question for reloaders??


December 8, 2009, 09:23 PM
i'm getting set up for reloading right after xmas and have a few questions??

i mainly wanted a reloader my sendero 7mag and a varmint 22-250 for accuracy and it is much cheaper after the start up cost to send the big 7 down range if i reload. My question is about bulk ammo, will i be able to load 223 and 9mm cheaper than what i can buy value packs like wwb for?

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December 8, 2009, 09:29 PM
maybee alittle cheaper on the 223 but not much i buy pmc 1000 bulk for around $315
not sure about 9mm i don't own one

December 8, 2009, 09:32 PM
223 and 9mm plinking ammo isnt worth the time to reload, IMHO. Specially if you have a semi and have to chase brass all over. But, for the 223, you can make some pretty effective hunting rounds.

December 8, 2009, 09:33 PM
I reload for 22-250 and would reload for 7mm if I had one, I have 9mm pistols but don't reload beacuse the margins of cost is too low and consumption of time is to high. I had a AR in 223 and shot bulk but decided I liked AK's better and sold the AR.

December 8, 2009, 09:33 PM
Ditto what he said on the 223. Not much. The 9mm is cheaper to buy OTC. The 7mag you'll save money.

December 8, 2009, 09:35 PM
While technicly you can save money I usually don't bother loading blasting ammo for common high volume calibers. Not when I figure in the "my time is money" factor.

That being said I'm concidering getting the stuff togeather to load 1000 rds of 9mm. But only cause I've found a scource for cheap 100% prepped brass and 1k of loaded 9mm is as expensive as the same amount of 223 or x39

December 8, 2009, 09:36 PM
You will save a ton on the 7 mag. I do reload .223, but it is a pain to chase the brass from an AR. 9 mm is not worth reloading, IMHO. Decent quality factory ammo in the 9 at pretty low prices is available.

Other handgun rounds ARE worth reloading. My favorite rounds are 45 LC, 44 Sp., and, sometimes, 45 ACP. I reload all three; the 45 LC and 44 Sp. offer huge savings.

December 8, 2009, 09:40 PM
The equipment up front will set you back a bit, but after that the ammo is cheaper if bought as components and loaded yourself. You will need to take the time to load it though, so factor that in as well.

If you get a turret or progressive press the time is much less, but a single stage will take forever to load up enough for a good day with an AR or lots of pistol shooting.

I load for .40 S&W, and yes I do have to chase the brass down. It's not that bad though. I'm a huge fan of reloading, but more so for the accuracy side of things than the economy, although it helps that my match grade .308 ammo only costs $0.50 a shot.

December 8, 2009, 09:42 PM
The 7 mag is where you will save money. The 223 won't be a big difference in savings if you buy bulk, but accuracy will always be greater through proper reloading.

December 8, 2009, 09:42 PM
223 and 9mm plinking ammo isnt worth the time to reload, IMHOI would disagree, unless you just don't like to reload, or simply don't have the time.

December 8, 2009, 09:45 PM
maybee alittle cheaper on the 223 but not much i buy pmc 1000 bulk for around $315

Here is what it costs for me to load 1000 55 grain 223 rounds.

Bullets 75 dollars
Primers 30 dollars
Powder 80 dollars
Total 185 dollars

I think that is pretty cheap for 1k rounds thats 18.5 cents a bullet versus 31.5 cents a round for the other guy. I buy bulk ammo and reload as much as I can.

Now for 9mm, 1k rounds of bulk 9mm is 200 dollars. To reload 1000 rounds of 9mm here is the component costs.

Bullets 80 dollars
Powder 30 dollars
Primers 30 dollars
Total 140 dollars

So 14 cents a round that's only 6 cents a round cheaper than buying in bulk but I really enjoy reloading and I never factor my time as a costs as some others do.

December 8, 2009, 09:47 PM
ha! funny.

.223: I reload for a bolt because for 30 cents I can make a round that is equal to or more acccurate than a 1.50 match commercial.

9mm : yes, I realize that I can (very infrequently!) buy walmart ammo for 20 cents each....but more often I have to pay 30 cents each....and that galls me. I am just a doctor and I have to think about retiring, y'know! I read that book "the millionare next door" and after reading THAT book I'm willing to reload 9 mm. In fact, just reloaded 30 rounds this afternoon. I can reload them for about 14 cents each and it is a great relaxer for me. I know it is questionable, but it keeps me from spending way way more if I got into the blam-blam-blam habbit. Got my groups better by almost 50% this afternoon with those rounds and a few walmart rounds.

So its a mixed bag. Sure, if you can sell your time, reloading isn't cost effective. But if you're TIRED of selling your time, and would rather ENJOY your time (and make incredibly accurate rifle rounds).....then reloading makes sense. Just remember to invest a tidy little sum every month....DO NOT follow the example of our government and spend every penny and then some....

December 8, 2009, 09:49 PM
You will save a bunch of money reloading, even 9mm is worth it. You can't charge yourself for loading your own ammo, for God sake;)

December 8, 2009, 09:56 PM
If you have plenty of 9mm brass, probably.

.03 per primer, .01 per powder charge

Bullets are the determining factor. 10-15 cents each. Cast your own for almost nothing.

You can certainly make better 9mm than the bulk stuff for the same price. Same for .223 if you can't compete on cost you can really compete on quality.

If you're using a single stage press, loading more than 100 at a sitting is a little tedious too.

Basically if you like to go to the range and rip off a few hundred rounds and are happy with keeping them on the paper then you'll get frustrated with reloading quickly unless you drop the big money on a progressive press.

If you like to shoot your .223 at 200+ yards slow fire and really want accuracy then you'll be much happier reloading.

There's a lot more return on bigger calibers. I can shoot .30-06 in my Garand for 43 cents per round wich is less than half the price of commercial ammo. I can shoot low recoil semi wadcutters in my .45 for 16 cents per round, and I can tailor them to be just what I want for bullseye competition. I can reload hollowpoint SD ammunition for the .45 for less than the price of WWB.

Also, you never save money reloading. You just shoot a lot more and you become a snob about the quality of your ammunition. It's also fun when there's an ammo shortage to show up at the range with as much ammo as you can carry and shoot all day without worrying about where the next box is coming from.

Good luck and be safe with your reloading.


December 8, 2009, 09:56 PM
Don't factor equipment into the costs per round! Good reloading presses and dies will last a lifetime and hundred of thousands if not millions of rounds. Heck, you could even pass your press on to your children and grandchildren. Factoring start up costs per round will just discourage you. I mean really let's say you have 1k in start up costs how could you divide among the potential rounds you could make? Just factor in component costs only.

December 8, 2009, 09:57 PM
I figure in my time because even though I enjoy reloading tremendously time spent loading something like 223 is time that wasn't spent loading a cartridge such as 7.65mauser where I can save A BUNCH of money.

December 8, 2009, 10:04 PM
thanks guy i mainly want this for my bolt actions like 22-250 and 7mag, as for the AR i shoot a national match so not running through large volumes just slightly more than i would with the bolt actions, so i'm wanting to work up some accurate loads for that as well.

December 8, 2009, 10:11 PM
thanks guy i mainly want this for my bolt actions like 22-250 and 7mag, as for the AR i shoot a national match so not running through large volumes just slightly more than i would with the bolt actions, so i'm wanting to work up some accurate loads for that as well.
In that context reloading would certianly be worthwile.

But ammo intended to make cans bounce about. Not so much

December 8, 2009, 10:14 PM
I reload .308 for my bolt action, 7.5 Swiss, and SOME .223 on a single stage Lee press, and have no problem with it. Fitting the round to the rifle is worth that time for me. I also reload .45 ACP and 9mm on a Dillon 550, and when I was shooting far more IPSC, the cost savings was fairly impressive. Straight blasting ammo for the .223 though, I've got plenty of surplus.

December 9, 2009, 01:08 AM
Buy the bulk then save the brass to reload. With my own brass I can load v-max's for around $250 per 1000 in 223 try buying even 250rnds for that price with a v-max or varmint grenade. I know these are not exactly plinkin rounds but if you can shoot the best for the cost of plinker why not.

I also load 22-250 and a 7mag (WSM) and save lots. for less than $50 I can load 100rnds of Barnes Triple shocks in 7wsm that's about $100 savings

Once you have your set-up then find a set of 9mm dies on sale (pawn) while saving your brass. I wouldn't buy a reloading set-up just for 9mm but would add it to.

As for charging yourself for time. It's a hobby for most if you look at it as work then most of the time you will quit that job. Charge yourself for sitting in front of the tv or out on the ATV's do you charge yourself time that you go out and shoot.

December 9, 2009, 06:39 AM
Relading is a nice, quiet, relaxing hobby that can result in some accurate ammo. Does it save you money? Hmmm... I'd have to say it certainly saves you more money then playing golf would!!

December 9, 2009, 09:32 AM
As a relatively new reloader I'd say give it a whirl for all the calibers you mention. You can get started in reloading for a reasonable sum (especially if like me you like Lee products).

Will you save' money? NOBODY saves money by spending it on anything -lol NO hobbies save money IMHO. But if like many you find reloading a great, fun and rewarding passtime....then you save money on on stress management therapy.

The other factor that sold me was one day about a year and a half ago walking into a Cabelas and finding NO ammo in the caliber I wanted to buy. Now that I can reload that little issue is prevented, so I guess I save on the gas money spent driving to the store? lol

December 9, 2009, 10:39 AM
Good reloading presses and dies will last a lifetime and hundred of thousands if not millions of rounds. Heck, you could even pass your press on to your children and grandchildren.

Mags has it right.

Dillon Precision lifetime no B.S. warranty. Doesn't get any better than that.

December 9, 2009, 11:42 AM
I think everyone reloads for different reasons, I reload for all the reasons, depending on caliber. Economy, precision, and fun. I shoot 25,000 45acp annually. I shoot 9mm, 38/357, 44mag, 41 mag, 223, 308 in moderate quantity. I shoot some obscure rounds like 38 Super, 38-40, 44-40, and other WCFs. I shoot 6 benchrest rifles in different calibers. I reload all kinds of stuff for friends. With my Dillon 650 I can load a thousand 223 in about 3 hours including press setup and refilling the hoppers, primers , etc. and I consider that an enjoyable evening.

December 9, 2009, 11:51 AM
The time is money factor only applies if you have the ability to make money instead of reloading. If time is money such a big deal how much money is not being made while one is having dinner, or punching keys on their PC, or all the moola lost while sitting in the jon.

Just my opinion, from a retired old man who does his best to enjoy every minute God gives him.

December 9, 2009, 12:00 PM
I load for everything I shoot except .22 & shotguns. Many of us remember in recent times that no stores had ammo to be found. Many of us went home and loaded up whatever we needed to go shooting and fealt sorry for those that didn't have ammo to shoot. It's not just about cost savings, it's also about simply having ammo when you need some. Search here over the last year and look at all the threads about folks not being able to find ammo. You'll be amazed.

Like any other caliber, you can see savings in 9mm. If you buy cast bullets in bulk, brass by the 1k, and primers by the 5k, you will see big savings. One pound of powder(Bullseye) will load ~1400 rds of 9mm. I get Bullseye in 4# jugs for 60.00 locally. If you do that you will load 9mm for way less than WWB and you can really get to know the misunderstood little 9mm and have lots of cheap fun at the same time.

If you really want to see some savings, cast your own from wheel weights you got cheap from the tire store or scrap yard. Even at 1.00/lb for the lead, 1000 bullets is ~24# so you will have under 25.00 in your bullets. Now run the numbers again and look at the savings. :)

Here is what it costs me to load 9mm:
Brass = Free(range pickup)
Primers = 27.50/1000
Powder = 15.00/LB
Bullets = Free(Lead from craigslist)
My costs to load 9mm are 0.036/rd, or 36.07/1000.

Shop around for components and plug the numbers into this: and see what it will cost you to load whatever caliber you like.

December 9, 2009, 12:26 PM
Hey JC, since we're retired and getting a pension does that mean we're being PAID when we're loading? ;)
If so, no wonder we like it so much. :D

Jumping Frog
December 9, 2009, 02:31 PM
223 and 9mm plinking ammo isnt worth the time to reload, IMHO.

Ditto what he said on the 223. Not much. The 9mm is cheaper to buy OTC.

My 9mm ammo costs me $3.85 per hundred (since I cast my own bullets). That is worth it to me for two reasons: (1) It is still about a quarter of the cost off commercial ammo; (2) When the stores were bare of 9mm ammo, I never had any shortage.

December 9, 2009, 08:10 PM
Ok, for me, its not worth it. I dont cast. I have a single stage press. Work, school, wife, kid, dog= no time.

Most of the calculations people have done didnt include brass or they had free brass. While the brass gets cheaper every time you load it, up front it costs quite a bit.

December 9, 2009, 08:38 PM
I reload everything I shoot. I like reloading as much as shooting.

December 9, 2009, 08:48 PM
I can't tell you the last time I purchased centerfire ammo or handgun ammo. I can. It was in the mid 1960s. :D

December 9, 2009, 08:48 PM
A couple of weeks ago I had some new shooters come up to my outdoor range for the day. As usual I'm pilfering through their stuff looking for interesting guns, etc and I'm noticing price tags on some of the ammo they've brought. I apparently live in my own world of an overflowing ammo cabinet because I had no idea 45acp was $34 per hundred. I didn't even know you could buy 100 in one box. 44mags were $22 per box of 50. That's reason enough to stop shooting. I average a dime a shot.

THe Dove
December 9, 2009, 08:57 PM

I'm with you amigo.... I shoot to reload sometimes!

The Dove

December 9, 2009, 10:11 PM
You will always save an appreciable amount of money reloading any centerfire cartridge. The question is how much savings is worth it for YOU? Most, probably all, reloaders enjoy the process on some level, so it doesn't always come down to a pure time is money thing. The only way to find out for your situation is to do a careful web search of all the components to find the absolute cheapest prices you can and then make the judgement call of if you feel it's worth your time and effort. Also know that you will ALWAYS shoot more of what you reload than what you have to buy. So you in the end, you don't save nearly as much money as you think, but you do get to shoot more. :D

I reload 30-06 and I thought getting the cost down to $0.40/round was pretty good, but now my cost is $0.30/round after finding a good source for pulled milsurp bullets. On top of that, if I cast my own (which I don't currently), the cost can go down to $0.20-0.25/round. I wasn't aware of any of this when I started. My point is you might find ways of reloading for even less than what you initially think as you continue reloading.

December 10, 2009, 03:32 AM
I have not bought ammunition since i was 13 years old (.22 rimfires). i no longer have my ruger 10/22, and every piece of ammunition i have i load myself. My father was a reloader and i inherited his equipment, and continue to build it up. I will never pay for ammunition again. I have about 4 boxes of .45 black talon's that i have for personal defense, that will never get shot any other way. my end's are covered.

and +1 to whoever said you will just shoot more. and probably end up reloading for most of your shooting buddies (not bangbangbang but hunter's and bolt shooters probably, i know i have about 15 friend's i load for.)

December 10, 2009, 06:32 PM
I shoot a variety of calibers and usually shoot around 15k rounds a year which costs me around $118 / 1000 for .45 ACP and less for .357 and 9mm. The price of factory ammo is around $340 / 1000. So I'm saving over $200 / 1000.

You can definitely save money reloading 9mm.

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