Cheapest 30 cal bullets?


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HK G3
September 8, 2009, 06:12 PM
Hi guys,

I've been doing the math on cost/round of .308 for plinking (though I suppose at this caliber, "blasting" is the more appropriate verb :neener:) purposes, and finding that given the current costs, hazmat fees, etc, I'm not really saving all that much money by loading this cartridge.

I'm currently looking at a cost/round of about 27 cents. That's about 10 cents cheaper than Brown Bear, which is currently the cheapest commercially available ammo, but I'm hoping to try and do better, since there's also all the time spent at the bench to factor into the cost. Granted, I'm going to be working the load up with this new powder I got my hands on, and then it'll (hopefully) be a lot more accurate, but I'm still trying to be as frugal as possible.

With this load, I'm going to be spending about 14 cents per bullet (145 gr FMJBT W/C), and they're relatively low quality. I'm not looking for bullets that can fly true for 400m and hit that 8 point buck square in the heart while expanding - I'm looking to put holes in paper and blow up some water jugs.

With this in mind, does anyone have any recommendations as to where to buy really cheap, yet decent, 30 cal bullets that'll chamber properly each time? Last time I tried pulled bullets, I had jams every other magazine from deformed bullets not chambering properly.

Thanks! :)

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Gadzooks Mike
September 8, 2009, 07:55 PM
If you want some fun, general plinking, here's what I use in my .303 Savage - A box of #1 Whitetails from Missouri Bullets and underneigth that I stick 7 grains of Unique. It flies true and drops about 3 1/2 inches at the 50 yard mark. That load will work for just about any non-magnum 30 cal cartridge, but if you're using a 308 or something, you'll want to up the load just a bit, up to 9 or 10 grains. I use the same sort of thing for my microgrooved Marlin, but I had to buy some bullets sized to .311 to work with the microgrooves. That's good, cheap, fun general plinking up to about 50 yards or so.

Good luck!

NCsmitty
September 8, 2009, 08:52 PM
Here's a site that has fairly cheap plinking bullets. They should not be used for hunting though. Get some soft points of similar weight for humane kills.

If you order 2000, you get a free ammo can.

http://www.rvow.com/m2%20ball%20bullets.htm


UPDATE!!!!! Check to see if the site is still valid as the site has not been updated since 2005.

Email the guy.

NCsmitty

otrman
September 8, 2009, 09:12 PM
About cheapest I've found is from here, http://www.wideners.com/itemview.cfm?startrow=1&dir=278|281|727. 13 cents each in lots of 2000. Never tried for max. accuracy with them, just loading to feed a Saiga and a Cetme. Working on bullet #4000-6000 now and have yet to have a malfunction or one not go down range and stay on a silhouette target out to 300 yards.

bullseye308
September 8, 2009, 11:37 PM
http://www.rvow.com/m2%20ball%20bullets.htm


Run, don't walk from this place. Search out the name and you will see why. If you want to wait a year or 2 to get your bullets give it a try. Otherwise look elsewhere.

FROGO207
September 9, 2009, 12:36 AM
www polygunbag.com click on bullets and scan down to 30 cal. there are many good choices for reasonable prices.

ArchAngelCD
September 9, 2009, 05:39 AM
River Valley Ordnance used to be a great place to buy bullets but the last time that site was updated was June 28, 2005 so I highly doubt they are still in business. I emailed them about 4 months or so ago and asked them if they were still doing business but never got an answer. Too bad, they were good back-in-the-day.

HK G3
September 9, 2009, 06:03 AM
Yeah, my friend still has a bunch of .224 bullets from them.

They sounded like good people :-/

jjohnson
September 9, 2009, 01:20 PM
Oh, you can always look to www.patsreloading.com for deals. I've dealt with them before, they've been around for years, and I did get just what I paid for each time. I see they have some 308 that's resized for about a dime each.... I would buy from these guys again.

snuffy
September 9, 2009, 02:15 PM
HK is not looking for the absolute chaepest, he wants the least expensive bullet that will also work for hunting. At least, that's what I read.

In that light, here's what I consider to be that bullet;

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=1601168026

http://www.midwayusa.com/mediasvr.dll/image?saleitemid=270097

The Remington core-lokt has been around for longer than I've been alive,(well almost, I feel older than dirt this morning). It CAN be a very accurate bullet, and when it hits a deer, they don't have long to live. Other weights are on the Midway site, but are on backorder. @ .20 cents, you have both accuracy and a deadly bullet.

HK as for your comment that you charge yourself for time at the bench. I wonder who's paying you to do something else, if you weren't loading? To me, my free time is priceless, even sitting on my behind relaxing, which at 63 seems to be more that it used to be!:what::uhoh:

Walkalong
September 9, 2009, 02:25 PM
I agree with snuffy. The Remington Core Lokt is a great bullet, usually accurate, and reasonably priced.

HK G3
September 9, 2009, 03:30 PM
HK is not looking for the absolute chaepest, he wants the least expensive bullet that will also work for hunting. At least, that's what I read.

You misread, I was looking for cheapest that are still not terrible and prone to jamming all the time. I already have a really good hunting load using expensive Hornady bullets. Now if only I could get a deer tag one of these years...

HK as for your comment that you charge yourself for time at the bench. I wonder who's paying you to do something else, if you weren't loading? To me, my free time is priceless, even sitting on my behind relaxing, which at 63 seems to be more that it used to be!

I don't really charge myself, but at the same time, I factor it in when doing pricing. I feel it's a little dishonest to say, "Hey I just made 1,000 .45 Auto rounds for only $130!!!" when you spent around 12 hours doing so. It just shows my habitual note taking and categorizing things more than actually believing that I should be getting paid :p

I really enjoy reloading and my time on the bench - the only part I don't enjoy is the trimming, chamfering, and deburring... that part I really dislike, and will probably end up getting a Giraud one of these days to make that more tolerable.

falldowngoboom
December 1, 2009, 11:45 PM
Thought I'd bring this back since I'm shopping for cheap 30 cal bullets as well. At this point, I might go with the mil-spec bullets sold at Wideners or possibly some Prvi Partizan 150g soft points from Grafs. Anyone have any experience with Prvi bullets?

Any other suggestions for super cheap bullets for plinking? I could care less the quality, as long as they're >145g and lead core... and not too dirty if they're pulled...

warnerwh
December 2, 2009, 12:21 AM
The Remington 180 Core Lokt psp is an excellent bullet. As a matter of fact I see no point in trying any other bullet for deer or elk because these do the job as well as any other bullet. There's reviews of these bullets at Midway USA. I will concur what those guys wrote. Under an 1" consistency and inexpensive. I originally bought them as a cheap bullet, now I wouldn't try anything else.

falldowngoboom
December 2, 2009, 12:24 AM
Thanks for the recommendation, but I'm looking for really cheap stuff (< $0.13/bullet) exclusively for plinking. I use Hornady GMXs for hunting, so I've got that covered. :D

RidgwayCO
December 2, 2009, 01:47 AM
I recently purchased some pulled and polished 147gr FMJ-BT M80 ball from Hi-Tech Ammo for 12.7 a bullet (delivered), for use in an M1 Garand. Dan Johnson was great to deal with, and also sold me some virgin military .30-06 brass that dates back to 1955 (the year I was born). I'll have to remove the inert primers (at least I hope they're inert...) and remove the crimp, but that's not bad for 11.1 each (delivered). This is the second purchase I've made from Hi-Tech, and I'm a very satisfied customer.

http://hi-techammo.com/

NuJudge
December 2, 2009, 01:57 AM
Buy the Giraud trimmer.

If you enjoy time at the bench, take up casting. My almost-jacketed-velocity cast bullets come in at about 4 cents apiece, after a bit of investment and a lot of scrounging.

evan price
December 2, 2009, 03:09 AM
Pat's Reloading Supply in Ohio has 147-grain 7.62x54r bullets which were resized to .308 for under ten cents each in 2K lots. They shoot good in my rifles, for target ammo. Using bulk H335, range brass, and Wolf primers I can get my .308 ammo for twenty cents per shot.

falldowngoboom
December 2, 2009, 04:08 AM
Ridgway, thanks for the link! Will give those guys a call tomorrow and possibly put in an order. Shipping kills a bunch of the savings, though, but oh well...

NuJudge, not so sure about going the cast route. I still want to be shooting full loads at full speed, otherwise I might just go to a 110g jacketed bullet. But someday, I might start casting my own, who knows?

evan, I've been to patsreloading.com, but their bullets are STEEL CORE. A lot of ranges (including mine) won't let you use the stuff. Sucks because those prices are pretty darn good.

Ed Harris
December 2, 2009, 04:15 PM
The cheapest shooting if you have a bolt rifle is to cast your own bullets and load mild charges of fast-burning pistol or shotshell powder which do not require a gascheck.

I cast bullets using backstop lead that I get for free from the indoor range. I load the bullets as-cast and unsized after tumbling in Lee Liquid Alox. I save more money by keeping the loads below 1300 f.p.s. so they do not require a gascheck. The Ideal #308241, Saeco #630 or RCBS 30-150CM plainbased Cowboy bullets work fine, as does the Lee C312-155-2R designed for the .7.62x39, 303 British or 7.62x54R, which can be used in the larger bores or in .30s with worn throats without the GC.

Use standard large rifle primers. NO case fillers such as kapok, belly button lint, cattail fluff or duck feathers are needed.

In the .30-40 Krag, .303 British, 7.62x54R and .30-'06 boltguns I use 7 grains of Bullseye pistol powder across the board --- that's 1000 rounds per can of powder!

It's OK to adjust the charge down to a starting load of 5 grains or up to 8 grains maximum, to get best grouping in a particular rifle, but I have found 7 grains works in most rifles. No muss, no fuss.

To zero at 100 yards set the battlesight to 500 yards, for 200 yards set the sights at 800 yards.

These loads are fun to shoot, are more accurate than milsurp ball ammo and they don't lead if the bullet casts large enough to fit the chamber throat and origin of rifling. If as-cast bullet diameter is over .312" you will need to size bullets .311" for most .30 cal. rifles, whereas the 7.62x54R Russian and .303 British will shoot best at .314" or larger.

If the thought of using Bullseye powder in a rifle scares you, you can accomplish the same thing with TiteGroup, 231, 700-X or Red Dot in the same amount or use 8 grains of Unique, PB or SR7625.

Wilburt
December 2, 2009, 04:32 PM
I bought 2000 of these back when they were cheaper. Still not a bad price. Not the most accurate but doesn't jam my fal. Good for blastin!

http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=7239&dir=278|281|727

fireflyfather
December 2, 2009, 04:55 PM
Ed, I'd like to thank you for your recipes. I've been using either 7 or 13 grains of red dot (these days promo) in my mosin since I started reloading. I use the same powder for .38spl, and a limited amount of .357 and 9mm. I just got a lee loader in 12 gauge, and will be reloading the shotgun with the same powder too. Your load development over the years has let a new reloader (me!) start with and stick to one inexpensive powder for all reloading needs, saving me LOTS of money. I couldn't afford to shoot if it wasn't for your budget recipes.

TooTaxed
December 2, 2009, 05:13 PM
Ed Harris has the answer.

I have loaded thousands of Lyman #311291 170-gr cast gas check bullets for 100-yd practice in M1 Garands, .30-06 Springfields, and .30-30s. They should be cast hard...linotype preferred, wheel weights OK...no leading. Sized to .308 they are excellent for .30 cal; unsized they are fine for .303 Brit and 7.7 Jap. The last batch I bought (auction) was 2000 at 3 cents each. That equates to roughly six cents per loaded cartridge, or $1.20/box of 20.

Let's see anyone beat that!:D

qajaq59
December 3, 2009, 07:56 AM
Casting your own is the way to go. For example, the other day I stopped at a tire place and asked if he had any wheel weights. He said yup, but not much. It turned out he had 28 lbs and wanted $2. Once the zinc was sorted out, it was melted down, and the clips removed I had 20 lbs of good lead. The bullets I cast for my .308 weigh roughly 175.5 grains which gives me 40 bullets per pound times 20 lbs. Thats 800 bullets at .0025 cents a bullet. Now add the gas check for 2.6 cents and you have about as cheap a bullet as you are going to find. And of course you can cast bullets that don't need a gas check. which means you are virtually shooting free bullets, or darn close to it. And cast bullets can be just as accurate as jackets if you take a little care loading them.

falldowngoboom
December 3, 2009, 09:57 PM
You guys are making casting sound awfully tempting. What sort of speeds can you realistically push cast bullets, if you do use gas checks? 2000fps?

My main thing is to shoot with full recoil, so I don't end up flinching when it's time to pull the trigger on a real animal.

Noveldoc
December 5, 2009, 06:40 PM
Try River View military pulls at http://www.rvow.com/Default.htm

They inspect and size after the pull to I have never had a feeding or accuracy problems in a Garand.

I assume they would work OK on deer. Worked just fine on Germans, Japanese and Koreans.

$55.00 per thousand, or 5.5 cents.

Tom

falldowngoboom
December 5, 2009, 06:55 PM
I've seen that site before, but when was the last time you ordered from them? I think I tried calling before and the number is disconnected... Sent an email weeks ago as well.

snuffy
December 5, 2009, 08:47 PM
I assume they would work OK on deer. Worked just fine on Germans, Japanese and Koreans.

Those pulled bullets are ball ammo bullets, as such, they're FMJ. Non expanding bullets are illegal for hunting in most states, as they should be. They would pass through without doing much damage, the deer might even survive!

Lead tipped expanding bullets are needed for humane kills on any animal.

bullseye308
December 6, 2009, 12:20 AM
Try River View military pulls at http://www.rvow.com/Default.htm $55.00 per thousand, or 5.5 cents


Try looking at posts 3, 5, & 7. RVOW is no longer reputable and for the most part out of the business. There was a time when they were the stuff, but it has passed.

Dannix
January 29, 2010, 04:47 AM
Shooting lead bullets in your 30 cal -- Perhaps I was given a false impression, but isn't there a problem with shooting both lead and jacketed?

Small amounts of powder in a rifle case -- can't overpressure become a concern if there is an excessive case void?

qajaq59
January 29, 2010, 08:23 AM
Shooting lead bullets in your 30 cal -- Perhaps I was given a false impression, but isn't there a problem with shooting both lead and jacketed?

Small amounts of powder in a rifle case -- can't overpressure become a concern if there is an excessive case void? Cast bullets don't prevent you from using jacketed bullets. Simply clean your core, which you should do after shooting anyway, before switching bullets.

And I've shot thousands of cast in my 30-30 using Unique powder. The loads are right in the Lyman cast bullet manual. The only rub is if you got sloppy with the loading you could get a double charge. Always check the cases with a flash light to be sure they are all have the same amount of powder before you seat your bullets.

Dannix
January 29, 2010, 01:00 PM
But the lead doesn't devolve in ed's red, I assume, right? Or are you taking bronze brush?

I wasn't talking about about overpressure from overcharge, but overpressure from a really low undercharge. I forget where I read about this concern. I remember reading one 30-30 post where the guy was shooting lead ball, iirc 47gr. He specifically mentioned he individually loaded the rounds and kept them pointing up. Not sure why, perhaps just to keep the powder up close to the primer helping prevent a dud or a squib, but perhaps powder up front against the bullet could cause the case to take a beating before the bullet started moving?

qajaq59
January 29, 2010, 02:00 PM
Dannix, if you slug the barrel, size the bullets accordingly, and use the right alloy leading wont be a problem.

And having never tried to shoot round ball from my 30-30 I can't comment on that.
But Lyman #311041 shoot just fine out of my 30-30. And the #311413 do pretty good in my .308. It takes a bit longer for me to work up loads then with jackets, but that's ok. I have more time then money and I shoot a lot.
You might enjoy reading up on some of the casting over on one of the casting forums. It's no only cheap, it's quite interesting as well.

TooTaxed
February 4, 2010, 05:52 PM
For velocities on cast bullet loads, just check the manuals...I find I use the Lyman Manual a lot, which lists max velocities for my 170-gr RN #311291 as high as 2500 fps. I loaded mostly in the 2200-2400 fps range for .30-06, which made my M1 Garand function just fine. For 100-yd practice for the kids I loaded in the 1600 - 1800 fps range. There are loads provided as low as 1360-fps, but of course that isn't the bottom! I don't remember the velocity below which the M1 wouldn't function, but everything fires just fine in my '03 Springfield.

For shooting below 200-yd, why use jacketed bullets? Generally, the lower the velocity the more accurate/smaller groups, and cast works just fine.

Squibster
March 5, 2010, 05:05 AM
Try a Lee .311 round ball ahead of 8gr. of 2400. Kills paper tigers, squirrels, and most anything a lot deader than a 22 can.

Edit: Increase the charge of fast powder very carefully!!! This is a cheap, cheap, cheap way to blast or I should say "pop"

NuJudge
March 5, 2010, 05:47 PM
"What sort of speeds can you realistically push cast bullets, if you do use gas checks? 2000fps?"

If your bore is smooth, the bullet diameter fits the groove diameter (I like about .002 over groove diameter), the bullet design is compatible with the rifling and throat design, the bullet is hard enough, the muzzle is in good condition, & a good lubricant is used, I have had no difficulty reaching 2000 fps in a full-power military cartridge. With maybe a bit of experimenting, 2200fps.

medalguy
March 6, 2010, 02:43 AM
If you're looking for cheap bullets just to send downrange, there's a group buy going on 1919A4 that has pulled Brit Radway .308 FMJ bullets for about 11 cents each:

http://www.1919a4.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31001

Best deal around at this time. Check it out!

ArchAngelCD
March 6, 2010, 04:42 AM
I've shot a 160gr 30-30 lead bullet w/GC just over 2100 fps without leading. As long as the lube is correct the GC will protect the bullet base enough to prevent leading the barrel.

ol' scratch
March 6, 2010, 03:55 PM
Great info. Thank you.

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