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Old June 27, 2011, 10:31 PM   #1
boxjeff
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.223 ammo cost?

Is .223 ammunition cheap for everyday target shooting or would purchasing a rifle in another caliber be cheaper...excluding 22?
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Old June 27, 2011, 10:47 PM   #2
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55 grain PMC .223 target ammo is selling for $274.50/279.50 per thousand around here.
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Old June 27, 2011, 10:49 PM   #3
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Not bad...better then 308. How about surplus military stuff?
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Old June 27, 2011, 11:01 PM   #4
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There are few ammo cheaper. The cost really goes down if you reload.
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Old June 27, 2011, 11:34 PM   #5
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I expect delivery tomorrow of Wolf 223 Performance ammo - 55gr Copper HP - $4.49 per box of 20 - $61.77 includes shipping and insurance for 10 boxes - good ammo - I usually go through a couple of boxes of 20 every week -

Tomorrow's the day
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Old June 28, 2011, 12:00 AM   #6
chris in va
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A reloading setup doesn't have to cost much. I use a Lee Hand Press.

Primers are $28.
Powder is $21, makes about 500 rounds (or thereabouts).
Brass is free.
Bullets are ~$70/1k.

Too lazy to do the math, but it sure isn't $270/1k.
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Old June 28, 2011, 02:29 AM   #7
ace4059
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Steel cased should be about $200 per 1000 rounds.
Around here 5.56 steel run $96-$106 per 500 rounds.
7.62 x 39 runs a few dollars higher per 500.
That is all Russian steel cased.

Remington Brass runs about $80/200rds
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Old June 28, 2011, 03:25 AM   #8
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A rifle in .223 is hard to beat for target/range shooting (plus a whole host of other sports aspects)! Cost of ammo is low even for some of the better known quality loadings. And, the cost of the rifles don't have to break the bank either. Shooting the .223 can be an all day event with it's mild recoil, lower sound levels, and often light weight- whereas the larger calibers do tend to be more expensive and punishing. Not saying a milsurp in 7.62x54, 7.5 Swiss, 8mm Mauser, or those similar will be brutal- but like I said- the .223 can be fun all day if you like and I'd ruther not have to run more than 100 8mm's if I don't have to. You'll enjoy it a lot I'd think. Don't forget eyes, ears, and safety... and have fun!
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Old June 28, 2011, 11:04 AM   #9
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Cheapest brass .223 is usually around $0.30 per round
And steel is somewhere between $0.20-$0.26 I think

Only thing cheaper might be the 5.45 stuff that AK74's shoot

I bought a bolt gun in .223 because of the cost of ammo and im very glad I did. Nice fun round and great for varmints. And if you have a 1:9" twist you can shoot some long distances with some heavier ammo.
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Old June 28, 2011, 11:14 AM   #10
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.223 is as about as cheap as it comes, above .22
the premium hunting ammo is on par with any other center fire hunting ammo...................................................but .223 plinking ammo abounds and is very affordable.................................dont let that stop you from buying another rifle if you desire..............
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Old June 28, 2011, 12:09 PM   #11
precision_shooter
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Quote:
A reloading setup doesn't have to cost much. I use a Lee Hand Press.

Primers are $28.
Powder is $21, makes about 500 rounds (or thereabouts).
Brass is free.
Bullets are ~$70/1k.

Too lazy to do the math, but it sure isn't $270/1k.
$0.14 per round or $140/1000. This is assuming that you get 1000 primers for $28. If it's 500 for $28 then it comes out to $0.168 ($0.17) per round or $168/1000.

Reloading is definately the cheapest route, if you have the time...

If not, then usually mil-surp ammo is the cheapest "loaded" ammo...
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Old June 28, 2011, 07:41 PM   #12
Gehrhard
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.22 LR
.22 Mag
.223

Price doesn't really go down much if you reload -- people always leave out costs like the amortization of the equipment you keep buying, the time you spend, the Hazardous Goods shipping fees, shipping fees, taxes, the price of components TODAY vs. a decade ago. They almost ALWAYS seem to have a vested interest in underpricing the real cost -- it is like listening to fishing stories. Or gamblers! Ever meet one who wasn't always a little ahead of the game?

When components were impossible to get during The Great Obama Run on ammo, alot of folk STIIL argued centerfire ammo cost less to make than buying cheap rimfire ammo.
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Old June 28, 2011, 08:17 PM   #13
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Respectively and strongly disagree with your statement. I have no clue how you ever came up with any information to support that claim about reloading.

In any event 223 is among the cheapest center fire to shoot.

If you look for sales you can find some inexpensive 223 out there.
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Old June 28, 2011, 08:46 PM   #14
Jeff F
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Quote:
Not bad...better then 308. How about surplus military stuff?
Surplus 5.56 is not really good ammo, all the LC stuff is reject or factory seconds. Don't get me wrong, it shoots but there is a reason it was surplus and its not the cheapest ammo on the market. Reloading is the way to go if you want really good ammo cheap ammo.
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Old June 28, 2011, 08:59 PM   #15
curmudgeon1
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boxjeff wrote:

Quote:
Not bad .... better than .308. How about military surplus stuff?
420 rounds of Lake City green tip 62 grain 5.56 on stripper clips in an ammo can is going for $149.50 in N.E. Ohio.
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Old June 28, 2011, 09:49 PM   #16
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Using the data:
"Primers are $28.
Powder is $21, makes about 500 rounds (or thereabouts).
Brass is free.
Bullets are ~$70/1k."

It comes out to $2.80/box of 20; but, there are some irregularities in the numbers. If you get 500 loads from a pound of power, then you're loading only 14-gr per round. Most folks load .223 Rems closer to 25-gr per round, which is about 280 loads per pound. Also, I suspect chris in va's prices are out of date and/or based on bulk quantity sales.

My LGS prices are in the neighborhood of:
Primers $4.00/100
Bullets $15.00/100
Powder $25.00/LB

This works out to over $5.50/box of 20.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a reloader; but, I try to be realistic about the costs. I think a lot of folks will agree, you don't save big bucks when reloading, you find yourself shooting more for the same money.

If you really want to save money, shoot handgun rounds with home cast bullets -- my 38 Special reloads are about $3.00/box of 50.
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Old June 28, 2011, 10:24 PM   #17
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OJ: You might have loyalty for where you buy your ammo, but you are getting royally RAPED on shipping charges. $45 for ammo, and $16 for S/H. That is really bad. You really need to check out Sportsman's Guide or even Cabelas. You will see a lot of "Free shipping on $99 or more" and similar. That includes ammo. Same with Centerfire Systems and CDNN. I regularly buy ammo where shipping is on average $5.

Go to Weaponsworld.com . ALL AMMO is flat rate shipping of $9.99. Whether you buy 1 box or a case of 50. Anyway; nothing against the ammo you are using. I use a lot of russian ammo. But I'm not going to pay 30% shipping. For the $6.17 you paid PER BOX SHIPPED, I can go to my local hardware store about 5-6 times a year, and get PMC Bronze for $6.49 out the door.

Last edited by christcorp; June 28, 2011 at 11:20 PM.
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Old June 28, 2011, 10:27 PM   #18
chris in va
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Quote:
Also, I suspect chris in va's prices are out of date and/or based on bulk quantity sales.
Nope, prices here at my local gun store, and I get 'pulled' bullets online for cheap. I was off on the powder estimate though.

Want to see the price sticker on the powder bottle?
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Old June 28, 2011, 10:42 PM   #19
Fabius
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Glen's Army Navy Store has XM193F 5.56 for $152.95 per 500 with free shipping. That's about .30 per round. It's Lake City brass loaded to 5.56 velocity with a 55 grain bullet. I've put over 500 rounds of XM193 through my AR in the last couple of months with no problems.
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Old June 29, 2011, 07:43 AM   #20
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Chris;
THERE'S a new marketing approach:
Buy our factory-new ammo with semi-used bullets! Because they were pulled out of previously manufactured ammo and used again we can charge you a little less! That'd go over real well...

See what I mean guys? There's always something left out. I love the never-ending lb. of powder. "I get 7,000 rounds per lb. can." Oh yes, I reload. For real savings it is preferrable to buy 4 and 8 lb. cans (well, more often "plastics" nowadays) but most people won't sink the big-dollars into this inventory. And even if they do they won't consider the value of having extra hundreds of dollars in their pocket to spend elsewhere or invested vs. sitting in a cool, dry, dark place. Knew one guy who figured his cost-per-round with 8-lb. cans because he COULD have reloaded with them but bought 1 lb. cans individually due to cash-flow and couldn't understand why we laughed at him. Again, there's always something left out.

I wonder if that Federal ammo uses "pulled" bullets. Lotta guesses floating around as to what it is -- no facts. I say it is ammo.
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Old June 29, 2011, 10:43 AM   #21
Marquezj16
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I started reloading because of higher caliber ammo (.270, .308, and 30-06). I received a Hornady Starter Kit ($249 on sale) and each die set was $35 or so. Hornady has a promotion for free bullets (500 for the kit and 100 each for each die). Only cost for that was shipping, total for free bullets was $50. I spent another $200 dollars on accesorries (primer, tumbler, trimmer and case prep). Each powder was about $25 at LGS (Each pound can make about 100 large caliber ammo). So far my cost was $804. The results were 400 rds of .308, 200 rds of .270 and 200 rds of 30-06. So roughly it cost me $1 per round which is about street value for those caliber.

But now I have all this reloading equipment that has paid for itself so when I decided to reload .223 at $25 for a lb of powder (each can can load rought 250 cases) and $50 for 500 bullets (Hornady 55 gr FMJ), brass is free (well at least the ones I collected , the ones I shot and the ones someone left at the range) and $20 for primers. The die again is $35 (I got 100 free bullets again) and for good measures I bought an extra powder measure insert $20. So my cost for 500 rds of .223 ammo is $175. It does not seem like much of a deal since I can buy 500 rds of XM193 for $153.

So where does all the savings come from? Well I keep reloading. I buy 500 more bullets ($50) and two more lbs of powder ($50) and primer ($20). $120 for 500 rds. Not bad. I do this a few more times and maybe its not such a bad deal after all.

I go through on average about 250 rounds with my AR per trip to the range. I go to the range at least twice a month. That's roughly 6000 rounds in a year. I think I see the savings of reloading!

Well what about the time spent reloading. Have I figured out how much that cost? It's my hobby so it does not cost me anything. That would be like saying it cost me $30 to ride my bike for an hour.

While not everyone has the same experience or cost with their reloading, I have to say, it works for me. My reloads also outshoot bulk ammo (less than 1 MOA). If you only shoot about 500 a year with your AR, it's probably not economical for you to reload. So not saying its the best option, but it is a good one.
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Old June 29, 2011, 11:24 AM   #22
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I am lucky to be able to buy American Eagle 55gr .223 Rem at a local department store for between $28 and $32 per 100, depending on whether it is on sale. This is the cheapest I've found when you figure in the hefty shipping and handling costs from all the "cheap" online sources.
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Old June 29, 2011, 11:40 AM   #23
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There is a gun store down in Richmond,Ky where my dad lives that does mil surplus .223/5.56 for around $125 per 500 in a metal ammo can. It seems to be good stuff and I can get 1" groups at 400yrds with it. Fortunatly for me I have bought alot and so has my father where we now get dealer cost on it. I am still going to start reloading though, i've got enough brass, just need the other supplies.
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Old June 29, 2011, 11:54 AM   #24
Mike38
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1 inch groups at 400 yards? About 0.25 MOA? That takes precision reloads and a $3K+++ bench rest rifle. Mighty fine shooting!
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Old June 29, 2011, 01:27 PM   #25
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There's so much cheap ammo now available in .223......3-5$ a box. I would do that to get you out shooting, the reloading can come later if you so wish.

some of the cheap stuff actually groups well enough to provide satisfaction, you just try a bunch of different kinds....i think if thats a chore to someone then shooting may not be a fulfilling endeavor.

Now some of my favorite hunting ammo can be quite expensive, which makes me wanna start reloading my own hunting ammo.

But I think most of us wish to get you out shooting first and foremost.

.223 is an excellent caliber for fun, hunting and whatever you wish.
its not the most desirable caliber for some things, but it's definitley, economical and performs good enough to cover a lot of uses.

I know that you can kill a pig and a raccoon in the same day
with the same rifle....you can say the same for .308 but it won't be pretty.
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