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Ammo prices are at new highs

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Ammo prices are at an all time high and I am seeing certain calibers flying off the shelves.

My mind got rattled by the cost of 357 mag and other wheel gun calibers some of the rifle is expensive compared to the prices before.

AS I had stated way back when NATO calibers is the only way to go those are still less expensive than the other calibers.  Components are also on the rise at least brass and projectiles primers are pricey powder is not unreasonable and you get the best value buying 4 or 8 pounders or jugs.

AS long as you have only one bottle neck cartridge you can use a LEE had die set as it only neck sizes if you have 2 guns in that same caliber you need to keep the brass separate with regular FL or (full length sizing dies) it is not necessary as it forms the case bac to factory specs.

I noticed that used reloading gear prices are at the lowest I have seen on fleabay so if your thinking on it Christmas is just around the corner.

for those that are interested 1 pound = 7,000 grains so to figure how many you can reload divide your load in grains into 7,000 to find the amount you can expect. also this gives you the amount of primers you will need.  bottle neck Brass cases can be loaded 5 to 10 times always checking head separation straight wall cases can be loaded until they crack or split and the case mouth,  annealing helps to lengthen case life.


wally likes this

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Kevin,  Generally speaking Lee precision has the overall best deal on all components on reloading bullet casting bullet sizing scales and case preparation innovative easy to use and well thought out equipment. Look at some of their packages comes with a press and much or all of the accessories you may need.

I started with a LEE loader as a kid loading 38/357 not because I did not want a press but I could not afford it but it eased me into relaoding I then got into casting bullets because it too helped me with cost per shell. Today some firearms do not want you to fire or cannot fire many without damage to the weapon so check first if you plan on casting bullets if your arm does not allow for cast bullets heed the advice now in arms that can use cast but you rather buy there are copper plated lead bullets that work great.

If your going to load rifle and especially magnum rifle (bottle neck cases you really need a good press like the Rock Chucker or similar heavy press s they have more leverage to size big / long brass ---- that being said if you only have one rifle in each or one caliber neck sizing is easier on brass but you cannot resize found brass back to SAMMI specs (original factory new) without a FL (full length ) sizing die so that is partially why most people opt for a press over a Lee loader die set HERE  explaining the Lee loader system with pictures

You can copy and past this article and save it as a PDF for future reference whoever made this page did a fantastic job and I try to buy or drive traffic to sites that have good information or good to deal with.

as far as straight wall cases like 38 special / 357 mag 41 mag 45 long colt 45-70 and a host of others if you can find a Lee loader it will handle them and does a great job although slowly about 50 shells an hour I would get a Lee priming tool though

for most cases though slow a single stage press like the rock chucker will  do them all for more production I use a Lee Turret press it can do up to 30=06 case length and you have enough stations with the turret to make a complete round you can have a turret for each caliber set them up and only have to change out turrets. great for pistol and up to 30-06 type cases. The reason is friction the longer and larger diameter requires more leverage to easily work the case to form it back to specs and remember bottle neck cases need a tiny but complete coverage with case lube or they will get stuck there is a stuck case remover  tool and there are videos on Youtube and how to do it yourself without a tool but more work IMO.

Generally for beginners I advise to learn on a singe stage press. but use all the other components made by LEE as they are inexpensive over all other brands and work great.

I am not a fan of progressive presses as none of the components seem to run out at the same time so your adding cases or loading primers bullets or powder if there is a mistake on your part usually your knee deep before you figure it out and you have to dismantle or have a single stage to press your bullets deeper and thats all you can do other than dismantle with a bullet puller or kinetic bullet puller basically a plastic hammer  you have to load each round in and strike it to dislodge the bullet and the powder comes out as well it's not orderly. so you will need one or the other at some point like when building a load or load development I do 10 rounds shoot them 5 round in 2 sets and if they do not group what is left I dismantle and try again

Buy a NON digital Caliper like RCBS you need to insure that length of components are accurate Just because it states XX or XXX or XX-XX on the case does not mean much I usually stack my cases up and compare to each other I have seen 357 mag cut back to 38spl why I have no clue but if you load a shorter case with a magnum charge pressure increases NOT GOOD other people reload and some make specialized or custom cartridges from other calibers of brass so if it has a deep ding or looks out of place of brass you know is good throw it away IMO.

Because straight wall cases can be loaded many many times I have reloaded 38 / 357 dozens of times after a certain amount cases crack or neck splits I toss them if you want to annealing the brass makes it soft and last longer and little things like not belling the case mouth of your brass to accept a new bullet so much as to add more than what stress stress is needed to load a good round.

There is a lot of hype and some silliness I have read on reloading there is always a rocket scientist or obsessive compulsive nit picker but practice weeds that out I am one of the picky ones not to excess. 

Factory or SAMMI specs are optimal for all specifically chambered calibers and each bullet weight because it changes the length should be followed as set in a loading manual or information and a great free source of loading information is

Steves reloading pages  and the reloading pages of MD smith here

Manuals Manuals Manuals you can never have enough and there are some you can download from the powder mfg. web sites  but a hard copy / book is best I like the Lyman and the LEE but have Sierra and I like the older manuals as lawyers have crept in and made a magnum a +P and for some good reason  a cheap pistol is not able to handle full magnum loads consistently and even though some mediocre weapons producers have become mainstream does not a daily shooter make them I stick with well known well reviewed known arms that have a proven track record.

I have found that depending on the bullet cast or plated or jacketed it like a range of velocity to make it accurately to the target sometimes it is a target or mild load some like it hot but not beyond advised / posted information from a reliable source

YAD YADA blah blah blah always wear hearing protection I like foam plugs I do not like to look like mickey mouse or have to adjust muffs in sweat hot weather and wear safety glasses made of polycarbonate shop safety glasses are cheap like 6 to 9 bucks a pair and some look spiffy without breaking the bank.

Ebay has a good selection of used reloading equipment make sure it has what came with the press like the small and large priming arms shell holder "C" clip and some have a reducer for 50 cal dies to take common dies it is rare as chickens teeth but if it does not have the adapter and the company is no longer in business your going to have a large paper weight until you can find a bushing.  Price is almost a warning that something is "different" I have an old Herter's press and it uses different shell holders than a common press but I have the whole set BUT if you did not know this and bought a press without shell holders you will find they ain't cheap so buyer beware so before you bid or buy do some research and know what came with the press as some priming arms are NOT similar or common I also have 2 of the sets of priming arms for my Herter's press.

Presses will last a lifetime a bit of cleaning a couple drops of oil on the ram shaft and hinges of the lever and it's moments of pure joy well that depends on how much you like loading :D

One last point it is alright to have a electronic scale but they do crap out so always have a manual beam scale to double check and a set of powder scoops and check and after a handful check the charge weight again make this a habit as devices can set in after some vibration and change the powder charge. if you load with a loading block a flashlight and check all the cases powder levels look the same.

BPI is a goos source for a digital scale  and for shotgun reloading supplies and POWDER.   Ballistic products Inc.

BPI also has load of the week and archives of load data information here


If you have a table top or stand drill press their roll crimper (30 bucks) is all you need to make great shotgun shells well you do need overshot cards and wads or gas seals and they sell pre primed shells new for cheaper than you can prime found ones IMHO.

There is nothing made so complex or misleading than shotgun relaoding when it is really simple but I will not explain further as lawyers may be watching just take it with a grain of salt a shot shell has to be full and tight all the components have to not allow for space as that makes a self contained breech or bore plug and boom your barrel o gun is destroyed but I have seen shells sealed with hot glue or Elmers glue again NO AIR space between any components !

If you want some free information on any loading Youtube has plenty of videos and most are correct --- watcher beware  IMHO.

Reloading is fun tome informative and gives a person a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment when it all comes together, With a bullet mold proper lead alloy --information here  Bullet lead alloy information

and enough primers & powder you can load for a lifetime always keep your primers and components in a military ammo can it is the best way to prevent degradation from humidity and oxidation I place Rustpruff in my cans of jacketed bullets and cases to prevent tarnishing over time and I still have bullets that I had before I went into the service decades ago  that look factory new. a 2omm ammo can will hold powder in large containers and like here a flood will not bother the contents wash them off and whats in it will be dry as a bone depending on depth and duration  but I think that it would be rare for a seal to fail IMHO,



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I feel strongly that the proc3s on Ammunition, in particular, 357 Magnum, are due to the vagaries of caliber popularity and little else.

I well remember when.40S&W first came out, prices were less than .38/.357 ammo to stimulate sales of the caliber Kool-aid b8g time. Except that as I recall their original issue load was a screamingly hot 135grain JHP out of their steel framed S&W 4006 pistols. Later, when a group of disaffected female CHP cadets filed litigation protesting that loading the CHP went to a milder .40 load, still very hot, but had a milder recoil impulse. About half of the female cadets in that class refused to join the lawsuit. 

The CHP learned its lesson after the tragic Newhall Shooting and got very serious about winning gun fights. Most shootings now involving the CHP officers on duty (as well as off duty)seem to result in fatalities for the suspects.

At the time, the majority of law enforcement officers in California carried a .357 revolver, or a 1911in .45 ACP or .38 Super. The latter being very popular in more rural and mountain counties. 

While I have fired several .40caliber pistols, I was never issued, nor have I carried or owned one for my use.

In my local area, the .40caliber is still extremely popular for civilians and coppers alike., so, the prices on .38/.357 are way out of line 8n my book. Thank goodness I “roll my own” (reload for you Millenials) due to a huge supply of brass and components I still have.

I have faith in the local self-styled Ninja-mall-Tacticool-Commandos, That right before Christmas, here locally, the local website for selling firearms, will be well stocked with people dumping their .40calibers for the less expensive 9mm.


juzcallmesnake and wally like this

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40 s&w is not my bag too finicky to reload for myself as some powders have almost no margin of error where as 45 and 357 are like falling off a log easy and have a good easy margin of error because the weapons can handle the posted minimums and maximums without problem. whit all the new pocket pistol versions a bullet that gets jammed back in the case in a 40 may not like the plastich pocket pistol and sound off. 

For many years I have used a factory crimp die for a few reasons I shoot lever actions and now and again the bullet hangs on the chamber mouth and I do not want to seat the bullet deeper and some magazines allow for the bullet to tip and run into the feed ramp semiauto rifles same same a factory or military crimp I have yet to have bullet setback  if I get real picky a q-tip with just enough asphaltic  cement or tar on the edge of the bullet what looks like a thin magic marker lines worth seals the bullet like milspec ammo less than a drop of lacquer finger nail polish on the primer and wala ammo that last the test of time.

I have found that in 9mm the 124 grain strikes a point of aim 115 shoot low so instead of altering or changing my sights I opt for the 124 grain in most any configuration. I have enough 9m gold dot 124's for long long well as round nose.


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