cost to reload

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by jjfuller1, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. jjfuller1

    jjfuller1 New Member

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    hello, now im not super new to reloading, however my uncle (where i learned and did reloading) had alot of everything, powder primers brass, the presses dies. the only thing i ever had to buy was my bullets. now i wasnt into trying to make a perfect load. i just wanted to shoot lots of ammo and it was kinda fun. now that im older i am stuck. do i spend the six or seven hundred for everythingi need to meet my needs for reloading, or do i just put that money towards bulk ammo purchases. i dont really know what way i want to go. any opinions?
     
  2. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    For me it is not about saving money (completely). I like to be self sufficient. I cast my own bullets for 18 different calibers as well as 12 ga slugs and buckshot. I have the necessary equipment to load all of the above as well as 7 other calibers. Some I don't even have guns for, yet.

    I invested in my equipment starting in the early 80's so I have more than paid for my initial investment.
     

  3. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    I'm in the same position as you are JJ. An RCBS Rockchucker press and starter kit is around $300. Then there are the dies and so on and the tumbler and other equipment. Then add powder, primers and bullets and it's a rather large initial investment.

    Thankfully, I've been saving my brass for years, so at least I have that pretty much covered, but it is a lot of money at the outset. I figure to start by buying the press and then add components and the dies for .30-06 & .45ACP at first. I mostly shoot those two calibers, so that would do me quite well for a time.

    Some time back I consolidated my firearms due to financial reasons, but also for practical reasons. I now have only three rifle calibers and three handgun calibers that I would have to reload for.

    Perhaps you might buy the equipment in stages to soften the financial hit.
     
  4. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    reloading setup is about the same as buying a new firearm.

    i do it for three reasons.

    primarily so i can put more rounds down range (nearly double) for the same amount as store bought.

    second i do it to make match grade ammo i can tune specifically to one rifle

    third i make my own hunting ammo with better bullets than is readily available on the shelf

    i shoot several calibers that are prohibitively expensive off the shelf or are simply not available using certain bullets. for example its nearly 80$ for 20 rounds of 458 winmag shelf ammo i can make the same ammo for about 6$

    with 5.56 i can make a thousand rounds for way less than half the cost of shelf ammo.
     
  5. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    It depends what are you wanting ammo for? do you have guns that shoot odd calibers, are they big magnum calibers, or do you want just to do it?
    I shoot lots of oddballs..( just try to ask for .30-40 or 7.7 Jap)

    Once you get the equipment it can become inexpensive, but as many have said any money you save usually is spent on more reloading equipment.
    With that said getting a kit doesnt have to be expensive, if your not picky a lee kit costs around $100, It has most everything you need to start reloading and are pretty decent. Check out Craigslist as well, I just got lucky and bought a entire reloading setup from a competition benchrest shooter for $400. Looking it all up I got about $800 - $1,000 worth of stuff, Its all Redding, RCBS, Sinclare, and Wilson equipment and all looks brand new, I even got the bench with it. Right now Im selling the dies I dont need to buy the ones I do. I see a few more reloading setups on Craigslist I wouldnt mind buying if I had the cash...

    Its really up to you what you want to do. I would highly recommend it, its a very fascinating hobby and Ive been hooked ever since!!! Even me being a amateur I see the difference between the ammo I make and factory ... (You can do a lot better than surplus/factory ammo)
     
  6. jjfuller1

    jjfuller1 New Member

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    thanks for the input.i think i was headed in the direction just needed this extra shove. im goin to go with a rcbs equipment. ive already used it. and if i need i can borrow my uncles dies.. hes had his rcbs for longer than i have memories. i will mainly be using it for .40 s & w , .308 9mm and .223. so i hopefully in a month or less i'll have enough to get started... i just have to get past the fact that i could have owned one more firearm instead. haha
     
  7. Dragonheart

    Dragonheart New Member

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    I have been reloading since the 60's and have gone through equipment that no one now has ever heard of. I have everything needed to cast & reload and enjoy doing it occasionally when I want something special.

    However, if you want to shoot something like 9mm, cost out the current price on components and what it takes to get them to the reloading bench. Now price a 100 round box of Winchester 9mm FMJ for $19.47, my last purchase price. It's not worth your time much less the investment of equipment for a new re-loader. If you cast, as I can, and figure your time worth nothing, you can still save some money, but otherwise when I go to the range I just shoot the stuff off the shelf.
     
  8. formerCav

    formerCav Active Member

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  9. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    That is Awsome!!!! Thumbs up!!

    Using this I figured out im only paying $4.00 for 50 for .30-40 Krag, way better than $35.00 for 20!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  10. Dragonheart

    Dragonheart New Member

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    Maybe I am missing something, but I have been reloading for over 40 years and I don't see how you can reload a hundred rounds of anything in this economy for $8.00 a hundred unless you cast your own, get the lead for free, figure your equipment has no value and your time as nothing.

    The reloading calculator is nice, but you need to put in "real" numbers to make it work. I am basing the component costs on mail order as that is still the least expensive way to buy components.

    First, the primers, which are running approximately $24 to $32.50 per thousand, equals a low of 2-1/2 cents a round and you still have not included shipping and Hazmat fees. Next the powder, using a less expensive powder and a small charge like in a 9mm cartridge will still run about 1-1/2 cents per round and once again there are shipping and Hazmat fees to be added. Now the big kicker, the bullet! 9mm FMJ bullets are 12 to 14 cents per round and that doesn't include shipping, which is not cheap. Plated bullets are a little cheaper at about 8 cents, but defensive bullets are much more expensive.

    We will assume you already have the brass, if not you can figure about 16 cents for a new 9mm case. So add up a low end base cost and you get $0.16 a round for a popular small 9mm cartridge and as stated you don't actually have the components in hand because shipping and Hazmat fees . Put it all together and you are looking at a real cost of about 20 cents a round or $20 a hundred. That's a long way from $8 and certainly not a rifle cartridge.

    Change out that small powder charge for a rifle and a big rifle bullet and you have doubled that cost.
     
  11. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    In all the years that I've reloaded,I never thought of it as a savings of any type.Yes it does cost less to produce your own ammo,but you tend to shoot a lot more.
    The main reason that I have always reloaded,is I can fine tune the ammo to each gun that I load for,and it shows each time I go to the range/hunt.
     
  12. formerCav

    formerCav Active Member

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    you are correct... you NEED to change the values in the empty box on that calculator. I am getting primers for $125 per sleeve (5 K of them which comes out to $25 per thousand). I buy Win 231 powder in 8 # kegs for about $150 by the time you get the hazmet charges in there...so I divide 150 by 8 and plug that in as cost per pound or I put in the 150 and be sure to change the pounds to 8.!
    I already own my used brass so that is Zero,
    My 230 FMJ bullets in 45 ACP cost me $303 per 2000 so that is $151.50 per 1000 so I plug in that number. I use 5.7 grains of powder per round and I enter that. Press the calculate button and it gives me the following info:
    .192 per each round (19.2 cents)
    $9.59 per 50
    $191.77per 1000 round of 45 ACP

    Sellior and Bellot will cost me $380 to $400 PLUS shipping and handling depending on where I buy it from. I don't shoot Wolf in my 45 or any other steel cased stuff!

    it works for me.
    Try it again.
    HTH
    Bob


     
  13. formerCav

    formerCav Active Member

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    QUOTE Change out that small powder charge for a rifle and a big rifle bullet and you have doubled that cost. END QUOTE

    Costs for loading .308 match round
    8# of varget at $150 (I get it for about $135 + sales tax locally)
    45.0 grains per each round
    1000 primers = $25 (I buy them locally at $125 per 5K)
    Brass.... I own it
    Bullets, 168 sierra match king from midway at $320 per thousand.

    comes out to .466 per each (46.6 cents ea)
    $23.28 per 50
    $464.54 per thousand.

    BTW... you can buy 750 rounds of Radway Green 150 grain surplus from United Nations Ammo Company (UNAC) on stripper clips in bandoleers for $400. That is about 53.3 cents per round which is still more and it is NOT a match load.
    HTH
    Bob
     
  14. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    opps.. I was wrong its comes out to $4.88 per 50..... Trail boss doesnt come in a pound only 9 oz.

    Loading my .30-40 im not making uber hunting loads or anything..
    My component prices are as follows..
    I get all my stuff locally so no shipping or hazmat fees..
    Primers I paid $30.99 for 1000
    Trail Boss powder 9oz. $15.99
    The bullets I buy are cast, 500 for $10.49
    I traded some used 9mm for my brass, so in my book thats $free
    All that cost the same as two boxes of factory .30-40

    Since reloading is my new hobby and I find it fun, Im not gonna count the equipment or my time.. I got a killer deal on my equipment and Ive spent lots more on other hobbys that just wasted time.....
     
  15. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    I don't figure the cost of dies or the press into my calcs.

    If you think about it and run a standard depreciation on a press. My press has well over 250k rounds and is still going strong. So for $75/250,000 that is not a whole lot of money. My press still has I bet 500,000 or more rounds left for it to reload.

    Dies how long is a die going to last? You are running brass cases into a hardened tool steel die. They should last for ever. In fact I know some dies my dad has are well over 60 years old. 60 years and 4 users later. We were not high volume shooters but it they have seen a lot of use.

    Break it down by case quantity or years. your equipment is very little if any cost over its life time.

    Sorry I also don't calc my time. Reloading is done on my FREE time so if it is FREE time I can do what I want. Plus do you calculate out the hours your going to watch that new fancy 70" LCD Sharp Aquos TV? Oh the tv cost $3k I'm going to get 9k hours of use out of it. so that is 3000/9000= or .333333 cents per hours of tv. Now I make 90 an hour so 9k hours at $75 an hour is going to cost me what? Oh lets not forget the cost of your house to be added into reloading because without a house you wouldn't be reloading no would you? And cost of a car oil changes, gas, tires...

    You can go on and on and on about what it cost to reload.

    You don't reload to save money. I have never saved a dime reloading. neither will you why? because the more you reload the more STUFF you need. believe me reloading can spiral out of control faster than BRD (Black Rifle Disease). You should be reloading to to enjoy it to get to know your rifle or pistol more. To make specific loads for specific firearms.

    If you are reloading just for money savings then your not reloading for the right thing.

    It is a dagum hobbie. Either reload or buy ammo. I would prefer you and everyone else buy ammo.
     
  16. Gordo323

    Gordo323 New Member

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    I never started reloading for the purpose of saving money.
    For me, it was just a hobby, I get into a Zen-like state of mind when I am reloading and find it a very stress relieving hobby.
    But along the way, I have gained alot of knowledge about ballistics, pressures, velocity, etc. etc., and I find it fascinating!
    I might save a little money by it, but the satisfaction of pulling the trigger, and having the bullet you assembled go bang, is worth it every time!
    Plus, I have accumulated lots of powder, primers, metallic components over the years, so when the next ammo shortage hits, I'll still be shooting!
    And for the enviornmentalists, us reloaders generally take a lot more brass home from the range than we showed up with:D
     
  17. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    I didnt have a choice.. I bought a Arisaka and couldnt find any ammo...It seems 7.7 Jap is backordered into the next decade.... Even if a site said "in stock" when I would make a order id get a backorder notice the next day.. :(
     
  18. Poof38

    Poof38 New Member

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    I have a Dillon 650, two Dillon SDs and a Hornady 366. Only the 650 was purchased new. Buying in quantity keeps the costs reasonably low: kegs of powder, sleeves of primers, & bullets by the 1,000s. I have purchased once fired brass mail order, buckets of brass at major competitions and new brass online. Powder & primers can be had reasonably at gunshows & discounters without hazmat charges. I don't figure in my equipment costs any longer since they were paid for in a couple of year's shooting and I don't figure in my time (I'd just fritter it away otw). My idea of reloading is to get it done in little time, so I enjoy using progressive presses which speed things up considerably. One of the SDs was aquired free last weekend at a shoot. The other was part of the supplies I got off my doctor when he gave up reloading. I paid him a grand for about $4,000 worth of stuff that I'm still using up 4 years later. Now and then a blind pig finds an acorn.
     
  19. jjfuller1

    jjfuller1 New Member

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    well i purchased an rcbs rockchucker kit today. took awhile for me to decide but i cant wait to get going. sitting on over 2000k of empty shells ive shot. hehe
     
  20. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    you have just opened a whole brand new avenue of firearms buying money sink lol. your gonna love being able to shoot a lot more for the same costs.!! reloading is also extremely addictive. there are just as many toys and gadgets for handling as doo-dads you can fir on a AR15 quad rail :)

    it also opens the door on exotic and semi exotic rounds like 460rowland 600nitro and 458socom to mention a few

    congrats