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  • #21641
    Profile photo of PaulC
    PaulC
    Survivalist
    member2

    Hi All – new to this forum and really appreciating the resources.

    Quick question: how many rounds do you recommend keeping on hold in reserve for bad times? Stuff you don’t touch until needed.

    Right now I only have a shotgun and an AR15 (working on getting a handgun in the near future).

    #21644
    Profile photo of 74
    74
    Survivalist
    rnews

    PaulC,
    Typically the answer is 1 or 2 thousand rounds per gun. Realisticly as much as you can gather, you cannot have to much ammo. On the other hand you still need to feed yourself now and later.

    #21646
    Mr. Red
    Mr. Red
    Survivalist
    member7

    A good base is 1-2 thousand, as 74 said, probably a bit more for .22lr (which is a calibre everyone should own a rifle in, especially for SHTF).

    But as 74 said, you can never really have enough ammo (and reloading supplies). With the shotgun ammo, I have 1/3 of it in 00buck, 1/3 in slugs, and the other 1/3 in assorted stuff, such as smaller bird shot, that’s what works for me.

    Canadian Patriot. Becoming self-sufficient.

    #21649
    Malgus
    Malgus
    Survivalist
    member8

    @ PaulC,

    Concur with the others. For your main battle rifle – whatever that might be – at least 1 to 2 thousand rounds of GOOD ammo. In 5.56mm flavor, depending on the twist of your barrel, I would hunt down a few thousand rounds of Lake City production ammo…

    But remember that it does not have to be FMJ ammo if you don’t want to use that. You are not limited by treaties and protocols that force you to use ball ammo. HP ammo is much more effective against soft targets. I have standard ball ammo and other, specialized, rounds for different purposes…

    Then again, any ammo is better than no ammo. Stockpile a couple thousand rounds of ball, then work on your specialized flavors…

    Cheaper than Dirt, Gunbroker.com, a few other places.. buy bulk ammo. Don’t buy by the individual box, unless you can’t help it.

    @ Red

    Winchester high brass No. 1 buckshot is more effective than 00 buck.

    The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1

    #21658
    Profile photo of undeRGRönd
    undeRGRönd
    Survivalist
    member8

    Main Battle Rifles, I suggest stacking 10,000 rounds (5.56)
    I suggest 5000 for an AK, one is enough, and suggest lots of handgun ammo. (see above #’s)
    Even more if you have PCC’s (pistol caliber carbines) which can be GREAT CQB weapons.
    Working on 10K in 22 slr (what a CHORE that has been!) but most of it is good HV 22LR.
    The shorts and subsonic 22’s are for the small game, and I have a Henry octagon barrel for those!

    I really took Selco’s advice about weapons to heart, and interpret it to mean Guns and Ammo are your “Top Ten” prepper items. Everything else is 11 through 100+ :D (I do have an 11-100 list, too, so don’t judge!) lol

    "ROGUE ELECTRICIAN" Hoping to be around to re-energize the New World.....

    Cogito, ergo armatus sum

    #21664
    Whirlibird
    Whirlibird
    Survivalist
    member10

    This is a subject that is argued about almost as much as 9mm vs .45 or AR vs AK.

    The common answer has been put forth several times already, 1-2K rounds.

    But another way to look at this is with a jaundiced eye and a tight pocketbook.

    Look objectively at what you really need over the years and what you can afford at one time.
    By building your stockpile using ammo that you use and as you can afford it, you are much better off than just grabbing a case of ammo that your gun may not like or function with.

    You should replace your ‘carry ammo’ yearly, to ensure reliability and uniformity of the ammo.
    The years carry effects the ammo in various ways, including vibration (breaking down the powder), heat (inside a vehicle) also effecting the powder, the bullet sealant breaking down/the bullet deep seating from repeated chambering in a semi auto and more.

    So for daily defensive carry (but not shooting) one needs a 50 round box (or two) of defensive ammo per year. That covers three normal sized magazines and a couple of rounds to replace any that may foreshorten from chambering.
    500 rounds = 10 years supply of defensive ammo.
    When you rotate the old stuff out, keep it for sight verification, or spare ammo in case you have to use the new stuff and run out of new ammo, it’s still good just older. Pretty soon, you’ll have a pile of good defensive ammo put back, one box at a time. Over a ten year period, that’s 500 rounds of good ammo put back without spending any extra.

    Me, I recommend buying a box (50 rounds) of ball or generic jhp ammo for your pistol whenever you go shopping. Make sure it’s reliable in your gun before choosing one particular brand or load. That extra $20ish dollars per week or two isn’t much monetarily but in a year, that can add up to 2600 rounds fairly quickly. And while it’s over $1000, it’s easier for most of us to get it $20 at a time. This gives you a stockpile of practice/emergency ammo that can be used for defensive purposes (jhp) if needed but doesn’t command the premium price of the new fangled boutique bullets. Most ‘generic’ jhp loads are nothing but yesterdays good bullet that’s been replaced by a newer version.

    Rifles, it depends on what you’re doing. Again, a rifle and ammo that is carried on a horse, in a vehicle or such should have it’s ammo changed yearly or sooner. Ammo left at home in magazines or on shelves, can be left alone and loaded in magazines/speedloaders. I recommend replacing every couple of years but it’s not critical as with carry ammo.

    Make sure as with the handgun that the rifle likes the ammo and is both accurate and reliable.
    My local SO brought me one of their AR’s, for the last 15 years it’s been a problem child, not liking most ammo and preferring one particular and expensive load. Several hundred rounds later, I found the problems and now it will eat anything that fits in the chamber.
    Had someone just stockpiled a case of ammo for that rifle before the repair, they would have had an expensive single shot.

    Hunting ammo, few of us use more than a 20 round box of ammo a year for our hunting rifles, it’s fairly easy to put back a 5/10 year supply at a time. Just keep purchasing the same ammo (check the box codes) when you add more years to your stockpile. 200 rounds = 10 years worth of ammo. And any you don’t use, you just put back for later or use for next years sighting in/checking the sights. Much like the handgun ammo, pick up a box or two every so often during the year and you’ll fairly quickly have years worth of hunting ammo.

    Unlike many, my SHTF ammo is not ball ammo for the most part.
    I look at what I may be doing and most of what I expect to be doing involves hunting/scrounging food and soft points work better for this as well as some specialized handloads (silent).
    As for handgun ammo, it’s hunting/target handloads or defensive loads.
    Any of my loads will suffice for defensive work post-SHTF, but I’ll use up the ‘good stuff’ first, it’s a known factor what it’s going to do and that’s important, especially if someone else uses your guns.

    One thing to consider in a defensive situation/firearm, at least prior to SHTF, mark your ammo boxes/magazines
    with the box # or code, or vice versa. This aids you in a court situation.
    Being able to identify what box the ammo came out of may keep you out of jail. More on this later.
    I individually mark my mags with magic marker numbers, the 20 round mags are marked 18/A, 18/B, and so on. The 30 round mags are marked 28/A, 28/B, etc.
    The 18 stands for the number of rounds in the mag originally, the letter is also marked on the ammo box with the date loaded, so I know which mag the ammo is in and when it was loaded.

    So why is the date and which box important, a handful of years back, a young couple were at home. The husband in the kitchen, the wife in the bedroom. For whatever reason, the wife took their handgun, a .38 revolver and shot herself in the head, killing herself.
    The husband was tried and convicted and went to jail.
    Why? Because of the ammo.

    The ammo was handloaded, very light loads and there were three(+) different loads in the gun. It was the target ammo they had been using. The problem? The coroner and investigators were unable to reproduce the blast pattern or lack of pattern in testing. What was shown and the husband convicted on was the lack of blast pattern (ejected material) on the wife, the prosecutors insisted that it showed that the husband had shot the wife from farther away and planted the gun, that way there was no blast on her skin, rather than it was an extremely light load and their investigator couldn’t replicate the evidence.
    Because the husband couldn’t prove what the load used was, there was no way to replicate the incident and evidence. He couldn’t prove his innocence against a rabid prosecutor, he was convicted.

    #21671
    Profile photo of 74
    74
    Survivalist
    rnews

    Whirly,
    I like the advice you have given. However I don’t think I need to protect myself from a suicide. What other senerio would this apply?

    #21678
    Whirlibird
    Whirlibird
    Survivalist
    member10

    <div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>74 wrote:</div>Whirly,<br>
    I like the advice you have given. However I don’t think I need to protect myself from a suicide. What other senerio would this apply?

    When a shooting is investigated, often the “shoot” is replicated, using “exemplars”, identical guns and ammo from the same batch (hence the box codes). By doing so, they can show that you did or did not fire the gun from a particular distance, it can be proven that an exit wound is not an entrance wound (this has happened), as well as other things.

    Another reason to mark and save boxes/codes is bad ammo. It does happen and ammo is recalled. Which magazine or magazines is that recalled ammo in?
    A customer brought me in a .22 handgun that had blown up, the ammo was at fault. But he had just bought a 12 year old box of ammo, which was under a recall. The ammo manufacturer paid for the repairs and replaced the ammo.

    #21681
    Profile photo of undeRGRönd
    undeRGRönd
    Survivalist
    member8

    Nice!
    Now I know why my PMags have those stippled areas at the bottom.
    I have a trio of metallic Sharpies to mark them ;)

    "ROGUE ELECTRICIAN" Hoping to be around to re-energize the New World.....

    Cogito, ergo armatus sum

    #21682
    Profile photo of undeRGRönd
    undeRGRönd
    Survivalist
    member8

    Documentation ROCKS!

    "ROGUE ELECTRICIAN" Hoping to be around to re-energize the New World.....

    Cogito, ergo armatus sum

    #21690
    Profile photo of freedom
    freedom
    Survivalist
    rnews

    Great info Whirlibird, I have about 500 rounds for each handgun and for the rifles about 1,000 to 2,000. On my .308 rifle I am still low but will keep adding. Have about 200 rounds of .308.

    #21697
    Profile photo of PaulC
    PaulC
    Survivalist
    member2

    Guys, thanks a ton for this advice and the explanations of rationale. Very helpful.

    #21734
    Profile photo of sledjockey
    sledjockey
    Bushcrafter
    member8

    Although many people have chimed in, I don’t see much in the way of resupply of ammo being discussed. I will start off with my thoughts on ammo stockpiles and then move on to resupply…..

    I personally keep about 7.5k of .22lr on hand as sheer base stock level. I do this because .22 is GREAT trading stock if need be, a whole pile can be carried for a minimum weight compromise, and the .22 has a wonderful array of firearms that take that round. Because I can’t resupply .22lr (being a rimfire) like I can centerfire cartridges, I keep more of that on hand.

    For my 5.56/223, I keep around 2k on hand. 9mm I try and keep 3k (my CQB round of choice), .45ACP 1k, and all my hunting loads (30-30, 30-06, 300Wby, 45-70, .44 Mag) I keep around 200 ready to go.

    NOW, here is the kicker….. I reload. Because of this, I keep at least another 2k of my “battle rounds” (223, 9mm, .45ACP) in components and at least another 500 in components for each of my hunting calibers. Of course I have various types of loads and can load various configurations for each of my weapon systems.

    For shotgun, I keep 200 .410 for my single shot and about 1k of various shells for my 12 gauges. This includes steel shot, lead bird shot, slugs, buckshot, trap loads, etc…… I am getting a shotgun shell reloader in a few months so these numbers will change a bit at that point.

    The comment about reloaded cartridges leading to the conviction of the one person really is not a concern for me. I reload for hunting and stay with the same bullet brands/types for the most part. I also live in a gun friendly state. The only special loads I do are inverted wadcutters for home defense. If the stipling and blood spatter don’t support the actual events, I would go to jail for shoddy forensics work anyway. The bullet fragmentation wouldn’t trump the rest of the evidence. If it did, I would figure it was because of the state I decided to live in. That should be part of your risk analysis anyway……

    That is my take on the whole thing, but much is echoed by other posts. I would strongly suggest you get set up with reloading, however. Whether you stick with bushcrafting type activities, just hunting, are prepping for SHTF, or whatever, it is just like any other preparations you make. If you bug in, you don’t have to have as much on hand at any one time because you can always “make more.” If you bug out, you will not want all the weight associated with large amounts of ammo anyway. Either way, you could cheaply increase your ammo count by 2-3x for the same costs and if ammo gets scarce again, trading reloads for needed items is a great way to replenish other supplies as well. It also allows you to set up each weapon for maximum effectiveness with regard to load…..

    My $.02……

    http://ageofdecadence.com

    #21787
    Whirlibird
    Whirlibird
    Survivalist
    member10

    Sledjockey: The old inverted HBWC load is an old load, and unfortunately not as effective in testing as many factory JHP’s. I made a number of these for a friend, he ended up shooting a skunk with one and it was literally shoved backwards by the shot. With some practice shooting a few days later, he found the bullets were hitting the target at 10Y fully sideways. Some guns don’t like the old loads like this.

    I handload for my own use and also commercially as part of my job.
    But until it’s post-SHTF, I’m going to stick to factory ammo for defensive shooting, better and cheaper to fight the lawyers before something happens than after.

    I won’t say how many rounds I could produce but I have a number of buckets of brass that I just had to move (relocated the shop) and last I checked was set up to load some 75 cartridges or better.

    Resupply:
    I have long argued that when SHTF, what you have is all you’re going to have.
    Resupply or scrounging at that point is highly risky at best.
    Depending on what happens, looking for ammo means that you have a gun (possibly empty) and are a target for the .gov and any other predators out there who want your gun.

    Put it back while it’s still fairly cheap and reasonably available. Put back what you think you might need for the rest of your life, just in case.

    #21795
    Profile photo of undeRGRönd
    undeRGRönd
    Survivalist
    member8

    Whirlibird wrote:

    Put it back while it’s still fairly cheap and reasonably available. Put back what you think you might need for the rest of your life, just in case.

    I plan on living a while, so I’m stacking big :D
    Selco lived through it, and he suggested lots of ammo. I can always trade it if I have too much, and I have seen it suggested at SilverDoctors and also in real life, where 22LR will likely become a form of “currency”. I believe this. It is already looking like it will be as good as money, Better, as compared to the U$Dollar.

    "ROGUE ELECTRICIAN" Hoping to be around to re-energize the New World.....

    Cogito, ergo armatus sum

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