Friday, November 8, 2013

blah, blah


Not much to babble about today.  I need to go back and reread both my works in progress-the bug out book and the fiction, as I’ve lost the thread on both and couldn’t pick up where I left off and add to them right now.  So, you get a few stray thoughts and we call it good.  My apologies in advance, but on rare occasions I just draw a blank on anything interesting.  Okay, at first I was wanting to write on Vlad and his excellent article dredged up from the land that time forgot on taking Red Dot shotgun powder and using it in thirty caliber rifle ammo ( in the comments the other day.  You do read the comment section, right? ).  I’m no where near proficient in reloading knowledge so I was having questions.  Keep in mind I’m spitballing here and am NOT giving directions.  If we assume you grab any old shotgun shell in twelve gauge, I believe you are getting about 18-20 g of powder.  The article called for 13.  So, in theory, assuming the powder isn’t a huge difference from the articles cited powder, you can take a shotgun shell and cannibalize the powder and by using three quarters of it you can get an emergency reload for your rifle.  Would I want to try this?  Not necessarily.  But in a life and death situation, better than being unarmed.  I had originally thought to buy twenty-five cent shells and stockpile them for such an eventuality.  You would be getting the same powder charge as if you bought a can of powder ( enough for 125-150 reloads ) for about the same price.  And since no powder is for sale anywhere, and something tells me it never will be again, it beats doing nothing.  I welcome minion feedback on this one.


My original plan had been to watch the movie “No Blade Of Grass” ( look up “The Death Of Grass” at Amazon if you want an affordable book version.  The “No Blade” titled book is three times as expensive as they are originals.  “The Death” are either reprints or from larger print runs so the used books are $8 instead of $25 ) on Wednesday and already have reviewed it.  Well, it seems that on occasion the majority of the donators for my daily pick-ups get together at breakfast and eat pastries and slurp coffee and conspire against me.  Apparently to keep me humble.  They all were extra generous and I ended up with a crap pot worth of food, entailing extra runs and working near an hour extra that day.  I love the small town mentality here, the going the extra mile for your neighbor ( yet, it isn’t TOO small so you don’t have them in your back pocket ), but good gravy, they have a talent for always screwing up my half-days.  I’ll watch the DVD this weekend, baring totally crappy weather, and review it next week.  Happy weekend to all.


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  1. Mr. Dakin
    Maybe in your area there are cases of plenty of powder from the shelves.

    Right there in Elko, Nevada. You can get info. about where to get at not reduce prices but old price. The site is:

    This is not one of those guy in dresses, this is totally different.

    Hope you get satisfaction and answers to the lack of powder. It is also good for primers

    Glad to be of service to you and your minions. You have a great blog.


    1. I still ain't gonna click on it, you sneaky bastard

  2. If you value your eyes and other important body parts you MUST NOT reload with unknown powders salvaged from cartridges. Powders of similar weight and appearance can have very different burning rates.
    In reloading since 1963 I study the loading manual, and use only recommended charges of powder. I use ONLY powder in new sealed containers that I break the seal to open.
    Buy two or more loading manuals. Read the explanation of powder burning rates etc. Compare data for each cartridge.

    1. OK, so the Red Dot was the only shotshell powder that was tested and the 13g recommended.

    2. Looks like Lee offers their loader in the .303 British Jim. There will be a loading card included that will provide a few different loads, with varying powder types and bullet weights. Might be a good place to start?

    3. A 50 cal ammo box holds Lee Loader,
      powder, primers and bullets for 500 reloads.
      You may load at kitchen table, tailgate or sitting on a log.
      The Classic Lee Loader necksizes the fired case .Brass fired in your rifle is fireformed to your chamber. Brass fired in other rifles almost always must be full length sized to chamber in your rifle.
      Each Lee Loader kit has tools to decap, size neck, seat bullet, powder dipper and a list of powders.
      Here is an example
      30-30 Winchester
      160-170 grain bullets
      IMR3031.......28.9 grs..2000
      IMR4064.........29.5 gr..2000
      Nobel rifle #1..30.7 gr..1950
      Nobel rifle #2..29.8 gr..2070
      IMR4895.........30.2 gr..2000
      H380..........31.8 gr.......1900
      Win760..........33.0 gr...1900

    4. OT

      Matt Brakcen's Castigo Cay is free on Nov. 11th


    5. A very decent read. I recommend it.

  3. Well now assuming it is Red Dot and you know it for sure. And also assuming this is your last act of total desperation, all hell has broke lose and the zombies are about to eat your face unless you have all shotguns and pistols loaded to the max you COULD take the powder out of a shotshell and measure it out for some pistol loads just about all of them from .32 on up have data available.

    Red Dot is mostly used by Western Cowboy shooters and clay/skeet shooters.

    Not sure what pistol powder would do as a rifle load. It's generally slower burning but packs a wollup when it does go but is designed more to push large chunks at slower speeds but at very low powder weights.

    Your issue would be inconsistent burns as the powder in the case wouldn't fill it up properly when placed in a long rifle cartridge and laying on it's side in the bore.

    Hell I would be brave enough to play around with it. The biggest danger in shooting is pressure and getting the proper seating in the chamber so the actual bullet goes down the tube without hanging up and causing too much pressure. I have done some amazingly stupid loads with low yield powders just to see if they would work but I was always careful of pressure levels.

    I few basic safety precautions would be testing it in a single shot rifle and always making sure the barrel was clear before loading another round. Even with load data no company has ever tested all the different powder/bullet combos they only give data within a set of FPS/Pressure parameters for each caliber. What you are asking about would be useless by today's standards which is why no one does it. I on the other hand have fired about everything from medieval hand cannons on a stick to 8 inch howitzers so I like playing with gun powder even if it nets worthless results.

    Now all that being said my guess is that long before you had to think about recycling unfired Red Dot powder you would run smack up against a primer shortage anyway. We can discuss using small pistol primers in small rifle cartridges if you want, that can produce some chilling effects but it does work. Mostly.

  4. In WW II Philippines, guerillas would salvage Jap mines, dig out the explosive charge, mix that with sawdust and use it as propellant for rifle cartridges. They made bullets by filing down brass rods and re-used primers by using strike-anywhere matchheads.

    Any good gun forum (I recommend Cast Boolits. google it) will give you plenty of advice about using the 'wrong' powder. Shotgun powders are well known and often used for rifle calibers, the loads usually being relatively low velocity and short to mid-range.

    Using salvaged powder is an old trick, but not for novices who don't understand the ramifications and variables.


    1. I wonder if the new guys had to try out the mine powder loads before they got it right

  5. The "13 grains of Red Dot for reduced rifle loads" idea was the basis of C.E. Harris' article "The Load" that originally appeared in the 10th edition of Handloader's Digest. It is reproduced here:

  6. Here's an idea for you Jim, in the days/weeks/months/years after a SHTF event, you know when vice manufacturers no longer are required to put stickers on their goods reminding people not to stick their balls in the jaws of this product?

    If you can get your hands on nitric acid and ether at your local hardware store, you can make your own guncotton or nitrocellulose propellant.

    Now before all the health & safety bozos jump in with the "If you overload a charge by so much as a microgram, Wisconsin will fall into the sea/the hounds of hell will be loosed upon the Earth/cause a rip in the space-time continuum, bare in mind the 1st firearms were made of bamboo FFS.

    Take a look at this a .454 casul/.45colt/.44mag out a 410 full choke shotgun.


    typos happen. CYA and check each suggested powder charge in one or more loading manuals.

    1. I'm looking at Amazon and DAMN, are there any cheap manuals? I used to have a Lee manual but it didn't survive a move.