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Old April 9, 2011, 08:23 AM   #1
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Costs for reloading 9mm?

I reload for our precision rifles to both save money (over match-grade commercial) as well as to have the most accurate ammunition for each rifle.

Las time I looked at the numbers (around a year ago), it didn't seem to very cost effective to reload for the 9mm; given factory plinking ammo (we don't shoot hangunds for "accuracy") can be had for around .22/round...that's less than I pay for single .30 cal. bullet alone.

Is it possible to save significant $$ reloading for this caliber? Cast boolits? ALready busy with 500-600 rounds of centerfire/month , but if it's possible to get it down to .15/round or lower it'd be worth a "shot"
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Old April 9, 2011, 08:42 AM   #2
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You have everything you need to reload 9mm except the dies. That cuts your start up cost to almost nothing. The key is to be able to get your components cheep. I usually pick up bulk bullets at gun shows to save on shipping cost. The powder and primers are also cheep if you can avoid shipping cost. Yes, you can hit about 12 cents a round and still make very good ammo. Do it.
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Old April 9, 2011, 08:50 AM   #3
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Loading locally made commercial cast bullets for my 9mm i can load about 1000rounds for 150 or so. So roughly .15 a round. With bulk plated that jumps to around .17 a round. Or for bulk jhp it would be about .20 a round so i can save over commercial cost any way i go. All my brass is range pick up though. If and when I get new brass i buy bulk boxes of WWB fmj ammo and pick up the brass. That being said 9mm at most local retailers runs about 15 per 50 for cheap fmj's.
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Old April 9, 2011, 09:09 AM   #4
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I reload 9 mm cast lead for $100 per 1K. I would say .10 per round is saving money.
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Old April 9, 2011, 09:12 AM   #5
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While all reloading saves money, the 9mm is not the best choice for handguns.
With bulk ammo available for under $200 per thousand, unless you are going to shoot a whole lot of it, or require a load not available otherwise, it's not a big savings.
I used to, but don't anymore.
I'd rather spend the time and effort for the costlier handgun calibers.
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Old April 9, 2011, 09:30 AM   #6
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Disclaimer: 1) I don't factor in my time. Reloading/casting is a hobby, not a job

2) Reloading save no one so much as a penny. You will shoot a LOT more for your dollar, however.

Turret press: $120
Dies: $30
Casting gear: $60
Molds: $20
Brass: $40

We'll call the total ~$300 because I'm sure I'm forgetting something. For new calibers, all you'll have to buy is dies and new molds, so this breakdown is how many rounds it will take to start saving money if I'm only counting 9mm.

Here's my cost/round breakdown:

Bullet: $0 (cast from wheel weights, which are free)
Powder: $0.011
Primer: $0.02
Brass: $0 (if you buy once fired in bulk, this could be seen as a 1-time cost)

Total: $0.031/rd
$1.55/ box of 50
$31/brick of 1k

At $10/50 for factory stuff (of lesser quality, mind you) I should break even at around 1800 rds. I plan to shoot a LOT more than 1800 rds of 9mm before I die, so I figure it's a good idea to reload, even if I only intended to do so for 9mm.

I don't see where people get off saying reloading 9mm is not a big savings.
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Old April 9, 2011, 09:36 AM   #7
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Question for reloading 9mm vs buying:
Once upon a time, back in the early 1990s, there was a huge amount of military surplus 9mm on the market.
It was actually about the same cost as reloading.
Any chance of that happening again, these days?
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Old April 9, 2011, 10:28 AM   #8
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Catzor how much are you paying for primers/powder? Are you using prices you paid before?

I reload 1000 for ~$40

Is it worth it.. Ill admit I dont like casting too much but get a 6 cavity mold and spend about 5hrs a month doing it.

I use
lee 20lb bottom pour
random Stainless steel pots from harbor freight
lee 2 cav and 6 cav molds both tumble lube
lee lubrisizer(sizing the bullets) and its my weak link its sooo slow
50/50 mix lee alox and johnsons paste wax as bullet lube.. 9mm leads easily\
gloves and safety equip
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Old April 9, 2011, 10:47 AM   #9
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about 2 years ago, I would have said it's not worth it. Today, I'm loading 9mm. I'm definitely saving money, however, casting would save me even more. I'm building a range on my property and when that's done, I'll go ahead and start casting, reclaiming, smelting and casting again.

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Old April 9, 2011, 11:18 AM   #10
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Reloading for the 9mm isn't that expensive if you have a press.

Dies and shellplate will run you 50 to $90. I taper crimp all Auto Pistols and a taper crimp die would be included in the $90 range.

If you search, you can find brass dirt cheap (or use what you have). I was able to find 6k pieces of 9mm brass for $100 shipped. I lucked out and took the deal as soon as I saw it. Worked out to 2.5k F.C., 2k Winchester & 1k R-P (there was .5k of other headstaps that will still be in my rotation, but may give a buddy who also wants to reload 9mm).

Bullet choice is going to be where you will spend the most as Powder ($0.009 assuming HP-38/W231 purchased from PV in 8lb jugs and a charge of roughly 4.5gr) and Primer ($0.025 assuming SPP purchased in bulk) are almost insignficant).

If you shoot lead, then I would suggest MBC's SmallBall (.356 125gr LRN) or MBC's Parabellum (.356 115gr LRN).

If you're going to shoot FMJ or JHP, give Precision Delta a look.

FMJ or JHP will run you about $0.08 to $0.09 per bullet. Lead will run you about $0.06 to $0.07 per bullet. This is obviously the bulk of your reloading costs.
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Old April 10, 2011, 12:46 AM   #11
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Great calculator.

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Old April 10, 2011, 01:42 AM   #12
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it never changes

Handloads cost about a third of 'store-bought'; doesn't matter what, or when.....
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Old April 10, 2011, 08:04 AM   #13
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I load 9mm (as well as other calibers) for less than $70.00 per thousand.
$0.03 for primer + $0.01 for powder + $0.03 for 120g TC cast bullet (I cast my own) = $0.07 times 1000 = $70.00
Factory cost $200.00 - Reload cost $70.00 = Savings of $130.00
-Cost of brass reloaded 10 times = $5.00 per thousand loads.
Press and all tools have paid for themselves many years ago.
Grand Total Of Savings = $125.00
Not a bad Saturday when I save so much and have a enjoyable hobby to occupy my time.
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Last edited by Shootest; April 10, 2011 at 08:16 AM.
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Old April 10, 2011, 08:23 AM   #14
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Reloading save no one so much as a penny. You will shoot a LOT more for your dollar, however.
You are still saving money per round. What you decide to do with the savings is up to you. Just for the record I save a lot of money reloading.
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Old April 10, 2011, 09:21 AM   #15
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I shoot plated out of my 9mm pistols due to the fact that one is a Glock. For .45 ACP I cast my own bullets. Price for 9 mm would be about the same if I cast for the 9mm. Price is $40-$55 dollars per 1,000 depending on cost of primers.
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Old April 10, 2011, 10:01 AM   #16
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Q about brass life...
I limit our centerfires to five firings, and then stash them away. I know it's possible to get more...but I believe the possibility of issues increase substantially beyond five or six, so I choose to limit my risk and save the time required for more thorough brass inspections...

I read that because of the lower pressures, 9mm brass lasts damn near forever? Shoot it 'till it splits? Is this correct?

We now have (2) 9mm's (9x19), and I just purchased a CZ-82 that's pretty pricey on the brass-cased ammo I need for the indoor range. Looks like I can get 9mm FMJ booloits for around .10, and .364 Maks for .15- so it looks like it makes sense if the brass cost is inconsequential??
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Old April 10, 2011, 10:08 AM   #17
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9mm Luger is a HIGH pressure round. .45ACP is a LOW pressure round. I'll likely lose a piece of .45ACP brass long before its life expires (I've heard 20 to 25 reloads). 9mm Luger is a different story (8 to 12 reloads), although the likelihood is that I will still lose it before it expires.
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