As I mentioned yesterday, I have spent a fair amount of time deciding on what caliber to reload next. I feel pretty good about the loads I am doing for the old Webley and .38 Special. I am still testing the loads I am doing for 9mm but I’m pretty close I think on those. I also received several gift cards for Father’s day and instead of spending them on something disposable I have decided to invest it in additional reloading dies.
Deciding which caliber to go with next has been a bit of a challenge. I am stuck between adding another secondary pistol caliber, .380 ACP, or branching into rifle calibers with 5.56/.223, .30-30, .300 Blackout or 7.62×39.
I have several pistols chambered in .380 ACP. Like .38 Special the cost of the rounds in this caliber is significantly higher than the amount of material involved and it tends to disappear fairly quickly from the store shelves during a run on ammunition sales like we are starting to see. I also really enjoy shooting it, other than the cost of the ammunition. So this would definitely be a good choice.
5.56/.223 is a primary defensive round for my family and is most at risk of disappearing from store shelves in the near future but I honestly don’t shoot it all that often. Mostly because I have a 7.5 inch barreled pistol that is too loud to be allowed on indoor ranges. My wife’s carbine is chambered in this round but I’m not secure enough in my manhood to take her pink rifle to the range without her. I have all the parts for a 5.56 upper but haven’t assembled it yet. This was supposed to be a project to do with my son in law and we haven’t been able to make the time for it. So, it sits and I don’t shoot.
My son has an AR chambered in .300 Blackout and all the buzz around this caliber has tempted me for a long time but adding this round would mainly be to save him money and because of its current cool factor. I don’t currently have any firearms chambered in this caliber.
I love shooting the .30-30 round and have two rifles chambered for it. With my love of lever action guns I will probably end up adding more at some point. The round is pretty cheap locally and generally one of the last to disappear from store shelves during a run. I could save money reloading it and it is has generally been my “go to” hunting round. I don’t shoot it all that often though because there are no indoor ranges that allow it, at least not within easy driving distance, and summer in Texas (all 9 months of it) is a pretty tough time to go to an outdoor range. Not to mention the fact that most of the ones close by are still flooded and probably will be for several more weeks at least.
7.62×39 is a secondary defensive caliber for me. I have an AR and an AK chambered for this round and really enjoy shooting it. I have been working with it for use when hog hunting although I have yet to get a shot on a real piggy with it. Everything so far has all been at the range but it has been surprisingly accurate and reliable from the AR platform. The steel-cased ammo from overseas is super cheap, cheaper than it would cost me to reload, but is also very vulnerable to disruptions in availability. It almost dried up locally after Russia’s Ukrainian adventures started. It is also a round that disappears from shelves quickly during a run. The steel cores and steel cases of the cheap imported rounds mean they are a no no on most indoor ranges. If I choose to reload I could also put together some nice hunting loads with bullets available from various sources including Hornady. It may also be possible to run it with .308 bullets which would really open up the options but I would have to test these out to see how they work in the AR.
Those are my options. I will make a decision pretty shortly but feel free to provide suggestions in the comments section.