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View Full Version : AR: Training Caliber Costs: Substitutions and Options


Sleepnosis
10-30-2008, 9:57 PM
Allow me to post while thinking...

In the next coming months I'll hopefully be making a large ammunition buy. With all of the AR conversions out there I figured there must be a way to allow some cost cutting alternatives while still getting one hole in the target per pull of the trigger.

Taking a quick look at ammunition prices online (http://www.aimsurplus.com) I gathered the following approximations for round price.

5.56X45= $0.40/round
5.45x39= $0.11/round
22LR =$0.7-$0.8/round

For this example, lets say I buy 2,000 rounds a year

My options:
5.56 = .40 x 2,000 = $800 bucks a year (which looking at right now should probably go into a Roth IRA).
I'd have plenty of shooting ammunition with possibly having to rebarrel in 5 years or so [$200]. Plus I'm using my actual go to gun.
So I'd spend about $4,200 over the course of 5 years. But there would be no upfront costs to start playing.

5.45 = .11 x 2,000 = $220 bucks a year( wow not bad). Of course I'd need a 5.45 upper that sell for about $600 + $200 for mags and familiar accessories.
So this way I'd spend about $1900 over the course of 5 years. But $800 bucks up front to start playing.

22LR = .08 x 2,000 = $160 bucks a year. As far as .22LR would go I can either go dedicated upper or drop in.
Spike's Tactical .22 Upper (http://www.spikestactical.com/z/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=26&products_id=122&zenid=iojk9b8ms3rvnk7rlm4ojirbe1) is 550.00 and would require about $300 in familiar features.
CMMG 22 Conversion Kit with Magazine (http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/shop/?cart=1310807&cat=38&) is 199.95. This would allow me to use my rig how it is without having to buy another upper....but here's one of the main questions behind this post:

What kind of wear [slower/same] will sending 22LR down my 5.56 chambered milspec upper have on it compared to 5.56? If it slower, what kind of quantifiable measurement is there?

Anyways...

Spikes: 800 + the 850 for the upgraded upper + mags.
or
CMMG: 800 + 290 for drop in and mags + 200 for rebarrel???

Spikes:$1650. [$850.00 upfront]
CMMG:$1290 play immediately

So over the course of five years firing the same amount of cartridges through the same or familiar set ups with conservative estimates:

5.56:$4,200
5.45:$1,900
Spikes:$1,650
CMMG:$1,290

I know there are benefits to each caliber option such as having plenty of 5.56 ammo on hand or actually practicing with a viable wounding cartridge with the 5.45, but it looks pretty apparent what the choice is now.

PS if I jacked up the math up there or if my hypothesizing was wrong please hook me up and correct me.

Thanks in advance,
-Mark

elSquid
10-30-2008, 10:16 PM
Just for giggles. Other options:

- dry fire. Just requires snapcaps.

- wolf ammo. $250/1000.

- learn to reload.

The real question is: what are you trying to achieve? Is it nothing more than putting 2000 rounds downrange a year? Or are you trying to become a better shot? Is the goal complete familiarization with your rifle?

BTW, 8c round seems high for 22. I think I dropped $130 on 5500 rounds of Federal bulk at walmart a couple of months ago.

-- Michael

Sleepnosis
10-30-2008, 10:23 PM
Mission: CMP style shooting 50m and closing* with cost efficiency as primary and utility of the cartridge as secondary.

I should've outlined that in my first post. This is not for long range precision shooting. Failure drills, transtions, etc.


*On a rig that is, or as close to, my actual go to rifle. Complete familiarization with something besides my issued weapon. You got it.

Thanks for the update on 22LR rounds too :)

Sleepnosis
10-30-2008, 10:49 PM
Just found a tidbit from M4Carbine.net (http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=18782&highlight=cmmg+conversion)

There are minor differences between the .22LR and .223/5.56 barrel inside diameter; about .002". However, from a practical standpoint it makes little to no difference for the intended use. The bullet will not bounce down the barrel as some people profess. The soft lead upsets enough to get sufficient accuracy. Mine group 1.5" - 2" at 50 yds. and in. Therefore, for the intended purpose of inexpensive CQB practice with an AR, it's not really a problem. A dedicated upper is nice for sighting and cleaning purposes, but the slight variation can easily be compensated for by the shooter when using it as a drop-in on the host AR. Reliability is very good with quality .22LR ammo; Mini-Mags work very well. Clean your barrel accordingly and you shouldn't have any issues with build-up.

aplinker
10-31-2008, 7:07 AM
another consideration is whether you can use the cheap 5.45 ammo - it's all magnetic.

If it were up to me I'd train with what I use. 2k rounds isn't much.

nobs11
10-31-2008, 9:51 AM
Reload. Only way to go. One time up front cost but the equipment lasts a lifetime and it will pay for itself over time.

Full Clip
10-31-2008, 10:01 AM
another consideration is whether you can use the cheap 5.45 ammo - it's all magnetic.

Which is why I have not jumped on that bandwagon.
I started reloading and am now making much better .223 ammo than I could afford to otherwise buy. (Going to Wolf was not an option if I really wanted to shoot better.)
Yes, it takes some time and gear, but it's not difficult.
I also work at home, so I can walk into my garage and churn out 100 rounds during my lunch hour every day while eating a sandwich... lucky me!

hybridatsun350
10-31-2008, 10:03 AM
I would just stick with your standard 5.56/.223. Two thousand rouds a year really isn't a whole lot. . It's worth the extra cost to be shooting a full power, non-corrosive, non-magnetic round if you're only talking a couple thousand rounds a year. However, you're prices are a little high on the .22lr. You should be able to pick it up for about $0.04/round.

yellowfin
10-31-2008, 10:31 AM
Anyone think 5.45x39 will catch on as a production caliber?

nobs11
10-31-2008, 10:47 AM
Anyone think 5.45x39 will catch on as a production caliber?

No. No reason to. The only reason it is popular is because surplus ammo is cheap. If it does, it will likely end up costing the same as any other US made ammo so it would be pointless.

nakoomba
10-31-2008, 11:17 AM
i shoot about 1k rounds a week with my spikes upper, you cant substitute trigger time. You can't beat a .22lr setup for mass amounts of trigger time.

aplinker
10-31-2008, 11:29 AM
i shoot about 1k rounds a week with my spikes upper, you cant substitute trigger time. You can't beat a .22lr setup for mass amounts of trigger time.

I agree on that. Trigger time is all about .22lr.

However, IMHO, training should be done with the full caliber loads.

Sleepnosis
10-31-2008, 1:38 PM
Awesome.

Thanks for everyones insight.

CSACANNONEER
10-31-2008, 3:00 PM
You are paying too much for .22lr! I pay less than .03 per round.

yellowfin
10-31-2008, 5:14 PM
Bear in mind that the .30-06 started as cheap surplus too.

CSACANNONEER
10-31-2008, 6:47 PM
Bear in mind that the .30-06 started as cheap surplus too.

And, it still is cheaper than most other surplus rounds. Just check out CMP's website.

aplinker
10-31-2008, 8:20 PM
And, it still is cheaper than most other surplus rounds. Just check out CMP's website.

Magnetic, too :mad: ;)

sigsauer887
10-31-2008, 8:56 PM
Whats this talk about re barreling? I'm pretty sure out barrels can take a pretty good beating.

Sleepnosis
10-31-2008, 9:23 PM
Our issued m4's get rebarreled at 10,000 rounds, figure It would be wise to do the same with my personal.

EBR Works
10-31-2008, 9:42 PM
Yep, time to reload! .223 runs me about 15 cents per round with a 55g FMJBT bullet.

Spyduh
10-31-2008, 11:06 PM
so I can walk into my garage and churn out 100 rounds during my lunch hour every day while eating a sandwich... lucky me!

:kest:
Why are you eating while working with deadly chemicals/powders? I would really reconsider doing both at once. Just eat the sandwich, takes under 15 minutes and that's if your a slow eater. Then go reload with no risk of poisoning yourself!

EBR Works
10-31-2008, 11:16 PM
I just sprinkle a little BL-C(2) on my sandwich. It builds character. ;)

Spyduh
10-31-2008, 11:21 PM
I just sprinkle a little BL-C(2) on my sandwich. It builds character. ;)

:icon_bs:

Nikola
11-01-2008, 12:23 PM
Is it detrimental to the barrel to use a Ceiner kit or the CMMG .22LR kit? Does anyone have any personal experience with this?