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Thread: 9mm reloading economics in 2023.

  1. #1
    Site Supporter David S.'s Avatar
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    Sep 2011

    9mm reloading economics in 2023.

    Now that components are starting to come back, I'm looking to potentially reload something like 10k+ rounds of 9mm this year for training and USPSA competition. I'm not concerned with any other caliber at the moment.

    I have a Dillon 650 setup.
    I have basically unlimited range pick up brass.
    I have a mentor with Dillon experience.

    Not searching for cheapest product or deals:

    Powder Valley pricing:
    4lb jug of N320: $150. (At 2k rds/lb, should yield 8k total)
    8k projectiles: $700 (147g Blue Bullets.)
    8k primers: $760

    It looks like 8k rounds will cost 24 cpr, or $1871 shipped.

    Bulk 115g 9mm is currently about 27 cpr. 8k rounds of MagTech 115g is $2270 shipped.

    Do my numbers seem reasonable?
    David S.

  2. #2
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    That sounds correct. The only thing I've found myself looking at recently is what is my time worth (life got busy quick).

    If you would be watching TV otherwise and literally wouldn't be doing anything else during the creation/QC process, then I would still forecast out what my time expenditure would be for all of reloading process, and ask if I would still do it for XYZ dollars if it's from an economy perspective.

    I'll continue to reload, even at a bit of a cost, as it offers diversification of where the ammo comes from, and smooths out the bumps in the road during dry spells.

  3. #3
    I think your numbers look about right.

    I will say shooting USPSA with 130pf 147gr 9mm vs factory 115gr is not quite the same experience. A more fair comparison might be the 150gr fed syntech or Atlanta arms 147gr or something.

    I am still using primers hoarded from a long time ago. I doubt primers will ever be $35-$40/k again, but I am hoping they get a little more reasonable. It seems like they are at least readily available now at $100/k.

    Reloading 9mm when primers are $100/k isn't a big money saver.

    If primer prices do not drop, at some point I will start saving my stash for 40 cal and more expensive rounds and probably put effort into finding a bulk deal on syntech, instead of putting effort into pulling the handle on my press.

  4. #4
    Thereís also the time aspect. Not just time of reloading but time testing loads, range time spent, travel to and from range. Setting up press, fiddling with press, fixing press when press breaks. Thereís time spent picking up brass, cleaning brass, sorting and qcing brass. The list goes on. The time isnít as simple as I can reload 1,000 rounds an hr on my press so itíll take me 8 hrs to reload 8k rounds. IMO I spend more time doing the other parts of reloading than on the press. The brass processing is time consuming and I didnít used to do it but crimped primers are super annoying and increase the chances of something going wrong during the process. Additionally I had a case blow out once from range pickup brass. On more than one occasion I have found cracked brass at the range.

    Due to a move I no longer have my press set up so Iím buying factory. At current prices of $.24 per round I donít see it worth it to reload. Back when I could reload at half the cost it was. But like someone else mentioned, with primers at $100/1000 I personally donít see it as worth it. To really make it worth I would need to be buying in huge quantities.

  5. #5
    I circle this drain myself all of the time.
    One tricky thing is how costs fluctuate, seems like the cost of ammo drops faster than the price of primers.
    So right now I am using primers I bought for $90-$100 back when you couldn't hardly get ammo or primers. But I was in a position to load almost 10k if things got more scarce. Fortunately they became more available, but that leaves me loading at less of a cost savings, until I "get" to buy primers again.

    Looks like maybe you could do better on primers, Ammoseek is your friend.

    There can also be a cost per round disadvantage that enables a cash flow advantage.
    I suggest buying as many primers as you can (probably 5k-10k), on one HazMat.
    Then buy 8 pounds of powder, maybe even on the same HazMat if you get lucky.
    Pay for this by not buying all of the bullets. Get them 3k at a time on their free freight bundle (147gn BB is also what I load), the savings to bump up to their higher quantities is very slight.
    By buying more powder you throw things off sync, and that is good news because you will not need everything at the same time ever again. Right now I need powder (~$280), a few months from now I will need bullets again ($270), sometime next year I will need primers again (~$450). This has me perpetually loading at about $0.20.

    And as mentioned, this also upgrades you to a 147gn bullet. So a true cost comparison would be to buy 8 cases of 147gn loaded ammo RIGHT NOW. Costs will probably come down, but could go up again. IMO as long as you have primers your butt is pretty well covered.

    And as also mentioned, the time factor depends on what else you would be doing. Personally, my wife likes to watch American Idol, so I have time available to reload while that is going on...

  6. #6
    Site Supporter David S.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Roger that on the time consideration.

    If it's a $50/k cost difference between factory and reloads, I'm working for $20/hr if it takes me 20 hrs all-in to load that 8k.

    Is my gun time better spent dry firing? hmmmm.
    David S.

  7. #7
    Site Supporter CCT125US's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    I also look at the cost, replacement cost, and average cost.

    For instance, my current cost / stock is valued at:
    $25 / k primers
    $110 / 8lb / 4.7gr per case
    $80 / k bullets
    Free brass

    Replacement cost:
    $75/k primers
    $230 / 8lb
    $90 / k bullets
    Free brass

    Average cost:

    Current factory 9mm cost at local shop $14.99/50

    Also, if prices spike on primers and powder, I have the knowledge and ability to cast bullets. I can redirect what I was spending on bullets. With a 4 cavity mold and a couple afternoons, you can drop alot of projectiles. However, one must have primer and powder, so at this point I'm less likely to use existing stock.

    My centerfire pistol usage has fallen off a cliff. I barely shoot 50 rounds a week currently. I reviewed my round counts and made some adjustments. Much more focused drills and dryfire.

    However, when you use this to tumble your brass, what's a few dollars either way.

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  8. #8
    I debate picking up X amount of brass at the range when I shoot, not sorting it at all and just recycling it and then using the money to buy once fired, cleaned brass.

  9. #9
    Focus JCN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    in a really good place
    Quote Originally Posted by David S. View Post
    Is my gun time better spent dry firing? hmmmm.
    Yes, unless you really enjoy the meditation of reloading.

    If you spend the time dry firing itíll take less ammo to get to the same proficiency so the cost will wash that way tooÖ


  10. #10
    Deadeye Dick Clusterfrack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Bullets: $0.07
    Primers: $0.085
    Powder: $0.015
    Range brass: $0.00
    $0.017 / round
    "You can never have too many knives." --Joe Ambercrombie
    Shabbat shalom, motherf***ers! --Mordechai Jefferson Carver

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