Is reloading worth it for me?

Beendare

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
6,389
Location
In Traffic
I've never reloaded, help me out here.

I typically shoot 9mm and .45 ACP....a little .44,10mm, .40 cal. I chose those due to ease of finding ammo and cost.

Well now here in Ca, ammo is a bit of a pain as we now have to fill out paperwork- which isn't all that bad but it drives up the price. The state gov is trying to put gun shops out of business by making things difficult.


**What I'm really looking for is an app cost per round to reload the above cartridges-lets say FMJ. Ballpark #s are fine.
[I'm sure the numbers get better if we are talking defensive ammo]

I go through a lot of ammo shooting steel taking my son and his buddies ........and any other "Guns are bad" folks I can convert from the dark side.

...
 

robtattoo

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2014
Messages
1,993
Location
Tullahoma, TN
If you are reloading purely for the cost savings, I’m going to say reloading is not for you.

Well, yes and no. If you're buying bulk quantities of ammunition & shooting A LOT then you really can save a bunch. For eg: I'm reloading .223 plinking fodder for under 6c/per.
However, the initial outlay for a press (progressive or automated is the way to go for bulk), powder, primers, bullets & dies is undoubtedly prohibitive. To load for each caliber IF you can find a common powder, is going to run you about 20c per initially. The more you load, the cheaper each round becomes as the setup cost is spread out over more ammunition.
If you're thinking of stocking up on reloads, I'd budget yourself about a grand, minimum for a Dillon, dies etc.....

You need to tot up how much you actually shoot & see if it's worth if for you.
 
OP
Beendare

Beendare

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
6,389
Location
In Traffic
OK thx guys, thats what I was looking for.

My FFL will still order me case lots at somewhat reasonable prices...just not what you guys in Free states are paying.
 

chicoredneck

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2018
Messages
17
Location
Nevada
Biggest question is what is your time worth? You may be able to save a little money be loading your own, but it’s very time consuming. Is the time invested worth it to you?
I do reload, but I do it on a low volume basis for a select few cartridges that require extreme precision. The time just isn’t worth it to me for plinking.
 

mtswampfox

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2013
Messages
1,214
Location
se ga
right now times are good for firearms/ammo. If you feel like hoarding all the ammo you can,,good idea. Same with components, cheap and everywhere. Some are even issuing rebates. Will it change? Not if but when. It is also a hobby for lots. Not saving money but tailoring loads for your needs. We are going to look back and say should have stocked up more,,should have bought more guns. Think conservative
 

Elkslayer67

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2019
Messages
248
Location
Western Washington
If you are looking for a strictly money saving venture I would say buy in bulk. The initial setup costs will take a lot of reloading to recoup. Look at reloading as an extension of your shooting. It’s akin to tying flys.

If you do head down this path I advise you start with a quality setup. You can buy setups that can get you by, but you will look at it as a chore and lose interest.

For what you are shooting I would recommend a progressive reloader. I personally have the Dillion XL650 and have been loading for almost 30 years.

As for those “Guns Are Bad “ folk, having them over when you reload is kinda like the gateway drug to shooting.

I think you would enjoy reloading but in the end any money’s that you could possibly save will be spent on more rounds made and more time at the range.
 

robtattoo

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2014
Messages
1,993
Location
Tullahoma, TN
That's actually a really good way of looking at it. You're not going to actually spend any less, but you are going to have the opportunity to shoot more.
 

Shrek

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2012
Messages
7,068
Location
Hilliard Florida
Savings will be minimal if you’re are just shooting cheap bulk ammo now and that’s your intention with reloading. On the other hand the savings can add up quickly if you want to shoot premium bullets and nothing can replace your own tuned loads for accuracy. Personally I enjoy loading and the satisfaction of tuning a load and watching groups shrink. The term I like is it’s “man knitting”. For bulk ammo loading you can’t beat Dillion progressives. A Dillion can be used as a single stage press also for carefully crafted accuracy rounds and pump out thousands of rounds when loading bulk ammo. Buy quality tools and you’ll enjoy the experience much more , save money in the long run not buying twice , and can sell with minimal loss if it’s not for you.
 

MallardSX2

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Messages
706
I buy my primers and powder in bulk, cast my own bullets (from bullet lead collected over my lifetime) and I can reload 50 rounds of 9mm for under 2$ a box. I think thats what I figured it out to be.

Every piece of brass I reload has been picked up at the range so there is no cost there at all.

I know this much for sure.... I have paid for my Lee-loadmaster progressive reloader MANY times by this point and I have only had it a year.

Its a great press once you get it dialed in.

I can crank out a $hit ton of shells in an hour. About one round every 4 seconds if I am taking it easy.

I paid for it EASILY in the first 3000 rounds (60 boxes). I think I reloaded that many in the first weekend I had it....

I never did figure out why everyone doesnt shoot 9mm only. Its got plenty of punch and its super cheap to reload with dirt cheap bulk powders... I never ventured into bigger plinking calibers but the press can be easily converted.

This is the press I have.




Mount it to a solid bench and get the carbide dies to hold the shell in place during priming....it makes a huge difference.

You wont regret buying this press and it costs a fraction of the cost of a dillon.
 
Last edited:

deerkiller

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Messages
961
If you are looking for a strictly money saving venture I would say buy in bulk. The initial setup costs will take a lot of reloading to recoup. Look at reloading as an extension of your shooting. It’s akin to tying flys.

If you do head down this path I advise you start with a quality setup. You can buy setups that can get you by, but you will look at it as a chore and lose interest.

For what you are shooting I would recommend a progressive reloader. I personally have the Dillion XL650 and have been loading for almost 30 years.

As for those “Guns Are Bad “ folk, having them over when you reload is kinda like the gateway drug to shooting.

I think you would enjoy reloading but in the end any money’s that you could possibly save will be spent on more rounds made and more time at the range.
over 1/2 of the world's competitive long range shooters load all of their "practice" ammo on a Dillon
 
OP
Beendare

Beendare

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
6,389
Location
In Traffic
As usual the great guys on this site came through with some excellent advice- thanks to all.

I'm already making my own arrows and sewing tents, tipis...so in reality, I don't need another time consuming hobby.

The reality is, at my current pay grade....I shouldn't be doing any of that crap....but I enjoy DIY.

...
 

TreGrizz

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
51
I started loading to "save money", but now load for the fun of it. I havent found it save me much money, especially due to the cost of reloading equipment.

The only caliber that I exclusively reload because of cost being the factor is my 44 mag. Its also super fun to load because there are so many load options.
 

See_Bennie_Point

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2018
Messages
37
Location
Colorado
You "save" money but then shoot more, so you're shooting more for the same amount (not exact science). For example I'm loading 143grn ELDX 6.5 CM for about $0.90 per round (even cheaper depending on case life), compared to a box of 20 precision hunters that costs between $35-$40 ($1.75-$2.00 per round).
 

Ww874

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2019
Messages
14
Location
LI NY
I would say if you're a bit OCD then be careful. I started out trying to find better loads then from the factory but with all of the possible powder, brass, bullet etc combinations you can drive yourself crazy. I mainly reload for hunting purposes and every year I develop a load and say that's it I'm done. Then after having walked away for a while I start tinkering again the next June or July. By October I'm at it again. Probably one of the main reasons I don't keep at it year round is living in suburban NY every trip to the range cost me $20 just to shoot.
Probably why I still do it is because I like using premium lead free bullets and the satisfaction that comes with taking a deer with my own hand load.
 

accurat

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2019
Messages
50
Do it. If you dont do it now, you'll only be older when you do. Save money or not, you will enhance your own shooting experience rolling your own ammunition. Over the years I've been able to roll 50 round boxes of .45 for well under $5 scrounging components. Felt good to shoot my own loads. No, not match grade fodder, but plenty good for steel and plinking.
 

longbarrel

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
283
Location
Las Vegas
I would check some wholesalers like J&G in Prescott AZ, etc. Get a few bricks of what you need. Reloading is more for precision, accuracy loads, special stuff. I do it for rifles, but would not bother for 9mm or .45s.
 

Venatic

Newbie
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
9
Well, yes and no. If you're buying bulk quantities of ammunition & shooting A LOT then you really can save a bunch. For eg: I'm reloading .223 plinking fodder for under 6c/per.
However, the initial outlay for a press (progressive or automated is the way to go for bulk), powder, primers, bullets & dies is undoubtedly prohibitive. To load for each caliber IF you can find a common powder, is going to run you about 20c per initially. The more you load, the cheaper each round becomes as the setup cost is spread out over more ammunition.
If you're thinking of stocking up on reloads, I'd budget yourself about a grand, minimum for a Dillon, dies etc.....

You need to tot up how much you actually shoot & see if it's worth if for you.

I am interested in 223 plinking loads for 6 cents per round?
I have a hard time finding bullets that cost under 7 cents apiece....
Are you making your own bullets from lead or are they jacketed bullets?
 

robtattoo

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2014
Messages
1,993
Location
Tullahoma, TN
I am interested in 223 plinking loads for 6 cents per round?
I have a hard time finding bullets that cost under 7 cents apiece....
Are you making your own bullets from lead or are they jacketed bullets?

I picked up a bulk load of Sierra Gameking seconds from Midway, on sale. I believe I paid somewhere around $40/1000 a few years ago. That really helps drop the cost! :)
Midway often run really good deals on pulldowns, seconds etc. RMR have some good deals on 50 & 55gn FMJs every so often.
One of these days, I'll get around to casting for some calibers other than my .44, .45-70 & muzzleloaders.
 

rayporter

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
Messages
3,353
Location
arkansas or ohio
buy now -these are the good ol days. for both cheap ammo reloading stuff. soon things will change for the worst. look for reloading supplies to be a big target with the next democrat.
 
Top