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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:42 pm • # 1 
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Those of you that like to shoot but do not hand-load your own ammo are really missing out. You can MAKE a much better round than you can buy and tailor it to your individual gun. I am not going to go into detail here, but I will give a summary of what I can reload a .223 round for today. And depending of which bullet I use, with a little testing at the range, it will out shoot ANY factory round you can buy. (Using match bullets especially)
I recently bought 1000 military pulled bullets (SS109 62 grain FMJ) for $75 "shipping included"). These shoot very well in both my AR15 and my Savage bolt gun. Here's the summary.............

Bullets $75 thousand or 7 1/2 c each. I loaded 500 rounds last time so $37.50 for 500
I used 24.5 grains of powder per round so about 2 LBS @$24 a LB $ 48.00 for 500
Primers are running about 3 1/2c each so 5 boxes of 100 @ $3.50 $ 17.50 for 500
I am not including the fired cases (I have friends that shoot factory loads all the time and give me the brass)
Fired cases can be bought in different size batches @ very reasonable cost (if you don't already have cases)
and you can reload these cases 7 or 8 times (with reasonable loads ) before discarding them

That brings the total cost of 500 rounds to $ 103 or 20.6c a loaded round or $ 4.12 a box of 20
I just checked the web page where I buy my bullets and (since the ammo grab started) the price is now $ 89.99 a 1000

That means the cost is now 110.50 for 500 loaded rounds, so it comes to 22c a round or $4.42 a box of 20, still reasonable.
This web site also has .30cal 147 grain pulled FMJ bullets for $ 142.99 a thousand
Any one wanting the web site I order these surplus bullets from...please PM-me
An advantage of hand loading is the fact that you KNOW what is in each round and it was not loaded by a machine.
I will attach a couple of pictures.............Don in SC

Image

Image
//// Disclaimer/// NEVER just duplicate anyone's load. Always reference a good reloading manual and use a starting load then watch for pressure signs as you increase your load to find the accuracy/function/ velocity to want .....remember,(each firearm is different)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:01 pm • # 2 
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I've wanted to hand-load for a number of years now, but just haven't jumped in. That will change this year. I have an NOS Lee Loader for 16ga, but can't justify loading for 16ga since I just don't shoot it enough, and I still have hundreds of factory game loads on hand.

While I have no use for .223, it will be viable for me to load 9mm. To me reloading is like tying your own flies, you get a better product for less money.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:05 pm • # 3 
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Reloading is the way to go, without question when reloading
Equipment isn't being hoarded like regular ammunition is at this time .. Powder, primers, empty cases are not as easy to come by as it was on 12/5/12 as the pack of ammunition in your pic reflects ....this is a different situation than two months ago ..people are just panic buying ...it may be different in areas and states with stringent laws governing firearms, but here in south where the laws are pretty liberal the shelves are bare in larger metro areas ....

Paul


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:13 pm • # 4 
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I loaded my own shot shells from age 12 to age 35. I've reloaded metallic cartridges from age 12 to present. I could not afford to shoot if I had to buy my own ammo.

But even reloading components have gone up.....and bad. When you factor in the cost of equipment, I figure you have to shoot for ten years to get your money back if your are just a casual shooter. If you compete like I did for 15 years, I got my money back after the first year. If you only use the ammo for hunting, I wouldn't suggest bothering with it. If you are into weird calibers like me with 300 Savage, 7X57, 300 H&H, and heavy 45 Colt loads, etc, then it is cost effective. If you shoot an AR, then definitely it is cost effective.

Like fly fishing, it all depends on how far you want to go with it. I have an RCBS Rockchucker Press. It is more than 35 years old and still plugging away and tough as nails, but it is slow. A progressive press like Blue Dillon is going to set you back a bunch. For shotgun, I had two slow single stage MEC 600's (20 and 12) and I wore them both out...but I was young and my arms tough. They were so sloppy after those 20 plus years and hundreds of thousands of rounds later, I practically gave them away and quit shotgun sports. One summer alone, I wore out a thousand Blue Peters hulls that were loaded each approx 10 times before they were cracked and worthless....just shooting rocks each Wed. and Sunday. I could have never done that shooting factory ammo. AA's were 5.50 per box back then and I figure with the depreciation of the hull over time, I was shooting for a buck and a half a box.

Reload if you shoot a fair bit, don't reload if you only causally shoot.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:26 pm • # 5 
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Since I am only going to be loading 9mm, I will just buy a Lee Loader for it. I watched some Youtube vids on these, and it actually isn't as time consuming as I thought. Once you get a rhythm going it's quite fast. The Lee Loader set only costs about $30. I already have the hard rubber mallet, so all I would need to purchase extra is a caliper for OAL measurement.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:51 pm • # 6 
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You are better off with a loaded cartridge gauge. Faster and multiple measurements.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:59 pm • # 7 
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Absolutely right Dave!! Last years cost of a box of 20 rounds . 223 55 gr JHP
Was $4.99 .... If your an occasional shooter the old prices don't hurt at all ..
We shall see when this all dies down and people come to their senses ...

Paul


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:07 pm • # 8 
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We have a few LEE loaders kicking around the place. Long ago bench rest shooters used to use them all the time and loaded ammo right at the range.

I remember loading up a box of 130gr Nosler Partitions for my 270 Win. Just for giggles, I did them up in a LEE loader. It was pretty simple. I still have part of that box of shells. I wouldn't hesitate to use that ammo on a trip of a lifetime.

It is an inexpensive way to load ammo. I agree with Don, that a go/'no go' gauge for loaded OAL checks is the way to go, but a set of calipers are invaluable. Somethings you can't do without even with a basic LEE loader, scales to check the dippers against (with fast pistol powders, you don't want to screw up), calipers, I'd eventually throw in a LEE hand primer tool, I use them and they work good. You can feel the primer in. I have one for each size of shell base size. I think they used to cost around 14 bucks.

It is a good way to get started. But warning......like fly tying, your just opening up a whole barrel full of worms. You get the reloading bug and watch out.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:17 pm • # 9 
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DCG wrote:
We have a few LEE loaders kicking around the place. Long ago bench rest shooters used to use them all the time and loaded ammo right at the range.

I remember loading up a box of 130gr Nosler Partitions for my 270 Win. Just for giggles, I did them up in a LEE loader. It was pretty simple. I still have part of that box of shells. I wouldn't hesitate to use that ammo on a trip of a lifetime.

It is an inexpensive way to load ammo. I agree with Don, that a go/'no go' gauge for loaded OAL checks is the way to go, but a set of calipers are invaluable. Somethings you can't do without even with a basic LEE loader, scales to check the dippers against (with fast pistol powders, you don't want to screw up), calipers, I'd eventually throw in a LEE hand primer tool, I use them and they work good. You can feel the primer in. I have one for each size of shell base size. I think they used to cost around 14 bucks.

It is a good way to get started. But warning......like fly tying, your just opening up a whole barrel full of worms. You get the reloading bug and watch out.


I don't think I would catch the reloading bug. To me fly tying is like work. I do it so I can fish, not for the fun of it. The fun went out of it years ago when I tied steelhead flies for the local shop. I build rods so I can have them at a cheaper cost than factory and I get the components I want out of it. Rod building it like work too, I don't get a big kick out of it. Reloading will just let me shoot more for the money spent.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:27 pm • # 10 
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The only ammo it is worth it to reload is the odd-ball caliber. I still have a 28 gauge press and a Lee turret with a bunch of dies. I can't see the need for metallic reloading unless you need lite loads. .45 schofield is one example. .223 is so finicky that I would worry about it, though some lite recoiling loads would be fun to work up.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:51 pm • # 11 
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Ok reloading mavens correct me if i am wrong ......


You safely shoot .223 out of rifle chambered for 5.56x45 ....but you CANNOT shoot
5.56x45 out of a rifle chambered for .223 ..... ???


Paul


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:57 pm • # 12 
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Panfisher1 wrote:
Ok reloading mavens correct me if i am wrong ......


You safely shoot .223 out of rifle chambered for 5.56x45 ....but you CANNOT shoot
5.56x45 out of a rifle chambered for .223 ..... ???


Paul

I think you have it the other way around. I have shot 5.56's from my bolt action 223 but if it is chambered for 5.56, you must use 5.56 ammo. But I'm a bit confused lately so I might be wrong and you was right.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:46 pm • # 13 
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I think DCG is right there. Goes all the way back to WW2......


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:45 pm • # 14 
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The dimensions of the two / 5.56x45 vs .223 Remington are so close that either one will fire in the other, unless you have a rifle that has a special (tight "match" chamber) The main differences come in three parts......

01. The 5.56x45 round, introduced in 1957, is loaded to higher pressures (62,000 psi compared to 55,000 psi for the .223)
02. Rifles chambered for the 5.56x45 have a longer "leade" (longer bullet jump before engaging the rifling) than the .223 normally
03. The brass cases (to mil spec) are typically a little "thicker" than the commercial .223 brass cases. (I haven't seen much difference though)

So you can shoot either in either...they will fit and fire /// HOWEVER /// if you shoot 5.56x45 mil spec ammo in your commercial .223 rifle you will most likely get high pressure signs....(ie) flat primers, bulged cases, hard extraction etc.
It depends on the .223 rifle you are using.....but it could be dangerous.........
You can safely reload mil spec 5.56x45 cases (you must remove the "primer-crimp" that military cases have) and you should
reduce your load just a little bit to compensate for the thicker cases (thicker cases cause higher pressures with the same powder change). Once fired military cases can be purchased very reasonable bringing the cost of your hand-loaded ammo down a good bit. .............Don in SC


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:20 pm • # 15 
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Don ..I was waiting for you to get into this to straighten it out ...
Bottom line .223 ok in 5.56x45 ...5.56x45 in .223 may create excessive
Pressure in commercial loads ....I'm just an occasional shooter of this versatile
Caliber, but the terminology "could be dangerous" gets my attention ... Was able
To purchase commercial 5.56x45 today for $8.99 a box at Dicks sporting goods ..maybe sanity is returning to the firearms industry ... Thanks Don ..appreciate your expertise on ammunition ...

Paul


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:06 pm • # 16 
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Ok, I had it wrong. I doubt most publicly available 5.56 ammo is loaded to Mil Specs. I must have shot thousands of rounds of various 5.56 ammo through my bolt action 223s. I have never had one stick or look to have pressure signs. In fact, I doubt most factory ammo is loaded anywhere near maximum. I have seen very few factory rounds which achieved advertised velocities. Besides, if sticky extraction is supposedly the norm in bolt action rifles when pressures rise to near 60,000, Roy Weatherby's rifles would have given everybody fits. Most of those early Mark V rifles of his had a bunch of free bore.

Even my 270 Winchester runs well over 50,000. My 300 Weatherby ran up in the insane range. A 85.5grs of IMR 7828 and a 180gr bullet runs pressures right up there near 60,000. My 220 Swift beat the pants off from normal .223 pressures and they functioned just fine. 50,000 psi is medium light as far as CF rifles pressures go.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:10 pm • # 17 
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Actually, I was concerned that the 223 reloads would be under -pressure, which is why they jammed in Vietnam. The govt contractor changed up the load a bit. 223 is fine in 5.56, but you must watch for over pressure the other way. Personally I would reload on the lite side,if you can retain reliability. These lite loads have been worked up, I am sure.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:30 pm • # 18 
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Zenkoanhead wrote:
Actually, I was concerned that the 223 reloads would be under -pressure, which is why they jammed in Vietnam. The govt contractor changed up the load a bit. 223 is fine in 5.56, but you must watch for over pressure the other way. Personally I would reload on the lite side,if you can retain reliability. These lite loads have been worked up, I am sure.


Yes, 50,000 is pretty light. Given the first 03 A3 Springfields were pretty sloppy and loose, they kept early 06 ammo around 48,000 which is nothing. I think the loading shot a 150gr bullet at 2700fps....about like 300 Savage velocities. A modern 30-06 can do some amazing things with pressures when you run up close to 60,000 psi. In fact, if I remember right, my 223 hand loads were over 55,000psi and that was not max.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:17 pm • # 19 
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.223 ..we got four boxes of .223 55 gr FMJ for $6.99 a box of 20 ...another question ..the cases are made of steel .... The ammunition made in Russia ..any positive or negative comments re quality of this ammo's appreciated...

Paul .... ??? ??? ???


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:21 pm • # 20 
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Panfisher1 wrote:
.223 ..we got four boxes of .223 55 gr FMJ for $6.99 a box of 20 ...another question ..the cases are made of steel .... The ammunition made in Russia ..any positive or negative comments re quality of this ammo's appreciated...

Paul .... ??? ??? ???


Some guns like it, others don't. I've never had any issues with Russian steel cased stuff in guns that were reliable with brass cased ammo.


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