I am a college graduate student (Secondary Education, Science) that
has recently realized the need for preparedness and stumbled across
your blog (which I enjoy).
I reload my own ammunition and have a significant supply of supplies,
but I have trouble finding lead from which to mold bullets. Right now
I can buy tire weights and make a pretty decent bullet from them using
my molds. Is lead more or less available to people after TSHTF and
what sources do you recommend?
Tire weights are a traditional favorite, pretty common here as well.
Softer lead will have better stopping power, will deform more on impact while harder lead will penetrate more. Some people are all about penetration, but in that caliber I’d prefer softer lead. Having said that, you really should load your gun with quality JHP self defense ammo.
Lead is plentiful and there’s lots of metal scrap places where to buy from.
A lot of people make a living that way precisely, scavenging the trash and selling anything they can, cardboard and paper mostly, but also junk iron, copper, brass and lead. Lead they mostly scavenge from old abandoned or demolished buildings, water and sewer lead pipes.
I fixed the bathroom recently and threw away a large chunk of lead. Brass is particularly sought after. Entire monuments have been stolen from parks for the metal content, and brass door knobs and handles from fancy houses and buildings got stolen too. It got so bad that you rarely see those any more. They don’t bother replacing them with brass anymore since it quickly gets stolen again.
So, tire weights and scrap lead, rest assure you’ll always find enough.
Also, I read the the difference of opinion on "stopping power" and
would like to affirm that a .44 special round will, in fact, drop
somebody. I got shot two years ago with the entrance in my abdomen
near my belly button with the exit about the same as the the top of
pants. It penetrated my pelvic bone (neat hole, not a break) and had
enough of a nervous system shock that I can't even remember getting
shot, but came to my senses with a few seconds missing and leaning up
against the wall. So, yes, I'm a pretty big guy (5'11", 215, in good
physical shape) and it stopped me cold.
Thank you for answering my question and for providing people like me
with your experiences and lessons learned so that we do not have to
learn them the hard way.
Sorry to hear that you got shot. Say, some experts say you only stop someone by shooting him in the brain or first 1/3 of the spine, anything else seems to just be a flesh wound according to them. Guess they are pretty tough guys and the rest of us mere mortals are much easier to stop.
Seriously now, in spite of popular bullshit that says only a shot to the brain or central nervous system will stop a man immediately, a shot in (or close enough in a caliber with enough stopping power) the peripheral nervous system can stop a person as well, no matter how high or exited he may be. A hip shot, or a shot in the shoulder for example, if it hits a nerve, can cause enough nervous shock to drop you, even require amputation. A shot in the kidneys will also put you down.
If you want to look for the odd ball, you’ll always find it. There’s people that got shot in the head with brain matter loss and still survived without losing consciousness, very capable of pulling a trigger and shooting back.
The human body is too complex for certainties and simplifications, all we have is generalities to follow: Bigger and faster projectiles are always better. Both temporal and permanent wound cavity matter, the temporal cavity having a closer relationship with immediate stopping power.
Shoot for the center of mass. Keep shooting until you stop the threat. Carry the most powerful caliber you can control with fast follow up shots, and don’t make it smaller than 380 ACP.
Practice as much as you can.
The rest isn’t in your hands.