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Cheaper to reload .223rem

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2011 at 20:43
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This is a discussion I had with a few people at a local shop.

Is it cheaper to reload .223 or just buy new.

What is the purpose?

Steel shooting?

Paper punching to keep sharp?

Three gunning?

Just to plink?

To just go out and relieve your tensions (responsibly and peacefully)?

Say you want to buy the cheapest ammo they have right now.

Right now not to hard to get 1000rounds 55gr. FMJBT for $250-299...Brass Case Reloadable not CRIMPED...

Lets use the $299 for our target price per 1000. so 50 boxes of 20rnds at $6.00 a box.

TO load the same ammo but with possibly better outcomes and better accuracy.

Here is the same equation (keep in mind the above is loaded brass ammo that you can reuse the case just as easy as the below price yes, I reuse the cases 7-15 times depending on use no I did no figure this out for the sake of this discussion it means nothing we are talking new components)

Here it goes in USD $.01 = 1 cent

$.066035 per bullet
$.1599 per case LC or  .1999 for PPU brass or whatever you prefer
$.019598 per primer or you pick
$.065446 powder =$156.99/(7000grs*8lbs)*22grs (that is VV133 the best of the best)
     =$115.99 TAC is $.045568
.310979 per round  $.331101per round

$6.219581 per 20 rounds 6.62201

Now what does this mean...

You can reuse either case in the above scenario.

If you figure it out over the case life of the .223 lower end brass you can figure each case costing as much as $.03 or as little as  $.015 or a cent and a half. so you price would be cut in half per round on your 2nd thru 7th or however many reloads you can get safely

So you second time reloading your cost could be as little as $3.50 per 20 and so forth.

Both were figured using a standard  55 FMJBT bullet...(62GR a little more but pretty close in price)

It was information I thought was common knowledge but was informed that it is a shock that the price to reload is the same as the price to buy new first time out.

I do however not usually use the cheapest brass but you can use any brass and go and plink as long as you are safe, I know people who use LAKE CITY 20+ TIMES  for their bench rest type rifles and have great results...

The topic of steel case is a different issue, It works but not my cup of tea...


Edited by 338LAPUASLAP - February/05/2011 at 13:31
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2011 at 09:03
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i wouldnt reload a .223 myself because i hate those small damn primers. but your dead on about the cost to buy them as opposed to reloading them. factor in what your time is worth too
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2011 at 09:52
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I am not saying reloading .223 is not necessary or that I do not do it.

I  do reload for the 1000yrd stuff 77, 80, 82 and 90grs, they are $.25 a piece per bullet and around $.50 a piece for brass ( usually 2 reloads for long distance and then they go to the special purpose .223, So the math becomes $.50 / 2 so $.25 per round long distance and then possible $.10 cents after that for 4 or 5 more reloads).

I also reload for the .223 subsonic.

I also reload reduced velocity loads for my wife other than subs.

I also reload some ballistic specials if you will.

I also run .223 plinkers when the price is right. Or rather when the price is up on the XM193/SIMILAR  or .223 55GR FMJBT brass case stuff. At first it used to be $150-175 for 1000rnds  in 2005-07 but has risen pretty significantly since then now around  $250-275 per 1000rnds 2010-11. It at least saves you the work for the first time reloading, I am not saying the brass is great but it is usable.

Flat base bullets are definite finger "pinchers" but when the price is right the pain is worth the dollars, I believe the NEW BULLET FEEDERS for rifle being offered on the http://www.hornady.com/store/Lock-N-Load-AP/ similar to this pistol bullet feeder http://www.hornady.com/store/Lock-N-Load-Bullet-Feeder/ will be a reason to possibly take the plunge and go RED vs BLUE... Had a friend who just took the plunge to go RED and he is at this point waiting for improvements.  But with some of the features on the LOCK-N-LOAD .223 might be the easiest thing to reload in large volume if the bullet feeder works better than the RCBS bullet feeder.

Dollars and cents in the long run RELOADING IMO will always be cheaper, but if you do not have lots of time on your hands (single stage or turret) or do not have the dollars for a progressive (with the attachments), BUYING the factory stuff might be the BEST then you could sell the brass to someone who does reload and recoup some cost, I buy from a few friends for $.05-.15 a round depending on manufacture and shape of the spent case.  They end up spending around $5.00 per box and love life and do not understand my obsession for hand-loading and "fooling around with reloading" (I think I can load better than the factories including Lapua, I am more accurate and pay better attention and care to each and every round, as you will find the benefits to hand loading are better accuracy and customizing loads to each gun specifically).  They do have a point for plinking ammo MAYBE.

Again overall my intentions of this posting were to just inform the "new" or possibly people thinking of taking the plunge do to the price of AMMO who are just "plinkers" that it really is not that much cheaper (without brass in the equation over the life of the case).

Again the equation stands.

It is cheaper to buy a 20rnd box of 55gr FMJ/BT.223 or  XM193/SIMILAR  at $6.00 than to reload the same 20rnds at $6.50-$7.00.

In fact not only will it cost you $.50 to $1.00 more a box or $.025 per rnd to $.05 per round more it will also take you 10-20x the time and effort and have a rather large investment cost to overcome... 

That equation is a little more complex.  A Dillon is around $1250.00 once set up with automatic feeding attachments, a Hornady Lock-N-Load is about the same maybe a little less $1000 (and that is not including other calibers and feeders) that is just taking into account .223.

I did start on a LEE ANNIVERSARY KIT.  the cost for that was around $100 once set up with everything I needed.  The time per round on that is about 1.5 - 2 minutes a round for all the prep and finish vs. 5-10 seconds on a Progressive press with an automatic case prep.

If you do not buy components in bulk or watch the prices the cost could be as much as $.40-.50 a round so I have been told.

This is not a definitive finding these are just my experiences with reloading .223 for "plinking" and hitting paper at ranges less than 300yrds.

I make no statements of cloverleafs and same hole shots with the above ammo or components.

This is about good old putting .22 caliber bullets down range and hitting what you are aiming at and having fun not competing with anyone but yourself and your wallet.



Edited by 338LAPUASLAP - February/05/2011 at 13:35
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2011 at 11:36
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338 you bring up great points.  If someone wants to shoot for fun on the weekend, any economical round is great and will do the job and is convenient for them.

Most people don't figure the cost of the press, dies and other tools into what a reloaded round costs due to like you said, the actual cost gets hard to nail down after you have run so many rounds through it.

Time?  Well, how do you value time?  You could put $/hr on it or it can be time spent by yourself instead of killing your brain watching the boob tube.  Most often when I reload (when not working up a new load) my father or brother, or friend, or any combo is there.

Why?  I want a better product then what retail offers.  I want my round "tuned" to my gun/situation.  I have not had the privalege of having a rifle that out of the box shot incredible groups with factory ammo.  Was it terrible?  No, but I wanted better.  Reloading allows me to do just that.  What I use it for is strictly varmints, p-dogs and yotes.  When I reload it is about volume.

That is why I do it.  Everyone is different, has different goal and different expectations.

$6/box or 20 ain't bad, and if a non reloader would save and sell the once fired brass, they wouldn't be doing too bad.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2011 at 13:44
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http://www.the-armory.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/223_ammunition.html


I am not saying any of the above ammo is the best.

I believe the PMC is the cheapest at $290/1000rnds that is reloadable.

I have used PRVI with decent results but do not swear by it, never had any issues though.

I think PMC had some issues in the past I think they have improved their quality but am unsure.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/06/2011 at 19:56
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I reload .223 for a few reasons:
1.  I live in a tiny mountain town that is at least 2 hours from a store with a good assortment of loaded ammo. If I want to shoot anything but 55 grain ammo, I have to load it.

2.  I enjoy reloading. It's kind of fun for me. I could mail order the ammo I want, but I'd rather not.

3.  I shoot a lot of non-practice, non-plinking ammo and that is economic to reload. Ammunition with Hornady Vmax, Hornady match, and Sierra Matchking bullets is expensive.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/19/2011 at 12:47
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So I have referred a few people again today to this forum and this topic instead of wasteing my much valued shooting time at the range to discuss what calibers are worth reloading besides the .408 and .338...

Heck if there were a feasible way I would reload my 52gr/55gr and 60gr .22lr's.

I am a firm believer in better accuracy and proper tuning a load to a particular firearm.

I am not saying any properly reloaded .223 will only fit in one a AR (because it will fit and shoot in anyone) but rather that you can fine tune the Load to a particular Twist and Barrel Combo.  (this is a very detailed discussion but is left to another time it is not just he twist rate a barrel that matter)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 15:49
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Interesting read to say the least. But the ranges I shoot at wont allow me to use FMJ so I am left with hollow points or soft points.
 
So with that said I wonder how much the price increase is to reload those? Currently the best I can find right now is Ultramax ammo 55Gr soft points for $10.95 per box of 20.
 
I have no problem makeing the $1,000 investment to make my own as for I am sure it does pay off down the road.
 
Just like I did with the supplies for fishing weights. Heck I supply my whole family and firends with those and I know I save money for sure because I get most of the stuff free or dirt cheap....investment was the equipment to do so.
 
Now I know nothing about reloading. I used to relaod 12 ga and 16 ga sheels many a years ago. But have forgotten everything I learned on that part.
 
My wife and daughter are really getting into the shooting thing....thankfully so
 
We are all interested in some mid range shooting so I am sure realod would be best option there as well?
 
But like I said I am a complete rookie
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 16:42
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Redfish, are you asking about reloading for a bolt gun or your 5.56?

I reload for my AR and wish I didn't, frankly. Waste of time, for me. Shoot WAY TOO MANY rounds when the AR comes out, to justify THE TIME for reloading. 

Buy bulk ammo for everyday/plinking duty or buy Black Hills or other match ammo if you want to "see how she groups". Be happy.  

Reload for bolt guns.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 16:43
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Redfish, are you asking about reloading for a bolt gun or your 5.56?

I reload for my AR and wish I didn't, frankly. Waste of time, for me. Shoot WAY TOO MANY rounds when the AR comes out, to justify THE TIME for reloading. 

Buy bulk ammo for everyday/plinking duty or buy Black Hills or other match ammo if you want to "see how she groups". Be happy.  

Reload for bolt guns.  
I agree
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 16:45
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If you have a progressive, reloading for a AR is not much of a problem.  400 rounds an hour makes it pretty nice. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 16:46
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nope not bolt gun. So if I understand what you are saying its just not worth it for the AR guns. Cant ever find bulk in soft point or hollow point its always FMJ and I cant use those at the range.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 17:09
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Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

If you have a progressive, reloading for a AR is not much of a problem.  400 rounds an hour makes it pretty nice. 

This might be worth a look. I'm still in the Stone Ages with my reloading equipment and have to do them one at a time. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 17:13
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Originally posted by redfish1975 redfish1975 wrote:

nope not bolt gun. So if I understand what you are saying its just not worth it for the AR guns. Cant ever find bulk in soft point or hollow point its always FMJ and I cant use those at the range.

Check these folks out. They sell soft point rounds in bulk or less, if you prefer.

Me and some others here have been buying their "Canned Heat" for years. Good people. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 17:41
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I got lucky when a friend of mine (LEO) scavenged all the once fired brass he could at inservice training. So my initial investment on brass was nill.

My "plinking" ammo will shoot an inch at 100 yards, from my 20" bbl AR. It runs about $3.00/20 at today's prices. There is a lot of careful brass preparation involved to get decent accuracy.

Re-selling once fired brass is a great idea, mentioned above. If a guy could figure out a safe and not too hard way to capture his fired projectiles and sell those for scrap. Would really make buying a case of ammo look more inviting if you could recover some of the cost. And hippy chicks would want to hug you for saving the Earth.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 17:44
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Redfish, are you asking about reloading for a bolt gun or your 5.56?

I reload for my AR and wish I didn't, frankly. Waste of time, for me. Shoot WAY TOO MANY rounds when the AR comes out, to justify THE TIME for reloading. 

Buy bulk ammo for everyday/plinking duty or buy Black Hills or other match ammo if you want to "see how she groups". Be happy.  

Reload for bolt guns.  



The more you shoot the sooner you will recover the investment of a nice progressive.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 17:50
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Ok so what is a nice one? want to do some research on tem but would like yalls input since you currently do it  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 17:51
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Dillon 650 or the Hornady LNL AP
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 17:59
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Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

Dillon 650 or the Hornady LNL AP



Yup.

You either drink the blue kool-aid or you don't. I do.
http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/customize-reloader.html


Everyone gets the Dillon catalog right? Just for the, uh, interesting articles. Really, fascinating research articles, lots of technical details, college words, and math.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 18:00
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Don't reload for .223....BUY!  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2011 at 08:18
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Originally posted by Voodoo6 Voodoo6 wrote:

Don't reload for .223....BUY!  
Why do you say that?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2011 at 08:20
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We shoot a lot of 45 acp and 9mm as well so I am looking at it this way one unit and I can do .223 and the .45 and 9mm
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2011 at 08:29
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Originally posted by redfish1975 redfish1975 wrote:

nope not bolt gun. So if I understand what you are saying its just not worth it for the AR guns. Cant ever find bulk in soft point or hollow point its always FMJ and I cant use those at the range.

Check these folks out. They sell soft point rounds in bulk or less, if you prefer.

Me and some others here have been buying their "Canned Heat" for years. Good people. 
 
I buy my .223, 45ACP stuff here. good folks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2011 at 12:18
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Originally posted by redfish1975 redfish1975 wrote:

Originally posted by Voodoo6 Voodoo6 wrote:

Don't reload for .223....BUY!  
Why do you say that?

VD6 is just echoing my suggestion to buy, not ply your AR ammo.  Wink
I think....hard to tell what that boy is thinking at times. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 13:38
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On a 1050 you can get 1000 rounds per hour once I have it right where I want it.
 
On a 550 you can get 300-400 depending on form.
 
I still choose to reload the AR stuff because I can really knock it out and It gives me a significant pleasure. 
 
But sure enough one of my friends made a good point it is almost the same price and he didn't have to pay for the fancy equipment.
 
I find that .223 is one of the few if not the only rifle caliber even close to new manufacture vs. reload.
 
30/06, 8mm, 7.62x54r and 7.62x39 to me are no brainers you can by in bulk and dirt cheap but these are old manufacturered cartridges, (I have not had a problem but I am pretty careful) it is a risk to not know the history or know the age I find it takes a few to gain paper punching confidence.
 
Long Story short.
 
It really is a toss up on plinking .223 or 5.56.
 
For those not looking to recover maybe tula or other russian steel cased stuff.  @ 2.99 per 20 everyonce in a while that is pretty hard to beat.
 
 


Edited by 338LAPUASLAP - October/10/2011 at 14:25
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