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si vis pacem, para bellum
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Hey guys,
I just wanted to share a few thoughts about ammo stockpiles. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people post that they've got 50K rounds of ammo, and need more. I've seen various numbers, estimates, and arguments for how much you need, but I wanted to do my own figuring and see what I came up with. So I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation on this, because, as much as I'd like to have 50K (or even 20K) rounds of ammo stored up, I don't, and won't any time soon. My basic assumptions are that I'm feeding, defending, and practicing for a family of 5 for a year, that the shooter is a better gunfighter than 90% of the folks out there, and that there is an incredible abundance of wild game to be harvested for the dinner table, which is pretty unrealistic if every gun owner in america starts hunting to feed their family. Just for giggles (or crying, more likely) I roughly figured the total cost of this theoretical stockpile as well. This is meant to be at the extreme high end for what a person in my make-believe scenario would need for a year. Finding this many game animals may be unrealistic. Surviving this many combat engagements may be unrealistic. Etc.

Hunting: Small game
Let's say that a single squirrel or varmint is the centerpiece of 1-2 meals for a single person. To feed a family of 5 each one squirrel a day we'll say we need (and can find, to shoot) 5 small-game kills a day. Even in today's world, on good hunting grounds, that can be a tall order, but we'll assume they're out there, and you can find them to shoot at. Call it 7 rounds of .22LR or airgun ammo a day, since they're crafty buggers and it's harder to shoot straight when you're looking out for zombies.

7 rounds a day * 7 days a week * 52 weeks in a year * 1 year of living it rough = 2,548 rounds.

The big assumption here is that there will actually be that much to shoot, which is dubious. We'll throw in an extra 1k rounds for practice, training, or whatever. We'll round to 3,500 rounds of .22LR. Really, you're never going to have that much stuff to shoot, so this is a very high-end estimate.

3,500 rounds of .22LR.
Note: At a price of $20 for a brick of 500 rounds, that will run you $140.

Hunting: Medium and Large game
Around here a good deer weighs between 120 and 200 lbs. Even on the small end, if you lose half of that to bones, guts, and other inedibles, that's around 50 lbs of meat, give or take, assuming you're eating all that is edible. Call it the foundation for 50 solid meals. So for our family of 5, eating deer once a day:

5 lbs of deer per day * 356 days in a year = 1,780 lbs of deer. With our 50 lbs in the freezer from the one deer, that figures needing about 35 deer. If you're bagging a larger deer, or elk or other game, then it's an even smaller number of animals.

Realistically, you're not likely going to be eating a pound of deer every day, because hopefully you'll be supplementing it with long-term food stores, and foraging, fishing, etc. And, realistically, you're not going to have time to do all that hunting, and the animals may not be there in the first place to hunt.

So we'll say 40 rounds for your game rifle to harvest game per year. I'll throw in another 40 for possible long-range defensive, and 40 for practice. That's assuming that you're not going to sit on your porch and snipe every poor 2-legged beast that makes the mistake of walking down your street. 120 rounds.

120 rounds of ammo for your game rifle.
Note: If you're paying $1.30 per round for premium hunting ammo, that will run you $156.

Defensive use: Rifle
Without pulling the pin on the AR vs. AK grenade, we'll assume that you have one of the two, or a similar type of rifle for defending your family and your assets.

A pretty standard combat loadout is 1 mag in the gun plus 6 on your person (i.e. 6+1 mags) of 30 rounds each. So each loadout is 210 rounds.

In a really gnarly engagement, I think that by the time you've expended 1/2 to 2/3 of your ammo, you will have bugged out, finished the job, or gotten killed. Two-thirds of your loadout is 140 rounds per knock-down-drag-out engagement.

Note: Most of the time you meet a stranger in a world without order, hopefully there won't be any violence. If you do have to fire your weapon to defend your life or your family, most of the time you will hopefully be able to get the job done or bug out in your first mag, or 30 rounds or less. But this is a survivalist board. We're prepping for the worst case scenario of the worst case scenario. Hence the notion that you could be expending well over a hundred rounds in a real serious confrontation.

We'll assume you're good. Damn good. In a fair fight, you're better than 90% of the rest of us.

So there is a 90% chance you'll survive your first engagement. There is a .9*.9 = 81% chance you'll survive your first engagement, and then go on to survive a second engagement. There is a .9*.9*.9 = 73% chance you'll survive your first, then go on to survive a 2nd, and then go on to survive a 3rd engagement.

By this figuring, there is a 50/50 chance that you'll get killed by your 6th or 7th engagement. By the time we get out to 21 engagements, the chances that you're still kicking are less than 10%. And that's assuming a fair fight, i.e. that you're not getting ambushed or surrounded or overpowered.

So we'll give you enough ammo for 21 fights.

21 * 140 rounds (remember, that's 2/3 of your combat loadout of 6+1 mags) =~3,000 rounds of rifle ammo.

Really, that's far more than enough. If you're James Bond and Rambo rolled up into one, then you're not going to need 140 bullets for each confrontation, and if you're not James Bond/Rambo, then you're not going to survive 20 knock-down drag-out firefights. That's also assuming that there are that many people out there who are going to try to kill you. By this figuring, you'd be getting in a hardcore firefight practically every other week, if we stretched those 21 fights out over the course of a year.

Again, we'll throw you an extra 1K rounds for practice, training, and in case the SHTF after the SHTF.

4,000 rounds of ammo for your combat rifle.
Note: I get my AR ammo online for about $0.35 per round (bulk FMJ), so that figures $1,400 for combat rifle ammo.

Defensive: Handgun
We'll do a similar calculation as before.

A Glock 19 has a magazine capacity of 15 rounds. We'll say you're carrying 2 spare mags, plus 1 in the gun. Your loadout is about 45 rounds. With the same theory that you'll be dead, or have finished the job, or have bugged out by the time you've expended at most 2/3 of your ammo, that means you need 30 rounds per engagement. Same logic as before: you're a better gunfighter than 90% of the folks out there. To get through 21 engagements, you need about 630 rounds of handgun ammo. For practice we'll round it out to an even 1,000. Keep in mind that if I get in 5 knock-down-drag-out firefights with my pistol, I'm gonna start carrying my rifle, and make that my main fighting weapon. So again, we're being conservative - you won't need anywhere near this much ammo. Furthermore, if you're out there with just a handgun and someone engages you from a distance with a rifle, then your chances aren't so rosy. So, regardless of your skill level, it is pretty optimistic to assume that you'll survive 20 hardcore engagements with a handgun.

1,000 rounds of defensive handgun ammo.
Note: I pay about $0.40 cents per round of .45 (ouch. I need to switch to 9mm), which puts this at about $400 for handgun ammo. If you're using a 9mm, like the Glock 19 I mention above, it's more like 20 cents a round, or $200 for handgun ammo. That's bulk FMJ ammo. If we're talking JHP, it'll be close to twice that amount.

Summary:

Assumptions:
- Feeding/defending/practicing for a family of 5
  • Five squirrels/varmints per day, for a year
  • 35 deer, for roughly 1,800 lbs of edible venison for the year
  • Rifle ammo to survive over 20 major rifle engagements
  • Handgun ammo to survive over 20 major handgun engagements
  • Plenty of practice ammo for all calibers
- There is enough game to actually shoot (dubious)
- You're a good enough gunfighter to survive over 20 major engagements
- You actually have enough time to spend seeking and harvesting all this wild game you're going to be feeding your family
- All of your guns are already more or less sighted in and you know how to use them

Results:
- 3,500 rounds of .22LR gives you 5 squirrels a day for a year plus 1K rounds of practice
- 120 rounds of big-game rifle ammo gives you 30-35 deer (1,800 lbs of meat) plus long-range defense, and practice ammo. I'm assuming that you're not going to snipe every 2-legged creature that you see.
- 4,000 rounds for your fighting gun gives you more than enough to survive over 20 knock-down drag-out engagements, assuming you deem necessary to stick around to fight, and survive long enough to even put that many rounds down range. And that includes a thousand rounds for practice or training or barter or whatever.
- 1,000 rounds for your defensive handgun gives you enough ammo to survive >20 knock-down drag-out firefights, as well as several hundred rounds for practice.
- The total cost here was figured to about $2,000, with the assumed price-per-round that I listed for each type.

That's a grand total of about 8,550 rounds of various calibers, to support a family of 5 for a year with ample game, lots of long, knock-down-drag-out defensive engagements, and plenty of practice. And 40% of that is .22LR, thank goodness.

This should be MORE than enough for just about any conceivable situation, unless you're prepping for numerous years of disoder, or equipping a small army and have to train them to boot.

Anyway, like many have said before, wild game may well become rare if everyone who has a gun is out trying to feed their family. And for defensive uses, you won't likely survive enough firefights to live long enough to need more than a few thousand rounds at the very most. So buy more food and water, and don't stress about ammo as much, if you've got the basics covered.

The Bottom Line

If you've already got food and water (and soap, booze, toilet paper, and tooth paste) for 5 years, then yeah, I envy you and maybe you can justify getting another 15k rounds of ammo, but for the rest of us, a couple thousand here and there should be more than enough for a year, or considerably more than a year if we're supplementing the wild game with stores, and avoiding firefights (both of those are a big DUH in my opinion). If you're not going out of your way to get in a fight, and if you're only using wild game to supplement your stores, then I really think you can get by for a year or more with about 1/3 of this amount.

For longer term preps, you may need more of some types of ammo, but you won't likely need much more defensive ammo IMHO, because you're still only going to statistically survive X engagements. More hunting ammo, sure. More ammo for training, or barter, or to equip friends/family, sure. But the amount of defensive ammo you're personally going to use is very finite. Put another way: if you have 20K rounds for your fighting rifle, what you're really saying is that you're planning on getting into 200 combat engagements where you're putting a hundred rounds down-range each time, presumably killing one or more armed bad guys, and then escaping unscathed each and every time, living to fight another day. That is a lot of fighting. You may be the best major league pitcher of all time, but you're still not going to throw a hundred perfect no-hitters back to back to back. Eventually your luck runs out or you meet your match on the battlefield. I don't know for sure, but I suspect most of our hardened combat veterans in the US armed forces haven't even been in anywhere near that many sustained firefights, and they go to war for a living.

The trick will be to avoid the fight, and not have to hunt as your primary source of food. No matter how good you are in a firefight, you still can't count on winning a hundred (or even a dozen) fights in a row. And no matter how good a hunter you are, the game may not be there to harvest, depending on the scenario.
 

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You are tackling a great white shark here and I envy that. I think your hunting numbers look pretty good. But I would disagree with your defensive ammo.

Assuming that the world is that bad where you are in that much combat I would say your loadout is wrong. Really only because you are figuring those numbers for 1 person. I would hope that in a world where I am in 20 gun fights (or 1 for that matter) that I would have some help on my side. I don't personally have 20k rounds saved up, but each member of my group has ammo, and combined we probably have 10k-20k. That is for 12 people though.

I think the people saving up that much ammo are going about it based on the assumption that it ("the event") will last more than a year. If society completely collapses we might not have ammo producers ever again (extreme I know). But even the Soviet Union collapse lasted over a decade, in which case it would be nice to have a large stop pile.

Not saying I agree or disagree with that thinking, but I think that is where it comes from. You can grow/catch food but you can't grow or catch ammo.
 

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Thanks for a really well thought out post with numbers that are backed up by showing how you arrived at them.

I agree that some of the numbers I've read seem outrageous to me, though I respect that each person has a right to their own opinion and reasoning.

I am somewhat fortunate in that both my son and I shoot competitively and we always have a pretty large amount of components on hand for various firearms.

I suspect that what you said about hunting, especially depending on your area and how many people already hunt, etc, and game potentially becoming scarce is very true. Though I am stocked up on hunting ammunition, I believe that money is probably well spent by making sure you have alternate protein sources. For my family we have chosen beans, a variety of canned meats, TVP and dehydrated meats. For us, having that on hand feels like a known, verses the unknown of being able to get something hunting. We are also considering that going afield to hunt is potentially more dangerous than staying home and consuming on hand protein. Depending on the situation, it is our plan to stick close to home base as much as possible to avoid potential confrontations.

Your point about only being able to survive so many firefights is a very, very good one. Since we are figuring that the majority of our ammo may be needed to defend our home, the one type of ammunition that we are stocking a fair amount of is shotgun ammo, especially 00 Buck. With limited ways into a home, defending an entry point with a shotgun is fairly straightforward. Obviously if someone burns you out and you have to flee, that is a different situation. There would seem to be little logical reason for someone to burn you out though if all they really want is whatever you have stored.

We have a pool, so that is a large supply of water if we need it, and we realize we may have to defend that. Our hope is also that if the situation calls for it, that amount of water keeps us from having to venture out to get additional water for quite some time. We do have a creek about 1/4 mile away. We do plan to have enough ammo so that if we do have to venture out, say to get water, that we can defend ourselves if needed.

In times of unrest where people are still out and about in a semi-normal fashion, having a sidearm and enough ammunition to defend yourself and make your way home makes a lot of sense. My families decision has been that if things start degrading we will largely quit leaving home though.

There are only two times when there is such a thing as too much ammo. One is when you are swimming, the other is if you are on fire. I am not comfortable predicting how long anything may last. Thankfully we compete with many of our primary defensive firearms and keep quite a bit of loaded ammo and components on hand, and because of constant training and competing we are competent with them.
 

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Interesting post, and I appreciate what you have done here.

With that said, let me throw a couple thoughts your way.

1. Most people who stockpile ammo are not looking at "one year" of weapons use, but rather are planning for the rest of their lives. They see the issue as a "no more ammo production in the future" sort of situation.

2. As a hunter, I realize you are playing "devil's advocate" with the "35 deer a year" figures, but ain't nobody killing 35 deer in one year during a survival situation. That would be tough even with normal hunting pressure, but there will not be any deer to be had after a few weeks of societal collapse.

With that said, IMO I think shotguns and .22's are going to be far more important long-term than high caliber battle rifles.

I agree with your assessment of 4,000 rounds being sufficient for a battle rifle, and 1,000 for a sidearm is probably about right. But I would recommend upping the .22 rounds to at least 10,000 if you are talking more than a year.

Also IMO, if we need to hunt for a year, we'll likely have to hunt longer. Small game and fishing will be far more important than large game hunting. Squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, possum, racoons, and various other furry critters are going to be the main protein sources, along with birds. I'd add a shotgun into the mix, and about 1,000 rounds of various loads.

Expensive? Yes. That's why we should have all started preparing years ago. In the end, you have what you have. Improvised weapons and snares will have to fill in whatever gaps are left, if such situations come.

Thanks for your post!
 

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So, you are saying your wife and kids will not be helping you defend your area?
I would multiply your defensive ammo by 5, then add 1/2 that total for when you take on others into your group that did not prepare or have guns.
I feel each person in your group should be capabple of shooting game or bad guys, so each person should have their own allotment, in your case, multiply everything by 5.

I enjoyed reading your post, I had never thought it out like that. I handload all my ammo and waaay more that your estimates and components to reload many times over. I also have over 20 guns to help arm anyone that doesn't have one.

I also have suppresors for each caliber of rifle and my .22 handgun.

Thanks for your post.
Ray
 

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As for hunting particularly small game why waste the ammo and draw unneeded or wanted attention hunting?
A pellet guns for small game at 7-9 bucks 500 rounds its cheaper and quieter alternative to a 22

Beyond that traps are best for small game and allow you to maximize you time and energy as you need not spend all your time hunting and can be off doing other productive things

http://www.fntpost.com/Categories/Trapping/
 

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One small error in calculation.

If you win an engagement. Let's say that you get it done in that first mag you mention, and the other person has fired as much.

Then the average person would, according to your stats. Have 6 full mags of ammo for whatever rifle he's carrying. Which effectively replenishes your stockpile.

No one said you had to use a separate rifle for hunting and fighting. A .223 may not be the ideal deer rifle, but it will get the job done if you place your shots right. An AK or FAL will more than get the job done.

And shotguns are a useful choice. Birds that aren't flying, (even ones that are) can with a little luck be lined up for a two-fer. And you can use it for anything from squirrel to Moose depending on what shell you ram down the barrel. I've taken two turkeys with one shot for instance.
 

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Results:
- 3,500 rounds of .22LR gives you 5 squirrels a day for a year plus 1K rounds of practice
- 120 rounds of big-game rifle ammo gives you 30-35 deer (1,800 lbs of meat) plus long-range defense, and practice ammo. I'm assuming that you're not going to snipe every 2-legged creature that you see.
not a bad plan, I'll just add traps and snares for small game should be the first option and the .22 could provide more deer meat than a hunting rifle. In SHTF think like a poacher not a hunter.
 

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Though I would never want one as my primary fighting weapon, don't overlook that your stockpile of inexpensive 22 ammo can be used in a defensive situation if it has to be. It may in fact be a decent weapon of choice for smaller kids that are called upon to help out. Someone that is really good with a 22 and is defending their home and may be able to get the drop on someone if they are defending an entrance, will stand a pretty good chance against someone trying to gain entry. With a semi-out they can deliver several hits on target quickly.

My son shoots a custom semi-auto 22 rifle in Steel Challenge matches. From a low ready he can shoot most stages, one hit on each of five plates, in right around 2 seconds. He is 12 and a very experienced shooter, he can shoot similar times with a centerfire handgun or an AR. My point though is that it is not expensive to practice with a 22 rimfire, and someone that is reasonably proficient can use one defensively if they have to. We have all heard the stories of drug crazed folks and how they are hard to stop. I am guessing that if someone is trying to get into your house they may not be high, and are just after what you have. A hit or two from even a 22 will probably dissuade them. Don't forget 22 birdshot too.

Please don't jump on me about advocating the 22 for this purpose, I am just saying that with a good stockpile of inexpensive ammo it can serve more than one purpose.
 

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The plan is good for allowing people to think and plan each according to their need and ability.
That much shooting will draaw undesirables to your area...go with a bow for hunting.
somebody mentioned to think more like a poacher in a shtf scenario...very true!
If you are out in a rural area and doing all of this hunting...why not invest in some chickens? Eggs and meat for the taking vs going and trying to hunt up dinner.
 

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Hey guys,
I just wanted to share a few thoughts about ammo stockpiles. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people post that they've got 50K rounds of ammo, and need more. I've seen various numbers, estimates, and arguments for how much you need, but I wanted to do my own figuring and see what I came up with. So I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation on this, because, as much as I'd like to have 50K (or even 20K) rounds of ammo stored up, I don't, and won't any time soon. My basic assumptions are that I'm feeding, defending, and practicing for a family of 5 for a year, that the shooter is a better gunfighter than 90% of the folks out there, and that there is an incredible abundance of wild game to be harvested for the dinner table, which is pretty unrealistic if every gun owner in america starts hunting to feed their family. Just for giggles (or crying, more likely) I roughly figured the total cost of this theoretical stockpile as well.

Hunting: Small game
Let's say that a single squirrel is the centerpiece of 1-2 meals for a single person. To feed a family of 5 each one squirrel a day we'll say we need (and can find, to shoot) 5 squirrels a day. Even in today's world, in a good hunting grounds, that can be a tall order, but we'll assume they're out there, and you can find them to shoot at. Call it 7 rounds of .22LR or airgun ammo a day, since they're crafty buggers and it's harder to shoot straight when you're looking out for zombies.

7 rounds a day * 7 days a week * 52 weeks in a year * 1 year of living it rough = 2,548 rounds.

The big assumption here is that there will actually be that much to shoot, which is dubious. We'll throw in an extra 1k rounds for practice, training, or whatever. We'll round to 3,500 rounds of .22LR. Really, you're never going to have that much stuff to shoot, so this is a very high-end estimate.

3,500 rounds of .22LR.
Note: At a price of $20 for a brick of 500 rounds, that will run you $140.

Hunting: Medium and Large game
Around here a good deer weighs between 120 and 200 lbs. Even on the small end, if you lose half of that to bones, guts, and other inedibles, that's around 50 lbs of meat, give or take, assuming you're eating all that is edible. Call it the foundation for 50 solid meals. So for our family of 5, eating deer once a day:

5 lbs of deer per day * 356 days in a year = 1,780 lbs of deer. With our 50 lbs in the freezer from the one deer, that figures needing about 35 deer. If you're bagging a larger deer, or elk or other game, then it's an even smaller number of animals.

Realistically, you're not likely going to be eating a pound of deer every day, because hopefully you'll be supplementing it with long-term food stores, and foraging, fishing, etc. And, realistically, you're not going to have time to do all that hunting, and the animals may not be there in the first place to hunt.

So we'll say 40 rounds for your game rifle to harvest game per year. I'll throw in another 40 for possible long-range defensive, and 40 for practice. That's assuming that you're not going to sit on your porch and snipe every poor 2-legged beast that makes the mistake of walking down your street. 120 rounds.

120 rounds of ammo for your game rifle.
Note: If you're paying $1.30 per round for premium hunting ammo, that will run you $156.

Defensive use: Rifle
Without pulling the pin on the AR vs. AK grenade, we'll assume that you have one of the two, or a similar type of rifle for defending your family and your assets.

A pretty standard combat loadout is 1 mag in the gun plus 6 on your person (i.e. 6+1 mags) of 30 rounds each. So each loadout is 210 rounds.

In a really gnarly engagement, I think that by the time you've expended 1/2 to 2/3 of your ammo, you will have bugged out, finished the job, or gotten killed. Two-thirds of your loadout is 140 rounds per knock-down-drag-out engagement.

Note: Most of the time you meet a stranger in a world without order, hopefully there won't be any violence. If you do have to fire your weapon to defend your life or your family, most of the time you will hopefully be able to get the job done or bug out in your first mag, or 30 rounds or less. But this is a survivalist board. We're prepping for the worst case scenario of the worst case scenario. Hence the notion that you could be expending well over a hundred rounds in a real serious confrontation.

We'll assume you're good. Damn good. In a fair fight, you're better than 90% of the rest of us.

So there is a 90% chance you'll survive your first engagement. There is a .9*.9 = 81% chance you'll survive your first engagement, and then go on to survive a second engagement. There is a .9*.9*.9 = 73% chance you'll survive your first, then go on to survive a 2nd, and then go on to survive a 3rd engagement.

By this figuring, there is a 50/50 chance that you'll get killed by your 6th or 7th engagement. By the time we get out to 21 engagements, the chances that you're still kicking are less than 10%. And that's assuming a fair fight, i.e. that you're not getting ambushed or surrounded or overpowered.

So we'll give you enough ammo for 21 fights.

21 * 140 rounds (remember, that's 2/3 of your combat loadout of 6+1 mags) =~3,000 rounds of rifle ammo.

Really, that's far more than enough. If you're James Bond and Rambo rolled up into one, then you're not going to need 140 bullets for each confrontation, and if you're not James Bond/Rambo, then you're not going to survive 20 knock-down drag-out firefights. That's also assuming that there are that many people out there who are going to try to kill you. By this figuring, you'd be getting in a hardcore firefight practically every other week, if we stretched those 21 fights out over the course of a year.

Again, we'll throw you an extra 1K rounds for practice, training, and in case the SHTF after the SHTF.

4,000 rounds of ammo for your combat rifle.
Note: I get my AR ammo online for about $0.35 per round (bulk FMJ), so that figures $1,400 for combat rifle ammo.

Defensive: Handgun
We'll do a similar calculation as before.

A Glock 19 has a magazine capacity of 15 rounds. We'll say you're carrying 2 spare mags, plus 1 in the gun. Your loadout is about 45 rounds. With the same theory that you'll be dead, or have finished the job, or have bugged out by the time you've expended at most 2/3 of your ammo, that means you need 30 rounds per engagement. Same logic as before: you're a better gunfighter than 90% of the folks out there. To get through 21 engagements, you need about 630 rounds of handgun ammo. For practice we'll round it out to an even 1,000. Keep in mind that if I get in 5 knock-down-drag-out firefights with my pistol, I'm gonna start carrying my rifle, and make that my main fighting weapon. So again, we're being conservative - you won't need anywhere near this much ammo. Furthermore, if you're out there with just a handgun and someone engages you from a distance with a rifle, then your chances aren't so rosy. So, regardless of your skill level, it is pretty optimistic to assume that you'll survive 20 hardcore engagements with a handgun.

1,000 rounds of defensive handgun ammo.
Note: I pay about $0.40 cents per round of .45 (ouch. I need to switch to 9mm), which puts this at about $400 for handgun ammo. If you're using a 9mm, like the Glock 19 I mention above, it's more like 20 cents a round, or $200 for handgun ammo. That's bulk FMJ ammo. If we're talking JHP, it'll be close to twice that amount.

Summary:

Assumptions:
- Feeding/defending/practicing for a family of 5
  • Five squirrels per day, for a year
  • 35 deer, for roughly 1,800 lbs of edible venison for the year
  • Rifle ammo to survive over 20 major rifle engagements
  • Handgun ammo to survive over 20 major handgun engagements
  • Plenty of practice ammo for all calibers
- There is enough game to actually shoot (dubious)
- You're a good enough gunfighter to survive over 20 major engagements
- You actually have enough time to spend seeking and harvesting all this wild game you're going to be feeding your family
- All of your guns are already more or less sighted in and you know how to use them

Results:
- 3,500 rounds of .22LR gives you 5 squirrels a day for a year plus 1K rounds of practice
- 120 rounds of big-game rifle ammo gives you 30-35 deer (1,800 lbs of meat) plus long-range defense, and practice ammo. I'm assuming that you're not going to snipe every 2-legged creature that you see.
- 4,000 rounds for your fighting gun gives you more than enough to survive over 20 knock-down drag-out engagements, assuming you deem necessary to stick around to fight, and survive long enough to even put that many rounds down range. And that includes a thousand rounds for practice or training or barter or whatever.
- 1,000 rounds for your defensive handgun gives you enough ammo to survive >20 knock-down drag-out firefights, as well as several hundred rounds for practice.
- The total cost here was figured to about $2,000, with the assumed price-per-round that I listed for each type.

That's a grand total of about 8,550 rounds of various calibers, to support a family of 5 for a year with ample game, lots of long, knock-down-drag-out defensive engagements, and plenty of practice. And 40% of that is .22LR, thank goodness.

This should be MORE than enough for just about any conceivable situation, unless you're prepping for several years of disoder, or equipping a small army and have to train them to boot.

Anyway, like many have said before, wild game may well become rare if everyone who has a gun is out trying to feed their family. And for defensive uses, you won't likely survive enough firefights to live long enough to need more than a few thousand rounds at the very most. So buy more food and water, and don't stress about ammo as much, if you've got the basics covered.

If you've already got food and water (and soap, booze, toilet paper, and tooth paste) for 5 years, then yeah, I envy you and maybe you can justify getting another 15k rounds of ammo, but for the rest of us, a couple thousand here and there should be more than enough for a year, or more than a year if we're supplementing the wild game with stores, and avoiding firefights (both of those are a big DUH in my opinion). If you're not going out of your way to get in a fight, and if you're only using wild game to supplement your stores, then I really think you can get by with about 1/3 of this amount. As to longer-term preppers, even if there is disorder for a decade, you're still not likely to survive enough firefights to need tens of thousands of rounds for a fighting gun, in my opinion. The trick will be to avoid the fight, and not have to hunt as your primary source of food, because the game may or my not be there to harvest.
I Think your Squirrel Supply estimates may be off a tad. I hunt Squirrel and anything else that has fur on it and don't stink. animals don't replenish their stocks as quickly as you would think, you would have to expand your hunting territory continuosly. Not to Mention other people that would possibly share the same area . I Base my hunting range on a yearly replenishment schedule. Plus, your gonna get sick of the same old thing after a while. Large game and having an ability to dry or freeze the meat works out to less trips out away from your safe haven. I try and get a moose every two years, 1500 lbs plus of meat takes a long time to go thru. As far as Ammo goes, there is no realistic equation as to how much you will need, I learned to avoid steel cased ammo, and buy FMJ ammo whenever possible. I also spread my ammo and weapons out in various areas of my house, storage buildings and 23 acres. Keeping it all in one spot is a recipe for disaster.
 

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As with all things One needs a starting point. your post I think can qualify for what a single person should have at a minimum for one year. I look at it like the water estimate of two gallons per person per day. But why not have more of it, same with ammo. With your estimates I still don't have enough, But I also don't have the money until I get a job.

So in my opinion this is a great starting point for people wanting to know how much ammo they should strive for per person. And shotgun verity ammo as well as arrows needs to be put into the mix.
 

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I agree with some of what you said but...

You have to think beyond one year, or make prep for reloading your own ammo.

Also, you have to account for some members of your group needing practice and such to get proficient.

In addition, ammo like .22LR can be great as a trade item, and is cheap, and can cover some of the target shooting applications.

And last, it is better to have too much ammo, than not enough ammo. I would rather over stock my ammo than run out once it has become scarce.
 
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