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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,

Most of the shops around here have limits. Turner's is two boxes. Big 5 is three boxes. It seems like everyone gets a new shipment once a week, it's hit-and-miss what they'll have in stock, and it's all sold out that day. At Turner's and Big 5 the cost has been 50 cents a round or cheaper. One day I drove a half hour to a recommended shop (that supposedly had no limits) and paid $60 for fifty rounds of WWB 124 grain. Since I had driven all that way I went ahead and bought two boxes. I didn't want to waste the trip. At those prices they are still selling out. But I'll not buy there again.

Today, being Monday, my local Turner's usually gets in their shipment. I got to the store before the big rush, only had to wait eighteen numbers until mine was called.

816180


Big 5 and Turners usually have the Federal 115 grain range ammo, but it can vary, Fiocchi, Aquila, etc. I do love bringing home these bright yellow bags.

816179


Today Turner's had some very generic white box ammo.

816181


It was $25 a box total, 50 cents a round, limit 2 boxes, 100 rounds. I commented to the sales clerk, "Wow, that's some really generic white box ammo." She said it's CCI. I thought, OK, cool. I got home and, sure enough, here's the fine print.

816182


I've been collecting ammo since picking up my XD9 last month, but at a pace that's only 100-150 rounds a week. I'm lucky I have a friend with oodles to spare. He gave me 400 rounds, of which half is gone. I have 20 rounds of SD ammo, a 147 grain JHP from Federal. The rest is range ammo, but still less than 1000 rounds.

I've been thinking of buying online from one of the few dealers who will ship to California. I've been trading at a gun shop who charges a flat $20 fee to do the FFL thing. But the cheapest bulk ammo I've found (~61 cents/round) is at ammunitiondepot.com:

816183


I'm not familiar with U.S. Cartridge at all. Plus by the time you add shipping, taxes, FFL, etc, it adds another 10 cents a round. They will ship to my gun shop. That's good. But I'm torn between being patient, building up my inventory slowly to save a little $$, or buy a case at that price just to have it and hope that it tides me over until the prices start to stabilize again. It's tough to get in a good practice at the range when you want to shoot a few hundred rounds but can only replace it at 100 rounds a week. I guess I'll get one range day a month for a while. :p

OK, I'll stop rambling. Call me "impatient". I'd be happy to hear your thoughts and suggestions, especially if you know where to order cheap ammo. ;) I suppose a lot of us who are late to the game are in the same boat. There's no real point to this post, just blowing off steam. Thanks for your time.


Thank you for your indulgence,

BassCliff
 

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I was in pretty much the same position as you when I first started shooting. At first, I didn’t think I would need that much ammo. Boy, was I wrong. After a range trip or two, you realize how quickly it goes. I first started in 2012 a little before the election. The gun shop guy said there’s always a rush before the election.

And then BAM! Sandy Hook. After that, ammo was scarce. It was crazy expensive. $60/100 for 45 ACP (a steal nowadays) and I choked, but I bought it anyways since I wasn’t sure when I would find more. Afterwards, I found online shops and bought a 500 round case here and there. It was still scarce. I swore to get a reloading machine which I did. So glad I did too. Slowly built up my components and started saving my brass from each range trip. Now, I’ve got about 3,500 rounds of 45 and 1,500 rounds of 9. I still haven’t started reloading for 9 yet though.

It will come down. But when it does, jump on the opportunity. Whether you decide to reload or buy cases, commit to it and go big when you stumble across deals etc.

I know the laws in CA make it next to impossible to buy ammo, but do what you can when you can.

Check out Calguns.net marketplace. Some are selling ammo and or reloading presses.


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Super crazy now. When WalMart sold centerfire, I would try to pick some up on every trip and was able to lay in a decent amount. Local 9mm on Armslist is about .60/rd as well, fortunately I can wait but I feel sorry for folks with less than 1,000 rds.

Even when I'm at the range, I'm not one to rapid-fire and shred the target. I'm focusing on every shot, as well as doing some drills where a buddy "hides" an empty casing in the mag so you get used to clearing a malfunction. We also do a drill where a buddy loads two partial mags, send the target to the far end of the range, hit the 'return' button, and shoot until the target stops or you run out of ammo (under 10 rounds total). You don't know when the first mag goes empty, then you have to drop the mag, reload, and continue firing at the advancing target. Loads of fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi,

I was in pretty much the same position as you when I first started shooting. At first, I didn’t think I would need that much ammo. Boy, was I wrong. After a range trip or two, you realize how quickly it goes. I first started in 2012 a little before the election. The gun shop guy said there’s always a rush before the election.

And then BAM! Sandy Hook. After that, ammo was scarce. It was crazy expensive. $60/100 for 45 ACP (a steal nowadays) and I choked, but I bought it anyways since I wasn’t sure when I would find more. Afterwards, I found online shops and bought a 500 round case here and there. It was still scarce. I swore to get a reloading machine which I did. So glad I did too. Slowly built up my components and started saving my brass from each range trip. Now, I’ve got about 3,500 rounds of 45 and 1,500 rounds of 9. I still haven’t started reloading for 9 yet though.

It will come down. But when it does, jump on the opportunity. Whether you decide to reload or buy cases, commit to it and go big when you stumble across deals etc.

I know the laws in CA make it next to impossible to buy ammo, but do what you can when you can.

Check out Calguns.net marketplace. Some are selling ammo and or reloading presses.


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I appreciate your empathy. I don't mean to complain too much. I'm just not being allowed to have as much fun as I want to. ;)

I have joined the calguns.net forum. In fact member pennys dad (the CGSSA president) is my current instructor. My family has another lesson with him next Saturday. Really cool guy. I will keep an eye on the market place in that forum. It's possible I could meet more local guys to chew the fat with. Thanks!


Thank you for your indulgence,

BassCliff
 
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I'm only slightly "older" than @XDJyo when it comes to when I started shooting. I lucked out that nothing major happened when I started, but I was deep into the training thing when the double-whammy shortage hit in 2012.

It was really at that point - and doubly so after prices finally normalized - that I really stocked up. Now, I maintain a healthy baseline, given that high-round-count classes can go through ~1K rounds per 8-hour training day.

For a newer shooter with only a single gun in one caliber, I would not purchase any unvetted ammo in-bulk. Although modern firearms and ammunition are manufactured to strict tolerances, tolerance-stacking is a real-world phenomenon that is NOT at all uncommon. A certain gun can very easily just "not like" one or another make/model of ammo, and it won't be until after you've tried to put that ammo through that unique gun (the one bearing that specific and unique serial number) that you'll actually see problems.

While it is certainly possible that buying piecemeal will result in a bit of variability in downrange performance, the truth of the matter is that by-and-large, "range-fodder" grade ammo is just that, and they are honestly all just about the same. For a given bullet weight/length, provided that the cartridge functions your weapon, it is much, much more likely that any variability you see in terms of accuracy/precision is due to the variability of your human inputs (i.e. "off day" versus "on day"), versus this or that ammo.

To-wit, in most higher tempo training classes, students are often asked to shoot cold, on-demand tests for score. You will NEVER see a shooter jog back to his car or to his range-bag to fetch premium or otherwise magical ammo. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi,

Super crazy now. When WalMart sold centerfire, I would try to pick some up on every trip and was able to lay in a decent amount. Local 9mm on Armslist is about .60/rd as well, fortunately I can wait but I feel sorry for folks with less than 1,000 rds.

Even when I'm at the range, I'm not one to rapid-fire and shred the target. I'm focusing on every shot, as well as doing some drills where a buddy "hides" an empty casing in the mag so you get used to clearing a malfunction. We also do a drill where a buddy loads two partial mags, send the target to the far end of the range, hit the 'return' button, and shoot until the target stops or you run out of ammo (under 10 rounds total). You don't know when the first mag goes empty, then you have to drop the mag, reload, and continue firing at the advancing target. Loads of fun!
I'm not quite ready to rapid fire either but I'm looking forward to more advanced drills as my family and I progress in our training. Of course, having all that much fun takes ammo! :D I knew I should have gotten into this sport years ago but I had to wait until a certain family member changed her way of thinking. ;) Now she's excited to be taking the training and to buy her own once she decides what's best for her. I've been reminding the pulchritudinous Mrs. BassCliff that if she also got a 9mm we could save money and buy in bulk. :giggle:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

Thank you for your indulgence,

BassCliff
 
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I forgot to add:

In a new shooter's shoes, right now, I'd be less worried about the absolute amount of ammo I could cache, versus vetting my new firearm(s) for (best) function with various ammo.

This way, once things go back to normal, I'll have a note-pad full of ammo that I know I can stock up on, in-bulk. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Hi,

I'm only slightly "older" than @XDJyo when it comes to when I started shooting. I lucked out that nothing major happened when I started, but I was deep into the training thing when the double-whammy shortage hit in 2012.

It was really at that point - and doubly so after prices finally normalized - that I really stocked up. Now, I maintain a healthy baseline, given that high-round-count classes can go through ~1K rounds per 8-hour training day.

For a newer shooter with only a single gun in one caliber, I would not purchase any unvetted ammo in-bulk. Although modern firearms and ammunition are manufactured to strict tolerances, tolerance-stacking is a real-world phenomenon that is NOT at all uncommon. A certain gun can very easily just "not like" one or another make/model of ammo, and it won't be until after you've tried to put that ammo through that unique gun (the one bearing that specific and unique serial number) that you'll actually see problems.

While it is certainly possible that buying piecemeal will result in a bit of variability in downrange performance, the truth of the matter is that by-and-large, "range-fodder" grade ammo is just that, and they are honestly all just about the same. For a given bullet weight/length, provided that the cartridge functions your weapon, it is much, much more likely that any variability you see in terms of accuracy/precision is due to the variability of your human inputs (i.e. "off day" versus "on day"), versus this or that ammo.

To-wit, in most higher tempo training classes, students are often asked to shoot cold, on-demand tests for score. You will NEVER see a shooter jog back to his car or to his range-bag to fetch premium or otherwise magical ammo. :D
On our very first training day with my family, shooting 22lr Ruger Mark III and Browning Buck Mark pistols, the three of us went through 1000 rounds in less than three hours. For that reason we're going to get a couple of 22 pistols, hopefully similar to our "EDCs", so we can train/practice on the cheap.

Somebody is buying that US Cartridge ammo. That case ad I posted above was sold out the next day. I don't mind picking up a couple boxes a week but it does lead to a mish-mash of different ammo. So far I've collected four boxes of Federal 115 grain, two boxes of WWB 124 grain, two boxes of generic CCI/Speer 115 grain, one box of Fiocchi 115 grain, plus a couple hundred rounds of WWB 115 grain that a friend gave me for my birthday. It's all decent range rounds, as long as it shoots.

I do believe you are correct. Any difference in my marksmanship is going to be much more related to my ability rather than my ammo, or even my new sights. ;) I just want to practice, practice, practice. Seems I also have to practice patience too. :rolleyes:

Speaking of "un-vetted" ammo, I almost bought a case of ZQI ammo, NATO loads. I understand these to be 124 grain and more or less +P, with a bit more recoil. I've heard that ZQI is manufactured in Turkey but the cases ammunitiondepot.com had on sale said they were manufactured in Boznia/Herzegovina.

Have you ever fired any NATO spec'd rounds in your XD? Do you have an opinion on ZQI ammo? Thanks for sharing your thoughts too.


Thank you for your indulgence,

BassCliff
 
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Have you ever fired any NATO spec'd rounds in your XD? Do you have an opinion on ZQI ammo?
Never ZQI, although I'd love to give it a try. :) One of my Golden Rules is to always try new foods when they're offered. ;)

As to NATO-spec ammo, yes. It subjectively felt "hotter," but I never got the chance to either blind-taste-test it back-to-back nor did I ever have a chance to chronograph it (I still have an old chrony from my paintball days.....).

I still have a mish-mash from those early days, and from odd bargains that I've come across over the years. It's no biggie, as I tend to expend them on my own practice days.

Besides, that gives me an excuse when I miss longer shots. 😅
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Hi,

I realize nobody really cares, but I also have 20 rounds of Federal PUNCH 124 grain JHP, for those special people in my life. ;)



If I go to the range this weekend, at least a thirds of my inventory will be gone. I gotta get the Mrs. a 9mm, then I'll have an excuse to really stock up. :D


Thank you for your indulgence,

BassCliff
 

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I have shot ZQI, nothing wrong with it at all.

I would avoid Lead Round Nose (unplated) ammo in the XD.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi,

I have shot ZQI, nothing wrong with it at all.

I would avoid Lead Round Nose (unplated) ammo in the XD.
Fantastic! Thank you. :)


Thank you for your indulgence,

BassCliff
 

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I have shot ZQI, nothing wrong with it at all.

I would avoid Lead Round Nose (unplated) ammo in the XD.
Why?
Wont hurt the gun AT ALL

I reload and alot of it is with unplated bullets.

Just means a little more effort in cleaning. And with a short barrel pistol the lead does not build up all that much.


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About 15 ammo cans assorted calibers in each and full.
Not counting the ready for reload casing about 2k avail in 38/357 40 and 45 ACP.


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Discussion Starter #15
Hi!

Why?
Wont hurt the gun AT ALL

I reload and alot of it is with unplated bullets.

Just means a little more effort in cleaning. And with a short barrel pistol the lead does not build up all that much.


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I appreciate you joining our little conversation, my meager quest for knowledge. I'd much rather learn from your experiences, without making my own mistakes. ;)

If I may, I've been seeing TPJ ammo online at a not-too-bad price, both TPJ Bronze and TPJ Green. Is the polymer good for keeping your barrel clean? Should I be wary of re-manufactured ammo? Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


Thank you for your indulgence,

BassCliff
 
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If I may, I've been seeing TPJ ammo online at a not-too-bad price, both TPJ Bronze and TPJ Green. Is the polymer good for keeping your barrel clean? Should I be wary of re-manufactured ammo? Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
To the former, the question should be more why you're "keeping the barrel clean" and just how "clean" you expect to keep it. :)

Towards this, what is your expected level of precision/accuracy?

How many rounds do you think you'll be able to fire, while still maintaining your maximum level of accuracy? 50? 100? 500? 5,000?

And is this in any way impacted, in the real-world, by the cleanliness of your barrel?

And how often do you expect that you must maintain that barrel, to preserve the capabilities that you desire of it, as noted above?

Give me the ideas that you have floating in your head, now, and I'll try to align them with what you can expect to see in the real-world. :)

In so far as remanufactured ammo, they're usually reliable, as long as they come from a reliable source. A lot of the bigger names in remanufactured ammo stand behind their products just as the large manufacturers do, and will take responsibility for any problems caused definitively by their ammunition.

In times of plenty, typical cost savings between buying reman versus factory new can amount to nearly nothing. However, if the past two historical ammo shortages taught me anything, it's that when the big manufacturers cannot keep up with their new runs and/or price makes new-manufacture ammo considerably more pricey, remans can be a viable alternative.
 

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Hi!



I appreciate you joining our little conversation, my meager quest for knowledge. I'd much rather learn from your experiences, without making my own mistakes. ;)

If I may, I've been seeing TPJ ammo online at a not-too-bad price, both TPJ Bronze and TPJ Green. Is the polymer good for keeping your barrel clean? Should I be wary of re-manufactured ammo? Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


Thank you for your indulgence,

BassCliff
Yes plated bullet will leave less in the barrel
For the avg shooter NOT marksman shooting you wont shoot enough to notice lead fouling.

Ive shot 200 RNL leads in a day and if accuracy was effected mostly it was by me not the lead building up.
In a long gun its more an issue than a 3in barrel hand gun as the bullet is in contact with the barrel much longer.




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Discussion Starter #18
Hi,

To the former, the question should be more why you're "keeping the barrel clean" and just how "clean" you expect to keep it. :)

Towards this, what is your expected level of precision/accuracy?

How many rounds do you think you'll be able to fire, while still maintaining your maximum level of accuracy? 50? 100? 500? 5,000?

And is this in any way impacted, in the real-world, by the cleanliness of your barrel?

And how often do you expect that you must maintain that barrel, to preserve the capabilities that you desire of it, as noted above?

Give me the ideas that you have floating in your head, now, and I'll try to align them with what you can expect to see in the real-world. :)

In so far as remanufactured ammo, they're usually reliable, as long as they come from a reliable source. A lot of the bigger names in remanufactured ammo stand behind their products just as the large manufacturers do, and will take responsibility for any problems caused definitively by their ammunition.

In times of plenty, typical cost savings between buying reman versus factory new can amount to nearly nothing. However, if the past two historical ammo shortages taught me anything, it's that when the big manufacturers cannot keep up with their new runs and/or price makes new-manufacture ammo considerably more pricey, remans can be a viable alternative.
I guess "keeping the barrel clean" sounded like hype to me, snake oil, something you advertise to sucker noobs like me. Do I understand correctly that instead of a copper coating over the lead bullet, the TPJ uses a polymer to coat the lead? If so, am I correct in supposing that a range day shooting 200 - 500 rounds of this will have no ill effects on my pistol? (After a good cleaning, of course.)

I know accuracy will go down as fatigue sets in. A 500 round day at the range would be a really long one for me. I've had so little time with my new pistol I'm not going to blame accuracy on anything but me, not ammo, not sights, just lack of practice or proper technique. ;)

I worry about pulling the trigger (Is that OK to say around here?) on a bulk purchase, especially of remanufactured ammo, from an unknown (to me) munitions manufacturer. I figure if I see it on the shelf at my local Bass Pro Shop or Turner's Outdoorsman then it's going to OK. Being unfamiliar with, in this case, US Cartridge I'm a bit hesitant. Perhaps that's just my inexperience making me overly cautious. Besides, the price isn't a real steal, but it's better than a lot of online places I know of, selling new for 80 cents to over a dollar a round.

Meh, anyway, just my ramblings. Thanks for putting up with me.


Thank you for your indulgence,

BassCliff
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi!

Yes plated bullet will leave less in the barrel
For the avg shooter NOT marksman shooting you wont shoot enough to notice lead fouling.

Ive shot 200 RNL leads in a day and if accuracy was effected mostly it was by me not the lead building up.
In a long gun its more an issue than a 3in barrel hand gun as the bullet is in contact with the barrel much longer.




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Thanks! I don't have a long gun yet, so no worries there. For this "below average" shooter, I'll just clean my gun good after every range trip and not worry about it. Maybe I'll buy some (relatively) cheap bulk reman and give it a try. If my XD doesn't like it I can chalk it up to "experience" and give it to someone who can use it.

It's great talking to real people about this stuff, rather than relying on website reviews and manufacturer hype. Thanks for your time.


Thank you for your indulgence,

BassCliff
 

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In my limited experience, lead fouling is not pretty. I’m kinda OCD on how clean my guns stay. It isn’t so much an accuracy issue as it is a cleanliness issue. I’ve shot my fair share of leaded rounds and personally not a fan. But, if that is all you have to work with, then well, that is that.

I know a few cast their own lead bullets and reload. That’s a lot of work!

As far as remanufactured ammo goes, I’ve also shot quite a bit of that. Freedom Munitions was my go to when they shipped to CA, but no longer.

There were complaints that some of the reman was underpowered and caused malfunctions etc. but, to be honest, those complaints were across the board due to the severe shortage. I haven’t heard of any lately however.


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