Hand-loaders

From the .22 to the mighty 50 caliber

Moderator: fowl_wishes

Hand-loaders

Postby njonesy_07 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:47 am

This is a question for any people that reload their own rifle or handgun ammunition: On average, what is your cost per one hand-loaded cartridge?

Right now I'm sitting at about $0.85/shell for my .260 reload....which comes out to be $17/box of shells (1 box being 20 cartridges). I'm using 129gr. Hornady SST and 44.1grs behind hit. Would you consider this to be a fairly acceptable dollar/shell equivalency? If not, what could you suggest to help safe nickles and dimes?

*For reference, I'm using bulk .308win brass and sizing it down to accept the 6.5mm bullet. Doing this has already saved me alot on brass alone.
Jonesy
User avatar
njonesy_07
State Moderator
 
Posts: 4554
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:45 pm
Location: OR


Re: Hand-loaders

Postby TomKat » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:23 am

Smaler calibers use less powder and lighter bullets. Do you reload and .223 shells? I am at like .40 a shot.
Image
User avatar
TomKat
Dorothy
 
Posts: 11497
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:18 am
Location: NE Kansas

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby apexhunter » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:34 am

The price per round varies greatly with the cartridge being loaded, the specific components being used (powders and bullets) as well as how you buy them (500 versus 5,000 bullets or casings, 2# versus 5# of powder, etc). With my handgun loads (.40S&W and .45ACP) I can load down around $0.18-.20 per round with low dollar plinking bullets bought in huge quantities where higher quality target projectiles and premium powders will run that up to around $0.40 per round.

The other factor is the cost of the equipment. When I started years ago I factored in the cost of the press w/ dies & accessories and enough components to roll 10,000 rounds to come up with a base price per round. Then I factored in a loss percentage of brass that isn't retrieved when shooting outdoors and came up with a total round count where the equipment would pay for itself and all subsequent rounds would cost me just for the replacement brass, powder, primers and bullets. Using just my .45ACP loads my "break even" point was around 3,500 rounds (comparing to the cost of decent factory rounds at that time).

The best way to save money is find people at ranges that don't reload and shoot the same caliber as you and ask if you can have their casings. I've walked out of my local range with 400-500 casings in an afternoon...a $70-80 savings right there.
"Shoot low boys...they're riding shetland ponies in search of true grit" Lewis Grizzard
apexhunter
hunter
 
Posts: 2255
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:46 pm
Location: Apex, NC

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby njonesy_07 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:29 pm

Apex, I like what you said regarding picking up once fired brass from ranges. I do/can get bulk .308 brass that is accumulated after match shoots which saves me alot right there. The biggest thing is trying to find deals on bulk bullets and powder, other wise I'm all set.

As far as loading equipment, I was able to get a RCBS single stage press and all the extras in the set from a friend all at no cost to me...only cost has been the dies loading components. So far so good as I've been reloading rifle ammo for a little more than a year, off and on.

Good thing you don't have to worry about labor/time costs, or else I think I'd be in debt! :lol3:
Jonesy
User avatar
njonesy_07
State Moderator
 
Posts: 4554
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:45 pm
Location: OR

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby Sandman3400 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:39 am

Looks like you are around 50% of the cost of factory ammo, so that is pretty good. Brass is your highest cost, but you get to reuse it many times. Every reuse brings your cost per round down, and picking up brass at the shooting range saves you a whole lot.
Real men hunt with Chessies!
User avatar
Sandman3400
hunter
 
Posts: 578
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:46 pm
Location: Denham Springs, LA

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby Nabs » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:49 pm

I have been shooting my AR alot, my per round cost is .30 for new PMC bronze 55 grain fmj. I have about 1200 rounds of brass, I cannot see the benefit to reloading .223.
User avatar
Nabs
hunter
 
Posts: 745
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:35 pm

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby Sandman3400 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:10 am

You save much more loading the more expensive ammo by hand obviously. I wouldn't buy a setup just to load .223 in the plain old 55gr. FMJ, but if you are already handloading, you can save some money in .223. I can load them from .20 to .25 per round depending on what prices I pay for components. Still saves me a couple of bucks per box. If you shoot a lot, that adds up.
Real men hunt with Chessies!
User avatar
Sandman3400
hunter
 
Posts: 578
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:46 pm
Location: Denham Springs, LA

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby Sandman3400 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:11 am

Nabs wrote:I have been shooting my AR alot, my per round cost is .30 for new PMC bronze 55 grain fmj. I have about 1200 rounds of brass, I cannot see the benefit to reloading .223.


I would be glad to take that brass off of your hands :yes:
Real men hunt with Chessies!
User avatar
Sandman3400
hunter
 
Posts: 578
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:46 pm
Location: Denham Springs, LA

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby ajmorell » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:42 am

You know I honestly never worked out the cost in all that much detail. For plinking ammo I don't know if I'm saving much money or not, but if I had to guess there are some decent cost savings when it comes to reloading higher-quality ammo for hunting.
Andy
ajmorell
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 1666
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 7:40 am
Location: Santa Fe, NM

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby Sandman3400 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:11 am

ajmorell wrote:You know I honestly never worked out the cost in all that much detail. For plinking ammo I don't know if I'm saving much money or not, but if I had to guess there are some decent cost savings when it comes to reloading higher-quality ammo for hunting.


You will save money for plinking, but probably not enough to justify purchasing a reloading setup (unless you shoot a LOT). If you want to reload higher end, premium ammo you will save a lot of money, and then it is worth loading the fmj / plinking ammo also.
Real men hunt with Chessies!
User avatar
Sandman3400
hunter
 
Posts: 578
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:46 pm
Location: Denham Springs, LA

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby ajmorell » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:50 pm

Sandman3400 wrote:
ajmorell wrote:You know I honestly never worked out the cost in all that much detail. For plinking ammo I don't know if I'm saving much money or not, but if I had to guess there are some decent cost savings when it comes to reloading higher-quality ammo for hunting.


You will save money for plinking, but probably not enough to justify purchasing a reloading setup (unless you shoot a LOT). If you want to reload higher end, premium ammo you will save a lot of money, and then it is worth loading the fmj / plinking ammo also.


I got into for more of a hobby than anything. I was reloading 38s for my GP100 for plinking for a while and it was about on par with what I could get TMJ Blazers for (non-brass casing). For my 30-06 though I can load a box of Accubonds for probably half what it would cost to buy them, not to mention I can tailor the load to my gun (that was the biggest plus for me).
Andy
ajmorell
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 1666
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 7:40 am
Location: Santa Fe, NM

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby TomKat » Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:57 pm

How reloading saves me money (not counting equipment)

I have a Cabelas Visa I pay off every month. I get points for the money I spend.

Once a year, I go into Cabelas and use my points to get powder and bullets...so I shoot for "free" all year.
Image
User avatar
TomKat
Dorothy
 
Posts: 11497
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:18 am
Location: NE Kansas

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby MOhuntingGuy » Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:55 pm

Sandman3400 wrote: Brass is your highest cost, but you get to reuse it many times. Every reuse brings your cost per round down, and picking up brass at the shooting range saves you a whole lot.

Just remember,

If you want to get long life out of a brass case, don't hot rod them.

We (my dad and myself) have some .44 mag cases that have been shot and reloaded 15 times and are still in good shape with some light target loads. On the contrary, we loaded up some hot rod .44 for longer range shooting and as a possible hunting round and some of the cases started to split after only 2 or 3 reloads.
Let there be welders, to attach metal to other metal things. Genesis 1:36

Kenlee's Krew Pro Staff
User avatar
MOhuntingGuy
Mrs. Red Ryder
 
Posts: 3637
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:56 pm
Location: Wishing I was near the magical place of sugar

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby dakotashooter2 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:42 am

Actually the bullet has become the highest cost component. Buying bulk is about the only way to get the cost down on them........unless you want to shoot cast bullets which I am leaning to for plinking. The savings are the highest when you load speciatly or less common calibers. I load for the .41 mag. I think factory lead rounds are around $30/50. I can load them for around $7 (cast my own bullets).
User avatar
dakotashooter2
hunter
 
Posts: 2315
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:00 pm

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby waterfowlhunter » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:37 am

I use Nosler bullets that I stock up on from suppliers when they have sales to help cut the cost, In my 223's I buy 2 to 3 thousand at a time and look for "free shipping" deals too. but in the bigger cals I just try to keep 300 to 400 on hand and pick them up when I have reward points from my discover card and get the cabalas gift cards in the mail :biggrin: overall it is about 1/2 or less of the cost of buying premium ammo off the shelf. BUT I will probably quit reloading shotshells for sporting clays once the 400# of shot I have is depleted. I can pretty much buy them for less that it cost me to reload especially with some local shops selling AA's and STS's for $7.49 a box and the getting the $2.00 a box rebate on them making them $5.49 a box.
"A free people ought to be armed" George Washington 1790

‘For those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither Liberty nor safety.’ —Ben Franklin.”
User avatar
waterfowlhunter
Forum & State Moderator
 
Posts: 3795
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 4:53 am
Location: Linden, MI

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby Sagebrush » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:14 am

Reloading is about getting a custom round for your gun that shoots well. You can go maximum or go with a light target load that kicks half as much and generally will group three times as well,to boot.
Remember, high pressure loads are hard on guns and the barrel and parts will wear out quicker than standard or target loads and
you will use less powder and get more loads per your brass shells.

A deer will drop just as dead from a 30 cal 150gr at 2500fps , than one going 2900 plus fps, the old 30-30 has proven this.

As for powders, you can use 42grs of imr 3031 or 61.5grs of 4831 , just depends on how far you want your dollars to streach
for this one bullet,for example.

With the price of ammo at arond $40 for top of the line ammo, reloading can save you around 65% and you might be able to get
75% if you just want target loads,using just the FMJ bullets from winchester ,Rem or Hornady.

It looks high dollar when you start getting the equipment but over the years you will be WAY AHEAD ,money wise.
User avatar
Sagebrush
hunter
 
Posts: 4803
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 10:28 pm
Location: Reno Nev.

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby shocktroop » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:08 pm

I don't think I saved any money at first but I shot three times as much! There is alway money to be saved, well depending on your setup, if you go with a dillon and only shoot one box a year, it doesn't make sense. When I got into it I got a lee anniversary kit for 100 dollars or so, .223 pills were 14 or so for 100 and primers were a few bucks, if I remember, I think I had 100 quality rounds loaded for maybe 20 bucks, and used range picked brass. What was the more important issue though was that every single rifle I load for reached it's full potential in accuracy. Some of my favorite varmint rifles went from shooting under an inch to shooting into 1/4 inch. I got spoiled by those few exceptional rifle load combos that I'd get upset if a load didn't print under 1/2 an inch with ease. Now back to cost, I started shooting idpa and practicing allot, ,I was shooting between 400 and 600 rounds of 45 acp a week, and the cost of bullets was going up even when bought in bulk, so I bought cast bullets in bulk for plate matches and plinking. Then, to reduce the cost even more I started casting. I can usually get a 5 gal bucket ofmwheel weights from a tire shop for 20 dollars or so and that'll last me almost a year of heavy shooting. Now I cast for every pistol I shoot and some I don't (I'll hook a buddy up and cast all he wants if he buys the mold (lee 20.00). I am about to start casting for rifles now as even plinker bullets are getting high.
shocktroop
hunter
 
Posts: 302
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 10:54 pm
Location: Groton, CT

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby apexhunter » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:45 am

The bullets have definitely become the most expensive part of the process. I have become addicted to the accuracy of Berger bullets for my rifle loads and they are definitely not cheap...but they are damned accurate and the VLD Hunting round is awesome on deer. Like Sage mentioned the choice of powder can also dictate cost depending upon the particulars of the powder to the load you can load some with lighter loads for the same affect and possibly save some cash.

For handguns I use Bullesye for my .40 and .45 and buy Ranier bullets when I can get them on sale. They don't lead up my barrels but are better for plinking than FMJ (less rebound and damage to plates).
"Shoot low boys...they're riding shetland ponies in search of true grit" Lewis Grizzard
apexhunter
hunter
 
Posts: 2255
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:46 pm
Location: Apex, NC

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby Sagebrush » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:59 am

One note;

You might think the price of components are high, right now...................
Buy all that you can..................
they will be 20% highre in a year or two, or not made any more !!
User avatar
Sagebrush
hunter
 
Posts: 4803
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 10:28 pm
Location: Reno Nev.

Re: Hand-loaders

Postby apexhunter » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:42 am

Excellent point and all the more reason to oust the current administration and legislature! (not to get political on the wrong part of the forum)
"Shoot low boys...they're riding shetland ponies in search of true grit" Lewis Grizzard
apexhunter
hunter
 
Posts: 2255
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:46 pm
Location: Apex, NC


Return to Rifle and Handgun forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 1 guest