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

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Organizational Fail- Where the Heck is My 9mm Ball Ammo?

Writing about our failures is never fun. It is always more fun to talk about a cool new toy or something awesome we did. This is not one of those posts.

I needed 500 rounds of 9mm ball ammo today. The reason will be clear later,  that isn't what this post is about. I went to the first place I thought I would find 9mm ball ammo in quantity and it wasn't there. Went to the next place and it wasn't there either. Went back to the first place and really looked.

I thought for a second and went to a third place where I found a can of 9mm ball. Winchester white box from probably 2008. Good solid ammo. Wish they had prices on them to show what I paid.

Anyway this was a big ole ball of fail.  The bottom line is I currently have serious organizational issues beyond the home defense set up level. Access to ammo  isn't a realistic problem it is just a canary in the coal mine. We talked about ammo which I am not really concerned with. In my bedroom I think there are 5 loaded AR  mags between my fighting load (hd) and a sort of active shooter bag. Also at least 3 spare glock  mags. That more than meets any home defense needs I could possibly have.

My stuff both preparedness and otherwise needs to get better organized.  I really don't have any excuse except laziness for not doing this. Currently I don't have anything big going on for most weekends so I could easily put in 3-4 hours 2 days a week working to fix this. Just need to get off my ass and do It.

So what are my goals:
1- MOP-After this weekend which is busy I want to spend st least 6 hours a week (probably on the weekend) on sorting and organization.  The girl I'm seeing works weekends so I have the time. I plan to do this until the organization is done.
2- MOE- Within 30 days have full fighting load, bob and bug out stuff separated, organized and ready to go.
3- MOE Within 60 days have all prearedness related stuff organized.
4- MORE- Within 90 days have all of my various possessions organized. Donate a lot to good will, unneeded camping stuff to local Boy Scouts or survivalists,, sell some stuff and organize the rest. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Election Prep- Just In Case

I talked about this awhile back. The election is closer and Hillary Clinton is in it. We all know her ability to blatantly cheat and get away with it so she could very well win the presidency. Also she is running against a giant offensive ass hat. So I wanted to prepare. For the next 2 or so months I am going to put my investment money into precious metals, specifically steel and lead.

I built the rifle and bought some AR/ G19 mags. Also ordered 2 cases of 5.56. Next month I will buy some other ammo probably 7.62x39 and the FAL mags. The month after that if its available I will buy 7.62x51. Ammo availability at current prices may not happen again so it could be a major savior for me and mine. Absolute worst case (best case overall but worst for this choice) nothing happens and I'll still have the ammo.

It isn't too late but the time is getting short. You may want to look at your own stuff as well as your finances and fill in some holes.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Polish Military Surplus AK-47 Magazines at AIM Surplus for 10.95, 9.95 for 10+

A smokin deal on these quality AK mags. I have never explicitly bought Polish AK mags. However I have squirreled away a decent stash of slightly more generic 'Eastern European MILSURP AK Mags' from AIM as well as a bunch of other sources over the years. This is a darn good price for these quality mags in today's world. If you do not have 20+ quality AK mags for every AK pattern rifle you own AND PLAN TO OWN and can afford it then get some of these guys.

I should also note having done more than a little business with AIM over the years. Their products are as good as described and often better and the service is excellent. My only incentive in mentioning this deal is to bring it to your attention.

Be sure to have enough 7.62x39 to keep that gun fed no matter what.

7.62x39mm - 122 Grain FMJ - Tula - 1000 Rounds for $229.95 at Lucky Gunner

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

An Email on Troubling Financial Times To Come

I saw you were talking about financials. My Redacted is working on a consulting gig with a too big to fail financial firm and they are in full junk sell off mode getting ready for the bottom to drop out. By the end of the year it will be ugly. Blood bath ugly. Any capital not invested in an appreciating item will lose 30-40% of it's value to inflation. Choose wisely. 

-A regular Reader

In this type of circle emails like this come up. The reason I am sharing this one with you is because of who it came from. The person is one I have known as an invisible friend for awhile now. A smart prepared individual who is almost always right. I'm not saying they know EVERYTHING but they keep their mouth shut about stuff they don't know about. They are also not prone to hysterics in a screaming The Sky Is Falling Alex Jones sort of way. It is complicated that I won't say who it is but they are frequently a positive presence here and in the larger blogosphere. For their personal OPSEC I am not sharing any of their info.

What COULD you do? Well you could relook your overall financial position. Think about getting your money a bit more accessible. Since interest rates are so low you might just keep cash in the gun safe at home. Maybe you want to put some money into precious metals. Right now prices are pretty good. Think about putting some money into tangibles you could barter or sell as needed. Turning a new in box Glock 19 into cash is easy, ditto a case of 5.56 ammo.

So what should you do with this? I cannot answer that for you. I am obviously not a financial advisor or an accountant and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn last night. Your own situation is unique and so are your tolerances for risk as well as your goals. The right answer for me might not be the right answer for you. If you start talking about 401k's and IRA's there could be significant tax implications. Of course the advice to keep a cool head and not make emotional decisions out of fear is always good.

Be sure to consider how a worst case scenario economically would affect you. Also be sure to consider what things, as they probably will, going on more or less normally would mean. Look at both of those for your current situation and the one you may decide to move to.

What am I going to do? I am still thinking about it. This is a situation where sleeping on it for a couple days is fine. I am moving money to a place it is easier to transfer/ spend. I am also thinking about putting a bit more money into precious metals, both silver/ gold and lead/ steel. Whether I do that by trading dollars for metals or just shift my ratio in time with new purchases remains to be seen. I need to think about it.

So those are my thoughts about that. What do you think?

Notes: Dry fire- FAL ready up's. Time stayed under 1 second for the most part. PT- Easy run then combatives tonight.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

REPOST 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.


Monday, October 12, 2015

AR-15 Twist Rate Breakdown

This article on AR-15 barrel twist rate over at Stag is excellent. For the less initiated who are only going to shoot the most common 55 grain M193  and  62 grain M855 (or similar wt bullets) just get whatever twist rate is cheapest for a given brand of chrome lined barrel.

It is only at the margins where things start to matter. To briefly summarize faster twist rate favors heavier bullets and slower twist lighter ones. If you want to shoot the newly popular 77 grain open tip match ammo which are well reputed for both long range accuracy and terminal ballistics you want a 1/7 or 1/8 barrel. If you are a varmit shooter always using those light 50 grain bullets go 1/9.

Good info to have.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What Have You Done To Prepare Lately

I picked up a couple of budget chest rigs to fill some gaping holes in my gear stash.

The FAL needs a chest rig so I got this
I want an MVT Versa Chest Rig but right now the tactical nylon budget is tight and while I do love the FAL it is kind of an ancillary rifle. I'll probably pick one up this fall/ winter when the fairly predictable run on politically incorrect guns as well as the mags/ ammo that feed them happens.

For the old Commie Warhorse I got a

Also bought some silver a week or so back when it was under $15. These days I would say silver is a deal under $20, under 16 and fugetaboutit. The rest of my discretionary funds are getting stashed for another ammo purchase. Probably a case of 7.62x51 but if I get impatient might just get more 5.56.

Other than that there has been a renewed effort on diet and physical fitness plus some dry fire.

So that is what I have been up to. What have you been up to lately?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Lucky Gunner Lounge: Choosing the Best Ammo For Your Rifle by Oleg Volk

A very good article. 

My thoughts:

1- Use appropriate ammunition for the weapon. For most this is easy and just a matter of choosing the right caliber. For older guns however this can be more complicated. As a general rule shoot the kind of ammo the gun was designed to use. A sixty year old 1911 or High Power was made to shoot ball ammo so don't get surprised if it has issues with modern defensive ammo. For some older weapons, particularly those converted 7.62x51 Mausers, be careful about pressure. You could probably get away with a few rounds of umbiguous Winchester PP 150 grain SP hunting ammo for hunting season but more is probably pushing your luck. Low recoil loads or a moderately powered hand load might work as well. If you do much additional shooting I would stick to NATO spec FMJ or better yet; give that rifle designed as a stop gap for rear guard troops an easy retirement of a box of ammo or two a year and the place on your wall it deserves.

2- Use appropriate ammunition for the task.

A- Some rounds are more value targeted than others but accuracy costs money. Expecting budget priced com blog ammo to perform like US made match grade ammo is fooling yourself. Tula is fine ammo for a day at the range or a moderately accurate rifle planned to be used inside a couple football fields but I wouldn't want it for a hunting trip where 400 meter shots are common. Accurate ammo costs more.

B- Also more potent bullet offerings cost more. Depending on how much gun you are using and what you are shooting at this might matter. If you are shooting animals at the upper end of (or arguably beyond) your guns capability then buy good bullets.

Sometimes you need to stash a couple hundred rounds of the good stuff then back it up with a case of less good but decent stuff.

3- Oleg's approach to finding the right ammo for your rifle is sold. Once you find it then stock up! We could argue about how much ammo, my thoughts on how much ammo are on the record, but whatever your happy number is get there.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

RE: Peter Talks Arms and Ammo

I was talking about mags and ammo then our friend Peter replied with a thoughtful comment that merits further discussion.

All good points. I congratulate you on thinking things through, making informed decisions based on your own situation and likely needs, and acting on them. I wish more people would do the same.

I'm in a situation where my health is dictating what firearms I can handle. After a heart attack in 2009, I ended up with quadruple bypass surgery. With a chest held together by copper wire (not to mention a fused spine and damaged sciatic nerve from an earlier injury), I find that I simply can't shoot a heavy-recoiling weapon for more than a couple of shots at a time without some pretty serious aches and pains cropping up. As a result, I'll be getting rid of most of my shotguns, keeping only a couple of 20ga. weapons that will have to do for times when I need one. I have a bunch of 12ga ammo, including really good stuff like Brenneke slugs and Federal Flite Control buckshot, but if I can't realistically expect to use them, it's time for them to go. I'll use the money I get for them to go towards a FLIR/NOD.

In the same way, I'm cutting back on all my rifles with the exception of those I regard as essential for defensive or hunting use. I'll probably standardize on .30-30 as a hunting round, because it's relatively low recoil and lever-action rifles are relatively light and handy. I have several AR's: I built them all myself, buying a few assembled lowers, buying other stripped lowers and assembling them myself, and putting on quality top ends from Bravo Company, Troy, etc. I have several thousand rounds of 5.56mm to feed them and enough magazines for now. However, I have to seriously think about my heavier-recoiling 7.62x51mm. battle rifle and the 1,500+ rounds of .308 ball I have in stock for it. Given my chest and back issues, should I sell them and apply the money to things I need more urgently? Trade-offs like that are important.

I think you're doing a great job of balancing needs versus wants, and acting accordingly. I'll try to do the same.

Ryan here:

Peter, It seems like you are being intentional about things which is always a good start.

You mentioned shotguns. Honestly the 20 gauge will do most everything the 12 gauge does with lower recoil. I stick to the 12 gauge for commonality but well I am a healthy man with enough meat on my shoulder to take the recoil. Going to 20 gauge is a fine call.

As to rifles which are more the point of discussion. You seem to be vested in AR's and the 30-30. Both are fine setups. The AR in 5.56 is plenty for a defensive cartridge and they are darn handy. The 30-30, though I sold mine is a fine short range medium to large  game round. It is a fine round roughly equivalent to 7.62x39.

Peter mentioned a 7.62x51/308 rifle. Also if I recall, previously mentioned buying a paid of AR-10's.

My answer to that question would be if you perceive a need for that capability, specifically shooting at longer ranges or at people behind some sort of light to moderate cover. 

Without getting into the intermediate vs battle rifle mess 7.62x51 hits hard. I recall a thread where a guy said he experimented with at 5.56 AP ammo, hollow point ammo, bonded ammo and barrier blind ammo then decided to just buy a darn .308 and load it with plain old FMJ ammo. Something to be said for a bigger bullet.

 If that is a capability you want to retain the question of whether to keep 7.62x51 rifle(s) on inventory is answered. The new question is how do you temper the recoil of a .308 to comfortable levels to  allow a reasonable amount of training and use if needed.

When discussing recoil we have two angles to work from the cartridge and the gun. Since we are talking about 7.62x51 the cartridge angle is pretty much settles.

Though to play devils advocate let us look at other available alternatives. There is stuff like 6.8 SPC and 300 black out that, while they exceed 5.56 stats still do not come close to 7.61x51. That being said they might pass the 'good enough' bar and merit consideration. The downside of these special snowflake cartridges have massive issues with commonality and fail the hardware store test miserably (though I did see 300 blackout at Wally World the other day).

If we are solid on 7.62x51 that leaves us with the gun. I will go point by point on this.

-Weight. Heavier guns have less recoil. Think of it like engines and vehicles. A 454 big block in a corvette is a recipe for speed.  454 in a bus or a dump truck is adequate but not impressive.

We see this all the time with people choosing super light guns for the ladies in their lives. A little polymer .380 like my LCP or an Airweight J frame is going to have some recoil. A steel gun or a larger gun in general is going to be more pleasant to shoot. The recent trend of almost AR-15 weight AR-10's sort of worries me in this regard. A 6 pound M4 style AR-10 is going to have considerably more recoil than a traditional 10-11 pound battle rifle.

Of course weight has its own issues. However depending on your concept of use for a rifle a heavier gun merits consideration. If your concept of use is for a gun for defensive use at a relatively fixed location like a 'retreat' or a check point, which I think are excellent roles for a full powered cartridge, this is an easy decision.

-Muzzle devices. I use this as a generic term for the various breaks/ compensators/ flash hiders that are currently available. A good muzzle device can really do a lot to temper recoil and there are a lot of good ones available these days at all price points. For whatever it is worth my AR has a battle comp.

-Recoil pad.
A limbsaver does a lot to make harder kicking guns more tolerable.

Roll it all together and you will have a milder recoiling rifle. An 11 pound FAL/M1A with a good muzzle device and a limb saver is going to be a lot different than a 7 pound AR-10. 

In conclusion I think by intentionally setting up a rifle you can probably have a setup that will work.

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
(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.

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.


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.


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.
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