Buy It Cheap, Stack it Deep
Let's just get this out of the way. People are strange. Yep. That includes me. We often don't act in our own self interest, even when we know that's what we're doing. That's a pretty deep subject, and I can't help with the inner issues, but I can help you stop making a mistake right now.
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Unless you got into shooting only in the last three years you remember when the shelves were empty at gun stores. Hardly any guns, and ammo was nearly impossible to find. The frenzy to buy, at any price, was crazy. A friend told me he spotted a case of .223 ammo and grabbed it off the show floor. He had bought it and was headed out of the store before he remembered that he didn't own any firearm that would shoot .223 ammo. That's how crazy it was.
I was shooting this week with a friend who buys ammo in bulk. To be fair, he shoots a lot, but it's nothing for him to buy 5,000 to 10,000 rounds of a particular caliber. We were shooting suppressed rimfire rifles and pistols. I had a new Ruger 10/22 with an integral suppressor, and I was trying to find out which ammo it "liked." For whatever reason, 22 rimfire rifles tend to be particular, and one brand of ammo might shoot into a third the size group as another. Not a case of bad versus good ammo, but just what that rifle shoots well.
I had brought four different loads to the range, but my friend Dan had some subsonic hollowpoint ammo he's been using for squirrel hunting. Not the absolute most accurate, he said, but good enough, and with impressive terminal performance. I tried some of his, and my new rifle started shooting tiny 25-yard groups. So... I immediately went online and bought a brick (500 rounds) and said I'd split his next order of 5,000 rounds.
Here's the thing. Ammo is plentiful and cheap these days. Shop around and you'll find rimfire ammo everywhere, and the prices are less than half what we were paying five years ago. (Except for the few stores which didn't raise prices.) Heck, I remember one store breaking down 50-round boxes of Long Rifle and selling them 10 at a time!
Not that I'm advocating hoarding (well, maybe just a little), but "Buy it cheap and stack it deep" isn't a bad idea. Along with that, start shooting more. A lot more. This week I got in some sporting clays as well as the .22 Ruger, a .22 CZ rifle, a Sig P365, and a sweet Walther 9mm my buddy let me shoot.
If "buy low and sell high" is a good concept in everything else, maybe "buy low and shoot a lot" is our variation. Put another way, you can shoot twice as much for the same dollars now as you could only a few years ago. Shoot up all your ammo. Replacements are everywhere, and affordable, and it's just plain fun to burn it up. Plus, it's in your own best interest to buy now, while prices are down. ~ Tom
Author, outdoorsman, gun rights activist, and firearms enthusiast for more than five decades, Tom Gresham hosts Tom Gresham's Gun Talk, the first nationally-syndicated radio show about guns and the shooting sports, and is also the producer and co-host of the Guns & Gear, GunVenture and First Person Defender television series.