A WORD ABOUT OBSOLETE AMMUNITION
So how do we make yesterday’s calibers today? First issue is the brass (cases). If you do not have old, spent cases, then we need to come up with the calibers case. We have seen several companies reintroduce calibers and that’s been a blessing. These are not your Big Box manufactures. They are smaller operations still owned, in most cases, privately. The cost of this brass is a little higher than the last time you bought it at the sports shop. It may not be available year round either. So what if they do not offer your caliber? Stage two: Some calibers can be formed from a “parent case” by either hard tooling or rotary swaging. Here a case is machined into another caliber. When done correctly you end up with a modern, reloadable case that will fire form in your chamber. The head stamp will be incorrect though! For most, this is of no consequence. Some parts of the world though, hunters are required to have the ammunition (head stamp) match the paper work and rifle chambering to enter that country.
Last option: Here we are left with only this choice when the other two are not available. We go to C.N.C. turned brass. You take a solid brass alloy rod and turn it (lots of scrap) into your required caliber case! Not cheap! In the old days there were issues with pressures with these type of cases. Today we have better understanding and alloys to use that allow better case life and high pressures.
Bullets supplies for these older calibers have smoothed out somewhat in the last couple years. For the really old ones, good old cast lead is still a good option. Many shooters have rediscovered that with the correct, lead sized, lubed bullets work just fine. So, that old rifle is not a wall hanger and can still be enjoyed. Powder companies continue to add new powders and replace old types with new modern & improved ones. Trail Boss, Accurate 5744, Black Horn 209 are just a couple that have breathed new life into some old calibers.
So in short, if you have an oldie, give us a call and let’s see if we can get it shooting for you!
With the above in mind, please remember that just because your caliber ammunition use to sell for a couple dollars a box, the components are rare and costs have gone up. So you may think the ammunition is a bit expensive, but think about the increased value of your firearm when you have the ability to shoot it.