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Thread: Preparing for the "New Normal" in Reloading.

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Preparing for the "New Normal" in Reloading.

    I started about 15 years ago when in my mid fifties. I made a list of what I needed if things got bad...really bad. I started selling off the stuff that did not make the list. My goal was to establish a lifetime supply of components and ammunition. I shed a lot of rifles and pistols....and most importantly calibers. I got down to 9mm, .38/.357 in pistol calibers. .223/5.56 and .308 in rifle calibers. The only shotgun gauge I needed was 12.

    But, it made sense back then to include .40 S&W as many police were using the round. I also decided to keep the .30/30 as the ARR (Appalachian Assault Rifle) in case the nuts jobs made AR's illegal. And I kept the 28 ga as I was upland game hunting and loved carrying a 5.5 fast pointing shotgun.

    It resulted with needing a significant supply of SPP's, a lot of SRP's primers, lesser 209's, and 10k LRP. I did not need magnum primers or LPP's.

    It narrowed the number of powders to cover everything I shoot to four (Promo, Unique, H4895, and Varget) At times I may not have the "best" powder for an application, but it is a "good enough" powder. I am pragmatic and will not inventory components for a 3/4 MOA load if the standard stuff I inventory have gives 1.25 MOA. A critter that must be terminated will not be deader. Missing a gopher at 200 yards is not a game changer. It matters even less with cast bullets if I ever get so desperate to need cast bullets in the rifles.

    With that short list of components I bought, and bought, and bought. Then someone had Shooters World Clean Shot for $15/lb delivered. It was not on my list and had never tried it. What is a pragmatist to do? Easy....buy 30 lbs. It works in every pistol caliber I have and in 12 ga loads.

    I have one regret. Varget was a poor choice. I could never find enough of it at a decent price to build enough inventory. But it was my "go to" powder for my rifle calibers (.223 and .308) and had worked up good loads with it. I wish I had selected 4064 and done the work to get loads with it. That will be on my list of things to do. Until then, the 26 lbs I have left will be rationed. That gives me only 4000 rounds of .223 and 2000 of .308.

    In looking back, the caliber/ga. choices were good ones. I would shed the .40 if doing it now but I have enough cases to last a lifetime so will keep it.

    You need to defend your loved ones and your stuff from two legged critters. They are not tough targets and rather large. A good semi-auto pistol, light recoiling semi-auto CF rifle. a rifle to take out threats at over 400 yards, and a shotgun are the bare minimum. The other stuff is fun.

    When things get back to normal, look at your needs first and stock those deep. IMO at least a 10 year "safety" supply. Do that before you buy the stuff you love to play with like .22 Hornets, .45/70's, .460's etc etc. Then start adding to that safety stock...the stuff in excess is your fun shooting supply.

    When the next shortage happens, you will have enough stuff to keep shooting.
    Don Verna


  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy AlHunt's Avatar
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    So, what do you consider a 10 year supply of each of your critical calibers?. To me, a "critical caliber" is one I'm going to need to defend home and hearth and keep food on the table.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master elmacgyver0's Avatar
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    Don Verna
    You are a bit of a Superhero to me; you left your country for the USA because in reality your country left you.
    Now you are finding yourself in the same situation in the good Ol' US of A.
    I think you and I and many here are asking the question, why the hell can't I be just left alone?
    Perhaps I'm off base, if so, I apologize.

  4. #4
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    I agree with much of your plan, the general idea of buying in advance of need and stacking it deep, but can't quite go along with all of your choices.

    I do agree with the .30-30 Win. (pleasant to shoot, gets the job done), the .38/.357 (easy to cast and reload for, adequate power), I can see the universality of the .556/.223 and .308 (but am wobbly about it because there are other cartridges in this niche-- but will give you the point on components availability), but I don't see how anyone in a rural environment would turn down having a .22 L.R. and a .410 shotgun!

    True, .22s aren't commonly reloaded, but when they're available they're usually available in quantity, and unless you're one of the shooting range "blasters" that fire off a brick per visit, a few bricks are a lifetime + supply for us old guys. As for the .410 shells, they've always been kind of expensive, but offer a good case for reloading. And, 7 1/2 shot will work equally as well in the 12 Ga. (another excellent choice!).

    Then, I also understand the .40 S&W, citing the reason you gave, but for myself prefer the .45 ACP as even today the fired brass can be had in goodly quantities for reasonable prices.......and how could I never have a 1911? So, again for me, although I know how you got there, I'd drop the .40 for the .45.

    Lastly, your advice to buy it as you find it available and can afford it is excellent advice indeed. Here we are, once again, when ammo is reappearing on retailer's shelves. I can remember 4 cycles of ammo shortages in my lifetime, and I'd classify them in sequence as having been inconvenient, serious, severe, and the last one worst. They are getting more serious each cycle, and this last time has been 2+ years.

    Meanwhile, each cycle brings permanent price increases. Anti-gun legislation is back in style and it's hard to read the future. I say get it now as you can, and if you are able get a lot. Buy in anticipation of your needs, and like Don says, tailor your gun collection accordingly. Lastly, get into reloading. Stockpile the components and you'll be able to keep shooting.

    DG

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Gebirgsjager View Post
    I agree with much of your plan, the general idea of buying in advance of need and stacking it deep, but can't quite go along with all of your choices.

    I do agree with the .30-30 Win. (pleasant to shoot, gets the job done), the .38/.357 (easy to cast and reload for, adequate power), I can see the universality of the .556/.223 and .308 (but am wobbly about it because there are other cartridges in this niche-- but will give you the point on components availability), but I don't see how anyone in a rural environment would turn down having a .22 L.R. and a .410 shotgun!

    True, .22s aren't commonly reloaded, but when they're available they're usually available in quantity, and unless you're one of the shooting range "blasters" that fire off a brick per visit, a few bricks are a lifetime + supply for us old guys. As for the .410 shells, they've always been kind of expensive, but offer a good case for reloading. And, 7 1/2 shot will work equally as well in the 12 Ga. (another excellent choice!).

    Then, I also understand the .40 S&W, citing the reason you gave, but for myself prefer the .45 ACP as even today the fired brass can be had in goodly quantities for reasonable prices.......and how could I never have a 1911? So, again for me, although I know how you got there, I'd drop the .40 for the .45.

    Lastly, your advice to buy it as you find it available and can afford it is excellent advice indeed. Here we are, once again, when ammo is reappearing on retailer's shelves. I can remember 4 cycles of ammo shortages in my lifetime, and I'd classify them in sequence as having been inconvenient, serious, severe, and the last one worst. They are getting more serious each cycle, and this last time has been 2+ years.

    Meanwhile, each cycle brings permanent price increases. Anti-gun legislation is back in style and it's hard to read the future. I say get it now as you can, and if you are able get a lot. Buy in anticipation of your needs, and like Don says, tailor your gun collection accordingly. Lastly, get into reloading. Stockpile the components and you'll be able to keep shooting.

    DG
    For survival reloading, I like brass shotgun shells that can take pistol primers for use in a single barrel break open gun. I have a few such hulls in .410 and 28 ga. I saw in a townsend youtube a simple way to make shot by a campfire. And home made black powder would likely work well. But one does need the primers.
    There may be a new frenzy ammo and component buying spree and for sure one of AR-15 rifles. The house just passed a new anti-gun bill.
    An old fashioned .410 with a thick barrel can literally fire anything that you get into the chamber including things that are way above shotgun pressures. And this includes a full .387 diameter full choke sizing down .429 and larger bullets with a no change in choke diameter. Look up the iraqveteran8888 series of youtubes on the little gun that could.
    I have an old savage over and under with a .410 lower barrel.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    It's a good plan-- but I don't think you have to be worried about survival to need the plan. If you enjoy what you are doing you can have the plan for fun and, coincidentally, you will be covered if the SHTF. Personally, I'm not worried about the future, but I always keep a 5 year supply of everything I need to reload.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Barnetmill I have 2 boxes of brass hulls for both .410 and 20 ga. I also have at least 500 12 ga new primed hulls ready to load.

    Don, I agree with a lot I hear from you. Always have.

    I got curious something like a year and a half back and went and counted primers and powder.
    I've got enough primers for half my powder. Maybe 2/3rds if I'm loading more rifle and less pistol.

    Like you I concentrated on a few. I have a fair assortment of "one pound wonders" like Unique, Blue Dot, Green Dot, etc.
    I'm sitting on a fair stash of 4895 and other slow rifle powders. And a very healthy stash of Red Dot. And there is an 8lber of Promo in there.
    I truly believe we need to get back to basics.

    Get right with the Lord.
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    Get back to thinking like our forefathers thought.


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  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Thanks for the comments guys!

    BTW, I used to have over 30k .22’s but I did not list them as this was a reloading thread. I sold many during the .22 shortage before this last event. I likely have about 10k left but have little use for them. I keep them for close range varmint control and bartering if things were to get bad. Most of my plinking is now with air guns.

    For my needs the 410 never made sense. In over 60 years of shooting I have never wanted one.

    BTW, there is nothing special about the .308. I had three guns, now four, in .308 so kept it. Plus 1000’s of cases. If I had multiple rifles in .270’s, .280’s, 7mm, .30/06, 8mm etc etc they would serve just as effectively and maybe better. In hindsight, I wish I had gone with the .30/06, but I only had one rifle and 300 cases for it. Now, having one of each of those calibers is silly. Only a exceptional marksman could see much practical difference in those calibers....and a decent marksman would know how to get the job done with any of them.

    The .45 ACP is a great caliber and I had 5 guns in it. But if the SHTF, there will be lot more 9mm’s out there. And I had switched to Glocks for carry guns so the 1911 platform lost out. I agree with DG, that the .45 is a great choice. I ended up buying Glock 22’s as they can be converted from .40 to shoot 9mm’s with a quick $100 barrel swap and a mag change. And there have been plenty of LEO guns hitting the market as departments converted to 9mm. IMO the Glock is a better battle gun but we can agree to disagree. And dropping the .45 eliminated the need for LPP. I know there is SP .45 brass but it is not normal.

    I am a big believer in redundancy. I have at least two identical guns in every “critical” category, and another 2 or more others in that caliber. For example, currently seven in .38/.357, six in 9mm, seven in .223, four in .308 etc etc. I also like having pistol calibers that work in rifle carbines.

    This thread is not meant to disparage those who enjoy having dozens of calibers and 100 molds. Nothing wrong with going what is fun once the basics are covered.

    Newbies should think about covering the bases before adding more “toys”. Be ruthless in establishing what calibers you need and then focus on having the resources to keep them operational for years. Because what will you do if things get bad....really bad?

    How many posts have there been about guys who will stop reloading if things stay like this? You do not want to be one of them when the next “event” happens....and it will.

    The four powders I settled on cover loading 12-28 ga, every pistol and rifle caliber i have and many other calibers if I need to supply my neighbors should the SHTF. With only four powders, I can buy powder by the case making it less expensive.

    The .223 and .308 both use the same rifle powder. Should there ever be a deal on surplus powder again, I can buy cases of it knowing it will work for all my rifle needs. For example, adding something like the .300 BO to my rifle arsenal is not smart. It would require adding powder and bullets that offer little practical benefit. It might be a fun “toy”...but still just a toy.
    Last edited by dverna; 07-31-2022 at 07:03 PM.
    Don Verna


  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    We have the same calibers. I don't own a 40 but have have a lot of brass. I don't own a Glock 22 but it's on the back burner. Good read. WHEN SWITCHING BARRELS- About how much difference do the 40 and 9mm hit at 25 yards without adjusting sights? I have a 9mm and super 38 conversion that hit the same at 25 yards but It's a 1911.
    Last edited by 45DUDE; 07-31-2022 at 12:48 PM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Good plan and one I have followed. Identify your "bread and butter" calibers and stock up for the long haul. The other toys can wait turn. I am set.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlHunt View Post
    So, what do you consider a 10 year supply of each of your critical calibers?. To me, a "critical caliber" is one I'm going to need to defend home and hearth and keep food on the table.
    Excellent question. Putting food on the table is the great delusion of gun nuts who prep. In a SHTF event there are two things for certain. First, most will not live long. Second, those that do will have very little game to harvest. IMO, 1000 rounds of .22’s, 200 rounds of deer ammunition, and 500 rounds of shotgun shells are enough. If you live long enough to use that up, you will resupply from those who have died before you.

    Most of your ammunition will be used to defend what your community has, and, if things get desperate, to attack other communities. I will be supplying my local band of misfits if the SHTF so I have stocked accordingly and could produce over 50k rounds. If you are in a family group or small group, and have anything worth taking, you will not last long. 10’s of thousands of rounds is immaterial.

    I shoot a lot, so my stock of “fun” stuff becomes a lifetime supply if the SHTF and I had to stop recreational shooting. Therefore, I never thought about it much. But that is what has happened due to current prices. I am too cheap to plink with $100/k primers. After selling over 100k primers, I still have a lifetime supply, but I am 71. For others, I can only guess how much is enough.

    I have essentially stopped plinking with CF’s due to cost. Last week I put 250 rounds downrange at a cost of $5 using air guns as accurate as many quality .22LR’s. Those who must shoot CF’s to have fun, need deeper pockets. One size does not fit all.

    As to future planning. Most of these cycles have lasted about 2 years. This one may last four years. I fear the next cycle will last longer and may be permanent. Thus, my advice for a ten year supply as a minimum.
    Don Verna


  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I thought anyone who enjoyed shooting had stocked in at least a decade supply of everything...but reading threads on this site, that just ain't true!
    Take a kid to the range, you'll both be glad you did.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    Excellent question. Putting food on the table is the great delusion of gun nuts who prep. In a SHTF event there are two things for certain. First, most will not live long. Second, those that do will have very little game to harvest. IMO, 1000 rounds of .22s, 200 rounds of deer ammunition, and 500 rounds of shotgun shells are enough. If you live long enough to use that up, you will resupply from those who have died before you.

    Most of your ammunition will be used to defend what your community has, and, if things get desperate, to attack other communities. I will be supplying my local band of misfits if the SHTF so I have stocked accordingly and could produce over 50k rounds. If you are in a family group or small group, and have anything worth taking, you will not last long. 10s of thousands of rounds is immaterial.

    I shoot a lot, so my stock of fun stuff becomes a lifetime supply if the SHTF and I had to stop recreational shooting. Therefore, I never thought about it much. But that is what has happened due to current prices. I am too cheap to plink with $100/k primers. After selling over 100k primers, I still have a lifetime supply, but I am 71. For others, I can only guess how much is enough.

    I have essentially stopped plinking with CFs due to cost. Last week I put 250 rounds downrange at a cost of $5 using air guns as accurate as many quality .22LRs. Those who must shoot CFs to have fun, need deeper pockets. One size does not fit all.

    As to future planning. Most of these cycles have lasted about 2 years. This one may last four years. I fear the next cycle will last longer and may be permanent. Thus, my advice for a ten year supply as a minimum.
    You are absolutely right :
    Putting food on the table is the great delusion of gun nuts who prep
    If one is going to try to live off the land, it is the smaller things that will be most common.
    rodents. Even snakes, song birds, and what ever else you can find for the stew pot. A small hand crank generator and seine net for fishing. If you have black powder it might also be good for fishing. Digging roots and tubers, stripping bark, and it will be a very hard lean existence.
    I do happen to small steel traps on hand.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by remy3424 View Post
    I thought anyone who enjoyed shooting had stocked in at least a decade supply of everything...but reading threads on this site, that just ain't true!
    The easy button for stock pile used to be steel case russian ammo. 7.62x39 ball ammo in pinch will take game, but it is not the best for it. 7.62x54 ball ammo will likely do a better job of it. For those two calibers I have a bit of it and for x39 three different types of guns that shoot it. Not the best, but that ammo does go bang in reliable rifles.
    I do have some reloading components for both. I also have a lot of reloading things for 308, just not much loaded ammo on hand.
    I do have fruit trees and I am thinking of starting some carbohydrate patches, i.e. peanuts, sweet potatoes, and maybe some other root crops. All of those will need protection. invading 4-legged critters can good eating, not so sure of doing that for the 2-legged ones lol.

  15. #15
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    I have come to believe hunting will be dangerous and a waste of time. The only hunting I intend to do is edible targets of opportunity which get into my garden. For those, I will likely have several appropriate firearms handy. An air rifle for small game and a large bore black powder cartridge gun loaded with a smaller load of smokeless pistol powder for larger game. Large, heavy, and slow bullets tend to knock big game flat without the large amount of wasted bloodshot meat caused by a high velocity rifle bullet.

  16. #16
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    Don,

    The only thing where we differ is our powder choice's.. I am a red dot fan, and load all of my bread and butter stuff with it. 12g, 410, 308, 38/357… works about everything you mentioned, and is very economical. Even my 223 bolt guns like it.

    Also, I have lots of them shotgun caliber converters, as well as brass shells and BP.
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

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  17. #17
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    One thing that was not particularly mentioned directly was bullet casting. I saw the handwriting on the wall two or three years ago and started back seriously into bullet casting. I was lucky enough to have good access to wheel weights through a client that has a farm tire store, and have been casting 32, 38, and 44 caliber bullets for my 32S&W Longs, 38 Specials, and my 44 Special/44 Magnum. I am relieved that I got back into it again - just in time.
    Britons shall never be slaves.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markopolo View Post
    Don,

    The only thing where we differ is our powder choice's.. I am a red dot fan, and load all of my bread and butter stuff with it. 12g, 410, 308, 38/357… works about everything you mentioned, and is very economical. Even my 223 bolt guns like it.

    Also, I have lots of them shotgun caliber converters, as well as brass shells and BP.
    Marko,

    Promo and RD are the same powders with one caveat. Promo has varying density lot to lot. If using bushings, drops must be checked with every lot number. But 18 gr of Promo in a 12 ga load gives the same performance as 18 gr of RD. Like you said, it works in everything I own expect 20 and 28 ga. It is a good pistol powder. It is "The Load" in .308 (and other similar military cartridges) and works for light .223. When I started rationalizing years ago, I lucked into Promo at the Ohio State Shoot for $68 for 8 lbs jugs and only bought 4 cases because I already had 5 cases. I had 72 lbs of it!!! I should have bought more. Shooting 15k+ shells a year uses it up fast. BTW the density consistency of RD is not important to me. I buy 2 cases (4 jugs) of Promo at a time of the same lot number when I find a deal. I will go through 32 lbs before I need to make powder drop adjustments. Now that my competitive Trap shooting days are behind me, four jugs should last a while...LOL. (17k .308, or 28k .223, or 56k pistol, or 12k 12 ga) But I plan to get another four jugs when things settle out. Even at a new normal of $150/jug it will be cheap insurance.

    If I did not reload 20 and 28 ga, I could drop Unique from my essential powder list. RD/Promo will not get the velocity of Unique in the .357 but for my uses it would not matter much. I

    You are smart. Have never seen you complain about being "out of stuff".
    Don Verna


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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check