I have a question about storage of reloading supplies in relationship to total ammo storage. On page 236 of “How to Survive The End of World As We Know It”, JWR recommends certain inventories for each weapon category. He goes on in the next paragraph that three times those level makes some folks more comfortable. In trying to reach those levels, do you gents recommend a ratio of ready ammo to an amount of reloading supplies to achieve the three times amount? Given the current ammo shortages and the expense associated and the fact that reloading supplies are still pretty available (costs are going up, but at least you can still get the items), I am thinking that this is a way to achieve the total desired.
Thanks for your comments – C.R.
HJL Replies: The absolute best way for bulk ammo is in a ready-to-format. However, I have been reloading for nearly 40 years and have found that I can produce ammo tailored to my specific firearms (for accuracy and reliability) and have fewer problems overall. I use Dillon progressive reloaders and have a system in place that keeps the error rate extremely low. I also have an inspection process that culls any defective ammo. For me, it is winter work (when I can’t get to the garden). You should purchase in bulk from a variety of suppliers and make sure that you either have assembled or can assemble the amount of ammo that you consider necessary. The only real difference from normal reloading is that you end up inventorying more brass than you would if you were just reloading to save money. You can reuse brass, but you should keep the lots separate. I recommend that you have the assembled ammo for SHTF use and then you have the everyday practice ammo. You also have what I term “carry ammo”– ammo that has been assembled from no more than once-fired brass (or new brass) and is intended for your daily carry. By buying bulk, you should be able to save a considerable amount on factory rifle ammo. It is tough to reload cheaper than bulk ammo for pistol though. If you are doing it right, you should have a higher confidence level in your own loads than the bulk. Also, if you are looking at long term storage of the ammo or need some weather protection, you really need to seal the bullet in the seating process and the primer.
One word of caution on storage of bulk components: Storage of bulk ammo is relatively safe. Storage of bulk powder poses some problems.