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Buying An Off Caliber Gun For SHTF Makes Sense

Armscor ammunition

Left to Right – Remington 115gr, Armscor 115gr, Re-manufactured ammo ‘Brand X'

Every time I go to the store to buy ammo the stores are largely sold out of most of it. They're not sold out of all ammo, just the popular stuff. They've still got the less popular rounds in stock, which we'll get to in a moment.

But this simple fact is driving me to make decisions regarding my ammunition purchases that I never thought I'd have to make.

Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of ammunition in my possession. Let us not forget that I owned an ammo distributorship for more than a year and was able to buy it at my price. But I live by the belief that there are certain things in life that you can't have too much of, and one of those things is ammo.

The calibers that are consistently sold out in the stores and even online in many cases are as follows:

  • 9mm
  • .223/5.56
  • 38 Special
  • 380 ACP
  • 357 Magnum
  • 7.62X39
  • 45 ACP

45 ACP is on there to a lesser degree than the others, but those are the hardest hit calibers, at least in my area and seemingly online. And sadly, those are my main calibers. I currently own firearms chambered in each of those.

Based on my research and knowledge of the industry at large, they are also probably your main calibers. All of my semi-auto pistols are chambered in 9mm or 380 besides my 1911 that is in .45 Auto.

And while I am able to find ammunition at online retailers, it costs a lot more than usual unless it comes with free shipping and those places seem to be consistently out of ammo lately.

There's just a shortage that I think is going to last well into next year. I'm not sure how it couldn't last that long at this point with 2020 being an election year that is set to go down as one of the most volatile in history.

So the way I see it, is that I have two different options to be able to find and buy my freedom seeds to feed my gun. The first option is to buy reloading equipment and supplies to start making my own, and the second option is to buy a gun or two in off calibers that don't have as big of a following.

I'm not going to discuss reloading this time around, but that is likely on the horizon at some point in the near future. What I learn I'll be sure to talk about in an article.

But I am entering the market for a new gun, or something else, which I'll talk about in a moment. These are guns like those chambered in 357 Sig, 40 S&W, and 10mm.

Each time I go to the local gun stores and the big box Sportsman's Warehouse those are the only calibers they have in stock when I go.

When the 9mm would be utterly bare on the left, and the .45 ACP would have 3 or 4 boxes on the right, the .40 S&W in the center would have several shelves of boxes.

And .223/5.56? Forget about it. None whatsoever any of the times I've gone since March.

It's really starting to get irritating.

So this leads me to the thought that buying an off-caliber gun, or a conversion, is a good idea. And, if you're struggling with finding ammo for your chosen caliber firearms this may be a good option for you, too.

One option that I'm looking into is a SIG P320 in 9mm but with the internals to make it shoot 40 or 357 Sig. Then I can look for three different kinds of ammunition when I go to the store, so I can always buy something.

And to those of you who share the thought I used to have about “stocking more than one caliber” being a bad thing, all I want is ammo. I don't have that thought anymore because I have more space than I used to. All I want is a gun that shoots ammo well, and ammo for that gun to shoot.

Caliber is less important to me now than it ever was before. All I care about is that I've got enough to defend and feed my family.

I look around at the current state of affairs and am very concerned that my thousands of rounds of ammo won't be enough for defensive and hunting purposes and need to do something about it right now to fix that.

I do believe that now is the time to do this, however, because this “surplus” in .40 cal ammo will only last so long as more people move into it as happened during the last ammo crisis.

Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and then take a look at these articles, next:

Here's why we use hollow points for self-defense.

Learn how to train with live fire drills that use less ammo here.

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6 Responses to Buying An Off Caliber Gun For SHTF Makes Sense

  1. David Sorrell August 3, 2020 at 2:33 pm #

    Exactly why I carry a 40 cal. Big box stores were out of everything except 40 and 22. I buy whatever I can afford every time I go.

  2. Greg Schweigert August 4, 2020 at 8:30 am #

    Although I participate in Glock shoots, own a G23 and a G17, I am not a huge Glock fan. I do not like the grip angle. S&W, SA, and Sig are all a better fit for me. Having said that, in context of your off caliber article, I purchased a Lone Wolf Glock 32 barrel for my G23 for $99 from Midway. My G23 now gives me the option of .40S&W and .357 Sig. This is a great option that I like, but although those two calibers are currently easier to find, they are more expensive. I liked the article. The current political climate has resulted in the shortages of both guns and ammo. I have been trying to get a SA AR15 pistol Saint Victor or Saint Edge in 5.56 for months. The rep from SA said the problem is getting the parts. This ridiculous overblown pandemic is the problem with the parts acquisition. This 73 yr old Vietnam Vet never thought he would see what is happening in this country in his lifetime.

  3. Fiddlesticks August 5, 2020 at 9:08 am #

    I’d get a Glock chambered in 10mm. They shoot 40S&W (Soft & Weak) just fine (they headspace off the extractor) with no conversion required. One gun, two calibers, no conversion, same (10mm) mags. I’m not advocating shooting a different caliber than the gun is marked for on a regular basis, but in the context of an ammo shortage, it’s good to have the option.

  4. Maggie August 6, 2020 at 6:59 am #

    What does SHTF stand for?

    • Joshua Gillem August 6, 2020 at 7:48 am #

      It’s kind of a nice way of saying when the “crap hits the fan.” We don’t use bad language on our blog because we try to keep it family friendly, but replace “crap” with a similar word that starts with an “S.” It’s a term used by many to describe a massive bad event like a global pandemic or something similar happening.

      I hope this helps, and I’m sorry I didn’t explain it in the article.


    • Robert House Jr. August 7, 2020 at 3:27 pm #

      sh!t hit the fan

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