38 ammo not so cheap!?


February 7, 2010, 02:13 AM
What is the deal with 38 spl? I always thought/assumed/heard that its was cheap. Use if for pracice with your 357 to save a buck they say. Granted it is cheaper than 357. I Was hoping to be able to afford to practice a lot with my new sp101 but it turns out 38 ammo i can find is just as much as .40S&W for my P94.:banghead: I picked up some Federal 158g lswchp for 16.00 per 50. Is that a good deal? I have found a couple of online sites with reloads for $14.00 per 50 but for the $2.00 dollar difference plus shiping i think i will just buy the factory Federal stuff. Is the only cheap shooter out the the 9mm?:fire:

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February 7, 2010, 02:25 AM
I have the same issue. The cheapest 38 spl I can find is 15 or 16 for a box of 50, Blazer .357 mag is 17 for a box of 50. I have a GP100 so I just buy the .357 because it makes less of a mess in the cylinder.

This is also why I bought a 9mm to carry instead of a 38 revolver. I pay 9.49 for 50 Blazer 9mm and it allows me to practice more with my carry gun.

February 7, 2010, 02:33 AM
Load your own and it will be about $5.00 a box (not counting time).

38 special is cheaper than everything but 22lr and 9mm.

Winchester White Box seems like its about $13 a box, but I haven't bought any in a while. PMC also makes inexpensive .38's.

February 7, 2010, 06:49 AM
I started reloading in the late '70s, not to save money but because I had none. I was poor, on active duty, living from payday to payday.

I soon realized that reloading was FUN and never looked back.

As the years have rolled by, I have noticed like almost everything else, prices have risen. Especially the last 2 years.

So, I stongly suspect, the days of cheap ammo, that I knew, are gone.

Start reloading. Thats the only answer

February 7, 2010, 07:11 AM
It's not that .38 Special is "cheap," it's that .38 Special is "cheaper" then .357 Magnum.

That's why they say to practice and plink with .38 Special instead of .357 Magnum. It's just cheaper then using the Magnum rounds.

Pretty much the cheapest centerfire ammo for target shooting is 9mm FMJ rounds.

I believe that's because more people shoot 9mm then .38 Special, so the ammo makers make more 9mm then .38 Special. The high volume of production allows for a lower per unit price.

That nationwide run on ammo for the last year or so doesn't help prices are availability at all either.

February 7, 2010, 07:11 AM
Either way you slice it, if you save a buck on .38 then go for it. It's not a HUGE savings but every little bit counts these days.

February 7, 2010, 07:43 AM
It should also be mentioned that practicing with .38 Special also reduces wear and tear on the many lightweight *357 MAGNUM* handguns on the market today.

This can be crucial for many of them...

February 7, 2010, 07:45 AM
I send my empty brass to http://mastercast.net/amo.htm for reloading. With brass exchange I get 158gr SWC or RNL for $7.90/50 rounnds. If you do not have any brass to exchange, my suggestion is to buy some off GB or one of the many internet sites that sell once fired brass and have it shipped directly to mastercast. There is an auction going on right now on GB http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=156174948 where the high bis is $41 for 1000 .38 empty cases plus $14 shipping.

February 7, 2010, 07:50 AM
That price doesn't sound that bad to me. At the gun shops around here the price of 9mm is $15 per 50. I get the WWB at Wally World for $20 a box. I only buy it because I keep losing brass in the auto. My .38 is very easy to find the brass after shooting so the last I bought was somewhere around 7 years ago & I think I got WWB value pack (100 count) from Wally for $20 a box. I think 9mm was $18 per 100 then.

I have been told buy people that shoot .38 in .357 that it doesn't put as much ware on there guns & that is why they shoot it. To each there own though.

February 7, 2010, 10:28 AM
Hello friends and neighbors//.38sp are from $13 to $21 so $16.00 is good price these days

Considering the 2 drinks and popcorn I bought at the theater were $17.00 I'd say a great deal.

February 7, 2010, 11:05 AM
Is it really cost effective for me to start reloading? I want to but when I start looking for kits, books, powder ... it seems overwhelming and costly to me. I like to shoot but even the range prices are getting up in price.
9mm, 38/357, .45 are my main rounds, would these use different size primers if so even more cost. What would be the start up cost for reloading? Thanks

February 7, 2010, 11:12 AM
Load your own and it will be about $5.00 a box (not counting time).

Find a free lead source and cast your own bullets and you can cut even THAT in half. :D

.45 uses large pistol primers, .38/.357 small pistol. Reloading takes some time and experience to learn. But, given some effort, it will save you TONS of money over the long haul. I'm always buying equipment, but I've shot enough over the years that I NEVER could have afforded it any other way. I started about the age of 10 with my grandpa and uncle, 47 years ago. Got into handgun reloading in the late 70s. I've still got my grandpa's original old Pacific C press along with all the stuff I've collected over the years. For me, reloading is just a way of life. I have firearms that have never seen a factory load, rifles and my .45 Colt.

February 7, 2010, 11:14 AM
Depends on how much you shoot. I say go for it. Once you get started, you'll never go back.

To get started, the Lee kit works just fine.
and a set of dies and you're ready to go.

Books are nice, but you can find everything you need to know on the internet.

9mm, 38/357, .45 are my main rounds, would these use different size primers if so even more cost. What would be the start up cost for reloading? Thanks
They do generally use different primers, but if you're buying loaded ammo, you're buying the primers, powder, bullets, and cases anyways. It isn't an additional cost.

February 7, 2010, 11:22 AM
There are threads all over the net about reloading and stickies at the top here and elsewhere with hints and suggestions.

Get a book or two first, then look for some used equipment. Buy components in bulk to save some money as well.

You'll not only save money, but you can make a load tailored to your particular gun

February 7, 2010, 11:57 AM
Maybe at one time, say 30-40 years ago .38 special ammo was cheap. I think it had to do with law enforcement (police) were still using .38/.357 revolvers and manufacturers made much more of that type of ammunition than others, so cost was less. Then when LE switched over to simi-auto's and mostly wonder-nines along with the Military adopting the 9mm you now see 9mm being rather cheap. I suppect that someday the .40 S&W will be almost as cheap with PD's going with that cartridge. Just my guess as I could be all wrong. LM

February 7, 2010, 12:03 PM
I know what you mean about the .38s. I think I paid something like 38 bucks for a 100 box at WM a few months. Now as prices go now that's not bad but I hadn't bought .38 spl in over 30 years and it was just kind of sticker shock I think.

The answer to the, "Should I reload?" question always has to be predicated with "How much do you shoot?" or even "How much do you want to shoot?" If you want to shoot a box of shells every month or so it will still be cheaper to reload but the time it takes to recoup your investment will obviously be longer.

When I first started reloading I wanted to shoot all of the time. My only constraint was the amount of cases I had. I was known to load up everything I had the night before, go out and shoot it up, go back home, reload it all again and shoot it up again in the same day. Fortunately for me, the reloading part was only slightly less enjoyable than the shooting part. Of course then came casting my own and the road to perdition was fully paved, striped and lit.

February 7, 2010, 12:04 PM
I may have to look into reloading. Seems like somehing i could really get into. Silly me... I always thought 38 was the revolver equivalant of 9mm price wise, Funny i thought i was gonna save money shooting my 357/38 vs my 40 s&w. Does any one have any opinions on the Federal 38 lswchp load? Is it an ok load?

February 7, 2010, 02:25 PM
You can use Excel or Google Docs spreadsheet to run a cost analysis and figure out your return on investment vs. buying retail (when available). What I found when looking at reloading 9mm is that my savings over the CHEAPEST retail pricing I could find (Wal-Mart and bulk remanufactured) would pay for my equipment in 2,319 rounds minimum estimate. The difference in price is much wider for more expensive ammo, so the equipment will pay for itself faster.

There is a lot of helpful information here and in other firearm forums about getting started in reloading.

February 7, 2010, 03:01 PM
In 1978 I was paying $1.95/50 of 38 Special wad cutters or semi-wadcutter commercial reloads. Got me a supply of brass after a couple of weekends shooting and then people started giving me their brass and by the time I had my bench built and press set up I had more than enough and I've never looked back. I was late starting to load 38/357. I started with 32-20 and 32 Winchester Special back in the 50's, but was stationed in Hawaii when I got the 38/357 bug and just bought new equipment rather than shipping my old stuff from home.

February 7, 2010, 03:20 PM
About two years ago I was paying $11.00 for the WWB 100 round packs of 38 spl., and 9mm was about $10 for the WWB 100 round value pack. Bulk .22 was $8.95/550.

Prices didin't start going out of control until some time in 2008.

Drives me nuts. I reload, and the price of componants went through the roof too. I spend more now to reload .38 spl than I paid for factory loaded ammo 3 years ago.

February 7, 2010, 03:42 PM
Is the only cheap shooter out the the 9mm?

Maybe it's a plot to fource everyone into 9mm :) I think the sad truth is there's no cheap commercial ammo anymore.

February 7, 2010, 04:20 PM
I buy it from my range about $15 a box ,no great deal. I recomend saving your brass, soon ill be reloading my own. And 9mm prices are up too im afraid the good old days are gone.
I bought a couple of .22lr's to try and help the cost of practice but i just don't get off :barf: on the little guys.

Guy de Loimbard
February 7, 2010, 04:59 PM
+1 to loading your own. The first 100rds of .38 special through my Security Six were some Independece brand 130gr. FMJ, because that is all the .38 that is sold locally. You would have trouble hitting the side of a volkswagen from the inside with that. Recently I got in dies and bullets for .357/38 and now I am able to hit what I am aiming at! Reloading=cheaper, better ammo!

February 7, 2010, 05:59 PM
I've been hoping the price of .38 Spl... and ammo in general would come down eventually, but unfortunatly, it seems everyone has become too comfortable with paying these foolish prices. Even reloading componants are through the roof. I pay more than double what I payed for primers and lead a year ago, if you can even find them, although it's getting a bit better.

Now that everyone seems happy to pay $18/50 for .38 spl, I doubt the price will ever come back down to pre Barry O. hoarding days.

February 7, 2010, 06:30 PM
Ive finely needed some 44 spl ammo I have but never fired a great deal Iwent and the 200gr Gold Dot HP Balzer was 34 bucks with tax for 50 I can buy the winchester 100 round box 45 auto for that Guess my 44 still won't get shot a lot.

M2 Carbine
February 7, 2010, 10:24 PM
Is it really cost effective for me to start reloading? I want to but when I start looking for kits, books, powder ... it seems overwhelming and costly to me. I like to shoot but even the range prices are getting up in price.
9mm, 38/357, .45 are my main rounds, would these use different size primers if so even more cost. What would be the start up cost for reloading? Thanks
Reloads, using your brass, costs about half of what the same factory ammo costs.
I started reloading, 38 Special, in 1961 because I couldn't afford to shoot factory ammo.
I bought something like this $33 dollar Lee hand tool and loaded many thousands of rounds until I wore it out.
It takes about 35 minutes to load a box of handgun ammo with this tool.
Reloading is nothing but a few simple mechanical steps that a 10 year old can quickly learn. There are standard bullet and powder loads. So it's all just doing the same mechanical operations over and over.

At the other end of the cost/speed scale is the progressive press and equipment that loads a box of handgun ammo in less than 8-10 minutes. But takes up space and costs much of a thousand dollars
This week in my spare time I loaded over a thousand rounds of .223 at a cost of $102/1,000. Yeah I'd say it's "cost effective".:)


February 7, 2010, 10:38 PM
Reloads, using your brass, costs about half of what the same factory ammo costs.

.38 Special costs too much from the factory, but it's the reloader's dream cartridge. It's easy to reload it right, the brass lasts essentially forever, it doesn't need much powder, and hardcast lead bullets work great.

February 7, 2010, 11:33 PM
Up north .38 is a couple to 4 bucks over buying 9mm as well these days. We reflect the costs in the US where the ammo comes from.

Is reloading worth it? It depends on how much you shoot. If you only shoot up to a thousand rounds a year then likely no it's not worth the effort. Just get in on one of the online reloading deals as mentioned above.

If you are a keen sport shooter that goes through more than 2 thousand rounds a year of practicing and matches then yeah, it's well worth setting up for reloading. Especially if you have other calibers you enjoy as well. Then a reloading press and some dies set up in spare head plates to make it easy to switch is a no brainer. The Dhillon shown above is nice and it's one of the presses I have. But a Lee progressive can be had for a lot less. A hint though.... My reloading setup for .45ACP is a Lee progressive. I found that I had so many troubles getting the case feeder on my used setup to feed reliably that I took out the center twist shaft that does the indexing as well as the case feeder rod and did my indexing and case feeding manually. This actually proved to be far better overall than the auto indexing. I may put it in later and correct the bugs but likely not. The amount it slowed down the process was minimal and I have a lot more options with the manual feeding. Something to think about if you get a similar Lee package.

The stuff shows up used quite often. Keep an eye open and you will likely come across a loader setup in one of your calibers. Then just add a set of dies.

For dies buy new unless you can inspect the used ones. I've had two sets of bad used dies now. One had gouges in the insert which scored the casings and the other had a bent primer extractor shaft which I only found when it snapped the pin and bent the shaft. Now I only buy new dies with carbide inserts or all carbide.

Once you're set up and rolling you can reload around 350 to 400 rounds an hour. There's many claims of up to 500 to 600 but you need to stop to reload the powder and primers. This all cuts into the production and reduces it to around 350 to 400. Still, do an hour or two here and there for a week and you're all set for the year.

In addtion to a progressive reloader you'll need a cheap digital scale off Ebay or some other online place to measure the powder charges. You can get one that measures in .2grain steps for $25. And some that measure to .1 grain steps are just a few bucks more. There's the balance scales as well but trust me, the cheap digital is well worth it. On top of this you'll need a way to clean your brass. There's tumblers and various dry media but after messing about with one I've switched to an ultrasonic cleaner using a solution of vinegar, dish soap and water. About 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water with a quick small squirt of soap. The brass comes out lovely in about 15 minutes. Rinse well, neutralize the vinegar with a dip in a bucket of water with a good shake of baking soda and then rinse well again and dry in a pan in the toaster oven. Sounds like a lot of stuff but it's actually easier than shaking the corn cob media out of each freakin' piece of brass.... :D All told by buying used you can get set up for likely under $200 to $250. Even new you could do it for less than $350 with some careful shopping.

February 7, 2010, 11:59 PM
.38 Special used to be a lot more popular than it is today. 20 years ago .38 Special was the 9mm of today, and then some.

I can shoot both .357 magnums and .38 Specials in my revolvers rated for it. Most of us are limited to only 9mm in those semi-autos chambered for it. The versatility meant a lot, and .38 Special was a lot cheaper than it's magnum counterpart. Lead-only bullets were more popular and acceptable to the consumer market, which made them cheaper to produce. Lead .357 magnum rounds tend to lead the barrel too quickly, which made most .357 magnum rounds sold FMJ-only offerings.

9mm is produced and sold in far greater numbers today than it was 20 years ago. Economies of scale and all . . . .40 S&W is cheaper than 10mm. 9mm is cheaper than 38 Super or 9x23 Winchester. Yet most of the semi-autos we buy in 10mm won't function with 40 S&W. Same with .38 Super. To make the lower-powered and shorter rounds reliably work in the same gun you've got to make some part changes. The same is not the case with a .357 magnum revolver.

9mm is the king of economically priced center-fire handgun ammunition these days. But the .38 Special is still the reloader's dream. It's one of the first I learned to load, and for years I did it with one of those Lee hand loader's M2 has in his picture. Great value; I still use it today for case preparation or other small steps in the reloading process that doesn't require a lot of force.

February 8, 2010, 11:33 AM
nice info here, I don't shoot thousands of rounds but do have some spare time. would a single stage work ok when speed and volume aren't needed? Small pistol primers should work for 9mm and .38/.357.
To me .357 prices are way up so reloading them should be worthwhile. Do the .38 and .357 use the same bullet?

February 8, 2010, 12:05 PM
I'd suggest a single stage to get started on, maybe at most a Lee auto indexing turret press. Too many things going on at once with a progressive and it's not a deal where once it's set up, you can ignore everything and just pull the handle. I have a couple of progressives. They work, but they require attention and concentration. My square deal set me back 250 bucks and I wish I'd spent a couple hundred more for a 550, but it's a good press and fast. My Lee Pro 1000 works, but requires more attention. It was 40 bucks on ebay, though, and it works. It's much easier and cheaper to switch calibers on, too, than the Dillon. Before you jump all off into progressives, get some crank time on a single stage set up and study the ins and outs of progressives. Once you figure out the features on the different machines, you're going to figure out that the higher dollar machines really are worth the cost.

M2 Carbine
February 9, 2010, 12:05 PM
nice info here, I don't shoot thousands of rounds but do have some spare time. would a single stage work ok when speed and volume aren't needed? Small pistol primers should work for 9mm and .38/.357.
After I wore out the Lyman "hand tool" I bought a used "C' press for $10. Used it for years and sold it for $10.

With a single stage press you do one operation at a time on hundreds of cases. For instance the first die resizes the case and pushes out the fired primer. The second die inside sizes the mouth of the case and bells the mouth of the case for lead bullets. You also seat the new primer at this time.

The third die seats the bullet in the (charged) case and crimps the case mouth into lead bullets (if necessary).

The big difference between a single stage press and a progressive press is the progressive does all these operations every pull of the handle. There by making a finished round every pull of the handle.

If you start off with a single stage press and go on to a progressive you can sell the old press, or like I do, keep it and that Lee Hand Tool, for small jobs.

February 9, 2010, 12:13 PM
It only makes sense it cost similar to 40 s&w. It uses a similar weight bullet, same primer, and more brass.

February 9, 2010, 12:23 PM
CZ Handgun



Kadet Kit



20,000 rounds of 22lr


Total = $1275

Most cost effective decision I ever made.

Matt 357
February 9, 2010, 12:28 PM
I have been saving my brass (38 and 357) from my GP100 in the hopes of reloading. What is the word on reloading supplies? I seem to be having trouble finding primers and powder in stock. No point in looking at equipment right now unless I know I can get supplies.


M2 Carbine
February 9, 2010, 12:44 PM
I have been saving my brass (38 and 357) from my GP100 in the hopes of reloading. What is the word on reloading supplies? I seem to be having trouble finding primers and powder in stock. No point in looking at equipment right now unless I know I can get supplies.
Plenty of powder available and primers are selling for about $30/1,000.

BTW, a 1 pound can of powder will load close to 2,000 38 Special, depending on the powder brand and load.

A 1 pound can will load about 580 .357. (different powder of course)

I just received 10,000 small rifle primers from Powder Valley that I ordered last April. ($24/1,000)

If you can get together with another reloader or several and make a big order from places like Powder Valley (when in stock) you can get good prices.
Powder and primers, like loaded ammo, will keep for many years.

M2 Carbine
February 9, 2010, 12:53 PM
CZ Handgun


Kadet Kit


20,000 rounds of 22lr


Total = $1275

Most cost effective decision I ever made.

And good practice to.
A couple weeks ago my friend and his kids were shooting my 22 converted 1911A1 at 52 yards. Now that's fun.:D



February 9, 2010, 01:02 PM
If you won't be shooting bucket loads of the things then yeah, a single stage unit is fine. It just takes basically three times as long to load since each loading requires three pulls of a handle. But once you get going you can still reload 300 to 400 of them over the course of an evening after dinner. Or if you split the jobs over 3 evenings at a couple of hours per night you should be able to turn out an even thousand rounds.

And although this can certainly be done with a hand loader for the couple of extra bucks a table mount unit provides a very handy "extra set of hands" to hold the loader. Bolting it to a board and clamping it to a bench when needed makes it portable.

Of course it seems like few of us here at THR have ONLY one gun. Once you're into reloading the cost savings applies over the entire collection other than .22's. I'm also reloading my two rifle size cartridges at 1/2 and well under 1/2 the cost of boxed ammo. I really enjoy plinking with my .30-30 lever and even with .308 jacketed bullets I'm able to reload for just under 1/2 the cost. On my 7mm-08 loads I'd down to about 1/4 to 1/3 the cost of factory. If I get some cast lead plinkers for the .30-30 I'll be down to around 1/3 on that too.

So even if you go progressive later on the single stage sure won't go to waste.

I can't help you much on supplies. Up this way where the demand isn't as great our "allotment" seems to be keeping us all supplied. Not with big surpluses by any means but it doesn't seem to take much hunting around to find enough bullets and primers to at least get by. Between the shops and mail order if you check around things SHOULD be getting a little better from what I've heard. Lead bullets should be a little easier to get for plinking since so many seem to want to go for jacketed bullets. And for .38's where the velocities are less they are great. Even shooting the soft 148gn wadcutter target shooting specials gives you a decent recoil to ensure you are practicing in pretty close to "real" conditions.

Steve 48
February 9, 2010, 03:03 PM
Reloading is the only way to go now. Go to an experienced reloader or go to a class on reloading so you don't all the stupid mistakes we all did in the beginning.

February 9, 2010, 03:03 PM
Supplies around here are everywhere - but the prices are still a little over MSRP (Gander Mtn, go figure)

My advice would be to get a nice used single stage press from RCBS or similar and do it in stages. You'll need a scale, dies, press, shellholder, RELOADING MANUAL, and a loading block for starters, plus components.

I have found that Unique and Universal Clays gives me acceptable accuracy in both my 38, 9mm, and 20 and 28 gauge shotguns.

February 10, 2010, 12:18 AM

38 special is cheaper than everything but 22lr and 9mm.

On who's planet is .38spl cheaper than 9mm.

February 10, 2010, 01:42 AM
I started loading in college for .44 mag when a box of 50 Mywall 240gr. JHP was about $11. That was too much for my Top Raman and cheap ground beef budget. I got a Lee Pro 1000 as my first press but probably wouldn't recommend a progressive press to another new handloader. I spent too much time checking and re-checking charge weights "-hmmm, did I work the lever the same that time? Better check..." or having to drive a primer-driven slug out of the back of the barrel half a dozen times before I got it down. It might have been different if I had an experienced handloader showing me the ropes, but I was kind of feeling my way along. I sold it and got a Lee indexing Turret Press and still use it.

IMO, if you're starting out a single stage, turret or otherwise, would be a good choice. It's much easier to keep track of everything that's going on when you're only doing one thing at a time. The turret concept can be a time saver, especially if you load multiple calibers, because you don't have to keep setting up your dies.

I may look into a progressive again someday, but the process of working through the different steps is tranquil and relaxing to me, and for now I meet my needs in terms of volumne.

D!rty H@rry
February 10, 2010, 03:29 PM
I Was hoping to be able to afford to practice a lot with my new sp101 but it turns out 38 ammo i can find is just as much as .40S&W for my P94.

.40 ammo is cheap dude.

i can buy it now for what i paid before the start of the obamanation.

only other cal i can say that about is 5.56 and .44 mag.


February 10, 2010, 05:47 PM
The ONLY ammunition I buy is carry ammunition.

Everything else is handloaded.

February 10, 2010, 06:11 PM
They used to be quite cheap. 6-7 bucks a box in the early 90s. Cops all switched from .38s to 9mm and .40... .38 prices doubled or tripled. I don't know if that's the cause, but I haven't seen .38 cheaper than 9mm for many years.

February 10, 2010, 07:20 PM
I never paid more than $8.00/50 for factory practice ammo until the summer of 08. Hell, I wasn't paying more than $10 for .45 acp. They blamed the price increase on the brass price. Brass price crame down and then then the election, then hoarding and hysteria

Bush Pilot
February 12, 2010, 12:11 AM
Reloading is the only way to go. Besides cheaper ammo, you don't have to hope a dealer has your cartridge in stock. If I decide to go shooting at the last moment I can run the Dillon for 30 mins and shoot for a couple of hours.

February 12, 2010, 12:16 PM

38 special is cheaper than everything but 22lr and 9mm.

Elvishead wrote:

On who's planet is .38spl cheaper than 9mm.

I think you will note that he said except .22 and 9mm.

As for the price of factory ammunition, its ridiculous. I don't buy factory, I handload all I shoot. I think given the disposable nature of the .22 LR, is overpriced as well. I can reuse the brass from centerfire ammunition, not so with rimfire. I can load several cartridges, using my own cast bullets and range brass for just about the same price as .22 LR. I have a couple of .22LRs, but I rarely shoot them for that reason.

February 24, 2010, 12:33 AM
Opp, I got it backwards. Nevermind, I'll have another drink.

February 24, 2010, 02:26 PM
Revolver ammo is more expensive than semi auto ammo, unless you reload.

Revolvers are nice for reloaders since you don't have to go hunt for your brass :)


February 24, 2010, 03:24 PM
$60 per thousand 38/357 bullets delivered to my door.
I can shoot them about as cheap as I can shoot good .22 ammo.

I am sooo glad I started reloading about three years ago.

I now reload 38/357, 9mm, 45acp, 44 Mag, 500 S&W Mag.....I use cast lead bullets in all of em.

February 24, 2010, 06:18 PM
Just loaded my first .38 Special rounds a couple of days ago:
-$31.99 per 500 bullets (158gr LRN) ($34.23 after tax); 6.8 cents per round
-$37.99 per 1000 CCI Primers ($40.65 after tax); just over 4 cents per round
-$17.99 per 1lb of Bullseye ($19.25 after tax); using 3.4 gr charge ($0.009 per round, or a little less than a penny per round)

Adds up to about 11.7 to 11.8 cents per round. 11.756 cents per round to be exact. $5.88 per box, after taxes. And I didn't get any of the "sweet deals" experienced reloaders seem to find. Those are the prices I paid at my local shop, including sales tax.

Brass ain't always free, and the startup costs are significant (no matter what anyone tells you), but I think, in the long run I am going to be very happy with the decision to start reloading.

Don't be one of those people who try to figure out "how long the press will take to pay for itself". The next time you have enough money for a nice, new gun and drop it into reloading instead. It only hurts once, but you'll reap the benfits for a long, long time.

Ky Larry
February 24, 2010, 10:14 PM
There is no cheap ammo anymore. The fear and panic buying of the last 18 months has seen to that.

February 25, 2010, 10:07 AM
+1 on the reloading. I actually enjoy reloading and it turns into MY time. My daughter loves to come downstairs and help me out with it. I've got a single stage RCBS press from the late '80's and use it for reloading .38/.357, .44 spl/mag and of course my .243 and .30-06. The best part about it is that you can taylor the rounds to your needs and guns. My mom loves shooting my .44 with the "cowboy" loads I have worked up. Or you can load up some heat for hunting. I like the control that I have with the ammo and not what the ammo companies think I need.

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