Okay, yes I CAN work with tools, but so can anybody these days what with laser guides on saws, cheap precision calipers and micrometers, and microprocessor based CNC tools. All that stuff is high tech though - I often feel the need to go low tech and doubly so these days now that I'm shooting obsolete black powder cartridge rifles.
One thing I always tell my customers is that 'ya get what ya pay for!'. Usually I tell them that when they've blown up some chinkish POS they bought at a fraction of the price of my tools - and they need one of mine on the job site NOW, or better yet - yesterday! And I, being magnanimous and of pure heart as true and white as the driven snow - I will bail them out with my high end stuff - at an appropriate and entirely reasonable premium! HAR HAR HAR!!!! I have customers that have bought my stuff just to shut me up and make me go away!!! :)
Sometimes though, you CAN cheap out. I heartily recommend Lee reloading tools to the new guys starting out. It's damned tough for young men to splurge on top notch tools when they have to pay for diapers, baby food and a mortgage; the guys at Lee make no-frills tools that generally work - I used them for years. I nearly cried real tears when my trusty Lee press crapped out after 25 years - when we were kids being paid in peanuts, that press cost me a lot of peanuts! But I used it for years and literally cooked tens of thousands of rounds up on it.
When I started dabbling in bullet casting I bought cheap Lee moulds.
They're made from aluminum (That's "AL-LOO-MIN-UM for you damned British kippers... NOT "AL-YOO-MIN-IUM" as some of you Limey bastids pronounce it).
All my muzzle loading projectiles are cast from these moulds and they're alright - but the last one I bought for the Retirement Rifle was a piece of chit! It broke after a week and I got so damned mad I pitched it in the garbage! I was shocked to be let down by Lee like that! Maybe I just got a lemon or something. I shouldn't bitch though, I only paid $25.00 or $30.00 or something like that.
So, I needed a replacement and got in touch with Buffalo Arms down in the States. I ordered up a big whopping mould that drops big ol' torpedo round nose bullets at 500 grains, this time the mould and handles are furnished by SAECO.
WOW. This is a SERIOUS bullet mould. Filthie, ya dumbass: ya get what
what ya pay for!!!
Right outta the box I could see the difference in quality. These are precision tools. $170.00 - I dunno if that is US or Canukistani... I'll have to check. In any event, I am just pleased as punch!
When I started casting originally I was pretty proud of myself when I started making cheap, accurate boolits for my black powder muzzle loaders and I bragged about it all over Claude's black powder forum on the internet. Most of 'em over there are old geezers
Can you imagine that? Kids playing with molten lead? It's unthinkable today. But, once ya DO think about it...it shouldn't be a problem. The only thing ya gotta watch is the presence of water around molten lead. If water comes in contact with molten lead it explodes - and the black powder geeks call that 'getting a visit from the Tinsel Fairy'! HAR HAR HAR!!!! For us stupid old buggers, third degree burns are the height of humour! Who woulda thunk it! HAR HAR HAR!
In any event, I still need some tools. I gotta slug my rifle and establish it's exact bore dimensions and then get a bullet resizer/lubricator. For some reason those damned things are like hen's teeth up here in Canada - but once I have that, I'll be paper patching my bullets like Quigley down under! (Unlike Quigley, I will probably be missing by a mile though. You guys in the USA will probably be alright but BW and people in Calgary might want to find a fox hole and dig in! Watch out for stray bullets, HAR HAR HAR!)
We'll see how I do at the range and I'll keep you posted!