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Old April 10, 2009, 11:19 PM   #1
Pakfront1940
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5.56

Is reloading 5.56 ammo worth the start up costs?
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Old April 11, 2009, 12:12 AM   #2
QBall45
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YES.

I reload .223 for 50% of factory cost. I'm loading for $21 per 100 this is including tax paid at the store. I'm sure there are people that have their price for 223 even lower than I. This does not factor in if you need to buy the brass. But still, if you need to buy brass you can plan on getting several reloads out of it. I have brass that has been reloaded 6 to 8 times. Trim it every time and inspect all cases before loading and after. You really need to look at just how much are you shooting. Are ya talking about 100 rounds a month or 1000? For me, I overlooked my startup cost. I figured that if I kept buying factory loaded ammo I'd be broke. Figure I paid for my LEE single stage and the rest of the stuff after I'd loaded about 400 -500 rounds of 223. Do the math. Even if you have to buy brass, you should still be able to figure on saving about 45% of factory price for the first 4 reloads of that brass then your cost should move to 50% or better of the factory price. The other thing to consider is can you find factory loads to buy?

The last thing for ya is that you will be loading .223 remington not 5.56 NATO. You will not be likely to find much on the 5.56 but you will find tons of info on the .223 Rem. Consider it same same. My guess is that you got yourself one of those wonderful Black rifles that is labled 5.56 NATO. If this is the chamber you have, then you are among good company. THere are ots of us in the camp. Laod your 5.56 cases as if they were .223 rem cases. Because for all real intents and purposes they are the same for you if your chamber is a 5.56 NATO cahmber.

Bite the bullet and reload. It is truely the best way to feed that rifle. You will load cheeper and more accurately than using factory loads.
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Old April 11, 2009, 07:20 AM   #3
Qtiphky
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+1 on Qball's comments. I looked at it a little differently concerning the startup costs. I didn't factor in the equipment because it will last forever so your depreciation or ammortization will be recouped. I still have my shotgun reloading equipment from high school, over 20 years ago. Somewhere around the 400-500 round mark like Qball said. Look for deals and buy in quantity when you can.

I try and get powder and primers locally so I don't have to pay the hazmat shipping fees, they will really drive up your price.

After you purchase the brass, each subsequent reload it is virtually free. If you have been saving from factory loads, then it is free. Figure primers are around .03 - .05 each, bullets are around .08-.20 a piece and the powder is about another .08-.13 per round. Add it up and you are loading for .19 - .38 per round, plus brass if you want to count it. The high end would be for high quality match type grade ammo and lower would be for every day shooting.

Be careful though, because once you start, you will find that you tinker with loads and will have to shoot more.
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Old April 11, 2009, 08:38 AM   #4
ems-1
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Yes. you would save money but, more important, the fun and enjoyment of reloading. I find it very relaxing and fulfilling. You will probably find yourself shooting more but that's also part of the fun. If you buy in bulk you will save even more. Plus, once you work up some loads and combinations that work best in your firearms, your reloaded ammo will be more accurate then factory ammo.
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Old April 12, 2009, 03:18 PM   #5
Pakfront1940
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I'm Active Duty AF and an Army brat so I grew up with the 5.56 and 7.62 nomenclature so it just stuck, and I guess i got to chock up the money and deal with Hornady...
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Old April 13, 2009, 08:47 AM   #6
Alleykat
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Quote:
Is reloading 5.56 ammo worth the start up costs?
You'll have a hard time finding 5.56 dies.
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Old April 13, 2009, 11:24 AM   #7
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You can fire .223 in a 5.56 barrel. but shooting 5.56 in a .223 chambered barrel could get risky as 5.56 can be a hotter load.

WARNING Reloading is extremely addictive and there is no known cure.
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Old April 13, 2009, 12:28 PM   #8
Alleykat
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Quote:
You can fire .223 in a 5.56 barrel. but shooting 5.56 in a .223 chambered barrel could get risky as 5.56 can be a hotter load.
What does that accurate information have to do with this thread?
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Old April 13, 2009, 02:40 PM   #9
rwilson452
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The op ask about reloading 5.56, but you wind up using .223 dies. Didn't want the op to get off on the wrong track and thinking they are totally interchangable.


Quote:
Quote:
You can fire .223 in a 5.56 barrel. but shooting 5.56 in a .223 chambered barrel could get risky as 5.56 can be a hotter load.
Quote:
What does that accurate information have to do with this thread?
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Old April 14, 2009, 01:04 AM   #10
Smogdude
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Just started resizing my first 100 .223/5.56 cases this evening.. I finally got my shellholder so I could resize, and also got my Lyman primer pocket reamer to remove the primer crimp. So I took my time to carefully inspect/lube, resize, ream and clean primer pockets on 100 LC cases. I've noticed all my LC brass is 08, 07 and 95 so far. I did find some FCC brass that felt like it had no crimp in the primer pocket.

From what I've roughly calculated I can reload at least twice as much ammo as I can buy commercially for the same amount of money- with better quality components. Add to that I can tailor my loads and bullets to whatever situation from plinking to hunting. When you like to shoot often, I think there's no other way to do it. The biggest investment involved in reloading, in my opinion, is time.
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Old April 15, 2009, 12:11 AM   #11
Pakfront1940
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Anyone have a recommended brand for equipment? And is reusing brass really worth the effort? I mean I plan on buying ammo when I can and supplimenting with reload. But it seems like all the ammo I buy is already reloaded at a factory? (P*ss-poor annealing around the neck)

Last edited by Pakfront1940; April 15, 2009 at 12:29 AM.
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