Sunday, February 2, 2014


The other day I was lucky enough to get to reload the 243 shells I had fired over the last few years.

Most of these round were spent on controlling our groundhog population. Groundhogs may seem harmless to most people but their holes can really damage the haymaking equipment and have undermined the driveway and threaten the stability of the pond wall.

I mention this because when we first moved to the farm I had hoped to use the rifle mostly to hunt deer to provide meat for the family but I found that I spent most of the rounds killing groundhogs. These rounds, 100 grain full metal jacket, were not ideal for hunting small game. Providentially,we had to switched the bullet to a 85 grain hollow-point because they were really the only ones available. These will be much better for knocking down groundhogs. Actually, we did 20 100 grain solid rounds and 25  85 grain hollow point.

We are really lucky to have friends who have the reloading equipment set up and have a small stockpile of powder so I certainly saved some money thanks to their generosity. I was thinking about the sustainability of firearms. The only reusable part of the round is the casing. The used shell has to be cleaned, lubricated, ground down a little and a bevel added to prepare it to receive the slug or bullet. The old primer is removed and a new one added. Powder is weighed out and added to the casing (this is a delicate procedure). The slug is then pressed into the end.

So I am not sure if it would have a smaller carbon footprint than buying them factory made but it "felt good". That maybe a rather weak argument for doing something that took up most of my morning but I will definitely do it again.


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