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Thread: How many Really count costs?

  1. #61
    Boolit Master
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    Leadmelter - it must be something in our Michigan water as I'm like you. LOL Not knocking other folk's activities at all, but my wife and I have always lived pretty frugally so we could enjoy our retirement. Like your wife, mine knows where I'm at and I have been blessed with the love of my life for 45 years. She has her hobbies and I have mine and if she wants something, then I tell her to get it. In my upcoming move though, I know I need to downsize on some things - not because I don't want or need to keep it but to make things a little simpler for her if something happens to me. If I'm bone and she sells the stuff to someone, no, she certainly won't get back what I have in it but how can you put a price on the hours and hours of enjoyment? When you get to the age where you know you are on the "downhill slope" - things become pretty clear as far as just what the important things are in life . . . and hearses don't have luggage racks or trailer hitches. We have never put hobbies ahead of bills or savings and I would easily give up my hobbies if it meant that I could have another five minutes with my loved ones but we have no say over those things . . . so enjoy your hobbies whatever they may be . . . even it it's just sitting on a river bank and fishing with an old cane pole while you enjoy the beauty of nature that's been bestowed on us!

  2. #62
    Boolit Master
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    when i got started into loading and casting. price had a lot to do with it . a box of .38 cost $8.50 .357 mag. were $14.00. I bought my first .357 pistol a 4 5/8 ruger for $60. .38 brass was cheep even free. I read skeeter skeltons works so I shot a lot of his hot 38 loads. with bullets hand dipped in a single cavity 358429 mold. I was shooting near mag loads for about $3.00 a box.

    then when the price of ammo dropped it was the convince. now it is the convince and price again.

  3. #63
    Boolit Bub
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    When I started reloading about 3 years ago, it was both to save money and because of a lack of available ammo. I did a cost to benefit analysis and found that if I didn't cast my own boolits, it would still be too expensive. So, instead of buying a thousand boolits, I bought a Lee Pro 20, a 2 cavity mold, and several hundred pounds of wheelweights. The Lee pro 1000 was less than $200, and rounded out my kit. That's less than $400 for a reloading kit with enough components for a thousand rounds.

    If I Hadn't of started reloading, I'd have bought WWB ammo. In 45acp, it would have cost the same amount $400, but it wasn't available at the time. So after the first thousand rounds, I consider the price for the reloading equipment a wash.

    I've added a few things like a couple of molds, a PID, powder scale and more consumables. But all told I'm still well under $800 for all my reloading equipment and components I've reloaded well over three thousand rounds of 45acp.

    Have I saved money? On a purely price per round basis, I've saved at least $400 so far and have enough components for three thousand more rounds. Thinking more esoterically, if I didn't reload, would I have bought all those rounds? I doubt it. I just couldn't justify the expense for a hobby.

    All in all, looking back, I've spent more money than If I didn't reload, but, where I used to shoot 200 rounds for $80, I now shoot 1000 rounds for about the same price. I've made some good friends an learned alot along the way. I would do it again in a heart beat.
    Last edited by Green Ghost; 03-18-2017 at 01:23 PM. Reason: clarity

  4. #64
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    As a 14 year old farm kid you bet I got into it so I could shoot more for less money.
    Other than casting my own bullets for certain guns I'm not sure about saving much nowadays. But if I did the math(I won't!) Maybe 100 reloaded 22-250's are still cheaper than 100 factory Remington or Winchesters. Definitely more accurate!
    Best, Thomas.

  5. #65
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Well I may be different than many. I do not count tools in reloaded cost.

    A tool, be it a hand primer, a deprimer, a press, a mold is an investment in my future for a hobby which I enjoy. A 25$ Lee mold pays for itself IMO after the first couple hundred useable boolits made. It would cost as much to buy precast, and have zero control over contents, lube, etc.

    So for me it seems a better bargain. I mostly don't count the cost of brass, that too is an investment in the future. May take years or decades to pay off fully, may never fully repay what I put into it. But you have to have brass to reload. I was lucky enough to get 25 lb box of 9mm, .40sw for 50$ from our range, another of .45acp for 75$. And considered myself lucky at the time. They tend to have reasonable prices on rifle brass also. I have bought at least 400 .30-30 brass at 8$ per 50 and put a 10 $ donation in their jar when I found 200 rounds of prime .30-30 brass at a time when I had 2 new to me rifles and no brass.


    To shoot, you need to consider primers, need one for every round, I prefer CCI or Win.
    Powder, I get by real cheap with Red Dot mostly. Lead, bought a lot of range lead here, some tin, some lino. Some WW from RedRiver at a good price, delivered. And a thousand thanks for it.

    Those things go away with every shot. Primer is gone, powder is burned, in my club lead is not recoverable by me. So those are costs I have to track.

    Tools remain, time, well I'm retired, I'm made of time. Energy is a little harder to come by.
    Lately the ammo shelf is groaning, so I don't feel much need to be very active.

    I did however recently find a great buy on some .444 brass, snapped those up, and loaded them too. It being one of the few calibers that is a bit in short supply on the shelf.

    Fired a few of those today, but was having nothing but troubles. Scope mount and rings were loose, the 3 rifle paper stations were all full and the elecronic stations said I was not hitting the 4' x 4' target.

    So be it, I'm happy, the light load of Red Dot went bang, the impulse to my shoulder was amazingly light, and I could hear the bullet smack the far end someplace. So it was not all bad.

    There will be a better day.

  6. #66
    Boolit Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    I just thought of another reason for my reloading and casting, and again, it isn't about costs. Convenience. I remember having to go to a gun shop and I did not really care for the owner (self proclaimed and very vocal "expert" on every firearm ever made and all aspects of reloading). So, I bought a Lee mold, mail order, so I wouldn't have to deal with him (silly? maybe, but I realized that was a definite reason)...
    Last edited by mdi; 03-20-2017 at 12:05 PM.
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  7. #67
    Boolit Man
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    I don't really count costs, but I do keep loose track of component prices. On occasion someone interested in reloading may ask about the potential cost savings, so I explain reloads cost me "about half" of factory ammo. People interested in reloading are also told it's more about accuracy or making a cartridge that is not available commercially for whatever reason(s).

  8. #68
    Boolit Master
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    It is hard to put a price on a good time.

  9. #69
    Boolit Master


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    Its an obsession. No better way to explain it. You have empty cases you have to clean them and reload them simple as that. You have thousands of bullets cast and its still not enough. The more you have the more you want. You buy another gun and now you purchase the reloading dies, and assorted primers, powders, and bullet molds so that you can save money by reloading. In my case I will never break even and if a tally up the costs of all the gear its simpler and less costly to just buy it off the shelf. The only redeaming factor about reloading is when the shelves are empty you have a stash when everyone else is frantically looking for ammo.

  10. #70
    Boolit Man
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    I do not. That said the outrageous prices of 12 gauge slugs and buckshot got me into reloading. Metallic reloading followed soon behind.

  11. #71
    Boolit Master JBinMN's Avatar
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    Interesting topic! I have enjoyed reading all the posts!


    As for me... I don't really count the costs anymore.

    I made the determination back when I first started reloading, that if I wanted to be able to determine & control that factors involved in shooting my weapons "economically", it would be less expensive for me to reload my own than to buy factory rounds. ( Same with fishing jigs & sinkers) Time in doing it was not a factor. I had the time to spare, but not a lot of $$ to spare. As life got more busy with my business, I spent much of my leisure time in hunting & fishing. So, Since I was making more $$, and had less time, I just bought factory rounds + jigs & sinkers to fill the needs. Now as I have become older & am semi retired, I am back to having more time & less $$. So I started making jigs & sinkers for fishing & have begun reloading ( & now casting boolits) again. I have to watch costs a little due to less $$ coming in, but only for a month to month cost for budgeting sake of what "leftover" $$ I have to spend once bills are paid. Thus, not really counting costs, just budgeting.

    I kind of look at it like this... It costs me about $3.50 to buy a can or bottle of beer or a "bar brand" cocktail at an average working mans' bar/tavern around here. I can go to the local liquor store to buy a 24 can case of Budweiser & it costs me around $0.83 for that same beer. If I buy a bottle of booze, I can make my drinks for somewhere around the same. Using a different method, if I spend $20.00 in a bar, I get 5 beers/drinks with $2.50 for a tip, paying for someone to serve the drink & the "atmosphere".. If I spend $20.00 for a 24 beer case of Bud, I obviously get 24 beers for the same $$. The drinks in the bar are supposed to stay at the bar. The beer I take with me can go anywhere I want to take them. I have more freedom to choose what I want to do & how I spend my $$, by doing the "serving" myself & I don't have to pay for the "atmosphere". I reckon it all depends on what you want to do with your time & $$, right?

    As another example, I smoked for 40+ plus years before I quit a short time ago. I started rolling my own smokes "by hand", & then, as I made more $$, I just bought packs & cartons. A few years ago, I started rolling my own by using a machine & store bought filtered tubes, mostly to save $$. A pack of factory smokes around here costs about $8.00, I roll a pack for $1.00 in materials and it only takes me five minutes to roll a pack of 20. Less time than it would take me to go to a store and buy one. So, once again, it goes back to what ya want to do with your time & $$.

    So, like I said in the beginning, I really don't count the costs anymore... Once I have determined what I want to do with my time & $$. Pretty much the same with a lot of my decisions in life. LOL

  12. #72
    Boolit Master

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    I count the cost... but only when I have to buy primers and powder occasionally.
    22lr ammo is getting dearer all the time.
    hell last case cost me $3.50 per packet now $7

    I usually try and avoid gun shops and temptation.
    I prefer to only have to whine and cry once in a while.

    Save money...well if I worked for $5/hr I could probably just shoot factory ammo and let the cases lay where they landed from all the time wasting it takes to cast and load good ammo.
    But it keeps me off the streets...but my wife thinks that I could spend more time doing things around here besides just fishing and shooting.

    Wasted my youth doing the same ....may as well keep going...hell I might get the hang of it yet!
    At only 55 have a long way to go.

  13. #73
    Boolit Master
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    I'm a degenerate casting, SML shooting and lead scrounging addict. Yes cost is a part. With 15 ML bullets in a vac-pak hanging in the LGS for $25 it is really easy to shoot more and still save $. That $25 will easy pay for 100 sabots and way more than 100 boolits. Powder and primer outlay more but still saving considerable dollars and shooting all I want. Plus I get to mine ranges and berms. Feeding the addiction, usually run low on time before I run out of $. 10
    10 gauge: as per Robert Ruark, "use enough gun"

    MOLON LABE

    "I have a list, and am prepared for widespread civil disorder!" 10 ga

  14. #74
    Boolit Master

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    Well one could just substantiate every thing by the cost of 410 ammo alone.
    Anything that is not common military calibres or other stuff.

    Even 303 shooters complain about the cost of projectiles now.

    Well at least I know I will be able to use the same projectiles with out them drying up or never stocked again.

    I ran into a bloke I have seen down the range the other day while at the post office.
    Sending back a mold to the seller.
    He couldn't see any benefit in a eagan mould and have seen them things advertised as cheap as $20 bucks.
    He was grateful that he could still afford factory projectiles and not have to use those things.

    Poor bugga me

  15. #75
    Boolit Master reloader28's Avatar
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    I count it usually. Most everything is paid off fairly fast.
    If your shooting 300 Weatherby or RUM you can actually pay for an entire RCBS reloading kit with only 4 boxes of ammo.

  16. #76
    Boolit Master LAKEMASTER's Avatar
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    It was a no brainer for me.

    When you save up to $0.65 a round, its not a hard decision.

    I sometimes view my pinking ammo as [ ammount i saved ] verses what it cost to reload said ammo.
    Lee Loadmaster - Lee O-frame - Lee Melting Pot - Lee......... EVERYTHING

  17. #77
    Boolit Master


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    Even at .65 a round it would take me in excess of 10K rounds to try to brake even for equipment costs alone.

  18. #78
    Boolit Master

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    I only count the cost when I reach in my pocket to get the money out to buy what I want . I enjoy being able to custom load for my rifles , and shotguns . After doing that for 30 years I discovered the joy of casting . My only regret is I didn't start casting for handguns back then so I'm trying to make up for it now .

  19. #79
    Boolit Man finstr's Avatar
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    Not any more I don't.
    Here cheap .45acp ammo is $24 per box. Without factoring my time, I can reload 50 shells for about $2, maybe less.
    I get the lead WW's for free
    I get range scrap lead for free
    I get the propane to smelt for free
    I got 2,500 brass for free

    The price of the moulds, 4-20 pot, HF powder, toaster oven and everything else that I made for smelting has long since paid for itself.

    I have friends and new shooters that come by to smelt and cast for their own calibers. It's my way of paying it forward. Heck I even buy the molds for those just so I have them.
    I'm the gun totin, meat eatin', BIBLE readin', redneck conservative your mother always warned you about.

    " Holes kill stuff. "

  20. #80
    Boolit Master


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    The average reloader isn't going to get his components for free. Consider the average reloader trying to reload 45acp is going to spend lets say 4.5 cents for brass, 3 cents for a primer, 5 cents for a lead cast bullet and 2 cents for powder. This would equate to 14.5 a round or $7.50 for a box of 50.
    Last edited by 6bg6ga; 03-23-2017 at 07:57 AM.

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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