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Old 02-10-2020, 11:08 AM
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Default Reloading Verus Factory Ammo

I have stopped using lead bullets and started reloading with FMJ Bullets.
I pay $50 for 500 rounds FMJ bullets = $0.10 per bullet
$35. for primers = $0. 03.5 per primer
$35. for 1# powder
Without the cost of powder and brass each round is $0.13.5X 50 = $6.15
I wondering if reloading is really saving money with calibers that is always on sale ?
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:26 AM
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Depends on how much you shoot Jimmy, if you only shoot occasionally reloading pistol rounds isn't much of a cost saver.
For me it makes sense because I load thousands of rounds per year.
If you shop around you can find some pretty good prices on bullets, primers and powder are more constant in the pricing.
I cast many of my own bullets and that helps cut down the price also.
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy52 View Post
Depends on how much you shoot Jimmy, if you only shoot occasionally reloading pistol rounds isn't much of a cost saver.
For me it makes sense because I load thousands of rounds per year.
If you shop around you can find some pretty good prices on bullets, primers and powder are more constant in the pricing.
I cast many of my own bullets and that helps cut down the price also.
X2...........
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:35 AM
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It depends on what cartridge you're shooting too. Generic 9mm can be purchased cheap enough that it's hard to make a case for saving money by reloading. Less mainstream cartridges offer greater savings potential.
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:40 AM
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I can buy 45 bullets for about 85 per 1000 delivered. I can make and coat with hi tek about 4000 from a bucket of wheel weights for less than 85 bucks. I have a backyard range now and I'm struggling to NOT shoot every day. Figuring conservatively 40 to 50 rounds a day, sometimes more, sometimes less, I'll still end up shooting over 10000 rounds a year so those savings add up.
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:46 AM
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9mm not worth it to me because i can't reload a more accurate round than i can buy for 10.00 a box.38 spec i shoot more,can load more accurate and is at least 20 a box.But i never dread reloading i enjoy it so it's worth it.Target wadcutters are what i reload.

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Old 02-10-2020, 11:58 AM
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If one looks at handloading only as a means to save money, it's not worth doing. I don't say that as a criticism because there's nothing wrong with such reasoning. Handloading for the sake of handloading is not an enjoyable hobby venture for everyone, nor should it be.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:00 PM
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Just about any rifle cartridge can be reloaded for less than Factory. Pistol, using FMJ/JHP you can save $ if you buy in larger quantity. I buy my 9mm along with a buddy at 2,000 at a time, for .08 ea, (80.00 per 1000). for 38 and 45 I normally use the powder coat, over cast lead and can get 500 between .08 and .09 ea. Powder I buy in at least 4 lb or 8 lb and usually get at about $25 per lb.

Larger quantities save you $$$. Talk to a few friends and look at bulk purchases.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:01 PM
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I have 8 revolvers for Cowboy Action Shooting that I have never fired a factory round in! and Several rifles from many different disciplines that have never had a factory round. If I didn't reload, I wouldn't 10% of what I do. Then there is shotgun, 80%+ reloads in 410 and 28 gauge 90% factory for 20 and 12 gauges.

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Old 02-10-2020, 12:05 PM
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I reload most handgun calibers with homemade bullets cast mostly from salvaged lead. My cost for handgun ammunition is powder and primers (currently about 3.5 to 4.0 cents per round). I usually shoot weekly so I regularly produce ammo in batches of 500 to 1000 rounds and use up 5000-plus rounds per year. For comparison, most of my centerfire handgun ammo costs me about the same as .22LR rimfire at retail.

There are some calibers for which I purchase commercially cast bullets, such as the .44-40 (uses an odd diameter for which I have never purchased the equipment. The old Colt has a .426" groove diameter and .427" chamber mouths). That usually adds about 7 cents per round, so the ammo cost goes up to around 10 to 11 cents per round ($5.00 to $5.50 per box, compared to around $60 per box when you can find it in the stores!).

For several decades I have made a practice of adding a bullet mold and reloading die set every time I add a new caliber. I own a couple of firearms that were purchased new and have never been fired with factory ammunition.

Assuming that all of my reloading equipment has been fully depreciated over the past 48 years, I figure my annual savings in ammo costs at about $400 to $500. Of course, many folks who do not reload would simply shoot less to control the costs, so "savings" may not be the appropriate term for everyone. I suppose what it really means is that I can shoot as much as I want and as often as I want without concerns over the cost.

The other "savings" for me has been fully realized several times over recent years. When ammunition was unavailable, or only obtainable at scalper prices, I have continued to be independent of commercial supplies. I plan on staying that way, and now while components are again available at reasonable prices I am putting away a case or two of primers and/or a pound or two of powder each month, just in case there is another dry spell in the future. I learned that lesson a few years ago when primers went from $20 per thousand to over $60 due to shortages. Now I have about 20,000 in stock.

A quick peak into the ammo closet shows that I currently have about 2000 rounds of .45ACP, 1000 of .357 mag, 2000 of .38 Spl, 1500 of 9mm, 1000 of .40S&W, 500 of .44 Spl. Other calibers include .44-40, .32-20, .25-20, plus several others for vintage and antique guns (usually hard to find and very expensive when found). Last time I needed .45-90 Winchester brass I ordered it from Australia! .33 WCF hasn't been seen for decades, but I roll my own to keep the 1886 Winchester going. The .45 Sharps Express rifle requires just about everything be modified or made by hand. The Winchester .218 Bee would be impossible to feed without loading my own.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:12 PM
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I've been a handloader for most of my life, starting with shotshells at age 14.
All through early part of my LE career, shot competitively and loaded ALOT.
On retirement, and trying to sell our house for a move, had to disassemble the 'gun room' where all my gear was and place in storage.
Obviously all loading stopped.

Worked p/t at a couple of busy LGS's and figured as I had no way to load ammo, I oughta take advantage of discounts on ammo and really good online deals here and there.
It took much longer to sell the house and so this went on an inordinately long time. Almost all the ammo I was accumulating went into an indoor storage unit for later use.
Good plan.
Except I'd kinda lost track of what and how much of whatever caliber and ammo I was accumulating.

Now, been in our current house/last home for 2+ years now, loading bench all set up. Except there's no real reason to load anything.
From my years of accumulating ammo, I'm well stocked until approximately 2052.
Oh - during that same phase of accumulating I also stocked up on primers, powder and bullets.

I have placed myself in a conundrum.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:19 PM
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At this time, 9x19mm and 5.56mm NATO are so cheap that it really makes no sense for me to reload. For other calibers like 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum, reloaded ammo is less expensive and well worth the effort. For 45 ACP with FMJ 230 grain bullets, it's a close call. You might consider using Hi-tek coated cast lead rather than FMJ bullets for some cost savings. Also, buying components in bulk results in lower per round cost than when buying small batches of components.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:24 PM
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I've stopped reloading auto pistol calibers because I can find factory range ammo relatively cheap. I still reload revolver calibers (.38, .45) because that is my target shooting passion.

I'm not letting go of any of my reloading dies though. If there's ever another irrational run on ammo (2008, 09, 10) I'd hope to see it coming and at least be able to put together a few hundred rounds to get me by.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:27 PM
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I find reloading to be therapeutic. I can do it while I listen to the radio plus I get EXACTLY what I want, rather than what is in the retail market at the time. I still buy carry ammo, but I load way over 90% of my own range ammo.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:45 PM
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Well, I have not reloaded in years, and I must say the the cost of components has really gone up. I got away from bullet shooting when I went on the trapshooting circuit shooting 25000 rounds of 12ga a year. 35.00 for a pound of powder is unimaginable. I used to buy 8 pounds of green dot for 80.00. Shot was 8.00/bag for good hard shot. Now I see it at 43.00. Since I do not shoot as much any more I will stick with factory ammo, but as I recall the cost was greatly reduced by purchasing in quantity.

I can remember that I used t buy 100K primers, 100K wads, 200 pounds of powder, and 3 tons of lead at a time. That would get me 12ga trap loads at about 1.80/ box. No idea what it costs to reload 12ga now, but certainly more expensive for sure.

I used to work at developing loads beyond the scope of manuals. The fellows at Hercules powders were more than willing to help out. Give them a recipe of what you wanted to try with specific components and they would load up 10, run them through the crusher( test gun), and send you back max velocity, avg velocity, and pressure and tell you if that was a safe combination. Doubt anybody will do that for you now
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:51 PM
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Well, I have not reloaded in years, and I must say the the cost of components has really gone up. I got away from bullet shooting when I went on the trapshooting circuit shooting 25000 rounds of 12ga a year. 35.00 for a pound of powder is unimaginable. I used to buy 8 pounds of green dot for 80.00. Shot was 8.00/bag for good hard shot. Now I see it at 43.00. Since I do not shoot as much any more I will stick with factory ammo, but as I recall the cost was greatly reduced by purchasing in quantity.

I can remember that I used t buy 100K primers, 100K wads, 200 pounds of powder, and 3 tons of lead at a time. That would get me 12ga trap loads at about 1.80/ box. No idea what it costs to reload 12ga now, but certainly more expensive for sure.

I used to work at developing loads beyond the scope of manuals. The fellows at Hercules powders were more than willing to help out. Give them a recipe of what you wanted to try with specific components and they would load up 10, run them through the crusher( test gun), and send you back max velocity, avg velocity, and pressure and tell you if that was a safe combination. Doubt anybody will do that for you now
Going wisdom now is that there's not much to be gained by loading 12 and 20 ga. stuff anymore, due to component costs as you mentioned.
WallyWorld and any number of big box stores run deals on 12 and 20 very frequently for about what you can load for, or less.
And - today's 'promo loads' are much. much better than they used to be. No more fiber wads and cheap shot wrappers flying off when you shoot.

Sub-gauges are a different deal. I do load 28 ga. and .410, and since they use such a small amount of powder and shot, there is real savings to be made over the outrageous retail on these shells.
Yep, I sure miss the $8/bag lead shot days. It's crazy now.
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Old 02-10-2020, 01:28 PM
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Going wisdom now is that there's not much to be gained by loading 12 and 20 ga. stuff anymore, due to component costs as you mentioned.
WallyWorld and any number of big box stores run deals on 12 and 20 very frequently for about what you can load for, or less.
And - today's 'promo loads' are much. much better than they used to be. No more fiber wads and cheap shot wrappers flying off when you shoot.

Sub-gauges are a different deal. I do load 28 ga. and .410, and since they use such a small amount of powder and shot, there is real savings to be made over the outrageous retail on these shells.
Yep, I sure miss the $8/bag lead shot days. It's crazy now.
Well back then, lead was cheap commodity. Only so much went into flashing, car batteries and fishing sinkers. Now everybody wants an electric car
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Old 02-10-2020, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmyj View Post
I have stopped using lead bullets and started reloading with FMJ Bullets.
I pay $50 for 500 rounds FMJ bullets = $0.10 per bullet
$35. for primers = $0. 03.5 per primer
$35. for 1# powder
Without the cost of powder and brass each round is $0.13.5X 50 = $6.15
I wondering if reloading is really saving money with calibers that is always on sale ?
If you come here asking that question, you already know the answer FOR YOU.

For 9mm, if you can't buy 8 pound jugs and 12,000 primers (or whatever number 8 lbs of powder would require) the savings per round are tiny. And you obviously not shooting enough to justify that kind of outlay. Same with bullets. Buying 2000 Precision Delta FMJs gets a pretty attractive price while retaining quality.

Done that way, powder costs $0.016 per round including hazmat and shipping, Primers $0.028 per round (hazmat and shipping already amortized), and bullets are $0.08 per round. The total is $6.20 per box of 50. Using cheaper bullets, which is certainly possible, saves more.

Note that you have left out the cost of powder which, including sales tax but not gas and oil, adds $0.025 per round or $1.25 per box to your total, now $7.40.

The decision is up to you, not us.

Last edited by Twoboxer; 02-10-2020 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 02-10-2020, 02:30 PM
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The only factory rounds I buy are 9MM. Mostly American Eagle 125 gr. Shoots very well in My Luger. I reload everything else. As My trap shooting has gone severly backwards I will reload all My trap loads until I run out of components. Then if I am still around I will probably buy from Wallyworld. I cast most of the bullets I load and have tons of brass. buckets of linotype, 55 gal drum full of wheel weights. I really don't know if I save a lot of money, but I do know that I can tailor each and every load to the gun I shoot it in, and for what I am going to shoot. I don't cast rifle bullets My rifles are for hunting, with the exception of My 30-338 match rifle.As for the OP's question. The answer lies between yes and no. Depends on how much You value Your time and Your accuracy.
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Old 02-10-2020, 03:17 PM
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Default I've got more time than money......

If I can save a few bucks/trip on 9mm it's worth is to me. If I have to buy a box here and there it doesn't break the bank. Where I really save is on .38/.357 and rifle rounds.

Except for my SKS that throws brass into orbit, Tula is so cheap it's hardly worth trying to scrape up enough reloadable brass until I can come up with a brass catcher.
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Old 02-10-2020, 08:35 PM
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Besides the money savings, I just plain enjoy reloading just for the sake of reloading. It's a chance to delve into the sport and learn the more technical side, like getting two hobbies in one.
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