Average cost


November 21, 2007, 11:13 AM
As the cost of ammo is going up and I am tired of chasing brass around, I am thinking of going over to revolvers and reloading for them. Per round what is the average cost to reload for 38 special. Since I will use factory loads for SD, I will practice with 38 reloads in my 357's. Would like the average cost for primers, power and round. Note I can not use lead in the barrel of my 340 M&P.

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November 21, 2007, 11:36 AM
$20/1000 primers
$14/lb powder

November 21, 2007, 11:42 AM
Lot of it depends on where you get your bullets from and how much you pay for it.

Here's my favorite cost calculator. http://www.handloads.com/calc/loadingCosts.asp You plug in how much the components cost you and it tells you how much a box of 50 works out to be.

I use cast lead 158 SWCs for my GP100, AA#5 powder, Winchester primers and range brass. I can make a box of ammo for $5, give or take a few cents. It's more for my 1911 because the bullets are more.

In fact, if you're not careful, you'll spend as much on jacketed bullets as you will on a box of ammo! I bought - in a moment of weakness - a box of Hornady 230 grains for my 45ACP. The bullets alone were almost $18. I can buy Blazer brass .45ACP for under $10/box at Walmart. I'll wind up loosing money when I reload those.

Be careful. Know how much factory stuff costs, how much components cost, and keep careful track. You might (might!) do just as well buying less pricey factory stuff for range time as trying to reload. Check out store-brand - Academy sells their Monarch brand ammo considerably less than "name brand." Also, bulk doesn't necessarily mean better prices. UMC has a box of 250 (or is it even 500???) rounds. I do just as well buying individual boxes of 50 at Walmart or Academy than that big box.

Good luck.


November 21, 2007, 11:43 AM
The most accurate .38 Special load that I have found (even better than shooting wadcutters) is also very cheap: Berry's 125 grain HP copper plated bullets, 4.0 grains of Promo powder, and whatever small pistol primer I have handy.

Berry's bullets are about $17 per box of 250 (plus very reasonable shipping) from Cabela's, or you can order them direct from Berry's for a little more than that and the shipping is included. Promo powder is about $76 for 8 pounds from Powdervalleyinc, and Wolf primers (which I've bought some but haven't tried them yet) are $19 per thousand.

That works out to about 2 for the primer, 0.5 for the powder, and 7 for the bullet using current prices. I rounded everything up to account for the shipping, but that's probably not enough; call it 10 per round total and you'll be about right. HTH.

November 21, 2007, 05:24 PM
I am loading 38spcl with
Winchester JHP 7.5 cents each.
Magtech or Wolf primer 1.5 cents each.
Bullseye powder 1 cent each.
Looks like 10 cents per round or $10 per 100.

November 21, 2007, 10:30 PM
my powder and primer breakdown is similar to rusty's, unfortunately I really only shoot lead through my 38/357s so i can't help you with the price of bullets.

Swamp Rat
November 22, 2007, 10:23 AM
I am in the same boat as trickyasafox as I cst my own for pennies a pound.

While you are loading all that .38 ammo keep gas cutting in mind and its effects when you switch back to .357 ammo

November 22, 2007, 05:26 PM
To combat the .38 "gunk" in the front of the cylinder, I just use .38spl load data in .357 cases. Both cases have the same capacity, due to the .357s much thicker walls/web. You can use .38 data as is, only adjusting the OAL for the longer case.

November 22, 2007, 06:07 PM
ya know kaiserben i always wanted to play around with that but there just isn't enough 357 mag brass around to make it feasable. I doubt i shoot enough though to really have an impact. I bought my 357 last summer and barely cracked a 1000 rounds through it. if i get into the multiple thousands (5+) per year, i may have to invest.

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