David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines

hardcore reloading: make your own primers

There's a scene in the Batman NO MAN'S LAND arc that always annoyed me. The premise is that Gotham has been declared verboten, outside of all law, following a calamitous earthquake that largely destroys the city. Naturally, the folks who stay in town (most of our principals) find themselves in a dog-eat-dog situation where survival of the toughest is the order of the day. Because trade between Gotham and the outside world is so restricted, the street punks find themselves running out of ammo. So they break into the morgue to recover bullets from the bodies of their dead chums.

This scene got points for creepiness and atmospherics, but for a gun nut it was pretty annoying. Bullets aren't hard; a lot of people cast theirs, and you don't need to re-use old bullets. Back in the day, you'd see the gun nuts hitting up their friendly neighborhood mechanics for discarded lead wheel weights. Melt 'em down, cast 'em, by god you've got cheap bullets. I knew one guy who did a lot of re-enactment stuff who would use old roof flashings; apparently they used to use lead for that. Anyway, the catch is the other stuff: primers and powder. I figured the biggest problem would be the primers; reloaders buy those intact, so how would you make your own?

Well, with the recent extraordinary rush on all manner of ammunition and related materials, some folks on the gun boards have started talking about that very thing. It seems that you can take the primer apart, fix it up, and re-prime it using powdered strike-anywhere matches. I even found one enterprising guy who is *firing his guns* using match-head primers *and powder.* The match-head powder is corrosive, so you have to wash the gun with water and clean it well after shooting, and the ammunition is underpowered; he says that it makes a .357 Magnum shoot like a .38 S&W, though he could probably get it up to .38 Special. But it is physically possible (YouTube instructional link).

Incidentally, if strike-anywhere matches are too hard for you to get ahold of -- I didn't know this, but apparently they're restricted some places -- you can make your own from regular matches.

Useful gimmicks for anybody who might wind up writing post-apocalyptic stories, or freedom novels.
Tags: guns

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