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Thread: Why YOU should get into reloading. Yes, YOU.

  1. #1

    Exclamation Why YOU should get into reloading. Yes, YOU.

    Alrighty lets talk about reloading.

    Who here does it? How many guns owners actually do? What's going on here? Which one is better, Ginger or Maryanne?

    Seriously there is much to say about reloading. I will get into prices at the end of this rant. But right now I can say that reloading is important for two things:

    1)The tyrants have less control over you.

    2)You can shoot more and be a better shot for when the tyrants have to be dealt with.


    Let's face a hard, cold, raw fact:

    Most gun owners suck.

    How many times a year do they shoot? OK those of you who live in a state with millions of people in it and only 5 last names to go around might expend a brick of .22 a month and that's fine. But I am talking of the nation as a whole here. I think we can count on our hands how many times the average gun owner shoots per year(and if you live in one of those state you would) and not run out of digits.

    I think one of the reasons for this is the price of ammo.

    Nothing rubs my rubarb more, or burns my ass more than a 3' tall flame, than the fact that ammo is expensive, or was in the past, because there are think tanks, enemy think tanks, that know full well making ammo expensive is a measure of control they put in place to make sure their minions can outshoot the citizenry. I noted the past. Well thanks to the Bush family and their Carlisle group purchasing the major ammo sellers, and making ammo nearly double in price since the last 7 years, it's nothing other than deliberate: make our guns completely useless by making ammo too expensive.

    Sure you can spend 8 bucks for your 20 rounds of ammo or perhaps 12 bucks for that fifty rounds of pistol ammo and feel like you got ammo and then 50 rounds later you are out of ammo. Meanwhile, their minions train with thousands of rounds per month, all paid for by you. Not directly. They print money to pay for all those jurisdictions and departments to train and while your dollar is devalued you get to spend nearly 4 bucks for a gallon of fuel and go broke paying utilities.

    And in the end they have trained killbots who will deal you the instant smackdown and hang your fancy rifle on their "I love me" walls at home - the one with all the training certificates they get from all those tactical schools that we also pay for - and boast about that day they killed you. And every time the story is told you will be bigger and meaner. (That's and old hunter joke).

    So lets look at some ammo prices, shall we?

    I see that Lake City .223 is going for over $10 a box of 20. Wow I remember back when you could get that for $4.99 at outdoor world back in 2002. Surely there are old-timers who can chime in an even better price than that.
    http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/AMM223-46090-66.html

    Wow - $380 for 600 rounds of SS109? Incredible!
    http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/AMM236-48295-66.html

    Additional searching on that website shows nothing cheaper than $9 for a box of 20.

    And Holy Cow! (Where is Phil Risuto when you need him?) Look at this price for a box of pistol ammo!
    http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/AMM540-3214-184.html

    C'mon now.

    We all know what this is about.

    And another thing. Sometimes there are some tyrants, sitting in various positions of stolen power (any politician elected by the mindless sheep mislead by the media is not in power of anything), who want to tax ammo even more, or ban the sale of it, or require a serial number on every case, or pretty much name the idea that has gun control all over it.

    Not reloading your own ammo, in this case, is like not having any food stored up. You leave yourself open to any tyrant who wants to get rid of you by starving you. And starving you to death or starving your guns go together, because a free market and competing currency will be the only things that can put food on the table. But those who would also take your guns will see to it that certain voting blocks are denied those means and left to starve while the compliant masses at least get to wait on a bread line.

    So get with it. But here is a motivator.

    I put in a link for 40 caliber because I reload my own .40 and I want to share the material costs of 50 rounds of my ammo.

    Ready?

    Approximately $3 per 50. Yes I am using cheaper powder.

    Yes and I shoot somewhere between 500 and 800 rounds a month. My all-around pistol in .40 has roughly 12000 rounds in it and it's only 6 years old. I need not go into how many rifle rounds I reloaded and shot, but I have let the rifle ammo run through my fingers the way Ebenezer Scrooge relished in his coins.

    Now those of you who blow half a paycheck for one trip to the range and thus shoot, what, once or twice a year, read up.

    My $3 price on pistol ammo is actually a high number when I purchase the bullets. It's cheaper when I dig the lead out of the berms and remelt them and cast my own. And I pick the spent brass up at the range. So let's get with the math:

    A box of 1000 primers I am told (I buy by the sleeve) is $21. And a pound of Bullseye pistol powder (those of you old school reloaders stop laughing) I think is up to around $17. I load 4.4 grains of powder in each round so 7000 grains (a pound) divided by 4.4 is enough for more than 1000 so leave it at that. So $21 + $17 (hold on I need my fingers) is $38 dollars PER THOUSAND. But wait what if I purchase the bullets? I have gotten 1000 rounds of cast bullets as cheap as $32 (though lead has gone up last time I checked) so that's $70 per THOUSAND fiat dollars.

    Gee, that's cheap compared to this:
    http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/15944-15115-184.html what's that, 250?

    Ok so with purchased bullets it's $3.50 a "box" of 50. But most of the time I cast my own bullets with lead I salvage from the range and melt down.

    Now to be honest if I had to purchase my ammo off the shelf I would not be able to afford to shoot. I would shoot a few times a year like everyone else, probably bump-firing into a pile of dirt gaining ZERO skill from it with a big stupid "look at me I am getting ready to be squashed like a bug by a SWAT team and I am too stupid to know it" grin on my face.

    Instead I shoot a lot and shoot accurately.

    Now you might be thinking that you are ready to reload, and you should be not because you should want to but because you NEED to. This is not some f**king game. The enemy is quite serious about this stuff. They will print enough money to take away everything you have just so they can have all the armor piercing (your jacket, your car, your front door, the walls of your house, etc) ammo they need.


    First I will say that the BEST reloading press is the progressive press. What is a progressive press? Well it has nothing to do with fabian socialism. A progressive press is the type of reloading press that does several things at once. Every time you pull the lever, like a slot machine, you are resizing and depriming one cartridge, putting powder into another, seating a bullet in a third, and putting a crimp in a fourth, and on the up stroke you seat a new primer into the one you just resized and deprimed. What is a primer? A primer is that little circle on the back of the cartridge (the end facing toward the back of the gun) that lights up the whole round. No primer no bang. And if push comes to shove, the white tip from a strike anywhere match will work to recharge a primer well enough. Take the little metal thing out, tap the dent out of the primer body, press the crushed match tip into it (carefully) and then carefully put the little metal thing, called an "anvil" back in and it can be pressed into a new cartridge. I have done this and tested it and it works.

    Now there are single stage presses out there, and even hand held ones. I do not mention those first. My first press was an RCBS single stage press and it was given to me. If you want to reload hundreds of rounds at a time, don't go with a single stage. Single stage presses are perfect for reloading precision rifle rounds where you need to be consistent and accurate with each reload. But if you want to reload training ammo or pistol rounds, you need a progressive. On average I can reload 300 rounds an hour with a progressive press.

    Now for some images and websites.

    First, here is a web page for an RCBS "Rock Chucker" single stage press. Don't let the price scare you, seeing that the price of this kit is roughly one case of expensive ammo this thing will pay for itself in short time:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=646599

    Again, not for loading in quantity but perfect if you only shoot 100 or so rounds in a session and you like your rifle ammo to be perfect. If you are that accurate, spend the extra $$ on one of these:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...372&t=11082005
    That is NOT the best digital scale out there. Some scales indicate when you breath near them, those are the best.

    I used to reload pistol ammo by the hundreds with a single stage and honestly I do not look back on those days as good ones.

    Now I will link to a cheap progressive press. Cheap but highly regarded. But most reloading dies are interchangeable - I mention this now because the dies are proprietary for this first press and that is one reason not to get it unless you intend for only one caliber.

    Dies? Reloading dies are the actual things into which the cartridges go. They are mounted into reloading presses and are sized by caliber.
    These are reloading dies:
    http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/Rel..._Dies-8-4.html

    Now let me show you a nice entry-level press that is cheap and well known for beginners:
    It's the Dillon Square Deal B.
    http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/con...___039_B__039_
    This one differs in that the dies for it are specific and if you want to swap dies from the Rock Chucker or other types you can't do it with this one. I know some sport shooters who buy used Square Deal Bs and set them up for one caliber only and leave them like that. Some of them have nearly a dozen like that set up.

    Now if you want to use the common threaded dies (they screw into the press body or "heads" - the thing that hold a die set) you need then to consider another press that I can speak for. The Dillon 550. I am not playing brand favorites here. I have been a competition shooter for years and they all reload their own, and I say that 80 percent of competition shooters use the 550. Sure there are other brands, like the Lee press (which is known to explode if you use the wrong brand of primers - i have one in pieces that was given to me and have yet to put it together), but this is a tried and proven press. Just go to a USPSA or IDPA match and ask anyone there who reloads and they will tell you that you should not go with anything less than the Dillon 550B.

    http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/con...atid/1/RL_550B

    You will note it "uses the standard 7/8 by 14 thread" . This means you do not have to use Dillon dies. You do need to buy the plate and pins with the powder charge insert for each caliber, but can use any brand dies with the standard thread. I use Lee dies on my Dillon.

    Now there are better models than the RL550B on the Dillon website and honestly, they are overkill. I know some shooters who have the top of the line most expensive rig on there:
    http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/con...d/1/Super_1050

    It's the Cadillac of Reloading presses but it's for the same shooter who likes to roll up to the range in a H2 or Mercedes. Get one if you can afford it but you can survive quite well with just the RL550B.

    Now one last thing. What about casting your own bullets? Well if you are a raving right wing militia nut case like me and want to go collecting wheel weights, buying up SCUBA weights are garage sales, and digging used bullets out of a berm to melt back into bullets, then step right up and let me give you one of my uniforms and a shotgun to have one-side conversations with.

    You need several things to cast yer own.

    First I recommend a large iron pot and one of those outdoor cooker stands. You know the type: the metal stand for that large pot used for deep frying turkeys or outdoor crab boils. DO NOT use that nice metal pot you get with this kit! Put that aside and use the low heavy iron pot.

    Yes you need propane.

    What is this for? You need to take all that old lead and refine it. Especially old bullets and those that had jackets on them or are jacketed. They will be dirty too.

    MAKE SURE OF THREE THINGS:
    1 - EYE PROTECTION EYE PROTECTION EYE PROTECTION
    2 - YOU DO NOT PUT A LIVE ROUND IN THIS POT
    3 - YOU DO NOT PUT ANYTHING WET INTO THIS POT WHEN THE LEAD IS MELTED, OR BE OUT IN THE RAIN, OR PUT IN AN OLD JACKETED BULLET THAT HAD WATER IN IT.

    When water hits that molten lead it nearly blows up and that 700 degree lead splattering all over you will leave millions of nice little pock marks. Without eye protection you will be permanently blind thereafter and you might end up on a blind date with me sometime in your life. You don't want that.

    Also, sometimes the jacket of a bullet will pop off in the molten lead. I have been hit 3 times by these. So stand back and wear good clothes and NEVER let that thing tip over. Molten lead is no joke.

    And finally, ventilation! Don't breath that stuff in. It's too late for me. I am old and stupid but some of you younguns still have a chance at a healthy happy life.

    Now you need something else: wax!

    Oh great after the prospect of getting burned, blinded, and dating me, now wax?

    Yes. When you have a pot of melted, mixed, dirty lead, you should put wax in there. Candle wax will do. If you are high budget, then you can use flux but at this stage it's a waste of money.

    For a large pot I say enough wax to fill a table spoon will do.

    The wax, when thrown in will melt, smoke, and there might be a flame, but what it will really do is cause all the junk in the lead, the jackets, dirt, small stones, and other stuff, to float to the surface. There you can skim this stuff off carefully and put it aside.

    What will be left is a nice pot of lead but there is one more thing.

    You need to put in some tin.

    Tin is what makes the lead harder. Now some of you might suggest some of that special alloy to put in that can be purchased at reloading suppliers. I say that is a waste of money for training ammo but if you are casting precision rifle rounds then go for it. What you have is a mix of lead and you need to put in some tin here for a harder round. Only the old muskets used pure lead ball but the higher pressure guns of today need a harder cast bullet.

    How much to add? Well this is an art part. Because these are former bullets, mixed in with wheel weights that are also harder, and SCUBA weights which are pure lead, I add solder. Yes, Solder!. Solder is great because it has tin and flux in there too How much to add depends on how hard you want that bullet. You have to experiement. If you are starting out with a pot of pure lead you might have to put the whole role of solder in there (electronic or plumbers brazing solder, makes no difference).

    Now having done this, cast your lead into an ingot mold. Like these:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/ebrowse.exe...=685***8657***

    I am so low budget on this I used small metal ice trays, the one piece kind, but use an ingot mold - don't be like me.

    Now what do you do with ingots of lead? Put them in a trebuchet and attack your state capitol.

    Seriously, they are easy to handle for when you are ready to actually cast bullets. The proper thing to use for bullet casting is a melting pot, they have a nice spigot on them and controllable tempurature (unlike the propane refining setup).
    http://www.midwayusa.com/esearch.exe...r=all_products

    Why is something with tempurature control important? Because to cast bullets with efficiency you need to constant tempurature of the lead and the mold.

    Molds? We making jello?

    No, bullet mold. Here are a few.
    http://www.midwayusa.com/ebrowse.exe...8657***9247***

    As you can see there are many sizes, weights, and shapes. Pick the kind of shape your guns likes (some cannot handle semi-wadcutters) and a weight you like to shoot.

    Bullet molds are easy to use. The plate on the top is the sprue plate. You put it over the mold cavity, pour the lead in, and it hardens in seconds (if the lead or the mold or both are not too hot, hence the temp control on the pot). Then you whack the plate and open the mold and dump the bullets out.

    You should use a large open bin to drop the bullets into (NOT A WATER BUCKET). Put a wet (damp) towel in the bin to break the fall of the bullets. You wet it so it does not catch fire. Those bullets will give you a third degree burn.

    Here is a note. When I smack the sprue plate, I do it over another container to catch the lead. I can then put those "cuttings" back into the melting pot when the pile up.

    Now the bullets may or may not need an additional step. This depends on the kind of mold. Some molds are special types that do not require the resizing of the bullet. You just put bullet lube on them and you are ready to go.

    But the other type requires resizing. Here is where a single stage press is handy to have around because the resizing die is threaded in like a reloading die:

    http://www.leeprecision.com/html/catalog/lubesize.html
    This one is shown with a Lee single stage press. The press is not sold with this die.

    Now there is a lot of option with sizing but I like to put the Lee Liquid Allox on the bullets after I cast them when the bullets are still warm, then wait until next day to resize them. The cured lube is worked into the sealing grooves during resizing and then a light coat of more lube does the trick. The lube helps seal the barrel and cuts down on smoking when in use, also reducing lead fouling of the barrel.


    That is pretty much it for now. I hope some of you old schoolers help out in this thread and pick up where I left off or went wrong.

    There are courses out there for reloading and many instructors and gun shops are happy to offer classes. If you go to a gun club to shoot you can find someone to teach you. Reloaders know that you save a kings ransom in costs, and are not a subject to the tyrants. Many want to see more reloaders out there because that means more ammo for the liberty teeth, more reloading presses, and more free people.

    If anyone is in Western Washington and would like some training, let me know and I will be happy to demonstrate everything explained in this post.
    Last edited by Doktor_Jeep; 03-14-2008 at 12:45 AM.
    If this should be, our final stand,
    we will stand together with pride
    We will honour the past, and fight to the last,
    it will be a good way to die
    It matters not, if the cause is lost,
    and we can not stop the tide
    We will fight to the end, and then fight again,
    it will be a good way to die



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  3. #2

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    Sounds like a good business to run out of your garage if the SHTF, lol.

    "Lead for Silver"

    lol

    Member #43 of Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty
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    In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.
    -Mark Twain

  4. #3

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    Considering the price of ammo in TSHTF era, even the components alone will be good for trade.
    If this should be, our final stand,
    we will stand together with pride
    We will honour the past, and fight to the last,
    it will be a good way to die
    It matters not, if the cause is lost,
    and we can not stop the tide
    We will fight to the end, and then fight again,
    it will be a good way to die

  5. #4

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    Great post! Unfortunately its true, I only shoot my .22 nowadays because of ammo prices...I mean I did before I lost it in the lake. I don't reload yet but I plan to start getting set up soon.

    One question, why not dump the bullets in a bucket of water? I thought that's supposed to harden them.
    "I am attacking an idea which I believe to be false; a system which appears to me to be unjust; an injustice so independent of personal intentions that each of us profits from it without wishing to do so, and suffers from it without knowing the cause of our suffering." - Frédéric Bastiat

  6. #5

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    My local sporting goods store went up on .45 Ammo again last week, and although I have said that I don't think I shoot enough to make reloading worth it, that reasoning is failing more weekly. I may be getting into this sooner than I think.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." - Jesus

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    Great post! Unfortunately its true, I only shoot my .22 nowadays because of ammo prices...I mean I did before I lost it in the lake. I don't reload yet but I plan to start getting set up soon.

    One question, why not dump the bullets in a bucket of water? I thought that's supposed to harden them.
    You are referring to forging or "quenching". That works for steel knives and tools, but not lead. It's an entirely different metal. The hardening comes from being an allow of tin, antimony (if added or already there) and lead.
    If this should be, our final stand,
    we will stand together with pride
    We will honour the past, and fight to the last,
    it will be a good way to die
    It matters not, if the cause is lost,
    and we can not stop the tide
    We will fight to the end, and then fight again,
    it will be a good way to die

  8. #7

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    Good post. Thanks for the links.

    I know this is something that I need to start doing, I can't afford $10 for a box of 20 .223.
    Hopefully this will get my ass motivated.

  9. #8

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    PLEASE
    get motivated.

    If you are in a burning car you would be motivated to exit.

    This is on that level.

    If the price of "membership" - the cost of the equipment is a bit high, check with the classifieds, Craigslist, etc, for used equipment. I have seen some very shweet deals through these channels. Sometimes an old shooter gives up due to health problems (or passes away - often called "leaving the range") and the equipment can be had for good deals. My first press was free, and later I paid only $150 for a used Square Deal. A year later I purchased an RL550B for $300 - with dies and I got a bag of empty die heads with it too.
    If this should be, our final stand,
    we will stand together with pride
    We will honour the past, and fight to the last,
    it will be a good way to die
    It matters not, if the cause is lost,
    and we can not stop the tide
    We will fight to the end, and then fight again,
    it will be a good way to die

  10. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    Great post! Unfortunately its true, I only shoot my .22 nowadays because of ammo prices...I mean I did before I lost it in the lake. I don't reload yet but I plan to start getting set up soon.

    One question, why not dump the bullets in a bucket of water? I thought that's supposed to harden them.
    Everything you practice shooting a .22 translates DIRECTLY into your high power rifle. Someone who shoots 250 rounds of .22 weekly, will be a better shot than someone who shoots 50 rounds of .308 monthly. I guarantee it.

    My suggestion would be to blow through at least a brick of .22 every month, practicing weekly, and your high power maybe 4 times a year to help you translate the skills over.

    Also, don't just gleefully triggerpull on your .22. Actually go through the steps, and turn your .22 practice into a 'programming' session.

    Make this your 'mantra' every time you pull the trigger:

    sight alignment
    sight picture
    breath control
    trigger control
    slow steady squeeze (bang!)
    follow through

    and eventually this will become so automatic that it no longer requires a thought.
    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  11. #10

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    I couldn't agree more. FORTUNATELY, I have 'access' to an avid reloader, and the reality is that ammo will become harder and harder to get, until right as the SHTF, you will no longer be able to get ammo commercially at all anymore.

    Get into reloading NOW. I cannot stress enough how important this is.

    As an aside, using ammo and reload components as currency in a SHTF scenario, well, be very very careful. Last thing you want to do is to provide someone the ammo they will later be sending your way at high velocity.
    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  12. #11

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    I might want to remind you boys that another point of contention will be powder. Primer and powder are a couple of thing that are hard to do yourself, so are a point of control. That is why I keep a couple of firearms that fired good black powder cartridges. One is my 30-40Krag and .45Colt revolver. You can always MAKE black powder, and the primer caps can be remade and you can, in a pinch, use pitric acid.

    Did it many, many moons ago as a feasability study. Worked great.

    Surplus, though, is still available and cheap, if you know where to look. Keep to standar calibers. I like .45ACP and 9mm. My rifles are an SKS and two .308 rifles. I figure 7.62x39 will be available about anywhere in the world I may roam.

  13. #12

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    Yes, along with stocking up on ultra-long shelf-life food, one should seriously stock up on powder and primers.
    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  14. #13

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    Yes, they didn't ban firearms in Mexico, they just made getting ammo very difficult.

    I understand now if you are caught with even one cartridge while crossing the border into Mexico, you can face some serious time in a Mexican prison.
    The prisons in Mexico are far from being as nice as the ones here in the U.S.

  15. #14

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    Great, great information -- thank you for the post!!!

    (adds reloader to massive shopping list for next weekend)
    "Your mother's dead, before long I'll be dead, and you...and your brother and your sister and all of her children, all of us dead, all of us..rotting in the ground. It's the family name that lives on. It's all that lives on. Not your personal glory, not your honor, but family." - Tywin Lannister


  16. #15

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    Also cool and handy for the odd, weird occasion and still 50-state legal are full size firing black powder cannons.

    For reloaders, I have a Lee single-stage, and a Dillon rl550. I like the progressive, and it can crank out a LOT of great ammo, really quick.

  17. #16

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    Yes reloading can save tons of money. I reload for my 6.8mm AR-15. Factory ammo for 6.8 is not as common as .223 and more expensive. But reloading really helps bring the cost of ammo down. The brass is stronger and lasts longer so it comes out to almost the same price as .223 in the long run.

  18. #17

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    If I bought a .223 model, could I convert it to a .308?
    "Your mother's dead, before long I'll be dead, and you...and your brother and your sister and all of her children, all of us dead, all of us..rotting in the ground. It's the family name that lives on. It's all that lives on. Not your personal glory, not your honor, but family." - Tywin Lannister


  19. #18

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    Great post!

    I shoot from 400 to 800 rounds a month. My CCW gun is a 1911 so it's all .45, other than .223 from the carbine. About the cheapest is Walmart Winchester White Box which is now running $30/100 (actually $32 with tax). Also, WWB is crap. Sellier and Bellot is a good quality for cheap ammo, but it is now more than WWB.

    So you can see that at 32 cents a rounds it is $256/month for 800 rounds. That's why I reload.

    I have an RCBS Pro 2000. It's a 5 stage progressive press that I can crank out about 150/rounds an hour while I listen to Free Talk Live. That's 24 seconds/round but I could more than double that if I didn't get sidetracked by the radio and my beer.

    My current recipe is Rainier Ballistics 230 gr RN + 4.8 gr Winchester 231. These are fully plated (as in electroplated) so they will feed better than plain lead, but cost less than fully jacketed. Note the base is plated too so that cut's down on lead vapour. However they are still soft so I seat and crimp separately. I seat using the Lee Factory Carbide crimp die which works great, the remaining dies are RCBS.

    Anyway, I can reload with this recipe for 17 cents a round which includes bullet, primer, and powder. Brass of course is not factored in since I'm a "range chicken" (one of those guys who scours the range pecking like a chicken). I'm getting ready to place an order from Midway for 2k bullets, 10k primers (in the RCBS strips), and 8 pounds of powder. The powder is enough for 11k rounds.

    Shipping is free from Midway for 2k bullets at $269. Dillon has them cheaper but adding in shipping it's a wash. I like Midway since I can order by 3 PM and have it next day with just UPS ground. Primers and powder must be bulk ordered since there is a $20 HAZMAT fee per shipment, and they must be shipped separately.

    Looks like there are allot of reloading videos on Youtube.

    BTW I homebrew too. So when the SHTF I have booze and beer. What more could a man yearn for?
    Last edited by madengr; 03-14-2008 at 08:37 PM.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cowlesy View Post
    If I bought a .223 model, could I convert it to a .308?
    While you could probably pin a .308 upper receiver onto your existing lower, the magazine well will not take the M14 mags. You would have to single load.

    If you like the Armalite design (as I do) and like the .308 cartridge, I'd suggest an AR-10 A3 or AR-10 A4 model. They come from the factory in .308, do not cost significantly more than a similarly equipped AR-15, and are just AWESOME pieces of shooting equipment.
    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  21. #20

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    It's really great you are sharing your knowledge with us. Unfortunately as someone who shoots a pistol and other than some knowledge of safety and basic technique (not a gun nut or smith) I look at the information and it is lost on me. It's not a lack of desire to reload, it just seems to me to be one of those things that I need to be shown - not read. Not sure why, but it seems incredibly complicated and potentially dangerous.

    Fwiw, on your ammo price check - That happens to be why I bought a 9mm. I figured I needed more money for the range, I shoot about 500 rnds a month right now in practice from a glock 34 (pretty good 'beginner' weapon and there are some good enough home defense rounds out).

    I am thinking of building an AR15, but for now the money for weapons is going into proficiency training.

    I am paying $87 (including a ton of tax) for 400 rnds of winchester ammo at Walmart.. Federal's range stuff is about 11.50 with member discount from the local range.

    Again thanks for all the info - hopefully I will be able to learn reloading one day!

    Oh and fwiw, I bought an airsoft G34 replica for CQB practice - in Arizona there are no limits to airsofting on your own property, and with a velocity of 380fps you can fire at printed paper targets into a cloth lined cardboard box which costs $2 to put together... and you can reuse the 5000 .2g bb's you bought for $8. Also - get a green gas propane converter and end up buying the gas for 20% of the cost. It's becoming relatively standard for LE and Military personally to train with airsoft guns - it's cheap, it's a pretty good sim, you can find groups that have airsoft 'wars' and practice actual tactics, and the cost of entry is very very very low. (the g34 replica by KWA was $102 shipped from a seller on ebay) Just a thought for those who really feel that they can't reload and don't have the money to practice as much as they would like.

    So, anyone have an idea of where i could buy say.. 5000 rnds of 9mm in bulk at a good price? = < $1000 - possible?
    Last edited by h00ligan; 03-15-2008 at 01:25 AM.

  22. #21

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    Deleted
    Last edited by Cap; 12-03-2008 at 12:04 PM.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by h00ligan View Post
    Oh and fwiw, I bought an airsoft G34 replica for CQB practice - in Arizona there are no limits to airsofting on your own property, and with a velocity of 380fps you can fire at printed paper targets into a cloth lined cardboard box which costs $2 to put together... and you can reuse the 5000 .2g bb's you bought for $8. Also - get a green gas propane converter and end up buying the gas for 20% of the cost. It's becoming relatively standard for LE and Military personally to train with airsoft guns - it's cheap, it's a pretty good sim, you can find groups that have airsoft 'wars' and practice actual tactics, and the cost of entry is very very very low. (the g34 replica by KWA was $102 shipped from a seller on ebay) Just a thought for those who really feel that they can't reload and don't have the money to practice as much as they would like.
    How do those airsofts compare to the real thing weight-wise? What about recoil? Do they simulate recoil in anyway?
    All your voter base are belong to us!

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by h00ligan View Post
    It's really great you are sharing your knowledge with us. Unfortunately as someone who shoots a pistol and other than some knowledge of safety and basic technique (not a gun nut or smith) I look at the information and it is lost on me. It's not a lack of desire to reload, it just seems to me to be one of those things that I need to be shown - not read. Not sure why, but it seems incredibly complicated and potentially dangerous.
    Just look on YouTube, there are tons of videos on reloading. I haven't reloaded anything yet but I have a pretty good idea of how it works just from videos. Doktor Jeep casts his own bullets which saves money but is a lot more work, even if you buy factory made bullets it will still be cheaper to reload.
    "I am attacking an idea which I believe to be false; a system which appears to me to be unjust; an injustice so independent of personal intentions that each of us profits from it without wishing to do so, and suffers from it without knowing the cause of our suffering." - Frédéric Bastiat

  25. #24

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    One caveat folks. Never, never use reloaded ammo for personal or home defense. It will be used against you in a court of law with statements such as " you reloaded that ammo for the express purpose of killing people didn't you". If you use reloads for self protection and end up in court you are in a no win situation. Always use the same ammo that your local law enforcement agency uses as a court cannot and will not try to vilify your choice of ammo because it throws the local LEOs in a bad light. Plus the fact that the LEOs tend to use very effective ammo. Just my $.02 worth.

  26. #25

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    Actually my reliable hard cast reloads for defense.

    I shoot well enough and use enough power that my bullet need not turn into a little buzz saw inside of the target. I am trying to change the motivation of an attacker, not drop a Rhino.

    And if I can't make the shot, then it's melee. Guns are tools. I am the weapon.
    If this should be, our final stand,
    we will stand together with pride
    We will honour the past, and fight to the last,
    it will be a good way to die
    It matters not, if the cause is lost,
    and we can not stop the tide
    We will fight to the end, and then fight again,
    it will be a good way to die

  27. #26

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    Doktor, you missed the entire reason for my post. The fact is handloads can work as well as commercial ammo for personal defense. However it is also a fact that if you ever have to use your weapon in self defense the type of ammo that you used will become a factor if you should find yourself in court. Handloads WILL be used against you. If you use those nasty little hollow point bullets that your local police use then your choice of ammo will not be used against you in court. Your choice of ammo may very well determine the outcome of any court proceedings you are involved in. If you still insist on using handloaded ammo be my guest and I may write to you during your stay in the bighouse.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by virgil47 View Post
    Doktor, you missed the entire reason for my post. The fact is handloads can work as well as commercial ammo for personal defense. However it is also a fact that if you ever have to use your weapon in self defense the type of ammo that you used will become a factor if you should find yourself in court. Handloads WILL be used against you. If you use those nasty little hollow point bullets that your local police use then your choice of ammo will not be used against you in court. Your choice of ammo may very well determine the outcome of any court proceedings you are involved in. If you still insist on using handloaded ammo be my guest and I may write to you during your stay in the bighouse.

    I never saw, in all those cases, where those who used .22 caliber and other odd-ball cailbers to defend themselves got jacked up for not using what the police use.

    I will not engage in a back and forth argument with you on this one. I will use what I have and that's that.

    And if you think using cop bullets will protect you if you have a anti-gun DA who wants to make an example of you, and your jury is 12 sheep without a clue, then you need to revue the Olafson case.
    If this should be, our final stand,
    we will stand together with pride
    We will honour the past, and fight to the last,
    it will be a good way to die
    It matters not, if the cause is lost,
    and we can not stop the tide
    We will fight to the end, and then fight again,
    it will be a good way to die

  29. #28

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    All one has to do, to find the definitive word on using handloads for personal defense, is read the many writings of Massad Ayoob. He has been a court advocate in halping home-owners surviver the post-shooting court room debacles.

    Handloads will get you tried. Factory stuff won't. I LOVE my .45 Black Talons in my Para-Ord. What can you say about a round that will empty 70% of the cranial capacity in a ehad shot? Read that in an FBI after action report and autopsy. Balance of penetration and expansion, and that is what you want.

  30. #29

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    We've talked about reloading. We bought a sh&t load of ammo about a year ago ( several thousand rounds for our six weapons). We're survivalists and also Minutemen. We patrol the border once a month, and we carry side arms, so we practise quite often. I've actually become a pretty good shot. But yeah, this is a great idea.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by virgil47 View Post
    One caveat folks. Never, never use reloaded ammo for personal or home defense. It will be used against you in a court of law with statements such as " you reloaded that ammo for the express purpose of killing people didn't you". If you use reloads for self protection and end up in court you are in a no win situation. Always use the same ammo that your local law enforcement agency uses as a court cannot and will not try to vilify your choice of ammo because it throws the local LEOs in a bad light. Plus the fact that the LEOs tend to use very effective ammo. Just my $.02 worth.
    I absolutely do not understand this line of thought. Reloaded ammo is, essentially, recycled, revived ammo, using your own materials, right? So, if that's the case, then it's not "for the express purpose of killing people", it's for the express purpose of saving money and also possibly for environmental and practical reasons.
    Those who want liberty must organize as effectively as those who want tyranny. -- Iyad el Baghdadi

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