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Just bought a new Ruger SP101. After purchasing several boxes of ammo, I had "sticker shock"! I think it would be in my best interest to start reloading again; haven't done much shooting/reloading in about 15 years. I have the equipment (press, scale, some misc. tools). Just have to buy the dies, get an updated manual and, of course, the components. (I suppose I need a tumbler or some other way of cleaning the brass as well?) I have enough empty brass at the moment. My question is, can I actually save some bucks doing this? Everyone I know tells me the component costs are skyrocketing, along with the factory fodder. Right now it's costing me between .29/rd. for .38 Specials, up to about .46/rd. for PD .357's rounds. What should my expectations be? Thanks for your input.
 

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Just bought a new Ruger SP101. After purchasing several boxes of ammo, I had "sticker shock"! I Right now it's costing me between .29/rd. for .38 Specials, up to about .46/rd. for PD .357's rounds. What should my expectations be? Thanks for your input.

I load and shoot .357 mag in my GP100. I shop around for components, including some mail order. I do _NOT_ buy anything in great bulk, like 8 lbs powder or 10,000 bullets. I buy smaller lots.

I have brass, so for the time being, brass if free, so brass cost is NOT reflected in the following,

I shoot 125 grain jacketed HP bullets, to various velocities, using various powders and primers. Right now, my cost per round is real close to 15 cents.

FJ Lee Denver CO
 

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Cost savings will still be significant---especially with cast lead bullets. Should be able to keep your costs under .10 cents/round---less if you cast your own.

But it also has another benefit-----its fun.
 

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If you enjoyed reloading, get back in. You'll save some money (or shoot more), be able to tailor your loads to your specific firearms, etc.

Considering brass as free -- either from initial ammo purchases or range pick-ups -- in 2007 I was shooting .45 ACP 200-gr Oregon Laser-Cast LSWC reloads for $5/50; now probably $8/50. 9mm and .38 / .357 reloads slightly less. Haven't recalculated costs / round since this recent rash of price increases ... still shooting off old supplies (now I have another reason to flinch when I squeeze the trigger!).

I'd been out of reloading for 20 years (!) and just got back in a year ago. Love it. My only regret is I didn't foresee this recent 100-125% increase in costs or I would have stocked up ahead of time.

(My SP-101 2-1/4-inch has become my 80% carry piece. Load is Remington 158-gr LSWCHP -- the Old FBI load -- to minimize over-penetration. Carry choices include Bersa .380 ACP Concealed Carry and S&W M&P9c depending on day's wardrobe / weather. Tend to carry the 9 mm for its 13 + 1 rounds whenever visiting a mall ... just in case.)
 

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Reloading

Thanks muchly so far guy! Great news indeed. I'm about 95% convinced that's the way I need to go, as I definitely want to plan for 2 - 3 visits to the range each week. How do you go about cleaning your brass? Way back when I use to reload the .244, I use to use a chemical cleaner bath. Don't remember the name or if that is still recommended or not? I looked at tumblers, but they appear to quite costly. Any suggestions? Thanks! :)
 

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http://www.midwayusa.com/reloading

I've only used vibratory case cleaners as actual "tumblers" were out of my price range. Have friends that have the frankford model with the sifter and they like it well enough.
 

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Thanks muchly so far guy! Great news indeed. I'm about 95% convinced that's the way I need to go, as I definitely want to plan for 2 - 3 visits to the range each week. How do you go about cleaning your brass? Way back when I use to reload the .244, I use to use a chemical cleaner bath. Don't remember the name or if that is still recommended or not? I looked at tumblers, but they appear to quite costly. Any suggestions? Thanks! :)
The Franklin Arsenal as Deputy pointed out is a good value ..You won't regret it!
I've seen them go on sale @ midway for as little as 29.00 + ship.
The chemical cleaners like Birchwood Casey are fine but I recommend one of the home brew varieties which I'm happy to forward and spend the money on the vibrator tumbler.

SD
 

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When I bought my .45 LC Blackhawk ammo was $24.99 for 50. Am not real good at math but even I could see I could get set up for reloading for the price of about 6 boxes. The main benefit is that I can shoot more, much more, reloading.

I buy lead bullets from Missouri Bullet Co, Meister and Mastercraft. Brass comes direct from Starline, primers, WLP & WSP, from Gun Shows [last batch of 10k @ 19.00 per thousand] and powder from my local gun store or Sportmans Warehouse when they have one of their super deals.

Since I shoot mostly Ruger revolvers and Marlins in the same caliber my main powder is Unique. For my sons 7 1/2 in .44 SBH we use 2400 because he likes the muzzele flash to reach the target before the bullet. For the 9mm I just buy ammo in bulk since I don't shoot it that much and definetly keep the semi-autos away from the grandkids who can chow thru the stuff at an amazing rate. So far have not tried loading rifle rounds, 30-06 and 30-30.

Add another vote for the Franklin Arsenal
 
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