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Thread: Cost to start reloading with Lee loader

  1. #1

    Cost to start reloading with Lee loader

    Hi all

    I am considering setting up to produce accurate enough (ie no worse than factory) 6.5 x 55 cartridges, having discovered how much they are going to cost me otherwise.

    I anticipate using a Lee loader to do this, and to learn how to produce a basic load (using a reloading book and published load data.)

    Realistically, what are the smallest quantities of everything (excluding brass) that you can buy, and will they keep? is it going to cost me 200 to load up with components, if so I may just give it a miss. Is it wrong to assume that if i don't go mad buying equipment I may save some money?

    I realise I look tight from the above, but a factory load always goes bang and always goes pretty much where I expect it, at least good enough to knock over deer which is the job i use it for, so unless there's a price differential I don't think I'll be incentivised. I have enough hobbies without adding another to find time for.

    Thanks in advance

    Will

  2. #2
    powder will keep for a while if nice and dry even once opened

    hodgsons sell in pounds for less but works out more expensive
    most bullets are in 100's except the high end ones like nosler partitions which you probably wont want anyway.
    primers you can buy in 100's and there is a small saving for getting them in 1000's

    all in I spent about 50 on case conditioning tools, a wooden mallet and the lee loader, some scoops
    about 100 on 1kg of powder, 100 bullets, some primers
    already had brass
    for me 1kg did around 300 reloads (extra 40-50 to bring up the cost of bullets to x300)
    so even with consumables you should be able to load your first 300 rounds for about 200 (you should get more with a swede)

  3. #3
    Just as a starting point as regards prices lets look here http://www.hps-tr.com/price-list/

    Powder - TR140 59.50 kg (enough to reload about 440 rounds)

    Primers - CCI Large Rifle 37.45 per thousand (or around 3.80 per 100 if you only want 100)

    Bullets- 140 grn Sierra around 30 per 100.


    In actual fact you can get much cheaper if you shop around but it was a site that immediately came to mind.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  4. #4
    Lee Hand Press
    Lee length trim tool
    Lee gauge for your caliber for the cutting tool
    Hornady digital micrometer
    Lee or RCBS hand priming tool
    Lee tool lets you use the same seat that comes with your dies
    Lee Custom Die set with Factory Crimp Die
    Optional extra Lee neck sizing die
    Lee powder scoop set
    Primer pocket tool

    Box of 140 gr bullets
    100 primers
    Pound of Powder: N-150, N-160, RL-19, RL-22, 4831, 4350

  5. #5
    Thanks everyone, exactly the kind of metrics I was after. May be worth doing, wish I hadn't just bought two boxes of factory to test out (but at least I will have the brass!)

    Will

  6. #6
    If the factory load is shooting well for you, set your dies off their loaded rounds, to get the ogive for a starting COAL.
    Pick one of the powders you can get, and try to get a load that will yield the same velocity as that factory load, and you will be very close to a good load from the get go.

  7. #7
    Great advice thanks as ever Southern. You will be sad to hear the mod 70 270 has been replaced (by a mint husky in above calibre). My first was a husky and have been in love ever since...

  8. #8
    No, I think the old Tradewinds Husky is a gem - especially in 6.5x55 SWE. I found one at a gun show last year in .308 Win in super shape, and tried to convince all my friends to buy it, to no avail.

    And, yes, I confess to having a Model 70 Featherweight in .308 Win.

  9. #9
    I have read this with interest as I have just bought some reading kit to load the same cartridge, my first CF, looking for a good load for roe. Seems good advice to see if you can replicate a factory round it would be federal fusion in my case. Unfortunately don't have access to a chrono at the moment, is there any way to find out what load they use or is it kept a secret?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Boydy47 View Post
    I have read this with interest as I have just bought some reading kit to load the same cartridge, my first CF, looking for a good load for roe. Seems good advice to see if you can replicate a factory round it would be federal fusion in my case. Unfortunately don't have access to a chrono at the moment, is there any way to find out what load they use or is it kept a secret?
    Replicating a factory load has less to do with the powder used than it does with the mechanics of the assembled load. As Southern said, use the factory OAL to set your seating die. If you don't have a loaded round, the OAL listed in the load book for that bullet is good.

    Full Length Resize your brass.

    Trim all cases to the same length.

    Clean the primer pockets. Prime.

    Load the powder and seat your bullet as above.

    Then crimp it.

    It bewilders me how many times people set out to 'duplicate' a specific factory load and then neck size, don't bother to trim to uniform length, seat the bullet to .010" from the lands, and don't crimp... and somehow think they made a reasonable attempt to replicate the factory load they were after when, in fact, they weren't even close.~Muir

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