How’s this for synchronicity?

Several weeks ago I inventoried my pistol ammo and began to fret. 44 Special is not an especially popular cartridge anymore* and for the past two years it has been unobtainium. My favorite flavor, CCI “flying ashtray” Blazers, was depleted except for what was in the gun and a couple of speedloaders. I have a few boxes of anemic “cowboy action” cartridges which I bought at ruinous cost just because that’s all that was available in 2019, and that’s it.

I reload, of course, and over the years Generous Readers have unloaded a whole bunch of brass on me so I’m okay for cases. Thanks to a certain amount of foresight in early 2020 I’m okay for powder. But I was running out of cast bullets for practice and – most serious – I was down to a couple of bricks of primers which had been badly stored more than 15 years ago and were no longer entirely dependable.

Then this past weekend I got a care package dump with enough cast bullets for a year’s worth of profligate practicing, plus a box of jacketed bullets – and I already have quite a lot of jacketed bullets on hand so I could load my own good defense ammo if only I had trustworthy primers.

Yesterday I walked into the drugstore for a few things, wandered over to the ammo counter as I always do just as a sad little exercise in social observation, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but…

Are. You. Kidding. Me.

Mind you, this is a generic drugstore in a very rural little desert town; they sell sundries of all sorts including basic ammo when they can get it – but before the ammo panic they had never carried reloading components. This is the first time I ever saw primers in that glass cabinet.

If I believed in signs, I’d call this a clear one. I have a couple of Christian friends who gently chide me for being an agnostic who’s open to what I always call ‘synchronicity,’ which they see as contradictory if not sort of hypocritical. I don’t argue: In the course of a long life I’ve never seen any compelling evidence for the existence of a god who twiddles my life’s dials, or at least not a nice one. But I do not deny that sometimes needed things fall into my lap at exactly the right time, and since I don’t understand it I don’t try to explain it. Or explain it away: It is what it is.

Of course, like all things in life, there’s a downside…

Eight cents a pop for primers is highway robbery. But we’re in that kind of world now: I paid it and (now that the Jeep’s safely out of hock) hope to get more. Because now I can load my own dependable carry ammo, and my fretting is over.

* I have never understood this. To me it’s the perfect utility cartridge, but maybe that’s just my inner boomer speaking.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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10 Responses to How’s this for synchronicity?

  1. Mike says:

    “44 Special is not an especially popular cartridge anymore”

    I agree with you that it is a fine cartridge. But then again, I’m a fan of 7.62×51 and putting rounds on target in a world of 5.56 spray and pray. 😊

  2. Steve Voss says:

    I don’t worry about defensive loads for my 44 spl, Skeeter loads do all I need.

  3. Mark says:

    Wow. I gotta proof mo betta



  4. Malatrope says:

    Huh. It’s been awhile since I bought any ammo, and I was unaware that .44 Special was hard to get. I only use it when my wrist gets sore from the .44 Magnum, but that’s coming on faster and faster as I get old and decrepit.


  5. I’m a cross between Skeeter Skelton and Elmer Keith in that I think the .44 Special is an outstanding revolver cartridge. I have a couple Smith 24’s and I have never felt undergunned with them. The .44 Special easily duplicates .45 AARP, I mean ACP, which everyone seems to think is a death ray. And in a good N-frame, like my 24’s, you can step it up a good bit. It is also ridiculously pleasant to shoot in carbines. I especially enjoy shooting light target loads of full wadcutters at paper..cut nice clean holes that score easily. it’s a wonderful cartridge.

  6. Oh..and, yes, you got prison-sexed on those primers. Ouch.

  7. Sendarius says:

    Here in Oz, primers are going for 14.5 cents AUD each – when they are available, which is increasingly rarely.

    Using, that works out to about 10 cents USD each.

    Since ADI (the only Australian propellant manufacturer) stopped making pistol propellants, it doesn’t matter anyway, as there is nothing to put in the case to ignite anyway.

  8. Joel says:

    I used to read Skeeter Skelton with pleasure. Elmer Keith, maybe not so much. To me, a 600 yard shot with a pistol is just a stunt. I respect it, but I don’t need to emulate it. I have a lot of .44 Magnum ammo and when I was young I enjoyed pushing the envelope. In fact I used to compete in Hunter Pistol Silhouette with a .44 Magnum revolver and a TC Contender break-action. But now I’m not so much of a recoil junkie. My S&W 69 chambers magnum cartridges but it’s too light for me to fire them with any pleasure. If another bear wanders into our Gulch, I’m ready for it. But that’s not what I practice with.

  9. anonymous says:

    I miss Skeeter too. Taken from us far too early. Reading SHOOTING TIMES, his columns were the 1st reads always. I’m glad I save my 1970’s – 1980’s copies of that magazine.

    Big slow bullets are a pleasure to shoot (except for cost of factory).

To the stake with the heretic!