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Recalling the cost of inexpensive ammo (EXAMPLES)

Old 12-11-2011, 08:17 PM
  #11  
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Lead and copper have gone up, which affects brass making as well. If you want to know the cost savings of reloading, here is an example. 300RUM, 200gr loads. I shoot nosler thru it. For a box of 50 bullets 200gr partition=$34, card of 100 primers, $4, 1lb of Retumbo powder, $23. 7000gr in a pound of powder, aprox, and I burn about 95gr each round. 73 rounds I can make off a pound, so 32 cents a round in powder. 4 cents for a primer, and 68 cents a bullet. Thats $1.04 a round, using premium stuff. So a little over $20 for howitzer ammo. Its going to be $50 or more for factory ammo of the same stuff. Brass wasnt factored in, as I reused it. 375H&H is probably less then $15 for 20 rounds for me to load. Long as you dont blow a ton on pricey reloading stuff, you will come out ahead in one summer if you are a shooter.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:01 AM
  #12  
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When the Winchester Supreme Ballistic Silvertips first came out (early to mid '90's if I recall correctly), they ran $19.99 a box, which was steep for ammo back then, but they were "premium grade stuff". They had the highest MV, lowest ES, and best accuracy out of my .30-06 at the time, so I stuck with them. Fast forward over 15yrs and now they're running $35 per box.

Yes, I have dies and components to reload .30-06. No, I choose not to do so because I shoot pretty low volume out of that rifle. I shoot it about 3-4x a year to confirm my fieldcard, plus my shots on game. I run through 3-4 boxes per year. For $100, it's not hurting me THAT bad. If it WAS, I'd buy 1 box per year, and rein my shots back to inside 400yrds.

Like Ridge Runner, I pretty much chose the lesser of evils for my .223's. I have a sweet shooting pet load that I've been using for years, but I'd rather spend more time on the RANGE bench than at the reloading bench. I shoot .223rem at least once a week all year, luckily for me, the 3 .223's that I shoot high volume with really seem to like the budget friendly Remington UMC 50grn JHP's, that run $34 for a 40 box.

I reload my competition rounds, and my "way down town" rounds. But for either end of the volume spectrum, i.e. rounds I don't shoot very much, or rounds I shoot weekly, I don't bother. It's the rounds I have the highest expectations for that I reload. I don't mind throwing a 180grn .300WSM 800yrds after a whitetail, but you better believe THAT won't be a factory round.
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:32 AM
  #13  
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Reading your post I'm not only seeing the makings for a future reloader, but also a bullet caster. I just hope that all these years that you've been saving your brass. If you buy brass for a common cartridge like the 30-30 or 30-06 it will cost an avaerage of $40 per 100. That means that $8 of every box of ammo you buy goes towards the cost of the brass.

I'll give you an example of how much you can save by casting and reloding. I make two types of rifle ammo; full power loads using rifle powder and gas checks, and plinking loads that don't require gas checks and use pistol powder.

Primers - $30/1000
gas checks - $27/1000
powder - $80/4 pounds(4lbs will load 1000 rounds)
If you add things up you'll see that it's possible to make full power 30-30 or 30-06 rounds for less than $3 a box.
If you make plinking rounds that'll do 1200fps, it only takes $20 of powder and no gas checks to make 1000 rounds. That's only .04 cents a round or $0.80 a box. I suggest that you start scrounging lead whenever you get the chance.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:12 AM
  #14  
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Thanks again guys. Am starting to purchase some lead already. I am going to get my casting equipment and materials to reload at the same time also. I have made a deal with a couple of the recycling places around here and can get pure/soft lead at about .75 cents per pound. buckets of wheel weights seem to have a bunch of zinc wheel weights mixed in. I can get those for .45 cents per pound but I was told that the better deal is .75 cents per pound for the softer lead because with wheel weights you will discard more than you probably will be able to use.

Online prices of pure lead is sometimes $3 per pound. I have been looking at tin prices and that seems to be pretty high somewhere around $17 or $18 per pound. I'm looking at other tin sources too like lead free plumbers solder and even pewter at yard sales. The only thing that I have found was some of the newer pewter has trace amounts of copper. I don't know if that trace amount will hurt my casting results?

Another thing that I have heard about was that some of the old timers used to use a 50/50 tin/ nickel mix along with their lead at about 97% lead/ 1.5% tin/ and 1.5% nickel.
I don't know how true this is or where to locate nickel sources, but I heard that it made very hard/heavy bullets that filled out the mold and didn't foul the barrel either.

And another question to Centaur1. How do your "fast loads" perform out of your 30-06? What kind of velocities are you typically getting? Do you use Antimony in your bullet mix and do you find them shattering on impact because of the Antimony?

Thanks again guys for all your input.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:30 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Ghost of the hardwoods
Thanks again guys. Am starting to purchase some lead already. I am going to get my casting equipment and materials to reload at the same time also. I have made a deal with a couple of the recycling places around here and can get pure/soft lead at about .75 cents per pound. buckets of wheel weights seem to have a bunch of zinc wheel weights mixed in. I can get those for .45 cents per pound but I was told that the better deal is .75 cents per pound for the softer lead because with wheel weights you will discard more than you probably will be able to use.

Online prices of pure lead is sometimes $3 per pound. I have been looking at tin prices and that seems to be pretty high somewhere around $17 or $18 per pound. I'm looking at other tin sources too like lead free plumbers solder and even pewter at yard sales. The only thing that I have found was some of the newer pewter has trace amounts of copper. I don't know if that trace amount will hurt my casting results?

Another thing that I have heard about was that some of the old timers used to use a 50/50 tin/ nickel mix along with their lead at about 97% lead/ 1.5% tin/ and 1.5% nickel.
I don't know how true this is or where to locate nickel sources, but I heard that it made very hard/heavy bullets that filled out the mold and didn't foul the barrel either.

And another question to Centaur1. How do your "fast loads" perform out of your 30-06? What kind of velocities are you typically getting? Do you use Antimony in your bullet mix and do you find them shattering on impact because of the Antimony?

Thanks again guys for all your input.
Your antimony is going to come from the clip-on wheel weights, they typically contain about 3%. Keep the stick-on wheel weights separate, they are pure lead. Pure lead is used for muzzleloader bullets and maybe some slow pistol rounds. You'll be using it stretch your supply of lead when the full amount of antimony isn't required, but pure lead is just too soft. An example of that would be when casting for a 9mm handgun. They're notorious for leading so a little antimony is needed, but your rifle rounds will probably need the full 3% that is in the wheel weights.

I don't have a chrony so I only have my loading manuals to by when estimating velocity. I have used loads which should be going about 2400 fps in my 30-06, and 2200 fps in my 30-30. That is with a gas checked 174 grain flat nose bullet, I use the Ranch Dog TLC311-165-RF mold. Check out his website and don't forget to sign up over on castboolits.com.

http://www.ranchdogoutdoors.com/inde...products_id=31

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:50 PM
  #16  
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I could get the wheel weights for .45 cents per pound, but a lot of guys around my area are telling me that lately they have been tossing out more than they can cast. They say the majority of wheel weights in the Massachusetts/ Rhode Island area are made of zinc now.
I don't know how true this is, or if these bullet casters just don't want other casters buying up their supply. Do any of you guys know if this is true or not? I know they are making more and more wheel weights out of zinc , but is there really a likelihood that almost all the wheel weights being scrapped at service stations are going to be mostly zinc now?
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:26 PM
  #17  
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I reload many different calibers....30-30, 243, 270 win, 270 WSM, 25 WSSM, 300 WM, 7mm Rem Mag, 223, .348 Win, 308 Win, 300 Sav, 250-3000 Sav, 30 Carbine, 38 S&W, 357, 44 Mag, 9mm, 40 S&W and a few others...I do most of my reloading in the winter when it's too damn cold to shoot...but I gotta ask...where do you guys shop for components? I pay about $100 for 8 pounder kegs of the 6 different powders I use...and on average $25-30/1000 of primers.
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Old 12-17-2011, 06:16 AM
  #18  
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Thank you RidgeRunner!
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