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A few newbie questions I have when considering if I should get into reloading for my .40S&W. I can find the steps, but never an analysis on cost.

How much money does it save? Assuming I can pick up FMJ for $16-18 per 50 rounds.
How long does it take?
What are your fixed costs(equipment)?

Is this really a worthwhile venture or just another hobby?

Thanks!
 

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I usually press 1000 rounds of .45 for a total of $165 (without buying brass.) That's about .17 cents a round, or $8.50 per 50 rounds. Compared to Wal-Mart's WWB for $15 per 50 rounds, I save about 57% by bringing down the price of .45 within the 9mm range.

IF I were to purchase brass every time, I would not be saving enough consistently to even justify the option of reloading. It helps to pick up your brass and others' when at the range.

Some people say that reloading doesn't help you save money because you'll just shoot more, and I can understand that. But, I've been shooting the same amount since I've started to reload so I am really saving. I got my reloading rig for about $170 including S&H and it has already paid itself off after only 1500 rounds.

$16-$18 per 50 for bullets only? You would not be saving money at all if you were to reload those all the time. Try Berry's MFG.
 

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Wow.. I never thought of it that way. If only I had the room for a nice workbench. My dad has told me I can get a lee-hand re loader, but I would imagine that it would be a much slower process.

I think the OP Was referring to new loaded factory rounds for $16 to $18 per 50.
 

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Right, lol, I just got that. Well you can also lower the cost of .40 within the same range as I did. At $16-18 per 50, you'll save about as much as I do, assuming you use the same bullets and reuse brass.
 

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If you want a cheap one go with the Lee chalanger press. You can get the whole kit from MidwayUSA for 80 bucks. It's what I have. Just start scavenging brass brass from local ranges. You can find cheap bullets for next to nothing. Be sure to buy some good reloading manuals also.
 

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I recently went through those calculations. Lots of variables to consider. I was a bit surprised how quickly the cost of all the equipment added up. Basically I found that with a Lee Classic 4-Hole Turret Press & Accessories + Case Prep Equp + Reloading Supplies for 2K rounds roughly equaled the cost of 2k rds of factory (5.56 / .223) ammo. That's with buying what I would consider mid-level equipment.

The variables are the initial cost of your equipment and supplies. You can start out spending a few hundred or well over a thousand dollars easily.

The "pay back" time will depend on your investment, divided by the amount of ammo you shoot. Subtract that from the cost of factory ammo for "savings". Your initial investment and how much ammo you go through will determine when you'll be in the plus column money-wise. Bulk purchases, once-fired brass, etc will lower your cost per round.

I guess to sum it up.... the more you shoot the more you'll save! :D
 

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i just got the lee pro 1000, zip trim, case legnth cutter/gauge, a tumbler, scale, caliper, 2 books, 1000 55gr fmjbt for less than 400 bucks. so add primers and powder and im done.

oh yeah got a old ass desk at the thrift store for 30 bucks, solid as a rock! i have over 2k cases

really in .223 i can reload for about .12 a round. the cheapest i can buy em is .36
 

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i just got the lee pro 1000, zip trim, case legnth cutter/gauge, a tumbler, scale, caliper, 2 books, 1000 55gr fmjbt for less than 400 bucks. so add primers and powder and im done.

oh yeah got a old ass desk at the thrift store for 30 bucks, solid as a rock! i have over 2k cases

really in .223 i can reload for about .12 a round. the cheapest i can buy em is .36
12 cents a round? You must be getting powder and primers for next to nothing.

About the cheapest I've ever gotten bullets for is 6.5 cents each; it costs me about 9 cents per round for powder, depending on which powder and loads used, and at least 2.5 cents per round for primers.

How are you doing 12 cents? Enquiring minds want to know!
 

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12 cents a round? You must be getting powder and primers for next to nothing.

About the cheapest I've ever gotten bullets for is 6.5 cents each; it costs me about 9 cents per round for powder, depending on which powder and loads used, and at least 2.5 cents per round for primers.

How are you doing 12 cents? Enquiring minds want to know!
i got the bullets for 7.8 cents, cci primers are 2.9 cents, powder is roughly $23 a lb. cases are free. i guess theres lube, walnuts shells, polish...but i wasnt adding that. sounds close to 12 to me?
 

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The savings with reloading can be VERY substantial as long as you buy components in bulk, cut hazmat shipping/handling when at all possible or buy powder/primers locally when you can, and after you recoup the initial investment of your equipment, dies, etc., which doesn't take long at all. I don't reload .40 S&W, so I can't give you an exact cost breakdown or savings over buying commercial ammo.

The one thing that nobody seems to factor in is the cost of your time. I don't mind the time because I enjoy it, but for some folks, depending on what press they are using, loading 1000 rounds of anything could take a loooong time and you have to account for your time spent somehow whether monetarily or otherwise. This is particularly true when you look at single stage or non-progressive presses which take much longer to load large volumes of ammo that the progressives.

Some food for thought.
 

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The savings with reloading can be VERY substantial as long as you buy components in bulk, cut hazmat shipping/handling when at all possible or buy powder/primers locally when you can, and after you recoup the initial investment of your equipment, dies, etc., which doesn't take long at all. I don't reload .40 S&W, so I can't give you an exact cost breakdown or savings over buying commercial ammo.

The one thing that nobody seems to factor in is the cost of your time. I don't mind the time because I enjoy it, but for some folks, depending on what press they are using, loading 1000 rounds of anything could take a loooong time and you have to account for your time spent somehow whether monetarily or otherwise. This is particularly true when you look at single stage or non-progressive presses which take much longer to load large volumes of ammo that the progressives.

Some food for thought.

im single so time is all i have
 

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A few newbie questions I have when considering if I should get into reloading for my .40S&W. I can find the steps, but never an analysis on cost.

How much money does it save? Assuming I can pick up FMJ for $16-18 per 50 rounds.
How long does it take?
What are your fixed costs(equipment)?

Is this really a worthwhile venture or just another hobby?

Thanks!

To determine this you need to figure costs based on which bullets, primers, and powder you use. It assumes you're recycling brass.

A pound of powder has 7000 grains of powder. If you use, say, 5 grains of powder in a load, you can get 1400 rounds out of a pound. If powder costs $20, that's about 1.5 cents per round.

Primers cost around $25-30 per 1000. Or about 2.5 cents each if you get them in bulk.

Bullets are the most expensive component of handgun rounds. I can get FMJ bullets from Delta Precision for 6.8 cents for 115gr 9mm, 10.6 cents for 180gr .40SW, and 11.4 cents for 230gr .45 ACP. (These are bought in multiples of 2000, delivered price).

(Note: You can also get cast lead bullets, and variations on that theme for even less)

So you've got about 10.8 cents for 9mm, 14.6 cents for .40, and 15.4 cents for .45. This for FMJ.

Reloading setups will run the gamut from maybe $300 (with everything you need) to north of $800. The fastest way is with a progressive press, with which you should be able to do 300+ per hour.

In my case, I have a Hornady LnL Progressive press. Paid $377 for it and the shellplate for 9mm, delivered.

Loading dies will cost in the area of $22-40 for one caliber, if you get a taper-crimp die assume $30-50 or so.

You'll need a *good* scale to weigh charges. Figure on $60 at least.

You'll want a bullet puller. Cheapest is a kinetic puller, figure maybe $15.

You'll need a set of calipers for assessing length of cartridge, other dimensions as well. $20-25.

(Edit: I forgot a tumbler to clean used brass, figure another $60-70 added, which makes the total $620 or so)

So we're up to $550 more or less (more, of course, if you're going to reload more than one caliber).

With the Hornady this cost is mititgated somewhat with their get-loaded offer, where they'll send you 1000 bullets for shipping cost only. If you buy their new-dimension dies, they'll send you 100 bullets. I ordered the .45 caliber hollowpoints, which are worth at retail about $200, and for which I will have spent $29 in shipping. So I've netted, effectively, $170 off the cost.



So there you are. However, as a newbie, I wouldn't suggest such a setup for you right off the bat. Many argue it's better for newbies to learn on a single-stage press so they can learn the process. You can get an inexpensive one for maybe $60, and it's worth having one, IMO, to use while you work up rounds you want to do on the progressive. So add that.



Finally, you asked "Is this really a worthwhile venture or just another hobby?"

The answer is, absolutely, yes! My self-produced ammo is more accurate than factory, and I can produce whatever I want. And it's cheaper in the long run. People spend money on a lot of stuff (bowling, archery, softball, golf); why not on something that is not only fun, but will save money (and produce more effective ammo) in the long run?
 

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i got the bullets for 7.8 cents, cci primers are 2.9 cents, powder is roughly $23 a lb. cases are free. i guess theres lube, walnuts shells, polish...but i wasnt adding that. sounds close to 12 to me?
Assuming a 25-grain load, that means you can get 280 rounds out of a pound of powder. That's just about 9 cents per round. Even if you're a bit lower on powder, that would be 8 cents per round.

Adds up to nearly 19 cents per round, perhaps higher.
 

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Assuming a 25-grain load, that means you can get 280 rounds out of a pound of powder. That's just about 9 cents per round. Even if you're a bit lower on powder, that would be 8 cents per round.

Adds up to nearly 19 cents per round, perhaps higher.
im not a cpa, sorry. its still cheaper. go pat yourself on the back ;)
 

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Wow.. I never thought of it that way. If only I had the room for a nice workbench. My dad has told me I can get a lee-hand re loader, but I would imagine that it would be a much slower process.

I think the OP Was referring to new loaded factory rounds for $16 to $18 per 50.
DO NOT learn to reload on such a piece of carp. Yes it will make ammo, but just too slow & frustrating. At least get a single stage press. The Lee kit is ok, a lot of cheap plastic & aluminum stuff w/ Lee but it will make decent ammo cheap. Then get at least twop reloading manuals & TheABCs of Reloading. Read everything twice before you buy a single primer, bullet or powder.
If yo ubuy components in bulk, you can reload for 1/2 of cheap factory practice ammo. Time, well, it costs money. A single stage gets you 50-60rds an hour, a turret upto 125 or so & progressives 300-800+. Obviously the prgressive cost significantly more than a single stage, but the ss is a good way to learn & you can always use one. Add a progressive later when you need to make 300-600rds an hour. Most relaoders never NEED that capability.:rolleyes:
 

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Ok, let's break it down...

I can get lead for about 60.00/1000 for 45 auto http://www.keadbullets.com/

primers are around 30.00 / 1000.

bullseye is about 16.00/ pound and one pound = 7000gr.

It takes 4.0 gr of bullseye/round.

So, lets look. If you don't need brass. ( you can reload the same brass probably 30 times if you don't load hot loads )

So, 60.00/1000 = .06 per round.

30.00/1000 = .03

So, before you put powder in, you're at .09 per round.

Powder is less than one cent per round... actually it's like half a cent.

So, you SHOULD be able to shoot target loads for under 5.00/box.
 

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Ok, let's break it down...

I can get lead for about 60.00/1000 for 45 auto http://www.keadbullets.com/

primers are around 30.00 / 1000.

bullseye is about 16.00/ pound and one pound = 7000gr.

It takes 4.0 gr of bullseye/round.

So, lets look. If you don't need brass. ( you can reload the same brass probably 30 times if you don't load hot loads )

So, 60.00/1000 = .06 per round.

30.00/1000 = .03

So, before you put powder in, you're at .09 per round.

Powder is less than one cent per round... actually it's like half a cent.

So, you SHOULD be able to shoot target loads for under 5.00/box.

Thanks for the lead link! What is their turn around time right now?

-Thanks
 

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I have looked into reloading a couple of times over the years and even have used some of my friends reloading equipment. For me it takes too much effort for the results and I really did not enjoy the event. I still have a little bit of reloading supplies.
 

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I have looked into reloading a couple of times over the years and even have used some of my friends reloading equipment. For me it takes too much effort for the results and I really did not enjoy the event. I still have a little bit of reloading supplies.
It really depends on your commitment. If you get a really high quality progressive press with a brass feeder, you can reload a box in less than 10mins. If you leave it that way and don't change calibers, you can keep doing that over and over without muss or fuss.

Are you willing to spend an hour to reload 300-400 rounds? ( this is a conservative number for reloading on a good press )

400 rounds X 22.00/box == 176.00

400 rounds X 5.00/box = 40.00

You actually get to work for 136.00/ hour.

Reloading is for people that like to shoot their guns. If you just want to carry one, don't bother but, if you want to learn you weapon and, learn how to shoot it, you're going to HAVE to reload unless you're a rich person.
 
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