Should I reload?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Flintshooter, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. Flintshooter

    Flintshooter Member

    Jul 26, 2019
    Back in 1999 I suffered a devastating burglary that resulted in me selling just about everything gun related that wasn’t stolen. Included in the things sold was almost all my reloading stuff. Since then almost all my shooting has been with muzzleloaders.
    Today I found a Colt AR-15 very close to the one I had that was stolen. I’ll probably buy it tomorrow. Having been out of the centerfire game for so long I’m torn between getting what I need to reload and just buying .223 in bulk. I don’t see shooting more than informal competition so special loaded for accuracy rounds aren’t a concern. What’s the concenus here? Reload or buy in bulk? About all I have left from the old days is an RCBS JR and a few odds and ends. I would be basically starting from scratch.
    At the moment I don’t know how much I will be shooting. The first time around it was quite a bit and among the things stolen were over 1200 rounds of .223 in stripper clips.
    stillquietvoice and Tom kilgore like this.
  2. flashhole

    flashhole Member

    May 2, 2005
    Azle, TX
    A Lee Classic Turret system will get you back in the game for a reasonable price. This time of year you can look for sales and do pretty well. I reload 223 on a Lee system and crank out beautiful accurate ammo. If you are serious about it start by stockpiling components before you make the plunge with the equipment. The only reasons to handload 223 are bullet choice or better accuracy. You won't save any money over buying bulk ammo.
    desmobob, sparkyv, Duster340 and 3 others like this.
  3. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

    Sep 27, 2007
    "Should Reload?

    Always. Even if you don't save any money it gives you another chance to handle and work with your guns. I just loaded some 243 rounds, the first ammo I have loaded in a long time and it was fun. It beats the hell out of sitting on your butt watching TV. I have so much ammo loaded up now that shooting is painless. I have had it so long I don't remember what it cost me. And I am stocked to the gills with supplies.

    When everyone was in a panic back in 2008 looking for any ammo especially 22lr I never even felt the shortage. Reload? Heck yeah.
  4. badkarmamib

    badkarmamib Member

    Mar 4, 2016
    Came here to say this. Using pulled FMJ bullets, I save about $0.04 per round over bulk. This equates to $40 per 1K, meaning to get to the cost of your dies. Also, if you are reloading once-fired military brass, you have the primer crimp to deal with. If you reload for the sake of reloading, your time is free, but for simply plinking, I buy bulk .223, I only bought the pulled bullets to use up my primers (only SRP cartridge I have) and I already have dies from a since-sold precision build. From here on out, I will look for deals on loaded ammo, but keep my dies JIC. But, every other centerfire (except shotgun), I still load everything myself.
  5. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

    Feb 22, 2011
    Most here will say yes. Personally if I only had a 223 I wouldn't even give reloading a thought. I got into reloading because I had a 257 Robert's as my first centerfire. Then as i got other calibers i added them. I can save a ton of money on 338 lapua/500 smith/ 257 weatherby/ 338-378 etc. But personally i just load to save money. Factory ammo is pretty darn good these days. I do load for my competition and varmint 223s. But only because I use the 5.56 brass from my AR shooting. If not I'd just buy it.
  6. Targa

    Targa Member

    Oct 22, 2019
    I do reload for the real pricy stuff .44mag, .454 Casull, .450 Bushmaster etc..etc and 9mm because my wife burns through that stuff like its an unlimited supply.
    As for .223 I am a very casual shooter, maybe 500 hundred rounds through my AR a year and thats on the high end so buying in bulk is definitely the way to go for me.
  7. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    St. Louis, MO
    If you ask a reloading forum whether you should reload... do you expect an objective opinion?

    The real question is how much time do you have. Sure, you can buy components and equipment, but it takes time to set up. A press in a box and components sitting on the shelf don't assemble themselves.
    While we do not know your entire situation, it sounds like you just need to buy in bulk and be happy. Every reloaded price per round figure does not account for the cost of your time.
    If you were going for accuracy, it's absolutely worth it.
    If you're reloading a costly factory cartridge, it's worth it.
    If you want to reload a bullet weight that is not typical for caliber, it's worth it.
    However, if you're just going to assemble the most common rifle caliber in the most common bullet weight (223/5.56 55gr FMJBT) to use in an AR... the quality difference over bulk is not worth the time spent, IMO.
  8. LaneP

    LaneP Member

    Jul 31, 2019
    The only cartridge I have multiple guns for and don't reload for is 7.62x39. That's because when the market was flooded with cheap imported surplus I snapped up over 5k rounds. I don't shoot it often enough to ever burn through that all. Everything else including every center fire pistol cartridge type I have gets reloaded for. Whether you do or not would depend on what your shooting objectives are. I like reloading for pistol ammo because over the long haul I can save a few pennies on ammo and I can create bullet and performance combo's that aren't readily available in factory loaded ammo. Not to mention it's just a fun and rewarding activity.
    hotshot357, NewHamshooter and sparkyv like this.
  9. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Piedmont/Triad, NC
    Yes, this is a reloading forum but primers are already drying up around here, thanks to the Democrats trying to impeach Trump.
    In my opinion, if you want to keep shooting over the next few years you should be stocking up on factory bulk ammo, if you want the sure thing. If you decide to reload you may buy a lot of reloading equipment just to discover you can't get primers.
    The gun show venders and panic buyers are already buying out all the gun stores around here of primers in anticipation of Trump getting impeached and the republicans loosing the next election, just so they can sell them for twice or three times the price later on in the gun shows.
    Don't know whats going to happen, like everyone else I'm trying to read the smoke signals.
    I do see a lot of factory bulk ammo that is still for sale in the common calibers.
    If I were you I would be stocking up on the best deals of factory bulk ammo you can find if you want to keep shooting through the next few years, because whether there is an actual shortage or not, the panic buyers and the opportunists, will create one for the rest of us.
  10. Flintshooter

    Flintshooter Member

    Jul 26, 2019
    Yes, and several, including you have given me one. The concensus seems to be about 50/50 just buy bulk.
    Before the burglary I loaded so many different cartridges and variations of loads that reloading was a must. This time around I will at least start out bulk and see how it works.
  11. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    May 26, 2007
    I can buy 223 and 9mm so cheap, even for good stuff, that it isn't worth the time involved to me. I load for my 308, 30-06, and 6.5 CM. But I can load premium bullets that shoot more accurately than factory loads and in some cases get more speed out of them for about the same price as cheap budget ammo.
    sparkyv, Targa and Ratshooter like this.
  12. Mr_Flintstone

    Mr_Flintstone Member

    Apr 9, 2016
    Eastern KY
    Yes, you need to reload, but in the meantime go to Walmart and buy up some discounted .223 and 5.56. I got several boxes today for $20/100. Afterward, you’ll have brass for reloading.
    hotshot357 likes this.
  13. Archie

    Archie Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Hastings, Nebraska - the Heartland!
    Right now, November of 2019, I've pretty well quit reloading the bulk of the handgun rounds I shoot. Most of the handgun ammo I shoot is .45 ACP handball, .38 Special 'service' load and just a bit of 9x19 parabellum. I can buy it in bulk and cheaper. I will still reload some handgun rounds no one offers.

    But I do reload a number of rifle rounds. Some loadings one cannot buy and some exotic calibers costing more than $5.00 a round.

    However, in November of 2025, the whole situation may be changed. May be changed past recognition.

    The decision is best based on how much you shoot, and to what end.
  14. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Sep 30, 2005
    What do you intend to shoot and how much?

    If you are just looking at 55g FMJ for plinking every now and then, it might not be worth it. I do reload the above but I have quite a bit invested in equipment to make it worth the time and I go through a lot of it.

    Not unlike other less than ideal rounds to load for, like 9mm.

    One will see the greatest advantages with more obscure and expensive rounds but it can still be worth it on the others. Question is, is it worth it to you and we can’t answer that question.
  15. frankmako

    frankmako Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Southeast Tennessee
    5.56 and 9mm is cheap. no reason to reload for them.
    Armored farmer and sparkyv like this.
  16. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

    May 4, 2017
    Confederate Country and proud of it!
    As they say, "Time is money". I would say you have to find the balance. I use to, not anymore. Probably great for retired folks. Personally would not spend a lot of money on new equipment just to have it sit collecting dust. I might get back into it, but not now. Just do not have the time or desire. .
  17. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Northern Virginia
    I reload for all my centerfire calibers but get 9mm and 5.56 in bulk. I can reload them but it's not worth the time. From the description of your circumstances, buying in bulk makes sense for now. But save your brass for possible future needs.

    I reload for fun and to tailor the ammo to my purposes, not to save money specifically although that happens. Also, when 22lr was hard to find and expensive, I could use my component supplies, accumulated over time and usually bought in bulk or scavenged, to load 32 longs and 38 specials for less than the 22lr. And since a lot of my shooting is with traditional style muzzleloaders, I make sure to have adequate supplies of percussion caps and flints on hand.

    sparkyv likes this.
  18. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    I reload for all my centerfire ammo unless it can be purchased for the same or less than components. BUT I still can reload for them if needed and have components to do so for a 5 year period set back. If you decide to just buy your ammo for now make sure it can be reloaded and save your brass. Buy a fair stock of primers to put back and a set of dies for your old press. With this you should be able to find bullets and propellant when needed and at least be able to reload something.
  19. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

    Nov 1, 2014
    Deepinnaheartta, Texas
    If this is exclusively a monetary decision, buy in bulk, especially if you are only considering 223 Rem or 9mm. If you're looking to get back into the whole shooting experience, pridefully using your own ammo, well then, reload!
    NewHamshooter and Hartkopf like this.
  20. peels

    peels Member

    May 22, 2011
    If you enjoy reloading as a hobby...yes, reload. It will be a relaxing experience that can be enjoyed.

    On the other hand, if reloading is a chore to you, then just buy some factory ammo and go out and enjoy your new rifle.
  21. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Freeport, IL
    That's the $64,000 question.
    223 is cheap enough that I'd probably just buy in bulk.
    Once you figure out how much you'll be shooting, then maybe revisit this.

    If you pick up another caliber ... then maybe reloading makes more sense.
    NewHamshooter likes this.
  22. JO JO

    JO JO Member

    Apr 6, 2011
    I will say yes for several reasons
    Your reloads will be much better quality then bulk ammo, it is good to have the reloading option and reloading supplies stocked up
    As bulk ammo will not stay at this price forever or may not be available to buy like the last dry up, you have a wide choice of projectiles to load with , I think it is a good resource to have .
    If the next election goes sideways we my see empty shelves for a few years ,
  23. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    Do you have a lot of money loading the .223 right now, no? You will not lose money and you will produce accurate ammo for your rifle.

    Pick a day where regrettable so bad there is nothing other than load ammo to do and crank out a bunch of .223 ammo. I see you are going to buy bulk right now, nothing wrong with that. Just be sure to save the brass and try to buy ammo without a primer crimp to save a step lol.
  24. Muddydogs

    Muddydogs Member

    Nov 23, 2011
    I wouldn't if all you are going to have is a 223. Don't get me wrong I load for over 20 calibers and look at factory ammo with disdain, I'm all in on the reloading deal. But if all your going to have is a 223 AR which will blow through a 30 round mag of ammo in a couple minutes its just not worth the time or money to spend reloading the ammo. With the money spent on a single stage press set up which is slow reloading to keep a semi auto feed you can purchase a pile of 223 ammo. If your looking to purchase a progressive to make life a little easier to feed the semi auto rifle then you can purchase a couple piles of 223 ammo off the shelf.
  25. rdnktrkr

    rdnktrkr Member

    May 24, 2014
    Atlanta GA
    I purchased some factory reloads 55gr fmj for $100 for 500 recently, I know that deal isn't there every day, I think soft points and hollow points are worth the time and money to reload but fmj not so much
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