There's a lot of stuff going on in the world today... North Korea is threatening Guam and the United States, extremist groups on both sides are escalating everything, and the MSM seems content to fan the flames no matter what. My only advice for any of this is to treat people with respect, but keep your head on a swivel and a round in the chamber.
Quite the segue, no? Friend of mine said he might have some extra propane cylinders laying around and I could have one or a couple if there were as the previous tenant left some. Alas, the neighbors absconded with them... filthy thieving buggers! Anyhoo, I was intrigued with the possibility of adding to the 'couple' (wink wink) I already have and managed to find many cylinders for sale for cheap on LetGo as well as CraigsList. Daddy's done gone shoppin' agin...
This activity has always fascinated me so, using the sites noted above, I've begun sourcing a used shotgun reloader. I managed to find one on CraigsList for 12 ga. shells for $85 which beats the retail prices by a wide margin. Which leads me to another piece of advice... if you're gonna start a new hobby, do it on the cheap until you learn the in's and out's and whether or not you even enjoy it in the long run before you commit to it... so I guess it's kinda like dating.
Extra Food for Cheap
Same friend that thought he had the extra cylinders turned me on to a place out in the country that is literally called Dings N Dents Grocery. My car was getting a brake job so I sweet talked the wife into driving out of her bubble in the city to this little bastion of bargain prices. Strolling through this little shop got me to thinking... if you were spending money on long term preps, stores like these would be a good place to go for the daily/weekly essentials. If you are so inclined, I'd recommend you start looking for places like Dings N Dents, Dollar Tree, and Aldi for the essentials. You'd be surprised what you can find if you aren't attached to name brands.
The wife and I started watching a movie called The Circle tonight before she crashed (which is why I have time to write all of this randomness now). My first thought was that I see startling similarities to the cult like obedience I see in Apple employees. My second thought was that I've become Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec and I'd never survive in a place depicted in the movie The Circle. I swear, if you do manage to watch this movie, you'll start making plans to start a self-sufficient off-grid life... Big brother can kiss my ass.
Speaking of circles... I'd like to circle back to the Ammo Reloading section. Naturally, when one starts considering ammo reloading, one tends to do a little research and ask more than a few questions from people in the know. My brother, for example, doesn't have an auto progressive reloader. Instead, he had two single stage reloaders; one for 12 ga. and one for 20 ga. Now, he could just switch out the gauge part and use only one reloader, but given what I read on the Shotgun World forum, and the fact that he got them for free notwithstanding, it seems rather expensive to go either route. So my advice for this random topic is to start with the gauge/caliber that you shoot most and go from there.
In a nut shell, the smaller the number, the bigger the shot... here's a picture for us visual learners.
Which Shot or Caliber Should I Use?
Well, it really depends on what you're hunting. I prefer shotguns so I'll stick to that. Another image for the folks like me that like visuals instead of some schmuck droning on.
A choke in your shotgun can be beneficial depending on what you're doing and how good your aim is. As the image below explains...
I prefer to use a full choke for two reasons. 1.) I'm a pretty good shot, and 2.) I like a nice tight pattern for the longest amount of distance. Duck and geese don't always fly right over your blind ten to twenty yards off the deck! Ever try and hit a wood duck as it's zig zagging it's way through a cypress swamp? Without a full choke you're more likely to scar a tree or take off a tree limb from repeated misses than you are to put enough shot into the duck and bring it down. Also, bird dogs, especially young impetuous bird dogs, don't always wait for the handler to give the command to flush the pheasant, dove, or quail. Thus, the ability to accurately make the long range shot with a tight pattern is a necessity for a successful hunt.
Hmmm... I'm out of randomness. So, as Benjamin Buford Blue (aka Bubba in Forrest Gump) would say... that's about it.