Monday, November 19, 2007

A day at the shops

So, I did my part earlier today. No camera I'm afraid, but I bought 100 rds of .45 acp from Winchester, 200 rds of .22 WMR from CCI and a 550 rd block of .22 lr from Federal just because one simply cannot have too much .22 lr. I overheard another shopper comment that the new price for 230 gr .45 acp ball ammo offered by UMC in 250 rd packages was priced slightly under that being asked at gun shows for similar quantities of re-load ammo, and this is consistent with my own experience. It is true that dealers at gun shows will often negotiate prices for quantity buys that storefront retailers mostly can't offer, but even then the price difference doesn't justify the amount of cash money required to make a buy of that quantity, never mind the difficulty of storing large quantities of ammo, or so it seems to apartment dwelling me.

This touches on a topic that seems particularly relevant today; what is a "good" average stocking level of ammunition? With the understanding that (most of) my guns are locked up in one room and ammo is stored in a closet in a different room, my current stocks are:

.22 lr: something in excess of 3500 rds (I'm not going to count out what's left in the open block)

.22 WMR: about 1200 rds (plus 150 rds of something classified as 22 WRF from CCI that seems to fall between these other two rounds in length - I don't have good calipers here at home to measure diameter closely enough. Anybody familiar with this ammo?)

.32 Mag: a bit over 400 rds

.45 acp: 900 rds of ball and 300 rds of combat ammo (Corbon, etc)

30-30: 400+ rds

7.62x39: 1200+ rds

12 ga: maybe a 100 rds of slug and various shot sizes combined

I should also point out that I have more guns in the first two calibers listed then in the last five calibers combined.

My inclination is to basically double these quantities (with an order of magnitude increase in 12 ga) and work to maintain that. However, I'm already courting structural damage to my (upstairs) apartment closet - I don't think the shelf will stay that way permanently - so I'm going to have to come up with some kind of container that will spread the weight over a larger area and still allow me to shut the closet door before I do so.

The objective in all this is to be able to continue shooting at basically the same frequency I'm used to without having to resupply for 6 months if finances (or other considerations) necessitate. Since most of my shooting is in .22 (though at 8+ cents a round for .22 Mag I'm going to have to look into getting some additional rifles in .22 lr I think), I think I need to give more thought to the specific application I'm buying ammo for at stocking levels much beyond those at present.

It's an interesting challenge. I don't hunt for sport, so I believe the 30-30, Mini-30 and 12 ga will be sufficient for any likely confrontation I might face here in the contiguous US. The .45 and .32 are concealed carry weapons for which I have near-equivalents in .22 lr for routine skills practice. I'm already supporting 7 different calibers, so any new acquisitions will be in one of those. Although, at some point I'm going to get a center-fire bolt action rifle so I'll be up to 8 one day.

Logistics has always been the art of "how little can I get wrong this time?". This is a very simple example of only some of the issues involved, too. I've never had the money to do so for myself much, but I've always wanted to try my hand at expedition support. Born a century too late, I guess. I would dearly love to organise a safari into hostile territory utilising the resources and technologies available to a healthy wallet today though.

Ah well. I hope it was a good Ammo Day Buycott for you too.

UPDATE 11/20: Went to CCI's website and found this:

This fine old cartridge dates to the end of the 19th Century when it was popular in the Winchester Model 1890 pump-action rifle and other firearms. Until now, the only surviving ammo was loaded with a solid lead bullet. Our hollow point load greatly extends the useful life of these fine old rifles. (part #0069)
—Some 22 W.R.F. are so old and worn as to be unsafe with ANY ammunition. Use only in rifles known to be in good condition with proper headspace.
—DO NOT use jacketed 22 WRF ammunition in revolvers. Most revolvers chambered for this cartridge have undersize bores and must not be fired with jacketed ammunition.
—DO NOT use 22 WRF ammo in firearms chambered for 22 Rimfire Magnum (22 WMR).

So, it's off to Lock and Load to see if I can do a deal for some WMR instead.

After I've had my coffee.

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