don’t hate tedious things, you will pay off your equipment within your first two cases of 9mm that you make. Yes, as others have said, that’s *thousands of rounds*…but 2k 9mm lasts a couple months at best in my house, and .224 is absurd still right now, so probably cut that in half at current prices…

    I have never assigned an hourly rate to pay myself for hobbies, as I have a full time job already, and I can’t work any more than I already do, and I’m not taking time off work to do hobbies like reloading, so why would I calculate a cost for my time? I reload at night when the kids are in bed, process brass while I’m watching TV, so I’m not losing time at work…

    Also, for the people that say loading volume through a single stage are whiny babies…I routinely load a couple hundred rounds an hour, you just have to work in batches.

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