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Old April 13, 1999, 05:40 PM   #1
Join Date: April 12, 1999
Location: Central Arizona USA
Posts: 39
OK - I'm sure this has been asked before, but I've searched as far back on here as I can and haven't seen it addressed...

It used to be that I would go and shoot at our department range (and shoot department ammo ), but now that my wife is shooting at least once a week too (and can't go to the dept. range), I've found that my ammunition costs have increased dramatically. I have been buying 9mm Speer Lawman TMJ for $149/case. Right now we're only shooting around 400-500 rounds per week (between the two of us), but I can see that going up as she gets into it more.

What I'm wondering is how much of a savings can I *realistically* expect to see if I start loading my own?

Any input will be much appreciated. TIA

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Old April 13, 1999, 10:56 PM   #2
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Join Date: March 16, 1999
Location: So. CA Mountains
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Realistically... The stock answer is: ZIP. Because you'll shoot more. When I was shooting 4-500 rounds of .45 weekly, Factory went for around $17-18 a box of 50. I figured I could load a box of 50 for about $5. I cast and sized my own bullets, and put no value on my time. Then, of course, there's always the danger of reloading becoming less a means to an end than an end in itself, and THAT can get real pricy.

Shoot carefully... swifter...

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Old April 13, 1999, 11:26 PM   #3
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Join Date: December 17, 1998
Posts: 1,885
Mike Venturino did a good article on the economics of reloading in the Feb. issue of shooting times. Its worth a look.
Basicly the savings depends on what round you are loading. Rifle ammo costs more to reload than handgun and the bigger the bullet the more they cost.
You're in luck as the 9mm is very cheap to reload. The largest cost is the brass. Since you are shooting 400-500 rounds a week, you should have more than enough already.
Bullets can be purchased in bulk quanities of 500, 1000 or more at real savings from Midway, Dillon and several other places. These are usually made by Remington or Winchester. Good stuff. My nines are rather fond of the Remington 115gr JHP. Midway currently lists these at $53.99 per 1000.
The cost of power and primers only amounts to a few cents per round.
As you are paying $149 for a case of the Speer, I'd estimate your savings would run about 60 to 70% over factory loads. I consider that well worth it.
You also have to consider the initial cost of the equiptment. Since you are a high volume shooter, the best way for you to go is with a progressive press. Dillon is probably your best bet and can get you started for $200 to $500 depending on which model you chose. Keep in mind that the savings cover equiptment costs in a relativly short time.
If you love to shoot, it pays to reload.
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Old April 14, 1999, 10:29 AM   #4
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Join Date: April 2, 1999
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 566
9mm is a cheap cartridge to reload, seems the 115 FMJ bullet from Winchester is my cheapest way to go, $45 per 1000, I tried lead bullets to save more money but my
Hi-Power would lead up after 50 shots and not chamber a round, lowest load wouldn't work action, so I just went to FMJs and I
fire 500 a week at least, plus my wife and daughter shoot too, reloading sessions can be a CHORE sometimes, I went with RCBS Piggy Back
progressive and NOW that I've seen Dillon's
presses work I wish I had gone Dillon,is
reloading cheap? the money you get back in the long run, its alot of work to reload,
and getting everyone to pick empties up can
be aggravating, I'm trying to teach my 16 old
daughter, but she gets bored and careless too
quick, besides getting the best reloading
equipment, you better invest in a comfortable
stool for your new hobby, cause your gonna be sitting alot,:}also if your LEO you can buy range ammo for$58 per 500, 115 gr.FMJ
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Old April 14, 1999, 09:58 PM   #5
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Join Date: January 6, 1999
Location: San Diego
Posts: 351
I pay about 2.5 times more for factory loads if I buy 9mm at a store. At bulk rate, you are obviously saving less by reloading, but you will still be able to reload for significantly less, if you don't mind doing a little work. I get joy out of making my own bullets, but really only do it so I can shoot more. I sit and chat with my wife or listen to talk radio when I reload, so I don't consider it anything but relaxing.

Below is a great thread if you want the down and dirty of exactly how much you will save. Just remember though, you get to re-use your brass many times over, so that is not really a recurring cost. It costs me about 6 cents to reload a 9mm in FMJ (re-using the brass), and maybe a penny or so less if I reload lead bullets.

Try this thread:

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Old April 15, 1999, 12:42 AM   #6
Join Date: April 12, 1999
Location: Central Arizona USA
Posts: 39
Thanks to all for the info posted - and special thanks to thaddeus for the link. (if it weren't for you posting it here, I never would've seen it - a confirmed Sigger like me on glockworld?!?)

After researching component costs and having a nice talk with the wife, looks like I'm heading down to Dillon this week to see if I can't bring some new toys home (yet another nice thing about living here, Dillon is just 30 mins away).

I'll let you all know what I end up with...


[This message has been edited by saylerman (edited April 15, 1999).]
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Old April 16, 1999, 12:48 PM   #7
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Join Date: January 6, 1999
Location: San Diego
Posts: 351
I used to live in Tempe, and will again soon. It is such a beni to be able to drive upt o Dillon and get info, services and goods firsthand.
Now that I have thought about it, a LOT of gun specialty businesses base out of Az. Living there, you can drive to many of the world famous gun customizers and specialty shops.

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Old April 16, 1999, 11:22 PM   #8
Join Date: March 27, 1999
Location: Cave Creek Arizona
Posts: 47
Hey Saylerman and Thaddeus,

It sure IS convinient that Dillon is close by, but not for them. I think they are getting worn out answering all the newby questions I'm asking.

As to cost savings, I'm afraid Swifter is right. Ya just end up shooting more

James - Cave Creek
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Old May 4, 1999, 12:54 AM   #9
James L
Join Date: December 28, 1998
Posts: 32
Using 115 gr. FMJ it costs me $60.00 per thousand.
Of course that's not counting time spent. But I find it to be a relaxing hobby.
Just started loading for my Kimber in .45ACP. $3.15 bx. if I use lead. Beats the heck out of the $13.00 a bx. I was paying for UMC's.
Have fun reloading and stay safe.
Jim L.

[This message has been edited by James L (edited May 04, 1999).]
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Old May 6, 1999, 07:20 AM   #10
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Join Date: February 12, 1999
Location: Ohio, USA
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There is a website that offer free basic info on reloading. It tells you why you should and what you can save. Try it.

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