A different view of Ammo Supplies

Discussion in 'Ammo and Reloading' started by BlueZ, Mar 10, 2019.

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  1. Mar 10, 2019 #1

    BlueZ

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    I believe Ammo is just as important.., no scratch that, more important, than the firearm itself.

    Guns last a long time but Ammo goes "Bang" and is then gone, so the actual "agent-of-harm" that is the limiting factor in my ability to put effects on target is the Ammo, not the firearm.

    As a rule of thumb I always have on hand as a minimum as much ammo as the price of the gun can buy.
    That way you balance the resources allocated to each and not have an unbalanced supply of guns vs ammo.

    Here are some examples of this concept:

    If I have 3 guns of the same type/price, say 3 GP100s
    Street value of 1 GP100 say 500-580 bucks. So to support 3 GP100s I will stash at least $1500-1600 of .357 Ammo for them. So about 4500 rds... maybe a mix with cheaper 38 SPC will bulk up that number..

    If I own 2 AR15s at approx 1000 dollars each = 2000 dollars worth of 5.56/.223., so maybe either 10,000 rounds of steel case .223 or 6500 rounds of brass 5.56 , or some combination thereof would be an appropiate amount of ammo.

    A 50 Beowulf thats worth maybe 1000 dollars ..... .50 Beowulf ammo is 2-3 dollars a round.. call it 2.50 so for that rifle I might feel 400 rds are a proper stash
    ...again its about balance, it would be foolish misallocation to try to support this niche rifle needing very expensive Ammo, with numerically as much ammo as an Ar15 or a pistol so its not really about the number of rounds per firearm.. but a balanced allocation of dollars..

    A cheap firearm (say a 22LR single shot) accordingly is less of an investment of resources so correspondingly will get less $$ invested into its ammo to maintain its function in the face of a shortage (which numerically may still be quite a bit given the low cost of 22LR).

    So you can see how this helps accomplish balance.....an expensive firearms tool deserves to be enabled by a correspondingly greater amount of ammo resources allocated to it.

    Conversely It makes little sense to own a half dozen ARs worth maybe $6,000-7000, but only have 1000 rds ($200-350 value depending) to support their function. That would be an incredibly lopsided allocation of resources.

    This is why I stopped buying new rifles in past couple of years..

    I realized if supplies of ammo and arms ever stopped.. I'd be running out of bullets long before I'd be running out of functioning rifles.

    And that would be a waste ...

    Bear with me fellas I'll take it a step further.... as it applies to other classes of gear as well..
    ....correspondingly once I realized this, I even sold some ARs to convert their value into ammo, training, and key accessories such as lots of mags and quality Nightvision, for a better balanced stash.

    Owning 10 ARs with only 20 Mags and a couple thousand rounds is much less useful than owning 2 quality ARs backed up by 10,000+ rounds, a couple good chest rigs, mags out the wazoo and quality Nightvision
     
  2. Mar 10, 2019 #2

    Spikedriver

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    I would hold that ammo is perhaps even more valuable than what you're saying. Ammo will work in a borrowed gun. It will work in your friend's gun. You can do what you will with it.

    That said, I don't keep a huge stockpile because I have no fantasies of becoming some kind of ninja/green beret. I'm a middle aged fat guy with a bad back and serious health problems. I do have enough to do what I want to do with guns I own...
     
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  3. Mar 10, 2019 #3

    hiwall

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    What you say makes some sense BlueZ. Though like Spike says there is limitations to everything. If I have 3 $500 22 rifles I am not going to have $1500 worth of ammo for them. And no matter what I don't need 10,000 rounds of 223 ammo. I will not be having long firefights every week. Like with any preps balance is always a good idea. Having extra firearms can be a good idea for arming friends, relatives, or allies. But firearms are worthless without ammo for them.
    A small hideout gun might require only one box of ammo because you are not going to practice with it and never shoot more a couple times if the need to use it ever happens.
    A long range bolt rifle with a good piece of glass would be a lot of money but even in a long fight you just would not shoot very many rounds through it. And any hunting rifle is not going to go through very many rounds. Any big game should never take more than 2 shots and you are are not going to shoot more than 2 or 3 a year I wouldn't think unless you are hunting for a large group.
    All that said people are different. Some will be on offensive forays and so would require a lot more ammo than someone only on defense. But your post makes sense and makes us think. And we know thinking ahead is always the key to survival.
     
  4. Mar 10, 2019 #4

    Cascadian

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    I had a neighbor who loved showing me his AR and the latest do dad he added. I would always ask, so how much ammo do you have now. He always answered a hundred rounds or so. My response was you have a really fancy batt.
     
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  5. Mar 10, 2019 #5

    Caribou

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    My approach is a bit different. One day found that I was a collector of .30 cal. rifles. I buy bullets in bulk. I have a few different weights but if push comes to shove I can push something down the barrel. I broke down and picked up an AR so I picked up a case of .224 bullets.

    I don't worry about firefights. I do want to have enough ammo to practice so that I have the skill to survive a firefight.
     
  6. Mar 10, 2019 #6

    VThillman

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    Pretty much the only 'pre-made' ammo I buy is 22 rimfire. Can't practically reload it, and that gives it added value as wampum.
     
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  7. Mar 10, 2019 #7

    backlash

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    I have a lot of .22 ammo and several guns to use it. It's cheap and .22 will do most of what I need. As far as self defense ammo like .223 I have enough to last quite awhile. Not enough to hold off the starving masses that will wander through but enough to deter all but the most desperate.
    If it ever comes to a full on survival shoot out being mostly without help I am under gunned so all the ammo in the world wouldn't help. It would just resupply those that kill me off. All that said I would love to have a huge ammo bunker full but that isn't realistic so I have what I have.
     
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  8. Mar 10, 2019 #8

    hiwall

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    My policy is buy 1 box of ammo then 1 can of food, then repeat.
     
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  9. Mar 10, 2019 #9

    Spikedriver

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    VT and Backlash made good points about .22 ammo. You can't make more on your own. I do have about 5 or 6K of .22, and since I rarely shoot .22 it might last me forever. But, darn it, the stuff keeps going on sale and I just have to snap it up.

    I really should get more 7.62x39. but to be honest, the 300 rounds in my closet will probably won't get shot up anytime soon...
     
  10. Mar 10, 2019 #10

    SheepDog

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    I rarely buy ammo with the exception of rimfire ammo. My stocks of ammo is based on my use. Lets start with 22 rimfire. I shoot 150 rounds a month for practice and 120- 240 rounds a month in competition. That totals a maximum of 390 rounds a month. That is 4680 a year. I want to have at least three years worth of ammo on hand so I have three 5000 round cases and I buy a new case when the second is opened.
    My 357 gets 50 rounds for practice per month and 50 rounds for competition. That is 1200 rounds per year so I need 3600 rounds in stock. Since I load my own ammo I need to have powder, primers and bullets in stock. That comes to just under 10 pounds of powder, 4 bricks of primers and 3600 bullets. I buy in bulk so I get 4000 bullets. My 9mm is still new to me so I fire more rounds through it to get familiar with the gun. I am currently using about 150 rounds for practice and only 12 to 15 rounds for competition per month. 165 rounds per month adds up to 1980 per year. Three times that is just under 6000. so I have 6 boxes of bullets (1000 per box). 3.6 pounds of powder and 6 bricks of primers. I buy powder in 8 lb containers so I have enough powder for six years in one container.
    I have a list at my reloading station for all my reloading supplies that lists each component, stock on hand, minimum to keep on hand and how much I need to order. It makes it easy to keep track of everything and I really liked it when the ammo shortage hit. I rode the whole event out without paying scalpers prices for anything. I was using ammo for my 22 that I had only paid $9 a brick for back in the late 70s. All told I have quite a few shotguns, rifles and pistols. Ammunition for each to last a while. I am always on the lookout for brass even though I seem to have plenty. The one that I lust after the most is 257 Roberts, 6mm Remington and 7mm Mauser, all of which can be converted and used in my 257 Roberts.

    If a worst case scenario hit, my practice would be switched to only dry fire practice and the ammo reserved for those emergencies when I would need it. I also have two bows and can be fairly good with them. I keep spare shafts that can be cut to length and fitted with hardware and points to match the need. Having enough of everything on hand for all that you need is what prepping is about.
     
  11. Mar 11, 2019 #11

    The Lazy L

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    If we use the "One is none and two is one" recommendation your ammo requirements are cut in half.
     
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  12. Mar 11, 2019 #12

    VenomJockey

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    How are the "reloads" on accuracy? Speaking of bows...I just recently began looking at inexpensive crossbows and have decided to get a Wally World special and do a bit of experimenting. Short range weapon, but very quiet, which is a plus.

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/SAS-Mant...MIm7z2i-T74AIVGFYNCh32zwd4EAQYAyABEgIboPD_BwE
     
  13. Mar 12, 2019 #13

    Caribou

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    Reloads are fine. If you take care you can get superior accuracy with reloads. Each gun is different, even with consecutive serial numbers, and you can dial in your gun with different bullets, different powder, and different powder weights.
     
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  14. Mar 12, 2019 #14

    VenomJockey

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    How does the cost per round compare to buying new?
     
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  15. Mar 12, 2019 #15

    Caribou

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    In most cases you can save significantly, after you pay for the equipment. It is kind of like getting solar power. You can start out with a little output but eventually you will want more equipment and that will set you back. It probably won't pay unless you shoot a lot in which case you can save a ton.

    I find reloading very rewarding and satisfying. Like any hobby you need to want to do it. The more precise you are the better product you will put out.
     
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  16. Mar 12, 2019 #16

    Spikedriver

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    You can buy a good quality kit with a smaller press, like the RCBS Partner, for well under $200. Then you'll have to fill in a few pieces like calipers that didn't come with the kit. I'd say $250 should get you into the game. Then there's powder, primer, and bullets.

    You can always get a somewhat lower quality kit like a Lee. For the same money it's a bigger, more capable press but probably not as durable or smooth to operate. But they do work. It's kind of like a Cadillac vs. a Chevy, with Lee being the Chevy and RCBS being the Caddy...

    There's also used presses. Good quality used stuff should be just fine. Check estate sales and consignment auctions.
     
  17. Mar 12, 2019 #17

    hiwall

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    Depends on caliber and the bullets you choose to buy. The bullets are the most expensive part. If you cast your own you save fair money. If you are starting out and have to buy all your reloading gear, I really doubt you will ever realize any return on your investment.
    I do however find reloading to be rewarding in ways other than financial.
     
  18. Mar 12, 2019 #18

    The Lazy L

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    My cost figures below are from before the Obama era.

    I would use 100 rounds for a one day competition. Store bought ammunition was 50 cents a round. $50 for ammo and double that when the son competed with me.

    Reusing brass to reload my cost was 10 cents a round. A savings of $40 ($80 including the son) per match.

    I had a garage saving their wheel balancing lead weights for me. Late fall I would melt the weights into ingots. Winter I could cast bullets. A two cent saving per cast bullet over store bought. I did this until the lead prices rose and the junk yard (recycling center for you younger folks) paid the garages for their lead.
     
  19. Mar 12, 2019 #19

    SheepDog

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    My experience with reloading is an average of about 70% savings and accuracy is tuned to each firearm. For my pistols I get 1" groups at 25 yards and my rifles have to match that size at 100 yards. The only rifle I own that won't shoot 1" groups at 100 yards is my SKS. The best I can get is about 2.5" group. It sits in the back of the safe most of the time because it lacks the accuracy I demand. If I have to use it for defense it will be used inside 100 yards where it is about as accurate as my pistols but has slightly more firepower.
    If I were to compare my reloads to factory ammo for accuracy in most of my guns I get about 33% smaller groups once I work the load up. Later refinements can shrink the groups even more. There are no "monthly savings" in ammo costs because when you reload you shoot more for the same money than you would spend on factory ammo. I only use quality components so I could save more on my reloading but I am unsure if I could get the same accuracy and performance using cheaper stuff. I test my ammo in a Fackler box so I know the penetration and expansion of my ammo. I am a hunter and I use the same ammo at the range that I do in the field. Even my self defense ammo is the same that I use in competition and for plinking. That way I know how it will perform and where to hold at different ranges. Intimate familiarity with your gun and ammo is key to being able to hit targets at different distances and under different conditions.
     
  20. Mar 12, 2019 #20

    The Lazy L

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    :I agree:
     
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  21. Mar 12, 2019 #21

    hiwall

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    Take 30-30 ammo. Buy commonly on sale for $12.99 per box or buy online for a couple dollars per box less. Say 65 cents per round.
    170 grain bullets are about 30 cents each. Primers are at least 3 cents each. Powder charge varies with powder chosen but we'll say about 30 grains. Roughly 15 cents per round. So reloaded ammo would cost about 43 cents per round a savings of 22 cents per round or $4.40 per box. The average guy would maybe shoot three boxes a year if he practiced much. That would be $13.20 savings per year. Or double that if you shoot twice as much ($26 savings). Using Spike's number of $275 to get started, it would take you 10 years just to break even.
     
  22. Mar 12, 2019 #22

    backlash

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    From what I have read most folks reload for reasons other than cost.Money saved is just an added bonus.
    I have never reloaded just, like I have never gotten into black powder guns. I just don't have a keen interest nor do I want another thing to spend money on.
    When I get involved in something I have a tendancy to go overboard. I'll buy all the goodies needed and spend a lot of time and money then lose interest.
    Anyone need any golf stuff?:D
     
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  23. Mar 13, 2019 #23

    SheepDog

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    Backlash,
    The possibility that I would lose interest is why I started reloading with the Lee "reloader in a box". It cost me under $10 plus the cost of powder, primers and bullets to get started. After 47 years of reloading I have a few presses, scales, trimmers, powder throwers, tumblers and all the supporting gear. I never lost interest and I still load thousands of rounds a year. My gear has more than paid for itself and I am a much better shooter for it.
     
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  24. Mar 13, 2019 #24

    dademoss

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    I've got those for the lever action/single shot rifles(30-30 and 45-70) , though they have gone up a lot since you and I bought them :) https://leeprecision.com/reloading-kits/lee-loader-rifle/
     
  25. Mar 14, 2019 #25

    SheepDog

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    WOW! You are right, they have more than trippled in price.
    I still have a bunch of them and the ones I am most likely to use are the 410 shotshell load kit and the 357 magnum kit. I would only use them for "special" loads like the 410 round ball loads and the 357 pressure loads in a 38 special case with an explosive bullet. The round ball loads are more potent than slugs and the exploding bullet, well it is fun to play with.
     
  26. Mar 16, 2019 #26

    fteter

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    I'm an old fat guy with a bad back and health problems myself. There is no scenario where I'll be running and gunning in a zombie apocalypse. But I do keep a stockpile of ammo for a different reason - I like to shoot (it's often a family activity) and the overall trend in the price of ammo is increasing as time goes by. I figure I can sock away a bit of what I use now (.22LR, .380, 9x18, .223, 7.62x39), it'll save me a few bucks in the future. I also shoot 20 gauge, but I mostly reload that so my stockpiles are in the form of reloading supplies.

    That stockpiling approach is paying off right now with 7.62x54r ammo for my Mosin Nagant. I put away a few thousand rounds back when it was still going for 20 to 25 cents per round - now the prices have doubled. Got enough that I'm good if I never buy another round of that stuff for the remainder of my life. In fact, I recently sold a couple of tins of milsurp the profits funded an expansion in my food storage program. This same approach also paid off during the last ammo scare, especially with .22LR.

    My folks taught me to make hay while the sun shines. So I stack my ammo high and deep while it's available and inexpensive. It doesn't take much to disrupt supplies and prices, and I'd hate to give up an enjoyable hobby just because I can't find or afford the ammo.
     
  27. Mar 16, 2019 #27

    Cnsper

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    Remember folks, accuracy is great and all but two shots in the same hole is wasted trauma.
     
  28. Mar 16, 2019 #28

    backlash

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    If I had to shoot somebody I want them to have extra trauma. As long as the holes are close together I'm OK with that.;)
     
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  29. Mar 16, 2019 #29

    Spikedriver

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    There's such a thing as wasted trauma???:D
     
  30. Mar 16, 2019 #30

    SheepDog

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    Actually after the first shot the body and mind don't recognize any other shots for up to 1/2 hour.
    If the first shot doesn't stop the attack one more to the head will likely put an end to it.
    "Head shots - not just for zombies anymore"
     

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