Various Caliber Reloading Costs?

MCA

Member
Thanks for any input you may have...

With the crazy cost of ammo today, if you can find it, I was curious if any of you have calculated your "cost per bullet" when reloading. Specifically I am curious as to the cost of reloading 9mm, .45 acp, and 5.56/.223 when all is said and done. After shooting some .45 and 9mm at the range today I came to the conclusion that I need to do this sooner rather than later.

I understand things *used* to be a lot cheaper with this process not to mention easier to get supplies. Given the way things are today, in this *panic gobble it up* type environment:

1. What is your cost per reload for the aforementioned calibers?

2. What difficulties are you finding with locating supplies? Is everything pretty much scarce these days?

I have read through the four pages of threads in this sub-forum and with the current times be so different I wanted to see what you all are seeing currently.

Again, cheers to you and thanks for reading...
 

biganimal

Member
Due to the fact that I try to keep lots of componants on hand this most recent drought has not adversly affected me yet.
I buy powder in bulk and primers are purchased in large lots also. I cast or swage almost every bullet I load and shoot. I do buy .223 bullets in bulk when available.
Here is what it is costing me to load these calibers

9 mm. $4.00 per 100

45acp $4.32 per 100

223. $16.50 per 100

45/70. $8.00 per 100

Bear in mind that with the prices today my costs will go up with my next purchase. I have been very successful in bartering for many componants thus keeping my costs down
 

mark_b

Member
Here is a link to a automatic calculator that will determine the cost based upon what you pay for the components.

http://www.reloaderhub.com/calculator.cfm

BigAnimal has got his ducks in a row, you will be challenged to be as efficient as him.

i would guess that if you go out and buy all of your components at list price - $22/lb for powder, $4 per 100 primers, etc you are looking at $7 for a box of 50 9mms and $9 to $10 for a box of 45 acp. Still much lower than you will pay in a store if you can find it.

Mark
 

MCA

Member
Hey guys...awesome replies. Thanks for taking the time to do so. Biganimal...I actually said "wow" out loud. You certainly do have an incredibly efficient system. Thanks for the link Mark. Taking into consideration the cost of ammo versus the initial investment to reload this seems to be a no-brainer. Especially for someone that likes to shoot various calibers as often as possible.

So many more questions but I will diligently research first and not bother you all with the basics. Thanks again...
 

biganimal

Member
Ask away!!
I am more than happy to share knowledge
I failed to mention that I am a plumber and I get the majority of my lead for casting FREE!! :D
 

11B3XCIB

Member
Mike, feel free to e-mail me if you need to with questions.

Also, one good thing about a reloading calculator I saw online will show you how many rounds you need to reload before it offsets the cost of the reloading equipment you buy. That's another number you need to consider. I can't find that calculator online at the moment, but it's not too hard to compute on your own...the calculator just makes it simple.

I went with a single stage press since I do not need to load thousands of rounds a month, which saved me money on the press, but was offset by the purchase of the RCBS Chargemaster rather than manual scales or scoops.

I load my 5.56 for about 21 cents a round and my 9mm subsonics for about 16 cents a round. I don't cast my own bullets, or shoot lead, since I shoot mostly suppressed but I like Rainier Ballistics plated 147gr rounds which are decently priced.

At those prices, it would take loading about 1,100 .223/5.56mm rounds to offset the cost of my equipment versus buying that many off the shelf, but the start up cost aside, it's nice to have the ability to load my own ammo, now and in the future (for whatever it may hold for us). I'll still buy factory ammo sporadically, if I want a small quantity of specialty ammunition or if I find some on sale or something.

Also, if you feel like making the drive down here (about an hour and fifteen minutes for you) I can show you the ropes for .223/9mm. I did a TON of reading prior to loading, but actually getting a lesson really helped. I'm not a pro by any means and I go slow for the sake of getting things right, but I know enough...all the rounds I shot that day at the range with you were my handloads.
 

dade61782

New Member
Finding the components reasonably priced is a major hurdle these days everything is either out of stock or the prices have been driven up. I decided to take the plunge into reloading when the only ammo available local was way over priced at a local range. And with the gougers buying up all the ammo they find and selling it for 3 times what they paid for it it just makes sense to start and next time I won't have to worry about it. Start saving yours and picking up any brass you can even if you don't plan on reloading that caliber you can trade or sell it. Maybe we can start posting places that have components at a good price and in stock to help people out, though I haven't had much time to search lately
 

MCA

Member
As always, thanks 11B for your reply and your great offer. I will definitely be taking you up on it soon. I was going to give you a call this weekend anyway to catch up a little.

And thank you as well dade61782. I should have picked up my brass when I went shooting yesterday. I need to change my mindset on that...didn't even think about it.

Thanks for the great thread everyone.
 

Tigerstripe

Active Member
MCA, if its $16.50/100 to reload, not including brass, and $40,$50/ per box of new 100, then you need to look at it as Quarters and Half Dollars laying on the ground after shooting. :D
 

Chili

Member
I bought my powder, primers and projectiles cheap so I am still loading .223 @ 14 cents/rd, 308 is .19 cents/rd and my cast pistol loads are running about 4 to 5 cents a shot. I have had most of my reloading equipment for at least 20 years so equipment costs are not a factor.
 

MCA

Member
Tigerstripe said:
MCA, if its $16.50/100 to reload, not including brass, and $40,$50/ per box of new 100, then you need to look at it as Quarters and Half Dollars laying on the ground after shooting. :D
Aaaaand there ya go! Mindset has been forever changed. That visual imagery did it. Thanks Tigerstripe. I honestly will never look at a range the same again.
 

biganimal

Member
Chili said:
I bought my powder, primers and projectiles cheap so I am still loading .223 @ 14 cents/rd, 308 is .19 cents/rd and my cast pistol loads are running about 4 to 5 cents a shot. I have had most of my reloading equipment for at least 20 years so equipment costs are not a factor.
I think my initial investment was recouped about 1967
 

mark_b

Member
MCA

The way I look at it, I don't consider the recovering of the costs of the equipment to be a big factor. If you go out and buy everything new at once, you always have the option to resell and get some of your money back. In today's crazy market some people are paying higher than retail prices to buy reloading equipment.

If you are patient and are able to put together a set with used equipment at a fair price, you can always resell and get your money back out. There are companies like RCBS that offer a lifetime warranty, so if pieces break you can get a replacement usually for free.

Mark
 

MCA

Member
Thanks Mark. I really like the idea of a lifetime warranty. I just started poking around the RCBS and Lee websites. Hard to sit at the computer for too long when my two year old boy thinks I'm a jungle gym. I'm not really worried about the initial investment as I know I will always be shooting (hopefully). It is great to hear that biganimal and chili are still using their original sets.

Thanks again everyone for your posts and replies.
 

Chili

Member
biganimal said:
Chili said:
I bought my powder, primers and projectiles cheap so I am still loading .223 @ 14 cents/rd, 308 is .19 cents/rd and my cast pistol loads are running about 4 to 5 cents a shot. I have had most of my reloading equipment for at least 20 years so equipment costs are not a factor.
I think my initial investment was recouped about 1967
Mine was recouped in about a yea after I got my stuff, sometime in 1986. In '67 I was 2 :lol:
 

biganimal

Member
MCA said:
Thanks Mark. I really like the idea of a lifetime warranty. I just started poking around the RCBS and Lee websites. Hard to sit at the computer for too long when my two year old boy thinks I'm a jungle gym. I'm not really worried about the initial investment as I know I will always be shooting (hopefully). It is great to hear that biganimal and chili are still using their original sets.

Thanks again everyone for your posts and replies.

My first equipment was two Lee loaders on for 30/30 and 264win mag , a set of lee dippers, and an RCBS power measure. I'd love to say I still use them but I can't. They did serve me well for at least five years but I continually upgraded. I think I have bought, sold, or traded over 100 presses and countless other reloading tools. I have had turrets, progressive, & single stage presses. But I always come back to the single stage. It is still fun for me to load one at a time and my quality control remains constant. My reloading bench has 3 presses, two red and one green. My dies are all makes and all have served me well with very few problems. I have had wonderful customer service from Lee , Lyman and RCBS. My only bad experience in over four decades was when I broke a part on a Dillon press, but I won't go into that as it was finally resolved. If you take care of the tools they will last a lifetime for the most part.
 

Tigerstripe

Active Member
a hundred presses??? i know you are one of the people who trade maybe try something new. ive had great success with mine.
first the cast iron Lyman single stage for a few years, then 1980 or 81 i bought my first AR-15. Colt SP1 and a 1000 rd case of win white box. the rifle was $400 and the ammo was $150. Hahahaha

i got the lee regular turret press after that and later bought a progressive Lee press. something ,oh the lever, arm wore out after 10s of 1000s or reloads on the pro and i swapped the arm with the first press. Lee might have fixed it but it was right there and i didnt want to wait. they have loaded many and ive gotten well over what i paid for them.

heres a tip, rubber gloves are cheap. i started using them at least on my right hand, or is it the left, cause my fingers would get black from the lead bullets or even the brass. they are both heavy metals and can poison you.
 

biganimal

Member
Yup lots of presses bought and sold
Buying, selling,&trading reloading stuff is one of my hobbies. It gives me the oppurtunity to try all brands of stuff. Funny thing is that I always go back to my Lee reloader and lee challenger presses and the rcbs rockchucker.
I used a Lee progressive for several years loading 9mm and flat wore it out and sent it back to Lee they refurbished it and I used it 5 more years before trading it off.

Yes guys please use gloves when reloading as lead is deadly! I have used latex gloves for the past 8-9 years. A friend and longtime reloaded found he had elevated lead count in his system. So I started wearing gloves then.
 
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