Showing posts with label 12 gauge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 12 gauge. Show all posts

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Project 870P Soliciting Input

I got a little bit of money so it's time to dust off the 870P and finally finish this project. Leaning heavily on TEOTWAWKI Blog's Project 590A1 here is what I am looking at:
Paint- DIY flat black. The finish on this gun is terrible so I'm going to rattle can it flat black. Honestly I don't care what it looks like but need a reasonably (more than exposed metal) corrosion resistant finish to be able to use the gun. Will keep the wood, well wood colored for aesthetic as well as social/ legal reasons. I want the gun to look as much like the same pump shotgun every Louisiana resident seems to own 5 of if I have to go to court.
Sling- Single point as of right now till I get a better plan though I may just stick with it. For a house gun honestly a sling isn't THAT important other than that I want one.
Light Mount- Elzetta ZMS
Light- Either a Streamlight or a Surefire G2. A good basic pretty bright light
Ammo carrying (on gun)
Sidesaddle- Essetac shotgun cards.
Buttstock- shot shell carrier generic type
Total this will be something like 21 rounds on the gun.
Ammo carrying (off gun)
2 more essetac cards in my Costa Leg Rig along with 2 pistol reloads and a hand held light. This will probably go on a duty belt with a holster, an IFAK and some zip ties to become the "bump in the night belt".
This will bring the round count to 35 shotgun shells and 3x pistol mags. Plenty for an HD setup in my mind.

A bag with about 35 rounds of loose OOB and 3x 5 rd boxes of slugs. I would like to replace this with a claymore bag (they have 2 pouches and would be perfect for this. If anybody has one to spare I'd love to trade something for it. I would grab this if I was going outside which admittedly is a point where I would think hard about switching back to my AR but who knows, this would be a nice hurricane setup. My shotgun has ghost ring sights so after I confirm zero for slugs it could reach as far as I can see myself shooting anyway.

To the ammo discussion. There are lots of options but as I've discussed before keep the birdshot for little birds.  I favor #4 BUCK because it gives a whole lot of sufficiently sized projectiles. More holes= more blood loss and more chances to hit the vital die right now body parts. If carrying this gun in the wild I tend to throw in some #4 or #6 shot just in case I need to do a Wilderness Walk Out.

Anyway before I pull the trigger I wanted to get your input. Maybe I'm missing something.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Birdshot For Self Defense?

An interesting video on the use of 12 gauge birdshot for self defense. This video makes a pretty compelling argument that birdshot is adequate for close quarters type self defense. A several inch deep hole the size of a fist is nothing to sneer at. If you are only worried about close distances and penetration is a real concern this might be something to think about.

We could probably call 00 buck the standard in terms of defensive shotgun loads it's 9x .33 caliber pellets is definitely not something to sneer at. Personally I like #4 Buck Shot it typically has 27x .24 caliber pellets. I like #4 buck for two reasons. First it has a lot of pellets that are IMO still amply sufficient. More pellets means more wound channels. The reason I like this is that it increases the chances a pellet or pellets will hit something very important (vital organ or essential bone) stopping the threat as quickly as possible. Sure 00B's shot is larger with more penetration but there are fewer chances a pellet will hit that artery or bone and stop somebody. Personally I think any sort of 2 3/4 inch BUCK SHOT is a fine choice for self defense. Slugs work too if that is your thing. Right now the bag of shotgun shells by my gun are 00 buck, not the preferred #4 buck, just because when I was digging for shotgun ammo that was the first sort of buckshot I found.

I can not in good conscience endorse loading defensive shotguns with bird shot. The reason is twofold. A lot of really smart people tend to agree bird shot does not penetrate enough to be a good choice for a defensive load. Second and more significantly my concern is that we are turning a 35-40 meter gun into maybe a 10 meter gun. That it's your home defense shotgun which theoretically will not leave home is a fine idea. However when you get into a fight things happen. Both the enemy and Murphy have a role in deciding how fights go. All of a sudden you could be behind a tree shooting at some meth head with an SKS behind a big rock 30 meters away with a shotgun loaded with birdshot. Granted one doesn't want to fight anybody carrying a rifle using a shotgun but that same gun loaded with buck (maybe with some slugs onboard) can fight at that distance.

Anyway those are my thoughts on that.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Crazy Days- Walther .380's, Benchmade Auto Knives, Shotgun Ammo and Trading

So I owned a Walther .380 for about a week. You might have guessed at that earlier. I had given up on finding the gun I was looking for and the classic small carry auto seemed like a good alternative. One came up and I snagged it. The .380 was a great gun. It was easy to carry and shot like a dream, certainly the most accurate gun of it's small thin size I have shot. Anyway the day after getting it a trade popped up out of nowhere for a slightly wider but otherwise similar sized gun that suited my logistical trail much better. The .380 was screwing up my logistics, had just became redundant and needed to go. Also I sort of spent money on it I probably shouldn't have (not like spending the rent, more like project AR money). Started floating it out there then ended up swapping the .380 off today.

In trade I got $200 cash, a Benchmade 5000 Auto Presidio with the black  partial serrated blade (like a used car with 500 miles it had a a few small scruffs/ scratches but otherwise like new), 100 rounds of 12 gauge buckshot, 100 12 gauge slugs, a Magpul CTR stock and 20 5.56 tracers. We also swapped my remaining .380 ammo for 35 rounds of 00B and 200 rounds of #7 shot.

The cash will let me pick up the rail I need to finally complete project AR. The knife is something I have wanted for a long time but have never been willing to pay for. Honestly I just haven't been able to justify it despite trying to do so and really wanting one. Nothing wrong with a Kershaw Blur or a Benchmade Griptillian. No real NEED to spend more on a knife than that which is why I didn't. Anyway a good deal popped up so I took it. Really it is what sealed the deal on this trade. As to shotgun ammo I was semi in the market for it, half because we can use more and half because it's the ammo that is currently available at prices that are reasonable for stocking up. The stock I didn't need, it might end up on my rifle but worst case a nice back up stock isn't a bad thing.

So anyway I spent a good chunk of the day figuring out the deal then after work went and made it happen. Between a cool new knife, a few bucks in my pocket and some more ammo I am pretty happy with the deal. Also the renewed simplicity of my logistical trail is nice.

Monday, June 3, 2013

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I had a good unplanned power outage test. Fun stuff. Coming out of that I topped off our battery stash. That sort of reinvigorated my World Band Radio hobby.

Also Walmart had 12 gauge #6 shot so I grabbed 3x 25rd boxes of it. Recently re read One Second After. There was a brief discussion between a couple characters about ammunition availability awhile after the event (a couple months I think). What folks were running short on was .22lr and small game shotgun shells. The bigger stuff was generally being held onto for rather obvious reasons. Anyway that small game type ammo was being used the most made sense to me. For whatever reason that has sort of stuck in my head over time.

We are doing OK on .22lr. Sure when it's back to $17-20/500 I will buy another 10 bricks but the situation is not desperate situation. In terms of total guns out there to availability I think a significant minority of folks have 50-100 rounds of .22lr and the majority probably have under 1k. Purchasing at normal prices .22lr represents an almost perfect (aside from that it could be used to hurt somebody) trade stock. Allocating some for trade/ charity to friends and family is probably a good idea.

Now in terms of small game shotgun ammo I'm not doing so well. Would like to stash about 500 rds of #7/8 shot and 500 or #4-6 over time. Right now small game type shotgun ammo is pretty available at normal prices so I am working on it.

This article on Wants vs Needs via Modern Survival Online is worth reading and considering. We have all been guilty of getting stuff we WANT instead of stuff we NEED a time or two. I am no exception. Heck I should have read that article late last week.

Speaking of which there have been some interesting developments in our pistol battery. Sort of trying to do a thing or two so I'm going to wait till the dust settles before talking more. A person who pays attention to guns I have been looking for and recent questions I've asked could probably make some good guesses there. Interestingly my handgun buying/ trading in the last several months has been entirely focused on concealed carry sized pistols. Sure I would LIKE 5 Glock 17's put away just in case but getting the right pistol to carry around is probably more important. Anyway I've gotten way off track and this has turned into a sort of rambling discussion.

Coming up this week I am going to keep fiddling with the world band radio. Will do some more bug out food testing also. May talk about holsters as I stumbled into a batch of em. Who knows what else will happen.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Project 870 V2 Police Magnum!!!

For awhile I have been on the fence about this project. Part of me knew that it might just make sense to get a purpose build defensive shotgun. Once I figured in the cost of a tube extension and such economically it would be about even. So I've been sort of watching for the right gun. Around here the trend in shotguns is to bolt on a bunch of stupid cheap accessories then believe your shotgun is now worth $700. Anyway I said something might happen on this project today and it did.

Enter Project 870 V2 Remington Police Magnum
Dog had to get in on the action. As you can see this gun has Ghost Ring sights and an M4 style adjustable stock. The sights are from Iron Sights Gun Works.
The stock and forend are Blackhawk SPEC Ops. The stock is adjustable in the M4 style I hate (except on M4's) but that's what it came with. I'm either going to swap the furniture for standard furniture (or the Hogue equivalent) or buy standard furniture and put this stuff away as a backup set.

The finish on this gun is not great. It was probably a police cruiser gun at some point. The guy wasn't entirely honest about that but it gave me a point to negotiate some cash off the price so that was OK. I was on the fence about going all Hoss USMC and painting it anyway so the finish doesn't really matter, just makes that decision easier. However again along the police cruiser gun theme it doesn't seem to have been fired much and the inner workings are very nice, dusty but nice.

Was able to get it out to the range for a little bit today.  The gun is noticeably heavier than a standard 870. These things are built like beasts, which is why I wanted one. It holds 6+1 which is nice. It shoots well though I might need to adjust the sights a little bit. The pistol grip gave a good angle to support the gun but put my hand in the wrong place for the controls. Overall the stock was OK I guess but it's just not for me. Got to handle an 870 with the Magpul furniture and that was really nice. It looks weird but the angles give you a lot of control and the cheek to stock is just right. Darn expensive though so it will be awhile, if ever, before I get one.

The needs for a tube extension and sights are covered as the gun already has them. Aside from replacing the furniture it needs a sling, a light and a way to hold ammo. A sling is easy, spare ammo is easy (velcro and cards), a light is simple but expensive (and I have some decision making to do there).

So that is where Project 870 stands today. The gun that was Project 870 (V1) will be sold to pay for this purchase. I borrowed money from another gun fund to make this happen so the proceeds of the planned sale will replace that cash.

 Now I'm going to see how this dirty girl cleans up.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday Odds N Ends

Got a post on the Malay Emergency in the pipe but am too scatter brained to write it today. It's my Friday so that is good.

Saw this lovely piece on the Drudge today.

911 Dispatcher Tells Woman About To Be Sexually Assaulted There Are No Cops To Help Her Due To Budget Cuts

 Thoughts in no particular order. 

- I don't know where this gal lived but Josephine County is pretty rural. If a cop needs 30 minutes to get there all they can do is take a report and maybe clean up the mess. Rural people are pretty much on their own anyway.

-I would be interested in  having a conversation about what a Sheriff's role is with the Josephine County Sheriff. Personally as a Sheriff I would answer the important calls myself if nobody else was available.

 - Budget cuts at the state, county and city level are a reality. That means fewer cops in many places. I have issues with a few things some cops do but generally they are good people doing their best and are certainly a force for order in our society. You had better accept that you are becoming more and more on your own. Get ready for it.

  -AMERC wrote about the 5 principles of patrolling today. Good stuff. Sort of like Priorities of Work the 5 P's of Patrolling are solid guidelines to stay within.

  -Project 870 might be taking a significant jump both to the side and forward tomorrow. At the risk of counting my chickens before they are hatched I will keep the details to myself till it's done.

 Well I'm going to put some work into our bags. Have a good night,



Thursday, May 2, 2013

Project 870 Paralysis

Alexander Wolfe and Tam's shotguns are coming along nicely. My project is stalled. A week ago I would have said it was pending funds. However upon reflection I just haven't been quite sure where exactly it was going.

At this point instead of turning my shotgun into what I want the idea of simply purchasing a slightly more purpose built gun has come up. For the cost of buying an extension plus what I could probably sell my gun for one with a factory extension could be purchased. Once I $25 in a couple doo dads plus pay for shipping everything this option would probably SAVE me a few bucks. Given the randomness of used gun availability this option may or may not pan out. I'll give it a couple weeks to see what happens.

For lights I'm going to go with the surefire forend. Probably the most expensive way to skin that cat but I think its the best.

Anyway that is the status of Project 870.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Basic Guns Part 3: Shotguns

So far we have talked some basics of the series and in Part 2 picked up a good used .38/ .357 revolver. Now we are looking to get a shotgun as our second gun. There is certainly some debate between different folks about which gun should come second (or first for that matter).

Here is my thinking with a shotgun. The reason I would lean towards a shotgun is twofold. They are affordable and versatile. Shotguns cost less than rifles, especially modern magazine fed type rifles. A pump shotgun in hand is a lot more useful than an envelope with $300 saving towards some rifle. Also shotguns are versatile and when you do not have a lot of guns that is important. So there is my thinking for putting it #2, moving on.

To recap the goal here is to get a basic gun that fits a tight budget but is still a good solid weapon to bet your life on. The distinction between this and the cheapest guns out there is significant.

I strongly recommend purchasing a pump shotgun. They hold several (5-8) shells are affordable, rugged and fairly modular.  With the same gun you can defend the home, hunt little birds, various pot sized stuff and big game then do all manner of recreational shooting. They might not be perfect for any of these tasks (except the birds) but can do them all decently. Shotguns are sort of like any other jack of all trades in that regard.

There are two pump shotguns I recommend; the Remington 870 Express and Mossberg 500. I've compared them recently and both are good guns. For our purposes here the Mossberg tending to be $50-75 cheaper than the Remington would be an advantage.

In Southern Arizona today you can regularly find a good used Mossberg 500 for about $300. Used guns tend to be expensive here since most of them are probably bought by straw buyers and shipped to Mexican cartels so a bit less is probably reasonable in other places. Remington 870's can be found at the same type of prices but either they are in a bit rougher condition or you would have to wait awhile to find a deal.

For barrel length you want 18.5-20 inches for defense and whatnot. If you hunted you would already have a long barreled shotgun. Follow the local used gun stuff places and eventually you can find a long barrel (or potentially a whole nother gun) at a good price. A shotgun with short and long barrels can do a whole lot of things. If I had to have 1 barrel it would be a 21" barrel that took chokes but that's a rare or custom job. Between an 18.5-20" or a 28" hunting barrel it would be a short barrel for sure. 

I recommend purchasing a 12 gauge with a 3" chamber. That way you can shoot almost every 12 gauge round out there. There are 3.5 in shells but aren't many in circulation and the guns that shoot them are a lot less common. Twenty gauge is an option but the shells are a bit less common. They recoil less which is an advantage for some. Honestly being a healthy averageish sized man with some weight behind me and muscle to pad my shoulder joint this isn't a concern. It is my opinion that this is a training issue and there are many small people who shoot 12 gauge shotguns. Personally I would suggest folks in that situation buy a youth sized gun, fit it with a serious recoil pad and shoot low recoil shells out of a 12 gauge instead of getting a 20. However a 20 is still a fine option.

There are other cheaper models of shotguns out there. I have not used and can not possibly discuss all of them. While I will not say they are all worthless junk I certainly will not recommend them. The only exception is the Maverick 88 which is the Mossberg budget brand. They are almost identical to the Mossberg, the difference is fit, finish and furniture, and as far as I know parts are compatible. For goodness sake you can get a Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 for a very good price.

It is worth touching on other configurations of shotguns. There are no well reputed consistently reliable semi automatic shotguns in our price range so that's not worth discussing. Single and double barrel shotguns are worth discussing. Bottom line in the do a lot of things including defense role they are not so good. For hunting and survival they are fine. In particular they offer a real value and can take cartridge adapters which is  pretty handy. I'll own one in the next year but for defense they fall woefully short. Do you really want 1 or 2 shots instead of several? The answer is hell no. Specifically to double barrels. Typically a double barrel worth owning can be sold for enough to get a decent pump gun which is probably a good idea unless it is a family heirloom. That leaves us with low end (but still functional) double barrel's and single barrels. My thoughts are twofold. If you ALREADY OWN one of these guns then it might be worth keeping. It can be your shotgun for awhile and down the road get a vastly superior pump gun and keep the older gun as a backup. If you do not own one then save another hundred bucks or so and get a good pump gun. You will not be disappointed.

For a little bit more money. This came up in the last post. If a person wanted to spend a bit more money I would recommend an older Remington 870 Wingmaster. They are blued which is a better finish than the Express and have a better fit and finish. The Wingmaster is the gun which made the Remington 870's reputation. If you are patient and toss in a couple more twenties it is a very nice gun.

Beyond just the gun. My basic shotgun setup would be:
Remington 870/ Mossberg 500
Buttstock shotshell carrier
Something to hold more ammo. I use an old SAW pouch.
750 rounds of ammunition:
250 rounds of buckshot. Folks like different sizes, I favor #4 buck but 00 buck is fine too. Honestly it doesn't matter. If it says 'buck' it is good to go.
100 slugs
400 rounds of mixed game loads 5, 6 and 7/8 shot.

Well those are my thoughts on that. Hope it gives you something to think about. As always input is welcome.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Solar Cooking, Remington 870 vs Mossberg 500 and Other Stuff

Getting used to cooking on the Sun Oven is definitely a priority of mine. The weather here is very cooperative and not a lot was going on earlier today so I gave it another go. Cooked up some pinto beans with the usual spices and a bit of bacon. Used canned beans and normal bacon but you could easily do the same thing with canned dried pinto beans and canned bacon. Got the Sun Oven set up and it started heating up like crazy. In a couple minutes it was over 200 and in 20 minutes or so it was over 300. In 2 hours I figured the beans were probably done. They turned out really good.

The sun oven cooks sort of like a combination of a normal oven and a crock pot. The time is a bit closer to an oven because the temp is higher bit it retains moisture like a crock pot. The combination is pretty awesome actually. Getting it positioned so the sun is hitting as much of the inside as possible and slightly ahead of the sun (so it's going to be in the sun for awhile) takes a little bit of practice. Checking it every 30 minutes or so and adjusting about every other time seems to do the trick. I have heard of folks setting up an oven aimed to catch the mid day- afternoon heat then leaving for work to come home to a hot dinner. That seems like a pretty cool thing to be able to do. I am going to work on doing that  over the coming weeks. Cooking for free and building skills is pretty cool.

As we have been asking shotgun related questions and specifically talking Project 870 the other logical option the Mossberg 500 series has come up. Folks have mentioned them and it's time to discuss the Mossberg as well as some compare and contrast between the two. (Note I'm not going to talk the Mossberg 590 separately. They are really more of a nicer M500 variant than a new gun IMO. A fine gun but if we talked every variant of both guns this would be a 10k word post.)

Bottom line up front: Both are good guns so get whichever you prefer.

Remington 870 Positives:
-Probably the most common pump shotgun in circulation. Basically the same gun has been made since the 1950's. 
-Pretty much the standard shotgun for police and firearms professionals. This might be a marketing/ sales success thing, I don't know. In any case when the vast majority of serious users choose one option it is  worth paying attention to.
-Very adaptable with all manner of parts options including those by duty grade type makers.
-Excellent fit and smooth action.

Remington 870 Downsides:
Controls in less than ideal locations.
On the basic Express Model some issues can come up with the finish. (I will talk 870 variants another time)

Mossberg 500 Positves:
-Excellent controls with the safety and pump release (probablyy not the right technical term) in the right locations.
-Excellent value. Typically a Mossberg 500 will be $50-75 cheaper than a comparably set up Remington 870.

Mossberg 500 Downsides:
-Rougher fitting of parts.
-Limited availability of duty grade type accessories. Lots of folks make junk that can be bolted onto the Mossberg 500. Good stuff is harder to get than for an 870.

Conclusion: It is worth mentioning I did not discuss reliability or durability intentionally. That is because both of these guns are about as reliable and bomb proof as a gun can get. The damn things just last forever and don't break. They both have positives and negatives so folks have to think about what matters the most to them. Right now we only own the 870 series but that is more about parts/ accessories commonality than anything else. If a good deal on a Mossberg 500 came up I would snap it up. Hopefully this gives you some insight into how I look at these two shotguns. At the end of the day I believe either gun will serve you well.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Project 870 and Various Shotgun Stuff

 The start. A basic plane Jane Remington 870 Express. It came with the long barrel. Got the gun for a solid deal in a Pawn Shop. It's mechanically excellent but has some finish issues. The 18.5 inch barrel was purchased later to make it into a more viable defensive weapon. A shotgun with long and short barrels is really versatile. The downside is spare barrels start about $120ish. Remember that if you consider getting a shotgun with the wrong barrel for your goals. The end result is a lot of versatility but the cost is pretty high. Folks are probably better off just getting the right barrel length for their purposes.
 My camera is not good enough to catch it but the finish has some rust damage (though thankfully no pitting). I cleaned it up but the damn thing just seems to attract rust. I'm not sure exactly what my plan there is. Probably going to clean it up well and either get it refinished (which I do not like because it costs money) or just rattle can the thing. Input is welcome here.
 The long barrel also needs some love. I get these cleaned up then leave them well oiled but they still get nasty. It will get whatever the gun gets.

 In our previous talk on shotguns the issue of carrying ammo came up. The thinking of keeping ammo physically on the gun is that at 3am if you grab the gun it has a reload or two on there. As most folks would be nekid or in their PJ's the options for ammo are on the gun or secreted in some body cavity. You might not have the presence of mind or time to put on body armor or whatever. If you have the gun you have ammo.

An easy and cheap way to do this is a buttstock shotshell holder. Pictured are two of them. The upper one is a pretty heavy duty model made by Tactical Tailor. The lower one is a neoprene one I got as a gift. Both work fine. Some folks use sidesaddle's that hold rounds on the receiver. I do not like the big plastic ones for a lot of reasons. The new method some folks are using of putting velcro on the gun and using those HSGI shot shell panels has a lot of potential. I will probably give it a try down the road.
There are many ways to carry shotgun shells. In addition to what you have on the gun one might want more ammo. If you keep a shotgun as a trunk gun or use it as a go weapon this is important. I do not like bandoleers but they are a decent option I guess. I HATE the sling bandoleers. Who wants 10 pounds of shotgun shells flailing around all over the place attached to your gun?

My method of carrying shotgun shells is an old M249 SAW drum pouch. I sewed some buttons on to keep it shut. In there are about 40 rounds of 2 3/4's #4 buck. I like #4 as a good compromise between projective count and size. We could debate what shotgun ammo to use for defensive purposes; however if it ends in 'buck you are good to go. Also in there are 5 slugs in there. I kept them in the box so they are easy to find if needed.

If I get into those HSGI panels then a lot of options open up for storing them on body armor in pouches and such. 

As to where this project is going.......

I am going to convert this shotgun into an optimized home defense type gun. It will get an extended tube to hold a couple more shots. To do that I will need to deal with those stupid dimples in the tube. Also a sling will be attached. Going to figure out a way to make the gun more durable in terms of finish. It might be a good way to practice painting guns. 

A light would be nice but it's going to be awhile.  Any options I consider duty grade and worthwhile are pretty expensive.

So that's my old trusty shotgun and what is in store for it.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Questioning Common Caliber Wisdom

Modern Survival Online did a post recently questioning the conventional wisdom. Though I consider .38 special/.357 mag a common caliber (probably behind 9mm but narrowly ahead of .45 acp and .40 in the real non gunnie world) his point is valid. I have been stewing over it for awhile until today Tam talked about the availability of 5.45 commie which made me want to chime in.

Since common calibers are something I promote it made me really think. First I got to thinking about what makes a caliber common. A few characteristics come to mind:

1-Wide commercial availability. If a small place like a hardware store sells ammo  what they will (normally) have is a pretty common guide. This varies slightly regionally but 12 gauge, 9mm and 30.06 are common while 16 gauge, .357sig and .204 Ruger are not.

2-In the closets/ ammo cans of a large number of average people with whom you could potentially cross level or trade. The stuff your paranoid neighbor, gunnie uncle or whatever are likely to have. Odds he will have a 12 gauge or .308 are higher than that he will have a .300 blackout or 6.8.

3-Modern ammo made in the USA (or wherever you live) is available. If importation was restricted this stuff would become unobtanium even though it's all over the place today. This affects the economy of a lot of old WWII surplus rounds putting them on par with conventional hunting rounds in terms of economics. It is a bigger problem for 5.45 commie and some other rounds that aren't (to my knowledge widely) available in the US made variety at all.  If you choose to go this route stock ammo DEEP. I'm talking closer to pallets than cases because there is a viable possibility you may never be able to find it again.

4-Total rounds available. The sheer amount of a given caliber of ammo in a specific region. This is interestingly different from the first two because it may include military calibers that aren't really used by civilians. Example .50 BMG is not in many gun stores and few people have a gun in it. However there are millions if not billions of rounds stored away at various military installations and a few larger police departments. While admittedly rounds not widely on the market are uncommon by definition in the race to the bottom this gives it an advantage over a round like .408 CheyTac.

I think these criteria are more or less listed in terms of importance. While it isn't exactly quantifiable we could arguably rate these from 1-10 (or whatever) then add them up and divide to get a number. Stuff like .22lr and 12 gauge would probably be 10 but .475 Linebaugh would be more like a 2.

As it relates to the current firearmagedon:

-Since everybody is scared about evil black rifles being messed with this means the ammo associated with them (.223, 7.62x39 and .308) are naturally in high demand. You CAN GET THEM but just at sucky prices. It seems like around here in Southern Arizona bulk pack type .223 (55gr PMC, etc all) is going for 80 cents to a buck a round with more desirable (M855, JHP's etc) ammo going for 85 cents to a buck and change a round. .308 is running at least a buck a round. However you can get it. Since the supply is larger somebody will eventually be induced to sell at the right price.

Conversely there is simply no 6.8 or 10mm auto to be had locally at least without swapping a nubile 18 year old daughter or something else of comparable value. If there are 7 boxes of an uncommon caliber in town it's a lot less likely you can get your hands on 4 of them.

-Any time you try to buy something that is in high demand it's going to cost you no matter how common the item is. Hot pizza is worth more when the pizza joints have closed down. A bottle of Jim Beam is worth more after the liquor stores and bars close. If there are a bunch of hungry folks who want to drink more both are going to cost you dearly. It's simple economics.

-To me the answer to this is to stock enough to ride out the occasional bad 3-6 months. Have some doomsday ammo but put aside a few boxes for range duty to get you through a dry spell.

-Sure like Tam said getting an AR upper or AK in 5.45 commie could give you an option  but you would have to be putting a lot of rounds downrange to break even on the initial investment. Personally since it's a nitche item I wouldn't buy it at the expense of an AK in the common 7.62x39 or another .223 AR.

Anyway those are my .02 cents on that. Thoughts?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Since Everybody Else is Talking Shotguns I will also

Unfortunately I could not find a cheesy obviously photo shopped picture of Joe Biden with a shotgun. So you get assassin Joe. In an case Joe thinks shotguns are better than assault rifles. He also likes washing his Fire Bird in front of the White House.

Population Gun control issues aside I am disinclined to take tactical advice from old Joe for a variety of reasons. In any case since Mountain Guerilla and American Mercenary have talked about them I might as well chime in. The best way I can think to do this is to talk myths about shotguns and then get into pluses and negatives.

Shotguns do not need to be aimed. The general guideline is that buckshot spreads at about an inch per yard of travel. So at realistic home defense type ranges you are looking at a fist to open hand sized pattern. It cuts you a bit of slack over a single round but you can still definitely miss.

Shot penetrates walls less than other rounds so it is better for home defense. This has been demonstrated false at a variety of places including Box of Truth. Bird Shot does penetrate a bit less however it is designed to kill little birds and thus falls short in terms of deer/ man sized animals.

Shotguns are easy to use. This is confusing for a couple reasons. We lack standardization of what constitutes being capable of using a weapon (example: load, cycle, unload, score X in under Y time on El Presidente (or whatever), reduce stoppage, field strip and clean). Without that standardization we cannot say with validity that it is easier to learn to use a shotgun than a rifle. When the issue is dug into folks far too often have the impression that you can can load a shotgun, pump it and pull the trigger you are good to go. Sadly this is just not the case.

More to the point shotguns in an anti personnel role are not ideal and require a lot of manipulation. Most common shotguns must be manipulated before every shot and are reloaded 1 round at a time. This is especially problematic because they hold 5-8 shots. The more a shooter must manipulate a weapon the more chances they have to mess up and make the darn thing not work. In particular for shotguns short choking is an issue.

Now that the myths are set aside we can talk about the shotguns advantages.


Cheap. You can get new Remington 870's and Mossberg 500's for somewhere in the mid- low $300 range. Used guns can be purchased for less depending on their condition as well as how desperate the seller and buyer are. At that price range a solidly decent pump shotgun is something any functional adult can easily purchase with a little bit of planning. For a quality gun that will last you a lifetime this is a bargain.

Legal pretty much everywhere. If you can own guns you can have a shotgun. To the best of my knowledge you can have a pump shotgun anywhere in America. They are also looked at much more favorably abroad if that is a concern for you.

Versatile. Shotguns can harvest all manner of game, defend your home and be used for a variety of recreational pursuits. A Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 with a long choked barrel and a short riot barrel can do a lot of things.

Super Common. If a place sells ammo they have 12 gauge shells and probably 20 gauge also. For the common guns (Rem 870/ Moss 500) there is a ton of aftermarket support in terms of different parts.

To be fair shotguns also have some downsides.


 Round count. More shots are better and shotguns fall short here. Between 5 and 9 rounds in most common configurations.

High recoil. Shotguns recoil more than any standard defensive type rifle. More recoil means a longer time between shots.

Slow Reloads. One round at a time in a rather cumbersome fashion. This makes the low round count all the more problematic because you need to be constantly reloading to keep from running empty.

Limited envelope of performance. Shotguns are very lethal up close but if you get past 40 yards (and that is generous) for buck and 100ish for slugs in a standard configuration they aren't much good. Yes rifled barrels with scopes are available that push this envelope but those only exist because of states that only allow shotguns for hunting. If you want this configuration just buy a rifle.

Mediocrity. As we talked above it is true that shotguns can do a lot of things. However like any 'jack of all trades' they are pretty mediocre at all of them.

Bulky/ Heavy ammo. Shotgun shells are big and heavy which means you either carry less of them, less of something else or pack a heavier load.

It is true that more purpose built semi automatic shotguns like the Benelli's and in particular the mag fed Siaga 12 have leveled some of the historic weaknesses of pump shotguns. These are problematic because the high price point cancels out one of the biggest advantages of the shotgun.  Even beyond cost these shotguns are are in my opinion still a distant second to a rifle. Like we discussed some time ago I cannot think of a 2 legged predator situation where I would reach into a safe/ closet that held an AR/ AK and a shotgun and pick the shotgun over the rifle.

Anyway those are my .02 cents on that. Guess we can file this under the biannual rehashing of topics. Comments may be fun.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Trimming Things Down- EAA Bounty Hunter SS 12 Gauge Sold

Continuing this trip's trend of gun sales that started with the 1911 I sold an EAA Baikal Bounty Hunter II coach gun today. The funds will either finish of Project Upgrade AR or go towards something else, probably a small pistol. Still looking to sell the Garand and a wheel gun but those will probably happen down the road.

I think Project Upgrade AR is already sufficiently funded. That means today's proceeds should be able go towards something else. Not sure what exactly, the amount would pay for a small pistol, but that is a matter for another gun show day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

.223 vs 12 Guage and Pistol Penetration On Inside Walls

Read this. Turns out that maybe you are better off with a rifle in terms of penetration in addition to round capacity and other factors. The kind of heavy shot that actually stops people (not to rehash another myth but at more than a few feet birdshot is for birds) blows through typical residential inner walls. I wish they had brought something in 7.62x39 along too.  Edited a few minutes afterwords to include. Turns out somebody did test 7.62x39 Wolf FMJ's. I suspect 7.62x39 JHP or SP ammo would have more managed penetration.

Food for thought.
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