Ideal rate of twist (MLP firearms and shooting thread)

JonCanfield

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I envy you guys. where I bought my last 1k was the best price in the entire bay area at $12 a box plus tax and fees. most places were selling the same for 15 a box before all of this started.
 

MiniB

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OK, but what I am telling you is this... believe it or not... That price for 9mm from 2018 was the exact same price in the fall of 2019. I shoot competitively with a large group of people and we all buy our ammo in bulk from TS, I know several people who paid that price (again, plus/minus $20) in the fall of 2019. If you were paying $18+ for 9mm then you paid much more than we did. But, so what? I

The 223 was only an illustration of how bad people are getting gouged. That ammo is selling for $699+ /case right now. In the fall of 2019 it was what I showed you that I paid in Aug. It did not go up. In fact, it was going down... until this shit started

Sorry, I don't know the exact date all of this shit started, so I can't back up 4 days and go figure out what the price was on that day. But, in August - Nov. Nov - Jan more or less.... the 223 was that price and the 9mm was that price... plus/minus $20.
I was still getting Blazer Brass at around $0.17 per round before around February of this year, right before pandemic started to become real news. Also buy from TargetSports in bulk or 20 boxes at a time like you.

As I said earlier, I did have a few cases at that time, but since then have bought a few just to replenish. Last time I bought 9mm was 1000-rd loose pack of Blazer Brass from Natchez, at around $0.30 per round was in July, and I thought that was crazy at the time. Compared to now it looks like a steal. Actually, I did get 500 rds of some Federal 'white box' (seems the same as etc Blazer) at around $0.35 in late August. I'm in CT so I would get it to my door in two days.
 
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SteveC

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Unless you're in CA - then it needs to be sent to a FFL that will charge for the transfer. One place here in the bay area charges .03 a round for the transfer
I never had firearms when I lived in CA. That was back in the early 80's. I imagine it is much worse now. <sigh>
 

SteveC

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@HardCore Troubadour.... I bought many boxes of 9mm ammo retail over the counter for under $10/50 in December 2020.

I was buying 1,000 rounds of the “cheap” stuff for sub-200 as recently as March of this year. I may have been one of the last people in America to get that price.


I have never in my life paid as much as 20 cents per round for factory 9mm, whether in person or online.



But those days are gone. I do not expect them to return ever.

I'm hoping this will be like the .22lr "crisis" a few years ago.... and in 2-3 years all of this will be a distant, bad memory.




(I know... hope is not a strategy)
 

HardCore Troubadour

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I never bought a box of 9mm last year that was less than $15 normal retail....none of what I am talking about is the "cheap stuff" but is also was not Self defense/top of the line etc. etc. it was Brass FMJ ball.


@Who.....lol I know it is a type-o but change that date to something besides 2020 before you have someone else go waste 20 minutes of their life looking for ammo prices that do not exist today, like I did yesterday when @SteveC got me all excited.....with his 2018 prices. :applause:

and I do say that with a smile man...no offence meant, but DAMN you got my hopes up!!
 
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CB91710

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I never had firearms when I lived in CA. That was back in the early 80's. I imagine it is much worse now. <sigh>
The "frog in a pot boiling" has made it tolerable for most.
The biggest impact has been on semiautomatic rifles and pistols that have certain features.
The recent ammo restrictions are the biggest/fastest changes that really have a significant impact on all enthusiasts, whether your interests are hunting, sport, or defense.

But there have been a lot of changes since the early 80s, and it would certainly be a bit of culture shock to yank someone out of 1980 and drop them into a gun store in 2020.
I think it was 1991 that all non-C&R transfers were required to go through an FFL, and now even C&R require one. Magazine capacity and the "safe handgun roster" are the other two biggies.
 

SteveC

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I never bought a box of 9mm last year that was less than $15 normal retail....none of what I am talking about is the "cheap stuff" but is also was not Self defense/top of the line etc. etc. it was Brass FMJ ball.


@Who.....lol I know it is a type-o but change that date to something besides 2020 before you have someone else go waste 20 minutes of their life looking for ammo prices that do not exist today, like I did yesterday when @SteveC got me all excited.....with his 2018 prices. :applause:

and I do say that with a smile man...no offence meant, but DAMN you got my hopes up!!
I don't think we are going to see anything close to normal ammo pricing (whether that's $10/box or $18/box for 9mm) anytime soon, anyplace in these United States. Some calibers are not st00pidly priced, albeit they are noticeably higher than 2019 levels. It seems the "popular calibers" are the ones where prices are insane.

That's why many of us are slowing down (and in some cases, stopping) our recreational shooting, for the time being. I, for one, do not plan on purchasing any ammo at these prices. I'll wait it out for however long it takes until prices recede to levels close to 2019. That will happen.

Sometime in 2021 the freighters from the South Pacific, Asia and Europe will be arriving with ammo. As levels increase, prices will fall. But, right now, and for the foreseeable future - there is not much ammo manifested for ship delivery here. What we have is coming from stockpiles. As those stockpiles go down, greed goes up!

Fuck that. I'll wait it out.
 

CB91710

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Also don't forget inflation.
The days of $20 for a box of 100 WWB are gone, just as the days of a $600 Les Paul are gone.
On average, inflation doubles prices every 10-15 years, though it hasn't been that high in the last 20 years or so.
 

scott1970

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It wouldn't be the worst idea, once this ammo crisis resolves, to consider a reloading fall back plan for the next time this occurs, and there will be a next time. Buy the equipment in bits and pieces, buy a box of primers now and then, some powder and bullets, start saving all your brass, and put it in a closet. Such destitute times as these would provide ample motivation to watch some of the countless reloading videos available online and learn to crank out your own ammo. It takes little loading to recoup the cost of all the gear especially when prices get silly like right now.

Casting is for the nutjobs, so I won't advocate going that far, although I will say one thousand rounds of completed 9mm ammo costs me less than $25 but that is based on free brass and lead and stockpiled powder and primers from some years ago.
 

SteveC

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I remember buying those little boxes of 50ea .22lr ammo for $0.50. You could go into Woolworth's to buy it. And, I did... at age 10. My mom would send us there on our bikes to get her cigarettes, which they also sold to me. Then, we'd pop out the bullet, pour off the powder for use later (more no-good) and smack the cases with rocks.

TV was in black & white, then. :rofl:
 

JonCanfield

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Even for getting into reloading just when it started getting hard to find, it’s costing about .13 a round for 9mm. I’m not doing my own casting, and it’s once used brass, so just primer, powder, bullet
 

scott1970

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Even for getting into reloading just when it started getting hard to find, it’s costing about .13 a round for 9mm. I’m not doing my own casting, and it’s once used brass, so just primer, powder, bullet
There are a variety of companies that sell powder coated cast bullets at a much better price than jacketed or plated. Of course, now is absolutely not the time to bother looking for components and gear.
 

JonCanfield

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There are a variety of companies that sell powder coated cast bullets at a much better price than jacketed or plated. Of course, now is absolutely not the time to bother looking for components and gear.
I'm sure. I didn't know about them when I first bought. I did get 1000 Berrys FMJ for right about $60

On a side note, I just picked up 1000 .223 55gr soft point from Everglade - very fast shipping, seems to be good quality
 

scott1970

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Things will definitely improve again.

Through most of ‘08 I couldn’t get my hands on any pistol primers. Sometime last year I ordered 12,000 Fiocchi small pistol primers, and it cost me a little under $250 to the door.
 

Roberteaux

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As a reloader - handloader, I have not found distinct, across-the-board total shortages, though here and there I have found that I had to scrounge a bit more than usual to obtain various components needed to continue assembling ammunition.

Mostly what I've seen is a lot of price gouging. I'm not seeing the same types of shortages I encountered back in 2011.

***************
Admittedly, part of my success when it comes to all this is simply due to the fact that all along (that is, well before the ammo crunch of 2011 - 2013) I was busily stockpiling pretty much every component I needed to ensure that I had a sizeable supply of ammunition for the most popular cartridge type I shoot... which in my case boils down to .223/5.56mm.

Not only do I have thousands of rounds of factory ammo for that cartridge type on hand, but I have a much greater supply of already-loaded cartridges I assembled myself... and an even greater supply of components ready to be assembled into ready-to-use cartridges.

I'm also fortunate in the sense that I never liked or bothered with 9mm Parabellum... and so at least the only really *super popular* cartridge components I had to stock up for was .223/5.56mm.

Meanwhile, however I can source brass and projectiles for my true favorites-- .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum, and .38 Special-- all day long seeing as everybody and his brother moved on mostly to semiautomatic shit firing 9mm in the last couple of decades anyway.

***************​

This has left me sitting pretty-- same as I was looking good back in 2011, when all of a sudden the prices of .223/5.56 went up to about $575/1000...

Never thought I'd see the day when somebody would be asking $1000/1000 for .223 Remington. But that's what I was seeing a couple of weeks ago from the Internet dealers. The locals I do business with also featured higher prices than before... but nowhere near a buck a round for .223/5.56mm!

As of yesterday, however, ammoman.com had PMC .223 Remington ready to go for $600/840... and I also found that the same guy has a supply of Wolf Gold .223.

For those who are not familiar with this Wolf Gold shit, be advised: it is manufactured in Taiwan, and it features a brass case and is Boxer primed... meaning that it can be reloaded and no special tools are needed to install Berdan primers.

The Wolf Gold ammunition is currently priced at $720/1000, so if any of you guys are hard up enough to pay that sort of price, you know where to get it.

I do see the dropping of prices from $1000/1000 to $720/1000 to be a possible sign that things are easing somewhat already... but I'm not about to place bets in any direction.


****************​

The rest of the stuff I load for: .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum, .38 Special, .45 ACP, .270 Winchester, .300 AAC Blackout, and .300 Winchester Magnum hasn't been at all hard to source components for... not really, except for one qualifier:

Strangely, I found that .300 Win Mag brass can be ever so slightly tricky to get. And now please allow me to qualify that statement as well:

The deal there is that we have various manufacturers of what I'll call "primo" brass cartridge cases... the most famous of the primo manufactures would be Norma, Nosler, Lapua, and over about the last year or so, Hornady.

And as it happens, it's hard to find any of those four manufactures, though I finally got a line on a lot of Norma cartridges and so piled up a couple hundred of them. But for the most part, it has been easier to find Winchester, Remington, and Federal cases in .300 Win Mag.

These manufacturers mentioned just above are not considered to be as desirable to various of the cork-sniffing ammo guys out there as the more expensive manufacturers I mentioned two paragraphs above.

BUT in reality, I have found that I can achieve the same levels of accuracy with the more "prosaic" manufacturers I already mentioned... with the main differences seeming to be that the more expensive varieties tend to feature brass that's a little bit easier to work with if one has to trim the cases.

Another advantage to the more expensive shit is that the case walls at the neck tend to be perfectly concentric straight from the factory. No need to try and shave things with a Marquart tool or other device designed to create a more concentric neck configuration. The stuff trims a bit more easily, and I noticed that one gets a few more firings out of the more expensive shit before it's time to anneal than with the easier-to-obtain Winchester brass and et. al.

I do have a Hornady concentricity tool that enables me to set up more well-aligned cartridges than I produce without using the Hornady tool. It's not the same as shaving things down with a Marquart tool (or whatever else you might have), but then again: the cases last a lot longer if you don't start shaving metal away from the case neck.

I will add here that I tend to be shooting for accuracy levels that are not consistent with 300-yard benchrest shooting... because instead I tend to shoot out to 1,000 yards (especially with the .300 Winchester Magnum target rifle I own)...

But then: the gold standard at 1,000 yards for truly practical shooting is just one MOA... which is a 10" group at 1,000 yards.

This is what the commandant of the US Army's Sniper School thinks of as "the gold standard", beyond which tighter grouping is generally just a form of happenstance.

And at that, those guys are qualifying by putting a majority of rounds into a 14" circle at 1,000 yards-- and never mind washing candidates out for shooting less than 1 MOA on every string of shots.

Now, if I was one of those 300 yard benchrest guys who is shooting using a lead sled, and firing stuff like 6mm PPC at 300 yards-- while producing 5-shot cloverleafs that measure maybe .17" at that range-- I'd be more worried about perfectly concentric brass.

But my game is slightly different, and so is the equipment that I'm using... and so are the desired results.

Which all comes down to this: while I'd prefer Norma brass, or Nosler, or Lapua-- or whatever else is about the same quality... the shit is *not* essential for the level of accuracy that my personal needs generally entail.

So, while I do have some Norma and some Hornady cases for .300 Win Mag, I've got a lot more that's Winchester and Federal...

I also just took the plunge with Prvi Partizan brass-- headstamped as PPU, and made with love in Serbia. And I found that this stuff is almost exactly the same as Winchester brass when it comes to the consistency and hardness of the metal used in construction-- along with the same general tendencies when it comes to case wall thickness at the neck.

What's even nicer is that this PPU brass I got a source for is a bit less expensive than Winchester... and there's a shit-ton of the stuff available from outfits such as Powder Valley, even though your big Internet distributors (such as MidwayUSA) don't carry it at all and are apparently out of Winchester as well.

Funny thing is that Norma and Nosler brass was always a bit hard to come by, and scoring some was always a catch-as-catch-can kind of proposition... even when the ammunition situation was flush. It's simply that the stuff is (deservedly) very, very popular among the most professional of all precision shooters, yet was never produced in the kind of bulk that you see with somebody such as Winchester or Federal.

But again: I'm satisfied with the levels of performance I can extract using other brass manufacturers while setting up my most precise of all handloads.

There is, after all, an area of diminishing returns in a lot of these matters pertaining to component desirability.

Never was a brand-name guy to begin with. I always just use whatever works well enough for my purposes.

***************
So really, the only true shortages I've noticed have to do with some components related to .223/5.56mm and of course, 9mm Parabellum.

When it comes to everything else, what I've noticed is just a ridiculous jacking up of prices-- not a total dearth of availability.

This is different than what I observed in 2011 - 2013. In that particular episode, I found myself using powders that were adequate-- but not optimum-- for use with various cartridge types. For instance, I can get more velocity (with less pressure) by loading something like H-Varget or AA2230 into .223/5.56mm... but in the 2011 debacle it was close to impossible to even *find* Varget powder.

And so I was stuck messing with powders such as H4198 and a couple of others that can be used... but they're not the top performers. In some cases (such as with IMR 4064 powder), I was mollified by the fact that I can use IMR 4064 with any species of .223/5.56mm, as well as with .270 Winchester... and the stuff is even okay for use with .300 Win Mag, so long as one's bullet weights are somewhere between 110 grains and about 155 grains.

Shooting the much heavier bullets one can load into .300 Win Mag, one wants a slower powder than IMR 4064... though I did develop one loading (involving a 110-grain bullet and a shit-ton of IMR 4064) that sent that bullet out the snout of my .300WM rifle at an eye-popping 3,600 fps.

That particular loading isn't premium for shooting past about 500 yards... it simply runs out of kinetic energy too quickly to be good at the 1,000 to 1,200 yard range... but out to about 300 yards? Holy shit, it's hell on varmints. At that speed, the bullet more or less explodes when it smacks into meat and bone.

I only bought 100 bullets of that type, though. Most of what I'm doing with .300 Win Mag calls for bullets of about 168 - 208 grains. But at least I can get those all day, every day.

****************​

I also have a line on a ton of pretty much any powder I want. We've got two major reloading shops in my county, and what one doesn't have the other one does.

BUT, the prices are slightly higher for a lot of the stuff. Still, that's not at all the same as the 2011 deal, where there were a lot of components that I couldn't find at all.

These are the two reloading shops I frequent. First, in nearby Orange City we have Young's Enterprises. But my more favorite shop is the one in South Daytona, which is Southeast Reloading Supplies.

If neither of those shops has it, then I probably don't want it. I feel lucky to have two such well-stocked merchants to purchase from.

***************
Of course, the primers are the real bug in the buttermilk lately. I'm seeing them going for $150 - $175 on the Internet, and they're harder to get (though nowhere nearly so expensive as online) in my two local shops.

But that might abate quickly enough. As a result of doing business for so many years with these reloading shops, I became aware that a local regional distributor has managed to have an order of about 500 thousand primers shipped from Europe to the US... they're due to arrive next week.

These primers are supposedly Serbian-made Prvi Partisan types... but I was told to expect them to be branded as Red Army Standard. Even though the company selling this stuff is a Russian corporation, the brand known as Red Army Standard mostly features products made in five Eastern European countries, along with Poland, and so none of the stuff is actually Russian despite the brand name on the boxes the shit is shipped in.

I was told that these primers would cost more than the $25/1000 I was paying last year... BUT, that they won't be priced so ridiculously high as the shit I'm seeing the gougers on gunbroker asking for US-made primers.

***************
As a final spit I will mention that I keep an AK rifle around as a sort of "ready reserve" firearm, and because of economic reasons, I never bothered to reload the 7.62 x 39mm shit that my particular AK thinks of as food. Instead, I've always just kept a few thousand factory rounds sitting in their cases in my ammunition safe.

I have seen no shortage of AK ammo of that particular type-- though I did notice that the price has gone up by maybe 1/3rd when compared to what one would pay for 1000 rounds last year. That is, instead of paying about $225/1000 like last year, this year the vendors are wanting $340/1000.

I asked my guys at the South Daytona reloading shop whether or not to expect lower prices on that stuff, and was told that the same distributor who clinched the deal for 500K primers is currently negotiating with the Barnaul cartridge plant in Russia... but that even as this is going on, the US Army and the Lake City ammunition plant are talking to the Russians about supplying the Russian Army with 10 million of the 5.45 x 39mm cartridges the Russians are currently using in their current-issue AK74 rifles...

This possible deal has muddied the waters somewhat. Last I heard, the guy trying to pick up a million or so rounds of 7.62 X 39mm AK47 ammunition is getting a different story every time he talks to his business associate in Russia. One day they've got 'em, the next day they're not sure... :dunno:

Apparently we've got some boardroom decisions that have to be made before anybody has a sure grip on this latest thing involving US manufacturers supplying Russia and various of the Eastern European nations with 5.45 X 39mm...

****************​

It's just one big tangle to me. Not sure what's true and what's not true when it comes to all this...

Time will tell. But at least I can say that at this moment in time, I'm in possession of more powder, primers, cases, and shot than I ever had as a stash before.

So, I can go for at least a couple of years without resupply of any type unless we get into a true SHTF situation.

Of course, sitting pat on my current stash is by no means my wont in life and so I do continue to pile shit up.

Last but not least: I got a line on an enormous supply of 75-grain FMJ BT bullets in .224", which is nice because that's what I use when loading precision cartridges for an AR15 target rifle I built last Winter.

***************​

Doing pretty good all the way around I'd say. For now, anyway.

I do hope that the more optimistic appraisals turn out to be more true than false anyway.

You know for sure that most anything you hear has at least a dab of shit in it, even when it's mostly true. The next couple of weeks should be pretty interesting around here.

--R
 
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cybermgk

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Springfield Armory XD Mod.2 .45 Sub-Compact

I
laid my forearms across the concrete bench like an “auto hood” cover position, and fired at a reasonable defensive pace from 25 yards: not b-b-b-b-bang, but bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. The five 230 grain Nosler Match hollow points grouped in 2.35″, the best three in 1.05″ — way better than one would expect from a stubby, lightweight, sub-compact .45 auto, but par for the course with this one.


With so much attention paid to ergonomics that it has three different textures of stippling — I’m sorry, but I can’t call it anything but “triple stipple” — this latest .45 sub-compact from Springfield Armory’s XD line is appropriately subtitled the “Grip Zone Mod.2.” Its dual mag release paddles are not only appreciated by lefties, but allow any shooter to use the trigger finger instead of the thumb to dump empty magazines, which is often the fastest way to do it. It has ambi slide stop levers, too.


I liked this gun so much when I tested my first one, I bought it. Guns magazine Editor Jeff John thought enough of this little .45 to make it the cover gun for the 60th anniversary issue of the publication. It seems to make friends of all who shoot it.

In the Hand and On the Range

Despite its stubby (3.3″) barrel and short sight radius, the good sight picture that centers on a red fiber optic front sight combines with a smooth, easy trigger pull that puts bullets where they need to go. From a Matrix rest on a concrete bench, the one I tested for Guns put five Remington 185-grain JHPs in an inch and a half, and a like number of 230-grain Winchester Ranger-Ts in 1.35″.

Like the rest of the XD/XD-M/XD-S lineup, the Mod.2 ships as a package, with a paddle holster, dual mag pouch and mag loader.
Recoil was softer than expected for a pistol this light (26 oz.) running full power .45 ACP ammo. Just how controllable was it? Well, let me put it this way. When the FBI report came out saying the Bureau felt the 9mm was just as effective as other calibers but easier for most agents to shoot faster and more accurately, a few of us wondered just how much faster and more accurate that might be. One day John Strayer, Allen Davis and I got together to find out. Two IDPA Five-Gun Masters and one Five-Gun Expert, we gathered three virtually identical Springfield XD Sub-compacts: a 9mm, a .40, and this Mod.2 .45. Each of us shot as fast as we thought we could hit and factored time with score, from “up close and personal” to 20 yards, the maximum distance for the International Defensive Pistol Association classifier course. Ammo was all “heavy for caliber”: 147-grain subsonic for 9mm, 180-grain standard pressure for the .40 S&W, and 230-grain standard pressure for the .45 ACP.


Counterintuitive as it seemed, two out of the three of us shot better with the .45 XD Mod.2 than with either the 9mm or the .40 XD Sub-compacts. Make of that what you will. My takeaway is, among other things, that the XD .45 Sub-compact Mod.2 “hits above its weight class” in terms of “shootability” and potential for delivering powerful hits on target rapidly.

Controls are large and easy to manipulate. The Grip Zone treatment features stippling in strategic areas. Reliability

Competing directly with the hugely popular Glock 30 series of small-size .45s, the XD Mod.2 .45 comes with a nine-round flush-fit mag, one round short of the G30’s ten, to achieve a shorter butt and more concealability. It’s up to the buyers which features they want to trade for. The XD .45 sub-compact also comes with a longer, 13-round X-Tension mag with grip sleeve. I found early on with this gun that if you want more bullets, you need that grip sleeve in place. With a standard full-size XD .45 13-round mag, I found if the butt was rested on something it altered the feed stack of the cartridges and caused the gun to jam. When used with the 13-rounder with grip sleeve, functioning was 100%. Also running 100% was the short nine-round mag most folks will carry in the gun for concealment purposes: no malfunctions at all, in many hundreds of assorted .45 ACP rounds.

Like all of Springfield’s sub-compact XDs, the Mod.2 gets a rail for accessories. Shown is the new Lasermax spartan laser.
The “triple stipple” gives good traction, and the XD Mod.2’s dimensions give excellent trigger reach. The only beef I had with it was that since the stippling on the backstrap is the roughest, when the gun was carried inside the waistband against bare skin under an un-tucked shirt, it would chafe when pulling the pants up, but was otherwise golden for comfort. Larger love handles than I currently have could make that worse, of course.


Priced to compete head-on with Glock, the S&W M&P, and other striker-fired sub-compact .45s ($568), this one has the advantage of being able to fire when the muzzle is at press contact with the target. This can be critical in a belly-to-belly fight for survival and I’m continually surprised that Springfield Armory doesn’t play up this feature more than they do. The On Target sample was every bit as good as the first specimen I tested. All in all, the XD Mod.2 in .45 is an excellent pistol, and gets my nomination for an Editors’ Choice Award.


Editor’s Note: This article was written by Massad Ayoob and shared with us by On Target Magazine.
 

GunMonkeyINTL

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As a reloader - handloader, I have not found distinct, across-the-board total shortages, though here and there I have found that I had to scrounge a bit more than usual to obtain various components needed to continue assembling ammunition.

Mostly what I've seen is a lot of price gouging. I'm not seeing the same types of shortages I encountered back in 2011.

***************
Admittedly, part of my success when it comes to all this is simply due to the fact that all along (that is, well before the ammo crunch of 2011 - 2013) I was busily stockpiling pretty much every component I needed to ensure that I had a sizeable supply of ammunition for the most popular cartridge type I shoot... which in my case boils down to .223/5.56mm.

Not only do I have thousands of rounds of factory ammo for that cartridge type on hand, but I have a much greater supply of already-loaded cartridges I assembled myself... and an even greater supply of components ready to be assembled into ready-to-use cartridges.

I'm also fortunate in the sense that I never liked or bothered with 9mm Parabellum... and so at least the only really *super popular* cartridge components I had to stock up for was .223/5.56mm.

Meanwhile, however I can source brass and projectiles for my true favorites-- .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum, and .38 Special-- all day long seeing as everybody and his brother moved on mostly to semiautomatic shit firing 9mm in the last couple of decades anyway.

***************​

This has left me sitting pretty-- same as I was looking good back in 2011, when all of a sudden the prices of .223/5.56 went up to about $575/1000...

Never thought I'd see the day when somebody would be asking $1000/1000 for .223 Remington. But that's what I was seeing a couple of weeks ago from the Internet dealers. The locals I do business with also featured higher prices than before... but nowhere near a buck a round for .223/5.56mm!

As of yesterday, however, ammoman.com had PMC .223 Remington ready to go for $600/840... and I also found that the same guy has a supply of Wolf Gold .223.

For those who are not familiar with this Wolf Gold shit, be advised: it is manufactured in Taiwan, and it features a brass case and is Boxer primed... meaning that it can be reloaded and no special tools are needed to install Berdan primers.

The Wolf Gold ammunition is currently priced at $720/1000, so if any of you guys are hard up enough to pay that sort of price, you know where to get it.

I do see the dropping of prices from $1000/1000 to $720/1000 to be a possible sign that things are easing somewhat already... but I'm not about to place bets in any direction.


****************​

The rest of the stuff I load for: .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum, .38 Special, .45 ACP, .270 Winchester, .300 AAC Blackout, and .300 Winchester Magnum hasn't been at all hard to source components for... not really, except for one qualifier:

Strangely, I found that .300 Win Mag brass can be ever so slightly tricky to get. And now please allow me to qualify that statement as well:

The deal there is that we have various manufacturers of what I'll call "primo" brass cartridge cases... the most famous of the primo manufactures would be Norma, Nosler, Lapua, and over about the last year or so, Hornady.

And as it happens, it's hard to find any of those four manufactures, though I finally got a line on a lot of Norma cartridges and so piled up a couple hundred of them. But for the most part, it has been easier to find Winchester, Remington, and Federal cases in .300 Win Mag.

These manufacturers mentioned just above are not considered to be as desirable to various of the cork-sniffing ammo guys out there as the more expensive manufacturers I mentioned two paragraphs above.

BUT in reality, I have found that I can achieve the same levels of accuracy with the more "prosaic" manufacturers I already mentioned... with the main differences seeming to be that the more expensive varieties tend to feature brass that's a little bit easier to work with if one has to trim the cases.

Another advantage to the more expensive shit is that the case walls at the neck tend to be perfectly concentric straight from the factory. No need to try and shave things with a Marquart tool or other device designed to create a more concentric neck configuration. The stuff trims a bit more easily, and I noticed that one gets a few more firings out of the more expensive shit before it's time to anneal than with the easier-to-obtain Winchester brass and et. al.

I do have a Hornady concentricity tool that enables me to set up more well-aligned cartridges than I produce without using the Hornady tool. It's not the same as shaving things down with a Marquart tool (or whatever else you might have), but then again: the cases last a lot longer if you don't start shaving metal away from the case neck.

I will add here that I tend to be shooting for accuracy levels that are not consistent with 300-yard benchrest shooting... because instead I tend to shoot out to 1,000 yards (especially with the .300 Winchester Magnum target rifle I own)...

But then: the gold standard at 1,000 yards for truly practical shooting is just one MOA... which is a 10" group at 1,000 yards.

This is what the commandant of the US Army's Sniper School thinks of as "the gold standard", beyond which tighter grouping is generally just a form of happenstance.

And at that, those guys are qualifying by putting a majority of rounds into a 14" circle at 1,000 yards-- and never mind washing candidates out for shooting less than 1 MOA on every string of shots.

Now, if I was one of those 300 yard benchrest guys who is shooting using a lead sled, and firing stuff like 6mm PPC at 300 yards-- while producing 5-shot cloverleafs that measure maybe .17" at that range-- I'd be more worried about perfectly concentric brass.

But my game is slightly different, and so is the equipment that I'm using... and so are the desired results.

Which all comes down to this: while I'd prefer Norma brass, or Nosler, or Lapua-- or whatever else is about the same quality... the shit is *not* essential for the level of accuracy that my personal needs generally entail.

So, while I do have some Norma and some Hornady cases for .300 Win Mag, I've got a lot more that's Winchester and Federal...

I also just took the plunge with Prvi Partizan brass-- headstamped as PPU, and made with love in Serbia. And I found that this stuff is almost exactly the same as Winchester brass when it comes to the consistency and hardness of the metal used in construction-- along with the same general tendencies when it comes to case wall thickness at the neck.

What's even nicer is that this PPU brass I got a source for is a bit less expensive than Winchester... and there's a shit-ton of the stuff available from outfits such as Powder Valley, even though your big Internet distributors (such as MidwayUSA) don't carry it at all and are apparently out of Winchester as well.

Funny thing is that Norma and Nosler brass was always a bit hard to come by, and scoring some was always a catch-as-catch-can kind of proposition... even when the ammunition situation was flush. It's simply that the stuff is (deservedly) very, very popular among the most professional of all precision shooters, yet was never produced in the kind of bulk that you see with somebody such as Winchester or Federal.

But again: I'm satisfied with the levels of performance I can extract using other brass manufacturers while setting up my most precise of all handloads.

There is, after all, an area of diminishing returns in a lot of these matters pertaining to component desirability.

Never was a brand-name guy to begin with. I always just use whatever works well enough for my purposes.

***************
So really, the only true shortages I've noticed have to do with some components related to .223/5.56mm and of course, 9mm Parabellum.

When it comes to everything else, what I've noticed is just a ridiculous jacking up of prices-- not a total dearth of availability.

This is different than what I observed in 2011 - 2013. In that particular episode, I found myself using powders that were adequate-- but not optimum-- for use with various cartridge types. For instance, I can get more velocity (with less pressure) by loading something like H-Varget or AA2230 into .223/5.56mm... but in the 2011 debacle it was close to impossible to even *find* Varget powder.

And so I was stuck messing with powders such as H4198 and a couple of others that can be used... but they're not the top performers. In some cases (such as with IMR 4064 powder), I was mollified by the fact that I can use IMR 4064 with any species of .223/5.56mm, as well as with .270 Winchester... and the stuff is even okay for use with .300 Win Mag, so long as one's bullet weights are somewhere between 110 grains and about 155 grains.

Shooting the much heavier bullets one can load into .300 Win Mag, one wants a slower powder than IMR 4064... though I did develop one loading (involving a 110-grain bullet and a shit-ton of IMR 4064) that sent that bullet out the snout of my .300WM rifle at an eye-popping 3,600 fps.

That particular loading isn't premium for shooting past about 500 yards... it simply runs out of kinetic energy too quickly to be good at the 1,000 to 1,200 yard range... but out to about 300 yards? Holy shit, it's hell on varmints. At that speed, the bullet more or less explodes when it smacks into meat and bone.

I only bought 100 bullets of that type, though. Most of what I'm doing with .300 Win Mag calls for bullets of about 168 - 208 grains. But at least I can get those all day, every day.

****************​

I also have a line on a ton of pretty much any powder I want. We've got two major reloading shops in my county, and what one doesn't have the other one does.

BUT, the prices are slightly higher for a lot of the stuff. Still, that's not at all the same as the 2011 deal, where there were a lot of components that I couldn't find at all.

These are the two reloading shops I frequent. First, in nearby Orange City we have Young's Enterprises. But my more favorite shop is the one in South Daytona, which is Southeast Reloading Supplies.

If neither of those shops has it, then I probably don't want it. I feel lucky to have two such well-stocked merchants to purchase from.

***************
Of course, the primers are the real bug in the buttermilk lately. I'm seeing them going for $150 - $175 on the Internet, and they're harder to get (though nowhere nearly so expensive as online) in my two local shops.

But that might abate quickly enough. As a result of doing business for so many years with these reloading shops, I became aware that a local regional distributor has managed to have an order of about 500 thousand primers shipped from Europe to the US... they're due to arrive next week.

These primers are supposedly Serbian-made Prvi Partisan types... but I was told to expect them to be branded as Red Army Standard. Even though the company selling this stuff is a Russian corporation, the brand known as Red Army Standard mostly features products made in five Eastern European countries, along with Poland, and so none of the stuff is actually Russian despite the brand name on the boxes the shit is shipped in.

I was told that these primers would cost more than the $25/1000 I was paying last year... BUT, that they won't be priced so ridiculously high as the shit I'm seeing the gougers on gunbroker asking for US-made primers.

***************
As a final spit I will mention that I keep an AK rifle around as a sort of "ready reserve" firearm, and because of economic reasons, I never bothered to reload the 7.62 x 39mm shit that my particular AK thinks of as food. Instead, I've always just kept a few thousand factory rounds sitting in their cases in my ammunition safe.

I have seen no shortage of AK ammo of that particular type-- though I did notice that the price has gone up by maybe 1/3rd when compared to what one would pay for 1000 rounds last year. That is, instead of paying about $225/1000 like last year, this year the vendors are wanting $340/1000.

I asked my guys at the South Daytona reloading shop whether or not to expect lower prices on that stuff, and was told that the same distributor who clinched the deal for 500K primers is currently negotiating with the Barnaul cartridge plant in Russia... but that even as this is going on, the US Army and the Lake City ammunition plant are talking to the Russians about supplying the Russian Army with 10 million of the 5.45 x 39mm cartridges the Russians are currently using in their current-issue AK74 rifles...

This possible deal has muddied the waters somewhat. Last I heard, the guy trying to pick up a million or so rounds of 7.62 X 39mm AK47 ammunition is getting a different story every time he talks to his business associate in Russia. One day they've got 'em, the next day they're not sure... :dunno:

Apparently we've got some boardroom decisions that have to be made before anybody has a sure grip on this latest thing involving US manufacturers supplying Russia and various of the Eastern European nations with 5.45 X 39mm...

****************​

It's just one big tangle to me. Not sure what's true and what's not true when it comes to all this...

Time will tell. But at least I can say that at this moment in time, I'm in possession of more powder, primers, cases, and shot than I ever had as a stash before.

So, I can go for at least a couple of years without resupply of any type unless we get into a true SHTF situation.

Of course, sitting pat on my current stash is by no means my wont in life and so I do continue to pile shit up.

Last but not least: I got a line on an enormous supply of 75-grain FMJ BT bullets in .224", which is nice because that's what I use when loading precision cartridges for an AR15 target rifle I built last Winter.

***************​

Doing pretty good all the way around I'd say. For now, anyway.

I do hope that the more optimistic appraisals turn out to be more true than false anyway.

You know for sure that most anything you hear has at least a dab of shit in it, even when it's mostly true. The next couple of weeks should be pretty interesting around here.

--R
Say the word if you ever get short on .300 WM brass, brother. What you get may be stamped “Barnes”, but it is Norma, too.
 

MiniB

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One more IDPA match - prob 130 rounds 9mm, one more 'class 3' (full/semi auto pistol caliber carbine) shoot - prob 80 rds 9mm (two short stages), and then one more steel shoot rimfire, prob 200-250 rds. Maybe one more IDPA or USPSA during winter....but otherwise I'm sitting on the ammo I have left.

I think things will get back towards 'normal', but it will be a while. Will just have to practice more guitar.
 
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