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Reloading Cost Breakdown For .223

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  • billt

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    May 22, 2008
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    ammo2tm5.jpg

    ammunition2350roundspr6.jpg

    If your intrested, this is a cost breakdown for the 2,350 rounds of .223 I finished loading a while back. A fellow on another forum, who was intrested in reloading for his AR-15's had asked me. The brass was mixed headstamp. CCI, Remington, Winchester, Lake City, S&B, and a few others I'm forgetting. This brass was obtained from on line sources on the web. I processed it all the same. First I resized and deprimed all of it with a RCBS Small Base Sizing Die. Then I processed all of the primer pockets on my Dillon 600 Super Swage, because some of them were military with crimped primer pockets. I then trimmed all of them to uniform length on my Giraud Powered Case Trimmer. After that they went into the tumbler for several hours and received a polish with ground corn cob and Dillon Rapid Polish added to the media. The final step was to run it through my Dillon and crimp with a Lee Factory Crimp Die. They turned out very good. My total investment in this batch of .223 was:

    Brass---------$20.00 total. (It was free, but I paid the shipping).

    Powder-------$65.00 for 8 pounds of AA 2230C. (25.0 Gr. per load X 2,350 = 58,750 Gr. 58,750 divided by 7,000 Grains per pound = 8.39 pounds of powder total.)

    Primers-------$59.38 for 2,350 primers @ $25.00 per thousand.

    Bullets-------$172.21 (2,350 Winchester 55 Gr. FMJBT from Midway)

    Boxes--------$52.00 for 100 boxes and trays from Midway. (Actually $26.00 because I used only 47.)


    Grand Total = $342.59

    remington1000rounds223ia8.jpg


    By comparison the 1,000 rounds of Remington UMC FMJ in .223 pictured above cost me $371.00 delivered from Natchez. Reloading can be extremely cost effective but you must find good scources, and buy in bulk. Here are 2 very good scources for brass, bullets, and powder.

    www.gibrass.com

    www.patsreloading.com
    ARJ Defense ad
     

    glock9

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    Apr 28, 2008
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    Where did you get such a good price on the powder????

    "Powder-------$65.00 for 8 pounds of AA 2230C. (25.0 Gr. per load X 2,350 = 58,750 Gr. 58,750 divided by 7,000 Grains per pound = 8.39 pounds of powder total.)"


    Glock9
     

    billt

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    May 22, 2008
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    Glendale, Arizona
    Where did you get such a good price on the powder????

    "Powder-------$65.00 for 8 pounds of AA 2230C. (25.0 Gr. per load X 2,350 = 58,750 Gr. 58,750 divided by 7,000 Grains per pound = 8.39 pounds of powder total.)"


    Glock9

    Natchez Shooters Supply www.natchezss.com had AA-2230C for $65.00 for an 8 pound jug for quite a while. It was a canister grade ball powder with a burn rate about the same as AA-2460. I grabbed 16 pounds of it. I wish I had bought more! Bill T.

    aa2230cpowdermq8.jpg
     

    ForneyRider

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    Jul 10, 2008
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    Military powder is up there in price with commercial reloader powder.

    Brass and Bullets are most expensive. Scrounging around helps. Some guys shoot home case lead, but I can't bring myself to do that in a semi-auto rifle.

    Wolf primers are cheapest.
     

    sharky47

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    May 4, 2008
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    Believe it or not, I have started reloading Wolf .223 steel cases. They actually run great through the dies and the primer pockets are much more consistent than brass. I don't bother re-reloading them, not worth the effort - but everyone I shoot with gives me the wolf cases because they are otherwise worthless.

    I loaded up and shot quite a few yesterday with 21.5 grains of H335, a 59 grain bullet, and wolf magnum small rifle primers and they all functioned flawlessly.
     

    SIG_Fiend

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    Wow, nice writeup Bill! :) Am I mistaken or is that $342 all said and done for 2350rds of .223?! If so, wow! I really want to get into reloading soon, and I've seen some of the cost benefits for pistol ammo, though I had no idea it could be THAT cost effective with rifle ammo. That's what, under HALF the cost of buying the same number of rounds commercially? That's crazy!
     

    sharky47

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    HK_Fiend - that is the truth, since learning to reload - my shooting has about tripled and my ammo cost has been reduced at the same time! I highly recommend it, and I believe in the coming regulation that it will become necessary just to shoot at all......
     

    billt

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    May 22, 2008
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    Wow, nice writeup Bill! :) Am I mistaken or is that $342 all said and done for 2350rds of .223?! If so, wow! I really want to get into reloading soon, and I've seen some of the cost benefits for pistol ammo, though I had no idea it could be THAT cost effective with rifle ammo. That's what, under HALF the cost of buying the same number of rounds commercially? That's crazy!

    $342.00 was for all of it. Reloading saves money, but you have to be cost effective when you buy your components. As I said, I was lucky enough to obtain all of the brass for free on the Internet. I doubt I could luck out that way again. Even if I paid the going rate for all the brass, (around $65.00 a thousand), I still would have wound up saving a ton. The higher volume of rounds you reload, the more you will save. Also, remember the brass lasts several reloading cycles so you can amortize the cost per round to just pennies each. Bill T.
     

    SIG_Fiend

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    Awesome. What would you guys recommend for a press to get started? I've looked at several. Seems like something progressive is a good way to go as it seems like many people end up going through several types and eventually getting a progressive press anyways. ;) I don't feel like I need the most high tech, most expensive thing out there with every little gadget imaginable. Though something midrange that gets the job done easily would be nice. Having a single stage with all of the other individual components necessary doesn't quite sound like my cup of tea either as I'm lazy. ;)
     

    billt

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    May 22, 2008
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    If I were starting out today, and was looking for a progressive press, I would seriously look at the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP. It's well made and has a better powder measure set up than any of the Dillon's. Nothing "wrong" with a Dillon, but their weak link is their powder measures. They are made of die cast Aluminum. Because of this they cannot be manufactured to very close tolerances. What can, and does happen is the sliding bar mechanism can bind up with fine ball powders like H-110 and the like. It also doesn't shear coarse grained rifle powders very well because the linkage doesn't have a lot of mechanical advantage. Another plus for the Hornady is the dies themselves turn and lock in individually, instead of incorporating a sliding tool head. This produces a much more rigid set up overall. The Hornady also has grease fittings at all the main bearing points so you don't wind up having oil dripping off the press all over the floor. If you buy one now, and until the end of the year, Hornady will give you 1,000 free bullets of your choice to get you started. A pretty good deal all the way around. Bill T.

    https://www.hornady.com/shop/?ps_session=7fa0b032e53f32cd9f93d8d770926418&page=shop%2Fbrowse&category_id=d12e69ab3325862ec67131f0d9a3aa1b

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/t...parentType=index&parentId=cat20847&id=0031363

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/t...&parentType=index&indexId=cat20847&hasJS=true
     

    sharky47

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    May 4, 2008
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    I bought the RCBS master reloader kit with the rockchucker press. It is single stage, but I wanted keep it simple at first - not get in over my head. I will say this, the RCBS kit is a good one, I was home and had my first batch of .40 SW in a couple hours with absolutely zero prior experience.

    At this point I have reloaded thousands of rounds in the past couple months and would like to get a progressive press or two - but I would never get rid of the single stage press.
     

    Hoji

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    May 28, 2008
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    I have a Lee single stage. I will eventually move into something a bit faster but for learning the basics, I would go small. If you hate it you are only out about 100 bucks.
     

    SIG_Fiend

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    I had considered Hornady. They do seem to be a good bargain.

    I, for one, fully realize all of the problems one can have at reloading, not paying attention to each individual step, etc etc. Although I want to buy a progressive to start with, I am usually an overly cautious individual and always worrying about the worst possible circumstances. Despite the temptation to just start cranking away with a progressive, at first I will most definitely force myself to take it just as slow as a single stage and really "soak in" everything I'm doing. Besides, with a progressive I'd have most of my loading tools all in one place so it will be that much harder for me to lose them!
     
    Every Day Man
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