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Old May 6, 2005, 11:51 PM   #1
CaptainRazor
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2005
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 302
My Reloading Cost Analysis

I often get chastised by shooting buddies along the lines of "why do you reload, you should just by in bulk, it's just as cheap and you have more time to shoot?"

Well...for one...my shooting buddies don't have a wife and kid, so I can't really afford to blow 50 bucks every week or two on ammo.
One of the main reasons I got into reloading some 16 years ago was for cost, then I learned that I can make better stuff than I could buy.
As for the "more time to shoot" comment, well...everybody needs a hobby, I live in the suburbs, within a couple hundred feet of an elementary school...I really don't think cranking off rounds in the backyard would go over so well if you know what I mean. I don't have time to go to the range (as often as I would like), and handloading is just a short walk to the shop in the backyard.

Anyway, without further delays, I picked a caliber that I shoot often, just to see if it was really "worth my time". (Not to mention, I get better quality ammo than the cheap factory stuff)

Let's use my newest favorite: 9mm Makarov

Using Unique @ $19 a pound (average price including sales tax)
7000 grains to a pound.
7000 divided by 4.2 (grains) = 1666.66 We'll call it an even 1650 rounds per pound
$19 (powder) divided by 1650 = .0115 cents per round
$2 (primers) divided by 100 = .02 cents per round
Total cost, using cast bullets (free lead) and recycled cases about .03 cents per round.
.03 x 50 = $1.50 per box of 50
Cheap ammo from the gun store $7.00
$7.00 - 1.50 = $5.50 savings per box of 50
Even if I bought new cases each time, It would still be cheaper (or close to the same) as buying factory ammo.

As you can see, it doesn't take long to recover the equipment cost. Yes, you could save even more by buying bulk for Sportmans Guide or Cheaper than Dirt or whoever, but you have to figure in the shipping and don't forget the quality that you lose by not loading your own.
The electricity that I use to melt the lead isn't counted because if I didn't cast my own, I'm sure I'd have some other hobby or pastime that uses just as much, or even more than a casting furnace. I also didn't include bullet lube because, well, I really don't know how to break that down into individual rounds, not to mention the stuff is pretty cheap comparatively.
I haven't done anything when buying jacketed bullets because I really don't shoot many of them.

So, what do you all think? Am I pretty close?
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