“Budget the luxuries first” (R.A. Heinlein)
Fifteen years ago, I remember spending $50 on a nice romantic dinner at a high-end restaurant and thinking: “That’s a lot of money, but the food was great and the girlfriend got good wine with the dinner.” Today, $50 might buy a budget-grade dinner without wine.
Five years ago, Academy Sport was using CCI Blazer 9mm ball as a loss leader at $4 per 50 rounds. How much is 9mm today — when you can find any for sale?
With inflation comes a slightly relaxed reaction to prices. I remember passing up on a nice, inexpensive .380 Webley revolver a decade ago because 38S&W ammunition was at $25 per box of 50. In view of the prices on the more common cartridges, $28 per box today seem like a positive bargain. The same is true for the .300 Whisper and 10mm Auto ammunition that’s readily available at Academy Sports. The Crufflers, people who collect odd and milsurp guns, are at an advantage today.
This box of PPU is why I love globalization. Ten years ago, we had the choice of Winchester white box and ancient corrosive British surplus 38/200 loads. Now Serbs load all kinds of historic calibers (such as 9×33 Kurtz and 6.5mm Carcano) and sell them to the US at reasonable prices. Ironic, considering that US Air Force bombed that same factory back in 1993.
Heirloom guns are a sunk cost. Only a small additional expense is necessary to turn them into useful defensive tool — 38SW is between 380ACP and 38Spl in effectiveness and Colt Police Positive is an accurate revolver with low recoil.
Fire off a cylinder or two to verify functionality and point of impact and you are set.
A box of knives just arrived from Nikolay. Since more things need to be cut than shot — whittling wood, cutting rope and cleaning apples come to mind — a good quality blade is always a welcome gift to friends or even to self.
Again, this one is a relative bargain at $55 — less than the price of two boxes of ammunition. If you are stocked up on lead and powder, perhaps more steel is in order.