Piscataway, NJ • Even as bullet-makers put on extra shifts to pump out ammo around the clock, seven days a week, they still can’t keep up with the nation’s demand. Based on concerns that the current administration and Congress will pass antigun legislation, ammunition has been scarce for more than a year now. To overcome this shortage, many gun enthusiasts are beginning to reload using Kramer equipment to clean and polish used cartridges.
It’s not that people are going to the range more often than in years past. It seems that these enthusiasts are just stocking up on ammo, creating a shortage in bullets, especially for handguns.
According to the NRA, Americans usually buy about 7 billion rounds of ammunition a year. In the past year, that figure has jumped to about 9 billion rounds, creating a shortage unlike anything in recent history according to shooting ranges, gun dealers and bullet manufacturers.
With demand, prices have also risen. In fact, the cost of ready-made ammunition has shot through the roof over these last several years, which explains the growing popularity of recycling or reloading cartridges using Kramer vibratory tumbling equipment to clean and polish spent shells.
Since most bullet casings are made of brass, a malleable metal, it is soft enough to clean and polish without much effort, then resize for your chamber. The growing popularity of this process had made Kramer Industries a leading supplier of cleaning and polishing media and vibratory tumbling equipment used to recycle cartridge shells.
The process involves removing the dirt and gun powder marks from spent cartridges using a vibratory bowl machine and the right grit for the cartridge being polishing. The correct media and size of the grit depend on the type of firearm and caliber size.
In addition to the powder residue and dirt that must be removed from shells prior to reloading, cartridges left outdoors show significant oxidation and tarnishing. In which case, vibratory tumbling is done using Precision Ceramic Spheres as the medium, and a mild, organic acid cleaner for 20 minutes. Additional dry tumbling with Corn Cob Grit obtained from the hard woody ring of the cob and Walnut Shell Grit results in a finish bright enough to make a shell look ammofactory new.
There are incentives for cleaning, resizing and reloading beyond cost savings according to many firearm enthusiasts. Many like the idea of being able to customize their load when they recycle, increasing the amount of gunpowder for additional acceleration, or choosing heavier or lighter grain balls. And beyond making sport shooting more affordable, reloading has become a rewarding pastime for many, giving them an extra measure of satisfaction every time they go out to the range.