Rare and Expensive Ammo

Swiss Vetterli Rifle .41 Swiss
Swiss Vetterli Rifle .41 Swiss
     I used to think finding  ammo for my 7.35 Carcano was hard until I recently purchased a Swiss Vetterli  chambered in 10.4x38 Rimfire (.41 Swiss). Now I know what hard to find is really like! I tried my usual haunts like Old Western Scrounger and Graf and Sons finding not a trace of this beyond obsolete round. Best I could find on Google was some guys suggesting it could be converted to a centerfire and custom make the ammo using some strange combination of  .348 Winchester Brass and .44 Magnum Bullets. Sounds great, after several months of work you end up with the firearm equivalent of Frankenstein’s monster.  For me would probably end up with a similarly dangerous and gruesome outcome.

     I finally found some on Ammo-one for the low, low price of $14.95 a round, limit 3 rounds per customer. Guess I won’t be doing any plinking with this one. To make myself feel better I decided to see if there were any other rounds out there that were even more expensive and scarce. Here are some of the results I came up with.

700 Nitro Express Bullet
.700 Nitro Express vs 30/06
700 Nitro Express $99.95 per round (Ammo-one) : This behemoth giant killer shoots a 1,000 grain bullet at 2,000 fps with 9,000-15,000 ft-lb’s of energy. If you really want to get that bull elephants attention this is your round. This is actually a fairly new round developed in the 1980’s by Jim Bell and William Feldstein after Holland and Holland refused to build Feinstein a rifle in .600 Nitro Express. H&H had ceased production of the .600 rifle but was looking for a new big game round.  (Shoulder replacement sold separately.)

.50 Crispin Long Bullet Cartridge
.50 Crispin Long $399.00 a round: Developed and patented by Silas Crispin, a U.S. Army Ordnance officer in the 1860s mainly to circumvent a patent issue. Pistol versions of this cartridge in several calibers were made for pistols manufactured by Smith Arms of New York. The rifle cartridge was patented for use Smith breech-loading carbine manufactured by Ethan Allen. As far as I can tell the rifle never made it off the drawing board so you probably won’t be looking for a box of these any time soon. This is a highly coveted collector round

Pinfire Pistol ammo $20-50 per round: I owned several of these guns and the old European pistols can actually be bought fairly cheap right now. It’s been 100 plus years since any ammo was produced for these in some of these calibers. Quiet often enough ammo to fill the chambers will cost you more than the pistol.

.43 (11x52) Dutch Beaumont Ammo
.43 (11x52) Egyptian Beaumont $25-$78.00 a round: This close cousin to the Dutch Beaumont was one of the first bolt action rifles produced in Europe along with my Vetterli. In fact it looks like the two rifles were close in the size and design of the ammo. I could find very little other than vague references to the Egyptian but the Dutch was sold in small batch production by Buffalo Arms for $78 a round. I will have to look through some of my old gun books for further reference to the Egyptian model; even Google has its limitations!

Small, Medium and Large Bore Ammo Comparison Charts

These posters are available from Cartridge Comparison Guides Website HERE. These are some really awesome and unique visual guides that are great for your gun room or man cave. An actual size visual comparison is always nice to have when discussing various ammo cartridge variations. These posters also look great on the wall. The American Heritage one at the bottom is my favorite with all the classic cartridges of the Frontier and Wild West days.
 Bore Cartridge Comparison Guide Poster Micro Small Bore
Micro and Small Bore Ammo Cartridge Comparison Chart
Med Bore Ammo Guide
Medium Bore Ammo Comparison Guide Poster
 Small Bore Cartridge Comparison Guide Poster
Small Bore Ammo Cartridge Comparison Chart
 Big Bore Ammo Comparison Chart Poster
Big Bore Ammo Cartridge Comparison Chart
Frontier and Cowboy Ammunition Ammo Chart Guide
American Heritage Ammo Cartridge Poster Frontier and Wild West
The American Heritage poster highlights black powder ammunition (Rifle, Shotgun, and Handgun) used by the American Rifleman and US Military from 1776 to roughly 1885 when the conversion was made to smokeless powder. It includes all versions of the musket ball, paper and combustibles, and self-contained black powder munitions that were used by the US Military including Confederate and Union Civil War ammunition. The poster contains over 280 different Cartridges, Paper and Combustibles, or Projectiles – all life size (measuring within 4/1000 of an inch).

Includes prominent cartridges from every American military engagement as well as Frontiersman, Buffalo Bore, and Cowboy/Ranger cartridges.
Includes the full range of musket: Ball, Mini Ball, Buck & Ball, Paper Patch, Shaler Triple Bullet, Whitworth, and Williams Self Cleaning. Also includes a full range of Paper and Combustibles, even including rubber and animal intestine case.
Rifle cartridges range from 22 caliber Maynard and Stevens up through the big 45, 50, and 55 calibers and terminates with the 58 caliber cartridges of that era.
Handgun cartridges range from 32 X-Short to 50 Navy and 50 Army.
Shotgun cartridges include Maynards, Ropers, Winchesters, and Remington UMC ranging from 410 Bore up to 8 Gauge.
Included cartridges: Sharps, Bullard, Ballard, Burnside, Peabody (What Cheer), Remington, Hepburn, Maynard, Stevens, Winchester, Spencer, Colt, Thuers, Mississippi Rifle, Snyder, Roper, Evans, Wesson, Smith & Wesson, Ward-Burton, Meigs, Dangerfield-LeFever, Schofield, and Roberts.

Poster dimension is 27 x 38 inches. Images are full color on High gloss / High quality 100lb poster paper.

The 6 Most Popular Guns of All Time (by production)

What is the most prolific firearm in history? Near as I can tell from my research these are the top 6. They are listed below in order of production numbers, with number one being at the bottom. Can you guess that one without looking? If anyone has any other information or another contender please leave a comment.

6. Marlin Model 60 semi auto .22 LR approx. 11 million guns produced since 1960 ( only civilian firearm on the list) Orig. USA
Marlin Model 60 rifle
5. K98 Mauser cal. 7.92x57 mm Mauser approx 14.7 million guns produced Origin: Germany
K98 Mauser Rifle

4. SKS cal. 7.62x39 approx 15 guns million produced Origin: Soviet Union
Standard SKS Rifle
3. Lee Enfield cal. .303 British approx 17 million produced Origin United Kingdom
Lee Enfield Rifle
2. Mosin Nagant cal. 7.62x 54 R Rifles approximately 45 million produced from 1891–1965. Origin: Soviet Union
Mosin Nagant Rifle
 Number 1: Approximately 100 million since 1946 AK-47 Avtomat Kalashnikova type rifles have been made worldwide compared to approx 8 million M16s. Origin: Soviet Union AK 47 Rifle

Runners Up include The Remington 870 pump shotgun at approx. 10 million and the Winchester 1894 lever rifle at 7.5 million.

Barack Obama The Best Gun Salesman of all Time

  Anyone know when the best sales week for Twinkies cakes ever recorded was? The week after it was announced they were no longer going to be produced because Hostess was filing for bankruptcy. Every store in America sold completely out of Twinkies that week. Soon people were selling them on eBay and getting $60 or more a box! Panicked Twinkie lovers and even people who hadn’t eaten one of the cakes since childhood were scrambling to get their hands on them before they were gone forever.  People who had never eaten a Twinkie in their life felt like they had to get their hands on a box or forever miss the opportunity. That was in 2012 and of course in 2013 the beloved snack cakes  once again returned to the shelves. All that panic and scrambling for the last box ever the previous year was all for nothing.

  Remind anyone of a similar phenomenon in 2013?  That year saw more civilian gun and ammunition sales than any other year in history. Manufactures could not keep up with demand, stockpiles sold out overnight and of course prices went through the roof! This marked the peak of a huge period of increased gun sales and gun ownership that began when Barack Obama was elected and has continued through both his terms as President. The driving force behind this gun and ammo manufactures dream is the fear that Obama would impose sweeping weapons bans and stop the sale of guns altogether. He has never made it a secret that he would in fact love to do just that. He also made it clear that he has no qualms about bypassing Congress and invoking executive orders. He has a tendency to impose his will whether Americans wanted it or not. America reacted accordingly much to the delight of the gun industry of course. It was a glorious time to be in any gun related business.

   Suddenly gun owners felt if they didn’t have at least half a million rounds of .223 and 9mm that they were exceedingly ill prepared for the upcoming SHTF scenario of choice. And of course you needed to have enough AR-15s to arm all of your foolish non gun owning neighbors. Once the safe was full it was time to start burying them in your backyard. High capacity magazines were treated like bricks of solid gold. Even people who had never even considered owning a gun before felt as if they had to have as many as they could get their hands on. Grandmothers and Yoga instructors were suddenly packing Glocks.  The lowly .22 long rifle round became a form of currency. For myself being a collector of antique and vintage weapons I felt inclined to add an arsenal of modern guns to my collection. And for a while finding the modern stuff was as much a treasure hunt as finding the antiques.

   Most Americans realized that disarming law abiding citizens would never do anything to deter criminals from committing acts of gun violence.  If anything it would embolden would be gunmen and criminals alike to prey on the unarmed masses. I guess I just find the whole thing magnificently ironic. The one man who would love to do away with all those evil boom sticks is the very one who inspired the most prolific 8 years of gun sales ever. As Alanis Morissette said “It's like a black fly in your Chardonnay” isn’t it Mr. President? Or perhaps it’s  just a gentle reminder that America is still a Democracy and not a dictatorship.  "The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government" and that comes from Article 21 of the United Nation's 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights…isn’t that ironic?