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Old April 13, 2013, 10:54 AM   #1
Sharpsdressed Man
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Has Having Guns of Different Calibers Made it Any Easier.......

to get ammo and be shooting during this shortage? There used to be two thoughts on what guns to have available for hard times; one was to have guns with a given cartridge in common, for keeping ammo supplies easy for both, the other was to have guns that take different cartridges, to facilitate what's available. Depending on what one has stored away, which one has worked for you?
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Old April 13, 2013, 11:26 AM   #2
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Well, I'm very glad I have a .40 in these times, it's considerably easier to find than .38 and .357 although given a choice I have more fun with the .357. I really feel sorry for the 9mm and .22 people. Who ever thought that there'd be a shortage on those calibers?

I'm of the opinion that unless you're on the trail often and need to stay light, having guns in different calibers is a good idea.

Over the long term, I think the best plan would be to have guns in a couple popular calibers, like 9mm, .40, .45 etc., and when times are good, lay aside a stock for times like this.

All the smart people I know (this does not include myself btw) have plenty of ammo or reloading supplies stashed and are not concerned about this current frenzy, they have enough to weather it out. Grasshoppers like myself, on the other hand, are simply cutting back on their shooting or hounding sporting goods stores for new stock.

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Old April 13, 2013, 12:07 PM   #3
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If I were set up to reload, I would consolidate my handgun calibers to 9mm, .38spl and .357.

Since I'm not set to reload, it's nice to have a few options at my fingertips. 40S&W is a little bit easier to find on thee shelves these days.
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Old April 13, 2013, 12:10 PM   #4
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Don't buy additional guns in varying cartridges to avoid the problem, buy ammo. Problem solved.
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Old April 13, 2013, 12:15 PM   #5
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Don't buy additional guns in varying cartridges to avoid the problem, buy ammo. Problem solved.

Having several thousand rounds in cartridges you use most often allows you to sit back and watch the silliness. Reloading helps.
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Old April 13, 2013, 12:34 PM   #6
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For a long time I was just 40S&W and 357 Magnum (I use 38 Special ammo in it as well). I recently acquired a 9mm, then a 45Auto. I had plenty of ammo for each except the 45Auto. I traded the 9mm gun and ammo for a 45auto gun and ammo because I felt like I was spread too thin with that many calibers. I don't regret getting rid of the 9mm at all. It hasn't helped the ammo situation either way as 9mm, 40SW, 45Auto, 357 Magnum and 38 Special are all impossible to find locally. But at least I am searching for one less caliber. I bought my 40 and 357 about 4 years ago, and picked up ammo here and there along the way. I'm really only hurting on 45Auto ammo at this point.
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Old April 13, 2013, 12:46 PM   #7
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It helps for reloading, especially primers. I've got enough calibers now so that I can reload for handgun using every type of primer.

Small Pistol - 380, 9mm, 38, 357, 40.
Large Pistol - 44 Spec, 44 Mag, 45 ACP, 45 Colt
Small Rifle - 327, 454 Casull
Large Rifle - 460, 35 Rem, 7mm BR

A large variety of calibers also helps when powders are hard to get, which they are right now.
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Old April 13, 2013, 01:25 PM   #8
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No, It has not bothered me since I reload. I was running low on small pistol primers but saved by a filled late order.
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Old April 13, 2013, 02:08 PM   #9
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As of lately I have not had trouble finding ammo. My local shop has loads of 9mm, .40, .45acp, .357 magnum, .44 magnum, 12g and 20g, and .308, but at a 2 box limit per caliber. There is ZERO .22LR, .223, and oddly enough .380.
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Old April 13, 2013, 10:42 PM   #10
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I'm in KC. In what part of the country do you live? Ammunition in 9mm, .22, .357, and .45 acp is difficult to impossible to get here in the Midwest. (At least at Cabella's and my dealer's.)

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Old April 13, 2013, 10:53 PM   #11
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Keep it simple so you can get what you need.
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Old April 14, 2013, 01:23 AM   #12
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.327 Federal
.444 Marlin

One isn't very popular across most of the US. The other just isn't popular in this area.
I reload, so it doesn't matter. But, if I needed factory ammo, it's readily available.
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Old April 14, 2013, 12:02 PM   #13
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I don't shoot a ton of handgun ammo but in rifle ammo multiple chamberings has been a benefit for me. It also helps that some of my rifles are chambered in less popular cartridges (6.5x55, .35 Rem, .280 Rem). Even reloaders are affected by the current drought, components are very difficult to find especially for common cartridges. One thing I've noticed is that while .308 Win ammo is almost non-existent around here, .30-06 Springfield seems plentiful but .308" bullets to load .30-06 have all but disappeared. Powder and Small Rifle primers are difficult to find but some powders are easier than others to get. Locally IMR 4320 is fairly easy to get because it's not as popular (luckily for me since it's what I use in my 6.5x55).

For me, I'm a collector so I'll always have multiple chamberings to shoot and it does make it easier to find ammo if I need something to shoot. Where I'm having trouble is in .22lr, .223 Rem (components are not available) and 7.62x39 which I don't reload. In handgun ammo, I loaded up enough to see me through this drought a while back not because I saw it coming but because I like to keep a bunch on hand so I can go out and shoot up 200 rounds and not have to worry about loading more right away. I usually load handgun ammo all winter so I don't have to worry about it when the weather is nice, if this drought lasts through the coming winter I may be in trouble with handgun ammo.

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Old April 14, 2013, 12:39 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by BillCnKC
I'm in KC. In what part of the country do you live? Ammunition in 9mm, .22, .357, and .45 acp is difficult to impossible to get here in the Midwest. (At least at Cabella's and my dealer's.)
I'm in Massachusetts, the shop I go to is Four Seasons in Woburn. Even though they have ammo available Walmart is still sold out on everything but .25 and .32acp usually. Perhaps the only advantage to living in this state right now is ammo availability due to lack of gun owners compared to other states.
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Old April 14, 2013, 12:55 PM   #15
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Yes, definitely. If I'd have had only a 9mm, I'd be in trouble. .40s&w has been most available, followed by .45

Also sprinkling in some 10mm and 357SIG too, can't find too much at any one time but between all the calibers I've been able to find ammo weekly
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Old April 14, 2013, 12:57 PM   #16
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I buy a little everytime I go to my two toy stores. Advantage to having a large number of calibers is my dealers almost always have at least a little ammo for some or one of them. I'll never have a huge stockpile like some people do but I will almost certainly have ammo for a couple of different guns. I'm not brand fussy or caliber fussy, my criteria is does it go bang and will it hit the target, everything else is just details.
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Old April 14, 2013, 02:44 PM   #17
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I reload ...9mm, .40S&W, .45 acp, .38 spl, .357 mag and .44 mag...../ and I have several handguns in each caliber.

I would not add a caliber to my collection because I have a little difficulty in getting components - or buying retail ammo for some other caliber. I think this shortage is all a temporary issue - caused primarily by guys hoarding ammo they won't use for 10 yrs or more.../ initiated by the irrational hysteria of what might happen in the event of a potential assault weapon ban...all of which has very little, if anything to do with handgun ammo.

emphasis on ....this is a temporary issue in my view..../ as soon as we, as shooters, quit overreacting to the shortage and just relax - and adjust our personal inventory to what we'll shoot in that caliber over the next 3 - 6 months.
I do keep my ammo costs down by shooting 9mm probably 75% of the time...( so I can shoot 3 or 4 times more on the same ammo budget) ...but I also shoot a fair amount of .357 mag ...and .45 acp...

If I was buying retail ammo ...I'd keep it simple / and stay with 1 - maybe 2 calibers. But everyone should buy and shoot whatever handguns they like and want to shoot / I don't see why a temporary ammo shortage should change your long term approach to what you want to accumulate in terms of handguns in your collection.

If you're talking about having enough ammo to practice your tactical drills...personally while I carry a 5" 1911 in .45 acp / I can stay sharp with that weapon by shooting a box a week...especially if I practice with 4 or 5 boxes a week in 9mm in the same platform. I think everyone is different in terms of how much we need to practice to stay "tactically sharp enough"...or shoot for fun. I think most of us "over-practice" because we like to shoot...but if I was buying retail ammo just to shoot for the heck of it - I wouldn't be overly concerned by this temporary shortage - I'd just dial back my shooting and make sure I was really concentrating on "good practice" vs just pushing lead downrange.
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Old April 16, 2013, 10:35 AM   #18
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Has Having Guns of Different Calibers Made it Any Easier.......

My only handguns going into the shortage were each in 9mm. After Sandy Hook, I grabbed a Glock 23. Doing so turned out to be a great move. .40 isn't abundant out here, but 9mm is virtually nonexistent. The only 9mm I've acquired has been a single box of 50. When I broke in my G19 (Gen 4), I used some of my reserve. All of other shooting I've done over the last 4 months has been .40.

I am very thankful to have a second caliber. I won't branch out further, though. When the shortage ends, I will increase the size of my 9mm reserve to prepare for the next shortage.

My new plan for reserve rounds is:
.40 S&W JHP: 50 rds
.40 S&W FMJ: 200 rds

9mm JHP: 250
9mm crisis reserve: 1,000 rds
9mm shortage/training reserve: as much as I can get.

I plan to build up the shortage reserve slowly, so I don't contribute to another surge.
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Old April 16, 2013, 12:06 PM   #19
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If you had bought ammo instead of the Glock you'd have even less of an ammo issue. All that you did is buy a little time until the .40's cleared the shelves too. And 250 40's? Drop in the bucket.
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Old April 16, 2013, 08:07 PM   #20
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I have enough 9mm and .22lr on hand that I can wait out this silliness. In the mean time, I'm having fun shooting .45 LC (it's expensive, but it lasts longer when you're shooting a single action revolver), .44 special reloads, and even a few .38 S&W.
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Old April 17, 2013, 07:55 AM   #21
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I reload for almost 75 different chamberings... things are tough to get in most calibers... of course there is always "something" I can shoot, but there is also the frustration, of why I can't get 35 caliber rifle bullets ( for example )

so I don't know if it's actually less frustrating...

I could just go into the LGS's at opening every day, until I got 9mm ammo, just as easy as trying to get those odd components or cartridges
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Old April 17, 2013, 07:48 PM   #22
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I haven't had any problems finding ammo... I simply make whatever I need at my reloading bench.
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Old April 17, 2013, 07:58 PM   #23
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In theory, multiple calibers is a good idea. In practice, I don't think it makes a lot of difference. During the 2008 ammunition scare, 41 mag ammo was generally available because most shooters roll their own. But this time, they sold out also at the shops that carry them.

Little was available in any caliber this time which is why you have these ammunition delivery watchers at Walmart.

I would rather not shoot at all, then chase trucks.
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Old April 17, 2013, 11:55 PM   #24
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walking into academy is no longer "do you have ___ caliber available", it's "what do you have available?"
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Old April 18, 2013, 03:41 PM   #25
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Well I have a Glock G22 with a 9mm KKM conversion barrel - so that let's me fire .40 S&W plus 9mm. I have a Kimber 1911 in .45acp and a .22cal conversion slide. On order is a S&W 686+ which will fire .357 magnum and .38special. So, I have three guns with capabilities for six different type rounds - think I will always be able to find something to fire
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