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Should you diversify your calibers in case of bad times?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by PlayboyPenguin, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    I have been centering all my new purchases on the .40S&W and 10mm calibers. I was considering getting rid of my guns in all but a few calibers but then a thought occurred to me. This is a very remote possibility but it is something I thought about.

    Lets say we have some natural disaster or other type of disaster which leaves us in a rough spot. If we limit our guns to one or two calibers we might end up out of luck if we have find ourselves out of ammo for one reason or another. Maybe we used it all, maybe it was stolen, or maybe it was lost in the disaster. I was thinking it might be nice to keep one or two guns in all the more common rounds just in case that is the only ammo we could find. Such as if we were having to travel with our belongings and we come across a stash of 9mm ammo or if someone we are bartering with has 9mm ammo for trade. If all we have are .40S&W guns we would be out of luck.

    Is it better to consolidate or cover the bases? seems like these would be two very different philosophies. To which school of thought would you subscribe? :)
  2. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    I would have guns that are in the most mainstream calibers,

    .22, 9mm, 40, 45

    223, 243, 270, 7mm, 308, 30-06, 300 Win, 30-30.

    I'm sure I'm missing some, but you get the idea.
  3. d1esel

    d1esel Ridgefield WA. Member

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    A few carefully chosen locations and a shovel should take care of any SHTF ammo shortage.
  4. GED

    GED North Idaho Active Member

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  5. Spray-n-pray

    Spray-n-pray Battle Ground Moderator Staff Member

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    I have thought about just such a scenario. I would say consolidate calibers, but if you are worried about shortage or not having the correct caliber in a SHTF, I would suggest something along the lines of a Glock with spare barrels and mags. That way, you have your bases covered and don't have to carry around more than a few pistols. Rifles on the other hand............. this is not not really practical. Maybe an AR, with uppers in multiple calibers? At that point, you would save money by purchasing bolt action rifles in many calibers.
  6. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I've been consolidating, but I've made sure to also have what the LEO's carry, (.40) and NATO (9mm and 5.56 and 7.62 - the Nato versions.) That obviously leaves me able to shoot .223 and .308 too.

  7. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    It might be prudent to consolidate case designs at least. 10mm can be shortened to .40SW in a pinch. .357/.38
    .243/.260Rem/7-08/.308 can be adjusted to take any one of the 4 bullets that may be available at a given time.
    The 57mm Mauser and '06 cases come to mind as well.

    Versatility prevents specialization, which has been known to cause extinction in some species.
  8. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Many would argue that being over-specialized is a greater risk for extinction. :)
  9. Yankeefan

    Yankeefan Southern Oregon Member

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    I don't think that consolidating down to one or two calibers is necessary but keeping your collection, at least your "SHTF" collection, to the common calibers is a good idea. It makes for gathering ammo and even the componenets to load it much easier...think about trying to find ammo for a 6.5 carcano or 8x57 mauser...yikes!!
  10. gun runner

    gun runner Estacada Member

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    All that is good but you all have forgot the 12ga. If things ever come down to having to rely on a firearm for every day survival. I would choose my 12 ga. riot gun over any of the guns and calibers said. I wouldn't get rid of any of my guns but the 12 ga. ammo would be easier to get my hands on then anything else.
  11. Will

    Will Everett Active Member

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    Over the past year and a half I often found myself shooting what I could find ammo for at a reasonable price. This spilled into reloading as well, some primers & bullets were harder to find than others. IMHO I seemed to always be able to find 9mm, .22 and 12 ga, .40 & .45 was hit and miss to find and often the prices were higher than what seemed fair. I expect if all goes to **** it's going to come down the same way. What I learned is to stock up when you find a fare price on ammo or reloading supplies. You will use them up in time and if stored properly will last longer than I will be in this world. I'm not hording but have purchased more than I would normaly due to this expereince.

    Consolidating for use is a good idea but I think I would keep a 9mm in the safe because it is one of the most common rounds next to a .22 and I would keep one of those as well. You don't have to shoot them often, they don't take up a lot of room and just might be the right tool for the time based on finding ammo.
  12. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    As far as the 8mm goes all you need that is 8mm specific is the bullets. The cases can be made from .257Roberts, 6mmRem, 7x57, or 8x57 of course.
    It really wouldn't be a bad choice. Even '06 cases could be cut down and resized into 8x57.
  13. BillM

    BillM Amity OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

    -Robert A. Heinlein

    Common military calibers. 22 long rifle and 12 gauge. If you do have an
    "odd caliber gun" that you just can't part with---old uncle Chester's
    455 Webley or whatever, keep a good stock of ammo for it.
  14. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    PBP has an addiction and it looks like he's looking for a reason to buy a new toy. :D

    That's all cool, but for the price of one decent gun, let alone two, you can buy a whole bunch of ammo.

    Also, being a reloader and stocking up isn't a bad idea either. For the price of one decent gun, you can get a press, dies and a fair amount of primers, powder and bullets.

    I'd say...Stock up for what you have, buy common calibers and don't sweat it.
  15. NK777

    NK777 West of Portland Member

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    I've consolidated my calibers myself.

    45 ACP and variants. (I reload for these)
    308 (Again I reload it)
    22lr (cheap and I have plenty)
    12 gauge (I hope to reload for this in the future)
    380 ACP (I have some but don't shoot it that much. Very unlikely I will ever reload for this though it would save me some money.)

    Additionally you'll note that all calibers I choose to use are common calibers. I doubt I'll ever run out of bullets being a reloader and staying stocked up on supplys.
  16. huntpotter

    huntpotter SW WA Negotiator Bronze Supporter

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    I've also standardized, not diversified.

    I'ld rather have lots of the same ammo, with different platforms that shoot it.

    I have lots of guns, but only standard cals.

    I reload, and stock up on.


    Of course there is a couple .22lr and 12ga too, but I don't reload for those.
  17. unionguy

    unionguy Portland Active Member

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    Consolidate, but not to just 1 caliber. 2-3 pistol, 2-3 rifle in the common varieties. That's what I did. My rifle training at Appleseed also convinced me of the wisdom of learning a weapon platform in and out...easier do when standardized to a small number. This approach also helps you with spare parts as you'll end up with multiple varieties of the same platform.

    One example: For $650 I have an M&P 40 that I can switch to 9mm or .357SIG but just swapping a barrle (and using different mags for the 9mm). That cost includes the 4 mags for the 9mm that I had to buy. You can do this with Glocks and others probably.
  18. safooma

    safooma Oregon Member

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    I've been stocking up on 9mm, 12ga, 30-06. 7.62.39 and the one round that was the most scarce during the ammo shortage a bit ago--.22LR i Have 3 weapons that shoot .22 and it's the cheapest.

    I want to get something that shoots either 308 or 223 as well.
  19. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    I have .45acp, .22lr, 12ga, 9mm, .30-30, .308 and .30-06.
  20. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    I worked this through the ol' cranium, and decided to work toward having weapons that use a number of different, yet commonly available, calibers. I've stayed away from the oddball and specialty stuff.. the strange Weatherby and Ruger ones, that sort of thing. Wildcats, no thanks.

    Military calibers, either current or very common past (Mausers, .30/06, any NATO), and the common handgun rounds..... funny, I got a Ruger LCP, and have had more trouble finding fodder for that than for anything else... except the .32 H&R, probably the worst one to find.

    My thinking (and I sincerely hope I never have the opportunity to prove it out one way or the other) is that, with a variety of caliber demands on hand, I should be able to locate, barter for, buy, reload, etc, SOMETHING to use. If everything I have comes down to two rifle and two pistol rounds, and I can't find/make either, I'm left with throwing the weapon at my prey..... not a desirable optionn.
    Of course, another goal would be to lay by a huge stock of ALL the rounds I can shoot. A side advantage of that is that, should I find someone else in need, I've got trading stock. never know when a few rounds of .38 special might not put supper on the table for a few days by bartering with someone in need. A sack of rice for a box of 6.5 Swede? You got it.....

    I suppose what I really want is my own fully stocked gun and ammunition store....... sigh.