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went to the range with the PD to qualify today. I didn't think much about it at the time, but on the way home I started adding it up in my head. I fired about 450 rounds, only 150 of which were on the PDs dime. I footed the bill for the rest. For the record, it was 100 rounds each of .38 Special, .357 Magnum, and .45 ACP for my two off-duty guns and my BUG.

Until a couple of years ago we were required to shoot duty ammunition for qualification. That meant if I wanted to carry, for instance, Speer Gold Dots in my .357 Magnum, I had to fire 100 rounds of it every year to qualify (which, of course, doesn't include any practice). At least until a couple of years ago a 50 round box of Gold Dots could be had at the police supply store for about $25, but that was still $150 worth of ammunition for three guns. These days, if I could find the ammunition, it would be closer to $300. Obviously that doesn't encourage officers to qualify with off-duty guns. Luckily a few years back the state came to its senses (I expect mostly due to PD budgets, not individual officers not being able to afford to qualify). The rule was changed to "Duty ammunition or its ballistic equivalent". Now, if I want to carry say the 158 grain Gold Dot in my .357 SP101, I have to either qualify with it, or another magnum load shooting a 158 grain bullet at roughly the same velocity.

Enter the handloads. I load ammunition that is the ballistic equivalent of my carry ammunition for practice anyway. I figure my cost to qualify today, mostly because I just got into casting and therefore I wasn't shooting any of my own cast bullets today, was about $30. Next year I'd be shooting all my own cast stuff, and my cost will be less than $15 to qualify.

If I didn't handload, even shooting ballistic equivalent WWB or some such, I simply could not have afforded to shoot 300 rounds of ammunition, not with three kids and my wife having been laid off from her job. I have a coworker who didn't qualify with her .38 this year because she couldn't afford the $40 plus for 100 rounds of practice ammunition. I can understand that, I'm in the same position. Luckily we have another range date set for Friday, and I told her I would hook her up with some .38 Specials.

This ammunition situation has really gotten crazy. I don't know how anyone can afford to shoot factory ammo.
 

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Landric, two issues here--you need a better deal

went to the range with the PD to qualify today.
If I didn't handload, even shooting ballistic equivalent WWB or some such, I simply could not have afforded to shoot 300 rounds of ammunition, not with three kids and my wife having been laid off from her job. I have a coworker who didn't qualify with her .38 this year because she couldn't afford the $40 plus for 100 rounds of practice ammunition. I can understand that, I'm in the same position. Luckily we have another range date set for Friday, and I told her I would hook her up with some .38 Specials.

This ammunition situation has really gotten crazy. I don't know how anyone can afford to shoot factory ammo.
There are a couple of intertwined and unfortunate issues here.

First, we taxpayers should be footing the bill for your practice ammo and encouraging guys like you to not only practice, but work on lots of the other skills you need as well--e.g., martial arts, knowledge of law etc. That cost burden should be ours, not yours. What is going on is the equivalent of asking school teachers to buy school supplies for their classrooms out of their own salaries. It is wrong, and there is no excuse.

Second-- forget the price of factory ammo. I can't even find ammo
for my EDC. And I can't afford to do recreational shooting seriously
with what ammo now costs.
 

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There are a couple of intertwined and unfortunate issues here.

First, we taxpayers should be footing the bill for your practice ammo and encouraging guys like you to not only practice, but work on lots of the other skills you need as well--e.g., martial arts, knowledge of law etc. That cost burden should be ours, not yours. What is going on is the equivalent of asking school teachers to buy school supplies for their classrooms out of their own salaries. It is wrong, and there is no excuse.

Second-- forget the price of factory ammo. I can't even find ammo
for my EDC. And I can't afford to do recreational shooting seriously
with what ammo now costs.
The PD did pick up his duty ammo. He shot his off-duty guns, that is what he had to pay for.

As for school supplies, around here, I buy everything except the text books. Those are loaned to the kids for the year. Each teacher sends a list of supplies needed for their class at the beginning of the school year. Average 6 teachers per kid, times 4 kids equals a hefty bill. People wonder why I complain when school taxes go up every year. :frown:

Landric, that is a tough spot. How often do you have to qualify?
It's a good thing you reload. I wish I did. I used to be able to burn a case or so about every 6 weeks. I have to stretch it out now and try to limit myself to a 100 rounds of 9 or .45 now. Thank God for .22s!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We only have to qualify with off-duty weapons once a year. The state only requires qualification once a year period, and given shrinking training budgets, we seemed to have dropped back to just once a year with duty weapons also. Officers from other agencies I have talked to say their departments are doing the same thing.

I do want to be clear on this, I don't mind at all providing the ammunition for my personally owned weapons. My point was that if it wasn't for handloading I simply couldn't afford to do so given the current ammunition situation. Some of my coworkers are in exactly that situation.

As for teachers and school supplies, I know several teachers. All of them spend money out of their own pockets to provide things for the classroom that the school simply doesn't have the money to pay for. In addition to that our schools have been sending notes home with kids regularly asking for basic supplies to be donated by parents (and I mean basic, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.) because the budgets don't have enough in them to provide all that is necessary.
 

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That cost burden should be ours, not yours. What is going on is the equivalent of asking school teachers to buy school supplies for their classrooms out of their own salaries. It is wrong, and there is no excuse.
+ I would have to agree my daughters are school teachers and they cant get enough supplies to do their teaching.
 

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IMO, there's a serious problem with schools when we're paying taxes to support them and then are being asked to pay additional monies out of pocket to provide what isn't paid for by the schools...

Why are we paying taxes in the first place if we're being asked to pay more? Some of it seems like budget mismanagement... of course, there are other extenuating circumstances as well as in anything else.
 

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I could see If they Picked up your DUTY weapon & (1) BUG, But the other (2)
Guns are on your dime. I'm for footing the bill for all Duty guns & A BUG ; )

Sounds like you shoot alot more than required Keep up the good work H/D
 

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Landric,

I'm in the same boat as you. The PD gives us 50 rounds of off-duty ammo to qualify (which is once a year). It is expensive to practice with 38 (BUG), 9mm (BUG/off-duty) and a 40 S&W (BUG/off-duty). Since 38 special is the most expensive, I have the PD foot the bill on that when I qualify but the others I pay to allow me to carry on (BUG) and off-duty. After I qualify I still have to carry duty ammo so I have to buy 31 rounds of 40 S&W, 22 rounds of 9mm and 10 extras 38 spl rounds (only issued 5 rounds! :confused:). So to save some money I'm reading and trying to learn as much as possible on reloading. It is just so confusing with dies, presses, reloading equipment etc. Where do you get your brass? Do you buy it or do you pick it up at the range?

If you have any tips and tricks...I'm all ears.

Shark
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Landric,

I'm in the same boat as you. The PD gives us 50 rounds of off-duty ammo to qualify (which is once a year). It is expensive to practice with 38 (BUG), 9mm (BUG/off-duty) and a 40 S&W (BUG/off-duty). Since 38 special is the most expensive, I have the PD foot the bill on that when I qualify but the others I pay to allow me to carry on (BUG) and off-duty. After I qualify I still have to carry duty ammo so I have to buy 31 rounds of 40 S&W, 22 rounds of 9mm and 10 extras 38 spl rounds (only issued 5 rounds! :confused:). So to save some money I'm reading and trying to learn as much as possible on reloading. It is just so confusing with dies, presses, reloading equipment etc. Where do you get your brass? Do you buy it or do you pick it up at the range?

If you have any tips and tricks...I'm all ears.

Shark
I get brass from multiple locations, some range pickups, some given to me by non-handloader shooters, some I buy (mostly once fired, rarely new).

As for the whole process, its not too complicated, but it can be overwhelming without a frame of reference. If you are serious about wanting to get started send me a PM, I'll help as much as I can from 1500 miles away.:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
IMO, there's a serious problem with schools when we're paying taxes to support them and then are being asked to pay additional monies out of pocket to provide what isn't paid for by the schools...

Why are we paying taxes in the first place if we're being asked to pay more? Some of it seems like budget mismanagement... of course, there are other extenuating circumstances as well as in anything else.
I agree, I also have a serious problem providing basic supplies that should be funded in the budget before some of the goofy stuff that the schools spend quite large amounts of money on. On the other hand, I also have a serious problem with my kid not being able to wipe his butt. Its not his fault that the school administrators can't budget properly. I grew up in North Carolina, and being the traditional home of patronage jobs for unqualified people and corrupt government, I'm use to it.
 

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Paying the real cost

The PD did pick up his duty ammo. He shot his off-duty guns, that is what he had to pay for.

!
I think that is actually somewhat irrelevant. So long as his intention is to qualify per department regs so he can carry, the dept. should be overjoyed to back his diligence.

As for the other comparable outrage, the school teachers paying for supplies, the budget excuses are just that, excuses. There is plenty of waste in about any school budget--as I suppose also in pd budgets.

Ever notice how the budget cuts go first to the detriment of the lowest ranked employees (in any organization). Ever see sacrifice at the top?
 
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