Like working on cars, it’s a fun hobby to some and a total pain in the neck to others.
I have had a lot of friends and customers come up to me asking this very question. In this article I’m going to look at what we call the “Break Even Point” in business.
That is, at what point would your savings on ammunition equal what you spent on equipment to get started?
Obviously I’m not going to be able to cover for every contingency here. The numbers will change significantly based on what cartridge you’re loading, what setup you want, etc.
For this analysis, we’re going to go with a .45 ACP load I started out with, using the cheapest, most bare bones equipment we can get, and we will price everything off of Midsouth Shooter’s Supply.
Here’s our load data:
230 grain Berry’s .452 diameter Round Nosed Plated Bullet – $0.134 / piece
6.2 grains Alliant Power Pistol powder – $0.018 / piece
CCI Large Pistol Primer #300 – $0.027
For this analysis, we’re going to negate the cost of brass. That’s not because your brass will last forever, you’ll eventually have to procure more, but it’s hard to nail down a realistic cost given the opportunities for free brass from friends/ranges, plus you’ll get multiple uses from your brass. The number of times you’ll be able to reload a casing will vary widely based on the manufacturer, your load data, what reloading dies you’re using, and even what gun you’re shooting it out of.
Because I can’t realistically account for all of this, and it would be disingenuous to price in the full cost of brass, so we’re just going to ignore it here.