Monday, October 06, 2008

Wall Street sneezes...

...Yuropeens catch a cold.

In other, tangentially-related, news, given the volume I've been shooting recently, it's time and past time to get the reloading press set up at home. Copper, tin, and lead are getting too expensive to purchase in their pre-assembled form.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sneeze?

More like coughing up a lung.

Our friends in europe are having stroke.

The rest of the world is anywhere from gut-shot to punch drunk.

Big fun.

Stingray said...

If you'd be so kind as to document the bejesus out of this process, I'd be most appreciative. I'm in the position of "have just about all the tools, need to set them up and start" m'self. You can only read so many guides, tutorials and how-tos before you say "Hell, I'd better read one more."

Really, I'm gonna get that press going here someday. Any day now. Yup. Right about soonish. Where'd I leave that round-tuit...

Anonymous said...

The Gentleman who runs "Hog on Ice" blog had some choice comments about setting up a reloading press, manuals and "help" from the POV of an amateur.

what I remeber from his adventure was few commnets about how cheap reloading equipment - shows - especially for amateurs.

TJP said...

Stingray,

I hope your tools, guides and tutorials include a printed loading manual. There is nothing like the threat of liability lawsuits to keep the information clear and accurate.

I took notes on the manual's content when I started, but there is nothing like experience to make things clear. Why not just set up, take a fired case, knock out the primer, and then reassemble a dummy round?

jimbob86 said...

"Copper, tin, and lead are getting too expensive to purchase in their pre-assembled form. "

In my situation, such has been the case for quite some time.....

Handloadin' is so simple, even a redneck can do it.....

Anonymous said...

I looked into reloading, but it doesn't seem like it is very cost effective. I can buy 500 rounds of .45ACP for $145.

500 FMJ 230gr bullets cost $77, plus $12 for 500 primers, and 500 empty .45 cases costs $132. By the time you buy powder, you would have to reload that brass 3 times in order to break even on just supplies.

Considering that a progressive press runs $500-700, plus the other tools, and you have to reload thousands of brass cases 10 to 15 times each in order for reloading to pay for itself, it seems to me.

That 20,000 rounds represents maybe 20-30 hours of labor in reloading, not mention recovering spent brass, and I have just broken even. It looks to me like this becomes a second job, and a low paying one at that.

Tam said...

You don't go out and buy the brass, you go out and buy loaded ammo, have fun making some nice, once-fired brass, and then start reloading it.

Rio Arriba said...

I've been a handloader for well over 50 years. In that time I have saved a ton of money and had a great time doing it. If your only motivation is thrift, then forget about it. As corny as it may sound to some, handloading has become a way of life for me. I reload, therefore I am.

nbc said...

I believe that Chicken Little was an american invention, would you please take it back? The 'panic' is doing my head in.

Still, in other news, it looks like the EU is falling apart at the seams.

Heh! Good news from bad, who'd have thought it.

Seth from Massachusetts said...

My experience with reloading has been that you will always have plenty of time to shoot and no time to reload. I have a couple of cubic yards of empty shotshells, but with shot at $50 a bag in my area I'm not doing much shooting and no reloading.

Stingray said...

"Why not just set up, take a fired case, knock out the primer, and then reassemble a dummy round?"

Space, lack of a sturdy bench at the moment, parts scattered hither and yon, a missing round-tuit...

I'm tellin' you, one more good run through and it'll all fall together of its own accord!

(And yeah, I've got plenty of printed material with nice legal disclaimers and all such goodness from Big Names)

Sebastian said...

Don't forget zinc. Brass is an alloy of Copper and Zinc. Copper and zinc are both essential nutrients, so brass must be good for you right?

TBeck said...

I'm trying to remember what that German word for schadenfreude is but I'm having some trouble.

Lo, a week ago we were being lectured by Eurpeans on how Wall Street was danferous and reckless. Presumably they were referring to the 50 to 1 debt to capital ratios that the investment banks were carrying.

Now, we learn that several European depositor banks are carrying the same levels of debt. Oops.

Then, we get to watch the fur fly as each nation in the EU goes its own way on depositor insurance.

It's truly sad when the European Central Bank makes our House look competent by comparison.

alath said...

Reloading - I like it but have had a difficulty coming up with the time to do it lately.

I agree with rio arriba above - you can save money reloading, but not enough to pay you for your time unless you enjoy reloading. If you are interested and want to get in to reloading, then give it a try. If your only reason to reload is to save money, you won't be happy.

Best way to start out is find someone who has the gear and do a bit of reloading on their equipment. There is nothing like hands-on to learn reloading. Also, this will help you decide what gear you really want and what gear you can do without.

TJP said...

Stingray: Excellent! I know you'll get a-round-to-it soon enough. :o)

In terms of reloading cost, I can load 500 .45 ACP rounds for about $75. That's with commercially cast lead bullets and once-fired cases bought from a vendor. It is even cheaper if I cast range scrap in my molds and use range pick ups. (45 ACP brass is everywhere.) These are loads that are tailored to my weapon, not bottom-of-the-barrel, foreign-made $15-a-box ammo that may or may not shoot well. Three reloadings of brass is nothing for a modest pressure cartridge like 45 ACP; I'm up to five on my lots, without needing a trim or showing evidence of case hardening.

Reloading doesn't seem cost effective because it's a front-loaded investment. It took two years to break even on my original loading equipment, where the cost per round was less than the cheapest component. I would not recommend a progressive unless you're already shooting more than 500 rounds per week, and you're interested in producing a high volume of only one type of load. I bought a single stage and I do lots of experimentation on eight different pistol and rifle calibers. Oh, and two scattergun sizes as well.

I do agree, however, that reloading is time-consuming. It is basically the trading of time for money. If you're working 16 hours a day, then you'll make more working than you'll save reloading. I do 10 hours a day at the very most, so those hours after 9 pm work for me. (Okay, maybe I throw in some overnight coding and weekends during crunch time.) Anyway, I can't go anywhere to shoot at that time of night, so I reload.

I wish I had as much time to shoot as I do to reload.


p.s. Per Anon, I threw in those $77 hypothetical bullets (that's a good price for 230 FMJ), and 500 rounds comes out at $115.

bedlamite said...

You can get 1000 free bullets with the $400 Lock-N-Load AP

http://www.hornady.com/get_loaded.php

Justin said...

If only the European markets were more heavily regulated by the government, this tragedy could have been averted.

Tam said...

Justin wins the internets!

Anonymous said...

I've only been reloading for about 9 years now(haven't bought .38 spec. in over 8 years)and I'm up to 12 calibers. There will be several more calibers added as soon as I can get to them.

I can reload MUCH cheaper than I can buy anywhere except maybe some of the war surplus. You can get CMP 30-06 cheaper than I can reload, but I KNOW that every round I load will work (consistantly) in my Garand. It's the best way, maybe the only way, to get hunting ammo for my Buda M95. As many reloaders will relate though, you don't really save money as much as you'll be able to shoot more for the same amount of cash outlay.

It's not for everyone. Ya have to have pateince and common sense.

Loading everything now on an old RCBS single stage, although I'd like to get a turret press to speed up production (esp. .223)

I do it in batches when loading massive amounts and I don't have time to do it all at once. A couple of days ago, I dropped powder charges and crimped 158 gr. LSWC's into prepared cases for just over 500 .38 specials in a little more than an hour.

It's a fun hobby and you'll be hooked the first time you fire rounds that you reloaded. You'll wonder why it took you so long to start.

Tokarev

TJP said...

"Justin said...

If only the European markets were more heavily regulated by the government, this tragedy could have been averted."


Agreed. Let's make it so potential home buyers must demonstrate some financial commitment by making a twenty percent down payment, and have private banks decide which criteria indicate risk, then set interest rates and term durations accordingly.

No wait, let's just turn over the whole situation to the harsh and unforgiving regulator know as The Market.

Normally, I would poke fun at the socialists' faulty economic crystal ball, but just about anyone with a brain saw this one coming. As it turns out, it wasn't an evil Republican plot that kept those high-risk borrowers from getting home loans, it was the fact that they were high-risk borrowers...

Chris M said...

I've been reloading for 30 years now. I figured I'd covered the cost of my original reloading setup ($180 in 1978) after the first 900rds. But you don't really save money reloading; you just get to shoot a lot more for the same $$$.

My copy of the Dillon Blue Press catalog came yesterday. The RL550B set up for one caliber is $395.95 and you won't find a better basic progressive press. If you decide to begin reloading using a single-stage and going slow (my recommendation) the Lee Anniversary Kit from MidwayUSA will get you going for about $200 counting the cost of adding an Lyman 48th Reloading manual.

Brad Alpert at Missouribullet.com has .452 230gr lead SWC or LRN for $36/500 and a fixed shipping rate of $9.84 for up to 2000 bullets. With primers about $27/1k and powder at $18/lb. that figures to a wee bit over $7.00/100 loaded rounds compared to WWB $30/100rds at Wally World. That will help pay for that equipment in short order.