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Old March 10, 2007, 02:45 PM   #51
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Double Naught, my experience is also exactly the opposite of what you describe. I don't factor my time into the cost of reloading for many of the reasons previously described, which in the end means it costs me about half as much to reload my own ammunition. In my own case then, I shoot twice as much if not more. And as far as the designation between reloaders and shooters, about half the guys I shoot IPSC with all reload so they can afford to shoot more.

And I also golf, so I'm not sure your illustration about guys trying to save money by scrounging the rough for balls is entirely accurate. Searching for lost balls is fairly time consuming, and usually what you find is of questionable quality. Reloading doesn't take me a ton of time, and I end up ultimately with ammunition of higher quality than what I can buy. So maybe a better golfing illustration is guys who start making custom clubs because they think they can build something better than what you get off the shelf. And here again, I've purchased custom clubs for myself which ultimately cost less than major brand names and are more ideally suited to my own swing.

The point in all of this is to say that some of us believe we can often get a better product at a cheaper price by doing the work ourselves. And on top of the superior product, we enjoy the process. The combination of these reasons is why we ultimately reload.
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Old March 10, 2007, 03:23 PM   #52
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Smokin Joe, reloading is also a relaxing and enjoyable time for me. Can't put a price on relaxation after a stressful day at work. Simply because you don't see it, doesn't negate the experience for others.
Of course, I simply mean that about myself. I know you like to reload. its nice yes.
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Old March 10, 2007, 03:45 PM   #53
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Aside from the fact that reloading is an investment in the future and a hedge against inflation.
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Old March 10, 2007, 07:31 PM   #54
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Buying anything now could be considered a hedge against future inflation, including loaded ammo.
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Old March 11, 2007, 02:08 AM   #55
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"...VAST majority of what you're paying for is good, cheap labor(sic)..." Nope. You're paying for the load developement by well paid ballistic engineers and well paid, union, factory workers.
"...might be making 10 dollars an hour..." Can you live on that?
In any case, reloading isn't about saving money. It's about using the best possible ammo in your firearms.
"...My first gun was a Weatherby 240 Magnum..." She's right. Snicker.
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Old March 11, 2007, 06:16 AM   #56
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When treating the time spent reloading as paid labor hours, be sure to factor in the additional; cost against what you might make in wages. For example, $10 per hour really isn't when you factor in all the deductions for such things as taxes and social security. When you figure costs with doing anything for your self it has to be in untaxed dollars.
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Old March 11, 2007, 08:15 AM   #57
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I think the notion of the time and value of time is being drawn out incorrectly. Time and money are both costs, whether they represent realized or unrealized costs. Said concisely, reloading is most cost effective for those who have the time to give to the process. For those that don't have the time to give to the process but who have money, purchasing ammo is more cost effective.

With that said, when I hear most folks tell me how much ammo they can reload in just a small amount of time and tell me how inexpensive it is, they don't ever really seem to give me accurate assessments of their time investment. Except for a couple of benchrest guys I have met, I don't know any that show all new materials. So, there are several time aspects involved in procuring and preparing raw materials.

1. There is the scrounge time of collecting brass off the ground at the range.
2. ...brass sorting time (which may be done at the range)
3. ...brass grading (which may be done at the range)
4. ...brass depriming
5. ...brass cleaning
6. ...brass inspection

Then comes the process of the actual reloading once the raw material brass has been processed.

In any case, reloading isn't about saving money. It's about using the best possible ammo in your firearms.
I really liked this quote. I honestly can't say that I know anyone outside of benchrest competition who reloads because they want the best possible ammunition for their firearms. Nearly everybody I know does it to save money and/or because they enjoy it. Those that reload practice ammo are usually NOT shooting the best possible ammo for their guns.
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Old March 11, 2007, 08:23 AM   #58
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You should get out more.

I honestly can't say that I know anyone outside of benchrest competition who reloads because they want the best possible ammunition for their firearms.
I hate to tell you but there are lots of us that are not bench rest shooters but we load every cartride as if it was going to be used to drop a trophy buck.
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Old March 11, 2007, 08:46 AM   #59
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One thing a draw exception to on your list as time spent on reloading is picking up the brass. back in the military we called the policeing your brass. At the range I shoot at people that don't pick up their brass are considered range slobs.

That said, If I "charged" myself what I charged my customers for consulting work it would be cheaper to just buy new ammo. I did charge more than I suspect the factory worker costs. They are more efficient in that they use the equipment better suited for mass production. As I'm retired and have the time but not as much money, it's more cost effective for me to reload. Yes I put a lot of effort into loading the best ammo I can make for my rifles. That is not the case with the .38 and .45 stuff I load. I spent many enjoyable hours developing the exact load for each rifle that will be more accurate than the best I can get off the shelf. For example. for my 22-250 the best factory ammo will shoot around a 1 MOA group. My home brew stuff does under .25 MOA. Bear in mind a lot of that development time is range time shooting. How do you cost shooting at the range? Once developed I could pay some custom ammo mfg to make the custom ammo but that would be rather pricey. I suspect it would be double the cost of off the shelf stuff at least.

Truthfully, most hand loaders don't put a cent back in their pocket. they do shoot a lot more. Bottom line is if you don't think you would enjoy the process, it's not worth it. Just go down to the store and buy some more ammo and go shoot.

BTW anyone know where I can get a brass magnet???
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Old March 11, 2007, 12:00 PM   #60
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It's simple really. If you think of reloading as a chore, then you might as well just go buy the your ammo off the shelf and shoot. Myself, I like reloading. It's a hobby. As much, or maybe even more than shooting. I think it's great taking a duffle bag full of ammo to the range and seeing what works, and what doesn't. It's also great when I get home and put all those boxes of empty cases in my "to be loaded" stack. I just love seeing all that "work" I'm going to have to do.
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Old March 11, 2007, 05:40 PM   #61
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In my job I'm on call 24/7 and I'm paid salary. I get paid to reload!!!!
When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.
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Old March 11, 2007, 05:57 PM   #62
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There is nothing quite as satisfying as "not" having to track a deer or pig that you dropped in its tracks with ammo you made with your own hands. I take pride in my ammo I make. i spend an absolute freakin ridiculous amount of time measuring the case and scrubbing it and trimming it and measuring the powder down to GNA ( Gnat's Ass) It is kinda like hunting for food. Deer meat cost the average Hunter about $700 a pound by the time you pay for Land, truck, gun ammo, license,corn, deer feeder, blind and for you "professionals" out there your $75 an hour or whatever. I do it cuz its fun, and it keeps me off the internet and off the couch.
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Old March 12, 2007, 04:28 PM   #63
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I have no doubt that many reloaders do save money.
but in the fact that they shoot that many fewer rounds when they go to the range because of all the time they spend on reloading-related activities instead of shooting.
Everybody I know that reloads does it for the accuracy of the ammo and to be able to shoot twice as much for the same money, myself included. The money savings isn't where we put money back into our pocket, its the fact that we can shoot twice as much as you for the same money.
1. There is the scrounge time of collecting brass off the ground at the range.
The range has to be swept anyway, it just goes into my bucket instead of theirs.
2. ...brass sorting time (which may be done at the range)
I do this while I am watching TV, that is non-productive time anyway.
3. ...brass grading (which may be done at the range)
I don't know very many people that do this. Most people shoot them until they split.
4. ...brass depriming
This is part of the reloading process. It is done in the press at the same time as dropping powder, seating the bullet and crimping.
5. ...brass cleaning
This is done at the same time as number 2 or while I am doing other things around the house. Five minutes to load the tumbler and five minutes to unload. Doesn't take long.
6. ...brass inspection
This is also done at the same time as number 2. So as you can see there really isn't a lot of time involved in all the prep work. I can load 200 to 250 rounds per hour so I can load 1000 rounds a week in a few hours. Double Naught Spy, when you go to the range to shoot do you shoot for bullseye type accuracy or do you just shoot for metal plate type accuracy? I shoot in some bullseye matches and try to load my ammo for that. I am confused when you say reloaders go to the range more for reloading than shooting. Everybody I know will shoot a few hundred rounds when they go to the range. I pay attention to which reloads I load into my gun and can see the accuracy difference on the target so I don't see where I am spending more time at the range for reloading than shooting. Maybe you just ran into a couple of reloaders in your area that make it look harder than it really is.
I don't ever remember being absent minded.
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Old March 22, 2007, 06:55 PM   #64
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Cost of reloading = Priceless

Reloading is an avocation, my time to be alone. Away from the wife and everyday aggravation. No cares, no worries, no stress. Very relaxing and a lot cheaper than therapy. The fact that I save 40% - 50% of the cost of factory ammo is a bonus.
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Old March 22, 2007, 09:19 PM   #65
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If you have the time try it!! It is a savings on a per round basis but you shoot alot more and you know that the ammo is of good quality. You don't need a progressive reloader to start you can get a single stage press for a hundred rounds a week. I know that the amount you shoot will go up. As for finding even Blazer 9mm ammo today for 7.50 a box is rare. The price of ammo is going up with no down in sight. Stock up while you can
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