End of The World Gun

I’ve got two, a Ruger Security-Six and a Rossi Winchester 92 clone in carbine form, both in Skeeter Skelton’s TEOTWAWKI cartridge, the .357 Magnum. I picked up the Rossi the other week instead of an AR because there was nothing else to buy because I have wanted one for a long time, dammit.

I wonder if somebody makes Pearlite stocks for leverguns? They should match, after all.

Skeeter argued that both gun and ammo would need to be small and easily transported (preferably by horseback) since he would want to “weather the storm” in the mountains, it would need to be easily reloaded using tong tools (no loading benches in the rimrock), it would have to shoot bullets cast over a campfire, it had to be powerful enough for both self-defense and hunting, but frugal enough that a valuable stash of components would outlast the hostilities.  His conclusion was logical, the .357 Magnum.

The kit that would go along on such a trip included ingots of bullet metal, a brick of primers, a pound or two of powder, an

appropriate tong-tool, gas-checks, spare brass, a small cast-iron lead pot and ladle, a pair of mould handles and one bullet mould –  the 358156 HP (he argued that standard SWCs could be cast by using a shortened spud, or by dropping BB’s into the cavity).  All this was packaged in a small Army surplus canvas backpack that was easily grabbed on a moments notice.  One of the most knowledgeable handgunners of the smokeless era had chosen these two bullets (the 358156 SWC and HP) to feed and defend himself and his family for “the duration”…

Now to look for a tong tool….
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3 Responses to End of The World Gun

  1. AM says:

    Tong tools are so two centuries ago and collectors items now. Get the Lee Hand press. It does the same thing, but is available now for cheap.

  2. NotClauswitz says:

    What’s that grip insert that keeps you from rapping the knuckle – the Tyler T-grip? :-)

  3. Rivrdog says:

    Skeeter is mostly legend, little science. I load for both .357 and .44 magnum for lever rifles, and have found problems with “Skeeter loads”.

    First is safety: all his hot loads are at SAAMI limits, and are risky in the revolver part of the two-gun combo, not to mention inaccurate.

    Second, Skelton apparently loaded for HIS particular firearms, and some of his loads don’t cross over to slightly different guns. An example is his load of a .44 LSWC pushed by 24.5 grains of 2400. I made up a bunch of these and went to the range. The rounds shot 20″ high and left of POA at 50 yards (I couldn’t get them on paper @ 100) and keyholed badly. I recovered two bullets from the berm, and noted smeared riflling marks. The bullets failing to follow the rifling was confirmed by lots of lead in the barrel. I searched for answers, and have concluded that “Skeeter loads” should only be used with Skeeter guns.

    Skelton had load development exactly backwards. The correct way to do it is to find the best accuracy load, and add more powder until that load is as hot as acceptable accuracy would have it. Building on Skeeter’s data didn’t work for me.

    For any rifle in any caliber, there are limits of speed and bullet weight, even staying within SAAMI. Skelton tried to maximize both, but your mileage WILL vary from his.

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