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Old 09-07-2020, 08:13 PM
vintage40s vintage40s is offline
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Default How does this ammo shortage work?

So I bought my first gun, a 642-2 Airweight .38, a couple of months ago. Had to mail order it for pickup at Cabelas. Then found the store had no ammo. Nor did the range. So then began a saga of ordering a few boxes at a time online from online vendors. Today there was nothing at all available that I could find online, except for a 500-round case. So I jumped at it.
Why can't I find a box now and then, when a whole case is available?
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:18 PM
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Where did you find the box of 500?
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:22 PM
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This is a recurring episode. There is some violent or political event, everyone who didn't already have a gun and the ammo to go with it gets in line to buy, the shelves disintegrate, and anywhere from a few months to a few years later the stock returns and the prices are back to almost normal, just not quite. Repeat. This will be one of the longer events. When things return to paranormal, keep buying by the case or learn to reload.
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:23 PM
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It's easier to make one sale of 500 rather than ten sales of 50.
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peak53 View Post
This is a recurring episode. There is some violent or political event, everyone who didn't already have a gun and the ammo to go with it gets in line to buy, the shelves disintegrate, and anywhere from a few months to a few years later the stock returns and the prices are back to almost normal, just not quite. Repeat. This will be one of the longer events. When things return to paranormal, keep buying by the case or learn to reload.
Good luck finding components

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Old 09-07-2020, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage40s View Post
So I bought my first gun, a 642-2 Airweight .38, a couple of months ago. Had to mail order it for pickup at Cabelas. Then found the store had no ammo. Nor did the range. So then began a saga of ordering a few boxes at a time online from online vendors. Today there was nothing at all available that I could find online, except for a 500-round case. So I jumped at it.
Why can't I find a box now and then, when a whole case is available?
Since you've just bought your first gun, it's good that you have the 500 rounds so you can become proficient.
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:56 PM
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Most of us stock up during the good times and have ammunition lockers or safes as well as gun safes. A lot of the 9mm that I am shooting now cost $4.00 for 50 when purchased. Everyone's needs are different I have heard rules of thumb like 1,000 rounds for each gun. 10,000 rounds for each caliber or gauge. Truth is that you cannot have too much, and ammo will not be in the store when you need it most. Limit to the stockpile is usually the space allowed by the spouse.
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:09 AM
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One simple word explains it all, every time.
Panic
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:36 AM
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Basically all you can do for now is scrounge around for what ever you can find and get reamed on the price (while smiling of course).

In the future, either get into Reloading OR stock up when the prices normalize. Never let yourself be in this situation again.
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:44 AM
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Save all your fired brass cases ...if they are the reloadable kind .

At some point in time you may want to look into reloading .

I started reloading and casting bullets in 1967 ... I've never had an ammo shortage . A Lee Hand Press and a set of reloading dies let's me assemble ammo sitting at this computer desk I'm sitting at ... Think about it .

My advice , get a free Lee Catalog and see what they have to offer and buy only ammo that can provide reloadable cases ...
Brass with Boxer priming .

It seems the new normal is a big ammo shortage every few years ...don't know why but it's happening now on a regular basis ... I'm ready for them , are you !
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:10 AM
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A couple of things are happening right now. First, people are panicking, so they are buying firearms, ammunition, and reloaders are buying components at record levels.

Second, due to the pandemic, manufacturers have cut hours or the number of people working each shift, so production of most things has fallen.

Combine the two and you get a prime example of the basic fundamentals of economics, those of supply and demand. Demand has risen, supply has fallen, thus, prices have increased.
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage40s View Post
Why can't I find a box now and then, when a whole case is available?
To put it simply, you timed it correctly... Someone at the online store had entered new supply just a minute before you opened that website... Voila, inventory on hand...

If you had waited a few hours, they likely would have been sold out again... Until the ammo factories make more...
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:22 AM
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Ammo went the same place as toilet paper.
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:46 AM
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Plenty of ammo and components are available but be prepared to pay dearly.
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:49 AM
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having the opportunity to purchase 500 rounds w 1 click of the mouse , is a win......a huge win.......

Ill 2nd , 3rd & 4th the reload comments....
or perhaps strike an arrangement w somebody who already has one.........

save that spent brass....even if you dont currently reload.....
get yourself a 5 gallon bucket(s) sort it by caliber , and save it..

some ranges "used" to allow you to take what was on the floor , that wasnt yours...

I also collect the discarded ammo boxes and trays from the trash can and give them to my reload guy.
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Wiggums View Post
having the opportunity to purchase 500 rounds w 1 click of the mouse , is a win......a huge win.......
I also collect the discarded ammo boxes and trays from the trash can and give them to my reload guy.
Can't understand how someone with a firearm cannot have at least one box of ammo. But then there are many things I don't understand... Easy enough to buy one 5-pack of 12 ga buck or slugs when shopping for something else. Builds up in no time, as other members have posted.

Just turned down (for the moment!) a 10mm Sig Sauer P220 Legion: no 10mm, or much else, in stock. Did buy a minty 627 PC snub, there on consignment. I do have .38/.357 and it was almost half the $ of the P220.

Re ammo trays: I remember the flimsy styrofoam trays in ammo boxes of the 70s. Only Norma had plastic trays and we loved to find one. Now they mostly go in the garbage. I save mine with my once-fired brass: someone will be happy to have them.

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Old 09-08-2020, 01:22 PM
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This is why it's good to have a .22 - you can practice with that a lot cheaper. I've seen a little .22 ammo here and there, even in stores sold out of anything else. And it's easier on the wallet to sock away a few thou .22's.

If you have a .22 that matches your carry gun, the practice time will apply to both.
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:28 PM
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The REAL gun control is not finding any ammo to shoot. I just simply cannot believe that the manufacturers aren't laughing all the way to the bank because their ammo is in short supply. Now is the time to make more; create more jobs, run those machines 24/7, etc.
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:31 PM
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Plus 1 to saving good ammo boxes with the plastic dividers... I use them to keep my precision cast bullets sorted and unbruised. Oh yeah, they do a pretty good job of holding reloads too, but I prefer MTM and Plano for that.

As to how much ammo one should “stock” for each of his firearms, back in the ‘70s when I was a young adult, if I had more than two or three boxes for any gun, I was feeling flush... now if I have a gun I shoot on anything like a regular basis, if I don’t have at least twice that (or components on hand to quickly load them) I feel unprepared. Of course 22 rimfire supplies should be stored in the thousands of rounds... your mileage, like your needs, may vary!

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Old 09-08-2020, 01:38 PM
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I posted this in another thread, in 2019, a non panic year, 8 billion rounds of ammo were made in the US, or 20 something million rounds a day. Add on top of that the imported stuff.
Is that a lot of ammo? Take into account there are over 400 million guns in the US and do the math.
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:53 PM
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I see lots of threads about the lack of ammo. Some ammo sellers believe it is OK to charge whatever the market will bear. I do not agree. I search the local channels regularly for my wants. (My needs are covered.) Ammo is available, just check that national auction site.

It is there but prices are terrible. Most of the ammo stores online say they have no ammo in stock. Same sellers have plenty but are using the auction to heavily increase their profits.

Let's remember them when this shortage clears up.

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Old 09-08-2020, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
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Where did you find the box of 500?
It was at Sportsmans Outdoors Superstore.
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borderboss View Post
Since you've just bought your first gun, it's good that you have the 500 rounds so you can become proficient.
I bought the gun about 2 months ago, ordered about four 50-round boxes here and there online, and had shot off about half of them at a range, when I realized I had a problem.
A new order of 500 rounds sounds like a lot but at a weekly consumption, is not going to last long.
And yes, with an Apex trigger kit in my 642, and 25 rounds per week to reflect on, my understanding and accuracy is getting good.
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:18 PM
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This is why it's good to have a .22 - you can practice with that a lot cheaper. I've seen a little .22 ammo here and there, even in stores sold out of anything else...
So I was thinking. Due to the hard recoil and scarce expensive .38 ammo for my 642, how about a nice SW22 Victory for the range? But .22 rimfire is also scarce.
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
... At some point in time you may want to look into reloading...
I am just a newbie consumer of 25 rounds per week at a range. I cannot get into reloading. I will pay.
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Wiggums View Post
... save that spent brass...... collect the discarded ammo boxes and trays from the trash can and give them to my reload guy.
I shooot 25 rounds a week at a range. I pick up and toss the brass into their bucket.

I have 10 boxes of 50 coming in. I could just as well save the brass and the plastic trays, but is it worth sending them to anybody?
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:31 PM
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People sell the brass on the classified theads

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Old 09-08-2020, 07:32 PM
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Buying 500 rounds sounds like a lot... And then I remember that I shoot 250 to 350 rounds most weeks when the weather is nice. Thankfully I can replace those rounds with reloads easily enough. Once this round of panic buying subsidies you should be able to build up a decent stock at reasonable prices.

Keep up the weekly practice session and you’ll notice considerable improvement. You’ll be able to move the target further and further down range and get better groups while doing so. Before too long you might realize you need something a little bigger and with a longer sight radius like a 686 or 627. Pretty soon 25 yards shots become routine and ringing the gong at 100 becomes possible.
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage40s View Post
I am just a newbie consumer of 25 rounds per week at a range. I cannot get into reloading. I will pay.
Quote:
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I shooot 25 rounds a week at a range. I pick up and toss the brass into their bucket.

I have 10 boxes of 50 coming in. I could just as well save the brass and the plastic trays, but is it worth sending them to anybody?
25 rounds per week sounded awfully low until I remembered that this is for a Model 642. Then it kinda made sense.

I just hope that range isn't too far away. Taking a long ride (as I would have to do) to shoot off 25 rounds will get tired fast.
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:17 PM
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Well, an ammo shortage is when you run out of reloading supplies...just
don't let that happen.
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:18 PM
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When I was at my LGS today and was talking with one of the reps about the ammo shortage. He told me that part of the problem is a major manufacturer of primers in China is shut down which is inhibiting the ammo manufactures to produce ammo. This is the first time I heard that.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
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When I was at my LGS today and was talking with one of the reps about the ammo shortage. He told me that part of the problem is a major manufacturer of primers in China is shut down which is inhibiting the ammo manufactures to produce ammo. This is the first time I heard that.
Sounds like BS to me.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:56 PM
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I began reloading when I was 19. mostly .357, 41 mag, 45 LC, and 44 mag.

I found it very therapeutic and cost effective. I am now 67 and I have reloaded and shot many thousand rounds. I have an embarrassing amount of quality reloads for all my guns. On top of that I have many thousands of factory loads for many calibers. And thousands of 22LR on hand. I had to stop.

I still have pounds of powder, brass, primers all things to make much more. Just incase. Ya never know. I enjoyed the process and have very careful skills.

I can see that I'll never shoot them all, but it was fun.

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Old 09-09-2020, 03:05 AM
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If you want your skills to improve--dryfire a lot. It'll smooth out the action and you'll build muscle memory and grip strength. Take it seriously--put up the right sized target on your wall (I use a penny) make absolutely sure your piece is unloaded and there's no ammo whatsoever anywhere near you when you're practicing, and make every shot count.
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:27 AM
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You have four different things affecting the ammo supply as well as the number of firearms being sold.
1. Civil unrest
2. People panicking and wanting to have something to protect themselves with.
3. Presidential elections coming up in November. People want to get guns and ammo before its banned.
4. And the Covid 19 virus. Its like 4 little storms coming together to form one big one. Now normally we'd only have the elections to contend with. Well that put a hurt on ammo,components and firearms. Folks were buying 22 rimfire ammo at store prices and selling it at 10 cents a round at gun shows. So that 550 round box of Federal bulk ammo now cost $55.00 a box. The 350 round box of Federal rimfire match ammo which was again bought at store prices now goes for $35 a box. Powder prices have taken a hit as well, primers now selling at $150 for a thousand. Don't know what components are going for but it's a sure bet more than this time last year.Last shortage took about two years to come down in price. Then there are some companies that jack up the prices every time an election rolls around.Not naming names but one uses the letters CTD and they do this all the time. And yes they will be remembered. Frank
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:16 AM
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25 rounds per week sounded awfully low until I remembered that this is for a Model 642. Then it kinda made sense.
I just hope that range isn't too far away. Taking a long ride (as I would have to do) to shoot off 25 rounds will get tired fast.
The range is 14 miles away and 25 rounds is about all my hand will take. I figure the total cost of bullets, gas and range fee is $37 per visit or $1.50 per shot. Almost $150 per month.
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:31 AM
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These ammo panics seem to occur every 4 years, in connection to the presidential election.

As others have mentioned, there are additional factors this time that will keep the ammo supply low for a longer time. The best strategy to avoid running dry is to stock up when the supply is replenished and the panic people have calmed down. I expect that will take a year or more this time around.
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:03 AM
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Most of us stock up during the good times and have ammunition lockers or safes as well as gun safes. A lot of the 9mm that I am shooting now cost $4.00 for 50 when purchased. Everyone's needs are different I have heard rules of thumb like 1,000 rounds for each gun. 10,000 rounds for each caliber or gauge. Truth is that you cannot have too much, and ammo will not be in the store when you need it most. Limit to the stockpile is usually the space allowed by the spouse.
Not here I do as I please and NO permission is needed. After 54 years, it works for us. As for the above- I'd say having the ability to load same is just as good.
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:19 AM
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One simple word explains it all, every time.
Panic
Exactly! Irrational panic. People worry about being caught in some dystopian social and political environment so they need 5000 rounds of ammo, 480 rolls of TP, and a milk cow.
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:57 AM
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The range is 14 miles away and 25 rounds is about all my hand will take.
When the panic subsides try to find some 148 grain wadcutters. They are accurate, punch a nice clean hole in paper and most importantly have the least recoil of any factory round I seen.
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:10 PM
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The range is 14 miles away and 25 rounds is about all my hand will take. I figure the total cost of bullets, gas and range fee is $37 per visit or $1.50 per shot. Almost $150 per month.
Oh, believe me, I get it. This is not an inexpensive hobby. And an airweight J-Frame is not the most fun handgun with which to shoot 100 rounds at a time. Ask me how I know that.

I guess I'd just suggest bringing a more practical range gun (or guns) with you to make those visits worth your invested time and money. Both of my local indoor ranges charge by the hour, so I make damn sure I have a good hour's worth of artillery and ammo with me every time. .22's are still fun for me, easy on these old hands and still reasonably cheap to shoot.

And as jc2721 said, dry-firing can do a lot for you in these crazy times of super-expensive, hard-to-find ammo.
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:17 PM
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... 3. Presidential elections coming up in November. People want to get guns and ammo before its banned....
I think regulated is the word -- "well regulated".
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:27 PM
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Thumbs up Reloading Can Eliminate Ammo Shortages - Revolvers and all

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Not here I do as I please and NO permission is needed. After 54 years, it works for us. As for the above- I'd say having the ability to load same is just as good.
In addition to selecting reloading calibers, I chose my handguns and rifles specifically for interoperability, as in:

* .38cal, 38+P, .357Mag. All can use same bullet choice/type/weight.

* 9mm Luger in both pistol and carbine. Same as above.

* Both .222Rem and .223Rem since bullets, powder, primers all match. Only need different brass.

All of the above sure makes reloading choices and efforts EASY. As for powders, all of my handguns use either N105 or HS6, and my long rifles use H322.

Keeping reloading choices SIMPLE, also makes the chore of reloading simple as well...

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Old 09-09-2020, 02:51 PM
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I was at sale past weekend in rural Ohio. There was plenty of 9mm, 223 ect and not at prices I see on line. They may get here but not yet. There was a guy looking for 38sp. There was none, plenty 357. I never thought about it because I shoot 38sp but it’s not that popular anymore. New people are plastic or magnum.
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Old 09-09-2020, 06:32 PM
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If you want your skills to improve--dryfire a lot. It'll smooth out the action and you'll build muscle memory and grip strength. Take it seriously--put up the right sized target on your wall (I use a penny) make absolutely sure your piece is unloaded and there's no ammo whatsoever anywhere near you when you're practicing, and make every shot count.

I have to dry fire in the closet because my wife is still scared at the sight of a revolver.
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:22 PM
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I have to dry fire in the closet because my wife is still scared at the sight of a revolver.
Ha! My little 642 center fills the top drawer of a dresser, and my wife won't stay in the room when I dry fire or pack it all up for a range trip. Yet it was her idea that we get a gun.
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:25 PM
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Back in the mid 70s over my back fence live a Dr from Cuba. He said his wife couldn't sleep if there were a gun in the house.
I told him my wife couldn't sleep if there wasn't one.


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Old 09-09-2020, 07:33 PM
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Exactly! Irrational panic. People worry about being caught in some dystopian social and political environment so they need 5000 rounds of ammo, 480 rolls of TP, and a milk cow.
"Dystopian social and political environment". Sort of like Portland or Seattle I guess. Tell the good people living there that their panic is irrational.
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:34 PM
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Someone needs to start a thread on guns and spouses!
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:37 PM
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Ha! My little 642 center fills the top drawer of a dresser, and my wife won't stay in the room when I dry fire or pack it all up for a range trip. Yet it was her idea that we get a gun.
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Back in the mid 70s over my back fence live a Dr from Cuba. He said his wife couldn't sleep if there were a gun in the house. I told him my wife couldn't sleep if there wasn't one.
LOL!!! Different strokes for different folks.

When my good wife went for her LTC, she earned a key to the gun room. Only downside is that she now thinks it is her room!
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