Old calibers

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by oldman11, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. oldman11

    oldman11 Monkey+++

    Is there any interest in the older guns as survival weapons? The big question would be availability of ammo. I have a interest in old guns and old ways. I know the old ways will be missed after SHTF but will the old guns? I have .32 sw,.32 sw,.32-20,.38 special,.41 mag,.44-40,.44 special,.45-70 and the .22 lr being the oldest. Ammo for some of these is hard to find so I try to keep close to a thousand of each. I use the .45-70 deer hunting,blood trail is easy as it punches a hole thru and thru. You could also load any of these with blackpowder in a bind,except the .22. I have old smith Wesson’s for the .32’s,.38 special,.41 mag,.44 special,a ruger rifle for the .22 hornet,and a ruger revolver for the.45 long colt.I have a rolling block for the .44-40 ,a trapdoor rifle and a trapdoor carbine for the .45-70. I also keep other weapons for defense,a mini thirty,colt 1911 and twelve gauge. The .22 would be for hunting small game. What do you think? Also we need to make a thread about some of the old lost way of doing things.
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  2. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Once upon a time (when much younger) I had a Ruger Old Army '.44' and a single shot 45-70. Both had the same 'caliber' ammo - that is to say, the pistol balls and black powder could be used in either weapon.

    Now, I have enough $ to buy .22LR in bulk and call it a day.
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  3. Borrego

    Borrego Monkey

    I have some older stuff....the problem ,as you said, will be the availability of ammo. .45 LC should be fine though...:)
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  4. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    38, 44 special and 45LC ammo is easy to find plus pistols and long guns that eat that ammo are available for sale new.
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  5. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    I can buy whatever ammo I want, so I look for what calibers do what I want them to. .45-70 rocks.
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  6. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    My Stuff can all use Black Powder and cast bullets ( to a Point) and I have worked up loads for the arms I would be using!

    That said, I plan to use one of my Replica Colt Revolving Rifles and my pair of Ruger Old Armies for day to day survival, the Rifle can be loaded very light for harvesting small game, on up to about .45/70 power levels, and I have developed Paper Sabots to use any thing from .17 to .30 cal bullets in front of a charge of FFg that is safe and efficient and effective! I also have a Sharps replica chambered in .45/110 that can also chamber . 45/90-.45/70/ .45 Colt- and .410 shot shells! Should be all set with any need!
    For longer range and more precision, .30/06 can be loaded with B.P. and 220 Gr bullets and it runs just fine, and with a hand primer and bullet seater, Can be loaded in the field as needed!
    Nice thing about all this, is I can cast One size bullet and swage to size in any of my weapons if needed, and I have chosen 4 molds that all use the same handles and hardware so I have a small molding kit to service all needs for the B.P. arms!
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  7. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I have a few antiques but only one or two are safe to shoot .IMO .
    Most antiques I have found have already been through the mill, worn parts and expanded chambers.
    The antique shot gun I have used, among many in my small collection, I must use softer charges , but Shot guns are not really my thing. Older pistols the same thing , fun to play with but no real practical ned for seeing the wear that already exists in them. now on the other hand if you happen on a gun that has been safe queen for 50 years might be able to be put in service but only in a limited fashion seeing the modern powders can be too aggressive for them. chamber expansion would be accelerated .
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  8. Oddcaliber

    Oddcaliber Monkey++

    There are modern replicas of old BP guns. Up side is that you can get them through the mail. Not considered a firearms by the BATF. This applies to muzzle loader only and some revolvers. I have some oldies in my safe too! 38 Special, 8 mm Mauser 12 gauge and 22 lr just to name a few. If space and money permitted I'd have a lot more guns!
  9. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    I have over the years acquired or built several 50 and 54 cal muzzle loaders and enjoy shooting them. Have never tried them with Mine balls but as effective as they were during the War between the states, they must be somewhat effective still and I have shot Union army powder, ball, and caps out of a 1860's rifle about 1950 and it never had a problem. Ammo had been the wood shed since it was built in the late 1860's, up on a shelf in Minnesota. Have made and shot black powder with my grandfather in the 1940's, Have seen homemade caps, but never shot them and most people have cast bullets at some time. Grand dad used a 30-30 and a Lee loader for many years for his hunting with smokeless powder, but I think you could use black powder if you wished. Not necessary in short run, but who knows in long run. IMR4895 at 40 grains will give about 175 loads to a pound, so 12 lbs of powder and 2,000 primers and a bullet mold should give you 2,000 rounds and my Grand dad hunting seldom used 25 rounds a year, usually at least 2 deer, so it should last for many years. In a gun fight it would be a different story, but he reloaded 30-30 and 12 ga as long as I knew him and did a lot of hunting.
    Grand dad's reloading set had a set of handles and I think you could cast as well as reload and I think it was made by Ideal rather than Lee. I wish I knew what happened to it when he died in the 1950's.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
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  10. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    There is something to be said for the "Old" lever guns for fighting irons! Never under estimate a .30/30 or any of the others, that would be a YUGE mistake! And with the ability to use Black Powder effectively, these levers can be kept running long after all the store bought stuff is long gone!
  11. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    It's an ambiguous question, the answers to which may vary, depending upon what is meant (or understood) by "old gun";

    * A gun actually manufactured a long time ago? i.e. an antique
    * A gun of more recent manufacture which fires cartridges with calibres that originally came into general usage a long time ago, but which are now less fashionable/popular, or ammo that is no longer being manufactured, or is otherwise relatively uncommon to obtain?
    * Whether the antique firearm is already in one's armoury and one is considering the costs/benefits of keeping / disposing of it?
    * Whether it is worth purchasing an antique firearm, and one is considering the costs/benefits of adding it to one's armoury?

    Certainly, availability of ammo to feed the beast, would be a significant consideration, but so too would be the availability of replacement parts for the firearm itself, and the ease of repairing / maintaining the firearm without specialised equipment and gunsmithing knowledge. As has been already pointed out, reloading, and substituting BP for fast burning modern propellants are viable options for keeping an antique firearm fed, absent any available external source of supply.

    It would be wrong to assume that "the old ways" will be lost, let alone missed during or after (an unspecified) SHTF. If anything, some "old ways", are more likely to be rediscovered and become common practice PDQ, simply because "the old ways" worked, in an environment where life and technology was much simpler, and would work without electricity or petrochemical fuel. Unless the world becomes some version of Gilead (as in 'The Handmaid's Tale' The Handmaid's Tale - Wikipedia) or some version of 'Fahrenheit 451' Fahrenheit 451 - Wikipedia, where recorded knowledge is actively suppressed. Knowledge of "the old ways", will continue to exist as instructional inspiration to those who are willing, and adaptable enough to rediscover and embrace " old ways" that have fallen out of common contemporary usage. In same cases, "the old ways", were never "good ways" of living one's life, and probably don't merit a rebirth...patriarchy, being but one "old way", which deserves to be in a glass case of quaint, historical curiosity.

    "Old" guns will conceivably have some value and utility after SHTF. Particularly to arm some distant relative from an obscure branch of the family who comes to the SHTF party empty handed.

    Although I think that I'd be happy to have an antique gun with a limited supply of ammo in a SHTF scenario than no gun at all. I would however, much rather have a modern gun, in good condition that has greater flexibility in the ammo that feeds it, and in a calibre which has greater prospects of replenishment in an austere environment, than some clapped out ancient gun, in an obscure calibre, the spare parts and ammo for which are virtually unobtainable. Some individuals may have the finances to indulge a whimsical interest in accumulating oddball, wildcat calibre guns....but many do not, and would find it hard to justify that kind of an indulgence.

    I do believe that such threads and posts already exist in the 'Back to Basics', and other sub forums...lead the way by starting such a thread yourself...no need to wait for someone else to do it.(y)(y)(y)
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
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  12. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

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  13. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    While I will not argue about modern firearms and ammo, there is something to be said for a design that can be made with hand tools, works, has been used by people for 100 + years, and requires no high tech steel etc. Filipino's gave Jap's quite a run with 2 pieces of pipe and a shot gun shell and had to revert to them again after they shot up the ammo of the guns they had captured from the japs.
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  14. oldman11

    oldman11 Monkey+++

    When I talk about the “ old ways “ I meant curing meat,meds,living without electricity,gardening,traveling and making clothes. I believe there will be a big die off of people when their supply’s run out. Also the people that know how to live the old ways will at first be in great danger. After the die off they will be in great demand for their know how. Some people will commit suicide just because their new phone will not work,think about it. Now back to the old guns,the .45-70 will do almost anything the other calibers do and do it better. Up to a 1000 yds and a little over,the 45-70 is good. The big thing against it is the size of the shell it’s self,hard to find an auto besides the Gatling gun. But with the .45-70 most of the time if you do your part you need just one.
  15. oldman11

    oldman11 Monkey+++

    I have and have shot .45-70 that came in the two piece box from Winchester. One box is the old blackpowder 405 grain carbine load,I have 16 shells left. The other is the 500 grain load smokeless rifle rifle load and I have 18 left. Like I said they both shoot good,no misfires yet. I also have a new Winchester hi-wall in .45-70 that will shoot anything,but will kick your butt with the 500 grain. The new high power loads are not to be shot in the old trapdoors.
  16. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Quigley gun?
  17. oldman11

    oldman11 Monkey+++

    I did know you could shoot .45 lc and 410 in the .45-70.
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  18. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Kinda Sorta, Same only different! LOL
  19. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I shoot 330 grain hp's,cast
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  20. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I support lots of old calibers through case conversions and resizing available cast bullets. The best example is 10.4 Italian Ordnance. I had no ammunition for the revolver and no specs on the case. I measured the cylinder and found that a .44 Magnum case sized in a .303 British die made a workable case. I initially sized .429" cast bullets by driving them through the cylinder with a wooden dowel. Two passes through the cylinder sized them to .422" and I eventually had Lee make me a .422" sizing die to speed things up. My cases don't match the genuine 10.4 Italian Ordnance design, which is slightly necked, so I call them .42 Special.

    Quite a surprise to find that this revolver shoots to point of aim at 100 yards, likely due to the stout recoil and slow moving bullet. I sure wouldn't want to get smacked by one of them.

    10.4 Italian Ordnance vs .42 Special.

    Some obsolete cartridges are as easy as resizing the neck of an existing cartridge to a smaller or larger diameter. Some can be fire-formed with a mild load of fast pistol powder under a case full of grits. Rimmed cases can be turned to make rimless cases, (.30-30 Winchester to .32 Remington) and rimless cases turned to make semi-rimmed ones, (.223 to 7.62x38R) or centerfire cases converted to obsolete rimfire. (.22 Hornet to .30 Rimfire Long) Some you just have to make from scratch (.30 Giraffe Magnum) just because you can.
    .30 rimfire 1.

    .30 Gireffe magnum.
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