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Posted: 11/5/2003 6:58:12 PM EDT
Hey guys,

My buddy reloads his pistol ammo and we were going to get set up for .223/5.56. My question is, is it worth it for this ammo? I see a lot of good deals on ammo such as American Eagle and I was wondering if it is worth the hassle to reload. What can I expect it to cost to load 100 rounds of comparable quality ammo? Thanks for the input.
Link Posted: 11/5/2003 7:21:25 PM EDT
you can load for about .10 cents per round. Its worth it in that you can custom your ammo for what needs you are shooting for. I am in the process of gathering up the supplies to do my own. It just takes time.
Link Posted: 11/5/2003 8:05:43 PM EDT
Reloading can be a great deal if you shoot very much, but keep in mind that if you shoot a lot you will need a progressive reloader. They are not cheap, but you can produce the volume of loaded ammo that makes it worthwhile, as an example I have a Dillon 550, once set up I can easily produce about 400 rounds per hour, if you get a single stage press it's more like 20-30 rounds per hour, so a progressive loader is the only way to go! [url]http://dillonprecision.com/template/p.cfm?maj=12&dyn=1&[/url]
Link Posted: 11/5/2003 8:11:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/5/2003 8:14:52 PM EDT by Q-Man]
If your time is money, then it is not worth it. Rifle ammo is really not worth it because you have to trim and lube. If you have crimped primers, then you have to swage the pockets. In raw materials that go into the .223/5.56 ammo, you will save money if buying FMJ bullets. Surplus powder is also a source of savings... if you're willing to buy a lot of powder at once. The problem is that if you load FMJ 223 for plinking, FMJ bullets are such that you will get a lot of "fliers" that ruin any hopes of shooting tight groups. Your accuracy will better than factory/surplus ammo, but not greatly so. Is it worth the time? You be the judge. If you are loading high quality ammo, then it will be more worth while to reload. Reloading is usually the only way to achieve your rifle's full accruacy potential (if it has any [:)]). I reload a 55 grain Hornady V-Max in .223 for just under 20 cents a round when considering only raw materials. These shoot 1-inch groups at 100 yards all the time from my Bushmaster V-Match. I reload 55 gr FMJ for under 12 cents a round and could load it for less if I bought surplus powder or shoped around a little more for bullets. But this is barely worth it to me because I can buy factory loaded or surplus plinking ammo for not a heck of a lot more and zero effort is required to load it. I have a Dillon 550 reloading press, by the way. I think I will mostly concentrate on accuracy with my rifle reloads rather than volume. I may buy a gracy or giraurd (spelling?) trimmer, which would save a lot of time. However, these are expensive $200+ trimmers. It is worth it for me to reload .45 ACP, however, because I can reload it for under 10 cents a round and that is at least half of what I can buy factory ammo for. It is also a lot less hastel to reload than rifle ammo. If you already are set up to reload pisol, it might be worth it to try and reload .223, just realize that there is extra work.
Link Posted: 11/5/2003 10:12:24 PM EDT
For years I have reloaded 9mm and 40s&w, and recently started doing my own 45acp as well. I used to reload all of my 223, but the only time I bother to do it now is when I need a super accurate target load. It's simply not worth my time and effort to make my own blasting ammo, especially considering the low cost of good surplus 5.56 like LC M193. Like Wingman and Q-Man I feel that the Dillon 550 is a superb press. I've had mine for over ten years and it has certainly paid for itself [:)] [img]http://home.comcast.net/~cjan99999/Dillon1.JPG[/img]
Link Posted: 11/6/2003 6:16:07 AM EDT
Once upon a time, I used to load 223 when I was shooting 100-200 rounds a month. When Wolf came out with 223, I stopped reloading and started shooting thousands of rounds a month. I could not reload 223 cheaper in terms of time and material than I can buy the Wolf. The only bulk reloading I do now is 147gr 9mm as it's not available commercially cheap enough in the quantity I need. I have a used $75 Lee Pro 1000 progressive press that is dedicated for 9mm; have churned out well over 70k rounds with it. I also reload other calibers that are either not cheap or I got a bunch of free brass for such as 45/70, 30-30. I also keep a Lee hand press in the car for priming cases when I know I'll be sitting around doing nothing. So in summary, reloading is good as it allows you to shoot more and cheaply but there comes a point when you would have to decide if you rather spend the hour shooting or reloading.
Link Posted: 11/6/2003 3:26:24 PM EDT
Almost every blown up M16/AR15 is the direct result of reloaded ammo. Overwhelmingly the case. Ya gotta be more detail oriented than I am. I fully recommend [i]loading[/i] if you're serious about National Match. This starts with new, primed cases. Run 'em thru a good progressive press (to include an automatic powder measure) like the Dillon 550 and you can get a good 100 match cartridges in a very short period of time. [i]Reloading[/i] on the other hand just takes way too much time and effort which could be better spent shooting. National Match only needs 1MOA accuracy and [i]everyone[/i] on these forums shoots at least that well if you believe the claims. [;)] I'll leave the benchrest question to them. -- Chuck
Link Posted: 11/14/2003 6:28:06 PM EDT
It is worth it IF you have the time AND pay attention. You can some some time but spend a little more by purchasing processed brass and even primed from suppliers like scharch mfg. www.scharch.com
Link Posted: 11/14/2003 6:37:30 PM EDT
Chuck, whats your source for this info? I have loaded .223 for 15 years and have had no problems with AR's, FNC's, or HK's. HK's do scorch the brass though. Have I been lucky?? For general blasting stuff I tend to load 2 grs. lighter, so long as the rifle cycles, I happy.
Link Posted: 11/14/2003 8:46:38 PM EDT
Most of the time when a gun is blown up by a reload, it's one they bought at a gun show or from someone, maker unknown. There was a very recent report of an AR blown up by a reload purchased at a shooting range, again maker unknown. Don't buy reloads unless you know they come from a quality reloader, Black Hills is a good example. I have been reloading for over 30 years, and I have never had a problem of any kind with a reload. For a number of years I competed in Police Pistol matches, I was going thru over 5,000 rounds of 38 special every summer between practice and matches, all reloaded on my Dillon 550 press. That was just the 38 special, I was also reloading large quantities of 9mm and 45acp on top of that. Reloads are as good as you make them, use proper care and you will never have a problem.
Link Posted: 11/14/2003 8:47:35 PM EDT
For .223 I don't think it's worth it time or money wise for me. I am getting into .308 and precision shooting and I can tell you I am probably going to try to get into it. The Federal Gold Match at $22 per 20 rounds definately makes me want to load my own.
Link Posted: 11/15/2003 6:40:22 AM EDT
I reload for the hobby of it. I don't put a cost on my time or the cost of componants to reload. I don't care if I can get 1000 rounds of XXX type ammo for $159 and it costs me $200 to make the same 1000. I enjoy the time I have to myself (even if it is for a hour)to sit and relax and spend some "me" time. Between work, wife, kids and other commitments, this is the only "me" time I really get. I can sit and press out 300-400 rounds of whatever I want and it is there if I get the chance to shoot. When I am done for the day, I feel better, calmer, more relaxed and I have the knowlage that I have enough ammo to supply a small army for a few months.(just kidding)
Link Posted: 11/15/2003 8:04:00 AM EDT
Well said. I'm the same way except I like to keep the costs down. I reload for .223, 9mm, .45, 30.06 and may get into 8mm if I ever feel the need to shoot softpoints. Also load 30-30, .38, .357, and .243 at my dad's. I enjoy seeing a round that I loaded myself, not some factory machine. Very satisfying. BTW, never had a problem with my reloads in any of my guns.
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 10:46:16 AM EDT
six cents a round for my Colt. Cases = free from work bullets = .02 (pulled M193's) powder = .02 (surplus WC-844) primers = .02 (yes, I probably could find them cheaper) that's $60 per thousand. Gotta love it.
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 1:19:41 PM EDT
We reload our hunting ammo but since I don't hunt with 5.56 I don't reload with it. Cheaper to buy XM193 or Wolf. CRC
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:53:13 AM EDT
I dont reload 5.56x45 yet. But I do reload 9mm and I have reloaded 8,000 rounds for my Glock without any problems. I even cast the bullets. for them. More time then money. I think Dillon has the best machines.
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 8:20:35 AM EDT
I shoot .22lr, .222, .223, .243, 25acp, 257 Roberts AI, 6.5x55, 7x57mm, 32acp, 32sw, 32S&WLong, 32-20, 7.62x25mm,30-30, 303Sav, .308, 30-06, 7.62x39mm, 303Brit, 7.62x54R, 8x57mm, .380, 9x19mm, 9x23mm, 357 Sig, 38 sp, 357 mag, 38sw, 40sw, 10mm, 10.4mm, 44 mag, 45acp, 45Colt, 452/70, .410, 45/70, 20 ga, 12 ga, and 10 ga. If you just want to blast 223 and 44 mag, then reload the 44 mag and save lots of money, but handloading costs more than surplus .223. If you want some sub 1" 5 shot groups at 100m and sub 2" at 200, then handloading is the way to go. It is cheaper than Federal Gold match and more accurate too.
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 10:23:56 AM EDT
Is reloading your own cheaper? Definately not, once you factor in the cost of equipment, components,time, ect. BUT,in a SHTF situation, one of the first items that will clear off the shelves of your local Wally World will be ammo. Q3131A,XM-193, and Mil-Surp M-193 may or may not always be available. Reloading for me is more of a hobby. I do not do it to save money, thats for sure. I like the challenge of tweaking a load, and getting the accuracy, and velocity I am looking for. As for ARs going Kb, it happens when guys either do not follow the recommended load data in loading manuals,try to be creative, without using common sense,or buy cheap gun show reloads.I personally have loaded and fired tens of thousands of rounds of ammo I loaded myself, and NEVER have had a problem. 5.56mm, 9mm,.45 ACP,.30-06,7.62mm,12 GA.
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 10:35:40 AM EDT
. Reloading for me is more of a hobby. I do not do it to save money, thats for sure. I like the challenge of tweaking a load, and getting the accuracy, and velocity I am looking for.
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Nicely put. When I first saw this thread a couple weeks ago it motivated me to crank out a couple hundred Nosler ballistic tip 223 rounds. Once the dust settles later today I think I'll crank out some 40s&w [:)]
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 10:53:57 AM EDT
If you just want to blast 223 and 44 mag, then reload the 44 mag and save lots of money, but handloading costs more than surplus .223.
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I've looked around quite a bit and the cheapest 5.56 I can find is the Russian for about $125 per thousand, that's 12.5 cents each. With careful shopping I can reload 5.56mm for less than 10 cents each, that's using new bullets and new commercial powder, not surplus, if I used surplus bullets and surplus powder even that figure could be reduced, however, I am a careful reloader, and when you buy surplus powder you are buying a "pig in a poke" to use the colloquial expression, using new commercial powder is [b]much safer[/b]. My equipment was paid for 20 years ago, so that's not a problem, and as far as time, these winter evenings I can kick back and watch TV, or maybe go out in the shop and kick out 400 or 500 rounds. [8D]
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 12:52:39 PM EDT
It´s a nice discussion you got. In Komparison to germany you guys got dream prices for ammo ( and for AR15-rifles aswell) When I reed 125$ per 1000 rds there could be a tear falling . It´s ca.100 Euro per 1000 shots and that is the price you pay for high quality .22LR or badf 12gauge shot shells . The cheapest .223 here cost 295 Euro ( if you´re willing to buy 5000) and it´s a waste of money- rubbish. But reloading is most of the time as expensive as factory loads when you calculate it with your time and the risks. It´s only good when you fire exclusive calibers like older 8x56 manlicher or in the US .50-120 blackpowder for example. Having not much time as a farmer , my wife would rip my head of when I would tell her , I reload some .223 for saving some cents. [;)]
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