16ga.com Forum Index
Author Message
<  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: 1886
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".

_________________
Only catch snowflakes on your tongue AFTER the birds fly south for the winter...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Brewster11
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:05 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 08 Feb 2009
Posts: 954
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.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MSM2019
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 4:55 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 04 Mar 2019
Posts: 986
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.

_________________
Mark...You are entitled to your own opinion. You aren't entitled to your own facts.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FlyChamps
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:05 am  Reply with quote
Member
Member


Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 349
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.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
df
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:24 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 01 Oct 2007
Posts: 754
Location: Minnesota

Flychamps nailed it, it’s more important than business!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
WyoChukar
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:28 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 16 Jul 2015
Posts: 1886
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.

_________________
Only catch snowflakes on your tongue AFTER the birds fly south for the winter...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
4setters
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:16 am  Reply with quote
Member
Member


Joined: 19 Nov 2013
Posts: 370
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.

_________________
16 gauges:
1954 Win M12 IC
1952 Ithaca M37 Mod
1955 Browning Auto-5 Mod
1940 Ithaca NID M/F
1959 Beretta Silver Hawk
Ranger 103-II M/F
Browning A-5 Sweet 16
Browning Citori Invector
Rem 870 Remchoke
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Hammer bill
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:34 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Posts: 438

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
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Brewster11
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:20 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 08 Feb 2009
Posts: 954
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.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
RGuill96971
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:44 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 21 Mar 2019
Posts: 408
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.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
duckdup
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 6:19 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2018
Posts: 247
Location: West-central Missouri

Shooting is fun; reloading is fun; accounting is boring...

_________________
An ounce of fives, the smell of nitro in paper hulls, wet gundog, and Hoppe's #9...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dave in Maine
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2021 7:17 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Sep 2010
Posts: 1856
Location: Maine

One can come to all sorts of opinions on whether reloading is "worth it" or not. For the past several years, since the last big episode of empty shelves, I bought when I could find good prices. That was old ammo or primers at gun shows (the powder being offered was usually either something I didn't need or was priced at full retail), shot when I could find it reasonably. 2 yr ago, I picked up a dozen bags of shot from a not-too-little country gun store for $35 each. New magnum 7.5. Balanced the car nicely. Now, I wish I'd just bought more.

I was also accumulating ammo, when it was on sale (remember that?) or when I found a good price.

And I saved my hulls and CF brass. No littering....

Since I'm not a good enough shot to justify premium target shells, shooting promos was fine with me. Those were 21.45/4 boxes at Wally World; I got my practice in with my 12 ga guns. Coming around to the idea that a few iterations of perfect practice are far more important than lots and lots of less-disciplined shooting.

For hunting I used "premium" shells - RSTs in my 16s and 20 and last year in the new-to-me English 12 w/ 2.5 in chambers. I don't go through that many shells hunting because, for me, it's usually more of an armed walk. And I haven't hunted waterfowl for years (though I have some steel and bismuth on hand) and there's no dove season in Maine to burn through ammo that way.

I learned a bit about reloading in the past and only this summer cranked up again, just a little. The genesis of that was my buying an old Damascus 12 ga. For the Fox fans, this is one from Baltimore Arms, A.H.'s company with his dad and Frank Hollenbeck before there was the Fox Gun Co.. Sound and tight as the proverbial drum, lever a skosh right of center. Very well taken care of, used a lot but not abused. As it turned out, a prior owner probably had used it in his duck (or, less likely, turkey) blind. It is a bit on the heavy side. During a detailed inspection the gunsmith and I were quite surprised to see a prior owner had opened the chambers to 3 inches (measured several times) and the chokes were sorta reversed. The left barrel is a bit more open than the right. This suits me just fine, because I can run 2.75 inch shells through it all day.

Not that I'm going to run 11k psi promo loads through it, though. This is one of the reasons I reload - to be able to have and shoot low-pressure/low-recoil shells through guns with 120 year-old wood and not fear damaging them. When RSTs were available I had a real problem with 18.95 a box for RSTs for target practice. But I have a 12 ga load (Remington STS hull, Fed 12S0, Win 209, Clays, 7/8 ounce shot) that comes in around 7k psi, has very little recoil, and gives nice patterns. 20 ga load through a 12 ga.... Even at today's prices I'd bet I'm coming in right around the price of promo loads.

Likewise, the day will come when I will "have" to reload for the 16 and 20. I may have the 20's chambers let out to 2.75. When DelGrego fixed the ribs on that gun, he suggested I do that as it does make the gun more versatile. He said his hunting gun (also a 20 ga Trojan) was set up like that. Whether that was his sales pitch or not, it's growing more appealing. The 16s I can't let out - the barrels were struck too lightly to tolerate that. But, I can shoot 2.75 in shells through my 16ga drilling (it has 2.75 in chambers) and reload the hulls at 2.5.

One of the commenters upthread mentioned reloading for .38 special. This is where reloading can come in handy in a big way. We had a class on bullet casting at my club recently and at one point the topic turned to economics, particularly about the cost of equipment and primers. Short version: Your savings will pay for it pretty quickly.

Assume the following prices: lead at $2/lb, Red Dot at $35/lb, primers at $100/1000, you have/saved your brass/got a coffee can full at the gun club auction or from some old guy.

With a pretty generic load of a 140 grain bullet, 4 grains of Red Dot (just for the sake of easy math) that works out like this:

7000 grains/lb Lead / 140 grains/bullet = 50 bullets/pound @ $2/lb = 4 cents/bullet
7000 grains/lb powder / 4 grains /round = 1750 rounds/pound powder @$35/lb = 2 cents/ round for powder
$100/1000 primers = 10 cents per round
(4 cents/bullet + 2 cents/powder + 10 cents/primer) = 16 cents/ round = $8/ box of 50.

Compare that to paying $50 a box as it was earlier this year or even $25 or $30 as it seems to be now. It almost makes sense to be buying those $100 primers, other than you're ratifying someone's pricing decision and lining their pockets when you shouldn't.

And when you talk about ratifying someone's pricing decision, that's where your wallet control comes in. I saw a good example of rational economic behavior last night. I went up to LL Bean's main store, the one with a gun and ammo department to do some window shopping. Their shelves were full of ammo. Mostly non-tox that no one wants to use anyway. As you probably know, 6.5 Creedmoor is pretty much unobtainable, but they had plenty. Hunting rounds loaded with Barnes solid coppers ... $69.99/box of 20. .300 Savage, Remington Core-Lokts ... $43.99/box of 20. CCI .22 LR "Quiet" (710 fps) ... $6.95/box of 50. Federal 16 ga target/upland: $18.95.

None of the ammo was moving.

I will not pay $40 for a box of .308 or .30-06. I cannot justify paying even $30 a box, when I know it sold for $18 last year. Period. Wallet stays holstered.

_________________
“A man’s rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.”
Frederick Douglass, November 15, 1867, speech in Williamsport, Pa.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
rkittine
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:13 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 07 Sep 2014
Posts: 391

I reload because I like it and for 16 gauge, because it gives me more flexibility that I can find with factory ammo. Fortunately have have at least a 5 year supply of all components, bought when things were high but not stupid high.

Bob

_________________
Robert Kittine
Sag Harbor and Manhattan, New York
WA2YDV
16 Gauge O/U Browning 525 Sporting
16 Gauge SxS Rizzini Islide
16 Gauge Pump Browning BPS Upland
16 Gauge Semi-Auto Remington 1100 Sporting
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
16gaDavis
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 7:43 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 1720
Location: canandaigua - western n.y. (formerly deerhunter)

in my 55+ yrs of shooting , can't remember shooting factories . T 17 , just took my trap loads , added a couple grns of powder and let those trap loads go at 1300+ - mu duck load . Granted out of a full 97 winnie . No problems killing anything ! Been that way all along . And now , tons of donated stuff . The sporting shooters at the club are always collecting both size cases they pick up at the shoots . Still have old G28 wads from the Activ days . Just got a brick of primers from a member that thought they were NG - wrong ! .... my brother shot all his 357's and 38 specials , Dave . Had picked up 38 cases , some old Red Dot and primers someone gave me and a querie at the club got me 100 158grn bullets for free . Basically free loads for my BRO !! Reloading is the only shooting i know !

_________________
Molly sez AArrrooooooah !
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
All times are GMT - 7 Hours

View next topic
View previous topic
Page 2 of 2
Goto page Previous  1, 2
16ga.com Forum Index  ~  16ga. Ammunition & Reloading

Post new topic   Reply to topic


 
Jump to:  

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum




Powered by phpBB and NoseBleed v1.09