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Old June 30, 2000, 03:58 PM   #1
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Hello all,

I know this question has been asked time and time again but I need to ask.....will reloading REALLY save me money?

Now I have heard that it wont save you money because you end up shooting more. But that will not be the case for me as I can hardly find the time to make it to an IDPA match and I try like hell to get to the range when I can. I need to find a way to save money!

Now unless I am doing my math seems to me that there is not that much of a savings. I can buy the cheap stuff for plinking less than I can reload it. Is this right?

I am ready to buy my set up if I can prove to myself that I can save money. I shoot and plan on reloading:

44 mag

Maybe 45acp some time soon...I hope

So please tell me....will I realy save money and if so is it enough to notice a difference in my pocket book??????

Thank you for your time,

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Old June 30, 2000, 05:55 PM   #2
Guy B. Meredith
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Reloading will definitely save you money on a per round basis, but you will probably find yourself shooting more because there is less guilt with the cheap ammo. Overall you will probably spend more.

Of course this is after the cost of the equipment is amortized.

The ammo I purchased commercially was $11 at discount. Reloads for an equivalent from a local FFL were $7.75 for 50. My reloads are $4.00 per 50 and with larger quantities that may go to $3.50 per 50.

However, I went from shooting 500 rounds per month due to costs to 200-300 rounds at a sitting. I would like to ramp up to 1500 to 2000 rounds per month.

Figure this way. I use West Coast Bullets' 158 gr. .38 spl. copper plated RN, 4.6 to 4.8 gr Accurate Arms #2 powder and Winchester WSP primers. The bullets are $52 per 1000 with shipping included and could be as low as $36 per 1000 in larger quantity. The powder is under $18 and I can get at least 1400 rounds per pound. The primers are usually $12 per 1000 at gun shows, but I bought 5000 at $10 per 1000.

This gives us 5.2 cents per bullet, less than 1.5 cents for powder and less than 1.2 cents for primer for a total of less than 8 cents per round or 4.00 for a box of 50. Actually less than 7.9 cents per round or less than 3.95 per box of 50.
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Old June 30, 2000, 06:35 PM   #3
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20 rounds of .308 with 150 gr. FMJ boattail for plinking and practice. From Wal-Mart, $11.97!

My projected cost for 20 rounds of self loaded ammo is $4.96 a box for the initial loading followed by $3.46 a box for as long as that particular case remains loadable!

That is a savings of $7.01 on the initial load, and $8.51 for repeated loading. I have only invested a little over $160 into my reloading setup. And although it is a labor intensive and time consuming task, I prefer to view the time spent as a hobby, NOT WORK! So if I load 20 boxes of ammo, I will basically pay for my loading equipment.



I thought I'd seen it all, until a 22WMR spun a bunny 2 1/4 times in the air!
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Old June 30, 2000, 07:10 PM   #4
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Just got into reloading myself.... I reload 45acp.

It costs me $12.99+tax=$14.00 a box for plinking ammo here. Plus, I cant always get the bullet wieght I want and I cant ever get +p plinking ammo.

So I reload. Luckily I share my reloading equipment with my father, so although he reloads different calibers tahn me, we split the costs of tumblers, presses, turrets and things like that.

I have put in $200 in equipment for my half of a progressive press with ancilliary equipment and each box of 50 costs me (88$ for 1000 bullets, 18$ for 1 lb powder, 15$ for 1000 primers, $116 for 1000 +p brass amortized over 7 reloads) $6.85.

Now at $6.85 per box over 7000 rounds (140 boxes) I save a total of $1001.00. After deducting my $200 in equipment I save $800 before I probably have to replace my brass.

The brass is the key. The more you re-use it the more you save. If I used new brass every time I would only save $2.15 a box, not $7.15

Do I shoot more? You betcha! for me thats the whole point. I reload in order to shoot more. I dont spend any more or less particularily. I jsut get to spend more time at the range on the same amount of money.

Is it "worth" it? Well... it takes me two hours of setup, 8 hours of reloading and 1 hour of cleanup to do 1000 rounds. Im slow, I admit. so I make $71.50 (not counting equipment costs) in 11 hours. Hardly a paying wage.

But I get to shoot more, I get to load +P practice rounds, I have the time, and more important for me, perhaps, is that I have a hobby to share with my Dad.


As usual, YMMV, FWIW, IMHO and all that

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Old June 30, 2000, 07:49 PM   #5
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Yes it is really worth it. You just have to get your reloading conponets at the cheapest places.Buy your powder and primers local if you can.If you mail order that stuff you have to pay a hazmat fee each time.I have seen IMR powder in 1 lb cans at local gun shows for around $15.00 lots of times.There are companies out there that are cheaper than others on reloading supplies. You will discover these as time goes along. It also gives you the choice of custom loads for whatever shooting you are going to do. When the anti-gunners get their way and tax factory ammo to Bolivia you will still be able to produce excellent ammo for your guns. I think you will enjoy shooting more and saving money at the same time.....Good Luck.....
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Old June 30, 2000, 08:09 PM   #6
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WoW! All I needed to hear was the testimonies of everyone so far! As I started to read the first response a smile came across my face. I have doing my homework for some time now and you people have sealed the deal for me. Thank you to everyone!

I guess this means I can go put another bid on this used starter set on ebay

Guy B. Meredith: 4.00 for a box of 50 sold it for me.

DOCSpanky: time spent as a hobby has always been the way I viewed it. It allows me to be apart of the shooting sports when I am not on the range or in the woods

J.T.King: to reload in order to shoot more will be nice if I can make the time. School and the new family keeps me busy. BUT ..we are going to be a shooting family

BIGR: getting your reloading conponets at the cheapest places seems to one of the tricks? You've replied to some of my previous post on reloading. Thanks again!

[email protected]
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Old June 30, 2000, 08:38 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BIGR:
If you mail order that stuff you have to pay a hazmat fee each time.I have seen IMR powder in 1 lb cans at local gun shows for around $15.00 lots of times.There are companies out there that are cheaper than others on reloading supplies.[/quote]

I just ordered by phone and recieved 4 days later an 8# keg of IMR4895 for $64 plus hazmat and shipping it came to $83 bucks from hi-tech ammo. I am totally satisfied with the quality of the surplus powder and the way I was treated by Mr. Johnson. they also have other powders at a comparable price that duplicate the burning rate of other common powders. With common sense, a good loading manual (4 or 5 actually), close case inspection, and a good chronograph, these non-canister surplus powders are a lot of bang for the buck even with the hazmat fee if ordered in quantity. I am including the internet address for hi-tech. Sorry guys I could not make it a link....this computer dummy can't figure out for the life of him how to click and drag it to here

Carlyle Hebert


[This message has been edited by Southla1 (edited June 30, 2000).]
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Old June 30, 2000, 11:44 PM   #8
Art Eatman
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Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
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I've been loading for your cartridges for a while. If you like plinking, a real nice load in the .30-'06 is 20 grains of 2400 behind a 169-grain gas check lead bullet. You get a muzzle velocity near 2,000 feet per second; if you just forced yourself, you could shoot a deer and he couldn't tell the difference from a .30-30.

Since there are 7000 grains in one pound, that means 350 loads per pound. That's about four cents a round. Figure the primer at 1.5 cents per each, to make life easy. The bullets? What, a nickel or so? Half of jacketed--or better--anyway...

Ya got the same kind of numbers on pistol, plus the advantage of tailoring your ammo to your mood.

And good used stuff works just as well as brand-new, out-of-the-box. I'm using '06 dies that are over 50 years old; my .44 Maggie dies are some 30 years old; I have a couple of RCBS Rockchuckers that are old enough to vote.

Hit a gunshow or two; find some good ol' boy who's decided to "upgrade", and smile all the way to the bank.

And have fun,

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Old July 1, 2000, 10:24 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Art Eatman:
Hit a gunshow or two; find some good ol' boy who's decided to "upgrade", and smile all the way to the bank.[/quote]

That bit about the used stuff is so true but don't stop at gun shows........check some of the on-line auction sites too. The wife says I look at them TOO much. Seems like the postlady is delivering a package every day .
Now that I figured out how to get a link in this forum, here are 3 of them that are good. I have bought stuff off of all 3 of em. The E-bay link I took the liberty of going all the way to the hunting search page.

Carlyle Hebert
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Old July 2, 2000, 09:29 PM   #10
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Posigian, there is one thing I forgot to mention if saving money is your main objective oh hell in for a dime may as well be in for a dollar. Try casting your own bullets! I have done it for years. For less than $200 you can be set up in one caliber and bullet weight. Then to go to another caliber and weight it will be around $50 or so. If you are a lead scrounge like I am lead is free so after the equipment is paid for the bullets are practically free!

Carlyle Hebert
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Old July 3, 2000, 04:22 AM   #11
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Side benifits include:

Higher quality of ammuntion for plinker rates. Instead of, for example, PMC, you get Hydra-Shok's for less than the PMC.

Future gun buys are not constrained by high ammunition costs. .454 is a great claiber, but even .45LC rounds are expensive. Even though you don't own one, at some point you may want one, only to be turned off by the high cost of even "plinking".45LC ammo. Once setup for reloading, a caliber change is only a set of dies away.

The "ammo store", which is your reloading room, has the same "business hours" you do. You don't have to wait for a super special sale in order to get decent prices on ammo. The shelf is always full, provided you have the components on hand.

Less money is need up front for ammo. The best buys on ammo are by the case. In essence, you always pay case price for ammo. If I buy 500 rounds of factory ammo to get a case price I have to lay out (last time I did buy a case) $189.00. 500 lead bullets run $29.00. Cases are around $15 to $20 per hundred. Powder is , say $17.00 to $20.00 per pound, and primers are around $2.00 per hundred. These are pretty much off the shelf, not looking for any decent deal prices. Point is, I can buy a box of slugs this month, a pound of powder next month. or from last month, use the box of primers I pick up at a show or something and be on my merry way. The savings are still there long term, but I find it easier to have a spare $30.00 for slugs than I do to save up for a case of ammo.

Your shooting will improve. No doubt about it at all, and it has little to do with the better quality of ammo you will be using for this purpose. Once you work up a pet load, that load will give you confidence. Something no amount of money can buy. You will also find you are more relaxed since the unconcious thought of how much each pull of the trigger is costing is gone. A whole lot of the enjoyment of shooting a .22 comes from the relaxed feeling of not spending $.25 cents or more for each shot.

You can read a copy of "The Blue Press" and look at the pretty girls and not have to explain yourself.

You will know the difference between reloading and handloading. They are 2 different animals, and offer 2 different perspectives.

With the right equipment, consistancy is the norm, not the exception. IMNSH opinion, the second most important detriment where accuracy is concerned is shot to shot variation. (Flinch is number 1 if you wondered) S to S variation, and to a little lesser degree, flich are minimized with handloads. If you know what you made, you know what to expect. AND you can expect it with each pull of the trigger.

Safety. Should be number one. Instead of relying on someone elses bad day to determine QC, you are the master of your own fate. Sad to say, but in today's world mediocraty is the standard. Stuff that just shouldn't get out the door is regular business for some companys. I have real mixed results with commercial reloads. Some were outstanding, but others were just outright dangerous.
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