One Munition To Rule Them All


If you’re anything like most gun owners, you’ve got an assortment of different rifles, pistols, revolvers, and shotguns. Some are probably fancier than others and there’s probably a few you got on a whim. Today, we’re going to talk about ammunition interchangeability. That’s the ability to use ammunition through multiple weapons rather than having a requirement for fifteen different types.

Why Ammunition Interchangeability Is So Important

In a sustained period of uncertainty, you don’t know the next time you’ll be able to reliably get more ammunition.  And if you’re the type that sets up caches and various resupply points, you don’t want to have to guess which cache holds which ammo.

Revolvers That Use Pistol Ammunition

Revolvers predominantly come in .38 Special/.357 through .44 caliber.  But did you know there were revolvers on the market that also accept 9mm Auto, .45 ACP and other traditional pistol ammunition?


Moon clips are used to hold pistol ammunition in the cylinder of a revolver. They can come in full or half moon configurations and make the reloading phase much faster.

The reason why it hasn’t been more common is revolver ammunition usually has a “lip” to keep it in place in the cylinder.  Revolvers that accept pistol ammunition typically have moon clips – or thin metal devices used to hold pistol ammunition in place.

A historical example of this is the British Webley Mark IV and a modern example is a Ruger LCR 9mm.

Rifles That Use Pistol Ammunition

While typically not recommended due to range restrictions, there are rifles that can accept pistol ammunition.  For a modern example of a carbine-style firearm, Beretta makes the Cx4 Storm.


Some models have interchangeable magazines with the Beretta 92F – a very common and durable SA/DA 9mm pistol.  While it seems like a capable enough carbine from field testing, it’s real charm comes from its pricepoint (MSRP $800) and the ability to incorporate it into a system of weapons.

For those looking for a more traditional, rugged firearm, Legacy makes an M-1 carbine that accepts Beretta 92F magazines as well.  One of the great things about the M-1 carbine is it’s a simple design, semi-automatic rifle that doesn’t look like it’s made completely out of polymer (like the Cx4).


But for those where a synthetic stock isn’t a problem – Legacy and other manufacturers produce this M-1 carbine variant with a sturdy black polymer stock.  It’s really just a preference.

How It All Ties Together

Drawing from a previous article where we discussed the importance of establishing caches and resupply points along likely routes of escape, using one type of ammunition for an entire system of firearms makes the planning process that much simpler.

Does it have to be 9mm?  Absolutely not.  The above examples were just meant to illustrate working through a system (pistol, revolver, rifle) chambered in 9mm.  There are options for .40 S&W, .45 ACP and even 5.56 NATO.

Kel Tec PLR 16

The PLR-16 is a pistol that accepts standard AR-15 5.56 NATO magazines and is compact enough to carry as a sidearm.

It doesn’t matter what type of ammunition you use – so long as you don’t have to guess where the ammunition is located.

Considerations for Ammo-Interchangeable Weapon Systems

Given enough time, the weapons you are using will fail.  In a true emergency situation where it’s uncertain what will happen from one moment to the next, it’s best to stay as flexible as possible.  If you didn’t know already – the only ammunition you should ever put into a firearm is the one it’s chambered for.  Notably exceptions are .38 and .357.

NOTE: The 7.62x51mm is NOT interchangeable with the .308 Winchester round.  Yes, they fit in the same space but they use different specs.  It’s not even recommended in an emergency situation.  Some gun enthusiasts will disagree but it’s a great rule to follow.

When in doubt – go .22LR.  Not only is the .22LR caliber bullet versatile, light, and cheap – it’s also extremely interchangeable between pistols, revolvers, and rifles.  More importantly, in a survival situation, weight is at a premium and you should always be looking to reduce your pack load – not pack more on.  Carrying 500 rounds of .22LR and a Savage rifle will probably get you much farther than hauling a FN FAL .308.  That’s not to say the FN FAL .308 isn’t a fantastic weapon system – but it’s not the thing you want to haul over countless miles of unknown terrain.

6 thoughts on “One Munition To Rule Them All

  1. Richard

    What about older rounds like the 7.62x54R produced in Russia and satellite countries for 100 plus years. What are some of the options for these rounds in current day long guns?

  2. Richard

    I have a Beretta carbine, Glock and a Governor, which all accept 45ACP. This interchangeability is very convenient. The Govenor still offers me the flexibility to us 45 Colt and 410 shells when available. Otherwise, I use multiple 6 shot moon clips for rapid reloads. The Glock offers 13 shot mags, while the carbine uses 8 shot mags. While these three offer the best of interchangeability, a shotgun and 22 magnum also come in handy, depending on the situation.

  3. Ron Day

    I don’t know if anyone has thought of this or not, but when the ATF “COMES” they’ll probably ask first for your weapons, then use dogs to sniff them out. I have just a hint,,,,why not fire off a few hundred rounds or even pick up brass at the range, and then when you hear that they’re “COMING” throw them out all over your yard, basement, wherever and that will drive the dogs nuts.

    Just a thought I had.

    Everyone stay safe and GOD bless America.

  4. Michael Click

    You didn’t mention conversion sleeves. Yeah, they’re pretty much a one-shot solution (unless you use a series of them in a revolver) but better one shot than none, if all you’ve got is one firearm and one type of ammo, right? Conversion sleeves are much cheaper than buying another firearm to match the ammo that you have on hand or can acquire.
    Just be sure and warn people against using conversion sleeves to shoot 12 gauge ammo from flare pistols. Even if you can get a conversion sleeve that will accept 12 gauge shotgun ammo, merely owning it and a compatible flare pistol is considered to FLA violation. It shows intent to construct a restricted weapon (AOW – short-barreled shotgun). In a true emergency, people might care about such niceties, but I’d hate to spend time in prison for something that I might never need.
    Trying to use 12 gauge shotgun ammo in a regular, plastic flare gun isn’t just a bad idea, it’s damn near suicidal! The plastic-type pistol will almost certainly blow up in your hand, causing major bodily damage at a time that you don’t need additional risk.

  5. Charlie Waters

    How about the Madusa Revolver. You can shoot .380, 9mm, 38 spec. and .357 Magnum in the same cylinder without “moon” clips! It is a rare pistol that isn’t manufactured anymore?


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