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Discussion Starter #1
I remember reading this book by Cormac McCarthy. Towards the end the character encountered a man using a shotgun. The guy with the shotgun was using reloads sealed with candle wax. Is this even possible?

In a SHTF scenario like the one described in the book, how difficult is it to reload a shotgun shell (or any round) with the minimal amount of tools?

Just curious as to what can be done with the minimal amount of stuff laying around.
 

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It's tedious, but can be done with a minimum of tools. Shotgun is easier than anything else to do without a real press. The primary problem is depriming and priming. With a brass cartridge, sizing requires some type of die.

Go here to find the minimum necessary to reload, the Lee Classic Loaders. Also look at the Lee Handpress. I have one. It takes standard dies. It's less tedious, but still a lot of work, but it's small and portable.

http://www.midwayusa.com/browse/BrowseP ... 1***680***

Also, go here, http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot35.htm to see shotgun shells sealed with candle wax.

joedog
 

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I've used those "Classic" kits: they really do work.
One of the best things that Midway has ever sold was the portable reloading table: a nylon tabletop to which you could bolt a press and other gear, a chrome tubular stand, and a big round plastic foot. Broke down into 3 pieces and was easily transported. Some of the best money I ever spent.
 

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One other thought. Reloading is not a real viable option for a very long term SHTF scenario, due to the difficulty of storing the components in the necessary quantities, especially powder and primers. You will do as well or better by building up a sufficient ammo cache, IMO.

However, if you are already set up , it is a good thing to keep extra components on hand, to make your ammo last as long as possible. Also, you can reload some calibers cheaper than you can buy them, even when you assume you are going to use the brass only once, so it can be a good way to build up a cache of those expensive calibers.

joedog
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What exactly is the shelf life of primers and good powder? I've yet to get into reloading, but I plan to.
 

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Powder and primers can be stored longer than you would ever need them to be. Consider some surplus is 50+ years old...

Moisture and heat are the two things to worry about with component storage. A dry, cool place is ideal.
 

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If you have access to a food vacuum sealer, put your primers in there with a dessicant pack and then vacuum seal it. That will take care of the moisture problem, then you only have to deal with temperature.

Powder supposedly has a shelf life, but I have seen many posts by people saying that they have used properly stored powder decades later.

The real problem is that storing large amounts of powder and primers can be tricky from a legal (local ordinances) and safety standpoint.

joedog
 

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Discussion Starter #8
joedog said:
If you have access to a food vacuum sealer, put your primers in there with a dessicant pack and then vacuum seal it. That will take care of the moisture problem, then you only have to deal with temperature.

Powder supposedly has a shelf life, but I have seen many posts by people saying that they have used properly stored powder decades later.

The real problem is that storing large amounts of powder and primers can be tricky from a legal (local ordinances) and safety standpoint.

joedog
Elaborate on the safe storage of said items.
 

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rdm said:
joedog said:
If you have access to a food vacuum sealer, put your primers in there with a dessicant pack and then vacuum seal it. That will take care of the moisture problem, then you only have to deal with temperature.

Powder supposedly has a shelf life, but I have seen many posts by people saying that they have used properly stored powder decades later.

The real problem is that storing large amounts of powder and primers can be tricky from a legal (local ordinances) and safety standpoint.

joedog
Elaborate on the safe storage of said items.
Primers are explosive. If stored in their original containers they are relatively safe. You don't want anything heavy to drop on that package. Storing primers where nothing heavy can drop on them is a good idea.

Powder is a conflagrant. It works by burning in an enclosed area. Storing powder in an area where it is safe from fire is good. Storing powder in powder magazines, with thin metal sides is a good idea. Should the powder ignite, the pressure will readily escape, burst the thin walled metal box, without causing what passes for an explosion.

Storing powder in its original container is a good idea. This way it doesn't become confused with another, similar in appearance, but different powder for use in your firearms.

It is a good idea to store powder and primers in different places.

Lastly, contact the local fire marshal and ask about the fire codes with respect to safe storage of these, as well as many other, items.
 

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rdm said:
I remember reading this book by Cormac McCarthy. Towards the end the character encountered a man using a shotgun. The guy with the shotgun was using reloads sealed with candle wax. Is this even possible?
When I was a kid, my dad reloaded shotgun shells many times over for duck hunting. After crimping the end of the shell, he would put a few drops of candle wax to seal the end. I don't know if it was to keep the shot in or the moisture out.
 

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Books are books, movies are movies. Post apocalypse you are dead in less than 4 weeks anyway. Your loot is booty.

For real shtf don't look to works of fiction.
 
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