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Posted: 3/10/2006 2:38:08 PM EDT
I reload pistol calibres and 303 as it makes financial sense, but I was wondering if people generally bother reloading .223 in the UK for high power/practical/service rifle? From what I see just the heads/powder/primers (ignoring the brass) is more expensive than RG ammo. Or is the accuracy of the RG such that reloading is the only way ?
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 3:11:34 PM EDT
I've just started reloading and between the initial investment of the Dillon press and various enhancements I questioned the amounts involved?

I used to buy the cheapest NATO 7.62 fodder for my Remmy 700 and it was only when I shot my first AR (borrowed from Streetfighter) that I realised what a good rifle and good ammunition can do.

Dave (the convert)
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 3:30:58 PM EDT
I'm no competition guru and my expierience is limited.
I began reloading with a friend predominantly .223 for our AR's and we were purely interested in accuracy. Our local range only permits lead so we perfected casting and obtaining the highest veocity without causing leading(our heads were very hard after we cracked it). We managed great groups compared to when we started.

But when we started reloading with match heads (sierra matchkings) we noticed a drastic improvement over Surplus.

Shooting the centre out of a penny piece was easy at 50m(with my cheap £20 Chinese scope) and I'd not be able to do that with anything other than our reloads.

I've had stability(keyholing) problems with the heavier heads but they shoot fine in my friends longer barrel. I have the shorter barrel.

I can't wait to get into .303 reloading as there's a few old timers using them with lead heads and they shoot fine out to the longer distances at Brecon.

I'm not sure about price as I've never realy worked it out per round compared to commercial ammo but with the way powder prices keep rising and dealers complaining about having to pay more for delivery due to changing regulations on those who can carry/deliver to them. It's probably cheaper to buy surplus....
but accuracy is dependant upon cost
and how much you want to spend...

Taffy
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 11:02:42 PM EDT
If you shooting at 300m or less in Service rifle competitions (using a five and four scoring ring on a figure) there is no real need to hand load match ammunition. As I can get the same score with my L85 as a Civy service shooter using 'match' ammo.

There is the caveat to RG that it can suffer (about 1 in 50rds worst case) from an offset internal penetrator tip, which causes the accuracy to drop off; you may get a shot scoring a four instead of a five. However, you can get the same errors from hand loading.

If you found some M193 (55gr surplus) you would not get the risk (guess what ammo the US Team uses). However, if it is not a quality product or one that is 20 years old, more potential errors are produced.

For someone just starting out, RG is ideal, the LOTS we have at the moment (2004) are current production, and exactly the same batch as was used at the Imperial last year. I would advice you for SR to stick with the RG for a while and use the time and money saved to learn and ask fellow shooters what loadings they use. Of course, you have to know that RG will cycle in your rifle, in the heat of summer or rapid courses of fire tight target chambers and RG don't match!

For HR it a different ball game, as your scoring rings are tighter, many use reloads straight away. However there is still a place for RG whilst you are learning. If you are failing to hit the target (by a big margin) with surplus at 200 standing, there is no point wasting your money on firing expensive match reloads to do the same damn thing!

RG can be around £17 - 20 per hundred, any more and they are taking the Pi**

M193 (55gr) surplus is difficult to find and was £25-30 per hundred

To Reload 1000 69gr BTHP

1000 Primers £17
1000 Sierra 69gr BTHP £110
1000 Once fired Cases £50
Powder 4X 0.5kg Sp10 £80

Total £257 per thousand

Personally: -

For SR competition I use Lake City M193 for 300 and under (My SR has a TA01 calibrated for it)
For over 300 I use 69gr BTHP or 77gr BTHP depending on the rifle barrel twist and wind.

For HR competition I use 77gr BTHP across the course with maybe the odd use of 69gr BTHP at 200.

For PR competition I use RG and or 77gr BTHP dependant on the target size; rifle used, wind conditions and range.

Link Posted: 3/10/2006 11:39:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Turnip:
I reload pistol calibres and 303 as it makes financial sense, but I was wondering if people generally bother reloading .223 in the UK for high power/practical/service rifle? From what I see just the heads/powder/primers (ignoring the brass) is more expensive than RG ammo. Or is the accuracy of the RG such that reloading is the only way ?



I agree totally with ACR26, that's very sound advice.

My AR's love RG I use it in my Carbine for 300 etr/SR it's pointless hand loading. I can even get vbulls at 400 with it (off a bipod)

For above that I use my 20" speedmaster with Sierra MK HPBT 77 grain hand loads.

I think that the accuracy out weighs the time, cost and effort spent on making them.

However American Eagle are fairly good for a factory round...............................

Stu

Link Posted: 3/11/2006 12:07:39 AM EDT
Reloading costs only a few more pence/shot than RG (the cost per case becomes negligible once reused several times). But as soon as you factor in the cost of your time the price of reloading is very expensive.

The reasons I reload are many, the primary being accuracy/consistency over shot bought ammo (even the "hand-made" ammo of some dealers!), and a close second being function (two of my competition rifles will not cycle RG ammo at all and the factory ammo is just as, or more, expensive as reloading).

But As ACR said, when the targets are big (as in ETR etc) then I'll use the carbine and RG, it works well enough in that rifle and is cheap as chips. It's inaccuracies are not as bad as many make out.

So to summarise;

PR at matches upto 300 or ETR, RG
PR match with stages over 300, 77MKs

SR matches, 77MKs across the course (I try not to bring two types of ammo to the match as I've fucked up once before and it'll not happen again - until....)

High power, 77MK and possible 80MKs (reduced distance matches - whatever suits, 69's, 77's even 52's on occation, but must be reloads unless I bring a different rifle)

Anything over 600yds, 80JLKs while I still have some, or a big boy's gun.


You can reload for about £20/100
per 100 rounds;
powder (25gn/load, £20/lb) - £7.14
primers (£17/1000) - £1.70
brass (£50/1000, assume life of at least 5 loadings) - £1.00
bullets (£110/1000) - £11.00

Total - £20.84/100 rounds
With RG at an average of £18-20 per 100 it really is not cost that should make you buy RG, rather the lack of time or if you might lose brass

Add in labour at (I'm doing it as a favour to myself) - £10/hr
total = £30/100 - start buying factory ammo.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 2:21:56 AM EDT
Gonna sound a right noddy Matt but what is RG
Is it cheap military surplus?
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 3:43:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mattyUK:
Gonna sound a right noddy Matt but what is RG
Is it cheap military surplus?



RG = Radway Green (The Royal Ordanance factory where it is made)

62gr FMJ SS109 projectile

Current issue British military round.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 3:55:59 AM EDT
Can't disagree with any of that, but yo must realise that the initial cost of setting up to reload will be recouped within the 1st 1000rds or so.
Also, as long as you take reasonable precautions, any ammo you produce will be far better than what's reliably available from the ammo manufacturers.

Pep, why bother wasting your time on American Eagle, when RG will do the same job better and cheaper?

ACR26 says he uses 55gn M193 stuff for shooting up to 300yds. I have found it to be balistically inept at 300 and beyond, but you get what you pay for.
Given the idiosyncracies (did I spell that right?) of surplus ammo and especially anything with an open base, I think you'd be better off using SS109 62 grainers instead of 55's any day.
That's why it was designed to replace it

Mark
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 4:32:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By streetfighter:
ACR26 says he uses 55gn M193 stuff for shooting up to 300yds. I have found it to be balistically inept at 300 and beyond, but you get what you pay for.
Mark



Yep, stuff like your American Eagle is poor in those circumstances. However, if you have proper M193 or reload with quality components and use fast velocities it can perform better than some batches of RG up to 300.

Experience and practise in the use of your rifle and reading the conditions of the day is what it is really about.

Get out there and shoot: better still shoot and compete, you learn far more in a day at a National competititon, than over a whole year at a rinky dink little club!
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 4:52:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By streetfighter:
Can't disagree with any of that, but yo must realise that the initial cost of setting up to reload will be recouped within the 1st 1000rds or so.
Also, as long as you take reasonable precautions, any ammo you produce will be far better than what's reliably available from the ammo manufacturers.

Pep, why bother wasting your time on American Eagle, when RG will do the same job better and cheaper?

ACR26 says he uses 55gn M193 stuff for shooting up to 300yds. I have found it to be balistically inept at 300 and beyond, but you get what you pay for.
Given the idiosyncracies (did I spell that right?) of surplus ammo and especially anything with an open base, I think you'd be better off using SS109 62 grainers instead of 55's any day.
That's why it was designed to replace it

Mark



I have always found eagle to be okay at 300-600

But is is slightly more expensive

Link Posted: 3/11/2006 5:14:39 AM EDT
I used American eagle 62g in my speedmaster and it was superb out to 400yards. Also the spent case ejected really easily which is a concern with our AR15's. A chap who shoots at my club used military surplus and it was a nightmare unless you had the strength of Arnie!!
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 5:31:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mattyUK:
A chap who shoots at my club used military surplus and it was a nightmare unless you had the strength of Arnie!!



1) Was it Beast of Bodmin special

2) How often does he use it?
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 5:50:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mattyUK:
A chap who shoots at my club used military surplus and it was a nightmare unless you had the strength of Arnie!!


RG98 is a complete mare in my M4. RG03 however, cycles 'easy-peasy' and is plenty accurate enough for ETR/SR. HP is a completely different matter.


Originally Posted By ACR26:
Get out there and shoot: better still shoot and compete, you learn far more in a day at a National competititon, than over a whole year at a rinky dink little club!


Amen to that!
Getting out and doing it will turn you into a better shot - much quicker than staying home because you dont have any sexy reloads!


Link Posted: 3/11/2006 6:21:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ACR26:

Originally Posted By mattyUK:
A chap who shoots at my club used military surplus and it was a nightmare unless you had the strength of Arnie!!



1) Was it Beast of Bodmin special

2) How often does he use it?



No it was not one of Bobs. He still uses it now but i think has grown used to it. Probably got arms like tree trunks by now.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 7:09:47 AM EDT
There are several ways to improve the function of the AR, but the most basic is the chamber.

As I said above, a match chamber and RG generally don't mix!


RG98 is a complete mare in my M4. RG03 however, cycles 'easy-peasy'

The 03 should be of a higher pressure than the 98!

Probably, that batch of RG 98 was surplused because it was out of spec dimensionally or because pressure. Remember, it is all surplus for a reason.........
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 7:21:38 AM EDT
Where can i get some RG 03 and what grain, 62 would be nice.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 8:00:53 AM EDT
HRA members can get some through the club

Guess your in luck as RG comes in 62gr only




Link Posted: 3/11/2006 10:26:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/11/2006 10:29:38 AM EDT by streetfighter]

Originally Posted By mattyUK:
Where can i get some RG 03 and what grain, 62 would be nice.



I know where

Now, being one of those who has shot loads of different batches of RG ever since the 62gn surplus came on the market back in '99, I am of the opinion that the earlier stuff was a much different beast to the newer headstamped stuff.

The older 5.56, ie RG89-92 was pretty mild on extraction.
Newer RG96-98 is the problem stuff in some guns. In fact I had some '97 that was a mare in others guns, but not mine.

Everything from 2001 onwards has been as sweet as anything and I am running some fairly tight chambers in my guns.
With that said, it's nothing I can't rectify with the variety of reamers we have to hand.

As for the RG vs American Eagle, if you don't have extraction problems, the RG is as accurate (group size wise), in fact I have found it to be more so, has mucho more speedo and is much more el cheapo than the Federal Stuff.
AE also has crap brass but the newer stuff apparently has brass from the Lake City plant, which is absolutely top notch.
Hoard it if you can

Mark
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 11:21:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By streetfighter:
Can't disagree with any of that, but yo must realise that the initial cost of setting up to reload will be recouped within the 1st 1000rds or so.

Mark



I've got to disagree with that.

Alright a Lee set is perhaps £80, but the disease leads on to a powder measure, digital scales and measures, progressive press, measuring toys, a die set for each calibre you own, bullets powders and primers in every conceivable option and combination (many of which dont work).

Then you start obsessing about flash holes and shiny brass, the tumbler noise sends you swiftly deaf and I've part used containers of components everywhere.

Finally and I think this is the final part of this disease you decide a wildcat rifle is a sensible investment and you end up buying more and more bits and pieces to form your own brass and then a little hand operated lathe to turn the necks of your special ultra trick cases for your special (and IMHO slightly dangerous as its unmarked) tight necked chamber.

Save money, I think not, if I'd spent as much time and money on a shedload of factory ammunition and some focussed range time I'd be a shooting god and the envy of you all.

Richard

Link Posted: 3/12/2006 12:28:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By richardh:
Save money, I think not, if I'd spent as much time and money on a shedload of factory ammunition and some focussed range time I'd be a shooting god and the envy of you all.

Richard




Sounds like me
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 3:28:25 AM EDT
Nah - way better than you
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 7:21:35 AM EDT
Richard,

Is your XL650 actually working yet
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 7:29:29 AM EDT


Sadly not its been left unloved as the .30BR wasnt worth it for the volumes.

Now I'm back to more normal calibres I'd very much like to take you up on your offer.

Richard
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