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Is it Economical to Reload the .223?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by wdphillips, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Is it Economical to Reload the .223?

    I was on Target Sports USA yesterday looking at Federal-American-Eagle .223 ammunition for $357/1000 with free shipping. That is 36 cents/round.

    When I look at the cost of reloading my .223 I am at about 25 cents if I have the casing, 45 cents with a new casing.

    If I were not having so much fun I would have to ask the question. Why am I doing this?
  2. MarcusT


    Jan 1, 2010
    Oviedo, FL
    I load 223 for about $150 per k using free brass mil surplus powder and 62gr milspec bullets from wideners.

  3. hoffy


    Jun 12, 2007
    Yes. Widener's sells bullets at something like mid 300$s per 5000=.07cents per,+-, and they ship in a flat rate box. Now if you are buying match bullets by the 100, that's another story. I probably have about a thousand Nosler/Sierra/Hornady match bullets but they do not get shot much. Mostly my ARs just get ball, and I have 3-4k left over from before the panic, brass-buckets full of military.
  4. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    WD, you need to purchase in bulk. I order 500 - 1,000 bullets at a time and significantly cut the cost of the most expensive component, except for brass. I believe the last time I figured the cost, I was at about 20-22 cents per round with recycled brass (using 55gr bulk fmj and either BL-C2 or AA2230 powder). I haven't reloaded any since last summer...
  5. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    It is for me.

    I get my Hornady bulk 55gr FMJBT from MidSouth at $18/250. So $80/1K + $30/1K primers has me at $110. One pound of Varget gets me about 250 loads, so at $22/lb thas another $88 for a total of around $200/1000 rounds if I reuse my brass. Looks like I'm almost half the cost of discount ammo (of course not counting my time).

    And that's not even buying in bulk. Buy the projectiles from Midsouth in 6K quantities and save, buy Varget in 8# containers and save, buy primers by the 5k or 10K and save even more.
  6. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    You can buy Russian ammo for less than as you can reload your own brass.
    AIm 199 per K

    mid south bullets 80.10
    primers 34 per k
    powder 3.5 pounds 95 per K

    total 209.10
  7. WellArmedSheep

    WellArmedSheep NRA Member

    Apr 5, 2006
    But you're getting MUCH better quality ammo.
  8. ManNamedJed


    Aug 14, 2006
    Reno, NV
    I load it for about $.17 per rd.

    I buy Montana Gold bullets by the case, Winchester or Wolf primers by the case at the gun show, and 8lb bottles of H335 or Tac.
  9. RustyFN


    Sep 29, 2006
    West Virginia
    I can't buy it cheaper. I reload 223 with Hornady 55 grain FMJ BT for $110 per 1,000.
  10. Murphy's Law

    Murphy's Law

    Nov 1, 2007
    Tampa, FL
    I'm saving on reloading my own 223 to about 19 cents a round. Plus I enjoy doing it and I believe I'm making far superior ammo then WWB or equivalent.
  11. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker 6 of .44

    Feb 13, 2003
    New Hampshire
    :cheers: Here's to that!

    I reload .223 quite a bit. I have loaded and fired a few thousand Nosler and Sierra match bullets for my .223 (AR-15 Service Rifle). Buy in bulk, 1000+ lots when you can for the bullets, 5000 primers, 5 and 8 lb powder jugs. Brass isn't too bad, I can get 5-6 loadings out of it in an AR, and most other Highpower shooters I know estimate about the same. We tend to load them hot, so you might get a little more mileage by backing off the intensity a tick or two. Quick calculation, minus brass cost, is about $0.30/ea, or $30/100 for good .223 match ammo that is accurate to 300 yards and beyond. Or about the price of so-so plinking ammo! :whistling:
  12. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    Corrosive primered, steel cases, no thanks.

    Not worth the "savings" to me.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  13. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    You can reload everything cheaper than buying the worst crap factory ammo. So better ammo for less, why wouldn't one reload? LEss than 20c/rd is pretty easily done buying in bulk.
  14. JesseCJC


    May 28, 2008

    I have yet to have ANY issues with wolf or Tula being corrosive. Hell, they are boxer primed none the less..
  15. ilgunguygt

    ilgunguygt Enslaved in IL

    I will NEVER run another piece of steel cased crap through my AR again. I tried some before, and I posted on the GT forum about it. Radically overpressured and junk. My Rock River isnt the most expensive AR in the world, but it cost me a lot of money, and its not worth it to shoot that crap ammo in it(besides that russian ammo smells like cat pee).

    Locally it cost me 28 dollars for 500 pulled and resized 55gr FMJs, 34 dollars for 500 new 55gr FMJs. Cases are 45/1000, powder is $92/8lb, and primers are 28/1000. I can reload way cheaper than the crappy Russian ammo can be bought.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  16. plasticpistol


    Oct 30, 2008
    i have some new LC brass for sale :)
  17. DrugRunR


    Jul 11, 2003
    South Carolina

    We are talking 5.56x45 not 5.45x39
    For me it is cheaper to purchase it then reload it.
    I have to factor in my limited time into the cost.
    Not to mention I am sitting on about 8K rounds of Russian 5.56x45 that I bought in the late 90's.
    All of it non-corrosive steel cased
  18. jtkimber45


    Jan 15, 2010
    I do save money by reloading and my loads are higher quality, as several others have posted. That being said, loading .223 is time consuming, however I enjoy doing it so it is more than worth it for me.
  19. Wow, there is a lot of good information is this thread. You guys know what you are doing. I am going to switch some suppliers (especially around bullets) for components, lower my cost, and continue to have fun reloading my Colt AR-15.
  20. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    You're on a reloading forum talking about using russian crap (IMHO) to save a few pennies..... What's wrong with this picture? :shocked:

    No steel cases for me. No thanks.