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Reloading and other meanderings (just my thoughts, no real question)

Well, I have been thinking about joining the local range for some time now. I have already done a simple calculation that I need to go twice a month for it to be cost effective. I want to enlist the assistance of the wife (MBA) to do a ROI on reloading vs buying ammo for 9mm so I can shoot 50-100 rounds both 2 and 4 times a month including range fee's and equipment in the equation. I really want to see what the difference would be as I really want to get into shooting much more than I am currently, but have not yet due to cost. (too damn many hobbies is what it boils down to, plus trying to save for a house and pay off student loans haha)

This is more just a post my thoughts thread than anything haha. Thanks for reading.
 
I have been reloading for 46 years. Does it save money? Sure does. I used to reload a case of shotshells every night. Did not have a social life, so to speak. But I shot skeet on a very competitive level, so it worked for me. I also loaded for my handguns and rifles. Shotshells are very easy. High power rifle and pistol is another story. A too light charge will blow a weapon apart faster than an overcharge. You have to be on your toes. Double check all your charges.
As far as loaders, the progressives are best for quantity, while the single stage is best for quality. I have shot 5 shot groups that measure .01" center to center with my 270. And my 44 magnums get steady doses of 44 special loads. Get a good reloading book and have at it. And, Google is your friend.
just stay sober when reloading and at the range. Don't have any distractions and you will get a really good feeling when you are tearing the "X" ring apart.
 
Well, I have been thinking about joining the local range for some time now. I have already done a simple calculation that I need to go twice a month for it to be cost effective. I want to enlist the assistance of the wife (MBA) to do a ROI on reloading vs buying ammo for 9mm so I can shoot 50-100 rounds both 2 and 4 times a month including range fee's and equipment in the equation. I really want to see what the difference would be as I really want to get into shooting much more than I am currently, but have not yet due to cost. (too damn many hobbies is what it boils down to, plus trying to save for a house and pay off student loans haha)

This is more just a post my thoughts thread than anything haha. Thanks for reading.
When you run your ROI keep in mind that most of the quality equipment for reloading is very durable. I'm using tools, dies, moulds, measures, scales, presses, etc. that I've had for 30 years and there's no expectation that I'll have to replace any of them any time soon. Expendables are another matter. Primers, powder and bullets are consumable. Cases have a lifespan that will depend on your loading habits -heavy v light loads - your dedication to case care - cleaning, trimming, annealing - and their initial quality -virgin brass, once-fired factory, range pick-ups. Some of my cases have over a dozen firings and few have many more than that. For ROI calculation purposes figure 5 firings per case even though you may get more than that. Just don't put a value for your time into the equation. After all your having fun and you shouldn't expect to be paid for that.
 
Agreed on the time part of the above, the time I spend on my hobbies doesn't get factored into any cost analysis. If I was factoring time in, they wouldn't be hobbies, they would be work haha. I appreciate the comments, like I said no real question here just more an expression of my thoughts today.
 
Almost exactly a year ago I started my New to Reloading On a Budget thread. I was very much in your shoes in that I wanted to shoot a few boxes a month and had read that was the financial break even point for reloading. I made some mistakes and stumbled into some good buys, most of which is outlined in that thread.

Manuals are good. You will want several to cross check the load data for the type of bullet and powder charge.

YouTube is a good way to get an overview of reloading and to see how various pieces of equipment work.

The ROI on reloading vs buying ammo for 9mm won't be as great as what I found for .45 ACP because you are using a less expensive round to begin with. You should probably be able to reload for way less than $0.15/round using commercially cast bullets. Plated or jacketed bullets will cost more.

The big thing that you are going to see is that 9mm is one that sells out quickly when there is any kind of shortage. Your problem may be availability instead of cost. Reloading your own will ensure a steady supply of ammo in a turbulent market.

Reloading didn't save me any money, but I've done much more shooting than I otherwise would have done. That was due to both cost and availability of components versus that of factory ammunition.
 
I reload 9mm for $5.60 per box of 50. At this price to pay for a basic reloading set, dies, manual, bullets, primers, and powder would take about 4 months at 300 rounds a month to start saving you money. This does not include brass but 9mm is pretty easy to come by, even at my range with all the brass vultures I leave with more than I brought on most occasions.
 
Paul, thank you for your reply. I should have mentioned in my OP that I have read a few posts out of your budget reloading thread, but I have yet read all the way through it. It is on my list when I have a few minutes. Right now 9mm is selling here for $15.00 for a box of 50 FMJ 115g, that's the cheapest I have seen it. That being said, finding it is another story. The only places that have it regularly have restrictions of 1 or 2 boxes a day at $20 a box. That makes for an expensive trip to the range! To shoot what I want to shoot as stated above I would be looking on the low side of $40 a month to the high side of $120 a month in ammo alone. Once again guys thanks for listening to my thoughts on the matter!
 

nortac

"Can't Raise an Eyebrow"
Reloading can easily become a hobby unto itself. Most start out to save money, they reload in order to shoot more. It can then morph into shooting to reload more! It can become a very deep but enjoyable rabbit hole, like most pursuits at B&B. Buy the best equipment you can afford, because you will likely want to upgrade later if you don't. Keep that in mind with your ROI calcs. If you can't afford a really nice progressive or turret press, get the highest quality single stage press you can afford. There is always a use for another press on your bench once you get into it. Should you decide to get out of the hobby, resale of quality gear may be better (less of a loss) than unloading budget junk.
 

Kentos

Wiped out at 25
Reloading is just clean fun! Even if the savings were zero, being able to cook up a couple hundred rounds the day before a range outing is priceless. Not having to constantly keep an eagle eye out for ammo is another perk IMO.

Now is a good time to get into reloading as primers, powders and bullets are easier to find and stock up on.
 
I've been reloading for a few years now with a Dillon 550b press that my Dad picked up for a steal. I think that working the lever and feeding the brass is a very relaxing exercise. I am a very precise person and I enjoy dialing in a load so it works perfectly with my guns. I load 9mm and .45 right now but I really want to get into .223 soon. I have about half of a 5 gallon bucket full of brass cleaned and ready to load. I just need to find bullets and powder. You can definitely save yourself money by loading your own ammo too. Don't be afraid to look at used reloading equipment, especially the more well known brands like Dillon and Lee. Most of the stuff is made out of solid steel and built like a tank.
 
Well it's been a week or so since I have last updated. Told the wife about the desire to shoot more and she is all for it. Hoping to get to the range one day this weekend once she returns from a work trip. Been doing a good bit of looking around and learning what reloading is all about, still have a long way to go! I have decided that the first order of business is picking up the Lyman 49th and maybe the ABC's of Reloading. Reading up on the intro section to Lyman and if needed the ABC's of Reloading before doing anything else. Also will be policing my brass and any other I can scavenge at the range. Also have a couple buddies’ saving theirs for me. After I have read what I need to read, I'm going to start looking at gear. I have pretty much already determined that I'm just on the cusp of using a progressive; due to money tightness I will be going the route of a turret. I'm still a young buck and can pull the handle a few times per round haha.

So this is where I'm at. Around where I live if you can find it a box of 50 9mm can go for as low as $14 (I have yet to see a box at that price), places that regularly stock it are more lie $20 per 50. I have figured that I can reload (materials only) for $10 per 50.


Once again thanks for listening!
 
Careful! If you load 9mm, it'll only be a matter of time until you come across a bucket of 45 brass that no one else wants and you'll take it home. It will sit there and talk to you, and convince you that you need a nice 1911. Months later, a bucket of .38spl brass will be sitting under your press, and you'll be looking for a good deal on a wheel gun.
Much like shaving with DE blades vs cartridges, you may save money per round of 9mm, but what will it cost you in the long run?

I'll echo what others have said… Buy used quality equipment. If you find you really don't like spending hours pulling a lever, you can sell the equipment for what you paid for it. If you buy new, or if you buy crap, you'll take a loss.

Enjoy!
 
Haha, I don't disagree with the statement about .45 and .38spl I already have the latter solved, S&W 637!

Unfortunately around here there is no used and if it is, same price as new. I would love a 550B or a LNL-AP but I don't have $500 to sink into a press with no dies or other supplies. I don't see that changing anytime soon. I have heard nothing bad about the turret I'm looking at either.
 
Careful! If you load 9mm, it'll only be a matter of time until you come across a bucket of 45 brass that no one else wants and you'll take it home.
Been there and done that with 9mm. Probably going to happen shortly with 40 S&W and probably at some point with .380...
 

Kentos

Wiped out at 25
The Lee Turret is not bad at all. I can load a 100 in an hour taking my time, checking the charge every 10 and checking OAL at the same time. Dies cost about 40.00 for each additional caliber. I can load .45 for around 220.00 a thousand out here in Hawaii (140.00 heads/40.00 primers/25.00 powder). In the 48 it would be even cheaper. If you shoot a lot the cost of press will be made back pretty quickly. Right now .45 is around 450.00 a thousand.
 
The Lee Turret is not bad at all. I can load a 100 in an hour taking my time, checking the charge every 10 and checking OAL at the same time. Dies cost about 40.00 for each additional caliber. I can load .45 for around 220.00 a thousand out here in Hawaii (140.00 heads/40.00 primers/25.00 powder). In the 48 it would be even cheaper. If you shoot a lot the cost of press will be made back pretty quickly. Right now .45 is around 450.00 a thousand.

Ditto this for the Lee Classic Turret (NOT THE DELUXE!).

As for saving money, wet shaving and reloading have a lot in common. You justify the initial investment by telling yourself that you will be saving money in the long run over buying store ammo or cartridge razors, but both are extremely addicting as far as purchasing new equipment and supplies. I originally thought I would tolerate reloading in order to be able to shoot more, then once I started doing it (after TONS of research and a helpful friend to watch over my first loads) I found the process to be enjoyable for its own sake. I can make 45, 9mm, 38 and 44 mag all for around $5/box versus insane store prices (when you can even find ammo).

Lots of good information here, but if you want even more check out The Firing Line Forums. A guy over there name Lost Sheep has tons of great advice on what you *really* need to get set up and how to avoid critical mistakes. Best of luck!
 

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
I think at some point I'm going to get in to reloading. I've been doing a lot of research myself. I'm glad that reloading seems to be popular. Maybe more so now with the ammo the way it, but it's bouncing back.
I think if you are going to be actively involved with firearms it is a very useful skill to know. And the equipment may be somewhat expensive but over time it will pay for itself and I believe it would be easy to sell off if one day you decide to give it up.
 
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