I hear a lot of people online asking the question: “When should I buy reloading equipment, and how long will it take to pay for itself?”
Usually the equation goes something like this:
Equipment Cost = ((factory box ammo cost) – (reloaded box ammo cost)) * X
Solving for X:
X = (Equipment Cost ) / ((factory box ammo cost) – (reloaded box ammo cost))
Where X is the number of boxes of ammo that need to be loaded in order to “break even”.
Equipment Cost = $1000, Factory box ammo cost = $20, Reloaded box ammo cost = $9
X = (1000) / (20 – 9) = 90.91 Boxes of ammo = ~ 4550 rounds.
This is where a lot of people may stop, scratch their head, and say “perhaps I’ll just shoot less, and use factory ammo”.
But, this is not the “true equation”. What people are forgetting about here is the value of their used equipment, which is actually about 60-75% of what they paid for the equipment new in some cases (especially in this economy).
So, the new equation becomes:
(Equipment Cost – Used Equipment Value) = ((factory box ammo cost) – (reloaded box ammo cost)) * X
In terms of X:
X = (Equipment Cost – Used Equipment Value ) / ((factory box ammo cost) – (reloaded box ammo cost))
Re-calculating our example: (assuming 65% relsale value)
X = (1000 – 650) / (20 – 9) = 31.81 Boxes of ammo = ~ 1590 rounds.
Of coarse there are a LOT of variables here, bullet selection (lead -vs- jacketed), actual equipment cost, and so on and so forth. The point is, factor in your used equipment value, and the outcome is drastically different. I experienced this when upgrading from my first progressive to my second progressive (sold the 1st on ebay for about 75% of purchase price).
Hope this helps!