If you’re planning on owning/using a firearm after SHTF, you can bet you’re going to need a whole lot of ammo with it too.
Unfortunately, this can prove to be a real pain, since ammunition can get crazy expensive. And, if you’re paying full retail, it can be really difficult to gather the funds in order to adequately prepare yourself for what’s up ahead.
Not to mention, once SHTF (and we won’t know when until it does) there will be no more ammo left on the shelves once the masses get to it.
So what’s the best way to handle this situation? How can we prepare ourselves for the worst, while not blowing our mortgage payments on ammunition? And, also, how can we make sure we don’t run out of ammo – even if the normal ways of acquiring ammo are no longer around?
Just keep reading, because we’re about to show you how YOU can get…
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Reloading & Handloading Basics
Many preppers and shooters use the terms “reloading” and “handloading” interchangeably. And this is easy to do, especially since these two processes are so similar. For instance, each one involves the shooter making their own bullets.
Using special equipment, the shooter puts the primers into the cartridge cases, then adds the powder, then seats and seals the projectile into the cartridge, and makes the bullet and cartridge.
However, the intention and motivation for making their own bullets is unique to each process. For instance, Reloading is largely a resourceful act in order to save money. This helps the shooter keep their wallet full without having to purchase factory ammunition (especially since the parts to make them are fairly inexpensive).
Not to mention, Reloading is good for the environment, since it allows the maker to recycle the spent brass.
However, Handloading has different motivations. That’s because this process is more easily customized – the maker can produce either cost-effective ammo, or custom-made bullets. This is the same difference between fixing your own vehicle, and building a customized engine. You fix it yourself to save money, and you build your own engine to make it your own and experiment (or you need something nobody else is selling).
The Basics Of Making Your Own Bullets
Before we get into equipment, let’s examine some of the key points of this process:
- Safety: Today, we use smokeless gun powders, which are a lot safer than the old black powders from way back when. Modern powders are now known as “propellants” – not “explosives” – which means they only burn when ignited, and are safe to use when handled responsibly.
- Quality: Handmade ammo is typically just as good of quality – or better – than factory made ammo. Plus, you can fine-tune it to work with a specific firearm, which is a huge advantage.
- Complexity: Making your own ammo is actually a very simple process, since you only need four things: primer, powder, bullet, brass case. When you fire the cartridge, the powder is ignited by the primer, and the powder moves the bullet out of the barrel. The brass case and used primer are all that remain. You can then reloaded the brass case over and over again!
- Savings: It depends on how much you shoot. However, let me give you an example. Let’s consider 30-06 factory ammo, and say you can get each round for $2. From that, primer, bullet and powder equate to about 70 cents. So, then, $1.30 of each round is going to be spent on the brass case and the work of loading it. However, the beauty of reloading is you get to use these brass cases over and over again. So, in this scenario, you’ll be saving about 65% off factory ammo – about $26 per box of 20! This cost savings can allow you to practice more, and improve your shot.
- Equipment: The up-front cost can be a bit pricey – you’ll be spending about $300-$500 on equipment. However, if you do a lot of shooting, this original cost can easily pay for itself – even in the first year.
Reloading Basics: The Equipment
It’s important to get familiar with the equipment you’ll need in order to start making your own bullets. Here’s some excellent information from RCBS Precisioneered Reloading on the stuff you’ll need to do this right:
Informational Reloading Basics Video
Have more questions about reloading? Want to see this process in action? Check out the video below (and press the “CC” button for closed captions).
Here’s a couple videos about handloading as well.