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New member, new owner, considering reloading

This is a discussion on New member, new owner, considering reloading within the Ammunition forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Hey guys, I am a new M1a owner (2013 Scout Squad), and a new member of the forum. I have been reloading handgun loads and ...


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Old February 26th, 2017, 06:28 AM   #1
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New member, new owner, considering reloading

Hey guys, I am a new M1a owner (2013 Scout Squad), and a new member of the forum. I have been reloading handgun loads and 30-06 for around a year now. In preparation for buying purchasing the M1a I read lots of posts on this forum about ammunition and settled on Federal, Lake City XM80. I made this decision because I could buy the loaded ammunition for not much more than the cost of once-fired-brass. My plan was to shoot the 500 rounds I bought, save the brass and reload. Here is my problem... I will have to purchase the dies, a swager, and a pocket uniforming tool, so my startup cost will be higher than with other calibers. By my calculations it will cost in the neighborhood of $.50 per round to reload (not including brass or equipment costs) so the savings would only be around $.10 per round. At that cost it would take forever to even break even with the equipment cost. It hardly seems worth reloading. Am I missing anything? Can you reload for less? TIA -Rick

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Old February 26th, 2017, 06:57 AM   #2
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The economics of reloading versus purchased commercial ammo you describe is likely correct. Will say that without question you can reload better performing ammunition for your particular rifle whatever that may be than over the counter ammunition. If you are not attempting to participate in match shooting of ranges from 200-600yds. the better performing ammo is probably not of concern to you. If not going to reload, save your once fired brass and sell it in order to even further reduce the overall cost of shooting your rifle, people are always looking for deals on good once fired brass, just a thought.

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Old February 26th, 2017, 07:01 AM   #3
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Actually realoading s sort of a second hobby for me .i like the idea of building my own ammunition and building it more accurate for my rifle than store bought . So instead of comparing realoads to the cheapest you can find compare tne cost of a realoaded cartridge tailored to your rifle compared to federal gold match costs . But if you don't enjoy realoading and trying to get match plus grade performance out of your rifle I wouldn't suggest doing it just to save money . But also it is a good idea to be preparing for the next ammo shortage scares as I promise it's not if it is when .

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Old February 26th, 2017, 07:09 AM   #4
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Reloading has it's advantages and disadvantages. Costs on equipment and especially components have increased over the years to a point that unless you enjoy reloading as a hobby it is probably in your best interest to purchase loaded rounds. JMHO! Again Welcome!

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Old February 26th, 2017, 07:16 AM   #5
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You have already started reloading, this is just another "round" and progression of the hobby. Go for it.

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Old February 26th, 2017, 07:22 AM   #6
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I reload for <$0.50 per round using 168/175 SMKs or equivalent including brass cost. I have bought 1X LC for 10 to 12 cents and LR for ~25 cents. Many will say no way bought 1X LC because it may be machine gun fired. I have not had a problem sizing the LC brass with standard RCBS die and reaming the crimp.

Price comparison, you are right there is not much savings over XM80 but your loads will be much much more accurate. Your load will be close to Federal match and you will usually pay over $1 per round so then savings is significant. If you do not want to risk playing with machine fired (maybe) brass, buy XM80 for plinking and save your own brass for accurate loads.

You might get 3 firings on 1X bought brass (4 firings on your bought XM80). Dies are reasonably priced RCBS or Hornady. Buy Hornady new and get rebate for 100 bullets.

If you do not care for accurate ammo, buy XM80. Your brass will sell on this forum for ~12-15 cents if you guarantee it is not machine gun fired and your ammo cost is as cheap as reloads.

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Old February 26th, 2017, 07:32 AM   #7
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I too feel your pain, I can remember when a brick of primers cost $10, and we fussed when it got to $15, today it's almost $30. Same thing with powder. True we can load ammo much better than factory, but, it's not as cost effective as it used to be.

As I'm getting a bit older, and things look like it may settle down and be stable the next 4-8 years with prices getting lower, I too am wondering if I should just stockpile my most used calibers and divest myself of reloading equipment & supplies...

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Old February 26th, 2017, 08:00 AM   #8
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I think I enjoy the reloading part of the hobby almost as much as the shooting.
Just loaded up a hundred DAG berdan primed rounds with 169 smk this morning costing around .48 cents per rnd total to load. GMM is going for over a buck a round so there is significant enough savings for me. Now if the temperature gets above freezing today I will step outside and unload my mornings play.

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Old February 26th, 2017, 08:29 AM   #9
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Thank you all for your input.
Of course accuracy is always important, but I intend to use the iron sights on this rifle, that, combined with the 18" barrel mean that this won't be my most accurate rifle with any ammunition. It also seems that you guys are finding components at lower prices than me. I probably need to keep looking. Thanks again for your input and if you know where I can find SMK 168gr cheap, let me know!

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Old February 26th, 2017, 08:41 AM   #10
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I buy German MEN ammo from SG to get my brass. It's nice stuff and I don't have to mess with crimped primers.

Thanks from nf1e
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Old February 26th, 2017, 08:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wxl View Post
I reload for <$0.50 per round using 168/175 SMKs or equivalent including brass cost. I have bought 1X LC for 10 to 12 cents and LR for ~25 cents. Many will say no way bought 1X LC because it may be machine gun fired. I have not had a problem sizing the LC brass with standard RCBS die and reaming the crimp.

Price comparison, you are right there is not much savings over XM80 but your loads will be much much more accurate. Your load will be close to Federal match and you will usually pay over $1 per round so then savings is significant. If you do not want to risk playing with machine fired (maybe) brass, buy XM80 for plinking and save your own brass for accurate loads.

You might get 3 firings on 1X bought brass (4 firings on your bought XM80). Dies are reasonably priced RCBS or Hornady. Buy Hornady new and get rebate for 100 bullets.

If you do not care for accurate ammo, buy XM80. Your brass will sell on this forum for ~12-15 cents if you guarantee it is not machine gun fired and your ammo cost is as cheap as reloads.
WXL, do you mind sharing where you sourced the SMK 168 projectiles and what primers you use?

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Old February 26th, 2017, 09:31 AM   #12
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I've never really been concerned with what reloading costs per round.

I am more concerned with having ammo for when I get a chance to go to the range.

Having the components to "roll my own" during the "ammunition shortage" of a year or two back kept me going to the range when buddies couldn't.

Reloading keeps me busy on a rainy or cold day when outside work is not on the to do list.

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Old February 26th, 2017, 09:37 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by wiz1997 View Post
I've never really been concerned with what reloading costs per round.

I am more concerned with having ammo for when I get a chance to go to the range.

Having the components to "roll my own" during the "ammunition shortage" of a year or two back kept me going to the range when buddies couldn't.

Reloading keeps me busy on a rainy or cold day when outside work is not on the to do list.
All true statements.

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Old February 26th, 2017, 09:40 AM   #14
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http://bearblain.com/Service%20Rifle%20Loadings.html
http://www.hornady.com/store/ELD-X

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Old February 26th, 2017, 11:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickstwowheels View Post
Thank you all for your input.
Of course accuracy is always important, but I intend to use the iron sights on this rifle, that, combined with the 18" barrel mean that this won't be my most accurate rifle with any ammunition. It also seems that you guys are finding components at lower prices than me. I probably need to keep looking. Thanks again for your input and if you know where I can find SMK 168gr cheap, let me know!
Hey welcome from Eastern Mass also.

If you have no intention of match shooting or shooting beyond about 200 yards, I advise going for the cheapest bulk 147 or 150 gr FMJ projectiles you can find. You can find them for 18-20 cents each. With a light load of IMR 4895 you can probably get down to less than 40 cents per round. They would be probably 2/3 the cost of buying XM80 ball and would be about equal in accuracy.

My opinion is don't bother with the SMK or similar match grade bullets series unless you intend to compete or shoot longer distances. They are not cheap. Cheapest I've ever seen them is about 33-34 cents each.

Welcome again.
Badger

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