Sunday, September 26, 2010

Light side: scared to start reloading? don't be!

You can get started cheaper than I listed in my supplies list, however, my list will make the job easy, fun and fast.  The advantage of a turret press are quite nice.   If you had monotonous grinding, it allows you to do smaller sections at a time, thus changing up what you're doing every couple minutes, without having to reseat all your dies.   An RCBS hand primer seems trivial, until you realize you can prime prepped cases while watching TV, or relaxing.   I can normally re-use .45acp cases 4 times before they get too dented or cracked which is why the price reflects that.  So here is the price breakdown on .45 ACP, the analysis at the end is comparing to store bought rounds (from browsing
.45 ACP

Product qty cost cost per bullet
Alliant Unique 4 $59.99 $0.01
Starline 45 brass 100 $17.49 $0.04
CCI large pistol primers 1000 $30.99 $0.03
Ranier Copper plated 45 bullets 1000 $107.99 $0.11

Total $0.20

.45 bullets (cheap) 50 $18.19 $0.36
.45 bullets (expensive) 25 $22.19 $0.89

Average $0.63

Expected savings per round $0.43

Additionally, here is a breakdown on .308 Win
.308 Win

Product qty cost cost per bullet
IMR 4064 8 $153.99 $0.12
Winchester Brass 50 $16.99 $0.07
Winchester Bullets 500 $103.99 $0.21
CCI Large Rifle Primers 1000 $30.99 $0.03

Total $0.43

.308 bullets (cheap brass) 20 $13.89 $0.69
.308 bullets (expensive) 20 $32.75 $1.64

Average $1.17

Expected savings per round $0.74

 And finally here is my list of starting gear for you, keep in mind you can go much cheaper, but this is an optimal list, designed for your comfort, plus, I want you to stick to this!  If you shoot an expensive round, like .308, or .45 Colt, you'll be happy you did this.

Necessary Reloading Supplies

Lyman T-mag Turret Press 1 $147.00
RCBS powder measure 1 $69.99
electronic Powder Scale 1 $39.99
Lyman universal with pilots 1 $89.99
RCBS hand primer 1 $47.99
Vernier Caliper 1 $29.99
Die set for each caliber 1 $34.99
lyman case sizing lube 1 $5.09


Reloading a .45 ACP, expect to reload 1000 rounds before the equipment pays for itself.  .308, expect it to take 750 rounds.   Once you get a handle on it, get ready to want to delve into more aspects of it.   I started casting my own bullets last year, and it has been a really nice hobby, good way to spend a few hours. 


  1. I forgot to mention that a Reloading Manual, like Lyman's 49th edition is a necessity as well! sorry about that omission.

  2. It can be done cheaper:


  3. Absolutely Jeffersonian! Your described method is awesome! But if someone can afford a turret press and they're slightly ADD, I highly recommend it!