Years ago, “ammo” was little round pieces of lead. Not too accurate but very simple. Eventually they turned into cylindrical pieces of lead. Still easy, but still not ideal. Lead can foul barrels and causes contamination and health concerns by getting aerosolized as it’s fired. These days, unless you’re planning to fight vampires, there are better options. To protect your barrel and your health, bullets are covered with casings:
- Full metal jackets are, as the name implies, metal (copper) jackets around the lead bullet. The name deceives, however, with the term “full”. The powder end of the bullet is not covered, so it does create some airborne lead when shooting.
- Hollow points are jacketed everywhere except the tip of the bullet, which is still exposed lead (although not next to the powder so not the same health concern as FMJ’s.) These are self-defense rounds, as the casing will open and cause a shredding effect on impact as opposed to going through cleanly, causing more bodily injury as well as ensuring any off-target rounds are more likely to be stopped in the first wall it meets instead of ending up in your neighbor’s living room.
- Copper-plated bullets have the lead completely encased in copper. This is great for minimizing your lead exposure, and this type makes up the majority of ammo on the market today. The drawback to all copper jacketed/plated bullets is that copper is a bit harder than lead, so it doesn’t seal to the barrel as well, leading to lower velocities or more powder needed to reach the same velocity, which means more recoil.
- Powder-coated is the latest and greatest in terms of safety and shooting. It’s fully encased, which means no heavy metal aerosolization, and uses a harder lead core with a soft powder-coated exterior which can seal to the barrel much better. Therefore, you get a higher velocity with less recoil than copper-plated varieties. The best part is the cost is about the same as alternatives, and it has the added bonus of being available in different colors to identify different loads that you’re shooting (more on this below).
Remanufactured vs. New Ammo
Good quality remanufactured ammo should be no different than new ammo, except it’s roughly a third of the cost. It consists of brass that has been previously shot, then processed back to original specs. Reloading is a labor-intensive process, as the brass goes through many steps to ensure a quality finished product. Here is our procedure:
- Process back to original (new) specs
- 2nd Wash/Dry
- 2nd inspection
- 3rd inspection
John is our reloader here at Gold Country Sports, and offers all standard pistol calibers. (If you have a specialty caliber you would like to get reloaded, give him a call.) We also offer a brass credit which runs between $1 to $5 per pound depending on caliber of casing, if you have your own brass you’d like to bring in.
What We Sell:
GCS Remanufactured Ammo as well as GCS New Ammo is available in a variety of options. We offer standard copper-plated casings and powder-coated casings in all standard pistol sizes (along with several name brand choices we keep in stock.) For our powder-coated line, we use different colors to identify the different loads available:
Type 1 (Pink) – soft recoil
Type 2 (Purple) – medium/soft recoil for competition shooting
Type 3 (Black, Brown, Blue, Red) – medium recoil for competition shooting (different options for different powders used – each gives a unique feel)
Type 4 (Green) – full strength
If you own a gun but are not happy with the way it shoots, try a different strength of ammo! Too much recoil? Grab a bag of Pink Ladies and work up from there. Want to see what your gun is made of? Green Zombies are the way to go. James has found he can’t miss a target when he shoots one of his handguns with the purples, whereas John didn’t care for the purples but loved the brown ones. (And in case you’re wondering, we do offer sample packs!) Every gun and every person is different, and these are a great way to fine-tune your handgun proficiency and enjoyment.
What’s the deal on the new ammo laws?
- CA Penal Code 30312: “Commencing January 1, 2018, the sale of ammunition by any party shall be conducted by or processed through a licensed ammunition vendor” and “the sale, delivery, or transfer of ownership of ammunition by any party may only occur in a face-to-face transaction with the seller, deliverer, or transferor…”
- This means you must receive any ammo you buy face-to-face through an ammo vendor or FFL. You can still buy ammo on the internet or out of state, as long as it’s shipped to an FFL/ammo vendor to pick up, same as you would a firearm.
- CA Penal Code 30370: “Commencing July 1, 2019, the department shall electronically approve the purchase or transfer of ammunition through a vendor”
- You can read more about this by clicking the link above, but basically starting July 1, you’ll have to pay $1 for a background check every time you want to purchase ammo, and these purchases will be recorded onto a new DOJ database. The details of the law are not finalized yet – it was open for comments until the end of Jan. 2019 and if changed substantially will have to go through another comment period before being finalized. (Read more about that in NRA’s article here.) This law will supposedly not be applicable for those purchasing ammo at a range to use while there (P.C.30352), and has exceptions for selling to family and sharing with friends (P.C.30312).
If you have been thinking about stocking up on ammo, now is a great time to do so!