With ammunition price sky rocketing and the availability declining, reloading ammunition can be a cost effective and satisfying venture to go into.
What are the associated costs to reloading. First, you have to ask yourself, if you are reloading to plink or play at the range, reloading for competition, or reloading for hunting. Each of the three is unique in how you will load for your rifle. I’ll tackle this matter by giving you a general formula and cross-reference the associated costs of standard factory ammo.
Reloading press prices will vary from $25 – $1500. This is your first determining factor. If you are a new reloader, I would highly recommend purchasing a single stage press. Lee makes an affordable entry press to learn on. Progressive presses produce more ammunition than single 303 British ammo stage presses and are much more expensive.
Reloading dies will also vary based on whether you will be shooting a bolt or semi-automatic rifle. These will range from $20 – $100. You can choose from competition dies, carbide dies, or just plain standard dies. Some of these will come in two die or three die sets. More dies usually mean more money. It also means that you are not sacrificing the quality of your rounds by distributing tasks performed to other dies, rather than having multipurpose dies.
Accessories that you will also incur will be case tumblers and tumbler media, case trimmers, primer pocket cleaners, calipers, reloading book, scales, powder measure, and an area to work in. You can purchase complete reloading kits with all of the following already included in the specific caliber you want to shoot. Often times this is the most cost-effective way to go.
So, here’s what you’ve been waiting for, the math to justify it all:
(Cost of equipment) + (Cost of components) = Initial Cost
(Initial Cost) / (# of rounds to produce) = initial cost per round
2nd batch (Cost of components) / (# of rounds to produce) = cost per round*
(Price per round of factory ammo) – (Cost per round) = savings
(Initial Cost) / (Savings) = break even point
Purchasing in bulk quantities is where you will gain the most advantage. Purchasing 5000 primers instead of 100 or 8lbs of powder with several of your friends and split the hazardous material fee will go a long way to putting more money into your pocket and longer time at the range.
* excludes the cost of reusing brass