Just some thoughts…

Seen probably the most useless thing I have ever seen yesterday. An automatic case annealer. For those of you who don’t know, brass and copper work-harden. Which means your fired cases, even though they may be thick enough and trimmed to length, might be work-hardened to the point where the case mouth splits. Sometimes they come completely off and stick in the chamber, which is bad. Especially if someone is shooting back at you. The solution to this is to anneal the case mouth. Which is just fancy-schmancy talk for “make it soft again”. This requires heating the case mouth with a torch and then letting it cool down.

Which brings me to this dumb machine. I suppose that if I had hundreds of thousands of cases to reload, it might be a time-saver. But for all intents and purposes, it’s pretty superfluous… a machine roughly the shape of a cube with two propane torches going at once, and a small wheel rotating the cases through the flames… neat design, but the exact same thing can be accomplished by the following:

– Get a cake pan. Fill it mostly full of water, to the point where if you stand a spent case in the water, about 1/2″ sticks up above the water.
– Take a torch and play it over the case mouths while they stand in the water. When they’re hot enough, knock them over into the water to cool them off.
– The end.

This machine cost over $500… to do what can be accomplished with an old cake pan, tap water and a propane torch. Derp. You can get 25 pounds of black powder for less than $500 and that will keep you shooting a very, very long time… plus the wünder-machine is digital and runs on electricity. Whatcha gonna do when the power is out? Yep, that’s what I thought.. fish out that old cake pan and go to it…

Speaking of Black Powder…

Saw another gizmo. Steam gun for black powder (and smokeless) pistols and rifles. One of those smack-your-forehead moments when you say “Hows come I didn’t think of that?”… basically a high-tech tea kettle hooked up to a closed wand that has several small holes in the end.. water boils, steam is produced, which travels through the wand and is then shot out of the end of the wand at right angles. Stick this in the bore of your rifle and the steam will blast the bore clean… I figure I can make one out of an old copper tea kettle and some thin copper piping… good stuff.

Second thing – and I know this subject has been brought up before, but – is “Why not invest in black powder arms for SHTF?” BP cartridge guns have had long and honorable service. Having one or two around would pay dividends… and all’s you need to clean them is hot water and some type of soap. Serviceable BP can be made even using the most crude methods with a wooden mortar and pestle… even if you don’t know the ratio you want, using a 1:1:1 ratio will yield BP that goes “bang”… it just won’t be as efficient as other types of BP… and many of today’s cartridges got their start as BP cartridges and then successfully made the transition to smokeless.

And all you really needed to make serviceable ammo in The Before Time was just a Lyman 310 tool and the right dies. Everything you needed would fit in a pouch smaller than a shoebox…

More later…

The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1