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drsack

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Reply with quote  #1 
Folks, I'm new here and I've been reading up on some of the topics but, I've in no way seen them all so, I'm sure some of what I'd like to get into here has already been gone over before. What I'd like to do is start this thread on ammo and reloading. I'd like for us to enlighten each other with our thoughts and ideas and to share bits of info on the different calibers.

To start off I'm a reenactor, living historian and military vehicle collector and historian. Without going into great detail I will say I like so many different calibers it'll take some time to go into detail on them. I have a large collection of firearms and other weapons with photos posted in the Arsenal subject thread. I have reloaded and cast my own bullets but, it's been some years ago. I still have the tools for reloading the .45 long Colt, 44-40, 45-70, 38 spl. .357 mag. and .223.

My hope is to start reloading the .303 British round before to much longer. I use that for our 1930's safaris where we take to the field and shoot targets of African game. With the higher cost of this round today I believe reloading it to be a good idea. I may at a later date begin reloading the 7.62x54r round maybe using the same bullet. Later I'd also like to reload the .308 and 30-06 rounds. I'm always wanting to learn more about all sorts of things. 



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Raccoon_City_Survivor

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Reply with quote  #2 
I don't do any reloading.  What the basic/minimalist setup I need for reloading .40 S&W, 5.56/.223, and 12 gauge?

I can drop 12 gauge if that's going to up the cost.  It's still fairly cheap.

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drsack

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Reply with quote  #3 
The best place to start is with the links below but first I'll give a few details to think about. I like the reloading kits from Lee as for ease and the cost but, it looks like Lee doesn't carry one for the .40. They do have the .223, and 12 gauge. I also use the RCBS press.

If you have the time either go on line, to a gun or book store to find a good reloading book. Or check the Lee link below they also have good books and a lot of on line info. You can go to other web sites as well but, always cross ref on these things. I have Speer and Lyman books but there are tons of info out there.  

The first thing to know is once you fire the case it is sized to that gun, That's why I like the Lee kit. Don't mix the cases from different guns unless you will do a complete resizing with the larger press dies. The reloader kit only resizes the upper neck of the case and that will extend the life of the case as well. You will get from 5-10 shots out of each case that way. Military cases are a little tougher to work with but, it can be done with a few more tools. The more you work a case the shorter the life.

From Lee for $40.00, about the cost of two or three boxes of ammo you get the kit that will last you a life time. It's very compact and can be carried in your BOB pack. You might find you'll want to get some other tools to help clean the cases, and a tube of case lube but it can be done with out these. In time you'll want a case trimmer, a primer pocket brush and a scale. But the nice thing about the Lee set up is it only uses a small powder measure dipper for the powder, no scale needed. You can also get a complete set of those for more options. 

Once you figure out what case primer size and type you will need you have to get those. The bullet size and weight you want again for about the same as two or three boxes of ammo. But, the deal here is the primers and bullets come in larger numbers than a box of ammo. A 100 bullets for 20-40 bucks.

The powder is also about 20-40 bucks a lb. But, again you get a lot of bang from a can full. The sad thing with powder is there is no such thing as one type for all. Hand gun powders are much different than rifle powders. But, some powders will work in both hand guns and shot guns. There are many powders and each book will give you a number of different loadings using different powders. The thing is you want to figure out what bullet you want to use first look up the chart for that bullet and find what type of powder works best for your needs in the Manual.  

You will not want to cast bullets for the .40 and .223 these rounds are a lot more trouble to cast and the lead becomes a real issue as well.

I think this is enough info to start with and I've got to get for now.

Looks like Lee is out of all of their kits right now, go figure I was going to order one for the .303.

http://leeprecision.com/ 

http://leeprecision.com/powder-measure-kit.html

http://www.rcbs.com/ 

http://www.lymanproducts.com/lyman/main/ 

http://www.dbackpolice.com/load-data-book-semiauto-pistol-auto-luger-p-29324.html

http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ItemListing.aspx?catid=1292 

http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ItemListing.aspx?catid=1323 

http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/search.cmd?form_state=searchForm&N=0&fsch=true&Ntk=AllProducts&Ntt=primers&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products&x=26&y=14 

http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=731761&WTz_l=YMAL 

http://www.yosemiteantiques.com/item320_Speer_Reloading_Manual_Number_Ten.html

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ZombieHunter

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Reply with quote  #4 
Yeah the only thing I reload is 12 gauge. I use a Lee as well. I basically only load #00 buck and 1oz foster slugs. I melt down the slugs myself and cast them from lead ingots. It's fun, and therapeutic. I haven't had much time to do it in the last couple years though, unfortunately. 

And I second everything drsack's said. Each specific component is different from every other brand's component (more often than not), so you'll need specific recipes for everything you're doing. There are about a million different recipes for 12 gauge loads, using different powders and wads and shells. It's interesting stuff. Definitely get a book if you're gonna do it. Fortunately the internet has plenty of resources as well. But published books are always nice. 

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drsack

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks ZH for getting my back on this stuff.  I had to get a truck sold earlier so I didn't get to cover all that I wanted to but, I think it's enough to start with. Once RCS has a chance to think about it and makes up his mind we can go into more detail. 

The sad thing is it looks like bad timing to start getting into reloading right now, I'm finding that most everyone is running out of equipment and supplies for it. It could take some time for the makers to get up to speed and for the shops to restock. I read somewhere that a lot of stuff like primers, cases and bullets are being sent to the ready load ammo lines to fill the stores shelves and not being put out the door for reloaders. I don't know if that's true or not but does sound reasonable. They can make more money that way I'm sure.

I've never reloaded shotshells but, I understand it's easy enough and you can even do it with reloading tools. Put the shell on top of some washers with holes larger enough for the primer to go through them, pop the primer out with a thin steel wire or nail. Put the new primer lined up with the primer pocket on a flat steel surface like an anvil, with a dowel rod tap the shell hard enough to force the shell down onto the primer making sure it's not sticking out of the pocket or to far in. Next take the measure of powder that you've picked and pour the powder into the shell. Next you place a wad in with a little pressure with the dowel rod, tap it a little. Next a cushion wad and just push it down until it stops but dont' tap it. Now take the shot load and place or pour it into the shell. Add a card on top to hold the load in. If you've cut the old fold off you can glue the card in with Elmers or what ever you have on hand like boiled tree sap. If you still  have the fold you'll need to refold it and maybe glue it into place. Just make sure the shell is not any longer than what the gun is designed for.

Once you figure out how much powder you want to use you can make a measure out of and old shot shell or brass case of another cal. You measure out the powder and pour in the amount you need and then cutting the shell down to the top of the powder load. You can do the same thing with the lead load. These type of shells can be put together over and over again if not loaded to hot. Once you get a hang of it you can do this in the field as you need them very fast. One form of wading is old news paper, paper wasp nest and even some types of roak and tree mosses will work. You can do this with smokeless and black powder. You can use all sorts of shot as long as it's not over the weight limits of the shell and gun. I recall old fellows using glass and salt to frighten us kids away. Stings like hell I understand.

I used to reload my .45-70 rounds at the shooting range as I shot all day. I brought a bag of bullets, a box of primers and a box on new loaded shells and a lb. of black powder. As long as I was using the same gun there were no problems, I didn't need to resize the cases at all. I removed the primer, popped a new one in, poured the powder in (about 60 gr.) and placed the 405 gr. cast bullet in. I didn't even crimp it just loaded the gun and fired it then let the case cool before reloading it again. The time saved was great and the cost on .45-70 rounds is very high now. 

The .45-70 is great for big game and it's real easy to work with. The .456 dia. bullet is a good one for casting and comes in a number of weights. I have two different Lyman dies for .405 bullets. The no. 2 black powder load back in the day was 70 gr. but, that was with the old ballon head cases. That case was made like a rim fire case but the primer was in the center giving it more room for the powder. The carbine round used a lighter load due to recoil. That's about what todays powder loads come up to. I have a bunch of old indian wars battle field pickups and these cases are copper and the primers are inside the case. Bad stuff and often jammed in the chamber due to ruptureing. The nice thing about black powder in cases is you can't overload them, the bullet just won't fit unless you force it. The .303 British round was black powder at first and it used a compacted powder loading, must have been a real hot one for it's day.

I've also done the same thing with .38 spl. but, using smokeless powder and a light crimping to hold the bullets in due to the recoil in a revolver. I won't do it with .357 mag cases any more due to so much risk of a mistake. Using these types of loads is fine in a revolver but, I don't think it's a good idea in a auto pistol.

I know there are a few web sites and youtube clips on reloading without a press and the reloading tools.

The nice thing about having so many different guns in different cals is having what you need at the moment you need it. They also work good for trade.        
 

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Nyghtreaver

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Reply with quote  #6 
not directly related to reloading, and i hope i dont hijack the thread but it is about ammo..... WTF  we are sellin ammo faster than we can get it in, had to put a 3 box per customer limit on it. so as soon as we get a case in someone comes in with their spiuse and some friends. sold a 3/4 a case of .223 we got in the other day before i even had time to open up the ammo cage to stock it.
about the only thing we still have in any number is some .38, and  12 guage, or is it 20.  cant remember, we have some of one none of the other. even out of .22 for cryin out loud.  is this just an Arizona thing or is it everywhere.

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Reply with quote  #7 
It's everywhere.  People panic buying over Obama getting reelected and the pending AWB.  People are worried the Gov will start taxing ammo so hard it hurts so we won't shoot anymore.

Which is why I am looking into reloading.

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drsack

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Reply with quote  #8 
Yep, you're good, I opened this thread for anything on ammo and so-on.

RCS, is correct, everywhere I've gone is either almost out or very low on ammo. I also checked on powder and primers and I found one good shop not to far away that still has a reasonable stock but, the prices have gone up a bit.

I just got back from one of our safaris and I only had to shot two rounds with my sportized 1917 dated .303 Enfield No. 3 and both shots hit the game targets with perfect hits The first was a Kudu and the second a Leopard. One of the fellows shot the Leopard with his 58cal double rifle as well. Our guide took down a rhino with his sporterized 30-06 M1917. Great time had by all. class="bbc_img"> class="bbc_img"> class="bbc_img"> class="bbc_img">. I was real glade I didn't have to shoot anymore than that.

One of the other fellows is also going to order a Lee reloading kit in .303. I told him to try getting it from Cabelas today as the last I checked it was about $29.00 and everone I've checked plus Lee are out and their cost is much more. 

I can only hope the makers will get up to speed before much longer on the ammo, but I know it'll be a while on the guns if ever now.

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drsack

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Reply with quote  #9 
I've been doing a lot of research on reloading as of late and I'm almost giving up on the idea of getting the equipment for the .303 Brit, .308Win. and 7.62x54r for now. There is a great shortage of the tools and other components right now and the cost have gone up far more than I would have hoped for what is out there. I've managed to find enough ammo to meet my stock pile needs for now. But, if I want to start shooting again I'll need to look into reloading again but, by then I hope things would have improved.

Now, I have found a lot of info about some rounds and so-on. Most of it was from YouTube. Now, before you go off on how screwed up things are on YouTube like some of my buddies do I always double or triple check these things before ever trying this stuff. Like any tool it's up to you to use them correctly.

There are a few videos on how to reload the Berdan primered cases and to even convert the Berdan case to use the Boxer primer. Far more work then I ever would want to do. But, as they point out there may come the day when it's a must. The Berdan is often used in old east block ammo such as the 7.62x54r, 7.62x39 and many others in that cal. range. The biggest problem I see with the Berdan is how hard they are to remove and they come in some many different sizes. They are also very hard to find with most coming from Germany. There are folks who also show how to reload the steel cases. Also how to reload the boxer primer, another real pain in the butt deal. These reloaded primers have a lot of issues and can let you down.

As I pointed out in past postings there are some tricks to reloading that are good to know just in case.

One keep you spent cases sepatated for each gun. This means you won't have to resize the whole case, it's already fire formed to that gun.

Keep the cases as clean as possible to reduce the work needed to reload them. Dirt, dings and dents have to be removed or thrown away before resized.

Find the projectile you want to use and buy a good number of them. Unless I'm wanting something special the cheaper the better. Bullet weight can be an issue with some guns as well as the types of target to be used on. But, for most of us it's zombies right so, anything can work. the lighter weight means more speed but, less impact force at range. Do a little research on this one.

Once you firgure out the bullet you are limited on the type of powder you can use. Each manual gives and set type of powder for each loading and few powders work for many different loading and rounds. Again pick one that best meets you needs and buy a pounds of it and keep it dry. Powders today give you a lot of bangs for your buck.

Primers are a whole other world, each case type uses a different size. These are small pistol, large pistol, magnum pistol, small rifle, large rifle, magnum rifle, shot gun and a whole other line of different sizes for black powder guns. Once you figure out what sizes and types you want to use buy the larger boxes of these. Just make sure you never get them mixed up and keep them dry. I've read where some people say you should never thouch them, the oils on your hands effect them. It can be hard to not handle them as they will flip over as you use them. I've never had a problem with thouching them but, keep your hands clean and dry in case you must handle them. Use them in small numbers.

Finding the right tools for reloading, unless you have a mixed bag of cases I use as few tools as possible. Full case resizing shortens the life of the case. There are things that can be done to give them more life but, again it's a lot of work and might not be worth the work with some cases. This is where doing your research comes in. To me the Lee Hand Reloading Kit is one of the best for on the spot field work. That and a few other smaller tools can keep you shooting for hours. However, having a bench press will give you a means to reload cases you pickup on the range. And you will have a way to reload more cal's. if all goes right you should be able to get more than 5 reloads out of each case. Look for any cracks, splits or deformed cases after each use. You could have head spacing issues, over pressure issues or just bad cases that could damage your gun or you.

I'm hearing form buddies of mine about a lot of old military ammo giving them problems with case damage. The 7.62x25 is one that seems to crack and split alot even on first time use. One buddy is using old Bulgarian ammo and had a case base break off and the rest of the case is stuck in his PPS-43. It seems ever round has cracked from this lot. So, be careful with these. There are a number of issues to deal with when reloading military cases so research these before working on them.

As I've pointed out the cost are a lot higher now days then back when I first started reloading. I've figured out just to get the few items I want will cost over a $100.00 now. I can still get a good number of boxes of ammo for that. But, I'm not limited on what cal. to get with so many that I can use. If I were to want to start reloading today I might have to rethink the whole idea. What ammo is out there is not cheap but, still within reason. If I had a cal. I couldn't find the ammo for then for sure I'd get the equipment and so-on. Maybe I'm getting lazy as well.

I still have a large number of .38, .45-70, and a few other types of bullets and some primers and a little powder so in a pinch I could make due. I also keep a pound of 2x & 3x black powder as a back up also. A lot of the older cal's started life using black powder.

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drsack

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Reply with quote  #10 
I hope I'm not stepping on any toes or rules but, I thought I should pass this message on. Here's a link to help explain the ammo shortage. I've seen a few messages making statements of how the ammo makers are making the shortage to drive the prices up and so-on. As I check every store in my area I keep note of the prices and I've yet to see any unreasonable jump of prices as of yet. However, I'm becoming more aware of some of the hgiher priced stuff on the market as it's what's left on the shelves.  

http://www.nssfblog.com/its-george-soros-fault-we-have-so-little-ammo-not/  

Will there be a tax jump? It has happened in a few locations already with back ground checks as well and it could happen in some of those states and cities that belive it'll slow or stop crime. (Yea right).

Keep your balls heavy, patches greased, locks covered and powder dry.

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Reply with quote  #11 
I just went to Gander Mtn. and they are selling Remington UMC 250-round packs of .40 S&W for twice what I paid before this shit hit the fan.
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drsack

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Reply with quote  #12 
Wow! Sorry to hear that. Odd thing is there's still a lot of .40 cal. still around here. I can't find any .22 rim fire, .223, .308, 9mm, and even buck shot and some slugs are getting real hard to find. Black shotguns are almost gone everywhere. There was some 7.62x51 today and the price hadn't gone up on any of it here yet.
I bought a box of 7.62x39 steel cases and another cross bow pistol just to have 'em. I made an ammo pouch out of some white canvas to carry a full box of .308 on a belt for back up. I then painted it with exterior acrylic tan colored to dull it down and to add a little water proofing to it. Painting canvas with exterior paint is a great way to keep it looking good changing the color and water proofing it. great for old canvas tents.  

I've also been making some other shoulder bags out of old blue jeans to carry stuff in. They also make great rifle cases and so on. Even a shoulder bag for my wife. I cut them from the center down cutting the zippers parts out. Then I turn them inside out to sew the end of the leg and close up the open side. then turn them back out. The pockets work great for a box of ammo and other little items.
I also made a little bag for a sling shot and one for my PPS 43 with a sling.

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Nyghtreaver

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Reply with quote  #13 
.40 is one of the few we still have a moderate supply of at the store.  drowning in 20 guage but cant keep 12 guage.   still decent on some of the odd calibers.  have some 30.06.  we had to limit 3 boxes per customer.

how bad is it in my podunk arizona town?   the guy that owns the only gunstore comes into our store(wal-mart) to buy out ammo. to get around the 3 box thin he brings his in laws and friends. calls them if we get some in  lol.  most the shooters at the store avoid his place and go to casa grande(25 miles away) for guns.  had a guy come in the other morning for .22 for shooting competition, we were out. i suspect he was looking for extra to black market

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drsack

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Reply with quote  #14 
I've never had a 20 gauge and I''ve been here srufing for one right now. I'm thinking of a tactical with a heat shield and as short as I can get it. But finding one around here aint happening. Might find something in a pawn shop and rebuild it if the price isn't to bad. I've shot 20 gauge a few times and never thought much of it. The point is now the wife could shoot it, the ammo is cheap and still easy to get.

I can just see the 20 gauge in one hand and the PPS-43C in the other, flesh and steel going down.

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Nyghtreaver

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Reply with quote  #15 
might be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. we got a ton of 12 guage in last week, and yesterday we got in the biggest lot of a single caliber since The Great Panic,  about 5 cases of 5.56, still had around 30 boxes left when i left this morning.  9mm and 7.62 only got single cases last week and it was gone in a day. still no .22 though.
most the customers are pretty cool about it, my favorite is the black guy last month that said "fucking Obama"  i had to try hard not to bust out laughing on that one.

still gonna be a couple months i think until retailers have their shelves stocked to pre-panic levels, but i beleive a combination of factories increasing output and half the country has a bazillion rounds of ammo stashed in their basement is reason to be cautiously optimistic. oh and not a huge markup on the 5.56, it was winchester or remington i think and was going for around $5.75 for a 20 round box

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drsack

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Reply with quote  #16 
Thanks for the update. I went by one store the other day and I wanted to get a box of 30-06 as they always seemed to have some in stock. Well, they had one box of high $ Winchester, so I passed. They only had some odd ball stuff left in stock, nothing I could use but shotgun ammo. 
I took my step son to buy his first gun, a shotgun a little while back. We got him a 20 gauge Mossberg 88 for his 27th birthday. I'm still wanting a short barrel 20 gauge but, my vans in shop and that's going to be a big bill I think. But, looking around short shotguns are gone. A buddy of mine works for a pawn shop and let me know the other day they had 3 home defense 88's come in and I had to pass on that.
I figure I will not pass up any reasonable deals on a box or two of ammo when I come by it. I hope you're right Nygh but, who knows how long this drought is going to last.
I've given up on buy any more reloading equipment as I can't get any primers and bullets anyway.

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