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reloading .223 vs 7.62x39

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by TennJed, Nov 23, 2012.

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  1. TennJed

    TennJed Member

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    Currently I only reload for pistol calibers (on a Lee Classic Turret) Considering a AR15 or AK type rifle. Caliber wise does the .223 or 7.62x39 offer any advantages over each other? Things like price, avaliability of componets, brass life, ease of the reloading process.

    Any input would be appriciated.
     
  2. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Member

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    223 components are easy to come by and readly for sale. 1k brass avgerage $70 shipped. Pills for that 1k brass is avg 80 shipped. On the light powder side i get avg 5-6 fireing out of a case. Then they get in the 300blackout donor bin. 223 is small and wont take up as much space as AK round.

    In the past 6 yrs of heavy reloading i havent seen much of any 7.62x39 boxer brass, if there is any. When i had my SKS i bought Wolf ammo buy the case for less than 4.00 a box.
     
  3. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

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    .223/5.56 is far cheaper to reload for than 7.62x39, UNLESS you get into Berdan reloading and also start casting your own bullets. That makes 7.62x39 reloading at least as cheap as .223 and possibly even cheaper.
     
  4. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    I reload both...

    As already noted... You won't find any Boxer primed x39 brass on the deck or tubs at the range... Just Berdan primed steel cases. So don't count on any free brass. While just the other day I came home with close to 100 once fired .223 cases.

    Also, most AKs heavily dent the brass, so even when you do accumulate some brass, it won't last as long.

    Wrt. bullet selection, the x39 choices are very limited, especially when it comes to bulk economy bullets. As noted, bulk bullets and pulled bullets are widely available for .223.

    I'm set up to cast for 150 gr .312 dia, and even with gas checks, I haven't really had good results... But there's more work to be done there... but it's just that... work.

    In the larger scheme of things, I almost always reach for the AR when I'm off to the rifle range anyway, as I just enjoy shooting it a lot more.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  5. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I also have the capability to load both 223 Remington and 7.62x39. I have not opened the die box or reloaded any 7.62x39 in probably 20 years--or shot the rifle either for that matter.

    7.62x39 just does not ring my bell.

    I can do lots more things with my 223 Remington ARs and bolt rifles.
     
  6. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Well, the topic has been well covered above for sure. I also have the capability to reload 7.62X39 (and 7.62X54) as well as some already tuned loaded ammo for hunting if i so desire to use it. I can also reload Berdan casings/cast correct bullets and have done so to assure I have the correct stuff. Unless the cheap stuff dries up I will not bother to try to do it. I will spend my time reloading 223/5.56 thank you.:scrutiny:
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I reload .223. I have everything to reload 7.62X39, but for general plinking I just buy cheap steel cased ammo. I don't shoot it as much as .223. My new .300 BLK I assembled is going to cut into the 7.62X39 shooting even more I imagine.

    Both .223 and 7.62X39 are easy to load. Cases for 7.62X39 have generally been more expensive. You have a decent choice of bullets for 7.62X39 (.310), but a regular smorgasbord of .223 projectiles to choose from. Of course, some folks use .308 diameter bullets, which would increase the choices.
     
  8. Unka-Boo

    Unka-Boo Member

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    I looked into this not too long ago...

    The rifle matches I shoot have a "no magnetic ammo" rule, so all the bi-metal jacket Russian stuff is a no go. I'd been limping along with my stash of yugo M67 for the past couple of years, but it's all but dried up....that left me with either paying close to a buck a round for Federal or Winchester, reloading or switching back to .223.

    After weighing my options and taking into account my father in law's new Dillon....I went back to .223. It's less than half the cost to reload it compared to x39 and components are everywhere. I'm an AK nut, and have been shooting them in our matches for almost 10 years, but it was time to move on....I ended up getting a Sig 556, gives me the lefty friendly AK controls, AR mags of which I had a bunch, and a caliber I'm set up to reload for.
     
  9. stiffdogg06

    stiffdogg06 Member

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    Buying surplus for my AK seems cheaper than to reload it to me... Never find any brass at the range and when I do, it's all berdan primed and the brass is heavily dented

    I bought 1k 7.62x39 for $105. I don't think I can reload it cheaper...
     
  10. frankge

    frankge Member

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    I reload both ,lots said on .223

    7.62x39 is a good round to reload. The accuracy is amazing out of my 7.62x39 AR with VMAX bullets over 26.5 grns of AA1680. It is cheaper to buy Russion steel but it breaks bolts in my 7.62 AR. Steel does not expend and contract the same as brass. If I do shoot my reloads I'm scurrying after my once-fired because they are not cheap and people are very proud of thier brass on Gunbroker. You can get hornady FMJs for about .14-.15 a piece. Use AA1680 - its the one for the 7.62. That said I have over 5000 cases and about 2500 loaded. I've been monkying it for some time. Honestly you buy Russion for ~23 cents a piece and you can reload for ~40 cents. Do the math... anyway if you reuse the brass the cost comes down but I love blowing ripe grapefruit and milk jugs across the state with the VMAX. It is what it is, a fun round to reload and runs in my fun AR for the "whats that" conversation. If I shoot my AK its all russion or Yugo.

    For three gun - well thats the .223 which I reload for and save a ton of money. Not everything is done for economy, and this is right there.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  11. Reefinmike

    Reefinmike Member

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    I was in the same boat recently and decided to buy an AR after I looked at the selection of once fired(mostly) brass my local range has to offer in front of the firing line. before i was even dead set, I was picking up brass. I was able to find over a thousand 223 brass in just under an hour, but found two measley pieces of x39. plus, an AR is the S-10 of the gun world, there are so many options for customization, caliber swaps, etc etc.

    in my very short experience reloading rifle, it is much more time consuming and expensive than pistol. tumble, sort, lube, decap and size, tumble, trim, chamfer and deburr, prime, charge, seat bullet. $3.40 to reload a 20rd box of 223 sounds like a great deal to most people, but im used to my $1.20/50rd 38, 380, 9mm ammo that takes 1/5th the time to load as 223
     
  12. TennJed

    TennJed Member

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    Thanks for all the info guys
     
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