OK, anyone who doesn’t have their head in the sand knows that anything even loosely seen as being for home defense or for the coming civil war is sold out. That goes for components also. Those who didn’t think ahead are doing what I’m doing and scurrying to find what they need. But in my case I have new firearms and my requirements have changed and I’ve also added capability. My front line gear is all ready, so no scurrying for that.
Shotgun ammo… The old long shotgun has gone down the road and a new lightweight short shotgun is in inventory. The ammo that I used in the heavier shotgun works in the new, and I won’t be getting rid of it, but there’s a significant weight difference between the old and new shotguns and that translates into shoulder issues. I’m 30 years older than when I designed all of the old gear and I just can’t handle what I once could. Welcome to life, boo hoo, get over it. But I discovered 1 3/4" shells and they come in buckshot and slugs. Or they do when they can be found, but that isn’t today. Heck when they can be found they’re expensive at >$1 per. Then there is the shotgun required, not all can handle them reliably. Mine appears to but I need to test them further. That means even more ammo required.
What is a gent supposed to do? I haven’t loaded shotshells in years and when I did I had a press and loaded them by the hundreds. My requirements today are much less. I see the shotgun as possibly playing 3rd string. A few hundred #4 buck and slugs will be plenty. To shorten the story I decided to cast my own 7/8oz Foster slugs. I never thought I’d cast anything but have just shy of a ton of wheelweights (because I think ahead) some of which has been purified already. But what to do about buckshot? The solution that came to mind was to cast it also. But just try to find the moulds! I found some in the UK. I only bought one, there are a few remaining. I probably paid too much but it’s done. I have lots of hulls and wads. I bought a used sizemaster. The rest I can cobble together from metallic shotshell reloading. But I also have been looking at inexpensive bird shotshells that are still available. Now just a reminder, I want reduced recoil shells. My plan is to cut away the crimp, dump out the shot, saving it, and pull out the wad, and use the primed hull and powder charge. Then trim the case to 1 3/4" thereabouts. Cut the base off of the wad, put it back into the shell and put my payload in it. As long as my payload is less than the original shot I won’t exceed pressure. Then finish with an over shot card if needed, and a roll crimp and done. I’m waiting on items to arrive. So at this point I have no report on how this will work. But tracking this stuff down was the real coup, especially the moulds. There is info regarding this on Youtube. Here’s one video about making 1 3/4" shells.
For 300BLK ammo things are just as tight. Machined bullets are available if expensive. But I’ve been watching for bullet pulls and just bought 700+ 220 grain bullets. Now I just need the time to load them. Powder and primers? Plenty. Brass? I should have plenty, bullets are the shortage. But between machined bullets and the pulls I should be OK. Not as much ammo as for a front line gun, but sufficient.
9mm bullets? I haven’t addressed that yet. I have a few k for competition and they are yet to be loaded. They will make nice holes in things but aren’t my first choice for anything but cardboard and steel. But they’d do if that’s all I have.
I should be very busy out in the shop this winter.