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Old March 8, 2007, 02:25 PM   #1
Smokin Joe
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True Cost of Reloading.

I wonder is labor rates are ever factored into this reloading cost.

Say if you were working instead of reloading, you might be making 10 dollars an hour. if it takes one an hour to make 50 rounds of 9mm then they are losing money because most are 9 bucks / 50.

add in the cost of supplies and they lose even more.

Sure all hobbies have a cost, but if you are reloading vs buying factory fresh just to save money, then maybe you arent.
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Old March 8, 2007, 02:36 PM   #2
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You're right on. When you pay an ammo manufacturer for ammo, the VAST majority of what you're paying for is good, cheap labor.

If you're someone (like me) who operates a professional practice (lawyer, doctor, accountant, etc.), your time is worth WAAAYYYY more than the cost of manufactured ammo. If I factor in labor costs into my reloads, based on my regular billing rate, my reloads cost me several hundred dollars per box!

But at the same time, I reload on the weekends. I don't reload during times when I would otherwise be at work. So, it's not really fair to factor in my time in reloading cost; it's time I wouldn't be getting paid for anyway. I consider it "free", because I enjoy it; reloading relaxes me.

Still, it's a very good point. I know several guys in my profession who only shoot factory ammo, because they don't want to expend the time it takes to reload. (In fact, in my early years of gun enthusiasm, I was that way. I didn't reload, because it was too time consuming.)
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Old March 8, 2007, 02:42 PM   #3
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If you reload to save money, and factor in your time, it's not worth it.

If, OTOH, you consider reloading a hobby, as I do, it's a lot of fun and a great money saver.

I enjoy loading 2000 rounds of 9MM, .40 or .45 or .223, .308,.30-06 in an evening on my Dillon 650. And loading in lots of 2,000, I don't need to load a particular caliber every week, and I can justify buying components in bulk to save even more.
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Old March 8, 2007, 02:47 PM   #4
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I don't reload but I clearly see the point that you are making. Treat it as a hobby, not a job that you are being paid for.

As an off topic example - I fish for salmon when it is MUCH cheaper to just buy it in the store, particularly when you factor in the boat, gas, tackle, and time spent.

I feel the same way about shooting and reloading, treat it as a hobby and enjoy yourself!!!
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Old March 8, 2007, 03:28 PM   #5
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You could save even more money by paying me to shoot for you while you're working.

Actually, unless you're reloading rather than working a paid job, your wages don't enter into the equation.
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Old March 8, 2007, 03:31 PM   #6
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If you

factor in the labor on reloading then you might as well do it on everything else too. Mowing you own lawn, washing the car or dishes. Spending time with the wife!!
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Old March 8, 2007, 03:55 PM   #7
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I wonder is labor rates are ever factored into this reloading cost.

Say if you were working instead of reloading, you might be making 10 dollars an hour. if it takes one an hour to make 50 rounds of 9mm then they are losing money because most are 9 bucks / 50.

add in the cost of supplies and they lose even more.
I would be factoring in the price of my time and labor, assuming that I was going to be doing anything useful in lieu of reloading with that time. But -- that's not the case at all. I'd just be sitting there watching the tube, or playing computer games, or doing some other useless, non-paying, time filling activity instead.

It is a hobby that helps feed another, related hobby. Do you factor in the time you spend on YOUR hobbies or other private activities? Do you factor in the time you spend shooting? Or working on your car? Or mowing your lawn? Or doing other chores around the house? No? Why Not?

If, on the other hand, I were to get licensed and start loading ammo for money, then I certainly WOULD be factoring in the cost of my (or my employee's) time and labor. Then it would be a real business where I would be intending to turn a profit and make a living at it. Which is a different thing altogether.

You fail to take into account other factors that would also come to play, here. You fail to take into account the ability to customize your ammo to best fit you and your respective guns. You just can't do that when buying factory ammo -- where you have to take what the factory gives you. By reloading, I can make EXACTLY the ammo that I want. If I want to make a reduced power load, I just make a reduced power load. If I want to try brand X primers, brand Y brass, Brand V powder and brand Z bullets then I'll just do that, no problem. The point is, I can custom fit my ammo to fit my purposes. You can't do that with factory ammo. That fact alone make it so that the relative cost of handloaded vs factory loaded ammo becomes moot. I wouldn't care if it were even more expensive (which it isn't), I'd still load my own.
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Old March 8, 2007, 04:11 PM   #8
James A. Mullins
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Another way to look at labor costs. Lets ask do you get paid for shooting-fishing-mowing the yard,ect. For me there is no better feeling as filling my deer-elk tag with a round I loaded myself. Another real nice feeling is shooting your own loads into those tiny groups we all strive for. When I work and get paid, thats what I do. All other time is mine to enjoy any way I choose. No it is not cost effective if you count your time.
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Old March 8, 2007, 04:17 PM   #9
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Even factoring in labor costs or potential profits you could be making at work, I have found reloading to still be a cost saver. I can easily reload 500 rounds of .45 in one hour. I can reload 45s for about 12 dollars / 100 rounds. The cheapest factory ammo in my neck of the woods is a case of 500 umc rounds from dicks sporting goods for about $120 ($24/ 100 rounds).

Factor in 1hours worth of work at $10 an hour, reloading is still far cheaper. I get my brass for free so thats not factored into the equation.

Add the tremendous cost savings to the enjoyment, the customized loads, and the accuracy gains and reloading is well worth it.

(FYI---> Im using a dillon square deal press)
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Old March 8, 2007, 05:15 PM   #10
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I wonder is labor rates are ever factored into this reloading cost
Here's the skinny on handloading.
Lots and lots of us handload for many of the same reasons we shoot.
It's enjoyable & it's a challange to produce the best possible load @ the most reasonable component price.
I can't honestly say I enjoy loading as much as I do shooting,,,but I enjoy it a damn sight more than cleaning !

I'd no sooner put a labor charge on loading than I would put a labor charge on shooting.

YMMV - as I'm sure it's going to from person to person.

I swear some of the benchrest shooters I used to see at Kelbley's (a big time benchrest range here in Ohio) used to spend way more time at the bench fretting over a portable laoding press and case trimmer, than they did putting bullets downrange. I think they got a lot more pleasure from the handloading.
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Old March 8, 2007, 07:59 PM   #11
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UNless you can actually work the hours spent reloading for pay, your labor has no value.
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Old March 8, 2007, 08:34 PM   #12
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I reload shotshells.

You can maybe get it down to around $3.00 a box for a box of 12 gauge shells, and less than that if your buddy gives a coffee can of shot he found in his Grandfather's basement .

That's about half to a quarter the price of a factory loaded box.

But, like other posters have mentioned, you also gain flexibility in being able to customize your ammo.

I can make low recoil loads for when I want to shoot Grandpa's 6 pound single shot, experiment with PC Post wads and other things to open up patterns, and do all sorts of cool things.

It's worth it.
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Old March 8, 2007, 08:52 PM   #13
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No matter when you reload, there is some crappy job that pays something for you. Like working at mcdonalds for example. somewhere, somehow, someone will be willing to pay you for your time...
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Old March 8, 2007, 09:02 PM   #14
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I save on the price of brass alone. The metal is freakin sky rocketing. Reusing the same brass multiple times, I think, saves a bundle.
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Old March 8, 2007, 09:25 PM   #15
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Sitting at your computer - yeah you - reading this is less productive than loading your own.
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Old March 8, 2007, 09:29 PM   #16
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Reload because you want to. If you make it into a chore, then buy factory ammo and don't worry about it. If you don't shoot much, you are probably better off buying factory ammo.

If you are not working your regular job, your time is worth ZERO.
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Old March 8, 2007, 09:34 PM   #17
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As one poster has already mentioned, unless the time you spend reloading is taking the place of compensated time/labor, your labor has no value per se. However, this begs a fundamental question. By reloading I can build better ammunition for my gun than I can buy commercialy - a lot better.

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Old March 8, 2007, 09:42 PM   #18
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If you got something like one of those Dillon progressive loaders with all the bells and whistles, your production rate per hour can be pretty high for something like handgun ammo, if that is what bothers you. Now old fashioned one round at a time loading is not that fast but OK figure that you may be loading a custom load that works best with your hunting rifle, like say an exact weight of powder and components that shoot tight groups and works better than the factory stuff in your gun. Then figure what some custom loader might charge you to make the same ammo for just your gun. Otherwise it is fun for alot of us. What does it cost to have fun? Keep your minds out of the gutter while contemplating that one.
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Old March 8, 2007, 09:47 PM   #19
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In economics this is called cost of opportunity:
Opportunity cost is the cost we pay when we give up something to get something else. There can be many alternatives that we give up to get something else, but the opportunity cost of a decision is the most desirable alternative we give up to get what we want.
I used to do a lot of things myself but now my time is worth more to me than the things I used to do myself. If it is something I enjoy doing, like a hobby, I still do it.
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Old March 8, 2007, 10:02 PM   #20
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cost of reloading.

You load in your leisure time, not during work hours so you are not losing are just not sitting on your arse in front of the TV. Furthermore, using a Dillon 550B and casting with a Lee six cavity mold, you will produce far more ammo than you can afford to buy no matter how cheap. If you think you shoot a lot and you don't reload you are fooling yourself. You are a gun owner, not a shooter.

Whoops...I really do not want to compete with people for the lead I use to reload so please disregard everything I have said. Reloading is a waste of your time!
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Old March 8, 2007, 11:03 PM   #21
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Like others, I load in time that would otherwise be wasted on TV or something just as silly. Based on that I guess it is fair to say I am actually making that wasted time worth somewhere between $30 and $40 per hour, that being the savings on the ammo produced. Not bad.
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Old March 8, 2007, 11:19 PM   #22
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Using that logic, let's start adding in the time we take preparing and eating to the cost of food, driving to the cost of gas.................................
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Old March 8, 2007, 11:33 PM   #23
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The true cost of reloading is the sense that I am saving money over buying factory ammo. I don't think of the cost per round while at the range as much, so 400 .45 from the shelf goes down range without much thought. That still cost money. The other factor, and this is huge, I feel that I have a lot of extra money from the savings on reloading, despite shooting enough more to offset those savings, so I view all new gun purchases as free. Then there is the need to get the new dies and such if in another caliber and then on to more savings. Getting another gun in a caliber I already reload for is totally free.

I'm thinking this could be another addiction. I've even gone so far as to shoot alone. When asked about my shooting I always say it only affects me. My shooting seems to be escalating.........
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Old March 8, 2007, 11:50 PM   #24
Smokin Joe
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"let's start adding in the time we take preparing and eating to the cost of food, "
I do that. It turns out to be cheaper to eat out in restaurants than it is to KEEP a kitchen and eat at home. If I had a family to feed, that would be different but making meals for one aint happening
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Old March 8, 2007, 11:52 PM   #25
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i don't figure in labor because it's a hobby for me. i'd rather reload at night during the winter than watch some dumb@zz reality tv show. I can watch a movie on my laptop or listen to the radio and reload easily. also, i can customize my loads for different applications. a huge bonus over factory rounds.

i have a friend that is a wood worker and he makes amazing pieces. he's spent hundreds of hours on major projects only to give them away as gifts. some of us are living our lifes and enjoying what we do and not worrying about money.
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