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Old 09-04-2019, 11:57 PM   #1
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Musings on Ammo Stashes, Panic Buying Etc.

SpecialEd, if you think another subforum is a better fit please feel free to move--I just started in Ammo because that's where most of my current ruminating is. Guys, this is something I'm writing for non-gun people on a politics site, so I'd appreciate whatever assists you can offer, or even just spitballing other ideas.

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The best way to avoid getting caught up in a panic is to have a plan in advance and stick to it. Not maxing out the credit card buying as much as you can get all at once, but rather slowly and steadily work on implementing a little at a time, buying a little extra where you can. A case or two at a time, no more. My own personal plan uses "Basic Combat Loads"--the amount of ammunition for a rifle in that caliber carried by an infantryman in combat, herein abbreviated "BCL"--as building blocks like a Lego set, and I'm sharing it here to hopefully inspire some thoughts for you to start planning your own.

Opening considerations:
  • Rifles should be all one standard military pattern, either bolt-action, AR or AK, all in one standard caliber for the "Basic Household Issue." Individual weapons can be tweaked to fit operator preference, but should be kept "common" enough that anyone tasked with Home D can use any weapon they find at hand. This does not mean supporting weapons like precision rifles or shotguns have no place, just that the main "battle line" should be focused on first.
  • M855 Green Tip is NOT a good choice here--it's semi-penetrating, better choices here are M193 for its high fragmentation/lower penetration or Jacketed Soft Points like the 62-64gr Gold Dot. [add recommendations from DocGKR list here]
  • Another consideration is mobility--you should be able to pack up most of it and take with you, without an excessive "tail" to worry about leaving behind and keep you locked into "fight" in a case where "flight" might be the better choice.
  • Examples here are based on the M16/M4/AR15 family in 5.56 NATO, where each BCL is seven mags, 21 stripper-clips or 210 individual rounds. (This is why a Vietnam spam-can is 420 rounds, a "reload built for two".) A typical factory case is 500 rounds, which is two BCL's plus eight clips toward another.
  • Magazines should be standardized across 2-3 types--Lancers are great but pricey, for AR's the generally accepted "gold standards" are USGI or Magpul PMAGs.
  • Building across is more important than building out--in a household with four Home Defenders, it's more important to get everybody to Phase 1 than it is to get one rifle supply-pile built all the way out to Phase 5 at the expense of "immediate capability." If you can't put it in the fight RIGHT NOW when the balloon goes up, it might as well be shoved up your a**--and there's a good chance it WILL be.

The roadmap
  • Phase One: One rifle per able-bodied adult in the household and one BCL of magazines (in the case of M16/M4, 7x 30-round magazines), loaded between the rifle and personal Load Bearing Equipment. These rifles should be kept loaded at ALL times, with appropriate safety measures like chamber blockers as warranted. Also, a second BCL in a bandolier or drag-bag--this bag/bandolier should go everywhere the rifle does. More on why later.
  • Phase Two: For each rifle, two BCL's in mags in an ammo can.
  • Phase Three: Four or more (only in whole multiples of two) BCL's in stripper clips, in another ammo can, with associated loading tools like Maglula or whatever you favor. One can with two BCL's worth of empty magazines as spares.
  • Phase Four: Four or more (again, whole multiples of two) BCL's loose in an ammo can.
  • Phase Five: One factory case of ammo per four guns, sealed.
  • OPTIONAL but highly recommended: At least one set of .22LR conversion kit and seven .22 magazines, preferably one set for every four rifles.

Usage cycle:
  1. "Ready" load fired off.
  2. Preloaded spares refill rifle and LBE.
  3. Mags from "preloaded" can refill "spare carrier."
  4. Mags from "spares" can plus clip-load ammo refill "preload" can; fresh empties go into spares.
  5. Clips refilled from can of loose ammo.
  6. When "loose" can is used down halfway, open sealed case and refill; order replacement case.
The idea here is a FIFO (First In First Out) system where ammunition is constantly being pulled forward, older stuff being used up and new replacing it like the teeth in a shark's jaw, and a gradual "road map" building out one case worth of ammo at a time. Doesn't mean those with larger budgets can't or shouldn't do the build-out faster or lay in more at each stage, this is just setting a basic foundation. As my old friend "Snake45" notes, the exception to this scenario is if you start to see a drop in ammunition quality like happened with .22LR during the Panic of 2009--in which case you should push the known good ammo to Reserves and do regular training with the new, lower-quality rounds.


With a number of recent troubling encounters at public-lands shooting spots around here including two found shot dead at a popular spot near Estacada, OR, this suggests two important safety precautions: One, never go out into the backwoods alone--at least one member of the group should be designated as Overwatch, situated between the others and the entryway to watch for new arrivals and issue call-to-arms if needed. Two, when at one of these spots NEVER be without at least one loaded weapon--this is where that bandolier with the second "ready" BCL that goes everywhere the rifle goes I mentioned earlier comes in, so there's always some ammo ready to load up if needed. One optional refinement or improvement to this would be to keep an extra mag mounted right on the gun.

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At this point this is just a big spitball, hopefully as we all think on things we can refine this into something that'll give the "Not So Defensively Minded" who've asked me for advice a little to start them on the right path. Would appreciate whatever crowd-sourced wisdom y'all throw my way.

Last edited by Diamondback; 09-08-2019 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:37 AM   #2
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•Rifles should be all one standard military pattern, either AR or AK
I prefer, "...•Rifles should be all one standard pattern, Bolt, AR or AK..." And, yes, bolts do come in 5.56 NATO*.

Reason being bolts have less problems than semis. Oh, and the M193 is an excellent choice/recommendation for ammo.

*Note to newbies: 556 NATO has a very slightly different case the .223 Rem. The NATO is a +P ammo compared to the factory .223 stuff.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:15 AM   #3
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The drywall in the Democratic Socialist (isn't that redundant?) Republic of Washington must be made of much sterner stuff than the drywall in the rest of the US if it breaks up M193. I've never found any 5.56 mm slug that breaks up in drywall here in the Old Dominion. A professional colleague reported that M193 blew right through a pine 6 x 6.

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Old 09-05-2019, 01:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
The idea here is a FIFO (First In First Out) system where ammunition is constantly being pulled forward, older stuff being used up and new replacing it like the teeth in a shark's jaw, and a gradual "road map" building out one case worth of ammo at a time. Doesn't mean those with larger budgets can't or shouldn't do the build-out faster or lay in more at each stage, this is just setting a basic foundation.
The exception to this is if you notice a decrease in quality of ammo, as I noticed in ALL .22 ammo after the Obama Drought of @ 2009-on started. When I discovered this, I started carefully hoarding all my pre-2008 .22 ammo and only shooting (for training and plinking) new-bought ammo, where the much higher FTB rate isn't that important as RELIABLE .22 ammo might be at some point in the future.
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:22 PM   #5
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Thanks, guys--made some edits based on your contributions, changes are in bold red.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:20 PM   #6
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About magazines.......

Having some 20 and 30 round mags available allows you to tote 2 different types of ammo and being able to ID which is which even in the really dark of night. Example: 20 for expanding ammo, 30 for ball.

Also, and the memory is dim here, about VN basic load: at the start, the 20 round mag was standard, the bandoleers are made to carry reloads for 7 mags. So, 7 x 20= 140 (OK 7 x 18 but you get the idea). The basic load, at least at one point in time/mission, was 1 set of loaded mags and 2 bandoleers, for a total of 420 rounds. If you're a dedicated scrounger, the bandoleers can also carry extra loaded mags, which beats the heck out of using stripper clips. The problem with depending upon helo resupply is that sometimes, the birds can't fly or approach a hot LZ. However, you can get into a weight vs mobility thing.

Last edited by William R. Moore; 09-09-2019 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:05 PM   #7
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About magazines.......

Having some 20 and 30 round mags available allows you to tote 2 different types of ammo and being able to ID which is which even in the really dark of night. Example: 20 for expanding ammo, 30 for ball.

Also, and the memory is dim here, about VN basic load: at the start, the 20 round mag was standard, the bandoleers are made to carry reloads for 7 mags. So, 7 x 20= 140 (OK 7 x 18 but you get the idea). The basic load, at least at one point in time/mission, was 1 set of loaded mags and 2 bandoleers, for a total of 420 rounds. If you're a dedicated scrounger, the bandoleers can also carry extra loaded mags, which beats the heck out of using stripper clips. The problem with depending upon helo resupply is that sometimes, the birds can't fly or approach a hot LZ. However, you can get into a weight vs mobility thing.
Excellent point; that's something I'm meaning to bring up later. At this point I'm just trying to get a "functional core" set up, and "special-purpose weapons/ammo" is a subject I haven't even figured out how to touch yet. I haven't even gotten into "training ammo" because ranges with metal backstops hate how they get chewed up by M193 yet.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:57 AM   #8
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Once ya'll get ammo loads worked out are you going to discuss what you've got in your BOB? Last time I did one was during the millennial panic. Now I'll stay in place.

Now I've way more .22LR than I'll ever use. Back then I planned on using it for meat gathering and trading.
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Old 09-15-2019, 07:48 AM   #9
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About training ammo, I expect expanding bullets might make them happier, but in my experience they'll still, at close range, damage steel.

Beware the bullets made from compressed particulates and sold as frangible. I used to receive emails from professional peers and the violent feed cycle of the M4 appears to occasionally cause those bullets to fragment. Sometimes causing some rather distressing results.

In answer to this issue, Barnes produces a jacketed bullet with a core made of compressed mysterium particulates and labeled the RRLP for reduced ricochet, limited penetration. Obviously, someone is loading ammo using it, don't know who or how much you have to buy. It will not be cheap. It does fragment nicely on steel, showing no damage to target and no injurious fragments at stupidly close ranges. However in simulated tissue, it shows more penetration than M193. Whacking water bottles at distance, it also shows less expansion than common varmint bullets.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:48 PM   #10
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Perhaps it's time to change your paradigm?

The 5.56/.223 Remington is a niche round especially effective when controlling full-automatic close range firearms. Much of today's youth actually believes that a semi-automatic clone (M-Forgery or Semi-auto AK/SK) is a capable "Battle Rifle". So if you follow "The Herd" you shall experience High Visibility "Assault Rifle Ammo Shortages & Poor Public Relations". Now before the "Black Rifle Gang" slips off thier chairs! Let's take a look at what Semi-automatic Rifles are actually being used on "Battlefields".

First: Ever heard of a 7.62 x 51mm/ .308 Win shortage?
If you are a must have an semi-automatic AR (Black Rifle fanatic), there are just as many semi-automatic .308 Win AR's available for purchase. Plus there are semi-automatic M1A's and M1 Garands which have actually been "Battlefield" rifles.

Now I do have a bolt action .223 Remington Rifle & a 5.56 semi-automatic rifle, yet neither are as capable on a "Battlefield" as either the .308 Win Bolt Action rifles or .308 semi-automatic rifles in the "Small Arms Locker".

If you actually want to maximise (Republic Credits) your bang for the buck, give up the 22 caliber "Battlefield" rifle delusion. First purchase SHOULD BE a bolt action .308 Win and after gaining experience and a thicker wallet, add a semi-automatic .308 Win rifle. Now Please explain what a semi-automatic .22 caliber rifle does better than any .308 semi-automatic on any "Battlefield" anywhere?

Why stockpile a confirmed loser like a semi-automatic .22 rifle?

Last edited by M118LR; 09-18-2019 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:31 PM   #11
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Sigh!

http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/...ts-vs-fiction/

https://www.ammoland.com/2017/06/7-6...#axzz5zvy27nHN

I wish Dean hadn't closed The Gun None. He had the best articles on why the cartridges weren't really the same.

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Old 09-19-2019, 04:48 PM   #12
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Double SIGH!

Perhaps it's wise to check the GO-NOGO dimensions on 7.62 x 51 mm NATO vice .308 Win.
( America made 7.62 NATO Ammo has been built to .308 Specifications since the 60's)

Now foreign made 7.62 NATO Ammo can/has been made to the longer specifications of the Original 7.62 x 51 mm, which means that other than American made NATO 7.62 x 51 mm can cause catastrophic failures when used in Match Grade/Tight .308 Win chambers.
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Last edited by M118LR; 09-19-2019 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:14 PM   #13
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Double SIGH!

Perhaps it's wise to check the GO-NOGO dimensions on 7.62 x 51 mm NATO vice .308 Win. ( America made 7.62 NATO Ammo has been built to .308 Specifications since the 60's)
If that5's true then my Lake City stuff must be older than Grandma. My M1A likes the Lake City ammo but my Savage .308's bolt doesn't want to close.

Last edited by csmkersh; 09-19-2019 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:19 PM   #14
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If that5's true then my Lake City stuff must be older than Grandma. My M1A likes the Lake City ammo but my Savage .308's bolt doesn't want to close.
Your M1A and your Savage .308 should both have chambers cut to .308 Win specs. Sounds like it's time to pick up both .308 Win & 7.62x51MM GO-NOGO's csmkersh. Perhaps your M1A has a bit more freebore or throat erosion than the Savage.
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:19 PM   #15
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Perhaps your M1A has a bit more freebore or throat erosion than the Savage.
I understand your assumption, but not the problem. My M1A was the first issue that came with a Springfield 4-14x56 scope and mounting. It had less than 20 rounds when the test was made.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:22 PM   #16
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I understand your assumption, but not the problem. My M1A was the first issue that came with a Springfield 4-14x56 scope and mounting. It had less than 20 rounds when the test was made.
That still doesn't answer the freebore question!
More freebore allows longer OAL before the lands are engaged. Thus less fiction or chamber pressure. Could be the difference between the M1A and the Savage?

Mike the fire formed case from the M1A & Savage, it's easier than measuring modeling clay. Should give you a reasonable comparison. If there isn't an appreciable difference? It's time to pull out the modeling clay to MIKE the free bore difference. JMHO.

Last edited by M118LR; 09-20-2019 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:28 AM   #17
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Just to throw a little fuel on the fire, I once had a couple boxes of surplus .30-06 that convinced me that my 06 had excessive head space. I quit using the rifle for quite awhile. When I finally decided I needed to have something done, I first fired a few rounds out of another batch and realized the first batch of ammo was surplussed for being out of spec. Should have been destroyed, obviously whoever was supposed to do the pull down sold it out the back door.

How about just dropping the loaded rounds into a cartridge gauge? If there's excessive shoulder length, should show up. Based on my own experience with a tight chambered bolt gun, it doesn't take much over length to cause chambering issues. My size die slipped a teensy bit out of adjustment, but the ammo ran through other guns fine.

BTW, maybe the chamber difference diagram is done that way for convenience, but what it shows me is that the head space datum line moved on the 7.62 chamber. Or at least the end of the shoulder cut moved, the datum line???????????

I could see this not being an issue with the Browning MGs then in service. The round was held in a horizontal slot in the bolt face in that design and where the case shoulder was in relation to the chamber didn't matter much. And, the head space in those guns was field adjustable to fit the available ammo.

Last edited by William R. Moore; 09-21-2019 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:55 AM   #18
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Chef; I'll concede the freebore question. I blew that off when I shouldn't have.

That was 40 years ago and the rifle is long gone.

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Old 09-21-2019, 04:33 PM   #19
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Just to throw a little fuel on the fire, I once had a couple boxes of surplus .30-06 that convinced me that my 06 had excessive head space. I quit using the rifle for quite awhile. When I finally decided I needed to have something done, I first fired a few rounds out of another batch and realized the first batch of ammo was surplussed for being out of spec. Should have been destroyed, obviously whoever was supposed to do the pull down sold it out the back door.

How about just dropping the loaded rounds into a cartridge gauge? If there's excessive shoulder length, should show up. Based on my own experience with a tight chambered bolt gun, it doesn't take much over length to cause chambering issues. My size die slipped a teensy bit out of adjustment, but the ammo ran through other guns fine.

BTW, maybe the chamber difference diagram is done that way for convenience, but what it shows me is that the head space datum line moved on the 7.62 chamber. Or at least the end of the shoulder cut moved, the datum line???????????

I could see this not being an issue with the Browning MGs then in service. The round was held in a horizontal slot in the bolt face in that design and where the case shoulder was in relation to the chamber didn't matter much. And, the head space in those guns was field adjustable to fit the available ammo.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.62%C3%9751mm_NATO
The US Military started the program to duplicate 30-06 performance, but the wheels move slowly. So WINCHESTER made thier own move and came out with the Civilian .308 Win. The datum point didn't change, it was never the same. By the time NATO adopted the cartridge, America (USA) determined that it was more cost effective to bore the chambers to match the Civilian round already in mass production, like the 5.56x45mm it was Americain research and Doctrine that drove NATO's acceptance of the cartridge & chambering. But the 7.62x51MM NATO specifications (not .308 Win Americain) are those utilized by NATO Manufacturers outside of America. Many more duplicate the .308 Win in lockstep with America, but not all NATO producers march to the same drumbeat.

Bottom line: All Civilian .308 Win & .223 Rem ammo will safely function (perhaps not to the optimum) in Military 7.62x51mm & 5.56x45mm Firearms. Yet not all NATO produced 7.62 NATO or 5.56 NATO ammo will safely function in Civilian Firearms.

Conciliation noted csmkersh and acknowledged, the more we learn the less we know. 40 years of education can be a couple of lifetimes. Learning is optimized when we make mistakes. JMHO.

The .223 Rem/5.56x45mm has at least six different chamber sizes and purposes, but that's the Dead Horse that started this Musing. So I'll ask Diamondback if we should dive into this wormhole?

5.56/.223 Chamber Reaming Specifications:
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Last edited by M118LR; 09-21-2019 at 05:09 PM.
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