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What's Your Take on Reloading?

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I am new here so hello to everybody. I would be a solid 3, been reloading for years, I enjoy reloading almost as much as hunting for components at gunshows and the classifieds. Since I can't afford gold or silver, I figure ammo will make a great trading medium if TSHTF.

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I think it depends on what you need your ammunition to support - my collection is built to support a SHTF event. So, for my SKS and Mosin Nagant, I don't see the need, I have a couple thousand rounds for each purchased (aiming for 5k each).

 

For my 9mm's & the .45 cal - I'm considering it...even researched and started to settle on a RCBS reloading outfit...but had a thought that eventually I'd be unable to find brass for my needs...so, not sure where to go from there...maybe a crossbow?

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I think it depends on what you need your ammunition to support - my collection is built to support a SHTF event. So, for my SKS and Mosin Nagant, I don't see the need, I have a couple thousand rounds for each purchased (aiming for 5k each).

 

For my 9mm's & the .45 cal - I'm considering it...even researched and started to settle on a RCBS reloading outfit...but had a thought that eventually I'd be unable to find brass for my needs...so, not sure where to go from there...maybe a crossbow?

 

Honestly If you have the primers, powder and projectiles to support a long series of reloading you will be fine with your brass. 9mm and .45acp are really strong, don't have too much pressure and keep working til the brass finally splits. Plus if you shoot at a range you can probably acquire more brass every time you shoot from now til SHTF. My brass collection keeps growing and I rarely have one I have to toss.

 

I would say I probably have 5k pieces of 45 brass and I hope to someday next year load up every single piece of brass I have in that caliber... not an easy accomplishment.

 

-Cams

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Honestly If you have the primers, powder and projectiles to support a long series of reloading you will be fine with your brass. 9mm and .45acp are really strong, don't have too much pressure and keep working til the brass finally splits. Plus if you shoot at a range you can probably acquire more brass every time you shoot from now til SHTF. My brass collection keeps growing and I rarely have one I have to toss.

 

I would say I probably have 5k pieces of 45 brass and I hope to someday next year load up every single piece of brass I have in that caliber... not an easy accomplishment.

 

-Cams

 

Thanks Cams, maybe I'll keep looking for a RCBS rig. I did start collecting the brass for the .45 cal at the range when I was considering re-loading, but I probably only have about 100 brass 45 casings. I also have probably a hundered brass casings of 9x18 - I LOVE my Makarov and my PA-63 - just afraid it will be too difficult to support these after an SHTF event...they may become trade-bait...what do you think?

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Would like to get back into reloading have not done any in 30 yrs. Then it was only shotgun ammunition for trap and hunting. So this is my question. If you are buying new brass to load is it still economical or would you be better off buying once fired brass? If so what problems would arise from once fired brass?

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Thanks Cams, maybe I'll keep looking for a RCBS rig. I did start collecting the brass for the .45 cal at the range when I was considering re-loading, but I probably only have about 100 brass 45 casings. I also have probably a hundered brass casings of 9x18 - I LOVE my Makarov and my PA-63 - just afraid it will be too difficult to support these after an SHTF event...they may become trade-bait...what do you think?

 

 

That indeed is a tough spot. You can shop online for bulk once fired brass, or new brass if you have the money. I personally have only purchased brass new for my bolt action .308 otherwise I am not interested in the best shot possible so whatever I pick up will do. I have seen brass on craigslist and sometimes backpage, but I don't know what to expect from random people like that. I guess in reality if you love to shoot those two calibers, then your brass will add up quite well after a few months of shooting factory ammo. I have standardized calibers on every weapon I currently own, and I cannot say I have seen more than a handful of makarov in my few years of shooting and reloading.

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Would like to get back into reloading have not done any in 30 yrs. Then it was only shotgun ammunition for trap and hunting. So this is my question. If you are buying new brass to load is it still economical or would you be better off buying once fired brass? If so what problems would arise from once fired brass?

 

I cannot say that I am an expert because you truly keep learning more about weaponry as you go. What calibers do you specifically mean for once fired or new brass?

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Sorry for not responding back right away camdogs. The calibers I am thinking of reloading are 9mm, 5.56, 30-30, and 308 as soon as i figure out which of the 308's is the best. The 5.56 might be just as cheap to buy bulk ammo rather than reload though.

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Silverwolf, I have recently researched this and this is what I cam up with. In order of cost for 5.56:

Reloading with new brass

Buying bulk surplus ammo

Reloading with buying once fired brass

reloading with your own used brass.

 

Reloading with new brass and buying surplus ammo were very close in cost. If I recall correctly it was about $450 per 1000 to reload new and about $400 to buy surplus. To reload once fired was about $250 to $300 per 1000 and reloading your brass was in the $200 per 1000 range.

 

If you are just getting started (like I am) the initial outlay in equipment (about $250) and brass is a bit much, but once your load 1000 shells about 3 times, it all pays for itself.

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The only time I use new brass is in my bolt gun when I am trying to get as good of shots as I can. Otherwise I use brass I fired, or brass that is left laying in the desert. It requires some sorting but its free so I can't complain. However rifle brass will "flow" during firings and need to be trimmed. So the brass basically gets longer near the mouth and thinner on the walls due to pressure. That being said it is only recommended that you reload rifle brass a handful of times. I personally don't shoot rifles enough to really keep track of brass life even though I probably should. It becomes tough to count loadings when you pick it up off the ground and are unsure if it was yours. I say just keep the brass from any range session and build your sorted collection. In my .308 I run new brass, varget powder, winchester primers, berger bullets. Bergers have really high BC and have great quality control, however they run expensive so that is not a plinking round. I would say start with pistol cartridges myself. Doesn't hurt to learn on something easy first. I think I load my 9mm for like 60% of factory price.

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Invest in a sharpie and add marks to the brass is my first though for keeping track of number of times reloaded but Im unsure if sharpie works on brass and I cant find my sharpie to test it.

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just for grins read my disclaimer on one of my other posts.

 

reloading pistol brass until it cracks or splits on magnum you can trim it till it is a special

 

or less there is a change here as if it is shorter you load it like what ever caliber but smaller case

a cut 38 spl case load to 38 s&w level it is not complicated but only do this in an emergency

case capacity has everything to do with pressure so as long as you are below SAMMI pressure

for your caliber of pistol .

if you want to be the master reloader then a must have book is

The Handloader's manual of cartridge conversions by John L. Donnelly

 

after a bit of practice you can hear a cracked case when you handle them.

the web and part of the wall contain the pressure and friction plays a part

in automatics it needs to be the exact length ahhh maybe there are always a few that have a work

around, but you better have some idea of what you are doing or you will be called one eye 3 fingered fool.

 

A 45 ACP is a short 308 is a short 30-06 and a 30-06 is the parent case for numerous calibers

reaming and or champhering needs to be done so bullets can seat properly.

there are PARENT cases for most all calibers so if you are in a cave in Mongolia you can probably find a

case to work with

 

crazy is as crazy does reloading custom requires some common sense and knowledge of pressure

and metal

do not reload for anyone else there are too many variables and you need a company set up

as a corporation and levels of separation so your assets cannot be taken for damages.

some yahoo rapid firing and a case with no powder you have a barrel obstruction,

or they do not notice they have a cockroach or a twig stuck in the barrel and you get the blame

and there is no money in reloading except for yourself especially today you have to make road trips

to the companies and buy by the primers by case and 55 gallon cardboard drums of powder

and bullets and everyone wants something different so you never seem to have what they want

and target ammo is so cheap you cannot compete and make money.

 

been there done that got the tee shirt

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Camdogs88

 

if you want to see case stretching fire a 220 swift and reload for it.

but as for this and all other rifle and magnum cases you can

trim and anneal the shoulder and neck and you should be able to fire 8 to 10 times in rifle after 3 or 4 reloadings anneal, not every time.

more but it depends on the caliber pressure etc

in pistol till it splits in magnum cut it to special and you can fire it some more.

but if the neck cracks it will not harm your rifle a head separation is not going to harm it

either just need a broken shell extractor I keep one in the butt of my rifles for the caliber.

 

the rest of this is for general information

 

although it depends on the rifle I only have Mausers and Remington is my least favorite design.

there are a lot of good bolt rifles.

I have seen a case separation cause the magazine to blow out and cause a flash burn minor on the

hand of the shooter.

this is why you need to wear protective gear eye and hearing when I use semi / autos I use shooting

gloves as I like to shoot without band aids or getting pinched and enjoy it.

semi auto and automatics rifles are more prone to head separation there are many reasons so do not

reload for them the same amount of times as a bolt rifle.

and on some with fluted chambers like the h&k rifle just don't bother

 

some pistols do not fire lead bullets in them like a couple of H&K models and colt 2000 a few others

that have a gas system or rotary bolt this includes semi/ auto rifles also but 99% do not any way just

a reminder.

 

read your manual or get one off the net and familiarize yourself before going to the range or shooting

any fire arm.

Edited by juzcallmesnake

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warning not responsible for any death damage destruction or frightened children chickens not laying

cows not giving milk or you not getting any, not my fault you always need to read and follow company

manual directions.

 

Case annealing:

 

 

a couple of points if you have only one bolt action rifle in the particular caliber

anneal once fired range brass / non annealed brass that was not fired in your rifle.

annealing makes the brass soft so it fire forms to your chamber from then on you just neck size.

 

having more than one rifle in the same caliber either mark and keep the cases separate,

I use MTM 20 or 50 round boxes and mark the top blah blah rifle caliber and what it is loaded

with x grains what powder and bullet maker / weight and date when loaded

 

military brass has a thicker web and wall weights more than commercial cases of the same caliber.

So when reloading do not use the max load in the book start 10% below and look for signs of

case fatigue burnt powder around fired primer loose or primer falls out in a bolt gun generally.

In a semi auto rim deformation at extractor area or ripped rim

this can also happen in a bolt gun but in that way it would be difficult extraction.

if your loads are too low powered as per reloading manual, burnt powder around shoulder

this is rare mostly in lead bullet rifle reloading.

 

If you just want to have fun and save money then

just full length size them and load them and let the bullet dictate which rifle

you fire it in.

I used to do this it worked just as well fmj's for the semi auto and the soft points

in the bolt that way I knew you figure your own as long as the loads are with in limits of the

book you reload with proper bullet weight / powder/ primer

NOTE: magnum primers are more powerful so back off to lowest loading listed and work up.

no matter what anyone says different primer start again and work up.

and keep notes a reloading journal so when they find you blown to pieces they have an idea why.

not really it keeps you from reworking a load

example you tried x bullet and blah powder and such primer it did not shoot a good group

now you know in that rifle it did not work keep loading up until you see signs of pressure problems,

or max load in manual if it still does not work try a different bullet weight / type

powder and primer just send it down the road so mostly its not them but if you look at

your manual it will say that a certain loads were found to be more accurate.

try the middle weight bullet first example in .308 bullets listed from 100 to 200 grain 150 is the middle

barrels are rifled for this weight normally too low or too high sometimes groups get erratic and there

are rifles that do not care shoot them all well

semi /autos like certain weights because of finished {overall} case length {the fit in the mag }

 

 

you can tell if a case has never been annealed it looks like the same color top to bottom

A annealed case has burnished color around the neck / shoulder area.

most military and some factory brass is annealed it looks scorched around the shoulder.

 

very easy de-prime fired cases trim to length if your are going to

prep primer pocket {remove military crimp or deburr edge}

 

many years the easy way to remove military crimp was to get a drill bit 2 times the diameter

of the primer pocket and a drill and just a touch to remove the burrs that are formed as the brass

is pressed around the primer {squishes it tight around the primer} and when the primer is removed

the brass rolled over the curve of the primer makes a burred edge in order to insert a new primer

this burr needs to be removed.

 

In a pan that is deep enough to hold water to about 3/8 from the shoulder stand the brass up in

the water the water will come up through the flash hole and be level with the out side, this is your

heat sink the heat will not effect below the water level.

 

in a low lit room using a hand held torch heat neck & shoulder till starts to change color and tip into water

the water quenches quickly and makes the brass dead soft.

 

I have read of free hand or not in a water bath and it is silly as you cannot stop the heat from crawling

the case,

the lower 3/4 of the case must not be annealed

unless you are fire forming below a certain area to make a custom case by sizing it in a form die.

even then the rim, web area and good section of the wall should not be annealed as this is where

the pressure is exerted at its maximum force.

 

another NOTE never polish the chamber of a blow back operated pistol friction is a lot of the function

that is why many steel cases are rough looking or painted it give friction so the case is still in

the chamber during the pressure curve and because a company does not know what gun you shoot

they play it safe.

some blow back operated pistols scare me in certain calibers.

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Dittos! I'm a 3++ I own every press Dillon sells including shotgun. Toolsets for almost every common caliber. My idea of entertainment is going to ranges and picking up brass. It's like gold. My buddies and I can reload 3000+ rounds in one Saturday morning. As a concealed carry permit instructor I go through a good number of .38 spl's. Prices for components is about 1/3 the cost or factory loads but varies sometimes. For legal reasons factory ammo must be used for self defense.

Rick

Probably no surprise here, but I'm a solid number 3. I reload for multiple calibers and a gauge, and I don't buy ammo unless I calculate the cost and it's cheaper than the cost of reloading plus the cost of my time. I never buy ammo for competitions, unless the rules state that I must shoot a certain load. I do buy factory ammo for self defense loads, mostly out of habit now. I have multiple presses and a mess of a room filled with reloading tools and bags and bins of brass. One year for Christmas, my wife gave me a box of 1,000 once fired 20 gauge Winchester AA hulls. It's sort of reached a problem stage.

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OK, my 2 cents worth, im a reasonably new pistol shooter, i wasnt going to bother with reloading, but as i have come to love sending lead downrange, it is quite imoportant! I have spent maybe $500 overall on gear, i reload .38, .357 and 9mm, it only took one visit to our hunting and fishing shop, one box of 50 9mm American eagle, $92! ye gods, i can reload 50 rounds for about $12, It has also become a really enjoyable hobby, i love picking up brass at the range, and filling it back up at home! Cant think of a better way to spend a winter night really, I'm sure you guys can buy your reloading gear and supplies much cheaper than we can down under too! but i also know you pay less for the factory loads, personal choice i guess...

B)

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I hope people have noticed that most calibers on the shelf are nato diameter 30 cal or 7.62X51 223 or 5.56 9mm 12 ga.

 

so I have been seing 300 in mag as it is 30 cal and so on. this is one of the reasons I have stated to keep your caliber chioices

 

to Nato calibers first over run ammo will be sold on the civillian market reloading components even under most circumstances will be

 

available if not components can be scavenged from what is available.

 

My ideas of the basic five weapons would be 22LR rifle and a 22LR pistol hard to defend at this moment fo lack or cost of ammo but still I would have one

 

a 12 gauge a 308 winchester cal  223 remington cal and a 9MM and one revolver in 38 to 45 cal NOW only one has to be

 

semi auto magazine fed and It may surprise you but It does not matter which one or what caliber even having a single shot rifle

 

with all these calibers and one caliber being a semi auto I feel you will be in as good a situation as can be.

 

a few companies are selling multiple barrel sets or options I would have 2 with barrels that would fit both and if you have more than

 

one person in the family or children they can use the smaller calibers aqnd if one has a problem you are not without.

 

and the other barrels are still usable.

 

And because these would be defensive not offensive thus the ranges would be closer but you would have the long range option and

 

in hunting a choice for small game.

 

although I am not a fan of any caliber and my only reasoning for 22LR is the one inescapable consideration weight of a pistol rifle and 1,000

 

rounds of ammo is less than a single medium bore rile and 100 rounds of ammo it is a matter of logistics pure and simple.

 

Youtube has many videos showing that the 22 LR is lethal at ranges from 300 to 400 yards granted it is not as accurate as a larger caliber due to

 

effect of wind and drift BUT even dumb people do not charge live fire for unknown wealth or trade goods .

 

the only drawback is 22LR is for any reasonable purposes NOT reloadable so you would have to have a stock though that is not a problem

 

1 ammo can will hold 5,000 rounds a person can carry 1 to 2000 rounds easily.

 

now copare this to 12 ga I think it will hold 250 rounds in a situation of any magnitude most of your calibers will run out quickly

 

So considering the long haul and how much large game you can take and store small game will be most of your consideration.

 

I have no idea what will come IF anything, but I do know if this ammo shortage has taught us anything if you ain't got it when the SHTF

 

your chances are slim to no of getting what does not exist or is so precious people will not part with itt.

 

I can safely say I have shot most every caliber commonly available in the last 75to 100 years (not how old I am)

 

and most can do anythig they are called on to do within their limits like a single shot over a bolt or a  lever action to a semi auto.

 

and caliber to the game generally .

 

many big game Hunters hunted with 7mm mauser with military ammo and took all the big 5 and plains game with it

 

as well as 4 bores 4 ga. shotgun so them as now we deal with what we have at hand as I recall Sir henry Percivil did not

 

lie the riflea as well as another he chose it due to the ammo seldom failing him.

 

A knowledge of antomy of your game their habits and the power of your arm at each distance and your skill will assure you of successful shot.

 

all the power in the world is wasted if you miss or destroy most of the best meat with a bad shot.

 

Reloading for all except 22 will pay dividends some cases can be loaded 10 times consistancy is the important part annealing moderate loads

 

straight wall pistol I have loaded many times more lear to look for signs of case separation and have a broken shell extractor just in case.

 

in a remote area a proper size Botl can be split and made into a case extractor a gunsmith frind told me that he has used some steel wool to

 

plug the chamber pour hot lead down the barrel enough to fill the part of the case that is stuck ( a general guess) it will stick to the brass

 

and not the steel and knock it out with a wood dowel or a rod being carfull not to scratch the rifleing by covering it with some tubing or wax

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wally that has always been one of my thoughts you can spread around 22 in 50 count boxes but 308 mags not do much.

 

and my other reason for a Ruger 10/22 is it's durability decent accuracy and the fact it can use 10 to 50 rond mags.

 

I choose the new Ruger 25 round mags they are very tough with steel feed lips can be taken apart and cleaned if needed.

 

5 of these and 5 to 10 --10 rounders would make you a formidable adversary.

 

there are a few nice scopes with bullet drop compensation barrel mounts for lights and lasers I am a purist but it is the one rifle

 

I use see thru scope mounts.

 

I think most anyone could with some practice hit a briefcase at 200 yards consistantly. I think as I recall they weight 5.5 pounds

 

pistoil about 2 ( with extra mags) 1000 rounds of fodder about 10 + pounds.

 

given that I have tried to miniturize all my gear as much as possible with high quality so batteries will last days until they need recharging.

 

concentrated bleach top quality oils and bug repellents means minimum use with maximum coverage.

 

When your hunting you still have to haul your kill as well as your gear even when boneing you can easily double your weight.

 

I do not know about everyone else but in case my bug gets robbed or for some reason I have to move light I want enough to work with.

 

and with a stached bucket setup you should be able to get along.

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No worries, BF! I look at range brass, as one nickel lying there, so, I scoop up all MY brass each time I empty it! I like redundancy and reloading my brass gives me that capability of always having a supply in hand for whatever opportunity or "contingency", that alaways seems to arise.

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