ammo "deal" act fast if you need it

Discussion in 'Glock Forum' started by mattm, Aug 21, 2020.

  1. buddy157

    buddy157 Active Member

    and from what i have been reading at various sites, no one can find primers and some powders. even companies that sell brass, are out of stock.
  2. Firedog

    Firedog Well-Known Member

    few weeks ago when I went to LGS here in VT he had all kinds of primers and powder bullets for deer rifle calibers but no handgun bullets after I l left. He had 1 box of 500 hornady 45cal.
    buddy157 likes this.

  3. Pat Harmon

    Pat Harmon Well-Known Member Supporter

    Handgun bullets seem to be the tough find around here in central Pa.. I have located some powders(less that normal, but considering the times)and primers are scarce as well..I try to pick up some when I locate them though..
  4. John in AR

    John in AR Well-Known Member Supporter

    Probably not a good time to start into this approach, but for low- to medium-power handgun stuff like .45, 9mm, .38, etc, I cast out of junk castoff wheelweights. A lot of WW's now are zinc & other unusable crap, but I still get a lot of usable lead that way. Usually free (I bring in an empty bucket & they give me a full bucket of WW's they've pulled off), but never more than $20 for a 5-gallon bucket. Typically a bucket is 110-125 lbs to start, and generally ends up yielding around 85 lbs of usable lead after sorting out the zinc weights, the clips, etc. It does take time, but not a ton, and I actually enjoy the process so I don't mind it at all.

    I cast just slightly oversize and don't even size them afterward. Roll-lubed in a mixture of 75% Alox/X-lox and 25% Johnson's Liquid Floor Wax, and done. 124-grain 9mm on the left; 125-grain .38spl (that also work fine in 9mm) on the right:


    You 'should' use harder lead, but I don't. These are for low-end stuff, with 9mm being the hottest I use them in, and relatively milktoast 9mm loads at that. They're not what you want for magnum loads or precision shooting, but for ringing steel they work fine. If I never pick up any more lead and just use up what I have on hand, my total raw material out-of-pocket cost has been either $40 or $60 (don't recall if I've had to pay for buckets twice or three times), and is roughly enough to produce 5-6k rounds per year of those particular loads into my 70's. For a total cost of $60, plus some propane and time invested to sort & smelt. Some places have supposedly outlawed lead wheelweights and so may not be an option, but here in Arkansas I picked up a free 122-lb bucket as recently as a couple months ago.

    I learned a bunch from online casting forums; not sure if it's good etiquette to post links to other forums so I won't, but there's a lot of good info (and a lot of stupid & dangerous info) available for free nowadays.

    Primers and powder are obviously the bottleneck points if supply chains have issues, but taking this approach and reusing brass (for a long time), my total cost for 9mm, 45acp, 45LC, and 38spl loads typically only runs around $40 per thousand. Not bragging, just pointing out that it can be a lot of cheap fun if you don't mind the hassle. I actually enjoy it, with a podcast or some music going in the background. I see it much like time spent watching a movie or whatever; it's not profit-making, but it's simply entertaining & enjoyable.
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  5. John in AR

    John in AR Well-Known Member Supporter

    Fwiw, my high-tech smelting gear for turning wheelweights into lead ingots: ;)

    Two muffin pans from the consignment store and a walmart ladle. Beyond that, it's just a turkey-fryer with a dollar-store stock pot with lid used for melting. I did attach the turkey fryer to a piece of plywood just to make it more stable with the weight of the lead-laden pot on top of it. The muffin-size ingots like that one run about 1.7 lbs, so one round of those pans (18 ingots) is right at 30 lbs at a time; and the small round ingots are a pretty handy size when casting the actual bullets.

    Where we are, there's nowhere within an hour drive that I can buy reloading lead; so I either have to buy online (with the horrific cost of shipping lead), or do it home-made this way. Kind of hillbilly, but works surprisingly well. I do wear a face shield & take other simple precautions, but it's not bad at all.
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  6. mattm

    mattm last one, I promise Supporter

    Dang, that's impressive. Me, I click a mouse, well, used to anyways. My grandfather was big into saltwater fishing, puffer to tilefish, and had steel dies for making lead sinkers. Bet there's a lot of lead off the jetty's and any fairly busy fishing spots.