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Cost per Bullet when reloading?

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

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  1. Reefinmike

    Reefinmike Member

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    I was being facetious... The argument of factoring time into cost of reloading is almost as old as the whole "whats better- 45 or 9mm" (in terms of a defensive pistol).

    Sorry I had you reply a nice big explanation! though I agree, you know the 45 means business when you feel those 230 grain hunks of lead leaving the barrel. that being said, I only carry a tiny 7 shot 380 but the 1911 stays on the night stand.
     
  2. Dlowe167

    Dlowe167 Member

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    Thats good u include the wife,lost sheep. Every guy would agree including the women help justify the cost to the woman,makin it easier to get the toys we want. Ya i never factor in time,just do stuff while im watchin tv. But i did think of the 9mm being harder cause its tapered,good point. The shotgun press is next SL900 dillon,just gettin my feet wet now with the handgun press.
     
  3. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Gas checked cast boolits:
    223 = 13.6 cents per cartridge
    Steel cased Wolf is around 22.5 cents per, if you buy it @4.50 per box.
    My 55gr Hornady SP reloads were costing about 23 cents per, and I shot probably 1200 of them last year. That's a savings of 120 a year.

    7mm-08 = 17.4 cents per cartridge
    Good luck finding anything remotely comparable in factory ammo or even jacketed reloads. I was looking at around 30 cents just for projectiles when I decided to start casting.

    The cost of the bullets is dramatically reduced, esp for 7mm projectiles. And there's approx 20-25% reduction in powder charge/cost.

    This is including shipping and hazmat, buying at least 5k primers and 8 lbs powder at a time (at PV prices), and using realistic figures for the price of lead for those who don't have connections or scavenge scrapyards in their spare time. 1.80/lb for linotype, shipped. 1.50/lb for cleaned wheel weight ingots, shipped. And notice that for me, buying lead is SIMPLER than stocking up on bullets. Bullets are the one thing I'm hesitant to stock up on too deep, whereas powder, primers, and lead alloy are pan-caliber commodities.

    Bonus is at the lower pressures, I rarely have to trim my brass. I just have to make sure to check that my shooting area is free of OPB. (Other People's Brass).
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  4. MRH

    MRH Member

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    Great hobby with at least 2 times more shooting for the money. I try to use my own cast bullets, and surplus powders, when possible, for additional savings.

    Can't go wrong with the Dillon 550B. In addition to the conversion kits for each handgun or rifle cartridge, I'd recommend an extra tool head and powder die for each, so you don't have to fool around switching dies all the time. And 3 extra primer tubes for both small and large primers. Plan your loading to group primer sizes together. For me it takes longer to switch out primers sizes on the press than anything else.
     
  5. evan price

    evan price Member

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    Ok queen of thunder. I'll play.
    38 special.
    Brass case...free. I buy bulk brass and resell what I don't use and that covers all brass related
    expenses.
    Bullet...free. I recover backstop lead from my shooting club range. I do it as one of the membership work shares. I smelt the lead and sell the recovered copper jackets for enough to cover all costs associated with the bullet. I cast a 158 grain lead semi wadcutter.
    Powder...half-penny per shot. Alliant promo in 8# jug. $10 per pound. I can get 2000 per pound.
    Primer...two cents each wolf brand.
    So that means I can shoot 38 specials for two and one half cents per shot. That's less than 22lr nowadays. And that price holds for nearly any nonmagnum caliber. For magnums the only difference is more powder and an extra half cent or so.

    Euipment was bought used or new at a discount and has a residual value of 100 percent of what I paid for it.

    As to time spent...I enjoy my hobbies as they are a great way to remove stress. So from a quality of life standpoint my relaxation and stress relief is worth more than working and is priceless.
     
  6. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I reload during free time, so my time is free.

    It is really easy to figure in something worth zero.

    When I got into reloading 30 some years ago, I obsessed over what i was saving reloading. Every calculation I did said my cost per round was less than store bought ammunition.

    I have not wasted my time calculating the cost since. My time is more valuable cranking out reloaded ammunition.
     
  7. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Evan, "You da MAN". I admire your system. Self-sustaining, recycling and you obviously enjoy doing it and have tuned it to a fine point. Admirable.

    Lost Sheep
     
  8. thump_rrr

    thump_rrr Member

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    My going rate is $80.00 per hour.
    I enjoy my work but there are days when I will turn down extra work to just sit in front of my reloading bench and make ammunition.
    Could I just go to work and use the money to buy ammunition?
    Possibly but it will not be as precise as the ammunition that is custom tailored for my guns.
    Will working that extra day change my life? Probably not.

    Some people live to work while others work to live.
    I know a person who cannot possibly go through all the money he has made in his lifetime without a substantial effort.
    We sometimes go to the range together. I may fire off 500 or so pistol rounds and a few hundred .223's through my AR and have a great time while he will put a box or 2 of ammo downrange and start to calculate how much money he's wasting.

    Not everything in life can be calculated by the price it costs.
    Most of our fondest memories though priceless probably didn't cost a thing.
     
  9. Dlowe167

    Dlowe167 Member

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    Heart warming,Thump. But wasnt the question
     
  10. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    30-06 as with most of my high powered rifles runs me right at $.50 each for quality Serria/Speer stuff. The cost of the bullets is most of it I get most of my brass for free and I buy primers/powders in bulk. I don't bulk load for handgun so I don't know what home made 45 ACP or 9mm goes for nowadays, I only load them with premium bullets for SD.
     
  11. rmaisonp

    rmaisonp Member

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    if you're shooting large caliber rifles as I do: 338win, 375HH, 458lott then cost of reloading is so much smaller than store bought it doesn't even rate keeping track. for instance, store bought hornady 458 Lott runs about $5 per round! I shoot the cheap 405gr remington flat nose and it's a tiger so I don't shoot too many rounds.
     
  12. targetshooter22

    targetshooter22 Member

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    The saying I was taught when I started reloading was you don't save money, you shoot more. The theory is that you only have so much for ammo, and you can spend it on ammo, equipment, or components. That said, I find strong cost justification for any rifle cartridge, and any pistol cartridge OTHER than 9mm. For quality, there is absolutely no comparison. Pre-panic of 2008, my "standard" cost on 44 mag black powder was about $.12 each based on bulk purchase of powder ($8/LB at the time, doubled since), primers, used brass (functional infinite life), and cast bullets (free wheel weights and salvage lead - another thing that is possible but harder now). My 308 and 243 reloads are probably running around .40-.50 each, largely due to bullet and premium primer cost.

    The calculator link above seems well suited to this sort of estimation.

    For labor, unless you can prove you have a real opportunity cost, meaning time spent reloading would be time spent earning actual income, is free.

    FWIW, the "value" in dollars is particularly evident with pistol calibers that begin with a "4" and rifle calibers not available as military surplus from com-block countries.
     
  13. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    Unless you have a paying job you could be doing instead of reloading your time has no value.

    Do you count your time when you cook your meals in the cost of the meal?
     
  14. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

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    I shoot .38spcl for a little more than what .22lr was going for pre-panic, or about $45/1k.
    If I'm not being lazy and go dig lead out of the hillside to reload with I pay about $35/1k, due to not having to pay $0.50/lb for wheel weights.

    My first 1k of .38 spcl was about twice as much though, about $100/1k because of the initial brass investment
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  15. Lo8080

    Lo8080 Member

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    Lost Sheep, That quote you made...

    The fish I catch might cost more than the fish I buy;
    The veggies I grow might cost more than the those I buy;
    The ammunition I shoot might cost more than retail;
    Why do I fish, garden and handload?
    If you have to ask why, you probably won't understand; these activities enrich my life.

    >is awesome and I will use that on my wife the next time she wants to discuss this new hobby I want to get into. Thanks.
     
  16. thump_rrr

    thump_rrr Member

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    I was the first person to reply to your actual question in post # 2.
    Post #33 was my reply to the Queen Of Thunder.
     
  17. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Just don't suggest that she won't understand. Leave that part out.

    If you have to ask why....:eek:

    Lost Sheep, Having successfully avoided the institute of marriage for 64 years, I am now qualified to give marital advice to anyone, any time, any where.
     
  18. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I never count my time, I'm retired. But even when I owned my own business I never counted my free time such as when I traveled to and from work, ate whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner, nor the time I spent sleeping. Time spent with my family was never counted or those houres spent at my hobbies.

    Most of my reloading equipment was salesmans samples or gifts for other reasons so no cost their. Some was purchased on the used market so little cost their.Probably have less than $500 invested in over 60 years of reloading.

    Components? Almost all brass has been range pickups or trades for what was needed for my excess range pickups. Powder has been purchased on sales over the years, most for less than $10.00 a lb even with hazmet factored in. Primers I stocked up years ago at a dealer going out of business, he offered my primers for less than $50 bucks a sleeve (5000), I purchased all he had, and believe it he had a bunch. Same goes for .22 rimfire, sales years ago for $6 to $8.00 a brick, some even $5.00 a brick.

    Probable have more than I'll ever shoot up.

    Have not purchased any ammo or components during this or the last panic.

    Oh Ya, bullets, mostly cast my own.

    Life is good.
     
  19. frankmako

    frankmako Member

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    bottom line is reloading is cheaper than buying new. but the problem is getting started. that is where your costs will be. the cost of reloading equipment and small items needed. then you got to get primers, powder, bullets, and cases. most people will have the cases from range pickup and what they shot from factory ammo. so that leaves primers, powder, and bullets. all hard to get now and when you find any the price has gone way to high. but you to start somewhere.
     
  20. WSO

    WSO Member

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    Hello,
    For those concerned about time. I mfg ammo for a living. If you are not reloading you are really wasting your money. On some calibers I make very little profit on other calibers I could make you cry. I am making a profit using new brass so hands down you should be saving alot of money reloading your own. For those that keep asking about adding your personal time to the cost that's not the way to look at it, its a hobby. Until you are doing it for a career it is a hobby. Do it for fun and do it to save money. Plus another good reason to roll your own is the ability to load combinations that the big factories do not offer, ie. 25-06 VMax, 7mm-08 VMax, 30-06 VMax point being you have the ability to customize your rounds to fit your rifle and your needs. Don't' let the ammo companies decide what type of shooting you want to do with your firearm.
     
  21. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    Just curious, when you go shooting do you shoot with a gun in each hand so you can shoot in half the time?
     
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