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I didn't want to derail some one else's thread but it's something I've really wanted to ask for a long time

I've thought about reloading quite a bit, but always come back to why? I have nothing against it and I was taught to reload while my age was still in single digit years. For a SHTF situation I still don't see the point.

IMO it's still the same as buying ammo in bulk. Everyone always asks what happens when you can't buy more ammo. Same question goes for reloading. What happens when you can't buy more reloading supplies? It's true you can make bullets, but what about powder and primers?

All of these supplies would easily fit into a milk crate size container.
from http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=207723

For 1000 rounds, that's quite a bit of space, and you can put much more than 1000 rounds in a milk crate.

With space requirements, cost and continuous availability I don't see reloading as much of a long term SHTF solution.

Can anyone point out flaws in my logic, am I missing something or am I pretty much spot on? Please keep in mind this is for a SHTF situation, not everyday, life as normal.
 

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Partly when you reload your reloaded ammo is of whatever quality you want when you buy milsurp ammo the quality is not controlled by you but by somebody somewhere else that doesn't care.
The other side is space those same 1000 bulk rounds take the same space as 1000 reloaded rounds unless I only load with half the powder then I have 2000 rounds in the same space as your 1000 rounds, if I have the extra primers that take up very little space.
I can also use black powder once out of smokeless powder to reload. Black powder can be made using salt peter, charcoal, and sulfer.
Primers can be reused using Armstrongs mixture. (red phosphorus and potassium chlorate)
 

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Partly when you reload your reloaded ammo is of whatever quality you want when you buy milsurp ammo the quality is not controlled by you but by somebody somewhere else that doesn't care.
The other side is space those same 1000 bulk rounds take the same space as 1000 reloaded rounds unless I only load with half the powder then I have 2000 rounds in the same space as your 1000 rounds, if I have the extra primers that take up very little space.
I can also use black powder once out of smokeless powder to reload. Black powder can be made using salt peter, charcoal, and sulfer.
Primers can be reused using Armstrongs mixture. (red phosphorus and potassium chlorate)
Ka Boom:zombie
 

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~snip~Can anyone point out flaws in my logic, am I missing something or am I pretty much spot on? Please keep in mind this is for a SHTF situation, not everyday, life as normal.
Reloading may offer you more flexibility. It may offer more ammunition for the same or less investment (stretching here....). Probably more applicable to those who have a BOL, intend to bug in, and already have equipment and supplies. May be a tool to barter (again stretching here.....).

Best Regards......Eagle Six
 

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Reloading is more something you do before the SHTF. It's a cost effective way to build up your ammo stockpile.
The one exception may be if you have some kind of weird caliber that brass is really expensive for. Anything Weatherby is expensive so reloading makes sense after SHTF.

No one will want to borrow, beg, steal your ammo if they can't shoot that caliber.
 

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You missed the point of I can adjust powder loads. I only used half to double because the numbers are aesy to work with. If I normally load with 59grs and adust to 50 grs every 6 rounds I have an extra 51grs to load. I would gain 166.6666667 rounds from the same amount of powder. I didn't want to do the actual math but since you can't understand that I picked easy math to do quickly to say powder loads are adjustible and can be stretched by reducing the load I did some math for you.
 

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Reloading's advantages over buying commerical ammo:

It is a bit cheaper buying components than comparable commercial ammo ( if you compare the cheapest surplus junk, you might be able to buy cheaper than reload, but your reloads tend to be more consistent, accurate, and cleaner). My last bulk buy of components had me producing .45 auto rounds at a little over $8/100. (cast lead, reused cases). I've not been able to buy commercial 45 for anywhere near that, even in steel cased stuff. Even hollow point ammo I can't touch commercially for what I can reload it for when buying the exact same bullets.

The reloads are typically more accurate than commercial. I know the reloads I roll are more consistent than factory ammo in any gun I shoot them in. I was curious about some ammo after I got into reloading, and pulled a couple rounds out of a box of carry ammo. After weighing the powder, I found a .2 grain difference in one brand of ammo. That's a pretty big discrepency in powder.

You can tailor the loads for your specific gun/situation. Best example is supressor use. If you have a supressor for your 9mm, you can load subsonic ammo, tailor it to your gun to make it function and have optimal accuracy while keeping the sound down as much as possible. Factory ammo is mostly super sonic in most calibers, which greatly reduces the suppressors ability to suppress.

It's a hobby that I suppose could keep you busy if you have a lot of dead time on your hands in a PSHTF scenario where you are bugging in.

Personally, I don't keep my primers and powder stocked up really. I buy the primer, bulelts and powder, then load it up and keep the loaded rounds stored.
 

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Reloading Pros

I have gotten factory rifles (270 was the latest) to shoot sub MOA groups at 100 yards (the 270 had a group that you can cover with a penny...just by adjusting , bullet weight and type, powder levels and hence pressures and velocities. That was off of a bipod, not a full on bench rest. You can improve accuracy of any centerfire rifle by matching the load to the rifle. The barrel when you fire makes a sine wave. When everything is balanced=highest accuracy.

You can also reload 9mm and 38/357 with less powder to make for more comfortable shooting for young ones and women. Nothing turns off new shooters like recoil. If they are not flinching or afraid of the recoil, they become better shooters. When they are ready, run up to the higher charges.

Reloading post SHTF will be something to do if that is ever the case. Having the raw materials (powder, primer, brass, etc.) gives you the option to load what you want or need, or what someone else wants or needs, or to barter. You can have just a few different kinds of powder/primer/bullets and load many different calibers. Primers range from $25 to $50 per thousand. Why not have a bunch of them. Powder is $20-$28 a pound. Bullets can be bought in bulk too. The same jacketed bullet can be used in a 38 or 9mm. You just need to know what you are doing and have to to do the research and figure out the loads and record them to make in the future.
Reloading is fun when you don't have to do it...it is a slower process that can be enjoyable and give you solitude and relaxation, much like wood carving or basket making.
As for 9mm and 223 I would suggest to anyone that you buy in bulk but save all of your brass...to reload later. Remember in 2008, you could barely get ammo or primers or powder in some places. The closer we get to the next election, the less will be on the shelves and the higher the prices...
Just me 2 cents
 

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You missed the point of I can adjust powder loads. I only used half to double because the numbers are aesy to work with. If I normally load with 59grs and adust to 50 grs every 6 rounds I have an extra 51grs to load. I would gain 166.6666667 rounds from the same amount of powder. I didn't want to do the actual math but since you can't understand that I picked easy math to do quickly to say powder loads are adjustible and can be stretched by reducing the load I did some math for you.
I'm glad you followed up your post. Loading down to half, may be misunderstood by others not yet familiar with reloading, stick in their mind, and later make a big mistake......before they realize your shortcut math.

Stretching powder by reducing the amount in individual rounds, is one way to lengthen a supply (within safe reloading guidelines of course). Another way is to use, maybe not the highest performance powder for a specific caliber/bullet combination, but use perhaps a lesser performing powder, which is useable with more verity of calibers and bullets......there by offering the flexibility.

Best Regards......Eagle Six
 

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Pre SHTF - hobby
SHTF - bulk
Short Term SHTF - depends on situation/location....?
Long Term SHTF - skill that will be in demand and or trading ammo

100 .223 rounds and the materials necessary to reload them 9 more times weights less than 1000 rounds loaded
 

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I enjoy reloading.

I save a lot of money reloading. For example, my .38/357 range fodder is about $7 box. The price savings work across the board for my calibers. I don't factor in my "labor" because I would probably be doing nothing productive anyway. I can use the saved money to buy more components, food, whatever, increasing my stockpile potential for a later situation.

I find it easier to stock components than a crap ton of ammo. It can save me on space. The space considerations and this point will vary from person to person by how you store your final product(ie: loose in ammo can, in individual cardboard/plastic boxes, etc) versus your components.

I don't want to buy a case and have to shoot it all or pull bullets when I don't like the load. I can tailor loads to my/my firearm's liking, then load to the hilt for it. My Ruger 77 .22 Hornet puts 5 shot groups within a dime at 100 yards. I'm happy with that accuracy. The load and rifle combo may be more accurate than that. I'm the weakest variable.

I prefer to stock a very large amount of bullets, powder, primers and keep a good supply of brass on hand. I can stock components for "x" rounds much cheaper than buying "x" rounds from a vendor. I have a good supply of brass on hand, too, so that's not a recurring cost. One could do as some mentioned and buy components and load them up prior. I keep a couple thousand rounds of my primary calibers on hand and don't expect to be in firefights everyday, so I'm sure I'll have a little bit of leeway to reload every now and then. It doesn't take much time when you have a system down.

Eventually, when you come down to it. Even if you buy and pre-load, you may still be losing out. Let's say you want 5000 rounds. I may have 1000 rounds loaded and enough components for 4000 more(in this example I'm reusing brass). If you want to buy and preload 5000 rounds, you have to buy all 5000 brass casings unless you have access to 5000 free casings. By reusing brass and stocking the other components to reload empties, you free up funds now for other purposes. You will lose some brass here and there, so it still doesn't hurt to have some fresh brass rat holed somewhere, you may not need much though, depending on your situation.

If you buy commercial ammo, you pay components plus labor.

To each his own, though.:thumb:

mike
 

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Partly when you reload your reloaded ammo is of whatever quality you want when you buy milsurp ammo the quality is not controlled by you but by somebody somewhere else that doesn't care.
The other side is space those same 1000 bulk rounds take the same space as 1000 reloaded rounds unless I only load with half the powder then I have 2000 rounds in the same space as your 1000 rounds, if I have the extra primers that take up very little space.
I can also use black powder once out of smokeless powder to reload. Black powder can be made using salt peter, charcoal, and sulfer.
Primers can be reused using Armstrongs mixture. (red phosphorus and potassium chlorate)
^^This guy nailed it! Only thing I'd change is including a blackpowder pistol and rifle in my collection^^
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Eventually, when you come down to it. Even if you buy and pre-load, you may still be losing out. Let's say you want 5000 rounds. I may have 1000 rounds loaded and enough components for 4000 more(in this example I'm reusing brass). If you want to buy and preload 5000 rounds, you have to buy all 5000 brass casings unless you have access to 5000 free casings. By reusing brass and stocking the other components to reload empties, you free up funds now for other purposes. You will lose some brass here and there, so it still doesn't hurt to have some fresh brass rat holed somewhere, you may not need much though, depending on your situation.
Thanks Mike. That was a great example that I did not think about. My thought process was very linear. 1 commercial round = 1 reloaded round.
 

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~snip~Can anyone point out flaws in my logic, am I missing something or am I pretty much spot on? Please keep in mind this is for a SHTF situation, not everyday, life as normal.
...well ImbriD, there you go with lots of reasons to reload during the SHTF situation.

Although I do reload and will keep my investment if possible and most likely use my supplies if the situation permits.....I'm certainly not relying on rolling my own, but may resort to it!

I have over the years saved some money reloading, but there is an investment in the equipment which needs to be accounted for as well as the time in labor. Some say their time is theirs and therefore free. Mines not, even while here on this board, my time is evaluated and actually I'm working.

It is true you can purchase a little Lee Loader for a couple $20's, I would bet most of the proponents of reloading have far more invested in their reloading bench of tricks.

If you want a few thousand rounds, you probably will never get your investment back and spend more money and time getting to your goal.

I think there is more value in what you learn by reloading, than trying to save money, space, and having some flexibility in a STHF situation, and this would be pre-SHTF, so that doesn't count for your OP.

Best Regards......Eagle Six
 

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Reloading isn't for everyone. You need to be very detail oriented and enjoy the process. Now it's a hobby. How many people have a hobby that saves them money instead of costing?

You can get as extreme as picking up free range brass and casting your own bullets.

Say a friend goes golfing. In the time it takes him, and the mileage, greens fees and a couple of lost balls, I can take the same time and money and produce a few hundred rounds of ammo.

Or, I can go golfing too. :)
 

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Its a hobby for me, started out as a way to save money on things like 300 win mag and 45-70, save your brass it will last a long time. Yes there was some equipment costs but when you look at the prices of off the shelf ammo in 45-70 you can recoup your costs pretty quick. And once I had the stuff to reload I could tune 300 win mag in the 3 different rifles I have had over the years. And with some things like 8mm mauser your going to be able to make much better than what is sold, either its surplus or the weak civilian stuff. I haven't seen 200gr partitions ready loaded at the store, or 190gr match. Then when you get into 577/450 martini there really isn't store bought stuff to begin with.

I don't really bother with 5.56 or 7.62x39. With what some of it costs and the time spent reloading its not really worth it for blasting holes in things at the range. I did start using some 223 dies I had for a Stevens 200 I bought my wife.

With something like 9mm unless you have a progressive press, making 115 gr target stuff is not worth the time. But when a box of 20 147gr golden sabre ammo is 26$ and I can make 100 for the same cost, now your talking.

As for post SHTF my 300 win mag keeping it in powder would be a problem when your using 75gr a shell, that's about 90 something rounds to a pound of powder. A 9mm pistol, 1 pound of Unique will make about a 1000 rnds. So a pound of powder, a brick of primers and a bullet mold would keep my pistol running a while, same with my 45 colt. The 45 colt will run off black powder, which as said you can actually make. Its a conversion gun anyways so can be switched back to cap and ball if need be.

So I keep a good stock of reloading supplies around, it will eventually run out, but you might be able to keep a gun working long after everybody else has run out of ammo.
 

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I imagine you are comparing the price of some pretty crappy ammo to the cost of reloading. The reloads you make can be high quality stuff tailored to your guns.

If you really want to save some bucks get a lee 6 hole bullet mold and cast some bullets for pistol calibers. I haven't done the numbers lately, but years ago I calculated I could load 38 specials for less than 22 long rifles. Figure free lead, a little dab of powder, the biggest expense is the primer.
 

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Reloading isn't for everyone. You need to be very detail oriented and enjoy the process. Now it's a hobby. How many people have a hobby that saves them money instead of costing?

You can get as extreme as picking up free range brass and casting your own bullets.

Say a friend goes golfing. In the time it takes him, and the mileage, greens fees and a couple of lost balls, I can take the same time and money and produce a few hundred rounds of ammo.

Or, I can go golfing too. :)
Cool! I'm an "EXTREME" reloader!!! :thumb:

I reload because: I enjoy it. I save money. I can hand-tailor loads to my guns. I reload because my loads are BETTER than so-called "premium" ammunition.
 
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Primary reason I have for handloading is that I can make much more accurate ammunition for my firearms than any bulk manufacturer can. Shotgun rounds are much less expensive when I load my own rather than buying as well.
And I scrounge range brass also.:D:
Use what I can and recycle the rest, lots of money to be had in scrap brass.:thumb:
 
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