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Cost verses Practicality

290 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  armabill
I shoot 500 or so rounds a month of 45 and 500 to 1000 rounds of 5.56. After the investment of press, dies, scales, and all the little I needs and wants to go with my reloading am I better off reloading than paying $170.00 per 1000 of 45's and 138.00 per 1000 of 5.56's?

I am sure someone has taken the time to break it all down.
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You can reload 45acp for $90/1000 ($75/1000 if you have a local caster). If you shoot 500/rnd a month for 6 months, that would be 6X500X$80=$240 - pretty close to the price of a Dillon SDB, or in another couple of months you'd have paid for a Dillon 550.

I bought a used SDB and have reloaded 17K of .45acp in three years. No problem with paying off the $175 for the press.

Have a great day!
If you shoot the amount of ammo you say you do, then I would say you are a good candidate for reloading. Some say you don't really save any money reloading, that you actually will shoot more for the same amount of money. Either way you will come out ahead. If you reload using lead bullets you will save a LOT more than with jacketed bullets. Of course plated bullets are an option as well and fall in between the lead and jacketed bullets in regards to price. Primers run about $15 per 1000. Powder runs about $15 per pound or so. Lead bullets for the 45 ACP (200 grain lead semi-wad cutters run about $40 per 1000 in bulk purchases). At those prices and assuming a load of say 5.0 grains of powder, it would cost you about $60.71 to load 1000 rounds of 45 ACP (also assuming you already have the brass). If you have not saved up all the factory brass you have shot, once fired brass will run about $50 per 1000. The difference between your reloads and you factory prices are significant considering how much you are shooting. In a year alone you would save $660 for the 45 ACP alone. Pistol ammo is easy to load too. You don't have to lube (with carbide dies) and you don't generally need to trim either.

The other thing about reloading is how you can tailor you loads for your shooting style and the pistol itself. Light loads for beginners and practice and the hotter loads to simulate and acclimate you to "defensive" type factory loads. Itr is also a lot cheaper to stockpile components instead of factory loads as well. I say go for it.
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Don't forget to put a price on your time. For some folks this can add up.
There are shooters who reload and reloaders who shoot. I'm closer to the latter. I'd rather spend an evening in front of my reloading benches than sitting on the sofa watching a "survivor" show.

In addition to the cost, I always know what I'm feeding my guns. I can use better components and still beat the price of discount ammo.

Just my two cents.

I get good quality bullets for $29 per thousand, so my costs are a bit less than those mentioned above, but, either way, the savings is huge. With the .45, reloading really pays.

The .223 is a different matter. Ammo is much cheaper, paticularly if military surplus ammo will meet your needs. The .223 cases must be lubed for resizing and then cleaned of the lube before shooting. That slows the process down a lot. Presuming you use jacketed bullets for your reloads, the savings is not great. I gave it up, except for specialty varmint and target loads for rifles other than autoloaders.

[This message has been edited by KLN (edited 11-02-2001).]
I'll chime in on the .223 (5.56). Given the amount of work involved in reloading rifle, I think buying bulk commercial ammo is a better choice.

I would recommend staying away from the stuff in steel cases however.
I find that reloading relaxes me, I just enjoy doing it. I have a Dillon 550 and a Lee single stage.
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