Taking a somewhat minimalist approach to firearms


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Jason_W
May 3, 2013, 07:48 PM
During financially better times, I was something of a caliber junky. I had numerous firearms chambered in a variety of rounds (most of which were sold during tough times).

Now that things are back on track and I can start saving for a few guns again, I'm taking a different approach: Only firearms chambered in 12 gauge for shotguns and .308 Win. for centerfire rifles (a .22 rimfire or two is a given, of course). Additionally, I think I only want as many firearms as I need to match any hunting situation I might encounter.

I think I can get away with only buying two or three more. The reduction in the amount of reloading tools, components, and ammo I need is an added benefit.

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Geno
May 3, 2013, 08:51 PM
I hear you! I did very similar. The problem with having one rifle, in one caliber is that when it becomes unavailable, you're SOL. I decided to scan a couple of online sites for ammo availability around deer season. I noted that .30-06 Sprg, .270 Win, 7mm Rem Mag, .300 WM were almost universally available. The .308 Win, not so much. By Jan, well, .308 was gone! So was .223/5.56mm. I also noted that .243 Win and .30-30 Win were readily available.

My thought, I want to have a cross section of calibers/chamberings such that I always can purchase a box or two of ammo. Check into what is available, and consider purchasing one of those. For my purposes, I concluded that owning rifles in .223 Rem/5.56 NATO, .22-250 Rem .243 Win, .270 Win, .308 Win/7.62X61 NATO, and .300 Win Mag keeps me very well able to find ammunition for one of those calibers for hunting. Calibers such as .260 Rem, .25-06 Rem and 7mm-08 Rem were available, but wow were they pricey. My other thought, to the extent you use the same parent brass, you're better off, i.e.: .243/.260/7mm-08/.308, or .25-06/270/280/30-06. That allows at least for reforming brass. The same can be said for many others.

Sorry if that sounds like babble. I would consider purchasing perhaps two more rifles/calibers. Then, I would set-up a nice supply of reloading materials. That's what I did.

Geno

xxjumbojimboxx
May 3, 2013, 09:10 PM
I was very similar, Ive only been shooting and collecting about two years. Im pretty savy so ive been able to build my collection without spending much...Either way there was a time when i had every caliber! i mean not all of them... but i was just so eager to try everything out that i had almost all of the common ones... After sandy hook i realized that was not very practical. My new calibers are as follows. 7.62x39, 7.62.54r, .22lr, .22mag, 12ga, 20ga, and 9mm. I wont pick up a gun that doesnt shoot one of those calibers... I switched to the 7.62 x 39 because i LOVE ak47's and all of their varients. I was also able to find an interarms mark x in 7.62 x 39, a rare find indeed, but that gun would be excellent for hunting and holds 2inch groups @ 100. The 7.62x54r because it is so damn cheap!, im mean you can really load up on that stuff and mosins simply wont die. 9mm because its cheap (when poeple arent freaking out)... The shotguns for fun and the .22s for plinking. .22 mag may filter out soon as i only have one pistol that even shoots it anyways.

But having all and every caliber is certainly a rich mans game, i am without a doubt not rich :)

Geno
May 3, 2013, 09:13 PM
xxjumbojimboxx:

Very well thought out, and well stated! Kudos on those selections, and especially that 7.62X39 score! I just went green with envy. 8^)

Geno

jmr40
May 3, 2013, 09:15 PM
One common chambering is still a better approach. A 308 is as good as any. Instead of buying of multiple rifles in multiple chamberings and trying to scrounge up 4-5 different types of ammo during a shortage spend the money on more ammo and reloading supplies BEFORE the shortages hit.

Jason_W
May 3, 2013, 09:46 PM
Part of the reason I declared the .308 as my centerfire round is that I'm already somewhat invested in it.

Also, it is a pretty versatile round. It's powerful enough to take any game animal in New England at a variety of of ranges. I can also load it down to 30-30 (or even .300 blk) levels for when I don't want a lot of recoil or muzzle blast.

Admittedly, you could say the same thing about a number of rounds. I just happen to already have .308 stuff.

baz
May 3, 2013, 11:25 PM
While I've owned a rifle or two all of my adult life (I bought my first rifle, a .303, in 1965 or 1966, when I was 18 or 19), I only got serious about firearms after Katrina in 2005. This could almost describe the approach I took, with a couple of differences:My new calibers are as follows. 7.62x39, 7.62.54r, .22lr, .22mag, 12ga, 20ga, and 9mm. I wont pick up a gun that doesnt shoot one of those calibers... I switched to the 7.62 x 39 because i LOVE ak47's and all of their varients.Take away the 20 ga, and .22mag, and add .223, .308, and .38/357 and you have the calibers in my arsenal. From the get go, the choice of caliber was motivated in large part by the cost and availability of ammo, as I've always believed in having plenty of ammo for whatever firearms I own. That's why I went with 9mm over .40 SW for a semiauto pistol caliber. And when I got a Tromix Saiga, .223 was more plentiful and cheaper than 7.62x39, so I went with .223. But later, I had to have the obligatory SKS, so that meant adding 7.62x39 to the mix. An Ishapore Enfield was the lone rifle in .308 until I got a Ruger GSR recently. I'm pretty satisfied with this "caliber footprint." I really cannot afford a new caliber, because I always end up spending far more on stocking up on ammo than I do on the gun itself. Guns without adequate ammo are just big sticks. So any new rifles or handguns will have to be in one of the calibers I already own.

VA27
May 3, 2013, 11:37 PM
My minimalist approach is to have one firearm of each caliber extant...two if they're small.

xxjumbojimboxx
May 3, 2013, 11:44 PM
While I've owned a rifle or two all of my adult life (I bought my first rifle, a .303, in 1965 or 1966, when I was 18 or 19), I only got serious about firearms after Katrina in 2005. This could almost describe the approach I took, with a couple of differences:Take away the 20 ga, and .22mag, and add .223, .308, and .38/357 and you have the calibers in my arsenal. From the get go, the choice of caliber was motivated in large part by the cost and availability of ammo, as I've always believed in having plenty of ammo for whatever firearms I own. That's why I went with 9mm over .40 SW for a semiauto pistol caliber. And when I got a Tromix Saiga, .223 was more plentiful and cheaper than 7.62x39, so I went with .223. But later, I had to have the obligatory SKS, so that meant adding 7.62x39 to the mix. An Ishapore Enfield was the lone rifle in .308 until I got a Ruger GSR recently. I'm pretty satisfied with this "caliber footprint." I really cannot afford a new caliber, because I always end up spending far more on stocking up on ammo than I do on the gun itself. Guns without adequate ammo are just big sticks. So any new rifles or handguns will have to be in one of the calibers I already own.
My friend, in the pitifully failing attempt to engage my gilfriend of almost six years in shooting, The 20 gauge and the .22 mag are the only things she likes to shoot, I have no need for them, but at least she'll shoot some skeet with me :) Anytime anyone comes to visit she loves taking them up to the range and introducing them to a little texas lifestlye. (were from mass, we met in college) so most of our friend have only seen guns on cops hips at the most... i guess it doesnt really need to be said that when our friends come they have a ball.

xxjumbojimboxx
May 3, 2013, 11:49 PM
xxjumbojimboxx:

Very well thought out, and well stated! Kudos on those selections, and especially that 7.62X39 score! I just went green with envy. 8^)

Geno
Geno thank you for your praise!
I like to think I thought it out pretty well...

And if your a texas landowner! Id be more then happy to let you shoot the little mark x, Hah, I just need place to do so, In my opinion, shooting indoors is no fun with a rifle. Unfortunatly, the house I bought is in city limits (makes me feel stupid) oh well.

InkEd
May 4, 2013, 12:09 AM
I like having a good variety.

MedWheeler
May 4, 2013, 12:28 PM
Jason, you don't mention handguns. Are you also considering any of them, such as for personal or home defense? Or do you already own one (or more?)

Jason_W
May 4, 2013, 04:13 PM
I've come to the conclusion that I'm just not a handgunner. I don't enjoy it and proficiency costs more than I can afford in terms of both time and money.

I have a pump action shotgun for home defense if need be.

Chuck53
May 4, 2013, 04:36 PM
I stick with the most common, easily found, and plentiful caliburs; .22, 12 gauge, 7.62x39, 7.62x54r, .40, and 9mm. These are always around somewhere. And in a possible 'social unrest' type of situation can be easily scavenged. Why rely on an obscure or less common round you could easily run out of or pay through the nose to buy in bulk? (I understand that all of these have gone up recently, however they are still plentiful, and pretty much all ammo is expensive to buy in bulk right now, but I'm speaking in generalities)

Manny
May 4, 2013, 05:26 PM
During financially better times, I was something of a caliber junky. I had numerous firearms chambered in a variety of rounds (most of which were sold during tough times).

Now that things are back on track and I can start saving for a few guns again, I'm taking a different approach: Only firearms chambered in 12 gauge for shotguns and .308 Win. for centerfire rifles (a .22 rimfire or two is a given, of course). Additionally, I think I only want as many firearms as I need to match any hunting situation I might encounter.

I think I can get away with only buying two or three more. The reduction in the amount of reloading tools, components, and ammo I need is an added benefit.
I have gone through a plethera of different guns and chamberings over the years as something caught my attention and then I lost interest. After a time I learned that a certain core group of cartidges and guns will fulfill my needs and interests and I've focused on those ever since. By limiting myself to fewer different cartridges & guns I was also able to stock more ammo & mags for those I do have, which is working out for me in the latest panic.

Looking at the link in your post, it looks like 12ga, .22lr and .308 will serve very well for your needs & interests, which is what I think is the important goal. Yeah owning more can be fun & interesting, but having the basics covered is the critical issue in my opinion.

My selection of weapons/ammo these days looks like this:

-.22lr, for all the reasons that .22's are always a great choice. Guns are a couple 10/22's and a Ruger LCR22 for snubby practice, fun & as a BUG.

-.38 Special +p, for my CCW guns. Guns are a Ruger SP101 & KLCR, both chambered in .357. I expect at sometime I'll get a longer barrel gun but it's not essential.

-9mm, for defensive use, target, whatever. Guns are 2 Glock 17L's and a G34 that I bought when I had trouble finding a second G17L.

-.223/5.56, for defensive use, target, varmints, everything I need a centerfire rifle for where I live and for what my interests are. Rifle is a flattop Rock River AR national match with a 3x9 scope in a QD mount. No rifles for big game in Ohio, so it does what I need & want.

-12 gauge, for all the reasons that a shotgun is always a great and versitle choice. Guns are an FN SLP with screw in chokes & ghost ring sights that handles buck shot & slugs superbly for what ever need, hunting or defensive. Also a Browning Cynergy O/U with synthetic stock & full camo for all other shotgun needs & interests. My redneck pride & joy.

-.45 Long Colt/.454, mostly for hunting deer here in Ohio but also for a hoped for someday trip to Alaska. Guns are two Ruger Super Redhawk's, a 7.5" for hunting and an Alaskan for fun and the someday trip.

Probably everyones choices for what works best for them will vary somewhat based on where they live, what shooting opportunities they have, what needs they feel they have and what direction their interests take. Guns are useful tools, plus I find them fun and very interesting. Still, I only have so much money, resources and room I can devote to them no matter how much I like them. My collection fits in my safe with a little extra room to add a couple more if I want. For this part of my life, thats plenty. YMMV

gbran
May 4, 2013, 06:30 PM
.22lr, .223, '06 and 12ga will take care of all my long gun needs.
.22lr, 9mm will take care of my handgun needs.

Unfortunately, all of the above won't satisfy all my desires and wants.

OilyPablo
May 4, 2013, 06:48 PM
My buddy decided to go with 9mm and 22LR.

I decided to go very wide. You name it.

I shoot all the time. I found 357sig and 10mm for $20 box. I loaded 1400+ round of 10mm. I laid in 9X18mm, 7.62x25mm, 6.8SPC. I bought some 38special today for $15. He can't get ammo at all, with some 9mm finally trickling in so he hasn't plinked since January.

Choose wisely.

jamesjames
May 4, 2013, 06:51 PM
I have standard defensive handgun calibers and got rifle calibers as I fell ass-backwards into some great platforms that became available in those calibers to me. So for handguns I have the standard range of .22lr, .32, .38special, .40SW, .44special, 9mm, and .45ACP.

But in rifle calibers, well... a pre-64 Winnie '94 in 30-30 for deer in brushy country. A scoped Ruger #1A in 7x57 for deer and elk in open country. A scoped Remington 700P in .223 for long-distance targets (700 yards on a calm day). ARs in .223 set up for close work and middle distance.

Find the platform to do the job you want it to do, in the caliber you need it to be. I was looking for platforms that interested me and that weren't always the perfunctory Remington/Savage/Ruger bolt gun, but that's just me.

Jason_W
May 4, 2013, 06:51 PM
I may at some point add a .22 hornet to that list, but only if I ever own a piece of land where shooting is legal and I have to zap garden pests beyond .22 range.

The first thing on my list is some kind of double barrel 12 ga with interchangeable chokes.

Ed Ames
May 4, 2013, 07:25 PM
There is nothing wrong with doing what you want, per se.

However.

I think a major lesson of the last 5 years is that .308, .223, 9mm, .40, and .38 will be the first things off the shelf when even the slightest shift in market demand occurs. There is no way I would choose an my of those as my one and only.

I know you are vested in .308, but you should probably consider how much you would actually lose if you sold your .308 dies and replaced them with something a little less likely to disappear from every shelf, e.g. .25-'06 or 7mm-08, or even 30-'06. I can drive to the nearest store that sells ammo and pick up any of those today for about $1 a round, unlike .308, .223 or .22lr. And yes, reloading takes some of the pressure off, but even today getting a pound of the powder you want or a case of primers may involve haunting shops for an extended period.

I actually have a new .308 rifle I've never fired because the ranges around here are soft-point only and I can't find any soft-point .308. My .308 and .223 rifles are safe queens for the duration.

jakk280rem
May 4, 2013, 07:34 PM
I am a caliber junkie too. I enjoy it very much and have no interest in consolidating. It is these low volume oddball calibers that I turn to in dark times to prevent running too low on my mainstream calibers. 223 hard to get? Shoot 222. 9mm Luger running low? Shoot 9mm Makarov. 44 Mag hard to find? Shoot 44-40.

Jason_W
May 4, 2013, 07:41 PM
I think a major lesson of the last 5 years is that .308, .223, 9mm, .40, and .38 will be the first things off the shelf when even the slightest shift in market demand occurs. There is no way I would choose an my of those as my one and only.

I know you are vested in .308, but you should probably consider how much you would actually lose if you sold your .308 dies and replaced them with something a little less likely to disappear from every shelf, e.g. .25-'06 or 7mm-08, or even 30-'06. I can drive to the nearest store that sells ammo and pick up any of those today for about $1 a round, unlike .308, .223 or .22lr. And yes, reloading takes some of the pressure off, but even today getting a pound of the powder you want or a case of primers may involve haunting shops for an extended period.

I actually have a new .308 rifle I've never fired because the ranges around here are soft-point only and I can't find any soft-point .308. My .308 and .223 rifles are safe queens for the duration.

That is a good point and I had considered it.

I'm thinking that the shortage will abate at some point (probably before I can afford to buy a new rifle) and I'll just have to stock up during the good times.

I certainly have nothing against other rounds, there are a lot of great choices out there. The .308 is just a good all around cartridge that I already happen to own. I also like that the .308 is chambered in a variety of short barreled rifles (feature I love, for some reason).

doc2rn
May 4, 2013, 07:48 PM
I used to be a caliber junkie, but not anymore. I readily admit my tolerance for pain while shooting has driven me to shoot some calibers more than others. I have scaled back my collection to guns I really like and I have found I really like what I have. That being said, my footprint has become quite focussed. I mostly shoot .38 spec and .22 WMR, which surprised me.
I thought I would be focussed on .22 lr more.

markshere2
May 5, 2013, 07:05 AM
A citizen should own the tools necessary to pursue their interests.

Hunters: it's pretty easy to figure out what caliber by what's legal for your intended game.

Sports shooters: Whatever guns the competition is running, they're probably doing it for a reason.

Self defense: 20 million essays out there on what to carry. I'd be foolish to try and add anything meaningful to that body.

2A folks: Many have come to believe that We the People should be as well armed as the stormtroopers that locked down Boston and violated the 4th amendment at will on national TV. It would make sense that battle rifles ( semi-auto or auto versions) of 5.56 and .308 would be logical choices for those law-abiding citizens.

Some people simply like storing their wealth in inflation-resistant currencies: guns, ammunition, and so forth. The impending divorce or estate sale, or simple dissatisfaction of the original owner will have a lot to do with what constitutes a deal or a mistake to purchase.

Summary: many different valid reasons to own a set of guns/ calibers

tomrkba
May 5, 2013, 08:31 AM
If I were to do it all over again:

308 Winchester
22 Long Rifle
12 Gauge
9x19mm
45 ACP
44 Magnum
44 Special
38 Special
357 Magnum
7.62x39
300 Blackout
5.56x45mm

Hmm...knocking it down to four would be tough.

308 Winchester/7.62x51mm
22 LR
9x19mm (or 357 Magnum if I were stuck with a revolver)
45 ACP (or 44 Magnum if I were stuck with a revolver)

I can pretty much do anything except shotgun sports with those. Dropping 45 ACP would be very difficult, but 9x19mm allows for a very wide range of gun sizes that 45 ACP does not.

22-rimfire
May 5, 2013, 08:53 AM
I think we develop reasons to justify our behavior or choices. Essentially we put a positive spin on whatever our choices are. As long as it is not criminal, do what you like to do. From a shooter perspective, it is certainly easier to becomre more proficient shooting long guns. Being a New Englander, hunting has been traditionally a focal point for firearm buying.

Based on your website, fishing seems to be a more dominant interest of yours. Several of my brothers pretty much echo your approach to firearms. Hunting is actually secondary to fishing in their lives. It is unlikely that one of them would ever shoot 100 rounds of 308 win in a day, a week, or even a year's worth of shooting. But.... they maintain a significant supply of fishing equipment, rods, reels, line, lures, etc. all the time.

The ongoing ammunition shortage has illustrated the changes in American's gun buying preferences. As you said, the military rifle calibers and common handgun are probably in the shortest supply. As a result, choosing 308 may not be the better choice; perhaps you might consider a 270 win or something along those lines in addition to 308 win. But you more than likely don't shoot a tremendous amount of 308 yearly anyway (perhaps).

The severe shortage in 22LR never really made sense to me from a use standpoint, but made a lot of sense from a survivalist or cost only perspective. Most who shoot, want to have 22LR around and available and the shortage caused people to focus on that caliber because it traditionally has been a very affordable caliber to shoot often by even the most frugal shooter. So, they tended to buy more if they could when they could even if they weren't using up the cache.

Being somewhat diverse in caliber choices makes a lot of sense to me. From a hunting perspective, unless you are a varmint shooter, I doubt you need more than 100 (or even 50) rounds of loaded ammunition available to you at any one time. A box of centerfire frequently is more than enough for a full season of deer hunting.

Jason_W
May 5, 2013, 09:14 AM
Based on your website, fishing seems to be a more dominant interest of yours. Several of my brothers pretty much echo your approach to firearms. Hunting is actually secondary to fishing in their lives. It is unlikely that one of them would ever shoot 100 rounds of 308 win in a day, a week, or even a year's worth of shooting. But.... they maintain a significant supply of fishing equipment, rods, reels, line, lures, etc. all the time.


Hunting isn't really secondary to hunting and shooting for me, fishing is just the least expensive of my interests at the moment. In the years leading up to the shortage, I was struggling a bit and I was unemployed during the 10 months or so prior to the great panic. Spending gas money on multiple trips to the range and then roughly a dollar a round at the range was simply not something I could do on a regular basis.

I'm hoping that will change soon, but I still don't want to get back into the caliber collection game. The result tends to be an excess of stuff and as a personal philosophy, I'm finding I'm much happier with an efficient, simplified, and streamlined set of "stuff" across all areas of life.

blue32
May 5, 2013, 09:23 AM
deleted info

Potatohead
May 5, 2013, 09:33 AM
I think a major lesson of the last 5 years is that .308, .223, 9mm, .40, and .38 will be the first things off the shelf

depends where you are i guess, ive seen tons of .40s throughout this whole mess

22-rimfire
May 5, 2013, 09:38 AM
The cost of shooting has always been a major consideration for me. I will not be sending many $1/round down range in a given day. I simply won't allow myself to spend the money that it takes to shoot a lot of centerfire whether it be rifle or handgun. It doesn't bother me that many are much more proficient shooters (especially handgun). But I do like to hunt with a handgun (revolver) and that forces me to shoot and maintain a certain level of proficiency with those calibers. For me, those are 41 mag and 480 Ruger. I simply won't hunt if I don't have a reasonable level of confidence that I can make a practical handgun shot on a whitetail in the woods.

Fishing isn't so cheap either.... just ask the bass fishermen... boat, truck to pull boat, $50 > $100 spend every time they head to the lake or river not to mention that the better fisherman replace their line very regularly... in my case, every other outing. If you are fishing streams (trout), my brothers completely wear out several pairs of hip waders each year... I mean totally worn out. That's several $100 cost per year there as well. It adds up regardless of whether your interest is fishing, hunting, or shooting. But hobbies are often what keeps life interesting and provides a place we can go to heal.

Jason_W
May 5, 2013, 09:55 AM
Fishing isn't so cheap either

My approach to it is. Most of my open water fishing involves casting for mackerel and harbor pollock off the rocks. The occasional striper or bluefish would be nice, but I'm pretty happy with smaller fare.

Ice fishing, however, is a little more gear heavy, but that gear tends to last for many seasons. It's still a lot less expensive than 100+ centerfire rounds downrange every week.

As you noted, none of this stuff is cheap, but there are ways to make it a little more affordable.

BSA1
May 5, 2013, 10:51 AM
Being somewhat diverse in caliber choices makes a lot of sense to me.

Absolutely. I just saw MidwayUSA has factory ammunition in stock suitable for self-defense in 32 Magnum.

From a hunting perspective, unless you are a varmint shooter, I doubt you need more than 100 (or even 50) rounds of loaded ammunition available to you at any one time. A box of centerfire frequently is more than enough for a full season of deer hunting.

I think you are overlooking that in order to become a proficent hunter it takes target practice (the more regular the better) which of course requires more ammunition.

22-rimfire
May 5, 2013, 11:56 AM
Being somewhat diverse in caliber choices makes a lot of sense to me.

From a hunting perspective, unless you are a varmint shooter, I doubt you need more than 100 (or even 50) rounds of loaded ammunition available to you at any one time. A box of centerfire frequently is more than enough for a full season of deer hunting.

I think you are overlooking that in order to become a proficent hunter it takes target practice (the more regular the better) which of course requires more ammunition.

Me too on caliber diversity. You don't have to have 30 different choices in your safe, but some variety is good. In terms of shooting proficiency, it is relative to your typical hunting requirements. I for example have never taken a shot over 100 yds at a deer. Many out West would just laugh at this. But it is not all that hard to hit a deer in the heart lung area at 50 yds from a rifle that is sighted in.

CookeMonster
May 5, 2013, 12:14 PM
I prefer a combination of common & oddball. 9mm and 45GAP in handgun for instance. 9mm is usually cheap and easy to find. I caught a lot of flak for the 45GAP from people who said it couldn't be easily found at WalMarts nationwide. Well, of every gun we have, guess which caliber could still be purchased ANYWHERE here in town? 45GAP was in 3 or 4 local stores, but we had to show up at the gun show an hour before opening to get in line early enough to (just barely) get a 500 can of 9mm before they sold out. Haven't seen 9mm in ANY store here for 6 months without camping out at WalMart on receiving day to MAYBE get some.

BoilerUP
May 5, 2013, 12:38 PM
I've rationalized my rifle calibers too.

223/223AI and 260 Remington...shedding 22-250, 243, 270, and 30-06 along the way.

Shoot fewer rifles FAR more often, and don't worry about ammo availability thanks to a stockpile of brass, primers, powder and bullets.

Jason_W
May 5, 2013, 01:04 PM
In terms of shooting proficiency, it is relative to your typical hunting requirements. I for example have never taken a shot over 100 yds at a deer. Many out West would just laugh at this. But it is not all that hard to hit a deer in the heart lung area at 50 yds from a rifle that is sighted in.

Around here, it's hard to find a place to practice beyond 100 yards. Most ranges max out at that distance.

RBid
May 5, 2013, 01:16 PM
I shoot 9 and .40. My next firearm will probably be another Glock 19 (Gen 4). After things slow down, I'll be applying my guns & ammo budget to stocking up on more 9 and .40. Eventually, I'll add an AR-15.

I would really like to get over 10,000 rounds of 9mm, so that I don't have to buy during shortages.

rdhood
May 5, 2013, 01:27 PM
My new calibers are as follows. 7.62x39, 7.62.54r, .22lr, .22mag, 12ga, 20ga, and 9mm.

Almost exactly mine: .223/5.56, 7.62x39, 7.62.54r, .22lr, .17hmr, 12ga, 9mm, 45 ACP. I plan on adding one more: .308. (maybe something like .22mag)

I reload all of the centerfire except 7.62.54r, and that stuff is still cheap enough to purchase surplus. I reload with two powders (Win 231 and AA 2015)

Ed Ames
May 5, 2013, 01:41 PM
From what you described I would probably get an H&R Handi-Rifle (or, if I was feeling flush, a used T/C barrel-swapper) in .308. Actually to be honest I'd start with .270 because it seems to be the cheapest, and most available, factory hunting ammo around. It's cheaper than .30-'06 or hunting .308, and more likely to be in stock.

Then, once I had some spare funds, I would get additional barrels. They are small, easy to store, and allow use of alternative cartridges for not much hardship. I'd aim for a small CF bore e.g. .22 hornet, a 12ga barrel, etc.. In the case of the T/C you can pick up used barrels if you shop.

That's fairly minimalist, just fine for hunting and the like, but gives the option of adjusting barrels for ammo availability.

Lex Luthier
May 5, 2013, 03:20 PM
I must be a minimalist. 9mm, .40., .45, .22, 5.56mm, 12g, 20g. and there is a very old .25 cal of the old mans with an almost full box of rounds hidden as an absolute last resort.

There may be a .308 in my future when all the dust settles.

btg3
May 5, 2013, 03:33 PM
=Jason_W;8906717
...was something of a caliber junky. Now...
Only firearms chambered in 12 gauge for shotguns and
.308 Win. for centerfire rifles
(a .22 rimfire or two is a given, of course).
Additionally, ...I only want as many firearms as I need to match any hunting situation I might encounter.

...I think I can get away with only buying two or three more.


I'll allow that "something of a caliber junky" and "somewhat minimalist" are relative terms, but minimalist, you ain't. ROFLMAO. ;)

barnbwt
May 5, 2013, 04:12 PM
Two calibers, just two calibers; 308 and 357

...

And a 22LR repeater for fun and because it's cheap...and a 12ga for trap, and a 30-06 because it was a good deal. Then a K31 in 7.5 Swiss because that's all there it comes in and is still a great rifle, a 45-70 for easier-on-the-ears hunting, a 7.62x39 carbine for defense, a 7.62x54R for the cheap history, a 10mm because "I love the round," a 9mm handgun for daily carry, a 9mm carbine because I have a 9mm handgun, an AR because my friends have one, five more uppers because I have ARs--both 6.8 Grendel and 6.8SPC...
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t185/SteveP229/CacheRecoveredWeapons2.jpg

And then they find you years later, mummified beneath a stack of Mosin-crates that had fallen over :D. You can't be a gun enthusiast and have a simple collection. You can be a shooting enthusiast and have a simple collection (but a crap-ton of reloading stuff ;))

TCB

JudgeHolden10
May 5, 2013, 04:29 PM
I have tried to keep my calibers at a minimum.

12 Gauge (2)
.357 Mag. / .38 Spl. (4)
.22 LR (2)

I've wanted several times to buy a 1911, but the costs of buying that along with new dies, brass, and bullets has deterred me.

r1derbike
May 5, 2013, 04:58 PM
.45acp
.38 special
.223

I own two of the calibers, my wife, one.

Minimalist. Self defense.

Welcome JudgeHolden10! Nice first post!

Jason_W
May 5, 2013, 05:46 PM
A lot of good ideas have been fielded in this thread.

The discussion prompted me to look into the .25-06 and as someone noted, it's been minimally affected by the panic. There are even a plethora of .257 cal bullets still available on Midway.

22-rimfire
May 6, 2013, 12:28 AM
25-06 is a good deer caliber and can be used for wood chucks as well. I started out with a 243 and used that for both chucks and deer. I shot out to about 300 yds with the 243 on wood chucks. Then I moved to 270 and at that point in my life, chuck hunting was not available. A lot of people like the 243 for deer, but I want something that shoots a bit harder. I'm used to PA woods where if you hit a deer and it doesn't go down immediately or within 50 yds, the deer is likely to encounter another hunter and you lost your deer in most cases. For that reason I tend to think 223 for chucks and 270/30-06/308 for deer. Two rifles is still pretty minimalist. Handguns was where the caliber diversity happened for me.

Schutzen
May 6, 2013, 12:46 AM
All of these are good thoughts, but all seemed to have overlooked one of the most availible rifle cartridges in the US. From Texas to Minnnisota and Maine to California, every small, two bit store that sells ammo will have .30-30's. In my area even now you can get .30-30's off the shelf.

A great cartridge, not in my opinion, but it is very adequete for most game in the US. It is a common man's common rifle.

Scrumbag
May 6, 2013, 05:59 AM
Hunting wise I would say:

.22 lr Bolt or Semi, pays ya money, takes ya choice. (Bunnies, squirrels and cheap practice)
.22 CentreFire (if serious long range varmint .22-250, for other maybe .222 Rem or .223 depending on how worried you are on shortages)
.30-06 Great deer rifle and flexible on loads, power and weight of bullet
.375 H&H 458 Win Mag. Just because you need a larger gun
12g SA/Pump (Start off with 26" MC barrel and add additional slug barrels as you see fit).

ATB,

Scrummy

pockets
May 6, 2013, 09:32 AM
Over the past 50 years of firearms ownership my tastes and situations have changed many times. I try not to get too excited when this happens.
.

muggia59
May 6, 2013, 10:01 PM
I have 556/223 and 3030 for my rifles. 9mm and 45acp for my semiautos. 357 and 38spl for my revolvers. 12gauge for my shotguns. 22lr conversions help keep overall cost down.

mgmorden
May 6, 2013, 11:13 PM
Eh - you can minimalize, but realistically I don't see a lot of point in owning multiple guns in the same caliber (particularly for rifles and shotguns) except for novelty/fun factor, but novelty/fun factor doesn't jive with trying to save money.

If you really want to save money, then a single 12ga and a single .308 would likely do fine for all your actual needs. If you just want guns to shoot, then you're not really saving money, so who not get some extra stuff in other calibers? If things tighten up its not like it'll hurt to cut back to shooting one or two of your guns for specific needs (hunting, etc).

That's just me though - I'm addicted to variety. I don't like to buy duplicates of any type of gun, and I love having different calibers available (I'm of the mind that if I find it on the shelf, I want something at home that can shoot it :D).

PedalBiker
May 6, 2013, 11:33 PM
We have 4 varieties of ice cream in the freezer.

Variety is nice.

87jeep
May 7, 2013, 12:46 AM
Too many of you expect to buy ammo if SHTF...

You must have it on hand guys!

For me 9mm, 45 acp, 223/556, 12ga. :cool:

xxjumbojimboxx
May 7, 2013, 02:19 AM
Eh - you can minimalize, but realistically I don't see a lot of point in owning multiple guns in the same caliber (particularly for rifles and shotguns) except for novelty/fun factor, but novelty/fun factor doesn't jive with trying to save money.

If you really want to save money, then a single 12ga and a single .308 would likely do fine for all your actual needs. If you just want guns to shoot, then you're not really saving money, so who not get some extra stuff in other calibers? If things tighten up its not like it'll hurt to cut back to shooting one or two of your guns for specific needs (hunting, etc).

That's just me though - I'm addicted to variety. I don't like to buy duplicates of any type of gun, and I love having different calibers available (I'm of the mind that if I find it on the shelf, I want something at home that can shoot it :D).
No pistol? what if you want to conceal your weapon?

Dean1818
May 7, 2013, 06:21 AM
To me, you almost HAVE to reload to insure constant supply.

I buy components in bulk (fortunately before all heck broke loose)

The common calibers are almost always gone when a political problem arises

Lets be honest...... If there is something that has a great chance of being a constant....

Its political problems aground 2A.

I shoot mainly 6.8 SPC..... Its a bit of an oddball, but fits the all around needs for myself.

I also shoot 40 cal, 8mm, 45 cal, and 12

I may add a 308 later, but reloading has kept me shooting when others are staying home

Jason_W
May 7, 2013, 06:42 AM
I don't see a lot of point in owning multiple guns in the same caliber (particularly for rifles and shotguns) except for novelty/fun factor, but novelty/fun factor doesn't jive with trying to save money.

That depends on the kind of hunting being done and the variety of terrain. The rifle that is optimal for hunting deer from a tree stand overlooking a corn field may not be the best when picking your way through a cedar swamp.

Ed Ames
May 7, 2013, 06:48 AM
Too many of you expect to buy ammo if SHTF...

We aren't talking SHTF. Poor retail availability of ammo is NOT TEOTWAWKI.

Anyway, you can't stock for every circumstance. Especially not if you are talking a "minimalist" approach. You stock for what you think you need.... then you find yourself unemployed for a few years, or changing marriage status, or responsible for additional people (kids, parents, whatever), and your needs change and your stock needs to change too.

Jsg81
May 7, 2013, 10:31 AM
Oddly enough I have been thinking of changing from 30-30 to 30-06 because of not being able to find 30-30 locally at this time.

I do need to get into reloading but I never would have dreamed that it would ever be hard to find.

Outside of that 22lr, 45acp, 12ga and my needs are taken care of. I'm thinking of picking up a convertible Ruger Blackhawk so I can use 45lc and 45 acp in the same gun with simplification in mind as well.

mgmorden
May 7, 2013, 12:16 PM
No pistol? what if you want to conceal your weapon?

The poster mentioned 12ga and .308 being his primary concerns in his first message. I personally buy almost only pistols these days but I was just speaking to his needs ;).

mgmorden
May 7, 2013, 12:23 PM
That depends on the kind of hunting being done and the variety of terrain. The rifle that is optimal for hunting deer from a tree stand overlooking a corn field may not be the best when picking your way through a cedar swamp.

Not "best", but you can certainly find a rifle that will work perfectly fine for both uses. The same could be said for the caliber too though.

That's kinda the point I was making. If you're trying to save money and cut back, then you're not doing yourself any favors by buying lots of rifles in the same caliber. Not to mention that most "practical" uses of firearms don't really need a lot of ammo. A box of 20 rounds will last me 2-3 years in my hunting guns. Most of large expenditures of ammo often break down into leisure shooting (which is fine - Lord knows I shoot a ton of ammo I don't really "need" to :)).

xxjumbojimboxx
May 7, 2013, 03:09 PM
The poster mentioned 12ga and .308 being his primary concerns in his first message. I personally buy almost only pistols these days but I was just speaking to his needs ;).
oh, thank jesus...

Hokkmike
May 7, 2013, 05:30 PM
My caliber choice is dictated on the gun that suits my needs best.

6.5x55 as best deer rifle. (because it is)

.32 mag for handgun target and HD. (the benefits of larger calibers without the heroics)

8mm and 7.62x39 because I have some milsurp collectibles.

.22 mag as plinker, training, and fun gun.....

Ed Ames
May 7, 2013, 07:01 PM
Minimalist is, like everything else, defined by context. Yours, mine, and the OP's can all legitimately differ.

My question about minimalism is this: what does it gain you?

Guns, especially if you move away from banbait models, are cheap. It's actually a problem in a way. I have several guns that I keep simply because they aren't worth enough to pay for selling them. As in they don't cost me anything in the safe, but selling would take time and energy and I wouldn't get enough money out of the deal to make that a fair trade. Nobody wants an old savage .222 for example. Not enough to pay me what it would take to make me go through the bother of selling.

I bet I could buy all the equipment a person needs to go hunting for under $200 (2013) dollars right now, ammo included. Not much of an bet actually - I could do that buying all new gear.

The incremental costs of supporting a new cartridge are low. If you shoot .308 and want to add .243, it is just the price of another rifle, another box of ammo, and another set of loading dies. If you shop and buy used that can be under $300 total. If it gains you flexibility, access to ammo/reloading supplies, or much of anything else, why wouldn't you do that?

There are circumstances where it makes sense. Living in an RV for example. Short of that I'm not 100% seeing it.

Jason_W
May 7, 2013, 07:10 PM
The incremental costs of supporting a new cartridge are low. If you shoot .308 and want to add .243, it is just the price of another rifle, another box of ammo, and another set of loading dies. If you shop and buy used that can be under $300 total. If it gains you flexibility, access to ammo/reloading supplies, or much of anything else, why wouldn't you do that?


Mostly to keep things simple and cut down on the volume of stuff I have clogging up my living space. Part of my approach has a much to do with how I want to live life in general (clutter free) as it does about a practical approach to hunting and shooting.

Jason_W
May 7, 2013, 07:13 PM
If you're trying to save money and cut back, then you're not doing yourself any favors by buying lots of rifles in the same caliber.

For centerfire rifles, I agree. One or two in the right chambering will likely do everything you need them to.

When it comes to shotguns, however, I'd like to get a little more specialized.

majortoo
May 7, 2013, 07:13 PM
Well, ammo is scarce. No doubt. I don't want to get into conspiracy theories, but that option is still on the table! (Hey, just five years ago, I bought Winchester 9mm 124 grain NATO, which is basically a plus P FMJ load, at 500 rounds for $100) That was .20 per round. Now, I see inferior quality FMJ going at four times that price. Someone is getting rich here, and it is not me!

Ed Ames
May 7, 2013, 11:09 PM
Mostly to keep things simple and cut down on the volume of stuff I have clogging up my living space. Part of my approach has a much to do with how I want to live life in general (clutter free) as it does about a practical approach to hunting and shooting.


The following doesn't relate to you. It's just a personal gripe of mine. I don't know anything about your situation and make no assumptions about you.

I think there is a media and culture problem with "stuff" at times.

There are TV shows that really push the idea that the viewers will lead better lives if they just get rid of what they own. They portray owning "too much" as a disease. They encourage people to sell anything that hasn't been used recently, right down to suggesting you sell your winter clothes each spring. These TV shows tend to be sponsored by companies that sell the types of products the shows encourage viewers to discard. The house-clutter shows are sponsored by companies that sell furniture, the clothes-clutter shows are sponsored by companies that sell clothes. I'm not saying there is a conspiracy or anything. It's just a healthy case of corporate self interest.

Now there is truth to the idea that buying too much can be a symptom of unhappiness. There is a correlation between depression and impulse buying. Depression is a disease, or at least the extreme forms can be. But...I think that sometimes unhappy people see these TV shows where the actors give up their stuff and are happy and they buy into it as a way to become happy themselves. I've seen people in the grip of that destroy family photographs going back 4 generations, throw away furniture their grandparents built by hand, destroy tens of thousands of dollars in personal wealth, and do all sorts of other stuff they later regretted. It is a destructive force, just like anything else is when taken to excess.

There are many categories of possession which are only useful if they are owned in advance of need. A fire extinguisher at the hardware store does you no good when your microwave catches fire. Groceries leaving the store in all your neighbors' hands do you no good when a storm is predicted and your pantry is empty. Clothes in a store do you no good when....you get the idea. Tools in general are usually in this category, and guns can be tools.

The real balance is between how having less will improve your life (and it will...easier to move if nothing else), vs. how much all that stuff improves your life. My life is much better because I have tools to do 1000 odd jobs that most people can't do for themselves, because I have rifles in .17 and .45 caliber, because I have a handgun, because I own a utility trailer instead of renting u-hauls, because I have a leather jacket I bought - gasp - more than 3 months ago! I also have a place to store all of my stuff. If I didn't, I would own less...and my quality of life would be lower.

The pendulum swings, we all go back and forth, and theoretically it all balances out over time. Obviously, I'm on the "more, in moderation, is good" side. Doesn't make me right or other people wrong, but I worry that people are being encouraged to live in a way that maybe makes a lot of sense in a major city when all you can afford is a 250 square foot apartment and where "help" will be smotheringly close in an emergency, but doesn't have much bearing in the real world.

Sorry for the rant.

xxjumbojimboxx
May 8, 2013, 01:02 AM
The following doesn't relate to you. It's just a personal gripe of mine. I don't know anything about your situation and make no assumptions about you.

I think there is a media and culture problem with "stuff" at times.

There are TV shows that really push the idea that the viewers will lead better lives if they just get rid of what they own. They portray owning "too much" as a disease. They encourage people to sell anything that hasn't been used recently, right down to suggesting you sell your winter clothes each spring. These TV shows tend to be sponsored by companies that sell the types of products the shows encourage viewers to discard. The house-clutter shows are sponsored by companies that sell furniture, the clothes-clutter shows are sponsored by companies that sell clothes. I'm not saying there is a conspiracy or anything. It's just a healthy case of corporate self interest.

Now there is truth to the idea that buying too much can be a symptom of unhappiness. There is a correlation between depression and impulse buying. Depression is a disease, or at least the extreme forms can be. But...I think that sometimes unhappy people see these TV shows where the actors give up their stuff and are happy and they buy into it as a way to become happy themselves. I've seen people in the grip of that destroy family photographs going back 4 generations, throw away furniture their grandparents built by hand, destroy tens of thousands of dollars in personal wealth, and do all sorts of other stuff they later regretted. It is a destructive force, just like anything else is when taken to excess.

There are many categories of possession which are only useful if they are owned in advance of need. A fire extinguisher at the hardware store does you no good when your microwave catches fire. Groceries leaving the store in all your neighbors' hands do you no good when a storm is predicted and your pantry is empty. Clothes in a store do you no good when....you get the idea. Tools in general are usually in this category, and guns can be tools.

The real balance is between how having less will improve your life (and it will...easier to move if nothing else), vs. how much all that stuff improves your life. My life is much better because I have tools to do 1000 odd jobs that most people can't do for themselves, because I have rifles in .17 and .45 caliber, because I have a handgun, because I own a utility trailer instead of renting u-hauls, because I have a leather jacket I bought - gasp - more than 3 months ago! I also have a place to store all of my stuff. If I didn't, I would own less...and my quality of life would be lower.

The pendulum swings, we all go back and forth, and theoretically it all balances out over time. Obviously, I'm on the "more, in moderation, is good" side. Doesn't make me right or other people wrong, but I worry that people are being encouraged to live in a way that maybe makes a lot of sense in a major city when all you can afford is a 250 square foot apartment and where "help" will be smotheringly close in an emergency, but doesn't have much bearing in the real world.

Sorry for the rant.
Man I like that rant.

Let me put it this way. Im 27, and I'm two years into being a homeowner. Most of my friends live in crumby apartments (not saying my house isnt sometimes crummy:) ) or in their parents basements! As a homeowner I literally BASK in the GLORY of having my own space. That which i can do whatever it is I please whenever it is I would like. I have friends and aquaintences who have come and gone, left tools here, and their mine now! All because they had no where to put it!, I got my grill that way, A lincoln welder, and many other things... Now, these things are useful in their own regard. I love having them. But, I have two grills (propane and a smoker), I sincerly dont think i need another one. That sort of where the minimalization of caliber comes into play. Im not a prepper, but i like to be well stocked on ALL of the ammo for ALL of my guns. Thats very difficult to do esspecially in times like these when you shoot 20 different calibers. Ive been there before, its almost overwhelming at times to monitor your supply efficient and effectivly. So thats why i broke it down. I find my shooting experiences are more pleasurable this way. I dont worry much about the money, as its all simply aco****ed for in my head. Its just easier to budget what i can take to the range, and when i need to go a-scrounging for more rounds. Thats all, Simplified. But dont get me wrong. If a buddy were to leave a new gun at my place, with no intention of ever picking it up... :) I certainly aint throwing it away.

justice06rr
May 8, 2013, 01:09 AM
I would agree that streamlining your arsenal to a few common calibers is a good idea. Not having ammo to shoot on a particular gun is no fun. 12ga is usually plentiful in gun/ammo department, everything else is relative.

Jason_W
May 8, 2013, 07:02 AM
There are TV shows that really push the idea that the viewers will lead better lives if they just get rid of what they own. They portray owning "too much" as a disease. They encourage people to sell anything that hasn't been used recently, right down to suggesting you sell your winter clothes each spring. These TV shows tend to be sponsored by companies that sell the types of products the shows encourage viewers to discard. The house-clutter shows are sponsored by companies that sell furniture, the clothes-clutter shows are sponsored by companies that sell clothes. I'm not saying there is a conspiracy or anything. It's just a healthy case of corporate self interest.

Well, I'm not going quite that far overboard. And trust me, when we get rid of something, it's because it's worn out and crappy. Usually, we don't have the funds to replace it so no one is making any money off of us. We don't subscribe to a TV service, so I know nothing of the shows to which you're referring.

As someone pointed out, minimalist is a relative term. in the strictest sense, that could mean one rifle, one shotgun, a .22 lr, and just enough ammo to get through a hunting season. I have no desire to pare things down that quite that much (though with the panic shortage I may not have a choice).

What I am no longer interested in is having dozens of guns chambered in dozens of rounds with the associated hodge-podge of ammo, reloading tools, and components. A centerfire rifle or two in a versatile round and 2-3 shotguns along with 500 or so rounds for each will cover my bases and won't take up a ton of space in my work room.

btg3
May 9, 2013, 09:27 PM
To me, you almost HAVE to reload to insure constant supply.

I buy components in bulk (fortunately before all heck broke loose)

The common calibers are almost always gone when a political problem arises

Lets be honest...... If there is something that has a great chance of being a constant....

Its political problems aground 2A.

I shoot mainly 6.8 SPC..... Its a bit of an oddball, but fits the all around needs for myself.

I also shoot 40 cal, 8mm, 45 cal, and 12

I may add a 308 later, but reloading has kept me shooting when others are staying home

To me, you almost HAVE to buy bulk ammo to insure constant supply.

I buy ammo in bulk (fortunately before all heck broke loose)

The common calibers are almost always gone when a political problem arises

Lets be honest...... If there is something that has a great chance of being a constant....

Its political problems aground 2A.

I shoot mainly 9mm and 22LR..... common calibers that fits the all around needs for myself.

I also shoot and stock a few others.

Have bulk ammo has kept me shooting when others are staying home ;)

xxjumbojimboxx
May 13, 2013, 02:57 PM
.. Just added .44 mag to the list.

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