IMPROVISED RELOADING - DOING IT THE HARD WAY
The book "American Guerilla In The Philippines," by Ira Wolfert (Simon & Shuster, 1945), is the story of one American naval officer who escaped the Bataan Death March, became a resistance leader while managing to survive behind enemy lines for 4 years. The resistance had virtually nothing. They found a few old Springfield rifles, but only 3,000 rounds of empty brass. To defend themselves against the vicious invaders they had no choice but to make their own ammunition as best they could.
For bullets, brass curtain rods were cut to length, filed down, driven through an old Springfield barrel to swage them to size, then filled with molten lead scrounged from old auto battery plates. This resulted in bullets that were not of uniform size or weight and did not have a point or ogive, and thus would not feed through the magazine.
For primers, they made a punch to knock out the fired primer. The anvil was picked out and saved. Then a drill rod was used to pound flat the firing pin indentation. Sulfur was then mixed with coconut shell carbon and some antimony powder, tamped into the primer, and the anvil replaced (NOT for the faint of heart!). The primer pocket crimp on the G. I. brass was cut out with a pocket knife, then the case was placed over the primer and a dowel placed in the case and rapped with a mallet until the primer was seated.
For powder, they took powder from unexploded Japanese sea mines, then added pulverized wood as a filler in a vain attempt to retard the burning rate. The powder was then poured through a funnel into the primed cases until "it looked like enough."
The bullets were crimped into the case mouths with a pair of pliers. Each round had to be tried in a rifle, and if it didn't fit then it was crimped again with pliers in various places until it fit. This process was so laborious that sixty soldiers worked full time on it and "never got better than an average of 160 bullets a day," and at best only 80% of the cartridges fired.
It worked to a degree, but that was pathetic reloading. It does vividly illustrate why reloading equipment is vital to survival in some adverse situations!