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Monday, October 24, 2016

the forever gun book 8


THE FOREVER GUN BOOK 8

9MM RELOADS

Before I cover the 32 or 38, which do away with semi-automatics and in one case don’t even require an additional firearm, I’m going to go over the 9mm.  Simply, it is wicked cheap due to its global popularity.  Additionally, it reloads much better, having a thicker case wall.  Here we have another classic AK verses AR or revolver verses semi.  Neither choice is ever perfect because each one has its good points and its bad.  To get one desired characteristic you must accept an undesirable one at the same time.  The AK is robust as hell, which is perfect for the apocalypse, yet its primary directive is to sling lead downrange-not to be accurate.  You need to preserve ammo once the factories close down.  The AR is accurate as can be, a midrange sniper rifle if you don’t gay it up making it a sub-machinegun.  Yet, it is a fragile wallflower and must be pampered-NOT what you want when your life is on the line in combat.  There are very few perfect combo guns, both robust and accurate ( the HK 91 and clones come close ).  And so it goes with pistols and their ammo. 

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The great thing about 9mm firearms is their affordability.  It shouldn’t be too much of an issue getting both a carbine ( taking pistol mags ) and a semi pistol for about $500 ( hi-point brand ).  The ammo is cheap-17 cents for steel cased, around a quarter a round in brass.  The bad thing is, they are semi-automatic.  I’m not sure if you can alter the gas feed on the carbine ( say, as you would an SKS ) and while I’ve been told they do sell 9mm revolvers I can’t imagine such a niche gun is very cheap.  Everyone seems to fall all over themselves assuring me that in the heat of combat they, being the superist studliest ninja warriors of all time, will be able to Jedi mind control their stress away and practice fire discipline.  Sure, good luck with that.  But aside from the semi issue, 9mm is really the best way to go. 

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I’m assuming you have a source of lead.  You can probably forget the tire shops.  Every store seems to have all their wheel weights already going to a reloader-if you don’t have a buddy working there, you can forget that ( and besides, they aren’t totally free.  You need to bribe the guy with occasional beer ).  Look at buying old batteries ( if you know how to safely salvage the lead from them ), or far better look for a metal recycling place.  Our local business sells lead-either pure or not ( no skimming of impurities, which you can easily accomplish yourself ).  If you don’t plan on casting your own bullets ( the Lee brand is $42 )( all prices in this book were taken from www.midwayusa.com in September/October 2016 ) you can forget about cheaply reloading.  It doubles your cost, from seven cents to 14.  Yes, I said seven cents.  You’ll remember that rimfire is a minimum of a dime each ( unless you engage in the not very recommended reloading of the 22 ).

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You are buying supplies for 10,000 rounds.  You can do less and you probably won’t pay too much more per round.  I’m just under the assumption you wouldn’t buy a cheap pistol or carbine unless it was for a Forever Arsenal, and there is really no point in a Forever Arsenal without it being accompanied by too much less than ten thousand rounds of ammunition ( again, 10k is an arbitrary number.  You could feel comfortable with five thousand, or insist on a minimum of twenty.  I‘ve set it at ten thousand as it seems a nice large number that allows me to sleep better at night.  Always assume Murphy‘s Law-have more of everything, more than you‘ll ever think of needing ).  Primers are going to be three cents each.  Powder is even less at two to two and a half cents per round ( I assume a thousand rounds of reloads per pound of powder.  You can use less per round but I’d worry about diminishing wounding and action cycling issues ). 

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As for brass, I’m assuming ten reloads is not even close to too many.  This is using once fired brass which sells for seven cents.  Buying a thousand rounds should get you ten thousand reloads.  If you are buying unprimed factory new brass it is seventeen cents each.  If you feel comfortable taken new brass and reloading it twenty times ( I have no experience with this myself ) than the price difference is a mute point.  So, either way the brass costs a cent a round.  A three cent primer, a two cent charge of powder and a penny case run you six cents each.  Call lead one or two cents.  Seven cent 9mm verses ten cent rimfire.  For a better performing round.  Now, obviously, if you decide to reload rimfire and have found a cheap rifle, you can have that forever gun for a mere $300.  But if those reloads strike you as less than promising in reliability, let’s break down the 9mm Forever Gun.  A carbine and five thousand reloads is about $700.  Throw in the pistol for a $1,000 total.  Ten thousand reloads and both guns are $1,400 ( I‘ve ignored the magazine cost ). 

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There is the shotgun adaptor for the 9mm ( I can‘t vouch for its accuracy ).  Call it in the neighborhood of $100.  If you already own the shotgun, going with this option and the reloads runs you $800.  Now, there is the matter of the reloading equipment.  I recommend Lee brand, specifically the old timey Lee Loader.  Most people piss and bemoan the type, insisting it won’t reload fast enough.  I say, What?, you got a job you need to be to, after the apocalypse?  You aren’t supposed to be spaying and praying, so why do you need so much ammo so quick?  The loader is $28 and the bullet mold $42 for a total of $70.  I don’t know if I’d trust a single unit ( in the loader.  The bullet mold should be close to indestructible ).  I own two for my Enfield and only plan on loading around 3k rounds ( remember the saying, One Is None And Two Is One.  That is why you don’t only own one expensive gun, but two middlin price ones.  Why you have more than one grain grinder, etc. ).  On another note, I have ignored shipping costs.  I figure you about pay the same, either reloading components or rimfire, so it is a wash in comparing prices.

END

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35 comments:

  1. IMHO - Thanks to the popularity of the 9mm, adding the salvage option to the reload option 9mm makes excellent sense for a calibre of choice. Yes the guns that shoot 9mm both carbine and pistol are semis BUT it is easy enough to get cheapish magazines that hold California legal (aka less than 10) rounds per magazine which can put you into a significantly reduced number of shots per swap, only a few more shots between swaps than a single shot non-clip fed gun. Buy lots of the magazines and you have your built in shot control with only a little more round expendature than a single shot.
    Primers, Powder, lead, are all useful for many calibres. Brass and reloading equip is the only thing to concern youself having the right calibre for.

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    1. Well, there are several different sizes of primers. That is only a non-issue if you plan on scrapping out the chemical and inserting it into a different size primer you're reloading.

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  2. Or, you just gather up all the stuff scattered throughout your domicile that you don't use and sell it, then use the proceeds to buy all the proper stuff you will need in the future and avoid all the silly scrimping.

    Work smarter not harder.

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    1. Most folks have a veto of one spouse. Scrimping might be the only choice.

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  3. “and while I’ve been told they do sell 9mm revolvers I can’t imagine such a niche gun is very cheap.”


    Correct James. It's the Ruger .357 Blackhawk. The 1st cylinder allows for the .357\.38 special combo, and the 2nd is for the 9mm. Apparently the bullet diameter is the same on both. But I'm pretty sure the Blackhawk isn't all that cheap anymore, so probably not worth it unless you already planned on buying one.

    I hesitated mentioning this combo, since as far as I know, there isn't a rifle chambered for it that isn't a semi-auto. But the Ruger Blackhawk also comes chambered in the 30 M1 Carbine. And of course we're all familiar with the Universal Arms .30 M1 rifle that was used in WW2. My late father loved this round for some reason, but I never understood the infatuation myself? Before I'd get this caliber, I'd get the .357\.38. There are at least a few rifles out there, and many pistols chambered for the
    .357\.38, though most of the rifles that I saw were lever actions, which are fine with me.

    It's been several years since I or my father have reloaded James, and I honesty can't recall how many reloads you can get out of a brass case, but I'm sure it's easy enough to google these days. I think my father got quite a few reloads, say around 15 to 20, and threw them away before the cases even started to split. So unless you're loading them hot, the brass lasts a long time.

    Apparently brass that is annealed can last a very long time, with reports of getting 40+ reloads as a result. To be honest, I never heard of this process until just a few minutes ago, but thought I'd mention it anyhow.

    http://www.6mmbr.com/annealing.html

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    1. Some brass is more prone to early death than other. Necked rifle case doesn't last as long as straight wall pistol cases. The two best things to do is neck size only ( using the Lee Loader accomplishes this ) and annealing ( heat up the case neck in the camp fire and then dunk in water ). The love of the 30 carbine was probably for the guns reliability rather than the round. New M1 Carbines are being manufactured but at a stiff price.

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  4. The biggest drawback of 9x19mm is that it won't go through level-3a soft body armor the way that any/every rifle cartridge will. The solution is the same one suggested to shooters facing rifle plates: "aim small" and "Heads & Hips". Even shooting a hand/arm or foot/leg (sloppy cover/concealment) with 9mm/22LR is going to at least slow down a hunger/greed-motivated refugee-looter-soldier.

    Most American citizens don't own any kind of armor, even though it's not unlawful to do so. It's not even expensive, if you have time to shop. Wouldn't you feel better if the old lady and kids were wearing some nice warm used Kevlar panels. Not plates, because they will hate them, but vests that will absorb fragments and ricochets, saving everyone a PITA. A buddy of mine got shot with a .22 from a pistol being mishandled (at a controlled range holding a contest, with the County Sheriff & Deputies everywhere) by a seemingly-functional 23 year old man with an uncleared jam. It stopped in buddy's vest rather than wrecking a kidney. All manner of excitement ensued! Lesson: own a vest & wear it any time guns are around.

    Nothing is as demoralizing to a small team assaulting your position as having one of theirs fixed in place with a broken hip, howling for hours in the open. Hell no, I'm not going to put another round in her! That's a job for her team if they can't stand the noise.

    pdxr13

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    1. Kevlar seems to be a slam dunk, except for a few issues. Heat stroke. Decreased mobility. Once they know you have it, a face shot ( a body shot might have been survivable ). Not saying it isn't great, just saying the trade-offs might negate the advantages.

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  5. 9x19mm is like every cartridge in that performance can be greatly improved by using an expensive engineered bullet. The reference bullet will be a home-cast one, made from scraps of lead or soft-lead firmed up with some tin/antimony from plumbing solder (or silver, if you've got some).
    The next step up is using gas checks. http://www.hornady.com/store/Gas-Checks
    You get less leading in the barrel. Not quite as awesome as a jacketed bullet, but a worthy improvement for price, esp. if you can't get alloys to firm the lead you are casting.

    Here's about the most I would want to pay for performance: a quarter per bullet. Not for mass-fire! For getting 150# of meat with the 9mm carbine.
    http://www.hornady.com/store/9mm-.355-124-gr-HP-XTP/

    and then somewhat-compromised (but only compared to the XTP!) JHP for 12 cents each. Brand name.
    http://www.hornady.com/store/9mm-.355-115-gr-HAP-Bulk-Box-of-3000/
    Less Than a dime each ($349 free ship, 3750 qty, no-brand) http://www.evergladesammo.com/9mm-124gr-jhp-rn-v2.html

    Why buy bullets when you have almost-free lead & all the tools to cast? You can avoid melting lead and breathing fumes. Heavy metal self-poisoning is best left to people who don't value their future, when there are other reasonable (pre-collapse) options to build a pile of ammo.

    pdxr13

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    1. Not sure how hard it would be to avoid fumes melting outdoors with the wind at your back.

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    2. An exhaust hood venting fumes is immensely superior to wind at your back outdoors. Have you ever noticed that when you have the wind at your back and you step up to the fire that the smoke goes right into your face? That's a low-pressure zone at your mouth/nose/eyes made by the wind at your back. At least, don't breathe hot metal vapors and wash your hands before eating or smoking. Leave clothes worn while handling metals in a shed or garage area so as not to contaminate kitchen or sleeping areas. Bucket-wash work clothes to not contaminate family washing machine. You can't be too paranoid about heavy metal poisoning, since it's lifetime-cumulative with almost no symptoms, until you are in a world of hurt.
      pdxr13

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    3. I'm not discounting your sensible safety precautions, but merely saying they will most likely be a luxury few will have.

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    4. You want the wind at your side, not at your back. I first learnt this when piddleing outside in a gale. send the stream upwind and you end up with wet feet, send the stream directly down wind and you end up with wet feet, send your stream across the wind and your good to go. Same with smoke/vapour from a fire.
      Aussie

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  6. I was a 22 man till I broke down the cost. The 9mm is a much better "bang for the buck". I have a 9 my son and daughter also so if we pooled our ammo and I got powder primers we would exceed 10000 shots with whats in house now.

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    1. The cost comparison is really the whole point of this book-although hopefully the Forever Gun concept also catches on and fame and fortune ensue.

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    2. Yes, anonymity and fortune. It's a nice idea, esp. for folks with a little money and no weapons.

      Delete
  7. here is a good video of a 9 mm shotgun adaptor.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIT3RXFlSNk

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  8. If you are going to rely on reloading for the long term, revolvers make a lot more sense than semi auto pistols particularly if in the future your forced to use scrounged components.

    Revolvers don't spray there empty cases hiver and yonder to be lost in the grass or rubble.

    Good solid revolvers are much more forgiving of imperfectly loaded ammo, I once read that Ruger couldn't stuff enough powder into a 357m case to blow up there GP100, but don't try that at home kids. More importantly auto pistols need a minimum power to cycle the action, reloading in the future from improvised components people will tend to er on the side of caution and load light, this can also blow guns up (google squib loads), and light loads may not cycle the action of a semi auto. I would be more confident fireing a revolver loaded with match heads or home made black powder than a auto.

    A case that's start to split on say a 357 mag can be trimmed to 38spc length, and I could imagine a 38spc could be trimmed even shorter to a 38 colt length, and all could be used in a 357m revolver.

    Primers, particularly if they haven't been stored correctly can deteriorate causing miss fires, a miss fire in a revolver you simple pull the trigger again, miss fire in a auto and the gun needs to be manually cycled.

    As for leaver actions, they to have a lot going for them, along with some negatives of cause. 357m becomes a real screamer out of a carbine length barrel and approaches the 30/30 in power with a much lower muzzle blast as practically all the powder of a pistol case is burnt in a carbine length barrel. I shoot 38spc+p in a carbine and they perform really well, kill much better than they have any right to on medium sized game all with a procieved report of a 22lr.

    Leaver actions are just so easy to carry, sleek and fin without knobbly bits sticking out that jag on stuff. Tubular magazines have advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages are that extra loaded magazines cant be carried, but on the plus side the magazine can be topped up while the gun is cocked and locked, ready to fire.

    The main reason leaver actions never were taken up by the worlds militaries to any great extent was that they are not suited shooting while prone. Leaver action armed soldiers tended to lift there head to cycle the action and get it shot off. Bolt action rifles will once again rule the battle fields of the future but there will still be a place for the leaver action, more of a civilian defensive gun.
    Aussie .

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    1. The Russians went big on lever actions but other guns quickly made them obsolete. The Russians also quickly mass ordered Gatlings, with the same problem. Quick to innovate, but with terrible luck.

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    2. .357Mag cases are made of thicker metal than .38sp or even .38sp+p cases. You can use a .357 case in a .38sp pistol by trimming down the length 1mm and adjusting your load for case volume. These are going to be "weak" loads for a .357Mag to be "safe" in a .38sp pistol. Mark and keep separate such cases, since they are headstamped .357Mag and could be confused. The advantage is that the brass is very sturdy compared to .38sp for use in a .38sp pistol.

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    3. Excellent info-thank you very much.

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    4. Just re-read the above post and you clearly state that you intend to discuse 32's and 38's and I assume 357m in the future. I apologise for crapping on about 357m so much now and not weighting, your blog you get to call the shots(no pun intended).
      Aussie

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    5. I did an article on the 32, then I kind of crapped out and let the 38 slide. I love revolvers, but I got tired of writing on this particular subject, was in a bad mood that day, and just wrapped it up with a tirade. And don't be afraid of "crapping on". I need real feedback, not Yes Men. Look at some of my old stuff-the blog has improved over the years. Mostly as I become a better writer through practice, but also because I have a bunch of intelligent readers who keep me educated. Some readers are just dicks, but they help pad the count on traffic :)

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    6. Well its lucky I did crap on about 357m some then as if I hadn't the gentle reader would have missed out on some concise hard hitting information.

      So I take your above post as permission to crap on when ever and on what ever subject takes my fancy then Mr Dakin. I guess you can always just ignore and not publish any of my posts if they get to tiresome.
      Aussie

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    7. I welcome others input-most are smarter than I on niche matters. I can do Big Picture, but need specialist info. For instance, I just included the info on using 357 cases trimmed down to replace 38 with their much thinner walls. I had no idea that was a "thing". Bottom line, I NEED my readers and their expertise. I can ignore your info, but I certainly welcome it as more often than not I learn from it. If you don't learn something new every day, you aren't growing. In fact, I demand that you crap on!

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  9. The Ruger LCR is a good double action only 9mm revolver, about $600-650 out the door with all the taxes/fees. Has a five-round cylinder, 1-7/8" barrel, and takes moon clips. You can load and fire without the moon clips if necessary, but you'd have to manually eject the empties (dowel). The ballistics on it are equivalent to a 3" semi-auto. You'll want to only use 124 grain or heavier bullets unless the rounds are crimped due to the light weight of the revolver causing the bullets to walk forward in the case during recoil.

    Here's your solution to overheating in soft body armor. It also reduces blunt force trauma on your side by maybe 50%.

    http://www.tacvent.com/
    Peace out

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    1. I wouldn't call that a solution to over heating, but a decrease in over heating. It might make all the difference, but might also decrease mobility further.

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  10. If you want to start out with inexpensive, ready-to-go ammunition that you can reload after firing, here's a good place to compare prices: http://www.gunbot.net/ammo/pistol/9mm/

    Check the box next to "Filter Steelcase" to eliminate the non-reloadable steel-cased stuff, ignore the aluminum-cased Blazer rounds (also not reloadable), and you'll see rounds starting at 19 cents each (not including shipping).

    Admittedly, this is more expensive than starting with components and bullets you cast yourself (don't forget to buy some bullet lube!) but it gets you ready while you gather everything and get set up.

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    1. Good point. Get your 500 or 1k factory rounds first, then the 9k reloading components. Not too much more expensive. If really poor, just 100-200 factory to begin.

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  11. I think I'd buy half again more empty brass, as the small case can be quickly lost in the rural landscapes. It often bounces into crannys where it is very hard to retrieve.

    The Ruger Blackhawk was one 9mm Para. revolver, there were others. S&W even made one that did not require 'moon clips' to use way back in 1980s, that model the 547. Supposedly designed for export to a European police force (France ?). Charco made the Pitbull 9mm, but I don't recall if it is still manufactured.

    Thanks for the post.

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    1. Thanks for the revolver info. Yes, extra brass is a good idea-I was going for bare minimum, as usual.

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    2. Thanks for keeping it real, Jim.

      Bare-Minimum, first. Too many guns or too much gold might leave us hungry and unsheltered, if those requirements have not been minimally taken care of first. Folks can read archives to learn how "minimal" this really is, but without operational internet/banking/grid-power and trucking, it might as well be on the moon because your paper/digital credit won't get it. Now is the time to own the Minimal, but rfs will probably work.

      This week might be a fantastic time to get to a gun show with your surplus (to you) AR-15/FAL/M-1G to walk the aisles with a private-party 4Sale sign and a phone number to your just-bought burner phone. An H. (s)election + a D. majority in the Senate will bring us AWB-II without a sunset, or at very-least a nibbling of right-to-own firearms by people accepting public subsidy (AFDC/EBT/SSI/SSD/military-disabled) or designated by any physician or "mental health professional" without a jury trial or a process to get them restored, and much panic-pricing/buying for the "last chance".

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    3. Around here 9mm mostly once fired brass is about $30 per thousand. .38 is around $40, and .45 is $50 - $80 per thousand. 5 gn of Bullseye will load a .45 to around factory specs and will yield 1400 reloads per pound of powder. Pretty good deal.

      The HiPoint units are blowback operated, so there is no gas tube. Lead projectiles tend to clog up gas tubes in pretty short order.

      The HK-91 / PTR-91 are also blowback designs so they can be used with lead projectiles, just if you run over around 2,000 fps you need gas checks. That presumes that you are using around hardness 18 lead. Pure lead is 5 - 8 hardness. The old wheel weights are around 18 or so.

      Wheel guns make a lot of sense to me.

      MOFreedom

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    4. What confuses me is that right now, a week and a half to the election, nobody is panic buying. I would be thinking to buy before the panic starts. So either no one can afford it, or nobody believes Hilary will be elected. Or, they are all a bunch of morons.

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