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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know this is a raging debate to which there is no single answer but I need some help to shut my son and nephew up!

They both shoot 22-250 ammo that costs about $1.50/bullet and I just bought a .223 and am trying to find the right ammo starting with stuff that costs about $.60/bullet. They are forever busting my *** because I don't just go buy the expensive stuff!

My first argument is "what wrong with shooting a few hundred rounds to find the right ammo? It puts a gun in your hands!

My second argument is "with the Prairie dog hunt we have coming up you boys are going to wish you had found the lowest cost ammo your gun will shoot well"

Any words of wisdom I can cram down their throats would be appreciated.........
 

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Piney Woods Moderator
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To some folks, spending money is a sport in itself. I too shoot a 223 varmint rifle for the same reason you do, I get a lot of bang for the buck. Used 223 brass is a lot cheaper than 22-250 and uses a lot less powder. Sure you can drive a 22-250 a little faster but I personally don't require that. Just keep shooting and smiling while keeping your extra money in your pocket.
 

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Shot placement counts most. Half price ammo that misses twice as often as the expensive spread is no savings. So, start cheap and work up until you find what shoots most accurately in your gun? There is no guarantee that will be either the cheap or the expensive brand. You just have to try them and see? If I had to pick a brand that was most consistently accurate, it would be Federal Gold Medal, but it is far from cheapest, and, again, that tendency is not guaranteed to hold true for your particular gun.

You will find buying a Lee Anniversary kit and Deluxe die set and loading supplies, then learning to reload, will get you $0.40 rounds with high end bullets that are tailored to your gun and that are more accurate than any you can buy.
 

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I don't think there is anything wrong with starting out on the lower end of price. Sure, the more expensive ammo may be more likely the accurate choice. But you may find a lower price alternative that is almost as accurate as the expensive stuff. That could give you almost as much accuracy with a lower cost. And as you said, the shooting you get to do while experimenting is still shooting, so it is still time you are practicing with your rifle.
 

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That's one of the reasons I started reloading. I can spend $30 on a box of factory ammo, or I can have the same bullet/round tailored for my rifle for less than $10 a box.

As for bullet choice, just because they are the most expensive does not mean they are going to shoot better in your rifle. Sierra's and Hornady put out a good bullet for the price.

If you guys don't reload.... I would hate to spend $300 on ammo for a day of shooting gophers vs. the $100 it would cost me to reload.

You could always have two sets of ammo, one for closer range with the cheaper less accurate ammo, and one set for longer range with the more expensive ammo. If you can find a bullet that will shoot 1 MOA or better that should be good for out to say 200 yards, which could be quite a few of your shots.

Just tell him after a couple outings shooting prairie dogs that he shot all his money up, and you have enough to go buy a new rifle!

I guess to really prove a point, you need to find a cheaper bullet that shoots better than a more expensive bullet, shoot two sets of targets and show them the physical evidence!
 

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55gr Hornady V-Max, Varget, and Remington brass. Should cover it.

Midway USA

Remington Brass - $24.99 per 100 pieces
55gr V-Max - $16.99 per 100
CCI200's - $5.00 per 100
Varget - $24.99 per lb

Assuming 25gr Max load per charge, you are looking at roughly $0.30 per round, or $6.18 per box of 20.
 

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Every reloader is a cheapskate at heart... never pay for anything you can do yourself!
 

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You can shoot poop out of your gun as long as it has some terminal performance and sub moa. Nothing pisses off a reloader more than being out shot with CoreLokts....

But if your piece won't hang, bring some cash for ammo...
 

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You can shoot poop out of your gun as long as it has some terminal performance and sub moa. Nothing pisses off a reloader more than being out shot with CoreLokts....

But if your piece won't hang, bring some cash for ammo...

Corelokts are a decent, cheap ammo. But I have never, and I mean NEVER seen them shoot sub-moa out of anything. That includes my time working at a gun shop/range. If you can prove otherwise, please come on out. I'll buy you a beer.
 

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Corelokts are a decent, cheap ammo. But I have never, and I mean NEVER seen them shoot sub-moa out of anything. That includes my time working at a gun shop/range. If you can prove otherwise, please come on out. I'll buy you a beer.
I put eight consecutive shots within 0.9" at 100yds with factory loaded Core-Lokt using my T/C Encore Pro Hunter 24" MGM barrel in .260 Remington before deer season back in mid 2009 at the range (shooting from sandbags). I haven't attempted a repeat of that since, though. However, I got 5 of 5 deer with it this past season (four were precise placements, one caught a twig and keyholed the deer, though).

Prior to that, I shot 180gr Core-Lokt PSP out of my .30-06 and could call shots down to the head of a nail (can't remember what kind, the head was about 1/3" in diameter or so) at 100yds with it. Of course, with a .30cal bullet, that gives almost a whole inch around it to hit and the bullet still clip the nail head. That was 10 years or so ago, though. I haven't shot it much since then so I'd have to practice again to see if I could do it with that rifle. That'd be pretty close to a 1-MOA shot.
 

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I put eight consecutive shots within 0.9" at 100yds with factory loaded Core-Lokt using my T/C Encore Pro Hunter 24" MGM barrel in .260 Remington before deer season back in mid 2009 at the range (shooting from sandbags). I haven't attempted a repeat of that since, though. However, I got 5 of 5 deer with it this past season (four were precise placements, one caught a twig and keyholed the deer, though).
Thanks for the reply Shane. I didn't say it was impossible, just said I had not personally ever seen it. 150 and 180gr Corelokts in my .300 Win Mag are the worst I've experienced. it dont like them at all. 1.5"+
 

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Best-shooting factory ammo I ever used was Federal Premium, back when they were stuffing Sierra bullets in the end. I got 1.5" groups, on average but even back then, they were running $25-$30/box. When you look at Tang's calculation, and then figure total cost of 5 firings, or 500 rounds, the unit cost drops even more. While finding a cheap factory load that shoots well out of your gun is great, it's nowhere near as cool as finding the components that you can put together, for considerably less, that shoot even better! Plus, you can't always count on finding that factory load, whereas the components for a proven handload are likely to be around for a long time.
 

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Getting started reloading for only one caliber, can seem like an expensive venture. But for me, it made a lot of sense. 7mm RM, 300 WM, 300 RUM, and 338 WM. None of which are in any way considered cheap to feed. If you have a variety of calibers, reloading makes a lot more sense.
 

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Thanks for the reply Shane. I didn't say it was impossible, just said I had not personally ever seen it. 150 and 180gr Corelokts in my .300 Win Mag are the worst I've experienced. it dont like them at all. 1.5"+
Yeah, just lining myself up for a free beer ;) I've been pleasantly surprised at times by that factory ammo. I know plenty of people that have had experience like yours... 1.5" is pretty common. I know one rifle that can't seem to get within about 2.5" (my cousin's Handi-Rifle in .243) no matter who shoots it. It does lots better with Federal.

I think .30-30 generally is about as gun as the gun, too. TBH, I think higher velocity cartridges do worse with it. Slower rounds from Remington may be more forgiving, I dunno. 180gr .30-06 and my .260 list at 2700fps and 2750fps muzzle, respectively. Of course, .30-30 and .35 Remington are slower than that. BTW, my dad (when he was younger) could consistently donut bottle caps at 100yds with his .35 Rem (Rem Model 760). I've seen him do it many times (maybe even a hundred of times) using 200gr factory load Core-Lokts. I don't think he could do it now, though. He can still kill deer with it quite well but his groups have opened up a bit on him.
 

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Corelokts are a decent, cheap ammo. But I have never, and I mean NEVER seen them shoot sub-moa out of anything. That includes my time working at a gun shop/range. If you can prove otherwise, please come on out. I'll buy you a beer.

Tang, Better get a whole case!

I've reload Rem CL bullets to very good accuracy:


Also have 3 boxes of factory to test in a less than 1" rifle as soon as weather permits.
 

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They are forever busting my *** because I don't just go buy the expensive stuff!
Don't show them the brand. Then when you tally up the counts each hit, show them and the receipt for your ammo if you win. You won't have to say much after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I guess I need more info on reloading.

Can it be done in mass quantities?

What is the cost to get set up for mass reloading two calibers....22-250 and .223....I simply don't have the time to reload 100's of shells one at a time.
 

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Dies are around $30, A Lee classic kit is around $100, a manual is $20-$30, then all you need is a place to mount the press and powder, primers, bullets, and brass.
 
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