Uncle Jimbo's End of Time Blues

"All that you see is not all that there is."

Bug Huntin' Home

Silver bullets aren't commercially available. They must be cast in a bullet mould and hand-loaded. The Hoffmann Institute's armourer can and does provide silver bullets, as seen in the Werewolf Suitcase (A&EG).

General Hand-Loading Costs

Handloading toolkit (as recommended by Combat Arms): $850

Propellant blocks for caseless ammunition: ?? For standard brass-cased ammo, it works out to about $0.25 per round in supplies for 7.62mm ammo, a little less for 5.56mm or pistol rounds.

I assumed that 75% of the cost of a round consists of the case, propellant, and labour to load it.

Buying Silver

The current price of silver [Oct 2000] is US$4.83 per troy ounce. A troy ounce is equal to 31.104 grams.

Silver is traded as a precious metal, along with gold, platinum and palladium, meaning that you will probably buy it through a specialist investment broker or division of a bank. These organisations, in turn, deal with commodity exchanges such as the New York Commodity Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade, which between them are believed to hold about 3500 tonnes of silver at any time. The US Treasury holds 400 tonnes of silver.

The most common means of investment is to buy silver which is held in the vault of your precious metals dealer, and for which the investor receives a certificate. A number of precious metals dealers were bankrupted or convicted of fraud in the crash of 1987, when it was discovered that they owned about one-tenth of the amount of metal (mostly gold) for which they had issued certificates.

Receiving physical delivery of the metal is less common, but not remarkable. The dealer typically charges fees for ingot-making and delivery. Ingots of 10 troy ounces (311 grams) are common in the trade and easy to handle, so this is the most likely size that a covert monster-hunter would purchase.

Casting Bullets

Silver is slightly less dense than lead, so silver bullets cast from the same mould will weigh less than the lead equivalent (0.9251 ratio, to be exact).

The link below provides a spreadsheet giving the number of rounds loaded per 10 troy oz ingot ($48.28), for all of the rounds mentioned in the A&EG and several more.

Rounds per 10 oz ingot

The Hoffmann Institute armoury produces silver bullets in the following calibres (clip size and nominal cost per clip):

.357 Magnum (6) $11
9mm (15) $18
5.56mm (30) $23
7.62mm NATO (20) $35
12-Gauge 00 Buckshot (5) $33
12-Gauge Slug (5) $53

Despite the clear cost-effectiveness of the 5.56mm assault rifle as a monster-killer, the Institute would prefer its agents to use less conspicuous arms in the field. While the 12-gauge silver slug is spectacularly effective, our budget will not support ammunition costs of $10 per shot. The 9mm rounds are by far the most likely to be issued to field teams.

Due to the physical size and toughness of many of the threats that call for silver loads, the Institute does not recommend the use of frangible rounds. The prices quoted are for solid ball ammunition.