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Old May 21, 2013, 08:17 PM   #1
Dearhunter61
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Reload for your AR .223?

I'm curious how many of you reload for your ARs? Do you reload just to go to the range and practice? Home defense? Hunting? Am I missing anything? How cost effective is it? How much time does it require?

I reload for a bolt action .223 I hunt with but I've never reloaded for my ARs. Always figured between cost of brass, powder, primers and bullets and especially the time it takes only to shoot'em up so fast it didn't make sense.
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Old May 21, 2013, 10:32 PM   #2
Ben Dover
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I load for practice.

Since I use in excess of 5,000 rounds per year, factory ammunition would not be cost effective.
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Old May 22, 2013, 08:55 AM   #3
Flea21
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Re: Reload for your AR .223?

I reload for my ARs and all my guns actually... its totally worth it. Youre able to make match grade ammo for a fraction of manufacturer prices. My .223 ckst is running right at $200-220 per 1000 of 62gr steel core penetrator wbich gkes in excess of 700+ in the stores.. and mind you mine is match grade (all cases exactly the ssme along with the powder weight and projectile weight as well). In fegards to the time invested, this is a hobby that we all enjoy doing so I dont factor that into the price plus it doesnt take much time anyways and its better than watching the poison on tv.
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Old May 22, 2013, 11:35 AM   #4
Dearhunter61
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Hey flea, what is your reloading set up like? Powder measure, resizing, press, etc? Do you use an aggressive press?
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Old May 22, 2013, 11:41 AM   #5
kostyanj
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Re: Reload for your AR .223?

I hate those overly aggressive presses. Jk.

I do my rifle reloads on a lee classic turret.
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Old May 22, 2013, 01:49 PM   #6
4EVERM-14
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I reload for High Power competition. .30 cal also. Factory is to expensive for the amount I use.
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Old May 22, 2013, 02:05 PM   #7
arch308
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I reload everything I shoot. It is cost effective if you don't figure in the time. I enjoy the process so the time is well spent. All the factory ammo I have is kept as a reserve stock.
The only problem at present is finding components, let alone at reasonable prices.
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Old May 22, 2013, 02:48 PM   #8
NWPilgrim
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I reload for .223 AR for lower cost, more selection, and better accuracy.

Cost: When you find them, you can still get 55 gr FMJ for under $10/100, powder for about $22/lb or less (almost 300 rds/lb), and primers are about $35/1,000. That is about $.21/round or $4.40/box of 20. This will be far more accurate than the cheapest Brown Bear or Herters/Tula steel cased Russian FMJ. Similar brass cased FMJ ammo is now selling for about $12/20. When you get into 69 gr or 77 gr Sierra Matchking bullets, Nosler 60 gr Partitions, Nosler 64 gr bonded SP, or Barnes 62 gr or 70 gr TSX bullets the costs savings are even more dramatic.

Accuracy: Even loading 55 gr FMJ I can usually get 7/8' - 1.25" groups with my handloads in my 20" AR, whereas factory 55 FMJ ammo gives my closer to 1.75" - 2+" groups. Same for SP bullets. With Match grade HP bullets I can get 3/4" - 1" groups with many different bullet makes and weights. And that is about my personal limit, the ammo may be better than that.

Selection: For $9 - $19 per 100 I have stocked up on a wide variety of bullets: 55 gr FMJ, 60 gr SP and VMAX, 62 gr FMJ, 64 and 65 gr SP, 68/69/75/77 gr BTHP. For about $25/50 I stocked up on 62 gr Barnes TSX and 64 gr Nosler Bonded SP.
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Old May 22, 2013, 07:17 PM   #9
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I reload all my 5.56, as well as 7.62 & 30-06. Except for the rare high power rifle match ammo I load, it is all done on a Dillon 550b. I checked, and even long powders like IMR 4895 meter well in the Dillon. It's certainly accurate enough for the local practical rifle matches.
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Old May 23, 2013, 12:15 AM   #10
Achilles11B
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I have found that both my ARs like 75gr BTHP over 23.9 grains of H4895. I will load up some 68gr, 69gr and 77gr to see if my SPR/target AR likes them better. The 'custom ammo' aspect is a big advantage of reloading and the benefits affect the AR no differently from other platforms.
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Old May 23, 2013, 04:59 PM   #11
Ben Dover
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Quote:
I reload all my 5.56, as well as 7.62 & 30-06. Except for the rare high power rifle match ammo I load, it is all done on a Dillon 550b. I checked, and even long powders like IMR 4895 meter well in the Dillon. It's certainly accurate enough for the local practical rifle matches.
I reload match and varmint grade ammunition on a Dillon 650 as well as practice ammunition. For many years, I used the Dillon 450, but when the 650 became available, I acquired one and the 450 was relegated to small batch reloading.
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Old May 29, 2013, 06:50 PM   #12
orddy
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Dillon press

I also load with a Dillon 650 which i have setup for 223.....for everything else i either use a RCBS 4X4 progressive or a Rockchucker. I used to live on my reloading presses but since getting the 650, now i have alot more shooting time available as most of my shooting is with a 223 of some sort.
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Old May 29, 2013, 08:13 PM   #13
MarkCO
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Shooting about 10K rounds of .223 a year, I could not afford to buy factory. My reloads run from $0.16 to $0.29 a round and I load about 800-900 an hour. These are for competition, practice and a few for hunting. The loads are tuned to my rifles for specific purposes and about half are premium grade. I load the .300BO and .450 BM for my ARs too. The only factory stuff I shoot in any of my firearms is stuff I win or get from sponsors.
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Old June 2, 2013, 08:57 AM   #14
Willie Lowman
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Quote:
Do you use an aggressive press?
I load with a 650xl. It seems to be a pretty relaxed press. When I get to aggressive with it, something always goes wrong.
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Old June 3, 2013, 01:04 PM   #15
XB280
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I reload for my AR (and 3 other rifles). Using 65 gr. Gamekings for both range and hunting. AR reloads are running me about $0.35-$0.40/round. I do all this on a single stage press so it's time consuming to get a good stash built up, but worth it.
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Old June 4, 2013, 05:33 AM   #16
Justice06RR
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I am planning to reload sometime this year when components get back in stock again. This crazy extended shortage has finally pushed me to start reloading.

At least this will give me a chance to load for 300Blackout also.
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Old June 4, 2013, 06:28 AM   #17
Sport45
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Quote:
Always figured between cost of brass, powder, primers and bullets and especially the time it takes only to shoot'em up so fast it didn't make sense.
If all you want out of the AR is to shoot'em up fast you might want to look at the steel case Russian ammo if it ever comes back into stock. That or switch to .22lr. Of course that isn't easy to find either.

I reload for all my rifles with a Lee Classic Turret. I only use the progressive for handgun ammo. Loading in batches of 50, it doesn't take long to make a couple hundred rounds for the AR. That does me fine for at least 3 or 4 range sessions.
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Old June 4, 2013, 10:57 AM   #18
Flea21
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Re: Reload for your AR .223?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dearhunter61 View Post
Hey flea, what is your reloading set up like? Powder measure, resizing, press, etc? Do you use an aggressive press?
Sorry for the late reply... My setup a Dillon Precision 550b. I made a work bench out of an old L shaoed bar that was in my basement for years. thank GOD I didnt turn it into firewood like I originally planned on doing.
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Old June 4, 2013, 03:35 PM   #19
Tomas
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I reload for all my semis, AR - one 5.56, one 7.62, AK - 7.62x39, and M1A.

I don't really have any favorite powders, just whatever I can find right now.

I have a good supply of Varget, 748, 8208, H322, TAC, CFE 223, AR Comp, 4064, AA 2520 and a couple of others.

I load my .30s up with mostly blasting and plinking ammo. I do hunt with my Colt 6920 SOCOM and like 26gr of Varget under a Nosler 64gr PP for defense, and 23.5 gr of 8208 under a Nosler 80gr HPBT for varmints.

I use 43gr of 748 in my M1A under a 180gr Barnes XLC for hunting.

Reloading is so much fun for me I can't even stomach the thought of a progressive; I have two single stage presses side by side and load as needed. Once I got the routine down, I was able to crank out rounds pretty fast. Plus, I like the additional inspection options I have with having to handle the brass so much.

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