Practicality of reloading 9mm Luger rounds?
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Thread: Practicality of reloading 9mm Luger rounds?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Practicality of reloading 9mm Luger rounds?

    The local Wal*Mart sells fifty round boxes of 9mm ammo for less than $9 a box. Brass is stamped CCI, the box says Speer, Lewiston ID on the back, but the actual brand name is Blazer Brass. I've found non-reloadable aluminum cased Blazer ammo for even cheaper online.

    It seems to be decent ammo. I went through five boxes the other day with no duds and my gun is about as dirty as if I had used the range's $13 per box Federal or more the expensive Winchester ammo.

    I swept up all my brass and brought it home. (I also got plenty of Winchester, Federal, and other assorted brass.)

    Being that this ammo is cheap, is it worth it for me to go out and buy a reloading press and supplies?

    Also, how much time will it take me to reload a thousand rounds if I get a good turret press and a good rhythm going? Going from straight brass swept up off the floor, assuming none were stepped on, to a ready to fire round?

    A day? A weekend?



    From what I can find online, it looks like full metal jacket bullets are going for 14 a piece. ($14.30 for a box of 100.) It looks like I stand to save a few cents and that's not counting primers and powder.

    A buddy of mine got a nasty old car battery from me and said he wants to cut it up and melt the lead down for his bullets. To me, this sounds:
    A.) Dangerous; Even though the acid is gone, that's mostly Lead-Sulfide in there, not pure lead.
    B.) Destructive to the innards of the gun. Remaining acid will corrode the chamber, barrel, and brass. Plus pure lead will foul up the barrel faster requiring more cleaning.
    C.) More work than it's worth.
    D.) All of the above.
    Last edited by Pele; 11-15-2008 at 12:43 PM.

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  3. #2
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    With a good turret press that is self indexing you can conceivable load a 100 rounds an hour because you have a live round every throw of the lever. So with that in mind you can load a 1000 rds in a few days. Let me warn you that Reloading is addictive! As far as the car battery goes, D! It's not worth the time and energy to try to get the led out of it plus there are ZINC plates in there and you don't want them. The best place to get lead is at a Tire shop. They will sell or give you their old lead weights. Quench them in water after casting and they have enough tin in them to make them a good hard alloy. That's what I use in my castings.

    BTW this should be in theAmmo and Reloading forum....
    USAF Retired, CATM, SC CWP, NH NR CWP, NRA Benefactor
    To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them... -- Richard Henry Lee, 1787

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Hat View Post

    BTW this should be in theAmmo and Reloading forum....
    Ah, sorry about that. I'm still getting used to this forum.

    This forum is set up differently than any of the other forums I use that use this same layout software. (A lot of car forums use this vBulliten software.)

    Mods, please move this.

  5. #4
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    It's all in what you load. I picked up a box of 500 124gr lead round nose for $22 a month or so ago. so that works out to:

    ~ 0.04 a round - bullet
    ~ 0.03 a round - primers
    ~ 0.01 a round - powder

    Coming out to be ~$4 a box of 50. For practice lead round are cheap and work great. If you want to go jacketed Zero has jacked bullets for ~$43 per 500 so that works out to ~$8 a box. So the savings not as much but still there.

    I reload 9mm, .45ACP, and .223 rem and have paid for my press twice over already. I also get much better accuracy out of my AR. I have the Lee Classic turret press and I have no problem loading 100-150 rounds an hour. Red Hat is right it is addicting and fun.

    Hope this helped and welcome to the forum.
    "When Government fears the people, it's liberty. When people fear the Government, it's tyranny."
    - Benjamin Franklin


  6. #6
    I have been reloading for about 6 years. I always felt that it was not cost effective to load 9mm, until about 6 or 8 months ago. You can defiantly save money if the time used to reload is not an issue. As was said, it is addictive. It's a very useful hobby.
    David

    The only person available to protect you 24 hours a day is you.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Hat View Post
    With a good turret press that is self indexing you can conceivable load a 100 rounds an hour because you have a live round every throw of the lever.
    I think this actually describes a progressive press, not a turret press. Also the video that Thoth8 posted is a progressive press.

    A turret press keeps one shell in the press at a time, and rotates a disc of dies above the shell. Typical turret presses take three or four pulls of the lever to finish a bullet. I have a Lee turret press, which I am very happy with, and I can load about 90 rounds an hour. This doesn't include the time it takes to sort brass, inspect it, clean it, etc. When I started reloading it took me a couple of hundred rounds to get it right and have good accuracy. One you get it right though, it is so addictive, and so rewarding. I reload .40, so my cost savings are more significant than they would be with 9mm - however I assure you that the price of ammo is about to skyrocket thanks to political change. I highly recommend getting a press, and stocking up on poweder, primers, and most of all, projectiles. Yeah, the savings may be marginal right now, but in a year or two, when prices have doubled or worse, your investment will really pay off!

    Also, I load Rainier leadsafe bullets, which are the cheapest I can find. On midwayusa.com, you can get 1000 9mm bullets right now for less than 8 cents a bullet (http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=471211). If you buy 2,000 or more rounds you get free freight. Note that these bullets are copper plated NOT jacketed. As such, they are soft and should be treated and loaded as if they were regular lead bullets. They need less powder than jacketed bullets. This is actually why it took me a couple of hundred rounds to get it right, I was treating these bullets as jacketed. Once I realized the mistake and dropped my powder to 4 grains, I got wonderful accuracy.
    Last edited by rheaj; 11-15-2008 at 06:26 PM. Reason: Added last paragraph.

  8. #8
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    You are correct on the terminology. That's what happens when you post at 2 in the morning!;) They are Progressive presses. I have 2 old C&H progressive presses that I use a lot. I love the straight across design so you can see everything with one glance. I have a Lee 1000 progressive that I'm using for 223 and 223 X 6mm works well but a little touchy on the primer system. I have a Dillon RL550 turret and several turret and single presses.

    What I recommend is the Lee 1000 for a good starter press. You can do small rifle rounds and all pistol rounds with it. The 4 hole disk are inexpensive and fairly easy to setup. You can get it for $139.99 once they are back in stock at Midway. MidwayUSA - Lee Pro 1000 Progressive Press Kit 9mm Luger

    For a good Turret press look at the Lee Classic 4 hole Turret Press. I have one and it works great. http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=814175

    The problem is everyone is buying up realoading equipment and just about everone is sold out online.
    Last edited by Red Hat; 11-16-2008 at 09:30 AM.
    USAF Retired, CATM, SC CWP, NH NR CWP, NRA Benefactor
    To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them... -- Richard Henry Lee, 1787

  9. #9
    There are plenty of people that reload using a turret press than load about 200 rounds per hour. I take my time (because reloading has become my second hobby) and load about 125-150 rounds per hour. I check every single round like a parent that checks to see that their kids are properly dressed before sending them off to school. (Of course, this does not include high school kids.) As for cost: reloading is an investment that pays for itself over time. And for the most part costs will increase for materials, just as the price of ammo increases. I figured that I could pay for my entire setup with about 75 boxes of 45acp. I started loading in Jan. 08 and am almost there.
    I know a man by the name of Mel;
    he can't see but he sure do smell.

  10. #10
    I've never sat down and figured the savings you get reloading 9mm luger. I just have a lot of fun doing it, finding a sweet round for my pistol, and I figure reloading and buying components in bulk will let me have ammo to shoot, even if I don't have money to buy ammo at the time.

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