Reload or Buy Ammunition
Buy and use factory ammo?
Sounds like a sensible choice, you get a box of surplus or other ammo and away you go, stick it in a mag and shoot.
The benefits of using surplus or factory ammo is that there is no worrying about the time it takes to reload, the working up of that load to suit your rifle, the prepping of brass, sourcing consumables that suit you.
A large proportion of CSR shooters do indeed use surplus ammo, it works well, is consistent and in the main, availble from lots of gun shops, including the NRA Armoury. Typically shooters use Triple G (GGG) ammo, or any other surplus as it is all made to similar tolerances. The brass is good and re usable and the head weights are a standard 55g or 62g in 5.56/.223 or 147g in 7.62/.308
So what counts when we think of using surplus ammo?
Does it shoot consistently decent groups through your gun. A decent group for me is around an inch at 100yds, better would be nice but thats not always possible with surplus ammo. If your rifle likes it then great.
What is acceptable to compete at CSR?
In my opinion, a round that is consitently giving 1.5 - 2 inch groups or better at 100yds should be okay, and surplus should be capable of achieving this.
Reload our own ammunition!
This first season I went down the reload your own ammo route, mainly because I had worked up a good consistent load for my .223 AR15 which groups under 1/2 inch at 100yds.
Is that important?
Well, if nothing else it gives peace of mind on the firing point, I know that if I miss the target, it is not inconsistent ammo thats at fault, it is my own error!
Okay, there are some downsides to reloading. All brass needs to be cleaned, prepped, fully resized between uses and trimmed where necessary, this all takes time and the bit i personally hate about it all.
You need to be sure that when you have a good consistent load, that any consumables you have used are going to be available in the future, otherwise you have to figure it all out again!
Once you have something that works, stick with it! Remember, and this is just my opinion, the round does not have to be going as fast as you can get it to go to work, it needs to be accurate enough to give good results consistently, its one less thing to worry about psychologically!
Is it more expensive to buy surplus or reload?
I would say its about the same cost, but buying surplus has no impact on your free time!!