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  1. #31
    Master goodcat's Avatar

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    You don’t end up saving money when the day ends... but you shoot a whole lot more of a high quality of ammunition and keep buying more and more gear. 🤷*♂️🤣
    I thought Mosin Nagants came from the earth and there was a limitless supply of this raw fuel?

  2. #32
    Master Hohn's Avatar

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    The exact savings depend entirely on what assumptions you make. Not just what caliber, but what bullet?

    For example, I can buy Geco .223 locally for 34 cents a round. I can load .223 with 13 cents for the primed case, 12 cents worth of powder and a cheap 8 cent bullet. In other words, 33 cents a round with bunch of effort, vs 34 cents a round. It is worth a LOT of time to save a penny a round for plinking ammo?

    Not to me. I don't like loading ammo that much.

    Now, what if I'm instead planning to load premium match ammo? Well, now I'd be paying $1.40 each for Winchester match of Black Hills MK262.

    Now, my cost is the same 14 cent primed case, a little less powder (12 cents) and a premium bullet that might be up to 35 cents. (Sierra, Berger). Now I'm paying about 50 cents a round. But I'm saving at least 70 cents a round, maybe more. Is that worth my time? HECK YES.


    .223 and 9mm in particular are most likely to present you with situation where you cannot compete with the massive economies of scale. More 9mm rounds are produced every year than any other caliber. .223 is also an incredibly high volume cartridge. It's almost impossible to load a clone of any Lake City load for less than Lake City can do it. You simply can't get brass, bullets, or powder cheaper than they can.

    Can you load ammo cheaper than buying some in 9mm or .223? Yes, but it will almost always be cast bullets and cases you've had on hand forever.

    I load 9mm for the cost of a 10 cent bullet, a 3 cent case, a 3 cent primer and 2 cents worth of powder. In other words, it's 18 cents even USED cases.

    Or I can buy a box of 50 rounds for $8.99, which happens to be 18 cents/rd with new brass and factory made. Worth the hassle of reloading to save no money at all? NOPE.

    However.

    I can spit out premium JHP handloads with Starline brass for 36 cents for the case, 3 cents for primer, 2 cents of powder and a 20 cent Gold dot. That's 61 cents a round for a premium JHP you'd pay well over a dollar for. Does it makes sense to handload JHPs instead of buying? ABSOLUTELY.


    So even though the economics work against you, there are instances where even .223 and 9mm will save you money.

    Me, I bought reloading gear last year simply because I told myself I will NEVER AGAIN be out of ammo and unable to purchase some. I saw the dependence on store bought ammo as a huge vulnerability.

  3. #33
    Plinker crewchief888's Avatar

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    i cant say ive ever saved any money by reloading.
    i mainly shoot USPSA open division, my gun's "preferred" load isnt available commercially, so reloading is my only option.
    ive reloaded 10's of 1000's of rounds on a dillon SDB that i bought in '96.
    it's been quite a shock to my wallet over the years. LSWC that i was paying $14.75/500 20 years ago are now $44/500. powder and primer prices have doubled.
    the cost of a progressive press has nearly doubled, add in a tumbler, scale, dies, toolheads ect, and it's gonna take a l o n g time to "break even"

    this season, i'm predicting i'll run 3000 rds in my open gun for USPSA, and another 6000 or so 22LR for steel challenge

    if i was starting out today, i'd probably be buying factory ammo in bulk, and not bother reloading.


  4. #34
    Grandmaster gregkl's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by crewchief888 View Post


    if i was starting out today, i'd probably be buying factory ammo in bulk, and not bother reloading.

    But then you wouldn't have your "preferred load". Isn't it worth it just for that? I am currently buying bulk, but I have reloading equipment (single stage) and components. I have been mulling over whether to continue to reload my preferred load, shoot factory stuff, sell my equipment or keep it for the next time ammo gets scarce.

    An idea is to shoot factory now and keep reloading stuff for another time.
    "If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough"--Mario Andretti

  5. #35
    Plinker crewchief888's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregkl View Post
    But then you wouldn't have your "preferred load". Isn't it worth it just for that? I am currently buying bulk, but I have reloading equipment (single stage) and components. I have been mulling over whether to continue to reload my preferred load, shoot factory stuff, sell my equipment or keep it for the next time ammo gets scarce.

    An idea is to shoot factory now and keep reloading stuff for another time.

    i picked up my USPSA open gun 25 years ago, and found out it was tuned for a certain load. ive been using that same bullet, with a few changes in powder, ever since.
    maybe i should have said, if i was just starting USPSA competition now, i'd decide on caliber/pistol and make factory ammo work with it.
    over the years, rule changes, lowered power factor, and added divisions have made getting into USPSA a lot easier. back when i started there were only 4 divisions, open, limited, and revolver. L10 was a new division.
    no separate divisions for single stack, production carry optics or PCC.

    i'm still shooting a single stack 45acp in the open division,
    at one time i shot limited with a single stack in 45acp.



  6. #36
    Plinker

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    I’m a rookie reloader with only 3-4 years of experience, so I was in the OP’s position not long ago. This is what I wish I knew back then.

    Reloading is a hobby and you have to view it as such. However, you can save money. This allows you to shoot more for the same dollar.

    Let’s say you jump in with both feet and buy some nice (blue) stuff. There’s a $1000 outlay.

    For this example I’ll use 223 and 45acp because it’s what I know. Going off of ammoseek’s cheapest brass cased stuff today, I can save $0.07/round ($0.16 vs. $0.23) on 223 and $0.075/round ($0.15 vs. $0.225) on 45acp. Getting deals can drive the prices down further, but I feel those are realistic numbers.

    I figure to break even, you’d need to load about 7100 rounds of 223 and 6600 rounds of 45acp. Add in 9mm ($), 357 ($$), and 308 “match” ammo ($$$) and you break even more quickly.

    Using the same method of figuring, you’d need to load 20,000 rounds of just 9mm to break even. That’s 10 lifetimes for some and 1 season for others.

    So is reloading worth the cost? I think so. It’s a rewarding hobby.

    Sorry for the novel, but I hate to see people dismiss reloading because “you’ll never break even”.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #37
    Master goodcat's Avatar

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    Hell I prob have $3k into my reloading supplies. I def save tons of money on high power stuff and a lot of rifle. Pistol? I load because I like to. Just did 5k 9mm at $3.50/box, because of deal hunting!
    I thought Mosin Nagants came from the earth and there was a limitless supply of this raw fuel?

  8. #38
    Grandmaster 1775usmarine's Avatar

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    It's also something you can pass on to the next generation
    “Son, when the Marine Corps wants you to have a wife, you will be issued one.” -Chesty Puller


  9. #39
    Plinker

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    I found my deal. Ended up with a preowned but never used Dillon 550c that came with Lee 45 acp dies. Paid $350. I bought a Hornady manual, used digital scale, primer tray,tumbler with separator, lube, 500 coated bullets, 1000 primers, and a jar of power for another $325. I have what I need to get started.

  10. #40
    Expert Clay Pigeon's Avatar

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    Excellent... Now the fun begins.
    "Too much agreement kills a chat." ~Eldridge Cleaver

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