Economics of reloading ammo(e)

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Aurelius, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. YJake

    YJake Social Distancing Before It Was Cool Supporter

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    I’ll have saved enough money to pay for the dies, brass and all components by the end of the summer.

    If I start playing with the heavy stuff and hunting loads I’ll be saving a significant amount of money. Those BuffaloBore hunting loads are $$$.

    -Jake
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  2. WECSOG

    WECSOG Dirt Road Denizen

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    Speaking of heavy .45 Colt loads, (insert disclaimer, YMMV, my loads/guns, not a recommendation, etc.) what I have done in the past when loading for large frame Ruger single action .45s is use the same powder and charge I would use for a similar bullet weight and design in .44 Magnum. Velocities seemed to be similar too. There were a couple of fairly well known gun writers who were doing the same thing. According to some of them, pressures run about 80 percent of a similar .44 Mag load e.g. 40K psi in .44 Mag or 32K psi in .45 Colt.
  3. gatling

    gatling Long timer

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  4. telejojo

    telejojo Long timer

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    I was thinking about getting back into reloading (sold all my reloading stuff years ago) but my local gun dealer sells for example 5.56 ammo 27.00 for 100 rounds. No more than I shoot I don't think it would be worth buying the equipment to do it again.
  5. WECSOG

    WECSOG Dirt Road Denizen

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    Just a few short years ago even Larry's couldn't get enough ammo to meet the demand. Who's to say that's not going to happen again, say after the next election?
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  6. PunkinHead

    PunkinHead Moobless Adventurer Supporter

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    It's not worth reloading if you're a low volume shooter. Just stock up now while prices of commercial ammo are low.
  7. YJake

    YJake Social Distancing Before It Was Cool Supporter

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    Especially if you’re doing it to reload .223/5.56 or 9mm.

    -Jake
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  8. PunkinHead

    PunkinHead Moobless Adventurer Supporter

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    I reload .223, but only when I need a large quantity of high accuracy loads for prairie dog shooting trips with my son. For plinking it's cheaper to buy commercial at the moment. Same with 9mm - I have components on hand to reload it but right now I'm shooting commercial ammo and saving the reloading supplies until the next inevitable panic. The real money saver for me is high accuracy 7mm Rem Mag. Good quality 7mm Rem Mag for 1000 yard shooting is over $2/round so it doesn't take many shots to make it worth reloading.
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  9. YJake

    YJake Social Distancing Before It Was Cool Supporter

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    Point taken. I reload 9mm as well, but mostly subsonic 147gr loads fine tuned to run with a suppressor. Bulk 115gr would be a waste of my time.

    .45 Colt, .45 GAP, and .357 Sig? Lots of savings. :nod

    -Jake
  10. kbuckey

    kbuckey Long timer Super Supporter

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    Of course, if you're shooting .45 Colt in different guns you need different loads, and loads that aren't available commercially. I have three basic loads: one for the SAA; one for the S&W 625 and new Ruger Vaqueros; and one for the big Vaqueros, Blackhawks and Redhawk. So it becomes a choice thing, not just a cost thing.
  11. tcs06

    tcs06 The Clueless Wonder

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    And a rifle is a different a animal all together.
  12. BCC

    BCC I know better

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    I shoot Steel Challenge with a handgun. I use around 2000 rounds of 9mm a month (and a whole bunch of 22lr).

    I’m fine with the quality of Winchester White 9mm at .17 cents a round from Walmart. When I miss, it ain’t the Ammoes fault.:D

    As a cost saving exercise, even if I value my time at nil, the economics of reloading don’t make sense (for me), right?

    I would have to buy the equipment.

    And I have enough hobbies.
  13. kbuckey

    kbuckey Long timer Super Supporter

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    Truth. This "one round for rifle and handgun" works, but then you are at the very least going to be shooting a compromise load in one or t'other. The only center fire rounds for which I have both rifle and handgun are .44Mag, .30 Carbine and 10mm. I haven't really played with the .30 Carbine and 10mm much to see what I'll be doing when reloading for the Carbines, but in .44 Mag the rifle does best with a different load than my favorite loads for handguns.
  14. Buzztail

    Buzztail Buzztopian OG Supporter

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    @kbuckey what 10mm carbine are you running? I’ve been kicking around the idea of one for years, but never hard enough to pull the trigger so to speak.
  15. scottcolbath

    scottcolbath Long timer

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    Yes, both are relatively cheap right now. I'm still pondering getting back into it, now that I am the owner of a Desert Eagle in .44 Mag, and several .45 ACP guns. That shit ain't cheap.

    S.C.
  16. kbuckey

    kbuckey Long timer Super Supporter

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    The Hi-Point. Yeah I thought I'd never own a Hi-Point either. And it is an ugly little cuss, and heavy, and the cheek pad is sticky (yeah I've tried every trick mentioned to reduce that). But the darn thing has had one failure to feed (on the second mag) and that's it in about 500 rounds. I haven't chronoed any loads yet but I'd wager they would do the trick. Wish they sold hi-cap mags for it. And though it is no MOA shooter, it's easy to keep on the black on a 50 yard NRA pistol target at 50 yards, offhand.
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  17. Buzztail

    Buzztail Buzztopian OG Supporter

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    I’ve eyeballed the MechTech one for some time now since I have quite a few G20 mags.
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  18. Effendi

    Effendi Been here awhile

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    I probably shoot around 2000 - 3000 a month and still crank out my own 9mm (5.56mm too). Once you have the brass you have eliminated one of the cost factors of reloading and only need to buy bullets, powder and primers. Keep your eye's open for bargain pricing on the other components and then when you see a bargain jump in with both feet and the credit card. My latest best deal was when I found titegroup 1lb pots at $18 a pot and bought up the entire 11lb supply in the Academy store.

    I have a Dillon 650 with a case feeder and a bullet feeder. The setup allows me to crank out ammo at a rate of just under 1000 an hour if I have my primers, bullets and powder ready to replenish and do not take a lunch break everytime I need to top something up. I am looking to get myself a dillon 1050 for the 5.56mm as changing calibre is mind numbingly, boringly painful..........so I am looking for a reasonably priced 2nd hand one, slowtime.

    Some people are in shooting for the shooting, others for the reloading and some just because they effectively collect guns. Personally, I get off on shooting, reloading does nothing for me, it does not get me happy or float my boat and I definitely am not the kind to spend hours making 1/10th grain different loads and measuring the speed with chrono.........it saves me some money, that is it, fullstop, endex, basta.

    Dillon have a break even calculator on their website so anyone can calculate the cost of buying all the gear against the number of rounds they shoot and calculate how many rounds to break even.
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  19. BCC

    BCC I know better

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    Thanks for the great reply. Appreciated.

    I’m taking a full day course on reloading tomorrow. I’m setting up my garage, which is climate controlled, so I would be organized if I decide to get into reloading. I’m similar to you in that I enjoy shooting. I like competing against my previous times.

    If I decide to do it, I’ve kind of made up my mind to ignore the initial cost of the equipment, as long as I can get less recoil ammo out of reloading and ongoing costs are less.

    If I get a pc carbine for competition, my usage would go up of 9mm and I probably wouldn’t reload any other caliber. I’m talking myself into your setup or possibly the 1050 for once and done. I have a neighbor who competes and reloads as well and is willing to offer guidance, too.

    Again, thanks.
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  20. Effendi

    Effendi Been here awhile

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    If I may make one more noise on equipment, sir.

    If I were you I would go with the 1050 immediately, do not go 650 and then decide to move up to 1050.

    The reasoning behind this is that you will invariably collect range brass and you will find that some of it has crimped primer pockets. The 650 will knock out the old crimped primer, no issues with that. However, you still need to swage the primer pocket (or waste primers) and the 650 is not designed to do that as part of it's reloading cycle. People will tell you about a couple of widgets on eb@y made by people who purport that their widgets will swage the primer pocket. In my experience they DO NOT, each one cost me around $100 and they both sit in a box unused, effectively expensive scrap metal. Then I bought Dillons super swage 600, yes that does work but, it is a long and laborious procedure picking up each case, fitting it, swaging it and moving on.

    The 1050 swages as part of the reloading cycle, job done, no messing. I have a friend who has a 1050 set up for only 9mm, like us he shoots, a lot, he dedicates one sunday after noon a month to knocking out around 3000 - 4000 rounds of 9mm. I also have a friend in europe who has a 650 for 9mm and another for .45ACP, there is not the prospect of collecting cases with crimped primer pockets on many civilian ranges in euro-land though.

    Bottom line: If you can afford it then go for the 1050.

    All the powder maker's have their reloading guides online nowadays so if you [safely] work within their tolerances for loads then it will not take you long to come up with some standard loads of your own.

    Getting once fired brass is no problem, picking it up as and when on the range I have around 4 x 5 gallon buckets full of 9mm and 5.56mm cases. Bullets I buy from Evergl@des ammo 4000 at a time, primers I buy 20,000 at a time, powder, I could tell you but, the Fed's would have a heart attack....I sort of grab a can as I am passing the display(and it just sort of built up), or pick up bargains (in bulk) when I spot them. Bulk and bargains is the only way to go.

    Good luck!
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