223 reloading value


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General Tso
August 15, 2010, 03:46 AM
I can reload 223 for .30/rnd using purchased once-fired brass. With free brass it comes to .21/rnd. I can buy Tula for .26/rnd. Worth it?

Plus I would have to buy the dies and associated equipment, and the time. I already reload pistol carts.

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TonyAngel
August 15, 2010, 04:06 AM
The costs aren't the only thing to consider. You also have to consider the time. The actual loading isn't bad, but case prep can be really time consuming. If you shop around, you can actually do better than .26 a round for plinking ammo. I shoot Silver Bear and you can get that stuff for around $230 a thousand.

I only load precision ammo for my .223. Plinking ammo, I just buy and not have to bother with the cases.

wanderinwalker
August 15, 2010, 07:02 AM
I think you should be able to do a bit better on the reloading cost by shopping around some more. I just ran a calculation the other night and I can load .223 with Varget and MATCH bullets for $0.23/rd, using free brass, a little more buying once fired and figuring 6 firings before it gets scrapped.

Of course, this assumes buying powder by the 8-lb jug and not 1-lb canisters. And this is using 69gr Nosler HPBTs I bought from Midsouth Shooters Supply (http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com) for $140/1000.

kutter
August 15, 2010, 08:03 PM
It can be done a lot cheaper if all you want is plinking ammo. Try out this thread: http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=530832

medalguy
August 15, 2010, 08:18 PM
Yep you can loaad for a lot less unless you want match quality and use free brass or your own brass. If you don't have any brass, check your local police range and see if they will give you a bucket of brass. I just checked a few of my favorite suppliers and I found the following components:

Primers at Powder Valley (Wolf) .018 ea
Powder at Lowder Valley $135/8 lb .06 ea
Bullets Hornady at Pat's Reloading .08 ea
Total per round .163 ea

If you shop around and find surplus bullets and pulldown powder it's several cents cheaper per round. I'm using pulldown powder I bought two years ago for less than $8 per pound, and pulled bullets I paid under .04 each for. That makes my casual plinking loads come out around .09 each. Agreed I can't duplicate that today but I can come pretty darn close.

UltimateReloader
August 17, 2010, 12:06 PM
A few reasons to reload:
1. Cost (not always a savings however... for 44 mag, you bet!)
2. Enjoyment (subjective, depends on your personality)
3. Control over components, tailoring to your firearm

Plinking- why not just buy?

Varminting- I would only use reloads developed for max accuracy for my rifle...

UltimateReloader
August 17, 2010, 12:16 PM
One more thing to factor into your decision- your equipment will retain ~75% of its value used depending on the make. So, if you're looking at your "net cost" you can factor in the fact that your equipment is "money in the bank" if you decide not to reload later.

ranger335v
August 17, 2010, 12:37 PM
"Worth it?"

You're asking the reloading forum on an outdoors site if loading is "worth it?" Wonder what the answers will be!

qajaq59
August 17, 2010, 12:49 PM
Do you already have the press, scale, etc so that all you have to buy is a set of dies? If so I'd load it. I haven't shot anything but my own loads in decades.

CraigC
August 17, 2010, 12:54 PM
Consider the quality difference between the cheapest junk you can buy that still goes bang and your finest handloads that are tailored to your rifle.

JoeMal
August 17, 2010, 01:04 PM
You can reload precision rounds that cost $20-30 a box in the stores for the price of 'cheap' plinking ammo. Definitely worth it.

Bovice
August 17, 2010, 01:29 PM
Federal Bulk 100 packs of .223 are about .40 cents per round. Reloading, you can just about cut that in half. And the accuracy goes up big time, if your rifle is up to it. And that was just using either brass I got from factory ammo or range brass. I've also used once-fired LC brass, same results.

I don't shoot the steel cased stuff because of the mess it makes, and it's also not reloadable so I don't bother.

Dnaltrop
August 17, 2010, 01:45 PM
The tipping point as it was explained to me as a child.

"yes I could reload that, but I'd rather be spending my time reloading these larger rounds that cost more" (my great uncle pressing out .38's and explaining the works)

If you shoot a lot of it, and your time can't be better spent on another project. Go for it.

If you have a ton of two-buck-a-shot stuff to replenish, and it's about cost the cost.. keep the stuff you only save money in high volume for later.

smurf hunter
August 17, 2010, 03:36 PM
Right now I'm reloading .357mag. I can load Hornady XTP rounds with free brass for just under $0.20/rnd. That's small qty retail costs. I know if I scale out my component buys, and switch to cheap cast bullets, I can get that down to $0.14/rnd.

The manufactured XTP round can cost ~$0.40 each - that's a premium round that I've made cheap enough for bulk practice.

cougar1717
August 18, 2010, 05:29 PM
Is it worth it? - It really depends on your time and your shooting style. If you're shooting style is to spray a whole bunch of lead in a hurry, it is simpler to just buy the ammo. Loading 223 is more tedious than straight wall pistol cartridges since each case has to be lubed, sized, trimmed as necessary, lube removed, primed, then loaded. I know a reloader who loads other rifle cartridges, but will not load 223 because he doesn't think its' worth the time. IMHO - if you're looking to load the cheapest loads you can find with pulldown powder, pulled bullets, mixed cases, etc., you might as well buy cheap plinking ammo and save yourself the loading time. But, it is worth it to me to make high quality accurate ammo using extruded powders and ballistic tip bullets.

dwwright
August 18, 2010, 09:55 PM
Our local range doesn't allow the wolf or tula brands due to the steel in the bullet (if magnet sticks, can't shoot it). So the cheapest I could find was about .50 a round average. By the time I bought some Lee equipment and supplies, I've made up the overhead in about 1000 rounds. Been much happier with my own loads and accuracy has improved.

shawn62
August 19, 2010, 03:50 PM
I am reloading my own for .17 cents each with my own brass or .21 cents if I buy once fired.

rduckwor
August 19, 2010, 04:16 PM
Is a 0.264" four round group worth it? Hell yes it is!

RMD

Sidewinder72
August 19, 2010, 05:20 PM
I think it is a personal preferance. For myself it is definatly worth it. I enjoy all aspects of reloading. Accuracy and getting to shoot more are the best perks, prepping brass is my least favorite task, but it must be done. I love reloading in general.

Hondo 60
August 19, 2010, 08:28 PM
Consider the quality difference between the cheapest junk you can buy that still goes bang and your finest handloads that are tailored to your rifle.

That right there is the key! Once my barrel heats up I can't use Tula ammo. The varnish starts to melt & I get all kinds of FTEs (Failure To Eject) usually about 4-5 per 20 rd magazine. This morning it was in the upper 60s so I tried 2 boxes of Tula. They worked fine.

My reloads on the other hand NEVER give me FTEs! It doesn't matter what the weather is like. Plus I get to decide the bullet weight & the brand/weight of powder.

I bought the Tula for $3.49 a box (plus tax). I'd be hard pressed to reload for that, but my reloads go bang w/o having to clear the jams.

gutterman
August 22, 2010, 03:30 PM
It really depends on how much you shoot. I enjoy just the solitude of reloading, as it requires you to focus on exactly what you are doing and not everything else out there. If you are saving a little $$ by doing so , then more the better!

dawico
August 22, 2010, 03:47 PM
There is one more factor not mentioned yet. When ammo was hard to find and impossible to get a good deal on, I had thousands of rounds of componants ready to be loaded. Don't compare the price of one round to another, compare the price of thousands of rounds that you have bought componants for in bulk. At that time, the cost of a round wasn't near as important as the fact that I had ammo available.

RustyFN
August 22, 2010, 04:25 PM
Did somebody say plinking ammo? These are todays prices. This is a quote from this thread. http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1236734

HiTech Ammo has pulled .224 for $50
Primers will run $25
TAC will run $44
Amortized brass is essentially free ($50 @ 10 loads each is .005 per shot or $5 per K)

50
25
44
5
----
$124 per K

kutter
August 29, 2010, 09:21 PM
This was recently covered in other threads, but here it is again:

If you want to go as inexpensive as possible:
.04 - Surplus powder
.05 - Pulled surplus bullet
.03 - Primer

So if you already have brass and you want to reload just some plinking stuff that does not need to drive small tacks, only big ones, then you can do it for about .12 per round.

This is based upon buying in bulk and I did not factor in shipping since it is something of a wash compared to tax that you will pay on already assembled ammunition, also it does not factor in the cost of the press and assorted equipment, but I considered that a separate investment.

This is the thread: http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=530832

atomd
August 29, 2010, 10:25 PM
For plinking rounds here's what I'd be spending. There are better deals if you want to buy a specific item like pulled bullets or powder for 1/2 price. Those are great deals and can drop the price a LOT. But let's just say I use the stuff I can normally buy that's not on sale or closeout.

55 grain bullets (new) surplus $75 shipped.
8lbs of H335 $140 bought locally
Primers $30 bought locally
Brass is pretty much free. If I bought once fired it would add .04-.05 per round for the first time I bought it but really it's spread out over the life of the case which can be used multiple times.

That's about .17 per round and it included shipping on the bullets. Not too bad. If you have to order the powder or primers online the hazmat fee is going to kill ya.

Where can you get Ramshot TAC so cheap? I know it's cheaper than a lot of brands but that's real low.

GW Staar
August 30, 2010, 12:25 AM
There is one more factor not mentioned yet. When ammo was hard to find and impossible to get a good deal on, I had thousands of rounds of componants ready to be loaded. Don't compare the price of one round to another, compare the price of thousands of rounds that you have bought componants for in bulk. At that time, the cost of a round wasn't near as important as the fact that I had ammo available.

That factor is probably most important...along with this thought: Reloaders who continually buy a few components every time a little cash is available, over years, are not only able to collect a large stored supply eventually, and ride out economic disasters like the one we recently experienced and continue to experience, the dollars spent are nearly always less than if you only buy when you're out. Not only is buying bulk a good idea, buying when its available at whatever the going price is, is a good idea.

The worth of loading .223 goes along with that...when there becomes a serious supply problem, either you need a two year supply of components or the same in factory ammo (a supply of Wolf is better than nothing.)

I agree that loading any rifle is more tedious than pistol, especially when you've got to swage or chamfer primer pockets. But I've been working on my horde of LC brass for a while, (just that stage)and now I have a pretty fair supply of swaged brass.

Then I discovered a way to make the rest of case prep a breeze, so that remaining bottleneck disappeared. For me my powered 3-way Forster trimmer set up did the trick. Others accomplish the same thing with their RCBS 3-ways, or the Girauds. Once you experience any of the 3-ways, you find reloading rifle is fast and fun again.

Consider if and when SHTF, and TV is gone, what would you rather be doing in the evenings, reloading or rocking. (as in a chair)

jaybirdjtski
August 30, 2010, 12:52 AM
Everyone is assuming that loaded ammunition will continue to be available. California politicians are trying to add 223 and 7.62 x 39 rifle ammo to the onerous law on handgun ammo that is supposed to take effect Feb 2011. It would be a joke but it is really more like a bad dream. Hey! This is the state that banned the 50 BMG. Crazies! That is one reason to have some components on hand. And what happens in California can happen elsewhere. Even states that respect the Bill of Rights right now have their share of politicians who are not what you would consider "friends of the shooting community." Find your state on the following website and check out your legislators and the grades they received.
http://gunowners.org/

That said, I do both for 223, reload and shoot factory rounds. I have a tack-driver that I wouldn't think of shooting much with factory rounds. And I have a 223 for just blasting.
Plus, the really good factory ammo is still expensive.

RustyFN
August 30, 2010, 05:49 PM
Where can you get Ramshot TAC so cheap? I know it's cheaper than a lot of brands but that's real low.

It's $130 for 8 pounds but you will only need $50 of it to load 1,000 rounds. Same with the powder you listed, it will only take around 3.5 pounds.

straitnate14
September 13, 2010, 01:25 AM
Any chance anyone has tried any of the pulled 5.56 55gr FMJ's from I'm thinking about getting a bunch. Just looking for feedback on them if any.
http://www.iidbs.com/hitech.zkb?root&GENMENU600&object-menu6

kutter
September 13, 2010, 10:56 AM
I don't use the 55gr, but I do use the 62gr and frankly I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality of the bullets that I received. Pull marks were barely noticeable and weights were pretty consistent. They will never be match grade rounds, but that is ok since my Sig is not a match grade. They are more than accurate enough for me in the rifle.

If you want tack drivers, they are probably not the way to go.

straitnate14
September 13, 2010, 11:41 AM
Well The last bunch of bullets I bought to load up were Winchesters and they are pretty crappy. The base's of the bullets all look different from bullet to bullet and the weight can very as much as .75 gr from one bullet to the next. I think I'm going to order some up and see.

RustyFN
September 13, 2010, 06:48 PM
Any chance anyone has tried any of the pulled 5.56 55gr FMJ's from I'm thinking about getting a bunch. Just looking for feedback on them if any.

No but I did shoot a bunch of pulled 62 grain bullets. Not match grade but they shot a lot better than I thought they would.

straitnate14
September 20, 2010, 01:14 AM
Well I took the plunge and ordered some of the 55gr pulled bullets, I will be loading them with TAC and wolf primers. As soon as the get here I will let you know how they are

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