For this day after Thanksgiving blog post, I thought I would do something fun and talk about my personal AmmoSquared account and <gasp!> some of the guns I own related to the calibers in my wallet. Every gun owner likes to talk about guns so while everyone else is out Black Friday shopping, here is my chance. :)
So am I really an AmmoSquared customer too? Yep. Like the old Hair Club for Men commercial goes, “I’m not only the President I’m also a customer!” Heck, I started AmmoSquared because I wanted to be able to sock away ammo for a rainy day like a 401k, so of course I use my own product. Or as they say in the tech world for some strange reason: “I eat my own dog food”. (I’m sure the companies that actually make dog food (eg: Purina) don’t test the food themselves… but I digress).
Let’s see that wallet Dan!
Okay here is what my AMMO² Wallet looks like today, November 25, 2022:
So you can see I have a total of $600.02 in market value. That is composed of my Available Ammo Inventory ($540.74), my Pending Ammo Inventory ($28.80) and my US Dollar (USD) Balance of $30.48.
Now that we have ACH, I have set my wallet to align with my paycheck every other Friday. I then have my crate reload on a similar cycle but for $25 so I can build up a little extra in my USD Balance that I can use for one off purchases. Basically it looks like this:
Here is what my crate reload looks like:
You can see the odd percentages. I do that to get as close to a whole round as possible based on the price. You can tweak those numbers until your heart is content - which I sometimes do when I’m bored.
By the way, I used to have two crates, one called “Rifle Stuff” and the other called “Handgun Stuff”. I recently condensed both of those down into one crate called “All the Ammos”. Why? Well, to be honest, eventually our plan at AmmoSquared, is to move away from the separate crate model and have everything in one account/wallet - so I did it in my own account to test it out first. We have a lot of people that think they need one crate for each caliber and that gets confusing fast. In a future iteration we’ll have better tools and filters so a single crate makes sense and doesn’t cause anyone heartburn if we change things up.
I really do subscribe to the philosophy that I talk about a lot - ammunition as a store of value. I treat it like a 401k. In fact I stopped contributing to my 401k last year and put all of that extra money toward ammo and precious metals. This morning, I even put out a tweet thread about the current inflationary cycle we’re in, and why it is bad news for stocks but good for gold, silver, and commodities (like ammo!).
Calibers and Stuff
Anyway, enough about the boring account management stuff. Let’s talk about the calibers…
As you can see, I have a variety of calibers in my account. By the way, I thought of a word to describe my approach to guns and ammunition: POLYARMOROUS… Meaning: having a lot of different guns and different calibers.
I used to be in the camp of sticking with military/NATO standards in as few calibers as possible. But honestly, living through three ammo shortages showed me the drawback in that strategy: when everyone has the same calibers, those calibers disappear first. For example, I remember we could find 40 S&W in all flavors for months long after all the 9mm dried up. It changed my thinking about caliber choices.
So going back into my files, I found a snippet from my Firearms Strategy doc circa 1/8/2006. (You DO have a firearms strategy don’t you?) Here is mine from that time:
I know a lot of people subscribe to that way of thinking, including our CTO Chris Corriveau, who is a 9mm/223 guy and gives me a hard time about having a 40 S&W as my primary sidearm.
Smith & Wesson M&P 5” 2.0 in .40/.357 SIG/9mm
Maybe it’s because I’m a contrarian, but I love my .40! It is my primary strap-on-the-war-belt-and-run-out-the-door-because-the-zombies-are-attacking gun”. It is a 5” S&W M&P 2.0 in .40 S&W. Danielle has one too so we can share mags if needed. I also have a 5” .357 SIG barrel from KKM and a 5” 9mm barrel from Apex Tactical. The 9mm barrel is great for lower recoil and lower cost training. It is a truly versatile platform. Chris calls it a “transformer” and is another thing he doesn’t like. That’s okay, as I said, I’m polyarmorous and can love many calibers at the same time. Which I do…
Man, let me tell you that .357 SIG through the 5” barrel is smoking! I chrono’ed some standard 125gr FMJ and it was in the 1450 fps range. On par with a .357 Magnum. I don’t recall the brand but I want to say it was either Fiocchi or Winchester. I did the Dicken Drill with it for fun (it isn’t my normal carry gun) and it was a laser beam at 40 yards! Fun gun to shoot at distance, albeit a little spicy. The 5” barrel and flashlight help though.
Springfield TRP 1911 in 10mm
So that is why I have both 40 S&W and 357 SIG in my AMMO² Wallet. I also have 10mm - another smokin’ round. For that I have a Springfield TRP 1911 from before they discontinued them. I got it because I figured the 1911 was Jeff Coopers favorite gun and he helped develop the 10mm so why not a 10mm 1911? Honestly, just recently has my TRP become a reliable gun, the last time I took it out I was surprised to have zero malfunctions. I struggled with failure to feed for probably the first 200-300 rounds. It was beyond annoying and I thought about calling Springfield many times. For some reason it especially didn’t like PMC, but loved the aluminum cased Blazer… go figure. Now it seems to be settling down as it gets broken in.
Smith & Wesson 25-7 in 45 Colt
Let’s see, the last handgun caliber I have in my inventory (but took off of my regular ammo reload) is 45 Long Colt.
I have a S&W Model 25-7 chambered in 45 Colt. It has a solid cylinder and a 5” barrel. I just ordered new wood grips from Alamont so I can ditch the rubber ones it comes with. It has a very crisp 3lb single action trigger. Honestly, it is a really sweet shooting revolver, if you like revolvers, which I do.
So, the story of how I ended up with it is funny so I’ll tell it and then close out this blog post because it is getting pretty long. I’ll have to do a Part 2 if everyone likes this content.
The story of how I “accidently” bought a S&W 25-7 45 Colt…
Well, let me start off by saying that Gunbroker is my vice. Having your own FFL is dangerous too, and for that matter also part of the problem. Anyway, last year I decided that I wanted to justify a new gun in a caliber based on my age. Like I said, I’m polyarmorous so I only need the thinnest of excuses to buy a new gun in a new caliber. It helps that Danielle likes guns too, otherwise I’d be in hot water all the time. Generally if I get a gun, then she gets the next one. It is a good arrangement and keeps everyone happy.
Last year I turned 44 so of course I went to Gunbroker to look for something to match my age. A classic S&W 44 Magnum revolver seemed like just the ticket. Not quite “Dirty Harry” with the 8 3/8” barrel but 4-5” looked perfect to me.
In my search for a 44 Magnum S&W revolver, I came upon the Model 25-7 in 45 Colt which has a very unique look compared to other revolvers I was looking at. For one, the 5” barrel isn’t very common and the unfluted cylinder is even less common. In doing some research I also found out it was pretty accurate because they fixed some issues that the early guns had and this model rolled out before S&W added MIM parts and the infamous frame lock - so it was “Goldilocks” 45 Colt in my estimation. Here’s a pic of the model (not my gun):
The problem was they aren’t very common and tend to sell for a pretty high asking price - usually in the $1500 to $2000 range. In fact, I just checked Gunbroker today, and there is only one Smith & Wesson Model 25-7 on the site amongst 59 other S&W 45 Colt revolvers. Only one. It’s asking price, $1500.
So it was a somewhat rare gun. I’m not a collector, so I don’t know much about really rare collector guns. I just liked this particular model, which is hard to find - the blight of a contrarian, I guess. So anyway, as what usually happens is that I obsess over something long enough that I either pull the trigger or move on to something else. In this case, I decided to put a bid on one, for, gulp… $2100.
Luckily for me, and my wallet, I got outbid. My obsession out ran my reason but I was saved by someone who was more obsessed and less reasonable. That gun eventually ended up selling for $2160. I dodged a bullet because I didn’t really want to spend $2k on one gun.
Time went on and I checked Gunbroker off and on. A few months later I put a $1260 bid on a different Model 25-7 but figured, based on the last experience, that I had no chance of actually winning it at that price. Realizing those guns were just out of my price range, I went on with life and decided that I better just grab a 44 Magnum instead - my original plan based on my age/caliber plan.
Anyway, I ended up bidding on and winning a beautiful, deeply blued, 4” S&W 29-5 in 44 Magnum for around $1.2k - the same price I bid on the second 45 Colt. While that transaction was getting finalized with payment and shipping I was still watching the 25-7 expecting to be out bid…
For whatever reason, the ballistic angels smiled on me and I won that auction for half the price of the one I got outbid on a few months earlier! I ultimately ended up with both a beautiful 45 Colt AND 44 Magnum at nearly the same time for the price I was, momentarily, willing to pay for one revolver.
I’m not sure if Danielle actually believed me that I forgot about the 45 Colt auction which is why I ended up accidently buying a S&W 25-7 in 45 Colt… good thing I’m polyarmorous and don’t mind having multiple calibers! ;)