Question: How much does it all add up to?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Guest, Feb 24, 2003.

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    GroovyTed1
    Member
    Posts: 5
    (9/29/02 1:05:28 pm)
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    Hi All,

    This is a question for all folks that load/reload regarding what it all boils down to:

    How much does it break down to for, say, a box of 50 rounds?

    I'm looking to find out if it's worth if for me to load my own ammo. For my .357, I can buy 38 spl factory reloads at the gun show for about $5 - $6 per box of 50. Now, magnums cost more than that, but I'm looking for a way to get inexpensive ammo to shoot for fun.

    The factors I'm considering in cost are:
    -dollars
    -amount of time

    I've been reading some of the posts, and it sounds like I'd be interested in the basic setup, and for a single caliber (38 spl, I guess). Perhaps another way to look at it is this:

    If I do have a basic setup, and a few runs under my belt, how much time and $$ does it take to produce approx 500 rounds (not including equipment...)?

    Thanks
    -gt

    loader44
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 223
    (9/29/02 2:57:09 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del How much does it cost?
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    Howdy GroovyTed1.

    Well, let me see if I can answer all your questions. I will give you the price I pay. I buy everything in bulk, so this is the main reason for the savings ( Powder, primers, bullets ).

    Primers @ 20.00 per thousand.
    Powder 4lb @ 65.00.
    Bullets 1000rds @ 45.00. ( 158gr Moly coated RNFP ). Cost is less the more you buy.

    A good reloading machine from "Lee" ( Pro 1000 ) and other assorted reloading equipment ( Tumbler, case length guage, primer pocket cleaner, scale, media, chamfer tool ) will run you about 125.00 delivered from Midway. I know you dont want this included in the price of reloading, but thought I would through this in anyway.

    What this all adds up to is about 4.95 to 5.20 per 50rds of 357mag. Less if you only want to load 38 spec. I get about 1000rds per pound of powder loading 357mag and about 1500 to 1600 per pound of powder loading 38 spec.This is what I have figured out it costs me to reload for my family. We shoot about 1000rds every time we go out to the range.

    Hope this helps in some small way.

    loader44.

    P.S. I personaly would NOT shoot anybody elses reloads if I had to pay for them.

    GroovyTed1
    Member
    Posts: 6
    (10/1/02 6:28:54 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: How much does it cost?
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    Thanks Loader...

    That helps a lot. I was also wondering about the time aspect.... You mentioned that you guys fire off ~1000 rounds each time you go to the range. How much time do you spend loading 1000 rounds?

    -gt

    loader44
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 224
    (10/1/02 3:53:34 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del How much does it cost?
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    Sorry about forgetting to put in the time thing.

    I have a fully progressive reloader ( LoadMaster ). In 38spec and 357mag I put out about 450 to 500 an hour ( if I dont have 2 kids and my wife asking me questions every 5 minutes ). 9mm, about 300 to 350 an hour, its harder for me to reload smaller rounds than bigger, my hands are large. 44mag, about 300 to 350 an hour, I have a seperate " Crimp " for my 44mag. I could crimp on my progressive, but it makes me feel better doing it after. 50AE, only about 100rds an hour, MAX.

    Also, I dont mind spending lots of time, ( especialy late at night ) in my reloading room. It gives me time to relax and do something I enjoy. About four months ago, I was so angry about my work, I spent 10hrs in the reloading room loading 9mm on my semi-progressive, loaded 5000rds. But it was just me and the dog. Very "RELAXING".

    If you have anymore questions, you can e-mail me direct if you chose to.

    Hope this helps.

    loader44.

    Bompa
    Member
    Posts: 44
    (10/1/02 7:22:55 pm)
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    Everybody asks how much it will cost and how much time does it take..Do you approach all your hobbies that way ??
    I do not look at reloading as a cost effective venture,it is just an extension of the fun of shooting..After all we ,most of us,can't spend all of our time shooting so we reload to add another aspect to the hobby..It may not save you a penny but there is the satisfaction of a tight group or a trophy animal that was shot with ammo that you crafted just for that purpose..
    As it goes you will not save any money but you will shoot a lot more for the same outlay of cash..
    It is safe and fun..

    Rocket2Mars
    Member
    Posts: 24
    (10/5/02 9:48:42 pm)
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    Most people never save money by reloading. When you break things down to a cost per round of ammo yes you will save money. This is when the bear bites you on the back side. YOU WILL SHOOT MORE! How the heck you gonna save money shooting more?

    loader44
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 226
    (10/5/02 9:57:00 pm)
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    I know, I kow, the " how much does it cost " gets a little old. BUT, that is how I got my wife intrested in shooting in the first place. She got to spend more time at the range with me, got to shoot a hole lot more for the same price and the final thing, SHE NOW LOVES TO SHOOT.
    My wife reloads her own 9mm and 38spec, dont think she enjoys spending hours in the reloading room the way I do, but she knows that when the time comes, she can shoot all day long and have a blast at the range. She even takes our littlest son ( 12 ) with her to the range, and they both have a great time. He gets to ride and shoot and she gets to shoot.

    jmtcw

    loader44.

    P.S. my little one is getting into shooting my 44mag ( with reduced loades )

    the real fredneck
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 1161
    (10/5/02 10:29:52 pm)
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    remember too that reloading equipment is a "lifetime" investment . . .1st wife howled at the money I spent on reloading equipment I still have the equipment, not her though, and the equipment has never given me any major headaches so my advice is that reloading is a better waste of money than wives

    Xracer
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2836
    (10/6/02 8:43:48 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: How much does it cost?
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    Back when I used to load a LOT of .45 ACP, it cost me about 3 to 4 cents a round. Of course, powder and primers were cheaper then, and I cast my own bullets from wheelweights.

    I got the wheelweights from a local trucking company for free, I bought a bunch of GI brass for about 2 cents each (and it lasts almost forever), and for target loads I was only using only 3.5 gr. of Bullseye per round.....so I guess this is a "best case" scenario.

    Crpdeth
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 173
    (10/6/02 1:26:08 pm)
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    I guess, as usual, I'm middle of the road...I reload as a hobby, I really injoy tring to build that perfect round for my .45 .40 S&W ect, spending much time trimming and chamfering....But, I dont shoot twice as much, at all... just because some, or most do, dosen't mean you will.
    Of course, I only have a single stage press, and I accurately hand weigh/trickel/pour all my powder.
    So after spending an hour loading up 50 rounds of these "precise" loads, I'm not inclined to run out and blast 'em up.
    Another fact is that I love to accumulate things of value...I like to save...watching my modest pile of "perfect" ammo grow gives me joy.

    I may someday move to a progressive press, punching out 10 boxes of shells an hour, in which case I'm sure I'll shoot more, but for now I'm happy taking her slow and easy.

    teddydogg
    Member
    Posts: 6
    (10/6/02 2:49:07 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Really depends on caliber for me
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    I really only reload for large, expensive calibers in handguns. I don't count the cost of the case in my reloading figures because I almost never "buy" them and don't loose many.

    9mm and 38 are so cheap to buy that I don't bother (although I do save all my brass). I've very unusual when I can't get these for $6 a box or less.

    .32 ACP, .357 Mag and .45 ACP are borderline...sales and promo loads make reloading for economics pretty iffy (I really don't like the .45 loads that I can get for reloading money though...Wolf, PMP).

    I'm new to .40 S&W loading, but it seems to be worth it. About 6 gr of powder each and a primer make them 1.85 per 50 plus a bullet. With Montana Golds bought in bulk, that's 4.25 per 50 for a total "box" cost of $6.10 vs. $9+ for commercial.

    Now it's the .44 Special, .45 Auto Rim, .41 Mag, .45 Colt, 32-20, .38 S&W and obsolete rifle calibers that really make loading mandatory for me. With all of the above running $12 to $25 a BOX, my handloads are still running $4.50 to $6.50 a box.

    That's why I do it. BTW...I have dies and load (or have loaded in the past) for the following calibers: 9mm, 32-20, .30 Mauser, .44 Mag and Special, .38 Special, .357 Mag, .45 Colt, .45 ACP, .45 Auto Rim, .38 S&W, 7.62 Nagant, 38-40 Win, .40 S&W, .303 British, 30-06, .30 Rem, 45-70, 8mm Lebel, 50-70 BP, .43 Egyptian BP, 577-450 M-H BP, 12 gauge and 16 gauge shotgun.

    Rob

    kdub01
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 1222
    (10/6/02 5:01:36 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Really depends on caliber for me
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    Last time I looked, there were over a dozen reloading die boxes on the shelf in the gun room. Been at this since dirt was still cooling down, and - as Bompa says - it's an extension of my shooting and hunting.

    Average about 1 trip a week to the range shooting my reloads. If I used store bought ammo, that would probably be more like once a month. Would I save money with factory stuff? Probably. But then, I wouldn't have the enjoyment of rolling my own and tailor making ammo for a specific firearm.

    Those folks at the factory can't give the individual attention I do to my ammo. Haven't found but one brand that even comes close in the accuracy department - Hornady Light Magnum 180 grainer 30-06 stuff come awfully close to my handmades in the ol' pre-war Win Model 70.
    "Keep Off The Ridgeline"

    1badmagnum
    Member
    Posts: 18
    (11/29/02 12:50:29 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del powder and bullets,powder and bullets,powder and bullets
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    after you buy the main supplies you just need to constantly buy powder and bullets.my 50 ae rounds are usually about $1 per round,my handloads cost me 25 cents.
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