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Weighing the cost of reloading

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by allaroundhunter, Nov 13, 2012.

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  1. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    For those calibers it's hard to save money with jacketed money. You start saving money if you shoot cast bullets that you make yourself with lead you paid for. You save a lot of money if you cast with free lead :)

    But picking up casting leads to buying a whole set of new tools. And collecting molds is as addictive as anything else.

    I wouldn't get into reloading to save money. It's cost me thousands of extra dollars. But the ammo I produce is more acurate than factory and I can tweak it for every firearm I own. I also enjoy it since it means I'm not a work or working on my home when I'm doing it.


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  2. Hit_Factor

    Hit_Factor Member

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    I use H335 or AA2230 for my 223 loads and titegroup for most pistol competition loads.

    This is hard to factor into costs, but in my experience hand loaded ammo usually gives me more accuracy. You can also have reduced recoil in you pistol rounds, resulting in faster splits.
     
  3. hentown

    hentown Member

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    How about posting a link to where you're buying 9mm @ $150 per 1000 and .223 for $240 per thousand. I don't see prices like that at any of the online vendors that I use.
     
  4. Magnum Shooter

    Magnum Shooter Member

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    I haven’t been able to find any premium factory loaded ammo that shoots as well as my reloads, let alone any military ammo. If I were you and wanted to tighten my groups the first thing I would do is start reloading and carefully work up a load for each of my guns.
     
  5. Etkini

    Etkini Member

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    As others have said, you might not save a whole lot just based of those two calibers alone.

    For me:
    AA2230 - $129.75/8lbs
    55gr FMJ pulled - $85/1000
    CCI primer - $26/1000

    I don't factor in case cost, because when it's time to get new cases (which isn't often since I do very light loads), I just buy factory ammo and save the cases. I have quite a bit of Federal AE223 saved from when I was able to get it for $6/20, now it's $11/20 around here.

    Anyway, that brings me to $.164/ea, or 164.29/1000 for .223. I don't reload for 9mm, but I do reload for .40S&W. My cost for those is $.149/ea or $148.57/1000 using plated bullets, and that's just using powder and primers I got at a retail store. I will save a lot more when I buy in bulk online.

    I reload for a couple reasons:
    -Sure, I save $2-3/box on .223 and $7.50/box on .40S&W, but I also shoot a lot more since I can afford to. Essentially, I'm spending the same amount on ammo alone, but that money goes a lot farther.
    -I also reload because I can tailor the round to my own specific firearm - the only rounds that shoot almost as well as my reloads are top-dollar stuff that runs $1-2/ea.
    -You will spend a lot of money on reloading equipment. You can tell yourself now you only want to get by with the least possible amount of equipment, but you will always find something else you want or need.
    -I enjoy reloading, almost as much, if not as much as shooting to be honest with you. It's calming and gives me a small sense of accomplishment\pride. Plus, it's really neat to be shooting ammo you technically made or tuned to your particular firearm.

    With that said, with the amount of ammo you shoot, you're going to tire of a single stage very, very quickly. I did, gave up on reloading .223 and .40S&W, then finally broke down and bought a progressive press I had been thinking about for over a year. Now that I have it, I wish I had just bought one before when I had the opportunity, or started out on one. If you are mechanically inclined, patient, have a careful eye, and know when you stop before you go too far, I don't see why starting on a progressive would be a bad thing. It is a big investment though, one you may not be willing to take right now, because reloading really isn't for everyone.

    I would suggest trying out a press (or ten) before you make the decision to buy one. A progressive may be really daunting for you, a single stage may be too boring (although you will probably always have a use for one, especially if you get once-fired range brass and a Redding G-RX die), and maybe you find a turret is your sweet spot. If the availability is there to try them out, I say go for it.

    It also depends on how valuable your time is to you, as was said before. If you're only got an hour of free time a night, you may only be able to get 50-100 done on a single stage, 100-200 on a turret, or 400+ on a progressive.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  6. hentown

    hentown Member

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    I'm using 844 @ $85 for 8#. Was using AA2200 before that ran out, @ $48 per 8#, shipped. I just bought 6k Hornady fmjbt new, not pulled, bullets @ $.08 each. I also recently bought 10k small rifle primers from Wideners @ $14 per thousand.

    Although I also don't try to compute the price of brass, I did recently get 1000 100% processed pieces of .223 brass for $75, shipped.

    I'd still like to see a link for commercial 9mm @ $.15 per round or commercial .223 @ $.24 per round.
     
  7. Etkini

    Etkini Member

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    Me too..actually the cheapest .223 I get is Tula, which is $5/20 which brings me to $.25/ea. But that's also steel cased, where he said it was brass he was shooting. I'd love to stock up on some of that for when my brass runs low.

    Cheapest brass I found (not anymore) was AE223 which was about $6/20, or $.30/ea.
     
  8. Steel Talon

    Steel Talon Member

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    Can you share a link to the seller. My wallet is all lit up right now LOL
    The best I have found for 9mm is at about $250.00 for 1K brass cartridges.
    ST~
     
  9. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    You can do better than that at Walmart. Assuming that's the cost for 115 grain rounds. It's $21 per 100 for Winchester white box. You can even do better, by around $10, than that price for 147gr FMJ at a few different online retailers.


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  10. Steel Talon

    Steel Talon Member

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    About $250.00 out the door per K with tax
    ST~
     
  11. ShadowsEye

    ShadowsEye Member

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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  12. Reefinmike

    Reefinmike Member

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    using my free lead cast boolits, tula primers and HP-38 powder(same as win 231 but cheaper), I have 38, 357, 9mm and 380 down to 2.7c/round or $1.36 a box. once i factor in hazmat fees for powder and primers, im looking at about $1.55 a box of pistol ammo. not bad considering it is between $12(9mm) and $24(357) a box at the store and I can pump out 6 boxes an hour on my cheap lee turret press.

    223 on the other hand takes a significantly larger amount of time due to case prep(lubing, sizing, trimming, tumble tumble tumble). once i get things smoothed out, I can probably do 9-10 20 round boxes an hour. once i get my components in, 223 will be 14.7c/round or 2.94/20 round box.

    with my figures of $174 for a thousand of each, you could almost have a lee turret kit, priming system, dies, a lead pot and a bullet mold all paid for with the savings...

    of course as others have said, you have to factor in what your time is worth.
     
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