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Posted: 1/25/2014 10:07:47 PM EDT
Hey guys, I'm looking to get into reloading here in a few short months and it seems a bit overwhelming. I know you can reload for a fraction of what you can buy factory ammo for, but I was to know how much you can cut down the price on match ammo. Is it still way more cost effective to reload the expensive, match ammo?

I've tried looking into all the components and adding up to costs, but I'm still a little lost.

Can anyone give me a breakdown of one of their accurate .308 match loads?

Specifically looking at cost per round including a breakdown of powder, bullets, primers, and brass (assume you have to buy your initial amount of brass)

If you could link a couple of sources for each component that would be great!

Thanks in advance!
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 2:10:12 AM EDT
I never gave the cost much thought, but I started reloading because I was not happy with there always being one "flyer" with "match" ammo.

But my thought is that you should start reloading after you have run through your factory loads. These will provide your starter brass (keeping the price down and allowing you to experiment on lubing, resizing, trimming, and prepping brass) and better still, they will be fire formed (hopefully) in the gun for which you are reloading.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 2:53:50 AM EDT
Right now powder is hell to find, and its been that way for almost a year.  And sadly, its been getting worse.  With that said, its not impossible to find so definitely dont give up just yet.

Heres a typical "match" 308 load that will be almost identical to a factory federal gold medal match 175gr:

175gr sierra match king: 30c
43gr IMR 4064: 13c
CCI br2 primer: 5c

48c each not counting brass.

Of course you can make cheaper ammo by getting components in bulk, using non-match grade components, etc.

Also, read the stickies.  They answer a lot of questions you may have.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:52:01 AM EDT
From an expense stand point and if match rifle ammo is all you are interested in, you can get into
a single stage reloader pretty cheap.  In reality you will spend more on the essential accessories than
the machine.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 6:05:37 AM EDT
I think that the biggest thing that you will like is that you can spend less then the match ammo that you can buy and you can tune each load to your particular rifle and get smaller groups for less cost.  That being said I haven't looked into reloading .308 yet as I don't have a rifle chambered that way, so i can't help you on the actual price.  You could look at the top of the forum and there is a thread on where to find components.  If you could find a reloader in your area that is willing to help you get started would be a big help as well.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 6:24:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2014 7:03:23 AM EDT by Weber]
You can make plinking, paper punching, and match ammo for less cost than buying factory.

But, that is not the reason to reload.    By the time you factor in equipment cost, time, and the cost of components it takes a lot of ammo to recoup the investment.

The reason I reload is it extends the hobby of shooting.  Range time is great, but with reloading the hobby extends into something much greater.

Then there are the results, seeing how ammo you produced out performs factory ammo is very satisfying.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 6:36:08 AM EDT
If your getting into reloading for a match mindset theres two things to remember. 1.) always start off with new brass. Its not a "battle gun" so you don't know what the last guy did. 2.) commercial match loads are made for the masses, not for your gun. Meaning you could make (not always the case but an example) your bullet seat just a tad bit more out to increase your powder.

Theres a ton of stuff you can do. But for match loads don't think of at cost term over time it will be cheaper than buying it off the shelf. because its a custom round for custom gun.

Now in the lines of gear I personally would go with RCBS (own 2 rock chuckers) or hornady. IN my experience Lee doesn't take the cake, even if cost is cheaper. Some people might have a different experience, but that the thing with reloading so many different variables. Whatever you start with you'll always find something you want to change because its either not working for you or not efficient or the what not. Example I have both an RCBS and Lee Hand primer system. They work and get the job done but its slow. I really do want the RCBS bench primer. sad thing is right now everywhere they are sold out. SO I just have to suck it up and wait.

So before you buy any equipment do some extensive research on what you want before you get.

Link Posted: 1/26/2014 6:51:09 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Weber:
Can you can make plinking, paper punching, and match ammo for less cost than buying factory.

But, that is not the reason to reload.    By the time you factor in equipment cost, time, and the cost of components it takes a lot of ammo to recoup the investment.

The reason I reload is it extends the hobby of shooting.  Range time is great, but with reloading the hobby extends into something much greater.

Then there are the results, seeing how ammo you produced out performs factory ammo is very satisfying.
View Quote


I was going to say something almost identical to this. As I just posted a comment on this subject in another thread; I reload because I enjoy it, not to save money.

If you are trying to justify costs per round in deciding whether reloading is for you, then I would say it is not. I know many say they save so much money and can load X

ammo for X amount, but those prices probably don't have equipment costs factored into them. Many who post those numbers have been reloading for a few years and

probably have already recouped the initial start-up costs. I say find another reason to justify stepping into the reloading world and you will be better off in the long run.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 7:45:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2014 7:52:16 AM EDT by Danger6]
Reload Calculator

Plug in your components, about .48 - .50 per round looks right, unfortunately.   That compared to about $30 to $40 per box of 20 of loaded match ammo.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 8:09:31 AM EDT
Nailed it!
You can get into reloading cheap and still make VERY good ammo but it will be slow going.
To me it is a combination hobby/penance.
I enjoy running a batch of pistol ammo with the very minimal case prep but dread the case prep of rifle reloading but am willing to do it as the results are worth it.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 9:27:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2014 1:03:11 PM EDT by GunnySwagger]
Thanks for all the responses, guys! Cost is the main factor I'm getting into reloading. But I don't expect to save any money, rather I'd like to be able to shoot more, more often.

I recently bought a DPMS .308 and am picking it up friday afternoon. I know that DPMS has a spotty reputation, but it was a great deal, and despite all the negative things I've heard, the one positive i've heard from everyone that owns one is the accuracy is great. The range back home where my parents live has a 800m rifle range, shoot house, and open tactical bays where you can set up your own targets in any pattern/configuration you want. So, i'm looking to utilize reloading to help me get into longer range shooting, and to overall improve my proficiency in all areas of all my weapons.

The round that I've seen considered the best bang for your buck across the board is Federal Gold Medal Match. The cheapest I can find it for is about $28 per box. If I can get the cost down to $.50/rd, that would allow me to shoot almost three times as much versus using factory ammo.

I'm currently looking at the lee classic turret press. It seems to be a pretty good deal, and I've only read good things about it, and i'm not planning on producing 1k rounds a day or anything, so the volume that I can produce isn't much of a factor right now. That could change in the future, but I doubt it'll happen anytime soon.

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