Why bother reloading?


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AKMac
December 18, 2009, 11:11 PM
I'm doing some math here, and I'm a little confused as to why I should even bother reloading with today's component prices.

Let's take .45 for example. I can go down to wal-mart and with sales tax included, purchase it for .34 per round. If I buy components off the internet, including once fired brass, and shipping included I come up with .33 per round (with a 1000 round batch.)

Now the price of brass will change this, but you can also sell your once-fired brass with the store bought ammo too offset the factor of re-using brass for reloads. You can also factor in the cost of reloading equipment as well.

Same goes for .223. I can have 1000 rounds of PMC bronze brought to my door for $305+$21.73 S&H = .32 per round. Buying components I come up with .31 per round.

Now my numbers may be off a little, but I'm certainly not off by half. It's just crazy what the reloading/ammo market has done the past few years.

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atlanticfire
December 18, 2009, 11:21 PM
You can't include the equipment itself. Thats just part of the long term investment. The brass I shoot untill its no good. And for bullets primers and powder. . one word. . .BULK. Plus the pure joy of shooting you own rounds!
http://www.about-family-guy.com/images/Glen_Quagmire.jpg

Nate1778
December 18, 2009, 11:35 PM
Right, and start collecting lead and start casting, get that .45 down to roughly $7 per hundred with reused brass. Also your math isn't adding up. .04 for a primer .07 in powder, and maybe .07 for a purchased lead bullet. If you get 8 uses out of a case then its maybe a .01 a case. Those numbers are on the higher end as well.

Arkansas Paul
December 18, 2009, 11:40 PM
Just this week, I killed my first deer with my handloads, and the feeling was wonderful. Also, you can tailor make a round for your particular rifle. Plus, handloading is just plain fun IMO. I also save more than you. I load for .30-06 and a box of cheap ammo is twenty bucks. Federal Premium ballistic tips cost over forty dollars most places. I can load them myself for less than fifteen. That's with me already having the brass. I'll tell you though, if they were the same price, I would still roll my own.

Dodge DeBoulet
December 18, 2009, 11:58 PM
I'm reloading .40 S&W, and come up with a cost per round of $0.12 assuming I'm using "found" brass (either my own that I've saved or someone else's I've picked up at the range). That's using a 180gr cast lead boolit ($0.07), 5gr of WST ($0.02) and a Wolf SP primer ($0.03).

The cheapest stuff at Wally World is $15/box of 50, or around $0.30 each. For shooting paper, that's a 60% savings.

armoredman
December 19, 2009, 12:09 AM
Reloading to me meant that when the shelves were bare, I was still shooting...and it's a great, fun, relaxing and productive hobby.

1SOW
December 19, 2009, 12:25 AM
Are you only going to shoot that expensive brass you listed 'one' time.
Reality is you can use it manyyy times. If you are restricted to just using the internet, you can learn to find the best prices and smarter shipping options ( like XXX # of powder with XXX number of primers incurs the lowest price shipping and only one haz mat. charge, etc etc. Powder is usually available locally.

There are threads that reloaders have contributed to, that show their actual cost to reload and it's usually signicantly lower than your estimate.

I reload using one of the most expensive powders (NOT required really) and primers (gun trigger is tuned very light) and my 9mm cost for competition quality ammo 124gr is way under Win., Rem, Magtech et al bulk 115gr ammo.

All this just discusses Money. Money usually ends up as a lower concern under: supply on hand, quality of ammo, flexibility to tune your ammo to your gun AND your shooting needs, and the satisfaction that this provides to the reloader.

I'm not selling anything here. I just want potential reloaders to know reloading can be practical for people who shoot regularly. If you break out the old pistola or deer rifle a few times/year, buy Hornady's best---it'll be cheaper.

millertyme
December 19, 2009, 12:36 AM
"I'm reloading .40 S&W, and come up with a cost per round of $0.12 assuming I'm using "found" brass (either my own that I've saved or someone else's I've picked up at the range). "

I understand this to be a not very good way to go about reloading, specifically about 40S&W. Too many people out there shotting Glocks without fully supported chambers. IIRC, the unsupported portion of the casing, if lined up right in a pistol of similar design, has a higher likelihood of rupturing and causing even catastrophic failures in the pistol. It seems that every time I read about a Glock blowing apart it has something to do with it being a 40S&W and someone feeding it a reload they shouldn't have.

Clarence
December 19, 2009, 01:16 AM
No, you're not off by 50%, you're actually off by 68%

I just loaded 500 rds of .45 ACP for .11 / rd = $5.50 / box and I don't cast my own bullets. You can't figure in the cost of the brass because you can re-use it many times. You can amortize the cost of the brass over 10 loadings (which is conservative if using light loads) your cost per box would be about 25 cents for .45 ACP

Your cost at Wal-Mart - $17.00 / box.

You're spending $340 / 1000 rds.

I'm spending $110 / 1000 rds.

I'm saving enough to pay for my complete Dillon 550b every 3,000 rds. At the rate I shoot that's about every 2 months.

9teenEleven
December 19, 2009, 01:21 AM
I shoot FMJ .45ACP for .16 a round. Buy bulk.

warnerwh
December 19, 2009, 01:30 AM
My .357 ammo costs about 7 a box with a jacketed bullet. My .44 is about ten with a jacketed bullet. I also use lead in the .44 which brings the cost down to maybe 9 dollars. Find me some 357 ammo for under 25 a box or .44 mag under 30 a box. So my ammo costs about a third what new costs. I typically go through about 3 boxes with my .357 and 2 boxes with my .44. The price of retail ammo is ridiculous in my mind.

I can control the loads to suit my needs. Adjust the load for best accuracy for my guns. The load selection the manufacturers offer is very small, even tiny, compared to what loads I can make up for myself. I couldn't afford to shoot my two favorite revolver rounds if I had to get them at the store. Lowest I've seen here for .44 is 33 a box and that's IF you can find them. I understand .357 isn't easy to find either. The ammo shortage has not phased me in the least.

James2
December 19, 2009, 01:33 AM
Try running the numbers on 357 Mag or 380 auto.

45 Auto and 9mm are the two cheapest rounds at Walmart, yet you can still load them for much less.

I figure that if you spend about $350 for a single stage setup, you can make back the investment after reloading 1600 rounds of 45 Auto. It is going to come back lots quicker loading 357 Mag or 380 Auto. A good setup will last you your lifetime. I am still using the tools I bought 50 years ago. I don't know if one actually saves money, but you can certainly shoot more for the buck.

I cast bullets and reload. Right now I can shoot 45 Auto, 44 Spl or 357 for $5.20 per 100. I guess that's good enough reason for me.

AKMac
December 19, 2009, 01:43 AM
Alright, well maybe I'm missing something then. Here's my math for .223 using prices from a company that we probably all use.

1000 Hornady 55 GR FMJ-BT - $103.01
1000 FED 205 SMALL RIFLE PRIMERS - $25.50
1lb H335 using a 25 grain load = 280 rounds = 3.571lbs of powder - $62.49
Hazmat fee - $22.50
Shipping - $20
=$233.50/1000 .23 cents per round. This is of course, assuming the range gods smiled upon me and I found my brass for free!


Now as I stated, I can get .223 for $326.73 per 1000 to my doorstep. The going rate for .223 brass seems to be anywhere from $70 per 1000 to $140 for prepped brass. If I sell my brass for $70 I get $256.73/1000 = .25 cents per round.

Not exactly saving a whole lot. Now it's certainly worth while to reload and I'm not trying to discourage anyone from doing it. I just don't think that it's really the cost saving option it used to be for high volume shooters.

shaggy430
December 19, 2009, 01:55 AM
I can honestly say I've never had any trouble finding .223 or 9mm brass. So I guess I just saved myself $70/1000 according to your math.

rondog
December 19, 2009, 02:04 AM
It's not just about saving money. It's another aspect of the sport that's challenging and fun, and you can build up a HELLUVA stash of ammo! It's nice to be able to grab what you want to shoot from your stash when you want to go, no trips to the store or waiting on a shipment. You can also make many types of loads for every caliber you shoot, even gun-specific ammo if you wish.

Also keeps ya outta the bars. Not to mention preparing yourself for the zombie invasions.

AKMac
December 19, 2009, 02:09 AM
45 Auto and 9mm are the two cheapest rounds at Walmart, yet you can still load them for much less.


Well let's see.

1000 Zero 230gr FMJ Bullets (trying to replicate store bought ammo here, so no cast bullets) - $125
Win 231 powder is $16.60 per pound but using 5.1 grains per reload gives us 1372 reloads which means the powder cost is actually - $12.09
1000 Win large pistol primers - $25
Hazmat fee - $22.5
Shipping $20
So added up we get $204.59/1000 = .20 cents per round once again assuming that I get my brass for free.


Wal-mart has CCI Blazer for $15.97 per 50. Times 20 is $319.40+ $21.08 sales tax is $340.48 per 1000. From what I can gather .45 brass is going for about $90 per 1000. So $340.48 minus $90 is $250.48 or .25 cents per round.

So about $45 per 1000 is saved. All I'm trying to say here is that the costs are certainly not 50% of store bought ammo like they use to be.

AKMac
December 19, 2009, 02:12 AM
It's not just about saving money.

Well for me it's about how much shooting can I do for the same amount of money.

ReloaderFred
December 19, 2009, 03:05 AM
I shoot so I can reload the brass. End of discussion......

Fred

qajaq59
December 19, 2009, 05:36 AM
You're going to choose Wal Mart ammo over hand loads?

Plus spend more for it? lol

Surely you jest?

editingfx
December 19, 2009, 05:41 AM
Hazmat fee - $22.5
Shipping $20

There's your problem. Hazmat on 1000. Got amortize it MUCH longer. My last order was 12 lbs of powder & MANY primers - enough so my primer cost (for SPP, not LPP) was $23/1000. lead bullets are $68/1000. My cost for 9mm (all I shoot) is $100/1000.

brass is free. calculating brass any other way means you're too lazy to bend over at the range.

swiftak
December 19, 2009, 06:07 AM
I have thousands of primers, alot of powder, a lifetime supply of brass, lead, bullet molds, and all the equipment to load ammo. I'm not one of those that whines about the supply of ammo in the stores. Thats why I reload.
Its not always a cost thing. I haven't bought factory ammo in years, and will probably never have to again.

Dodge DeBoulet
December 19, 2009, 06:26 AM
"I'm reloading .40 S&W, and come up with a cost per round of $0.12 assuming I'm using "found" brass (either my own that I've saved or someone else's I've picked up at the range). "

I understand this to be a not very good way to go about reloading, specifically about 40S&W. Too many people out there shotting Glocks without fully supported chambers. IIRC, the unsupported portion of the casing, if lined up right in a pistol of similar design, has a higher likelihood of rupturing and causing even catastrophic failures in the pistol. It seems that every time I read about a Glock blowing apart it has something to do with it being a 40S&W and someone feeding it a reload they shouldn't have.
I don't shoot a Glock (I have a couple of S&W M&Ps), so I have a fully supported chamber. I also know what to look for with regard to "glocked" brass.

Also, regarding the hazmat charge . . . all of my numbers posted previously factored in shipping and hazmat for the items purchased on line (3lbs of powder and 10K primers).

evan price
December 19, 2009, 06:32 AM
The secret is to find a load that works well in any gun you shoot it in, then STOCK UP on the components for that load.

When you take shipping, haz-mat & insurance on an order of powder or primers, if you max out the hazmat ticket (50,000 primers) that's only adding $1 per thousand to the cost of the primers. Put 25K primers and 16 pounds of powder on that one order and viola, savings.

Right now I load .45 acp using Alliant Promo powder (Uses Red Dot data by weight) which is available on the shelf at my local gun shop for $95/8# out the door with tax- and no shipping or hazmat.
4.5 grain charge in .45 means .765 cents per shot.

I use Wolf large pistol primers bought in a group buy for $21/thousand shipped.

I use range brass, free. .45 auto is a low pressure cartridge, you will lose the brass before you wear it out.

Assuming you buy bullets, Missouri Bullet is a THR vendor. Their 230-grain round nose slugs are about 8 cents each delivered with THR discount.

That's 10.865 cents per shot, $108.65 per thousand.

Even if you have to buy brass, you can get mixed range .45 brass for about 7 cents each shipped. That takes you to $178.65 per thousand, but you can re-use that brass a gazillion times (or until you lose it!) so the price per shot is really not that at all.


Now me, I cast my own bullets using wheel weight lead I scrounge. Including the propane to smelt it down I have about a penny per bullet maximum including lube (actually a lot less than a penny, but let's keep it simple.)

That means I am shooting my own 45's for less than 4 cents a shot- $40 per thousand.

I challenge you to find .45 ammo for anywhere near that price for sale anywhere.


All that said, if you don't see a rationale for reloading, don't bother to look for one any harder. Trying to justify reloading on a purely monetary basis is specious at best and downright wrong at worst. You may get into reloading thinking you will save money but you wind up just shooting more of the cheaper ammo, and your savings evaporates into a cloud of smoke at the firing line.

But more practice means better skills, and is that all bad?

RandyP
December 19, 2009, 09:28 AM
I'm a relative reloading noob (a year and a half now), been shooting for over 40 years though and dearly wish I had jumped in to this great hobby a loooooong time ago.

Does it make economic sense? Does bowling, golf or sitting on a bar stool?

Do I save money per round? yes, about the half the price of store bought and I end up shooting twice the round count at the range -lol

But when times get tight, or the local stores are out of ammo (you do figure in your gas costs to go find the stuff, right?) or I want to fill idle hours with something useful, or have fun and learn something new that I can pass on to my sons?....

nuff said.

Tuckerp229
December 19, 2009, 10:18 AM
I will chime in here. Yes one can save a great deal of money by reloading. One must always remember the rule "money is earned in the buy, not the sell". In other words you must buy smart not by impulse. Buying components during the last ammo/ reload gun scare is not the way to save money nor buy the best components for your pet load. One paid too much and often compromised out of fear to have something to load with. Let things settle down a bit then check the prices and stock up when the become reasonable.

Secondly I can tell you that in addition to all the other benefits of reloading their is another, the sweet pleasure of seeing a favorite gun that shoots not so great groups suddenly become a tack driver. This happened to me this year with a Tikka 6.5x55 Swede. The gun and caliber are supposed to be the Bees knees for accuracy but after purchasing the rifle I was dismayed to see my groups sizing around 3.5 to 5 inches with commercial ammo. My first batch of reloads dropped the groups size down to 1.5 inches and my current pet loads are producing 5/8 groups. To cap off the experiment I dropped two deer this year with one shot kills. It has been a good year.

Walkalong
December 19, 2009, 10:22 AM
You can save money, load more versatile stuff than you can buy, & fire your shrink because it will be the only therapy you need. :)

Clarence
December 19, 2009, 10:24 AM
Reloading is apparently not for people who are bad at math. :)

Otto
December 19, 2009, 10:35 AM
I'm doing some math here, and I'm a little confused as to why I should even bother reloading with today's component prices....

Wal-mart has CCI Blazer (45 ACP) for $15.97 per 50....

So about $45 per 1000 is saved. All I'm trying to say here is that the costs are certainly not 50% of store bought ammo like they use to be.I totally agree with you. If all you plan to shoot is a 1000 rounds then your math makes sense.
But for me, I load 17K of 45acp a year. So by your calculations I save $765 a year. And that doesn't count the other calibers I load for.
For a low volume shooter like yourself, WalMart will certainly fulfill your needs.

Samgotit
December 19, 2009, 10:54 AM
Yep, for enthusiasts who only shoot 1000 rounds a year, it ain't worth it.

Nate1778
December 19, 2009, 11:00 AM
Yep, for enthusiasts who only shoot 1000 rounds a year, it ain't worth it.


Monetarily I agree, but the one thing that will happen is you will start to shoot, A LOT more if you reload. So for that reason it is probably more valuable to the shooter whom only shoots 1000 rounds a year.

There are ways to get it down to the cost of the primers and powder only, but that simply relies on the reloader. We didn't get into this hobby (shooting) to save money.

Samgotit
December 19, 2009, 11:16 AM
It would be interesting if the OP would state what shooting goals he has?

Walkalong
December 19, 2009, 11:22 AM
Yep, for enthusiasts who only shoot 1000 rounds a year, it ain't worth it. I don't agree. You can get into reloading pretty inexpensively if you don't buy all the biggest and baddest presses etc. Prices will get better, especially primers, as things catch up. Metal prices have already declined quite a bit since their peak. When people quit buying everything in sight at today's prices (and I have nothing against that, let's not go there here) things will settle down quite a bit IMO.

Reloading will save money and offer the reloader more possibilities than buying ammo can, as well as breed confidence and launch them on what can be a very satisfying hobby. If they don't like reloading, they can always load till they "break even", and then sell their equipment to someone will will be glad to get a good deal.

hossfly
December 19, 2009, 11:24 AM
I did the math a while back and for most of my cartridges I was loading for about 1/3 the price of factory purchase. Now this was before the left wing changes in the country and my components were bought before then so I couldn't say if that's changed anything or not.

bullseye308
December 19, 2009, 11:32 AM
Here is something else to look into. If possible, pick up every piece of brass at every range you can get to. If you can't load it scrap it. If it is in a caliber you don't have, you can trade it for brass in a caliber you load for. Every piece of brass has value, either to you, someone els, or the scrap yard. Lots of things can be traded for with no out of pocket expenses. Look at craigslist for reloading equipment or even for casting equipment & lead. It may take a while, but it has been known to pay off.

Samgotit
December 19, 2009, 11:32 AM
I don't agree. You can get into reloading pretty inexpensively if you don't buy all the biggest and baddest presses etc.

No doubt, but if I were the type of shooter, going to punch 100 holes a paper target every month (and there's nothing wrong with that), I would not bother.

That's why I'm honestly interested to see what the OP's goals are.

hossfly
December 19, 2009, 12:06 PM
There's certainly something to be said for the value of the time it takes. If I had it to do over I wouldn't have loaded rifles because I don't shoot centerfire rifles enough to make it worth the aggravation. The problem now is I've zero'ed with handloads and can't buy them at the store. :)

Has the cost gap closed in recent years? I haven't run any figures in awhile.

Mags
December 19, 2009, 12:34 PM
For one don't mail order components if you can the haz fee will kill you if you buy in small quantities. Here is my math.

For 45 ACP
1000 Rainier plated 230 grain bullets - 120 dollars
1 lb of HP-38 - 17 dollars
1k LP primers - 30 dollars
Range brass or brass I have fired - free
All obtained locally

Total 167 dollars for 1k bullets so 16.7 cents a bullet almost half the price of Wal-Mart

Now 223

1000 Hornady 55 grain fmj - 80 dollars
1k SR primers - 30 dollars
3 pounds Ramshot Tac - 53 dollars
Range brass or brass I have fired - free
All bought locally

Total 163 dollars for 1k bullets thats 16.3 cents a round.

I think you just need to find your powder and primers locally.

Arkansas Paul
December 19, 2009, 12:43 PM
I'm with ReloaderFred. I shoot so I can reload. By the way, I'm fairly new to THR. What's a troll?

oldreloader
December 19, 2009, 12:46 PM
I don't worry about the math. I know I can build better ammo for less money. For me, reloading is a hobby in it's self. I enjoy doing it. That's why MY choice of a press is single stage. I WANT to do it slow, because I enjoy it. I don't like the math because it gives me a headache.LOL.

mongoose33
December 19, 2009, 12:46 PM
The cheapest I can find WWB in .45 is for 35 cents per round.

I'm reloading .45 for 13 cents per round.

I'm under 20 cents per round for .223, about 10 cents per round for 9mm.


You can save significant money *if* you buy components in bulk, i.e., thousands of bullets at a time, 5k or 10k primers at a time, powder in 4# or 8# kegs, and you re-use brass.

Yeah, there are up-front costs. You can't buy in bulk without paying a lot of money up front, in addition to the cost of the equipment.

Here's the metric I like best: I'm saving 22 cents per round in .45. I can load, conservatively, 300 rounds an hour on my LnLAP press. Multiplying 22 cents by 300 rounds an hour, and I'm *paying* myself $66 an hour to reload.

Who has a part-time job that pays $66 per hour?

On top of that, I produce better ammo than factory loads, I enjoy reloading, it's relaxing, I can try out all sorts of different loads and bullets, I'm not hurt by the ammo shortage, and in any SHTF scenario I'm prepared.

So what's not to like?

dwave
December 19, 2009, 12:51 PM
I shoot .357 mag and .44 mag, check out the ammo costs for those rounds. In this area 50 rounds of .357 costs $34+tax. That is the cheapest price. So lets look at how much it costs me to make my own.

Powder $23/pound (local)
Primers $34/1000 (local)
bullets $38/500 lead (internet order + shipping)

www.handloads.com/calc/loadingCosts.asp tells me that it costs .157 per round. Also says that it costs me 7.83 per 50. 7.83 < 34 by a large margin.

However, it is fun to do!

hossfly
December 19, 2009, 12:54 PM
Well...I too am not hurt by the ammo shortage per se. But the primer shortage has put a dent in my willingness to burn powder. I'll be tickled when/if that run ever ends.

lgbloader
December 19, 2009, 12:58 PM
I'm with ReloaderFred. I shoot so I can reload. By the way, I'm fairly new to THR. What's a troll?


When you go into a handloading / reloading forum that has many members who enjoy handloading almost as much as shooting (for some perhaps more...) and start insinuating to the forum that it makes no sense to handload knowing that this is going start ruffling feathers... you probably are a troll. I would call it just plain old bad manners.

Well for me it's about how much shooting can I do for the same amount of money.

It sounds to me like you have made your calculations and found what you think works for you. What's left to discuss?!

LGB

RandyP
December 19, 2009, 01:29 PM
To the OP, when your question is "Why BOTHER reloading" you've already furnished all the info needed to answer it yourself.

If you view this hobby as a bother, it obviously ain't for you, so just shoot store bought and post on the factory ammo websites?

A 'troll' on the internet refers to someone who posts obviously inflammatory or ridiculous questions just to watch the responses from well-intentioned folks who mistakenly think they are serious.

SharpsDressedMan
December 19, 2009, 01:48 PM
Your math must be off. Buy a box of 100 bullets, Gold Dots or XTP's, and caculate the price per round after loading them, but use your once fired brass from your once fired factory ammo. I'll bet you will load them for a lot less than $1.00 a round, like some of those 20-25 round boxes sell for. For bulk blasing, you have to buy bulk bullets or cast or use lead bullets, but for the premium stuff, "you gonna save a lot"!

AKMac
December 19, 2009, 02:14 PM
Certainly a touchy group. I was hoping this discussion would turn into a thread about the best places to find components cheaply and ways to make our hobby a little more inexpensive.

Thanks to the posters who took the time to write a well thought out response that added to the discussion.

To the people who said I'm a troll, you obviously lack the ability to construct a logical response that proves me wrong or adds to the discussion.

As one poster above pointed out, I guess what's killing me is the hazmat fee's and shipping charges. I would guess by the time I drive 90 miles to closest reloading supply store, and add an additional 4.7% sales tax, I might be getting somewhat close to a shipping and hazmat fee. I could do the math on that too for you degreed mathematicians in the forum :rolleyes:

fecmech
December 19, 2009, 02:36 PM
Akmak--You've convinced me, you should buy factory ammo!

bullseye308
December 19, 2009, 02:52 PM
If the closest place for you to buy locally is 90 miles away, it may make more sense to buy online with all the fees involved. My favorite toy store is 30 miles away and for me that is a long drive. Everything else I need is within 8 miles. I plan a "trip" to hit several stores in the area when I go out to make the trip more worth it and buy as much as possible to maximise my trip and gas. I do also call ahead before driving that far to make sure I don't waste a trip.

Either way it goes, you can save money reloading. One of the good things about reloading is once you have stock on hand, you no longer have to worry about avaibility like lots of folks do. If you want to hit the range, you pull from your stores or load some up and go. No more hitting multiple shops looking for overpriced ammo(and maybe not finding any). Another plus is tailoring your ammo to your gun for more accuracy. Factory just has to function in every gun, reloads function and also are more accurate(usually). :o It won't cost you much to find out that you can't get back if you decide you don't wanna do it. Heck, you may just like it. :D

buck460XVR
December 19, 2009, 02:57 PM
I reload cause I enjoy it. Like many have stated I don't save any money, I just shoot more rounds when I go to the range. To tell the truth, I spend more now that I reload than I ever did when all I shot was factory ammo. Just don't tell my wife.

For those that shoot 500 rounds a year or less, the payback from initial startup costs will probably never be realized. What value you put on your spare time can make a difference also. Even if one can reload for a quarter of what factory ammo costs, if one doesn't have the spare time to spend, the loss of quality time with the wife and kids can be much more than the extra cost of factory ammo. Also, what you shoot can make a big difference whether or not you decide to reload. Most of the time I can buy bulk .45ACP, .223 and 30-06 for about the same as what I can reload it. For plinking it performs as well as my handloads. Altho both my son's shoot my handloads, I prefer factory ammo when taking other folk shooting, just because. But alas, Wally-world does not handle .460 S&W and most other places want $2 a pop. Good factory .357 and .44 is also much higher than what I can reload it for. So for me it just makes sense..........for others it may not.....and I'm fine with it.

ReloaderFred
December 19, 2009, 03:01 PM
The problem lies in the way the OP asked his question, which came off argumentative from the start. If the question had been asked in another way, the responses would have been different, I'm sure.

Hope this helps.

Fred

Rancho Relaxo
December 19, 2009, 03:11 PM
I'm sure I could find factory 223 rounds that are much cheaper than my 50g Sierra Blitzkings, but that really isn't the point. I reload rifle cartridges so I can get the best possible accuracy without paying a premium for match ammo. Seems pretty simple to me!

mongoose33
December 19, 2009, 03:11 PM
Certainly a touchy group. I was hoping this discussion would turn into a thread about the best places to find components cheaply and ways to make our hobby a little more inexpensive.

Thanks to the posters who took the time to write a well thought out response that added to the discussion.

To the people who said I'm a troll, you obviously lack the ability to construct a logical response that proves me wrong or adds to the discussion.

You tell us now that you hoped this would develop into a discussion of where to find components cheaply, but your initial post had *nothing* about that at all?

And you're offended that people think you're a troll?

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

420Stainless
December 19, 2009, 03:26 PM
Local Wal-marts here don't sell .41Mag, .45 Colt, or 6.8SPC. Also, you can cut the price of most rifle rounds in half even with all new brass. I guess you could make the case that there is no need to shoot less commonly available types, but that would greatly reduce my interest in the sport,

Walkalong
December 19, 2009, 03:52 PM
That's why I'm honestly interested to see what the OP's goals are.Start an argument? Hopefully not. He did add some Q's later.
What's a troll?
Someone who "trolls" forums looking for an argument. Likes to start them. A "pot stirrer"
The problem lies in the way the OP asked his question, which came off argumentative from the start. If the question had been asked in another way, the responses would have been different, I'm sure.
Agreed. Probably just a poorly worded post.

hossfly
December 19, 2009, 03:58 PM
I didn't think his post was necessarily argumentative. I didn't see where he got his numbers from but I also admit my stock of components is several years old and I may not be up to date on the cost of components vs. factory ammo now.

If someone doesn't want to handload, great. I don't take some sort of offense at that just because I do handload. We probably need to lighten up a bit.

MetalHead
December 19, 2009, 04:12 PM
How bout when your favorite handgun is a 32H&R Mag?
I always feel sticker shock when I do find a box for sale.
Self cast bullets and small powder charges mean primers
are the big cost item. I haven't figured it up in a while but
last time I checked I can load it for much less than 22Mag.
45 AutoRim, 8MM Mauser and 303Brit are in the same boat,
not counting milsurp, expensive when you can
find it and little choice in bullet used.

lgbloader
December 19, 2009, 05:28 PM
Certainly a touchy group. I was hoping this discussion would turn into a thread about the best places to find components cheaply and ways to make our hobby a little more inexpensive.

Thanks to the posters who took the time to write a well thought out response that added to the discussion.

To the people who said I'm a troll, you obviously lack the ability to construct a logical response that proves me wrong or adds to the discussion.

As one poster above pointed out, I guess what's killing me is the hazmat fee's and shipping charges. I would guess by the time I drive 90 miles to closest reloading supply store, and add an additional 4.7% sales tax, I might be getting somewhat close to a shipping and hazmat fee. I could do the math on that too for you degreed mathematicians in the forum

Bottom line, we all love to shoot our firearms. You (OP) are probably someone fun to b.s. with and drink a couple of cold ones with. So drinks all around. Different strokes for different folks. We will have fun shooting our handloads and you have fun shooting your store bought.

LGB

RustyFN
December 19, 2009, 05:56 PM
1000 Win large pistol primers - $25
Hazmat fee - $22.5

This is your first problem. You can buy up to 50,000 primers under the one hazmat fee. You can also buy 48 pounds of powder for one hazmat or 48 pounds of powder and primers mixed. If you are going to buy on-line you need to buy in bulk. I always go in with a friend or two and we buy primers 50,000 at a time and powder 48 pounds at a time.
For example I bought powder last year for $12 per pound and primers for $16 per 1,000. I am loading 9mm for $70 per 1,000, 38 spcl for around $70 per 1,000, 223 for $110 per 1,000 and 45 auto for $25 per 1,000. The reason 45 auto is so cheap is because I cast my own bullets with lead that I have got for free. I will be casting for my other pistols this year and will be able to load them for the same price as the 45 auto.

Walkalong
December 19, 2009, 06:08 PM
How bout when your favorite handgun is a 32H&R Mag?
I always feel sticker shock when I do find a box for sale.Yep. Factory is expensive, but we can reload it dirt cheap.

Venado
December 19, 2009, 06:23 PM
I love to reload better than shooting. I love to improvise and improve. I developed a bullet lube that was expensive, but does not smoke, and gives 30 f.p.s. increase in velocity. Was it worth it to me? Yes. I make cartridges that can not be equalled by any factory. Do they save me money? Probably not. It is probably like heating with wood. After all the effort, if your time is worth anything, you might not have saved any money. However, a wood fire made from wood that you cut and split feels so much better, and there is a since of satisfaction.

hossfly
December 19, 2009, 06:30 PM
Everyone has their own motivations but unless something's changed in the last 2 or 3 years...maybe due to the current political climate...it was a great deal cheaper for me to handload. My numbers weren't in line with the OP's which made savings a motivation for me.

taliv
December 19, 2009, 06:30 PM
Certainly a touchy group.

no doubt. relax guys.


the trick is to wait for deals. keep a few bucks stashed away to jump on them when they apear, then wait. patience, grasshopper.

for example, i just bought a case of R15 from hi-techammo for $75/5lb which is about 20% off, and because i bought a case, they paid hazmat.

about 1/week i search on 'blemish' at midway and about once/yr I come up with stellar bullet deals. i bought about 60 boxes of 100ct hornady XTP for 45acp for around $6 ea. (i occasionally get hits on scopes with that search too... pretty good deals) That lets me make practice ammo that matches my carry ammo for less than you can buy white box at wally world.

if you drive through missouri, swing by sierra and buy bulk blemished bullets at a substantial discount. (they only sell them in person, unfortunately)

wideners and hi-techammo often have good deals on bullets when you buy 3000-5000 at a time. not so much lately though. a couple years ago, i bought the heck out of M193 pull-downs for AR15 blasting ammo at $75/3000. That's 2.5 cents / bullet and with pulldown powder and regular primers adding about 3 cents, I am still shooting as much 223 as i want for under a dime / bang.

i just did the math myself on some long-range 223 ammo.
$540 / 5000 69g OTM is only 11 cents per shot
$75/ 5lb turns out to be about 5 cents per shot
$25 / 1000 is about 2.5 cents per shot for primers

so if i supply the brass and labor, i'm looking at 18.5 cents per shot, or $185 / 1000. now compare that to the cheapest factory 69/75/77g ammo i can find, which is prvi 69g for about $470/1000.

$470 vs $185 is worth doing to me.

(in reality though, i'm still using CCI 400 primers i bought a few yrs back for $14.50 / 1000, but i've only got a few boxes left and will be forced to switch to wolf soon)

another place to look for deals is at big events. go to knob creek machine gun shoot. talk to the guys blazing away and ask them where to get deals. some of them buy powder in drums. :)
go to camp perry. lots of specials up there.

taliv
December 19, 2009, 06:31 PM
btw, nothing against you guys who enjoy it, but i hate reloading. i have better things to do. i just do it so i can afford to shoot

atlanticfire
December 19, 2009, 06:55 PM
Reloading is apparently not for people who are bad at math.
Ok I though that was funny. hehehehehe
But seriously if you factoring in hazmat fees and shipping cost you not buying enough of it in bulk to offset those charges.

hossfly
December 19, 2009, 06:57 PM
but i hate reloading. i have better things to do. i just do it so i can afford to shoot

Well clearly you're a bad guy then. :)

I understand completely. I got in to it 20 years ago and I thought it was neat then. Now it's just a matter of economy for me.

Sure I can ...or at least could....fiddle with loads until I got the nth degree of accuracy out of them but my life doesn't afford me that obsession any more. Certainly nothing against anyone who does it. If I ever get to retire I hope to get back in to those things but it's not in the cards now.

leadcounsel
December 19, 2009, 07:00 PM
I've looked into this a lot of times over the years. IMO the bottom line is that it isn't about saving money. It's really about liking to reload.

If you factor your time into it like an hourly wage job, it would be a very poor paying one or at best not a great paying job.

Frankly I would rather spend time doing something I like.

hossfly
December 19, 2009, 07:16 PM
IMO the bottom line is that it isn't about saving money. It's really about liking to reload.

Honestly that depends on the load. Like I said, I was able to shoot an average of 3 times as much back when I actually compared.

And If you start talking about bullseye and wadcutters in 38's you're talking about a very economical load....of course the current primer situation changes that a bit.

taliv
December 19, 2009, 07:29 PM
I've looked into this a lot of times over the years. IMO the bottom line is that it isn't about saving money. It's really about liking to reload.

If you factor your time into it like an hourly wage job, it would be a very poor paying one or at best not a great paying job.

i disagree. while i would rather spend time doing something i like (shooting), it's not a bad hourly wage.

$470/k for prvi
$185/k for reloads
-------
$285/k difference

$285 / 2 hours = $142.5 per hour wage figuring it takes me about 1 hr for case prep and 1 hr to load on my dillon 1050

if i could do that full-time, that's $292k annual income.

my savings on self-defense quality 45acp is even more


edit: hmm... now that i think about it... it's too bad i don't trust anyone else to reload. i could easily pay local college kids $20/hr and come out way ahead with no work!

Walkalong
December 19, 2009, 07:40 PM
. it's too bad i don't trust anyone else to reload. i could easily pay local college kids $20/hr and come out way ahead with no work!

Labor - $20 an hour.

KaBoom from said labor - Priceless. :p

RustyFN
December 19, 2009, 07:43 PM
i disagree. while i would rather spend time doing something i like (shooting), it's not a bad hourly wage.

$470/k for prvi
$185/k for reloads
-------
$285/k difference

$285 / 2 hours = $142.5 per hour wage figuring it takes me about 1 hr for case prep and 1 hr to load on my dillon 1050

if i could do that full-time, that's $292k annual income.

I couldn't agree more. That's the same way I look at it when somebody wants to figure time.

Roccobro
December 19, 2009, 08:27 PM
But don't forget to add the haz-MAN charge... You know the insurance, FFL and other licensing and zoning laws et al, ad nauseum that take away from the bottom line.... :D

Justin

BruceB
December 19, 2009, 08:32 PM
Still haven't decided if I load to shoot or shoot to load.

This is a timely thread, because I just began loading the .22-250 on Thursday. I already load about 25 other calibers, but this one is new on my bench.

Costs, with BRAND NEW Remington brass:

Case: $0.41

Primer: $0.03

Powder (35 grains): $0.10

Bullet (55 V-max in bulk from Midway): $0.17

Total, with NEW brass is 71 cents per round. Factory loads in the same store were $1.20 per round. Net saving: 49 cents per round.

I don't push my loads very hard, and I can confidently state that I'll get at least ten loads per case, which takes the brass cost per load to FOUR cents, and the total per round goes down to a mere 34 cents....compared to $1.20. My loads will be more accurate in my rifle, too.

For a wilder comparison, my .416 Rigbys cost about fifteen CENTS, compared to as much as ten dollars per round.

Yep, my per-round costs are a LOT lower...but I also shoot a great deal and eat up the savings!

Onward Allusion
December 19, 2009, 09:22 PM
How long does it take you to create the 3,000?


Clarence (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=67406)
<SNIP>
I just loaded 500 rds of .45 ACP for .11 / rd = $5.50 / box and I don't cast my own bullets. You can't figure in the cost of the brass because you can re-use it many times. You can amortize the cost of the brass over 10 loadings (which is conservative if using light loads) your cost per box would be about 25 cents for .45 ACP
Your cost at Wal-Mart - $17.00 / box.
You're spending $340 / 1000 rds.
I'm spending $110 / 1000 rds.
I'm saving enough to pay for my complete Dillon 550b every 3,000 rds. At the rate I shoot that's about every 2 months.

ohioshooter
December 19, 2009, 10:33 PM
not everyone has to pay a haz-mat and/or shipping fee so you have to take that cost out as well.

jcwit
December 19, 2009, 10:39 PM
How long does it take you to create the 3,000?


Does this really matter? Or do you put a dollar amount on every hour of every day you live?

This directed at those who keep telling us how much their time is worth.

delta5
December 19, 2009, 11:38 PM
I enjoy reloading when i can find the time and the supplies. Its a good way to learn more about balistics and how guns are affected by changes in powder and bullet weight. Normally its much easier for me to find used 308 and .45acp brass so there is no reason to pay big money for scarce ammo. I havnt bought factory .45acp in ages. I have at least one full big pickle bucket of .223 brass, so i wont have to buy any new .223 for a long time either.

Onward Allusion
December 20, 2009, 01:55 AM
:confused:

Yes it does matter. I've been kicking around reloading for the past 5 years, ever since ammo prices started creeping up. I asked the question because if it takes me 5 minutes to make a single .38 special cartridge, then it isn't worth *MY* time. I asked so that *I* can get an idea if it makes sense for *ME* to reload.


jcwit (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=54626)

How long does it take you to create the 3,000?
Does this really matter? Or do you put a dollar amount on every hour of every day you live?

This directed at those who keep telling us how much their time is worth.

dwave
December 20, 2009, 02:05 AM
Hey Onward, it depends on your setup. I have a lee classic turret press. I normally do 50 .357 rounds in around 30-40 mins. Some go faster than that, but I just take my time and I use my press like a single stage.

ReloaderFred
December 20, 2009, 02:28 AM
With my progressive press, I can load about 400 rounds an hour without really pushing it. The key is getting everything in the right place and working the press smoothly. I just finished loading 3,000 rounds of .38 Special and it took me two days, working at it a few hours each day.

Hope this helps.

Fred

delta5
December 20, 2009, 02:28 AM
If you cant manage to sit in a quiet area for an hour or two with no distractions, then dont bother buying any reloading equipment. This is a hobby that requires patience and focus. You dont want to double-charge a case or miss one because you are being distracted by the phone, wife, kids, dogs etc etc. From that last post, Id say you probably dont have the time or the patience for this.

warnerwh
December 20, 2009, 02:48 AM
On my Lee Classic Turret doing 150-200 rounds an hour without pushing it is normal. This rate is for .357 and .44 magnum rounds. I've not tried rifle. It's a good press for a beginner too because you can use it as a single stage which is much slower.

hydraulicman
December 20, 2009, 06:14 AM
then don't reload. more primers for me

Onward Allusion
December 20, 2009, 09:27 AM
Hey Onward, it depends on your setup. I have a lee classic turret press. I normally do 50 .357 rounds in around 30-40 mins. Some go faster than that, but I just take my time and I use my press like a single stage.
So about 1 hour to make a box of .357. That's about 50% to 75% what I shoot (non-.22's) at the range per hour. If it brings the cost of the cartridges to 1/2 of what I would pay at the store, then for me it would make sense from a dollars perspective. Time as it relates to a hobby is a much lower factor (but a component nonetheless). If I had all the time in the world, I would probably spend a good 20% of it on shooting sports related activities.

Yes, for me everything does come down to numbers for the most part. I used to be in accounting/finance and now run an IT shop, so that's where my head is planted - numbers and systems. For me it is about getting the 10x as well as stretching the most out of my hobby. Different strokes.

BTW, thanks for the info.

Redneck with a 40
December 20, 2009, 10:26 AM
I can reload 40 S&W ammo for 12 cents/round, or about $6/box, it takes me about an hour per box to load. Is saving 60% on the price of a box of ammo worth my time? Hell yes! Also, my handload's are more accurate and consistent than factory rounds, guarantee'd.

I can load .223 for about 22 cents/round, compared to 45-50 cents for factory ammo. Pretty close to a 50% savings again.

I can load .308 for 45 cents/round, most quality factory ammo runs 85 cents to a dollar/round. Pretty big savings here.

So if I do the math, its $120/1000 for 40 S&W, $220/1000 for .223 and $450/1000 for .308. You can easily double those numbers for factory ammo.

Its also how I enjoy spending my time, at the bench.:)

RandyP
December 20, 2009, 10:30 AM
The '$$ my time is worth' argument ONLY applies to your hobbies if you are doing your hobbies using time for which you would otherwise be getting paid.

"No, I'm not going to shovel that neighbor's driveway in an hour for $25, I'm going to sit down and reload instead." OK, then THAT hour just cost you $25.

"I'm going to close the barber shop for two hours, lose $150 in income and reload." OK, those were $75 hours you just spent.

But other than that, there is a reason why they call it your "free time". How you spend your free time, especially on a "passtime", does not affect your income unles you were going to spend that free time working for hire?

Just sayin'.

qajaq59
December 20, 2009, 11:09 AM
then don't reload. more primers for me Hmmm, now if half the people loading quit..... and a whole bunch more didn't start? :evil:

ny32182
December 20, 2009, 11:25 AM
As mentioned, the keys to saving are to buy components online in bulk... get that hazmat down to one or two bucks per thousand primers or lb of powder. Lower than that if you buy in truly big bulk.

Common calibers are where you save the *least*. For me it looks like this:

9mm: My cost is 11.5c a round = $11.50/100. I NEVER leave the range with less 9mm brass than I arrived with... WWB is around $22/100 right now. I am using a jacketed bullet in my load, same as WWB.

.40: My cost is around $15.30/100. Brass is not as common as 9mm, but common enough to still make it free. WWB is around $32/100 right now? I am using a jacketed bullet just like WWB.

Less common calibers, and loads with more exotic bullets is where you really save a high percentage. Examples:

My 77gr SMK loads, I am putting together for about $370/1000. Black Hills factory remanufactured with the same bullet is around $800/1000.

357sig: Assuming I purchase once fired brass for 5.7 cents each, and get five loads out of each case, and use one of the popular plated bullets out there, my cost will come to $16.44/100. I want to say WWB is around $45/100.


Some other thoughts:

-For handgun ammo, it really *is* all about the economy for me. I'm perfectly happy with the performance of WWB in my pistols, and saving money is my only motivator for them.

-For rifles, the savings is nice, and the performance increase is real nice too. I'm probably 50/50 on motivation there. Actually the only reason I can shoot match quality ammo/bullets in my rifles is because I handload: the factory stuff along this line can easily cost a buck or more per pop, and I wouldn't be willing to pay that. If I wanted to shoot a caliber like 6.8spc, I could do that too, where as in my pre-handloading days, I would never have even considered such a caliber due to the cost of *any* of the factory ammo.

-Unless you are manufacturing powder and primers in your basement, you aren't any more "self sufficent" than anyone buying factory ammo... One day you will run out of components and need to buy more, just like the next guy. If you don't handload and don't want to be subject to the immediate whims of the ammo market, you can buy tons of factory ammo, just like you can buy tons of components. Take it from someone who was trying to get into a couple new calibers over the summer: being a handloader does not make you immune to ammo and/or component shortages. Buying tons of "whatever" (be it components or loaded ammo) when it is available does.

-As far as time, it does take some time to reload, especially if you are doing it on a turret like I am. Brass prep is still the longest stage of the reloading process, regardless of caliber, for me. Let's just say you will get a *wide* array of opinions on how long it takes to reload. For me, a lot of brass prep, etc, gets done in front of the TV anyway, I don't consider it in my cost breakdown. I do it on evenings/weekends, i.e. I am not taking vacation hours during the day to reload, and don't have a second job that I would be doing instead, so the time is costing me nothing. Maybe others do it differently.

Dodge DeBoulet
December 20, 2009, 11:30 AM
I can reload 40 S&W ammo for 12 cents/round, or about $6/box, it takes me about an hour per box to load. Is saving 60% on the price of a box of ammo worth my time? Hell yes! Also, my handload's are more accurate and consistent than factory rounds, guarantee'd.

I shoot .40 S&W exclusively myself, and in an average trip to the range I get those 50 rounds ready for reloading in about 3 minutes ;)

If your usage is anything like mine, my friend, you need a faster press :D

Win1892
December 20, 2009, 11:45 AM
If I stopped shooting today, I'd still reload for my friends.

Figure that out.

GJgo
December 20, 2009, 11:49 AM
Forget the money- in my house the wife controls the TV! I have to do SOMETHING LOL

jcwit
December 20, 2009, 12:00 PM
Must get boring watching Lifetime and Home & Garden.

Deavis
December 20, 2009, 12:15 PM
i disagree. while i would rather spend time doing something i like (shooting), it's not a bad hourly wage.

$470/k for prvi
$185/k for reloads
-------
$285/k difference

$285 / 2 hours = $142.5 per hour wage figuring it takes me about 1 hr for case prep and 1 hr to load on my dillon 1050

How dare you taliv! Don't you dare show people that reloading saves money even when you include a wage per hour into the calculation! No! Turn in your mod hat and get out or else these guys are going to get you

Or do you put a dollar amount on every hour of every day you live?

:)

AK, taliv is right, your math is shortsighted. It would be foolish to figure the hazmat on 1k of primers and 1# of powder. It would be better to get hustled at the gunshow than do it that way. Figure that you must max your hazmat, so you buy 4 8# kegs and 3 cases of primers (15k) for ~48lbs. That will amortize the cost over a much larger amount of rounds. With 5gr per load, 32lbs of powder will provide you ~44k rounds. Which means you next order will be 1 8# keg and 40k of primers. That should set you up for 2 years if you shoot 40k per year. I doubt you do, most people don't, so if you ordered once with two hazmats you could probably have enough components for 5 or even 10 years.

Want to save money? Go to your local gunshow, find an 06FFL, and ask them to piggyback on their component orders. You might not get exactly what you want but you will save money. I did it for years with a local 06. No hazmat, no shipping, just tax. They can't sell you OEM primers or OEM bullets they get under 06 agreements, but you can still save money.

angus6
December 20, 2009, 12:47 PM
I'll shoot a easy 5K a summer, so thats $1700 from wally world OR at Todays prices to reload

$881 for 5K FMJ 230gr
$550 for 5K lrn 230gr Stonewall cast bullets
$391 for 5K lrn 230gr if I buy alloy and cast
$211 for 5K lrn 230gr using 6pack wheel weights, figure I give the tire guy a 6 pack for enough to cast 1K:)
Complete turret set-up to reload $325 this is everthing needed
Complete casting set-up $210, 6 banger mold 20# bottom pour and used
e-bay sizer

Would I shoot 5K a summer if I didn't cast and reload ?
No I'd shoot around 2K @ $680 which is pretty close to the start up cost of reloading/casting AND 5K of 6pack ammo :)

So from that point on I'll shoot 5k instead of 2K and save $470 doing it
Yes it is worth it :evil: The savings isn't $1500 as I wouldn't have been shooting $1700 in factory loads

Remember it's a hobby same as shooting so toss the time/$$ BS out the window

Redneck with a 40
December 20, 2009, 06:49 PM
I only shoot about 200 rounds of 40 S&W a month, so even at 1 box/hour, I can keep up with my round count. I don't want to spend $600 on a progressive press, when my $60 Lee 4-Hole Turret is getting it done.;):D

jcwit
December 20, 2009, 07:03 PM
I reload with 2 single stage presses mounted side by side. One is one of the old cast alu. "C" frame presses by Lee and the other is an "O" press also by Lee. I have turrent presses and cast presses by both Lyman and RCBS but this just happenes to be how I like to do it. I reload in batches of 50 using loading blocks and can easily load 100 rounds per hour without rushing. This does not enclude priming as I do that with a hand primer while watching the news or O'Reilly.

I know that are much faster and more efficiant ways to do this but I like and enjoy my laid back way of doing something I like to do.

Greg Mercurio
December 20, 2009, 07:24 PM
Dear AKMac: if you wish I will calculate MY reloading costs for you to 4 decimal places, and send you an Excel spreadsheet. I buy in fairly large quantities to ammortize the hazmat fees and happily can obtain both powders and primers locally. Your results will vary.

I've only been reloading for about 30 years, and I like wildcats so reloading is a necessity.

I hope you find peace in shooting, you probably won't be happy reloading. :D

SharpsDressedMan
December 20, 2009, 07:26 PM
There are busy people in the world, and there are rich people in the world. I am not high on either list. I find myself with a fair amount of free time (daughter is grown, wife has a job, my hours vary). BUT, I must be in the mood, with mind at ease, to sit down to concentrate on reloading. It is a GREAT winter "sport", though. When "cabin'd" up in the winter, knocking out some ammo for next spring/sumer/fall, for far less than I'd have to pay, is a great feeling. I will literally have thousands of rounds to enjoy when the weather permits (I live in Ohio). I heartily recommend it to the poor, winter-huddled masses who can find the time to do it. You will not regret it. Reloading can even be fun!

evan price
December 21, 2009, 12:47 AM
Onward:

I just a couple days ago cranked out some target range .357 Mags in my Lee Pro-1000 progressive press. I used my cast 158-grain lead semiwadcutters, 5 grains of Titegroup and Wolf primers. Total cost, with free range brass I pick up, was under $5 per hundred. I can run 200-250 an hour without trying hard, and 300 per hour if I work at it (but I like to go slower and take my time to make sure no errors creep up).

Plus, I loaded up some Speer Gold Dot HP's for hunting. Those cost about a buck a shot or more when you buy the loaded ammo, but I can make my own for less than 25 cents a shot. I think I bought the bullets a while ago cheap, so it may even be 20 cents a shot total cost.

giggitygiggity
December 21, 2009, 03:15 PM
If you buy in Bulk, probably from Powder Valley or Graf's, you should be able to reload centerfire large ammo such as .308 and .270, etc. for about 1/2 the price that you would buy in stores. With pistol and rifle ammo, you can save a little less than that, but you will get good quality brass-cased ammo for a fraction of the price of Wolf steel cased ammo. Buy in bulk,take advantage of deals, and you will save big time.

Hiaboo
December 22, 2009, 01:40 AM
I don't reload to save money.

I reload to get the best that my guns can do.

Also so that I can shoot more!

mongoose33
December 22, 2009, 08:07 AM
If you buy in Bulk, probably from Powder Valley or Graf's, you should be able to reload centerfire large ammo such as .308 and .270, etc. for about 1/2 the price that you would buy in stores. With pistol and rifle ammo, you can save a little less than that, but you will get good quality brass-cased ammo for a fraction of the price of Wolf steel cased ammo. Buy in bulk,take advantage of deals, and you will save big time.

I only save about half on 9mm and .223, but I'm saving 2/3 on .45 ammo, producing it for 12 cents per round using Missouri Bullets and primers and powder bought in bulk. It costs 36 cents per round for WWB where I live.

RainDodger
December 22, 2009, 04:03 PM
In my particular case, the handloading portion of shooting is as much a hobby as shooting itself. I have not shot factory ammunition in years. I've been reloading for roughly 39 years now - for many pistol and rifle calibers, as well as 12 gauge shotgun. I'm an avid trap shooter, and that eats shotshells.

For one who is into precision and the pride of equalling or bettering something that is "precision made" commercially... reloading is a fantastic hobby. I can lose myself for an entire afternoon in my reloading shop. Add in the fact that you can do it for anything less than commercial prices... it's priceless! :)

sig220mw
December 23, 2009, 09:40 PM
Armoredman and some one else said it. When you're out of ammo or forget to get it or wait until the last minute and you rush in to town to get some and they don't have the brand and load you trust, what do you do? Reloaders very seldom have that problem.

SSN Vet
December 23, 2009, 09:47 PM
Why bother reloading?

how about because it's not a "bother" but is actually quite fun

rugerman
December 23, 2009, 10:05 PM
The last factory ammo that I bought (except for rimfire) was in the late 70's. I don't shoot anything but reloads in any of my guns (rifle, pistol or shotgun). You can't just talk about the cost, you have to consider that you can make stuff that isn't available in the retail marketplace, you can custom load for a single gun to increase accuracy. And reloading is also a hobby itself, like gun collecting, shooting, fishing, etc. If you don't enjoy it don't do it, go buy your cheap ammo at wally world and keep throwing away your brass. We reloaders will come along, pick it up and enjoy reloading it for years to come.

ReloaderFred
December 24, 2009, 12:41 AM
I forgot to mention that reloading is the only way to enjoy shooting some calibers. I've yet to see 9x25 Dillon, 9x21, 9x23 Winchester, .41 AE, .400 Cor-Bon or .45-120 Sharps ammunition on my local dealer's shelves. Or for that matter, any dealer's shelves. I load for some pretty exotic calibers, and that's the only way I can shoot them. I currently load for over 30 calibers and most dealers don't carry that many calibers in their stores.

Hope this helps.

Fred

Sport45
December 24, 2009, 12:58 AM
I forgot to mention that reloading is the only way to enjoy shooting some calibers. I've yet to see 9x25 Dillon, 9x21, 9x23 Winchester, .41 AE, .400 Cor-Bon or .45-120 Sharps ammunition on my local dealer's shelves. Or for that matter, any dealer's shelves. I load for some pretty exotic calibers, and that's the only way I can shoot them. I currently load for over 30 calibers and most dealers don't carry that many calibers in their stores.


Fred makes good points here. For me I find it's about the only way to shoot my 7.7 Arisaka, a .375Win '94, and my M1 Garand.

qajaq59
December 24, 2009, 05:35 AM
It's enjoyable, and I couldn't care less what it costs. And I seriously doubt that anyone that's been loading as long as I have is doing it to save money. That may be the result of doing it, but certainly not the reason.

762 shooter
December 24, 2009, 07:12 AM
Reloading savings are substantial the longer you are in the game.

The primers I use now I purchased for $10.00/1000 fifteen years ago.

The brass (once fired)and factory bullets I use now are probably 30 years old.

The powder is only about 3 years old but a lot cheaper than current prices.

Casting takes at least 8 cents off each round.

Ammo or component prices will never be much cheaper than they are NOW.

As for "value of your time" comparison, your time is only worth what you would have been paid if you weren't doing a specific task. Around here, watching The Outdoor Channel, Self Defense TV, or watching the movie Taken, doesn't pay much.

My $0.02. Pardon the pun.

RandyP
December 24, 2009, 08:44 AM
I would make mention that the original poster (troll-like) who started this crapstorm now in its 5th page of comments has not posted since page 1?

dwave
December 24, 2009, 09:41 AM
not posted since page 1

not true, he posted this on page 2:

Certainly a touchy group. I was hoping this discussion would turn into a thread about the best places to find components cheaply and ways to make our hobby a little more inexpensive.

Thanks to the posters who took the time to write a well thought out response that added to the discussion.

To the people who said I'm a troll, you obviously lack the ability to construct a logical response that proves me wrong or adds to the discussion.

As one poster above pointed out, I guess what's killing me is the hazmat fee's and shipping charges. I would guess by the time I drive 90 miles to closest reloading supply store, and add an additional 4.7% sales tax, I might be getting somewhat close to a shipping and hazmat fee. I could do the math on that too for you degreed mathematicians in the forum

RandyP
December 24, 2009, 09:48 AM
I stand corrected - lol -

If you go on a H.O.G. forum and post that "Harleys Suck"? I'm calling you a troll.

Same goes for posting on a Reloading Forum...."why BOTHER reloading?"

qajaq59
December 24, 2009, 11:32 AM
I was hoping this discussion would turn into a thread about the best places to find components cheaply and ways to make our hobby a little more inexpensive. If that was your intention you asked the wrong question. "How can I spend less on reloading" might have worked a bit better than "Why bother reloading?" Written words do not always convey what it is we want to say very well. But there were several suggestions on how to spend less in the 5 pages of thread, so hopefully, you got what you needed anyway?
But it is almost Christmas so it is a good time for all of us to relax and take it easy. Better yet, go load something!. :D

MERRY CHRISTMAS Folks

41 Mag
December 25, 2009, 05:37 AM
With regard to your post, you picked out a easily found and relatively cheap and common caliber. Most of my loads are for not so easily found stuff like the 10mm, 41mag, Ackley Improved calibers, and even the common stuff for my rifles like the 25-06 and .280 are still as high or higher than say the .270 and 30-06 and aren't generally as easily found in more than one weight on the shelf.

I shoot quite a lot, maybe not as much as some but more than others. I look for sales, groups purchases withing my local area, and anything else to help offset cost. Like many others, I try and purchase in bulk to offset the other cost for quite some time. I spent hours looking over loads, and cost per round to decide which might be the cheaper load for my particular needs.

While the savings might not be much per round if purchased like your figuring, the fact that when I do load even as small a number as 10 rounds for any of my arms, I get the same performance from them as I did from the previous amount, with out having to worry about this or that lot being faster or slower. When I DO have to change things up, the loads and components I have chosen for my stuff are such that there is hardly if any differences between one lot to the next.

This to me, is well worth the added savings, no matter how small, over simply going to any ol shop and picking up a box of 20 or 50 factory loaded rounds, than having to adjust my scope or sights due to the new box being different form the last.

oldreloader
December 25, 2009, 11:39 AM
I 've never concidered reloading a "bother". It did kinda sound like a thread a troll would start.

MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!

Fatelvis
December 25, 2009, 11:55 AM
I have found that the savings from reloading are generally dependant on what type of cartridge you're reloading.
Shotgun.........not alot of savings
Pistol.............save enough to make it worthwhile
Rifle..............huge savings in reloading!

dwave
December 25, 2009, 01:19 PM
Pistol.............save enough to make it worthwhile

Do you reload .357? Heck of a savings for me. Costs $34/50 here. I reload them for $7.83/50 using lead bullets.

qajaq59
December 25, 2009, 04:30 PM
Rifle..............huge savings in reloading! Sure is. Especially if you just want to fool around with your 30-30. Just cast your own and use 7 to 9 gr of Unique powder. About the only real expense is the primers and gas checks, and that's maybe $7 a hundred at the most. Lots more fun than dry firing.

Ian Sean
December 25, 2009, 04:47 PM
I initially got into reloading to save money.....now it has pretty much turned into a hobby of its own.

How in the world can someone afford to buy all the ammo necessary to find that "magical load" that works best in a particular firearm.

I can usually rule out a test load after only a few shots.......what gun shop is going to sell me only 5 or 10 rounds?

Besides it is pretty darn fun.

Anybody can go out and BUY ammo!:)

Sunray
December 25, 2009, 09:20 PM
"...why I should even bother reloading..." Quality of the ammo. It's not just about saving money.

AKMac
December 26, 2009, 09:07 PM
Thanks for the responses guys. I received a lot of replies on how to cut down the costs, which is nice. My numbers were calculated from powder valley, but as has been stated, there are cheaper alternatives out there.

To the posters who think with emotions rather than logic, I apologize for hurting your feelings.

Walkalong
December 26, 2009, 09:43 PM
Perhaps a more carefully worded question next time........... less confusion, better answers. ;)

mhodge
January 3, 2010, 05:02 PM
I'm new to this site/reloading but not to guns/shooting. Up until recently factory ammo wasn't a concern for availability, all could be had in my area any time I stopped at any store. That was until about a year and a half ago.
I believe a lot of us are worried about the 2nd Amendment implications of the current political climate, but beyond that is the cost of components and the scarcity of them. Just try and find some primers right now, good luck. I believe I ordered the last of them from Powder Valley and feel bad for some reason. I have been scrounging brass, powder and bullets for years preparing to start reloading, but what's the point without primers?
I am reloading so I don't depend on the factories, it's a hobby now. I really don't care what the costs are to be honest, just like I don't care what the costs are to keep all my paid off vehicles running, it is what it is. Either buy from the store or make your own, it doesn't matter to me which one someone does. Every person who doesn't reload is just one less for competition for components.

navyretired 1
January 3, 2010, 11:48 PM
AKMac; Everyone makes their own mind up if it's worth it but I need the stress releaf as much as the ammo, you can get rid of a lot of stress pulling that handle.

lgbloader
January 4, 2010, 12:06 AM
To the posters who think with emotions rather than logic, I apologize for hurting your feelings.

How dissapointing...

LGB

WatongaJim
January 4, 2010, 12:33 AM
Reload because my Ruger Blackhawk in 45LC will shoot loads that rival 41 & 44 mag but are not available with factory loads.

http://www.customsixguns.com/writings/dissolving_the_myth.htm

Franco
January 4, 2010, 10:51 AM
I paid $48 for a box of 20 7mm-08s this weekend because I didn't have time to reload any. Nuff said.

qajaq59
January 4, 2010, 11:43 AM
I paid $48 for a box of 20 7mm-08s this weekend because I didn't have time to reload any. Nuff said. Boy, Nuff said is right!!!!

ranger335v
January 4, 2010, 12:08 PM
"I'm a little confused as to why I should even bother reloading with today's component prices."

Given the criteria you present, I doubt that reloading is a good way for you to go.

wgaynor
January 4, 2010, 12:27 PM
62grain fmj bt bullets $45/500
1lb H223 $21
500 once fired LC Brass (processed) $48
1000 primers $32

Still comes out pretty dang cheap and it's a great hobby/stress reliever. It came in very handy when the mother in law came over to visit...just went to the man cave and started working (wife and motherinlaw do not like handloading conversations...they just leave you alone :)

Zeke/PA
January 4, 2010, 02:06 PM
I began reloading at about age 16 or so and at that time, my Dad and a few influential Uncles reloaded MAINLY in an accuracy consept.
At the time, even in PA, the off season shooting was a woodchucks and long range shooting was STILL possible mainly from a SAFETY standpoint.
I now reload for two hunting buddies and my grandsons as far as rifle hunting ammo goes .
I shoot a lot of .38 Specials and by reloading, I can shoot to my hearts content.

Rich219
January 4, 2010, 02:37 PM
I reload for a few reasons:

1. It's part of my firearms interest, it goes along quite well with shooting.

2. It's fun

3. I save money which means I can shoot more and purchase better reloading equipment.

4. Why pay retail when I can reload for a fraction of the cost.

5. It gives me something to do when I can't go shooting and/or there isn't much else to do.

Afy
January 4, 2010, 05:15 PM
Prime reason:

96 Euros per 20 for 8mmx60 versus <6 Euros per 20 with better results and higher grade ammo.
Plus a bunch of other reasons, including... its fun to do.

jcwit
January 4, 2010, 05:45 PM
The way I shoot I wonder why bother shooting!

qajaq59
January 5, 2010, 06:12 AM
The way I shoot I wonder why bother shooting! Beats working.

jcwit
January 5, 2010, 07:48 AM
I'm retired, 9 years now. No work, just putter around.

qajaq59
January 5, 2010, 07:59 AM
I'm retired, 9 years now. No work, just putter around. 9 years for me too. And I notice that the longer I'm retired, the fussier I get with my reloads. lol

Roccobro
January 5, 2010, 12:55 PM
And here I thought I'm heading towards retirement just so I can shoot more! :D

Justin

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