No, this is not a post about hypothetical shoot/don’t shoot scenarios. Rather, it’s about a conundrum I’ve found myself in.
As you hopefully know, I bought my first gun just about a month ago. SIG-Sauer P228 in 9mm. Sweet pistol. I love it. However, I now have a problem.
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Atrocity, and the ensuing promises from those in power to introduce powerful gun-control legislation, the nation has been seen a massive “Run on Guns,” possibly the largest one in history. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, perhaps millions of us, are buying guns. Everything from AR-15s and AK-47s to semi-automatic handguns to shotguns to .22 rimfires and everything in between. Manufacturers report selling years’ worth of stock in a matter of days, and are backordered for several months at the earliest. Most gun stores report being completely sold out of pretty much everything: guns, magazines, accessories, you name it, they probably don’t have it. Unfortunately, ‘everything else’ also includes ammunition, which brings me to my present problem.
My SIG-Sauer is chambered for the 9mm Luger cartridge. The last time I was at a gun store was four days after Sandy Hook, and the only 9mm Luger in the store that I could see was the cheap ammo that they sell at a marked-up price to people who didn’t bring their own ammo to the store’s shooting range. And they were selling it at the marked-up price to everyone. I haven’t checked that store since, or any other gun store for that matter, but from the reports I’ve seen online, it looks like there is little to no 9mm Luger of any sort available anywhere in the country.
That said, my ammo situation is not totally bleak: I picked up a few boxes of ammunition at a gun show right before the Gun Run began. I’ve shot some of it, but I still have three boxes left. Unfortunately, three boxes of ammo is only enough for two, maybe three meaningful range sessions, and I have no idea when I’m going to be able to get any more. And I don’t have a reloading press, so I can’t roll my own (and even if I did have a press, reloading components are all pretty much gone too).
So here’s my quandary: should I shoot the ammo I have now, or hold onto it for later in case I need it? On the one hand, I need to practice and get proficient with my SIG, but on the other hand, practicing now won’t really do me a lick of good if I end up not being able to shoot for several months because I have no ammo. Shoot, or don’t shoot? That is the question.
As a side note, I’m kind of kicking myself right now, because at the gun show where I bought my SIG, there was also a Walther PP pistol (big brother to 007′s PPK) chambered in .380 ACP that looked to be in immaculate condition, for about a hundred bucks less than the SIG. I actually thought about it for a few minutes, but I decided that I wanted the SIG more, and besides, during the last panic buy back in ’09, there was such a run on .380 that it was nearly a year after the panic ended before you could find any on the shelves.
Guess what’s one of the few calibers that hasn’t completely sold out this time? Yep, that’s right: .380 ACP. D’OH!