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Q: Is reloading really any cheaper than using factory-bought ammunition?
A: The price of everything seems to be constantly going up and reloading components are no exception. The price of primers seems to regularly double and then double again and many brands are now in the region of £100 per 1,000. I still have a box of 1,000 Remington primers that have a price label for £18 on them! Ignoring the cost of the reloading equipment itself, to keep things simple, let’s look at the sums.
Taking .308 Winchester ammunition as an example, with a 168gr hollow-point boattailed bullet it is possible to make your own ammunition using PPU bullets and cases, HK primers and Ramshot powder for around £0.73 per round. The same bullet in PPU factory ammunition is currently £0.98 so the reloaded stuff is cheaper.
If you switch to a Sierra bullet, Hodgdon powder, Lapua cases and CCI primers, that same round is going to cost you £1.11 to make, which is more expensive than the PPU factory ammo. But a comparable premiumgrade factory round in .308 Winchester can in the region of £2.25!
So the answer to the original question is that you can save money by reloading. Using premium-brand components to make your own ammunition is more expensive than buying cheaper factory ammunition, but that is probably an unfair comparison.
HK primers are currently around half the price of the more well-known brands but they work just as well, and savings like this are what you need to find to keep reloading economical. If you shop wisely you can still make a worthwhile saving by reloading – and you can also customise your ammunition.
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