Quick and dirty reloading question $$$


October 8, 2003, 08:46 PM
Assume that the reloading equipment is bought and paid for.

What does it cost to reload some of the various calibers out there?

.357 Mag
.45 ACP
.45 Colt
.38 Special
9 mm

Those are what I am most interested in pricing out. If you have to buy brass, primers, powder, etc. What does it cost to make 100 or 500 rounds in each type?

I'm trying to figure out if its worth reloading, how much different the $$ is, and at what caliber size it becomes a no brainer. (ie. I know nobody reloads .22)


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October 8, 2003, 08:58 PM
I reload .308 and it is really worth it. It cost me about .13 cents per round with reusing brass for 1 year. To buy the same round costs about .74 cents each at the local gun shop. I trust my quality levels more than that of a mass produced product. How many times do I reload my brass in a year.... I am at over 20X. I have trimmed 2X as they need trimmed again I will discard.

October 8, 2003, 09:01 PM
My bad. You are looking at pistol.

9mm I do not reload because WWB's are so cheap. If I were to reload it would be self defense loads.
I do plan to reload 10mm when I get something to shoot them with. Other than that I cannot help you.

lee n. field
October 8, 2003, 09:16 PM
Powder is on the order of $18 per pound, enough for (depending on load) at _least_ a thousand rounds, probably much more.

Primers cost on the order of $18/thousand.

Brass I normally get by shooting up factory ammo. Brass retention is 100% with revolvers, somewhat less with autoloader ammo.

Bullets are the most expensive consumable. .38 cast lead I can buy off the shelf for $21 per 500. .45FMJ Gander Mtn. has for $17/300.

There are the numbers. I'm too lazy to do the math right now. :)

Jim Watson
October 8, 2003, 09:18 PM
Well, figure it out, the arithmetic is not hard. Get a Widener's catalog, they sell all components, and have at it with a calculator. Assume ten uses per case; it will last longer at anything below full charge magnums but you will lose some, especially in the autopistol calibers.

Pheonix is right, 9mm is barely worth it unless you have plenty of spare time, as I do. The rest will get you a lot more shooting per dollar, once you have paid off the equipment. Which will take only a few thousand pistol rounds.

October 8, 2003, 09:40 PM
Learn to cast then perfect your scrounging techniques and bullet cost drops to almost nothing.

Brian Williams
October 8, 2003, 09:41 PM
For cost of reloading look here

Down and dirty
I cast 357 bullets from free wheel weights, ok I beg alot
cases reuse original loaded rounds $90.00 for 300
Primers $15.00 per 1000 1.5¢ each
Powder win 231 6 grs 1.37¢ each
cost minus time 2.87¢ each 357 $1.43 for 50

I cast 357 bullets from free wheel weights, ok I beg alot
cases reuse Range pickups
Primers $15.00 per 1000 1.5¢ each
Powder win 231 6 grs .91¢ each
Cost minus time 2.41¢ each 38spec $1.20 for 50

150 gr Sierra psp 11.9¢
caese reuse original loaded rounds $83.00 for 120
Primers $15.00 per 1000 1.5¢ each
powder IMR4064 42.5 grs 10.29¢
cost minus time 11.79¢ each 7mm-08 $2.35 for 20

Standing Wolf
October 8, 2003, 11:50 PM
I'm sure I save a little money by loading my own ammunition; the main reason I load my own, however, is that I can tailor loads to individual guns for the best possible accuracy. When I factor in the value of my time, my own ammunition becomes much more expensive than factory—but it's still more accurate and easier on my arthritic wrist.

October 9, 2003, 06:22 AM
I'm trying to figure out if its worth reloading

Yup.. I originally started so I could shoot for less. As it turns out I shoot a LOT more, for about the same money :)

You get a lot more out of it than just cheaper ammo. I thought it would just be a "task" so I could go shoot. I've found that I enjoy reloading almost as much as shooting.

Now I'm on the hunt for a casting setup.. When will it end ;)


October 9, 2003, 06:22 AM
.... double tap, sorry ....


October 9, 2003, 05:52 PM
I reload .45 ACP for 7.5 cents per shot. That's the cost for the bullet, primer and powder. Wallymart Win White Box is $15/100 out here so I'm saving half (7.5 cents each).

If you're going to shoot a good amount of .45ACP, I think it's a no brainer.

October 9, 2003, 06:17 PM
Casting my own bullets is too much hassel for me.
I choose to buy them and eat the nickle or so a round extra it costs

Assuming you collect and reuse brass.
You always save!
How much you save depends on wether you use Hard Cast Lead of Jacketed.
The Caliber you are reloading.

The beauty is I can reload 44 Mag for not that much more than 9mm.
and then there is .454 / 357 Sig / 10mm.
The more expensive the rounds are to Buy factory, the more you save reloading.
It costs not much more to reload the big ones than it does the small.

I figure, using hard Cast Lead, it costs me ~ $3.50 for 50 9mm
If I load jacketed, maybe $.50 more
If I use "fancy" bullets maybe a dollar more.

So.... 9mm costs me $3.50 to $4.50 for a box of fifty
Against nearly $8 to $10 a box of factory rolled (new OR reloads)
Save maybe $5 a box of 50 on the 9mm
You will see them cheaper mail order, but the shipping runs the price up
The Beauty is I can load 45 acp for not much more and save $9 a box

44 Mag........near the same and save bundles.

Of course you don't really save any money at all.
You just Shoot more.

I can live with that!

October 14, 2003, 08:47 AM
This is my cost per round for .45:

Brass .020 - bought 5000 once fired for 2 cents each
powder .009 - light Bullseye load, about 3.6 grains
primer .017 - I buy 1000 at a time
bullet .049 - local company, but I buy it retail

comes up to 9 1/2 cents a round or $4.75 a box.

That said, I can reuse brass say 20 times assuming I can retrieve it all. Usually this isn't a problem since the range I go to, most people leave all their brass behind. So really the cost of brass is .001 or 1/10 of a cent.

I can get powder and primers cheaper online, but with Hazmat fees you need to order a lot - say 5000 primers and 8 lbs of powder.

I found by calling around you can get bullets cheaper or find a guy who casts his own. This will bring the cost of a box of .45 down to about $3.20 for 50. I've thought about casting my own, but am leery of lead. I guess I'll have to to research on this and hopefully learn from someone hands on. Anyone in Minnesota cast their own?

Anyway, all I can say is I wish I'd have gotten a reloader sooner. I shoot way more and have become a better shot because of all the practice. For now I only reolad .45, but will be adding .41 mag soon. At 60 cents a round retail, you almost have to load that one. Also, I just picked up a 9x18 and NO ONE has ammo around here for it. Heck, I'll just load that one too. So it's a price and availability issue. That said, I realized I almost don't "need" any other calibers after reloading the .45. Light loads for practice, heavy for defense or to "blow up" some cans. But that's another post.

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