.308 Cost Savings


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Havok7416
May 19, 2012, 05:11 AM
Has anyone out there done a cost-savings analysis of their .308 reloads to commercial brass offerings? I am looking at picking up a PTR-91 (I know it's hard on brass) and I don't have a .308 so I started up some charts to price it out. If my numbers are right I will only save $1 per box (a nickel per round) over factory loads using the cheapest components I can find. IMO this seems like a waste of my time but maybe I'm missing something.

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7.62 Solution
May 19, 2012, 07:24 AM
"am I missing something". I don't think you are, the savings are pretty small for me as well. I reload mostly because it's enjoyable to me. But if the rifle is a military semi auto, I factor in having to find the brass and the added stress thay it endured during firing and shooting cheap factory stuff for fun seems to make sense to me. With all that said I do hand load reduced .308 with my own cast bullets for plinking with a bolt action rifle. Low recoil, a little less noise and with cast (forget how much $ I have in casting equip) it is pretty inexpensive.

FROGO207
May 19, 2012, 07:26 AM
If you are only making blasting ammo with little need for accuracy and buy components in bulk there is a fair cost savings over off the shelf offerings. If you buy crappy corrosive or surplus ammo there is not much savings even then. However if you are wanting really accurate rounds with premium bullets that are tuned to fit your 308 then the commercial offerings will fall short in accuracy and cost a bunch more. I realize these are generalizations and I give no dollar amounts but this has held true with widely available rifle rounds that are military and or old established chamberings with respect to what I reload. There will not be the big difference that you see with handgun ammo because the jacketed projectiles that are used at higher speeds can not be easily made at home like the cast lead ones used in handguns at lower speeds. Someone may have done a real world comparison and chime in but if I used commercial ammo in any quantity instead of reloading it I would soon be broke.:scrutiny:

thump_rrr
May 19, 2012, 07:48 AM
The only comparison that I have done was for match ammo.

Lapua 185gr Scenar. $43.95 for a box of 20

CCI BR-2 Primers $52.99/1000=$0.053. $0.053x20= $1.06
Hodgdon Varget Powder bought in 8lb quantities $25.00/lb
42gr per round x20 = 840gr. 7000/840= 8.33. $25.00/8.33= $3.00
Lapua Scenar 185gr bullets $46.99 per 100. $46.99/5 = $9.40

So for me to reload my Lapua cases it costs me $13.43
If we want to add the price of brass to the equation a box of 100pcs of Lapua brass costs $74.95 or $15.00/20.
If I didnt anneal I'd get at least 5 loadings out of my Lapua brass so my true cost per 20 rounds would be $15.00/5= $3.00 brass cost per round fired for 20 cartridges .

So my total cost is $16.43 for 20 rounds with brass reloaded 5 times compared to 43.95.

You can argue that Lapua uses Vihtavuori powders which are 1/3 more expensive than Varget so you can even call it $17.43 compared to $43.95 and I'm still a happy camper.

kutter
May 19, 2012, 08:22 AM
Not sure why you would think there is not much savings, bulk .308 sells for about $0.56/round. You can reload for $0.404/round:

Primer: .027
Powder .067
Brass .16
Bullet .15

This factors in buying once fired brass the first time and using bulk powder and bullets. Figuring 20% loss per event means your recurring brass cost is about $.03/round so after your first loading it would be $0.29/round, or nearly half of the bulk and you would still have a higher quality ammunition.

Ditchtiger
May 19, 2012, 08:28 AM
My blasting ammo made with surplus powder and FMJ runs me under $5 a box.

Havok7416
May 19, 2012, 09:52 AM
Thanks very much for the responses! I am still a little ways off from acquiring a PTR-91 but I will file away the various responses I have received here. To clarify, I am not looking for any particular accuracy out of the gun, it will just be used for plinking.

medalguy
May 19, 2012, 10:24 AM
Well if you're just wanting plinking ammo, and cheap, you have to buy components in bulk: primers no less than 10,000, bullets same, powder multiples of 8 pound kegs. Here's my last calculated cost:

Brass 5 loadings out of 1X fired milsurp .02 per load
Bullets 147 gr pulldown (several sources) .09 ea
Primers Wolf (Powder Valley) .015 ea
Powder WC844 (8 lb from Pats) .06 ea

That makes each round cost .185, not too bad for plinking ammo.

These prices are still current if you take the time to do a little shopping, and you can even cut the cost some places. For example, Pat's still has .308 tracer bullets for .05 each which don't lite, good for plinking in an area where you won't start a fire, like a sand pit. And if you're lucky you can pick up some brass from a range for free. You have to put in the time to shop for cheap components, and I don't mean places like Cabelas or Midway. Think surplus dealers and buy quantity.

Havok7416
May 19, 2012, 11:26 AM
Wow that's way over the top for me! I would personally like to have 500 rounds or less on hand at any given time. This would be my only rifle caliber to reload until I go through my M1 Garand factory ammo.

YankeeFlyr
May 24, 2012, 03:31 AM
Havok, where did you get your M1 ammo? Federal American Eagle "for Garand"?

MachIVshooter
May 24, 2012, 03:46 AM
I would personally like to have 500 rounds or less on hand at any given time.

:confused:

You'll burn through that in no time.

Unfortunately, you cannot amortize brass with a G-3 platform, as the fluted chamber will render it useless after firing (although I've been able to load some that came out of a full auto G3 with a very dirty chamber).

Still, if you but in decent quantity, you can save at least $100/case over commercial .308

Havok7416
May 24, 2012, 08:36 AM
Havok, where did you get your M1 ammo? Federal American Eagle "for Garand"?
Yes, I bought 200 rounds of American Eagle M1 Garand ammo. I originally intended to buy the Hornady stuff but Federal started making the same stuff for less. I haven't shot any of the Federal yet since I still have a few enblocs with surplus loaded in them. I will make sure to do a review on THR when I shoot the Federal stuff.

You'll burn through that in no time.
Normally I would agree with you but this won't be shot very much for a few years at least. My job keeps me away from home all but 30-60 days per year.:banghead:

dragon813gt
May 24, 2012, 08:58 AM
If I were to use new, as in commercially bought once fired, brass my cost is $.55 per round. Since I don't need that every time my cost with jacketed rounds is down to $.30 per round. Since I cast my own bullets the cost is down to $.13 w/ a copper gas check. Take off another penny if I use checks made from aluminum.

That's my costs using WIN748, CCI LR Primers and Hornady 150grn FMJ-BT bullets. Cost would be more if you bough brand new brass. But the once fired I've bought has worked just fine. Costs can down more if I buy bullets in large lots. My savings are a lot over the $1 per round(hunting) you pay for over the counter ammo.


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CSestp
May 24, 2012, 09:11 AM
You bastard. I thought I could be smart and just whip out a Spreadsheet that would auto calc your startup cost's then have a running balance of supply costs. Showing you how much per round every hundred rounds........ Well my head hurts now, and I still don't have it down yet.

Arkansas Paul
May 24, 2012, 11:41 AM
Well if you're just wanting plinking ammo, and cheap, you have to buy components in bulk: primers no less than 10,000, bullets same, powder multiples of 8 pound kegs. Here's my last calculated cost:


If I had enough cash laying around to buy all of that at once, saving a couple of dollars wouldn't be as important as it is now.

I can load ammo for .308 for about 50% of what I can buy it for. And that's buying primers 1k at a time, bullets a few hundred at a time, and powder by the pound. Of course that's not cheap plinking ammo. That's good hunting rounds. Maybe there's less difference in plinking stuff.

scythefwd
May 24, 2012, 01:04 PM
I reload ammo for hunting. A box of nosler partition tipped stuff round here runs 45.. I load up a box for 15.. good enough for me.

Arkansas Paul
May 24, 2012, 01:29 PM
I reload ammo for hunting. A box of nosler partition tipped stuff round here runs 45.. I load up a box for 15.. good enough for me.


Similar numbers here. A box of Federal Premium 150 grain ballistic tips are about $38. I load them for about $12-$13.

chrome_austex
May 24, 2012, 06:43 PM
My 'match' reloads cost me 0.53c / round. I could run that as low as 0.42 by switching to some cheaper components at the expense of some accuracy.

If you can find factory ammo for 0.56, then ya, its not much savings. Try finding match ammo for that price though.

Havok7416
May 25, 2012, 02:31 AM
If you can find factory ammo for 0.56, then ya, its not much savings. Try finding match ammo for that price though.
I would like to reiterate that I am trying to research for a PTR-91 (G3) battle rifle. These are made with fluted cylinders that tear up brass. I do understand match ammo is much nicer but I will be reloading with a new set of cases each time due to the fluting so I see no need to ruin perfectly good match brass.

scythefwd
May 25, 2012, 02:33 PM
havok... I take home as much of other peoples brass as my own when I hit the range...I ask and the give it to me.

.308, as common as it is.. should be pretty easy to come by. Believe it or not, reloaders are very small percentage of the rifle shooters out there.

Havok7416
May 25, 2012, 03:44 PM
havok... I take home as much of other peoples brass as my own when I hit the range...I ask and the give it to me.

.308, as common as it is.. should be pretty easy to come by. Believe it or not, reloaders are very small percentage of the rifle shooters out there.
Fair enough. I will give this a shot. There is only one rifle range near me and it is almost always abandoned (it's free so I'm not sure why no one uses it. I will see what I can dig up.

FROGO207
May 26, 2012, 07:40 AM
Well there is a guy that shoots with a G3 of some sort that I have not yet managed to meet around here. He leaves piles of brass laying around at the range often. I clean and process the brass to reload. I have managed to reload one batch of 100 six times so far and none have had any problems to date. The indentations were completely erased after 2-3 firings on mine so that is a non issue for me. Note that I do not own a G3 platform at this time. But if trying to reload any brass after firing in a G3 to reuse there I would think it would be unsafe also.

Havok7416
May 26, 2012, 10:33 AM
I have managed to reload one batch of 100 six times so far and none have had any problems to date... But if trying to reload any brass after firing in a G3 to reuse there I would think it would be unsafe also.

Frogo I'm not being critical but I am missing your point here. If it is unsafe then why do you do it?

giggitygiggity
May 29, 2012, 10:33 AM
I can load .308 for about $7 per box of 20. This number would go up to about $12 or so per box of 20 if I used a new piece of brass for each round. With current prices, that saves me anywhere from $8-13 per box.

I buy powder in 8lb jugs from www.powdervalleyinc.com and I usually use either Remington Core Locks or Hornady jacketed soft point bullets which are about $20-25 per 100. I also get my primers from Powder Valley for anywhere from $24-27 per 1000. The key is to buy in bulk and to keep the sources of purchase to a minimum to cut down on multiple shipping and hazmat fees. For instance, when I buy from Powder Valley, my order is usually anywhere from $500-1000.

Havok7416
May 29, 2012, 11:11 AM
I have thought about going the Powder Valley route but so far LGSs and gun shows have provided what I need. I may do that when I come home permanently.

popper
May 29, 2012, 06:17 PM
If you cast your own, CB is only $.07

dragon813gt
May 29, 2012, 07:24 PM
I will edit this and state that I was assuming that's the price for a loaded round. Not just a bullet.

If you cast your own, CB is only $.07

That cost depends on a lot of factors. One of the biggest being the cost of the lead. There is also a fairly large swing in powder prices. And gas checks, if used, can vary by a few cents. Even at $15 per pound of powder a common load would be in the range if $.08 just for powder. I'd you bought lead at $1 per pound which is the going rate you're at $.02 for a 150 grain bullet. I'd like to be able to get my rounds down that low but for someone just starting out it won't happen.


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popper
May 30, 2012, 05:28 PM
That is for a 180 @ rotometal prices. Finding $1/# Pb is tough. It still beats $.15-.30 for good factory.

dragon813gt
May 30, 2012, 07:22 PM
You can find $1 WW/Range/Isotope lead, price includes shipping, all the time on castboolits. I just picked up 315#s of isotope lead a few weeks ago :)


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