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Old September 19, 2018, 12:27 PM   #26
USSR
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Originally Posted by USSR View Post

The real savings come when you can make the most expensive component yourself. My .38 Special loads cost me 6 cents each.

Don

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You make your own cases?
Don't be silly. Brass cases amortized over the typical number of times they are used cost next to nothing, especially when you buy them as once-fired brass. Everyone knows what the most expensive component is.

Don
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Old September 20, 2018, 09:13 PM   #27
Prof Young
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Gotta disagree with comments on reloading 9mm

I can reload 9mm for as little as 8.3 cents a shot. Never have I seen 9mm ammo, even the cheapest aluminum case stuff, for less then 18 or 19 cents a shot. Not sure how a fifty percent savings is not a good deal. Yeah I know there is the time involved but when I can save fifty percent on anything by doing it myself . . . it's well worth it.

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Old September 20, 2018, 10:13 PM   #28
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It's been years since I costed out components. I vaguely remember lead ammo coming out to a little less than half price; jacketed maybe 2/3 or so. Can't remember for sure. It's not important to me. Undoubtedly, it's a bargain to load your own on a shot per shot basis. But of course, you shoot more, so . . .
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Old September 21, 2018, 12:04 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof Young View Post
I can reload 9mm for as little as 8.3 cents a shot. Never have I seen 9mm ammo, even the cheapest aluminum case stuff, for less then 18 or 19 cents a shot. Not sure how a fifty percent savings is not a good deal. Yeah I know there is the time involved but when I can save fifty percent on anything by doing it myself . . . it's well worth it.

Life is good.

Prof Young
So your labor is only worth $10/hour to you? Unless you're using a progressive press, in which case you probably paid $500 for that over a $100 Lee Turret press.

You can save a lot more money reloading something else, ANYTHING else.
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Old September 21, 2018, 09:21 AM   #30
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Since my wife started shooting 9mm I thought I'd buy some dies and add that caliber to my collection. Then I saw what the prices were.

Holy moley 9mm is cheap! (well, compared to what I usually shoot...) Cheap enough that I'd have a very hard time matching the price reloading, much less beating it. The local indoor ranges mandate jacketed ammo since they're terrified of lead fumes or something. Once you jump from casting wheelweights to buying jacketed bullets, $36 for 200 rounds from Wal-Mart is a smokin' deal.

And (this is the best part!) instead of stressing out over every ejected case, I can look at the floor covered in disposable aluminum or steel cases, laugh, and walk away...
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Old September 22, 2018, 10:10 PM   #31
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""If it's something you enjoy, it is a craft; and as such, you don't factor in your time as an expense."" - I'm right there with you Nick -

With bulk materials purchased on sale, "found" lead which I cast into rounds - I was once able to bring my cost of materials down to less than 6 cents per round in .40 S&W pistol.

On the other hand - I also own appx $3000 in gear and make my own custom .40 JHP using junk 9mm brass, cast lead cores and forming my own projectiles on a $500 swage press using a $400 die.

So for me it's the craft of it.

I've got 3 presses on my loading bench - 7 sets of dies in 5 calibers, only one caliber i myself currently own ( future planning ) and have some 20 gallons of brass in a bunch of different sizes which I clean, clear and trade when I find an interested party to trade with. Indeed I have gifted clean brass to friends and associates especially when it's a small oddball amount I don't have dies for.

I've got 3 sets of bullet molds for casting. The strangest "found" lead I've used is the leading around glass in a busted front door I took apart.

And my next bullet crafting step in my journey down this road will probably be powder-coating cast lead rounds.

But lastly - if I want to spend a LONG day at the range and calmly go through 400 rounds - I do not think twice about cost because I'm not spending $250 on ammo.... I'm clearing brass for better loads to come! and the ammo I'm shooting likely only cost me appx $30 to $45 in materials and my time to assemble.

And it is with no small amount of pride that I can say as I approach the 13000 rd mark, I've had 3 miss-fires and 3 miss-feeds....
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Old September 24, 2018, 02:53 AM   #32
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Good job on the savings, and have fun! You're under half the price of store bought rounds. Way to go!
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Old September 25, 2018, 05:42 PM   #33
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When I used to cast my own and primers were a penny each, I was getting about five cents a round. I've not purchased .38 cartridges in thirty years. I have mostly used my own once fired, or brass from a police range in all that time. The once fired police brass was awfully cheap back then.

I used to buy federal wadcutter match for $11. One day I thought about the cost, it was over fifty cents apiece! that darned box of ammo that lasted ten minutes cost as much as a full afternoon of space invaders!
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Old September 25, 2018, 07:34 PM   #34
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The strangest "found" lead I've used is the leading around glass in a busted front door I took apart.
That's called "came". I've got a bunch of it that must have come from stained glass windows in a church they tore down. Good stuff, really soft.

Don
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Old September 25, 2018, 09:12 PM   #35
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So your labor is only worth $10/hour to you? Unless you're using a progressive press, in which case you probably paid $500 for that over a $100 Lee Turret press.
???

I can load about 180 rounds an hour if everything goes right with a lee turret press. That is with spot checking powder throws and OAL (bullet lube from lead eventually cakes and the bullets start to seat deeper, hence the need to keep an eye on it) every 5-10 rounds. I save 10 cents a round loading 9mm (I shoot lead) over even the cheapest aluminum case ammo that's American made. I might be able to find steel case Tula or something for slightly cheaper, but that's not a fair comparison. I don't care for garbage ammo, and I try to keep it out of my firearms.

At any rate, I save 10 cents a round, and can crank out 180 an hour. That's $18 per hour, doing something rather enjoyable to me. And, in the end, it's not all about the money.


.223 blasting ammo the math MIGHT work out to where I'm at $4 or $5 per hour. MAYBE. And prepping 1k rifle cases is tedious and daunting. That's where I've been tempted to go to garbage ammo, but have stuck it out so far.
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Old September 25, 2018, 09:56 PM   #36
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That's called "came". I've got a bunch of it that must have come from stained glass windows in a church they tore down. Good stuff, really soft.
Came is usually pure lead, dead soft. When melting down salvaged came you will get a very small percentage of tin from the soldering. Very small.
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Old September 25, 2018, 09:59 PM   #37
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Regarding "found lead", I was driving through a parking lot years ago, and found a three by two foot section of lead flashing that had blown off of an unoccupie six storey tall building. I grabbed it and dashed, that thing was heavy and the next one would have really hurt.
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