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Thread: How many Really count costs?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    How many Really count costs?

    Not wanting to hijack OS OK's thread about costs, but I was wondering, how many really count the costs for reloading and casting?

    I don't. I didn't start to "save money" either, I was mainly curious ("I wonder if I could reuse these?" as I emptied a cylinder in 1968). Of course I don't buy components willy-nilly, just poking the "buy it now" button, I still shop, but money/costs are not my main objective. It would be really difficult for me to compare costs as the prices of my components/supplies vary greatly and have been purchased over the years (I have powder from 1990, primers from '02, brass from '69, lead from 1998 to 2009, some components were on sale when I bought them, some purchased locally and some had hazmat fees attached). I reload because I like to. I like trying different components, different methods and qualifying/recording results. I like nearly every aspect of reloading (except maybe bending over and picking up brass) and I have much more time for reloading than I have for shooting. I also cast my own bullets; taking grungy wheel weights and scrap lead, melting and cleaning and finally casting, lubing and sizing my "perfect" bullets. Great satisfaction.

    So, how many members put money/costs high on their reasons for reloading and casting?
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    shoot-n-lead's Avatar
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    I don't...but then I know what it costs to load anything that I load.

    But, for those thinking of starting, potential savings is almost always a driving factor.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I count, in some cases.

    For instance, I shoot a 69 cal musket. The Lyman mold cost about the same as 3/4 a bag of 100 balls.

    Making my own, I'm paying just lead cost now, a savings of nearly 90% of the previous cost.

    I also shoot safari calibers like 416 Rigby, 458 Lott, 458 winmag. Those ammunition types can cost 80-120$ per box of 20, not counting shipping.

    I'm now reloading those cartridges for a couple rounds per dollar easily, and that's using j-word commercial bullets. Casting my own, and I'm down to alloy cost, gas check, powder and primer. I can do a box of 20 for just a couple bucks... Most of that is powder cost now.

    In fact, the more big stuff I shoot, the more gear I pay off that gets used on calibers with closer margins.

    Shotshells are about the only thing that is too close to expend labor on.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    I don't put a value on what I'm doing. I cast and handload because I want better quality ammunition and because I enjoy it. I'm an accuracy freak I suppose. Like the OP, I love tinkering in my shop and trying different combos in search of the "holy grail" loads for my firearms. I won't say that money is no object, but if I really need something I usually just buy it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master therealhitman's Avatar
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    Keep track? Of expenditures? For GUN STUFF? Oh goodness no. That just won't do. What if the Russians hacked it and leaked it to yer wife?

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Ithaca Gunner's Avatar
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    I don't, for me it's about self reliance. Not depending on the ammo companies.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master clintsfolly's Avatar
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    I never saved a dime loading but have got to shot more for my money!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Looking at my mold cabinet(s)...... I don't really wanna know. It would be depressing.
    Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    I reload to shoot and in high power matches couldn't always buy the best bullet ammo factory loaded for it. I also liked tuning the load to a particular firearm or use. ( How about a light 300 win mag load that prints to point of aim for pot meat while hunting). Or a Speacialty load for use inside or around buildings? I mainly cast bullets I cant buy for the BPCR rifles or the desired lube isn't available. I reload and cast to do things with my firearms I normally couldn't.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    I like the fact that I can reuse the brass and come up with my own loads.

    with 4 rotatory cuff surgeries, 2 on each shoulders, I also will tailor the shotguns loads to something below Featherlites.

    I enjoy the processes and they keep me off the streets which is great for everyone on foot near a road upon which I drive
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I keep track of about how much stuff costs.
    Average 9mm or 38 round is about $.08 - .03 for the primer, .02 for the powder, and .03 for the bullet with PC.
    10mm or .45 is about .02 more since they use a little more lead and powder.
    44 loads are probably a little over $.10
    .30-06 loads depend greatly on the type and amount of powder used. the powder for .30-06 can range from $.03 for 10 grains unique up to over $.20 for a full charge of slow burning rifle powder.
    All my numbers are approximate but they're close enough for me. I guarantee reloading and casting hasn't saved me a penny, but I have been able to buy and shoot guns I otherwise wouldn't have been interested in.

  12. #12
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    Everything I own has paid for itself long ago so 10 cents a shot is common. But I see the point when a friend comes to shoot $2 a shot loads. Most now load but I still see them buying some things too cheap for quality. You still must be careful to reach or exceed factory loads. Buy something that does not work is still a waste.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    I don't. Reloading never saved me a cent. I just shoot more.
    "A Veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one point in their life, signed a blank check made payable to "The United States of America", for an amount of "up to and including my life." That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it. -- Author Unknown"

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    I shoot to empty brass for loading. I really do enjoy it that much. Since I'm already shooting, the cost isn't that important. The tools are paid for and the lead is free so the cost is just powder, primers, and time.
    BTW I make my own BP, and swage many of my jacketed bullets. I quit counting at 80+ molds. Of course this is a 54 yearn old hobby.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Technically I do. Anything I've ever bought is logged in Quicken. I started using it when I was 16 so we're talking 21 years of transaction records. I itemize everything. It's interesting to go back and see what I paid. Every year I run a report to see how much I've spent. But the thing is, I don't care. It's all discretionary spending. I can tell you what it costs to load a round for any cartridge. But it's irrelevant. It's a hobby and I know I'm going to lose money.

    I didn't get into reloading to save money. I did it to be self sufficient. That's why I added casting, gas check making, black powder making......the list goes on. IMO if you started to reloading to save money you're in it for the wrong reason. Producing rounds that are more accurate than factory fodder is the payoff.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    One of the reasons I started this thread was yesterday I was standing in line at the local box store and the feller behind me plopped down 5 boxes of Winchester White Box 45 ACP, 230, FMJ cartridges. I was wondering if he just inherited a million dollars or saved up his money for a year. Then I wondered, for mebbe 1.5 seconds, what my 45 ACP ammo cost me then took my beef jerky and went out to my truck...
    Last edited by mdi; 03-16-2017 at 03:49 PM.
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    I have .
    In some cases the savings is huge !

    45-70 is new to me , $1.34-2.50 a shot .
    45 Colts not new to me $0.70-90 a shot .
    264 WM sort of new $2.25-2.75 a shot .
    32 Rem Unavailable $3-5 a shot .
    All of these and many others come out at $14-18/100 for rifles and 10-12 for pistols if I bought lead and amortization of moulds and tools . $21 won't buy a box of 20 name brand rifle ammo above 22-250 anymore and I haven't seen a $10 box of 50 9mm or 38 in I don't know how long .

    Yes I keep track , no it's not important to the process , yes it's awesome to go to the range and shoot $25 worth of the same stuff my buddy Jorge is and know his cost him $60-100 and his spent brass all goes in my bucket .

    I don't even know that I shoot more for the same money , in that context . I do know that if it cost me $0.50-3.00 every time I pulled the trigger I would not be pulling it half as often and a half a box of Colts would be a whole of shooting for me .
    Can you imagine going to the range and shooting a full magazine in the 92' and 2 cylinders in the SAA and going home ?
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Some folks start reloading so they can shoot more for the same money. Some of them end up shooting a lot so they can reload more. I fit that description for several years as I'm certain several do or have.

    First off I'm so far in the hole the tunnel has closed up, definitely no light at the end. I handload and cast bullets these days so I can shoot a lot of old, obsolete, obscure, long out of production German cartridges chambered in some fascinating and beautiful rifles. To do that often requires lathe or mill work so when you throw a lathe and mill in your loading room the tool cost went up considerably, even bench top machines. So no, I don't count costs. It would probably be enough to choke a mule or scare me to death.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I do a ruff calculation now and then just to convince myself I'm saving money .started out trying to save money now I handload for accuracy and soothe my soul.��

  20. #20
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdi View Post
    Not wanting to hijack OS OK's thread about costs, but I was wondering, how many really count the costs for reloading and casting?
    No hijack taken...that bit about cost was merely for the Newb's considerations...it seems to be a major portion of their decision to pull the trigger. I was just trying to troll some more Newbs into getting involved and joining us here. Getsome NewBlood out of the Lurkers!

    When I was a kid and had a Cop for a Dad I was introduced to guns at a very young age...it stuck! Unfortunately on a Cops salary there is not much to go around for a family of 4 kids...just the essentials but adequate...no complaints here.
    I did start a 'bucket list' as a kid for all the things I couldn't do in my youth. I decided then to prepare myself to have a family and career to earn enough to go round with plenty left over.
    I made up for those lean years as an adult and drug my entire family along for the fun...fun is important in my estimation of a 'well balanced life'.

    Therefore I never considered the cost of handloading or casting...it was on the list and I did it without anyone doing without. The other part was to always be self sufficient in every aspect of living if possible. Also to learn other trades and skills and do them with the most expertise possible. I always investigate everything I can find out about something new I'm interested in...IMO the worst thing I can do is try to do something on the 'cheap' just for the sake of 'half-asp' doing something...Naaawp...either do it right or don't bother...I never got an 'atta boy' from Dad for 'half-asping' anything.

    No...cost is not a factor.
    “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” G. Orwell

    "A handshake or your word is all it takes…don't screw that up."…charlie

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check