Been busy loading 9mm for the girlfriend. She’s burning up about 300~ rounds a week in practice and doing it on a single stage press is out of the question, and even on the Dillon 550 it still takes a bit of time. The solution, as mentioned earlier, was to acquire a Dillon Super 1050…in addition to pistol calibers it’ll do anything .30-06 length or shorter, which means I can set it up to not only crank out .223 but also .308.
Anyway, she managed to purchase:
8# of Universal Clays for $86 ($10.75 per pound)
5m Win SP primers for $75.55 ($15.51 per 1000)
5m 115 gr. FMJ bullets for $191.50 ($38.30 per 1000)
Brass is essentially free since I have gobs of it sitting here.
Before you ask, she got this stuff at the local ammo remanufacturing facility. Strictly a local thing.
Since we’re using 5.0 grains of powder, that’s about 1400 rounds per pound. In short, we’re looking at around $63.03 per 1000 rounds. Of course, 9mm is pretty cheap these days so the savings realized are less than, say, .45 ACP or .44 mag. Nonetheless, the Dillon 1050 is still an excellent purchase because it will be used on some of those higher dollar cartridges. Should be able to put together .45 ACP FMJ for around $5.95 per box of 50. And .357 Mag JHP for around $4.38 per 50. Naturally, that gets stretched if we switch from jacketed to cast bullets. The .38 Special, for example, with a 150 gr. LRN would run around $3.31 per box of 50. (All of these prices, by the way, assume reloading fired brass that you’ve already been saving.)
So, while the 1050 was a hideous up-front expense ($1500~), it should be a smart long-term investment just from the amount of money it saves on ammo. Also, its nice to be able to crank out lotsa ammo in a short amount of time and sock it away in the bunker. My supply of 9mm was getting low but now Im going to be upping the quantities of everything.
One of the LMI has 16,000 pieces of .40 S&W brass he was formerly trying to load on a single-stage press (sort of a lifetime project, I guess). I told him if he’ll pop for the .40 S&W conversion kit and dies he can come by and use this thing.
Finally got around to picking up a 32 oz. Nalgene bottle to beat up. For trekking around I like the Camelbaks but for short jaunts the bottle is pretty good. Also, for small things that need to be protected from damage and moisture, they make decent little drysafes for all the little incidentals (esp. electronic incidentals) that you want to keep dry and protected.
Went to CostCo last week and picked up some chicken. The boneless, skinless breasts are individually vacuum sealed and have the date stamped on them, making them soooooo perfect for the deep freeze. That’s how meat should be packaged, my friend. As an aside, if you haven’t gotten a vacuum sealer to use to take advantage of bulk purchases and sales of meat, you really should. Like many things, there is an upfront cost that can be a little intimidating but it literally does ‘pay for itself’. Example – ground beef is usually $2.99 a pound. I’ve mentioned this before, right? When its remaindered, the price drops to $1.69 a pound. This means each pound is saving me $1.30. Without the vacuum sealer, I’d not be able to store the meat for long term and would have to buy it on, generally, an ‘as needed’ basis. With the vacuum sealer I buy ten pounds and I’ve saved $13.00. After around 100# of meat, the thing has paid for itself…assuming I don’t get any even better deals. Point is, you have to be able to look past those initial startup costs and do the math. Yeah, youre gonna have to cough up $100+ upfront, but it really does turn out to be worth it in the not-so-long run.
I’ve been wearing Carhart work dungarees lately and have been very pleased with them. They are stoutly built, reinforced, comfy, look like they’ll last forever, and come in a nice subdued olive-green color. I recommend them highly if youre looking for a pair of pants that can shrug off the abuse that would normally kill a pair of jeans. Not cheap at around $40~ a pair, but I would bet they’ll outlast a pair of jeans under the same circumstances. Only drawback – theyre a bit heavy, but like most forms of armour that’s the tradeoff.