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Old 01-31-2013, 05:22 PM   #1
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Default Reloading cost

I am strongly considering reloading for the first time. I am curious, after the initial investment of buying all the necessities like the press and things like that, is it fairly easy to save money per bullet? Or does it all come out the same? Simply put, is it cheaper to reload or purchase factory ammo? I have a .40 s&w and looking to buy other calibers for a variety. I know this has been asked a ton of other times but I just want simple answers if possible. Thanks!

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Old 01-31-2013, 05:31 PM   #2
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In the past, it depended on the caliber to a high degree. Before the recent insanity, you could almost always find 9mm or .223 plinking ammo that was so inexpensive that reloading it didn't make much sense if you were just looking to save a few bucks. At the moment, with ammo prices being what they are on almost every type of ammo, yeah, it would definitely be worth it (especially if you saved any of your old brass). Of course the problem you will now run into with reloading gear will be very familiar -- "due to record setting...blah blah blah...not in stock, no back order....blah blah...please be aware that your order may ship by 2016...etc"

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Old 01-31-2013, 10:04 PM   #3
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I just started reloading and I can share a few numbers. I have only loaded for .45ACP so far but have bought components for 9mm and .223. I am using brass that I have been picking up so I don't have a cost there.

In real numbers I am buying my primers for $33.95/1000 and $43.40/500 lead bullets. That gives me a cost of $.12 per round before powder. I've bought several pounds of Bullseye for $17. Based on my loads, that will cost $.012 per round. So I have a cost of $.132 per round.

I have also loaded with copper bullets and those were $37.95/250. Just over $.15 per bullet but my powder usage goes down and I get a total cost of $.196 per round. Can't buy .45ACP for anywhere near that.

I also like that I am loading 185gr and am lowering my recoil on the 1911. That will be beneficial when I get back to shooting Bullseye.

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Old 01-31-2013, 10:18 PM   #4
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there are many different formulas out there that can help you calculate ammo cost by inputing your own numbers in.

for my 280 Rem. premium ammo (Winchester Ballistic Silvertip 140gr) costs me $44.00 per box of 20.

my reloaded ammo costs me about $27.56 for 20 when i buy the brass and about $13.58 when i don't. i see this a huge cost savings factor.

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Old 01-31-2013, 11:02 PM   #5
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You can save money reloading, but it will depend on how much effort you want to put into it. It's like anything else. I reload 38spl, 380, 9mm, 357 and 45acp. How you get into reloading will depend on how much you plan on shooting. I shoot often, but not too much at a time. That being said, you need to decide what you want from reloading. You can start with a single stage press, turret press or a progressive. I used a single stage for years before moving to a turret press. Everything I use is Lee. You can load your first box of shells for less than a $200 investment. Should you go with the more expensive, then your costs will increase. I don't know where you shoot, but I never buy brass. I take what I need from the recycle bucket at the range where I am a member. I'm not above asking the shooter next to me if I see a caliber I reload, if I can have their brass. Most of the time, they will give it to me. I keep good records, I know exactly what it costs me to reload. One of the biggest savings you can have is casting your own bullets. I cast my own bullets from wheel weights I buy from the local recycle yard for .40 a pound. That's where the big savings are. Here are my cost by caliber, bullet weight and powder:

Bullet Weight charge powder cal cost
230 6.1 autocomp 45ACP $3.31
125 4.2 autocomp 9MM $2.73
105 3.8 autocomp 380A $2.61
200 4 bullseye 45ACP $2.88
158 3.1 bullseye 38SPL $2.63
148 2.7 bullseye 38SPL $2.55
158 4.2 bullseye 357M $2.79
158 2.7 TRAIL BOSS 38SPL $2.69
158 3.2 TRAIL BOSS 357M $2.79

I'm a big fan of reloading. Get a good book, and read it. After you finish reading it, read it again. Good luck.

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Old 01-31-2013, 11:06 PM   #6
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In addition to the points made regarding cost savings, once you start reloading you lose that anxiety of getting ammo for the range. You go and relax and make your own. That is worth the cost of initial equipment in my opinion. The rest money for me is rolled back into supplies and allows for more range time.

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Old 01-31-2013, 11:57 PM   #7
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Before you buy ANYTHING else, get a copy of The ABCs of Reloading (check Amazon, used copies there time to time) and read ALL of it.

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Old 02-01-2013, 12:22 AM   #8
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Wow thanks guys I really appreciate all the great replies so far! I'm very new to the forum and y'all are extremely helpful!

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Old 02-01-2013, 12:43 AM   #9
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Default Reloading Calculator

http://www.handloads.com/calc/loadingCosts.asp
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:40 AM   #10
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I have been reloading for almost 50 years. I reload for a dozen or so cartridges. In all of these years, doubt if I have ever saved a dime. BUT, I have been able to shoot a whole lot more than if I didn't reload. Moral of this story? Don't get into reloading to save money. You won't. Go into it to have a better quality of ammunition and more of it.
cottontop

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