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  #1  
Old 07-11-2016, 7:41 PM
Unbroken Unbroken is offline
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Default Least expensive most reliable 223/556 ammo

Hi,

I know this is an oxymoron, but what would you recommend as the least expensive, most reliable 223/556 ammo. I was looking at Wolf Gold or PMC XTac, but would be interested in hearing your feedback. This is mainly for range use, but if need be HD.
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Old 07-11-2016, 7:47 PM
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Does it need to be brass cased? There are two kinds of shooters. Those that are fine using steel and those that aren't. Me personally, if I out shoot my barrel using bi-metal projectiles good for me. Even if I bought a barrel I still came out ahead using steel.

I'm a big fan of wolf. If you want steel, wolf is good to go. If you must go brass. Wolf gold is great too and also reasonably priced. Only steel ammo I won't use is tula. Good luck.

Edit... I wouldn't use wolf steel for HD but it's great practice ammo
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Old 07-11-2016, 8:04 PM
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I was thinking mainly brass. I don't mind steel for the AK
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Old 07-11-2016, 8:13 PM
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I've had great luck with PMC Xtac.

I really like the Agulia 62 grain 5.56 when I can find them on sale.

All this being said, I do my damnedest to buy American.
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Old 07-11-2016, 8:13 PM
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If I have to buy ammo for a match, I pick Fiocchi 55gr. Its decently priced and its consistent. The MOST consistent "cheap" ammo I have used/chrono'ed is the Hornady Steel Match but it is hard to get at times. Its a 55gr HP and is very very accurate.
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Old 07-11-2016, 8:14 PM
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PMC Bronze or Federal American Eagle.
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Old 07-11-2016, 8:19 PM
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I saw the Agulia but was concerned with quality/reliability
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Old 07-11-2016, 8:22 PM
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PMC xtac
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Old 07-13-2016, 1:31 PM
bellwilliam bellwilliam is offline
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almost everything commercially available brand are reliable....I've shot tens of thousands of rounds. only ones that didn't go bang are reloads. but even reloads will go bang 99.9% of the time, and is a lot cheaper.
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Old 07-13-2016, 1:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unbroken View Post
Hi,

I know this is an oxymoron, but what would you recommend as the least expensive, most reliable 223/556 ammo. I was looking at Wolf Gold or PMC XTac, but would be interested in hearing your feedback. This is mainly for range use, but if need be HD.
It really depends on what is available locally or at the time. I prefer Wolf Gold as my practice ammo.
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Old 07-13-2016, 2:19 PM
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I use brown bear as the cheapest.
I have used wolf and wolf used to have ammo loaded with copper jackets as an option ....... but that was a lot of years ago.
I still have some in 223 and 7.62x39 matter of fact.
I do not use tula ..... no reason to as it is not cheaper but reports of trouble higher.
I like PMC for cheap brass loads.
I also like anything federal branded
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Old 07-13-2016, 2:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
...... but even reloads will go bang 99.9% of the time, and is a lot cheaper.
I priced .223 / 5.56 reloading components awhile back and found it was cheaper to buy commercial ammo at the most competitive online price. Can you post the source and costs of your reloading components?
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Old 07-13-2016, 2:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machrono View Post
I priced .223 / 5.56 reloading components awhile back and found it was cheaper to buy commercial ammo at the most competitive online price. Can you post the source and costs of your reloading components?
That would be true until now. Prices and demand have increased and will continue to increase. .223/5.56 isn't the most cost effective round to do but if you can't buy ammo locally or online in a month or two because of the election or CA going AW crazy, you'd see the benefit. Oh and it might cost the same but the quality of ammo should be much higher.
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Old 07-13-2016, 2:54 PM
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I'm not sure where your locations is, I would checkout LAX ammo...they ship and there prices are great...good luck
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Old 07-13-2016, 6:08 PM
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Thanks . no TULA . 2 nephews want to buy 223s . [ before the CA election ]
One came over with set of dies on Monday night [ only the 2 die set - I use all 5 stations on load master ] I have a carbide 4 die set coming .
All I really know about the AR-15 / M-16 is I gig not like or trust in 'Nam .
[Nothing like seeing a tracer tumble thru air ] M-14 for me .
So I am now reading what I find .
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Old 07-13-2016, 7:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unbroken View Post
Hi,

I know this is an oxymoron, but what would you recommend as the least expensive, most reliable 223/556 ammo. I was looking at Wolf Gold or PMC XTac, but would be interested in hearing your feedback. This is mainly for range use, but if need be HD.
You are looking for PMC. It's not very hot, but it is reasonably consistent and reliable. Then, it is convenient for reloading as it doesn't have a crimped primer pocket like most .223 and 5.56. The only downside is that it isn't the strongest brass for many reloads per case, but it'll last plenty with a light plinking load.
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Old 07-13-2016, 8:35 PM
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PMC.
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Old 07-13-2016, 9:47 PM
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Wolf Gold has been my choice. That and PMC Bronze. Pretty much anything brass cased that's around 30-32 cents or so is a good price. I don't shoot steel cased ammo so I can't comment on those. For HD, buy something nicer. You won't need a ton of it, just enough to practice with (sight in and function check) and load up a mag or 2 at home.
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Old 07-14-2016, 7:20 AM
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Least expensive....but still reliable....223....hum...lets see...

"How fast can I go over the speed limit and not get a ticket"...that's not it...hang-on still searching...professional rock climbing ropes used only one time...nah...cardboard toe protection boots on sale, Bangkok.....give me a minute and I'll find it....Found it! Is your life worth the cost of 30 rounds of Federal XM193? See page #1.

Last edited by hambam105; 07-14-2016 at 7:26 AM..
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  #20  
Old 07-14-2016, 8:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machrono View Post
I priced .223 / 5.56 reloading components awhile back and found it was cheaper to buy commercial ammo at the most competitive online price. Can you post the source and costs of your reloading components?
Hornady 55 grain fmj at Midway is $83/1000 or 8.3c
brass is free and plentiful, esp at the 25 yd line
Ramshot X-terminator/AA2230 8lbs $153 at Powder valley, 1 lb gets me 290 rounds so 6.6c
CCI #41 primers also at Powder Valley $37/1000, or 3.7c

That totals to just under 19 cents per round. If I used CCI standard small rifle primers instead that would drop the cost by a penny. Moving up to Hornady 68 grain hpbt would increase the cost to about 26 cents per round.

Shipping is not included in the costs because it costs the same to ship it in component form as it does to ship it fully assembled. Hazmat cost is $28.50 per shipment but if you buy in bulk then that cost amortized over thousands of rounds adds maybe a penny or 2.

But the real cost that can't be quantified is the value of your free time. If you think you should be paid $30/hr on a Saturay afternoon putzing around in your garage, reloading is not for you. If you feel you're not spending enough time with your daughter, buy the ammo instead & take your daughter to the park.
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  #21  
Old 07-14-2016, 8:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcheung2 View Post
If you feel you're not spending enough time with your daughter, buy the ammo instead & take your daughter to the park.
Or ... you know ... you could do like I did, and teach your daughter to reload.

THEN go to the park.
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  #22  
Old 07-14-2016, 9:21 AM
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Cheapest and most accurate?

Since we are in the Reloading threads section on CG my recommendation has to be ofb LC Brass topped with a hornady 55gr FMJ Bullet filled with your favorite powder and primer combo.

I really don't have a clue about commercial ammo anymore for the 223. maybe 20 years or longer since I've bought any.
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Old 07-14-2016, 9:23 AM
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Wolf Gold. Reload the brass. Best combo I've found.
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machrono View Post
I priced .223 / 5.56 reloading components awhile back and found it was cheaper to buy commercial ammo at the most competitive online price. Can you post the source and costs of your reloading components?
I was referring to commercially available reloads. last few months, I was able to score some brass reloads at ~$260 for 1,000 shipped if you wait for sale.

but as for reloads. cost breakdown is roughly this for one of my reloads.

Hornady 223 bullet, 7 cents shipped
primer, 3 cents shipped
brass processing (my time is worth too much to trim, clean and deprime military crimp) - 5 cents shipped.
powder, 7 cents shipped.

that's 22 cents per round. it is actually a little less if you shop around. but that's a ballpark figure for quality self reloads, and not spending a ton of time ,because you are paying someone else to clean dirty brass, swagging and trim length. those takes up most time.
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcheung2 View Post
Hornady 55 grain fmj at Midway is $83/1000 or 8.3c
with Brownells, it is 6.8 cents shipped per round today.

https://www.slickguns.com/product/ho...6000case-42999
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  #26  
Old 07-14-2016, 1:41 PM
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I am currently sitting at .23c a round using

Berrys 55gr FMJBT 0.08c
CFE 223 26.5gr 0.11c
SRP (usually Fiocchi or Win) 0.03c
Brass(I process my own) 0.01

I could knock that down a bit by buying larger lots of components, especially powder. I have not as yet been able to beat 23.29 per 100 rounds of stuff my gun likes. The closest is when I can buy the Hornady Steel Match for $15.00-ish per 50rnds in bulk. The next ACCURATE ammo I can buy is Fiocchi 55gr FMJBT at about 21.00 per 50, or 42c a round.
I have shot PMC before and its OK, but at 8.99 per 20rounds, or 44c a round I will stick with the Fiocchi
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