Cost of reloading vs buying new - interesting thoughts

Discussion in 'Ammunition and Reloading' started by opto_isolator, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. opto_isolator

    opto_isolator New Member

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    I started looking at the cost of reloading vs buying new, and what the cost savings would be.

    Granted, this is just an off the hip observation, however here are some #'s I found from a few various places (like outdoor marksman):

    Bullets - roughly .06 a piece
    Primers - roughty .02 a piece
    Brass - roughly .07 a piece (new unfired brass)
    powder - who knows - there are so many styles / brands out there its hard to tell.

    So far, without the powder you are around $.15 a round - without the powder.

    Am I correct in my math here? Someone care to enlighten me if I missed something??

    New rounds are roughly $.2 per round. Granted, at 1000 rounds you start to see a cost savings of roughly $30 / 1000 rounds (if you take into account powder). So I would have to reload roughly 5000 rounds for a rough cost savings of $150 to justify JUST buying a Lee Pro 1000. Mind you, the other tools aren't included.

    Of course, once the initial investment of brass is past, the cost drops to roughly .10 - .15 a round, which is where I am guessing you would see your cost savings start to play into things?
     
  2. Shooter

    Shooter Premium Member

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    Some of this depends on what you are shooting/reloading.....9mm is still relatively cheap and close to matching or cheaper then reloading (shipping components is brutal).....If you're shooting 357sig, 10mm, 44mag, 45cal........things start looking better for reloading........get once fired brass and save money, better yet get it from friendly shooting ranges that don't mind you picking up fired brass......find component companies that include shipping......buy at gun shows and avoid the tax......
     

  3. opto_isolator

    opto_isolator New Member

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    Yeah, I can start to see a cost savings once you start to obtain brass.

    This example was for .40 brass. Forgive my ignorance here - I am new to reloading pistol cartridges (I used to do shot shells). About how much powder is in a .40 cartridge? I have read that Hodgdon's "titegroup" powder is pretty good - I've seen prices of about $95 for 8 lbs. Trying to figure out approximately how many cartridges that should reload.

    Any ideas?
     
  4. MrApathy

    MrApathy Active Member

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    you can save money reloading 9mm.

    search other forums can find threads on it.

    handloaders dont always load to save money but to produce something not commercially offered or offered economically,easily. some like to know what they are shooting and use high quality materials.

    tooling,education,time and growth are factors. I started on a single stage currently use a 4 stage turret press and looking into getting a 5 stage progressive.

    havent gotten to using my titegroup yet. it has low charge weights. if you want lower charge weights clays and wst will do it but dont expect velocity wouldnt recommend either unless your a experienced loader because the room for error with small charge weights at maximum load is little to none. both wst and clays are known for removing caseheads when pushed.

    I recommend starting with medium burning powders then work to faster burning powders.

    unique,wsf,powerpistol,longshot,universal,Vv N330,Vv N340,Vv N350,Vv 3N37,SR7625,800x,Win 540,HS-6,Herco,AA #7,True Blue,Blue Dot

    faster burning powders
    Win231,700x,Zip,Titegroup,Bullseye,GreenDot,RedDot,Clays,AA #2,Vv N320

    buy in bulk you can save. watch the shipping.

    its worth it to buy loaded ammo then fire it keep the brass and load it back up. good once fired brass fired in your gun.

    I have loaded up brass 5+ times and I usually wind up losing it before wearing it out. use light loads and can get more use out of the brass.

    handloading cost calculator
    http://www.handloads.com/calc/loadingCosts.asp

    in handloading reloading you tend to just shoot more rather than save money.
     
  5. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

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    Hi Guys :)

    Check with your state and local LEO's for indoor ranges and dates and places where they must qualify with their sidearm. There's allways heaps of 40SW, 9MM, and 45 Auto once-fired brass around. Lots of goodies for wheelguns, too...38 SPL, 357 Mag, 44 SPL and 44 Mag. The 357 SIG brass is still a bit pricy, even at Wal-Mart, but they're pickin' up in popularity and the prices for ammo and brass are comin' down a bit. <shrug> If you're loading 115 gr FMJ 9MM component bullets or 165 gr and 180 gr FP 40SW bullets or 185 gr FN or 230 gr plated 45 ACP bullets (you get the drift) there are quite a few good online deals and more economical copper plated bullets for medium target loads that can further decrease the unit cost/round. Powders are best bought in bulk, provided you have found your powder of choice and can afford to keep it in inventory. But, like MrApathy has noted, reloading isn't just to save money. Some bullets can't be bought over-the-counter, so to speak and the option is to reload what you want. And there are other benefits to reloading that are harder to place a value on. For me, its a kind of relaxing, narcisistic-high-Zen-kind-o-thang.

    ...ooooooohhhhhhmmmmm :wink:
     
  6. opto_isolator

    opto_isolator New Member

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    Good info -

    But I still don't understand the amount of "charge" that each cartridge gets.

    With shotgun shells it was easy - had a lee load all that did everything for you, load to "factory" specs. Could you please clarify?
     
  7. Shooter

    Shooter Premium Member

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    Do you have a reloading manual that charts powder perameters for you???? If you don't you can't reload safely and properly. Each powder requires its own charge amount. Once you know what charge amount per grams per round, you can figure how many rounds per pound you can get.
     
  8. opto_isolator

    opto_isolator New Member

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    I don't have anything yet - I was just curious to know about reloading pistol cartridges.

    I am guessing this would come with the reloader?
     
  9. Shooter

    Shooter Premium Member

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    I think that would depend on the reloader you buy, but generally No it is something you have to get extra or go online to Hodgdon's or Alliant or any of the powder comp's for their specs. But really you should have at least one manual.......
     
  10. opto_isolator

    opto_isolator New Member

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    OK, I see what you are talking about, I just checked out Alliant Powder's web site - which lists reloading data for specific calibers and bullets. Helpful - however these are the only bullets that are listed for .40:

    135 JHP
    150 JHP
    170 XTP
    180 JHP
    190 JHP
    200 JHP

    Would just standard FMJ rounds be the same, or what? I don't understand why they only list JHP's and not just FMJ's.
     
  11. opto_isolator

    opto_isolator New Member

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    OK - helpful info for people that are interested:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grain_(measure)

    WIKI has a definition of grains.

    1 gram approximately 15.43 grains. That means that a 165 grain bullet weighs approximately 10.7 grams, and that a charge of about 9 grains (average on the data sheet) is about .58 grams.

    1lb = 7000 grains. If about 9 grains are used per round, 1 lb of powder is good for about 777 rounds of ammo.

    Wow, that's pretty damn good!!

    I can start to see the cost savings now, if you buy in bulk. 8 lbs of powder (about $100) is good for about 6000 .40 rounds. That comes to about $.02 per round!
     
  12. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

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    Hiya Opto :)

    Get a feel for what you are wanting from the cartridge, i.e. target loads vs. SD loads. Generally speaking, target loads are for comfort and consistancy while SD loads are for penetration, controlled expansion and accuracy, often times sacrificing comfort. 100% of the time pull the trigger and go bang, feeding reliabiliy and acceptable accuracy are penultimate to no other characteristics of manufactured rounds for SD loads, IMHO. Do some internet homework and gather as much info as you can on whatever calibre you are reloading for. Hmmm...so that's why you're here. ;) Get a couple reloading manuals to give you the appropriate powder charges for the component bullets that you wish to use. Close in for self defense, larger bullets with good expansion and good penetration are vital. At greater distances, you are trying to retain the velocity, subsequently minimizing the mid-range trajectory and assuring consistant POI. What do you expect from your manufactured cartridge? What are your priorities for the performance of the round?

    Wulf
     
  13. Shooter

    Shooter Premium Member

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    Opto,
    Nice encyclopedia website :D its a gem....good research..........the manuals will give you a broader selection of bullets, and one manual may not list the the bullet you need. I have several manuals as most of us who reload do...............