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How can I save money reloading 9mm/5.56??

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by schaibaa, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. schaibaa


    Mar 26, 2011
    Hi guys,

    This was inspired by another thread - but I didn't want to hijack. I've considered getting into reloading, but every time I run the numbers, I can never come out ahead.

    My current price for 9mm shipped to me is around $0.21 .. and 5.56 is about $.024. When I add up all of the components (besides brass, I can grab mine) I never seem to come out more than $.01 ahead of buying factory new.

    Am I looking at this wrong?

  2. Batesmotel


    Apr 5, 2007
    I don't think you are looking at it wrong. I don't see a big savings especially after I figure in my time. I only load for precision rifles but the advantage for me is to be able to tune ammo for each rifle.

  3. ryanm


    Aug 1, 2003
    Central Arkansas
  4. crsuribe

    crsuribe 10mm Auto

    Jul 3, 2010
    You're looking at it wrong. If you look at it the right way you'll see the benefits.
  5. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
  6. robin303

    robin303 Helicopter Nut

    Sep 27, 2009
    Austin, TX
    After the initial cost of a press, dies, books, and ect ect your reloads will cost half price. I shot and reloaded 15,000 rounds last year alone and it is one fun hobby.

    Go check out the reload forum and meet the best guys around that will go out of their way to help you out.
  7. rick458

    rick458 USS Texas BB-35

    Jan 31, 2003
    La Porte Texas
    You shoot ammo custom tailored to YOUR rifle and you can shoot 77 gr bullets for 55 gr price.
    plus the satisfaction that you did it yourself is hard to beat
  8. Yo


    Jan 31, 2001
    Near the ocean
    .223 you can save money -- a lot.

    9mm, compared to commercial reloads you won't save much at all, unless you laid in a huge supply of bullets back when they were cheap.

    I reload for five rifle calibers, plus 10mm, 44mag, 44 special, 45LC, 45 ACP, .380 acp, .357 mag, .38 special. I say that just to indicate I'm not at all shy about reloading. I like to reload.

    I stopped reloading 9mm because the savings was so minimal.
  9. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    Commercial reloads are crap in comparison to my own. Plus I would never trust them seeing the results of several blown up guns in competitions over the years.

    OP if your not saving at least 50% reloading 9mm or .223 your doing something wrong. You need to think bulk, 8-16 pounds of powder at a time, 2-4K in bullets and at least 5K in primers. Then crunch the numbers.

    I'm loading 124g FMJ at $97 to $107 a K depending on which bulk primer/powder price I use for the calculation. Moly coated lead $80 a K.

    $157 a K for 55g Horandy FMHBT and TAC powder. (XM193 clone load)

    The Key to saving is bulk buying in components and INVESTING in the equipment to get you through the task quickly and effieciently. I load on a casefeed XL650 at a average rate of 700 and hour, 2K a month roughly 3 hours behind the press gets me through my needs. Brass prep for pistol is maybe 2 hours total sorting and manipulating in and out of a tumbler.
    I just started loading .223 use the XL650 and RT1200 trimmer for sizing and trimming. I just went through a batch of 500 tonight in less than an hour, another half hour to swage primer pockets on a Dillon super swage. I'll tumble those clean of lube and load those within an hour this afternoon.

    As much as I like reloading, it's merely a means to an end, which is shooting and much as I have time for and can afford.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  10. themighty9mm


    Sep 19, 2008
    I'm not a uber bargain shopper. When I do price compare I usually use what price walmart is asking.
    Example, last I saw 9mm 115 gr wwb they were asking 25ish bucks a box for 100. The quick math in my head says it will be 250 for 1000 rounds. Before tax. 250 dollars for 1k of 115 gr 9mm bullets. 115 gr shoots kinda high and not poia/poi.

    124 gr shoots poa/poi. With reloading, for that same 1k. It will cost me about 130 - 150 or less depending on what bullet company/profile I go with. So again with real quick math I save about 100 bucks per thousand. Could be considerably less, but so far I have used mor expensive componenets and only bought powder by the 1lb, primers n bullets by the 1k. Buy in bulk and save more

    Along with that I also get better quality ammo, and a grain weight I prefer. These number are provided I have the brass on hand. If not, the first thousand (9mm) will cost an aditional 25-35 bucks. However every thousand after that provided you save your brass these numbers will be right or close to it.

    This is just with 9mm. 357 are substantially amount more from wallmart. I think last I saw they were 30-35 bucks for 50. My cost for 1k 357 is just a hair over the cost for 9mm. 38 spcl I think last I saw at WM was 18-20 bucks for 50. My cost for 38 is identical to 9mm. These are provided you save your brass. Again if you dont your first 1k will be a bit more (more as it whatever price you get once fired brass in the caliber you choose for). Every 1k after that will be on par or close to it.

    Now real quick numbers again 223/5.56. A case (1k) of brass cased 5.56 is in the ball park of 300ish? Maybe more?
    To reload it cost about 150-160ish.

    If you only shoot a couple houndred rounds per year, then the saving part is just about not part of the equation. If that is the case you have to look at, you can tailor your ammo to your gun. That really comes into play if you shoot hi powered rifle. Also the bigger caliber you go with or more calibers you reload for the more the savings kick in.

    Another way to look at it. If you bought a very very basic single stage press and everything you need to reload 9mm, it can cost you around 200 bucksish. Or more, possibly less depending on what press and everything you go with. So 200 bucks for the equipment you need. If you have absolutly no brass what so ever. Your basic components will cost you... I go with the high side and say $190. So you have a total investment of 390 dollars for 1k of ammo. Its a very expensive 1k. Now compare that with WM of $250 with no time involved. You will spend $140 more for your own reloads. However, your next 1000 rounds will more or less pay for the press.The next is savings.

    Point is you could buy 3000 rounds from WM and spend 250+250+250= $750 plus tax. Or your own reloads 200 (equipment) 190 (first 1k components) 150, 150 (next 2k components) $690.
    750 for store bought vs 690 of your own better quality reloads. In your first 3000 you have paid for the equipment and still have a equal number of bullets. Made to higher standards and a gr weight you like.
    Granted for 9mm alone you are only saving 60 bucks. Ad another caliber or 2 and you are looking at far bigger numbers in savings.

    Again those were just real quick numbers off the top of my head. Might be a bit more might be a bit less, was close enough for a example.
    If you go with a faster morexpensve press you will need to load/shoot more to see any real savings

    Like I said as far as it being worth it? If you shoot alot, yes. You also gain a new hobby, and far better ammo.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  11. themighty9mm


    Sep 19, 2008
    How are you liking that rt1200? After cranking on the le wilson I have been eyeballing that unit
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  12. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    Loving it :supergrin:

    Took a little effort to get it set up just right, I used a Dillon headspace gauge to match up both dies, FL size and decap at station one. RT1200 size/trim at four. Clean 500 peices of brass, lube with HOS. Dump in the case feeder 500 pulls and your sized and trimmed in about 35-40 minutes.
    Tumble again in 50/50 walnut/corncob to clean off the lube and knock off any minor burrs (thier isn't any actually). Loading FMJBT's no chamfer is needed. Switch the toolhead to the loading setup, with a universal decap die at station one. 500 pulls later and your done, I take my time with the rifle about a full hour to load, the longer shells.

    It was $400 to set up with the RT1200 and Super swage but the way I look at it. It will pay for itself and if worse comes you can always get 80 plus percent selling Dillon gear used. (Won't happen)
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  13. themighty9mm


    Sep 19, 2008
    Lol for me to do about 1000 just case prep alone took me around 3-4 hours. Along with some hand pain. On the bright side I have the time at the moment. That should fit on the 550 aswell right?
  14. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    Yes, it will....

    On a XL650

    Here is a guy on a 550

    I'm gonna mount my swager on a board and do this mod when I get some time this weekend.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  15. themighty9mm


    Sep 19, 2008
    I had one of the dillon swagers. I liked the speed and ease. However I had the hardest time getting it set up right. Ended up selling it and bought the le wilson. For me it has been much more trouble free. Slow but so easy a caveman can do it
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  16. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    We need a

    "Can you save money reloading?"

    thread with the link to the excel spread sheet. Someone should post about reusing brass not buying new (that always seems to be the issue with cost being to high). That type of thing. Then get it stickied. I would do it, but I am to busy shooting my $3.00 per hundred rounds of 9mm today.
  17. gotin


    Aug 15, 2002
    Well, if you buy all the components without shopping, it may not be a good money saver.
    On the other hand, $20-40 will get you about 100lbs of wheel weights. $150 will get you a Lee bottom pour melting pot, 6-cavity mold and enough beeswax and vaseline to pan lube a gazillion bullets. You can cast about 1000 bullets/1 hr with this setup. Now suddenly your bullets are less then 1 cent each. Add the price of the primer (russian primers can be as low as 2 cents each) and the powder (less than a cent, if you buy 8-16lbs and spread the shipping and hazmat fee) and you are looking at $2 per box of 50. With the Lee turret press you can reload 150 rounds in 1 hr.
    The really big savings come if you start reusing the lead you just shot - if you like physical activity and your range will let you mine the berm. Free lead beats cheap lead anytime.
  18. jmorris


    Apr 13, 2006
    You are never going to send the kid to college on the money you save from reloading. Honestly you won't even save enough to "jumbo size" a drive through meal. You can however shoot a lot more for less money. If you compair "good" reloads to crap steel cased factory ammo you are not looking at it apples to apples.

    A few years ago I ran across a smoking deal on BA10 powder and primer cost wasn't yet stupid and I loaded 20,000 rounds of 45 ACP for $18/1000. It did take awhile to get the almost 700#'s of lead out of all the tire shops, print shops and buddies garages around. Once the words out that you hoard lead it keeps comming for some reason.
  19. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    With prices I checked today I can reload 9mm for
    primers 21
    bullets 77 (124 gr FMJ bullet)
    powder 15
    total $113 per K

    You could save a tiny bit going to 115 gr or a lot more by using lead but this is a premium 9mm load. A lot better bullet than you are buying at your discount supplier. Tailored to shoot the way I am shooting.

    primers 21
    bullets 81.40 (55 gr soft point jacketed bullet)
    powder 54
    total $156.40 per K
    Still less than Russian steel cased ammo.

    You have to buy in bulk to make reloading pay!
  20. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    You certainly are. Using current prices, bought in bulk; just over 10c/9mm & 18c/223. Always assuming some bulk buying. Ya just gotta shop better.:supergrin: SHoot lead bullets in the 9mm & get down to 8c, cast your own form scrounged metal & you are shooting 9mm for the cost of 22lr.
    I hate the time argument, if your time is that valuable, you don't need any hobbies. Keep working, pay someon to shoot for you, your results will probably be better too.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011