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Discussion Starter #1
Do you think reloading is cheaper than factory? See, I was about to embark on a new calibre, and looked at the cost of dies, maybe different primers, powders and of course, bullets. Then I considered I dont shoot longer ranges anymore, and factory Mil Spec Ball isn't that pricy. I mean, the reloaded will be cheaper, but not that much so. I have reloaded for almost 50 years so know cost is not the only reason, but my question is about that. Any thoughts?
 

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I'd have to say it depends on the cartridge. If it is available at a good price, and easy to get, than reloading may not pay off. If the round is not popular or common, then reloading may be the only way you can get ammo. I've just gathered all the components and dies for reloading my .56-50 Spencer carbine. I understand there is loaded ammo available but the price is high.

More commonly I reload for my .375 Winchester and a .41 magnum, neither of which are cheap if you rely on factory ammo. If I were shooting a 5.56 I would probably be happy shooting a lot of the commercial ammo out there.
 

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If it is a round you shoot a lot it allows you to shoot more. IMO it does not save you money. I know i have dies etc. that i have lost money on as i don't shoot that caliber much. I may be called a heretic for saying this but I have never really enjoyed reloading but if I wanted to shoot a lot it was necessary. I do enjoy knowing that I can equal or better most factory ammo. I also find it satisfying looking at a bucket of finished ammo. I started with a turret press and now to both rifle and pistol with a Dillon 650. When the first Dillon came out I jumped on it. I can't imagine using a single stage press I think my attention would wander and I would screw up.

Padraig
 

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After you buy the equipment to do it with the answer is yes . I don't buy anything commercially loaded but rimfire stuff and that has gotten so sorry lately that I haven't bought much of that .
 

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Good thoughts so far.

I already reload, but only for handgun cartridges like the .357 for my 1894c. I sorta balked at the cost of expanding (scuse the pun) into .30 cals. Not just the cost of dies, I already have a good multi stage press, but bullets and powder etc. I did a rough calculation and came out at 75% of the cost I can buy factory. Though as said, Mil Spec ball, nothing fancy. But thats what I burn 99% of the time now. I do shoot a fair bit and am on a range most weeks at least once.
 

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As mentioned above, some cartridges are very expensive - the big African cartridges for example. And, some cartridges have become so obscure as to be virtually unobtainable. Further, there are applications which demand loads other than those typically available commercially. My subsonic 45-70 cartridges for use with a suppressor are an example. If any of the these circumstances apply, I think the answer to your question is YES.

You alluded to the fact that cost savings alone is not typically the sole reason for reloading. For me, I find the process very relaxing and satisfying. That coupled with all of the reasons above which do apply to me, I can't understand why I didn't start reloading sooner!!!

T.S.
 

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I think so. When I go to the range and shoot 100 rounds of 45 ACP and 100 rounds of 357 Magnum I save a lot of money over paying for commercial ammo. I can also do that more often because it is so cheap. I am only paying for powder , primer and cheap bullets. Many rifle rounds save even more like 45/70 and 35 Remington 308 Winchester all save me a good bit. Of course buying the press and dies cost but I only buy them once and figure they were paid for many years ago. I have enough brass to last me and a few others a life time. I also load 223 and even 9mm because it is easy and makes it nice to always have plenty on hand. I probably save a little on those for better ammo than what cheap bulk stuff would cost me but I would not get into reloading for those. I started reloading for rounds like 300 BO and 45 acp or 45/70.
 

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Agree with all the above. i find it relaxing and Im a bit OCD when it comes to things like this. I started for the plain fact that I could "make it better" than factory.
I do see a cost savings in reloading a good amount of calibers, especially the obscure or wildcat rounds which I am a sucker for.

I do reload for pretty much all the common, everyday pistol calibers out there even though it might not save a LOT of money, I still do.. I have a local supply of free 9mm, 45, and 40 brass, once fired, so I do get to start out with not having that little bit of cost. for 45 and 9mm, I do cast my own bullets for general range blasting as I can so thru a LOT of rounds in a day, and save my jacketed stuff for more serious work..

It absolutely saves on the wildcats and expensive rounds like the 458 socom.
That round can go upwards of $4 a round some places, reloads put me around .90-$1.00

I guess it all turns out relative in the end, considering how you end up absorbing the total, overall cost of equipment and how many rounds you shoot to break even and have the reloading supplies pay for themselves. once you cover that cost, it is definately cheaper... just how long it takes you to get to the break even point.
 

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Reloading, to me, is all about tailoring your ammo to your specific wants/needs. Off the shelf is fine but I really get a little satisfaction in making something myself that, in my mind anyway, is superior to what I can buy.

It's something to escape in to the garage to do also.... NOT saying that I don't LOVE to sit in the living room and watch Wheel with the wife.:embarassed:
 

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+1 on it depends on the caliber. 9mm saves some, 12 guage I can get on sale cheaper than I can buy the components (although I do still have the equipment), but when you get to something like 338 Winchester Magnum, with a retail of around $60.00/box, and I can reload it for around $20.00/box, well, it pays for itself in a big hurry. I load for most everything I own, but there are a few that I don't shoot hardly at all. that I don't reload for.
 

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for me its probably an addiction at this stage of life.
i produce top quality ammo taylored for each firearm, i know i save a huge amount of money because i cast boolits from .224 though .458 using alloys that cost me nothing. for full power loads like 5.56, 243,6.5, 308 and 30-06 i buy blemished hunting bullets sometimes even for 35 whelen when i'm running low and they are available. I spent years scrounging and picking up unwanted brass at ranges and I'm just frugal. There is no way I could afford to buy factory ammo for the 50+ calibers i reload
 

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Nope. Your ammo budget is your budget. Either you shoot more for the same cost, shoot more for the same cost but less than you could because you spend some of your ammo budget on additional reloading toys, or you spend less because you reload but are at a stage in your life where you don’t shoot as much because you are too busy.

That about covers it.
 

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After looking though all the factory ammo I bought during the last ammo shortage---I make much better stuff. My cartridges don't have varying COALs, varying crimps, ill fitting primers, use the same bullet for the same ammo lot (yes--I have opened boxes of factory ammo where jacketed rounds and lead rounds were together), cracked cases, and rusty brass cases. I shoot a lot so I probably break even cost wise vs factory ammo--but I feel my rounds are more precisely put together and probably more safe to shoot.
 

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For me it is a definite yes. I load for 25 different calibers and when I sit down to load a particular caliber the absolute MINIMUM I load is 100 but most of the time 500 batches (once I've got the load figured out of course). Reloads for me are more than just the cost savings, it's about the accuracy of the ammo. There isn't any factory ammo that I have shot in any caliber that will shoot better than my reloads in any particular gun. At best some factory might shoot "as good" but that is very rare. It does take time though to work a load up, but once you have it for a particular rifle you should be good to go. I have THREE different sets of dies for 45-70, one for my guide guns, one for my long range Win 1886 and Marlin CB and a different set for my 1874 Sharps. The dies pay for them selves in an afternoon at that caliber.
Just my .02!
cheers!
 

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There is no doubt reloading saves me money. Anymore I shoot more 38 thru 45 revolver and the older LV rifles 25/20- 45/70 than the more modern stuff. I also cast my own bullets witch is a big savings. I load revolver ammo 500 batches and rifle 100. Since I already have the brass the savings is a no brainer. Price a box of 45Colt or 45/70. I use to load 22 CF Varmit cartridges buy the 100s too. The demise of the groundhog in my area has cut me way back on that. I have 100+ die sets and presently loading for around 25 calibers.
The biggest part of my loading equippment has been bought used over last 50 yrs. I'm sure every piece I own has payed for itself many times over. The only dies that I will sell are wildcats that go with rifle I'm selling or sets I have multiples of. Rule #1 sell your dies and next day you will buy another rifle in that caliber.
 
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