Sunday, April 13, 2014

False Economy

On the way home from the office one day last week, I stopped by my favorite local gun shop.  I try to go by once a month just to see if there's anything new and interesting in stock.

They had several items that were interesting but I had decided to stay on a budget and was determined to buy just one thing.   Loading for my brother in law's 9mm has depleted most of my supply of 9mm bullets so I was considering buying a box of 500 cast lead bullets. 

The bullets were $38.50 a box and I really didn't want to spend that much money so I got to thinking about a bullet mold they had on the shelf.  It was a Lee mold for a 123 grain 9mm slug.  I got to thinking that $20 for that mold beat $38.50 all to heck because I have plenty of lead at the house and spending Saturday Morning casting 500 bullets would be relaxing.

I couldn't get the danged mold to work right.  It didn't want to close properly most of the time and it was a brand new mold.   It isn't warped because it will close right sometimes but most of the time I had to fight it.  I must have cast 700 bullets to get 400 that were any good and I gave up at 400.

I have a couple dozen Lee molds, almost that many Lyman, some RCBS and even an Ohaus.  I have cast a whole bunch of bullets in the last couple of decades and I've never had any kind of problem like this.  Ever.  Its not that it was an inexpensive mold.  Stuff happens and its just defective. 

So naturally I decided that it would be relaxing to go ahead and lube the 400 good bullets so they'd be ready to load.  Naturally.

Then I decided that it would be a good idea to run them through a sizer just in case any that I thought were good were maybe a little plump due to the mold-closing problem.  Yes, there were a few.

By the time it was all over, I had eight hours into my 400 bullets.   Eight hours.   Eight.  That's 1.2 minutes per bullet. 


Four fifths of $38.50 is $30.80.  So I had $30.80 worth of bullets for my eight hours.   I paid $20 for the mold so really I only saved $10.80 for my eight hours.  I worked eight freakin' hours on Saturday Morning for $1.35 an hour and I'm giving the bullets to my brother in law.



Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a story I read in a Hot Rod Magazine. Man built his dream machine & drove it a couple of years, and began thinking he shoulda, coulda, etc. So he sold and started a new one. His buddy asked if he made any money on the old one, and he replied "I got everything I put in it plus the standard 11cents an hour for labor

Lantry said...

Maybe my $1.08 wasn't so bad!

David343 said...

Forget the cost benefit analysis, you said you were doing it to relax!

Lantry said...

That's what makes it so frustrating. Fighting that mold was anything but relaxing.