Cost of reloading lead free

Loler UK

Well-Known Member
I had someone insist today that they can reload lead free Barnes TSX ammo for 80p/shot inc vat?

Cost of equipment aside what do people estimate they spend reloading / round on components? and what do you value your time at?

Lead free I struggle to get the cost down to £2/ round for the 6.5x55 if I include my labour at half the hourly rate I got paid at work at 21yo

For many I'm sure it's a labour of love & about getting the best performance with a custom load but the cost of components now seems to be on the up.
 

takbok

Well-Known Member
I had someone insist today that they can reload lead free Barnes TSX ammo for 80p/shot inc vat?

Cost of equipment aside what do people estimate they spend reloading / round on components? and what do you value your time at?

Lead free I struggle to get the cost down to £2/ round for the 6.5x55 if I include my labour at half the hourly rate I got paid at work at 21yo

For many I'm sure it's a labour of love & about getting the best performance with a custom load but the cost of components now seems to be on the up.

It's hard enough to get just the Barnes TSX bullets for 80p each, unless they got the components really cheap.

I've loaded some 270 Win Barnes TTSX for about £1.60-£1.70 each, compared to £2.50 for Sako Powerhead Barnes factory ammo.

No point trying to factor in the cost of your time IMO, as it's free time for my hobby. It also doesn't take a lot of time to load enough rounds for a lot of stalking.
 

Rory

Well-Known Member
I find that very hard to beleive (Barnes reloaded at 80p/round) considering most non-lead is selling for approx £1/bullet. Factor in powder at anywhere between 20p-40p/round and I'm struggling to see how his maths has worked out (discounted components aside).

A little breakdown of my reloads (not counting brass or time):
Target.
Sierra MK 175gr 42p/bullet
RL-15 32p/round
Federal 210M 7p/primer
Total per round = 81p

Hunting.
Hornady Interlock 150gr 34p/bullet
Vhit N140 23p/round
CCI 200 6p/primer
Total per round = 69p
 

Loler UK

Well-Known Member
I find that very hard to beleive (Barnes reloaded at 80p/round) considering most non-lead is selling for approx £1/bullet. Factor in powder at anywhere between 20p-40p/round and I'm struggling to see how his maths has worked out (discounted components aside).

A little breakdown of my reloads (not counting brass or time):
Target.
Sierra MK 175gr 42p/bullet
RL-15 32p/round
Federal 210M 7p/primer
Total per round = 81p

Hunting.
Hornady Interlock 150gr 34p/bullet
Vhit N140 23p/round
CCI 200 6p/primer
Total per round = 69p
so is it fair to say if loading lead free and factoring in brass a fair bit more?
 

caberslash

Well-Known Member
Wouldn't worry too much about reloading 'lead-free' (nearly all primer compounds are lead based).

Most of the estates/stalking leases stipulating 'lead-free' also insist on 'factory ammo only'.

What with REACH banning many powders (primers thankfully exempt!, for now...) the screws are being tightened.

Maybe the 'holier than thou lead-free' crowd will look back one day and realise that a 'lead-ban' was what the anti's wanted too.

Unless you are an RFD who is loading them and sending rounds off to be proof tested that is ;)

How long before £5 a round?
 

Rory

Well-Known Member
so is it fair to say if loading lead free and factoring in brass a fair bit more?
Definitely. I would anticipate the claim of 80p/round to be more like £1.40 for non-lead incl brass (working on a cost of brass being £30/100 cases, fired 3 times before binning, so 10p/load).

Non-lead bullet ~£1
Powder ~25p
Primer ~5p
Brass ~10p

That above would probably be for a .308 which has very affordable and wide range of components, something more exotic would jack the cost up even more.
 

Rory

Well-Known Member
Wouldn't worry too much about reloading 'lead-free' (nearly all primer compounds are lead based).

Most of the estates/stalking leases stipulating 'lead-free' also insist on 'factory ammo only'.

What with REACH banning many powders (primers thankfully exempt!, for now...) the screws are being tightened.

Maybe the 'holier than thou lead-free' crowd will look back one day and realise that a 'lead-ban' was what the anti's wanted too.

Unless you are an RFD who is loading them and sending rounds off to be proof tested that is ;)

How long before £5 a round?
Yes, the insistence on factory non-lead for some areas would really put me off. A 20 pack of factory Hornady Whitetail @£27 is not too bad, but I would balk at paying £55- £70 for a pack of 20 Hornady GMX or Barnes TTSX cartridges.
 

Loler UK

Well-Known Member
Wouldn't worry too much about reloading 'lead-free' (nearly all primer compounds are lead based).

Most of the estates/stalking leases stipulating 'lead-free' also insist on 'factory ammo only'.

What with REACH banning many powders (primers thankfully exempt!, for now...) the screws are being tightened.

Maybe the 'holier than thou lead-free' crowd will look back one day and realise that a 'lead-ban' was what the anti's wanted too.

Unless you are an RFD who is loading them and sending rounds off to be proof tested that is ;)

How long before £5 a round?
I don't think anyone shooting lead free should consider themselves holier than though. The reality is many of us are being mandated to use lead free. The margins in making cip compliant ammo are shocking!
 

baguio

Well-Known Member
Cheaper to buy factory made cartridges that's for sure. However, is it better and is there all the same possibilities in Non-toxic that are available in bullets alone? I'm still playing with it and remain disappointed with my home loads but haven't shot enough to give a good review yet.
 

Rutland lad

Well-Known Member
Dear God - I wish !

I’ve just happened to note that I went through two boxes of Barnes TSX/TTSX in 120 grain for my 6.5x55 whilst doing load development. I’ve got an unopened box of 100 grain TTSX. Each £50 per box.
That was a blind alley, can’t get the Barnes to group consistently.
I then bought 100 Fox Classic Hunter in 123 grain. I can get a minute of angle with that so that’s what I’m going for. Now got to see what they're like on deer.

So - I think that means I’ve spent AT LEAST £200 on rounds, 1 kg of RS60 @ £80 (some left thankfully). And I’ve got some factory in the safe too !

My point being this - reloading is definitely NOT any cheaper than factory until you’re on you’re second/third load.
It’s not done to save cash it’s done to get more accuracy and a feeling of satisfaction when I down a deer with a round that I’ve loaded myself. I daren’t add up all the kit I’ve got.

It’s a hobby. But for OCD people like myself it becomes an obsession.
 

caberslash

Well-Known Member
I don't think anyone shooting lead free should consider themselves holier than though. The reality is many of us are being mandated to use lead free. The margins in making cip compliant ammo are shocking!

Good thing I get free ammo from work ;)
 

caberslash

Well-Known Member
Cheaper to buy factory made cartridges that's for sure. However, is it better and is there all the same possibilities in Non-toxic that are available in bullets alone? I'm still playing with it and remain disappointed with my home loads but haven't shot enough to give a good review yet.

FYI copper is also toxic 😛
 

Jelen

Well-Known Member
Dear God - I wish !

I’ve just happened to note that I went through two boxes of Barnes TSX/TTSX in 120 grain for my 6.5x55 whilst doing load development. I’ve got an unopened box of 100 grain TTSX. Each £50 per box.
That was a blind alley, can’t get the Barnes to group consistently.
I then bought 100 Fox Classic Hunter in 123 grain. I can get a minute of angle with that so that’s what I’m going for. Now got to see what they're like on deer.

So - I think that means I’ve spent AT LEAST £200 on rounds, 1 kg of RS60 @ £80 (some left thankfully). And I’ve got some factory in the safe too !

My point being this - reloading is definitely NOT any cheaper than factory until you’re on you’re second/third load.
It’s not done to save cash it’s done to get more accuracy and a feeling of satisfaction when I down a deer with a round that I’ve loaded myself. I daren’t add up all the kit I’ve got.

It’s a hobby. But for OCD people like myself it becomes an obsession.
You've made me feel better now I know I wasn't the only one! Your experience almost exactly mirrors mine, except I ended up with the Yew Tree 112gr.
It would have been cheaper to melt down the family silver (not my family incidentally, I sold ours to pay for the Barnes TTSX)
 

308tikka

Well-Known Member
Well, it is 308win under discussion, not 6.5x55 or anything else, and labour isnt a cost, time is unless you are charging a customer.

However, at 5p per CCI large rifle primer -or rather £50.40 per 1000 - (and you can still get them cheaper), around £30/lb norma powder @42gns =166 loads, powder is 18p per charge (Number Of Loads Per Pound Based On Powder Charge), case is 5p once fired RWS308 (although I have several thousand obtained for free) which leaves the projectile. That depends on who/where/when you bought them. If you buy retail you have no chance as its stacked against you, in the UK, especially in the consumer rush post-lead free move. If you are a volume producer you can make things more cheaply, if you have access to components. Some of us do.

At more than £2.40+ per lead free shot the price of factory or indeed cottage industry produced loads is a joke, even if proof house/CIP tested. Recently quoted £48 for 20 sellier and bellot 110gr blue. Bloody outrageous.
 
Well, it is 308win under discussion, not 6.5x55 or anything else, and labour isnt a cost, time is unless you are charging a customer.

However, at 5p per CCI large rifle primer -or rather £50.40 per 1000 - (and you can still get them cheaper), around £30/lb norma powder @42gns =166 loads, powder is 18p per charge (Number Of Loads Per Pound Based On Powder Charge), case is 5p once fired RWS308 (although I have several thousand obtained for free) which leaves the projectile. That depends on who/where/when you bought them. If you buy retail you have no chance as its stacked against you, in the UK, especially in the consumer rush post-lead free move. If you are a volume producer you can make things more cheaply, if you have access to components. Some of us do.

At more than £2.40+ per lead free shot the price of factory or indeed cottage industry produced loads is a joke, even if proof house/CIP tested. Recently quoted £48 for 20 sellier and bellot 110gr blue. Bloody outrageous.
How much do your bullets cost you though? We see most lead free bullets are around £1 each these days?
 
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