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Posted: November 18 2018 at 3:03am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

John's thread about loading steel cases got me to thinking. Brass is available enough that I wouldn't do it, but it's nice to tuck such things into the memory banks "just in case".

So I was thinking that handloaders as a group are resourceful and attempting to be as self reliant as possible. During the shortage, a lot of us figured out how to do without .22 ammo and other things. I personally bought my first .22 Hornet and extended my bullet casting to .22 centerfires. I also picked up a couple of air rifles.

I remember Winwun, rest his soul, used to come up with things like this commonly, he pointed out that .32 ACP rounds can be fired in .32 S&W Long revolvers safely and pretty reliably.

I have a bag of brass, but Berdan primed 7.62x54 cases somewhere I picked up off the range. My intent was to reload them like Turbo describes by drilling them out and loading with 209 primers. I have since read where guys can actually drill out the Berdan primers in such a way as to leave the wall of the primer in, the swage the walls of the old primer in to where the case becomes reloadable with a small rifle primers. Wayyyy too much trouble for anything but an emergency, but...

Old Ranger loaded black powder into a lot of things most don't anymore. When you couldn't buy components due to the shortage, I could buy Hogdon Pyrodex dirt cheap after our muzzle loader season from Wal Mart, for a guy who casts and owns a .45-70 and a couple of .45 Colt revolvers, I'd have been in business assuming I could find primers. Back Woodsman magazine this month has an article on loading black powder shotgun shells.

I've made 8x57 cases from .30-06, not hard to do, not really necessary either, but a good skill set to have.

Lots of us learned to make do with powders other than our first choices. I've even seen where people have figured out how to reload primers if they had to.

So, what are some other "just in case" techniques can some of you guys think of to keep shooting if you couldn't get something?

"The secret to happiness is freedom, and the secret to freedom is courage."
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Posted: November 18 2018 at 3:44am | IP Logged Quote M700

Have lots of ammo on hand.

Shot a lot of 22's when primers and powder were scarce. I had so much 22 ammo on hand that the "shortage" hardly affected my shooting hobby.

Re handloading - I honestly don't have any kind of special knowledge or skills to "make do." I just load the basic cartridges I use, keep a lot of components & loaded ammo on hand. That's it.

Air rifle is another way to keep shooting in a shortage. A thousand pellets are cheap! And of course archery is an alternative which I greatly enjoy. Kinda rough carrying a bow around for concealed carry though...

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Posted: November 18 2018 at 4:19am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Archery is also great, I started bow hunting again when Kansas legalized crossbows. I'm not the purist I used to be, but truthfully, I hate that damn thing. Need to get off my butt and make the time to get proficient with the long bow or one of the recurves again. Not sure I'm strong enough for the long bow anymore to keep up a meaningful practice regimen, might have to start hitting the gym.

Along those same lines, a flint lock would be pretty hard to render unuseable due to shortages, guys can and do make their own black powder.

Keeping a good stockage is a good idea. I have enough on hand that I could keep shooting something for a very long time, but I tend to shoot a lot of reduced cast loads using fast powders. If I had a need for something else, maybe not.

I noticed where NOE is making molds for various air rifles now. I ended up with a .25 caliber springer which is quite powerful. If I cast for that, it would be able to take care of shooting and subsistence hunting forever if I needed it to.

"The secret to happiness is freedom, and the secret to freedom is courage."
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Alan McDaniel
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Posted: November 18 2018 at 8:48pm | IP Logged Quote Alan McDaniel

Flintlocks will also help you develop another skill set. Flint knapping. you
gotta make the flints just right so they'll throw the sparks into the pan.

I make snake/rat shot using 357 Maximum cases run partially into a 30
carbine size die. It reduces the case enough to fit into a 357 Mag cylinder. I
load 2.5 gr Bullseye under two cardboard wads. Then fill the case with #6
shot and crimp a 30 cal gas check on top. At 5 yards it's a killer.

I make 222 Mag cases by running 223 cases into a 243 size die and then
back through the 222 Mag size die. That puts enough shoulder on the case
to fire form. I have heard that 223 can be fire formed as is to a 222 mag
chamber. I haven't done it.

In loading the 22 Hornet recently with cast .225 bullets, I found that my size
die did not sufficiently bell the case mouth to accept the slightly larger
bullet. I ran the cases up in a 243 size die until they just touched the
expander plug (and I do mean barely touched). It put enough bell to start
the bullet.

I have lots of 30-06 and 270 brass. I make nearly everything else that can
be made out of those two. At least I used to, when I had more time than
money to spend on frivolous things like cartridge cases.

I make 308 Norma brass out of 338 mag brass.

I have a well worn copy of Nonte's "Home Guide to Cartridge Conversions".
It's been used.

A while back I got a box of 32 cal cast bullets. Without looking, they were in
the 100 gr range. I have nothing that shoots them. The old boy who I got
them from loaded 32-20. I have a Mod 1907 that was converted to 30
Carbine. It is difficult to load for because the normal OAL for 30 cal 110
bullets puts the bullet into the rifling in the sleeve. If fired all is well. If the
rifle is unloaded, it pulls the bullet. It's not a good situation either way. the
32-20 bullets had a slightly longer ogive so I ran them through a .308 size
die. It was a tight fit but it swaged them down to 30 cal and they work
perfectly in that rifle.

When we lived at the ranch, the house had eaves that were 30 ft or more
from the ground. Painting was an exciting activity, especially with the
dozens of yellow jacket nests that lined the eaves. This was before the days
of "Wasp and Hornet" spray. Since I was used to shooting things, that was
my first inclination.... but grandmothers frown on the use of birdshot holes
in their houses. So, I loaded some 12 shells with table salt (rock salt makes
holes too). I shot them from an old dog leg 12 ga and had the eaves cleared
in no time. At that range the wasps and the nest would be wiped right off of
the eave. Of course a good hot water cleaning was in order for the shotgun.

I've loaded a lot of things in shotshells, none of which work remotely as well
as lead pellets or balls for general shooting.

#3 son bought a case of Greek 30-06 surplus ammo a few years back. I
pulled some of the FMJ bullets, resized the neck with the expander plug only
and seated 150 gr Sierras. He killed several deer and hogs with that ammo.
He may still have some left (but I doubt it). It was Berdan primed so it just
went into the brass box for recycling.

I'm going to read up on that method of drilling out the Berdan cases and how
to reload the steel cases. Can't have too many tools in the tool box.


Don't settle for less!

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Posted: November 18 2018 at 11:56pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66 ting-Berdan-primer-pockets-to-Boxer

"The secret to happiness is freedom, and the secret to freedom is courage."
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Posted: November 22 2018 at 2:00am | IP Logged Quote turbo1889

M700 wrote:
. . . of course archery is
an alternative which I greatly enjoy.
Kinda rough carrying a bow around for
concealed carry though...


Ancient Chinese solved that problem a long
time ago. Bolt firing device powered by a
coil spring all contained in a reasonably
small diameter bamboo hollow tube about
10-12" in total length which is strapped
to the forarm and concealed under a long
sleeve. Point your arm in the direction
necessary an lift your hand to ensure it's
clear and trip the release to fire the
bolt. Max load out was two strapped to
each forearm for a total of four primary

They also had a more powerful "cluster
fire" device of similar design consisting
of multiple tubes in a flat pack that
mounted to a person's back under a coat
with multiple poison dipped fletchets
loaded in each tube. That was used almost
exclusively for assignation of high value
targets. The assassin would bow to the
target and trip the mechanism while bowed
over towards the target releasing a
cluster fire spread of those poison dipped
fletchets. Very high value targets it was
a suicide mission but for mid level
targets such as local warlords escape
after the strike was sometimes possible.

The forarm mounted single bolt launchers
in comparison were in comparison not an
assassination weapon but used just like
modern concealed carry little ultra
compact guns for personal defense. For
real work you got yourself a real bow or

What part of, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be INFRINGED" don't you understand ?!?!?

To the most serious charge of "ARMING WOMEN" I plead guilty on multiple counts.
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: November 23 2018 at 9:14am | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I have always loved reworking brass and forming into something that I needed or was short on, but occasionally one can find that brass for a certain caliber to be very scarce and perhaps a bit difficult to reform from another case resulting in the lack of a sufficient supply on hand. I read somewhere years ago about a way to tighten up primer pockets in order to get a few more firings before retiring the brass. I built and have successfully tested this simple device.

You only need a piece of flat metal plate and a ball bearing. For large primers I use about a 3/4" ball bearing. I drilled about a 3/8" hole in the center of a 3 inch piece of square metal 1/8th" plate. Placed the ball bearing in the hole in the center of the steel plate and used JB weld to hold the bearing in place. The only other thing that one needs is a stiff metal rod that is flattened on both ends. It should just be of a diameter such that it barely can slide through the inside of the neck, but long enough to easily reach the inside of the base of the case.

Place the metal plate with the secured ball bearing on a solid surface and then slip the rod into the neck of the case until it contacts the base of the brass. Place the base of the case onto the ball bearing centering the empty primer pocket and give the rod a medium strength tap with a hammer. Turn the brass 180 degrees and give it a second tap.

This has always given the case enough grasp on the new primer for it to work just fine. All my experiments have shown that there were no popped primers and the cartridge seemed to fire and perform just as expected. I have gotten at least two more firings with these altered primer pockets, but I would suggest that one mark the cases so that they can be identified as altered.

Edited by Ham Gunner on November 23 2018 at 9:22am

73 de n0ubx Rick - NRA BENEFACTOR LIFE MEMBER/VFW LIFE MEMBER - A government big enough to GIVE you
everything you want, is strong enough to TAKE everything you have. - Thomas Jefferson

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