Showing posts with label ammo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ammo. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

More on Ammo and Magazine Numbers

I talked about this recently and a couple things seemed worth mentioning.

As to ammo numbers. My stated numbers, long on the record, do not factor in training, zeroing a new scope, etc all. This was my biggest lesson from Firearmagedon. To include training ammo one could be really intentional, figure out how much ammo they average shooting every month and how many months they think a shortage will last. So if I shoot 100 rounds of 9mm a month and believe a shortage will, as is about average, last almost 6 months that would be 600 rounds of 9mm I need for training. Say I might want to take a class during that time, well we should round it up to at least an even case of 9mm, maybe even a case and a half. Ditto for the rifle. On a lazier end a person could just get 500 rounds if they do not shoot a lot.

As to mags the primary driver of my minimum magazine numbers is not some SHTF Rorkes Drift storming the walls gun fight scenario. I have no illusion about living through so many SHTF gun fights that 5.56 30 rd PMAG # 20 is going to come into play. Instead it is actually a ban scenario where, as Commander Zero says, what I have is ALL I AM EVER GOING TO GET. Having 10 or more factory full capacity mags per Glock might seem silly now. Say a ban happens (though I think we are safe for 2-4 years). In 2 years I have a good buddy who buys a Glock 19 and really wants just 1 full capacity mag to keep with the gun in his bedside table. He was dumb for not buying mags for a gun he planned to get but he is a buddy and I want to help. In 3 years a mag gets lost in the grass while shooting. In 5 years a mag has the feed lips just plain wear out. You get the idea.

When it comes to mags I stock them DEEP. As a shooter I had the unfortunate luck to come into gun owning age during the tail end of the 1994-2004 Assault Weapons Bag. Full capacity factory Glock mags were going for $150 (in 2002/3 dollars) and it was a sellers market. As soon as that ended I snagged some full capacity mags. (Note, they will not make the mistake of allowing a sunset clause into anti gun legislation again) As I became more of an intentional survivalist I bought more mags. At that point good surplus AK mags were going for 6-7 bucks a pop so even a college kid could afford a dozen. Fast forward a couple years and there was a presidential election coming up. Of course one side wanted to get rid of all that stuff. I happened to graduate from college and start a big boy job where I made decent money.

Swore to myself I would do everything possible to avoid being stuck without the tactical advantage that a good supply of full capacity magazines offered. So I did without other non essential things I wanted and spent some money on mags. Bought mags not just for the Glock,  AR or AK I had but for the one I wanted to purchase down the road some time. Not going to say my situation there is perfect because of course resources are finite and there are competing demands. Still you won't see me paying silly panic prices for mags and if I want to give a couple to a buddy I have them to spare.

Remember kids, the second amendment does not cover full capacity magazines. From a legislative perspective they are definitely the most vulnerable piece since 1) they are not protected and 2) they wear out and are at best semi disposable.

That is all I have to say about that. Thoughts?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Response to Reader Questions

(1)Blogger tpals said...
Showing my ignorance: what exactly is a stripped lower?
July 17, 2015 at 5:10 PM
Delete
(2)Blogger Matt LBS said...
Also, I've seen your thoughts on ammo quantities, but what is the number of mags per weapon that puts you in a happy place?


Ryan here:
1) A stripped lower is technically the serial numbered part of an AR-15. It is the metallic piece of the lower without the internals gut and such.
 This is all the parts for an AR-15 lower receiver (and a sight/ carry handle). Put this all together and you have an AR-15 lower. Note the trigger, hammer, springs, take down pins, receiver extension, butt stock, etc. All of these are put together to have a functional AR-15 lower.
The stripped lower is shown in the picture above this text. Saying it is 'stripped' just means it is without all the pieces (trigger, hammer, takedown pins, receiver extension, etc) attached or included. You need to order a lower parts kit, receiver extension, buffer and buffer spring to make this into a complete lower that you could attach an upper to and make a complete rifle.

I said before that the lower is the serialized part of the firearm. In the eyes of the law that little block of aluminum is the gun. You can buy the rest of the pieces anywhere and just walk out or order it online, then get it shipped right to your house.

Stripped lowers are quite affordable. They are regularly available under $50 and always under $100. I don't care about brands much though I do avoid polymer lowers. As Chris said "the most important part of a lower is the roll mark (that shows brand). Brands only really matter to brag to your friends that you have a Noveske, LaRue, Daniels Defense or whatever lower. If that matters to you and you have the extra cash then by all means do it. I would rather put that money into P mags, and start saving for a case of 5.56 ammunition.

The specific advantage a stripped lower has is that under most past US gun laws older pre existing stuff is grandfathered in. So if a gun ban were to happen which I think we are safe from for at least a few years that stripped lower is 'the gun' and is grandfathered in. You could order the stuff to finish it later when you can afford it.

This probable grandfathered status plus the affordability of stripped lowers makes them pretty handy. For a likely gun ban scenario a stripped lower is in effect a physical version of a stock option to have an AR in the future. Maybe you cannot afford to buy an AR today but want one down the road. Most folks can probably scrape up sixty or eights bucks to get a lower then just put it away. Case in point I would like to be able to have a rifle for each of my kids but right now I do not have 1,600-2,000 dollars to do that. On the other hand I could buy a pair of lowers and build the rifles in the future.

A person looking for profit who found a good deal on lowers and mags could do very well in the gun run I have tentatively scheduled for this fall/winter or even better than that if a ban happened. A 'AR party pack' of a stripped lower and 7 new in plastic PMAGs could probably triple their money.

(2)Matt LBS said...
Also, I've seen your thoughts on ammo quantities, but what is the number of mags per weapon that puts you in a happy place?

Yes my thoughts on ammo are on the record.

My thoughts on mags are also but to briefly recap:
 Core Defensive rifle-20
I stock AR-15 mags

Core Defensive pistol-10
I stock Glock 9mm magazines

That roughly correlate to 3x combat loads rounded out a bit. My general thinking is one set to use, one set to replace those when they are worn out/ damaged/ lost and one set for trade/ charity. Lots of people have a rifle and 2-3 mags or a pistol with two. I am happy with those numbers though more is of course merrier.

It is worth noting those numbers are PER WEAPON not per weapon type. So if you have 2 rifles it would be 40 mags. Buy a third rifle and get another 20 mags.

I hope that answers both questions. If not hit me up in the comments section.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sort of Repost- Southern Prepper 1 Scenario Video and Ammo Discussion



I have posted this video before, twice if I recall. Anyway it brings up a very good point. Ammo matters a lot and it is prudent to consider A) stocking it deep and B) the opportunity for resupply in your chosen caliber during some sort of event.This is a point I like to occasionally revisit.

After watching this video I opened the safe and pulled  out my ammo and mag records. I am very pleased to say we are finally above my desired ratio of 5.56 ammo. 3,000 rounds per military pattern rifle is not a bad place to be. You can always use more ammo but I am happy with my 5.56 situation. I have spent a lot of money to get here but the blissful calm that came over me when I saw that the stash exceeded my desired ratio was worth it.

This video is, for me, a sort of gut check that I occasionally revisit. Buying the FAL sort of complicated my situation but then again I sold a 30-30 so it is a wash on logistics and a capability upgrade. This gut check sits well with my goals for the rest of the year which are (roughly in order):
An AR stripped lower receiver (more of a gun ban insurance thing than a SHTF thing)
10-20 more FN-FAL mags
Some more FAL spare parts. Specifically springs.
Another case of 5.56
A case of 7.62x51

maybe some Glock mags if I get to it.

 Thoughts?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

7.62x51 FMJ Ammo, Greece and the Chinese Stock Market

My primary bank does not have any branches around here. We have been with them for a long time and are happy with it. Still occasionally there are hassles. Needing to get cash into the digital world is one of those hassles. I usually have a relationship with a local bank. That situation was in flux. Tried to establish a relationship with a new local bank but in short order that complete disaster managed to put a mark in favor of every negative stereotype about the speed, motivation, intelligence and competence of rural Southerners. Seriously it was a complete cluster.

[Note to my Southern brethren. I do not mean to disparage you all. I understand this was probably an anomaly. I have lived in some part of the South for long enough to know that while things move at their own pace this sort of total disaster is not a normal occurrence. Still if something ridiculously stereotypical happens it is worth mentioning. If a Canadian logger wearing denim on denim and a fur hat offered me a Molson and french fries with gravy I would mention it.]

Anyway I wanted to get myself a bunch of Federal XM80 149gr FMJ sooner instead of later. Things have been getting weirder and weirder lately and I would like to have at least a start on fodder for the FN-FAL on hand. The boxer primed stuff is a bit more expensive than the surpus Hirtenberger 7.62x51 battle packs which are Berdan primed. The ability to reload the ammo (probably turning it into some sort of precision load) appeals to me. Also since there isn't any cheap .308 ammo out there anyway might as well pay a little bit more for stuff I can recycle.

The situation in Greece is continuing to unfold. American Mercenary brings up good points that 1) massive debt that cannot be paid is more of an issue for the lender than the debtor and 2) bail in's are inevitable and 3) Americans should consider how a potential future bail in one time tax could affect them.

Still it is small time compared to China.  FerFAL talked about it yesterday and so did Bayou Renaissance Man. China's stock market is swirling down the crapper big time. It is down about a third in a short period of time. According to NPR and the BBC, my main sources, most of China's investors are individuals who purchased single stocks. So this means instead of a bunch of hedge funds and index funds taking a 30% haircut a subset of normal people in the market probably lost everything.

The China situation is scary because their economy is so much bigger than Greece. When small countries have their economies go to hell they might cause some economic problems. When big countries have their economies go to hell they have a nasty tendency of getting into wars. Either they go for the little distraction war to inspire nationalism and distract the people, or they say pull a Hitler and try to TAKE OVER ZEE WORLD.

That Chinese curse 'May you live in interesting times' comes to mind. Good thing the plan is  to cut another 40,000 soldiers out of our Army.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Grim Reminder: You Aren't Getting any Ammo Resupply in an Emergency

Bayou Renaissance Man brings up a very good point. If something bad happens you can not plan on getting ANY ammo through normal sources. Sure you could trade for it but since that stuff just became unobtanium the black free market price is going to be painful. The point is that while there can be oversights and you could be short for something like that old 20 gauge shotgun rusting in the safe you best plan to cover all of your important core needs.

We could have a long discussion about how much is enough. That discussion has been had here before . Also Peter shared his thoughts. Of course the scenario(s) you are preparing for matter considerably here. I listed my chosen amounts. That is for a pretty nasty situation but maybe not quite a full on mad max one. Half of that, or even a third, is plenty for some sort of short to moderate (say a month or two) type event like Hurricane Katrina or whatnot.

The point is that you need to get whatever you feel you need sooner instead of later. Also it is not a bad idea to think of some overages for family/ friends/ neighbors. Case in point I have a stash sufficient to let me give a neighbor 50 rounds of 9mm or 50 rounds of .38 special , ditto for a few mags of 5.56 or 7.62x39. Still I could stand to stash some ammo specifically for this eventuality. Say some buckshot, about 250 rounds, since my neighbors all seem to be into the duck hunting and thus shotguns. Also if going full bore I'd stash 100 rounds each of .40 S&W and .45 since I have little (.45) to none (.40) of those common calibers on inventory. The point I am getting at is that you should plan for whatever ammo you might give out in an emergency above your personal stash.

Got Ammo?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

2016 Gun Buying Plans

I talked about getting ready for the upcoming (pretty well scheduled) 2016 Election Hysteria awhile back. Figured it is time for an update.

Since writing that post I did order a stripped lower.

Would like to get 2 more, maybe this weekend. I look at these as a stock option. For $40-60ish they give me the option of buying an AR down the road at a pretty normal price, despite whatever AWB type stuff could get passed. $200 in stripped lowers in the safe would let me buying that 20" M16 A4 style tack driver I kind of want, build a pink AR for Wifey and one for each kid.

I got a 3rd mag for the LCP. Probably good enough for now.

Also want to get some of those new Glock magpul mags to try out. A half dozen of them would go a long way to testing the (almost surely great) new product and getting ahead for when I eventually get another Glock.

Have not picked up any more .380 or .308. These are pretty low on the list as tiny pocket pistol ammo and deer hunting rounds aren't going anywhere any time soon. Still on general principle over the course of the year I want to get some of each, bare minimum 200 rounds each .380 ball and .308 150gr SP.

The proceeds from my spring cleaning sale are going to be turned into a case of 5.56. Honestly I fear some day we will be laughing about $350 a case the way folks are talking about SA 5.56 at $200 a case in the early 00's. I have habitually been short of my self identified goals for 5.56 so this year I want to get closer to, if not achieve, my desired goal of 3k (per fighting rifle).

Beyond that in no particular order I plan to pick up some HK G3 mags and if I get a windfall of some sort a full spare parts kit for a G3. Bet you can guess what my next years goal is?

I should note that hysteria aside I see the chances of anything meaningful happening at a national level to limit our 2A rights as a no go. I'm not saying to go out and charge everything you will ever want on the visa because this will be your last chance ever. What I am saying is that next years market might be wonky so it is prudent to front load some firearm and firearms related purchases and not plan on much happening next year. Honestly if I had the cash to buy all the stuff listed plus a PTR-91 today I would do it and just be done for 1.75 years  but well I don't so some stuff has to wait.

Thoughts?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ammo Counts, Expending Ammo and Resupply plus 2k Down a Glock 19 with 1 Misfire

Max Velocity had a pretty interesting post on ammo and rates of fire.

According to the omnipotent US Army the M4 rate(s) of fire are:
  • Semiautomatic - 45 rounds per minute
  • Burst - 90 rounds per minute
  • Sustained - 12-15 rounds per minute
The first two are what you would use during an ambush or break contact drill. Yes that is 1.5-3 mags a minute. Since most of us do not have burst let's round up to 2 mags a minute. The significant thing to note is that people typically do not keep these rates of fire up for very long. Either the situation is resolved successfully (kill BG's or break contact), it is resolved unsuccessfully (death/ capture) or it stalls out into a slower scenario where people are firing a round every few seconds while trying to maneuver their elements or waiting for back up.

 Units in combat can quickly run very short on ammo even if they act reasonably. People can only reasonably carry so much of the stuff. The saving graces of this are 1) people within a unit will use ammo very unevenly. The guys on perimiter security will probably not shoot at all. If the left side of the patrol base takes contact the guys on the right are just waiting for the flank, etc. Guy with 8 mags gives 3 to the guy with 2 mags.

This is also why caliber and magazine interchangeability matters.  The AR-15 in 5.56/ .223 is the hands down obvious choice these days followed shortly by the AK-47 in 7.62x39. There are lots of valid options but pick one and stick with it. Hard to toss a PTR-91 mag to your buddy who is rocking an AK-47 or borrow from the guy with the AR in 6.8. Pistols matter a lot less because you won't honestly use them much. If things are that bad that you are widely cross leveling pistol mags in contact you are probably about to die anyway.

This is also why active combatants need a solid resupply plan for ammo. Maybe you keep a few spare mags in an assault pack, a couple bandoleers in a ruck and a bunch more in the truck. Maybe you go assault pack, pre positioned speed balls and a resupply cache. I do not know what the answer is for your scenario but if needed you better have a way to get ammo.

Lastly the issue of shooting your ammunition vs saving it is paradoxical. You are not (though different for a survivalist than a soldier) incentivized to bring ammo back from a fight but woe be the person who runs out before the fight is over. However people, especially survivalists, can worry too much about some 'one shot one kill' fantasy that does not accurately reflect the fundamental nature of modern small unit and insurgent combat. If it takes a mag of ammo to kill I guy I will call that a win. You lived and that guy died, now you have X amount of ammo remaining for your other problems.

This is not to say you should waste ammo but, especially in an environment where civilians are not a big concern, if you get a shot take it. I'll shoot a guy in his exposed foot because it will greatly hinder his movement. Even though it is an ifffy shot on a non vital part of the guy hitting him there makes my situation better. If I do not have time for perfect fundamentals I will still take the shot. Worst case I waste a 35 cent bullet, best case I hurt the enemy.


I hope this helps share this valuable discussion and bring my thoughts into the picture.

Also Tam shot 2k rounds through a Glock 19 without cleaning or lubing it and had 1 misfire.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentines Day, 5.56 Ammo Run and Reader Question

Well today is Valentines Day. It was a pretty good on. We did normal stuff during most of the day. This evening I cooked up some Chicken Parmesan with noodles, salad, broccoli and french bread. In hindsight cooking an untried recipe that's pushing my skill level hard probably wasn't the smartest thing to do but it worked out well. Everyone enjoyed the meal.

Now that the kids are fed, bathed and in bed we're going to have a few drinks and watch a movie together. A nice quiet night.

On the downside the whole M855 thing has me pretty irritated.

My rifle likes M855 so I tried to get some from Lucky Gunner but they were sold out. Ended up with  a case of 55 grain 5.56 instead. Honestly I hate to incite a panic but there was plenty of M855 yesterday and probably this afternoon but now there is none to be had. A run seems to be on big time. I suspect more than a couple people had the same thought I did. (Note in 45 seconds by their live inventory LG sold 2 cases of 55gr 5.56). Well I wanted a case of training ammo for the next ban and it looks like I got one. Right now I am, at least once the newest purchase shows up, probably honestly at my happy number ratio in 5.56

Of course the panic is slipping into other bullet offerings in 5.56. Thankfully if you are not too picky about an exact offering there is plenty of 5.56 still available. I don't know what, if anything, is going to happen next but I'd say if you are short on whatever your SHTF goals are for 5.56, plan on buying more in the next year or shoot 5.56 regularly I'd buy enough to ride out at least a few rough months.

Looks like an end run of administrative actions, import regulations, etc all is being used instead of some sort of actual law which given the R's running the house and senate would be DOA. Aside from .22lr Firearmagedon is over and things have been good for awhile. I hope you didn't waste that time. Money is tight all over and there are bills to pay but I hope you have purchased, if not everything you want, at least everything you NEED.

To balance out my, buy all the 5.56 right now OMG tone earlier step back and take a look at your situation. If you are totally happy with your situation in that caliber then don't do anything crazy and spend a couple grand on ammo just because. What I am driving at is that if you own an AR/ Mini 14/ Sig 556 and are not happy with your ammo stash then you should look at doing something about that while it is still fairly affordable.

High Desert Livin asked

I recently traded a glock 26 plus 3 bills for for a colt magpul (total 850 out pocket). Now I have a psa complete lower that I'm not sure what to do with. I thought about dropping a bravo co. On top, but am unsure if a awesome upper on a so so lower makes any sense? 

My thoughts:  It really depends on what you are going for with the build, concept of use if you will. Since you mentioned BCM I presume the goal is not a budget build. As to the upper/ lower question let us go part by part through the lower.

-Lower receiver/ stripped. Any aluminum lower with normal specs is just fine. Unless we are talking about some BS Bob's Basement lower made from melted Busch can's they are all the same. Honestly as Chris noted 'the most important thing about a lower is the roll mark'. With a stripped lower folks mostly pay for a name to brag to their friends about. If you want to pay 4 bills for a Noveske instead of $45 for DPMS or Anderson Arms then by all means do so, it's your money, but don't trick yourself into thinking it's going to make the gun run any better.

-Lower Parts Kit. This is all the little springs and pins that make the gun work as well as the hammer and trigger. I would be more cautious here than with the actual lower itself. Wouldn't go lower than decent sporting brands like DPMS/ Stag/ CMMG/ Bushmaster. That being said it would be an uphill battle to convince me a Daniels Defense LPK (if they sell one) is vastly supperior to say a DPMS LPK.

Personally I have seen very few rifles get deadlined with lower receiver issues. The way the AR works there just isn't that much stress down there.  Sure a spring can wear out over time but that is part of life, not an inherent failure of the weapon.

Presuming mechanically sound parts the only exception to my 'an LPK is an LPK' is the trigger. If you are serious about accuracy, and capable of holding up your end, a good trigger matters a lot. There are a lot of ways this one can go from just getting a good match trigger from say Colt to a drop in upgrade like a Geissele trigger. If I was going to put any extra cash into a lower it would be into the trigger.

-Receiver Extension/ buffer tube. These are all basically the same. They come in mil spec and commercial but otherwise I think they are a common entity.

-Buffer and buffer spring. These matter but any decent one will do. DPMS/ CMMG/ etc are just fine. Actually where people get into trouble here is when they want to upgrade and get fancy messing with spring tension and buffer weight. I'm not a professional firearms builder or a mechanical engineer so I just buy mil spec buffers and buffer springs.

-Stock. These are easily replacable so get whatever one you like. They all work fine.

That lays out my thoughts on each individual part of the lower. As to your situation if you want a BCM upper I'd say get one. If you don't like the trigger in the lower you have then upgrade it. That's really the only part in the lower that is going to affect shootability. If you are somehow unhappy with the PSA internals for a hundred bucks or so you could upgrade the LPK to Rock River or Stag if you really want. The point is that letting a roll mark on the side of a common part built to standard specifications dictate the way you go with the rifle doesn't make too much sense to me.

There are a lot of smoking deals on uppers right now. A buddy mentioned seeing a complete COLT upper in Cheaper Than Dirt's newsletter for 5 and change. Since it would have a bolt, charging handle and hand guards, which a current BCM would not,  that is a darn good deal.

Anyway I wanted to

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Random Thoughts and Stuff From The Web

I think I'm going to sell my Kahr CW9 and S&W 642. Going to simplify to my trusty Glock 19 and a little .380 probably a Ruger LCP. Honestly I realized awhile back I made a mistake with the Kahr and didn't want to admit it to myself or take the modest 10% write off to make a fairly convenient sale. The Kahr, while a fine weapon, just isn't different enough from the G19 to truly be distinguishable. Have yet to see a situation where I could carry the Kahr but could not pack, albeit with some clothing selection, my G19. For the rare situations where a very high level of discretion is needed the CW9 won't cut it and the 642 is just a touch too big.

Part of this effort is intentionally selling off intermediate options to force myself to do the right thing and carry the Glock 19. Also I want to free up some cash for other things. My intent is to carry the G19 almost all the time and the LCP when I genuinely can't make the 9 work.

Recently I mentioned the FBI switching to 9mm. Surprisingly there was not a huge blow back from folks. Maybe they knew that arguing the actual points the FBI threw out in their letter was an uphill battle. Anyway today I was reminded of something valid to the topic. I'm going to link to a video of CSM (RET) Kyle Lamb killing what looks to me to be a pretty big hog with one shot from a 9mm.

This goes to prove a couple of points. 1) All reasonable CCW calibers are similarly (in)effective. 2) Shot placement is absolutely king. If you can knock out the ten ring all day long with a Walther PPK in .380 (1k American Eagle .380 ammmo for $385) but can barely clip the 7 ring with an almightly .45 acp one could legitimately argue you should pack the .380.

Incidentally Lucky Gunner has 1050 rounds of blazer brass cased 9mm for $225 and 1k of PMC X-Tac M855 for $369. Both of those are smoking good deals I wish I had the cash to pick up today. All pimping of my loyal advertisers aside right now, aside from rimfire, the ammo and gun situation is damn good.

You can read my thoughts on how much ammo to stock here. Seriously these times are good, minus rimfire, for ammo and guns. We do not now what is going to happen in terms of war, legislation or economics. Buy from Lucky Gunner my longtime advertiser (mention you came from my blog) or somebody else, I really don't care much. The point is that, within reason, you need to get the ammo to defend yourself now, while it is still widely available and reasonably affordable. In plainer language buy ammo like you were ordering drinks 5 minutes before last call at the bar, because that may be the situation.

On a more random note I stumbled into the top 10 bad assed Tony Soprano scenes on youtube.Good times.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Buying a .22lr These Days

Wifey asked me a question out of the blue yesterday "Would you recommend somebody around here buy a .22(lr?"

I asked where the question came from or something. It turned out that another wife asked her.

My reply, as best I can remember it, was:

"If you've got ammo to feed it."

Wifey said "What if you don't"

"Then no I wouldn't recommend it. You can't reliably get .22lr ammo at all, let alone at sane prices."

I understand very basic economics and a little bit about the gun industry but the .22lr situation is throwing me for a loop because it just keeps going on. Every time I am at a place that sells ammo, which includes Wally World where we buy groceries and thus go a lot, I look and if prices are reasonable at say 6 cents a round for basic stuff I buy. Obviously premium stuff like CCI .22 hunting ammo or match grade .22lr goes for more than that which is OK. To the best of my recollection in the past year I have purchased approximately 1,000 rounds of various standard .22lr and 1x 100 round box of CCI Mini Mags. That does not make for a lot of shooting and there were dry spells for months.

Honestly the availability issue is probably larger than price for most users. The lack of predictability would make it hard to plan a range trip for Saturday since they can't pick up bullets Friday after work, which is how most people shoot. Price matters too though maybe more for people who are used to paying lower prices.

Generally I would prefer to shoot centerfire ammo and choose rim fire largely for economics, more rounds downrange for my dollar. Still even if I payed 12-14 cents, which I consider quite expensive, it is a bit over half the price of Red Army 7.62x39 and a third the price of PMC brass cased 5.56.
 Suppose to some degree the price is a matter of principle. Also coming back to the availability issue these days I'll shoot centerfire ammo over .22lr because it can be replaced.

Unless a person has a enough of a stash to go shooting once in awhile when they can't find ammo, say at least a couple 500rd bricks though a real high round shooter would need more I will not suggest a .22. Additionally I suppose if a persons finances and stomach allow them to pay $50 for a brick of ammo that is fine too. So if either of those situations fit a .22lr is a fine option. However if they do not I would recommend finding an alternative choice.

Thoughts?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

More Thoughts on Ammo Counts

Displaced Louisiana Guy's thoughts on Ammo Counts. His counts are significantly lower than mine but, especially since they are not for some Mad Max scenario, reasonable all the same. If you are worried about generic defensive situations as well as providing protein via hunting with an eye to normal commerce being disrupted in the short term his ideas are solid.

Anyway this is another take on the discussion I wanted to share with you all.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

How Much Ammo Is Enough?

I was discussing how many guns you really need and Tpals asked for my thoughts on ammo. Also today I saw Peter of Bayou Renaissance Man's thoughts on How Much Ammo Is Enough today. Peters thinking certainly has merit. Take it for what it is worth.

I discussed that matter about 4 years back and again about a year ago.

To briefly recap my thoughts. The kind of scenario you are worried about matters a lot here.  Normal everyday defensive stuff just doesn't require a lot of ammo. If you live on a ranch out by the Mexican border and genuinely might end up in a running gun fight with a bunch of drug runners or could get caught in a Hurricane [While not part of our current topic Peters posts on Katrina and Rita as well as Gustav are definitely worth reading. Learn from others so you can avoid the pitfalls of their mistakes.] or a serious riot more ammo would make sense. If you are worried about progressively darker scenarios add ammo (and of course other supplies) as appropriate.
 
A big part of how much ammo is enough for you is WHAT MAKES YOU PERSONALLY COMFORTABLE. One could say this about preparedness as a whole. Anyway moving on.

Personally I am very comfortable with:
Defensive rifle- 3,000 rounds
Defensive pistol- 1,000 rounds
Shotgun- 1,000 rounds mixed between buckshot, slugs, small game shot like #4 and birdshot
.22lr- 5,000 rounds
Hunting rifle- 1,000 rounds/ 500 rounds*

Wish I could say these numbers were the product of painstaking analysis based on the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as riots, disasters and other events. However that is not the case. Somewhere between my various experiences and an affinity for nice even numbers I decided that the above listed numbers make sense for me. they may or may not work well for you.

* When I posted this a few years ago hunting rifle ammo was a topic of discussion. Anyway when relooking the ammo counts I came up with years ago I generally agreed with them all but the hunting ammo was worth revisiting. With 30-30 at 80 cents to a dollar a round for SP type hunting ammo, .308 FMJ (brass cased) around 90 cents; Federal 150gr SP hunting ammo at a bit over a buck and 30'06 about the same as .308 cost is definitely a consideration here.

Especially since actual harvesting of big game does not require a lot of rounds I can see the sentiment. On this subject Pastor Joe Fox mentioned that the year before writing The Survivalist Family he fired 6 shots, 3 to confirm zero and 1 each for the three deer he killed. Our longtime friend Chris's math figured pessimistically more like a box to zero and more for hunting to total 40 rounds a year.

My specific concern here is for folks who have a hunting rifle as their only centerfire rifle. Guys for whom the '06 or whatever deer rifle is their only real rifle.  The logic of 'I hunt on 20 rounds a year so 3x20 is 3 years of ammo' works sorta OK if the deer rifle is behind an AR/ AK in the safe but it doesn't work if that is the rifle you grab to get into a fight.

If folks have a defensive rifle with a decent stock of ammo and want to keep a bit less ammo for their hunting rifle I wouldn't argue against it. Also I would want to make sure they are not relying on that rifle for long range/ precision as part of a core defensive plan to hold say a long winding road going into a canyon or whatever. If those two conditions are both met less ammo seems just fine. I think 500 rounds seems pretty reasonable to me.  Anyway moving on.

The goals I laid out are not as ambitious as some but more than others. I think that for most folks given some planning they can be met within a reasonable time frame. Also they are generally high enough that if you are most of the way there the situation is pretty decent still. I generally try to set goals that are realistically attainable but aggressive enough that if you fall a bit low you're still in a good spot.

Honestly for all but the darkest scenarios half of what I like would likely be fine. If landed into the LA Riots (aside from that I wasn't shaving yet;) or Hurricane Katrina say visiting a friend or whatever with half of my goals; say an AK with a case and a half of Tuna 7.62x39 JHP, a Glock 9mm with 500 rounds of 9mm 115gr JHP, a shotgun with 500 rounds of ammo and a .22 with 2,500 I would be fine. Whatever issues I had they would not be ammo related.

I should note these counts are for core type weapons. I'm not saying you need to go this deep for every gun that you own. Like many folks maybe you happen to have an oddball (common caliber or otherwise but doesn't fit your plans) like the .38 S&W revolver Grandpa passed down, a .22-250 you shot Coyotes with for awhile or whatever. What it is smart/ necessary to do for that gun depends on how deep you are in core type weapons and ammo. If you have four AR's with a deep stash of ammo and a pair of .308 hunting rifles with a case of ammo between em you can go light on the heirloom/ oddball in the safe. On the other hand if you are a bit lighter on guns then everything matters.

Of course next is the guns overall viability. Say a little heirloom Browning knock off .25 that hasn't been fired since political candidates wore hats is worth a spare mag and a box of ammo while a more viable weapon like a .303 Enfield or .30 Carbine a relative brought back from the big one it would be smart to stash at least a couple hundred rounds.

I should note these counts have some margin for barter/ charity as well as sighting in optics, periodic test fires, etc but do not specifically include training. I keep a bit of ammo above that for training.

Think that pretty much overs my thoughts on ammo. 

Suppose I should touch on mags.

I like 20 per fighting rifle, and 10 per fighting pistol. As to pocket pistols, hunting rifles, rimfire, etc 4-6 seems sufficient. In this context I am more concerned about replacing a mag that wears out than fighting reloads.

Anyway I think that covers my thoughts on ammo and mags. Am interested in hearing the numbers for mags and ammo that make you happy and probably more interestingly the thinking behind it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ammo Delivery Day!!!

Today a couple boxes showed up at my door. The first was 200 rounds of Remington Premier Gold Match 168 Grain plus a bit of overage to zero a scope and the second was a case of 7.62x39 Wolf.

The Wolf was sort of an impulse purchase based on the ban on some Russian AK's. It honestly shorted the prep fund which means some other projects will slide to the right but I'm not sad to have my ammo situation a bit better off. In 2 months things will be moving fine and I'll still have the ammo.

It might seem like I've gone into overdrive on ammo lately. In part I am making up for a tendency to not get something squared away before buying the next cool new gun over the years. Also my biggest take away from Firearamagedon was the need to have some ammo for training, test fires, zeroing new optics, etc that is separate from my operational stash. Obviously this meant buying ammo.

Furthermore I have tentatively penciled in some sort of a gun related hysteria for the general period of the 2016 election cycle. It makes sense to purchase a bit more ammo now then go harder into food or the titan ready water barrel system I really want a bit later.

Remember smart people buy when the prices are low then hold or sell when they go up. Suckers miss the low points and only buy when prices are way up.

Have you been taking advantage of the good prices on weapons, mags and (excluding .22lr) ammo?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Russian Siaga and VEPR AK style Rifles Banned by EO

An executive order was signed banning importation of certain weapons from Kalashnikov Concern including Siaga rifles as well as shotguns and VEPR rifles. All of these are basically AK's. Tam's take on it that she is ambivalent about that stuff but concerned about ammo manufacturers being added to the list is in line with my thinking. Personally I have zero desire to get a Siaga shotgun since A) they rarely function well with a wide variety of ammo and B) Anything a Siaga can do an actual AK pattern rifle can do better.

I doubt this ban will be dropped. Heck NORICO stuff is still banned here for absolutely no good reason. As to whether the companies and or weapons involved can be rebranded and get permission to import is an open ended question. Maybe the Siaga could become the Tiaga or something.

My concern is about ammo. Folks running com bloc rifles that shoot stuff like Wolf/ Silverbear/ Tula in 7.62x39 or 5.45 depend on ammo that comes from Eastern Europe to make those rifles economically viable. Additionally the economic viability of the Mosin Nagant depends on readily available low priced 7.62x54R ammo. It is worth noting that much of this stuff is made in other countries such as the Ukraine, Poland and Romania but it is not unthinkable that, due to overlapping company holdings and or political power the ban list could grow.

Personally I am going to take a look at my own situation. I was fine on AK mags and am now definitely good thanks to the help of a buddy. Way above my 20 (per rifle) happy zone. So that is good. As to ammo, you can always use more. If you rely on an AK pattern rifle for defensive use it would be prudent to look at your ammo situation. Hoss USMC's idea to get about 3 years of normal use purchased NOW is a sound one. For me assessing on the heavy side a case of 7.62x39 Wolf ammo would cover it.

Now I urge you to take a deep breath and not panic buy. There are a lot of maybe's here and most stuff banned has competitors from other countries/ brands that can fill the same role. Think about your needs and come to a reasonable decision. If you can use a case of ammo by all means get one but don't blow your life savings trying to make a mountain with cases of Wolf 7.62x39.


Last minute edit to include:
I dug out my inventory to actually see where things stand. Mags, 200% of my stockage goal of 20 per gun on AK mags. Do want to pick up some of the new AK PMAGs just to try em out. If nothing else they are light and not covered in cosmoline, attributes my eastern European surplus mags do not have.

Begin tangent. Personally when it comes to numbers of mags I like 10 per fighting pistol and 20 per fighting rifle. These nice round numbers roughly align (it would be 9 and 21) with 3 full fighting loads per official US Army whatever. These are the numbers where I am comfortable. For a sporting or otherwise not explicitly tactical weapon I would be comfortable with less, say 5 ish.

Do note this is PER GUN. So if you have 4 Glocks it would be 40 mags, 5 AR's would be 100mags.

Honestly these numbers really are not based on anything concrete. A long time ago I thought about it for awhile and these are what I came up with. I figured a combat load of mags, a full replacement load in case the original ones are lost/ damaged/ worn out and some spares for barter or charity.These numbers are where I am comfortable and reasonable people may differ on that topic.If somebody said they were comfortable with 6 pistol mags and 14 rifle mags I wouldn't argue with them. Then again if someone wanted 20 pistol mags and 50 rifle mags I would not argue with them either.

Wouldn't say I have necessarily changed from my thinking on mag numbers over the years. Would however say that I have been trying to front load magazine purchases for guns I plan to buy down the road. This has been an easy decision since I generally stick to AR, AK, Ruger 10/22 and Glock 9mm platforms.  Also the idea of a few mags set away here or there appeals to me a lot. In any case I seem to be vastly over my numbers on most mags. End tangent.

As to ammo I am right about at my stockage goal of 3,000 rounds (per rifle) but decided to order another case of Wolf 7.62x39 JHP for $230 from Lucky Gunner anyway. I had the cash to do it and now, in line with Hoss's idea, I have some 7.62x39 ammo set aside for training.  Interestingly in the time it took to do this post they sold 4 cases of the stuff in a half hour on Saturday afternoon. Folks might be getting worried.

As to spare parts I have a full set (minus receiver) per rifle. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to get a few more of the prone to breaking stuff, extractor, ejector, firing pin, springs, etc. Will add that to the list. 

So that is the news and what I think you may want to do about it. What do you think?




Wednesday, June 4, 2014

10% Off Optics and Deals at Lucky Gunner for Fathers Day

10% off optics. Use the code 'OPTICS4POPS'.

40rd PMAGs for $18.

Glock 19 mags for $19.99.

7.62x39 Wolf 123 Grain FMJ 1k/$210 (This is a darn good deal. If I had cash to spare I'd pick one up)

9mm  Fiochi 115gr FMJ for $285.


Ammo (except .22lr) and mags are back to being widely available at roughly pre panic prices (certainly so if you consider inflation). We are coming up on another election cycle in not too long. There is a notable possibility for anti gun ramblings and some degree of a rush to stock up. Of course you have to pay life's basic expenses and consider other preparations so every dollar cannot go to gun stuff. However within reason it would be very prudent to put a bit of extra prioritization into mags, guns and ammo especially the more likely to be targeted type stuff. 

[Also it is worth noting that I publish the Lucky Gunner prices and specials because they support this blog. If other companies did so I would gladly promote their stuff. The prices at Lucky Gunner are often excellent and if not the absolute cheapest they are typically competitive. If you find something at a vastly better deal, guaranteed in stock (which Lucky Gunner does) then by all means purchase it. If you link to better deals (or mention current stock at a certain site) in the comments section that is just fine. However from here on out I will delete comments that vaguely mention much better prices without saying where they are found. That sort of behavior attacks a loyal advertiser of mine based on a false accusation.]

Got Ammo?









Monday, May 12, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I am working on a project that theoretically goes bang. Big fun there.

Picked up some 9mm ammo to shoot up practicing.

Ordered a new Machete to replace the SogFail.

Looking at options to set up a more robust shortwave antenna.

Replaced some batteries and a toothbrush that were used.

Replaced some shelf stable milk we keep around for the kids.

Picked up a few things to fill some holes in the normal pantry setup.

Looking at planting some more edibles, maybe some berries or something.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Walmart .22lr Score!! 4/26/14

Today I found myself at Wally World to pick up a couple things. Went by the gun counter just because well, I was there anyway. Saw .22lr. Purchased as much as the lady at the counter would sell me. Seems they've upped the limit for high demand stuff to 3 boxes which I think is pretty reasonable.
Price was $11.17 per 225 rd inflation adjusted 'brick'. That comes to just under 5 cents a round. I am beyond excited. Not that I am short on .22lr or anything but it's sure nice to get some more. I think .22lr is the one hold out from Firearmagedon. While I admittedly have not been looking this is the first time I have seen any .22lr at sane prices in probably a year.

Now comes the question of what to do with it. I'm going to put at least 2/3 away for the long term. The other one will probably get allocated for training or a cache.

The real question is whether today's event is a sign the .22lr situation is improving or that I just got lucky. What do you think?

Friday, April 11, 2014

RE: 5.56 Duty Ammo

Prairie Patriot asked
"Do you consider green tip to be your stash for a SHTF scenario or do you look at it as quality training ammo?

I've been stashing away green tip for a while, but I also keep an eye out for Hornady TAP (usually the barrier blind variety) when there's a good deal on sale. I've heard Black Hills 50 grain TSX is a good round as well for barrier penetration.

I guess I've never been quite clear on how TAP/Black Hills barrier blind type loads would perform on something like Level III body armor. I'm pretty sure non-barrier blind like TAP FPD would not perform as well since it's designed to expand and fragment.

Or do you think it's not a huge enough difference to worry about between green tip vs. barrier blind commercial ammo when it comes down to slinging lead in a SHTF scenario firefight?"


Ryan here: I sort of touched on this awhile back with Reader Question: JHP Ammo for the Emergency Stash. Personally when it comes to centerfire rifles by and large ammo is ammo. Sure there are reliability and accuracy concerns but rifle rounds are so fast they are pretty effective with any reasonable load.

Specifically this ammo is for the ammo stash though if I wanted training ammo I'd have ordered the same stuff. Over time I'll probably train with other ammo purchased long ago till the stash is M855 or comparable ammo. Given the modest cost difference between it and cheaper XM193 or generic 55gr FMJ I don't see a reason not to train with what I'd fight with.

As to 'barrier blind' ammo I personally would have to see some pretty compelling evidence to justify the additional expense as well as potential POI/ Zero issues. 5.56 just isn't a great penetration of barriers any way you cut it. The answer is either to shoot more to punch a hole, get a better angle or pack a different gun, something .30 cal be it an AK or some sort of .308.

As to general ballistic effectiveness if yous hoot somebody with 5.56 in a spot that will kill them and they'll probably die. I say probably because no small arm is a true 100% sure thing. Folks have gotten shot (COL Charles Beckwith and somebody else specifically) with 14.5mm, AKA the red .50, in the chest and returned to active service.

To answer the armor question. Any centerfire rifle is going to penetrate soft body armor be it an AR, AK or Aunt May's .243 deer rifle. As to hard (Class III/ IV) body armor none of the stuff we've discussed is going to penetrate as it is rated to stop .308 and 30'06 M2AP ammo respectively.

I'm not passionately against TAP or any other type of comparable ammo but simply do not see the need. A more compelling argument can be made with 7.62x39 sheerly due to QA/ QC issues. I love me some Wolf but if I had to shoot the guy holding a knife to someones neck I'd rather be slinging TAP than risk Vladdy had a bit more Vodka than usual when he made that particular bullet.

I'm perfectly comfortable with M855 as my go to. Honestly if I was going to branch out from there it would be to something more like the Black Hills MK 262 Mod 0 but for my current situation I'm happy with what I have. 

Thoughts?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

RE: Ammo Now, Savage Hog Hunter in a bit or Visa Versa

I asked about this and you all chimed in. After digesting it all I decided to go with the ammo. After some consideration I decided to go with the excellent deal on M855 62 grain 5.56 ammo. The rifle isn't going anywhere and I can use the spare time to figure out how to set it up right, research my 7.62x51 options and make sure it's what I want to do. I think a Savage Hog Hunter set up with QD rings on a rail base set up to shoot a 150 grain soft point well and 147 grain surplus type FMJ acceptably would be a really versatile setup. Down the road when I have more cash I'll upgrade the scope to something like this SWFA SS 3x15 and keep the current one (a plane Jane 3x9 Leupold) as a backup. That's half the reason for the QD setup. That I could zero the current scope then at my affordability/ leisure upgrade and have an already zeroed back up appeals to me.

Hopefully in a month or so I'll be a proud owner of a new .308 rifle. In any case I'll have some more 5.56 ammo.That is a comforting feeling. Given that I'm paying a bit under 40 cents a round for quality 5.56 I think it is a heck of a deal. Something I really wanted during firearmagedon and now am purchasing.

To the fellow who asked about the amount of 5.56 currently on inventory. My semi coy answer is 'more than I probably need but less than I want'. Personally I'd like to have 3,000 rounds of ammo (a gun so 2 guns would be 6k, etc) per fighting rifle. Am not quite there. We could debate that number but it's what gives me a warm and fuzzy. This puts me significantly closer to that goal.

Anyway I'm going to be doing a bit better on 5.56 ammo which is good.
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