Cricket, I know that some have replied to your message, but I'm going to go through it almost point-by-point to explain how you make your own ammo.
The assembly step is called "Reloading" or "Handloading." I promise not to talk about anything I haven’t done. I handload more than 50 calibers, some of which are obsolete , hard to get, or invented by me.
You can search for either topic at http://www.Amazon.com
under books, or at http://www.Half.com
and find tons of great books for beginners.
Before you do anything else, know what the terms are. Work through this reloading guide:
Go through everything on the white part of the screen, plus the stuff on the left hand side in the green. Spend a few hours.
If you want to get started really cheap, there's a thing called the "Lee Loader" that you can find used for $5. Basically, it allows you to reload one caliber (you must get the right one for the caliber you want.) You basically bang it with a rock, and it makes ammo.
There are better kits, such as the one I started with:
You will also need a set of dies. I recommend a set of Lee Precision brand Carbide (that’s important) dies. For technical reasons, carbide dies are only available for pistol calibers, so start with a pistol caliber when you start handloading.
One quick safety warning: guns kill people. If you screw up handloading, then you can cause the gun to blow up instead of throwing a projectile down range. That can hurt you. You’re working with pounds of gunpowder and hundreds of primers. Read the safety section of a book on handloading and take it seriously.
Cricket wrote:First, I would make it a priority to start making clay casts of ALL my ammunition types, this is important, you are going to need them in the future.
Ummmm...no...The measurements are very precise, and a clay mould would be useless. You need a reloading manual with precise drawings of the cartridges. There are some drawings available on the web. A 5/100ths of an inch error would result in your cartridge case blowing into pieces. That would be bad. You probably do not want to make your own cartridge cases for many reasons. I’ll say more about that later.
Here are the drawings from Israeli Military Industries (IMI) for their .223 NATO ammo:http://www.imisammo.co.il/10172b.htm
Learning to read a drawing is tough, but A LOT EASIER THAN WORKING FROM A CLAY CASTING.
You will need at least a set of calipers (a tool that measures lengths to 1/1000th of an inch) they are available at hardware stores and from http://www.HarborFreight.com
Don't pay more than $20 for a pair. These are important for measuring things like the OAL (over all length) of a loaded round.
The first step in learning to make your own ammo is to take the cartridge case, (new) primer, (new) gunpowder, and (new) projectile…then put them together according to a recipe to make a new round. Learn this basic assembly before going any farther.
Cricket wrote:Dump all of the powder out of your casing and measure the EXACT amount.
NOT ALL POWDERS ARE THE SAME!!! The exact same amount of the wrong kind of powder will turn your gun into a bomb! You will need to know the kind of powder and the amount. The amount is measured in grains. There are 7000 grains to 1 pound. That’s 432.5 grains to the ounce.
Scales are used to weigh gunpowder. They can be the balance beam type, or they can be electronic.
A balance beam scale:http://www.midwayusa.com/rewriteaproduct/712103
An electronic scale:http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 29518&rd=1
That’s exactly the first two scales that I bought. The balance beam one is now never used, though it does not need (4) AAA batteries.
You’ll need to look up the kind of powder and how much to use in a table of “load data” in a “load manual”…like this: http://ww2.whidbey.net/deadeye/223Rifle.htm
Cricket wrote:This is all you'll really need to know about your bullet. The size and shape of the projection, and the amount of grain behind each one.
Bullets are measured in grains of weight. Don’t change the bullet weight without looking up a new set of load data in the book.
Also, make sure you have the right bullet diameter (in thousandths of an inch) that the load manual tells you to use.
Finally, some shapes don't work well in some guns. Revolvers can take any shape, while semi-autos want round nose bullets that are extremely hard.
Cricket wrote:I would also invest in an ammo catcher to attack to your gun, since you don't want to be scurrying about on your hands and knees grabbing for ammo in the middle of hostile territory.
It’s called a brass catcher. The spent rounds are brass…not ammo.
Cricket wrote:I would stockpile gunpowder now, along with primers, and empty casings.
Yep. Also, casting lead bullets gets real old and is a royal pain. It must be done outside. Buying FMJ (full metal jacket) bullets is the easiest way to start, and the $5 you spend on one bag of 100 will save you many hours of frustration if you are loading for a semi-auto the first time.
Cricket wrote:Primers seem to be harder to fabricate than gunpowder, so I would most definatly stock pile them in ridiculous amounts.
Yep. Also, there are attempts to ban the sale of primers to civilians in Britain and Canada right now. The US failed to pass such a law in 1994, but they could try again.
Cricket wrote:Gun powder isn't really hard to fabricate, and the chemicals in it are actually quite simple, it is also rather cheap, and can be bought in bulk.
B.S. Unless you are a chemist, don’t try it. Making any kind of explosives is WAY beyond me. If we get to the point I can not buy it, then I'll talk about it.
Cricket wrote:And empty casings are REALLY easy to come by, just poke around a shooting range, dig into your own stock of spent shells, or buy them too from bulk.
True for common calibers, but other calibers are a bit though to come by. (.303 Brit, for example) then I have to mail order the brass at absurd prices.
During WW2, US hunters could not get new cartrige cases. They actually cut their own from brass rods - but it took 3-4 hours per cartridge, and then they would last about 2 firings. The cartridge case is harder to make than the primer. Please save your own ones.
Now, you get to learn the difference in Boxer and Berdan primers:http://www.recguns.com/Sources/VIIF3.html
Boxer primers are reloadable, and Berdan primers are not reloadable. There are theoretical ways to reload Berdan primers, but it's not worth it in the USA right now.http://www.dave-cushman.net/shot/rcbsbe ... tions.html
Cricket wrote:I would also stock pile rather large chunks of lead to be melted down into bullets (easy to melt down, good for messing up skulls.) and just pour the molten lead into the clay casings you made (you can also buy professional casings of you don't want to make them yourself, but whats the fun in that?)
Wheel weights are a starting point if you don’t mind a lot of hot, sweaty work. They’re $0.25 per pound, so that 100 pounds would cost you $25. The problem is that you need to flux it constantly, get rid of huge amounts of dross, and add antimony and tin to alloy the metal to a useable condition. This is FAR more complicated that assembling rounds - so start with simple handloading using store-bought FMJ projectiles.
Cricket wrote:But I would get a large cast steel pot that you will never use for cooking and make a huge fire in it, toss some chunks of lead in it, and let it get molten, then just pour in your molds.
Get a good book for $10 from http://www.Half.com
on bullet casting, maybe my favorite:http://half.ebay.com/search/search.jsp? ... ok&x=0&y=0
Cricket wrote:I would suggest either stockpiling blackpowder, the components of making it, or be in an area rich with natural resources where you can extract all of them naturally (I would suggest being close to a mining area with coal and/or sulphur mines) and near saltpeter caves.
Black powder has very little in common with modern smokeless powder. No semi-auto can function with black powder. At best, you’d be stuck with a bolt gun. A better solution is military surplus pull-down powder for $5-$8 per pound. (that’s an advanced topic once you handload a dozen calibers)
Cricket wrote:Primer compound in a lot harder to make being made of Lead Azide or Potassium perchlorate, so you need actual chemistry knowledge to synthisize these.
Actually, modern primers use Lead Styphenate – either complex lead styphenate (in all brands except Federal) or simple lead styphenate (in Federal primers.) I’m not even going to talk about making my own primers when they are $12.50 per 1,000 in large quantity at the gun shows. Buy 25,000 and stick them in the drawer of a file cabinet.
There are many kinds of primers:
Small Pistol (.175" diameter)
Large Pistol (.210" diameter)
Small Rifle (.175" diameter)
Large Rifle (.210" diameter)
209 Shotgun (totally different, and larger; called battery-cup primers; also more expensive)
No, pistol and rifle primers are not interchangable except in emergencies.
Cricket wrote:Overall, it would be ideal to have a workshop composed of, metal milling/working tools, (including scrap steel, aluminum, lead, and brass), facilities to melt down large amounts of lead (big heavy steel pot, lots of wood) a fully stocked chemical lab focusing primarily on the production of gunpowder, lead azide and potassium percholorate.
Learn to handload first. Then, a book on going beyond handloading to truly making the components is:
http://half.ebay.com/cat/buy/prod.cgi?c ... &meta_id=1
http://half.ebay.com/cat/buy/prod.cgi?c ... &meta_id=1
Either book should be less than $20 shipped.
If you have any questions about that, eMail me at Andy@Shtf.Info