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  #1  
Old 02-25-2005, 08:23 PM
jetsiphon jetsiphon is offline
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Is it cheaper to reload or buy ammo in bulk?




My dad has some reloading stuff and we are going to pick up more from my late uncle. However, if it's not cheaper to reload, then I'll just buy in bulk. I'm mainly looking at .45 acp and 9mm. I'll still reload my rifle ammo.
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  #2  
Old 02-25-2005, 09:14 PM
Shootcraps Shootcraps is offline
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Check the Reloading Bench forum. This question has been asked lots of times.
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  #3  
Old 02-26-2005, 12:47 AM
Vincent Vega Vincent Vega is offline
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From what I've read and researched, it is definitly worth reloading but the gains will be small in the beginning since you have a substantial start up cost relative to the cost of making ammo. The only way it isn't worth it is if you absolutly don't have time to roll ammo and have barely enough time to shoot. Some say how expensive is YOUR time.
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  #4  
Old 02-26-2005, 06:08 AM
JeffVN JeffVN is offline
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after you cover teh cost of the equipment, its much cheaper to reload than to buy, even if you buy in bulk.

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  #5  
Old 02-26-2005, 09:59 AM
Pegusus Pegusus is offline
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All depends on what you and the dealer you're buying from consider "Bulk".

Bulk to some buyers might be 5k rds, to sellers its usually 25k and others its 100+.

"Bulk" has a broad definition in numbers. I consider bulk if it arrives on a pallet and you need a forklift to remove it and transport it on site.

The price breaks vary greatly with the dealers also.

Another factor in price comparison is caliber and component costs.

Most 9mm is marginally cheaper to buy currently than to reload but .45 stuff is usually always cheaper to reload, particularly if you recover your brass and use it again and again.
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  #6  
Old 02-26-2005, 12:01 PM
PhotoRecon PhotoRecon is offline
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I'm currently reloading 9mm for $3.22 per 50 including the purchase of once-fired brass. Using the brass over again the cost is $2.72 per 50. This example is using hard cast lead bullets which are obviously cheaper than jacketed and doesn't reflect the intial cost of tooling up for reloading.
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  #7  
Old 02-26-2005, 08:17 PM
Stanger73 Stanger73 is offline
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That really depends on how well your gun(s) shoot the "bulk" ammo. If you can't hit what you are shooting at, then what is the point?

Case in point:
My Colt 1991A1 shoots most "surplus" ammo fairly well, around 4" at 50ft, but my handloads are under 2" at the same distance. Factory "defense" loads are right about the same as the "surplus". Both will serve as a defensive load, so the surplus stuff is great for practice and the factory defensive loads are what I carry with. While my handloads are a better logical choice, legal matters dictate factory ammo for defensive purposes...

By the same token, my Marlin Camp 45 doesn't like surplus or factory loads at all. The bolt velocity is extreme to say the least, even with the heavy Wolf spring, and the accuracy stinks. I now have handloads that are under 3" at 100 yards, which is well beyond what I consider appropriate for the gun. The brass falls out in a roughly 10ft circle about 10ft to the right. Bulk ammo is just going to beat the heck out of this gun without hitting anything and my handloads will hit every time without being abusive. Any time I have the Marlin in my hands I have the Colt on my hip (I like having the Colt on my hip...), so I figure the legal arguments are covered, one way or another.

Just depends on how you shoot.

Last edited by Stanger73; 02-26-2005 at 08:25 PM.
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  #8  
Old 02-27-2005, 06:31 AM
Pegusus Pegusus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanger73
That really depends on how well your gun(s) shoot the "bulk" ammo. If you can't hit what you are shooting at, then what is the point?

Case in point:
My Colt 1991A1 shoots most "surplus" ammo fairly well, around 4" at 50ft, but my handloads are under 2" at the same distance. Factory "defense" loads are right about the same as the "surplus". Both will serve as a defensive load, so the surplus stuff is great for practice and the factory defensive loads are what I carry with. While my handloads are a better logical choice, legal matters dictate factory ammo for defensive purposes...

By the same token, my Marlin Camp 45 doesn't like surplus or factory loads at all. The bolt velocity is extreme to say the least, even with the heavy Wolf spring, and the accuracy stinks. I now have handloads that are under 3" at 100 yards, which is well beyond what I consider appropriate for the gun. The brass falls out in a roughly 10ft circle about 10ft to the right. Bulk ammo is just going to beat the heck out of this gun without hitting anything and my handloads will hit every time without being abusive. Any time I have the Marlin in my hands I have the Colt on my hip (I like having the Colt on my hip...), so I figure the legal arguments are covered, one way or another.

Just depends on how you shoot.
----------------
Stranger73, do you down load your ammo for the Camp Carbine?

I have a CC in 9mm and you are right about the bolt velocity. Some brands really seem hot in that gun. I have loaded some 9mm with reduced powder loads and had good success.
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  #9  
Old 02-27-2005, 10:13 AM
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2TransAms 2TransAms is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Vega
From what I've read and researched, it is definitly worth reloading but the gains will be small in the beginning since you have a substantial start up cost relative to the cost of making ammo. The only way it isn't worth it is if you absolutly don't have time to roll ammo and have barely enough time to shoot. Some say how expensive is YOUR time.
I would love to reload,but I just don't have the time.I run a construction business and when I do get time off I want to be at the range and not at the reloading bench.As much as I shoot I should reload,but personally it's not worth my time.
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  #10  
Old 02-27-2005, 10:35 AM
maxwayne maxwayne is offline
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I can buy Blazer 9mm for $3.87 and at that price I wont reload. I do reload all other calibers and it is MUCH CHEAPER. 45 Colt and 41 and 44 mag factory stuff if pretty pricey. I probably reload lead in these calibers for $5.00 or so per 50.
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  #11  
Old 02-27-2005, 12:44 PM
Bulldog Six Bulldog Six is offline
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The Most Expensive Component in the Equation

Vincent Vega makes a very good point which is often overlooked in the calculations to determine which costs less, factory-made ammo, or reloads, which require their own capital investments, both sunk costs (like presses, books, scales, etc.) and recurring costs (cases, primers, powder, bullets). What is your time worth to you?

Depending on how your life is structured, the cost of your time could turn out to be the biggest factor of all in the decision to reload or not.

There's another thread ongoing in which one post mentions that to the author, reloading is a hobby. In my younger days, reloading WAS a hobby of mine. I spent hours at the bench, and enjoyed every minute of it. It was relaxing, I was saving money, and I always had as much pistol, rifle and shotgun ammo as I wanted to shoot, which was a lot.

These days, I don't get to practice with my handguns as much as I'd like, and I don't shoot rifle or shotgun hardly at all. I've toyed with the idea of buying a Dillon 550B or 650, just to crank out .45 ACP rounds. I know that I'd enjoy it, but the truth is, I just don't have the time to devote to it. It's easier to order Blazer by the case from Natchez, have it delivered, and always have practice ammo on hand.

How much you shoot, what kind of ammo you like to shoot, and how much you're willing to invest in a setup (and I mostly agree with the post that says "buy the best equipment you can afford, you won't regret it") are all necessary factors in the decision.

Just don't overlook the amount of your time required as a major cost to consider in the evaulation. If you have the time to spend reloading, enjoy! And if you have the time to shoot all the ammo that you'll make, enjoy that even more, and color me green - with envy.
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Last edited by Bulldog Six; 02-27-2005 at 01:06 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-27-2005, 02:58 PM
Shootcraps Shootcraps is offline
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2TransAms and Bulldog Six hit the nail on the head. Your time IS a major factor in the equation. Lots of people pooh-pooh this and say they can do a lot while watching tv. But actually cranking the handle is something you really have to pay attention to. And unless you get really good at it you can't start out making 5-600 rounds an hour. It'll probably take you 3-4 hours to make just 100 rounds.
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  #13  
Old 02-27-2005, 05:38 PM
Mullet Shooter Mullet Shooter is offline
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Nickle a Pop

After you are all geared up, and using cast lead bullets, about the best you can do is about 5 cents a shot with recycled brass. A little cheaper is possible if you cast your own bullets but the time faactor goes up quite a bit.

FL Panhandle
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  #14  
Old 03-04-2005, 10:51 AM
2400 2400 is offline
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It runs me about $75 for 1K rounds for my 45 not counts the initial investment for loading gear.
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  #15  
Old 03-04-2005, 11:26 AM
On_Target On_Target is offline
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The only reloading I'm willing to do is, reloading my gun! I'm sure it is a great hobby if you are into it, and there will be some cost savings, but I have a full time job, family, and barely enough time to go to the range once a week to shoot. With the cleaning after shooting time included, I would not have time to reload, even if I was so inclined. One call to ammoman and 3 days later I have 500 or 1000 rounds of great ammo, without breaking my wallet.
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  #16  
Old 03-04-2005, 02:04 PM
Shootcraps Shootcraps is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2400
It runs me about $75 for 1K rounds for my 45 not counts the initial investment for loading gear.

And how many hours does it take you to load 1k rounds?
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  #17  
Old 03-04-2005, 02:38 PM
LoadIt LoadIt is offline
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I reload on a Dillon 550B. Dillon says it is possible to load between 500-600 rounds an hour. I usually take my time and load about 400 rounds an hour. I guess it depends on the person and the press. I reload .45acp and havent really figured out exact costs, but I am guessing between three and four dollars for a box of fifty.
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  #18  
Old 03-04-2005, 06:58 PM
K2QB3 K2QB3 is offline
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It depends on what you're loading, not just caliber but also components.

The "no reloads for defensive ammo" mantra effectively reduces the benefits of reloading defensive pistol calibers quite a bit.

Those defensive loads are the most overpriced on the shelf.

It's tough to justify reloading 9mm, it's just too cheap and too time consuming, but I do it anyway.

On the other hand my premium hunting loads for 45/70 are about one tenth the price of equivelent factory loads,.45colt too.

.45 acp is the questionable caliber for sure, I think it's definately worth it to get some range time with your carry load, even if you choose to carry store bought you can reproduce it for the range. Premium handloaded hollowpoints are about 1/3 the price of storebought.
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  #19  
Old 03-04-2005, 09:11 PM
hberttmank hberttmank is offline
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I can buy 9mm Blazer for $3.86 a box so why bother. I reload 45, 357 and 44mag much cheaper than factory.
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  #20  
Old 03-04-2005, 09:52 PM
2400 2400 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shootcraps
And how many hours does it take you to load 1k rounds?
Between 2 1/2 and 3 hours.
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  #21  
Old 03-07-2005, 08:37 PM
ltdave ltdave is offline
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Quote:
And unless you get really good at it you can't start out making 5-600 rounds an hour. It'll probably take you 3-4 hours to make just 100 rounds.
i started out about 15 years ago seating bullets for a buddy on a RCBS rock chucker. that lasted for about 1-1/2 years. 7 years ago i bought an RL550b and after about 2 hours to get it all set up, i was doing 500-600 and hour...

it DOESNT take long to get 'really good at it'. my last little bout with the blue wonder was 100 rounds in 17 minutes and thats because i hadnt gotten enought cases out of my storage bin...

david
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  #22  
Old 03-07-2005, 11:01 PM
MEH92 MEH92 is offline
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Why not just buy reloading components in bulk?

In addition to the cost savings, I enjoy the satisfaction of rolling my own. It's a good hobby and very relaxing.
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