Ammunition Stockpiles for Contingencies

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    • #74493
      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
      Moderator

        Okay the last thing I want is for people to advertise their stocks of ammo.

        The question of how much ammo to stock as well as carry is certainly debatable, the main point of this Thread is to encourage a realistic assessment of your needs.

        I’ll start off with our possible 16 man Citizen Unconventional Tactical Team (CUTT).

        We’ll start small, a light to moderate day of battle could see the use of 200 rounds each. That’s 3,200 rounds used by CUTT.

        OK, 38,400 rounds seems like a lot of ammo, but using above numbers it’s only 12 days of fighting for this CUTT. Of course your not going to be fighting 12 days straight (I hope), but at only 1 fight a month you only have years worth of ammo. How long are your guestimated scenarios lasting?

        So am I saying you need a 38,400 rounds of ammo?

        NO! :-)

        What I am saying is have you realistically assessed your requirements?

        So you don’t have a CUTT?

        A smaller let’s say 4 man team may use 300 rounds or more if hit by a larger group. That’s 1,200 rounds.

        OK, 10,000 rounds of ammo again can seem like a lot, but even this is just 8 days of fighting!

        On the Blog, the Article “Some questions answered (1): Ammo & Rates of Fire” has gotten some comments suggesting a rough amount of ammo to carry as much as 500 rounds.

        I don’t think this a too unrealistic number with no supporting arms available for small say 4 man team carrying heavy. I think a CUTT may carry less depending on conditions, however 300 rounds would be around the bottom limit in my opinion.

        So something to think about. :yes:

      • #74494
        Joe (G.W.N.S.)
        Moderator

          For many breaking this down to the individual level may be less daunting! :yes:

          OK, 38,400 rounds seems like a lot of ammo, but using above numbers it’s only 12 days of fighting for this CUTT.

          2,400 rounds each member.

          A smaller let’s say 4 man team may use 300 rounds or more if hit by a larger group. That’s 1,200 rounds.

          OK, 10,000 rounds of ammo again can seem like a lot, but even this is just 8 days of fighting!

          2,500 rounds each.

          Again use your own figures to see where you stand.

        • #74495
          DiznNC
          Participant

            Well we can discuss logistic projections without getting into actuals.

            I think one operation per month is a good starting point. If it goes kinetic, that’s approx. 1-200 rds per man. Lots of times it may not. So we’re looking at between 1200-2400 rds per man, as a “years” operational supply.

            I think those a very good figures of merit. Could be a lot higher, or a lot lower.

            At a bare minimum, that gives you a figure of 1200 rds to put up. 5-6,000 rds would be great, with 10K being fantastic.

            Man, just think, if every guy could bring in 10K rds. Your CUTT would start things off with 160K. Nice.

            This is when Wolf steel case starts to look good. You could pull that off for about $2500.00. A five year plan would get you in there for $500.00 a year. Not even $50.00 a month on the easy payment plan.

            But back to the OP, I think in terms of basic loads, of say 210 rds. So I would want at least 1,000 rds ON HAND, and the rest cached off-site. On a related topic, where you put it could be just as important to how much you got. So I would be thinking in terms of 1,000 rds per cache site.

            The reason I’m thinking that is to have more than 1,000 rds O/H is to increase your chance of losing it. If you end up having to hump it out, you can only keep what you can carry, potentially losing the better part of it. But at least there’s more where that came from.

            So yeah, my goal would be to get everyone to the 10K level, given enough time and money.

          • #74496
            DuaneH
            Participant

              I don’t really see an upper limit to the amount.

              The questions are:
              1. How deep are your pockets?
              2. How much can you store?
              3. How secure can you keep it?

            • #74497
              Robert
              Participant

                The “thousand rounds is enough” crowd is going to be throwing rocks not long after TSHTF if they are fortunate enough to live that long.

                Course the ammo stingy types aren’t going to have developed enough SKILL AT ARMS to survive anyways. Seeing as they are more concerned with stockpiling ammo than using it in training :)

                I will say this- quality military ammo stores nicely in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. Cut your bags to the size wherein multiples of them will fit in 6″ or even 4″ PVC and make the lengths of the tubes handle’able size for quick retrieval and carrying in a pack.

                Use solid end caps- threaded tend to leak over time. Bury the tubes HORIZONTAL. Yes yes I know, every joe blow that has never actually cached something will tell you to plant them vertically so “da man” has a harder time finding it (supposedly smaller metal detector signature). However the reality involved with DIGGING THEM UP being what it is, you’ll thank me later when you actually retrieve on that’s been planted horizontally.

                A 2 foot section of 4″ pipe planted horizontally gives you 2 feet of chances of finding it again. A 2 foot section of 4″ pipe planted vertically gives you FOUR INCHES of chances of finding it again.

                Further, in softer soil, you can often dig just enough to “lever” out a tube that’s planted horizonally. Not so with a vertical installation.

                Not that I’ve ever done any of this….

              • #74498
                Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                Moderator

                  I divide caches into two categories: short term and long term.

                  Long term is just like the name implies, this is for emergency start over or larger scale resupply.

                  Short term is what I refer to as “Speed Caches” these are for resupply of basic sustainment of consumables such as ammo, food, and batteries that would supply a individual or team depending on scenario. Basically resupply a patrol pack.

                  A speed cache is as the name implies quick and easy to retrieve. This is accomplished by placing PVC cache tube in another larger PVC tube. The PVC has a handle attached to allow easy retrieval.

                  This example will be for an individual sustainment speed cache.

                  Dig a vertical hole (could be angled on a hill etc…) about 9-10″ in diameter 3 1/2′ deep, place a couple of inches of gravel/shell in bottom of hole. Place a 3′ section of 8″ diameter PVC pipe in hole, put a couple of inches of gravel shell in PVC pipe.

                  Place 6″ diameter PVC cache 2 3/4′ long (even with end caps it will fit) with 550 cord handle into 8″ PVC pipe, place 10″ end cap over 8″ outer PVC pipe. Cover and camouflage.

                  This type of speed cache can be unearthed in under 1 minute if you established location adequately (E&E situation, etc…). If you have time it can be recovered and camouflaged for reuse of emplaced PVC outer tube.

                  I’ll start another thread sometime detailing underwater caches both negative and positively buoyant, a particular favorite for my AO in Florida. :-)

                • #74499
                  busyguyintville
                  Participant

                    This is very helpful to spur some thinking and calculating I had neglected. I would suggest including a training allowance in your annual calculations as well. Maybe 60 rds/month/person?

                  • #74500
                    Eric
                    Participant

                      One thing that hasn’t been mentioned yet is that Ammo will be worth it’s weight in gold in a SHTF situation. You will be able to trade it for just about anything. So, there is another reason to have a ton (literally) of ammo in storage.

                    • #74501
                      Eric
                      Participant

                        This is very helpful to spur some thinking and calculating I had neglected. I would suggest including a training allowance in your annual calculations as well. Maybe 60 rds/month/person?

                        Our group trains twice a month, and I would say that under normal conditions, I probably go through 250 to 300 rounds a month, including pistol work.

                      • #74502
                        Corvette
                        Participant

                          My rule of thumb has always been to have “at least as much money in affordable ammo, for the caliber , as the cost of the gun”

                          This adjusts for the cost of various calibers or “Mercedes Benz” guns (whose greater investment needs to be leveraged by more ammo if we want to be rational)
                          It also adjust for off color calibers (50 Beowulf, 50 BMG , 458 SOCOM) where 1000’s of rounds would be absurdly costly and also not reflect the realistic ammo need of these specialized arms.

                          I also agree w/ Diz, that steel case is what frees our budget to stack as deeply as we need.

                          (For long term caching the Brown Bear 62gr HP is hard to beat.
                          Its the last remaining major round in laquer, which is great at long term stability.
                          We are talking decades in sub standard storage here and the HP gives it a lot of “oomph”
                          (yes I know complaints about the dirty laquer in the chamber abound but SHTF ammo will be more valuable than your cleaning time) )

                          The logistics calculations that have been proposed are valid IMO but I agree w/ busyguy that a training allowance must be made.
                          And it would likely be a small training allowance since during SHTF you may ahve to control your signature and Ammo will be like Gold.

                          So realistically expect your fundamental skill building to happen almost exclusively pre-SHTF to only be able to perform minimal skills maintenance efforts post-SHTF.

                          To paraphrase an old Soviet saying on Force structure I will modify it for for civilian 1st Defenders to reflect what will likely be limited training opportunities/resources come SHTF:

                          “Training pre-existing to SHTF is decisive “
                          .
                          .

                        • #74503
                          DiznNC
                          Participant

                            What about .22 cal sub-caliber devices and .22LR, and .223 blanks for training instead of “war” rds?

                            .22 cal would cover BRM, and blanks for tactical training.

                            Kinda sorta what the military did.

                            That way you truly could hold actual training use of war rounds to 50 or less a month.

                          • #74504
                            Mike H
                            Participant

                              Along w/ caching remember rotation…rotate thru ammo. I had some 5.56 on strippers that was packed in my ruck all winter long in the unheated garage…it’s been moved to the “fire this year” pile. But long term caching does work….I have some China Sport stuff that still looks good :yes: …..and somehow I still had some real old MREs…I ate a 22 year old Maple Nut Cake last week and haven’t died yet…the crackers where fine too….the cheese spread and entrée(I think it used to be spagetti in meat sauce) were not consumed. :wacko:

                              One thing I will do is drop an item or two off the grocery list or buy the generic brand and with the saving buy a box or two of ammo each trip.

                            • #74505
                              Max
                              Keymaster

                                Note: This is not Max’s response/content. Just a glitch from the transition to subscription.

                                This has some very telling math. I think we can all say, “I don’t have enough ammo.” But can we ever have enough? Resupply will be very limited in a truly bad situation. My group has also been stocking away reloading supplies so we can produce what we consume. If we use more .308 for hunting large game, we use components to reload it. If we use more 5.56 for “vermin”, we use the components for that. Powder and primers can be configured as needed. Use your oddball calibers and we’ll reload your brass….did I mention bullet swagging presses are fun? We can even make the bullets. We still have a bunch of milsurp but we also have some production capabilities. AND I will be showing this math to the wife and explaining, “See, everyone says I should buy more ammo.”

                              • #74506
                                Max
                                Keymaster

                                  Note: This is not Max’s response/content. Just a glitch from the transition to subscription.

                                  I seen menetion of bartering Ammo. I have the mindset of barter for the gun when i have the ammo. In rule without law sitution, I will not be the one handing out ammo that just might come back into camp the faster way at a latter date. you can always use ammo one way or another.

                                • #74507
                                  Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                  Moderator

                                    Giving the great fluctuations in ammo availability due to various events, this is worth revisiting.

                                    Having ammo on hand avoids these fluctuations besides hedging the future to avoid being short when something more drastic may occur.

                                  • #74508
                                    hellokitty
                                    Participant

                                      I may have missed this in the thread. But don’t forget to maintain training ammo. If you train properly (pre event) you will be going thru 3000 plus per year. I keep SHTF ammo cache and I keep replenishing training ammo constantly.

                                      HEAT 1(CTT) X 3
                                      HEAT 2 (CP) X1
                                      FOF X3
                                      OPFOR X2
                                      CLC X2
                                      RIFLEMAN

                                    • #74509
                                      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                      Moderator

                                        But don’t forget to maintain training ammo.

                                        I advise people to decide on a dedicated number of rounds per firearm (not caliber). Then determine a percentage of rounds that will not be used (war reserve). As you get to halfway point between dedicated number and war reserve start looking for deals to replenish (always on the lookout for great deals).

                                        Hypothetical Example:
                                        You have two rifles and two pistols in your household.

                                        Dedicated rifle number 10,000 rounds.

                                        Dedicated pistol number 5,000 rounds.

                                        So you need 20,000 (10,000 war reserve) rifle rounds and 10,000 (5,000 war reserve) pistol rounds.

                                        So when your stocks get down to 15,000 rifle and 7,500 pistol start looking for ammo, but never dip into war reserve for any reason other than SHTF.

                                        YMMV

                                      • #74510
                                        Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                        Moderator

                                          And don’t put “all your eggs (ammo) in one basket!”

                                        • #74511
                                          gunnerbob
                                          Participant

                                            Great food for thought, fellas. I don’t have enough storage ammo, neither does my group. I have in the tens of thousands for everything I own, total. I need more primary storage rounds, as I’m sub-5k on each 556, 762, & 9mms. Budgets are tight, and I train more than I store… a typical month sees about 750-1k rounds go down range between the AR, AK, & G17. Some months I don’t have the cash flow and resort to odd weapons training thanks to reloading capacity, things like M1 Garands, Carbines, and .38 revolvers. I figure that still has functionality, in that I’m relatively proficient with other weapons should I ever find myself picking one up. My goal for the group is each member have 10k of primary calibers (556, 762, & 9×19), stored in 1k round caches.

                                          • #74512
                                            Anonymous
                                            Inactive

                                              Right now I only have a steel can with some 7.62x54R, .45 ACP and .22LR, also got some .223 blanks from God-knows-where, once I get something in .223 I’ll have to start shopping for ammo and learn the niceties of which brands are good, what a good deal looks like and whatnot. .

                                              I was reading up on handloading a while back, sounds like fun and would be a useful skill to have post-event, I was even reading up on how you can turn .22LR cases into bullets, makes me wonder what kinds of goofy homemade ammo will pop up post-SHTF.

                                            • #74513
                                              Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                              Moderator

                                                Yearly bump for emphasis.

                                              • #74514
                                                Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                                Moderator

                                                  It’s been awhile.

                                                  The fearmongering hype of most elections will be upon us soon in 2020.

                                                  If your stocks need resupply, sooner rather than later is my advice.

                                                • #74515
                                                  veritas556
                                                  Participant

                                                    Agree, stock up now. Ammo in most calibers is at a decade low and we are a year away from a tightening market when the election gets closer. What you don’t know is that you could be 24 hours away from a quick and lasting spike in prices – maybe even no availability – in the event of a particularly nasty mass shooting.

                                                    Two quality battle rifles and 10k rounds seems to be a solid baseline. I buy almost exclusively from sgammo.com these days.I’ve found buying a case every other month is a good way to stay stocked while expending training rounds. You can grow the pile this way.

                                                  • #74516
                                                    Roadkill
                                                    Participant

                                                      This is also good reason to pick up an Airsot training rifle from Max. Still get trigger time in without dipping too deep into ammo stores. Plus, Max’s price on the Airsoft is pretty fair.

                                                    • #122611
                                                      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                                      Moderator

                                                        A something we always need to be assessing bump. :yes:

                                                        Also consider how many magazines you have, it may not always be possible to retrieve expanded magazines. Not to mention wear and tear from use.

                                                      • #122622
                                                        Max
                                                        Keymaster

                                                          This is also good reason to pick up an Airsot training rifle from Max. Still get trigger time in without dipping too deep into ammo stores. Plus, Max’s price on the Airsoft is pretty fair.

                                                          My airsim, as well as my shotStop prices, are at MAP. So it doesn’t get fairer than that.

                                                          The AirSim GBB rifles are excellent professional training aids. Seems to nb be some sort of prejudice against them by main (‘airsoft’) mainly because they have never experienced use on a professional class.

                                                          Also a good way of starting to get kids
                                                          / teenagers into training, both basic Tactical training and also FoF.

                                                        • #122630
                                                          Anonymous
                                                          Inactive

                                                            Good bump.

                                                            It is nice that airsoft has taken off as a viable training aid since this thread was created, it helps on ammo costs even if it has an initial cost itself.

                                                            Went to the gun show in Chantilly like two weeks ago, no spike in prices yet but I did notice that the steel mags were selling for as much as the polymer mags, which wasn’t the case last time I was there. Best deal was gen-2 PMAGs, ten for $90, beyond that you were looking at at least ten bucks for new mags outside of some Toolman Tacticals for $7, of which I’ve never heard. I grabbed 12 mags total, would have grabbed more if my budget was bigger. Everybody I know thinks it’s weird that I’d stock up on mags but there are too many Republicans openly toying with the idea of a mag ban for me to not do so.

                                                            Hoping I can get out of debt sooner rather than later so I can buy rounds before the prices go nuts again.

                                                            There’s no guarantee Trump will win 2020, all it takes is some executive orders to make stocking up a PITA if not impossible.

                                                          • #122640
                                                            DiznNC
                                                            Participant

                                                              I am still thinking along the lines of my original post, although I no longer use steel-cased ammo for anything but CQB training at point blank distances.

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