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Old June 11, 2024, 12:40 AM   #1
cdoc42
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Is handloading being rendered obsolete?

I received ads from "Freedom Munitions" and "LAX" that raised the question in my mind, "Why should I reload?"

The availability of 9mm "remanufactured" 115 gr RN ammunition at a cost that is less than the components I use to handload them, even in the absence of the cost of brass cartridges, led to this apparent dilemma.
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Old June 11, 2024, 03:52 AM   #2
ballardw
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Now find me some "remanufactured" .25-20 ammo at all. Or .41 magnum for under $50 box.

That and other cartridges are reasons why at least some handloading will continue.
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Old June 11, 2024, 06:32 AM   #3
ligonierbill
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The issue comes up occasionally, "How cheap can I load?" For popular rounds like 9mm and 5.56, especially with the big increase in primer cost, you simply can't beat the bulk manufactured price. But I still load 5.56. My AR does OK with bulk ammo, 2-3 MOA. Fine for ringing gongs and busting clay birds down on the berm, lots of fun, and lots of ammo. But if I want a little precision, that same relatively inexpensive rifle will do 1 MOA with a good handload. So, even leaving out 33 WCF and other such rounds rarely available commercially, I load my own almost exclusively. I've never fired a commercial .308 round. So it really depends on your goal. If it's cheap ammo, fuhgetaboutit.
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Old June 11, 2024, 09:01 AM   #4
Nick_C_S
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This comes up from time to time. It’s a fair question.

Generically, I’ve always viewed it this way: If handloading is something you do not actually enjoy doing, then you have to count your time as an expense – time is money. If it is something you do enjoy doing, then you do not have to count your time as an expense. If you value your time, and you don’t enjoy doing it, then handloading is prohibitively expensive. There are a lot of garage corners stuffed with handloading equipment collecting dust because someone started loading their own for the sole purpose of saving money.

As ligonierbill stated, some of the more popular types of ammo can be purchased bulk fairly cheap. For some, that is and attractive way to acquire ammo. Others prefer to craft their own, regardless of cost. And then there's those in between - purchase some, handload some. It's in individual thing.

In the case of 9mm, it is rather close to a break-even situation for me. I don't shoot 9mm recreationally. I carry a compact 9mm and also have a full-size 92fs safe queen. So I put maybe 100 9mm rounds on average downrange per year. I have small nimble hands and find 9mm to be a touch on the difficult side at the reloading bench (can't imagine loading 380 or 25ACP). Not to mention, I have a lot of factory ammo I bought over a decade ago - because it was a good buy.
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Old June 11, 2024, 09:06 AM   #5
MarkCO
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A wise man told me, when I was a teenager.

Never put all your eggs in one basket. By the time you are 30, you should have at least 2 streams of income from different sources. By the time you are 50, you should have 3, one that is passive.

He was of course talking about income. But I believe it applies to ammo and shooting as well.
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Old June 11, 2024, 09:54 AM   #6
armoredman
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It's a hobby for me that feeds my other hobby, shooting. Some is made much cheaper, like 45 Colt, some slightly cheaper, like cast 9mm loads. It's all fun for me.
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Old June 11, 2024, 10:45 AM   #7
ocharry
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most all of my rifles and shot guns have never seen factory ammo...especially the rifles....i have bought some specialty shot gun loads....and some personal defence loads for the carry guns

havent bought any pistol ammo for so long i cant remember...even the personal defence stuff is getting dusty...well the boxes anyway

i just enjoy doing it...and i control the quality......i also enjoy the hunt for that load...you know...the one........and then i try with a different bullet

i am getting older.....have been retired for 8+ years......but i refuse to let that OLD MAN IN

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Old June 11, 2024, 02:16 PM   #8
georgehwbush
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even with the price of components many high power rifle factory loads are still high enough reloading will save money.

but that is not why i load my ammo.

if i want to find factory ammo that will perform with my own (assuming it exists) it will easily be three times the price i have invested, while (the cheep stuff) will "work" for most people, that's not why i shoot.

so the simple answer is this, even if it was costing me more to roll my own ammo, than buy factory; i would still do it.
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Old June 11, 2024, 05:18 PM   #9
Mike38
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I do not trust "remanufactured" ammo any more than I trust someone else's reloads. Reman ammo is basically reloaded ammo. If something goes wrong and my gun blows up, I can blame no one but myself when I'm using my own reloads. That right there is enough for me to keep reloading. That, and I enjoy reloading.
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Old June 11, 2024, 05:30 PM   #10
Shadow9mm
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My 30-06 hand loads cost half of comparable factory ammo.

223, my m193 55g fmj ish copycat om loading for $ 350 per 1000, factory is around $400 to $500 last i checked

I suspect ammo prices will rise again in November.

Reloading is going nowhere
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Old June 11, 2024, 06:43 PM   #11
totaldla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdoc42 View Post
I received ads from "Freedom Munitions" and "LAX" that raised the question in my mind, "Why should I reload?"

The availability of 9mm "remanufactured" 115 gr RN ammunition at a cost that is less than the components I use to handload them, even in the absence of the cost of brass cartridges, led to this apparent dilemma.
Wow! You're able to buy 9mm for $9/50? That's what it cost me to load 124gr coated. Of course I don't shoot that much 9mm anymore.

I load 223 for $.26 - $.30 a round depending on bullet. Hunting ammo for $.54 a round (77gr TMK).

I can load "mild to wild", and I'll have ammo during the next shortage.

Last edited by totaldla; June 11, 2024 at 06:57 PM.
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Old June 11, 2024, 08:45 PM   #12
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As long as components are available, some people will be reloading.

I stopped loading for .223 back in the 80s when it cost me $140 to reload a case and I could buy new for $120.

ON the other hand, for my hunting rifles, varmint rifles and most of my handguns, I still load for, because its cheaper than buying new, and in some cases there is no new ammo available.
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Old June 11, 2024, 09:23 PM   #13
Nathan
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There are things like 9mm and 5.56 which will always be marginal. Other rounds like 300 WSM and 44 mag pay the bills! My time is not a significant part of my cost when I’m doing what I enjoy.
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Old June 11, 2024, 09:45 PM   #14
Jack Ryan
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Well don't reload then. Sounds like you have it figured out. Don't, it's ok with me.
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Old June 11, 2024, 10:35 PM   #15
The Happy kaboomer
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I reload for 15 calibers and 3 guages.......Cast my on bullets and pour my own shot...The past shortages have not affected me at all. When the shelves were empty in the stores.My shelves were full ammo........I won't be caught short.
When some ammo is cheap I will pile it high and stack it deep.
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Old June 12, 2024, 02:09 PM   #16
georgehwbush
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hand loading is therapeutic !
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Old June 12, 2024, 04:48 PM   #17
jetinteriorguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgehwbush View Post
hand loading is therapeutic !
And I need a lot of therapy.
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Old June 12, 2024, 05:07 PM   #18
jmr40
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I've never handloaded for common pistol cartridges or 223. It's not worth the TINY cost savings to put in the time.

In fact I only got involved in handloading after buying a 338-06. There are virtually no options for factory loads. I no longer own that rifle and currently only load for 308, 30-06 and 6.5CM.

I don't really save any money but feel that I can get a little better performance and accuracy using premium bullets for about the same cost as common factory loads with standard bullets.
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Old June 12, 2024, 05:14 PM   #19
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So now the free cost of labor no longer offsets the cost of the components?
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Old June 12, 2024, 05:46 PM   #20
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It is obsolescent. Stop buying the stuff, so that the stupid can pick it up at lower prices.

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Old June 12, 2024, 05:53 PM   #21
rc
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Reloading is not obsolete, but like so many things it has become more of a luxury and so has the shooting sports in general. I expect the price of components to come down as demand cools.
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Old June 12, 2024, 06:03 PM   #22
FITASC
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How about a "flash sale" from Brownell's for Varget at $57/lb!
No thanks
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Old June 12, 2024, 10:11 PM   #23
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Have you seen the price of 7.7 jap factory ammo (the rare pccasion it can be found)? 8mm Lebel? .303 Brit? 7.5 Swiss? News flash, all are north of $1.50 per round (really closer to $2.00 out the door in most cases, unless your buying bulk). I can load any of them for $0.80 per round with today's component prices. BUT, I'm still using old stock so in some cases I'm loading for just over $0.50 per round.

Excellent 30-30 and 30-06 can be reloaded much cheaper than factory range fodder. I also cast, so that reduces my cost (but increases time invested) for pistol ammo. I assure you I save money by handloading .38spc and .357 mag. 9mm will be dang near pointless when I run out of old stock (purchased at "normal" price) components, even though I cast. .45acp is kinda in the same boat. Most any revolver cartridge can be handloaded much cheaper than most factory offerings.

And the biggest draw to reloading is the ability to buy bulk deals without dropping thousands of dollars. On a good deal/good day, I can still buy enough TAC to reload 2500 rounds of .223 for about $350. Then, should primers ever go on sale for $60 per 1k with hazmat waived (unlikely but I saw it no long ago), I can buy 3k for $200.00 shipped. Lastly, buy factory seconds Hornaday projectiles if they ever go on sale for $90 per 1k again, and you have 3k projectiles for $300 shipped. Reloading let's you take advantage of bulk pricing one component at anytime, so you don't have to drop $1200 all at once go get a deal. That fact is literally how I'm STILL loading 7.7 jap for >$0.50 per round.
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Old June 13, 2024, 11:05 AM   #24
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see below
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Old June 13, 2024, 11:07 AM   #25
Electrod47
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Quote:hand loading is therapeutic !...............amen
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