What's my TIME worth, loading? (Monetizing your time at your press)


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Lost Sheep
June 10, 2012, 09:29 PM
There have been a few posts asking about the cost of reloading and if reloading is worth it, financially (ignoring the education, sensitivity, quality, customization, accuracy, availability and independence benefits).

I know many loaders adamantly do not count their time as part of their loading costs. To those loaders, I ask, please do not address this. It will only clutter the thread. If you want to discuss it, please start another thread. This thread is 1) just for curiosity and 2) for those who do put a dollar value on their time.


Say you invest $500 in a loading bench on which you are able to load 100 rounds per hour. (I have done this, so I know you can, too.)

Then you buy enough components to load 2,000 rounds of 38 Special/.357 Magnum ammunition.

That would be 3 lbs powder, 2,000 primers, 2,000 premium plated bullets, and 200 once fired ases (you may already have these on hand from your prior shooting, but I am including them as a cost anyway).

Prices I have found on the internet and in my local gun store.

214.00 bullets (2,000)
70.00 primers (2,000)
56.00 powder (2 lbs)
160.00 brass (400, to be re-used 5 times, which is quite conservative)

Total investment, Tools: $500 Components: $500. $1,000 plus 20 hours of your time at the press for 2,000 rounds.

Equivalent in retail ammunition at $25 per 50 round box, 2,000 rounds.

But you have received nothing monetarily for your 20 hours operating the press.


But, let's take it to 4,000 rounds

Total investment $1,500 and 40 hours of your time for 4,000 rounds

Equivalent in retail ammunition at $25 per 50 round box, 4,000 rounds is $2,000. You have just "paid" yourself the $500 you saved by reloading for 40 hours of your time. $12.50 per hour.


Now, let's take it to 6,000 rounds.

Total investment $2,000 and 60 hours of your time for 6,000 rounds

Equivalent in retail ammunition at $25 per 50 round box, 6,000 rounds is $3,000. You have just "paid" yourself the $1,000 you saved by reloading for 40 hours of your time. $16.67 per hour.


Now, let's take it to 8,000 rounds.

Total investment $2,500 and 80 hours of your time for 8,000 rounds

Equivalent in retail ammunition at $25 per 50 round box, 8,000 rounds is $4,000. You have just "paid" yourself the $1500 you saved by reloading for 40 hours of your time. $18.75 per hour.

If you have different prices for your tools or components, you can send them to me and I can plug them into my spreadhsheet (which right now is too clunky to publish). If there is enough interest I can clean it up and share.

I would need 8 elements: (plus some information from you)
Cost of your loading setup
Number of times your brass can be (or will be) reloaded
cost of your brass
cost of your primers
cost of your powder in one of two ways,
(1)Cost of powder for round or
(2)Cost of powder per pound and an estimate of your powder "spillage" and your charge weight.
Amount of time to load your typical session's production, to include ALL TIME SPENT. Setup and teardown, separating brass, cleaning, inspecting, boxing, labelling, EVERYTHING.
Over-the-counter cost of the most comparable ammunition you can buy

The extra information from you is for my own curiosity: What equipment are you using and do yo do batch processing, continuous, or a mix of both. Your typical processing session.

I know some loaders don't load start-to-finish (like prepping and priming all their cases for weeks and then completing the loading later). For those loaders, my spreadsheet is not yet up to the task. Sorry.

Enjoy this for what it is, a curiosity.

Lost Sheep

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Romeo 33 Delta
June 10, 2012, 09:45 PM
I never counted my time because it is a part of my 'shooting experience", particularly in the winter months (November thru March for me).

HOWEVER ...Boy, was that an interesting read! I used to figure, "what the heck" ... but shooting upwards of 7,000 rounds of rifle (mostly) and pistol (much less), I loved the math!

Thanks very much for taking the time to work through this ... and for having the "light bulb" moment that got you started. If I felt good about how much I saved (or how much more I can shoot for "X" dollars), I feel REALLY GOOD NOW!:D

kreidel
June 10, 2012, 09:46 PM
If you are going to account for your time you forgot about time and gas to buy the componets or the time you spent on your computer ordering. You can throw in R&D time, cleanup time, etc.

oneounceload
June 10, 2012, 10:03 PM
I would need 6 elements: (plus some information from you)
Cost of your loading setup
Number of times your brass can be (or will be) reloaded
cost of your brass
cost of your primers
cost of your powder in one of two ways,
(1)Cost of powder for round or
(2)Cost of powder per pound and an estimate of your powder "spillage" and your charge weight.
Amount of time to load your typical session's production, to include ALL TIME SPENT. Setup and teardown, separating brass, cleaning, inspecting, boxing, labelling, EVERYTHING

reloading set up cost - paid for over 35 years ago, but was under $100 then

Number of times reloaded - 15+ for 38

Brass cost is zero - already have all I need and scrounge if more needed

last time I bought SP primers, they cost me $15/1000

Cost of powder per pound is $110/8 or less than $13/lb. Use 4.5 grains per round

I use a single stage press so reloading 100 from beginning to end is right about an hour to being in a bag

halogrinder
June 10, 2012, 10:08 PM
the thing is, is i can reload hundreds vs your example of 100.


for pistols, i can reload 700-800.
for rifles, i can reload 500-600.


brass is free (range pick ups)
and everything else is about right i suppose.


the other main reason i reload, is "because i can"
its not something everyone can do.


also, every load i have made for my guns has been able to out-perform factory ammo as well.

two fold in gratifying feelings :)

Romeo 33 Delta
June 10, 2012, 10:10 PM
Kreidel ... I don't have a decent components outlet close by so it's all computer, but I can complete an order for all my brass, bullets, primers and powder easily in under 5 minutes if from a single source, 10 minutes if 2, 15 minutes if 3. Even doubling that, it's not a lot of time. Gas and wear and tear on the car? Well, it can be greatly mitigated if combined with grocery shopping. Cleanup, really depends on how messy you are or how organized you are. I can put my components back in their respective storage areas and my dies put away in less than 10 minutes. So ... for the above factors, not much time (way more money than time, if you get my drift).

R&D time ... aye, there's the rub. If your load development stops at duplicating a particular factory load, that's phase 1. Tweaking that load to maximize performance and reduce you group size, that's phase 2. If you're afflicted with WILDCATITIS (majorly guilty) ... well, there is no category for that. Each phase takes more time, but once you have reached the goal in a particular phase, if you keep good records (and why would a reloader NOT?) you just need to use the same components and follow your notes so "time" no longer is a factor.

For the WILDCATTER ... well, I know that it NEVER ends. I probably have 12 or more projects in the pipeline right now. Most are just waiting on dies from CH4D. Then it's on to finding a decent load. Yes, that IS time intensive.

However, I think wildcatting is beyond the scope of this dicussion, so we're left with Phase 1 and Phase 2.

halogrinder
June 10, 2012, 10:20 PM
Romeo- you are DEFINITELY on the right track though.

its the biggest time consumer of my reloading time. load development.

different headstamps
different primers
different powders
different OAL
different bullets- weight and shape.
all have a variable, and it takes FOREVER to find a bullet that YOUR gun likes.

so do we take that into consideration?

but- once i get a load my gun likes, i can really hammer out some rounds on my 550

Lost Sheep
June 10, 2012, 10:56 PM
If you are going to account for your time you forgot about time and gas to buy the componets or the time you spent on your computer ordering. You can throw in R&D time, cleanup time, etc.
I did not count the gas, figuring it to be a wash. For the rest of it, I hope that my phrase Amount of time to load your typical session's production, to include ALL TIME SPENT. Setup and teardown, separating brass, cleaning, inspecting, boxing, labelling, EVERYTHING. would prompt anyone who wants to include that time in the calculation will include it.

I actually did not consider those elements, but anyone who wants to include them should add them in (pro-rated to the round count, of course).

Thanks for helping edit my calculations.

Lost Sheep

Lost Sheep
June 10, 2012, 11:44 PM
reloading set up cost - paid for over 35 years ago, but was under $100 then

Number of times reloaded - 15+ for 38

Brass cost is zero - already have all I need and scrounge if more needed

last time I bought SP primers, they cost me $15/1000

Cost of powder per pound is $110/8 or less than $13/lb. Use 4.5 grains per round

I use a single stage press so reloading 100 from beginning to end is right about an hour to being in a bag
I left out that I need your cost for comparable commercially loaded ammunition. I used $25 per 50 round box for this calculation.

You left out the cost of the slugs, so I used $107 per 1,000. Probably higher than your cost, but it's what I got quoted from Berry's.

Note that since my primary audience was people contemplating becoming loaders, it is future costs that are more relevant.

Here's your results. You were ahead of the cost curve right from the beginning (at the 272nd round - you broke even on the tools cost on #271.)
Round Hourly
Total pay rate
1000 26.89
2000 31.89
3000 33.56
4000 34.39
5000 34.89
eventually reaching $36.89 per hour when your round count reaches infinity or you run out of those cheap primers, whichever comes first.

Based on $25 per 50 round box for purchased ammo for comparison
$107 per thousand for bullets
$15 per thousand primers
$13.75 per lb for powder
3% spillage of powder
4.5 grains per round
15 uses per cartridge case
$0 cartridge case cost


Gosh, you are fast. There is no way I could do 100 per hour on my single stage including filling primer tube, setting up my scale, all those little things.

Thanks for volunteering to be my first victim, er, test calculation.
Lost Sheep

Josh45
June 11, 2012, 12:27 AM
Powder by LB - $20 ( 4.2-4.4 Gr )

Primers - $35 per K

Brass - Free ( )

Bullets - $75 per 500 ( 230 Gr FMJ RN )

About an hour or so for 100 rounds. Im slow because I usually tend to look for a load and then set everything up. I take my time and do not rush this. Using a Turret.

918v
June 11, 2012, 12:35 AM
How much is one hour at a therapist?

Lost Sheep
June 11, 2012, 12:53 AM
Powder by LB - $20 ( 4.2-4.4 Gr )
Primers - $35 per K
Brass - Free ( )
Bullets - $75 per 500 ( 230 Gr FMJ RN )
About an hour or so for 100 rounds. Im slow because I usually tend to look for a load and then set everything up. I take my time and do not rush this. Using a Turret.
I need your cost of comparable commercial ammo and your number of reloads per case in order to perform the calculations.

Lost Sheep

TheCracker
June 11, 2012, 01:08 AM
I don't get guys wanting to count their time for reloading costs. It's a hobby, not a job in itself.

If you have the ability to work whenever and how unlimited hours then ok.

If you are the typical guy working business hours or shifts it makes no sense.

Do you count how much it costs for you to watch tv or surf the web?

777TRUTH
June 11, 2012, 04:52 AM
I have no interest in monetizing my reloading hobby.

I reload because I first and foremost enjoy it. An additional benefit for me is I make better ammo than the commercial OTC stuff.

saltydog452
June 11, 2012, 05:03 AM
Hunting, fishing, and other forms of diversion aren't cost efficient. They are, however, fun.

Fun can get quite expensive.

Re-loading is theraputic. Maybe it should be tax deductable.

salty

evan price
June 11, 2012, 05:29 AM
38 special brass- free range pickup, expected life = infinite with moderate loads
small pistol primers- $.018
Powder- Titegroup $108 per 8# keg...3.5 grains = $.00675
Bullet- free from my own mold
Lead- Free from smelting range scrap
Propane to smelt & electricity for melting pot = free from selling scrap copper from range scrap
XLOX bullet lube- Free from copper sales, see above.. negligable anyway.
Total price is $.025 per round

Press time: reloading Technician First Class compensation $250/hr
Load roughly 250 rounds per hour
Actual cost: $1.025 per round
Comparable cost of factory ammo with gas, tax, time to buy it: $25/50 rounds or $.050 per shot

Net Loss per reloaded round: $.525

I should quit reloading and find a hobby that is more profitable!

cfullgraf
June 11, 2012, 07:39 AM
Lost Sheep, interesting analysis. It might ease the mind of some who are on the fence about reloading.

But, folks that do not want to "waste" their time reloading will find any excuse to why they should not bother.

Those that cannot live without reloading will find any benefit to further their loved activity.

And that is all fine.

Sam1911
June 11, 2012, 08:12 AM
I've eaten deer that, all tolled, probably cost me $100/lb. The fish we eat probably cost more than that.

Neat analysis, but unless you're literally working most of the hours of the day, and reloading means you're LOSING money that you'd otherwise be paid for those hours you didn't work, I have a hard time looking at things that way.

Who knows though? With family demands, home maintenance needs, range time, other hobbies and persuits... might be better off spending that time in other ways.

Thought provoking! :)

oneounceload
June 11, 2012, 09:02 AM
the thing is, is i can reload hundreds vs your example of 100.

True, but since I no longer have a really close place to shoot handguns, I don't much any more - I am having WAY too much fun shooting shotguns for sporting clays

You left out the cost of the slugs, so I used $107 per 1,000. Probably higher than your cost, but it's what I got quoted from Berry's.

I must have missed that - I was finishing up some I bought years ago when you could get a box of 500 for $12.50 - those were from the old Western NV/West Coast bullet, now called X-treme, iirc. I use lead bullets and the last batch I bought from a dealer in AZ were right at $70/1000

Hope that helps

As for current ammo, I have no idea - I have bought factory metallic in a decade

jmorris
June 11, 2012, 09:33 AM
The "whats time worth" question is one I have spent a lot of time dealing with. Shooting competitively almost every week year round loading is a regular process. For a few years (about 10 years ago) when 9mm cost $3/50 I quit reloading but not being able to buy what I could assemble forced me back to reloading for the competitive advantage.

I have spent years (and more money than the wife knows about) assembling and building equipment to streamline the process so with the exception of case gauging and boxing the rounds up 98% of my ammo doesn't get touched by hand from the ground at the range to getting loaded into a mag.

I likely could have hired undocumented workers to load all of my ammo over the years on a single stage for less money, without calculating in my time but where is the fun in that?

italy4nra
June 11, 2012, 09:54 AM
I count my hobby time at minimum wage. In Europe, that is about 15 dollars per hour.

Regardless of how much I enjoy something, If I can buy some part of the underlying component of the hobby for less than the time it takes to make it, then I do so.

Only exception is highly artistic or precision items (for example, can I buy a batch of 20 rifle cartridges, with each component measured to the fraction of grain, and do I care about that precision?)

Logically then, my hobbies all include *some* thing I cannot buy. For example.... I do not pay someone to go to the range for me to shoot my guns. The time I invest in that is worth more to me than 15 per hour. Right ;).

In practice, I do not do the mathematical accounting - although I try and stay conscious of it, and sometimes rationalize. Most times, I just do a quick decision: If I reload and a box of 50 costs half of what I would pay for factory ammo, I buy it. If fixing, trigger tuning, sight alignment, bicycle break maintenance, etc costs what I can pay for in weekly pocket cash, and I don't have time, then I do it.

When buying services for qualified labour costs more than minimum wage, I just decide on my ability/available time/business case.

But typically, my two cents on your question are: YES and FIFTEEN

italy4nra
June 11, 2012, 09:58 AM
BTW:
45ACP NIB costs me 22-40 euro. My reload new brass 19eur. My reload old brass 11.
It takes me two hours to make 100 soup to nuts.
303Brit and 762x54R cost me 35 for 50. Recycled brass costs me 29. I buy the excellent S&B match cartridges, and just collect the brass for that lazy day.
But sweetspotting the rifles, I reload 5 test cartridges with different weights and charges.
That takes me about an hour for 5 cartridges if I include all of the P-in-A sorting and cleaning time. S&B won't do that for me.

higgite
June 11, 2012, 10:15 AM
Lost Sheep,

Interesting analysis, but IMHO the one time cost of tools should not be included in the "hourly wage" calculation. If you leave tool cost out, all of your examples yield $25/hr. At that rate, it will take 20 hours to pay off the tool cost, then you will continue to "earn" $25/hr thereafter. In other words, you "earn" $25/hr from the start, but there is no savings over factory ammo for the first 20 hours.

As an aside, being a newbie, I guesstimate my ammo so far has cost me 3 or 4 times the cost of factory ammo. I'm gaining on it, but the enjoyment is worth more than the price of admission anyway. ;)

dragon813gt
June 11, 2012, 10:26 AM
I see no point in adding the costs of the tools into the equation. I don't do this for my job and I have tens of thousands invested. If I did figure in my time. It would be at my overtime rate since I'm reloading during off hours. This would make it a lot more expensive than factory ammo. My time is free unless I'm doing a job for someone else.


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bds
June 11, 2012, 10:28 AM
What's my TIME worth, loading? (Monetizing your time at your press)
What's my time worth?

If I were to monetize the "worth" of my time, I just need to simply subtract the reloading cost from the cost of commercially loaded ammunition (around $130,000 to $430,000+ over my life time - see quoted box below for calculations) - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7787563#post7787563

[So far], I have reloaded over 300,000 rounds and may go over million reloads before I die.

If I average factory ammo price between $12/50 for 9mm to $28/50 for 45ACP ($0.24/round to $0.56/round), cost savings is substantial when I am averaging $5.50/50 for 9mm reloads to $6.50/50 for 45ACP reloads. And chances are, cost of factory ammo and reloading components will only go higher in the future.
Factory 9mm/45ACP:
1,000,000 rounds x $0.24 = $240,000
1,000,000 rounds x $0.56 = $560,000

Reloaded 9mm/45ACP:
1,000,000 rounds x $0.11 = $110,000
1,000,000 rounds x $0.13 = $130,000
So, if I shoot one million rounds before I die, that would be cost savings of $130,000 to $430,000+ over my life time.

CharlieDeltaJuliet
June 11, 2012, 10:34 AM
Thats a tough one. I love reloading, and that time is my "relaxation and down time". So if I HAD to do it more, I probably wouldn't like it as much. So for now the time I spend doing it is priceless, but I could not do it for others. As there are very few days I feel like reloading or even shooting anymore, the time I spend doing both cannot really have a value on it.

Josh45
June 11, 2012, 10:44 AM
Lost Sheep,

Oops, I knew I forgot something!

Commercial ammo would be around $22-$23 bucks per 50. This is for .45 ACP.
Reloaded cases are so far at about 6-7 ( and counting of course )

italy4nra
June 11, 2012, 10:55 AM
And here is the basic data you asked for:

Number of times your brass can be (or will be) reloaded. Hard to tell I lose them. Say 5.
cost of your brass new 40 usd avg per bag of 250
cost of your primers 9 USD avg 100 caps
(1)Cost of powder for round: 100 USD per kilo VW. Itnis about 5 cents a round on avg.

"spillage" and your charge weight avg 7gr and spillage about 5%

Amount of time to load your typical session's production, to include ALL TIME SPENT.
2 hours 100 rounds. not counting collection and sorting.

Boxes: (please note these are european prices. stuff is expensive here)
9mm LRN box of 50 / 12 USD
45acp winchester fmj 50/ 25 usd
s&b 303 british match box of 50/38 usd
s&b 7.62x53r match box of 50 / 50 usd
.223 rem. i avoid all the cheap stuff. fiocchi 30 usd per box of 50
s&b gold tip match for 223 rem is expensive 20 usd for 20.

I do not reload (prepare) buck shot or other 12ga.

Lost Sheep
June 11, 2012, 09:56 PM
TheCracker, 777TRUTH, saltydog452, dragon813gt, Cjohnson76, I asked you not to open debate on whether counting your loading time is appropriate or not. For the same kind of reason some people do not count their time invested in their hobbies, other people do want to count it. Just human nature to ignore or attend certain details.

I do understand and appreciate your position on the matter. It is a valid position. I just do not want to discuss it here.

higgite, dragon813gt, amortizing the equipment cost in with the components cost is standard practice in cost accounting, so I thought I would do it. I even thought of adding in a factor for the equipment upgrades we all do from time to time, but that was just too variable.

Including the equipment cost is primarily useful to the non-reloader who is considering making the investment. Otherwise, you are right. Whether or not to CONTINUE reloading should leave out the equipment cost (but might include the saleable value). If the question is whether or not to add a caliber, then only the differential cost of the dies and accessories would weigh in.

bds, you are exactly right.

Everyone, thank you for your thoughts and your data. I had no idea this thread would generate such a response. I will try to get the spreadsheet into a usable format some time this week.

Lost Sheep

RustyFN
June 11, 2012, 10:20 PM
Depends what I'm loading. For 45 auto I can buy cheap bulk ammo for $309 per 1,000. I can cast and load 1,000 rounds for $25 in 7 hours. That means I saved $284. That means I got paid $40.57 per hour to reload my own ammo.

CharlieDeltaJuliet
June 12, 2012, 10:34 AM
Sorry Lost Sheep. I really wasn't trying to mess with your thread. Working that press is my love. I do apoligize. I have around $1100 in reloading equipment and feel that I have made that up over the time I have loaded. I do apoligize, again my friend. I read it wrong. I guess thats what happens when you read it on an Ipad without glasses...

50 bmg (this is just my specific load but it is with Barnes 750gr turned brass bullets..etc)
Powder $100 8lb(233 rounds worth)
Primers $115 per 500
Brass .$68 per round (average 6-8 loads)
Bullets $.90 each
Less than 1 minute on average per round prep
Cost of buying same Match ammo $8-10 a round depending on supply

I do load other calibers but would have to dig out my cost sheets to see how much it cost. My .308 runs me about $1.13 a round for the specific load with match A-max. I do remember that but will have to look through my logs to break it down penny for penny.

solman
June 12, 2012, 11:01 AM
I do my reloading in large amounts in the winter. I have the time then as outdoor activities are minimum. There is a $$ savings as well depending on what calibers you are loading. 9mm is pretty cheap these days but .45 is a different story. I find rifle to be a great savings as compared to buying loaded ammo. especially 30-06 or .308 which is very pricey these days. Also in the winter I find it a nice hobby to do as there is only so much tv I can watch and the kids are grown and on their own.

jerkface11
June 12, 2012, 11:08 AM
Why would you count your time if reloading isn't taking you away from making money?

Tux
June 12, 2012, 11:09 AM
Looking at .44 special there are a lot of lead 50 round boxes for $35+and a few up in the $40+ range.

I can get a 100 round box of Hornady JHP bullets for about $25.

Seems a lot cheaper to do it myself.

EddieNFL
June 12, 2012, 07:56 PM
Say you invest $500 in a loading bench on which you are able to load 100 rounds per hour.

I would (did) invest more so...

20 hours of your time at the press for 2,000 rounds.

...I could load more in the same amount of time.

I could assign a dollar figure for my time, but it's meaningless as I don't get paid to watch the boobtube or surf the net. If I were self employed, it might be different.

EddieNFL
June 12, 2012, 07:58 PM
I can cast and load 1,000 rounds for $25 in 7 hours.

Is that the price for powder and primers alone?

RustyFN
June 12, 2012, 08:25 PM
Is that the price for powder and primers alone?

Yes. The brass is free and the lead for the bullets is free. The equipment has payed for it self a long time ago. The only money I have in the round is powder and primers.

M.Weier
June 12, 2012, 09:56 PM
See all the variables posted here? I think that hits the nail on the head of why we REALLY reload.......the options are endless and the $ savings are just perk of a very enjoyable and INCREDIBLY ADDICTING hobby.

Lost Sheep
June 12, 2012, 10:03 PM
Cjohnson76 (post 31), don't worry about it. I knew the concept would generate debate. I just wanted to nip it.

jerkface11, EddieNFL, please don't open the question of whether we SHOULD count our time (see my initial post and post #29). I know there is valid disagreement there. That belongs in another thread.

I opened the question not to suggest it SHOULD be done. I opened the thread because it CAN be done.


In school, I learned this riddle; "Do you know why some people become accountants?"

"Because they didn't have the personality to become undertakers."

Chalk it up to my personality.

Lost Sheep

Lost Sheep
June 12, 2012, 10:07 PM
Thats a tough one. I love reloading, and that time is my "relaxation and down time". So if I HAD to do it more, I probably wouldn't like it as much. So for now the time I spend doing it is priceless, but I could not do it for others. As there are very few days I feel like reloading or even shooting anymore, the time I spend doing both cannot really have a value on it.
Cjohnson76, I re-read your post. You make a good point. I, too find relaxation in loading. I guess my next project is to figure out the cash value of that relaxation.

You see a pattern here?

Not only do I get relaxation by punching holes in paper at distance, in refilling the brass for punching those holes, but also in playing with numbers. I do Sukoku, too, but I'm not very good at it...yet.

Like I said. it's my personality. Love it or leave it. I get my jollies where I find them.

Lost Sheep

cfullgraf
June 12, 2012, 10:11 PM
Lost Sheep,

Right, it all pays the same.

When it is no fun anymore, it is time to move on.

Again, nice analysis and a different way of looking at the costs.

EddieNFL
June 12, 2012, 10:13 PM
jerkface11, EddieNFL, please don't open the question of whether we SHOULD count our time (see my initial post and post #29). I know there is valid disagreement there. That belongs in another thread.

If you want to avoid disagreement, avoid the internet...and debate.

jerkface11
June 12, 2012, 11:03 PM
Ok let's break it down your way. The alternative to reloading is sitting on the couch watching dancing with the stars. So that time must be worth LESS than nothing.

jmorris
June 12, 2012, 11:19 PM
Quote:
I can cast and load 1,000 rounds for $25 in 7 hours.

Is that the price for powder and primers alone?


$18/1000 was the least I ever spent, mostly due to the machine below. Bullets are the most expensive part. If you count time actually doing something, not waiting for a machine to get finished doing it for you, actual "hands on" time for 1000 is under three hours from mixed brass out on the range to loaded rounds ready to casegauge.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=158478&highlight=master+caster

higgite
June 12, 2012, 11:27 PM
I think I missed the basic premise of this thread the first time through. I looked at it as my time was worth nothing if I had nothing else to do that made money. But, instead I think the OP simply wants to put a monetary value on his time at the press, because it does have monetary value. For instance, if you spend 10 hours at the press and save $200 in ammo cost, you just made $20/hr.... and the key point... you made $20/hr whether that was your intention or not... AND you still had fun. It has nothing to do with your regular job or with turning your hobby into a job. At least, that's how I see it. ymmv

MachIVshooter
June 12, 2012, 11:34 PM
unless you're literally working most of the hours of the day, and reloading means you're LOSING money that you'd otherwise be paid for those hours you didn't work, I have a hard time looking at things that way

This.

T Bran
June 13, 2012, 12:00 AM
Lost Sheep

Thank you for your contribution to those who are still on the fence at the very least it should push them off one side or the other.
I dont reload to save money in the conventional sense. The real reasons are that I can shoot premium bullets at a set of standards for each of my rifles at the cost of nonpremium factory loads or less. This means I actually hunt with the same bullets as I use for target practice. I also like the fact that I can make what I need when I need it which limits the ammount of loaded ammo that I stockpile.
Great thread.

leadcounsel
June 13, 2012, 12:56 AM
Add time ordering and getting components.

Add setup and cleanup time. R&D.

Add the "cost" of an extra room in the house for the workbench and storage. That extra 100 square feet that you pay rent/mortgage - space isn't free. If you otherwise need a 3 bedroom house, you'll need a forth or turn a room into a gun loading room. Factor in an extra 10% onto your monthly mortgage/rent would be a fair estimate for a reasonable reloading area.

If you enjoy it do it... heck I am getting paid nothing to sit here on the computer...

Lost Sheep
June 13, 2012, 02:47 AM
If you want to avoid disagreement, avoid the internet...and debate.
I do not intend to avoid debate. I just want to confine the debate to another thread, please (as I asked in Post #1).

Thanks for your thoughts and feelings. I recognize they are valid. I just want to discuss them elsewhere.

Leadcounsel (post 48), you are correct. But I am not ready to take it THAT far...yet. I gotta get better at Sudoku first. (post 40)

Lost Sheep

Lost Sheep
June 13, 2012, 03:52 AM
Sorry Lost Sheep. I really wasn't trying to mess with your thread. Working that press is my love. I do apoligize. I have around $1100 in reloading equipment and feel that I have made that up over the time I have loaded. I do apoligize, again my friend. I read it wrong. I guess thats what happens when you read it on an Ipad without glasses...

50 bmg (this is just my specific load but it is with Barnes 750gr turned brass bullets..etc)
Powder $100 8lb(233 rounds worth)
Primers $115 per 500
Brass .$68 per round (average 6-8 loads)
Bullets $.90 each
Less than 1 minute on average per round prep
Cost of buying same Match ammo $8-10 a round depending on supply

Congratulations. When you are loading 50 BMG, you are making $420.66 per hour (after your initial investment in equipment is paid for, which will take you almost 160 rounds).

Cjohnson76's 50 BMG
>>> 1100 Cost of the loading tools
>>> 900 Bullets (per thousand)
>>> 23 Primers (per thousand)
>>> 28 Powder (per lb)
>>> 240.3433476 load (grains per round)
>>> 0.0% spillage/shrinkage
>>> 68 Brass (per hundred)
>>> 6.5 # of times each case is used

>>> 16.66666667 Time required to load 1000 rounds. Include EVERYTHING. Picking up, cleaning, sorting, inspecting, filling primer tubes, etc.
39.7797755 (Calculated) Cost per increment loaded (see below for increment size)

>>> 180 Cost per box for purchased ammuntion
>>> 20 Rounds per box referred to above

>>> 20 Incremental round count

In the 4 hours it took you to load 240 rounds (at your estimated 1 minute per round, you "earned" (by saving) $145.66 per hour.

$1100.00 equipment
477.36 240 handloaded cartridges
582.64 4 hours time
equals the cost of:
$2,160.00 240 commercial rounds at $9 each

I haven't figured out how to make the columns of my spreadsheet line up properly, but here is my best attempt so far.

Round Time Loading
Count spent Wage
reloading Equivalent
20 0.33 $(2,879.34)
40 0.67 $(1,229.34)
60 1.00 $(679.34)
80 1.33 $(404.34)
100 1.67 $(239.34)
120 2.00 $(129.34)
140 2.33 $(50.77)
160 2.67 $8.16
180 3.00 $53.99
200 3.33 $90.66
220 3.67 $120.66
240 4.00 $145.66
260 4.33 $166.81
280 4.67 $184.95
300 5.00 $200.66
320 5.33 $214.41
340 5.67 $226.54
360 6.00 $237.33

Thanks, everyone, for the overwhelming response.

Lost Sheep

bds
June 13, 2012, 01:24 PM
Not sure if the "quality" of ammunition was addressed/factored in the calculation.

When I started match shooting, I shot factory ammunition. I compared different factory loads and settled with S&B and PMC for a balance of accuracy vs cost.

I started reloading to not just realize a cost savings but for more accurate loads. My shot groups shrank about half with good match grade reloads using Montana Gold jacketed bullets (and my current match grade reloads are shooting more accurate than all the factory loads I have shot). If you compete, your monetized cost savings should factor in match grade ammunition and not cheap factory target/plinking load costs.

I get the smallest shot groups with my 20" HBAR using Black Hills ammo but have you priced them lately? Even the blue box reloaded Black Hills ammo is expensive! With my reloads, I can come close enough in accuracy for match shooting with substantial cost savings.

Lost Sheep
June 13, 2012, 08:42 PM
The quality of the ammo is not one of the dollar costs in the arithmetic. But it can be accounted for by adjusting the price level of the comparable commercial ammo.

What price would be charged for commercially loaded ammo that matches the quality of your handloads? You are going to have to estimate here, but be honest/realistic with yourself.

The "substantial cost savings" you mention... That is the point of this thread.

Lost Sheep

Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 13, 2012, 09:07 PM
I also look at reloading as part of my overall shooting pleasure/experience.

I also want to thank the OP for making it clear that, the more you load, the more you save. It made me realize that over the 30 or so years I have been reloading, I have really saved a lot of money over store-bought ammo, and the majority (99%) of those loads are premium loads, loaded for accuracy, handgun-hunting big game, etc.

Lost Sheep
June 13, 2012, 09:14 PM
As for current ammo, I have no idea - I have bought factory metallic in a decade
Sorry, I cannot make a meaningful calculation without your cost of commercially loaded ammo (if indeed, any of this is meaningful in the first place).

Lost Sheep

EddieNFL
June 13, 2012, 09:20 PM
Add time ordering and getting components.

Add setup and cleanup time. R&D.

Add the "cost" of an extra room in the house for the workbench and storage. That extra 100 square feet that you pay rent/mortgage - space isn't free. If you otherwise need a 3 bedroom house, you'll need a forth or turn a room into a gun loading room. Factor in an extra 10% onto your monthly mortgage/rent would be a fair estimate for a reasonable reloading area.

If you enjoy it do it... heck I am getting paid nothing to sit here on the computer...

...and the shop I had built, electricity for the lights and A/C (dehumidifier when I'm away), the laptop and stereo I use while loading....and if I assign the same value to my time as I earn at work I should stop now while I can still afford to eat.

ranger335v
June 13, 2012, 09:24 PM
Unless I'm ignoring some profit making activity then my other time is only worth what I do with it. So, if I'm not neglicting my paid work I can freely take vacations, day trips, have dinner out with my wife, go to church or a movie or reload/shoot, hunt, fish, read and cruise the 'net on my computer without consideration of what the time value might be if I were actually working when I'm not. ??

Lost Sheep
June 13, 2012, 09:26 PM
Lost Sheep,

Oops, I knew I forgot something!

Commercial ammo would be around $22-$23 bucks per 50. This is for .45 ACP.
Reloaded cases are so far at about 6-7 ( and counting of course )
Josh45
>>> 0 Cost of the loading tools
>>> 150 Bullets (per thousand)
>>> 35 Primers (per thousand)
>>> 20 Powder (per lb)
>>> 4.4 load (grains per round)
>>> 0.0% spillage/shrinkage (I guess at 3% unless specified otherwise)
>>> 0 Brass (per hundred)
>>> 1 # of times each case is used (account for loss in this estimate. Free brass, this number is irrelevant.)

>>> 10 Time required to load 1000 rounds. Include EVERYTHING. Picking up, cleaning, sorting, inspecting, filling primer tubes, etc.
>>> 0 Initial time learning to load

9.88 (Calculated) Cost per increment loaded
0.20 (Calculated) Cost per round

>>> 22.5 Cost per box for purchased ammuntion
>>> 50 Rounds per box referred to above

Your "Wage" to load is $25.24, no matter how many you load. Your round count does not affect your "earnings" because there is no initial dollar amount invested (fixed cost) to be amortized.

Lost Sheep

jim243
June 13, 2012, 09:35 PM
Lost Sheep, I know it is getting to the point of you having no darkness to sleep with, but,

Sorry, I cannot make a meaningful calculation without your cost of commercially loaded ammo (if indeed, any of this is meaningful in the first place).

You need to get some sleep, but in the interest of Inter-State relations, here goes nothing.

Commercial 243 ammo about $29.95 per box of 20.

I bought 500 cases years ago so I amortize them at $28.00 per 100, powder at 34.5 grains per load or (22.95 / 7,000 x 34.5) $0.113 per load, primers at $0.03 per round, bullets (on-sale) at $18.00 per 100 or (0.28+0.113+0.03+0.18) = a cost of $0.603 per round or $12.06 per box of 20 rounds. That's a cost savings of $17.89 per box. I can load about 100 rounds in two hours with case prep, priming, powder, seating and crimping (yes I crimp) or I am paying myself (17.89 x 5 boxes) / 2 hours or $44.73 per hour.

Not a bad rate of pay nowadays (a savings of $89.45 per 100 rounds)

Jim

Lost Sheep
June 13, 2012, 09:38 PM
38 special brass- free range pickup, expected life = infinite with moderate loads
small pistol primers- $.018
Powder- Titegroup $108 per 8# keg...3.5 grains = $.00675
Bullet- free from my own mold
Lead- Free from smelting range scrap
Propane to smelt & electricity for melting pot = free from selling scrap copper from range scrap
XLOX bullet lube- Free from copper sales, see above.. negligable anyway.
Total price is $.025 per round

Press time: reloading Technician First Class compensation $250/hr
Load roughly 250 rounds per hour
Actual cost: $1.025 per round
Comparable cost of factory ammo with gas, tax, time to buy it: $25/50 rounds or $.050 per shot

Net Loss per reloaded round: $.525

I should quit reloading and find a hobby that is more profitable!
So, I see loading costing you $131.19 per hour ($250 minus $118.81) or $131.19 per 250 rounds, which is right around $0.52475 for each round.

I'm glad our figures agree. :)

Where can I get a job that pays $250/hour?:scrutiny:

EvanPrice
>>> 0 Cost of the loading tools
>>> 0 Bullets (per thousand)
>>> 18 Primers (per thousand)
>>> 13.5 Powder (per lb)
>>> 3.5 load (grains per round)
>>> 0.0% spillage/shrinkage (I guess at 3% unless specified otherwise)
>>> 0 Brass (per hundred)
>>> 1 # of times each case is used (account for loss in this estimate)

>>> 4 Time required to load 1000 rounds. Include EVERYTHING. Picking up, cleaning, sorting, inspecting, filling primer tubes, etc.
>>> 0 Initial time learning to load

1.24 (Calculated) Cost per increment loaded
0.02 (Calculated) Cost per round

>>> 25 Cost per box for purchased ammuntion
>>> 50 Rounds per box referred to above

>>> 50 Incremental round count

Wage Equivalent without initial cost
$118.81 /hr

Lost Sheep

Teachu2
June 13, 2012, 09:40 PM
Back in the '80s I shot a lot of .45acp (like 10k+/year) and loaded almost all my own. Components were cheap, and so was my time. When I started varminting, I loaded my own for accuracy. Now that I'm back into shooting pistols, and working 12-14 hours a day, I'm not in a hurry to buy components and set up the presses. WWB 9mm at $23/100 seems to get the job done. I'm at work now (6:30PM, been here since 7AM) and really can't get enthusiastic about reloading a few hundred rounds. Add in the cost to run the air in my shop (it's 93 here now) and it's not worth it.

Someday, maybe...but not today!

blarby
June 13, 2012, 09:46 PM
The cost of comparable commercial ammo, for me and my wife, is hard to calculate. Let me explain :

In terms of rifle, such ammunition cannot be purchased for any amount of money- it does not exist to be purchased. My ammunition is tailored for form, and function- to the particulars of my chamber and rifling. It cannot be obtained anywhere but from on my bench, with my procedures, as a result of my testing and notes and measurements.

The exception would be for semi-auto rifles, where I load to spec.

In pistol, I do load target ammunition...but most of my "custom" ammunition is designed with very specific results in mind....slug size, velocity at deployment, specific recoil...there are many customization's to be had in my ammo box. None of which, again, can be obtained off the shelf.

In terms of reliability and guarantee of function, that too is hard to quantify. I have purchased some of the best ammunition money can buy for my rifles, shotguns, and pistols...and have had issues in each, with each. From failures to feed, to failures to fire, to failures to extract.

A few test shells in each weapon guarantees to me that none of these issues will occur with ammunition I produce. That has a value which is extremely hard to calculate- It could be a jam on a paper target, or a failure to feed on a deer...or worse a followup shot on something more dangerous.

I appreciate this thread, Sheep. Keep up the good work.

Lost Sheep
June 13, 2012, 09:51 PM
And here is the basic data you asked for:

Number of times your brass can be (or will be) reloaded. Hard to tell I lose them. Say 5.
cost of your brass new 40 usd avg per bag of 250
cost of your primers 9 USD avg 100 caps
(1)Cost of powder for round: 100 USD per kilo VW. Itnis about 5 cents a round on avg.

"spillage" and your charge weight avg 7gr and spillage about 5%

Amount of time to load your typical session's production, to include ALL TIME SPENT.
2 hours 100 rounds. not counting collection and sorting.

Boxes: (please note these are european prices. stuff is expensive here)
9mm LRN box of 50 / 12 USD
45acp winchester fmj 50/ 25 usd
s&b 303 british match box of 50/38 usd
s&b 7.62x53r match box of 50 / 50 usd
.223 rem. i avoid all the cheap stuff. fiocchi 30 usd per box of 50
s&b gold tip match for 223 rem is expensive 20 usd for 20.

I do not reload (prepare) buck shot or other 12ga.
Deavalier,

Too much information all at once. I can really only evaluate one caliber at a time and you didn't provide cost for your 9mm slugs.

What I need (and this goes for everyone) is

Cost of the loading tools
Bullets (per thousand)
Primers (per thousand)
Powder (per lb, please calculate for me, per single pound)
load (grains per round)
spillage/shrinkage (I will guess at 0% if you don't specify, but who doesn't spill ANY?)
Brass (per hundred)
# of times each case is used (account for loss in this estimate. If Brass cost is zero, use 1)
Time required to load 1000 rounds. Include EVERYTHING. Picking up, cleaning, sorting, inspecting, filling primer tubes, etc.
Initial time learning to load (if you want to count this, too)
Cost per box for purchased ammuntion
Rounds per box referred to above

Incremental round count (50, 10, 20, 100: your typical production batch)

When I get the spreadsheet finalized, the spreadsheet will return with:

(Calculated) Cost per increment loaded
(Calculated) Cost per each round
Savings per round
Hourly "earnings" or savings per hour spent, after initial investment (tools and training) is amortized
Your actual breakeven point in rounds made
Your actual breakeven point in hours spent loading
Hourly "earnings" or savings per hour while amortizing the initial investment. (tabulated against the rounds produced.) This is another way to see where your "breakeven" point is

And, for my own purposes (and what I get out of this) for my education and curiosity:
I would like to know what kind of press you use, your cyclic (burst) production rate, your sustained production rate and whether you do batch processing, continuous processing or a hybrid of the two methods. Describe it if possible.

Lost Sheep

Lost Sheep
June 13, 2012, 10:02 PM
Back in the '80s I shot a lot of .45acp (like 10k+/year) and loaded almost all my own. Components were cheap, and so was my time. When I started varminting, I loaded my own for accuracy. Now that I'm back into shooting pistols, and working 12-14 hours a day, I'm not in a hurry to buy components and set up the presses. WWB 9mm at $23/100 seems to get the job done. I'm at work now (6:30PM, been here since 7AM) and really can't get enthusiastic about reloading a few hundred rounds. Add in the cost to run the air in my shop (it's 93 here now) and it's not worth it.

Someday, maybe...but not today!
I hear you. I've been to Bakersfield. I will be visiting Stockton later this summer. Compared to Anchorage, Stockton is about all I could take.

I was stationed at Williams AFB (near Phoenix) when I took up shooting and reloading in 1975. That was plenty warm enough, too. But the evenings were GREAT!


The cost of comparable commercial ammo, for me and my wife, is hard to calculate. Let me explain :

Yep, the task of an accountant is to put a monetary value on everything. Some things simply defy quantization, much less monetization.
In terms of rifle, such ammunition cannot be purchased for any amount of money- it does not exist to be purchased. My ammunition is tailored for form, and function- to the particulars of my chamber and rifling. It cannot be obtained anywhere but from on my bench, with my procedures, as a result of my testing and notes and measurements.

The exception would be for semi-auto rifles, where I load to spec.

In pistol, I do load target ammunition...but most of my "custom" ammunition is designed with very specific results in mind....slug size, velocity at deployment, specific recoil...there are many customization's to be had in my ammo box. None of which, again, can be obtained off the shelf.

The best you could do, then is to estimate what it would cost to have someone else load to your tailored specifications. Then you know what you would be willing to pay your hireling/contractor to do the work (Not considering the relaxation that "chunking" out perfect rounds for yourself gives you - one of those unquantifiables.

In terms of reliability and guarantee of function, that too is hard to quantify. I have purchased some of the best ammunition money can buy for my rifles, shotguns, and pistols...and have had issues in each, with each. From failures to feed, to failures to fire, to failures to extract.

A few test shells in each weapon guarantees to me that none of these issues will occur with ammunition I produce. That has a value which is extremely hard to calculate- It could be a jam on a paper target, or a failure to feed on a deer...or worse a followup shot on something more dangerous.

I appreciate this thread, Sheep. Keep up the good work.

Thank you for your encouragement and kind words.

Lost Sheep

jim243
June 13, 2012, 10:31 PM
What I need (and this goes for everyone) is

Cost of the loading tools

Not relevent, one time fixed cost. Tooling cost is only relevent in Standard Costing to give a amortized cost of tool replacement.

Purchased my equipment almost 8 years ago and have loaded over 25,000 rounds. You could give a standard cost of $0.01 per round, but to be truthfull I see no wear in my dies or presses and I am not planning on replacing any of it any time soon. How much does your golf clubs add to the cost of a round of golf or cost per hole???


jim

Lost Sheep
June 14, 2012, 12:19 AM
Not relevent, one time fixed cost. Tooling cost is only relevent in Standard Costing to give a amortized cost of tool replacement.

Purchased my equipment almost 8 years ago and have loaded over 25,000 rounds. You could give a standard cost of $0.01 per round, but to be truthfull I see no wear in my dies or presses and I am not planning on replacing any of it any time soon. How much does your golf clubs add to the cost of a round of golf or cost per hole???


jim
My target audience (the shooter who is considering taking up loading) is not interested in tool replacement, but rather, if the savings is worth the start-up cost.

I have noticed a few threads that centered around the cost of getting into loading, in addition to the cost of production, so thought this approach to cost accounting would be useful.

Lost Sheep

jim243
June 14, 2012, 12:48 AM
I have noticed a few threads that centered around the cost of getting into loading, in addition to the cost of production, so thought this approach to cost accounting would be useful.


Now your getting into my area of expertise. (45 years of it)

What you are talking about is not the deprecation of the asset (cost over the life), but what is the "Return on Investment" of the project. If I invest $500.00 into a project at what point will I start to turn a profit and at what rate of return will I see.

That will depend on a obtainable rate of production over a period of time that can provide a profit to offset the variable costs as well as fixed and semi-variable costs. Do I consider the heat and light bills as part of that cost since I will normally have those costs regardless, how about rent or mortgage payments since space is now being used for the project. Labor cost of paying junior to deprime the cases and run the tumbler. Or the really big cost of buying the wife off so you can spend an hour or two at the reloading bench while she is off with the girls shopping. (BIG $$$$$)

While it is thoughtfull of you to try to answer this question as to COST, you are opening a big can of worms when you try to cost out a hobby. And let us not forget the additional cost of going to the range (gas, range fees, new rifles and test ammo).

These all should be put into the cost of reloading.

Stay safe, shoot straight and have fun.
Jim

Lost Sheep
June 14, 2012, 01:23 AM
Now your getting into my area of expertise. (45 years of it)

What you are talking about is not the deprecation of the asset (cost over the life), but what is the "Return on Investment" of the project. If I invest $500.00 into a project at what point will I start to turn a profit and at what rate of return will I see.

That will depend on a obtainable rate of production over a period of time that can provide a profit to offset the variable costs as well as fixed and semi-variable costs. Do I consider the heat and light bills as part of that cost since I will normally have those costs regardless, how about rent or mortgage payments since space is now being used for the project. Labor cost of paying junior to deprime the cases and run the tumbler. Or the really big cost of buying the wife off so you can spend an hour or two at the reloading bench while she is off with the girls shopping. (BIG $$$$$)

While it is thoughtfull of you to try to answer this question as to COST, you are opening a big can of worms when you try to cost out a hobby. And let us not forget the additional cost of going to the range (gas, range fees, new rifles and test ammo).

These all should be put into the cost of reloading.

Stay safe, shoot straight and have fun.
Jim
Well, unless you change your shooting habits the cost of going to the range will not change. A lot of non-differential costs drop out that way. (But, of course, we all know they will change habits.)

I purposefully did not put junior into the mix. I don't think anyone wants different wage rates, dependent on seniority or anything else to complicate matters.

Semi-variable costs, and replacing/upgrading and all those considerations I left out, too. Excel, my available time and my skills can only go so far.

I appreciate your comments (and your humor - did you read post #39?).

Note: I costed out the value of my first season's salmon, too. Don't ask. However, the fish was delicious.

Lost Sheep

Lost Sheep
June 14, 2012, 01:46 AM
Break-even Analysis version 1

I left out the incremental wage rates. I think they are not all that useful to most folks. Instead, breakeven points.

I also added in a way to include in the startup costs, the time you spend in educating and training yourself.

I did not write directions, hoping the comments will be self-evident. If anyone has any suggestions for better wording, please use PMs so as not to clutter the thread.

The yellow highlighted fields are where you input your data. The last one, increment size is so you can put 20, for rifle round boxes, 50 for pistol round boxes or 100 for quantities or 1,000 for really big loading session. You can use any increment size, 500, 2,000, any whole number, one or greater.

Thanks for everyone's responses. Remember, I am interested evaluating various methods and equipment, so, if you feel like educating me, please describe your loading process, what gear you use and your rate of output (burst or cyclic rate and sustained rate).

Me, I can load 100 rounds in 40 minutes on a Lee Classic Turret using an Autodisk powder measure and a 4-die set and that includes filling the primer feed device and powder measure (but not verifying the powder throw, I stopped the clock for that). I estimate all other case prep to be about 20 minutes (cleaning, sorting, sifting from the tumbling media, etc.)

Thanks

Lost Sheep

EDIT: Anyone know how I can upload/attach an Excel Spreadsheet file?

In the meantime, open this text file, copy it and paste into a spreadsheet. The fields indicated by ">>>" in column "A" should have your values put into column "B".


OR, I just discovered, you can click on the attachment and "Open With" Excel and it works for me. You will just have to take care of cell formatting and decimal places yourself.

Lost Sheep
June 14, 2012, 02:25 AM
Or, open this file directly into Excel (ignore the .txt extension)


Lost Sheep

Lost Sheep
August 11, 2014, 01:03 AM
Not sure if the "quality" of ammunition was addressed/factored in the calculation.

When I started match shooting, I shot factory ammunition. I compared different factory loads and settled with S&B and PMC for a balance of accuracy vs cost.

I started reloading to not just realize a cost savings but for more accurate loads. My shot groups shrank about half with good match grade reloads using Montana Gold jacketed bullets (and my current match grade reloads are shooting more accurate than all the factory loads I have shot). If you compete, your monetized cost savings should factor in match grade ammunition and not cheap factory target/plinking load costs.

I get the smallest shot groups with my 20" HBAR using Black Hills ammo but have you priced them lately? Even the blue box reloaded Black Hills ammo is expensive! With my reloads, I can come close enough in accuracy for match shooting with substantial cost savings.
Actually, the cost of comparable factory ammunition is included in the calculation. You just have to plug in the cost of ammunition from a factory (or that could be made by a factory or a commercial custom loader).

Sorry for being so late with my reply, I did not see your post until I referenced this thread in another one (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=9575389&posted=1#post9575389)

Lost Sheep

CLP
August 11, 2014, 01:33 AM
How much is one hour at a therapist?
Depends on if they're a psychiatrist or psychologist. I'm not sure what the latter bills per hour, but I don't take therapy pt's because no one can afford the hourly rate. I do med mgmt and see in-patients, like >90% of psychiatrists. Those that do see therapy pt's are usually in academic centers or mental health centers where they're paid flat salaries with modest to no RVU bonuses.

I don't put an hourly rate on down-time. It's down-time for a reason. If I go assigning a monetary value for time I spend pursuing recreational activities or time with my family I think it'd dilute the fun and enjoyment of doing so. Reloading is a big down-time activity for me. When I come home at 8-9pm, I'm unable to go to any range (actually, I could go to a local indoor range but I'd rather come home and spend time with my family), but if I spend an hour tinkering around on my reloading bench while my wife is watching some terrible show on Bravo then I'm happy. If you don't like to reload then perhaps you might think of it in terms of dollars/cents. Would definitely be cheaper for me to get rid of all my reloading stuff and just buy factory ammo, but not as enjoyable. When I started out, it was all about lowering the cost of ammo- and I did. Starting out, I was able to load a box of 45 ACP for far more less than what it would have cost me at Wal-Mart or anywhere else. Now, I guess I make some pretty expensive ammunition. Just as happy though.

leadcounsel
August 11, 2014, 04:07 AM
Yep - reloaders who would otherwise work for an hourly wage, or use their time to get ahead in their career, are dis-ingenious not to include their hourly worth of their time.

One can take this to an extreme and get depressed or cynical... but time does equal money.

When I do any hobby, lets say snowboarding, I know that the basic economic principle is that it costs me the equipment (sunk cost), the lift ticket (1 day or season pass), the gas to drive to the mountain, the cost of staying and eating there, AND the 10 hours time. Time isn't free.

If you spend time doing ANYTHING when you could otherwise be earning money, that's costing you money. Basic principle of economics. Whether it's time with the wife, watching a movie, on the internet, etc. Think of it this way... if you took an unpaid day off work to reload ammo, to fishing, go to a football game, etc. it would in fact cost you money in wages from lost work. Now often that tradeoff is worth it, in tangible or intangible ways. But it's foolish to deny a pure economic cost in the time/value of money.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again.

You can fly across America for about $1,000 in a day. You can drive across for several hundred dollars, in several days. Or you can walk for free in several months. I think we can all agree that there are obvious economic costs with each option. To say that walking is "free" is nonsense.

Figure out your hourly value of your time. Add up the time shopping and ordering components, setting up your reloading gear, reloading, tear down, clean up. Also add in the 5 square feet your reloading bench takes up... for instance a house may cost $80 per square feet. So a permanent designated 15 square feet costs $1200.

horsemen61
August 11, 2014, 04:46 AM
Good thread thanks

jmorris
August 11, 2014, 10:11 AM
Old thread but I will add, what would you do if you didn't reload?

There are lots of things that will cost you more than reloading.

Do you think about how much your time is worth when your at the movies, out to dinner, hunting, boating or riding your motorcycle/atv? You have to pay to play with all of thoes activities too.

maxxhavoc
August 11, 2014, 12:46 PM
Well, the spreadsheet says I am worth $47.95/hr when I load my 9mm on my Pro 1000, and $7.95 when I handload .223 on a single stage. Of course I am in the air conditioning watching TV through most of the rifle stuff. Trimming, chamfering, deburring, primer pocket swaging and uniforming do not require a lot of brainpower.

I guess if one of my employees watched TV at work I would consider cutting back their pay, too.

Of course, since this may be seen by people considering reloading, I don't do it to save money. It started that way, but now I do it mostly for the fun of it. After I got my last new rifle, I found myself just blasting through the last half of a box of ammo just so I would have some brass to start load development with. In other words, I was only shooting so I could get home and reload...

Schwing
August 11, 2014, 01:34 PM
I am one of those who reloads for the pleasure as much as the savings. Having said that, it is an interesting question.

If I factor in how much I make per hour and compare it against the money I save reloading, I would still reload for the savings. Without going into my wages etc, I calculate that I still save about $8 per box on just 9mm if I paid myself the same amount per hour that I make at work.

When I move up to .357 or .44 mag, that number jumps up exponentially to over $20 per box.

I also figure that I spend a lot of time listening to music or books on tape when I reload. If I do that sitting on the couch, I don't get paid in ammo:)

I am not in the dark about how much my reloading is actually COSTING me either. As the old axiom goes, you never save money reloading, you just shoot more.

Potatohead
August 11, 2014, 02:02 PM
How much is which time worth? The time Im sitting on the couch watchin TV, or the time Im sittin in the chair logged on to THR? :D

GaryL
August 11, 2014, 08:26 PM
Lost,

I pretty much read through the thread, but I think you are coming up a bit short on the hourly wage. Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see taxes factored in, and any realistic calculation of income needs to include uncle Sam's share off the top. And that share goes on top of the income, unless it fails to take the income above the nontaxable income limit.

In my case, I'm salary with a specific clause that states 'no moonlighting' or any activity that could affect my performance at work. It's not that I couldn't go and get a PT job if I wanted, but if the management thought it was affecting me, they would have a justification for letting me go. I have no issues with it - medical device, so they take the quality thing pretty seriously.

Anyway, this is one "moonlighting" job that I can do without breaking any contractual rules. :neener:

oneounceload
August 11, 2014, 08:38 PM
If you want to pay yourself a bigger hourly wage, then you need to spend more upfront by buying components in bulk - that is powder in multiples of 8# jugs, primers by the sleeve of 5000, bullets by the unbroken case (amount depends on bullet weight), etc. Once you get your component costs to the absolute minimum, then factoring your a progressive machine that doesn't hiccup all the time, your cost to make will be the lowest, thus your pay back to yourself will be the highest

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