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I have been reloading 53 years and reloading has saved me a huge amount of money. On top of that the reloads I work up have always been more accurate than any factory ammo that I have tried regardless of the cost of the factory ammo. Say what you want about the latest and greatest factory ammo but a savvy reloader can tune his ammunition to the gun in such a way to out shoot any ammo coming from a factory. Believe me the quality of the bullets, powders, technology, and reloading equipment/dies available these days available to reloaders has kept up. The trend these days is so spend a fortune on a gun that will shoot factory ammunition accurately. I have spent my money on reloading components to make my rifles as accurate as the high dollar rifles.

Reloading has been and still is one of the wisest decisions that I have ever made. Reloading components are subject to market price due to the political ups and downs but so is ammo. Right now ammo prices are coming down a little quicker than reloading components. But in my 53 years of riding the reloading storm I have never regretted reloading.
Hey if I can get a standard grade M1A shoot 1 MOA, hand loaded ammo is infinitely worth it! :)
 

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I started reloading in 1978 after buying a S&W model 29. I wanted to be able to try different loads and save some money to shoot more often. I still reload for 38special,44special,44mag, 45acp, 475linebaugh, and 22-250. I have never loaded for 9mm because ammo was usually cheap and I don't shoot more than 500rds a year of it. I only load for 223 if I want match or varmint loads, otherwise I buy brass cased FMJ ammo. I loaded 45colt and 454casull for years also, but recently sold all my guns in those calibers.
I don't really enjoy reloading anymore. If I can't save enough money to be worth my time, I'll just buy ammo when the prices are reasonable.
If I were starting out now to buy equipment, I would still not load for 9mm. Some other calibers you don't have much choice if you want to shoot much.
 

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About 10 years ago, I bought a Lee Pro 1000 progressive press. I forget the cost at the time. But using online calculators, I was making 1000 rounds for about $130. That was when Winchester white box was $20 per 100 at Walmart. I figured it up once and after 3-4,000 rounds, I’d paid for the press. This didn’t include accounting for my time, but I wasn’t working a job every waking hour and getting paid like lots of guys on here do that always mention “not accounting for my time.” Now, if you want to get one of the very best presses out there, it will take much longer to pay it off in savings. The problem now is that all the supplies have gone up, so that compounds the problem.
 

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I’m trying to get my head around the investment in equipment to reload vs. good quality off the shelf ammo.
Currently I’m using 1000 rounds per month of 9mm Federal 115 / 124 at $325 per case.
Appreciate your input.
Used to be 50% less to reload in the 80’s and 90’s.. now.. everything is so fricken expensive.. brass, powder, lead Bullets… have tripled.. still best to reload now and try to save some.. if you shoot 500-1000 rounds a month… “reload..”… if you shoot 500 1000 a year…buy.. OFF THE SHELF., I recommend DILLONS precision B Square for 9mm and 45… I have 2 .. they’re the best .. Good Luck..
 

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I’m trying to get my head around the investment in equipment to reload vs. good quality off the shelf ammo.
Currently I’m using 1000 rounds per month of 9mm Federal 115 / 124 at $325 per case.
Appreciate your input.
i pretty much just got into reloading, and for pistol ammo only.

i bought a Lee Pro-4000, that came set up for 45 ACP, as that is my favorite round.

then i was made an offer to buy a reloading room, from the RSO at the range, so i did. and that is a Dillon 550c

i crank out 45's, and just started 9mm's.

have dies for all pistol calibers except 380. i don't have a 380, i don't want a 380.

must have maybe up to, $2,000 invested, in equipment, a bench, primers, bullets, and powder, measuring tools, other accessories, and some new 45 ACP brass casings.

i was never going to save money reloading, i was primarily going to gain another skill. retired, so i have all day to sit and reload, rather than to watch tv

it's "another step" in the gun sport/hobby, and no "hobby" is cheap.

do this if you want to advance your knowledge, and skill set. it'll occupy your time for sure.

do not do this thinking you're gonna save money
 

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i pretty much just got into reloading, and for pistol ammo only.

i bought a Lee Pro-4000, that came set up for 45 ACP, as that is my favorite round.

then i was made an offer to buy a reloading room, from the RSO at the range, so i did. and that is a Dillon 550c

i crank out 45's, and just started 9mm's.

have dies for all pistol calibers except 380. i don't have a 380, i don't want a 380.

must have maybe up to, $2,000 invested, in equipment, a bench, primers, bullets, and powder, measuring tools, other accessories, and some new 45 ACP brass casings.

i was never going to save money reloading, i was primarily going to gain another skill. retired, so i have all day to sit and reload, rather than to watch tv

it's "another step" in the gun sport/hobby, and no "hobby" is cheap.

do this if you want to advance your knowledge, and skill set. it'll occupy your time for sure.

do not do this thinking you're gonna save money
To really save money reloading… you have to buy 10,000 20,000 bullets, 10-20 lbs of powder,,, 50,000 primers.. so.. the Initial investment is the kicker.. then it’s all worth the effort. Then you can load 100 or so and go to the range and have fun.. 😉🇺🇸
 

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To really save money reloading… you have to buy 10,000 20,000 bullets, 10-20 lbs of powder,,, 50,000 primers.. so.. the Initial investment is the kicker.. then it’s all worth the effort. Then you can load 100 or so and go to the range and have fun.. 😉🇺🇸
right now, i have like 2,000 rds of reloaded 45 ACP.....plus like 2,000 rds factory new

i haven't any 9mm stacked up yet, cuz i reload and shoot them for testing. i recently "bumped up" the powder from 3.4 to 3.8 grains, and may level off at that.

the 45 ACP, is still loaded at the 4.0 grain (starter charge) all this by the Lyman book, 51st edition. (which i finish these 2,000 rds, i may bump up to a higher charge)

believe it or not, thanks to the pandemic, when i learnt to take only 1 box of ammo..?? for each range visit..???

i still take only 1 box, and i still go at the very least 2 times a week for practice. (so 2 boxes total weekly)
 
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If you're a high volume shooter (competitive or otherwise) then reloading 9mm can save you money. If you're a casual shooter that goes to the range once or twice a month and shoots 100 rounds each trip then reloading doesn't make economic sense. Here's some real world numbers. Note: I aggressively shop prices and buy in bulk to shave every 1/10th of a cent per round I can...

Pre-covid when I could get small pistol primers for 2.7 cents each I was reloading 9mm for about 10.5 cents per round (Primer=2.7, bullet=6.8, power=1.0, brass=free pickup). The cheapest I could buy factory 9mm was about 18 cents per round so I was saving 7.5 cents per trigger pull. I shoot about 2,000 rounds per month so reloading saved me about $150/mo for maybe 3 hrs work reloading. Post-covid with primers at 10 cents per round and bullets about 2 cents a round more per bullet I'm reloading for around 20 cents per round. Factory 9mm if you shop around can be had for maybe 28 cents per round so I'm saving about $160/mo. I also get custom tailored rounds that I know work in my gun and are optimized for the competitions I shoot. I've been reloading for a LOT of years so the equipment is fully amortized and at my age nobody is going to pay me $50/hr tax free so I consider it a good use of my time! Reloading isn't for everybody but if you're a high volume shooter you can optimize your ammo and definitely save some $$$.
 

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Currently I’m using 1000 rounds per month of 9mm Federal 115 / 124 at $325 per case.
Appreciate your input.
Using my figures below you would save $125/case. So depending on your investment and equipment selection you should be able to pay off something like a Dillon 550, wet or dry tumbling and small tools set up in under a year.

I do load 9mm and think it is well worth it. I don't cast so even buying projo's I load quality 9mm, tailored to the gun for 10 cents. I have some loads that run .13 -.16 but that's for premium JHPs. The savings for 38 Super and 45acp is much greater.

Look at today's actual prices and it's still a big savings per round. We can argue about shooting more and not saving overall but that's a choice and you will save per round... how much you shoot is up to you. Shooting more just means your new hobby is enjoyable and compliments your other hobby - reloading.

Primers delivered (with hazmat and freight) $0.10
Blue Bullets coated or Prec. Delta FMJ cosmetic blems $0.07-$0.08
5.4 gr Silhouette (@ $30/lb single lb price) $0.023
Brass (you better be picking up your brass!) $0.00

So even at full price, in a shortage you can load HIGH quality 9mm for $0.20 a round / $10 per box. I haven't seen ANY decent ammo for less than $16.99 box in store.

As for bulk buying- yes it will save more but my prices above are 3k bullets, 1k primers and 1lb powder. you can beat that without much trouble but I wanted to show a worst case scenario for getting started.

38 Super can be loaded for similar to 9mm price. 45acp is loaded for about 5 cents higher due to projo costs.

Couple the savings with the enjoyment of the 2nd hobby (how much did you save by not golfing or whatever that day?) It is a real savings. I enjoy handloading as a stand alone hobby, so I don't count it as time wasted. (some do though)

I paid off my 550 and entire initial investment into reloading in 4 months. Savings was figured against case price of online 45 acp blazer.
 

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The easier calibers I buy factory if the prices are decent. I also buy the components to reload them just so I can keep shooting whenever there’s a shortage. I only save money reloading if it’s 300blk, 44 mag, 444 Marlin, 45/70
 

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The real advantages come when you have had the gear and components over time. Equipment long paid for and components bought more inexpensively, only replacement of those at present costs an issue. Primary to me is flexibility. I can load for and shoot almost anything I would care to buy and I don't need to keep enormous amounts of ammunition on hand because I can always make more.
 

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Like flechero, I also reload 9mm and, considering that my current supplies (except for bullets) were purchased in VOLUME in 2018, it's definitely worth the time and trouble. Have been reloading for over 50 years and have been doing so in volume since discovering Practical Pistol in the '70s. Oue machinery has long ago been amortized; 3 Dillons and a Redding T7.
Thru this and previous shortages it's been rare to not be able to produce enough ammo for our needs, which in some calibers is considerable. For sure we don't have to waste our time running around the net, or to what few stores we have in our area, hoping to find enough stuff to load a can full for our 9mms, .45 ACPs, or a couple of hundred rounds of say 10mm or .32 H&R Mag. If you shoot a bunch of different stuff (and some in volume) reloading is definitely worth it in the long run. Just sayin'.
 

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I've been reloading since 1987 and hoarding components since the early 1990s. My per round cost of pretty much any caliber I shoot is still very low because many of my components were purchased long ago. Other than rimfire, defense rounds, & some milsurp, I don't purchase much factory ammo.
 

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I've been reloading since 1987 and hoarding components since the early 1990s. My per round cost of pretty much any caliber I shoot is still very low because many of my components were purchased long ago. Other than rimfire, defense rounds, & some milsurp, I don't purchase much factory ammo.
Like flechero, I also reload 9mm and, considering that my current supplies (except for bullets) were purchased in VOLUME in 2018, it's definitely worth the time and trouble. Have been reloading for over 50 years and have been doing so in volume since discovering Practical Pistol in the '70s. Oue machinery has long ago been amortized; 3 Dillons and a Redding T7.
Thru this and previous shortages it's been rare to not be able to produce enough ammo for our needs, which in some calibers is considerable. For sure we don't have to waste our time running around the net, or to what few stores we have in our area, hoping to find enough stuff to load a can full for our 9mms, .45 ACPs, or a couple of hundred rounds of say 10mm or .32 H&R Mag. If you shoot a bunch of different stuff (and some in volume) reloading is definitely worth it in the long run. Just sayin'.
I agree.. think about it.. back in the 70’s reloading was a wonderful opportunity and asset.. today.. if I was gonna start reloading.. it would cost me an arm and 2 legs.. a case of 9’s and a case of 45’s … $600 bucks.. a DILLONS DL550.. no dies… $600 bucks.. dies,, scale, powder, primers, BOOKS.. don’t forget those.. case gauges, and there’s more.. it’s crazy expensive today.. but still a good hobby and past time. If I can load a 1000 9’s for $150-175,,, it’s all good. But buying all the equipment to reload is the Initial Key Expense… Once you got everything… your good to go.. in 1977… we did it all on a “ROCK CHUCKER “ dirt arse cheap 😉👍🇺🇸
 

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I agree.. think about it.. back in the 70’s reloading was a wonderful opportunity and asset.. today.. if I was gonna start reloading.. it would cost me an arm and 2 legs.. a case of 9’s and a case of 45’s … $600 bucks.. a DILLONS DL550.. no dies… $600 bucks.. dies,, scale, powder, primers, BOOKS.. don’t forget those.. case gauges, and there’s more.. it’s crazy expensive today.. but still a good hobby and past time. If I can load a 1000 9’s for $150-175,,, it’s all good. But buying all the equipment to reload is the Initial Key Expense… Once you got everything… your good to go.. in 1977… we did it all on a “ROCK CHUCKER “ dirt arse cheap 😉👍🇺🇸
Originally sold my Rock Chucker when I got my CH Pistol Champ. Soon got another and kept it despite a Dillon 550. Indispensable, and it can do it all, short of 50 cal.
 

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My Rock Chucker was my first press in 1987, and it has been on my bench ever since. I used it just the other day to load up a couple hundred small primer (Ugh) .45s for the indoor range (I tend to lose more brass there & I consider them expendable) because I didn't want to change my progressive setup for the spp. I've always thought that everyone should learn to reload on a single stage, but that idea seems to be considered obsolete by many today.
 

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My Rock Chucker was my first press in 1987, and it has been on my bench ever since. I used it just the other day to load up a couple hundred small primer (Ugh) .45s for the indoor range (I tend to lose more brass there & I consider them expendable) because I didn't want to change my progressive setup for the spp. I've always thought that everyone should learn to reload on a single stage, but that idea seems to be considered obsolete by many today.
I agree.. but… it’s great for 30-06,, 308,, 444 marlin, 45-70.., that’s why “I LOVE MY ROCK CHUCKER “ bin on my bench since 1977.. works like a charm. 👍🇺🇸
 

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Having the ability to produce your ammo is a very good thing, especially when elections go Dem and shelves become bare. I honestly have no idea if starting to reload at this moment is more affordable than shelf ammo because I'm not familiar with the current prices of reloading supplies or shelf ammo but reloading certainly could be one's only access to ammo during lean times. And it's hard to discount the value of having that option.

I personally enjoy reloading, so that's a big plus for me. I don't factor in my time for reloading any more than I would factor in my time sitting in a tree stand for the price of a pound of venison. Reloading is a hobby for me, and the process itself is of a relaxing nature. I figure that in itself is a benefit of sorts. It's absolutely a better use of my time than watching woke athletes play ball or pretty much anything else on TV.

I started reloading sixteen years ago and jumped into casting two years after that to save money on all the bullets I was buying. Powder coating my own followed afterwards. Casting tens of thousands of bullets from free lead has definitely saved me a ton of money over the years.

 
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