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Old 01-23-2011, 10:58 AM  
HonestChieffan HonestChieffan is offline
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Off Season Lets Talk Guns

Been a while since we had a guns n' ammo discussion.


Some of you are AR shooters Im sure. Im looking at a Colt 6920. Will be my first AR. Picked up a Glock this fall and really enjoy shooting it. Any feedback on that weapon?



Anyone else been in a buy/sell/trade mood with hardware?

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Old 11-14-2012, 09:26 AM   #2671
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Originally Posted by kepp View Post
So speaking of reloading...223/556 specifically-

Where are the best places to get supplies and, from everyone's experience, what brass, bullets, primers, etc. are the best value?

I would like to be able to pick up once-fired casings at the range and load that way, but from what I can see, that takes a bit more equipment than just the reloading press. So I guess to start out, I'd be buying new or reconditioned brass. And about powder...is there a preferred brand? And how far will 1 lb. of powder go?
I'll let you know in about three months.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:53 PM   #2672
kepp kepp is offline
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You AR-15 nuts with your 1/7 & 1/9 twist barrels will freak over this bullet over some Varget once you start reloading



Sierra .224 69 gr MatchKing

Remember on primers for Ar-15 is 7-1/2 not the 6-1/2s. The firing pin will hole a 6-1/2 primer & things get dirty real quick
So, two questions:

1. I need to buy .224 bullets and not .223?
2. Does the 7 1/2 vs. 6 1/2 primer difference only apply to AR-15 style guns, or all 223/556 rifles?
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:37 PM   #2673
verbaljitsu verbaljitsu is offline
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Originally Posted by kepp View Post
So speaking of reloading...223/556 specifically-

Where are the best places to get supplies and, from everyone's experience, what brass, bullets, primers, etc. are the best value?

I would like to be able to pick up once-fired casings at the range and load that way, but from what I can see, that takes a bit more equipment than just the reloading press. So I guess to start out, I'd be buying new or reconditioned brass. And about powder...is there a preferred brand? And how far will 1 lb. of powder go?
1. a pound of powder = 7,000 grains. Most 223/5.56 loads use roughly 25 grains of powder.

2. I purchase my primers and gun powder in bulk at local gun shows. I think it is almost always better to do it that way than order off the internet. You have to pay hazmat shipping charges otherwise that kill you. If you do order online, order in extreme bulk. I usually try to buy 5,000 primers at a time, but it would not be cost effective to get less than 1,000. I like to buy the 4 pound jugs of powder when I can. Buying powder in bulk is even better than buying primers in bulk.

For example: 100 primers usually costs $3.00-4.00. 1000 primers usually costs $25-30. 5000 primers usually costs $115-125.

A pound of expensive powder (vihtavuori N320) costs $35. 4 Pound jug costs $90.
A pound of normal powder costs $20. 4 pound jug costs $70. 8 pound keg costs $120.

Buying bulk is key.

I buy pistol bullets from Missouri Bullet Company mostly. I get most of my rifle bullets from the Sierra factory in Sedalia when I drive through.

3. If you handload new brass, rather than reload once (or multiple) fired brass, you will not save much money, in fact, you could spend more than the cost of surplus or aluminum cased ammo. However, you will have much higher quality ammunition. There is nothing wrong with loading once fired brass.

There are two main differences in reloading rifle and pistol brass: Case Trimming and Lubrication. If you are smart, you will buy carbide pistol dies, which require no lubrication. There are no carbide rifle dies, so you must lubricate which is an inconvenience. I rarely trim my pistol brass. Sometimes I will trim a batch once If I am really going for super match quality accuracy. Usually I don't trim pistol brass at all. However, you ought to trim rifle brass after ever time it is fired. You might be able to fudge it a little bit with 223, but it is not advisable for both accuracy and safety issues, so a new reloader should just do it the right way and trim.

A case trimmer can cost anywhere between $5 for the Lee cutter you use with a power drill to $440 for a Giraud. Most people get something from RCBS or Hornady that costs about $75.

4. As far as "additional equipment" the only difference between buying new brass and reloading once fired is the case trimmer and a primer pocket swagger for military brass. If you are doing this to save money, it would be a terrible idea to buy new brass or pay someone else to trim it for you.

5. As far as what components to use: This will significantly vary depending on purpose and rifle. If you are a varmint hunter you'll want something different than a hipower shooter or a plinker. I have a 1 in 8 twist rifle and I like to use IMR 4064 powder for the heavier bullet loads, CFE 223 for the middle weight loads, and Win 748 for the light bullet loads. I've also got some surplus powder that shoots fairly well and is good for plinker type loads. My rifle shoots the heavier/longer bullets pretty well, so I mostly shoot 55 grain and up. Sierra Bullets work best for me so far, matchkings are the best. Nosler also good. I use winchester primers almost exclusively, just because thats what I always have used and I buy them in bulk.

But really, there isn't any shortcut, you just have to see what your rifle likes. Twist rate matters and is the closest you can get to narrowing down bullet choice. 1 in 8 and 1 in 7 will pretty much shoot everything but dedicated varmint loads like 35 grain bullets. 1 in 9 usually has trouble with the 69 and 77 grain bullets and wants to hang around 55 and 62 grains. My uncles 1 in 9 likes 50 grains the best. 1 in 12 is for 35 and 45 grain bullets.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:43 PM   #2674
verbaljitsu verbaljitsu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kepp View Post
So, two questions:

1. I need to buy .224 bullets and not .223?
2. Does the 7 1/2 vs. 6 1/2 primer difference only apply to AR-15 style guns, or all 223/556 rifles?
1. You want a .224 bullet.
2. The difference in primers is two fold: for pressure and firing pin engineering. For 223, you'll want 7 1/2. 6 1/2 is probably safe, but is softer and meant for a lower pressure cartridge. AR's have a firing pin that floats which can also cause slamfires with softer primers supposedly. I would avoid the whole mess and just buy Winchester Small Rifle primers.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:46 PM   #2675
kepp kepp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verbaljitsu View Post
1. a pound of powder = 7,000 grains. Most 223/5.56 loads use roughly 25 grains of powder.

2. I purchase my primers and gun powder in bulk at local gun shows. I think it is almost always better to do it that way than order off the internet. You have to pay hazmat shipping charges otherwise that kill you. If you do order online, order in extreme bulk. I usually try to buy 5,000 primers at a time, but it would not be cost effective to get less than 1,000. I like to buy the 4 pound jugs of powder when I can. Buying powder in bulk is even better than buying primers in bulk.

For example: 100 primers usually costs $3.00-4.00. 1000 primers usually costs $25-30. 5000 primers usually costs $115-125.

A pound of expensive powder (vihtavuori N320) costs $35. 4 Pound jug costs $90.
A pound of normal powder costs $20. 4 pound jug costs $70. 8 pound keg costs $120.

Buying bulk is key.

I buy pistol bullets from Missouri Bullet Company mostly. I get most of my rifle bullets from the Sierra factory in Sedalia when I drive through.

3. If you handload new brass, rather than reload once (or multiple) fired brass, you will not save much money, in fact, you could spend more than the cost of surplus or aluminum cased ammo. However, you will have much higher quality ammunition. There is nothing wrong with loading once fired brass.

There are two main differences in reloading rifle and pistol brass: Case Trimming and Lubrication. If you are smart, you will buy carbide pistol dies, which require no lubrication. There are no carbide rifle dies, so you must lubricate which is an inconvenience. I rarely trim my pistol brass. Sometimes I will trim a batch once If I am really going for super match quality accuracy. Usually I don't trim pistol brass at all. However, you ought to trim rifle brass after ever time it is fired. You might be able to fudge it a little bit with 223, but it is not advisable for both accuracy and safety issues, so a new reloader should just do it the right way and trim.

A case trimmer can cost anywhere between $5 for the Lee cutter you use with a power drill to $440 for a Giraud. Most people get something from RCBS or Hornady that costs about $75.

4. As far as "additional equipment" the only difference between buying new brass and reloading once fired is the case trimmer and a primer pocket swagger for military brass. If you are doing this to save money, it would be a terrible idea to buy new brass or pay someone else to trim it for you.

5. As far as what components to use: This will significantly vary depending on purpose and rifle. If you are a varmint hunter you'll want something different than a hipower shooter or a plinker. I have a 1 in 8 twist rifle and I like to use IMR 4064 powder for the heavier bullet loads, CFE 223 for the middle weight loads, and Win 748 for the light bullet loads. I've also got some surplus powder that shoots fairly well and is good for plinker type loads. My rifle shoots the heavier/longer bullets pretty well, so I mostly shoot 55 grain and up. Sierra Bullets work best for me so far, matchkings are the best. Nosler also good. I use winchester primers almost exclusively, just because thats what I always have used and I buy them in bulk.

But really, there isn't any shortcut, you just have to see what your rifle likes. Twist rate matters and is the closest you can get to narrowing down bullet choice. 1 in 8 and 1 in 7 will pretty much shoot everything but dedicated varmint loads like 35 grain bullets. 1 in 9 usually has trouble with the 69 and 77 grain bullets and wants to hang around 55 and 62 grains. My uncles 1 in 9 likes 50 grains the best. 1 in 12 is for 35 and 45 grain bullets.
Wow, thanks for all the info. Lots to think about.

So you'll go through almost 4 pounds of powder to reload 1000 rounds...that's more than I would have thought. My rifling is 1 in 7, but I've only shot 55 grain ammo through it because I've just used it for plinking at the range.

Last edited by kepp; 11-15-2012 at 02:01 PM..
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:26 PM   #2676
verbaljitsu verbaljitsu is offline
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Powder is usually the cheapest part of reloading for handguns. The components breakdown like this:

9mm load - powder 1 cent, primer 2.4 cents, bullet 6.5 cents. $5.00 per box of 50.

223 load - powder 7 cents, primer 2.4 cents, bullet 15-22 cents. $12-15.50 per box of 50.

That doesn't count brass, because you are reusing it. You can use most non magnum pistol rounds for so long it might as well be forever (you will lose it before it breaks). You can load 223 3-5 usually. Common calibers are easy to scavenge. Or you can buy once fired brass fairly inexpensively on craigslist, at gun shows, on midwest gun trader etc.

55 grain ammo is fine for 1 in 7. You can probably shoot the heavier loads well, but 55 grains is where I would start my tests.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:32 PM   #2677
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verbaljitsu View Post
Powder is usually the cheapest part of reloading for handguns. The components breakdown like this:

9mm load - powder 1 cent, primer 2.4 cents, bullet 6.5 cents. $5.00 per box of 50.

223 load - powder 7 cents, primer 2.4 cents, bullet 15-22 cents. $12-15.50 per box of 50.

That doesn't count brass, because you are reusing it. You can use most non magnum pistol rounds for so long it might as well be forever (you will lose it before it breaks). You can load 223 3-5 usually. Common calibers are easy to scavenge. Or you can buy once fired brass fairly inexpensively on craigslist, at gun shows, on midwest gun trader etc.

55 grain ammo is fine for 1 in 7. You can probably shoot the heavier loads well, but 55 grains is where I would start my tests.
You mess around with any larger calibers like 45-70 GOVT?
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:12 PM   #2678
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Just purchased the Magpul STR stock for my Daniel Defense $23 cheaper than amazon. I picked up my 8th Magpul mag as well, gen 3 $12. Free shipping. If you have an account, you get cheaper prices.

Botach tactical. They have shipped fast in the past and have reward points. They don't sell ammo or firearms though.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:28 AM   #2679
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:25 AM   #2680
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:26 AM   #2681
kepp kepp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verbaljitsu View Post
Powder is usually the cheapest part of reloading for handguns. The components breakdown like this:

9mm load - powder 1 cent, primer 2.4 cents, bullet 6.5 cents. $5.00 per box of 50.

223 load - powder 7 cents, primer 2.4 cents, bullet 15-22 cents. $12-15.50 per box of 50.

That doesn't count brass, because you are reusing it. You can use most non magnum pistol rounds for so long it might as well be forever (you will lose it before it breaks). You can load 223 3-5 usually. Common calibers are easy to scavenge. Or you can buy once fired brass fairly inexpensively on craigslist, at gun shows, on midwest gun trader etc.

55 grain ammo is fine for 1 in 7. You can probably shoot the heavier loads well, but 55 grains is where I would start my tests.
Yeah, so doing the math, it does seem like reconditioning your own brass is what will really save you money. I made a quick spreadsheet and if I buy reconditioned brass (not primed), I can load for about $0.31 per round. That would save me between $0.03 and $0.05 per round from the cost of new ammo, once shipping is added in.

That's not a huge savings, but I'll probably start out that way and gradually acquire the equipment necessary to recondition my own brass.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:04 AM   #2682
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Decided to add a rifle to my collection of shotguns and got an SKS from a buddy of mine for cheap.

Just got the ATI Forend Pistol Grip stock, couple 20 round clips and UTG New Gen SKS Picatinny Tri-Rail Mount in the mail and plan to have some fun building this sucker over Thanksgiving weekend.

Anybody have some good advice on painting camo on ploycarbonate stocks?

I see a lot of people simply rattle canning them but am wondering if I should prep the stock or do some kind of clearcoat to prevent the paint from rubbing off.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:09 AM   #2683
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Ever have one of those surprises when going through your guns?

A few days ago a buddy said he was sort of interested in a snub nosed revolver. I said I had a 38 spcl Smith Mod 60. He said he would like to see it, maybe work a deal.

So I go dig it out and remember I have the orig box, all the documentation etc and the orig grips.

Got to thinking what its worth....Good lord! Its better than 98% and what I am seeing is prices upwards of $800.

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Old 11-21-2012, 09:09 AM   #2684
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Also keep in mind that reloads are much more accurate than cheap ammo. While reloading for plinking won't save much, when you can load accurate hunting rounds for .40-.50 each compared to $1-3 per round, that's where they cost savings will come from.
I can buy steel case for cheaper, so that's what I plink with, however if I had to buy premium stuff I would shoot a lot less.
Also I have noticed I don't really spend any less, but I shoot a lot more. Especially in the larger calibers.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:21 AM   #2685
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Ordered me up a couple of these today for the AK 40 ROUNDERS

You know what they say about a man that uses a high capacity magazine?
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