Can't afford to shoot the guns you have? If so, how do you justify buying more?


July 19, 2005, 06:41 PM
I don't currently have alot of guns in my collection. But, I do have a pretty well rounded collection. I have more guns than I have time or money to go to the range. When I do go, I have to try to decide what to take based on if I have or can afford ammo for it. Hell, I'll drop 500.00 on a new gun instead of buying a case of ammo for my Sar-1 which as of today I am out of rounds for. Who esle has experienced this? There are a few more on my list of "like to have" to include an M-1 Garand and a Hi-Power but I cant seem to set aside the cash to order a case of 7.62X39. I know, guns aren't like lunch meat. I don't have to shoot them before they spoil and they will always be there but, I want to see if I'm not the only one who has these issues.

Thanks, Flip.

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Dave R
July 19, 2005, 06:45 PM
I have secret solution to this problem. Its called handloading. It lets me shoot my Swiss K-31 for less than the cost of commercial .308. I always have ammo. In fact, I always have an excuse to go shooting. "I wonder if this new [insert reloading component] makes a difference..."

But I will confess that its taking longer to complete a "rotation" than it used to...

July 19, 2005, 06:48 PM
i handload, so i never run out.
i also make sure that i have a minimum of 1000 rounds 'in reserve' for each auto handgun, 500 rounds for each revolver, 2000 rounds for each ar, and 100 for each centerfire rifle, not including the ar (certain exceptions: 200 for my heavy barrelled 308, and 500 for my lvsf 7-08... other 308's and 7-08's follow the '100 rounds in reserve' rule). whatever i have above my 'reserve' is used for 'everyday shooting'...

if i was shooting factory stuff, no, no way could i afford to feed everything.

July 19, 2005, 06:58 PM
many years ago. The only things that interest me (mildly) that I haven't got are a 10ga auto and a .50 BMG upper receiver for the AR-15. Since both cost about $1000 in used condition, and both cost a ton to shoot, I'll have to have 50k in the bank before I even think about acquiring them. That aint likely to happen for a couple of years yet.

July 19, 2005, 06:59 PM
I've took that in to consideration too. I reaload .38 SPCL to shoot my 520 and 1894C with. I also have over 1000 peices of .45 ACP brass for my Kimber but, the same thing applies to reloading also. I'm not set up to reload .45 ACP yet. Why? Because, I want another pistol. The thing is; It's like this never ending cycle. Guns take accesories to use. I'm talking about things like Ammo, targets, target stands, ammo, cleaning kits, reloading supplies, ammo, gun cases/cabinets, scopes, chronographs, slings, ammo, holsters and last but not least ammo. I'm not trying to sound pissy. I guess I shoud use smilies :neener: but, I whole heartedly think that guns are addicting. I LOVE gun and I LOVE going to the range to go shooting but, it can get financially tight real quick. Every paypay I go to my local gun store after picking up my paycheck. I do this as a test. They get in some nice used gun every now and then and, I see if I can control myself when I see something I like and have cash in my pocket to boot :banghead: .


B.T.W. I have a hard time finding the time to reload with the new baby, work and up keep on the house. My house was built in the 40's and it is easy to get behind real quick. :banghead: .

July 19, 2005, 07:00 PM
Because I want more. All the justification I need.

July 19, 2005, 07:01 PM
I always justify it with 'the ammo is cheaper for this one' :D

July 19, 2005, 07:06 PM
I do take ammo cost into consideration when buying a new gun. I don't buy guns that are overly costly to go shoot with.


July 19, 2005, 07:29 PM
I try to purchase firearms that eat the same ammo. The ones that take odd ammo like .32-20 don't get played with very often :o

9mm blazer is cheap here and good for plinking.
Buy shotgun ammo right before dove season.

I reload my 45 ACP, 38 spl .357 Mag 44 mag 30-06 and 45-70.

I also have run out of room in the safe. No more guns. :(

July 19, 2005, 07:35 PM
I certainly don't share your concerns. Whats the secret to my shooting what I want, when I want? Two simple words.



Works for me.............. :)

July 19, 2005, 08:07 PM
I always justify it with 'the ammo is cheaper for this one'

I'm with Jefnvk & Souris on this one. I stick with Mosin Nagants, SKS's and .45's and have *plenty* of milsurp ammo for all of them...and I reload for the .45.

I ordered 1320 rounds (3 spam cans) of polish 7.62x54R silvertip this week (...but honey, it was on SALE!) and then decided to buy a new Finn M39 Nagant to go with it.

You should always have more ammo than guns...if you don't have ammo all you can do is throw an empty pistol at 'em! :neener:

July 19, 2005, 08:20 PM
I try to purchase firearms that eat the same ammo.

Pretty much my theory.

Handguns are mostly .45acp, a couple of .40S&w and a couple of 9mm.
Rifles are my biggest variance, I have quite a few differetn calibers although I rarely shoot some of them.

Shotguns are my weakness. 12s (multiple) 20s (multiple) .410 (multiple) as of yet no .28....but it's coming.


July 19, 2005, 08:28 PM
I don't have a huge collection, and honestly, can't afford more now. But it will continue to grow over the years.

I've always been thinking about getting into reloading. If you have only one gun in a caliber (i.e. I only have one .45) does that justify reloading for it? How about ARs, isn't reloading them dangerous?

July 19, 2005, 08:30 PM
Here is my policy....

Start of with the guns that cost the most to shoot. Then when it is time to purchase a new gun, I simply look at my wife and say, "Baby, the ammo is cheaper for this one." :D

I am sure that she is on to me by this point, but she loves me and my collection is still expanding. :)

July 19, 2005, 08:31 PM
that I'm now buying scopes for guns I don't yet own, just so I'll have an excuse to buy them.

1 old 0311
July 19, 2005, 08:38 PM
Owning a lot of guns doesn't make you a shooter. It makes you a collector. Wasn't it Elmer Keith who said "beware of the man with one gun.....he probably knows how to use it"?


July 19, 2005, 08:42 PM
I like guns, so I buy them.

I do know what you mean. What I do is pick a particular gun for a while to shoot.

July 19, 2005, 09:04 PM
I *try* to limit the guns I get to fewer caliber choices to keep ammunition costs down, and I also buy ammunition in bulk. .38 Special ammo will work with several of my revolvers, so no worries there. .22 LR works in three of my guns (pistol, revolver, rifle), and I have two pistols that shoot 9x18 Makarov.

Usually if I don't shoot it, though, I'll end up selling or trading it.


July 19, 2005, 09:25 PM
Well, the only weapon I have that I have oodles of ammo for is my SAR-48. Even that is probably less than 1000 rounds of .308. I might have about 5 or 600 rounds of .22. I have only about 200 rounds for my AR, no more than 100 rounds for all my .45s. That's sad, too, because I used to handload religiously for .45 ACP and 10mm. I didn't buy a .45 ACP round for a great many years until I started carrying. Then, of course, I had to return to spending the almighty dollar on defensive ammo for practice as well as carry. Oh well, there's a price for everything, and I'm all too happy to pay it for the right to carry, and the peace of mind that I know where the bullet will end up in a bad situation. I just wish that moronic judges would realize that most of us can load our own even better than the factories, and therefore be even surer of bullet placement, and keeping innocent bystanders safer.

Yeah, I still like to buy guns, even if I'm not shooting the existing ones much.

July 19, 2005, 09:31 PM
The way I see it, the guns are cheaper and last longer than the ammo to feed my select-fire FNC. So therefore I end up buying more guns. :neener:

July 19, 2005, 09:40 PM
Why do you need cases of ammo? A couple of boxes per firearm should suffice for a trip to the range. Any more so and funds are tight then you really should consider reloading.

July 19, 2005, 09:40 PM
Well, guns are useless without ammo. I would hate to get caught needing to use my gun and not being able to. At least make sure you keep a moderate amount of ammo available.

July 19, 2005, 10:36 PM
I agree with Studebaker's take on this.

I unlike many I will trade firearms. Many for some reason get this idea of never selling any gun. I got to the point I had a couple dozen. And taking one out not used in two years, I fumbled with it. Decided even one I knew intimately was better. So I sold most of them, and got a couple of higher quality. I didn't drop down to one, but enough you can count on one hand.

Doesn't it make sense as you learn, get more experience with varied firearms, and discover deeper levels of what turns your crank you can make a better firearm choice?

My first rifle was a Mini 14 and I thought I had the finest rifle in the world. Over years, found highly accurate rifles to be alot more interesting. Now have a couple of highly accurate bolt guns I love. Have had many different kinds along the way. And unlike most hobbies, liked every one of them. But the ones I have now I like the best as I better learned my preferences through experience.

And because I like shooting so much, a couple of my firearms are 22LR. Nothing like shooting ten thousand rounds through a firearm to feel at one with it. I simply cannot afford that kind of shooting with centerfire. Some can, I unfortunately for me cannot.

Shooters and collectors. And some can afford to do both. More power to them all. I like a few great firearms I can shoot a bunch.

July 19, 2005, 10:41 PM
i don't have anything against collectors, or people who just like to show off their guns. whatever floats your boats. but i'd rather have one gun and shoot it all the time, than a whole house full that i've never fired.

i shoot enough that when i miss two weeks in a row, the gun feels "weird". i can't imagine being a cop and shooting two boxes per year or less.

i admit that i catch myself at gun shows almost buying a gun (especially cheap ones like SKS and mausers etc), but then realizing i'd never shoot it; it'd just sit and rust. so what's the point? i usually wind up buying a couple pounds of powder instead.

July 19, 2005, 10:45 PM
Things are back in perspective a little bit. I think that I'm going to put more funds into ammo. I'm not talking about braking the bank or anyhting like that but, It doesn't make sense to me to drop another 500.00 on a pistol when I really do have a nice current well rounded collection of shooters. I could use that 500.00 to get set up to reload .45 ACP and buy a case or two of 7.62x39 for the Sar-1. I posted about a trip to the range earlier in this forum about my trip to the range today and totally enjoyed it with the four firearms that I brought with me. Now, I will have a BHP/FNHP sooner or later :evil: .


Standing Wolf
July 19, 2005, 11:02 PM
You'll probably earn more down the road, so what's to worry about? Better to have too many guns than not enough.

July 19, 2005, 11:03 PM

I can tell by your questions that you've never sold your own plasma or sold off a pet to a medical laboratory for ammo money before........

But you will...................everybody hits rock bottom eventually.........


July 20, 2005, 10:15 AM
Hey, when I need a fix, I need a fix. After buying one I'm good for a year or so. Come to think of it, it's been about a year now....

July 20, 2005, 10:24 AM do you justify buying more? Real easy, most of my current stuff is C&R with hard to find ammo, and a lot of that was inherited.

I CAN afford to shoot the stuff I will be buying, (.40S&W, .223, .30'06, etc)

But to clarify, I CAN afford to shoot the standard caliber stuff I own, (.380ACP, .45ACP, 12ga, 7.62x39, etc)

Dave R
July 20, 2005, 11:10 AM
I'm not set up to reload .45 ACP yet. Why? Because, I want another pistol. The thing is; It's like this never ending cycle. Guns take accesories to use. Ahhhh. I understand your disease better now. Yes, it is a great problem. Someday, I'll do a post on the 'true' cost of buying a new gun. When I bought my Taurus PT-145, I thought I had made a great deal. $299 retail. But then I had to buy .45acp dies, a new kind of powder, a box of Laser-Cast bullets, 3 boxes of factory ammo just to try, and to get some cases to load, a cheap holster to get by until I get a real holster...Its a conundrum. I'km thinking the rule of thumb is, the 'true' cost of a new gun is double what you paid for it. But I need to do some more research to verify that.

I guess I'm wired different than you. I can't think about a new gun until I have the complete shooting system in place for the most recent gun. That includes accessories, load(s) worked up, carry rigs, scope, etc. When that gun is 'outfitted', and I have shot it enough to feel comfortable with it, then I think about the next one. It serves as a "pacemaker" to keep me from buying too many, too fast. I have to feel comfortable with the one before I want another.

Although I've been doing that long enough that I have some guns that don't get shot very often. Probably time to trade them off.

July 20, 2005, 12:22 PM
than to have lots of guns and only mediocre ability with them.

White Horseradish
July 20, 2005, 12:39 PM
You should always have more ammo than guns...if you don't have ammo all you can do is throw an empty pistol at 'em! That's why rifles have bayonets. Ammo or not, a Mosin will still get you. :neener:

Matt G
July 20, 2005, 12:45 PM
One of our Moderators has a Colt SAA that his been in his family for over 100 years, which his mother and great granddad have both fired upon people. I've fired it, and it's a good shooter. Problem is, it's a .41 Long Colt.

Uh, have you seen the price of .41 LC, if you can even find any of it? Let's check out Old Western Scrounger ( $60 for 50 rounds of LRN, and it's not even the original 200g stuff!?! Basically, you're paying over a dollar a round for a mediocre .38 Special. Nice to have for your family heirloom, but not what you can really afford to shoot. :(

Given that instance, it's actually worthwhile for my fellow staffmember to have purchased his HKP7, which is in cheap-shootin' 9mm, and is single-stack to keep the cost down. At $1300+ per copy, it's a bargain! :)

July 20, 2005, 12:46 PM
Exactly, WH! ;) Although I can't imagine running out of 7.62x54R soon...

I tend to buy more guns in calibers I have, but I collect Mosins, so...

I do plan on getting some guns in odd calibers such as 7.62 Nagant and 7.62 Tokarev. I will reload for the Nagant revolver, though. ;)

captain obvious
July 20, 2005, 02:16 PM
It used to be just the iwannaacoolgunitis flaring up, but of recent it's been a "now or never" type fear, i.e. CMP rifles, imported parts kits, etc.

I'm serious when I say that I wish they'd stop banning stuff, so I could just go back to blissfully focusing on war surplus rifles, and not have to grab some expensive modern firearm just cause it's about to be banned or otherwise affected by unnatural economic [government] factors.

Otherwise, I can always justify my next purchase - it's for the children :evil:

July 20, 2005, 02:56 PM
I have a small but well rounded assortment of handguns, not into long guns, that I have justified simply as this is a hobby of mine. I have the added problem of not having the time to shoot nearly as often as I'd like on top of the cost of ammo. Many of my guns have become safe queens not because I don't want to shoot them but because I have others that I prefer to shoot to keep in practice. I have sold off a few that really had no appeal to me anymore and have bought a few recently, knowing full well that they won't get to see much range time. When I do go shooting I pretty much stick to .38 special, .357 mag., 9mm and 40S&W.

Ky Larry
July 20, 2005, 03:12 PM
There are a few guns left on my "Gotta Have It" list. When I come accross them, I'll buy them. I don't own anything that is outrageously expensive to feed. I reload for the ones I shoot most. Besides,as any gun nut will tell you, you don't need justification to buy a new gun. :D

July 20, 2005, 03:23 PM
I solved this problem in the past by standardizing on .308, 9mm, and .22LR. Now my tastes have shifted and I'm looking to standardize on .45 ACP, 5.56mm, and .22LR. I am even toying with the idea of standardizing my manual of arms by having only 1911 and AR15 pattern firearms (with .22LR conversions in both styles). I sold off all the stuff I wasn't shooting in either odd styles or calibers long ago. Collecting guns is no different to me than women that collect Elvis plates; I just don't understand it.

The only problem with my little plan is that .22LR 1911s are more expensive than the Ruger MKII I have now and the .22LR ARs are more expensive (and the mags too) than the 10/22s I have now.

July 20, 2005, 03:32 PM
I see nothing wrong with collecting guns. I do tend to reach for the gun before tha mmo myself.
But on the other hand I am stocking up .308 for my m1a as as to justify my FAL :) when I get out of the PRK that is in about 8 months Hurray the end is near!.

I'd say I try to standardize but that is only because I want an FAl too...
.308, .30 Carbine, .303 (yeah my wierd rounds), 7mm rem mag but I only buy about enough of that to sight in and hunt..., .38/357, and of course the .22lr which is the bulk of what I fire...

Replenishment comming to the .308 and .30 carbine soon. But I the new gun list is tugging at my heart too...

July 20, 2005, 03:58 PM

<scratches head>

I know a couple of folks who collect stamps and they haven't written a letter in years.

Not enough ammo? Make the first shot count. ;)

Not enough money? Call 1-800-Ineedasecondjob. :)


Buck Snort
July 20, 2005, 04:09 PM
I do believe my Dillon 550B will go a long way towards keeping me supplied with ammo. A progressive press will make a lot of ammo in a hurry and if I need supplies I'll work a few hours overtime. There just AIN'T NO EXCUSE for not shoot'n yer guns! :D

July 20, 2005, 04:09 PM
Justify? Isn't that a formatting option on microsoft word? Other than that, I don't know how it would possibly apply to firearms :confused: :) ?

I can barely afford the ones I shoot now, so I try to get more rifles in the hopes they're "cheaper" to shoot, or that it'll satisfy my disease of Rifle-itis. Thank goodness, neither has worked yet :evil: . But my SKS comes close :p . I only have about 500~1000 rounds of each calibre I own on hand at any given time--which is not nearly enough. But, everything I own is of different calibres, (exception being my Saiga and my Mauser), so it still lasts a while. Oh well.

July 20, 2005, 05:13 PM
To me it's not an issue. Yes, I do have more guns than I can afford to shoot all the time. Doesn't matter to me and I don't feel any need to justify purchasing more. To me, that's the beauty of living in this country. Well, at least parts of this country. I don't have to justify to anyone why I have guns I don't shoot. And I doubt many of them have collectors value.

July 20, 2005, 06:10 PM
I guess I should be clear. I don't understand collecting at all, let alone collecting tools that you're not going to use. At least with stamps or coins you could claim "investment". Most of the guns I see people "collect" are going to do nothing but depreciate (NFA items notwithstanding).

To me collecting guns is like going down to Home Depot and collecting hammers. I can just see it now "Hammer & Nails" replacing "Guns & Ammo" on the newstands.

If folks want to collect they are obviously free to do what they want, as one fellow pointed out it's still America, but I'll never understand the satisfaction of just sitting at home looking at something and saying "yay, I own that".

July 20, 2005, 07:33 PM
I collect and shoot guns. Ammo costs are not too bad because I load almost all my ammo except the real cheap stuff. Time constraints generally limit my shooting to a couple hours a week. I don’t get out every week either, sometimes other things get in the way or I just don’t feel like it.

As far as collecting, you might as well ask why some people collect art, buy sports cars, or do anything non-essential. I like WWII guns, so I collect those as best I can.

July 20, 2005, 08:40 PM
"better to have SKILL with a few guns"

Now, I did take that into consideration. I'm taking a Primary Pistol course at Tac Pro Shooting Center this weekend. I did set aside some money for training since I do CCW. We'll see how that goes. If I like the course, I'll probably spend every available dollar on traning :p . The cost of the course was right at 499.00, 1000 rds. of 9mm ammo was 110.00, gas will be 35.00, hotel for three nights will be 150.00, and food will be about 70.00 (I have an appetite :neener: ). The total cost will be around an estimated 864.00 for the weekend. Would you believe I though about the type of gun that I could buy for that much money :what: . I'm looking forward to it and think it will be money well spent.


July 20, 2005, 09:36 PM
I've tried to standardize on a set of calibers also. So far my standard set is

45 ACP
45 Colt
303 Brit
7.5 Swiss
300 WSM
8mm Lebel
12 ga

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