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Paul053
07-15-2012, 1:33 AM
Hi folks, I'm three weeks post ACL surgery and I'm starting to climb the walls of my house from boredom. So I figured I'd use the time to learn about reloading. I was wondering, given market prices of reloading ingredients, what can I expect the per round cost would be to make plinking ammo in 556, 45 and 9mm? ie. if 556 sells for about .36 to .40 cents shipped to my door, what kind of savings would I see if I reloaded? Thank you for your time.

dholla
07-15-2012, 3:14 AM
General average estimate, probably around 10-15 a round for pistol. Depends what powder, primer, bullet you are using. Are you counting having to buy brass, or using range brass? If you cast your own lead it can get cheaper in the long run also.

ptroxx
07-15-2012, 6:36 AM
THis should help out

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=552074

Sanderhawk
07-15-2012, 6:41 AM
I have found that reloading my shotgun shells isn`t worth the cost of everything. I can buy them cheap.

As far as reloading my other calibers I have also found I can buy great re loads at a real good price. It just wouldn`t be worth all the money I would have to spend on equipment and supplys to do my own reloads. JMO.

secret.asian.man
07-15-2012, 7:19 AM
i make my .40s&w and my .223 for about $0.24 a round.

i make my 9mm for about $0.14 a round

i don't make .45acp yet.

shotgun i store buy, but plan to reload one day only to make specialty rounds.

Revoman
07-15-2012, 7:21 AM
While the initial outlay of cash seems like a lot, consider that you are simply 'renting' the equipment. After all, if you get out of reloading, you're gonna sell the equipment for not too much less than you paid for it in the first place. There are those who 'pay' themselves to reload, ridiculous. I suppose they 'pay' themselves to watch TV too?

There are also those that say you don't save any money reloading, you just shoot more. While this is somewhat true, there are still monetary rewards while reloading. Cost savings is one, a great hobby is another and tailoring a round to suit your particular firearm is another.

You will save money, even with shotgun shells, by reloading. Especially over a long time. Depends on how much time you have on your hands to dedicate to the sport.

The down side is that reloading can be dangerous if you take it lightly and don't follow the 'rules'.

For the most part in order to save the most money, you need to buy in bulk, another large chunk of money, but again over the long haul, it pays off. When I say bulk, I'm not talking about 1K of bullets, bulk would be in the 5-10K range. 4-8 pounds of powder and 10K primers minimally. There are group buys on this forum often too.

In general I find that most of the handgun calibers that I reload can be had for well below half the cost of store bought. Shotgun not so much, maybe a 15% savings, but I like reloading as a hobby.

rromeo
07-15-2012, 7:37 AM
I shoot a lot of .38sp and .357mag. I load those for 10-15 cents, and I don't cast bullets or buy in huge bulk lots.

CSACANNONEER
07-15-2012, 7:38 AM
I have found that reloading my shotgun shells isn`t worth the cost of everything. I can buy them cheap.

As far as reloading my other calibers I have also found I can buy great re loads at a real good price. It just wouldn`t be worth all the money I would have to spend on equipment and supplys to do my own reloads. JMO.

So, it's all about "cheap ammo" for you instead of "better quality"? That's fine. But, when reloading shotshells or metalic cartridges, one has the ability to taylor the loads to his/her exact requirements.

Personally, I don't reload a lot of 12g anymore but, I do reload a lot of .410. It saves me about 3/4 over buying "cheap factory ammo". I can reload 12g 00 and slug with projos I've cast and save a ton too. When it comes to metalic cartridges, it depends on the cartridge. The common ones aren't going to be as big a savings as the less common ones. Also, rifle rounds are alway cheaper and better quality if reloaded for a specific rifle. I reload some less common pistol rounds and it saves me a ton. It's cheaper to reload my 32-20 than it is to reload .357 or .44 mag but, factory 32-20 costs more.
see what I mean? Another way to save money and always have a source for the same bullet is to get into casting. Since I cast most handgun rounds that I load from .25 acp to .44mag, they all cost me about the same as what a .22lr costs me. Oh, I do used scrounged lead. Now, unless you're getting your .44mag, .45LC, .45 acp, 32-20, .357, .38 S&W, .38 Special, 9mm, .380, 32 special, 7.62x38R, etc. for less than $2.50/50 rounds, reloading, along with casting, will save a lot of cash.

AAShooter
07-15-2012, 7:51 AM
I have found that reloading my shotgun shells isn`t worth the cost of everything. I can buy them cheap. . .


Shotshell reloading is challenging to save money if you are happy with cheap ammo (~$5.50/box in 12 gauge) like the 100 round packs at Walmart in 12 gauge. However, if you are buying quality ammo like Winchester AA's or Remington STS/Nitro (~$ 8.00+/box in 12 gauge), they are substantially more expensive. Additionally, you have very limited selection in load selection in the inexpensive promotional rounds sold at Walmart. For example, I like low-recoil 1 ounce loads and they just aren't available in the 100-packs offered by Walmart.

If you are shooting anything other than 12 gauge, the price of shotshells add up quickly. For example, if you are shooting 28 gauge shells, the savings per box can be dramatic.

Further, like much of reloading, buying in bulk (or getting bulk pricing) is the key to getting good savings. This is especially true when reloading 12 gauge. You need to be thinking of buying primers and hulls by the case, powder in large sizes (not 1lb cans), and bags of shots. It is not uncommon for people to buy 1000 lbs of shot at a time.

Finally, if you like to customize your loads, reloading is the way to go.

DarkSoul
07-15-2012, 7:52 AM
Another thing to consider if you have friends that you shoot with a lot, is going in together on some equipment. There are 4 of us that shoot a lot and are in the same club, we all went in on some pretty good equipment-

Dillon 550 (with the works)
Dillon 650 (with the works)
Dillon swager
Geraud Trimmer
Geraud annealer
Home made stainless tumbler from a cement mixer

By all of us going in on the gear, we each spend the equivalent of getting some entry level gear, but get great gear.

And then we all pick up brass, and Usually pick up a lot more than we shoot when we shoot with the club.

Cost of equipment aside, we buy lots of milsurp bullets and powder for plinking, and are loading 5.56 for about $.17 , 9mm for about $.12-13 , and .45 for about $.15-16

The trick is do buy everything in quantity to amortize the hazmat costs over more product, i.e. powder and primers.

CSACANNONEER
07-15-2012, 8:11 AM
Since you're just learning, why not get a cheap Lee handpress, a set of dies, a couple reloading blocks and a good quality scale? You'll be able to sit on the couch and reload 50 or so rounds an hour. Going slow is very good for a beginner. Hell, I use a Lee handpress for small runs (<100). I use single stage presses for most of my rifle (read that as bottle necked rifle or pistol) rounds and smaller batches of straigh twalled rounds. I only go to my progressives for >100 round batches. Anyway, you can start reloading for less than $200 in equipment and components just to see how you like it. In the end, you'll want a SS press or two on your bench even if you have a few progressives.

Cowboy T
07-15-2012, 8:11 AM
This is what it costs me to reload my rounds.

.38 Special: 6.5 cents/round
.357 Magnum: 9 cents/round
.44 Spl, .45 Colt: 10 cents/round
.44 Magnum, ".45 Colt Magnum": 16 cents/round

This assumes eight uses of your brass, on average, which is what I'm seeing.

bandook
07-15-2012, 8:33 AM
You didn't give us one very important piece of information...
How much do you shoot?

Of the calibers listed, your greatest savings are going to come off 45ACP.

You can get 1K 230gr fmj reloads for about $300 shipped

For reloading...
$125 for fmj bullets.
$25 primers
$20 powder
$60 fired brass.
Total: $230/K
This is the true equivalent of self vs purchased reloads.

But this is what most of us do:
Lead bullets: $70/k
Range pickup brass:$0
Total cost:
$115/k for lead
$145/k for plated
$170/k For jacketed

You can also cast your boolits, but that's a while new level of dedication...

Add to it a $500 initial setup ( using a lee turret kit) and you'll see why the shooting volume matters.

iano1
07-15-2012, 9:30 AM
Here's a ROUGH estimate for what I reload. My estimates are somewhat average to give you a realistic idea of savings. Note that you can find better deals on components to lower your cost but these are "all day" prices you can get on components -

.45ACP- range brass
1lb powder= $30
1k primers= $30
1k 230 Gr FMJ bullets= $120
Total= $180
Cheapest I can find .45 ammo (1k)shipped to my door is $300+

.223

Powder (Varget)- enough to make 1k rounds= $75
Primers= $30
1k 55gr FMJ bullets= $80
Total= $185
Again cheapest I can find for factory rounds is $300 +

Like others have mentioned - shotgun isn't worth time cause it's cheap. For me I save less than $50 for 1k rounds of 9MM, so I don't reload 9mm.

I just bought a .300 WSM - ill find HUGE savings reloading for that- I'm starting .308- again big savings!

Hope this gives you some perspective/help ....

HighLander51
07-15-2012, 9:48 AM
what kind of savings would I see if I reloaded?

Unless you are shooting over 1,000 rounds a month( or make less than $30 an hour), I wouldn't recommend it. You can buy quality reloads for about 20% more than you can reload for, and you don't have the initial cost of reloading press, dies, tumbler, media, scale, case gage, and the consumables of powder, primers, cases, and bullets. I load 9mm for about $ 116/thousand ( about $5.80 box) buying 10,000 bullets, 5,600 cases, 10,000 primers, and 16 lbs of powder at a time. My current press is 11 years old, and my tumbler is 16 years old, so the equipment amortized out years ago.

But I can buy good quality reloads for $110 plus tax (500 rounds), about $124.50, plus gas and time to pick them up, add 3 hours and $18. Hardly seems worth it, except I have developed an accurate load for USPSA competition for my Glocks and have been shooting this for over 15 years. http://laxrange.com/index.php/lax-ammunition-reloads-factory-new/

125 TC Bear Creek moly 9mm
4.0 grains of Titegroup
overall length 1.155"

Sac-AR15
07-15-2012, 9:54 AM
Here's what I pay for my reloads.

45ACP:
1k primers=$30
1k 230gr=$110
1lb powder=$20
Brass =free
Total = $160

mroels
07-15-2012, 11:35 AM
Since you're just learning, why not get a cheap Lee handpress, a set of dies, a couple reloading blocks and a good quality scale?.

I'm one month into reloading and went this route. Hand press, dies, zip trim, scale, case mic, caliper, primers, powder, bullets, manual. Cost around $200. Since I didn't buy anything bulk my savings aren't huge but I'm making .223 match grade ammo for the cost of plinking ammo. But I didn't get into it for savings though. Already know what I'm getting myself for Xmas

ptmccain
07-15-2012, 11:38 AM
The Truth About Guns (http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/07/jim-barrett/reloading-a-costbenefit-analysis-part-two-2/) has had a series of articles which I've found helpful.


Respectfully offered, FWIW and, as always, YMMV.

Ken Woodford
07-15-2012, 12:08 PM
I don't think anyone should use the intitial output of cash to buy equipmant as "how much does it cost to reload". In the mis 80's I bought all my equipment. Since then over 10,000 rounds...maybe 15,000 rounds loaded. Should I really have to break down that initial 300 cost to this day? No. I mean do people really count the sticker price of their car with the cost of maintaining that car...no.

Eventhough the intitial expense is alot...it is worth it over time. I've reloaded some 38 brass probably 20 times...that cost per round is about zero as far as brass is concerned.

Something for you to ponder.

ptmccain
07-15-2012, 12:14 PM
Ken, seriously?

Why not?

You do need to include that to understand what your ROI point will be [return on investment].

I'm not so sure about the "time" argument, per se. I mean, if you find it relaxing, your time does not matter, but I can even see that point.


As always, I offer these comments, respectfully, FWIW and with the caveat that YMMV.

mzimmers
07-15-2012, 1:30 PM
Hey, Paul -

As you can see, the responses to the economy are all over the map. The reason for this isn't that some people are wrong, but that we all have different tastes in components and our approach to handloading.

A little historical perspective might be in order. When handloading began to really grow in popularity (post WWII), the quality of the typical commercial ammunition was really not that great: choices (such as bullet weight) were limited, and consistency was a little spotty. There was a lot to be gained from handloading if accuracy was a high priority for you.

We're in a very different situation today. The premium ammunition market has absolutely exploded in the last 10-20 years. You can buy stuff today that is really hard for the casual handloader to improve upon.

With that said, I think the reasons for choosing to handload are:

1. you shoot a LOT (>100 rounds a week) and/or shoot something very expensive, and want to save a little money.
2. you have *extremely* high standards for your accuracy (MOA isn't good enough for you). Note that while handloading for super accuracy is possible, it will take more equipment and experience than many people are willing to invest in.
3. you have a gun for which ammunition is really difficult to come by (like W256 Winchester magnum).
4. you have a lot of spare time, some spare space, and a desire to consume both.

If none of these apply to you, then you might want to skip it, without micro-analyzing the per round cost savings.

Paul053
07-15-2012, 1:56 PM
Thanks to all for the well informed responses. To those wondering I shoot roughly 100 rounds of 45 and 556 every time I go out usually after running a few hundred rounds of .22 through the Conversion kits I have. Probabaly go out once or twice a month. I'm mainly looking at it as a way to cure boredom during the summer due to my surgery. The price of ammo is definitely putting a crimp on wanting to shoot more. This is all something that I'm going to have to take in account before I move forward.

Thanks again to all.

Divernhunter
07-15-2012, 1:59 PM
I have reloaded since I was a kid(1960's) and will only shoot my handloads when hunting. I buy Mil surplus for fun shooting when it is cheap. I also load much of my practice/plinking/fun ammo. I buy in bulk;12+ of the large powder jugs. Some are 4lbs(Win231) and others are 8lbs such as IMR4831. When I buy bullets or brass it is a min of 1,000 per caliber or cartridge except a few uncommon cartridges. Primers are 10,000-30,000 at a time usually. IF I find a store with good prices I often buy less since they usually will not have that much on hand.
I load for cartridges which are hard to very hard to find ammo for or are very costly.

That said : Do I save money? Well yes and no. First I probably would not own some of the odd, hard to get ammo for firearms if I did not load. If I owned them I would just shoot them less. So for these I am not really saving money. BUT I do get to shoot them more and own them because I reload.
I also reload because it is a part of the overall firearms hobby(obsession) of mine. I also enjoy it most of the time. Unless I am pressured to get some loaded for something or somebody.
I do allot of shooting and reloading helps cut cost especially on uncommon cartridges of others that I stocked up on stuff for years ago. I am still shooting componants I purchased many years ago(Hornady 55grSX bullets for $3.95/100, powder for $3-6/lb and $1.09/100 primers) and this custs cost NOW.

All of that said I am one of the people that say that most shooters who keep reloading do not save any money spent "AT THE END OF THE YEAR" and each year. They do shoot much more than if they had to buy factory ammo. They also can shoot better ammo but not always. They can enjoy the hobby as reloading is a hobby in itself. I started to reload to save money so I could shoot more. Started with 30-06 and 44mag. I now reload for 35+ different cartridges. I also think I sometimes shoot more so I can reload more and test new combo's out.
Do not forget that once you get the equipment to start reloading most people find new items they cannot live without as far as the reloading. Then you start wanting a Chrono for testing what you have and what you want to try. Of course there seem to be new powders and bullets to test out much more nowdays than years ago.

So I say do not go into reloading with the only thought of saving money because if you do you will probably be disappointed.

G-forceJunkie
07-15-2012, 3:09 PM
My take: You will never save money reloading. You just get to turn some of your free time into additional ammo. More shooting, same $$$ out of your pocket.

Paul053
07-15-2012, 4:29 PM
Divernhunter. Thanks for that point of view. I got in to mountain bikes a few years ago and within a few years I owned 7 different bikes and enought tools and supplies to open my own bike shop! I know too well about upgradeitis!

mjmagee67
07-15-2012, 6:47 PM
I save 40-60% depending on what and how I reload.

blockfort
07-15-2012, 7:00 PM
Im new to reloading, i got a Lee challenger kit and have only reloaded about 600 9mm rounds (at 12.8 cents per round with found brass) and 300 45 rounds (at 16.4 cents per round with found brass). But I can say that I love it, and I wish I started sooner. If you think you'll enjoy it, do it, even if you're not shooting very much. It's worth it not only from a monetary point of view, but also as a pure hobby. And you can make custom loads for just what you want. For me they are soft for IDPA. You can't buy them like I want them.

Cheese & Bacon
07-15-2012, 7:02 PM
I don't think I've saved much money yet, but I've also just begun.

I reload as a hobby and a stress reliever.

HighLander51
07-15-2012, 7:22 PM
My take: You will never save money reloading. You just get to turn some of your free time into additional ammo. More shooting, same $$$ out of your pocket.

That is correct. All you do is burn more rounds, but if you shoot competition, it's just the way it works.

mzimmers
07-15-2012, 7:26 PM
That is correct. All you do is burn more rounds, but if you shoot competition, it's just the way it works.

There are exceptions. A week ago, I ran into a guy at the range with a S&W .500. He had a few boxes of ammo on the table. One from Hornady (containing 20 rounds, I think) had a price tag of just under $70. He'd also gotten a box of reloads from somewhere that were about half that price, but were occasionally misfiring.

It wouldn't take a ton of shooting to pay for a single-stage press and some accessories in this case.

blockfort
07-15-2012, 8:12 PM
I actually enjoy it so much that I feel kind of bummed when I have nothing left to reload. And now I'm looking in to precision rifle shooting so I can do really nice work on a small number of rifle rounds.

Oceanbob
07-15-2012, 8:39 PM
I don't think anyone should use the intitial output of cash to buy equipmant as "how much does it cost to reload". In the mis 80's I bought all my equipment. Since then over 10,000 rounds...maybe 15,000 rounds loaded. Should I really have to break down that initial 300 cost to this day? No. I mean do people really count the sticker price of their car with the cost of maintaining that car...no.

Eventhough the intitial expense is alot...it is worth it over time. I've reloaded some 38 brass probably 20 times...that cost per round is about zero as far as brass is concerned.

Something for you to ponder.

I agree with Ken. Get quality equipment that holds value (Dillon for example).

Ignore the initial cost. Pretend you blew $1000 cash in Las Vegas. Buy the set up you need. Don't fret about money. Same advice for a good quality Safe. Spend two guns worth getting set up. :D

I bought my 2 dillon machines back in 1992ish....a Dillon 1050 that's set up for .45 auto. Can run 1200 rounds an hour. Did a lot of .45 stuff back then. :D

My Dillon 550B is set up for .40 and 10MM (same dies, different adjustments).

Bought 20 pounds of various powders over the years. Longshot, 800X, Unique, Bullseye and some others.....we had a Primer scare a while back; someone said that the Government was going to insist primers went inert after 10 years...(Tin Foil Hat Time)....so everybody started buying Primers...I own 38 thousand of them. Bought 4000 primed .45ACP cases from Winchester as well. 2000 in .40.....40 was the hot ticket at the time.

Got 1000s of moly bullets, plated bullets, lead bullets, jacketed bullets in .45 and .40.....just bought them as the years went by.

Don't really know what it costs to reload. For me, Its free at this time. hehehe

Good luck...

blockfort
07-15-2012, 9:02 PM
Depending on how much you shoot, you could easily go with a much cheaper single stage press setup. Yes, it takes longer, but I enjoy the time I spend doing it. I need about 400 rounds a week, which is about 4 hours, and I enjoy all of it. If you get a fast machine, it'll all be done too fast. That's my position, you have to judge by your situation.

Sac-AR15
07-15-2012, 9:04 PM
I actually enjoy it so much that I feel kind of bummed when I have nothing left to reload. And now I'm looking in to precision rifle shooting so I can do really nice work on a small number of rifle rounds.

I have penty you can reload for me. :D. Just trying to help you out and keep you busy. LOL...

I never factored in the cost of equipment. I already broke even and now it's a hobby for me to reload. My wife doesn't even like to shoot store bought ammo cuz she likes how the reloads feel. Less kick and she's more accurate with it.

CGT80
07-16-2012, 12:11 AM
There are exceptions. A week ago, I ran into a guy at the range with a S&W .500. He had a few boxes of ammo on the table. One from Hornady (containing 20 rounds, I think) had a price tag of just under $70. He'd also gotten a box of reloads from somewhere that were about half that price, but were occasionally misfiring.

It wouldn't take a ton of shooting to pay for a single-stage press and some accessories in this case.

I shoot steel competitions with a 9mm modified XD. I load 9mm with JHP bullets for $12.50 per 100. I burn up to 400 rounds per match for my scored runs, and practice afterward. I got a Smith 460 xvr for fun. The local shop wanted $65 for 20 rounds. They only had one choice in ammo for 460. Midway sells it for $25+ per 20. I can load my own with the same hornady bullets for $14 (I only bought 1 pound of powder at the local store vs. 8 pounds from powder valley) or less per 20.

I cast bullets for my 460. In 45lc cases, 100 rounds costs me $8.80, and that includes the cost of buying lead at $1 per pound. I have a bunch of lead that I didn't have to pay for. Light 460 loads with my cast bullet are around $14 per 100.

I could load on single stage for the 460, but I use my dillon 550. I have a dillon 1050 and bullet feeder just for 9mm. I also load for two other people who use 9mm. It does work both ways.

Ken Woodford
07-16-2012, 8:54 AM
Ken, seriously?

Why not?

You do need to include that to understand what your ROI point will be [return on investment].

I'm not so sure about the "time" argument, per se. I mean, if you find it relaxing, your time does not matter, but I can even see that point.


As always, I offer these comments, respectfully, FWIW and with the caveat that YMMV.


Well seriously???


As I mentioned with a car analogy...the cost to maintain your car (akin to shooting all the time) nobody and I mean nobody counts the out the door price plus nobody and again nobody counts the buying gas as a cost to maintaining the car.

I bought a Trek bike 2 years ago. The other day I bought 2 tires and tubes and some new pedal...total about 100. The bike cost me 700. What's my cost to maintain riding? I don't ride for or as a busness i do it as a hobby.

Now as a business...yes those people need to add the cost of the car and or reloading equipment...but were talking about a hobby. However if a forearm company buy a new milling machine for 100,00K and makes one part the first part of that machine for you..should you be the one that has to cover his cost of buying that machine...he has no idea how many parts hoe will make on that machine. Business' are the only ones who have to count the ROI not hobbies.


So why would anyone count the cost of buying the equipment??

However to those who feel that the cost of reloading equipment should be added to the cost of reloading then please ad the cost of the firearm too.


To me it's about maintaining the ability to shoot and cheaper.

blockfort
07-16-2012, 9:05 AM
In response to the above post, I and probably many other people as well did some calculations to figure out he cost per round including the equipment. As part of the decision making process I had to see if buying a machine was "worth it" from a cost perspective. And I discovered that even just reloading 9mm I would break even after several thousand rounds, less than a year's worth of shooting. It was good nformation to know before starting down that path. I may be overly analytical but I think more information is better then less when a decision has to be made.

Also, I don't really think your car analogy quite fits. I may not take the price of the car into account when I calculate maintenance costs, but I would take the car into account when I am deciding whether to buy a car or rent one. I used to use a car only for vacations and some occasion work trips. It worked out to be quite a low cost per year compared to the cost of a car. But when I needed it for work more often, purchasing a car became "worth it". Similarly, depending on how much someone will be reloading, expensive equipment or any equipment at all may not be "worth it", or may bring huge savings.

Of course there is the enjoyment factor as well, and that is another part of the decision, but it's ok if equipment costs are also considered.

P.Charm
07-16-2012, 9:22 AM
I just chaulked it up to another hobby. reloading seperate from shooting. so my equipment is all bought and paid for, I just need to buy primers, powder and bullets. I can calulate the equipment into it but then it will cost more to reload than buy factory or other reloads. I just calulate the consumables. and when ever I go shooting there is always at least one person that doesn't mind me picking up their brass.

so just buy the equipment and don't look back at how much you spent.

Ken Woodford
07-16-2012, 11:28 AM
Blockfort...I don't get what you are saying...regardless of how much or little you use the car...you still paid XXX for it and you don't calculate the XXX amount into how much it cost to maintain or use it. The reason why you bought the car..i.e for work or vacations irrelevant. One buys a press for one thing only...reload. I guess you buy a car to drive it as that's what it was made for.

ROI is really only for business. In a business you have product (bullets, primers, powder etc), you have assets the buildings, fixtures etc ( your reloading equipment) and liabilities..the employees (you).

In any business plan the ROI only has to deal with product...never assets.

So why would you include the assest (the equipment) into the cost. Yes a start up plan does include equipment but not ROI and once that startup cost is used it is never figured in again into a business plan.

So since this is a hobby there is no ROI.

To the OP..reloading is cheaper...no ifs and or butts. If your worried about how much a press cost...and trying to figure out how much it cost per round every time you reload...it won't be fun. If you wish to add the equipment in on a cost per round basis...yep it will take you upwards to thousands of rounds to make that intitial cost negligible.

Every reloader here will tell you when you shoot that first batch of your own reloaded ammo...it's a great feeling. And even better if you're a hunter and you harvest an animal with a round you made. There isn't a price for that.

Divernhunter
07-16-2012, 11:31 AM
As far as the guy with the 500S&W. If he loaded he probably would not save money in total cash spent at the end of the year. He might even spend more reloading for it because he would just shoot it more. He might enjoy it more if loaded down also and shoot even more than if full powder loads. I know I do with the one I have. Also it is not cheap to reload for with jacketed bullet. Have you priced the bullets as well as it takes more powder than other pistol rounds. Much less cost if you cast your own. But again you tend to shoot it more.

I am not telling people not to reload. I am saying do not do it JUST to "save money". It will not happen. Also it is not good for people who do not want to invest the time into the process and the hobby. If you have no time or think your time is worth too much then reloading is not for you. I find it a enjoyable and relaxing,fun part of my total firearm hobby and obsession.

gau17
07-16-2012, 11:57 AM
I don't care what people tell you. You will not save money reloading. It's another hobby within itself. You will end up shooting more.

P.Charm
07-16-2012, 12:20 PM
I don't care what people tell you. You will not save money reloading. It's another hobby within itself. You will end up shooting more.

this is what I had come to the conclusion while prepping brass. it's a hobby in itself. if you ever have so much ammo you don't know what to do with it all, you aren't shooting enough.

AAShooter
07-16-2012, 12:26 PM
I don't care what people tell you. You will not save money reloading. It's another hobby within itself. You will end up shooting more.

To go with that, if you don't enjoy reloading, you will pay dearly for any money you might save. Simply saving money is not a sufficient justification in most cases.

P.Charm
07-16-2012, 12:28 PM
To go with that, if you don't enjoy reloading, you will pay dearly for any money you might save. Simply saving money is not a sufficient justification in most cases.

I have hours tied up into my reloading and I haven't even reloaded yet, just prepping the brass (decapped, resized, tumbled) I just want to be able to just have ammo when I want it. (if all local stores are sold out)

gau17
07-16-2012, 12:54 PM
I have hours tied up into my reloading and I haven't even reloaded yet, just prepping the brass (decapped, resized, tumbled) I just want to be able to just have ammo when I want it. (if all local stores are sold out)

Why not just stock pile?

I personally enjoy reloading very much. I find it very therapeutic. I started out with the intention of saving money. 5 yrs later, it has probably cost me thousands. Be prepared just in case you get bit by the reloading bug.

P.Charm
07-16-2012, 1:02 PM
Why not just stock pile?

I personally enjoy reloading very much. I find it very therapeutic. I started out with the intention of saving money. 5 yrs later, it has probably cost me thousands. Be prepared just in case you get bit by the reloading bug.
I was joking with a buddy of mine yesterday and said i'm going to my local range and not shoot, just ask to pick up brass from other shooters. lol.

so as it stands now, I would only have roughly 1500 rounds if I reload everything I have. I plan on buying some more ammo just to get more brass.

HighLander51
07-16-2012, 1:11 PM
There are exceptions. A week ago, I ran into a guy at the range with a S&W .500. He had a few boxes of ammo on the table. One from Hornady (containing 20 rounds, I think) had a price tag of just under $70. He'd also gotten a box of reloads from somewhere that were about half that price, but were occasionally misfiring.

It wouldn't take a ton of shooting to pay for a single-stage press and some accessories in this case.

No I was speaking in terms of a progressive. I shoot a T/C Contender in .35 Rem that I load on a Rock Chucker Single stage, but that's only like 20 rounds every other year. And of course I still have the original 100 rounds of Remington brass I bought over 15 years ago.....

blockfort
07-16-2012, 1:39 PM
Ken, if I only need to use a car to take a weekend trip twice a year, is it smarter for me to buy a car, or to rent one? Most people would say it's probably better to rent.

If I was going to commute every day, it would probably be better to buy the car, because renting a car for 300 days a year would be much more expensive.

If someone shoots a hundred rounds a year, most people would probably say that it wouldn't be worth it to buy hundreds of dollars worth of equipment. If he shoots thousands per year, it is obviously well worth it from a financial point of view.

I know that the decision is not completely financial based, but cost, along with usage, need, enjoyment, and some other factors, are all part of an informed, rational, intelligent buying decision.

No, I don't think about how much I paid for the car every time I use it, but I think about how much I would have to pay for it vs my other options (such as renting a car, or buying factory ammo) before I decide to buy it at all.

the86d
07-16-2012, 3:06 PM
Since I only reload plated for our 9mm pistols, areas of my range that are off-limits to FMJ rounds are the most fun.

Falling plates are a BLAST!!! When we go to the range, we have the falling plates all to ourselves, and never get bothered, since nobody else can shoot them, as they all buy FMJs... This is just one benefit, other than cost is about 1/2(, when I buy plated 9mm in bulk).

meaty-btz
07-16-2012, 4:07 PM
Without consumption rates being factored in reloading DOES save money.. not just a little but a lot. Of course how much depends on the cost of the commercial ammo. My calculated costs for reloading 7.62x25 comes out at about $10/50, the costliest of my pistol ammo, that will trump most surplus for that cal these days and it is of superior quality.

My 45 is the same coming out at about 1/4 the commercial cost for every commercial box of 50 you buy I get 200, that is undeniable savings.

No matter how little you shoot in a year you will recoup initial costs investment quickly at those rates. Presses and Dies do not break (except these new fangled progressives everyone seems to have issue with). A press and die will last a lifetime.. or two.. or three.

Though reloading is not for everyone, you have to be an obsessive type. In all my more than two decades of reloading I have never had ONE MISFIRE. That is thousands on thousands of hand-loads for all sorts of cals. A misfire is caused by a failure in the process, since you have human eyes on the process of hand-loads from start to finish your quality control should catch any errors. I can see more issue with a progressive considering how people just crank em out so there is far less individual oversight vs a single stage in batch mode where every action is verified and rechecked before moving on to the next stage.

In cold hard facts reloading saves money, even with a 100-2K base investment. It will 100%, over the lifetime of the hardware, save you money vs the cost of buying the same amount of ammo you would have reloaded. And not just a little but up to and beyond 4x savings.

luvtolean
07-16-2012, 4:24 PM
My take: You will never save money reloading. You just get to turn some of your free time into additional ammo. More shooting, same $$$ out of your pocket.

This.

I load precision Ammo for 6.5Creedmoor and bulk ammo for 9mm.

Honestly, I look at reloading like training in the gym or something to be better at another sport. It's something I am willing to do because I can practice more and be better at shooting. The process of learning how to load also does make you a better shooter IMO, especially for a precision shooter.

I hate loading rifle ammo. It's slow, it's tedious. I have thus spent a whole lot of money making it easier and faster with tools, like a Giraud case trimmer and a Chargemaster. If I include the value of my time, it's ridiculous not to just buy the excellent factory Hornady ammo.

I don't really mind loading 9mm. My Hornady LnL is well set up, and I can run 2-300 per hour. I don't have to do anything tedious here though, I just run it, and thus it's kind of relaxing. About the only trouble I have anymore is that I typically get one or two primers in backward, and I've quit even caring about this instead viewing it as a chance to run malfunction drills. Plus, I can tailor the load.

Also, for my wife, she can stomach a big bulk purchase of tools and or/components much better than lots of small purchases.

On the flip side, some people I know just love to reload, and almost seem to shoot just so they have an excuse to be at the bench. These are the sorts of people that shoot guns like Thompson Contenders and handgun silhouette in all the weird cartridges.

rromeo
07-16-2012, 4:37 PM
My take: You will never save money reloading. You just get to turn some of your free time into additional ammo. More shooting, same $$$ out of your pocket.

That's exactly why I do it.

bandook
07-16-2012, 4:42 PM
Blockfort...I don't get what you are saying...regardless of how much or little you use the car...you still paid XXX for it and you don't calculate the XXX amount into how much it cost to maintain or use it. The reason why you bought the car..i.e for work or vacations irrelevant. One buys a press for one thing only...reload. I guess you buy a car to drive it as that's what it was made for.

ROI is really only for business. In a business you have product (bullets, primers, powder etc), you have assets the buildings, fixtures etc ( your reloading equipment) and liabilities..the employees (you).

In any business plan the ROI only has to deal with product...never assets.

So why would you include the assest (the equipment) into the cost. Yes a start up plan does include equipment but not ROI and once that startup cost is used it is never figured in again into a business plan.

So since this is a hobby there is no ROI.

To the OP..reloading is cheaper...no ifs and or butts. If your worried about how much a press cost...and trying to figure out how much it cost per round every time you reload...it won't be fun. If you wish to add the equipment in on a cost per round basis...yep it will take you upwards to thousands of rounds to make that intitial cost negligible.
...

Only one question regarding your thoughts on ROI...Do you work for the government by any chance? :) .

Maybe this explains why we can never get our finances in order. 'Lets build that High Speed Rail System - we'll have a great ROI with $20 fares'
(Ignoring the 12 Billion it took to put the thing in place to begin with...)

ALL the costs matter. Initial AND recurring - Unless of course your have a large amount of disposable income that makes a few thousand dollars 'rounding errors'.

The only item I would discount for most people is the cost of their time. Unless you get paid to watch/TV/surf the web, (or you actually reduce your work hours to indulge in reloading), there is no financial loss that reloading has to recover.

AAShooter
07-16-2012, 4:55 PM
I don't disagree but realize that the most of or all of the cost of a good reloader can be recovered when it is sold. So it is an "asset".

Of course, if your spouse buys a dumb investment of say a reloader that isn't being used. Than your return on the components you buy and process can be quite high assuming you borrow that dumb investment of your spouse. Here dear . . . Happy Anniversary!

Oceanbob
07-16-2012, 5:12 PM
I don't disagree but realize that the most of or all of the cost of a good reloader can be recovered when it is sold. So it is an "asset".

Exactly.....!....

Since a good reloading machine will last several lifetimes (especially a Dillon)....and can always be SOLD, I don't factor in the cost. After untold thousands of rounds, including what my adult kids have loaded, the machines are just another piece of furniture in the Den. I also don't count the padded STOOL I sit on while reloading or the cost of the classical music CDs I pipe into the DEN when I decide to run 1000 rounds of .45ACP into an ammo box. :D

Nor do I count the Bench or my time. Because this is a hobby I decided to spend money on. People that reload are SERIOUS shooters, collectors, sportmans, survivalists, preppers, hobbyists...call us what you want but never call us BROKE or CHEAP.....hahahaha...

I can ignore Gun Store and Gun Show pricing with a smile. I can build better, less expensive, more precise ammo than you can imagine. For a fraction of Retail and if the S ever hits the fan I am independent and capable. Which every American should be...:D

Reloading ammo and just puttering around my DEN is very Therapeutic for me. It relaxes me.

I love walking thru the Den on the way to the Range and just picking up a couple of hundred packs of 10MM for target practice......stuff I built for pennies that would cost $130 at a Gun Store. (if you could find it)

http://i51.tinypic.com/2zhr33r.jpg

Dark Mod
07-16-2012, 6:05 PM
Lots of people tell you that you won't save money, you'll just shoot more. I personally save a ton of money, but I buy in bulk and really hunt down deals. I didn't magically find an extra day to shoot every week when I started reloading, and neither will you. You can shoot more if you want, or you can shoot the same. The savings are there though.

I used to spend $600 every few months on ammo, now that same $600 spent on components will last me well over 6 months. Probably closer to 8. Hell, I still have thousands of primers I bought over a year ago that haven't been used yet

AAShooter
07-16-2012, 6:09 PM
I smile every time I walk by my reloading bench and see bags of shot I paid $10/bag for. I wish my other investments did as well.

blockfort
07-16-2012, 6:35 PM
I love coming back from the range and dumping out my brass haul to see what I got.

luvtolean
07-16-2012, 6:36 PM
I love coming back from the range and dumping out my brass haul to see what I got.

See, that there is what I was talking about, you're one of those freaks who shoots to reload. :D

When I dump brass out I think, "S@#$,*more dirty crap I have to sort and refill to go shoot again".

AAShooter
07-16-2012, 6:57 PM
I love to make chicken noises when all the shooters are bending over scratching around for brass. Bwwaaaaaaaaaaaakkkkk! bock,bock,bock,bock,bock,begowwwwk!

:jump:

oddjob
07-16-2012, 8:58 PM
Here is a site where you can punch in your costs for reloading.

http://handloads.com/calc/loadingCosts.asp

I reload for for USPSA shooting (and 3 gun). I do find that reloads are more accurate than factory rounds and its easier to "tailor" the rounds for the gun and shooter. I do not reload for shotgun though.

Inkman
07-16-2012, 9:51 PM
I cast my own and reload. The more i shoot, the more i save ;)










Wait. Wut?

Al

AAShooter
07-16-2012, 9:55 PM
Here is a cost calculator for shotshell reloading:

http://www.mecreloaders.com/CostComparison.html

socal147
07-17-2012, 5:03 PM
Cost did not even factor into my decision to start reloading again after 20 so years. I like to use custom reduced loads for competitions and killing paper. It is easier on me and the firearm. Plus I can use "unobtainium" bullets. Try to find those in your local store....

And....It is one of the truely meditative things I do in life since fishing sucks in the High Desert.

the86d
07-17-2012, 9:36 PM
0.163/round for local sourced Berry's 115gr plated 9mm
0.112/round for 115gr 9mm if you buy in bulk via Group Buy X-Treme here on CalGuns

I can reload .223/5.56 for:
.10/round 40 grain (pulled) V-Max (no longer available, but I got 1500 :p)
.154/round 55 grain (factory seconds)
.125/round 55 grain if you buy 3000 at a time.

Prices listed are including Bullet, Primer, Shipping, Tax, and Powder(, not time, or gas).

My obsession is with the spreadsheets and seeing how much I COULD save... vs how much I did, and how long until I recoup my press and accessories! :)

bandook
07-18-2012, 8:04 AM
I was joking with a buddy of mine yesterday and said i'm going to my local range and not shoot, just ask to pick up brass from other shooters. lol.

so as it stands now, I would only have roughly 1500 rounds if I reload everything I have. I plan on buying some more ammo just to get more brass.

That's a very expensive way of getting brass. You can just by empties in the marketplace...

P.Charm
07-18-2012, 8:29 AM
That's a very expensive way of getting brass. You can just by empties in the marketplace...

I have been noticing that myself. I might have to start buying .223 brass

drkphibr
07-18-2012, 8:58 AM
Hi folks, I'm three weeks post ACL surgery and I'm starting to climb the walls of my house from boredom. So I figured I'd use the time to learn about reloading. I was wondering, given market prices of reloading ingredients, what can I expect the per round cost would be to make plinking ammo in 556, 45 and 9mm? ie. if 556 sells for about .36 to .40 cents shipped to my door, what kind of savings would I see if I reloaded? Thank you for your time.

At the end of the day, if your only concern is cost, you can probably find less expensive ammo (generally speaking) than going down the reloading path. When you consider the initial investment that's one cost. Your time/effort is another. That's a value only you can assign.

The time you spend at your bench with brass prep (more so for rifle than pistol) and reloading is something to consider, not just the cost of the raw materials.

If you don't actually enjoy the reloading aspects for what they are or can be (total control over every aspect of your loads), then just focusing on the material costs will probably not "do it" for you.

kb58
07-18-2012, 9:13 AM
Without consumption rates being factored in reloading DOES save money.. not just a little but a lot...
In the big picture, not so. For example, if you spent $1000 per year on ammo before, you'll continume to budget $1000 once you start reloading. So at the end of the the year, can your savings account tell whether you're reloading or not - no.

You're going to shoot more often thereby spending more on that which costs you less. Cost per year will be the same.

kb58
07-18-2012, 9:21 AM
Another thing to keep in mind is that some ammo suppliers (like Freedom Munitions) just recently started offered to buy your used brass at $2.50 a lb, so that has to be figured into the equation, too.

Also, when people say that they can reload 1000 rnds in "just minutes," they always conveniently forget the time spent cleaning the brass.

meaty-btz
07-18-2012, 9:59 AM
KB, your perspective is off. Saving money is a numerical fact. You are looking at it backwards, that a person can't control their spending or has unrealistic assumptions based on cost affected controls on round consuption.
I can reload 45 acp for about 4-6 dollars a box of 50. That is saving money.

Now most shooters go into reloading from a position of cost forced scarcity on their round consumption rate. The actual cost savings is significant so their round consuption rises now that the cost limiter is remove. Does not change the fact that it still costs the 1/4 per 50,which is savings, just that they removed an outside influenced limiter from their rate of consuption.

rdsii64
07-18-2012, 10:14 AM
I reload because commercial ammo that meets my consistency standards is out of my price range. I recouped the cost of my loading equipment somewhere along the way. Truth be told I don't have clue how long it took my total savings to equal the cost of my loading equipment. I would much rather buy my ammo over the counter because my time is valuable to me. I make up for it by shooting match quality ammo at bulk ammo prices. At the end of the day, if you are able to shoot more for less its all good.

kb58
07-18-2012, 10:33 AM
...The actual cost savings is significant so their round consuption rises now that the cost limiter is remove. Does not change the fact that it still costs the 1/4 per 50,which is savings, just that they removed an outside influenced limiter from their rate of consuption.
Which is exactly what I said
...You're going to shoot more often thereby spending more on that which costs you less...
So at the end of the day, they've spent the same amount of money whether they reload or not. I'm done arguing this - but many, many others have said much the same.

meaty-btz
07-18-2012, 1:28 PM
Which is exactly what I said

So at the end of the day, they've spent the same amount of money whether they reload or not. I'm done arguing this - but many, many others have said much the same.

I still fail to see the lack of savings. Let alone the fact that it is significant. Reloading saves money over the same number of rounds of commercial.

If I shot 1000 rounds a year before I started reloading and I shoot 1000 rounds a year after I start reloading I will bank 3/4 of my budget.

Now like all smart people I would then reduce my ammo budget and redistribute that money some where else so that someone else can say that I am still at 100% of my ammo budget.

Rather than the trite saying of you won't save money we should just be honest with new reloaders and say: All your life, you have found your shooting restricted by ammo costs and have an unrealistic count on the number of rounds you would like to consume per year. Expect your round consumption to rise to match your real ammo use rates up till you reach them or you reach 100% of your previous budget.

To put it into the real world, I spent $200 less on ammo this last year compared to previous years as I got my reloading setup put back into operation after a 20 year hiatus. My consumption rates rose but only to my real rates, which still saved money because all told my real rate of use * reload-cost was less than my previous years total budget by $200. I don't go blowing off ammo in the desert for kicks. I also load single stage so that makes me have to think about my ammo use (time-cost) which becomes the braking force against rampant and indulgent use keeping my usage rates within reason instead of banging against the budget wall.

Do you save money reloading: Yes, 100% true. Budgets and behavior are a whole 'nother topic.

This confluences other events such as the reality that people who shoot less often shoot more ammo (for less gain though) than people who shoot often. I shoot often and my per session shot count dropped from 300-400 on a once a month cycle to a 4 trips at 20-50 rounds per trip. My new high is lower than the old low and my trips are more productive as I am not "stale" nor do I need a "warmup".

Cowboy T
07-18-2012, 2:16 PM
I still fail to see the lack of savings. Let alone the fact that it is significant. Reloading saves money over the same number of rounds of commercial.

There was a lot there, so I'm just referencing the beginning of it while implying the rest of it, above.

In my experience, it depends on what you shoot. My ".45 Colt Magnum" load is basically my replica of a Buffalo Bore load, which is right around full-house .44 Magnum power. This stuff costs about $80 for a box of 50 to buy it from them. My box, using a cast boolit and a very healthy charge of 2400, costs me $8 to make. That's a savings of $72/box.

Yes, I like shooting this round. Consider that just two boxes saved me $144. Suppose I shot two boxes of actual Buffalo Bore per month. That's $144 for the month. However, I shoot my reload replica of it maybe once a week. That's $8 x 4 weeks/month = $32. Shooting it twice a week is $64. Three times/week, that's $96. As you can see, I'm still actually saving money overall, even shooting it three times a week!

I don't count my time, because to me, this is a fun hobby. For me, it's not work. It's leisure-relax-have-fun time.

Now, there's another majorly important reason to reload. This is ammo availability. I'm sure we all remember "The Great Ammo Rush of 2009". It was very hard to find ammo for anything approaching a reasonable price. All the local sporting goods stores were out of ammo. Online places were out of stock.

Did that affect me? No, not significantly. As long as you have provisions to roll your own, you've got nothing to worry about. Oh, and I could afford to shoot more on top of that.

.

bandook
07-19-2012, 9:59 AM
I don't think my shooting volume (per caliber) has changed much since I started reloading...

50-70 rounds per caliber per outing is about what I shoot. After that, my concentration wavers, accuracy deteriorates and I see no benefit of simply slinging lead downrange.

So I shoot approximately 3 boxes per week. 45ACP and 357MAG. 45ACP loaded to as low as possible and 357Magnuim at 16+gr H110.

You guys can do the math, but this is the way I look at it...

Purchased ammo will be about $55 (in bulk) x4 = $220/month.
Assuming average reloaded ammo cost of 15-17c/rd (jacketed/plated bullets), I'm looking at about $90-$100/month.

So I do save a little over $100/month by reloading. Having said that, I have probably close to $1000 in equipment alone, so for someone considering reloading, take that $1K into account before you start to reload.

(and I haven't even started reloading 45Colt - the real reason why I got into reloading in the first place - that savings will be huge as the cheapest 45Colt ammo is >60c/round, but recurring costs are about the same as 45ACP)

If you're only going to shoot a couple of boxes every month - just go buy the ammo. (unless of course its crazy expensive ammo at which point, 'Hello Lee Turret!' )

qtrxist
07-19-2012, 11:03 AM
3 years ago, I have to drive to my nearest walmart (30mins) who sells ammo and stand in line and be limited to 6 boxes of 50. And sometimes, they dont have any. Whole afternoon wasted. So I rolled my own.

3 years later, after tens of thousands reloaded.. Did I save anything? NO. I sure did shoot as much as I wanted.

I reload because I shoot for competition, getting the right felt recoil depends on the recipe. If I or you want to really save money, 2 words..





DRY FIRE:43:

hanover67
07-23-2012, 11:25 PM
I started reloading about 30 years ago when I started match shooting and couldn't buy match ammo. I keep reloading because I can. I know I'll start saving money any day now...

P.Charm
07-24-2012, 6:41 AM
I only save because I don't count what I spent. lol. I have factory loaded ammo still. but if I were to buy more ammo vs reloading, reloading is free...as long as I don't count what I spent.:D