Reloading costs

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300blk_kid
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Reloading costs

Post by 300blk_kid » Sun May 26, 2019 9:07 am

Less the investment in the reloading gear, is it cheaper reloading 300aac vs just buying it? I can get decent 300 for about 34c/rnd + shipping. Some sellers even do 40c/rnd with free ship.

But, when factoring in the time to reload (w/ or w/o casting your own bullets), is it less expensive?

Are you reloaders annealing the brass neck? If so how are you doing it?

Also, does anyone know of any place that sells rounds and then will buy back your spent brass, or give credit towards buying more ammo?

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alamo5000
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Re: Reloading costs

Post by alamo5000 » Sun May 26, 2019 2:24 pm

Well this is a loaded question :P

Reloading in general will be cheaper on the whole especially if you buy in bulk. For example I am about to place another order for primers and I will get 20,000 of them at once to offset hazmat fees, or better yet I might do it when they have a sale or whatever. Same rings true with powder.

Every different caliber has it's own characteristics as far as cost components go. For most of the time reloading shotgun shells for example does not represent any significant cost savings.

Things depend on the life cycle of a particular market. Right now the gun market, and ammo market is depressed, so the people selling big bulk boxes of heavy jacketed bullets is less and less.

Once you get powder and primers and bullets (the truly expendable stuff) that's your cost. Brass can be made or found for cheap. I just did my first initial batch of 300 BLK and I am going to do more. If you reliably pick up brass this is not a component cost you need to worry about so much. So pretty much you can figure up 5 to 7 cents give or take a little per round, plus the bullet, which for heavy subs now they are not cheap. They can go for as much as 30 to 40 cents each bullet but again it depends.

So let's say you are doing an all in cost comparison using Hornady 208 grain subs... a quick search on ammoseek tells me that ammo goes for about 75 cents per round plus shipping, if you buy it by the case.

Using the same exact bullet that same round can be reloaded for about half that.

You get way better ammo by taking your time and reloading as well.

For like match grade 223 ammo that can hold sub moa groups I can load for a fraction of the store price. The nicer the ammo the more you save, or in other words you can shoot twice as much for the same cost plus time.

I had stockpiled a ton of 9mm bullets so I had one of the giant igloo coolers full to the brim with loaded loose 9mm rounds and enough stuff to fill it up two more times.... Not even once did I have to go to the store for ammo during the Obama Ammo Scare. I did cut back shooting a little bit but I still was able to shoot while other people were paying horrendous prices for a box of 50 rounds.

You will never shoot totally for free (don't we wish) but overall you will save a substantial amount and get substantially better ammo by rolling your own.

Another thought about reloading is that it is an art and a hobby all unto itself. I personally enjoy reloading and testing out ammo almost as much as I do just shooting. Some people think of reloading as pure drudgery and boring 'work'.

If you are only going to shoot a little bit and just 'plink'... then just buy a case of ammo and be done with it. If you find joy in the process of making something hands on...then hey it's an option. The minute you start shooting or wanting to shoot nice ammo, not just the cheapest stuff on the shelf at Wal Mart... you will save in the long run (even considering cost of new presses dies etc). Depending on how much of what you shoot you can in essence get your money back from the initial outlay in not very long and after that it's pure gravy.

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Re: Reloading costs

Post by alamo5000 » Sun May 26, 2019 2:37 pm

I have been reloading since I was a kid, but just figure out how much you actually shoot in a month, then a year, then in my case a decade. I've been reloading for like 20 to 30 years or more and seriously for at least 15 to 20 of that...over the lifetime of that I can say without a doubt I paid for my press, dies, and all that other stuff many many times over.

Keep in mind I am not making money at it... it still costs a whole lot to shoot, but then again I don't have to worry about scares as much.

On the high end is where you really really save money. That match ammo if you buy it from the store it can be really steep, especially if you get into off calibers and whatever.

Again though, reloading is a hobby unto itself. Not everyone does things the exact same way but it's like these old dudes that play around on ham radio or go to rock and gem shows, or collect rare coins or whatever other hobby they might have. It takes a certain personality and quite a bit more discipline that many people don't have.

No discipline in reloading means you don't get ammo and if you do get ammo you might blow yourself or your gun up. No need to be OCD (although there are those who are) but just careful enough to say not double charge a case or something.

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Re: Reloading costs

Post by alamo5000 » Sun May 26, 2019 2:45 pm

300blk_kid wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 9:07 am
I can get decent 300 for about 34c/rnd + shipping. Some sellers even do 40c/rnd with free ship.
You are talking about 147 grain supersonic rounds most likely at that price point.... so at present you can buy bulk boxes of 147 grain bullets for about 13 to 15 cents per bullet. Realistically you could (not including brass etc) have reloaded rounds for around 20 to 22 cents per round.

Even with that the 10 to 12 cents per round adds up. 1000 rounds at .10 saved per round is $100 bucks.

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plant.one
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Re: Reloading costs

Post by plant.one » Sun May 26, 2019 4:00 pm

with reloading in general, based on per round costs anyway...

Rifle ammo:
- on plinking ammo you may save some, but not a ton. maybe 10-25%. it will depend on how good you are at being thrifty with your buys. patience will be an important factor and timing blem sales, buying in bulk, etc...
- on hunting ammo you can save upwards of 50%, or maybe more
- on match grade ammo you can save upwards of 50% or maybe more (this would apply for 300 blk subs as well)



with pistol ammo... your savings will be caliber specific for the most part. the more common the caliber (and load!), the less you'll save - 9mm ball ammo is a perfect example. the stuff can be had so cheap right now.. sure you can save a few pennies... however - god forbid we go back to another bad-old-days like post sandyhook...

if you're loading something like 45 LC, or 44 mag, 357, etc... ya.. you can add some savings up!


the good news is - once you have the basic equipment - a caliber change can usually be had for $50-$100 (dependant on your press configuration, and brand preference of dies).


the one thing reloading WILL do for you - allow you to shoot more for the $ you have to spend on ammo. additionally - if ammo is tough to source near you, you're no longer dependent on shelf stock, or low/no inventory due to political stuff. downside - you will need to stash some supplies for events like that.


i can say this - my reloading equipment is paid for with my ammo "savings" vs buying loaded ammo.. probably 2-3x over. Have i actually saved any money along the way - i doubt it. but i can safely say i am no longer dependent on being able to walk into the store before making a trip to the range....

hth
Reloading info shared is based on experiences w/ my guns. Be safe and work up your loads from published data. Web data may not be accurate/safe.
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Re: Reloading costs

Post by blaster » Sun May 26, 2019 8:02 pm

reloading costs me more because I can shoot more for less. :lol:
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Re: Reloading costs

Post by 300blk_kid » Mon May 27, 2019 10:00 am

And you folks anneal the brass neck? What machine do you use for this?

If i get into reloading I would probably cast my own bullets.
By me there is no collecting brass or lead for free, I need to buy that material.
Brass I can obviously retain my own after shooting it.

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Re: Reloading costs

Post by alamo5000 » Mon May 27, 2019 11:03 am

300blk_kid wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 10:00 am
And you folks anneal the brass neck? What machine do you use for this?

If i get into reloading I would probably cast my own bullets.
By me there is no collecting brass or lead for free, I need to buy that material.
Brass I can obviously retain my own after shooting it.
No annealing. If you are into some super match grade high competition stuff maybe, or if you are reloading the same case for the 20th time...

A simple propane torch will do it just fine. You don't need a machine. If you got something like a long board and drilled holes big enough for the shells so that it's a make shift shell holder, or you could just get a welding glove and do it by hand. I've seen people do it on a gas stove with a welding glove they found under the old barn out back. Not ideal but it works.

Again with brass there are numerous avenues. If you have the stuff to chop and form brass, if your friends are not into reloading ask if you can pick up the brass when they are done. You can convert it once and it will last a very long time. If you want to buy new brass that's fine but you can easily get multiple firings out of it. I have a fair collection of brass and some of it has 7 or 8 reloadings on it and it's still fine.

A good question to ask is what tools you need to form brass and how everyone else does it. If you want to just skip the whole brass forming process and buy 300BLK brass you can use it over and over (and over and over) again.

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Re: Reloading costs

Post by dellet » Mon May 27, 2019 12:11 pm

Your initial question was concerning time spent vs cost. The more complicated you make the process, the more time it will take, the less the savings will be.

With a good progressive 500 rounds an hour is not out of the question. Same with casting, it will depend on the setup. If you add annealing to the process, it’s more time. You will be down to an average of around 250 rounds per hour if you do all that, including prep time.

250 rounds per hour at a savings of .10c is $25 per hour.

To get that type of production you will easily spend $1500-2000.

That’s about 60-80 hours to pay off the equipment. That’s not so bad of investment, but how long will it take you to shoot 15-20,000 rounds?
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Re: Reloading costs

Post by alamo5000 » Mon May 27, 2019 2:45 pm

dellet wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 12:11 pm
Your initial question was concerning time spent vs cost. The more complicated you make the process, the more time it will take, the less the savings will be.

With a good progressive 500 rounds an hour is not out of the question. Same with casting, it will depend on the setup. If you add annealing to the process, it’s more time. You will be down to an average of around 250 rounds per hour if you do all that, including prep time.

250 rounds per hour at a savings of .10c is $25 per hour.

To get that type of production you will easily spend $1500-2000.

That’s about 60-80 hours to pay off the equipment. That’s not so bad of investment, but how long will it take you to shoot 15-20,000 rounds?
Exactly. Over the long term reloading will definitely pay off, but I would also say it would depend on what kind of press you get and what you are loading etc. Single stage is in some ways superior but in other ways inferior, turret presses, etc are all much cheaper than a full blown Dillon progressive setup. If a person is shooting ELR or other long range stuff the gear you need is a little different that say churning out 9mm by the bucket load.

Everyone is always trying to find ways to make things run smoother and easier or take less time. I am on the hunt to figure out how to make my case prep go faster. Case prep is where the work is at. The rest is easy.

For me with most calibers I spend a few days (at least) going at an easy pace resizing, depriming, tumbling and priming brass. After that I am good generally for quite a while. If I get a 5 gallon bucket full of primed 9mm brass the rest is cake.

Reloading will eventually pay off but how fast depends on the details of how much and what the OP likes to shoot. Like I was saying above, reloading is a hobby unto itself and it has a side effect of getting cheaper yet better ammo.

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