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Author Topic: Cost per Round  (Read 5424 times)

StevenTing

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Cost per Round
« on: December 26, 2008, 06:46:46 PM »
Back in 2003-2004 when I was reloading more, I could produce a box of .45 ACP for about $6.  This was when a box of ammo would cost about $12-$14.  Now that a box of .45 costs about $18 - $24, how much have reloading components increased?

More importantly, how much does it cost you to make a box of the following:

.45 ACP
9MM
.223
.308
.357 Mag
Utah


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xsquidgator

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Re: Cost per Round
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2008, 11:47:16 AM »
If you buy powder in 4# or 8# bulk you can get it for less than $20 per pound, down to maybe $15 per pound if you buy 8#.  Primers are I think about $3 per 100 in the stores, but if you buy say 1k or 5k at a time online you can get that down to about $23 per 1000 at some online places.

45, 357, 9mm, 40 - all about $4.50 per 100 (assuming 5 grains powder per round at $20 per pound = 1.5 cents per round, and 3 cents per primer).  That's casting my own boolits which I don't count as any cost.  Call it maybe another half cent per round which is probably too high for the bullet lube and the electricity to keep my melting pot going. 

Buying bullets for these, I have seen the cost of cast and plated and jacketed bullets jump way up in the last year.  2-3 years ago I remember you could get cast bullets for about 3 cents each and jacketed pistol bullets for about a nickel each.  For heavy bullets like 230LRNs even the cast bullets are over a dime now, and the jacketed ones are up around 20 cents each I think.  Jacketed 9mm/357 bullets are more like 10-15 cents each IIRC.  This is just a gross average price from me looking around the internet, if you find better prices though I'd jump on it before it goes away.

223 - that hurts a little more because I don't cast for that.  Powder and primer comes out to about 10.5 cents each and the cheapest bullets I can find are 55FMJs for about 8 cents each shipped, so say 18-19 cents each.

I do cast for 8mm Mauser, and 7.62x39 and 7.62x54R.  Not sure why I do it but the per round cost is only powder and primer, say 8 cents each.  In order for the cast bullets to spin stabilize I don't load them any hotter than about 1500 fps, so that's what I meant about not sure why I do it.  It's fun for plinking and I guess up close those would be ok for hunting or even self-defense, but not past 100 yards probably.  30 cal bullets (308, 312, and 323) in the 150 grain range are around 20-50 cents each depending.  Through searching the internet I've found some places that sell pulled milsurp bullets for less than that.  However they're all sold out now   :-[  so I haven't had a chance to make good on that.  Cole Distributing has good prices on 308 softpoint bullets so for my 308 reloading I've bought a bunch of those to hold me over.

There is some capital cost to casting, for me I've spent probably $300-$400 over the last year. Bought about 10 different bullet moulds at $20 each (gotta love that inexpensive Lee stuff).  Bought a melting pot, lead thermometer and hardness tester (those last two are luxuries for casting that you don't really need, and together they were about $80).  If you just can't find any scrap lead, you can usually buy some from a tire store if you look around.  I get most of my lead for free, mostly as scrap lead shielding from a hospital and some from a scavenger friend of my dad's who never throws anything away.  He's gotten me lead bricks from somewhere, cans of old lead fishing sinkers, and other wierd stuff I don't know where he got it.  I called 10 local tire stores and only had one of those let me buy a half-bucket of dirty, nasty wheel weights for $20.  If you can make halfway friends with the tire store guys, you'll probably have better luck giving the guy a six pack to just slip you a bucket of WW now and then.

StevenTing

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Re: Cost per Round
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2008, 12:00:07 PM »
So looking at www.berrysmfg.com, bullets for .45 ACP are about .14 each.  With primer and powder, that makes the cost about .20 per bullet on the high end.  So $10 for a box of 50.  That is sure better than $23 a box.  So, it still seems like it's worth it, even though the cost of reloading components have increased.

That means, if I buy a new press and gadgets for about $600, I'll need to make about 2400 rounds of .45 to break even.  I think that is very doable.


Utah

MarshallDodge

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Re: Cost per Round
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2008, 01:51:28 PM »
I have not purchased components in about six months but this is what is cost me for 45 ACP:

200 grain lead semi-wadcutters, $28 per 500 = .056 ea.
1 lb. (7000 grains) Hodgdon Clays $15, 4.0 grains per round = .0086 ea.
1000 Federal Large Pistol Primers $23, = .023 ea.

.056 + .0086 + .023 = .0876 per round * 50 = $4.38 per box

Lead bullets are dirty the gun much faster but I can go 4-5 boxes without having to worry about it.

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have." -Thomas Jefferson

armoredman

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Re: Cost per Round
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2008, 05:18:50 PM »
I honestly could not tell you. I cast bullets for 9mm and 38spl, and getting to it for 7.62x39mm. I really don't count time/money, as I consider this a great hobby to go along with the other one, shooting. Right now I handload 9mm, 38 Spl., 303 Brit, 7.62x39mm, and 25-06 Remington.

Though it IS kinda fun when co-workers complain about high ammo prices...and I don't.  :neener

Last, I HAVE to cast for 7.62x39 and 25-06 when I get a mould - bought a box of 500 123gr SP .310diameter from Midway - $95! Ouch! Lead I can get for $1 a pound or less.

JesseL

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Re: Cost per Round
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2008, 05:35:08 PM »
Free lead + inherited casting equipment + tiny little charges of Titegroup = most pistol rounds cost slightly less than .22 long rifle. :woohoo
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xsquidgator

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Re: Cost per Round
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2008, 07:24:03 PM »
Free lead + inherited casting equipment + tiny little charges of Titegroup = most pistol rounds cost slightly less than .22 long rifle. :woohoo

You dog!  How did you get cheap primers?  Powder has risen in cost but less so than all the other components.  I'd be truly sitting pretty casting and reloading if it weren't for the primers, which are what 3/4 of the "powder and primer" cost for me.  Don't get me wrong though, even at $4.50 for 100 45s or 357s I'm not complaining! 


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JesseL

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Re: Cost per Round
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2008, 08:13:31 PM »
You dog!  How did you get cheap primers?  Powder has risen in cost but less so than all the other components.  I'd be truly sitting pretty casting and reloading if it weren't for the primers, which are what 3/4 of the "powder and primer" cost for me.  Don't get me wrong though, even at $4.50 for 100 45s or 357s I'm not complaining! 

The last time I bout small pistol primers the price was right where you quoted at $23/1000, according to Midway that's now up around $26/1000, so call it $0.026 per round for primers. Titegroup was $18/lb, but Midway lists it at $15.49 now. I usually run 3.0-5.0 grains of that powder in pistol loads, so that would be $0.0066 - 0.011 per round. So total is around 3.7 cents per round for reloads with free bullets and brass.

The cheapest 500 round brick of .22 I see is $19.79 now so that's 3.95 cents each, and I don't usually like running the cheapest .22s.
Arizona

cpaspr

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Re: Cost per Round
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2008, 08:44:42 PM »
$19.79 / 500 ?  Wow!  That's pretty high compared to around here.

I just bought (12/11 and 12/12) 3 boxes of Federal 550 packs for $13.49 each and a 500 pack of Winchesters the day before at another store for $12.99.

So that's 2.453 and 2.598 cents each.
Oregon

JesseL

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Re: Cost per Round
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2008, 09:08:06 PM »
$19.79 / 500 ?  Wow!  That's pretty high compared to around here.

I just bought (12/11 and 12/12) 3 boxes of Federal 550 packs for $13.49 each and a 500 pack of Winchesters the day before at another store for $12.99.

So that's 2.453 and 2.598 cents each.


Stock up. As far as I can tell you're getting a hell of a deal relative to the average market price.

http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/12843-5.html
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=439553
http://www.jgsales.com/product_info.php/federal-rimfire-ammo/22-long-rifle/p/federal-22lr-36gr-hp-%23745-525rd-value-pack/cPath/258_102_146/products_id/782?osCsid=aca08b335ef917da0aee6647956a8cd2
http://www.grafs.com/product/186389

The cheapest of those is 3.61 cents each.
Arizona

armoredman

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Re: Cost per Round
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2008, 06:13:28 AM »
I wish I had seriously stocked up on AA#1680, ran out, have to order it, too expensive with haz mat shipping. $20 powder becomes $50.

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Re: Cost per Round
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2008, 10:26:33 AM »
Couple notes here-

1.  When ordering powder, try to find a fellow loader(s) in your area to split hazmat with.

2.  The more expensive the factory stuff is, the greater your savings by handloading.  Especcially in calibers that end in the term "magnum".
This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty...
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armoredman

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Re: Cost per Round
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2008, 09:37:27 PM »
Only other loader around here I'd prefer not to chare the planet with, arrogant arse.  :cuss
I agree, though, may have to look around at work.

ridata

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Re: Cost per Round
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2008, 11:53:23 PM »
Stock up. As far as I can tell you're getting a hell of a deal relative to the average market price.


I thought I got a good deal getting two of these for $15 and change each from the LGS here a week ago.
If I saw a guy with a 60cu/ft safe filled to the brim with nothing but Jennings, Lorcins and Hi-Points, I'd look at the guy and say "Right on brother".
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xsquidgator

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Re: Cost per Round
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2008, 07:53:35 PM »
I wish I had seriously stocked up on AA#1680, ran out, have to order it, too expensive with haz mat shipping. $20 powder becomes $50.

I can't recommend Powder Valley enough.  Shipping and the hazmat fee is about $30 ($20 is the hazmat) which sounds bad.  But check the Powder Valley prices!  Their prices are so much better than what I can get locally, and there's the bonus of no sales tax, that it doesn't take that big of an order to do better than I would locally.  PV has most primers for in the range of $23 per 1000 (a little less if you buy 5k in a case) and powders for as low as $15 per pound, in fact I just tonight checked their website and AA1680 is about $15 for a single pound, less per pound if you buy 8#.

Doing the math, my first PV order was about $300 including the shipping and hazmat fee, but the same stuff would have cost me at least $350 locally.  I've made several purchases from them and have been totally satisfied.  The math gets even better if you get a local friend to combine an order with you.  So far I haven't been able to do that, but it doesn't matter, PV has done really well for me just ordering when I feel like it.  I'll be placing a stockup order soon.  I got low on SP primers and my local guy jacked his up to $7 per 100!  (And he's trying to sell a $250 Mossberg 500 for $400, I don't think I'll be going back.  I mean, I like to support the local guy, but come on!  Like the funeral scene in The Big Lebowski where they're cremating their friend, as John Goodman said "we may be bereaved but we're not SAPS!")

armoredman

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Re: Cost per Round
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2008, 06:25:55 PM »
I discovered a co-worker lives around the corner from Sportsman's Warehouse, and he'll pick me up some this weekend! Yea!

Oohrah

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Re: Cost per Round
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2008, 07:30:37 PM »
Us old timers store and barter and lose track of good deals that will never
be as good as the old days.   Recent observations !   When panic primers
buying occured again and unavailable was the norm for all but small amounts,
I think it was Powder Valley that I bought 5000 each of small mag rifle, and
the same amount of large rifle primers for somewhere around $85 each.
   About the same time ordered a couple of boxes of .40 Gold Dots at $27
each plus postage.   A pound of  800X, I think was $17, good for 1000
loads of 7grs each.   PERSONAL DEFENSE LOADS COST $26 to $28 per
twenty rounds.   Haven't done the math or count the brass I had, but
somewhere around $32 or $33 per hundred I make it  worth while, cost
saver.   I also favor the newer G.D.s for short barrels that are the same
price, but I like to use in both my sub compact Glock and standard.


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