Saturday, October 11, 2008

Inventorying for the coming zombocalypse...

Let's see, we have dies in .44 Spl/Mag, .38 Spl/.357 Mag, 11mm Mauser, .405 Win, .303 Brit, .30-40 Krag, 6.5 Swede, 6.5 Jap, 6.5 Mannlicher-Schoenauer, and .22 Remington Jet. We have at least a few hundred bullets in .429", 411", .357", .312", .308", 264", .224", and .222". Several pounds of various powders, a few thousand assorted primers...

I need to lay in dies for 9mm and .45ACP, as well as .223. I should probably lay in a complete swatch of loading supplies for .32 S&W Long; cheap to load and cheap to shoot. If I'm actually going to start reloading rifle cases, rather than just talking about it, I need a good case trimmer. I need a good tumbler. I need to teach my roommate.

EDIT: Just rummaging around to go to the range this morning and realized another must-have: .44-40 dies. Gotta keep my Model 544 fed.

36 comments:

Carteach0 said...

Hmm.... I putting together some gear for somebody local to you...

Want me to extend the 'Cheap but good quality' search to things on your list?

If you can find a use for Red Dot powder, I somehow came into about ten pounds of the stuff. Can only wish it was IMR 4350... sigh.

I think I have dies for the .32 long, if you need a set. Probably LEE, but they work fine. Bullets and cases too.... at least some. No longer own that little revolver..

Today will involve case prep and probably loading of 8x57 for an upcoming match.....

Shooty Shooty goodness!

Tam said...

Any assistance would be awesome. I'm still pretty much a n00b at the reloading game.

Carteach0 said...

E-mail or call with what you need, and I'll be happy to help. I think you have the number...

It's one of my favorite things to do... load my own and enjoy the shooting all the more. I like to pass on and encourage the bug when I can... :-)

Weer'd Beard said...

You don't reload 10mm?

BTW I use red dot for .45 Auto and .38 Spp.

Brad K. said...

From conversations with Jerry, doing the Black Dawge bullets, I guess the metals mix for the bullets can affect repeatability of how the bullet performs - consistent muzzle velocity, trueness of flight, deformation down the barrel and at ignition, etc.

Have you worked out safe handling with maybe .. loss of electricity? Lead and other metal fumes can be a health issue. Plus there is the nagging problems of getting lead and alloys that you have a good idea of their purity, and the choices you make about what alloy content you want.

I guess for short range, and in a pinch, one could just grab a bunch of fish weights and a couple car batteries.. lol!

Farmer Frank said...

Where's the dies for the .41 Mag?

Sin and Corruption...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

RobD said...

Please feel free to contact me as well (use the blog e-mail on my profile and I will send you my home e-mail and phone number). I have more than 26 years worth of reloading in rifle and pistol ammo and would enjoy teaching someone else as I was taught when I was younger (sigh; has it really been that long???).

Carteach0: If Tam does not want the Red Dot powder, or not the whole batch (to split it - 10 lbs will load a huge number of pistol rounds) I am sure we could work out a fair deal so you can get some more IMR 4350 for yourself. That would be better than just having a bunch of powder around that you don't use (fire me an e-mail same as above - I live not too far from Tam, just outside Indy). I have used Red Dot for years. It was one of the first powders introduced to me by the person that taught me how to reload.

I have also done quite a bit of casting my own bullets in the past and if you want to get into that we can discuss it later. Learning how to reload is first on the list.

Ritchie said...

Brad K. -And everyone else, big negative on the batteries (pun intended).Just so you know, these aren't your elder relatives' batteries, the alloys are different and not worth multiple toxic hazards to recover. Tam, I sense a reloading blog waiting in the wings.

Anonymous said...

What kind of press(es) do you have.

You're lucky Tam, you seem to have a lot of folks close by to help ya learn this great hobby/obsession.

About the only advice I can contribute is, pick your first cartridge to load and get comfortable/happy with a good load or two for it, before you move on to the next caliber. Possibly a favorite that you like to shoot a lot. Straight walled pistol cartridges have always been the easiest for me to load.

9mm or 6.5 Swede was going to be my next one to start. However, just yesterday, I found several hundred sorted .45 ACP cases that I had stored away and I really want to shoot my 1911 clone more...


Tok

the pawnbroker said...

for a while i was wondering how all those arcane cals. pertained to the zumbocalypse for which .223 and 7.62 are requisite...but then i realized i misread; though i'm thinking zumboesque is more of a true threat.

not long ago you wouldn't have bothered with loading nine, forty-five, threeoeight and twotwothree; so cheap to buy factory and mil cases...not so much anymore.

and who else but tamslick would kick off their doomsday defense kit with krauts, brits, and swedes?

jtc

word ver: bbqydnz...barbeque yer nazi?

Anonymous said...

On the .32 S&W Long thing, not only is it dandy in a handgun, it is the very berries in a long gun. Which long gun? Check out this link for barrel and chamber adapters for something in your gun safe:

http://www.mcace.com/

Also, with this apocalyptic thread in mind, getting a mold to cast .312" bullets is clever. I have a Lee that will do six 93 grainers at a pop. These can easily be sized down as needed for smaller bores. TEOTWAWKI!

Imagine the urban asymmetrical partisan crawling down a dark street prying wheel weights off the white landcruisers (black helicopters don't have wheel weights)as the blue-helmeted ones snooze and/or pursue their social lives with under-aged victims.

Well, maybe that isn't exactly how it would work...

Anonymous said...

...melting lead on the pyre of a burning civilization, our shock troops of conservatism will fire back with lovingly hand-loaded rounds.

Maybe paper-patching will come back in; imagine using junk fiat money issued by the Bank of the New World Order to fit our cast boolits to the chambers of our trusty rifles!

James E. Griffin said...

Check your firecode, you need to watch the volume of powder and primers and how they're stored. Depending if your building has or has not sprinklers is another.

Generally, 10K primers in original boxes is about max without a separate magazine. Don't store black powder with/near smokeless stuff. Keep powder in original containers. If you do have something like a fire around any quantity of black powder, don't even think about fighting the fire, get the hell away from it.

You want to keep powder and primers away from kids, pets, unauthorized access. When constructing a portable magazine, look up your local codes, but rule of thumb is stout wood sides, weak top/lid. Channel stuff UP.

Depending on your reloading press, I'd vote for at least 1 kind of extra. If you're loading rifle and handgun calibers, if you can afford it, what Dillon calls a "quick change assembly." Dillon's is toolhead, powder measure,powder die, and toolhead stand. You can find them in the Dillon catalog for your model as a set, if you're using a Dillon press.

I keep a couple sets for handguns; .45ACP is always set up. I use one set for all the rife stuff, and reload a bunch - for me, a couple/few thousand rounds - in one caliber, then go to the next. Getting the powder volume right is the one that takes me longest after each switch.

Earl said...

Ah, must keep my zombie killing simple or they will get me as I fumble with the wrong ammunition for the wrong smokepole, sigh.

TJP said...

How did this thread get on the subject of smelting battery plates? LOL! I personally wouldn't want calcium in my casting mix, and I'm not so much worried about a molten metal with a low vapor pressure as I am about arsine and stibine.

I bought a used Lyman trimmer. Get one that can be screwed into your bench. Believe me, it's much easier to work with two hands and a stable platform. I assume you already have a set of calipers.

Everyone else is throwing so much out there that I don't think I can add anything useful.

Somerled said...

What press do you have, Tam?

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Zombies? Did you hear of a possible outbreak? If so you gotta TELL us! I am SO not ready...

Anonymous said...

A link that has a lot of excellent reloding info, plus its my ex boss: http://www.reloadammo.com/

I have dies and supplies for everything I own, excepting .22 LR of which I have enough to survive the zombie apocalypse.

If you are just starting I'd recommend a single stage press. The Dillon, Lyman and Lee progressive's require a lot of setup. Although once tuned they are excellent for volume loading.

I would highly recommend a bench devoted to reloading exclusively to avoid potential accidents.

Gmac

red said...

(might be a repeat)

Can we trade fresh water and electricity for ammo? All we'll need is .38/.357 unless I find an upper for our AR.

We have a generator and well water! =]

Ed Foster said...

Yeah, stay away from batteries. Super nasty toxic fumes. Here near the coast there are lots of wrecked sailboats, so lots of scrap keels.
Best bet, find used linotype. The stuff is about perfect for rifle bullets, and you can cut it 50-50 with plain lead for pistol bullets, with maybe a bit of tin thrown in.
Call all the print shops around. If they're not using linotype anymore (offset's a bitch) they might have a few dozen 30 pound pigs sitting around in the back room, or know another shop that does.
GET GASCHECKS! Flat base bullets are fine at 1,100 or 1,200 FPS, but a 30-40 Krag with a gascheck on it's butt and made out of linotype can do anything a full jacket will do in the same cartridge case.
Also, I've found Unique powder from Alliant is useful for just about every cartridge in the world when used under a cast bullet. It's been in constant production (as Hercules Unique) since the 1890's and stores for centuries. They still take some of the original batch out every few years and shoot it in pressure guns.
I'm spending next weekend in the driveway, doing up all the cast bullets I'll shoot up next year. Lots of fresh air and a light breeze to keep the lead fumes going downwind from the Coleman stove. You'll need to flux the lead, which is not a kinky thing. Putting something flammable on top of the molten goodness draws all the impurities to the surface so you can skim it off. It also mixes all the alloying metals, lead, tin, antimoney. Beeswax is traditional, but I find a tablespoon of Crisco oil works just as well.
If you use wheelweights, you'll need tin, which costs quite a bit in 50/50 bars at the hardware store, so I usually only use them as a last resort, when I can't scare up enough linotype.
I also dig up the backstop at the gun club. .22 bullets are soft, way short of tin, but they make good midrange loads in revolvers.

Brigid said...

Just make sure you get the ammo for mutant zombie grizzlies too.

Rio Arriba said...

I strongly recommend the .38 Special as your "test cartridge" for ammo production. And just think of the fun you'll have taking those beauties to the range to test 'em out.

Besides, zombies universally hate the .38 Special. I'll bet you NEVER heard one say anything good about it.

Zdogk9 said...

Tam,
I've got a set of 44/40 dies gathering dust, I'm sure we can work out some sorta trade. Use the email on my profile to get in contact.
Z

TJH said...

Wow, there are a lot of leadheads around.

Carteach0 said...

Tam... I checked the stocks, and I don't have any .32 long dies. Might have some cases, bullets, and loaded ammo I can bring along my next trip out that way.

I need to bring some gear with me that trip anyway....

Kevin said...

Just find an operating engineer who is working on an urban renewal project to score lead.

My Dad collected close to 500lb of lead water main back in the late 80s when he was running equipment digging a bypass through an old city neighborhood. He picked it up because he was building a flintlock. Construction workers are some of the best scavengers.

Beautiful stuff and now nicely ingotized and stored away ;)

Word ver UHF MSSV sounds like ham radio talk

OrangeNeckInNY said...

If I run out of ammo, I still have my bows and arrows. At least, I can reuse them straight away, unless I hit a rock or something and they shatter like a crystal wine glass in a Soprano's high-(insert you note of choice here)

Ed Foster said...

In .38, try Lyman's hollowbase wadcutter. Cast it soft (use salvaged .22 lead) and load it backwards. Believe me, you don't need velocity, it works just fine out of a snubby.

Anonymous said...

Local gunny and I were talking about the presses reactions to anyone who has a "large" store of ammunition - as in two bricks of .22. He thought we'd be viewed with a great deal of suspicion as we have the means to manufacture ammunition. Guess there'd be more than a few of us suspicious types. OldeForce

Anonymous said...

Survival as we await the Rapture: KISS.

1. Make bullets out of wheel weights because that's what's available cheaply. They shoot fine for anyone not devoted to braggable ballistics statistics. They cast a little better with some added tin but that's a petty detail.

2. When the lights go out, melt on your old green Coleman white-gas hisser. Lovely sound.

3. The apocalypse is likely to involve more bartering that shooting, so pay attention to the markets of the New World Order. You'll conclude that you need large stocks of .22 LR and 12 gauge more than anything else.

4. The man with several gross of AA and AAA batteries is the man who will prosper as the sinnners burn.

5. Huge piles of firewood will retain immense value, but it's hard to find a big-enough safe.

Moriarty said...

I've been rolling my own since the mid-'70s. One thing that comes up occasionally is that someone will give you a can (or sometimes a jar) of "old powder" that you wouldn't load under any circumstances.

Instead of dumping all those rich, succulent nitrates on the lawn, here's something kinda neat. Take an old pan and dump in the powder and enough acetone to "wet" it thoroughly. (Outside, of course.) Wearing your blue nitriles, knead the mess into a putty, then form into little balls or cubes. Once dry, these make great waterproof "tinder cubes" for your next campfire.

(As an aside, I once tried to optimize the forming procedure with heavy plastic tubing and a plunger. This made small, compact cylindrical pellets instead of cubes. It turns out that a cylinder of nitrocellulose has another name once lit: A rocket motor.

Campsite hilarity ensued with the joke being on me. Use your imagination.)

Ed Foster said...

Rocket motor? Cool! A guy gave me about 8 pounds of yellow funny grained powder that is very fast burning, and I really thought it was going on the lawn next rainstorm or two.
I always wanted to build one of those Fort Sill Betas, you know, the 3 inch wide, 8 foot long thingies the amateur rocket people shoot off in the desert.
But buying and mixing all that powdered zinc and sulphur seemed like a lot of work. With this stuff I could even poke little holes in the endgrain to speed up the burn rate at the beginning, and get it off the spike quickly.
Now to look up the series number of seamless aluminum tube, and try to find that old Willy Ley book with the dimensions for that trick little bronze nozzle.
Mr. Moriarty Sir, you are the man. And I never for a minute believed that Sherlock Holmes really finished of the Professor in that tumble off the cliff.

Tam said...

I have got the coolest comment section in the world. Y'all are teh awesome.

the pawnbroker said...

they are teh f'n scary...and cool.

jtc

Khornet said...

Tam, I have a box of .22 Jet bullets I somehow inherited, and have no use for but couldn't bring myself to just pitch. You're welcome to them, no cost, I'll ship. PM me at THR if you like.
Khornet

Ed Foster said...

Ma'am, you also need the bible. By which I mean the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook. I have a spare copy of the old (and better) 1973 issue available for a couple of "Keep the Change" stickers. Do you still have my E-mail?
And seriously, read it cover to cover and you'll know about as much as anybody on the subject.
I used to hang around the factory over in Middlefield when I was a kid. I shot smallbore against Wally Lyman and used to pester their gunsmith,Mr. Kilbourn. That's Kilbourn as in .22 K Hornet and other K cartridges, but I didn't know that until years later. He chopped the ears off my first 1917 Enfield.
Anyway, the upshot of all that nostalgia is I can pop over most any time and pick up spare parts and widjies when needed. Any excuse to stick my head in there would always be appreciated.