Bad Dancer asks for my thoughts on using reloads for defense. This comes up from time to time, and I don’t do it. Not because of the gun lore of a prosecutor using reloads against you, but because it just doesn’t make financial sense to me.
Let’s say that I wanted to roll my own ammo. What does it cost to roll your own? (all prices from Brownell’s, because I am doing a blog post, not writing a novel)
- I get 1200 rounds, give or take a few, from a pound of gunpowder, cost $40/lb.
- 1200 pieces of 9mm brass: $360
- 1200 bullets 9mm FMJ: $225 or 125gr JHP: still $225.
- 1200 primers, about $110
So call it $735 to load 1200 rounds, or about 61 cents per round. Winchester white box currently costs 26 cents per round and JHP costs 40 cents per round. Now I already know what the reloaders are going to say. They are going to claim that they can reuse the brass. (We aren’t going to be reusing used brass if we are making war shots, because you are either saving them for later, or you don’t have time to police a battlefield for your brass) But OK, let’s play that game. Let’s assume that you can load each brass case 10 times before it gets lost, damaged, whatever. That lowers your cost per round to 34 cents per round, which is still more than buying cheap factory ammo. Even if the brass is free, it still costs 32 cents per round.
However, if we are going to do that, let’s also consider that I have to buy the tools, so let’s call it $300 or so. Then there is also my time, which is worth something. It takes over an hour to load 1200 rounds. Then there is the chance that you will make a mistake and destroy one of your firearms with a double charge, which has a much higher probability of happening with a reload than with quality factory ammo.
So that’s why I have never really wanted to get into reloading. Hey, if you like sitting at the reloading bench and rolling your own, I support that. Don’t think that I am attacking reloaders. Shoot sports is filled with all kinds, and if you enjoy loading ammo, knock yourself out. Just don’t say that you are doing it to save money.