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Posted: 8/20/2006 6:37:00 PM EDT
Is it cheaper enough to handload blasting ammo instead of buying it whenever I can?

I will probably handload only match ammo for now, but am thinking about loading all my ammo.
I load all my .45acp ammo, but I have no idea how expensive it is to load for .223.

Jim
Link Posted: 8/20/2006 6:39:05 PM EDT
[#1]
Link Posted: 8/20/2006 8:07:47 PM EDT
[#2]
height=8
Quoted:
With polldown components my .223 reloads are down around .09/each.  Much more accurate than any factory ammo too.  I also find reloading very relaxing.  I've got an inexpensive Lee Turret and can crank out about 250 rounds per hour.  I'm still fairly new so I tend to recheck everything every 3 rounds.  
If you are putting out that many a hour then you are cutting corners somewhere. I have gone to reloading all of my .223, with surplus never loaded bullets, bulk buying powder and primers and surplus once fired cases, not cleaned or deprimed, my loads are costing around .10.
Link Posted: 8/20/2006 8:09:33 PM EDT
[#3]
Link Posted: 8/20/2006 8:15:19 PM EDT
[#4]

Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:
With polldown components my .223 reloads are down around .09/each.  Much more accurate than any factory ammo too.  I also find reloading very relaxing.  I've got an inexpensive Lee Turret and can crank out about 250 rounds per hour.  I'm still fairly new so I tend to recheck everything every 3 rounds.  
If you are putting out that many a hour then you are cutting corners somewhere. I have gone to reloading all of my .223, with surplus never loaded bullets, bulk buying powder and primers and surplus once fired cases, not cleaned or deprimed, my loads are costing around .10.


That time only includes the actual loading.  The cases are already tumbled, sized, tumbled again and primed before I sit down at the press.

And I thought I was going slow at that rate.


What press do you load with? I have a tumbler and have thought about resizing and tumbling the lube off and using a Lee hand-priming tool also.

Jim
Link Posted: 8/20/2006 8:17:18 PM EDT
[#5]
Link Posted: 8/20/2006 8:34:47 PM EDT
[#6]
Pepper - Use One Shot case lube by Hornady.  Easy spray application, just a bit of wiping to clean off the lube and you can easily lube hundreds of cases per each can.  It is great stuff.

The Lee hand priming tool is also a good way to go and speeds up the process quite a bit.
Link Posted: 8/20/2006 8:38:50 PM EDT
[#7]
Link Posted: 8/20/2006 8:47:30 PM EDT
[#8]
I'm in the 9 cent a round range, lately though projectiles have gone up, I bought a box 6000 count Hornady 55 gr FMJ last November for $280 delivered from Midway.  Now the same item is $340 + shipping!

Will be reloading all my empties in a month or so, about 5,000 rds, figure that'll save me $1000 from buying new ammo

Link Posted: 8/20/2006 8:50:43 PM EDT
[#9]

Quoted:

Quoted:
With polldown components my .223 reloads are down around .09/each.  Much more accurate than any factory ammo too.  I also find reloading very relaxing.  I've got an inexpensive Lee Turret and can crank out about 250 rounds per hour.  I'm still fairly new so I tend to recheck everything every 3 rounds.  
If you are putting out that many a hour then you are cutting corners somewhere. I have gone to reloading all of my .223, with surplus never loaded bullets, bulk buying powder and primers and surplus once fired cases, not cleaned or deprimed, my loads are costing around .10.


what are you reloading to?  M193 ?
Link Posted: 8/20/2006 8:58:53 PM EDT
[#10]
If you don't enjoy reloading quite a bit then don't reload 223. if you count your time it's not worth it. but if you like reloading it is. case prep is very time consuming.
1. tumble clean
2. lube
3. full length resize deprime
4. tumble clean
5. trim important if you want consistent crimp
6. check flash hole for tumbling media
7. reprime
know after 3 to 4 hours your ready to start reloading your 200 or 300 cases
then you can spend an hour or two reloading them.
or you can spend that time watching T.V. or something. I like reloading so I do it
if your doing it to save money you would be better off getting a part time job to get AMMO money, At lest as far as 223 goes. Hand gun AMMO is defiantly cheaper to reload
Link Posted: 8/20/2006 9:07:00 PM EDT
[#11]

Quoted:
If you don't enjoy reloading quite a bit then don't reload 223. if you count your time it's not worth it. but if you like reloading it is. case prep is very time consuming.
1. tumble clean
2. lube
3. full length resize deprime
4. tumble clean
5. trim important if you want consistent crimp
6. check flash hole for tumbling media
7. reprime
know after 3 to 4 hours your ready to start reloading your 200 or 300 cases
then you can spend an hour or two reloading them.
or you can spend that time watching T.V. or something. I like reloading so I do it
if your doing it to save money you would be better off getting a part time job to get AMMO money, At lest as far as 223 goes. Hand gun AMMO is defiantly cheaper to reload


I like handloading, and have loaded for pistol for over 20 years.
I do not enjoy going out in my garage to load for any reason right now while we are over 100* every day. When it gets cooler I will really enjoy it.
Thanks for listing the steps you take for the lube then clean part of loading .223. Rifle is a little different than pistol, but not that different- just the lube step.

Jim
Link Posted: 8/21/2006 4:37:06 AM EDT
[#12]
I've got a great reloading set up.  I bought it at the time when SA battlepacks could be bought for $25.  I could have bought lots and lots of SA for what I have in my loader had I chosen to do that.  As long as there is ANY surplus out there I would personally buy it rather than handload.  When there is no other option I would get the reloader.  I still like to do some calibers but .223 isn't one that I like to reload if I don't have to.   Please don't bash to hard please, it's just my opinion

Just for clarity this opinion is for blasting ammo only. If you are going to buy high $ hunting rounds or varmit ammo you can load it much cheaper.  
Link Posted: 8/21/2006 5:29:57 AM EDT
[#13]
The average powder and primer will run you 8 to 9 cents per round and the bullet will run 4 to 17 cents more depending on what you plan to shoot, how many you buy at one crack and how good a deal you get on them.  However with few exceptions, a cheap bullet will give comparatively poor accuracy so you end up balancing cost and accuracy.

The load I use (27.0 grains BLC-2 with a wsr primer and a hornady 55 gr FMJBT) costs about 17 cents per round if I buy normal quantities of the components locally.  I can reduce this to about 12 cents around if I buy powder in 8 pound kegs and bullets in 1000 round lots.

At shorter ranges I can get nearly identical accuracy (1.0 to .75 MOA) with Black Hills Ammunition 55 gr FMJ's for 23 cents per round in the white box. The standard deviation in velocity of my loads is much lower at 15 fps, so they are theoretically going to be more accurate at longer ranges, but in most cases it's not a factor.  The sight rettings are slightly different (my load shoots 1" high and right compared o the BHA load), but's it's a quick and easy switch backand forth with the target turrets on my scope.    

So in the end it's a question of whether my time is worth 6 to 13 cents per round and whether the slight edge in long range accuracy is needed.  When it is I reload, when it is not, I just buy 4 or 5 more boxes of BHA 55 gr FMJ's at the gunshop.  It works out pretty well as I buy more than enough BHA to replace any cases that have been reloaded past their useful life.  

On the other hand, I'll never just buy whatever I can find cheap as I am pretty picky about what I put through my rifles (which will never see a laquer coated steel cartridge) and I am picky about accuracy because if you can't hit what you are aiming at, what's the point?  
Link Posted: 8/21/2006 9:16:27 AM EDT
[#14]
Mine comes out to 18 cents per round with 50gr. V-Max's, 205's (5,000 case), 27.0 grs. H335 (8 lb kegs) and LC brass (not included in the count).  

At $439.00 a case for BH's BB (and rising, I'm sure), a case of handloads for me would be $180.00.  More than some of you guys are paying, but a hell of alot less than factory offerings.
Link Posted: 8/21/2006 11:37:46 AM EDT
[#15]
height=8
Quoted:
height=8
Quoted:
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With polldown components my .223 reloads are down around .09/each.  Much more accurate than any factory ammo too.  I also find reloading very relaxing.  I've got an inexpensive Lee Turret and can crank out about 250 rounds per hour.  I'm still fairly new so I tend to recheck everything every 3 rounds.  
If you are putting out that many a hour then you are cutting corners somewhere. I have gone to reloading all of my .223, with surplus never loaded bullets, bulk buying powder and primers and surplus once fired cases, not cleaned or deprimed, my loads are costing around .10.


That time only includes the actual loading.  The cases are already tumbled, sized, tumbled again and primed before I sit down at the press.

And I thought I was going slow at that rate.h
That sounds better. I thought you werent prepping your cases. I run 2 tumblers,1 loaded with walnut shell media for cleaning the cases for depriming resizing This gets everything off the cases then the 2nd is loaded with corn cob for that new case look before I load. Some of the surplus cases I've been getting lately have been pretty nasty looking to start with but look like new production when finished. I also use a turret press. In comercial brass I'm using 24 grains of ramshot exterminator CCI small rifle primer and a 55 grain surplus fmj O.A.L 2.230". This is a excelent ball powder that meters perfect, shoots accurately, and is economical. I have yet to have a stoppage of any kind. In military brass I'm using 24 grains of AA 2520 same O.A.L. again Accurate and reliable. If using military brass dont forget to ream out the primer crimp.
Link Posted: 8/21/2006 4:40:53 PM EDT
[#16]
I have been reloading .45ACP and .357 mag for over 22 years. My handloads from my Lee LoadMaster are more accurate, cheaper, and consistant than any of the factory blasting ammo out there. I am loading at a slow pace of 300rds per hour, this is from the time I empty the tumbler. I agree that reloading .223 is not that cost benificial except to enjoy your handloads. However I am in the process of tooling up to reload .308 for my DPMS AP4 and I can assure you that reloading this round will be FAR cheaper than buying even SA surplus. Of course it will be better ammo than any of the surplus too. I'm guessing that my rate will be between 100-200rds per hour once I get the load where I want it. You do not have to case trim every time if you are shooting the ammo through the same rifle chamber every time. I know what the manuals say but my friend shoots long range competition and hand loads all his ammo which groups unreal and he case trims every third use for the brass. Just check your over all case length once you resize this will tell you if you need to trim. As for the handguns I have never trimed my cases and have some brass that was reloaded 25 times. Usually I have case splits before anything else and I always can feel it happen in the die! All my hand loads group better than I can shoot and are 100% reliable. My range lets me pick up brass so I'm always watching if someone is shooting new factory ammo. Nine times out of ten people will let me grab thier brass because few of them reload. So most of my brass is free and that helps keep costs down. You can get crazy anal about your reloads (and I did at first) but if just loading to blast and not going for sub moa then the reloading process is not as drawn out as you'd think. The only time I have ever had an accident was when I was trying to drive a 125gr jhp .357 at 1900fps using Blue Dot. If you're as stupid as I was back then expect problems. Stay 10% below factory max 15% if in doubt and you'll get some great ammo and not stress your brass or weapon. Reload and reduce ammo prices it's all about supply and demand.
Link Posted: 8/21/2006 5:00:53 PM EDT
[#17]
Oh I forgot why are you cleaning again after resizing? You're not going to be getting anything out of it unless you dies are dirty, try carbide? I've never done this and my ammo looks factory shiny ,also never used case lube, carbide dies again. Your fllash holes will not be cleaned my the media that takes a flash hole tool. Primer pockets rarely inhibit primer seating so your not going to get any better primer seat. Once again you'll know if any of this is a problem when you run your first ten test bed cases through the press. I'll be sizing and de-priming on the first pull, priming on the second pull, powder charging on the third pull, and seating bullets and crimping on the fourth pull, fresh ammo on pull number 5. You are making the process take longer by adding a step. Like I said you can anal as you want but I want to be at the bench for as little time as possible with the best results. Everyone who shoots my ammo thinks it's factory stuff. I 've also been saving money on bullets by going with either Rainer or Barry's plated bullets can't find these in .308 though. Remember I'm loading blasting ammo not CMP or DCM ammo.
Link Posted: 8/21/2006 5:07:54 PM EDT
[#18]

Quoted:
With polldown components my .223 reloads are down around .09/each.  Much more accurate than any factory ammo too.  I also find reloading very relaxing.  I've got an inexpensive Lee Turret and can crank out about 250 rounds per hour.  I'm still fairly new so I tend to recheck everything every 3 rounds.  


That's one bullet every 15 seconds or so. That's a very do-able rate.

You will find that the time you put in will be a factor,  too. Setup/takedown is a part of it as well. I'm fortunate that I now have a dedicated 'gun room' where I can do all this stuff!

I have found that reloading, especially loading for accuracy, has become an important part of the hobby. Gives me something to do when I'm not actually shooting or working. (I gave up sleeping 2 years ago, and eat at work.)

BTW I got a Dillon 550B for less than I'd spend on 2 cases of ammo.
Link Posted: 8/21/2006 5:33:33 PM EDT
[#19]
If you shop around, catch the bargains and buy in bulk, you can get a pretty good price on reloads.  Right now, I am running just under 7 cents per round for M193 equivilent.  I don't mind reloading as I don't sit in front of the TV for hours.  I consider the time free since I'd be surfin' the net or something if I wasn't reloading.

Here are my calculations:

The powder I use is Accurate Data Powder 73. I purchased it for $52/8 lbs. I use a 25 grain load.

The bullets are Military M193 pulled bullets, I really don't remember where I got them, but they were $26/K. Primers are WSR at $14.5/K.

Powder - .023
Primer - .0145
Bullet - .026

Comes up to .0635/round. I guess I need to figure in shipping, but really can't remember the amounts. When I bought the powder and primers, the total shipment was 50#, 40# powder and 10K primers at 10#. Divide the HazMat fee into that and that adds .40 per pound of powder and per 1K of primers. When I got the bullets, I got 2K M193 and 1K M80, so shipping was divided among 3K of bullets. I guess if I added some shipping, I'd might get up toward .07 per round for approximate M193 loads. Still lots cheaper than XM193 or Q3131A is right now. I still have those for rainy days, but shoot the handloads for general blasting.

Brass is once fired Remington from the local police range for free.
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 11:44:08 AM EDT
[#20]
cgdonley - Are you talking about FL .223 carbide dies.  If so, what brand and where did you get them?

Didn't even consider that option, but what a time and lube savings that would be.

Thanks in advance
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 12:02:05 PM EDT
[#21]

Quoted:
cgdonley - Are you talking about FL .223 carbide dies.  If so, what brand and where did you get them?

Didn't even consider that option, but what a time and lube savings that would be.

Thanks in advance


you still need to lube .223 cases when using carbide dies
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 12:41:07 PM EDT
[#22]
Ok...now I've got two differing opinions it seems.

It makes sense that straight cases with carbide's don't need lube, ala, my .44 Mag.  But why can the above poster not use lube and seem to have no problems?

I don't doubt either one of you because there's no reason to do so and evidently your methods seem to work for you both, but I'm a bit confused......unless the first poster is talking about neck sizing, but you can do that with standard dies rather than carbide's.

Need some clarification.

Thanks.
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 12:49:19 PM EDT
[#23]

Quoted:
Ok...now I've got two differing opinions it seems.

It makes sense that straight cases with carbide's don't need lube, ala, my .44 Mag.  But why can the above poster not use lube and seem to have no problems?

I don't doubt either one of you because there's no reason to do so and evidently your methods seem to work for you both, but I'm a bit confused......unless the first poster is talking about neck sizing, but you can do that with standard dies rather than carbide's.

Need some clarification.

Thanks.

You need to lube the cases with bottle-necked rifle cartridges regardless of what dies you use.  There is no debating this, try to resize a few cases without lube and you will find out why rather quickly
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 12:53:20 PM EDT
[#24]

Quoted:

Quoted:
Ok...now I've got two differing opinions it seems.

It makes sense that straight cases with carbide's don't need lube, ala, my .44 Mag.  But why can the above poster not use lube and seem to have no problems?

I don't doubt either one of you because there's no reason to do so and evidently your methods seem to work for you both, but I'm a bit confused......unless the first poster is talking about neck sizing, but you can do that with standard dies rather than carbide's.

Need some clarification.

Thanks.

You need to lube the cases with bottle-necked rifle cartridges regardless of what dies you use.  There is no debating this, try to resize a few cases without lube and you will find out why rather quickly


correct. To add, just because you dont have to lube with straight wall pistol cases, sizing is way easier if you spray some lube on the cases, I use Dillon spray lube, just lightly spray them and sizing's a breeze
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 1:36:29 PM EDT
[#25]
How long do those spray lubes, or any other case lubes, last? Is a 6 oz bottle only good for 1K cases, or such?
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 1:49:02 PM EDT
[#26]
Black and Rifler - thanks for your comments and direction.

Just a bit confusing unless I read the post wrong about not lubing his cases.  I wonder how he's not sticking cases.  And no....I would rather not try without lubing.

Thanks again
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 4:57:36 PM EDT
[#27]

Quoted:
You need to lube the cases with bottle-necked rifle cartridges regardless of what dies you use.  There is no debating this, try to resize a few cases without lube and you will find out why rather quickly


This isn't completely true, or at least there is a small exception.  Some neck sizing only dies such as the Lee Collet Neck Sizing Dies do not require cases to be lubed.  However, to be fair in regards to the general audience of this forum, such dies are recommended ONLY for use with bolt action or single shot rifles.  They are specifically not recommended for use with semi-auto, pump or lever actions  -- for those it is recommended to full length resize, and in that case your admonition is absolutely correct.
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 6:12:00 PM EDT
[#28]

Quoted:
How long do those spray lubes, or any other case lubes, last? Is a 6 oz bottle only good for 1K cases, or such?


The Dillon lube will lube 7000-8000 rds easily.  I use a plastic meat tray, pour in about 250 or so cases, and 4-5 full pumps will lube the whole lot after I mix the cases around by hand.  Then I tilt the tray to get most of the cases standing up right, spray some 1/2 squirts at 45 degree angle to get some lube in the case mouths.
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 6:26:29 PM EDT
[#29]
Speaking of using surplus rounds and powder, what surplus powder are you guys using for your .223? I was looking at Wideners' selection and didn't know which one to use...
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 7:39:52 PM EDT
[#30]
I looked tonight and the only one I have "formal" load data for would be 4895.

I get good results (.6 to .7 MOA groups) with 23.5 grains of 4895 behind a Hornady 55 gr FMJ in a military case with a WSM primer.  

844 however was/is a 5.56mm M193 and M855 powder. I don't have load data for it but my understanding is that you can use H335 data with it. However GIbrass also lists a 55 gr load as being 26 grains of 844, but that is 2.6 grains than a max H335 load, so I'm not sure how reliable the H335 data correlation is.  

If anybody has reliable data, I'd love to hear about it.    
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