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Cartridge Weight Question #5397479 04/08/20 02:54 PM
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Gebo Online Content OP
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If there is a general rule of thumb, what is the most popular weight cartridge in?

.45 ACP

.357

.38 +P

.38

9mm


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Re: Cartridge Weight Question [Re: Gebo] #5397493 04/08/20 03:25 PM
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bsmithwins Offline
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My guesses would be:
.45 ACP - 230gr as that’s the original military load
.357 Mag - 125gr less recoil than 158gr and a proven combo with JHPs
.38 Spcl - 158gr cuz that’s what’s available.
9mmP - 115gr with 124gr as second choice

BSW

Re: Cartridge Weight Question [Re: Gebo] #5397508 04/08/20 03:47 PM
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JohnG Offline
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Agree. Except for the .38 spcl...can do 125gr in that too. Especially helpful in an Airweight Smith. Handload with BE-86 (Flash suppressed Bullseye) and you'll never go back.

Re: Cartridge Weight Question [Re: bsmithwins] #5397515 04/08/20 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bsmithwins
My guesses would be:
.45 ACP - 230gr as that’s the original military load
.357 Mag - 125gr less recoil than 158gr and a proven combo with JHPs
.38 Spcl - 158gr cuz that’s what’s available.
9mmP - 115gr with 124gr as second choice

BSW

+1


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Re: Cartridge Weight Question [Re: JohnG] #5397519 04/08/20 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnG
Handload with BE-86 (Flash suppressed Bullseye) and you'll never go back.
^^ this ^^

I have used many different brands/types through the years and after using Alliant BE-86, it has become my go to powder for nearly every pistol caliber that I load.


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Re: Cartridge Weight Question [Re: Gebo] #5397541 04/08/20 04:19 PM
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Gebo Online Content OP
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Is it really worth it to reload your own? What kind of initial investment?


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Re: Cartridge Weight Question [Re: Gebo] #5397555 04/08/20 04:28 PM
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bsmithwins Offline
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Originally Posted by Gebo
Is it really worth it to reload your own? What kind of initial investment?


I mostly shoot 9mmP and my typical price is around $0.18/each, so I don’t reload.

BSW

Re: Cartridge Weight Question [Re: Gebo] #5397556 04/08/20 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Gebo
Is it really worth it to reload your own? What kind of initial investment?

As with anything, it depends...on a number of things. How much and what you shoot will influence how much you save and over what period of time. You can also make your own ammunition (provided you have the supplies) during times when commercial ammunition is not available (like right now).

Here is a calculation that I did back in 2014. Prices have changed, but you get the idea:

Originally Posted by 2015_PSD
You will save each time you reload up to the point of the brass requiring replacement. Here is a perfect example of what I am talking about. I varmint hunt (there are usually 4 of us) and we shoot quite a bit. It would not be unusual to shoot more than 1000 rounds in a hunt.

Provided my math is correct (and these are November 2014 prices):

$805 = 1000 rounds of factory ammo ($15.66 x 50 = $783 + $22 shipping) [Hornady Varmint Express with 55gr Hornady V-Max bullets] (Cheaper than Dirt)
$18.79 (Midway) per 20 round box
$21.29 (Cabela's) per 20 round box
$15.66 (Cheaper than dirt) per 20 round box
$17.95 (Ammunition to go) per 20 round box
$22.99 (Gander Mountain) per 20 round box
$19.33 (AVERAGE) per 20 round box, but I am using the cheapest number of $15.66 per box


$87 = 1000 rounds of once fired brass (free shipping) [Lake City; cleaned, de-primed, and swaged] (Brass Bombers)
$121 = 4# powder ($81 +$40 shipping/hazmat)[Accurate 2200] (Powder Valley); 7000 grains in a pound and each cartridge takes about 24 grains (max load). 7000/24 = 291 rounds per pound, so just over 3.5# of powder needed.
$26.50 = 1000 CCI small rifle primers (Shipping included with powder) (Powder Valley)
$158 = 1000 55 grain bullets ($148 + $10 shipping) [Hornady V-Max] (MidSouth Shooters)
$393 = TOTAL COST

$306 = NEXT/SUBSEQUENT RELOAD (Typically no brass is needed; but all cases should be checked and verified)

Cost savings over factory ammo:
$412 = 1st loading ($805-$393)
$499 = 2nd loading ($805-$306)

In two loadings versus purchasing factory Hornady ammunition, I will have paid for a Dillon RL550B with all of the bells and whistles and plenty of "gadgets" to go along with it. This is not to mention the fact that I can make more accurate ammunition than I will ever experience with factory ammo simply because I can custom tailor the load and OAL to each rifle. Of course, one could argue this does not take my time into account and while that is true, this is all part of the hobby of reloading. One does not start reloading to account for one's time. Obviously, YMMV, but this is typical of the savings that I have seen through the years. Once the equipment is paid for via savings, then the savings are real and easily quantified.


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Re: Cartridge Weight Question [Re: Gebo] #5397558 04/08/20 04:32 PM
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OilReport99 Offline
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Originally Posted by Gebo
Is it really worth it to reload your own? What kind of initial investment?


Your cost per round decreases - you "save" - provided you shoot a lot! If not, then it's just another money spending hobby. I reload, and I like doing it.


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Re: Cartridge Weight Question [Re: Gebo] #5397606 04/08/20 05:23 PM
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supton Offline
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To keep costs in check I bought mostly Lee reloading equipment. My power scale is RCBS but it was bought used; all three of my presses are Lee, with one bought at a yard sale for $20. Even my dies were used, although some of the used stuff wasn't that much of a savings I don't think, more of, right place at right time. I think at the time I looked at the prices and tried to figure out a break point; I think I gave up and decided it was just a sunk cost for a new hobby, and called it a day. Now I can reload for cost of components, which is generally cheaper than buying new (with possible exceptions for 9mm and 223 or the like).

Real easy to reload for revolver and bolt action rifles, as the brass can be plucked out and put back into the box after firing; running through a tumbler becomes something of an optional step. Lower pressure rounds have longer brass life (usually).


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Re: Cartridge Weight Question [Re: Gebo] #5397677 04/08/20 06:31 PM
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JohnnyJohnson Offline
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For my handguns I cast except for personal defense. My cast bullets run about .04 each. I cast up a few thousand each summer. Casting season is about to kick off. I'm just now loading up last years cast bullets.


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Re: Cartridge Weight Question [Re: OilReport99] #5397744 04/08/20 07:37 PM
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bulwnkl Offline
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Originally Posted by OilReport99
Your cost per round decreases - you "save" - provided you shoot a lot! If not, then it's just another money spending hobby.


Exactly.
You will NEVER save money by handloading. The best you can hope for is that you’ll shoot more for the same cost. :-)

The worst is you’re upside down by potentially hundreds of dollars for the equipment you don’t use.


I use speech recognition frequently. Please excuse any consequent grammatical or typographical errors.
Re: Cartridge Weight Question [Re: bulwnkl] #5397755 04/08/20 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by bulwnkl
You will NEVER save money by handloading.

I would disagree with this, as compared to buying factory ammunition (as shown in my example above), you can definitely save money. I have paid for all of my equipment via savings versus buying factory ammunition. This is even more true if you shoot uncommon calibers.

However, it does require one to use the equipment, else the savings will be non-existent.


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Re: Cartridge Weight Question [Re: 2015_PSD] #5397836 04/08/20 09:21 PM
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hatt Offline
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Originally Posted by 2015_PSD
Originally Posted by bulwnkl
You will NEVER save money by handloading.

I would disagree with this, as compared to buying factory ammunition (as shown in my example above), you can definitely save money. I have paid for all of my equipment via savings versus buying factory ammunition. This is even more true if you shoot uncommon calibers.

However, it does require one to use the equipment, else the savings will be non-existent.

Yep. If you use the equipment you will save money vs buying factory ammo. You'll also have better, more tailored to what you want, ammo. If all you shoot is blaster 9mm and 5.56 it will take a while. I probably save $1/rd on .45-70 and .35 Rem. Those savings add up quick.

In the end it's a hobby. Hobbies cost money. People happily pay cable companies good money to watch ballgames and nonsense programming as a hobby but get concerned when spending a year's worth of cable bills on reloading equipment that your grandkids will be able to use.


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Re: Cartridge Weight Question [Re: Gebo] #5406593 04/17/20 11:28 PM
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1WildPig Offline
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In factory loads,

45 would be 230... was originally designed around a 200 grain bullet, which works well when reloading and 185 is used for more velocity...

357 would be 158... the 125 is a faster bullet (with more blast)... so the 158 may feel best and even be more accurate... 110 is also available but some think it will expand too quickly and come apart not getting adequate penetration... but still a good defensive load with less kick...

38 would be 158 too... designed around that weight... but again, 125 and 110 is available... (same size bullets as the 357 just less powder to propel it) The Plus P .38 uses the same weights just kicks up the powder charge a bit for a little more velocity.

9mm would be 124... it was designed around that weight but the 115 is a close second... and, of course, 147 is available ...and even 158 at lesser subsonic speeds... but the 124 or 115 are generally the go to weights and, in my experience, generally shoot closest to point of aim... especially at 25 yards or more.

Last edited by 1WildPig; 04/17/20 11:30 PM.
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