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Old February 23, 2013, 09:55 PM   #1
reynolds357
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How cost effective is reloading?

I used to re-load to save money and obtain superior ammo. Having said that, quality of the factory ammo is way up. For some cartridges ie. the WSM's you can save a chunk of money reloading. For others, its just not really worth it anymore. Example, Federal fusion 95gr .243 Win. You can buy it for $1.03 per round. The most comparable load I can think of would be Nosler accubond. .54 per bullet, .03 per primer, and .15 for powder and each cartridge costs .72 each to reload. There is no real savings there in my opinion.
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Old February 23, 2013, 10:08 PM   #2
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Except the example you cited used a far better bullet and (in theory) a load tailored to your gun.

It depends on the caliber to be loaded and the application. I load .45 acp using cast bullets melted from the backstop at the local range. Cost is comparable to .22 rimfire ammo.

I load numerous centerfire rifle cartridges and have to use copper to hunt. I can load that stuff for around $1/round and I save between 50-80% over factory with far better accuracy.

I load for my Sharps and you can't even GET the stuff I'm loading. Also a cast bullet but extremely tailored for that gun.
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Old February 23, 2013, 10:31 PM   #3
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I primarily reload .45 Colt. At Big 5, a box of 50 was $49.99 the last time I checked. I can reload that same box for about $10.00. So far I have fired over 1200 rounds of reloads for about $240.00. Factory ammo would have cost me $1200.00. I have spent about $200.00 on reloading equipment, which my savings has more than paid for. In my case, reloading is the only way to go. Basically, it depends on how much you shoot. In your example, you are going to save $31.00 for every 100 rounds. Are you going to shoot 100 rounds once a week or once a year?
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Old February 23, 2013, 10:43 PM   #4
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How about factoring in times like now when you don't see much in the way of loaded ammo on the shelves. If you are stocked on components, you are still in business.

Then there is ammo that you'll not normally find like 115 gr. 32 H&R loads, bunny fart loads, or buck and ball loads.

To top it off, how about stuff like 500 S&W, 475 Linbaugh, et. al. which normally run $4 - $5 a round?

Reloading can be much more than cost effective.
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Old February 23, 2013, 10:58 PM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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You can buy it for $1.03 per round. The most comparable load I can think of would be Nosler accubond. .54 per bullet, .03 per primer, and .15 for powder and each cartridge costs .72 each to reload.
Apples to apples would be factory ammo with identical bullets, IMO. Factory ammo loaded with the 90gr Accubond is $37.99/20

That's a savings of 62%

I load Barnes TTSX bullets in several cartridges. My final cost is about $15.60/20... that's a price that beats the CHEAPEST factory ammo in many cases, the same bullet (if I can even get it in factory ammo, which is a BIG if), runs $34-$47/20.

Several combinations that I use DO NOT EXIST in factory ammo, such as the 35gr Nosler lead-free varmint bullet that I load to 4,435fps in .22-250.

I have yet to see factory ammo that shoots as well as my own loads either.
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Old February 23, 2013, 11:09 PM   #6
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After you get into reloading you won't save any. You shoot 10 times as much.
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Old February 23, 2013, 11:17 PM   #7
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i would have to say that reloading is very cost effective, BUT that is because i shoot every week with different calibers. I load for several calibers like the 500S&W, 17 remington, 25-06, 35 whelen, and others that you just dont see in stores that much and IF you do the prices are crazy. However the intial cost for some of these calibers can be a bit pricey like the 500S&W and the reason for that is Starline is where i buy my brass from and it is salty!!!! but in the long run reloading for cost effectivness or the best load for your rifle is all up to you the shooter and what your plans are. I love reloading and i find it a relaxing hobby. Most people find it just easier to purchase factory ammo and they are more than happy with doing so and the results they get from that ammo. Me i just try and find the best load for my rifles and shoot more than the average person. so to sum up all this, reloading is very cost effective for me personally.
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Old February 23, 2013, 11:37 PM   #8
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+1 for last post.
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Old February 23, 2013, 11:44 PM   #9
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i do 9mm, 38 spl and 45 acp. you wil save and at least have fun doing it. i know my 9mm and 45 acp is cheap, but my 38 spl. comes in at about 9.00 a box to reload and i know thats 6$ under what the guns stores or even walmart does and at 10 yds a 5 inch group is alot better than the 10 inch i get with factory ammo.plus i have gotten my wife into reloading so its cheap labor.
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Old February 24, 2013, 12:01 AM   #10
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If you are trying to talk yourself into not reloading, then don't reload.

Keep buying your factory ammo and I'll keep using my thousands of components I have stocked up in various calibers.
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Old February 24, 2013, 12:04 AM   #11
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Reloading in normal times is not cost-effective for most folks. OTOH I own a very small but very precision-oriented munitions factory. I can't buy what I load and don't care to shoot what I can buy. I'll never need to buy ammo on the way to the range or for a hunting trip.
It's true that I used a well-used Dillon press and a Lee commercial mould to make a huge pile of 45ACP ammo last year for mere pennies/round but that's the exception, not the rule. I cast my bullets from wheelweights and loaded them in range pickup brass. The Dillon "paid" for itself years ago when I was a comp shooter but that's not the norm either.
If you want cost-effective buy cheap ammo in large quantities, you can borrow my dolly. If you want quality and versatility loading and casting is the only ticket. JMHO, of course.
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Old February 24, 2013, 01:11 AM   #12
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putting down my 5 pt bull last year at 400 yds with a neck shot from a load i developed just evened out my reloading costs. theres a lot more to reloading than "how much am i going to save". at least there is for me.
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Old February 24, 2013, 01:15 AM   #13
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I yes, another good point! If you have to ask how much, you don't even get it!!!!
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Old February 24, 2013, 02:03 AM   #14
Kevin Rohrer
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Quote:
For others, its just not really worth it anymore.
I reload a bunch of rifle and pistol calibers, and it is MUCH cheaper to reload than to buy off the shelf. For instance, it costs me $10.80 to load 100 45ACP. Ever check how much it costs to buy 100 .45ACP off the shelf?
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Old February 24, 2013, 05:34 AM   #15
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It depends on the volume you're shooting, and how much free time you have. If you're a four-boxes-a-year guy, then the most reloading you'd ever need or want to consider would be a classic Lee Loader with a couple of accessories like a $25 powder scale. That would increase your accuracy (if a bolt action) once you found a good load, but not put you in the hole very much. As the others have said, ROI can be some time off depending on what equipment you buy and calibers you shoot.

As far as I can see, two things that will increase the potential speed of ROI are:
1) Shoot something big! Go pick up a box of 375 H&H and check the price. Once the EMTs restart your heart, you'll see how quickly reloading could be beneficial.
2) Use range pick-up brass and/or lead+wheelweights for bullet casting. Both require additional processing (that is, time and effort), but if you're not able to simply work a little overtime each week for extra cash then it can be a beneficial exchange of time for money.
3) Shoot a whole lot. That $0.30 difference you discounted between reloaded and purchased 243 Winchester can add up over time. Basically, the more you use it, the more quickly the initial cost of the equipment can be recovered.

In general, the more valuable your time, the less likely it is that you're better off spending it at reloading bench than at the office. Of course, in lean times like this, it's pretty much only the reloaders that can shoot what they want, and no amount of time at the office will put the caliber and variety you want in-stock at your LGS.

There, you should reload and you shouldn't. Wasn't that helpful?
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Old February 24, 2013, 07:50 AM   #16
reynolds357
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I still handload for most of my rifles. I did not mean to make it sound like I quit. I would go broke trying to buy factory ammo for a 6.5X284 or a 6X.284 and it would not shoot in my bench guns very well either. BUT, for hunting bullets in the common cartridges, its just almost not worth it anymore. Its definitely not worth buying brass. A few weeks ago I bought 4 boxes of Federal Fusion 7REm mag for 19.90 per box. There are factory loads that are deadly accurate. I have several Wby rifles that in years of trying I have yet to match the velocity or accuracy of the load.
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Old February 24, 2013, 09:53 AM   #17
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And Reynolds from what I've been seeing from the Fusion's is that maybe you should have bought more at that price!
Dan Newberry has a thread going about the accuracy of a Ruger American shooting Federal Fusions to killer results...
It makes me a believer, and I haven't seen the Fusion bullets only for sale anywhere, I wonder if they sell them as a component.
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Old February 24, 2013, 10:14 AM   #18
Brian Pfleuger
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Originally Posted by hooligan1
I haven't seen the Fusion bullets only for sale anywhere, I wonder if they sell them as a component.
Natchez has a few listed but all out of stock.
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Old February 24, 2013, 10:24 AM   #19
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Quote: Natchez has a few listed, but all out of stock.
Thanks Brian, I'll go check that out further...
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Old February 24, 2013, 10:43 AM   #20
reynolds357
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Hooligan, I have been looking at the thread about the Ruger American .243 and it made be go out and buy one it was so impressive. Back in the day, on average, from a deer hunting rifle, factory loads probably averaged 2 inch groups at 100. Handloads could be worked up in most of those rifles to average between 1/2 and 3/4. Years ago, I got a substantial accuracy and velocity gain by handloading. Today that is just not the case. If the fusion factory load will do 3.something inches at almost 700 yds in my rifle like it did in Dans, I would waste more component costs looking for the pet load than I would ever save between the handloads and the fusions I shoot up in deer hunting.
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Old February 24, 2013, 10:48 AM   #21
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Reloading saves $, you don't put those savings in the bank, you put them in your chambers, & you shoot more. Get it?
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Old February 24, 2013, 10:56 AM   #22
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And most reloaders like me simply like doing it.

A rewarding hobby all its own.
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Old February 24, 2013, 11:28 AM   #23
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parisite
Quote:
And most reloaders like me simply like doing it.

A rewarding hobby all its own.
I agree and it gives you something to do on those rainy days.

I do save $ on 380 ACP and all of my center fire rifle ammo but that is not why I reload. It is challenging and fun trying different components to get that sweet load for a given rifle/purpose and with 6 family members carrying 380s for CCW I can load up 500 rounds on a Sat evening and have them at the range keeping sharp Sun afternoon, more ammo for the $ means more practice time.
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Old February 24, 2013, 11:42 AM   #24
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I have been reloading since 1980 and saved countless $$ plus it's a great way to custom load rounds. On average, without going to each round, I save between 40 an 65% depending on the round. It's also great for family time. My son in into reloading as well as my daughter.
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Old February 24, 2013, 11:57 AM   #25
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+++++After you get into reloading you won't save any. You shoot 10 times as much
I shoot a lot of 30-06 every year. I was lucky in that 15 years ago I picked up multiple cases of WW2 30-06 in end blocks for very little money.
I am still pulling bullets and working the brass and shooting them.
I also load 7 pistol calibers and if I had to buy factory for as much as I shoot my wife would have divorced me a long time ago.
When you can buy 1000 high quality lead bullets for 44 at 90$ and the same number of primers for 30$ and you already have the brass. That’s 130$ tops with powder. Try to buy any factory center fire 1000 for 130$
http://www.pennbullets.com/44/44200rnfpbb.html

P.S. the bullets in the photo are the 175 GR built in 1943
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