Anybody reload/handload?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Morgan3820, Dec 27, 2020.

  1. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    Given the current shortage, I have started to look at reloading. I acquired much of the needed components some time ago when a friend suggested that it might be a good thing to have just in case. Mostly pistol stuff. I have only recently pulled the stuff of the shelf to look at what I have in detail. Starting to educate myself.
    *the usual 'no politics' disclaimer*
     
  2. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    How many bullets do you really need?
     
  3. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    "The ABCs of Reloading: The Definitive Guide for Novice to Expert" is a good intro.

    Pay particular attention to safety (handling primers, handling powder, and please please please don't double charge the pistol cases)
     
  4. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    One for every time you fire a weapon.
     
  5. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    It's tough to find bullets for most pistol calibers, unless you can shoot cast. Those are available, but with long lead times from Missouri Bullet Co. and Oregon Trail at least. Berry's is just not shipping plated anything right now. Primers -- good luck with that. Fortunately I stocked up pretty well several years back. My wife was able to find the powder I asked for, but most places are out of pretty much everything from what I can find.

    So -- you can do it, but you may have to wait a lot longer than usual for some components, and you may not be able to go with your first choice. I just reloaded some .44 Magnums this weekend, but I won't be able to reload the .357 and .40 S&W empties for a while, until I can actually lay my hands on some boolits. I'm ordering now but don't really expect to see them until Spring.

    If you're an active target shooter, a lot. I'm an occasional plinker, but I've talked to guys who normally go through hundreds of rounds per week. Even in my case -- one day we took a bunch of my son's in-laws to the range, most of who had never touched a gun of any sort before. I think we went through close to 250 rounds that day.
     
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  6. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Right now the lack of primers are the main reason you can't re-load.

    Looks at MIDWAY USA and see what they are "OUT OF STOCK" most every thing.

    I am still holding a brick of large rifle primers left over from 20 years ago.
    I have converted my 10 gauge to Brass that uses large rifle primers I should be good to go.
     
  7. rtk11

    rtk11 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    In California, the lack of any of the materials, whether powder, slugs, or primers is a problem. But not a bad idea to "roll your own" as you can tailor the grains (of powder or slug weight) to suit your style.
     
  8. NJP_MAN

    NJP_MAN Pattern Altitude

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    Looks like I'll devolve back to flintlock.
     
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  9. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    They are a fun gun. I have a Thompson Center 50 cal percussion. my daughter said a bad word when she shot an Elk with it. (max loaded mini ball) but she didn't miss.
     
  10. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Do you know how to proof a new muzzle loader? they double load it, 2 fully loaded charges
     
  11. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I used to reload way back in the day when I was shooting IPSC. I did mostly pistol calibers, 9 mm and .45 but also did one rifle caliber, 6 mm mag. Jacketed bullets, primers and powder was plentiful but I did use some cast .45 bullets. I didn't like them, made a mess to clean.

    It's a fun hobby. The nice thing is you can tailor your loads. I would do a light 9 mm load for my primary competition pistol, a weak springed S&W M39.
     
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  12. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I’ve had a single-stage RCBS “Rock Chucker” for years. Reload a handful of handgun and rifle ammo. Find it very relaxing.

    Offhand:

    Handgun: 38 special/357 magnum, 380, 9mm, 44 special/magnum and 45 Auto.

    Rifle: 223, 7.62x39mm and 30.06

    Only sit down to reload a couple of times a year, and haven’t needed supplies for a long time, so I can’t speak to any shortage. I’m not a hunter, so I do it mainly for the enjoyment and for target shooting/plinking.
     
  13. Jim K

    Jim K Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I've got all the gear, used to shoot a lot. No one else in the family is interested though, nor in my circle of friends. I've been thinking about selling of a chunk of my collection to fund airplane parts. The family gets a lot more enjoyment out of the airplane.

    When I used to shoot more, I almost enjoyed reloading more than shooting. Precision measuring, specialized tools, different recipes depending on what ingredients you have. It tickled the same part of my brain as instrument flying.
     
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  14. manac

    manac Pre-Flight

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    Check out component availability, if you can find some primers, buy them, then get some powder. Bullets and brass are available. Then get the equipment.
    I’m seeing equipment for sale because people can’t find components.
    You probably aren’t going to save money in the long term, once this current situation passes. It used to be cheaper to buy 9mm than to reload it with fmj bullets.
     
  15. charheep

    charheep Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    When someone asks that, I always say, just a little more.
     
  16. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    You can maybe get away with that with black powder, but "proofing" a barrel is usually also done remotely so no one is injured or killed if the barrel fails the proof test.

    And you'll likely not live with all your appendages intact to try it twice with smokeless powder.
     
  17. GaryM

    GaryM Line Up and Wait

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    Reloading is a great choice--glad you were able to get a lot of the stuff you need before the craziness hit.

    As noted above, primers are hardest to find right now, but a some suppliers allow you to set a notification that will email you when they are in stock. Set them where you can, and move very quickly if you get a notification. Most states also seem to have a gun bulletin board system of some type. Find yours, create an account, and you'll often see people post when one of their local suppliers happens to get a delivery. Again, move quickly. For the most part, brand won't matter, and right now standard vs magnum primers won't matter a lot either, though the reloading manuals (or data on the powder maker's website) may have you adjust the powder charge slightly depending on the powder type. No big deal.

    There are a lot of powders on the market, and for any given load you want to make you can probably find half a dozen with published load data. This isn't the time to fixate on finding one particular powder; keep your eyes open for any of those appropriate powder types to come up for sale, then move quickly. The great thing about loading handgun cartridges is that a pound of powder lasts a long time.

    Cast bullets aren't too hard to find; for competition, that's almost all I use. Plated or jacketed equivalents do come up for sale from various suppliers from time to time, you just have to watch a lot of sources.

    Prices may be elevated, but with some work you can avoid paying scalper prices for components you need.

    And you can save a LOT. Manac noted that pre-pandemic savings might be small on 9 mm (and also on target shotshells) because those are sold in such large volumes, but I can still load .357, .44, .45 for about $8 a box with cast bullets, and those would typically run triple that pre-pandemic, and good luck trying to buy them at all now.

    The biggest advantage for many shooters is that you can reload ammo that is significantly more accurate than factory ammo. It takes some work, experimenting with powder type and charge weight and projectile, but you'll eventually zero in on something that is just right for the particular harmonics of your barrel.
     
  18. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    I’ve though about reloading but never got into it. I shoot for fun so accuracy isn’t a top priority. I try to keep most of my pistols in 9mm for simplicity. It seems when there is an ammo shortage it usually affects reloaders as well so there isn’t a big advantage there. I was always under the impression there wasn’t much of a cost savings but maybe I was led astray. When it comes to shooting a 1,000 rounds isn’t very much especially in a 9mm Glock or carbine.
     
  19. cgrab

    cgrab Pattern Altitude

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    I've been reloading my 9mm since I got the pistol in 1975 using a Lee hand loader. I got a press when I got my 10mm pistol. I was going to get dies for my 30-30 but then I got a 10mm rifle and now the 30-30 is in the back of the safe. The 10mm works great on hogs. My bench is set up for 9mm, 10mm and 20ga. I don't think the primer crisis is going to subside anytime soon. I have about a 1000 of each bullet and a couple hundred shells so I can wait.
     
  20. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There are 220+ million people in the continental United States. That is a LOT of potential zombies.
     
  21. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I handloaded for my .30-06 nearly 50 years ago. Haven't done anything since. Now, for black powder I used cast lead bullets for .44, .52 and .58 cal revolvers and rifles. I bought the .44 round balls ready to load, but cast my own for the rifles. I still have a significant amount of lead for future casting (bought a bunch years ago from a metal surplus place that had a bunch of lead sheeting from a dentist's office).
     
  22. Pugs

    Pugs Line Up and Wait

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    Started with Lee loaders circa 1980 and still loading albeit with a bit more stuff. :D If you're set with enough components to start by all means do so. This isn't a hard hobby until you make it so, however, like aviation, it's very unforgiving of mistakes so do it with no distractions.

    You won't likely save any money but you will shoot a lot more!

    Currently loading for .22 Hornet, .243, 6.5x55, .257 Roberts, .270, 7-08, .275 Rigby, .30-06, .300 Savage and .300 H&H and handguns .38/.357, .44 Russian, Special and Magnum and .38 S&W.

     
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  23. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    I don't know about the "won't save any money" part. OK, if you shoot a whole lot more... but the amount per round is a lot less than factory ammo. I'm using an RCBS Rock Chucker that was paid for in the 1970s. The most expensive stuff I've reloaded lately would be .44 Magnums at under twenty cents a pop. I'm spending about $0.12 per round on .4 S&W. The commercial ammo I see is selling for about a buck a round... so yeah, I'd say I'm saving money. Even if cheaper ammo were actually available right now, it's several times the cost to reload even under "normal" market conditions.

    This assumes you'll get a lot of use from your brass. I do. Some of the .44 and .357 brass I'm using has been reloaded many times. It might add a couple cents per round, though, if you buy new from time to time.
     
  24. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Enough to get on the evening news but not in the history books.
     
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  25. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

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    LMAO.
    My girlfriend recently decided she wanted a handgun, so I accompanied her to buy it.
    Tossed a box of 9mm on the counter without looking at the price. It was $50. Can't tell you how many boxes of that exact stuff I've burned up at $9-13/box

    Pretty sure I've got 9mm dies in my stash and sufficient consumables to carry forward
     
  26. rtk11

    rtk11 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    So... you have more than a box of 50? Any more and that becomes crazy talk... :rolleyes::p

    It is crazy out there with most sizes approaching about $1.00 per round. Even the supplies of the Milsurp / NATO 5.56 is going for that. And good luck (at least in my area) finding any green tip 5.56.
     
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  27. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    I always get a kick out of the news media when they report a search that found 2 guns and 100 rounds of ammunition. :eek:
    Oh the humanity!
     
  28. Pugs

    Pugs Line Up and Wait

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    Right, it's just kinda a self fulfilling thing "I have ammo so I'll go shoot" :D No doubt what I load is cheaper these days, especially when you shoot some more obscure calibers.

    I bought 2000 pieces of once fired .45 app brass for $30 at an auction a couple years ago so with cast bullets and powder I bought a decade ago, yea, cheap shooting.
     
  29. rtk11

    rtk11 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Make sure you cull through the brass as some manufacturers cranked out large and small primers. The small primers can break or cause havoc on the de-capping pin on your reloader. Especially if you have a multi-stage and are cranking along...
     
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  30. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    How do you remove the paper and glue residue from the sheets? Or do you let it burn off as you smelt? I’ve got a bunch as well and it makes a pretty bad smoke and stink.
     
  31. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    The media considers that “prepared for war”. You can’t hardly give an introduction to shooting with that...I took my two girls to the range today for just over an hour. 60 rounds each for them between three guns, and another 25 for me just to demonstrate.
     
  32. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    As far as I know, conventional large and small primers use the same sized flash hole. I think.

    What destroys decapping pins is Berdan primers, with their two offset “snakebite” flash holes.

    An immortalized by James McMurtry in “Choctaw Bingo”:

    And he stopped off in Tushka at that "Pop's Knife and Gun" place
    Bought a SKS rifle and a couple a full cases of that steel core ammo
    With the Berdan primers from some East bloc nation that no longer needs 'em
    And a Desert Eagle that's one great big ol' pistol
    I mean .50 caliber made by bad ass Hebrews
    And some surplus tracers for that old BAR of Slayton's
    Soon as it gets dark we're gonna have us a time
    We're gonna have us a time.
     
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  33. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    One of the better reads on primers.

    https://www.chuckhawks.com/primers.htm

    Any 45ACP / SPP brass I come across gets crimped shut and discarded. Yes, I know they are perfectly safe to reload, I just find it blasphemous.
     
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  34. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    true - probably what he meant was the problems priming the cases, especially when using something like a Dillon 650.
     
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  35. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    Made it to the range with my daughter today. 6 years ago I bought her a Ruger MKIII, tapered barrel in stainless. She will shoot others, but that is her pistol. Walked home with 5 pounds of brass after 5 minutes pick up. I could get more but lunch was calling.
     
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  36. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The good news is that the lead doesn't have the paper and glue residue (at least, not that I remember). I'd certainly remember a stink if I had that problem in the past.
     
  37. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    As does the 30:06 and any case that is based on the :06

    the 45 ACP is actually a 30:06 case cut off and reamed to fit the bullet.
     
  38. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Peel what you can, burn the rest.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
  39. wilkersk

    wilkersk Pattern Altitude

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    When I was competing, I was reloading .45acp and 9mm, about 1,000 rounds each most weeks. I had a Dillon progressive loader, and bought components in bulks every chance I got. I had access to the practical shooting range and practiced several times a week.

    The sporting club I was in went through a period of political turmoil and problems with vandalism and rounds going over the berm. It just got to be no fun. I spend a full day repairing 50 or 60 target frames. Then, I turn around and find knuckleheads with "tactical" shotguns (YGBFSM!!!) cutting those very same frames in half at 7 yards on the pistol range.

    I quit competing. Sold my Dillon, and several of my guns. Now, when I shoot, I go way the hell and gone, shoot, police my brass and trash, and don't talk to anyone. And, thats not often anymore.
     
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  40. Pugs

    Pugs Line Up and Wait

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    Yep! Been down that road once. At least the whole bag was small primers and I had some. I'm a single stage guy so lots of methodical sorting and case prep is my MO. Neck thickness and concentricity on rifle cases and such. I don't know that it makes much difference but I'm usually loading a small amount. Not like when I shot registered skeet and was churning out 1000's of shotgun shells in 4 gauges a month.