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How Much Ammo Do You Need?
The Survivalist Blog ^ | 1 March, 2009 | Yukon Mike

Posted on 03/07/2009 1:12:42 AM PST by marktwain

This is my ammo stock. Most of it was acquired 8-10 years ago when ammo compared to today’s prices was very cheap. I have stocked here; .177 pellets and BB’s, 22 rimfire, 38 special, 9mm, .223, .308 and 12 gauge.

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.

Home Defense; 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.


TOPICS: Education; Hobbies; Outdoors; Society
KEYWORDS: ammo; banglist; storage; survival
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Some interesting comments at the site. It is hard to have too much ammo, too much gold, or too much food.
1 posted on 03/07/2009 1:12:42 AM PST by marktwain
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To: marktwain

Need is such a 90’s word. I think “require” is much better.


2 posted on 03/07/2009 1:19:46 AM PST by Kickass Conservative (Since Obama Bin Lyin, the Economy Bin Dyin...)
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To: marktwain

“How Much Ammo Do You Need?”

Answer: It depends if you can hit the target on the first try or the 100th try.


3 posted on 03/07/2009 1:19:47 AM PST by Cindy
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To: marktwain

Also, a good manual reloader (I cheaped out - I have a Lee Loadmaster) cuts those requirements WAY down. You can cut the actual ammo needed by 4; you reuse your brass. Primers, bullets, and gunpowder stores VERY compactly! You can fit the supplies to redo 300 rounds of 223 in something not much bigger than a can of Coke, if you reuse your brass.

Heck, lead will be easy to get, too - a small mold for making your own bullets and a supply of used wheel weights and you’re set for a LONG time.

After all, if the SHTF, there won’t be an TV to occupy the nights, so you might as well spend the time reloading!


4 posted on 03/07/2009 1:22:30 AM PST by PugetSoundSoldier (Indignation over the sting of truth is the defense of the indefensible)
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To: marktwain
Yes it is hard to have too much ammo and it will probably be much harder to have too much game.

I'm curious, at just how long does the author think game will abound with millions of people trying to sustain themselves on the stock?

This is assuming a survivalist scenario. Some I don't think it much matters how many guns you have, if you expect to feed yourself through hunting because if the country is thrown back into a stone age, you will probably join tens of millions who die of cold, hunger and disease.

Guns are not of much use against cold, hunger, and disease although they might protect your family against the mob for a while. You might be able to commandeer some shelter, some petroleum, and some foodstuffs but those will probably go to those with arms who are better organized. In any event, guns will not buy you much time.

In the 21st century, with the government possessed of firepower and logistics which we cannot even conceive of, with a potential 300 million people starving and rootless, I don't think our guns will avail us much for long.

Yes we need guns against random acts of violence, against the mob, and even in a desperate last stand against their own government. Beyond this, they offer no solution except perhaps to make the likes of liberals with unfettered power stop and think for half a heartbeat.

If we are worried about saving our families we should look to do it now while there is still something to salvage and before the man on horseback takes everything. We should participate in the system now while there is yet something that can be done. Survivalism is fantasyland which can breed detachment as it encourages a psychic withdrawal causing the very chaos it fears.


5 posted on 03/07/2009 1:33:55 AM PST by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: marktwain

If society breaks down to the point where one is expecting to have to kill many people in self-defense, the city/suburbs seems like the worst place to be.

If my plan is to stake a claim somewhere in Wyoming, for example, where I thought encountering zombies would be rare, then my survival plan is probably going to look a lot like what people do every day in rural America.


6 posted on 03/07/2009 1:39:10 AM PST by james500
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To: nathanbedford
There is more to survivaalism than just holding off the evil hordes and clearing the local deer population.

Anyone serious about survival in truly trying times or complete civil/economic breakdown is researching or has researched sustainable self-sufficiency on a technological level of say, 1900, if not 1940, including food production, not just scavenging.

In the event one has not stored suitable quantities of fuel, it is likely draft animals will be required, at least until trade in motor fuels resumes.

For a while, at any rate, there will be considerable numbers of scavengers to deter, educate and convert, or in extremis, eliminate.

A suitable supply of arms and ammunition will facillitate that.

Anyone who lives in an area with (using the math the writer provided) a population of deer not exceeding six times the human population in density is unlikely to be able to hunt for sufficient food. Even the pigeons will disappear from urban landscapes, not to mention pets.

7 posted on 03/07/2009 1:55:55 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: james500

Only problem is that every self sufficient suspecting survivalist I’ve met has the same idea about Wyoming/Idaho areas. I would fully expect those areas to quickly become city/suburbs in population after the outbreak of anarchy, with everybody there armed to the teeth feeling threatened by any other outsider armed to the teeth.


8 posted on 03/07/2009 1:58:40 AM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr

“Only problem is that every self sufficient suspecting survivalist I’ve met has the same idea about Wyoming/Idaho areas.”

That’s exactly why it was the first thing to come to mind.


9 posted on 03/07/2009 2:11:03 AM PST by james500
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To: Cvengr
Still looks like some open space...
10 posted on 03/07/2009 2:15:36 AM PST by james500
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To: marktwain

I’ve spent a good deal of time in the last few weeks reading the memoirs of folks who survived the meltdown in the USSR in the late 80s early 90s, and those who lived in Buenos Aires during the meltdown in 2001.

The prevailing and common theme is that you are much better off with a high-capacity semi-automatic pistol for self protection as the author notes above. Preferably a high caliber with 15-19 rounds.

Many of them make fun of the Rambo types with sniper rifles and camaflouge fatigues. They make a good point, when someone comes to take your goods or hurt your family, they are not going to start shooting from 200 meters. They will approach you as if though they are a non-threatening party, and next you thing you know you have a gun in your face.

They also talk a lot about transportation. One fellow from Buenos Aires quipped about how he used to slow down when people were in the road waving him down, but now he speeds up and aims for them because its probably bandidos. These authors suggest having a 4x4 or a motorcycle because roads will become impassible after a little while.

Interesting stuff. As for ammo. Figure out how much you think you will need, and then triple it.


11 posted on 03/07/2009 4:10:37 AM PST by ChinaThreat (3)
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To: james500

My county has just over 5,000 population. A lot more cattle than people.

Counties near by have as little as 1,200 population.

It is quiet here, most of the time.


12 posted on 03/07/2009 4:29:41 AM PST by Texas Fossil
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To: ChinaThreat

If you look at the lawless areas in Africa, you can get a picture of what all will be up against. Roving groups of heavily armed and motorized “tribes” preying on the weak. One family holed up in a remote cabin somewhere wont have a chance. Nightmare scenario for sure.


13 posted on 03/07/2009 4:40:18 AM PST by doosee
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To: james500
Still looks like some open space...

I have lived in one area of that open space, and there is a reason the population is so low. The climate can be very unhospitable in a lot of places. I called Southeast New Mexico home for a few years. Unless you have a means to get water, forget it. It only rains nine inches per year and you don't want to be there those two days. I'll stay here in rural East Tennessee, thank you.

I once read of a study done in the 1990s concerning Phoenix, Arizona and it was postuated that if not for air conditioning, the Phoenix population would be less than 500,000.

14 posted on 03/07/2009 4:48:00 AM PST by Pelagius of Asturias
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To: marktwain

As I was saying on another gun thread, my son and I sat down early last summer, and decided against buying so many different calibers of firearms, and subsequently, different ammos. Instead, we made a list of what would probably be hard to get, and compared it to what we like, and what we would probably be most likely to use, and then bulk purchased those calibers, and then tried to limit our firearm purchases to meet those calibers. At the top of our list: 7.62x39, .223, .45 auto, 7.62x54, and, of course, 12 gauge and .22 rimfires...


15 posted on 03/07/2009 4:51:19 AM PST by LRS (Just contracts; just laws; just a constitution...)
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To: james500
“Only problem is that every self sufficient suspecting survivalist I’ve met has the same idea about Wyoming/Idaho areas.” That’s exactly why it was the first thing to come to mind.

After the first winter you'll be outta there come spring. Pick you place carefully nature can be just as vicious and any deranged psychopath. ,

16 posted on 03/07/2009 4:54:56 AM PST by Pelagius of Asturias
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To: Pelagius of Asturias
Dammit Pick you place carefully nature can be just as vicious as any deranged psychopath.
17 posted on 03/07/2009 4:57:16 AM PST by Pelagius of Asturias
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To: james500
If my plan is to stake a claim somewhere in Wyoming

N.W. Kansas would be my destination. I've already seen that they don't need anything from the outside world to survive, they can do it all on their own. From fixing, welding their own farm equipment to growing their own food with an over abundance of game animals........

18 posted on 03/07/2009 5:06:07 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (This country isn't going to hell in a handbasket, it's riding shotgun on an Indy car....)
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To: Cindy

I have more than I need, but less than I want.


19 posted on 03/07/2009 5:16:10 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: marktwain
If the people of this country had to live by subsistence hunting, every animal within our borders would be gone in six months or less.

Our forefathers killed off the passenger pigeon with cap-and-ball muzzle loading shotguns, and almost drove the buffalo and wild turkey to extinction too, and that was when there was 10-20% of the population we have now. It took decades of scientific game management for the wild fauna to recover.

Even when I was a child, growing up in the northern Arizona backwoods in the 60s and 70s, I remember how rare it was to see a turkey or deer. They are now as common as squirrels used to be, but that wouldn't last long in a true SHTF scenario.

We maintain large-scale agriculture, or hundreds of millions of people starve to death, it's that simple.

-ccm

20 posted on 03/07/2009 5:17:19 AM PST by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: nathanbedford
"I'm curious, at just how long does the author think game will abound with millions of people trying to sustain themselves on the stock?"

If you have been to the range lately, you probably have noticed that we are no longer a nation of marksmen! Most of the ammo that is used in the course of a hunting season ends up in trees or in the dirt so the game may last a little longer than projected.

21 posted on 03/07/2009 5:23:34 AM PST by Big_Harry ( Thank God I am an "Infidel"!)
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To: Cindy

You said — “Answer: It depends if you can hit the target on the first try or the 100th try.”

Well, if it’s the Chinese or the Muslims who are the targets, who are “coming to get you” — then you’re gonna need a lot of ammo, even if you hit them on the first shot... LOL...


22 posted on 03/07/2009 5:24:59 AM PST by Star Traveler
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To: ccmay
"We maintain large-scale agriculture, or hundreds of millions of people starve to death, it's that simple."

It has been shown that damn near every famine in the 20th century was man made. Two examples; Ukraine in the 1930s and Bangladesh in the 70s.

23 posted on 03/07/2009 5:27:13 AM PST by Pelagius of Asturias
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To: james500

Ahhh..., the good ole Heartland...


24 posted on 03/07/2009 5:27:45 AM PST by Star Traveler
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To: marktwain

The amount of ammo a person needs is the amount they don’t blab about on the internet for all the intelligence agencies and gun grabbers to see.


25 posted on 03/07/2009 5:34:27 AM PST by America2012
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To: james500

South central Iowa/North Central Missouri is a great area. Low, stable rural based population, two hours away from any city of size, rolling hills for terrain, lots of wooded areas to hide, good soil for growing, game aplenty. Unionville/Centerville region is a phenomenal place if you had to survive.


26 posted on 03/07/2009 5:36:11 AM PST by Free Vulcan (No prisoners. No mercy. 2010 awaits.....)
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To: marktwain

Another thing that is vitally important is consolidation of physical assets (i.e., find some people with whom you share a deep trust and prepare TOGETHER for the SHTF eventuality: Not only is there safety in numbers, but no one person has all the skills necessary for prolonged survival; thus it is essential that one forge a core group of talented [i.e., useful] people and work together. The number need not exceed 10 - 12 people).


27 posted on 03/07/2009 5:38:15 AM PST by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: james500
That is one of the most useless maps I've ever seen. Reporting populations by counties is comparing apples and oranges. Counties out West are far larger in area than in the East.

Look at northern Arizona where you have four dark-red counties (Mohave, Coconino, Yavapai, and Navajo.) If our counties were the size of those in the East, you'd have five tiny red spots encompassing the cities of Kingman, Prescott, Flagstaff, Holbrook, and Show Low-Pinetop-Lakeside. Most of the rest would be white empty space like you see in the Great Plains, spread over an area almost as large as New England.

The same is true of the southern counties in Arizona, and many of the large counties of New Mexico, Nevada, and even California.

-ccm

28 posted on 03/07/2009 5:40:01 AM PST by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: ccmay
cap-and-ball muzzle loading shotguns

I just noticed this. A better description would be "percussion muzzle-loading shotguns".

29 posted on 03/07/2009 5:42:36 AM PST by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: ccmay
"If the people of this country had to live by subsistence hunting, every animal within our borders would be gone in six months or less."

Over 80% of the people in this country live in cities. They (mostly) have no guns or the ability to use them. If the SHTF they will sit in their dwellings and wait for the government (0bama) to rescue them. Most of them will be dead withen 7 days. The survivors, ie: those who DO have guns, will then go out into the country to try to survive by stealing from those that live in the country. They will be in for a rude awakening when they discover that their intended victims, unlike their urban counterparts, actually have firearms and know how to use them.

After the remaining city dwellers are dispatched there will be plenty of game for the country folk. Those that live in the suburbs and have a place to go need to get out as soon as the SHTF. The hard part will be knowing when that is.

30 posted on 03/07/2009 5:47:36 AM PST by Jaxter (Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum.)
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To: Pelagius of Asturias
I once read of a study done in the 1990s concerning Phoenix, Arizona and it was postuated that if not for air conditioning, the Phoenix population would be less than 500,000.

My family lived in Phoenix before the days of air conditioning. People who had to stay there for the summer slept on their porches, surrounded by wet bedsheets. Even a 100+ degree temperature can be remarkably comfortable after dark in the bone-dry desert, if you have evaporative cooling and a pool.

Often, the wife and kids were sent to San Diego or to a cabin in the high northern part of the state for the summer, while the men remained in town to tend to business and joined their families on weekends. A few hardy prostitutes did a roaring business during the week.

-ccm

31 posted on 03/07/2009 5:49:46 AM PST by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: America2012
The amount of ammo a person needs is the amount they don’t blab about on the internet for all the intelligence agencies and gun grabbers to see.

Well said. As a matter of fact, I'm off to the range to shoot my last box of .45 ACP this very day.

-ccm

32 posted on 03/07/2009 5:51:45 AM PST by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: ccmay

Good analysis, Ccmay.

Examples:

Eddy County New Mexico - population about 45,000, area about 4000 square miles.

Anderson County Tennessee - population about 45,000, area about 450 square miles.


33 posted on 03/07/2009 5:55:22 AM PST by Pelagius of Asturias
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To: ccmay

I don’t have any.


34 posted on 03/07/2009 5:56:25 AM PST by Pelagius of Asturias
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To: Free Vulcan

A good site for finding properties across the U.S.:

http://www.landwatch.com/


35 posted on 03/07/2009 5:57:26 AM PST by Free Vulcan (No prisoners. No mercy. 2010 awaits.....)
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To: Jaxter
They will be in for a rude awakening when they discover that their intended victims, unlike their urban counterparts, actually have firearms and know how to use them.

And the knowledge of the terrain. It is sad that I have considered such things as choke points, where crossfires from above will be horrific, but then again, I'm not a person who wanted to see society in pieces; I didn't want "change"...

36 posted on 03/07/2009 6:09:42 AM PST by LRS (Just contracts; just laws; just a constitution...)
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To: All

I think I have found a use for empty three liter soda bottles - water storage. I now have quite a collection.

Good idea?


37 posted on 03/07/2009 6:19:28 AM PST by Pelagius of Asturias
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To: marktwain
Unfortunately, I lost all my weapons in a tragic boating accident. Just out of curiosity, I was perusing the internet ammo sources and noticed a lack of available Winchester Q3131, Winchester RA45T and Federal LE low recoil 00 buck.
38 posted on 03/07/2009 6:22:38 AM PST by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: marktwain

How much? As much as you can buy and store.


39 posted on 03/07/2009 6:27:10 AM PST by bmwcyle (Obama voters, your 401 K's are dead. Now what?)
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To: All

I hope everyone knows that US military (steel) ammo boxes have rubber gaskets in the lids. I took mine (empty) and did a backyard garden hose test - no leaks.

If the gasket is missing don’t buy it,


40 posted on 03/07/2009 6:37:30 AM PST by Pelagius of Asturias
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To: marktwain

He’s planning on doing a lot of hunting isn’t he?

Wouldn’t it be cheaper and a lot easier to breed chickens and rabbits in his garden and maybe rear a few pigs or goats?

Or is that not “survivalist” enough?


41 posted on 03/07/2009 6:41:24 AM PST by PotatoHeadMick
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To: Jaxter
"Over 80% of the people in this country live in cities. They (mostly) have no guns or the ability to use them. If the SHTF they will sit in their dwellings and wait for the government (0bama) to rescue them. Most of them will be dead withen 7 days."

Yup. I never really focused on that until Katrina hit N.O. What remains within our urban centers are three successive generations grown completely dependent upon govt. largess. They've lost the knowledge needed to make fire, or simply gather rainwater to drink.
42 posted on 03/07/2009 6:58:01 AM PST by PowderMonkey (Will Work for Ammo)
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To: james500

Not that it’s a bad idea, ....


43 posted on 03/07/2009 7:07:46 AM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: marktwain
How Much Ammo Do You Need?

Number of rounds equal to number of communists , plus a few extras for those that are still twitching..............

44 posted on 03/07/2009 9:01:11 AM PST by varon (Allegiance to the constitution, always. Allegiance to a political party, never.)
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To: marktwain

All that a person can afford to aquire while obtaining everything else they also will need.


45 posted on 03/07/2009 10:12:51 AM PST by CodeToad (Liberalism is Communism, and both are a mental disorder. Grow up.)
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To: marktwain

all of it. Then somebody else can’t buy it and use it on you!


46 posted on 03/07/2009 2:38:43 PM PST by omega4179 (I hope he fails)
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To: marktwain

Personally, how much I can buy is how much my husband will let me buy without giving me THE LOOK when he sees the growing pile of lead....I have him accustomed to the pile now...therefore it is OK to add to it again. : )


47 posted on 03/07/2009 5:57:47 PM PST by TheConservativeParty (Democrats are bastard coated bastards with bastard filling.)
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To: ccmay
“We maintain large-scale agriculture, or hundreds of millions of people starve to death, it's that simple.”

If things get that bad, better to have a couple of years of food stored (probably less than $500 per person) and enough ammo to defend it with your militia in your small town/county.
48 posted on 03/07/2009 6:08:10 PM PST by marktwain
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To: Pelagius of Asturias
“I think I have found a use for empty three liter soda bottles - water storage. I now have quite a collection.”

I tried that method back in the 80’s using chlorinated city water. Within 3 years it was putrid. I do not know exactly what happened, but it would have taken quite a bit of processing to make it drinkable.

At a minimim, you will need to rotate it.

49 posted on 03/07/2009 6:13:36 PM PST by marktwain
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To: marktwain

Just buy lead, powder, casings and molds. Cheap


50 posted on 03/07/2009 6:51:50 PM PST by LeGrande (I once heard a smart man say that you can’t reason someone out of something that they didn’t reaso)
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