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Reloading question - Do you enjoy it?

2741 Views 22 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  gunner69
Hi folks,

I've been considering trying to get into the reloading deal. It seems like the economical best thing to do with the price of rounds these days.

I'm new to my XCR and just shot it yesterday. I am more than likely going to be using this as a plinker, and may try to jump into other stuff I'm just not sure what yet. Which leads me to my question.

Do you folks really enjoy reloading? I'm trying to wrap my head around if this is something that I would like to do. It seems like it might, then it could end up being one of those things... awww not again!

Do you enjoy the reloading? How much does your typical setup cost to be able to reload 5.56? Do you need to reload in a den or something similar or is this just another room in the house you utilize? Does the wife complain about your reloading?? (haha)

Anyways I'd just like to get your opinion. I did find some previous posts that gave a decent link to reloading database as well as typical cost per case. Good info is appreciated!
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It's cheaper than therapy.
Case prep can be monotonous, but overall, I enjoy it.
I enjoy it on the long run, it is kinda soothing to sit out in the garage and load... :2cents:
Whats the basic cost of an overall 5.56 rig? Few hundred?
You wish it were a few hundred!!!! It can be expensive as hell....and still save a bunch. :2cents: Read past posts. Buy a dillon if you can afford it. :duh:
Dillon 650 with dies, case feeder, cleaner, tumbler, decent scales and you are looking at around $800 or so. Get their rapid trim device and case prep becomes a doddle, but it's another $200 or so.

I have two 650s with case feeders as well as a Sinclair co-ax (for the .338 Lapua) and have saved thousands in the last two years alone. I use quick change tool heads to switch between 9mm, .40S&W, .45 ACP, .223, .308 and .30-06.

It takes five minutes to switch calibers and taking my time I can easily load 400 rounds an hour. .308 off the Dillon is producing 1/4-1/2" groups from a Tikka with Remington Brass and SMK168s. Match quality ammo at 400 rounds an hour for a cost per round that's lower than buying surplus crap.
Thats unfortunate that its expensive. I'm scurred that if I don't like it I'll have wasted this money. But I could always resell.... decisions.... Think I'll get the safe first :)
You will like it. I don't know anyone who hasn't started and not really enjoyed it. It's addictve
I really don't like doing it, but I do like the results, so I reload. Case prep sucks. Period. But...gotta do it.

If--or when--you do decide to reload, don't scimp on the tools. Advice to go Dillon is good. Advice (or temptation) to go Lee is bad. This is the voice of experience. Dillon, Sinclair, Forster, Redding; those are names to trust. Avoid Lee like the clap. Everything is somewhere in between, but usually OK to pretty good.

As for how much, well...it's not going to be cheap to get started. Also, it depends how in depth you're going to go. Plan on about $600 in start up costs. Every new caliber will run you about another $100. Case prep stuff will be probably another $200. And you'll probably want a second press, possibly a third...might want to get into casting or swaging...it never ends.
I don't find reloading relaxing or fun. Even reloading with a Dillon is not fun.

My true time is about 20 rounds per hour with case prep, which takes the longest. But this is with a Lee hand press and doing everything in a single station. The way I see it, FGMM goes for about $35 per 20. It cost me about $10 in components for 20 rounds, so that means I am paying myself $25 an hour. Now if I sit in front of the TV for an hour, that is like I am paying myself to watch TV ;D

I do plan to get a Dillon 650XL ($504) with all the accessories, electric case feeded ($200), tumbler, separator, and all. For the ultimate set up, it will only cost me about $1500 or so with 5 different caliber heads with dies. Dillon 650 can easily pump out a 1000 rounds per hour if you are motivated, 500 rounds per hour if you go slow. The price of of reloading components is high these days.

If you don't count the brass, complete plinking rounds of .223 will cost you about 13 cents a round, .308 will be about 20 cents a round. So if you shoot a lot you can save a lot of money reloading. Got to figure 5000 rounds of .308 surplus ammo will cost you about $2600. If you reload with a Dillon, 5000 rounds will cost you $1000, + 5 hours of your time. And if you factor in the cost of the Dillon, that means the first 5000 rounds alone you will break even! But will end up with a machine for life.

Here is my buddies Dillon set up. He has 4 of them!

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I wouldn't trade my 650 for anything. I was the same way, I figured i would only buy once so I bought everything. All the bells and whistles really do make a difference. I can easily load 700+ rounds an hour going slow and taking my time.

I too hate case prep so i do it all at once. I will go weeks where all I do is case prep. I like to have cases ready to go when i am ready to load.
I think I'll have to hold off on this for a bit. I've got other things I'd like to get first, plus I'm not sure how much I'll shot. Reloading wouldn't be too bad. Do any of you sell your reloads for people?
I wouldn't dream of selling, too much liability. If for some crazy reason you have a squib round and the person shooting doesn't realize it you would be screwed.
Makes sense I suppose. My brother uses reloads that he picks up from a guy that makes them locally. If I would / could get good at doing this I'd reload for him and my father as well. Of course that would mean new dies and some brass as well. They shoot .300 winchester mag's and 7mm mags.
you really don't save money reloading. you only shoot more ;D

i am still trying to get over the fact that some people think reloading is fun or therapeutic. if you are reloading for therapy you must have big issues inside your head! hahhahaha :D

reloading is fun when you first do it, but hell mowing the lawn was fun the first time you did it! when i reload i feel like I am an Englishman during the industrail revolution, just a mindless gob in front of machine pulling the level down. hell i might as well be an illegal mexican making $5 an hour! :p
I'm about to buy a reloading setup. I'm new to reloading so I've been doing some research on equipment and my needs/capabilities. I've decided on a Dillon 550b instead of the 650. There does not appear to be much advantage to the 650 over the 550 unless you buy the case feeder (auto indexing seems to have pluses and minus in term of flexibly since I can use the 550b as a single stage when I want to do just case prep or custom hand loads). I know the 650 will be somewhat faster (especially with the case feeder) and has one extra station. The price differential is not that great so it's really not a cost issue, except that caliber conversions are more expensive for the 650. The price difference on the press a pretty small percentage by the time you add in bullets, powder, primers, lube, case gages, spare primer tubes, case cleaner, scales, calipers, dies, tumblers, media, media separators, et al.

The 550b seems like it would be quicker to change calibers and especially primers (large vs small) unless you spring for duplicating entire primer system on the 650 and caliber conversions are cheaper so I can afford to by the complete kit. I figure most of my reloading runs will be in the 100 to 500 round runs in any caliber.

I guess the net is that 550b appears to be a simpler machine on which to learn reloading. It should have a much lower learning curve and due to its open design, easier for a novice to notice and solve problems. I think it would be much too easy for me to screw up on a full 650xl system with case feeder.

I figure once I have more experience, I can add a 650 with a case feeder later for certain calibers I would make long runs on (like 1000 at at time). I'd keep the 550b for my pistol and maybe a pistol case feeder to it.
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That sounds reasonable. My 650 was my first metallic reloading experience. I have an old Rock Chuck but I never set it up. I use my 650 with the case feed to do case prep, you would be amazed how many cases you can size and deprime with the casefeeder. If I don't have to swage primer pockets then I do all of it at once but for reloading mil brass I run all of it through to size and deprime then swage it with the dillon swager. That is one reason to get a 1050, it will swage the primer pocket for you.
I do my case prep i one go with a sizer and auto trim. Right now i've got maybe 4-5000 5.56 and 3500 .308 ready to go. Not to mention shitloads of pistol cases.

the therapy comes from ignoring everything else and just thinking about loading. I load for a coupld of friends where they pay for the parts and I do the work.

My recomendation is find someone at your range who loads and see if they will show you how it's done. Have a go and see if you like it. I'm so hooked that I'm thinking about upgrading to a pair of 1050s, but the 650 lifetime warranty is very good.
The nice thing about buying Dillon (other than they ARE the best) is that they have a PAYMENT plan. ;D ;D ;D So you CAN afford to buy the best, and still have money for powder, primers & such. Visit & join loaddata.com and you will all the knowledge and recipe info you will need. While you are awaiting your loader bone up on info. :2cents:
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