Is it worth it economically?


PDA






vamo
January 19, 2013, 03:37 PM
First, I will apologize I am sure this topic gets posted all the time here, but I couldn't find an existing topic that answered the question satisfactorily. For the purposes of this discussion I am pretending my preferred calibers are just as available as they were 2 months ago. I keep going back and forth between wanting to reload and just thinking it would be a lot easier and almost as cheap to just go to walmart/basspro for my ammo.

I will use 9mm as my example. It can be acquired at walmart for $0.25 per round. I don't consider brass to be part of the cost as I can just recycle there. Bullets on the other hand seem to cost almost as much as the completed cartridges, so after buying powder, primers, and making the initial investment in a press and dies I don't see how I would break ever break even.

Am I using a bad example with 9mm, are other calibers more cost effective?


As far as other reasons to reload I am not seeing it either. Self reliance only really works for the most talented, I doubt I have the skills or equipment to even consider molding my own, bullets; and can anyone make powder and primers? When ammo scarcities happen so do reloading supplies from what I hear. I have been fully satisfied with the quality of commercial ammo, that I have used.

Please someone tell me where I am wrong this sounds like a fun hobby to have, I just don't want it to be an excercise in futility if I decide to pick it up.

If you enjoyed reading about "Is it worth it economically?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
David E
January 19, 2013, 03:52 PM
It all depends how much you shoot.

There are several reasons to reload besides economy......but for me, economy is 90% of the reason I reload.

You can buy lead bullets for less than jacketed. Depending what your gun is and/or what you're doing, lead is just fine.

You say WM 9mm ammo is .25 cents a shot. (when they have it) this works out to $250 per 1000 rds.

I can buy a jacketed bullet for .09 + .04 for the primer + .03 for powder = .16 cents per shot, or $160 per 1000 rds.

If lead is ok, deduct another ..03-.04 cents or so, bringing it down to $120-$130 per 1000 rds.

You'll need to decide if that's worth it to you, which depends how much you shoot. If 1000 rds sounds like more than you'll shoot in a year, then reloading for economy's sake isn't for you.

ranger335v
January 19, 2013, 03:53 PM
"I keep going back and forth between wanting to reload and just thinking it would be a lot easier and almost as cheap to just go to walmart/basspro for my ammo."

I've been an avid reloader since '65. My normal answer to those who ask if it's 'worth it' is NO. Not many who reload to 'save money' will keep it up long enough to break even. The tools are costly and a place to work isn't cheep nor can you get components for free. If all I wanted was to substitute reloads for common factory ammo I'd just go factory.

cfullgraf
January 19, 2013, 03:56 PM
It depends on how you value your time.

On components, you will save money over buying factory ammunition but you then spend time to put the ammunition together. Some folks are real proud of their time, others, like me, enjoy reloading as a pastime and the time spent is entertainment like golfing, fishing, watching television and the like. On the savings, what you do with the savings is up to you. Many just shoot more. Others take the significant other out for a nice evening on the town. :)

Also, you can tune the ammunition to better accuracy, softer recoil, or some other combination that is not readily available in factory combination.

The capital cost of the equipment will amortize pretty quick and for the most part will last forever if cared for. I am still using the first single stage press and dies that I bought over 30 years ago. Others have had presses longer than that.

Hope this helps.

greybeard57
January 19, 2013, 04:01 PM
To be honest I'm going to reload just to substitute reloads for factory loads. In other words I wanted to have a firearms hobby related sub-hobby LOL. I have no preconceived notions that I'll save any money, but I do know that as my stocks of components get better I'll be able to shoot regardless of what wallfart has in stock which generally isn't my preferred 9mm. I'll still be buying factory loads as needed however just to accumulate the brass. Besides, it'll get me away from this danged computer more. :banghead:

c.latrans
January 19, 2013, 04:14 PM
Apples to apples, you will save substantially in the long run once your start up costs are covered, etc. In reality, I can produce full on custom ammo with premium bullets tailored for a specific rifle for a quarter less than I can buy off the shelf wally world rem-chester. I save more dollar for dollar loading center fire rifle ammo than I do with pistol or shotgun ammo.

In terms of difficulty, it is a relatively simple process. Not knowing where you are, if you were able visit me in my play house I could have you producing serviceable ammo in an afternoon. The more you load, the more little issues you will encounter and learn to conquer. Like anything else, the more you do the better and more efficient you get....I learn new little twists constantly. It may not be for everybody, but it has been 40 years since I seated my first bullet under the tutelage of my father. I will never forget the fascination I had when I recovered the bullet from my first deer, that I had loaded with my own two hands years before I could get a drivers license. I still have that bullet. Its been a lifelong hobby for me that took on a life of its own! I cant imagine NOT hand loading.

greybeard57
January 19, 2013, 04:34 PM
Don't know if that was directed at me c.latrans but I'd gladly jump at the opportunity to visit Montana again! I loved living there in the 80's for a short summer and if things are reasonably the same I'll bet the mountains are still just as purty. :D

jmorris
January 19, 2013, 04:35 PM
My 9mm 147 rounds are about $6/50 rounds.

greybeard57
January 19, 2013, 04:47 PM
jmorris,

What combination of components are you using?

Ifishsum
January 19, 2013, 04:48 PM
9mm is probably the least cost-saving as far as reloading - unless you include the imported cartridges like 9x18mak, 7.62x39, 7.62x54R, 5.45x39. With some cartridges like .45 Colt, big bore magnums and rifle cartridges you can save quite a bit - especially if you do a lot of shooting. But like Greybeard said, more of us who reload/handload probably do it primarily as a complimentary gun-related hobby and also to fine-tune more accurate or custom ammunition. To be honest, most of any initial cost savings is probably offset by shooting more, and buying more equipment. But over time I think it does pay off, as long as you enjoy it.

joeschmoe
January 19, 2013, 04:49 PM
"You won't save money, but you'll shoot more" - Unknown

As ammo prices keep rising, the day may soon come when it will be cheaper to reload. Especially if you bought componets before the price spike.

Legion489
January 19, 2013, 04:58 PM
Well as the man said, "It all depends...". Can you save money? Maybe, and I mean a good solid maybe too! First you need to buy the equipment. That takes money. If you buy a low quality pot metal crap press, it will cost you twice, once for the junk press, a second time for a decent press. Then you need dies, lube, primers, powder, bullets, shell holders, etc., etc. All that to save a few bucks?! Wait a minute....!

On the other hand, if you like to shoot and need a hobby (and who doesn't like to shoot and need something to do in their spare time?) then reloading is relaxing, enjoyable (provided you don't buy pot metal junk gear that can't do what you want and breaks down every pull of the handle and drives you crazy so you quit) and you will shoot more for the same amount of money. If you shoot much you will pay for the equipment and if you bought high quality gear it WILL hold it's value (I know I keep repeating this, but it NEEDS to be said! Buy junk and it is still junk, new or used! Used junk is worth less than new junk too! Still just as useless too!) and you can recoup a fair amount of what you paid later when you up grade, or you can give it to you grand kids to use.

If you reload, you are not subject to the price hikes and runs on ammo. The local Scheels had lots of primers, powder, gear, but NO ammo! They used to have one whole wall covered in ammo and it was GONE! Just smile, buy some primers, powder and bullets and go home knowing that YOU have all the ammo you want sitting right there.

Well just got told I need to get off the computer.


Bottom line? Yeah, reloading is worth it.

greybeard57
January 19, 2013, 05:03 PM
9mm is probably the least cost-saving as far as reloading - unless you include the imported cartridges like 9x18mak, 7.62x39, 7.62x54R, 5.45x39. With some cartridges like .45 Colt, big bore magnums and rifle cartridges you can save quite a bit - especially if you do a lot of shooting. But like Greybeard said, more of us who reload/handload probably do it primarily as a complimentary gun-related hobby and also to fine-tune more accurate or custom ammunition. To be honest, most of any initial cost savings is probably offset by shooting more, and buying more equipment. But over time I think it does pay off, as long as you enjoy it.
I plan on loading the makarov and x39 calibers also down the road. I bought a set of the Mak dies but haven't found any brass or bullits that are available yet. Everything is so back ordered right now. I've read rumors that 9mm cases can be cut down but I'm not ready for that yet. Besides, Mak bullets are 0.363 and have to be plated or jacketed for the polygonal rifling.

Kachok
January 19, 2013, 05:05 PM
YES, but economics is only 10% of the reason I handload. I can custom tune a load to specific requirements, and shortages of factory ammo don't bother me a bit. Handloading allows you to utilize some fantastic bullets that are simply not offered in factory loadings.

horsemen61
January 19, 2013, 05:11 PM
I reload because I find it fun in fact I am going to the bench right now to work on some 9 mm. :D

redneck2
January 19, 2013, 05:12 PM
As noted, 9mm is probably the poorest example in terms of return on hand loads versus store bought. It is the cheapest per round to buy, other than .22's.

.223 used to be (a few months ago) maybe 40 cents or so each. Not sure, as I don't buy factory stuff. What I do know is that there is very little right now, and anything around here is about $1.25 per. I'm loading match grade precision stuff for 30 cents.

I have a friend that has a .300 H&H. Factory rounds are $4 each or better. I can load it for maybe 45-50 cents.

I've started to get into casting. It's a lot easier than I would have thought, and loads are running about 4 1/2 cents each for 40 S&W.

If you're gonna load pistol, I'd strongly suggest a good progressive, either Hornady or Dillon. I have had my Dillon 550B for about 15 years. Paid for itself many times over. It's a LOT more fun to shoot when you can pop off fifty rounds and know you've only got maybe $3-4 in it instead of $25.

As for accuracy, I loaded some .22-250 for a friend. Best he could ever do was about 1 1/4" with factory that cost $1.50 per round. I gave him some loads with 50 grain Nosler BT's over 38.0 of H-380. First two five shot groups were one hole. They cost around about 35 cents.

Buckeyeguy525
January 19, 2013, 05:19 PM
Once you begin reloading you will find that it becomes just as much of a hobby as shooting, so cost becomes less of a determining factor. Yes you save money per round, but that becomes secondary to the enjoyment of the hobby.

.22-5-40
January 19, 2013, 05:43 PM
Hello, vamo. "are other calibers more cost effective?" Try finding a a low-recoil accurate cast-bullet loading that shoots to the sights on a vintage Farquharson
.450/.400 British single-shot, or double rifle..or ammunition for a .255 Jeffery rook rifle, at your local wallyworld. By learning to handload you can just about re-create any cartridge loading out there.

rfwobbly
January 19, 2013, 06:08 PM
Mr Vamo -
Welcome to THR and reloading

Reloading has 3 major advantages....
• Improved accuracy
• 24/7 availability
• Lower cost

Plus it's relaxing and fun, it's a great "rainy day" substitute for shooting. It will require a small investment in time. The equipment quickly pays for itself, usually within 9 months.

You wanted to look at 9mm. Even in these tight times my reloads, which use the best jacketed bullets and very expensive VihtaVuori powder, cost me right at 12 cents each. Your 25 cent rounds are bare minimum quality 115gr, mine are the much better shooting 124gr.

► I have all the ammo I want to shoot
► I can get more at 3AM if I want/need
► The components I use are shared between several other calibers
► I spend on average 2 hours per week

So, at least in my case, that's how it breaks down. Hope this helps!

;)

hueyville
January 19, 2013, 06:39 PM
From this recent thread:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=695492
Local scrap yard sells me wheel weighs for .30 to .35 cents a pound according to market. Last real linotype metal they had paid .38 cents a pound. Have a friend that owns a tire shop for tractor trailers. To save him hauling to scrap yard himself he charges me .25 cents per pound if I pick them up. Overtime he fills a 5 gallon bucket he calls. Another smaller shop gives me their wheel weights. Add to that, 3 or 4 times a year I take a.shovel and a frame with hardware cloth in it (wire mesh) and recover 40 or so pounds of my own bullets. At work I shoot into a bullet trap so every couple weeks I open the hatch and get all my previous fired bullets out of it.

In 2010 I actually kept up with how much lead I purchased and prices, how much was given to me and how much I recovered from my bully trap, range and the local public range. I shoot a minimum of 2,000 rounds of centerfire ammo per month. My average cost for casting material that year was .17 cents a pound. My most shot ammo is 185 gr .45 wadcutters. Do the math on those at .17 per pound and you will see how quickly the savings add up.

I am going to use .45acp for my figures as this is my most fired caliber. Following up my quoted post, based on current scrap price of 0.35 per pound for bullets. There are 7,000 grains per pound. My load of choice for plinking are 185 grain SWC's. Thus I get 37.83 bullets per pound of scrap lead if I got a 100% recovery which I dont. Round it down to 35 bullets per pound for waste and that is 1 U.S. copper penny per bullet not counting labor and fuel to go to the scrap yard which would be about the same going to gun shop to buy ammo. Lets say about 6 grains of Unique per round. On the shelf, Unique is 22 to 25 a pound now. So use the high figure and you get 1,166 rounds per pound so 2 red cents per round for powder. Current price for large pistol primers with current market on the shelf as seen as recently as yesterday 35 dollars per thousand. We have at todays prices 3.5 cents in each primer. So using self cast bullets we are at 6.5 cents per round for .45 acp. last time I went to the indoor range they were charging 20.00 per box for range ammo in .45. My handloads cost me 3.25 per box. I put my ammo in 100 round MTM ammo boxes so every box of 100 rounds I load costs me 6.50 dollars. If I purchased range ammo instead that would be 40.00.

My final math showes a savings of 33.50 dollars for every 100 rounds of .45 acp. Now you do have initial setup cost of press(s), dies, bullet molds and accessories. So figure out how much you want to shoot, do the math on your startup cost and decide if the down the road savings is worth the investment in equipment and time. I don't figure in my time as I enjoy the process of loading my ammo as much fun as sending it downrange. I shoot around 2,000 rounds per month albiet various calibers. If it were all .45 which 70% of it is, it costs me 130.00 a month to shoot at todays prices. If I were shooting store bought the cost would be 800.00 dollars. So if I could afford to shoot that much store bought ammo my monthly savings is approximately 670.00 per month. Assuming todays money, in the 1970's components were cheaper but I made less money and in 2020 they will be higher if I live that long but hopefully will get increased income to match inflation, over a shooting career in my case (started reloading in volume around 1979) 34 years thus far, my savings is 273,360 dollars. Back when I was competing in IPSC I shot much more (5,000 rounds per month) and at times I shoot less. But if my career last till say age 66 to be conservative my lifetime savings by taking up reloading very early in life is over 400,000 dollars plus lots of fun in the process. If you are going to shoot 50 rounds per month, screw the work and buy off the shelf. If you want to burn some real powder and sling a lot o lead then why don't you already have a press running?

jmorris
January 19, 2013, 06:45 PM
jmorris,

What combination of components are you using?

20,000 Berrys 147's run around $1600
20,000 Winchester SPP $650
9# of VV N310 $244
My brass is free.

My 45 loads are a lot less but I cast the bullets from free lead. Been 7 years but my record was $18/1000.

Kachok
January 19, 2013, 06:52 PM
Mr Vamo -
Welcome to THR and reloading

Reloading has 3 major advantages....
• Improved accuracy
• 24/7 availability
• Lower cost


;)
Don't forget performance, some of us can exceed factory fodder by as much as 250fps without ever going overpressure :)

Texan Scott
January 19, 2013, 06:54 PM
Reloading is like raising chickens for 'free' eggs. For example: if it costs you about 10 per day per chicken to keep them, and four of them lay one egg each almost but not quite daily, for about $12 a month you get ~ 8 dozen eggs (about $1.50 a dozen). It's a bit cheaper than the store, but it's a lot of work for very little savings. (How do you value your time?) It'd take forever to pay off your initial setup costs if you thought of it that way, and to realize the full actual savings, each member of a family of four would have to actually eat two dozen eggs apiece every month. You won't ever get rich doing it, but you'll eat a lot of eggs! (Reloading: how much do you shoot? You won't save money, but you'll shoot more!)

Don't get me started on milking goats!

The trade off? Slightly cheaper for now... but having a good store of supplies and controlling your own supply chain would be invaluable for surviving short-term social upheavals where it's hard to get enough of what's needed at the store even at gougers' prices. (Ahaaah! Starting to ring bells?)

Now, if you can handle all that, plus hunt, garden, and load for all the calibers you shoot, you're more man than I am!

Magnum Shooter
January 19, 2013, 07:06 PM
I cast my own 124g TC bullets for 9mm, and that brings my cost way down to $80/1000. That is a savings of $170 over Wally World prices on just the first 1000, enough to pay for most ss presses.

ridgerunner1965
January 19, 2013, 08:12 PM
reloading can pay off but it can take awhile.depending on what your doing.

say you purchased a 45 colt and just the stuff to cast for it and reload it and used shotgun powder.you would money out in a few hundred rounds over factory ammo.if you purchased your equipment used and cheap.

now if yu git bit by the bug and want to reload for everything you own, as i do. say maybe 4 to 10 calibers,and want to have stuff on hand to load what you want when yu want. then it gets expensive.if your not carefull.

buy your stuff cheap and used and get what you need at good prices and spread the cost out over 20 yrs and it is cost effective.

i can go out in my shop rite now and load rounds with stuff i purchased 10 yrs ago very cheaply but it does indicate a investment made long ago.

its payin off now!

leadcounsel
January 19, 2013, 08:16 PM
Main questions to ask:

Value of your freetime? Do you like sitting sedentary and measuring and ordering online components? Do you have room to store supplies and make a reloading area? Do you mainly shoot a few calibers, or lots?

For me, my time is too valuable, and I already sit too sedentary for work, and I shoot way too many calibers to make reloading a good idea. Instead, I just buy ammo in bulk when it's a good deal.

Lost Sheep
January 19, 2013, 08:38 PM
"I keep going back and forth between wanting to reload and just thinking it would be a lot easier and almost as cheap to just go to walmart/basspro for my ammo."

I've been an avid reloader since '65. My normal answer to those who ask if it's 'worth it' is NO. Not many who reload to 'save money' will keep it up long enough to break even. The tools are costly and a place to work isn't cheep nor can you get components for free. If all I wanted was to substitute reloads for common factory ammo I'd just go factory.
I think you underestimate your abilities. You have been reloading for 47 years and from your post, I infer you have a room in your home dedicated to loading.

When I started, all my gear fitting in a small box I kept in my closet and I set up in the living room on an end table with a drop cloth for convenient cleanup. I paid for my entire setup in under 15 boxes of .357 Magnum (RCBS Rochchucker, 10-10 scale, Dies and Powder Measure).

If I could not have rolled my own ammunition when I started shooting, I would have had to have picked another hobby in 1975.

So, what is true for you may not be true for others. Besides, I believe you could trim down if you had to (though I am glad you don't have to).

Lost Sheep

Lost Sheep
January 19, 2013, 09:05 PM
First, I will apologize I am sure this topic gets posted all the time here, but I couldn't find an existing topic that answered the question satisfactorily. For the purposes of this discussion I am pretending my preferred calibers are just as available as they were 2 months ago. I keep going back and forth between wanting to reload and just thinking it would be a lot easier and almost as cheap to just go to walmart/basspro for my ammo.

I will use 9mm as my example. It can be acquired at walmart for $0.25 per round. I don't consider brass to be part of the cost as I can just recycle there. Bullets on the other hand seem to cost almost as much as the completed cartridges, so after buying powder, primers, and making the initial investment in a press and dies I don't see how I would break ever break even.

Am I using a bad example with 9mm, are other calibers more cost effective?


As far as other reasons to reload I am not seeing it either. Self reliance only really works for the most talented, I doubt I have the skills or equipment to even consider molding my own, bullets; and can anyone make powder and primers? When ammo scarcities happen so do reloading supplies from what I hear. I have been fully satisfied with the quality of commercial ammo, that I have used.

Please someone tell me where I am wrong this sounds like a fun hobby to have, I just don't want it to be an exercise in futility if I decide to pick it up.
This topic does get posted all the time, but the questions are often nuanced in new ways. And the answers always bear re-thinking.

It is easier to buy factory ammo. With 9mm it is almost as cheap, especially if you go to a local commercial loader (check with your local police to see where they get their training ammo).

Reloading ain't rocket science, but it does involve smoke and flame and things that go very fast, so caution and care are appropriate. But really, anyone who can change a tire with out losing their lug nuts and back a cake without turning stomachs can load ammunition as good as the best factory ammo.

Self reliance only really works for the most talented

It isn't so much about being independent of CCI, Remington and Winchester for years, but being independent of spot shortages that may last a few months

I am not worried when any of my calibers are in short supply at the gun store (loaded rounds or components) because I have a couple thousand rounds worth of components sitting ready in my laundry room. Yet I have a WHOLE LOT less money and space involved in storing those components.

The fact that the brass is re-usable cuts down a LOT on the space requirement.

Lost Sheep

mizer67
January 19, 2013, 09:57 PM
I seriously doubt that no one but a few competition shooters has over 20K+ of factory ammo available in their garage. I know more than a handful of reloaders that have several times that amount in components across several calibers.

Waiting out supply shortages and shooting something for $.17 / round that's now $1.00 / round with panic buying going on is satisfying.

However, the truth is you'll likely never save any money reloading. You'll just shoot two or three times as much as you would've otherwise. Does that sound like fun?

I know I never would've stayed shooting as long as I have if I didn't reload.

Charley345
January 19, 2013, 10:15 PM
My 9mm reloads are costing 14 cents each versus 26 cents from our local walmart. savings of 12 cents per round.
Last year I bought a Lee Classic Turret press kit for $200 ( it is $240 right now at fsreloading.com). Add a set of dies some books and you can easily get started for $300. So after reloading 2500 rounds you would have the equipment paid for. This assumes you already have some brass saved from factory rounds.

I usually reload 180 rounds in an hour on the lee turret press. That is about as long as I want to reload in one session. I have loaded as many as 200 rounds in an hour when I kept laser focused.

I have four separate turrets with different caliber dies in each one so I can change between calibers in a couple minutes.

FROGO207
January 20, 2013, 07:02 AM
Naaah you won't save any money so don't bother. That will save all that much more stuff for the rest of us to hoard.:what::D
Seriously it takes some effort and dedication to become a reloader but if you want more accurate/custom (read premium) ammo that is available anytime you want it and a lower cost per round than cheap factory fodder that is available at the same time then I would definitely become a reloader.

On the flip side however this is probably the absolute worst time to be starting into the adventure because of supply shortages along with price gouging that is rampant because of many factors. Still you will save substantially over buying factory ammo if starting that now instead. The real savings is in reusing the brass over and that is not only cost effective but good for the environment at the same time. Reloaders have been recyclers for years---long before it became popular for everybody and their neighbor to do just that.:D

Buying used equipment will also be a savings. If you have a mentor or possibly by reading up on what you need to make the correct choices you can assemble a great setup with the stuff you will never need to replace after first purchase. This sub forum is a great resource if you read all the reloading wisdom threads first. Again if you have or can find a mentor that is the best option to get it right the first time. Your choice to reload or not so good luck with your decision.:cool:

mcdonl
January 20, 2013, 07:08 AM
I do a lot of things that are not economically sound but I feel that I need to know how to do it,,, reloading, trapping, making my own trapping lure, brain tanning, casting boolits, canning, gardening, I think I even want chickens now :)

So money aside and better ammunition aside it is just something good to know how to do. Doesn't mean you need to do it a lot. As a matter of fact if you do shoot a lot (like competition and practice) you may still buy factory ammo because if you are the typical American you are already busy. Reloading as a hobby does not prevent you from buying ammo just eliminates the need.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Missionary
January 20, 2013, 07:17 AM
Good morning
There are many reasons to do so but I choose not to be left ammo less.
Then there is the 50-95 and 414 Supermag.
And my desire to have the absolute most accurate round for some other items.
Mike in ILL

Utryme
January 20, 2013, 03:16 PM
Reloading is somewhat like going to college. It's all about the experience. If its only "money", by the time you have $250 into presses and dies, $250 into accessories, $300 into a dps system and another $200 of misc items it's economy will only work in volume. Figure it out, you would have to save $.50/round for 2000 rounds to break even and we haven't even talked the time investment.

HOWEVER, if you want price stability, you buy bulk and control your own stores. If you want accuracy, you tune your rounds till you get sub MOA or find out your gun sucks! If you want cheap fun, you can now shoot for 40% of the cost of factory loads (in the long term savings plan).

Redneck turned me on to reloading, here's the problem, why you shouldn't do it: "that's good enough" doesn't exist anymore, not until their in one hole! What a challenge. It's like golf with a bang (all about how good you can make you)! Thanks Redneck!

GLOOB
January 20, 2013, 03:34 PM
To me, reloading is a way to buy bulk ammo at a discount, some assembly required. It's cheaper. And it's more flexible, too. (If you cast bullets and/or buy bullets as you use them, you can load a variety of calibers with the same powders/primers). In my mind, you need to be a little of a hoarder to get these benefits.

If in the mood to do more shooting and less reloading, I can always buy some completed ammunition. But eventually, I'll have some downtime where I will be more than happy to sit at the bench and crank out some rounds.

presspuller
January 20, 2013, 10:06 PM
I reload simply because it is fun. I actually have had to go shoot simply because I didn't have anything to reload. I couldn't tell you if I save one dime or not but I enjoy it.

ljnowell
January 20, 2013, 10:29 PM
Reloading is somewhat like going to college. It's all about the experience. If its only "money", by the time you have $250 into presses and dies, $250 into accessories, $300 into a dps system and another $200 of misc items it's economy will only work in volume. Figure it out, you would have to save $.50/round for 2000 rounds to break even and we haven't even talked the time investment.

HOWEVER, if you want price stability, you buy bulk and control your own stores. If you want accuracy, you tune your rounds till you get sub MOA or find out your gun sucks! If you want cheap fun, you can now shoot for 40% of the cost of factory loads (in the long term savings plan).

Redneck turned me on to reloading, here's the problem, why you shouldn't do it: "that's good enough" doesn't exist anymore, not until their in one hole! What a challenge. It's like golf with a bang (all about how good you can make you)! Thanks Redneck!


I reloaded for two years with nothing more than a set of dies, 20 dollar press, a homemade dipper, and a cheap lee scale. I still only use an 80 dollar press, the same lee scale, and a 25 dollar lee powder measure. I did add a Frankford Arsenal vibratory tumbler.

witchhunter
January 21, 2013, 08:06 PM
It is nice to see honesty about the cost of reloading here. I, like some of you started out to save money at it when I started shooting as a kid in the 60's. Looking around at my reloading room today, I see roughly a couple of thousand dollars worth of of reloading equipment. Most of it 30 years old and still in great shape. I also see several thousand dollars worth of components! . I have dies for 31 different calibers! The more you shoot the more you can save, or the more you can shoot. The more you shoot, the better you get at it. It irks me to buy factory. My son is almost 30 and he has never had to buy one box of factory ammo, ever. My grandson won't either if I can squirrel away a little bit more or if I quit shooting p dogs all summer! I just bought some .375 H&H dies on Ebay, looks like I am in the market for a rifle in that caliber, 375 brass was on sale last month, along with some 270 grain partitions......I could save a fortune loading some .375's. Call it like it is...uh, saving money, yeah that's it.

HighExpert
January 21, 2013, 08:41 PM
Plus,when the SHTF, you will be a very popular guy in your neighborhood. It is very hard to run down deer instead of using the ammo you no longer can get. Is now the best time to get in? I don't know...maybe if the whole situation never improves very much. On the other hand, if the supply does finally catch up...as I believe it will, there may be some people who find out they are not cut out for reloading and have used equipment to sell which can further reduce your investment. At which point you can apply the lessons learned in the past few weeks and never be caught short on components. My 550b cost me $249 and now it is $339 plus I have gotten about 500,000 rounds out of it. The press has a lifetime warranty and I truly hope to wear it out so they have to send me a new one. I have been stocking up a little at a time since the last shortage and I don't mean the one in 2009. I have no shortage of any component because I planned for this. My neighbors have already started hinting around and so far have not been too statisfied. Oh Well.

Ky Larry
January 22, 2013, 11:37 AM
For me, reloading is a part of my shooting hobby. If I didn't reload, I'd probably have another hobby like collecting classic motorcycles or Martin guitars. There's very little cheap fun in life. Reloading may or may not save me money but it's cheaper than most hobbies. Anybody priced fishing equipment, boats, or woodworking tools lately?:what:

Adam the Gnome
January 22, 2013, 11:47 AM
It is definitely worth it! Not only do you get premium ammo for the cost of wwb, it is "loads" of fun. I load only 9mm. It is fun and a way to enjoy shooting when raining, snowing, dark. And you will always have ammo and not have to go out.
I could not tell you when I will break even on my investment solely on 9mm because that's not my goal.
I did manage to get the stuff to start .223 before the madness. Surely that will make up for the loss!

blarby
January 22, 2013, 11:51 AM
Is it worth it economically?

Yep.

*looks at ammo shelves at stores*

Hmmmmmmmm

*looks at ammo shelves at home*

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

*looks at price tags on bare shelves at stores*

Erm..... Whimper.

*looks at receipts for reloading components*

Hehehehehehehe Suckers.

*looks at performance of factory ammo*

Meh.

**looks at handload target collection**

Dang !


I will state for the record though, that you are standing in the candy store asking if everyone really likes sugar.

Arkansas Paul
January 22, 2013, 01:12 PM
If you're only concern is spending less money, probably not.
It may not be the same way for everyone, but personally, I spend 5x the money on ammo as I did before handloading. But that's because I'd as soon load ammo as shoot it. It's very relaxing to me. And I like seeing shelves full of ammo and knowing that the next time there's a shortage, my range time won't be affected in the slightest.

Elkins45
January 22, 2013, 01:40 PM
I enjoy reloading, so I would probably do it ever if I didn't need to.

Does it save me money? In the grand scheme no, because if I didn't reload I probably wouldn't be a shooter. My cost would be $0. But since I want to be a shooter then yes, it saves me money and it is absolutely worth it.

I cast my own bullets, so even buying commercial lead ingots at $1/pound means I can make 200 grain bullets for <$0.03 each, or about $3 per hundred. Primers cost the same and a 5 grain powder charge is $1.50 per hundred. That's $7.50 per hundred rounds and on my Lee progressive press that's about 30 minutes of work.

There's a pretty good correlation between practice and proficiency in shooting, and I can send more practice rounds down range for the same $. There's also a strong correlation between round count and amount of fun, so my fun/$ ratio is higher as well. Win-win for reloading IMO. And I will always have ammo.

Arkansas Paul
January 22, 2013, 01:48 PM
There's also a strong correlation between round count and amount of fun, so my fun/$ ratio is higher as well.

That's awsome. I'm gonna be stealing that quote.

KeithET
January 22, 2013, 04:15 PM
I can usually reload my ammo much cheaper then I can buy. Some calibers like 9mm can be close but I can still save something. The easiest way to save is to buy stuff in bulk. Each person has to decide when its time to re-load. One thing I can say is in the last two buying frenzies (2009 and now) I have not been caught with sticker shock on ammo prices or wanted to go shooting but could not find any ammo at a fair price to shoot. I always have components because I buy in large quantities when things are cheaper and use it as needed. I listen to people at the range complaining about the cost of ammo and watch them walk away from from all the brass they just wasted on the ground. By collecting their brass and reloading they could shoot more often for cheaper and not have to complain so much. Unfortunately now may not be good time to start reloading if it goes like it did in 2009. I am seeing more and more requests for where to find primers. Once the primer supply dries up its pretty hard to start reloading.

KeithET

Sheepdog1968
January 22, 2013, 04:18 PM
One other question to ask yourself is how much free time do you have? There were points in my life where I had more free time than I could fill. These days I have precious little. Having little free time makes me more inclined to want to shoot than reload even if it is just a 22 LR or shotgun shells for clay.

Jenrick
January 22, 2013, 04:56 PM
The more expansive ammo is on the shelves (like right now), the less you need to put into reloading to make it worth it. A Lee Loader will run you about $40, and an pound of powder and 1500 primers will run about $100, and 1400 lead bullets will round about $60. So for $200 dollars you can produce about 1400 rounds. That's 14 cents a round. $200 dollars will buy you about 450 rounds of ammo right now at the local places I've checked. That's about 30 cents a round cheaper.

Will using a Lee Loader take longer then using a Dillon 650 or even a normal single stage press? Heck yes. However put a value on your time. A round every two minutes (30 rounds an hour) is achievable by anyone right at the start. The cost savings of 14 cents vs 44 cents around works out to 30 cents, meaning you save about $9 a hour in ammo produced. Is you time worth $9 an hour as a start? Even on a Lee Loader somewhere in the neighborhood of 45-60 rounds a minute can be produced, that moving into $12-$18 and hour of savings. That's not a bad days wage for part time work.

As ammo prices decrease you need to make more ammo or do it faster for the savings to work out. A couple of years ago, it really made sense to just buy it commercial, or run a progressive press. Right now, a Lee Loader will pay for it self in about 150 rounds.

As an aside, why do you shoot? Do you do it as a fun hobby, for competition, to better be able to defender yourself and loved ones, for meat, to better able to do your job, for all the above? Why you shoot, how much you shoot, and how you shoot will all effect if reloading is worth it for you. You might even find that since you produce your own ammo with a much lower investment then purchasing it commercially you being to shoot for different reasons then when you started. Also there is a convenience for loading small batches. If going to the store to buy 1 box of ammo takes 30-45 minutes, but you've already got your press setup you might produce 20-50 rounds in half the time. You might go shooting when you otherwise wouldn't just due to the convenience of it all.

-Jenrick

popper
January 22, 2013, 05:34 PM
Like wise to what the others say. I started for the economy, now for fun. 9mm is a tough one, economically, 45 and any rifle is a better saver. Wish 20 & 12 ga were low cost to reload.

GLOOB
January 22, 2013, 09:28 PM
Am I using a bad example with 9mm, are other calibers more cost effective?
Yes, and yes.
When ammo scarcities happen so do reloading supplies from what I hear.
Sure, but if you wanna stock up you can have more for the same money. If the food supply was unreliable, would you buy a big pallet of frozen dinners, or would you buy bulk grains, pasta, meat, and veggies?

Furncliff
January 22, 2013, 09:43 PM
My take..... if you want to play golf it's going to cost you waaaay more than reloading. I don't count the cost of die's presses and tools because when I die my heir's will sell it off and do just fine. So that leaves the expendables, bullets, powder and primers. Really it's a pretty cheap hobby unless you shoot 15,000 rounds/year.

I didn't start this madness to save money, I wanted more accurate ammo for pistols and pistol caliber rifles. I got that.

As far as being a sedentary hobby... I reload standing up.:neener:

Wildbillz
January 22, 2013, 09:59 PM
If you were to leave right now and go to the store. How long would it take you to get there. Buy a couple of boxs of 9mm or 223Rem and get back home.

I can walk out to the reloading bench and load 100 rounds of 9mm in about 30 minutes. A little longer for 223Rem due to having to lube the cases if I don't use the ones that are all ready sized.

I decided a long time ago not to be denied the use of my guns due to no ammo. I have keept a stock of primers powders and bullets for all calibers that I shoot. I even have dies for some that I don't shoot anymore just incase someone I know needs a helping hand one day. A set of reloading dies is one if not the first accsorys I get for a new gun (if I don't all ready load that caliber). I can even load 5.45x39 ammo if I need to, but it would take a little work.

WB

If you enjoyed reading about "Is it worth it economically?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!