Is reloading worth it?

Reviews and discussion of handgun ammo.

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Deep13
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Re: Is reloading worth it?

Post by Deep13 »

Buck13 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:40 pm
Deep13 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:34 am
I think I meant a turret press when I said progressive. I'm wondering about the cost per round savings, if that is worth it. I mean .357 Fed. Eagle 158 gr. SJSP is like $28 per box.
I'll assume you're not casting your own bullets. For revolver ammo, you can probably reload a case 20 times, so even if you bought brass for $0.20, that would be 1 cent per round, amortized. Several times that for auto pistol, or at least with my 10 mm I always lost 20-25% of the brass each time (although for 9 mm you can no doubt cheat and pick up more than you lost from someone else's lane). What are primers now, 3 cents (I paid more because I bought all of mine 3 to 4 years ago)? Powder for a 9 mm or .38 is 2 or 3 cents if I'm calculating correctly. Plated bullets are 8-10 cents. JHP (Nosler) are 20 cents for .357. I kinda believe I get better accuracy with real JHPs, so they may be worth it.

So, 9 mm you're going to save very little. If you get free brass, they're still close to 15 cents per round with plated bullets, and factory is 20 cents.

Plated .38/.357 14-17 cents per round. JHP more like 25 cents. Factory starts at around 35 cents for .38? The margin has become a bit more favorable, at least for plated. The price of .357 seems to go up a lot more than the small increase in the cost of powder would warrant, so that's even better. Your .357 price is 56 cents, so that's pretty good.

The real savings is in "bear loads" for any of the magnum revolver cartridges. Those are pricey but you can build them yourself for not too much more than the light stuff. A big charge of slow powder in a .44 still only sets you back 8 to 10 cents. Some casters (I like Western Bullet despite sometimes very slow shipping) have heavy-for-caliber bullets at a fairly reasonable price. I've driven some big lead gas-checked bullets VERY hard out of my Redhawk and gotten good accuracy, for a total price of 50 cents per round. Factory price for those would be more like $1.20 a pop, at least. Of course, you probably won't shoot huge numbers of those babies unless you have some adamantine wrists!

If you saved 10 cents per round and spent $300 on equipment, how long would it take you to shoot the 3000 rounds needed to make up the cost? If you only wanted to shoot .357 JHPs and you saved 25 cents per round, you only need 1200 rounds to break even.

But you can't shoot MORE than you do now and ever catch up! :see_stars: My equipment budget was pretty modest but I'm sure I haven't paid it off. But I have LEFT the range after three hours with more ammo still in my bag than most people arrive with, so for me the benefit is having more ammo than I can shoot (even during the drought) and being able to tailor the loads to exactly what I want, instead of whatever they sell at Sportsman's Warehouse. In a revolver, that can be pretty fun. In an auto, too, but you may need different springs.
I'm thinking to use brass I save from factory loads and reloading .38 with plain lead and .357 with SJSP or else plain lead.
Yet she persisted.

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spara
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Re: Is reloading worth it?

Post by spara »

Ran the numbers and Buck13's estimate is spot on for me for practice rounds, if I buy used brass cases and coated bullets it averages to 14 cents a round for 9mm. I have to load 20,000 rounds to break even with my reloading set up. That sounds a lot but I shoot a little bit more than that on an average year.

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Deep13
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Re: Is reloading worth it?

Post by Deep13 »

spara wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:34 pm
Ran the numbers and Buck13's estimate is spot on for me for practice rounds, if I buy used brass cases and coated bullets it averages to 14 cents a round for 9mm. I have to load 20,000 rounds to break even with my reloading set up. That sounds a lot but I shoot a little bit more than that on an average year.
I wouldn't reload 9mm. Just .357 mag. which are like half a buck each for 158 gr. SJSP.
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eelj
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Re: Is reloading worth it?

Post by eelj »

On the reloading forum we have a sticky posted by simmerdown a few years ago with a cost calculator from handloads.com, unfortunately that site is down. I'm sure there are other sites that offer one and you should look for one and use it. It can be very eye opening.

I don't buy bullets because I was lucky enough to be able to accumulate a large supply of lead for free. So I cast size and lube my own bullets. I can reload 38sec target ammo for just over 2 bucks per 50.

I can reload extremely hot 45colt ammo safe only in a 5 shot SA that would cost at least 80 bucks from Buffalo Bore for just a shade over 6 bucks. The savings can be considerable making your own.

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