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Old December 18, 2001, 11:17 AM   #1
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Cost to reload .45 auto

I really would like to get a .45 auto but I hate the price of of the ammo. If I reloaded, could I get the price down to $5 - 6 bucks/50. I do have a RCBS press and about 350 pounds of lead I've acquired over the years. My Father does have a .45 auto so we would split the cost. Thanks in advance.
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Old December 18, 2001, 11:26 AM   #2
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IF you dont include Brass then you could easily load for that cost.
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Old December 18, 2001, 12:05 PM   #3
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Ways to save money:
lead bullets- I buy 230gr LRN or LTC bullets for about $18 per 500/$36 per k
Powder: use a fast burner like Bullseye or Titegroup. This way you can use charges as light as 4-5grains, which stretches your powder supply considerably.
Pick up cases at the range.
I reload 230gr loads for IDPA for only $3 per 50. I could probably do it cheaper with bulk powder and bullet purchases
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Old December 18, 2001, 12:07 PM   #4
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Recycling brass as much as possible and scrounging from our range, the guys I shoot with claim to load non-jacketed .45 acp for less than $3 a box. If they were to do FMJ, I understand FMJ would make that much more expensive.

So you have direct costs for the components and maybe you can get brass for free as well by scrounging (although some ranges don't like people to do that except for their own brass). You do have the press already. Do you have the other items to pull spent primers and clean brass? If not, you may need some addtional equipment beyond the press itself.

Once you are all set up and ready to go, there is one unrealized cost and that cost is quite variable to each individual's situation. You will have a time investment and if you are a busy person, that time investment may be relatively huge compared to someone who has a lot of free time.

Since I don't have the time, I go with bulk buying and there are some good deals on the internet. They will all be more expensive than reloading in terms of direct cost. Depending on the seller and shipping, you can get FMJ ammo for between $8-10 for reliable products like Fiocchi, S&B, or Blazer. Botachtactical (yes, I know that have a horrible reputation) has IMI FMJ on sale for $149 plus shipping which would be around $25 depending on where you are relative to them. Natchez has Blazer for $146 per 100 plus shipping. Ammoman's prices, unlike Botach and Natchez, include the shipping price in the amount you see, unless you pay cash and then you get a 3% discount. You can find Wolf and American ammo for cheaper, but I don't suggest them. And, if you order and are not in the state where the material is purchased, then there will be no sales tax to tack on to your total investement.

My point to all this is that if you have the time, reloading is the way to go. If you don't have the time, there are some factory ammo brands and sellers that can get the price down to a more reasonable level than you might be seeing in your local stores.
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Old December 19, 2001, 06:14 AM   #5
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Go to a site like or pick up a supply a local supplier. Look at the components and do the math. Reloading is much cheaper than buying factory. With the cost of brass included, it'll cost you somewhere around $4 / 50 rounds to reload .45 acp depending on supply prices. Using a good jacketed bullet will get you to ~ $6 / 50. The supplies you'll use, so the only outlay left for you are .45 dies. You'll pay for it in no time at all. The rest is money in your pocket.
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Old December 19, 2001, 12:53 PM   #6
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I load .45 ACP with Rainier 230gr PRN (plated round nose) bullets, federal primers, and Titegroup for right at $100/1000 rounds. Depends on how much use you can get out of your brass, of course.

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Old December 19, 2001, 01:59 PM   #7
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Let's see.... I think that bullets run about $50/thousand... Add in $20 for primers, and about $10 worth of powder... You can go cheaper by casting your own bullets...
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Old December 19, 2001, 02:59 PM   #8
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Thanks for all your help. It's amazing when a question can be answered so fast on this board from such knowledgable people.
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Old December 20, 2001, 12:15 AM   #9
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I reload and cast out my own bullets for 45ACP
It cost me a wopping $1.50 per box of #50.
Couldn't shoot a 45 if I did'n't reload!
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Old December 21, 2001, 03:21 PM   #10
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PDShooter is right on the home cast bullets. Primers seem to be the most expensive component. Stock up on them and powder when there's a sale. I figure about the same, buck fifty for fifty. I can afford to shoot doing that. Cost of casting equipment really can't be figured in since you can start with a cheap, but useable, Lee mould, a small pot, dipper, and a Coleman stove. I can load 30-06, 30-30, etc., good cast loads, for less than six dollars a hunert. How do you say, "The Price is Right?" Oh, you gotta have a source for cheap, or better yet, free alloy. sundog
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Old December 22, 2001, 10:03 AM   #11
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Cast your own!

I cast my own bullets from wheelweights, which I obtain free from my tire dealer. It helps to have been buying tires from him for 40 years! Therefore I have no money cost in bullets.

Now, go to and get once fired brass, and WC 231 powder.

Purchase primers from the cheapest source you can find, and you can keep the cost per round to under TWO CENTS. That's ONE DOLLAR PER BOX OF 50!

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