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  #1  
Old 11-11-2010, 8:29 PM
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Default Thinking about reloading .223

Hey everyone, I am thinking about reloading .223 for plinking and I was wondering if it is cheaper in the long run to do this or just stick to buying my ammo from the store. My local gun dealer currently sells ammo for right around $40 for 100 rounds of .223 55gr. That works out to about .40 cents per round. If I were to get into reloading how much would I be looking at paying per round if I want to shoot the same load. I don't want to go with the cheapest ammunition but I definitely don't need the higher end stuff. Your input would be appreciated guys and gals, thank you.

Also, I've been looking at the Lee Loadmaster. Do any of you have any input on that? Is it worth the money? Or should I go something a little more higher end?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2010, 8:34 PM
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I reload .223 for $0.14 a piece after the press has been paid for. You make the call. But most people will tell you reloading isnt all about saving money. Its for personal satisfaction and custom tailoring your load.
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Old 11-11-2010, 8:35 PM
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It depends on how much you shoot. If you shoot more than 200 rounds/month, I'd recommend a nice reloader.

For Hornady 55gr FMUBT, I spend about $.20 per round and 69gr SMK, it's about $.28 per round. It can be cheaper but I hate brass prep so I pay someone else to do the brass prep - $30/1K.
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Old 11-11-2010, 8:36 PM
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if you buy bulk bullets you can get them for 14c each. maybe 9c worth of powder per round. and a 3c primer. you probably have plenty of brass.
you save money. but not time. what it your time worth?
i personally have over 5 gallons of 223 brass i intend to reload but just keep shooting factory.
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Old 11-11-2010, 8:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSet View Post
It depends on how much you shoot. If you shoot more than 200 rounds/month, I'd recommend a nice reloader.

For Hornady 55gr FMUBT, I spend about $.20 per round and 69gr SMK, it's about $.28 per round. It can be cheaper but I hate brass prep so I pay someone else to do the brass prep - $30/1K.
would you pm me with who you hire for brass prep. maybe i CAN start reloading 223!
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Old 11-11-2010, 8:39 PM
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Matt at Bulletheads.com. He's local in Ontario and does an awesome job!
Here's the email: sales@bulletheads.com

Last edited by SuperSet; 11-11-2010 at 8:42 PM..
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  #7  
Old 11-11-2010, 8:42 PM
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.14 each is right for cheap stuff, I would get a good reloader, you will use it for a lifetime, and for other calibers. For .223 $.14 per round is enjoyable to shoot. $.40 each for .223 would make my butt pucker and rob the fun from the shooting...
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  #8  
Old 11-11-2010, 8:42 PM
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So with all that being said it seems like reloading is worth the time. My buddy and I also just want to do it because it looks like fun and it will give us something else to do with our free time. Any suggestions on a good press for the money? What's the most "bang for the buck", pun intended, out there right now?

Also, on some videos i've seen with the brass prep some people clean the primer pocket and some don't. How important is that to do?

Any tips on reloading would be appreciated. Thanks guys.
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Old 11-11-2010, 9:01 PM
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its a tough call if you like wolf or other steel cased russian fodder

i cant beat that stuff for price

i consider myself frugal and think i am reloading the cheapest a person can using the cheapest convienient tools

i use the lee rgb dies and have loaded at least 4k so far

i used the lee trimmer for 3k of them then i got the possum hollow trimmer with power adapter and it made the last batch really easy

i buy primers at a gunshow for like $23 per k but then you have to add admission to that


i got a great deal on tac when midway had a super special for $13 a pound and a group buy on some 55 fmj here at like $70 per k

my stuff is cleaner burning at least

ps i lube my cases with dollar tree generic vasaline
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Old 11-11-2010, 9:21 PM
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Here's a video tutorial from RaymondMillbrae. He's reloading .223.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=313431

And sure, the Load-Master press is just fine for this (Load-Masters will do .30-06). If you do go with this press, check out www.loadmastervideos.com for lots of helpful tips and advice.
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  #11  
Old 11-11-2010, 10:01 PM
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It takes small fingers to handle those little bullets (Child labor anyone?).............but reloading is cheeper and you can get better ammo
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  #12  
Old 11-11-2010, 10:56 PM
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I don't have a fancy progressive press, so reloading plinker ammo is barely worth my time, but it's absolutely worth reloading with superior components, like SMK and Nosler Custom Competition bullets (which is what I mostly reload).
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  #13  
Old 11-12-2010, 12:10 AM
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You won't save money handloading. You WILL learn to make ammunition that shoots the best out of your rifle(s).

Sadly, then you'll start chasing accuracy so you'll use better components, try different powders, then you'll buy a better Upper, then a Bolt-gun and then the trip down the rabbit-hole will be complete.
Kidding...

It is more enjoyable to shoot accurately. And most people enjoy the whole hobby aspect of handloading. The initial investment can be high - but most items resell very well here if you don't get into it and they can last a lifetime if you do.

I used the list of Good Stuff Randall left us http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=158086 and use a Lee Classic Cast Turret press like a few fellas here and would recommend it.
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  #14  
Old 11-12-2010, 12:29 AM
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I hand load with a single stage press, prep all the brass one at a time with a RCBS trim mate and i can go from range floor dirty to primed and ready, 500 rounds in like 5 hours. Thats with TV, eating, drinking beer, phone call, ect. Im not really going for speed but one day u can easy crank out 5, 6,7 800 rounds in a day. Do it with a progressive, u can get 1,2,3000 in a day.


I load for accuracy, checking every round at every single little step. I tumble my brass all day and my tolerances are +/-.004. I also use hornady auto charger instead of a powder dumper. U get the point. Im paying .275 per round making match quality ammo.

Match ammo from hornady 17.50 for a box of 20. This is 55g vmax, same stuff im loading.

me: .275 per round
Hornady .875 per round
total investment in loading gear $875
reasonable investment $650



I really need to stop staying up late and putting waaaaay to much thought into, well everything.
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  #15  
Old 11-12-2010, 1:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyxNapalm View Post
Hey everyone, I am thinking about reloading .223 for plinking and I was wondering if it is cheaper in the long run to do this or just stick to buying my ammo from the store. My local gun dealer currently sells ammo for right around $40 for 100 rounds of .223 55gr. That works out to about .40 cents per round. If I were to get into reloading how much would I be looking at paying per round if I want to shoot the same load. I don't want to go with the cheapest ammunition but I definitely don't need the higher end stuff. Your input would be appreciated guys and gals, thank you.

Also, I've been looking at the Lee Loadmaster. Do any of you have any input on that? Is it worth the money? Or should I go something a little more higher end?

Thanks!

You can get .223 55gr shipped to your door online for less then .30 cents a round, and 62gr for around .32 cents


Has anyone done the math to see how many thousands of rounds you would have to reload until you started saving money? Plinking rounds.
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  #16  
Old 11-12-2010, 1:40 PM
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Just divide equipment cost by savings amount.

.223 reload cost $.14
.223 retail $.30
Equipment $1000
6250 rounds before you save money. Do the math for match ammo and return is much quicker. In 18 months my dillon has paid off. YMMV.
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Old 11-12-2010, 3:06 PM
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i just did a rough calculation

at $20 a pound for powder $80 for 1k bullets and $23 for 1k primers

7 cents primer 8 cent bullet 2.3 cent primer

17.3 cents a shot

russian steel case be it wolf/barnaul whatever at about $3.50-$5.00 for 20 = 17.5cent-25cent

so if i can find russian for around $4 a box i generally buy a few

cause scrounging brass is kind of a pain too
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Old 11-12-2010, 4:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelogic View Post
Just divide equipment cost by savings amount.

.223 reload cost $.14
.223 retail $.30
Equipment $1000
6250 rounds before you save money. Do the math for match ammo and return is much quicker. In 18 months my dillon has paid off. YMMV.
Thanks!
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Old 11-12-2010, 6:02 PM
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I've been reloading for a good many years, and I usually buy my .223 ammo.

Time for me really is money.
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Old 11-12-2010, 6:17 PM
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the common military calibers you wont usually save money on, unless your rifle doesnt like steel cased ammo.
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Old 11-12-2010, 6:57 PM
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I got my 223 down to 18 cents for now.

Cheaper the next go round as I bought a bunch of bulk stuff.

If your not willing to take the risk, how will you know if it works for you or not?

Justin
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Old 11-12-2010, 8:37 PM
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The biggest advantage to reloading for me isn't just the cost savings, which for what I shoot (mostly revolver rounds) is substantial. The other equally important advantage is, when the next ammo crunch hits (and it will), I have no worries! If ammo becomes unavailable at nearly any price, I've got my own. Think this isn't important? Let's see what folks think come February.

So yes, it's worth it to reload even 9mm, just for that reason alone.

Go ahead and reload your .223. Since you're going for plinking ammo, you don't have to load max charges. Just make your loads enough to reliably cycle your action. This will help make your brass last longer.
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Old 11-13-2010, 3:09 AM
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Reloading will save you money over a period of time. How long that period of time is depends on how much you reload. I reload for 5.56, .308, 7.61x51, 30-06, 45acp and 40 S&W. My equipment has paid for itself much faster due to the multiple calibers.
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Old 11-13-2010, 5:09 PM
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the nice thing about reloading, is now you are not limited to NATO calibers because it was cheap to shoot, reloading opens up a whole new world of calibers. You will discover calibers which exceeds the 556 and 308 in both efficiency and distance....
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Old 11-14-2010, 2:09 AM
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Well lets see: $5000 garage remodel $1000 workbench, hornady lock n load AP with case feeder, all dies and conversion for 5 calibers, hornady case prep center, gurard trimmer, two giant Lyman tumblers, giant Dillon media seperator, all calipers and associated tools and books, 30lbs of powder 15k primers, hundred of dollars in bullets and brass, and I've loaded about 150 completed rounds. You do the math. Sometimes its not about saving money.
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Old 11-14-2010, 2:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrskylinetou View Post
I hand load with a single stage press, prep all the brass one at a time with a RCBS trim mate and i can go from range floor dirty to primed and ready, 500 rounds in like 5 hours. Thats with TV, eating, drinking beer, phone call, ect. Im not really going for speed but one day u can easy crank out 5, 6,7 800 rounds in a day. Do it with a progressive, u can get 1,2,3000 in a day.


I load for accuracy, checking every round at every single little step. I tumble my brass all day and my tolerances are +/-.004. I also use hornady auto charger instead of a powder dumper. U get the point. Im paying .275 per round making match quality ammo.


I really need to stop staying up late and putting waaaaay to much thought into, well everything.

Help me understand what you're sayin' here. It only takes you 5 hours to get the brass ready to load (500 sizing, trimming, chamfering, cleaning primer pockets, deburring flash holes - all "match grade" operations)...? That is faster than one round per minute and with interruptions, that sounds pretty optimistic. If so, I'm doing something wrong cause it takes me several hours for 50 pieces of match prepped brass. Thank you.

Then you're still lookin' at another 5 hours to meter/weigh out each charge and seat the bullets.

-Rick
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Last edited by Switchbarrel; 11-14-2010 at 2:30 AM..
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