Start-up cost to reload 6.8


December 2, 2009, 08:53 PM
Starting from scratch, what kind of investment would it take to get all the necessary equipment to do 6.8 reloads? At my age, I want to make sure it will pay off before I die, seeings as I shoot maybe twice a month on average. Off the top of my head, I don't see it as cost effective.

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December 2, 2009, 08:54 PM
You need to do the math yourself. There are plenty of tacked posts for sources of supplies and equipment.

December 2, 2009, 08:58 PM
Probably be about the same as any other rifle caliber.

December 2, 2009, 09:04 PM
I have no clue of what I'll need, but thanks for your quick response!

December 2, 2009, 09:05 PM
Right around $200 for start up for 45 ACP and this included cast bullets, 1000 primers and powder. I had some cases already. Got a Lee anniversary set and a little misc. equipment off EBay.

My range sells 45 white box ammo for $18.00 per fifty and handloads cost me about $8, ten dollar saving. Break even for the about $150 capital expense for reloading stuff was 15 boxes, 750 rounds.

Margin is there but smaller for rifle rounds with FMJ bullets and if you have to buy cases.


December 2, 2009, 09:05 PM
Check out the sticky in this forum about starting up. Link (

December 2, 2009, 09:21 PM
Thanks Noveldoc, that's the kind of feedback I was looking for. I've never done any reloading at all in my long and eventful life.

P.S. Have gone back and read the stickys and now have more information than I can digest in one reading.

December 2, 2009, 09:33 PM
How do I close this thread?

December 2, 2009, 09:35 PM
No need to close it. Do you already have the 6.8 rifle?

December 2, 2009, 09:42 PM
Thanks longdayjake. I'll be sure to check your links. I've had the 6.8SPC for about a month and have fired about 80 rounds of SSA. That's an expensive proposition at $27 a box locally.

BTW, my Navy son was stationed in your neck of the woods a few years back.

December 2, 2009, 09:43 PM
Noveldoc's $200.00 estimate is probably fairly close:

Start off with getting a current, overview book--specifically, The ABCs of Reloading, the 'the Lyman book'--49th Ed. About $20.00. The ABCs of Reloading is a good jumping off spot; get it now.

1. A good cheap kit that will include much of the basic hardware is the Lee Challenger Anniversary Kit. That sells for about $95.00; you can see it here (

The copy for it notes you also need a case length gauge. Figure $100.00 total here.

To this you need to add:

a die set (Lee), nominally $25.00;
a caliper: $20.00 or so

and some components:

100 bullets--perhaps $20.00
100 cases--what? $20.00 (I'm not a rifle reloader, much, yet)
100 primers--about $5.00
powder--perhaps $25.00.

The basic gear listed here adds up to about $200.00. You can spend much more and some 'better' gear--but there is nothing wrong with this setup.

The rest of the equation has to be done by you--how much will you shoot, how old you are, and how healthy you are.

added on edit: Based on what you said above, it sounds like after you have reloaded 200 rounds, you are ahead--and you still own all the gear.

Jim H.

December 2, 2009, 10:03 PM
WileyWapiti5, that's kind of you. If I decide to proceed, I'll take you up on it.

jfh, thanks. I'm leaning in that direction.

To everybody that's been helpful, thank you very much.

December 2, 2009, 10:35 PM
I think $200 may be a bit conservative unless you already have brass. I just started reloading recently for 9mm Luger. I bought Lee Anniversary kit, ABCs of reloading, carbide pistol die set, 2 plastic loading blocks, calipers, case guage, bullet puller, 1000 pieces of unfired winchester brass, 1000 cast lead RN bullets from Missouri Bullets, 1000 Winchester small pistol primers, and 1 pound of winchester W231 powder. Total cost ran me a little over $400. Granted a large chunk of that cost was the new brass. If I remember right the cases alone were about $160. I have heard that with light target loads I may be able to reload my 9mm brass anywhere from 20-50 times before needing to replace it though.

When I did the math I set a goal formyself that I would like to go shooting 2-4 times a month and fire at least 100-200 rounds per session to attain and maintain a level of skill I will hopefully be happy with. If I use a conserative etimate that the brass will only last about 20 reloads, I am looking at saving approx $200 per 1000 rounds compared to the cost of factory ammo. So if I average 450 rounds per month it will take me just approximately 4.5 month to top 2k rounds and hit the break even point. YMMV of course depending on what caliber(s) you reload, whether you buy your brass new or already have some stockpiled. From what I have seen in my VERY limited experience though brass is the most expensive component, in my case costing me almost double the reloading press kit.

I highly recommend the Lee Anniversary Kit if you do decide to take up reloading though. I don't regret my purchase at all.

December 2, 2009, 10:49 PM
wishin, rifle is hard to justify unless you shoot more, OR you have a need for ammo you can't get commercially. This includes ammunition tailored to be supremely accurate in your particular application. It also includes ammo with bullet lighter than or heavier than commercially available factory ammo. Or velocities you can't buy commercially.

It would be great to see you get interested in reloading, but if commercial ammo is satisfactory and you only shoot 80 rounds a month, perhaps you're probably better off seeking a source of cheap commercial ammo rather than reload.

December 2, 2009, 10:50 PM
I typically figure 100-120 not counting the press and such. Just dies, primer, brass, bullets, and powder. And a case length gauge from Lee.

December 3, 2009, 04:20 PM
wishin, from what I've read, the price of 6.8 SPC factory ammo is coming down. Closer to $19 a box, or less. Look around on web sites like Midway and Cheaper Than Dirt. Unless you start shooting a whole lot more, or want to load for additional cartridges, it's probably best for you to just buy ammo. Just save all your brass, cuz you never know.

December 3, 2009, 04:54 PM
I reload 6.8SPC for about $0.42/round using Hornady or Sierra bullets and SSA brass (good for 7-8 reloads). Figure factory ammo is about $1/round and the difference is $0.58/round, it won't take long to make up that difference in savings. You send 1k rounds through your rifle, the difference between factory and handloads is $580. More than enough to get the very basics to reload with.

December 3, 2009, 08:27 PM
With all the good info and advice I've gotten here I'm leaning towards going for it. I also shoot my .223 alternately. That may swing the scale. Would definately make a good Xmas present!

December 3, 2009, 09:13 PM
Even if it does cost $200-$300 to tool up, you will still be coming ahead in that caliber. When I looked at it months ago, it seemed like the factory ammo was hard to find. It was also expensive. You could probably pay for it all with the savings of loading a few hundred, opposed to buying top price factory.

Reloading is a good time, it gives you time to relax. I hope you start.

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