Cost difference between homeloading & shop bought!?

Cumbrian 1

Well-Known Member
#41
For me one of the biggest benefits is continuity as in the past I would buy 2 or 3 boxes of ammo then when I next went to the same gun shop it wouldn't be in stock then I would have to get another brand/type etc.

I also like reloading and I do shoot a lot more now that I reload, once or twice a week I wander out from the house to shoot 20 or 30 rounds at long distance steel if I knew that I might not be able to get the same ammo again especially if I had come to like it I would start to hoard it. Now once I have found a load that I like for a rifle I buy a lot of heads, cases and powders so I want for nothing. I doubt if it has saved me any money.
 

bluesako

Well-Known Member
#42
as to pkl,s comment, it take you 200 rounds to find a load for your rifle , i think your doing something wrong mate, i for one would never buy factory, because i enjoy loading, and in all my years of handloading, ive never had a rifle, that i couldnt find a load for, if you shoot, you either buy factory, or handload, wether its cheap or not. it as simple as that, bs.
 
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sh1kar

Well-Known Member
#43
Obviously the whole thing is very circumstance dependent.

If you are a recreational deer stalker who shoots but one centrefire rifle, it would probably take a long while for the setup and running costs of reloading to equalize with, then beat, the costs of shooting midrange ammunition.

If you shoot multiple and/or unusual chamberings this changes things significantly - I've fairly recently acquired a 375 H&H, and even here cheapish factory ammo is $2.85 a round. I shudder to think what that would cost me back in the UK, but I can reload for $0.40 powder $0.50 bullet $0.04 primer + $1 for a new brass case which I can hopefully get several reloads out of - say I get five to give each case roughly $0.20 value that means I'm shooting full power 375 H&H loads for roughly $1.14 a shot. For contrast, the cheapest Hornady and Winchester 308 hunting ammo at my local gun store is $24 a box.

Obviously my time has a value too - but I have a lot of time when I cannot be out shooting or hunting, so homeloading allows me to extend my hobby into time where I would otherwise just be "at home" after the children have gone to bed.

Getting into it with the hope of saving money will probably leave you disappointed, but it's hugely satisfying. Also, the economics of it scale rapidly if you load for multiple calibres, especially if they include more esoteric, specialized or just plain expensive ones.
£5 a round for Federal TBBC or Sledgehammer

S
 

Cottis

Well-Known Member
#44
To answer the initial question, it is going to be 22 pence of powder give or take, 5 pence a primer and 30 pence a bullet (if you buy 250 at a time, 35 pence if you buy 100) If you already have your factory shot brass, bingo, if not, you can pick up once fired for 10-15 pence a pop which will go a few times, so you can add a couplathree pence a bang for that.

Basically the cost in components is going to be about 60 pence for the bullet you are currently using. A saving of £1.40+ a bang is not insignificant if you shoot a fair bit.

I don't know what value you put on your time but loading 100 rounds will save you £140 and will ensure consistency, availability and no requirement to drive to fetch the stuff.

Reloading is boring though, especially when you need lots of ammo. Double edged sword I find.
 

LeftHandGuy

Well-Known Member
#45
£5 a round for Federal TBBC or Sledgehammer

S
To be fair - for me to buy the same or similar bullets would probably cost me 2 or even 3 times time more per bullet than I'm paying for 270 grain sp Interlocks. But even if I triple my bullet spend to $1.50 that still only takes me to $2.14 per shot. And of course, I can go the other way as well by loading cast bullets. The cost per bullet isn't significantly better (although I could get into casting my own), but the loads use about half the powder and put a lot less stress on the brass.

So, as with all these things, whether it's good value to you depends where you draw your lines and what you value...
 
#46
I reload simply to have a ready supply of consistent ammo. Got fed up of never being able to buy the same brand or weight in local outlets, Therefore always having to check zero and having two or three rounds left of the previous box. I bought second hand kit and am certain I am now saving over factory ammo. Best purchase was a old set of laboratory scales,had a beam scale and cheap battery scales before and was never confident in their accuracy or consistency. I now have total confidence in charge weight,and shooting is all about confidence.

But I definitely shoot more now!!
 

Chasey

Well-Known Member
#47
I have now definitely made up 100 rounds of 243 and 50 of 308 which cost me about £90.00

160 rounds of similar BT ammo would have cost me about 280.00

So I think i have just about covered the cost of the second hand dies press and scales.

Just got a 6.5 55 and struggling to get rounds for it. I had to settle for 125g despite the fact i wanted 140s, Then it cost me 15.00 just to zero the dammed thing :D so pleased i can reload.

BUT i didn't do it for the money and i am not big into load development. I just liked the holistic approach to my hunting
 

Archer

Well-Known Member
#48
As with any hobby it's easy to get involved in the many "extras and openings" :D.
I started with a 7.62x39 and -with expanding factory ammo very hard to come by- started handloading.
Great help -with the bonus of a constant supply- but even with a low cost Lee press etc the rounds were quite expensive.
Costs started to fall as I added 243 and 308 to my ticket, had access to a range and stalking, but now changed opportunity to shoot means I rarely reload.
I don't regret the outlay and experience of homeloading but doubt that, with hindsight, I would have gone down the route I took 10 years ago
 

8x57

Distinguished Member
#49
consumables

1kg powder £80 - good for 380-400 rounds
400 primers £24
400 sierra gameking £100

Total = 51p a round

reusables
100 x Brass cases (PPU) £40
used dies, press and case conditioning £120

first 100 rounds - 91p a round
Next rounds - 51p a round

how much do you shoot?

1) reloaders always shoot more than they used to
2) they are very good at convincing themselves of the cost benefits
3) they always get sucked in to buying more toys, better brass, micrometer dies, latest auto measure scales

don't do it for the cost saving, you can save money but moreover you will better understand rifles and how they work
its fun too!



shooting your first deer with your own ammo is just like catching your first fish on a fly you tied yourself
not to be underestimated
Totally disagree with you on that point EG, (but only on that point).

I've been reloading for nearly 40 years and never been tempted to buy expensive elaborate equipment.
I simply couldn't have afforded to shoot as much as I have over the years without reloading, and I shot a lot of rounds a year at one time.

Also I couldn't afford to buy factory ammo for my 9.3x74r or 8x57irs (that is if it were readily available) if I didn't reload.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
#50
You don't NEED to buy shiny trinkety tools. A Lee Classic Loader will make great ammo and fit into a shoebox. It's when people are convinced that they can buy their way into smaller groups that they go equipment crazy.~Muir
 

CarlW

Well-Known Member
#52
You don't NEED to buy shiny trinkety tools. A Lee Classic Loader will make great ammo and fit into a shoebox. It's when people are convinced that they can buy their way into smaller groups that they go equipment crazy.~Muir
Hmmmn. That might explain why my hand-loads work out at about £87 a round...
 

sh1kar

Well-Known Member
#53
Speaking of which, isn't it a shame you can't buy TBBC as component bullets any more. I have about 150 of old stock left and then I'm moving to TSX. Big loss as they are a great bullet.
The Woodleighs are pretty good. Thats what I tend to load with and the 375 likes the round nose, very accurate in mine

S
 

Archer

Well-Known Member
#54
You don't NEED to buy shiny trinkety tools. A Lee Classic Loader will make great ammo and fit into a shoebox. It's when people are convinced that they can buy their way into smaller groups that they go equipment crazy.~Muir
Yes, Lee might be low cost, but they do everything you want or need
 

Chasey

Well-Known Member
#55
I have a lee turret press, lee scales powder tickler and lee precision die sets. I also have a case trimmer and a lee hand primer loader.

I admit i also have a micrometer but i already owned that.

With this very basic set up and info from the Nosler Reloading Data on line, i have developed good loads for my 243.
 
#57
A lot less than £2.05 ...

... until you amortise the cost of the press, powder thrower, scales, dies etc. Then if you only shoot a few rounds a month it’ll be years until you break even (but a lot of fun if you like tinkering)

As a guide to consumable costs, i load .243 in factory Sako brass for 6p for the primer, 30p for the bullet and about 40p in powder per shot.
but if you shoot 100+ rounds a month it will pay for itself very quickly!!
 

gonzo

Well-Known Member
#58
Probably been said already...

Many deer shooters are also target shooters. So cost of bulk of ammo comes into the equation.
But for me, reloading is a major part of the hobby. I'm not really interested in the actual act of shooting and I'd get very bored (and broke) if I was just shooting factory ammo at a target. What little factory ammo I use is limited to 22lr.

For me, target shooting is all about the engineering. So being intimately involved with the whole process, from bullet casting to putting it through the paper, is important.

Also, reloading can give you ammunition that you could not buy. I spend a lot of time making low power gallery range loads, to allow me to shoot full bore rifles on small indoor pistol rate ranges. Or at our local 50mtr outdoor range, where full house loads are just a waste.

Reloading full bore rifle ammo is going to save you a little, but not as much as you may imagine. My latest batch of 308's cost me around 60p/rnd. You can save more if you can find cheaper/bulk bullets. But powder is always going to be a big percentage of the cost.
Whereas I can load gallery 'plinking' loads for about 7p/rnd. And it's fun to do.

But I can quite understand that someone who only uses their rifle as a tool for deer, would be as well to buy factory.
 

tarponhead

Well-Known Member
#59
consumables

1kg powder £80 - good for 380-400 rounds
400 primers £24
400 sierra gameking £100

Total = 51p a round

reusables
100 x Brass cases (PPU) £40
used dies, press and case conditioning £120

first 100 rounds - 91p a round
Next rounds - 51p a round

how much do you shoot?

1) reloaders always shoot more than they used to
2) they are very good at convincing themselves of the cost benefits
3) they always get sucked in to buying more toys, better brass, micrometer dies, latest auto measure scales

don't do it for the cost saving, you can save money but moreover you will better understand rifles and how they work
its fun too!

shooting your first deer with your own ammo is just like catching your first fish on a fly you tied yourself
not to be underestimated
+1. First fish on your own fly is exactly right. My first big fallow buck on my own SST load at 150m is one to remember. Not a hot load by any means, but my most accurate in an old 6.5x55 Tikka M695, at dusk.
 
#60
Probably been said already...

Many deer shooters are also target shooters. So cost of bulk of ammo comes into the equation.
This, they may be target shooter or be target shooter and do a lot of vermin and fox work with CF's hence my shooting north of 100 rounds a month, sometime 2/3 times that i simply would not be able to do it without reloading. Gallery rounds are at a saving of 30p or so, CF rifles 50p to £2.00 a round.

Reloading full bore rifle ammo is going to save you a little, but not as much as you may imagine.
It does depend entirely on what you're loading though, if its a run of the mill common calibre .308/.243/.223 with decent factory ammo at around £20-25 / 20 then the saving is limited but go for something slightly less common but by no means out there such as 7-08, 6.5x55 or 6.5 creedmoor and you are looking at £30+ to £50+ for 20 rounds of ammo, then the savings really stack up.

For example Sako TRG Precision Creedmoor 136gr scenar £2.20 / round my 139 gr scenar in sako once fired over N160 including brass costs assuming 10 loadings is £0.56 / a round so even taking 15p a round for my time and electric a saving of £1.50 every time I pull the trigger. Also it allows loadings that just aren't available so if I want a fast, frangible varmint load for the creed, 85 gr sierra varminter over N140 in fed .243 formed brass, round cost 52.5p.

Then there's the 0.22 hornet, 35 gr v-max factory locally £1.08 / round my current 35gr nosler varmageddon over lil gun load 28.5p per round, time wise these are 180yard vermin / fox load so these generally neck sized, and primed on press as they are sized so all told 50 round can be done in around 45 minutes from inspected fired case to inspected rounds that shoot sub moa. Saving of 80p a round against factory and even 10p a round against WMR or HMR V-max rimmy ammo!

As you say buying in bulk saves and the powder is a big cost but if you share powders across calibres, in particular viht that is available in 3.5 kg jugs the savings are big, I use N140 for 0.223 and .308 plus lighter bullets in 6.5 creedmoor & 6.5 x 55 and N160 for heavier in creedmoor and X55. The last 3.5 kg tub of N140 I bought cost me £215.00 but even at the £230 HPS are listing it at the moment this works out at £29.80 / lb compared to £48.00 for CFE223 or £39.00 fr RS50. Okay I may lose 100-150 fps over say RS60 in the creedmoor but accuracy kills / wins comps not an extra 150 fps.

I will admit though, shooting is the upside for me and my reloading honeymoon period is over, its still enjoyable but it is a bit of a chore now, as you say for a stalker who shoots 20 rounds a year or even a month reloading probably isn't worthwhile if you shoot a lot though and shop around the savings can be pretty sizeable.
 
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