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Reloading to save money?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Doc_Chao, May 5, 2010.

  1. Doc_Chao

    Doc_Chao Portland, OR Member

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    Hey guys, just hoping the more experienced reloaders here could shed some light for me.

    I shoot about 1k-3k rounds of 5.56/.223 and about 500-1k rounds of 45ACP a year out of my AR and 1911. Basically the only reason I've been wanting to get into reloading is to save money, so I did some quick math on a round that I've been pretty fond of lately and aim to base my reloading off of: Black Hills 77gr MHP

    I went to my usual ammo supplier, widener's reloading, and tallied up the cost of components very briefly by cost ($) per shot.

    Sierra 77Gr Matchking = $110/500Bullets (22 cents a load)

    TAC Powder 8lbs (3628.73 grams) = $118/Roughly 148 loads @ 24.5grams (79 cents a load)

    CCI41 Primers = $33/1000 (3 cents a load)

    So the amount of powder was just a rough estimate from a little research and might be less, especially for me to start out with, but in the end that still equates to about $1.04 a load, and that's not counting the brass. I've been purchasing Black Hills 77gr MHP (Reman.) through Cabela's for $42.00 a box, and at 50 rounds a box that is about 84 cents a cartrige! Either somewhere I've got my math wrong or I need to find a new place to get supplies; or what I've been hearing about reloading being so much cheaper is not really 100% true. Someone please learn me, I hope my math/process is wrong.

    I also ran through very quickly, the cost per round of reloading regular bulk M193 to plink with, and I pretty much got the same results.
     
  2. toobigtofail

    toobigtofail PDX Member

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    yeah, I think the powder is in grains, not grams. You got nearly an ounce of powder per round, which is a lot.
     
  3. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    Yep, your math is off. There are 7,000 grains to a pound. Ergo, you've got 56,000 grains of pow-pow.

    Assuming you're using 24.5 grains, you're looking at about 2,280 loads, bringing your CPL (cost per load) to about a nickel per.

    Primer ($0.03) + Bullet ($0.22) + Powder ($0.05) = Cartridge ($0.30)

    $0.30 per round sounds about right for a 223, but I'm using your numbers for everything except the powder.
     
  4. Doc_Chao

    Doc_Chao Portland, OR Member

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    Ok so powder corrected:

    8lbs (3628.73 grams) 24.5GRAINS a round = 24.5*0.06479891Gram/1Grain = about 1.59 Grams per load. So I should get about 2282 loads per 8lb container of powder. HOLY COW that's ALOT better than the original 148 loads I first calculated.

    So that's about 5 cents a load. Which would bring my cost per reloading a cartrige to 30 cents a load! That makes it a lot more appealing.
     
  5. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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  6. Doc_Chao

    Doc_Chao Portland, OR Member

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    Haha, Thanks guys, I knew I was doing something wrong but just couldn't figure it out.

    I was just about to figure that part out next 2506 =)

    Thanks again.
     
  7. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    You could, however, blow up Times Square with your original calculations. :D :D

    JUST KIDDING! :D

    I always figure it costs me about 1/3 the cost of new to reload IF I already own the brass. That's using quality components and figuring apples to apples. I can't use high quality JHP Speer Gold Dots and then compare to the cost of FMJ cheap stuff.
     
  8. Wenis

    Wenis Tri-Cities, WA Member

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    I don't reload so I don't know, but how many times do you reuse your brass for .223/5.56? I've been saving mine up in case I decide to start.
     
  9. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    A major reason for me to reload is because of the simple pleasure that it gives me. When calculating the cost of reloading I find that the time spent at my single stage press is priceless.
     
  10. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    Until you decide it's unsafe to do so really is the best answer. Since every time you fire a case and resize it, brass migrates towards the mouth, thinning out the brass at the bottom. If a thin, faint line begins to form on the case head, pitch it. Or cracks on the case mouth. A good rule of thumb is reload a case 5x, but as always, YMMV.
     
  11. TonsOfOregonBrass

    TonsOfOregonBrass Sandy, OR Active Member

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    It depends on the brass also. I found the LC being a little thicker i can get 10 reloads before i start to see signs that it is time to throw them out. I also load lightly to save money and feed the full autos. I have only reloaded the 7.62 brass once so far, so i don't know if it will hold up as well as the 5.56.

    But then again everyones mileage will vary.
     
  12. actionflies

    actionflies Beaverton, Oregon Member

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    Reloading don't save money because you end up shooting twice as much as the guy that buy loaded ammo. Another benefit is that you can taylor your load to your guns.
     
  13. branchbuster

    branchbuster Albany Active Member

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    Just like Actionflies said, reloading really doesn't save you money it just allows you to shoot more higher quality ammo for the same amount.
     
  14. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    I agree--I often times find myself going to the range to shoot so I can have some brass to reload. It's a vicious, vicious cycle.
     
  15. CXD Arms

    CXD Arms Evergreen State New Member

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    I'm not sure how it happens but he's right. Reloading the components into a finished cartridge can become more of a delight than firing the round.
     
  16. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I'm the opposite. I keep buying quality brass and components, loading and hoarding. I like to see it pile up. I'll even go buy 1,000 rounds of new FMJ ammo to shoot, and then load it with better bullets and stash it and buy more to shoot, lol.
     
  17. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Sherwood Forest Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    here you go:
    Primers at 33/1000 = 3.3c /rd.
    8#'s powder 118$ about 5.1c/rd
    brass.. market rate = .12c/rd
    Bullets @ .22c/rd

    223 with your recipe = 40.4c/rd plus whatever your learning factor, equipment costs, and if your buying brass, if not about .28/rd.[/B]

    Really is lots of fun, and costs are relative. You will have ammo when you want it..
    [+ shipping and hazmat,, (don't forget all the hidden costs) = 2,285 rds per 8# w/o any spilling or mistakes. ]
    [ 1st time, or just reload your old brass.. don't forget cleaning media, polish and tumbler.]

    Now the cost of reloading equipment.
    This all assumes you have the case gages, micrometer, primer pocket tool, and case trimmer. Oh and did I mention your time.. contact for more info. Load lots .. Sandy
     
  18. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I just bought 2,000 rounds of XM193 mil spec NEW ammo from Jack at Dan-Dee sales for $700, or $35 cents per round, or $350 per 1,000.

    That explains a little better why sometimes if I'm trying to acquire more brass to reload, I buy loaded ammo. I think we can buy once-fired 5.56 mil spec LC brass (great stuff) from Oregon Brass, a vendor here for about $77 per K shipped.

    That would still put the components close to my new cost, more or less.

    Thanks, Jack!! It did arrive! :thumbup:
     
  19. Brandon44647

    Brandon44647 Portland Member

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    To me it's not about saving money,I have never sat down and tried to figure out the cost, I do it because I enjoy it. :thumbup:
     
  20. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    20 rnds of factory loaded .458 Socom, $58.00 :eek:

    Adding .458 to the existing line-up...Cost of 250 cases, Boolit mold, Gas checks, and Dies, aprox $400.00. (or,160 rnds.):cool:

    Firing 160 rnds. deciding which sight I'm happy with....Priceless :thumbup:

    Jack :gun14: