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Is reloading cost effective?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Rainy Winchester, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Rainy Winchester

    Rainy Winchester Will. Valley Member

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    I have had the thought recently to get into reloading my rifle rounds. I shoot .223, 25-06, and .338 magnum. While the first two are cheap, a box of .338 mag with 20 rounds costs me nearly $50, which makes for expensive target practice and stockpiling. I have collected some brass from previous outings and will do so more regularly now. But I am just wondering is cost effective still to reload my rifle rounds? Such as will the press, dies, tumbler, etc ever pay for itself and eventually save me money? I would also like to reload .45 and .357 mag rounds for the pistols we have, and the same question applies to handgun ammo.
     
  2. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes it is cost effective, it is just not the time to get the components. Primers and powder are in short supply with the panic buying going on but the equipment can easily be found. I paid for all of my initial set up just loading .45lc the 338 will save you big and developing a personal load for the rifle you have is a plus.
     
  3. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    There are also large, for me at least, satisfaction and fun factors.
     
  4. solv3nt

    solv3nt Portland Well-Known Member

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    My .44 mag costs are half of factory, so $20 instead of $40 for a box of 50 rounds. You might be able to find .338 stuff, but .223 will probably be next to impossible. I haven't had a problem finding 357 magnum or 44 magnum components.
     
  5. Rainy Winchester

    Rainy Winchester Will. Valley Member

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    Yea that doesn't surprise those are in short supply, just like .223 rounds and anything AR or mini-14 related. But I will continue my research on presses and other parts needed. Thank you. Time to start collecting brass.
     
  6. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    Handloading Cost Calculator

    This gives you a rough idea. Note that the cost of brass needs to be adjusted to whatever accounting methods make you happy in order to get a more robust dollar figure. I consider reloading equipment to be a sunk cost, so I don't factor that into the final figure.
    The real benefit in reloading is increased accuracy, with rifle ammo anyway.
     
    P7id10T and (deleted member) like this.
  7. Rainy Winchester

    Rainy Winchester Will. Valley Member

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    Yea that is another part I'm looking forward to.
    I like those numbers, cut my ammo cost in half, i could live with that. 338 parts are a little tricky to come by, but not impossible thankfully. Yea .223 parts are scarce, but I'm not to worried about it. With the stockpile I have and the cost of it at bi-mart I should be okay.
    Thank you for that link, that was very helpful. Ok that makes sense it being a sunk cost. Yes, the improved accuracy is what i have heard about. Also I would like to make target and hunting rounds. Grandpa used to do that with his rifle reloads, so that'll be another benefit.
     
  8. techieguy

    techieguy Well-Known Member

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    You can use this spreadsheet to see how long it will take your to pay for your reloading equipment. This will calculate upto 5 different
    calibers for your expenses and tell you how long it will take to payback the cost of reloading including your labor. Hope this helps!:):)
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  9. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    for my 30-40Krag factory ammo is $40.00 a box of 20. Reloading using high quality bullets I save .90 cents every round.

    Your .338 is going to cost more to reload (more powder more expensive bullets) but I would venture the savings will be very close to the same.

    25-06 the savings will be more like .75 cents a round.
     
  10. BAMCIS

    BAMCIS Eugene Well-Known Member

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    That is just way cool. Thanks techguy!
     
  11. BWH

    BWH Tualatin, Oregon Active Member

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    ..and then you cast for your handguns and it gets real low cost!
     
  12. joken

    joken Corvallis Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If you are not too far from Corvallis, I'd be happy to help you get started. Ken
     
  13. Rainy Winchester

    Rainy Winchester Will. Valley Member

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    Ok thank you. That's a lot better than the $2.40 I pay right now.
    Haha I haven't thought about that since I'm not shooting an obsolete round. Is it difficult to do?
    I'm in Mt. Angel, so about an hour or so north of you. Thank you for the offer, I would love to take you up on that.
     
  14. Grunwald

    Grunwald Out of that nut job colony of Seattle, WA Well-Known Member

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    Even reloading .45 is saving me a lot of $$$. Originally I started doing it during the last Obama scare. There was no ammo to be found and what did show up was a bit more expensive than before the shortage.
    Using my brass it costs me about $7 to create 50 rounds.
    Last time I bought brass (used) I've paid $80 per 1k, so that's $4.00 per 50.
    That means that even if I had to buy brass I'm still at $11 per box of 50.

    Another cool thing is that it takes a lot less space to store powder, primers and bullets to reload 10,000 rounds than storing 10,000 rounds, since the component that takes up the most space - brass, is re-used.
     
  15. nick1980

    nick1980 Portland, OR Active Member

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    YES sir it is!
     
  16. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    The "cost effectiveness" will always depend on how many rounds per year you load. Many who are just hunters and shoot at a target or two, every now and then, will probably only do so for the added accuracy and "hobby time".

    For those that shoot LOTS and LOTS, reloading is pretty much a necessity.

    Dillon has (or had) a calculator on their site that helped one figure out how long it would take to "pay off" their investment in a loading setup. Even with "cheap" rounds like 9mm, you'd be amazed at how quick the difference between $20 per hundred new ammo and less than $10/hundred handloads will add up. Get's even better when comparing $1.00 per round .308 Federal GMM (on sale) to $0.40 rounds using the same components (that are even more accurate than the factory load).

    The real answer to the question will depend on the individual and their ammo requirements. All I can say is that my XL-650, Case Feeder, extra tool heads and powder measures, was all paid for in just the difference from what it cost to load my own versus ordering factory ammo from the cheapest online source, IN ONE YEAR. Mileage will vary and some might never see a savings. That said, they will have fun though.
     
  17. techiej

    techiej vancouver, wa Active Member

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    It is IF you enjoy it. I enjoy reloading almost as much as I enjoy shooting.

    The payback will vary based upon how much $$$ you put into equipment, what you are shooting and how much you shoot.

    For rifle (I reload 30.06) it is VERY cost effective. For 9mm the payback is pretty long. For example, assuming that I have to buy 30.06 brass and I can get at most 3 firings from it (right now I'm still reusing from factory loads and are getting about 5 firings) my cost per round is $0.34. On the 9's where I will probably never have to buy brass with all of the factory loads that I've accumultaed in just 1 year, my cost per round is $0.16. I know that you can get round cost down even further but I've been sticking to FMJ and not plated or solid lead, and have been buying (until this last month) primers in quantities of 1,000.

    If you plan on doing any real volume, due yourself a favor and look at a progressive press with a case feeder.
     
  18. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    You're paying way too much for bullets. You can cut your cost by almost half by buying a case of Montana Gold 115gr FMJ's. I shoot their 124 gr JHP's and my per round cost is right at $0.10 per.

    Bullets are the largest single expense in a pistol load and it pays to buy in bulk (case quantities) They don't spoil and never seem to get any cheaper.
     
  19. Rainy Winchester

    Rainy Winchester Will. Valley Member

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    I dont shhot my big rifles a lot right now because of the cost. $25 for a box of 25-06 and $48 for .338 win mag. That adds up when target shooting or shooting up in the hills with the guys. I mostly shoot my .22 and mini-14, with 13k .22 rounds and over 400 .223 rounds I'm not worried to much about cost or blowing through rounds. And yes I think I would really enjoy it and could always use another hobby.
    I have been looking at the rock crusher press and dies, along with a million little other pieces it seems I need. And buying what i can, like primers, in bulk seems like the way to go.
     
  20. Guilty

    Guilty Salem, Oregon Active Member

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    I calculated my reloading costs recently, here are the results of my estimated costs excluding costs for the brass since I am using once fired brass:

    5.56:
    Using Hornady 55 gr FMJBT - $0.22 per round = $4.40 per box of 20
    ($3.10 Savings Per Box of 20)

    5.56:
    Using Sierra 77 gr. Match King HPBT - $0.40 per round = $20.00 per box of 50
    ($28.00 Savings Per Box of 50)

    6.8 SPC:
    Using Hornady 110 gr. BTHP - $0.37 per round = $7.40 per box of 20
    ($14.60 Savings Per Box of 20)

    6.8 SPC:
    Using Sierra Pro Hunter 110 gr. Spitzer - $0.37 per round = $7.40 per box of 20
    ($12.00 Savings Per Box of 20)

    6.8 SPC:
    Using Nosler AccuBond 110 gr. Spitzer - $0.60 per round = $12.00 per box
    ($13.00 Savings Per Box of 20)

    9mm:
    Using Hornady 124 gr. FMJ - $0.18 per round = $9.00 per box of 50
    ($3.00 savings per box of 50)

    .45 ACP:
    Using Hornady 230 gr. FMJ - $0.28 per round = $14.00 per box of 50
    ($3.00 savings per box of 50)