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Has anyone ever broken down the cost of reloading vs factory loads. If so what is the break down? I have been looking into it a bit and with the intial investment when do you start to see a return. I know a major part is going to depend on how much you shoot but for the average guy who goes to the range a couple times a month is it worth it?
 

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A lot depends on if you have access to free/cheap metal ( wheel weights ) to cast your own bullets, then you are only buying primers and powder....
 

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Back in 1973 when I first started reloading .38/.357 magnum rounds; using 158 gr hard cast LSWC commercial bullets, my cost was about $3.50 @ box of "50" vs. $8.00 for similar factory loads. In other words I saved a little better than 50%. Using scrap lead and casting my own bullets saved even more.

However, over the years my "time" became more valuable to me so I quit casting my own. Bulk purchases of commercial hard cast bullets being reasonably priced.

Even with today's "price gouging" due to recent events, I'd venture to say you'd still save at least 50% in "cash".

But don't forget that irreplaceable commodity that needs to be factored into the equation, "time". It takes time to reload, so how much is your time worth?
 

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Mostly, it depends on what you are planning to reload. If you're reloading 9mm, there isn't that much savings (pre-ammo crunch
prices). If you will be loading .380 or .45, the savings can be substantial.

If you have a smart phone, there is an app that will let you put in the price of components, and figure out the cost/round.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dz.ReloadingCosts
(Sorry, don't have the addy to iPone equivalent)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Right now I just have a 9mm but I am planning on making it a collection sooner or later so thanks for the help and I will check out that app for sure. Thanks again.
 

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I reload 9mm Hollow Point, so it's about 1/4 the cost of factory ammo.
Eventually you will recoup the initial cost of equipment with the savings.
9mm FMJ, nope, may as well buy factory.
 

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9MM (I picked 9mm for my example as some think its not worth reloading, larger calibers generally yield more savings.)

2000 125gr LRN bullets with shipping $134.00 (actual price today from friendswoodbullet.com)
2000 small pistol primers $80.00 (figured high my cost is $30.00/1000 including tax)
2#’s powder $50.00 (figured high my cost is $22.83/lb if I buy 1# at a time including tax)

Total is $264.00 in components or $0.132 per round or $13.20 per 100 rounds

I know I can’t get 100 rounds of 9mm for under $28.00

At these figures not having to buy 2000 rounds of factory 9mm ammo you would save $296.00 more then enough to pay for A Lee Turret Press, a set of dies, and misc required tools to safely reload.

I don’t factor in the time it takes, if I wasn’t using that time to reload (which I very much enjoy) I would probably be sitting on my butt watching TV. I usually spend an hour to hour and a half 3-4 times a week reloading for my shooting needs. Every once in a while I will pull a 3-6 hour reloading marathon on the weekend to put a little stash of ammo away.

Buying powder in bulk will save money, and ordering bullets to maximize the flat rate shipping, usually 65#/$14.00 will also save money. I using FMJ bullets or platted bullets will add to your cost and lower your savings. Some people don’t like shooting lead. You have to do what you are most comfortable with. Right now I can reload 9mm for around $9.50/100 rounds and I don't have to worry about the store being out. I get a much better round for my money.

With the Lee Turret press additional calibers will only cost from $40-$90 in equipment depending on how much extra equipment you want. I like to order a turret, riser, and powder measure for each caliber so I don’t have to mess with changing things around and resetting up dies. I would rather use that time making more ammo.
 

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MY price on 9MM reloads is pretty much in line with fishinkeylargo at 6.25-6.50 per box of 50, really depends on how i figure my component cost ( buying 1000 round boxes or projectiles or 500 round, 1 pound of powder or 4 -8 pound cans, etc.)
modern hollow point ammo is about an extra 2 bucks or so over plated R/N.
I look at the cost of press,dies,sclae etc kind of like people figure gas mileage, they don't figure the cost of the car into it and i don't really look at the press and etc in the cost either, i mean how can you? is the press going to last 10 years, 20 years 14 generations
I mean as long as the laws of gravity don't change you ain't gonna need another scale!
 
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