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Ammo and Reloading Factory Ammunition, Reloading, Components, Load Data and more.

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  #1  
Old 10-19-2012, 10:50 AM
TheYellowDart TheYellowDart is offline
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Default Reloading .223 for $3.50 a box

Hey All,

I like to shoot a lot, but don't have a lot of money, so I'm always looking for ways to cut the cost.
Shooting Wolf would be ok, but there are a lot of places that don't allow it. So below are my figures on reloading .223 cheap target/plinking rounds.
If I'm missing something or if you can do it cheaper please let me know.

_________________________________________
_________________________________________


*Mil-Surp Air Pulled Bullets 55 gr FMJBT
$70.00 for 1000 rounds
http://iidbs.com/hitech.zkb?root&GEN...4&object-menu6

*Mil-Surp Pulled Powder WC 844 (H335)
$85.00 for 8 lbs
http://iidbs.com/hitech.zkb?root&GENMENU61&object-menu6

*CCI #400 Small Rifle Primers
$25.00 for 1000
http://iidbs.com/hitech.zkb?root&GENMENU68&object-menu6

*.223 Range Brass
$50.00 for 1000
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...ighlight=brass

*Shipping
$35.00 (approximately) for a 25lb package (Per UPS.com calculator on their website, called Hi-Tech and they said that's about right for Calif.)

*Haz-Mat Charge
$27.50 (Up to 3 jugs per haz-mat)

_________________________________________
_________________________________________

So to purchase the components to assemble 2,000 rounds your investment would be $392.50 which comes out to;
$196.25 per 1000
$19.63 per 100
$3.93 per box of 20

Note: you'll have a little bit of powder left over, and you'll be able to use your brass several times over so you're actual cost per round (should you continue to reload .223) would drop. (Calculations below are with 25.5gr powder charge and assuming you reload your brass casings 5 times before you chuck them)

Actual cost per round calculations;
$175.09 per 1000
$17.51 per 100
$3.50 per box of 20

_________________________________________
_________________________________________


To give you a frame of reference;
The least expensive ammo I could find (using coupon codes, and other special offers) would be through midwayusa.com

Federal American Eagle Ammo
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/577...ail-box-of-100
1000 rounds is $359.90 + $23.48 shipping
(But I got a bit creative with the shipping. First apply promotion code 3121171 for $30 off, then buy a cheap pair of binoculars for $9.99. The binoculars have free shipping, so some of the ammo will go in the same box and you end up only paying $9.23 shipping... basically you save $3 and get a free pair of binoculars, why not right?)
$349.12 for 1000 rounds (Plus a free pair of binoculars )
$34.91 per 100
$6.98 per box of 20

So the reloads are almost exactly half the price of standard brass ammo


_________________________________________
_________________________________________

Last edited by TheYellowDart; 10-19-2012 at 11:42 AM..
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2012, 11:19 AM
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Save the $50 and pickup the brass yourself at the range. Use that money to buy better bullets. Then buy the powder and primers local to save on shipping and hazmat unless you are buying in bulk.
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2012, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheYellowDart View Post
...

So the reloads are almost exactly half the price of standard brass ammo
ssssssshhhhh, now components are going to go up.
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  #4  
Old 10-19-2012, 11:52 AM
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Just curious but what is shooting “a lot”?

If I wasn’t trying to make BETTER than standard federal plinking ammo, I would probably still be buying wolf or Federal ammo as the startup costs and volume you need to reload takes a while to get the ROI on equipment back. Plus I kinda enjoy reloading anyways so that helps…

Have you given any thought to what type of equipment you want to load on? Single Stage, Turret, Progressive, do you already have a press?

If you want to save money reloading, you have to pony to for components in bulk… thinking 2k rounds at a time really may not save you as much cash as you hoped when it comes time to order powder and primers again. I am loading for about $3.50/20 using good new non surplus components.
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  #5  
Old 10-19-2012, 11:52 AM
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If you buy 32# of WC844 from Hi-Tech they will ship it to your door for $350.
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2012, 11:53 AM
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Actuall hi tech is out if 223 projectiles. That usually brings up price. They've been out for awhile.
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  #7  
Old 10-19-2012, 11:59 AM
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Every once in a while Cabelas has a shipping deal or something that helps bring "American Eagle" .224 down to about $4.60 (or so). Buy that, then keep the brass from it and use that.

I have I tihnk 800 rounds of AE .223, which is my seed stock for when I actually start loading it (I have the dies, press, primers, bullets (bullets from a gun show)) all set up for it. Also a possum hollow trimmer and the drill press adapter.

The only problem is that I haven't even fired the AR-15 I built almost 2 years ago!!!

(I got distracted by USPSA and loading up buckets of 9mm)
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:00 PM
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Wideners and Powder valley have better prices on primers if you are willing to use wolf/tula primers. I have found Russian primers to be excellent. There was one batch many years ago that had some serious problems, but Ed Harris likes them, and so do I. I haven't had one bad primer out of several thousand.

Wolf primers from Wideners were $140 for 10k primers. $14.50 per K if you buy less than 10K.

Hi-Tech brass is a great company. They had my stuff to me very quickly, and included half a dozen extra cases in my last 500 piece order of LC. Product was as advertised. Hard to find better prices on new brass.

The powder should be fine for plinking, so long as you aren't planning on stashing it away for 20 years. Pulldown powders usually are powders where the chemical stabilizers are 80% or worse depleted with 20-year shelf-life powder. If you're going to shoot i tin the next 6-12 months, it's probably fine.
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  #9  
Old 10-19-2012, 12:17 PM
TheYellowDart TheYellowDart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlliedArmory View Post
Save the $50 and pickup the brass yourself at the range. Use that money to buy better bullets. Then buy the powder and primers local to save on shipping and hazmat unless you are buying in bulk.
I save all my own brass (have a nifty brass catcher), and rarely see .223 casings lying around at my range. Plus it feels unethical to take brass that's not my own (knowing that part of my ranges profits are dependent on reloading and reselling the abandoned casings).

Do you have prices of local shops?
On a quick search Bass Pro is listing H335 1lb containers at $29.99 + tax
http://www.basspro.com/Hodgdon-Rifle...duct/10214931/

To get an equivalent amount (8lbs) would be $258.51.
(Granted buying small containers is more expensive, but this is still well over twice the price of the pulled power)

I've attributed the shipping charges on a pro-rata basis to the bullets/powder/primers and came up with the following;

Item - Price per 2k - % of total order cost - pro rata shipping - Total
Bullets $140.00 50.9% $31.82 $171.82
Powder $85.00 30.9% $19.32 $104.32
Primer $50.00 18.2% $11.36 $61.36
Totals $275.00 100.0% $62.50 $337.50

So to do better than this the in store sticker price for an 8lb jug of H335 would have to be less than $96.82 or $48.40 for a 4lb jug, or $12.10 for a 1lb jug.

I don't think that price can be beat.

Primers have the same issue;
$4.29 per 100 at bass pro. That's $92.45 OTD for 2k, compared to the $61.36 OTD price online.
(again same issue, Bass Pro doesn't give bulk pricing, but even then the savings on buying bulk is usually nominal 5-10% at most, but this is a 30% markup vs. online)
http://www.basspro.com/CCI-Standard-...oduct/1202282/





Quote:
Originally Posted by ExtremeX View Post
Just curious but what is shooting “a lot”?

If I wasn’t trying to make BETTER than standard federal plinking ammo, I would probably still be buying wolf or Federal ammo as the startup costs and volume you need to reload takes a while to get the ROI on equipment back. Plus I kinda enjoy reloading anyways so that helps…

Have you given any thought to what type of equipment you want to load on? Single Stage, Turret, Progressive, do you already have a press?

If you want to save money reloading, you have to pony to for components in bulk… thinking 2k rounds at a time really may not save you as much cash as you hoped when it comes time to order powder and primers again. I am loading for about $3.50/20 using good new non surplus components.
I'm at my local range about twice a week, and I'll probably put about 50 rounds of .223 down range each trip. Plus I'd like to have enough to unload on trips to Angeles, or Burro.

I have a single stage and all the accouterment to go along with it. I already bought the .223 dies and basic case trimming tools, but if I were to commit to this I'd prob buy something better to handle the cases. So equipment wise the case prep tools would be the only other investment.






Quote:
Originally Posted by shooterbill View Post
If you buy 32# of WC844 from Hi-Tech they will ship it to your door for $350.
Per their website;

"Order a full case (4 - 8 lb containers, mix or match) and pay only shipping, we will pay Haz-Mat."

4x$85 = $340

Are you sure it's only $10 to ship a 32lb box?






Quote:
Originally Posted by 9mmrevolver View Post
Actuall hi tech is out if 223 projectiles. That usually brings up price. They've been out for awhile.
What the heck?
It was just in my cart a few moments ago, and now it's gone.
It's even been removed from their products list on the web page...

I think you might've bought up the last of it!






Quote:
Originally Posted by Lead Waster View Post
Every once in a while Cabelas has a shipping deal or something that helps bring "American Eagle" .224 down to about $4.60 (or so). Buy that, then keep the brass from it and use that.

I have I tihnk 800 rounds of AE .223, which is my seed stock for when I actually start loading it (I have the dies, press, primers, bullets (bullets from a gun show)) all set up for it. Also a possum hollow trimmer and the drill press adapter.

The only problem is that I haven't even fired the AR-15 I built almost 2 years ago!!!

(I got distracted by USPSA and loading up buckets of 9mm)
Yeah, I've been saving the brass from my American Eagle .223, so I won't have to buy brass just yet.
Actually, that's a good way to look at it. For every 1k of factory ammo you buy you can knock $55 off the price and consider it an investment in once fired brass

Last edited by TheYellowDart; 10-19-2012 at 12:40 PM..
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  #10  
Old 10-19-2012, 12:20 PM
CAL.BAR CAL.BAR is offline
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You can get PMC Bronze right now for $5.99. You will have to make 10,000 rounds just to break even on the cost of a decent progressive set up.
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  #11  
Old 10-19-2012, 12:34 PM
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Check with Phillip's Wholesale in Covina. $30/ 1000 on primers and good prices on powder. With the quantity you are shooting, a single stage is fine.
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  #12  
Old 10-19-2012, 12:47 PM
TheYellowDart TheYellowDart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djandj View Post
You can get PMC Bronze right now for $5.99. You will have to make 10,000 rounds just to break even on the cost of a decent progressive set up.
I might get a progressive down the line, but my single stage has served my purposes well enough for how much I shoot.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shooterbill View Post
Check with Phillip's Wholesale in Covina. $30/ 1000 on primers and good prices on powder. With the quantity you are shooting, a single stage is fine.
Awesome, thanks. This is what I'm talking about.
$64.65 for $2k primers is close enough to the $61.36 marker that I was looking for.
Plus this has the benefit of being close and not requiring bulk purchase.

Do you know about how much they charge for powder?
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:52 PM
TheYellowDart TheYellowDart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExtremeX View Post
Just curious but what is shooting “a lot”?

If I wasn’t trying to make BETTER than standard federal plinking ammo, I would probably still be buying wolf or Federal ammo as the startup costs and volume you need to reload takes a while to get the ROI on equipment back. Plus I kinda enjoy reloading anyways so that helps…

Have you given any thought to what type of equipment you want to load on? Single Stage, Turret, Progressive, do you already have a press?

If you want to save money reloading, you have to pony to for components in bulk… thinking 2k rounds at a time really may not save you as much cash as you hoped when it comes time to order powder and primers again. I am loading for about $3.50/20 using good new non surplus components.

I know there are better deals to be had if you buy in large quantities.
But it's difficult to cough up all that money at once.
Heck my list above is already $400 for only 2k rounds
If your buying in 10k intervals or greater your looking at $2000 investment.

Last edited by TheYellowDart; 10-19-2012 at 12:55 PM..
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  #14  
Old 10-19-2012, 1:00 PM
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That’s good, sounds like you are on the right path and looks like you know what you are doing. Single stage is just slower, but can get the job done just fine. Your round count isn’t terribly high to warrant any huge upgrades.

You should try and get in on one of these smaller group buys for powder… the collective buying powder of locals here on calguns are a good way to save money on shipping and hazmat.

I can’t speak for surplus powder/bullets as I don’t use them, some people have good luck with the batches they get, some don’t. Accuracy is pretty important to me so I end up buying new Hornady 55gr #2267 bullets and powder like BL-C2, H335, and H4895. If you start shooting at the longer range steel at Angelas it may become pretty important to you too…
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Old 10-19-2012, 1:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheYellowDart View Post
I know there are better deals to be had if you buy in large quantities.
But it's difficult to cough up all that money at once.
Heck my list above is already $400 for only 2k rounds
If your buying in 10k intervals or greater your looking at $2000 investment.
Ya I know what you mean… when I started reloading I had no idea I would have to spend soo much cash just to save it…

I started reloading to save money at first, then when I saw the accuracy potential for my own ammo it kept me wanting to reload, even if I was just reloading plinking ammo, I was making better then Federal M193.
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Old 10-19-2012, 1:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheYellowDart View Post
I might get a progressive down the line, but my single stage has served my purposes well enough for how much I shoot.
The calculation is the same. How long will it take you to hand load one round at a time to make enough money to repay the cost of your entire reloading set up? What's more, if you can shoot Wolf with your rifle, you can get .223 for less than .25 per. Now how much are you saving?

Most of the reloaders who post hereabouts all say that you do not save any money by reloading, you just get to shoot more for the money you spend.
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Old 10-19-2012, 1:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djandj View Post
The calculation is the same. How long will it take you to hand load one round at a time to make enough money to repay the cost of your entire reloading set up? What's more, if you can shoot Wolf with your rifle, you can get .223 for less than .25 per. Now how much are you saving?

Most of the reloaders who post hereabouts all say that you do not save any money by reloading, you just get to shoot more for the money you spend.
While a lot of that is true… most people who have got into reloading and continue doing it and really enjoy it, probably will never make up the cost of the equipment in a reasonable time frame because they often keep adding equipment.

For me it’s just become a firearms related hobby now. If it kept looking at the excel spread sheet thinking about my ROI I would start to lose sleep over it haha.

My cost per round has gone down, I make better / more accurate ammo, and there is some pride / feeling of accomplishment. My range trips are generally better because I can shoot more, and my long range game has had a big push in the right direction because of it. But I didn’t realize any of that until after I started to reload.
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Old 10-19-2012, 1:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExtremeX View Post
While a lot of that is true… most people who have got into reloading and continue doing it and really enjoy it, probably will never make up the cost of the equipment in a reasonable time frame because they often keep adding equipment.

For me it’s just become a firearms related hobby now. If it kept looking at the excel spread sheet thinking about my ROI I would start to lose sleep over it haha.

My cost per round has gone down, I make better / more accurate ammo, and there is some pride / feeling of accomplishment. My range trips are generally better because I can shoot more, and my long range game has had a big push in the right direction because of it. But I didn’t realize any of that until after I started to reload.
This +1.

I went into reloading realizing that I would not save money. I reload mainly because its fun and a hobby that has something to do with guns. Honestly I find myself reloading more than I actually shoot.
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Old 10-19-2012, 1:53 PM
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Don't forget that if you go to a gun show, you can often buy primer, powder and bullets for less than local gunstores, plus no hazmat. Also shipping bullets costs a bit becauase of the shipping weight.

But you gotta cover the entrance and parking fees AND there has to be stock available, so you gotta go early on the first day it opens.
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Old 10-19-2012, 5:36 PM
TheYellowDart TheYellowDart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExtremeX View Post
While a lot of that is true… most people who have got into reloading and continue doing it and really enjoy it, probably will never make up the cost of the equipment in a reasonable time frame because they often keep adding equipment.

For me it’s just become a firearms related hobby now. If it kept looking at the excel spread sheet thinking about my ROI I would start to lose sleep over it haha.

My cost per round has gone down, I make better / more accurate ammo, and there is some pride / feeling of accomplishment. My range trips are generally better because I can shoot more, and my long range game has had a big push in the right direction because of it. But I didn’t realize any of that until after I started to reload.
Agreed. I have not invested very much in my setup, when compared to some of the serious reloaders, but I've definitely spent much more than I originally intended to.

& I do consider it a hobby. I enjoy shooting, cleaning, and reloading for my guns all about equally. It's circular, I shoot my guns which gets them dirty so I can clean them, and gives me a need to reload more ammo so I can start shoot them again



Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt562 View Post
This +1.

I went into reloading realizing that I would not save money. I reload mainly because its fun and a hobby that has something to do with guns. Honestly I find myself reloading more than I actually shoot.
Ha, same here. For every 1 day of shooting I've got 2-3 reloading sessions. I like it though, so it's nbd
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  #21  
Old 10-19-2012, 6:49 PM
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As to cost of tooling and ROI --
All my single stage press, dies, trimmer, scale, etc are over 50 years old and still going strong. Cost was about $60 then --
I think I have gotten a good ROI --
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