Reloading math, or how long to pay off...

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by galladanb, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. galladanb

    galladanb New Member

    So, I was thinking, dangerous, right?

    Concerning Reloading math, or how long will it take to pay off the equipment
    needed for reloading...

    Fist a few assumptions:
    1.) These are my actual costs, yours should vary.
    2.) My figures are based on what I have had to pay, not guesses.
    3.) I am assuming 1 lb. of powder will yield about 7000 grains,
    that is what I understand from advice freely given everywhere.
    4.) I am assuming one caliber, 9mm.
    5.) I am currently buying cleaned and polished once fired brass.
    6.) Once I add a tumbler and ultrasonic, I will need to adjust my results.
    7.) My average ammo price is based on what I have paid in the past for new,
    factory fresh ammo purchased from several sources, local Gun shop, gun
    shows, and retailers such as Walmart.
    8. Assuming current costs remain at present state until payoff is reached.
    (Granted, cost fluctuations will affect outcome, of course!)
    NOTE: I am not a CPA, or even smart enough to be sure my accounting
    process is going to be accurate, others will judge me, I'm sure, LOL!!!

    Now for the costs...
    1.) Lee Classic Turret press kit, dies, digi scale, etc. = $350.00
    2.) Primers, CCI #500, Small Pistol = $40.00 per 1000.
    3.) Brass, $42.35 per 500.
    4.) Powder P-38, $25.00 per pound.
    5.) Bullets, Winchester 115 FMJ, $15.00 per 100.

    My avg. new price is .44 cents per round.
    I figure my average reload price will be around.30 cents per round.
    So, I estimate my savings will be around .15 cents per round.

    Here is the breakdown on my reload supply costs:
    Primer = .04
    Brass = .09
    Bullet = .15
    Powder = .02
    Total = .30 per round.

    Powder computed with the following info:
    1 LB yields approx. 7000 grains, 9mm needs 5.6 grains, therefore,
    1 LB will yield about 1250 loads, $25.00 / 1250 = .02.

    If that is valid, I estimate my time to recover the equipment costs will be
    around 2500 rounds.
    Here is the math on that:
    .44 - .30 = .14 per round savings over new
    $350.00 / .14 = 2500

    Does any of this make sense, and or seem right?
    Have I left anything out?
  2. wrpNYFL

    wrpNYFL Premium Member Lifetime Supporting Member

    Logic seems sound. You may have convinced me to start reloading...

  3. chuckds

    chuckds Certified Glock Armorer

    Looks good to me. Only other thing to consider is your time invested into making your ammo. I use a Dillon 550b and can make 300 rounds a hour very easy. That's counting loading the 3 primer tubes. Time is also spent in inspecting each round and using a case gauge on every round.
    You could save a little more money buying in bulk primers, powder and bullets. Also by re-using your brass the 2nd time brings it down.
  4. Actually, your savings should come faster. Unless I missed something your forgetting that brass you bought can be reloaded numerous times thus drastically reducing brass cost over those 2500 rounds. My 9mm range loads are mid power and I have some brass with 6 reloads on them and still look good.
  5. galladanb

    galladanb New Member

    Very cool... THx, looks like I am on the right track.

    Good point about the brass. I guess I was thinking, I would continue to buy, but a tumbler may really reduce costs in the long run.

    Also, I noticed that the actual 9MM load is going to be around 5.1 and not 5.6 as stated, so that will also shorten the cost and recover time...

    And BTW, my time was not considered only because I am semi-retired and really don't have anything better to do, LOL!!!!

    Yahoo, sounds like I'm good to go...
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  6. Silver-Bolt

    Silver-Bolt Well-Known Member

    Supplies are tough these days and prices are high. I am not reloading yet but have several friends that do. Under normal times they are loading 115gr 9mm FMJ at $.10/ea-$.12/ea range. Your $.30/ea cost seems very high to me. I am paying under that for new factory Remington/Winchester/Federal ammo today.
  7. galladanb

    galladanb New Member

    Hey Silver, THx for your thoughts...

    As I mentioned, these prices are what I have actually paid, in today's market.
    I know it seems high, but this is what it cost me as of today. There are NO estimates or opinions here.

    I guess, the market is what it is, where you are at. Of course it will vary.

    If you can get ammo for a really great price, you should get it. I am simply reporting
    what my local costs are, and my actual cash outlays, so far.

    My local Walmart and gun shops charge what they charge, when they have it.
    And that really is the key to the conversation, what can you walk away with.
    It has been very tuff to find ammo at any price lately.

    Occasionally, one can find ammo at Walmart but it is seldom and very random.
    I have gone over EVERY morning for several weeks and got nothing.
    Then one day, I checked at 3 in the afternoon, and they had 3 boxes.

    So, if you can get it, get it. I can not seem to find any around here...

    I however, started this journey so that I would have ammo when I wanted it, and I want to
    build up supplies and stock. I guess for the "Be off the grid" times, so to speak.

    And as mentioned, I am buying cleaned and prepped brass, and once I start doing my own,
    my costs will drop, for sure.

    I welcome all thoughts of course. That's why I put this out there...
  8. galladanb

    galladanb New Member


    Ask your friends where they are getting their supplies from in today's market?

    They may be using pre-gouging supplies, and that would of course drop the price.

    But by far the biggest cost for me is the actual bullets, at $15.00 per 100, no bulk
    available at the store I go to.

    I continue to check online at MANY sites, and they are all out of stock. It's that simple.

    I see that Out of Stock, no back order flag a lot!!!!!
  9. galladanb

    galladanb New Member

    Oh Silver, AGAIN, THANK YOU!!!!

    After a quick check this morning, both from my favs and yours,
    I still see that Out of Stock, no back order flag a lot!!!!!

    Your first link seems to be the way to go and they do have stock, and
    don't appear to be price gouging. I will check back with them after I get
    my first 200 rounds loaded. That's the QTY that I have ready to go today.

    I have added your links to my bookmarks for future reference!
  10. TheGeekiestGuy

    TheGeekiestGuy New Member

    Get a reloading app, they have them for iPhone and Android, you input all costs and it does every calculation for you.
  11. sdglock23

    sdglock23 Glockoholic

    Reloading is more than worth it. It saves money, gives you much more options as you can tailor a load for your needs. Plus it just gives you something to do when it's rainy outside! Bored? Tumble some brass, deprime/resize brass, think up loads, etc. Just make sure to buy a chronograph, they're priceless.
  12. zenabi90

    zenabi90 New Member

    Reloading also gives you a chance to really experiment with powder recipes to see what will give you more accurate results based on your particular gun.

    Just remember, never ever ever under any circumstances double load. Be ever vigilant.
  13. galladanb

    galladanb New Member

    Hey Geek Guy...

    I downloaded a couple of apps. Was disappointed that they do not keep the
    info after you shut them off. Seems like one woould want that info for

    I got the RCBS and another free one...

    Before I go googling, what the heck is a Chono graph? I had a watch called
    that once, but never understood what that means. Then some jackwaggon
    broke in and sole it....

    Thx for all the comments, y'all!!!!
  14. It measures projectile velocity (feet per second).
  15. TheGeekiestGuy

    TheGeekiestGuy New Member

    Hey there, the only one I have on my phone right now is called "Hand-Load"...
    As far as I can tell it'll save your info and calculate cost savings for multiple-use brass.
    It may take a little getting used to it, but it's nice to be able to calculate exactly how much you save, and at least it's free...

    PM me if you need help figuring out how to use it.
  16. SteveC

    SteveC New Member

    It's a really good idea to crunch the numbers and really understand the costs. Down the line, you will have amortized all those costs and your payoff will be even better. As people have noted, you have to figure in your time also, and that's worth something, but it's offset by the fact that learning to reload has a fun factor - it's a cool thing to learn, and not just labor. Plus you can do things with your loads that just are not options if you're buying manufactured ammo. I'm accumulating the stuff too, partly for savings, partly for the ability to load specifically for my purposes, and partly just for the fun of it.
  17. galladanb

    galladanb New Member

    Honestly, my main goal is savings. Whether realized or perceived.
    Either way, I will, and it will be enough.

    And heck, after, I'm gone, maybe my peeps will go, Man he knew a lot!!!
    My goodness, Dan was a very complicated guy in ALL that he knew!!!
    What is all of this crap!!! LOL!!!
  18. retread1911

    retread1911 New Member

    I am new here so let me give you a little background on my reloading experience. I started in 1984 on RCBS single stage equipment loading 223 357/38. I still have all that old equipment but have added the Dillon RL 1050 and a Dillon XL 650 over the years along with all the popular calibers. I would estimate I have loaded in the neighborhood of 300,000 rounds.

    Now on to my advice. If you are doing it just for the dollars don't. You will never save one thin dime by reloading. What? But the ammo is 10 cents to 50% cheaper than factory ammo. That is true. See what will happen is that you will simply pull the trigger more. You will find the GSSF matches are fun then perhaps stumble over bullseye and heaven forbids you ever get the IPSC BUG. The all bets are off you get hooked and you all of a sudden swap your nice new car for a 1998 ford escort to buy more guns and components. Oh wait that was me.

    As I said earlier in my post I have used RCBS and Dillon mainly. Some Lee but not much. What I have learned is that consistency is driven by the ability to setup your dies and never move them. That has led me to the Dillon progressive presses. Someone else reference a 550B. Nice press and one I would recommend for someone starting. I really like the new style Dillon dies as even with the seating and crimp dies you can take them apart to clean them without changing the settings.

    One of the most important things about reloading is the ability to tune a specific load to a specific purpose. For example I run 124 MG for mp both my 9mm major loads for IPsC and steel challenge. I can get my major PF right at 171 and my steel challenge down to 130 and still keep the gun functioning 100%

    The difference is huge when it comes to competitions.

    So I started this post with the fact that you will never save a dime, ended it with why I have been committed to the cause for almost 30 years now.

    Good luck and let us know what you buy. My recommendation is buy the most expensive Dillon press you can afford. You will not be sorry.
  19. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporting Member

    ^^ Exactly...^^

    saving money: zero...

    shooting more: priceless