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<  16ga. Ammunition & Reloading  ~  The cost of reloading vs factory ammo
WyoChukar
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:17 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 16 Jul 2015
Posts: 1877
Location: Hudson,Wy

Can't make comparisons with today's market? It is more difficult with erratic price gouging that has occurred (for both ammo and components), but I am standing by my statement based on what I payed for steel and lead shot from Precision Reloading this summer, Cheddite primers at my local gun shop, and what the LGS is charging for powder (I'm not needing any powder right now, but used the price for comparison).

I totaled up what it is costing me to load various no-tox and premium lead loads then looked at the horrendous prices of equivalent ammo. But that's nothing new, the disparity has always been there, especially when broken down into percentages...and it still, even at today's "regular" component prices, costs about $1 more per box to load a "pheasant load" compared to a "game load".

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Brewster11
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:05 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 08 Feb 2009
Posts: 938
Location: Western WA

Wyo, right off the bat you are losing money. You must invest in 25 lbs of shot to make one box for each size of shot you intend to use. Standard accounting practices require that you absorb that entire cost even if you only make a single box.

Let’s suppose you want just two sizes of shot: 7 1/2 for Huns and 5 for phez, now you are in for 50 lbs for maybe thirty boxes or 750 rounds? Yes, you might burn that up after a few seasons (or likely longer as you are an expert wing shooter) but you have locked yourself in to something you might later regret. The economic term is called “opportunity cost” which is often the death knell for failed enterprises, large and small.

In industry we have a saying that applies to our sometimes miscalculated plans: “We lose money on each item we sell, but we make it up in volume.” That seems to be the logic behind many reloading calculations.

All the Best,
B.
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MSM2019
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 4:55 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 04 Mar 2019
Posts: 955
Location: Central ND

My 2 cents.

We do not reload to make a profit as a business venture. Components sitting on the shelf do not create a cash flow issue nor is a reloader concerned about ROI nor do we pay taxes on unused inventory.

The best way to buy new ammo is by the case. The same thing is true......you have unused but paid for ammunition......you would have to consider the cost of the unused ammunition sitting on the shelf just like the unused components.

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FlyChamps
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:05 am  Reply with quote
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Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 348
Location: Columbia, SC

Brewster11 wrote:
Wyo, right off the bat you are losing money. You must invest in 25 lbs of shot to make one box for each size of shot you intend to use. Standard accounting practices require that you absorb that entire cost even if you only make a single box.

Let’s suppose you want just two sizes of shot: 7 1/2 for Huns and 5 for phez, now you are in for 50 lbs for maybe thirty boxes or 750 rounds? Yes, you might burn that up after a few seasons (or likely longer as you are an expert wing shooter) but you have locked yourself in to something you might later regret. The economic term is called “opportunity cost” which is often the death knell for failed enterprises, large and small.

In industry we have a saying that applies to our sometimes miscalculated plans: “We lose money on each item we sell, but we make it up in volume.” That seems to be the logic behind many reloading calculations.

All the Best,
B.


In simple English "this ain't a business"; it's much more important than that, it's our pleasure. And, yes, I do understand "opportunity cost" as I have a Master of Accountancy degree and retired last October from a 45 year career as a CPA in public practice.

When I retired my wife and I moved into a retirement community where, after 44 years of reloading, I no longer have a place to reload so I now maintain an inventory of around 30 flats of factory ammunition. I would keep more inventory but I'm limited to about 30 flats due to space limitations. As Mark stated even maintaining an inventory of factory ammunition would fit your definition of "losing money" because it's not earning you income. That's where many of us disagree with you.

Two weeks ago my wife and I went shooting and shot a flat, which I was able to replace last week for $63.40 + tax. Several of our friends were unable to shoot with us because they could not find ammo due to the current shortage. The fact that I have around 30 flats means that my wife and I can shoot when we want to. Besides, even at current high prices those 30 flats replacement cost is less than $4000 (some being 2 1/2 inch low pressure and 28 gauge at higher prices), which is insignificant compared to the pleasure we get shooting.

When I was reloading we never regretted my inventory of components (generally a 3 - 5 year supply) and we don't regret our supply of factory ammo now.
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df
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:24 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 01 Oct 2007
Posts: 744
Location: Minnesota

Flychamps nailed it, it’s more important than business!
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WyoChukar
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:28 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 16 Jul 2015
Posts: 1877
Location: Hudson,Wy

Brewster, that is the most absurd argument I have ever read. Nobody buys a bag of shot, and the components needed to load it, to only load one box of shells. If I were not using everything I buy...I wouldn't need to keep buying, now would I? I am absorbing nothing other than the cost of reloading presses that I purchased on the used market over the past 30 years, plus minor wear item replacement such as wad guides.

Now then, let's consider another can of worms: reloading components that sit on the shelf for years (mine seldom do). I remember when components cost 1/3 of what they do today and more importantly, how steadily the price of components and ammunition have risen over the past decade or so.

That said, the casual reloader who takes 5-10 years to use up his supply of components is not paying the inflation on said goods during that period. Yes I am aware of inflation and what yesterday's dollar is worth, and it's still not a losing proposition. Not going to use it all? Sell it. Not hard to do. These same arguments mirror home ownership. Buy a house and you are obligated to the entire debt. Not going to live there the whole mortgage term? Sell it (perhaps at a profit, if you bought wisely). At least there is no interest rate for reloading components, unless you use the credit card and don't pay the balance in full when it comes due.

The bottom line is that I have a good idea of how much ammunition I use every season and it is not difficult to compare what that would have cost in over the counter ammunition purchases, by the case or otherwise. As a man of limited means, I pay attention to such things as they determine how much I get to travel and what I must drive. I still save enough annually to pay for some of my travels. That is not losing money right off the bat.

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4setters
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:16 am  Reply with quote
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Joined: 19 Nov 2013
Posts: 369
Location: NW Arkansas

Brewster mentions being "in for it" for 30 boxes of reloads if one bought two bags of shot. What if one planned to do the same amount of shooting/hunting with factory ammunition? I'd say one is "in for it" just the same--his purchase may just be spread over more time (or may not be). Given the $29 a box suggested retail on the Remington website for Express loads I posted in my earlier comments, a shooter/hunter would be "in for it" for about $875. Obviously, FlyChamps is "in for it" even more, re 30 flats @ $4000. Regardless, the shooter/hunter who buys factory ammo intends to shoot it in a reasonable period of time, just as the person who purchases two bags of shot or other reloading components does.

If the shooter/hunter is one who only buys a box of factory loads at a time (which seems to be the tact Brewster is promoting), all kinds of issues may occur. A overall complete scarcity of shotgun shells may occur, such that none can be found at retail outlets (sound familiar?), or the nearest store with 16 or 28 gauge shells may be 175 miles away. The shooter/hunter who picks up a box on the way to the shoot has been subject to problems with supply as long as I can remember (e.g., all they have is #8 dove loads and I'm going pheasant hunting, etc.). Most of us plan ahead a little better than that--I keep a flat of 16 gauge shells of various velocities/shot type in my truck throughout the fall and winter.

If something happens--God forbid--one can always sell components as needed--I've sold a mec 600jr, rifle powders, bullets, etc. for an old hunting buddy who is no longer able to hunt--we killed hundreds of roosters and ducks over a 30 year period--at reasonable prices for him recently.

Back in the late 2000s, I realized I was running low on shot--most of which had been bought in the 80s and 90s for around $15/bag--and decided I needed to stock up. Low and behold, unbeknownst to me, shot was selling for $50 a bag! Ouch and
Gulp! I started looking around, and over the past decade, I have located a number of folks quitting reloading, several estate sales with reloading equipment/components, and a bunch of internet sales with low priced items. No, I didn't buy any shot at $50/bag, primers at $100/1,000, powder at $75 a pound, in fact, I have accumulated about a dozen bags of shot at no more than $20/bag, along with 5-6,000 209/57 primers at no more than $20/1,000, probably ten pounds of shotgun powder at less than $15/lb., etc., and could have bought a lot more at similar prices.

Compare the cost of reloading a box of shells with these low-cost components to the cost of a factory box of high velocity 16 gauge or steel loads today. The difference will pay for some/all of your gas on a bird hunting trip, depending on how far you travel!

Thanks, WyoChukar, for your comments above. Spot on.

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Hammer bill
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:34 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Posts: 425

I have to agree with WoChucker completely. Fortunately Im lucky enough to be able to pay for my shooting by my winnings with a little take home change.I get a great pleasure in reloading but mainly because I could not afford to shoot other wise on SS. I seen this coming when that book Obammy got elected. Started buying then. Seen hand writing on the wall. As people drop off of the sport due to high cost the most will never be back. Most people are like sheep. If the elected officials say don't do this or do this. They just go along. To bad. Bill
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Brewster11
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:20 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 08 Feb 2009
Posts: 938
Location: Western WA

Regarding my post on cost of reloads: I should have prefaced it to refer to hunting ammo. I have reloaded 16 ga shells by the thousands for target use. Even then, as our club furnishes us with a box of Rios for $8.50, I’m not sure I’m saving anything by reloading, especially since there seems to be a ready market for clean once fired Rio hulls worth maybe $1.50 per box. And then we have members who burn through 8 flats in a single weekend shoot. Those shells won’t be reloads.

But back to hunting loads. Yes factory loads are costly. But who among us is reloading steel rounds tested and validated at 1550 FPS, which seems to be the standard at Wallys today. The value of our 1200-1300 FPS steel loads must be discounted to reflect that.

And if we buy 25 lbs of No. 5, it represents a sunk cost that must be factored into our calculations. Who routinely shoots 350 rounds at phez in a season, or even two or three? Maybe only extremely unlucky wingshooters, driven pheasant clients (who could likely afford factory ammo), or poachers. That leaves the rest of us sitting for years on a half empty bag of no. 5, which effectively doubles our cost of shot per box.

Some of us enjoy reloading? No question. But then there are muzzleloaders who like to make their own black powder. There’s no telling what folks like to do, but it doesn’t equate to dollars and cents, which was the original question posed by Wyo.

And it’s very compelling to point at our stash of powder and shot, and say “look how much money I saved”. But I saved a bundle on Herters ammo, and most of it is still sitting downstairs, and it might be cheaper than someone else’s reloads. And I won’t need to rush down to the reloading bench when the apocalypse comes.

If we want to justify reloading on a cost basis, a very sharp pencil is needed because according to my figures, it often doesn’t make sense if you put your green eyeshade on and look carefully at the cold hard numbers.

V/R
B.
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RGuill96971
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:44 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 21 Mar 2019
Posts: 399
Location: Houston texas

I have been following along with the discussion, and have started to post several times, but opted to not respond cause like anything else everyone has a different opinion. You will never be able to get one answer out of a group of hunters, shooters. For some it’s worth it, some not. Some just like to load their own shells. Im pretty sure we have all wasted more money on more worthless stuff. If I see a deal I buy, if I don’t I reload. As far as target ammo in 12,20 yes if your lucky to be somewhere to get it, then it doesn’t make financial sense to reload. I shoot a lot of 410 and it’s not anywhere to be found, unless you wanna pay stupid money for them. So if I didn’t reload, then the 410 would be parked. Everything cost money, more money lately, partially because people keep paying those stupid price’s, but once again maybe that’s all they can get. Most of the posters here should know what it’s all about, cause the shortage has happened before, and it’s gonna happen again. I expect a full 2 years before the market is back to normal. If you don’t have the components to reload, then now isn’t the time to get started for most. Basically it will all be back eventually, and if not you will either adapt and overcome or park it.
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