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Ammunition Diversity

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by CarlMc, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. CarlMc

    CarlMc Safely north of Seattle Active Member

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    I've been rolling this point around in my head for awhile, but wanted to get some good opinions on the topic.
    What I mean by ammunition diversity is the choice between limiting the caliber of your firearms collection or maintaining a wide diversity, for SHTF situations or just keeping the cost down.
    For example, I'm considering a carbine such as the Hi-point, Kel-Tec's, etc, and was thinking about the caliber I would like it to be. If I stick to 9mm as much as possible, can I reasonably expect that 9mm ammo will continue to be reasonably available? I don't reload (yet.) Or do I try to vary the calibers to ensure that something I have will fire what's available?
    What calibers would folks reasonably expect would continue to be readily available for the long term (internal and external politics taken into account to some degree?)
    Knowing that there are some really neat firearms out there that require slightly harder to find loads, I think its reasonable to avoid those (at least initially) because lack of availability will render those firearms useless.
    I'm not interested in stockpiling a ton of ammo at this point, since I'm short of good places to store it in my home and my wife and kids haven't gotten completely used to me stockpiling ammo just yet.

    Currently, no two guns in my home shoot the same ammo, although they're still fairly common calibers, hence my question for the next couple gun purchases.
  2. MA Duce

    MA Duce Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I keep going over the same thing in my mind...and have waffled over the past few years. I first examined what uses I would need to fill with firearms and then set about choosing what I would use. This is what I have settled on:

    For hunting: slingshot, bow, .22 & .270. I chose a .270 because I have all the required loading equipment for that round and it will work for any game I might encounter. It could also reach out and touch any two legged threat at a good range.

    For personal defense. .45ACP because I already have a few and also the reloading equipment.

    For a defensive long gun, a 5.56 AR15, which I have "fooled around" with. :D
  3. littlecars

    littlecars tacoma wa Member

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    I have thought about this also.
    This is what I have came up with:

    .223. good for self defence rifle and it will do for hunting most medium size game.
    .22lr. is a must. small round, a lot of ammo will fit in your pocket. great for shooting small game for food. round can be used in so may guns, rifle and pistol.
    9mm. most common pistal round good enough for a short range pistal.
    30-06 or 308. good for bigger game, or longer range 2 legged things.
    12 gauge shotgun. 870 or mossy 500

    With these 5 caliber guns you should be very whell covered for whatever comes your way. you should be able to hunt any kind of food, protect yourself in most kinds of gun fights. and have the most common caliber for scavenging ammo.
  4. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    It kinda depends on what you are trying to do. If you are trying to strictly be ready for some kind of SHTF then a common US caliber (.22, 9mm, .38/.357, .40, .45, .223, .30-30, .270, .308, .30-06, 12 ga) are going to be some of your best bets. Even people who are not "gun" people but hunt or own a handgun will usually have one of these calibers around.

    If you are just trying to outfit yourself/family having a common caliber(s) will be easiest and most cost effective. You can buy in bulk and split it up if needed.

    Then there are people like me. I have a "core" of guns that I would consider SHTF guns but I also collect and shoot guns for fun as a hobby. Some of my purchases do take into account what caliber/mags/accessories a gun takes when I buy it. My last .22 rifle I bought I only chose after I knew it would work with all the mags, ammo, and accessories I had already and would not have to spend $$$ to get it "set up".

    I have 27 different calibers at the moment and that does not bother me as not all since I do that part as a hobby.
  5. nubus

    nubus Guest

    Oh if I could only get it down to five!!!

    Agree completely with littlecars on his picks for availability and versatility.
    I have a .40 Glock, but also have a 9mm bbl. and mags for it.
    I added .410 shotgun for small game with less report/recoil and accuracy is less important.
    +1000 on the .22lr being an absolute must and the cheapest stock up on.
    I also have .45 ACP because it is also common and powerful.
    I chose 308 for those larger targets and plain psychological impact.
    A bunch of 308 traveling downrange imparts quite a mind frack!
    And of course the .223 has to be on the list, cause it justifies owning all those ARs!
  6. Arkarayne

    Arkarayne Medford, OR Member

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    Right now my main calibers are:

    25ACP - my GF's caliber, can't reload it yet.
    9mm - Hoping to get a carbine as well with my taxes, I reload it.
    30-30 - parent's gun's caliber, I reload it.
    7.62x54R - My main caliber, I reload it.
    12 Gauge - everyone needs a shotgun, I reload it.
    and everyone's got a .22 of some kind.

    I've considered adding:

    40/10mm or 45ACP - If I stick to 9mm carbines then it would be my handgun round
    7.62x39 - there's ammo up the yinyang for it, but the desire isn't strong yet.
    I have no desire for .223/5.56, just never been a fan.

    I've gone with the Limiting side, 6 is alot in my mind, but each has their own benefits. If you have 12 guns with 12 calibers that's 12x the collecting you need to do. if you have 12 guns all using the same caliber, it's alot easier to yell "i'm out toss me a mag" in the thick of it, but there's less versitility.'

    Another factor of course is reloading, what can you get the equipment for, and what do you deem "worthy" of reloading. of course, if/when the supply dries up, those who can sustain thier ammo stocks stick around longer.
  7. EZLivin

    EZLivin SW of PDX Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it is possible to know what will or will not be available on the shelf at any particular time in the future. My goal is to limit my calibers, and to have at least two guns in each of my chosen calibers. Am reloading, and now stock supplies for those "dry" periods. I learned my lesson during the last shortage.
  8. stitchclimber

    stitchclimber St. Louis Active Member

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    I am trying as hard as I can to reduce the number of oddball mags and calibers in my collection...
  9. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    :bluelaugh::bluelaugh::bluelaugh: How has diversity worked out in other areas? Best to stay with one that works for ya.

  10. waltermitty

    waltermitty seattle Active Member

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    my supply consists only of NATO or combloc ammo...plus 22LR and 12ga
  11. billc

    billc Albany Member

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    I have a rifles/handguns in .22lr, 9mm, .357.

    Does Taurus make a Judge in 12ga.?? If they did I'd be set!

    I really like the idea of carrying a rifle and handgun that takes the same ammo!
  12. ejmpnu92

    ejmpnu92 Hillsboro, Or Active Member

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    I have about 16 different calibers and gauges in my collection and I have at least 500 rounds per. I reload as needed and can reload all except for 3, .410 shotgun, 12 gauge, and .357sig. When I purchase a firearm, I soon after purchase the reloading dies for it. I have no idea how much lead/copper bullets i have but enough to last a while. I don't worry about how much ammo for each because I make it a point to have enough for each, just in case something happens and the particular weapon is no longer functional. I make sure I have at least 6 magazines for each weapon that needs one. Although I have about 60 Garand clips loaded. But right now none of that really helps me, simply because I left it in storage down south when I moved up here, feeling a bit lonely, sigh.
  13. JedB

    JedB PDX Active Member

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    Sig 229: .22/9mm
    HK USP .40
    Mossberg 590
    Ruger 10/22
    Ruger Mini-14 with the A-Team collapse-able Stock
    S&W AR-15 flat top w/Eotech 552
    FN/FAL .308
    (To be added: Ruger M77 .308)

    Ammo & usage
    .22 (Ruger & Sig)
    .223 (AR & mini)
    9mm (Sig)
    .40 (HK)
    .308 (FAL and future Ruger)

    For me, this is simple and (comparatively) cost effective.
  14. netsecsys

    netsecsys near: Bellingham, WA Active Member

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    I'm keeping my list short:


    Just got a Dillon 550B set up for 45acp and will be looking for dies/conv for the remainder of the calibers I can reload.
  15. TOVO

    TOVO SW WA. Active Member

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    I have reduced the number of calibers I have over the recent years. I am down to 22lr, 9mm, 223/5.56 and 12 gauge. The main reason was so I can stock up a lot on a few calibers rather than just a couple hundred rounds of many calibers.

    I also think it's important to get all your family members used to shooting all the various weapons. As I have three women in the house the big caliber weapons were like pulling teeth to getting them to shoot them and they were not comfortable with them either so what the point.

    Also the calibers I choose are some of the cheaper rounds to practice shoot.
  16. xm193

    xm193 seatac Active Member

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    i buy my guns for a lifetime as well as ammo
    you cant go wrong with the following
    12 gauge
    5.56 or223
    308 or 30-06
  17. Arkarayne

    Arkarayne Medford, OR Member

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    It took a while to convince my GF to shoot the 7.62x54R rifle (equal in oomph to those .308/30-06 rifles out there) I got for her... A foam buttpad solved her only complaint... helps too to give her the more accurate of your collection too... *cough*

    But, if you wanted to put in a "family/community militia" ideal, having everyone on the same page with the same calibers makes life a little easier.
  18. rpatton

    rpatton Graham WA Member

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    30-30 (I reload)
    30 remington (got me started reloading)
    30-06 (I reload)
    7.62X54r (capable of reloading haven't yet)
    7.62X39 (have the dies to reload but bullets alone seem to cost almost as much or more than just buying the ammo)
    .303 Brittish (capable of reloading haven't yet... don't have the rifle yet but it's on the wish list)
    .22lr (just stock up)

    45ACP (I reload)
    .38 Spec/.357 (I reload)
    .44 Spec/.44 Magnum (I reload)
    10mm (capable of reloading haven't yet...don't have the pistol yet but it's on the wish list)

    12 ga. (single shot, don't reload probably should upgrade in this area)

    The Taurus judge with the 45LC/410 shotgun capability is on the wish list.
    Also looking at the Tanfoglio Witness Elite pistols because of the caliber conversion (swap barrel, slide and magazine and bam...different gun) abilities (wish list)
    A model 94 in either .357 or .44 magnum would be a cool addition to the wish list
    A Beretta Storm Carbine with complimentary caliber BX4 (I think that's the pistol designation)...wish list item (though I would really like that setup in 10mm but they don't appear to make it)

    I guess I look at ammo diversity as not only having more than one caliber but having guns that shoot more than one type of ammo and ammo that crosses over from pistol to rifle

    Now if only my paycheck could be as long as my wish list.
  19. MichaelStrick9

    MichaelStrick9 Portland Member

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    I thing we've all faced this decision. Unless you have thousands in disposable income, there are some choices to make. I too have gone into this preparing for a SHTF scenario. Thus, I went with common ammo and common arms that are not only reliable, but have parts that can easily be swapped out.

    As of now I'm:

    .40, Glock, with a 9mm conversion barrel.
    5.56 AR 15
    7.62x39 AK 47

    I'd really like an AR 10, but I probably won't be able to afford one anytime soon. In the meantime, the Keltec Sub 2000 carbines in .40 or 9mm look good, and they use the same Glock mags that I already have. Bonus points for more interchangeability. A Glock 26 or 27 would be nice for CC, or if I can't afford that, Keltec would once again be a nice option.

    So bottom line is, rather than constrain myself to 2 calibers, and not having the luxury of being able to buy 20 different arms, I went with 4 common calibers. Never know what's going to be available, and at what price. A gun is useless without ammo.
  20. Page.k

    Page.k Seattle Active Member

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    As for ammo I like to keep in stock.
    22lr handgun/long gun
    9mm just for stock:paranoid:
    38spl handgun
    40S&W handgun
    44mag/spl handgun
    45acp handgun
    12ga Mossberg 500 can't reload for
    223/556 just for stock/trade
    7.62x54r can't reload for
    7mm Rem just for stock
    Most ammo is in zip-lock bags.
    If things get bad I see me leaving the long guns at home. Due to the fact if on foot they will be too hard to hide and carry. As for ammo I think on foot carry light so a lot of 22lr and 40S&W:thumbup:. If needed for hunting the 44mag will work out just fine. I see carring a lot of stuff will mark you as having goods they'll need.
    I do have reloading dies for most pistols ammo and some for rifles. Two large presses and a hand press. So if I have to stay home reload and trade ammo for food:paranoid::D.
    How much water do you have on hand?
    And food?
    What do you bug out bag look like? Mine is a laptop bag, fanny pack and a backpack.
    Laptop bag: Guns and ammo
    Fanny pack: Med supplies and map
    Back pack: Food, water, shot gun, and very light camping gear.
    Or a hand press and need supplies can be added.
    It's about that time:sleep: