Reloading vs. Cheap Factory


TGT Addict
May 29, 2017
Austin, TX
Let's say for these common calibers, what would the savings be for a comparable to factory load?

.45 Auto ($14.50 / 50 WWB)
8mm Mauser ($13 / 20 Prvi Partisan)
.223 Remington

I'm wondering about reloading, but I can't deny that I'm a bit paranoid that I'll squib load or overload something. I guess I'd need to see the process.


Active Member
Feb 22, 2008
Austin, TX
Well the one thing about reloading is, that the initial purchase is huge. I haven't started with pistol calibers yet, mainly because the cost/benifit ratio isn't there for me (yet). Rifle rounds are a different story. I can tailor my loads for the particular gun I am shooting them in, and can get tangible accuracy gains from that. None of my pistols are race guns or target pistols, so I know the only thing I would be saving is a little money. Since I don't have a progressive press though, the time I would spend loading pistol rounds would negate the price difference to me.

I was somewhat hesitant myself before I decided to start. As long as you can be consistent it isn't a problem. I do everything in stages, that way I am not having to remember where each case is. I take them out of one pile, do a process to it, and then move it to a finished pile. The only exception is after I throw powder, I always seat a bullet after I do that.


New Member
Feb 29, 2008
Between Houston and Beaumont
Using my Graf & Son catalog I came up with these prices for your calibers:

.45 ACP $0.18 per round

8 x 57 $0.75 per round

.223 $0.18 per round

This is assuming that all components are in the purchase price , brass and all. The brass will last "x" number of times so that can be amortized over the life. I used the cheapest bulk rifle bullets in the book for .223 and the cheapest .45 cast bullet. 8mm can be cheapened a little, but as with most rifle cartridges there is not a lot of savings. The military chamberings can be cheap, as you see. This is due to the availability of bulk brass and bullets.

I cast my .45 bullets and have scrounged metal long enough, as well as brass, that a box of 50 .45's costs me about $1.50.

I bought gobs of .223 abd .308 FMJ's two years ago, so my current cost for AR and FAL feed is pretty low. On the order of $0.14 and $0.16 respectively. (IF I remember right)

I didn't include hazmat or shipping in the prices I ran, by the way. As was said, the initial investment is huge. It takes a while to make the money back. I love reloading almost as much as shooting, so the entertainment offsets a lot for me.


TGT Addict
May 29, 2017
Austin, TX
Works out to be about $9 / box in .45 ... that's a fair savings.

It's incredibly cheap to reload .223!

I've been saving my .45 and 8mm brass in the hopes that it might be reloaded some day.


Feb 23, 2008
San Antonio
The longer and more you reload, it will offset the initial cost. At $9 a box for .45, you can't beat it.

It's also a very relaxing hobby, IMHO and I now regret selling my equipment.


Active Member
Mar 4, 2008
Cost of reloaded pistol ammunition can vary widely based on bullet cost/source. The cheaper you can find/make/buy bullets, the cheaper the ammo. Cost can vary from about $4.00-$9.00 per box of 50 for .45 ACP. As far as the danger in reloads, the danger is directly related to carelessness, sloppy techniques, or trying to make "hotter than factory" loads. Reloads are as safe or dangerous as YOU MAKE THEM. I have been reloading for 44 years and still have all my fingers, toes, and eyes. I consider myself in more danger while driving my car than when shooting my reloads. But I am very careful about shooting anyone else's reloads unless I know them REALLY well.


New Member
Mar 6, 2008
Generaly reloading will eventualy pay for itself, what you reload determines how fast that happens. I started reloading .375 h&h and ,458 winmag-my equipment paid for itself in a few hours.


Active Member
Feb 22, 2008
Austin, TX
I really need to get some reloading equipment. I have thousands of 9mm, .45, 5.56, 30-30, .308, and 300 Savage. So far I have not found a non reloadable case I have shot. Just need a tumbler, press, and all that stuff.

I can reload shot shells, but since prices were so low on them for so long kinda got away from it.



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