What you need to know about stockpiling ammo
Previously, I discussed how to protect your ammo storage long-term. If you missed it, be sure to check it out by clicking here.
Now, I want to discuss building your stockpile of ammo. Maybe I should have written this first, but regardless, here it is. 🙂
I’ll look at the reasons why you should stockpile, I’ll dispel some myths about stockpiling ammo, and I’ll give you some hints and tips on how to do it. So let’s jump right in!
Why should I stockpile ammo?
Let me say this right off the bat. If you stockpile thousands of rounds of ammunition because you anticipate a WROL (Without Rule Of Law) event where you will be engaging in dozens of gun battles, you might want to reconsider your plans.
First, the chances of a TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) event are slim. I’m not saying that it can’t or won’t happen someday. But keep in mind that the more extreme an event, the less likely it is to occur. The complete collapse of society as we know it is at the FAR end of the “possibility spectrum”.
Second, even if there is a WROL event, you must remember that the more often you engage in armed conflict, the greater your chances of being hit/killed by return fire. As I have stated before:
“an over eagerness to engage in conflict runs the risks of unintended collateral damage, injury and/or death to you and loved ones. It also leads to the potential destruction of vital gear and equipment.
Your primary goal is to avoid conflict. Guns are the back-up plan!”
Rambo is Hollywood fiction, and bullets do not discriminate. The more often you get into gun battles, the greater your risk of being injured or killed. And the greater the risk you put those close to you.
In a true WROL/SHTF event, you should be trying to avoid conflicts and running gun battles. You do this by practicing OpSec and having a plan for it. If you practice OpSec, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of having to engage in gun battles. And remember, bullets SUCK at OpSec!
Third, the majority of gun fights (outside of protracted military engagements) do not last that long, nor do they have that many rounds fired. In reality, most gun battles last between 3-10 seconds and less than 10 rounds are fired.
One of America’s most famous gun fight, the Shootout at the Ok Corral, lasted about 30 seconds and had 31 rounds fired by the 9 people involved. None of them were carrying hundreds of rounds of ammo, and the Earps knew they were headed to a potential gun fight!
So if you are anticipating dozens of gun battles in SHTF, ask yourself why? Why are you not practicing better OpSec? Why are you not trying to avoid gun fights? What can you do to make yourself more invisible and unnoticeable? How long do you think your gun battles will last? If you plan on them lasting for hundreds of rounds, ask yourself why? Why are you not disengaging and bugging out?
Actually, there are two reasons for this.
The first is that ammo, when stored correctly, can last for at least a generation or more. And ammo will hold its value. The price of ammo has only gone up, and I do not see that changing anytime in the future. So someday I can pass this along to my children, and it will retain and even gain in value.
Secondly, the anti-gun zealots have begun to attack our 2nd amendment rights by going after ammunition. Seattle has already passed a gun and ammo tax. And California is passing laws requiring a background check (and a permit and fee) to purchase ammunition. Don’t think for a second that it will stop there!
I think for some anti gun politicians and media, their goal is to drive the price of ammo up so high that common, everyday law-abiding citizens will no longer be able to afford to shoot. So having the ammo now will help to protect you from that goal.
How much ammo should I stockpile?
This is a much debated question among preppers, and I have been asked that question a few times myself. I always answer the same way. You should stockpile enough ammunition that you feel comfortable with, and that you can safely and securely store. Be that 5 boxes or 5000 rounds, there really is no right or wrong answer.
I subscribe to the theory of having AT LEAST 1000 rounds per caliber of firearm that you own. (In most cases.) Some folks believe it should be 1000 rounds per gun. For some, they want even more than that. Either way, those are the numbers that many folks feel comfortable with.
In addition to my 1000 rounds per caliber, I have begun buying “shooting ammo”. This is the ammo I take to the range to kill paper targets and metal plates. In the past, I didn’t stock up on this, I just bought it when I needed it. But with the increasingly draconian gun laws that some states are trying to enact, and the subsequent panic buying that follows, I have begun to buy my “shooting ammo” in bulk.
This allows me to have plenty of ammo on hand to shoot, without having to break into my stockpile.
In the end, the decision of how much you need is up to you, based upon your situation and plans. As I stated before, all ammo that you buy should be stored correctly and safely. If you missed the link at the top of the page about storing ammo long-term, here it is again.
Hint and Tips on Ammo Stockpiling
An abundant ammo stockpile represents a sizable investment. If you are like me, you most likely cannot afford to do that all at once. Instead you will probably have to do it “piece meal”. Much like slowly increasing your food stores, you can purchase a box or two of ammo whenever you go to a place like Wal-Mart. Over time, your stock will begin to grow.
Next, there are a lot of great places on the internet that sell ammo. Websites like:
have good deals almost daily. I check there often.
Those sites I just listed will many times have sales on bulk ammo, ie hundreds of rounds or more. Selling it by bulk makes it cheaper (price per round) than buying just a single box.
If you don’t have the money for a bulk purchase, you might go in with some friends, co-workers, etc and pool your money. My friends and I split the cost of the bulk ammo and shipping, and then split the ammo. That way we get ammo we need at the cheaper, bulk price without spending a fortune to do it.
When ammo supplies are scarce at the big box stores like Wal-Mart or Academy, you can still sometimes find ammo tucked away at small stores like gun shops and military surplus stores. During the last big ammo drought, I was able to buy several boxes of .22 at a local military surplus store. It wasn’t on display, but when I asked the clerk, he said he would sell me a few boxes out of the back. So don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t see it on the shelf.
Be sure to have something to store your ammo in. You can find surplus ammo cans at military surplus stores, gun shows, etc.
Silicon gel packs also help keep the moisture out of your ammo supplies.
So how many magazines should you have? Same answer as with the ammo. But at the bottom of the page I have included a video (not my video) talking about how many magazines you should have on hand.
To read about how much ammo you should pack in your Bug Out/Get Home bag, click the link here.
Stay safe out there!
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