Someone asked me a question in email, and I thought that I’d mention it and my response here since it seems somewhat related to things in this blog.
Fella has a half pound of powder and half a brick of primers for reloading. He bought them many years ago and was wondering if theyd be okay to use after all this time. They’d been stored in basement-style conditions and the packaging seemed okay. Good to use, yes or no?
I’d have had a much better response if I had seen them, but I said that since it would only cost $30 to replace the components in question it might be worth thirty bucks for the peace of mind. In all likelihood they’d be fine, but why take the chance for only $30?
So…you’re stocking up on ammo and components. Best way to store them for that future rainy decade? Store them in the orginal containers and then put those in an airtight, watertight, crushproof container. Military ammo cans work best for these tasks since, no surprise, that’s what they were designed for. No need for a $200 Pelican case, just head down to the local surplus store and grab some .50 cal. Cans and some 40mm cans if you can find them. They’ll be all you’ll ever need. If you’re the cautious type, store the primers and powder separately.
You can fit a reloading press, dies, brass, powder, bullets and scale in a 40mm can if you pack it carefully. That’s everything you need to keep your firearms fed all contained in a portable nuke-proof container.
Properly stored (meaning out of the wet, out of the damp, out of the heat)the stuff will last at least a couple decades. Don’t think so? We routinely shoot surplus ammo from the 1940-1960’s.
Gun show this weekend. Saw some 10-rd mags for the Saiga-12 shotguns. I’ve been fascinated with those things for a while now and wouldn’t mind getting one to try. I like the notion of a detachable magazine 12 gauge.
My use for shotguns is very limited. My particular Area of Operations is a mountainous part of Montana. Eastern Montana, which is generally as flat as a cookie sheet, has plenty of bird hunting opportunities but my locale is more elk-deer-bear oriented. I do have one 870 with a long barrel and a Dial-A-Duck (polychoke) on the end. I don’t think Ive shot it in years.
No, my use for a shotgun is purely defensive. For that sort of thing I like the pump Remingtons and Mossbergs. The Mossbergs can usually be had cheaply and are very good guns. I prefer pumps most of the time because I have a variety of shotgun ammo…esp. ‘less than lethal’ ammo. Sometimes its nice to make your point without leaving a lot of problems in your wake. Imagine you’re in KatrinaLand and you’re packing up your vehicle. You head back inside for another load of gas cans and when you come out theres three guys peering in the window of your truck and trying the doors. Now, you could yell and wave the barrel of your shotgun around which may or may not chase them off – it may simply embolden them (the classic “Go ahead and shoot me!” scene), or you could start launching 00 buck at them and leave yourself open to a number of after-incident headaches. Alternatively, you start tromboning the action and launching rubber pellets downrange. I would bet that when the booming starts and the bad guys see an angry vehicle owner walking towards them firing a shotgun they’ll exercise the better part of valor in a hurry. And if not, well, that’s what sidearms are for.
Anyway, my point is that I like the flexibility of non-standard ammo and theres not a lot of autos out there that’ll eat anything without fail and lend themselves to the level of customization and modification of a Mossberg or Remington.
On the other hand, there may be times when a wall of lead is the best course of action and in that case an autoloader would be nice. Mossbergs ‘Jungle Gun’ sounds interesting but it is apparently no longer made. Custom makers like Wilson offer uber-scatterguns but Im just a poor working guy. A simple synthetic stock, some sights and a magazine extension are about all Im going to need on my autoloader.
Other goodies at the show this trip include beta-mags (Ive heard mixed reviews on them, I think I’ll pass), parachute flares (got plenty, don’t need anymore thanks), AR accessories in large quantity (again, doing pretty good), AR mags (prices averaging around $15. But I still have plenty of the Cproducts ones from the last group buy), and a few other items. Most importantly, nothing that I really needed. Stuff I wanted, sure; but not needed.
I still have a pretty broad selection of freezedrieds available (pouches and cans) as well as a pretty healthy amount of new AR mags. If anyone is interested, feel free to email.