Monday, November 30, 2009

Ammo prices.

When I go to the range, I always drag my ammunition along packed loose in ammo cans. Last Sunday I shot the .22LR can completely dry and had to borrow a handful or two from Bobbi. We stopped by Gander Mountain on the way home, and I picked up a 550rd carton of Federal, but 550 rounds makes a thin layer on the bottom of a .30 cal can, and yesterday's activities left a bare hundred rounds rolling around in there. I bought 500 rounds of cheapo bulk Winchester to replace it, but...

And of course I'm shooting more rimfire because I'm shooting less centerfire. When you've only got 100 rounds of .45 left in the ammo can, and it was priced like imported sin to boot, you find yourself rationing it out. "Okay, one warmup mag, three magazines strong-hand-only, and two weak-hand-only; that's... 42 rounds. Even if I can't find any cheap .45 between now and next weekend's range trip, I'll still have over fifty rounds..." Even the "cheap" 9mm to feed my 9mm trainer is still priced like .45 was just last year.

I really need to stop making excuses and get the reloading press set up today.

22 comments:

Cliff Smith said...

You don't save money reloading. You just get more shooting out of the money you have.

Tam said...

Exactly.

While the expenditure is only somewhat of a strain right now, the lack of lead downrange for the buck is distressing.

Ian Argent said...

WV: cursies. Appropriate, neh?

I guess I'm thankful that for my entire (year-old) shooting career ammo prices have been this bad. I expended approximately 200 rounds of 9mm this weekend along with about that much .22 (not all of which I shot - my wife and I invited her sister and the boyfriend out for the sister's first time and a new gunnie was born) and considered it no more than the cost of doing business. OTOH, I don't get to the range but every other month or so. In fact, if I'd gone just myself, I probably would have left another hundred rounds in the backstop. (Or if the .22 rifle I was using hadn't fallen the @#@#$# apart).

Anyway - my sympathies, and may you find the time and money to expend more rounds on your next range days

Top of the Chain said...

I'd just like to offer quiet encouragement in getting the reloading press set up. Good luck and happy lever pulling.

wrm said...

Good. Then you can share a decent 45 recipe. Got my 1944 M1911A1 (licenced after two years paperwork and 16 months police procrastination, for those who don't know). Cycles well with 5.2 grains of supposedly Bullseye equivalent behind a 230 grainer for 780 fps.

But you can't reload the .22

My 25 ACP reloads worked, but they're also a royal pain to stuff.

jimbob86 said...

Uhmmmm ...... Just think of it as an anti-slot machine: With a slot machine, you start with a pile of money, and with every pull you lose a little of it, all on the off chance of some immediate gratification ....

.... with the reloading press, with every pull you add to the pile of bullets you will most surely end up with when you are done...... all for the delayed gratification of having lotsa boolits for future range trips....

-jimbob

Anonymous said...

How long has it been since you posted your first foray into reloading on THR (or was it TFL)?

I avoided much of the current component shortage issues by stocking up over the years.
I have close to 10k primers of various types, just under 15lbs of powder, several thousand pieces of brass (32SWL, 38, 357, 44mag, 6.5x55), component bullets for at least 500+ of each caliber I shoot (except the 32, but that's very low volume usage), and nearly 200lbs of lead. I didn't panic buy all this at once when Obama got elected, I was buying here and there as I found good prices on stuff I actually used. It just happened that my consumption was lower than my purchase rate.

It's nice being able to walk into the basement and say "I think I'll reload a couple hundred of X" and not worry about components. :D

Chris

Frank W. James said...

You don't really start to 'saving money' until you start casting bullets then you are simply trading 'time' for 'ammo'.

Yeah, it's labor intensive, but when money is tight and you have a lot of free time on your hands it IS the solution to the ammo shortage situation.

(I also cast a bunch of bullets because I'm a .41 Mag freak, but that's another subject altogether.)

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Laughingdog said...

Honestly, getting set up to reload isn't going to help you much right now anyway. Instead of rationing out loaded ammo, I'm rationing out primers, because I haven't been able to get more for months. The only place I've found that's accepting back-orders is Cabela's, and I've had a backorder for 2000 large pistol primers since September, and they aren't expecting anything any earlier than January.

Ed Foster said...

Listen to Frank. Call around to all the local printing shops and see if anybody has old linotype for sale at a decent price.

Toss in a bit of used wheelweight material (fifteen cents a pound at tire shops) to up the antimony content, then go to work, but do it on the back porch over a campstove or in the garage with the door open and a fan blowing the fumes away from you.

Obviously, dress warm if you're doing it this time of the year.

The reason for all the extra tin and antimony in the mix is that the .45acp likes it's bullets hard. It was designed for jacketed bullets from the get-go.

Stick with the 225 Lyman or similar bullets. They feed better, and usually shoot better too.

Does 8 or 9 cents a shot sound better than 45 or 50 cents a shot? Closer to 7 cents after your lead scrounging skills have been honed.

The Freeholder said...

Gulp! Only 50 rounds? What are you going to do if the Zombie Apocalypse hits?

Tam said...

That's loose FMJ.

Robert Langham said...

4.5 Titegroup under a 185 or 230 Sierra MatchKing with a CCI 300 primer. Midway brand 230 FMJs seem to fly just as well out of my Les Baer and are much cheaper.

Anonymous said...

5 gr. winchester 231 with a 230 gr. cast, fmj, or hollowpoint. i load 2000 every 4 months. costs me 120 bucks per 1000 not bad i say.

T.Stahl said...

Ok, I do ration or reserve my ammo, too. But only the expensive 9mm Federal EFMJ, .223 with 69gr Sierras, or my .303 (164rds left, exactly enough to fill my 29 stripper clips, the magazine and the cartridge holder on the stock).

Ammo is still availabe in Germany. Getting handgun ammo in common calibers isn't a problem, even in reasonable amounts (1...10k). In some rifle calibers practice ammo is still moderately priced (.223, 7.62x39, 7.62x54, 8x57), others have become expensive (.308, .303, 6.5x55, .30-06).

alath said...

Re, cost savings and need to cast bullets to really save $: Yes, if you are talking about pistol range ammo in readily available calibers, or ammo that can be had in milsurp, you have to go to lengths to save money. This generally takes the form of buying milsurp components, casting, or buying large quantities of components.

However, if you are shooting oddball calibers, non-milsurp rifle calibers, or match-grade ammo, then you can save a ton of dough reloading without going to any crazy lengths.

Mr.B said...

4.7-5.2 g of 231 makes for a nice load for the .45ACP using a 230 g FMJ or lead bullet. YMMV

BTW, the original load for the .45 ACP was designed to duplicate the ballistics of the .45 colt round using smokeless powder rather than black.

I believe the original bullet was lead and 200g, not 230g FMJ.

og said...

I make regular runs to Precision Cartridge. His 45 fmj stuff is cheaper than you can reload. Assuming you buy a box of 1000. Shipping will kill you, but if you want I could pick some up and bring it down next time. Same goes for 9mm and 380

ZerCool said...

5.6gr Green Dot behind 230gr LRN, or 6.0gr of Ramshot TrueBlue behind 230gr LRN. The Ramshot seems to be a snappier load but I have no chrono to check. :)

Mr.B said...

.28 per round (.45ACP RNL) isn't cheaper than I can reload.....I can do it for about .17 /rd... $0.21 per rd for 230g FMJ.

But their pricing is pretty good.

Ed Foster said...

Three cents for the primer, three cents for the Unique to put on top of it, and two plus cents for the linotype and bullet lube. My labor I write off as exercise.

Call it $4.25 a box of 50, and it shoots good. 500 rounds fired and lunch at McDonalds, for less than $50. Jacketed bullets are for sissies.

Firehand said...

$.15/pound for wheelweights? Geez, around here(OK) the tire shops all sell them to recyclers or reuse it themselves. You have to go to junkyards, and they're about $.40-.45/pound.

Nice thing about casting is I can turn out bullets for the rifles that give good accuracy with light loads, easy on my shoulder. And a hell of a lot cheaper than feeding a 1895 Steyr factory ammo.