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Cost per Bullet when reloading?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Dlowe167, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Dlowe167

    Dlowe167 Well-Known Member

    I wanna start reloading,so im curious of savings. Id normally shoot 1000-2000 rds a month. I shoot .44spl,.45acp,.45Lc,.40,.410,.223/5.56 Whats your guys average per bang/shot?
  2. thump_rrr

    thump_rrr Well-Known Member

    You need to figure out what you want to shoot first and find the cost of all of your components.
    It is difficult to compare especially right now with the market the way it is.
    I may have small pistol primers which I paid $26.00/1,000 while others have paid crazy prices such as $70.00/1,000.
    Others may call my $26.00 crazy because they bought 100,000 at $10.00/1,000 10 years ago.
    Others may buy some obscure brand from eastern block countries that I may not have access to.

    I'll give you 2 examples in the calibers we both shoot.
    I never calculate the price of brass since mine is all range pickup with the exception of my precision rifle brass which I buy Lapua.

    My prices are in Canada before the panic so your pricing may be different.
    You can also save money in some instances by shooting either plated or lead bullets.

    .45 ACP Winchester Large Pistol Primers $30.00/1,000
    Titegroup Powder $20.00/LB 4.5gr load. (7,000gr/LB)
    Zero brand 230gr bullets $117.00/1,000
    $0.16/round or $7.99/box of 50

    CCI small rifle primers $32.00/1,000
    IMR XBR (8208) Powder $209.00/8LB Jug. 25gr load
    Hornady 55gr FMJ $569.00/6,000
    $0.22/round $4.40/box of 20

    You can then enter them in this calculator.

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  3. RugerBob

    RugerBob Well-Known Member

    key thing is saving your brass.
    1000 win large pistol- 34.00= 3,4 cents a primer.
    7000 grains in a pound of powder. I use (for me) 7grains of Unique per round.
    so I get 1000 rounds out of a pound.
    I cast my own bullets. so its just electricity fee, that I don't add in.
    Reuse the 900 rounds of brass I have on hand and get more when I find it cheap.
  4. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    45ACP (I used this reloading calculator):

    200 gr SWC (MBC, ZCast): Shipped cost of $73 - $86/1000 (order 2000 to save on shipping - Can also order MBC bullets from Powder Valley for ~$83/1000).
    Tula LP primer: my last gun show price was less than $18
    4.0 gr Promo: my last gun show price was $95
    Cost: Less than $0.10/round, $5/50, $100/1000

    200 gr SWC: Shipped cost of $73 - $86/1000 (MBC, ZCast)
    Winchester LP primer - my last gun show price was $20
    5.0 gr W231/HP-38 - my last gun show price was $129
    Cost: Slightly more than $0.10/round, $5/50, $105/1000

    If I were to obtain components now, it would be higher/harder but:

    200 gr SWC: Shipped cost of $73 - $86/1000 (MBC, ZCast)
    Primers: ~$40/1000 (wherever/however you can get it)
    4.0 gr Promo/Red Dot: $90 or $106/8 lbs + HazMat (Powder Valley has both in stock)
    Cost: Slightly more than $0.12/round, $6/50, $120/1000

    Powder Valley also has Green Dot in stock ($106/8 lbs) and I have suggested it as a substitute powder for W231/HP-38 before.
    From 2004 Alliant load data

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  5. Dlowe167

    Dlowe167 Well-Known Member

    Thanks all. About what i expected. About half or lesss of what im payin at wal-mart. There its .30-.40 cents a bullet. That justifies loading my own too me. I estimate buying press & supplies about $1k. Going Dillon 550B
  6. As usual in these calculations the value of one's time and the cost of the equipment,setup,cleanup and its upkeep is left out. I seriously doubt that you can match factory produced ammo in cost.

    What reloading does do very well is to allow the reloader to customize a load to a gun they shoot. This is by far the real value in reloading.
  7. RustyFN

    RustyFN Well-Known Member

    I figure my time in. It goes something like this.

    Primers = $15 per 1,000
    Powder = $12 per pound
    Brass = free
    Bullets = free, I cast my own with free lead I get

    Total for 45 auto = $25 per 1,000 rounds.

    Factory 45 auto around $450 per 1,000.

    I can cast, size/lube and load 1,000 rounds in around 7 hours.
    So it looks like I got paid around $60 per hour to reload that 1,000 rounds.
  8. Show me where I can find primers and powder at those prices. Dont forget sales tax and and HazMat fees. If you drove to the LGS to pick up supplies you need to add in your time,cost of gas and maintance costs for your vehicle. As far as lead prices its no longer free. Places you used to get it from such as tire shops are charging you for it if they are still allowed to do so since some areas require a state license to transfer lead. You also didn't include electricity,space to cast or the cost of equipment. Brass cant be considered free as it has to be processed before reusing it and that costs time and money.
  9. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Well-Known Member

    9mm mak lrn $5
    38 spl lrn $7
    9mm fmj $8
    45 acp fmj $9
    5.56 fmj $5 (20)
    price per fifety, rounded up the the nearest dollar, using mostly precision delta, or bulletworks.net bullets and locally sourced powder, and primers.

    oh and dont load enough 45 colt to remember, but i think it was around 6 or 7 $ per box. Save about 75 percent with local prices.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  10. Reefinmike

    Reefinmike Well-Known Member

    I cast my own bullets, so bullets are free. with all the prep work involved, I can pump out about a thousand bullets in two hours.

    powder and primers I order in bulk twice a year from powdervalley. last go was 5k tula srp and 5k tula lpp for $20.50/k and 5 pounds of hp38 for $16/lb. shipping and hazmat worked out to $50. split that up between primers and powder and you can adjust the primer price to $23/k and powder to $21 a pound.

    380 auto- 3.0gr powder for .9 cent and a primer for 2.3 cents. 3.2 cents a shot and $1.60/box
    38 special- 3.4gr powder for 1 cent and a primer for 2.3 cents. 3.3 cents a shot and $1.65/box
    45 acp- 4.9gr powder for 1.5 cents and a primer for 2.3 cents. 3.8 cents a shot and $1.90/box
    357 magnum-(i use plated bullets for these) bullet- 10 cents, 7.0gr powder 2.1 cents primer 2.3 cents. 14.4 cents a shot and $7.20 per box
    223- dont shoot my AR much at all nor have I loaded for it in a while... but 10cents/bullet, ~7.5cents per powder charge(ive used various powders, h335, win748, varget) and 2.3cents per primer. works out to 19.8 cents per shot and $3.96/box

    If the panic is over by the time I blow through the ~700 rounds of 223(probably a year), im just going to start buying cheap wolf from aim down the road for $4.50 a box. 223 plinking ammo isnt worth the time or trouble for me if I can pay the russians $.50 per box to make it for me.
  11. v8stang289

    v8stang289 Well-Known Member

    I don't factor in the cost of brass in my reloads because I saved brass for years before I started reloading and I am still using that brass.

    That said, my current cost to reload 45acp is 17 cents a round and 38 special is 15 cents a round. I use Rainer plated bullets, CCI primers, and Unique powder in both.

    My current cost to reload .223 is 35 cents a round using Varget, Sierra Match Kings, and CCI primers.

    Having to purchase brass increases reloading costs, but with low pressure cases like 45 acp and 38 special the cases last long enough that the cost increase per round is not substantial.
  12. steelerdude99

    steelerdude99 Well-Known Member

    What about the price for the lead to make the bullets? And can you answer this ... Why are my car's tires missing their weights? (just kidding :)).

  13. Litefoot

    Litefoot Well-Known Member

    You know, it's not always about the money saving. Pre-hysteria, I loaded .223/5.56 for maybe a little bit less than what I'd pay for bulk ammo. But the difference is that I now have rounds customized to my rifle that are heavier (77 gr vs 55 gr) and much more accurate and consistent than anything I could find in bulk. In addition, many of the doubts about the lethality of a .223 are squashed with use of a 40% larger bullet.

    I should note that "heavier is more accurate" is not necessarily the norm, but it was in my happy situation.
  14. noylj

    noylj Well-Known Member

    Pardon the sarcasm...
    "Cost per bullet"
    Buy 100 bullets and divide the total price by 100.
    Cost per round, that includes primer, powder, bullet, amortized cost of equipment, and any cases you need to buy (divided by the number of times you can reload the cases before you lose them or they crack).
    Of course, at this time, after the re-immaculation of BHO, one is lucky to find any components available.
    In other words, you are either a year too late or a year too early.
  15. RustyFN

    RustyFN Well-Known Member

    I included shipping and hazmat in my price. I buy in bulk, 50,000 primers at a time under one hazmat and powder 48 pounds of powder at a time. This is my price today if they were in stock.

    That's around $19 per 1,000 including shipping and hazmat.

    This comes out to around $16 per pound with shipping and hazmat.

    I don't it all gets delivered to my door. But you do need to figure that in for going to buy factory ammo.

    Sure it is. I can go down to two different tire stores in my area and get free WW's any time I want. I have 1,600 pounds on hand right now.

    Don't be so sure you know more about me than I do. Yes I did figure electricity. As far as equipment cost I can sell all of it for 75% to 80% of what I paid for it all so how much do you want me to figure?

    Yea three whole minutes to clean 500 pieces of 45 auto brass. I think that one is going to break the bank right there. Just because you can't or don't know how to buy components cheaper or load premium ammo at a cheap price don't start calling the people than can liars.
  16. bluetopper

    bluetopper Well-Known Member

    Factor in the cost of one's time reloading?......LOL

    Reloading for me is an enjoyable hobby, kind of like my own private laboratory. To me it is not a chore or something I have to figure in my time as monetary. I think the majority of reloaders feel the same way.
  17. Dlowe167

    Dlowe167 Well-Known Member

    Well got more time on my hands then any man should have. Lost leg in motorcycle wreck 2 years ago,in between jobs. Great detail all involved. The idea is to invest by buying in bulk,like most things are. Thanks for input,happy & safety shooting!
  18. RustyFN

    RustyFN Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear about your leg. The reality for most people is without getting involved in casting and buying in bulk you should be able to load for at least 50% of factory price. The best part is if you buy smart you will be shooting when the ammo shelves are empty in the stores. For me reloading is very relaxing, you end up with better ammo, you have ammo when you want it or need it and the money savings is just the icing on the cake.
  19. gab909

    gab909 Well-Known Member

    If I factor in my time, it is not worth going to the bathroom. My time for reloading is the same as it is for going to 5 different stores twice a week to look for loaded ammunition. If I order on line, it comes staight to my door. If I go to the nearest wholesaler, it is a 1.5 hour drive, therefore paying higher prices and spending gas and time. Time reloading is time not spent sitting on my a$$ in front of the Television. Since my wife doesn't have to help with the new 650 loading brass, like she loads the hulls on my Ponsness Warrens (shotgun), she helps resize .223's while I load pistol rounds. She feels part of and not just shooting the finished product. Whether it is at the range or out in the field chasing birds/deer/turkey or whatever may be in season.
  20. Magnum Shooter

    Magnum Shooter Well-Known Member

    You have got to be kidding.

    Last fall I reloaded 500 rds of 357mag with Winchester 125g JHP bullets. The total cost came to $170.64, that includes powder, brass, primers, bullets, and all shipping and haz-mat charges. I did not include the cost of the lights I had on because I would have used them anyway.
    The lowest price I can find for Winchester is $45/box of 50, total for 500 is $450. Thus my savings of $279.36 would most certainly cover the cost of my time and the paper towel I used to wipe down the press afterwards. The upkeep on a Dillon press (and others as well) is covered by the manufacturer, FREE.

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