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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Stealing @animalspooker 's idea, with a twist.

You have to pick only one caliber to secure food, protect against threats, etc.

BUT you can only use the crappiest commercial ammo offered in that caliber. If you choose .22, that means Winchester white box forever. If you pick 7.62X39, you are probably stuck with Vympel (that sometimes blows primers) or the C-grade Tula they sell in white boxes.

What caliber are you picking for all your survival needs, and why?

As I stated in the other thread, .45 Colt is my choice, because the crappiest .45 ammo still isn't THAT bad (Winchester Cowboy), and it is a pretty good all-around choice. Now that I think about it, though, 7.62x39 isn't a bad option either, especially with an SKS, with the occassional blown primer being a possibility.

Rules:
1. Whatever ammo you choose is plentiful, and you have all of it you'll ever need.
2. Only commercial ammo; no surplus, handloads, or reloads.
3. Must be a reasonably common caliber. If you choose a niche, exotic, or otherwise rare cartridge, and there are only a few highly precision companies that make it, that would be cheating. 5.7 FN borders on this.
 

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In your scenario I would have to opt for a wheel gun due to the crappy / unreliable ammo and possibly misfires, a magazine fed pistol would be a no go. So, I'd go with the .357 in a double action revolver, although I did waffle on a 45 Long Colt for a bit.
 

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In your scenario I would have to opt for a wheel gun due to the crappy / unreliable ammo and possibly misfires, a magazine fed pistol would be a no go. So, I'd go with the .357 in a double action revolver, although I did waffle on a 45 Long Colt for a bit.
357 is good because even though ammo might vary in size there is a lot of industry variation in cylinder size. Lots of folks think SAAMI specs are followed, nope, just a range. Example. Below is a pic of my SW Model 60 /357. It will take all 357, 38 spec, 38 super, 38 short colt and even 38 SW if you run them thru a 38 spec sizing did.

But the only other similar size 38 that will take the 38 SW is a model 637 about a dozen years old. None of my other 38s or 357s will fit the little 38 sw, and they should not because it is a bigger round st the base. They work in the newer Guns, not the old ones. So a modern 357 would be my one choice if gun.

The 38 Super is not safe in the 38 Spec gus but the original semi rim can work in most 357s, and of course the short and long colt rounds work in all 38 and 357.

So my thought is there us just a lot of ways you could make a 357 work if ammo gets short.

I do second the motion On 7.62x 39. I have a folding stock Mini 3o that I have killed deer with, I have a great 7.62x39 AR, and AK, and SKS and a bolt action. There are just too many ammo sources for that one and it is far superior to my 5.56 or 300 BLK. With 150 grain bullets it will take elk, and it kills commies very well. So it would work great too.

How about a 357 on the belt and mini 30 for real work?
 

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I'm with Freedom Fighter. Looking at one of the revolver/lever action calibers. .327 Fed or 32 H&R Magnum perhaps. How bad can crap ammo be when your top range is 50-100 yards (bad, I know)?

Back to RFFs comment on 38Super...can I shoot that out of my .357, without making adjustments, straight outta the box? And when you say 38 Super, do you mean Super Auto?
 

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I have quite a few rifles that shoot the 7.62x39. I have shot so many cheaper brands and imported stuff like Silver Bear, Brown Bear, Tulammo, and stuff from so many countries and FMJ, Hollow Point, Lead point and non magnetic tip to metal core. German, Russian, Bosnia, and many more. It shoots dirty but I have never had a jam or primers blow. I have used box stuff and spam cans and it all shoots for me. I would have to go for this Caliber
 

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As much as I would love to I'm not going to do a rehash for the X39. Instead I'll jump to my backup for the Russian 54R . It predates the X39 and in much the same way I don't care what brand of ammo it is or where it's from, it just works in my Mosins & PSL dmr ie: Big Boy AK 😃 ...
 

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Yes, the x54r would be a good choice. Similarly the 8mm Mauser. The cheapest and worst ammo for the Mauser is low powered spam can ammo. The newer spam can ammo was made to lower power levels, something about it being possible to use it mistakenly in a similar weapon. A safety thing. Even those lower powered rounds were loaded to 30-30 power levels.
The cheap surplus Yugo stuff on the other hand, was some hot ammo, corrosive, of course.
To be honest, I have never shot modern commercial ammo in either a Mosin or a Mauser. So crappy old surplus stuff is normal with them to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, the x54r would be a good choice. Similarly the 8mm Mauser. The cheapest and worst ammo for the Mauser is low powered spam can ammo. The newer spam can ammo was made to lower power levels, something about it being possible to use it mistakenly in a similar weapon. A safety thing. Even those lower powered rounds were loaded to 30-30 power levels.
The cheap surplus Yugo stuff on the other hand, was some hot ammo, corrosive, of course.
To be honest, I have never shot modern commercial ammo in either a Mosin or a Mauser. So crappy old surplus stuff is normal with them to me.
Since the only choice is commercial ammo, that wouldn't be a problem.

You ever get in to any of that WWII surplus Turk or Egyptian stuff? Man, it was hot. I fired one round of Turk that made me see stars, and just about crippled my shoulder for a week.

We took apart a round. It was supposed to be loaded with sticks of powder, but the stuff inside had turned to fine talcum powder, and a match set a pinch of it up like a magnesium flare.
 

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Since the only choice is commercial ammo, that wouldn't be a problem.

You ever get in to any of that WWII surplus Turk or Egyptian stuff? Man, it was hot. I fired one round of Turk that made me see stars, and just about crippled my shoulder for a week.

We took apart a round. It was supposed to be loaded with sticks of powder, but the stuff inside had turned to fine talcum powder, and a match set a pinch of it up like a magnesium flare.
Turk Mauser with hot Yugo ammo….I was foolish enough to want to put 50 rounds down range since I had brought 50 rounds out.
By the end of the rounds, Aiming was more like pointing in the general direction of the target. I was hurting. When I got home my wife screamed “ what did you do!” I was wearing a tank top, and my shoulder was a really ugly shade of purple. I had no idea, but it was clearly visible because of the tank top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Turk Mauser with hot Yugo ammo….I was foolish enough to want to put 50 rounds down range since I had brought 50 rounds out.
By the end of the rounds, Aiming was more like pointing in the general direction of the target. I was hurting. When I got home my wife screamed “ what did you do!” I was wearing a tank top, and my shoulder was a really ugly shade of purple. I had no idea, but it was clearly visible because of the tank top.
I still use Yugo 8mm, and my Yugo 7.62 Tokarev "submachine gun" rounds are kept in storage for a rainy day. The commercial ammo is fine, but that Yugo stuff once fired through a Buick engine block, and exited out the trunk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
After much thought, .38 SPC.
Crappiest in 38 would probably be either Tula or Blazer aluminum case. That Tula lacquer really gunks up chambers, and sometimes the primers are too hard for revolvers that have had trigger jobs, and Blazer likes to crack in the chambers, and is a terrible choice for lever guns. I love 38, and it has a lot of advantages, but I'm not sure I'd trust either of those ammos in an emergency.

38LC fires in most of the same guns, and the crappiest 38LC I can think of, off the top of my head, is MagTech - and it's "acceptable" at worst.
 

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I would go with 40 S&W 180gr flat points, Have used Federal, Blazer Brass, Winchester, Remington, and other commercial ammo. I like how it makes steel targets react - they know they've been hit so I suspect a person or animal would also have a severe adverse reaction to being hit. I have a Taurus OSS with 5" barrel and the 24/7 G2 4" barrel both in 40 S&W and both go bang when you pull the trigger every time. Also, both firearms have decent capacity magazines - also a plus.
The above is TODAY's answer, tomorrow it might change to a .223 caliber depending on the perceived threats. In fact, I have four different configurations of .223 firearms...AR pistol, AR Rifle, hunting rifle, and varmint rifle. Yup, pretty sure tomorrow it will change.

You have to pick only one caliber to secure food, protect against threats, etc.
PaleHawkDown, sure we couldn't convince you to change the requirement to allow two different calibers?????
 

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I would go with .38 special in a .357 magnum 6 inch revolver.
Never found anything my 6inch Taurus revolver does not shoot well enough for 30 yards. Where I can at least compensate on the 2nd shot and hit the target.
Using .38 special in a .357 saves on ammo cost, and gives you a safety cushion, in case you get a hot load.
. 38 special wad cutters, which are usually the cheapest. Put a nice clean hole all the way thru a rabbit. I have been both Rabbit and squirrel hunting with a .357 wad cutter target load. Just got to make sure you hit the squirrel in the head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
HAHA, it wouldn't be fun without rules. It makes you consider the AMMO, specifically the worst specimens available, rather than the caliber, or even what you have experience using.
For instance:
In 40 S&W you'd probably be stuck with Herters or the Blazer aluminum. I would see constant jams and FTF in your future with that choice.
223 it would be steel cased MaxxTech/BVA/Golden Tiger, and I've met few ARs that will reliably run it, and fewer still that would run it at all without a deep cleaning session every few mags. If you have one that does, it would be a good choice.

What's the worst ammo available, in any caliber, that you would risk your life with.

As an example, I started to pick 12 ga, but my favorite shotgun won't even run Winchester or Estate, and there are worse than those out there. I'm mostly set up for skeet, and prefer autos, but for someone with a rugged, reliable, and simple shotgun might be able able to choose it. Heck, if I just change the criteria to "cheapest" instead of "crappiest" I could still choose 12 ga,because B&P and Fiocchi have been the cheapest several times since Covid, and they run fine in my favorite gun.
 

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In 40 S&W you'd probably be stuck with Herters or the Blazer aluminum.
That might be the case in your area but I have not seen them (but I will admit - I have not had to buy ammo for about 4 years except for Personal Defense and store bought is recommended for legality issues). The stuff I see in the stores is the ones I mentioned in my post but again I don't go looking for it. My nice rifles have never had steel case ammo run through it. My ARs have but it has been Wolf and when it was cheap, I got a lot of it. So, in reality, I would be at a disadvantage not knowing which was the worst ammo.
 
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