Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One Becomes 4. And some Ammo...

So I was pretty happy with my Bersa. It worked great, shot well and was pretty much what I wanted.

I had mentioned recently that I had purchased a Henry US Survival rifle online just after buying the Bersa. It came not long after I got the Bersa and I ran down to Wade's Guns in Bellevue to pick it up. I was chagrined to see that they dinged me something fierce for buying it as I did - they charged me something like $30 for the FFL paperwork (which is fine by me and expected) but then added on a percentage fee for the $$ they feel they lost by me not buying it there. Say what?

Funny that because I tried to buy one from them. The moron kid at the counter tried to sell me a .270 rifle when it was very obvious I wanted this specific rifle. I kept coming back to it, then finally left in disgust when he didn't get it. He didn't offer to order it, just kept going on about stuff I wasn't interested in.

Lesson learned. Either I gotta find a different FFL or just buy local, which really isn't a problem for me anyhow. But not from Wade's Guns in Bellevue, you can be sure of that.

Anyhow, I got the Survival Rifle home and checked it out. It works great for what it is - a survival rifle. If you need to take small game in a survival situation, it will work great. Its light, its compact (it folds up into its stock) and its simple to operate.

The key thing about this rifle is its light. One can carry a lot of .22LR ammo and this rifle in your backpack. Much more than larger calibers. If I'm getting out of dodge, this will be a great rifle to have along for the ride.

I'd heard about concerns with reliability and build quality, and it isn't the most refined rifle on the block, but it works (and I hear Henry's takeover improved things over Armalite versions).

Happy enough.

So now that I had the hardware, it was time to get the ammunition. I ran into a few sales on bricks of .22LR ammo, so I quickly added several thousand rounds to my personal storage (aka, an 'arsenal' to those who don't own guns). I also bought a few cases of .380 ammo - I figured that a few cases would be good for starters.

This was all last August, and I'm sure glad I put this stuff away as both calibers are largely absent from the shelves today (and have been for the past 6 months at least).

Ok, so I had a small handgun and a small survival rifle.

Someone once and mentioned that guns were a bit like crack. And they are. No sooner had I gotten done with these purchases that I decided that for my purposes, I really needed to fill my arsenal out a bit. I don't regret what I had, but once I began this journey, I realized that I would need heavier duty weapons that would actually serve as self-defense weapons should I need them. This always happens to n00bs. No matter how much you research, you end up spending $$ to learn the hard way. Cameras, bikes, and now guns. Shrug.

So I went back to West Coast Armory and bought a Glock 17. It was high on this list because 9mm is an eminently available round, it has high capacity magazines and what I'm told is legendary reliability.

I was a bit off-put by the lack of a manual safety, and it took me awhile to really get over it. Every gun I'd owned had one. It just didn't seem safe. I thought alot about it, and decided that the Glock was ok in this regard. This was to be a defensive pistol, not a carry piece (way to big for that IMHO) and so it sits in the safe or is on my hip in a holster as the world comes down around me, ready to go.

So I bought it. And waited again for the week to pick it up.

I then bought a few cases of 9mm ammo to add to my growing pile stored in plastic food-grade buckets in the storage room.

Next was a rifle that could really reach out and touch someone. I had spent a fair bit by this point, and so I decided to go surplus for my rifle. I noted that a local sporting goods store had Mosin Nagants on sale for less than $100 and that seemed to be great. Its shoots a heavier cartridge, its reliable (so I'm told) and wouldn't cost me an arm/leg. So I picked that up too. Process was easier for rifles - no waiting period.

Then I added a couple of cases of sardine-tinned 7.62x54R ammo from some ex-communist country. Corrosive joy, I hear. I have not shot it yet because I keep hearing about how I gotta get the headspace checked. Ugh.

My safe was filling up already and I was only 2 months into this new journey.

What I'm glad about is that I did all this last fall before the ammo shortage. If I had waited 5 months, I would have been outta luck. Its still pretty much impossible to find .380 or .22 ammo. The russkie stuff is available, as is 9mm, but its more expensive.

Whew. I love it when a plan comes together.


  1. Yep, that's how it happens.

    I've been interested in that Henry for a while, I'd like to head more about it sometime. Seems like you're missing something from your arsenal though....a shotgun perhaps???

    Just one crack addict helping another.......

  2. ha ha. yeah, the shotgun is missing. still.

    I'm not done I'm afraid.

    I'm seriously oogling either a Springfield 1911 GI or a XD .40. I need either like another orifice, but hey...

  3. Oh, and I'm happy with the Henry overall. Its fit/finish is acceptable, if not refined in any way. Its basic and functional.

    The only issue I have is that I've had a few ejected shells getting jammed on exit. This is mostly with the federal bulk pack copper jacket HP stuff. At some point I'll try some other brands, but the aforementioned is what I mostly have stored. And FWIW, for its use, a periodic stoppage like this isn't a big deal to me.

    The sights on it are rudimentary, and although you can scope it, that really negates the main purpose of the gun.