In the Land of Empty 5.56’s…

..the man with a .30-06 is king.

In my recent trips to the local purveyors of ballistic consumables, the .30-06 seems to be one of the few cartridges that are reliably in stock.  Apparently, it’s common enough to have been produced in sufficient quantities before the panic to have a plentiful back stock but not quite popular enough to have too many people trying to hoard it.*

A year ago, I had separate conversations with two friends about a more efficient approach to preparedness.  In each case I heard them say that keeping up with multiple types of ammunition wasn’t practical and that they were considering standardizing their firearms in the most common calibers: .22LR, 9mm, .45ACP, 5.56 / .223, .308 and 12 gauge.  The theory being that these cartridges would also be the most plentiful and therefore easiest to obtain in times of emergency. **

Now that seems laughable but at the time, that made fairly good sense.  However, in those conversations I would invariably play the smart aleck and say something like, “Or you could take the opposite approach and get one of everything.  That way, when TEOTWAWKI happens and all you can find is a single box of 6.5 Swede, you’ll still be able to kick ass.”

I confess to having a slight affinity towards the packrat lifestyle [I’m not a hoarder; all my stuff might be useful someday].  Perhaps my comments to friends were a way to justify my own predilection towards ammo diversification.  Last year when I was trying to budget for a new optic, I briefly considered selling my Charter Arms Bulldog to partly fund the purchase.  I didn’t because I’ve watched, and at times participated in, the great buying panics of pre and post AWB 1994, Y2K, the primer expiration date scare, the powder taggant scare, the ‘legislate the gun industry out of business scare’, and the elections of 2008, and 2012.  Looking at the old .44 Special snubby I thought, “No. If it comes down to it, I can always use my Cowboy Action handloads (to feed it).”

In late 2008, thinking that my Glock 17 gen 2 was too big for carry, I decided I needed to add a Glock 23 gen 3 to my battery. News of Glock’s gen 4 models was coming out and the early reports were not stellar.  Compounding that, the first BHO buying rush was in full swing and, like today, most Glock models were very scarce.  I happened across a lonely Glock 32 (.357 Sig) for $399 NIB and snapped it up.  I ordered a KKM .40 S&W barrel for $165 and for about the price of the gun I originally wanted, I now had a swap-caliber pistol.  Because I had it, I shot .357 Sig ammo and learned that I actually like everything about the cartridge except it’s cost and I also learned that the .40 S&W isn’t have-all-end-all I thought it would be.   Much like today, Glock 19’s were nowhere to be found but neither was 9mm ammo.  .357 Sig ammunition was expensive but available and that let me keep shooting.  Fast forward to today, there is still ammo out there to use it just may not your preferred flavor.  And that is the crux of the matter: You must keep shooting.  Shooting skills are perishable, so even if it’s expensive, has a limited round count or even if it’s with an Airsoft replica, we all need to make the effort to stay on our game.  You want might use Tiger McKee’s advice on how to structure a 50 round practice session.  If you need further support, Alan might be starting up a self-help group for you.

Finally [and I will keep beating this drum], don’t accept that this is the new norm: Keep fighting it!  Let this be the line in the sand.  Join the NRA.  Write your reps and call them.  Tell them, “No new gun laws: Not Assault Weapon Bans, Not magazine limits, Not the ‘universal background check’ (national registry, end to private sales).”  Tell them we will not be scapegoated for the actions of a murderer and that we are watching: “Work with us or we will work to retire you”.  Renew your commitment to do this each week for at least the next 8 weeks.

Together we can push back the current gun ban efforts and eventually return to the good ole days when the hard choice was which hand guard to put on your AR-15.

*Or there is a comment to be made that it is available only because folks don’t think .30-06 is in high demand.

** This is apart from the ‘systems approach’ consideration of functional similarity. (i.e if you prefer pump actions, have multiple  pump actions. The thinking is that if you prefer striker fired pistols without external safeties, stay with those to avoid having to negotiate different mechanisms and manuals of arms under stress.)

2 Responses

  1. My Winchester 94 is chambered for 357/38, my Ruger Sp101 is a 357/38, and my Ruger LCR is a 357/38. I have enough ammo stored at home and I can still find 357 and 38 on the shelves at local stores and online. I have enough .22OLR ammo (for now) for my Browning Buckmark .22LR and wish I had bought more. My next gun will be a .22 bolt-action rifle and the one after that a 12 gauge combo-shotgun with 18″ and 26″ barrels.

  2. I have a M-1 garand in .30.06. Ball ammo is hard to get but plenty of hunting ammo.

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