OTHER AMMO 2 of 2
Even if you aren’t a survivalist, you stock the crap out of ammunition because the price will seriously rise again, completely independent of politics. You notice when the SRS Rocco Report give you a heads up that a mine produced 20% less silver this year than last, what does that tell you? It doesn’t matter about precious metals ( for our purpose of discussion here ). It matters that the primary ore being extracted ( precious metals are in many, many mines a secondary ore ), as in, you know, COPPER, is either decreasing in availability or in demand. You cannot count on lowest ammo prices to continue.
I’ve harped on Peak Copper before. This is how shortages work. You see one, prices skyrocket. Customers cannot afford the new price, don’t buy, and suppliers go out of business. Prices drop as the remaining suppliers fight for survival. The increased demand from lower prices forces another price increase as supplies fall further. You see the same thing in gasoline or rice or whatever. During a famine, sure, food prices take on another dynamic. But since we aren’t in a war, ammunition remains a discretionary spending item. How many guys actually go out plinking anymore? A nickel a round isn’t much for us stockpilers, but it isn’t a cheap entertainment anymore, is it?
Right before Peak Oil crashed the economy, rimfire ammo was one and a half to one and an eighth cent a round. Even if you can afford to buy cases at four cents delivered, you are still looking at nearly three times the old cost. What it used to cost back when everyone that wanted one could get a job, and usually a full time one at that. With rent costs half and medical one fifth. I think the only folks buying serious amounts of rimfire are preppers, and then only extra-serious preppers ( of which there are few ). No wonder the price crashed-the industry finally got capacity back up to “nation full of plinkers” levels but no one could afford to go back plinking ( at least at the old levels-why do you think car makers are in trouble, even at twice the sticker price? The numbers either stalled or dropped, in this economy only supports growth ).
So now that a nickel a round is back, the serious preppers are buying. Which will once again put pressure on prices to rise, after current inventory dips. But those buying only buy on low prices. The whole modern economic model is broken-a sure sign of EROI contraction. Remember, it was all rather simple ( see The Crash Course on You Tube ). Interest on debt must be paid, which means money must constantly be added, and oil was money ( sorry, gold dudes ). And now EROI is dropping. Volume is NOT energy growth, positive net energy is.
To be clear, I’m not advocating anyone go out and buy Other Ammo ( ammo you’ll only use once the dry guns are discarded or bartered pennies on the dollar, which is now based on food and wheat is no longer twenty cents a pound but several bucks per [ NOT accounting for any inflation ] ) as an extra cost. I’m saying, if you have the money and desire to buy another gun, please consider ammunition instead. Even magazines are not the worst buy, IF and only if you are fairly certain you’ll soon have the weapon that uses it ( in other words, not as an investment thinking you’ll make a mint during a gun ban-that could very well happen, but the odds are lower than the near certainty of folks using semi’s running out of ammo quickly ).
Not to say that ammo isn’t is good investment item, just magazines to guns you don’t yet have. But with ammo, you are ahead on several fronts. You’ve bought when historically cheap ( relatively speaking ). You’ve bought in case of a ban. You’ve bought to resell at three times the price. And you’ve bought for your free gun post-apocalypse. You really can’t go wrong. But mags are too much of a crap shoot. They could ban all semi’s. And with pistols, there is just too much variety out there. So, ammo is a far better investment than magazines.
Even if you don’t buy for your future self, you can buy for your buddies. Four hundred rounds of thirty cal hunting ammo for your friend will make him a semi-sniper for a very long time and add some value to his otherwise worthless ass. As far as reloading supplies, I would recommend buying the factory brass ammunition now while it is cheap. Once you have the cases, then you can go cheaper by buying reloading components to up the ammo count. For the simple reason that when the ammo drought was here empty cases were selling for more than the actual ammo is now. Loaded factory ammo now, in brass, then once you have enough cases for future use, components. That would be my priority.
Should you buy steel case? After all, you are getting free guns or are stocking for a friends gun. So what do you care if the steel case screws up that guns extractor? Or its primers are corrosive? The price difference is 50%. It all depends on if you reload, doesn’t it? Me, I think you are making a problematic investment in the case of steel cases. They are a short term solution, same as those MRE’s. Really, they never should have gone any further than being used for AK’s and SKS’s ( even in the Mosin-Nagant they suck, as the round then doesn’t swell and seal. Even present day manufacture should be suitable only for the semi sniper ). You can sometimes if not always find or scrounge reloading components, but all the steel cases will be gone and you have given up the option of reloading ( unless you believe that China will supply insurgents, there will be no more supply ).
Not that you cannot reuse the steel cases. I’m sure those with no option can make that work. Better risking the life of your gun than risking your life with no ammo. It just seems that steel cases were quantity over quality. And your ammo should never be burned in quantity. They are not a solution to high ammo prices, even though they were used in that role. They were originally meant to feed an industrial war machine assault carbine. If you have that carbine, and can afford all its needed ammo NOW ( because you never know when the supply is interrupted ), you will probably be just fine with steel case. Everyone else with all other guns? Forget semi dumps and go with slow fire and reloads.
You cannot just think about the ills of logistics the end of the modern economy will bring-you have to plan NOW for this occurring. Christ, are we preppers or are we Black Friday shoppers? Panic buying is for chumps. Plan ahead.
END ( today's related link https://amzn.to/2GudkH6 )
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there
“A nickel a round isn’t much for us stockpilers, but it isn’t a cheap entertainment anymore, is it?”ReplyDelete
It’s not as if a nickel will buy you much anymore, but when you put it that way, it really is somewhat of an expensive quick pull of the trigger, for a leisure time activity. (I’m sure that there’s a good prostitution metaphor in there somewhere, but I’m going to take the high road 😀 ).
That’s why I made it a point to get a .22 cal air rifle. I started off with the Chinese B1 rifle (mentioned here before, and I believe that you wish listed it) but found myself wanting more. So I ended up getting a decent Crossman Nitro Piston model. I’m happy with it. It’s quiet (unlike the ear piercing supersonic .177 models) and powerful. I do believe that there are buckshot sizes that come real close to the same size as either a .177 cal pellet, or a .22 cal pellet; something to keep in mind with regards to versatility.
So while the serious prepper should stockpile as much ammo and components as possible, don’t ignore the low tech, or reusable projectile options, such as air rifles or archery equipment.
Beware, of course, the lack of air gun repairmen.Delete
In consideration of this, then you’re probably better off with either the B1 or B3 Chinese air rifles. They are rather low tech, use simple leather seals, and are relatively easy to work on as far as air guns go. Also, I suspect that the problems associated with keeping an airgun going, will still be less than the problems with keeping the modern firearm going, with it’s cartridges, and the resources required for them alone.Delete
The issues with keeping a firearm going pay far more dividends than an air rifle, however, as the pellet gun is less versatile. Not that it isn't a good idea, and I like the thought of a much lower tech on air guns. Why spend $300 on one that you can't fix? Better a $50 one you can.Delete
Good series Jim! Minions head will explode with the info in this wagon train. Recommend minions not be too shy of steel cased ammo. If just stocking non owned guns, or padding up existing stockpiles, it will be good to go, money saved can go towards more food. Something else will break on the gun before the ammo does it. (Clean-lube-s.o.p.) Unless a minion is younger, and has TIME+MONEY, would not recommend too involved in reloading. Yes it does save money long haul, but the logistics train and invovled efforts are better spent by most in other areas. There will be a new paradigm post shtf/collapse so our today notions will not apply then. Stay frosty.ReplyDelete
I think I need to do an article on the finances of reloading verses steel case. For myself as well as minions. I'm very frightened to use them in my no longer replaceable Enfields. Older guns need the expansion seal, and I must worry about the extractor and firing pin. They are already used, right? But I'm not sure the payback time on the loader and bullet mold. I know there is little point in reloading modern stuff-too high tech finicky. But the old stuff might require it. Thanks for the article idea.Delete
The difference between a normal shooter and a survivalist is that the shooter is happy with 200 rounds and the survivalists aims to have fives times that. Economies of scale are inevitable in a survivalist setup, reloading is all about that.Delete
The economics of reloading entail recycling one component out of four (the case), but it also allows to buy that component second-hand (already fired) or even to collect it for free at the shooting range.
There is a learning curve but it paid back with the economy of scale (price difference with even steel cased ammunition). Also, once you're reloading several hundred rounds the learning curve is behind you.
Finally, I haven't met a steel cases cartridge that didn't suck ballistically (keyholing etc.). Also their jacket are said to be made of a material that will eat your barrel much faster than reguler ones.
To be fair, the steel was presumed to be more of the secondary ammo, so barrel longevity isn't really an issue. But, the ballistic performance IS an issue. If you miss more often, how much did you actually save by not reloading?Delete
Try and find spare extractor or firing pins/or spare bolts. Nice to have. Should be fine though. You may end up with new equipment any way, as there will be opportunities abound, policing up debris around your sector. Pay runt kids with canned food for them to drag picked up guns in from the wasteland.ReplyDelete
For your own amusement, pay in unlabeled cans.Delete
"Ah, mister! This one is carrots!"
Nobody's as wealthy as they'd like to be and we all get to choose our hobbies. I choose shooting guns as one of my hobbies and don't mind spending what it costs to do so cause....I Like It!ReplyDelete
Some people like to have $100/mth cellphone plans and jump thru every kind of hoop to justify it. Some pay $100/mth for 300 channel TV access. Then there's the new car of the month people, garment style hor's, movie theater attractants, and on and on. And let's not forget about eating out at all the stylish eateries across the metropolis and washing it all down with a big fat Starbuck. Everybody's got LONG coin to spend on things they enjoy.
In the past year I have spent less than $100 on my cell (Tracfone that is rarely used), nothing on TV cept an $11 antenna from amazon, I wear shorts and T everyday of the year, and I've eaten out about 6-8 times in the past year and have only tried boutique coffee 3 times in my life and didn't like any of it, my newest vehicle is 17 years old and I put less than 3000 miles on it per year. My other vehicle is driven less than 500 per year. And the last movie I seen in a theater was U-571 and I don't even remember what year that was. 2002?
When you stack all that stuff up on both sides of the spendable scale you can clearly see that I have ample room for buying ammo and I suspect everybody else does to, if they want to.
Yesterday I had to go to Rural King and get 4 bags of salt for the water softener and picked up 4 100rd boxes of Winchester 9mm ammo for $23 each and a single 500 rd box of Remington .22 for $30. So about $122 + tax for 900 rds of ammo that may save my life in the future but will most likely be used for doing one of my hobbys. The day before yesterday I dropped a bag of 80 empty brass cartridges in Winchester .348 off to a guy I know that does reloading. He's going to reload them for me for $2 each, which is a deal considering brand new ones cost more than $4 each if you can find them. So in that instance I am actually MAKING money on the purchase of ammo for my hobby.
I can't say for sure but I may hit Rural King again in week or 2 and I suspect my hobby flavor that day might be in the 12ga genre or maybe some more bolts for the crossbow. Almost forgot. Also yesterday my neighbor found an almost new M16 buttstock with buffer, tube, and spring for $50 which will go toward another AR build I am anticipating later this year (stock military format but with a 24" barrel and in .308 cal.).
We all get to choose our poisons, so far, and nobody gets to complain that they don't have enough. We all know better.
Wise words. I shouldn't point fingers, as my book habit cost me plenty in some years.Delete
You made some good points, but there were quite a few times when your head was up (you know where), putting the cart before the horse.
For once I found myself in agreement with something Ghost sniper wrote.
At a nickel a round why aren't you spending a lousy 5 bucks to put 100 rounds down range???? Laziness?
Let's get real here. How long do you think a survivalist that can't shoot is going to last??
You call down the spray and pray guys, yet you won't be able to shoot worth shit when you need to. Semi auto or bolt!
On a different topic, can you tell me what is the difference between JRW and all his high buck survival toys and you with all your numerous penny ante money wasting items?
Point? Forget the reloading bull shit!
You are TOO old to start it now. Your minions (99.9%) are not smart enough or disciplined enough.
Just buy MORE ammo. Want a variety? Go to estate sales like one poster said.
P.S. Reloading ain't cheap. For the cost of one die you can by a box of ammo. Even after you get the die you still have to get other equipment and components.
How many times do you think you can shoot at people and not get shot or die? Thousands? Tens of thousands? How much ammo do you have? Is all that ammo for a change to spray and pray tactics?
Reloading is as cheap or expensive as you want. And it quickly pays for itself when we speak of survivalist stockpile quantities. Also, I was speaking of the casual rimfire shooter plinking ( or not, now, as the case mat be ).Delete
I've back burned the idea of reloading, for now. And that's after spending a fair amount on the recent Lymans reloading handbook. Dammit I hate getting old. That's what it basically boils down to. The idea of having containers of powder sitting around bothers me. I was a demo specialist in the combat engineers and I know the potential. Yeah, I'm pussing out.Delete
Plus, I don't know if I have it in me for the tedious-boring nature of the stuff and the more I delve into it I find I just don't think I'd like it overall. What I might do is buy some dies for the calibers I have and keep them handy so that someone else might use them to reload my rare calibers (.348).
No need to for 7:48 to have such a rude tongue.
>> Point? Forget the reloading bull shit!Delete
>> You are TOO old to start it now. Your minions (99.9%) are not smart enough or disciplined enough.
You do as you please, but as for myself I wouldn't call 99% of a given population "not smart enough". This is easy dismissal that leads to bad decisionmaking (a polite way to say that you're sounding like Hillary...)
Reloading is only bullshit to those who haven't tried it yet, and thus don't seem to know what they're talking about (which makes them somehow better than the stupid 99% - don't ask me the math here, I'm the stupid guy here).
Perhaps barely alphabetized guys in the old west, with their bullet moulds and limited means, were indeed better than 99% of the readership here.
That is just YKWMM's way. I can't really complain too much as at times I'm a bit caustic myself. He keeps me on my toes ( although sometimes he's just testing me ).Delete
Ghostsniper, reloading is the perfect example to illustrate how cottage manufacturing is much more tedious and time consuming than industrial manufacture. It takes a lot more time to reload by yourself than by stopping at Walmart and get what you "need" through Credit Card Debt.Delete
The thing is that one day there is not going to be a Wal-Mart, nor credit cards. So there you'll be, with your reloading stuff.
By then you'll also see how YKW can change and become very charming and mellow once he needs the damn stuff from you.
Have seen it several times in my life : Big mouth one year, super modest the following year. Problem is, once you said something stupid, or behaved badly, it sticks to you and never washes off, no matter what you do or say afterwards.
Which is why one must never alienate others, because it is only detrimental and thus is a sign of stupidity in itself. Important survival lesson here.
You have a very good point. We need to learn how to do more of our own stuff. HOWEVER. I can also see GS's point. Sometimes you are just so friggin wore out with life, you can't keep taking on new challenges. Case in point. At one time I took my wool to the dry cleaners. Learning how to do it yourself is so friggin easy, it is embarrassing. But I was working so hard and so long everyday, I just didn't have the mental energy. I had to slowly ease into learning that easy kind of stuff. Mental state is important, and age does nothing to help that. As long as you are mostly disciplined in important areas, you need to let your mind relax on other things.Delete
>Mental state is important, and age does nothing to help that.Delete
Yes and yes. This is why many old folks our generation saw when we were young were actually much more relaxed on a daily basis. This is the generation that had 80+ years of life expectancy.
The life expectancy of our generation is much lower, especially the better people are wearing out fast because the rest of the population is so abrasive. The dumb guys are killing us through stress and provocations (SJW, Feminists, BLM etc etc.) long before we can shoot them.
This is actually one of the key factors leading to the collapse.
This is why surviving is first and foremost letting go of the rat race, then approach work pretty much like a hobby. An old woman the age of my grandma had a superb veggie patch, well beyond self-suffiency, she spent all her time in it. She never broke a sweat, to her it was pretty much the same as watching TV I guess. But she was super sharp in her knowledge of plants and seasons.
To some guys it will be shooting, to others reloading, others will work leather or carve wood. If you're not poor you don't need to haste, because haste is taking years of life from you.
Slowing down to exchange money for time, to learn all this good stuff. Pretty much my conclusion. I'll be writing an article, as you inspired me, again, so thanks for that. Hope I can go beyond that simple point and add value to the discussion here. Writing the "cops as tribe" one now. This will be next.Delete
Before I spend more money on another "hobby" that I know almost nothing about I had to stop and consider if it was something I'd get bored with. I've never been with repetitious activities, cept fukkin'. hehDelete
I currently have more than 10k rounds and purchasing more all the time. I think I'll spend more resources on things that interest me more. I do my best with the things I like the most. No sense dragging the approaching bad times to me any faster than they're already going. Just sitting on the porch thinking, and watching the wildlife, is boring to most but I find it entertaining, and free.
Follow your own muse. If you follow someone else's, you get waylaid off the beaten path, in the dark woods, where you will be violated and left to die.Delete
GS I see what you mean. If you have the money to do that, by all means do. I had to reload to get my ammo stash, at less than half the price it would have cost me to buy it.Delete
Since this article series is about ammo for guns you don't have, well over 99% of this kind of ammo I have is from reloading empty cases I picked up for free (the remaining 1% are cartridges that I found intact), so in that aspect it makes much more sense to buy a set of reloading dies and reload than to buy new.
Also, in Europe there are restrictions to the ammo you can buy (but it's not the case in the US so I haven't mentionned this earlier).
@Ave, agreed. Reloading isn't off the table here, just sort of backburnered while I focus on other stuff. It's always on my mind. I do have the expensive and BIG Lymans book so there's that for inspiration. I'll probably ease into the reloading business a little bit at a time. Probably get the inexpensive Lee deal, then a few dies, tumbler, etc.Delete
Clever, I never thought of that before.ReplyDelete
The universality of the words habit and hobby - are they one and the same? heh
Dammit, and I wasn't even trying to be clever!Delete
YKW is a little harsh at times, but he’s generally right. I’ve always been highly skeptical that one can engage in more than a few gunfights and live to tell about it. I saw someone mention in the comments section here once, a dude from Brazil (or some south American country) that regularly engaged in gunfights, and survived them. That individual was either highly skilled far beyond an ordinary person, or extremely lucky. In other words, don’t try this at home kids. And practice and being a good shot while shooting at stationary non-human targets isn’t good enough. If you’ve ever read Bat Masterson’s book, Famous Gunfighters of The Western Frontier, he touches on the qualities and psychology that make for a good gunfighter (Hint: They weren’t necessarily good shots, and in fact, often times were not. And there were many that were crack shots and died in gunfights regardless).ReplyDelete
“The issues with keeping a firearm going pay far more dividends than an air rifle, however, as the pellet gun is less versatile.”
Understood of course, but 10 years into the collapse (at least the type of collapse that you tend to concentrate on in your writings) the only people that will still have access to gun cotton, nitroglycerin, or fulminate of mercury, will be chemical engineers with laboratories, and something tells me that there’s not going to be a heck of a lot those. That’s why I’m always banging on in the comments section about flintlocks (blackpowder will likely be available, but I have far less confidence in percussion caps) archery, and air rifles, because those are the weapons of the future. If you do not have at least one of these low tech options, your centerfire cartridge gun will be a “one is nothing” paper weight.
With regards to reloading, as I’ve illustrated in my guest article, it is possible to reload on the cheap. If I had to do over, I would set my arsenal up in an entirely different and efficient manner. I might get both a .44 magnum handgun as well as a rifle, a .22 rifle, and a 12ga shotgun. Lee makes the loader for the .44 magnum, and it’s cheap to get one. The .44 magnum handgun is a 100 yard pistol all day long; scope it if you have to. I think I paid $40 for my Mec 600 JR, and saw that they’re now around $200. There might be something cheaper out there, but, shotshells can be reloaded without a reloader in a pinch, if need be.
Oh, and sorry for the long comment. Would you prefer that this had been broken up in 3 comments?
One long comment is fine. I think the Forever Gun is a viable concept for many years after most guns run dry. Then archery/crossbow ( have references, you'll have plenty of time to figure it out ). As far as having lots of ammo, the point isn't that you'll survive to use it all, it is having it in case you actually do. Just like all that extra food.Delete
Speaking of archery. At Rural King the other day I saw a Bear brand take-down 3 piece recurve fiberglass bow for $99. The whole thing, broken down, was only about 2' long. Could possible be put in a large Alice bag. I may look into this a little deeper. But you know how them hobbies are. They always start out cheap, and end up bankrupting your ass with all the required accessories. Priced bolts and arrows lately?Delete
That one guy who does the PVC pipe bows has a bunch of books ( I'll look up his name if needed ). He did a book on wooden dowels for arrows. Not sure if viable, perhaps an option?Delete
Estate sales and auctions sometimes have real bargains - especially if you are looking at getting a variety of older stuff. Make certain it is working (the ammo hasn't been soaking wet from a flood or the like), but ugly (loose in bags, or with badly beaten cardboard boxes.) and you can often get a good price. But if it looks 'antique' or is something in high demand you won't be able to get a decent return when the other bargain hunters are out.ReplyDelete
They better have good deals, to make up for all the pukes there sharing your oxygen.Delete