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Old 02-20-2009, 11:35 AM
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Default Ammo reloading

Is it me or are there no rules for reloading anything above small arms?

What bout ac/mortar/arty rounds?

Suggestions?
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:24 PM
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Some things like mortar rounds can not be reloaded, as the entire round is consumed much like that of a rocket launcher.

As for auto cannon rounds some are electronicaly fired which would pose a problem in the T2K world.

Large caliber gun round, much like the mortar the round or projectile is loaded then a bag of powder or charge and the entire thing is consumed.

As for large caliber gun fixed shells like tank rounds, such rounds are more complex, especialy the projectile. Where the round is made up of several internal components, these I can see being made, at least simplier rounds such as standard HE or HEAT rounds and probably some form of beehive or flachette round which would be like a giant buckshot round, these I can see being more common as reloads since the threat from armor is dwindling as more are lost on the battlefield and the threat of personel is the last main threat, of course tank crews would hoarde their last few anti tank rounds just in case and only use them grudgingly.
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Old 02-20-2009, 03:02 PM
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Isnt most of the AC stuff just a really large bullet? Leaving a "case" behind just like a normal small arms round? Simple HE rounds should be able to reloaded I would think.

Mortars - could you just make a new case for it?

Losing rockets and missiles is gonna suck but I dont see those becoming made again for awhile.

I am sure the more complicated rounds cant be reproduced but the simple HE stuff should be...

And how do you figure mechanics for them?
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Old 02-20-2009, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalos72
Isnt most of the AC stuff just a really large bullet? Leaving a "case" behind just like a normal small arms round? Simple HE rounds should be able to reloaded I would think.

Mortars - could you just make a new case for it?

Losing rockets and missiles is gonna suck but I dont see those becoming made again for awhile.

I am sure the more complicated rounds cant be reproduced but the simple HE stuff should be...

And how do you figure mechanics for them?

AC:

Not really, alot of the cases are steel or aluminuim which are made for a 1 shot life, stress they undergo would make them hazardous to reuse,=. <A rupted case on a large gun like that in the breach could be very very bad> And even with brass cases they would have to be resized, a die the size of the case would be needed to send the shell through and reformed, and those are not all that common outside the factory.

Mortars: pretty simple round, a cast metal casing filled with explosive and a impact fuse is simple enpough. The downside. If you have a misfire with a hot tube, life could suck really quick. At best you would probably loose the gun. But, then you need the facility to cast and mill down the casings for the shells and a facility to make the explosive and the propellant.

Rockets: things like RPGs and even old style Bazooka rounds wouldn't be that hard to make, about on par with the mortar rounds,. Just balance of the round and again explosive and propellant are the issue. I can also see this being done with the old tyme recoiless rifles too.

Complicated rounds, yeah like the ICBM and similiar rounds with submunitions, guided stuff, wireguided missiles, antitank rounds like the Depleted Urianium rounds and proximity fuses would be a problem.

Then again if you have the facilities, material and talent you could probably ramp up production on small scale.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:48 PM
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Then lets assume during a daring raid into an old Army Ammunition Plant, I was able to the dies and some of the basic machinery to cast the larger rounds.

By using this information I think it would be a great side adventure.... http://www.jmc.army.mil/FactSheets/FactSheets.asp

Question is, would the local MILGOV/CIVGOC forces be smart enough to pull that sort of machinery out or would they just "take the ammo and run"?
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:18 AM
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Firstly, there is not such thing as a "simple" large calibre round. Even the "relatively simple" AP rounds, such as the solid slugs commonly used in WWII era tanks, require precision engineering. It's far simplier to say as a GM that these rounds cannot be reloaded (and IRL the vast majority can't anyway) and production of them is only possible in prewar facilities.

With regard to dies and production machinery, anyone with half a brain would quickly see the value of them, although if the pressure was on and time limited, they're not much good short term.

The machinery using the dies, etc are just as valuable and so I can see large scale offensives (at least large in terms of T2K forces) to capture and hold these types of facilities.

Something that should be kept in mind too is that just because a factory produces 120mm smoothbore tank rounds, it's very unlikely to be set up to produce 120mm mortar or artillery rounds, let alone rockets and missiles.
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Old 02-21-2009, 05:32 AM
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I am pretty optimistic on production but I don't see anything significant in the ways of heavy ordinance production for 10 years or so after the war. There are just too many required dependencies. Each of the subassemblies would need to be produced first.

On the other hand I do see refurbishing of ammunition being somewhat possible. Older ammunition my be able to be disassembled and reconstructed with the best components being put into a few rounds.

I don't know if anyone would be brave (of foolish) enough to attempt to repackage unexploded ICM or FASCAM rounds but that is probably the most complicated thing that could be produced as a majority of the parts can be salvaged.
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Old 02-21-2009, 05:59 AM
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We had at least two long running threads on this topic on the old boards. Anybody save those threads for our newcomers to look at?
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:59 AM
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Well for me its like this. I cant see the post war world not having any artillery larger then mortars.

I think that after a time, small limited production of new rounds should be possible for most anything. Even if its perhaps something more along the lines of older WW2 or WW1 style munitions.

Now for the PC's to be able to do this they would need a very stable reloading operation for the components first. And then the dies/machinery to cast the larger rounds. Those would either need to be secured and moved to a new location OR capture/holding of an ammo plant facility.

I am not sure how you would figure out the quantities of each material component for a larger shell but I think I can calculate something based on a small arms reload setup.

Lets say you can produce 200 finished 5.56 rounds per week in your current reload operation. You take the actual weight of the large round you want to reload, divide by the actual weight of the 5.56 round to get the actual equivalent time/materials to make one of those new large rounds.

EXAMPLE:

I have a reload setup running 200 5.56 finished rounds per week.
I want to make new 155mm HE rounds that weigh 50kgs each.
My 5.56 rounds weigh 0.014kg each.
50 / .014 = 3572
Meaning based on my current reload production of 200, I could make one 155m round every 17 weeks. 3572/200=17.85

This would account for the added materials as well as the longer production times for casting the round from scratch.

This would also assume you have the dies/machinery/skills to make the larger rounds in the first place.
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Old 02-21-2009, 11:44 AM
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Default A bit of personal experience...

I reload much of my own ammunition for my own guns, as I imagine many here on the forum do, and I have thought long and hard about the topic of reloading larger ammunition...then I witnessed some things from the Cheyenne Wells Machine Gun Shoot that I couldnt quite believe had I not saw it myself.

A small group of class 3 license owners had taken and older 90mm anti-aircraft gun and mounted it on what was obviously the carrige for the M114 155mm howitzer. In effect a 90mm anti-tank gun, and were reloading their own ammunition for it on site to shoot. The reloading press was an auto-body 12T shop press, and a brass tube had to be drilled and placed so the effect of the primer would be distributed throughout the length of the 90mm brass case (about 18in in length). The round as i remember were casted and machined 24lb solid shot, and the propellant was 7 1/2 pounds of large grain smokeless powder (I figured this out to be about 25,400 grains for my scale of reloading).

Now, being not only a reloading buff, but also an anti-tank buff having been a TOW gunner, my good time got better and better as I saw what their target was...a concrete wall made by stacking 4X4X8 concrete blocks 4 high and 3 deep.
Jester had mentioned earlier in this thread about brass casings for large caliber weapons having 1 shot life, and I had thought the exact same thing; therefore I was a tad bit on the alarmed side to see the crew seating the reloaded shells with a few taps on the rims into the breech with an 8lb sledge hammer! After that I stood back a little more and kept my fingers crossed that there wern't going to be any malfunctions, and fortunately there were none.
And soon I found myself laughing with tears running down my face as the crew of this 90mm AT gun started blowing the concrete wall all to hell. Out in Eastern Colorado with plenty of room to shoot, these 24lb shot were blasting through the wall, then ricocheting almost out to the horizon, about 14 miles away. When the crew was finished it was a pretty pile of concrete gravel and chunks and dust. After the line cease fire a friend and I also hunted down one of the ricochet impacts within 500 yards of the firing position. The ground there was mashed into a lengthwise pit that looked very much like a .45acp bullet shot through ballistic gelatin.
All the way around it was an awesome day.

So that crew proved that it is possible to reload and make ammunition for larger caliber guns, though the safety factor of doing so (in my mind, not trying to disrespect the good 90mm crew) might be questionable, or unknown risk.
General Pain has a set of small industry shop progression, including building a reloading shop up to an munitions factory, and also has a list of what shops need to be built to progress to the next group of shops. Personally, I think I got a picture of what part of the munitions factory would involve that day in Cheyenne Wells.
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Old 02-21-2009, 12:32 PM
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Default very interesting 90mm facts

I know that the 105 mm tank gun shell casings in our battalion were collected and shipped to the factory again .Maybe for melting down ,but I would imagine that a check up like a visual inspection and or x ray could determine if the shell could be re used .

As you say -the "powder mill " that is the first step on the munitions ladder in Gen Pains (and my )N work is a 1750 ish set up -the first shop that can make modern large caliber rounds sort of a early industrial revolution shop combined with those guys with their 90mm reloading operation .(awesome).

I think some kind of production facility could be made -look to the tribal areas of Afghanistan and what they make there.And their tools and raw materials are primitive in comparrison .

Making a heat charge instead of a hesh or he charge isnt really that more complicated -but I think that having a production plant in it self is .

You need :
raw materials
know how/ experts
machinery and parts

someone to feed ,look after and guard the factory etc etc .

Still -I think it could be done by improvisation -at least machining and manufacturing the simpler types of ammo .But say that the the machines to improvise and do it were there ,but that only one or two guys were proficient, there is your bottleneck .Also raw materials dry up ,machines get broken.

I would give it poorer stats though ,and increase risk of dangerous malfunction/misfires ,wear to the gun etc .

I wouldnt say that 4000 x 5.56 is 1 x 120 mm at round .The machinery is just two different ballparks. For the record I recon I could do 200 5.56 with a 2 stage press in one day if I had the time or the inlination.
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:00 PM
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Overall, I agree with you HQ, it should be possible given certain assumptions.

The reason I used the 5.56 example was to give a base that can be duplicated from the current rule set. I didn't want to completely improvise the numbers and tried to think of a some what logical way to make the math work.

But also, dont forget those production numbers do include making your own gunpowder, your own primers and bullets. Not simply the process of pumping out a finished round.

Two side questions I have here though:
1) Do the cases have to be brass? Wouldnt steel cases be more durable?
2) Same question with the bullet, why not steel?

Reason I ask is I see lead being alot harder to find then steel in a urban environment. There can only be so many batteries or old fashioned lead pipes around. And with most of the states lead mines being in the middle of the country, getting them to NYC would be more then a challenge.
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalos72
And with most of the states lead mines being in the middle of the country, getting them to NYC would be more then a challenge.
This document
http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pu...a/documnt1.pdf
says there are a couple of lead mines in St. Lawrence county New York. In case that is useful to you.
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:21 PM
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Brass vs Steel:
There have been numerous tests done comparing the lifespan of steel casings vs brass casings for handguns/rifles, and most conclude that brass is much more durable, because it can better stand the crimping and resizing. Steel is more brittle. If you are careful, you can get brass casings taking as much as 100 reloads (don't count on it though). Plus steel usually shoots dirtier = more residue in the gun itself = more wear on the gun. Steel is cheaper.
In T2k I guess steel would dominate, because of cost.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kalos72
Overall, I agree with you HQ, it should be possible given certain assumptions.

The reason I used the 5.56 example was to give a base that can be duplicated from the current rule set. I didn't want to completely improvise the numbers and tried to think of a some what logical way to make the math work.

But also, dont forget those production numbers do include making your own gunpowder, your own primers and bullets. Not simply the process of pumping out a finished round.

Two side questions I have here though:
1) Do the cases have to be brass? Wouldnt steel cases be more durable?
2) Same question with the bullet, why not steel?

Reason I ask is I see lead being alot harder to find then steel in a urban environment. There can only be so many batteries or old fashioned lead pipes around. And with most of the states lead mines being in the middle of the country, getting them to NYC would be more then a challenge.
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:31 PM
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Don't the Russians primarily use steel casings. I seem to remember the unlikelihood of being able to reload Russian ammunition being discussed a while back.
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:35 PM
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Default re; Brass vs steel

Brass casings I use for reloading have so far survived up to 32 reload and shoots, but also all of mine are straight cases; I dont have to worry about necked case stretch or having to trim them. On the flip side of that coin Ive had some of my .45-70 shells split after 3 or 4 reloads as well.

Has anyone tried to reload steel? Im under the impression that it will ruin my dillon dies.
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:44 PM
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So that might explain the case itself...but why does the bullet need to be lead?

My understanding is that a lead bullet will deform more causing more damage inside a persons body as it is rather soft. Steel would go straight through you breaking everything along the way.

So is it just a damage versus penetration issue or is there something more technical?
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:28 PM
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So many things to address:


KOTA 1342, A Tow Pogue eh <grrrrrr grumble grumble, called themselves grunts but didn't hump. 0352 mean anything?>

I was talking brass casings vice steel and aluminium cassings, and I have seen many 20mm and larger steel casings, as for larger gun cassings, seen alot that are steel or aluminuim. The brass casing can be reloaded, the steel and aluminum had the 1 shot life.

1st, brass can be resized multiple times, as a rule I generaly use mine <well when I did reload, haven't in a couple years, have a Dillion RL 500, Lee Single Stage X2, RCBS progressive and single stage, Had a Lee progressive too but sent it back> Necked rounds, the main problem I have had with them is that the neck colapses into the cartridge body. Makes sense since that is the area that has the most stress in reloading. I supose they could be cut down into something else, otherwise they are just so much brass for the recycle bin.

Brass is also easier to recycle requiring less energy to reprocess.

Now, steel and aluminumum cassings,

Aluminuim is a soft metal with a low heat point, the heat and pressure within a firing chamber, especialy a large caliber gun would make the casing weak for sure. I am sure the metal is soft enough and slick enough to work in a die for resizing, but would it survive the resizing without creasing? And would you end up with a case rupture?

Steel Cases:

Usualy made from soft metal, but again the heat and pressure inside the chamber when fired acts as a tempering or hardening process. There is a reason alot of shooting ranges that make and sell their own overly expensive reloads BAN STEEL CASED AMMO. <the fuggers sweep up the cases you fire and leave and reload and sell them for their normaly overly inflated prices> The steel is harder and will no longer expand to give you that gas tight seal in the chamber.

Further, to send the now hardened steel case through your die is going to destroy your die. The case will get stuck if you are lucky and it is a pain to remove it.

As for the whole guy with a sledge hammer reloading a 90mm gun round. With a solid slug of lead it is possible, also with a reduced charge round.

I can see in a T2K world, they making shaped charged anti tank rounds, standard HE anti personel rounds and like I said a flachette or buckshot type round for anti personel purposes.

Making the rounds would be done in a small factory with a set up like you said, a press like that, comonly available from somewhere like Harbor Freight Tools to resize and seat the projectile. Of course the seating especialy when using a HE or Shaped charged HEAT round would not be done with a sledge hammer, AH! that just is to much

However, if the materials are available, then I can see several dozen being turned out a day.

As for using steel casings in normal dies, yes and it is BAD BAD BAD! It can at the luckiest get stuck, at the worste ruin your dies.



KALOS:

Yes, you can use almost anything for a projectile. Lead is the norm because it is cheap and it has known characteristics in flight. But, alot of rounds are steel, basicaly anything 20mm and over are steel, at least I have encountered rounds in the 20mm and larger that were steel. But keep in mind many of those rounds were also explosive.

Some rounds in the past were tungsten used for anti armor, and even some small arms rounds are made with a steel core with a light coat of lead and a copper jacket.

They have rounds made from zinc and even ceramic rounds today. And in WWII the Japanese even used bullets made from wood.

Lead is the norm because it is cheap and easily cast. To use steel you need to have higher temps to melt it, and you need to finish it and mill it down. Further it is harder so you will have to put a coating otherwise it can cause more jams inside the barrel. Imagine a steel bullet, firing, it gets hot and metal expands when it heats, so it gets jammed mid barrel, you are firing full or rapid semi auto, so you fire two more rounds into the barrel with a round stuck in it. Can you imagine what would happen next?

Also, bullets made from harder materials would cause excessive barrel wear as well.

Wooden bullets have a short range of just a couple hundred meters before they burn up or loose velocity and drift off left or right and then just wildly. And of course poor penttration other than on soft targets.

Ceramics are used for indoor use on senstive targets and mainly on soft targets, they will penetrate soft targets ie, a person not using body armor. But when they hit a rigid target they explode into dust.

I personaly would use steel core ammo with either a hard well lubed lead coat, or even a copper coat <raid the telephone lines and other electrical equipment to give a jacket for your bullets to protect your bullets and give them better more traditional ballistics.


Now, as I see it, to make shells:

Mortars you can cast or mill the rounds or a combination of both. Cast them with finish them with some mill work. Fill them with explosive and then screw on a fuse. Then, add your propelant charges which is done in the field.

The same can be done with artillery rounds. Just on a larger scale. And there you have a early version of a HE round.

The fuse is the bigger design challenge. A mortar the tail fin can be semi complicated to build since it is one more step over a regular shell.


Anti Tank rounds:

Since these are high velocity rounds. I would do the following,


Cast, then mill them down.

Put them on a spindle or centrifuge even a car tire balancer and put it for a spin to see if it is balanced right. If it isn't you will have an irradict round which is dangerous.

Measure it with calipers for the proper tolerances for that round.

Fill it with the explosive olike a shaped charge,

Make and install your fuse assembly.


As for making the rounds:


You would need to set up an industry or factory to make or preform several of the processes at the same time so you have a steady flow of the items. Or at the very leastr have a stockpile of parts rather than custom make each part.

Fuse assemblies can be made and hopefully universal for the newly made rounds fitting several calibers and types of rounds. And of course you will need some folks in a shop making the components for the fuses as well as some folks putting them together into a complete assembly. I figure half a dozen people.

Casing, however many people needed to forge the casing, this I can see being contracted out with a factory who smelts iron.

A couple people running a milling machine and one person putting it on the balance.


A group who brews the explosive at another building a distance from the rest of the factory for safety purposes. They can easily produce more explosive than is immediatly needed so this would be operated monthly or bi monthly. And surpluses can be use for other products like claymores and handgrenades which can be made from cheaply cast pot metal.

Then one group pours the explosive in the shell and then the rest is assembled.

As I said you can have the entire staff of say two dozen people working on 1 aspect at a time when they build a large enough supply of components they stop and begin working on the other aspect, and so on and so on.


The manufacture of explosive rounds is more complex than standad rifle and pistol bullets as they have more components. I mean one can make molds for pistol or rifle bullets easily enough, to the poind you can mold 50 at a time. 50 holes, fill them with molten let, let harden a couple minutes. Do it again. Figure 5 minutes to pour and harden, inside an hour you have made 600 projectiles <thats 20 30 round magazines> And if you have more than 1 mold per person or more people doing this, well heck, 5 molds per person seems doable, times however many people you have at the task. You can make a large number of projectiles in a very short time.

Gun powder, I can not see a person making less than a keg at a time, it is to much work.

Brass, reform it, with a progressive press or even a single stage you can resize 1 case every three seconds, and with an automatice press its faster.

And then give half a dozen workers a progressive press where once the press cycles you are producing 1 complete round with each pull of the lever, or if its a automatic press, figure 1 round a second as long as you keep the components of powder, primers, projectiles and casings fed. Figure 5 people with a press and you can turn out a few hundred round an hour, I forget what Dillon advertising the output of some of their presses. But the components are easily made and easily assembled when compared to explosive rounds.

I am guessing with the components for say a mortar already, between inspection and assembly it would take lets see,

1 or 2 minutes to put the casing in balancer and test it.

2 minutes to measure it

1 minute to mount the round in a stand

2 minutes to fill body with liquid explosive that hardens or gels

10 to 30 minutes for explosive to solidify.

1 minute to screw on top piece of shell.

1 minute for final inspection

And then figure a couple minutes to move shells from each stage of assembly to the next.

Fuses are added in the field prior to firing


As for making the components, that is another storey entirely.
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:20 PM
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this is tight .

Quote:
Originally Posted by jester
So many things to address:


KOTA 1342, A Tow Pogue eh <grrrrrr grumble grumble, called themselves grunts but didn't hump. 0352 mean anything?>

I was talking brass casings vice steel and aluminium cassings, and I have seen many 20mm and larger steel casings, as for larger gun cassings, seen alot that are steel or aluminuim. The brass casing can be reloaded, the steel and aluminum had the 1 shot life.

1st, brass can be resized multiple times, as a rule I generaly use mine <well when I did reload, haven't in a couple years, have a Dillion RL 500, Lee Single Stage X2, RCBS progressive and single stage, Had a Lee progressive too but sent it back> Necked rounds, the main problem I have had with them is that the neck colapses into the cartridge body. Makes sense since that is the area that has the most stress in reloading. I supose they could be cut down into something else, otherwise they are just so much brass for the recycle bin.

Brass is also easier to recycle requiring less energy to reprocess.

Now, steel and aluminumum cassings,

Aluminuim is a soft metal with a low heat point, the heat and pressure within a firing chamber, especialy a large caliber gun would make the casing weak for sure. I am sure the metal is soft enough and slick enough to work in a die for resizing, but would it survive the resizing without creasing? And would you end up with a case rupture?

Steel Cases:

Usualy made from soft metal, but again the heat and pressure inside the chamber when fired acts as a tempering or hardening process. There is a reason alot of shooting ranges that make and sell their own overly expensive reloads BAN STEEL CASED AMMO. <the fuggers sweep up the cases you fire and leave and reload and sell them for their normaly overly inflated prices> The steel is harder and will no longer expand to give you that gas tight seal in the chamber.

Further, to send the now hardened steel case through your die is going to destroy your die. The case will get stuck if you are lucky and it is a pain to remove it.

As for the whole guy with a sledge hammer reloading a 90mm gun round. With a solid slug of lead it is possible, also with a reduced charge round.

I can see in a T2K world, they making shaped charged anti tank rounds, standard HE anti personel rounds and like I said a flachette or buckshot type round for anti personel purposes.

Making the rounds would be done in a small factory with a set up like you said, a press like that, comonly available from somewhere like Harbor Freight Tools to resize and seat the projectile. Of course the seating especialy when using a HE or Shaped charged HEAT round would not be done with a sledge hammer, AH! that just is to much

However, if the materials are available, then I can see several dozen being turned out a day.

As for using steel casings in normal dies, yes and it is BAD BAD BAD! It can at the luckiest get stuck, at the worste ruin your dies.



KALOS:

Yes, you can use almost anything for a projectile. Lead is the norm because it is cheap and it has known characteristics in flight. But, alot of rounds are steel, basicaly anything 20mm and over are steel, at least I have encountered rounds in the 20mm and larger that were steel. But keep in mind many of those rounds were also explosive.

Some rounds in the past were tungsten used for anti armor, and even some small arms rounds are made with a steel core with a light coat of lead and a copper jacket.

They have rounds made from zinc and even ceramic rounds today. And in WWII the Japanese even used bullets made from wood.

Lead is the norm because it is cheap and easily cast. To use steel you need to have higher temps to melt it, and you need to finish it and mill it down. Further it is harder so you will have to put a coating otherwise it can cause more jams inside the barrel. Imagine a steel bullet, firing, it gets hot and metal expands when it heats, so it gets jammed mid barrel, you are firing full or rapid semi auto, so you fire two more rounds into the barrel with a round stuck in it. Can you imagine what would happen next?

Also, bullets made from harder materials would cause excessive barrel wear as well.

Wooden bullets have a short range of just a couple hundred meters before they burn up or loose velocity and drift off left or right and then just wildly. And of course poor penttration other than on soft targets.

Ceramics are used for indoor use on senstive targets and mainly on soft targets, they will penetrate soft targets ie, a person not using body armor. But when they hit a rigid target they explode into dust.

I personaly would use steel core ammo with either a hard well lubed lead coat, or even a copper coat <raid the telephone lines and other electrical equipment to give a jacket for your bullets to protect your bullets and give them better more traditional ballistics.


Now, as I see it, to make shells:

Mortars you can cast or mill the rounds or a combination of both. Cast them with finish them with some mill work. Fill them with explosive and then screw on a fuse. Then, add your propelant charges which is done in the field.

The same can be done with artillery rounds. Just on a larger scale. And there you have a early version of a HE round.

The fuse is the bigger design challenge. A mortar the tail fin can be semi complicated to build since it is one more step over a regular shell.


Anti Tank rounds:

Since these are high velocity rounds. I would do the following,


Cast, then mill them down.

Put them on a spindle or centrifuge even a car tire balancer and put it for a spin to see if it is balanced right. If it isn't you will have an irradict round which is dangerous.

Measure it with calipers for the proper tolerances for that round.

Fill it with the explosive olike a shaped charge,

Make and install your fuse assembly.


As for making the rounds:


You would need to set up an industry or factory to make or preform several of the processes at the same time so you have a steady flow of the items. Or at the very leastr have a stockpile of parts rather than custom make each part.

Fuse assemblies can be made and hopefully universal for the newly made rounds fitting several calibers and types of rounds. And of course you will need some folks in a shop making the components for the fuses as well as some folks putting them together into a complete assembly. I figure half a dozen people.

Casing, however many people needed to forge the casing, this I can see being contracted out with a factory who smelts iron.

A couple people running a milling machine and one person putting it on the balance.


A group who brews the explosive at another building a distance from the rest of the factory for safety purposes. They can easily produce more explosive than is immediatly needed so this would be operated monthly or bi monthly. And surpluses can be use for other products like claymores and handgrenades which can be made from cheaply cast pot metal.

Then one group pours the explosive in the shell and then the rest is assembled.

As I said you can have the entire staff of say two dozen people working on 1 aspect at a time when they build a large enough supply of components they stop and begin working on the other aspect, and so on and so on.


The manufacture of explosive rounds is more complex than standad rifle and pistol bullets as they have more components. I mean one can make molds for pistol or rifle bullets easily enough, to the poind you can mold 50 at a time. 50 holes, fill them with molten let, let harden a couple minutes. Do it again. Figure 5 minutes to pour and harden, inside an hour you have made 600 projectiles <thats 20 30 round magazines> And if you have more than 1 mold per person or more people doing this, well heck, 5 molds per person seems doable, times however many people you have at the task. You can make a large number of projectiles in a very short time.

Gun powder, I can not see a person making less than a keg at a time, it is to much work.

Brass, reform it, with a progressive press or even a single stage you can resize 1 case every three seconds, and with an automatice press its faster.

And then give half a dozen workers a progressive press where once the press cycles you are producing 1 complete round with each pull of the lever, or if its a automatic press, figure 1 round a second as long as you keep the components of powder, primers, projectiles and casings fed. Figure 5 people with a press and you can turn out a few hundred round an hour, I forget what Dillon advertising the output of some of their presses. But the components are easily made and easily assembled when compared to explosive rounds.

I am guessing with the components for say a mortar already, between inspection and assembly it would take lets see,

1 or 2 minutes to put the casing in balancer and test it.

2 minutes to measure it

1 minute to mount the round in a stand

2 minutes to fill body with liquid explosive that hardens or gels

10 to 30 minutes for explosive to solidify.

1 minute to screw on top piece of shell.

1 minute for final inspection

And then figure a couple minutes to move shells from each stage of assembly to the next.

Fuses are added in the field prior to firing


As for making the components, that is another storey entirely.
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Old 02-21-2009, 05:04 PM
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Remember I posted a couple years ago a means of manufacturing large amounts of small arms ammo. This basicaly how it went,

Using the legions of disabled people now working in ammo factories.

1 group in a building deprimes and resizes rounds. they have an easily made single stage press. And all they do is put a used round in the shellholder and pull the lever down, then remove the resized round and place it in a bin,box, bucket or container.

The bin is now taken to another table where a guy reprimes the casing. You need 1 hand for this task. Simply place the casing in the primer, then squeeze the handle. This is placed in a block with 50 apropriatly sized holes. These blocks are placed in a tray. When it is finished it is taken to another station.

POWDER STATION:

A person with a bucket of powder has a special spoon that holds just the right amount of powder and with funnel fills each casing.

Or, he has a specail flask that pours the desired amount of powder. When he has a tray filled of blocks it goes to the next step.

Another battery of guys with a single stage press. These guys place a round in the case and pull the handle and the bullet is done. It is now placed in another bucket where it is packed and shipped to the front.


Now, imagine a large building where 4 long rows of table each with 20 or 30 people at them each row does 1 task then it is sent to the next table. With such a system of mass production each person turning out say 20 to 30 pieces a minute you can turn out fiarly large amounts of ammunition in a day. At 20 rounds completed a minute durring an 8 hour day comes out to just under 9000 rounds. Multiply that times the number assembly teams and you can turn out a massive amount of ammo. And it is all using disabled persons, people with no legs or who are paralyzed or even a few with 1 hand or arm, or blind thus making them productive in the T2K world.

Now imagine dozens of workshops like this, so small arms ammo would not be a major issue.

And that is using single stage presses. Now if you had the same amount of people with progressive presses that turn out a fresh round with each pull of a handle then you can make even larger quantities of ammo.
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Old 02-21-2009, 05:23 PM
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That was awesome Jester. Thank you.

To recap:

Casing
Brass casing is best on small arms rounds because you can reload - steel is a one shot deal. Everything over 20mm/mortar rounds will use a steel case anyway and cant be reloaded.

Projectile
Lead is suggested but jacketed steel or ceramics can be used for small arms. 20mm+ will all be steel usually.

New question: What about shotgun shells?

Production numbers are really off for me though. I understand actual experience might be easier but I need to some how develop numbers based around either the core rules or some sort of mathematical formula or soemthing.
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:08 PM
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Shotgun shells are:

Aluminuim seen but not used.

Soft Steel shells, used they are okay.

Plastic, is the norm here in the US, reloadable, although I do not reload shotgun yet. I hear you can do it half a dozen times.

PAPER or Cardboard shells, used them. They work pretty well. Although of course caution should be used when using them around wet enviroments, these of course can not be reloaded.

Shotgun shells require,

The shell hull

Primer or Cap

Powder

Wadding

Shot

put in a new primer
add powder
wadding,
shot
crimp the top over

Its that simple.

And yes, you can use damn near anything as shot in a shotgun, dimes like on young guns, glass, nails, chain, lead, rocks dang near anything.



As for production numbers, I am using real world experience with common sense on how long it takes to put a round in a reloading press and pull the handle, with experience the numbers are greater.

As for the explosive manufacturing, again calipers, putting a item in a vice, hitting the balancer, pouring liquid into a mold, although the setting time for the liquid explosive is a guess. But anyone who has worked on an assembly line or in a similiar factory setting can tell you, you can become pretty fast doing the same motion over and over and over.

Further, if I had the data from Dillion Reloading they actualy give the output of rounds produced per minute.

As for my figures, I simply had a team, 1 person preforming each step in the cartridge assembly line. Giving them roughly 3 seconds per round which is rather long to be honest. that equals 20 rounds per minute, times 60 minutes times 8 hours.

so, 3 sec per round=20 rounds per minute

20 rpm times 60 minutes= 1200 rounds per hour

1200 times an 8 hour work day= 9600

So, 1 four man crew could have a quota of 9600 to 10,000 rounds per day.

And like I said with a progressive reloader and a support crew keeping the components ready you could probably put out een more rounds than that.
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:03 PM
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You definietly have some details in your accounts.

But remember that your experience is with a pre-war setup using pre-made products.

Don't forget the time it would take to manually "grow" powder... the time it will take to collect and then smelt recycled materials for projectiles...the time it will take to produce the primers.

Once those are stockpiled, then those numbers make sense to me. And please dont take it personal, I truly appreciate your feedback.

I just want to get some numbers together that can compensate for all the complications of reloading in a T2K world and make the math be sensible.

By using the base numbers given in the 2013 rule book I am able to create that baseline. The question becomes then, how do I take that same math and apply it to producing larger shells and mortars?

Thats where I am getting stuck...IF people dont think my process I posted up a few posts make sense that is.
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:32 PM
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While reloading, or even fabrication of larger rounds may be possible, I'd be limiting it to solid projectile types only - there's just too much complexity in even a HE round for a backyard operation to do it safely.

Larger operations, such as the Wojo plant in Krakow could certainly manage most conventional munitions, especially the simpler ones, but anything with electronics or less than common materials/components would be an extreme rarity.

Post exchange munitions could be expected to have a much higher failure rate. I beleive even in the highly industrialized production lines of WWI, some artillery rounds had a failure rate (detonation rather than firing) as high as one in three. Rounds produced in 2000 using home workshops and the like could be even worse.

Bear in mind that WWI munitions were also EXTREMELY simple in comparison to modern day, or even 1950's rounds. From the 90mm reloading description, it sounds as if these rounds were also very simple - a case, propellant and solid projectile - no fuses, etc to worry about.
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:25 AM
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For a formula - make it easy on your self -say they start out by hand and improvised tools as the starting level and that equals x shells a day and later they can upgrade from theer by capturing gear ,materials and people that know how etc .

I would stress the increased chance of misfire with rounds that have been reloaded to much or improperly - but thats just me..

Lack of ammo leads to creativity and ---

did you consider blackpowder weapons ? As offensive weapons they would lack efficiency -but used in static defense ,blackpowder cannon or mortars could be nasty.

In the T2K world they could have electrical ignition and motorized transport to move about the firing positions.

RThe brits actually used blackpowder mortars -some trench made- against the Germans up until I believe 1916 .

It doesnt really matter to the grunt wether the mortar that launched the round that just peppered his legs and groin with shrapnel was a modern or arcahic model.

Blackpowder is much easier to make than modern smokeless /nitrated powders.ANyone could do it pretty much ,and making a one -shot "claymore like" "gun" or AP device is not hard either.

As a supplement to the weaponry in the campaign -or as the mainstay as rounds run out..those brass casings are difficult to make for automatic weapons because of tolerance limits..and they do reload app 10 times or so ..but as they near the end of useful life and there are few new to be had -a .44 bp revolver might seem like a good choice -at least to take the "cheap shots" .

Bear in mind that some military deliberately make their shells unsuitable for reloading -they have all the ammo they want ,but they dont want anyone else picking up shells and reloading and turning this against them later .I believe that the Swedish Army -among others-still use a berdan type primer that is unpractical to reload in their 5.56 rounds.
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:27 AM
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As a side note, FMDeCorba actually built, and routinely shoots a black powder cannon. He uses it for art projects, firing paint filled projectiles. Check out his signature for pictures.

And he once shot a half litre bottle full of paint through the wall of his atelier and into the next office, where it exploded and covered the unlucky fellow sitting there in red paint. A glorious moment in time for performance art! I wish I could have been there to see it.
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:34 PM
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Bringing up an older topic here...

What makes black powder a poor choice for automatic weapon reloading? I seem to recall some one saying its because the charge may sometimes not have enough energy to eject the case from the last round. Is that correct?

Would it work better in a bolt action rifle for example? What other kinds of weapons?

And does anyone have any sources for game stats on the old school black powder cannons/mortars that I can see?
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:15 PM
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Black powder burns real dirty. It would foul up the works in an auto/semi auto action pretty fast. Whether or not it would eject a spent case would depend a lot on the action (blowback or gas piston etc).
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:50 PM
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Yeah, Blackpowder would not be a good option in weapons like the M16 series due to its high carbon and corosive characteristics.

I remember accounts of the American Civil War where soldiers at Little Round Top could no longer fire their muzzle loading rifles due to them being so badly fouled with carbon from their firing. Something to think about. If a uzzle loader gets so clogged with blackpowder after probably 40 or 50 rounds what would it be like with a closed system auto or semi auto weapon?

I would guess that it could work in simple blowback and recoil weapons as most of the powder residue goes out the muzzle and there is no system to get clogged.

Bolt action and lever action weapons were originaly fired using blackpowder.

And I would venture to guess that a system as robust with large gas ports and used to firing corosive ammo like the SKS would still function for a few magazines before the carbon build up caused the weapon to jam.

Also, keep this in mind, the cartridges

30-30 Winchester was the type of cartridge loading it meant a 30 caliber bullet with 30 grains of blackpowder.

30-40 Krag, 30 caliber projectile with 40 grains of blackpowder <this caliber was modernized with a rimless casing and modern smokeless powder into the 30-06 round>

Those are some examples and the Mosin Nagants, Mausers and Enfields all were originaly designed to fire using blackpowder or cordite. So, I hope that gives you some ideas.

Oh yeah and also the old gatling guns would work a bit better as their tolerances weren't as tight as modern machineguns, more open so more carbon escaped, they fired slower, and the multiple barrels would allow you fire longer than a modern machinegun.

I would also venture to guess that many of the earlier machineguns would be able to fire using blackpowder, the Russian Maxims since Russian stuff is always crube but reliable, and the old Colt M1898 machinegun aka "the potato digger" since it was orignaly chambered for the 30-40 Krag a blackpowder round.

Of course finding such weapons and the ammo to fire them could pose a problem.
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:05 PM
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Default reloading question, and more.

What about reloading 40mm grenades? Obviously the spin-activated fuse is going to be a real pain to try to replicate, but buckshot, flechette, flare, chem (CS) and a crude HE-with-impact-fuse grenade might be accomplished, if Wojo hasn't blown up his factory again this week.
There is also another little curiosity called a 40mm beehive round, in which a steel cartridge-shaped block is machined for 10 to 18 .22 caliber rounds, all of which are triggered at once (not sure how that's managed, though).

On a completely different topic, I would love to see an old-fashioned Gatling gun of new manufacture chambered for 12 gauge shotgun shells, reloaded with Slug-and-ball, or buck-and ball for simplicity's sake. Take 6-12 heavy duty shotgun barrels, mount them in a cylinder with the breaches attached, machine the gearing, mount it on a tripod/small cart with an armored shield and extra ammo storage boxes. Not a whole lot of range, but lots of output. Imagine that beast opening up on a swarm of attackers assaulting your rubble-wall strongpoint, or fools trying to board the Wisla Krolova or the Constitution!
And for the zombie holocaust, just add an electric motor.... who needs an assault shotgun? BRRROOONNNNNNNNKKKKKKKK!

I wonder what loading it with bird shot rounds would do?

BTW, speaking of a gatling's sound, I once heard A-10s doing night firing runs with their 30mm Gatlings at Fort Indiantown Gap' firing range whiie I was there doing reenactor Military Police watch duty during a Battle of the Bulge reenactment. It sounded to my fertile imagination like dragons' love calls, kinda eerie coming out of night sky and echoing off the hills.
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