Reloading newbies

Northtogladwin

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Whats the general cost besides powder and bullets for a reloading set up, say 300 nm, maybe some 5.56, 308, 6.5 grendel, and 6 5 creedmoor, I know I need a press with some bits, a primer press? I'm not looking to dump a 1000 into it for now but what's like a happy middle ground?
 

simonp

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What sort of volume are you going to load? The cheapest would be a single stage press like a Forster however it’s not really desirable or practical for any volume in my opinion.
 
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Jerry V

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    If you are gonna really reload for 5 calibers you will be beyond 1K in no time. One upgrade leads to another. You can get a startup kit for 3 to 4 hundred but will not be happy if the desire to load higher quality ammo bites you. My budget for 5 sets of dies would eat up your 1000 pretty quick. There are cheaper alternatives out there but I have found them to be lacking. Dies are important to me as that is what forms your brass and seats the projectile. Everything else is for time savings or ease of switching calibers
     

    Northtogladwin

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    If you are gonna really reload for 5 calibers you will be beyond 1K in no time. One upgrade leads to another. You can get a startup kit for 3 to 4 hundred but will not be happy if the desire to load higher quality ammo bites you. My budget for 5 sets of dies would eat up your 1000 pretty quick. There are cheaper alternatives out there but I have found them to be lacking. Dies are important to me as that is what forms your brass and seats the projectile. Everything else is for time savings or ease of switching calibers
    Like the multiple press options to switch on the fly and other nice to have not need to have
     

    Northtogladwin

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    What sort of volume are you going to load? The cheapest would be a single stage press like a Forster however it’s not really desirable or practical for any volume in my opinion.
    I have a lot of brass I've kept over the years but I haven't been shooting as often lately
     

    hafejd30

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    Whats the general cost besides powder and bullets for a reloading set up, say 300 nm, maybe some 5.56, 308, 6.5 grendel, and 6 5 creedmoor, I know I need a press with some bits, a primer press? I'm not looking to dump a 1000 into it for now but what's like a happy middle ground?
    Look into the rcbs kits. I know midwayusa had some on sale for mid $200’s recently. Those kits with 505 scales and press would be minimal needed equipment. Then add the components.

    You’ll eventually want a chargemaster or something similar. Along with brass prep stations, annealers etc etc.

    The rabbit hole runs very deep. Most of us who started out with basic kits are an easy $4-5k into equipment and components. But for $500 you can get a decent start
     

    simonp

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    I have a lot of brass I've kept over the years but I haven't been shooting as often lately
    5 sets of quality dies, wet tumbling equipment and dryer will soak up a lot of that $1,000 and you’re just starting. If you’re prepping a lot of brass I’d not go single stage.
     

    straightshooter1

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    Whats the general cost besides powder and bullets for a reloading set up, say 300 nm, maybe some 5.56, 308, 6.5 grendel, and 6 5 creedmoor, I know I need a press with some bits, a primer press? I'm not looking to dump a 1000 into it for now but what's like a happy middle ground?
    You can get a start with a decent staring kit from RCBS, then some some dies from Lee.


    You might want to just start sizing for just one caliber until you figure out what you like or don't like, then that'll help you move onto better equipment that you find works better for you. It'd be better if you started with good stuff to start with as it's cheaper in the long run to "cry once." 🥴
     

    acudaowner

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    technically you could reload with a c clamp and a set of dies and a decent calipers but one of the kits offered by the different press companies might do you best at least to start off I wish I had started with a turret press the constant and never ending switching in and out of dies is maddening well for me anyway and very never ending .
    there are others depending on which companies press you like . while not the greatest press they will get you reloading best of luck with what ever brand you go with
     
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    hafejd30

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    The biggest thing you will save money on when it comes to reloading is “time”

    If you have more time you can get by with minimal tools. If you want to crank out the ammo in shortest amount of time then the $$ goes up
     

    simonp

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    I’m a believer in buy once, cry once. I don’t regret the pair of 650’s but in hindsight I wish I’d bought a turret press (T7) instead of the Forster. I’ve bought, tried and replaced a lot of tools over the years
     

    SalomonQST99

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    My 2cents would be look for a used Dillon 550. I think all the calibers you mentioned can be loaded on the 550, but you'll need to switch out the primer systems going from .223 to .308 for example. Start with one caliber and go from there.
     

    Rockdoc173

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    I think I would suggest starting on one or two cartridges, not six+. You need to figure out what you like, what you dont, and what fits your style. I bought a Rock Chucker when I got going and have never changed to anything else, and I've even done small-batch 9mm and 45ACP with it. If you like beating your own toe with a hammer, then you'll like that too. I bought it in one of the kits mentioned above. I ended up downloading pretty much everything besides the press eventually, but not before those tools served their purposes. I, like others above, subscribe to the buy once, cry once theory. But buying nice stuff without being able to define what nice looks like for you is not necessarily the best course of action. Trust me, you can load very good ammo on off-the-shelf dies from RCBS, Hornady, Redding, etc. I doubt you will, but the possibility exists that you might not enjoy reloading so better to be $500 into it rather than $2000+.

    My brother decided he wanted to get into reloading at the start of COVID after putting it off for a couple years, I advised him to wait. We're a few years down the line but it's still a nasty time so don't get in too big of a hurry. It's going to take time to assemble the stuff you need. Consider that I'm way down the rabbit whole but it's still taken me months to put together the reloading things I need for a new project. Add to that the basic tools, equipment, and supplies and you're not getting into an instant gratification scenario, it's a long and methodical process.
     

    B y r o n

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    Do you already have a location that you are going to be doing your reloading? Don't forget you're going to need a stand/bench to mount the press. Do you plan on leaving it setup or store things away between sessions? Things like this can add to your initial costs.
     

    Northtogladwin

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    Do you already have a location that you are going to be doing your reloading? Don't forget you're going to need a stand/bench to mount the press. Do you plan on leaving it setup or store things away between sessions? Things like this can add to your initial costs.
    Be in the basement already have a solid bench there
     
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    CK1.0

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    So you want to reload 5 different cartridges for under $1000 huh..?

    The classic Hide answer is: stop being poor. :p

    Pick one or two cartridges and stick with KISS stuff that is common, proven, closer to "industry standard" than "came out last week", and $1000 will be enough to get you going, making good shit too, just not super fast.

    I like the RCBS Rebel press that is relatively new, I've seen them for cheap lately, beefy and stupid simple, which is great. It does one thing at a time and does that one thing well when it's doing it... You don't need bells and whistles, like priming on most of the presses sucks anyhow and you'll inevitably be priming off-press like most of us (I recommend the Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer, some are as good, none are better, yes, including the $600 ones), unscrewing a die and screwing in a different one takes 1 minute if you go slow, etc...

    I'd start there, pick your kit with sort of a "slow is ok, but not shitty" ethos (this applies to all reloading kit IMHO actually).

    I use humble tools myself and don't think it holds me back, all my precision rifle stuff is loaded on a $100 Lyman Ideal press:

    tempImagehkXyw8.pngtempImageS9u42L.pngtempImageHIgwGk.png
     
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    SalomonQST99

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    I've kept a spread sheet of costs for reloading equipment for multiple calibers. Following the buy once cry once strategy it will be $6,769.62. With inflation it will be more today.
    Add to that the cost of primers, brass, bullets and powder. :unsure:
    As Bill Clinton would say, "I feel your pain".
     

    DirtDart

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    I got my kit on a budget and here how I did it. Bought it in steps
    Since you have a lot of brass to prep. First, get all the Tupperware you want so you can keep your brass sorted. It is nice to have a few loading blocks in 100 round sets
    Next get your brass prep tools. Primmer pocket reamers, flash hole debur, maybe a prep station. Get your shoulder comparators and a good set of calibers. Get good at measuring your brass till your ready to wash.

    Now it’s time to clean. Get a ss tumbler and a media tumbler. You will need both.

    Now your brass is ready to size. I started with just a basic press but if I were to upgrade I would get a Redding t7 with a head for each caliber. As other have said don’t skimp on dies. I like Redding dies sets. You will need a tin of sizing wax Start playing with bumping shoulders.

    Now your brass is sized, time to trim to length. I went with Giraud tri way.

    At this point all brass is ready for priming. Look at the rcbs universal hand primer.

    Start looking for primers and buy as you can. Same with powder.

    Get rcbs charge master. Plenty of us have loaded accurate ammo with one.

    Going to need bullet comparators to measure bullet seating.

    I’m not saying this is the way, just how I did it.
    Good luck
    Dirty
    0A0E19DA-CF41-4724-8B63-DE0405C62EEE.jpeg
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    SalomonQST99

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    I bought two Dillon 1050's. I wouldn't recommend that to anyone, but it worked for me. Also, I've blown way past that $1000 that @Northtogladwin
    talked about. No regrets though. The Dillon's put out loads of great ammo.

    @DirtDart I did buy a ProChronoDLX, but still need to put it to use. Hopefully I'll get some good groupings like you've shown eventually with enough practice.
     

    MarshallDodge

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    I would choose one caliber and run with that until you get some experience with reloading before jumping into the deep end.

    I started off on a $99 Lee single stage kit years ago and a set of Lee dies. It worked well for a couple thousand rounds before it started to get sloppy and I bought a lightly used Rockchucker. Once in a while the Lee gets used for sizing duty.

    After that I bought a Dillon 550 and I use it for short pistol runs in 45 and 357. It also turns out some quality 223 match ammo when I feed it pre-processed brass.

    I also have a Dillon 650, which Dillon has superseded with the 750. I use the 650 to crank out large amounts of 9mm ammo.
     

    MarshallDodge

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    If I would start over, a Redding Turret or Dillon 550 would be my first press. You can run either as a single stage and move forward with the more advanced features of these presses as you learn.
     

    BuildingConceptsllc

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    If you don't want to spend thousands of dollars and a lot of time then I wouldn't do it. I'm still fairly new to it (a few years now I guess) and I'd hate to think what I have in equipment and components, but it's way way past $1000.00.

    I want ammo tuned for my rifles , and I like the idea of being able to load up ammo when I need it and knowing it is extremely accurate and there's only one way to do that. I don't regret it at all but it's a very very deep rabit hole.

    That said, if you do jump in, at minimum get a used chargmaster right out of the gate at a min. I love my v3 and don't use my chargmaster at all anymore but it did pretty well for $200 and messing around with a beam scale got old super quickly.
     
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    SalomonQST99

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    In my state, I can't get ammo delivered to my door anymore. So reloading is the next best thing.
     
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    DeathBeforeDismount

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    $5-10K for a proper reloading setup with good repeatable tools that are efficient and will not waste time.

    AMP with casemate
    Turret or Dillion 550 with multiple toolheads setup for brass prep and loading
    Henderson Trimmer with all toolheads and colets
    Autotrickler
    Good bushing Dies
    Good Seating Dies
    Good measuring tools (Hornady is not good)
    A good hand or bench mounted primer.
    A tumbler, preferably wet with no media and a good cleaner like Brass Juice or BT Brass Cleaner. You could also do ultrasonic.
    A dehydrator or other way to dry brass quickly so you don't get water stains on them.
    Misc accessories like mounts, inline fab rails, holders, reloading trays, lubes, cases, organization, ect.
    Bench worth a shit, preferably mounted to wall for extra rigidity.

    Then you add primers, powder and bullets.
     

    NBPRP

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    Start with maybe 2 calibers, 3 at most, and see if you like reloading. Also the more calibers you have the better the chance for cross referencing some of the data in your mind. Maybe not the most common problem but it does happen.

    The Redding Boss ProPak would be a good start as it has most of the stuff you need. A powder measure is nice for throwing charges especially when using ball powder or small stick powder.

    Also consider checking for a used RCBS Rockchucker, they are pretty sturdy and reliable and you might be able to save some money buying used stuff.

    I started with some RCBS FL size dies in .243, .308 and 30-06 then switched to Forster Bench Rest Dies for my .308 target work. Would also consider getting a Turbo Tumbler and you can get by with dry media to start.

    What is provided in the Boss ProPack or Rockchucker was basically my set up and it got me through several years of competition and shooting up to 14 matches a season and from 1,000 to 1,300 records rounds down range.

    Brass, bullets are available at a price where as primers, and powder are hard to come by regardless of what you have in your wallet. I would check reloading data for the calibers you are going to go with and see if there are any powders that can be used in both. Some of the ball powders are rather forgiving regarding caliber usage and you can 'stretch' them across a few calibers and bullet weights. If memory serves me correctly the old Accurate Arms Data Powder 2230 worked in the .223 (5.56) and .308 (7.62) both NATO rounds so maybe you should pick those two calibers and go with one powder. Just a suggestion.

    P.S. If you have any additional questions, this forum more than likely will have the answer. Most of the posters here are involved in one shooting discipline or the other and one would think they reload so can address your questions.
     

    Huskydriver

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    Going to be tough for under 1k. Not to mention primers and powder are tough to find
     

    Leland T

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    The rabbit hole runs very deep. Most of us who started out with basic kits are an easy $4-5k into equipment and components. But for $500 you can get a decent start
    hafejd30 is correct crawl, walk , run
     

    BillKilgore

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    I got into reloading about 2 1/2 years ago. Just before COVID. I reload 6 calibers on a Dillon XL750 and I love it. It will turn out 400+ high quality rounds per hour at a comfortable pace. I have about $3600 into it for all equipment including a wet tumbler, dry vibratory tumbler, digital scale, etc.

    If you are sure you will enjoy reloading, I suggest buying a Dillon. As others have said, buy once, cry once. To me, a single stage press would be painfully slow and not worth the time.

    Below is a pic of my recent batch of .223 shot at a B27 target from 100 yards. The scoring silhouette is 4” tall.
     

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    SalomonQST99

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    I got into reloading about 2 1/2 years ago. Just before COVID. I reload 6 calibers on a Dillon XL750 and I love it. It will turn out 400+ high quality rounds per hour at a comfortable pace. I have about $3600 into it for all equipment including a wet tumbler, dry vibratory tumbler, digital scale, etc.

    If you are sure you will enjoy reloading, I suggest buying a Dillon. As others have said, buy once, cry once. To me, a single stage press would be painfully slow and not worth the time.

    Below is a pic of my recent batch of .223 shot at a B27 target from 100 yards. The scoring silhouette is 4” tall.
    It's pretty damn cool when shooting rounds that I made. And of course, I didn't blow myself up which is always a bonus.
     

    NBPRP

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    Would have to agree that a single stage press is 'painfully slow' and probably 'not worth the time' to some people and a Dillion progressive is the way to go if you are sure you are going to stay in the game but when you are just starting out in it might be worth the time to learn the basics.

    Will try and keep this story short and not be too verbose so here goes. I can remember (back in the day) there was this shooter who was a hammer mechanic at a foundry in central Wisconsin he and his wife would come to matches and he was rather smarmy and you could classify him as being a braggart.

    He had been shooting a few years and convinced his wife to take up the sport and had bought 2 M1A's form Springfield. His was a NM barrel and hers was not. At any rate, during conversations between stages of fire or at the end of the match regarding equipment even if he wasn't involved he would butt in and try and dominate the discussion trying to impress. During one discussion he bragged about his Dillion press and how was able to do all the reloading for both of them in no time. This was at a time when most were reloading with a Rockchucker or something similiar. Being the put down artist that he was he would sneer at the single stage loaders as if we were still living in a cave.

    Well during one 'Course' match at Lodi, WI the two were on the same target a few targets toward the high end and I was a target or two to their left. At the 600 yd. stage she was firing, a 'Liteholder' was scoring and her husband was on 'the ready line'. I was also on the 'ready line' and while getting 'ready' was listening to the steady cacophony of rifle reports. Suddenly there is this different report unlike any of the others then a commotion and a loud CEASE FIRE announcement.

    I looked over to see the hammer mechanic just bending down to check on his wife who was flat on the ground and M1A also flat on the ground that was emitting smoke from the magazine area (the M1A not the wife).

    The bolt was jammed all the way back, the stock was split and magazine was out of the rifle and in parts with one large part significantly imbedded in her leather shooting coat. People came rushing over to assist and as she started to move you could see her eyes were a few millimeters larger than normal and misting over and her shooting glasses were speckled with debris.

    When she was helped out of her shooting coat the magazine part had gone through the leather and through a sweatshirt underneath. There was a small 1" cut surrounded by a 'scuff' mark on her left forearm and a welt starting to form. The whole area was about the size of a palm print.

    The hammer mechanic hemmed and hawed around and didn't admit to what he did but the remaining rounds she was going to fire, about 14 were seized by the range officer much to the consternation of the hammer mechanic.

    When the rounds were pulled down it was found most of the bullets were 168 gr. and some were 190 gr. and the 190 gr. rounds had more powder in them. It could be the powder 'bridged' but apparently he didn't see that while progressively loading. Also he must have missed the difference between a 168 gr. and 190 gr. bullet.
     
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    Haney

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    I got into reloading about 2 1/2 years ago. Just before COVID. I reload 6 calibers on a Dillon XL750 and I love it. It will turn out 400+ high quality rounds per hour at a comfortable pace. I have about $3600 into it for all equipment including a wet tumbler, dry vibratory tumbler, digital scale, etc.

    If you are sure you will enjoy reloading, I suggest buying a Dillon. As others have said, buy once, cry once. To me, a single stage press would be painfully slow and not worth the time.

    Below is a pic of my recent batch of .223 shot at a B27 target from 100 yards. The scoring silhouette is 4” tall.
    When I reload on my single stage press I don't have spaces between my bullet holes .
     

    morning would

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    Reading this is why I just can’t pull the trigger on reloading. I know I should, and I know it’s the future for me. But I can’t help but do the dollars and cents. At the moment, I shoot 223/556, 7.62x39, 308 and most pistol rounds for fun. For accuracy, I shoot 6.5 Grendel, 22lr and 6 ARC. My 6 ARC and 6.5 Grendel shoot .5-.6’s with factory ammo. Right now I am still buying factory Grendel and ARC for about $1.50-$1.60 a round. I can sell the brass for a buck or so each. Even if I had all of the machinery, today’s prices on powder, primers, bullets adds up to almost 60cpr. Break even is a tough pill to swallow just from a pure money standpoint. That’s where I fucked up. I stockpiled guns and ammo while it was cheap. Components have never been purchased. So I start at today’s prices. It’s really quite the conundrum because I would like to see consistent .3’s Or even less with the practice I know I’ll do.

    Maybe selling some shit to pay for reloading supplies is my best bet. I have plenty of preban AK’s and collectible rimfires that I’d make money on. Enough that my initial investment is free. It’s just making that decision to do so. I know once I do that, I‘ll probably never own them again.

    I appreciate everyone’s input on the OP’s topic. This is why I recently joined this forum. I’m kinda sick of blasting shit. As a kid I shot on my high school rifle team in 50’ small bore. I kinda want to get back to watching a single hole just get bigger around the outside every time I pull the trigger.
     
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    Northtogladwin

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    Reading this is why I just can’t pull the trigger on reloading. I know I should, and I know it’s the future for me. But I can’t help but do the dollars and cents. At the moment, I shoot 223/556, 7.62x39, 308 and most pistol rounds for fun. For accuracy, I shoot 6.5 Grendel, 22lr and 6 ARC. My 6 ARC and 6.5 Grendel shoot .5-.6’s with factory ammo. Right now I am still buying factory Grendel and ARC for about $1.50-$1.60 a round. I can sell the brass for a buck or so each. Even if I had all of the machinery, today’s prices on powder, primers, bullets adds up to almost 60cpr. Break even is a tough pill to swallow just from a pure money standpoint. That’s where I fucked up. I stockpiled guns and ammo while it was cheap. Components have never been purchased. So I start at today’s prices. It’s really quite the conundrum because I would like to see consistent .3’s Or even less with the practice I know I’ll do.

    Maybe selling some shit to pay for reloading supplies is my best bet. I have plenty of preban AK’s and collectible rimfires that I’d make money on. Enough that my initial investment is free. It’s just making that decision to do so. I know once I do that, I‘ll probably never own them again.

    I appreciate everyone’s input on the OP’s topic. This is why I recently joined this forum. I’m kinda sick of blasting shit. As a kid I shot on my high school rifle team in 50’ small bore. I kinda want to get back to watching a single hole just get bigger around the outside every time I pull the trigger.
    Thinking the same man
     

    SalomonQST99

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    There can be multiple goals for reloading. For myself, it was to build reasonably priced ammo. For others, it's to create better ammo than what you can get off the shelf tailored to your gun.
     

    NBPRP

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    To Morning Would: Keep what you have and be very hesitant to sell your stuff. It may seem like a plausible idea now but once you sell your firearms you more than likely will regret it later. Kind of like that first girl you fell in love with, maybe in high school or in your fleeting teen years that you didn't marry. Well that time is gone and you can't get it back, sort of like selling your guns so hang on to what you got.

    Since the OP was not asking about powder and bullet costs at start up it is a moot point but my first response to this post mentioned starting with NATO calibers as brass can be easier to come by and also you can find powders that have several calibers applications so you could avoid buying a plethora of different powders and save $$ in that respect.
     

    Haney

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    Different strokes for different folks. I just have fun shooting.
    I have fun shooting , I also enjoy reloading . My point is you are talking about how much you spent and how fast you pump things out . You then show a bunch of holes in paper that are no where near a good group . How does that help a potential new reloader ?
     

    Barelstroker

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    Whats the general cost besides powder and bullets for a reloading set up, say 300 nm, maybe some 5.56, 308, 6.5 grendel, and 6 5 creedmoor, I know I need a press with some bits, a primer press? I'm not looking to dump a 1000 into it for now but what's like a happy middle ground?
    The very 1st investment you should make without any further thought should be a good reloading manual like Speer, Hornady, Sierra etc. Read them thoroughly & make sure you understand properly the basics, dangers & details of reloading.
    Many of the questions you are asking will be answered in any one of the manuals mentioned.
    You absolutely must start your journey with a manual.
     
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    SanPatHogger

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 1, 2020
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    Depending on your location there may be a ton of used reloading equipment nearby. Check Craigslist and sites like Texasguntrader.com. I found a guy with a Lee single stage press, scale, powder funnel and some dies. Selling for $75.
    I load rifle on a pretty old RCBS Rockchucker that my dad bought used in the 80's. A lee full length sizing die and bullet seating die makes ammo that shoots 1moa at 1,000 yards.
    I would say keep it simple to start. And get a reloading manual. And most importantly STAY SAFE.
     

    SalomonQST99

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 19, 2020
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    I have fun shooting , I also enjoy reloading . My point is you are talking about how much you spent and how fast you pump things out . You then show a bunch of holes in paper that are no where near a good group . How does that help a potential new reloader ?
    Quality and Quantity are two sides of a coin.
     
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