Survival Reloading And Preparedness

survival reloading

Survival reloading – make your own ammo

Reloading your ammo is attractive for lots of reasons. It is (in the long run) a way to recycle the brass cases and save some money. It is a way to have some real control over your own ammo. Is survival reloading a replacement for stockpiling? Not really. The prudent prepper is always working the supply chain with both commercial purchases and locally created resources. 

As most folks who reload will tell you, the practice is enjoyable. The tools of the trade are relatively easy to come by. And if you are worried that you will make a mistake and blow things (and yourself) up in the process, well, take some time to look into the hows and whys so you won’t do something stupid and dangerous. The part most folks worry about is how much powder to use. That is a really good thing to worry about. Too much can blow up and ruin your gun (and anything nearby). Too little can end up with the bullet stuck in the gun – and a repair looming.

But don’t get careless with the rest of the parts. Casings can be reused as long as they can still be cleaned, primed, and crimped. A badly dented or misshaped one can cause you real grief.

Bullet projectiles can be cast yourself – and be careful about size and weight and shape so that the bullet you make is usable for the casing, etc. you have on hand.

What sorts of equipment do you need for survival reloading?

Here is a pretty basic list.

  • tumbler and media to clean brass casings
  • case/media separator to separate the cleaned casings from the media (like walnut shell or cornhusk) that was used to clean them
  • powder scale to avoid guesswork on how much powder
  • reloading press to assemble the ammo
  • die sets used with the press – one for each caliber you want to reload
  • used brass casings of the size(s) you want to reload
  • primers suitable for the type of bullets you are making
  • gunpowder suitable for the type of bullets (and gun). There are real differences between rifle and pistol powders
  • bullet projectiles of the type you want to use
  • bullet puller to disassemble flawed or unusable ammo
  • reloading trays to put the bullets in
  • shell holder/carrier for each size shell you will be using

You can buy these supplies at many stores – both physical stores and online retailers. Some of these things can be found used. Sometimes you can “inherit” a setup – or buy it at a great price – from someone who is moving or won’t be reloading any more for whatever life circumstance. Sometimes you can scrounge some free materials to use – like lead from old wheel weights.

Being prepared for contingencies should include being prepared with an adequate supply of ammo. The cool thing about reloading is that the activity can be relaxing and enjoyable – and you are saving money and building your supplies at the same time.

Catch up with us next time as we look more into the tools and tricks around reloading.

Image credit: “32-20-disassembled” by Dis360 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons –

Other posts in our series on reloading:

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About Bret Smith

I am a long-time lover of all things outdoors. Whether hunting, shooting, fishing or just hiking and camping, I take every opportunity to enjoy nature and share it with others.

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