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Old February 2, 2016, 04:52 AM   #1
elano
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Emergency Ammo - How much is REALISTICALLY needed?

Sorry for the topic that many may find silly. I am not talking about zombie apocolipse or obama's martial law. What I'm talking about is a hurricane katrina, civil unrest, or foreign invasion scenarios. I know unlikely, but the economic downturn is worrying me some.

How much ammo for each caliber of weapon should a person keep on hand as a minimum for an emergency scenario?

Last edited by elano; February 2, 2016 at 06:19 AM.
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Old February 2, 2016, 04:59 AM   #2
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I'd say that's pretty much up to the individual, what he's comfortable with, how much he can carry easily and reasonably, etc. Pretty much a USGI ammo can full for each caliber I reckon.
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Old February 2, 2016, 05:31 AM   #3
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Depends. Bug out, any more than you can reasonably carry with other essential supplies is wasted. Bug in, how big is your storage area?

Here's my situation, as I see it.

Most likely is natural disaster (for example, nearly half of our town burned to the ground a few years ago) and I'm grabbing the wife, kids, dog and basics. We're going to one of three places. CCW and a few extra magazines, maybe a rifle if it's widespread enough to cause civil disruption, everything else is locked and left.

Secondly is we're stuck. Pantry and cupboards full of food (plus fridge and freezer as long as power holds out) plenty of bottled water, enough to last a few weeks, maybe a month of regular use. I've got a basement full of ammo, but if I'm dug in and fighting off invasion, I'll be overrun. One dude against the mutant ninja zombie bears? I'm toast. Neighbors are all nice people, but not exactly the fighting types. Besides, the last time I was housebound, it was snow, ice and no electricity that was my biggest threat.

Last and least likely, there's some threat to hearth and home that requires able bodied men (hey, I used to be one a while ago) to sally forth and conquer. I'm going to rummage through the attic, drag out the battle rattle and use that stash in the basement 420 rounds at a time. 210 in mags, an extra bondolier and resupply at home if able. I usually give this scenario the most thought if I've recently watched Red Dawn.

That was a bit tongue in cheek, but I do not think it's "silly" to plan for unpleasantness. It's actually the smart thing to do. However, most people, especially us "gun types" tend to over-inflate the value of a firearm in case of emergency. It's never wrong to have extra ammo or magazines. However, having a bit less of those might mean the difference in having enough drinkable water, food, hygiene items, heat, tools, etc. I think you're better off having a few hundred rounds and several spare mags to throw in a bugout kit than to have cans upon cans of ammo but no place to go, no means to get there and no supplies to sustain you on the way or when you get there.

ETA: To plan on X number of rounds per caliber is a good way to spend money you don't need to. Plan on a CCW and one particular long gun being the "bad stuff happened" guns. Don't try to supply for every gun or caliber you own. You can't carry it, you can't eat or drink it and it won't keep you from freezing to death. Have enough water, food and essential items to keep your family for a few days, keep it in one place so it can be thrown in the car trunk and you're gone if needed.
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Last edited by 1911 guy; February 2, 2016 at 05:38 AM.
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Old February 2, 2016, 05:40 AM   #4
elano
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That's exactly my point. It's not realistic to me to have 1000 rounds of 9mm. By the time you used anywhere near that most people would be long dead. Just curious what folks thought. 2 mags? 100 rounds? 200 rounds?
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Old February 2, 2016, 05:40 AM   #5
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Unfortunately, SHTF topics are pretty much a no-go on THR. I tried finding it in the rules so I can show you I'm not making it up, but I can't seem to locate it... anyway, I've seen these sorts of threads closed enough times, a couple of which were my own.

Anyway, until it's closed, I guess:

EDIT:

1911 guy just said everything I did, and more, in 1/4 the text. I'll just quote his and you can read it again and let it sink in:
Quote:
ETA: To plan on X number of rounds per caliber is a good way to spend money you don't need to. Plan on a CCW and one particular long gun being the "bad stuff happened" guns. Don't try to supply for every gun or caliber you own. You can't carry it, you can't eat or drink it and it won't keep you from freezing to death. Have enough water, food and essential items to keep your family for a few days, keep it in one place so it can be thrown in the car trunk and you're gone if needed.
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Last edited by Bobson; February 2, 2016 at 05:56 AM.
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Old February 2, 2016, 05:47 AM   #6
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Seriously? It's against the rules to ask other how much ammo they think may be necessary in a realistic emergency?

The censorship on this forum has gotten out of hand. I understand closing a thread where constant bickering is happening, swearing, or spam. but free speech is an American principal.

What on earth could be wrong about asking how much ammo should be kept on hand during a hurricane katrina situation? THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!
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Old February 2, 2016, 05:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elano View Post
I understand closing a thread where constant bickering is happening, swearing, or spam. but free speech is an American principal.
That, I can address by quoting the rules:
Quote:
A note on FREE SPEECH:

The First Amendment to the Constitution states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The First Amendment is greatly respected here on The High Road, as are all other Amendments that the Second Amendment defends. However, The High Road is private property and requests that members adhere to all forum policies. It is a contract agreed to by all who become members of The High Road. Those who break forum rules cannot invoke censorship or freedom of speech - a contract broken is a contract broken. If you do not like the rules of conduct or the acceptable topics, seek out a new venue to frequent or start your own board.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elano View Post
What on earth could be wrong about asking how much ammo should be kept on hand during a hurricane katrina situation? THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!
I think the reason this issue is informally off-topic is because it tends to be so heavily exaggerated. You open the door to things like "how to plan for another katrina," and people start running with it to the point that we're talking about how to prepare for the possibility that the prison downtown is overrun by the inmates, and the next week, it's the state mental hospital had a mass-scale breakout, and before you know it, we're talking about zombies.

Plus, none of it lines up with this board's stated mission: Welcome to The High Road, an online discussion board dedicated to the discussion and advancement of responsible firearms ownership. It is the declared mission of this board to achieve and provide the highest quality of firearms discussion on the Internet, a standard set by the discussion board "The Firing Line" in 1998.

Maybe a moderator will address this.
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Old February 2, 2016, 06:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Seriously? It's against the rules to ask other how much ammo they think may be necessary in a realistic emergency?

The censorship on this forum has gotten out of hand. I understand closing a thread where constant bickering is happening, swearing, or spam. but free speech is an American principal.

What on earth could be wrong about asking how much ammo should be kept on hand during a hurricane katrina situation? THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!
Here is the issue. 9 times out of 10 this topic degrades into fantasy, EOTW, chest thumping moronic drivel. So the staff tends to take a dim view of the topic. Then anytime someone tries to interject that in a natural disaster things like water, food, shelter and warmth are generally more important than what gun is best for zombies they are beat down with idiots saying things like, "well I have a gun so I can take what I need"...

In so far as censorship goes, it is the membership of THR that reports posts and threads that are not up to THR standard more so than the staff looking to stomp on folks. So no, we do not actively censor most topics, but years of experience has taught us that some topics are just toxic.

That being said, keep this in the real world and don't go tripping down fantasy rabbit trails and I'll leave it open.
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Old February 2, 2016, 06:11 AM   #9
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The most realistic scenario is probably this: Pay attention to what's going on around you and don't get caught. Just as an example, since it's old news and been mentioned here already, Katrina. A hurricane is headed for you and you're in a city below sea level, kept dry by an already stressed system of levees and pumps. Pack up and leave.

I live in Garrettsille, Ohio. Much of downtown (albeit a small town) burned to the ground several years ago. I didn't wait for things to get congested on the roads, panicked people milling around, etc. When it became apparent the fire was out of control and spreading, we left. Came back about 36 hours later and we still had a house. I had a 1911 and 21 rounds of ammo on me.

Truly "bugging in" requires planning and preparation that most people are unprepared for. In emergencies, the systems that you rely on daily are sometimes non-functional and people never think about water not coming from the tap, the toilet not flushing, the fridge not being full of food to eat. Those are the most immediate items. If you have a few magazines full for a handgun and a double handful of shotgun shells or rifle rounds, you need to be prepping other things before buying more ammo.

Bugging out is simpler (for firearms). As little as you think you can get away with because other stuff uses important space and weight. Pack right, pack light and get out of Dodge.
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Old February 2, 2016, 06:18 AM   #10
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I disagree. Being a responsible firearm owner is tied with ammo ownership since firearms cannot function without ammo. Asking how much ammo a group thinks is necessary is no different then asking how many guns are necessary.

Now can we please proceed with the topic in the OP? I removed SHTF in the title so we can avoid this stigma of zombies and such.
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Old February 2, 2016, 07:08 AM   #11
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Foreign invasion is another fantasy scenario like zombies so we will not entertain it.

Look at where you'd have to carry it all and where resupply would not occur and you should have your rational bases covered for what you could physically haul in LBE. That's going to be perhaps 300 rounds of primary rifle, 100 rounds shotgun and perhaps 60 of primary pistol. You have to think about what this stuff weighs and what the carrying systems weigh and what the 3 firearms weigh and weigh that against the ability to carry it for any distance AND what any sort of civilian defensive situation might remotely entail. Oh, and the generally poor condition of most people to carry a load any distance further than from the door to the car. Katrina is given as an example of a real event and you have to think back to the people that assembled and provided their own security for their neighborhood having a much smaller quantity of ammunition per firearm than the Rambozo fantasies some entertain. That served as a sufficient threat to keep criminals moving past them and on to unprotected targets. Look at the people in Ferguson that protected their property with a single shotgun or rifle and no LBE weighed down with mags. Real events don't hinge on piles of stacked magazines. They hinge on cooperation of neighbors and coordination.
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Last edited by hso; February 2, 2016 at 07:51 AM.
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Old February 2, 2016, 07:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
How much ammo for each caliber of weapon should a person keep on hand as a minimum for an emergency scenario?
"As a minimum"? ..... One round.


.
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Old February 2, 2016, 07:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pockets View Post
"As a minimum"? ..... One round.


.
I was going to respond one reload, either a spare mag or speed loader/speed strip. However, one round pretty much answers the question succinctly.
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Old February 2, 2016, 07:46 AM   #14
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I don't prepare for "disasters" or such by stockpiling ammo, I just like to have lots of ammo. Been that way since I was a kid, the stuff just fascinates me for some inane reason. Plus, I can go to the reloading room far more often than the range, and make more ammo than I shoot, so I guess you could say I have a surplus. I have some "grab and go" packs, but it's just a drop in the barrel. But SHTF isn't even a concern for me really.
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Old February 2, 2016, 08:18 AM   #15
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What about passing out guns to family members, neighbors, and friends? Is it worth having extra ammo for this situation. For much of American history, guns were part of life. What sounds like fantasy today was reality in the past. I'm refering to
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Old February 2, 2016, 08:19 AM   #16
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At the end of the day, I am responsible for my wife, kids, and dog. My kids live on different coasts so unless they are with us at the time disaster hits, they are on their own. I hope I prepped them well enough. As far as ammo, I can't realistically expect to defend myself against a hoard of cretins but I expect to defend myself and wife against a few armed thugs. Therefore, I carry an extra mag and have enough ammo (rifle and handgun) at home to protect us from scavengers. In my opinion, it's more important to have sufficient food, water, and a source of electricity (I have a whole house and portable generator) to last ~1 month, than a stockpile of ammo. My two cents.
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Old February 2, 2016, 08:31 AM   #17
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I like to have enough so that I can shoot as much as I want whenever I want without having to worry about going out and buying some right then and hoping that what I need is on the shelf.
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Old February 2, 2016, 08:39 AM   #18
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Unless everybody in the place where you live wants to shoot you............. I`d say a box or two will do. J s/n.
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Old February 2, 2016, 08:40 AM   #19
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Quote:
What sounds like fantasy today was reality in the past.
It was a fantasy in the past as well since most folks didn't own more than one rifle and one shotgun.

Wealthy people could aford to invest in multiple firearms. The rest of us just had what we used.
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Old February 2, 2016, 08:50 AM   #20
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About two years ago over in North Augusta a guy who lived in the back of his gun store used up 30 rounds of AR ammo fending of three armed bandits who drove a vehicle through his front door in a smash and grab attempt. Aside from that event I don't recall an average citizen firing that many rounds in a self defense scenario. Even during the LA riots the Asian store owners convinced the entitlement crowd to pull back by simply brandishing.

With that said, I keep one spare box of 50 rounds for the pistol I primarily carry back and forth to work along with one spare magazine in my vehicle at all times. That is part of my Get Home kit.

If we delve into the world of EMP, whether naturally occurring or man made, some predictions place the mortality rate for one of those at 90% so I'm guessing there will be lots of guns and ammo laying around after the first 90 days or so if you have the wherewithal to survive that long.
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Old February 2, 2016, 08:55 AM   #21
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My stash is to hedge against ammo prices vs emergency scenarios. I shoot quite often and in quantity. A box of .45 going from $16.99 to $19.99 is real money.
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Old February 2, 2016, 09:15 AM   #22
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Emergency Ammo is ammo that you have left in your possession and can use but cannot readily replace for the immediate future because of some 'reason'.

SHTF scenarios? How about a "Banic" ? That would qualify. Case in point, trying to find .22 lr and other common calibers months after 'Sandy Hook'.

Like others have said, trying to find a couple boxes in New Orleans after Katrina. Or looking for ammo in SF after the San Fransisco earthquake in 1906.

How much? 1000 rounds per caliber...at least in my own opinion. Maybe 2000 rounds for .22 lr.
.
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Old February 2, 2016, 09:34 AM   #23
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REALISTICALLY?

regardless of caliber, i am thinking 500 rounds for each rifle/pistol/revolver!!

then rethinking, where the hell would i store 1,500,000 rounds of ammo?? ...
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Old February 2, 2016, 09:36 AM   #24
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Quote:
What I'm talking about is a hurricane katrina, civil unrest, or foreign invasion scenarios. I know unlikely, but the economic downturn is worrying me some.
Realistic Scenarios
Katrina - Most people need ZERO rounds of ammunition, much less needing spare ammunition

Unrealistic Scenarios - While these can happen, most won't require you to do anything different.

civil unrest - like Watts and Ferguson? Doesn't appear any "defenders" ever needed more than what was in their guns.

foreign invasion - you don't have enough ammo or sufficient calibers for a foreign invasion and you aren't likely to get it.

Quote:
What about passing out guns to family members, neighbors, and friends? Is it worth having extra ammo for this situation. For much of American history, guns were part of life. What sounds like fantasy today was reality in the past.
Oh sure, build an arsenal so that you can just hand out guns and ammo to friends to fend off the foreign invasion.

Quote:
I know unlikely, but the economic downturn is worrying me some
Economic downturn? What economic downturn are you talking about? You aren't going to fight an economic downturn with guns.
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Old February 2, 2016, 09:38 AM   #25
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I was raised as a small town boy and considered ourselves to be country folks. We live in the heartland of tornados. Closest touchdown so far was about 1/2 mile away that killed a neighbor.

Our greatest danger (and occurs regularly) are power outages from either high winds (thunderstorms and tornadoes) and ice. T-Storms and tornadoes usually occur in warm weather so they are bug-in (camping at home) events and whereas ice storms are life threatening bug-out until power is restored. Our longest event without power has been 2 weeks.

Civil unrest such as rioting is unlikely to create a direct threat to us. However looters are a big threat until civil authority gets organized and sufficient law enforcement personnel are moved in.

The best resource for preparing for short and long term emergencies is the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons). They have a excellent preparedness guide pds. file which is available on the Internet. They recommend a minimum of 1,000 rounds of ammunition for each firearm. 1,000 rounds is practical and affordable. So breaking it down by caliber;

22 rimfire;

Small and easily transportable.

Handgun centerfire;

Centerfire handgun rounds are small and easily transportable. The biggest downside is they are heavy in bulk. A 50 caliber steel ammo can of 1,000 rounds of ammo is heavy to carry. For me 30 caliber (5.56) ammo cans are more practical as they are much lighter in weight.

Centerfire rifle;

Bulkier otherwise same as handgun cartridges.

Shotgun;

Shotshells come 250 rounds a case so we are looking at four cases. A shotgun with case each of #8's for dove and rabbits, #6 for quail, #4 for big game birds, 00 for self-defense makes for very practical, effective battery.

It is worth mentioning that at least where I live that shotshells were always in stock at regular prices during the Banic of 2013.

1,000 rounds of high quality commercial centerfire ammo can be expensive. This is where reloaders have big smile on our faces. We can handload ammunition using high quality bullets for fraction of the cost of retail ammo.

Last edited by BSA1; February 2, 2016 at 09:55 AM.
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