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  #1  
Old 06-05-2012, 04:23 PM
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Default Is 9mm Worth Reloading?

So I have recently decided to do dive into the pool of hand loading head first with the main intent of reloading 45 ACP for my 1911. I do, however, have an M&P9c and have been saving all my brass but I can get target ammo for so cheap I'm not sure I would really benefit. Of course part of reason is for fun and to experiment with different types of loads but is it with it?


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Old 06-05-2012, 04:30 PM
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I can reload 9mm for around $.08, and I am sure others can do it much cheaper, but either way it is a good savings over the $.20+ for WWB at Wallyworld.
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:39 PM
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Out of the ten or so calibers that I reload, 9MM is probably my least favorite. Aside from the diminuative size of the case making it a pain to handle, relatively small changes in charge weight, bullet weight, seating depth, type of brass etc. often result in some fairly substantial performance changes. I guess I just don't like piddling around with these micro variables when it is so much easier and rewarding to spend my time on the .45 ACP, .38 Special or several other cartridges.
As a new reloader, I would suggest you develop your skills with the .45 ACP, which is a reloaders dream, and leave the 9MM for another day.
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:53 PM
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I bought a Glock 17 about two years ago to use for IDPA and IPSC shooting, also to use as a canoeing gun, one I'm not afraid to get wet. It shot OK accuracy wise with FMJ bullets, but not something to write home about.

I recently bought a Lone Wolf barrel for it so I could shoot cast lead in it, my home cast 124 grain bullets driven at moderate velocities are super accurate, turning a "Ho-Hum" pistol into a tack driver.

You may find you can gain a lot of accuracy tailoring a hand load for your pistol, and cast lead bullets are cheap. Brass is everywhere, no one picks up thier 9MM brass on my range...
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:54 PM
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Nothing wrong with reloading 9mm. Any cost savings will really depend on how much you shoot. I go through 6-7000 rounds a year so reloading is the way to go for me, now if you only shoot a few boxes a year then it is probably not a good option for you.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:00 PM
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Absolutely. I think that next to 45 ACP, 9MM is the easiest to reload. My costs are $7.11 per 50.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:00 PM
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Probably depends on how much your time is worth and how much you plan to load. If you load lead or even plated bullets you'll cut your ammo cost in half. Even loading jacketed bullets you will see some savings.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:05 PM
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I load 9mm using Berry plated bullets for about $7 a box. I prefer to sort my cases by MFG to eliminate the variance of the case volume. I also load .38, .357, .40 .45 and 308. to me it is worth it.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:08 PM
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Default Sell the 9mm brass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by novalty View Post
I can reload 9mm for around $.08, and I am sure others can do it much cheaper, but either way it is a good savings over the $.20+ for WWB at Wallyworld.
.04 cents for a primer, .02 powder. .09-.10 for a bullet. add in freight and beer and your way over .08 cents.
Even casting the last of my free lead, I've burned a lot of propane and gasoline.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:10 PM
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I really hate reloading 9's but yes you can save some money depending a lot on what you use for projectiles. Personally I like the long cases better, 357, 44, 45LC. etc.
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  #11  
Old 06-05-2012, 05:23 PM
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It makes sense to hand load 9mm if you spend a lot of time at the range. You still want to buy ammunition for self defense, since that is hotter than you would be inclined to load yourself, and legally more defensible. If you reload, you may not save much money, because you tend to shoot a lot more. Group sizes shrink about half with reloading compared to WWB, because you are more consistent and select components more carefully.

In any case, small stuff like 9mm is best done on a progressive press. This will cost about $300 to set up with dies and accessories, but you can turn out 400-500 rph without breaking a sweat. That leaves you with more time for shooting (and the need to reload more). I have a Dillon 550B* press, which I highly recommend. Any will work just as well in most respects, but Dillon has it for priming, metering and customer service.

(* Reloading .40SW,, .45ACP, .38/.357, .44, .223 and .308 Winchester)
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:25 PM
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the only problem I have with reloading 9mm is trying to catch the casing before it hits the ground. Other than that it is very easy to start. Since the brass is the most expensive part of the bullet and stated earlier the most abundant brass on the ground. As for getting WWB at Wallyworld, down here in Florida the election fever has taken hold and you can't find a box anywhere.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:31 PM
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I like to reload, in fact, sometimes more than the shooting. I have 9mm tools for my Dillon, but usually shoot Blazer. On sale, I can get it for $9.00 or so for 50. I shoot outside and if I loose it, I don't care. I don't reload lead for the 9, tried it and didn't like it. So, to reload 50 9's is going to be more than half of what I can buy it for. I did reload 1k plated 9's last year and just got another k bullets from Precision Delta. However, I would much rather be loading cast bullets in 45, 357, 41, 44 and 45 Colt. That is where I can save lots of money.
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:03 PM
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Spartkus,
Just to echo what others have said, If you shoot alot of 9mm than it will be cheaper to reload your own. I can do a box of 50 target rounds for around $7.50. Buy in bulk, casings are everywhere for free, try Precision Delta FMJ bullets, 4 lbs of your favorite powder and 5K of primers will keep your cost down.

Ruger-p94,
I mainly shoot at an outside range so keep that in mind, however I bought a nylon-mesh tarp (at Harbor Freight) I think its 10x10 or so, it is very light weight, easy to store and keeps most all my spent casings in one place so I can just fold up my net and im done.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:37 PM
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9mm was the first caliber that I reloaded ( I'm up to 8 calibers now). I can load a box of 50 for about $4.50. The key to reloading any caliber cheaply is to buy in bulk. I buy powder and primers only once a year but when I do I drop about $400 bucks.

The best 9mm bullet that I have reloaded is the 122 gn lead truncated cone flat point from Dardas.

If you don't buy in bulk it will cost in the neighborhood of 7 bucks for a box of 50. Still cheaper than store bought and it will be more accurate.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:46 PM
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its worth reloading 9mm for many of the reasons listed previously
9mm ammo prices will continue to get higher best to learn and start loading now
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:51 PM
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If you are ging to shoot a box of 9mm onece a month then the benefits of reloading would not acrue rapidly. If you are shooting 250 rounds per week then the answer is definitely yes! A lot depends on what your time is worth.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:14 PM
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Cases are almost free @ any range. Primer cost this spring including hazmat & shipping 5000 lot. $0.0275
Powder 4 gr of an 8 lb keg @ $140 per keg. $0.01
Lead @ $1 lb, 120 gr bullet $0.017
Total cost per rd not including time, electricity or depreciation of equipment. $0.0547 or $5.47 a hundred, rounded up to $2.74 a box.
Yes I load for a nine.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyd View Post
As a new reloader, I would suggest you develop your skills with the .45 ACP, which is a reloaders dream, and leave the 9MM for another day.
I would agree with this. 9mm can go from mild to wild with a change of headstamp or a small change in OAL. It's not rocket surgery, it just requires a bit more attention to detail and understanding of the fundamentals.

But yes, it is definitely worth reloading. I save about 50% over commercial and IMO get better ammo. As has been mentioned though, you will save no money. You will just shoot more for the same $$$.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtgianni View Post
Cases are almost free @ any range. Primer cost this spring including hazmat & shipping 5000 lot. $0.0275
Powder 4 gr of an 8 lb keg @ $140 per keg. $0.01
Lead @ $1 lb, 120 gr bullet $0.017
Total cost per rd not including time, electricity or depreciation of equipment. $0.0547 or $5.47 a hundred, rounded up to $2.74 a box.
Yes I load for a nine.
Where do you find lead this cheap? Is it just lead or are you talking FMJ? Either way I can't seem to find anything that cheap. Could you direct me to any links?
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:23 AM
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I 'll just post more of the same....while 9mm Parabellum is the cheapest of the centerfires and can be enjoyed shooting factory loads my handloads are yet cheaper and more accurate and since I enjoy crafting my own ammo I reload 9mm by the thousands..
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  #22  
Old 06-06-2012, 01:55 AM
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I have loaded and shot up a ton of it.
I loaded up some .380 years ago, and those shot well. I sold the dies, and now I have a 1908 Colt. Go figure.
I am considering doing up some more, and maybe some .32. I have a set of .32 dies.
I know I can make ammo as good as or better than factory, whatever caliber it is.
I can load for about half the cost of new, sometimes a lot less.
The .223/5.56 is way less cost than factory. $12 for boolitts, $25 for brass, <$4 for primer, and maybe $5 worth of powder. Call it $48 per 100, and the next hundred is just $23. If you collect fired brass, it is cheap from the get-go.
I began reloading when we wondered if $5 was a lot of money for a box of .357. Like 1972. I like to reload as much as I like shooting.
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:09 AM
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I reload 9mm only because I have a 1911 38 Super & they take the same bullet & my hunting buddy has one.
But factory ammo is not that bad when you shoot maybe a box or two a year.
An then chase the brass.....

Last edited by STCM(SW); 06-06-2012 at 02:27 AM. Reason: add
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treeman View Post
I 'll just post more of the same....while 9mm Parabellum is the cheapest of the centerfires and can be enjoyed shooting factory loads my handloads are yet cheaper and more accurate and since I enjoy crafting my own ammo I reload 9mm by the thousands..
Guess I should state that at this point in the game I won't be making my own bullets as I am just getting started with reloading. I am looking for the best place to purchase both lead and FMJ for a good price.
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartikus View Post
Where do you find lead this cheap? Is it just lead or are you talking FMJ? Either way I can't seem to find anything that cheap. Could you direct me to any links?
Hey Spartikus. I just ordered some range lead from the Captain on CastBoolitts for 50 lb for $50 shipped. Really nice lead with a BNL of around 12-14. She is under the Vendors section

Cast Boolits - Dedicated To The World Of Cast Bullets!

Best place to pick up stuff and a wealth of information about loading. I make my own bullets . There are guys there also that sell bullets. I also picked up 350 nickel 357 cases for $30 last week.

Last edited by ruger-p94; 06-06-2012 at 02:31 AM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:46 AM
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I am currently loading 9mm for $5.85 and $5.97 per fifty, using Precision Delta 115gn and 124gn FMJ bullets, respectively.
To me, they are much harder to load than anything else I load but I can't imagine not reloading them.
I recently acquired a 38 Super barrel for my 9mm Commander. These are a real joy to load and I will probably just about discontinue my use of the 9mm.
I am about to settle on a 124gn MBC lead TCFP bullet for the Super and if I do load more 9mm it will probably be with lead, which will substantially reduce the cost.

Last edited by dickttx; 06-06-2012 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:19 AM
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One of the biggest savings for me on reloading is Cabelas. I use my Cabelas card to make most of my day-to-day purchases: gas, groceries, etc, which I pay off every month. Plus they have a bonus points network to gain extra-points for online purchases--heck the tires for my truck I purchased through DiscountTireDirect and got $39 in Cabelas points--get 10% at PetCareRx for supplies for my beagle. I use my Cabela's points to purchase my powder & primers from my local Cabela's, and pick up when I am in the area. Already have a good amount of brass, so besides the cost of equipment, I am only paying for bullets to reload.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:24 PM
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I know lots of folks who reload 9mm and feel it is worth it. If you shoot alot of 9mm, then as others have said, it can be worth it. I stopped reloading 9mm last year cause I just don't shoot my 9's enough. I guess it's all relative.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:08 PM
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Per Round Cost for Bullets = $0.087
Per Round Cost for Powder = $0.010
Per Round Cost for Cases = $0.000
Per Round Cost for Primers = $0.025

Per round of ammo is $0.12

I use HP-38 powder by the 8 pound jug from Powder Valley, Wolf small pistol primers, brass that I pick up at the range, and 124 jhp bullets direct from Montana Gold by the case of 3,750 bullets for $325 with shipping.

I load them on a dillon 1050 with a bullet feeder and I can pump the handle at up to 2,000 rounds per hour. I can pump out 400 rounds for a match in 20 minutes if I want to move fast. A hundred rounds takes about 3 minutes or so of non stop cranking on the handle. A few minutes here and there saves me 50% of the price of going to the store for ammo, and the load is customized to the three race guns that my family and I use. One of them is an open gun that needs a load that is hotter than the max listed 9mm load (factory is not hot enough) to work the compensator properly.

I used to load 40 S&W on a single stage and thought it was worth my free time to save some money.
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