The “Covid Quarantine” has me catching up on a few things. One of them was reorganizing and sorting the reloading supplies. I knew I had an eclectic mix of things, with a variety of powder leftovers from experiments and others who got out of reloading, components bought on sale for different calibers at different times, and with different cartridges and different loads, well… it accumulates. I needed to have a better idea what I had, and what was the limiting item(s) for turning components into functional, safe, reliable, and consistent ammo.
I didn’t realize how much empty brass I had. Even after I’d spent time topping off the 40 S&W, 38 Spl, and 357 reserves, I had a lot of brass: more than 2k 223Rem, over a thousand 308 Rem, more than 3k 10mm, and so-forth. And that’s before I found out my brother had more than 500 pieces of 375 H&H Mag brass saved up to reload. Primers are OK (though they won’t be when I’m done), bullets good for everything except the 375, and the short spot is looking like powder. Not that I’m about out, but just those four types (before I get to the 44 mag, 41 mag, 6.5×55, 30-06, 45 ACP, or anything else) need on the order of
168,000 gr = 24 pounds of powder as a starting point.
I don’t have that much of the right stuff just lying around. Partial, and could-do-in-a-pinch powder choices, yes, but not enough for that sort of total. Lucky for me, my normal online supplier had some that are appropriate at a reasonable price, even after adding hazmat and shipping. And to show how tight supplies are, I managed to snag the last canister of not just one but two different powders, and a box of primers (you really want the best magnum large rifle primers when trying to touch off 80 grains of slow powder for a dangerous game cartridge; skimping on components for such a round seems… sub-optimal).
Midway has only 12 of 69 SKUs of primers in stock (nearly all shotgun), slightly more than half their bullet SKUs, and 81 items of powder listed as “out of stock, no back order,” though that seems to be improving.
So it looks like I get to keep on making small boom-fodder for my bang-sticks.