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View Full Version : 5.45 upper vs reloading 223


aslowdodge
09-05-2010, 3:21 PM
I was checking out the new Spikes 5.45 upper for $619 which is pretty much all melonited to resist corrosion. It looks tempting knowing you can buy surplus 5.45 for cheap.( about 12 cents per round). With 223 running almost double it would pay for itself after about 2500 rounds.

But I just bought a Hornady reloader and will start reloading my 223 soon. Does the savings of reloading make buying the 5.45 not a great deal anymore? Also how much of this surplus 5.45 is out there? When it runs out you can still get 5.45 but the cost is at 20 cents a round.

So what do you guys think?

shmeare
09-05-2010, 8:24 PM
I would look into getting the 5.45 upper converted to gas-piston. That way the cleaning would be much easier and you don't have crap being blown into the receiver/bcg. it's pretty cheap right now getting (5.45) rounds.

bayboydray408
09-05-2010, 8:26 PM
I love 5.45 I would get that upper over a 223 upper

17+1
09-05-2010, 10:58 PM
I think the main motivator for me is ammunition quality.

Sure you can get 545 for 12 cents a round like you said, but it's only going to be 'combat' accurate. I can load accurate (and custom) 223 rounds for 15-20 cents a round. Not to mention the reduction in fouling of the DI system from using high quality powders. I would not be able to afford to shoot ammunition of this quality if I didn't reload.

Notblake
09-05-2010, 11:02 PM
I think you should get a 5.45 uppper ... and lower .... I think you should buy an AK-74
:p

Pryde
09-06-2010, 12:43 AM
I would do .223 and reload.
Ammo prices are falling and its only a matter of time before wolf steel-cased .223 sells at the same/similar price as 5.45 surplus.

Plus .223 is going to be a lot more accurate than lacquer coated commie 5.45 from 20 years ago.

1988
09-06-2010, 1:22 AM
So what do you guys think?

If you can reload, then why should you have to bother with less ?

Get the 5.56/223 upper and reload to your heart content and enjoy the superior performance of the Rem cartridge.

Hk996
09-06-2010, 1:30 AM
Get both. I have a .223 upper that is accurate for shooting small holes at 100yrds and squirels at 200-300. I would like to reload for that gun.

But I also have a 545x39 upper for when I shoot in Nev. or Arizona. I've stocked up on the 545 rounds since they are so cheap right now too. Best thing is, when I ammo dump with the 545, I'm not thinking how much money I just wasted. Out of about 700 rounds, the russian stuff works great. Every now and then there is a hard primer and it won't shoot, but if you put it back in the gun, it shot everytime, so I didn't have any rounds that were bad.

aslowdodge
09-06-2010, 4:00 PM
Well the option was if I didn't get the 5.45 I was going to get either the 6.5 or 6.8 upper since I was going to ultimately reloading anyways. Thanks for everyones input in helping me to clarify my thoughts.

vta
09-06-2010, 4:28 PM
reloading 223 will cost you more than 12 cents a round. even using free range brass.

aslowdodge
09-06-2010, 5:29 PM
what is your estimate of the cost of reloading 223?

Pryde
09-06-2010, 5:45 PM
what is your estimate of the cost of reloading 223?

.15 cents a round
Surplus 8lbs powder from patsreloading $99
1k Wolf primers $20
500 milspec 55gr bullets from Wideners $40

Or you can buy 55gr russian silver bear from AIMsurplus for $200 @ 1k

.223 ain't really expensive enough to warrant buying a 5.45 upper, maybe it was a year or two ago but nowadays thats just pointless. A .223 upper can shoot both the cheap commie ammo or match rounds depending on your purpose. Why would you spend money on a 5.45 upper that is limited to only shooting low quality rounds? You would have to shoot over 10k worth of ammo to see a cost difference between a 5.45 and a .223 upper shooting commie steel cased ammo.

aslowdodge
09-06-2010, 5:52 PM
It looks like 7,750 rounds pays for the upper. Is the wolf surplus safe to shoot. I heard the steel case might wear out a barrel pretty quickly.

vta
09-06-2010, 5:55 PM
what is your estimate of the cost of reloading 223?

For good quality plinking reloads this is what i use.

8lb of Varget Powder - good for about 2,400 rounds: $160 ($0.066 per round)
Box of CCI Small Rifle Primer: $25 ($0.025 per round)
1,000 pieces of 55 gr armscor fmjbt - $80 ($0.08 per round)
1,000 once fired range brass: $0 to pickup, $50 to buy

If you pick up free brass, its $0.17 a round. If you buy once fired brass, its $0.23 a round. Also count about 2% attrition on the brass. I find about 2 of every 100 pieces of brass that is unusable for one reason or another. sometime not until after it is primed, charged and seated w/ a bullet.

you can buy cheaper steel cased ammo but this will make a good quality round comparable to winchester white box of federal bulk pack at walmart for $0.40 a round. you have to enjoy reloading for have another purpose for reloading (accuracy) cus it takes a good amount of time to do it. I enjoy it as it is a perfect complementary hobby to shooting.

Chatterbox
09-06-2010, 6:41 PM
Here is a nifty little chart, courtesy of 545ar.com
http://www.545ar.com/556545cost.jpg

It shows you how long does it take to pay off the cost of buying a brand new 5.45 upper, versus continuing to use the 5.56 upper you already own.

Full Clip
09-06-2010, 6:44 PM
Why would you spend money on a 5.45 upper that is limited to only shooting low quality rounds?

This was the deal breaker for me.

aslowdodge
09-06-2010, 10:01 PM
Here is a nifty little chart, courtesy of 545ar.com
http://www.545ar.com/556545cost.jpg

It shows you how long does it take to pay off the cost of buying a brand new 5.45 upper, versus continuing to use the 5.56 upper you already own.

It looks like to make sure it pays off you need to buy a lot of surplus ammo now because if it runs out you have lost your cost advantage. If you have to use non surplus there isn't much of a cost advantage and you have a round that is not as desirable as a 223.

1988
09-06-2010, 10:38 PM
Well the option was if I didn't get the 5.45 I was going to get either the 6.5 or 6.8 upper since I was going to ultimately reloading anyways. Thanks for everyones input in helping me to clarify my thoughts.

Now, you've just opened another can of worms.... 6.5G or 6.8SPC ? :D

Pryde
09-06-2010, 10:52 PM
Now, you've just opened another can of worms.... 6.5G or 6.8SPC ? :D

Neither, .223 brass is plentiful enough that I don't cry about losing a couple dozen every range trip. Chasing after .50c pieces of brass ejected out of your AR15 is no fun.

aslowdodge
09-06-2010, 11:40 PM
Now, you've just opened another can of worms.... 6.5G or 6.8SPC ? :D

Yep, I'm following that thread now:D

vta
09-06-2010, 11:42 PM
Now, you've just opened another can of worms.... 6.5G or 6.8SPC ? :D

grendel is the way to go. dont ask me why. i just like it.

DannyInSoCal
09-22-2010, 1:02 AM
I went with the 6.8..........