Monday, November 6, 2017

uncommon caliber


UNCOMMON CALIBER

I’m not sure if you are so anal retentive that you notice these kinds of minor details, but I certainly am.  I take great pride in this, as if having your nose so close to the ground that you can not only track an animal but also smell his discharges is a good thing.  Doesn’t it seem as if a huge amount of what passes for discussion and teaching in the prepper field these days is nothing but rehashing decades old wisdom, over and over again?  Nothing new added, and certainly nothing old questioned.  If you have the audacity to deviate from the accepted script you are as Galileo rearranging the movement of the planets, a threat to the very existence of the Papacy. 

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Over at one of these generic sites, Outdoor Sportsman or some such near click bait content provider, there was the usual gushing and cheering for Paladin Press.  I countered in the comments that they were hacks and hucksters, always charging insane amounts for usually poor information.  My other main issue with them was their selling-out with the court case about the assassination book.  Voluntary censorship is so wrong I can’t believe it needs any explanation.  Well, of COURSE that brought nasty comments about how Brown was a combat vet and war correspondent and how he was the real deal and how I had no qualifications.

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I have no qualifications?  How about a cheated customer?  How about an observer that sees evil?  How does being a vet make one pure and righteous as a civilian?  No, I didn’t like Paladin Press and I didn’t have to be a customer.  How does he think I became a non-customer?  And, I should be alright with others getting screwed?  Hell, I had forgot all about Soldier Of Fortune even owning Paladin Press.  I didn’t even think that was relevant.  Evidently it has to be, since that seems to be their only qualification for existence and their only justification for shady business practices. 

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This is just one example of Group Think and failing to even try to think for oneself.  I understand the necessity for accepting group dictates unquestionably.  It serves a very good survival purpose.  But don’t we talk about thinking for yourself?  About how you must ignore consensus thinking because the groups we have now, tethered to the Oil Age, won’t survive?  A very large part of my writing is refuting these kinds of blind obedience dictates that pass for wisdom.  And today, after all that preliminary introduction, is the fallacy of Common Calibers. 

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I can see the point about duplicating the ammunition most others are using.  It is cheaper.  In theory it helps in the field.  There is historical precedence such as the logistical nightmare the Union had in the War Of Northern Colonialism with so many different calibers.  Yet, there are several counterpoints.  During the last ammunition shortage, all the common calibers were gone for lengthy periods, with only the uncommon available.  After the end of the Industrial Age, logistics aren’t going to be an issue per se ( from a volume standpoint if nothing else ).  And, my favorite, if you aren’t spraying and praying in semi-auto the odds are you don’t run out of ammo in the field.  Also, settling for common caliber means you likely settle with your gun.

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Now, really, I understand about commonality.  If everyone has an AR, you buy in bulk, have spare parts available and simplify gun repair.  Of course, my counter to this is that your ammunition won’t last long enough so that your gun most likely will still be fully operational well after that.  Also, why buy an expensive plot of land now when you can just take one later on?  And why spend good money on an AR when you can pick a few up very shortly after the apocalypse?  Assuming ammunition lasts, which I don’t necessarily, you can group standardize later.

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I’ve shared my example previously.  I hate the Indian conversion Lee-Enfields because of their suck ass sites, so going with 308 would be problematic ( and they use the no.1’s.  The no.4’s both have better sites AND an overall better construction-a good reason to stick to 303 ).  I don’t personally care for the Mausers, so their 308 rifles don’t interest me.  And your standard affordable HK clone or FAL don’t get you much better groups anyway, semi being their only selling point ( for other people anyway )( the M14 is not an option, not at their prices ).  My new fellow fighter, the NOL’s son in law, has his own caliber bolt action hunting rifles.  He is good at using them.  Why would either of us compromise?

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Because in theory we are out in the field and run out of ammunition?  I submit we would be out of food or water before we ran out of ammunition.  We are on raids or ambushes, not search and destroy missions.  One shot at a time, not one mag at a time.  And if I’m too stupid to realize I’m running low, and don’t kill an enemy and take his weapon prior to that if we were stuck out in the field, I’d die regardless if my partner had duplicate ammunition anyway.  And logistics don’t matter since there are no more factories.  You do understand the difference between the rise of the Industrial Era and after its collapse, don’t you?

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Eventually, if just for spare parts, you’ll need to all have the same rifle.  And that most likely will be the AR.  I get it.  I merely question if having one NOW is of paramount importance.  If you already have a rifle and are comfortable with it, I see few reasons to change ( if you already have an AR, think about turning it into a bolt action ).  You may not be comfortable using up all your savings changing over your arsenal.  You’ll need cash for other things in the upcoming economic calamity.  For the spare parts and the brass issue, yes, you’ll eventually need to go to the AR.  And there will be a surplus of them very shortly ( whether the ammunition or not is a different question ).  At most, get a good book on gunsmithing that rifle.

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Common calibers makes things easier, and that is about it.  Lack thereof makes things more difficult, but not as much as most assume.  Lack of Easy is going to be a common occurrence.  You might want to think about embracing what will soon be normal. 

END ( today's related link http://amzn.to/2gPAgW6 )
 
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34 comments:

  1. First off, what other people have or don't have has little bearing on what I have. At my age (62) I don't see raiding and pillaging in my future. But I do see, in my future, the possibility of being a lone wolf in a society that is heading at lightspeed to ground zero and the necessity of shooting people in the head up close and at great distances, so I learn, train, and supply myself accordingly. I learned long ago that if I rely on others I will be severely disappointed, so the idea of stealing other people's stuff isn't part of my game plan. I'm not saying I won't do it, cause I will if the opportunity arises, but rather I am not going to depend on it cause I already have my own stuff. IOW, if I purposely limited my amount of ammo on hand to a minimalist amount because in the future there will supposedly be plenty to take, with my lucj and experience the exact opposite will occur. "ATTENTION! Paging Mr Murphy, Paging Mr Murphy!"

    I ain't wealthy but I do has some coin coming in and I know what I have to do with it, that's why, as I've said before, I have defined my priorities and live accordingly.

    I have about 10,000 rds in 5 main calibers, .22, .223, 9mm, .308, .348, 12ga. and I'm adding to it all the time. By next Nov I'll have 20k rds.

    BTW, just went over to Paladin and their cheapest ebook is $10.95! For a single file! They deserve to go out of business.

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    1. As usual, I'm probably hurrying up the collapse in my planning. If we do end up with far more time than I think, I'll be right there with you needing to stay stationary and will need to change plans accordingly. I understand the danger of believing your own BS :0

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  2. True about the odd ammo being available during the last shortage. I remember seeing .243 as the only caliber on the shelves at Wal-Mart for months.

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    1. The local bigger gun store helpfully offered 303 British. At $1.75 a round! It might have been upper quality, but the rifle firing it sure wasn't. I'll bet they still have those boxes for sale.

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  3. I agree with your analysis but this is valid mostly when you try to build up your ammo reserve during a crisis or a mass prepping / mass hysteria event.

    If your build up your armament during peaceful times, then IMHO common caliber firearms are more commonly available, not only in new condition but also second-hand, simply because there are more of them around. The same goes for ammunition and also spent cases (I got all my .38 Special brass for free, by salvaging cases at the range).

    I would like to differentiate between different levels of uncommonality.
    Some calibers are almost extinct because they didn't make much sense in the first place (Remington EtronX) (fun fact ! étron in French is an old word for a piece of excrement https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C3%A9tron ).
    Some calibers have aged badly, like anything WSSM (Winchester Super Short Magnum), it is being said that it uses up barrels very quickly, and it is said to be choosy in reloading powders.

    Perhaps the better sort of uncommon calibers are foreign ones (9x18 Makarov, 7,5x54mm French) which in themselves are up to the job. In this case the firearm would be cheaper because of the difficulty to find suitable ammo or components, but this very fact makes it hard to accumulate ammunition in the first place.

    As for myself, I have no money in Savage stock, but again, a Savage Axis for 300 USD is hard to beat, and it is made only in common calibers.

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    1. Reading "Gun Test" mag, it seems that Savage usually comes out on top with most testing.

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    2. Alas in France they cost 650 EUR at the very least, and I don't contemplate to purchase another weapon, so I can't test it. The one thing it lacks are iron sights, though, so I guess it would be another 50 USD to have fixed sights installed. Or less, if you go Bubba.

      I hate to be dramatic, but a 300USD .308 rifle new, and a "Benjamin" .22LR single-shot rifle may well be the stuff of legends for the generations to come, just like 99 USD Mosin-Nagant once were.

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    3. That is why the $20 a year subscription to Gun Test is so nice. You get the last ten years of online archives as well as the paper issues new ( I think it is more a newsletter than a magazine. Been a while since my first sub ). It can stay academic.

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    4. The Savage Axis doesn't come with open sights which I currently consider a must have.

      Am I on the wrong track there? To be fair I don't *really* fancy my chances TEOTWAWKI PODO. But then again I'd hate to "make" it only to have my rifle scope break and have no back up

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    5. No, I agree with you that iron sites are a must. So, you just don't get that particular model. If you want a hunting rifle and pick a Savage, just go with a model with iron sites. So it's a hundred bucks more. So what, right. I think the point was to see how affordable it COULD be. Just upgrade a bit.

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  4. If someone is interested in a BOLT 5.56 / .223 Remington gun that accepts AR-15 magazines (yep, even the hi-cap), then look at the Mossberg MVP bolt rifles. There is even a larger 7.62 / .308 Winchester that accepts M-14 magazines as well if that is more your style.

    http://www.mossberg.com/category/series/mvp-series/mvp-patrol/

    A lot of good sense in waiting for die-off to occur. The bad side is transporting ammunition from there to your location will require some young muscles to move. A 500 round case of .223 goes about 17 pounds, according to an internet site.

    in hindsight, loading up on the unusual ammo when it was 1st offered probably would have saved you a lot of money and effort. A case of 480 rounds of Swiss GP-11 7.5x55 was approximately $200 shipped. Now, pretty close to double that, IF can be found.

    Those inexpensive TOK 7.62x25 was even better, a 1000 rounds for just over $100 ! With the pistol just north of that, both for $200 for a decent 'forever' gun was not a bad deal. Alas, pretty rare now.

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    1. I kick myself in the ass for failing to buy more rifles at $99 and more ammo at 30cents. I was making huge bucks at the time but had yet to learn to live smarter financially.

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    2. Unfortunately but logically, having lots of money doesn't teach frugality.

      But on the positive side it allows for a lot of experimentation, and thus helps build up precious experience. To avoid the excess you must have known what excess is, and how you got excessive.

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    3. Okay, very good point. Without pain, you don't learn.

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    4. Ha ha. My disposable income back then was greater than my current pay before taxes & bills. I had a Steyr Scout all tricked out.

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    5. I was making two and a half times more with prices one third what they are now. Of course, it just had to be the start of my divorce where most went to Herself and the rest was wasted on my ignorance. I'm still doing better than most though I imagine, so I try not to beat myself up too much.

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    6. If I could go back in time to when I was in my final year of high school to give myself 5 minutes of advice it'd be

      * Buy a house before 2000
      * Buy long arms before 1996 (registration introduced to Australia & semi autos for all intents and purposes banned)

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    7. Go back to 1990-dump the bitch, or at least don't be such a pussy giving her your balls.

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  5. I find it hard to hate on Paladin Press at times, mostly because they (and Delta Press I think) took over Loompanics old publications, and I have fond memories of Loompanics. I get the gist of what you’re saying though, as when it came to pricing, “they stuck it to you dry, with splinters, and broke it off inside”, as my old man was prone to saying.

    I ordered “David’s Tool Kit” from either them, or the Delta Press (I can’t recall which?) but today I wouldn’t order such a publication online. I was probably put on an NSA watch list for 5 years over that order.

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    1. I would say you are on a watch list for reading here, but we both know I'm so insignifigant even the fed Haters don't hate.

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    2. We should get a rebate or something, because so many NSA guys & gals owe their jobs to us crazy people !

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    3. Hell, I'd be happy if they published their list, by subject. We could find a lot of new authors.

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  6. Your article gave me a thought about wandering the wasteland with an AR with limited ammo resupply. Since a person might unconsciously empty a magazine quicker than necessary, why not carry only 10-round magazines? There are also 5-round magazines, but I don't think I'd go that low. You would then have to limit yourself and be more cautious (a good thing), thinking "I better not start x because I can't finish x without reloading and the pause might get me killed." Also, the more frequent reloads will require more reevaluation of the situation (I just reloaded, where'd that guy disappear to?) and slow down your rate of fire.
    Peace out

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    1. Ten would be a good compromise between bolts and semi's, as you say to limit your panic wastage.

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    2. Yes, a ten round magazine is also flush with the rifle and doesn't snag into things.

      It is also easier to carry and stash on yourself, whereas a 30-round mag is such a drama queen, imposing its presence and prevalence to your other stuff.

      Also, the shape of the 30-round magazine, be it on you or in your rifle, makes you stand out somewhat, and easier to spot.

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    3. I thought the AR itself was a bit of a drama queen :) Look how sleek I am! I'm all futuristic, meet George Jetson! I'm all high-tech, the Air Force wanted me first! Okay, I'll stop now.

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  7. >> Look how sleek I am! I'm all futuristic, meet George Jetson! I'm all high-tech, the Air Force wanted me first! Okay, I'll stop now.

    :)

    To be fair, a lot of things were advertised like that back then, cars ans stereo systems etc.

    Hey, maybe cars and guns are the reflection of the state of the industry of their times. I've read that the Israeli Tavor rifles don't even have a proper receiver but just bits of metal inserted into the housing's plastic. Looks a lot like the chinese crap we can buy at the supermarket nowadays.

    The Lee-Enfields were made at the age of the first automobiles, back when steam locomotives were marvels of engineering.

    Nowadays we have crappy cars and the new rifles are not that great either. I read a lot of articles and forums where the Remington 700 series received a very bad rap, making it comparable to the cars that were manufactured in the US at the time (the "accidental firing" issue that has been silenced for years is so typical)

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    1. It makes sense anything manufactured in decade X would all look/act/be built the same-I never thought of it that way. And of course, as technology basically mostly halted fifty years ago, we are really frozen in time with Moore's Law the only "advancement". We have been living in Tommorrowland since then.

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    2. I remember when I was a kid (I’m the same age as yourself) you didn’t have a lot of cheaply priced knock off crap available. When a boy wanted a pocket knife, he saved for a while, or maybe got lucky and got one for his birthday or Christmas, and generally, it was his only knife. As an example, I think that I had one hunting knife that my father gave me, and my grandfather gave me an old pocket knife that was probably an antique when he gave it to me in the 70’s. Today I probably have around 50 cheap Chinese knives, that I rarely use.

      As far as quality goes with regards to most items, but in this example, firearms, I love and still have my Stevens model 9478 single shot 12ga shotgun. But even then (1978) quality had taken a hit. The trigger guard and barrel release is made of high impact plastic, which actually held up quite well, so in retrospect, this ended up being a good idea. They did however use a cheap cast hammer which ended up snapping on me one day. I managed to find a place online that sold parts for this gun (this was in the earlier days of the internet; circa late 1990’s) and I was able to repair it. Stick with the classics if you can, and better yet, a private sale that doesn’t involve any paperwork.

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    3. Dry humpers in Vegas voted to kill our private firearms sales last year. Bitches and hos.

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    4. Something tells me that it will be happening on the federal level real soon Jim. Way too many mass shootings as of late, and mighty convenient for those that do not realize just how foolish it is to hand over a citizens most effective means of protection. Regardless of one’s views on when or how bad the collapse is going to be, I think it’s safe to assume that crime is not going to get better as more and more people are unemployed.

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    5. If they banned private sales, I wonder if there would be an opportunity for gun shops to sell AR kits, plus the "lower receiver pour kits". All legal, no paper trail. Look how Cali residents used up all the AK kit parts having those informal classes on how to drill and form your own lower receivers. Yes, it might then be banned, but we'd have warning, likely. The reason I wouldn't mail order the parts is the paper trail.

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  8. If you get one of those Savage deals there is someone that makes 10 round mags. They are only good for 8 before the spring overcomes the mag lips but it is way better than the 3 round it comes with. He uses the stock 3 round mag with a nice cast box added so feeding is not a problem. They are not cheap because of the use of the stock mag but they do work nicely. I did try shooting 24 rounds as rapidly as possible and the point of impact did not change. Google to find him if he still is around.

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    1. Three rounds almost seems too limiting. I thought five was bad, on Mausers. Course, if two mags are 25% of the gun price...

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