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Reloading cost vs. factory bought, handgun and rifle

markr6754

Elite
Founding Member
I don't save a penny by reloading, but I get to shoot 4-5 times as much for the same money. Reloading 9mm is definitely cheaper if you do it right. Free range pick up brass, primers by the 5,000 case, 8# jugs of powder, HiTek coated bullets by the case from SNS casting. My last bulk load of 9mm worked out to $4.80 a box, and higher quality than any factory ammo.
I have good control on most cost items. Haven’t tried any cast bullets. That may be the nugget.
 

AABigRick

Operator
I don't save a penny by reloading, but I get to shoot 4-5 times as much for the same money. Reloading 9mm is definitely cheaper if you do it right. Free range pick up brass, primers by the 5,000 case, 8# jugs of powder, HiTek coated bullets by the case from SNS casting. My last bulk load of 9mm worked out to $4.80 a box, and higher quality than any factory ammo.
Thanks, if i could get cost to 5-10 a box that would definitly be worth it for me.
 

markr6754

Elite
Founding Member
Thanks, if i could get cost to 5-10 a box that would definitly be worth it for me.
Easily done for less than $10 a box with quality jacketed bullets, even at current prices. I overpaid for Federal Match primers, just to conduct an experiment. So primers 4.3 cents, bullets 10 cents, cases essentially free...yes they cost if you buy them, but by the time you’re on your 6th load it’s less than a penny. Powder...an expensive pistol powder will still only cost about 2.5 cents per round. ($38/7000)*4.5gr = $0.244 for Vihtavuori N320 1 lb bottle. So 4.3 + 10 + 1 + 2.5 = 17.8 cents per round or $8.90 per box of 50. Every one of these costs can be improved. However, substitute the bullet for a high quality self defense projectile, and you’re still loading a box of 50 for the same cost as a box of 20 self defense rounds.
Check my math.
Now, this presumes that you don’t charge yourself labor, and the equipment is a sunk cost. Try amortizing your equipment into the equation, or paying your labor cost, and it cannot be done for less than factory.
 

AABigRick

Operator
Easily done for less than $10 a box with quality jacketed bullets, even at current prices. I overpaid for Federal Match primers, just to conduct an experiment. So primers 4.3 cents, bullets 10 cents, cases essentially free...yes they cost if you buy them, but by the time you’re on your 6th load it’s less than a penny. Powder...an expensive pistol powder will still only cost about 2.5 cents per round. ($38/7000)*4.5gr = $0.244 for Vihtavuori N320 1 lb bottle. So 4.3 + 10 + 1 + 2.5 = 17.8 cents per round or $8.90 per box of 50. Every one of these costs can be improved. However, substitute the bullet for a high quality self defense projectile, and you’re still loading a box of 50 for the same cost as a box of 20 self defense rounds.
Check my math.
Now, this presumes that you don’t charge yourself labor, and the equipment is a sunk cost. Try amortizing your equipment into the equation, or paying your labor cost, and it cannot be done for less than factory.
Thanks i think i will stArt reloading , i already have the neccesary equipment minus a 9mm die. Will prolly shop around online and look into those hard cast bullets
 

Spirytwynd

Alpha
Founding Member
I learned how to reload years ago, using a single stage press, from a retired Army Vietnam Vet. He cast his own bullets using his own lead recipe and kicked butt at combat pistol comps. At the time, he had his costs down to about 3-5 cents per .45 round.

I have not reloaded in years but have been thinking about it a lot more lately. It was a calm and fun pass time. Money is a crunch but, more than that, I am crunched for time.
I like the idea of saving money but dialing in a great and consistent round to fire is very appealing to me.
 
Really, the cost savings I can see is very dependant upon my ability to buy components in bulk rather than small batches. Forty years ago it was a lot easier in my experience. I could buy a hundred bullets and a hundred primers, and save 40 - 60%. Nowadays, not as much so, more like 10 - 30%. I really watch for factory second bullets for plinking purposes, as that's where I see any savings today. I really just enjoy the reloading process (and still use my old single stage press), and the ability to tailor specific calibers for specific guns, and I enjoy teaching newbies about the process through the local Gun Club
As getting in to reloading is not without it's costs, I always tell my students the Pros and Cons of joining the reloading fraternity. I've had students that spent quite a bundle on the gear, and it does take years to recoup on their investment.
 
I don't buy into "what's your time worth" debate. If I wasn't reloading, I would be sitting in front of TV getting older and fatter.
If I wasn't at the range making empties to reload, I would be sitting in front of TV getting older and fatter.
Can't do a lot about getting older, but reloading is helping to not get as fat.
 

markr6754

Elite
Founding Member
As getting in to reloading is not without it's costs, I always tell my students the Pros and Cons of joining the reloading fraternity. I've had students that spent quite a bundle on the gear, and it does take years to recoup on their investment.
The great thing is it’s an investment that pays dividends..the best kind. Diversion, entertainment, education, discipline, quality ammo, and so on. In addition, used gear nearly always finds a new home to continue paying those dividends. Most gear, proper use and care, will last multiple lifetimes. And many providers continue to honor warranties on their equipment.
 

Mack2

Alpha
Well, I reload as a hobby and for me time. Close the door, turn on the radio and go. Today as most are not enjoying shooting their guns at the range due to the great 2020 (1) ammo shortage, when I leave the range, I usually have ammo left over. Hahahaha!!
I reload 380, 9, 9x18, 38spl, 357, 40 and 45 ACP. Soon 357 Sig. Two weeks ago I got a heck of a deal on 1000 count boxes of Berry Bullets 9mm 124 gr PRN seconds due to them being a grain to grain and a half + -. Hahaha. What a deal.
So, is reloading cheaper, absolutely, depending on your labor costs. Especially, if you average across your entire reloading spectrum. If you never have to hunt for ammo and if you are not concerned with prices spiked due to supply and demand then why should you reload. If you are out of ammo and can't find ammo and you can't afford spiked prices #, then I have to ask why wouldn't you reload. For those of us that have been around, this is the second dry spell for ammo in less than 6 years and for those of us that remember the last one, it takes a couple of years for manufacturers to catch up. Also for all you die hard 9mm folks, guess what? 40 S&W can still be found if you beat the bushes. Glock just had a realisation, they have decided to offer two of their 40 S&W Glocks in Generation 5.
# I spoke with a Lady at Academy Sports today that said she paid $125.00 for 3 boxes of .380 ammo at Green Acres
 
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