Average Savings per 100 shots


January 5, 2009, 11:20 PM
I'm just getting into reloading and WOW. I knew you saved some money reloading, but over $20 per 100 rounds is amazing. I'm getting a better quality bullet at a weight not available for the price I was paying before in a belted magnum.

My other rifle, my savings are going to be a whole lot more. Current factory ammo is $40 a box. I figure practically the same bullet with powder and primer added to it would save me somewhere around the $100 range per 100 shots.

Why didn't I get into this earlier?

So, if you already have your brass, how much do you all save per 100, 500, or 1,000 rounds and what caliber firearm? Do you cast your own bullets?

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January 6, 2009, 07:04 AM
I cast for my 45-70 so cost savings over factory stuff is around 90%. I don't cast for pistol and savings is in the 50% to 75% depending on caliber and bullet. It is probably about the same with the other rifle calbers I shoot. Probably a little better on .223 because I but bulk stuff for them.

January 6, 2009, 07:28 AM
For me to load 38, 357, or 9mm costs me $40-$45/1000. All I pay for is the powder and primers. Scrounge some lead and pick up brass all over and you can get real affordable. I also cast my own. :D

January 6, 2009, 07:52 AM
If you like to shoot a lot, especially with a rifle, the handloading will save you money. And if you cast what you shoot, you make out like a bandit.

January 6, 2009, 11:54 AM
I cast my own. And scrounge brass from the range to trade/sell to buy 10mm brass. Essentially I am paying for just primers and powder, plus some time at a hobby I enjoy.

I have about a ton (1500+ lbs) of lead stockpiled that was very cheap. That should carry me through 55,000 or so 175 gr bullets.

January 6, 2009, 02:34 PM
Lets look at it this way. I was given all of my brass so far.

For my .308win

I can buy one Match Grade round for $1.44. (168gr HPBT Black Hills Ammunition)

I can make one Match Grade round for $0.51. (Hornady 168gr HPBT Match, 45gr Varget, 1 CCI 200 Large Rifle Primer, Winchester Brass)

It also lets me adjust a lot of different things.

Per 100
Mine $51.84
Factory $144

Per 500
Mine $259.20
Factory $720

Per 1000
Mine $518.40
Factory $1440

January 6, 2009, 06:10 PM
Here's a cost calculator.......

January 6, 2009, 10:10 PM
My 45 acp load that I cast bullets for and use range brass now costs $34/1000 (up from $18/1000 just three years ago). $3.40/100 is worth it though.

January 6, 2009, 10:13 PM
I pretty much pay half price for BETTER ammo........

January 6, 2009, 10:14 PM
But you don't end up saving any money really........you just get to shoot more!

January 6, 2009, 10:18 PM
Man you guys make me envious...I used to shoot cast all the time in Wichita but moved to central Ohio and the range where I'm a member doesn't allow cast bullets, only plated or jacketed, and the range nearby that DOES allow cast doesn't offer memberships. Guess I need to find a good outdoor range somewhere. Anybody know of one in the central Ohio area?

Redneck with a 40
January 6, 2009, 10:30 PM
I can load 100 40 S&W rounds with Berry's bullets for about $11.00/100.:)

Factory ammo would run about 36 bucks/100 rounds.:D

evan price
January 6, 2009, 11:44 PM
Savings depends on the caliber.

9mm = $66/k
.40s&w, .45acp, .44sp = $87/k
.44M = $95/k
.38sp = $73/k
.357M = $76/k
.223rem = $140/k
.308win = $200/k

January 6, 2009, 11:47 PM
paid $247 for 3000 bullets and primers... then maybe $23 in two pounds of powder. brass are all pickups. so, about $90/thousand of match grade 40 sw ammo with 180 grain fp zero bullets and cci 500 small pistol and clays powder.

today at walmart they want $30 for 100 rounds. so, i'm saving 70% over winchester white box at the moment? my math sucks.

January 7, 2009, 12:04 AM
Hi, the .45LC costs me about $33.00 / 50 at Wally World.
My reload cost: 500ea 200 gr lead bullets $33.00
Primers about 20.00
Powder about 1

Anyway, am not real sure of primer costs (I forgot,) but last time I looked at it, the cost was about $5.50 / 50. So the question is, how many boxes to pay for a Lee 1000 from Midway @ ~ $134.00.

BTW the bullets are from Missouri Bullets. Cheapist thing.

No problem with the ranges here, they are free, and outside. Best part of living in MO.



fireman 9731
January 7, 2009, 12:21 AM
hey that calculator is handy!

my 22-250 ammo is about 25 to 30 cents a piece depending on the bullet, pretty good considering that factory will cost you at least a dollar a round for the cheap stuff!

January 7, 2009, 05:23 PM
My 9-mm Luger ammo costs $2.26/box of 50, using 124-gr lead bullets. Using jacketed bullets about doubles the cost.

Recently handloaded some 300 Win Mag elk hunting cartridges using 180-gr Barnes Triple Shok bullets with velicities equivalent to the top commercial $40/box stuff...mine cost abour $14/box of 20 (bought the bullets on sale from Midway). About the same cost for my 6.5 x 55, using 140-gr Nosler partitions.

Your savings will depend on taking advantage of special sales on components and buying in quantity (you can split large quantities with other handloaders). Advertise on your shooting range bulletin board for people to go in with you on large purposes.

January 27, 2009, 12:18 AM
I save $11 per 100 on 9mm.

January 27, 2009, 02:13 AM
I can build 100 30-06 rounds using a Hornady or Sierra 168gr BTHP bullet for $44.25. Federal Classic ammo which is the cheapest I can find would cost me $15.99/20 - $79.95/100. (and that ammo is nowhere near as good as mine)

.38 Special ammo right now is $17.99/50 - $32.95/100 pack near me. I can build a 158gr LSWC for $4.50/50 - $9.00/100. That's only $90/k which is a savings of $269.80 per 1000 if bought in 50 round boxes or a saving of $239.50 when bought in 100 round bulk packs.

I can do 230gr FMJ .45 Auto rounds for $7.25/50
I can do 124gr 9mm rounds for $4.12/50
I can do 158gr SJHP .357 Magnum rounds for $7.68/50
I can do 255gr LSWC .45 Colt rounds for $6.18/50. In the store those are well over $30 a box!

All of the above prices are include current component prices, not stuff I've had for years that cost a lot less than today. I buy my bullets or my costs would be much lower.

January 27, 2009, 03:53 AM
Just checked today and with even fairly expensive components I'm doing $8/50 for .45, vs. around $22/50 commercially.


January 27, 2009, 01:18 PM
Good question, I don't know what I'm saving because I haven't bought factory ammo in over two years. This is what it cost me to reload.
9mm and 38 spcl around $8 per 100.
223 around $9 per 100.
45 auto around $2.70 per 100.
I cast my own bullets for 45 auto that's why it is so cheap. After I use up all the FMJ bullets I have I will cast and be loading for all of my pistols for $2.70 per 100.

January 27, 2009, 02:00 PM
RustyFN, where do you buy your 9mm components? You are reloading at more than $1 less than me per 100. Do you use jacketed bullets or lead?

January 27, 2009, 04:48 PM
I buy all of my powder and primers from Graf's or powder Valley. I buy bullets where ever I can find a deal. I am using a C&R license at Graf's and buy in large quantities so I am still loading from components I bought early last year.
I can still buy powder for around $12 per pound but primers went from $80 to $90 for 5,000.

January 27, 2009, 05:29 PM
I can load 45acp target loads for less than $.10 each. (I buy good cast target bullets or pour my own lead that I scrounge.) Powder in small amounts, primers, Already have the brass. Already have the press and other tools long paid for.

I can't buy light load Bullseye accurate LSWC loads by the thousands. So I don't know what price to put on them so I don't really know what I'm saving per round. Comparing to jacketed stuff, I must be saving at least 70% over retail prices.

Rifle and other cartidges cost a bit more to make, ~$.50 each. Sill a retail box would be at least three times that per cartridge.

I wouldn't really know though. I haven't purchased anything other than rimfire ammo for probably 20 years. (save for one box of 32wsp that I don't have dies for)

30-30win on sale at Wally World is a break even for reloading unless you're reloading a few hundred at a time. You need to put a dollar value on your time at the bench.

Once reloading in earnest, you'll find that you shoot more and spend more on the tools, that you'll find that you're not spending any less money, but you're enjoying a new hobby and learning much more than the average 'Joe shooter' about shooting and balistics.


January 27, 2009, 05:53 PM
The cheapest ammo I can buy locally for my 300 Win Mag is $1.25 per round. The premium stuff goes for $1.65 per round and up. I can load premium quality ammo for around $1.16 a round with new brass, and around $0.52 a round for my already fired brass.

Guess who reloads...

January 27, 2009, 07:46 PM
It all depends how you work the numbers.

I use $0.15 of material to load .45ACP with laser-cast lead bullets, and that compares to about $.31/round for WWB at walmart.

I use $0.01 to load .38 special since I have some home-made cast bullets and a couple thousand small pistol primers that I was given as a gift. I haven't shopped for .38 special, but I'd assume it's about $.30 per round or so.

I use $0.25 to load .45acp JHP that would cost about $1.00/round.

I use $0.35 to load .30-30 that would cost $0.70/round.

Despite all of this "savings" it's cost me $442 to load $293 worth of ammo (800 rounds so far), and I was given most of my reloading gear for free.

Also, I don't think I bought 800 rounds of centerfire ammunition in my entire life before I started reloading one year ago. Maybe if you count shotgun shells, but I don't reload those...yet.

At around 1000 rounds or so I'll break even, but as soon as I get another piece of gear I go back in the hole again for another 100 or 200 rounds.


January 27, 2009, 08:16 PM
Reloading is, or is not worth it depending on what you are loading, and for what purpose.

If you are a serious competition shooter, it is a necessity, since the ammo you need either isn't commercially loaded, or is very expensive.

If you have an uncommon caliber, commercial ammo is likely so expensive, or hard to find that reloading becomes cost efficient.

Another common reason for reloading is if you wish to shoot a bullet/powder combination that is not commercially available. In that case, expense probably isn't a factor.

On the other hand, if you have a military surplus gun that you use strictly for plinking, there is likely surplus ammo available at a price that you cannot duplicate by reloading.

January 27, 2009, 10:20 PM
I haven't calculated out what we've been doing, but even with bulk FMJ, you are saving at least 40% or more even not getting good deals or buying bulk.

These days surplus is very hard to find and bulk dealers at the gun shows are charging more than WalMart or Academy.

The big thing I've seen for pistols is I can buy the same bullets used in top name hollow point defense ammo and use it for practice so I can practice with a lot of HP rounds without worrying about burning up so much store bought stuff. Match rifle ammo and premium hunting ammo provides some big savings also.

January 27, 2009, 11:34 PM
These days surplus is very hard to find and bulk dealers at the gun shows are charging more than WalMart or Academy.

Sorry, I live twenty minutes from J&G Sales. I tend to forget that not everyone has access to a source of surplus ammo like that.

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