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1911 2011 AF1911-S15 Alpha Foxtrot ammo Bul Armory defensive ammo SAS II Ultralight training

Another 1911 Range Visit / Upcoming Training

Once again, I took the Alpha Foxtrot S15 to the range, as it exhibited some failures during my last range visit, which I believe I documented on this blog.

I also forced myself to shoot the SAS II UL this go-around, since I’ve been neglecting the gun (and I’m also carrying it).

I brought some of my open boxed SD ammo to test the S15, as I initially thought it was having issues due to bad ammo. Another culprit could have been the mag (there was one magazine in particular that was having issues). Another culprit could have been me – I’d shot the gun toward the end of the visit and I was probably getting tired (hand/wrist/arm fatigue).

Right off the bat, I got two fails to feed, with the suspect mag (I’ve marked it). I ended up stopping everything, emptying the mag of ammo, and putting the ammo in a different magazine. The failures stopped.

I’m thinking I might ask Shield Arms to replace this mag. The mag is new and should be covered by manufacturer’s warranty. It’s odd that the failures don’t always occur, though. The ammo it was choking on was Sig Sauer V-Crown 147-gr JHP.

It also failed once when shooting Remington Golden Saber 147-gr JHP. It ate 21 other Golden Sabers without issue, though.

Those were the only failures, so it wasn’t really all that bad this time around.

I’m at 623 rounds through the S15 now. The gun is uncannily accurate. It doesn’t seen to be as snappy as the SAS II UL, but it has better grip surfaces (by far). Now that I know that it’ll eat JHP without issue, and now that I’ve tested the mags, I can actually consider carrying this gun now, although I’ll keep testing it (I’m still wanting to carry the SAS II UL, too).

I’m at 661 rounds through the SAS II now. I shot 38 rounds tonight, all Herters Target 115-gr FMJ. There were no hiccups or failures. I shot all the ammo at 10 yards, quickly (since I’ve the optic installed).

I’ll be working on posting range video footage this weekend, of both guns. I have footage from the last visit but the settings were out of whack and the field of view wasn’t the best (the framing was off-center, as well).

Next week, I’ll be attending my first handgun course. The plan is to use my current carry gun (SAS II UL). I’ll be bringing my Glock 19 as a backup gun, in case they state my SAS II is too small and in case the SAS II has a breakage. I’ve other guns I can consider as backup guns but most of my guns are DA/SA and I’m more used to SAO nowadays. I’ve several striker fired duty- and compact-sized guns but I’ve no holsters for them (nor extra mags). At this point in time, the Glock 19 is my best option (I’ve extra mags and several holsters for it).

I plan to shoot Blazer 124-gr FMJ for the course (was told that I’d need 200 rounds, so I’ll buy 4 boxes of 50). Blazer is reliable for me, but so is the Herters Target, so I may buy that brand instead, although the Blazer is just a few dollars more.

I was planning on a rifle course too, but I need the time to purchase mags and magazine pouches that’ll fit my carry belt. I may have to wait until next year for that, although I can also take a rifle course by XCal. We’ll see.

Alpha Foxtrot ammo defensive ammo SAS II Ultralight

This is how $90 of SD ammo appears…

I went to Cabela’s to get some SD ammo and was actually looking to buy Sig 365 SD ammo to test with my Bul Armory SAS II. They only had the Sig 365 in FMJ, though. I’ll keep looking for it or order it online.

Since I was there, I bought what they had, and focused on types that I haven’t shot before. I bought (from top to bottom, left to right) all 9mm, Sierra Outdoor Master in 124-gr, Hornady Custom 124-gr XTP, Federal Punch 124-gr, and Barnes Vor-TX 115-gr. Those are boxes of 25 rounds each.

I also have an unspent box of Koenig Defense 110-gr JHP (from the last time I visited Cabela’s).

I’ll be shooting these 125 rounds of ammo from the Alpha Foxtrot S15, since I’ve not tried shooting good ammo from that handgun yet. Maybe I can shoot half from the AF-S15 and half from the SAS II, since I’d prefer to be practicing shooting my current carry gun.

ammo defensive ammo pistol training

I Enrolled in Handgun Training!

So, I’ve enrolled in handgun training. I enrolled in a Pistol II course at my range. (Pistol I was too basic and Pistol III was too advanced — we all have to start somewhere, right?) It’s a 2-day course that is held in the evening. I thinking on using my Bul Armory SAS II UL. They recommend either a duty gun or a compact. The SAS II UL isn’t a little gun. It’s not big by any means, but it’s far from small, so may use it during the course.

I’ll be brining a back-up gun, but I’m not sure which to bring. I can either bring my Glock 19 (it’s similarly sized) or my Alpha Foxtrot S15. The Glock 19 seems to be the better option. I’ve several DA/SA guns, too, but I don’t want to have to deal with DA.

I also need to buy ammo for the course, but I think I’ll just buy ammo at that range, right before the start of the course. I don’t need anything special – it just has to be dependable. I’ve been using their Blazer 124-gr brass FMJ and it’s been good, so I think I’ll jsut buy more of that.

I mentioned SD and training ammo in the title. I’ve always wanted to be able to shoot training ammo that was very similar to the SD ammo that I’d be carrying (I’ve no favorite SD ammo at this moment in time). I did quite a bit of research and found that Federal’s AD9SJ4 (124-gr 9mm) matches the Federal Practice and Defend P9HST1TM100 (124-gr 9mm SD ammo), ballistics-wise. The only thing is, I can’t find any place that has the P9HST1TM100 in stock.

They’ve 147-gr pairing as well: AD9SJ3 (Practice ammo) and P9HST2TM100 (147-gr 9mm SD ammo). The P9HST2TM100 is more easily found, by far, than it’s 124-gr counterpart.

Here’s an example of the cost of the AD9SJ3: Just under $17 for a box of 50.

Here’s an example of the cost of the P9HST2TM100: Just under $48 for a box of 100 – this is legit HST JHP Syntech SD ammo.

Bul Armory doesn’t recommend shooting 147-gr from the SAS II UL, but I’ve had no issues shooting various SD ammo in that grainage, so I think I’ll spend some money on a decent sum of this pair of ammo. I’ll probably buy 500 rounds of the AD9SJ3 and maybe 1 to 2 boxes (100-200 rounds) of the P9HST2TM100.

ammo Bul Armory defensive ammo range report range visit SAS II Ultralight

Summary of the SAS II UL’s 2nd Range Visit

I went to the range yesterday and shot approximately 160 rounds of ammo. Half of it was FMJ and the other half was straight-up SD ammo (none of the cheap stuff).

Some quick observations:

  • I cleaned the firearm for the first time today (a day after the 2nd range visit). It was filthy. I could see preservative oil in the upper reaches of the slide (looked like rust but I know it wasn’t – tell-tale sign of preservative oil). I didn’t deep-clean the gun – I only field-stripped the gun, but I did remove the firing pin and clean it (I didn’t have any pipe cleaners, so I didn’t clean inside the channel). I also cleaned the extractor claw (did not remove the extractor, though). The claw was nasty. The barrel was nasty and had some crud in the chamber that took some time cleaning.
  • I took the opportunity to also take apart the two mags that came with the gun. I cleaned and oiled them (light coat of oil).
  • I noticed that the rear sight was loose. I’ll need to remove the rear sight, clean the threads, and then use blue thread locker to secure it, but for now, I just tightened the rear sight screws – I’ve an optic on the way here, and I’ll be removing the rear sight anyways.
  • I received two more OEM mags today, as well as a flat trigger shoe. I thought I could quickly install the new trigger shoe – nope…I need a 1.3mm allen wrench to remove the trigger shoe. That’s going to be a bitch to get off, too – it will take time, IF it’s not secured with threadlocker. If it is, it’ll take even more time.
  • I also received two optic shims (I only needed one but I wanted redundancy). The HS507K will require the shim, otherwise I won’t be able to adjust it properly (this is a known issue with the 507K and the SAS II UL).
  • The gun fired OK during the range visit. I shot the following ammo: Herter’s Defense in 115-gr JHP, Sig V-Crown Elite Defense 124-gr JHP, Koenig Competition 110-gr JHP, Remington Golden Saber 124-gr BJHP and 147-gr BJHP, and Hevi Duty 100-gr frangible flat-nosed ammo. I also brought some Fiocchi 115-gr FMJ ammo.
  • I had two fails to feed (FTF) with the Sig ammo, one of the FTFs being a double-feed. This ammo shot a tad bit high.
  • I had two FTFs with the Koenig ammo – same deal, one of the FTFs being a double-feed. As well, this ammo shot 2-3″ high! To hit the bullseye, I had to aim 2+ inches low.
  • I had no failures with the rest of the ammo, although the Hevi Duty frangible ammo shot high.

Basically, it seems that any light-for-caliber ammo that is shot from this gun will land high. That was my experience with Inceptor ARX (65-gr fluted tip) too.

So, we’ve shot a total of 336 rounds of ammo from the SAS II UL, thus far.

I still need to master the trigger of this gun. It’s a bit more difficult to shoot (and be precise) than my other 1911 9mm handguns, part of the issue being recoil management. I’ll get better as I spend time with the gun.

ammo Bul Armory defensive ammo fail to feed range report range visit SAS II Ultralight

Bul Armory SAS II – First Range Visit

I want to focus on two things in this after action report: 1) ammo and reliability; 2) shooting – accuracy and recoil management

About shooting reliability —

So, I took the SAS II to the range today. I took maybe 200 rounds of various types of ammo. Much of it was JHP. Some was actual defensive ammo. Some was light for caliber. Some was heavy for caliber. Some was FMJ.

I shot Inceptor ARX (65 gr), Winchester Silvertip (115 and 147 JHP), Federal Hi-shok (115 gr JHP), and Fiocchi (115 gr FMJ).

2 of the ARX failed to feed, but I expected as much with this ammo…not the fault of the gun.

There were two failures to feed with the Federal Hi-shok (of 100). Hi-shok is considered to be personal defense ammo, but it’s bottom-feeder ammo – I wouldn’t carry it but it’s good enough for the range. And again, the SAS II ate 98 of 100 of it.

I shot a total of 175 rounds. The actual defensive JHPs fed without issue. Of note, the 147-gr ammo also fed without issue, which was great (Bul Armory recommends using no higher than 124-gr).

Excluding the ARX failures, the failure percentage of this range visit is 1.14%.

I know 175 isn’t much, but JHP ammo isn’t cheap, especially legit defensive ammo.

IMO, the gun is reilable enough. I know some folks have been complaining of FTFs, extraction issues, and even some fails to return to battery. I’m not seeing any of that, but my gunnery has improved quite a bit in the last few years. There were many times where I thought a few of my guns had issues and they all turned out to be issues with me. Folks who’ve been shooting for far longer than I have can sometimes experience limp wristing, for example. The SAS II is light – it needs a firm grip, IMO.

Speaking of limp wristing, we’ll now speak on accuracy and recoil management —

I don’t consider this gun to be generally snappy, although I was shooting some loads from it today that made it snappy as hell (defense ammo). Even so, I was able to manage recoil quite a bit, which is saying a lot, because I’m not the strongest guy in the world. I did come home with fatigued forearms and wrists, but that means I’m going things correctly (from my undstanding, if you’re going home with tired arms/hands/wrists, you’re executing properly).

I keep hearing folks say that the SAS II is snappy. Recoil impulse is a subjective thing, but for such a light gun, I’d have thought the recoil would’ve been much worse than it is. I remember first shooting my Glock 22 – that was an eye-opener, as I’ve shot 40 S&W without issue in the past, but not from a Glock. The G22 is light and the 40 S&W is not known for light recoil. I’d previously shot 40 S&W from metal-framed guns without issue. The G22 took me for a ride and I was very disappointed, because the recoil was harsh. The SAS II is on par with my Springfield Armory XD9 subcompact (which I shoot very well), as far as recoil is concerned, in my opinion, at least.

Accuracy-wise, it’s extremely easy to hit where you want, at realistic distances. This is not a long distance gun, but some folks can easily hit steel at 25 and even 50 yards. The trigger is crisp, as is the sight picture of the sights, which helps.

I also was able to fit the SAS II into my Tenicor Certum holster without issue (had to loosen the retention since the SAS II is thicker than my current carry gun). I then put it inside my waistband and was quite surprised – it carries far better than my single stacked Commander! The grip is much shorter and tucks in better.

Overall, I had a great time tonight. I need to continue to test ammo with this gun. Once I find a good reliable batch of ammo and I’ve shot the gun a while, I’ll start carrying it.

Range target photos are below:

First two mags; first mag was center-mass and second mag was the lower left group.
First five mags, 7 yards, various types of ammo.
Four mags (one per target). I didn’t write down at what distance I was shooting, but I keep thinking its 9 yards.
15 yards out; me being tired and not be able to see where to aim; 2 mags
Range Footage – not pretty but not meant to be; I film my shooting for training purposes and focus on my hands and the gun so that I know when I’m limp-wristing, when I’m slapping the trigger, when I’m letting the gun control me, or other things. Sometimes it’s worth showing though.
1911 45ACP American Classic ammo B45R JHP Metro Arms Rock Island Armory SDS Imports

My Thoughts Regarding 1911s and Jacketed Hollow Point Ammunition

One thing I’ve never done is attempt to carry a 1911. Carrying means I’ve to test JHP before committing to carrying. Everyone knows (or should know) that most 1911s don’t always readily shoot JHP.

I currently have shot 429 rounds from my SDS Imports DB45R 1911. Most of that ammo has been FMJ. Since I’ve been curious about it’s carry capabilities, I’ve been trying to shoot JHP from it, initially with mixed results.

I initially shot Remington HTP 185-gr JHP, which generated several failures to feed (FTFs).

I also shot Federal LE 185-gr JHP as well (maybe 25 rounds), which also generated some FTFs.

I documented in a previous post that I’d shot International Cartridge Corporation’s (ICC) 45ACP 155-gr frangible hollow points. For the most part, these shot without issue. That ammo can be used as defense ammo.

This past week, I shot 20 rounds of Underwood ($$$) 45ACP +P 230-gr JHP. 8 of the 20 rounds generated FTFs. I was using Wilson Combat mags with this ammo. Since this ammo is expensive and since it generated so many FTFs, I will stop shooting that ammo through the DB45R. Once I suspect that the gun will shoot it without FTFs, I’ll test the ammo again.

I shot Inceptor ARX 118-gr defense ammo (non-JHP), using the WC mag. There were no FTFs.

I shot PMC Bronze 185-gr JHP (non-SD ammo), using the WC mag.. There were no FTFs.

I shot Hornady Critical Defense 185-gr JHP, using the WC mag.. There were no FTFs.

So, I now know that I can use the following ammo as viable ammo for self defense:

  • ICC 155-gr FHP
  • Inceptor ARX 118-gr
  • PMC Bronze 185-gr JHP
  • Hornady Critical Defense 185-gr JHP

I plan to continue to shoot the PMC Bronze JHP ammo as range ammo, to continue the break-in process of the DB45R 1911.

During this round of testing, I also shot the same ammo listed above from the Metro Arms American Classic Commander (ACC) 1911 chambered in 45ACP. Note that I didn’t shoot the Critical Defense nor the Inceptor ARX from this gun, since the projectiles will almost certainly feed without issue (I tested them by chambering a round of each make, as well).

I shot most of the ICC 155-gr FHP ammo from the ACC 1911. There were initially a few FTFs, but I believe the issue was a worn recoil spring. I replaced the recoil spring and the FTFs disappeared.

I shot Underwood (again, $$$) 185-gr +P JHP from this gun, using the WC mag. This ammo was almost TOO hot, but in the gun’s defense, it isn’t as heavy as the DB45R 1911, so there’s less weight to mitigate the recoil of this hot ammo. The ammo was so hot that I had to pause in shooting the 8-round mag, since my hand was in pain. Even so, there was only one FTF, but I’m sure this may have been because the ammo was so hot that I was beginning to limp wrist.

The Remington HTP 185-gr JHP was tested the visit prior to this visit. There were some FTFs.

I also shot some of the Federal LE 185-gr JHP…there were two FTFs with that.

The rest of the listed ammo shot without issue. I’m at 520 rounds shot through this 1911, so it may be close to being broken in, which is why there’s less issues with JHP with this gun.

I also shot my RIA Rock Ultra 9mm MS 1911. I also have a RIA Tac Ultra MS 1911 which has a 22TCM barrel and spring, as well as a 9mm barrel and spring. I installed the 9mm barrel and spring for this range visit.

Both 9mm MS 1911s ran without no feed issues whatsoever. I shot several types of SD ammo, some of it JHP and some of it frangible ammo. I did have one failure to extract (FTE) with the frangible ammo when shooting the Tac Ultra, but that’s to be expected with 100-gr ammo (this ammo make was Hevi-Shot).

I was extremely impressed with the 9mm MS 1911s. I’m thinking of just carrying the 9mms instead of the 45ACP 1911s.

I’ll continue to document the testing of shooting the defense ammo.

ammo ammofast shortage

AmmoFast.com – Why Is There an Ammo Supply Shortage?

I really appreciate that AmmoFast took the time to post the below.  I’ve started posting it in forums and FB groups when folks start hemming/hawwing about ammo prices and conspiracy theories.  I’m not one of those folks that believe in those theories, BTW.


For those that don’t want to click the link, I’ve taken the liberty of posting the URL’s content below:

Why Is There an Ammo Supply Shortage?

If you’ve tried to purchase ammo lately, you’ve probably noticed a lot of products are out of stock. Right now all calibers and types are in short supply.  The biggest pain felt is probably in the realm of 9mm, 308 and 223 caliber ammo. Manufacturers have increased their production on these calibers.  As manufacturers make tooling changes to their production lines to meet the volume requirements of the most popular calibers, production of the less popular calibers is naturally decreased.  There is only so much capacity.  Every increase somewhere results in a decrease somewhere else.  This has created an ammunition shortage that makes the few shortages over the past 20 years seem like nothing.  It’s also limiting the production of many popular types of ammunition. This can be frustrating for shooters and hunters looking to keep their edge on the range, and can be concerning for preppers, survivalists, and others who are concerned about their safety.

Unfortunately, we do not see things getting much better this year.  Read on as the experts from AmmoFast delve deeper into the ammo shortage…

A Massive Increase in Demand for Ammunition

Like any other product in a market economy, ammo is subject to the whims of supply and demand. As far as demand is concerned, a perfect storm of factors has caused a run on the ammo market like we’ve never quite seen before. A mix of the Covid-19 pandemic, civil unrest, an anti-2nd Amendment administration and Senate has caused demand to skyrocket even further than we saw in most of 2020.

We have an extremely large number of new gun owners who have entered the market. The NSSF estimates that first-time gun owners has increased over 8 million people over the past several months. Nearly 40 million people purchased guns in 2020.  That is a 71% increase over 2019.  Even if those 40 million new gun owners only purchased 50 rounds of ammunition for their new firearm that is an additional demand of 2 billion rounds of ammo.  That doesn’t take into account those who simply chose to stock up.  The demand is staggering.


When there is an ammunition shortage the first thing people normally point to is consumer hoarding.  We believe this is having an impact on availability, but probably not to the extreme that many think.  There are definitely some profiteers who buy ammo and then sell them on auction sites or other multi-list sites.  This is why many online retailers have now chosen to limit the purchase quantities to an extremely low level in an effort to reduce the reselling at outrageous prices.  We want everyone to have access to ammo at a reasonable price.

Disruptions in the Ammo Supply Chain

Demand, however, is just one part of the story. Disruptions in the supply chain have also made a big impact on the availability of ammunition.

In the U.S., there are only five major manufacturers of ammunition (Winchester, Remington, Hornady, Federal, and CCI). Even under perfect circumstances, there’s only so much they can produce at once, and needless to say, circumstances have not been perfect during the pandemic. Employees throughout the supply chain have been getting sick, missing work to take care of their kids, and self-quarantining.  This has caused a lull in manufacturing throughout 2020.

After the 2016 run on ammunition, we seen many small manufacturers close their doors due to the slim demand for ammunition in 2017, 2018 and 2019.  This created even tighter supply constraints and inherently created the environment for a perfect storm.

The Remington bankruptcy has had a large impact on the shortage of ammo.  With Remington in a state of financial insolvency for the past two years, suppliers were demanding payment upon delivery for products.  Remington simply did not have the financial capabilities to have an abundance of raw materials on hand and had to shutter some of their production capacity.  With the recent purchase of Remington by Vista, there is a good chance that Remington ammunition production will have a tremendous impact on supplies going forward.  However, the disruption of the last two years took at least one year’s worth of ammunition production out of the market from one of the biggest manufacturers in the United States.  The hope would be that Vista will place extreme emphasis on getting the Remington production capacity increased substantially and quickly.  There is no doubt that they will as this is their best bet to return some of the extensive amount of capital they had to make with the purchase.  I would imagine that there was a lack of preventative maintenance at the Remington facility over the past two years due to financial problems.  This could create a huge problem for Vista getting the production up quickly. The process of creating ammo is more complex than it may seem.  With this rapid ramp-up in production, there will be a large draw on raw materials causing a temporary spike in raw material costs across the board on all manufacturers.  I would look for ammunition prices to continue to increase for at least the first half of 2021.

In previous years we’ve seen a huge influx of foreign ammunition during times when the market was tight.  We are not seeing that this time as many foreign manufacturers are producing at between 50% and 70% of capacity due to the COVID-19 impacts on individuals. We are extremely hopeful that the vaccines being delivered will improve worker’s health worldwide.  However, with the new virus strain, we are hearing of huge numbers of worker absentees in foreign facilities, only further reducing their production.

What Should You Do?

The new administration has openly stated their intent regarding the 2nd Amendment and how to limit or even eliminate the ability for consumers to purchase anything related to firearms.  We have seen American companies openly attack firearm-related businesses through litigation, IRS targeting, pressuring banking institutions to stop processing transactions, pressuring shipping companies to stop transportation and targeting Conservative institutions and ideals.  If you see anything come out as a stated initiative in the next 60 days we would anticipate you will see prices skyrocket even more than they have at this time.  There are some big questions out there right now.

Q.) Should I have stockpiled ammunition in 2019?
A.) Absolutely!  Hindsight is 2020 (no pun intended).

Q.)  Ammunition is really high right now.  Should I purchase more ammunition or should I wait for the prices to go down?
A. ) Ammunition is like the stock market.  It’s nearly a commodity at this point.  Your guess is as good as ours on whether it is going to go up or down.  We can tell you that manufacturers have already announced price increases for April 2021.  Typically when manufacturers increase their prices they do not go back down.  But right now demand continues to outweigh supply.  As long as that happens you’ll continue to see increasing ammunition prices.

Q.)  How long will the ammo shortage last?
A.) Remington ammunition should start hitting the market soon.  We think that should help supply.  However, we are still unsure of the impact Covid will have on worldwide production of ammunition……..

As an individual, as of right now, there’s little you can do in the face of the ammunition shortage. Keep checking your trusted online distributor AmmoFast for new arrivals of all types of ammunition from all manufacturers.  Sign up for notifications so that when we receive something you get a notification directly to your email.  Be ready to react quickly.  Once product comes available it sells out quickly, many times within minutes.

We have created some very stringent limitations on the purchase of ammunition in an effort to help as many people as possible work through this tough time.  Normally, we would say “stock up.” But that time has passed, and we would encourage everyone to learn from this.  Stock up in times of plentiful supply so that you are not affected as greatly during these times of extreme shortage.

In the meantime, we would encourage everyone to pray for our country and our leaders as we navigate this perilous situation.  We would also encourage you to register to vote and make your voice heard in 2022 by voting for pro 2nd Amendment candidates.

ammo ammunition COVID-19 pandemic range reloading SHTF year 2020

Problems of the Gun Owner During The Covid-19 Pandemic

There’s one thing that really sucks about this pandemic isn’t just the fact that folks are dying.  It’s that folks can’t practice self defense (unless they’ve their own land, of course…most folks don’t).

What’s hindering folks from visiting ranges or even practicing on their own land?  The availability and costliness of ammunition, for one.  When you can find ammo, it is sometimes double the price of pre-pandemic ammo.  I’ve found some decently priced ammo, but it is become rare now.  When I find decently priced ammo, I usually buy what I can.

The type of ammo also dictates how much you’re going to spend if you need it.  An example is, I bought 250 rounds of 9mm practice ammo a month or two ago, for maybe $135 (yes, that’s a deal nowadays).  This week, I wanted to try to find some .45ACP ammo (because I conceal carry an XD45 and needed practice) and the lowest price I could find was $1/round!  So, I may switch to carrying my XD9 instead to save costs in practicing (I’ve a large stash of 9mm ammo, too).

I also find myself always worrying about over-consuming my ammo for the sake of practicing.  At first, I tried to delay practicing and went through most of 2020 without visiting the range.  When I finally started practicing, I was so worried about shooting too much ammo that I was counting every round I shot.

Can you buy ammo at the range?  I don’t know.  I suppose it would depend on how stocked your range would be, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that ammo was marked up (because range owners and employees have to eat too).  When I was last at the range (maybe 3 weeks ago), I didn’t ask and didn’t look.

Aside from that, I found that practicing with a mask (a requirement of the range that I’m a member of, which I have no problem with) is a bit bothersome but doable.

Another question would be, in times like these, should a person reload?  The answer should be yes, but some folks don’t have the aptitude to reload.  Some folks don’t have the time and can’t spend the money to buy the equipment.  Also, some folks do not have the aptitude for such things.  There’s also the current problem of shortages of reload materials (primers or projectiles or even powder).

I won’t mention prepping because most folks with guns nowadays don’t deeply prep.  Most people don’t associate gun owners with hardcore prepping, but what about prepping ammo?  There’s no hard fact regarding how much ammo a person should stash away for SHTF situations, but we’re not even talking SHTF.  We’re talking Covid-19.  Unless things take a drastic turn for the worse, this pandemic will not spawn any SHTF situation.  So, how much ammo should a person have on-hand at all times in pandemic situations?  My answer:  enough to use for self defense and practice.  I’ve at least 1K of 9mm right now, which should last me a while for practicing, if I practice every other month and limit my practice round count to 150 rounds or so, and while also consuming ammo when training; I’d be buying 9mm when I see it on sale at decent prices in an effort to replace what I used during practice.

Also, note that in the past year, many folks bought firearms when they’d never owned one.  Those folks want/need ammo too.  I’ve seen many disgruntled “veteran” gun owners grumbling that folks are buying ammo and raising the cost of it now, when they should’ve prepared (prepped) before now.  Well, how can you prep ammo if you weren’t interested in firearms?  It’s a very stupid reason to be disgruntled, in my opinion.  Be glad that we’ve new gun owners to bolster our numbers.  Those same grumbling gun owners used to not own guns.  We ALL started with no (or small amounts of) ammo.

What problems have you experienced or noticed regarding owning a gun or practicing at ranges during this pandemic?

ammo ammunition BPT Browning BXP flat-nosed FMJ JHP

What’s the Purpose of Flat-nosed FMJ?

I wanted to quickly mention that with some makes of ammo (ie, Browning or Winchester), you see flat-nosed and JHP.  Most people think flat-nosed is for guns that have issues feeding reliably (vs. JHP, which can sometimes jam a gun such as a 1911).  That’s not always the case, though.

I’ll use Cabelas’ ammo description of Browning Performance Target (BPT) ammo as a reference:

  • Same bullet wt. and velocity as BXP Personal Defense Ammo
  • Provides the same feel at the range as self-defense ammo
  • Black-nickel shell plating improves reliability and feeding

Confidence at the range corresponds to confidence in self-defense situations. Browning’s Performance Target Pistol Ammo provides the same performance as BXP Personal Defense Ammo. Matched-performance ammo has the same bullet weight and velocity so you get the exact same feel at the range as you will in real-life situations with your BXP Ammo at a lower cost. Created with the highest standards of innovation, precision and technology. Black-nickel shell plating improves reliability and feeding.

There’s a product that matches this ammo, only it’s JHP. They’re meant to compliment each other:

Notice that the above rounds are JHP.  The first depicted box of ammo is FMJ but shares the same bullet weight as the JHP product and has the same velocity as well.  The FMJ is meant for the range (practicing/training).  The personal defense ammo (the JHP) is meant for defense — you can train with it but it is not cheap and is sold in a box of 20 (vs the 50 of the FMJ).  The FMJ mimics the JHP ammo (it’s nose is flat to mimic JHP).  It’s bullet weight and velocity is the same so that you can train as if you were using the JHP variant of this ammo.  This is ideal, instead of having to spend a lot of money training with your defense ammo.

Winchester also uses the same scheme.  I think that’s pretty cool, but wanted to inform folks of this, in case they’re not aware.

AMD-63 ammo Cabelas frangible Hevi Duty LAX PPU RAS

7.62×39 Ammo – Where Is It?

I visited my local Cabelas today and was a bit pissed.  They had very little 7.62×39 ammo.  I saw a few boxes of PPU and Herters.  That was it.  Nothing else.  No bulk in that caliber either.  That company (Cabelas) is large.  It is very large.  And it can’t keep stocked in mainstream calibers?  I mean, there was 5.56mm and .223, but no 7.62×39.  WTF. 

I was hoping that Cabelas would be my local go-to, but either someone is purposely buying up all the AK ammo (I hate horders) or Cabelas is having supply problems.  I was trying to stay away from Walmart for ammo but I think I might need to keep using Walmart until Cabelas gets their shit together.

As well, it was the same for 9mm handgun ammo.  There was hardly any.

I ended up buying some of that PPU, only to find that it was soft-nosed, and it wasn’t marked as such on the box.  I opened it up and saw that it was round-nosed with a lead tip.  I heard that some people had issues when trying to shoot that ammo through their AKs.  I did see at least one video where a guy loaded up this same ammo and shot it through his AK with no issues.  We’ll see.  I bought 40 rounds of it (2 boxes).

So, I’ve two boxes of the PPU SP RN and a box of RAS (30 rounds).  I guess I’ll be using my range’s ammo on my first visit.  I want to fire maybe 100 rounds of 7.62×39.

I saw that Cabelas had some frangible ammo that I was curious about.  It was Hevi Duty frangible and non-toxic, $15 for a box of 50.  I bought 2 boxes.  This is multi-purpose ammo:  it can be used at indoor and outdoor ranges, on steel, as competition ammo, and as HD/SD ammo.  It’s supposedly very accurate too.  It is light-for-caliber, as it is 100-grain and has a velocity of 1200 FPS.  I will shoot a box of it through my carry gun and then begin to use it as my SD ammo if it feeds without issue.

I also have 500 rounds of RAS coming from LAX.  It was $99 for 500 rounds.  I almost ordered 1000, but I’ll see how fast of the incoming batch I shoot before ordering more.  Shipping was a bit high, though, so I should’ve probably bought the 1000.

In my last post, I mentioned that I’d bought Magpul hardware for the AK.  I was able to fit that on the gun with a bit of grinding/filing.  The handguard fits well.  I can’t fit the gas tube cover since the gas tube on my AK is not standard (it is shorter and has no fittings for covers or handguards.  I do want an upper handguard on the gas tube, though, so I’m waiting for M-13 to finish a batch of tubes specifically designed for the AMDs (they are $50 each, though….I’ll probably end up buying two of them).  I suppose I could make my own.  Apparently its easy to cut down a standard gas tube but heat is needed, as they can crack.

I keep looking over the gun to determine if there are flaws or some things I overlooked.  I think I’m obsessing, thinking I went cheap and remembering the “you get what you pay for” mantra.  The only thing that might be wrong with this particular rifle is that the barrel’s hole where the gas tube vents from might be large (they’re supposedly all like that).  I’ll deal with replacing the barrel when the time comes.  I can mitigate the issue by buying a stronger recoil spring and maybe one of those buffer cushions…

So, tomorrow may be where I take the AK to the range.  We’ll see.