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So, I've been thinking about reloading for my 9mm.(Ruger SR9) Is it worth it? If so, what do you recommend for bullets powder and primers? Are cast bullets a possibility?
 

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I haven't reloaded 9MM in a long time, but it is worth it. 9MMs can be particular when it comes to cast bullets, they worked fine in my Browning HP and Star Model B, in my S&W M659 they could be tricky. Depends on the barrel, its rate of twist and the depths of its lands and grooves.
 

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This question is asked at least once a month. Go back and read those threads, then post specific questions to help you decide if it is worth it - For you.

Jeff
 

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Instead of cast, try the Hi-Tek coated bullets. No leading, no smoke and just as accurate as jacketed bullets.

I use the Missouri Bullet Company's 125gr 9mm Cone bullet.
Missouri Bullet Company

I even use them in my HK and Glock barrels with the polygonal rifling.
No problems.
 

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Even though 9mm is pretty reasonable, I can still load them for about half what it costs to buy new ammo. I like a 124 grain bullet, cast or plated, with 4 grains of Red Dot.

If you are just getting into reloading, it may not be worth it to you. On the other hand, if you already have the equipment, go for it.
 

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Many of us find reloading a very enjoyable part of the sport. So yes, from that point of view, it's worth it. As far as saving money, yes, you might save money, but most likely shoot more, higher quality ammunition for the same or lower cost.

There are many ways to turn cash into noise. Cars, boats, motorcycles, airplanes, and shooting sports are all ways to spend your money and have fun doing it.
 

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So, I've been thinking about reloading for my 9mm.(Ruger SR9) Is it worth it? If so, what do you recommend for bullets powder and primers? Are cast bullets a possibility?
You already reload, or no? If so, the cost of dies should be offset by your first 500-1000 rounds I would think. However, components are the same price as other calibers. Bullets cost about what .38 bullets cost, etc. But 9mm factory ammo is often time 1/2-3/4 of the price of other factory ammo. So the savings are less rolling it yourself.

I reload on a single stage and shoot plated 9mm (i.e. not as cheap as say casting my own lead). Even still I find 9mm worthwhile to reload. Though I also buy factory ammo, I don't shoot reloads exclusively.
 

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Do you already reload? In general, most people will never shoot enough to pay back their reloading kit when only loading for one cartridge.

Here's the bottom line: If you go to the range and shoot a 50 round box once a month, religiously, it'll take you 8 years to pay back all of the tools you'll need compared to factory ammo.

Reloading 9mm ammo tends to run between 15-20cents a round for the cheapest bullets AND planning to get 20 reloadings per each brass (they rarely wear out, but you'll step on them, lose them, etc...). You'll end up somewhere around $18 cents per shot for reloaded rounds.

Compare that to $13 per 50rnds for factory plinking ammo, give or take 25-26cents per shot...

To get set up with a minimalist kit for reloading, plus buying components for the first 100rnds:

Case Prep:

  • Case length gauge Lee gauge = $7, but these SUCK if you're doing much volume (need parts from Lee Anniversary kit below)
  • Chamfer & deburr tool: Take your pick = $10
  • Primer pocket cleaner: Take your pick = $5-10
  • Tumbler & Media: Lyman 1200 = $60, media = $15-30
  • Case Neck Brush: Take your pick = ~$10 in with brush and handle
  • Case Lube Pad: Take your pick = $10

Reloading:

  • Press Kit: Lee Anniversary kit = $130, has a press, a safety scale, a press mount primer, and a hand case trimmer and lock stud. The powder thrower in the kit sucks, but will work to throw ~80-90% of your charge, then trickle in the rest. The scale/balance is super slow, but keeps you safe.
  • Set of dies: Lee Carbide 3 Die Set = $30 for standard cartridges like 9mm
  • Trickler: Take your pick = $15-20

Miscellaneous tools:
  • Calipers: Cheap yet functional set = $20
  • Cartridge trays: Want at least two, take your pick $5-10 each = $20
  • Bullet Puller: Hammer style or press mounted = ~$15-20

Components:

  • Bullets: 10-15 cents a piece = $15 for the first 100
  • Brass: 10-20 cents a piece = $15 for the first 2,000 shots (20x reloads on 100 brass)
  • Primers: ~3cents a piece = $35 for the first 1,000 (sold in 1,000ct lots)
  • Powder: ~2cents per shot = $28 for the first ~1400 shots (1lb jar)

Total cost for the first 100 bullets = ~$400

So... That's $400 for the first 100rnds...

You have to buy bullets again every 100rnds (or buy in 500rnd or 1000rnd lots, but you end up the same for price).

You'll have to buy primers every 1000 shots (or buy in 10,000rnd lots, but again, the price comes up about the same).

You'll lose/damage your brass about every 2,000rnds, some faster, some slower, but 20 reloads tends to be about the mark for me. You could buy 500 or 1000 brass off the bat, the price projection ends up the same.

For powder, 9mm luger will eat up about 5grn per shot, so a pound of powder will run 1400rnds (on paper, never works that way in practice).

So... You buy bullets every 100, primers every 1000, powder every 1400, and brass every 2000 shots...

Starting with $400 for kit + 100rnds, using $13 per $50 (26cents per shot) for factory ammo and 18cents per shot for reloaded ammo, you'll end up break even at 4700 shots, just under 8yrs!!!

If a guy goes and shoots 50rnds a week, then you hit that break even point in just under 2yrs. If you only go shoot 5 or 6 times a year, then it takes you over 16yrs to pay back the equipment...
 

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Unless you have a way to retrieve 100% of your brass efficiently than i'm not sure i'd want to reload for any auto. Cast bullets will work alright if they are hard cast but you might be better off with plated. I know that X-treme plated bullets in 115gr 9mm are less than 40 bucks per 500 which isn't too bad. Titegroup is a cheap good powder for 9mm and any standard small pistol primer will work. What I just described would run you right around $6.50 per 50 rounds if all items are purchased in bulk and you always have your own brass to reuse indefinitely. It's up to you to decide if in the end that's a savings or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I shoot probably around 200-300 rounds a month. As far as equipment, my father reloads. I guess what I'm looking for is what combination works best for you guys.
 

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I use Berry's Plated bullets. Can be found on sale at Cabela's for about $80 per 1000 rounds or $20 per 250 rounds.
I have some 800x powder that I've been trying to use up and found I like 5.1gr work well with both the 115gr and 124gr plated bullets @ 1.150 COAL for just target loads. I also have some loads worked up using WSF and CFE pistol when my 800x runs out (800x meters like Wheaties).

Brass is the biggest cost when loading and using new brass, so re-using old brass cuts costs by a lot. New brass is about 60% of the cost of a hand loaded round, with the bullet being about 20-25%, primer 9% and powder 8%. Buying in bulk helps in the long run.

I use an app on my phone called "Reloading Assistant" that has both load data and a reloading calculator that will break down the cost of each round and each component after entering the "bulk" prices you pay for the components.

Currently my 9mm reloads reusing brass cases run about .12-.13 per round, $6.35/50. Cheap new factory ammo at $11.89/50 is .24 per round.

Now if I buy new brass my cost will go up to about .30 per round. Sometimes it's a better buy to find factory range ammo when purchased on sale.

 

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You don't reload to save money, you reload so you can shoot more.
Saving money by reloading is a myth.
 

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I shoot probably around 200-300 rounds a month. As far as equipment, my father reloads. I guess what I'm looking for is what combination works best for you guys.
Ahhhh..... got it.

I've used Berry's plated, X-Treme plated and Hornady jacketed (all 115grn RN) with good results.

Like most everything else a load combination that works for me and my pistols might not work well in your pistol(s). That said, I've been using the above heads over 4.3 grains of Bullseye for plinking rounds with good results.
 

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GONRA believes "reloading" is best viewed as "another nuts & bolts hobby".
As was pointed out above, if one looks a $$$ only - is a PITA.

But reloading is an absolute necessity with collector autos, odd calibers, etc.
What else are you gonna shoot in a 9mm Glisenti? 8mm Nambu? etc. etc. etc.
Most find it a lotta fun...
 

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GONRA believes "reloading" is best viewed as "another nuts & bolts hobby".
As was pointed out above, if one looks a $$$ only - is a PITA.

But reloading is an absolute necessity with collector autos, odd calibers, etc.
What else are you gonna shoot in a 9mm Glisenti? 8mm Nambu? etc. etc. etc.
Most find it a lotta fun...
True. I got into reloading for fun as much as anything. Someone could hand me over a turret or progressive press for free, but i'd still use my old single stage and enjoy every moment of while loading up some revolver cartridges with a cheap radio playing some classic rock really quietly in the background.
 

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Just got back into reloading after 20 years. It's a fun hobby. My SR9 loves 115gr cast RN 4.2gr TiteGroup. Go for it.
 
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