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How Much Money Will I Save By Reloading?

Filed in Articles, Getting Started Reloading by on June 20, 2011 0 Comments • views: 1238

(None. You’ll start shooting more and will end up spending about the same.)

Here is a breakdown of my costs of reloading 45 and 223. It assumes you are able to recover and re-use 100% of your brass.

.45 ACP components
Bullets: $123 per thousand
Primers: $32 per thousand
Powder: $14 (see below)

Currently the pistol powder I use (Alliant Unique) is $16.99 per pound.  There are 7,000 grains in a pound.  My loads use 5.5 grains per cartridge.  That works out to 1272 rounds per 1-pound can of unique.  The $14 in the above table represents the portion of the pound necessary to reload 1000 cartridges.

The total is $169 for a thousand rounds.  45ACP normally comes in 50-round boxes so that’s $8.45 per box. The bullets I use are copper plated. I could instead use cast lead bullets, buy the primers on sale, and buy powder in larger quantities and bring the cost down to about $6.30 per box.

Let’s do the same calculations for .223:

.223 components
Bullets: $100 per thousand
Primers: $32 per thousand
Powder: $71

That works out to $203 per thousand.

The truly anal retentive would then try to figure the break-even point on the cost of the reloading equipment and try to put a dollar value on his time, but for me that’s taking it too far.

For me, reloading does two things:

  • It makes the cost of maintaining a reasonable level of proficiency more affordable.  If I’m going to carry my pistol concealed, I need to be pretty proficient with it.  They only way that’s going to happen is lots of practice.  At $8.45 per box, I can afford to practice.
  • There is no finer pleasure for a father than spending time alone with his son doing something together that you both enjoy. When my son and I go shooting I am thinking about how much fun we are having (and savoring it) instead of thinking about how much it’s costing me.



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