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Ammunition Prepping


Just a few days ago, the fools in our government once again took another bite out of our ability to enjoy our rights as firearm owners. Curtailing the imports of modest priced (if there is such a thing) ammunition will only further drive up the demand and price of the ammunition that we can buy.
I’d like to think of myself as a pretty prepared person, I keep the Scout motto somewhere near the forefront of my mind. So as soon as I was old enough to reason (probably about 25) I decided it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start my career as a prepper. It wasn’t food stuffs, MRE’s, and cans of beans, though there have been a few of each stashed under my roof over the years. No, my focus was directed at something far more valuable than bagged Vietnam era pork with rice in BBQ sauce. I had enough foresight, and knew myself well enough that I would need lots of ammo in the future. Precious metals like lead and copper have an incredible value on a stressed market, and if things get bad enough that I find myself tearing open that brown bag of pork, I image the value will quadruple overnight.

I’m sure every one of us has thought about building a time machine, and traveling back to the nineties and filling a U-Haul truck with $80 cases of 7.62X39. I still find myself wanting for the good old days like that. But the secret to living well, and by that I mean plenty of ammo, doesn’t involve time machines or wishes, It’s all about action.

Guns without ammunition are useless, with that in mind I present my first rule of Ammo Prepping.

Buy When You Can, Not When in Need
The middle of an ammo crunch is the worst time to buy, if you find yourself searching for stores for your favorite ammo, you’ve already lost. Buy ammo when it’s cheap and plentiful, I remember when ammo was everywhere I would swing by the ammo counter anytime I went in a Walmart. Typically I’d score a brick of .22 or something similar, but there is also the occasional pound of powder there or something.
There are also lots of smaller outlets like small town hardware stores and such. In my former job I did a lot of traveling, and I’d take advantage to swing by every little sporting goods store out in the country. I got quite a few deals on old bullets, and other things that they would have in stock because nobody bought it there.

Make what you cant buy
When I cant buy ammo, I buy components. Handloading is an incredible value to those of us who do it, every good prepper should know how and have the means to make his own ammo. I apply the same rules here as I did to ammo, buy it when you can. Ammunition components are everywhere, and it never hurts to stock up on whatever you can. There is only so much of the stuff, and it will never be worth nothing. Become the range troll that picks up all the brass, I have done quite a bit of trading and come out ahead every time. I have a huge spectrum of components, dies, brass, and other things for firearms I don’t even own. This works out really nice because I can trade for things I can use, or help out friends when they are in a pinch. You can never have too much.

Buy in bulk
It’s probably been over a decade since I bought a standard box of twenty rifle cartridges, and even that was likely an anomaly. Same thing with buying components, I try not to buy boxes of a hundred. When I buy a box of bullets its usually by 500 or more. Of course you might be thinking; anybody can do that if you have enough money, which is true. I always try to set aside a little ammo fund so that when the occasional good deal pops up, I can splurge where it counts, in bulk. You’d be surprised how far your money will go when its spent in the right places.
Whether it be a yard sale with a case of primers innocently underpriced, or a wholesale opportunity, or some other opportunity, be prepared.

Make sure you keep mainstream
By this I mean make sure you have mainstream chambered firearms. If you’ve followed me for long you are probably aware of all the bastard wildcats and oddities I shoot. But I also have several rifles in the commonest of cartridges, I’ve got two precision 223 Remington’s, and of course my MDRX that also shoots 223 like a house on fire. Not only that, if I had to survive the rest of my life using only 223 chambered rifles, I certainly could. And the same goes for 308, I’ve got several precision rifles as well as semi-autos that shoot this extremely common cartridge.
And it never hurts to have multiple rifles in these common chamberings. I purchased two rifles back in the good ol’ days, chambered in 7.62×39, one is an AK variant, and the other an SKS. At the time, I paid just over $400 dollars for the pair, which is amazing by todays standards. But what I wouldn’t give to go back and buy more ammo for them, luckily the Coldboremiracle of the past was smart enough to buy several thousand rounds for each of them.

Get preppin
Hopefully you’ve learned your lesson during this last ammo crunch. Start making preparations for the next one, because it will surely come. Learn how to handload, find alternative suppliers, create a pool of ammo that could see you and your family through the apocalypse. That’s been my goal, if the world as we know it ended today and I had to live the rest of my life with what I have on hand, for the next forty years I could shoot a couple deer, a whole den of marmots, and a dozen or so zombies if they lined up just right, and still have a couple left over for blue-helmets if needed.

-CBM

WHAT GEAR DO I NEED FOR AN ELK HUNT?

Elk hunting is a dream hunt for many of us and I am lucky enough to have had the chance over and over throughout the years. If an elk hunt is on your list of must-do hunts, I have put together my thoughts on the gear you won’t want to be without when you go. Of course, a good gun and the right ammo are always the right start, but there’s other gear you’ll also want to have on hand.

The Rocky Mountains are a bountiful and impressive place to hunt, whether you are after monster mulies, elk, or one of the other beautiful species herein, it can be quite a job. Today we’ll speak specifically about the elk hunting side of it and the differences you should know between elk hunting and smaller animals like deer. Continue Reading here…

Impact Velocity, and its effects.

Don’t miss the video at the end of this article

With modern rifles and bullets, the distances we shoot at animals keeps creeping further and further out. But as bullets travel further away, they lose more and more velocity. How much they lose, and how fast they impact is a very important subject when it comes to cleanly killing an animal. We’ve killed many animals over the years, and its an interesting and important subject. And one particular instance is one I’d like to discuss today.

Last fall, a friend of mine shot a small deer at 900 yards with a 6.5 Creedmoor using a 143 ELDX. This was certainly towards the end of the envelope of energy and velocity for that combo, but it did the job as good as one could hope. The deer took a single shot quartering away, the impact hit just behind the rib cage and passed completely through the animal, exiting through the front of the chest. The heart was punctured, and the deer made it about forty yards before tumbling down the hillside. Everything looked textbook as far as killing it cleanly and quickly. The impact velocity was right around 1800 FPS which according to Hornady should have been enough to open the bullet.

After much hiking to get to the deer, we found a massive blood trail and a perfectly perforated buck. We retraced his steps, as well as the video we recorded looking to see all the details. I was absolutely amazed when as we stood there recounting the events, I looked down to see the bullet laying there in the dirt, not far from where the deer lay dead. The bright copper shown against the damp hillside. Even though the bullet had hit a rock after exiting the deer, it had come to rest nearby. Our immediate impression was “that doesn’t look right”. The bullet had barely opened at all, it had only lost its plastic tip, and bent the front of the bullet off to one side. On further inspection back at the house, the bullet weighed 142.3 grains. Probably just the weight of the lost plastic tip.

The recovered 143 ELDX weighed 142.3 grains

Despite the bullet not opening as best we could tell, it still did plenty of damage. But it seems the 1800 FPS in this instance wasn’t enough to cause sufficient deformation of the bullet. This is one of the reasons I like to use “softer” bullets when shooting long-range, they are much easier to rupture.

Note the hole through the heart of the deer mentioned

Impact velocity greatly effects the bullets ability to do damage. I have found several bullets in elk over the years, that obviously didn’t do the job. Whoever shot those bullets may still be scratching their head wondering what happened. Bullets can fail to perform just like anything else, which is one reason why I stress shot placement so often. This event is a perfect example why, even though the bullet did not rupture as designed, it still made a hole through the most vital of organs, causing a quick death for the animal in question.

Distance to the target, and the impact velocity of any given bullet is just one of the many things marksmen need to take into account when evaluating a firing solution. Another anecdote featuring the same bullet; a friend of mine shot a cow elk at approximately 600 yards, the bullet impacted broadside passing through both lungs and stopping in the offside shoulder. Again this one had lost its tip, and barely opened. The cow made it into the trees a few dozen yards, where it lay down and expired. In this case one would surely expect the bullet to have opened, as the impact was likely in the 2200 FPS range. And again, due to good shot placement, it worked despite the bullet not opening.

These are of course a couple of anecdotal examples, and surely not a full representation of this particular bullets performance. But it is certainly food for thought, and something to keep in mind. I have gone into much more detail on the subject in this article about shot placement, I’d invite you to read that one as well, and we can carry on the discussion.
I hope these discussions are helpful, the game we hunt deserve the best skillset we can prepare to avoid undue suffering.

-CBM

What Cant Can Do

Someday, we’ll have energy weapons just like in the movies. And said energy weapons will of course defy all of our common understanding when it comes to ballistics and projectiles, at least that’s what the movies have taught me. But until the day that lasers and blasters like Han Solo carried become common and cheap enough for us common folk to use, we will likely be stuck with projectiles. I say that like its some tragedy, but today we sit at the cutting edge of current technology.
As long as we are using projectiles pushed down barrels by propellant, with a scope mounted on top and a bipod mounted underneath, we are going to have to keep cant on our minds. Continue Reading Here…

Antelope Lomo Saltado

I’ve been lucky enough to see many other parts of the world we live in, and I love bringing back tasty meals from the places I’ve been. I think its a habit I inherited from my Mother and her travels.
On today’s menu is one of my favorite dishes from the beautiful country of Perú. Lomo Saltado is a dish made of beef, though alpaca is also a likely a popular in some areas. My lovely wife decided she was going to to whip up a homemade version of my favorite Peruvian dish, and she knocked it out of the park. It all started with a a very tender pronghorn antelope loin (lomo in Spanish), this particular loin came from one of the antelope my wife shot herself last fall. It was her first time shooting a big game animal, and it was an exciting adventure for both of us, I’d recommend you click here to read that story.
Since taking her own game, and helping butcher it, she has taken great pride in cooking what she has killed. Making it into delicious meals for the family.

After thawing the antelope loin from the freezer, it was sliced into thin strips. The meat was placed in a bowl where it was marinated with a few ingredients, obviously salt and pepper to your liking, then a quarter cup or so of soy sauce, and an equal amount of oyster sauce. Follow that with a similar portion of your favorite oil, I like avocado oil but use whatever you like. The meat mixture is usually marinated overnight in the fridge until dinner time.

Fries or chips take a bit longer to make, so its probably a good idea to get your fries cooked before cooking the meat. White rice is also part of the dish, so you’ll want to have your rice ready by then as well.

Oil your frying pan, and add a course chopped red onion to the pan. Once the onion begins to turn translucent, its time to add the meat mixture and some minced garlic. On fairly high heat you want to brown the meat, and give it nice dark edges. Once the liquid reduces down a bit, your almost ready to serve, but first you’ll add your tomatoes. My wife used whole cherry tomatoes out of our garden, which was an amazing idea. I don’t like the tomatoes overcooked, so we add them right at the end to avoid them being completely reduced. And the whole cherry tomatoes held their beautiful shape and flavor all the way to the plate. You want to leave a bit of the sauce liquid at the bottom of the pan, it goes perfectly with the rice and fries.

Serve a compressed cup of rice turned over onto the plate, and top it with some chopped cilantro. Then you can add your fresh and hot fries, and top them with the meat mixture and a bit of the sauce from your pan. Make sure to top the whole thing with more fresh chopped cilantro.

This outstanding dish could be made with any red meat obviously, but the fact that it was made from antelope made it even better. Many people have a bad taste in their mouth when it comes to antelope, if you’d like some tips on overcoming that perspective, I’d recommend reading ‘Make that Slaughterhouse a Slaughter-home’ for some great ideas on ensuring your game tastes as good as it should. Thanks for reading along, hope you enjoy what you’ve killed as much as we do.

Barrel Twist and Other Wizardry

Everybody knows about barrel-twist right? The most basic feature that makes a rifle a rifle is often a very overlooked subject, and one that today we will dive into a bit more. But first, are you one of the many shooters out there who is under-twisted?

What is a Twist?

For those following the conversation that may not have a perfect understanding of the concept, lets state it clearly. Lands and grooves are the interior features of a rifle barrel, they are like threads to a screw but they run the length of the barrel. If you’ve ever looked down the bore of a rifle, you’ve seen the long twisted lines that force a bullet to rotate as it accelerates. Barrel twist is specified to dictate a bullets rate of rotation (or spinning). Much like the threads on a screw, the rifling in a barrel are cut to a specific rotational value to stabilize the bullets that will be fired down the bore. For every inch down the bore traveled by a bullet, it is rotated along its axis a certain degree, just how much depends on how aggressive the twist rate is. The twist rate is universally referred to as ONE rotation in every XX.X (numerical denomination), such as one rotation every ten inches (1-10). So if your barrel is a 1-10 (common parlance: “one-in-ten”) twist, and twenty inches long, it will have completed (in theory) two complete rotations by the time it leaves the muzzle. Continue reading here…

More Guns, or Multi-caliber Guns?

We can all agree that firearms are as addicting as any hobby, the only part we might argue with is how long it takes for the newness to wear off from our latest new toy. And as soon as it does, we find ourselves again seeking to justify reasons for another. I often draw a parallel to women’s shoes; sure, any pair of shoes will cover your feet, but ladies often have a different pair for jogging, walking, the gym, fancy walking or walking the dog. And those of us with a firearm addiction might have a similar situation with our guns, we might have three different rifles for deer hunting depending on how we plan to hunt any particular day.

One rifle chassis, untold options

This may be a luxury for some, and a dream for others. But today we are going to talk about how multi-caliber rifles can make that dream a luxurious reality.

Most of us could probably get by with a handful of firearms, for example; a deer rifle, a shotgun, a .22 and maybe a varmint rifle like an AR of some sort. But let’s be honest, none of us would be completely satisfied with a humble collection like that. Most firearm aficionados have many more than a few in similar categories, and others have piles of rifles of every kind.
But today we are talking about multi-caliber rifles, a rifle that can switch from one caliber to another. Multi-caliber rifles have been around for some time, but they have become extremely popular over the last decade or so.

But how can a multi-caliber rifle make your life better? Continue Reading Here…

QD Suppressors VS. Direct thread

We keep hitting on suppressors here on the blog, partially because we are suckers for suppressors, and also because everybody else is also joining the trend. Some trends are just trends, but the suppressor craze is one I can get behind fully. One of the big questions many new suppressor users ask, and one that often still perplexes those of us after decades is; should I get a direct thread can, or a brake mounted one? Hopefully by the time your done reading this, you’ll have a suitable answer. Continue Reading Here…