Thoughts on Ammunition and Resupply – SHTF Post

by Woodsbum

I was surfing around and ran into a few comments that got me a bit annoyed. Normally I don’t like to get into SHTF type discussions and really never wanted to get into one on this site. What I read just bothered me enough that I had to write something.

What could have got me all fired up? Well, it seems that many SHTF/prepper types seem to have these very odd ideas about ammunition for their firearms. Let me list their misguided belief of how ammunition and resupply would work in a disaster….

  1. Their oddball firearm that is all tricked out to shoot sub-MOA will be able to just miracle up their “special ammunition” that shoots best in their firearm. Of course nothing else but this one brand functions correctly, but this is their “battle rifle.”
  2. Their 1k-2k rounds of ammunition that they have put back is the perfect amount to cover all their “End of Days” scenarios.
  3. Because they have a “special need” to shoot .300 Blackout or 6.5 Grendel, they can easily get more ammunition later on….  Somehow….. And their way is the best because that is the caliber they chose.
  4. Reloaded ammunition opens you up for some sort of automatic jail time if you have to use your firearm to protect yourself.

Let’s face it…..   I don’t understand any of this because it deviates from common sense. Let me just clump some of these misguided thoughts together for easier responses.

Finding Ammo:
For those of you who have tried to find .22lr lately, it is not easy. Most places are sold out all the time and it sells off in minutes of the time that it is stocked. Think back to all the problems people were having around Christmas this year. There was nothing at all on the shelves, no matter what caliber. Even 12 gauge shells were a bit scarce at times. Now multiply this by 10, because ammunition will not be shipped before food or water. How can you expect to order your 75 gr Hornady TAP if you can’t even get in a bottle of water? This makes no sense.

Now add the vogue cartridges that some like to shoot. Try going into a WalMart and buying a box of 6.8 SPC. How do these guys expect to find any more, EVER? This is especially true if the shooter of such specialty rounds refuses to reload? I can answer this question….  They will have a very pretty club because it won’t go “boom” anymore.

Volume on Hand:

If something ever does happen, how does the magic number of 1k-2k of ammunition seem to crop up as THE amount to have on hand? I have always wondered this. When I was in the military the Marines all carried 6 30 round magazines. This gave them 180 rounds that were ready for use. They also would get a bandolier of boxed up ammunition on stripper clips. These hold 210 rounds or 7 mags if you count it that way. This gives the combatant 390 rounds of ammunition for each patrol, firefight, encounter, etc. So 2k of ammunition put back would give you about 5 good firefights worth of ammunition. Considering that I don’t plan on getting into any more firefights in my life, I would think that this amount was more than acceptable in most short term SHTF type scenarios.

BUT, here is the problem with all this logic: These guys seem to think that 5 firefights worth of ammunition is all that you will ever need for the duration of whatever is taking place. They have a “battle rifle” with the sole purpose of tactical response of some sort. They take all their training classes where they shoot off around 800 rounds per class. These guys are all suited up and ready for their SHTF, EOLAWKI, Hellfire and Brimstone, Life Sucks type scenarios. If this were all true and they would never get resupplied how does 5 firefights worth of ammunition add up to a lifetime of potential (or imagined) Mad Max type living?

Are they planning on getting more when Cheaperthandirt is back up and running?

I think that they really need to either reevaluate their ideas on how much fighting they want to do or think more about how much ammunition they will need to be a part of their apocalypse fantasy.

Reloading Defense Rounds Will Get You Jail Time:
Huh? I have heard this several times on forums. According to their claims, anyone that reloads their ammunition will be arrested for premeditated murder if they use self defense hand loads to defend themselves. I just did several Google searches for this claim. Every article I read did not say that the whole case was hinged upon the fact that they reloaded their own ammunition. Some overzealous prosecutors back East did try and increase the charges because of this fact, but other forensic evidence did not support the defendant’s version of events in every current case that I saw. Of course I am not a lawyer, but keeping the lot number of the ammunition labeled on the magazine to protect yourself just seems silly. Couple that with the fact that I cannot find any evidence that this actually is an issue. All in all, I must discount this whole idea unless someone can provide me with specifics that prove otherwise.

My Final Thoughts:
My thoughts on this whole conversation about ammunition stock and resupply is simple. Keep as much ammunition available as you need to. If you are in an urban environment and plan on getting into massive firefights with your fellow survivors, then you better keep more than 5 firefights worth of supply. For those that are more rural and plan on “heading to the hills” might want to think about a small supply. Either way, stock what you think you will need.

Get some reloading equipment and components. By saving brass, having reloading equipment and components on hand, and knowing how to use this equipment, you have increased your ammunition supply dramatically. Not only can you collect your own brass, but you can collect other people’s as well. Every time I go shooting in the hills, I bring back several hundred 9mm and .223 brass. I seriously doubt it would be much different in a SHTF type scenario. After everyone is done firing at each other, they won’t police up their brass. It will be literally laying around. Just look at pictures of war torn countries. Sites of previous firefights and battles have massive amounts of brass and discarded ammunition laying around.

Make sure your firearms are NATO or Soviet ammunition compatible. It wouldn’t really hurt to have both types of weaponry or both uppers for your AR. This way you can resupply any time that you find surplus military gear laying around. Again, look at war torn countries. Kids run around playing with mortars and RPG’s…… This gives you a way to resupply.

Also, ensure your weapons are able to fire any type of ammunition effectively. Don’t spend thousands on an AR that can only fire specific brands of ammunition. My suggestion is to get some cheap Wolf ammo (steel case) and blow out the chambers a bit to give some leeway in the ammunition you can fire. Not all brands are made within a tight tolerance. It also will make it easier when you reload so that you don’t have to be as anal about the final tolerances yourself.

The long and short of it is this: Do what you want, but use some common sense. Even those that lived through urban survival situations, civil war, invasions, and bad sitcoms tell you how hard it is to get anything special and out of the ordinary. What you have when the bad situation starts is what you will have throughout the duration. Don’t make it even harder on yourself by being “special.” As my friend Gunguy says, “be the Grey Man.”

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