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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hohn View Post
    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?

    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.


    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.
    I agree with you... I have been reloading for decades... And some stuff is not worth my time. 44mag, some rifle calibers, or special rounds (subsonic) are worth it. Cost wise or just things that you cannot find already loaded.

  2. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmann250 View Post
    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”
    I agree with you also. Break even?? Yes, but how much do you shoot?? If you shoot less than 500 rounds a year it will take a lifetime to hit the break even point. If you shoot several k a year it will pay off much sooner. You are asking the question in a reloading forum... Haha. The other things to ask. Do you want or need another hobby?? Do you have a place to set up a press? Do you have a place so you do not get distracted and double charge a case? or with autos an empty or partial case can be just as bad.

    One thing not mentioned are people counting the local retail store cost? The local stores here have powder at $200 for 8lbs. I think primers were about $40 a k. Or the cheaper mail order with shipping and haz mat included?? It comes out a lot cheaper if you are buying 20lbs of powder at a time. Or 10k of primers.

    Now for the .458 Socom. Reloading makes sense. Factory is a couple bucks a round.

    I guess I am a realist, not one always looking for rainbows. See what you can buy components for and get on ammo seek and see what the best deals are.

  3. #53
    Expert bgcatty's Avatar

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    Buying components in bulk allows me to reload 9mm at about $5.50-6.00/box 50. I also reload for .357, .44mag, .38 spcl and cost saving are very substantial especially when Ive seen .44 mag at about $45/box 50. I also reload at least 6 center fire rifle calibers and save big in the same manner. Plus reloading is therapy and fun. Peace.Out!
    If you always do what you've always done you will only get what you've always gotten.

  4. #54
    Marksman crewchief888's Avatar

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    i figure reloading is just a small part of shooting competitions.

    shoot match
    scavenge brass
    sort brass
    clean brass
    reload again

    seems like ive been doing it forever...

  5. #55
    Master Hohn's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ski View Post
    I agree with you... I have been reloading for decades... And some stuff is not worth my time. 44mag, some rifle calibers, or special rounds (subsonic) are worth it. Cost wise or just things that you cannot find already loaded.

    The flip side is if you are shooting a larger rifle caliber. Back when I first looked a breakeven points for reloads, I could pay for $500 worth of reloading gear in less than 100rds if I was loading .338LM.

  6. #56

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    I shoot a lot of 9mm, .40 and .45. By casting and powdercoating my own projectiles I can load those three for $0.05/round for 9mm, $0.055/round for .40 and $0.06/round for .45.

    For a lot of people casting a powdercoating is too much trouble, but I find it to be rather fun and relaxing to do. I scour eBay for cheap lead and pick it up when I find a good deal. I currently have about 300lbs of lead in inventory. So I can produce ~11,000 projectiles of whatever type I choose.

    I have not yet run the costs on .38 and .357 but the cost savings there would be significant also. Plus, the .357 you buy is mostly not "real magnum loads" unless you are buying from the really expensive suppliers like Buffalo Bore and such. Shooting a real .357 Magnum loaded with H110/W296 or Alliant 2400 is significantly different than most of the off the shelf .357 offerings. Those feel more like a .38 Special +P compared to what I reload.

    That, plus reloading is a very complimentary hobby to shooting. When I first thought of reloading I asked a friend who had been reloading for years about it. He told me that reloading becomes its own thing in and of itself. I told him that for me it would solely be a way to save money. I was completely wrong. Now I have just as much fun reloading. One hobby feeds the other. I reload so that I can shoot, and I shoot so that I can reload. I love trying new loads out at the range.

    All that being said, it can snowball quickly. Less than a year ago I traded some work for a Lee single-stage kit. Now all of that equipment is boxed up and I have a Hornady Lock-n-Load AP progressive for bulk ammo and a Lyman turret for load development, along with a multitude of powder measures including the new Intellidropper for easier OCW testing. I also started out by working up spreadsheets to figure out the cheapest load I could. Now I am experimenting around to find the best overall loads that aren't necessarily the cheapest.

    In theory you *could* save money by reloading. In practice, most people just end up with another hobby.

  7. #57

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    Loaded and tested my first batch of 50 rounds today. 124 grain tc hitek coated. All fed well but a little Smokey and left my gun dirty.

  8. #58
    Grandmaster BE Mike's Avatar

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    I shoot about 200 rounds each week of 9mm. I also shoot a few boxes per month of .45 ACP. Based on the cheapest, satisfactory, factory ammo I can find; I figure that I am saving significantly more than $600 per year. That pays for my range membership and allows me to invest the rest in reloading components.

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