Thursday, August 20, 2009

How much ammo should I have?

You need ammo... but how much?

The most important need will be the ability to defend yourself from others. Either socially challenged individuals (scumbags in my language) or people that failed to prepare or are just desperate and end up involved in criminal activity. Whatever you want to call it, other people are the most urgent reason to be armed after SHTF.
For that your handgun (which you should already get used to carrying all day) will be your tool.
For this a few boxes of ammo will do. Most likely you’ll be doing some drawing but the most probable outcome is that the bad guys will choose a less dangerous victim. Of course, you have to be physically and mentally ready for the other outcome as well. My point is that even though being armed will save the day for you more than once after SHTF, you wont be getting into gunfights a lot (hopefully not!) the dead serious aspect of a gun to someone’s face generally is enough. Again, it’s a thin line and you have to be ready for shooting, but the second best outcome is that everyone, including the (bad guys) goes home.
In case you’re wondering the best outcome is spotting them before they are close enough and avoiding the encounter entirely.

Then there’s something I’ve seen done a lot, specially in farms and such, and is the need to fire a few warning shots to send trespassers, thieves and poachers away. This can happen almost on daily basis and I see the wisdom there in using a cheap round like 22LR, and that’s what most farmers and ranchers use most of here. 3 or 4 warning shots a day means over 1000 rounds a year. Better to make that 22LR. The semi auto 22lR carbine is also accurate for long range shooting in case they fire back. Anyone wounded at a considerable distance will most likely just leave.
It’s common for people here that live in the country to supplement that with a 22LR handgun and for the more informed shooter, a 38 special or other big bore handgun in case it gets close and personal.

Handgun ammo: You’ll rarely put any to use, but lets say you do end up in messy situations. 100 rounds a year is more than I’ve ever heard anyone using in a single year in self defense situations, but lets add 200 more to keep a minimum amount of training in troubled times.
That’s 300 rounds a year.

Rifle ammo:
Lets go for a similar minimum as the handgun, even though the handgun is much more likely to be used. 300 rounds a year. (I’m not taking into account real training where you can easily shoot 1000 rounds a day. I’m talking about a bare minimum here)

Living in the country:
At least 1000 rounds of 22LR a year (add %20 safety measure) That could be a couple 550 value packs and a few 50 rounds boxes of good premium 22LR ammo like CCI Stingers or Velocitors for small game hunting or self defense.
You could carry a magazine with bulk ammo for daily use, and a couple more with good premium ammo in case you come across game or need to defend yourself.

Ideally, you’ll have a greater safety net in having x2 or x3 times as much ammo.

Forget about ammo as currency, buying a pair of hand made socks in Barter Town with 10 rounds of 22LR only happens in fiction novels.
If you want to have money to be used after SHTF and want to prepare for the most outrageous possible SHTF situations, just play it safe and put that money into gold and silver.



Shambhala said...

Another great post Fernando.
readers should understand you're talking MINIMUMS.

FerFAL said...

Thanks. Yes, this is a basic (Yearly) minimum in my most humble opinion.
For medium term situations, expect 5 years for recovery if things go ok, or more. Something like civil war or serious social collapse, recovery is measured in decades, not years.


Joe said...

Of course this assumes you will be able to resupply on at least a semi-regular basis. If you can't, it's buy all you can when you can.

Anonymous said...

Ammo should be stored in ammo cans with desiccant to keep it from being ruined by moisture.

Anonymous said...

We have had a tremendous ammo shortage in the US since Obama was elected. There is worry that he will attempt to circumvent the 2nd Amendment to try to take away individual gun rights or to ban the importation of ammunition. My friends and I have been buying ammunition as we found it at good prices, in addition to the stores we already had on hand. I disagree with ammunition being used as barter currency, as that has already started to happen here as the supply has dried up. It will be an interesting time until 2012 when Obama and company are replaced by non-Marxists.

FerFAL said...

This is my suggestion for a minimum yearly ammount, if you can afford more sure, buy more. You'll eventually use it if you like shooting.

Anon, you can barter a lot of things, including ammo (specially with today's prices), but its not currency, never will be. Rather,firearms and ammo are likely to get more restricted like you said.


Anonymous said...

"Something like civil war or serious social collapse"

...should just GTFO!

Anonymous said...

Seems kind of lean to me. I usually think in terms of 500 rounds PER FIREARM as a minimum, with 1,000 rnds/per being better. Some folks in eastern Europe who've been through tough times (think Bosnia, etc.) are more comfortable w/2,000 rnds.