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Old March 8, 2000, 01:22 AM   #1
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I am a fairly new shooter. I have been saving my brass in case I decide to reload some day. I would reload if it were cost effective. Right now, the only caliber I shoot is 9mm. I can get Winchester white box ammo at Wal-Mart (which shoots OK, but is a bit dirty) for 14 cents a round. I bought some factory reloaded ammo at a gun show for 10 cents a round. I have read that reloads should cost about half what it costs to buy factory ammo. That means that it will take about 5000 rounds for a Dillon Square Deal press to pay for itself.

So, I went to a sporting goods store to check out the price of supplies. This place seems to have the best prices in town. (At least their prices on handguns are much less than anyone else's.) Much to my surprise, primers + bullets for 9mm cost about 12 cents per round. This is almost the same price as factory ammunition, and more than factory reloads.

How do you get the price down to the 4 to 7 cents per round that I have read about? I want to load FMJ, so casting my own lead isn't an option.

Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked.
Nehemiah 4:17,18
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Old March 8, 2000, 02:18 AM   #2
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Easy, I buy my primers and powder locally to avoid the haz mat handling fees, and buy ALL my bullets in bulk (500-1000bullets) at a time mailorder (mainly use Midway USA). Doing this way, I have managed to get my .45 ACP loads down to 10.8cents per round using a Rainier jacketed 200gr SWC, CCI primer, range brass, and Bullseye powder. With my 9mm loads I'm guessing its around 7-8cents per round. The bullets one finds locally generally are just way overpriced, so it definitely is not cost effective to do so that you have to pay sales tax which you do not with out of state mailorder, and many places like Midway have free shipping.


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Old March 8, 2000, 04:39 AM   #3
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Factoring in the initial cost of equipment can be misleading if you reload for just one caliber. For inexpensive rounds like the 9mm, it can take tens of thousands of rounds reloaded before the equipment pays for itself. OTOH, the same setup you use for the 9mm, with just the swap of dies, can allow you to reload for another caliber on the cheap. My idea of a basic bare bones setup would be, press, scale, weights(to check scale) tumbler and powder measure. YMMV, and others may have a different variation, but this is my idea of basic. These are pretty fixed as far as being universal in their use. I mainly reload for the .44 Mag and .45 LC, and factory ammo in those calibers often runs to $.50 per round, or higher. Commercial reloads can be had for as little as $.25 per round. With careful component selection, I can get the cost per round down to under a dime a shot, and maybe less if I can get a good deal on some of the components. Now, as you note, 9mm ammo is rather plentiful, and relativly cheap. In that case, to reload for only the 9mm, would require a lot more reloads to equal the same savings. In my case, my investment in reloading the 9mm required I buy only a set of dies for my press at a cost of around $20.00. I try to stick with one powder for everything I reload, presently that powder is Unique, so powder cost kind of gets lost in the factoring as well as primer cost ( I also reload for the .38/,357 Mag using standard small pistol primers). Basiclly what I am left with is just brass and bullets as far as component costs, since the other components also get used elswhere. For bullets, the price can range from $.05 each for generic bulk 124 gr FMJ, to $.12 each for Speer GDHP. In 9mm, I figure my total cost per round to be 7 to 11 cents each, depending a lot on bullet and brass selection. Bullets are a one time cost of $.05, and brass (New unprimed Win or Rem at an initial cost of $.09 in lots of 1000 at, figureing a life span of 5 reloads, is about $.02, another $.02 per primer, and $.005 to $015 per round of powder. My high side of reloading the 9mm, is right at the cost of cheap range ammo, BUT, that uses premium components. Pretty much for my 10 to 12 cents a shot, I can shoot Golden Sabers. When you compare reloads to factory ammo that just goes bang, the line is kinda blurred. When you take into account you can "shoot champagne for the price of beer" it becomes a bit more defined. Then there is the added transparent bonus that you don't have to let high ammo cost bar you from a different caliber. Say somewhere down the road, you find you just can't live without a Raging Bull, but balk at the cost of over $1.00 a shot for .454 ammo. All of a sudden, those $.095 per round .45LC's you can load look awful good. I tend to get the exact facts a bit skewed at times (right Denise ), but I think you can catch the drift. Reloading allows you to be more versital and shoot better quality ammo. A somewhat lower cost per shot is a side bonus at times. If nothing else, the knowledge of ballistics you can gather is priceless.
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Old March 8, 2000, 09:35 AM   #4
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I reload for 9MM and 380 cal.I bought a SDB
for 185.95 and all other acsessorys for a total of about 290.00. That is dies for both the 9mm and the 380.

I have reloaded about 3500 rounds now at a cost of about 5.6 cents per round on the 9MM and about 5.1 cents for the 380.
and average of $2.80 per 50 rounds.

If the factory reloads you are buying are 3D
then in my opion your are headed for trouble has I had one bullet stick in my barrel and have had friends with the same problum.

At the price I pay for my reloads, I am shooting high grade ammo that is very accurate and i can control recoil and volocity.

so overall I am getting a cheaper round with much higher quality


If you want a Square deal B for 185.95 E'mail me and I will give you the # for the gun shop that sells them!
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Old March 8, 2000, 02:02 PM   #5
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I tried to email, but it didn't go through. Can you e-mail me with the number? [email protected]

Thanks, everyone, for the info. I was looking around the net for mail order reloading supplies. It looks like I can get the cost per round down to about 7 cents.
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Old March 9, 2000, 07:36 AM   #6
Joe D
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Here's what I figure 9mm costs to reload. First I don't count the cost of brass as you can pick up all you will ever need at ranges.
115 gr. West Coast plated 9mm is .041,powder = .01, primer = .012. Total cost is .063 per round. You can lower that to .046 per round if you use lead bullets. The cheapest loaded 9mm I have seen is about .098 per round.
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