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Old 03-17-2009, 01:48 PM   #31
HardCase
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurelius
I'm betting on 'paranoia'.
I truly hope you're right......I love being wrong when I'm feeling paranoid!!!
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:42 PM   #32
Ge-Mini-gun
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If you really want to see some cost savings, reload 28 ga or 410.
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:14 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Ge-Mini-gun
If you really want to see some cost savings, reload 28 ga or 410.
Ummmm, if your advrider name is a clue to what you like to shoot, I imagine that the economics of reloading is significant to you!!
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:25 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by HardCase
Ummmm, if your advrider name is a clue to what you like to shoot, I imagine that the economics of reloading is significant to you!!
Dealer friend of mine had one a few years ago, I was lucky enough to be allowed to shoot it as much as I wanted provided I fed it. Needless to say at 6200 RPM didn't take long to go through a belt, but I digress. I have a few Title II items and you are correct the economics of reloading are important; however the Title II items really aren’t shot that often; however I shoot the snot out of everything else I have.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:34 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Aurelius
The topic of reloading has surfaced in several gun threads, so I thought it might be of interest to see how the economics pencil out. I did these calculations some 30 years ago when I got involved in reloading, and the savings were substantial even then. Below are two cartridges I shoot quite often, broken down by component. The .223 once-fired cases I buy locally, as well as primers and powder. Prices for a box of cartridges, bullets, and .44 Magnum brass were all taken from MidwayUSA's website. The cost per case is based on a conservative estimate of 10 reloads before the cases show signs of splitting at the neck. I'm told that annealing the case necks will increase their lifespan, but I haven't attempted it.

.223 Remington

Cases: 1 cent per case.
Bullet: (55 grain bulk bullets) = 10 cents.
Primers: ($27/1000) = 3 cents.
Powder: (25 gr. of Win. 748) 8 cents.
Total per: cartridge = 22 cents

1 Box of 20 .223 Winchester = $26/40 = 65 cents a piece.

Total savings for 1000 rounds (43 cents X 1000) = $430.00

---------------------------------------------------------------

.44 Magnum

Cases: 2 cents per case.
Bullet (240 grain jacketed bulk bullets) = 19 cents.
Primers ($27/1000) = 3 cents.
Powder (9 gr. of Bulleye) 1.5 cents.
Total per cartridge = 25.5 cents

1 box of .44 Magnum cartridges = $18/20 = 90 cents a piece.

Total savings for 1000 rounds (64.5 cents X 1000) = $645.00*

* Note that I prefer reduced loads of 9 grains of Bullseye, rather than duplicating factory loads. This not only saves more money in the long run, but makes my Super Blackhawk tame enough to fire many rounds in rapid succession without the punishing recoil of factory loads.

---------------------------------------------------------------

If anyone else has run the numbers and would like to share the results, by all means do.
Can you do the same analysis on .22?
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:00 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Aurelius
If anyone else has run the numbers and would like to share the results, by all means do.
It occurs to me that you're not accounting for either your labor or your capital costs. Your competition has to. I imagine this accounts for a good amount of the discrepancy, no?
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:33 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by koncha
Can you do the same analysis on .22?
Just get the cheap stuff. Or, if you want to hit something, get the medium stuff. Or if you want to be really precise, get the expensive shit. That's the word on .22.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:09 PM   #38
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So I just took a shower, the only place I do any thinking.

If the purpose of this exercise is to provide anything remotely resembling a fair accounting of the cost of making ammo at home, it really needs to include the following:

* cost of labor (regardless of whether or not you're watching TV.)
* cost of goods
* capital costs (even 30 year old equipment cost something, or did you get it for free?)
* utilities (does the casting gadget use electricity? Gas?)
* facility (hard to figure, but it's costing you something to be where where you're casting and where you're storing all your equipment and goods.)
* insurance (if your home burns down, is all of your bullet making stuff covered by your insurance? If so, needs to be included. What if the casting machine burns down your home?)

I'm sure an accountant would come up with other stuff, but that seems like a lot that's not on your original list.

Of all of them, I suspect that cost of labor is the single most important. I would imagine that if you attached any kind of realistic cost to your labor (most especially if you attached a real value to the time of an architect), your ammo might become more expensive than the store bought stuff. I would think that those guys are heavily mechanized for this very reason. I would also imagine that your process is slow and time consuming relative to that of a bullet factory.

As I said, the above only matters if someone's trying to make a genuine comparison between the cost of a homemade bullet and the cost of a store bought bullet.

If it's for giggles, as Emily Litella would say... Never mind!
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:41 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wxwax
So I just took a shower, the only place I do any thinking.

If the purpose of this exercise is to provide anything remotely resembling a fair accounting of the cost of making ammo at home, it really needs to include the following:

* cost of labor (regardless of whether or not you're watching TV.)
* cost of goods
* capital costs (even 30 year old equipment cost something, or did you get it for free?)
* utilities (does the casting gadget use electricity? Gas?)
* facility (hard to figure, but it's costing you something to be where where you're casting and where you're storing all your equipment and goods.)
* insurance (if your home burns down, is all of your bullet making stuff covered by your insurance? If so, needs to be included. What if the casting machine burns down your home?)

I'm sure an accountant would come up with other stuff, but that seems like a lot that's not on your original list.

Of all of them, I suspect that cost of labor is the single most important. I would imagine that if you attached any kind of realistic cost to your labor (most especially if you attached a real value to the time of an architect), your ammo might become more expensive than the store bought stuff. I would think that those guys are heavily mechanized for this very reason. I would also imagine that your process is slow and time consuming relative to that of a bullet factory.

As I said, the above only matters if someone's trying to make a genuine comparison between the cost of a homemade bullet and the cost of a store bought bullet.

If it's for giggles, as Emily Litella would say... Never mind!
Well Waxy, I can very much appreciate your angle, and it's very logical. However, with my own experience, I still come out far ahead with my reloading. But, I have shot enough over the years that it has paid off. If you shoot a couple boxes of shells a year, just go buy them. But, to examine:

I will use old and obsolete prices here, but the comparison between reload and factory bought is a constant. I am pulling this from memory, and trying to be more than fair giving the edge to store-bought loads with the prices.

I have about, lets call it 300 bucks into my basic reloading equipment. That's a press, powder measure, powder scale, some dies, brass tumbler, hand primer squeezer. And let's say, 100 bucks worth of 38 and 357 brass (used in the same gun). (I have more than that invested in other dies etc, but for simplicity I'm illustrating one caliber)

For much of the last 25 years since I began this, the price of my plinking loads came out to about 7 cents per shot. 1.5 cents for a primer, 3.5 cents for lead bullet (purchased not cast) and a couple cents for 4.5 to 6 grains of Unique powder. So, a box of 50 shells of my reloads was maybe $3.50. Remember I already counted the cost of the brass above.

During this period of time, a box of 50 standard 38 lead rounds would run you more like 10 bucks. So, my payoff of all equipment and brass would be about 60 boxes of shells. If it were all that type.

But, I shoot plenty of higher power shells in 357, and my cost went to more like 15 cents per shell (more expensive jacketed projectile and more powder per shot), so a box of 50 of those reloads would be about $7.50. 357 magnum in the store more like 15 to 18 bucks in that day. 53 boxes of those shells to pay off all my equipment.

So, taking one caliber and amortizing your equipment, you do see you need to shoot a substantial amount to pay for the physical goods. And, as you say, that is not counting anything for your own labor.

I have shot enough to pay for this equipment several times over so I'm all happy.

However--and here's the big "but"--this is a hobby. My equipment yes has paid for itself, and if you figure my labor cost I'm not making much there indeed. But, I have crafted my own cartridges, experimented on the shooting range for more accuracy and consistency, and have derived lots of satisfaction in doing so. I load for many different calibers on the same equipment. I built my own loads that I have taken deer and elk with, and my sons have taken all their deer with bullets we loaded ourselves. I have tailored loads to my rifles that work best in that rifle, and can plug a coffee cup at 300 yards. At that point, even though I'm loading for less than I can buy off the shelf, I would do it anyway if cost were the same.

Us reloaders, we are building something tailored specifically to ourselves, that you cannot buy right off the store shelf, and doing it for a real savings in money. Our time is what we decide it's worth, like working on the bike or planting your own garden, it's not about dollars per hour but enjoyment per minute. So I don't factor my time too much into the equation, however in summation when making the argument of pure dollars saved, you're not making a killing with your labor.

God I really rambled on, sorry about the too-long post.

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Old 03-17-2009, 11:25 PM   #40
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Plus you're making a high end product, a specialty product that you'd expect to pay a premium for if you were able to buy it in a store.
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:16 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wxwax
It occurs to me that you're not accounting for either your labor or your capital costs. Your competition has to. I imagine this accounts for a good amount of the discrepancy, no?
It would, if I were doing it as a business. But as it happens, I enjoy reloading. I take pleasure in it just as I take pleasure in doing routine maintenance on my bike. And its something I do while watching television at night, so its not as if it takes time away from my other activities.
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:44 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wxwax
It occurs to me that you're not accounting for either your labor or your capital costs. Your competition has to. I imagine this accounts for a good amount of the discrepancy, no?
The capital cost should be factored in and written down over a reasonable time frame. I'm not so sure about the labour cost, as most of the guys would only be wanking in their wooden shed otherwise.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:29 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by HardCase
Just get the cheap stuff. Or, if you want to hit something, get the medium stuff. Or if you want to be really precise, get the expensive shit. That's the word on .22.
I am not that into guns. I have a CCW to protect my 2nd amendment rights even though I don't exercise them personally.

My brother is really into it. His son, 6 years old, took first place at a shooting competition last week competing with 5 to 10 year old kids. He was shooting some kind of specially modified .223 .
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:07 PM   #44
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The capital cost should be factored in and written down over a reasonable time frame. I'm not so sure about the labour cost, as most of the guys would only be wanking in their wooden shed otherwise.
I got into reloading primarily because of cost. I sat down and figured out how much I was shooting, around 200 rounds a week, and what that cost in ammo. I then figured out the price difference between hand loads and the factory ammo I was buying. The break even point for buying a Dillon Square Deal 'B' was about 4,000 rounds or around 5 months of shooting.

As someone said. If you're only shooting a couple hundred rounds a year, just buy factory loads. BTW, when you do ... leave the brass at the range.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:15 PM   #45
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On another web site I saw that the DLA has revised their decision on destroying spent brass. They are going to continue to sell to remanufacturers and other distributors of loading supplies. Good news.
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