A Few Reloading questions Discussing real life costs etc.

Discussion in 'Reloading Room' started by Sakdog, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. Sakdog

    Sakdog Member

    I dont as of now reload. I would like to learn how sometime in the future and I believe that reloading may be a necessity in the future. Lately when I go shooting I keep a cardboard box (Soon to be plastic tub) that I go and pick up most of my spent brass (assuming I find it all) And a bunch of other spent brass laying around that appears to be freshly shot... Im just trying to make it a habit so that if I do get into reloading I can have a good reserve of brass to start with, I plan on filling a couple of large boxes full of this brass before actually taking on the hobby. OK my questions..
    What kind of tolerances on brass?
    Can brass that has a slightly out of round case mouth be straightened and re-loaded? (Slightly out of round... Not ran over by a train.. Just slightly out of round) I'm trying to figure out if I should just "toss out" brass that has a slight out of round.
    Can CCI Blazer brass be reloaded? (Dont know why in my head something says CCI brass cant be reloaded) Brass.... Not ah-lew-men-ee-um
    Can some reloaders out there post their costs/sources for the following:
    -Reloading setup, What calibers supported, Brand ETC.
    -Cost per round for effective economical training ammo or other types of loads (possibly including the sources of primer/Powder/bullets I know exact load specs cant be divulged) Just some real world numbers as for cost per round observed for whatever particular caliber(s) you reload.

    Perhaps if we can get some real world numbers out there we can get more people into reloading to save some money and get into the added hobby..
    otherwise... maybe this is in vain.
  2. Here's my answers, other's maybe different.
    I don't what you mean by "tolerances" most brass shot in any Hi-point can be reloaded many many times.
    Slightly out of round case mouth will be OK to reload.
    Can CCI Blazer brass be reloaded? YES.
    -Reloading setup Costs start as low as $70 and can reach $2000 or more.
    What calibers supported? Here I will send you to a few sites.

    These are just 3 of the 1000's sites you can find on the WWW.

    Cost for the components vary depending on what you want to reload. Here are some for today, but prices are going through the roof on this stuff. Primer-powder-projectile. my used brass.
    9mm= .13, .40SW=.15, .45acp=.18 per round as of the last time I bought supplies. I have been able to reload 9mm cases up to 11 times (using reduced powder loads.

    Hope this helps.

    Admin, edit as you see fit.

  3. This calculater will help you with figuring the cost of reloading after buying your press.

    Press will be $30 on up, depending what you want. For starting out I would recommend a Lee single stage, it's inexpensive, ez to use and works just fine.

    I have 2 presses, the basic Lee and a top of the line Dillon, the Lee works just as well, only alot slower.
  4. Sakdog

    Sakdog Member

    Right on, info sounds good I'm really into the cost per round stats that people are exhibiting in the "real world" sort of sense. Info is good so far And I appreciate it.

    What I meant about tolerance:
    Lets say during picking up brass, I find brass where the case mouth is slightly out of round from being stepped on or something.. not horribly out of round just slight. So with brass like that. Is it possible to re-round that case mouth out with dies or something as long as there are no other blaring defects in the brass (Gouges, cracks, dents)
  5. In the reloading process you actually have 2 of your reloading dies that reshape the form of the brass itself, so that shouldn't really be a concern. The dies will do all the work for you as long as it's not a blatant malformation of the case.
  6. I have actually taken brass that is dented (not with sharp dents, but like it was squeezed together so its oval, not round) and put it into the mouth of pliers and rounded it back out as best as could be done with a pliers.

    Then I put it into my press and if its reasonably round, the resizer die will then smooth out the rest of the damage.

    Once you shoot that round, the fire-forming will take care of the rest of any damage.

    The key is that brass can't be dented with sharp edges. If the metal is bowed/slightly malformed, thats one thing, but if its creased with a dent, that will weaken the metal pretty badly and chances are you won't be able to smooth that out enough to be able to cycle it.

    Heres a terrible picture I made in Microsoft Paint kind of illustrating what i mean:

  7. Sakdog

    Sakdog Member

    Excellent, Thank you for answering that question.. that helps me in my discrimination of picking up brass..
  8. Also, when you are picking up random brass at the range, make sure you inspect it for corrosion inside, outside and around the primer base. Don't worry about it if it's just dirty, you will take care of that when you tumble it. Corrosion is bad though as it will weaken the case from the inside out, or vicea versa, or blow out a primer seat and can contribute to a KaBoom in your pistol.
  9. Mike_AZ

    Mike_AZ U.S.S. Member

    How many times can brass be reloaded. I thought I had read it was something like 5 times. If that is the case, how do you ensure the brass you're picking up at the range hasn't already been reloaded 5 times? Also, when you are reusing your own brass, do you mark it in some way to denote the number of times you have reloaded it?
  10. Sakdog

    Sakdog Member

    I dont think that the 6th reload will result in a Kaboom as long as an inspection is done to the brass...Ill know that my brass is once fired, And brass I pick up I will scrutinize when the time comes to reload. When I pull up to the range and there are 10 empty 50 round boxes of CCI .40Cal laying on the ground along with tons of fresh brass sitting there marked CCI.. I can assume its "once fired" where I shoot everything on the ground pretty much falls into these categories
    Shotgun shells
    Once fired brass
    Steel case ammo
    Aluminum case ammo
    Damaged brass..
    At any rate im not going to start reloading right away im just mining for data and collecting brass... If the time comes and I decide not to reload.. Ill just scrap the 100lbs of brass. and buy a box or two of ammo...
  11. If you load heavy, you might only get 1 or 2 reloadings out of a bottleneck cartridge.

    If you load reasonable/light, you could probably get around 5-20 reloads out of a straightwall pistol caliber case.

    Yes, I know of guys who have close to 20 reloads on a single pistol case (good brass). They don't load hot and they are careful with them.

    I will quit using brass when it shows signs of cracking. say there is a split by the neck, then no more for that one.

    But the "up to 5 and no more" rule isn't really a rule but more of an guesstimate.

    Heavy hot hunting loads (with big bullets) might only get one or two reloads.

    I load for fun, not for extreme anything. So I don't have hot loads or big bullets. I use standard or lght bullets and minimum loads so not much pressure.
  12. The Hornady reloading books that I have right now suggest that you inspect your brass after every shoot. So, if you plan on reloading the same brass over and over, you need to take case measurements in several different places to guarantee that the case is sound. From what I have read already, if you load to factory standards you can get up to 20 loads out of a single case. This is not the same for every caliber and good judgement must be used.

    As bobotech stated, if any case starts showing signs of cracking/splitting at any time, that case should be tossed immediately. Weak brass is the #1 cause of gun KaBooms. The #2 cause is a double charged case.
  13. Something else to think, most brass with reasonable loads starts to show wear (cracks, etc) at the neck/mouth, not the base.

    If you look at a cross section of a peice of brass, the base is usually the strongest part, with a sloping thicker amount of metal by the corner of the base.

    The metal gets thinner as it gets closer to the neck.

    Glocks and other guns with semi-supported barrels (fluted chambers in CETMEs?) will show signs of bulges where they are lacking in support.

    But again, that is more known with hotter loads. I know people who reload Glock 40 ammo even in the stock barrel because they shoot reasonable loads.
  14. Ari

    Ari Guest

    In 9mm and 45 acp they can last years... I have some 9mm I have over 15 reloads on. I know a local guy who has 45 brass that he has been loading for over 20 years. (and he shoots all the time) Rifle or bottle necked cases don't last that long. I have been working with some collect sizing on my 30-06 when you do this that brass can only be fired in one gun. But this can make it last a very long time...

    A range buddy and I go to the range every day during the summer to see what brass got left . We name this weird hobby of checking for and picking up brass "brassing" It has become hard not to be looking down when I walk on the firing line. We pick up any rifle brass that is reloadable even if we don't have that type of gun. We have ended up trading some of that brass.
  15. Mike_AZ

    Mike_AZ U.S.S. Member

    Cool, thanks for the information. Come to think of it, maybe I read that 5 thing when I was reading about reloading 7.62x54.
  16. 7.62x54r, man, my PSL beats the SNOT out of the brass. Ends up with like 3 dents on each cartridge.
  17. I agree with ARI, I have some brass loaded numerous times. I do have a little card in the case with how many times it has been reloaded but for the most part I examine the brass each time and dispose of anything that seems questionable in any way.
  18. Sakdog

    Sakdog Member

    Here is another question, Does anyone have any links to websites that they like or any specific manuals that are good for learing to reload, basically information that can take a layman from "dont know nuthin" about reloading to knowing enough to practically and safely reload a specific caliber.. Anything like sites with COMPLETE tutorials or books to look into?
  19. rdhood

    rdhood Member

    All calibers are different. Real world 9mm:

    Bullets are $54/1000 shipped Winchester FMJ (5.4 cents each)
    Powder is $17 per lb Win 231 local or powder valley. That is enough for about 1500 rnds of 9mm (1 cent per round)
    Primers are about $27 local or $20 shipped per 1000 (ave 2.3 cents each)
    Cases are free to 2.8 cents each, amortized over 10 loads is (.28cents each) Altogether, that is 9cents each, or $9 per hundred.

    Walmart Retail Blazer Brass is $15 per hundred. That's a savings of $6 per hundred, if you don't figure in your time and effort.

    You can do the math to figure out how much you have to reload to recoup the cost for the press you want. I spent $144 (.40S&W) + $40 (extra set of 9mm dies) on a Lee Classic Turret press/primer/autodiscmeasure/set of dies. I can turn out between 200-300 rounds an hour.

    I figured out that I would need to load about 2000-2300 rounds to "break even". Now, I can easily burn off 300 rounds on a trip to the range. Thats about 7-8 trips to the range before the equipment pays for itself vs. retail loads.

    Slight out of round is no problem, as long as there are no cracks or bulges. By the time you size/fit bullet/factory crimp, it will be round.