Sunday, February 11, 2007

 

Ammo

A player in the Super Bowl got in trouble because a raid of his home found six guns and 500 rounds of ammunition. Now, this particular player had problems with firearms violations before, so law-enforcement may have been warranted in this case, but I figured I would explain a few things about ammunition to the uninitiated.

500 rounds is really not that much. You may be picturing a stack of crates, but that amount of ammo will fit in half a shoebox. Every time I go to the shooting range, I fire 200 or 300 rounds. So having 500 rounds is really just enough for a couple of range sessions—it does not signify that one is gearing up for war or extensive criminal activity.

Ammo can be loosely classified into two classes: range ammo and carry ammo. "Range ammo" is what you use at a shooting range for target practice. It is inexpensive, so you can fire a lot of rounds for practice at minimal cost. "Carry ammo," also known as "defensive ammo" or "street ammo," is the stuff that you load in case you need to use your gun in self-defense. Such ammo is generally a lot more expensive than range ammo. It is usually hollow-point, and has greater mass and power than range ammo.

A lot of people buy their range ammo at the "big box" stores like Wal*Mart, Bass Pro Shops, or other big chains. Those chains generally have the lowest prices, due to high volume, and their prices are cheaper than the prices charged at ranges. Wal*Mart sells 100 rounds of 9mm ammo for about $15. In contrast, guns ranges might charge $22 for the same amount of ammo. So it makes sense to buy ammo from the discount stores, which explains why somebody might buy 500 rounds, or 1000 rounds, or more, and keep it at home instead of just waiting to buy it at the range.

FWIW, I currently have 600 rounds of ammo in my own personal stockpile. Are you scared?


Comments:
Not really, because I'm separated by six time zones and I'm pretty sure you're not a 'roid-head.

This smart-ass comment brought to you by teh intarnets.
 
Man, if I could fire rounds through teh intarnets, I could solve a lot of problems.
 
Ray Palmer, the Atom, could shrink down to microscopic size and travel through the telephone lines, emerging on the other side of the phone call.

I'm sure he could do the same thing on teh intarnets. Just hitch a ride on a TCP/IP packet.

Why, yes, I am a comic-book geek. Fortunately, I've shielded my DSL modem with Kevlar.
 
Does low velocity mean less kick in 9mm ammunition? Do you know brand of a "less recoil" 9mm ammunition?
 
Lower velocity does not necessarily mean lower recoil. Different kinds of ammo will burn at different rates. Also, heavier bullets will have a slower velocity than light bullets for the same powder, but I'm not sure how that relates to recoil.

Ammo manufacturers provide products with different weights and powder charges. I don't know that any are specifically designed for "less recoil", but I'd assume that lighter bullets with lighter charge would have less of a kick.

Perceived recoil depends upon a lot of factors, including the ammo, the gun, and the shooter. For example, a heavy large-caliber gun will absorb a lot of the recoil, so it may be have less kick than a lighter smaller-caliber gun. Polymer-framed guns are known to absorb recoil better than all-metal guns, and semi-autos generally absorb recoil better than revolvers.
 
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