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Loading My Own 9mm Vs Syntech or Other Competition Ammo?


Michael303
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I've been shooting USPSA and IDPA locally for close to a year now.  I started in Production and moved to CO a few months ago.  I've just been shooting whatever ammo I could get a good deal on which is typically S&B or Fiocchi 115g at around 0.17/rd.

 

I'm trying to sell myself on reloading but I'm questioning how much better reloading my own 9mm would be than buying factory ammo like Syntech or something else.  I haven't really shopped factory competition ammo much but the Syntech looks like it can be had around 0.21/rd so it would take a while for reloading to pay for itself.

 

So my question is, how much better, if any, can my reloaded ammo perform vs Syntech or another factory ammo option I'm unaware of?

 

I've yet to try Syntech or reloads so any feedback is appreciated.

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You can duplicate Syntech accuracy/recoil/power factor with handloaded ammo, maybe even improve slightly on it. The choice is--- invest in equipment, spend reloading/range/chronograph time to get what you want, then spend time to make more (buying powder/bullets/primers)... and then wait for the savings to materialize.  Depending upon how much you shoot, you might be better off just buying Syntech.

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I've been shooting USPSA and IDPA locally for close to a year now.  I started in Production and moved to CO a few months ago.  I've just been shooting whatever ammo I could get a good deal on which is typically S&B or Fiocchi 115g at around 0.17/rd.
 
I'm trying to sell myself on reloading but I'm questioning how much better reloading my own 9mm would be than buying factory ammo like Syntech or something else.  I haven't really shopped factory competition ammo much but the Syntech looks like it can be had around 0.21/rd so it would take a while for reloading to pay for itself.
 
So my question is, how much better, if any, can my reloaded ammo perform vs Syntech or another factory ammo option I'm unaware of?
 
I've yet to try Syntech or reloads so any feedback is appreciated.
how many rounds a year do you plan to shoot?? any other calibers besides 9mm?

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33 minutes ago, Michael303 said:

I've been shooting USPSA and IDPA locally for close to a year now.  I started in Production and moved to CO a few months ago.  I've just been shooting whatever ammo I could get a good deal on which is typically S&B or Fiocchi 115g at around 0.17/rd.

 

I'm trying to sell myself on reloading but I'm questioning how much better reloading my own 9mm would be than buying factory ammo like Syntech or something else.  I haven't really shopped factory competition ammo much but the Syntech looks like it can be had around 0.21/rd so it would take a while for reloading to pay for itself.

 

So my question is, how much better, if any, can my reloaded ammo perform vs Syntech or another factory ammo option I'm unaware of?

 

I've yet to try Syntech or reloads so any feedback is appreciated.

 

https://www.dillonprecision.com/reloading-cost-calculator.html

 

http://dillondealers.com/break-even-calculator/

 

play around with with these and then its up to you to decide.... (A.) large cash outlay now for future savings (B.) short term minimal expense with higher long run outlay 

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If shooting is going to be a long-time hobby, consider that ammunition availability can drastically change, due to political considerations. A lot of Californians are now reloading, due to changes in their laws requiring a background check, approval from the California Dept of Justice, and no online ammunition deliveries direct to consumer. In 2013, after the Sandy Hook shooting, shelves were empty for months. Being able to assemble your own ammunition gives you a level of autonomy.

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How many rounds a year do you shoot?

 

A Dillon 650 cost $450. Then the case feeder, $200. Then all the other little tiny things that end up being more.  Maybe $800 total after it’s all done with a basic reloading set up? Once you got it all set up, it’s about 8-10 cents a round or so, depending on your components. 

 

 

 

 

So if you shoot 10,000 rounds in a year at 20 cents a round, that’s $2000 (or $1700 if you are shooting the cheap stuff). 

 

Or if you reloaded 10,000 that’s $1000, plus your start up fee of $800ish. And you got custom rounds made exactly to your specs. 

 

 

I recommend friends start reloading if they shoot more than 5000 rounds a year. The press pays for itself after two years in that case. 

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24 minutes ago, dillon said:

If shooting is going to be a long-time hobby, consider that ammunition availability can drastically change, due to political considerations. A lot of Californians are now reloading, due to changes in their laws requiring a background check, approval from the California Dept of Justice, and no online ammunition deliveries direct to consumer. In 2013, after the Sandy Hook shooting, shelves were empty for months. Being able to assemble your own ammunition gives you a level of autonomy.

That would be me!!! 🤣

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44 minutes ago, geraldskip said:

How many rounds a year do you shoot?

 

A Dillon 650 cost $450. Then the case feeder, $200. Then all the other little tiny things that end up being more.  Maybe $800 total after it’s all done with a basic reloading set up? Once you got it all set up, it’s about 8-10 cents a round or so, depending on your components. 

 

 

So if you shoot 10,000 rounds in a year at 20 cents a round, that’s $2000 (or $1700 if you are shooting the cheap stuff). 

 

Or if you reloaded 10,000 that’s $1000, plus your start up fee of $800ish. And you got custom rounds made exactly to your specs. 

 

 

I recommend friends start reloading if they shoot more than 5000 rounds a year. The press pays for itself after two years in that case. 

Don't get me wrong - I advocate that people start reloading. However, to be transparent, there is another cost to consider in order to make 9mm for 10 cents a round. VOLUME. You need to buy primers, powder, bullets by the case. What this means to most people is that although the per round cost is low, the initial cost to acquire high volumes of components is not anything to sneeze at. 

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3 hours ago, Rnlinebacker said:

how many rounds a year do you plan to shoot?? any other calibers besides 9mm?

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I'm probably approaching 5K this year.

 

 

1 hour ago, dillon said:

If shooting is going to be a long-time hobby, consider that ammunition availability can drastically change, due to political considerations. A lot of Californians are now reloading, due to changes in their laws requiring a background check, approval from the California Dept of Justice, and no online ammunition deliveries direct to consumer. In 2013, after the Sandy Hook shooting, shelves were empty for months. Being able to assemble your own ammunition gives you a level of autonomy.

I can appreciate this and it's certainly a significant part of the draw to reloading.

 

1 hour ago, geraldskip said:

How many rounds a year do you shoot?

 

A Dillon 650 cost $450. Then the case feeder, $200. Then all the other little tiny things that end up being more.  Maybe $800 total after it’s all done with a basic reloading set up? Once you got it all set up, it’s about 8-10 cents a round or so, depending on your components. 

 

 

 

 

So if you shoot 10,000 rounds in a year at 20 cents a round, that’s $2000 (or $1700 if you are shooting the cheap stuff). 

 

Or if you reloaded 10,000 that’s $1000, plus your start up fee of $800ish. And you got custom rounds made exactly to your specs. 

 

 

I recommend friends start reloading if they shoot more than 5000 rounds a year. The press pays for itself after two years in that case. 

I'll probably be around 5k this year but if I was reloading I wouldn't be surprised if that would go up.

 

37 minutes ago, TrackCage said:

Don't get me wrong - I advocate that people start reloading. However, to be transparent, there is another cost to consider in order to make 9mm for 10 cents a round. VOLUME. You need to buy primers, powder, bullets by the case. What this means to most people is that although the per round cost is low, the initial cost to acquire high volumes of components is not anything to sneeze at. 

Thanks for the info.  It's definitely worth considering.  I'm typically not opposed to buying in bulk to save a few bucks.

 

Crunching some quick number it looks like I can certainly save money over buying Syntech but not so much that it's a no brainer.  I guess my primary reason for making this post was more to get feedback on the performance difference between factory competition ammo like Syntech and what I can create by loading ammo myself.

 

 

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Ill be the odd duck.

 

If your shooting 9mm find something that makes PF in your gun and is cheep and available, then shoot lots of it. 

Yes standing at the bench you can tell the difference in how they feel between 147 and 115 but on the clock shooting stages you would be a way better shooter than me to be able to see any difference in your actual scores. I believe Ben spent years shooting Winchester white box to the top of the nationals level, and last I heard he shoots federal 124 for competitions, nothing fancy nothing expensive just regular 124gr FMJ ammo. 

 

yes as stated above you can pay for the press ect with about 5k a year but than you have to do it. some people like reloading, I do it because I have to. 

 

If yo plan to compete with something other than 9mm then reloading is almost a must unless money is not a object, $.30-.40 a round ammo at volume is expensive and reloads for about the same cost as 9mm

 

 

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If you're going to shoot 115 gr at $9/box x 100 boxes/year = $900.

 

You won't save too much reloading unless you shoot cast bullets and get brass for free.

 

You won't see much difference unless you use heavier bulles (147 gr) - probably cost 

you MORE than buying 115's now, but if you see the recoil difference of the 147's, its

worth the price of reloading.

 

As Dillon said, who knows where this is all going though ….

 

If you get a SDB for $420 and misc equip for another $300, that's almost a year's

worth of ammo - it's really close for 9mm whether it's worth it at all.

 

I shot the first few years of IPSC with factory 9mm ammo, and then the prices

soared and you had tough time finding any ammo - so I got into reloading fast.    :) 

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Picking up/storing/cleaning brass can be a pain that many people don't want to deal with as well. No one is hitting 10cpr if they don't have a free source of brass. All the equipment and supplies can take up a fair amount of space too if you don't have a dedicated workroom or at least a workbench. 

 

Projectiles are the main cost of loading though, so as long as you can get a good deal on those (which will require buying in 2-3k quantities most likely) then you should be able to get loading costs in the 12cpr range even if you aren't buying powder/primers in bulk. Syntech is rarely under 20cpr, so if that's what you shoot then there are definitely going to be savings for you even if you aren't waiting around for the very best deal. 

 

I think for a lot of people reloading is less about saving money and more about being able to afford to shoot more for the same amount of money. 

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I load multiple calibers including 45, 38, 9mm and mostly 40 for limited so I've reaped the savings. However, when I started with 9mm only reloading certainly let me shoot almost twice as much for the money spent. That particularly helped increased my performance along with regular dry fire. I actually enjoy reloading as it's a mind numbing activity but some loathe having to do it. You won't go wrong with either choice at this time. As you start to play in other divisions you'll come to terms with it. good luck

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If shooting is going to be a long-time hobby, consider that ammunition availability can drastically change, due to political considerations. A lot of Californians are now reloading, due to changes in their laws requiring a background check, approval from the California Dept of Justice, and no online ammunition deliveries direct to consumer. In 2013, after the Sandy Hook shooting, shelves were empty for months. Being able to assemble your own ammunition gives you a level of autonomy.

 

This was a a major consideration for me when I started reloading back in the early 2000’s. I started before the “Obama” era lean years. I just had a feeling things were gonna change. Glad I anticipated it and didn’t try to start after things had already gotten bad.

 

I also started saving brass and buying reloading components years before I started reloading.

 

I will also agree with those who say buy in bulk. It’s expensive but that’s where you really save.

 

If you’re reloading for volume, which is what it sounds like you are, then you need a machine and components to do volume (xl650/740)(yes I also have a 550). With a bullet and case feeder, and components you’re into it for $2000 at least. I used to load everything on the 550 but there is no comparison how much faster a decked out 650/750/1050 is.

 

I love reloading. It’s therapeutic.

 

I have an air conditioned man cave / garage / gun shop that I spend hours upon hours in. I’m also lucky to have to a job where I only work 10-11 days a month so I have the time to do it. Because don’t kid yourself about that either, reloading IS time consuming.

 

I load .380, 9MM, 40SW, 10MM, 45 Auto, 223, 300BO, 30-06, .308 win, 8mm Mauser so I more than make up for the ridiculous amount of money I’ve spent on reloading equipment.

 

I think you start reloading with an idea of the minimum you want to do, and then you end up with thousands of dollars invested in your man cave.

 

 

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I have been loading my own for the past 30yrs.   Started with a single stage RCBS Rockchucker II.   Went to D550 for years then a D1050 about 3yrs ago.  I now run twin 1050s that I just put automation on.   I have quite a bit of investment in reloading equipment, however it allows me to shoot as much as I want.  I reload more than just 9mm, but even in 9mm loading subsonic loads my costs are about half of commercial.  300BLK subs are exactly 1/2 the cost of commercial and I load a much better round.  

 

I actually enjoy reloading its a continuation from the range for me.  I dont have allot of free time for it,  so that is why I have invested into the equipment that will maximize my time.    

 

Also if we see ammo getting restricted being shipped, the components most likely will not be.  I do buy in bulk and round like 9mm I have down to .12 per round.  But still takes the time to load them. 

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5000 rounds a year, to me, is nowhere near the threshold to justify reloading

 

Many of us shoot or have shot that much...…………...in a month. 

 

What typically happens is people reload to "save money" and then find that they just shoot more. If that's true for you  then shooting 10k a year might also help you out re: match performance. 

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Echoing others. Shooting is an expensive sport, reloading will offer you the chance to shoot more for the same cost, give you exact control over your load, and ability to make your own ammo rather than being reliant on whats on the shelves (online or not). I recommend it just from the aspect of freedom it buys you.

 

It is easy to do the cost benefit analysis based on current ammo prices. Keep in mind ammo is cheaper today than it was a few years ago, i suspect itll become more expensive in due time. So whatever the payback time is today, itll likely be sooner when ammo prices increase. 

 

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I think I came up with 22,000 rounds as the break even bit for a complete set up 650 w/ case feeder. I “paid off” my machine in less than 2 years. No brainer if shooting is going to be a life long hobby. 
 

I can take that 6-700 a year savings and buy another gun with it! 

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I created a spreadsheet awhile back, and I think for a basic 550 set up my break even point was about 5000 rounds or so. I can’t remember exactly. And that was using range pick up brass. I started saving brass years before I started reloading as I knew I wanted to reload at some point.

 

That being said, your thought may be to go with a basic setup, but then you just start picking up parts and components here and there when you you find a good deal or something that interests you. And then one day you wake up and you have the third car garage devoted to firearms and reloading. You start buying guns to reload for. It’s a sickness.

 

Looking back I don’t think I really enjoyed my firearms before I started reloading. I didn’t want to shoot the ammo I had because it was expensive and I didn’t know when I’d be able to afford more. I sure as hell wasn’t as proficiently as I am now shooting hundreds of rounds a week practicing and participating in competitions. I do make much more now then I did back then, but now I shoot and don’t think twice about it.

 

I’ve since gotten into precision long range rifle stuff and that opened up a whole other worm hole of reloading.

 

I even went so far as to air condition and insulate my garage so I can load in Phoenix in the summer. I [emoji3590] reloading. I always tell my wife, “it’s cheaper than therapy”.

 

 

 

 

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@Michael303 I was happy to have at least 15k bullets / powder / primers on the shelves in my garage when Obama’s entry into office drove 9mm prices through the roof - When you could find any of it.

 

Some of my casual shooter friends stopped showing up at matches altogether.

 

I learned my lesson. 

 

👍

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5 minutes ago, af_tt said:

I shot syntech for a while with great results. I now reload 147s that have less recoil and a bit better accuracy.

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I appreciate all the feedback in this thread. Thank you particularly for addressing my original question.

 

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I appreciate all the feedback in this thread. Thank you particularly for addressing my original question.
 
No problem. I do keep a few boxes of syntech in the closet in case I cant prepare ammo for a match or something. There is nothing wrong with it and it is very clean.

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So financially you may save money on the ammo. But overall time and cost of the press probably not. It would take you an immense amount of cranking a handle to make up for it. But if youre loading 38 super comp or 9 major...then ya. Itd probably be economically the choice. You could work up a cost analysis on excel and see how long it would take. But with all that being said, i like having choices. When you buy factory you get what you get. And you cant customize and tune ammo to the gun, or vice versa. I like havin the ability to tweak ammo how i see fit. And thats really what it gives you. 

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To go along with the Majority. 

The Dillon 750 reloader package is $1500 (rounding)

-Buy once cry once. I dont recommend the SDB or any SS presses if you shoot any type of volume, greater than 100 rounds a month.

I buy by the case so:

5k Win Primers 130

3500 Bayou 124gr 250

8lbs powder: 150 

You will have your own brass

Your hovering around $110/1000 rounds

 

Federal syntech 124 is 228 a case (whatever website came up first on google)

 

 

To address the original Question: Will your ammo perform better than the syntech. 
Marginally yes. Talored to the gun, you can  play with the load, maybe more accurate, maybe less recoil.

But every time you go to shoot instead of throwing 2 quarters at the target, you will be throwing two dimes at the target. 

 

Even the 'Remanufactured' 9mm you see around your LGS or online is overpriced in my opinion. 

 

Find someone local to you, buddy at the club or whom ever, ask them to show you their reloader. Ask them if you can come over and load a 100 rounds and see if you even want to do it. Maybe after 5 handles pulls you say 'this sucks i rather drink beer and order ammo online' in which you would have saved yourself a bunch oh money.

 

If you have any questions feel free to PM, I'm no SME but can offer my advice on dillon machines, bullets powders etc.

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