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Thread: Budget reloading

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    Default Budget reloading

    We all know it is pretty easy to reload premium ammo for much cheaper than what you can buy off the shelf but what have you came up with for cheap bulk loads? Here is what I am working with right now.
    .223 factory 55gr fmj is going for .50 a round usually but I have seen as low as .34 I can make this same round with Varget for about .22 per round

    9mm is about .30 per round and I can get it down to about .13 each.

    I typically just stockpile all of this for a rainy day so eventually I will run out of brass and have to find some more...

    now I am in the market for cheap .45acp bullets and maybe even .40 S&W

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    If you start casting and scrounge lead & brass you can load .45 for $.06 or less!
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338-06 View Post
    If you start casting and scrounge lead & brass you can load .45 for $.06 or less!
    Yessir! That is one thing I have been thinking about a lot lately too. Maybe next winter I will guy or borrow some molds. Great suggestion!

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    Yup, even off the shelf cast bullets are way cheaper than jacketed, without having to melt any lead in your own house.

    I haven't done any math on my reloading costs in a while, I tend to buy cast bullets 70# at a time, one large USPS flat rate box for $17.95 shipping plus the price of the bullets.

    Last time I figgered it up I was making Tier II (20k psi) 45 Colt with 270 grain cast semiwadcuttters for about 20-25 cents a round. Tier I (14k psi or less) factory made 45 Colt was $50 for a box of 20 last time I saw any in Sportsmen's. Apples to oranges of course, I was loading 270gr cast, the ones I finally saw on the shelf were 200 gr jacketed hollow point petaled wonder bullets.

    An alternative to at least look at with semi-auto pistol is cast bullets with a paper thin layer of gliding metal on them. I see Berry's brand off and on in Fairbanks. Not as cheap as bare cast lead, but if you and the wife are thinking about or have young-uns around the slightly higher price might be worth the peace of mind.

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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Cast works beautifully in semi auto. In addition to my revolver and rifle loads, I cast for 45acp, and 10mm. The big bullets like 500 grainers for my 458 Socom is where the investment really pays off.

    Gas checks are something that can really add to your costs though (unless you make your own), but they are rarely needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by swmn View Post
    Yup, even off the shelf cast bullets are way cheaper than jacketed, without having to melt any lead in your own house.

    I haven't done any math on my reloading costs in a while, I tend to buy cast bullets 70# at a time, one large USPS flat rate box for $17.95 shipping plus the price of the bullets.

    Last time I figgered it up I was making Tier II (20k psi) 45 Colt with 270 grain cast semiwadcuttters for about 20-25 cents a round. Tier I (14k psi or less) factory made 45 Colt was $50 for a box of 20 last time I saw any in Sportsmen's. Apples to oranges of course, I was loading 270gr cast, the ones I finally saw on the shelf were 200 gr jacketed hollow point petaled wonder bullets.

    An alternative to at least look at with semi-auto pistol is cast bullets with a paper thin layer of gliding metal on them. I see Berry's brand off and on in Fairbanks. Not as cheap as bare cast lead, but if you and the wife are thinking about or have young-uns around the slightly higher price might be worth the peace of mind.
    Where are you buying cast bullets from that will ship usps?

    I have been buying plated bullets from EvergladesAmmo.com, their regular price is about what you'd pay locally but they have sales pretty often!


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    Every place I've ordered cast lead has been willing to ship USPS, I know I got a bunch on .45 from oregon trail bullets I the mail not long ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishslayer View Post
    Every place I've ordered cast lead has been willing to ship USPS, I know I got a bunch on .45 from oregon trail bullets I the mail not long ago.
    thanks, I'm going to order some .44 soon!

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    Quote Originally Posted by swmn View Post
    Yup, even off the shelf cast bullets are way cheaper than jacketed, without having to melt any lead in your own house.

    I haven't done any math on my reloading costs in a while, I tend to buy cast bullets 70# at a time, one large USPS flat rate box for $17.95 shipping plus the price of the bullets.

    Last time I figgered it up I was making Tier II (20k psi) 45 Colt with 270 grain cast semiwadcuttters for about 20-25 cents a round. Tier I (14k psi or less) factory made 45 Colt was $50 for a box of 20 last time I saw any in Sportsmen's. Apples to oranges of course, I was loading 270gr cast, the ones I finally saw on the shelf were 200 gr jacketed hollow point petaled wonder bullets.

    An alternative to at least look at with semi-auto pistol is cast bullets with a paper thin layer of gliding metal on them. I see Berry's brand off and on in Fairbanks. Not as cheap as bare cast lead, but if you and the wife are thinking about or have young-uns around the slightly higher price might be worth the peace of mind.
    Where do you order from?

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    If I was going tobuy cast bullets, thefirst place I would try would be Lee Stoner from the Palmer area. He makes a very good bullet at a fair price. I'm just not sure he casts for the 41. I think you will be very pleased with the 41.

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    +1 for Oregon Trail


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    Like rbuck says:

    I use a LOT of cast bullets.

    I've ordered from Cast Performance, Bear Tooth Bullets, Montana Bullet Works, and Cabelas.

    I haven't had to order anything since I started using Lee Stoner's bullets. They're the best IMO, and IME. AND, I don't pay freight.

    Only thing is, he don't make Round Balls. Very likely, he will have a suitable bullet for most everyone.

    His number is 376-9488, AND you will find him at most of the Gun Shows.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    If you're want to load 45 acp for cheap, get one a lee 6 cavity 200 gr swc tl molds.



    It's a tumble lube design so all you have to do is cast a big pile, squirt on some lube, tumble and let it dry. You can produce the bullets quickly and inexpensively and I've found them to be very accurate. Load them over 5 gr of bullseye, 1400 rds from a pound of powder.
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    As previously mentioned casting your own can greatly reduce cost, however it is now getting quite difficult to source cheap lead. Not even a decade ago gas stations and tire change places would be happy to give you all the wheel weights you wanted for free… not so now. We are our own worst enemies sometimes, and now days you swing in to ask about wheel weights and will be told that they either recycle them, or they have a guy already that comes by and buys them..

    Having said that, it would be prudent to acquire a supply of lead BEFORE investing much time or money into casting equipment such as molds and casting pots.
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    Yep, this is what I have been faced with, given the cost of lead where I am it would be pretty tough to make it pencil out and even then you would have to cast a ton!



    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post
    As previously mentioned casting your own can greatly reduce cost, however it is now getting quite difficult to source cheap lead. Not even a decade ago gas stations and tire change places would be happy to give you all the wheel weights you wanted for free… not so now. We are our own worst enemies sometimes, and now days you swing in to ask about wheel weights and will be told that they either recycle them, or they have a guy already that comes by and buys them..

    Having said that, it would be prudent to acquire a supply of lead BEFORE investing much time or money into casting equipment such as molds and casting pots.

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    I buy my 45 colt and 45acp bullets from missouri bullet co. they have nice prices and ship flat rate. they have some new ones out that use a powder coating on the bullet instead of traditional lube. its an interesting idea and i shot the first round of them last night. 250gr rnfp, 9gr power pistol in the 45 colt. nice and clean almost no smoke compared to regular lube.

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Oddly enough, there is a lot of lead for casting sold on ebay(cursed be their name!). Running a bit over $1.20/pound including shipping. That's about 35 200g bullets for $1.20. And the lead is usually in ingot form already. Molds and melting furnaces and all.
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    There is normally wheel weight lead for sale on "cast boolits" for about the same ($1.20 Per lb delivered). Powder ,primer and home cast boolit for about .10 cents per round. Full tilt magnum round will add another 4 or 5 cents per round for powder and maybe another 3 cent for a gas check. Really cheap shooting compared to $100/$1.50 per for factory.

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