Reload for your AR .223?


May 21, 2013, 10:55 PM
I'm curious how many of you reload for your ARs? Do you reload just to go to the range and practice? Home defense? Hunting? Am I missing anything? How cost effective is it? How much time does it require?

I reload for a bolt action .223 I hunt with but I've never reloaded for my ARs. Always figured between cost of brass, powder, primers and bullets and especially the time it takes only to shoot'em up so fast it didn't make sense.

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May 21, 2013, 11:13 PM
its the only way to train cost effectively

May 21, 2013, 11:15 PM
Yes I reload...I find it to be cheaper....

Pickup your brass...or reuse it. I can get at least 4-6 loadings out of most of my brass.

Before the panic, you could find 2000 55gr. FMJ bullets for $170 $0.085 per round
Primers $32 for 1000 (cheaper for stuff like Wolf and Tula) $0.032 per round
Powder for $158 for 8 lb $0.07 per round
Range pickup brass is free...or once fired brass for $0.10-$0.12 a piece Natchez even shows brand new LC brass for $0.14 a piece. Stretch that out to 4 times loaded and you get about $0.04-$0.05 per round.

You can reload nice clean brass case plinking rounds for $0.18-$0.22

You'd be hard pressed to find cheapo steel cased stuff for that

May 21, 2013, 11:58 PM
I just started reloading for my AR I'm intending to use it for Cyote hunting next year reloading I'm able to talor a load for my rifle.

May 22, 2013, 12:20 AM
I do reload for my AR. I use the rifle for hunting (predator, varmint) so I'm loading 55gr Vmax.

I don't go out and blast through 200 rounds at a time with my AR so I make target and hunting ammo for it. I do have some cheap commerical ammo if I feel like blasting a mag or someone else wants to.

Like you I also have a .223 bolt action and reloaded for that before I got an AR. The bolt action is a little more fun to reload for in that I have a 3-9 scope with fine duplex reticle and can make tiny groups at 100 yards. Also I can seat the bullet out closer to the lands due to the longer magazine. Nice to not have to chase the brass as well.

My AR has a 1.5-4 scope and the reticle is slightly thicker so it's a bit harder to shoot a tiny group but so far I've still been able to get slightly sub MOA with it. When shooting from a bench I have a ghetto rig system to collect my brass so I'm not chasing it.

Tim the student
May 22, 2013, 04:20 AM
Yep, I reload for my ARs. Cheaper, and very high quality ammo - even my plinking stuff shoots very well.

Pete D.
May 22, 2013, 06:16 AM
I reload every CF cartridge that I shoot. Most of that is for my AR. The .223s are all target ammo.....75 or 77 grain HPBTs and Reloader 15. Buying them, even if I could, would be prohibitive.

May 22, 2013, 10:19 AM
I also reload every centerfire cartridge that I have a gun for except 32 S&W (I think or maybe 38S&W).

I loade hunting and blasting ammunition for my ARs. But I enjoy reloading.

I do not to worry about finding ammunition I like to shoot, but I started planning for 2013 back in 2010. No rocket scientist needed.

May 22, 2013, 11:44 AM
Yep, me too. I have reloading dies for every cartridge I shoot and own.

May 22, 2013, 11:50 AM
I do now...

May 22, 2013, 12:00 PM
It's still cheaper to reload.

Prices of everything are up.

I load a lot of blasting ammo for my Colt 6920 SOCOM (and AR10, M1A, Ak-47), but also varmint/target rounds as well. It's a hobby that I enjoy. I still use a single stage press, albeit two of them side by side which, at times, speeds up the process markedly.

For the blasters, since I'm not overly interested in precision, I still use the Lee dippers...amazing how fast you can load with these if you know what you are doing.

Last week I loaded up 1500 rounds of .223, and shot 1000 of them already. I'm stocked on ammo and components, and have sources for all of them. Guys at work who are 'hoarding' ammo 3-5 boxes at a time just stared at me when I said that I'd fired 1000 rounds in one range session (what a fun day that was), in total disbelief. They are afraid to shoot because of shortages and cost. Not me.

The ranges are as empty as ever lately, so I have the places to myself...even my secret 500 yard outdoor range in the boonies.

Stop buying ammo!

Take that money and buy reloading stuff instead.

Think long term.

May 22, 2013, 12:23 PM
I reload every centerfire caliber I own. It's NOT an AR-15, but it is 5.56mm, and I enjoy the heck out of reloading for it. All rounds fired here are reloads.

May 22, 2013, 07:41 PM
I load every round for my AR as well. Precision hunting rounds for varmint and SD rounds that double as plinking ammo. I started with about 400 rounds of factory loaded ammo which provided me with some brass, then scrounged five or six thousand more pieces that I loaded then stored in ammo boxes. As I buy magazines and verify function, I load them and transfer them to other ammo boxes for long term storage.

I also load for a break-action single-shot using new, then fire-formed brass kept in reloading boxes. My recommendation would be separate die sets and distinct labeling to avoid potential problems and reduce set-up time. Financially, reloading tends to be a wash though volume is definitely higher for your dollar.

May 22, 2013, 09:32 PM
Yes because speciatly ammo, hunting ammo and match ammo is all overpriced. I can make it all for 50% or less with better results. On the other hand back when surplus ammo was 10 cents a round I shot a lot of that but those days are long gone.

May 22, 2013, 09:41 PM
I do reload for my AR. But I hate it. I put so much work into loading them on a single stage just to burn through them with my happy trigger finger.

Gives me a good excuse to buy a bolt action .223. :D

May 22, 2013, 09:44 PM
Yes I have begun loading for the AR. Nothing fancy yet, just FMJ for plinking. Even with buying non-bulk at retail stores (not on sale oranything) I am coming in at about $25 per 100, for quality brass-cased ammo. Which I think is pretty good. I am pretty sure the days of $30 per 100-count box may be gone forever.

Once things return to normal, and I can buy all my components in bulk, I should be able to get that down under $20 per 100.

I do it mostly for fun, I Think when you get into the target/hunting rounds, reloading can garner much greater savings.

May 22, 2013, 09:47 PM

May 22, 2013, 10:53 PM
You can buy ammunition already put together??? Why wasn't I told???

On a Lee Turret press, I can crank out 100 rounds in about 40 minutes. The press sells for about $35 more than my single stage.

If you anneal your brass about every 5-6 times around, you can get several dozen reloadings out of it. Mix in some 10 year old bullets bought for $.05 each, and its a pretty cheap way to go. And better than commercial ammo, too.

loose noose
May 22, 2013, 11:11 PM
I definitely reload for my AR-15's and my mini-14, as well as my Bolt action .223. I also reload for my TC Contender in .223. Fortunately I have ample reloading supplies and can continue to shoot pretty much to my hearts content.

May 22, 2013, 11:12 PM
Question is, why wouldn't you reload for your AR?

The 5.56/223 being such a popular round, its almost stupid not to. I shoot my AR's more than my other guns (well not so much right now due to the shortage) so it makes sense to reload for it. I will be starting to reload my own ammo this year.

May 22, 2013, 11:44 PM
My 223's have never seen a factory loaded round, both AR's and bolt action. And yes I load different bullets for the AR than I do for the bolt action. I see no difference in loading for both I use the same equipment in reloading both.


Shawn Dodson
May 23, 2013, 11:32 AM
Before the great ammo shortage of 2012/2013 you could purchase Wolf 5.56 FMJ ammo for about $20.00 more than the cost of handloading 1,000 rds. Back then it wasn't worth my time and effort to handload FMJ training ammo for my ARs. I may have to reassess when my training ammo starts to run low.

I handload one standard .223 cartridge for my ARs using the Nosler 60gr Partition bullet.

May 23, 2013, 11:40 AM
I reload for just about all my firearms including my AR. I load all my own hunting and competition rounds but I am only ringing steel so my competition loads are not too exacting. I do buy in large enough quantities to save much. I do it because I enjoy it.

May 23, 2013, 12:58 PM
I have dies for just about everything except for .223 and 9mm because I never saw the economy in it.

Lesson learned.


May 23, 2013, 01:02 PM
I reload for all my ARs and for half the price of store bought ammo. I load hunting rounds, SD rounds, plinking rounds, long range target rounds, whatever I need.

May 23, 2013, 01:59 PM
I have dies for just about everything except for .223 and 9mm because I never saw the economy in it.

Lesson learned.


Shoot cast or plated bullets in a 9mm and you can load a box of 50 for about $6-$7

May 23, 2013, 04:22 PM
Buy new and shoot the stuff up then hand load for each specific rifle. Additionally if I happen to find a good deal on new brass I buy it. That holds true for every caliber I shoot.


May 23, 2013, 04:35 PM
HOOfan, my homecast 9mm ammo costs me, per last prices paid for components, $3.19 per 50. :cool::D With Berry's plated it goes up to $6.30 per 50.

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