Different Ammunition Calibers


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il.bill
November 17, 2012, 12:42 PM
When I first got involved with buying used guns and shooting as a hobby, my responsible disaster prep side kept saying I would only have a limited number of calibers in my handgun collection, specifically .45 ACP, 9MM Luger, and .22LR. Thus there was no need to worry about stocking multiple types of ammo.

After running across a good deal here or an interesting weapon there, I now find myself needing to stock .22 Short, .22LR, .25 ACP, .32 ACP, .38 Spl., .357 Magnum, 9x18 Makarov, 9x19 Luger, and .45 ACP, with plans to add a reason to have 7.62x25 Tokarev, .380 ACP, .40 S&W, and hard telling what else.

I enjoy shooting handguns in different calibers, and it is nice to be able to offer friends and family real options to sample when they begin to show an interest in shooting. I now try to rationalize this proliferation by saying that I have improved my chances of finding some kind of appropriate ammunition if the SHTF. It also seems to make it easier to find something I can use on sale at a good price any time I am out ammo shopping.

Anyone else find themselves following this progression, or is my wife correct in thinking I am nuts ... or both?

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bikerdoc
November 17, 2012, 01:09 PM
It happens.
Back in 58 I started with 22, then over the years 38/357, 45, 9mm, 12 ga, 380, 223, 7.62 x39. Adamantly refuse to add any more.

Wife sticks with 38 and 22 and 22 mag

Now adding guns in those calibers is another matter, :)

itchy1
November 17, 2012, 01:25 PM
I don't really look so much at the practical aspect of owning a broader variety of calibers--for me it's purely fun. I'm sure that there is some benefit as far as catching certain cailbers on sale(those days seem distant already) but it is almost always more economical to stock up on 9mm than just about any other CF caliber. I like to keep a 2k round reserve of both 9 and .22. Everything beyond that is expendable for fun.

gp911
November 17, 2012, 01:54 PM
I'm in the same boat. Started out with a few favorites, ended up with a little of everything and a larger supply of my favorites.

smalls
November 17, 2012, 03:26 PM
In a SHTF scenario, how are you going to carry around all those guns and extra ammo?

It's completely OK to own as many calibers as you want, but if your prepping for a bad time, maybe stocking defense ammo for one or two calibers separately from plinking ammo, and calibers you don't shoot often would be a better idea.

smalls
November 17, 2012, 03:30 PM
Double post.

il.bill
November 17, 2012, 04:27 PM
smalls -

For the most part my SHTF scenario involves hunkering down in a defensible position. In an ultimate bug out situation I would only be carrying a couple of guns and one or two calibers of ammo at the most.

My responsible disaster prep side agrees with you. My rationalizing gun-loving side says the more calibers the merrier.

JTHunter
November 18, 2012, 12:44 AM
Two 12 ga. (pump & SxS), 2 rifles in .22LR (will inherit a third IF I live longer than mother), a .22 Mag rifle, AK, .243 rifle, a .22LR/Mag revolver, a .25 SA Colt Jr., a .32 SA Colt, .380 SA handgun, .38 Long Colt (non-functional - ~90 y.o.) Colt revolver, .32-20 revolver (too expensive to shoot), a GP100 in .357, and will inherit an SP101 in .38 Spec. (again - will have to outlive mother! :D ).

ApacheCoTodd
November 18, 2012, 12:53 AM
Oh no - I'm with you on the rather positive "dismay" at finding myself standing opposed to my own otherwise practical self after looking around one day and seeing that I had backed myself into requiring a couple dozen different calibers and gauges.

Then there's the old "this -06 is only for the Garands and that 9mm is only for the carbines" type of scenario.

I've finally started to let some things go like my .38 Colt auto and I really have a hard time hanging onto my 7.62X54s and lone .303 primarily due to ammo concerns.

Malamute
November 18, 2012, 01:11 AM
You don't have to have large amounts of ammo for everything, just what you think is most practical for the scenario you imagine. Have enough to have fun with the others, tho having a hundred or so rounds saved back for each of various things isnt too hard. In real life, a hundred rounds should last a long time if ammo was hard to get for some reason, and thinking that would be after your main caliber of choice was used up.

I cant imagine limiting my enjoyment of various things because of an imagined event that may or may not ever happen, and the imagined logistics of that, and the supposed advantage of only having a couple calibers on hand. (Lot of imagining going on there, not just on my part)

Twiki357
November 18, 2012, 01:16 AM
I've thought about restricting myself to just two or three calibers, but then I realized how boring my targets would be if all the holes were the same size. :eek: Besides, then I wouldn't have all the fun of sorting out all the brass. :D

ApacheCoTodd
November 18, 2012, 01:36 AM
You don't have to have large amounts of ammo for everything, just what you think is most practical for the scenario you imagine. Have enough to have fun with the others, tho having a hundred or so rounds saved back for each of various things isnt too hard. In real life, a hundred rounds should last a long time if ammo was hard to get for some reason, and thinking that would be after your main caliber of choice was used up.

I cant imagine limiting my enjoyment of various things because of an imagined event that may or may not ever happen, and the imagined logistics of that, and the supposed advantage of only having a couple calibers on hand. (Lot of imagining going on there, not just on my part)
Yes I do have to... It's a sickness, an illness I know, but...

Hello, I'm Todd and I'm an ammuholic....

1911 guy
November 18, 2012, 01:38 AM
I keep a reasonable supply of ammo for my range guns on hand. Enough to get me through about a years shooting. I tend to buy ammo only once or twice a year and buy by the case. So come December 31, my stock is a little low on one or two calibers. For example, I reload for my deer rifle and varmint gun. I've only got about 200 loaded rounds at any given time.

However:

The three calibers I rely on for SD, HD and SHTF are .45ACP, 5.56mm, and 12guage. I never have less than 1,000 rounds for these. Then there's .22LR. If I have less than a brick at any time, I'm pretty sure I'll wind up on Candid Camera. I think I counted three on the shelf today.

Inebriated
November 18, 2012, 01:39 AM
I stock .22LR and 7.62x39. I usually have a good amount of 9mm as 12 gauge 00 buck laying around, but that's because I shoot it a lot, and I just buy a lot. The rest of my calibers just have a small cushion so I can hit the range a few times without buying ammo.

coalman
November 18, 2012, 02:26 AM
I get my variety fix through a variety of gun platforms not calibers. YMMV.

Centurian22
November 18, 2012, 02:42 AM
I agree with the "stock up for your two or three main calibers, and have a rotating couple hundred rounds for all the others" theory.

BSA1
November 18, 2012, 10:03 AM
Well experience has show us repeatedly that in times of crisis/panic ammunition flies off of store shelves with the most commonly used calibers being out of stock first.

Since the selection of ammunition on the retail level will be quickly become limited owning guns in a variety of different calibers is more practical as you will be more likely to be able to use whatever you can find.

Plus where does it say you can not have fun with owning and shooting different caliber firearms while waiting on the impending economic collapse/zombie hoards?

22-rimfire
November 18, 2012, 10:08 AM
Ammunition is expensive. I buy ammunition for the calibers I own. I don't prep for somebody else. That is what stores are for.

The Lone Haranguer
November 18, 2012, 10:16 AM
If you have a firearm collection of any size, for any purpose, it will inevitably lead to multiple calibers. At one time I had 6 or 8 different calibers of ammunition. Only if you go shooting and can't keep track of what kind goes in which gun - which can be dangerous - is it a problem. I even thought of getting a "Celebrate Diversity" T-shirt (http://www.google.com/search?num=10&hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1359&bih=665&q=celebrate+diversity+gun+shirt&oq=celebrate+diversity+&gs_l=img.1.2.0l2j0i24l8.1580.7883.0.11034.20.13.0.7.7.0.62.587.13.13.0...0.0...1ac.1.koQp4OoqGLI) at one time. :D

BSA1
November 18, 2012, 10:58 AM
22-rimfire,

Which is exactly why reloading is your best friend. :)

David E
November 18, 2012, 11:11 AM
I've finally started to let some things go like my .38 Colt auto.......primarily due to ammo concerns.

Why didn't you simply fit a 9x19 barrel to it?

I won a Colt Government model 1911 at the Single Stack Classic one year chambered in 9x23. Phenomenal round, coupled with worst marketing for it ever. I had a .38 Super barrel fitted to it and a 9x19 barrel fitted to it. I've not taken the 9mm barrel off in years and shoot it regularly, even tho I have 1000 rds of factory 9x23 on hand.

Vern Humphrey
November 18, 2012, 11:17 AM
If I want a gun and have the money (and think I can sneak it past the wife) I buy it. I have lots of different calibers, but I handload. I keep components on hand, so I can be sure of a supply of ammo in the event of an emergency.

And for that purpose, I concentrate on three calibers -- .45 ACP, .30-06 and .22 LR. I keep lots of that on hand.

Owen Sparks
November 18, 2012, 11:31 AM
In a real economic collapse, spare ammo would would make an excelent barter item. I posted a while back about some guy who bought a pallet of .22 rimfire for that reason.

SaxonPig
November 18, 2012, 11:40 AM
I have a few favorite calibers. I really like the 7x57 and 375 H&H in rifles, and the 38 Super and 44 Special in handguns. I have one 44 Magnum revolver because I feel like I should have one. I have a whole slough (slew?) of 38 Specials because I like the guns.

Last year I bought a new rifle in 300 H&H just because I like saying 300 H&H. I know, it's crazy.

Since I load 98% of my ammo I don't worry about cost or availability of factory ammunition.

Off the top of my head I can't even say how many different calibers I shoot. Here's a photo I took of the various 30 caliber rifle cartridges I currently shoot.


http://www.fototime.com/9CA78576BA8B394/standard.jpg

Lateck
November 18, 2012, 12:53 PM
I too agree on stocking for one's main firearms.
But I feel that: What If? I mean what if there is a run on your favorite caliber? Could you use another, just in
case?
This is for home and not on the road.... Then I go for
the most popular.

Lateck,

beatledog7
November 18, 2012, 01:42 PM
There are many schools of thought on having firearms in many calibers. I reload everything I shoot save rimfire and shotshell, and even though I know I'm saving money over buying the same number of rounds of factory ammo, I sometimes think I probably wouldn't buy that much factory ammo. But reloading is part of my enjoyment of the hobby.

I started with a .38SPL then added a .357 carbine, thinking it would end there: the revolver for carry, the rifle for the occasional hunt. But then I discovered that I needed a shotgun, and a .22 rifle, and then a .40 cal for its higher capacity, and a 9mm target gun, and a high power bolt-action rifle...

I shoot 12 different centerfire cartridges and load 13 (one for a family member). There is wisdom in building up stocks of what you shoot the most or imagine you would (in some unnamed scenario) shoot the most. I'd estimate that 3/7 of the rounds I've handloaded are either .38SPL, .357Mag, 9mm, or .40S&W. About 1/7 have been some other handgun round, 2/7 .223 Rem, and the final 1/7 some other rifle round. I'm looking to add one more rifle cartridge to my stable, but then that'll be it unless I get to hunt in Africa.

But I've said that before....

David E
November 18, 2012, 02:44 PM
One factor to consider is that the more calibers you have, the more likely you can use something you come across at a deal.

At one match, one of the prizes was 500 rds of Corbon ammo......in 10mm. It sat there for awhile until the one guy who owned a 10mm snagged it.

Vern Humphrey
November 18, 2012, 06:58 PM
In a real economic collapse, spare ammo would would make an excelent barter item. I posted a while back about some guy who bought a pallet of .22 rimfire for that reason
I've been thinking about that -- I keep two 5,000 round cases on hand, but more wouldn't hurt.

Fishslayer
November 18, 2012, 07:53 PM
One factor to consider is that the more calibers you have, the more likely you can use something you come across at a deal.

At one match, one of the prizes was 500 rds of Corbon ammo......in 10mm. It sat there for awhile until the one guy who owned a 10mm snagged it.

Currency/trade bait. I have to say if I'd won 500 rounds of Corbon 10mm myself I would be pretty tempted to go buy a launcher for 'em.:D

I don't own anything that doesn't take ammo available from WalMart or cheap milsurp.

Common calibers also give you a supply of cheap/free brass for reloading.

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