Reloading Costs.

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Axxe55, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    a lot of those who are new to reloading or thinking about getting into reloading ask about the cost of reloading or if it will save them money.

    i thought a thread discussing just the the opinions, thoughts and ideas about the costs would be helpful for those new to reloading and those thinking about it from a cost perspective would be beneficial and informative.

    here are my thoughts. reloading as a cost saving measure depends on several things. depends on how much you shoot and what you shoot and the cost of factory loaded ammo.

    many who reload, usually reload for a several specific reasons. some reload because they do a lot of shooting and buy most components in bulk, therefor saving them money over the cost of factory loaded ammo.

    some reload because they have a firearm that is expensive to feed factory ammo if they like to shoot it alot. some also have older guns that there is very little factory loaded ammo available for, and what is available is very expensive.

    some like to reload because they like to build and fine tune ammo to their specific needs or a particular gun, that is more accurate or suiting to their needs than factory ammo. reloading, affords one the ability to load premium type ammo at less cost than most factory loads.

    some reload because they enjoy tinkering and finding the last bit of available accuracy they can from a particular cartridge.

    some of us fall into several groups and reload for more than just one reason. some people may only reload one or two cartridges for guns they own and some will reload for every gun they own.

    first thing is, you have to factor in the cost of the equipment to reload to begin with and the components to reload ammo. this cost will ary from one reloader to the next and how indepth they they invest into reloading equipment. this can can range from a couple hundred dollars to several hundreds of dollars, depending on the brand and type of equipment that is bought. sometimes, you can save some money on the initial start-up costs by buy a complete kit, which has most everything to start reloading, minus the dies, cases, bullets, primers, and powder. looking around you can sometimes buy good used equipment for much less than buying new.

    personally, i have no idea what the break-over point is, where how many rounds does a person have to reload to start actually saving money. honestly, there may not even be one. IMO, i doubt most reloaders went into reloading from that viewpoint to begin with. if you're reloading, you're going to be constantly be buying consumables anyways. now the more you reload, buying in larger bulk amounts will save some money over buying smaller lots of those components. if you shoot and reload a lot, buying bullets in lots of 1000 vs. a 100 at a time will save you money. same with powder and primers. another area of one of the costs of reloading are the Haz-Mat fees on pwder and primers. buying these locally or at gun shows will save you those fees. some buy in large enough bulk amounts to offset those fees.

    here is a link so a person can calculate the cost of reloading their own ammo and use it to compare it to factory loaded ammo.

    http://ultimatereloader.com/tools/reloading-costs-calculator/
     
  2. anm2_man

    anm2_man Member

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    Well I think you hit just about every reason other than the ROI. Maybe I can supply some input there. Back in the middle 80's my son who was 15 at the time really loved guns. I bought him a .22 when he was 12 and every weekend it was out to the desert so he could shoot. I always had a weapon for self defense, but none just to go out and shoot. Well he hooked me and by the time he was 16, we were shooting 9mm, 32acp, 44mag, 45acp. Even though he couldn't buy his own hand guns, he used mine. In the late 80's when I bought a Ruger Redhawk chambered in 44 mag, the cost was getting up there. If my memory serves me, we were paying like $.35 for each round (I know at todays prices, its a nit, but back then it was alot of money). So I told the then 16 year old that we had find a better solution. He said something about reloading (showing me Magazine articles), this is what we need to do to save money. He was tasked to find a reloading system so we could save some money. Remember this was B4 the internet. He came back to me with an ad for a Dillon 550. Since they were local we went out to check them out. Came home with one. Of course you now need a reloading bench etc, etc. But in the end after saving all of the receipts and still shooting at least twice month, it took just under 6 years to break even for all of the Pistol calibers that we were shooting before reloading.

    Now after doing it for close to 25 years, I still save money and my son and myself try to shoot at least 3 or 4 times a year (however the guns have changed to weapons of mass destruction ie MG's).
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014

  3. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    curious about the ROI.

    good reasons for getting into reloading will vary from person to person.

    i didn't get into reloading until about 7 or 8 years ago, but my father had been a reloader for many years. so i was exposed to it at very early age, and would "help" him when i was young. so i had a basic understanding about reloading from many years ago. about ten or so years ago, my father asked me if i wanted his reloading equipment as he said he hadn't used them in quite a few years. Hell Yeah Dad! i didn't jump right into it, and had bought a copy of the "ABC's of Reloading", (which i highly recommend to anyone thinking about getting into reloading) which i read several times. my father was the perfect mentor for my education about reloading, since he's a very meticulious and careful person about anything he does. so between the book, the load data manuals, and my father, my venture into reloading has been pretty sucessful and rewarding. i defer to some here on the forum on reloading questions, as there are many here who have much more experiance and knowledge than myself, since they have been at it longer. i also will defer to my father from time to time as well. he may not reload anymore, but he is still a wealth of information that i can use.

    there are lots of knowledgeable members here and many are into different aspects of reloading.
     
  4. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    Here's a justification you only brushed upon:

    Tailor-made hand loads. You don't see much 30.06,

    for instance, with 110 grain varmint tips. Turns the

    caliber into a flat shooter like 243, or 270, and gives it a

    magnum-style punch.

    Load HPs in 9mm as cold as the book allows, and if your pistol cycles

    with them, you lose some of the over-penetration for which the

    caliber is noted.
     
  5. anm2_man

    anm2_man Member

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    What r u curious about. "the time ?" or "the equipment selection ?".

    As a new reloader, there were alot of costs, such as the equipment (and yes we could of bought cheaper equipment ), but I was ecstatic about Dillons No B.S. warranty. After that being new the reloading, we bought NEW brass, New Projectiles, Powder + Primers. The savings were much less until we started recovering most of our brass.

    But the end result on the 44mag was 50% less cost even buying new brass).
     
  6. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    good point Wolf. and you are exactly correct. yes, if you can gather the load information, you can make ammo that isn't available as factory ammo. with the number of makers of bullets and the hundreds of different varieties of bullets and powders, a person can pretty much make custom ammo for their guns. most factory ammo is well made and functions great in the vast majority of guns, but they cater to a broad range of users.

    yes imagine a 110 gr. bullet in a 30-06, but also imagine that same bullet in a 300 Win. Mag.! if there is load data for such a load, that would be one fast travelling bullet!
     
  7. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    I also like Dillon Precision. IMO it stands among the very best.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  8. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    ROI? what does that stand for?
     
  9. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    "Return On Investment"
     
  10. hairbear1

    hairbear1 Member

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    This is providing of course that the projectile will group in the 30/06 but you'll never know till you try a few test loads and reloading gives you that opportunity.

    2 things about reloading,

    1stly... if you shoot/hunt enough then reloading is your only real aim as you can save ammo costs and tailor a specific load to your rifle.

    2ndly... if you don't shoot enough in a year then factory is a better deal BUT if you've got a mate who reloads you can probably get him to reload for you especially if he's got the same calibre as you. All's you do is buy the primers,powder and projectiles and off you go.

    I've been reloading for years mainly standard calibres so there's no head busting necking down etc to do.

    There's nothing more satisfying than dropping a trophy pig,deer etc with 1 of your own reloads as compared to a factory mass produced round.
     
  11. anm2_man

    anm2_man Member

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    Thank you Therewolf :)
     
  12. anm2_man

    anm2_man Member

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    I really don't understand a 110gr Projectile out of a 30-06. I reload 3k-5k (depending on need) loads a year. My beltfed loves them as long as they have enough powder and a good primer. But I've only use 146-150gr projectiles.
     
  13. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    thanks. that was where i discussed the break-over point. IMO, the ROI will vary as well. and for many, even if there wasn't one, they ould still reload. i know i would.

    i agree with both your points.

    my opinion is, if a person doesn't shoot more than a couple boxes of ammo a year in particular gun, it's probaby not cost effective to reload, unless they simply want to. i would never suggest a person not reload either, if they shot fewer than, say, 50 rounds a year in a particular gun, but i would point out the reality is, there would be little cost advantage in doing so. i am sure there are some who shoot very little per year, and do reload as a hobby to augment their enjoyment of shooting or hunting. not one thing wrong with that IMO.

    reloading allows a person to shoot less popular cartridges at less cost than factory ammo. price some of the ammo for the Weatherby calibers. now that ammo can get pricey quick. i know i ended up elling a couple of Weatherby rifles in the past, when i didn't reload as they were just to expensive to shoot alot. i also have steered clear of some guns in some cartridges simply because the factory ammo was so expensive andi didn't reload.

    reloading opens up possiblities when you go looking for another gun to buy. if you reload, and run across something in less popular or obsolete cartridge, if you can get dies and cases, you're in business.
     
  14. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I shoot a lot. And I shoot a bunch of different calibers. I reload them all. The only factory ammo I buy is rimfire. Another reason for reloading is simply ammo availability. I keep plenty of primers and powder on hand. I pour my own bullets. So I also keep lead on hand. When Obama got elected the first time and ammo and reloading components became difficult to find, I was the only one at the range. For a solid year I almost never saw another shooter. But I was out there at least every two weeks.

    I shoot several expensive rounds. I shoot 44 special, 44 mag and 45 Colt. Those are just the expensive ones. I also have an Iver Johnson Model 1900 that shoots a 32 S&W Long. Good luck finding those at Walmart...or anywhere else for that matter. I load 357 Herrett. That is a 30-30 case that has been expanded to accept a 357 bullet. I shoot that out of a 14 Super Contender. If you like to experiment like me...you simply have no choice but to reload.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  15. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    If all I shot was 9mm I would not spend the money on reloading equipment. It would probably take 20 years to get my money back.
     
  16. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    I started reloading .45 ACP. I was doing at least five IPSC comps a month. Lots of practice. So, I got a Dillon 450. It's about 40 years now, the Dillon has been upgraded a bit, and at least 60K thru the Series 70 1911. My point is if you shoot in any quantity at all, the sooner you reload the better. The reasons, I save a ton of cash (I don't consider the equipment cost anymore), got quality ammo, and miss the shortages because I buy in bulk. Also I enjoy the process. If it's going to be a tedious job, work some extra hours and by the ammo.
     
  17. donthav1

    donthav1 Active Member

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    i reload 223, 32 H&R magnum, & 38 special. all my reloading gear cost me less than $100 & I've long since made my money back on the 32 mag. the same round that costs me about $1.10 in the local stores, I can reload for about 15 cents.

    I have the Lee hand loader for the 223 & 38 special, & use a Lee hand press for 32 magnum. it takes longer than the more expensive set ups but the bullets still go bang & hit the target where I want
     
  18. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    the main point of this thread is to bring relative information to those thinking of getting into reloading and where cost is relative and whether it's cost effective.

    for example: i don't reload 9mm or 223 at this time. part of the reason was that both for a long time were just as cost effective for me to buy rather than reload.

    now i have saved brass from my AR that i use 223 in, but simply because at some point i had planned on getting a bolt action in 223 and it would give me a good supply of brass for reloading.

    at some point in the future, i do plan on getting a turret or progressive reloader for 9mm, 45 acp and 40 s&w ammo, and maybe 223.

    but many of those new to reloading or thinking about getting into reloading a lot of time ask, is it cost effective , or when do you break even by reloading, vs. buying ammo.

    IMO, there is no one size fits all answer. it depends on too many things. current ammo prices, current price of reloading components, initial cost of equipment, how much a person shoots and what cartridges they are thinking of reloading and how much, ect., ect.,,,,,

    i will add this, quality reloading equipment is a good investment, for several good reasons. one if taken care of, it will last a long time. two, as long as you have brass, bullets, primers and powders, you are not at the mercy of retailers selling ammo. three, many of us find it to be good stress relief!
     
  19. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    It's very simple, really. In a good bolt-action, you can shoot a variety of

    loads from a 30.06 cartridge. For varmints, if you load a light bullet, like

    100-110 grains, you get a lot flatter shooting projectile which will improve

    your accuracy at longer ranges. It's roughly akin to shooting a 150 grain

    projectile from a 7mm Mag, for deer.

    If you are in wild boar country, you can carry 180 or 220 grain rounds in

    your pocket, and basically hunt everything with one caliber. Unless you

    really want to get nine different caliber bolt rifles, matched to each

    specific animal you hunt.

    As to .223/5.56, it's a little easier to find heavier projectiles, in the 75 grain

    range, and reload them yourself. Which makes a difference, if you have a

    longer barrel with the 1:7 twist rate.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014
  20. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i agree. with reloading, you can vary bullet weights and make on rifle and caliber much more versatile.

    for some this is much more cost effective than owning multiple guns and calibers.

    me, i like more guns and more calibers!:D