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Saving ammo

Gene LGene L Senior MemberPosts: 12,668 Senior Member
I can't make myself waste ammo, and by wasting it I mean shooting it without a purpose...just to make smoke. I will shoot for groups, but once I've determined me and the rifle (mostly me) are performing, I tend to put the gun back in the truck. Not a recreational ammo-waster.

A day at the range for me MAY be firing 10 rounds after sighting in. I think this is because I couldn't afford to "waste" ammo as a kid, and was taught one shot, one squirrel. I mostly taught this to myself, as I didn't have a strong role model as a kid, my father died when I was 12 and both brothers were in the military. So I got my self-education from books. One, "A Boy and His Gun" I particularly remember. It was in the high school library, which you won't see nowadays. Still a good read and I have a copy in my home.

My shooting bud likes to shoot, and will shoot up 100 rounds of .223 at a time. I don't think I've EVER shot that much ammo at a range session. I feel a barrel has only so many rounds for the life of the barrel and am reluctant to shorter than life. I remember reading that the SMLE in WW I began to deteriorate after 60 rounds or so. I know that isn't true today, but I guard my barrels. When I had an M 16, I wouldn't allow others to shoot it on shoot-fast. Not a popular stance.

I wonder how I can overcome this madness. I've got plenty of ammo, and like to shoot, but one or five rounds at a time. Any ideas?
Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.


  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,484 Senior Member
    Plan on taking it with you? We shot about 400 rounds today, that's what it's for.

    He who dies with the most ammo wasted his money.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 2,460 Senior Member
    In normal times I'd say start shooting more .22s. I used to shoot with my BILs friends. They had SKS, Mini 14, 30 carbines. I had a single shot Rem .22. I was doing some work on all their guns. After one complained the gun couldn't shoot I hit three cans with three rounds. After that I bought a 10-22 and a few mags. I ut shot them amd out firepowered them. Then they Bought Makorovs, 1911 and a couple other pistols. I bought a Ruger MKII Target pistol. Once again on the hill I out shot them. One day after a couple hours of shooting thay started counting on their fingers how much money they'd spent on ammo. I shouted "Holy smoke I went through 500 rounds, That's an entire brick! That cost me ....$15, get me another brick.

    I like making cans dance. I enjoy an ad-lib compitition. Golf balls, clay pigons or taking a bottle out from the neck down. I don't consider it a waste of time, I enjoy shooting, but I like .22.
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    Imagine your dead ass in the ground, and someone like me shooting the hell out of your ammo and barrels-- having the fun that you didn't.

    Does that help Gene?
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • pjames777pjames777 Senior Member Posts: 1,421 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    Imagine your dead ass in the ground, and someone like me shooting the hell out of your ammo and barrels-- having the fun that you didn't.

    Does that help Gene?

    X2........ Life is precious and those things that make us glad deserve more time. Gene, since my cancer scare this year I don't even buy green bananas! Keep what you need for the Zombie wars, but enjoy the rest.....just my two cents.

  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    And barrels and ammo? They make more!

    Have you ever wore a barrel out? I never have. Maybe that should be a new goal of mine. Put it on my bucket list.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,749 Senior Member
    Set up some challenges. You can group at 100, but how about hitting a clay pigeon at 300? 400? 4 pigeons at different unknown yardages?
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    You are a frugal shooter, fer sure. Nothing wrong with being one or a "Blaster" who sends copious amounts of lead downrange every visit. Or somewhere in-between.

    If you are satisfied and have accomplished what you set out to do at the range, including trying all the different load combinations you may ever want to use, then I guess it is OK.

    You are the type of shooter who I'd love to buy a used rifle from and I'd know when you said it has been fired very little I was getting a like new barrel used sparingly rifle. :jester:

    You talking all guns or just center fire rifles?

    Old habits are sometimes hard to break. Each to his own, I reckon.

    A lot of older folks when I grew up were like that with everything, especially those who lived through the Great Depression.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,395 Senior Member
    I'm a little like Gene - but different. I'm not motivated by worry or stress that I may be shortening the life of my guns. I'm certain that our future holds a bleak picture about guns and gun owners and the day will come when we find the shelves bare. It will then be necessary to have enough stashed so that one can replenish their supply of guns and ammo from the jack-booted-thugs. So, I shoot enough to remain proficient. No more, no less.
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • North ForestNorth Forest Member Posts: 358 Member
    For myself my ammo consumption rate usually depends on which gun I'm using. Since I do not yet reload, everything is off the shelf and some is a lot more expensive than others, so for me that is also a factor. Since I am trying to improve my shooting skills with every round, I tend to take my time and make every shot count. But if I'm having a good day and "get in a groove" shots will come more quickly. I shoot slowest with my scoped .30-06, really take my time, going after those (for me at this point) elusive tight groups, and I'll usually shoot about 12 rounds per session. With the AK its different, a shorter effective range and the ammo cosiderably cheaper, I'll shoot a variety of targets at various positions/distances, and since I've gotten fairly confident with it (still one round at a time) I'll go through it a lot quicker, typically 80 rounds per session. For all my handguns its usually a box of 50 per gun although I'll take 100 with me "just in case" I want to practice that gun further. When I hear other shooters doing 10 second mag dumps it seems to me wasteful......what kind of shooting is that, "suppressive fire"? I do have a crazy dream of one day getting behind a M60 though..........
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,583 Senior Member
    Saving ammo isn't for me. I don't waste it, but excess saving? Nah.

    I don't take the AR15 "plinking" anymore, though.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,617 Senior Member
    I'm thinking baby steps, Gene. Go to the range because you want to, not because you need to.
    Take maybe 10 or 20 rounds, not a whole box, and shoot them all.

    Or, maybe make some skill challenges. Shoot a vanilla wafer at 100 yards with a 22 (some will say it's impossible), shoot till you hit it.
    Put a bunch of 1" dots on a target, put a round in each one.
    Stuff like that.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,813 Senior Member
    I haven't fired an un-aimed round in years. Ammo was too expensive for me to waste, even before the craziness in the Obama era.

    But, I know I need practice, so I try to have enough on hand when I do get to go to the range so that I can practice until fatigue starts to set in. It still doesn't quite keep me proficient, but it slows my decline.
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,953 Senior Member
    Any way you could become an instructor ?...... teach newbies/youth.

    about the ammo saver stuff.......I have ammo my kids and grandkids hopefully will be shooting.
    Why ?..... because it is at the point NOW that shooting has become too expensive for many.

    so I'll waste my money with no regrets.

    Another thing is IIRC you weren't proficient with hand guns becoming so takes some extended practice
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,953 Senior Member
    When I hear other shooters doing 10 second mag dumps it seems to me wasteful......what kind of shooting is that, "suppressive fire"?

    That depends on the shooter doing the mag dumps and the on target results...muscle memory and quick sight acquisition/recovery could be a couple things they were working on.

    On a particularly good day for me that's all I was doing.......a shooter 4 lanes down thought I was just wasting ammo.
    He actually walked over as I was retrieving a target saw them all in the black, smiled and went back to his lane
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 2,040 Senior Member
    I'll keep enough to protect me against the zombies........

    Otherwise, 'Smoke em if you got em!'
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    Guess I am an ammo waster. I'll usually load up 6-8 of whatever calls to me out of the vault and he'd to the range for 6-& hours. Last outing was 90 rounds of .300 Blackout, 120 rounds of .223, .60 rounds of 308, 20 rounds of .50 Beowulf and 50 rounds of .338 Lapua. That was a fun afternoon!
    I do however like to keep a large supply of ammo on hand for the just in case times.

    They are right Gene, they make more barrels and ammo, go have some fun!
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    I grew up in a "don't waste ammo" family. My great-grandfather fed his rather large family all through the depression with a single-shot 16 gauge, and he absolutely refused to waste a single shell on a target or a clay pigeon. One shell- - -one meal! Even when a box of 50 .22 Long Rifle shells only cost 50 cents, that represented a little over a half hour's pay at the boat dock where I worked- - - -and almost two gallons of gas for my car! My high school buddies and I would plink a little, but burning up a whole box of ammo was an expensive proposition. Old habits die hard!
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,484 Senior Member
    Ammo dumps may be wasteful but they sure are fun once in a while. For me they serve a purpose in speed shooting. Follow up shots, recoil control, target acquisition. I do a lot of double tapping when I practice, 2 shots, next target, 2 shots and so on. It empties a 10, 15 or 30 round mag quick. That's why I reload, I can "waste" ammo cheaper. I also practice for precision but 200 yds is the farthest I shoot so it's not like 5 minutes for one shot. I just like to shoot fast I guess.

    Find yourself some kind of competition that is timed and enter, doesn't have to be speed but one with a time limit it. It will force you to use your ammo with a purpose.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,515 Senior Member
    Start casting your own bullets. When the lead is scrounged from the berm, the tire shop, the trap range, or the buddy who knows you're looking for it, the brass is either scrounged or long paid for; your cost has been reduced to powder, primer, and time at the bench, you can get a lot more practice in.

    You can magnify this effect with small rifle calibers (Hornet, .32-20, .38/.357) and by cranking them out on a progressive press.

    Then you re-wire your brain to realize that getting the GUN to shoot well isn't even half of the equation. Get the gun off the damned sandbags, get into field positions, and actually PRACTICE.

    Leave the paper targets aside for a while and start filling your empty milk jugs and other plastic bottles with water. My recent favorite has become the empty dog-food cans from my folk's place - reactive and roughly the size of a deer's heart.

    Finally, forget the hard science for a while. In my heavy rifle competition days, I would shoot a match every other weekend, practice on alternate weekends, and run an entire simulated match as a dry fire run at home 2-3 nights a week. Every trip to the range seemed to involve leather coats, chronographs, highly tuned guns, and meticulously crafted ammo. I "woke up" one morning and asked myself; "When was the last time you put a bullet through a soda can?", and realized in that in the quest for high art, I had forgotten how to plink. The cure (before I started casting) was a 1906 Winchester pump .22 that I routinely load with random ammo - sometimes running shorts and LR's in the same magazine simply because I CAN. It's supposed to be FUN, not WORK. Remind yourself of that occasionally.

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,668 Senior Member
    Thanks, guys, some good ideas. I do reload, but since I don't shoot much, I don't reload very much. I enjoy my ten rounds or so, but after making sure all is well, I don't enjoy shooting cans or milk jugs. Even when someone else furnishes the gun and ammo. I don't see the point in it. I'm not saying I NEVER shoot up ammo, but it's rare for me. Rolling cans for me is a one-mag affair. Fun, for a mag or so, but after that...well.

    Busting Vanilla wafers does not appeal to me. I tried the "Black Death Challenge" for a .22. It was an eye opener. A difficult thing to do.

    And I don't have 400 yards to shoot. I'd have to drive for about an hour or more to get that distance, which I won't do. So I guess I'm doomed to die with a an acceptable (I won't say a "lot") of ammo to pass along to some lucky family member or my grandchildren.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • HvyMaxHvyMax Senior Member Posts: 1,826 Senior Member
    Get a Dueling Tree and a couple of friends and your ammo storage problems will be over. Having a Christmas Forest across the ravine doesn't help either. Working transitions on multiple targets is a blast. My son quit the school rifle team because it was too boring. He prefers Steel shoots and IPSC stuff. When it comes to hunting I'm the same way. I am still working off a case of Goose and a case of Turkey loads I bought 30 years ago. My "Business Ammo" is carefully conserved but I try to get my hands on all of the "Play Ammo" I can afford.
    Wal Mart where the discriminating white trash shop.
    Paddle faster!!! I hear banjos.
    Reason for editing: correcting my auto correct
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,176 Senior Member
    Gene, for the most part, I am in your camp.

    I go shooting a lot, but, just a few rnds a session. If things are going well, that is enough. If things are not so good, shooting more won't help and either way I'll have to come back another day.
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    I go to the range too shoot and I always take a lot of ammo. I don't try to shoot it all but then I'm not concerned if I do. I still shoot my 22s like a fool just not a damn fool anymore.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • HvyMaxHvyMax Senior Member Posts: 1,826 Senior Member
    Buford wrote: »
    I go to the range too shoot and I always take a lot of ammo. I don't try to shoot it all but then I'm not concerned if I do. I still shoot my 22s like a fool just not a damn fool anymore.

    I know!!! When 22 was readily available my kids and their friends could easily go through over 1000 an hour. One of my favorite memories is of my son and a few friends shooting in the yard. One was sitting on the back rack of the 4wheeler another on the front. The other one was resting across the hood of the tractor all just plinking away at the Christmas forest across the ravine.
    Wal Mart where the discriminating white trash shop.
    Paddle faster!!! I hear banjos.
    Reason for editing: correcting my auto correct
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,754 Senior Member
    I shoot enough to accomplish my goal. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes a little.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 5,068 Senior Member
    I go to the range for 3 basic reasons,
    1) Practice and proficiency for an upcoming match or SD.
    2) Load development.
    3) Pre hunt sight in, where I live and again at altitude where I'm hunting.

    That said I usually have about 1000 rds. for comp and PD, 100 rds. for hunting, 250 - 300 rds for SD, each for most of my guns

  • HvyMaxHvyMax Senior Member Posts: 1,826 Senior Member
    I really only like to "Range" shoot my guns when working up loads or a new setup. Then I just enjoy shooting it at whatever until something needs fixed. I see all of my guns as useful for whatever their caliber is ethical to use on. My EBR build is perfectly good for use on most anything. My MSR's would be fine for deer or most anything else. I guess I consider any and all of my shooting as "Training" Once the gun is set up any and all shooting is gained experience with that firearm. I love Hickock45's setup. Steel for as far as the eye can see. Gotta love it. I just have my Christmas Forest of crap to shoot at. I don't condone general magdumping but hitting as many targets as fast as you can is good practice for most anything especially hunting where good reflexes are the difference between getting a shot or not. Crap just keeping a beltfed on about a 12-14" target at 50-100yds is a challenge in itself.
    Wal Mart where the discriminating white trash shop.
    Paddle faster!!! I hear banjos.
    Reason for editing: correcting my auto correct
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    We're fortunate we can shoot right here at the house. For self defense practice we burn through all kinds of ammo. We did so just yesterday. And my wife loves her little .22 rifle. She shot that a lot just for fun.
    Our centerfire rifles are hunting tools. So once those are dialed in we practice from field positions and for quick follow up shots.
    How many varies, but it's til we're satisfied.
    I don't think we waste ammo. But I also don't think we skimp on it either.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    As usual, I'm late for the parade but I'll add my 2cents. Try shooting something that's fun. Once I get a gun sighted in, watching holes appear in paper is boring. Reactive targets like steel plates give instant gratification when you hit them and you can mix up the size and distance. I take a handful of steel plates to the SE shoot every year and I can safely say that the greater majority of the shots fired are at the plates (chains in some cases) so I suspect that there's others out there that feel the same.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
  • rallykidrallykid Senior Member Posts: 657 Senior Member
    My PSL will sometimes get 10 rounds through it, sometimes 40. Sometimes the AK's will get 30 rounds, other times i have put 2000 rounds down range. .22's will be between 10 and 50 each. It depends on how, why and what I am shooting.
    No, I do not have a pink fuzzy bunny fetish but apparently my Facebook hacking wife does.
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