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problemchild
10-24-2011, 11:53 AM
Just wanted to share my trials and tribulations over the last 12 months of acquiring bulk ammo for less than the retail price.
As we all know bulk .308 is "muy caro". If a person wanted to store 5,000rds of 308 at full retail the cost would be close
to $3,300 for basic junk military to $5,500+ for match ammo.

Before starting on my journey I had some prerequisites that needed to be filled. I wanted a round that was consistent and
would shoot as close to one inch as possible. The round also had to cycle the gun without malfunction.

Along my journey I hunted down the cheapest powder (.077 per round) the best lowest priced primer (.025 per rd.) and
a decently accurate projectile (.13 per rd). I scraped my wolf primer use as they are very inconsistent and almost double
the group size of anything loaded. I also scraped my use of resized pulled military projectiles as they were ok but not near
1 inch, more like 2.5" @100yds.

I also managed to acquire Lake city once fired 308. The price was very good at .08c ea per 5k order. I loaded a small batch
of the LC brass 10x over the last 11 months to see how much abuse it could take. The brass has actually held up quite well
and I would say it might take double or 20x loadings. For the sake of this test Im going to call it 10x loadings.


A few suggestions

Sign up for the newsletter at every reloading supplier (Nachez, Weideners, Grafs etc)
DONT be in a hurry to buy, wait for the deal.
Watch the group buys here in the ammo/reloading section. These guys know all the deals and will want to get a group buy going.
Buy BIG quantities (5k 223 and 5k 308 means 48lbs powder)
32lbs powder or more (will load 4,800 rds .308) (develop a load that shoots small groups with a 1lb purchase before buying big)
6,000 projectiles or more (buy 100 first to make dang sure they shoot straight and will group well)
Get free hazmat
Get free shipping
Ask for discounts on large orders, maybe a group buy will save you more cash
5,000 brass or more (as above buy small quantities first and test the seller and his brass, make sure its GTG)

So here is the breakdown (.308 ammo).


WC-846 military surplus ball powder (works great in 223/308). (measures very well, will hold .1gr metering) and the cost per round is .077ea

Privii 148gr military fmjbt projectiles at .13 ea (the price went up after buying these to .15ea) (holds almost 1 inch without
even trying.

CCI 200 LR primers at .025ea (wolf are cheaper but not good for small groups)

LC brass (at 10x use) .01c ea over the life or 10x loading (or $100/k shipped for 1x use) (these have all but disappeared
from the market at low prices)

So my bottom line is .242c ea or $242/k or $1210 per 5,000 rds. If you want to figure 1x loading to the brass and come
in at full price use .10c ea and a total of .332ea or 332/1k or 1660/5k


One more thing I need to add. Working with once fired military brass is a pita. You need to small base resize back to
sammi headspace. Swag the primer pockets one at a time and trim back to 2.00 inches. It requires 2 polishings to bring
the brass into loading specs. Once for the original cleaning, once for lube removal after sizing and trimming. I also want to
add that I tried three types of military brass. I used SBS, LC and one other I cannot remember the name of. LC was the best
if you ask me.

Now for 223

Im using a combo of LC and Speer OFMB

Cost for brass was $39/k at 6,000 rds (ask the person selling on GB for a "bulk discount") or .038ea 1x loaded or 1/3rd cent
each at 10x loading.

WC-846 .04c ea per round

CC primers .025

Hornady projectiles (holds one inch groups) .065ea per round

So if using 10x loading for brass cost would be .133 ea or $133/k or $665 per 5/k

If using the 1x loaded brass price cost would be .169ea or $169/k or $845/5k

http://www.michaelkdickson.com/webjunk/dillon650/308ammo%20001a.jpg

http://www.michaelkdickson.com/webjunk/dillon650/308ammo%20002a.jpg

With the savings on ammo I was able to build/buy the rifles I wanted and glass they needed.
DD light with ta11 acog
http://www.michaelkdickson.com/webjunk/LMT/ar15/ar15acog.jpg

LMT MWS with SS 5R and NF 3x15
http://www.michaelkdickson.com/webjunk/LMT/Nightforce/NF-LMT%20008a.jpg

ExtremeX
10-24-2011, 12:01 PM
thanks for this awsome write up, I really need to start reloading

TurboChrisB
10-24-2011, 4:19 PM
NICE writeup!

ExtremeX
10-24-2011, 5:13 PM
I'm a little jealous... as I haven't acquired the knowledge YET to reload, or feel comfortable trying it yet. Every time I feel like I got a handle on it, someone informs me of something new that seems to make the process more difficult, or makes me hold off since I need to get it right from the get-go.

The fact you saved that much money, and able to buy 2 rifles that seems VERY well build, with top shelf optics, says a lot.

1Fastrider
10-24-2011, 5:45 PM
Great post. I need to branch out from just loading pistol ammo to rifle. Thanks for posting the break down of costs.

91 whiskey 209
10-24-2011, 5:47 PM
Best thread EVER! Lol, Thanks man. I recently purchased a dillon 650xl in order to reload and this write up is very helpful and informative. I don't have all of my accessories yet but am slowly working towards it.

thenodnarb
10-24-2011, 9:27 PM
Those are some NICE rifles. Very nice optics. Wish I could afford a nightforce scope or an ACOG. And I reload!I hope to build my AR .308 before the long gun registration in 2014.

NotEnufGarage
10-25-2011, 12:03 AM
Nice rifles.

Since you appear to be going for 1" grouping on your rounds, how does that compare in your experience to commercially produced ammo, like XM193, XM855, commercial .308 and surplus 7.62x51?

While I agree that accurate ammo is the best to have, in a SHTF situation you might doing some sniping, but mostly blasting. Couldn't you save even more by producing 2 grades of each caliber? One for blasting in quantity and one for sniping in lesser volume. Also, shouldn't you be using CCI #34 and #41 primers for AR pattern rifles to prevent slam fires?

problemchild
10-25-2011, 8:46 AM
Nice rifles.

Since you appear to be going for 1" grouping on your rounds, how does that compare in your experience to commercially produced ammo, like XM193, XM855, commercial .308 and surplus 7.62x51?

While I agree that accurate ammo is the best to have, in a SHTF situation you might doing some sniping, but mostly blasting. Couldn't you save even more by producing 2 grades of each caliber? One for blasting in quantity and one for sniping in lesser volume. Also, shouldn't you be using CCI #34 and #41 primers for AR pattern rifles to prevent slam fires?


Thought about it. Tried it. The savings wasnt worth shooting 8" groups at 200yds. Having said that I do intend to load up some 175gr long range sniper rounds "just in case" that will have colored markings on the base of the brass and be stored separately in colored coded mags. The LMT is capable of extreme tight groups when loaded for accuracy. If I need to take some long 900+ yd shots I can. I shot the lmt at 650 yds with a 3x acog and made hits the first time on steel in a strong gusting wind.

Without even trying, just a simple quick load with surplus military ball and an Amax projectile loaded on a D-650.
http://www.michaelkdickson.com/webjunk/LMT/Nightforce/NF-LMT-range%20001a.jpg

Having two rounds to grab for bugout wasnt worth it either. Keeping two different loaded mags wasnt worth it for me.

Commercial calibers in the 223 were horrible. The xm193 shot 6 inch groups. But the magtech 308 shot very well. It just cost a ton of mula.

Magtech ammo 308 in my lmt, in my pof it shot 4" groups. So its rifle sensitive ammo. The xm193 shoots like crap in my wifes 223. I have seen 9" groups from it.
http://www.michaelkdickson.com/webjunk/LMT/SSbarrel/IMG_2149a.jpg

Californio
02-27-2012, 3:10 PM
Holy Necro Post.

So PC given that FMJ is Geneva stuff. Really not the best for SHTF.

Have you run any 178 A-Max or other expanding bullets using BL-C (2) through the MWS for special purposes? How did they do?

I loaded up some .223 this last weekend and forgot how nice and easy it was to use ball powder over stick.

Chaparral
02-27-2012, 5:53 PM
Necropost or not, its worth a review.

That extreme sensitivity to ammo is disconcerting. That means that any serious gunny will be trying a lot of difft ammo in small batches before he willy nilly drops a ton of cash on several thousand rounds.

Damn, its good to be a reloader!

kb58
02-27-2012, 6:23 PM
So assuming good marksmanship (one-shot kills) and assuming you're not constantly on the move, what's to be done with the 5000 bodies of former neighbors littering the yard? Piled into defensive berms? Having a .308 with a bad-*** scope is great for offing targets at 100-400 yards, but how are the "right" targets decided upon when they're so far away that no communications can happen? I never seen these sort of questions answered.

Californio
02-27-2012, 8:41 PM
So assuming good marksmanship (one-shot kills) and assuming you're not constantly on the move, what's to be done with the 5000 bodies of former neighbors littering the yard? Piled into defensive berms? Having a .308 with a bad-*** scope is great for offing targets at 100-400 yards, but how are the "right" targets decided upon when they're so far away that no communications can happen? I never seen these sort of questions answered.

Say What.

If you have been following the OP plans to bugout to Idaho. FMJ really is not a hunting round unless you have the time to chase wounded 4 legged animals all day. The question revolves around expanding bullets driven by ball powder instead of stick powder, such as Varget which does not meter that well.

Californio
03-03-2012, 10:53 AM
PC,

Not used to mil-308. Did you use a standard small base die or small base X die for the first sizing. For the 10x reloads did you use an FL standard or X die?

mindwip
03-03-2012, 11:31 AM
Wow, nice set up there! Reloading is saving you tons!