The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby CowboyT » Wed, 07 Nov 2012 13:31:23

Folks,

We all remember The Great Ammo Shortage of 2009. It wasn't any fun for any of us who enjoys the sport of marksmanship.

Fortunately, there is a solution. Start buying reloading components are start rollin' your own. It is neither difficult nor expensive to get started, and you will assure yourself an ample supply of rounds for your regular practice. A lot of folks talk about "self-sufficiency" on this board. This is one very good, and easy, way to exercise that idea more.

This matters, folks. Seriously, you can get a pretty darn good turret setup (my preference is the Classic Turret Press) for about $300. You will spend that in ammo in less than a month, especially you big-bore shooters (the .44's, .45 Colt and ACP, etc.).

In light of the election and Pres. Obama getting that "more flexibility", an upcoming podcast episode will go into the benefits of rollin' your own. I will also discuss casting and the benefits thereof.

In the meantime, those of you who haven't considered reloading your own...check out the videos on my Web site and see just how hard is ISN'T. It's actually pretty easy.
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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby Mindflayer » Thu, 08 Nov 2012 01:15:25

I looked at a couple of sites today....

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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby widefat » Thu, 08 Nov 2012 11:07:33

I shoot 9, 45, 223 in the highest quantity.
9 exceeds the other two cals significantly.

If I reload, what cost per round can I expect at today's reloading prices - nothing special - lets say 9 mil, 115 grain ball with average grade powder?
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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby meak99 » Thu, 08 Nov 2012 12:58:58

I don't know the numbers for 9 off the top of my head, but I just went through this exercise with .223

Assuming you already have brass
8lb Keg of H335 $160 (will load a little over 2K rounds)
2000 55gr projectiles $190
2000 small rifle primers $50
Total: $400

Compare that to the price of 2000 rounds of factory ammo... or even factory reloads for that matter. You're looking at almost half price to roll your own. The key is buying components in bulk, the more you buyat one time, the more you save.

You REALLY start to save when you start casting your own projectiles. I can make a box of 50 rounds of 45ACP for less than $5 by casting my own boolits and re-using brass. What does a box of 45 run in stores, $25?


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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby mikegray0422 » Thu, 08 Nov 2012 16:27:59

widefat wrote:I If I reload, what cost per round can I expect at today's reloading prices - nothing special - lets say 9 mil, 115 grain ball with average grade powder?


I just started reloading about 6 months ago for 9mm and .40S&W.

Startup cost -
Lee 4 hole Turret Press kit w/scale, autodisk powder measure and 9mm dies - $140.00
Harbor Freight Micrometer / caliper set - $30.00
20 x 9mm plastic ammo boxes - $30.00 (plus/minus)

My last reloading run (in round numbers)
1lb of Bullseye - $24.00
1000 small pistols primers - $25.00
1000 rds 125gr Lead RN - $80.00
1000 brass cases - $FREE (I scrounge mine and everybody else's if I can).
Total = $129.00 or about $6.50 per box.
(I've got enough leftover powder to make up another 100 or so rounds.)
Spent about 8hrs "pulling the handle" (yeah, I know that's not very fast).

1000 plated 115gr 9mm RN will run about $120 and up the price/box to about $8.50


These are not rock bottom internet prices. They are actually pretty high but I do all of my buying at local gunshops to support their businesses. I feel it's worth the extra couple of dollars to keep their doors open. The additional payoff is that I actually enjoy the process of putting the rounds together and shooting ammo that I made myself.


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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby VACoastie » Thu, 08 Nov 2012 16:55:28

I would love to do this, but something in my head just scream inherent danger for doing this.

Bow dangerous is it really to load your own rounds, or reloading? How many times do you think the brass can be re-used? Have you found an increase in fail to fire?

Lastly, any good bints/tips/resources some of you reloaders could provide? When I get back state side I intend to buy a new pistol and go hog wild on free days or when I get back in port

Thanks in advance for any info, the above posts have been really informative thus far.

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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby Mindflayer » Thu, 08 Nov 2012 17:25:34

CowboyT - I've been told to get a kit, like one of the Lee ones, or the Hornady Lock-n-Load. Some people say for handgun, get progressive over single stage. Same questions as VACoastie - help!


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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby jdonovan » Thu, 08 Nov 2012 23:01:31

VACoastie wrote:How dangerous is it really to load your own rounds, or reloading?


no, no.

How many times do you think the brass can be re-used?


Straight wall rimmed pistol... 38/357. Still using the same brass since college. 20 Ummm never mind years ago.

Have you found an increase in fail to fire?

18 years before my first. Had a batch of primers that didn't want to light some H110, reused the same poweder with another primer brand, works just fine now.


Lastly, any good bints/tips/resources some of you reloaders could provide? When I get back state side I intend to buy a new pistol and go hog wild on free days or when I get back in port


If you can, find someone local to show you. I've taught several local folks to load, and offer my equipment, components, and supplies at my cost so they can try it out without getting any more cash into the game, than the ammo they leave with.

Every one of 'em has started, and continues to reload.


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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby jdonovan » Thu, 08 Nov 2012 23:06:44

Mindflayer wrote:Some people say for handgun, get progressive over single stage. Same questions as VACoastie - help!


for a auto loading pistol like 9mm. The general steps
resize/deprime
re-prime
expand the neck
fill with powder
seat bullet
crimp

In a single stage, or even turret press, each step is done one at a time. For a hunting rifle where you goal is 2-3 boxes (40-60) of shells its not too bad. For pistol where your goal is 4 boxes (200). There is a big difference in the time it takes to get through the loading process.

Its nice when starting out to see all the steps one at a time. Once you've had a couple of loading sessions, you're quickly at the "there has got to be a better way".


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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby CowboyT » Fri, 09 Nov 2012 17:51:11

widefat wrote:I shoot 9, 45, 223 in the highest quantity.
9 exceeds the other two cals significantly.

If I reload, what cost per round can I expect at today's reloading prices - nothing special - lets say 9 mil, 115 grain ball with average grade powder?


Well, I do a .38 Special load with very similar specs. It uses a "105gr" (really 108 to 110gr) self-cast lead SWC with 3.9gr of Bullseye. Including buying the brass and the lead, I make a box of this .38 Special for $3.25/box of 50, assuming 8 reuses of the brass. Since the specs are so similar to 9mm, I'd imagine a similar cost for your rounds as well. BTW, yes, you most certainly can use cast in 9mm and it works fine.
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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby CowboyT » Fri, 09 Nov 2012 18:06:51

VACoastie wrote:I would love to do this, but something in my head just scream inherent danger for doing this.

Bow dangerous is it really to load your own rounds, or reloading? How many times do you think the brass can be re-used? Have you found an increase in fail to fire?

Lastly, any good bints/tips/resources some of you reloaders could provide? When I get back state side I intend to buy a new pistol and go hog wild on free days or when I get back in port

Thanks in advance for any info, the above posts have been really informative thus far.


Mindflayer wrote:CowboyT - I've been told to get a kit, like one of the Lee ones, or the Hornady Lock-n-Load. Some people say for handgun, get progressive over single stage. Same questions as VACoastie - help!


I've reused some brass as many as 10x so far. No problems. The nickel-plated cases seem to split a bit more quickly than the yellow cases, but they still do OK.

As far as danger goes, it's only as dangerous as your refusal to follow the basic safety steps. That way, it's much like firearms themselves. If you study a couple of good reloading manuals, follow the rules, learn what you're doing, and resist the temptation to "rush the process", you'll be just fine. Go slowly at first. The speed will come as you get more experience.

Some people get tempted to run right out and buy a progressive press, right off the bat. I suggest resisting that "temptation" and starting with an inexpensive single-stage press and hand-priming tool. You do *not* need to spend all sorts of money on a reloading setup to get started. Furthermore, doing single-stage, you will learn each step, what to look for, how things are supposed to behave, etc. You'll learn the science and art of the reloading craft. The knowledge thus gained will eventually save you should you choose to go with a turret or (especially) progressive later on. It's already saved me from squibs and double-charges a couple of times.

It's all about "crawl before you walk, and walk before you run."

Once you have at a bare minimum 500 rounds, and preferably your first 1,000, under your belt with a single-stage, then you might look to the turret and progressive presses. These days, I use mostly the progressive press (the Lee Pro 1000, in my case), for its speed of ammo production.

So what happened to my single-stage press? Did it end up in "File #13"? HECK NO!! I still use the daylights out of that little guy. As a caster, I need something to easily size my "boolits". The single-stage with appropriate sizing die (e. g. 0.359", 0.454", and such) is where I do that. Also, fixing the occasional errant round is easy with the single-stage and hand-primer. Finally, all my initial load development is done on the single-stage. So, it most certainly hasn't gone to waste. It remains handy.

Now, for failures to fire, that's happened twice with my reloads. Both times, it was with CCI primers that I strongly suspect I hadn't fully seated (second time, they both went bang very nicely). If a round doesn't go bang after the second time, then just set it aside for later. When you get home, pull it apart with your kinetic bullet puller (looks like a sorta-funny-lookin' hammer), and check out what happened. Generally, it'll be pretty obvious what happened--lack of powder (a squib), dud primer (exceedingly rare, but it can happen), contaminated powder (usually some liquid got to it, even rarer than a dud primer), or maybe your hammer isn't striking the primer hard enough. Some "race guns" are so tuned. If you don't have a lightened hammer strike, then this shouldn't happen.

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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby VACoastie » Fri, 09 Nov 2012 21:51:07

Love it. One of the most informative threads I've seen in a New York minute in here. Thanks to all of you for taking a moment to explain the better details of money savings and do's/dont's. This kind of stuff to the newbies of a particular subject is really enlightening.

It looks as if I may be putting a press and supplies on my list for Santa Claus this year. I'll have to leave him an extra cookie and a few extra carrots for the deers this year too.

Thanks again fellas, now I'm gonna be sticking my head in some magazines and browsing online articles for some extra goodies.

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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby jdonovan » Sat, 10 Nov 2012 00:04:46

CowboyT wrote:So what happened to my single-stage press? Did it end up in "File #13"? HECK NO!! I still use the daylights out of that little guy. As a caster, I need something to easily size my "boolits". The single-stage with appropriate sizing die (e. g. 0.359", 0.454", and such) is where I do that. Also, fixing the occasional errant round is easy with the single-stage and hand-primer. Finally, all my initial load development is done on the single-stage. So, it most certainly hasn't gone to waste. It remains handy.


absolutely... I have 3 presses on my bench

forester co-ax my LRIP (low rate initial production) / match press. This is where I do loads where I do 2-3 at each powder charge, and then change to a new weight. Or my low volume/high accuracy loadings like .338 laupa, 458 lott etc...

dillon 550 - This is the mid-volume work horse. easily does 400-600 /hour and is where my mid-volume shooting calibers are loaded.

Dillon 1050 with bullet feeder, and case feeder. Takes 2 people to keep this one running. Easily hits 1200 an hour but its the only way I can keep up with my high volume habits. There have been days we have been in good sync and the person running the press didn't have to stop for anything, and we have hit 2000 rounds/hour on it.


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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby Jakeiscrazy » Sat, 10 Nov 2012 03:20:17

Good thread, personally I don't shoot enough for it or have a proper place to put the stuff but I one day, when I live in the middle of know where with a nice piece of property I can shoot on, having a reloading setup would be great.
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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby CowboyT » Mon, 12 Nov 2012 00:23:42

Here's a breakdown of my own cost savings.

.38 Special: that normally would cost me about $15/box. I make it for $3.25, so that's about an $11.75 savings per box.

.357 Magnum: this is about $25/box. I make it for $4.50. Savings: $20.50/box. This would also apply to .45 ACP.

.45 Colt, normal load: that's about $35/box. I make it for $5.00. Savings = $30/box. Also would apply to .44 Spl/Magnum.

.45 Colt, Buffalo Bore-style load: this is a load that's about equal to .44 Magnum levels of power. You go to Buffalo Bore's Web site, it's $80.03 per box of 50. I make that box for $8.00. Savings = $72/box.

BTW, yes, I do shoot a reasonably fair amount of that Buffalo-Bore-style .45 Colt load. With reloading, I can actually afford to.
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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby donut » Tue, 13 Nov 2012 09:57:33

This has been really informative. I was just discussing reloading with a friend of mine who even smelts his own ingots. I'm going to have to sit down with him and learn the method before purchasing equipment.


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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby CowboyT » Wed, 14 Nov 2012 14:41:18

Good idea. Also, there are quite a few videos on YouTube and other places that go into both reloading and casting, so watch some of those. The ones by Ammosmith, Hoose bin Pharteen, and Iraqveteran8888, among others, are quite good. I also have some, aimed more at the n00bie to reloading.
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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby Snakester » Mon, 19 Nov 2012 23:26:49

Cowboy's prices are right on. I don't reload myself but , the next best thing is I have a neighbor who has been reloading for 35 years. I get 50 .38 sp. for $12..50 .357 mag. for $17 ...50 .45 Colt for $23. I give him all my brass plus about 2 gallons of brass from the Range and a couple of my friends give me. I only get 4-5 boxes a month from him anymore because he is slowing down. Sometimes he surprises me with more. :tommygun: :pistol: :ak47:


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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby Wolvee » Tue, 20 Nov 2012 08:56:43

I learned the hard way that you don't save any money by reloading, you just shoot more, lol. Last year I bought a press and enough supplies to make 15k rounds. 6k rounds More than I had the year previously.


7 months later I was buying more supplies. IDK where it all went, lol. ..my wife rolled her eyes.
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Re: The Great Ammo Shortage of 2013? A solution

Postby gunny1972 » Thu, 22 Nov 2012 22:56:13

well I cast for every thing except the rim fires
how ever did change from 17hmr to 17 remington
changed 22mag to 22-250
and the list of others


CowboyT wrote:Folks,

We all remember The Great Ammo Shortage of 2009. It wasn't any fun for any of us who enjoys the sport of marksmanship.

Fortunately, there is a solution. Start buying reloading components are start rollin' your own. It is neither difficult nor expensive to get started, and you will assure yourself an ample supply of rounds for your regular practice. A lot of folks talk about "self-sufficiency" on this board. This is one very good, and easy, way to exercise that idea more.

This matters, folks. Seriously, you can get a pretty darn good turret setup (my preference is the Classic Turret Press) for about $300. You will spend that in ammo in less than a month, especially you big-bore shooters (the .44's, .45 Colt and ACP, etc.).

In light of the election and Pres. Obama getting that "more flexibility", an upcoming podcast episode will go into the benefits of rollin' your own. I will also discuss casting and the benefits thereof.

In the meantime, those of you who haven't considered reloading your own...check out the videos on my Web site and see just how hard is ISN'T. It's actually pretty easy.


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