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Old March 24, 2012, 01:23 PM   #26
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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How many 1000s before you broke even?

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Pond, James Pond said:How many 1000s before you broke even?
The very first cartridge I fired down the barrel that I reloaded. I considered it to be a $150.00 plus shot. Since then, "I got a heck of a BIG money surplus on going." SSMcG
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Old March 24, 2012, 02:39 PM   #27
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Factory 45acp's $22/50
Primers $25/1000
Powder $25/lb
LLA Lube $7/bottle
Cast bullets $0 (when I can score free wheelweights)
Once fired cases $0 (pick up all I want, whenever I want)

Satisfaction of making dirt-cheap ammo that does exactly what I want it to do:
PRICELESS!
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Old March 24, 2012, 02:56 PM   #28
Don P
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Talking revolver type calibres, and assuming you bought decent standard kit, how many 1000s of rounds did you have to handload before you broke even and your efforts started saving you money
500 rounds of each of the following,
38 spl, 357 mag, 40 S&W, and 45 acp.
That is comparing the price of the above in factory ammo to the reloads and in the end I was $100 to the good with 2,500 rounds of reloads and saving money.
This was early 2007 prices
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Old March 24, 2012, 03:05 PM   #29
Pond, James Pond
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500 rounds of each of the following,
38 spl, 357 mag, 40 S&W, and 45 acp.
Whilst I very much appreciate all the input on this thread, that there is the most direct answer to my question, so far!!!

Evidently US prices on the individual components are much cheaper than here.
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Old March 24, 2012, 04:50 PM   #30
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I originally got into reloading to save money. I was doing a lot of shooting while guiding, and the company I worked for only bought us shotgun ammo. With pistol and rifle we were on our own. I tell people that reloading is cheaper and you can spin the math to show it, but as lots of folks have mentioned, we keep shooting more and more and buying more reloading gear to tweak the ammo just a bit more. So I'll say that reloading economics are a moving target and I long since gave up trying to care about whether or not I actually was saving money. If you shoot common military calibers like 9mm, 223, or a few other rounds, and if you don't shoot much, just buy your ammo. It's pretty cheap and comparable to handloads in price. It's only when handload quality and accuracy start mattering to you that handloading becomes something more valuable, and by that I'm not talking completely about economics. As for more extreme economics, if you have a Weatherby cartridge rifle or one of the others that cost a couple of bucks a round, your equipment payout is much faster (if it ever happens). Some things in life you just can't prove, disprove, quantify, or justify merely with a calculator. You come across as a very intelligent fellow, so get into reloading and you can ask all sorts of intelligent questions that the rest of us can argue over. Everybody has fun then.
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Old March 24, 2012, 05:23 PM   #31
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No idea, never counted, as I reload as a hobby. I make better, more reliable more accurate ammo cheaper than I could buy it, but it's a hobby like shooting, so i don't "cost it out".
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Old March 24, 2012, 06:58 PM   #32
TXGunNut
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Whilst I very much appreciate all the input on this thread, that there is the most direct answer to my question, so far!!!-Pond


Sorry my friend, best answer is you may never "break even". If you fire a modest amount of ammo (.38, 9, .40, .45 ) that is available in bulk it takes a long time. If you shoot several hundred 45-90's, 38-55's or Weatherby Mags each year your break-even point may come in the first few weeks. Most of us got into it to save money but a break-even point is very difficult to determine. Equipment upgrades are sometimes expensive but they, too, eventually pay off in the long run, or at least we tell ourselves that.
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Old March 24, 2012, 07:54 PM   #33
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What is the price of a "decent standard kit"?
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It comes to about €500 for a nice Lees press, two sets of dies, and a measure (auto-disk?)
Let's see $1.327/ Euro= $663.50. Yikes!

Even if you were talking a Lee Loadmaster I can get that, second set of plates, dies, second primer feed for maybe $400. For a Lee single stage press kit with scale, powder measure and a bunch of other stuff, $117. Throw in another $100 for dies. Wow, you guys are getting hosed in Europe.
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Old March 24, 2012, 10:00 PM   #34
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I am a little concerned as I presently don't shoot those quantities on an annual basis.

Pond, why am I reading your posts with a Scotish accent. Is it all in my head?

First, don't get into reloading to save cash (or sterling). It doesn't happen.

Get into reloading to shoot the best you possible can. Commercial ammo is really junk. When you make a product that will work in any and all guns, it just does not work the best in yours. I didn't believe that untill I started reloading myself, the difference is like night and day.

What happens is that once you start to reload, you are shooting so much better, you keep going out more and more to shoot. That means more and more reloading and bullets and powder and primers, cases we just keep reusing.

Reloading is a hobby all by itself, I live where it is cold and wet 5 months out of the year and while I reload year round, this is the period I spend the most on the reloading bench. I don't ice fish, so that couldn't keep me out of trouble, but reloading does.

I started to reload so I could shoot more, after 8 years, I shoot more now so that I can reload.

Good Luck
Jim
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Old March 24, 2012, 10:25 PM   #35
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I'll never break even. It seems I spend as much on my reloading habit as I do on my firearm and shooting habits.
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Old March 24, 2012, 10:36 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Jim243
Pond, why am I reading your posts with a Scotish accent. Is it all in my head?
I suspect it is because the Ian Fleming character, 007, always introduced himself as "Bond, James Bond" and both the character and Sean Connery (who is still the actor who most famously portrayed 007) is also Scottish.

Just my guess. But I thought of that immediately upon seeing Pond, James Pond's webname the very first time.

Not only do I get a Scottish brogue, but I see Connery's eyebrows, too.

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Old March 25, 2012, 12:36 AM   #37
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I gave up trying to calculate this years ago. I've been reloading for 20-something years now. Here's how I look at it. my equipment has been paid for a hundred times over. I have the ability to walk out to my shop and load over 10K worth of ammo in about 2-dozen different cartridges if I wanted to. That's all shooting that I can essentially do for nothing but my time involved in loading. I also cast for most of my rifles and all of my handguns. I have about 1500 pounds of usable alloy once I smelt down and clean everything I have. Other casters would probably have fits over it but I have so much that I use 3 5-gallon buckets of WW alloy for weight in the bed of my truck during the winter because it's just extra. Mu handguns break down to $0.04 to $0.06 a shot average. Even my powder-hog rifle loads at match grade long-range quality are working out to about $0.60 a pop on the top end. The bottom line is the only way I shoot what I shoot is to load it myself. One stop into any sporting goods store will confirm that in a second with sticker-shock for the price equal factory ammo against what I can do for pennies on the dollar while doing what I really enjoy. That part of it is priceless.
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Old March 25, 2012, 03:51 AM   #38
Pond, James Pond
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Pond, why am I reading your posts with a Scotish accent. Is it all in my head?
Oooh, that made me laugh out loud... It scared the dogs!!

I'm afraid there is no Scot's accent for me: a fact that is of constant disappointment to my wife!!

Quote:
I suspect it is because the Ian Fleming character, 007, always introduced himself as "Bond, James Bond" and both the character and Sean Connery (who is still the actor who most famously portrayed 007) is also Scottish.
Spot on!!
I could have tried writing Mr Connery's accent into my username phonetically, I suppose!

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First, don't get into reloading to save cash (or sterling). It doesn't happen.
I am starting to get that impression.

First, I feel I need to decide if I like IPSC enough to compete more seriously/frequently. Then I need to decide if I want to shoot my Glock or try my hand at revolvers.
(Great thing over here with wheelguns is I could be worst in the revolver league and still be 10th in the country!! Not a popular league..)

If so, then reloading may make sense: I'd either be shooting my snub, or the Redhawk. The snub could do with more accuracy, and the Redhawk with lighter loads: after a day of .44Mag I wouldn't be able to sign my score sheet.

Handloaded Mag at nearer .Spl velocities would be far more comfortable. (As I explained earlier: a stupid law says I can't buy .44 Spl with a licence for a .44 Mag. registered gun)

It seems that try as I might, shooting doesn't get cheaper...

Pond: "Do you expect me to talk?"
Goldfinger: "No, Mr. Pond. I expect you to buy."

Still, if it all makes shooting affordable, if not cheaper: I'll be in double-oh heaven!

Quote:
Wow, you guys are getting hosed in Europe.
Yup.
For all the advantages of living in a small country with a small population, the retail market is not one of them...
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Old March 25, 2012, 04:53 AM   #39
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Handloaded Mag at nearer .Spl velocities would be far more comfortable. (As I explained earlier: a stupid law says I can't buy .44 Spl with a licence for a .44 Mag. registered gun)
Can you get your hands on some 44Spl brass, or would you get in to trouble with the law? If you could you could load them yourself. Or could you trim some 44Mag brass down to 44Spl length? If so it would still be head stamped 44Mag.
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Old March 25, 2012, 07:26 AM   #40
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It took me 1477 rounds of match grade .308 to recover the cost of my initial investment, but then I spent a bunch on my essential equipment, particularly on my scale, trimmer, trim-mate, competition die, and single stage press. Since I went into it with both feet, I didn't wait for sales so I paid more than I might have.

My total investment for the first caliber was $1151 based on the cost of the factory ammo that I had been shooting before I started reloading. Factory match ammo costs a bunch, even on sale so I saved about $ 0.75 per reload using good match bullets - Sierra Match Kings, Nosler Custom Competition, Hornady Match, etc.

Accuracy results have improved also with my 25 best hand loads shooting about 0.2 to 0.3 inches better than the factory ammo depending on the powder, depth of seating and velocity.

I have since bought dies for 11 additional calibers but the basic equipment investment was recovered on the first caliber.
Since my start in August 2010, I have reloaded 10180 rounds in 7 rifle calibers and 5 pistol calibers and have saved over $ 7,100 against a total investment in equipment of $ 1,335. My total savings is slightly $ 5,600 and still growing with every reload. I'll am happy with my 4.5x return on investment.
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Old March 25, 2012, 07:34 AM   #41
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It took me about 3200 rounds of .45 ACP to pay off my initial purchase of a 550 and accessories (tumbler, scale, calipers, puller, etc.)

Reloading equipment has gone up some since then, but not as much as loaded ammo has, so I suspect the breakeven point should be even lower now. As noted, if you load more "exotic" calibers it will come faster, too. I saw .45 Colt and .44 Mag selling for 80 cents per round retail last week, and I can load them for around 12 cents.
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Old March 25, 2012, 09:42 AM   #42
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I personally did NOT make the mistake of trying to amortise the cost of press and other gear into 'number of rounds to break even" - this is madness. It's a hobby - I consider the gear as a one-time up-front cost.
This ^. Plus the equipment is not a comsumable. It will be worth money the entire time you own it or if you decide to sell it.

As far as saving money I can reload using jacketed bullets for half of what factory ammo cost.
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Old March 25, 2012, 10:05 AM   #43
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Talking revolver type calibres, and assuming you bought decent standard kit, how many 1000s of rounds did you have to handload before you broke even and your efforts started saving you money?

With the .460 S&W Mag, it was only hundreds, not thousands.
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Old March 25, 2012, 10:40 AM   #44
gwalchmai
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Sorry, I see where I missed the part where the OP asked when it started saving money. I haven't seen any money saved yet, I'm afraid...
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Old March 25, 2012, 10:43 AM   #45
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Hi, James. I don't know if this will push you over the top into reloading, but ever four years we have this "name calling match" here on this side of the pond. (yours I believe is every five years or so) The last time (2008), it got really, really bad here and every spare (popular) caliber was gone off the shelves not just here and there but eveywhere. Even reloading supplies were impossible to get. (stock up now, keep 12 months supply on hand)

Consider your equipment cost as an investment and not part of the unit cost. When the election comes or the comet hits or the floods wash away the bridges it will be impossible to resupply commercial ammo. If you consider the equipment as an investment, your savings will start with the first round that you reload, pistol about 20% savings, rifle about 70% savings over commercial ammo. (except cheap Russian 223 or 7.62, but that will disappear as well)

The bottom line is that a pistol or rifle is useless without something to shoot. When I want to go to the range, I just go to my 5 year stock of reloaded ammo, pick out a box or two of reloaded ammo and off I go, when I get the time I replace what I used with new reloads. There is a different feeling knowing that you are not limited to the whims of supply and demand. (Priceless)

Shooting is a sport I really enjoy (IDPA or just target) and knowing I can do it without fear of being out of ammo is a feeling you can only experience once you start reloading and have built up a good supply.

I have over 12 pistol and rifle calibers that I reload and shoot and I have no problem in picking up any one of them and going off to the range or hunt.

Just my view on reloading.
Jim
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Old March 25, 2012, 11:20 AM   #46
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Realistically, to add to my earlier post and back what's already been said many times before... There really is no such thin as "SAVINGS". You will spend at least the same amount, likely more. But you'll be able to shoot a LOT more for the same amount spent. AND, it opens up an entire new world of options that are not available otherwise.
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Old March 25, 2012, 12:30 PM   #47
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I've been handloading since the early 80's.........

Factoring in my time at the rate of what I think I'm worth @ 35 bucks an hour I've not come close to breaking even.

Factoring in my time at the rate of what I'm actually worth @ 3 bucks an hour I broke even a long time ago.


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Old March 25, 2012, 03:06 PM   #48
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I've been handloading since the early 80's.........

Factoring in my time at the rate of what I think I'm worth @ 35 bucks an hour I've not come close to breaking even.

Factoring in my time at the rate of what I'm actually worth @ 3 bucks an hour I broke even a long time ago.
What rate do you factor in while shooting?
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Old March 25, 2012, 04:00 PM   #49
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Once I get to 220 reloads I will be even with the cost of my press and everything if I would have bought factory loads. reloading for the 500 mag doesnt take long to get ur moneys worth. I plan to reload for the 45 acp soon, but that shouldnt take to long to recoop my cost shooting them through a tommy gun, probably a couple range trips.
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Old March 25, 2012, 08:43 PM   #50
Ethan.G
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anyone use this calculator? my loads will pay for my press and components in 200 rounds (30-06, 150g FMJ)

http://www.realguns.com/calculators/...stsavings.html
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