Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 1/10/2005 8:53:48 AM EDT
I did a search and didn't see anything on this. I just bought my AR and have been putting a ton of rounds through it - with high costs to match. I am going to order a few thousand rounds online to get a deal - probably just some newer Wolf for plinking. My question is - if I'm not making specific rounds for certain applications and just plinking, how much more cost effective is reloading than buying? By my calculations, reloading should get up near 6 or 7 cents per round w/out equipment and assuming 10 shots out of each piece of brass - doesn't that make Wolf a time-efficient alternative? Thanks.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 9:33:35 AM EDT
That is the $64,000 question, isn't it. hat
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 9:51:13 AM EDT
I checked pricing for bullets and it was about $0.10/bullet.

Brass is about $0.10/ea but you can use them up to 15 times or so if they don't stretch too much. So let's just say they're $0.01/ea.

That leaves the powder, primer, and tooling...

Link Posted: 1/10/2005 9:53:25 AM EDT
I find it easier to just buy surplus or 5.56 ammo and spend my time doing other things. About the only thing I reload now is 50bmg or 30-06 AP when I shoot my Garands. If your rifle shoots wolf ok, then it is probably pointless to reload unless you like doing so as a hobby.

With the shortfall of 5.56 ammo, I'm guessing alot of people will soon tryout Wolf or start reloading, or even shoot less often. Maybe even try out different calibers.

Link Posted: 1/10/2005 10:41:15 AM EDT
My hourly bill rate has gotten pretty high, so my thinking is that I can spend an extra hour or two working and I could even buy expensive ammo.

I am extremely interesting in making my own rounds as a hobby - trying to make some quality rounds for hunting and such. But I think that as long as Wolf is around and the economy is doing well (keeping me busy) - I'll let someone else do the dirty work.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 11:36:18 AM EDT
So far I find I can do it for 1/2 to 2/3 of store price. Wolf does not meet the requirement of accuracy for me being a 2-3" shooter in my rifles at 100 yards. Even loads I don't spend much time on can beat that by half. You can't reload anything for less than the cost of wolf though really. So if you just want to blast away at stuff Wolf is the way to go.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 12:06:54 PM EDT
I already reload for my bolt rifle, so all I had to do was buy some dies for my AR. Even with that minimal investment, in my opinion, it only makes sense to handload for precision shooting vs. plinking. As inexpensive as most .223 ammo is, I can't justify the time I would spend prepping brass, weighing charges, seating bullets, etc. for casual shooting. Hunting, or precision target shooting is a different story as that type of ammo is kind of pricey.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 1:54:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Jasoncap:
I already reload for my bolt rifle, so all I had to do was buy some dies for my AR. Even with that minimal investment, in my opinion, it only makes sense to handload for precision shooting vs. plinking. As inexpensive as most .223 ammo is, I can't justify the time I would spend prepping brass, weighing charges, seating bullets, etc. for casual shooting. Hunting, or precision target shooting is a different story as that type of ammo is kind of pricey.



Exactly... the time invested for plinking may not be worth it.

For me though, I want to make little holes in any object down-range appear exactly where I want them. I have no use for 2 to 3 MoA ammo in that role. So everything I shoot is for accuracy. I do have a CQB rifle where I use Wolf since I shoot the occasional practical course and no way I'm losing 30 to 60 cases that I spent many hours preping. In that case Wolf fits the bill as it's cheap and plenty accurate for inside 50 yards in an on-the-move type course.

Link Posted: 1/10/2005 5:57:47 PM EDT
The trimming is what keeps me from reloading anything but "specialty" ammo in .223 and .308. Just not worth my time for the savings.JMO.

Also,I dont see how anyone can get 15 loading out of .223 brass-mine usually splits around the neck,gets lost or dinged up before I get 4 loadings.Maybe you guys use reduced charge loads or something.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 10:14:51 PM EDT
Personally, whether plinking or going for precision I like to roll my own. The majority of the time I save money if nothing more than the simple fact that the nearest gun shop is 40+ miles from my house and shipping fees for ammo cost an arm and a leg. I am also a firm believer in that rolling your own gives you a better understanding of what works and why it works (or doesn't work) in my rifle. Besides, I get the satisfaction of knowing the .3" 10 round shot group on the paper came from ammo that I rolled.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:14:04 AM EDT
Getting primers is the deal maker/breaker. Unless you buy a case, that hazmat charge kills any savings for reloading. Gun show cash and carry ammo prices are pretty decent. I like to wait on Sunday till closing time and then whip out the cash. The more you buy, the cheaper it gets.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:50:09 AM EDT
There are methods to cutting costs. Buying in bulk is the first step. Buying pulled bullets from places like HiTech and GIBrass help cut the projectile costs. The same for pulldown or surplus powder. Primers will always be fixed cost. But, buying the 5K sleeve helps cut the costs down. Having a Giruad trimmer takes a lot of the prep time away. Then a person with a Dillon or RCBS or Hornady progressive press well then you can speed up the process.

I have some AA2200 powder that was bought at 45 per 8 pound jug. The best see now is the AA2230C. HazMat charges can be miminized by again buying in bulk. But, there is no sense to reloading only 1K of ammo and expecting you costs to be minimized.

I would never trust brass shot through an autoloader for more then 5 times. That is the rule I use.

There are places like RVOW that while out of prepped brass still I believe will process others brass and reprime the brass.

It is a matter of logistics.

Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:56:36 AM EDT
Loading / Reloading has 3 important considerations for me.

1. ammuniton performance as related to a specific rifle accuracy - Every rifle shoots better with a specific load. If accuracy is important for a given mission/activity then I want to have the rifle and ammo match up. Typically custom tailored loaded ammo is what works best in a rifle.

2. save money - if you want to have more options than fmj in 2 weights and a few hollow points then reloading will save money. Basic ammo at $3 per box is a great deal and not worth my time and effort to duplicate - however if you are varmit shooting, match/target shooting or want to shoot heavier/specialized bullets for defense then reloading is far better than $10 to $13 a box.

3. hobby / relaxation time - I enjoy spending some time reloading. Not every day or even every week.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:27:29 AM EDT
Thanks for the replies - it seems the general consensus is to plink away with crappy ammo and if you choose to reload, make it worth the time you spend.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:11:00 AM EDT
Cabela's has Winchester FMJ bullets for $37/1,000. Given that brass is free, reloading is going to have some price adavantage.

If you have to take time off from other stuff to reload, it is probably not worth it. But if you want something to help you wind down before bed a couple of nights a week, do it. Beats watching TV. Or surfing ARFCOM.
Top Top