Volume Cartridge Reloading
By Frank Iannamico
Due to all of the recent gun ban debates and pending legislation, the panic buying is once again in full swing, and at an all time high. Talk of banning high capacity magazines and so called semiautomatic “assault” type rifles are driving price up to three times their normal retail selling price, IF you can even find one to purchase. While this hasn’t affected the prices of NFA very much, one part of the panic buying dramatically affects the Class III community, and that is the price of ammunition. Some individuals and dealers are advertising .223 cartridges (5.56mm) for up to $1.00 per round and people are paying it. When an individual pays that much the ammo is usually hoarded, not fired. The days of cheap surplus ammunition seems to be over, and some obsolete calibers like .303 British and 8mm Mauser are getting very hard to find. While many complain of price gouging it’s simply a case of supply and demand, Economics 101. If there was no one willing to pay, the prices would not be so outrageous.
Is there an alternative? Yes there is; ammunition reloading. Its time to drag out the presses and dust them off. A few years ago loading your own ammunition wasn’t economically feasible when you could buy surplus loaded ammo for little more that the cost of the components needed to reload, unfortunately things have since changed.
If you have never reloaded before perhaps its time to get started. However, a recent perusing of several online companies that sell reloading supplies has revealed that the panic buying has also extended to this area. On one site every reloading press, die, bullet primer and pound of powder was sold out. However like most perceived shortages that induce panic buying they eventually end.
Assuming that you will be loading in volume a progressive reloading press is a must. Good quality dies for the appropriate caliber(s), and a scale to weigh powder charges. Dial calipers are needed to measure case and over all length. A tumbler is needed to clean fired cases. A case gage...
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