Monday, February 6, 2012

It's Been A While

Due to a deployment, then being back in school while working, and another deployment, it's been some time since I've done much handloading. I believe it's time to inventory the loading room, and do some reorganizing, as there are items that have been on the benches where I left them over three years ago.

One of the reasons I started handloads was my area of interest. I like old military rifles. If you've been around a number of years, you'll know that that some calibers like 30-06 or 8mm Mauser can be plentiful and cheap for years, then next to impossible to find or unpleasantly expensive later (think surplus .303 British- I remember when it was dirt cheap). But there's an area of old rifles and ammunition where handloads are the only practical way to go. Look up the price of factory .43 Spanish, for an extreme example. Even more modern rounds like 6.5 x 55 Swedish or .30-40 Krag, although more available, are relatively expensive as they're generally new manufacture hunting loads. When you get to 6.5 Japanese or 7.62 x 45mm Czech, you can recover your loading equipment costs in a short number of rounds. Granted, a lot of these relatively modern but obscure rounds don't offer anything unique in performance. But without them, an otherwise functional gun is just a wall decoration.

So for the next week or so, I'll be digging out the books and gear to start producing 7.5 French rounds for the MAS 49/56 I dug out the vault. I believe it's been shot once since I bought it back when they were on the surplus market; time to get the grease off it and put it back to use.


McWopski said...

I feel your pain. I can remember when an outfit called Paragon was offering, count them, THIRTEEN free Japanese Type 99 rifles if you bought a case of 7.7mm ammo!

MauserMedic said...

Relative to now it's amazing there was a time you could afford a case of 7.7 without making a major dent in the budget, let alone the rifles. What decade was that?

cmblake6 said...

There are several in my safe that fall within that "where am I going to get ammo for this thing now" area. When I got my 8x56, there was this shop where I was buying the boxes of 10 rds for $2.50. Then it dried up suddenly. LOVE my 6.5 Swede, and there are several sites where I can still get 200 rd battlepaks for $90ish, but when do those dry up? Yes, reloading is such a good way to save money.