7 Tips That Will Save You Money As A Reloader

| August 2, 2020 | 7 Comments

It is 2020, and ammo is hard to come by, and so you have decided to splurge on a new reloading press in hopes of saving a few coins. But you quickly realize that getting started isn’t cheap. However, before you give up on your reloading dream, there are few things you can do to reduce the cost of getting started.

These are;

Start small

When starting, you probably don’t need an expensive reloading press; a good single stage press will do. Single-stage reloading presses are easy to use and affordable. You can get one at around $120 bucks, which is a decent enough price.

Unlike automatic reloading presses, single-stage presses can only output a limited number of bullets. However, for your first reloading press, it is the right option.

Avoid buying online unless in bulk:

Buying primers and gunpowder online might seem economical and convenient, but it’s not. You see, these items cannot be shipped via post and must be handled by either UPS or FedEx. On top of this, you need to pay a Hazardous Materials shipping cost.

Ultimately you will end up paying more than you would have if you bought the components at your local store. However, if you are buying in bulk, you can get some good discounts online. But if you are not looking to reload a ton of bullets, you can combine your order with your buddies.

This way, you can buy 20 pounds of powder or 10,000 primers and save on money together.

When buying reloading materials you must be aware of local regulation as there is a limit in some locations for storing fire/hazardous materials in the home.

Buy less expensive bullets:

Of all the components that you need to reload bullets are perhaps the most expensive. That being said, you can save a lot of money when it comes to bullets. There are plenty of options, the main being jacketed, plated, cast, and swaged.

Of the four jacketed, are the priciest. For low-speed rifles and handguns, you can get away with using the other inexpensive bullet options. As such, there is no need to buy jacketed when you have the option of buying cheaper bullets.

45ACP Swaged, Plated and Jacketed

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Alternatively, you can purchase factory-remanufactured ammo. These are bullets that are returned and remade and usually have minor defects. As a result, they are considerably cheaper compared to brand new bullets.

Also, you can change the weight of the bullets used. Lighter bullets are cheaper. However, it should be noted that lighter bullets tend to require more powder. So you need to do your match to see if opting for lighter bullets will save you money.

Buy gun powder in bulk:

Gun powder is another ingredient necessary in the ammo reloading process. The good thing with gun powder is that it can last for decades stored in its original container. Therefore, it makes a lot of financial sense to buy a larger jug of powder, regardless of how often you reload.

W231 Powder 4lbs

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Furthermore, two different powders will have different results. One powder may be more cost-effective than another. For example, one powder may require 7.0 grains while another 5.5 grains. The one that requires 7.0 grains is capable of producing 1000 rounds while the other can produce 1,272 rounds.

Borrow certain tools

When starting out, you may not be in a position to purchase every tool necessary to reload ammo. And some of the tools you need will only be necessary at certain times. Take a primer pocket swager for example; you use it only once.

This means when it’s your first reloading press, you may be better off borrowing some of these tools rather than buying them. Eventually, you will need to buy your own, but in difficult financial times as this, there is no shame in borrowing.

Other tools such as size-lubricator and power trimmer are also used infrequently, and you may find that some of your buddies already have them. Most in the reloading community are willing to help in anyway, which leads me to my next suggestion. Find a reloading mentor/community locally it is worth it’s weight in gold.

Buy inexpensive primers:

When it comes to primers, you have a wide selection of brands to choose from. Primers can cost anywhere between $22 and $30. For small rifles, you can opt for the inexpensive brands. Needless to say, there is a difference in quality.

For precision match grade ammo, you may have to stick to the pricier options. Also, magnum primers are costlier than standard primers. However, not everyone needs magnum primers. Magnum primers become necessary for some gun powders.

These primers offer a stronger spark, which in turn offers a better ignition and a more complete burn. All the same, though, it is not a must to purchase the costlier magnum primers.

Recycle your brass:

To reload ammo, you need brass, which can be found in plenty in ranges. Also, there is always the option of recycling your spent brass. Why leave your brass laying around everywhere when you can reuse it?

It is not possible to pick up spent brass from most gun ranges. However, some public ranges can allow you to scrounge for brass during their off-hours.?

Brass picked up from public and police ranges

Though it’s a way of saving money on brass, be careful with range brass. You don’t know how it was fired and from what kind of rifle. So before using the brass, inspect it to ensure it’s in good enough condition for reloading.

Alternatively, if you want quality brass, you can buy in bulk. Buying 1,000 cases will be cheaper than buying sets of 100 case bags.

Build a reloading bench:

A reloading bench is another tool that you may need. However, these benches can be costly, and the most cost-effective way is to build your own. A reloading bench needs to be heavy as some reloading press processes can put a lot of pressure on the bench.??

This bench for example has plenty of storage and is very sturdy and all materials were $68 from the local hardware store.

Conclusion

Reloading your ammo is cost-effective; however, the cost-saving benefit is long term as the cost of getting started may be high. However, it doesn’t have to be; these seven tips will help you bring down the cost of getting started. Also, the cost of the overall reloading process, especially if you are new to reloading.

Thank you Glen for the guest post from Outdoorever

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7 Comments on "7 Tips That Will Save You Money As A Reloader"

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  1. Surprised that you didn’t mention casting your own bullets. The savings can be massive and can be the difference between reloading making sense and it not making sense. I can load 9mm for $3.00-3.50 per 50 rounds by casing my own bullets – and that is buying the lead. It’s even cheaper if you can scrounge the lead (i.e. from range berms). Buying 9mm bullets brings the cost very close to the cost of buying 9mm in bulk on sale.

  2. Bterclinger says:

    Good article thanks.
    Have a link to plans for that bench?

  3. The bench is very easy never thought about drawing up plans for it came straight out of my head.

  4. You are so right about casting. Though I can’t speak for my guest author I will say that a beginner reloader will generally not start with casting. Personally I feel that is a medium to advanced stage especially if you look at coating.

  5. Geoff says:

    You didn’t mention die sets, which can cost from $30 to $60 depending on the caliber.

  6. Silence DoGood says:

    One of the greatest cost-saving measures is annealing your brass. It can dramatically increase the number of times a casing can be re-used, particularly if your loads run to the hot side. There are fancier ways to do it but it can be done for the price of nothing more than a propane torch.

    It’s not really “annealing,” its actually just “stress relieving,” which is one of the reasons reloaders argue incessantly about how best to do it. Because actual “annealing” is something altogether different and a case that’s well and truly annealed also is ruined. But it’s not like that’s the only thing shooters and reloaders call by the wrong term.

  7. Stevo says:

    Fantastic article with excellent guidance for getting into the reloading game. I always enjoy your thoughtful articles and informative videos. Great suggestion on finding a reloading mentor. I agree, the reloading community is very friendly and enthusiastic about help new peeps and each other.

    Thanks

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