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Cost per round of .223 Rem

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by cysoto, Apr 24, 2014.


  1. cysoto

    cysoto
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    Gone Shooting!

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    I have been looking at the cost of reloading components for .223 Rem and, compared to buying some brands of factory ammo, I don't find the savings to be significant. For example, PMC 55gr ammo can be found for about $0.36 per round. While, according to my calculations, reloading 50gr V-max rounds would cost about $0.32 cents per round; cheaper but not a huge difference.

    So tell me, is there a cheaper way to reload .223 where the cost per round is less than $0.28? Preferably with projectiles that are 50gr or heavier.
     

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  2. Steel Head

    Steel Head
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    Tactical Cat

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    My 75hpbt load is $.307 per shot, compare to $22 a box of 20 locally
    My 55fmj load is $.21
    My fav load with 69smk's is $.357 a shot, compare to fed match(which my load beats in my guns) at $27 a box of 20 locally.

    The fact my loads shoot well and are a hobby I like priceless!
     

  3. PCJim

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    Twenty-one cents per round. That's current prices using RPU brass.

    Primers - $30/K = .03 (Tula, CCI)
    Powder - $180/8#, 26.5gr = .085 (Whatever you can find, estimated cost)
    Bullets - $560/6K = .095 (Hornady 55gr FMJBT bulk)

    Again, current prices with internet purchases. I'm able to load them at .15/ea using supplies purchased 2 years ago. When the price of ammo continues to rise due to raw components, you'll save even more as I currently am with older supplies.
     
  4. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker
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    I still load 55g FMJs at 17-20 cents a round depending on the deals I get with bulk bullets and powders.
     
    #4 Boxerglocker, Apr 25, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  5. fredj338

    fredj338
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    I am also in the 17-18c per round, not counting brass. Bulk 55gr FMJ, bulk primers, 8# jug of powder. Even buying once fired brass only adds 1c per round, amortized over 8 reloads. My actual cost is less, since I am reloading with stuff bought before 2012, but if you can find powder, it is certainly cheaper to reload 223 vs buying even cheap Tula. You can't do it buying expensive bullets by the 100, but then cheap 223 are made with cheap fmj bullets too.
    Now I can reduce that quit bit shooting my own free swaged bullets from 22lr case, but that is another story.:supergrin:
    [​IMG]
     
    #5 fredj338, Apr 25, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  6. F106 Fan

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    When I was interested in the question, I think I came up with $0.15/round using Hornady 55 gr FMJ bought in bulk quantity (like the convenient 6,000 pack).

    Richard
     
  7. ricklaut

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    OP - Don't just look at what .223 prices are now, consider what's happened over the past year and a half when prices were easily double, if you could even find ammo. Even if you don't decide to reload, make sure you can make it through the next shortage.

    My 55gr reloads running Hornady FMJBT are 20 cents each.

    I'm with Fred and can also swage my own projectiles now. I finally made the decision to invest in the dies when I was unable to find bullets to load. With swaged 55gr bullets, my cost is 10 cents a round (not counting the cost of the dies... I'll have "paid them off" after about 12k bullets). But, having bullets when they're unobtanium = priceless.
     
  8. F106 Fan

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    It hasn't even been a year since .223 was selling for $2/round - if you could get it at all.

    It's best to have a backup plan. And the components to implement it.

    Powder is still an issue. I look forward to the day when I can buy Varget or TAC in bulk.

    Richard
     
  9. kostnerave

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    This has been my round of choice for a while now. Found a good deal on #8 of IMR 3031 $140 To my door. With 22.5 grains I'm getting 2950 - 3000- fps. according to my manual.
     
    #9 kostnerave, Apr 25, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  10. TK-421

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    Once I get into reloading, it will be more about consistency, and having fun, than for cost savings. Kind of nice to make my own things, instead of having someone else do it for me.

    But if it starts costing me more to reload than to buy off the shelf, then I'll stop reloading. No reason spending extra time and money if I don't have to.
     
  11. Steel Head

    Steel Head
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    I'd still reload for accuracy but would just buy canon fodder if it was cheaper.
     
  12. fredj338

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    I don't see how this is ever going to happen, never has in my life time, any caliber. I have always been able to reload for at least 50% of the cheapest factory stuff.:dunno:
     
  13. fredj338

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    Agree, as long as you have primers, you can shoot something. I can scrounge powder from other caliber factory rounds if needed. A 20ga shell loads 4 9mm rds, a 30-30, 1.5 223 rds.:supergrin:
    My swaging die set, complete w/ auto eject & core mold was $800. So I would have to swage 9K to pay for the dies, but when bullets were $150/K, the cost got cheaper. What the dies give me is a near endless supply of 223 bullets if things go from bad to worse. I certainly would be better off buying 9K bulk bullets for the same $$, but when those are gone, I am back to wishing I could make my own. I have it down to about 8hr for 1K bullets, so my time value sucks, but if you could not get bullets, my time is worth a bit less.
     
    #13 fredj338, Apr 25, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  14. PCJim

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    Fred, how's the supply of 22LR cases now, given the shortage of 22 ammo that has been in existence for 12+ months now.

    I suppose if you needed to, you could probably form 223 bullets just using lead wire with those dies (sans jacket)?
     
  15. TK-421

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    Oh I don't mean to say it will happen, or I expect it to, I was merely remarking on the fact that I'm not a diehard reloader, and I'm perfectly happy with off the shelf ammunition if it's cheaper.
     
  16. F106 Fan

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    I don't think factory 'anything' will ever be cheaper than reloads. Since I am perfectly happy shooting 200 gr LSWC in my .45 ACPs, it will always be cheaper because I have never seen factory lead wadcutters.

    When a local agency was looking at $2 per round for .223 my $0.15 reload was looking pretty good. I also had more loaded ammo than they did.

    Another local agency gives their officers 3 rounds to qualify with the ARs. Not 30 rounds, 3! They don't have any ammo either. Or at least they aren't going to expend it on training for other than SWAT shooters.

    When it comes to rifle, no factory ammo will be as tuned to the rifle as a quality reload. I have been wanting to test some Lapua .308 175 gr Match but at $2.00 per round it will probably have to wait. I load it for less than $0.50 per round. Oh, and mine groups to 0.2" at 100 yards. Under 0.5" even on a bad day.

    Take your pick about reloading. This would be a particularly bad time to start given the complete lack of supplies. But reloading will always be cheaper and, for precision, likely to be much more tuned to the rifle.

    Richard
     
  17. fredj338

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    That is the beauty of the swaging form 22lr cases, still lots of it for free at any range I go to. Indiana Bob was kind enough to save his from informal target shoots he & his friends have, & sent me a flat rate box of like 8-10K. So I am gtg thru the apocalypse.:supergrin:
     
  18. fredj338

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    Which was my point, I reload for 25 diff calibers, none can be bought cheaper at the factory level. The exception would be 7.62x39, just not worth loading it for an AK that happily runs on cheap steel cases stuff. There is little cheap reloadable brass or bullet for it.:dunno: I am shooting 45acp for what most are shooting 22lr right now. Yes I have to cast my own bullets for that, but for 4c/rd, sure why not. Like ricklaut, if I wanted to spend the time, I could be shooting 223 for less than 9c per round making my own bullets & using surplus powder bought in 2012 for $90/8#, if I wanted to spend the extra time.
     
    #18 fredj338, Apr 25, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014