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Price Per Box on your Reloads

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by WhistlinDixie, Jan 7, 2012.

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  1. WhistlinDixie

    WhistlinDixie Member

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    I had just about gotten my dad convinced that reloading was the way to go. We sat down and ran some quick, rough math. It was looking like it would cost us about 16 bucks per 100 box to reload. WWB is 21 for 100 at Wal-Mart. He didn't think 6 bucks a box was worth the hassle.

    I think that at any savings the long term savings will eventually pay off, as well as the versatility in loads you can make. Stockpiling components also makes you less vulnerable to market changes. I'm not sure I can convince him, though.

    What does a box of reloaded 9mm cost you? Perhaps I just don't know how to components shop well.
     
  2. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    My cost per box varies, but buying the cheapest I've found is:

    Primers - you an find for $20 per thousand depending on brand and quanity purchased.
    Bullets - $22 per 500 for 9mm Z Cast Bulletz (9mm 125gr cast lead)
    Powder - $101 per 8lbs of Alliant Unique which will do approximately 11,000 rounds.
    Brass - free - reuse and pick up at the range.

    At those prices you're looking at - per 100 rounds - $2 in primers, $0.90 in powder, and $4.40 in bullets.

    So $7.30 per 100.

    If you'd prefer not to shoot lead, then primers stay the same. $80 per 1000 Precision Delta 124gr bullets, and I switch to Bullseye on jacketed bullets so same price on 8lbs of powder but you'll get 13k rounds out of it instead of 11k.

    So per 100 of the FMJ loads its still $2 in primers, $0.78 in powder, and $8.00 in bullets - so $10.78 per 100.

    There are shipping costs to figure in, but if you buy in large volumes you can get around those to a large degree. Shipping on the bullets actually isn't that bad (the Precision Delta above ship free and with the Z-Cast I think you can order around 3000 for only $12 shipping). The primers and powder - just order primers at least 10,000 at a time and powder 16+lbs at a time.

    One thing to consider too is that while IMHO, the lead reloads are just kinda range fodder (they shoot ok, but when I shoot lead I'm doing it solely because its cheap), but the FMJ reloads that you do will typically be a LOT better and more consistent than WWB.
     
  3. 357Shooter

    357Shooter Member

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  4. WhistlinDixie

    WhistlinDixie Member

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    Thanks morden! That's exactly the types of numbers we were hoping to see.

    Thanks for the link, 357
     
  5. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    Because of its huge popularity world-wide and the availability of surplus, commercial reloads and steel cased ammo, 9mm is about the hardest caliber to generate any 'monster' savings for us recreational reloaders, but I still can reload for less than the cost of store bought.

    In truth you never save any money by reloading, you just end up shooting more rounds for the same money spent. Plus you then have an ammo factory that is open 24/7/365 right there in your own home.

    Reloading for me is a relaxing passtime, a newfound survival skill and an enjoyable hobby. Thanks to Lee Precision, Hornady, RCBS, Dillon etc there is a way for everyone to particpate at all need, budget and interest levels and to make safe, accurate and reliable ammunition.
     
  6. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    More food for thought

    If you can find a local commercial reloading business, you may be able to buy ammunition in bulk for even less than $21 per 100. Ask you local police department training officer where they get their training ammo.

    9mm is one of the most difficult cartridges to make savings on. If you shoot .357 magnum, 45 Colt or almost any rifle cartridge other than 223/5.56, the savings are more substantial.

    On the other hand, many people who began reloading for economy find that reloading itself is a satisfying pastime. Some find the relaxation of the repetitive operation to be enough of a reward. Kind of like knitting, but more manly. :D Others find that they can craft better ammunition than the mass producers.:cool: Some find a great deal of pride in rolling their own and being independent of the mass producers. :neener: You can also assemble ammunition tailored to your particular needs. I have a friend with a 500 Smith & Wesson who loads (along with full-power loads) some pipsqueak loads (350 grain bullet at 800 feet per second) that shoot like 22 rimfire out of that heavy gun but, do the math hit harder than 45 ACP. Really nice for letting someone not familiar with the gun shoot something that will not knock them on their butts.

    I have run calculations on my ammo costs and find that for most of my calibers, I can save money rolling my own, even if I factor in the cost of my loading equipment, the components AND pay myself a wage equal to my regular job. I doubt if I could come up with a positive number for 9mm if I include ALL those costs.

    On the other hand 500 Smith costs over $3.00 a round in my town while components cost $0.75. My friend (who shoots the 500) with that round can save $100 in an hour of reloading (box of 50).

    So, if you only contemplate reloading for 9mm and are interested only in cost savings, your Dad may be right. If you give him a 45 Colt or 44 Special for his birthday (too late for Christmas this year), you may get him to change his mind without even offering an argument. Expect a reloading press for YOUR birthday.

    Good luck.

    Lost Sheep

    p.s. Anywhere near Ft Walton? I was stationed at Hurlburt Field for a while.
     
  7. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    In actuality, you ALWAYS save money reloading. The cost per reloaded round is less than cost per round of store bought, factory new.

    What you do with the savings, well that is another matter.
     
  8. WhistlinDixie

    WhistlinDixie Member

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    Thanks guys. I would eventually also be loading 45 acp, 38/357, perhaps 380.
    I can definitely see the long term benefits for reloading even mainstream calibers. Reloading really shines for the odd/heavy calibers it seems. I'll have to be on the lookout for an old Triple Lock to get Dad.
     
  9. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Member

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    Savings come from looking for deals and buying in bulk. I don't reload for 9mm but I do reload for 45acp and my reloads cost me the equivalent of $8.50/box of 50. I'm starting to learn to cast my own bullets and if I am successful I figure that I'll be down to $3.50/box.

    mgmorgan mentioned Precision Delta. They are currently my preferred source for FMJ pistol projectiles. Not only are their prices reasonable but they do not charge extra for shipping. The downside is that you need to by 2000 at a time.

    Powder Valley has the best prices on the internet for powder and primers. The downside is shipping and the HAZMAT fee. Either buy in very large quantities or go in with a couple of buddies on a small group buy so that the shipping/hazmat charges are split between you.

    We're fortunate here in central Arizona to have a couple local sources for powder and primers that are within a dollar or two of Powder Valley's prices.

    I also frequently check Backpage and Craigslist for deals.
     
  10. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

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    My cost/box goes as follows:

    223 Rem = $4.20/20
    .308 Win = $9/20 (Nosler custom comp HPBT bullets)
    40 S&W = $6/50 using components bought several years ago
    9mm = $5.50/50
     
  11. k4swb

    k4swb Member

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    Even if my reloaded ammo cost the same as store bought, I'd still prefer to reload my own. The ability to load exactly what I want is worth more than just money.
     
  12. thorn-

    thorn- Member

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    First off, I reload 9mm for about half of what WWB sells for. I don't buy in bulk, or shoot lead that often... so, I could get lower than 50%, but it's good enough for me.

    Secondly - let's all remember back a couple years ago when Obama became President and ammo and gun prices went through the roof. Walmart shelves were basically bare; people bought boxes of things they didn't even shoot, "just in case". People paid $300 for boxes of stripped AR lowers (that still makes me laugh.)

    I recall lots of people agonizing over the prices of practice ammo, if they could even find any for sale. People sold that crappy WWB 9mm ammo on gun forum classified for what they used to pay for GoldDot premium ammo... and people PAID it, as they had no ammo themselves.

    The whole time I was sort of smiling to myself, as I had 5K of primers, lots of bullets, and pounds of powder. The Obama Gun Rush didn't affect my shooting habits one bit.

    There are more benefits than just saving a couple bucks.

    thorn
     
  13. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    My reload cost for 9mm is about 1/2 what WM price. But I have been able to shoot while everyone else was scrounging for ammo (and primers) during the shortage. I try to keep enough supplies to run for 2 yrs just encase things goes nuts, again. I buy when I catch stuff on sell or dip in energy prices which brings down the cost of raw material. As most have pointed out that certain calibers are way more beneficial to reload than others. But all save money if your looking at practice ammo only. Look at more tailored ammo and the savings is greater. With reloading you have several options, load the cheapest with lead (25% of WM), to plated (50%), to premium bullets (~10% savings). With premium bullets you may not have any savings but you will more than likely have a more accurate round.

    Besides tailoring ammo to shoot your needs. If you have a new comer that is recoil sensitive you can down load the round to make it more pleasant for them. Then bump it up as they get more comfortable.

    Now since your talking about pistol ammo, look at Progressive presses. Your round count will definitely go up because you shoot your savings.:D

    When I bought my press (LNL-AP) the break even point was 5k rounds, approx 1 yr. This is based on buying new updated tools and many extras. When I hit that I bought the Brass feeder, another 2.5k to break even. This did not include the 1000 free XTP Bullets that I got, Hornady's Promotion (now 500). I have had my AP for 4 yrs now so you can figure the savings.
     
  14. thorn-

    thorn- Member

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    Blue makes a great point: you can absolutely load better, *more accurate* ammo than WWB. It's not difficult, nor does it take too much time.

    thorn
     
  15. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    If I'm loading good quality hunting rounds for my high powered needs, I save a bunch. If it's 9mm or .40 the savings is only minimal, but the reliability and quality is still well above what's on the shelf. For my magnum wheel guns, the quality and savings are well worth the time. I started reloading because I wanted to shoot better quality, extend my options, and not have to rely on what's available, economics have always been the icing on the cake. Since I don't load for the purpose of economics, I will never consider loading anything but jacketed.

    I'll never go back to factory and have maintained that opinion since I began reloading 30+ years ago.
     
  16. oldreloader

    oldreloader Member

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    my 9MM costs me about $5/50 and 45 ACP about $7/50 with lead bullets.
     
  17. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Member

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    I think there can be good saving in 9mm also, right now using 357shooters link it cost me $2.00/Per 50 which is a lot better than the local walmart. But I could get it cheaper than that as I don't buy in bulk but casting your own bullets will save you some money.

    Running unique powder in a 8lb tub and running the cheapest primers I bet you could reload 9mm for around 1.00-1.50/Per 50 so a lot depends on what your plans are and what reloads your gun likes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  18. WhistlinDixie

    WhistlinDixie Member

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    In looking around at some of yalls suggestions, I think I could reasonably expect to roll a box of 100 9mm for 10.50 or so.

    I think thats a significant savings right off the bat, and add in the ability to load for more expenisve calibers eventually and it looks pretty good again.
     
  19. Gonzofam

    Gonzofam Member

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    The little savings is outweighed by the accuracy you will get along with the satisfaction of making it yourself. When you make your own there isI no comparison. If youI compare my 223 to pmc, or eagle or bear etc there is no comparison. More like Hornady superformance. Nosler custom order. The stuff that costs 25-30dollars per 20 rounds. I don't even want to bother to make cheap **** or plinking stuff. Ill buy cheap amo just to shoot. When you compare what your best is to what the real real good stuff costs that is when you see savings. Maybe just me. K4swb has got it too. That is what you should tell pops.
     
  20. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I load .223 same accuracy as Tula for $1.80 a box with my latest primer purchase it goes down to $1.70. My good stuff is $3.40 which will go up when I have to buy bullets again since they went up about $5 per 100.

    $2.53 for 30-06 FMJ, about $1.25 with plastic projectiles, & $4.40 for hunting rounds per box of 20.

    .243 is $4.40 per 20(no cheep bullets for this one.

    9mm, 45 ACP, 380, 38 spc, & 357 magnum is about $3.70 per box of 50 for lead bullets. About $8 for same as SD rounds per 50. You will pay that for 10 of the factory stuff.

    i have searched hard for good prices & bought in large amounts when I find deals. I have more powder & bullets then I will ever use(except for .243, 9mm, & 380) but 3 of my kids love to load & my plan isn't to have a life supply for me but that they will never run out.
     
  21. Willfully Armed

    Willfully Armed Member

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    Anyone who says you don't really save money reloading ... isn't a reloader.

    I shoot at least 10k of 9mm a year, and its for less than half the price of commercial.

    Cci primers
    Precision delta bullets
    Titegroup
    Mixed brass
     
  22. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I shoot quiet a bit of .45 Colt, which is pretty expensive to buy off the shelf. The loads I load cost me about $18 per 100 which is dirt cheap for .45 Colt. When I start casting my own, it'll be less than $10/100.

    I also save a lot on rifle rounds. A box of Federal Premium 150 grain NBTs for .30-06 cost about $35/20. I can handload 20 rounds for about $11.
     
  23. dickttx

    dickttx Member

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    This is what it cost me. All supplies bought within the past year.

    Per 1000
    9mm
    PD 124 gn 1 0.079000
    HP38 4.5 0.010421059
    CCI 500 1 0.029927143
    Each 0.119348202
    Box of 50 5.97 119.35


    9mm PD 115 gn 1 0.076000
    HP38 4.8 0.011115796
    CCI500 1 0.029927143
    Each 0.117042939
    Box of 50 5.85 117.04


    45 ACP
    MBC 200 gn 1 0.081550
    HP38 5 0.011578954
    CCI 300 1 0.029927143
    Each 0.123056
    Box of 50 6.15 123.06


    45 Colt
    MBC 250 gn 1 0.11175
    HP38 7 0.016210536
    CCI 300 1 0.029927143
    Each 0.157887679
    Box of 50 7.89 157.89
     
  24. DoubleSawbuck

    DoubleSawbuck Member

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    I'm at $5/box for 9mm and $6/box of 45acp , I use lead to keep the cost down and I could get it even cheaper if I ordered more powder and primers at a time.

    Go get a .45 and you'll start reloading in a hurry.
     
  25. WhistlinDixie

    WhistlinDixie Member

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    Oh, I've got a 45 that I don't shoot near as much as I'd like. I will certainly be reloading 45 once I get this project off the ground.
     
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