Ammo prices and Armageddon.


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Checkman
August 18, 2007, 01:14 PM
Excuse me. I have to get my soapbox.

Testing, testing. Is this microphone working?


Back in the "day" most gunowners shot very rarely. Ammo was expensive and not as plentiful as today. I feel confident that in the past the overall skill level wasn't as high. My grandfather and father (dad is sixty-three) remember when guns were expected to hurt somewhat when purchased and would be carried more often then shot. A typical range sessions consisted of shooting a few dozen rounds. Grandpa remembers in the 30's and during WW2 ammo was very scarce. I would estimate that it's only been in the past forty years (or less) that shooters have taken to expending ammo at such a prodigious rate. From my readings I get the impression that even the great gunsels of the past (Elmer Keith, Bill Jordan, Col. Askins, etc.) would not blow through ammo like many do today at the range.

Now I'm not an expert in economics, but times are definitely changing. But then again isn't that always the case? Reminds me of that stupid expression about an event changing the course of history. Since when does anyone really know what course history is going to take? God perhaps?

Consequently I've cut back on my shooting ( a couple times a month instead of four or five) and I've invested in snap caps. Instead of shooting two hundred rounds of 45 every session I now shoot fifty and I finally bought a 22 handgun (Browning Buckmark) a couple of years ago. Is is the same? No, but I can't afford to go through five hundred rounds in a month anymore, and that's with reloading. I really couldn't afford it six years ago but I thought I could.

Do I stockpile? Of Course. I also try to make my range sessions more about quality instead of quantity. I don't know where the world is heading and I don't have the time or patience for prognosticators. All too often they're more interested in pushing doomsday scenarios which are motivated by their political/philosophical beliefs and I'm not interested. I have no intention of committing suicide and we're all going to die eventually. Can we now please get on with our lives? There are many hoary old sayings that come to mind but I won't bother repeating them.

Oh wait here's one of my favorites. Get busy living or get busy dying.

Noise of soapbox being pushed away. Feedback from microphone.

Uh, thank you very much for your time.

Speaker walks away. Thunk of houselights being turned off.

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Kimber1911_06238
August 18, 2007, 03:20 PM
I also tend to practice for "quality" rather than "quantity". 50 or 100 rounds per gun per range sessions should do the trick.

Old Fuff
August 18, 2007, 03:56 PM
I get the impression that even the great gunsels of the past (Elmer Keith, Bill Jordan, Col. Askins, etc.) would not blow through ammo like many do today at the range.

All three of those gentlemen shot a considerable bit. Askins was in chage of the Border Patrol's firearms training program in El Paso, and Uncle Sam bought him a considerable amount of ammunition. To a degree this was also true of Bill Jordan. Elmer never got any government support, but he did a lot of handloading - as did Bill Jordan. I not sure about Col. Askins - I knew and talked to him, but never ask if he handloaded.

Ammunition costs go up and down over time, and this current situation will pass. One good way to reduce the cost is to reload, and I'm sure foreign Mil-Sup ammunition will continue to come into the country. A .22 caliber understudy for your bigger guns is always a good idea.

tkendrick
August 18, 2007, 03:57 PM
HEAR, HEAR!!!

Nothing turns me off faster than seeing the SHTF in a post. For all you survivalist wannabes out there, let me clue you in on something.

Under the scenarios most of you describe, the folks who survive will be the ones who band together with their friends and neighbors, regardless of politics. The ones who recognize that liberal moron down the road is the only doctor readily available. The ones who realize that the "worthless" 90 YO lady in the corner is the only one who actually remembers how card wool, or milk a goat.

There may be some exceptions to my beleif that the average survivalist is an idiot, but I haven't met any yet.

Wheeler44
August 18, 2007, 04:34 PM
I also try to make my range sessions more about quality instead of quantity. People "back in the day" tended to be less wasteful with their own resources. I know several "more senior" shooters than I and it must be the scarcity of ammo that made them good shooters. Personally I believe that they really worked on their shooting, instead of just lobbing rounds down range.

coyote_jr
August 18, 2007, 04:38 PM
On a somewhat lighter note, if you are a Christian and you believe in that sort of thing, when the real Armageddon hits, it really doesn't matter how much ammo you've got squirreled away.

alucard0822
August 18, 2007, 04:46 PM
I enjoy shooting quite a bit, not much to do with "armageddon training" or so, I have recently changed some of the focus of my practice though. I practice trigger control and sight alignment in volume with 22s mostly. I keep a log book to record different characteristics of loads I come up with in various conditions, and chart the results. This is especially handy with correcting for various conditions, and nearly eliminates the need for "dial in".

I do not concern myself with too much in the way of SHTF preparation. I always have a decent ammount of components and loads on hand, but if things get bad, I rely mostly on the advice and wisdom of my 92 year old grandmother. She fled Germany for Chicago after WWI, lived through the depression, lost a husband in WWII, lived through riots and mob violence, 2 world wars, and just about everything that the 20th century has thrown at her, she tells me if things get bad, about 1/2 of what you think you need will be worthless, and about 1/2 of what you actually need you would have never thought of, but its your will and smarts that keeps you safe more so than any material thing.

thexrayboy
August 18, 2007, 05:26 PM
Economic facts of life early in the last century almost certainly dictated a stingy approach to the use of ammo. Most people growing up in the first half of the 20th century experienced real hardships. Having to make choices between needs not choices between wants as is usually the case now days.
This environment taught them to be very parsimonious in many aspects of life.
Ammuniton was a commodity that was expected to bring a return on investment. My dad grew up in the Smoky Mountains where squirrel and possum were part of the diet. A .22 shell cost money and you were expected to bring home something in exchange for it more valuable than a hole in a piece of paper. That mindset dictated much of how people dealt with life.

The last half of the 20th century saw an explosion in the availability of production. This drove down the prices of everything including weapons and ammo. More available discretionary spending and larger quantities of guns and ammo to choose from caused an explosion in shooting for sport rather than necessity. Couple this with the military shifting its focus on precision aimed fire doctrine to massive amounts of firepower due to the research on how soldiers fought and we have a change in the cultural mindset.

Now ammo is cheaper and more available and many shooters now were trained by the military in the doctrine of suppressive fire etc that uses vastly higher amounts of ammo than was customary 80 to 100 years ago.

Clipper
August 18, 2007, 05:49 PM
I agree that in a fight quantity has a quality all it's own, but I'm confident enough in my own abilities to confine my range time to 10-20 rounds of whatever centerfire rifle(s) I have with me. I shoot on private property, so I can go whenever I want, but still find myself going only once every month or two...If I just wanna blow up some ammo and make things jump around, I take a .22. Even my 91/30 only sees a few rounds from time to time. I got 880 rounds of Czech light ball there just before the prices went crazy, and fully expect them to last the rest of my life. I'll shoot a few more X39 from my WASR, and 9mm from my Hi-Point carbine, but only because the ammo is still relatively cheap, and I don't have to buy a case at a time. But I know I'm not going to forget how to shoot, and after 45 years, I know I can still outshoot most people I know without shooting 500 rounds a week. I have other hobbies and intrests besides this one, so I've never been one to waste ammo just for the sake of wasting ammo.

Cougfan2
August 18, 2007, 09:55 PM
My Dad taught me how to shoot. He grew up in the depression in Topeka, Ks. 22LR ammo was dear and he learned to use it sparingly. Sometimes his Savage .22 and the local rabbit population was the difference between meat on the table and none. He also ran a little moonshine during Prohibition. ;) When we would go Pheasant hunting in western KS, he would maybe shoot one round of Trap or a dozen clay birds and call it good. I NEVER saw him miss. :eek:

Marlin 45 carbine
August 18, 2007, 10:11 PM
felt compelled to post that I had venison ham steak and gravy biscuits for brunch today. I live in the Smoky Mtns and eat squack and have eaten 'possums I trapped and fed on scraps and dog food for awhile and some I shot near a corn/pumpkin/squash/cabbage patch or an apple orchard. just like the deer I take - one shot one kill. that's why I go to the range occasionally. by the way 'possum is good eating, nice plump young one thats been eating clean - mighty tasty! :D bake with sweet taters, onion, apple, peice of hot pepper!

Titan6
August 18, 2007, 10:29 PM
In the past people did not watch much TV. There were three or four channels and they came in real fuzzy. They did not really communicate with the people very well and even the best TV shows (The Beverly Hillbilly's) were not very good. It was not until the past thirty years or so that TV really took off and we had 100s of channels with something for everyone.

I think if we went back down to three channels some would think the end was indeed near while others would not even notice. It is all a matter of perspective and what one considers progress....

tn-dave
August 18, 2007, 10:43 PM
I too find myself calling it a day after 50 rounds or so of each gun I bring to the range. Especially these days. I can remember the 1st time I shot was my uncle's 22 rifle. I was hooked. But one thing that stood out is that we only shot about 10 rounds "almost out of ammo. that's all for today"

I need to spend more time lifting weights and doing cardio than shooting. If an Armegeddon type situation my fitness (or lack of) would much more of a problem that my gear or ammo stash.

My father-in-law grew up in the Smokies also. Old Fifteenth for any of you from around here. He was 12 or so before they moved to "town" and actually had electricity. I would love to have his and his sisters knowledge.

W.E.G.
August 18, 2007, 10:55 PM
When the SHTF, the victory will go to the person who can go the longest avoiding two things.
1. gunfights
2. dysentery

Most likely, if you are not part of a military force, and you expend more than 100 rounds during "SHTF," it won't matter if you have another hundred in your backpack. You gonna be dead.

Checkman
August 19, 2007, 12:45 AM
I appreciate the positive responses. I almost never vent, but I'm really getting tired of all the doom and gloom about everything. My wife calls it Fearmongering - a very apt term if you ask me.

Yes times are getting tighter, but that doesn't mean we're all doomed. Perhaps having to tighten things up and learning to do more with less won't be such a bad thing for this country.

Actually we've (meaning my family) cut back on our spending the past couple of years and have gone back to some of our practices that we had to follow during our college/early marriage years. Things like clipping those coupons, shopping at thrift stores, washing and reusing the plastic zip-lock bags, planting a garden, making that television last just a few more years even if it doesn't have all the bells and whistles, stocking up on items when they're on sale (everything from dry-goods to shoes that the kids will need in three or four years), turning off lights, washing clothes with cold water, etc.

Sure they sound funny, but they work.

I've read that many of the old time shooters that lived during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth would do alot of dry fire practice and also practice drawing, presenting their weapons, reholstering, aiming their weapons from different positions etc. Now I know all the places like Thunder Ranch do that as well, but they often accompany it with a generous amount of live ammo being expended. I'm taking a page from the old timers. Truth be told since I've increased my dry firing over the past three years I've noticed that my marksmanship ability has improved. I also believe that my dexterity with handguns have improved as well. Not bad for training on a budget.

I realize that Keith and the others shot more than many of their peers, but I've read that their shooting sessions often emphasized quality. Instead of expending thirty, sixty or a hundred rounds in a mad minute they would have fun blazing through six or twelve whole rounds. Wow!

Perhaps it's time that we all get back to the basics. Hey don't get me wrong. There were times when I was in the Army that I got to shoot hundreds of 5.56 mm rounds through my M-16 in a very short time. I remember one time in the fall of 1997 at Ft. Drum when I got to fire up 1,0000 rounds of 5.56 mm through my Squad Automatic Weapon. I was changing the ammo boxes like a madman and the barrel was glowing. I and a few of my fellow soldiers were cutting down small trees. Now that was fun, but I didn't get anything out of it. It was pretty wasteful.


Things will level out eventually, but lets not panic. Just makes it worse.

meef
August 19, 2007, 01:59 AM
Armageddon.

S H'ing T F, etc., etc.

Know what? If your (my) survival ever comes down to how much ammo you (I've) got stockpiled to make it through multiple firefight situations - you (I'm) screwed through and through.

Simple as that.

I long ago discovered the more attention I pay when I shoot - not the more rounds I shoot - the better my proficiency improves.

Like Checkman said, "Quality over quantity".

A man can worry himself to death over nothing. Or even over something. What's the point?

In the meantime, I can hardly wait for that NIB Sig P225 to arrive early next week. Now there's something worth thinking about!

:D

rangerruck
August 19, 2007, 02:06 AM
Remember this, the cost of ALL ammo, and ALL weapons, is going up by 20%, coming this September, 07. this is due to two factors; number one, there are only 3 big lead mfgrs/producers, in America, one is shutting down, for retooling, for the next 3 years. There is also a similar thing going on with steel , but not to the degree or severity of the lead peeps, so rifles may not jump up in price all at once, but will def go up 20 %, over the next 6 months to a year.
Like Jake says, "I suggest you buy all the blues albums you can",... except for us, buy the ammo and guns you want, now, before Billary makes the Prez, and eliminates most import ammo, and weapons.

pinstripe
August 19, 2007, 02:18 AM
I have to say, If we all stop worrying about doom and gloom, maybe we would be able to see the sunrise and thank God that we have this very moment in time. I don't know about you all, but I was never promised another moment. Be glad you have the one that your in right know, and don't fill it with worry. God didn't invent worry. God is about haapiness and joy. Not doom and gloom. Now pull up your bootstraps and lets enjoy life.

Mannlicher
August 19, 2007, 09:10 AM
Checkman, Back in the "day" most gunowners shot very rarely. Ammo was expensive and not as plentiful as today. I feel confident that in the past the overall skill level wasn't as high. My grandfather and father (dad is sixty-three) remember when guns were expected to hurt somewhat when purchased and would be carried more often then shot. A typical range sessions consisted of shooting a few dozen rounds

I remember things differently, and I put a different view on those days. Ammo was easy to get, and not expensive. We shot our dozen rounds at the range, and went home, unless we were shooting NRA target.
Guns were tools, and yes, carried often, and shot rarely, if ever.
We did not worry so much about 'tactical', but more about real life.
I don't remember doing any all day long blasting at the range, wearing military clothes, or living in a dream world of 'what if scenarios', like so many of the current generation do.

armoredman
August 19, 2007, 09:15 AM
In the meantime, I started bullet casting, and stocked up a bit on powder/primers, and there is a free public range nearby. I can go shooting for quite a while without paying a red cent. But, I also take my time to see how well my handloads do, or see how tight a group I can get out of an old milsurp at 100 yards. I have spent an hour at the range, and fired only 20 .303s. But I know I can hit anything I aim at with that old battle rifle.;)

redneck2
August 19, 2007, 09:33 AM
Our stand of living has become so high that we feel we can waste just about anything we want. Go to any restaurant or school cafeteria and look at the amount of food thrown out versus what's eaten. Then look at Americans waddling around and see what they did eat. Don't know which is worse.

Our perspective is limited by our time frame. For example, if you're under 40, the stock market always goes up. If you lived thru the 60' and early 70's the stock market was always sideways or going down. At 56 I remember when a big day for the Dow was 5 points.

If you think living thru bad times means have 500 rounds instead of 100, you're an idiot. The guys that scare me the most are the Rambo wanna-be's running around in their knock-off BDU's. If you want to survive, pack back a year's supply of food, plenty of necessities, and a few thousand dollars of gold and silver.

03Shadowbob
August 19, 2007, 10:44 AM
I, for one, don't plan on being around for Armageddon. And if I was around, my 5000 rounds of .45, 12 gauge, .40, and .30s won't matter at all.
I also remember going out with my dad and a .22 single shot with 50 rounds and making that last as long as possible because I didn't want it to end. Quality over quantity.
However, today I am going out with a few buddies in the cane fields and I will go through 1k .22 I am sure :) Along with 100 12ga birdshot and a few 30/06 to sight it in for deer season.

revjen45
August 19, 2007, 01:36 PM
Armageddon is kind of hard to prepare for. However "garden variety" disruptions of social norms are another story. One can be prepared to hunker down or depart the area for a storm, earthquake, tsunami, or God forbid a terrorist attack. Ammo may be the focus of this thread, but it isn't the only thing which would be handy to have more than a few day's worth in stock. We are starting to store up food, batteries, gasoline, an extra propane tank, toilet paper (think about how this little accoutrement of hygiene contributes to our comfort and health). As mentioned in earlier posts, most of us would never need more than 2 magazines of serious social work ammo in a lifetime, if that much. Dry firing is indeed a cheap and effective means to maintain skills, as is a good quality airgun or a .22.

meef
August 19, 2007, 01:49 PM
We are starting to store up food, batteries, gasoline, an extra propane tank, toilet paper (think about how this little accoutrement of hygiene contributes to our comfort and health).:D

You know, in the numerous SHTF and TEOTWAWKI novels I've read (okay, I admit it - they're entertaining reading), that item never seems to get any attention.

I've always thought that was kinda odd. The thousands of words dedicated to all of the various tactical weaponry all these story characters utilize, but never any mention of the effect that a lack of toilet paper would have.

I mean what - they've got an endless supply of rags or Sears catalogs or something?

Hey, here's an idea for a business venture. Tactical toilet paper for the serious survivalist. Make it in camouflage pattern.

Of course, there might be a couple or so problems with that. Like if it's camouflaged really good - what if you can't find it when you need it? Or if it's really, really well done - what if you can't tell if it's already been used?

:scrutiny:

We now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion of Armageddon and how many tons of ammo to store at what financial burden.

230RN
August 19, 2007, 02:59 PM
Diapers and a couple of bottles of Clorox(YM) will probably be worth more than the gold.

And a big yes on toilet paper and soap.

I'm not a big SHTF "aficionado" but reading posts about it and knowing Katrina's effects has certainly alerted me to the fact that some items will be more valuable than 1K rounds of ammo --even if one buys the ammo as trading stock.

Every time I use something now -- a Band-Aid(TM) or a dab of iodine for a cut or whatever, I think about squirreling some away just in case.

I betcha disposable diapers will also be worth their weight in either gold or ammo.

Too bad they're so bulky.

meef
August 19, 2007, 03:58 PM
I betcha disposable diapers will also be worth their weight in either gold or ammo.

Too bad they're so bulky.Personal anecdote....

A hundred or so years ago when my wife and I had our first child, we were oh-so poor. We rented an empty apartment on the first floor of a two floor unit. We had no furniture to put in it.

Deciding that with a newborn, one of our top priorities would be disposable diapers - we went to the local mart having a sale and bought many, many boxes of them in several sizes to allow for the kid's growth. It pretty much depleted our meager cash supply, but we congratulated ourselves on being so clever and insightful and not having to worry about having enough diapers for a long time. Food, gasoline, utilities - all of that we could now focus on because the kid was gonna have diapers.

The day after we bought them, the apartment building unit above us caught on fire in the wee hours of the morning. Everybody evacuated and we watched as the fire department poured water down through the roof from one of their ladder trucks.

Fire got put out, we went back into our unit to find about two inches of water standing on the floor.

Also on the floor (since we had no furniture), stacked neatly against wall about about four boxes high by I forget how many boxes long, was our brand new supply of diapers.

Man! Those puppies were absorbent like you can't believe! They sucked water up through all four layers of boxes from the freaking floor! Totally ruined the whole batch. Not to mention what a heavy mess they were to haul out to the dumpster.

Uhh... where was I? :confused:

Oh yeah, I remember.

Yep. Diapers are good to have in SHTF scenarios, no doubt.

Don't store them on the floor.

:(

Checkman
August 19, 2007, 06:22 PM
Lot to be said for living on a budget. Yesterday I purchased an sporterized Lee Enfield MK III* (mfd. 1916 by BSA) for $75.00. It isn't a Griffin & Howe job, but whoever did it many years ago (no importer stamp so pre-67 I assume) definitely believed in doing a job right. So now I have a poor man's hunting rifle with a solid action and a good clean bore. It works and I like Lee Enfields of all models and sizes.

I then went to Sportsman Warehouse and purchased .303 snap caps. Hey after having started this thread I don't want to be a hypocrite.

The same dealer also had a pristine Webley MK VI, but it was on consignment and the owner wanted $500.00. Arrgghhh.

woof
August 19, 2007, 07:01 PM
I said in a thread the other day that there are those on this board to whom every day the S "doesn't" HTF, and every day their home is not invaded, is a disappointment. I was born at the midpoint of the last century (gulp) and I can see in my lifetime that the world has been steadily getting better. By almost any measure you want to apply, our parents were better off than their parents, we are better off than them, and our kids will be better off than us. "This country/world is going to hell in a handbasket" is as old as the ages but the whole body of history proves it wrong. No doubt there will be disruptive events, terrorist attacks and natural disasters. But I fear the "survivor wannabes" will be shooting at each other when that happens and giving the rest of us another problem to deal with as we get back on our feet.

Checkman
August 19, 2007, 07:06 PM
Absolutely woof. I have often thought that the doomsayers are wanting and waiting for everything to fall apart. If for no other reason then than to be able to say " told you so, told you so,told you so."

Hey I watch SHTF movies and I am looking forward to the remake of I am Legend that Will Smith is starring in. It probably won't equal either the Vincent Price or Chuck Heston versions, but I'll go see it anyway.

Doesn't mean that I want it to happen for crying out loud. Be prepared for bad times, but why wish for it to happen?

Tokugawa
August 19, 2007, 08:22 PM
TKENDRIK hit the nail squarely on the head, second or third post- Community is what is going to get ya thru.

Leif Runenritzer
August 19, 2007, 10:13 PM
Gunsel sounded like a great word until i looked it up.

On a somewhat lighter note, if you are a Christian and you believe in that sort of thing, when the real Armageddon hits, it really doesn't matter how much ammo you've got squirreled away.

But still, Ragnarok might come first :D

no_problem
August 19, 2007, 10:17 PM
I figure that range time is a hefty cost...If I have to pay 15 bucks for range time, I want to get the most out of my money, I shoot as much as I can to maximize my return on the experience.

I go about every other month, and probably shoot 150 rds of two or three calibers.

SoCalShooter
August 19, 2007, 10:22 PM
Well I do not intend to pay for ammo when armageddon comes.

However I shoot until I have ten rounds outside of the X and 10 rings. I can get right now through about 30-35 rounds before 10 rounds are outside the X or 10 ring and thats in 25yds with a 22LR in three stages, slow,timed,rapid. To much practice can be damaging.

JP from Phoenix
August 19, 2007, 10:29 PM
I don't know about armageddon but ammo is very pricey indeed, as a new shooter i didn't know what i was getting into lol. at the prices now 3 boxes of 38s is like 40 bucks and the prices are going up? wow. I'm going to have to limit my shooting for future trips. This means i need more guns lol

lee n. field
August 19, 2007, 10:55 PM
I said in a thread the other day that there are those on this board to whom every day the S "doesn't" HTF, and every day their home is not invaded, is a disappointment.

No, it's a blessing.

Selfdfenz
August 20, 2007, 12:16 AM
What Pop did or didn't in terms of round count makes no diff to me. Shooting is my sport. I'm still trying to figure out if Pop had a sport:)

I enjoy shooting centerfire, and I reload, but frankly I'm more of a rimfire shooter. You gotta be one financially challenged individual not to be able to make a go of it with rimfire. We pay the least for our sport but probably do most of the bit--ing when a box of ammo goes up a quarter.

As far as this thread goes, how much or how little ammo my neighbor has and hasn't, what he fears or fears not, isn't worth my time.

Best,
S-

gezzer
August 20, 2007, 12:30 AM
Uhh... where was I?

Oh yeah, I remember.

Yep. Diapers are good to have in SHTF scenarios, no doubt.

Don't store them on the floor.

To young and dumb to buy renters insurance that is mucho cheaper than any property owner can buy. Hope you learned early for your mistake.

Learn from the school of hard knocks.

meef
August 20, 2007, 12:39 AM
To young and dumb to buy renters insurance that is mucho cheaper than any property owner can buy. Hope you learned early for your mistake.Uhh...

You left out the word "broke" in there.

:rolleyes:

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