Monday, June 21, 2010

Prepare: The value of oddball ammo

A recent trip to Walmart for something naturally forced me to take a peek at the ammo cabinet as is my habit in WallyWorld. Good news to report there. Most calibers were well stocked including .25 caliber, .357, 9MM and even the once considered extinct .223. Not any more. Ammo is making a comeback.

Which led me to think in this time of plenty to consider adding a few boxes of odd ball calibers to your ammo stash. As always, keep plenty of what you shoot - for most of us that means the following

Main Battle Rifle - .223, .308, 30-06, 7.62x39mm
Shotgun - 12ga, 20ga
Handgun - .45, .40, 9mm, .38, .357, .44
Other - .22LR

This list covers the most common calibers that should be in your armory. Most of us don't have one of each gun, but have some combination. For example, an AR in .223, a 12ga pump, a .45 handgun and a .22LR for small game.

However, there is a place, with ammunition more plentiful in the stores, to stock a few boxes of odd calibers for just in case. Now, I am not advocating some bizarre old or obsolete round like a .318 or .35 Winchester. Rather, having a box or two of ammo you don't chamber, but has a good chance of being on someone else's person.

For instance, suppose a friend or family member shows up at your house to take refuge and brings along their backup pistol chambered in .380? Or what if a neighbor wants to trade their 30-30 Winchester for some food? What if that bad guy leaves behind a perfectly good, but woefully short on ammo .243 bolt action rifle?

An empty rifle is a poor club and an empty handgun is a paper weight. While you may not come across a Webley in .456, you will very likely come across .25, .32 or .380 calber handguns and having 50 spare rounds makes that extra gun a welcome addition to a friend or family member who is otherwise unarmed.

Word to the wise - I don't stock extra ammo for trade or humanitiarian purposes. Ammo sales often result in high velocity returns and recipients of charity may become the raiders of tomorrow.  I keep extra ammo for my needs and for those I trust.

Stocking a few boxes of ammo you don't use but which may be useful for a gun post-SHTF is smart, but only if you can afford to buy the stuff now. Keep an eye open for bargains and stick your finds in the back of the gun safe for a rainy day.


Ryan said...

I think with this sort of thing it is really a question of potential return for the cost. Also a question of priority.

Personally I can see some benefit of getting a few boxes of various common calibers that you do not use. Say 9mm when you use .45, 20 gauge when you use 12 or .308 when you use .223. In particular this makes sense if you know a few friends or neighbors use that caliber.

As for getting various oddballs just on the idle chance of a friend having one or a "battlefield pickup" I am not so sure there aren't better uses for that money. If you genuinely have nothing else you can use and a few hundred bucks sitting around then go for it. However more likely that money would better be spent on your own food, arms, munitions or energy solutions, paying down debt or stocking some silver.

Anonymous said...

Another possibility I have considered is stocking about 500-1000 rounds of whatever your local LEO uses. If resupply dries up and you can help them out, they MAY be inclined to help you in return. Then again, they may also consider your initial offer to help "probable cause" to come get the rest. YMMV.

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