http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/2009/ ... -need.html
A common question is; how much ammo should I store for SHTF?
First, several questions need to be asked.
1. Exactly what are you storing it for? For the Survivalist, it is food gathering (hunting) and home or self-defense.
2. How long will the situation causing the need last? Let's assume TSHTF and commonsense says it will be 5 years. So for a baseline let's use a five (5) year SHTF time frame.
3. Could buying and storing ammo be a legitimate investment like gold? Yes and very likely as a barter item for stuff you may need and can't buy. In my case yes, it has because most was bought 8-10 years ago when .223's were $125/1,000.
Let's look at the food gathering ammo needed for five (5) years.
Hunting Large Game;
Using a centerfire rifle or a shotgun using slugs: (stock 180 rounds)
Your centerfire hunting rifle or the very capable shotgun really doesn't need a large amount of cartridges if used for larger animal food gathering. If you live in a game rich area and depending on the size of your family or group, you may take 2-6 deer or similar sized game per year. Another point about large game harvesting. To make it last you must have refrigeration or be skilled at preserving it with other means like salting or canning.
Let's assume you know how to hunt game and the worst case is 3 shots for the kill or three rounds per animal. At the kill/ammo rate mentioned that's 18 cartridges a year for six animals. For five years of hunting that's only 90 rounds!
Now let's say Murphy's Law is around so things aren't going to be perfect and the kill shot attempts are many due to long distances and misses are likely. Or something you really didn't plan on, relatives who didn't prep move in and now you have to feed them also. So for a backup amount my preference would be to store 2x the perfect amount (90) or 180 rounds for the five years.
Hunting Small Game;
Using a shotgun with #6 shot: (stock 3,000 rounds of #6 shot)
Shotguns are the ultimate and most productive food gathering tool. From rabbits and squirrels to birds and deer you just can't beat this gun. With a shotgun you may have to hunt 2-3 times per week or about 150 hunts per year. If you use 2 rounds per hunting day, that's 300 rounds per year or for five years 1,500 rounds!
My preferred shot size is #6 for small game and birds because the bb's are large enough to kill quickly and there are fewer of them so you tend not to destroy the meat with many smaller hits. I don't try and stock specific shot sizes for specific game, it will add considerably to the cost of your stock and is basically a waste of your money.
Using my 2x rule that comes to 600 shot shells per year or for 5 years is 3,000 rounds to store. Kind of a surprising amount isn't it!
Hunting Small Game;
Using a 22 rimfire: (stock 3,000 rounds)
The 22 is a great small game rifle. Accurate out to 75 yards they are the most inexpensive food gathering tools you can own and use.
Using the same hunting scenario as the shot gun, 150 hunts per year, you need to store 3,000 rounds for a five year period.
Personal Defense, Concealed Carry Hand Guns;
For your primary pistol caliber: (stock 1,000 rounds)
Hand guns are necessary during SHTF. They are for concealed carry for immediate protection or to get you safely back to your home or to suitable defense weapons. Calibers can be any of the most common like the 38 special, 9mm, 40 cal and 45 cal. Because these are so common they have good prices on this ammo so it's easy and cheap to stock up on enough to meet your needs.
It is difficult to come up with an amount to stock because the hand gun is mainly for defense so it shouldn't be used much if at all. So for some target practice I would think 200 rounds per year would be good or 1,000 rounds for five years.
Centerfire Rifles, Carbines or Shotguns: (stock the amount that gives you comfort)
Let's hope this need never materializes, but it can. Remember Watts, New Orleans after Katrina and other cities that the so called underprivileged or unprepared go nuts! If you are counting on the overpaid and incompetent police force to help you during this time forget it, they will be nowhere to be found and you're on your own!
This is a situation that you must thoughtfully review multiple scenarios of attacks against your home and how you would counter them.
Here where I live, we average a murder every two days, some are drive-bys firing through the walls of a house and killing kids in their beds. My point here is the walls of your home don't stop bullets so what would you do for cover? Think about it!
So how much ammo should you stock form home defense? Hard to say but the amount chosen for each weapon you have should give you comfort.
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Supplies You Need And May Not Think About
This has been my dilemma for quite some time. This article has brought a few new things into my line of thinking, thanks for the posting. Knowing what's flying, crawling and running in your own neck of the woods is a big part of it. For example I was running under a fixed round count for everything so ended up with LOTS of bird shot for the 12ga, the problem is we don't really have a large population of edible birds. I'd have been better off getting more .22's for squirrels/rabbits or .300/7mm for Deer/Elk but I hadn't sat down and done a list like you posted. I will probably wind up getting a slug mold and dismantling about 40% of the #6 12ga shells and converting to a high zoot slug load so as to not waste any powder or wads. Just wish I could find some once fired .300WM or .308 (to resize into 7-08). But seems all I see are .223, .40 & 9mm.
The legal max for the amount of rounds you can have in our state is 100k.
I liked your way of figuring out the actual need (OP). Thanks!
On a mountain top .
It's not really funny, but I always laugh when you see news reports with statements like, "Over two thousand rounds of ammunition was found in the suspects home!" I've probably got close to 2K .22 cal rounds of different types, a boat load of shotgun shells, and several hundred rounds for my handguns. I'm the kind of guy the talk about on CNN. :-)
But seriously, I'm getting close to buying my AK-47 which will be my "powerhouse" weapon. There has been some excellent ammunition developed lately to overcome a lot of the tradition weaknesses of the 7.62x39. But I also see the fairly cheap magazines and the "corrosive" ammunition available surplus.
My thinking right now is to have two magazines with good personal protection type rounds in them. I'll probably have 4 with just "plinking" rounds. But I'm also thinking it would be worthwhile to buy a few thousand of the "corrosive" rounds to keep as spares. Magazines for the AK are reasonably priced and I could even see keeping a half dozen of them loaded with "corrosive" rounds just in case.
I'm not a ammo expert by any stretch. But are there any huge disadvantages to the "corrosive" rounds other than the fact that you need to clean the gun after you use them?
No disadvantage at all max but good question as long as you take care of it and keep it dry it will last forever and still shoot they may be a little dirtier shooting round but if you are shooting a ak it does not matter that is only really for us AR shooters because the action is different.
Every round produced was corrosive during the height of the Mauser, Mosin and SKS era and they did and still do shoot pretty darn good. I've seen Mausers with nasty pitted black bores put 5 rounds in 2" at 100yds, for a 100year old rifle that had seen corrosive it's whole life and been cleaned only when necessary that's easily within an acceptable parameter. My personal opinion is corrosive damage is way over-hyped, I've talked to guys that cleaned after every 10 or 20 rounds so their barrel didn't pit , I wouldn't hesitate to shoot 500 rounds, put it in the rack for a week then clean it when I had time. A corrosive compound takes time to work, unless your shooting hydrochloric acid down the barrel it's not going to happen over night. But then again I've owned my AR for about 2 years, fired 40 rounds through it and never cleaned it.
Thanks for the feedback. Growing up we had a .22 rifle and a single shot 20 gauge shotgun and that was it. Got interested in handguns about three years ago for personal protection. Feel like I'm up the learning curve a ways on them. But the AK will be the first center fire rifle I've owned. (Never hunted anything that big.) Still trying to figure out some of the in's and out's. That's part of why I figure the AK is a good way to start--seems to have a reputation for being hard to break and they are reasonably cheap.
One of the good things about this site Max is the broad range of opinions. I've had an AK and can't complain about it mechanically or it's reliability, I just didn't like it's distinct sound. I own an AR and like that just a tiny bit more than the AK but not enough to take care of it like I should (plus I have a bolt gun in .223 so I can share ammo). Honestly, I was talked into the AR by a buddy and if I had a "do over" there would be a .338 Win Mag bolt action in it's place and I wouldn't even own a semi-auto rifle. You know about hind sight.
Considering your Avatar photo, yes, we do know about hind sight.
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
-John Stuart Mill
I gave serious consideration to the Remington 700 because the reason I decided I needed more gun was that packs of wild dogs have started roaming around here. We have horses and haven't had issues yet. But some not too far away have.
So I really thought something that I could pick off something like a wild dog or coyote at 150 to 200 yards would be just the thing.
But then the whole "manly black gun" thing hit and I started looking at ARs. Couldn't afford those so I looked at SKSes. Actually thought about getting one and putting it on a tactical stock (ya' gotta love the words they use) after using a friend's for a while. (Although his had the folding spike bayonet and that was kind of cool also.) Finally figured I'd have as much in an SKS when I was done as it would cost to buy an AK.
But I do think my next rifle investment after the AK will be something with serious range--but off course hitting something at a distance depends a lot more on how much you practice and how good a marksman you are than on what kind of gun you buy.
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