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What are your main concerns with commercially reloaded ammunition

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by stubbicatt, Nov 25, 2008.

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  1. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    Guys: We all know that commercially reloaded ammunition is a great value, with some assumptions:

    1) Safe. The ammunition has to be safe to use. The primers must be strong enough to eliminate "slam fires" in our military type weapons, and the cartridge must not rupture.

    2) Consistency. The ammunition must shoot well enough to meet our accuracy requirements. How do you evaluate the accuracy of commercially available ammunition?

    3) Customer Support. What do you expect from the seller of commercial reloads in terms of pre-sale or after the sale support?

    4) Reliability. We expect the ammunition to go "bang" when we pull the trigger. What other features do you expect?

    5) Value. Typically we look for our commercial reloads at a particular price point. How do you evaluate that?

    6) Versatility. How much does it matter to you that you could specify, out of a few choices, the type of bullet loaded in your ammunition, accepting as you must that prices can differ according to the projectile chosen?

    7) Recycling. Would you pick up your empties and send them back to the manufacturer if it resulted in substantial savings to you on subsequent purchases.

    8) What is the quantity of ammunition you purchase at a time? Do you stock up with thousands of cartridges, or do you perhaps seek 250 or 500 at a time?

    9) How important is packaging to you? Are you willing to pay more for colorful boxes? Would you be content with loose rounds packed safely in ammo cans? Would you pay more for rounds loaded in stripper clips for 223 and 308?

    What other factors are important to you? How do you determine whether you will simply buy Wolf rather than quality brass cased remanufactured ammo? How do you determine whether the commercially remanufactured ammunition is "quality?"

    Thanks to those who respond.
     
  2. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    Commercial reloader near me has recently closed up. To answer the questions, though (I used A BUNCH of their ammo)
    1. They did only handgun ammo, but no safety issues.
    2. Put the lead where I pointed, every time.
    3. Tell me if it is in stock, or how long untill available. If I have a problem, work with me to resolve it quickly.
    4. Bang! every time..no click.fsssss.Bang {no hang-fires}
    5. 60%-75% of similar new retail ammo.
    6. Exactly what I would expect...FMJ is less than HP, plain lead less than FMJ.
    7. How I did it...sent or brought in my empties to swap for loaded ammo.
    8. Usually bought 250-500 rounds at a time.
    9. got mine in loose 50-round boxes.
     
  3. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    I tried some locally 'remanufactured' ammo once. 2nd round out of the box kaboomed my 9mm pistol.

    The only remanufactured ammo which I will even touch is Black Hills.
     
  4. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    stubbi, the real issue is that there's a very, very narrow niche for commercial reloaders. I can reload my own cheaper than any commercial reloader i've ever seen. so i have to compare those two prices and weigh the loss of quality control (safety and accuracy) with my available time and hassle.

    it would be a mistake for someone considering getting into the commercial reloading business to only compare their prices to factory new ammo.
     
  5. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    I have a three word suggestion for commerially reloaded ammunition,
    Black Hills Ammunition.
     
  6. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Well, you left out availability, that is, some older or rare cartridges are hard to find commercially.

    I ordered some for an old lever action through the mail, they came packed in a ziplock bag. However, they fed well, shot clean, and were extremely accurate. They were also about 2/3 the price I would pay on the rare occasion I can find them.

    The reloader told me to send the empties back, and he would reload them for $12 a box of 50, rather than the $35-45 +tax it is when I can find them.

    Am I happy with the reloads? Even with the shipping, you bet!
     
  7. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    For anyone considering reloading commercially themselves, you have to factor in liability concerns. If your reloaded cartridge blows up and injures someone, or damages someone's expensive gun, you can be sued out of business. You need a disclaimer included with each box of reloaded ammo.

    My primary concern with commercial reloading is that some dingbat will substitute whatever he has on hand for the proper bullet, or screw up the powder charge. So instead of putting the 150-grain .311 bullet in my 7.62x54r cartridge, he uses the expedient .308 bullet or a 180-grain bullet that could damage my semi-automatic rifle. I have an early-production Arisaka 99 7.7mm rifle. I bought some cartridges for it that had obviously been handloaded. Despite an excellent bore, the rifle didn't pattern as well as I expected and one of the rounds would not chamber thanks to a malformed neck. I am quite convinced he used 30-06 bullets in it, although lacking proper calipers I cannot confirm it.

    I am considering getting into handloading myself just to ensure I'll have the proper ammunition available. The main problem I face is that there is a severe shortage of commercial manufactured light-ball-spec 7.62x54R ammo. Yet there ARE 150-grain .311 bullets available. The one downside is that my PSL invariably dents the brass when it ejects it, so each casing would only get 1 use. Can always buy the heavy ball crap, shoot it in my Mosin Nagant, then reload it with 150's for the PSL.
     
  8. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    Thanks guys.

    Taliv, to what would one compare commercially remanufactured ammunition then, price wise?

    Thanks.
     
  9. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    i not saying don't compare it to factory. i'm saying don't ONLY compare it to factory. also compare it to the cost of handloading comparable quantities.

    e.g. factory 223 is $350/k. And I can reload it myself for $212/k plus labor, then you should take into account both those numbers.

    a commercial reloader not too far from me (alabama ammo) earlier this year was offering similar 223 ammo "on sale" for $319/k. yeah, it's a a little cheaper than the factory new stuff, but that price is still high enough that I'd rather take the time to roll my own.
     
  10. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

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    well, my only concern with commercial ammo is price. i can (and do) reload for 12 bucks a box what i have to pay 40-70 bucks a box for in the stores. so much for great value.
     
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