Survival Reloading - Ammo

Discussion in 'Survival Articles' started by survivalmonkey, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Thanks for the heads up!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2015
  2. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Crossbows are fine weapons, but you will find some folks against them. For no good reason.
    They have been around in one form or another, since 400BC (look up "belly bow") they are NOT imitation guns. In fact, if truth were told, long guns are imitation crossbows. the design of long guns comes from what we learned from crossbows throughout the ages. not the other way around.
    in the Middle Ages it was called" The Devil's weapon" and it was feared it would bring on the end of civilization as we knew it. Clearly, this was not the case.
    they have been used in fortifications, by the Chinese and others.
    they were used by the French against the English, though it was the English or Welsh longbow that ruled the day, for it had the longer range.
    a crossbow can even be set as a snare to kill game, (though do not do this except in a survival situation. it is illegal to set booby traps thst can kill.)
    Any questions you might have, ask.:)
    Witch Doctor 01 likes this.
  3. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Thanks! I'm guessing that the newer compound cross bows are the way to go? Also, arrow length. Does it make a big difference? I'm thinking that crossbows are like any other bow in that there is a specific draw length and require a specific arrow length, but does one have a greater advantage?
  4. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Yes. Carbons are best. They are either straight, or broken. And very little in between. Length? Yes, it matters, longer arrows (bolts on crossbows) wiegh more, so travel slower, though hit harder. No point in shooting bolts heavier than needed for strength. Slower arrow/bolts allow game more of a reaction time. So more misses.
    There is more to go wrong with a compound than a recurve, but recurves are generally slower (I have had both, and traded away my recurve last year. It would not fit any commercially available hard case, so I hand built a case for it.
    For the most part, all tips you can use for bows will swap to crossbows. No need for special crossbow tips. Perhaps a PM would be in order, or a new thread. That way, we don't go too far off tangent here.;)
    Georgia_Boy and Tully Mars like this.
  5. Airborne Monkey

    Airborne Monkey Gorilla Survivalpithecus

    ... and, of course, brass' life may be extended through proper care, such as annealing, for example. Or not re-sizing for every reload.

    There are also methods of extending the life of certain brass. For instance, if the case mouth of 30-06 were to become cracked, it may be cut-down and re-used as .308, then it may be chopped-down even further, in a pinch, to 45 ACP, and so on. Same with 9mm to .380. Case/Cartridge Conversions are made even easier to decipher with a good book such as this one - this one is mine:


    .... and here is a handy chart for reference purposes, once you've reloaded all your ammo and you wanna know how much you can hump at once:

  6. smithcp2002

    smithcp2002 Monkey++ Site Supporter++

    Reloading on the move could be a mine field of little miss steps. Then again if you are low on ammunition it could be the last round that you would need to stay alive. I have some .38 cases that have gone thought the same gun 7 times now. Low pressure target loads and knock down.
    chelloveck and Gator 45/70 like this.
  7. shaman

    shaman Monkey+

    I've been reloading since 2001. I do most it mostly, because it is cheap (well, at least cheaper) and because I get just what I want . Most of what I do is reduced loads. Most of that is because I can get less recoil, better accuracy, and longer case life out loads that are 5% off MAX without a huge change in velocity.

    I have a fairly standard set-up built around a RCBS Rockchucker. However, I have done a few things recently that are with an eye towards SHTF scenarios.

    1) I bought a Lee Hand Press. I'm just keeping it in case.
    2) I started making dippers out of old brass. Read my weblog, Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries, and you'll see the reasons why I started and the method I use. It's a great way to fill cases in places where a powder measure is impractical.
    3) I zeroed in on 358 and decided to turn all my .358 loadings over to cast lead. I have .357 Mag, 38 Special, and 35 Whelen. I started casting this past fall. So far the results are good. Part of it was something to do. Part of it was thinking SHTF. Part of it was the 35 Whelen was getting to be expensive to shoot using factory bullets.
    4) My end goal is to have a cut-down .358-centric reloading capability that can be stored in a shoebox-- nothing fancy, but it could keep a half-dozen pistols and rifles fed-- something to throw into my assault wheelbarrow on the way out the door to the bunker.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    @shaman What is the Powder Weight variation, in 50 Dips using your Home Made Dipper? Something to look at.... as if could become significant, if using any Very Fast Burning Pistol Powder.... (like BullsEye)
    chelloveck and Tully Mars like this.
  9. shaman

    shaman Monkey+

    If you go to my weblog, you can see what I'm doing. Basically, I take a spent case, cut it off with a small tubing cutter and then deburr it. I then twist on a brass wire handle on it. It's a great use for old split cases or those stray range pickups. What I've found is that I can get it down to where I'm as accurate as my RCBS powder measure, and far more consistent. When I really want to be accurate, I keep the dipper a hair smaller than I need and then top off with a trickler.

    Originally I tried this trick to resolve a problem I was having with H4831SC sticking in the powder measure. Since then, I've tried to build a custom dipper for each load I do on a regular basis. Each time I've tried, I've had the dipper down to within +/- a smidgeon in three tries. Once there, it's just a matter of adjusting the English I put on the dipper. One load takes a tap to knock off the excess, another is a heaping scoop. I can throw 50 loads within .1 grain. That's better than what I can do with the RCBS measure. The cost is 6 inches of brass wire, and an old round of brass. If I screw up and make one too short, I throw it in the bin for the next load. Making a new dipper adds 15 minutes or so to loading process and then that's it for the life of the load. Tools required are a $8 tubing cutter that I inherited from my Dad, a case deburrer, and a set of electrician's pliers for cutting and twisting the wire.

    Of course the easy way to do it is with a set of Lee Dippers. I just like the idea that I have a dipper or two stored in each set of dies and that dipper is dead-on for that load. With the Lee Dippers, everything I was doing was going to be a compromise. This way it's dead-nuts on.

    One other comment about this idea I had for doing .358. I've had some feedback from y'all. It was just a matter of doing an inventory and realizing I had more .358-based firearms than anything else. For the next guy, it might be 44 Mag, .308, whatever. With .358 I had a Ruger Blackhawk single action revolver, several other revolvers, a Marlin Lever, and a Rem 7600 pump I call the Whelenizer. .358 just happens to have a lot of good moulds available. I bought a 125 grain Lee, a 158 grain Lee with gas checks, and a 200 grain RCBS with a gas check. That gives me anything from lead plinkers up to hard cast anti-moose rounds using two powders, H4895 and Unique. I was surprised that I can go about 5% of MAX on the 35 Whelen round and not lead up the barrel. I'm using water-dropped 50% wheelweight/ 50% pure lead. I then tumble lube and send the bullets through a Lee Lubrisizer.

    My goal with the Whelenizer is to start using it again as a whitetail deer rifle with 200 grain cast instead of 200 grain Rem SPCL. That will knock the $/round down considerably.
    chelloveck, BlueDuck and kellory like this.
  10. shaman

    shaman Monkey+

    I got done with my post and realized you'd posted too. I don't use Bullseye, but I just got done with a 45 ACP load using TightGroup. The variation was probably +/- 0.05 grain. I was throwing every dozen or so into the scale, just to see. I used a cut-off 9mm case. I was hitting the 0-mark on the scale every time. The English I used was
    a) a backward thrust into the powder
    b) pull out the way I came in
    c) a light tap on the side of the margarine dish as I was coming out.

    Lee talks about swiping the top with a business card. I tried that early on and decided I could get just as accurate with either a tap or no tap,

    One tip I've learned: you get an eye for what makes a good donor cartridge. The wider ones don't settle as much, but they have a wider variation in what it holds at the top. Over time, you can look at your powder and the weight you want to throw and say: "This looks like a 30-06" for starters or "I think I'll use a 7.62X54R."

    The other tip: Some loads seem to prefer the handle bent upwards, some prefer it straight. It's all about the angle the top of the case is as it's coming out of the powder.

    I know this sounds overly hard, and in truth it's dirt simple. My first try with 4831SC going into a 25-06 case, was one of the fastest, easiest loading experiences I've ever had. I was an instant convert. This was after an exasperating bout of with the powder measure that took 2 hours longer than usual with loads coming out that were +/- 50% of the load. That 4831 was bridging in in the tube, and I could not get it to come out consistently.
    chelloveck and Homer Simpson like this.
  11. Finster

    Finster Simplify, I'd say more but this says it all. Site Supporter

    Dunerunner is right and Tract is pessimistic even for a survivalist. On the Lewis & Clark expidetion they carried among their gear two state of the art high pressure air rifles in I believe either 48 or 58 caliber. Were multi-shot repeating rifles far in advance of thier time. They had a butt stock that was also the pressure vessel, and would be pumped to a very hihg pressure (over 1000psi) by means of an external pump. The magazine was a parallel tube arrangement in which the breach was pushed in back of the tube, allowing a round to be chambered and then slid back behind the barrel and fired. Long after thier black powder had bee used, stolen, moistened and basically unuseable they were still working. Later they did procure replacement powder and arms from fur traders but for a while the only working arms were these two air rifles. I own several air guns; one spring action and one CO2 22 pellet guns, I would expect that either of them can kill a man, no not one shot drop but they are lethal for any small game and quite quick to load and easy to repair. They and others will always be part of my arsenal.
  12. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Interesting point Finster made about "standardizing" on your calibers. I did that about 30 years ago when I inherited some old military rifles chambered in '06. I found that I had several different rifles, and just as many calibers.

    So I bought a hunting rifle in '06 and traded off my 7mm and whatever other calibers I had. This was a financial decision at the time, since brass, bullets and other components could be purchased in bulk at better prices than boxes of 50 of this or 100 of that, and the ammo produced fit several rifles. AS of the last few years, such quantities have pretty much dried up, which again makes me thankful for the decision I made years ago. I had been able to acquire enough components to ride through the shortages.

    Since then I have acquired a .308 or two, but both calibers can use the same bullets, powder, primers. And as one other poster noted, neck split '06 brass can be sized in a .308 die and trimmed down for re-use in a .308. Just as an experiment I tried it and got 8 more firings out of the converted-to-.308 brass before it split.

    I've been a reloader since the early '70s.

    So I've 'standardized' on '06, .308 for larger game, heavy rifles (no grizzlies or caribou around here) and .223 for small game 'light' rifles (pests of the two and four legged kind). The .223 can be pretty rough on rabbits intended for table fare. But that's where a pellet rifle, .22, bow or snares come in handy.

    Any rate, I've cut down from over half dozen calibers to just three main ones, two of which can interchange components to a large degree.

    Another advantage is the fact that should something happen to a rifle chambered in any given caliber, lost, stolen confiscated, broken with no replacement parts available, whatever, there's a Plan B and stocks of ammunition/components can still be put to good use with a second rifle of the same caliber.

    Early morning - hope I made some sense.
  13. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Made plenty of sense Al:)
  14. Legion489

    Legion489 Rev. 2:19 Banned

    Standardizing cartridges is a great idea! I'm down to about 10 rifle and 8 handgun cartridges not counting rimfires. Of course that is +/- 2 or so for rifle/handgun. Ive owned about twice that many different ones for both, so when someone talks about something I usually have shot it and got a set of dies.

    Light loaded .223s equal .22 Mags and the Shell Shrinkers (I get mine from Ace up in Alaska, do a search of "shell shrinkers") in .22 LR for the .223. Mine shoots to point of aim in my Mini-14 at 50 yards. Last time I bought from Ace (a couple years, need to drop him a line again for more) I got great service, and good prices so I was (and always have been every time I ordered over the years) happy with him.

    Handloaders Manual of Cartridge Cons is EXCELLENT! I bought two just to have one in the library and at the reloading bench. Other recommended books would be Cartridge of the World (current), all Handloaders Digests, Lee MODERN RELOADING 2ed, Lyman (current), and Nonte's book on Cart Cons.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
  15. Legion489

    Legion489 Rev. 2:19 Banned

    Actually I don't think tract/gunkid/whatever is too far off as far as game. All game will be dead in short order. I was reading an article by a local guy who moved to Thailand (for now) and went to Laos to look around. The first thing he spotted was no wild birds and no wild animals. Why? Laos is the poorest country in SE Asia and they ATE everything that moved! Still do! A few feet on the Thailand side there were birds singing, five feet on the other side of the border it was silent. The guy was amazed at all the fish ponds EVERYWHERE until he figured out they were bomb craters. The US dumped more bombs on Laos than WW II Germany and Viet Nam combined!

    One "survivalist" article had how they planned to live on squirrels. Great, but how many squirrels do you see any more? One per acre? Two per acre? That's 6-8 oz at MOST. THAT won't last long! Don't plan on living off the land. For long, or at all. I also agree that 90% of the population will be dead of bad water/no water or starvation in a year or two as well.

    Then you have the Utah group that stockpiles a years worth of food and guns plus they have compounds all over the country set up with guns and food to come out and take over when they feel they can. Got a compound set up not far from me. Look up Mountain Meadows Massacre, the most famous of the dozens of known attacks and the hundreds of wagon trains that simply disappeared in Utah. They have NOT repudiated that and still teach it!

    Look at Spain during WWII and the group that set up a "meal for the town" and then wiped out all the people that weren't one of them when the fools showed up to "bury the hatchet", which the sheeple did not know meant in their skulls. Town after town, after town, after town, after town. Go look that up too. They have NOT repudiated that and still teach it! Hint: their leader just turned over all the private banking records from their private bank and stated we need to give money to the NWO to rule us.

    I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
    Homer Simpson likes this.
  16. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    Well I like single shot shotguns because I can take ffg for black powder guns cut the crimp off of used shotgun shells knock out the primer with a screw driver pop the new 209 In scoop of ffg cardboard wad shot of what ever fits oat meal and another cardboard wad and you have ammo.
    Homer Simpson, oldawg and chelloveck like this.
  17. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Why couldn't you use that same type Shell, in a Pump ShotGun?
  18. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    You could but it's really corrosive
  19. shaman

    shaman Monkey+

    Let me just give that a big +1 and add that it is extemely dirty. Before including black powder in a modern firearm as part of a survival plan, make sure you know what you are getting into. I tried a BP load in 44 Mag Super Blackhawk years ago. I had heard that you could pretty much fill the case with BP, and get a nice light load out of it. Yikes! It was a nice light load all right, but it was a nightmare to clean. It did not take long for the accumulation of residue to keep the pistol from functioning properly. I had to keep dropping out the cylinder and wiping it off to keep the BP gunks up everything and it can be the devil to get off. I finally ran the cylinder of that Super Blackhawk through the dishwasher.

    Back when it was just muzzleloaders and early BP cartridges, the firearm was kept simple enough so that it could function with a diet of BP. A lot of modern firearms are built with tolerances and complexities that make the extra dirt and grime of BP a real problem.
    chelloveck likes this.
  20. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Just a NOTE, here: The Physics says, that it is impossible to overload a BP FireArm made with Modern Steel Barrels. The reason is simple... BP, and even the Modern BP Replacements, BURN, at a Fixed Rate, and that Rate does NOT Rise, Exponentially, like Smokeless Powder does, with Pressure... Because of this FACT, and since the Powder starts burning from the Touch Hole, or Nipple, the Burnt Gasses force the Load down the Barrel, including the Yet to be Burnt Powder, and it then exits the Muzzle, still unBurnt, and either, makes a Giant Muzzle Flash, or gets Splattered on the Ground, in front of the Muzzle. The same is True for BP Revolvers, which have the advantage, of a very short Loading Chamber, in the Cylinder. As LONG as the Barrel is NOT Blocked, so the Burnt Powder Gas Pressure does NOT exceed the Barrels Bursting Pressure, the above is valid. With Modern Steels, this is Highly unlikely to happen, unless the Barrel is exceptionally Thin.

    Also UNDERSTAND, that this is NOT the Case, for Smokeless Powders, as they do NOT Burn, but Decompose, Exothermicly, and Do so at Rates that change Exponentially, with Pressure. The more Powder the More Pressure, and the faster the rate of Decomposition, as the Pressure in the Barrel, rises.
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