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Old December 14, 2012, 05:23 AM   #26
Sparks1957
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The OP can certainly do a better job of finding components at lower cost. First off, buy in bulk not in amounts for a mere thousand rounds.

Factoring the cost of your time in is rather silly. Do you count the cost of the time spent on your other hobbies? If reloading is a chore, one might want to consider not doing it.
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Old December 14, 2012, 05:58 AM   #27
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Factoring the cost of your time in is rather silly. Do you count the cost of the time spent on your other hobbies? If reloading is a chore, one might want to consider not doing it.
Yeah, I wish I could factor the cost of my time into everything I do.

It would get me out of a lot of yard work.
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Old December 14, 2012, 07:33 AM   #28
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I can find lead cast bullets or plated bullets for about 1/2 of what your calculations show for jacketed bullets. The bullet cost is the most significant component of the total reloading expense.

If your stuck on reloading jacketed bullets for pistol rounds, you will probably not save much money, however. If you use cast or platted bullets, however, the savings are real.

The cost savings for rifle reloading is generally, significant - even using premium bullets.

I don't reload only to save money..... I love to experiment and it is an interesting hobby where I can learn a lot.

I'm a CPA in public practice for 32 years so I do cost calculations for reloads often and I shop for BARGINS in reloading components. ...that is part of the fun.
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Old December 14, 2012, 08:24 AM   #29
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I don't figure the cost of equipment into my reloading. I could sell my press for what I paid for it today. In a few more years I will probably be able to sell it for even more. I think it will keep up with inflation or fairly close to it. Dillon's No B.S. warranty even transfers with the press.

I buy components in bulk so my prices are much lower that listed by in the OP. I don't load .45 apc hot so my cases probably get lost long before they wear out. I use WST powder and depending on the weight of the bullet used I average around 5 grains of powder per load. That means around 1400 loads per pound rather than 1000. Using Tula primers from Powder Valley and ordering enough to help out with HAS-MAT shipping brings down those cost as well. I order bullets on line in quantities of several thousand at a time. Another way to cut costs.

I did the math last year to see how long it would take to cover the cost of my equipment from the local price of ammo compared to what it costs me to reload. It came out to 7 months with a Dillon RL550b. Yea, I load quite a bit. When adding a caliber it takes less time and ammo to recover that cost. Even loading 9 mm is cheaper to do compared to factory ammo.

I get loads I like by reloading my own. I don't have to run all over town trying to track down enough ammo to make it fun to shoot for a few hours at the range.

I guess one day I will have to check out how much per hour I'm making reloading. I don't have to include the cost of equipment since it isn't loosing value. I don't have to count cases since they came from once fired brass (mine). It will be just bullets, powder and primers for my costs. I will have to look to see what ammo in the store costs now to figure the rest. I probably make more money per hour reloading than I do working at my job.
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Old December 14, 2012, 04:05 PM   #30
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Bulk buying brings benefits before breaking bank.

What is it with folks saying no savings loading 9pm? My initial $600 outlay (RCBS Rock Chucker kit, two pistol die sets, plus some extras) was recouped in less than 4K rounds of 9pm.
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Old December 14, 2012, 04:33 PM   #31
JimDandy
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Quote:
The OP can certainly do a better job of finding components at lower cost. First off, buy in bulk not in amounts for a mere thousand rounds.


Factoring the cost of your time in is rather silly. Do you count the cost of the time spent on your other hobbies? If reloading is a chore, one might want to consider not doing it.
Did you miss the part where I said I was "shopping" in one place? Should I also have to add I was trying to use a location that was both well known, had a broad enough selection that anyone could pretty much figure out how to swap in their own components?

I have to admit, I'm a little confused at all the people bitching that even the worst case scenario proving reloading saves money, and a roadmap for others thinking of getting into the hobby isn't good enough, because I didn't squeeze every last penny to make it best case scenario?

I could have included casting. But not everyone can use cast bullets. Not everyone can have powder and primers shipped to their doorstep.
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Old December 14, 2012, 04:40 PM   #32
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I think it was a good post JD. It can be easy to think of reloading as a way to make cheap ammo when someone is thinking about getting in to reloading, but we who are now kneedeep in it (neck deep?) know it is not as cheap as it seems. Fortunately, the benefits are far greater than we probably expected- far more shooting on whatever ammo budget you do have to spend and much better results than factory ammo.

And of course, the satisfaction that comes from seeing your own ammo make good groups, take game, etc.
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Old December 14, 2012, 04:45 PM   #33
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Exactly, it was aimed more at the folks who are thinking of starting, than the ones who know about Grafs, Powder Valley, and have an electric pot in their detached garage.
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Old December 14, 2012, 04:58 PM   #34
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Did you miss the part where I said I was "shopping" in one place? Should I also have to add I was trying to use a location that was both well known, had a broad enough selection that anyone could pretty much figure out how to swap in their own components?
No, I didn't miss that... but you are paying some inflated prices. Then, you factor in your time as if you wish to prove that reloading isn't a significant savings over buying ammo... at least that's what I hear.
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Old December 14, 2012, 05:10 PM   #35
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Reloading gives me greater flexibility in the rounds I shoot and allows me to budget my shooting much better.

Let's say I spend $500 on a moderate setup, as opposed to buying factory rounds. 9mm ammo can be had for $10 per box, while my reloads cost $7.50 per box. The break even point is 10,000 rounds.

Ok, sounds bad, right? Not really.

I had to buy 1,000 lots of 9mm to get that price break. That's $200 every time I order ammo! That can get tight some months.

Reloading let's me budget better! I now spend about $100 or less a month on ammo...

$35 will buy about 1,000 primers at a local store
$85 will buy 1,000 projectiles online
$20 will buy enough Power Pistol for over 1k rounds.

Point is, I can spread my costs out over a much longer period of time. Also, I can now load more exotic and expensive ammo using the components I bought for other calibers. Like .38 super, same bullets, powder and primers as 9mm. Everything I buy for one can be used in the other.

If I save up enough money to buy a few components in bulk, then I get an even better deal.

Last edited by testuser; December 14, 2012 at 05:15 PM.
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Old December 14, 2012, 05:35 PM   #36
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In todays time...

Reloading allows me to have a nominal supply of ammo on hand. So I dont have to try to get to the store for a couple boxes of ammo,and any impulses I might come up with.

It also relieves abit of pay day stress that might be present when I need to purchase a couple of boxes of ammo.

Reloading is not as affordable / cheap as it was when I strted in the 70's

I also no longer cast lead bullets ,to much time trouble and cost now-a- days. Last I casted was 1990 I find it's far easier to buy lead "tailor mades" in bulk. Even though shipping costs are getting rediculous.
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Old December 14, 2012, 06:54 PM   #37
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Sounds like reloading isn't for you.

More primers on the shelves for the rest of us

With that said, I reload 9mm for $12 per box of 100 with jacketed 124gr bullets, once fired brass, and winchester primers. Plus I get lots of brass from friend that shoot but do not reload.

The cheapest factory in my area is $21 per 100.

I use a Lee Classic Turret press and total investment including dies, scale, etc was $250.

That paid for itself in less than a year. With 45acp and .223 that I am looking to start, the cost difference is even greater. But then again, I am getting a Dillon XL650 soon haha...but that is because I love gadgets and enjoy reloading. It is an additional hobby for me now, not just a mean to save money while shooting.
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Old December 14, 2012, 07:05 PM   #38
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Often is the case when you get into reloading at first, you get what your mentor has or what ever they sell locally. Once you get started you get into looking for all the deals to stretch your reloading dollar as far as it will go. Or you look for something that will increase your output per hour to keep up with the ammo you're now shooting.

Reloading is a great hobby that goes with shooting. How much have we spent on other hobbies or sports? Equipment is just the price you pay to get into a hobby or sport. I think the cost or savings should be figured by the cost of continuing to hobby or sport. I guess everyone will look at things differently. One thing I know is I haven't saved any money so far reloading. I have sent a lot more rounds down range than I did before I got back to reloading this time. I tend to spend as much on reloading per month as I did when I just bought factory ammo.
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Old December 14, 2012, 07:19 PM   #39
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Quote:
No, I didn't miss that... but you are paying some inflated prices. Then, you factor in your time as if you wish to prove that reloading isn't a significant savings over buying ammo... at least that's what I hear.
Then you hear incorrectly.

I took a shopping list from a Cabelas store so the numbers were easily repeatable.

I took a Cabelas so it wasn't some fly by night sale that isn't available today and gone tomorrow.

I took a Cabelas, because you can walk in the front door and walk out with whatever you want, usually- while a small mom and pop may have to special order without the inventory.

I took a Cabelas store because they don't have great prices, but (considering the name brand involved rather than Joe Bob's garage plated bullets available on the internet near you, unless you live in Massachusetts or a couple other sad sad places) they aren't exactly horrible either. There was just a thread about trying to find the progressive press for less than Cabelas had it on sale lately.

I took a Cabelas store because everyone and their sister around here pretty much knows who they are, where they are, and what they are, reputation and target market wise, while referecnces to Grafs, Powder Valley, and their like would not be nearly as recognizable.

I took a Cabelas store because I could put everything in one shopping cart, and it was easy. I didn't have to take this from here, that from there, and then search around for yet another thing from yet a third place to get the cheapest of all three. I could figure out how many pounds of powder it took for 1000 rounds, add that much, a brick of primers, and a thousand bullets, divide that subtotal by 1000 and bingo, easy cost per round on the reloads.

I compared that cost to three different price tiers... the have-to-really-search-for-it Federal value packs that are ridiculously cheap, and thus hard to find, the usually-there-and-standard-plinking-WWB that most recognize off the bat, and the LGS store that... to put it politely- marks their price based on the captive audience that are the folks renting a handgun from them.

I lowballed every single benefit available from reloading. I did mention I was taking worst case scenario right? You saw that part? Even accounting for a paltry three reloads per brass, Brick and mortar prices on the components, compared to 30 bucks a box for almost impossible to find value packs, you still save money. I couldn't make it any harder, and proved you will still save money in the long run. I proved you could even "pay" yourself for making the rounds and save money.
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Old December 15, 2012, 02:19 AM   #40
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So where IS the breakeven and how much can I pay myself to load my ammo?

This summer I devised a spreadsheet to show the breakeven point for rolling your own ammunition. It generated some of the same controversy this thread is experiencing when I posted it.

It included amortizing the initial cost of the equipment, the money value of your time (or the money you have to pay someone else to mow your lawn to free up your time to load) and even the value of the time you had to spend to learn to load.

Here are the formulas: (Copy and paste starting at cell B2)

350
140
35
28
6
0
20
10
10
0
25
50

100

=B15*(B3/1000+B4/1000+B5/(7000/(B6/(1-B7)))+B8/100/B9)
=+B17/B15
=+B12/B13-B18
=1000/B10*B19
=(B2+B11*B20)/B19
=+B21/1000*B10

then copy and paste this starting at cell c2

Cost of the loading tools
Bullets (per thousand)
Primers (per thousand)
Powder (per lb)
powder load (grains per round)
spillage/shrinkage (I guess at 0% unless specified otherwise)
Brass (per hundred)
# of times each case is used (account for loss in this estimate. If Brass cost is zero, use 1)
Time required to load 1000 rounds. Include EVERYTHING. Picking up, cleaning, sorting, inspecting, filling powder measure, primer tubes, etc.
Initial time learning to load
Cost per box for purchased ammuntion
Rounds per box referred to above

Incremental round count (50, 10, 20, 100: your typical production batch)

(Calculated) Cost per increment loaded
(Calculated) Cost per round
(Calculated) Savings per round
(Calculated) savings per hour. Your "wage" if you choose to see it that way.
(Calculated) Your breakeven point, in rounds produced
(Calculated) Your breakeven point, in hours

Of some interest might be the content of cell B20. That is your "wage", or more to the point, what you are saving per hour. Note also that that "wage" is figured into your breakeven point as part of the cost of your learning how to load. Some people will load even if that figure is zero. Those are the ones who really enjoy loading, or who cannot find their caliber of ammunition anywhere on retail shelves.

Enjoy

Lost Sheep

FOUND IT!

What's my TIME worth, loading? (Monetizing your time at your press)
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=663065

and this similar thread
http://rugerforum.net/reloading/1671...-analysis.html

might as well pull them ALL together.

Last edited by Lost Sheep; December 15, 2012 at 02:59 AM.
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Old December 15, 2012, 09:50 AM   #41
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For the factor of time. I do not factor in money for when I am on my own time. It does not cost me anything. Except the times when I spend a very long time reloading. Then it cost me having an angry wife.

Just kidding on the wife part. She says I am worthless anyway. So my time is not worth factoring on the money part. (3 attempts at humor.)

When someone ask me about investing in reloading I give a simple heads up.

Be ready to invest 3 things.

1. Money (Buy what you can honestly afford. Note that the most expensive does not make it the best either in quality, or filling your needs.)

2. Time (Yes it takes time to reload. If you are in a super duper hurry, or do not have that much time to invest. Stick with factory ammo. You will be more happy, and less pressured. Besides when reloading being a hurry leads to bad things happening.)

3. Attention. (Paying attention to what you are doing, and knowing the why you are doing it will help in preventing mistakes that can cost a world of things. Likes damaged/destroyed guns, ruined brass, and components. Or worse yet. Injuries/fatalities.)

Truth be told someone can start out for little money with a few simple tools, a reloading manual, and components.
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Old December 15, 2012, 10:06 AM   #42
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To those that factor in their time.

Do I count my time while eating? Nope
Do I count my time while sleeping? Nope
Do I count my time while taking a shower? Nope
Do I count my time driving to and from the range? Nope
Do I count my time while shooting? Nope
Do I count my time while BS'ing with my buds? Nope
Do I count my time while reloading? Nope

Do I count my time while earning money? Not anymore, retirement is a wonderful thing.

Seems as if there are a few folks who need to get a life!
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Old December 15, 2012, 10:11 AM   #43
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It's a HOBBY. If you can save a little money or a lot of money good for you. Quit arguing about it.
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Old December 15, 2012, 01:37 PM   #44
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Wow yet another thread about time wasted reloading! This has got to be the 100th I have seen on this forum!

If everything is about how much your time is worth then you need to stop and smell the roses and hug your kids. It not worth a dime. It's how you spend it that counts.

TheoShooter, is right.
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Old December 15, 2012, 01:39 PM   #45
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"Quit arguing about it"

This thread is a discussion. Some threads are more argument than anything else.
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Old December 15, 2012, 02:57 PM   #46
Lost Sheep
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Time is money?

Some people don't seem to understand:


It's NOT about the money.


Money is simply a way of quantifying something to be measured.

Some folks (most here on the forum, I think) would load whether or not it saved money on ammunition. For me, asking how much per hour I save (or pay) is simply satisfying a curiosity.

If my thinking about the question offends you, I am sorry... that you cannot accept a different world view than your own.

Lost Sheep
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Old December 15, 2012, 04:15 PM   #47
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You cant count the cost of labor. You are not trying to retail and this is done to both save money and give you some enjoyment. If you were not reloading, you would probably be spending money on entertainment. I suppose that if you want to add the cost of labor, then off set it by how much you would spend doing something else ie: Having some drinks with the boys, visiting your local gentlemens' club, going to a concert. You get the idea.
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Old December 15, 2012, 09:51 PM   #48
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How much does it cost us to participate in internet forums?
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Old December 16, 2012, 01:08 AM   #49
Lost Sheep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc928porsche
You cant count the cost of labor. You are not trying to retail and this is done to both save money and give you some enjoyment.
Sorry, it's my labor and I can count it if I want to.
Quote:
If you were not reloading, you would probably be spending money on entertainment.
True. But I don't think I will add those savings into my calculations.
Quote:
I suppose that if you want to add the cost of labor, then off set it by how much you would spend doing something else ie: Having some drinks with the boys, visiting your local gentlemens' club, going to a concert. You get the idea.
By golly, I think you might be coming around to my way of thinking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sport45
How much does it cost us to participate in internet forums?
Since you asked, I did a quick calculation. $2.50 per hour.

Lost Sheep

p.s. No offense meant by this post in any way. Having fun is just part of the benefits I get for my $2.50 per hour in addition to valuable advice and useful knowledge.
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Old December 16, 2012, 01:38 AM   #50
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Wow yet another thread about time wasted reloading! This has got to be the 100th I have seen on this forum!
I wonder how many of the other hundred you browsed without reading and lumped in that category incorrectly. Its not about time wasted reloading. It's about one of the most obvious benefits of reloading for the new reloaders trying to decide how into the hobby they want to get, and what the economics are for "paying off" the hobby. Especially if they have the proverbial angry wife to mollify.
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