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Preacherdan's picture
Joined: 04/16/2013
Posts: 26
Initial Start Up Cost?

hey fellas, with the ammo shortage going on and also because i have wanted to start getting in to reloading, i am highly considering buying some equipment to get started. i know little to nothing about reloading , what is my initial start up cost? i know that is a vague question ,but what all do i need, and roughly what are we talking price wise? also is there a shortage of brass and reloading parts too? i would like to reload 30-06 .357 9mm .223 i have to have different dyes for these different calibers dont i?
thanks for the help
God Bless

Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3206
Any where from about $100 on

Any where from about $100 on up to as much as you would care to spend and then some. Lee has a kit that's about $100 that would get you started. I think it come with a case trimmer, if not get one with it for the cartridge your gonna shoot. I don't care for their powder measure but it works. Don't recall if it come's with a powder trickler or not. You can trickle powder with a soup spoon but a trickler isn't that expensive. Goint that way, you wouldn't need a caliper but for $20 it's worth having. i thin k you can get one at Harbor Freight for even less. Nobody pours money into reloading because they have to, they want to. I loaded for a long time with tools that people today wouldn't allow on their property! They worked and well! Learn to use what you have. 

The cost of start up could floor you if you got all the must have's some people claim they need. They don't need them, they want them!

BikerRN's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 05/23/2011
Posts: 715
My $0.02

Start with a Single Stage Press, Lee, RCBS, Hornady, it matters not which one you choose.

Read the promotional material with a juandiced eye, or a grain of salt, and look forward to having fun. Then read a couple of full size reloading manuals, like the Lyman and Hornady manuals. There will be a lot of information on how to load in the front part of the books. It's the "steps" you want to understand.

One of my local shops has a reloading class where one can learn to load on their presses and get an understanding of the process of reloading. If that's not an option look at an NRA Reloading Class. There may be one in your area. Call the NRA and ask. Also ask at local gunshops.

It can be intimidating to get started loading. I know as I just started loading for real a year ago. You don't "NEED" the Dillon right now, nor the most exspensive equipment. A basic "Starter Kit" will get you well on your way to making your own ammo. I'd suggest starting with straight walled handgun ammo to start as it can be easier, eliminates a few steps, but rifle, or bottle necked ammo isn't that much harder once you understand the "steps".

The few things I would recommend, that don't come in a lot of kits, are: calipers, tumbler, and a second scale. I have a beam scale, came with the kit, and a digital scale that I purchased seperately. Two scales makes it easier to confirm powder charges and verify accuracy.

Years ago I loaded on a friend's press, I was the monkey pulling the handle, and he adjusted all the dies, determined the powder charge, and everything else. I really didn't understand all the steps. Another friend came to my house and helped me set up my press and walked me through my first two calibers, .44 Mag and 357 SIG. Now I'm loading for the following and find it fun creating accurate ammo I created:

.44 Mag
357 SIG
25/06 (lot of work to find a 0.5" load in my hunting rifle)
.300 Win Mag (still working up loads for two rifles)
.45 ACP (what I loaded years ago, pulled handle on)

There are a lot of good resources for reloading information and I've found that good reloading guides are my greatest resource. I have the following manuals, as these are the bullets I shoot mostly:

Lyman, (No bullets but a wealth of comparative information)

Another good resource is "The Reloading Room" on Facebook, run by Jim Fleming. If I can help you, as a relative newbie, feel free to ask and go have fun!