Ammo is 10X the cost of the gun over a lifetime

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Plinker
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Tyler the Piker commented, in another thread about testing your EDC, that you could spend 10X in ammo over the price of the gun over a lifetime.

I just had to tell Tyler the Piker that his comment about spending 10X as much on ammo as the gun has got me going. It is a great question that has teased me for days. I thought I would see if I could calculate it.

If it's a $500 gun that makes $5000 in ammo over a lifetime. Let's say it's a 45 and you buy nice stuff at over $.40 a round. Let's call it 12,000 rounds over a lifetime.
Let's say I average about 100 rounds a month in that one gun. That's about 10 years. That is a very reasonable estimate for length of time to shoot 10X value. With this example you would shoot half the value of the gun every year. Over 20 years, most people can easily shoot that much. His estimate seems remarkably accurate. Did he just throw out a number, or SWAG, or did this come from experience?

Variables are everywhere in my estimates, but I made them for a defensive shooter with few guns and mid-priced ammo.
I'm not a defensive shooter so I shoot as many types of guns as I can.
The club I'm in offers me an opportunity to shoot lots of guns. The other members and I trade guns while at the range almost every trip. So getting a hundred a month through one gun consistently is tough. I probably have too many guns to shoot them on a regular monthly basis. So it would take someone like me longer.

What a fascinating question about on-going costs.

If a car costs $30,000 and you drive 12,000 per year at 25 mpg, that
480 gallons per year at $4.00 = $1,920 or approx $2,000. That's 15 years to equal the price of the car. Guns get there in two years. So our guns have an on-going costs far above other hobbies.
Also this means that the gun itself is only 10% of the cost. It seems to me, if we were all looking at true cost of ownership, we would up that initial cost because it is such a small part of the total. It also means that finding a deal on the ammo is 10X more important than the cost of the gun.

Just grist for the mill. Still trying to figure the ripple effects.

So not just what do you think, but how do you calculate the costs of true ownership for your pistola.

Be safe out there,
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BugI02

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Jul 4, 2013
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Tyler the Piker commented, in another thread about testing your EDC, that you could spend 10X in ammo over the price of the gun over a lifetime.

I just had to tell Tyler the Piker that his comment about spending 10X as much on ammo as the gun has got me going. It is a great question that has teased me for days. I thought I would see if I could calculate it.

If it's a $500 gun that makes $5000 in ammo over a lifetime. Let's say it's a 45 and you buy nice stuff at over $.40 a round. Let's call it 12,000 rounds over a lifetime.
Let's say I average about 100 rounds a month in that one gun. That's about 10 years. That is a very reasonable estimate for length of time to shoot 10X value. With this example you would shoot half the value of the gun every year. Over 20 years, most people can easily shoot that much. His estimate seems remarkably accurate. Did he just throw out a number, or SWAG, or did this come from experience?

Variables are everywhere in my estimates, but I made them for a defensive shooter with few guns and mid-priced ammo.
I'm not a defensive shooter so I shoot as many types of guns as I can.
The club I'm in offers me an opportunity to shoot lots of guns. The other members and I trade guns while at the range almost every trip. So getting a hundred a month through one gun consistently is tough. I probably have too many guns to shoot them on a regular monthly basis. So it would take someone like me longer.

What a fascinating question about on-going costs.

If a car costs $30,000 and you drive 12,000 per year at 25 mpg, that
480 gallons per year at $4.00 = $1,920 or approx $2,000. That's 15 years to equal the price of the car. Guns get there in two years. So our guns have an on-going costs far above other hobbies.
Also this means that the gun itself is only 10% of the cost. It seems to me, if we were all looking at true cost of ownership, we would up that initial cost because it is such a small part of the total. It also means that finding a deal on the ammo is 10X more important than the cost of the gun.

Just grist for the mill. Still trying to figure the ripple effects.

So not just what do you think, but how do you calculate the costs of true ownership for your pistola.

Be safe out there,
Prescut

To distill this down a bit - reloading almost always makes sense
 

Leo

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You have done a good job and reached accurate conclusions. This is an expensive sport.

I competed, somewhat seriously for a few years. A weekend might be, get off work, pack the truck, drive 400 miles and catch few hours sleep in a motel, be on the line to pay entry fee for a match. Shoot 88 rounds of match ammo in an M1a. Go to the restuarant with other competitors. Go back to the motel, be in line to pay entry fee for a Long Range match the nexy morning. Shoot 55 rounds of Match ammo in a Palma rifle. Drive 400 miles home. Clean guns, and get ready for work.

That was a common every month. Of course there are 3 more weekends and there were matches in 3 more states. The close one was 100 miles each way, and often I drove home Saturday night and drove back for the long range match Sunday morning. I put 70,000 miles on a truck I really only used for matches in just few years. Add the price of a truck and maintenance to the price of the sport.

The winter would slow the rifle matches, but luckily, I like trap and skeet all winter. Plus you can always find indoors to shoot pistols.

Since I was never home, I had to pay a guy to mow my yard. I spend a lot of money competing with firearms. What little was left, I just wasted paying taxes and bills.
 
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Plinker
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Right on guys. Lots of SWAG *scientific wild ass guess". on my part. But I did show my math and what I guessed at.
What is average round count per gun per month? For who? For what month?

what is YOUR style of shooting, your pistol, your round count per year? over a lifetime?
 

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Plinker
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Nice post detailing how much a guy can shoot in competition. I'm just guessing that most of the folks on here shoot regularly (they're on a gun site). i would also love to hear from the guy who shoots once a year at the reunion. I have been unable to tell how many INGOers fall into each camp. As far as the thread goes, I'm pretty sure neither camp has calculated the true cost of ownership over a lifetime. The process for the calculation is more important than the number. The number is different for each of us.
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MCgrease08

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There is a member on here that meticulously tracks their expenses on each gun and the ammo for it.

I'm not sure who it is, but it might be lovemywoods.

They started a thread a few months back with the hard numbers. It was pretty interesting.
 

88E30M50

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Does anyone else run GunManager? It's not the greatest software around, but it does track expenses pretty well. It tells me that I only shot 5240 rounds last year at a cost of $739.66. So far, this year I'm doing about the same at 2807 rounds, costing $348.94. Those numbers tell me that I need to get off my backside and shoot more. I miss the days of running 250 rounds a week through the various weapons. I'm averaging less than 50 rounds a week right now. No excuse for that with all the daylight we have this time of the year.

Having lots of data is interesting, but useless really. I know that the most I've shot any one handgun is 319 rounds through a Remington R1S, but that will not really make a difference in what I toss in the bag when I go shooting. I guess it does tell me how much I've shot my carry guns. I swear I've practiced consistently, yet I show only 75 rounds through my Glock 23 this year. I'd have guessed it was well over the 250 mark. I need to focus more on the couple of handguns I carry regularly instead of taking what feels good on any day.

At the going rate of 150 rounds per year through the G23, it will die of polymer embrittlement long before I can wear it out.
 

jerrob

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WOW!
This thread is bumming me out. Math = reality and I'm not a big fan of either one.
I wonder if it would help to sell all my guns and buy new ones when they get at 5:1 to offset this crazy 10:1 cost ratio? :):
 

Sniper 79

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Right on! I just traded two guns for ammo and hand loading components. Keep me shooting for awhile without tapping my savings.

Expensive hobby for sure. Makes me sick sometimes if I look around and think about money invested.
 

dugsagun

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my dad, shoots about a box of ammo a year. I reload for him , and he made 20rounds of his pet deer load last 10 years. That was crazy, but my little bro is the same way. I however make up for their slack, so maybe it does average out.
 

wtburnette

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I'd say I average 800 - 1000 rounds a month, going to the range for an hour every weekend and the occasional trip through the week. I've been getting my .45 for about $0.35/round and my 9mm for about $0.24/round. If I shoot 1000 rounds a month and say it's split between the two calibers, I'm spending about $300 a month on ammo. Now I know where all my extra cash has been going! :crying:
 

LarryC

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I don't shoot near as much as I used to, but at 74 still try to get a few rounds downrange occasionally. I sure never paid $.40 a round for handgun range ammo. Son and I still shoot, collect firearms (and ammo) and reload almost everything. Most of the handgun ammo we shoot are reloads, some light loads for targeting, some loaded for accuracy.

Most of the light loads for our handgun target ammo are loaded with bullets we cast, although we have bought several thousand bullets in bulk when the prices are right. As we keep a fairly large stock of ammo (over 30K rounds) and have more than enough components to reload that many again, we never buy except when the prices are right.

We have several military rifles and most of the rounds we have for those are surplus mil ammo purchased in bulk over the years when the market was fairly low priced. We do have some high power rifle rounds (30-06, .308, 8mm Mauser, .303, 7.5X55, 6.5X55 etc.) that may have cost more than $.40 / round, but we rarely shoot a whole lot of rounds at a time as the shoulder pain usually take the fun out of shooting after a few!

As we both carried 45 ACP's for several years as our EDC, my Colt Double Eagle probably has a fairly high round count, never kept track but sure the count is well over 5K, maybe 10K. However as we collect firearms (around 100 last count) and shoot almost ever gun we own, most of our firearms have fairly low round count (from us), probably less than 1 or 2K.
 
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Plinker
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Seems like there is two big factors: how many guns do you own, and what kind of shooter are you? I started this thread out trying to narrow the discussion to one gun. That is the best for estimating the cost of one gun and the ammo for it over a lifetime. I'm not looking for an average ammo multiplier as much as a method to calculate your own multiplier that anyone can use. After reading the comments, I suggest switching methods to something more appropriate and accurate.
Practically speaking almost none of us fit the description of "few guns". Most of us on this site have more than one gun and shoot several during each outing. That makes it difficult to estimate the annual round count on one gun.
Perhaps a better method might be to estimate the total cost of all your guns and then compare to the total amount paid for all ammo during a year. I don't think too many of us want to admit how much we have into firearms, so maybe we just state the multiplier we come up with at the end.

For example only,
Let's say I have $15,000 in shotguns, rifles, and handguns.
Let's guesstimate that I shot last year, $2,000 worth of ammo. I used below for testing "reasonable factor"
$500 in 38spl, @$.30 =1,660 rounds
$300 in 357mag, @$.40 = 750
$200 in .45, @$.45 = 450
$300 in 9mm, @$.22 =1,350
$300 in .22, @$.08 =3,750
$50 in 22mag, @$.27 = 185
$200 in 223, @$.32 = 600
$100 in shotshells,
$100 in 54r, 30-06,
=====
$2,000 approx.
So, if I didn't blow the math, over a ten year period, that's $20,000. Wow, now the multiplier is 1.33X
However, I would rather use 20 years as an average lifespan as I don't sell or trade much. Now the multiplier is 2.66X. That's a lot lower than the 10X we started with.

Ok, guys. I took my chances and listed actual numbers and I showed my calculations. Please fill in your own numbers and post here. Give us enuf data to get a feel. Show your math

Total Cost of all your ammo for one year times The number of years you choose
divided by
Total Cost of all your guns

Sample:
$2000 X 20yrs
___________ = 2.66 multiplier over a lifetime

$15000

Come on, guys. What's your multiplier? That's the question.
 
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