Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quantity

General discussions regarding topics that aren't covered in one of the other sub-forums. NO DISCUSSION OF POLITICS!

Moderators: ZS Global Moderators, ZS Postal Match Officers

Post Reply
User avatar
Jeriah
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 18722
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 4:12 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Original Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead 04, and 28 Days Later are my top three, in that order.
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quantity

Post by Jeriah » Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:37 pm

Went to a gun show yesterday, bought some ammo. Was loading up some mags with 55 grain American Eagle FMJ and thinking...

What quality of ammunition do you stockpile? And in what quantity?

I was thinking that 5.56mm and 9mm, in particular, rely on projectile type and powder load for their terminal effectiveness. 5.56mm/.223 needs to fragment to be effective; cheap ammo (like Wolf) has a weak powder load and a thick jacket making it almost guaranteed not to fragment. 9mm needs expanding projectiles (hollow points etc.) to create a viable wound channel. Or so I understand it. In these two calibers specifically, it seems like one ought to stock something better than Wolf etc.

What 5.56mm ammunition is the best value in terms of a decent projectile and powder load, but being affordable to stack deep?

What about 9mm?

I suspect in 7.62x39mm Soviet and 7.62x51mm NATO, ball ammunition is fine, and surplus military stuff is fine. What about Wolf, Herter's, etc?

I appreciate your thoughts.
Image

User avatar
Waywatcher
* *
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:17 am

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by Waywatcher » Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:13 pm

I tend to agree that 5.56 and 9mm benefit greatly from a decent ammunition selection process.

For 5.56, I stock Federal XM193. Affordable and proven. http://www.sgammo.com/product/federal/9 ... o-ar-15-st

I don't stock 9mm, but if I did I would stock up on some cheap, old-school loads that have been proven to work, like Federal 9BPLE. http://www.sgammo.com/product/federal/5 ... ammo-9bple

Cheaper than these; spotty performance. Much more expensive than these; low quantities obtainable. At least on my limited budget!

User avatar
PistolPete
ZS Moderator
ZS Moderator
Posts: 6578
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 12:31 pm
Location: St Louis

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by PistolPete » Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:28 pm

I second mil-spec 5.56 ammo and sgammo is a great place to buy. I know somebody who had some steel case ammo get fuzzy in a damp basement.

I tend to keep mil-spec 5.56 and S&B 9mm (their military stuff has sealed primers) in ammo cans, it stores really well. But then again I've still got some 9mm UMC ammo I bought a decade ago and that has stored well so far too.
Steemit, where I write stuff now

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
- Mark Twain
Image

User avatar
Jeriah
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 18722
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 4:12 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Original Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead 04, and 28 Days Later are my top three, in that order.
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by Jeriah » Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:44 pm

Thanks guys. That American Eagle 55 grain is what I bought (500 rounds, literally filled every mag I own with only a few loose rounds left over). I got the stuff not on strippers, because I use a LULA. Pretty sure same stuff, Federal American Eagle, brass case, 55 grain.

9mm, I have various but just bought some S&B. They're FMJ though. Need to get a case of those hollow points in case srs business.

Recommendations for .45ACP, 7.62x39mm, and 7.62x51mm?
Image

User avatar
woodsghost
* * * * *
Posts: 3705
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by woodsghost » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:58 pm

5.56: IMI or PPU. M193. Everyone I know who uses Federal M193 likes it. To be real frank, I think M193 is the way to go for 5.56.

Keep in mind, hollow point and soft point don't require the same velocities to be really effective on soft targets. Heavier rounds (68 gr+) will go slower, but will also perform well despite lower velocities. Do your research and make your decisions.

9mm: My thoughts are to get a mixture of FMJ (like the S&B, or others) and defensive rounds. People manage to kill bad guys with FMJ 9mm, but it sometimes takes a round or two to the head. I will probably buy 100 rounds of defensive and a LOT of FMJ when I finally get a 9mm.

PMC has battle packs for 9mm and 45 ACP. I would look at those. Waterproof storage is the bomb. I saw some pics from a guy whose stash had been hit by a flood. Lost 9,000 rounds of 7.62x39 and I don't know how many other various rounds in supposedly waterproof containers, but the 5.56 and 7.62x51 in battle packs was all fine.

45 ACP: I'll just repeat what I said about 9mm.

7.62x39: Golden Tiger. Double Tap. Winchester PDX. Cor-Bon. Hornady. M67 (corrosive but it is hella good).

Red Army Standard had some stuff with sealed primers, but it seems to me I read reports they had stopped, but the last stuff I saw had sealed primers. Don't know, but check your ammo. I have not tried putting it in water to see how quickly it rusts.

Just looked things up and found out there is a Red Army Elite. That looks good. About 100 fps lower than what Wikipedia says an AKM's velocity should be, but terrific yaw. Looking at the video, the brief flash of case markings look like PPU markings, which means it is probably new manufacture non-corrosive M67, though I would rather have the corrosive primers (longer storage life and better cold weather ignition). Oh, the video says they are made in Bosnia. So yeah, close enough. I really want to see the markings close up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1l8w2dPPJI

My first choice for 7.62x39 is M67 due to terminal performance, long storage, cold weather performance, accurate, corrosion resistance, and [I think it has flash suppressed powder, but I could be wrong]. Golden Tiger is the golden standard for new manufactured ammo. Great velocity, terminal performance, accurate, and should be pretty corrosion resistant. It is built like 7n6 (5.45x39) and I had some of that sit in water for 4-5 days. I would not be surprised if someone submerged some Golden Tiger for 4-5 days and it also resisted rust and fired just fine.


7.62x51: West German and Swedish would be my first choices. West German has a thinner jacket and is supposed to split at the cannelure and generally fragment like 5.56. I read once that Swedish is supposed to do the same thing. Maybe it is true, maybe not. I have seen West German stuff in the US, but I have never seen Swedish.
*Remember: I'm just a guy on the internet :)
*Don't go to stupid places with stupid people & do stupid things.
*Be courteous. Look normal. Be in bed by 10'clock.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo Baggins.

User avatar
BullOnParade
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 3207
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by BullOnParade » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:22 pm

I don't have any science to my stockpiling, but I have theories, and I think those are applicable to anyone's stockpiling plans.

1) I came up with numbers for each caliber I own.
That number is influenced by:
How much I could realistically need in a SHTF scenario? (I would need less 9mm than I would need of 5.56)
How important is that ammo choice to my SHTF survival strategies? (Some calibers are dedicated to bug in roles vs bug out roles)
How much training do I need to do with that caliber? (If you want to do a course with that caliber every year, and each course requires a minimum 1000 rounds, you should have that much)

2) I worked towards reaching that number.
I stock cheap ammo until I reach the number I set in step 1.
That brand should cycle in all my guns of that caliber.

3) Once I reach the set number, I start cycling it out for higher end ammo. *
I reassess the number of high end rounds necessary
I don't need high end ammo for training, but the number necessary for SD/HD purposes should be good to go.

*There's a science here that I haven't perfected yet. Your high end ammo and your budget ammo should have similar ballistic performance.

ETA: I do this for myself as a whole, then broken down for home, and bug out locations.

Edit 2: I don't do this for my .22, I buy middle of the road ammo that goes bang 99.9 times out of 100 in all of my .22 guns. I know guys who spend as much on a trigger pull of .22 as I pay for center fire. The difference is they are that serious about bullseye pistol, while I view rimfire as a training tool.
Last edited by BullOnParade on Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BullOnParade

Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me.

Urban BOB/Range (& Bailout) Bag/EDC/Vehicle Kit

User avatar
woodsghost
* * * * *
Posts: 3705
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by woodsghost » Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:19 pm

I forgot to add, 8M3 is the holy grail of 7.62x39. It is tough to get. Google it to find out how wonderful it is and why many people kick themselves for just shooting it up like it would last forever.

People think there is still some coming into the country. Basically, you look for 124 gr hollow points from Russia. Then you take a pin and feel inside the hollow point to see if there are ridges inside the hollow point. If there are, you have (or probably have) 8M3.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrS-kya8xVA

http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116213





EDIT:

Saw this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so8XsFiF_3c

This is a sample of 1, with one 7.62x39 left on the ground for a year, yet fires just fine. Look close, the round is green lacquer coated and has the red sealant. That looks to be the OLD STYLE Wolf Military Classic. The new stuff is supposed to have some clear coating on it.

In my experience, lacquered and sealed rounds (old style Military Classic, all Golden Tiger, 7n6) are fantastic at resisting corrosion, though nothing is perfect. Any round with grey metal seems to form rust unless cared for and kept dry[exceptions. See my post further below]. I have seen tests of Wolf steel case and rust always forms pretty quick. Someone posted above that a friend had rust form on some stored steel cased ammo. I think old style Mil Classic is worth stocking up on. The new style is not, in my opinion, unless I see some tests showing the new stuff also resists rust.I'm really interested in tests of Red Army Standard and corrosion resistance too[did it myself, see post below]. Until I see tests, the Red Army Elite (or green lacquered & sealed stuff) is the only stuff I would trust to be corrosion resistant, being brass cased and sealed at both ends.

Old style:

Image

New stuff:

Image


Image
Last edited by woodsghost on Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:30 am, edited 3 times in total.
*Remember: I'm just a guy on the internet :)
*Don't go to stupid places with stupid people & do stupid things.
*Be courteous. Look normal. Be in bed by 10'clock.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo Baggins.

User avatar
DannusMaximus
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 2767
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:00 pm
Location: Indiana's Southern Coast

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by DannusMaximus » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:24 pm

Jeriah wrote:What quality of ammunition do you stockpile? And in what quantity?
I figured most people stocked piles of whatever crap ammo they could get their hands on cheaply for range work and general blastin' purposes, then had a secondary stock of SHTF ammo (i.e., higher cost, higher quality, higher performance ammunition for zombie disposal purposes). That's what I do.

I've several thousand rounds of 9mm in pretty much every imagineable brand stocked for range use, because I actually shoot my pistol quite a bit. I've got 200 rounds of 135 gr Hornady Critical Duty 9mm stocked for serious use, and keep that flavor loaded in the magazines of all both the G19 I EDC and the G26 my wife EDC's.

Similarly, I've got several thousand rounds of .223 / 5.56 of Wolf, BVAC, American Eagle, and some other brands just for range ammo. My SHTF stockpile is PMC XTAC and Winchester Q series - - both are FMJ 5.56, and have higher quality features such as annealed necks, etc. I keep around 1,000 of each of these brands, and these are what I zeroed my optics and irons with. My always loaded 'go-to' mags (I keep two of these, one in the rifle and another in the case with the loaded rifle) are filled with 64 gr Winchester powerpoint (PSP), mostly because they got good reviews and I got a good deal on them.

I think BullOnParade has a really good theory and system set up.
Holmes: "You have arms, I suppose?
Watson: "Yes, I thought it as well to take them."
Holmes: "Most certainly! Keep your revolver near you night and day, and never relax your precautions..."

- The Hound of the Baskervilles

Redeyes
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 1460
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 1:04 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Night of The Living Dead 1968
Location: Augusta Georgia

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by Redeyes » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:38 pm

DannusMaximus wrote:
Jeriah wrote:What quality of ammunition do you stockpile? And in what quantity?
I figured most people stocked piles of whatever crap ammo they could get their hands on cheaply for range work and general blastin' purposes, then had a secondary stock of SHTF ammo (i.e., higher cost, higher quality, higher performance ammunition for zombie disposal purposes). That's what I do.

I've several thousand rounds of 9mm in pretty much every imagineable brand stocked for range use, because I actually shoot my pistol quite a bit. I've got 200 rounds of 135 gr Hornady Critical Duty 9mm stocked for serious use, and keep that flavor loaded in the magazines of all both the G19 I EDC and the G26 my wife EDC's.

Similarly, I've got several thousand rounds of .223 / 5.56 of Wolf, BVAC, American Eagle, and some other brands just for range ammo. My SHTF stockpile is PMC XTAC and Winchester Q series - - both are FMJ 5.56, and have higher quality features such as annealed necks, etc. I keep around 1,000 of each of these brands, and these are what I zeroed my optics and irons with. My always loaded 'go-to' mags (I keep two of these, one in the rifle and another in the case with the loaded rifle) are filled with 64 gr Winchester powerpoint (PSP), mostly because they got good reviews and I got a good deal on them.

I think BullOnParade has a really good theory and system set up.
Exactly. For 9mm and .223 I have a little over 3k of Wolf/Tula/decent reloads and 500 rounds of some flavor of Hornady. Enough cheap ammo to insulate me from the vagaries of the market for one year and enough decent ammo so that I can change out carry ammo and HD ammo many times without having to buy new first. I think only stockpiling a decent round makes more sense for either a weapon that is ammo sensitive or a weapon setup for long range shooting. ETA Unless you never or barely go to the range or something. In that case it doesn't matter. You have bigger problems than what round is in your stockpile.
Image

Team Beards&Irons MilCopp 2013

Browning 35 for ZS President 2016. Make Zombie Squad Great Again!

Doctorr Fabulous
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 12210
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:06 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Evil Dead, Zombieland, 28 Days/Weeks Later

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:49 pm

I mostly cycle through whatever 55gr is cheapest for plunking and training, and now have 300rd of MK262 stowed away for a rainy day. M193 tends to be cheap enough that I rarely buy wolf anymore.

9mm, I buy wolf or other cheap FMJ, and stow back 147GR JHP.

Same same for fotay.

So far for x51 I have a couple hundred rounds of Wolf and no preference yet for a particular load, but probably will see if there's anything the Mossberg likes that's ballistically similar to the cheap stuff and also doesn't suck on the receiving end.
Opinions subject to change in light of new information.
Image
http://i.imgur.com/wG6ZMjE.jpg

User avatar
JeeperCreeper
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 2560
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:49 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Twilight... making zombies of our future generations
Location: Yo Momma's House

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by JeeperCreeper » Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:14 am

Everyone said great stuff so far so I will just talk about my experiences:

I keep a few boxes of premium ammo for every gun for my just-in-case pile. I also try to keep a constant stash of cheap steel, aluminum, or el cheapo brass range ammo around. I replace what I shoot in case of a shortage or emergency.

I prefer aluminum cases to steel. Federal has aluminum pistol ammo out now that's cheaper than steel. Look at steel casings at the range. They will rust through in a few days being left outside.
They see me trollin', they hatin'.... keyboardin' tryna catch me typin' dirty
Halfapint wrote:There are some exceptions like myself and jeepercreeper.... but we are the forum asshats. We protect our positions with gusto
zero11010 wrote:The girlfriend is a good shot with a 10/22.
Her secondary offense will be nagging.

User avatar
Stercutus
* * * * *
Posts: 14251
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Safe On Base

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by Stercutus » Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:37 am

I don't know what "deep" means to you but we break it up into bulk (fun, training, last resort)

and

Performance (What I load to defend family and home, CC, work, hunting etc).
What 5.56mm ammunition is the best value in terms of a decent projectile and powder load, but being affordable to stack deep?
M855 for bulk. I know with a high degree of certainty what the expected results are. I bought a lot when it was a lot less. By less I mean like $.09-.15/rd. It is still a good deal relatively speaking for quality ammo that will work well in a pinch and provide very good stopping power inside 100 meters.

For performance I go with some 64gr JHP that are very good and expensive. Our agency tested them pretty extensively and they have produced really good results. I get similar ballistics to M855. We have a bit of ammo for other applications that are based on the application.

9mm I buy whatever is cheapest for bulk that I know work, except I refuse Wolf or other steel case ammo (same for the AR's) or anything that I think will tear my guns up and make them not run right. Mostly this is 115gr FMJ.

For performance this is Federal HST 147gr. Expensive but worth it.

For 7.62X51 For bulk I think I have a few hundred rounds of quality surplus left and no way of getting more quality surplus. So we phased in 150gr Federal Soft points for bulk. These used to be really cheap and are not anymore. While it has a bit more drop it is worlds better than milsurp or wolf ammo for terminal performance. I see no reason to limit myself with the thumpers to a round that is not even suitable for hunting deer.

We have lots of different kinds of performance ammo based on whatever the application is for .308. The round is so versatile you can do just about anything with it. For magic bullets that will take down most anything at long range we like Nosler 165gr accubond trophy grade. A few years ago I found some at a steep discount and we loaded up.

Can't speak towards X39 performance ammo. Seems to be like unicorn wings. You hear about it but no one ever seems to have any in stock long enough for me to get at it. So we keep some Wolf in bulk to feed the commie guns which are mostly just back ups. I'd hate to have to rely on them or Wolf ammo if my life depended upon it.

For performance SD ammo target stock level is two times basic load for each gun that is planned for usage in a SD/HD role. Basic load being three magazines plus one in the gun for hand guns and 6+1 for AR15 rifles. Bulk target stock is three times the SD stock levels. Hunting ammo is five times annual usage for sighting, practice and kills.

So for example (one) AR15 would need 420 rds performance ammo and 1260 rds bulk.
You go 'round and around it
You go over and under
I go through

User avatar
Brotherbadger
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 362
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:59 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Curse of the Cannibal Confederates(so terrible it's great)
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by Brotherbadger » Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:23 am

Honestly, if you are gonna try to build an ammo stash for plinking, I'd recommend reloading. You get exactly what you want out of your ammo for less than you would pay otherwise. You get quality and quantity. If it is for a SHTF type scenario, that's different and i'll address that below.
What 5.56mm ammunition is the best value in terms of a decent projectile and powder load, but being affordable to stack deep?
I usually get some Wolf, but recently i started buying xm855(i can find it reasonably cheap compared to xm193 in my AO). I generally like to buy 2-4 boxes a month. That way, if i can't buy any for a while due to a panic, i don't have to ration my shooting. XM193 is the go to for a lot of people. 64 gr Winchester Powerpoint as well as Federal Fusion MSR are my gotos for srs business. I usually only keep 120 rounds of this at one time. Why? Because if i need more to use more than 4 mags in my APT at one time, I'm screwed(also, that stuff is expensive). When i get a house i might change that stance, but for now? 4 mags is enough. I keep a few mags stored with mx855 in various bags around the apt just in case i have to leave.

45 ACP: i reload for my plinking storage. HD/CCW ammo is Speer Gold Dot.

9mm: I reload for plinking. I don't have any CCW/HD ammo.
Doc Torr wrote:You forgot to add that birdshot only hurts badguys, so you can bounce it off the floor, walls, or even yourself for nonlethal takedowns. Load some beanbags and dragon's Breath too, because you shouldn't stop shooting until they're on fire.

User avatar
woodsghost
* * * * *
Posts: 3705
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by woodsghost » Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:56 am

Decided to end a test I was doing of Red Army Standard steel cased ammo. I"ll post pics this evening. I submerged 3 rounds of 5.45 into tap water.

1) Case bodies did not rust.

2) after 11 hours, case mouth started to rust. Like, right around the rim .... or almost inside the neck? Seems odd.

3) looking back, I feel like there were an unusual amount of tiny bubbles around the case neck after about an hour of submersion.

4) sadly, I can't shoot the rounds right now, but there is no weight difference between the submerged rounds and rounds which were not near water, with measurement down to .001 grams. This indicates there is unlikely to be much moisture, if any, actually in the case body.

Current conclusions:

a) Red Army Standard steel cased needs to be sealed at the neck if intended for SHTF and/or long term storage.

b) The case body DOES seem to have a protective coating. Very cool. That and the sealed primer means to me that I can probably use this ammo in a 12 hour rain storm and as long as I wipe down my ammo afterwards, it should be good to go. I suspect a rain storm will be a lesser test than submersion. Also, I"ll be sealing the neck of my rounds.

c) Lacquered and fully sealed rounds are better than Red Army Standard for storage, but RAS does not lag far behind and is loads better than Wolf or Tulammo.
*Remember: I'm just a guy on the internet :)
*Don't go to stupid places with stupid people & do stupid things.
*Be courteous. Look normal. Be in bed by 10'clock.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo Baggins.

User avatar
Jeriah
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 18722
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 4:12 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Original Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead 04, and 28 Days Later are my top three, in that order.
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by Jeriah » Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:03 am

Brotherbadger wrote:Honestly, if you are gonna try to build an ammo stash for plinking, I'd recommend reloading. You get exactly what you want out of your ammo for less than you would pay otherwise. You get quality and quantity. If it is for a SHTF type scenario, that's different and i'll address that below.
I'd like to take up reloading; however, I have lots of other things I like to do, and it's a zero sum game with my time. I don't mean to say, "I'm busy, I can't" as an excuse; what I am saying is that adding reloading to my routine would displace archery, fencing, SCA, painting, hiking, going to shows, etc., and I don't want to give any of that up.

That being said, it does sound enjoyable. Somewhere I have a Lee hand loader with 5.56mm dies and projectiles, so I'll start saving my brass.
Image

User avatar
BullOnParade
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 3207
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by BullOnParade » Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:31 am

Reloading really is the best way to get affordable practice rounds, and they can be tailored to match your defensive rounds easier. You can also develop light loads for precision shooting and high volume courses, which are also great for introducing new shooters, as the recoil is less intimidating.
If you can find find the time, it really is the best way to go.
BullOnParade

Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me.

Urban BOB/Range (& Bailout) Bag/EDC/Vehicle Kit

User avatar
Brotherbadger
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 362
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:59 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Curse of the Cannibal Confederates(so terrible it's great)
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by Brotherbadger » Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:07 pm

Jeriah wrote:
Brotherbadger wrote:Honestly, if you are gonna try to build an ammo stash for plinking, I'd recommend reloading. You get exactly what you want out of your ammo for less than you would pay otherwise. You get quality and quantity. If it is for a SHTF type scenario, that's different and i'll address that below.
I'd like to take up reloading; however, I have lots of other things I like to do, and it's a zero sum game with my time. I don't mean to say, "I'm busy, I can't" as an excuse; what I am saying is that adding reloading to my routine would displace archery, fencing, SCA, painting, hiking, going to shows, etc., and I don't want to give any of that up.

That being said, it does sound enjoyable. Somewhere I have a Lee hand loader with 5.56mm dies and projectiles, so I'll start saving my brass.
I totally understand. The majority of my reloading is done in the winter, or on rainy days when most of my hobbies are out of season. Just something to consider.
Doc Torr wrote:You forgot to add that birdshot only hurts badguys, so you can bounce it off the floor, walls, or even yourself for nonlethal takedowns. Load some beanbags and dragon's Breath too, because you shouldn't stop shooting until they're on fire.

User avatar
Dave_M
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 15976
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:30 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by Dave_M » Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:32 pm

Reloading is really only economical if you don't place a value on your own time and/or for precision stuff. For some of less common loadings (like .300blk) I suppose it can make sense as well.

Don't get me wrong, a large chunk of my friends reload almost everything they shoot (especially the competitive shooters). I will say I've seen more problems with reloaded ammunition than anything else, especially 5.56 because it has to be resized properly or else you get a ton of stuck cases. Plenty of kB's from reloads as well due to improper powder use and/or poor case inspection. Then of course to make it as water impervious as factory loadings extra steps need to be taken.

However, I know it's a hobby for many people; just wouldn't be my first choice for stacking SHTF calibers.


What normal recommendation for setting ammunition aside is to buy your preferred caliber/loading in whatever quantity you can reasonably afford at the time. Set half aside as a reserve and use half for training/plinking/whatever ammo. When said amount of 'using' ammo is depleted, rinse and repeat. Fairly easy to add a decent amount of ammo in that manner.
Image
Dave Merrill
Instructor for MilCopp Tactical LLC.

Rifle first. Rifle last. Rifle always.
Civilian Scout wrote:No one buys a Taurus because it's the best option available.

User avatar
woodsghost
* * * * *
Posts: 3705
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by woodsghost » Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:54 pm

Dave_M wrote:Reloading is really only economical if you don't place a value on your own time and/or for precision stuff.
The economy of reloading depends a lot on how much you make per hour and how many hours you are getting at work. And how much you are saving per round and how many rounds you can safely make in an hour.

With the 1 caliber that I reload, I can easily save enough per hour of making ammo that I greatly exceed what I make in an hour of work.

It might also be worthwhile to stock reloading components and just make up a batch once a month to stay in shape. That way, if SHTF long term, you can make new rounds from your stockpiled components. The economic sense of reloading will have changed at that point. You can in essence stockpile way more ammo for your $$$$, but leave it assembled till needed.

Just some ideas and thoughts.
*Remember: I'm just a guy on the internet :)
*Don't go to stupid places with stupid people & do stupid things.
*Be courteous. Look normal. Be in bed by 10'clock.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo Baggins.

Doctorr Fabulous
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 12210
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:06 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Evil Dead, Zombieland, 28 Days/Weeks Later

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:06 pm

woodsghost wrote:
Dave_M wrote:Reloading is really only economical if you don't place a value on your own time and/or for precision stuff.
The economy of reloading depends a lot on how much you make per hour and how many hours you are getting at work. And how much you are saving per round and how many rounds you can safely make in an hour.

With the 1 caliber that I reload, I can easily save enough per hour of making ammo that I greatly exceed what I make in an hour of work.
Depends. Bulk reloading on a progressive is generally where you see lower-quality ammo. Like, more failures than wolf. Crypto and Dave have some great stories about poor-quality reloads. I don't reload anything in bulk, and even reload expensive ammo (.300BLK performance subsonic) I'm still a hundred dollars in the red after buying the press, equipment, and components.
It might also be worthwhile to stock reloading components and just make up a batch once a month to stay in shape. That way, if SHTF long term, you can make new rounds from your stockpiled components. The economic sense of reloading will have changed at that point. You can in essence stockpile way more ammo for your $$$$, but leave it assembled till needed.
Devil's advocate, how much ammo do you really need after supply lines are cut? How much time will you really have to devote to reloading if suddenly you have to work just to eat and maintain your own security? Why not spend the money on reloading equipment on ammo, so you aren't stuck with several pounds of expensive scrap after your powders run out? Should a financial difficulty arise, it's far easier to sell a case of factory ammo than to turn reloaded ammo into money.

I find it hard to rationalize a world where I can't buy ammo, but I have time to reloading and can acquire components. I do it for a specific reason, and there are people for whom the time/expenditure equation runs positive, but buying a reloading kit and stockpiling components, IMO, makes less sense than just stocking loaded ammo.
Opinions subject to change in light of new information.
Image
http://i.imgur.com/wG6ZMjE.jpg

User avatar
Waywatcher
* *
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:17 am

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by Waywatcher » Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:22 pm

I'm a reloader. And a perfectionist.

I find reloading satisfying when I make ammo that is:
A.) superior to factory loads
B.) unavailable in a factory load
C.) cheaper than a factory load

In that order. Reloading for my bolt action M70 is an excellent case-in-point: I accomplish all 3 objectives.

I don't find reloading very rewarding when I'm just cranking handles and passing the time to make factory duplicate loads that pinch a few pennies.

User avatar
woodsghost
* * * * *
Posts: 3705
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by woodsghost » Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:34 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote: Devil's advocate, how much ammo do you really need after supply lines are cut?
"All of it, man." :clownshoes:

I hear ya, and I happen to agree a lot with your points.

But you don't "buy components in a world with no ammo." You stockpile components before the world falls apart.

When would we have time for reloading in some ZPAW? Loading 3000 rounds a week for nightly firefights with the undead might not be reasonable, but I"ll bet I can find the time to reload 2-3 rounds for hunting tomorrow in some PAW. Reloading hunting rounds for a 30-06, or .308, or 7.62x54 makes sense, and can be done with comparatively cheap gear. Same with .38, .357, .44 Spl & Mag, .45 LC, and other rounds meant for bolt actions, revolvers, and single shots.

If folks don't already know, there are sizing issues you have to deal with when reloading for semi-autos, and you need more expensive equipment for that. It is far easier and less expensive to reload for other weapons. I don't remember where pump actions or lever actions fit in. Basically, if your weapon works well with fire formed brass, then you can use cheaper gear. If your weapon is fussy about it, then you need the full re-sizing rigs.

However, I agree with Doc (and Dave?) that most (but not all) people are going to be better off buying their ammo and stashing it. I too have had issues with reloading, and I think I have that dialed in and fixed. I need to run another couple hundred rounds to know for sure though. Count me in among the crowd that says "there are issues which come with reloading." But you can also count me among the crowd that says "reloading is an option to be considered."

Just for fun, if you are a reloader, make sure your scale works without batteries. That is very important in a (rather hypothetical) PAW.
*Remember: I'm just a guy on the internet :)
*Don't go to stupid places with stupid people & do stupid things.
*Be courteous. Look normal. Be in bed by 10'clock.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo Baggins.

User avatar
eugene
* * * * *
Posts: 2223
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:27 pm

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by eugene » Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:10 pm

I started by buying anything end everything so I could test my pistol and see if any would have issues.
After the initial testing I've been buying mostly Winchester after seeing this guys long term testing
http://headstampfinebrass.blogspot.com/ ... ading.html

I still have of the initial random stuff but am slowly replacing it as I use it. Have 1000 rounds of FMJ and a couple hundred HP mostly hornady Critical defense and critical duty.

Have about 500 rounds reloaded and over 1000 brass in varying stages of prep for reloading.
2004 Silverado ECSB Z71 5.3L
2009 Giant Cypress DX, 1996 Specialized Rockhopper
Smith and Wesson M&P9c, M&P22
Map of our travels. Our EveryTrail page
My Garmin Connect Profile

User avatar
TheLastOne
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 3210
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:06 pm
Location: CO

Re: Ammunition stockpiling: questions re: quality and quant

Post by TheLastOne » Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:06 pm

If I was stacking brass I'd buy IMi or ppu as mentioned above. Ppu has worked great for me. I personally just stack cheap target ammo, which generally means wolf for x39 and 556. 9 too, but I can sometimes find reasonable pricing on Aguilar brass, which I prefer. For 308 I'd also do ppu.

If I'm stacking defensive loads: I have a few hundred 9mm crit duty and prefer it or ranger talon. I use hornady tap in a few Mags for defensive rifle, but don't find it practical to spend money on tons of ammo I'm unlikely to use. I do have one of those ~400 rd cans of m885 or whatever around.
MF'N Team Leader: Cleveland Steamers 2012
Team Beards&Irons 2013
Image

Post Reply

Return to “General Firearms Discussion”