Author Topic: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping  (Read 14284 times)

Offline Serellan

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The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« on: November 28, 2009, 12:54:02 AM »

When I see people talk about which firearms to get to prepare for a disaster or SHTF situation, I often see that people espouse the idea that you should get guns that take “commonly available” ammunition or ammunition in use by our armed forces.

I don’t think this argument holds any water.  First off, as we have seen during the recent “ammunition crisis,” that the commonly available ammo like 9mm, .223, .22LR, .38 spl, .308, 7.62x39, etc, were the ones that disappeared off the shelves and were hard to find for months.  .270 WIN was still sitting on the shelf while the others were nowhere to be had at local vendors.

Now, in a disaster situation, even considering that you are able to run to the store to stock up on ammo (which there is a good chance you WONT be able to), those “commonly available” rounds are the first ones to go off the shelf.

The next argument is that you should buy weapons that use ammunition used by our police and military.  .223, 9mm, .308, .40 cal, etc.  I don’t get this argument.  Unless there is a TOTAL TEOTWAWKI situation, how do you think you are going to come by this issued ammo?  No one in the military or the police is going to be handing out info, so unless you are going red dawn or raiding government ammo dumps, you are SOL.

The truth is that when a man-made or natural disaster occurs that will require you to defend yourself, you will have what ammo that you have stored.  So get the guns that work for you is what you should get for yourself, and then get a good stock of ammo.  Factor in cost and quality of ammo available, and make the call yourself.

Offline 123123

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2009, 06:05:29 AM »
The truth is that when a man-made or natural disaster occurs that will require you to defend yourself, you will have what ammo that you have stored.  So get the guns that work for you is what you should get for yourself, and then get a good stock of ammo.  Factor in cost and quality of ammo available, and make the call yourself.


Are you saying you must be responsible!

I Agree with you, just look at how much ammo was handed out in Katrina. The only commen ammo should be between you and your wife/other half. To me this makes much more sense.

Offline Who...me?

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2009, 09:13:07 AM »
Quote
The next argument is that you should buy weapons that use ammunition used by our police and military.  .223, 9mm, .308, .40 cal, etc.  I don’t get this argument.  Unless there is a TOTAL TEOTWAWKI situation, how do you think you are going to come by this issued ammo?  No one in the military or the police is going to be handing out info, so unless you are going red dawn or raiding government ammo dumps, you are SOL.

Add to that the fact that if you take to shooting cops/military because of total SHTF has happened and the situation warrants it,  they will be aware of the situation too.   Meaning there won't be a couple of them at a time generally and you would take a HUGE risk taking the time to gather supplies form them.

Unless I was  desperate for the stuff, as soon as I took my last shot I would be vacating the area promptly.  To much risk of their backup finding you bend over the bodies of their friends.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2009, 09:29:51 AM »
Storing plenty of the ammo you use is the way to go.  No downside at all to that.  If you plan on raiding a National Guard armory to get 5.56, you are insane and will be dead 15 seconds after you begin your adventure.  And not being dead is the whole purpose of prepping.

I do like common calibers but I'm not obsessed by it.  To the extent possible, I try to have both common calibers (and store ammo for them) and have a few less common calibers (and store ammo for them).  Is this some brilliant prepper planning on my part?  Nope.  Sometimes a really cool gun comes along in a less common caliber (like a 17 HMR on sale).  Or I want a gun that serves a special purpose, like a 20 gauge because it has less recoil for members of my family.  If I have a choice of a gun that my wife will actually use and one that is common caliber (like 12 gauge) that's an easy choice.  Plus I have enough 20 gauge ammo for every likely scenario short of invasion by space aliens.  (That's what an AR is for  :D.)

One fringe benefit of common calibers is that they are better for barter.  More of a market.  But if we're bartering ammo, it's the TEOTWAWKI any way.  I can't plan my life now around small marginal upsides if society ends.  If I did that, I'd be living in a bunker so I've chosen to not obsess about having the "perfect" set up for SHTF.  Plus, if you're bartering and own a gun in a less common caliber (like 16 gauge) you can still get something for it in trade on a 12 gauge and ammo.  Someone somewhere in the market will want a 16 gauge or have ammo for it, just fewer of them.  It might be better to have a 12 gauge but if you get a good deal now on a 16 gauge (and you can get great deals on less common calibers) then stretch your dough and get it--along with plenty of ammo that you store properly.

Prepping is all about getting through the coming tough times.  It isn't a contest about who has the coolest stuff.  It's a contest about who lives and dies.  That's the only contest involved.  Win that one.

« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 09:41:39 AM by Heavy G »

Offline chrisdfw

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2009, 10:07:41 AM »
Its that cost factor that makes me want the common caliber. I stock it all now, I am not planning on getting
more in a end of the world scenario.

But it is cheaper to buy 10,000 rounds of 308 than to do the same with 270.

That is why I think common calibers are better. Its mainly the cost of acquiring large quantities of ammunition,
plus the availability of high quality defensive loads that are well tested (in the case of handguns)

If you can afford to buy 10,000 rounds of 270 and like it, you will do just as well as someone with 10,000 rounds of 308.

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2009, 10:13:49 AM »

I don’t think this argument holds any water.  First off, as we have seen during the recent “ammunition crisis,” that the commonly available ammo like 9mm, .223, .22LR, .38 spl, .308, 7.62x39, etc, were the ones that disappeared off the shelves and were hard to find for months.  .270 WIN was still sitting on the shelf while the others were nowhere to be had at local vendors.


I completely agree!  My advice on ammo

1.  Buy the right round/gun combo for the job you have to do

2.  Seek common calibers even amid different rounds, such as 22 hornet and .223 or 30-30 and 30-06 this will let you use common components for your reloading.  Yes a 150 grain bullet made for the 06 won't "expand optimally" at 30-30 velocities but it will still work and beats the hell out of using that old lever gun as a club now doesn't it.

3.  Learn to reload

4.  Store powder and again seek versatile powders that have a wide range of use, not the one with the most FPS

5.  Primers are the number one component to stock.  If we ever had to you can make black powder, you certainly can make bullets and brass loaded under maximum can have a huge life cycle.  If funds are short and you have to choose the component to buy the most of PRIMERS ALWAYS WIN, yes you can make them but it is both dangerous and difficult.  During the shortage I could get powder, I could get slugs, I could even get brass, primers were more scarce then 45 ACP.

6.  Get a flint lock and learn to use it, learn to cast bullets, etc. for it.  Mock them if you want but they are one of the most versatile weapons ever created.  Smooth bore in the biggest caliber you can find!  You have a rifle and a shot gun that way.

7.  Store a lot of ammo!  Every round you have a gun for have a lot of ammo for, I don't give numbers because a lot is relative.  A lot of your primary handgun round is a "lot more" then a lot of say 300 Win Mag.  Reloading is great but for long term storage factory loaded is the way to go.  Have a lot on hand because when you "need it" you will need it now.

8.  As per the OP, screw the common caliber myth except in your own home.  I do think if you are going to arm the entire group you should have common calibers among the main weapons of the group.  Or at minimum each member should be proficient with a common round weapon.  

9.  Don't forget shotgun ammo!  Birdshot was easy to find during the shortage but did anyone try to buy bulk buck shot?  Oh and learn to reload shot shells too a Lee Load All is very cheap and will let you reuse all those hulls.

10.  Train, train, train, train, train,  dry fire, live fire, on range, in the bush, with airguns or airsoft, but train your ass off.  you don't need 500 rounds to stop a threat, you need one, if you put it where it is supposed to go.  Even with survival hunting, etc.  in a SHTF ammo will be a premium, two bullets for one deer may really hurt you long term.

11.  Learn to use a bow or a crossbow or both.  A few dozen carbon arrows and good broad-heads can last a man a lifetime of feeding himself.  Again some scoff at the bow but if I can have my bow with a full quiver or the best rifle in the world with no bullets which one do you think I would take?  Which would you take?   ;)



« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 10:16:14 AM by ModernSurvival »

Offline donaldj

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2009, 11:16:08 AM »
I think going so far as to call the "common ammunition" argument a "fallacy" is a bit much.

Several very good points are brought up so far. It is best to prep and store. What you get post-SHTF will be minimal compared to what is available now. Stocking up now is what is important.

As for "fallacy", I find the OP's arguments to be largely that.  No offense intended, but these arguments presented start   with being caught with your pants down, and going from there.

...First off, as we have seen during the recent “ammunition crisis,” that the commonly available ammo like 9mm, .223, .22LR, .38 spl, .308, 7.62x39, etc, were the ones that disappeared off the shelves and were hard to find for months.  .270 WIN was still sitting on the shelf while the others were nowhere to be had at local vendors.

Yes, the ammo crisis that happened recently has the common calibers mostly sold out. Luckily, we've all been prepping for a while and have obtained these at varying prices, and in quantity. I have several hundred rounds of 7.62x39, 9mm, 45ACP stored up. I would like to get more, but like many markets, prices rise and fall based on scarcity and a myriad of other factors.

Now, in a disaster situation, even considering that you are able to run to the store to stock up on ammo (which there is a good chance you WONT be able to), those “commonly available” rounds are the first ones to go off the shelf.

If you claim you're prepping, running to the store at this time is not the time to be doing this. This "pants caught down" argument is, in my mind, fallacious from a prepping stance.

The next argument is that you should buy weapons that use ammunition used by our police and military.  .223, 9mm, .308, .40 cal, etc.  I don’t get this argument.  Unless there is a TOTAL TEOTWAWKI situation, how do you think you are going to come by this issued ammo?  No one in the military or the police is going to be handing out info, so unless you are going red dawn or raiding government ammo dumps, you are SOL.

First, your argument's premise is once again fallacious since it relies on obtaining the ammo post-SHTF rather than prepping for it and getting it first.

Secondly, having firearms for modern, common calibers, is important since any bad guy you are able to disarm is also likely to have a common caliber. You may be able to slightly replenish your arms and ammo. I think it fallacious to limit the availability of this ammo to only military and LEO handouts, or attacking strongholds to obtain it.

The truth is that when a man-made or natural disaster occurs that will require you to defend yourself, you will have what ammo that you have stored.  So get the guns that work for you is what you should get for yourself, and then get a good stock of ammo.  Factor in cost and quality of ammo available, and make the call yourself.

Your concluding statement I wholeheartedly agree with. One should not depend on obtaining anything post-SHTF. You will have what you have stored.

As for what you have stored, you'll have to decide on what firearms are the most utilitarian for that situation. I, for one, would rather have a semi-automatic than a lever action. Most guns that are suitable for battle or a firefight, and made to exacting military specifications, come in these calibers, thus stocking up on them is a foregone conclusion in my mind. If I'm going to be caught in a SHTF scenario, I want well built military grade product, not commercial grade product.

My dad handed down to me a 38/55 lever action rifle. One of the first cartridges to use brass casing. I also have a 28 gauge single load shotgun. I do NOT stock this ammo, other than a few dozen rounds. They are not part of my prep methodology.  My Saiga 12, my SKS, my Beretta 92FS and my HK USPc 45 are part of my preps. These are guns I know will last the longest under the duress of combat, and will be overkill in normal use, so their longevity is heightened. Yes, the 28g and the 38/55 have been around (they are almost 100 years old, each), but most of that time has been in the gun case, not on a sling, over the shoulder, or in a holster,  every. single. day.


I don't mean to sound terse by disagreeing with you on this, but the weaponry available in modern military cartridges, coupled with the prevalence of ammo in these cartridges, is far more advantageous than a concern about post-SHTF availability. I also don't see the point about its current unavailability (it is becoming available in bulk again) as being a negative. It's a blip on History's radar. Remember for the last 50+ years there were millions of surplus rounds available for dirt cheap.

Don

Offline quietmike

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2009, 12:43:39 PM »

7.  Store a lot of ammo!  Every round you have a gun for have a lot of ammo for, I don't give numbers because a lot is relative.  A lot of your primary handgun round is a "lot more" then a lot of say 300 Win Mag.  Reloading is great but for long term storage factory loaded is the way to go.  Have a lot on hand because when you "need it" you will need it now.

I have to disagree here. If a person knows what they are doing reloaded ammo is just as good and most times better than factory loads. My reloads, on average, can be made for 1/3 the cost of factory rounds. So, I am able to amass three times the amount of reloaded ammo as I could through buying factory with the same budget.

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2009, 02:38:14 PM »
I have to disagree here. If a person knows what they are doing reloaded ammo is just as good and most times better than factory loads. My reloads, on average, can be made for 1/3 the cost of factory rounds. So, I am able to amass three times the amount of reloaded ammo as I could through buying factory with the same budget.

You disagree because you don't get the point.  You can't rely on reloading to provide ammo when you need it.  In other words a chest full of components + time equals lots of ammo.  A chest full of components + no time equals a chest of components when you actually need live ready to go rounds.  So I guess in my haste I really didn't word that right, my point was to have a lot of ammo that is ready to go on hand not so much that it had to be factory ammo.  It is just that if you want 1000 rounds fast the most expedient way to get it is to buy it. 

Offline Serellan

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2009, 10:43:28 PM »
Its that cost factor that makes me want the common caliber. I stock it all now, I am not planning on getting
more in a end of the world scenario.

But it is cheaper to buy 10,000 rounds of 308 than to do the same with 270.

That is why I think common calibers are better. Its mainly the cost of acquiring large quantities of ammunition,
plus the availability of high quality defensive loads that are well tested (in the case of handguns)

If you can afford to buy 10,000 rounds of 270 and like it, you will do just as well as someone with 10,000 rounds of 308.

I don't disagree with you, but if you are stocking 10k rounds, you are preparing for more than a Katrina/LA Riots type situation.  You are prepping for TEOTWAWKI.


As for "fallacy", I find the OP's arguments to be largely that.  No offense intended, but these arguments presented start   with being caught with your pants down, and going from there.

Yes, the ammo crisis that happened recently has the common calibers mostly sold out. Luckily, we've all been prepping for a while and have obtained these at varying prices, and in quantity. I have several hundred rounds of 7.62x39, 9mm, 45ACP stored up. I would like to get more, but like many markets, prices rise and fall based on scarcity and a myriad of other factors.

If you claim you're prepping, running to the store at this time is not the time to be doing this. This "pants caught down" argument is, in my mind, fallacious from a prepping stance.


I don't think we disagree as much as you may think.  I may not have made it clear enough, but what I was trying to get at was the advice that is given to the NEW prepper who is getting a firearm.  I have seen many people say that they "MUST" get a firearm that uses "common ammo" or "current issue" ammo.  My point was that while the new prepper should take cost into consideration, they should look outside those boundries and choose what is best for them.

In fact, I believe I stated that "The truth is that when a man-made or natural disaster occurs that will require you to defend yourself, you will have what ammo that you have stored.  So get the guns that work for you is what you should get for yourself, and then get a good stock of ammo.  Factor in cost and quality of ammo available, and make the call yourself."

Which I believe is basically what you just said.  I don't see a disagreement.  The fallacy I was calling out was the idea that you would be able to obtain "commonly available" or "current issue" ammo post-event.  If you like the .357 SIG, and you have 500 rounds of it for your handgun, I don't see a major disadvantage over having a 9mm handgun and 500 rounds for it.  Many internet survivalist commandos would see a major disadvantage.


Offline ogreboy

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2009, 12:25:12 AM »
Common caliber or not the price of 9mm ammo is the main reason why I chose that caliber.  The main use for the gun is target practice, so I chose the gun that I felt could preform its ultimate task of putting down a bad guy, with the cheapest ammo.  The cost of 9mm ammo is way cheaper than .45.

I will get another hand gun someday and it will probably be a much bigger caliber, that I can keep around for superior stopping power like a .454 or a .460 but only after I have 'enough' 9mm, and I won't need nearly as much ammo for that gun on hand.  So my strategy is start with an economical gun and work my way up.

With a hunting rifle it would be much easier to justify a more expensive round because you don't need as many rounds to keep on hand.  I have a .30-06 but that was a hand me down from my grandpa, and since I didn't have any extra money to buy something different and it more than does the job for anything I could hunt around here, I am not looking to replace it any time soon.  The ammo is spendy at $1 a round, but I don't put too many rounds through it so its not a big deal.  Keeping 100 round for it should be enough for almost anything short term.

I just hope this thread doesn't scare people looking to get a gun into doing it for the wrong reason, get the best that you need and or can afford.  Take everything into account when your shopping:  cost of the gun, cost of the ammo, the ability to get the ammo, the amount of ammo your likely to use, how useful or fun will it be.

So I say to each there own, that's the great thing about this country, you have the ability to do what ever you like no mater what the next guy says, at least for now.

Offline Serellan

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2009, 12:45:46 AM »

I just hope this thread doesn't scare people looking to get a gun into doing it for the wrong reason, get the best that you need and or can afford. 

I hope not, the point was to go against arguing for someone to choose a gun for the wrong reason.

Offline donaldj

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2009, 06:30:17 AM »
I don't think we disagree as much as you may think. 

Based on your original post's concluding paragraph, I didn't think we disagreed all that much either, and agreed with the conclusion. Wholeheartedly, even.   :)  I did think your arguments leading to this were off, but under the aegis of "you should already have this stuff stored up", the rest is, I guess, minutia.

In my mind, the decision should be made for the firearm first. Is it a defensive handgun, a main battle rifle, a close quarters shotgun, etc. In that, I believe we both agree.

After that, I think reliability, longevity, and serviceability are highest priority. In my opinion, military-grade weapons are superior to commercial ones, considering that these weapons may be used frequently, and certainly will be carried every day for the stuff we prep for.

For me, once that decision has been made, it falls to common military cartridge types. Ergo, "common ammunition" is a foregone conclusion.

Lastly, you may have to band together with others in a mutual defense alliance, whether it be a neighborhood, church group, or whatnot. Having 5.56 or 7.62 is more likely to be useful to your allies than a ton of more unique stuff.




In an interesting aside, I took 2 new shooters to the range on Friday.  ;D

I think every one of us should be spreading the word about shooting like a Hari Krishna selling pencils at the airport. The more we grow the sport and the skill, the more manufacturers will get involved in ammo production.

Offline Who...me?

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2009, 11:15:11 AM »
Quote
I don't disagree with you, but if you are stocking 10k rounds, you are preparing for more than a Katrina/LA Riots type situation.  You are prepping for TEOTWAWKI.

Firstly what is wrong with preparing for TEOTWAWKI?  If you get ready for that then you are ready for any lesser situation.  Is that the most likely scenario that could happen that would require you to need preplanning and preparation?  Of course not.  But even if the odds are infinitesimal the chance is still there.

Secondly the more ammo purchased at a lower price the better.  Most of mine was acquired years ago when much cheaper. And since it is probably not going to get real cheap again you might as well get as much as you can within your budget.  Just like any other item that you feel the need to stock up on.

As to the original post...if SHTF...what ever the circumstance...and you only just then try to run to the store and buy ammo...or toilet paper for that matter.  Then you missed your opportunity.  That last place you will find me at a time like that is at walmart...or the line at the back end of a gov truck. 

So ya i agree with you.  Buy what ever arm you want and have the ammo to feed it.  Don't depend on "finding" ammo...or any other supplies just laying around.  Those that think they are just going to "take" what they need will eventually find someone that "takes exception" to that philosophy.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2009, 02:54:38 PM »
While buying ammo in bulk is great, I think the point is that when people are starting out prepping they have to stretch dollars to get the most bang for their buck.  I think people should start off with gun(s) they can afford and some amount of ammo--even if that ammo is in a less common caliber.  That was my point about the 16 gauge.

After you've got the basics down, I think prepping for TEOTWAWKI is fine if you have the money.  In that situation, stockpiling 16 gauge is not the plan.

Offline Serellan

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2009, 02:57:06 PM »
While buying ammo in bulk is great, I think the point is that when people are starting out prepping they have to stretch dollars to get the most bang for their buck.  I think people should start off with gun(s) they can afford and some amount of ammo--even if that ammo is in a less common caliber.  That was my point about the 16 gauge.

After you've got the basics down, I think prepping for TEOTWAWKI is fine if you have the money.  In that situation, stockpiling 16 gauge is not the plan.

Exactly.

Offline Who...me?

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2009, 05:17:48 PM »
Surely nobody said anything about buying bulk anything or buying outside your means.  Unless you happen to be independently wealthy going out and buying everything you feel you need is not possible.  Buying the basics and then expanding on them over time is the only way to go.

We all only buy what we can afford...just common sense.

Offline Capt Cook

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2009, 04:48:24 PM »
Having some common calibers is a fine idea as it will, in the long run, be easier & cheaper to find that ammo. In a SHTF situation when you put down the Bad Guys, they will probably be using those same calibers & you can "confiscate it" once they are dealt with.
Now I do have me a 9mm & a .45acp & a bit of ammo for both. But I also have a healthy amount of 12ga even though I no longer have that caliber.
I also have about 6 or 8 other calibers of ammo in small amounts that I have no weapons for. They could be used for trade goods or if I find a weapon in those calibers then I already have some ammo for them.
I use to do a little selling on GunBroker & have acquired an assortment of ammo. Rather than selling it I am holding onto it for if/when I might need it.

If your out & about & find a sale on some ammo, think twice before you say "I can't use that caliber". It just may come in handy some day even if you only have 12 rounds or so.

Offline CTF250

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2009, 07:09:51 PM »
If your out & about & find a sale on some ammo, think twice before you say "I can't use that caliber". It just may come in handy some day even if you only have 12 rounds or so.

Personally I agree with this idea.  Last year when the ammo dried up I couldnt find any 35 remington for my Marlin.  Even though I had some "put away" and could reload, I felt a feeling of loss due to the unavailability. 

The 30-30 ammo on the other hand was still abundent.  After stocking up on 30-30 for a few months, I came across a sweet deal for another Marlin in that caliber.  Now I feel secure with an ample supply of both AND a similar weapon in different calibers.

So now the long gun stock goes from 22 through 556, 30-30, 35 rem and 308.  Will I ever use them all?  Each one has a purpose.


Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2009, 08:25:25 PM »
My opinion of common caliber ammo, if you are scavenging ammo off dead military/police/mercenaries/MZBs/whatever it'll be from loaded guns. 

You can pick up those loaded guns too. 

So buy what you want, get enough, and if you reload (which is a good idea anyway) pick up components too.  If you want .270 Win or .35 Whelen or .338 Win Mag, go with that.  Just make sure to familiarize yourself with other weapon platforms as well.

Offline Duc1

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2009, 01:51:09 PM »
As a collector, I plan to collect all the popular caliber firearms.  So far I have 223, 243, 308, 9 mm, 10 mm, 38/357,40, 45, 12 ga, 20 ga  and of course .22's.  I keep a fairly large supply of factory ammo and I reload for everything except the 9mm and 357, the shot guns, and of and of course the 22's.

I figure if the shtf and I would have some luck finding one or more of these calibers, and that is after I exhausted all my ammo.  Truth be told, I'd probably be dead before I ran my ammo supply dry.

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2009, 08:23:41 AM »
My plan is to have enough ammo to feed all the guns I own. I obviously dont try to stockpile 32 Rimfire, for some of my stuff, but if I would come across it, I would stockpile it. An empty gun is a club.
I have British Enfiields, and while they are not ideal shtf weapons, they are tried and true weapons with which I am very familiar. This said, try to stockpile .303 Brit ammo. Darn hard to find, and expensive if you do. I have a few boxes laid back, and reload the rest.
I also have quite a few Mosin Nagants, in various models. Ammo for this is darn cheap. I have a bunch, and will pick up more, because it is cheap. I also reload for it, which optimizes its ability to take deer and food.
The other stuff is the normal .270, .243, 30-30, 30-06, 45Colt, 45Acp, 38/.357, etc.

I also have reloading components for everything I own, other than .22, 7.62x39, and 8mm (which I will have soon enough). I have no reason to load the 7.62x 39, as any round I fire is lost brass, unless I really really go hunting for it. Plus, ammo is cheap, plentiful right now, and I can lay factory  rounds away easy. Also, I dont intend to assault anything in my future plans, so this ammo will not deplete itself too quickly.
Store what you can use and what you can afford. Dont stock it just because everyone else is, or the police "might" hand it out someday.
RipT

Offline The Professor

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2009, 03:10:46 PM »
I guess I missed this one and didn't get a chance to chime in.

When I see people talk about which firearms to get to prepare for a disaster or SHTF situation, I often see that people espouse the idea that you should get guns that take “commonly available” ammunition or ammunition in use by our armed forces.

I don’t think this argument holds any water.  First off, as we have seen during the recent “ammunition crisis,” that the commonly available ammo like 9mm, .223, .22LR, .38 spl, .308, 7.62x39, etc, were the ones that disappeared off the shelves and were hard to find for months.  .270 WIN was still sitting on the shelf while the others were nowhere to be had at local vendors.

Well, there is more to the argument than ammunition availability. 

Quote
Now, in a disaster situation, even considering that you are able to run to the store to stock up on ammo (which there is a good chance you WONT be able to), those “commonly available” rounds are the first ones to go off the shelf.

Well, as others have posted, waiting until the last minute to get something as vital for survival as ammunition is not exactly "Preparing."

Quote

The next argument is that you should buy weapons that use ammunition used by our police and military.  .223, 9mm, .308, .40 cal, etc.  I don’t get this argument.  Unless there is a TOTAL TEOTWAWKI situation, how do you think you are going to come by this issued ammo?  No one in the military or the police is going to be handing out info, so unless you are going red dawn or raiding government ammo dumps, you are SOL.

Well, not exactly, but let's consider for a moment that it IS a Red Dawn scenario.
The truth is that when a man-made or natural disaster occurs that will require you to defend yourself, you will have what ammo that you have stored.  So get the guns that work for you is what you should get for yourself, and then get a good stock of ammo.  Factor in cost and quality of ammo available, and make the call yourself.

Here's a counter-argument:

Why to consider military style calibers.

1.  Ammunition availability. Compared to ammunition calibers that are not currently used by the military, ammo such as the .223, .308, 9mm and .45 are manufactured in MUCH higher numbers.  Military long-arm ammunition production in this country runs in the BILLIONS of rounds annually.  With the possible exception of the .22LR round, no other calibers come even close to that number. 

Yes, quite a bit of this ammo is purchased and used by the military.  But production on this scale has other benefits such as price.

I'll give you an example:  During the recent shortage, the cost of PREMIUM Hornady TAP 75-gr ammunition was about $15 for 20 rounds.  Let's compare that to your non-military caliber (.243 Win) of the same weight and they're running at the discount stores for $23.00 for the same 20 rounds.  If we wanted to use your .270 as a guide, well, the cheap-o box of 20 rounds of 130gr soft poing ammo is running about $18.50 for 20.

Let's look at a current military caliber vs. a ex-military caliber:  A box of "cheap" .308 (147-gr FMJBT) is running about $10/20.  A box of "cheap" .30-06  (150-gr FMJBT) is running about $18/20.

Economics dictates that you're going to get alot more ammunition for your dollar with military calibers.  The fact that these calibers are produced in such volume means that cost is down.  Yes, compared to 5 years ago, ammo prices are up, but a box of .223 was still cheaper than the cheapest non-military-caliber ammo.

Now, there will be some who say that they couldn't get ammo during a certain period of time. For some, this may not be exactly true.  It _was_ hard to get, but I saw quite a few private individuals selling it.

Just because you didn't want to pay higher price for it (still cheaper than a box of .243, by the way), doesn't mean you couldn't get it.

Additionally, this "panic buying" that we saw was counter-intuitive to preparedness.

Regardless of what caliber firearm you buy, you must be able to afford all the required accessories for it.  That includes spares, any magazines, and. . .ammo.

When I first started spending money on firearms for preparedness, I would buy the weapon, a predetermined minimum number of magazines, any additional parts prone to high-breakage/wear, a compact cleaning kit and a basic load of ammunition.  If I couldn't afford to buy it all, I would by the accessories first, including ammo, and then the firearm.

Another reason to consider military-caliber firearms is the type and larger selection of firearms available in them.

Let's use the ubiquitous .223 as the military caliber and your aforementioned .270:

Since it's easier, how many manufacturers make a .270 rifle and how many styles are they?  Let's look at just one: Remington.

Remington makes the 750 Woodsmaster in two variations, the 700 in 12 variations, the 770 Compact in (arguably) 2 configurations, and the 7600 in two configurations.

Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? 

Well, great. . .but how many spare firing pins do you have?  Out of the above list, only the Woodsmaster is semi-auto and the 7600 is a pump.  All other rifles are bolt-action with an internal magazine.

Even better, how many in your family can carry the larger rifles?  Aha! You exclaim!  I can buy the smaller-statured a Model 7 while I get a 700!

Too bad the parts aren't interchangeable if one, or both, go down.

Interestingly, when you look at the Remington site, though,  they carry no woodsmasters in.223,  700's in 9 variations, no 770's, only 1 Model 7 and no .223 options for the 7600.

HOWEVER, they do have AR15-type rifles in .223 and .308!

Again, here we have another benefit of the economy of buying military calibers.  If you want a bolt gun in .223, you have no problem finding one.  Ditto, the .308.  But, if you want a semi-auto in .270 (or even .243), not only are your choices EXTREMELY limited (and expensive) but where, exactly, will you get spare parts for them?

Sure, you could call up either Brownells or the manufacturer directly, but all I have to do to get parts for my semi-auto .223 (AR) is go down to my local gunshop and grab one from the wall.  Ditto my M1A. 

Spare magazines for that Woodsmaster?  Expect to special order it and pay $50+ for a single five round mag.

Spare Mags for my AR?  Well, if I splurge, I can pay up to $40 for some of the gotta-have-it-to-impress-the-other-gun-club-guys H&K special mags.  But, I'll be happy and stick with the less expensive, and supremely reliable 30-round PMags for $13 (windowed) or $10 for the 20-rounders.

Plus, I can configure my military-style rifle any way you want it.

Shorter person=collapsible stock.  Taller person = Collapsible stock.  I can even do the work myself and save the gunsmithing fee.

I need a close-in weapon that might see a lot of high-volume fire in an enclosed space?  Well, I have that option, too.   Most military rifles are offered in carbine versions.  Since most military rifles are semi-auto, I don't have to use both hands to get that second (or third, fourth, fifth. . .etc.) shot off.

The M1A is available in a CQB/Close-Quarters carbine and in a supremely accurate Supermatch version.  I can swap most of the parts out if one goes down.

Special Optics?  Hmm, I guess I could go down to Walmart and see if they have scope rings and bases for a 700.  Or, again, I could just go down to my gunstore and buy a mount for my military caliber rifle right off the shelf.

Now, let's continue to look at other perspectives, shall we?

Okay, earlier it was discussed that the ammo was harder to get for a short period of time.  Great. . .ever wonder why?

BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE WITH MILITARY CALIBER FIREARMS!!!

Let's just assume that I have 10,000 rounds of .270.  The SHTF and people are out in the area blasting away merrily at everyone else. 

With whom do I barter and how do I find someone to trade my .270 ammo for?  Well, I gotta find someone else who has a firearm chambered for .270 and then hope that they're hard-up for ammo AND hope they have what I need in trade.

However, with the massive number of .308's, .223's, .45's, 9mm's and 7.62x39mm firearms out there. . .it would be much easier to find one of those people who may need ammo.

Even worse, consider that you make it out of the house toting only your .270 bolt-gun, a bag of silver and gold and not much else. How hard will it be for you to find someone with .270 ammo compared to a military caliber?

What happens when you have a problem with that safety on your 700?  Where will you scavenge parts?

And when you find them, how difficult is it to work on a 700 bolt compared to an AR bolt, or even a FAL bolt?

Split the stock on your pre-64 Winchester Model 70 in .256 Roberts and how long will it take you to whittle another stock if Brownells or Winchester can't be reached?  I can easily find people on my own block who have replacement parts for an AR, FAL, AK and even one with M1A spares (except the barrels).

So, let's see. . .to summarize:

Why I should consider a military caliber firearm:

1.  Ammo is cheaper and IS more available, so you get more for the same amount.

2.  Replacement parts are plentiful and much easier to find, so you get more and a larger variety for the same amount.

3.  Wider variety of options on the use of the firearm (i.e., CQB, Carbines, Long-range, etc) and most are user-modifiable.

4.  Firearms are manufactured by many more companies than those who manufacture non-military caliber firearms, so if my Remington SR15 goes down, I can use a Colt bolt carrier, a S&W Bolt, a Bushmaster firing pin, an Olympic Arms firing pin retaining pin, a CMMG buffer, an FN Buffer Spring, etc.

5.  Ammunition is much more easily bartered for and barterable. 

6.  There are a wider variety of firearms available for military calibers.  I can buy a Bolt Gun, Semi-auto, a Single Shot, a non-custom combo gun, a military style semi-auto, a pump gun and even a handgun in .308 or .223.  Can someone do the same for a .270?

7.  Firearms tend to be more robust and durable than civilian firearms.

8.  Military-style firearms are, in most cases, just as accurate and more reliable than their non-military-caliber counterparts.  I'll put my Frankengun AR of which I've posted pictures on this board against ANY Civilian rifle of any configuration.

9.  Except when a military style firearm is converted or manufactured in a non-military caliber, weapons made for military calibers tend to be much more user-friendly in both shooting and field repair.

It's not just an ammo issue, it's a whole-gun issue.  Caliber is just one small portion of selecting a firearm for whatever survival purpose.

Would I want a military caliber in my DeHav Beaver goes down in the bush in Alaska?  Hell no.  Gimme my Marlin Guide Gun in a. . . .oh, wait. . . the .45-70 was a military caliber, wasn't it?  Well, hell, I'd still take it over a .223, .308 or a .50 BMG (yeah, I don't want to hump that all over).

Okay, so If I was stuck in the mountains with nobody around and had to defend myself, provide food , etc. . .I guess I'd want a 12-gauge . . .uh. . .ooops, another military round.

I guess I could make do with a 20-gauge. . .I guess.

The sheer overall economics, however, come into play in more ways than just laying your hands upon a box of ammo at a good price.  Entire industries have grown around the military calibers and the weapons that use them to simply ignore the Big Picture.

Just some thoughts. . .I can't help the length, I'm on Christmas Vacation.

The Professor

Offline Airogue

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2009, 01:16:12 PM »
So I just wanted to drop my two sense.

I am doing the round style of stocking for a reason. I have .45 for my pistols, and .308 for my primary rifles. I do this for reloading purposes. You are right and these drop off the shelves first because they are common, but in the same regard these would probably be one of the only rounds that IS still manufactured if the SHTF. Not only that, but the amount of weapons that can shoot the .308 bullet makes it helpful. I chose the .308 over the .223 because I want to hunt white tail with it.

In a situation where rounds are just not available than I think reloading will be your only option, and if this is the case than it makes all the sense in the world to have the same type of round.

I do agree that you should only get a gun that you can shoot controlled and accurately.

Offline OJ

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2009, 03:33:09 PM »
You disagree because you don't get the point.  You can't rely on reloading to provide ammo when you need it.  In other words a chest full of components + time equals lots of ammo.  A chest full of components + no time equals a chest of components when you actually need live ready to go rounds.  So I guess in my haste I really didn't word that right, my point was to have a lot of ammo that is ready to go on hand not so much that it had to be factory ammo.  It is just that if you want 1000 rounds fast the most expedient way to get it is to buy it. 

One answer to that problem is to get to reloading NOW.

I still like the idea of having plenty of components on hand, due to the versatility factor.  The powder and the primer don't care what case they're going into, as long as it's generally appropriate.

As for the "battlefield pickup" theory, it occurs to me that AFTER the backup deals with remaining resistance, polices up the corpses, and secures all the equipment, there's likely to be quite a bit of brass still lying around.  I don't recall ever picking up brass outside the range.....

Offline Dylboz

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2009, 10:40:40 AM »
I wish I had a pistol chambered in .357 Sig. It is ALWAYS available. Boxes of it sit on the shelf, even when Walmart is all out of 9mm, which is almost always. It isn't much more expensive, and like someone else said, the price of commonly sized ammo doesn't really matter when you can't even get it.

Offline Airogue

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2010, 03:34:24 AM »
If you don't treat your Ammo supply like another consumable supply like food, than you need to reevaluate your patterns and preparedness level. I keep 1000 rounds per primary weapon and a suitable amount for secondary (secondary pistols, 200 rounds, hunting only rifles, 80-100 rounds). I only shoot what I acquire above these levels, and I always shoot my oldest stuff first, cycling it just like you would canned food.

If done properly than reloading is the best option because after all, if the shit hits the fan, and you need to stop the world from spinning so you can go buy ammo at your local wally world, than you have already failed. Reloading allows for the restocking of ammo when you don't have the luxury of buying it at the store.

A+ for the professor's post. Bringing up the finer points like spare parts is huge. "Sweet, I have ammo, A gun, but just missing that darn firing pin" lol... might as well carry a baseball bat.

Offline Jack Crabb

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2010, 08:18:32 AM »
I wish I had a pistol chambered in .357 Sig. It is ALWAYS available. Boxes of it sit on the shelf, even when Walmart is all out of 9mm, which is almost always. It isn't much more expensive, and like someone else said, the price of commonly sized ammo doesn't really matter when you can't even get it.

For the Glock folk, there are conversion barrels to run .40 S&W and .357 Sig in the same gun.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2010, 08:35:51 AM »
+1 Airouge.  I think I gave you your first karma point.

I like your point about treating ammo like food: establish a baseline and replenish what you "consume" above that baseline, rotating old and new stock.  I also like your point reloading being a second option: if the stores are out of manufactured ammo, then maybe they have reloading components.

I still think caliber isn't an all-or-nothing proposition.  You can and should have what you can afford as your first couple of calibers and there are deals on uncommon calibers and people might just give you "old" guns in odd calibers (like the 16 gauge example).  That is, don't look a gift horse in the mouth, even if it is a .41 Magnum or .32 Winchester just because your tactical pals at the range will laugh at you for having a "Grandpa caliber."  As you build up a battery, common calibers make sense for all the reasons in the Professor's excellent post (a belated +1 to you, sir).  I think it makes sense to diversify your calibers--to an extent.  Have an odd ball or two because you can afford them/got them as a gift and (like the 357 Sig) they will probably be around in a shortage, but round it out with common calibers.

Diversify.

Offline chrisdfw

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Re: The fallacy of the “common ammunition” argument for prepping
« Reply #29 on: January 01, 2010, 04:19:51 PM »
Going with common calibers, and diversifying both make sense. Depending on finding ammo when shtf does not, common caliber or not. I started with common calibers, initially only wanting 22LR, 223, 308, 30-06 for rifles and 38/357 9mm and 45 for pistols.

Once I had enough of those to have a good base, then I opened it up a little
added 50BMG for rifles, and a 32 acp pistol.
Then I picked up a few Mosin Nagants and added 7.62x54R to the collection
followed by 5.45x39.
My last caliber to add was 5.7x28, I bought 5000 rounds and then bought a FN 5.7 pistol.
Followed by a AR57 upper.