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Is reloading worth it?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Ski2me, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Ski2me

    Ski2me Glock Envy

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    Apr 11, 2012
    SE Idaho
    I asked myself this question six months ago and struggled with whether I could justify spending the money needed needed for a reloading start-up. Well tonight I worked up some numbers to show my savings. Considering I've already reloaded over 4000 rounds and had a hell of a good time doing it, not to mention the added range time shooting all of them, I'd say the cost has defiantly been worth it.

    Please see the attachment
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  2. AZson

    AZson

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    Oct 5, 2005
    Tucson
    Yes, It gives me that comforting feeling of knowing I will always have ammo for my pistols and my AR no matter what our governments do because a gun with our ammo is a club and it gives me less guilt when I go to the range and shoot off 300 rounds.
     


  3. glock_19guy1983

    glock_19guy1983

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    Sep 8, 2002
    dixie
    If you are willing to delve into casting you can get those numbers down even further. I cast and my cost per box of .45acp and .38 super is about $1.80 with the primers being the majority of the cost per round.
     
  4. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    8,728
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    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    No it is not! It is a total waste of time. Now go buy some more ammo and keep your hands off my brass.:whistling:
     
  5. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Grumpy Old Guy

    7,174
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    Jan 25, 2008
    Clarksville, Tn.
    I started out trying to save money by reloading but found out it is a very relaxing hobby for me. I do save some over the amount I shoot but the best is shooting ammo I made just for my firearms and that they actually work better than factory ammo I have used.
    Everyone should (IMO) at least try reloading for awhile to see how it works for them. :supergrin:
     
  6. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    6,927
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    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    It's a no brainer, "if it's worth it".
    You can use an online calculator to determine reload cost versus component cost.

    I'm loading 9mm 147gr ammo for under $110 per 1000. That's less than half price for most factory I'm seeing, and that's 115gr prices. You do have to buy components in bulk to achieve that level of savings....

    Unless you're one of those who value your spare time as "priceless"..... oh yeah, it's worth it.
     
  7. ROGER4314

    ROGER4314 Friends Call Me "Flash"

    294
    34
    Dec 26, 2008
    East Houston
    I turned the back bedroom into a reloading and small project room. I reload from a Big Man's leather office chair, turn on the Classical music station and sit in climate controlled comfort. What's not to like?

    For many years, I cast my own bullets until I moved, needed the room and sold the equipment. Recently, I replaced the casting gear and will get back into it. That's fun and very relaxing. I love making my own bullets! I'll do that outside under a shade tree.

    Suppliers give me preferential treatment on component purchases (I call my order in then they hold it for me until I pick it up) so scrounging supplies is no longer a problem. It's good to have friends!

    The proper equipment removes the less appealing tasks from the mix and I really enjoy the activity.

    I never really considered the cost savings!

    Flash
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  8. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    I think it is worth having some $ value for time. If I didn't put a value on my time, I would be loading on a single stage press. After all, I'm retired! What else do I have to do?

    To justify buying the 1050, I had to convince myself that I would save a lot of time over the existing 550 and that for the volume I would load, I could pay for the press over some period of time.

    And, yes, the 1050 is 'worth it' when I need to restock my .45 ACP.

    Richard
     
  9. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    6,927
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    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    I went from 550 to 650 because of "time".

    My comment was referring to those who say, "my *time* is worth $60 an hour, so how can I save money reloading" goobers.
     
  10. whatsupglock

    whatsupglock

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    Nov 20, 2009
    Abso-freakin-lutely! Started reloading 3 years ago. Haven't bough factory ammo since. Except for speer gold dots for carry ammo.
     
  11. ROGER4314

    ROGER4314 Friends Call Me "Flash"

    294
    34
    Dec 26, 2008
    East Houston
    Being retired, time has a new meaning for me.

    I worked on 3- 870 Remington shotguns yesterday. Changing the forearms was always difficult for me and I always "made do" to remove the forearm nut. Yesterday, I looked up the correct tool to do that job and found the cheapest one priced at $11. When I was working, I would have ordered that tool. Instead, I took two hours and made one out of some scrap metal. It looks good, cost me nothing and works great!

    That's the difference for me comparing working and retired life. I have the time now to do things right and to use my training, skill and experience to do things right. I get a chance to apply my skill to my hobbies where I couldn't spare that time, before.

    In my reloading, I set up my workshop exactly how I wanted it. No more "making do" or putting up with substandard equipment. If I needed a tool or equipment, I bought it or made it myself. Having fun is my JOB, now and I take it seriously!

    Flash
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
  12. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    Well, I take that approach as well. If all I could save, despite heavy investments in equipment, was $20/hr, I wouldn't reload. Reloading isn't my hobby, shooting is. Reloading, particularly pistol reloading, is just a side issue of shooting. If I want to shoot a lot, I need to reload. Or, shoot half as much...

    I can get the speed of .45 ACP up to the point where I'm saving about $150/hr and that's reasonable after spending close to two grand for the 1050 (plus options). After loading 10 or 12 thousand rounds, I am making a profit! And a good one!

    If I was only saving $10/hr on a single stage press, I wouldn't do it. It's either invest in better equipment or buy factory. I don't get out of bed for $10/hr.

    Yes, I put a $ value on time. It is an opportunity cost in that if I'm doing 'a', I can't be doing 'b'. So, 'a' had better be worth the time. Or, I could just take a nap... Old people do that...

    Richard
     
  13. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    This is what I tell noobs wanting to reload. There is just no way around the time issue if you have a job & get paid for your time. Yes, it's a hobby for sure, but if you can save some time in exchange for a few $$, why not? I don't need my 650, certainly not a 1050, but want sometimes trumps need. I agree, I don't enjoy reloading enough to fuss along w/ a ss press or Lee regressive for 300-400rds/week!:shocked:
     
  14. BSA70

    BSA70

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    Aug 14, 2007
    NC
    I listen to Thru the Bible radio show every day. Guess what I'm doing while I listen:supergrin:

    The initial investment hurts, especially if you order from the web in bulk. That's when you wake up to what everything cost. Once you do that, it's all down hill:cool:

    Brian
     
  15. While I stopped casting bullets, I still reload but I buy commercially cast bullets for my .45s and I use 9mm plated bullets in my Glocks (lead bullets not recommended in Glocks.) I also go through the trouble of decapping on a universal decapper in my RCBS Rockchucker press, wash and tumble my brass, uniform the pockets, then reload on a Dillon 550B.

    Reaming or uniforming the pockets gives me the opportunity to cull out the increasing number of .45 ACP shells I'm finding with small primer pockets before trying to insert a large primer into them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  16. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    It hurts even worse when I buy small quantities at the LGS. Sure, the total is far less but the cost per unit is outrageous!

    Reloading is something that requires a long term view. If you only need a couple of hundred rounds per month, go to Wally World. You can't possibly save enough in a year to pay for the equipment unless you start at the very bottom where reloading is just too grim to contemplate.

    But if you need a couple of hundred rounds per week (savings of nearly $1000/year), just about any machine will pay back in a year. OK, it's going to take two years or 400 rounds per week to pay for a 1050. The new reloader just needs to take a realistic view of their ammo requirements and then determine how long they a) want to wait for break-even and b) how long they want to spend pulling the handle.

    The problem with taking a realistic view of the cost of ammo is that it is crazy. Who would even dream of spending $2000/year on ammo? That's about $40/week! Insane...

    But that's what happens with disposable income. It gets disposed of... Some buy cars, some buy art, some buy beans and bullets.

    Richard
     
  17. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    ^^THIS^^
    A buddy got his first handgung last year. He moaned about the cost of the shiney new S&W M27. Then after a years worth of factory ammo, he realizes the guns are cheap! Yes, I save money reloading every single round of every caliber I shoot, about 25 diff calibers.
     
  18. As others have said, it may take some time to earn back the cost of reloading equipment. The more you shoot, the faster it happens.

    Beginning reloaders should not rule out buying used equipment. Using a single stage press as an example, they're pretty difficult to wear out or break. Just buy name brand stuff and stay away from brands no one has ever heard of.

    If you're brand new to reloading and you buy a multi-stage press, it's wise to have some expert help until you understand each stage of reloading, what can go wrong and how to avoid it.