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Author Topic: Money Saving Ideas for Ammo and Reloading Components  (Read 1027 times)

Offline bearpaw

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Money Saving Ideas for Ammo and Reloading Components
« on: March 05, 2021, 12:15:08 AM »
In this age of spiraling ammo and reloading component price increases I thought it might be a good idea to have a discussion about affordable ammo and component options for gun owners who want to shoot a lot. A recent discussion with some prairie dog hunters we have coming this summer spawned my idea for this topic. We usually shoot 500 to 1000 rounds per day per person so cheaper ammo can make a big difference in the overall cost of a few serious days of shooting.

Many discussions seem to focus on premium bullet choices which obviously cost a premium to shoot, especially if you like to do a lot of shooting. There are actually some very affordable ammo and component options out there that will perform well on game at most distances the average hunter will be shooting and also are fairly accurate to very accurate. If you watch the classifieds on this forum there are a lot of members who are willing to trade or sell components they no longer need at fair prices, of course you should try to know what is fair pricing for what you want to trade or buy because like in any free market setting there are variances in pricing.

Affordable Loaded Ammo
The bottom line is that most of the affordable priced name brand ammo like Remington, Federal, Winchester, etc. with their standard grade bullets will do it's job if you do your job at reasonable distances. By reasonable distances I'm talking anywhere from very close range out to 300 or even 500 yards depending on the cartridge being used. You can buy standard grade ammo at 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of premium grade ammo and the end result in most shooting situations will be the same if you put the bullet where it needs to be. Buying your ammo for a third or half as much means you can afford to shoot two or three times as much if you are on a budget!

Remington Core-lokt Bullets and Loaded Ammo
I wouldn't say they are outstanding in any way but Core-lokts are very affordable and they get the job done in most scenarios. I have seen hundreds of elk, deer, bear, pronghorn and moose taken with core-lokts. I have a particular 300 Weatherby that shot core-lokts better than factory Weatherby ammo or any other bullet I tried to reload, so I just shot hundreds of cheapo Remington Core-lokt ammo that I bought at Walmart for years, it was the gun I loaned to my clients when needed more often than any other gun. I've also shot Remington ammo through many other rifles with terminal results. A problem I currently see is that Remington ammo and bullets are hard to find in retail or online stores at this time, but I see it listed in the classifieds from time to time.

Affordable Bullets for Reloading
First off when you buy premium bullets there are usually only 50 bullets in a box, when you buy more affordable bullets you usually get 100 bullets for less money than 50 premium bullets. If you get bulk packs of standard bullets or buy seconds, the savings are even greater. This is a way to save money if you reload and do a lot of shooting.

Hornady Interlocks
Hornady bullets seem to be pretty available, I've been able to recently purchase numerous caliber and weights of Interlock bullets. You get 100 bullets in a box for a reasonable price and I've had great luck shooting Hornady Interlock bullets, for an affordable bullet the Interlock seems to have excellent accuracy and performs well on game of all sizes at most common shooting distances. To help clarify the accuracy of Interlocks, Weatherby ammo has been loaded with interlocks for years, they guarantee 1" or better groups with their rifles using any of their ammo including interlocks. I've got a .257 that loves interlocks, it will shoot 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards in any reasonable weather and we've killed all sizes of game from varmints to bear to moose and even elk at over 500 yards with 100 grain interlocks.

Affordable Brass
Some great ways to save money on brass is to get used brass from friends who don't reload, pick brass up at shooting ranges, trade brass with other reloaders, or buy used brass at a fraction of the cost of new brass. I have bought a fair amount of used brass (quite a bit of it on this forum) and in some cases I've even bought mixed brands of used brass. When I get mixed brands I sort it by brand and make sure each brand is safe to shoot with the load I want to use and then load one brand at a time and box them separately. Another factor in brass cost is lifespan, if you shoot lower pressure loads your brass will last for more reloading's.

Affordable Powder
Another way money can be saved is with powder choices. Although most powders are pretty close in price per pound there are big differences in how much powder is required of various powders in a specific caliber. I often find myself choosing the powder that gives me the best accuracy and/or the most speed. On https://load-data.nosler.com/load-data/30-06-springfield/ Nosler lists a 150 grain bullet in a 30/06 having the best accuracy in their test rifle with RL 19, but if you look at IMR 4895 you can load 10 grains less powder and get about the same velocity. In reality if you put a bullet through the vitals of a deer is he going to know if it was 50 fps faster or slower, or is he going to know if it was 1/4 inch more accurate at 100 yards? If you can load 15% to 20% less powder and still get good accuracy why not save some money so you can do more shooting?

Primers
I have never figured out a way to save much on primers other than just buying them when I see them at a reasonable price. Standard primers are really not priced that much differently than match grade primers. Some primers seem to be a little hotter than other primers, I guess you could save a little on powder, but I think that is relatively insignificant. maybe someone else can offer some money saving ideas for primers?

Of course any ammo manufactured or reloaded will likely put down animals if you hit them right. There are several premium bullets and ammo that I really like but these were a few ideas for saving money on ammo and reloading components if you want to shoot a lot during times of high ammo pricing. Hopefully other members will chime in with some of their money saving ideas?
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Offline fowl smacker

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Re: Money Saving Ideas for Ammo and Reloading Components
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2021, 05:40:19 AM »
Thanks a lot, now I won't be able to find core-lokt ammo for my .270.  Kidding...I have plenty, but yes, many, many animals have fallen to them. 

Offline whackmaster

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Re: Money Saving Ideas for Ammo and Reloading Components
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2021, 05:56:12 AM »
Have used core-lokt ammo for years with great results it's almost like it's the deadliest mushroom in the woods   :yike:
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Offline fly-by

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Re: Money Saving Ideas for Ammo and Reloading Components
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2021, 06:00:59 AM »
Spent all kinds of time and money on reloading this year then proceeded to harvest my buck with  blue box Federal Power Shok.

Offline hunter399

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Re: Money Saving Ideas for Ammo and Reloading Components
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2021, 06:30:24 AM »
Cor locks have dropped many animals for me and many others ,over the years.

There is one bullets out there for reloader that I kinda consider the new cor lok on the block.
Many already know I'm sure.
It's called a ...........................
Speer hot cor bullet.
No fancy BC
Nothing great about them. Cheap when you can find them.
But they do drop animals in the same fashion as the old remington green box core lock.
I have shot deer with them.
My son shot his buck last year with them. And they put a hurt down on deer.
Two birds in the Bush is always better than one in the hand-that way you can always go to the Bush and hunt another day .conservation=Better hunting.
Wrote by hunter399

Offline kselkhunter

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Re: Money Saving Ideas for Ammo and Reloading Components
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2021, 06:59:59 AM »
Yeah, core lockts is mostly what we used in my youth.  Multiple elk and deer fell to our family members with the 170gr core lokt out of a 30-30 (we hunted close, no scopes).   

But I agree with hunter399.  I load alot of Speer Hot Cors and Grand Slams the past few years.  And they're a good price vs. performance in the right application. Especially in my 35 cals, where velocity isn't high enough for a premium bullet to make much of a difference.  Those 250gr Hot Cors make the animal just as dead as the 250gr Partitions at those velocities, same with the 220gr Hot Cors.  Hot Cors have been sold out everywhere for awhile now.   Also have a pile of hard cast lead bullets from Beartooth that I like for low cost practicing, but those also work well on animals. 

Offline jrebel

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Re: Money Saving Ideas for Ammo and Reloading Components
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2021, 07:31:08 AM »
Just a thought.....but the best way to save money on components and live ammo is to buy in bulk.  I'm not talking 100's......but rather thousands or tens of thousands.  The same is said for powder, brass, etc.  It would be pretty amazing if we had a group buy option.  Logistically it is a pain in the butt because someone has to take the lead and put a list together.  People have to pony up money on short notice or someone has to flip the bill initially. 

I have a couple buddies and we have done this with powder in the past.  It saves a ton if you can split the shipping over many pounds of powder vs a couple.  Sometimes you can find free hazmat shipping but not always. 

Live .22lr ammo in bulk can be a huge saving....same with .223!!  I would imagine the same would apply to shotgun ammo but not sure.  Something to think about if you guys have mutual friends that are willing to buy in bulk...pallets!! 

Offline NW SURVEYOR

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Re: Money Saving Ideas for Ammo and Reloading Components
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2021, 07:37:29 AM »
Just to back up 399, I've shot a pile of deer and elk with the Speer Hot Cores.
They're inexpensive, decent BC and accurate enough for the average shooter at a reasonable range.
I also like the Hornady Interlocks, I shot them in my .338 for years, also worked well when I did my part.
I still have a few hundred 225 grains which I may use in my 33 Nosler in the future, although I'm shooting 270 grain ELDXs right now.
Thanks to everyone for their input on all the reloading subjects.




Offline bearpaw

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Re: Money Saving Ideas for Ammo and Reloading Components
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2021, 10:46:42 AM »
Just a thought.....but the best way to save money on components and live ammo is to buy in bulk.  I'm not talking 100's......but rather thousands or tens of thousands.  The same is said for powder, brass, etc.  It would be pretty amazing if we had a group buy option.  Logistically it is a pain in the butt because someone has to take the lead and put a list together.  People have to pony up money on short notice or someone has to flip the bill initially. 

I have a couple buddies and we have done this with powder in the past.  It saves a ton if you can split the shipping over many pounds of powder vs a couple.  Sometimes you can find free hazmat shipping but not always. 

Live .22lr ammo in bulk can be a huge saving....same with .223!!  I would imagine the same would apply to shotgun ammo but not sure.  Something to think about if you guys have mutual friends that are willing to buy in bulk...pallets!!

I've wondered why nobody has done a group buy on many reloading items or bulk ammo buys. Are there are any legalities as long as everyone involved is of age?  :dunno:
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Offline bearpaw

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Re: Money Saving Ideas for Ammo and Reloading Components
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2021, 10:50:37 AM »
Yeah, core lockts is mostly what we used in my youth.  Multiple elk and deer fell to our family members with the 170gr core lokt out of a 30-30 (we hunted close, no scopes).   

But I agree with hunter399.  I load alot of Speer Hot Cors and Grand Slams the past few years.  And they're a good price vs. performance in the right application. Especially in my 35 cals, where velocity isn't high enough for a premium bullet to make much of a difference.  Those 250gr Hot Cors make the animal just as dead as the 250gr Partitions at those velocities, same with the 220gr Hot Cors.  Hot Cors have been sold out everywhere for awhile now.   Also have a pile of hard cast lead bullets from Beartooth that I like for low cost practicing, but those also work well on animals.

I recently have seen both interlocks and hot cors on various ammo sites, I bought interlocks for $30-$35ish dollars per box of 100 within the last couple weeks.
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Offline sjhgraysage

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Re: Money Saving Ideas for Ammo and Reloading Components
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2021, 12:54:58 PM »
With Remington's financial issues they had closed their ammo factory. It was bought by Vista, which also has CCI, Speer, and Federal.
My understanding is that Vista is now trying to get that factory staffed and back into production. It may be a while before we see ammo in the old green and yellow boxes on the shelf.  :dunno:

Offline Bill W

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Re: Money Saving Ideas for Ammo and Reloading Components
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2021, 01:11:19 PM »
With Remington's financial issues they had closed their ammo factory. It was bought by Vista, which also has CCI, Speer, and Federal.
My understanding is that Vista is now trying to get that factory staffed and back into production. It may be a while before we see ammo in the old green and yellow boxes on the shelf.  :dunno:

This may get fired up faster than initially thought.  I did see pics of a pallet load of shotgun gun club ammo ready for shipment.  Though it may be easier to start up the skeet/trap shotgun ammo line.

Also on the topic of core-loks... at one time they were known as the cheapest premium bullet on the market.  I think Bob Hagel said that.

Offline bearpaw

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Re: Money Saving Ideas for Ammo and Reloading Components
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2021, 01:22:27 PM »
With Remington's financial issues they had closed their ammo factory. It was bought by Vista, which also has CCI, Speer, and Federal.
My understanding is that Vista is now trying to get that factory staffed and back into production. It may be a while before we see ammo in the old green and yellow boxes on the shelf.  :dunno:

I didn't realize that, no doubt adding to the ammo shortage.
Americans are systematically advocating, legislating, and voting away each others rights. Support all user groups & quit losing opportunity!

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Offline NRA4LIFE

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Re: Money Saving Ideas for Ammo and Reloading Components
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2021, 01:46:48 PM »
A quote from an email I got yesterday:

"The hope would be that Vista will place more emphasis on getting the Remington primer production capacity increased substantially and quickly."

This would be good news.

I too have found Interlocks lately, both from Scheels and Cabelas.  Not a great selection, but available and priced fairly decent.  I also found a 500 box of Berry's at Scheels, 223 55 gr FMJ.  There's decent prices out there if you are diligent.
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Offline Fl0und3rz

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Re: Money Saving Ideas for Ammo and Reloading Components
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2021, 01:57:38 PM »
On brass, Nosler premium "Ready to Load" brass isn't.  Out of 3 boxes I purchased recently, only about 6% were in spec for case length.  It was a tight length range, to be sure, which suggests that it is a systemic problem that they have to know about, and online reviews/comments seem to suggest that this has been going on a while. 

Sure, cases will stretch, when fired, etc., etc.   But is that really a point when you pay a premium for  "Ready to Load" brass. 

On money saving, the Winchester brass I bought, although not  "Ready to Load," only had about 6% under spec, after prep.  I recenty scored some Starline brass for .243 Win, and I have had good luck with Starline as well.

 


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