Be glad you’re an airgunner
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- We had fun
- Ammo shortage?
- Why am I telling you this?
- An historical aside
- The point
- What’s more
- One last remark
A week ago Friday and again last Friday I took my neighbor Denny to the range to shoot his new 9mm carry pistol. I took seveal of my own 9mm pistols too, just for fun.
We had fun!
I have not been to my gun range in 18 months! I was so rusty and out of practice at shooting a firearm that it was good to get back in the saddle. But while we were at the range Denny told me he had to go to the sporting goods store the minute they opened and he stood in a line to get his 9MM ammo. He was limited to just 300 rounds of 9mm and it cost him nearly $60!!!
I was flabbergasted. You see — I don’t listen to the news. Never have. I don’t like being lied to, and 40 years ago I discovered that was all they were doing, so I quit watching. Whenever I catch a snippet of a broadcast these days I can see that they run nothing else but grossly slanted lies.
I am aware of the riots in our big cities — the ones that have ironically talked about defunding their police departments (ha ha), but I was unaware that most of the rest of the population has finally figured it out. If you want to be protected, it’s up to you and nobody else!
So I went online to see for myself. Sure enough the bulk ammunition sellers are all out of stock and even MidwayUSA has nothing. They have plenty of 9mm ammo listed on their website but they have none to sell. They had to invent terms to describe the fact that none of it is available — temporarily unavailable, out of stock, out of stock no backorder, out of stock, backorder okay, etc.
Okay, default to Gun Broker. This is where the guys who bought up all the toilet paper back in March reside. One guy wants $145 for 50 rounds of 9mm! There are bids as high as $665.00 for 750 rounds with three days left on the clock! Ain’t no way!
My late wife, Edith, was a prepper. As a result we bought hundreds of rounds (thousands?) of 9mm loaded ammo when the price was low. I remember when $185 would get you 1,000 rounds of Winchester 9mm ammunition.
I didn’t buy .45 ACP ammo back then because I have a Dillon Square Deal B progressive reloading press that can make 250-300 rounds an hour. I have a half-ton of lead, tin and Linotype metal that I have collected over the years. And I have two lead pots and plenty of 6-gang bullet molds that can turn out bullets by the thousands.
I have several 8-pound containers of the correct gunpowder and thousands of primers. Can’t get most of that anymore, either.
When I got the Square Deal B progressive press I only wanted it for .45 ACP because that was what Edith and I shot by the thousands. But for a small investment I can convert it to load 9mm Luger ammo, as well. And the conversion kit is backordered two weeks, so even the reloaders in this nation are starting to wake up. But I have a single-stage press and dies for 9mm, so I can do it one at a time the old-fashioned way until my new stuff arrives.
Why am I telling you this?
Because we are airgunners! I hadn’t busted a cap in many, many months and I was rusty when first at the range, but because I shoot airguns all the time I quickly remembered how to do it. I started shooting the center out of the 50-foot bull at 15 yards, once my airgunning skills took over. I had been flinching and pulling the trigger quickly, which you can always spot when a right-hander starts throwing bullets low and to the left. But when I began squeezing the trigger correctly my Sig P365 tore the 10-ring out of the bull, followed closely by the P320 M17.
An historical aside
I had visited Otho Henderson, my gun buddy, the day before going to the range last Friday and he asked if I would like to shoot the 9mm P38 pistol his wife’s father had brought back from World War II. I agreed and he gave it to me.
His wife’s father was a Major in the Army Air Corps in WW II and one of his last duties was to fly the war correspondents to the Nazi prison camps as the allies liberated them. General Eisenhower wanted full documentation of the horrors of each camp, so people could never say that it didn’t happen. Even so, and with all the Army films of each camp’s liberation, I have met younger people who say just that!
I’ve even read a snippet of a letter he wrote about going into the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and what he saw. It tore him apart and it left me in tears! After seeing thast he said the loss of so many lives was well worth it, to stop that from happening.
While he was in the camp he went into commandant Josef Kramer’s office and liberated a nickel-plated Walther P38 from the desk. I got to shoot that pistol, along with Denny and reader Cloud Nine. The gun is heavily buffed and poorly plated — an obvious showy job that would appeal only to a non-shooter. But the pistol still functions as it did when new and it’s pretty accurate, too. Cloud Nine did particularly well with it.
A Walther P38 taken from the desk of the commandant of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April of 1945.
The point of today’s report is twofold. First, I do things beside shoot airguns. And second, and most importantly, I shoot more as an airgunner than I ever did as a firearm shooter. And shooting of any kind keeps me sharp. We talk about this all the time, but here is the proof of the pudding.
The current ammo shortage isn’t just affecting handgun shooters. Almost every round of firearm ammunition I can think of is in short supply. Even .22 rimfire is getting hard to find and is severely rationed when available. Younger shooters whose principal weapon is the AR-15 are really in a fix, because almost none of them reload. They couldn’t be bothered before the ammo shortage and now there is no way to start — all the tools and supplies are either in short supply or gone.
But airgunners have no shortage of pellets. Sometimes the most popular brands and calibers are sold out, but more arrive promptly to replace them. There ain’t no shortage caused by a general population running amuck.
One last remark
Today’s report was supposed to be an accuracy test of the Springfield Armory XD-M BB pistol. When I tried to install a fresh CO2 cartridge in the test pistol the end cap stripped out the aluminum threads of the magazine. It was my fault because I allowed the end cap to cross-thread. But Pyramyd Air is sending me a fresh magazine and I will test the pistol when I get it.