He guys. I looked but didn't see any recent postings on this subject. What I'm curious about is how long does it take (reloaded rounds) before you are actually "saving" money. Obviously this would include dies, presses, powders, scales, etc.. I would like to get started reloading .40, 30-30, & 8mm. Realistically what is that break even point?
Well it would depend on a few things in general. The biggest would be the amount of shooting you actually do with the mentioned calibers. that would be followed by the actual cost of the combined equipment you purchase either being new or second hand, followed by the cost of the components you chose to use to load your ammo with. If your shooting economy loads or using the best brass, bullets and individual powders for every load.
In my case the equipment cost was quickly recooped simple due to the specific calibers I load, not to mention the amount I shot them. Take for instance that one box of 7mm STW factory loads usually runs in the mid $40 range even for standard loads, then throw another 10 into that for a sudo premium bullet or another 20 onto that for a premium bullet. It doesn't take too many had loaded rounds to cover the cost of a press and a set of dies.
With the amount I shoot I purchase most things in bulk. I pick up primers in case lots of 5K verses 1K to save a dollar, same with bullets when I can. For powder I try to stick with the ones that will cover more than one caliber or a specific load say like H-4895 or H-1000 which covers several loads in several calibers and I get it in 8# jugs verses 1# jugs. Again to save a little. It does add up, but it takes a bit of research and compromise to do so. Like for the 4895, it might not be the overall top end performer in every caliber I use it in, but it will and does give me an accurate load in the ones I use it for, at a decent velocity to do what I want done. It is plenty good enough to warrant one powder for several loads verses several powders for one load. It would be like say Unique is for handgun rounds, not the overall best, but can be used to load something in almost every caliber if needed.
Then you have the bullets which can either be purchased in bulk from jacketed to cast. Which one and what brand and type will either cost more or less depending on just what your goal is. Some bullets aren't offered in bulk quantities as well, so again a compromise. Me personally I would rather spend $100 on a thousand bullets than on 3-4 hundred of a top named brand. In some cases only getting 1-200 for the same cost. I shoot plenty of Remington jacketed bullets purchased in bulk and get great results in both rifle and handguns. I DO shoot a few premium bullets like the Nosler or Barnes for special loads, but not for all around general shooting.
Cases if purchased new are simply a consumable to me. I don't even add the cost into the equasion since they are reusable. Some do and it might make a diference but it is so quickly absorbed it's not worth the effort to me.
Also I load some calibers that simply cost more to shoot than others like a 10mm, 41mag, 454 Casull, and the rifles as well like the 6.5x55, and STW and some customs which can't be purchased in factory form. So for me it is only logical to handload.
Where some folks shoot 5 boxes of shells a year I might shoot that many in one weekend or even a day of shooting. Throw in the factory cost verses me loading them, and if I were shooting factory I wouldn't be shooting much. Figuring that a good press, scale, and other tools will last years and years with decent care, your cost is recovered eventually. The key to it all is, if you have it you will have ammo if you have supplies to put together. Also your ammo will be tailored to your needs and wants rather than what you can find sitting on the shelf.