Practicality of reloading 9mm Luger rounds?


Pele

VA State CCW Holder!
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.
 

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Red Hat

New member
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....
 

Pele

VA State CCW Holder!
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.
 

KimberPB

New member
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.
 

DrDavidM

New member
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.
 

rheaj

New member
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 (Link Removed). 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.
 
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Red Hat

New member
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. Link Removed

For a good Turret press look at the Lee Classic 4 hole Turret Press. I have one and it works great. Link Removed

The problem is everyone is buying up realoading equipment and just about everone is sold out online.
 
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benzuncle

New member
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. :cool:
 

jrs212

New member
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.
 

LVLouisCyphre

Obama is a mack daddy!
The other issue is that you can tailor the round to your specifications. I tend to prefer FP, SWC or TC bullets as they leave a much nicer impression on the target. FMJ tends to tear, FP, SWC and TC are more of a hole punch.

There's also the issue that you already have the initial investment if you migrate to other calibers.
 

wuzfuz

New member
Practicality

I have never met anyone who felt reloading was not practical. With the cost of ammo today, reloading is better than ever. Reloading 9mm is no more difficult than reloading .45, .38 spl or .357 magnum. You mentioned Blazer brass. I have never seen Blazer brass. All of the Blazer ammo I have ever seen uses aluminum cases with Berdan primers. I once found about fifteen cases that showed me some idiot was reloading Blazer ammo. They had drilled and formed a primer pocket to use Boxer primers, and had reloaded 9mm ammo. The casings showed definite signs of falling apart in the gun, probably with disastrous results. Blazer ammo is not designed to be reloaded, but the casings are to be discarded. I used to reload .45ACP, .38spl and .357magnum. I was able to shoot a lot more than I would have been able to if I had to buy all new ammo. I even cast my own bullets. For fun, my lieutenant and I used to load watch batteries in .45ACP and fire them. Fun, fun, fun!
 
I have never met anyone who felt reloading was not practical. With the cost of ammo today, reloading is better than ever. Reloading 9mm is no more difficult than reloading .45, .38 spl or .357 magnum. You mentioned Blazer brass. I have never seen Blazer brass. All of the Blazer ammo I have ever seen uses aluminum cases with Berdan primers. I once found about fifteen cases that showed me some idiot was reloading Blazer ammo. They had drilled and formed a primer pocket to use Boxer primers, and had reloaded 9mm ammo. The casings showed definite signs of falling apart in the gun, probably with disastrous results. Blazer ammo is not designed to be reloaded, but the casings are to be discarded. I used to reload .45ACP, .38spl and .357magnum. I was able to shoot a lot more than I would have been able to if I had to buy all new ammo. I even cast my own bullets. For fun, my lieutenant and I used to load watch batteries in .45ACP and fire them. Fun, fun, fun!


Blazer Brass comes in a black and gold colored box. I often purchase the brass version when the aluminum is either more expensive or not available. As for Blazer Aluminum, they are designed for one time use. All calibers larger than 9mm have a 2 part flash hole. Don't believe me, go punch out the primer from an expended 9mm Blazer Aluminum case and see for yourself. The reason I know is that we punch the primers on expended Blazer Aluminum cases to make key chains that are a popular item among the tourists and fellow firearms instructors.

I'm surprised that you have never heard of "Blazer Brass" ammo. I would think that a "former LEO" would be more dilligent at checking FACTS. If you check out their website, you'll see that they do make ammo with brass and aluminum cases. What may be a shock to you as well is that "Wolf" ammo comes in both steel cases and brass. The brass cases cost a dollar or two more per box depending on the caliber.



gf
 

LVLouisCyphre

Obama is a mack daddy!
I have never met anyone who felt reloading was not practical. With the cost of ammo today, reloading is better than ever. Reloading 9mm is no more difficult than reloading .45, .38 spl or .357 magnum. You mentioned Blazer brass. I have never seen Blazer brass. All of the Blazer ammo I have ever seen uses aluminum cases with Berdan primers. I once found about fifteen cases that showed me some idiot was reloading Blazer ammo. They had drilled and formed a primer pocket to use Boxer primers, and had reloaded 9mm ammo. The casings showed definite signs of falling apart in the gun, probably with disastrous results. Blazer ammo is not designed to be reloaded, but the casings are to be discarded. I used to reload .45ACP, .38spl and .357magnum. I was able to shoot a lot more than I would have been able to if I had to buy all new ammo. I even cast my own bullets. For fun, my lieutenant and I used to load watch batteries in .45ACP and fire them. Fun, fun, fun!
GF is correct on Blazer Brass. I see Blazer non-brass casings as a nuisance along with steel casings to toss down the range when policing for brass.

Blazer brass has been around for awhile. I started noticing the spent Blazer brass casings at the range before checking into it online. You might call me a brass whore as I hoard brass or as my ex-wife would say Jewish by financial right. :wink: I am not being antisemite; my ex-wife is Jewish and an accountant. :tongue:

After pricing it out, Blazer brass is less expensive at the local SuperWallyVerse than USA (WWB) or UMC. It is definitely reloadable as I've examined policed Blazer Brass casings.

So did you also do a submission for the boxotruth on watch battery bullets too? What grain were those watch batteries anyway?
Fun, fun, fun!
Yes, we can agree that shooting things is fun.
 

Red Hat

New member
Just for information. Contrary to popular belief Berdan primed brass can be reloaded however, it's not worth the time. Berdan primers are getting very hard to find. RCBS makes Berdan depriming and priming tools. There are three sizes of Berdan primers 4.5 mm, 5.5 mm and 6.34mm. Berdan primed brass can be converted to boxer primers by using this method. Link Removed Bottom line is they can be reloaded but it's not worth the time and effort, however if brass becomes scarce then it may become an alternative.
 

toreskha

Titles are un-American.
I see Blazer non-brass casings as a nuisance along with steel casings to toss down the range when policing for brass.
If I go looking for brass, I sweep it all up together because it's faster. You can easily separate the steel ones with a strong magnet. If you have a scrap pile, throw the steel and aluminum into a can. They add up over time and can be turned into cash when you haul the rest of the metal in.

I'm part Jewish, too. Obviously. :tongue:
 

Pixx

Pixx
I been reloading for over 30 years now and really don't worry about the costs of it. I do save a lot with my reloads vs buying factory ammo. My 223 will consistantly shoot 1/4" groups at 100yds any time (Savage accutrigger, bull barrel). It's fun and relaxing once you get used to it. I cast my own bullets for hand guns and have even found a sporting goods shop and a gun smith that buy my bullets for resale (which puts more $$'s in my pocket for more reloading supplies) which works fine with me. Just work up your loads carefully, always carry a notebook and a pencil with you until you get your desired load, then have a ball.
 

jtg452

Member
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]

You got that right. Tell him to find some lead wheel weights from a tire shop instead.
 

Shoegoo

New member
I prefer to reload for revolvers. With any semi auto its a pain to pick up the brass. At indoor ranges the brass goes in all directions. Outdoors the brass gets lost in the grass. Its best to mark your brass so that its easy to identify. Other than that I am in favor of reloading. :no:
 

.45acp

New member
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.

I agree with the prices but I load with a Dillion 550 and have no problem getting 300 to 400 rounds an hour.

Steve
 

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