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View Full Version : Best Ammo to buy then reload? American Eagle?


Spetsnazos
03-25-2011, 4:53 PM
American Eagle is Brass .308 Which seems to go for about 12.50 to 15.00 per 20 round box.

I am thinking this is the best ammo to buy, shoot, then reload with match bullets?

What do you guys think? Trying to be on a budget but trying to be smart about it too.

jimmykan
03-25-2011, 5:39 PM
I find that FC 308WIN brass is on the soft side, meaning the primer pockets get too loose to hold a primer more quickly than Winchester brass, for example.

In my opinion the absolute best value ammunition to buy to shoot-then-reload is Black Hills red box ammunition. Here's why:

1. It starts out as new, accurate factory ammunition. It's a challenge to make your reload more accurate than the first firing!
2. It's usually a few dollars cheaper per box than Federal Gold Medal Match. As mentioned, I don't like FC brass anyway.
3. It is pretty consistent, durable brass. The case necks and primer pockets stay intact for at least 4-5 loadings, maybe less in an autoloader, and maybe more in a bolt action rifle.
4. It has similar weight and capacity as Winchester and Hornady brass, so you can replace lost or mangled cases with these other brands in a pinch.
5. The headstamp says "BHA MATCH" which sounds nice. :D

joelogic
03-25-2011, 5:40 PM
Budget and match bullets does not compute.

Any commercial boxer brass will work but in a pinch military is fine.

Spetsnazos
03-25-2011, 5:43 PM
I find that FC 308WIN brass is on the soft side, meaning the primer pockets get too loose to hold a primer more quickly than Winchester brass, for example.

In my opinion the absolute best value ammunition to buy to shoot-then-reload is Black Hills red box ammunition. Here's why:

1. It starts out as new, accurate factory ammunition. It's a challenge to make your reload more accurate than the first firing!
2. It's usually a few dollars cheaper per box than Federal Gold Medal Match. As mentioned, I don't like FC brass anyway.
3. It is pretty consistent, durable brass. The case necks and primer pockets stay intact for at least 4-5 loadings, maybe less in an autoloader, and maybe more in a bolt action rifle.
4. It has similar weight and capacity as Winchester and Hornady brass, so you can replace lost or mangled cases with these other brands in a pinch.
5. The headstamp says "BHA MATCH" which sounds nice. :D

The going rate for this ammo is about $24 per box, is this about right?

Spetsnazos
03-25-2011, 5:45 PM
Budget and match bullets does not compute.

Any commercial boxer brass will work but in a pinch military is fine.

well I want something decent but I dont want to break the bank :) What do you mean military?

Spetsnazos
03-25-2011, 5:45 PM
By the way this is going to be shot out of my bolt rem 700 .308

CK_32
03-25-2011, 6:00 PM
For 308 go lapua. But those are pretty pricey. I get the cheap $14 for 20 box of win 147g stuff NATO stamped and then blow those to get them fire formed to my rifle then reload it with varget powder and CCI 200 primers and 175gr smks for 300 to 1000 yards or 155gr stuff for under 800 yards. Very popular for 700's in 308 work great for those longer ranges. If you want groups at 100 to 300 yards go 168gr stuff.

Winchester brass is always the best bang for your buck.

You'll probably get more or better into on the reloading section and check out snipershide.com great reloading section and look for vman. Great knowlagable guy. Pretty much taught or showed me everything I know on reloading.

I also shoot a 700 sps t in 308 and reload.

One78Shovel
03-25-2011, 6:09 PM
Theres nothing wrong with Federal brass. I have reloaded every pistol caliber worth doing so multiple times and they keep plinking. No issues.

lol.. I even reload Dynamit/GECO in 9mm.

-178S

ubet
03-25-2011, 6:16 PM
Rifle brass, winchester or lapua (you get what you pay for). Dont buy commercial ammo if you can reload, its just a waste of money to get the brass. Its would be like jacking off with your wife sitting in the other room.... naked. No point.

jm13690
03-25-2011, 6:20 PM
How about PMC?

bohoki
03-25-2011, 6:25 PM
ive loaded up plenty of federal in 308 and it doesnt seem to have the problem of loose primer pockets as bad as 223

i prefer remington or winchester though

bcrich
03-25-2011, 6:28 PM
Rifle brass, winchester or lapua (you get what you pay for). Dont buy commercial ammo if you can reload, its just a waste of money to get the brass. Its would be like jacking off with your wife sitting in the other room.... naked. No point.

That is exactly what I'm gonna tell her next time I order Lapua brass! ha! ha!

Spetsnazos
03-25-2011, 8:33 PM
Dont think I can afford Lapua brass...

I'm planning on going to the gunshow tomorrow. Should I consider reloaded ammo?

Anchors
03-25-2011, 8:36 PM
Man I really need to get into reloading. Ammo is so expensive.

Spetsnazos
03-25-2011, 8:39 PM
I'm reading alot of stuff about Winchester Brass. Anyone have any input?

Spetsnazos
03-25-2011, 8:39 PM
Man I really need to get into reloading. Ammo is so expensive.

Seems like you come out just about the same with reloading, except you get way better ammo. Thats the vibe I get from looking up primer, powder, bullet prices...

toby
03-25-2011, 8:51 PM
If you want to start with new ammo then reload it, get some blue box Federals and some silver box Winchesters and be done. Both are decent ammo and you'll get great brass to reload...

Spetsnazos
03-25-2011, 8:52 PM
If you want to start with new ammo then reload it, get some blue box Federals and some silver box Winchesters and be done. Both are decent ammo and you'll get great brass to reload...

great thanks for the advice!

jimmykan
03-25-2011, 8:54 PM
ive loaded up plenty of federal in 308 and it doesnt seem to have the problem of loose primer pockets as bad as 223

i prefer remington or winchester though

Now that you mention it, yes, I've noticed that FC brass loosening up is worse in 223 than in 308.

I guess that makes sense since there is more material surrounding the primer pocket in 308 brass.

SKSer
03-25-2011, 9:34 PM
Seems like you come out just about the same with reloading, except you get way better ammo. Thats the vibe I get from looking up primer, powder, bullet prices...

No, you save money.

The least cost effective round I load is .223, and I can load it for half the cost of the cheapest brass case you can find.

The most cost effective round I load is 45 Long Colt. My local gun store sells it for 1.00 a round, I can load it for .06-.07 cents a round.

Im on my fourth load of 100 45 Long Colt, and it has allready paid for all the loading equipment I have purchased twice over.

lets take loading match grade .308
wideners has 500 match grade mil-spec bullets for $93.00/500
match grade primers at $49 per 1000
powder at 25.00/lb or 7000grns

with a powder charge of 40 grns, 1 round will cost you about .37 cents, or $7.40 per box of 20, and thats Match Grade quality.

Thats still cheaper then the cheapest .308 you can find on Midway, which is $8.86 +shipping for basic black box wolf steel case crap.

The cheapest Match Grade you can find on midway is prvi partizan for $17.49, and who knows how "Match Grade" that really is.

this is not including brass because its hard to figure the cost because unlike the other components, it can be used more then once, and it varies greatly how long it lasts, and is dependent on many factors. But here is some once fired for $18/100 http://oncefiredbrass.com/federal308winf-c.aspx

SKSer
03-25-2011, 9:47 PM
Seems like you come out just about the same with reloading, except you get way better ammo. Thats the vibe I get from looking up primer, powder, bullet prices...

No, you save money.

The least cost effective round I load is .223, and I can load it for half the cost of the cheapest brass case you can find.

The most cost effective round I load is 45 Long Colt. My local gun store sells it for 1.00 a round, I can load it for .06-.07 cents a round.

Im on my fourth load of 100 45 Long Colt, and it has allready paid for all the loading equipment I have purchased twice over.

lets take loading match grade .308
wideners has 500 match grade mil-spec bullets for $93.00/500
match grade primers at $49 per 1000
powder at 25.00/lb or 7000grns

with a powder charge of 40 grns, 1 round will cost you about .37 cents, or $7.40 per box of 20, and thats Match Grade quality.

Thats still cheaper then the cheapest .308 you can find on Midway, which is $8.86 +shipping for basic black box wolf steel case crap.

The cheapest Match Grade you can find on midway is prvi partizan for $17.49, and who knows how "Match Grade" that really is.

this is not including brass because its hard to figure the cost because unlike the other components, it can be used more then once, and it varies greatly how long it lasts, and is dependent on many factors. But here is some once fired for $18 http://oncefiredbrass.com/federal308winf-c.aspx

jimmykan
03-25-2011, 10:18 PM
...

lets take loading match grade .308
wideners has 500 match grade mil-spec bullets for $93.00/500
match grade primers at $49 per 1000
powder at 25.00/lb or 7000grns
...
The cheapest Match Grade you can find on midway is prvi partizan for $17.49, and who knows how "Match Grade" that really is.
...


Actually, a lot of Widener's "Mil-Spec Match" bullets ARE Prvi Partizan components, used in their match ammunition.

I bought 5,000 of their 62-grain lead core no-cannelure 22 cal. bullet, and 500 of their 168-grain hollow point boat tail 30 cal. bullet.
http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=7440&dir=278|281|727
http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=8439&dir=278|281|727

I can only get about 3-4 MOA from the 62-grainers. This is from a 1-in-9" twist AR that shoots 1MOA with handloaded 69 Sierra MatchKings, 69 Nosler Custom Competitions, and 75 Hornady Match.
Molon from the various AR websites got similar results with the Prvi ammo loaded with the same bullet:
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=30222

And I got about 1.5-2MOA from the 168-grainers. This is from a 1-in-12" twist bolt gun that shoots .5MOA with handloaded 168 Sierra MatchKings and 168 Nosler Custom Competitions.

But maybe the Prvi 175-grain 30 cal. "FMJBT SNIPER BULLET" shoots better.
http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=8442&dir=278|281|727

I think the most accuracy gains are to be had from a quality bullet and a quality barrel.

If the bullets you're loading vary in weight more than 5% or have inconsistent ogives, it doesn't matter if you choose the BEST powder for your caliber and trickle your charges to the 1/10th grain.

Also, if your barrel has no rifling left or has a dinged-up muzzle, precision-loaded ammo won't shoot much better than bargain stuff.

jimmykan
03-25-2011, 10:42 PM
By the way this is going to be shot out of my bolt rem 700 .308

I'm guessing this is the rifle mentioned in your signature?
"Remmington 700 .308, AICS Black, Bushnell 6-24 50 Scope"
By the way, check the spelling on "Remington".

Try a box each of 168 grain (and if you have a 1-in-10 twist try 175 grain too) Federal Gold Medal Match, Black Hills Red Box, and if you can swing it, Lapua loaded ammunition (I never bothered, since even if it shot the best in my rifle, I couldn't afford to buy the Scenar bullets to reload to spec).

Get a chronograph, and shoot the different factory loads and record group size and velocity statistics. Try to do this at 200 yards distance or more, since your rifle may shoot too good to tell the difference at 100. Hopefully you'll find a pattern, e.g. your rifle likes 168 grainers going 2650fps or 175 grainers going 2600, or something like that.

You could also conduct those Optimum Charge Weight or Ladder tests, but they take for ever to complete with all the cease-fires at public ranges.

Anchors
03-26-2011, 12:27 AM
Seems like you come out just about the same with reloading, except you get way better ammo. Thats the vibe I get from looking up primer, powder, bullet prices...

Well, I think in the long run you can either make cheaper plinking ammo than normal plinking ammo or nice target ammo for cheaper than nice target ammo.

Spetsnazos
03-26-2011, 12:30 AM
I'm guessing this is the rifle mentioned in your signature?
"Remmington 700 .308, AICS Black, Bushnell 6-24 50 Scope"
By the way, check the spelling on "Remington".

Try a box each of 168 grain (and if you have a 1-in-10 twist try 175 grain too) Federal Gold Medal Match, Black Hills Red Box, and if you can swing it, Lapua loaded ammunition (I never bothered, since even if it shot the best in my rifle, I couldn't afford to buy the Scenar bullets to reload to spec).

Get a chronograph, and shoot the different factory loads and record group size and velocity statistics. Try to do this at 200 yards distance or more, since your rifle may shoot too good to tell the difference at 100. Hopefully you'll find a pattern, e.g. your rifle likes 168 grainers going 2650fps or 175 grainers going 2600, or something like that.

You could also conduct those Optimum Charge Weight or Ladder tests, but they take for ever to complete with all the cease-fires at public ranges.

Great advice thanks! Going to do this and pick up the ammo tomorrow!

SKSer
03-26-2011, 7:35 AM
Actually, a lot of Widener's "Mil-Spec Match" bullets ARE Prvi Partizan components, used in their match ammunition.

I bought 5,000 of their 62-grain lead core no-cannelure 22 cal. bullet, and 500 of their 168-grain hollow point boat tail 30 cal. bullet.
http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=7440&dir=278|281|727
http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=8439&dir=278|281|727

I can only get about 3-4 MOA from the 62-grainers. This is from a 1-in-9" twist AR that shoots 1MOA with handloaded 69 Sierra MatchKings, 69 Nosler Custom Competitions, and 75 Hornady Match.
Molon from the various AR websites got similar results with the Prvi ammo loaded with the same bullet:
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=30222

And I got about 1.5-2MOA from the 168-grainers. This is from a 1-in-12" twist bolt gun that shoots .5MOA with handloaded 168 Sierra MatchKings and 168 Nosler Custom Competitions.

But maybe the Prvi 175-grain 30 cal. "FMJBT SNIPER BULLET" shoots better.
http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=8442&dir=278|281|727

I think the most accuracy gains are to be had from a quality bullet and a quality barrel.

If the bullets you're loading vary in weight more than 5% or have inconsistent ogives, it doesn't matter if you choose the BEST powder for your caliber and trickle your charges to the 1/10th grain.

Also, if your barrel has no rifling left or has a dinged-up muzzle, precision-loaded ammo won't shoot much better than bargain stuff.

good info, I had not actually tried those bullets from Wideners yet, I just saw them yesterday and was thinking of buying some to load my .308, Im going to do a little research before I decide to buy.

But back to the cost factor, if we substitute the Wideners bullets for some Sierra Match King 168 grainers, which are well proven to perform, we bring our round cost up to .47 cents a round or $9.40 per box of 20.

that still comes out at just over .50 cents more a per 20 then the cheapest which is wolf black box.

sonnyt650
03-26-2011, 8:06 AM
Hmmm, was considering those Wideners .308s myself -- thanks for the review.

bcrich
03-26-2011, 9:01 AM
I too couldn't get the wideners mil-spec 168's to group any better than 1.75 moa no matter what combo I tried. So much for "match grade" my mosin seems to like them though!

rumpletzer
03-26-2011, 4:59 PM
Dont think I can afford Lapua brass...

I'm planning on going to the gunshow tomorrow. Should I consider reloaded ammo?

I was at the gun show in Costa Mesa today. I didn't see any reloaded 308. I'm fairly certain that I looked at every single booth that sold gun-related stuff (skipped the beanie babies, jerky, nuts, chinese swords/knives, toy guns, etc.). I asked the guy at Miwall about 308 reloads. He said that they do it, but they're out of stock. I was there at 10am (an hour after opening), and I looked at all 3 Miwall booths. I'm fairly certain that they had none on hand today.

I picked up a few cases of 308:
PMC 147gr 500rnd case for $248 (~$0.539/rnd after tax)
Winchester 147gr 200rnd case for $98 (~$0.533/rnd after tax)
American Eagle 150gr 500rnd case for $259 (~$0.563/rnd after tax)

Parking was $5 and entry was $13 (there's a coupon on the Web site (http://www.crossroadsgunshows.com/guncoupn.htm)). I also picked up a Dewey rod, a VTAC sling, and some other odds and ends (I had a list). I probably walked a couple of miles over the 4 hours that I was there. It was a good time. It was at least as entertaining as a movie.


I noticed that Miwall's 9mm reloads are something like $165 per 1000rnds now (I bought at $140 from them in the fall). They had PMC and Winchester 9mm for something like $169 per 1000rnds.

LAX sells ammo too, and their prices are a little higher (just a little) than Miwall. They have 2 booths, but far less stock.

Still very little 7.62x39 ammo at the show. Lots of guns and lots more AR/AK mags (I saw almost none in the fall).

http://vengefulacts.com/calguns/308_March2011.jpg

Spetsnazos
03-26-2011, 5:06 PM
I was at the gun show in Costa Mesa today. I didn't see any reloaded 308. I'm fairly certain that I looked at every single booth that sold gun-related stuff (skipped the beanie babies, jerky, nuts, chinese swords/knives, toy guns, etc.). I asked the guy at Miwall about 308 reloads. He said that they do it, but they're out of stock. I was there at 10am (an hour after opening), and I looked at all 3 Miwall booths. I'm fairly certain that they had none on hand today.

I picked up a few cases of 308:
PMC 147gr 500rnd case for $248 (~$0.539/rnd after tax)
Winchester 147gr 200rnd case for $98 (~$0.533/rnd after tax)
American Eagle 150gr 500rnd case for $259 (~$0.563/rnd after tax)

Parking was $5 and entry was $13 (there's a coupon on the Web site (http://www.crossroadsgunshows.com/guncoupn.htm)). I also picked up a Dewey rod, a VTAC sling, and some other odds and ends (I had a list). I probably walked a couple of miles over the 4 hours that I was there. It was a good time. It was at least as entertaining as a movie.


I noticed that Miwall's 9mm reloads are something like $165 per 1000rnds now (I bought at $140 from them in the fall). They had PMC and Winchester 9mm for something like $169 per 1000rnds.

LAX sells ammo too, and their prices are a little higher (just a little) than Miwall. They have 2 booths, but far less stock.

Still very little 7.62x39 ammo at the show. Lots of guns and lots more AR/AK mags (I saw almost none in the fall).

http://vengefulacts.com/calguns/308_March2011.jpg

I left sometime around 10:20am, bought me about 1100 rounds of .380 and 4 boxes of American Eagle, and 2 Boxes of Gold Match. You might of seen me, I was the only one with a board there...

Just got back from the range, after zero'ing my scope finally, I was shooting within 1 MOA with Match at 100 yrds. I need more practice and more training before I can do better, but its definitely me and not the rifle.

Angels was pretty empty today :)

Spetsnazos
03-26-2011, 5:11 PM
http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm133/liquidoleg/rifleshot.jpg


At 100 yards, its about 1 MOA

jimmykan
03-29-2011, 5:46 PM
http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm133/liquidoleg/rifleshot.jpg


At 100 yards, its about 1 MOA

That is a very good start. Now, if you want to duplicate this load and tweak it from there, start with Sierra MatchKings or Nosler Custom Competitions in the same bullet weight as the factory ammunition.

Then shoot some of the factory ammunition through a chronograph. If the Federal Gold Medal Match ammo was 168 grain, and you have a 24" barrel, you should get about 2650 fps.

Then pick a powder and work up a powder charge that duplicates the velocity that you get from the factory ammunition. You should get as-good-or-better groups compared to FGMM factory ammunition, especially if you precisely measure your powder charges.

It is my understanding that FGMM used to be loaded with IMR 4064 powder, but now that ATK owns Federal and Alliant, new FGMM may be loaded with Reloder 15. Those two powders are popular choices, as are Varget, 4895, N140. These are all extruded powders that should be trickled to the 0.1 grain for best results.

If you don't want to trickle, and you just want to throw charges from a powder measure, then I would recommend ball powders like TAC, Big Game, 2520, BLC-2. They usually throw within +/- 0.1 grain from a Dillon measure.

OHW
03-29-2011, 6:23 PM
IMI
Lake City NATO
PMC