The USA is suffering the most severe ammunition famine in living memory. Gun fanciers, fearing a Democrat crackdown on every American's right to pack heat, are clearing shelves at ammo shops and hoarding cartridges. AP reports that the Remington Arms Company's factory in North Carolina is now working around the clock trying to …
*wonders what good ol' Blighty would be like if WalMart's UK tentacle, Asda, sold guns 'n' ammo* ... *shudders*
Don't know much about guns...
You musn't know much about guns.... and I'm no expert. However....
5.56 or .223 as it is known in the civilian world here in the US is one of the most popular rounds. The AR15 is the civilian version of the M16/M4 rifle and is probably the most popular semi-auto to be had. Countless manufacturers build these rifles of varying quality. Second to that is probalby the AK 47, which shoots 7.62, which is ALSO impossible to find these days. For hunting, its the .308 and THOSE are hard to come by. The 5.56 round is the NATO round. the 5.56 is used by the US armed forces, police forces and civilians. THATS why its impossible to find these days. Hell, you can't even find .22LR these days, and thats just for children and backyard plinking!
As for the political side, no, there aren't any pending regulations this year. However, Biden, the Vice President, has a history of supporting gun control/bans, so while healthcare is on the burner, us Americans know that guns and ammo are getting mixed up in a bowl on the counter... Even fire arms are hard to come by at a decent price these days, let alone the rounds to shoot them with.
As for the.45, its not the round that is the issue for accuracy. It is the barrel that shoots it. Many model 1911s have been upgraded with match grade barrels and shoot very nicely. As for penetrating battle armor, civilians generally don't shoot at armored soldiers in this country... and gangstas are more likely to use a .9mm, which has much less stopping power...
Nice try though.
Mines the one with the Keltec SU16 in side....
Be fair ...
Qaddaffi Duck (or however you spell it) is in the US now; we need the ammo to guard against his ilk and Scottish politicians who might order an invasion just so they can capture and free him.
As for Obama, the man is on record as being in favor of gun control and using bureaucracy to keep guns out of the hands of honest American citizens ... besides, he's a Chicago Democrat, a socialist, a lawyer, and a Harvard grad. Would you take him at his word?
Oh, and the NBA season starts soon. Maybe people are just bracing themselves for when the Pacers and Trailblazers come to town.
Colt, Smith&Wesson: Pro Obama/Dems
I can just see it now: the weapon and ammo manufacturers will (silently?) endorse Obama or any other candidate who Right Wingers *think* will take away their guns, just to keep the run on guns and ammo going.
Who says capitalism doesn't create strange bedfellows? The grenade, whose turn is coming I'm sure.
Blimey, what can you say other than only in America!
Reading that Walmart sells bullets...
...is one of the more surreal moments I've had. It's truly terrifying that a nation intent on disarming the rest of the world can arm up when getting in their weekly shop.
someone tell Gordon!
Boost the economy, reverse the firearms ban! Buy Radway Green, help BAE by going Green!
Ok, so my old range now has housing on it, but details, details.
As for preference, I liked 9mm subsonic in my 228. Stopping power was never really relevant to UK civilian shooting, but reduced recoil helped with accuracy.
And as for Walmart, don't have to go that far afield. Check a French or Belgian rural supermarket. Go past the booze, fruit & veg, hang a left and find the firearms aisle.
"The ammo rush has been dubbed the "Obama effect" by gun-industry people, but in fact there is no sign at present of any particularly aggressive move towards stricter federal gun laws"
So.. it's only the knee-jerk, media-obeying idiot drones that are buying it then. Just the kind of people you want to be well armed.
Unless they just started selling World War Z in the US. 45 ACP would go well with squidgy zomzoms.
I for one...
...welcome a country where the citizens can become unified enough to decide that the government needs to be stopped.
Hey, how about us generous Americans who donate claymores?
As for the .45 ACP (and, you should always indicate ACP, if that's the round you're discussing, to avoid confusing it with the same caliber, but longer .45 LC), there's always the .454 Casull if you need more power (or the .45 LC).
ACP=Automatic Colt Pistol:
LC=Long Colt, an older, longer, originally black powder round (also infamous as the cartridge that won the west):
I smell a scam
i) x starts rumour about gun confiscation
ii) NRA wingnuts (programmed to) believe rumour
iii) mad rush to buy 'rare' ammo
iv) ammo price rises
Legislation on Gun Registration
H.R.45 - Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009
To provide for the implementation of a system of licensing for purchasers of certain firearms and for a record of sale system for those firearms, and for other purposes.
And this is IT related how?
Is any 'news' that comes from a web site therefore IT related?
You can buy ammo in their equivalent of Asda? That's nuts.
Old news, sort of...
There has been an ammo shortage for quite a while- from October 2008 to around May or June this year, I suspect it was due to primers and other components all but vanishing on the open market, snapped up by people who were hording from the election panic. (On a side note, AR-15s and semi-auto AK47s also were especially hard to come by during this time). Since May or June, I've been noticing various calibers reappearing on the market- 9mm, .223/5.56, 7.62x39, etc. Except for .22 Long Rifle. I suspect that the reason why it's still scarce is due to how rimfire ammunition is assembled.
The reason that the big retailers (Wal-Mart, to use the example from the article) are limiting sales is to keep consumers from buying up the store's entire allotment the second it arrives.
*wanders back into the magazine storage and looks at what caliber to mail order next*
gimme 10mm anyday
I haven't carried a gun, or even owned one for quite some many years now
but the last I had was an HK 10mm
Truly sublime - well, in it's function as a firearm.
What a sick society...
.45 ACP-partly truth and partly fiction
You are correct when you say most "off the shelf" .45 ACP lacks stopping power.
Someone with sufficient experience with the round and the guns that fire it, however, can safely engineer handloaded ammunition which will knock down and demolish a 55 gallon drum full of wet sand at 25 yards.
The issue is how much of the kinetic energy of the round can be transferred to the target on impact.
A properly loaded .45 ACP round hits a human-sized target with the force of a lead basketball moving at 300 mph, and, as you've pointed out, the bullet is subsonic and usually stays in the body, which is important in home defense.
Unloaded guns don't kill people (unless you're an expert at pistol whipping). Tax the possession of ammo :]
You may want to wear a vest and compare a .45 with a 9mm. I think you'll find the qualitative difference in "stopping power" to be fairly negligible.
"Stopping power" is more than the size of the bullet. It also includes velocity and the shape that the bullet takes as it strikes/enters the body. There's a reason no one really builds dreadnoughts anymore (yes, it's a ship, but the principle is the same). It's not cost effective. You can get the same devastation from a smaller shell if it's traveling faster.
Being a U.S. citizen, even I know that the AK-47 is more popular than the M-16 (worldwide). Even if it's not as accurate (that's being kind), it will put up with far more abuse and still work.
AC because I'm probably sounding like a jerk about this.
Very good John, very good comment.
However, as an ammunition hand-crafter and bullet caster for over 40 years I'd like to clear up one point. A gun's configuration most certainly affects accuracy, and in the case of the venerable, if not historic, Model of 1911 45 automatic (actually semi-automatic) pistol, “generous” tolerances are such to favor function "in the mud" so to speak over tack-driving accuracy. But, ammunition plays a significant roll too.
Strangely enough, especially for the non shooters, every gun has its preferences and certain load configurations simply play havoc with accuracy. Hand loaders as a matter of routine "work up" to an acceptably accurate round by varying components. Every variable possible has an effect on accuracy: primer brisance, powder type (flake, ball, or extruded), case capacity, case neck tension, bullet alloy or jacket composition, ogive variances, bullet seating depth, and many other factors too numerous to mention here. But the thing is, in pretty much any gun, vary one ammunition component and you affect accuracy. One reason over the years factory ammunition has been less accurate than specifically tailored stuff is its plain vanilla, generic component design to just go bang in every gun it’s chambered for.
And, as usual, the press has gotten a bit of a wrong take on this and in interviewing so few people they can’t help it. But no matter, it is what it is and those of us in the middle of it do a lot more grinnin’ than groanin’. We can’t help that either. You see, we honed our shooting and reloading abilities a little over 200 years ago in a minor skirmish with some monarch ... I forget his name. But we enjoyed what we accomplished then and we sort of like to keep the dream alive today.
I could go on and on but I need to cut the 4x4s I have to strengthen the floor support of my shop. All that lead, tin and antimony is causing the floor to warp and we just can’t have that.
This isn't news - it's been the case for almost a year now. I'm not affected by the shortage much, apart from a slight scarcity of primers at the moment. I handload my ammo and cast my own .45 200 grain bullets from wheel-weights.
I do need to buy some more rifle propellant, though; 1lb will only do about 140 rounds of .308, whereas 1lb will do about 1,300 rounds of .45ACP, and I go through about 100 rounds of rifle and about 500 rounds of pistol on weekends.
You don't shoot much, do you?
"*Most kinds of .45 have unexceptional muzzle energy and are big and fat, giving fairly poor performance even against light, flexible body armour. It was the standard US military pistol round for a long time and many diehards still swear by it, but people who carry guns for a living - cops, soldiers, criminals - are mostly using other calibres these days. (Some spec-ops troops still use .45, as the bullet is subsonic and thus can be effectively silenced.)"
What you wrote isn't completely correct.
The reason why you don't see a lot of people carrying .45s is that the round is big and the kick from firing the round has to be mastered. You want to be able to hit your target with each shot fired.
Its easier to teach a person to shoot a 9mm because it has less recoil. If you're not trained properly you will flinch with the recoil of the .45 and this will in turn cause you to be less accurate. Also a typical .45 has a magazine capacity at 8 rounds or less. A 9mm like a glock can have a 15+1 rd capacity. So you can carry more bullets. These two facts are the reasons why police and military forces switched to smaller rounds.
With respect to 'subsonic' ammo, any round can be hand loaded to be subsonic, however this will limit your down range energy delivered to the target.
While there aren't any new laws slated, that doesn't mean that there won't be any new taxes on ammo. Besides the day after Obama won the election, many gun lovers went out and bought new guns. ;-)
Oh and BTW, even if the round doesn't penetrate the kevlar vest, if it is large enough and has enough energy, hitting you in the right place can still cause you to die.
Gotta Love Them Yanks
"an average of 23 rounds per head"
With an average of 23 brain cells per head too.
Depends on how close you want to get
If you don't mind getting up close and dirty then a nice little 9mm pistol will do the job.
The septics need to get a grip.....
Got an AK47 well you know it makes me feel alright
Got an Uzi by my pillow, helps me sleep a little better at night
There's no feeling any greater
Than to shoot first and ask questions later
Now I'm trigger happy,(wooooooo) trigger happy every day
Well, you can't take my guns away, I got a constitutional right
Yeah, I gotta be ready if the Commies attack us tonight
Ba Ba Ba
I'll blow their brains out with my Smith and Wesson
That ought to teach them all a darn good lesson
Now I'm trigger happy,(wooooooo) trigger happy every day
They can have my gun when...
Just goes to show the difference between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats want to take away your guns, and Republicans want to take away your porn.
It seems that, after watching crap TV for too many years where all problems are solved by the gun, the 'merkins have all finally gone crazy.
Mutual Assured Destruction, yep, gonna plug my frigging neighbours afor they get me! Yeeha!!
$ and sense
just another way Obama is stimulating the US economy :D
@Rob, re: Exclamation Mark
> Blimey, what can you say other than only in America!
Nah, I expect South Africa is just as crazy. Last time I was there the park ranger at the gate to Kruger seemed genuinely surprised that I wasn't in possession of a firearm.
That was in '85. I can only guess that it's the same, or worse, today.
Well, the difference between the UK and America is that we don't get put in jail for wearing a heavy coat and carying a laptop. Something about the citizens being empowered to overthrow the government at will...
Fire, because the politicians know that if push comes to shove, they'll get burned....
Don't look to the Obama administration
For answers... just tune to Faux News, Rush Limbaugh, etc etc... Not a matter of people fearing they'll lose the right to bear arms so much as people that are just all stirred up by their chosen media (and secretly loving it too, I think).
Funny to hear them prattle on and on about how the country is suddenly changed/doomed/yadayada. I truly believe The Gilded Age by Mark Twain (and some other guy) should be required reading here. In spite of being published in the 1870s, it describes contemporary American politics perfectly. Nothing really changes, except what people remember...
A flood will follow this drought
For the record, .223 Remington and 5.56mm are Different cartridges. You can fire a .233 in a weapon chambered for 5.56mm, but the opposite is considered unsafe by SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer's Institute).
I know it's all the rage to consider only energy in stopping power, but an excellent argument can be made that the more important figure is momentum. Energy is calculated by taking Half the mass times the velocity Squared. This means that energy figures are Much greater for a smaller, faster projectile. Momentum, on the other hand, is calculated by simply multiplying the mass by the velocity. If you look at the two “Gold Standard” man stopper cartridges (ones with Many, Many one shot stops on record) we have the 230 grain .45 ACP and the 125 Grain .357 Magnum. By looking at energy figures, it's hard to imagine that the .45 works as well as the .357 – which can have almost Twice the energy. But when you compare momentum, you find that they are almost exactly the same.
Now, it's true that big and slow is easier to defeat with armor than small and fast, which is why when people face armored opponents they favor things like steel core 5.56mm rounds. However, against unarmored opponents, what a civilian is most likely to face, the .45 is very effective, with a reduced risk of over penetration. Which, is another reason the .45 gets chosen by groups like the FBI hostage rescue team.
As for the ammunition shortage, it's pretty tight over here. I went to pick up some 9mm and .45 (range fodder, not the good stuff) and had to go to three different shops to find it. I personally can't wait till the people settle down and stop panic buying – the price is inflated now and it makes practice an expensive endeavor :(
ROTM because what are we supposed to use to stop the inevitable machine uprising, harsh language?
This is why I like swords, daggers and knives
Swords, daggers and knives require no reloading.
Systems Thinking and Reinforcing Loops
This is an interesting lesson in exactly how a reinforcing loop works. Here's a basic version.
10 Obama gets elected.
20 The far Right believe there will soon be a shortage on ammo.
30 The pundits from the Right talk about it and create a fervor.
40 Those listening go to local Wally world and buy up whatever they can afford to hoard.
50 Those that don't get there soon enough report back that the ammo is gone.
60 The Right preach about how it is already coming to pass.
70 Shelves get stocked and emptied at faster rates as everyone believes the big stop is coming.
80 Price *1.5, Stock *0.8, rationing begins, everyone assumes they are being "regulated".
90 Speed *2
100 GOTO 20
The fascinating part to all this is that AFAIK, not one control bill has been proposed. Perception != reality. The good news for the ammo companies is that they will blow through stock right up until Obama is a lame duck at this rate. Hmm... Big Ammo supporting a dem for re-election... There's a thought.
Nine billion rounds sold? I can't imagine 9 billions shots have been fired in a year in the US, let alone by civilians. Must be those right-wingers in the south. I'm a British ex-pat, and in the part of Northern California where I live I know nobody who owns a gun or wants to. Probably the same in most urban areas in California, except for the gang members and the minority of nervous householders. Probably a different story out in the countryside, though.
But honestly, why do you need a gun? If you come up against somebody with a gun who wants to rob you, having a gun isn't going to help you, it would probably make things worse.
If I encounter an intruder, I think I'll stick with one of my late father's shove-ha'penny trophies with the nice heavy marble base, that'll teach 'em!
At least the Obama plan to stimulate the economy is working for one industry...
Mine's the trenchcoat with the assault rifle tucked in there.
only in America
is the right to bare arms more important that the right to free healthcare!!
Seriously Americans, get a grip. You're the only Democracy in the world who doesn't have free State healthcare, and you're the only one that's obsessed with owning guns. You have your priorities well and truly screwed up.
This article is a bit out of date.
The demand for ammo is finally starting to abate slightly, I can finally go the the range and buy one box of rounds now.
I did not vote for Oboma but I did buy two more pistols this year, the left really is the biggest gun advertisement in history.
Oh and I like the .45 also, very effective against unarmoured thugs and has low penetrate through mutiple walls unlike a 9mm or .40 plus it's fun to shoot and easy to reload.
This was news 6 months ago. Back then you couldn't get 9mm or 556 (223) for love nor money. Now, while it's not quite "back to normal", you can a) get it b) without paying ridiculous amounts for it.
The only ammo I had trouble getting was the cheapest "plinking" target shooting rounds. For the stuff you'd really want to stockpile against a rainy day, it was already expensive and I've not had any problems getting it.
I'm an expat living in the US. I have among others, several semi-auto pistols, a tactical shotgun, and an assault rifle. Believe it or not, there's nothing unusual in this, here. The yanks look on with similar horror and disbelief at the UK's common usage of naughty words, dangerously liberal attitude to the devil drink, and how the English spell / pronounce many of their words incorrectly.
To the footnote about "subsonic" - you can get subsonic ammo for pretty much any pistol or rifle, so I don't know what they're on about.
.45 vs 9mm
Changing the US military over from .45ACP to 9mm had little to do with ballistics. It was done for two primary reasons (as I understand it -- I'm no expert so I may be wrong...)
1.) NATO. The NATO standard was defined to be 9mm. Changing the US military to the same caliber made it easier for US troups to share.
2.) Capacity. A 45 caliber M1911A1 only holds 7 rounds in the clip. The M9 holds 15 rounds in the clip. They're smaller and lighter so a soldier can carry more.
Bootnote is wrong!
THe .45 ACP has the best stopping power when compared to the 9mm because it is a heavy bullet. Thats what you want it to be--subsonic. Being subsonic creates the worst wound. Try the Hydra-Shock ammo for the 45 and you'll see what happends.
For personal defence in a weapon you want a big heavy .45 acp 200+ grain hollow point for best stopping power. I never understood the military switch to the 9mm except that you gain more fire power or more rounds in the mag compared to the .45 with only 7-15 depending on make of pistol.
I carry the Springfield .45 ACP and use the HydraShock to protect my family and myself. If someone tries to beat me or my family the only thing left on the top of their shoulders will be a pile a goo where their head used to be.
And to all you anti-gunners out there, I have a right, as any free man or woman, to protect my family and myself from anyone who would bodily harm us for no reason--who says I have to run away? I see no reason why a law abiding citizen has to live like a sheep while criminals go in a revolving door through the "system" at our expense only to go back to their violent ways. I have already made 2 "gangsta" types think before they made their desicion to violate me and my belongings--Perfectly legal, as it should be. One is in jail--still.
In all USA states that have inacted the CPL or Concealed Carry Law, crime has gone down and thats no lie. THe States that have no Carry law only the criminals have guns. Some of those states are Nevada and NewYork and Washington DC. THe latter not a state but its still has a ban on CPL.
Re Ian Michael Gumby
"With respect to 'subsonic' ammo, any round can be hand loaded to be subsonic, however this will limit your down range energy delivered to the target."
True, but if you place your shots accurately, then size and energy matter less, along with magazine capacity. Along with any risk to bystanders from spray & pray. Size and ft lbs aren't everything.
"in fact there is no sign at present of any particularly aggressive move towards stricter federal gun laws."
Does this mean there are plenty of signs of gradual, peaceful movement towards stricter federal gun laws?
RE : mooo
"*wonders what good ol' Blighty would be like if WalMart's UK tentacle, Asda, sold guns 'n' ammo* "
Quieter, I expect. Although possibly not at first.
Now I have a whole bunch of paranoid-delusional schizophrenic wingnuts who are off their meds and running around armed to the teeth. As if life isn't crazy enough without giving the psyche ward a weekend pass and the keys to the armory. These are the people that think they know how to handle a firearm in a combat situation just because they showed up for a concealed weapons class, took a written test and popped off a few rounds at the range. If something nasty does go down and anyone of these jerks does start popping off rounds they are liable to kill more bystanders than the actual threat. Then it gets worse when the cops show up and start returning fire and asking questions AFTER they take down the shooter(s). Their first couple of shots will usually do the trick but they'll send half a dozen or more rounds just to be sure. At least they take innocent bystanders into consideration before pulling the trigger. I hope...
What this really boils down to is racism - pure and simple. You have a bunch of ignorant fools who can't get over the fact that a minority is now the President of the United States of America after just over half of the country VOTED HIM INTO THE OFFICE IN A LAWFUL ELECTION. That is all this is about. They'll dress it up in all kinds of flowery language but they are really a marginalized fringe who can't handle change without resorting to violence. They've been suckered by the boys in the country club for so long they'd happily destroy America and turn it into a of collection of balkanized third world countries rather than accept that the world has changed and learning to cope. They'd happily tell you that if you don't like their point of view then you can GTFO; completely oblivious to the irony of how un-American THAT is. For what it's worth, I think most of these degenerates are blood belching vaginas who hide behind guns because they're way too insecure to fight like men. What most of them really need is a box of tampons to stop the hemorrhaging.
Honestly, if you aren't at least one third Native American then you need to get on a boat and go back to were you came from since ALL non-native Americans are immigrants. I'll make an exception for our African-American brothers and sisters since most of them didn't ASK to be here in the first place. They'll have to negotiate their accommodations with the natives though. Unfortunately I don't think our former homelands would take us back since the gene pool has degenerated so much. I think you Brits had a good idea when you sent the criminals to Australia and the poor and/or religious nuts to America. It's sad really but if stupidity was painful then most of these people would be on a permanent morphine drip.
I'll leave with a quote from one of the greatest Americans EVAR!
Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.*
-George Carlin (1937 - 2008)
*Unfortunately, it is well over half the closer you get to the Mason Jar Line and the further into the Midwest you go. Come to think of it, the western seaboard is the only safe place!
re: Blair Holt: Not quite
Check Snopes. (http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/blairholt.asp)
Looks like this Rep. Bobby Rush has introduced his bill again and it's once again languishing in committee. Just like the Republicans won't go near abortion in the federal legislature, Democrats won't go near gun control any time soon. Basically, smart politicos are realizing they have to play for the middle.
-- The well armed Lib'ral
For the record...
An 'assault rifle' is a fully-automatic rifle, usually of intermediate power as has been stated. Examples would include AK47 and M16. They've been heavily regulated in the USA since 1934 by the National Firearms Act, and several states ban civilian ownership of them completely. I don't own any.
An 'assault weapon' isn't a gun at all, it's a term coined by the anti-gun lobby to describe a weapon they have decided is 'politically incorrect'. They're essentially normal semi-automatic (one shot per trigger pull) rifles, but with extraneous features anti-gun people don't like. I own several of these.
Mike (expat Brit in the USA)
Re: @Exclamation Mark
John 104 flamed:
"Something about the citizens being empowered to overthrow the government at will..."
This will never happen in the US, despite the usual gun lobby and gun owner posturing: people would have to switch off the indoctrination box, roll off the couch and actually figure out how they'd actually "overthrow the government". The nemesis of gun owners, Michael Moore, showed how dimwitted the kind of people are who actually do stray away from Fox News and company for longer than the advert break - such people are dangerous, but not to those wielding "executive power".