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Discussion Starter #1
OK loading a lot of (50) .38 specials:

Speer TMJ 125 grain bullets = $8.79 (50)

CCI large pistol primers = $1.30 (50)

Remington brass = $1.53* (50)

powder is negligible

*assuming I re-use it 5 times

so total cost for a lot of 50 rounds is $11.62

Sure it's cheaper than Wal Mart but it ain't THAT cheap. What am I doing wrong? Use a cheaper bullet?
 

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38spl takes small pistol primers
Your bullet cost is too much, unless you NEED those bullets. [email protected]:barf:
Brass should last much longer than 5 shots.
And powder is part of the cost so add it in.
You may want to do some more research.
 

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16 cents a bullet is where your cost is going, I cast my own, I figure about 1.5 cents, each. I don't consider brass in the equation. I have a few thousand cases I have picked up that were free. I figure 2.5 cents a primer, its a high estimate. Plus powder. I figure about 6-7 cents per round total cost for my 38spl. $6-$7/100. $3-$3.50/50.

Shoot lead it will help your cost come down, pick up some range brass. Your cost will come down.... a lot.
 

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First, you buy bullets in bulk, a minimum of 1000-2000, more if you can. You don't need something like the Hornady, Speer, etc. Montana Gold, Ranier, etc iare just fine unless you are looking for something for LEO work or self-defense. I also buy my primers in bulk -- 30,000 at a time. I buy once fired brass and resize it at $15 per thousand. That changes your equation quite a bit.
 

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Here are the actual numbers on my .45 ACP target loads. As mentioned above, the key is buying in bulk and shooting a cheaper bullet. I for one do not like shooting lead so these cost are based on copper plated bullets. also these figures are based on reloading each case 5 times when you can actually get many more cycles per case.

.45 ACP, 4.0g Clays, Berry's 230g CP RN

 

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Skip the jacketed bullets; get black bullets from Precision. You should be able to load your cases 20-30 times. Use a powder that requires three grains or less, and then, don't pay $20/lb. You should, even with inflated component costs of the last year, load for less than $5.00/50.
 

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Sig_Dude you are right on. It's not cheap, in fact it's very expensive. It is not worth it to reload. You should not reload, no matter what the other guys say.

Instead, Sig_Dude, you should always pay store prices for commercial ammo, then leave the brass on the ground. Don't worry, I'll pick it up for you.

Thanks, 'Dude.
 

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I like the Precision (black) Bullets as well. They are about 8 cents a piece but are really clean and alot less smoke compared to the lead I was previous using at about 5 cents a piece.

In the summer I use plain lead 200 gr. SWC in my Wilson .45, but in the winter when I shoot indoors alot, the Precisions (same weight) are hard to beat.

Try them. The company is great to deal with and they reload flawlessly.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sig_Dude you are right on. It's not cheap, in fact it's very expensive. It is not worth it to reload. You should not reload, no matter what the other guys say.

Instead, Sig_Dude, you should always pay store prices for commercial ammo, then leave the brass on the ground. Don't worry, I'll pick it up for you.

Thanks, 'Dude.
No comment. :rock:
 

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Okay, I'm new (I mean "I'm looking at the press I brought home yesterday" kinda new), but my perspective will be similar. I used SMALL lots to figure my costs. I did this because I'm new and I'll be experimenting and learning and etc. I did not buy 3000 bullets because I dont know what I'm going to choose to use yet.

I only shoot 9, 45, and 556.

At the prices I can buy 9mm ammo for, I can't justify component costs in small quantities. I can save about half the price of a box of 45, even more on the 223. (Again before buying in bulk) I have a nice supply of rifle ammo, so I'm going to start with 45.
 

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There is much more going on with Handloading than saving money.
Sure that for some is the main driving concern, but for many others a performance dimension is the larger part of the equation.

I try and save money where I can but I still have a performance demand that almost all factory ammunition can not duplicate.
Try and look at Handloading with a balance of view.
I’ve never seen a gun that wouldn’t show some improvement with Handloading.

Also, If your new to Handloading you may need to spend some time locating all the places most of us find the better prices on components, there are always deals to be found.
(It just may not be in the exact brand, size, weight or style that you want, sometimes compromise is the key)

I’ve been at this insanity for over thirty years, I’ve gone through all the different fazes from trying to keep all cost to a minimum to buying nothing but premium supplies and components.

If your only a moderate shooter shooting only a few thousand rounds a year it may seem difficult to justify all that is involved with Handloading.
Some people come to realize they don’t have the time and or the finance to dedicate what’s necessary to do the proper amount of load development needed to find the best loads for there guns. Some guns can require a lot of both.
I’m currently at fourteen to sixteen thousand round a year mode, most is pistol but I load a lot of rifle calibers also.

It isn’t for everyone although almost anyone can do it.
Try and take a more balanced approach, this is like any other hobby or pastime, you get out of it what you put in.
And regardless the goal you will find this hobby like most others requires a certain financial and time commitment to bring success.
Good Luck
 

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While I don't load 38 special, that cost is indeed high. I checked out my cost for loading 1000 rds 38 Special if I were to start.

1000 Premium 158 Grain LRN Bullets (Stoner)... $60
1000 Feder Gold Medal Match Small Pistol Primers... $35
Assorted Brass (I work at a range, so that part is free)...:)
VihtaVuori N310 (1700 rds per lb.)...$26

That adds up to roughly $110/1000 and that's using the best components (minus the brass) I can find at full retail price.
 

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so total cost for a lot of 50 rounds is $11.62

Sure it's cheaper than Wal Mart but it ain't THAT cheap. What am I doing wrong? Use a cheaper bullet?
Sig Dude,

I expect that's where a lot of us started from when we began reloading. For me that was before the days of readily available internet info pertaining to components costs, equipment selection, and reloading techniques. As time went on, we looked for way to reduce our "per completed round" costs. Again, for me, that was an evolutionary process. First, switching from jacketed "name brand" bullets to lead bullets; then, from buying bullets & primers 100 at a time to 1000 at a time; and eventually to 5000 at a time. Now, the guys I shoot with go in together and buy bullets & primers 75-100K at a time. There is cost savings in quantity buying.

All shooters & reloaders don't fit the same mold. Some have more time, some have more money. Buy the best components you can afford, but if you want to make quality handloads that are less expensive than Wal-Mart ammo, it's certainly doable.
 

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Sig Dude
Well you are pretty close.
It doesn't pay off if you are only going to shoot 50 rounds a month.
But you can reduce your bullet costs without casting your own bullets.
I don't like to handle lead anymore but I still have some lead bullets left that I use.
You can go with cheaper jacketed bullets, plated bullets or coated bullets like the precision bullets mentioned earlier.
I went on line to Midway and found Rainier LeadSafe Bullets 38 Caliber (357 Diameter) 125 Grain Plated Flat Nose Box of 500 for 46.99
Thats only about 9.5 cents a bullets maybe 10 cents after shipping.
So that will save you about 4 dollars per box of 50.

I think you are right on about using brass about 5 times.
I have some brass I will shoot 15 or 20 times, without issues but what happens is that it tends to get lost when shot from an auto loader

SO if I start with 500 pieces of 38SuperComp brass at $73.25, or about$80 after shipping. I will actually get to to fire about 4500 rounds of ammo from that batch. thats about 1.8 cents a piece.

But what some guys do is, take home what they brung. So if they shoot 100 rounds then they leave the range with 100 pieces of brass even if it wasn't theirs. They get what is on the floor that is the right caliber and figure it evens out in the end.
Normally I shoot hard to get ammo. 38 Super and 10mm.
With 38 super I usually police up 90 percent of my brass, but because of the distance that 10mm throws brass I usually only get about 75 to 80 percent of that back. I have found 10mm brass as far as 30 feet away.

SO now whe have lowered your cost down to about 7 dollars a box.
Still if you can get wall world 38 special for 12 bucks you are only saving for dollars to go shoot a box of ammo. But what if you are going to go train.
You might want to knock down 200 rounds in an afternoon 4 times a month. so that is 16 boxes of ammo a month times 5 bucks. Now we are looking at saving $80 in a month. Some guys will shoot 500 rounds or more from 2 different weapons in a weakend.
And really you can do better by buying components when you see good deals such as at gun shows or estate sales.

Remember if you are really going to start shooting and I mean shooting, then saving 4 or 5 dollars for every box of ammo will add up.

Also being as how you are going to be shooting common calibers you can get once fired police brass for a lot cheaper than I can.

It may look like you are only saving penny's a box but how many boxes will you shoot in the next 10 years??
Ted
 

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Here's another cost breakdown to consider:

Bullet: Montana Gold 125gr, $103 shipped: $.103
Powder: 4.5 gr Universal Clays @ $17/lb: $.0009
Primer: Winchester @ $26/1000: $.026
Total: $.138 per round ($13.8 /100)

I'm not taking cases into account, since they will last more or less indefinitely and can be found once-fired very cheaply.

You can also find bullets significantly cheaper than Montana Gold.
 

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Ken
That is a really nice simple break down.
Although I won't say that cases will last indefinatly they do last a long time when pressure is kept to a resonalble level and you don't overcrimp them.
Your price on primers is going to be hard to match. Most that I see now are in the 29 dollar range.
I buy just about every primer I can find now for 25 dollars or less.
Ted
 

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The moral of the story is you can spend alot or a little. For general plinking I see no reason to buy more espensive bullets ect. Buy swc if you use all that name brand stuff you can spend some money. Then 2nd buy in bulk!
 

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If you buy 500 new cases to shoot in a 38 special and reload them to 38 special pressures you will wear out a new Ruger before you wear out those cases.
 

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OK loading a lot of (50) .38 specials:

Speer TMJ 125 grain bullets = $8.79 (50)
I buy Zero bullets from Powder Valley for around $65 per 1,000. That's $3.25 per 50.

CCI large pistol primers = $1.30 (50)
I buy wolf and Magteck primers from Graf&Sons. I go in with some friends and buy 50,000 at a time. We get them for $16 per 1,000. That's $.80 for 50.

Remington brass = $1.53* (50)
I can't remember what brass cost me so I will use your price.

powder is negligible
I buy powder with friends also 50 pounds at a time. We get it for around $11 per pound. That's $.30 for 50 rounds.

*assuming I re-use it 5 times

so total cost for a lot of 50 rounds is $11.62
My total cost for 50 rounds is $5.88. After the first loading the brass is free and then the same 50 rounds cost $4.35.

Sure it's cheaper than Wal Mart but it ain't THAT cheap. What am I doing wrong? Use a cheaper bullet?
You need to go in with some friends and buy in bulk. That will also save on the hazmat and shipping fees since you would be splitting it a few ways. You can also get a C&R lisence and get a nice discount at a few places like Graf&Sons.
Rusty
 
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