Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Wimbo, Oct 9, 2020.
I can’t afford the ammo to shoot that much
I think a lot of people tend to look at things backward. The initial outlay for the gun is what seems to be the big expense, but if youre shooting them regularly, you quickly surpass that in ammo costs.
Just using what it costs me for a box of my reloads, I figured out that I could have bought 35 new 17's for what the ammo cost me in the ten years I was shooting it before the rail went. And actually, that count is still going up, as I am still shooting it. If I factored in factory ammo cost (pre covid) it would have been around 50 17's.
My .357 Dan Wesson has about 30k through it. It still works as good as it did when it was new. I have a Nylon 66 that was a Xmas present in 1973 that likely has significantly more but I really couldn't even guess.
I have a ruger single 6 I would guess 250k on the low end 500k on the high.
I've had it 24 years and typically shoot a brick a weekend through it. The first 10 years of its life were absolutely a brick a weekend like clockwork. I've had years where I slow down and years where I do 1k a week.
My S&W 28-2 bought new in 1974 has 26K+ rounds thru her. All handloads, 80% hand cast target .38s, the rest magnums. I just had the forcing cone recut, all else is tight and good.
My original Glock 17 I bought in the early 90's has about 10 to 13 thousand rounds through it. While this is not particularly remarkable for a Glock the vast majority of these rounds were Egyptian 9mm that was super cheap at the time. It is also corrosive and very hot. I loved this ammo when I was in college because it allowed me to shoot to my heart's content and still have enough money for dollar drink night.
To the best of my recollection, I budgeted $500 a month for ammunition back when I was competing with the previously pictured revolver. I think the total cost of the gun was around $900, and apparently I put about $20,000 worth of handloads through it!
I must have put 10,000 rounds through a pardner single shot 410. Not a single hiccup. Dont know actual count. Hunted, target practice with that thing for 15 years. Many squirrels, birds, cans, and what else we could use as a target.
WoW..those are amazing round counts from many of you. Who subsidizes your ammo?
Quit drinking and smoking and you'd be amazed at how much money you free up. Especially these days.
In most places people can get TV at no charge over the air instead of paying for it by the month.
A plain cell-phone with no data plan (talk & text only) will save money. A pre-paid phone for emergency use will save more.
Fixing your own food (including making/taking your lunch to work) and making your own coffee instead of buying it ready-made can really save money.
Drinking water instead of soft drinks, alcohol, etc. will save a surprising amount of money. Getting a water filter and using that instead of drinking bottled water can save more.
Car buying decisions (used, finance options, down payments) and choosing to drive them until they actually become uneconomical to repair or start to be unreliable can be real money savers.
Reloading/casting can be a money saver IF it's done properly--with the goal of saving money instead of as a hobby in itself.
Avoiding unsecured debt (saving to buy large items and not spending money you don't have) is a big money saver because you don't burn money paying interest.
Buying only the clothes/shoes one needs instead of filling the closet saves money.
Buying used is an option that can save money. Most people tend to buy everything new these days, but there is a lot of used merchandise out there and often quite economically priced. Tools, clothes, guns, appliances, etc.
Call up your utility company, internet, cell, home phone company and security company and ask them about deals. Sometimes, if you will sign a multi-year contract with them, and/or combine services they will give you a significant break on your monthly bill.
Spend less on guns and more on ammo. Think about what guns you have vs. what you use. If the difference between the number of guns you own and the number of guns that go to the range on any sort of a regular basis is pretty significant that could be an opportunity. Sell some guns, and then use the money to buy ammo/reloading components, or to get a good reloading setup, etc. so you can spend a lot more time at the range.
If you do your shooting at a range, look into memberships--they can save money for folks who shoot a lot. But pay attention, not all of them are good deals and some of them require a truly extraordinary amount of shooting before they pay off.
Save up an emergency fund and maintain it. Then you can quit paying for extended warranties and you can increase your insurance deductibles for home/car.
Think about your money in terms of what you want to do with it (shoot/buy ammo) instead of just in dollars and cents. It's not a quarter, it's a round or two of ammunition. It's not $20, it's a range fee. That will help you make spending decisions that align with your priorities. e.g. Do I want to give up a range fee for coffee over the course of a work-week or would I rather make my own coffee and then still have the range fee for a trip to the range?
Obviously everyone gets to make their own decisions how they want to spend their money--I'm not saying everyone should go to those lengths to shoot more. But if one's goal is to shoot a lot, and they make it a priority, they can probably free up a lot more money to do it than they initially think they can.
Highest count of my guns is easily my marlin 60 at roughly 30k and then behind that would be the rem700 .270 that has easily shot 7-8k if not 10k. 6k+ has been my reloads. In handguns I have no clue because most of my guns are bought used and have untold number of rounds. My Taurus PT99 has had several thousand through it before I got it based on slide rail wear, and I have put a couple thousand through it. I wish I knew the numbers on my others, especially family heirloom guns.
I thought kore on it and my little Phoenix HP22 has about 20k on it. It has been through the wringer and the slide rails are worn sharp. I have already knocked down the birds and edges a couple times and I run it with slide rails lubed, but realistically it’s worn out. 20k rounds on a $100 pistol that is small and accurate is a bargain in my book. If I ever decide to replace it I think I will be looking for something similar if not identical.
Invest in reloading equipment... Guarantee everyone here with super high round counts is rolling their own ammo.
I will say, reloading is a great way to end up shooting a lot more. You won't save money in the end, but you will have shot more! I am shooting a mk262 clone I made for less than 30 cents a round vs the 1.00 plus it would cost for factory loads. 38 special I'm making for about 9 cents.
Haven't smoked in years...err the drinking part ...I do enjoy the occasional cocktail. I have no debt...I do reload.... but c'mon 150,000 down the pipe at let's say .10 cents a pop if you reload...that's $15000 ...and that's just one gun. I'd love to be able to afford that.
I reload, so thats a big help. Up until the recent silliness, it was costing me around $10-12/100, and Im still not far off that, but I havent been buying at the current prices.
That 150K was over 10 years too. I normally shoot 3-500 rounds of 9mm a week, through the two guns I shoot the most. I shoot other things, 38, 357, 45, etc, as well, but not at that level.
Starting to run low on primers now though, but Im still shooting every week.
If you want to shoot, you figure out a way.
This revolver, used in competition , generated at least 2 five gallon buckets of spent primers.
I'd rather shoot Egyptian 9mm and drink a good whiskey than shoot blazer brass and drink Yukon Jack....
All kidding aside, I reload my ammo and make an occasional run or two of shine. That keeps me busy and my habits affordable.
Back when I played IPSC I put 25K+ a year thru my 1911's and I didn't shoot much compared to the well known guys.
I once knew a guy who owned one of the "1st to clean a Bianchi stage" titles who said he had, IIRC, 250K thru his 1911 at the time I knew him ~30 years ago.
Tommy Campbell used to shoot $100K (wholesale $) a year thru his Smith super guns. Sponsored of course.
The comment was made that by stopping smoking and drinking, one could finance their ammo needs.
The average smoker smokes 14 cigarettes a day, that's over $130 a month. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that the average drinker spends $10 a week on alcohol. That's $40 a month. Combined, that gets us to $170 a month--we'd make our target of 150,000 rounds in 5 years and just under 2 months.
Well, let's say our theoretical shooter has no vices to give up and has to finance ammo in other ways.
5 days a week buying lunch will run $5-$7 a meal--let's call it $6. Should be pretty easy to make a simple lunch at home and take it to work for maybe $2 a day. That's $4 in savings per workday--$86 a month. In ammo, that's 1200 rounds a month--over 14,600 rounds a year, or 150,000 rounds in under 11 years.
Cook at home instead of eating out on the weekends. Save maybe $5 a day on the weekends and you're up to about $43 a month. Add that to the $86 from making/taking a lunch on workdays and the total is $129 a month. 1840 rounds a month, 22,000 rounds a year, or 150,000 rounds in 6 years, 10 months.
Again, everyone gets to make their own spending decisions and I'm not saying that we all need to be shooting that much--I certainly am not hitting anywhere near those numbers. Just pointing out that most people who want to make shooting more a priority can probably sit down and pretty easily find a way to pay for the ammo without getting a second job or winning the lottery.
LOL. I have half a case of that cheap "Port Said" Egyptian 9mm sitting in the basement. I dont know why I havent got rid of it yet as Ive been carrying it around in a number of moves since the 80's. Guess Id feel guiltly letting anyone shoot it.
Bought it as surplus for my MAC back then. The one time I got home late and didnt clean the gun right away, and the next morning, it was a bright orange fuzzy/rust mess. I think that was the last time I shot any of it.
Had this conversation awhile back with a guy who wasn't a fan of aluminum frame 1911's. If I'm lucky, mine might last 50,000 rounds vs his steel frame "you can't wear out".
Ok, I'll stop at around 47,000 rounds and use the rest of that money to buy the next gun.
So far that Sig 1911 officer sized .45 has about 8k through it. Sig P238 has about 5k.
TC .22 Classic has had in the 15k range.
I simply don't bother to keep fired round counts thru handguns.
I assume you're referring to .22lr at that price point? Most of the time I could afford to shoot roughly 5-600 of 9mm or .223 rounds a month, sometimes more, sometimes less. I'm trying to conserve and wont be going through significant sums of ammo until I can resupply for earthly prices....
Hah! Good catch.
In the process of making that post, I deleted part of it. About the time I made that post I had read a thread on THR where a couple of folks indicated they could reload 9mm for 6-7 cents a round. I was using 7 cents a round as the number for the calculations and that was explained in the post initially before I accidentally took it out.
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