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Old February 4, 2012, 09:38 PM   #1
Martowski
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9mm Reloading Worth the Cost?

Okay, so I've been debating reloading 9mm for some time. I collect my brass and have enough that I wouldn't need cases for a very, very long time. However, what I'm seeing locally and via Midway has me looking at:

115 gr FMJ bullets (500): $60
Bullseye Powder (1 lb): $21
Small Pistol Primers (1,000): $31

With a 4.6 gr. load of Bullseye, this comes up to a per 50 cost of $8.24. Throw in either shipping from Midway or tax locally, and suddenly I'm above $9.00 per box. Which doesn't even factor in the cost of dies.

If I did reload 9mm, it would be simply to save money. But I can find brass cased 115 gr FMJ at a cost of $9.95/50. So I'm still wondering how this is economically a cost savings without buying components more in bulk (which I'm not interested in doing right now).

Insight?
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Old February 4, 2012, 09:56 PM   #2
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Many of the guys on here will suggest not to load 9mm because of the small savings margin. I say go for it! It's not all about the cost, but rather the experience. It's the ability to go to the range with YOUR handloads. Its about knowing that your bullets will go "bang" every time. It's about a higher quality ammo than factory rounds.

Also consider the variety of loads you can make. You could make a light plinking load, or a speedy SD round. Its entirely up to your imagination attempting to match a gun to the perfect combination of bullet, powder, and primer.

If I may get nostalgic and say it truly is a beautiful thing.
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Old February 4, 2012, 10:24 PM   #3
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The only issue I see with it is you cannot carry them them for PP uses. Because if you use them your screwed.
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Old February 4, 2012, 10:33 PM   #4
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I can save 50% of what WWB cost and have ammo that's a lot better. If I can save 50% it's worth it to me. Only you can decide if saving 50% is worth it to you.
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Old February 4, 2012, 10:34 PM   #5
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how is that? why if you carry reloads are you screwed?
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Old February 4, 2012, 10:35 PM   #6
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I know its off topic but I love it when people say you can't carry them for PP. Its not going to bite you in the tail if you load HP's for SD and then end up using them. Reloaded ammo is exactly the same as Factory ammo from that standpoint. A lawyer can't prove that your intent to kill someone was premeditated any more by the fact that you made your own ammo than if you went down to Cabella's and bought some nice SD rounds with XTP's in them. If you have a case where the reloads actually played a role in convicting a reloader I would love to hear about it.
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Old February 4, 2012, 10:37 PM   #7
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Put WWB ammo to a caliper and/or a chronograph one time: you'd be amazed how sloppy that stuff is.

You can make better ammo, slightly cheaper.
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Old February 4, 2012, 10:39 PM   #8
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Getting back on topic, can someone clue me in to how they are seeing a substantial cost savings by reloading 9mm? I'd like to know prices of components and sources. Otherwise, since I'm a father of three young kids with little time anyway reloading 9mm doesn't seem to be a big bonus; I can barely find time as it is to reload .38 special.

amathis, I know what you mean and agree to some extent especially as it pertains to rifle ammunition. But for my purposes, I'm really just looking at it from a financial perspective (but definitely see the bonus in handloading if I'm using more expensive projectiles such as XTPs or something).
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Old February 4, 2012, 10:44 PM   #9
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Well as I said before you're not going to save a ton by reloading 9mm but your rounds will be higher quality. My reloads for 9mm are worth (to me at least) around $15-18 per 50 if were to pay for them in a store. I can produce over 1000 rounds per hour, so that cuts down on the time issue.

As far as your kids are concerned, maybe you could get them involved. I know alot of guys here got their start reloading and shooting my sitting with their Dads at the bench learning the art.

If you don't have time, and don't really shoot that much it probably isn't worth it for you. I just love doing it because of the variety I can develop.
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Old February 4, 2012, 10:48 PM   #10
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Which, to my last statement, I just updated the reloading calculator and figured I can load a box of 50 using 124 gr. Hornady XTPs for $10.74/box. Now that could be worth it for those rounds, but I don't see a savings at 115 gr. FMJ.
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Old February 4, 2012, 10:50 PM   #11
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Don't get into reloading if it's for the 9mm. First I'd move to a 124 gr bullet in the 9. Reloading only saves money on the big bore rounds. If you reload for the bige bore you might as well reload everything. Only other reason is if you shoot some type of competion.
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Old February 4, 2012, 10:57 PM   #12
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You can buy your components cheaper in bulk:

Montana Gold 115 FMJ $0.076 ($305 for 4000 shipped)
Powder Valley CCI 500 Primers $0.024 ($24 per 1K)
Powder Valley Bullseye Powder $0.0083 ($101 for 8 pounds)

$4.61 per box of 50 not counting brass costs and shipping & HAZMAT from Powder Valley. But doing a group buy you can make this almost seem negligible. You also didn't cover lead bullets which run about half of jacketed.

Don't reload to save money. You will shoot more so you spend just much but shoot twice as much. Reload because it allows you to do things you can't do by only buying factory loaded ammo.
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Old February 4, 2012, 11:14 PM   #13
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I buy lead bullets from Missouri Bullet Company and powder and primers from Powder Valley. I can save more than enough to overcome shipping charges. Like CrustyFN said, I can load for half the cost of WWB.
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Old February 4, 2012, 11:17 PM   #14
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I came up with $5.25 for lead and about $7.00 for plated and FMJ per 50
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Old February 4, 2012, 11:50 PM   #15
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Maybe I'm just not looking hard enough then, as I'm using general prices from local sources and MidwayUSA. I already reload quite a few calibers such as .38, .45, etc.

If I can make this work w/ jacketed bullets for $7.00/50 then it makes a lot of sense.
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Old February 4, 2012, 11:53 PM   #16
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I shoot a fair amount of 9mm.

For practice I use WSP primers at about 2.5 cents per. Power Pistol at 54$ per 4lb, and I 125 gr LRN at about $28/500

so call it

2.5 cnts per primer
1 cent powder
6 cents for bullet

or about 9.5 $ for 100. That's a little less than half of WW white, a lot cleaner and significantly more acurate in my pistol. I also load a bit hotter than the 115 FMJ stuff.

I do make my on PP amo.
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Old February 5, 2012, 12:06 AM   #17
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Do you all see a lot of fouling using non-jacketed bullets?
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Old February 5, 2012, 12:12 AM   #18
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I don't. I cleaned my pistols after my last shooting session and I didn't have any lead fouling after about 100 rounds each in a 9MM and 45ACP.

Last edited by oldreloader; February 5, 2012 at 01:47 PM.
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Old February 5, 2012, 09:01 AM   #19
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My current 9mm load:

Wolf primer- $18/K - $0.018
4.2 gr Titegroup - $60/4 lb - $0.01
124 gr Berrys plated bullet - $79/k - $0.079

That's $10.70 / 100. I haven't bought 9mm ammo in 4 or 5 years.

Half the cost of factory. Worth it to me. But I save a lot more on .45 and 30-06.
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Old February 5, 2012, 09:04 AM   #20
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Mike,

Where are you getting the Berry's plated bullets for that price? Also, the Wolf primers? I am currently using Rainiers plated bullets bought through Midway, and they are more expensive.

I pick up once fired brass at my gun club that people don't want, so I get my brass for "free". Well it is my time used to pick it up, so not really "free". I use plated bullets or lead semi wadcutters which are less expensive than FMJ. I also can tailor my loads so that is another benefit.

I do think reloading 9MM is worth it.
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Old February 5, 2012, 09:34 AM   #21
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Quote:
But I can find brass cased 115 gr FMJ at a cost of $9.95/50.
Where? Most brass cased ammo I see at that price is plated (Blazer Brass, Federal Champion, etc). Even sticking with FMJ, Precision Delta has 115 FMJ bullets for $76/1000 shipped as long as you order 2000 at a time (the second thousand can be any caliber, doesn't have to be the same). The bullet is by far the largest expense and the cost that varies the most in handgun loads, looking for deals there can net you big savings.

Quote:
Otherwise, since I'm a father of three young kids with little time anyway reloading 9mm doesn't seem to be a big bonus; I can barely find time as it is to reload .38 special.
Of all the calibers I reload, 9mm is by far the one I save less with. If your time is at a premium, forgetting about reloading 9mm may be the way to go.

Last edited by Scimmia; February 5, 2012 at 09:53 AM.
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Old February 5, 2012, 09:42 AM   #22
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I get the Berry's from TJConevera.com. The primers came from Powder Valley, I think, shortly after the Great Primer Shortage of 2009. Prices may be up since the last time I bought a year or so ago. I tend to buy in bulk. Or at least what passes for bulk to me. I figure component prices are only going to get higher.
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Old February 5, 2012, 10:07 AM   #23
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Don't get into reloading if it's for the 9mm. First I'd move to a 124 gr bullet in the 9. Reloading only saves money on the big bore rounds.
You can save 50% minimum on any caliber. Saving 50% on 9mm is worth it to a lot of people even though it isn't worth it for you.
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Old February 5, 2012, 10:31 AM   #24
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The big savings on 9mm are if you cast your own lead, or are running practice loads that mimic the expensive carry ammo.

I can load 100 Hornady XTP 124 grain JHP for under $30. Off the shelf they cost about $1 a round. I also load 124 grain Berry's plated HP to mimic my carry load at a cost of Less than $50 for 250 rounds that is a huge savings. I can practice with a load that mimics my carry load, and assure that they feed without spending the huge cost, or shooting up my carry ammo

With cast lead the price is way cheaper. If buying cast lead bullets the price goes down considerably. Especialy if you can afford to buy in bulk. If you cast your own lead cost goes down to pretty much primers, and powder. I get my lead so cheap I do not even factor in the cost.
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Old February 5, 2012, 10:47 AM   #25
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Quote:
The big savings on 9mm are if you cast your own lead, or are running practice loads that mimic the expensive carry ammo.

I can load 100 Hornady XTP 124 grain JHP for under $30. Off the shelf they cost about $1 a round. I also load 124 grain Berry's plated HP to mimic my carry load at a cost of Less than $50 for 250 rounds that is a huge savings. I can practice with a load that mimics my carry load, and assure that they feed without spending the huge cost, or shooting up my carry ammo

With cast lead the price is way cheaper. If buying cast lead bullets the price goes down considerably. Especialy if you can afford to buy in bulk. If you cast your own lead cost goes down to pretty much primers, and powder. I get my lead so cheap I do not even factor in the cost.
That's ture with any caliber. If I am loading jacketed bullets I can save 50% it doesn't matter what caliber it is. I can load 9mm, 38 spcl and 45 auto for $25 per 1,000 with my own cast bullets. My opinion is just the opposite of yours. I think it's worth reloading any caliber and you think "Don't get into reloading if it's for the 9mm. First I'd move to a 124 gr bullet in the 9. Reloading only saves money on the big bore rounds."
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