daily ad

Monday, July 10, 2017

common caliber


COMMON CALIBER

By now I hope you’ve come to the realization that I disagree with almost all the conventional survivalist advice out there.  If you’ll remember I was calling myself the “gadfly of the survivalist movement” many years ago, perhaps even ten years ago, a title I both admired as my wit and charm knows no bounds and for its excessive number of article possibilities.  Oh, I’m sorry!  Did I upset you because I’m not the same boring thoughtless, idealess, creativeless dingusless writer as everyone else?  Screw you, I’m better.  If that bothers you, and don’t pretend that you weren’t already bothered by my perfect hair, then just pick any one of the bland unoriginal same tired flogging on a dead horse blogs or YouTube channels and go there.  That should lift your spirits as my reader count declines.  Now, as I was saying before I was rudely interrupted, I can go on almost every day disputing and refuting conventional prepper pearls of offal that have been carelessly dropped behind every other dingus traveling down this path.  Today, the call for common calibers.

*

I’ve never been a huge fan of modern military ammunition being the caliber the survivalist embraces.  Battlefield salvage might have been a possibility at one time, but given the M16 and its employment as a submachinegun since the Vietnam War on ( the magazines were designed to be disposable, and that was possible back then as ore was readily available as well as the oil needed to extract and process it.  Now, not so much.  My point being that the tactics disposable magazines encourage is sustained automatic fire ) the simple fact is that perpetual resupply is necessary and you can’t count on any individual to possess a bonanza of ammo.  In a conventional war, a rebellion or a guerrilla conflict, this isn’t as huge of a concern since there are convoys and warehouses and black market sources to fall back on.  But in a rural backwater without large forces about, your odds of ransacking or stealing from off more than the odd body decrease.  Couple this with the sad fact that on the first day of the collapse the fully automatic fire will pretty much use up all the ammunition on hand, or at least to a large degree.

*

Then there is the M16’s unfortunate lineage.  Being a piece of crap from the beginning ( setting aside the cost cutting quality issue of the initial carbines by Colt making them prone to rusting as soon as the poor bastard even looked at a rice paddy ), the Army which as an institution has a collective IQ of under that of a syphilitic lobotomized special ed kid kept trying to dink around with the ammunition to “improve” the weapon.  Rather than get rid of the piece of crap, they kept trying to make it less of a piece of crap and never really succeeded  ( they had no problem getting rid of the few good weapons they had such as the M79 and the 45, replacing them with inglorious turds ).  So, having an AR using the M16 ammo, you can’t even be sure the RIGHT kind of 5.56 is going to be available.  It will all work, but whether you can hit anything past shorter ranges might be a problem.  Even if you don’t agree with me that the M16 sucks ( granted, I was using the A1, so I’m sorry if that left a very sour taste in my mouth.  What, you think your employer trying to kill you isn’t a bad thing? ), even if your super studly plastic poodle shooter fires all day long, it is still firing a piece of crap round that is nearly worthless against starving Third World peasants, taking two or three taps to down one Skinny, effectively reducing your mag down to a ten rounder.

*

I’ve come around to not hating the 9mm like I used to.  I used to be a big fan of large caliber and had little reason to like anything other than big slabs of steel for a sidearm, preferably a 45 but a 357 did just nicely for the apocalypse, being a revolver rather than a semi.  I prefer the 1911A1 but have gone to revolvers out of necessity ( no semi’s allowed!! ).  But accepting that the 9mm is an improvement I can’t always ignore ( I was never comfortable with the single action cock 45.  Due to all the morons we had to put on the duty roster to fill out PC quotas, we had to carry chamber empty anyway, and in my own concealed carry days through the ghetto-yes, that is correct, I was a dumbass just like you, back in the day-I just couldn’t bring myself to carry cocked and locked.  So in that aspect, a double action 9 was a everyday carry improvement ) does not mean that the military ammo is worth two craps.  What MENSA member decided 9mm ball was good for anything other than getting you really close to the enemy and then letting him kill you as you wielded a nearly worthless sidearm?  Why would you WANT to use the militaries 9mm?  Why is a worthless round like the 5.56 a good thing to take ( of course, the always mentioned caveat, if you must use an AR, and you employ it as a mid range sniper, you mitigate most of the disadvantages )?

*

So, military calibers blow.  The pistol round is not very effective, nor is the carbine round.  You can call the 308 a military round, and most do, and there are few thirty caliber semi’s that are terrible ( the M14, everyone’s favorite prom date, is far too expensive and problematic for my taste-I think I’d go with an AR in 308 before I went with the M14.  In sniper or marksmen roles, the M16 gas system is not problematic ), but how many M-60’s are you going to encounter, as far as battlefield ammunition acquisition?  All in all, I see no reason to even consider current military calibers as the pinnacle of survivalists arsenals.  Now, let’s move over to the sole consideration of costs.  You can buy better 9mm ammunition, and it is relatively cheap due to the caliber popularity.  And you can buy the correct 223/5.56 to fit your barrel twist.  But if you aren’t a Semi Simian, you don’t need cases and cases of pistol ammunition ( we are not talking of the Forever Gun right now but your basic survival arsenal ).  Without that kind of stockpiling you don’t really take much of a price penalty by choosing other calibers.  Most thirty caliber ammo is currently about the same price.  Granted, 308 is cheaper by around ten to twenty percent, but does the weapon cost difference justify the savings?  When I was asked about the Indian conversion of the Lee-Enfield to 308, many times over the years, I never was regretful over having not chosen it.  The rifles were twice the cost and I got 303 cheap enough that I’d never have paid for the rifle price difference ( plus, the sites suck ).

*

You most likely won’t find plentiful military ammo on the battlefield.  You save a bit on civilian ammo costs now, but it doesn’t always justify picking a weapon you don’t care for.  If you do take a price penalty, if you aren’t shooting semi-auto it shouldn’t be much to write home about.  Since you are using bolts and revolvers, ideally, factory rounds should be less of your supply than reloading components ( with a Lee Loader, any cheese dingus can reload.  Cheaply ).  If you like the 22 calibers and have a bolt action 223, you do get to enjoy the perks of that caliber, granted.  I’m just saying that the insistence on military calibers should not be given the religious fervor the advice usually advocates.  By and large, military calibers don’t offer you the gun you should have and if you aren’t semi-auto and are reloading, that ammunition has limited advantages if any.  Now, how about moving past military calibers and thinking about the common civilian ones.

*

I’m not even sure how this is survivalist advice.  By its very definition, you are going to encounter the most common calibers buying a new gun because the gun shops and the manufactures try to minimize inventory anyway.  You’ll probably have as your options common caliber only anyway.  But say you buy used.  I don’t recommend it unless you are seeing a huge price difference.  Otherwise you are paying too much for a weapon with potentially a severe life span decrease.  Like today when you see these ten year old cars, 150k miles on them and they still want an obscene price, so too do a lot of used firearm sellers believe their turd is special enough for high prices.  Be cautious!  But, buying used, it you aren’t buying a caliber that is really bizarre like a French or Japanese or Swiss round, why worry overly much about the caliber?  Common calibers are fine, just from the amount of guns out there, but must you limit yourself to only the most popular?  Reloading supplies are pretty much the same, except for something very impractical like the fifty cal, other than brass costs.  As long as you avoid overly expensive brass, your costs are generally going to be identical even if you don’t stick to the Common Five or however many calibers are the only ones you are allowed to pick from.

*

Common calibers for the fire team.  In an ambush, about the only fight you should engage in, you fire a few rounds and disengage.  Why would you run out of ammo?  Why would you have to worry about a running retreat engaged in a continuous firefight?  You aren’t doing something right if this happens.  If you are fighting correctly, you aren’t spraying and praying.  You aren’t attacking under a barrage of lead.  You are only firing when you have a target.  Interchangeable ammo is a Industrial Age tactic and concern.  No, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to share a caliber in some circumstances.  Then you could do long term patrolling, fewer rounds carried individually with already cast bullets and a reloader with powder and primers carried, but that is also problematic.  One guy falls off a cliff or is captured, there go critical components.  Individual carry is preferred rather than centralizing supply.  So even that argument doesn’t hold water.  And if you want to resupply from your own dead guys, that also presupposes you are fighting too much on a “disposable cannon fodder paradigm”.  Not that this isn’t an advantage or possibility.  But realistically how many of us will ever actually join a group?  We won’t band until after the collapse, so unless everyone uses an AR, fire team common caliber may not be applicable anyway.  Learn to use less ammo, and carry a minimum load.  This is the apocalypse and any douchebag wasting ammunition endangers the groups long term survival. 

*

As far as current logistics, I’d forget about firing range salvage.  Few folks leave brass anymore.  It is too valuable.  And what they leave, others salvage for commodity prices.  Just like you can’t count on a tire shop to have any lead wheel weights available, don’t count on the range salvage for brass.  So you don’t need to worry about using those common calibers.  As for future brass, consider battlefield salvage carefully.  I’d worry about a counter-ambush if I was busy looking for the enemies brass in the grass and dirt.  And I wouldn’t want to be dependent on needing a barter item to purchase brass others have salvaged.  And, besides, brass isn’t going to be your biggest concern, but rather powder and primers.  Cottage industry chemicals will be almost impossible to manufacture.  If they are easy, assuming a good chemical stock and nitrate surplus, THEN your brass supply is important.  But I feel that your brass will outlast your primers and powder.  Instead of concerning yourself with brass, focus on stockpiling those two.  Folks worry too much about owning too many guns, when they should be personally stockpiling ammunition and components primarily.  Do that right and salvage shouldn’t enter onto your worry list.

*

If you buy the guns you prefer, and stockpile ammunition/components properly for each firearm before buying more guns, considering your logistics as a Lone Wolf operator rather than a community effort ( even if you belong to a group, plan as if you’ll be alone ), the common caliber issue shouldn’t even be on your radar.

END ( end 'o the article Amazon link http://amzn.to/2u442is )

Please support Bison by buying through the Amazon ad graphics at the top of the page. ***You can support me through Patreon ( go to www.patreon.com/bison )***You can make donations or book purchases through PayPal ( www.paypal.me/jimd303 )

*** Unless you are in extreme poverty, spend a buck a month here, by the above donation methods or buy a book. If you don't do Kindle, send me a buck and I'll e-mail it to you.  Or, send an extra buck and I'll send you a CD ( the file is in PDF.  I’ll waive this fee if you order three or more books at one time ).  My e-mail is: jimd303@reagan.com  My address is: James M Dakin, 181 W Bullion Rd #12, Elko NV 89801-4184

*** Pay your author-no one works for free.  I’m nice enough to publish for barely above Mere Book Money, so do your part.***   Land In Elko*  Lord Bison* my bio & biblio*   my web site is www.bisonprepper.com *** Wal-Mart wheat***Amazon Author Page
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there

25 comments:

  1. As you well know , I too consider the AR to be a POS. The sole reason that I own a mini 14, was because of price and the amount of ammo which came with it. Not to mention that unlike the AR , it is a piston driven bolt. Thus the reason they go at a higher premium.
    I also never liked carrying cocked and locked , but prefer the .45...so I went with the Sig 220 single double action pistol. Good reliable and very safe pistol. Accurate too.
    Of course I've also got Ruger revolvers in .45 and .357 and .22....
    Yes indeed , ammo is what to hoard. Guns not so much ! Then too , A man needs stock two of each type gun you prefer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't disagree with you on the "two of each gun", but would ask if that really applies to pistols or shotguns, any non-primary weapon? Just getting two of your rifle will almost break the bank. I own fore Lee-Enfields and three 22 rifles, but only one 357 revolver and one 22 revolver. Yes, I'd prefer to own duplicates of the pistols, but they became victims of being too far down the priority list. Odds are good I'll never even use all thousand rounds of 357/38, or at least I hope. The 22 revolver is more problematic, as I have lots of ammo and the pistol is old. A back-up would be good just because of its age. Alas...

      Delete
  2. Keyword search: most popular rifle caliber in America;
    most popular pistol caliber in America.

    Rifle cartridges:

    .223 Remington
    .308 Winchester
    .30-06 Springfield
    .30-30 Winchester
    .270 Winchester
    .243 Winchester
    7mm Remington Magnum
    .300 Winchester Magnum
    7.62x39mm Soviet
    .22-250 Remington

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/best_selling_rifle_cartridges.htm

    Pistol cartridges:

    9mm (21.4% of revenue)
    .45ACP (9% of revenue)
    .40 S&W
    .38 Special

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2015/04/no_author/the-most-popular-ammo-calibers/

    Suffice it to say that the 9mm is the most popular pistol cartridge amongst all the lists that I came across. If you are adamant about having a revolver only, then your option for the 9mm is limited to only one gun that I’m aware of. The Ruger Blackhawk convertible that fires .357/38 special with one cylinder, 9mm with the other.

    If you wish to keep your rifles and pistols the same, you can get a .357 (or .44 magnum/Specia) lever action. This allows for 3 types of ammo (.38, .357, 9mm for the pistol, and .38/.357 for the rifle). Bear in mind that your range will be limited to around 200 yards with these pistol cartridges.

    Firing low velocity Cowboy Loads with these pistol rounds, and casting your own lead bullets is the way to preserve and make the most of what you have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In plenty of areas this range might be acceptable, but certainly not others. I won't hit much past that, but I'll have much more knock-down power and less of a rainbow trajectory. But I'm in a hilly, no tree area.

      Delete
    2. Since the 9mm seems to be the most common ammo that you will likely ever come across, I’d consider getting a sub-caliber adapter for one of your bolt actions, if you don’t already have one.

      If your .357 just happens to be the aforementioned Ruger convertible, then you have 3 different ammo choices for your pistol alone.

      Delete
    3. Ah, never mind. I just realized the mistake that I made in my previous post. You likely don’t have any bolt guns large enough to reduce down to the 9mm.

      Delete
    4. Enfield's can go to 32 acp. I remember being told here that sometimes it jams half way down the barrel. Doesn't sound realistic.

      Delete
    5. Yeah, I guess the idea that I was shooting for was the ability to be able to fire the very common 9mm round through your rifles as well. But I fell short on that one. Now if you were to have a 12ga, or some other similar larger bore gun, you could probably find something that would work.

      Delete
    6. I'm going to do an upcoming article on the shotgun as a forever gun alternative. Then with adaptor insert you can have the best of all worlds except range.

      Delete
    7. Sounds good, I look forward to it. Dave Canterbury did a few videos on using the single shot shotgun as a muzzleloader, so they’re real versatile guns. The “Slamfire” is also worth noting. I don’t recommend this as a first choice, but many people that truly are not criminals cannot legally purchase a firearm. The guy that was falsely accused of slapping his wife, and was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, now has a lifetime ban against firearms possession. Not being a real criminal, he has none of the connections that the real criminals (that didn’t get the firearms laws memo) have at their disposal.

      Using the H&R 12GA for a Muzzeloader

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES59LtA7XE8

      The 209 Primer 12GA Adapter

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txedePKtMu4

      Delete
    8. Mine isn't rocket science. Blackpowder, paper shells, rimfire reloader chemical to recharge primer.

      Delete
  3. My new AR is now about 3 weeks old and has had over 1000 rds put thru it error free. Good. The new AR's are NOT the old M16's, not by a long shot pun intended. Better materials, tweaked engineering, closer tolerances, all resulting in a machine that can be relied upon in any circumstance. This does not mean that critical spare parts are not stocked.

    I'm putting my grocery list together for another AR build, in 7.72 this time. And I'm also researching reloaders and supplies. Probably going to go with a high end Dillon reloader.

    Out here in the sticks there is only 1 or 2 other potential tribe members so I must rely only on myself until, like you said, after the initial die off for the serious contenders to make themselves known. I've been a natural loaner all of my life so I'm usually prepared for the long haul with no outside support. In a plentiful society people's brains get lazy and I have little tolerance for them, so I don't put up with them at all most of the time. Currently have about 2k rds each of .22, 9mm, 5.56, 12ga, .308, .348. Plan to stock reload supplies for at least 10k rds of each except for the .348. Expect to be fully stocked by years end, and be proficient with the reloader by then too. May even do a little reloading business on the side. Nothing large scale of course, just make a little walking around money and keep my own supplies stocked. Don't need every cheezy, goat smellin' dingus in the state knowing my bidnit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want to like the AR for its markmenship. It just has too many other issues.

      Delete
    2. Wow - I thought I was the only one who reloaded for 348...As I'm sure you're aware, cases for the 348 are a limited run item with a production run done only once every few years. I was unfortunate enough to start loading for it when all the stock on the shelves had been depleted and had to wait almost two years before I could find any that wasn't marked up to scalper's price levels.
      I agree that the AR platform has come a long way since the A1 and its problems (lack of chrome plating for the chamber and jamming due to buildup of calcium carbonate (leftover from the smokeless powder manufacturing process) in the gas tube. Once those were corrected and a few other improvements made (like the forward assist) I believe it became a much better weapon.
      I like your idea of going to the 7.62 AR platform ( AR10) and have done that myself.
      Jim - One thing to note about reloading brass. If things get so bad that people start making mercury-based priming compound (mercury fulminate), please know that upon firing the mercury will be driven into the brass and weaken it, making it unsuitable for reloading. Mercury fulminate also degrades faster than today's compounds, and that can result in hangfires. The latter was far more important to the military in their quest to find more stable priming compounds since they don't worry about the condition of the brass after firing.

      Delete
    3. I had never even heard of 348.

      Delete
    4. Not surprising since only about 55,000 of the rifles (Winchester and Browning) were made during its lifespan. It was a fantastic lever action brush cartridge and from what I read is still popular in Alaska. Perhaps the only reason it hangs on today is that the parent case is the basis for many wildcat cartridges from the 6.5-348 up to the 50 Alaskan. It's a rimmed case (no belt) with a huge base diameter so it holds a lot of powder, and the very generous taper helps it extract easily. But it's pretty much a handloader-only proposition these days...

      Delete
    5. Course, factory loads aren't even as good, so are just a cheap way to get brass anyway. I don't think a cartridge suffers from being only handloaded, other than a slight price premium.

      Delete
  4. To be fair, the "skinnies" in Somalia were still getting regular food, and I think they were using drugs. They were receiving aid from outside the conflict area. Despite the Somalians being skinny most their lives, I figure the upcoming American version of skinnies will likely be weaker based upon less available food, less food supply consistency, and a rapid exhaustion of the illicit and pharmaceutical drug supply, even marijuana. (Don't think that the large illegal forest marijuana grows are all natural. The soil isn't very fertile, and they universally use pesticides and synthetic fertilizer on the crops.) I imagine that a month after grid down, .223 will be more than sufficiently effective for defensive use. I've been on two week-long fasts, and after about three days of no food, I'm pretty sure I'd be easily taken out with a single .22 LR round, being too weak to effectively fight back unless perhaps I was under adrenalin or enraged.
    Peace out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marijuana might not be grown in fertile ground-few places don't need organic inputs to recondition-but the plant itself disregarding the THC production should grow like weeds and be good compost.

      Delete
  5. I started out with 30-06 as that is what I had. I still think that is a good one because every small shop has them in stock. I then got a .223 but in a CZ bolt gun. It is very accurate but has a slow twist so only 55 grain pills. I had a .44 mag pistol so added a .44 mag carbine. I have several .22 Lr guns both pistol and rifle. I seem to use them the most to take out coons, skunks, and rabbits. I was very lucky in that I purchased 10K rounds of std velocity cheap match ammo before the big drought of that calibre. I am ready for the SHTF gun wise. Since your photo has a butch cut I can not praise your hair, I can not see it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can perhaps imagine that every hair on my head is perfect, never out of place. I simply can't have a Bad Hair Day. For you to assume only long hair can be praised is insulting! You will love the hair! LOVE IT! Okay, seriously, it is just a long running joke. But you gotta admit, my head is rather sexy shorn. You could use it as an exfoliator, so it is practical also.

      Delete
  6. hmm...i've never seen your photo but have often wondeerd if you are bald and thus pulling everyone's leg.
    where is this photo?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both links are listed every day at the end of the article, Lord Bison, and Amazon Author Page.
      http://jamesmdakin.blogspot.com/2012/09/lord-bison.html
      *
      https://www.amazon.com/James-M-Dakin/e/B06XR4ZP2F/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1494774744&sr=8-1

      Delete
  7. not much hair there. but you look rough and tough.
    i imagine you as less scary and more amiable.
    guess an mp has to look the part.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Na, not looking the part of rough and tough, just of perpetual exhaustion and crabbiness.

      Delete

I must moderate-trust me. You don't want to see what happens otherwise. Sometimes it takes awhile to respond as I only check two or three times a day. No N-Bombs, nothing to get me libeled. Otherwise, have at it. If you criticize me, make sure to praise my hair first.