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Hand Loading/ Reloading Ammo
Do any of you guys load your own ammo? I do....and lately there has been a noticeable shortage of bullet components. If you hand load, where are you finding components?
I loaded up after the last shortage, so haven’t needed anything lately. Several of the Mom and Pop gunshops near me have had a decent supply of components the last couple times I’ve been in. I hate buying reloading components online because of the price hike the hazmat fees add.
You definitely have to keep an eye on supply's and stock up when it's available. Sometimes it takes months.
Yup not many bullets left online that’s for sure. That is one reason why oddball calibers are sometimes good to have. Everyone shoots the 9mm but you can still find good ole .40 cal bullets. I also shoot 357 Sig and .45 Gap and will be adding 10mm shortly. People rank on the .45 Gap but I can still buy finished ammo for it and believe me it is an awesome accurate caliber with very little muzzle rise.
Local shop near me has a good supply of reloading stuff. I don't shoot like I used to. A few rounds to make sure all is good & go hunting. All my guns are old I know what they like so a bunch of load testing isn't necessary anymore.
Everything firearms is in short supply.
Not sure short supply describes it. Every thing is stashed in some ones garage or gun safe.
Why do you think reloading supplies are hard to find now?
Sundowner, because people are rioting in the streets in some major cities, and those city leadership don’t seem to care or have a plan to to stop it. And there is a fear of major gun and ammo restrictions if Trump does not win in Nov.
Have you Tried Midway USA, Natchez Shooters Supply or Simmons Sporting Goods (Bastrop, LA) ?
The brother reloads alot. He says the virus shut down and higher demand has shortened supply. I picked up some 6.5 PRC bullets for him locally and mailed them to him. Ammoseek is a great site to search for stuff and price compare in real time. Also....Selway Armory and Brownells might have some stuff.
I used to work in the firearms industry and spent many hours during the last shortage combing the internet for certain supplies. Often it was a few pages in on a mom and pop shop's site before I would find a few bags of the right brass or some primers, etc..
Always check Midsouth Shooters Supply when starting off. They were on my top 5. Backorder when allowed, its a pain but saved my rear more than once.
Thanks guys. I have tried Natchez and Midway USA and Brownells. I will see what Selway and Simmons have.
I understand built ammo being scarce for the reasons Dale mentioned, but never realized that so many people reloaded that it could cause shortages in components. I guess reloading is not as "fringe" a hobby as I had thought.
I've been hitting up Gunbroker for bullets, local Gun stores for primers and powder. I buy powder in the big jugs now. Never know when the supply will dry up. I don't hoard it. Probably shoot it up too fast for that. The rifle range where i shoot has archery butts as well. Shoot til the barrel gets hot, go shoot arrows for awhile. Works real well. Powder Valley has had some of my business. I mainly shoot rifles.
Sun....what exactly are you looking for?
JL, Like a lot of folks apparently, I'm looking for jacketed .224, 55 grain SP with cannalure, H335 powder, and small rifle primers of any brand. Last January the bullets were 8 cents each and powder was $22.95/ lbs. I haven't tried to order powder due to hazmat charges. I also load several pistol calibers.....45 ACP, .40 S&W, .44 Rem Mag, etc. Hard to find components for pistol bullets too...
Mid south Shooters supply seemed to have had reloading supplies when others didn’t. Most times anyways. Of course the other suppliers have been mentioned.
Hazmat fees are best covered by group orders ;)
Heck, I’m always in the market for Federal small pistol primers!
Sun....if you haven't tried yet....these are Ammoseek returns.
9.7 cents in bulk.
Some of these sellers may charge a flat rate shipping which is less than the hazmat fee.
Small rifle primers were harder to find. If you have an Academy Sports or Sportsmans Warehouse nearby, try them.
Many thanks JL, and everyone...... I will try them.
Been reloading for decades, am down to a couple rifle calibers now. Last time at Cabelas I noticed that they were low on powder. (I have plenty.) Found a box of bullets they no longer catalog. Grabbed those.
I've been "Hillary compliant" since early 2016. I got caught short in 2008 and stocked up on all components for all calibers. Forgot about it and got caught a little short again in 2012. Won't happen again.
Lots of different sources: Midsouth, Graffs, Brownells, Cheaper than Dirt, Midway, Missouri Bullet, Natchez, Powder Valley, Sinclair, and Wideners to name a few. You just need to keep making the rounds. Eventually, you'll find what you need.
I mostly load for big bore revolvers, .41 and up, and mostly use cast bullets. I seem to be able to find all I need. Powder on the other hand, is a bitch to find in some flavors. My local guy hasn’t had Unique in four months.
Loaded ammo, I’m not short on. I bought my calibers in bulk in between shortages, after Obama and before Covid, two of the most dastardly epidemics ever to come to the American shores........
Was in Cabelas last Wed. thought I might pick up some 223. Silly me, a huge bald spot on the shelves.
I have a place near my home(40miles) and they normally have anything I need. It's hard today to justify reloaded anymore as I can but ammo on sale that is as accurate as my handloads for 20 bucks a box. I bought a 6.5 Creedmore a year ago and with Hornady customs shoot less than a half inch at 200 yds. I still love to load though as it is relaxing to me. I will say I have around 8#s of each of my favorite powders and several thousand assorted primers. Shawn
Spell check sucks, but you get the jist, that is 3 shots at 200 yds. Shawn
This thread along with factory ammunition lack of availability has me thinking of reloading. I would likely start for 30-06, .308, 8mm Mauser, .44 mag, .223, .357 mag. and lastly 9mm. How many different powders would a person need to reload reasonably accurate ammo across this array of calibers?
Helgermite, you will need some H414 (30-06), H335 (223), HP38 or HS6 (357), Alliant 2400 (44 mag), and I'm not sure about 308 and 8mm. Probably a medium speed rifle powder. Other powders will be fine, but those are common. Good luck.
4064 for .308, H110 for 44 mag.
Helgermite IMR 4895 has been real accurate for my .308 Lately I’ve been thinking about knocking down my calibers to a couple so I can stockpile instead of buying for all.
A buddy of mine once said ammo is an investment and I laughed but boy ammo has risen more in percentage then gold!
spike78, ammo, among other items, will be legal tender in the foreseeable future. IMHO
H110 is a good powder for .44 magnum. Alliant 2400 is particularly good for .44 magnum heavy loads.
It's a good idea to invest $25 - $30 in a reloading manual. Most bullet and reloading equipment manufacturers publish manuals full of load data and other valuable info for safely reloading pistol and rifle ammo in all calibers.
^....any idea what the powder cocktail is in Federal rifle ammo? Or does it vary depending on caliber?
Helgermite, I use Alliant 2400 and H110 for 44 mag.
I use alliant R19, R15, and IMR 4350 for 30/06 loads from 150 grains up through 165 grains. I use alliant R22 for 180 grain loads. It pushes those bad boys well over 2900 FPS and shoots lights out. It’s a thumper. Just remember, you can get so much more out of a 30/06 if you handload, versus factory loads.
9mm I use unique.
357 mag I use Alliant 2400
I can’t remember what I use for 223/5.56. I should because I have over 15 pounds left. I just can’t remember and it’s packed away.
Don't want to cause a shortage of my favorite powders so I'm not going to tell ... just kidding. For 223, I have had great results with cfe 223 and win 748. 2400 is great in my 357. Favorite rifle powders for 30-06, 6.5 creed ( crap I said it) and 338 winny are h4350 and rl19. Blue dot runs a 200 g hard cast out of my g40 10mm at 1320 fps- and I'm still under pressure!
federal and alliant owned by same company so probably an alliant powder. Varies by caliber.
I wonder if there is any gov. surplus. Remember every dept in the fed was buying ammo during the last administration. I am sure they didn't shoot it all.
Some day I'll find some R26 to run through some 300RCM. Always 2400 in the 44.
JL, No ammo manufacturers that I know of publish the type or amount of powder they use.
Generally, faster burning powders are used in pistol and shotgun ammo, while slower burning powders are used in rifle ammo, particularly larger caliber rifles.
Reading everyone's responses, it seems that there is not a "one size fits all" for the cartridges I would like to reload. I suspected the pistol rounds might take a different powder than the rifle rounds. It also looks like some of you guys use different powders for the same cartridge depending on the bullet weight. I get that there are pet loads with all the combinations for a particular firearm, but was looking at a way to reduce the amount of different powders to keep on hand. As long as I can develop a load for each firearm that is 1 - 2 MOA I think it would be good enough for my purposes.
Maybe I asked the wrong question...For cartridges I listed are there 2 or 3 powders that would likely develop a good load.
For example, could you work up a satisfactory load with IMR4350 to work in 30-06, .308, & 8mm Mauser?
And could you do the same using H110 for .44 mag., .357 mag., & 9mm?
Or is this too dependent on the other variables bullet weight, primer etc.?
Helgermite, the answers to your questions will be found in the various manufacturers load data books, or on the interweb. It is very likely that you can safely do what you want to do with those calibers.
If you see a knife and like it, buy it now.
Well....since this thread from last August peaked my curiosity....I too took the plunge and got into reloading so as not to be beholding to the times anymore.
I have a CG buddy in FL whose cuz got out of the reloading business and I was able to buy his equipment when I was in FL several months ago. I picked up some different powders, primers and bullets along the way and went to town on developing loads for some of the calibers I have.....6.5 PRC, .300 WM, .270 for starters. I finally came up with a good load for one of my .270's today. The best one is a 150gr Partition. The other ones are an 140gr Accubond still in development and a 150gr Accubond Long Range that is real close. Even though I have the die sets for a couple of pistol cals....I have not bothered to play with those yet.
Nice! I've reloaded shotshells for many years then started handgun a couple of years ago...better accuracy as well as less recoil than factory loads.
My Brother is way into reloading, but like everyone else, having a hard time locating powder, primers, etc.
Scored some stuff for him from a Buddy of mine the other day, who inherited a jackload of reloading supplies from his Dad, who recently passed away.
I won two rifles at the Mule Deer Foundation Dinner this Year, gave the 6.5 Creedmoor to my Bro, and kept the 7mm Rem Mag. I've been learning a lot, watching him go through the reloading process...he is an absolute perfectionist!
Have loaded ammo my whole adult life and really enjoy the process. My 6.5-284 shoots absolutely lights out with the loads I made for it!
I am mostly a flintlock shooter, but use a .410 occasionally, and use a .22 for trapping. I reload .410 shells and have a lot of homemade and commercial black powder on hand. Plus, I have enough sulfur, charcoal, and KNO3 on hand to set me for life. The same with .22 ammo, though I pick up shells occasionally if the price is right.
Some components, brass and bullets, are becoming easier to find. Powder and primers are still rare, and expensive. Gun Broker listed Small Rifle primers at $350/thousand a few months ago. Now I think they're going for around $225/thousand. I bought primers in 2019 for $32/thousand. Popular powders are still about $100 per pound. Pre-Covid/Biden powder was $27.95/lb.
It would seem that prices, and demand will stay very high for the foreseeable future.
On a more encouraging note, I read that a Remington ammo plant is opening.....or reopening.....in Arkansas, and will run 24/7. So maybe some relief in supplies of factory ammo......maybe.
No Mercy that caliber is definitely on my wish list. I just have to convince myself I actually need it!
Good loading above!
I've been able to get powder here and there and by signing up for notifications. Right now I'm playing with RL23, H1000 and H4831sc for the 3 cals. I have some others as back-ups. I got some primers with the set up my buddy's cuz had. In March I was able to get some pistol and small rifle primers at BPS in Daytona at pre-virus prices. I'm looking for some more large mag rifles. I got a notice today one of my sources received some bricks at $139. I put them in the shopping cart to see what the other fees (shipping, tax and haz fee) would add up to......it was over $190. I backed out at that price....too rich for me. I got some large rifle primers (brick) from them a couple of months ago for $130-something total. That was rich for me but I didn't want to pass that deal up.
Bullet-wise......I use Nosler products. I get them thru Shooters Pro Shop which offers great deals on blems and over-runs. Plus they do a 10% military/LE discount.
Ammo wise....I'm seeing it pretty regularly now.....rifle and pistol. Last Friday I bought some stock in an ammo company (POWW) as they were due to report qtrly and year end earnings yesterday. I sold my Smith & Wesson the other day and they had killer earnings. I was thinking if folks are buying guns like that....they're buying ammo like that. The company reported real well yesterday and the stock took off today. This company is growing fast. They recently bought Gunbroker and are building another factory in WI. So....the ammo supply is looking better and better.
I shoot mainly to give me and excuse to reload.