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  #1  
Old 05-26-2019, 06:38 PM
1911_Kid 1911_Kid is offline
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300blk Reloading Question

Can you as a reloader make reliable 300blk round for less than 40c? I mean everything, from materials to the energy you use (gas, electric, etc), to the time you put into doing it.

I dont have reloading tools. I can buy some, just not sure if the ROI is there, or is it just $$ spent for a hobby. In other words, I'd rather be shooting the ammo vs having to make it if the cost diff is not substantial.

Also, anyone know of any place that buys back brass, or gives credit for more ammo buy?
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:54 PM
400cor-bon 400cor-bon is online now
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Easy,
Hornady 150 fmj bt, 15.6 cents
CCI 400 primer 4 cents
15 gr H110, 5 cents
LC range brass, free
Total cost a quarter a round
Ammoseek.com is your friend
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  #3  
Old 05-26-2019, 10:30 PM
1911_Kid 1911_Kid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 400cor-bon View Post
Easy,
Hornady 150 fmj bt, 15.6 cents
CCI 400 primer 4 cents
15 gr H110, 5 cents
LC range brass, free
Total cost a quarter a round
Ammoseek.com is your friend
There's no range brass by me.
And what about the cost for all your gear to do it.
You have an annealer too?
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  #4  
Old 05-27-2019, 05:40 AM
Viper_29 Viper_29 is online now
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As long as you factor in your time, effort, etc etc you'll never make the math come out with reloading. Its far cheaper to buy the components and as long as you treat it as a hobby that you enjoy, the math works in your favor.
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Old 05-27-2019, 08:44 AM
flechero flechero is online now
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In your case, buying may be better.

Cost out the gear you want and divide that by the savings per round and it will tell you how many rounds you need to load until you break even.

Save your factory brass and have your friends do the same. Annealing isn't needed all the time so if you can source brass reasonably, you could eliminate that.

Quote:
I'd rather be shooting the ammo vs having to make it if the cost diff is not substantial.
In that case, you might also figure yourself an hourly rate for "working" on ammo and add it into the calculation. (with this addition, you may not break even)

Even if the value of your time is accounted for, you still have to spend the time loading. I keep enough ammo loaded to satisfy several range trips ahead, so I never have to skip shooting to load. I load when I want to and shoot when I want to. In my case, I enjoy the time so that's not an issue, either way.

Loading has become a favorite hobby for me, but I do realize it isn't for everyone. Good luck!
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:07 AM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is offline
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Originally Posted by 1911_Kid View Post
.....
You have an annealer too?
????

There's no need to anneal brass in reloading unless you get into fireforming wildcats.
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911_Kid View Post
There's no range brass by me.
And what about the cost for all your gear to do it.
You have an annealer too?

I don't use range brass by choice. Most of it is of unknown progeny and not worth the effort. As for equipment cost, ANY hobby has a certain amount of equipment cost associated with it. Try playing golf without golf clubs, or racing without a race car. How much you expend on equipment depends on what level of performance you're willing to achieve. Handloading is no different. At a certain point, such costs simply make the task at hand easier and faster to achieve.


It is fairly cut and dried with handloading as far as a basic equipment load out is concerned. As you get deeper into the game, adding new calibers adds minimal cost since the basic gear is all the same whether its just one or a dozen. When I got back into things with all new equipment, I spent about $1100 on gear. At the time, I was shooting enough and enough different calibers that I amortized the cost of it all in about 9 months. The value was actually greater since most of what I was loading at the time couldn't be had as factory ammo.
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Old 05-27-2019, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911_Kid View Post
Can you as a reloader make reliable 300blk round for less than 40c? I mean everything, from materials to the energy you use (gas, electric, etc), to the time you put into doing it.

I dont have reloading tools. I can buy some, just not sure if the ROI is there, or is it just $$ spent for a hobby. In other words, I'd rather be shooting the ammo vs having to make it if the cost diff is not substantial.

Also, anyone know of any place that buys back brass, or gives credit for more ammo buy?
Subsonic ammo to use with a can or supers?

The cost difference between heavy and light 30 caliber bullets is pretty big.
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Old 05-27-2019, 03:27 PM
1911_Kid 1911_Kid is offline
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Originally Posted by TRSOtto View Post
????

There's no need to anneal brass in reloading unless you get into fireforming wildcats.
Needed if you are sizing 300 from 223, Yes?

But perhaps also needed of you wish to extend the life of the case?

http://www.massreloading.com/annealing.html
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Old 05-27-2019, 06:12 PM
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Annealing is a strange subject.

Lots of people think you dont need to anneal because they have been handloading for decades without annealing, and skipping that step works for them.

Some people anneal because it is the new hip thing to do so people will think your serious about handloading.

I am somewhere in the middle. If it is a caliber that I dont plan to shoot for accuracy at distance and reload the brass many times, I dont waste the time. For short range 300 Whisper/Blackout ammo, it isnt worth it. For shooting my 243, 338 Lapua or 50 BMG out past 1,000 yards, my targets/scores say it is worth it.

And with the affordable induction annealers out right now, getting consistent results is easy and fast. Take a look at AMP Annealers with AZTEC.

My 300 Whisper bolt gun ammo using Lapua brass gets annealed every reload. When trying to hit a 3-4 inch steel target at 300 yards with subsonic ammo, everything matters. When you start shooting subs further than that, it matters even more.

Sometimes when friends ask me to make 300 brass for them, they ask me to anneal it also. I do it, but only because they ask.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN1qIOIgeho
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Old 05-27-2019, 07:43 PM
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Annealing serves several technical purposes. Certainly will help more as the brass wall thickens (headstamp).
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:14 AM
jmorris jmorris is offline
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I have actually made more money because of the 300 BLK than I have spent on it.

That said I spent my time, electricity and such building machines to convert .223 brass to 300 and sold the machine to a business. The only reason I built a 300 blk at all was to utilize the rather large quantities of brass I had left over from R&D.

I have never broken down things to the levels where I had to account for the brisket I cooked yesterday because that gave me the energy to get up today. Or education costs so I knew enough to do anything.

Annealing is another area where I have made much more from selling parts/plans and complete machines than I have ever spent on the process.

Quote:
Annealing serves several technical purposes. Certainly will help more as the brass wall thickens (headstamp).
I don’t know what that means but you do not want to anneal the head of the case.

Last edited by jmorris; 05-28-2019 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:18 PM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911_Kid View Post
Needed if you are sizing 300 from 223, Yes?

But perhaps also needed of you wish to extend the life of the case?

http://www.massreloading.com/annealing.html
Sure...but why would one subject themselves to that??? Buy a couple boxes of factory, shoot em up and reload them. Reloading 300 BLK is easy. Don't make it difficult.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:20 PM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is offline
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Originally Posted by 1911_Kid View Post
Annealing serves several technical purposes. Certainly will help more as the brass wall thickens (headstamp).
Resizing brass does not make the headstamp thicker. It makes the case wall thinner as the OAL increases.

Whatever you've been reading. Stop. Go get a Hornady manual and read the the entire front section 5 times before you do anything else.
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:41 PM
1911_Kid 1911_Kid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRSOtto View Post
Resizing brass does not make the headstamp thicker. It makes the case wall thinner as the OAL increases.

Whatever you've been reading. Stop. Go get a Hornady manual and read the the entire front section 5 times before you do anything else.
That's not what I meant. The stamp indicates the range of case thickness. Too thick is no good, regardless if you are necking it.

It's not like I have not been doing my research.
http://www.massreloading.com/300BLK.html

Anyways, if I decide to go the route of reloading, I'll be sure to read that section 6x, 1x more than your 5x,
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:12 AM
jmorris jmorris is offline
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Quote:
The stamp indicates the range of case thickness.
It indicates the brand, there may be variations in manufacturing equipment as well but there are references to wall thickness from various manufacturers.

Neck thickness data:

Factory Blackout brass

Gemtech (factory 300 BLK) - 0.011"
PNW Arms - 0.011"
RP - 0.010"

Good:
ADI - 0.012"
Aguila - 0.012"
A USA - 0.012"
FC - 0.013/0.014" [Note 1]
GFL - 0.012" (Fiocchi) Some GFL may have different thickness
HB - 0.013"
Hornady (223 headstamp) - 0.011"
Hornady (nickel 223) - 0.012"
IK03 - 0.012" [Note 4]
IMI - 0.012" [Note 4] Listed on both lists, but seems like more often good than bad.
IVI - 0.013"
IVI ('85) - 0.012" (runs great)
LC - 0.011"
LC (converted blank) - 0.012"
M193 - 0.011/0.012"
Norinco 223 - 0.010"
NOSLER - 0.012”
PERFECTA 223 rem. - 0.012"
PMC - modern "bronze" and "X-tac" are good, older PMC with small letters may have problems
PS - 0.011/0.012"
PSD - 0.011"
RA - 0.013"
RA ('69) - 0.012"
RP .223 - 0.011"
SSA - 0.012"
TAA - 0.013-0.014" [Note 4]
Tula - 0.0115"
TW 67 - 0.012”
TZZ - 0.012"
WCC - 0.010/0.011" (Some less common WCC headstamps run thicker, but the majority are good to go)
Winchester - 0.011"
WIN NT - 0.011"
WMA 15 - 0.011"


Thick neck wall, bad without neck turning:

AB 556 - .015" to .016"
ATI - 0.015" [Note 3]
CBC - 0.014/0.015"
CJ6 - 0.015"
CJ 8 - .014"
DNL - 0.016"
FNM - 0.016" [Note 3]
FRONTIER - 0.015"
GECO - 0.015/0.016"
Hot Shot - 0.014" [Note 3]
HRTRS ( Herters?) - 0.017"
ICC - Reported as bad
IK03 - 0.015" [Note 4]
IMI - 0.015" [Note 4]
IVI - 0.015"
KFA .223 REM - 0.015"-0.019"
L2A2 - Reported as bad
MKE13 - Anecdotally reported as troublesome
MPA - 0.015"
Norma - 0.015"
NPA - [Note 3]
PMC (old headstamp) - 0.015"
PMP - 0.015"
PPU - 0.014/0.015" [Note 3]
RAM 223 - .014"
RORG - 0.015"
RWS - 0.014-0.015"
S&B - 0.015/0.017"
SADU - 0.014/0.015”
TAA - 0.013-0.014" [Note 4]
SADU 5.56 - 0.014-0.015"
Wolf Brass .223 - 0.014"

The case head doesn’t matter other than identification of the mfg. what matters is the wall thickness once you chop the case down and form it.

You can either chop it down form it and measure or build something like this that allows you to measure wall thickness inside the case first.
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  #17  
Old 05-29-2019, 08:16 AM
jmorris jmorris is offline
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The reason too thick is “bad” is because once you put a bullet into the case it either won’t fit in the chamber due to a larger OD or will chamber and increase the tension on the bullet causing over pressure.

Get a neck turning tool and you can make the “bad” brass even better than the undersize brass.

Kind of like benchrest guys do with their undersize neck chambers. Allows you to turn for uniform neck thickness and fit the chamber perfectly.

Last edited by jmorris; 05-29-2019 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:24 AM
lhawkins lhawkins is offline
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Annealing is to lessen the stress and hardness of it being worked by sizing. It will extend the life of your brass since most case failures are cracked case mouths.

Given I will probably lose the brass long before I overwork it, I do not anneal.

My PR, I thought about annealing 6.5. since I recover most of that and for consistency in reloading.

As for costs, I bought a Dillon RT1500 and a carbide die to convert to 300BO. I use the RT1500 for sizing/trimming .223 as well.

The cost of that die alone was pretty significant, but I can resize to 300 pretty easily now rather than buy it.

I got a bunch of 30 cal milsurp bullets from an estate.

The biggest cost, other than equipment, is the bullet. I try to keep an eye out for clearances and sales of 30 cal bullets. Pulled bullets work fine for general plinking even.
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:52 AM
jr24 jr24 is offline
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I was making mine for under $.30 in materials, but I see the cheapo Z Max bullets are done, so ordering new 110 V Max @ $.30 will be ...

$.39/round or so ($.30 bullet, $.04 primer, $.05 for H110). Cases are free for me as I've picked up about a billion .223 at the range that I cut down.

So for me there was the $150 Lee single stage
$40 dies (actually a gift in this case)
$30 saw from Harbor freight (another gift)
$8 jig (yes, another gift. ... My .300 and .308 setups were Christmas gifts)

So if I didn't already make the press cost back in .45 ACP in about 4 months (not to mention 9mm) I'd need to load and shoot About 300 or so to make up the cost with the $.80 savings I get over equivalent Hornady Black or Barnes 110 grains.

I don't anneal and my load has been reliable and accurate (MOA @ 100 or better if I'm "on") in my Stoner upper for my AR15.

I don't factor time in the process as reloading is a fun activity to me, I enjoy it almost as much as shooting. But cutting, cleaning, sizing and trimming .223 brass is quite time consuming.
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:55 AM
1911_Kid 1911_Kid is offline
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Originally Posted by lhawkins View Post
Annealing is to lessen the stress and hardness of it being worked by sizing. It will extend the life of your brass since most case failures are cracked case mouths.
The softer neck also allows for better chamber sealing as the case expands by the hot gas.

What the annealing does is well understood, the debate is usually around "does it really help that much considering the extra cost and effort to do it?". In other words, is the ROI favorable for annealing?

I find two common answers to that question
1) quality made ammo will be annealed
2) i see no diff, so i dont do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by jr24 View Post
I was making mine for under $.30 in materials, but I see the cheapo Z Max bullets are done, so ordering new 110 V Max @ $.30 will be ...

$.39/round or so ($.30 bullet, $.04 primer, $.05 for H110). Cases are free for me as I've picked up about a billion .223 at the range that I cut down.
So this has me scratching my head. If I can buy decent 300blk ammo for 34-40c / rnd, then why should I spend time reloading it? I would like to find a bulk ammo place that will buy back or provide credit for spent brass.
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Last edited by 1911_Kid; 05-29-2019 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:13 AM
jr24 jr24 is offline
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Quote:
So this has me scratching my head. If I can buy decent 300blk ammo for 34-40c / rnd, then why should I spend time reloading it? I would like to find a bulk ammo place that will buy back or provide credit for spent brass.
Because I'm making ammo that will shoot MOA in my rifle from a good bullet that will kill any game I choose to hunt for less than El cheapo blaster ammo?

I'm sure if I changed bullet weight to something like 147 or 150 and went FMJ I could probably get it down to $.25 or each, but I like an accurate load. I have a .223 and AK for cheap blasting.

Edit: which .300 blk ammo are you seeing at that price? If you don't mind.

Last edited by jr24; 05-29-2019 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:21 AM
1911_Kid 1911_Kid is offline
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https://www.wikiarms.com/group/300blk

There was 34c/rnd ammo there.
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:24 AM
nlvmike nlvmike is offline
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Back to the original question. If you factor in the amortization of your equipment, and no value for your time (it's a hobby), and assume free brass, I still don't think you can get much below $.40 a round. I bought a whole lot of ADI 300 blackout when it was on sale at Global Ordinance. I paid $.41.5 a round for a very high quality cartridge with a 125 grain Sierra Match King bullet. I shoot them at the range and reload them with a Nosler 125 grain Ballistic Tip for Coyote hunting. I reload to get the exact cartridge I want. And because I enjoy it. I really don't think I save any money with today's ammo prices. In 2010 it was a different story.
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:31 AM
nlvmike nlvmike is offline
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One more thought. When you are shopping for cheap 300blk ammo, it is almost exclusively 147-150 grain bullets. For me personally, those are worthless. I hunt with 125 grain or lighter, and I plink subsonics at 200 or 220 grain. I would have to change the zero on my gun for 147's, and for what? I'm not going to hunt with 147's, and slowing them down to subsonic has so little energy that it doesn't make sense.
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:57 AM
1911_Kid 1911_Kid is offline
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Originally Posted by nlvmike View Post
One more thought. When you are shopping for cheap 300blk ammo, it is almost exclusively 147-150 grain bullets. For me personally, those are worthless. I hunt with 125 grain or lighter, and I plink subsonics at 200 or 220 grain. I would have to change the zero on my gun for 147's, and for what? I'm not going to hunt with 147's, and slowing them down to subsonic has so little energy that it doesn't make sense.
Agree, most of the ~31-35c/rnd ammo is 147gr fmj. + shipping too.
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