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Old March 26, 2013, 10:01 AM   #1
Swampman1
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$20 Haz Mat charge?

Saw today on Cabellas site, there is an additional $20 hazmat charge(per order)imposed by UPS when ordering primers. How long has this been in effect? I'm just thinking about getting in to reloading, but this looks like it could really affect the "cost-effectiveness" of reloading.
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:05 AM   #2
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Ordering Primers and Powders there will always be a Haz Mat fee. Some places charge any upwards of $30 for the fee. So retails will wave the fee if you order and pick up at the store. Buy in bulk and makes the fee worth while.

Last edited by Barbicatter; March 26, 2013 at 10:12 AM.
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:10 AM   #3
David Bachelder
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The HazMat fees for primers and powder are not new. Its been going on for a very long time.

HazMat fees are dictated by The Department of Transportation (DOT). The individual dealer has no choice in the matter.
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:15 AM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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$20 is CHEAP and there's been a fee in effect for shipping primers for.... a long time. Decades? I don't know when it started exactly. I've never known it not to be, anyway. I think maybe about 1975, but I'm not sure.

The defacto standard is $27, now days. $20 is cheap.
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:18 AM   #5
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I thought they used to charge it on ammo as well, but they dropped that requirement and only charge it on flammable components.
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:24 AM   #6
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Is that simply due to the fact that bullets are quite a bit less likely to "spontaneously" combust than open primers/powder?
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:25 AM   #7
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I'm pretty sure that I was working for NRA when the Hazmat fees kicked in, and I left NRA in 1994...
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:28 AM   #8
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Way back in 2011, the Department of Transportation decided that primers would be removed from the Hazmat list in 2014. Why it was to take 3 years to go into effect was not explained. Keep in mind that just because the carriers won't be required to collect the fee doesn't mean that they won't decide to keep charging it. I wouldn't bet a nickel on the fees being dropped next year.
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:36 AM   #9
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As someone already stated, $20 is on the very low end of the spectrum. On my last order from Powder Valley it was $27.00 per order. This was also a bargain since their primers were $26.00 per thousand vs. $40 to $50 at local gun stores. You saved more than enuff money with even a 4 to 5 thousand order not to mention huge savings on powders too.

You do have to order in bulk to gander major savings with each order. There is a reasonable shipping charge too, but it typically offsets local and state sales tax particularly in my area where sales tax ranges for 8 to 10%. This is not to mention the cost of gas to go to the store.
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:54 AM   #10
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I have come across the same info cvc944 has. Pretty sure it is true, not just an internet rumor. I think it will go away just because of competition, if one dealer drops it everyone else will have to fall in line to be competitive. Maybe about 2 years ago some dealers were waiving the fee (they were just absorbing it), I think it was Powder Valley. In time the supply will catch up with demand and prices will go back down and "sales" will be back. We've been thru these cycles before.
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Old March 26, 2013, 12:36 PM   #11
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The current hazmat fee is $27.50.
It is charged on flammable/explosive components, bot not on finished ammo
Primers and powder can be combined in one package for one hazmat fee.
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Old March 26, 2013, 12:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
It is charged on flammable/explosive components, bot not on finished ammo
Also, I believe that the fee is NOT charged on primed (but not loaded) brass.
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Old March 26, 2013, 12:47 PM   #13
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Apparently the current UPS charge is $32.50 per shipment, but I think that's for individuals and businesses get some other rate.
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Old March 26, 2013, 01:18 PM   #14
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You best believe local businesses are not going to sell at a loss by absorbing actual cost. If it is not a direct identified cost, then it will be an absorbed cost making the price higher. This is why you pay more for primers and powder at your local gun store since they have paid the HAZMAT fee but with large max amounts. They also add their overhead and profit percentage based upon cost which the HAZMAT fee is a part of.

It you buy directly, then you pay the HAZMAT fee as a plus cost without a % for overhead and profit added on.

If you want just one pound of power and/or 100 primers to last you a life time, then by all means buy locally. If you want 8 pounds of powder and/or six thousand primers for the current or future needs over the next year, you will be far ahead by paying the HAZMAT fee as an identified cost.

Do the numbers and make your own call.
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Old March 26, 2013, 01:29 PM   #15
ScottRiqui
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Quote:
This is why you pay more for primers and powder at your local gun store since they have paid the HAZMAT fee but with large max amounts.
LGS prices may be higher, but I don't think much of the difference is because of the HAZMAT fee. You can ship up to 48 pounds of HAZMAT on one fee, so that works out to about fifty-eight cents per brick of primers or pound of powder. Even adding a "profit margin" to the HAZMAT fee doesn't account for most of the cost difference at the LGS, at least not my local shops.

Last edited by ScottRiqui; March 26, 2013 at 06:34 PM.
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Old March 26, 2013, 02:09 PM   #16
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HazMat fees are dictated by The Department of Transportation (DOT).
Not entirely true. Hazmat fees are "allowed" not dictated. What DOT does dictate is the extra record keeping and storage requirements that shippers must use when transporting "hazardous material". Shippers are allowed to offset the cost of that extra requirement by charging a fee - not that it really costs that much for extra record keeping and handling for a box of primers or powder. I too wish they would hurry up and get on with the removal of primers from the list.
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Old March 26, 2013, 04:07 PM   #17
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OK so basically, even with the Hazmat charge, would you guys say its still economical to reload? Any of you know the cost per round for reloading 9mm and 45acp?
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Old March 26, 2013, 04:20 PM   #18
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9mm is one of the least cost effective rounds to reload, but it's still cost effective. Only you can decide the final cost. Bullets themselves can be anywhere from free, if you cast your own, to very expensive if you buy premium stuff. Brass can be free, range-pickup or buy brand-new Starline.

Reloading Cost Calculator

In general, yes, it's a lot cheaper per round to reload. In all likelihood, you'll shoot so much more that you'll spend as much or more but fire a lot more rounds doing it, it won't actually be "cheaper".
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Old March 26, 2013, 05:28 PM   #19
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$20 Haz Mat charge?

RCBS has a pretty good iPhone app for reloading costs, too. And it's free
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Old March 26, 2013, 06:30 PM   #20
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OK so basically, even with the Hazmat charge, would you guys say its still economical to reload? Any of you know the cost per round for reloading 9mm and 45acp?
Yes it is cheaper even with the hazmat. What you have to do is buy in bulk. For one hazmat fee you can buy 50,000 primers, or 48 pounds of powder, or 48 pounds of primers and powder mixed but you can't order a mixed shipment from MidwayUSA. Every other place I know will ship a mixed order for one hazmat. Go in with a couple of friends and place a larger order.

Yes I know what my cost is but you won't be able to get there. I am still using components from 2007. I also cast my own bullets with free lead. The general rule is at todays prices if you order in bulk you should be able to load for at least half of what cheap factory ammo cost. You might have to wait for this crazyness to slow down a little.
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Old March 26, 2013, 06:39 PM   #21
Dodge DeBoulet
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Originally Posted by Swampman1
OK so basically, even with the Hazmat charge, would you guys say its still economical to reload? Any of you know the cost per round for reloading 9mm and 45acp?
Buy in large enough quantity and you will no doubt spend far less per round. 40S&W plinking rounds currently cost me a dime each, or 100 for $10. Factory ammo is at least 3 times that. With an investment of roughly $1500 in reloading equipment, I can churn out between 700 and 800 rounds per hour.

That said, I buy at minimum 10K of primers at a time, powder in 8lb jugs, and bullets in minimum amounts of 2K. When I can, I combine my orders with those of friends to take advantage of volume discounts and the sharing of hazmat/shipping charges.

My equipment has paid for itself in 18 months . . .

As has been mentioned previously, though, you will find new freedom in shooting as much as you want, when you want. The cost savings, while real, are somewhat deceptive
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Last edited by Dodge DeBoulet; March 26, 2013 at 06:49 PM.
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Old March 26, 2013, 06:41 PM   #22
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As said, your cost per round will depend on what you pay for components. My cost is working out to around 14 cents for 9mm, if I consider my brass to be "free", "free" labor, and not counting equipment investments. This is with recently purchased bullets, powder, and primers. I'm reusing factory brass from ammo that I've shot and range pickups. A lot better than the current cost of factory 9mm.
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:26 PM   #23
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Quote:
OK so basically, even with the Hazmat charge, would you guys say its still economical to reload? Any of you know the cost per round for reloading 9mm and 45acp?
PV has primers for as low as $21(When they are in, and they do get them in, they just don't last long).

LGS price around here is $40 per thousand. I only need to buy 5k online to come out way ahead($145-ish).

That is less than 3 cents per primer. Powder might cost about that. Bullets for .45, are what, 10 cents for hard cast? I have plenty of brass from shooting a case of factory when I first started shooting. I have the spare time, though some do not and it needs taken in to account for those folks

Less than 20 cents per round in material for a 45 acp round for me. What does it cost for a box of 45acp at the LGS or wherever, when you can find it?

I load .223 right now for about 17 cents per round, I can't buy it anywhere unless I want to pay 75 cents per round. Loading 500 rounds of .223 has paid for my LCT press, and most of my tooling.
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Old March 27, 2013, 07:24 AM   #24
Swampman1
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Quote:
PV has primers for as low as $21(When they are in, and they do get them in, they just don't last long)
Sorry what is PV?
OK thanks for the breakdown. So buying in bulk apparently is the way to go. So can anyone recommend online stores to buy these supplies at a reasonable cost?
Also, how many times can you reuse brass casings(talking 9mm and 45acp)? Thanks guys.
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Old March 27, 2013, 07:28 AM   #25
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I believe he means Powder Valley. They are really good folks to do business with.

http://www.powdervalleyinc.com/index.html
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