Average reload cost for a (.308) CETME with today's prices?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Laufer, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. Laufer

    Laufer Member

    Jul 27, 2008
    West TN.
    Have asked this on two other websites and have read the results.
    As a gun novice, am about to also obtain my very first reloading gear, but a very exper. friend helped me reload fifty rounds of .303 PRVI for the LEs using his gear.

    One guy stated that a port buffer (same as a brass-catcher?) to reduce case damage costs about $50, if welding can easily be done.

    If you had no .308 ammo, and doubted that you could easily locate any mil-spec (more reuseable) ammo on a continuing basis, about how low could a novice average per round with the lowest-cost .308 bullets, powder etc, while factoring in the need to buy brand-new ammo wherever you can with no trouble? I only buy a given type gun if the ammo is affordable.

    Am very skeptical that this can be done close to .30/round in a CETME at today's prices :(.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    I bought some Lake City once fired brass and determined that the cost per round was 45 cents (finished round). But if you save the brass that reduces by 13 cents for the next reload. 13 cents per case is CHEAP (new brass is about 35 cents or more each)

    But let me warn you that getting 308 once fired military brass ready to reload is no easy tasks. I had to force a tapered brass punch into each case throat as the machine guns that these cases are fired from throw them hard. The throats can be dented so badly that they will not fit into a regular reloading die. Then I had to de-prime them and remove the primer crimp with a special reaming device from RCBS. There are some cases that are lost to excessive damage: I lost about 25 out of a 1000. After sizing they have to be trimmed to the correct length. This is not a task for a new reloader. Bite the bullet, so to speak, and get new cases to minimize reloading problems while still learning to reload.

    The bullets to buy are the bulk packaged (in plastic baggies instead of boxes) from Remington or Winchester. That is a savings. There are some no name bulk packaged bullet (1000 bullets or more per package) that I have seen that are cheaper. Powder and primer savings are nothing more than shopping around for the best price on name brands. Don't use no name primers or powder you pick up at the gun show...too dangerous because who knows what's really in the package. Only buy closed and sealed containers of powder.

    Start reloading with a limited quantity of new components. Then when you are a seasoned reloader go for once fired cases or other bargain brass to build up a large supply of ammo to feed your gun.

    To decide what recipe to use do your research. Semi-auto military rifles like specific load levels. Some have gas adjustments that MUST be set for the ammo of choice. Others need to loaded to a specific level with a certain powder. Give the gun too much gas and it beats the gun to death and blows hot gases into your face (don't ask how I know that!). I believe the CETME has such a gas control. Learn how to adjust it and start out with too little gas and work up from there.


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