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How to get the number to justify??

This is a discussion on How to get the number to justify?? within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I have been trying to talk myself into getting setup to reload my own rounds and maybe for a few friends. Most of the equipment ...


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Old March 21st, 2017, 07:16 AM   #1
 
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How to get the number to justify??

I have been trying to talk myself into getting setup to reload my own rounds and maybe for a few friends. Most of the equipment is on sale now and it is now affordable to buy everything needed for the bench. I have been running the numbers (NOT including the equipment) for the supplies, cases, powder, bullets and primers searching for the best prices for this stuff in affordable bulk. I'm not coming up with numbers that work out to make it worth while to even bother. The key variable is the brass! If you can source it free, like from a range then the savings is there. I'm coming up with these costs per box of 50 rounds (give or take a little) all 9mm.
NEW- brass, primer, powder, fmj rn 115gr bullet = $13.25 per 50
USED- brass (free) NEW- primer, powder, fmj rn 115gr bullet = $8.25 per 50
USED- brass (free) NEW- primer, powder, lead cast 115gr bullet = $5.75 per 50

What are you guys coming up with for cost and are the number there to justify it? I have bought new boxes of 9mm for as little as $10.99 per 50 (Armscor)



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Old March 21st, 2017, 07:21 AM   #2
 
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$6/50. 9mm 124 gr plated. Does not include the cost of setup (press, dies, etc). Also does not include the self satisfaction and the break from two dogs, three kids, their mom, and the cats.


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Old March 21st, 2017, 07:29 AM   #3
 
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$6/50. 9mm 124 gr plated. Does not include the cost of setup (press, dies, etc). Also does not include the self satisfaction and the break from two dogs, three kids, their mom, and the cats.


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How are you getting that price? New brass / free brass? I can not get into the lower cost price point if I have to buy the brass. The brass is the key cost issue. Used "range brass" can be bought cheaper but it still pushes the cost too close to just buying new rounds. I'm trying to figure out if it's even worth it to buy the tools.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 07:30 AM   #4
 
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Bottom line is, you won't save any money in the short term, but you will,be able to shoot a lot more for the money expended. Also, keep in mind that ammo was pretty hard to get during the last regime in the White House. I was shooting my reloads when others weren't shooting at all.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 07:32 AM   #5
 
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You buy brass once, and use it multiple times. Sometimes multiple-multiple times.

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Old March 21st, 2017, 07:34 AM   #6
 
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Also exactly as others have said. It's personal satisfaction plus you get more for your money in the long run.

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Old March 21st, 2017, 07:44 AM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by Shooter606 View Post
How are you getting that price? New brass / free brass? I can not get into the lower cost price point if I have to buy the brass. The brass is the key cost issue. Used "range brass" can be bought cheaper but it still pushes the cost too close to just buying new rounds. I'm trying to figure out if it's even worth it to buy the tools.

I'm going off of memory but say I buy 100 brass. I count that up front so for two boxes it'll cost me upwards of $9 per box. Then after that, assuming I'm not loading hot I can get 10+ reloads out of that brass for free. Plus the range pickup brass that can usually be found laying around. So yes in reality it's probably a little more than $6.

For me it's worthwhile. I shoot much more than I would if I was buying it a box at a time. If for no other reason it spreads the cost. If you put a price on your time, then 9mm most likely will not pay off. I enjoy it so I charge $0 for that.


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Old March 21st, 2017, 07:48 AM   #8
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You're also running numbers on one of the cheapest rounds for factory ammo. I reload 13 calibers (handgun and rifle) but I don't reload 9Mm or 40S&W. I can buy it too cheaply to feel it's worth the trouble. Bigger savings in 357/44 Mag/45 Colt/ 460 and rifle rounds. But in the long run I reload because I enjoy it. As others have said, you don't save money you just shoot more.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 08:17 AM   #9
 
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I do it because I like to tinker with things. When you play with oddballs, sometimes it is the only way to be able to play with your toys. I have roughly 85 sets of dies on my bench because I never sell them unless I have duplicates.

To me, it is therapy.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 08:17 AM   #10
 
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For me hand loading is a hobby in itself,also an extension of all of my shooting related activities so cost/saving is not in the equation.
I started because I could not get 7mm 160 gr. Nosler bullets in "factory" ammunition also back then it did save a reasonable amount of money.
Depending on your usage it will in time save money and will, as others have said, allow for creating custom ammo.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 08:24 AM   #11
 
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I've been reloading over 40+ years and trying to justify the cost has never crossed my mind. It was the satisfaction of having consistent rounds and a relaxing "rainy day" hobby. Getting to reuse my own brass more than a few times was an extra bonus along with bragging rights with tighter groups .

I'd take the "reload maybe for a few friends" off the table. Waaaay too much of a liability to contend with and you could end up taking a legal beating regardless of who and what's at fault if there is a mishap.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 08:36 AM   #12
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Shooter606, As Waveform said .... 9mm is the cheapest cartridge to load so using it for a comparison with factory ammo is a worst case scenario.

I have dies for all the popular handgun cartridges and about a dozen centerfire rifle cartridges. I do load 9mm only because I have a large stash of FMJ bullets and a bucket full of once fired brass. I also load 40 S&W because I bought up supplies when factory ammo was scarce and brass was free. Once my stash is gone, I doubt if I will load either 9mm or 40 S&W.

With most other cartridges, I find I can reload for about 50% of factory ammo costs. I can also custom tailor my loads .... something you can't do with factory ammo. As an example, I like to shoot mid-level 357 Mags .... hotter than a 38 Special but lighter than a full 357 Magnum. This load is not available in factory ammo. My biggest savings is with 45 Colt ammo. I use lead bullets and emulate factory ammo for about 25% of the factory ammo cost.

My suggestion .... if all you plan to load is 9mm, save the money you would spend on equipment and supplies and buy factory ammo. Watch for sales .... lately I have seen name brand 9mm ammo go for $8.99 a box.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 09:03 AM   #13
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The only way I can come out to your numbers is buying small amounts of supplies at a time. Loading 115gr JHP, not FMJ and including the upstart cost of the brass can load them for about $7.25/50. If you're looking to save money reloading, you need to think in terms of bulk purchasing for the supplies. Example, 9mm 115gr fmj = $19/100 but only $9.80/100 when you buy 1000 which cuts price in half. Same with powder, buy 8lbs vs 1lb containers, same with primers, etc.

another bonus with buying in bulk, during the 90s and last administration, I kept right on shooting without missing a beat because I didn't have to scrounge for supplies. As of late I have seen the best prices on powder and primers that I can recall in probably 20 years.

I originally started out handloading to save on the cost of ammo and that it does especially since I cast most of my bullets but it soon became apparent that the quality of my loads were superior to what I could buy off the shelf.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 09:31 AM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooter606 View Post
How are you getting that price? New brass / free brass? I can not get into the lower cost price point if I have to buy the brass. The brass is the key cost issue. Used "range brass" can be bought cheaper but it still pushes the cost too close to just buying new rounds. I'm trying to figure out if it's even worth it to buy the tools.
I want to know how he gets free of the cats...





Cost savings will be relative. Like Iowegan says, if you're just going to load 9mm, it's probably not worth the investment.

The benefits to reloading go beyond the monitary if you're looking for such intangibles as the satisfaction of loading your own ammo and the precise control over how your ammo is loaded to get maximum performance.

Personally, I have realized (but have not calculated) cost savings by reloading.

First off, my initial equipment investment was pretty much zero. The equipment and a huge amount of components were given to me by a friend who had inherited much of it. He then added that pile to his pile and then gave it all up to pursue golf. Even the expensive lab balance I use was slated to be discarded because it was used for penicillin and couldn't be sold or used anywhere else in our facility.

The other way I realize savings is the calibers I love for which I load. My favorite three calibers are .300 Savage, .41 magnum and .303 British. While still available, the .300 and .303. Are not widely available or inexpensive. And .41 mag, if you can find it, prices are downright rapacious. And, I've recently started into the .300 AAC Blackout field. Again, not unavailable, but not common or cheap.

I've bought specific dies and components, but can say that I haven't purchased factory ammo for years, with certain exceptions...

-5.56mm for my AR556 and probably will continue to do so, because the sales on it are still good.
- .300 BLK to test my build when it was completed and to see how it grouped before i added my reloads as variables
- 9mm, though technically I didnt buy it. I was given a case by a friend who is issued ammo by the case weekly for training
.380acp, as I do not reload for it and can't abide shooting my .380 much anyhow...

DISCLAIMER: for those that will key in on Sarge on my bench during reloading operations (Daisy's on the chair), I had taken a moment's break, he didn't disturb anything and promptly went to sleep. Next step was to seat bullets, off to the right, away from his tail...It's actually more distracting if they're shut out of the room, as they yowl and scratch at the door if its closed...

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Old March 21st, 2017, 09:47 AM   #15
 
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I'll reiterate what others have said. 9mm is marginal on cost savings, but I still load it. I initially bought all 9mm factory ammo, shot that up, saved the brass, and reloaded from that brass.
I've found that the bullet is the most costly component of reloading. I keep an eye open for sales at Xtreme bullets, especially around the holidays. They run great sales. Buy several 1000 if possible for free shipping. 115RN are about.07-.08 each. .03 for primer, and a few cents more for powder. I'm loading for around .13 per round. That saves me about .07 per round or so. On an extended range shoot that adds up fairly quickly.
It also depends on how much you shoot. If you are burning through 500 rounds per week you need to reload. 500 rounds per month? That's up to you.
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