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Howdy All, I recently posted about my personal costs for reloading. In this discussion I only accounted for the individual costs of making each round. IE how much it costs in lead, powder, brass, lube, polish, and primers. What I DID NOT account for was the initial cost of all the equipment that now occupies 35% of my garage space. The purpose of this post is to do just that. I acquired almost all of my equipment new and out of the box so keep that in mind as we go through this together. Nothing wrong with being thrifty!! 1. Reloader Dillion 650 progressive press. $1250 (with shipping) I got all the bells and whistles from the blue catalog. The "as pictured" version straight from Dillion. https://www.dillonprecision.com/xl650-reloader_8_1_23803.html?msg=Caliber+Conversion+Kit+to+be+Included+is+required. Pros- ammo production- by myself I can crank out roughly 500 rounds/hr on this machine. I stop every time I refill the primer tubes and do a powder, primer, OAL and diameter check. With a second set of hands I can get over 1000 rounds/hr no problem. With someone feeding the brass in to the case feeder, adding primers, and refiling the bullet tray all I have to do is keep an eye on powder checks and pulling that lever. In between those acts they are also doing the visual round inspections, marking brass, checking for high primers and putting rounds into ammo boxes. Team work makes the dream work. -warranty- billion has a no BS warranty. if it breaks they will work with you to get it fixed Cons- opportunity costs- the 650 with all the bells is the same price as a pair of Ruger NV, or a new 1873. It is expensive. -space- its big. mounted on my table its almost 7' tall at the top of the brass feeder. its not exactly mobile. I have mine mounted on a moving table but the loader itself isn't very easy to move once its bolted down. - location- I do not load in my house. I do it in the detached garage just in case something goes wrong and there is a fire/explosion. - initial setup- this took almost a week to get up and running fully. There's lots of trial and error, frustration of getting it exactly right, and learning from your mistakes. Lots of crushed cases, sideways primers, powder flakes, and alarms beeping at you. 2. Brass Polisher/Separator Frankford Arsenal starter kit. $85 on Amazon (with shipping) Quick-N-EZ Case Tumbler, Quick-N-EZ Rotary Media Separator, 4 oz. Brass Polish, 3 lb. Cleaning Media and a Plastic Bucket https://www.amazon.com/Frankford-Arsenal-Quick-N-EZ-Polishing-Reloading/dp/B000TTILBC/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1549569141&sr=8-1-fkmr2&keywords=reloading+brass+polisher+kit Pros- This is a great starter kit. Comes with everything you need to get started. If you have a box of spent brass and get this you will have clean and ready to load brass in about 4 hours. - I've polished about 2500 cases without replacing/cleaning my media. Its not very loud and doesn't take up much space. - If you powder coat your cast bullets this will double as an applicator system. - fair price for all you get. Cons- The polishing compound didn't last very long. I switched to brasso (brasso goes a LONG Way. You only need about 1/3 the amount) - its messy. no matter how hard you try you are gonna get media on the floor. Once it hits the ground it shouldn't be reused on your brass. - I can only fit about 500 38spl cases in at a time. If you're going through more than that on a regular basis you might need a larger system. 3. VibraPrime Primer Loader- $50 Amazon with Shipping WORTH IT!!!! DO IT! next topic https://www.amazon.com/Frankford-Arsenal-Universal-Automatic-Reloading/dp/B00BQ6A3Y0/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1549569877&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=vibra+prime+primer+tube+loader 4. Bullet Moldes lee 6 cavity moldes and handles x 2 - $134 with shipping on amazon https://www.amazon.com/LEE-PRECISION-358-125-Rf-Cavity-Bullet/dp/B008M5TSBW/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1549570011&sr=8-6&keywords=lee+6+cavity+bullet+mold+.358 https://www.amazon.com/LEE-PRECISION-358-105-Swc-Cavity-Bullet/dp/B005KW5FCQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1549570011&sr=8-3&keywords=lee+6+cavity+bullet+mold+.358 https://www.amazon.com/Lee-Precision-Commercial-Mold-Handles/dp/B00162RW4I/ref=pd_bxgy_200_2/142-3026109-4002846?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00162RW4I&pd_rd_r=f6cccaa4-2b13-11e9-b037-33f16b2f8627&pd_rd_w=pz1OH&pd_rd_wg=DS9eQ&pf_rd_p=6725dbd6-9917-451d-beba-16af7874e407&pf_rd_r=47K4DD36BX7HBW0REMH7&psc=1&refRID=47K4DD36BX7HBW0REMH7 So if you are looking at casting your own you have to have your molds. Lee 6 cavity are the way to go. as long as you keep them well maintained they will keep dropping good consistent bullets. Pro- teaches you patience. Con- LOTS OF Patience. - you will burn yourself. it will hurt. you will learn 5. Lead Melting Pot Lee 20# lead pot $105 with shipping on amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Lee-Preciesion-90948-Precision-Furnace/dp/B0091MPWVK/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1549570472&sr=8-9&keywords=lead+melting+pot+for+bullets again, if you are casting your own bullets, this little guy is a good start. Its not perfect but short of commercial production it does quite well. Pro- durable and reliable- I've dropped it, its been rained on and bounced around in the bed of the truck for hours. Its tough. Con- space- you gotta be either outside or in a VERY well ventilated area. I DO NOT recommend doing this in the house. lead drips and splatters out of the spickette and leaves these tiny little droplets all around the pot. It just happens. 6. Safety Equipment Glasses, gloves, long sleeves, respirators. $50ish wherever you so choose. These are at your discretion. Your safety is in your hands. Don't skimp, especially on the glasses. If your primer tube catches static and blows or your get moisture in your melting pot and it pops your eyes are kind of irreplaceable. 7. containers. Meal prep plastic Tupperware- $30 for 15 at Walmart you will quickly realize as you make more and more different types of ammo, cast more bullets, sort brass, etc you will need a place to put it all. medium size air tight Tupperware because I don't worry about moisture seeping in or hazmat seeping out. I started out just reusing old 50 round ammo boxes but those are neither waterproof nor designed to last very long. 8. Single Stage press and Sizing Die- $64 on amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Lee-Reloading-Press-Md-90045/dp/B002SF4X5I/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1549571669&sr=1-1&keywords=lee+single+stage+press https://www.amazon.com/Lee-Precision-90047-SIZING-357/dp/B00162NYTA/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1549571740&sr=1-1&keywords=sizing+die+357 for sizing cast bullets. If you cast bullets you MUST resize them. I originally took out the dies from the 650 and was sizing them there. NOT WORTH THE TIME So I got the little single stage press and it works great. Pro- you have to size and this is the best setup. You can also pop the dies out and do some individual loads. Cons- sizing takes time. its an extra pull of the lever, but you gotta do it. Conclusion. $1768. initial start up costs over the course of about 2 years. Buy quality the first time and it will be the last time you have to.
Howdy All, I recently started casting my own rounds due to having accessibility to range scrap lead. I use Lee 6 cavity molds that throw 105 and 125 grain SWC and RNFP respectively. Initialy I was lubing the rounds with liquid alox. I’m reaching out to see what the other options and advantages are. I’ve seen powder coating, moly coating, wax etc. I’m using clays smokeless powder for the reloads and federal small pistol primers. shooting Ruger NV and Winchester Miroku. All 357/38 spl Thanks Moe T Vader 104114