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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:27 pm
Posts: 83
Location: ST Louis Metro (St Charles County, MO)
One thing worth noting to Bob (or any one else in the St Louis area) is that we're blessed with an abundance of shooting supply stores that carry ammunition and reloading supplies, even ignoring local gun stores (my favorrite of which actually managed to have .22 ammo 70% of the time I went in during the height of the ammo shortage a couple years ago!), so it's relatively easy to avoid shipping and hazmat costs on most supplies, which is great.

A few of the bigger names are: Bass Pro, Cabelas, and Gander mountain, and, technically, it's possible to drive to midway USA in Columbia (though probably not worth it just to avoid shipping and hazmat fees).

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I recommend and use the following Vepr-12 upgrades: Muzzle break: Molot GK-01; Recoil pad: Allan Company (med size); trigger: ALG AKT (*if* you like a light pull); Lube: super lube on appropriate friction surfaces.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:05 pm 
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Good info. I never would have thought the "big three" (sporting good stores) would be competitive on reloading supplies. Thank you!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:06 pm
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Location: Washington
IMO they aren't competitive. Buying components at those at retail can still be cheaper than buying commercial ammo. I've only seen goodish deals at brick and mortars. Those were mostly private small chain sporting goods/gun stores. Bi-mart can be OK. Cabelas is consistently $4-6 more per pound of powder than any other retail place I check.

IMO the best consistent deals that I see on your components are:

Natchezz for powder and primers, but sometimes also midway, Precision Reloading, and Ballistic Products.

Those two are the most important for keeping costs down. Bulk buying primers will make a huge effect on the overall expense.

Powder can be difficult to get your flavor in stock. - and if you need it and one place is a third over what you normally pay, you'll pay it. So getting an 8 lb can at a reasonable price is both convenient and saves a lot of money.

For booth of those, buying online is only worthwhile if you do enough volume to make up for hazmat fees.

For buckshot, precision reloading has been the cheapest place every time I have looked. For birdshot, it might be your local gun store. That stuff has gone up a lot in the last couple of years. Watch for shipping cost. Cabelas, etc. would only be a good deal if they have it on a clearance sale.

If you are buying projectiles, sometimes places like cabelas will be cost effective, but that's rarer. For high pressure jacketed rifle bullets, I always check RMR, etc. Match grade bullets are trickier. I do a google search of the exact projectile and look through each link on the first three pages of hits. Often there will be some small shop which is substantially cheaper- if you buy in quantity. But if you are reloading match ammo, you want to buy in large lots anyway for consistency reasons. Once you have your gun dialed in to a load, you want to keep using bullets from that lot as long as possible. So orders of 1k or 5k are practical. Oh. almost forgot. I check gun bot and ammo engine before making any purchase too. Often I beat them, but now and then...

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P.M. me if you want help:
modify or fix your gun

shotguns, some gunsmithing, reloading, fabrication, knife making, etc.

I'm a firearms/NFA attorney in Wa. Let's combine business, pleasure, and stamps.

http://www.youtube.com/user/armaggedonite


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:27 pm
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Location: ST Louis Metro (St Charles County, MO)
Serious bulk probably is going to be cheaper online, so if you find a primer/wad/powder combo you like, that's probably the way to go, possibly getting a person or 2 that's nearby to go in with you to cut hazmat fees even more.

I don't know about gander mountain ( it's new and I haven't been there yet), but bass pro tends to be a little higher in price than Cabelas in my experience (and less apt to shooting related sales).

I'll agree that you can probably find better prices on bulk components if you look, but they make it so that you can buy a pound of powder or a couple hundred primers to try them out, since you can skip the hazmat and shipping costs, which is worth something at times.

Midway USA is a mixed blessing. We pay sales tax and shipping here, which rises their price a bit, but st louis is so close that orders arrive the next day, and if you're ever going out that way anyhow, then you can use local pickup.

_________________
I recommend and use the following Vepr-12 upgrades: Muzzle break: Molot GK-01; Recoil pad: Allan Company (med size); trigger: ALG AKT (*if* you like a light pull); Lube: super lube on appropriate friction surfaces.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:06 pm
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Location: Washington
One thing I was probably overlooking.

I think cabelas, bass pro, etc. Are a lot more mainstream and consequently more competitive in the midwest and east. I live in the PNW, where they are almost an exotic novelty, and a recent phenomenon. Having seen the original stores in Nebraska, I can say that the ones we have up here are smaller and have less variety and less traffic. I think they have to mark up more to cover operating costs.

Given the option I will buy primers and powder from local stores if the cost is close and they have what I need. That keeps them available. The big online retailers tend to have big sales, then be out of stock for months. That doesn't promote local economy, or steady availability to me of what I need. It's consistently worked out that when I had the cash to buy, the online stores were empty, and when they had bulk sales, I was skint. That means most of my reloading has been done by buying a thousand primers over the counter and a pound of powder at a time. It still pays, but I've never really hit the peak efficiency.

_________________
P.M. me if you want help:
modify or fix your gun

shotguns, some gunsmithing, reloading, fabrication, knife making, etc.

I'm a firearms/NFA attorney in Wa. Let's combine business, pleasure, and stamps.

http://www.youtube.com/user/armaggedonite


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:39 am 
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Yip, the Bass Pro flagship store was in Springfield Missouri, if memory serves.
I was a very young lad walking in that store the first time....... So massive.

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Bobs V12: v1.0 #14VAC7883 R.I.P. -- v2.0 Particularly awesome.
"Advanced Noob".


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