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22LR Reloader Reviews

Product Review: by Phil Michael of Canadian Black Rifle

View original at Canadian Black Rifle

Introduction

There has been a lot of internet chatter about the “SharpShooter 22 Long Rifle Reloader kit”. I decided to step up to the plate and see if this product actually did what it is advertised to do. After a few emails and phone conversations to Brain at SharpShooter a kit was on its way to me for this review. My biggest question to Brian was – “Does this actually work”?

So in preparation for this I broke out the only bolt action 22LR rifle I had in the house – a Cooey model 600 and proceeded to empty a bunch of cases for the reloading trial run.

If you see me at the range please don’t think I was an idiot for picking up my cases and ziplocking them… I did it for a reason!
What’s included with the kit
· A bullet mold for 25gr and 38gr heeled 22lr bullets with built in crimping tool made from 7075-T6 Aluminum (The same material that the AR15 receivers are made from!)
· The rim cleaner and primer packer tool
· A glass bottle and eyedropper
· A little powder dipper
· A little priming/powder funnel
· And a detailed instruction booklet with load data

The Reloading Process

Allow me to outline some of the steps used in my product review. I do want to point out a vital step ahead of time – Test each and every case you reload to see if it fits in the chamber of your firearm. These cases are NOT resized and can become too large for fit into the chamber of a different firearm! It’s best to reload for the same gun you fired the factory ammo in!
Casting your bullets
The tool that comes with the kit has two mold cavities in it. During a casting run for my 45 Auto SWC 200gr bullets I put it to good use. There are a few things to keep in mind using this mold though.
1) Degrease and smoke the mold thoroughly!
2) Because the mold and its handles are all one piece it takes a while to bring it fully up to casting temperature.
3) Wear thick gloves! This mold does get hot when it’s up to proper temperature!
4) Use a soft alloy (pure lead or close with just a bit of tin)

When the mold did come up to a good casting temperature it did cast some beautiful little bullets. I used it to cast both the 25gr and 38gr bullets (24gr and 36gr respectfully in my alloy). Since the test was going to be for standard velocity 22LR ammunition I kept the little 25gr bullets separate and proceeded to use the 38gr bullets.

I do want to mention the quality of this mold though as a separate note.

You can tell a lot of thought went into the design of the tool. It is very well thought out for its function and the finish on it is quite beautiful. It is also very solid and the one I had for the review had zero play in it. It’s a high quality product for sure!

A lot of people see the price of the 22LR reloading kit and gasp. I actually spoke to the company directly about this and it seems that’s the result of having the product custom manufactured to exacting tolerances. This is not something that is mass produced – it’s a custom product and you’re paying custom mold prices. Sure it’s expensive, but some of the custom molds for centerfire rifle bullets can cost much more!
Repriming your casings
I’m afraid to say it but this is the time consuming part of the whole process. It’s also the most work of the whole process.

Priming compound for your 22LR cartridges sits in the rim of the case. In order to reload them you need to remove the residue left from the previous firing. Included in the kit is a little tool that is designed to scrape that area (See picture). It took me around thirty seconds for each case and a few blasts of canned air to insure that the entire previous residue was removed from the case. The tool is simple yes – but was remarkably effective in this task.

Now onto priming and my lessons learned…

To prime the cases there are two recommended sources for priming compound. The first is the tips of commonly available strike-anywhere matches, the second is the shock sensitive material found in the paper coils used in children’s cap pistols. (See Picture)

To use ether you need to use the material WET. I cannot stress that enough. The match heads are easy enough to cut off with a sharp Exacto knife but the caps are a little more shock sensitive. I opted to use the matches since I have a bunch of them in my outdoor gear and wanted to stick with the theme of “Commonly available material”.

Let me document my process for powdering the match tips and lessons I learned in the steps below:
1) Fold sheet of paper in middle to catch match tips on cutting
2) Cut off thirty match tips and allow to fall into crease on folded sheet.
3) Fold paper in half and gently grind match tips into fine powder using soft tapping with a rubber hammer
4) Open and inspect – not powdery enough.. TAP harder!
5) POOF! See smoke, shit pants
6) Get fresh paper and start again with only 5 match tips

After the match tips have been reduced to a fine powder you use the funnel and pour them into the bottom of the case.

And this is where the Eyedropper comes in. Using the eyedropper place one drop of Acetone into the bottom of the case and allow it to mix with the priming mixture until it’s well wetted. Then use the square end of the little tool to push the mixture into the rim of the case. I cheated and used a pencil to give them a quick spin to insure the rim was full of the mixture. I then let the cases dry overnight.

The alternate method for using the paper caps is the one I should have used. I would have been easier (and better) – wet paper with Acetone, scrape priming mixture out and use the now wet mixture to prime the case. Lesson learned for next time.
Powder Charge
For my testing I used 1.4gr of Hodgdon Universal Clays shotgun/pistol powder. There is a bounty of useful and common powders listed in the included manual but I strayed somewhat and used a powder that I was very familiar with and had a slow enough burn rate that I wouldn’t have to worry about. Each charge was hand-weighed on an electronic scale and loaded easily into the now primed and dried case with the included little funnel.

Seating your bullet

Unlike most reloading there is no “Bullet Seating Die” you’d screw into your reloading press. Since the cartridge is now primed with a shock-sensitive material (in my case powered strike-anywhere match tips) the last thing you’d want to do is place any form of pressure on the rim. To seat your bullet simply push the heel of the bullet into the case with your fingers.
* I learned the hard way – Before beginning the reloading process make sure the fired case mouth will actually accept a bullet. I had a few fired cases that would not.

Crimping

To crimp into the bullet into case you use the same tool that you cast your projectiles with. There is a hole that runs from top to bottom of the tool. It’s pretty simple – Put in loaded round and squeeze the handles together. I did find that most of my 10 test cartridges did take a nice firm crimp, there was only one bullet that could still be rotated in the case by hand.

Shooting Procedure

I took my 10 reloaded 22 Long Rifle cartridges to the outdoor range to see if they would function in the rifle that originally fired the factory rounds and produced the casings used for this test. I was a nice fall day with no weather aside from a small breeze and due to hunting season starting I had the range essentially to myself.
Testing procedure.
· Manually chamber shots 1 to 5 and fire for reliability test.
· Load remaining 5 rounds in magazine tube and fire for reliability.

Accuracy check was not a factor for the testing protocols. The testing was simply to answer the question posed to Brian of “Does it work?”.

Actually Shooting reloaded 22LR

I will freely admit that I was a little nervous squeezing the trigger on the first shot. The heavy takeup on the trigger of the Cooey rifle felt like it took forever however I was rewarded with a loud BANG and the round fired as it should have. The bullet impacted the berm as expected and pretty close to point of aim. The results were duplicated with shots 2, 4 and 5. I did have a failure to fire on shot 3.

Loading up the magazine tube with the remaining 5 reloaded cartridges had a similar result. The rounds did cycle into the chamber freely and most of them fired as expected with one round that wouldn’t properly discharge.
I want to stress that I’m 100% sure that my failure-to-fire problems were caused by the match head priming mix. If I would have used the paper caps instead I know it would have went bang every time!

I did have a few people ask what I was doing pulling 10 rounds of 22LR from a Ziploc bag and why I was keeping the casings though. Reloading 22LRs made for an interesting story to the range crew!
Does it actually work?
YES – it really does!

Conclusion

Yes the kit works as advertised. It is fully possible to reload 22LR cartridges in the comfort of your own home. In a survival situation this would be very handy to have in a bugout bag as well!

The downside to this kit is the time and effort involved. If you’re a rimfire shooter who goes out and shoots a hundred rounds on the weekend you’re the person this kit is designed for. If you’re a rimfire shooter with a bullet-hose like the M&P15-22 or a modded-out 10/22 and shoot your ammo a brick at a time you will not be bothered to put the time into this.

You also need to have all the casting equipment to cast your own bullets and be very familiar with the process. Producing “great bullets” free of wrinkles can be a little bit of an art and these small little bullets will show you very quickly what you need to improve in your process.

I would like to thank Brian at Sharpshooter for providing this kit for review and all the helpful hints and conversations we’ve had. He’s a very knowledgeable gentleman and stands behind his product!

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Product Review: Shooter’s Report

View original at Shooter’s Report www.shootersreport.com

Reloading the .22 Long Rifle. . . Oh, Yes, You Can!

Strictly speaking .22s are not intended to be reloaded. But the fact of the matter is that they can be. Once you know the secret. We’re about to tell you how.
.22lr bullet crimp tool

Naysayers are quick to rant long and hard with the pronouncement that you can’t reload the .22 Long Rifle, or that even if you could, it’s takes more time and trouble than the process is worth. Suffice it to say, the actual history of the world proves these guys dead wrong. I know this for a fact because I have been reloading the .22 Long Rifle cartridge for more than a month now. And I’m not the only one.

It’s well-documented that Siberian hunters, Inuit Indians and depression-era American shooters have been relying on this expedient method for reloading .22 rimfire ammo since early in the 20th century. In other words, since about the time the venerable.22 long rifle was first introduced. Researching this story I discovered the tantalizing fact that Sioux and Cheyenne Indians both reloaded rimfire cases for their .44 caliber Henry Rifles.

Fact of the matter is that reloading .22s is as simple as the sea is salt. Begin by gathering up empties in good condition. Just like centerfire cartridges, that means it’s necessary to pick and choose, to discard any fired cases that are damaged (meaning: bent or with a split neck).

I used the Sharp Shooter’s .22 Long Rifle Reloader kit. With its rim cleaner I meticulously scrape fired debris out of the rim..22 reloading kit which has everything you need to get the job done. I inserted the kit’s rim cleaner (hooked kind of like a dental pick) deep into a case and dutifully scraped the inside the the rim, displacing the fired primer detritus. Then I tap-taped the case upside down on my kitchen table knock outing the debris. It only takes about a minute or two. As for the dent made by the firing pin. Admittedly, this left a dead spot devoid of priming compound. So what? I ignored it.
22 lr powder funnel

Next, I scraped the white material off the heads of some strike anywhere matches(the heads only). For safety sake, I worked in small batches, milling/mashing the white stuff into fine powder. Once the match heads were pulverized. I used a medicine dropper to wet the compound with acetone (included with the Sharp Shooter kit). Using the opposite, square end of the rim cleaner I wedged new, priming materiel into the newly, hollowed out cavity case’s rim.

A half an hour later, once acetone had dried, I charged the primed case with powder. The kit includes loading data for both black powder substitute, or smokeless powder. Depending on the bullet and the desired muzzle velocity one might load from 1.0- to 1.5- grains of powder, A powder dipper is included to more accurately measure these diminutive charges. And there’s also a funnel correctly-sized for the narrow .22 case mouth.
22 powder dipper

Now for an appropriate bullet to load. The .22 long rifle uses a heeled bullet, which simply means the bullet base (the part that that snugs up inside the case), measures a smaller diameter then the forward portion of the bullet that engages the rifling grooves. Moreover, the nominal bullet diameter is larger than the nominal bore diameter to prevent excessive lead fouling that occurs when shooting lead bullets of the same or slightly smaller than the groove diameter. With .22 Long Rifle, both bullet and case diameter measure .224 inches, ie, the same diameter. Heeling the bullet, or making its base narrower than either of the former. No one makes molds in this configuration, not Lee Precision, Saeco or Lyman. Not anyone.

This is not a problem because the Sharp Shooter kit includes a heeled bullet mold. It’s machined with two cavities, one for 25-grain bullet and another for a 38-grain bullet. So that all you need to cast .22 bullets is a stove, a lead pot and a pouring ladle. I have used cookware from Goodwill to melt lead.
.22lr bullets

With a goodly quantity of bullets cast it’s time to insert one and crimp it in place. The bullet mold handily has a cutout for crimping the bullet. That done, with a competed .22 lr round in your hand, you’ve just done what the bubbas said cannot be done, reloaded .22 long rifle.

And finally, the next time at the shooting range, bend over and pick up the .22 duds you see laying around. Know that many Failure To Fire (FTF) are from dirty weapons where the bolt never quit locked-up close enough to the chamber to let the firing pin strike the rim. So clean off the grit and give it another shot. If it remains a dud, bring it home with the all others. Either recycle the bullet proper in the melting pot and charge a newly primed case with the powder. Proviso: The range pick up case’s primer may still actually be live. So proceed with caution. You could fill it with water to kill the priming compound or just dispose of it, which is what I do.

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Product Review: Shooting Sports USA

View original at NRA Shooting Sports USA www.ssusa.org

Reloading .22 Long Rifle—a new option for competitors

WARNING: All technical data in this publication, especially for handloading, reflect the limited experience of individuals using specific tools, products, equipment and components under specific conditions and circumstances not necessarily reported in the article and over which the National Rifle Association (NRA) has no control. The data has not otherwise been tested or verified by the NRA. The NRA, its agents, officers and employees accept no responsibility for the results obtained by persons using such data and disclaim all liability for any consequential injuries or damages.

Common knowledge has it that reloading .22 Long Rifle cartridges isn’t possible, or at least isn’t practical. But necessity being the mother of invention—in this case necessity being the present drought of .22 LR ammunition—American entrepreneurship has now added the rimfire cartridge to our reloading repertoire.Sharpshooter 22 Long Rifle Reloader, LLC accomplishes this with their .22 LR reloading kit, the heart of which is an old-school hand operated “tong” tool that serves both as bullet mold and bullet/case crimper. The company also sells a resizing die and shell holder separately, as well as the primer material. While all this may seem so simple that reloading rimfire cartridges should be as mundane is reloading .38 Special, the devil, as they say, is in the details.

Rimfire obstacles

Even the non-handloader is aware that the first obstacle to reloading .22 LR is the priming. Centerfire cartridges, of course, have easily replaced Boxer primer assemblies consisting of the pressure sensitive primer material and anvil integral with the primer cup. In the .22 LR, however, the cartridge case rim serves as the primer cup and anvil, the blow from the firing pin crushing the primer material between rim surfaces to ignite it. While it’s safe enough to ship self-contained primers, handling and shipping pressure sensitive primer material is another matter, and no primer manufacturer sells loose primer compound to handloaders.

The second obstacle is the .22 LR bullet itself. The .22 caliber bullets available to handloaders are unsuitable for .22 LR because the latter utilizes a heel base bullet; that is, the rear portion of the bullet is lesser in diameter than the forward, exposed portion of the bullet so that the heel fits inside the case. The exposed portion of the bullet is the same diameter is the .22 LR case and bore, .222,” whereas .22 caliber bullets for centerfire cartridges like the .223 Rem are .224” in diameter. Using such bullets in the .22 LR would cause the case to bulge so that it could not chamber, or if it did, the bullet would be .002” oversize for the bore.

Simple solutions

Sharpshooter solves the primer problem by shipping the material as separate, safely inert chemicals—which they call “Prime-All”—that become pressure sensitive only after the handloader mixes them together at the loading bench. The handloader overcomes the bullet obstacle by casting his own bullets with the provided combination mold/crimping tool. Let’s look at the bullet solution first.

Casting your own bullets can be as complex and expensive as you wish; lead furnace, lubrisizer & dies, molds, lead and alloying metals occupy a significant portion of my handloading space. But for reloading .22 LR it is as simple as melting pure lead, pouring it into the mold, and crimping the bullet into the case when cooled. There are a few safety precautions you must follow in safely working with melting lead, but the basic procedure is not difficult or expensive.

The Sharpshooter mold casts two different bullets, one a standard 38-grain round nose and the other a 25-grain pointed nose, each with a single lubrication groove. Shooting a few dozen unlubricated bullets per session during testing did not create a leading issue; while some casters treat bullet lube as an esoteric art, in this case anything reasonable—hand-wiping a muzzleloader patch lube or any semi-soft bullet lube on the bullets after seating, for example—will probably suffice.

The case priming step is the only one that will be new to experienced handloaders. First you must completely remove the fired primer residue from under the case rim with the kit’s brass scraping tool. Then, after mixing the primer chemicals according to instructions, dump about 1/3 to 1/2 of a small scoop (the kit’s plastic tool has a large scoop on one end and a small scoop on the other) into a case using the provided funnel. Add one or two drops of acetone and pack the priming “mud” TIGHTLY under the case rim with the square end of the scraping tool, being sure you distribute it evenly around the case rim.

After allowing the acetone to evaporate overnight add the propellant; the kit includes load data for several powders, including 700X and Unique as well as for Hogdon’s Pyrodex P black powder substitute. Now crimp a bullet in place and you’re ready to shoot.

Caveats

A couple of caveats are in order here:

1) The crimping tool only works with .22 LR cases, not .22 Shorts or Longs. Sharpshooter co-owner Brian Nixon said the company is examining also making crimping tools for reloading .17 rimfire cartridges.

2) The die and shell holder sold separately nearly doubles the cost of the kit, but resizing may not be necessary if you shoot your reloads in the same chamber in which they were originally fired. In my testing the rims of CCI brass cases would not fit in the shellholder.

3) The bullet making and priming process is such that you aren’t going to crank out hundreds of rounds of “blasting ammo” in a single reloading session. However, your overall cost will only be about 80 cents per box of 50/$8 per brick while gun shops must charge $5 per box and scalpers are demanding $75 per brick at gun shows.

4) You may experience some misfires as you develop your own handloading techniques. If so, first examine your priming process; be sure you are mixing the chemicals in the proper ratios and TIGHTLY packing and evenly distributing the material under the case rims. You will save bullets by first loading clay or wax “wadcutters” without powder to test your priming technique.

5) If the firing pin strikes exactly on top of the dent in the rim caused by the previous strike, you may experience a misfire. Reorient the case so that the strike falls elsewhere on the rim, or follow included instructions for removing the dent from the case rims.

Shooting results

Handloading for competition is synonymous with precision. So far in testing I have not found reloading .22 LR to provide what we would call “target precision,” most likely due to the difficulty in working with such tiny quantities of priming compound and powder: a small deviation in a 1-grain .22 LR powder charge has far more significance in performance than the same error in a 48-grain .30-06 powder charge. Also, I did not lubricate most bullets or sort bullets to discard those less-than-perfect. Further testing with attempts toward precision may show improvement.

However, with the scarcity of .22 LR ammunition continuing – and the $2.50-per-box days gone forever when it is available—handloaded .22 LR still has applications for competitors as inexpensive practice ammo. Beyond that, it is a source of ammunition for introducing new shooters—one of our most important responsibilities—to shooting sports. Reloading can also serve as an educational activity to share with youngsters, and it offers us an insightful appreciation for what goes into making consistent factory ammunition.

And it provides an opportunity for generating puzzled looks the next time someone asks, “Got any .22 LR?” and you respond with, “Well, I’ve got some reloads…”

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Product Review: The Arms Guide

View original at The Arms Guide www.thearmsguide.com

Reloading 22lr Made Easy

Reloading .22LR has almost always been shooter fiction. History has proven though that it is possible. Throughout history, there have been kits that make reloading .22LR doable. Some kits worked very well, and others were very basic. Today, there is a company that makes a .22LR reloading kit right here in American. Personally, when I first heard of this product, I thought that it was experimental or proprietary and probably didn’t work all that well. Afterall, reloading .22LR is impossible, right?

The first thing you need to start reloading is the reloading kit that you can order here for about $70. The website also has videos on how to get started if I end up confusing you or not having enough detail for you. If you do not wish to buy their priming compound on their website, you can use the powder from capgun ammo, strike anywhere matches, and acetone to make your primer. As for powder, the manual has a good list of powder options to choose from. You will probably do good to use a fishing weight, and melt the lead for casting your bullets. The rest of the needed materials and tools are already provided by the .22 reloading kit. For any extra information, the guys at sharpshooter are more than knowledgeable of how to go about effectively reloading 22 long rifle.

I would highly recommend this product for anyone who owns a 22 rifle or pistol. The savings on ammo is huge and though you need to invest your time to make the ammo, it is a small price to pay when you have the other option of spending more money than is necessary. No longer do you need to wait in long lines or wait for weeks to acquire an overpriced box with limited ammo at a big box store. Now you can sit at home and just make your own .22 ammo.

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Product Review: Ammoland Shooting Sports News

View original at Ammoland Shooting Sports News www.ammoland.com

Reloading .22 Long Rifle—a new option for competitors

USA –-(Ammoland.com)- If one of the following things ever happen, you’ll be really glad you read the following article:

Zombies escape their TV and movie confines and start munching on what few and far between brains there still are in the real world.

Simultaneous fires in the iPhone and xBox factories plunge humanity into global rioting.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton team up to create the weirdest presidential ticket ever, and rumors of an all-Kardashian cabinet send civilization as we know it over the precipice.

Hey, statistically, one of these things is bound to happen. It’s only a matter of time, and when it does, I’m thinking .22LR ammo will be the new basis currency, not to mention the primary means of squirrel shopping.

As an avid reloader, I’ve told people about a thousand times that you can’t reload .22 ammunition.

Technically, I know you can, but it’s always been one of those things that just seemed like a whole lot of trouble. Unlike centerfire ammunition like 9mm, .45 ACP and .308, there is no removable primer that you can simply replace. That’s important as it’s the primer that converts the kinetic energy of the firing pin strike into a small explosion that ignites the powder charge. Rather, .22LR cartridge cases have a narrow little gap in the inside of the case rim. Manufacturers magically squeeze a little bit of priming compound into this tiny space so that when a .22 gun strikes the very edge of the case rim, the priming compound explodes and ignites the powder charge. After the shot, the priming compound is all burned up, and there’s a dent in the cartridge case from the firing pin strike.

AMG 22LR Reloader

I recently got my hands on a little kit from AMG (22Reloader.com) or ( amgsporting.com/22lr-reloader/ ) that gives you the tools, and more importantly, instructions you need to reload .22LR ammunition. The basic kit includes a few simple tools that will help you turn those spent cases back into functional ammo. A pliers-like tool serves dual duty as a bullet mold and crimping tool to make sure your new bullet stays in place once reloaded. A small wire tamper and scraper helps you remove old priming compound residue from the spent case and pack new material in there. An eyedropper and funnel help you liquify the replacement priming compound so it can work its way into the case rim and charge the cases with powder. The company offers extra kits and accessories like priming compound ingredients and a resizing die that fits a standard reloading press. We’ll get more into that in a minute.

The secret to Reload .22LR Ammo is in the priming

The company provides a priming kit consisting of four mysterious powders with cryptic names like “L2”, “L”, and two bags both marked “S”. Mix these together in the right proportions with the enclosed measuring scoop and you have your own priming compound. Be careful, though, when you’re mixing it dry, too much pressure can set it off. After all, that’s what is supposed to happen. As soon as the four powders are blended into a light gray mix, you drop 1/3 of a small scoop into each .22LR cartridge case.

Using the company’s priming compound is the easy and most reliable method, but you can make priming compound out of other everyday stuff too. When the world ends and Zombie’s rule, you won’t be able to mail order the AMG priming powder kit anyway, so you’ll need to find a way to improvise. Fortunately, you can make priming compound at home using some inconventional supplies like caps, strike anywhere match heads and the contents of those little party poppers you throw on the ground.

In addition to testing the company provided priming compound, I decided to try making my own using caps that I picked up at Wal-Mart. You can use those plastic cup type or the rolls of paper caps for toy guns. I elected to try my luck with the paper caps.

Using the included AMG packer / scraper tool, you can gently scrape the “make the cap go bang” material and collect it. With the wimpy new caps on the market, you’ll need the guts from eight or ten to get enough priming compound material for a single .22LR cartridge. Oh, don’t get all efficient and collect a big pile all at once. The odds of you setting off one of the caps with the scraper are 15 thousand percent, and that will burn up the pile of material you’ve worked so hard to collect. Ask me how I know…?

Next you’ll add a little liquid. This will help the compound work its way into the nooks and crannies of the cartridge rim and make it inert, so you can pack it into place without blowing anything up. The plan is that you let everything dry thoroughly before moving on to future steps. If you use something that evaporates quickly, like acetone or vodka, the process will be faster.

Oh, one more thing. Read all the instructions carefully. The first step before priming is to scrape all the old primer residue out of the cartridge cases or else they won’t work. Ask me how I know that one too…?
Casting your boollits – Reload .22LR Ammo

Since we’re in survival mode, we can’t assume there are stores that are open to sell .22 caliber projectiles, so we’re going to make our own. Besides, that’s why the AMG includes a casting mold with the. The mold makes two bullets per cast, with one being a 25-grain solid point and the other being a 38-grain round nose.

Sticking with my wilderness plan, I opted not to do anything wimpy like buying lead or using an official casting furnace. I wanted to see if I could do this by scrounging everyday stuff. First, I went to Wal-Mart and invested $4.97 in a stainless steel ashtray for my melting pot. When the world ends, you’ll be able to get one free as the looters before you probably won’t steal these. Then, I dug some fired bullets out of the berm at my local range, mostly jacketed ones, but I did find a few all lead projectiles. You could also scrounge lead from other sources like wheel weights on abandoned cars. I tossed my bullets, jackets and all, into my ashtray melting pot and applied heat from a hand-held blow torch.

Yeah, I cheated with the heat source, but only because my wife frowned on my plan of building a wood fire in the garage.

Within just a couple of minutes, the lead melted out of the busted up copper jackets, and I was able to scoop off the unnecessary grunge using a teaspoon I stole from the kitchen. After a few practice runs, I was able to get pretty decent cast bullets.

Loading the cartridges – Reload .22LR Ammo

Cases are primed and dried, bullets are cast, so now it’s time to finish some completed cartridges. The instructions provided by AMG gives you some powder charge guidelines for a few different smokeless gun powder brands, but you can also use fine black powder or substitute like Pyrodex.

Using the provided funnel, carefully measure the desired amount of powder charge in each case. The .22LR bullets will drop right in, but need to be crimped using the bullet casting mold tool. There’s a cut forward of the two bullet molds for that purpose. You can roll your projectiles around in a little bit of lubricant if you like, but it’s not necessary. Just know that if you fire unlubed bullets, you’ll need to clean your gun a bit more often as lead will accumulate.

So…??

Can you make your own .22LR ammo from scrounged up stuff? Yes, you can!

Is it worth it? If you don’t have a choice, it’s absolutely worth the trouble. However, the process is slow and tedious, so you’re not going to want to do this to save five or ten cents per round.
As with any DIY project, there are some learnings:

Be sure to clean the cartridge cases first, especially the interior rim area.
Be equally sure to let your priming compound dry completely before loading powder and crimping a bullet.
Check your brass to make sure it will fit in your chamber. The company makes a resizing die that will solve this problem if you want to get fancy and make all your brass pickups functional.
As far as the firing pin dent on spent brass, you can try to poke it out with a small screwdriver, or you can just load the cartridge so the firing pin will strike in a different spot. That’s what I did.

All in all, this was a pretty enlightening project. The product does what it says, and the instructions are clear as long as you actually read them.

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