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CHRISTMAS AMMO — 18 Comments

  1. This Christmas is going to be a fun one around my neck of the woods. My uncle lost his two most precious firearms in a fire at his cabin. Everything else was at home, but these two were stored in a ‘safe’ up there. I couldn’t replace both – but I was able to locate a mint Smith 28-2 Highway Patrolman identical to his that he was always very proud of. He carried it for several years as an officer before transitioning to become a fireman.
    I also located some pachmayr presentation grips just like what he had on it. It’s as close a copy as I could find. Wife and I going to sneak it under their Christmas tree from jolly old St. Nick.

  2. Well uncle Mas, this one is timely. See, my 24 year old stepson, in no way a gun person, wants to give me…ammo for Christmas. Think I’ll request some .40 VCrown.

  3. Love the article. I remember the HR 20 gauge and Iver Johnson break top I received from my dad at my12th Christmas. Wish I still had them but he more than mad up for them over the years!

  4. Hmmm . . . an observation from an armchair pistolero: defensive handgun ammunition compromised by repeated chamberings during loading and unloading? Is this an point in favour for a revolver?

    • Hmmm… Yes! Or consign any semi-auto round that has any kind of a ding to the practice batch.

  5. Comment from an armchair pistolero: defensive handgun ammunition compromised by repeated chamberings during loading & unloading? Is this a point in favour of the revolver?

    • Just my opinion but I always felt that this was a solid point in favor of revolvers. I have never liked to leave the magazines of semi-auto pistols fully loaded for any great length of time. This means that one must generally buy some extra magazines and come up with some plan for systematic unloading and rotation of the magazines. Furthermore, one must also come up with a plan to use up and rotate the ammunition due the possible problems caused by repeatedly loading the same rounds into the chamber. In effect, using a semi-auto for either home defense or concealed carry means that one must either (1) be rigorous about making and keeping a schedule of magazine and ammo rotation or else (2) be ‘happy-go-lucky’ and just ignore possible spring compression and bullet setback problems and keep using the same magazines and ammo without regard to any rotation plan.

      Revolvers do not force one into this Schedule or Slob choice. One can load up a revolver and associated speed-loaders / speed-strips and (since no springs are compressed anywhere and no great slam-force is applied to the ammo) just leave them alone for months or years if desired. One can keep a concealed carry revolver and extra ammo ready to ‘grab and go’ without spending 15 minutes of ‘prep-time’ finding ammo and loading magazines as is required for semi-auto’s.

      Of course, even with a revolver, one should eventually rotate out the old rounds and load up some fresh ones. However, the pressure to do it on a strict time-table does not exists as it does with a semi-auto.

      It is just my opinion but I feel that these are real advantages. So, while I own several semi-auto pistols for range use, it is revolvers that I keep loaded and ready for home defense and concealed carry. I KNOW that my revolvers will go ‘BAMG’ if called upon in an emergency with no need to worry about magazine spring compression or ammo that has been chambered too many times.

  6. One thing I always do with factory defensive ammunition is to lightly taper crimp every pistol cartridge and seal the primers with red nail polish. Of the higher grade brands of defensive handgun ammo, only Remington Golden Saber and some calibers of Federal Hydra-Shok have sealed primers and none are taper crimped. The case mouths of some brands are even still flared. Revolvers function fine with these rounds, but pistols may hang up and/or push the bullets into the cases when feeding and I want absolute reliability in my serious ammo. Check every cartridge before loading them in your gun and extra magazines. I’ve found deformed bullets and damaged cases in rounds of ammo from reputable brands like Federal, Remington, Speer, and Winchester, but none from SIG yet as it’s fairly new and I have only shot maybe a dozen boxes total in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP calibers.

    • Be careful crimping semiauto cartridges like .45 ACP. They index on the case mouth. That is, the case goes into the chamber until the case mouth hits the end of the chamber. With an aggressive crimp the cartridge may not fit properly.

  7. Your article sure brought back some old Christmas memories!

    Thanks, and Merry Christmas to all of you!

  8. Ammo…YES! And for an added bonus; Magazines! LOTS of magazines to help with our training. (You DO go to the range more than once a year, don’t you?)
    Thanks for sharing your special memories. Merry Christmas to all, and many Blessings for a Happy, Healthy New Year!

  9. If you aren’t sure what a shooter wants, ask. If they aren’t sure what they want, a gift certificate for a class may be in order; even if it’s a promise for you to take them to a range and let them fire a variety of firearms.

    Every year I get half a dozen students with a gifted gun. Usually six of the givers get it wrong. That’s one reason I teach a “Buying Your First Handgun” class.

    Had a couple take a first shots class last spring, “for her.” Guy bought his “little lady” a .380, but got HimSelf a Nine Millimeter. After shooting both, the quite capable lady decided she liked his gun better.
    Power shift.
    He looked at me, I told him that buying himself the same model she liked meant they could swap magazines and use the same ammo. If he wanted His & Hers he could get a different color.
    She perked up. “They come in colors?”

    Of course, gifting a more advanced class isn’t a bad idea, either.

  10. Since it’s true that bullets can get pushed back in the case, when frequently chambered and ejected, I might be inclined to just leave that pistol loaded for as long as possible. Why unload it at night? Either way, it makes sense to visually inspect those cartridges often.

  11. Have a neighbor who lives alone and was widowed 3 years ago. Each Christmas since her husband passed away, I gift her with an ammo can filled with three boxes of 16ga #6 shot for her Browning “Sweet Sixteen” and a couple of boxes of .38spec semi-wadcutters for her Ruger Speed-six. She’s 76 years old, and coons and possums enter her yard at extreme risk. She is wheel chair bound, but doesn’t let that slow her down. She gets her deer every year and cans the meat. Last year she gifted me with a set of hand made skinning and butcher knives that her deceased husband’s grand parents brought with them when they immigrated from Scandinavia.