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9mm....how many rounds before it pays to reload?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Redneck with a 40, Jun 18, 2011.

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  1. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

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    I only plan on shooting 1000-1200 rounds/year out of my SR9-C. Is it worth it to reload at this volume of shooting?

    I can get a case of Sellier&Bellot 115 grain ball shipped for $200, 1000 rounds.
     
  2. BIGGBAY90

    BIGGBAY90 Member

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    And you save yourself some time
    Berry's 115gr RN are $85/1000 (incl shipping)--CAN'T BEAT THAT DMA
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
  3. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I suppose it depends upon what you requirements are.

    If your only requirements are that the stuff go "bang" and be reasonably reliable, you can certainly get by with cheap FMJ stuff.

    If you want your practice ammunition to be tailored to YOUR gun, or be anything like your carry ammunition (unless you unwisely carry cheap ball ammo), you're going to either spend a LOT of money or reload. I carry nothing but 147gr JHPs in 9x19mm. I load 147gr. lead bullets for my practice loads.

    But if small amounts of FMJ are adequate to your needs, it is indeed probably not economical to reload.
     
  4. dawico

    dawico Member

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    Honestly, it isn't worth it for one fairly cheap, common handgun round. The exotic calibers and match grade ammo is where it pays for itself fairly quickly, unless you just want a new hobby.
     
  5. dmazur

    dmazur Member

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    Well, Berry's 115gr RN are $85/1000 (incl shipping)
    CCI small pistol primers are $35/1000 (not incl hazmat fees)
    and powder might be around $16/1000 (assuming 6.3gr of Unique = 1111 loads/lb, and no hazmat fees)

    So, you're looking at $136 for components to reload 1000 rds of 9mm.

    While this can be argued, basic reloading equipment is going to run around $250 (for discussion purposes). So, assuming you shoot 1000 rds/year, you're going to see break-even after 4 years.

    Most people just don't save money reloading. Instead, they find out they can shoot 2000 rds/year for what it used to cost to shoot 1000 rds/year. However, if you have a fixed shooting regimen and don't mind spending many hours playing with fussy equipment, it is theoretically possible to spend less if you reload than if you buy factory ammo.

    Most economic analyses of reloading assume labor is free. If you think your time has value, on the other hand, reloading to spend less makes even less sense. :)
     
  6. clutch

    clutch Member

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    The previous poster nailed it.

    When I was shooting in competition, notice I didn't say competitively :) , I often bought ammo because I didn't find time to reload before a match. Ammo was cheaper then but still, if you are a wage slave working overtime, buying may still beat reloading since your free time is limited.

    I'm about to tweak up my Lee Loadmaster and run off a 1000 rounds of everything in handgun that I shoot. That is the beauty of progressive presses. Settle on a load for each cartridge you shoot, run a bunch off during a weekend or a few evenings after work.

    Winters are good for reloading if you live in snow country. Gives you something to do in preparation for the road construction and repair season ;)

    Clutch
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
  7. Justin123

    Justin123 Member

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    The prices of quality FMJ bullets to reload with almost rival the cost of loaded ammo.
     
  8. Ramone

    Ramone Member

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    I do reload 9mm, but only subsonics for my Sub2000, and more as a novelty than a mainstay

    (if you have a 9mm carbine, see if it'll cycle with subsonic loads- out of a 16" barrel, it's actually a bit quieter than a .22lr)
     
  9. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    It also requires that you have the time to learn how to reload. Not all due. 1k-2k/year is not a lot. But your getting to the zone where it does come into play. Then if time is short you will want a Progressive to speed things up. Which will require more rounds to hit the break even point. But if you were reloading several years ago when things went through the roof (scarce) it pays for it's self a lot quicker. But you need to stock up on supplies while prices are down as they are now headed backup. But you need to buy your supplies in bulk to get the good price savings.
     
  10. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

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    I'll add some info here:

    I'm a seasoned reloader, been reloading 308 win, 223 rem, 40 S&W, and 357 mag since 2005.

    The only components I would need to start reloading 9mm are the bullets and brass. I'm well stocked on powder, primers, and I have a Lee 4 hole turret press.

    The only issue I see, is that I probably won't shoot more than 1200 rounds/year, don't have time to shoot but once or twice a month. I don't mind spending $200/year for ammo. Plus, I just need range ammo that will go bang, nothing exotic or super accurate.

    Sounds like factory ammo is for me? lol.

    Reloading 40S&W, I can save $15/100, with 9mm, it'll only be about $8/100.
     
  11. jcerillo70

    jcerillo70 Member

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    In my mind reloading is as much of a hobby itself. It's fun & relaxing to me. And when you see your creation work perfectly(finding a softer recoiling round with better accuracy than factory ammo) Thats whats its all about.

    I can reload 9mm for $5.47/50 & 45ACP for $6.12/50...Saves me alot of $$$ and my ammo shoots 100x's better and i KNOW it will go bang where i want it to
     
  12. wow6599

    wow6599 Member

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    Loading JHPs, like XTPs, is where you can really save some money. They run about $15 for 100 at Cabela's. Try buying 100 rds of loaded XTPs for under $75.00.
     
  13. jleyring

    jleyring Member

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    Most people have already hit it on the head. It will take a few years to break even and if you shooting that much it will be time consuming. For a small round that is easy and cheap to find i might be better to just buy. I love reloading because it is a hobbie for me and gives me something to do instead of waste time in front of a TV. It is relaxing. Buy a few thousand rounds first then keep the brass and reload those for fun and over time you will break even and start saving money. If you reload more calibers it gets more cost effective. More so with rifle bullets.
     
  14. Old krow

    Old krow Member

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    I agree that it would take longer to break even with 9mm, but this assumes that the prices stay the same. If someone had of bought reloading equipment in the Spring of 08' and enough bulk ammo to shoot 1k rounds per year at those prices, even though it would only be 3k rounds, it would have paid for itself already.

    If that's all I needed, I'd probably get it, buy some bulk components, find a recipe or two, then pack it back up and buy factory until the prices get high.
     
  15. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

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    After I shoot the factory ammo, then I'll reload the brass. At that point, I might as well.
     
  16. TheCracker

    TheCracker Member

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    I shoot a good bit of 9mm and it is cheaper to load it if you shop around and buy in bulk.

    I can load 1000 115g precision deltas with Russian primers for $114. That's using universal clays bought in a 8 lb keg. This price includes all shipping.

    I can do lead from Missouri bullet company for $103 per thousand.

    You have to buy in bulk and order primers by the 5k to save.

    If you carry your reloads like I do for self defense you can load hollow points way cheaper than you can buy them.

    Some will say don't carry reloads for SD. Im not going to debate it but watch below I'm sure there will be 100 posts saying it's a bad idea.

    Bottom line: you can save if you shoot a lot but you won't save as much as 44 mag, or rifle rounds. I reload 9mm because I like to reload and it saves.
     
  17. TheCracker

    TheCracker Member

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    Not true! I've shot thousands of precision delta 9mm FMJ and they are superb out of my 92f and Ruger sr9c.

    The last time I bought some 2 months ago they were $74 per thousand if you bought 2k. $78 per thousand if you bought 1k.
     
  18. jfrey

    jfrey Member

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    At 1000 rnds./yr it would be iffy to pay for reloading equipment. You would have 1000 pieces of brass to reload and that cuts down on the over all cost. Most of us find that when we start loading our own, we actually wind up shooting more. More practice means a generally better shot. Reloading can be a second hobby to a lot of people and quite enjoyable too when you shoot ammo you made yourself.

    Depending on which level of press you intend to buy will have a lot to do with the cost savings. I bought a Dillon press and loaded 10,000 rounds of .45 ACP and .45 LC the first year and it didn't take long to pay for itself. I have a twin press in 9mm and it took a little longer to pay out but I still did it in the first year of loading. The OP indicated 1000 rnds/yr which means 90 rnds/month. I normally shoot 100 to 200 rnds/week so it pays for me.

    Just depends.
     
  19. dawico

    dawico Member

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    If you already reload, then get the needed items to reload for the 9mm. That will pay for itself very quickly.
     
  20. Scimmia

    Scimmia Member

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    I figured up all of my costs recently shooting lead. I came up with $5.20/box for 9mm (saving $6.00 from the cheapest ammo I can buy locally), $6.00/box for 40S&W (saving $8.43), and $6.49/box for 45ACP (saving $11.69). As you can see, larger calibers seem to save more. If I wasn't reloading the other calibers, I probably wouldn't bother with 9mm.
     
  21. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Reloading costs more in the long run because you shoot more and start buying more guns in different calibers.

    And of course you start reloading for them.

    Reloading requires massive inventories of bullets, cases, primers, powders. All sunk cost.

    If you have compulsive behaviors, avoid shooting and run away from reloading equipment.
     
  22. bds
    • Contributing Member

    bds Member

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    When I started match shooting 16 years ago, I shot factory ammo (PMC, S&B, etc.). I started reloading because of cost factor and my reloads were much more accurate than factory ammo (about 40% reduction in group size) and that meant higher stage scores. Several of us shooters ordered the case quantities from Montana Gold in group buys.

    When I picked up my M&P45 last year, I shot several hundred rounds of PMC/Blazer Brass factory ammo to burnish the barrel (I know, it is probably not necessary anymore for coated factory barrel). When I shot 200 gr SWC (Missouri Bullet IDP #1) loads, my shot group decreased by half compared to smallest factory shot group I got.

    Another thing about reloads vs factory ammo is that I hardly get "flyers" with my reloads but get more frequent flyers with factory ammo.

    I buy in bulk and stock up when I see good prices/sales at gun shows/online. Even using 9mm FMJ bullets, I can load

    $95/1000 - 115 gr FMJ Montana Gold bullets from RMR Reloading (free shipping)
    $22/1000 - Winchester SP primer (Recent gun show price $20/1K + tax)
    $12/1000 - Winchester 231 (Recent gun show price $129/8lbs + tax)

    Total cost per 1000 = $129 or $6.45/50 for match grade ammo.


    Now for lead reloads:
    $70/1000 - 125 gr Missouri Bullet (SmallBall) from Powder Valley + shipping ($57.64 + shipping)
    $17.32/1000 - Tula SP primer from gun show earlier this year ($16 + tax)
    $7.30/1000 - Alliant Promo from gun show earlier this year + tax ($95/8lbs)

    Total cost per 1000 = $95 or $4.75/50 for lead reloads.

    Many reloaders I help setup can usually recoup their reloading cost within a year of shooting even 100-200 rounds of mixed calibers per month.
     
  23. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I reload 3 calibers. I actually load fewer calibers than I used to, not for any reason other than finances forced me to sell those firearms.
    I never compute time or any other costs into reloading, merely two things, availability of loaded ammo and availability of quality components. Why? It's a hobby. Nobody does a cost/benefit analysis for playing World of Warcraft or skiing. So why do that for reloading? I enjoy it, every bit of it, gives me something to do that's more productive than playing Drop Shock online. :)
    I will say this - my costs are lower than most because I also enjoy a related hobby, casting bullets.
     
  24. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    One thing to keep in mind, you can save money right off the bat by stocking up on components. Instead of having 1000 rds in stock, you could have 2-3k rounds worth of components on your shelf. With the increasing costs of lead and copper, you'll probably come out way ahead in a few years.

    That's kinda how I did it. I purchased enough components up front to where the equipment would eventually pay for itself. But unfortunately, I fell for the "shoot more" pitfall, so I broke even way before I intended to.
     
  25. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    I reload and shoot a lot of 9mm.

    Using 100% range brass, 124gr MG CMJ or 125gr Zero JHP bullets, very expensive Vihtavuori powder and Federal SPPs, It costs me less than half the price of Wall-Mart Win 115gr value pak ammo. I can shoot my ammo faster and more accurately than the Win/Rem/Federal Value Pak ammo.

    I average about 200+ 9mm rds per week and payed for my equipment with a savings of over $20/week and have ammo 'tuned' to my pistol

    As others said, my turret press and reloading equipment was paid for pretty fast, but I do shoot more than I did before I reloaded. I also enjoy shooting more than I did before I started reloading.

    I usually stay about 1k rds reloaded "ahead" of my shooting, so I can go shooting on the spur of the moment without worrying about finding/cost/quality of my ammunition. It's loaded to work "best" in "my pistol."

    IMHO, All of this increases the value of reloading.

    Another side benefit is that I like doing it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
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