I have been shooting more and more competitions this fall, and have decided that it might be time to start reloading again.  The volume of shooting makes you think that it might be cheaper to do this yourself, thereby allowing more time on target.  If you are a shooter that doesn’t shoot but a few boxes a year, reloading is not for you.  The time and expense of machinery will not yield a benefit to you.  However, you may decide you simply enjoy it, and the cost isn’t a real issue because you like having the hobby around you even when you aren’t shooting.  That is fine, but I thought I would run some real numbers to help you know if it might be time for you to start reloading.

The first thing to know is that one pound of powder has 7,000 grains in it.  This will help you determine how many loads you can get from one can of powder for your application.  In my case, I use Vhitavuori powders that cost about $30 a pound.  With my 9mm load I can get 2,121 rounds.  With 45 ACP I can get 1,400 rounds loaded.  So here is the breakdown.

Powder $.015
Primer  $.03
Bullet    $.056  Lead Bullets/Berry’s Plated bullet is $.07

Total      $.10 per round/$.12 with Berry’s

So you can see that the 9mm will cost around $10 per hundred if you are a brass scavenger and don’t have to pay for your brass.  I personally don’t buy brass for the 9mm or the 45 ACP, because you can normally find it at the range, or you can start by saving your brass from factory loaded rounds.

45 ACP
Powder $.02
Primer  $.022
Bullet    $.087 Lead bullet/Berry’s Plated Bullet $.12

Total     $.13 per round/$.16 with Berry’s

Once again $13 per hundred if you are a brass scavenger.  This represents quite a bit of savings for the person who will shoot several thousand rounds per year.  With 45 ACP going for about $40 per hundred it would be easy to save about $250 reloading with the Berry’s load.  This either puts money back in your pocket or lets you shoot around 1,500 more rounds per year for the same money as the person who doesn’t reload.

Whatever you decide, do the math.  You might find you could be saving some money or shooting more.