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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was into reloading pistol calibers about 10-12 years ago, 9mm and .45 ACP. It saved some money and was rather relaxing.

I still have the press equipment, and have Black Rifle Disease. Before I try and buy dies and such, ponder me this...

ASSUMING YOU CAN GET THE COMPONENTS, and already have the brass, what does it cost to reload .223 and .556 these days?

My assumption is that preloaded plinking ammo (FMJ) of brands like PMC from places like SGAMMO within spitting distance of reloading ammo these days -- primarily because small rifle primers (when you can find them) are so expensive. (I'm seeing $0.45 to 0.50 per round preloaded in 500 to 1000 qty.)

What do the experts say?
 

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Not including brass I can load 223 for about .13 cents because I still have some old components. :D Now just doing some quick math they’ll probably run .45 cents per round. You could drop that a bit by buying powder in bulk, (8 lb jug), and using blem bullets or plated. Primers are still a major cost though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is what I was afraid of. You can buy preloaded ammo of decent quality (PMC X-tac) for $0.45 each these days, (without getting too high in quantity) online.

I remember when I was saving money by reloading over buying .45 ACP for $0.35 per back in those days. I almost went into cardiac arrest when I saw that plinker ammo is $0.80 a round nowadays! Luckily I still have 1500-2000 components available in my stash should I start shooting that again. (I rarely shoot it -- mostly 9mm.)

Shame I didn't have Black Rifle Disease when ammo was $0.14 per round.

Primate Beard Jaw Wrinkle Terrestrial animal
 

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Have the brass and primers already.

Just ordered 4,000 55 grain FMJ bullets from Everglades Ammo ($387 with free shipping).

Ordered some pistol powder from Powder Valley and added a jug of rifle powder to the order to "even out" the shipping and HAZMAT fees. The rifle powder was BLC2 (good .223 powder) 8 lbs. for $233.

Brass (once fired is pretty decently priced right now but primers are just stupid high. Coming down some and increasing availability but stupid high cost.
 

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It's about the same as factory but I have fun doing it.And if ammo goes away again at least you have the stuff to load.Yes primers are the stop sign. I found some magnum's and will adjust for the added power which isn't a whole lot.I use small rifle in 9mm without any problem.Right now I have about 5000 of all kinds.
 

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One piece of advice (well, two):

1. Don't wait till you need your reloading supplies to buy them. Buy them when you see a good price and have the money. Bullets, powder and primers don't go bad. I've used primers over 20 years old with zero issues. Powder? I've got some older than that right now sitting on a shelf. Used some of it 5 or 6 years ago and it was fine.

2. Even if you find a really great load that works and shoots great in your pistols/rifles, don't be afraid to check out other powders and bullets. It's nice to be able to buy, and know they'll work great, other powders or bullets in case you can't get what you want.

I like IMR4198 in .223 (PITB to meter/measure as it doesn't meter consistently but it shoots awesome groups). A few years ago I tried some BLC2 and worked up some good loads with it. Same for H335. I'm sure their are others out there that could give me good groups, too, but I know these three work.

With pistols there are a lot of "shotgun" powders that work well, too. I've used a lot of Blue Dot in 9MM and .40 S&W. I've used Red Dot for lead bullet loads in 9MM. I just started using Green Dot for 115 grain FMJ in 9MM and found those shoot better groups in my SIG than anything else I've tried. Lots of standard pistol powders out there and some of them work great. Also lots of them out there that have not given me the groups I get from these old shotgun powders.

Good luck with your powder search.
 

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Even if I only save 5 to 10 cents it is worth it to me. I use Hodgdon CFE 223 (copper fouling eraser powder) which is superior to the factory ammo powder. I use CCI primers also nothing else the best. My handloads are more accurate than the factory loads. It's not just about cost it is accuracy also which is more important to me than cost.
 

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Even if I only save 5 to 10 cents it is worth it to me. I use Hodgdon CFE 223 (copper fouling eraser powder) which is superior to the factory ammo powder. I use CCI primers also nothing else the best. My handloads are more accurate than the factory loads. It's not just about cost it is accuracy also which is more important to me than cost.
What's your recipe? I have just gotten started loading for my AR. I started out with imr4064 with good results but found some cfe223.Not that worried about cost per, I at least have ammo if I reload.
 

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One piece of advice (well, two):

1. Don't wait till you need your reloading supplies to buy them. Buy them when you see a good price and have the money. Bullets, powder and primers don't go bad. I've used primers over 20 years old with zero issues. Powder? I've got some older than that right now sitting on a shelf. Used some of it 5 or 6 years ago and it was fine.

2. Even if you find a really great load that works and shoots great in your pistols/rifles, don't be afraid to check out other powders and bullets. It's nice to be able to buy, and know they'll work great, other powders or bullets in case you can't get what you want.

I like IMR4198 in .223 (PITB to meter/measure as it doesn't meter consistently but it shoots awesome groups). A few years ago I tried some BLC2 and worked up some good loads with it. Same for H335. I'm sure their are others out there that could give me good groups, too, but I know these three work.

With pistols there are a lot of "shotgun" powders that work well, too. I've used a lot of Blue Dot in 9MM and .40 S&W. I've used Red Dot for lead bullet loads in 9MM. I just started using Green Dot for 115 grain FMJ in 9MM and found those shoot better groups in my SIG than anything else I've tried. Lots of standard pistol powders out there and some of them work great. Also lots of them out there that have not given me the groups I get from these old shotgun powders.

Good luck with your powder search.
Have to agree with your sage advice. Especially the part about learning to use other powders. When I started reloading it was about finding 1 powder that did all my different needs for pistols and 1 for 2 different rifles. Settled on unique for 357, 44mag, 45acp, imr 4350 for 30-06, 270, 7mm-08. I used a little bullseye and Winchester 296 but didn’t go out of that comfort zone. Along came the last great primer and powder shortage. I suddenly could only find powder that I had never used and without primers available I didn’t want to be working up loads. Funny how you get forced into growth the hard way sometimes. So heed the advice once primers come back find several powders that will work just in case one becomes unavailable. When I found 5744 it will do my magnum pistol loads, 223,30-06 7mm-08 and tons of others. It has limitations in all categories but would make safe , shootable ammo, although it’s pricey for powder. I also agree with the post on accuracy that’s why I reload. I can get the load that works best in any firearm I have. Anytime I miss I know it’s me not my ammo. Enjoy the bang!
 

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I was into reloading pistol calibers about 10-12 years ago, 9mm and .45 ACP. It saved some money and was rather relaxing.

I still have the press equipment, and have Black Rifle Disease. Before I try and buy dies and such, ponder me this...

ASSUMING YOU CAN GET THE COMPONENTS, and already have the brass, what does it cost to reload .223 and .556 these days?

My assumption is that preloaded plinking ammo (FMJ) of brands like PMC from places like SGAMMO within spitting distance of reloading ammo these days -- primarily because small rifle primers (when you can find them) are so expensive. (I'm seeing $0.45 to 0.50 per round preloaded in 500 to 1000 qty.)

What do the experts say?
At an average of 26gr of powder /round you’ll get a little over 250 rounds / pound, that’s 15 cents for the powder. Primers are $100/ thousand, that’s another dime each for 25 cents/ round. Now for bullets a 55gr FMJ like a Hornady will cost 12 cents each for a total of 37 cents/ round. Figure $7.50 for a box of 20, well worth the time.
 
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