Does reloading really save you money?

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by rimfirehunter, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. The short answer is Yes, reloading does save you money. Some calibers are cheaper than others so cost savings will vary from one caliber to another. If you have to purchase new brass for a given caliber your price per round will increase. Most reloader's are hard core brass scroungers, or as I call it dumpster diving for brass. Picking up once fired brass at the range is one of the best ways to build up your brass stocks while reducing the need to purchase new brass, this means you cost per round will be lower and in the long run this is a good thing.

    This past Christmas Strangerous gave me a set of .380acp dies, Lee Factory Crimp die and the case length trimmer. He picked up his own bullets and gave them to me so I could reload .380acp for him. I already had my press and several die sets for other calibers so the basic equipment has already paid for itself by reloading those calibers, namely .44 Special.

    Here is my breakdown for Cost Assessment for 200rds of .380acp I loaded for Strangerous over the last couple days. Prices for the factory ammo is from my local Wal Mart in the 100rd value pack.

    Factory Ammo
    $51.92 WWB 95gr JHP 200rds (2x 100rd Value Packs)
    $03.11 Sales Tax
    $55.03 Out the door total

    Reloaded Ammo
    $15.12 Rainier plated TMJ's from MidwayUSA (breakdown price of 500rd box)
    $06.00 Cost of 200 primers out of 1k bulk purchase locally (includes tax)
    $01.86 Cost broken down by grain wt, 1lb local purchase (includes tax)
    $22.98 Total cost

    $55.03 Factory
    $22.98 Cost to reload
    $32.05 Savings

    Price per round of factory and reloaded .380acp ammo
    $00.27 per round of factory .380acp ammo
    $00.12 per round of reloaded .380acp ammo

    The first 200rds of hand loaded ammo pretty much paid for the cost of the dies and case trimmer Strangerous purchased. From now on any rounds I load for him will be free and clear savings over factory ammo.

    Not all calibers have this much of a savings factor over store bought ammo, but generally you will save enough to pay for the equipment and purchase more equipment or components the more you reload.
  2. This is what I'm wanting to start to reload. 9mm, 40cal and 45 cal. seeing these are very common weapons do you think the savings in reloading would be about the same as the .380?

  3. Thayldt21

    Thayldt21 Senior Member Member

    I look at it this way. How long does it take to reload that many rounds. Then how much do you get paid per hour. How skilled and acurate are you.


    Now how accurate is the reload VS the store bought.

    Now how much did the equipment cost. What is the magic number of rounds I must reload for this to pay for itself.

    At the present It makes more since for me to purchase 9mm ammo.

    At the moment it is definantly more econmical to purchase the .303 brit rounds.

    At the moment I am better off purchasing .40 s&w rds because I do not shoot it often as of now.

    And as for the 7.62x39 it is only reasonable to purchase this for many reasons.

    as for the 12 guage I get 100rds 00 buck shipped to my door for less than 50$$.

    And .22lr well I don't know any one who reloads this stuff.

    Just my way of thinking on it.

    Now if I had some exotic caliber say .50AE or .400 corbon then reloading would make tons of sense

  4. I see your point, but I shoot over 1,300 rounds a month of 9mm and 40 cal. So I"m thinking it might be worth reloading as far as money goes
  5. Thayldt21

    Thayldt21 Senior Member Member

    Possibly but I get 100rds of 9mm for 15-16$

    .40 for around 19$ per 100rds.

    And I know nothing about reloading so you may have a strong reason for reloading.

    AND yes it is something I am looking into for the well semi near future.

    I look forward to all the reviews from you guys that are getting into it and the savings ect ect.

    Also I hope to learn without all the trial and error from some of you guyus also.

    Due to in part that at the meoment like I said relaod is not an option.
  6. adam,

    I save about $2-$3 per 100rds I reload vs Wal Mart WWB 115gr JHP's. Not a lot of savings but I enjoy loading my own and it gives me something to do besides sit around the house and be bored. Been out of work since Oct on Medical leave so I have nothing better to do than reload at the moment.

    For .40 and .45 you will see a better savings by reloading your own vs buying store bought ammo, especially since you shoot a LOT of rounds per month. The larger calibers cost more in factory loads than 9mm does, I know theres not much difference in Wal Mart prices on .380 and .40. Bullets for the .40 and .45 will cost a bit more than .380's but you will still see a good amount of savings when loading in quantity.

    As far as reloading accuracy vs store bought ammo accuracy when you reload you tailor your loads to your guns, with store bought ammo you do the best with what you bought and chances are it was loaded for accuracy using a bench mounted test barrel vs a real gun. My 9mm 115gr hard cast lead loads rival the accuracy of WWB I get from Wal Mart. My 124gr Rainier Plated loads give me superior accuracy when compared to most factory loads in the same bullet weight. If you are willing to spend the time to work your loads up, test your loads with different powders you can make your own loads that will be superior to store bought ammo.

    For those who do not shoot expensive calibers, or shoot small volume of ammo per month, reloading would not be worth getting into, unless you just wanted a hobby to occupy your time and mind. My fun caliber is .44 Special and at around $26 per 50rds I could not afford to shoot it often, but I can reload it for about $13 per 100rds and shoot to my hears content.

    Reloading is not for everyone, but those who do reload enjoy it as an extension of their shooting hobby and enjoy saving a few dollars on every box they shoot at the range.
  7. I would say that if you had the time to reload then do it. Total time for me to separate, tumble, set up the reloader and reload 1000 rounds is about 5 hours. The press time is just under 2 hours. With my Pro 1000 I can average 100+ rounds in 10 minutes (600-650/hour). I have a set procedure that I follow that slows the process a little, but keeps the errors down to a minimum (<1 error/1000 rounds) I normally don't even think about reloading until I have 2 to 3 thousand rounds to load.
  8. Ari

    Ari Guest

    I started reloading to extend my monthly shooting budget. But though I am still saving money (going up all the time, 8.2 cents each per 9mm for now) I have found reloading a very fun and relaxing hobby in itself. It has become almost a therapy for me. As my day is full of grays (nothing is cut and dry) it is nice to come home to the black and white of reloading.

    But since this started to extend my monthly shooting budget. I can not count the hours I use to reload as part of the cost. I would not have been producing any money during those hours anyway.
  9. Fenix

    Fenix Guest

    Where do you get your 12gauge 00buck, I can never find it that cheap.
  10. Jarhead1775

    Jarhead1775 Guest

    Many reloaders reload to save money. Real reloaders reload to make more accurate ammunition (especially when reloading for rifle). Like RimfireHunter stated you are developing loads for each of your specific guns. The whole object here is tighter groups. Can you get carried away and spend more on reloading than buying factory ammo definately. In the long run reloading saves you money. RimfireHunter gave an awesome explanation in his post.

    Also, if you are looking to get into reloading don't go out and buy a brand new press. Look in your local classifieds for a used setup that someone is selling. The chance that you are going to find a worn out rockcrusher or single stage press is very unlikely. If you are looking for a progressive I would look for a Dillon 550 because of there no B.S. warranty (just like hi-points). You may be able to find one that has everything (scale, tumbler, bullet heads, primers, calipers, dies etc.) for reasonable deals. Whatever you don't need you sell on ebay and recoup some money to purchase components.
  11. Just for Desert Eagle ammo, it costs $1.75 per round for factory ammo. I am reloading it for approx $0.50 cents each.... That's a HUGE savings.
  12. Thayldt21

    Thayldt21 Senior Member Member

    I am a memeber of Sportsmans guide. I order the wolf 2 3/4" 00 buck Form sportsmans guide.

    Any one who tells you wolf is garbage has no idea what they are talking about.

    see link provided

    The first order I made as a memeber the savings far exceeded the cost of member ship.

    Every now and then you can find great deals on other caliber ammo.

    I recently got a great one for 500rds of 9mm that smoked Walmart WWB with shipping. But these great deals are not every day.

    I find that pateints is needed for some Items but this is the best deal for 12g I have found yet

    Edit>>> Forgot to add You get a ton of coupons for say 10$ off your order of 100$ or more.

    If you get creative with your orders and shipping costs you can save real big.
  13. I shoot alot of .45acp and it breaks down as follows:

    Buying 1,000 rounds new costs $380

    Buying 1,200 rounds reloaded costs $370

    Reloading 1,000 rounds of my own ammo costs $122

    The time is not a factor as I enjoy reloading and using a Dillon 650XL I can load about 7-800 rounds in an hour.

    I experience the joy of shooting my own ammo which is customised for me and my gun and shooting purposes.

    The savings are huge!
  14. Jokey

    Jokey Guest

    You don't need a case trimmer for handgun ammo.

    600 rounds per hour with a semiautomatic loader? That is not happening. The case feeders need to be loaded, the bullet feeders need to be loaded, the primers need to be loaded. The bullets need to be stored. I think for me I get about 200 rounds per hour when I include those factors as well as case cleaning.

    The cost factors I thought were pretty accurate.
  15. cd

    cd Guest

    I figured for my 270 I can load 100rds for about $45, (purchase ammo would be like $1 per round) I think those savings are well worth it, However I don't load pistol calibers mainly because I am 9mm, now I am probably going to get some odd pistol calibers so I will probably start.
  16. Silicon Wolverine

    Silicon Wolverine Well-Known Member

    When you get up into the magnum rifle calibers it makes even more sense. when i had my .375 H&H it cost about 3-4$ per round to buy ammo. I could reload for about 1.75-2.25 per round depnding on bullet size and type.

  17. Strangerous

    Strangerous Member

    Hands down, reloading will save you $, Especially if you invest and buy in bulk, even more if you have resources locally, I can't wait to start loading my own .380 rounds.... but for now RFH has the honors of putting in press time.
  18. I reload because its fun and I save money int he mean time.

    However I have spent a great deal of money on reloading stuff that I could have spent on ammo but you know, I hope to have my reloading stuff for the next 30-40 years.
  19. doktor

    doktor Guest

    I have never even bothered trying to figure out a cost per round, as I, like many others just enjoy reloading, as a hobby and extension of my shooting enjoyment.
    However, I haven't seen anyone mention that it can be done after the gun-grabbers take the next step and start to limit our accessibility by decreasing the number of rounds you can get, then further, eliminate any handgun ammunition available to anyone but "law enforcement." Never happen, you can not seriously think that it won't, just ask the German citizenry of the 1930's. Those of us that remember the "assault weapon" ban of our own country..............????????????
    Reloading should be a skill we develop right along with fire-starting, water purification, etc. We ought to have at the minimum, a hand-press, and dies for each weapon in our bug-out setup.
    I am not a conspiracy theorist, but the current trend in our country doesn't appear to be running any way near restoring the 2A to it's more traditional role of the average citizen being "the well regulated militia" that the founding fathers designed it for.

  20. screwylewie

    screwylewie Guest

    I have dies and bullet molds for every caliber I own (and some I don't YET), even rifle. No I am not going to run lead down my ar-15, not until I have to, but it is a good thing to have. I also am stocked up un components. The 2nd amendment seems not to be a right. If it was a right the supreme court would not have to rule on it every so often like they do. If they keep ruling on it eventually it will be decided against us. This is not conspiracy theory, just logic and common sense. The only two questions remaining unanswered are, when it will happen and what patriots will do on that day.