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Taking a somewhat minimalist approach to firearms

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Jason_W, May 3, 2013.

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  1. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    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.
     
  2. Geno
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    Geno Member

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    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
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  3. xxjumbojimboxx

    xxjumbojimboxx Member

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    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 :)
     
  4. Geno
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    Geno Member

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    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
     
  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    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.
     
  6. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    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.
     
  7. baz

    baz Member

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    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.
     
  8. VA27

    VA27 Member

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    My minimalist approach is to have one firearm of each caliber extant...two if they're small.
     
  9. xxjumbojimboxx

    xxjumbojimboxx Member

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    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.
     
  10. xxjumbojimboxx

    xxjumbojimboxx Member

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    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.
     
  11. InkEd

    InkEd Member

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    I like having a good variety.
     
  12. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    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?)
     
  13. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    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.
     
  14. Chuck53

    Chuck53 Member

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    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)
     
  15. Manny

    Manny Member

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    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
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  16. gbran

    gbran Member

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    .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.
     
  17. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    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.
     
  18. jamesjames

    jamesjames Member

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    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.
     
  19. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    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.
     
  20. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    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.
     
  21. jakk280rem

    jakk280rem Member

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    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.
     
  22. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    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).
     
  23. doc2rn

    doc2rn Member

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    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.
     
  24. markshere2

    markshere2 Member

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    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
     
  25. tomrkba

    tomrkba Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
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