The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 19, 2007, 11:07 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: May 18, 2004
Posts: 128
Correct cost?

I'm once again entertaining the idea of reloading. If I do start, it would be for .45 ACP.
So I ran some figures and I'm not sure if I have this right... I'm a bit tired right now, but can't get this out of my head.

One pound of powder with shipping costs: $45.00

230 Gr. FMJ .45 ACP / 500 bullets: $52.00

500 primers: $23.00

5.0 Grains of powder for each load and I can get/have brass for free.

I come up with $9.11 for a box of fifty rounds, not counting the shipping on bullets. At current calculations, I think I can get about 1400 rounds out of a pound of powder. Does all of this sound right?
Add to that, I have not gone to local sources yet to see what their prices are like. If I didn't have to deal with the shipping costs on powder, it would come down to $15.00 a pound. What kills me is that I can get an "ok" box of .45 ACP / 50 rounds for $10.00.
JimJD is offline  
Old March 19, 2007, 11:20 PM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: March 18, 2007
Posts: 1
The following is a copy of a post I made to another forum:

I have seen several post where people have mentioned how much is saved or not saved by reloading your own ammo. Several of the posts contained rough numbers but nothing exact. I don't know if this helps anyone else but I thought that it was interesting to look at. I created a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to see how long it would take to pay for the equipment needed to start reloading.

If you enter the values for the green area's on the sheet it will calculate the return on investment for the reloading equipment. There are some assumptions made within the sheet. It is assumed that only one caliber round is being reloaded. It is also assumed that the same powder load is used for every round being reloaded. The interesting numbers on the sheet are shaded in gray. You can compare the cost per round when purchased commercially and the cost of each round when reloaded. At the very least it will give you a reasonable idea what your investment looks like.

In my case I was going to need to reload almost 9,000 rounds just to break even on the initial investment of the reloading supplies and equipment. Using an average of 200 rounds a month it would take over three and half years to break even.

For now I am going to wait to begin reloading but I am definitely start collecting my empty brass when I am at the range so that when I do start reloading I will already have a collection of good brass.

I am not an financial expert but I think that I got this setup correctly. Let me know if there are any errors.

Below is a link to the spreadsheet:
kg6mti is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 06:09 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: June 10, 2004
Location: Tioga co. PA
Posts: 2,526
Reloading costs

If your going to buy all your supplies long distance, Shipping and hazmat fees are going to kill you. it is much better to buy powder and primers locally. if you must deal by mail you must buy in bulk to cut the costs.

When loading for .45ACP, if you only loading for range work there is no need to buy jacketed bullets Most folks use lead. Again you need to do some serious shopping to get the best price when buying online.
rwilson452 is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 07:25 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: December 27, 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,475
As the previous post said, for target I also would go with lead bullets. As far as I am concerned, the best quality and price is buying from Mike at
MasterCraft. 1000 .45 in lead for $59 bucks. We have found his lead bullets,
to not lead up your barrel hardly at all. I'd strongly consider Mike, nice guy!
Ditto on not ordering powder/primers. Both a readily available locally at much less cost. That HazMat charge of 20 bucks alone, is more than the powder is worth (1#).
Good luck!
ShootingNut is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 10:05 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: July 1, 1999
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2,135
Your prices are probably accurate, but you really need to shop around, if you aren't going to buy locally. Always buy in bulk for the best prices. When I buy supplies, I usually get at least a years worth.

Good Luck...

JoeHatley is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 11:59 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: March 11, 2005
Location: austin
Posts: 735
I agree that Hazmat fees make it very expensive to buy primers and powder not locally. Bullets and brass have no hazmat fees.
kingudaroad is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 01:36 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Location: Davidson, NC
Posts: 417
I think you're cost on primers may be a little off. For $23 you should be able get 1,000 primers. That is... unless you factored in a shipping cost for 500 of them.

Another mail-order gotcha is that most places won't ship primers and powder in the same package, thus requiring a seperate HAZMAT charge for each.
nbkky71 is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 03:14 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: June 10, 2004
Location: Tioga co. PA
Posts: 2,526
the last time I bought primers and powder at my local place it was $20 for the powder and 22 for a brick (1000) of primers. If I had bought the primers by the 100 it would have been $2.50 a box. Granted I do get a slight discount that basicly takes care of the sales tax. Here in PA that is 6%
rwilson452 is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 04:00 PM   #9
Dave R
Senior Member
Join Date: January 7, 2000
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,073
Holy cow, your costs are high!

My costs here in Idaho, bought at the local retail establishments:

Powder=$16-25 per pound
Primers=$2 per hundred
Bullets can vary widely, but $36 per 500 seems to be the going rate for .45acp Laser-Cast or Berry's.

Put that into my trusty spreadsheet, and I get a cost of $5.28 per 50.

The bullet is the biggest chunk of cost.
I am Pro-Rights (on gun issues).
Dave R is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 04:43 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: February 2, 2007
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2,676
I'll agree, your prices are way (way, way, way!!) high. The only handgun caliber I currently load is my .32 Mag. but here is my cost.

Powder around here goes for between $18-$23. Primers around $22. Haven't priced .45 bullets lately but Meister .32 cal. cast lead go for around $16/500. If you use Hodgdon "Tightgroup" a 1 lbs can of powder will last a heck of a long time (1000's of rounds) You'll use 1/2 the "Tightgroup" vs most other powders. 100 rounds cost me around $6 ($.02 for primer, $.03 for bullet, $.01 for powder). Compare that to .22 LR CCI Minimags at the current price of $5.50 and it's doesn't cost much more to shoot my .32 mag.

If reloading a .45 the bullet price and the powder price would about double. That means $10/100. I think the .45 ACP Winchester WB at walmart sells for about $23/100.

You also get the added benifit of having good ammo. Not the cheap crap they sell for around for $12/50 (Winchester WB, CCI Blazer, Sellior&Beliot)(sp?). When I was reloading .45 acp I could throw together about any combo and get groups about half the size of the groups I'd get with cheap storebought crap. My gun fuctioned a heck of a lot better too.

Summery: You pay half as much for ammo 5 times better.

L_Killkenny is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 06:22 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: May 18, 2004
Posts: 128
Whoops! That's what I get for posting when I'm sleepy.
My quoted price on primers should have stated a 1000, not 500.
I got those component figures from Midway USA by the way.

I'm planning to go to a local gun dealer on my lunch break tomorrow to see what they charge for powder, primers, etc.. Last time I checked they still carried reloading supplies. So, I should be paying prices close to what I'm seeing on the web (sans haz mat fees)?

I'm not ruling out cast lead bullets, but I'm a little leary though. I want to keep my lead exposure as low as possible. Or am I being over cautious?
From what I gather, I might be able to reload fifty rounds of .45 ACP/FMJ for about five to six dollars?
I almost ordered reloading equipment last night, but I think it might be a good idea to see what components I can get locally before I do.
Oh, almost forgot. Can anyone suggest a good brass tumbler to start off with? So far, I'm looking at the Lyman Turbo Pro 1200. But I'm wondering about the "Auto-Flo" system. Good, bad? Look at something else for media separation?

Thanks for the info and replies everyone, please keep 'em coming!
JimJD is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 06:38 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: June 10, 2004
Location: Tioga co. PA
Posts: 2,526
I have been using lead bullets in my 1911 for years. no problems with lead. I even mold my own from time to time. I do the conversion from whell weights to 1 lb ingots out of doors to avoid lead issues. But do the bullets in the garage. Ventilation is the key. if your shooting at an out door range lead is not an issue. at a commercial indoor range it should have adequate ventilation. If it didn't the people that work there would be in big trouble. Most of the airborne lead comes from hitting the backstop. I suppose if your were in a habbit of licking the backstop you could get in lead trouble rather quickly. One person on here tested his bench and loading room. the highest level of lead was around his tumbler. after that he would put the lid on when tumbleing brass. As with any shooting when you can wash up. Don't let the kids chew on your clothes when you return form the range. Change your clothes. Whaching your chothes will remove any contamination. Lead doesn't react well unless a catalyst is present. they are still finding bullets at Gettysburg that have the rifleing marks intact.
rwilson452 is offline  
Old March 21, 2007, 09:39 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: July 1, 1999
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2,135
But I'm wondering about the "Auto-Flo" system.
I use it on my Midway tumbler. I love it!!

JoeHatley is offline  
Old March 21, 2007, 02:40 PM   #14
Junior member
Join Date: December 10, 2006
Location: MANNING SC
Posts: 837
reloading costs

TEDDY is offline  
Old March 21, 2007, 07:36 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: March 13, 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 558
Teddy, iron and zinc supplements will not clean you out. The only treatment for lead poisoning is intravenous chelating agents that bind the heavy metal. The treatment also binds iron, zinc and copper which then have to be supplemented-maybe that's where you heard about that connection-?

Men don't need iron. Too much iron in men is toxic. In fact, the only people who need iron are those who are bleeding. It makes more sense to find the reason for the bleed than to simply replace the iron and let yourself keep bleeding.
cdoc42 is offline  
Old March 24, 2007, 07:36 AM   #16
Join Date: April 26, 2005
Location: Virginia
Posts: 52
I bought a Lee 1000 (I think) set up for 9mm from Gander Mountain and changed my mind and returned it for a RCBS Master Reloading Kit from same place back in 1993. It cost about $259 at the time and I got a free Hand Primer to boot. I bought a #1 can of Hercules Unique for $17, 200 primers at $1.25 per 100, a box of lead 9mm bullets can't rem the price right off but still got 1/2 box, a set of RCBS 9mm dies for about $30 and already had a bunch of brass I had been saving.
I played around with them for about 2 months before boxing the press and accessories up and putting them away.

I divorced in 1997, remairied in 1999. My new wife liked to shoot, so together we built a reloading bench, unpacked the RCBS and started reloading. We now have a Lee Challanger Press gotten in trade, Midway case cleaner, seperator, just got a Lyman T-Mag and we have dies for 9mm, .38/.357, .40 SW, .44/.44mag, .45 Colt, .45 ACP and load for all but the .357 (son't have a revolver to shoot those, YET!). Looking into buying a progressive or turret style press and getting into casting.

It ain't about saving money anymore like it was when I started, It is about fun. We love to reload and shoot. Both activities are just as rewarding, but shooting is probably the funnest. We have two boys, 2 & 5 and plan on teaching them how to reload too.

It can be a recreational hobby or a chore, we think of it as a recreational hobby cause we love it.
Garbage Man
Recycle, Garbage is a terrible thing to Waste.
garbageman is offline  
Old March 24, 2007, 07:46 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: January 9, 2005
Location: Moses Lake WA
Posts: 1,001
You have to remember that the reason for reloading is NOT to save you money.

You reload so you can shoot MORE!

Armed and Safe: Not just a theory

If it time to bury them, it is time to dig them up.
Remember, "Behind every blade of grass."
armedandsafe is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:03 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07981 seconds with 9 queries