View Full Version : Reloading 223/5.56 worth it?

03-03-2012, 5:26 PM
Hello everyone,

I'm new to the AR and 5.56. I reload for all my handguns so I was planning on reloading my rifle ammo as well.

I thought I'd buy some high quality 5.56 like M855 and start from there. That's about 35-7 cents/round at the best price I can find.

Then I went to gun-deals.com and looked up their ammo prices. Wow! Tula/BBear/Wolf are all about 20 cents/round! Not reloadable however.

Can I really save enough to make it worth it? My gut feeling is no. I'll probably shoot no more than 1000 rds/year and I'd have to save at least $150 per 1000 rounds to be able to match the price of Wolf.

And I'd have to shell out the startup costs for rifle reloading - dies, case prep tools: I figure at least $500 (I'd like to get a motorized case prep setup.)

03-03-2012, 5:48 PM
I pay about $0.21 ea to reload those rounds. The difference is they are range safe (no steel projectiles).

03-03-2012, 5:48 PM
I reload because I want to try to find the best load possible for mr AR's I have 20 " Wilson Airgauge heavy, and a 24" stainless bull barreled AR....15

03-03-2012, 5:57 PM
So it's sounding like saving money is not a motivation. If I don't count the once-fired brass as an expense I might be able to match the cost of Wolf.

03-03-2012, 5:59 PM
I got lucky and found 6 other friends with ARs or who were going to get ARs and we split the cost. This was definitely an economical choice on my end. I'd try to see if you have friends that want to go in on it with you. Even if you don't have friends with one/who want to buy one, if you go with friends they should still pitch in because they'll saving money over having to pitch for factory ammo when you shoot also.

03-03-2012, 6:00 PM
It would be worth it if you want to reload match type ammo for sure.

03-03-2012, 6:02 PM
I saved up a bunch of spent cases then started doing some calculating and time vs savings it simply wasn't a good enough deal other than for reloading match ammo. I have been told Lake City is more work to prep also

03-03-2012, 6:05 PM
To me it seems more fun than anything, but Im a total gun nerd like that

03-03-2012, 6:09 PM
I'm just reload match ammo, I save a lot there.

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03-03-2012, 6:19 PM
Yup, I only load match ammo. That's where the savings and time spent prepping pays off for me. I just buy bulk blasting ammo.

03-03-2012, 6:20 PM
I can reload lead free rounds for hunting for about half of what factory lead free costs. For plinking at the volume your talking about probably not worth it.

03-03-2012, 6:24 PM
yep if your gun works fine with russian stuff it is cheaper than reloading

my bullets cost about 10 cents the powder about 12 cents and the primer about 3 cents then there is the electricity tumbling fee and the lube fee and trimmer electricity and wear and tear the food i eat to power my press up down action

03-03-2012, 6:25 PM
It comes down to how much time or money you have.

03-03-2012, 8:52 PM
Yup, I only load match ammo. That's where the savings and time spent prepping pays off for me. I just buy bulk blasting ammo.

+1 on that.

03-03-2012, 11:15 PM
Yup, I only load match ammo. That's where the savings and time spent prepping pays off for me. I just buy bulk blasting ammo.

i have a dillon 650 so i reload my plinking 223 rounds rather fast. its' the same cost ($200/1000 rds) as wolf but cleaner and more accurate so the benefits are there if you got the time. plus you can shoot steel and have no ammo restrictions at public ranges (no magnetic, steel core, etc which m855 and wolf are)

03-04-2012, 6:13 AM
I think reloading .223 is worth it. The investment in the equipment can be pretty steep though. I don't keep track of how much time I invest either because its a lot. My plinker rounds are approx $180/1000 and match stuff is approx $280/1000. I must say my plinker ammo shoots incredibly accurate out of my rifles. If you shoot .308 or larger handgun calibers it really pays off to reload.

Powder - $.07
Primer - $.03
Bullet - $.08 (Hornady 55g FMJ) or $.18 for match (Hornady 68g HPBT)

03-04-2012, 6:28 AM
I'm starting to be convinced that I could reload and meet the price of Wolf, thanks for the replies. Found a case of XM193 for $280 shipped, so I figure $80 is my cost for the brass (vs. $150 buying new brass from Midway.) I would have ordered two cases but couldn't swallow close to $600 right now.