The Nitty Gritty

Primers cost 3 cents each. I’m using Hodgdon TiteGroup powder for my calculations and a pound cost me $21. A pound equals 7,000 grains and reloading data for 115-gr. FMJ rounds calls for 4.5 grains per cartridge. Dividing 7,000 by 4.5 lets me know I get 1,555 cartridges from that pound of powder. That’s going to round off to about 1.3 cents per cartridge.

You can buy 1,000 115-gr. FMJ bullets by Berry’s Mfg. for $88 or 8.8 cents apiece. I use the same primers and powder for the defensive ammo but obviously the cost of bullets will be different. It just so happens the Hornady XTP and the ARX bullets I like to load cost 20 cents apiece.

If you add the cost up you get 13 cents for your practice rounds, compared to 22 cents if you buy them. The savings for defensive rounds is even greater, with a cost of 24 cents compared to 72 cents (that’s chasing a buck!). These numbers depend on using your existing brass. Should you need to buy brass, that’s going to add approximately 20 cents a round, at first. This takes your cost over bought ammunition for practice rounds, but you’re still going to save significantly on defensive style loads. Pretty decent, and you can do better by buying your powder in 5-lb. containers and your bullets in larger quantities. Partner with a fellow shooter and combine orders.