With the current cost of ammo I have been considering reloading my own. How much money could I expect to save?

I would want to reload


.30 06

.30 30

12 gague


Also how much can I expect to spend getting started? I am not too lazy to search on google I just anticipate hidden cost.

10 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    How much do you shoot? The cost of the press, dies, shell holders, caliber change over kits, scales, etc... is expensive. How much you shoot determines your ROI.

  • 5 years ago

    Sounds like the .30-30 is pretty cheap so you will not save much. We reload .223 for a little over the cost of the steel import rounds. Premium .308 rounds which run about $30/20 can be reloaded for $9.75/20. The best thing is that we can reload cartridges so that my son's Rem 700 SPS Varmint will get touching bullet holes at 100 yds. He has never shot a factory round in it, so I can't say how much better the hand loads perform than factory ammo, but I would guess it is somewhat better. At least the hand loads are good enough.

  • 1 decade ago

    Depends on how much you shoot - specifically how many rounds.

    Most people shoot under 20 rifle rounds out of each rifle a year. The 243, 30-30, and 30-06 are common and cheap enough (especially with fall sales and rebates) that you have to shoot A LOT to make it worth reloading.

    Do you shoot clay birds on a regular basis?

    If you're like me and maybe shoot 10 boxes a year total, it's not worth reloading when you can buy a case from Walmart.

    Same with the ACP.

    Do you stand there and fire clip after clip after clip just to make noise?

    If you're shooting less than 500 rounds a year, I don't think it's worth reloading when you can buy the ammo in bulk.

    Reloading is expensive.

    You have to figure out what the break even point is to determine whether or not it's even worth your time.

    Which is another point...Is it really worth 100 hours to save 100 dollars a year??? (time and money made up for example but you know what I mean)

  • 1 decade ago

    Get a good reloading Kit, such as the RCBS, Redding, Hornady, and expect to spend $280 to $325. That should get you a press,scale,powder dispenser, case trimmer, case lube set-up, some odds and ends. You will need a powder trickler at about $15. Die sets can be as little as $25 and as much as $100. I prefer the RCBS,Redding and Hornady die sets over Lee, but some people like Lee best. Expect to spend $23 a pound on powder. Bullets are your choice from Sierra and Hornadys to Nosler and Barnes. I load Hornadys for just shooing and Nosler Accubonds for hunting. The Sierras and Hornadys at the same weight as the hunting bullets normally behave the same, or really close. I can get 100 165 grain Sierras for the cost of 50 Noslers, and even then the Sierra GameKings are a great hunting bullet. I reload just for rifle, but pistol is similar, just uses 3 dies instead of 2 normally.That brings up a subject to think about-single stage reloading or Turret type press. Turret type will save time if you are reloading a lot,especially the pistol rounds. I just have a single stage for rifles.

    Cost is what you make of it, but I figure between 50 cents and $1.25 depending on component choice per rifle cartridge. Are you saving a ton, no, but you are loading to your specific rifle. And at what I would have to pay for 300 WSM factory rounds it is worth it. With the 243 you can load for both varmint and deer, and with the 30-06 you can load for deer and/or elk easily.

    Find some good reloading manuals to look though, maybe get a DVD on reloading before you do a full investment. Talk to some locals who reload. I think it is great not for the savings, but for the ability to fine tune the cartridges.My A-Bolt 30-06 gets 1.5 to 2.0 inch groups with factory, I get 5 shots I can cover with a quarter on the hand loads.

    Source(s): I don't do 12 ga reloads, but that needs a totally different set up than rifle-pistol cartridges.
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You won't save much money at all, but you're accuracy will improve dramatically! Especially the rifle rounds. You won't believe how your group size will shrink! It isn't cheap, though!

    You'll need a kit that has a press, a primer setting tool, a scale that measures 1/10 grain, a powder thrower, and, of course, dies for each caliber. I don't know how much you shoot, or what kind of shooting you do (competitive, hunting, silhouette, group shooting, etc) but reloading can be a new extension to your old hobby!

    edit: I did do 12ga reloading for my kid's trap shooting, and it works the same as other re-loading. You just need hulls (shells) wad cups (available at many gun stores and all gun shows) shotgun primers and, of course, powder and shot!

    edit II: Go to Midway Sales http://www.midwayusa.com/ . They have all you need.


  • 1 decade ago

    I'll go with Eagle Scout on this one. If you don't factor in your time, you save a ton. And since I enjoy reloading, I don't see it as a waste of time. Lee makes very affordable stuff, and is a good way to go if you are starting out. They usually have complete kits for under $100. Their dies are in the $17-30 range per set. If you save your cases from factory ammo, you don't have to go buy more. Primers run about $3/100, powder around $22-25/pound. There are 7000 grains per pound of powder, and you typically use less than 10 grains per pistol round and 30-50 grains per round for rifles. You do the math. Add to that a box of decent bullets for less than $20/100. You are looking at less than 50 cents per round. Much less if you cast your own bullets.

    Reloading isn't rocket science, and there are all kinds of videos on how to do it on youtube. If you aren't sure if it is for you, watch some of the ones on using a Lee Loader kit. They are a cheap way to get into reloading if you are only doing it for one gun. At around $20, they are a very inexpensive way to get your feet wet.

  • randy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    truthfully, you won't save a lot. The main reason to reload is to get consistent results that are not possible with mass produced commercial ammo.

    The days of saving money by reloading are gone. With the high cost of lead, copper, brass, powder, primers and the high cost of the initial investment in equipment, unless you shoot 5000 rounds a month, it would be many years until you reached the break even stage, and many more until you actually could say you saved money. Unless of course you were smart enough to purchase huge stocks of supplies back when they were so much less expensive. In that case, you are probably saving thousands each year in ammo costs.

    As for start up costs, well, lets see, dies for each caliber vary from $20.00 to $45.00, shell holders for each caliber run around $6.00 each. Bullets in bulk, for lead, run around $35.00 per 500, quality jacketed and semi jacketed bullets run from $18.00 per hundred to $27.00 per hundred. Powder is very high, and scarce right now, by the pound it averages $27.00, primers are also scarce, and run around $28.00 per thousand. Then you have to invest in a quality reloading press and kit. A quality single stage one like RCBS rock chukar 2, starts around $300.00 with accessories, but you will still need to add a good micrometer $30.00, a case trimmer, $50.00-$150.00, extra loading trays, extra case lube, and unless you like the rcbs auto primer, you will be buying at least 1 lee auto primer, plus shell holders for each caliber to fit that as well, haven't priced that for a while, but probably around $40.00 plus the shell holders. A reloading bench if you dont have one already, safety glasses, Brass cases for each caliber, the kit does include things like a mechanical scale (upgrading to a digital scale will set you back another $300.00) and a powder thrower, (a digital one will run you at least $300.00) and a few other items you need to get going. And this does not include shotgun, which requires a differnt reloading press, charge bar, lead shot, powder, primers etc. Think of how much live ammo you could buy for that much money, and like I said, unless you shoot competition and fire several thousand rounds a month, it won't add up to saving money for a long, long time. When I was competition, I was firing and reloading a thousand rounds a week. It saved me a ton of money, and improved my accuracy greatly to have consistant loads.

    shoot safe

    Source(s): Retired Police Officer NRA certified police firearms instructor Competition shooter (ret) Avid hunter since age 9 with: Archery Black powder firearms Handguns Modern rifles Shotguns Trained at S&W, COLT and GLOCK Armorer schools I specialize in building 1911 pistols and AR 15 rifles And ran a gun shop for many years SIC VIS PACUM PARA BELLUM. “If you want peace, prepare for war”
  • 1 decade ago

    I've been thinking the same thing. I want to learn from someone who already has all the necessary gear - this isn't a "learn by failure" type of deal. I've been told you can save about half on some of the more expensive rounds - although I can't say I know much about 12 gauge shells. I would imagine that they would be more expensive because of the wadding...but what do I know?

    Best of Luck

  • 1 decade ago


    The money that you save is a relative factor. I got into reloading over a period of about 20 years, and increased my equipment. I would NEVER factor in the money that I spent to buy the equipment as part of the cost of the remanufactured ammo.

    That being said ... you can save a fair amount of money, depending on how much you shoot and how frequently you shoot. In all honesty, I have not had an opportunity to reload since my accident almost two years ago, when the cost of ammo and components skyrocketed. However, if you are not out to rock the world with the bang and the bullet speed, you can reload quite affordably.

    For example, I would reload .38 Special, 9 mm Luger, 41 Magnum (light loads) and .45 ACP. I would cast and size my own bullets, using wheel weights. I never factored in my time ... I found it relaxing and an enjoyable diversion. I would load up light/low velocity target loads in all of the ammo. Whn .38 Specials were selling for aout $9.00 a box of 50, I could cast and load 50 for less than a dollar. Forty fives (match ammo) was going for about $19 a box, and I could cast and load a box for about $2.00. The savings for the 9mm and the .41 Magnum were in the same ball park!

    I was also loading 12 guage target loads for mysel and my father ... You could buy a box of Winchester AA 7 1/2s for $5.00 at the trap range, and I could reload the same box for about $3.00. I would never use reloaded shotshells for hunting. Better to spend a few bucks!

    For rifle ammo, I would reload Match Grade .308's, .30-06's and .223. If I bought .30 cal ammo for a 88 shot match, I could expect to drop about $100 and have so-so accuracy. For the same .30 cal ammo, reloading it with either Sierra MatchKings or Lapua FMJBTs, the same 100 rounds ran me about $20, plus my time. Again, the reloading was relaxing and a diversion, so I never factored in the cost of my time. With the AR15 and the .223s, Match ammo (which I never even considered buying) was going to run about $60. I reloaded it with either Sierra MatchKings or Hornady HPBT Match bullets for about $25-30.

    The savings for me was that I always recycled my brass and shells. Shotgun shells could generally be reloaded about 5x, match loaded handgun cartridges were often reloaded 10-12 times before the case mouths lost their "grip". With the rifle shells, I never reloaded the cases much more than 6-7x, then I tossed them ... I needed consistency for the matches.

    Bottom line, if you do not factor in the cost of the reloading equipment and your time, you can save about 75% off of the cost of factory ammo ... if you do factor in the cost of your time and the reloading toys, you will probably be at the break-even point. One point I must make clear ... for high power service rifle matches, I would shoot about 2000 rounds a year in competition ... and the competition was my practice! For handgunning ... more PPC matches and formal Bulls-eye, I could burn up about 2000-3000 rounds a year. I am still using the same RCBS reloading press I bought for $50 back in the late '70s. I have yet to wear out a pair of reloading dies. I have upgraded powder scales, but only for the speed and the precision!

    Think of reloading to be like a persons fishing boat ... people love the convenience of running out to catch the big ones when ever they can ... but they kinda forget the costs associated with owning and operating the boat. Look at reloading not for the savings, but the increased precision you get by working up your loads and having a better appreciation of what goes into each shot ... you will waste less when YOU make your shells!

    Just off the top of my head ... expect to drop about $300 for a good press, about $40 for each set of good carbide (pistol) dies and about $25 for steel rifle dies ... and anywhere from $75 to $300 for a good scale. You can not really use the same press for metallic (rifle and pistol) shells as for your shotgun shells. Expect that powder will run about $25 a pound (7000 grains) and primers will run about $30 a thousand, while bullets are going out of this world if you buy them!

    Good luck and good shooting!

    Source(s): Master Class competitive rifleman Expert Class competitive pistol shot Reloader of over 124,000 rounds Over 30 years of firearms and reloading experience NRA Endowment Life Member
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    ouch, if Obama has his way, you won't be allowed to load your own ammo, since they can't register cases, just full cartridges, so your outta luck there.

    but if your lucky that the law doesn't go through, you can get set upp for around 200-300 bucks, hornady's good for this:


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