Monday, January 18, 2010

Reply: Ammo Availability

Anonymous said...

here's my take:
Smith & Wesson's representative
told me this: they are backordered
for all the 9MM ammo they
make. if S&W wants to make .380,
they will have to shut down one
9MM line...retool..then make .380.
this Will Not Happen. so....
my advice is FerFal's: buy common.
it will be available. eventually,

January 17, 2010 3:28 PM

Didn't know S&W made ammo but it is true. Manufacturers will stick to common, high demand calibers if they have to feed a hungry market or if they have to cut down production costs. It makes sense to make the calibers that they know will sell well.

Jack said...

To follow on with what Estonian said, if there was a SHTF situation that resulted in the banning of guns/ammo to the civilian population, there would spring up a black market supplied by two groups:

1) the average soldier looking to make a buck or supply his family (just like they trade alchohol and tobacco on the black market now in Europe and Korea).
2) thieves who target the military.

And the rounds they would have are the 9mm, 5.56 (.223), and 7.62x51 (.308). That's why my first defensive weapon purchases would be in those calibers. After that I would spread out into other calibers if I wanted some diversity.

Of course I'd already have several .22lr guns with thousands of rounds of cheap ammo.

January 17, 2010 3:55 PM

Here in Argentina, ammo ( and guns)"goes missing" from military depots and police stations all the time, so its no wonder that 9mm is one of the most common calibers for criminals as well. Its easy to see how, during a large scale disaster, police and military weapons and ammo may end up in the hands of criminals and sold in the black market.

theotherryan said...

I remember the post President Obama election ammo shortage well. I had recently driven across the country to live in GA/AL. I brought a .38 but only about 100 rounds of ammo. Not sure why I did that but it was a busy time and tossing in a few more boxes didn't seem important. I could not find any .38 ammo for almost two whole months. When it was available I bought enough to get through just about anything.

The lesson I learned there was twofold. First ammo can rapidly vanish. Second having a lot of ammo elsewhere doesn't help me any if I can't get to it. Should have brought at least 500 rounds with me.

January 17, 2010 11:33 AM

Good comments guys, thanks.
A question to everyone:
Do you have some ammo in your car kit for your daily carry firearm, and ammo for your backup gun if it fires a different caliber?

I like reading and learning from real world emergencies ans survival situations, large events, or less dramatic ones. I remember a person going back home from the shooting range right when the LA Riots started. He managed to get home safely, but during the entire trip he couldn't help thinking that he had shot up all his ammo in the firing range punching paper!
A car with several guns and not a single round, how silly is that?
Another importance piece of gear that I recommend is body armor plates, carrying them in the trunk. Never plan on getting in a gunfight and never getting shot in return. For body armor needs keep in mind our friend Nick at bulletproofme.com. Armor is unbelievably cheap in USA compared to just about any other country in the world. 2A doesn't cover BA if you know what I mean. Heck guys, its not even legal to own BA in most other countries so get busy.

Maldek said...

What would be a reasonable stash of ammo per handgun (9mm) and/or rifle/shotty?

January 17, 2010 6:18 PM

As an absolute minimum, when you buy a gun, buy two 50 round boxes of ammo for a rainy day. If you're going to take your brand new gun to the range, buy extra ammo, don't use the "rainy day ammo" in your shooting sessions.

The standard preppers minimum these days is 500 round per handgun and 1000 per rifle. I usually recommend 1000 rounds per pistol, 1000 per rifle and 5000 per 22LR. Not a bad number, and you wont go broke.

Of course, that's not even enough ammo for a serious defensive shooting class, so if you plan on shooting on formal training sessions at least once a year, 5x or 10x that much isn't unrealistic.



Anonymous said...

Don't know where Anon in that first post got his info from but S&W does NOT make ammunition anymore - period. They (S&W do have a joint venture with Winchester in development of ammo - 40 S&W, 460, 500 but they have not manufactured ammunition in a very long time. I've searched the web for the last half hour and the only ammo S&W actually made was back in the 80's. Even their own website tells you to check out Federal, Winchester, Cor-bon for ammo facts.

I do keep 50rds of handgun ammo that I carry in the car kit, I don't however keep any armor in it because the swings in temps - from freezing to 100 plus degrades the fibers to the point of being worthless.

Common calibers are the way to go with your home/self defense firearms IMHO. Just like owning a magazine fed firearm that takes a weird style magazine that you can only find by luck. Sticking to the common and known firearms and ammo is the way to go.

Shy Wolf said...

Great suggestion about having lots of ammo on hand if one does any kind of defensive classes, FerFal. In my situation, last year alone I went through 2500 rounds of 9mm alone- and it was a 'slow' year for me.
For the forseeable future, have at least 5K rounds for any weapon on your shelf. The more the better, IMO. However, it does bring up the question of "How the hell do I transport this stuff if I have to bug out? (especially on foot?)"
Living where I do, burying a cache is impractical seven months of the year. Renting a storage shed is beyond my capabilities, as is storing it in someone else's residence. Point being, I'd hate for someone else to find/get my stored ammo and use it against me or other 'friendlies'.
What's in the GHB is important... aside from an extra pistol and holster, food and H2O, change of sox and med kit, throw in two boxes of ammo for each pistol/gun carried. That's a minimum of 100 rounds to get home or to your MBR, if that's your objective.
And there's my two-cents of opinion. Thanks, FerFal- love your blog.

parabarbarian said...

A couple of factors to consider when carrying ammunition in a car for any length of time.

First is heat. Most ammunition manufacturers recommend storing ammunition below 90F. Temperatures in a car will exceed this regularly on a warm day. I keep my ammo stocks in old non operating refrigerators where the insulation helps protect against high temperatures. Obviously this will not be practical if you leave ammo in a car.

Second is vibration. Subjecting ammunition to vibration causes the powder in the cartrides to degrade. It is a slow process and I'm not aware of any public data but when I worked at TRW (ca 1992) I know the Engineers had US Navy data they used. There are two major effect from vibration. One is the powder breaks up into smaller grains causing faster burning and higher than normal pressures. Two is the grains pack more tightly together -- a process called "compacting" or "densification" -- which slows the burning rate. Either of these will cause problems in pistols.

The effect of heat and vibration are cumulative so if you keep ammo in your car, replace it at least once a year. Personally I will shoot the stored ammo at the next opportunity but if you put it back into storage mark it so it doesn't just get rotated back into the hostile environment later.

recon said...

where i live, when everyone bought up all the ammo for the new president, the only type you could get was .40 cal. i presume its because of law enforcement, but all the 9mm and .45 was out but there was plenty of .40 to be bought. now it isnt hard to find any caliber at a store and the internet's restocked too, but it stayed in my head that LEO's needs are going to be covered by the manufacturers first and foremost and planning accordingly isnt such a bad idea.