Sorry if this sounds too much like a rant...
Got a "tip" that a pawn shop about 45 minutes from me had some surplus M2 Ball. Gave them a call and talked to a guy who confirmed that they've got "thousands" of rounds. Asked him what headstamps they had, and all he could say was that it was "all American" from the 40s/50s/60s. Asked how much he was asking for it, and all he said was that because he had such an assortment (some in cardboard boxes, en blocs, bandos, etc.), I should come up and look at what I wanted before discussing price. That was a red flag, but I let my curiosity get the best of me.
Took the trip up there today. Guys there claimed they had "100,000" rounds of M2 Ball. AP. Tracer. You name it. I asked if they had any 7.62 Nato. "Tons" was the answer.
"So, can I see some?"
"Sure, we can go back and bring out a few boxes. But first, would you be interested in some Indian made stuff?"
"Indian?" I replied. "Don't know too much about that stuff, and not sure if it's corrosive or not."
"All the stuff we have here is non-corrosive."
"Ok. But first I'd like to see what you have in American M2."
Wait ten minutes for the guy to go into the store room and return with some boxes of EW 43 M2 Ball.
"Um, this stuff is corrosive" I tell him.
"No it's not. Guy we got this from said it's all non-corrosive" was his reply.
"It's my understanding that all ammo made during WWII is corrosive." Guy gets on the internet and a few minutes later confirms my understanding, adding "I shoot corrosive ammo all the time. Just need to wash the bore with water afterwards."
I tell him that while I have no problem shooting corrosive ammo in bolt actions, I won't shoot it in gas guns like my Garands.
"Well, let me go and check for some more" says he.
Guy comes back with about 8 cartons of LC 65/69. Each box still had what appeared to be rather new pricing stickers from a different ammo company advertising the ammo at $6/box
. Without asking how many more he had, I asked him what he wanted for it.
"Don't know. Let me look it up" was his reply. He then spends 5 minutes at his computer searching what appeared to be other MilSurp ammo sites on the interent to see what they were offering.
He finally tells me "$18/box"
Ouch, that's a bit steep.
"We also have 8-rd magazines for $9 each."
"Don't you mean en bloc clips?" was my reply.
I then told him that just last week I picked up several 240 rd spam cans of Greek HXP for $100 each (admittedly a very good deal), and that a more reasonable price for this ammo was about $10 per box.
"Best I can do is $16 [tax included]." Guess I won't be buying a thousand rounds of this today.
"Well, how about the 7.62 NATO?"
I then spend some time looking through a 50 cal can of the 7.62. It comprised an assortment of little Zip-Loc bags of 20 rounds apiece of what looked to be dirty LC 80-82. Also had several 20-rd boxes of foreign headstamps, some of which was Israeli and a few other unknowns. I wasn't too sure about the foreigns, so I asked what he wanted for the plastic bags of LC. He then gets back onto his computer searching other MilSurp websites. While he was doing this, I took a closer look at the LC in the plastic bags. I began to feel uncomfortable about it because for all I could tell it could have been reloads. Some of the primers appeared to have been sealed, but some did not. None of the primers contained any crimping, but I wasn't sure if this was normal or not. Finally after 10 minutes, he tells me he wants nearly $20 for each 20-rd bag.
Guess I won't be getting a thousand rounds of this today either.
At this point, I decided that I didn't want to leave entirely empty-handed, so I picked up a box each of the LC 65 and LC 69 M2 ball and thanked him for his time. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed. Most of the 7.62 they had looked a bit questionable, and I'm just not ready to spend 80 cents/rd for 40-year old surplus M2 ammo, and nearly $1/rd for the 7.62. Regarding the M2, while I understand that the LC is some good stuff, I just thought it was too much.
Or maybe I'm off base?