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Thread: How much to reload .44 Russian / Special ?

  1. #1
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    How much to reload .44 Russian / Special ?

    I don't reload.

    But I'm kicking the idea around in case I decide to shoot my GP100 .44 Special more than a few hundred rounds a year.

    It costs about 50 cents a round now for the ammo I like. Reloading at 25 cents a round isn't worth my time. 15 cents a round probably would be. 200 gr SWC, 240 gr SWC, 246 gr LRN, or other bullet really doesn't matter. I would not be molding my own.

    I rather like the .44 Russian casings. I read they use less powder for the same velocity. But not a big deal.

    I also hear I could reload my casings a bunch of times.

  2. #2
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    1000 240 grain lead semi wadcutter bullets is about $100 plus some shipping. Let's assume you can get 1K delivered for $120. That's 12 cents per bullet.

    Large standard pistol primers are about $30 per thousand. That's around 3 cents per primer.

    Powder (I use Accurate Arms #5 in .44 spl and most other pistols) costs about $25 per pound. If I use 10 grains for each load (like I'm planning to do for plinkers in my .44 mag), that's 4 cents per round for powder. You will be using no more than five grains in a .44 special gun, so it'll cost you two cents.

    You already have the cases, which are the expensive part. Cases last a long time. With proper technique you should be able to load them dozens of times, particularly lower pressure rounds like .44 spl and .45 ACP.

    Your marginal cost of producing a round of .44 ammo is 17 cents. That's less than half the cost of a new round of ammo.

    The difference is even more pronounced when I load .357 mag. That $25 box of .357 can be made in my garage for about $6.50.

    The initial investment of several hundred dollars will pay for itself soon. Additional calibers can be added for the cost of a set of dies and a shellholder. Most of my reloading equipment, bought in the late 1970s, is still in frequent use. I recently had to drop another $220 or so on a new press. 40 years of reloading has saved much money. Another advantage is that particularly with revolvers, you can tailor the load to do what you want. Again, during the Great Ammo Shortage of 2008, when shooters I know were scurrying for a box of ammo, I had plenty of powder, primer and bullets on hand. If I wanted to shoot a box of .45s, I just loaded 'em up and shot.

    Skip the .44 Russian cases and load with .44 spl.
    Last edited by Uni-Vibe; 09-04-18 at 13:03.

  3. #3
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    Thank you!

  4. #4
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    Uni-Vibe's post is spot on.

    Get a simple single-stage press and dies, read a good load book, and get to it!

  5. #5
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    There are threads on this topic, but you will need:

    1. At least one good loading manual. I don't mean just data sheets like Accurate Arms puts on their website, I mean comprehensive loading instruction manuals.

    2. A good single stage press. I recommend the Redding Big Boss 2. It's strong (and Made In USA) and should last decades.

    3. A strong bench. Check out the net for ideas.

    4. A scale.

    5. A powder dumper, like the RCBS one.

    6. Plastic trays like MTM ones.

    7. RCBS bench priming tool. You can priime with the press but I like the bench tool.

    8. RCBS primer flipping tray.

    9. Case chamfering tool.

    10. Calipers.

    These are the basics and there are other things you will need later. You're looking at several hundred dollars investment, but this stuff all lasts decades.

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