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Okay you guys, many of you are reloaders and say how much cheaper it is to reload. I have a couple of questions. First, from all the catalogs, the cost of new brass, primers, powder and bullets, seems to equal or exceed the cost of, say, Fiocchi FMJ. Now with this mind, how many times can you reload that brass? If you can reload that brass say 3 times, I can see the economy, until you have to buy new brass again. Second question is, how much do you figure you save reloading this caliber?
Thanks
 

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You can reload 357 brass in excess of 10 times. I have brass I have loaded many, many times. Generally straight walled cases like this don't stretch much. The only brass I have had any issues with is nickel plated. It's brittle and will tend to crack around the mouth after a number of reloads. I can load my own 357 much more cheaply than I can buy factory rounds.

Plus I'd never shoot any Fiocchi FMJ out of my guns.
 

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The real truth is its tons cheaper, but only theoretically. You shoot so much more, you are in "deeper". ::) ;D
 

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Depending on how you load them you can get dozens of fireings from a case. I used to get 6 or 7 when I loaded them hot. Now, if I need to build some hot I'll use new or more likely once fired brass & then after that I use milder loads for practice. Theres a wide window of expense for everything except primers. you can spend $.50 or more for a bullet or get 500 for $30, you can use upwards of 15 grains a round or 5 grains a round. So its very hard to say exactly how much you save. Its about much more than saving money anyway but I doubt a box of hot jacketed 357 costs me more than $10.00. Brass, as you surely noticed, is the most expensive part, if you can scrounge it or have hundreds saved from before you start reloading, you save much more than if you buy it.
 

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Straight wall pistol cases last until they crack or get lost. Over a dozen cycles is easily accomplished by being judicious in flair and crimp.

I have been loading and casting for over 30 years. The cost of my equipment is long since amortized. I'm loading primers and powder that I bought in quantity years ago when prices were low compared to today. With a cast 180 grain bullet and a stout charge of Alliant 2400, fifty .357 magnums cost me less than $3.

When my current stocks are depleted I'll buy in quantity again. My bragging rights will go down a bit for a couple of years, but prices will rise and I'll once again be able to post about loading for a 5th of the price of even the cheapest factory fodder. I've run the cycle many times...
 

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I cannot imagine not reloading now. I never used too, but I slowly got into it buying a piece at a time ( mostly used as I ran acrossed it). I am now casting my own bullets which really add to the savings. Granted I do shoot alot more due to reloading but I also like the relaxation and the satisfaction it brings. As said above start slow and if you decide to jump in make sure the 1st thing you have is a good reloading manual...consider that your life vest in reloading ! It is the most important tool for reloading.
 

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I just loaded 750 rounds of 158 grain Winchester bulleted JHP in cases from the 80's that have been fired 1-3 times each; I used 13.0 grains of 2400 and WSP primers.

Checking Graf & Sons today, those rounds would cost you $17.19 for 100 Win 158 grain JHP bullets, $17.79 for a pound of 2400 powder (you would get 535 loads per pound), and $28.99 per thousand primers. Assume you have a few cases; my loads at today's prices would cost you:

$8.60 for bullets
1.67 for powder
1.45 for primers
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$11.72 for a box of 50.

If you have to buy cases, the first box will cost you $7.50 more (Starline brass @ $14.99 per 100), so now you are up to $19.22 per box - that goes back down to $11.72 when you have once-fired brass.

The cheapest factory ammo I use (and I don't use much) is Federal American Eagle 158 grain JSP - it's $20.19 on sale today, regular $22.19, also at Graf's. I cite Graf's because they have free shipping on everything except primers & powder - these require a $25 hazmat fee and $4.95 shipping & insurance.

Does that help?
 

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BSkerj said:
I cannot imagine not reloading now. I never used too, but I slowly got into it buying a piece at a time ( mostly used as I ran acrossed it).
Good to see you back, Hiram! Where've you been?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Halwg said:
You can reload 357 brass in excess of 10 times. I have brass I have loaded many, many times. Generally straight walled cases like this don't stretch much. The only brass I have had any issues with is nickel plated. It's brittle and will tend to crack around the mouth after a number of reloads. I can load my own 357 much more cheaply than I can buy factory rounds.

Plus I'd never shoot any Fiocchi FMJ out of my guns.

Why not Fiocchi??
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the tip on Graf's. I will definitely check it out. I can see the value definitely if I got over 5 or 6 reloads.
biku324 said:
I just loaded 750 rounds of 158 grain Winchester bulleted JHP in cases from the 80's that have been fired 1-3 times each; I used 13.0 grains of 2400 and WSP primers.

Checking Graf & Sons today, those rounds would cost you $17.19 for 100 Win 158 grain JHP bullets, $17.79 for a pound of 2400 powder (you would get 535 loads per pound), and $28.99 per thousand primers. Assume you have a few cases; my loads at today's prices would cost you:

$8.60 for bullets
1.67 for powder
1.45 for primers
______
$11.72 for a box of 50.

If you have to buy cases, the first box will cost you $7.50 more (Starline brass @ $14.99 per 100), so now you are up to $19.22 per box - that goes back down to $11.72 when you have once-fired brass.

The cheapest factory ammo I use (and I don't use much) is Federal American Eagle 158 grain JSP - it's $20.19 on sale today, regular $22.19, also at Graf's. I cite Graf's because they have free shipping on everything except primers & powder - these require a $25 hazmat fee and $4.95 shipping & insurance.

Does that help?
 

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When I buy, I buy in bulk - if Graf, MidwayUSA, Midsouth, or Natchez has the stuff I want, I put a pencil to the prices and shipping combined, and whomever has the best price on the total order gets my business.
 

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Depends on the load like others have said. I also avoid nickle plated brass. I have some .357 brass that, after using it for a couple of heavier loadings, has been relegated to light loads and is now going on 16 loads. The limiting factor for brass life (especially on straight walled cases), other than how heavy the loads are, is how much case mouth belling is used in the reload.
 

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Anything 38 or 357 has been given to me. Our deputy cheif was always into 357, so i would check out local cop sources. Heck, I just got 88 new Rem 45-70 cases once used for visiting a pawn shop at the right time. Keep your ears open!
 

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I can't add much to what's been posted above, but to me loading my own sure beats buy factory ammo. Not only is it cheaper, but I can load it with what I want the way I want it.
 

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Has anyone mentioned the benefit of "improved accuracy?" Heck ... if it was the same price of factory ammo, I'd still reload as I'm customizing the rounds for each one of my guns. It doesn't take an Einstein here to see the benefits but you have to weigh all of the benefits to the initial cash outlay. If I didn't have any cash to get into reloading, I'd sell one of my guns so I could customize my loads for the rest of my guns.

I have reloaded .45 colt Starline brass over 15 times with no problems (not hot hunting loads.)

bjm
 

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I was just thinking that I'm not sure I've ever bought 357 brass. I've picked some up, traded for some, had some given to me, and years ago bought 4 boxes of factory loads that I shot and kept the brass for reloading. I still have most of it, only discarding it when I get cracks at the mouth. That has mostly happened with nickel brass. So my brass costs for the 357 have been minimal.

Oh, and one other thing, I got some Magtech brass a while back and this stuff is awful to reload. The case rims seem to be thicker than normal and they won't fit into my Auto-Prime. I had to prime them all with the press. I think I'll trade them for something.
 

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I'm like you Halwg. Don't think I've ever bought any empty 357 brass. Bought plenty of 44-40 brass, but that's about it on brass purchases. Most of my 357 brass came from ammo purchases early on along with a few hundred that were give to me by relatives. I bought a lot of CAS ammo 357s and most of my brass came from that.
 

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Saving a bit of money is a part of it, but I also like the ability to tinker with loads to make them more appropriate for the firearm, even though they are all 357 mag. For example, I load 125s and 158s with Universal Clays for my 2, 4 & 6 inch revolvers, but I load 160 gr cast and 180 grn jacketed for the 1894C to get higher velocity. One can also load one cartridge which will work satisfactorily in all of these based on preferences (muzzle flash, recoil, velocity, accuracy, powder economy, wear on the brass, wear on the guns, etc). When you buy factory ammo, you only get their choice and amount of powder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
HALWG,
sure appreciate yours and everybody's comments here. I have been saving all my factory brass as I shoot it, just in case. You did make one remark that I don't understand though. Why wouldn't you shoot Fiocchi .357? Is it really bad for the barrel or what?? Or is it the FMJ, or what?
I am going to consider reloading more carefully now. Thanks!
 

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Use a cast boolit and cut your costs...cast your own and have a wider variety of designs and sizes to load at even lower cost (if you amortize the cost of the casting set-up over time.)

A long time ago, SHOOTING TIMES magazine ran an experiment where they reloaded ONE 38 special casing several hundred times...showed the empty in a pile of powder, cast boolits and primers. Admittedly a stunt, but possible if you do minimal working of the brass reloading and use VERY LOW END loads. I'm not into super light loads, but I usually get 10+ loadings on brass in either 357 or 44.

You can get once-fired brass at reasonable prices on gunbroker. Start watching and get some prices before buying AND factor in the price of shipping. I won't buy lots of less than 200 pistol empties and prefer 500 to 1000. The bigger lots usually scare off the low end reloaders and you get a better price per casing that way.
 
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