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Old July 15, 2006, 10:05 PM   #1
Friiguy
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.223 Reloading

Ok, I am thinking of getting into reloading, .223 in particular. What do I need? What should I read? And can anyone tell me an approximate cost per reload? (Is it really cheaper after the initial purchase of course?)

Thanks!
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Old July 15, 2006, 10:37 PM   #2
rwilson452
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your first purchase

If I was just starting out I would suggest you buy the, "ABC's of Reloading" It will explain a lot. Yes, you can save a significant amount of money per round if your buying premium ammo. If your buying cheap surplus stuff your savings per round are minimal at best. Assuming you buying the high priced stuff and start reloading you will find you can tune you load to your rifle and get much better accuracy. In the end almost every doesn't save money reloading. They do get more bangs for their buck.

A word of warning about reloading. It is a very addictive hobby. For some, more fun than shooting.
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Old July 16, 2006, 01:27 AM   #3
goose2w1
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The Speer #13 manual is very good and helped me out a lot. As far as the equipment goes, it dependes on what you want to use it for(long range, varmits, plinking)? For myself I make mostly plinkers for my mini-14, and the cost is about $85 per 1000 rds. To keep costs down get everything in bulk. I buy military surplus powder and bullets, and the brass I get for free from a military/law enforcment range. As for equipment I use a Lee 4 station turret with Lee dies, RCBS powder scale, calipers, a Lyman Acculine case trimmer(for the once in a while trimming since these are only plinkers), and a used tumbler and media seperater I got off Ebay. The one splurge I had was a Dillon Super Swage ($80) to remove the military primer crimp on the brass. The best thing you can do is to search out every post about .223 on this site, there is a wealth of information here!
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Old July 16, 2006, 10:42 AM   #4
Buckythebrewer
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I agree,And I believe that if you have a specific purpose for handloading than do it,,Until you do wait.LIke already said buy the books and read and study them.If you wan't to try long range or a specific hunting need That is deffinetly reason to handload.For plinking I would just buy wolf or something cheap..I shoot long range and use 77-80gr SMK's, the only ammo to compare is black hills and they are more money than What I can handload for,and also they can't do what my handloads can do because I can adjust seating depths and powder charges,etc,etc,to what my barrel likes..Handloading is very addictive but you have to be very humble to do it safe.Over confidence is the worst thing.
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Old July 16, 2006, 12:26 PM   #5
amamnn
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.223

I load for 2 different .223 rifles, among all the others I shoot. I've been loading for various rifles, handguns, and shot guns for over 40 years. I've never seriously tried to figure out a per cartridge price. I'm always finding a really nifty new tool or caliber, or something to make more rounds or better rounds or something. As mentioned earlier it's a hobby that's very addictive. I think if I were starting out today, I would do a few things differently, mainly because of things I have learned along the way and because there are products available now that just did not exist back then.
If Lee is offering one of their package deals on a classic turret press, I would go with that, especially if they still offer the kit plus dies deal. I would add one of their factory crimper dies if it's not in the package. I would buy the book "Modern Reloading." I consider it the best book for general reloading info AND general load data and a must have reference book for every reloader's library. I like it enough to have bought the latest version to update my library. Yes, I have ABCs. Yes I have RCBS, Lyman, Redding, Forster, Honady, equipment and books and etc.... The plain and undeniable (by people willing to accept facts) truth is that unless and until you get into benchrest/match loading, there are no better dies than Lee's. Certainly there are none as affordable. There are many more expensive.
Now, all that being said-- if you are shooting .223 rem for accuracy in a bolt rifle, your reloads can, with investment of work, money, and time, approach or even exceed the accuracy of factory rounds. If you're plinking or shooting an off the shelf autoloader, you can buy ammo that's most likely going to shoot as well from the factory as you'll ever be able to hand load. As a last morsel to chew on, I've found that 99% of women do not even want to begin to think about trying to maybe understand anything about reloading ammunition; 90% feel the same about shooting in general. If you share a bank account with one, and it's important to you to keep her good opinion, just buy a lot of Wolf and be done.
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Old July 16, 2006, 07:51 PM   #6
Buckythebrewer
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well put!,Lee best buy and im using the dies(and everything else) for 625yrds.LuckY combo?? maybe,,but ive gotten good accuracy in (3) 223 caliber guns.Encore 16" pistol,,10.5 dpms ar15,,24" dpms ar15..Why spend all kinds of money on reloading gear when you don't even know why your purchasing it??? I learned on Lee's reloading manual and I also have the lyman 48th book..I highly recommend the factory crimp die as well for safety and also buy a case gauge to check your ammo in semi auto's.You don't wan't any reasons for having an out of battery(spelling?)fire..I also recommend an RCBS comparitor mic.They are nice for comparing fired brass(and seeing were your chambers shoulder sits)and learning how much to size your brass to without bumping the case shoulder too much from improper die adjustment..You can size your brass too much(causing the possibility of head-case seperation)as well as not enough(keeping them from chambering and making them unsafe)..Im not telling you this stuff to scare you it becomes easy when you have the books to explain it better..
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Old July 17, 2006, 03:14 PM   #7
kenneth owens
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223

get a good manual (hornady,speer.rcbs) then read about the 223. are you woodchucking? target shooting? there are specific loads for each. I love the 223 I dont have the most expensive but it will clover leaf at 100yrds!! it is a h&r ultra varmit 22in bull 223. shoots factory ok. but with handloads it shoots
awesome!!! find someone close to you that reloads watch them. go to the range ask questions. but the main thing is safety!!good luck!!
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Old July 18, 2006, 12:01 AM   #8
Dave R
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Cost? Right now I'm at about $3.73 per 20, using nice varmit bullets.

I can get the cost down to about $2.13 per 20 by going to "pulled" milsurp bullets.

The cost of the bullet is the biggest chunk of the reloading costs. Brass is free (if you have any friends or know how to scrounge, or if you buy a box of commercial ammo now and then.) Powder and primers are a few pennies each. Its the bullet that has the biggest effect on cost.
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Old July 21, 2006, 10:20 AM   #9
shooter_john
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The last time I added it up, I was loading 1000 rds for just over $100. (55gr FMJBT of SPBT, Win748 (25gr.), CCI primers, free used brass)
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