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Posted: 7/20/2010 10:22:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2010 10:24:48 AM EDT by 951bulldog]
I have never reloaded before, but with the price of ammo making a day at the range cost more than a new car, I'm thinking about investing in reloading equipment.  But, my question is, does it really make ammo much cheaper?  Or do you reload just for the availability and or because you want custom loads?  I don't want custom loads or anything, I just want cheap ammo I can shoot at the range, nothing more.  So is it worth it for somebody like me to invest in a cheap reloading kit and reloading myself?  Can you give me a general idea on what it would cost you to reload, say 100 rounds of .223?

ETA: If it matters I would be reloading mostly .223/5.56, 7.62x39, .40 and 9mm. Maybe some .30-06 or some others here and there.  Also, what are these cheapo little "hand loaders" that I see that are caliber specific?
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 10:27:50 AM EDT
Cost Calculator

I can loading plinking ammo for about $16 per hundred in .223.  That is with picked up brass.  If you get once fired brass the first loading cost $24/100 then about $16 for each subsequent loading.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 10:40:23 AM EDT
time is money also how much time you willing to devote to shooting cheap ammo how any rounds you shoot ?  
shooting cheap s shouldn't  be the only reason  if your going to reload  
i shoot once a month i shoot 500 rds of 223 and  and a few hundred rounds of 45acp 9 mm and 44 mag  depending on what handgun i bring
to me its worth it ,its  a hobby  for me, you can only watch so much TV before your brain melts
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 11:46:50 AM EDT
It's not as much as saving money but more on how often you will be able to do it (shooting) and enjoying with out worrying about the costs.  I used to shoot once every 2 months but now doing it regularly every Saturday.  I'm enjoying it but I don't think I'm spending less for shooting.

For my .223 55 gr FMJ with free brass would cost me about $15 per box of 50.  With my  budget I try to only shoot $60 worth of ammo each session for both my pistols and AR.

For a cheap reloading set up I recommend going with Lee.  Comparing the price with other brands they are cheaper, but it will do the job.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 12:10:07 PM EDT
You reload rifles for accuracy and pistols for cost. 'cept 9mm- so cheap, it ain't woith da time.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 1:38:06 PM EDT
That's how I feel about 7.62X39. Prices are coming back down to $5 per 20. That's only 25¢ per round ~ not worth reloading for an SKS/AK rifle.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 2:29:30 PM EDT
Once you overcome the $1000 you will spend on getting started, you will find it a pleasure to go to the press and bang out 500 rounds of (in my case .45/.40/.223/6.8) ammo.

My 1911s were idle due to ammo scarcity and now I have 500 rounds handy.  That in itself is very comforting to me.

Once you start cranking out rounds for 15 cents, you can shoot a lot cheaper and a lot more.

Avoid crimped brass.  Someone on EE was selling ready to load brass for $100 per 1K.  Worth it!

IMO .223 has to hit $450 per K to make it worth my time, and at the present cost of $335, so I am just trying to learn that caliber.

6.8 is always expensive and I have 3 rifles to feed
.45 has been hard to find at a fair price and I have 2 1911s and an XD Compact in .45
.40 is my go to pistol and my usual carry piece.

When you have 5K of each primer on the shelf, 2K in cases you have stored up and a few thousand bullets/powder, it's a nice feeling when people strat bitching about they can't get this or that, the price or whatever.  You simply walk to the garage and load up 500 rounds in a few hours.

I am new, but have loaded maybe 1,200 rounds.  Some even worked

Maybe when I get the hang of this, I'll try some precision ammo.  I already have everything I need except the experience.

Besides that you can never be too thin, too rich or have too much ammo.  Ya think ya have enough - and then the zombies come
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 2:31:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Infiltrator:
That's how I feel about 7.62X39. Prices are coming back down to $5 per 20. That's only 25¢ per round ~ not worth reloading for an SKS/AK rifle.


SKSs are built to eat that crappy steel stuff.  If I had something nice in that caliber, I'd reload - but 4 SKS rifles and 5K ammo . . . just can't see it.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 3:31:29 PM EDT
It all depends what you shoot, and how often you shoot.  On a long enough time line you will save money reloading most calibers, as a previous poster said quite well "Time is money".  Which is more important? For me, its a really testosterone laden ego boost to see ammo laying there that I made.  Also, you can customize the loads/components to your setup to get the most out of it.  If the Stupid Hypothetical Teenage Fantasy (SHTF) ever does come into fruition, I'll be able to make my own ammo.  Feed the family? Dunno. Shoot zombies? You know it!
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:22:45 PM EDT
The posts here are making some very good points.  Yes you can reload cheaper than either retail (Walmart) or even online bulk purchases but the savings will vary.  It also depends on whether the brass is free (range brass) or you have to purchase it.  Another issue is that in order to get "good" prices on the reloading components you'll probably need to purchase those in bulk.  So now I have a room full of brass, bullets, powder and primers.  Makes my wife very happy.  I can testify from personal experience that in a humid environment both bullets and powder can degrade over time.  Using range brass also requires that you spend a lot of your valuable time "reloading".  It also doesn't include the cost of the equipment you need.

Bottom line:  can you save money?  Yes, if you shoot a lot and don't mind spending your time doing something that can be either fun or tedious depending on you.  If the brass is free (range) I can reload with the components that I bought for around $3.50 a box of Hornady 55gr fmj.   Even purchasing new brass I can still load for around $6.50 per box.  That's cheaper than most retail but with the bulk prices coming down to around $7 per box per 1k(depending on brand) that time factor is starting to weigh on my decisions.  I'm sure that I'm not the fastest reloader out there but it takes me about 14-16 hours (estimate) to completely reload 1k rounds, but I save about $150 off the bulk price.

If you think this could be you start saving brass now.

Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:35:17 PM EDT
For me it was never about cost it was about producing better ammo (tuned to my handguns & rifles) and just an extension of shooting, the cost can be as little as $300 and as much as $1000 to get started but their is something to be said when you drop the hammer on hand tuned ammo and it shoots better or as good as Factory ammo for less
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 6:38:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By panther308:
For me it was never about cost it was about producing better ammo (tuned to my handguns & rifles) and just an extension of shooting, the cost can be as little as $300 and as much as $1000 to get started but their is something to be said when you drop the hammer on hand tuned ammo and it shoots better or as good as Factory ammo for less


How can you start for $300?
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 6:50:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By panther308: How can you start for $300?

Lee Precision
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 6:54:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Infiltrator:
Originally Posted By panther308: How can you start for $300?

Lee Precision


You'll have to be more specific.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 7:01:37 PM EDT
You can buy a Lee Anniversary Kit for $80, throw in a set of dies $30, and some bullets, primers, brass & powder $100 ~ GTG.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 7:01:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Maryland_Shooter:
How can you start for $300?


Used RCBS setups can be had for a lot less than $300.  Add a bit for components and you're off to the races
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 7:43:27 PM EDT
I consider my initial investment to be the tools, not components. The cost of components doesn't count in the initial investment because you pay for components no matter if you reload or buy assembled. That said, I started with all RCBS gear, for around 400, and just when prices started really going up back in 2005-2006. I recouped my investment in months.

I only reload to save money. I reload .223, .30-06, .45, and 9mm all for cheaper than I can buy it, and in most cases, cheaper than I can buy steel case. I can not reload 7.62 Russian or Nato for less than steel cased. I don't have specific numbers for you now, but can post later. Also, I don't pick up brass, so that is one area where you could save extra money.

I read somewhere that when you reload to save money, you don't actually save money; you just shoot more for the same amount.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 7:41:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Infiltrator:
You can buy a Lee Anniversary Kit for $80, throw in a set of dies $30, and some bullets, primers, brass & powder $100 ~ GTG.


I've been seeing those Lee 50th Ann kits all over for around $100, they seem to have pretty much everything you need, but are they worth a shit?  Like I said, I'm not looking for match grade rounds, I just want to be able to shoot more often and w/ ammo costing as much as it is, reloading seems like it owuld help in getting more range time in.  Thanks for all the responses, they have been very helpful.  Now I just need to figure out what to buy
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 10:43:03 AM EDT
Currently I reload 45acp with 200gr LRN for $6 per 50, 308 w/ 168gr SMK for approx $8-9 per 20, 357mag/38spl target loads for $5 per 50.... I did the  math and once I get into reloading my 223 I will be doing 55gr plinking ammo for a little under $3 per 20.

Mike.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 10:51:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2010 10:52:13 AM EDT by 1903pa]
To load a box of 45's.

Primers $1.00
Powder  $1.10
My Cast bullets $1.50
Cases free

Total $3.50 for 50rds

Actually I load cheaper than that because I inherited a couple kegs of powder an a lot of primers few years ago. But if you become known as a handloader to friends and family members and they find reloading supplies they don't know what to do with, they just naturally migrate in your direction.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 12:27:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2010 12:29:06 PM EDT by Infiltrator]
Originally Posted By 951bulldog:
I've been seeing those Lee 50th Ann kits all over for around $100, they seem to have pretty much everything you need, but are they worth a shit?

The only thing I don't use out of that kit is the scale and the lube, although I have used the Lee scale to make sure my digital one was accurate. The Lee scale appears cheap, but it is accurate. Everything else works as it should, although you will find folks who think otherwise.

One complaint people had about these presses was that they had an aluminum toggle, which has since been replaced with a metal one on the new models. My current setup includes the old Challenger press with aluminum toggle and without the breech lock, and I haven't had problems with it to date. That said, you get a good value with this new updated kit, imho.

So far I've reloaded .223 and .308, and if you do everything properly, there's no need for a stronger design. It really doesn't require that much effort. I do however eventually want to upgrade to the Classic Cast, for no real reason other than it's a big hulkin strong press, lol.

This is what I replaced the Lee scale for; makes life a lot easier.

Link Posted: 7/21/2010 4:44:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2010 4:44:42 PM EDT by RIPRonReagan]
Don't bother reloading if your sole intent is to save money.

You will likely shoot (alot) more,  but I can promise you, you won't save a dime.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 4:49:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2010 4:50:05 PM EDT by RIPRonReagan]
Originally Posted By dogsplat:
You reload rifles for accuracy and pistols for cost. 'cept 9mm- so cheap, it ain't woith da time.


9mm is super cheap to reload for if you cast your own bullets.

I made this ammo can for $.05 a piece.    



There are 1278 in there and yes, it's HEAVY.

Link Posted: 7/21/2010 10:16:04 PM EDT
How much do you shoot?  It really does matter.  From what I'm hearing in this thread, guys are talking about your getting into a single stage press.  Yes, it will work, but it's going to take lots of time and effort just to crank 1000 rounds.  It takes a pull of the handle on the press for every stage of the process, with a single stage.

Anyway, getting started in loading handgun is easy.  Get whatever kit you want.  Single stages are simple but very slow.  Progressives are much faster, but more complex.  Loading bottle neck ammo is a whole different story.  You have to lube the cases prior to resizing and you have to pay close attention to the length of the cases.  When they get too long, you have to trim them.  Loading for an AR is a lot of work.

I have roughly 10K rounds of handgun ammo laying around that I've loaded up.  I was able to do it dirt cheap.  It's so cheap that when I go shooting, I take my kids and friends and everyone shoots without regard for ammo cost.  it is a money saver.  You can load up 1K rounds of pistol ammo for about $60 or less plus the cost of the projectiles, assuming that you use range brass that you just picked up.

I don't reload plinking ammo for the AR.  I just shoot Silver Bear 62gr HP and at under $5 a box, it isn't worth my time.  I do reload my precision ammo.  Good loaded ammo that is built using the Sierra 77gr match king is going to cost over a dollar a round for the good stuff.  That is why I reload for the AR.  I can load 1K rounds of some serious ammo for under $200.  That's some serious savings considering that Black Hills blue box is about $650 for 1K rounds and Red Box goes for about $850 for a thousand rounds when you buy in bulk.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 10:44:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By putiton11:
time is money


Can someone please explain this rationale to me?  I think it is BUNK!

Time is money only if reloading takes you away from a money-making activity.  Personally, shooting (and reloading) are leisure time activities for me.  I tend to do reloading at night, after dinner, after the kids' homework is done, after,...  This is discretionary time.  

The way I look at it, my time is free.  It's mine to use on any recreational activity I chose.  When I reload, I avoid spending money.  I get match quality reloads, in fact, better than what you can buy from Federal (Gold Medal Match) or Black Hills (red or blue box) or whoever.  I get them for about $0.25 per round instead of $1.00 per round.  <––I am not truly "saving" money but I am avoiding spending much more than is necessary.
Link Posted: 7/22/2010 9:38:44 AM EDT
I have to agree with the time is money argument to an extent.  I do enjoy reloading and to the extent that my reloads for my rifles are more accurate than anything that I can buy, I would reload some things even if money were no object.  On the other hand, I don't want to have to invest all of my free time reloading.  I do like to do other things.  That's why reloading on a single stage is out of the question for me.

I use a Dillon 550b.  I can load 1K rounds of most handgun calibers in about three hours.  I can do .223 at about half that rate.  If I was doing this single stage, I'd have to shoot less because I wouldn't be able to keep up with how much I shoot.  In fact, reloading would probably cut into my shooting time, and I couldn't have that.  With the rig that I have, I can satisfy my ammo needs at the cost of roughly 6 hours a week.  If I was doing this on a single stage, that number would likely be at the least tripled.  The only additonal time I spend on reloading is in case prep for the ARs.  Trimming every four or five reloads is a PITA.
Link Posted: 7/22/2010 10:06:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RIPRonReagan:
Originally Posted By dogsplat:
You reload rifles for accuracy and pistols for cost. 'cept 9mm- so cheap, it ain't woith da time.


9mm is super cheap to reload for if you cast your own bullets.

I made this ammo can for $.05 a piece.    

<a href="http://s258.photobucket.com/albums/hh280/Ole1830/?action=view¤t=IMG_5343.jpg" target="_blank">http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh280/Ole1830/th_IMG_5343.jpg</a>

There are 1278 in there and yes, it's HEAVY.



How did you get the price that low? Cast Lead, Powder, Primer and used Brass?
Link Posted: 7/22/2010 12:19:07 PM EDT
That number is actually realistic.  Brass costs nothings because it's laying all over the place.  Casting your own bullets doesn't cost anything because if you cast from wheel weights, the lead is free.  So the only costs to be considered are the costs of powder and primers.   I do think he didn't add in the cost of stuff that gets used up like bullet lube, running the pot and what not.

The bottom line is that 9mm is dirt cheap to load.  For me it runs about $65 per 1K of quality lead projectiles that do not leave any lead in the bore, $30 for primers and $15 for powder.  That's $110 per 1K at a cost of .11 a round.
Link Posted: 7/22/2010 2:27:04 PM EDT
As told to me a long time ago...........You wont save any money but you will shoot a lot more !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its been true in my case.
Link Posted: 7/22/2010 3:01:52 PM EDT
What about 7.62x51 brass cased ammo?  What is the average cost there per round?

It isn't cheaper for me to buy .308 Wolf because the warranty on my rifle is void then.
Link Posted: 7/22/2010 5:24:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2010 5:29:04 PM EDT by Bear59801]
If shooting Wolf voids the warranty, shooting reloads probably does too.

I load .308 for a bolt gun, I don't have a semi in that caliber any more.  YMMV, but I don't recommend using range brass unless you know where it's been.  There may be a good reason that someone left it there.  Military brass if once fired will still have the primer crimp, which will need to be removed.  

You can buy 1000 fully processed once-fired 7.62x51 US-made military cases from Scharch for $200 + freight.  (New US-made commercial, i.e. Winchester or Remington, will run about $330-350).    I figure to get 20-30 reloads out of each case, neck sizing for my bolt gun.  Full-length sizing for a semi-auto you might be lucky to get 6.  Amortize the cost accordingly.  Let's say $200/20 = $10 for brass costs per 1000 rounds, or $200/6 = $34 per thousand rounds in a semi-auto

Powder and primers, unless you really buy a lot, will best be bought locally due to haz-mat shipping fees.  To load those cases, 1000 primers is about $30-35 these days when you find them.  I still have large stocks from the last century that cost a lot less.  Powder, at 45 grains per load, that's 45000 grains or about 6.4 pounds.  Local stores get $22 a pound for Varget, or $150 for an 8 pound jug, which works out to 18.75 a pound, $120 for enough to load those 1000 cases.  So far we are up to 20+35+120=$175

Best price on bullets, well you can do your own looking, but I find 145gr FMJBT mil-spec bullets for around $133/1000.  But I'm not shooting mil-spec bullets, for the most part.  110gr. Speer hollowpoints are $167/1000; 168 Sierra Matchkings are $330/1000.  Probably $30 freight on 1000 bullets.  So match ammo costs me $525/1000.  This compares to $735+ freight for PRVI 168gr. match, or $1250 for Federal Gold Medal Match.  Varmint ammo costs $372.00, and mil-spec stuff costs $338.  There are a few other bullets I load in between these prices but this will give you an idea.  Plus, and its a big one, my loads are tuned for best accuracy in my gun.  My loads thus beat Federal GMM any day.

These prices were gleaned from a quick search of my favorite web sources.  I am blessed with having two commercial ammunition loaders nearby, HSM and BVAC.  I find I can often get better prices on components in bulk, especially powder, by shopping there directly.  When I am in NW Washington, I always stop at Kesselring's Guns in Sedro Wooley and stock up on SMK bullets for .30 and .22 both.  They subsidize local NRA Hi-power shooters by selling bulk pack SMK bullets at cost.  You may have similar sources in your area, so look around and ask other local shooters where they get their supplies.
Link Posted: 7/22/2010 8:18:14 PM EDT
Yeah, like the last guy said, with rifle, I do load to shoot cheaper, buy not cheaply.  My reloads cost a good bit more than I can buy plinking ammo for, but they are far less expensive that the factory match ammo and shoot as good as or better than the factory stuff.
Link Posted: 7/22/2010 8:47:28 PM EDT
You don't save money reloading.  You just pick up another hobby.  There is always something you need, more equipment, more primers, more brass, etc. I Reload because it's fun and takes my gun hobby to another level.  I don't do it to save money.  If you think you are saving money, you are only fooling yourself.

.223 costs me about 18 cents a round once you factor in hazmat, shipping, and 1/5th cost of once fired brass.  That is $180 per 1000.  How long does it take to reload 1000 rounds?  I am going to say about 10 hours if you include case prep.

No one ever talks about the true time to reload, I will.  Time below is for 1000 cases:

Picking up 1000 cases at range: ~ 30 minutes
Sorting Brass, Tumbling, Media separation: ~30 minutes (time in tumbler does not count because you can do other things while it runs)
Resize and Decapping: 2 hours
Swaging: 2 hours
Trimming (with Giraud): 2 hours
Primer Pocket Clean and inspect cases: 1 hour
––
Reload (prime, charge, and seat bullet) on a progressive press: 2 hours

So as you you can see, case prep alone is between about 7-9 hours of your time. Once the case are ready, the actual reloading part, prime, charge, and seat bullet is fast and I estimate about 2 hours per 1000 rounds going at an easy pace on a progressive press.

All in all it works out to be about 9-11 hours of your time to load 1000 cases.  1000 factory rounds now run about $250 now for steel case ammo, and brass cased ammo about $350.  So that means I am only saving $70-$170 per 1000 rounds.. but also I waste about 10 hours of my life.  How valuable is your time?  I have a TV in my reloading room so for me, at least I am doing something productive (watching sports) while I reload
Link Posted: 7/23/2010 4:22:44 AM EDT
Good point on the time involved.  I realize it's a hobby, but people saying they produce ammo for 5 cents a round don't include their time.

Sure shooting and loading blend together as a hobby, but @ $50 an hour (what my standard rate is), it factors in.  If I can make ammo at a reasonable pace, that's cool; however when I factor in my time and it starts costing me $1.50 a round, I'd have to re-evaluate reloading.

Maybe then I'd just stick to specialty rounds/ammo.

Your time have a value and while you may not need to factor it directly in to costs per round, you should consider it!
Link Posted: 7/23/2010 8:48:32 AM EDT
My time is important to me and I have things rigged up so that spending an hour, or an hour and a half at the outside, a night five nights a week I'm able to produce enough ammo to keep up with what I shoot.  That estimation of time that was posted is representative of the amount of time that reloading can take, but it also over state the chore a bit.

It may take that long for the first time that you process once fired brass, but on subsequent loading, it will go faster.  You only need to swage the primer pocket once.  Once it's done, you won't need to do it again on that piece of brass.  Trimming doesn't need to be done everytime either.  Although it depends on the loads that you shoot, I only have to trim brass every five loadings or so for my AR.

What most of my AR loading goes like is this.  Monday night, I decapped and sized 500 cases.  Didn't take long at all.  I use Lee dies and they are so cheap that I really don't care if I scratch them.  If I start to have trouble, I'll get new dies, so I resize dirty brass.  But really my brass doesn't get that dirty.  Tuesday night, I tumbled the brass.  Wednesday night I loaded up 500 rounds of some really good ammo.  It took me a few hours total and I have 500 rounds of very accurate ammo that would sell for about $450 and I loaded it for under $200.  Last night (Thursday) I loaded up 500 rounds of .45 and tonight I'll load up 500 rounds of 9mm.  I'm set for the weekend.

This is pretty much a schedule when I can shoot every weekend.  If there's a weekend when I can't shoot, which happens, then I do the dirty work and will get to the stuff I hate doing, which is processing the brass that needs processing, ie., trimming and chamfering.

As for blasting ammo for the AR, like I said, it isn't worth my time.  I usually shoot Silver Bear at under $5 a box and I just picked up a couple of cases of Wolf that was on sale for $200 a case.  At those prices, I really can't justify reloading, especially considering that the components that you have to use to get the low reloading costs aren't worth a crap in terms of accuracy anyway.  When I made that statement, I was talking projectiles.  You can make a hellava deal on military surplus powder and save a bunch of money.  I run Reloader 15 and that goes for $20+ a pound locally.  You can do much better than that if you can find the surplus stuff.
Link Posted: 7/23/2010 10:08:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TonyAngel:
My time is important to me and I have things rigged up so that spending an hour, or an hour and a half at the outside, a night five nights a week I'm able to produce enough ammo to keep up with what I shoot.  That estimation of time that was posted is representative of the amount of time that reloading can take, but it also over state the chore a bit.

It may take that long for the first time that you process once fired brass, but on subsequent loading, it will go faster.  You only need to swage the primer pocket once.  Once it's done, you won't need to do it again on that piece of brass.  Trimming doesn't need to be done everytime either.  Although it depends on the loads that you shoot, I only have to trim brass every five loadings or so for my AR.

What most of my AR loading goes like is this.  Monday night, I decapped and sized 500 cases.  Didn't take long at all.  I use Lee dies and they are so cheap that I really don't care if I scratch them.  If I start to have trouble, I'll get new dies, so I resize dirty brass.  But really my brass doesn't get that dirty.  Tuesday night, I tumbled the brass.  Wednesday night I loaded up 500 rounds of some really good ammo.  It took me a few hours total and I have 500 rounds of very accurate ammo that would sell for about $450 and I loaded it for under $200.  Last night (Thursday) I loaded up 500 rounds of .45 and tonight I'll load up 500 rounds of 9mm.  I'm set for the weekend.

This is pretty much a schedule when I can shoot every weekend.  If there's a weekend when I can't shoot, which happens, then I do the dirty work and will get to the stuff I hate doing, which is processing the brass that needs processing, ie., trimming and chamfering.

As for blasting ammo for the AR, like I said, it isn't worth my time.  I usually shoot Silver Bear at under $5 a box and I just picked up a couple of cases of Wolf that was on sale for $200 a case.  At those prices, I really can't justify reloading, especially considering that the components that you have to use to get the low reloading costs aren't worth a crap in terms of accuracy anyway.  When I made that statement, I was talking projectiles.  You can make a hellava deal on military surplus powder and save a bunch of money.  I run Reloader 15 and that goes for $20+ a pound locally.  You can do much better than that if you can find the surplus stuff.



I think an hour for 100 cases is a good estimate for true time to reload.  For me reloading is not "time wasted" or a "chore" though, I do something productive when I reload, such as watch TV.  Hell If I can trim 1000 cases in 2.5 hours while watching a baseball game, that is like I am getting the work done for free.
Link Posted: 7/23/2010 5:47:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/23/2010 5:50:59 PM EDT by ep_shooter]
Besides the time factor, which you could be using to shoot or fish, there's also the quantity aspect.  In order to get good prices on the loading components I had to buy bulk quantities.  That means that not only did I spend a lot of money up front I now have enough potential ammo to last me 10 years.  Sure hope I don't go blind before then.  Unfortunately I'm not good at melting wheels (?) for lead bullets or making lube out of bees wax, therefore I purchased all my components.  As already mentioned, you'll  need to have a stock pile of range brass you picked up.  If don't already have a bucket full you better get started otherwise it's not free, risky or not.  Be sure to include some time to inspect each case.  We don't want you messing up that pretty little AR with a bad case.  Won't save any money that way.

So finally:  spend $500-1,000 on equipment, $2000 on components and a couple of days of free time and you're ready to save money!  Now if I just have some free time to go shooting.  Why did I start doing this?  Oh yeah, you can cut your ammo cost in half and have a room full of it.
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