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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

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4422
You can get started reloading

You can get started reloading for as cheap as around $50.00 for a Lee Hand loader for each caliber all the way up to what you want to spend on a progressive press. What I suggest is a single stage reloading press in a kit such as the RCBS Rock Chucker kit for around $350.00.http://www.midwayusa.com/product/937051/rcbs-rock-chucker-supreme-master-single-stage-press-kit It has everything that you need except for the dies, shell holder, and components to start reloading. Once you get started then you can add to the kit by buying individual items as you need them. The dies will run you around $40.00 for each caliber that you want to reload and for the straight walled pistol rounds I suggest for you to get dies with a carbide sizing die just to eliminate the mess of using case sizing lube.

Buying cases, powder, primers, and bullets right now is the same as buying factory made rounds. They are in short supply. The nice thing is that when they do become available again you can buy them in bulk so that you have them on hand when you want to sit down and start reloading again.

If you have never reloaded before I will suggest that you pick up a reloading manual other than the one from the loading kit that you might be looking at and read it. It will have great instructions on how to load rounds and be safe doing it, and it is never a bad idea to have a couple loading manuals around just as reference material.

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374

Congrats on getting started reloading.  Get a good reload manual and some good hands-on instruction from a certified instructor or from an experienced reloader who still has all his fingers and eyeballs.  Problem is right now is trying to find things like powder and primers, its just as difficult (even worse) than trying to find factory ammo.  Initial cost will be what you pay for your tools and equipment$200 to $400 depending. Then what tools you add later will add to your cost.  The next big expense is the brass, but that actually is what will drive the cost down eventually.  Stock up on bullets, primers and powder when you can find them.  Brass can be obtained anytime.  It's suggest buying factory ammo for now, shoot it and save your brass. Then later when powder and primers become available again stock up on that stuff ASAP.

Location: Neveda
Joined: 07/22/2008
Posts: 233
The initial cost is easy,

The initial cost is easy, just buy a complete set-up from RCBS, then add dies.>$400.00 Now get ready to spend some money: Bullets for each caliber and several different weights, they don’t come in a 10 pk to try out, they come in 50’s or 100’s, so if they don’t shoot good in your rifle you are stuck with them Primers: find the brand that you like then stock up as much as you can afford then spend another $100.00 just in case Powder: lots and lots, then get some more so you don’t run out Case: you will be a case hound, the range master will be watching you like a hawk so you are only picking up your brass (lol I have been caught) Scale: the one with your kit is good: but a digital with dispenser is better ($350.00 more) I loaded off a RCBS 10-0-10 for 25yrs made 10,000+ without any problems. Love my Digital Case Tumbler: polish that brass so shiny it looks new Reloading manuals : can’t have only one, or go online and download many (new external drive to hold all your shooting information) Addition to your house: for the reloading room, don’t forget the intercom system so you can talk to your wife. New Gun Safe: to hold the new rifles that you have gotten, because they are wildcats and hard to get ammo for you get them at a good price. Now that you have the metical cases going, you need to work on your shotgun shells, repete all steps again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have lots of fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374
fair warning

Forgot to give the fair warning about reloading.  It becomes a habit that quickly turn into an addiction, then into an obsession.  You may need to seek professional help later on.  In the long run, it really isn't going to save you money because you'll be shooting way more that you would if you just bought factory ammo. ;-)

BikerRN's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 05/23/2011
Posts: 715
2 Threads

Since you have two threads of the same nature I copied and pasted my previous reply: "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) .308 .223 .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) Hornady Barnes Nosler 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! Biker"