2. Once I have the basic set up, how much would it cost me to reload 50 rounds of .45 ACP and how much would it cost me to reload 50 rounds of 9mm?
3. On avarage, how much time would it take me to reload 50 rounds of .45 ACP and how much time for 50 rounds of 9mm?
Currently, I can get 50 rounds of .45 ACP for about $9.60 and 50 rounds of 9mm for about $ 4-5. So, I just want to see if it would be cost and time effective to get into reloading.
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June 13, 2005, 09:29 PM
Wow, the answer to your questions could be a book with all the possibilities.
How much are you willing to spend on reloading gear?
How much do you shoot?
How many calibers?
How much can you spend on a component order when you buy?
These questions are important to answer your questions accurately.
June 13, 2005, 09:40 PM
Nik - I think if all that matters is the cost/benefit equation then considering starting out is probably a no-no. It will be quite some time before you recoup costs and savings will not always show that markedly.
If OTOH you want CONTROL - the ability to load what you want for a particular caliber/firearm - then reloading most certainly is way to go. Forget putting $ signs next to your time - it should be charged as free because it is a relaxation, leisure time deal.
Only you can decide what matters most and if it is all down to cash and nothing else, then probably bulk pack factory is way to go. Mind you, if 10 years down the line you look back - and equate ammo consumed against relative cost reloaded - maybe you'd want to turn clock back... who knows.
Oh and final small point - with a boatload of consumables in stock - you need not run out of ammo, even if for some ''reason'' supplies go dry!! ;)
June 13, 2005, 09:46 PM
you'll probably have to do the math yourself, but i think the general consensus is that "reloading doesn't save you money", it "lets you shoot a lot more for the same amount of money"
the time it takes you to reload 50 rounds is inversely proportional to the $ you spent on the basic setup. prices tend to range $300 to $2200 for the "basic setup" and loading times for are probably 50/hr to 1200/hr respectively.
to give you an idea though, i'm reloading a box of 50 45acp right now for about
$8.42 using hornady XTP and vhitavuori powder (premium SD ammo)
$5.73 using ball and decent powder (for my 45acp carbine)
$4.35 using lead SWC and titegroup (high volume practice rnds)
so i look at that a couple ways...
1. when i practice a moderate amount, $8.42 is cheap enough that I can practice with the same load i carry. hydra shok is $35 for 50. I can't afford to shoot any of that. Most of my friends carry hydrashok, and have never fired a single round of it. They've got a pretty good idea of what walmart WWB feels like going through their gun though. pretty stupid if you ask me.
2. when i practice a lot, $4.35 is cheap enough to shoot 600 rnds for less than an afternoon of golf. to put it in perspective, ammoman's price for a case of wolf works out to $9.00 per box of 50.
so reloading works in both cases, financially. i don't think it works at all if you're not actually going to shoot much.
June 13, 2005, 10:21 PM
45 acp definatly can have savings in it. wideners has lead bullets for 32 bucks a thousand and primers for 15 bucks a thou. throw in another 16-18 for powder and not counting equipment or time, and assuming you have your own brass (all big assumptions i know) your loading for 4 25 per 50 after you factor in your 20 dollar hazmat fee.if you can find primers and powder locally for cheap and cut out the haz mat, more power to you but i definatly cant :banghead: as far as equipment, i started with lee and still use it. grab their manual and press combo for 24 bucks from midway, some dies for another 26 (4 die set) a scale for about 40, powder drop for 20, and a loading block for 5 and another 12 for a lee auto prime 2 and your loading for about 130 bucks. so you said you paid 9 50 for 50 45 acp? assume your loading 45 acp for 5 bucks a box conservatively, so if you ammortize out all your equipment costs as quickly as possible, after 29 boxes, or about 1500 rounds your in the green. this is assuming your time is worthless and your throwing lead. also that 5 dollars a box, as demonstrated in this thread can be beat.
just a few thoughts and some quick math, not sure if its really what you wanted
June 13, 2005, 10:25 PM
If you shoot more than a box or 2 a month and have time to donate for reloading, then it is probably worthwhile. If you have to quit a second job to find time for reloading, then it probably is not worth it. Basic 9mm practice loads are probably not worth reloading for most unless they just want the pleasure of loading it themself. Reloading 45 auto is probably worth it for reasons mentioned above.
Time is money in reloading. How fast do you want to go? :D
You can get a basic setup for low cost ($100 or so) and reload quality ammo at a slow pace of 100 an hour. You can get a good setup and load 350-700 rounds an hour; starting from scratch that is probably at least a $500 setup. How much do you shoot and how much is your time worth? Do you plan to be shooting much in 10 years? Once the equipment is paid for, ammo costs are relatively cheap. If you buy good equipment, it can hold much of it's value if you later decide to upgrade or stop reloading entirely.
June 13, 2005, 10:31 PM
I hear a lot of people say that with the low cost of econo-ball, it is not worth their time to handload. I think the question is, what were you doing with that time? If you were putting in overtime or making a small business pay, I say "Walmart, here I come." If you are watching a bunch of millionaires bounce a ball, get to work and start cranking out the ammo. You will save the price of the equipment in a few thousand rounds and then it is all gravy.
June 13, 2005, 10:40 PM
Can be and is very beneficial, money wise. Only if you shoot a lot and practice often. Equipment cost are recovered fairly quickly. 9MM isn't cost effective, unless you shoot competetive and load to minimums for PF. As a retired person, I couldn't afford to shoot .45 ACP on the scale that I do w/o reloading. Also there is the relaxation factor, that must be considered. Once you have reloaded for a period of time, the process gives you a reason/cause to be by yourself and just let the world go away, as your full attention must be on the job at hand. There is satisfaction of having accomplished something as well. Recommend getting with a reloader and seeing the process. Determine if it's for you. Buy quality equipment (Dillon), progressive prefered (Holds value). If you shoot a 1k a month, do the math. If you desire skill and shooting ability, 1k a month is minimal.
June 13, 2005, 11:09 PM
Thanks for the pointers and specifics!
I have been shooting about once every two months at best due to $ limitations. I slowly build up my ammo supply 1-3 boxes of 50 (9mm & .45 ACP) per pay check/every two weeks.
When I do go to the range I like to spend a lot of time 2-4 hours and shoot 300-500 rounds. In between range trips I dryfire a lot, tinker at times, and generally itch to go shooting again :mad: Last year I did not go for over a 6 months stretch due to $ issues and I didn't have the the 9mm at the time.
In two months things will get extremely tight $ wise again. So I was wondering if reloading was the way to go.
So far it seems the best way to go is to stick with shooting the 9mm when $ gets tight and postpone the reloading set up for a later time.
June 14, 2005, 12:23 AM
if $ is that tight (and sometimes it is for everyone), then it sounds like the best bang for your buck might be one of those 22lr conversion kits for whatever it is you're shooting.
nobody reloads cheaper than 22lr
June 14, 2005, 12:50 AM
excellent point teliv well if you have time on your side, maybe you should consider something like one of those lee pocket presses. they are a lil kit that runs 12 bucks, but that and a rubber hammer is all you need to reload a specific cartridge. i hear they are pretty slow, but its tough to get cheaper then that
June 14, 2005, 12:59 AM
I have a spread sheet called "Reloader 99" that some absolute genious posted on here. Aside from the startup cost of equipment, it will calculate exactly how much a set ammount of rounds will cost.
Download that badboy and it will answer all you're questions.
June 14, 2005, 08:46 AM
I'm not concerned with saving money by reloading. I'm concerned with getting the most accuracy out of my rifles.
For instance, this past weekend I bought a $70 sizing die (Harrell) into which I'll put a $30 bushing (Skip's carbide - and I've got a whole set), and a $145 Carstensen seating die.
And those two dies are going to be dedicated to ONE rifle. I've already got an identical setup for the other one, and a close setup for the third.
June 14, 2005, 09:06 AM
I just want to point out that no matter how much money you save or how many rounds you can crank out in a given increment of time, reloading is serious work and a lapse in attention can cost you a lot more than you save.
I use a single stage press and I've caught myself drifting even with doing one case at a time. Also, primers have a nasty habit of flipping over or going in sideways, etc. Knowing myself, I would never trust myself to run one of those progressive doo dads. JMTC
June 14, 2005, 09:20 AM
These threads fascinate me! First off shooting is a hobby! Next off the ancillary costs, ie ammo, cleaning supplies, and range fees/memberships, targets, and fuel are things that cost money. Reloading is not a way to save money! Never has been most certainly never will be, and please get that through your head! Now with that said, most people who have to ask such questions are too cheap to begin with. Reloading gives you more rounds and accuracy tuned ones for your dollar.
The first step to reloading is to buy the ABC's of Reloading. Amazon along with Barnes and Noble have it on line. Economy of reloading is covered. It is obvious that many people must not have passed Math in high school, if they can not sit down and compute the costs themselves they should not be reloading. This is much a kin to the people that ask how many grains of powder are in a pound, and that is covered in ABC's Of Reloading.
Reloading is just a way to explore another dimension of a hobby! Some people oogle new rods and reels and other salivate over the thought of Dillon coming out with a case feeder for the 550B. It is all the same!
Reloading can only be done when you have the time and energy to devote to it! It can not be done willy nilly! You have to stay focused.
June 14, 2005, 10:08 AM
i'll take issue with pretty much everything you said except your suggestion to buy a reloading manual.
shooting isn't just a hobby for many here. the 2A doesn't protect hobbies.
only fools jump into something without considering the cost. calling people "too cheap" because they ask questions about how much time and money it takes, is not only wrong, but wrongheaded.
reloading can be a way of saving money as has been repeated by most of the posts above.
June 14, 2005, 10:14 AM
Sure you save money. For example, I am using 30 or more year old equipment, the same as I bought in the late 60s. I was reloading 45 ACP which I got a whole slew of lead for for $0. Casting bullets with a Lyman mold I was down to a penny and a half a shot back at the beginning when primers and powder were less. For a given quantity of ammo, you pay less and get equal or better quality to factory if you put in the time and effort.
Not everybody is a high volume 2000 round a month shooter. My sunk costs for loading ammo were paid for in very few hundred rounds of reloaded ammo and the equipment has been paid for for many years.
How difficult is it to understand this?
My objection is putting in the effort and concentration. As they say, there is no free lunch. To get factory quality, you have to put in factory level work. JMTC
June 14, 2005, 10:51 AM
If you are going to reload pistol ammunition and bill for your time you will not save money reloading on a single stage press. If you buy a quality progressive and consider the ammo you make equal to the $10/box crap, it will take about 12k rounds or .45 to pay off the equipment (if you bill your time at $20/hour).
If I buy a quality progressive press and consider the ammunition I make to be the equal of $25/box 45 ACP Match ammo (and it is) then it takes 2k rounds to pay of my investment (if I bill my time at $20/hour). I can load that much in one evening.
June 14, 2005, 01:22 PM
Factory level quality?
I _wish_ I could buy the quality ammo I need from a factory...
June 14, 2005, 01:35 PM
I do it because its A) relaxing, B) Fun, and C) Productive.
That's enough for me.
June 14, 2005, 02:39 PM
I _wish_ I could buy the quality ammo I need from a factory Heh. I guess I need to explicate since you called me on this. ;)
When I started shooting there were only two brands of factory ammo - Rem and Win. A new upstart was appearing Federal. There was no "cheap" factory ammo and no ammo from Outer Mongolia Industries, Jugoslavia, Outer Slobovia, Russia, etc. That's my frame of reference. I don't think of that "cheap" stuff as factory ammo, but full price Rem, Winchester, and Federal. HTH.
June 14, 2005, 04:00 PM
Lots of replies about cost; not many about time.
I'm new at this, and slow besides. Once the dies are set so I'm not goofing around with micrometers, I can load 50 rounds of pistol ammo in about 45 minutes on my single-stage. Maybe a few minutes less for rifle, since I don't have to bell.
June 14, 2005, 05:45 PM
You can get a bottom level loading set up for less than $50. It will reload only 9x19 or .45. The next 'level' up will cost between $100 to $250 (if you're lucky and can find stuff at either gun shows or internet forums). A Dillon progressive will run you between $250 to $700, depending on model and bells and whistle accessories.
I can reload 9x19 ball equivilent with plated bullets and scrounged cases for about $3.50 per fifty. Time takes about ten minutes, after set up. I load on a Dillon XL 650, which is the $700 +/- level reloading outfit. I do load a lot.
Cost will remain the same, but time will extend on the less expensive equipment.
The advantage of reloading is getting exactly the ammo you want for your gun.
June 14, 2005, 07:58 PM
Thanks for all the feedback, specifics, & suggestions! I have a much clearer idea about what is involved and will sit on it for a while to see if grows on me.
I'm in the middle of preparing for a professional exam and will be short of time for a little while but it will definately be more of a possibility after it, if I pass that is. ;)
If I pass, I'll get a $500 bonus from work so I've been dreaming about gun related things I could spend it on. A basic reloading set up may be one of those things.
June 15, 2005, 07:34 AM
Since it hasn't really been explicitly discussed, I thought I'd chime in with an aspect of reloading which is at least as important to me as any other. First, I don't regard reloading solely as an adjunct to shooting or hunting, although it is a nearly perfect complement to those things. One can, and many do, shoot and/or hunt and never come near a reloading press. I suppose it's also possible for someone to reload and just sell the product without ever pulling a trigger.
What has been omitted here, I think, is that reloading is a thoroughly enjoyable pursuit. I have learned and done a number of things in my three-plus decades knocking around this planet, but the only thing that has stuck with me for all my adult life has been reloading. The truth is, however, that I don't really shoot enough to NEED to reload, although that may have been the motive when I started out in my teens.
Reloading is complex and technically challenging enough to engage nearly anyone, and there is a great deal of satisfaction in producing ammunition that meets or exceeds anything produced commercially. As forums like this demonstrate, there is also the aspect that reloading allows one to communicate and improve one's practices with intelligent and knowledgeable practitioners of the craft.
Please notice that NONE of these reasons have to do with whether or not my .40 S&W reloads beat the price of Winchester White Box at Wal-Mart.
June 20, 2005, 11:59 PM
9-mm Luger costs me $2.26/50 w/124-gr RNL bullets, $3.17/50 w/115-gr PRN Ranier bullets. .357 Mag is $4.64/50 w/140-gr SJHP Remingtons. .45 Auto is $2.78/50 w/200-gr SWCL, $5.26/50 w/ 230-gr PRN Raniers. .223 is $2.46/20 w/55-gr FMJBT military bullets. 6-5 x 55 is $4/47/20 w/ 140-gr HPBT bullets. .308 Win and .30-06 are $3.71/20 w/ 168-gr FMJBT bullets. (I need to determine what my .38-Spl, .40 S&W, and .45 Colt costs are...will take time to check the files and see what the component cost including shipping was.)
These costs are with my current stock of components, and will change depending on what bulk bargains I can locate in the future. I rarely buy bullets in small batches of 100 or powder by the single pound unless for trial purposes (expensive!)...normal batches of bullets are at least 500. Over the years I've become pretty well standardized on Win #231 for pistol and #4895 for rifle...most of my shooting is on the range, two or three times/week, and my loads are tailored for best accuracy in each firearm.
As to time, I normally run batches of 500 through one stage at a time on a single stage press. Using a small folding portable Black and Decker bench, I can decap/size, prime, and final crimp the cases while watching TV in the evenings...can't get into trouble in those stages. My powder is measured by a Lyman 1200 DPS Programmable Automatic measure and scale...a REAL time-saver! I put the powder in the cases and seat the bullets in a single step (away from the TV). The time required isn't a problem. Full-sizing rifle cases is done on a heavy work bench. Bought a Lee Loadmaster progressive press secondhand at a gunshow, and will put that into operation soon.
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