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*Found a formula error and fixed

 

Reloading Cost-2020.xlsxSo, I first made this spreadsheet back in the mid 2000's when I started reloading. I've been on a layover for the past 4 days so I decided to update it and see what's changed in the decade and half plus since I first made it. I updated it a little when the great ammo/reloading supply shortage of the mid 2000's hit, but haven't touched it since.

 

I figured I might as well share it with others as well. I've seen several threads along the lines of "Is  reloading worth it", "what's reloading cost", etc, etc over the years, so I figured this would be a great tool for someone getting into it to figure out their upfront and long term costs. Or for that matter, anyone interested in how much they are saving...or not saving...by reloading.

 

My quick take away is, with the increase in cost of components and the drastic drop in ammo prices, you have to reload A LOT to see any substantial savings. I love the process of reloading in general, but if I were getting into it today I'd have to think long and hard about it. I'd probably still do it, because for me it's not just the cost savings, but the freedom that it brings. Not to mention the ammo that's prefect for each and every firearm I own. And one of the biggest issues for me is you never know when the next "crunch" is gonna hit. I started reloading before the last Big Crunch hit, and one of the main reasons I did it was because I just had a feeling something was on the horizon and I wanted to make sure I had ammo when I wanted it. Not just when it was available.

 

Anyway, I tried to updated to the spreadsheet to make it understandable to look it and figure out what the data was telling them, and to be able to change it to suite your specific needs. Obviously it's tailored to my calibers, bullets, primers, powders, etc, but you can change anything you want.

 

It's not a perfect analysis, because there are just so many possible combinations it would take a 100 years and a 100 sheets to account everything. But I feel like it gives a good "rule of thumb" analysis of the cost of reloading.

 

I use FMJ and JHP for almost all my pistol rounds. I found over the years that when you buy in bulk the fractions of a cent you save on lead coated, or plated just aren't worth it to me personally.

 

I use middle of the road bullets for precision rifle work like Sierra or Nosler. And Bulk Horn 55gr FMJBT for AR stuff.

 

I averaged out powder per round based on common charge weights for a given caliber.

 

I think most things are self explanatory, but I also put a lot of notes to clarify what things I was using and what my line of though was. I'm sure I left some details out.

 

If you have any questions, just ask.

 

The first section is a cost per round break down for common combinations.

 

Second section is cost per round break down of common equivalent factory loadings.

 

Next section is the percentage savings (or lack there of) for reloading over factory ammo.

 

Last section is a place for someone to put the cost of reloading equipment and then figure out how many rounds it will take to break even in terms of yers. I averaged the cost per round for this section based on just high/low average. Obviously the more expensive your factory ammo is, the more you are likely to save reloading. In this section you input the number of rounds you expect to shoot a month, and based on your overhead cost and cost per round it will tell you how long it will take to break even shooting that many rounds per month.

 

Again, it's not perfect, so please I beg you don't remind me. But it will give you better than a rough estimate.

 

I am working on a Mac so it was originally in Numbers, but I have exported it as a xls spreadsheet for the Windows users. There might be some "translation" issue between the two the formats. I have also loaded the Numbers version. If you have an issue, maybe try and open the Numbers version in Excel and let it do the translation to see if that helps.

 

I appreciate all the help I have received over the years here, and I hope this helps someone else.

 

Lastly my suggestion would be do download a copy and duplicate the downloaded copy to make changes too. That way if you mess something up you can always go back to the original and copy it again.

 

169592097_ReloadingCost-2020.numbers Reloading Cost-2020.xlsx

Edited by iflyskyhigh
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You can change any field you want that doesn't have a formula in to suit your setup or desired setup.

 

The numbers in the area where it says cost of reloading equipment and raw materials are numbers you can change. The numbers I put in there are just made up for an example.

 

Then you change number of round you shoot a month. Again the number I put in there was just made up to show an example.

 

Then it will calculate the number of years it will take to break even based on the total investment and the number of rounds you shoot each month.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for asking that avail. I’m too far gone into reloading and have hoarded components for years. It wouldn’t benefit me at all to worry about it too much but the numbers are interesting. 

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Thanks for asking that avail. I’m too far gone into reloading and have hoarded components for years. It wouldn’t benefit me at all to worry about it too much but the numbers are interesting. 


No problem.

Same here. I just updated cause I was bored on a trip. [emoji23]

If you were starting today and just concerned about cost savings it might be a little tougher choice than it was 10-12 years ago.


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Very true but i think the market is just in a lull, once the anti-2nd amendment machine gets fired up again, prices will go nuts again. Maybe worse than the last couple times. I’ll try to keep hoarding so I can shoot whenever I want. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 2/5/2020 at 6:21 AM, Pfiddy said:

Very true but i think the market is just in a lull, once the anti-2nd amendment machine gets fired up again, prices will go nuts again. Maybe worse than the last couple times. I’ll try to keep hoarding so I can shoot whenever I want. 

 

Man, that turned quick. Looking back on several of these conversations from a couple months ago, seems like...well you know how it goes..

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4 hours ago, Pfiddy said:

Yeah this one turned quick but it will turn back around just as quickly IMO. 

I just hope it turns by this summer so I can stock up before the elections, just in case.

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I just hope it turns by this summer so I can stock up before the elections, just in case.

You’ll be fine. Just stay vigilant and check everything everyday for awhile. Don’t panic buy. The supply will be there. Just be ready to pull the wallet out each and every time time a good deal pops up. That’s what I’ve been doing for the past 10 years and now I’m sitting pretty.
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Yeah this one turned quick but it will turn back around just as quickly IMO. 

Yes and no.

It will come back, but a lot depends on what happens over the next 4-6 months. I mean who would have predicted that we’d be where we are now even two weeks ago?

And as I’ve said other places, the prices of everything is going to keep going up. You can’t deplete the inventory and supply chain that quickly and not see rapid dramatic price increase. And with the fed printing and pumping more fiat currency into the economy devaluating the dollar...then sending everyone a $1000 check...basic economics 101.
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Something that isn't quantifiable in that spreadsheet is that regardless of price, in a high demand market you may not be able to buy ammo at all whereas reloading components may be readily available. Price may have no bearing on the buying decision, only availability. Take a look at the California and the quarantine, a few areas had gun shops deemed non-essential (I'm not sure it ever went into effect) so ammunition transfers were in jeopardy.

 

Catching fish versus buying them. One option is empowered, the other is dependant.   

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24 minutes ago, 858 said:

Something that isn't quantifiable in that spreadsheet is that regardless of price, in a high demand market you may not be able to buy ammo at all whereas reloading components may be readily available. Price may have no bearing on the buying decision, only availability. Take a look at the California and the quarantine, a few areas had gun shops deemed non-essential (I'm not sure it ever went into effect) so ammunition transfers were in jeopardy.

 

Catching fish versus buying them. One option is empowered, the other is dependant.   

 

Agree with this.

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Something that isn't quantifiable in that spreadsheet is that regardless of price, in a high demand market you may not be able to buy ammo at all whereas reloading components may be readily available. Price may have no bearing on the buying decision, only availability. Take a look at the California and the quarantine, a few areas had gun shops deemed non-essential (I'm not sure it ever went into effect) so ammunition transfers were in jeopardy.
 
Catching fish versus buying them. One option is empowered, the other is dependant.   

Great analogy. And one of the many reasons I started reloading.
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Yeah, but reloading supplies are hard to find right now too.

True. But I think, and of course I could be wrong, even during the last political induced panic, reloading supplies were often still easier to get, and cheaper, than off the shelf ammo. One just had to be diligent in the search for what was needed.

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1 hour ago, Intheshaw1 said:

Yeah, but reloading supplies are hard to find right now too.

 

Perhaps today wasn't the best time to stock up? 

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1 hour ago, iflyskyhigh said:


Also valid...

Agreed. Too bad im just getting into reloading but I still have plenty of factory ammo to hold me over.

 

I was just making the point that when ammo starts to get scarce so does reloading supplies.

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15 hours ago, Intheshaw1 said:

Agreed. Too bad im just getting into reloading but I still have plenty of factory ammo to hold me over.

 

I was just making the point that when ammo starts to get scarce so does reloading supplies.

 

I just looked around and I can buy E3, coated lead .40 and 9mm bullets, and WSP primers. Despite the ammo demand I can still purchase all of the components I normally would. 

 

I word of advice for new reloaders, don't buy supplies as needed, buy them a year or two at a time. Not only does it allow you to take advantage of sales but it prevents you from running out when there are demand increases or supply shortages.

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I just looked around and I can buy E3, coated lead .40 and 9mm bullets, and WSP primers. Despite the ammo demand I can still purchase all of the components I normally would. 
 
I word of advice for new reloaders, don't buy supplies as needed, buy them a year or two at a time. Not only does it allow you to take advantage of sales but it prevents you from running out when there are demand increases or supply shortages.

This [emoji1312]. So much. Obviously don’t buy if you can’t afford it. But if money flow allows buy whenever and always and often. Anytime some one is running a free hazmat deal, buy a little. Anytime Brownells is running 10% off, buy a little. Any time they’re offering rebates, buy a little. And so on and so forth. It’s an investment in shooting and piece of mind. As long as you plan on using said supplies at sometime during your lifetime you’ll never lose money on the deal.
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17 hours ago, Intheshaw1 said:

Agreed. Too bad im just getting into reloading but I still have plenty of factory ammo to hold me over.

 

I was just making the point that when ammo starts to get scarce so does reloading supplies.

I was in a similar position to you back in 2007-2008 when I decided it was time for me to start reloading. Don't get discouraged.

 

I didn't have any issues getting what I needed. I knew I wanted to reload well before I ever started so I had been saving brass and had 5 gallon buckets full when the time came.

 

I started researching and buying powder and primers before I even had a press.

 

I will grant that the "craziness" of the last shortage ramped up over several years, where as this one kind hit all at once, but still you should be able to get what you need if you are patient and make an attempt to "shop" a little every day or least every few days.

 

During the last shortage I was able to purchase kegs of powder and cases of primers at very good deals just by being diligent. You have to be willing and able to buy in bulk (nothing crazy, but at least a kegs worth and 5000 primers at time min) and pull the trigger when a deal pops up.

 

Many of those components I'm still working my through even today. AND many of those components have risen in price since I purchased them, even thought I purchased during the shortage, because I only purchased when the price was right and they had what I wanted.

 

Ever since the last shortage I have been employing that same strategy methodically. And I now I have enough supplies to keep shooting for a couple more decades. Which in our current times, means a couple more cycles of "craziness" when happen about every 10 years or so.

 

Buy bullets last. They always tend to be the easiest thing to come buy since so many people make bullets.

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