Letter Re: Determining the Best Pistol Ammo to Store for Barter

With an economic depression looming just in front of the world and post-Peak Oil price shocks on it’s heals (according to Mat Simmons peak oil is history, it happened in May 2005, check his web site out) it would be good to have something for barter better then that green toilet paper we haul around for the same purpose. I think firearms ammunition would be an ideal selection. It is relatively compact, portable and usable. But what calibers to stock pile. Up until the commodity boom hit I was buying fired brass cases by the pound from a shooting range down in Kentucky, and having them shipped up to me in Michigan. Unfortunately about 2007 scrap brass started paying better and the range then starting selling it to the Chinese, thank you free trade.

The brass was swept up off the floor of there outdoor range and put into boxes and shipped up to me. There was no sorting of anything, it’s called range brass and I got what was fired that day, both pistol and rifle. I performed a statistical analysis on the type and quantity of the different brass I received for the last three shipments in the summer of 2006, the last time I got any brass. It’s nice to know what you’re getting for your money and it’s a lot of fun to do the study, although, when I’ve told people about things like this they look at me like I was from Mars. You need to understand that this type of study is a snapshot in time of what was being shot over three different times in the summer. I have performed these studies for both years I received brass from them.

It would be a waste of resources to have something that there is little or no market for. Therefore, if you’re going to store ammunition for trade what is the most common?

The top 10 brass types were, in descending order, as follow,,
9mm Parabellum (Luger) 38.9%
40 S&W 22.3%
45 ACP (45 Auto) 18.8%
38 Special 4.6%
380 Auto 4.5%
223 Rem. (5.56x45mm) 3.8%
357 SIG 1.8% – This one may be an anomaly, it was <.1% i n the last study.
32 Auto 1.5%
357 Mag. 1.4%
44 Mag. 0.4%

The remainder of the brass total 2% for all types combined. In the study before this one, 40 S&W and 45 ACP were flipped in order, this tells me, that the 40 S&W is gaining in popularity over the 45 ACP, at least with law enforcement.

A total of 36 different cartridge types were in my 2006 summer shipments. As you can see most of the brass was for pistols. Do not be confused about the results, people go to the range too site in there rifles and stop, more or less. Also this range was very popular with law enforcement.

This study should be considered valid only for the most common pistol cartridges shot. Rifle cartridges are totally another matter. However for barter purposes the top three or four are a good bet. This may seem intuitive but as an engineer I deal in factual information, not conjecture. Well, unless of course, conjecture is all I have to go on that is. If anyone has information on this subject, I would like to see it. Thank you, – The Old Yooper