And in light of the Sandy Hook tragedies and the resulting frenzy of blame (It’s guns! No, it’s high cap magazines! No, gunshow loopholes! No, ammo sales!) it might not be a bad idea to do a little more reloading in general.
I’ve suffered from high primer stick-up. No, it’s not the price of primers, it’s an inability to mount my primers flush with the base of the cartridge. It happens to everyone, even to the factory manufactured rounds.
|High primer in re-manufactured .38 special|
This is a high primer in a .38 special cowboy load I buy for my introduction to shooting classes. I buy them from a customer reloader who I know is careful and precise and leaves nothing to chance. Still, things happen. The high primer will prevent the revolver’s cylinder from turning smoothly.
With rifle it’s a little more important because high primers can cause misfires and jams. The cure is to ream the primer pocket out. It’s a time consuming step. Especially if you have staked or crimped NATO brass.
|The heavy crimps help prevent the high pressure found in NATO proof rounds from blowing the fired primer out and into the rifle's trigger group.|
I wish I could tell you it was my idea, but I got the idea from YouTube. I bought an RCBS primer pocket reamer head for their motorized reamer and asked a friend of mine if he could drill and tap an arbor for me. He could and did. I mounted it in my drill press.
|Pocket primer primper|
|I wiggled this one a little too much thinking I had to get rid of all the indents. Now the primer simply falls out.|
I’m no longer getting crushed or high primers and I can’t wait to get out on the range.
|Success! The primer fits like a glove and is flush with the case ready for the range.|
I’ve been wearing one of those 'survival' bracelets for about a year now. There’s about 6 feet of kernmantle cord woven into a bracelet. That’s not a lot cord, but we tell ourselves that’s enough to secure the main supports of an emergency shelter. Or enough rope to cobble together an emergency fishing line or…well, you get the picture.
It wasn’t a BIG emergency, but here’s what I found out when I went to use mine. It’s barely enough to make two shoe laces.
|They aren't boots, but I still had to skip the bottom eyes to get them laced up.|
I’m a little disappointed I didn’t have enough to completely lace the shoes, but it snapped me out of the fantasy that one survival bracelet would make a difference.
Here’s my take on the tactical side of this. Make sure your preparations work in practice, and not just as thought experiments. In Germany thought experiments are known as Gedankenexperiment, which loosely translates as “too-lazy-to-try-it.” This phenomenon is all too common among armchair experts and blog writers.
Make sure your options are functional and not just pipe dreams. I still wear a survival bracelet, but I tuck away another 50 feet of cord in my day pack just in case.