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Old 05-05-2024, 06:25 AM
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Tegyrius Tegyrius is offline
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Default Ammunition Quality Control

At a match yesterday, I witnessed a new-to-me failure. One of the competitors was shooting a Beretta 1301 Competition. On his fourth round of a five-round stage, the hull separated from the brass. The brass was ejected; the hull stayed in the chamber (and had actually worked its way forward into the barrel a little bit).

This was the shotgun version of complete case head separation, and was not the kind of thing that an immediate action drill would have resolved. On the range, it was a cleaning rod fix. In a fight, the options would have been to transition to secondary or transition to bludgeoning.

As I was discussing the incident elsenet, it occurred to me that in T2k, most small arms ammo is going to use casings that have been reloaded many times beyond their expected service life. Those forum members who reload more than I do can probably tell us what failure modes our characters are likely to see.

(Also, this suggests that unearthed quantities of factory-new ammo will be highly desirable by 2000 due to greater precision, component quality, and quality control in their production processes.)

- C.
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Author of The Pacific Northwest, coauthor of Tara Romaneasca, creator of several other free Twilight: 2000 and Twilight: 2013 resources, and curator of an intermittent gaming blog.

It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you're in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you're dealing with someone who can't.
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  #2  
Old 05-06-2024, 01:58 PM
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Raellus Raellus is offline
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Default Worth Their Weight in Gold?

The one time I fired reloads, the Glock 19 jammed multiple times. Apparently, there wasn't enough powder in the cartridges to cycle the action and fully eject the spent brass. That must have been why the range was selling reloads cheaper than new factory-made rounds. It was a disconcerting and frustrating experience but, thankfully, it happened on the range and not the battlefield. I haven't had a single jam with new ammo (knock on wood).

IIRC, spent brass has been used as currency in at least one T2k campaign I've participated in. 4e has bullets being used as commodity money.

In Mad Max: Fury Road, a community called the "Bullet Farm" is mentioned. You can guess its primary export. It's implied that the Bullet Farm trades bullets to other communities for water and/or gasoline. The trailers for the upcoming Furiosa prequel movie hint at a more featured role for the Bullet Farm. I'm interested to see if/how the idea is developed.
Back to real life...

In the Vietnam War, the USA expended 10,000 rounds for every VC/NVA killed. At that ration, surely all ammunition made before the TDM (including pre-war stockpiles) would be nearly spent by mid-2000. If armies want to keep fighting one another with firearms after the TDM, ammunition manufacturing will have to continue. It stands to reason that most of that post-TDM production would use spent brass.

Can someone confirm that plastic shotgun shells can't be reloaded (or shouldn't be, rather)? Also, I seem to remember reading that steel cartridge cases are more difficult (if not impossible) to reload and reuse safely. Is that true?

-
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Author of Twilight 2000 adventure modules, Rook's Gambit and The Poisoned Chalice, the campaign sourcebook, Korean Peninsula, the gear-book, Baltic Boats, and the co-author of Tara Romaneasca, a campaign sourcebook for Romania, all available for purchase on DriveThruRPG:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 05-06-2024 at 08:01 PM.
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  #3  
Old 05-06-2024, 07:05 PM
Homer Homer is offline
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Iím going to give an answer of ďit dependsĒ on reloading plastic hulls and steel cases.

High quality hulls like Remington and Winchester with brass bases that can be resized can be reloaded- my local clays league does it. I think five times or so is the general rule of thumb or sooner if the plastic goes. Where you run into trouble is with steel or other non brass based (usually silver) cartridges. They either tend not to be resizable or the plastic may have split since they tend to be cheaper material. High brass rounds are reloadable, but they may not work well with certain brands of dies. All brass, which is rare in practical use outside of odd calibers or cowboy action shooting, is probably one of the easiest shells to reload. As far as I know thereís no really practical way to make a new plastic lining at home, although people do it with paper (BTW plastic killed all brass and paper for most everyday applications). FWIW I know a guy who made a homemade hand load using a saboted muzzleloader bullet in a homemade crimped paper hull sealed into a high brass base just to see if he could do it.

Steel ammo cases are iffy. Most reloaded I know (including me) donít do it, mainly because steel can be hard on resizing dies, trimmers, etc. Also, steel seems to have wider range in quality than brass. Most brass is good for at least one reload, but Iíve seen some steel that has bulged, split or otherwise become suspect on one firing. Not to mention steel rusts, requiring lacquers for weatherproofing. That said, boxer primed steel case ammo can be reloaded with what a loading shop would normally have on hand, with some added wear on equipment. But, a lot of whatís out there from eastern bloc or former eastern bloc sources is berdan primed, which is much harder to reload, with special primer removal tools required and damage to the case head often ruining the reload value of the cartridge (I donít know anybody who reloads berdan). The offset is that berdan primed ammo is normally cheap (Wolf brand).

So, everything you ever wanted to know about reloading!

Apparently the Yugoslavs were making boxer primed brass cased pact type ammo in the 80s and (part of) the 90s. These will have some value in T2K for ease of reload.

Another option is to adjust the rate if exchange for pact ammo (which was mostly steel cased and berdan primed) to reflect the lower reloadability. Instead of 10 cases for 1 reload it may be 20 or even 50 to 1.
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Old 05-06-2024, 08:29 PM
castlebravo92 castlebravo92 is offline
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You can reload shotgun hulls. Eventually the plastic will fail, but those can be replaced with cardboard.

You can reload steel case ammo, but I think it splits sooner than brass.

Brass work hardens (literally, gets harder the more it's worked) when fired, and so you can anneal it to get more life out of it, but brass also lengthens with each firing (which is why you'll typically have to trim cases you are reloading to get them back to proper length), so you're losing brass with each firing, and eventually the case walls will get too thin and you'll get a rupture.

Manufacturing brass isn't THAT challenging for a decent machinist. Modern brass is basically progressively punched from brass discs using a hydraulic press. Primer cups are probably (IANAM) more difficult to manufacture than the brass itself. The bigger problem (IMHO) would be an industrial scale source for smokeless powder and reliable primer compound given that you basically need a chemicals manufacturing industry that was pretty much located next to all the oil refineries, and unlike new brass manufacturing which could be supported by any decent city, you can't just stand up a nitric acid and ammonia to explosives industry with some grad student chemists. You kind of need the nitrate sources.
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Old 05-07-2024, 04:57 AM
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Tegyrius Tegyrius is offline
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The relative difficulty of reloading steel-cased ammo makes me wonder if Western weapons and calibers might actually be desirable among the Pact forces who are operating farther to the west.

I also wonder if shotgun reloading would be relatively rare due to the combination of low military utility and high per-round materials consumption.

Opinions, guys?

- C.
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Clayton A. Oliver ē Occasional RPG Freelancer Since 1996

Author of The Pacific Northwest, coauthor of Tara Romaneasca, creator of several other free Twilight: 2000 and Twilight: 2013 resources, and curator of an intermittent gaming blog.

It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you're in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you're dealing with someone who can't.
- Josh Olson
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Old 05-07-2024, 08:24 PM
castlebravo92 castlebravo92 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tegyrius View Post
The relative difficulty of reloading steel-cased ammo makes me wonder if Western weapons and calibers might actually be desirable among the Pact forces who are operating farther to the west.

I also wonder if shotgun reloading would be relatively rare due to the combination of low military utility and high per-round materials consumption.

Opinions, guys?

- C.
Well, shotgun shells don't use a whole lot of powder (12 gauge is roughly the same as a round of 5.56mm in terms of power if fast power is used in the shotgun shell). Typically they will use a lot of lead, but then one can substitute almost anything for lead in a pinch for birdshot, at least, with varying effectiveness.

re: brass vs steel, soft steel would be just as easy to manufacture new as brass would, with the bonus that steel is a lot more common as a scavenged material. I don't really see a huge advantage there for the WP nations converting over to NATO calibers. IIRC (too lazy to re re-research it again), brass glides better and won't fuse to the chamber like uncoated steel will though, which is one of the reasons why the Russians lacquer coat their steel ammo, so that is an additional supply chain complexity.

I think a few WP countries manufactured brass ammo for 7.62x39mm as well in more limited quantities.
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Old 05-07-2024, 09:30 PM
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Raellus Raellus is offline
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For damaged brass (e.g. dented, torn) or cartridges that have already been used 2-3 times and are too worn for reloading, how viable would it be to melt them down and then use the recycled brass to stamp (or whatever the correct machining term is) "new" cartridge cases? Obviously, it would be considerably more labor and resource-intensive, and take longer, but would it be possible in the Twilight World?

-
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Author of Twilight 2000 adventure modules, Rook's Gambit and The Poisoned Chalice, the campaign sourcebook, Korean Peninsula, the gear-book, Baltic Boats, and the co-author of Tara Romaneasca, a campaign sourcebook for Romania, all available for purchase on DriveThruRPG:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 05-09-2024 at 11:57 AM.
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