Western Rifle Shooters Association

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Extemporaneous Ammo

Habcan sends the following:


Thoughts in December in the last year of the Great Republic...

Let's assume that you HAVE purchased a LEE Loader for your boltie’s .30 caliber, and placed it, along with the appropriate boolit mold, a stashed box of primers, a container of powder, and a clean ingot or two smelted from wheelweights in your pack.

Those ARE in your BOB, right? To keep the weight down you might substitute these items for two 20-round boxes of ammo?

Far more valuable.

Being a conscientious sniper/hunter, you have policed up your cartridge brass and toted it with you?

Now TSHHTF and you have expended your ammo.

It’s GONE. You are OUT. Everybody’s OUT.

Consider the following scenarios:

1. You need meat to feed your group/family.
2. You need to take out a Bad Guy and use his stuff. Think Warsaw Ghetto.
3. Your rifle is a useless weight, an awkward club, empty.
4. Endless others…….use your imagination.

What can you do? What is possible without your well-equipped loading bench back at your base?

You have the mold and ingots, so you can make boolits. Think FLIR and find a safe place for the fire. Melt the ingots and cast about 80 boolits from them. Use the LEE Loader to prepare your scavenged/saved brass.

Now what? Smear on a little LEE Liquid Alox lube onto each boolit, dry that ASAP and load your cases.

No Alox? You have no idea how many boolits you can lube with a one-pound can of paste floor wax!

But what about Mark’s .303 Brit and Sam’s Yugo 8mm, not to mention the SKS’s?


You may not have a telephone directory (page thickness ~0.002”) or a newspaper (page thickness ~0.003”) but SURELY you have toilet paper (sheet thickness ~0.004”)?????

Spit on your unlubed cast boolits and wrap ‘em two or three wraps of paper. A cast .309 boolit quickly becomes a .314 or .325. Wrap from the ogive to just below the base and squish the wet edges over the base, leaving its center bare. When dry, lube your creation and load as usual.

No, these are NOT match-grade projectiles, but they WILL work in a pinch and can be surprisingly ‘useful’. They won’t lead your bore.

You could also patch:
- 6mm’s up for a .257,
- 7mm’s for a .308,
- .357’s for a .375.
- .45ACP’s to .458 if you were desperate.

How badly do you want to ensure that you get home/back to base, to resupply?

If you will take The Next Step and experiment with this type of load in YOUR rifle NOW, you might just be a leg up on the Opfor some time in the foreseeable future.

Dec. 10/’08

Just as an 'amen', see also this field report from another correspondent re a $0.07/rd cast load out of a .308 this past weekend:

...On the [lasered] 300 yard line, shooting a Savage bolt gun in .308 with a fixed 10x scope, I was able to drop 3 Federal Gold Match 168gr rounds in less than 1.5 inches, which in itself made me pretty happy, but not as happy as what happened next.

Shooting a 180gr (Lee mold) gas checked boolit (wheel weights) over 36gr of Varget, in a full length sized mixed head stamp NATO surplus case, put a 6 inch group (2 MOA) centered right on top of the first group. I'm also using Lee's tumble lube, Alox.

I did not sort the boolits by weight, nor did I weigh the powder (it was thrown with a Lee thrower) and the cases were a ratty collection of old surplus cases.

I will load another 50, with tighter tolerances and see what I can do, but this is the longest I've shot my own cast boolits and was super happy.

Any questions?

Tempus fugit.


Blogger J. Croft said...


What about a Corbin swage press and gas seals to go around the cast lead projectiles? What about using copper tubing for the jackets?

What about a way to cast soft lead around a hardened steel core or worn drill bit, then swage a copper jacket?

Or how about using teflon tape and a gas seal to push the cast projectile to proper jacketed velocities?

Wasn't/isn't there a handheld reloading tool for those at the range who want to experiment w/ their loads? Can't remember the make or model.

What to substitute for commercially manufactured smokeless powder that is more like smokeless powder than blackpowder?

Reloading primers?

What about tooling to turn copper/brass tubing into shell casings and primers if you're already stamping out copper jackets?

keep em' coming!

J. Croft

December 17, 2008 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger Pawpaw said...

Lots to love about cast bullets. I can make bullets over a campfire and load them in my tent. It's simple.

It's the little things like gun powder and primers that might get hard to find.

December 18, 2008 at 2:02 AM  

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