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For all you reloaders out there; what is your most commonly loaded caliber, commonly used powders, bullets, primers etc. And how

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  • For all you reloaders out there; what is your most commonly loaded caliber, commonly used powders, bullets, primers etc. And how

    For all you reloaders out there; what is your most commonly loaded caliber, commonly used powders, bullets, primers etc. And how many rounds do you think you can load with the average purchase of supplies. I know these are dangerous things to figure, but my wheels are turning and I'm wondering what the must haves are and what I'll have into each round. I've heard that you don't save money, you only shoot more often, more affordably. I'm wondering if the later is true when I look at the prices of things like brass.

  • #2
    For me what you are asking would take a book to answer. For each caliber I might load 5 or 6 different bullets using 5 or 6 different powders. Maybe someone else can give you a condensed answer but there is so much involved that what you ask is almost impossible for me without writing a book. Sorry.


    • #3
      P-H-W, my most common load is a 25-06 with 75g Hornady V-Max bullets and IMR 4831 using a CCI 200 primer. These cost about $.45 each or about $9.00 a box vs the $27.00 per box at the store (if I could get them). I also shoot quite a few Hornady 100g Interlock and Sierra Game King bullets and a few Berger 115g bullets.

      My next most common is a .223 with 50g Hornady V-Max bullets, Benchmark powder and CCI small rifle primers. These cost about $.20 each or $4.00 a box vs the $22.00 per box at the store. I'm shooting a lot more of these lately because other components have risen so much in cost.

      My next most common is a .300 Dakota with 210g Berger VLD bullets, IMR 4831 powder and CCI Magnum Rifle primers. These cost about $1.50 each or about $30 per box vs $100 per box retail. The recently highly increased cost of Berger bullets are most of the cost. for example, I can switch to 130g Hornady SSTs for about $.50 each or $10.00 per box. They don't shoot to 1000 yards well but they sure deck a deer at 3900 fps. I also shoot less expensive Hornady A-Max 208g and 210g Sierra Match King bullets in this rifle.

      I load quite a few 30-06s too. I use a lot of Hornady 110g and Hornady 150g SST and for elk 168g Barnes TTSX bullets with Varget or IMR 4350 powder and CCI 200 primers. These cost about $10.oo a box too compared to about $30.00 at the store for comparable bullets (if I could find any factory ammo with these light bullets).

      The advantage for me is that most of my loads shoot from .1 MOA to .2MOA and I can't buy any factory ammo that does that in my rifles.

      As you can see, once my reloading equipment is paid for, it saves me around 70% off retail prices. For the larger cartridges like the .300 Dakota and .375 H&H, it is much more significant because those cost from $100 to $140 for just 20 rounds. Savings on .223 are so great I can't afford not to shoot .223s.

      I don't save money though because I shoot a lot more due to more economical and more accurate ammo. I'd still do it just for the accuracy though, even if the costs were the same or if it cost me more for highly accurate ammo. You can also see that shooting small .223 cartridges gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

      You will notice too that I shoot a lot of Hornady bullets because they are typically the least expensive and the most accurate. I really like the fact that they don't try to make you think you are paying reasonable prices by selling their bullets in 50 count boxes. As a matter of fact I buy most in 250 count or 500 count boxes. I buy primers by the 1000 too and that helps a bit.

      You might also note that I shoot a lot of small for caliber bullets that are not available in factory loaded ammo. That is because they allow me to target and varmint hunt a lot with very fast and flat shooting bullets while keeping the cost down. The significantly lower recoil also allows me to shoot hundreds of rounds in a day without bruising my shoulder.

      Finally, I shoot quite few heavy for caliber VLD bullets in all calibers so I can shoot accurately at exceptionally long ranges. You can't find these in factory ammo.


      • #4
        Understood Sarge- thanks for the response. There certainly are a lot of variables to my question. I am just trying to get a figure on how much is enough to have on hand and how little is enough to get by with? What I might expect my average bullet cost to be, loading say, a .270 or a .25-06? And how many rounds of the former mentioned will come out of a 1 lb jug of 4350 or similar? How many uses can I expect to get out of a newly purchased brass? Etc...


        • #5
          Sorry about the overly delayed post, I sent it long after I started and it changed the order of events.

          Dakota Man- thank you for writing the book that Sarge was referring to! LOL! Lots of great info and just what I was wondering. Obviously brass and primers are self-explanatory, but how many uses do you expect out of a casing, or how many rounds loaded per lb of powder? (I'm not sure if Mumma will condone me springing for 1000 primes or 8 lbs of powder to a time in our current position. Ranch work doesn't pay great but comes with some awesome perks! I.E. The hunting/fishing, free house, ranch truck and 401 make it easy to except, but our liquid cash isn't as prevalent as the bonus benefits!) So you may see why I am intrigued by the costs of my new found hobby! Thanks again for the great info, and sorry for the life story!


          • #6
            Figuring cost per for bullets, primers, brass and bullets is pretty straight forward.
            Powder is a bit more difficult.
            Keep this number in mind.
            One pound = 7000 grains.
            At one time, I had probably 6 to 8 different powders on hand.
            As I ran out of, say IMR 3031, it became more and more expensive to replace and maintain an inventory.
            I sat diwn with a loading manual and developed loads for each cartridge wirh one powder.
            My powder now consists of IMR 4895 and Herco 2400.
            The 2400 is for handguns and the .22 Hornet. The 4895 loads all other metallics.
            That's just the way I choose to deal with the shortage.
            If i stumble into a killer deal on a specific powder, I'll still grab it.
            If prices are all the same, I don't have to wonder which one I need, I just buy IMR 4895.


            • #7
              Simply put, the more calibers that you reload the more cost you will have. You can as FirstBubba pointed out find one powder that works in all of your rifle calibers. But that is a compromise. Hopefully all of your rifle calibers use the same size primer. You can keep it simple especially in the beginning and only load for one rifle and pistol caliber. More calibers mean more dies, shell holders, cases and bullets, possibly more powders and primers. At one point all of my calibers used the same size shell holder and primer. I keep a good supply of primers and cases in all of my calibers, along with bullets. I don't stockpile a lot of powder for safety reasons but I have more than a half dozen types.


              • #8
                While I have more than a few cartridges that I load for, I have tied to trim the number of powders that I stock. Reloder 22, TAC, Accurate MagPro, Norma MRP, Accurate 2460, and Accurate 4350 or IMR 4350 will handle all my reloding choices. I also only use 3 brands of primers: Winchester LR and LRM, Remington 9 1/2 and 9 1/2M, and Federal GM315M; all basic large rifle and large rifle magnum primers.


                • #9
                  S/B GM215M primers, not 315....


                  • #10
                    Let me give you the run down of loading 100 rounds of .270 .
                    1 pound of powder $29.00 7000 gns- 52.5 gns round- 130 rounds
                    100 primers - $5.00
                    100 Hornady 130 grain Interlock bullets- $25.00
                    100 rounds .270 brass- new- $50.00
                    all prices are approx. or close
                    Total $109.00 for 100 rounds
                    $21.80 a box
                    Next time you load take off the $50 for brass and you have $5.90 a box in your reloads.


                    • #11

                      Knowing where your preferences for rifle cartridges lie, what do you think of the RL22 in the big 7mm's and 300's?

                      I have a 26" bbl's 7mm Rem Mag that I had been getting some strange pressure issues with when using RL 25.

                      Also a new 300 Win Mag for which I need to work up a load. Thinking the RL22 might be a good powder for both.


                      • #12
                        Sarge- how many times can I expect to use that same brass? Is two the limit? Or am I close in thinking that 4-5 reloads is possible if it's properly cared for?


                        • #13
                          Annnd yet another basic question; Are the "nickled plated" brass, like some of winchesters stuff, fine to reload? Just not the aluminum casings such as CCI's pest controlled brass?


                          • #14

                            I think you will definitely shoot more. So overall, you will spend more money. My biggest cost savings comes with 30-06 ammo. I shoot 5 or 6 rifles in that caliber (I know, i know)and although they all have a pet load that works best, I have found one that works well for all of them.

                            A few things to consider:

                            If you keep the pressure down from maximum and resize correctly, your brass cases can last a long time. That saves a lot of cash there.

                            Try to find powders that work well across a range of cartridges. For me, that's IMR4831, mostly because I started with that. RL19 is a really good choice too...243 win, 30-06, 338 WM all can be loaded well with those powders.


                            • #15
                              Our posts are crossing!

                              Nickle can be hard on your dies, as it is harder. I've heard tales of split necks too. All second-hand, as I stick to brass.

                              4-5 times is no problem. I have some brass that I loaded a lot more than that. One rifle, moderate loads, neck sizing, necks trimmed. I've never annealed a case.




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